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Morning Praise

August 17, 2010
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What can I render to the Lord

for all of His goodness to me?

Only the chalice of salvation

which He first rendered for us.

Each day, a mother takes up this chalice,

the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity

of Him who was born of a woman.

She receives into herself all the graces

of His holy Presence,

the Way-bread of her life.

It is enough!

When it is possible to attend Mass, a mother seeks this blessing of Communion with Jesus in the power of the Church. Even if the children are wiggly (did I say “if”?) – even when the children are wiggly, they absorb a certain grace, seeing that each day begins in the context of the life of Jesus and in the peace of the Church that carries his message to the world.

Even so, it is not always possible, and even when it is materially possible, the task of preparing to go, getting there, and getting home is not always reasonable and may so interfere with your personal peace and morning prayer that is it counter-productive. Jesus says that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, ” so it is meant for our refreshment, the renewal of our covenant with our heavenly Father, our brother Jesus, our spousal gift of the Holy Spirit. If it seems like a burden, maybe daily Mass is not your vocation right now. Try twice a week or even just once.

Indeed, the Church explicitly teaches that all the graces of Communion may be received spiritually if we sincerely invite Jesus into our souls and give ourselves to communion with him. And yes, you can do this while you are nursing, while you are feeling sick, and in many other less-than-ideal circumstances.

Think of how any good friendship goes. Naturally you want to build a friendship with various kinds of opportunities for sharing thoughts and projects – but a good friendship faces the ups and downs of life and continues to build on the days when you can’t serve tea, can’t read for the book club, or are too distracted for a good conversation. In this connection, I always remember Rebecca who came over when my fourth child was on the way. She just walked in and started washing the breakfast dishes. I will never forget it.

Jesus is no less gracious. Let your Communion with him start your day, sometimes in privacy, sometimes in the Church.

Hallowed be thy Name!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Malene permalink
    August 31, 2010 6:19 pm

    I was directed to your blog (& this entry) by your eldest daughter because of the mention of my mother, but I was pulled into all the other wonderful entries as well- Thank you. I am caring for a 2 & 3 year old at the time being and the Orthodox seminary we are living at holds 12 services in a normal week, with the Sunday morning liturgies averaging 1.5-2 hours….I struggle with bringing the kids (& keeping them) in church on Sundays alone, much less any of the other services….Thanks for the words of wisdom. So encouraging & what a wonderful reminder of the grace He gives us for our vocation, as you mentioned in a later post….needed to be reminded of that today! And I have such fond memories growing up and visiting your home….what a delight it always was to visit you & your children!!

    • September 19, 2010 1:15 pm

      What a pleasure to hear from you! Your household is the home of many memories of my early motherhood, and both of your parents were important supporters in my faith and my family life. I did know another orthodox family – didn’t realize that the load of services was so great; morning and evening prayer, I guess. Wow!
      Most important that the children come to know God in their own hearts; you know that. We mothers in the liturgical churches need to guard that interiority. In the other churches, the need is often for discipline and order, as they can get stuck in one personal part of the scriptures or one personal corner of prayer, forgetting all the wide world.
      But the Lord is so full of love! Wishing you all of it!
      Mary

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