Curious Catholic connections to a little known but powerful devotion to the infant Jesus

Shades of Will Farrell’s Taladega Nights
(where Ricky Bobby preferred to pray to the baby Jesus)

The book H.G. Wells DIDN’T write: “The Invisible MOM”

The Invisible Mother

by Nicole Johnson

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”

“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’m nobody?”

As Nobody, I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like “Turn the TV down, please.” And nothing would happen. No one would get up or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.

That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. I don’t think anyone can see me.

I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense! The blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’d think, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner. No one can see me, because I’m the Invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more. Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m merely a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”

Some days I’m a crystal ball: “Where’s my other sock? Where’s my phone? What’s for dinner?”

Hands, a clock, a crystal ball—but always invisible.

One night, some girlfriends and I were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and was telling wonderful stories. I sat there, looking around at the others all so put-together, so visible and vibrant. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic when my friend turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I read—no—I devoured the book. And I discovered what would become for me, four life-changing truths:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals—we have no record of their names.

2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

 In the book, there was the legend of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built. He saw a worker carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the worker replied, “Because God sees.”

After reading that, I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.”

“No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, no last minute errand is too small for Me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become. But I see.”

When I choose to view myself as a great builder—instead of Invisible Mom—I keep the right perspective.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at four in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a monument to myself! But I don’t want that—I just want him to want to come home with a friend and share a wonderful meal as a family.

The author of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. I disagree.

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right—which is why we may feel invisible some days. But one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Video link

Submitted by AndyP/Doria2

Editor’s note: Happy Mother’s Day!

On the question of universal salvation in Jesus Christ

(Click on pictures to enlarge)


The ONLY valid premise for universal salvation in Jesus Christ involves regular prayer and study … along with full, faithful, consistent participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the universal (Catholic) church … the ONLY church that Jesus Christ ever founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, for that express (salvific) purpose.

Anything less constitutes gambling with one’s eternal salvation, since there is absolutely no guarantee that the mercy of God will be extended to those who knowingly reject his church, which constitutes the ONLY authentic universal sacrament of salvation, for all.

Since the all powerful, all knowing, sovereign God is our appointed judge, only he can make exceptions to this universal “rule of faith”.

What are the chances that God will make an exception, in any particular case?

Nobody really knows … but why would anyone want to take that chance?

Twelve Tips for Praying a Daily Family Rosary


1) Pray using alternation (The father prays first half of Our Father and everyone else prays second half – same goes for Hail Mary and Glory be).

2) Pray the Rosary after dinner but right before bed – this means homework needs to be finished before dinner. Homework kills the Rosary if you don’t stay on top of it. You’ll also need to say goodbye to watching prime time television – since this is the ideal window of praying together as a family.

3) Pray the Holy Rosary always at the same place at the exact same time. Devotions become strong – even invincible – by constant custom and habit.

4) Pray the Rosary in a special room and set up a little altar with a Bible on it, candles, a statue or image, holy water, or a relic.

5) Dim the lights and light the candles when you begin. If you let the little ones light the candles – they will love it. Kids love fire. Make this a “special time” different from other times. We even burn incense on our domestic altar on feast days. (You can do this easily by placing a little metal screen over a votive candle and then by placing a few grains of incense on the screen. It’s fast and easy. This way you don’t have use charcoal.)

6) Maybe begin with a hymn or Bible reading to slow things down and set the tone.

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Good stuff to know about why Catholics (quite rightly) venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary


— a good starting point is the place where Jesus began His earthly ministry, the Wedding Feast at Cana as described in John 2: 1-11.

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

A close examination of this passage reveals a great deal about our Blessed Lady and the gift that awaits those who turn to her.

For starters, it is reasonable for us to believe that Jesus was fully aware of the needs of the wedding party even before He was approached by Mary. Yet in spite of this, He chose to meet this need only at His Mother’s suggestion.

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Slide show: “Why Catholics Venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Sacred Heart Novena begins June 2, ends June 10, vigil of the Feast of the Sacred Heart


Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Pray daily through June 10th

Divine Jesus, Thou hast said, “Ask and you shall receive;
seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be
opened to you.” Behold me kneeling at Thy feet, filled
with a lively faith and confidence in the promises
dictated by Thy Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary.
I come to ask this favor:

(Mention your request …)

To whom can I turn if not to Thee, Whose Heart is the
source of all graces and merits? Where should I seek if
not in the treasure which contains all the riches of
Thy kindness and mercy? Where should I knock if not at
the door through which God gives Himself to us and
through which we go to God? I have recourse to Thee,
Heart of Jesus. In Thee I find consolation when
afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when
burdened with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.

Dear Jesus, I firmly believe that Thou canst grant me the
grace I implore, even though it should require a
miracle. Thou hast only to will it and my prayer will be
granted. I admit that I am most unworthy of Thy
favors, but this is not a reason for me to be discouraged.
Thou art the God of mercy, and Thou wilt not refuse
a contrite heart. Cast upon me a look of mercy,
I beg of Thee, and Thy kind Heart will find in my
miseries and weakness a reason for granting my prayer.

Sacred Heart, whatever may be Thy decision with regard
to my request, I will never stop adoring, loving,
praising, and serving Thee. My Jesus, be pleased to
accept this my act of perfect resignation to the
decrees of Thy adorable Heart, which I sincerely
desire may be fulfilled in and by me and all Thy
creatures forever.

Grant me the grace for which I humbly implore Thee
through the Immaculate Heart
of Thy most sorrowful Mother.
Thou hadst entrusted me to her as her child, and her
prayers are all-powerful with Thee. Amen.

(Personal offering follows…)

My God, I offer Thee all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings
in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
for the intentions for which He pleads and offers Himself
in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
in thanksgiving for Thy favors, in reparation for my sins,
and in humble supplication for my temporal and eternal welfare,
for the needs of our holy Mother the Church,
for the conversion of sinners,
and for the relief of the poor souls in purgatory.

Amen

Submitted by Doria2

Why the Miraculous Medal Is So Important to Catholics

Devotion to Our Lady had been deeply eroded by Jansenism, which, although in great decline at the time, was replaced with more radical forms of Revolution, so that devotion to Our Lady left much to be desired. We can say that the Miraculous Medal was the first major step toward the ‘re-Marianization’ of the nineteenth century, preparing the great movement of souls that would culminate with the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

With the use of the Miraculous Medal, extraordinary graces spread throughout the Church. It became a common custom to wear a Miraculous Medal around one’s neck or to place it on the chest of an impenitent patient while making the novenas and prayers prescribed by Our Lady. It seemed almost certain that the person would convert as a result. Through this devotion, Our Lady began to dispense many other graces to the world.

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