Tag Archives: Catholic faith

Women need other women…..

 

Last weekend, I had the privilege of reuniting with about 13 girlfriends from my college Alma Mater, Franciscan University. This reunion had been in the works for several months and I was counting down the days. These ladies were part of my “household”, in simple terms, a christian sorority that I had joined during my four years at that college.

These girls were the ones that lived on the same wing of the dorm as I did.  We passed each other in the bathroom,  and we stayed up late eating cheap pizza together. These same ladies ‘glammed up’ with me for dances, and I threw them the ball in intramural football. They allowed me to cry on their shoulders when I broke up with my first real boyfriend, and they took me to prayer when I was struggling with student teaching and graduating. They held a valuable piece of my heart.

They were a big part of the tapestry of my life. 

Not only did some of my fondest memories include them, but we have the bonds of spiritual sisterhood. They were my “sisters”. The ladies whom I had shared my heart with during those four growing years….that beautiful time of learning who I was, and where I was going. These ladies sat next to me in the pew at Mass, and held my hand in our weekly prayer nights. When Ohio couldn’t contain us, we moved on to a semester in Europe where we continued our journey together as sisters exploring foreign countries together.

As time went on, I sat in the pews and stood on the altar for many of their weddings. I cried big tears as I learned of pregnancies and miscarriages. We mourned the tragic death of parents, and the hardship of divorce.

And as we gathered in that lake house cottage in New York, we once again shared our hearts.  We came together to share not just our hearts, but our struggles, our hurts, and our loved ones.

CD reunion 2017

Because women need other women.

Ask the SAHM of an infant or toddler, and she will tell you that she craves adult conversation. …she would gladly exchange an hour of a nap for a solid hour chatting with a girlfriend.

We need to tell our story. We need the support of other women who can give us counsel and share their wisdom. We need other women who love us and seek our happiness. 

Let’s ponder the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. I believe that Mary spent the better part of that journey trying to think of the best way to share the story of the visitation. Would Elizabeth believe her? Would she challenge this message from God? Would she believe that God had chosen her to carry the Christ child? She needed a “sister” to whom to share the great news with.  What a surprise when Elizabeth already knew!!!!

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me?” – Luke 1:41-43

We hear in scripture that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb (St. John the Baptist) lept with joy at the presence of Mary. What a beautiful confirmation of the beauty of this friendship between Elizabeth and Mary….two ladies who had chosen to give their “yes” to God!

God was allowing them to experience this amazing journey together. They both understood the awesome privilege that they were given, and found comfort in their shared journey.

How many times have you sought the counsel of another women? or felt such comfort when another woman just “gets it” without a need for a long explanation?

My husband is my best friend….this is not a knock on men.  My husband will always be the first person that I run to with good news, when life is tough, or just to wrap his arms around me. However, just like I encourage him to seek the counsel of his brothers, he does the same for me.

My girlfriends walk the same journey of motherhood and wifedom that I do. ( I know…..wifedom sounds good…but I think I just made that up…haha) .  I laughed as the posts flooded our facebook group as these “moms” prepared for the weekend. There was the usual “do I need sheets for the beds?” or “how much alcohol should i bring”? but I laughed at the comments about “wearing sweatpants and pajamas” and what “nice clothes” did we really need….haha. Posts from true mommas who just needed a cocktail, an abundance of sleep, and to sit comfortably in a “nonjudgment” zone for the weekend.

It was so funny when one mom suggested that we attend Saturday night Mass so that we could sleep in on Sunday morning, how quickly everyone agreed that that idea was pure perfection.

Women need to be understood by other women. 

As we sat around drinking cocktails in pajamas, we laughed reminicencing about old times. We mentally surfed through facebook posts that we had recently “seen” of each other, and delved deeper into our lives. We were able to share the truth behind those vague facebook posts, and drop tears over what is really going on in our families….the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

And trust me…the tears flowed…from all of us.

But there was also gut-wrenching laughter that brought it’s own set of tears……..

Then…..we bowed our heads and prayed a rosary for our families.

And the beauty of a spiritual sisterhood is that Saturday night, just a few hours after we unpacked our luggage, and stretched our legs from our trips, we entered this tiny church and began our weekend with the Lord.

As I sat in that little church, I listened carefully to the beautiful sound of my girlfriends’ singing. What a gift. I closed my eyes and took it all in. These ladies were such a gift to my womanhood and to my journey as a wife and mother.

My “yes” to God had brought me to this little Catholic college in Ohio where God had plans for my life. He had blessed these friendships, and helped each of us to be instrumental in the development of each other.

He was our center……he was that strong “connection” that made the long distances bearable.

Those three days went too quicky….but as I pulled off to make the journey back to my family, who eagerly awaited my return, I felt renewed.

For those three days, I was just the daughter of a king, along with those other 12 ladies. I had sat at the banquet table of the Lord, and we had feasted.

CD blog

God bless,

Tammi

Why Mercy? People want justice…..

Read any comment section of a tragic human interest story and you can see the rage that comes forth from people. My facebook, lately, has been filled with story after story of parents who are neglecting their children, leaving them to starve or physically punishing them for being “a burden”. I can’t read these stories…..I just can’t. However, I do often look over the comments and so many strangers cry for justice for these little souls.

“An eye for eye”…

” I hope they starve those parents like they starved their kids”.

“Put me in a room with them”.

People want justice.

Now, it’s easy for me to read those comments and think how crazy these people sound.

Unfortunately, the truth is that I want justice in my own life. 

When someone “wrongs’me, I want justice. I want to call my close friends and explain to them how “difficult” this person is being and how I need “prayers” in dealing with them.

I don’t want to take any time trying to “understand” any reasoning behind why someone would insult me or hurt me, I just want to be able to lash out on them in anyway I please.

I want to mentally “cross my arms” and feed that part of me that desires to hate, that demands that “hurt” to be returned.

What about you?

People don’t know how to handle the evil that pervades our world. Racism, infantcide, euthanasia, murder, kidnapping, torture, abortion, sexual abuse…the list is endless. Our gut reaction is to demand atonement for these sins. To demand that the attacker meet some sort of fair punishment or justice. The definition of “justice” is the “quality of being fair and reasonable”. In order to handle the “injustices” of this world, it seems rational that we demand justice. But in order to demand “justice”, we must sit in judgement of another. We must “judge” their deeds worthy of justice.

To the Christian…..Justice is not enough.

The Lord asks for Mercy.

This beautiful image was given to Sister Faustina by Our Lord.  In her beautiful book,  “Diary of Sister Faustina:Divine Mercy in my Soul”, sister’s countless conversations and visions with Our Lord, in which he spoke to her about His Mercy, are detailed. Sister Faustina was asked, by Our Lord, to have the following image painted.

So what does the image mean?

The Image of The Divine Mercy represents the risen Christ whose hands and feet bear the marks of the Crucifixion. When asked about the meaning of the rays from His pierced Heart, Jesus explained, “The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. … These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross” (Diary, 299).

divine mercy

The Lord is calling us to receive His Mercy. 

Have you ever wanted to give someone a gift and yet, they were never home for you to drop it off? You wait in anticipation of the joy that you know this gift will bring, but it never seems to happen. You call, but your phone calls aren’t returned. You know this gift will bring this person so much joy, but you can’t get through to them.

Can you imagine that you are this person?! That Jesus has this gift of His Mercy that he is waiting to pour upon you but you can’t make time to see Him.  Would it hurt you to find out that His Mercy would fill all those insecurities and pains of your past? That you would feel truly, and unconditionally accepted and loved.

I am not a reader. I’ve never loved reading but during Advent, Lent, and over the summer, I try to read at least one inspirational book. The following book by Fr. Mike Gaitley has been life-changing for me. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I read this book this Advent, and then again this Lent. I found something “profound” each time that I read it. It’s a beautiful book to add to your library. This is definitely one that you will want to read over and over, and highlight and write in. haha. 

In his book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, Fr. Mike Gaitley writes that mercy is ” love when it encounters suffering”. It is “first an emotional movement, in which we feel compassion, and then a movement of action”.

It is first “feeling” compassion for someone, and then acting on that.  It is a call to action. God is calling us to action. He is calling us to receive the gift of His Mercy, and then to act on that Mercy. Jesus wants us to be emotionally moved by His Love for us, and then “called to action” by that same love.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared this the Year of Mercy. How will you live out this year?

Kendra, over at Catholic All Year, has started a Year of Mercy Challenge with her family. Their family has created a challenge, for the year, to fulfill each of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as a family. She has produced a fantastic printable which you will find here:

Year of Mercy challenge worksheet

Our family has printed out this form and will be challenging ourselves as well.

Additionally, when my girlfriend, Michele, asked me to consider being one of the few “early readers” of her new book, Divine Mercy for Moms, I jumped at the chance. Having just finished Fr. Mike Gaitley’s book, this seemed to be a great book to continue this same message of Divine Mercy. It seemed only “fitting” that, as I opened this book, I found that  Fr. Mike Gaitley had written comment promoting this book.

This book didn’t disappoint.

Divine Mercy for Moms is a beautiful book, written by two of my friends from Franciscan University, that speaks to the heart of every busy mom who is trying to live her faith. These women have done a wonderful job of breaking down the message of Divine Mercy from Sr. Faustina into small reflective chapters that any mom can follow. Each chapter ends with how we can live that chapter’s message through three practical ways: in deed, word, and prayer. This book is also set up for small group discussion.

******I was going to wait until I finished this book…but after reading the first three chapters, I couldn’t wait to share it with you. This book is the perfect Easter basket gift for yourself….and a wonderful pre-cursor to Divine Mercy Sunday.******

This book is perfect for the busy mom, as you can read a chapter on Sunday to begin your week, and then use the practical suggestions on ways to “live” that chapter during the week. These moms, Emily and Michele, know how to speak to the mother’s heart and give practical tips for living this message of Mercy.

These ladies have also provided us with so many wonderful resources on their website, Divine Mercy For Moms.

They have two “special gifts” for this year of Mercy…download your free copies of the Mom’s Checklists for the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.!

Definitely “click” on this book and order yours today!

If you have read both of these, please join me in reading Fr. Mike Gaitley’s new book, 33 Days of Merciful Love. This book is a blend of a retreat and the journey of growing closer to St. Therese, the Little Flower. Sounds like a great way to start into this summer.

My prayer is that some of these resources will provide invaluable on your spiritual journey.

May we seek God’s mercy that He so readily awaits to lavish upon us, mere sinners.

May we fully embrace this year of Mercy!

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