Nobility of motherhood

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday, Memorial of St. Monica, Married Woman, 27 August 2020
1 Corinthians 1:1-9 >><)))*> || + || <*(((><< Matthew 24:42-51
Photo by author of a pilgrim writing petitions to the Blessed Mother at a Madaba Church in Jordan, May 2019

This prayer, O Lord, is specially offered for all mothers as we celebrate today the Memorial of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, one of the great Saints of the Church.

Thank you, dear God our Father for St. Monica and all the other mothers who have offered their whole lives forming and transforming their children to reflect your image and likeness of holiness.

Truly, the gift of motherhood is one of your greatest grace ever bestowed to the human race for because of mothers, countless men and women selflessly work for peace and development.

This selflessness of mothers, in working hard for the success of their children, is the nobility of motherhood which is also a call for everyone exemplified by St. Paul in our first reading today:

I give thank to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all the discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you await for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:4-7

What a beautiful trait of every mother like St. Monica to imitate St. Paul’s joy, thanking God for the maturity of their children, to see their sons and daughters growing deeper in faith, hope, and love.

So many mothers can forgo their own career, forget their own well-being for the sake of their children. So often, they hide their tears when they are deeply aching from our many sins and lack of concern even respect for them because they do not want us to go out of focus with our goals in life.

To your question, dear Jesus, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?” (Mt.24:45) — there is no other most faithful servant true to your calling except our mothers, Lord!

Photo from Google.

Bless all mothers today and always, Lord; lighten their burdens, be their joy in moments of sadness, clarify always their minds and their hearts so that every decision and action they take may always be through the leading of your Holy Spirit like in the experience of St. Monica.

Strengthen their faith especially of mothers who have lost their spouse or children to COVID-19 and other sickness and accidents; fill them with hope in you when things are getting so rough and tough for them especially at this time of the pandemic.

Many mothers are also suffering not only from COVID-19 but also other sickness during this pandemic. Heal them, dear Jesus.

Keep them healthy not only in body but also in mind, heart and soul so that they may continue to lead and enlighten their families in moments of darkness and trials.

Most of all, like St. Monica, fulfill their dreams and prayers for their children.

Likewise, dear Jesus, we remember and pray today for the souls of all the mothers who have gone ahead of us, now with St. Monica whose only request on her death to her sons was to bury her anywhere by including her always in St. Augustine’s celebration of the Eucharist. Amen.

St. Monica, pray for us especially for all the mothers to be like you!

A prayer for all mothers

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Tuesday, Feast of St. Monica, 27 August 2019

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 ><)))*> <*(((>< Matthew 23:23-26

How wonderful, O God, that on this feast of the patroness of mothers, St. Monica, the Apostle Paul identified himself as a mother caring the church he founded.

“Rather, we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us.”

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

Teach us to be like St. Paul in his passion and drive caring for those you have entrusted to us like “a nursing mother who cares for her children”.

But most especially, as we remember St. Monica who embodied true motherhood with her patience and perseverance and undying love for her wayward son St. Augustine, we pray also today for all mothers.

We pray, O Lord, for mothers in their old age, sick and fragile, afraid of the inevitable, feeling alone filled with so many doubts and uncertainties of what is coming, of what is next: give them the firm faith and enlightenment of mind and heart like St. Monica.

We pray for the departed mothers and may you grant them, O Lord, eternal rest and peace in your presence. May they reap the fruits of their hard work here on earth that have caused so much physical and emotional pains for them here on earth.

Photo by Jim Marpa, 2017.

We pray for the many suffering mothers, Lord: those sick with cancer and other diseases; for those who have to suffer and cry in silence due to lack of concern and understanding by their unfaithful husband or ungrateful children; for those mothers who have to leave home to earn decent living abroad, taking care of somebody else’s children while their own children are left home alone.

We pray, O Lord, for the widows who always feel alone and misunderstood by everyone especially by their grown up children, always trying to put up a front that everything is going well so as not to make others worry.

We pray also for mothers who take care of their sick children who suffer twice even thrice seeing their sons and daughters writhing in pain; bless those mothers who have lost their children for various reasons that shattered all their dreams and hopes for a wonderful future.

We pray, Lord, for mothers left behind by their own families and by the society, living on the streets or in some orphanages, unwanted, unloved. We pray also for mothers-in-law especially those “boxed” by their in-laws.

We pray for the young mothers especially the first-timers at a loss at how to care for their babies, for working mothers trying to juggle motherhood and career.

Do not forget also, Lord, the many mothers who have forgotten their children have their own lives to live too, who have wrongly thought they are always right, manipulating their children who eventually were pushed over the cliff and now lost. Help them and their mothers find their way back to you, O Lord, and to each others’ loving arms.

Bless also, O Lord, all the other mothers who are forced to work under unfavorable conditions due to poverty, for mothers languishing in jails especially the innocent ones, for mothers into some other forms of crusades and advocacies nobody cares.

Lastly, we pray for us all children and for the husbands too that we may keep in mind only you, O God, can love perfectly. A mother’s love is always imperfect but no matter how defective it may be, it is the best love she can give. Help us create a room for our mother’s imperfections filled with your divine love that would console them, soothe them, and make them feel they are loved and appreciated. Amen.

St. Monica with her son St. Augustine. She died at the age of 56, always depicted dressed like a nun with a black habit to symbolise her being a widow.

Decluttering our inner self

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul
Monday, Week XIX, Year I, 12 August 2019
Deuteronomy 10:12-22 >< }}}*> < *{{{>< Matthew 17:22-27
From Google.

Moses said to the people: “Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and be no longer stiff-necked.”

Deuteronomy 10:16

Your words, O Lord, today are so shocking. Even funny. And difficult to relate with.

But that is exactly what we need to hear and learn these days: your words that shake and jolt our inner selves that cleanse and lead us to a more genuine and intimate relationship with you.

Like those Israelites wandering at the desert, rebelling against you, we have become stiff-necked. We have refused to look up to you as well as look inside our hearts to see you and follow you.

Help us to circumcise our hearts – not physically but spiritually – like what Marie Kondo has been advocating of decluttering our spaces to experience inner joy. So often we refuse to admit how our outer selves and homes look like indicate our inner selves.

It is you, Lord Jesus, who probes our hearts and guide us like Marie Kondo, step by step, to declutter our hearts.

May your light enable us to see and remove the many stacks of materialism, compartments of insecurities, and drawers of pretensions and other lies that clutter our inner selves, our hearts that keep us away from you and from others.

Like what you did today in the gospel when you taught Peter a beautiful lesson of being nice among our enemies and detractors who try to destroy us always, may we look more often inside our hearts to see YOU as the most essential in life than simply following the ways of the world.

May the example of St. Jane Frances Chantal whose feast we celebrate today, help us to keep that inner glow of your love within us when facing difficult situations in life like problems with in-laws and being widowed.

Fill us with the same charity you have given her in helping the poor as well as the forgotten people of the society.

We pray through her intercession for parents and children separated from one another due to many reasons, either by choice or circumstances.

Bless also the members of the congregation she had founded, the Sisters of Visitation that they may continue her wonderful works of charity among the poor. Amen.