Spiritual Practice Tuesday: Gratitude. In Scripture we see gratitude quite often; especially after someone has been healed, or a prayer answered. Break the word done to it’s component parts and you find that it means the state of being pleased, the state of thankfulness.
So who is thankful or pleased? First there is God who was pleased when we were made: Eph. 2:10. Secondly the examples of those who realized they had been healed or answered. This is an important group. These men and women understood who God/Jesus was, they got it: the giver of all good gifts.
For us to have gratitude we must acknowledge the gift and the giver.
And our gifts are not always what we expect. Some gifts come by way of lessons or situations which require us to move forward, release something giving it to God, or to gain something making us stronger. Look even closer, do you see the root of grace in gratitude?
Every Mass, every sacrament we participate in helps us build gratitude for what we have been given; even in those Mommy Moments when we step on yet another logo, or have a teen who considers chores not part of the parent child agreement.
This is a devotional treasurehouse with prayers modeled on all traditions and rituals based on everyday activities. Here is a Christian prayer for zeal.
A Prayer for Zeal
Implant within my heart, O God,
the fiery zeal of a Jeremiah,
the conviction of a Ruth or Rebecca
and the zest of a Francis of Assisi.
Stir my slumbering soul,
that it might sing a song of passion and devotion,
drunk with dancing joy and desire for you,
my divine and loving Friend.
May my heart be a hot as the heart of Moses
for all your children burdened by slavery,
for all who feel oppression’s steely heel
or suffer rejection in an alien land.
May I, like your son Jesus,
be consumed with zeal for you, Divine Beloved,
for life, for justice and for peace;
for all that I know in faith.
Mommy Mantra for October 1, 2013: Do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them? (Luke 9:54)
There are days when our children are fighting and there is more child-drama then a Real Housewife episode that we as moms we want to call down fire from heaven to consume them. But just as Jesus rebuked the disciples he asks us, warns, tells us, maybe even rebukes to take a moments, maybe many, many moments to relax look at the situation and deal with it in strength and peace.
Jesus brings young children to him and to our modern sensibility we think how cute. Not so, in Jesus’ time children were loved, yes, but they were property. Our modern idea of children and childhood would be so foreign to the people of Jesus’ time that they could not begin to understand it.
So for Jesus to call over small children and say to get to heaven you have to be like one of these, well there must have been a lot of head scratching.
Think about it. No matter the era children are by nature trusting. They blinding trust someone will feed them, cloth them, care for them. Even when this is not true and children are in homes of neglect they still trust. They trust until they learn not to.
It takes a great deal to break a child’s trust. As years go on and things happen children lose trust and it is difficult to put that genie back in the bottle.
Prayers seem to go unanswered, promises get broken so we assume no-one cares. That is broken trust when we assume no-one cares.
Jesus says be like a young child who always hopes in a better tomorrow.
Mommy Mantra for September 28, 2013: Pay attention to what I am telling you. (Luke 9:44)
Friday, Jesus asked who do we think he is. And at times it sounds like who do you think I am; almost as if he is asking us do we think he is someone who does magic tricks instead of someone who is God of our life. He is very insistent that we pay attention; look around our lives/situations/events/relationships for evidence of his working in our lives. He is going to the cross. Going to suffer and die. He wants us to see how his suffering will free us from fearing our own. He wants us to see the glory. He wants us to see.
Instead of posts, I am looking at keywords….what is it that drives people here. Now I am new to this daily challenge, in fact I have been playing at blogging for sometime….been playing at getting started for a long time…so I don’t have posts…but I do have key words!
My top three: Mommy Mantra, Motherhood and Spirituality; which all make sense since that is what I am all about. See, as I have said before I am a very spiritual person; a new agey Irish Catholic JPII type Feminist Catholic, so I tend to be drawn to all things spiritual. I am also drawn to people…moms especially. Now I love my Church, but they do a LOUSY job of celebrating one of the most profound vocations: motherhood. It’s as if moms are forgotten, women are forgotten, and frankly without us there would be no Church.
Now I am getting ahead of myself, a little back story. In college I wanted to be many things and all of them focused on people in some way. I wanted to be an anthropologist, that is until the science beat my butt. Then I thought I would go into geography, why I don’t know, it kinda dealt with people, sorta. Then sociology…sorta boring, but there were some very interesting courses; that lead me to social work and I found something I was good at. I graduate with BSW and off I went. I worked for ten plus years for Catholic Social Services did very well, but there was something missing. Every one of the moms I worked with, these were all moms in crisis, had a deep spiritual emptiness that standard social work was not going to to fill, even psychology, as my boss wanted me to go into, wasn’t going to help; but I did find spiritual direction, much like pastoral counseling and it clinked!
I worked in any ministry that connected me to people and what I found every job involved moms…..moms who felt they needed some kind of ministry that spoke to them and their spiritual needs. It got me thinking, why not go into private practice and create a ministry for moms. So I did about five years ago, this blog, these keywords, this daily prompt post, are all a way to hone and mature myself and what I am called to do, but please pray for me that I don’t let fear stop me from going deeper into my calling, this blog and ministry.
Mommy Mantra for July 9, 2013: (Matthew 9:36-37) At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
This speaks to my mommy heart in a very powerful way. For those of with older children teen and beyond we feel this quite deeply, the “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd”, because we can see what is ahead…we have experience of life that they do not, and we can see them going for the “cliff”…..those of us with children who see the world differently, it is us that feel “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd”, because we can’t make the world understand or treat our children the way we want, for those of us who have younger children we feel “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd”, because we cannot foresee the future.
In the Gospel Jesus says that the disciples should go get the master of the harvest to send out labourers for his harvest. We are His harvest! It isn’t always about how we are called to work the field…our calling to be labourers, although as mother’s we are labourers literally and figuratively, but this is about Jesus sending for us the support we need to be moms.
I pray that today we all have the support and love we need from God and others