Thursday, May 16, 2013

How observant are we?

How much do we take in? Are we watching everything? Our kids are, that's for sure. They are very observant and they should be. That's how they learn. And, because they are in tune to so much around them, it's a very important reason for parents to shield their children from the harmful parts of our culture.

Angie's beautiful children

     Angie, a mom I know shared with me recently that she came down with a virus and ended up with laryngitis. She said, "I have to whisper in order to let my vocal cords heal, so all the kids are whispering back to me. It’s very quiet. The Lord is showing me just how much my children mimic me! What a task He has trusted me with, to raise these children!"

     Did you catch your kids mimicking you recently? Would you like to share about it in the comment box and receive an instant discount on Catholic Mom's Cafe book? It's easy. Just leave your comment and then email me at: DMCOBoyle[at]aol[dot]com and I will email you the code to get the book.

I pray your day is filled with joy as you observe all of God's wonderful blessings around you!

God bless you and yours!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Exclusive offer for Catholic Mom's Cafe followers!

Catholic Mom's Cafe is for EVERY day of the year - not just for Mother's Day!

I have exciting news to share with you! If you leave a simple short comment on this blog post about what the beautiful vocation of motherhood means to you (you don't have to be a mother), AND if you subscribe to this blog (in the left hand column) I will email you a special link to receive $3.00 off every copy of Catholic Mom's Cafe book you order through the link! The offer is for a limited time though.

So, if you'd like to take advantage of this amazing discount, please act soon. After you leave your comment, then you can email me at: DMCOBoyle[AT]aol[DOT]com to let me know and I will email you the exclusive code!

I'm looking forward to your comments and for you to join this blog so I can offer you a great discount on my book!

God bless you and yours!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day contest!

Would you like to win a copy of my newest hot-off-the-press Catholic Mom's Cafe for yourself or a friend or loved one? It's very easy to enter. Just leave a comment here. In twenty five words or less tell me why the vocation of motherhood is so important. I will pick a winner at random from all of the folks who have entered. You don't have to be a mother to win, you don't even have to be a woman. You might enter to win a copy for a mother in your life.

I'll look forward to your comments (entries!). The deadline for entering this contest is Saturday night, May 11th at midnight EST. Winner will be chosen on Mother's Day!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Following Mother Mary's Steps

Following Mary's steps in hope, faith and love

Jesus' mother was a model of a woman trusting in God; a beautiful example for mothers in times of trial and of joy

By Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle - OSV Newsweekly, 5/12/2013

Every year when Mother’s Day rolls around, many mothers pause to thank God for the blessing of their children, perhaps even in a bigger way than they usually do each day.  
When mothers find it difficult to trust God,
they can draw on
Mary’s faith, hope and love as guidance. Shutterstock

     After all, Mother’s Day is a special occasion set aside to celebrate mothers. In my case, I’m blessed with five children on Earth and three in heaven. 

     At this time of year, when I look at my lilac bushes ready to burst into bloom, I can’t help but remember my mother and reminisce the bountiful fragrant lilacs that lined our back yard when I was growing up. My grandmother was a part of that picture, too — she was always nearby and beaming with a grandmother’s love. We all spent many a spring day out in the yard together. 
     My mother, Alexandra Mary Uzwiak Cooper, was born in the springtime of 1920. But for a few minutes after she let out her first cry the doctors and nurses weren’t sure whether she was a boy or a girl because she was extremely tiny, weighing only one-and-a-half pounds. But just as soon as they could determine that she was a girl, my grandparents requested that the hospital chaplain baptize my mother on the spot. They wanted to be sure that she would have her “ticket to heaven,” should she not survive. 
     As diminutive as my mother was, when the sacramental water of baptism was poured over her petite head, she was immediately initiated into the Church and received the great gift of the theological virtues of faith, hope and love.  
     My grandparents had surely been using and living their theological virtues — having had faith in the transforming sacrament of baptism, hoping in God that their tiny baby would survive, and loving my mother endlessly as they cared for her physical and spiritual needs. 
     My mother indeed lived to tell the tale, the theological virtues blossomed in my mother’s heart and soul, and she grew up and married. Through her openness to life she bore eight children of her own, passing on the virtues. 

Hoping, praying, loving
Mothers receive no guarantees regarding the little lives they “sign up” for by opening their hearts to their Creator with their “yes” to life. Yet a mother’s heart always remains hopeful and she puts one foot in front of the other each day in faith to love and provide for the children God blesses her with. 
Heartening Words
“We would like to pay homage to all brave mothers who dedicate themselves to their own family without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves ... How hard they have to fight against difficulties and dangers! How frequently they are called to face genuine ‘wolves’ determined to snatch and scatter the flock! And these heroic mothers do not always find support in their surroundings. On the contrary, the cultural models frequently promoted and broadcast by the media do not encourage motherhood. In the name of progress and modernity, the values of fidelity, chastity, sacrifice, in which a host of Christian wives and mothers have distinguished and continue to distinguish themselves, are presented as obsolete. As a result, a woman who is determined to be consistent with her principles often feels deeply alone, alone in her love which she cannot betray, and to which she must remain faithful.”

— Blessed Pope John Paul II from his homily at the 1994 beatification of St. Gianna Beretta Molla

     Some mothers have never held their precious babies in their arms because they were lost to miscarriage. Others have only been permitted fleeting moments to hold and kiss their babes born with serious birth defects before they passed on to eternal life. As well, some mothers suffer the pain of losing their baby when he or she is stillborn. None of this makes them any less of a mother in God’s eyes nor should it in ours. They have sacrificed for their babies and love them dearly. Blessed Pope John Paul II called these mothers “heroic.” 
     Three of my children were miscarried. I chose to hope that they were carried by the angels to the arms of Jesus and Mary. One of my pregnancies was very precarious, requiring that I stay still on complete bed rest for almost all nine months. When my doctor told me that I would most likely lose this baby, too, I chose to hope and pray instead, even asking Mother Teresa, whom I knew at the time, for her prayers.  
     Mother Teresa sent me a blessed miraculous medal and instructed me to wear it and to ask Mary to take care of the baby and me. She told me to pray, “Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now.” I really like that key word “now.” That sure was when I needed her help. I clung to hope and had faith that Mother Mary would see me through — and she did! That baby is now almost 22 years old and is named Mary-Catherine.
Mother Mary
It was only appropriate to pray to Our Blessed Mother, for she lived the virtues of faith, hope and love in an exemplary way. Even as a young Jewish girl, Mary prayed and hoped for the Messiah, having complete faith that God would keep his promises. She had no idea at that time though that she was to be the chosen mother of God. 
An old photo of the author’s mother as a child, center, and her family. Courtesy of Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

     Later on, Mary offered her courageous “Yes” to God when the Angel Gabriel announced to her that she would become Jesus’ mother (see Lk 1:26-29), having complete faith that God’s will would be accomplished through her. 
     A short time later, Mary’s loving heart sent her on a journey “in haste” into the hill country to help her elderly cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant as well (see Lk 1:39). We know that Elizabeth’s baby, St. John the Baptist, leaped in her womb upon Mary’s arrival. Elizabeth praised Mary for her great faith. Mary responded by praising God, glorifying him for his holiness, justice, and mercy through the humble words of the Magnificat. 
     When mothers experience fear in the circumstances that beset them or find it difficult to trust God, they can draw strength meditating on Mary’s faithful trust in God. And as mothers experience the deep joys within their vocation of mothering, they can feel an affinity with another Mother — one who has also experienced this profound joy in mothering Jesus. 
     Mother Mary was no stranger to unfathomable suffering and can help us with our intense sorrows, too. Let’s not hesitate to approach Mary in prayer often for support in our mothering.  
     She is much closer to us than we might imagine and is waiting for us to reach out to her in prayer. She will, indeed, bring us closer to her Son Jesus. 
     Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a Mother to me now. 
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is an EWTN TV host and author of several books, including Catholic Mom’s Café: 5-Minute Retreats for Every Day of the Year (OSV, $14.95). 
Global Traditions
United States: Mother’s Day is a national holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May by remembering and celebrating mothers through gifts like homemade cards, flowers and breakfast in bed. 
Australia: Second Sunday of May; cards and flowers for mothers and grandmothers. Carnations are worn by many — white to honor a deceased mother and colored for the living.

France: The last Sunday of May; a cake shaped like a bouquet of flowers traditionally is eaten after a celebratory dinner.

Mexico: May 10; a celebration of Mass is central and mothers often are serenaded to the tune of “Las Mañanitas.” Mothers enjoy tamales and atole.

Panama: Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Spain: The first Sunday in May; strongly linked to praising the Virgin Mary. Special church services for mothers and children often are held.

United Kingdom: Fourth Sunday of Lent, used to be called “Mothering Sunday.” Traditional rich almond cakes are made for mothers.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Catholic Mom's Cafe filled with Faith, Hope, and Love

"I treasure my morning prayer time, which sets the tone for the rest of my busy day. And yet, we moms often have the best of intentions but sometimes fall into the hectic pace of family life and may neglect our quiet time with the Lord. That's why I'm thrilled to have this wonderful new resource from my friend Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle -- Catholic Mom's Cafe is the perfect companion for any mom looking to prioritize daily prayer. Based upon the bedrock of the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love and the teachings and celebrations of the Catholic Church, Donna-Marie's book gives structure and inspiration for a faith journey that will lead you closer to Christ, our Blessed Mother, and your family. Whether you enjoy it with your morning coffee or as you're drifting off to sleep at night, Catholic Mom's Cafe is a treat to be savored and shared."~Lisa M. Hendey, Founder of and author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The next blog post along my blog tour!

From Roxane:

Donna-Marie's Spiritual Cafe

I'm a huge proponent of retreats. In the past, I've shared how important it is for busy mothers to take time away from the chaos to nourish themselves. It's difficult to do but worth every stolen moment.

Sometimes, though, getting away really is impossible. Pregnancy, family crises, traveling spouses or having young ones at home can make even a weekend jaunt to a retreat house seem an unlikely dream. And yet, isn't it true we need a renewed perspective in such times more than ever?

There's always a Plan B, and today I'm going to share about one I've stumbled upon through the newest book from my friend Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.

"Catholic Mom's Cafe" is a book filled with snippets that serve as 5-minute retreats for each day of the year. These shouldn't replace the larger retreat you deserve, but will help you get by in the meantime.

For me, this book was perfectly timed. Over Lent I dedicated the first hour of my morning to prayer, which included a book that involved 40 days of spiritual reflection. I really came to look forward to this time each morning when I would be fed with Scripture and reflection, quotes from a saint, and would be prompted to say a formal prayer as well, like the Our Father. But when the 40 days were up, I'd reached the end of the book. Disappointment crept in.

Then Donna-Marie's book arrived in the mail: problem solved!

In the introduction, Donna-Marie calls motherhood a "miraculous vocation" and promises her book will help us savor all of our "beautiful and blessed motherly moments."

But she's real about the miracle, noting that sometimes, it comes through the simple fact that we've managed to make it through the day! Donna-Marie wants to lighten the load we mothers carry, and to do that, she offers what she calls "daily vitamins" to energize and help the reader find the faith, hope and love needed to be the mom God wants us to be each day of the year.

Each entry includes the following sections: Ponder (readings from Scripture and other sources), Offer (an easy activity or idea), Pray(suggested prayers matching the daily theme) and Savor (something small to help carry us through the day).

Autographed copies can be purchased through Donna-Marie's website, as well as through Our Sunday Visitor, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and your local Catholic bookstore. She's also got a blog dedicated to the book and a television series patterned after it here. Finally, you can connect with Donna-Marie and her book through Facebook here.

Happy pondering, offering, praying and savoring!

Peace Garden Writer
See the blog post here: