Help for Holy Families

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We should look to the Holy Family for guidance, but not comparison. Otherwise, everyone will say: We are in trouble!  Yet, even with the Holy Family, sometimes things were messy, chaotic, and totally unplanned.   So on some levels, we can relate and simply pray: “Lord, please help us overcome all obstacles to our holiness.”

No earthly accomplishments compare to loving and serving God.  It is right for our children to do their best, but their worldly best is nothing compared to striving for their spiritual best.  And how do we accomplish that in them?  All we can do is make our best effort and then leave the rest to God. Isn’t that what the Holy Family did?

Our failings are opportunities to open us up more to the power of God.  Through failure comes humility and through humility comes God.  He can do more to bring our children to him than we can.

Through our family, we feel our helplessness since we cannot guarantee much of anything beyond our own love.  And through them, we die to self and live in a bigger world of giving and caring.  There are easier ways but not better ones because through our family, giving becomes less of a task and more a desire.

Our family helps us to experience life and God on a deeper level. So although we may not be the holy family we so desire, it is the destination that the Holy Family will lead us to.

The desire for a holy family is the reason my friend Shellie and I started up our daily email prayer group and Facebook page Mary’s Moms.  Our only intention is family holiness.  It is what matters most and all else will fall into place.

Shellie and I trusted the promises Jesus made in Scripture.  “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18: 19-20).  It was also our understanding that when praying as part of a group, the graces are multiplied and not watered down.  So each one shares fully in the spiritual fruits.

We wanted to be sure we had our theology correct.  I asked my pastor, Msgr. Thomas Richter.  He confirmed that we had it right.  Each mom–therefore each family–shares fully in all the graces through our spiritual efforts; each receives all.

I asked Msgr. Richter about moms who had made the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  Had we not, through that consecration, already agreed to hand everything over to Mary’s care?  Did participation in Mary’s Moms in any way contradict that prior agreement?

“There is no conflict,” he said.  “When we hand everything over to Mary, we don’t ignore our own good desires.”  Msgr. Richter explained that we were following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. “It is not for your own ego or will but you are offering it out of an awareness that this is what the Lord wants and you present it to Mary to bring it to the Lord.” He explained further that if we have done the Total Consecration, what we handed over to Mary was our hearts.

It is a comfort to know everyone (a little over 100) is praying together for all the families. To join us in prayer for our families with Mary’s Moms and receive the daily novena prayer and saint of the day email me either one of us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Copyright 2015 Patti Maguire Armstrong

Photo: Morguefile

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About Author

Patti Maguire Armstrong and her husband have ten children. She is an award-winning author and was managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’s Amazing Grace Series. Her newest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families, a collection of stories to inspire family love, and Dear God, I Don't Get It and the sequel, Dear God, You Can't Be Serious, children's fiction that feeds the soul through a fun and exciting story. Patti is a correspondent for the National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor & Dakota Catholic Action. She has appeared on EWTN 4 times and Fox and Friends as well as Catholic radio stations across the country.

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