AIM Apostles In the Marketplace could be becoming Apostles In Motherhood Podcast

11080914_896694973687050_1222511226849895303_nBut whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

While, in high school in Washington DC, I belonged to AIM:  Apostles In the Marketplace.  It was a support/prayer group that took the daily reading of the Mass as a way to live life.  The group was evangelistic, but we were  encouraged to not be pushy about it.

AIM’s purpose was for us always to invite by our actions, like the first reading of yesterday, where the crippled man was healed: “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple..”  The Disciples were healing in the name of Christ, but they were not doing it like circus barkers.  They wanted people to come to Christ by how they were seen in the community, how they were acting, by their gentle manner, not pushy attitude.

The Priest who created AIM was a Jesuit who so unassuming and gentle.  His mantra was that we show them how we are by our actions, not our words.

If people asked us questions we would answer, but we never went to someone with the hackneyed have you found Christ.

In our support/prayer meetings, we would discuss how our days were going.  How well we were living out the Gospel of the past Sunday.  We asked each other for supportive ways to change.  We sought out ways to do, be better.  We prayed for each other.

Hearing, “But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep”, made me think of AIM.  We are the gatekeeper. Jesus can’t be everywhere so that is why he made mothers.

Maybe I should start thinking of AIM as meaning Apostles In Mothering.  I have been feeling called to restart being a podcaster, that would make a great name.

 

Relationships, or How being challenged makes me more me

Athirst is my soul for the living God.

This past Sunday was Good Shepard Sunday, and the Gospel and readings focused on relationships and the importance of the Holy Spirit in influencing those relationships.

In the first reading, Peter explains how everything the Church will be doing from now on, every good deed, will be done because of Christ, through Christ.  Then we are told that we are beloved children of God who are needed to bring Christ into the world so that the world will know us and because of that they  will follow Christ. Finally, Jesus explains how we are to be as Christians.  We are to lay down our lives for everyone.

I began thinking about parenting, mothering, and relationships.  Remember your mother saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing.”  Well, the reading adds a layer to that telling us all: if you can’t do anything nice how can you call yourself Christian?  Think about relationships.  Aren’t they emotional/spiritual dances we have with others?  Every action has a reaction.  Aren’t good deeds moving us forward, wrongful ones moving backward?

The second reading is our relational triangle:  alovecard
It draws us deeper into the relationship dance, the Great Commandment Triangle.  How we relate to others is a mirror into how we feel about ourselves and by connection how we feel about God.  This reading is important. “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed.  We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

Not only are we examining relationships, but also our calling; which is a response to our relationship with God. None of us will fully known who we are until we have revealed what it is that we are called to do.  Think about that for a moment.  When you were in college you had one sense of who were going to be, you “just knew”.  But it was amorphous, it changed with the next class or next whim.  As you were called to motherhood things became clearer but only slightly.  It wasn’t until you were challenged that who you are coming into focus.  And that challenge is always in relation with someone else.  So, you are being called, as in the first reading, to look at everything you do as if you were doing it for Christ.  Through the second reading, you see that the more you do as for Christ.  The more you do according to your calling. The more you do while loving God, your neighbour and yourself with your whole mind soul and heart.  The more you find the you are becomeing more YOU.

Finally, Christ tells us that when we have achieved all that, it will be easy to lay down our life.  Think about that.  How often have we done something for someone without every a thought about ourselves, just because that friend, that fellow mom, really needed something, right now.

Lazarus: Child Abuse

Media preview

Australian Childhood Foundation brilliantly captures HOW abuse children feel. Invisible.~

Moms, the Gospel can speak so profoundly. LK 16:19-31

On Twitter there is a champaign to #StopChildAbuse and this picture was on my Twitter stream. <——-

It is very significant because this campaign reminds me of the Gospel of today.  Lazarus, the beggar, is at the door of the Rich man asking for food. The Rich man ignores him. Both men die.  Lazarus goes to the bosom of  Abraham while the Rich man goes to hell.

The Rich man has received all he wanted and needed in his life while Lazarus relied on others charity.  This made Lazarus invisible.  He had no power, no prestige, no money/wealth, so he had no status quo.

The Rich man has no name, he is all of us; those of us who walk past the homeless man, don’t know the name of OUR postman, wouldn’t give a second thought of the maid in a hotel.  The Rich man does not see, will not see, can not see all the pain around him.

But we must see.  The most powerless of our society are children.  We can say why does God allow innocent children to suffer at the hands of those who claim to love and protect them. It makes it so easy for us to throw up our hands and say there is no way to stop this, because it’s what God has brought.

Believe me when I say God does not bring illness, suffering, sorrow; that would go against what we know of a loving God. Thinking like that makes a sham of God as Love.  No, God does not cause suffering – let’s be very honest here – we do!  We are called by our Baptism to help #StopChildAbuse.  We are called by our Baptism to treat children as the gift they are.  We are called by God to raise our children with love so they will love.

Prefect Fit

I found this tweet on my timeline and thought: “How perfect a fit is this for the Gospel of today!”

The Gospel today is filled with ways we break covenant with our neighbours by judging harshly, calling them fool; and when we break this covenant with them, we break it with God MT 5:20-26

Although it can be painful at times, it’s a beautiful treasure to have people who will speak truth into your life. Accountability is a gift.

 

Moms Sharing Wisdom

 

What can you do withshutterstock_88840111 all those Christmas cards, here are some suggestions from other faith-filled moms.

*  You pick one card a week and pray for that person or family that sent you that card for the whole week.  ~Kristin ‘Coppola’ Heilman

* We put ours in a photo album on out kitchen table and pray for a new family each day at every meal.  ~Rosie Bahar McCune

* I have a scrapbook that is just christmas cards, the ones with special notes or pictures make it in the book and I list the rest. It shows an awesome timeline of our friends and family.  ~Toni Torsell

“Get over yourself, God Needs You!”

Sunday was the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Gospel reading was of the Canaanite 397459_191907174296663_142689242_nwoman with an ill daughter.  Now, what was so interesting about this Sunday, was that I was at a church that is far more conservative than I am. I seldom go to this church for Mass because I find that the spiritual conservationism can make me quite upset, and I hate being upset in Mass.

I remember expressing this opinion to my eldest son, and he said something insightful, he said: “Mom, the priest isn’t here to make you happy, he is here to make you think.”  Fair enough. This Sunday what the pastor was saying sounded about as far away from good thinking as anyone can get, it was fire and brimstone which, as far as I am concerned, does not nothing but set up a vicious cycle of spiritual condemnation and worthlessness.

Father equated the “evil one” with the Gospel, for me it was a huge leap, but he forced it to work.  Now here is where I have a problem with what he said.

First off, why are we calling the devil the “evil one“? Why give the devil more power by making the use of his name a talisman.  If we begin to the fear the name we increase the fear and therefore the power of the devil, we give power to the devil.  We have in essence, by increasing our fear, opened ourselves to the devil.  Doesn’t the devil work through fear?

Secondly, isn’t it true that Christ rebuked the devil and therefore gave us the same power? After all in an exorcism this very power is used to rebuke and turn away the devil.  We can not rebuke and turn away Christ, we can reject him but not rebuke him.  If this  is true, who has the greater power: Christ or the devil; Christ of course.

Thirdly, the devil is a rebellious angel, who thrives on crisis of faith, deals in death of soul, mind and spirit,  corrupts positive individualism, (God’s creation of us as individuals with gifts and talents which we use in our mission with Christ-Baptism), distorts free will,  and brings destruction to life, spirituality and emotion.

The devil works through man, is invited by man, creates in man a nature of hate; so why does Father seem to be saying that we have no power over the devil?   Does it make sense that we throw our hands up in the air and say: “Well, we can’t do anything about it the devil is too powerful!”  That can be what you take away from what Father was saying.  Evil in the middle east, Ferguson, Mo, nothing we can do about it all the devil’s fault!  Really, Father, really!

All Christians have the authority to bind evil spirits in Christ’s name (Mk, 16:17)

I for one  believe in Christ and put on the full armor of Christ!  There is a great article by Maximilian “Catholic Tools” Kolbe on the very subject of binding spirits/the devil.  Here is an excerpt:

This may sound outlandish or even like you might not have any authority to say these words.  But these simple words are extremely powerful.

For example how many times have you received communion and never felt like anything happened.  If we truly knew what we are receiving than how much greater would we prepare for Mass and how much more would that Mass effect our life.  In the same sense just because these words might not elicit a big theatrical scene, they still wage war against the Devil.

All Christians have the authority to bind evil spirits in Christ’s name (Mk, 16:17).  Binding an evil spirit is using the Authority of Jesus Christ and His power to make the evil spirit stop what ever it is doing and not to make any further progress.  It is silencing the spirit.  Rebuking is taking authority over the evil spirit and stopping it, too.

When you command in the name of Jesus Christ you are telling the spirit to be disposed of by Jesus.  One is not doing any of this with their own power, but the power of Jesus Christ. More of the article here 

So, now we come to evil in the world. If you have the attitude of oh well can’t do anything the devil is in the world; than what’s going to stop you from giving up spiritually?  Don’t/aren’t we seeing that everyday when people say things like: “Oh it’s too big a problem for me.”  “The world is going to hell in a hand-basket.” “What can I do, I’m only one person!”

As our pastor always tells us when we think the same things, he reminds us of what his spiritual director tells him: “Get over yourself, God Needs You!”

What can you do? Pray.  Work toward a righteous cause.  Educate yourself on the problem.  Write your congress person.  We want change right now, ain’t  gonna happen.  We have to work for change and when the change comes work to keep it.

It’s too big for you, maybe but how ’bout a group of you?

Hand-basket and hell, only if we give up.

So, here’s the question: You going to give up?

 

 

Jeremiah preaches to Israel that their bad habits, sinful ways, have left them wounded, but God puts it all right.

Mommy Mantra August 5, 2014
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Except for the first reading which is from Jeremiah, 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22, you would think someone had forgotten to turn the page from yesterday.
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Jeremiah preaches to Israel that their bad habits, sinful ways, have left them wounded, but God puts it all right.
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In the alternative Gospel from Matthew, MT 15:1-2, 10-14, Jesus speaks of what comes out of our mouths is unclean not what goes in.
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Something blocks faith, either it’s doubt, or habit, or how we view the world and from that speak our views; what brings us back is faith in our relationship with God.

FHB Family Hold Back

Mommy Mantra August 3, 2014: MT 14:13-21 The five loaves and two fishes.

Ever have an unexpected guest come to your house for dinner, maybe a friend of your children’s, or neighbour, family member? FHB, means family hold back taking as much as you want for dinner so our guest can have enough.

Well, of course Jesus invited the five thousand plus to stay for dinner, so he didn’t hold back. Instead he gave until everyone was satisfied.

Let’s pray in support of those who must hold back, that one day they will have enough to be satisfied.

A Lansing Michigan Organization helping the poor Loaves and Fishes, an overnight shelter