Catholic watercolor artist Leanne Bowen made the day of tired mothers across social media with a post revealing the powerful prayers of religious sisters and a timeless message of solidarity.
The mother of two attended a self-led prayer retreat with the Norbertine Sisters in Tehachapi, Calif.
She shared the post below detailing her experience and revealing something unique about the prayer routine of these cloistered sisters.
“This weekend I had the delight of getting to pray at the Norbertine Sisters on a little self-led prayer retreat. What you cannot see in this picture is the 40ish sisters that live in a cloister on the other side of the stone wall. Their voices are angelic and their prayers fervent.
Attending their prayers throughout the day kept me busy- I was in awe of how frequent all their prayers were. But half way through that weekend I saw one prayer listed that wasn’t on my initial schedule.”
The schedule read Matins, 12 am.
Bowen was a bit confused by the time, so she decided to seek some answers.
“There was a sister who was allowed out of the silence of the cloister to be my point person. She left me a picnic basket of food for each meal and showed me which prayers to read during lauds, vespers and everything in between.”
Bowen asked this particular sister if they prayed every evening in the middle of the night. The sister’s response made a lasting impression on her.
The Norbertine sister explained,
“Yes, that prayer is long - for an hour. That is when we intercede for moms. It is our motherhood hour, where we get up with you.”
Bowen, a tired mother herself, admits that this answer left her in tears,
“All those nights where I felt so alone, so tired and withered…these sisters had been there awake with me…
They were with me and I never knew it, hidden away in their quiet heroic way interceding.”
Bowen says this changed something in her and ended her Instagram caption with a message to fellow mothers, saying,
“I am not alone. You are not alone. There are sisters awake in the night praying for you in your tiredness. They are awake with you in it all. They are praying for you, even in their own exhaustion, because they know you need an intercessor.”
As of this writing, Bowen’s post has nearly 5,000 likes and countless comments from tired mothers of littles like Bowen–and me!
One of the many commenters gushed, “This is the most beautiful thing on the internet right now. Oh my goodness.”
Another said, “This brings so much consolation. This is (desperately needed) spiritual motherhood.”
One user commented, “I definitely thought about this post at 3 a.m. today when I was up with the baby. What a blessing to have spiritual mothers loving us from afar and supporting us in ways we’ll only know about in Heaven.”