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, February 28, 2010

Look up.

Lectionary: 27

Moses counted the stars, and James, Peter and John looked up and saw Christ transfigured. When you look up to the sky, be reminded that your citizenship is not of this world, but in heaven. 
One more thing: Our goal is to get to heaven. Our duty is to do all we can to get our children to heaven. Jesus gives us a glimpse of what heaven looks like in the transfiguration. Take a moment today and look up at the sky with your kids. Watch the clouds and talk about what heaven might look like. 
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to keep my eyes focused on my heavenly reward. Help me to do all I can to ensure my children get to heaven. Amen. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Laying down the law.

Lectionary: 229

In today's gospel, Jesus lays down the law. God loves everyone, the good and the bad. To love as God does, Jesus tells us we must also love our enemies. 
One more thing: Who persecutes you? It's hard today to consider having 'enemies' but our kids watch how we treat everyone we encounter. Think about how you react to the driver who cuts you off, the rude person in the restaurant, or the bag boy who puts your fruit in the sack under the can ned goods. Your actions will teach this lesson louder than any words. 
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to walk in your ways and observe your decrees. Help me to treat everyone with the love you have for each of us. Amen. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

That's not fair!

Lectionary: 228
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

Today's readings tell us about how God views justice. Our lives are a forward progression. We can neither coast on yesterday's good deeds, nor count on tomorrow's. Its what we do today that counts. 
One more thing: God's mercies renew each day for us. Its important to let our kids start each day with the same clean slate. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, help me to live today doing what is right and just in your eyes. Amen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knock, knock.

Lectionary: 227

In today's reading, Queen Esther is a desperate woman. She is between a rock and a hard place and is being called to do something she knows she can not accomplish on her own. Motherhood feels like that sometimes! In this situation, Esther goes to the only one who can help her and throws herself at His feet.
One more thing: In the gospel, Jesus assures that whatever you need He will give to you. Find a crucifix in your home and kneel at the feet of Jesus today. Ask Him for whatever you need to become the mom He wants you to be. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I cry out for your help, confident that you will answer me. Thank you for loving me so much that you answer me every time I ask. In your name I pray, Amen. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Something greater.

Lectionary: 226

Jonah preached to the Ninevites and they immediately repented. So when Jesus comes to earth, He is astounded that people will not repent. All that is needed to obtain God's mercy is to have a contrite and humble heart. 
One more thing: We all mess up. Sometimes, really big! When our kids make mistakes, especially ones that are hurtful, it may be hard to forgive them. God calls us as moms to be like Him and show unending compassion and forgiveness to our children. 
Prayer: Dear Lord,  I am truly sorry for the times I have sinned against you. Thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. Help me to show that same compassion to my family. Amen. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Father.

Lectionary: 225
St. Margaret of Cortona

Isaiah tells us today that God's word is not empty, but achieves what it was sent to do, always. Wow. Regardless of whether you have five minute or fifty minutes to spend reading the word today, it will accomplish in you what God intended. 
One more thing: Do your kids ever come to you to find out the best way to approach their dad about something? (or maybe visa-versa?) By knowing their dad so intimately, you might know the best way to say something to really get his attention. Christ does the same for us by giving us the Lord's Prayer. Try saying this prayer slowly and intentionally with your family today. 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let my heart be a fertile ground where your word can blossom and grow. St. Margaret, pray for me. Amen. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Lord is my shepherd.

Lectionary: 535
The Chair of St. Peter

You are the shepherd of the domestic church. As such, the first reading is speaking to each and every parent. St. Peter tells us to tend to the little lambs in our midst by being examples.  How are you being an example of Lenten devotion to your family? 
One More Thing: When your family gets the gimmes, recite today's psalm. Even in the toy aisle at the super-mart, it brings everything into perspective. After all, when we have the Lord, what else do we really need?
Prayer: Dear Lord, you lead me to every good thing. Help me to always hear Your voice and follow you. St.  Peter, pray for me. Amen. 

It is written.

Lectionary: 24
St. Peter Damian

Have you been tempted yet? It's been just a few days since the good intentions of Ash Wednesday and your resolution may be starting to wane. So straight up we hear of Jesus being tempted. Even Jesus relies on the Word of God when tempted. 
One more thing: Christ shows us how desperately we need the Word to fight off temptation. When you are tempted to give up on your commitments for Lent, especially your time with the daily readings, pray the psalm, "Be with me Lord, when I am in trouble." 
Prayer: Oh Jesus, keep me focused on Your Word this Lent, so that I may resist temptation and be the mom you want me to be. St. Peter Damian, pray for me. Amen. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who, me?

Lectionary: 222

The tax collectors in Jesus' day were notorious for overcharging. While they were Jews, they were looked down upon because of their profession. Yet Jesus calls Levi and spends time with him and his friends. Levi would later become the great gospel writer we know as Matthew. With Jesus' help, even imperfect people can do perfect things. 
One more thing: Christ is calling you! Even with your imperfections, you can be the perfect mom for your children. If only you do as Isaiah says in the first reading: bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted. Sounds like a typical day at job MOM to me! 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I hear you calling me. Help me to follow you as Levi did, and to focus on the vocation of motherhood to which you have called me. Amen. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Business as usual.

Lectionary: 221
St. Mansuetus

When Christ had his forty day of fasting, he didn't keep doing things as usual. He went out to the desert to be with God. Today Isaiah is warning against doing the same old thing and calling it Lent. 
One more thing: What am I fasting from during Lent? Christ makes it clear that simply obeying the law is not the empty action He is looking for. Today is a day of fasting. Take a look at the list in the first reading and decide together as a family what you will fast from: fighting, selfishness, disobedience. Make it truly a different kind of day! 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray that people will know me as a Catholic Christian by the love they see in my actions, not simply the rules I follow. St. Mansuetus, pray for me. Amen. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Lectionary: 220

In today's reading, Moses is sending his children off with fair warning. He has done all he can for the Israelites and as they cross over the threshold into the promised land, they are on their own. Parents know that feeling every time they drop off a tween to a party or send a child off to college. In the gospel, Christ talks again about choices. Lent is the perfect time to reflect on some of the choices we make as moms and as women. 
One more thing: God never asked Moses to make the Israelites perfect people. He only asked him to do as he was told for them. The Israelites, like our own children must, made their own choices. 
Prayer: Father, help me to do all I can to be the parent you want me to be. Then, help me to allow my children the freedom to make their own choices. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Return to Me.

Lectionary: 219
Ash Wednesday

Email, voice mail, snail mail, cell phones. There are so many ways that people can contact you. Today's readings remind us that God is calling you too! For the next forty days we focus on repentance and returning to God. And as He assures us, He will be merciful. 
One more thing: Despite all the parenting books and theories, the ultimate example of a good and loving parent is God himself. Wouldn't it be wonderful if one day our children say about us, "my mom was gracious and merciful, slow to anger, rich in kindness and relenting in punishment"? 
Prayer: Be merciful, O Lord, for I have sinned. Create in me a clean heart so that I may grow in your love during this Lenten season. Amen. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Fungus Among Us.

Lectionary: 336
St. Juliana

Yeast is a fungus that converts sugar and starch into carbon dioxide bubbles. It is what makes bread rise and dough stretch. It is the leaven that Jesus referred to in the gospel. Only, Jesus is warning against temptation and sin that compounds and grows inside our soul. And like children not yet mature, the disciples still didn't understand. 
One more thing: Like all good parents, Jesus is constantly teaching. And as every parent knows, some lessons have to be repeated over and over again. Use the bread analogy from today's gospel to teach your children about temptation and sin. Then reassure them that God does not tempt us. Rather, He gives us every good and perfect gift. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for every good and perfect gift you have given me, especially my children. Lead me not into temptation. Let me never be parted from you. St. Juliana, pray for me. Amen. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Because I said so!

Lectionary: 335
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

St. Claude

In today's gospel, we see Jesus frustrated, even exasperated with the Jews. It seems He is right on the verge of telling the Pharisees, "because I said so!" It really sounds like He's at the end of His rope. So much so, that He gets in the boat and gets away for some quiet time. He knows just how I feel sometimes as a mom.
One more thing: When you find yourself frustrated with the kids, do what Jesus did. Get away for a few minutes. Take a walk out to the yard or to another room and take some deep breaths. Ask Him to help you be the mom He wants you to be and persevere in the faith that He will.
Prayer: Christ, you know the challenges of being a parent. Help me to love and parent my children with the love and patience you show me. St. Claude, pray for me. Amen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How do I love thee?

Lectionary: 78
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

St. Valentine

Nobody's quite sure how St. Valentine became such a hit, except that he was known for his great love of others and of Christ. So much so, that he was martyred for his faith. As St. Paul tells us today, that love was not in vain. We have our hope in Christ who tells us that even if we are poor, weak, struggling or persecuted, He is waiting for us in eternity and He will reward our faithfulness and hope. 
One more thing: Every time you see a heart today, pray the psalm, "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord" and imagine this image of Christ's loving heart looming over you and pouring His love down on you. 
Prayer: Oh my Jesus, let me not become discouraged, but rather hope in you always! St. Valentine, pray for me. Amen. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Feed me!!

Lectionary: 334
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

Sts. Fusca and Maura

I know there are great theological implications in today's gospel, but here's the image that comes to mind for me. My toddler linked to my leg while I'm trying to cook supper. He is so hungry and cranky that he can't even think straight. And I, like any mom who knows she's blown it and waited too long to get supper on the table, get him a banana, apple, granola bar, anything to calm him down and let him eat. I have a feeling Jesus felt the same thing we do as moms in this situation. The crowd wasn't complaining yet, but he knew it was only a matter of time till meltdown. So he did the same thing you and I do: he fed his kids. 
One more thing: Christ turned the ordinary picnic into something sacred and foreshadowed the eucharistic meal. The next time you are stressed out by a hungry family, remember what you are doing is sacred too. Keeping everyone fed is a big but necessary job, and Christ has picked you to carry on his work! 
Prayer: Dear Lord, bless my efforts to feed my family. Help me to maintain mealtime as sacred family time. Sts. Fusca and Maura, pray for me. Amen. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Listen up!

Lectionary: 333
St. Julian

As soon as Jesus opened the ears of the deaf man, he began to speak plainly. There are 8 little ears in my house and I am always worrying about one of them not working properly! As concerned as I am about my swimmers' ears and the baby's teething ears and the one who constantly asks to have hers pierced, I need to be most concerned about what goes in them. No, not lego pieces (although some of us have been there too!), but what they are hearing. Jesus clearly shows us that what goes in the ears affects what comes out of the mouth. It's my job to make sure that they hear the voice of God. 

One more thing: Think about what your child hears each day. Make sure that over the noise of the radio, tv, and family life, God's voice comes through loud and clear. 

Prayer: Father in heaven, help me to listen to your voice and proclaim your love to my family. St. Julian, pray for me. Amen. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The power of parents.

Lectionary: 332
Our Lady of Lourdes

The readings today show us two opposite parenting situations. On the one hand, Solomon, known for his wisdom, becomes a fool in his old age. He neglects his promise to God and therefore his actions have negative consequences for his son. In the gospel, however, we have a woman coming to Jesus begging for salvation for her daughter. This woman is not a Jew but a pagan and at first, Christ gives her the brush off. The mother simply will not take no for an answer, and Jesus rewards her faith! 

One more thing: Solomon worshiped idols and did not repent on behalf of his son. The woman in the gospel worshiped idols, yet brought her trust and faith to Christ anyway and He rewarded her by healing her daughter. No matter our own mistakes, when he fall on our knees and pray for our children with expectation and perseverance, Christ will hear and answer. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, through your mercy I beg you to overlook my shortcomings and pour your blessings and protection upon my children. Our Lady of Lourdes, please join my prayers for my children to yours and take them to your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

God's dwelling place.

Lectionary: 329
St. Jerome of Emiliani

Today's readings show God as a rock star. The entire community of Isreal comes out to see God dwell in Solomon's temple. Jesus enjoys the same status in today's Gospel. Everywhere he goes, the people flock to Him, and bring their sick for healing. Where is God today? Where is His resting place? 
If your family is the domestic church then surely God dwells there; or does He? Sometimes it's easy to leave God at the church door when we exit on Sunday and assume we'll see Him next week. But Christ wants to rest in your home and be with you every day. 

One more thing: Think about making your own ark of the covenant or altar for your home. Place a crucifix, candle, religious symbols, and important family keepsakes there. Even a small space can have a big impact and be a constant reminder to your family that God dwells in your home. 

Prayer: Father in Heaven, help me to prepare a dwelling place for you in my heart and in my home. Heal me of my afflictions, so that I can be the mom you desire me to be. St. Jerome, pray for me. Amen. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Giving Advice

Lectionary: 327
Saint Agatha

I can't help but feel sorry for Salome. I'm sure she ran, breathless from dancing, to her mother. She was probably so excited; her head filled with visions of baubles and riches. But Herodias gave her daughter advice based on her own agenda, not what was best for her daughter. 

One more thing: The sins of our fathers (and mothers) don't have to be passed down.  If you are struggling with hurts or habits you learned in your family of origin, ask Christ to intercede and free you from those chains. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, please clear my head and heart of the hurts and habits of my own childhood and family. Give me clear eyes and true vision, so that when my children come to me for advice, the Holy Spirit can speak to them through me. St. Agatha, pray for me. Amen. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Lectionary: 326
St. Andrew Corsini

In today's readings, both David and Jesus give instructions for a journey. Neither of them said, pack a bag! Both of them told their children to live as God intended and rely fully on Him, and you will have all you need. I always second guess myself when it comes to providing for my kids. Should they have nicer clothes, or be in better sports programs, or get extra tutoring, maybe private music lessons? Every parent thinks the THINGS they provide for their kids are preparing them for life. And yet, Christ sent his children out with only a tunic. 

One more thing: Neither David nor Christ would have set their children up for failure. The only things they needed for their journey were obedience to God and trust in His providence. 

Prayer: Father in heaven, it is so easy to get distracted by the world. Help me to stay focused on you and give my children the things they need to succeed in eternity. St. Andrew Corsini, pray for me. Amen. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Lectionary: 325
Feast of St. Blaise

My toddler has discovered the power of rejection. When one of his siblings is bothering him he says, "Shoo!!" Such a small thing gets such a big reaction, that he can't wait to try it out again. It's amazing how much rejection hurts. Imagine how Jesus was feeling in today's gospel when his own 'hometown crowd' told him to Shoo! And because of their rejection, "He was not able to perform any mighty deed there." I wonder what he had planned? What wonderful miracles would Christ have performed if the people had been ready to accept Him into their lives?

One more thing: Are you compartmentalizing Christ? Letting Him in some areas of your life but thinking others are too big or too small for Him to handle? He wants to be in every situation in every minute of every day. From the laundry to the diapers, to the commute to work, to tucking the kids in bed. Let Him in and see what mighty deeds he has in store for you! 

Prayer: Dear Lord, you are welcome here in my heart and my home! Be with me in all I do and say today. St. Blaise, pray for me. Amen. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Look what I found!

Lectionary: 524

Feast of the Presentation of our Lord

I love the line in this gospel, "The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;" Whenever I get a note from a teacher or a phone call from another parent complimenting my child, I often wonder if we are talking about the same kid. As moms, we can get so caught up with the day to day busy-ness of parenting, we forget to look for Christ around us, even in our children. How did Simeon and Anna recognize Christ? They were looking for him! Every hour of every day they were waiting and searching. Where will you find Christ if you look? 

One more thing: Try to recognize Christ in your child today. It may be in the little things they say or do: a hug, helping out without being asked, doing something thoughtful for a friend, or a painted picture hung from the fridge. Compliment your child on their Christ-like behavior today!

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to recognize You in the smallest of the small, my children. Help me to cherish You in them, as Simeon and Anna cherished You in the temple. In your name, I pray, Amen. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Do not be afraid.

Lectionary: 323

Feast of St. Brigid of Ireland

Today's reading finds David living in fear. He's being terrorized by his son, just as the people of Gerasenes were terrorized by the man possessed by Legion. But Christ has no fear. In fact, he directly confronts Legion and expels him out of the man. Christ is more powerful than even the nastiest demons. What "demons" are terrorizing you and have you gripped with fear? Is it worry over a sick child, toilet training, a rebellious teen, or school?  Christ is  your superhero and can expel those demons if you bring them to Him. 

One more thing: Today when you find yourself anxious or afraid, pray the psalm, "Lord, rise up and save me!" Envision standing on that riverbank and laying your fears at the feet of Christ. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, my powerful savior, remove my demons and expel my fear, so that I may embrace your love and share it with my family. St. Bridgid of Ireland, pray for me. Amen.