Thursday, January 8, 2009

Divine Help Just A Prayer Away

I guess it is just our nature, especially after becoming a mother, to always take on more than we can handle. Why is it so hard to ask others for help? We are the super woman of our family and are expected to be all and do all. We get so overwhelmed with all of the things that need to be done and all of the needs of our family that have to be met. Let’s face it. We are overworked and so under-payed! Well, good news, girls, we are not alone in being the mother of our children and the woman of the home. Heaven is in our midst. Mothers who are now saints are just waiting to be called upon for their help and intercession. Mary, Jesus’ mother, is just waiting to help us mother our own children. What more could we ask for than these amazing “celestial co-workers” to assist us in our every day lives. **** Our Catholic faith is truly amazing and the greatest gift! Let’s discuss what the Catholic church believes when it comes to Saints and our heavenly helpers.

First, let’s clear something up. Catholics do not “worship” Mary and the Saints, we simply ask for them to pray for us just as you would ask me to pray for a specific need of yours. The only difference is they are in Heaven with Jesus! A priest once told me, “Asking Mary to intercede is so powerful because Jesus can’t say no to His mother”!

Today, we will not discuss the Blessed Mother because I am devoting our entire February study on the Blessed Mother Mary and we will have a guest speaker talk to us about the power of praying the rosary and the abundant graces one will receive who is devoted to our Lady.

Here are the differences between all of our heavenly helpers:
Blessed Mother Mary- Jesus’ Mother, virgin most powerful.

Cannonized Saints- takes years for a Saint to become canonized. Long study of that persons life of service to the Lord; to be canonized there has to be proof of miracles.

Unknown Saints- so many saints are in heaven that are unknown (a lot of them being mothers) who performed beautiful selfless acts in serving Christ behind closed doors.

Angels- Heavenly servants who do not experience humanity. They are pure goodness and heaven is filled with them. Each one of us has an Angel Guardian and then the Lord sends down extra angels if we are in need or ask for them.

Communion of Saints- our loved ones who have gone before us. In the nicean creed you will say the term “communion of saints”. We are all in communion with the body of Christ…here on earth and in heaven.

Being Open to Heaven in our Midst & the Graces that are flowing upon us

“Seek me first, and understand that I am God, all powerful and the creator of All. You are part of a heavenly family and must remember that you have the whole of that family to help you”.
So many of us go about our daily lives and struggles not being open to what is around us…the things we can not see. As we mother our children day in and day out, we all fall from time to time. When we do hit the ground and cry out for the Lord to help us get through another day of serving, we can’t see Him, but Jesus is holding us in His arms. And by just asking for His help, He will give you the grace and peace to get through the day.

We can’t see all of the many angels that are in our midst. Jesus speaks about Angels in the Volume of Ann:
“The angels surround you, My dear ones. They minister to you in so many ways that I could not clearly explain this to you. I am going to give you some idea of these heavenly friends, however; so that you will understand the strength on your side. When you attend Mass you are praying and worshipping with thousands of Angels. Your guardian angel goes with you, of course, and is so grateful for the companionship of his fellow angels. When you enter a church and find it empty, that means that you can see no other human. But there are angels present and they welcome you as they welcome your angel guardian. This loyal servant of Mine, your special guardian, prays for you without interruption”.

Don’t think that any request is silly and unimportant. Call about your guardian at any time of the day. Here are a few examples of some of the many things I have asked angels to help me with:
· As I have looked over at Anna Claire in her bouncy seat for the millionth time, I call upon the angels to entertain her and give her “attention” as my toddlers are constantly demanding my attention!
· In the middle of the night I ask “Please, angels, help put Benjamin back to sleep. I am so tired. Please.” (usually he becomes quiet and goes back to sleep)
· Yesterday morning I heard Clementine crying out at 6:00 am as I was trying to pray to Jesus and discern what he wanted of me that day (and enjoying my most precious first cup of coffee..). I asked, “Blessed Mother and the angels, please put Clementine back to sleep. Bring warmth and peace upon her to help her go back to sleep”. Sure enough after a few moments it was silent! Call me crazy, but it works!
· Most importantly, always asking my children’s angel guardian to keep them safe from any tragedies. Holly can tell you first hand the importance of praying to your children’s guardian angel. Her son, Joe T. has had 3 near death experiences and he is only 4 years old….he has been seconds away from dying.

Jesus speaks of Angels in the Volumes of Ann: “If a soul requests heavenly help, I can send even more assistance in the way of angels and graces. When you ask for my help, I send angels and you are surrounded by these beings who are praying for you and petitioning saints to pray for you. They influence the actions of others, also, and can obtain earthly assistance for you by inspiring a holy soul to come to your aid at just the right time.”

We are going to read about the lives of saintly mothers. The stories of these saints are amazing and they all had their crosses to bear. Their lives were not easy. As I reflect on my own life of mothering my little ones literally 24/7, I am encouraged and inspired when I think about and call upon the Blessed Mother and the Saintly mothers. Our life, as a mother and wife, is a living sacrifice. We can rest assure that our Lord smiles down upon us for the work we do and understand and has mercy on us when we fail him on the days we are not a very good mother. Just like the saints, through the struggles and hardships of raising babies, we are growing ever closer in our faith and walk with Christ. Author Donna Marie Oboyle says “We know that our Lord will reward her efforts and love and that her children will be the jewels on her own crown in eternity”. We are all called to become saints as silly and crazy as you think that sounds. Let’s read chapter six in The Heart of Motherhood and be inspired about some of the saints who were devoted mothers.

· Do you have a specific need or problem? Found out who the patron saint is for that need and call upon him/her.
*St. Anthony pulls through EVERY TIME if I have lost something! He has helped me find everything from the beloved “binkie” to my son’s hearing aid!
*I ask for the help of St. Catherine of Hungary, who is the patron saint of Bakers because my husband is a baker and we own a bakery!
*I ask for help from St. Francis de Sales, who is the patron saint of the Hearing Impaired because my son has a mild to moderate hearing loss and wears hearing aides!

Unknown Saints:

Mary, the unknown Saint, speaks to mothers –The Volumes of Ann, June 7, 2004 :
“I am unknown in your world, yet, I am a beloved saint here in heaven. On earth, I cared for my children in my home. There were many times when I found the work tedious. I can assure you that I often longed to be working outside of my home because I had always thought I would work professionally. The days may seem tedious, dear mothers, but when stitched together they make the most beautiful tapestry that illustrates growth of a little soul. I earned a very high place in heaven simply by caring for my husband and children.”

Mary, the unknown saint, speaks to mothers- June 9, 2004 :
Dear Mothers, you must serve tirelessly. Those who have not experienced motherhood cannot understand how hard it can be to work, performing the same tasks over and over. When you perform these tasks in love, great graces can be obtained for both your family and for the Kingdom. In this way, you are directly contributing to the advancement of the cause of heaven. Jesus is so pleased with this kind of cooperative service and He will reward you in countless ways. I am in heaven now and I have the benefit of such wisdom and knowledge. You would be overjoyed to see my reward, yet I was a simple housewife. I looked on my role of mother as a serious task.”

An extremely comforting thought is that we get to spend eternity with the ones we love so much. As Catholics, we believe, that when a loved one dies, he leaves this earth in bodily form but his soul lives forever. And although we can’t seem them anymore, they are with us. In Messages of Medjogorgie, our blessed mother speaks of dying:

“We go to heaven in full conscience: that which we have now. At the moment of death, we are conscious of the separation of the body and the soul. It is false to teach people that we are reborn many times and that we pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth decomposes after death. It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body.”

So when our loved ones die, they are with us and constantly ready to help. They are in constant prayer for us and we can help them by praying for their soul in pergatory. Father Jose Gomez says “ ask for specific signs from our loved ones”. If you are needing to know they are there with you and hearing your prayers to our father in heaven, ask for them to show you a sign. You have to be always watching and looking for signs. I am going to tell you a story about how mine and Holly’s family receive signs from our ancestors.

Start becoming more aware of the graces that are flowing upon you as you call upon heaven for help. You will start to realize that the “good things” that are happening to you or the joy that has overcome you is not by coincidence. It will be God’s Grace. A few examples that I have experienced lately are:

Indescribable JOY during ordinary days of taking care of my children and my home after rising early and praying the rosary, offering my day to the Lord, and asking St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to help me be the best wife and mother I can be.

Activities for the kids arriving at my doorstep from a friend on a day my car wouldn’t start and I thought I was going to loose my mind and lash out at the kids. The Mail Man always puts a slip in my mailbox when the box is too big, but on that particular rainy day, he decided to bring it to my doorstep. I knew the minute I received it it was God’s Grace

The graces may be big and obvious or they might be tiny and barely noticeable, but know they are divine graces from Heaven. God wants to shed an abundance of graces upon His children, especially the mothers who are tirelessly raising souls for his Kingdom. All we have to do is ask. The more you become aware of heaven in your midst, the stronger your faith will become. You will start experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven in your every day life.

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