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, January 31, 2012

Wild child.

Today's readings.

St. John Bosco

David is fleeing from his son Absalom in the first reading. Absalom has an unfortunate event befall him on his way to capture David and one of David's soldiers kills him. Upon hearing the news, David mourns and his soldiers are perplexed.
One more thing: Do I stop loving my child just because he is bad or rebellious? Of course not. Neither did David and neither does God. Sometimes I feel like one of David's soldiers, incredulous that God should love me after my sinfulness. However, he is Abba, my almighty, merciful father.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your abundant and unfailing love, even when I turn against you. Help me to always show the same merciful love to my children as you do to me. In the name of your precious son, our Lord Jesus, Amen. St. John Bosco, pray for me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Family warfare.

Today's readings.

St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti

Fighting happens in the best of families. Look at King David. His children fought. Absalom murdered his half brother who raped his sister. Now Absalom is coming after David. David allows the jeering from the passerby along the road because he knows his own wrong doing has brought this trouble upon his house. The sins of our fathers  generations before us sometimes have consequences in our own families.
One more thing:  I'm sure the man possessed by demons had many family conflicts. That family must have felt exhaustion, shame, embarrassment, maybe even financial hardship from trying to care for this man. Once Jesus heals him he doesn't let him follow with the other disciples. He tells him to go back to his family and tell them all that the Lord in pity has done for him. When the fighting starts in my family, I try not to run around like a crazy person, but rather come to Christ for healing. Once he calms my spirit, I can come back to my family and tell them all the Lord has done for us.
Prayer: Father in heaven, you know our flaws and our selfish desires that cause us to fight with the ones we love the most, our family. Be present in my family today and every day. Heal all discord and contempt and help my family interact with one another in love. Heal all generational hurts and protect the generations to come from further conflict. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Hyacintha, pray for me.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reflection on the week's readings.

This week Christ has given me plenty of opportunities to put my faith into practice. My child has been singled out in school by some other children and as a mom, it hurts to watch your child go through painful times. Christ has taught me in the readings this week to rejoice in this situation so I've turned it around with my daughter. We are calling it friendship academy and we are thanking God for giving us this situation to learn from. I know when she graduates from this school of hard knocks, she will be able to recognize a true friend and sister in Christ from across the room. In the meantime, I'm supporting her with prayer and claiming victory in Christ over this situation. Truth be told, though, I couldn't have gotten through the week without the support of my friends in faith and I'm so thankful to God for giving me these 'sisters in the struggle'. He never sends us out alone and a hug and a kind word have gone far toward strengthening me and supporting my resolve. Really, though, isn't this all part of God's wonderful and messy family tree? When I step back and observe from that perspective, it makes the moment less painful. We are a bigger than these situations that get under our skin. We are the Kingdom of God, right here, right now, slugging it out, swinging from branch to branch, and helping each on our journey toward heaven.
Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Family trees.

St. Angela Merici

Boy did David goof up. He was God's favored one and he let his earthly desires get the best of him. One bad decision led to another and then another. And the story gets worse! Real Housewives has nothing on the House of David!
One more thing: The Kingdom of God is like a mustard tree, big, strong, with many branches. You could say its God's family tree. And like David's, family trees get tangled and gnarled sometimes. Family can be complicated, something David finds out about as the book of Samuel continues. So I try to be merciful like our heavenly Father, in regards to both my brothers and sisters in Christ and the brothers and sisters that live under my roof.
Prayer: Oh Lord, thank you for your infinite mercy when I sin against you. Help me to show that same mercy to my little ones when they make mistakes. Bless all families today as they struggle to live a life according to your Word. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Angela Merici, pray for me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2:1 Conference

Dear Friends,
I'm writing this extra post to ask for prayers as I consider attending the 2:1 Conference for bloggers. On this feast of St. Titus, I find it fitting to petition him specifically for intercession regarding this. The title of the conference is based on Titus 2:1

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

My fervent prayer is that I might lead other mothers to a closer relationship with Christ, with what is in accord with sound doctrine. I've been praying about whether God wants me to expand this blog and this conference would teach me the tools to do that. For instance, I didn't know how to insert the link button into this post, a pretty basic thing I'm told. So I need to get my computer skills a bit more up to date if God wants this to reach a larger audience. I also need to learn how to organize my time and resources. While there are many wonderful conferences out there, this one is a Christian one and also has a track for homeschooling moms. Moms are moms, no matter how our children are educated, so I would be among my target audience too! So sisters and friends in faith, please utter a little prayer for me for guidance about this conference. Of course, winning the entrance ticket giveaway from Angie at The Homeschool Classroom would be a pretty big sign, right? 

Friends in faith.

Today's readings.

St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops

Today the church honors saints Timothy and Titus. These two men were members of the early church and had a deep friendship with St. Paul. So much so, that his letters to them are included in the bible. I'm sure they shared laughs and worries like all friends do, but most importantly, they shared their faith. It is evident in the letters that they strengthened, encouraged, and challenged one another in their faith.
One more thing: In the optional gospel today, Christ sends out the disciples with nothing but the sandals on their feet and the clothes on their backs. Well, not quite. He sent them with a friend. Christ knew the importance of community and friends in faith. Last night I hosted my bible study with some new friends. No, we don't meet for coffee or  have regular lunches, but we are friends in faith. Each of them shared and encouraged me as I grow closer to living my vocation of motherhood as Christ intended. Do you have friends that help you be a better mom and daughter of God? Tell me about them in the comment section! If you don't then start looking for a few like-minded women at church or your community. All moms need a few sisters-in-Christ to help us along!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the friends in faith that you have brought to my life. I ask you blessing upon us all as we live out our vocation of motherhood, together! In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Timothy and St. Titus, pray for me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Today's Readings.

The Conversion of St. Paul

I can certainly identify with St. Paul. Paul went along thinking he was in the right by persecuting Christians. It took a major blow from the Lord to wake him up to the error of his ways. I often feel like Christ puts blinders on me when I'm getting off track. He humbles me so that I must reach out to him to lead me, just as Paul had to be led to a new way of life, a life in Christ.
One more thing: Jesus tells me today to go out and proclaim the Gospel. Conversion isn't something to be held on to in secret. Conversion is something I need to shout from the roof tops and actively live so that others see it in me. Conversion is a call to be Christ to others, especially my children, and Christ gives me the strength and the grace to fulfill this mission.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of your salvation. Help me always reach out to you to lead me in spreading the good news, especially to the little lives you've entrusted to me! In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Paul, pray for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mama Monkey

Today's readings.

St. Francis de Sales

"I have been slighted and I get cross: peacocks and monkeys do as much; I have been slighted and I rejoice: that is what the Apostles did. So to live according to the spirit is to do what faith, hope and charity teach us to do, whether in things temporal or things spiritual."
St. Francis de Sales
One more thing: Oh yea, that's me. Mama monkey. I've been hopping around hooting and hollering about something that happened to my child and I let it get under my skin. Thanks to the words of St. Francis, I am now rejoicing as David did for the presence of the Lord in my life and in this situation. I'm rejoicing for the incredible wisdom and kindnesses that have been uttered by friends turning up in unexpected places. I'm bringing Christ right into the very center of my worries, building a tent for him in my heart and rejoicing that He calls me sister.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I rejoice that you came into the world to be my savior and king. I rejoice that you died for me. I thank you for your presence in all areas of my life, temporal and spiritual. Thank you for the kindness of friends, and the wisdom of the saints. In your name I pray, Amen. St. Francis de Sales, pray for me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

King and conqueror.

Today's readngs.

St. Vincent

Today we are told of David's rise to power and his reign as king. He conquers all who were in his way and unites the Israelites. David grew more powerful because the Lord of Hosts was with him.
One more thing: Jesus conquers Satan and he makes no bones about telling the scribes who is in charge of this world. Do I really believe that 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'? Do I have the faith of David? Do I claim victory over all adversity in the name of Christ who conquered sin and death? This past week was challenging and I found myself cowering to my life's circumstances. Instead, I begin today with a renewed faith, the faith of a young boy who throws stones and slays giants. The faith that enabled St. Vincent to endure terrible torture rather than forsake the name of Christ. The faith that my Savior who conquered Satan himself will stand beside me in all challenges big and small.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for claiming victory over sin and death so that I may be with you for eternity. Help me to remember that I am called to the vocation of motherhood by you, just as David was called to be king. And with you I can conquer all the challenges of this vocation: sick children, sleepless nights, worry, teens, toddlers, homework, sibling fighting, and all the other things that discourage me. Give me a faith like David's so that I may live this vocation to the fullest. In your precious name I pray, Amen. St. Vincent, pray for me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Line of succession.

Today's reading.
St. Fabian

The whole world is jockeying to be the top dog. I just had a conversation today with my daughter about what the word popular actually means versus what the reality is of people who claim to be 'popular'. Being 'popular' often means being mean and exclusive. In today's first reading, Saul and David are both of those, trying to be not just popular, but king. God intervenes and brings a spirit of humility and submission to the situation. They both realize that all they desire will happen in God's time but only if they follow God's commands of how to treat each other.
One more thing: Jesus also picks his 'next in line' in today's Gospel. The crown is now traded for a cross,  and we are all called to carry it. St. Fabian unwittingly became pope, literally following in the line of Christ. He shunned the popular events of his day, and died a martyr's death. He exemplified the spirit of submission to God's call and wears a heavenly crown today. Being popular to the world might be tempting, but the lesson for my daughter and myself is to desire to be popular to God.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the liturgical leaders you placed here on earth for me to follow. Bless  the clergy in a special way today and please touch the hearts of your people who are called to a vocation of a life lived for you. Help me to keep my eye on the prize: my heavenly crown, and to shun the temptation to do and say things that make me popular in the world's eyes. In your name I pray, Amen.
St. Fabian, pray for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Going into battle.

Today's reading.
St. Charles of Sezze

David didn't think twice about going into battle against Goliath. For his armor he had the name of the Lord. David declared victory against Goliath from the beginning. I try to make a conscious effort to verbally claim victory over the battles in my life. Some are small (needing a parking lot in the rain) and some are big (a disobedient and prideful heart in a child). Declaring victory in the name of the Lord reminds me that God is my guide through the situation. If I submit myself to his leadership in the situation, the outcome will always be victorious!
One more thing: In today's gospel, Jesus is grieved by the Pharisees and the hardness of their hearts. Again I am reminded to have a heart like young David and indeed like Christ himself: faithful and merciful.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for standing beside me in my daily battles. Give me victory over the giants that enter my life and threaten to keep me from you. Give me a heart like young David, full of faith and mercy. Help me to imitate Christ's mercy and not become too legalistic with my children. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. St. Charles of Sezze, pray for me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Looking at the heart.

St. Anthony, Abbot

"...but the Lord looks into the heart." 
The first reading reminds me that it is what is in my heart that matters. I'm sure Jesse had seven other very fine and capable sons. But something was missing. David had that simple childlike faith that enabled him to slay a giant without hesitation, and be the leader of God's people. 
One more thing: What does God see when he looks into my heart? The commercial hearts are everywhere right now, but I'm going to use them as a cue to remind me and my kids to fill our hearts with genuine love for God and neighbor. Get your family into the valentine's spirit by using a heart jar or chart, placing a heart token or sticker whenever someone in the family shows an act of kindness. When the chart or jar is full, do something together that everyone loves like baking cookies or going on a picnic. 
Prayer: Dear Jesus, give me a heart full of love and mercy. Help me to model that love for my children so that they too want to give their heart to you. In your name I pray. Amen. 
St. Anthony, Abbot, pray for me. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A name above all names.
The Most Holy Name of Jesus

"Behold, the Lamb of God..."
Christmas is a time to get all cozy with baby Jesus in the manger, but I can't forget that the babe is the Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, God Almighty, my Savior!
One more thing: I had to call upon the name of Jesus after a rough start to my day. The name of Jesus is powerful, can dispel demons, heal the sick, and transform me. Today on the feast of His most holy name, I promise to call upon him more often throughout my day - not just during the trying times, but during the joyful, quiet, and mundane ones as well. 
Prayer: Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Morning Star, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Lamb of God, miserere nobis. Amen.