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, August 31, 2010


Lectionary: 432
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus

"What is there about his word?"
Think of the politician or celebrity you find most engaging, multiply that times ten, and you might have an inkling of what it was like to be in the presence of Jesus. He is the ultimate authority and he had no patience for demons. His very commands were obeyed by them. Therefore, how much more should I pay attention to Christ's words?
One more thing: I hope some day my kids will think of me as "kind and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness." If I speak to them with words taught by the spirit and not with human wisdom, then perhaps they will catch a glimpse of Christ in me.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I bow before your greatness and authority. Help me to desire to be immersed in your Word daily and to live by it's teachings. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Sts. Joseph and Nicodemus, pray for me.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Lectionary: 431
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Jeannne Jugan

"Lord I love your commands."
Do you kids love rules? Probably not; most kids say they don't. The reality is that rules bring freedom. When there is order, there is peace and chaos only brings discord. The same thing that goes in your house, goes in God's house. He's given us rules to live by, and the fruits of following them are wisdom, understanding and discernment.
One more thing: This psalm is a great passage to pull out when the kids (read teens) are balking about following the house rules. Just like a prophet is not accepted in his own town, parents don't have much credibility with kids of a certain age. If you need a little help enforcing rules, enlist the help of another adult your child respects. It could be a pastor, aunt or uncle, coach or neighbor. Even Jesus knew that sometimes things make a little more sense when they come from a person you don't live with.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me rules to live by. Help me to follow these rules with fervor and enjoy their fruits. Help me show my children how I follow your rules, as well as those of my community, so they too will come to know the peace of living as you desire us to. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Jeanne, pray for me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Lectionary: 126
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

I've struggled with how today's readings apply to motherhood. As I pondered them what I realized is that humility means that something or someone is greater than you. St. John's life and death were the supreme acts of humility. He certainly could have stolen a little limelight for himself, but he humbled himself by saying he was not fit to untie the sandal of the one to come. St. John knew his place in the redemption story.
One more thing: Being humble doesn't mean you aren't important. In fact, it's your humility that increases your importance at God's great banquet. Your job as a mom, as humble as it may seem (I'm still waiting for the host of Dirty Jobs to come try a day at my house!) is supremely important in God's plan!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I humble myself before you as a servant, eager to do your will. Help me to live the vocation of motherhood to the best of my ability and to serve you all of my days. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. John the Baptist, pray for me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Lectionary: 430
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church

How many talents has God given you? Are you using them all to further his kingdom? Today's gospel shows us it's not optional to minister. To just be a good person and not do anything bad with the personal gifts God has given you isn't enough. You have to share them and make them grow!
One more thing: Do your children see you participate in parish or community ministries? Getting involved takes effort, but remember, it needs to be based on your talent. If you are shy, don't be the greater at mass. If you are clumsy with numbers, don't serve on the finance council. Spend some time discovering your talents - even ask your kids.  When you find a way to minister that lets your talents shine, you will truly be able to boast in the Lord!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the talents you have given me. Help me to use them for your glory, not my own. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Augustine, pray for me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Lectionary: 428
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. John Eudes

"Stay awake!"
Jesus must have known I would be nodding off about now, wanting to put off my prayer time till tomorrow and crawl into bed. How many times do we put off the good works and prayer we can do today?
One more thing: St. John Eudes was trying his very best to live a life in service to Christ, but even he got distracted. A certain 'madame' reminded him that going off to church to pray and think himself pious meant nothing when the recovering prostitutes to whom he was ministering still had no place to live. John then formed the Sisters of Charity to minister to the poor and suffering. He certainly stayed awake and took care of the master's household!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to stay awake! Help me to notice the daily opportunities to become your hands and feet and minister to those around me. Help me to be an example of tireless charity to my children. In your name I pray, Amen. St. John, pray for me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pulling your weight.

Lectionary: 427
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Louis of France

I think I might have this scripture painted on the wall in my kitchen, "if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat." St. Paul advises the community that there are no freeloaders in God's family. Sometimes we need to do the same in ours.
One more thing: Any mom will tell you, we are battling an entitlement culture seeking to get it's claws into our children's hearts. Popular culture teaches kids that you can get something for nothing, but that is not what God says! It's human nature to rise to the top of the pack, be it a Pharisee, church leader, or older sibling, and think everyone should serve you. Christ teaches that we should all serve one another, and each do at least his own share.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of service to others. Help me to teach my family to serve one another joyfully and with love. Help me to model a good work ethic for my children. In your name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Lectionary: 629
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Bartholomew

I always like a wise-cracking biblical fellow, and Nathanael fits the bill. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" That must have made Jesus chuckle as he saw the story unfold before he met Nathanael face to face. However, Jesus knew that when he did see Nathanael's face, it would tell all. Nathanael was a straight shooting kind of guy. His doubts were genuine and Jesus was okay with that.
One more thing: Jesus knows when we aren't being straightforward with him. Sure, we might talk a good game, go to church, help out with ministry, but where is our heart? On what or whom to we really rely? In times of crisis, (like running late for carpool, missing shoes, dirty ball uniforms, sick kids, or, if you have a toddler like I do, spilt milk), do we call on the Lord and ask for additional grace or do we just take over and handle it in our very human way? Don't miss the opportunity to be like Nathanael and be straight with the Lord. He can take it. He might even chuckle.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you know the hidden concerns of my heart. You know my weaknesses, the times when I think it's just easier to handle it myself; the places in my life where I shut you out; the times when I doubt you. Help me to let you in to those situations, so that I may stand before you honest and open as Nathanael did. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Bartholomew, pray for me.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Lectionary: 425
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Rose of Lima

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy were dear friends of the Thessalonians. As such, they encouraged them, bragged about them, and most of all, prayed for them. Have you surrounded yourself with friends like these?
One more thing: As school begins there may be some ups and downs in your child's friendships. Come back to this passage from a letter between good friends as the standard for friendship. Is your child thanking God for that friend? If not, then perhaps they aren't a friend after all.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the friendship of your son Jesus. Help me to teach my children how to be true friends through living by the great commandments. Bless me with friends that encourage me in my vocation of motherhood. I ask this in your son Jesus' name, Amen. St. Rose of Lima, pray for me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Discipline of the Lord.

Lectionary: 123
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Queenship of Mary

"...all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it."
One more thing: Everyone has their own parenting style. Some rule by the rod and others are anything goes. What is important is that we make conscious choices as parents to help form our children into the people that God wants them to be. Just as God is forming us through his loving discipline each day, we too must be active parents, whichever form of parenting that takes. When we knock on the doors of heaven, we want God to recognize us as the good and faithful servants who took care of his little ones, not just people who had some kids. 
Prayer: Father in heaven, give me the fortitude to actively and intentionally parent the children you have blessed me with each and every day. Give me the wisdom to know when discipline is needed and help me to administer it in love and with mercy. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for me. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Serving others.

Lectionary: 424
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Pope Pius X

Some kids have parents much like the Pharisees. Parents who load up their kids with burdens of behavior that they themselves have no intention of keeping. Kids are pretty smart. They smell hypocrisy in parents, teachers, and leaders. If you have teens, they may be pointing out the inconsistencies in your parenting already.
One more thing: Parenting is about service. "Whoever humbles himself will be exalted."There is nothing more humbling and selfless than taking care of another human being. As I write I'm being called in many different directions as each of my kids have needs. Sure, there are times when I would love to lock the door and be alone with my computer, but that won't get me into heaven.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the example of divine service that you provide for me. Help me to serve my children with love and mercy. In your name I pray, Amen. Pope Pius X, pray for me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dem bones.

Lectionary: 423
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Bernard

Have you ever experienced a spiritual dryness? Many of the saints have felt an emptiness and abandonment by God even in the midst of doing the work he called them to do. The first reading shows us that no matter what you are 'feeling' God is bound by nothing, not even death.
One more thing: Having a child with a chronic illness is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Keeping my focus on God's promise and his ability to conquer death through Christ's resurrection helps me keep my fears and anxieties at bay. Whatever you are asking God to do in your child's life, know that he is working out his plan, no matter how 'dry' things may seem at the moment.
Prayer: Father I give thanks to you for your everlasting love, a love which surrounds me even in the moments when I don't feel it. You know the burden's of my heart. I ask you to show your wondrous deeds to my children, so that they can live the life you desire for them. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Bernard, pray for me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Good Shepherd.

Lectionary: 421
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Boy, did Jesus know families or what? "He's got more than me," is a common complaint in any family and one I often here in my home. I suppose what Jesus really knows is human nature. We all feel a little slighted when someone else gets more of something than we do. What Christ calls us to believe is that as our shepherd, he gives us exactly what we need, when we need it.
One more thing: Christ shepherds you too, giving you that break from the kids when a neighbor invites them to play, an early bed time, a helping hand, even an extra portion at mealtime when you didn't make it to the grocery store. Our temptation to shepherd ourselves and fix everything our way will only lead us down the same path as those in the first reading. Lean on the Lord, and he will provide for your every need.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, you are the good shepherd. Thank you for always providing me with every need. Help me to rely on you fully and model my dependence on you to my children. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Jane Frances, pray for me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Lectionary: 420
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Joan of the Cross

Today's readings remind us not to become so embroiled in the workings of the world that we forget who we are. We are children of God who made us to know, love, and serve him, and to be happy with him forever in heaven. If we are like the prince in the first reading, thinking that all that we have is because of our own doing, then we will be more like the camels Jesus mentions in the gospel.
One more thing: St. Joan of the Cross was an astute business woman who ran her family's shop and shooed away the beggars that collected at her door. An encounter with one homeless woman changed Joan's life and she devoted herself to the service of the poor. How do we act when we encounter the homeless and needy? Do our children see us doing acts of service to others? Do they know how to help others too? A great family project is to assemble care packages for the needy to keep in your car. Perhaps you can go as a family and help out in your local food pantry. Involve your children in acts of service and you will teach them how to inherit eternal life.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the comforts that you provide for me. Help me to always remember that what I have are blessings from you and my possessions are only temporary. Keep me focused on joining you one day in heaven and help me to teach my children to serve you by serving others. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Joan of the Cross, pray for me.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Lectionary: 419
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Stephen of Hungary

Christ tells the young man, it's not enough to be good. To be 'perfect' one must be extraordinary, doing what others will not.
One more thing: We are doing some home improvement projects and as I find my husband and I discussing what to replace and what to buy, I've observed my kids wanting more stuff too. Some things are necessary and some luxuries, but we need to be clear to our children about what it all means. We've been talking with them more lately about money management and emphasizing the save, share and spend rules, making sure they see us doing the saving and sharing, not just the spending.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the comforts that you provide for me here on earth. Help me to be of the world, but not in it. Help me to always remember that what I have is for me to share and that I can never out-give you. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Stephen, pray for me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ave Maria.

Lectionary: 622
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Mary enjoys the fulfillment of Christ's salvation, without waiting for his second coming.  We look forward to the day we can join her in heaven!
One more thing: Mary enjoys her special status not because of who she is, but of what she did in her role as a mother. She said 'yes' to God's call and because of her willingness to participate in God's plan, Christ came to save us all. Like Mary, none of us knows fully what God's plan is for our children or the heartache we may encounter along the way. We can only follow Mary's example and hope for our own heavenly arrival one day!
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the example of perfect motherhood that I have in Mary. Help me to foster my children so that they become the fulfillment of your plan for them. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Mother Mary, pray for me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Act like a child.

Lectionary: 418
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Maximilian Kolbe

"For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Really?! The kingdom of heaven belongs to the messy, loud, whiney, rambunctious, silly, playful and imaginative? WOW! And I thought I had to be good.
One more thing: Kids aren't perfect. They don't always follow the rules. That's probably why the disciples tried to shoo them away. But children are passionate and loyal and true. They love wholly and fully, without an agenda. They aren't afraid, and if they are, they rely fully on the one that's bigger and stronger than them. We are God's children, and he wants us to learn how to love him from our own kids.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I am your precious child. Thank you for loving me and teaching me how to love you in return. Help me to learn that innocent, childlike love from my own kids, and to enjoy their childhood while it is here. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Maximillian, pray for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wedding bells.

Lectionary: 417
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus

Regardless of your politics and how you interpret today's gospel, one thing is certain. God views the church as his bride and Jesus tells us that divorce is never an option. Sure, in the old testament times there were some pretty big spats, leading to both sides walking away. But Jesus declares the new covenant and that our God will always belong to us.
One more thing: "Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted." I try not to ask my children,"What do you want to be when you grow up?" Instead I ask them, "What does God want you to do with your life?" Not everyone is called to the vocation of marriage. For those who are, Jesus has some pretty direct words. But he also says that it's not for everyone. Make sure your children know they can look to God, not just society, for direction as they grow into their adult years.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for my vocation of motherhood. Help me to live it fully as you intend. Help me to model for my children complete dependence on you for direction and purpose in my life. Guide them to the vocation you intend for them and bless them with the ability to live it fully. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus, pray for me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Brotherly love.

Lectionary: 415
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Clare

The Thau that is mentioned in the first reading translates to the Greek letter 'T' which was adopted by St. Francis of Assisi as his personal symbol of the cross. Today's reading brings home the significance of that symbol, since we all want to be marked by a sign of Christ. Today is also the feast of St. Clare, a close friend and contemporary of St. Francis. These two young people turned their back on their life of comfort and material wealth to serve the Lord. 
One more thing: Jesus' sermon today on brotherly love brings to life his acknowledgment that there would be conflict within families. He gives us a guide to sort out those conflicts with love and wisdom. But in the end, he doesn't condone being a doormat. If your brother (or sister) doesn't ever see eye to eye with you, despite your very best effort to resolve the conflict, then some things will just have to be sorted out in heaven. Christ tells us today, however, to do our best to make peace. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for showing me how to live with my fellow man. Give me the love, fortitude and perseverance to work out conflict with my brother. Help me to teach my children to make peace with each other. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Clare, pray for me. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One last fling.

Hello Friends,
I am enjoying the last days of summer with my family. Meditations will return at the end of next week. As always you can check the daily readings at the USCCB site.
Blessings Always,
Catholic Mama

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Moving mountains.

Lectionary: 412
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Cajetan

I particularly enjoy when Jesus shows his human side in the gospel. I can sense his frustration in today's gospel reading as he says, "Bring the boy here to me." If you are a mom, you know how sometimes it's just easier to do things yourself rather than take the time to teach and train the kids to do it. But Jesus doesn't forget that gospel must continue to be taught long after he is gone, and he takes the time to instruct.
One more thing: Christ's words in today's gospel give me chills. I can hear him saying them in my ear. It brings into focus all of the doubts, fears, and insecurities that cloud my faith.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help my faith to grow from a little, to that which testifies to your salvation and love every day! In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Cajetan, pray for me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Light in the dark.

Lectionary: 614
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

"You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place."
We recently came home to a dark house. The electricity went out while we were away and coming home after dark was a little unnerving. Once we located a flashlight we all gathered around it, not wanting to venture into the blackness beyond the light it cast.
One more thing: Peter was fortunate enough to view the transfiguration and get a glimpse of the glorified Christ. To him, that vision and the message of Christ's salvation was his light in the 'dark' place of earthly life. He tells us it should be ours too, a light of focus and hope!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I look forward to the day I see you in your glory at the right hand of God! Help me to stay focused on you as I find my way through the vocation of motherhood to which you have called me. In your precious name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Clean sweep.

Lectionary: 410
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Addal

"Create a clean heart in me, O God. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me."
Many of us find cleaning to be the least favorite thing about running a household. And with kids around, there is always plenty of cleaning to do.
One more thing: Today's psalm tells us that with a clean heart, we can have the joy of salvation. It might take a little effort to clean out the things that cloud our hearts, like resentment, anger, frustration, and selfishness. That's right, I now lots of moms that carry these things around and view motherhood as a burden. But getting a good confession out of your system leaves your heart squeaky clean and with it comes joy and a spirit willing to take on all the challenges of being a mom - even the cleaning!
Prayer: Dear God, help me to make a good confession of all the things that cloud my heart. Create a clean heart in me so that I may shine with the joy of salvation to all who know me, especially my children. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Addal, pray for me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rock on.

Lectionary: 410
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. John Vianney

There is a temptation to look at the lives of the saints and think we can never be like them. They seem so perfect and most of us see our imperfections pretty clearly. Yet, if you look at the people Jesus interacted with in the gospels, they were perfectly human. Peter is a wonderful example of how hard it is to always get it right. He has some amazing shining moments, and then he crashes and burns.
One more thing: Jesus tells Peter that God has revealed Christ's true nature to him and Peter becomes the foundation of our church. Not a moment later, Jesus refers to him as satan. It's Peter's humanity ("thinking as humans do", "why did you doubt?") that always gets in the way. Yet, that's who we are. Jesus shows us that it is only with the help of God, and Christ's salvation, that we can achieve our full potential as the perfect humans God calls us to be. Consider yourself the rock of the domestic church. If you rely on God completely to help you in this role, you will not falter. If you don't, be prepared to screw up; but always get back in the game, just like Peter did.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I'm sorry for the times when I am weak and my humanity gets in the way of my vocation. Thank you for your forgiveness. Create a clean heart in me so that I may fully rely on you. In your name I pray, Amen. St. John Vianney, pray for me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lord, save me!

Lectionary: 408
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Peter Julian

"Why did you doubt?"
We all doubt; we are human. In fact, it may be the single most difficult part of our faith once we become adults. This is an example of when we parents can learn from our children. If Peter had been a child, he would have run to Jesus with all his might, not thinking about the wind and waves.
One more thing: It was when Peter was faltering that he called out, "Lord, save me." And Jesus reached down his hand and saved him. Christ is there to save us too during our difficult moments. Usually around 4:30 in the afternoon I start to feel like I'm drowning. Kids are hungry, evening activities are beginning, the little ones are tired. The next time you have a 'Calgon moment', call on the Lord. He will help you keep your head above water!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for always being there to show me your saving power, especially when I am doubting. I love you! Amen. St. Peter Julian, pray for me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Feeding the multitudes.

Lectionary: 407
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Eusebius of Vercelli

I saw this picture of Sunday's Mass at the National Boy Scout Jamboree yesterday and marveled how it reminded me of the parable of the loaves and fishes. Imagine my surprise when I read today's gospel. This picture shows a gathering of approximately 15, 000 people, probably a similar number as in the gospel. My second thought was how did they get communion to everyone?
One more thing: This picture gives me hope and reminds me that our youth still hunger for Christ. Most of these kids are at camp without their parents, and yet they showed up to sit in the hot sun to be fed by the Eucharist. The gospel is alive and Jesus is here feeding the multitudes even today.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, even when you were grieving the loss of your cousin, you took pity on your people and fed them. Thank you for your great love. Help me to foster the desire to be near you in my children. Please pour down your blessings upon the thousands of boy scouts and volunteers who will be returning home this week and give them all safe travels. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Eusebius, pray for me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Guarding against greed.

Lectionary: 114
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
St. Alphonsus Liguori

"All things are vanity!"
I just visited a friend who gave me a tour of her house. She opened a door and said, "This room makes me embarrassed." I was expecting a junky storage area but what lay behind the door was a beautiful media room capable of movie theater quality viewing for several people. She was feeling a little guilty for her family's excess.
One more thing: Jesus didn't say having things that you enjoy is bad. He said to "guard against all greed." If you have much, be thankful, enjoy it, but acknowledge it is not the purpose and center of your life. Our children need to see that we are in the world but not of the world, and that our focus always remains on Christ and the great commandments he gave us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for always providing for my family exactly what we need. Protect my heart from greed and desires that are not of you. Help me to model temperance in all things for my children. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Alphonsus, pray for me.