Tag Archives: Mother Teresa

O When the Soup Comes Marchin’ In

I was sick for a solid ten days before I dragged my sorry self to the doctor.  “Bronchitis and Sinusitis,” she said.  Four prescriptions later, I was on my way to recovery, or so I thought.  When the antibiotic kicked in, I was sleeping 12-15 hours a day.  Laundry was piling up.  My feral children were wondering if I was going to throw them some raw meat for sustenance.  I would get up, wander around, and wonder when I could go back to bed.  We were surviving on take-away pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches.  That’s when the soup started arriving.

First, a frozen batch of tomato bisque arrived from my friend Cathy – a definite “open in case of emergency” soup.  Next, my friend Gae brought Italian Wedding soup.  It fed my family for three to four meals.  My daughter said, “Thanks for the nice dinner, mom.”  I told her to please thank Miss Gae instead – I could take no credit. When all this ran out, St. Tricia of Alpharetta came through the back porch with baked potato soup with all the fixings.  That’s when I realized that soup is love.  Soup warms the tummy and the soul.  It is comforting and sustaining.  Soup is communal and often comes from a family recipe that means something to the giver.  Soup is little bit of love.

Jesus said, “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”  When you donate a bag of rolls to My Sister’s House, make a homemade cake for the men’s shelter, donate onions or apples or a turkey to Campus Ministry at Thanksgiving, you are feeding people both body and soul.  You meet their immediate need of hunger, but also their deeper need to know that someone loves them and cares about their well-being.  You are feeding their need to be seen and recognized as important and as a valued member of the body of Christ.

I promise that there are far greater needs in our Marist community and beyond than my small and temporary situation.  I just hope that my recent example reminds you that as Saint Mother Theresa said, In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

Here’s to all the small things that we can be thankful for in this week leading up to Thanksgiving.  I am incredibly thankful for my family, friends and faith community who sustain me body and spirit during good times and not so good times.  Small gestures are never forgotten by the receiver, and are certainly never forgotten by our Father in Heaven.

I know that our children are coming up on exams, which brings stress and anxiety.  Here are some prayers for both exams, as well as for older children who are traveling back from college or work to be with us during the holidays.

Wishing you all a peaceful and blessed holiday with friends and family.

Prayer During Exams

 Notre Dame, Our Lady, they call you the “Undoer of Knots.”

Turn your eyes to us during our exams, and undo the knots in our minds,

that we may think creatively and compellingly in those critical moments.

Undo the knots in our bodies, that we may channel stress

in good health and with noble composure.

Finally, undo the knots in our souls, that in our study and success,

we may not become puffed up with the wisdom of this world,

but come instead to know the Wisdom of God, and the heart of your Son, Jesus,

who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Amen.

(Source:  Fr. Chase Pepper, CSC – University of Notre Dame)

 

Prayer for Exam Anxiety

Heavenly Father,

Only your peace can sustain me through the anxiety and stresses of exam nerves.

Your peace surpasses all understanding.

I ask for this gift and choose to lean upon you at this time.

Lord, come and remind me of your unfailing love.

Remind me that you hold me safe, you understand me, and you cherish me.

I lay down my fears before you.

I leave them at the foot of the cross, for you have overcome the world.

I choose to give you all my concerns, worries and fears of failure.

I trust that your loving hand will hold me through these exams and lead into a bright future.  Amen.

(Source:  living-prayers.com)

 

Prayer for Travelers

 God of the journey, your grace and favor has always been with us as you called us by name before the foundation of the world. Thank you God for your faithful, steadfast love. Jesus traveled from his home to share your good news with all lands.

May the Holy Spirit surround all who are going to new places or sites of past visits. Lead the pilots, drivers and all passengers to be patient at all points. Remove all fears and anxieties about those left behind and those one meets at the end of the trip. Open my eyes, open my ears to see You and hear You each moment of the path. Amen.

(Source:  Rev. Jim Bracke, CSC – University of Notre Dame)

 

St. Christopher Motorist Prayer

Grant me O Lord a steady hand and watchful eye.

That no one shall be hurt as I pass by.

Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine

May take away or mar that gift of Thine.

Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear me company,

From the evils of fire and all calamity.

Teach me to use my car for others need;

Nor miss through love of undue speed

The beauty of the world; that thus I may

With joy and courtesy go on my way.

St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers,

Protect me and lead me safely to my destiny.

(Source:  Catholic Online)

 

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Hoping for a Little More Hope

My daughter, husband and I just got back from our first official trip to look at colleges.  First of all, I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.  Second, I want to go back to college.  But I digress.  Of all the things that surprised me about this trip, the thing that surprised me the most was the college students I came into contact with.  Their excitement, enthusiasm, and passion for what they were studying and what they were hoping to do with their degrees was absolutely contagious.  With all the discouraging words being shouted by talk radio and the news media about the state of our union, it was so refreshing to hear positivity and hopefulness coming from these perky tour guides and students.

Maybe you still have the enthusiasm you did when you were 21, and the world was your oyster.  Maybe you are at mid-life and are rethinking how you want to move forward with your time, energy and passions.  Maybe you are feeling really hopeful right now, or maybe you need a reminder of hope with all the uncertainty that life as an adult brings.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said,

“You and I have been created for greater things.  We have not been created to just pass through this life without aim.  And that greater aim is to love and be loved.  Give yourself fully to God, who will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness.  Never think that a small action done to your neighbor is not worth much.  It is not how much we do that is pleasing to God, but how much love we put into the doing.”

So maybe we aren’t going to conquer the world like we thought we would when we were in college.  But we can still find that “greater thing” that God has created uniquely for each one of us.  And I have to keep reminding myself that the “greater thing” may not be worth talking about at a party, get reported in the Atlanta Business Chronicle or make me tons of money.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

“The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” – Psalm 121:7-8

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Today I’m just going to try and be more hopeful.  That’s a start.