Confraternity of Christian Mothers

Being a mom is a big job.  Being a parent is a big's most definitely have a very important role, and I know I couldn't do my job well without my husband filling those big "daddy" shoes that he wears.  Life is such a classroom, and as parents, we'll take the lessons and learning that we get and are thankful to all most of the teachers.  I'm sure we could do without those in the media trying to teach through social pressures that don't comply with the moral standards that we are trying to instill in our children.

Over the years, we've gravitated toward people and activities and environments that promote the same ideals that we strive for.  It's not hard...I think it's a natural occurance, but one that needs to be taught or encouraged or simply established for a child.  They rely on us to do that for is our job.  It seems it would be easy to tell them and teach them things, but oh-so-much more impactful if we can surround our lives with people and situations that reflect the same thing we are teaching them.   We will constantly be a work in progress.  We will often fail and have to try again.  We will always be learning. 

I heard something recently, and I will likely butcher it as I try to repeat it, but it was along the lines of  "we spend so much time trying to prepare our children for the world, but we should also think about preparing the world for our children."  I've thought a lot about this and what it might mean.  I've decided that there could probably be many interpretations, but mine is this:  If we make sure we live as we are teaching our children to and provide ample environments that will enforce and encourage the same without neglecting or ignoring what is going on in the world that we don't agree with we will be preparing both our children and our world.  Sometimes it seems so overwhelming to undo all the negative influences that have been allowed to creep in.  I think that by teaching our children to be conservative (I'm not being political here--I'm talking about "less-is-more" conservative) in the ways of the world and liberal (generous) in love and kindness and worship and devotion without redefining values and morals, we can recreate a confindent, morally grounded, socially responsible young that will be strong together and hold each other accountable and our world will have no choice but to be ready.

It all sounds fine and good until you realize the magnitude of this world.  I'm one little person with a handful of can we possbily make a difference?  With God, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26).  That is really where it is at. 

I've had the good fortune to be able to hear a couple of really great speakers in the last several weeks.  Dr. Ray Guarendi, who is a clinical psychologist and the father of ten children talked about what makes a family a good family.  He spoke for over an hour, so there were lots of things he said, but the KEY concept was respect.  He talked about normal behavior and good behavior and that the two don't necessarily go hand in hand anymore.  Just because it's normal today, doesn't mean it is good.  We probably wouldn't have dreamed of treating our parents or siblings the way our own children do today, and our parents and grandparents DEFINITELY wouldn't have.  I don't think it should be expected that our children are going to be nightmares when they are teenagers.  We will do whatever we can to prevent that, but we won't can't do it without God. 

More recently I was blessed to be able to hear Immaculee Ilibagiza speak.  She is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide that happened in 1994.  Embarrassingly, I didn't even know or remember anything about it.  In about 100 days, close to 1,000,000 people were murdered in an attempt to wipe out the entire Tutsi tribe.  Her story is one of a deeper Christian conversion, forgiveness and an intense devotion to Jesus and Mary.  She hid in a bathroom that was 4'x3' with seven other women for 91 days and begged God to spare them.  She lost her family and friends and yet she is full of joy and peace.  She genuinely encourages prayer, asking for what you need, big or small, and remembering that WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.  She requests that if you have to choose between being right and being kind, always choose being kind.  What an amazing message (all of it, not just that last phrase). 

This weekend's readings in church also preached the same message...setting pride aside, being humble, remaining a work in progress. 

All this was where I was going when I started:

We want the best for our children, and while there are times when we get could easily get caught up in the idea of that meaning the nicest, biggest, newest, latest something or other, we recognize that there is bigger and better than all of that.  We want our children to have a relationship with Jesus.  We want to provide a foundation that leads them to Heaven.  We can't do it by ourselves.  We can't buy it.  We can't rely upon someone to do it for us.  We make choices with this in mind.  We make some bad choices along the way I said, we're learning.  Fortuneately we have support in friends, groups, activities, help shape us, keep us accountable and on the right track. 

One such group for me is the Confraternity of Christian Mothers. 
Confraternity of Christian Mothers Seeks to:

Promote Christian values, the intellectural and spiritual growth of the family through Christian education in the home.

Serve as a source of encouragement, support and renewal for mothers of all ages

Unite mothers in prayer and instill in them a thoroughly Christian spirit

Educate mothers in performing their duties and practicing virtues

Recognize the importance of a mother's sacred duty to her children

In October we always have a new member's initiation and brunch.  Each month is encouraging and inspiring and educational, but October is special.  While all mothers are always welcome, initiation feels so much more official and inclusive, but is definitely not an obligation to be in attendance always, because we know that family life happens, and sometimes in conflict with a monthly meeting. 
 New members.  Brand new babies are a pretty common sight in this group.  Monsignor finds great joy in his time with mothers.  He always has a kind word tosay, even outside of the group...most often outside of the group, complimenting us on doing a good job, being beautiful mommies, etc.  He is a most wonderful person, and provides encouragement that is lasting. 
 CCM is for mothers of all ages.  These two sisters decided that if they could take up a new hobby at 50, they could join Christian Mothers as grandmothers. 
It is such a treat to celebrate and welcome new members with a brunch...beautifully decorated...

 ...delicious food (which is always a treat, since mom's are typically the ones who are normally making and serving the food to their families and today they get to be served.)  :)
What a wonderful time of prayer and fellowship, encouragement and support, and the reminder that we are not alone in this. 

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.