It’s been a while since I’ve shared some notes from a book I’ve recently read. Let’s change that. Today I’m going to share my book notes from Divine Mercy for Moms. Direct quotes will be in italics and my thoughts will follow.
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Ours is a vocation of service, and as our daily actions are filtered through the prayerful lens of Divine Mercy, our hearts grow softer and more compassionate, until they are more like Christ’s.
First, I need to continually remind myself that my vocation is one of service–otherwise, I become selfish and resentful…just keepin’ it real. Second, my daily actions need to be filtered through the prayerful lens of Divine Mercy–Wow! I need to put on my prayerful lens each morning just like someone would put on their glasses in the morning so they can see. Morning prayer is key! It will do me no good to pray for a softer and more compassionate heart, if I’m not filtering my day through a lens of prayer and Divine Mercy.
Christ is calling all of us to bring God’s mercy to others.
This has to start in my home! Being merciful in the soup kitchen, church nursery and emergency pregnancy center is not my primary calling. Those places are important, but they do not take priority over my home and family.
Motherhood is a vocation of service and constant love.
Again, motherhood is service and I have our Lord’s example throughout the Gospels of what that service looks like.
In our constant striving to do better, to improve our ways, we can lose sight of our need to trust in the Lord.
This reminds me of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
We are capable of so much more with Christ strengthening us.
And this quote makes me think of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Sometimes we need to adjust our expectations and realize that family prayer is about family unity with God, not necessarily about successful completion of a task.
My Veronica used to love for Chris to walk to her to sleep at night while we prayed family rosary. One night, we had a visiting priest over for dinner and we invited him to stay and pray with us. That also happened to be the night Chris decided he was no longer going to walk Veronica to sleep. She SCREAMED the entire prayer! Now that is an extreme example of a child misbehaving during prayer, but we continued and still do to this day…even when a child walks through the living room in a bathing suit, tutu or naked as a jay bird! Even when the phone rings, toddlers melt and teens are less than enthusiastic. Hopefully this habit of nightly rosary has become so ingrained in our evening routine that once all the kids are grown, Chris and I will continue and the children, well, they will know sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 momma and daddy are praying a rosary for them…and they will join us wherever they are.
Our success as wives and mothers is dependent on God’s love working constantly in our hearts, so that we can love our families through the service required by our vocations.
Pay attention to those two little words in that sentence–so that.
As Christians, we come to learn that we need to extend mercy not only to others, but to ourselves. We need to take time out to forgive ourselves for our own shortcomings, and recognize our littleness as mothers.
I know one of the things I struggle with sometimes is forgiving myself. But do you know, if we have trouble forgiving ourselves, we can also have trouble forgiving other? I don’t want to go through life carrying guilt, condemnation, resentment, anger or hurt feelings towards myself or others. I want to live a joy filled life, full of mercy and love for and from God.
These are just a few of the lovely quotes I highlighted in the book Divine Mercy for Moms. As the book goes along, it lists the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and then gives concrete examples of how we can live those works of mercy in our busy lives as mommas. I have not finished a book this quickly in a while. I loved reading this and although a fairly easy read, it gave me a lot to think about, especially in this Year of Mercy.
This book review was inspiring. At first I thought: “How would it apply to me who does not have children”, but you know everywhere you had “mom’s” in my mind I put “wife” and it worked wonderfully.
“Ours is a vocation of service, and as our daily actions are filtered through the prayerful lens of Divine Mercy, our hearts grow softer and more compassionate, until they are more like Christ’s. First, I need to continually remind myself that my vocation is one of service–otherwise, I become selfish and resentful…just keepin’ it real. Second, my daily actions need to be filtered through the prayerful lens of Divine Mercy”
This is so, so true! When I am serving my husband, as I should be — especially now that he is unable to do so many things for himself, the ugly feeling pops up sometimes “when will it be my turn?” My mom, bless her heart, didn’t have a mothering example to follow and I remember many times she complained outloud about being a mother and “when it would be her turn” or “why does her food have to get cold” because she got up from the table to get something for one of us kids. I grew up in shame because I caused mama work. It is only by God’s grace that I don’t feel that way about serving others, but sometimes, being human, her words do come back to haunt me. And I feel ashamed. And I say a prayer for her — and me.
I think I am going to read this book. It sounds like it could help me open up more to God’s mercy as well as being more merciful myself. Thank you for the great review!
I know this is late in coming my friend. And I know circumstances have changed drastically since you left this comment. I really appreciate you sharing how these book notes were able to apply to your life. You are in my prayers.
It was helpful for me to read Tim Hawkin’s wife’s advice to a friend. (can’t remember her name) It’s that God is a perfect father and yet we rebel. Why then do we expect more from our children?
Love Tim Hawkins! And yes, I sometimes expect so much more from my own children than expects of me…ugh!