Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

mathI find the hardest part of my week very often is when I sit down to help my daughter with her math.  She is so very stubborn, and loses patience with herself very quickly.  It is so hard to talk to her, or maintain a sense of peace when each question ends with pencils being thrown or books being slammed shut.

I KNOW she understands this.  I see her do it.  But even when she does it correctly, she looks up at me and tells me she doesn’t get it.

How much like my faith life is this struggle.

I KNOW what I am called to do.  I do it as faithfully as I can.  But some days I just look up at God and cry “I don’t get it!”.

And God does the same thing I do with my little ten year old.  He assures me that I, in fact, DO get it.  That I am doing what is right and good.  That I just need to continue to work on it until it becomes so natural that I can do it without thinking.

My faith requires work.  It is not a “sit back and let God love me” kind of faith.  I feel like I am very truly called to work towards sharing love, growing in love, and accepting love.  All of these things come with effort from me.  With forming my mind and my actions around what I know to be good and true.  Even if I don’t understand, one day I will.  One day I will be grateful that God, with his everlasting patience and mercy, took the time to redirect me towards him and remind me that I do understand, and even if I don’t do it right, He will love me anyways and help me to “get it”.

Please pray for me as I pray for you often.

Catholic Momma

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I haven’t written in a while, but the recent flurry of outrage about Miley Cyrus and the VMAs has gotten me worked up.

I watched the whole thing.  Like a bad car accident, but I couldn’t look away.  But I was confused.  Why was everyone so mad?  Didn’t they see Miley’s video?  It was pretty much identical to her stage performance.  What I don’t understand is why no one said a word about Robin Thicke (aside from his beetle juice inspired costume).

What. is. wrong. with. us????

Robin Thicke has an entire song being the hit of the summer which was basically about rape.  About how no really means yes.  With lines like “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”.

And yet I saw a mom the other day dancing away with her young daughter to it.

Marriage?  Who needs that?  Not Robin Thicke: “You don’t need no papers Hey, hey, hey\= That man is not your maker”.  He just needs to have sex with you.  That’s all ladies.  And it is okay to be used that way, because he is humming a great tune.

I mean at one point Robin had someone else he was having sex with (“Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you”), but it is a higher calling to be the “dirtier” girl.  And after you “didn’t pick” Robin, he can take you anyways: “Do it like it hurt, like it hurt What you don’t like work? Baby can you breathe?”

Until of course you will give in because no really means yes, right?

And then the world is up in arms because Miley Cyrus personifies Robin Thicke’s line:  “But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature”.   We don’t want our girls to SEE someone acting like that, only to HEAR that doing this, acting like this, and letting men treat you like this is not only okay, but wonderful.

We pay money to have a man tell you it is good to have to give up any sort of purity when a he comes along.  Even if he pressures you and has to drag it out of you.

My fight to raise my girls as good, well rounded people is more difficult every single day that someone feels it is okay to market this type of music.

But they don’t care.  After all, it’s a catchy tune, right?

For a great conversation about Miley’s performance, I appreciated this post as well from another blogger: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/08/26/offensive-absurd-and-pornographic-on-mtv-you-say-i-cant-believe-it/

Please pray for me and my family as I will pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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Pope Benedict XVILike many Catholics, I heard the news of the abdication of Pope Benedict today and was shocked.  It seemed so far from what we have come to expect from our strong shepherd.  A man who has faced mountains of prosecution over almost every area of his life.  A man, who in the face of a dictatorship of relativism constantly and consistently presented Truth without apology.  A man who loved music and beauty.  A man who fully grasped the amazing grace that comes with family life.  A man who taught so many things to so many people.

I remember when he was chosen as our new shepherd, there was so much speculation, so much reserved hope.

I remember picking up Deus Caritas Est and having it change ever single relationship in my life, especially my marriage.  I learned about love from him.  I learned about hope from him.  I learned so much.  It was like, just when I thought I knew enough, he opened the door to more.  He was brilliant.  He was loving.  He was a good pope.  We were blessed to have him, and I am grateful that he had enough humility and grace to let us know when the Spirit moved him to leave the seat of Peter.

I am praying with my family each day that our new shepherd again brings hope and Truth to this world so lacking in both.  I pray that the Holy Spirit works as always in the mystical way that happens with prayer.  I am excited, hopeful, and trusting that God knows where he is leading his Bride in these very difficult times.

Thank you Pope Benedict for sharing yourself with us.

“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That’s not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren’t simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.”
― Pope Benedict XVI

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So I have been considering writing a few posts about inspirational people in my life, and I thought that one of the most obvious places for me to start would be my mother-in-law.

Now, before we start thinking of in-law jokes (I was at a magic show, when after one particularly amazing trick, someone screamed out, “wow, how did you do that.” I would tell you”, answered the magician predictably, “but then I’d have to kill you.” After a moments pause the same voice screamed out “can you tell my mother in law?”) I should say that in all seriousness, I have been so blessed to be given the gift of my mother-in-law.

The first time I met my MIL, my husband had invited me for dinner.  His mom turned out to be one of the sweetest, most thoughtful women I had ever met.  Beyond that, she was wise.

She raised four boys.  She worked as a nurse.  She is amazing at organizing, and is one of the holiest people I know.

My MIL helped me to learn to pray.  When anyone visits her home, they are welcome into an atmosphere of love, of openness, and of open, whole hearted prayer.  She serves.  Everyone.  She lives a life of service.  It is amazing.  When I have had any of my children, she helped me clean and organize.  She got into the messy and unkempt corners of my life, and never judged me.  She just did what she could to help me.

My MIL has a gift of kindly sharing her faith.  She never hesitates to talk about it with anyone.  She is honest about it.  She has spent her life in a quest for holiness.  She does not shy away from Truths.

If ever I could see an image of God in flesh, I suspect that my MIL encompasses it.  She helps me relate to God through my relationship with her.  He helps me clean out my messy parts of my soul without judgement. (She does it in my home).  He sees my value. (She sees EVERYONE’s value).  He leads me. (She helps me learn to be a leader in my life).  He loves me.  (She loves the world).

Chad told me once that his mother prayed for his spouse since he was a child.  I suspect this prayer is part of what has protected me throughout my life, and played no small part in my returning to my faith.

Some things that I have learned from her (because you know I love lists):

– Faith is a verb.
– Prayer is the most powerful and yet most neglected asset in this world.
– Saying out loud what you believe is not something embarrassing.
– Humility does not mean low self esteem.
– Wisdom is expressed through actions more often than words.
– It IS possible to get my house clean.
– Some people have skills that I will never possess (like organization 😉 ).
– Kindness changes people.  Permanently.

So, a big thank you to my MIL (who I doubt will ever see this) for being who she is.  For inspiring and leading.  For sharing who she is with the world.  For helping me to have the strength and courage to share who I am also.

Please pray for me as I pray for you always.

In Christ,
Catholic Momma

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So when I went back to work, I decided to make a commitment to my friends and family, and even to people I don’t know.

Every day I give up my day in prayer.  All my joys, all my struggles.  And I do it for someone I know, or someone I don’t.  I have prayed for people in news stories, I have prayed for people who are part of Facebook groups that I am in.  I have prayed for my husband, my best friend, my children.  Sometimes it is random (look up a name on my Facebook friends), sometimes it is specific (like when I know someone is in need of prayer).  I almost always try to tell the person that I am praying for them.  I try to make a point of randomly praying for them throughout the day.  Sometimes one-liners (Lord, please bless X today). Sometimes ‘Our Father’s.  Sometimes just stopping to be silent.

My main concern is that I am very specific, and that I dedicate my day.  All my sorrows, all my joys.  All of it.  Lifted in prayer for others.

I have had interesting results.

The first thing I noticed is that no matter how bad my day has been, it has been much more bearable.  It is much easier to bear burdens when you know that the struggle is going towards a person.  I have read of lots of saints that have done this, and I am really seeing, and feeling the fruits of this.  I feel much lighter. My suffering is no longer for nothing.  My joys are shared.  I am able to be more gentle with people.  The reminder that my life is a prayer always, and that I am always called to love even more makes everything… well… easier.

The other thing is that I am finding I am connecting with people in a more sincere way.  When I tell people that I am praying for them, I sometimes get a response, sometimes I don’t, but I always am thinking of them, caring for them, loving them in a way that I may have neglected.  It is another gentle reminder to myself about how we are all connected.

This ‘prayer project’ has truly changed how I live, and how I face my days.  I encourage you to try for yourself.

Please pray for me as I pray for you and your families.

In Christ,
Catholic Momma

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