September 5, 2011

Basium Pro Jesu (A Kiss for Jesus)

"Look-look-look!" I whispered fiercely to my toddler as he struggled up on tiptoes on the kneeler to see Father holding up the host during the consecration at Mass today.

"Look!  See?  See that little circle?  That's Jesus!  Father's holding up Jesus!"  And then I whispered in my son's ear, "We love you, Jesus!" and surreptiously blew Jesus a kiss across the church, a gesture my son generously bestows on everyone he loves.  Eagerly, he mimicked me.

Then my little daughter blew the moment right out of the water.  "Mom!" she breathed urgently.  "I have to go potty!"

Young-daughter and toddler-son in tow, we crept quickly to bathroom, where an intercom system enabled us to continue to listen to Mass.  My son froze, eyes wide, fascinated.

"Who dat!?" he gasped.  Then inspiration lit his face.  "Dat Jesus!  We love you, Jesus!" he screeched as he happily blew a kiss to the wind.

Oh, from the proverbial precious mouths of babes!  Thank you, Lord, for this moment of unabashed loving joy!

"You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet." (Luke 7:45)

September 1, 2011

Ora Pro Mater (A Prayer for Mothers)

Summer has been luxurious, like a cat's long, languorous stretch in a warm sunbeam.

Alas, however, I am the mother of six Lilliputians, all but one in single digit ages and several still in diapers.  Now, as we begin the homeschool year, I find myself feeling that initial shock of jumping into a cool pool and feeling the water close over my head.  With that last quick intake of breath, and before the panic of lack of air sets in, I push upward immediately through the chilly depths toward air and light, gasping deeply like a landed fish when my head breaks the surface.  And I realize I will survive homeschooling!

It is both a challenge and a privilege to homeschool one's children, and I remind myself often of that on good days and bad. Toward that end, I'd love to share with you a prayer, which I partially composed and keep visible on my teacher desk.  I hope it brings you inspiration, solace, courage, and joy....especially on days when you'd rather be throwing a vase at the wall!

"Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation and its many responsibilities.  Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience." (1)  As I respond to my children's repeated needs just one more time, fill the depths of my heart with Your Loving Concern and instill on my tongue the Wisdom of Your Words.  Transform my tiredness, frustration, and anger into Your Joy, Compassion, and Love.

Sweetest Lord, "I want to do what you ask of me, in the way you ask, for as long as you ask, because you ask it." (2)  Help me believe I can do what you ask me to do.  Forgive me for the times when I fail.  Strengthen me to rise and reach for Your Hand when I fall.  Give me joy in attending to my Little Ones.  As I embrace each of them, graciously infuse my anxious soul with the same quiet, peace, and surety of Your Holy Mother's Loving Embrace.

Sweetest Lord, let my feeble limitations as a parent dissipate and be swept away by your Almighty strength.  Grant me the grace to live a long life of loving fidelity and generous surrender to You, through the gentle care of my children.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I Place My Trust in You!


1 - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
2 - Pope Clement XI

"....never tire of doing what is right." (2 Thessalonians 3:13 )
"Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart." (2 Corinthians 4:1)