Growing up in a Polish neighborhood in Dearborn, Michigan, all the Polish grandmothers had prayer books. They could be seen pouring over them before Mass.
Only recently have I become a prayer book sort of person. I do not know why I did not recognize its benefits until recently. Fear that I could be mistaken for a Polish grandmother? I’m Irish.
Whatever the reason for my lapse, I’m going strong now. I have a prayer book in my purse, so it goes with me everywhere, and I use it before, during and after Mass, and sometimes during adoration. For those who have never considered owning a prayer book, I’ve identified ten reasons why you should.
1. They are elegant and beautiful, usually with gilded edges so you will bond with it. I suspect the publishers had grandmothers with prayer books too and are nostalgic for that.
2. You will pray more. Turning the pages to see what is in your book will lead you to stop here and there and to read the prayers.
3. It will make your Catholic grandmother happy and dead or alive she’ll be praying for you. If she’s not that sort of grandmother and belongs to NARAL or GRR! (Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights), then you can pray more for her.
4. Buyers guilt. You paid for it so to avoid feeling guilty for not using it, you will use it.
5. You’ll learn new things. Scientific studies have shown that introducing new things into your life keeps your brain young. Learning new prayers will help to make your soul holy. There’s been no studies on this but we can assume.
6. You will become an influencer. While you are deep in prayer looking positively angelic, someone nearby who is just twiddling their thumbs not sure what to pray, will notice you and think, Hey, I should do that too.
7. A storage place for holy cards. You are going to want to easily access your favorite prayers, so your holy cards and funeral cards have a greater purpose now. You will also be apt to pray more for the deceased person or to the saint on the card. Win/win/win!
8. When you become a grandmother (or like me you already are one), your prayer book will help to create a nice stereotype for the younger generation.
9. You will never be at a loss for words. If you are in a prayer slump and your memorized prayers are not speaking to you while you are trying to speak to God, opening your prayer book is just the thing.
10. You will be drawn closer to God through your prayer book. That is the real reason for buying it anyways, right? The other reasons are just the bonus.
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