Tag Archives: Motherhood

Sheep Rattle


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I promised my daughters that I would bring them something home from my Retreat this weekend. I purchased two sheep rattles on my way home. Although I knew what I was bringing them was much more than stuffed toys. What they can’t see yet, but I do clearly, is their mom is coming back with a firm guard on the lambs our Lord has given to me to give back to Him. Just as the Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep, so I must lay down my life for the lambs our Lord has entrusted me with, to care for until I can no longer. This is the job of a mom. This is the vocation of Motherhood. Yes, I care for all the souls placed in my life, but my top priority is for the two lambs in my own pen. As was my parents job when I was a “lamb”.

The story of my becoming aware of my conversion is one in which took place when my dad lay dying. When we are at a loss as to what we can do, our Lord is ever there to guide us. At that moment, as he was dying, I shook and prayed. Never thinking anything about it until it all became clear. We should never fear death, as we should only have fear of our Lord as we are living.

As I arrived home yesterday afternoon from the beautiful retreat, I handed my daughters their little sheep. A little while later my daughter Violet came to me as said with excitement “Mommy! It rattles!”.  Immediately the words flowed back to her. I began to tell her that she should always, for the rest of her life, remember and never forget that she has received our Lord in the Eucharist. That she was in fact a “sheep”. When ever she gets lost, no matter how far she walks away from our Lord, our Lord can hear her shake from the inside. The second she becomes afraid, she should remember that our Lord always knows where she is because she has Him everywhere she goes and just like that little rattling sheep, He hears her and will lead her back home too. She should never be afraid of the Shepherd and should tell Him everything through the sacrament of Reconciliation. In the Confessional, so she knows for a fact, He healed her when she gets into the tangles or covered in burs of sin, which are poisonous. Then to never get into those tangles again but to stay close to Him. Walking His path.

“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.”

 

 

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Mary, Mother Of Evangelization


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A few points to ponder from Pope Francis, EVANGELII GAUDIUM. When we think of New Evangelization, we must take Mama Mary’s way to bring comfort and strength to all souls not only in need of hearing the gospel’s, but in every aspect of our lives. We are called to LIVE the gospel’s. Not just hear them, clap and say, wow that sounds nice and go back to what we were previously doing.

I see this a lot with so many every time Pope Francis speaks to the “masses”. The flags wave, the cheering from the crowds and the screams of “I love you Papa”. But are we truly listening and following what is being said? Imagine the Apostles listening to our Lord and never grasping what He was teaching them, but rather just allowing Him to continue because they liked the “atmosphere”. Judas comes to mind. He never got over being a “fan” of our Lord rather than becoming a “follower” like the rest. When we become “fans” rather than “Followers”, the second something that is said or done that we don’t like, we find someone else to become a “fan” of.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Pope Francis as I love everyone, and this is not about trashing him, or what he is doing or not and who likes him or not. He is the “Vicar of Christ”. Its about not applying his messages, daily, in all of our lives. Not applying the same message as it has always been through 2000 years, from our Lord in our daily lives. The “Church” is, but we are called to be a part of that “Church”, not “apart from”.

Mama Mary from the beginning, was neither a “fan” of her Son, nor a “follower”. She is His Mother. Thus the Catholic Church is OUR Mother. We are called to “Listen” to her, as she is telling us what WE need to do. What happens when we don’t listen to “Mom”?

In the times that we live, I am constantly reminded of St. Paul’s message of “A Church Divided Over Leaders”. So often we get so wrapped up in “who” we are “following” that we forget the Church is our Mother and we run to different people who appeal to our “liking”. We become “fans” of so & so rather than a living example, as Mama Mary, to the entire “Church”. We argue and cause great angst with one another and that is poison to not only the “Church”, but it paints a very negative view to those on the outside, in need the most. Souls who do not understand look at the “arguing”, and some is very nasty, between brothers & sisters in a dim light that portrays all of what we are trying to accomplish as nothing more than a “Fight Club” rather than a “Family” united in Christ. I ask you to please read this:

10 I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to* Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I give thanks [to God] that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16 (I baptized the household of Stephanas also; beyond that I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

That “the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning”. Once we place our love of one over another, the entire meaning becomes lost. Mama Mary, did not love one over the other. Because of her great “Humility”, She loves all.

II. Mary, mother of evangelization

284. With the Holy Spirit, Mary is always present in the midst of the people. She joined the disciples in praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14) and thus made possible the missionary outburst which took place at Pentecost. She is the Mother of the Church which evangelizes, and without her we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization.

Jesus’ gift to his people

285. On the cross, when Jesus endured in his own flesh the dramatic encounter of the sin of the world and God’s mercy, he could feel at his feet the consoling presence of his mother and his friend. At that crucial moment, before fully accomplishing the work which his Father had entrusted to him, Jesus said to Mary: “Woman, here is your son”. Then he said to his beloved friend: “Here is your mother” (Jn 19:26-27). These words of the dying Jesus are not chiefly the expression of his devotion and concern for his mother; rather, they are a revelatory formula which manifests the mystery of a special saving mission. Jesus left us his mother to be our mother. Only after doing so did Jesus know that “all was now finished” (Jn 19:28). At the foot of the cross, at the supreme hour of the new creation, Christ led us to Mary. He brought us to her because he did not want us to journey without a mother, and our people read in this maternal image all the mysteries of the Gospel. The Lord did not want to leave the Church without this icon of womanhood. Mary, who brought him into the world with great faith, also accompanies “the rest of her offspring, those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus” (Rev 12:17). The close connection between Mary, the Church and each member of the faithful, based on the fact that each in his or her own way brings forth Christ, has been beautifully expressed by Blessed Isaac of Stella: “In the inspired Scriptures, what is said in a universal sense of the virgin mother, the Church, is understood in an individual sense of the Virgin Mary… In a way, every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s word, a mother of Christ, his daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful… Christ dwelt for nine months in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb. He dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith. He will dwell forever in the knowledge and love of each faithful soul”.[212]

286. Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love. She is the handmaid of the Father who sings his praises. She is the friend who is ever concerned that wine not be lacking in our lives. She is the woman whose heart was pierced by a sword and who understands all our pain. As mother of all, she is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice. She is the missionary who draws near to us and accompanies us throughout life, opening our hearts to faith by her maternal love. As a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles and she constantly surrounds us with God’s love. Through her many titles, often linked to her shrines, Mary shares the history of each people which has received the Gospel and she becomes a part of their historic identity. Many Christian parents ask that their children be baptized in a Marian shrine, as a sign of their faith in her motherhood which brings forth new children for God. There, in these many shrines, we can see how Mary brings together her children who with great effort come as pilgrims to see her and to be seen by her. Here they find strength from God to bear the weariness and the suffering in their lives. As she did with Juan Diego, Mary offers them maternal comfort and love, and whispers in their ear: “Let your heart not be troubled… Am I not here, who am your Mother?”[213]

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Vocation Of Motherhood


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Ever since my conversion began back in 1998, I have been struggling with the idea that I could somehow be a mom and faithful to our Lord as I have been called. Last night as I was washing dishes I realized just how seriously under attack I had been over the years by the evil one, and still am.

I learned last night one of the most evil things to ponder is, “If I would have” or “I should have never” in regards to setting my life completely on religious life, rather than on the family I have been blessed with, all leading to ponder regrets. I have been plagued by this thought since the beginning, only now realizing this is not the voice of our Lord. This is the voice of the Culture of Death saying don’t have children, pursue YOUR selfish wants. Take care of YOU first.

It’s no different then the woman who puts off marriage and children to advance her career to become something other than what she was created to be. Constantly chasing after that carrot on the stick that she could never get to take a bite of because as you move forward, the stick carrying that carrot, moves at the same pace. Leading us to haul a bigger cart of misery and regrets, “Oh if I had married that man who loved me I would have a family by now”.

Our Lord never moves the goal posts. He moves the players to enable them to score the touchdown. The evil one constantly moves the goal posts making it impossible to score, no matter how much effort you put into the play. You could be wide open, receive the ball and just about to cross the goal and with every step, the goal becomes further and further out of reach. In the end, you never score. No matter how many times you try.

The gift of my family and the vocation of Marriage and Motherhood, is what needs to be placed first and when we place them above what we are searching for, and place ourselves last, we quickly understand our Lord is present in our own homes, waiting for that hug, to be tucked into bed, to be told to brush teeth and to pray with. Every action that has been done to pull closer to our Lord outside of the home, is brought into the home to be shared so in turn they can share it with their children.

In all religious communities, the soul seeks to live in communion with others, seeking the same goal, to score one for our Lord. Its teamwork on the spiritual level and the hardest part of this Vocation of Marriage and Motherhood, outside of the Religious Life, is knowing without a doubt we are all on the same team, and our goal is to ensure, not that I score the touchdown, but that the one of us does, so we all give the glory to God. Not to live and play on the team of the Culture of Death, where life is frowned upon, but rather the Culture of Life, to allow all God’s creation to continue.

Thank you Mama Mary, Queen of Heaven, on this day of your Nativity for this day to understand that we all have a bigger role to play in God’s plans and with humility and casting away self, to raise the next generation, allowing us to see life through His eyes and understand the smaller we become, the bigger the plans He has for us. I ask you to cover all mothers with your mantle, that they may be guided by your perfection in all motherly ways. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us all.

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Baby On Board


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Being a mother, I often ponder Mama Marys trip to Bethlehem, about to give birth to our Lord. How uncomfortable she must have been. At nine months in a pregnancy, everything in the womans body is so out of place. Comfort is next to imposable to find. The thought of her just sitting on the back of a donkey makes me shutter, not to mention making the long trip. Getting there and no one would take them in only adds to her discomfort. In a flash, it didn’t matter. He was born. We should always think of not only the distance travled, but the conditions in which our Lord was born. He came from far away, painfull as it was for Mama Mary, to be in our midst. To be among us for all time. He comes to us daily and how many times do we not make room for Him because we have become “comfortable” in our conditions?

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The baby of board sign I see today in most cars on the road, makes me ponder our Lord not only in the womb of our Holy Mother, but her Holy Baby, our Lord, crusified on the cross, for our sins. In both instances, there was minimal comfort, but only provided by God in the joy to what was about to come.

BABY ON BOARD

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The Pain Of Abortion


The pain a soul feels after having an abortion is endless. No amount of suffering a woman can feel by HAVING a child under any circumstance, can ever compare to the pain she has after taking the life of her own child. Evey relationship with every person she comes in contact with after making the decision to have one, is compromised. The emotional and psychological problems are enormous and burdensome and to add it to the cross she already carry’s is a tremendous amount of weight, most times then not, just to heavy to carry alone. Everything in the woman’s life in this world after having an abortion, reminds her of the day she took her own child’s life. The pain NEVER goes away. How do I know? I fell for the empty rhetoric at one time in my life, that the baby growing inside of me, was not human.

In March of 1993, while having an affair with a married man fifteen years older then myself, for already two years, I found out I was pregnant. I was already a single mom with a six year old daughter from a marriage that should have never taken place, struggling to make ends meet. No one knew I was having this affair and I was all alone. What I thought was “Love” I had felt for this man, was anything but love as I can see so clearly now. I sat him down and told him I was pregnant. His response was he wasn’t about to leave his wife. They had been married for over twenty years and he couldn’t do that to her. Rather then go with my motherly INSTINCT to protect this beautiful life of the child growing inside of me, I told him that I would see my doctor and discuss abortion.

The day I met with my doctor, the same doctor that had delivered me, he confirmed I was pregnant and only about four to five weeks along. I told him the situation and that I was considering abortion. He said ok and left me sitting on the examination table as he walked out of the room. As I sat there on the examination table, I heard that voice in my heart. DON’T DO THIS! This is not you! And I changed my mind. I couldn’t go through with this horrific thing I was thinking about doing. It was done! I was going to have this child and all the pain and suffering I would have to endure bringing another child into this world even without the funds to do so. It was time to face the music of the life I was leading.

The nurse came into the examination room and told me to roll up my sleeve. I did and she jabbed me with a needle. I asked her what she had just given me and she said it was “Vitamins”. I then told her after, I changed my mind and I was going to be going through with the pregnancy. Her very stern and angry face melted into one of horror. I quickly learned, it was not vitamins she gave me, but a shot to kill the baby and cause a miscarriage. I NEVER knew having an abortion was just one shot away. I always thought it was a serious medical procedure that would take time to think about because it would have to be planned out ahead of time. It wasn’t. It was all contained in that shot the nurse had already given me, after I had changed my mind. My stupidity, led to the murder of my child, at my hands. My lack of understanding the SERIOUSNESS of the situation all came to light.

She left the room and my doctor came back in. He held my hands and said it was to late and that it was in God’s hands now. I ended up losing the baby two days later. Alone, at home, without anyone knowing the pain I was going through. Nor the pain this little innocent life felt. It was official. I committed murder.

Not a day has passed that I don’t think about my “little soul” in heaven. I am constantly reminded about this little one every time I see children, pregnant women, birthday party’s and even still now, in my own children. During the time of this event in my life, I tried to block it out as much as I could. In doing so, the relationship I had with my daughter faltered because I could not bare to look at her and NOT see the child who I took out of this world. The psychological and emotional effects took their toll. How could anyone want me now, knowing what I had done? How could I explain to my daughter that she could have had a baby brother or sister but I murdered the baby. The effects of abortion on the soul of the woman who has had one, is a pain she will carry with her through her entire life. The baby just doesn’t “Go Away” and the woman is NOT left to continue on in her life. The baby goes away and the woman carry’s that event forever. Nothing can change the facts.

As many years that have passed, I always think about how old my child would be now. What they would have looked like. Who’s life they would have influenced. My child would be entering college this year. Just this past Christmas, my five year old daughter gave me a present that shook my soul. It was an innocent gift she had made in school for me. Her teacher had drawn her arms and hands and glued them onto a heart. The little hands were my five year-olds hands, imprinted in red tempera paint. When I opened the gift, I burst into tears and hugged her so tight. I couldn’t stop crying. Seeing the little red hands reminded me of the little one I have in heaven and what I had done. You see, the pain never does go away.

In my conversion of heart, coming back to the Catholic Church, just confessing this grave sin eased the burden I carry. It is a forgivable act and through repentance and working WITH the graces our Lord STILL pours on the soul, it becomes lighter to carry when you know Our Lord STILL loves us. I didn’t have the counseling made available now to help women who have had abortions. At the time, the evil one had me believing I was damned to hell because of this act. I only know now, that is NOT true! Rachel’s Vineyard is one such organization that WILL HELP you! You do not have to suffer alone.

Never NEVER let anyone tell you that baby inside of you is just a blob of tissue. What they don’t tell you is how the loss of that “Blob” at your own hands, causes a woman so much pain and so much emotional damage, not to mention the damage done to the body. If my child was just as they say, I wouldn’t have this weight on my soul. Obviously its more then just a blob. The consequences of taking that “Blob” last a lifetime. Get INFORMED! And then inform everyone. Abortion is just a sanitized name for murder.

No matter when the pregnancy ends, conception is the beginning of motherhood.

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