We can’t fall into the pain.

Mommy Mantra July 10, 2014: Hosea 11:1-4, 8c-9
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“Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son.” After listening to the readings at Mass this morning I couldn’t stop thinking how much God sounds like every hurting parent.
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No family is untouched by problems, troubles. No mother hasn’t had heartache. It is an experience we all will share and it doesn’t matter how slight or significant; pain is pain.
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We can’t fall into the pain. We must know that when we mourn God mourns. There will be times when our children will do something to turn away from the lives we tried to create, the values we tried to convey, the future we had hoped for them. Even in this pain we should try to continue to trust in a God who is control and to trust in our power of prayer.
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This is not easy. When in pain we can draw away from God, from friends because of a shame, please don’t, fight the urge and try to continue to pray. We can assume too much responsibility from the troubles and problems, but we are not the only influence on our children. They have their own thoughts and beliefs which may be very different from ours. Maturity plays a huge part and we, while still dealing with our situation, should still try to pray for guidance when to step in and teach or to step out.
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As God did not destroy Ephraim we can’t stop trusting and working toward healing of our hearts and theirs. No matter what is happening we must trust that God is in his heaven and all will become right in our world.
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Today let’s pray for each other.

Video: I’m a spiritual director

This the first video for Spiritual Lives Of Women.  I am using these animations to bring an other aspect to the ministry.  It is my hope that I can begin to broadcast an every Wednesday a Q &  A video.

This is extremely important. He had to learn! He isn’t doubting Thomas. He is learning Thomas.

Project 7 3 2014 smAn addendum to Thomas.

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All day I have been dealing with these thoughts rolling around in my head; so I thought I would let them out.

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Earlier I wrote about Thomas and comparing his experience with those of our children learning to navigate the world. In that comparison I used the words “quell fear”; those are the words that have been rolling around in my head, the words I feel complied to expand upon.

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You see Thomas wasn’t with the others when Jesus first showed himself and I don’t think it was doubt he was expressing but fear.

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Doubt for me always held a bit of a lie in it. Because to doubt you have to mistrust the thing or person and I can’t see Thomas, one of the Apostles, mistrusting Jesus. Or having misgivings, or apprehension, or being suspicious; all synonyms of doubt.

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I feel he was more afraid that Jesus wasn’t what he thought he knew he was; why else would Jesus say: “Peace be with you?”

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Jesus knew, as we learn the longer we parent, that disciples, and children, fear the new the different. But each of us, like Thomas must explore, learn and discover that new, that different, this life for ourselves.
That is what I think the Gospel’s focus is on; not the fact that Thomas doubted, but that unlike all the other disciples, and ourselves, he was not there first hand, he had to learn about what happened.

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That is extremely important. He had to learn! He isn’t doubting Thomas. He is learning Thomas.

Thomas isn’t doubting, he is doing what we all must do

Mommy Mantra July 3, 2014: Feast of Saint Thomas It would be just too easy to write on doubt, but today I feel called to write about Jesus’ response: “Peace be with you.”

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Oh Lord, do I wish I could react to “surprising” parenting situations like that! In all the parenting classes I have taken, and taught, over the years the basic concept is the same: gentleness rules out over an overly emotional response.

When I think about Thomas and Jesus’ interaction, Thomas was demanding to be shown like our toddlers and teens do. Thomas needed to investigate, learn for himself just like our school aged children and young adult children do.
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Jesus doesn’t stand there doing the frustrated parent eye roll; he invites Thomas to quell his fears. When our toddlers run and hide behind us and venture out again, they are using us as a touchstone to help quell their fear of the big bad world. A world they don’t have the experience to understand. When our school aged children want to master a new skill they look to us for support to quell their fear of failure.
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When our teens do things that try a mother’s heart, they are like they were as toddlers, reaching out from between the boundaries of behind our knees to explore a world they feel they have mastered but truly haven’t. They need us more than ever to quell their fears.
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It’s too easy to say Thomas was doubting. Thomas is doing what we all must do with our faith: explore, question, investigate, understand for ourselves. Today let’s prayer to support each other as we see Thomas in ourselves and our children. Let’s strive to say to ourselves and our children: “Peace be with you”, and to hear Jesus saying it to us.

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.

How Privileged Are You?

This makes me a bit uncomfortable.  The test questions were questions of sexual orientation, religious preference, and in this day and age I am still taken aback by such things.

It speaks the notion that in 2014 we still are more concern with the what of who are than who of who are.  We fall quickly into the us against them mentality that does nothing to promote equality.

 

You live with 60 out of 100 points of privilege.

You’re quite privileged. You’ve had a few struggles, but overall your life has been far easier than most. This is not a bad thing, nor is it something to be ashamed of. But you should be aware of your advantages and work to help others who don’t have them. Thank you for checking your privilege.

Daily Prompt: New Internet Order

All the world’s countries have decided that the Internet itself needs a government. Your country asks you to run for Prime Minister of the ‘Net — do you accept? If so, what will your platform be?

This is a hard one.  I hate politics, all the backbiting, the broken promises, all the trying to make everyone happy.  As Saint Paul said I am all things for all people.  Well, it ain’t true of politics.  Or anything else dealing with humans.  If we try to satisfy one group the other group feels slighted, it is a huge no win!  And the nanny state…forget about it.  Give up one freedom and you are willing to give up all.

The only thing I see to do is to be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may