Two Good Men

Being now a mom of not only littles, but also teenagers, I’ve been thinking on some things.  Listening to the struggles of peer pressure that surround them, and trying to gently guide them to stand up for their values and encourage virtue, so that one day they can stand on their own, secure in their faith and in the persons God has created them to be…  I am so grateful to have some good solid saints to look toward for guidance.

In the last few days, the Church celebrated two big saints from different centuries… St. Thomas More on June 22, and St. John the Baptist on June 24th.  A day apart… both beheaded… both died defending the dignity and definition of the sacrament of marriage.  I love them both.

I love them because they did not cower.

They did not step down from their beliefs.

They spoke the truth.

And were beheaded for it.

It is very interesting to me to that they were both sought out… each by their own king at the time… that those who killed them actually thought highly of them. They respected them.  They were intrigued by this faith, this deep faith that was rooted in each of them.  These kings went to these saints, knowing how close they were to God, and sought their blessing to do something that was wrong.  They knew what they were asking to do was sinful – but in a way, did they seek out these saints to get their blessings?  Or did they know that they would actually tell it like it is, tell them the truth, reprove them, and guide them to right judgement?

And these saints…. good, strong men, solid in their faith … but even this, were they tempted at all to succumb to the pressure, these men of power, men of influence, men who had the power to destroy not only their reputations, but their very lives? If they just compromised their values, just this once … then they would live, and life could, on the surface, continue on as it had always been.  It may have been possible that they would have been promoted to a greater place of honor by their respected kings.  The “you do me a favor, I’ll do you a favor” mentality.   St. Thomas and St. John were both thrown in jail – they were given time to think it over and reconsider their answers.  They could have wavered.  St. Thomas had a family to take care of; St. John had a crowd of followers who waited on his words.  To give all… was this fight for marriage worth dying for?  Worth losing time on earth to do more good?  Worth losing everything dear to them?

Yes it was.  Choosing Christ who is Truth and Goodness and Love is always worth fighting for.  He is worth dying for.  Whether it is our reputations, our jobs, or our very lives – He is worth it.

I leave you with the words of St. Thomas More.  Before his death, in prison, he wrote to his daughter, Meg, in essence a goodbye letter.  It is very touching.  He closes it with these wise words.  I pray they bring you some hope and encouragement along the way.

“Do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen … in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.” ~ St. Thomas More

Summer Slowing

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Summer is sneaking up upon us.   Maybe because we had winter until May here in MA (at least it seemed that way).  Or perhaps we have just been in the very busy season of spring and baseball and end of the year activities.  I’m never quite ready for summer, never have everything planned, but then I remember – it is summer.  It is time to slow down.

Time for late rising for some, or for others backyard breakfast on the deck in their pjs,

bubbles and water balloons, nights by the fire pit and s’more making,

tilling of the garden and cooking class nights,

new plays to be created in the woods and endless soccer games in the yard,

quiet reading time for big people while little people nap, and not so quiet impromptu dance parties in the kitchen,

fun science projects to try and sewing machines to try out,

new playgrounds to be discovered and beaches to be walked on,

time for little 1 on 1 trips to the chapel & a treat with mom, and music lessons with dad,

tie-dye shirt making and popsicle stick crafting,

new ice cream stands to be found and homemade ice pop recipes to concoct,

sunset watching and firefly catching…

a time to catch our breath,

and catch the beauty of the moment as things slow down a bit.

Let us take that moment to  s l o w  down.  Take that moment to drink in the sun as it sets over the mountain.  There is a place not far from us that has become quickly a favorite place for us.  A little ice cream stand… on the top of a mountain.  It has a little goat pen where the kids can go fed and pet the goats and watch them play, and a simple playground with some ride on cars for the little ones, a sandbox, and things.  Our favorite time to go is a little before sunset.  Everyone gets to pick a different flavor of real, homemade, full-fat ice cream (the best kind, in my opinion).  And we sit together at the picnic table and eat and laugh and it’s one of those moments when everything is right in the world.  And then they all go off and play.. the little ones to the goats and park, and the bigger kids are a little further out throwing the baseball to each other.  And Dan and sit together on a bench, holding hands, watching them all, as the sun sets.  Sometimes we just look at each other and ask if this is actually real life.  It is so peaceful.  We look with joy and wonder at the scene in front of us.  Time stands still for a moment, and we drink in its beauty.  We are grateful for this moment of quiet goodness, and know that God is here.  He slowed us down and plopped us on that bench so He could show us His masterpiece.  The sun is setting just over the next mountain, and the sky is lit up with so many colors;  He has painted this scene so beautifully.  And His other little masterpieces are scattered on the grass, taking a moment to look up at His majestic work, then running back to us to finish the last moments of the sunset together as a family.   Glimpses of heaven.

Not every moment is like that.  There are still tears, and upsets moments, sometimes a lot, as there are a lot of people living under this one roof, each with their own personality, gifts, challenges, and crosses. But, there is also beauty.  And joy.  And goodness.  And taking time, slowing down, letting the gift of the moment come, looking for goodness, allowing our hearts to be filled with joy  – this are the habits of summer that we can practice so that they can become life long habits that we can still maintain to some degree when summer ends and a new season begins.  As we prepare for the Feast of Pentecost, let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts, to let ourselves slow down, and be renewed and refreshed in Him, who is our Joy, our Hope, our Consolation.  Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of Your Love. Amen.

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Here is a little reflection I came across this week on the Holy Spirit.  I found it quite profound.  Hope you enjoy.  🙂

“Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth His grace in full measure sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive Him… As clear transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and source of grace for others.” ~ St. Basil the Great

Feast of the Ascension

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“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:19

“And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.” ~ Acts 1:9

Yesterday in our diocese, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension.  Other dioceses will celebrate it this Sunday.  It is a feast that brings mixed feelings in my heart.  Since we celebrate this feast yearly, and because it is one of the glorious mysteries, I get the chance to ponder this event quite often.  I am torn in two directions as I place myself in my thoughts on that mountain where the Lord met with His apostles for the last time in person.  I picture it to be a beautiful day, the sky full of color.  There is joy, because I know He is going to prepare a place for me, as He said, and joy because He is going to the Father, and that He promised to send the Holy Spirit.  Knowing that He goes to re-unite with Heaven and with the Trinity brings joy to my heart, for I love Him.  True love is willing the good of the other, and I know Him going is for the good.

But there is another element that tugs on my heart, a sadness.  There is still joy, and great hope, but there is sadness.  He is going… away.  We will no longer be walking together, listening to Him as He speaks truth to my heart, looking in His eyes and seeing unfailing Love, for me.  That encouragement He gives me with a passing glance, that piety that changes me when I watch Him pray to the Father, the wisdom that He gentles passes on in His words, that joy that fills my heart when He smiles.  He is leaving.  He is ascending to the Father.  My heart is still attached.  And it aches for His return.

And so He ascends.  How I wish to go with Him!  I don’t want to be apart from Him for even an instance.  But He is taken up on the clouds, and has disappeared from my sight.  My heart filled and emptied, all at once, emptied, and filled.

My sadness fades as I remember His promise.  He will come back for me. 

And He will send the Holy Spirit to provide guidance and love and fortitude to carry out the great mission He gave – “Go and make disciples of all nations”, go and preach the truly Good News, tell everyone of Him, and of His great Love, bring His Love to each person I encounter, let Him shine through me, so that they no longer see me, but Him, and feel the warmth of His pure Love.  And I also remember that He has given me Himself in the Holy Eucharist.  We will never truly be apart.  When I am at Mass and I receive the Holy Eucharist, I am truly receiving Him, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  We are together.  And the more I come to Him, the more He can empty me and fill me.  Empty me of my selfishness, my worries, my pride, my attachments, my sins.  And fill me… with Him, Love Himself – fill my heart to overflowing.  And then that love can be shared with those around me.

These mixed feelings that tug at my heart when I think of the Ascension are also there towards the end of Adoration.  After Benediction and the prayers are said, the priest goes to the monstrance and takes the Eucharist out.  And again, my heart aches as I watch him take my Savior out, holds Him close, and places Him back in the tabernacle.  Oh, how I wish He wouldn’t go.  How I long to be with Him.  And again, the sadness fades as I remember His promise.  He will come back for me.  I can be with Him again, at the next Mass, at the next quiet moment in Adoration.  He will seek Him and He will find me.  And I will rest my heart in His Heart.

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Mari Tere | Shutterstock

Children Are Drawn To Goodness

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Tonight, we had just gotten home from a baseball game – one of those little coach pitch games that are cute and only an hour or so.  Which is exactly long enough because the two littlest ones are so ready for bed by the end.  A two hour game would do us in. We get in the house and put things where they need to go and commence bedtime rituals.  I grab a washcloth out of the drawer and go over to the sink to wet it, baby on the hip, and let the water run.  The warm water takes a while, but it takes just long enough.  Because it gives me a chance to take a look at the face of the sweet child I’m about to wash.   He is drooly, but he is happy.  And, he is looking up.  Way up high – above the tall window over the sink, to a small plaque nailed up almost at the ceiling.  It’s a little something I made Dan for our first Christmas.  On the wood I had painted the words of St. Therese – the name of this blog, a sort of motto of our life, with a photo of a very young St. Therese someone had given me when I did mission work.  It has hung in all our houses, usually in the kitchen, all these years.

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And he is looking up, way up high, at this small picture of St. Therese… smiling at her.  Like a young child who sees his sister from across the room and gets excited and smiles at her – he recognized her.  It was beautiful. I’m grateful for the water needing to run. Such a short, passing moment, but such a special one.  One that can’t be captured on camera, but one that stays in the heart.

To be present to the moment – is such a gift.  It is something I struggle with, as I am pulled in eight different directions, and something I pray for constantly – to be present.  To see the gift of the moment.  To see that everything, everything is from the hands of God, not just the joy-filled moments, but even the many inconveniences of daily life.  To be in this moment, to be present to the person I am with, to truly listen, to see Christ in that person and be present to Him too – this is love.

These moments with our littlest happen often.  He slows me down in my tracks.  I may be going through our bedroom with him on my hip, tidying up or getting him clean clothes out of his drawer, and in my mind, already onto the next thing … and he is drawn to an image. The crucifix, the picture of Mary, the icons of his patron saints.  He looks right at them and smiles.  Now he is getting bigger, and he waves and smiles.  If we stop in front of the Sacred Heart picture, or one of the many crucifixes in our home (we try to have one in every room … almost there), he makes the sound “Jee!”  excitedly with the biggest grin on his little chubby face. I know he knows it is Jesus.  This is how children are.  Children know Goodness.  Children are drawn to Goodness.  They are drawn to God, Goodness Himself.  Before they can even speak, they know.  They know Him.  He has written on their hearts His love for them.  Because of their innocence, they still remember those words – their hearts beat with His.

Jesus said “Let the little children come unto Me, and hinder them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”  Let us learn from the littlest among us how to love Christ, how to be present with Him, for they truly know.  Let us ask with childlike confidence, for Christ to give us the faith and the courage to be little once again, to sit in His Presence and smile at Him, and let Him smile at us.

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Photo by Laura Allen on Unsplash

Ideas for Celebrating Our Lady’s Month

May is the month dedicated to Mary, our Mother.  It is such a perfect month for her, as the trees come into full bloom this month, the birds come out of hiding and sing their morning hymns, and the flowers wake up and greet us with their beauty.  How lovely is our Lady!  Our Mother who loves each of us dearly.  Our Queen who gently guides us to her Son’s Heart.  Our friend who walks beside us through all of life’s hilltops and valleys.

Over the years, we have done some different things to help grow our devotion to our Lady as a family.  I wanted to share some of them with you…. perhaps some of them will work well for your family too.  I hope at least they bring a smile to your day.  🙂

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The Rosary Hanger – Since our family is more on the larger size, we have a lot of rosaries.  The kids have their special ones in their rooms, but we have a boatload of plastic rosaries.  We decided to put up a little rosary holder.  It is a simple key chain holder that you attach to the wall; it probably cost under $3.  But, it keeps the rosaries in one place and untangled.  It also is a visible reminder for us to pray.  And when friends come over, they can pick out their own rosary to pray with us.  I would recommend hanging (with anchors) low enough that your toddler who is rising up in independence can reach them… otherwise you could wind up with a whole in the wall.  🙂 It’s been a great conversation piece, a good little “job” we can give a little one to organize it, and again, a reminder.  Because we are a tangible people.  God made us with our senses – seeing the rosary, going over to pick one out, holding the rosary and moving our fingers along the beads as we pray – it is a very human thing, and a very kid-friendly practice.  When our Lady gave St. Dominic the rosary, I am sure she had little children in mind.

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Crowning of Mary – We have had a variety of crownings of our Mary statues throughout the years.  Children might make their own dandelion crowns for the outdoor statue, or we might weave together one of mini flowers from a craft store, or this year we sang a hymn and placed the actual golden crown on our Lady of Fatima statue after a rosary together.  However it is done, no matter how simple, it has been a beautiful tradition and one that our kids will remember.

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Balloon Rosary – This is more something to do as a Catholic school or parish community, but it is beautiful.  We had some dear sisters who would organize this at one of our schools, and the school children would all gather in the schoolyard to pray the rosary, holding onto many balloons tried together in the shape of the rosary.  At the end, the children would let go and let the balloon rosary float to the heavens…. it was such a joy to be a parent on the sidelines, praying with our school and picturing our Lady smiling down on all those sweet children.

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Plays – Also at a parish we attended, the children prepared and performed a play of Our Lady of Fatima, teaching through drama the story of these three little children who saw our Lady.  Our kiddos got to be a part of it, and so they got a lot out of it. But also, the parish did too.  Children can teach us so much, can’t they?  They can remind us of the goodness of God in their simple way.

Marian Hymns – Music has always been a part of our life together.  And there are so many beautiful songs to our Lady.  So, we make it a point in May to sing some of them.

Marian Prayers – And… there are beautiful prayers to our Lady!  The other night, we gathered for family prayer, and after our other prayers, we went around the room and each person led the rest of us in their favorite Marian prayer.  We had the Hail Mary, the Ave Maris Stella, the Memorare, and others.  It was nice for our kids to lead the family in a prayer, and also to see what prayers really speak to them.

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Marian Celebration – We love to throw a good potluck celebration, tied in with a little prayer and maybe a short catechesis on a part of our faith or the story of a saint.  We call them “Prayer & Potluck.”  Many of our potlucks have included a decade of the rosary, or a crowning, or a little talk on our Lady.  Potlucks are the best!  Easier on the host, and makes the people who come feel like they helped with the party…. because what fun would a party be without food?  Everyone comes and brings something to eat… and everyone eats well.  There is such variety in the food, and people are happy to share what they have or try a new recipe.  It is also a great way to invite a bunch of people from different groups in your life to come together to pray and have fellowship.  Maybe because you hosted a “Prayer and Potluck” in your home two people met and became good friends, or something said that day encourages someone to go deeper in their faith, or someone who has been feeling quite alone finally felt like they were part of a community…  finding others who also are walking the faith journey and knowing they are not alone.  The building up of the Kingdom of God.  That’s what it’s all about.

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Moon Bounce – And last but not least – why not celebrate our Lady’s special day with a moon bounce?  One year we had a gift certificate from a school auction for a moon bounce rental.  And so we thought how great it would be to use it to add to the celebration of Our Lady of Fatima day on May 13th on the 100th anniversary of our Lady appearing to the shepherd children!   So, we decided to go all out.  We invited a ton of people and did everything – an outdoor rosary, a May crowning, most likely a Marian hymn, a big potluck…. AND a moon bounce.  It was a perfect weather kind of day, and so many people came.  We prayed, we ate, we laughed, and all the kids who came went home happy and exhausted from all the bouncing… and hopefully slept in the next day for their parents.  It was a fun way to celebrate.  We won’t always be able to go all out on a moon bounce – but a 100th anniversary comes once in a lifetime, right?  And it’s so important to have balance in this Catholic life.  There must be joy!

Happy Thursday, y’all!

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Casting Our Nets

fishermancastingnetstthomas.png (Fisherman Casting Net by photographer, Don Hebert)

This past Sunday’s gospel reading was so beautiful, wasn’t it?  I have shared it under this post in case you’d like to re-read.  There is so much in that one reading to soak in and ponder… here is just a little something about nets I’ve been thinking on.

Peter, a fisherman at heart, may feel a little lost.  All he had known for the past 3 years, had abruptly come to an end.  This Jesus, who he had followed unreservedly, had left behind family, work, and everything else… This Jesus who raised the dead to life, who multiplied a few loaves of bread to feed thousands, who made the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear… This Jesus who taught him Truth, who sought Goodness, who showed him Beauty… this Jesus who wept at Lazarus’ death, who taught him how to preach to the multitudes and take rest in the quiet of a hillside… This Jesus who calmed the storm, who walked on water, who reached out and grabbed his hand when he started to lose faith … This Jesus, who had changed him, formed him, taught him, broke down his walls, re-shaped his heart, and taught him how to love and be loved… this Jesus, who changed the bread into His own Flesh, and the wine into His own Blood, who taught him to continue this on, in His memory, in the Mass… this Jesus who made him a priest, a priest to serve His people, a priest to tend His flock, a priest to bring Christ to all through the sacraments, a priest who became pope to guide the Church, to be the vicar of Christ… This Jesus suffered and died.  His God, his Savior, His All, was hung on a tree and died.  He died.  For all of us.  For Peter.

And then, He rose.  He rose from the dead.  Imagine Peter… imagine being told by the women that the tomb was empty, and running with John to the tomb, out of breath, reaching the entrance, seeing the empty tomb, and the linens tossed to the side.  What to do?  And then he hid in the upper room with the disciples.  And Jesus appears in that upper room and says “Peace be with you.”  And that peace comes and rests on his heart.  And when Jesus leaves Peter’s presence that day, the peace still lingers.  He knows his God lives.  He may not understand all, but he knows deep in his soul that his Savior truly has risen.  And yet, what happens next?  What is Peter to do?

And so, Peter decides to go fishing.  That is what he knows.  He knows how to fish.  Maybe just being out on the boat and casting those nets brings his heart a little peace with all this unknown.  Letting the sun chase away some of the confusion and the breeze off the water push the questions out of his head so he can clear his mind a little.  “I am going fishing.”  And what do the other disciples do?  Well, they go too.  They follow their shepherd.  All night long – they caught nothing.  Nothing.  They would cast those nets out, far and wide, on different sides of the boat, all night long, and each time they would pull those nets back up – empty.

Are we like Peter?  Can we put ourselves into his shoes, even just in some small way?  How many times have we cast our nets?  And have hauled them in empty?  How many times have we given our all and seen no fruit in return?  How many times have we tried to give our whole heart to Christ, and have not felt His love and consolation?  How many times have we asked God for something, maybe something very important, perhaps something that just by asking makes us feel extremely vulnerable, and there is utter silence?  No answer.  Not even a whisper.  Maybe we are in the boat with Peter more times than we know.

And then, Jesus is there.  Standing on the shore.  Peter doesn’t recognize Him.  This Man on the shore calls out to him telling him where to cast his net.  Perhaps a thought crosses Peter’s mind, “But I just cast the net on the right side a bit ago.  I’ve been casting all night.  There are no fish.”  But still, Peter, in an act of humility and with an ounce left of hope, casts the net.

And what a catch!  The net was full and overflowing with fish.  One miracle.  And the net didn’t break.  Another miracle.  John knows, and he tells Peter who the Man is on the shore.  It is the Lord! Peter’s joy at that moment… the swelling of his heart… it could burst.  He doesn’t wait to haul in the boat and fish, but jumps in the water and swims to shore, to see his Lord.  Then Jesus needs fish for the fire… so Peter is back in the water again, hauling that huge net in excitement.  Peter is in Jesus’ presence again.  His heart is at peace.  He is home, for Christ’s heart is his home.  The gospel goes on to tell of their exchange … and that is another post for another day…. it is so beautiful.

There are times in our lives of empty nets.  Sometimes we cast our nets, and don’t ask Jesus for His help… and so we can come up empty.  Maybe our intentions are not as genuine as they can be and selfless, but perhaps a bit self-seeking, and the net comes back empty.  Sometimes, we cast our nets, trusting, and waiting.  And we have to wait until it’s time.  God knows the perfect time.  In the meantime, we keep casting our net.  We keep asking for that prayer intention to be answered.  We keep doing the work, and waiting for grace.  Praying for strength to keep asking, to keep casting, to keep waiting.

When it IS that time, His grace will be so abundant; it will be overflowing.  And our hearts will overflow, and bend and stretch, but will not break.  He will always supply the strength for the nets, and the fish to fill them.  May He fill our hearts to overflowing, and may He grant us patience and fortitude while we wait on the boat, casting our nets, time and time again.

083(T & T many years ago at the dock in Old Town Alexandria, VA)

John 21:1-19

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Jesus said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Call Upon Mary

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(Being able to capture this moment was such a gift.  She was just looking at Our Lady… and our Lady was looking at her.  Little ones know deeply in their heart the presence of God and His Mother, His Saints, and His angels.  Of this I am certain.)

 

Alleluia! Alleluia!  He is risen!  Truly He is risen!  Alleluia!

It is a cloudy, dreary day here … again.  I never remember New England to be this gray for this long.  Today at naptime, little C requested one of my favorite books to be read, SNOW, by Uri Shelevitz.  An odd choice for spring, but as I opened to the first page, it does in fact remind me of this current spring day:

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But, yes, it is May, and spring will indeed come.  And no matter how gray it is, it is still Easter!  (hence the first line of this post… I am trying to remind myself).  🙂

May is a month dedicated to our Lady.  Mary is truly our Mother.  At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave her to us: “Behold your Mother.”  How blessed we are.  Our kiddos remind me that I am their mother on Earth, but Mary is our “Mother Mother.”  Gotta love children – they tell us like it is.  “You’re the best mom in the world!  But, Mary is the best Mom on Earth AND in Heaven!”  I am more than happy to play second fiddle to our Lady.  She is the best.

I love our Lady more than words can ever express.  There is so much I can write about her.  She has been there for me in joy and in sorrow. She has held my hand and has let me rest on her heart.  In difficult moments, I pray a prayer I  learned from a dear friend in high school: “Mary, Mother of my Lord, be a Mother to me now.”  I cannot begin to tell you how much that simple prayer has helped me.

But tonight, I leave you with a prayer from St. Bernard.  My husband worked at a school named after him, and I wanted to learn more about Saint Bernard, as I love learning more about our saints.  I came across these words of his, and I fell in love with them.  I printed them out and have placed them on my wall as a reminder.  May they be a source of comfort and hope to you.  And may our Lady wrap you in her mantle of love.

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