Tag Archive: jesus and mary


Prayer for Parents

parents1

A friend of mine, a priest, his mother passed away recently. I was privileged to receive this prayer from him. His mother recited it daily. It is listed below and will be the sole topic for TheSteppingStones, today. When you read it, put yourself into the prayer. Let it be you doing the talking. Reflect on its beauty, power and honesty. Does it not sum up everything that we feel as parents?

When you are finished reading it please, please, pass this on to other parents, those in your family, or friends and neighbors. I promise you that this says everything that every parent prays for, and hopes for as a mom or dad. It is truly for all parents. If you feel uncomfortable passing this on, just tell the person, you do because you value them as a friend and want them to feel the strength of this prayer.

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Lord, as Mary’s son, you experienced the love between parent and child, a love that begins as one of total dependency and matures to a love of equals.

A parent ought to feel a job finished at that point but it doesn’t work that way; at least not for me. I continue to worry about my son and my daughters and their children and their lives, jobs, and families.

If I could, I would probably try to protect them from all problems as I tried when they were small. Fortunately for them and for me, I have no such power. I know they must make mistakes in order to develop maturity. I know their lives will include problems and in fumbling for solutions, they will discover themselves and their values.

I pray, therefore, not that you protect them from all evil, but that you give them the strength to conquer the evil they meet.

I pray for myself, too. Help me to know when to be silent and when to speak, when to help and when to refuse. Develop in me the discretion and tact I need to be a good parent for my children now that they are grown.. .Amen.

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The 4 Posts directly below, blend with this theme. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming:

1) To The Sons And Daughters Of The World
2) Parenthood And My Dad
3) Trusting Like Children
4) What Are We Teaching Our Children

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flame of love 1

From time to time you have heard TheSteppingStones write about the Flame of Love. I would like to talk to you about our, (yours and mine), involvement with it. When the book was highlighted a few months ago, a number of you focused on the sacrifices that Elizabeth Kindlemann made because of her love for the Flame. She led a very dedicated life as a result of her closeness to Jesus and Mary. Keep in mind, this woman may very well be proclaimed a saint. Sainthood seems an almost impossible goal for many of us. But that does not mean that we should not become involved with, nor in love with the Flame of Love.

The main task of the Flame of Love is the spreading of this wonderful news to the rest of the world, our world. Our world may only consist of our phone book contacts, our email address book, and the people we come into contact with on a daily basis. But THOSE are the people in OUR world. We really do have a responsibility to our world. They are the people we are called to like, to love and to care for.

In the book, in response to Elizabeth’s inquiry of, “Why me”, Jesus replied, “From among the worst sinners, I choose souls for my work.” Because we exist does not mean that we are automatically holy. Nor on the other hand, no matter what we have done to others, said to others, or felt about others, that does not close the door to our growing in holiness. Jesus died on the cross for ALL of us. Each one of us must address that fact. He loves us, (you and me)!! He died for us, (you and me)!! His fondest desire is that we love Him back. How we will do that, is as individual as each one of us.

But that is the sticky part. That is where it becomes a little difficult. Each one of us must figure out what it is that WE are called to do. There is no set formula for the world, other than to love one another, as Christ urged. Going to church on Sunday, dropping a donation into a basket, and stopping there is a nice act of a possibly concerned person. But why stop there? What do you have? What is unique to you? What can you give to others that they may need? When we think of giving, we automatically reach for the wallet or purse. But people, believe it or not, need you. Your uniqueness is special to, and is needed by many people.

We need to delve within ourselves to find out what it is that we have to offer. Maybe it is simply a smile of understanding, or a look in our eye of genuine concern for an individual. But whatever it is, YOU have it in your own unique way, and that is what is needed by others. This is why the Flame of Love is so important to each of us. It is urging us, actually pleading with us to grow a deeper love with Jesus and Mary. As that love becomes part of us, we will want to share this love with others, share this Flame of Love. How can we not?

Yes, Jesus asks us to make sacrifices. But, these are not simply a doing without. These are not even proofs of our love for Jesus. The sacrifices that we make are our whisperings of love that we have for Him. They show to what lengths we are willing to go to offer Him, ourselves. His words on page 15 of the diary reflect on us very vividly. “Many ask to share in my work but when I ask for a sacrifice, they grow frightened.” Is it not true, when asked to make a sacrifice, we immediately want to know, “to what extent”? For how much? What will it cost me? We measure the extent of the sacrifice, and this, we don’t even realize measures the extent of our love for Jesus. When we love, when we truly love we do not measure the cost. We act because of the love within us. What are we willing to do? What are you willing to do?

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) To Think About
2) The Rosary, a Prayer

The Rosary, A Prayer

rosary and Mary

What is the rosary? You reply, “A chain with some beads on it.” What does it entail? You grimace. You want to say, “Boring”, but feel that would be disrespectful. So you say nothing. Why should we pray it? The praying of the rosary is not a penance. It really is not a hardship. No, it is a prayer showing our love and respect for the Mother of Jesus who is also our spiritual mother. Each of us, as Catholic Christians, has the awesome, wondrous task to manifest Christ’s love to all whom we meet. We do this by living and practicing the lifestyle that Jesus urges us to live. This is not a pious phrase. This is what Christianity is all about.

What does praying the rosary have to do with any of this? Isn’t it just rattling off a lot of repetitious phases? Think about the words of the Hail Mary, which are Gabriel’s words to her. Hail Mary, you are full of grace (which means you have the love of God and the love of others in your heart). The Lord (God) is with you. This must be so, since you love without reservation, all whom you meet. Only someone who talks (prays) to God, and is with God, can practice such a constant love. You are blessed among all other women. This is true, because in your womb, you will bear a son; His name will be Jesus. That string of prayers, which we rattle off in a hurried, distracted manner, really does have a meaning. Saying the alphabet repeatedly has no meaning. Saying the Hail Mary, with no awareness of what we are saying, provides us very little benefit, as well. We need to recognize what the words of prayer are and what they signify for us as individuals.

What are we doing, when we pray the rosary? If we think it is just the saying of a group of prayers over some knots on a rope, or beads on a chain, then we have been misinformed. The Rosary is a meditation, a recalling to our mind of the milestones along the public and private life of Jesus. We use each decade of the rosary to focus on the particulars of a specific “mystery”, or milestone. It might even be beneficial for us to insert ourselves into that mystery. For example, don’t think of faceless people beating Jesus, or crucifying Him. We should put ourselves into that scene. We, through our sins, are doing the beating. God is not bound by the limits of time. And, Jesus is God. Therefore, Jesus is not bound by the limits of time. He is being beaten and crucified right now, today. But who is doing the beating? Look around, do you see any Roman soldiers? WE are beating Him with our ungratefulness, our thoughts of our selves, with our crimes of passion. Put yourself into the mystery. Which part do you play? Which part would you want to play? Do you want to be the one beating Him as He carries His cross? Or, do you want to wipe His face, as Veronica did, or help him with the weight of the cross, like Simon of Cyrene? Don’t let the decade portray some distant event in the past. Step into it. Recognize that all of us play a part in this scene. All of us, hold whips in our hands.

Over these last two centuries, Mary has come to mankind many times. Her appeal to us has consistently been one of urging us to pray the rosary. At Fatima, at Medjugorje, in Hungary her incessant cry has been pray the rosary. Pray it in earnest. Pray it with the understanding that Mary will appeal to Her Son, who cannot refuse her anything. Cherish it and use it to get close to Mary and her Son. We seem to have lost our desire to pray. We think that the mindless rattling off of words is what constitutes prayer. And, we know deep down, THAT doesn’t make any sense to us. So, we shrug it off and pursue other interests. What we should pursue is lifting our thoughts, our mind, and our heart up to our God. Ask Mary to help us in our growth towards her Son, to tell Him of our love, of our struggles. Tell Him of our doubts and frustrations. But most of all, tell Him that we do believe, and still, pray for a stronger belief. We may not know the best words to say, but ask Mary to bring them to her Son. With her as our emissary, they will become like flowers of gold, a flame of love.

Mary has asked us to pray the rosary, yes! She asks us to lift up our mind and heart. Offer the rosary as praise and thanksgiving to God. Honor Him with our love, our awareness of His goodness. Offer to Him, all the hurt, the anguish, the suffering that we are feeling. Of course, we don’t want it, but we can lovingly accept it and give that acceptance to Him as a sign of our desire to love Him back. Ask Mary to help us become the person that God has planned for us to be, from all eternity. Pray the rosary, and change how you pray it. Instead of looking at the clock, to see how long we have been praying, look at the image of Mary, realizing that she is our mother, and offer our love to Jesus through her, asking her to sanctify it.

Do you really think that the rosary is just words? Lift up your mind and heart. (Isn’t that how we used to define prayer?) Make the words and thoughts and feelings that come from you, let them be your prayer. Think of the particular mystery that is being remembered. Picture yourself with Jesus in that moment of His life. Tell Him you love Him. Tell Him you wish your life to be better. Ask Him to send the Spirit of God within you.

Prayer is important, make no mistake about it. It is important for ourselves and the lives, we live. It is important for our family, friends and persons who we love and are concerned about. It is important for the world, because it is in such grave need of being loved and understood. Mary begs us again and again, “PRAY THE ROSARY

immaculate conception

The Immaculate Conception Medal, known now as the Miraculous Medal, was manifested to Saint Catherine Laboure on November 27, 1830. The saint described the medal with these words:

“Her feet rested on a white globe…I saw rings on her fingers…Each ring was set with gems…The larger gems emitted greater rays and the smaller gems smaller rays.” Unable to express, nor understand, what she saw, Catherine heard an interior voice: “These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forgot to ask.” An oval flame formed around the Blessed Virgin, and within it in letters of gold Catherine read the words: O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray For Us Who Have Recourse To You. The voice spoke again: “Have a Medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”

Catherine continued: “…The tableau seemed to turn, and I beheld the reverse of the Medal: a large M surmounted by a bar and a cross; beneath the M were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the one crowned with thorns, the other pierced with a sword”.
The front of the Medal represents Mary standing on the earth, her foot crushing the head of a serpent, and her hands outstretched to all who ask her assistance. The prayer encircling her contains one of her most precious titles: O MARY CONCEIVED WIYHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO YOU. The rays of light from her hands symbolize the graces which she is only too eager to bestow upon those who wear the Medal and pray to her.

St. Catherine was pressed by her confessor to ask Mary what should be inscribed on the back side of the medal. Mary’s response was “The M and the two hearts express enough.” The Medal was first made according to Our Lady’s design just two years after the first apparition. It was freely circulated and in a short time was worn by millions. In its wake followed innumerable wonders. Health was restored, sickness banished, blessing bestowed. Because of all of these wonders and cures, the medal simply became known as the Miraculous Medal.

Novena comes from the Latin word ‘novem‘ meaning ‘nine’. A novena is a traditional Catholic devotion consisting of prayers prayed publicly or privately for a special intention, and usually on nine consecutive days. One does not have to be Catholic to pray a novena. All who desire to become closer to our Lord are welcome to experience the many blessings this special form of prayer can bestow. Novenas are often prayed when a time in our life is especially difficult, or at any other time one is seeking special graces, guidance or intercession.

Devotion to and wearing of the Miraculous Medal is second to the Rosary in popularity among traditional Catholic devotions. Click here, “Novena of the Miraculous Medal” to view and pray the Novena.