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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The greatest of these is love.

Lectionary: 72

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

Sometimes we go through the motions, but our heart just isn't in it. We get the laundry done, the meals cooked, the homework completed, but we are just doing our J-O-B. Even the Corinthians needed a reminder that their gifts and actions, without love, were simply empty acts. So while we get the jobs done, if we don't do them lovingly, we are not getting any closer to heaven. 
One more thing: Take a good look at today's picture. This mom remembers what it's all about. In those moments today where you want to sigh or roll your eyes as you get back in the car, load the umteenth load of laundry, or try to get an evening meal together, be conscious of doing it with love. You'll enjoy it a lot more and your family will see you shine.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let me shine forth today with your love in all that I do as I live out my vocation of motherhood. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Calming the storm.

Lectionary: 322

Boy, do I feel like Jesus must have sometimes. Just when I try to steal away for a few minutes with a cup of tea or even a potty break, all heck breaks loose! Take, for instance, the fight breaking out in my game room at this very moment! I'm sure the kids will come running to me any minute just like the disciples did in the boat. Isn't it wonderful, though, that in times of trouble, they come to you? As a parent, you would never turn them away. And Jesus won't turn you away either. He might have been a little irritated at being awakened ("Do you not yet have faith?) but he was immediately attentive to His children. 

One more thing: David's domestic church is in total disarray in the first reading, but he falls on his knees and begs for mercy. In the midst of his storm, God is there. God will be there for you too, even in the whirling winds of family life. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep vigil with me! When the swells of the world start to overtake me, step in and calm the storm within me so that I can live the vocation you have chosen for me to the fullest. In your name I pray. Amen. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

What were you thinking?

Lectionary: 321
David, David, what were you thinking??! We aren't too surprised when we see this type of behavior in our celebrities and politicians, but David was God's chosen one! God knew what kind of choices David would make before he ever picked up the first stone to hurl at the giant. And yet, he picked David. David was not perfect, but he was perfectly suited for God's mission.

One more thing: David's domestic church wasn't perfect and yours won't be either. Remember today that God picked you to nurture and grow your family with all of its (and your) imperfections.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me when I am weak and tempted. Forgive me when I turn away from you, and help me show that same mercy to my family. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Measure for measure

Lectionary: 320

Do you ever find yourself saying to your kids, "I don't want to hear it!" to whatever excuse or elaborate story they are coming up with to justify forgotten homework, broken furniture, wrecked car, spilled milk? I find Jesus speaking to my heart in this warning, "Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear." Because what usually follows "I don't want to hear it!" is a rash judgement. And Jesus is clear on this matter too. "The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you." If you ever have sad little eyes that go sulking away or teen-age feet that stomp and slam, think about your ears. Did you really take the time to listen? Even if you heard the same song and dance before, did you really listen to it before? Did you open your heart and listen with your heart before you passed judgement?

One more thing: Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is always pictured with the dove at his ear showing how he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Today when you are tired of hearing all the mundane things of life, imagine the Holy Spirit whispering in your ear just as He did for St. Thomas. You never know what you might hear if you really listen!

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help me to listen to my family with an open heart and a spirit of mercy. Be there whispering in my other ear, reminding me of the love and forgiveness you have for me. Amen. St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Go out to all the world and tell the good news!

Lectionary: 519

St. Paul thought he was doing the right thing. Don't we all! Only to have Christ knock us from our high horse and say "Wait a minute! Why are you doing this?" Sometimes Christ speaks through our spouses, our parents, friends and even our kids. Ever have one of those innocent faces look up at you with a questioning look and you just want to melt into the floor? Our anger, sleep deprivation, or frustration sometimes gets the better of us and we may persecute the ones around us. But here's the beautiful thing about Christ. If we allow him, He uses our weaknesses and our strengths to complete His work. Paul's zeal and passion, when Christ directed, saved, well, all of us! My heritage isn't Jewish, so if it weren't for Paul, I might not know the love of Christ today. Christ wants you to be Paul to your domestic church!

One more thing: Listen to the voice of Christ today. He may speak to you through His word, through others, or directly to your heart. Take the time to examine your actions for the day and find out of you are persecuting Him in how you treat others. Open your heart to Him and let him guide your words and deeds. You'll feel better and everyone around you will too!

Prayer: Dear Lord, somedays I may need to be knocked down. Speak to me as you see fit and open my heart to hear you. Then, give me Paul's zeal for your will! In your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Yes, I will it."

Lectionary: 216

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

What does Jesus will for you? The leaper approached Jesus with a desire in his heart to be healed. But he put Christ's will before his own. "Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean." Do you approach Jesus with the same humility? I know I often pray in a demanding way, even throwing spiritual tantrums just like my toddler. I waaant it and I waaaant it now! And yet, this man who suffered much from his disease, put's the Lord's will first.

And Jesus, knowing this man's heart, answers with compassion and love, "Yes, I will it." Can you imagine what that man saw in Christ's eyes as he laid His hands upon him? Such total surrender to such complete love. I know Jesus loves each of us just as much as the leaper. He is anxious to show us his love and answer our prayers, if we but ask him with humility and surrender.

One more thing: What's the one thing that you need Christ's help with right now? Parenting, job, health? Stop and bring yourself to a place of inner submission to Christ's love. Imagine looking into his beautiful eyes as you say this prayer.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I need your healing and love. If you will it, you can answer this prayer as I desire. However, if that is not your will for me, help me to see your love and compassion in this situation and to always seek your will for me before my own.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lectionary: 214

What are you afraid of? In today's Gospel, Christ has taken care of every bodily need of his people. He has fed them and sent them off comfortably in the boat. And yet, when things get rocky, his followers start to doubt and fear. They are even afraid of Christ, not recognizing him when he draws near.

That happened to me tonight. After taking a few years off of church ministry leadership to serve my family, I thought maybe Christ was calling me back into service. I planned to attend a planning meeting at the church tonight and one thing after another kept me from getting out the door. You know the typical emergencies: Baby can't find his lovey, Tween 1 has his geography bee tomorrow and just decided he ought to study for it, Lovely Girl dawdles and dawdles getting ready for bed, and Tween 2 thinks he has pneumonia. Throw in one call to the sheriff's office after the baby sitter arrived and I was finally out the door.

Really, Jesus? You want me to do this? Really?

It's too hard. It's too rocky. But I went anyway, and guess what? Dark room. Locked door. No meeting. This is just the sort of thing that makes me want to eat lots of refined sugar. I'm afraid it's not going to work out. I'm afraid I can't do it. My heart was hardened.

Does that ever happen to you? You think you are doing what Christ is calling you to do but somehow it doesn't seem to work out. Like maybe it wasn't the best decision for you after all? Maybe a little something like MOTHERHOOD? If this vocation hasn't brought you to the point of cold sweats and dry heaves, you're doing it wrong!

"Take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid!" Can't you just imagine Jesus, the wind whipping through his hair, his tunic billowing behind him like a cape, arms akimbo standing astride the waves? My hero!

Daily promise: Go ahead, indulge yourself for a minute or two. Be the damsel in distress. Whine, cry, do your best Scarlet O. imitation. Then in those moments when you are afraid you just can't take another dirty diaper, toddler mess, failing grade, or disappointment, call on your heavenly Super Hero! Let his supernatural powers and grace flow over you and save the day.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to save me. Help me to see His salvation in my daily moments of fear and frustration. Help me to feel his presence, his hand upon me, giving me courage to live the vocation he desires for me.