Two things about this reading that I believe is very important for moms. First, Paul reminds us that “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”
Secondly, Paul reminds Timothy who has helped him have this great faith: Grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice.
So parental women were very important in Timothy’s faith formation reinforcing our Baptismal role as Prophet-First Teacher. Also in this reading Paul reminds Timothy, (us), that God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but of power, love, self-control. All things we need, and maybe the only things we need, to live a very successful life faith life, work life, family life
Mommy Mantra, January 8, 2015: 1 John 4: If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
The Greatest command is triangular: Love God with your whole soul, body, mind and love your neighbour as yourself. You can not love God if you don’t love yourself. If you don’t love yourself how can you possibly love anyone else.
So, it makes sense that if we cut ourselves off from others through any woundedness: self loathing, self despair, self-destruction; we have cut ourselves off from God.
Think of a time when it was too difficult, did you feel God there? From many moms I am hearing their great need for joy. Not happiness, it is too fleeting and based on externals, but joy true joy. In my own life the pursuit of joy has sometime been evasive.
When we fall into despair it is so easy to fall into negative emotions and those negative emotions fuels negative feelings towards others, which fuels us feeling negatively toward God.
Let’s pray for all our fellow Moms/Mr. Moms who are in despair.
Jo Cooper is a friend and mentor of mine. I have known Jo for many years, she worked at the Family Growth Centres where I had our eldest son enrolled there. She taught me so much of how to be a faithful gentle mom and I love her for that.
I’m so delighted to be starting another year! All time given to us is more precious than we ever take time to realize. There are things I know the Lord is urging me to do, and sometimes it’s laziness, sometimes it feels uncomfortable, and sometimes, I just lack confidence to step out there and try. But that’s the whole point. He gives us time, He has things for us to do, and someday, I may be lying in a bed, unable to do much of anything, and these things will surely come to mind. How sad if I have missed the moment! I live for You, oh Lord. Amen. ~Jo Cooper
This quote from her Facebook timeline is perfect for today’s first reading. I love the statement: Lord is urging me to do, and sometimes it’s laziness, sometimes it feels uncomfortable, and sometimes, I just lack confidence to step out there and try. But that’s the whole point. Haven’t we all felt this way? When we refuse to do, it is out of fear. Fear of success. Fear of the calling of God. But this fear comes from listening to those spirits which convince us of our worthlessness, a thing that will make us deny God, deny our role of Priest,(lay priesthood of nurturers), Prophet, (the first teacher), and Queen, (conserver of resources).
If we listen too often, if it becomes habit we lose more than we think we have gained by not stepping out as God has called.
This first reading speaks of something very important: testing the spirits, (thoughts, actions, information, opinions of others and ourselves), to see if they are from God. “Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God…”
When I was in formation, 1995-1998, for Spiritual Direction one thing was made most manifest: What comes from God will give you peace. It was a basic believe of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. One of the things that helped create his exercises. That made him such a positive force.
It became part of my parenting, one of the things I would say to the children when teaching them how to make good decisions.
Not everything is worthy of our attention, in fact those things maybe draining us of the positive connection we have with God.
Looking at everything as if it were of God is a very powerful way to see the world.
I would love to know how many do this for Epiphany: giving one small final gift. For me this is an English/Irish tradition. Epiphany was when gifts were given,the wrap was always silver or gold.
It’s a tradition I brought to our marriage, it will help when, or if, we have in-law-children: can’t make Christmas? There is always Epiphany!
Some of the replies I received:
Jennifer Hofelich-Sanders: We do – our little ones got new slippers for winter and a new religious book.
Jennifer Kropp Denman: We do.
Monica O’Shea: We do this- “La Befana” in the Italian culture- visits children on epiphany and leaves each child a gift.
Donna Queen: Good idea-it makes the season last longer and can help teach the kids why we celebrate so long.
Elizabeth Welch Johnson: We don’t do that, but I like it.
So what about you? Share your Epiphany traditions in the comments
This Christmas decoration is on the wall in our family/media room and it is apropos for Epiphany and the season we are having and hope to continue throughout the year.
We believe Christ/God is love and because of this Christmas is a time when we give love more easily.
We give gifts to our loved because we want to show our love for them. We want to see the look of joy in our loved ones eyes. Christ is our greatest gift and we should give that greatest gift of love to those we love.
My hope for all of us for this year is to remember we are loved and when we love we only give great love. I pray that we remember we are a gift to each other and the world and that God who is head over heels, (heals), in love with us has given us the greatest gift: Jesus
This cartoon is great for Epiphany. You have two young men dressed as Mormons on their two year spiritual duty to evangelize. You see the woman of the home and if you look carefully you see Jesus hiding in the curtains.
The Reading for the Solemnity of Epiphany tell the story of the wise men seeking out the Infant Jesus.
Look at the cartoon again and think about the spiritual aspect of it.