Friday, 26 April 2013

Mary Mother of God, pray for us....

A follow on from my last piece really.

John Paul 2 also said in his letter about the rosary to pray it for the family as "the family, the primary cell of society, increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes, so as to make us fear for the future of this fundamental and indispensable institution and, with it, for the future of society as a whole. The revival of the Rosary in Christian families, within the context of a broader pastoral ministry to the family, will be an effective aid to countering the devastating effects of this crisis typical of our age."

From both my careers, as a police officer and teacher, I have seen first hand how the disintegration of the family affects society and children/young people in particular. As a result when we first spoke about having children my husband and I were clear; one of us should stay at home to look after them.

I have spoken about how this decision, normal in previous years, is suddenly controversial.  I have also spoken about how the reality is harder than I imagined.

Both my previous jobs, although stressful, did not prepare me for the isolation that having a family can make you feel.  In previous years you would have known people close by in the same position as you.  However I sometimes feel I am the only one doing this.  Everyone else I know who had children returned to work.

Additionally, I have begun my role as a mother with a 17month old who's cries I don't completely understand (you don't want in the pram but you don't want to walk????) and no-one who to talk it through with. I have no extended family structure around me - my parents live in France, my husbands in London and all the women in my extended family are working, but not in this city.

Just as I was feeling particularly sorry for me I began to think of Mary today.  She too went against the grain of society - try getting pregnant when your engaged to a man in ancient Israel!

She too was isolated - separated from her family as they flew to Egypt because of persecution.

But Catholic teaching is that Mary was immaculate, free from the stain of original sin.  She never had to fight the selfish nature that we all have.  Where I have to fight at times to love Mary did not because of the Grace of her son.

As a mother I want to be like Mary; filled with the Holy Spirit, full of Grace, raising a child as not only mine and my husbands adopted daughter, but God's too.

Litany to Mary, Queen of the Family

Mary, our family like so many families are in desperate need. We require your protection. We need your guidance.

Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!

Ours and so many families have become lax in their faith and even entangled in error. We need your clarity and security. We need your courage and strong faith.

Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!
Ours and so many families lack spiritual and material possessions. We need your help. We need your intercession.

Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!
Ours and so many families have become too weak in order to resist temptations. We need your strength. We need your purity.

Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!
Ours and so many families experience difficulties in educating their children. We need your motherly love. We need your educative hand.

Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!
Ours and so many families are torn apart through a loss of true love. We need your goodness. We need your loving understanding.

Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!

Prayer for Mothers 
Good and Gentle God, we pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women of theory who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life. You who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.
Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return, not perfectly, but humanly.
Give them the faithful support of husband, family and friends as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children.
Give them joy and delight in their children to sustain them through the trials of motherhood.
Most of all, give them the wisdom to turn to you for help when they need it most.

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I welcome your posts whether you agree with me or not. Can I ask that people are respectful to each other; no-one has the right not to be offended, but I think that we can talk to each other without swearing or using personal insults.
If you want to use the whole "sky fairy" thing when you're talking to people with faith that too is your perogitive. Just know that for me and many others when you do you've lost the argument.