Looking for a Job? Try the St. Joseph Novena!

st-josephOne of my writers at Canticle, Carol Paur, sent me this link to a St. Joseph novena (a 30-day prayer that you offer for a specific intention, through the intercession of a particular saint). St. Joseph’s feast day is March 19, so if you want to do this one, you better get started!

Like every rote devotional practice, the key to this kind of prayerful intercession is placing yourself securely in the hands of the Lord, and offering him your intention without dictating the terms. These kinds of spiritual exercises are not the “gumball machine” variety — put in a prayer, get what you ask for. Rather, they are a humble acknowledgment of our child-like dependence on God, as well as how much we need our older brothers and sisters in faith to look out for us.

I find these kinds of prayers give me a valuable perspective. Alone in our prayer closet, the temptation can be to become so self-absorbed and petty. Litanies like these remind us of just how BIG the family of God is, how deep and how all-encompassing. Seen in that light, whether or not we get a job we can trust that God WILL provide.

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Sitting with Jesus … A Way to Peace

My friend Sarah posted “Our Lady of Medjugorje”  (mostly about Eucharistic Adoration) at “Today’s Catholic Woman”/CE.

“What do you do for a whole hour?” she wondered as she went to her first EA appointment, in the wee hours of the morning. Armed with books and rosary, she went to sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament … and found  the peace of Christ waiting for her.

As mothers we often forget to find the peace we need in order to pass it on to our children (who need to get it from us). Sarah’s is a timely reminder of that important fact. “Peace I give to you … not as the world gives, give I to you,” Jesus told His followers. “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

You don’t have to be Catholic to long for a tangible reminder of His presence in your life. If you’re in need of a little peace today, why not go and sit in Jesus’ presence for a while? Take the kids with …. Jesus loves the children!

Pray on Autism Sunday!

CatholicMom.com just posted my column about Autism Sunday, a reflection on “I Am Sam.”  Check it out!

prayerToday is the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in the UK. Let’s join our prayers together!

Pope Benedict XVI wrote to the co-founders of Autism Sunday, Ivan and Charika Corea, invoking his apostolic blessing on the autism community. For more information, click here.

Lord, today we remember families touched by these chronic illnesses.

In their isolation, may they experience Your presence.

In their frustration, may they know Your peace.

In their sorrow, may they feel Your joy.

Calm their anger with Your infinite love.

Together with our brothers and sisters all over the world, we thank you for those you have entrusted to us, for as long as they are with us. Teach us to measure each other not by our challenges, but by our blessings.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

CWCO 2009: Prayer to the Holy Spirit

candlethlHoly Spirit, font of light,

focus of God’s glory bright

Shed on us a shining ray…


Father of the fatherless,

Giver of gifts limitless,

come and touch our hearts today…


Source of strength and sure relief,

Comforter in time of grief,

enter in and be our guest.


On our journey, grant us aid –

freshening breeze and cooling shade,

in our labors, inward rest…


Enter each aspiring heart,

occupy its inmost part

with your dazzling purity…


All that gives to us our worth,

all that benefits the earth

you bring to maturity…


With your soft, refreshing rains

break our draughts, remove our stains,

bind up all our injuries…


Shake with rushing wind our will,

melt with fire our icy chill,

bring to light our perjuries….


As your promise we believe,

make us ready to receive

gifts from your unbounded store…


Grant enabling energy,

courage in adversity,

joys that last forevermore.


In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Marriage and the Single Mom: Now @ Mommy Monsters!

peek-babyCome on over to “Mommy Monsters” for an article I posted there today: “Marriage and the Single Mom: Some Thoughts.”

Today I’d like to offer a prayer for single moms everywhere … Those who are raising children on their own, temporarily or permanently. Military moms. Adoptive and foster moms. Divorced and separated moms. Never-married mothers who are doing their best, one day at a time.

I’d especially like to request prayers for my sister, Jennifer, who is divorcing her husband. Pray that God will provide for her needs, and the needs of her children. You might toss up a prayer for Jerry, too … Frankly, I have a hard time doing that without feeling like a total hypocrite, but you don’t know the twit, so you feel free. (Throw in one for me, too.)

Heavenly Father, bless single parents everywhere.
Those who are content, and those who are scared.
Those who are struggling, and those who feel secure.
Those who need a tangible, practical reminder
That you love them, and have called them
To imitate You in selfless, boundless love,
And to lead their children to heaven,
one prayer at a time.

Mary, Queen of Saints, pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron of families, pray for us.
St. Jude, patron of the hopeless, pray for us.

Spiritual Fitness: Setting the Pace

Today, the feast day of my favorite saint Teresa of Avila, I got a letter from Joanna Davis, a grad student and SPO missionary from my church. Joanna is living and working with a group of college students to help them grow strong in the faith. Although she is not married and has no children, in a sense she too is an “Extraordinary Mom,” for she is using her spiritual gifts to raise up spiritual children.

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Taking the Hooligans to Mass: Guest Post by Sarah (a.k.a. “MightyMom”)

In lieu of an actual Carnival this month, I’d like to introduce you to Sarah, a.k.a. “MightyMom,” who blogs over at “My Wonderful Life.” A mom with three children, two with special needs, she never seems to lose her perspective … or sense of humor. Enjoy!

It’s quite the adventure.  Let me tell you about it.  But first, a few introductions. 

I’m MightyMom, a Pediatric Nurse, a teething ring, a wife, a jungle gym, a mother, a burro, and I was a lifelong Methodist until 3 months ago when I discovered that the Methodist church is actively pro-choice on a national level.  Since then I have taken the kids to Catholic Mass with Subvet (my other half).  I am anxiously awaiting the beginning of RCIA classes Sept 16th.  My kids are Sonshine (almost 5), Gator-boy (3 1/2) and Sugars (18 months).  All 3 of them have developmental delays.  Speech, socialization, physical, sensory integration (kinda like mild autism).

Our church is one great big echo chamber.  I’m telling you, the squeaking of my shoes echoes in there!  And I ain’t joking when I say BIG.  There are always 1,000+ worshipers at the 10AM Sunday Mass, with average weekend attendance totaling around 3,000.  Due to sleep schedules (I work nights and the kids nap) we go to the 10AM Mass … the one where if you don’t get there early enough, you’re gonna be standing in the aisles. 

We always make sure to get there early … we need to be up close so the kids can see what’s happening.  This helps them stay focused and attentive (more or less).  So all in all we get to church about 30 minutes early.  Which is just about the time that the Family Rosary starts up.

Now, I spent 3 months trying to teach Sonshine to speak when he was almost 2 and only had 4 words.  And each time we go to Mass, I remind myself every 6.7 seconds – from the opening of the church doors until we pull back into our driveway – of those three months of prayer and struggle.

So, would you like to join us on a trip to Mass??  Continue reading

School Daze… a Prayer for Parents

School starts next week.

The beginning of the school year is always a little nerve-wracking at our house. Will Sarah cooperate in her new learning environment? Will Christopher be able to concentrate and work independently?

A few questions nag at me as well. Will I “fit in” with the other parents? Can I find something to do that will be truly useful to the teacher without throwing out my back or spending more time at the school than my children do?  Will one or both kids wind up in a “peanut-free” zone and force me to find 52 ways to fill a lunchbox without resorting to peanut butter?

Of course I can. I think I can … Well, let’s hope so. Continue reading