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, December 14, 2010

Actions speak louder.

Lectionary: 188
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. John of the Cross

Don't you just love today's Gospel? Jesus had such insight into human nature and family dynamics. There's the one child who refused the parental request but did it anyway. Then there's the one who gave lip-service and ignored the request. Jesus tells us that our actions speak louder than our words!
One more thing: Jesus gives me a little parenting nugget in today's gospel. In the family dynamic, there is always one child who is a little mouthy. They are the child who verbally pushes back against parental commands and likes to cause a big scene. Jesus gives me insight today to pay closer attention to the behavior than the noise. It may be easier to overlook the lack of obedience in the child who is verbally less challenging. However, that child's heart may be in more danger.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive me when I am all talk. Help me to live out my words in my actions. Give me the wisdom to parent with compassion and grace. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. John of the Cross, pray for me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lighting the way.

Lectionary: 187
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Lucy

Today's feast day is of St. Lucy, a young virgin martyr. She is depicted as the bringer of light, the light of Christ of course, and her feast day happens just before the winter solstice which is the shortest and darkest day of the year. She is the patron saint of eyes because according to legend, she plucked out her eyes when a would-be suitor admired them.
One more thing: I can see why St. Lucy's feast day is of such importance right in the middle of Advent. Before the days of constant light, people spent much of their time before Christmas in darkness. St. Lucy serves to remind us, as John the Baptist does, that Christ is coming and bringing the light that shines through all darkness. I think today we will eat by candlelight to remind myself and the children that Christ is our light.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the light of your Son! Thank you for the enlightenment by the saints as they point us toward Jesus. Help me to share this light with my children, and to let the light of the reason for Christmas shine through the material desires of our culture. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Lucy, pray for me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Counsel of friends.

Lectionary: 186
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Damasus

Blessed are those who were friends with Elijah. Being his friend meant you listened to his prophesy and hearkened to his words. Being his friend meant you changed your ways and turned toward God. Jesus tells us in today's Gospel how important it is to listen to the counsel of friends.
One more thing: Tis the season of good will toward all, but sometimes what I need is a kick in the pants. As a mom who works from home, it's easy for me to isolate myself. I connect to friends via email and facebook, maybe the occasional skype. My friendships consist of snippets and jovial comments. What I really need are friends like Elijah; ones who help me prepare for the coming of Christ. Friends who are willing to tell me when I'm straying from the right path. I resolve in the next week to re-connect with a friend and actually have a face to face conversation about how we both are preparing for the coming of our Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the friends you have given me who help me draw closer to you. Help me to nurture these friendships so that I can recognize your direction for my life through the counsel of my friends. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Damasus, pray for me.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Lectionary: 185
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Adolph Kopling

”Father Kolping once said, “The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possess, even if he does not realize it, is family life.”
One more thing: In today's first reading, Isaiah likens prosperity to having many descendants. Family is what makes a person wealthy, not material goods. How do I have a family that is a blessing to me? "Harken to my commandments." Wow, when I'm frustrated with my family dynamics, this reading reminds me to look at my own behavior. If the kids are fighting and being difficult, am I doing all I can to live as I should? Father Kolping ministered to urban factory workers in the 1800's and one of the things he emphasized was the sanctity of family life. If I follow the Lord in the way I should go, then I will be blessed by my domestic church! 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessing of my family! Help me to follow your commands so that my descendants will never be blotted from your presence. In your name I pray, Amen. Blessed Adolph Kopling, pray for me. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hear ye, hear ye.

Lectionary: 184
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Juan Diego

It always gets my attention when Jesus says, "Whoever has ears ought to hear." It's like when a teacher tells the class, "Write this down, it WILL be on the test." Jesus advises those around him to listen to John the Baptist. John's message is the heralding of a Messiah. He is making the way for the savior.
One more thing: We are waiting during Advent, just like the followers of John the Baptist. In today's gospel we find the savior himself sending us a message of the salvation which is to come. This Advent season has more of a time of waiting and anticipation than any other. A few days ago when we opened our box of Christmas ornaments and decorations, we found 8 inches of water in the box. Everything was wet and covered with mold. All the kids' handmade ornaments, the hand stitched stockings...everything. Now our tree sits practically bare. I rather like it. It gives us a feeling of waiting, of anticipation. Sure, we can buy new ornaments, but I think we will just wait it out this year and spend the holiday making simple things to decorate the tree. One small event has focused our attention on the coming Messiah.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I eagerly await your coming to us as the infant in the manger. Help me to foster this anticipation and eagerness for you in the hearts of my children. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Juan Diego, pray for me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sick day.

Hello friends,
I'm taking a sick day today.
Today is the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is a holy day of obligation, so please do your best to make mass and meditate on the wonderful example of Our Lady as a mother and a daughter of God.
Blessings to you all,
Catholic Mama

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Black sheep.

Lectionary: 182
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Ambrose

Jesus tells us in today's gospel, that finding the lost lamb is a greater gift than the whole herd. That's how much he loves each and every one of us!
One more thing: Seems like the black sheep is always getting the attention. Call them the prodigal son, the squeaky wheel, or the wayward daughter. When they come back to the fold everyone rejoices. As a parent now, I have a better understanding of Jesus' position. Each of my children, at one time or another, have needed greater attention than the others. I often feel bad for spending so much time taking care of one, but when the illness is over or the grades are back up, I do rejoice! Jesus does the same for me when I wander away from him. Whatever it is that distracts me, he gently nudges me back to the Church and angels sing when I am back on the straight and narrow. Advent is a perfect season for reconciliation. If you haven't been in a while, come on back to the herd! Everyone will rejoice to see you!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for shepherding me toward eternal life with you! Help me to find my way back to you when I stray. Help me to lead my children to follow you. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Ambrose, pray for me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Lectionary: 181
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Nicholas

In today's gospel, the determined friends of the paralytic let nothing stand in the way between them and Jesus. I've worked with paralytics and I know that moving them from a bed to a chair is a lot of work. I can only imagine what it took to get him up on that roof.
One more thing: Determination and faith enabled several friends to bust through a crowd and hoist a paralyzed man on to a roof. Do I have that much determination to spend time with Christ? Do I have faith that my time with him will result in my sins being forgiven and being able to walk with freedom again? The things that I let stand in the way of spending time with Jesus are so much smaller than rooftops. I do know that when I spend time in prayer and reading the scripture, I walk with him beside me and I become a better mother. During Advent, I resolve not to let the trappings of the holidays interfere with my time with the Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be with you. Help me to overcome the little obstacles that get in my way each day. Heal me so that I may walk in the light, with you at my side, and mother my children the way you want me to. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Nicholas, pray for me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Helping hands.

Lectionary: 180
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. John Damascene

In the season of Advent we are waiting, much like the Israelites of old. The vision that Isaiah gives of a savior who will heal all our wounds and be our helper is a reality for those of us who know Christ.
One more thing: In today's gospel Jesus gets some help. Sure, he could have saved the world and spread the gospel on his own, but he enlisted the help of others. I've got lots of big jobs coming up this holiday season. I often make the mistake of trying to be super mom and get them all done myself. All I end up doing is getting stressed and not being the mom I know Christ wants me to be. I need to follow Jesus' example and ask for help. I don't have to do it all by myself. Even Jesus got a little help!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the helping hands in my life. Give me the humility to ask for help during the holidays. Let me be open to allowing others, especially my children, to help me. Through my own service to others, let me remember the meaning of this season. In your name I pray, Amen. St. John, pray for me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weathering the storm.

Lectionary: 178
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Blessed Rafal Chylinski

Isaiah tells us today that a nation who keeps the faith will be protected. Jesus tells us further that we must not just hear and recite our faith, but live it!
One more thing: How do I weather the storms? When things get rocky and the wind starts blowing, do I really live out my faith or simply give it lip service? I've been thinking about that lately as I begin the Advent season. Kids are our greatest imitators. I recently heard some things come out of my kid's mouth that I didn't particularly like. What a wake up call to realize they had learned those words from me! When the baby is crying, someone needs a ride to practice, forgot their homework, is hungry, hits their sister, and talks back, I realize my foundation starts to crumble. I don't want to be just a sham. I want to show my children real faith in real life!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to live my life for you, but sometimes my foundation is shaky. Please help me to rely on you during the storms. Send the Holy Spirit to help me remain calm and faithful when things get rocky. In your precious name I pray, Amen. Blessed Rafal Chylinski, pray for me. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Lectionary: 177
Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
St. Eligius

The people in today's gospel followed Jesus for three days, without concern as to where they would eat or spend the night. They were literally like sheep following their shepherd and trusting in his providence.
One more thing: There is a popular acronym: FROG. It stands for Fully Relying On God. Sure, its catchy and clever, but its not as simple as it sounds. I find that my life as a mom is at times very demanding. I don't always rely on God to provide what I need during those times. When I do trust in the Lord to get me through the valleys (usually from 4pm to 6pm), I find peace and usually everything works out just fine. When I don't, everything still usually works out. But, I'm hardly the mom God wants me to be when I'm stressed and on edge.
Prayer: Dear Lord, be my shepherd. Guide me through all the moments in my life. Help me to fully rely on you to show me the way. Bring me the peace that comes from knowing you are taking care of me and my children. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Eligius, pray for me.