Maria Lactans

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans (wikimedia commons)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Have you ever had the distinct feeling that the Mass readings and homily are directed at you personally? I felt that way this past Sunday.

The Gospel was the story of the Annunciation. Mary was not expecting to become the Mother of God but said, "Let it be done to me according to Your Word." I know I need God's help sometimes to say "yes" to His plan for my life. Even many months after my life several unexpected turns, I still have trouble following Mary's example.

At my church, the homily and prayers of intercession focused on trusting God when we are afraid. I am sure Mary felt afraid of being unmarried and pregnant, traveling to Bethlehem so close to Jesus' expected birth, and then not being able to find a place for the night except for a stable. I feel afraid that I will not have enough strength to do what I need to do in so many areas of my life.

I believe God sends us people, resources, and inspirations if we ask Him for help. Yesterday's Mass, several random inspirational thoughts, a few books and Christian internet sites, and some local resources being offered this week in my town have given me renewed trust in God's loving arms, holding me, as I try to do His will.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Catholic Motherhood

Isaiah 40: 11 (NRSV Catholic Edition) says: " He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep."

This verse from today's first reading brings to my mind how a mother holds her baby in her arms to nurse. Even after the child has weaned, the mother still gathers her little lamb or lambs into her arms for snuggling, kissing boo-boos, and reading a book.

God is also there to gently mother us. On some days I feel like I need more mothering than my children do. We, as mothers, strive to be gentle with our children but we also need to be gentle with ourselves on those tough days. Give all your burdens to Jesus and He will give you rest. He will carry you in His bosom - just talk to Him about whatever is bothering you. He loves to "gently lead the mother sheep."