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CSD Book Club – 33 Days to Morning Glory (Week 6 of 7)

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

33 Days to Morning Glory

Ode to Motherhood

Mary’s new motherhood is not some vague or abstract sort of thing.  It’s concrete and personal.  And even though it’s universal, it’s also intensely particular.  Mary is your mother.  She is my mother.  In the-good-portion-picturethis light, John Paul thinks it’s significant that Mary’s new motherhood on Calvary is expressed in the singular, “Behold, your son” not “Behold, your billions of spiritual children.”  The Pope gets to the heart of it when he says, “Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood.”  In short: Mary is uniquely, particularly, personally your mother and my mother, and she doesn’t lose us in the crowd.  – 33 Days to Morning Glory, p. 99 (Last paragraph on Day 26)

Mary is my mother.  This is no small statement.  Think about what it means to be a mother.  Think about what it means to have a mother.  Of all the vocations in the world, none is so universally necessary as that of mother.

There is not enough paper on earth to record all the prayers, mortifications and sacrifices made by mothers.  Sometimes it takes a while, but most children, at some point in their lives, recognize the complete gift of self their mothers made for them.  I didn’t wake up until I had children of my own, but now I tread back and forth – depending on the day – between thanking my mother for her sacrifices, and apologizing profusely for all the pain I caused her  over the years!

Cardinal Josef Mindszenty describes the significance of a mother in his beautiful book, aptly titled, The Mother:

“…Mother works in the home, but her quiet labor radiates upon the entire nation.  She passes on the entire treasure of culture from generation to generation.  She builds up the future, and not merely the future of this earth; nay, her task reaches out into eternity, to the very heart of God.  

Without her there can be no family, no home.  Without her, the strongest forces of human strength will disappear.  Without her, goodness, love and mercy will vanish. She is the sturdy staff upon which the weary pilgrim supports himself as he plods the dusty road of life.  She is the unknown soldier of common everyday life.  The hand that rocks the cradle holds the helm of the world.  Everything that lives and dies on earth has its origin in mother.”

If we, who are shackled by the concupiscence left behind after original sin, can desire good things and sacrifice for our children, imagine how much more perfect the desires and how infinitely passionate the intercession of Mary, our Immaculate Mother!  How can we not turn to her for all our needs?  More than the best earthly mother, she seeks only heaven for us and will lead us all the way, provided we hold her hand.

As you ponder the vocation of motherhood, I’ll leave you with one last powerful message, also from Cardinal Mindszenty:

 

The Most Important Person 

on earth is a mother.  She

cannot claim the honor of 

having built Notre Dame

Cathedral.  She need not.  She

has built something more 

magnificent than any 

cathedral – a dwelling for an

immortal soul, the tiny

perfection of her baby’s 

body…The angels have not 

been blessed with such a 

grace.  They cannot share in 

God’s creative miracle to bring

new saints to Heaven.  Only a

human mother can.  Mothers 

are closer to God the Creator 

than any other creature; God

joins forces with mothers in 

performing this act of 

creation…What on God’s 

good earth is more glorious 

than this: to be a mother?

Announcing our Next Book:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Beginning June 11)

This seemed like the perfect summer read – humorous but poignant; light but profound.

NOTE I:  I haven’t forgotten my survey requesting votes for upcoming books.  It just took a while to get around to calculating them all.  The following books were in the top three:

  1. 33 Days to Morning Glory/True Devotion to Mary
  2. Intro to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales
  3. The Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila

While I received zero votes for the Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur, there has been enough discussion about it in recent posts (mine and others) to merit a second look – also, it’s one of my favorite books, so I’ve decided to trump the process:).

Following is a list of upcoming books (as always, subject to change):

  1. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (approx. 6 weeks)
  2. Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur (approx. 10 weeks)
  3. An Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales (approx. 12 weeks)
  4. The Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila (approx. 10 weeks)

 

NOTE II:  Your mind is not playing tricks on you – I changed the amount of Weeks for 33 Days from “6″  to “7.”  Originally, I planned to let our Consecration ride into the sunset after my post this week – figuring we’d make our consecration on Friday and be ready to begin the next book on Tuesday.  But now that we’re here, I’ve decided that plan would fail to give our consecration it’s due attention!  This is no small commitment we’re making!!!  Next week I will post a brief conclusion to our study on Mary, and will leave lots of room for discussion regarding what this consecration has meant to you, whether you felt properly prepared and how this process has affected your relationship with The Blessed Mother or her Son.  

 

For Discussion:

1. Three cheers for mothers!  Please share a favorite inspirational story about your mother, or a mother figure in your life.

2. Open discussion: Feel free to comment on any topic from this past week’s reading.

Reading Assignment:  Day 31-end of Day of Consecration

Read More: http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/topics/book-club

For More Information on the Book Club:  http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/csd-book-club

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages three to fifteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the CSD book club so she could embark with likeminded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. In addition to moderating the book club and managing family activities, Vicki also cooks, does laundry, cleans, does laundry, and, every once in a while, finds time to write and speak on topics such as marriage and spiritual reading - of course, these endeavors take place only between her many loads of laundry.

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  • http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog Mary@42

    This one I must send to my daughter who has a 3-week old Angel!!!!!

    • LizEst

      Congratulations to your daughter and to you and all your family! I’ve been waiting to hear. God bless you all!

      • http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog Mary@42

        Oh, I am so sorry, Liz. I was so excited I forgot to post it here!!!! Robin arrived at 6.35 p.m. (local time) on Saturday the 4th. My other daughter posted her photo on my Laptop 10 minutes after she was born by Ceasarean. She is heavenly. Say a Prayer of thanks to Jesus for us, Liz

        • LizEst

          Thanks, Mary. I’ve prayed. So, she was born on a First Saturday! Nice. May 4th is also a memorial for St. Casimir, who “practiced the Christian virtues with special regard to chastity and kindness to the poor and was zealous in the faith, particularly in his devotion to the holy eucharist and the Virgin Mary” (from the Liturgy of the Hours).

          • http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog Mary@42

            Yes, Liz, she landed on the First Saturday of the Month of Mary. I do pray she, too, will be devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and our Holy Mother. Now, add another prayer that her parents will agree with me to baptize her Robin Grace, the Christian name of her mother-in-law whom she is named after!!!!

          • LizEst

            I will pray for your intentions, Mary. God bless you!

    • Vicki

      Congratulations – how exciting! How many grandchildren do you have?

      • http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog Mary@42

        Oh Vicki, now I have five. The eldest is a few months shy of 33 years!!! And now the youngest will be 4 Weeks tomorrow Saturday the 1st June.

  • Cecilia Beale

    Vicki, thanks for your leadership through 33 Days to Morning Glory. Speaking as a convert who found Marian doctrine a significant hurdle in coming home to the Church, this month with you and this book has been a time in which my love for Our Mother and the entire Church has deepened.

    • Vicki

      I’m so happy to hear it! Marian doctrine was difficult for me, too. Now I’m so excited to know I have such a loving and patient mother watching over me at all times.

  • Jeanette

    I want to share an inspirational story about my mother. My mother was used by God to bring me back to Him. She encouraged her 6 children to go to Mass but neither she nor my dad accompanied us…we were sent on our own. In Grade 9, I quit going to Mass. My mother had been away from the Church at least 30 years when she had an encounter with Christ that brought her enthusiastically back to the Catholic Faith. One day she came to visit me…I had a one year old boy at the time. She had a catechism to share with me. But, she didn’t need to say anything. I saw her sitting in the frontroom with strong beams of light shining from both eyes that did not disperse but cut off short. I knew I was seeing something supernatural but I didn’t say anything. She asked me to pray to the Holy Spirit before I read the cathechism. When alone and when my child was asleep, I said the prayer to the Holy Spirit and began to read, “Who is God?” I began to weep and did so through most of the catechism. I experienced what I believe was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. For one year, I had a honeymoon experience…I had fallen in love with God and He gave me constant consolation. I now understood and experienced how one can love God with all their mind and heart and with all their strength…as this had been beyond my understanding before. I owe my mother for leading me back to God. Thanks be to mothers, for their love for us and for their constant prayers for us!

    • Terese10

      Jeanette, this is an amazing story! It makes me smile to read about it. God gave you a great gift in that experience.

  • Sharon Brandt

    For the past few years, I have been on an amazing spiritual journey. A few years ago I prayed with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It was a life-changing experience. This 33 day retreat has been just as powerful as the 9 months of Exercises, but in a different way. Growing up, I did not have a perfect relationship with my mother. Who does? As we grew older, my mother and I each learned and grew closer, but something was always missing. When she died, I realized I missed out on a true mother-daughter relationship and have been mourning this ever since. I feel this retreat has healed that. It seems that last piece of my life, which has been kept safe by Mother Mary, has fallen into place. I know now that my mother did the very best she could with what she had and I’ve even come to be grateful for the time I spent alone when I was a child because it developed my imagination. I now so enjoy time alone, praying, pondering, contemplating. It has help to keep me in balance. I now moderate an on-line prayer group and hold days of prayer to promote faith-companioning. Thank you, Fr. Gaitley, thank you, Vicki. Thank you, Lord, for my mother and for yours!

    • Alexandra Arias

      Thanks for sharing – it sounds a lot like my story. I thank Jesus for giving us His beautiful Mother. No matter our relationship with our own natural mother, Mary is our beautiful, ever present, faithful, most loving, tender, compassionate, consoling, trusting, place of refuge, mentor, teacher, guide, on and on, and on… all things beautiful Mother! We who know her, and rely on her in our lives are most blessed!

  • Jeanette

    I discovered a free download for The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis that we will be starting June 11th.
    http://www.TrueChristianity.Info/en/the_screwtape_letters_download.php

    • LizEst

      Wonderful! Thank you so much, Jeanette. This is such a blessing for me as I was about to go out and purchase one. Now, others around the world will be able to use this download as well. God bless you!

    • http://clinmarjo.blogspot.com/ Maryellen Jones

      Thanks so much for the link. I downloaded the book and this is especially helpful to me because I can enlarge the font for reading-areal boon for these old eyes.

  • Robert Kraus

    I have been enjoying this book immensely and it’s really helped see the need for Mary in my own life to guide me to her Son. I’m giving serious thought to going through the Consecration this year, perhaps ending on Dec 8th, my b-day.
    My own Mom was such a quiet person of faith, yet she exuded devotion to Our Lord in such a profound way without saying much. We grew up Assembly of God, yet the denomonational stuff never mattered as much as a quiet relationship with God, pursuing that relationship and being truly good and decent at heart. It was a great foundation for me and an example I hope to emulate.

  • Victoria Campbell

    One of my most powerful memories of my mother involved a doctors visit where I was experiencing a terrible earache. My pediatrician had to use some type of metal probe to retrieve small wad of paper towel that I had attempted to put in my ear to clean it weeks before. I remember him admonishing me to hold completely still or risk him puncturing my eardrum. My mother held my had and I remember the power of her presence at that moment and how I was able to do just as instructed. and the object was retrieved and all was well. I was about 10 then I think. When I was just 25 before my first child was born my mother passed away unexpectedly.

    This image of her presence I can still summon in similar circumstances. When having an epidural during the birth of my first child. Now as I have faced cancer related tests and fears MRI, biopsy etc I visualize her there holding my hand and it gives me such peace. My mother was a very spiritual faith filled person though she was Methodist not Catholic.

    My spirituality growing up was formed through both religions. I have become more Catholic by the year. I was not raised with a strong Marian
    Spirituality as this was contrary to my mother’s faith tradition however I have felt this need to draw closer to Mary particularly since I have been a mother. I read and a have learned about of the power of our heavenly mother to work miracles in our lives and I want to draw closer but have not yet determined if I am ready for consecration. Please pray for me that I may be ready for this consecration if it be God’s will. I so want to deepen my faith but I do not want to make this commitment until I am sure I am ready to fully dedicate myself as our holy mother deserves that I be fully ready for this.

    • LizEst

      I prayed for you at Mass this morning. God bless you, Victoria.

      • Victoria Campbell

        Prayers always appreciated! I have my 5th/ out of 6 chemo treatment tomorrow. Please also pray for a dear friend who is a member of my parish whose cancer has recently come back and she now has few options for treatment. She is a wonderful faith filled person and has been so very good to me. Thank you!

        • LizEst

          Sure thing. I’ll do that! God bless you, Victoria. Glad you don’t have many chemo treatments before you anymore.

    • Vicki

      Thinking of your mother holding your hand as you face your current struggles brings tears to my eyes. What a special connection! I continue to keep you in my prayers, and am so excited when you are able to join the conversation! In Christ, Vicki

  • Terese10

    I loved Mother Mary as a child. I remember taking Lilly of the Valley flowers to the May crownings. The sun was streaming in through the windows and I loved praying with my classmates to Mary. I’m not sure how I lost that connection, but I have found Mary again in the last few years. How I missed her! I didn’t even realize it. I love her so much and get such peace when praying and talking to her. I didn’t keep up with the book but I have skipped ahead to the prayers and am praying many of them.

  • Vicki

    I have to share a story. This is not about my mother (about whom I do have lots of wonderful stories), but a story I heard on the radio several years ago. On Mother’s Day, people were calling into a Catholic radio show with stories about their mothers. One woman called in and said that when Roe v. Wade passed, her mother saw the news and shook her head. Her children heard her say to no one in particular, that this just wasn’t right. She said right then and there that she was not going to eat another cookie until that awful ruling was overturned. This daughter said that her mother never said another word about it. But over the next 30+ years, whenever anyone offered her a cookie, she politely declined. And her kids were reminded (without their mother ever mentioning it) that each time she declined a cookie, she was offering that sacrifice for all those precious little children whose lives had been taken as a result of this gross miscarriage of justice. That mother had such an impact on her children, and on all of us who heard that story. I think about her sacrifice often. It reminds me that we mothers are hidden soldiers, working through prayer and sacrifice to affect the world.

  • Jeanette

    Thank you Terese! God is Good!

  • Wretched Sinner

    Dear Vicky,

    I would like to recommend a book. I’m listening to The Soul of the Apostle by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard. It’s incredible!

  • Mary Anne

    Today is “the day!” Whoo hoo! Off to mass and confession in just a bit. Maybe some adoration time, too.

  • Sharon Brandt

    May I suggest we share the experience of our Consecration? Mine was early in the morning, immediately after Mass yesterday, the Feast of the Visitation. I prayed the Consecration prayer while kneeling in front of the altar and next to a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.

    • Alexandra Arias

      I attended Mass in a beautiful chapel at a Carmelite Monastery. The Mass intentions were for my Consecration. The Carmelite Sisters sing beautifully, they sound like angels. After Mass there was exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, that’s when I prayed my Consecration prayer, in front of a statue of Our Lady of Mount. Carmel. There was a beautiful scent of roses -even though there weren’t any fresh roses in the chapel, only silk ones! It was a glorious morning! I’m looking forward to living out my “Entrust-acration” everyday — God bless!

      • LizEst

        Beautiful, Alexandria. Are you a Third Order Carmelite?

        • Alexandra Arias

          Thank you LizEst! – No I’m not a Third Order Carmelite, but I I’m discerning it. I do love that Carmelite spirituality, it’s so deep, mystical and beautiful! And I adore the Carmelite saints: St. Therese, Saint John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. Happy Solemnity of Corpus Christi to you as well! God bless you and may St. Therese shower you with a fall of roses!

          • LizEst

            You’re welcome Alexandra…and thanks to you as well. I love forward to the roses! Happy Discernment. I love the Carmelite spirituality, too.

    • LizEst

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Sharon…and God bless you. Happy Corpus Christi Solemnity today!