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Domestic Church Ink Slingers Karen Motherhood Vocations

Do You Know Who You Are in the Father’s Eyes?

Recently, I attended a monthly diocesan women’s night where women from the area are invited to listen to a speaker on a topic related to our Catholic faith, as well as have a chance for confession and Eucharistic adoration. It is a wonderfully enriching time!

On this particular night, Father Prentice Tipton spoke to our group on the topic of Jesus and the Baptism of the Lord, and specifically the the moment when God speaks to Jesus saying, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). -This is my beloved Sonwith whom I am well pleased.- When the Father said this to Jesus, it grounded Jesus. His identity was not wrapped up in how men viewed him, but in the love of His Father. His relationship with God and his identity as His Beloved Son came before ministry to others, and certainly took priority over the accolades of man. This carried him at every point of His ministry, both when crowds gathered to see him, and when the crowds called for His death on the Cross.

Just as Jesus found relationship and identity in the Father’s love for Him, we must also find the same validation through God the Father, Fr. Tipton went on to share.  We must believe that we are the beloved children of God and that He is well pleased with us too.

As God’s creation, He is pleased with what He has made. We did not have to earn that. We have His eternal Love regardless of our actions or self-perception. Whether we stay home with our children, work outside the home, get a PhD, are homeless, wealthy, a criminal, or a saint on Earth, we are loved by God. Certainly our actions impact whether we attain heaven– but those are choices we make, not measures of our Father’s love for us.

But how many of us truly rest in that fact? Satan would have us believe that we are never going to be worthy of God’s love; even that Heaven is unattainable entirely. Satan would have us believe that the whisperings of disapproval from others is the measure of our worth.

We need to instead trust God when He sends the message to us that we are loved and only need to follow Him and rest in Him to have a relationship and identity rooted in Him that gives us peace. It was this peace that pulled Mother Teresa through when she went through spiritual darkness. Even when she didn’t think she could hear God speaking to her, she knew her value was that of God’s daughter, doing His work. She might not have had constant exuberant joy, but she had peace in her role as God’s beloved daughter.

Fr. Tipton closed his talk by asking of us, “Do you know who you are in the Father’s eyes?”

Do you know

And so I ask of you, do you?

As mothers we are drawn, by the nature of our vocation, to sacrifice for our children. We sacrifice our bodies in pregnancy and nursing, and in sheer physical exertion in caring for kids and keeping them safe. We sacrifice our sleep when our children wake at night.  We sacrifice our selfish desires in those times where we comfort our crying child rather than taking that long shower we yearn for. We sacrifice our time when we play with PlayDoh with our child instead of reading a book we were interested in. We even sacrifice spiritual practices when we walk a crying baby in the narthex during Mass, missing the readings and homily. Some mothers had careers they sacrifice to stay at home. Other mothers have to work to help their family financially. We often sacrifice to the point of feeling exhausted and drained.

All this sacrifice is very sanctifying. It prepares us for heaven by allowing us to infect our selfish urges with a spirit of giving. It forces us to use our God-given abilities to help others, often without a second thought.

But much of the time, those tiny people never say thank you. That stranger at the grocery store gives you a thorough disgruntled once over with any number of reasons for their disapproval. Your extended family members tell you how you should parent your children. Moms at the playground give unwelcome advice or admonition about a perceived trouble, or brag about their child’s advancements in light of your child’s average skills.

Are you rattled when this happens? Rest in the Father’s love. You are doing His work. You do not raise your children the best you can so as to please your children, neighbor, spouse, friends, or family members. You are raising your children up because it is God’s will for you to do so. It is too easy to allow Satan to work in you with your doubts about your mothering when you experience the disapproval of others. All this sacrifice isn’t about them or for them. And your worth does not rest in them.

Focus on God. He is the One who laid out this vocation for you, and who gives this hard road to you in order that you may become sanctified and able to enter His Kingdom. He is calling out to you as his beloved child, and He is well pleased with you.

 

Do you know who you are in the Father’s eyes?

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Ink Slingers Karen

August: The Month of the Blessed Sacrament

Last month, we discussed the July devotion to the Precious Blood. Today, we explore the August devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.

August

We know, as Catholics, that we encounter Jesus whenever we go to Mass and experience the Consecration. When wine and bread are transformed into Body and Blood, and we receive Him, we are transformed. It grants a special grace to handle the trials of Christian living.

Consecrated hosts are kept in a sacred container called a ciborum that is housed inside the tabernacle. The tabernacle is what we are to face when we genuflect at Mass. Some parishes have designated times where the the tabernacle is opened and available for prayerful contemplation called Eucharistic Adoration. This is a wonderful exercise for your spiritual muscle. Take a devotional, your Bible, or simply a blank notebook with a pen and sit in quiet contemplation and take notes on what comes to you as you sit and pray. The Blessed Sacrament can teach you plenty.

 

Prayer

HERE is a prayer from EWTN that you can use when visiting the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration:

church-596933_1920Prayer While Visiting the Blessed Sacrament

My Lord Jesus Christ, for the love which You bear to men, You remain night and day in this Sacrament full of compassion and of love, awaiting, calling, and welcoming all who come to visit You. I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar: I adore You from the abyss of my nothingness, and I thank You for all the graces which You have bestowed upon me and in particular for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me your holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit You in this chapel. I now salute Your most loving Heart: and this for three ends:

  1. In thanksgiving for this great gift;
  2. To make amends to You for all the outrages which You receive in this Sacrament from all Your enemies;
  3. I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are the least revered and the most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love You with all my heart. I grieve for having so many times offended Your infinite goodness. I promise with Your grace never more to offend You in the future.

Now, miserable and unworthy though I be, I consecrate myself to You without reserve;

I give You my entire will, my affections, my desires, and all that I possess. From now on dispose of me and of all that I have as You please. All that I ask of You and desire is Your holy love, final perseverance, and the perfect accomplishment of Your will. I recommend to You the souls in purgatory; but especially those who had the greatest devotion to the most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to You all poor sinners.

My dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to Your eternal Father, and beseech Him in Your name to vouchsafe, for Your love, to accept them.

Amen.
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Craft

HERE is a wonderful craft you can do with your children to teach them more about the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration, and the tabernacle.

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Ink Slingers Karen

July: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our Lord

Last month we explored the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month, we explore the devotion the Precious Blood of our Lord.

July: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our Lord

 

The Precious Blood, given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ during the Last Supper, grants us an opportunity to get closer to Jesus. It is wine that takes on the real presence of Jesus, giving us valuable graces.  

 

But even more than that, the Precious Blood refers to the blood Jesus shed for us in His sacrifice on the cross and at his circumcision after his birth. His divine blood shed for humanity is powerful! Pope John XXIII wrote a beautiful apostolic letter on the topic that can be found here

 

 

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Prayer

Please join me in praying this lovely prayer to the Precious Blood:

 

O Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price of sinful man’s redemption, both drink and laver of our souls,

Thou who dost plead continually the cause of man before the throne of infinite mercy;

from the depths of my heart, I adore Thee, and so far as I am able,

I would requite Thee for the insults and outrages which Thou dost continually receive from human beings,

and especially from those who rashly dare to blaspheme Thee.

Who would not bless this Blood of infinite value?

July: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our LordWho doth not feel within himself the fire of the love of Jesus who shed it all for us?

What would be my fate, had I not been redeemed by this Divine Blood?

Who hath drawn it from the veins of my Savior, even to the last drop?

Ah, this surely was the work of love. O infinite love, which has given us this saving balm!

O balm beyond all price, welling up fr

om the fountain of infinite love,

grant that every heart and every tongue may be enabled to praise Thee,

magnify Thee and give Thee thanks both now and for evermore.

Amen.

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Craft

For a nice craft to help your children understand the Precious Blood and how it ties into the Sacred Heart of Jesus, head on over to Starry Mantle for a Precious Blood craft.

Next Month: August will be the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament!

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Ink Slingers Karen

May: The Month of Mary, Mother of God

May: The Month of Mary, Mother of GodIn April, we looked at the devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Holy Spirit. This month, the Church asks us to turn towards Mary, Mother of God. The Church, in Her infinite wisdom, gave each month a particular devotion.

Our Lady is a cornerstone of our faith as Catholics. We understand her not only as the Mother of God and a wonderful example of following God’s call of us all, but as our most powerful intercessor possible.

Immaculately conceived and born to St. Joaquim and St. Anne, Mary of Nazareth grew to become the young woman who would say yes to God’s will in participating in the Incarnation. She raised Jesus, and followed His way on the Cross. She was assumed into Heaven and crowned Queen of Heaven.  From there, she intercedes for us.  

In the month that has Mother’s Day in it, let us give thanks and praise for the gift of the Blessed Mother, our ultimate example of motherly love.


Prayer

The Holy Mother has many devotional names, many of which appear in the Litany of Loreto. Please join me in praying the Litany:

  1. Lord, have mercy.
  2. Christ have mercy.
  3. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
  4. Christ graciously hear us.

May: The Month of Mary, Mother of God

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Holy Mother of God, pray for us.

Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]

Mother of Christ,

Mother of divine grace,

Mother most pure,

Mother most chaste,

Mother inviolate,

Mother undefiled,

Mother most amiable,

Mother most admirable,

Mother of good Counsel,

Mother of our Creator,

Mother of our Savior,

Virgin most prudent,

Virgin most venerable,

Virgin most renowned,

Virgin most powerful,

Virgin most merciful,

Virgin most faithful,

Mirror of justice,

Seat of wisdom,

Cause of our joy,

Spiritual vessel,

Vessel of honor,

Singular vessel of devotion,

Mystical rose,

Tower of David,

Tower of ivory,

House of gold,

Ark of the covenant,

Gate of heaven,

Morning star,

Health of the sick,

Refuge of sinners,

Comforter of the afflicted,

Help of Christians,

Queen of Angels,

Queen of Patriarchs,

Queen of Prophets,

Queen of Apostles,

Queen of Martyrs,

Queen of Confessors,

Queen of Virgins,

Queen of all Saints,

Queen conceived without original sin,

Queen assumed into heaven,

Queen of the most holy Rosary,

Queen of families,

Queen of peace.

  1. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
  2. Spare us, O Lord.
  3. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
  4. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
  5. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us.

  1. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
  2. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

The versicle and prayer after the litany may be varied by season. Thus, during Advent (from the fourth Sunday before Christmas to Christmas Eve):

  1. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
  2. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray. O God, who hast willed that by the message of an Angel, thy Word should receive flesh from the womb of the Virgin Mary: grant unto thy suppliants, that we who believe that she is truly the Mother of God, may be assisted by her intercession before Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.


Craft

Click here for a fun craft to do with your children about Mary!


Next month

In June, we will take a look at the devotion to the Sacred Heart!

Categories
Confirmation Ink Slingers Karen Liturgical Year

April: Dedication to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist

Last month, we learned about the March devotion to St Joseph. This month we look to April’s dedication: The Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist.

The Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist are both at the heart of what being Catholic is all about. We believe in the Holy Spirit and the transformation of bread into the Body of Christ.

APRILThere are many symbols used to represent the Holy Spirit, but the two most notable are fire and the dove. Fire is cleansing. Where there is fire, something imperfect is destroyed and something new arises. It indicates an intense and powerful energy capable of transforming the soul. The dove on the other hand, is used repeatedly to signal the touch of the invisible omnipresent God to the visible and limited world. Both fire and dove are powerful symbols. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He bestows upon us sanctifying graces such as wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. And the Holy Spirit bestows charismatic gifts, both ordinary and extraordinary, to individuals as well—most notably when the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost and the disciples of Christ began speaking in tongues.

The other dedication this month is to the Holy Eucharist. Through the transformation of bread and wine, we receive the body and blood of Christ. What a marvel to receive Jesus in this way! The Holy Eucharist is the powerful gift of Jesus before His death, made of unleavened wheat to grant us Jesus in our body, and a reminder of His sacrifice, as well as His presence to worship. No other gift compares!

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Please join me in praying this prayer to the Holy Spirit from EWTN:

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.25943972254_f2b467d469

  1. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
  2. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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Craft

For two wonderful crafts to do with your children about the Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist, click the links below.

Holy Eucharist craft

Holy Spirit craft

Next month: May is the month of Our Lady!