This devotional is uniquely Catholic in that the meditation is based on the daily readings for the Mass, called the Lectionary. But you don't have to be Catholic to find a home here! Click on 'Today's reading' for the lectionary link to read the bible readings, then click the back button and spend a few minutes with the meditation. Relax! This is your time, well deserved, much needed, and holy. Let all the things you "should be doing" melt away and bask in the presence of your God who loves you!

Before we begin, let us pray,

Father, you created me and put me on earth for a purpose. Jesus, you died for me and called me to complete your work. Holy Spirit, you help me to carry out the work for which I was created and called. In your presence and name - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - I begin my meditation.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Actions speak louder.

Lectionary: 188
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. John of the Cross

Don't you just love today's Gospel? Jesus had such insight into human nature and family dynamics. There's the one child who refused the parental request but did it anyway. Then there's the one who gave lip-service and ignored the request. Jesus tells us that our actions speak louder than our words!
One more thing: Jesus gives me a little parenting nugget in today's gospel. In the family dynamic, there is always one child who is a little mouthy. They are the child who verbally pushes back against parental commands and likes to cause a big scene. Jesus gives me insight today to pay closer attention to the behavior than the noise. It may be easier to overlook the lack of obedience in the child who is verbally less challenging. However, that child's heart may be in more danger.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive me when I am all talk. Help me to live out my words in my actions. Give me the wisdom to parent with compassion and grace. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. John of the Cross, pray for me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lighting the way.

Lectionary: 187
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Lucy

Today's feast day is of St. Lucy, a young virgin martyr. She is depicted as the bringer of light, the light of Christ of course, and her feast day happens just before the winter solstice which is the shortest and darkest day of the year. She is the patron saint of eyes because according to legend, she plucked out her eyes when a would-be suitor admired them.
One more thing: I can see why St. Lucy's feast day is of such importance right in the middle of Advent. Before the days of constant light, people spent much of their time before Christmas in darkness. St. Lucy serves to remind us, as John the Baptist does, that Christ is coming and bringing the light that shines through all darkness. I think today we will eat by candlelight to remind myself and the children that Christ is our light.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the light of your Son! Thank you for the enlightenment by the saints as they point us toward Jesus. Help me to share this light with my children, and to let the light of the reason for Christmas shine through the material desires of our culture. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Lucy, pray for me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Counsel of friends.

Lectionary: 186
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Damasus

Blessed are those who were friends with Elijah. Being his friend meant you listened to his prophesy and hearkened to his words. Being his friend meant you changed your ways and turned toward God. Jesus tells us in today's Gospel how important it is to listen to the counsel of friends.
One more thing: Tis the season of good will toward all, but sometimes what I need is a kick in the pants. As a mom who works from home, it's easy for me to isolate myself. I connect to friends via email and facebook, maybe the occasional skype. My friendships consist of snippets and jovial comments. What I really need are friends like Elijah; ones who help me prepare for the coming of Christ. Friends who are willing to tell me when I'm straying from the right path. I resolve in the next week to re-connect with a friend and actually have a face to face conversation about how we both are preparing for the coming of our Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the friends you have given me who help me draw closer to you. Help me to nurture these friendships so that I can recognize your direction for my life through the counsel of my friends. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Damasus, pray for me.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Lectionary: 185
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Adolph Kopling

”Father Kolping once said, “The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possess, even if he does not realize it, is family life.”
One more thing: In today's first reading, Isaiah likens prosperity to having many descendants. Family is what makes a person wealthy, not material goods. How do I have a family that is a blessing to me? "Harken to my commandments." Wow, when I'm frustrated with my family dynamics, this reading reminds me to look at my own behavior. If the kids are fighting and being difficult, am I doing all I can to live as I should? Father Kolping ministered to urban factory workers in the 1800's and one of the things he emphasized was the sanctity of family life. If I follow the Lord in the way I should go, then I will be blessed by my domestic church! 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessing of my family! Help me to follow your commands so that my descendants will never be blotted from your presence. In your name I pray, Amen. Blessed Adolph Kopling, pray for me. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hear ye, hear ye.

Lectionary: 184
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Juan Diego

It always gets my attention when Jesus says, "Whoever has ears ought to hear." It's like when a teacher tells the class, "Write this down, it WILL be on the test." Jesus advises those around him to listen to John the Baptist. John's message is the heralding of a Messiah. He is making the way for the savior.
One more thing: We are waiting during Advent, just like the followers of John the Baptist. In today's gospel we find the savior himself sending us a message of the salvation which is to come. This Advent season has more of a time of waiting and anticipation than any other. A few days ago when we opened our box of Christmas ornaments and decorations, we found 8 inches of water in the box. Everything was wet and covered with mold. All the kids' handmade ornaments, the hand stitched stockings...everything. Now our tree sits practically bare. I rather like it. It gives us a feeling of waiting, of anticipation. Sure, we can buy new ornaments, but I think we will just wait it out this year and spend the holiday making simple things to decorate the tree. One small event has focused our attention on the coming Messiah.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I eagerly await your coming to us as the infant in the manger. Help me to foster this anticipation and eagerness for you in the hearts of my children. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Juan Diego, pray for me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sick day.

Hello friends,
I'm taking a sick day today.
Today is the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is a holy day of obligation, so please do your best to make mass and meditate on the wonderful example of Our Lady as a mother and a daughter of God.
Blessings to you all,
Catholic Mama

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Black sheep.

Lectionary: 182
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Ambrose

Jesus tells us in today's gospel, that finding the lost lamb is a greater gift than the whole herd. That's how much he loves each and every one of us!
One more thing: Seems like the black sheep is always getting the attention. Call them the prodigal son, the squeaky wheel, or the wayward daughter. When they come back to the fold everyone rejoices. As a parent now, I have a better understanding of Jesus' position. Each of my children, at one time or another, have needed greater attention than the others. I often feel bad for spending so much time taking care of one, but when the illness is over or the grades are back up, I do rejoice! Jesus does the same for me when I wander away from him. Whatever it is that distracts me, he gently nudges me back to the Church and angels sing when I am back on the straight and narrow. Advent is a perfect season for reconciliation. If you haven't been in a while, come on back to the herd! Everyone will rejoice to see you!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for shepherding me toward eternal life with you! Help me to find my way back to you when I stray. Help me to lead my children to follow you. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Ambrose, pray for me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Lectionary: 181
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Nicholas

In today's gospel, the determined friends of the paralytic let nothing stand in the way between them and Jesus. I've worked with paralytics and I know that moving them from a bed to a chair is a lot of work. I can only imagine what it took to get him up on that roof.
One more thing: Determination and faith enabled several friends to bust through a crowd and hoist a paralyzed man on to a roof. Do I have that much determination to spend time with Christ? Do I have faith that my time with him will result in my sins being forgiven and being able to walk with freedom again? The things that I let stand in the way of spending time with Jesus are so much smaller than rooftops. I do know that when I spend time in prayer and reading the scripture, I walk with him beside me and I become a better mother. During Advent, I resolve not to let the trappings of the holidays interfere with my time with the Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be with you. Help me to overcome the little obstacles that get in my way each day. Heal me so that I may walk in the light, with you at my side, and mother my children the way you want me to. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Nicholas, pray for me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Helping hands.

Lectionary: 180
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. John Damascene

In the season of Advent we are waiting, much like the Israelites of old. The vision that Isaiah gives of a savior who will heal all our wounds and be our helper is a reality for those of us who know Christ.
One more thing: In today's gospel Jesus gets some help. Sure, he could have saved the world and spread the gospel on his own, but he enlisted the help of others. I've got lots of big jobs coming up this holiday season. I often make the mistake of trying to be super mom and get them all done myself. All I end up doing is getting stressed and not being the mom I know Christ wants me to be. I need to follow Jesus' example and ask for help. I don't have to do it all by myself. Even Jesus got a little help!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the helping hands in my life. Give me the humility to ask for help during the holidays. Let me be open to allowing others, especially my children, to help me. Through my own service to others, let me remember the meaning of this season. In your name I pray, Amen. St. John, pray for me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weathering the storm.

Lectionary: 178
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Rafal Chylinski

Isaiah tells us today that a nation who keeps the faith will be protected. Jesus tells us further that we must not just hear and recite our faith, but live it!
One more thing: How do I weather the storms? When things get rocky and the wind starts blowing, do I really live out my faith or simply give it lip service? I've been thinking about that lately as I begin the Advent season. Kids are our greatest imitators. I recently heard some things come out of my kid's mouth that I didn't particularly like. What a wake up call to realize they had learned those words from me! When the baby is crying, someone needs a ride to practice, forgot their homework, is hungry, hits their sister, and talks back, I realize my foundation starts to crumble. I don't want to be just a sham. I want to show my children real faith in real life!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to live my life for you, but sometimes my foundation is shaky. Please help me to rely on you during the storms. Send the Holy Spirit to help me remain calm and faithful when things get rocky. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Blessed Rafal Chylinski, pray for me. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Lectionary: 177
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Eligius

The people in today's gospel followed Jesus for three days, without concern as to where they would eat or spend the night. They were literally like sheep following their shepherd and trusting in his providence.
One more thing: There is a popular acronym: FROG. It stands for Fully Relying On God. Sure, its catchy and clever, but its not as simple as it sounds. I find that my life as a mom is at times very demanding. I don't always rely on God to provide what I need during those times. When I do trust in the Lord to get me through the valleys (usually from 4pm to 6pm), I find peace and usually everything works out just fine. When I don't, everything still usually works out. But, I'm hardly the mom God wants me to be when I'm stressed and on edge.
Prayer: Dear Lord, be my shepherd. Guide me through all the moments in my life. Help me to fully rely on you to show me the way. Bring me the peace that comes from knowing you are taking care of me and my children. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Eligius, pray for me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The call.

Lectionary: 684
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Andrew

The call. Peter heard it. Andrew heard it. James and John heard it. But more than hearing, they acted on it - immediately! St. Paul says not everyone hears the call but blessed are the feet of those who bring the gospel, regardless!
One more thing: How many times does Christ call me in a day? Let's see, I have four children, who call out "Mom!" at least 20 times a day so...  When my kids call, I often put them off, "Just a minute; I'm busy; Be there in a second!" But Andrew didn't waste a moment following Christ. If motherhood is my God given vocation, I need to be better about answering the daily call!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I hear you call me and I recognize your voice in my children's needs. Help me to patiently and lovingly answer their call so that I may serve you as the disciples did. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Andrew, pray for me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome home.

Lectionary: 175
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Saturninus

Today's readings talk about home. The psalmist invites us to go rejoicing to the house of the Lord, while the centurion says he isn't worthy to receive the Lord under his roof. What a contrast - while the Lord is always welcoming, the human holds back and says, "Don't come in."
One more thing: The holidays are upon me and sometimes I find myself wondering how I can get out of hosting friends and family in my home. I make all sorts of excuses: the house isn't clean or fancy enough, I'm tired, I'm busy with the kids, etc. But what if it is Christ that I have the opportunity to invite in? Would I refuse him like the centurion did? What if I am ministering to the least of my brothers by my hospitality? Shouldn't I throw open the doors and hope that all would come rejoicing into my home?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I prepare for your coming in this Advent season, give me a spirit of hospitality for my friends and family. Help me to teach my children to welcome others into our home, so that when we celebrate your birth at Christmas, we will be ready to welcome you too! In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Saturninus, pray for me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks.

Hello Dear Friends,

This is the week of Thanksgiving for those of us living in the United States. I hope that this holiday week will be filled with blessings and beautiful memories for all of you!
I will be off enjoying some family time. Remember, you can access the daily readings at the USCCB website anytime.

With thanksgiving for each of you,

Catholic Mama

Monday, November 22, 2010


Lectionary: 503
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Cecilia

The widow in today's gospel gave all she had. Though the amount was meager, it meant so much more than the offerings of the wealthy.
One more thing: I've been giving God my surplus lately. No, I'm not talking about my money, I'm talking about my time. Time is my most precious commodity these days. Most moms find themselves in the same boat. I've been justifying this by telling myself I'm giving in other places; doing God's work in something else. Really, though, I've been skimping on the time I give to the Lord and to him alone. As Advent approaches, I'm renewing my promise to spend time with God each day in prayer and scripture. Won't you join me?
Prayer: Father in heaven, I'm sorry for holding back and only giving to you when I had extra. Help me to live out my promise to spend time with you every day. Bless me and help me to make this Advent a time of spiritual growth for myself and my family. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Cecilia, pray for me.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Lectionary: 501
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Agnes of Assisi

Christ cleared out all the distractions and temptations in the temple to create a place just for God. Life today has even more distractions to keep us out of church and away from prayer. What would Christ clean out of your temple?
One more thing: Christ did some serious housecleaning in today's gospel. I know just how he felt. There are days when I get frustrated trying to keep a tidy and nice home. The reason I am so concerned about keeping my home neat and orderly is that it brings peace. Christ inspires me to persevere in teaching my children good housekeeping habits.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are an example to me of getting rid of everything that is not of God. Help me to recognize when my spiritual and my physical lives are getting cluttered with things that separate me from you. Bring peace and order into my home and my family. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Agnes, pray for me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Praise and glory.

Lectionary: 499
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Everyone in today's first reading gives praise to almighty God! In John's vision, nothing else matters. Their existence is simply to give praise to God. Life here on earth shouldn't be any different!
One more thing: Today's readings make me wonder how I am praising God in my life. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is a great example of a woman who praised God daily. She was the daughter of a king and married to a nobleman. She was a mother and head of a household. She still managed to praise God through her works of charity and almsgiving. She was known as a simply woman who could have lived a life of extravagance but chose to help those in need instead. She died at the age of 24 and was so revered, she was canonized just four years later.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I praise you and give you glory! Help me to live that praise in my actions each day and model praise to my family. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Elizabeth, pray for me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Hello Dear Friends,

I'm sorry I've been away from the devotional blog the last few days. I've had some family things going on. As you know, in the grand scheme, vocation wins over work and ministry.

The meditations should resume Monday. Until then, you can always access the daily readings at the USCCB web site. Thanks for your patience and prayers.

God Bless,

Catholic Mama

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Lectionary: 493
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Today's first reading reminds me that Jesus didn't set up the church as a free-for-all. He instituted a hierarchy of leaders which we know today as Pope, bishops and priests. St. Paul tells us that we are to be obedient to their leadership as they show us how to live. St. Leo was one of the great examples of a spiritual leader, administrator, peacemaker, and educator.
One more thing: The church is an organization comprised of humans, therefore, there will be fault. For that reason, today's clergy need our love and prayers more than ever. Many are criticized and persecuted for the horrible actions of some. I can foster a love of the clergy within my children and still be a vigilant parent. We often do things for the clergy as a family, such as making them meals, praying for them, and responding to calls for help within the parish ministries.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, bless the men and women who have answered the call to a spiritual vocation. May they be strengthened each day by your grace and love. Help me to foster a love of the clergy within my family. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Leo, pray for me and for an increase in vocations.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Feast of the dedication of Lateran Basilica in Rome

Today's readings focus on the temple. These readings honor the feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran in Rome. Most people think St. Peter's is the Pope's home church, but the Lateran Basilica is the cathedral for the diocese of Rome and the world's first cathedral. 
One more thing: I love the way that the lectionary takes me on a journey. The scriptures are not put together randomly, but weave a message to me over time. Today's theme of the temple follows up on the thoughts of last week. There are three main images the readings bring forth: the temple in Jerusalem, Christ as the sacred temple, and each of us as temples of God. As temples of God, we are obliged to live as though he dwells in us, model that life for others, and not lead others to sin. All the things I reflected upon last week come together in this one reality: God lives in me! 
Prayer: Father in heaven, I am so grateful that you chose to make me your dwelling place. Help me to live as though I hold a precious treasure inside me. Let your presence in me shine forth in all I say and do, so that I can be the mother and person you want me to be. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Setting a good example.

Lectionary: 491
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed John Duns Scotus

Younger children will always model the behavior of the older ones. Setting a good example isn't just helpful, it's biblical. Jesus tells us today that leading  someone into sin, especially one less mature in their spiritual walk, is a grave sin for the one setting the example.
One more thing: Being an occasion for sin for someone else is wrong. One practical way I can teach this to my children is by encouraging modesty of dress. Leading another to think impure thoughts is wrong. Therefore, I'm pretty clear when I communicate to my children what is appropriate dress and what is not. Of course, I have to model this myself or I risk being a hypocrite.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for showing me how to live. Let me never lead another into sin by my words or actions. Help me to set a good example for my children by always being pure in thought and deed. In your name I pray, Amen. Blessed John Duns, pray for me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Lectionary: 490
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts. Elizabeth and Zacharias

St. Paul has learned the secret of being well fed or going hungry, living in abundance and being in need. While circumstances change, one thing remains the same: that Jesus Christ died for me to give me new everlasting life through him. His love never changes.
One more thing: In the gospel, Christ tells us to make friends with our material things. The catch is, we are to be their master and be good stewards of our treasure here on earth. Only by showing that we can be good stewards with our earthly possessions, will we be rewarded with heavenly ones. Like St. Paul, I have lived with meager amounts and with abundance. Somehow, God always provides me with exactly what I need when I need it. Many times, it has been through the generosity of strangers that he shows himself. I need to make sure I am an example of that same generosity to others, and model giving to my kids.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for providing me with the things I need here on earth. Help me to be aware of those around me in need and to give generously to them. Make me a model of giving for my children. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Sts. Elizabeth and Zacharias, pray for me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

U Turn!

Lectionary: 489
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Venerable Solanus Casey

Today's first reading sounds like St. Paul has been watching reality TV! If you check out what is glorified in popular culture it is our stomachs, our pleasures, and our shames broadcast for all to see! St. Paul says, if you'll excuse the vernacular, "What's up with that?" If I see my ultimate destination as heaven, then my behavior here on earth should reflect accordingly.
One more thing: St. Paul speaks with great love to his brothers and sisters, almost like a loving parent. We want to teach our children the same things about how to live their lives. Jesus tells us in the gospel that it's never too late to make amends. If you have gotten off on the wrong path with motherhood, make a U turn! Change course and reconcile with Christ so that we can all go rejoicing to the house of the Lord!
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the opportunity for reconciliation with you. May I live my life as St. Paul advises and be a model for my children. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Venerable Solanus Casey, pray for me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Lectionary: 488
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Charles Borromeo

I always admire the humility of St. Paul. He doesn't try to cover up his past deeds. He doesn't make excuses. Rather, he relishes in the mercy of our Lord toward his repentance.
One more thing: Christ died for you and he longs to have you close to him. Even when you are lost, he searches for you and desires to bring you back into the fold. I felt the Lord's tug today, as I got caught up in my "to-do's" and my anxiety level rose. He gently called to me and reminded me that I should fully rely on him. When I admit my weaknesses and call on him, even in the most mundane activities of my day, his peace surrounds me and I can be the mom he wants me to be.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am sorry for the times I pull away from you. Thank you for always taking me back when I stray. Help me to stay close to you, even during the daily activities of being a mom. In your name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Lectionary: 668
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Feast of All Souls

"Hope does not disappoint."
One more thing: Our Christian life relies on hope. Our hope is that we will one day reside with Jesus in a place of peace and complete love. St. Paul assures us that hope does not disappoint. Jesus died for each of us and his promises are for us all. He will raise us up on the last day and we will rest in the hands of God!
Prayer: Father in heaven, help me to live a life of hope. Help me to let my hope in spending eternity with you shine forth from everything I do. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. All the holy men and women, pray for me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Being saints.

Lectionary: 667
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Feast of All Saints

Jesus gives us a clear account of what people in heaven are like. Today's sermon on the Beatitudes provides a road map for all of us who want to be saints. You don't have to have a religious vocation or save the world to get there. You simply have to follow the Beatitudes.
One more thing: I often say that if I'm being kind to my kids, I'm living the gospel. Today's reading brings home the simplicity of that statement. I don't have to end world hunger, I just have to lovingly feed a hungry child. I don't have to bring peace to the Middle East, I just have to promote peace in my own home. I don't have to be a martyr, but I have to bear the criticism that comes from others concerning how I raise my family, with grace.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it sounds so easy to get to heaven, but each day I fail to follow your commands as I ought. Please forgive me when I fail, and give me the grace to live the Beatitudes within my own family so that one day we all may be saints in heaven with you. In your name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Hello Friends,

I will be enjoying the weekend with my family out of town. As always you can access the daily readings at the USCCB website. Meditations will resume on Monday.

God Bless,

Catholic Mama

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Lectionary: 666
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts. Simon and Jude

In today's gospel, Jesus had a big decision to make.  He spent the entire night in prayer before he chose his disciples. It was no mistake that he chose Peter, who would later deny him, or Thomas, who would doubt him, or even Judas, who would betray him. He chose each disciple despite their shortcomings.
One more thing: If Jesus spent that much time and prayer choosing disciples, don't you think there was a significant amount of Godly thought put into choosing you as the mother for your children?  God formed them knowing everything about them and everything about you. He chose you as the perfect mother for them. When I am having challenges with my children, it both humbles and strengthens me to remember that I am perfectly chosen to do this job.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for choosing me to mother these precious souls. Give me the grace I need to live my vocation as fully as you intend. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Sts. Simon and Jude, pray for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Honor your mother.

Lectionary: 481
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza

Admit it mom, you are rubbing your hands together with glee over today's first reading! St. Paul talks to us today about order. There is a holiness found in order. Without order, there can't be any growth or formation. Chaos breeds more chaos.
One more thing: Obedience is not something many of us are naturally inclined to do. It's simply not part of our nature. I suppose that has to do with that gift of free will. My job as a parent is to form my child's nature to be in obedience, even when it isn't something they want to do. I'm having a tough time with that from my two youngest right now. My daughter in particular doesn't want to concede to my authority. It's more her temperament to be the boss. However, St. Paul tells us the fourth commandment comes with a promise. Therefore, I can't be weary or slack in expecting order in my home. When the master of the house opens the door, I want him to invite me in!
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of my family. Help me to establish order in my home so that my children will learn and grow. Give me the grace to parent with mercy so as not to provoke my children to anger, but to nurture their obedience. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Blessed Bartholomew, pray for me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kneading the dough.

Lectionary: 480
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Cartardo Ferrini

If you have ever made bread, you know what hard work it is to knead the dough. The purpose of kneading is to spread the yeast throughout the mixture. Yeast is a tiny little organism that when used correctly, has pretty big results.
One more thing: Christ tells me in today's gospel that spreading his message takes time. The domestic church takes time and effort to grow and prosper, just like the yeast in dough. I take encouragement from Jesus' words today and I know that as long as I work for him, he will multiply my efforts.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your words of encouragement as I grow the domestic church that is my family. Bless my efforts and help me to show by example your great love and mercy. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Blessed Cartardo, pray for me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mirror image.

Lectionary: 479
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Antonio de Sant'Anna

"Behave like God as his very dear children."
One more thing: I'm humbled when I think of myself as a child of God. I think about all the times I'm correcting my kids and imagine God doing the same to me. More sobering is putting myself in the place of a child who usually misbehaves more often than I get it right. God doesn't put me in time out or take away privileges, but the natural consequences of failing to behave like he does usually results in me punishing myself. If I'm supposed to imitate my heavenly father, then my children are supposed to imitate me. When they misbehave do I see a reflection of myself?
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for showing me how to live. Help me to imitate your great love and mercy and show that to my children, so that their behavior will be a reflection of you. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mama pride.

Lectionary: 150
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
St. Anthony Claret

Ever see misbehaving kids in the grocery store and thank God those aren't YOUR kids? Mom pride creeps up on us pretty fast. In my experience, though, my kids know just how to humble me back to earth.
One more thing: I might think I'm never like the Pharisee in today's gospel, but every time I pass inner judgement on another mom, I'm doing the same thing. Parenting has it's challenges, and if you haven't experienced any yet, chances are you meant to google another website. Sometimes I'm in the zone and think I'll get mother-of-the-year for sure, but I'm pretty quickly humbled by a mouthy pre-teen or screaming toddler. When I see a mom I'm tempted to pass judgement on, I quickly stop and pray for her. If I'm able, I offer an encouraging smile or a kind word.  God's mercy extends most generously to those of us who acknowledge our failings. Those of us who are humble will be exalted!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, protect me from the sin of pride. Help me to humble myself within my vocation and offer encouragement, not judgement, to other moms. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Anthony of Claret, pray for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Worthy of the call.

Lectionary: 477
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Peter of Alcantara

"I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace;"
One more thing: This is one of my favorite scriptures for moms. Other translations use the word 'vocation' for call. To me, this scripture sums up the job description, mission and vision of my vocation. I often fall short, but I strive to live it every day. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have called me to the vocation of motherhood. Help me to live out my vocation with humility, gentleness, patience, love and promoting peace within my family. I can only do it with your help and grace. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Peter of Alcantara, pray for me. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Family matters.

Lectionary: 476
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Cornelius

"I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,"
One more thing: St. Paul makes sure that his readers know that God is the Father of us all! No matter our color, or belief, we all originate from God. That said, Jesus reminds us that some of us may reject our Father. Just because we come from the same family upbringing doesn't mean we will all choose the same path. God has given us all the gift of free will, and that might bring discord among families, perhaps even mine. My job is to do everything I can to educate and nurture my children's faith. I can't force it; ultimately the decision is theirs. 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of freely choosing you! Help me to live my life as a reflection of that choice. May my example lead my children to you as well! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Cornelius, pray for me. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fostering faith.

Lectionary: 475
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin

The Gentiles are the audience for today's readings. St. Paul emphasizes that they are co-heirs of the Kingdom. St. Luke writes a parable about who the rules are meant for. In the gospel, Jesus says the master will be lenient to those who are just learning the faith but trying to do their best. There are many levels of spiritual development and we aren't all in the same place!
One more thing: The same goes for our children. They are still developing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! Wow, that's a lot to keep up with. I need to consider their stage of development in all of these areas when I am teaching them and when I discipline them. If my lessons on faith and my expectations are beyond their development, I won't be effective at best, and I'll lose their heart at worst.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your mercy and understanding when we try to do our best but fall short. Give me that same spirit of encouragement and mercy toward my children. Help me to foster their faith in a way that grows with them. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Maria, pray for me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christ is the center.

Lectionary: 474
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf and Companions

"My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings" (from a letter of Isaac Jogues to a Jesuit friend in France, September 12, 1646, a month before he died).
One more thing: St. Paul writes about the centrality of Christ to our lives both here on earth and after death. Christ is the only reason we have the hope of salvation. He is the connection between us here on earth and our Father in heaven. He is the bringer of the Holy Spirit. Today's feast day martyrs lived their lives with Christ as the center. Do I?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for living and dying for me. I worship and adore you! Help me to live my life as a reflection of your love. Help me to share the message of your salvation and love with my children every day. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Sts. Isaac, John and Companions, martyrs for your faith, pray for me. 

Monday, October 18, 2010


Lectionary: 661
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Luke

The readings for the past week have told us a lot about friendship. We've meditated about gossip and how friends encourage us in prayer. Today's lectionary continues as we find St. Paul abandoned by all his friends except St. Luke. Luke is the only Gentile gospel writer and remained a true friend to St. Paul, even following him to Rome where he underwent his execution.
One more thing: Jesus sent the apostles out to preach, relying only on the kindness of strangers and friends. Jesus was very specific about the kind of hospitality that signifies a true friend. How often do I encounter someone who needs a friend? Do I welcome to stranger at my door? When I offer a kind word, a cup of coffee, a ride to ball practice, or dinner to someone, I'm showing hospitality and being a friend. Friendship is a simple ministry that makes a big difference!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the friends in my life. Help me to be the kind of friend who makes known the glorious splendor of your kingdom. May I model true friendship for my children and encourage and support them in their friend relationships. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Luke, pray for me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Lectionary: 147
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
St. Ignatius of Antioch

Today's readings tell us a lot about what we should do when we are tired of praying. Moses relied on help from his friends. Paul tells us to read the scriptures. And Jesus tells us not to give up; persistence pays off!
One more thing: Mom, I KNOW you are tired. It just comes with the job. However, Jesus tells us that our physical fatigue can't carry over into our prayer life. Whatever you are praying for, follow today's advice. Get some friends to pray with you. Read the scriptures to refresh your soul. And persevere always. God hears you! In a recent lecture on prayer by Bert Ghezzi, he said that God never says no. He either says "yes", or he says, "Wait, I have something better in store."
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you know the desires and burdens of my heart. Give me prayer partners who encourage me in my journey to you. Give me a desire for the scriptures. Please especially give me the patience and perseverance to wait for your timing in all that I ask. In Jesus' precious name I pray, Amen. St. Ignatius, pray for me.