Friday, April 16, 2010

Filling our Empty Pitchers....

I don't have time to do a reflection this morning, so I wanted to share with you the outline of our mothers gathering last friday. We discussed how sometimes, as mothers, our pitcher is empty. We discussed how sometimes it is good to have an empty pitcher, because that is when you yearn more for God and turn to Him in prayer when you have nothing left. We also discussed how some things of the world can help fill your pitcher, but it is water from the world which does not sustain you and eventually evaporates. The importance of filling our pitcher with life giving water is crucial in our role of caring for a family. When we fill our pitcher with life giving water, we have the grace and peace to joyfully pour back into our family. Below are the topics of discussion....

Empty Picthers: dry and cracked inside. No water to pour back into the family.
Pitchers are dry and cracked with…..

An empty pitcher can be a good thing…..
Having an Empty Pitcher is sometimes a good thing and a gift from the Lord. When we are in tears, feel helpless and empty, this is an open door to grow in Christ. Our empty pitcher leaves room to grow in your faith and recognize your yearning for peace, which is Jesus. Our pitcher will never continuously overflow with life giving water until we are united with Jesus. If we always had a full pitcher, than we wouldn’t be emptying anything out. When we empty ourselves out, we become filled. This is the beauty of motherhood…..we are constantly emptying ourselves out to our families. But this is why it is essential to fill your vessel with life giving water. The water from the world will not sustain you, but the life giving water will give you nothing but joy and peace as you lay down your life for you family. Let’s read the excerpt “Empty Cup” from CUP OF OUR LIFE by Joyce Rupp….

Here are two different ways to fill our pitchers….

A. Water from the world:
Water from the world is healthy & fun. These are all gifts from the Lord, but when these gifts become one’s greatest concern and motivation, then they are no longer fruitful. Moderation is key to everything in life. Water from the world fills our pitchers a little bit but does not sustain us. It eventually evaporates and our pitcher once again goes dry.
Materialism: J Crew, Niemans, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn
Self Indulgences: Four Seasons Spa & Resort, Quick Nails, Champagne, Chardonnay, Starbucks,
Self Help Books
Dinner with the girls
New Ownership: House, car, dog,
“Alone Time”: Borders or the mall

B. Life Giving Water from Above:
Water from above is natural, pure, healthy and wholesome. This is the water that will keep your pitcher full and will sustain you in this life. We have to break the barrier of what is keeping us from this crystal clear life giving water. These are perfect gifts from the Lord that will help us be joyful and free from the chains that bind us to the world.
Adoration: Best “Spa Treatment” around
Sacrament of Confession: A Counseling session with Jesus
Eucharist: Dinner with the finest…..Heaven
Sacrament of marriage: Sacred Date nights
Prayer & Quiet Time: Soul Fitness with Personal Trainer (Jesus)
Rosary: Soul Indulgence of the fruit of the spirit
Self-Gift: When we give ourselves to others (our families), we receive abundant graces from God.

Exercise: Put a pitcher in your kitchen widow. Let this be a reminder to refill your pitcher with life giving water. Do not let anything stop you from receiving the abundant gifts from Jesus to help fill your vessel back up. Be pro-active in changing your chaotic life to a peaceful and joyful one. When your family sees you radiating with joy as Jesus fills your pitcher, they will learn the most valuable lesson in life: “to seek first the kingdom of God”!

How can I make the change? Here are some suggestions:
1.) Get up 30-45 minutes early before your kids rise. Light a candle and drink a hot cup of coffee or tea and pray. Buy a devotional book with the daily devotions (the actual date) and meditate on the devotion. Offer your day up to the Lord with the morning offering prayer of the church:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your sacred heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all the apostles of prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. Amen

2.) Adoration- try to find time to spend with the blessed sacrament. If you have some “alone time”, fill your vessel with life giving water by going to adoration instead of filling yourself with water from the world by going shopping. For the non-Catholics reading this, maybe stop by your chapel during the week and sit in silence in a holy and peaceful place.

3.) Rosary: Try praying this powerful powerful, life changing prayer throughout the day if you can’t pray the whole thing in the morning. Also, if you can’t go to sleep, blows counting sheep away! For non-catholics, meditate on the gospels...this form of prayer is similar to the rosary.

4.) Confession: If you can’t make it to Saturday confession or if the line is too long, schedule a confession during the week day with Father Richard. This is the best therapy session around!

5.) Eucharist: Try going to mass for sure every Sunday as well as during the week if you can swing it. Weekly nourishment from Heaven is essential, no matter how hard it is to get to church with children!

6.) Self Gift: You are already nipping this in in the bud just by being a mother. Realize daily that your self gift to your children is a form of prayer!

7.) Sacrament of Marriage: Date nights are ESSENTIAL for your marriage. Remember, your marriage was first before children. Nurture your love for one another with yummy dinners, good conversation and lots of kisses! If you can’t get a sitter, have movie night after the kids go to bed.

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