I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. Reading 1 HOS 14:2-10
This verse reminds me of incidents with our children. My husband and I have parented our children in the vein of Love and Logic. “Love and Logic is a philosophy founded in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. Love and Logic allows children to grow through their mistakes; helps teach parents how to allow their children to live with the consequences of their choices.” In this first reading today we see that Israel is being asked by God to do exactly that: Live with the consequences of their action and choices; while God is, like a loving parent, letting Israel learn from the life experience, waiting, teaching, and forgiving.
Mistakes, negative choices are part of a child’s growing experiences. When this happens we often feel overwhelmed and so guilt ridden that we forget we are called to be Priest, Prophet, Queen/King; roles that we are Baptised to be, roles that us help help our children to prosper; by being Nurturer, Teacher, Sovereign. Love and Logic gives parents tools in working with children, tools that helps us be back in control, help us teach our children to be responsible, and prepares our young people to live in the real world, with its many choices and consequences. God gives us an example of Divine Love and Logic. He takes back Israel: “Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good”. And that philosophy is reflected in this verse. We humble ourselves by our sinning. Those negative consequences, sinning, we choice, separates us from God and others, but if we work to grow through our mistakes God will prosper us. And if God does that for us, shouldn’t we do the same with our children, and ourselves.
In the year of Mercy let’s practice forgiving all our iniquities so we can forgive our children. After all aren’t we children of God? Has God repeatedly shown in His Word that He always forgives us? Don’t we, like Israel in today’s reading, act as children act when we knowing disregard God’s rules, boundaries and consequences that keep us safe, to prosper us? Shouldn’t we ask forgiveness?
Let’s receive all that is good when we accept God’s love.
Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful. Verse Before The Gospel JL 2:12-13
It makes using this picture poetic. By standing with other moms in prayer is to stand in solidarity with them. It is one important way to help moms feel less spiritually isolated, overcome, overburdened.
There are very busy mom’s who fall into several categories:
- Moms who fall in the “OMG how did I get to be this busy” category.
- Moms who chauffeur their little guys to games.
- Older moms who are wrangling teens and working to keep body and soul alive.
- And the category I believe all moms fall into, the: If I add one more thing to my schedule Lord I will explode!
Starting this Friday let us lift each other up, ask St Rita of Cascia, (an Italian widow, and Augustinian nun) to stand with us and pray with us.
If you are comfortable let us know what you need, feel free to just say special intentions, God knows what you/we need.
This past Saturday, February 20, 2016, St. Casimir experienced the Faces of Mercy online conference. We had no idea what to expect but we were very excited about the opportunity to provide the moms of the parish such a great experience.
We, the team of four women, felt it was a wonderful idea considering that this year our Diocese will not be hosting it’s Women Conference; and that conference has been growing for years and many of the moms we knew were hungry to be spiritually fed. In fact being spiritually fed is one of the most important issue for moms. While discussing the topics we had suggested for our conference, (loved the way we were able to choose among topics that fit the needs of the women of the parish hosting, was a great way to make the conference “significant and personal”), not being spiritually feed was so intense that many of the women were weeping. Weeping at the thought that having been called to be mothers now they have no time for God.
Days later on the Facebook page I have created for the moms of the parish, the question of being so busy that a deep faith was almost impossible was brought up. The elder moms on the group trying to be helpful would post that things will get better. In response one mom had posted this excellent understanding of how moms feel: “I think one thing busy moms need is acknowledgment that we are doing God’s work just by being moms. A lot of time, I think moms believe that they are not doing what the Church asks of us because we are so busy taking care of our families. But if you look at the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, these are what we do every day: feed the hungry (packing those lunches), give drink to the thirsty (fill that water bottle), clothe the naked (chase that undiapered toddler), etc., instruct the ignorant (any age child), counsel the doubtful (where should I go to college), comfort the afflicted (why didn’t she invite me to her party), and through it all, we bear wrongs patiently (those teenage eye rolls). Sometimes we just need someone to hold up a mirror and say, “good job, Mom.”
It is clear that Faces of Mercy has touched a nerve: Mothers must be feed spiritually if they are going to achieve the best of being their vocation.
Save me, O Lord, in your kindness. But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. Responsorial Psalm PS 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
I run a women’s/mom’s group and what many, many moms want is more time. Is it truly more time, because as one mom has said: “But Lord knows if there were more hours in the day those hours would be consumed by work of some sort. Instead of 8 hour work days they would become 12. And for those already doing 12 they would become 16, or 18, or 20. I don’t think more time is a good solution.”
The moms may have jokingly said that they want more time, but clearly it isn’t more hours in a day these moms are craving. Many of the moms are single moms, or moms whose income combined keeps body and soul alive, most do more in a day then there are hours. There are moms who have discerned that what is best for their family is for them to be home, the issue of time, or lack of it, is just as real. These moms homeschool, are volunteering with organizations that help others, or are working from home. I have stood with over busy moms who weep at the thought that now they are moms they have lost their relationship with God.
These moms, we moms, are drowning in busy lives, over commitment, caring for others. One reason the Lord won’t add more time is that He knows we can only use/handle the number of hours He has already created. What the mom’s deeply wish for is for time to relax, renew, rejuvenate.
This Sunday’s Gospel was the Transformation, then I found the picture I am commenting on, on my Sunday Facebook timeline. Emotional abuse CAN BE healed. Transformation is possible. Just as Peter saw Our Lord transformed, we too can become transformed.
These types of pictures, this one I have posted came from Mona Volla, MUST STOP being posted as if they are supportive. They are not! They are filled with lies!
A truth about me: as a young woman I had been raped three times, had a mental ill man stock me for years until he was arrested, grew up living in a home with emotional hurt. If I had not found my therapist I would not be here today. So this alone is evidence that the picture contains lies.
If we think of our fellow mothers, our follow Priest – Nurturer, Prophet – Teacher, Queen – Protector, who are dealing with children who are struggling with emotional abuse/hurt/imbalance: depression, anxiety, brain chemical imbalance; what do you think these young persons who are feeling such despair are going to do, feel, think when seeing “this supportive”, (LYING) picture: happy thoughts?! Supportive thoughts!? Encouraging thoughts!?
Those of us who, as mothers, who have walked through the same fire MUST be available to help, support and maybe even save a life. We must let our children, or our children’s friends who come to us because they feel THE POWER OF OUR HEALING, come to us for help, be that beacon of Mercy, Hope, Healing, Joy.
I know from my own history that there are scars, but they are now a part of me, give me strength, compassion, understanding. God has taken those scars and the WORK I did with my therapist, to create WITH me a new person: Priest, Prophet and Queen.
God DID NOT give me the abuse, He was there walking/working with me through the work, the pain, the transformation. I have more to give, more to share. It changed my trajectory of life. I became a social worker to help moms heal, than a spiritual director not only to help moms heal, but to show God’s Love, Grace, Healing; something I know helps in total healing. I have become Strong, Whole, Healed. I have been through the fire, I may have scars, but I am wonderful!
Something this picture DOES not seem to suggest will EVER happen!
Please find and go to a good therapist, also find a spiritual director to help with spiritual healing; these together will help to transform you, create you anew. If you are a mom of a hurting child please know I am praying for you. Know that I am here for you. https://www.facebook.com/pacwp2001/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Mommy Mantra, February 18,2016
Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. MT 7:7-12
It was a great talk, and I was reintroduced to a novena, (series of prayers said over a nine day period), Mary the Undoer of Knots. It is such a perfect novena for moms. (If you like to learn more about the novena, visit Finding God In The Every Day Of Mothering)
How often have we seen troubles with our children, or in our marriage, or our calling to be so difficult that it’s knotty. We can tie ourselves in knots, or be tied up in knots. We can see our problems as a Gordian knot.
I am sharing this novena with you as a gift – one mom to another.