Category Archives: Motherhood

To Be Surprised by Children 

Sarah, in her old age, chuckles at God’s promise of a child (art by Bethany Vanderputten).

My wife has not yet turned 50, but she is well on the way beyond her childbearing years.  As I was praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary this morning during our walk together, I was thinking about how it might be possible for us to still have children, if God wills it, even at this late time in our lives, even given the scientific probability that “it just ain’t gonna happen.”  In fact, I dedicated my Rosary to my wife and to the good health of our child if God so wills it to happen.

Now, when I got back to the house, I saw a reminder on my IPad that I was to be Lector tomorrow morning at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Having forgotten that completely, I immediately found the readings for tomorrow, and imagine my surprise, given my thoughts and prayers, when I saw the first reading.  Here it is:

Reading 1 from 2 KGS 4:8-11, 14-16A:

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her.  Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine.

So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”

Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.

Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”

Elisha said, “Call her.”

When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”

Well, when I read that, it touched me because of 1) the coincidence with my thoughts and prayers, 2) the coincidence that I will read it tomorrow as if a witness to the miracle, and 3) the realization that God was speaking to me through this situation.  He knows how I feel about children.

Now, that stated, I have accepted that I may never have children, and I am okay with it.  This gives me room to live life more for others doing things that regular fathers would not ordinarily do perhaps.  But, if the Lord wants to bless us with a child, then I will give Him all of the Glory, and very happily.

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Mother Mary’s Thoughts And Presence During the Pentecost

Mary and Apostles as the Holy Spirit descends in tongues of fire

Our Blessed Mother Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and became Theotokos, the Mother of God.  When, after the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,  Mary was there with the Apostles.  

What might she have been thinking?  She must have been 48 years old at the time, when most women are approaching or are already in menopause.  I can imagine…I did imagine when praying the Glorious Mysteries…her excitement at the thought that upon the overshadowing again of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that she might conceive once again for God.  Remember the words of Sarah, wife of Abraham after hearing of her future motherhood:

“And she laughed secretly saying: ‘After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?'”  [Genesis 18:12, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

In contrast, what was Mother Mary thinking?  Perhaps she thought as she did upon visiting Spirit-filled Elizabeth:

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”  [Gospel of Luke, 1:47, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Mother Mary is one with the Holy Spirit

 As the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost must have been a wonderful event for Mother Mary, an event which, perhaps, sealed her future as the spiritual mother of all of God’s children.  Afterall, she did become the future mother of 3,000 on the first day alone.

“They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about 3,000 souls.”  [Acts of the Apostles, 2:41, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

As it was at Pentecost, is how it is today at each celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: at Baptism to give birth to us, at Confirmation to fortify us, and at Eucharist to nurture us for eternal Life.  She is there with the Holy Spirit.  How is this possible?  How can this be?  This is a mystery, but we know that…

“…Mary said: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord'” [Gospel of Luke, 1:46, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Indeed, Mother Mary is one with the Lord, Who is the source of all life.  She and the Holy Spirit are the perfect union, for she magnifies the Lord as co-Source of our new Life in Christ.  This is not a priestly function; it is above the priestly function.  She is co-Advocate and co-Redeemer.  She magnifies our Savior.

Christ Crying in Me

"Please listen to me.  Turn to me that I may give you everlasting life in my heavenly kingdom."

“Please listen to me. Turn to me that I may give you everlasting life in my heavenly kingdom.”

The other day, I considered how God is present amongst us and in us and how so many do not acknowledge Him and do not listen to Him and do not respond to Him.  And, if we dwell on this reality, and keeping in mind the deeply-intense love which the Lord, Jesus Christ has for each and every one of us, and how He knows what will happen to those who, in their free will, do not acknowledge, listen and respond, then we can be that conduit through which He cries when He is in our hearts.

Many might say, “God has no emotion.”  But we all believe and know that the Lord is True God and True Man.  In his glorified humanity, He has emotion.  He can cry in us.  If you let Him cry in you, then you will also let Him laugh and smile in you.  This is true intimacy.

 Remember his love for the children of Jerusalem:  “As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.'”

~ Gospel of Luke, 19:41-42, New American Bible

“Müller: More Women to Join the International Theological Commission.”

Cardinal Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Cardinal Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

There is an evil thread in society whereby some are misled into thinking that the Catholic Church hates women.    Of course, anyone who knows the Church and Her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ knows that the Catholic Church loves women, seeing in women all of the unique beauty that all women have.  Here is an interesting article which came out today which shows Pope Francis’s great affinity for women and their unique role in the Church:

By ANDREA TORNIELLI,  Vatican Insider, Vatican City, 1 September 2014

The Vatican newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano’s” monthly women’s insert interviews the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “We are not misogynists!” he says, revealing that the number of women in the Congregation will go from two to five or six, at the Pope’s request.

See the full article here:  http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/mueller-36063/

Given a Glimpse of the Face of a Child in Heaven

God grants the favor of a glimpse of her face.  She is not an angel, but a human soul who, in heaven, appears as a toddler.

God grants the favor of a glimpse of her face. She is not an angel, but a human soul who, in heaven, appears as a toddler.

In my waking thoughts in the morning, I tend to express gratitude to the Lord for all of His help.  Sometimes I don’t feel like expressing gratitude – when my body is complaining about waking up.  But there are times when my body cooperates quite well with my spirit, and gratitude flows more easily.  This morning, I was also thinking about my dear Great Aunt Bertha who died some years ago but with whom I was very close – she was my God-mother.  In the thinking of her, I was given a spontaneous glimpse of a little girl’s face in a calm and shaded place – a toddler who had a sweet baby face and her hair was all “done up” as if she had been to the hair dresser, just like my Aunt Bertha would do.  I could imagine that this was my Great Aunt Bertha, because she certainly lived the life of a saint, and she had her hair dressed as if this was a clue to me about her identity.  I believe she is there with God and that God wants me to know this.

Childhood Awaits Us in Heaven

Children ad the Feet of Mother Mary

Children at the Feet of Mother Mary

A Trance about Heaven

In the Fall of 2008, I had a trance while sitting at table before the Crucifix in my dining room where I found myself in another place in Springtime playing joyfully with many other children, all of us around the age of 11 or 12.  I was holding hands with a girl who had blue eyes and red hair who was pulling me toward the other children, and my heart and theirs were full of ecstatic joy, a joy which was without blemish or worry, one which was based on complete faith.  We were all smiling and laughing ecstatically  – so very happy – it did not matter why – we just were.

Happy, happy, happy!

Happy, happy, happy!

I think this was Heaven, because it was a feeling which does not seem possible here, except for slight glimpses during early childhood perhaps.  But, it was of God because the Source of this joy was infinite and we felt it to its fullest potential, such that there was no worry or concern, but only love truly in our hearts for each other, such that we desired nothing more, because nothing more could possibly be greater than what we have.

And our Mother Mary is there, and I have imagined her in my prayers before as a loving Mother watching over us, her children, as we play games at her feet, and she smiles and laughs with us, encouraging us with her Motherly kindness.  How can this not be Heaven?

Desire To be Born of Mary

Jesus, born of the sinless flesh of Mary

Jesus, born of the sinless flesh of Mary

On 24 May 2009, I prayed that I might be born again, physically, through our Blessed Mother and be her child completely with a body from her body, free of original sin and stain of personal sin.  In this way, I would be like unto Jesus – compatible with Him in truth and pleasing to the Father and lovingly attached to my Mother as her child, and humble and faithful and charitable and pure.  [Not that I wanted equality with Jesus – no, but that I would be a true child free of sin and all that displeases the Lord our God, and follow my new Parents unreservedly and with complete trust.]

Sacred Scripture shows how the Lord favors little children.  Here are several verses which came to mind:

“Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” [Matthew, 19:13-14, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“‘Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter into it.’  And he took them [little children] in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.” [Mark 10:13-16, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’  And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” [Matthew, 18:1-4, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.'” [Matthew 18:5-6, RSVCE Holy Bible]

Sacred Scripture also shows how the Lord invites us to be members of his family:

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” [John 3:5, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’  Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’  And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.  [John 19:26-27, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“But he said to them, ‘My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it.'” [Luke 8:21 with ref. to Psalm 87:5-7,  RSVCE Holy Bible]

“Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” [John 20:17, RSVCE Holy Bible]

Beauty of Spiritual Motherhood

Sr Tracey 12 Jan 14

Sister Tracey of the Daughters of St. Paul.

The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

~ 1 Samuel 2:5, RSV Holy Bible

Growing up, I found that my Godmother had such a powerful effect on me.  She, a woman of faith, smiled at me and she listened to me, and that was the love that I needed.  She was a good Godmother.

Likewise, religious sisters like Sister Tracey and Sister Julia of the Daughters of St. Paul offer such wonderful kindness and care, loving and serving as the Lord loves and serves.  Who would not want such a Godmother?

The little baby succumbs to Sister Julia's tender care.

The little baby succumbs to Sister Julia’s tender care.