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FYI Wednesday: Prayer and Personality

It’s FYI Wednesday and I have asked fellow Catholic moms for questions that they might have on such topics as motherhood and spirituality, children’s spiritual development, finding time for yourself, or just to learn more about Spiritual Direction; here is the latest question asked by Michelle:

I would like to know more about prayer and personality


A wonderful question!  Here is a booklet I have written on Prayer and personality.

with all my heart

OMG do I know how Jesus must have felt

Mommy Mantra July 15, 2014 MT 11:20-24
Jesus is rebuking the towns of Galilee where he preached and did great deeds and those towns did the so what shrug.
I am sharing what a friend has posted about her experiences of today and I wonder if Jesus wasn’t thinking exactly the same thing when he confront the people of Galilee:

I am so annoyed with everything today. Stupid government websites and error codes; stupid people doing yard work with the most noisy machines possible while (my child) is napping; irritating statements being made by numerous individuals. Can I have a reset button please?

Was Jesus standing in the road pulling his hair out muttering to himself: “Why don’t they get it!”

How many times have we done that?  Stood in our kitchens so frustrated at what is going on in our lives that we want to push the rest button.

But maybe that is what Jesus is asking us to do, push the reset button.

Let’s take the day and look at all the blessings we have gotten. All the answered prayers. All the situations changed, and stay with that for a moment. It will help us all feel better.

It will also awake us to what Jesus has done for us and how much more work there is yet to do to help Jesus in his mission.

Peter and Paul…Conversion, creation, transformation can not be done alone, it is always communal, God, you and your neighbour!

10306081_657017577719251_4288221757988880042_nThis picture I downloaded from a friend on Facebook, she and I both consider ourselves very spiritual people; the way we express that aspect of our lives is very different: she is more new age, (which frankly doesn’t bother me; didn’t Jesus come to bring a new age?), and I am Orthodox Irish Catholic, (we tend to be “new agey”).

I was scrolling my timeline after Mass and found this picture, it struck me how it fit in so well with today’s reading at Mass.  I agree with 90% of it.  We, as Catholics, are called to believe in ourselves as children of God, a priestly people, and to love God, our neighbour and ourself.

Our soul is precious, but they are not divine; as a Catholic I believe only Jesus/God is Divine, I am an imperfect person striving toward perfection; something I am not going to reach on this realm.  When I got to the “you’ll automatically be converted to a being who can create miracles”, my heart skipped a beat!

Peter, who becomes the rock onto which Christ will build his church, denies him three times; this man whom Peter in today’s Gospel calls Jesus the Christ, the living Son of God, will falter, must lose heart and deny him before he can be converted to his calling as foundation of the faith. Then, there is Paul, a tax collector, a persecutor of Christians, who even puts Christians to death, gets thrown from his horse and temporarily blinded by God before he can “see anew” and be converted to preach with such love the faith he sees so clearly.

The picture extols us to believe and it surely is the most important aspect of any conversion.  Jesus asks his disciples who they thought/believed he was.  So, it seems to me that conversion has an inherit believe that God sees such great potential in us, and that we must believe in something larger than ourselves, (God), whose faith and love for us and in our potential has no limits, no bounds!  It is this Divine force outside of our very flawed and limited selves that creates the power to convert from thinking so little of ourselves that we don’t realize, or accept, or honour the miracle that is us, the new day, the transformative power of us working united with God to seeing each day as a miracle of new beginnings.

There is also the stripping away of the old to be able to accept the new.  Both Peter and Paul’s transformations came only after the old life was stripped from them: Peter denial, Paul’s persecuting Christians.  This transformation did not come alone, it came about because of God’s power and the relationships that both men had, and changed.  Conversion, creation, transformation can not be done alone, it is always communal, God, you and your neighbour!

As human beings, and most definitely as mothers, we can not truly live life alone.  It takes the transforming power of two people to create a life, but the Divine power of God to infuse that life with a soul.  It takes the power of two to guide that new life toward a path, but God to infuse that life with a calling.   The miracle here is the conversion of the raw potential that is a child into the miracle of person with a calling and purpose.

Something that we as mothers must recognize as well.  The conversion of ourselves from who we were before our children to who we are with our children.  Like Peter and Paul this experience has changed us forever! We will never be who we were, would we want to be?

We have created the miracle of new life in our children but they have created the miracle of new life within us!  It is our responsibility to allow this transformation to change us into the people, mothers, woman God has called us to be.

So let us pray that we believe in the Divine transformation that converts us into miracles!  And let us pray for those moms who have yet to believe.







Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

what motherhood is like

We are going to a birthday party for our Godson; it will be his first, and an exciting time for family and friends. It is a time for us to rejoice in this little boy’s life, looking back at all the milestones, not just the little boy’s but the parents as well; and with today being the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary it will be interesting for his mom to view this first year through Mary’s own experience.

Susan Netter wrote in her Facebook posting yesterday of Mary “pondering all these things in her heart”, and how parenting is hard, and we as “modern moms” ponder many things in our hearts. The Gospel this morning certainly reveals that Mary was going through experiences that we have go through or will with our own children. We see a teen age Jesus acting as teen age children do: exploring and expressing his own understanding of who he was becoming. And as older moms know and have experienced that process can be difficult, fear riddled and angering, the beginning of the letting process that is nature but not always liked by moms: seeing our children grow up, form their own response to God’s calling, and leaving the nest.

Did Mary, as she was searching for Jesus, look back on her life raising Jesus and see his milestones from infant to then and did she wonder if those memories would be her last? Did she vacillate between anger at Jesus being gone to her own doubts and worries to hope that Jesus is OK?

When Mary and Joseph stood at the Temple door looking in I don’t think they knew what as going on. It’s clear from the Gospel they didn’t, Jesus had to tell them why he was there and what he was doing. For our Godson the future is open, and the path being made. Mom and Dad are helping to forge that path, but it is our Godson who will be walking it. Like Mary and Joseph each decision whether conscientiously made or not helped shape Jesus’ journey but not the only influence, just as is true for our own children. And just as true of Mary and Joseph prayer, hope, and thoughtful guidance will be the best thing for our children

Responsorial Psalm June 27, 2014

smile to hideI have a friend who posts wonderful posts on Facebook that are filed with gentle wisdom about love, parenting and life. Today she posted the following which just rang in my heart as a prefect modern understanding of today’s readings but most specifically the Responsorial Psalm:

Responsorial Psalm PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 10

Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

Her posting:

Pretending that painful or negative feelings do not exist doesn’t keep relationships more intimate. It can even create inner distance when I act as if the intimate relationship is not strong enough to hold pain, anger or hate. Powerful feelings can be frightening, but denying their presence keeps me from deeper layers of self. When my intimate relationships are able to hold the powerful, paradoxical feelings of love and hate, anger and forgiveness, something deep within me can relax and let go. If they are not able to do this, I need to withdraw from the relationship in order to be myself.

I can hold angst.

In this era of self-understanding and conscious efforts at parenting, we learn we should not come down to our children’s level. That is, we should not be as hateful toward them as they are to us. Yet, if we seal ourselves off they are cheated and burdened by the illusion that anger and hatred are personally inappropriate. Therapists are like parents. When the therapist comes down to their level, both grow from it when the generation gap is reestablished.

Mommy Mantra for October 3, 2013: Luke 10: 1-12

a little child)Mommy Mantra for October 3, 2013: Luke 10: 1-12 Jesus sends out the 72 with nothing more than what they have.

72 = the number of grandsons sons of Noah, they were to go and populate the world creating the diversity we see today; but how is that number relevant to us?

Today there is a new little person being introduced to the people on my Facebook timeline who follow his mom and dad. This little guy has come into the world with nothing. He is a newest labourer in the field. This little guy has no more knowledge of what is going to happen in his life than the disciples did when they started their journey.

It’s very scary for this mom and dad; even if through they are mom and dad of two others; each children presents new challenges and creates new dynamics in the house and between the relationship with his elder brother and sister, and for mom and dad with this new little one and themselves. There will be times when there is no peace in the house, but peace will return.

Having a new baby requires us to look anew at each person in our home. To look at them to see if there is peace in them or do we need to restore peace. We need to help each child see their gifts, help them with their labour, and “pay” them accordingly.

There will be times as children grown and our relationships change that we wish that we could get out, but like the 72, Jesus told them that could not go from house to house but had to stay where they were. And it is true, we must stay and work on what is troubling us, work of those things that will strengthen us and welcome life and all its challenges, dreams and promises.

As our children move out into the world going from our place to the next place on their journey we must help them learn when to shake the dust off their shoes and carry on.

Drama and Social Media: Spiritual Practice – Accountability

475fbefa9ebfba9233364533aafd02a3I wrote on my Facebook timeline:

It’s not just FB but Twitter, Instagram, Path, Tumbrl…I am thinking of my teen/very young adult FBers….this whole social media you should treat with a great weariness. Don’t share things that will come back to bit you….don’t think everyone is trustworthy….there should be so FEW people you share your most personal drama with, and never on social media, that you can count them on one hand. If a “good friend” of yours is spreading rumours or gossiping about you…than guess what…they aren’t your good friend!

For sometime now we have been hearing Gospels on Jesus and his preparing the disciples for his death and their mission.  One of the things Jesus had done was pair the disciples up knowing that one would keep the other accountable.  As a mom of teen-very young adult twins, who just months ago graduated from High School and of two adult men; I think about accountability all the time, mostly with our twin girls.  The age of social media has not changed human nature it has just made human nature instantaneous.  Like EVERY teen/very young adult in EVERY era there is a huge learning curve of whom to trust and why to trust them.  I don’t care if it is friends or family we must find those people who truly have our best interest at heart.

If we don’t we will run afoul and mistrust will begin to destroy our spiritual peace.  Not everything needs to be shared with everybody.


Are you proud mom?

This woman has stolen this little girl’s joy and excitement and this little girl will walk away from this experience with the thought that somehow SHE DID something WRONG!

The announcers who saw this horrible scene did give the little girl a ball, but it was not the ball she was so excited to have caught. It was not the ball that her mom or dad urged her to try and catch. It was not the ball that as it was coming to her, the little girl had dreams of being a professional baseball player, or being interviewed by reporters at the game, or becoming the cool kid at school: No. All of that was stolen from her by this woman who was so greedy she could take a ball from a little girl.  A LITTLE GIRL.  As I posted on Facebook: Are you proud of yourself Mom…is that foul ball in a place of honour in your home, maybe the mantelpiece?

Let us pray for this woman who allowed herself to carried away by greed.