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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Counter cultural.

Lectionary: 259

Christianity doesn't seem very popular in some circles today. The family is attacked in the media and on the street. You may even feel pressure from your family of origin about being "too religious". Jesus knew what it was to be persecuted, yet He persevered because He was doing the work of His Father. 
One more thing: The prophet Isaiah reminds us "The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced." By being a mom, you are doing God's work too! Keep up the observance of Holy Week with your family by remembering Christ's passion, and hold strong in your observance of Easter as a celebration of Christ's rising. Remind the kids that the Easter bunny is just a guest at the party. Once again, Jesus is the reason for the season! 
Prayer: Dear Lord, in your great love, answer me. Help me to keep my family focused on your death and resurrection this week, so that we may shine like flint and proclaim your good news to others by our example. In your name I pray, Amen. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Lectionary: 258
St. John Climacus

"Mom, where are you going?" Our little ones always want to be with us. Even when they are bigger, sometimes you have to remind them, where I am going, you can't come. You know, places like the shower. That's what I'm reminded of by today's gospel. The apostles wanted to spend every moment with Christ; they wanted to follow him everywhere. Do you have that same drive to follow Christ and be in his presence always? 
One more thing: Even though Jesus knew what was going to happen, he still handed Judas the morsel. He loved you so much. He loves your children that much too. Follow him always. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I walk with you this week through your passion, I am reminded of just how much you love me. Thank you for dying for me. Thank you for my salvation. Keep me by your side always. In your name I pray, Amen. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

A special role.

Lectionary: 257
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

Saint Secundus

"He shall bring forth justice to the nations. Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street." He simply will do it; bring justice and lead by example. Clinging to the Lord as our light and our salvation, we simply must plod along, quietly, faithfully, living the life of family we have been called to. 
One more thing: Are you a Mary or a Martha? Note in the gospel the role of each sibling. Martha served; Lazarus reclined conversing with Jesus; Mary simply and quietly anointed Christ's feet. Each fulfilled the role they were called to do, just like each of your children fulfills a role in your family. The next time life's "not fair" among siblings, remember this bible story. Remind your kids that each has a special and unique role in your family life, and in how they serve Christ. 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for the uniqueness of each of my children. Help me to appreciate the special role each of them plays in our family. St. Secundus, pray for me. Amen. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday.

Lectionary: 38
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

Palm Sunday

"The Lord God is my help," even in times of utter despair, like Jesus must have felt after he fell. When others ridicule you or mock you, especially for your efforts to raise a holy family, God is there. 
One more thing: Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, a time of great blessings. Read the gospel daily with your family and say the stations of the cross with your children this week. Try saying the stations outside with your kids to keep them engaged. As you walk through the yard or park, stop at each tree or other landmark and reflect on a new station.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving your life for me so that I may be with you forever in heaven. Help me to stay focused on your sacrifice this week, and to make this week truly holy for my family. In your name I pray, Amen.  

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Lectionary: 256
Blessed Francis Faa di Bruno.

The children of Israel were divided. God promised to reunite them, just as a shepherd takes the scattered sheep and corrals them. The division of the Jews continued in Jesus' day, when they were physically united, but divided on what to make of Jesus. 
One more thing: Division among children is part of human nature. However, God is the great unifier. If sibling rivalry is an issue in your house, use the good Shepherd to bring everyone together through prayer and example. He gave us the great commandments, and sometimes kids need a reminder that loving your neighbor means the people in your own house too. 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for being our shepherd. Bring my family closer to God by helping us to live a life full of love for each other. St. Francis, pray for me. Amen. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sticks and stones.

Lectionary: 255
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

St. Lucia Filippini

Little girls have a tendency to be fickle. Someone might be your BFF one day and talk about you on the playground the next. Sadly, some little girls never grow up. As moms, we sometimes have to tiptoe through the political land-mines of our kid's friendships. Jeremiah knew what this felt like. Yet he remembers the Lord is with him and praises Him for his protection and faithfulness. 
One more thing: Jesus too knew how it feels to have friends turn against you. Our job as moms is to teach our children how to be true friends who show the love of Christ. The best way for us to teach this is to model healthy friendships ourselves. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you know how fickle the human heart can be and the sting of betrayal. Help me to support my children as they make friends and to show them healthy, loving relationships with my own friends. St. Lucia, pray for me. Amen. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saying yes.

Lectionary: 545
The Annunciation

If you knew what we were getting into when you said 'yes' to motherhood, would you still do it? I've no doubt had Mary seen what lie before her, she would have done it anyway. Her faith in God was that strong and her love for Christ the moment the idea of Him was presented to her, became unshakeable. 
One more thing: Mary felt the same joys and pains of motherhood that you feel. She knows acutely all of the ups and downs. She also knows that when you say 'yes' to God, great things happen. And that her Son will be there with you through it all.
Prayer: Dear God, I willingly and openly say yes to you each day and thank you for the gift of motherhood. You know perfectly what my children need and when they need it. Help me to be the mother you desire me to be. Mary, my mother, pray for me. Amen. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Lectionary: 253
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

St. Catherine of Genoa

The first reading is about freedom; freedom of choice and freedom from bondage. The Jewish boys had the freedom to choose and were faithful to God despite the consequences. What appeared to result in bondage, resulted in the ultimate freedom as God rescued them from the furnace. 
One more thing: Jesus speaks of the bondage of sin. The only way to freedom is the truth in Christ's word. Continue your commitment to follow the word daily, and the truth shall set you free! 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your Word and the truth You bring to me from the Father. Help me to be faithful to your Word and to live it daily so that I will know true freedom. St. Catherine, pray for me. Amen. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The journey.

Lectionary: 252

Moses and the Israelites were on a journey to the promised land, just as we are journeying toward our heavenly paradise. But along the way, they lost sight of the ultimate destination. Jesus reminds the Jews in the gospel that because they are grounded here on earth, this will be the end of the journey for them. 
One more thing: Following Jesus means to finally join Him one day in heaven. Keeping our kids focused on that end goal is our job. There are so many earthly distractions, it's easy to forget there is more to our lives than ipods and texting. As a reminder, try having your kids describe heaven or make a picture of what they think it looks like. 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to lead me home to You in paradise. Shield me and my family from the distractions of this world, and keep us focused on joining you one day in heaven. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

A light in the darkness.

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

Saint Lea of Rome

Susanna was definitely in a dark valley. Because the laws did not favor women, she was without an advocate, until Daniel came along. Each of us have our own dark valleys from time to time. Know that Christ is always there to light the way. 
One more thing: Who better to light the way through this sometimes dark and murky world than Christ himself? And He reminds us in the gospel that when He is there, the Father is present also. Wow! Teach your children today's psalm, and remind them that even when things get bleak, Christ is the glimmer of hope and light leading us all to everlasting life! 
Prayer: My dear Jesus, thank you for lighting the way for me. Help me to always follow you; to stay focussed on your light, so that one day I may join you in heaven. In your name I pray. St. Lea of Rome, pray for me. Amen. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Forget the past.

Lectionary: 36
Blessed John of Parma

"Remember not the events of the past." Jesus makes clear that what lies behind us does not define us. In telling the adulterer to sin no more, he gives her license to live a new life. He does make all things new. 
One more thing: Sometimes the hardest one to forgive is yourself. If you have something in the past that haunts you, bring it to Christ in the sacrament of reconciliation. Then, knowing that He forgives you, give yourself permission to lead a new life, free from past transgressions. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for times I have sinned against you. Thank you for your mercy and love. Be with me and help me to live each day renewed in your love. St. John of Parma, pray for me. Amen. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Lectionary: 249
St. Salvator of Horta

The Jewish officials were plotting against Jesus. There was conspiracy everywhere. Rumors, crowds, trickery. Sounds a lot like Jr. High. If you have a middle-schooler, they may be feeling some of the same things that Jeremiah expresses in the first reading. 
One more thing: It's hard to soothe a hurting heart that has been embarrassed and betrayed. Today's psalm brings comfort to someone hurting from betrayal. Teach your children to pray, "Oh Lord, my God, in you I take refuge" when they are feeling threatened by false friends. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, I can not protect my children from all the hurts of the world. Thank you for your comforting words. Help me to teach my children to rely on your word when they are hurting. St. Salvator, pray for me. Amen. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Father's day.

Lectionary: 543
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

St. Joseph

The readings today honor St. Joseph by talking about fathers. In the bible, God makes great promises to upright men who chose fatherhood. St. Joseph is a prime example and model for all fathers. 
One more thing: No matter the status of your relationship, honor your child's father today by a phone call, a hug and a thank you for saying yes to fatherhood. Above all, pray for their father and all fathers today.
Prayer: Father in heaven, bless all fathers today. Give them the grace to be fathers who model your love and mercy as St. Joseph did. St. Joseph, pray for me and for the father of my children. Amen. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lectionary: 247
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

"They forgot the God who had saved them." It's easy to forget the miracles God performs in our lives when we get bogged down in the hum-drum day to day drudgery. Sometimes its the easy times, the good times, when we rely less on God. That's often when our attention drifts toward other gods. 
One more thing: What are some other gods that tempt us? Money, possessions, vacations, clothes, our appearance, or our children's appearance? I like to keep a prayer journal. It's simply a list of people and situations I'm praying for. When the prayer is answered, I write down how God intervened in that situation or for that person, and then check them off the list. At times when there is no 'crisis' or need for fervent prayer, I like to stay focused by looking back over my journal and admiring the providence and mercy of God. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for delivering me from my sin through the resurrection of your son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Help me never forget what you have done for me. Keep me always focused on you in my life and help me to resist the temptation of false idols. Amen. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Living waters.

Lectionary: 245
St. Agapitus

"Do you want to be well?" Jesus was not one for small talk. He point-blank asks the man if he really wants to be healed. This means a dramatic change of lifestyle for this man. I wonder if he stops to consider the consequences and responsibilities of his answer. 
One more thing: Jesus is the living water that heals us. But with that comes a responsibility to "not sin any more". Do you have a holy water font in your home? If so, is it filled? If not, get one and encourage your children to bless themselves daily as a reminder of Jesus' healing love for them. 
Prayer: Dear Lord, You are the living water that cleanses, heals and renews me. Be with me and help me to sin no more. St. Agapitus, pray for me. Amen.  

Monday, March 15, 2010

A new dawn.

Lectionary: 244
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

St. Longinus

Isaiah tells us the new Jerusalem will be filled with joy. For us, the new Jerusalem was created on Easter morning, when Christ rose from the dead. No longer do we have to dwell on our sufferings, but in the glorious life we will have evermore with God in heaven. 
One more thing: The royal official knew Jesus was in town and despite his high office, brought his burden to him. It's easy to sit around and wait for Jesus to come in and heal our children, but we should follow the example of the official and seek out Christ on their behalf. 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for the new life you create in me with your resurrection. Please watch over my children; keep them safe and healthy. St. Longinus, pray for me. Amen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Creation.

Lectionary: 31
St. Roderigo of Cordoba

As spring blooms I think about the second reading. 
'Whoever is in Christ is a new creation." St. Paul tells us that things of old pass away through reconciliation. He implores us to be reconciled to God. 
One more thing: Lent is a time for reconciliation. Be sure to take advantage of the sacrament before Easter, and make sure you take your children along too. The tale of the prodigal son is a perfect story to explain to them that no matter what we do, if we apologize to God and ask forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation, God takes us back. Always. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for your boundless mercy. I'm sorry for the times I have sinned against you. Please forgive me and make me a new creation, one that reflects your love. St. Roderigo, pray for me. Amen. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Empty actions.

Lectionary: 242
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

Saint Fina of San Gimignano

"For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice." Last night I asked my young daughter what little sacrifices she was making for Lent. She told me she was saying some extra prayers at night after she went to bed. I gently reminded her to consider making some sacrifice. And then I read today's reading and I am brought low like the Pharisees. 
One more thing: Sometimes our children humble us, just when we need it most. At this point in Lent, we start looking hopefully toward Easter. Easter is the ultimate act of love. Think about finishing Lent, not focussing on the denials, but on making generous acts of love toward your family, each day. 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me so much, you died and rose for me. Help me to not get caught up in appearing pious, but in living the love you have shown for me. St. Fina, pray for me. Amen. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lectionary: 241
St. Rosine of Wenglingen

'And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him,"You are not far from the Kingdom of God." Could it really be that easy? Simply understanding these two commandments? If understanding and acting on these two commandments were really that easy, the world would be a better place! 
One more thing: Really understanding the great commandments so that we live them, may take a lifetime. So, it's important to start learning them young! Most rules can be boiled down to one of these two commands, so be sure to recite them to your child frequently! 
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing me how to get to heaven. Help me to live out your commandments so that I am an example of them to my family. St. Rosine, pray for me. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

By whose authority?

Lectionary: 240
St. John Ogilvie

Some days I want to either do as Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," or carry a megaphone like the man in the picture. If you feel like you are constantly repeating yourself and wondering if your kids will ever learn, God knows just how you feel! He spoke to the Israelites for generations and sent prophets and signs and still they did not learn. Eventually, He even sent His Son. 
One more thing: By whose authority did Jesus perform His miracles? By His Father's, of course! By whose authority do you parent? By your father in heaven! When your children challenge your authority, remind them that you have to answer to God for being the best possible parent. If it's a question of pleasing God or pleasing the kids, God should always come first! 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing me with my children. Help me to be untiring in my teaching and nurturing, as you were for the Israelites. Be with me when they challenge me; strengthen me to be the parent you want me to be. St. John Ogilvie, pray for me. Amen. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Teach them to your children.

Lectionary: 239
St. Frances of Rome

You are your child's first and most important teacher. You will make the greatest impact on the person they become. Do not take your job lightly! Do not let society tell you that what you do as a mom is not valuable. You have the most important job in the world! Jesus himself said, "Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
One more thing: Today's saint, St. Frances of Rome was a wife and mother who in her youth wanted to serve the Lord. Her family had other plans and she married and had children. She was able to serve God where she was, where He wanted her to be. I really like this quote attributed to her, "Says Frances of Rome: “It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping” (Butler’s Lives of the Saints).
Prayer: Dear Lord, Help me to realize the value in what I do each day. Help me to teach my children to live by your commandments and to do your will. St. Frances of Rome, pray for me. Amen. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Lectionary: 238
St. John of God

In today's gospel Jesus again sends us a dual message. On the one hand, His father is the great forgiver. We need only ask and He showers His mercy upon us. However, Jesus throws in this little caveat to the story. We must show the same forgiveness to others, or we won't receive it from God. 
One more thing: "We have in our day not prince, prophet or leader..." You could say the same thing about our culture today. And yet, they are out there; we just have to look a little harder to find them. Pay attention today to whom your child looks up to. Are they a model of forgiveness and mercy? 
Prayer: Dear Lord, remember your mercies! Help me to have a heart that is ready to forgive, even the deepest hurts, and let go of long-held grudges. Let me be a model of forgiveness to my family. St. John of God, pray for me. Amen. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something ordinary.

Lectionary: 237

"If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it?" Too often, we look for God in the big and flashy, and miss Him present in the quiet, ordinary moments. How simple for Naaman to jump in the Jordan, yet he wanted a big show. The people of Nazareth were also blinded to the son of God in their midst. Our challenge is to find God in the ordinary daily moments of family life. 
One more thing: Water plays a big part in our life, as should our God. Every time you drink or use water today, pray the psalm, "Athirst is my soul for the living God." When you crave God, you will find Him in your midst. 
Prayer: Father, I thirst for you! Help me to see Your presence while I care for my family. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Personal responsibility.

I'm always impressed by the way the New Testament writers preach without being preachy. In the first reading, we hear God answering the call of his suffering people. In the second reading, we get a stern warning remembering what happened to those people. It seems that God's gift of salvation is a true covenant. A contract between two parties. God is forever faithful and merciful. All we have to do is live up to our end of the bargain.
One more thing: One the one hand, Jesus is quick to point out the justice that comes to those who do not repent. On the other, He is the compassionate gardner, willing to fertilize us and tend to us so that we may bear fruit. All we have to do is open our heart to Him.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I open my heart to you. I rely fully on you. Mold me and shape me in your image. Help me dedicate myself to you each new day. Amen.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sibling rivalry

Lectionary: 234

In today's gospel, Jesus hits right to the heart of most family disharmony: siblings who don't get along. It puts parents in the middle and can make even the most mild tempered parent come unglued. Aside from the message here about God's love and His desire to repent, this gospel tells me something else. It tells me Jesus is acutely aware of the human condition. 
One more thing: The older brother in the gospel story clearly felt jealous and unloved. Do you know your child's love language? Google Gary Chapman's five love languages and find out which language most communicates love to your child and spouse. When everyone feels their love tank is full, there is no need for jealousy and fighting. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the boundless mercy you show me every time I come back to you, sinful and fallen. Help me to reflect your love to my family in a way that is meaningful to each of them. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crossing the desert.

Lectionary: 233

The readings today remind us that those who turn away from the Lord are like a barren bush in the desert. The thing that keeps us nourished is the Word of God. 
One more thing: Keep yourself fed and watered by spending time with the Lord in His word, and surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Have a friend over for coffee and encourage one another. You will feel like a tree planted near a stream: freshly watered and blossoming. 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to recognize Lazarus at my door and act to relieve his suffering. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Throw me a rope!

Lectionary: 232

Sometimes no matter what you do, it seems the whole world is against you. Children, especially middle schoolers, feel this very acutely. Jesus knew the pain of false friends. And yet, He was able to love people, even the false ones, enough to ransom His life for them. 
One more thing: Jesus warns James and John that they can not be His false friends and still gain the rewards of Heaven. Remind your kids today, especially if they are struggling with earthly relationships, that the only relationship that really matters is the one with God. When they feel overwhelmed and need someone to throw them a rope, teach them the psalm, "Save me, O Lord, in your kindness."
Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes it all seems too much and the world fights against me. Be with me in those moments. Give me calm and peace. Help me to keep my perspective and focus on seeing You in your heavenly kingdom. In your name I pray, Amen. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Following in your footsteps.

Lectionary: 231

"Come let us set things right." What a way to begin each day. Isaiah tells us in the first reading it is never too late to do the right thing; to be the person you know God wants you to be. Jesus reminds us that you can't just tell others how to be, like the Pharisees, you have to walk the talk. 
One more thing: Do you ever find yourself being like the Pharisees at home with the kids? Your actions speak much louder than words. Reminders like, "clean your room, don't eat that, get some exercise, no more TV" are empty if you are not setting the example for the behavior you want to see in your kids. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to set a good example for my children. Let them see me doing the right thing and showing love to all. In Your name I pray, Amen. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Measuring up.

Lectionary: 230

If God judged us based on what we deserve, we would all be in trouble! That is why the psalm writer begs, "do not deal with us according to our sins." We all rely on the mercy of God, but Jesus brings in a new twist for us to think about. "For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
One more thing: Christ gives us a corollary to the great commandment in today's gospel. Loving others as we love ourselves includes forgiving them as we want to be forgiven. The next time you find the kids in the kitchen underfoot, get out the measuring cups. Ask them how much forgiveness they want from God, and teach them that's how much they have to show to others.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for your infinite mercy. Help me to be generous in my forgiveness. Amen.