Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prayer for Mothers

The Holy Spirit is a wonderful Counselor!

O Heavenly King
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of all blessings and Giver of life:  come dwell within us and cleanse us of every stain and save our souls, O Gracious Lord!

This is traditional prayer of the eastern Church.  There are some other really beautiful prayers that invoke the Holy Spirit and his storehouse of blessings for us.  A couple of those are found in the back of the Compendium (Shortened) Catechism of the Catholic Church, that our beloved Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, had a hand in publishing. 

Come, Creator Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator come,
From your bright heavenly throne!
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
Best gift of God above,
The living spring, the living fire,
Sweet unction, and true love!
You who are sevenfold in your grace,
Finger of God's right hand,
His promise, teaching little ones
To speak and understand!
O guide our minds with your
blessed light,
With love our hearts inflame,
And with your strength which
never decays
Confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our hellish foe
True peace unto us bring,
And through all perils guide us safe
Beneath your sacred wing.
Through you may we the
Father know,
Through you the eternal Son
And you the Spirit of them both
Thrice-blessed three in one.
All glory to the Father be,
And to the risen Son;
The same to you, O Paraclete,
While endless ages run. Amen.

Why all these prayers and praises to the Holy Spirit?  Because I am very grateful to Him today.  His teaching and grabbing me by the hand and putting me back into the confessional were unmistakable.

I prepare for teaching my first and second graders each week by reading the Sunday readings.  Today's Gospel, in the Byzantine Church, was Mark 9:17-31.

17Someone from the crowd answered him, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak;18and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.’19He answered them, ‘You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’20And they brought the boy* to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it threw the boy* into convulsions, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.21Jesus* asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood.22It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.’23Jesus said to him, ‘If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.’24Immediately the father of the child cried out,* ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’25When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You spirit that keep this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!’26After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand.

When I first read through verses 27, relaxed and enjoying a morning cup of coffee, I was not particularly moved or touched by anything.  Actually I was judging of the father who knew enough to bring his son to Jesus, but insulted Jesus with his pathetic request for him to do something "if he is able". 

I thought to myself, what a lack of faith.  How typical of people who have enough belief or hope to come to Jesus in prayer, wanting help, but completely lacking in the trust that he deserves. 

Matthew 13:58 - ".  . . and he (Jesus) did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith."

Mark 6:5-6 - ". . . and he (Jesus) could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Mark 6:5 says he could not work more miracles because of the lack of faith.
But then when I read along with the priest, as he sang the Gospel (another distinctive thing about the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic rite is the Sunday and Feast Day scripture readings are sung), there was a new teaching and a conviction of sin.

In John 16:8, Jesus told us this is what happens, he said, "And when he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world, and show how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right"

I realized that during the past week when I was repeatedly, multiple times per day, losing it at one of my older children, I was truly sinning and showing a lack of trust and faith, as well as being a living example of what is a famous definition of insanity. 

"The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results."

Yelling, threatening, punishing, criticizing, insulting were not changing their attitude or behaviors, and were in fact sinful as both sin of commission against charity, and sin of ommission as in not trusting and praying and fasting for the Holy Spirit to cleanse them of all stain.  No they were not falling to the floor, convulsing and foaming at the mouth.  Still, as a believing Mom, who does not want to be insane, but rather trusting in the Holy Spirit "to guide their minds with his blessed light."

If I believe the words of my Savior, and I do, then I would believe and trust that all things can be done for those who believe and trust.

Then our Pastor proceeded to give a homily that mentioned the Sacrament of Confession repeatedly and he said, "If you are not going, then go monthly to Confession (this is Mary's teaching at Medjugorie), if you are going monthly then go weekly."  When he finished his homily the priest went back into the confessional (frequently the homilist is the one that is hearing confessions and our other priest is the celebrant), and I decided to act on his advice!

I want to encourage other mothers who are in the trial of dealing with their teenagers or young 20 year olds departing in some ways from the teachings of the church, from their earlier faith commitments, and respect for their parents that I will be praying for you, and praying for our children that the Holy Spirit would guide their minds with his blessed light.

My priest advised that I entrust my children, each morning, to the Blessed Mother and her powerful protection and intercession.  I encourage you to do the same.

May Our Precious Lord help me and all other mothers - and fathers, and grandmothers, and grandfathers to get to our knees and pray for these children that our Lord will protect them from the evil influences and take them by the hand and help them to stand.  And please Mother, intercede for all of us, we entrust ourselves, each other, and our chldren to your motherly care and love.


  1. Hi Colleen,
    How are you? I hope you and your family are well! Thanks for sharing posts about the richness of the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic rite - I think it's wonderful how reverent this rite is (especially the prostrating of oneself that you spoke about in your last post).

    You are all in my prayers. God bless!

  2. I'm encouraged by these prayers and your witness about regular confession.... I usually go monthly...but I guess I'm going to aim for weekly, now! Blessings Colleen and +

  3. Thank you Colleen for posing this prayers for children and mothers, as well as for the commentary. The line that most stood our for me was near the end, about the Lord helping our children to stand. I needed reminding about this. Thanks for doing so.