At-Home Lenten Retreats

Lenten retreats for divorced Catholic Moms

An Embarrassing Truth, And Nothing But The Truth I’m going to admit an embarrassing truth: I really don’t want to make any sacrifices for Lent this year. Why should I add suffering to my life  when I suffer so much already? Not all I “suffer” is from my divorce, but being divorced does make life a bit more difficult than life in a two parent home. Add a couple scoops of physical health issues that are sometimes debilitating. Then the cherry on top of that sundae – my concussion 2 years ago that resulted post-concussion syndrome (also called “mild traumatic brain injury) and left me with issues that come and go with various intensities. So I haven’t been able to work much. And I haven’t been able to write much. But I’m able to be a pretty good mom most of the time to my sixteen-year old daughter and that right there is a huge blessing! I’m surrounded by an abundance of blessings – a beautiful and safe home, loving family and friends, a church just five minutes away, beautiful palm trees year round here in Florida. But despite my multitude of blessings, it can feel as though I don’t have the…

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Divorce Terrified Me, But A Simple Prayer Saved Me

Text When Divorce terrified me this one prayer saved me

Lisa Duffy of “A Million Unheard Souls”  invited me to be a guest writer on her blog for divorced Catholics. Lisa has been a ray of hope and inspiration to me as I’ve healed from divorce and it’s a privilege to write over there on her channel at Patheos. I’m excited about this new project and hope you’ll come visit with me and with Lisa over at her blog on Patheos.com. Lisa Duffy is an divorce recover expert and I highly recommend her blog, books, and other resources. In my first post at “A Million Unheard Souls,” I shared deeply personal feelings and the simple prayer I clung to when my life was falling apart.  Shattered Glass, Shattered Lives One teenage angst-filled day, I angrily slammed the bathroom door. Within seconds, the mirror over the sink was tipping off the wall. It struck the two hanging lights in front of it and all five feet of it continued falling forward towards me. I still remember the feeling of shock as I stood there watching the impossible. I instinctively raised my hands to cover my face, shards exploding around me. It was unexpected. Terrifying. And there was nothing I could do to…

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A Prayer by St. Ignatius For When You Feel Weak & Helpless

Have you felt helpless or weak as you’ve gone through divorce? You’re not alone. St. Ignatius didn’t go through a divorce but he wrote a great prayer for those of us who are suffering in any way. His “Prayer Against Depression” applies to much more than depression, but any time it feels like “all is darkness” and we need a bit of hope. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a strong 16th century man, a soldier. Why in the world did he write a prayer about weakness and  helplessness?” Hard for to imagine, isn’t it? It just shows us that saints had feelings too, just like ours. They cried, they feared, they hurt, and they hoped. I’ve cried, feared, hurt, hoped. And through prayers like this one of St. Ignatius, I’m reminded of God’s love and strength. I shared this prayer on A Million Unheard Souls on Patheos.com,  but I also want to share it here with you. Hope it blesses you. Prayer Against Depression by Saint Ignatius of Loyola O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of your presence, Your love, and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in…

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Divorced Catholic Mother’s Prayer to St. Joseph for Her Children

st joseph with child jesus consecration for divorced Catholic mothers

Somehow I stumbled across this prayer of consecration to St. Joseph online and it touched my heart, so I’m sharing it with you! I’ve adapted a few words in this traditional prayer to St. Joseph to make it more appropriate for divorced and single Catholic mothers by replacing “us” or”we” with “I.” No other changes were made. When my husband moved out I was bereft. We had a beautiful statue of St. Joseph, a gift from my mother-in-law, and I so asked St. Joseph to be “the man of the house.” I have entrusted to St. Joseph all my attempts to work and earn income since he has the title “St. Joseph The Worker.” It gives me comfort to know that as he cared for Mary and Jesus, he also cares for me and my children. Perhaps you’ll also find comfort in turning to St Joseph. A Mother’s Prayer Consecrating Her Children to St. Joseph O glorious St. Joseph,  to you God committed the care of His only begotten Son amid the many dangers of this world. I come to you and ask you to take under your special protection the children God has given me.  Through holy baptism they became children of God and members of…

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Souls Need to Pray!

St. Teresa of Avila is one of my favorite saints. She was one tough cookie when she was reforming the Carmelite Order in mid-sixteenth century Spain. She was also a doctor of the Church, a mystic, and a wonderful teacher of prayer. I love reading and re-reading her vivid descriptions and explanations of the spiritual life. When St. Teresa talks, I want to listen! Souls who do not have the habit of prayer are like paralyzed bodies with hands and feet they cannot use. It seems to me that to stop praying is to take a wrong turn, because prayer is the door through which all God’s graces come to us. If this door is closed, I do not know what might happen. St. Teresa of Avila As divorced Catholic moms, we need the door to God’s graces wide open, therefore we really need to pray, right?i Is it Selfish to Pray? It felt selfish when I would leave the kids at home and go off to the chapel to pray for an hour or so, but I needed the strength God gave me through that time of prayer. The chapel was the only place I could cry. I soaked…

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Novena Prayers to St. Joseph, Advocate for My Divorced Catholic Family

St Joseph image with child on Mexican retalbo oil on tin

My St. Joseph I turned to St. Joseph in prayer after my divorce and asked him to watch out for me and my little family. It gave me comfort to know that the foster-father of Jesus, who took such good care of the Divine Child, would watch over us and pray for us. I asked him to be the man of the house. Yes, he is the patron saint of fathers, but also of workers. (And any prayers for the children’s fathers is helpful to the children, right? Just grit your teeth and bite your tongue…it’s okay! Don’t stop reading yet!) Advocate for Families To further convince you that St. Joseph might be a good advocate for divorced mothers and their families, listen to this: The Catholic News Agency reported that Archbishop Jose Escobar Alas said, “…But we should also see [St. Joseph] now as a defender of the rights of women and children. It was he who protected the Sacred Family and the Holy Infant in the flight to Egypt and at all times.”  He continued: “allow me to say something else: St. Joseph continues to care for each one of our families.” Novena Prayers to St. Joseph A novena to St.…

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Surviving Divorce: Our Weakness, God’s Strength

Battle scene our inner battle

How do you survive after the destruction of divorce? The only way I was able to make it day-to-day after divorce was through the strength God gave me. My marriage broke up over a year and a half that felt like glass shattering in my hands as I tried to hold onto life as a family. When my husband finally moved out, I was devastated. I used scripture verses to help me survive day-by-day as we went through the divorce and as I survived through the first couple of years afterwards. This was one of my favorites verses; I memorized it and recited it to myself throughout the day: “Out of weakness we were made more powerful, became strong in battle, and pushed back foreign invaders.” Hebrews 11:34 Here is the entire passage to relish and see the context before I adapted it: “What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned…

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Lent!!

Jesus carrying cross

Just a quick note to share a link with you that, quite possibly, has everything you need to know about Lent. 🙂 Aggie Catholics annual Lenten mega-post 2012 Wishing you a Lent well practiced..and God’s peace. Manya Image Credit: Photograph by  Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr   of 5th Station of the Cross in by lay Dominican Eric Gill in Westminster Cathedral, use under license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0  

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