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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Lectionary: 458
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Jerome

When I looked for an image of sandals for today's reflection, so many, many, many types of sandals were available. I'm thinking that in Jesus' day, there were only a couple of styles available, and you were happy to have them! But even then, they weren't completely necessary, since Jesus sent his disciples out without them. He stripped them down the the most necessary things needed to preach the gospel: their words and their example.
One more thing: Thinking about all the accessories I have to be a mom, I wonder what is really necessary. The diaper bag, purse, cell phone, tissues, car, clothes, computer are all things that help me be a mom; but they aren't what defines my motherhood. Really, to fulfill my vocation of motherhood like the disciples fulfilled theirs, all I need is my example, and my words. Since Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God is at hand, I better make sure they are both beyond reproach!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me never forget that you have given me a divine mission: motherhood. Help me to focus on that mission and filter the distractions of the 'stuff' that comes with the job. Thank you for the example of the disciples. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Jerome, pray for me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Lectionary: 647
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Rafael

Remember Jacob's ladder in the Old Testament? The angels went back and forth between heaven and earth on that ladder. Jesus tells us in today's gospel that he is the way between heaven and earth. He is the bridge upon which not only the angels, but us humans can get to heaven.
One more thing: I've had plenty of evidence of angels in my life. While there is the occasional helping hand from out of nowhere, my angels seem to have a full time job in the protection arena. I teach my children to honor their guardian angles through prayer every night. When the kids are afraid, we pray to their guardian angel for protection and comfort. Some people even name their guardian angel. A fun way to celebrate this feast day is to serve angel food cake for dessert at dinner tonight. I find that relating feast days to food creates memories for kids and makes feast days truly joyful!
Prayer: Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love entrusts me here, ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, to guide, Amen. Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Rafael, pray for me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Lectionary: 456
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Wenceslaus

Job curses the day he was born. His life has become so wretched, he thinks it would be better if he had died at birth. I wonder what would have happened if Job went to his mother with his feelings? I'm guessing that she would remind him how blessed she was to be his mother. She would have told him how much joy he brought to her life, and how she couldn't imagine life without him. She would have lifted his spirits.
One more thing: Pre-teens and teens are prone to this same sort of morose thinking. Sometimes life gets so hard for them, they don't feel like they do anything right. Even your fun-loving, involved teen may have negative feelings about themselves. This is our chance, as moms, to remember to lift up our children and remind them what a joy and blessing they are to us. We all have times when we feel like Job, but knowing someone thinks the world is a better place because you are in it can turn your whole day around.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for my precious children. Help me to be sensitive to their feelings and moods, even when I'm tired of the emotional roller-coaster. May I always remind them of my love, and teach them about your love for them. In Jesus name, Amen. St. Wenceslaus, pray for me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The least is greatest.

Lectionary: 455
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Vincent de Paul

"Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).
One more thing: Being a mom is not a glamourous job. In fact, it's tiring, messy, mundane, and often boring. Compared to other vocations, it's no prize winner. However, Jesus says in today's gospel that whoever receives a child in his name, receives him and the one who sent him. Wow! That's US! Perhaps we won't grace the cover of any fashion magazines, but we will be graced by the presence of our Lord Jesus as we live out our vocation as mothers. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of my children and my vocation of motherhood. Help me to realize that in parenting and nurturing my children, I am serving you. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Vincent de Paul, pray for me. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Hello friends,

I will be enjoying a retreat weekend with my family so there will not be meditations for Sept. 25 & 26. As always, you can find the daily readings at the USCCB website. Wishing you peace and joy this weekend!


Catholic Mama

Friday, September 24, 2010


Lectionary: 453
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Pacifico of San Severino

I gained an incredible peace in my vocation as a mother when I realized that there are seasons in my journey. If your season is the infant and toddler period, realize it really won't last forever. Relax and enjoy things and know that the dreams you have for yourself will come to pass when the time is right. If you are in the teen season of motherhood, know too that this is a season. While they are trying to break free from you, know that this is the last time your children may really depend on you. If you are like me and have all-season motherhood, realize that God "has made everything appropriate to its time" and you are just where he wants you to be!
One more thing: "There is an appointed time for everything."What season are you in right now? How much time do you spend wishing it away? How will you savor this season of life?
Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank you for providing me with this season in life. Help me to realize I am exactly where you want me to be right now. Help me to live in the present, radiant with peace, so that I may fully learn the lessons of this time in my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Pacifico, pray for me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Lectionary: 452
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Padre Pio

"The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain" (saying of Padre Pio).
One more thing: Padre Pio knew that all was vanity. It's so hard not to become attached to the things of this world. I think it is only by focusing more and more on Christ and fulfilling the vocation to which he has called me, that I can separate myself from the worldliness around me. 
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the gifts and comforts that you have provided for me and my children during this time on earth. Help me to always remember that they are temporary and that my treasure is with you in heaven. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Padre Pio, pray for me. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The needy.

Lectionary: 451
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Lawrence Ruiz and companions

"give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need,"
Jesus sent the disciples out with only the clothes on their backs. He was asking them to trust him to provide for them exactly what they needed when they needed it. Christ does the same for us. There is no need to hoard; Jesus provides all.
One more thing: Does my lacking cause my stress? Does my desire take me away from God. Do I REALLY need all those shoes? Whatever it is that we want,-material goods, a nicer home, a 'perfect' family, better figure, more time in the day, etc-we can take comfort that God provides exactly what we need when we need it. This kind of faith requires me to rely on God for everything, from enough dinner to feed the unexpected neighborhood friend, to a quick commute to pick up the kids when I'm running late. It also makes me focus on others. Perhaps I am the hands and feet of Christ that will provide something for another just when they need it!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for always providing for me! Help me to curb my desires and increase my trust in you. Open my eyes to be aware of others in need, especially my children. Let me be your hands and feet, providing for someone else the love and care you give me. In your holy name I pray, Amen. St. Lawrence Ruiz, pray for me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Lectionary: 643
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

St. Paul left something off his list of vocations in the first reading. MOTHERS!! Our main job is to build up the Body of Christ by caring for and leading the domestic church. Here is my favorite translation of this passage in Ephesians, and one I recite every day: the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Eph 4:1-3
One more thing: Christ calls each of us to a vocation, just as he called St. Matthew in today's Gospel. On those days when this vocation seems overwhelming, remember what St. Paul says, "But grace was given to each of us, according to the measure of Christ's gift." His grace is sufficient for you and it will carry you through this crazy thing called motherhood if you just lean on it!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of my children and my vocation of motherhood! Help me to live my vocation with humility and love, and give me the grace to be the mother you want me to be. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Matthew, pray for me. 

Monday, September 20, 2010


Lectionary: 449
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong, and other Korean martyrs

Today's readings focus on how to treat others, but I'm intrigued by Jesus' words, "Take care, then, how you hear." What do we hear?  In our world today, there is so much to hear, that much of it we tune out. Rarely do we really listen. Take my own kids, for instance. It takes effort to actually have a conversation without either me or them with our eyes on a screen, phone, book, or magazine? Am I really listening to my kids?
One more thing: Am I really listening to the gospel? Sure, I might hear it as I read my meditation each day. But do I listen? Listening implies a response after an assimilation of the information. Am I incorporating the gospel into my daily life? Am I light burning brightly, especially for my kids? The closing song in Mass on Sunday was, "Shine, Jesus Shine!" Comment on how you 'shine' brightly each day for your kids.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to shine for you! Help me to really hear your gospel and in turn live it, so that I will one day live on your holy mountain. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Sts. Andrew, Paul and all the Korean martyrs, pray for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Lectionary: 135
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
St. Januarius

Being married to an eagle scout and mother to two boy scouts has its perks. They certainly have a moral code outside of religion that they respect and live by. Maybe its peer pressure too, but that's the kind of character pressure you want for your kids.
One more thing: In today's gospel Jesus talks about how important it is to be trustworthy, even in the small everyday material things of life. He makes a good point to say that if we can't even handle the material, how will we be trusted with the spiritual; the tasks and responsibilities that really count! Teaching our kids to be trustworthy and responsible is a tough job. Look for organizations at church and in your community that can reinforce what you are teaching at home. Find mentors in older siblings or friends to act as models for your kids. Most importantly, be sure give kids the opportunity to show you they are trustworthy, even if that means loosening the reigns a little!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust in you! Help me to be trustworthy of spiritual things. Give me fortitude and perseverance so that I may meet the obligations and tasks you have asked me to do, namely be a mom! In your name I pray, Amen. St. Januarius, pray for me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

At His feet.

Lectionary: 446
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian

I love the image of the woman at the feet of Jesus. Surely she felt humiliated in front of all the church leaders, but she didn't let it stop her. She as entirely focused on being with Christ. How often do I have moments at his feet, where I am entirely given to him?
One more thing: Mom's days are busy! I have weeks when I feel more like Martha than Mary! On those hectic days, take just a few moments to close your eyes and imagine yourself at the feet of Christ, lovingly drying his feet with your hair. Don't try to say anything or fill the time with prayers; he knows your heart. Just submit yourself to him and he will forgive your transgressions and calm your spirit.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I love you and desire to be with you forever. Please forgive me when I get so busy with worldly pursuits that I forget to spend time with you. Help me to listen for your voice calling me and to stop my hectic pace to be with you. In your name I pray, Amen. Sts. Cornelius and Cyrian, pray for me.

Mary, our mother.

Lectionary: 445 and 639
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Our Lady of Sorrows

"At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed."
(Stabat Mater)
One more thing: Mary was not a clashing cymbal or a resounding gong. She was the real deal. She walked the walk and left the talking to others. Her unfailing love for God led her to say yes to motherhood and strengthened her despite the sorrows she suffered. No matter what heart aches you live with because of your kids, Mary knows how you feel. She is your mother too. Bring your burdens to her, especially the ones about your children, and ask for her intercession. You have a girlfriend in heaven and she knows just what it's like to be a mom! 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me your mother to be my heavenly mother. Help me to follow her example of steadfast love for you and those around her. In your name I pray, Amen. Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for me. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Holy Cross.

Lectionary: 638
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Exaltation of the Holy Cross

"How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, a tree now brought us life" (Theodore of Studios).
One more thing: With all the whining and complaining that goes on in my house, I can only imagine how fed up Moses was with the Israelites! Despite the fact that they behaved badly, he intervened on their behalf to God to have mercy on them, just like a mom does for her children. Moses was the foreshadowing of the ultimate mercy and forgiveness we find in Jesus. So really, with salvation and a heavenly home in our future, is there ANY reason to complain?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me when I complain about the life you have chosen for me. Help me to view my life, even my crosses, with gratitude and acceptance. Let my hope in my salvation shine through the difficult circumstances for my children to see. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Helen, pray for me. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good Example.

Lectionary: 132
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Have you ever heard the expression, 'If you can't be a good example, at least you can be a horrible warning'? That's what St. Paul's letter reminds me of today. He paints a portrait of himself being completely unworthy of Christ. Yet, Christ picked him and forgave him all transgressions, so that he might testify to us as a good example.
One more thing: I think you could write a book on the parable of the prodigal son. There are so many elements and themes working here. What speaks to me today is the fact that the eldest son does not feel appreciated. Think about your own children. Do you have a squeaky wheel who gets all the attention, even if it's negative? Take a minute and appreciate the good your children do today. Be sure to let the ones who live a life of obedience know how much you love them!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your endless mercy. Help me to remember when I stray from you, that you are always willing to forgive me. Help me be an example of that mercy to my children. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Mary Most Holy, pray for me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Lectionary: 442
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Cyprian

“You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother.... God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body.... If we are the heirs of Christ, let us abide in the peace of Christ; if we are the sons of God, let us be lovers of peace” (St. Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church).
One more thing: Today is an emotion filled day for many. The anniversary that we remember is still charged with anger and hate, grief and longing. What I teach my children about today is a litmus test of my Christianity. Is my fruit a reflection of my rootstock? 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help be to be truly genuine in my profession of faith in you, so that my actions reflect my belief. Bless those who mourn today and help us all to be lovers of peace. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Cyprian, pray for me. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Work out.

Lectionary: 441
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Thomas of Villanova

St. Paul sounds like he is writing to today's audience. People today are not strangers to competition and training. We do it in the gyms, in the workplace, and even socially in the school parking lot or PTO meetings. Have you ever thought of your faith as an athletic event?
One more thing: How much time do you spend thinking about how you look, going to the gym, being conscious of healthy choices? Do you spend the same amount of time taking care of your spiritual being as you do your physical body? Does your soul need a good workout? I know my own faith sure could benefit from some endurance training, the occasional sprint, and maybe even lose a couple extra pounds of baggage I've been carrying around. If I'm in better shape spiritually, perhaps I'll have the clarity and strength to pull the plank out of my own eye, and then lend a helping hand to a brother. What is your spiritual training commitment this week?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the master coach. Help me listen to you and follow you with the same dedication and commitment that I give my physical training. Help me to teach healthy spiritual habits to my children, as well as physical ones. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Thomas, pray for me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mary.

Lectionary: 636
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The birth of every child is a wondrous beginning. Did Mary's parents have any idea that their child would grow to be the mother of our Lord? If they did, would they have loved her any more?
One more thing: Church tradition says that Mary was an answer to prayer for her barren parents. How many of us have prayed for our lives to be blessed by a child? Mary was indeed a blessing not only to her parents, but to all of mankind. On this day of celebration of Mary's birth, try to remember the longing you had for your own child. Let us never forget that despite the demands they place on us moms, each child is a blessing with a wondrous beginning as each day unfolds.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for sending Mary to be the mother of my Lord. Help me to always remember what a blessing my children are to me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Mary, my heavenly mother, pray for me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Putting faith into practice.

Lectionary: 438

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Frederick Ozanam

It's interesting that today's saint was a lawyer, teacher, husband and father. When Blessed Frederick was in law school in Paris, he formed a discussion society with people of other faiths. One member challenged him, "What do you do besides talk to prove the faith you claim is in you?" Ouch! Frederick immediately put his faith into action and formed the St. Vincent de Paul society to help the poor.
One more thing: In today's first readying, St. Paul asks us the same question. Is our faith all talk? Do I profess yet deny by my actions? How does my Christian faith show itself to others? What about if the 'others' you see all day are your children, the grocery store clerk, the mailman, the preschool teacher? How can I put my faith into action in my daily life? Feel free to leave ideas about your daily faith practice in the comment section!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your divine justice and your infinite mercy. Help me to show my faith in you in the way I interact with my children and those around me each day. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Blessed Frederick, pray for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day.

Dear Friends,

I am enjoying the day with my family. I pray that you too are having a wonderful holiday! As always, the readings for today can be found at the USCCB site.

Have a blessed day,

Catholic Mama

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Great love.

Lectionary: 129
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Mother Teresa
One more thing: Jesus seems to tell us today that we must turn our back on the very people he tells us we must love. It doesn't seem to make sense! I don't think Christ is talking about absolutes in today's gospel, but about priorities. Where are my priorities? Do I let people or things get in the way of living the gospel? Mother Teresa lived the gospel through her love of people, but only because her love for God came first. Her work was exhausting, yet she didn't let her love falter when she became tired. 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your everlasting love. Help me to imitate that love to my children, especially when I am tired. In your name I pray, Amen. Mother Teresa, pray for me. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Living well.

Lectionary: 436
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Rose of Viterbo

 "I die with joy, for I desire to be united to my God. Live so as not to fear death. For those who live well in the world, death is not frightening, but sweet and precious." St. Rose of Viterbo
One more thing: St. Paul again reminds me today how to live well in the world. He also gives me an important parenting tip. He admonishes his readers as beloved children, avoiding shame. I have to be careful that my correction toward my children is always tempered with love. Sometimes I can be so upset with them that I want to see them hang their head so I know they got the message. However, that's not how Christ treats me. 
Prayer: Lord Jesus,thank you for showing me how to live and how to parent. Help me to live well in the world, following your example. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Rose, pray for me. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Wine.

Lectionary: 435
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Gregory the Great, Pope

"Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions, but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself. To renounce what one has is a minor thing; but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot" (St. Gregory,Homilies on the Gospels).
One more thing: Renouncing self and changing is exactly what Jesus is asking me to do in the gospel. What needs to be changed? For me, I need more grace under pressure. When things heat up around here during the evening, I tend to lose my cool. I revert to old familiar habits when we are running late for sports and lessons, kids are hungry, dinner isn't ready, and hubby is working late. Even when I'm stressed, I must follow the Psalm and "Trust in the Lord and do good." 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the opportunity to change. Help me to focus on new behaviors when old stressors start to pull on me. Help me to commit to you all my actions. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Gregory, pray for me. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A fish story.

Lectionary: 434
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed John Francis Burte and Companions

"God catches the wise in their own ruses."
St. Paul warns me in today's first reading not to get too big for my britches. Even the wise are limited by their humanity. We see things that started off with good intentions go the way of most human endeavors in the French revolution. With a battle cry of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" came a foolish desire to rid society of all things of God. Blessed John Francis and his companions (more than 200 people in religious communities) were martyred during the revolution when they would not take an oath denying their faith.
One more thing: Blessed John and his companions gave up everything on earth for God. Today's gospel finds Simon, James and John doing the same thing. At the moment they catch the biggest catch of their careers (and bragging rights to the world's greatest fish story), they walk away and follow Jesus. I try to keep that in mind in those moments when I feel at the top of my game. Those rare occasions when it all comes together ( hot dinner on the table, homework done, hubby home on time, happy toddler ) are when I need to turn to Christ and make sure I'm still following him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for those moments when I shine for you. Keep me humble in my endeavors, always with a heart of service. I ask this in your precious name, Amen. Blessed John Francis, pray for me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Lectionary: 433
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Giles

"...they interceded with him about her." Jesus surely knew that Simon's mother was sick. However, the apostles still interceded on her behalf and Christ healed her. Their example shows me that I should always pray for others, especially my children.
One more thing: The first reading reminds me that I am God's co-worker. Although he causes the growth to happen, he needs me to feed and water the budding faith in my children. One way we do that is through prayer. While I need to pray for my children, I also need to pray with them, showing them when and how to pray. My family does a short, age-appropriate devotional every night at dinner. At our evening prayers we pray for special intentions. We always include a prayer before meals. How do you incorporate prayer into your family's life? Feel free to share ideas in the comment section.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the opportunity to share in the work of your field within my home with my children! I pray for the well being of my children and for you to continue to grow their faith in you. Help me to keep prayer a priority in my life and with my family. I ask all in Jesus' name, Amen. St. Giles, pray for me.