A Prayer for Cross Mothers

I found this newspaper clip in some of my mother’s things:


Dear Ann Landers: Many years ago, when I was in college, you printed a prayer for mothers who lose their tempers. I was touched by it, and I didn’t have the sense to know that one day I might need it desperately. Well, that day has come. I now have three children – one year apart – and I would give anything if you would hunt up that prayer and reprint it. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it was not original with you. Please try. — A Very Tired Mom in Montana

Dear Mom: You are referring to “The Prayer for Cross Mothers”. It is from Marjorie Holmes’ book, “You and I and Yesterday” (Morrow Publishers). I have had many requests to rerun it and do so with pleasure.

“Oh God, I was so cross to the children today! Forgive me. I was discouraged and tired – and I took it out on them. Forgive my bad temper, my impatience and, most of all, my yelling. I am so ashamed as I think of it.

“I want to kneel down by each of their beds, wake them up and ask them to forgive me. But I can’t. They wouldn’t understand. I must go on living with the memory of this awful day, my unjust tirades.

“Hours later, I can still see the fear in their eyes as they scurried around trying to appease me, thinking their anger and maniacal raving was their fault.

“Oh God, the pathetic helplessness of children! Their innocence before the awful monster – the enraged adult. And how forgiving they are, hugging me so fervently at bedtime, kissing me goodnight.

“All I can do is straighten a cover, touch a small head burrowed in a pillow and hope with all my heart that they will forgive me.

“Lord, in failing these little ones whom you have put in my keeping, I am failing You. Please let your infinite patience and goodness replenish me for tomorrow.” — Marjorie Holmes

Again, Dear Mom: How beautiful! I am sure that every mother will see herself, and it is bound to make her a more patient, loving person. Thank you for requesting that I run it again.


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