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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Sharing the Holidays: Merry Christmas From My Broken Family

The holidays will never be the same for any of us with families broken by divorce. My family’s experience of the holidays are likely very different from yours. We were blessed to have a “cordial” divorce. There were no abusive behaviors or viciousness in the marriage, during the divorce process, or afterwards. Your family must choose, with the grace of God, how to re-create and share holidays to best fit your unique families. Holidays are a reminder of the brokeness in my family.  Although our divorce agreement spells out the shared holiday schedule, we have never gone by it. In fact, I couldn’t tell you where my children are supposed to be this Easter, but I can know where they will be. Every year, every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, my children do what they have always done. They start the morning at home with Mass and breakfast. Then at some point between 11am and 1pm off they go to the big family meal with grand-parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We used to do that as a family. Now they all go without me. It’s Not Fair It’s my legal right to have the children all to myself on certain holidays. But just because…

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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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Splitting the Stuff: A Child’s View

splitting up the stuff empty spaces

Who Gets What in Divorce? Divorce is lousy. Our marriage is breaking up, and sometimes the entire household is, too.  But what about the children? It’s hard to consider the children when we are dividing household items during divorce. The spouse moving out rarely considers that their personal items were familiar household staples to the children. We’re already struggling with our personal pain and distress, sometimes it takes all our time and energy just to provide the basic necessities as a newly single parent. The there’s the issue of “fairness.” What’s fair for one spouse to have versus the other? Sometimes the courts make the ultimate decision of who gets what. But what about the children? How do they feel while the family home is being dismantled and divvied up? Empty Spaces in the Home Echo Empty Spaces in the Heart I remember a sleep over with a friend when I was in third grade. We were sitting in her living room playing Backgammon on their coffee table. She pointed out an interesting piece of art hanging over the couch, then excitedly jumped up on the couch to flip it over and allow the sand to pour through the image of the…

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Divorced Catholic Moms Website Continues to Grow

Grateful thanks to Manya for passing on stewardship of this site to me! And so this Divorced Catholic Moms website continues to grow… You’re Not Alone, Either This is the first site I found that helped me feel a little less alone as I first faced the impending prospect of  divorce and the loss of my marriage. Although I had come from “a broken home,” none of my Catholic-mom-friends were divorced or single women. I didn’t know any divorced women, at least not among my own contemporaries. I was shocked, scared, and filled with grief, and this site made me feel a bit less alone. Hopefully you’ll feel less alone, too, when you visit here. Divorce Hurts – And Hurts I hope this site will continue to be a little beacon of hope and light of Christ’s love here for all who are going through the heart-break of a broken marriage. Some of us were abandoned by our husbands, while others made the decision to leave an abusive marriage, or all kinds of situations in between. Whether or not you chose to divorce, it still hurts and has lasting affects on your life and the life of your children. This One’s…

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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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Dressing Properly for Church – Teenage Girls

Yes, this is an issue in our house.  It wasn’t with my two oldest girls but it is with my youngest, who is now 16.  As a friend who was a high school teacher for many years points out to me, my daughter views modesty (and lack thereof) very differently from how I view it.  Soooo….as her parent, it’s my job to teach my daughter what is and isn’t modest…and what is and isn’t appropriate for any given situation. And I have.  Many times.  And I will.  Many times more. I’m sure. This article came to me via email this morning, which prompted this post. 🙂  If you have teenage daughters, I encourage you to read it. How is it that some of us parents have come to the point of feeling like we can’t tell our kids “no”….?  Of course, very few of us like conflict, especially with our kids….but sometimes there’s no getting around it.  Our first and most important “job” is to raise our children to know God and to know right from wrong.  It’s our right and DUTY to say “No”  to our children when they make inappropriate choices. Of course, there’s a kind and loving way…

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