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Header-The Mother's Sublime Vocation 

 

Taking for granted that mothers are the loftiest expression of the goodness of God in this world of ours, let me say that they should do nothing to lessen the wonderful influence for good which they can exert. A mother should remember her function in the family—she is its heart.

What a world of meaning that one word suggests! It is the heart that suffers and sometimes breaks. It is the heart that rejoices and overflows with joy. Suffering and sympathy make the mother so cherished, so inspiring, so loved. Suffering and sympathy also bring to the mother her greatest joy. For her heart is so good that she delights to suffer for the well-being of others. Her kind, gentle nature cheers the children and their father, and helps them over the rough places on the journey of life.

 

Click here: Prayer of a Wife & Mother

 

But if the mother has her cares and sufferings, she also has her joys. Indeed, it may be said that no human joy is comparable to that experienced by a good mother. Every joy of the children and their father is hers twofold. If her mother’s love causes her to suffer with her family, it also enables her to rejoice with them, and no human joy is so free from alloy as a mother’s.

Besides, she realizes that in proportion as she lives for her family, they live for her. The good mother is the queen of the household. She reigns supreme over the hearts of her subjects. More than that, she is the inspiration of the father of the family. Under the gentle influence of a good mother, the father of a family finds it easy to toil and to face the trials of life. Oh, that every mother might realize her dignity and power, for she holds the key to the souls of her children and it is she who opens their little hearts and places in them the seeds of future character.

Womens MarchMotherhood exercises the most intimate and powerful influence known among men.

Some of the greatest saints were the children of saintly mothers.

Saint Augustine was the fruit of Saint Monica’s example and prayers and tears.

Saint Louis of France found in his mother Blanche a holy model. Her words, spoken to him in his youth, “I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of mortal sin,” were engraved in his heart and influenced him throughout his life.

The great Saint Bernard was the child of a mother so holy that virtue, instilled by her example, became almost second nature.

The first school a child attends is the one presided over by his mother. On those early lessons begun in the cradle and continued in the home, the career of later life mainly depend. Youth is like wax for receiving impressions and like steel for retaining them. If in the tender years of childhood the mother has placed the proper impression on her children, they will be the better for it all their lives.

The good mother is like a gardener who cultivates delicate plants. The gardener must prepare the soil and keep it moist and remove every harmful growth. But the joy he experiences as the plants rise from the ground and develop into beautiful flowers, more than repays him for his labor. The pleasure of beholding the result of his painstaking care is so great that frequently he cultivates a garden not for what it produces but for the pleasure of producing. When the plants are human souls, when the tender growth is one’s own child, what must be the joy of the gardener! And as the devoted mother watches her flowers unfold, beholds their love responding to her own, what joy on earth compares with hers!

As the poet has written, “Then crown her queen of the world,” for queen she is. The world is what mothers make it.

 

Click here: Prayer of a Wife & Mother

 


Taken from You and Yours: Practical Talks on Home Life by Fr. Martin Scott, SJ, pages 25-29.

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 24, 2021

It is easy to infuse a most fervent devotion into others, ev...

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July 24

 

It is easy to infuse
a most fervent devotion into others, even in a short time;
but the great matter is
– to persevere.

St. Philip Neri


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Charbel Makhlouf

Multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was fi...

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St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born in the village of Bekka Kafra in Lebanon on May 8, 1828 and was one of five children born to Antoun Zarrour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. His father was a mule driver who died when Youssef was only three years old, leaving his widow to bring up their children alone.

Although Brigitta was left nearly destitute, she reserved a profoundly religious atmosphere in their home and instilled in her children a deep spirit of piety. Because of this fidelity, Youssef became unusually devoted and inclined to prayer and solitude at a very young age. He was greatly attracted to the life and spirituality of hermits; and as a young boy tending his family’s small flock, he would often go to a nearby grotto where he had erected a little shrine to the Holy Mother of God and would spend his whole day there in prayer.

When he was twenty-three years old, Youssef, feeling the call to the religious life, left his home and family to join the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Marfouq. Here he began his formation as a monk before later being transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron near Beirut. There he received the religious habit of the Maronite monk and took the name Charbel. He made his final profession as a religious brother on November 1, 1853 – he was twenty-five years old.

Brother Charbel immediately began his studies for the priesthood under the instruction of Father Nimattullah Kassab, who was also later declared a saint by the Church. Charbel was ordained on July 23, 1859, following which he returned to the Monastery of St. Maron where he lived a life of great austerity. In 1875, he was granted permission by his superiors to live a solitary life in the Hermitage of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was under the jurisdiction of the monastery; and there he resided for the remaining twenty-three years of his life until his death on Christmas Eve, 1898.

St. Charbel is renowned for his many miracles both during his life and after his death. His most famous miracle – which was also his first – occurred when, multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was filled with water. He is also credited with many healing miracles.

After his death, he was interned at the Monastery of St. Maron, now a famous pilgrimage site. His tomb was often witnessed surrounded by a dazzling light, and to this day his remains are incorrupt and an unexplainable blood-like fluid flows from his body. He was canonized on December 9, 1977, by Pope Paul VI, who held him up as an example to help us understand “in a world, largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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