It is amazing how much my pregnancy has given me pause for reflection on my relationship with my own mother, and on the qualities that make her the most remarkable role model in my life. I can honestly say that my mother is the most saintly person I know — an unmatched giving, loving, patient, faithful, prayerful woman who knows her life’s work is to be a wife and mother, and boy does she live out her vocation well.
If I am half as good at being a mother as my mother is, than I think my children will be exceedingly blessed. But I certainly have my work cut out for me. Fortunately, after observing my mother’s graceful living over the past 24 years of my life, I’ve picked up on some of her unsaid but well-lived tips for being a great mom. Read more…
Being a father is a radical responsibility. One that’s been neutered of its uniqueness and weight and reduced to a mere luxury of the human economy. Well, we may have produced an economy of hard working men (and women), but we’ve also enabled a generation of slacker dads. Even the “good dads” are slackers. And I’m intent on not being one of them. Read more…
Dr. Peter Kreeft, CCH theological advisory board member, gives a beautiful reflection on fatherly “love” verses grandfatherly “kindness.” Sometimes we think we want kindness, rather than love, from our Heavenly Father. But God’s occasional “tough love” for us doesn’t go without benefit to our spiritual growth.
“Grandfathers are kind; fathers are loving. Grandfathers say, ‘Run along and have a good time’; fathers say , ‘But don’t do this or that.’ Grandfathers are compassionate, fathers are passionate. God is never once called our grandfather, much as we would prefer that to the inconveniently close, demanding, intimate father who loves us.” -PK
Blessed Mother Teresa is one of the greatest saints when it comes to teaching us how to love.
“There are thousands of people who would love to have what we have, yet God has chosen us to be where we are today to share the joy of loving others. He wants us to love one another, to give ourselves to each other until it hurts. It does not matter how much we give, but how much love we put into our giving.”
Need a good lesson on love? Check out Blessed Mother Teresa’s No Greater Love. It is a CCH favorite!
“Don’t search for Jesus in far lands–he is not there. He is close to you; he is with you. Just keep the lamp burning and you will always see him. Keep on filling the lamp with all these little drops of love, and you will see how sweet is the Lord you love.”
“Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.”
“From the point of view of the Christian faith, man comes in the profoundest sense to himself not through what he does but through what he accepts. He must wait for the gift of love, and love can only be received as a gift… One must wait for it, let it be given to one. And one cannot become wholly man in any other way than by being loved, by letting oneself be loved… If he declines to let himself be presented with the gift, then he destroys himself.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Are you accepting the gift of love that Christ is offering to you each day? Are you giving that gift to others?
“Our mission is to convey God’s love–not a dead God but a living God, a God of love.” -Blessed Mother Teresa
“And the more we pray, the happier we become. The more we pray, the less anxious we become, and we are filled with a greater peace of mind and heart. The more we pray, the more we understand ourselves, for we come to know God more intimately, by experience – and we really only know ourselves to the degree that we know God personally. The more we pray, we begin to see the hand of God in our day to day life, that is, we see Him acting in our life. We begin to see that He loves us, personally. That makes life so much more meaningful.” -Deacon Doug McManaman, “The Importance of Prayer”
How does prayer help the world?
As Catholics, we believe that prayer is astoundingly powerful. The prayers of the saints have had an impact on history unmatched by political and social world leaders over the centuries. All of humanity has benefited from the prayers of the saints. Look at our Blessed Mother Mary. Did not her prayer and submission to God impact the world in the most profound way? Does not her continued intercession on our behalf influence the hearts of all people around the world, as she encourages us always to say our own “yes” to our Heavenly Father?
“…see prayer for what it is: a matter of life or death, your lifeline to God, to life itself. Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is agape, the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won’t get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.” -Peter Kreeft, “Lesson One in Prayer“
It seems like our Holy Father always knows just the right thing to say, doesn’t it? Here are some beautiful words from the introduction of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth).
“Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God’s love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope.”
Can you see God’s love at the origin of your own relationships?