He got into a boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” (Mt. 8:23-27)
This is one of my favorite scriptures. Why do I hold this scripture up as one of my top ten? It is because this scripture reminds me of Jesus’ faithfulness. St. Mathew recounts an incident when Jesus’ disciples were caught in the eye of a storm. Where was their friend Jesus? He was fast asleep in the boat.
I find great comfort in that scripture. It reminds me that Jesus is always with me, He never leaves me. More importantly, it reminds me that we, like the disciples, are human. We get scared and sometimes panic. We lose faith and cry out, “Jesus, Where are you?” When the storms of life come our way, our faith is sometimes cast overboard, no matter how closely we are following Him. As the waves rise against us, so do our fears heighten. Not only that, but our doubts increase, crushing our hopes in the face of the storm.
Are you sailing along in the eye of a storm, worrying that your boat is going to sink? Where do you go? What do you do? Do you feel all alone? I assure you Jesus is there. He never sleeps, nor will he ever forsake you. You are never alone.
Sometimes we do feel alone when the storms of life come crashing down on our world. We need “Jesus with skin on.” People need people, and women need women. Never does a woman need another woman more than in the vocation of marriage. On her wedding day, a bride takes the hand of her groom and they begin to walk together into the unknown. It helps to have an older woman, a “Titus II Woman,” in your life that has done the journey before you and has the blisters to prove it. They have the GPS, so they can navigate your boat with the help of God’s grace, and lead it to safe shores. They will become the arms of Christ, to carry you through. A “Titus II Woman” is “Jesus with skin on”!
I am a “Titus II Woman” who has walked the path toward maturity. One who has learned to know God, to love God, and to serve God, and desires to teach others how to follow.
“Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.” (Titus 2:3-5)
When a woman faces a storm in her life, an older woman knows what to do because she has weathered a storm or two, herself. An older woman is formed in character by God for a purpose. She cares about the following younger generation. She holds them in her heart and carries them before God in prayer. Moms cannot be everywhere. So God in His wisdom called older women as spiritual mothers to teach the younger women. This is a call by God.
Younger women, I encourage you to find a “Titus II Woman” to mentor you. She will teach you how to find joy in your vocation as a wife and mother. She will guide you in your faith, instruct you in applying the Word of God to your life and be an example of a “Proverbs 31” woman to you. Every parish has a “Titus II Woman” or two. If are having a hard time identifying one in your parish, ask your pastor’s advice. Most priests know their parishioners and can easily guide you.
In St. Joseph’s parish in Macon, Georgia, I prayed for a few months for what to do to build the parish. God led me to establish a women’s ministry. I wrote a proposal to the priest, Fr. Alan McDonald, who was very supportive. I was given an office and a green light to put my proposal into action. I took it slow and prayed through every decision. First item on the agenda was choosing a name for the ministry. I selected the “Mary and Elizabeth Apostolate for Wife and Mother.” The Visitation, to me, is a perfect example of an older woman teaching a younger woman. Next I set up my office. My aim was for my office to be both welcoming and woman-friendly so that whoever came would feel at home. These are the items that graced my office space: a desk with a computer, a telephone, a bookshelf with a lending library, and a comfy couch for girl talk.
Once the office was set up, and ready, I tackled my next goal: hosting a Women’s Prayer Breakfast. I called my friend, Rachel Balducci from my hometown Augusta, Georgia, and asked her to be one of the speakers. Rachael agreed to speak on “New Year’s Resolutions,” and I would speak on “Organization.” Rachael’s book, How Do You Tuck In a Superhero? had just hit the press, making it the perfect timing. I offered her a book signing, as well. The ladies in the parish were excited and ready to participate. At our first meeting the head count was over fifty. As a “Titus II Woman” in that parish I offered, monthly study groups, prayer breakfasts throughout the year, and even a “Mother Daughter Tea” to bring all generations together. I taught, supported and mentored those who came to me.
One of the fruits of this women’s ministry was meeting Jeannie Hannemann, who is the Founder of Elizabeth Ministry International. This ministry was well established and doing what I discerned God wanted to do in the Catholic Church. My husband and I were very impressed. He was asked to join the board and presently I blog for Elizabeth Ministry. Jeannie has taught me so much about the importance of teaching the younger generation and supporting them through all stages of life. We network and share a common vision. Another fruit from this women’s ministry was the idea for a television show just for moms. I am a frequent guest on WBPI-TV with Dorothy Spaulding and other women. I call the segment “The Titus II Crew. ”
Having a Titus II Crew in your church builds your parish. I believe that every parish should establish one. Why? When the older women teach the younger women, families become stronger, relationships are built, and the scripture “see how they love one another” becomes tangible. What a great way to pass the faith down to the next generation; it is faith in action. As the older women teach the younger woman, the younger women are teaching them, as well. As the younger women are instructed and supported, they discover the importance of being a wife and mother. The “Titus II Crew” is filled with joy as they see the younger women grow.
Do you have a women’s ministry in your parish ? If you are an older woman and mature in your faith, maybe God is calling you to begin one? I’ll help! I have a team of Titus II women in my crew ready to help you. We will help your parish establish a “Titus II Crew” custom made for you.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2017 Ellen Mongan