Here you'll find brief recaps/highlights/tidbits from the various speakers and discussions that we have on a weekly basis. While we can't post all of the discussions, below you'll be able to get a feel for the things we talk about, what the speakers cover, and what it's like during one of our weekly meetings.
Oct 14 On Monday, Mothers in Christ welcomed Therese Anne to speak on fulfilling the vocation of marriage while carrying the cross of betrayal in her presentation- "Love Made Pure in Fire".
Therese courageously shared her own years of struggle with infidelity in her marriage. Despite receiving little help or support from others, her determination to avoid the temptation of divorce and stay faithful to her marriage vows enabled her to persevere. Therese's persistent prayers, reliance on God's grace, focus on her ultimate goal of eternal life, and ability to "love her husband as God loves him", allowed her to love and forgive her spouse unconditionally through the storm.
Therese reminded us as wives that real love is a choice we can put into action every day, not merely an emotion or feeling. Sometimes we need to "wrap our forgiveness in loving actions and sincerity will follow". Through the grace of God we too can learn to love and be merciful as our Father in Heaven is.
Oct 7 Mothers in Christ was blessed to have Anne Couterior speak to us on the Apostolate of a Holy Motherhood. Married for 58 years, a mother of 8 children and grandmother of 38, Anne shared with us her wisdom in finding sanctity in our vocation as mothers.
Anne spoke to us about her own struggles with marriage, raising children, battling feelings of depression, loss of loved ones, and serious medical problems throughout her life. Each of these trials brought her closer to God. By complete reliance on His grace and mercy, she was "broken" and made new in God's own image and likeness. Anne reminded us that we need to let God "melt us, mold us, and fill us" with His own goodness in order to spread His love to others.
Lastly, Anne shared with us what she feels are the most important things to strive for in our own families-- to consecrate ourselves and our family to Jesus through Mary, to teach our children to love God and show them by our own example how to be generous to others, to put our husbands before our children for their own benefit, to teach our children who they are in Christ and that their true inheritance lies in Heaven, and finally to be educated about our Catholic faith and loyal to His commands.
Sept 30 - Today, Mothers in Christ was blessed to have speaker Eric Mulvany present his talk entitled "Speak Lord Your Servant is Listening". Eric served as the Director of Operations for the construction of the new Immaculate Conception Elementary School and played a pivotal role in getting the project off the ground.He took us on a journey of learning to "let go", follow God, and trust in His plan. Eric shared with us his story of spiritual growth from living his Catholic faith as a mere obligation to accepting the invitation to a deeper relationship with God. It was only after he drew closer to Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that he was able to hear God's voice calling him to something more. Eric's humble trust in God's plan even when it required him to sacrifice his comfortable life, a successful career, and the respect of family and friends is an inspiration. Eric reminded us that when we humble ourselves, offer our talents, and trust in God, His grace will provide the rest.
Sept 23 Today we heard from one of our favorite speakers, Ziba Graham, as he shared his talk, “Happiness, and How To Find it in Your Life." As always he had great insight and practical wisdom to share.
The Science of Happiness (Statistics)
Your happiness can be broken into these percentages:
o 50% genetic
o 10% circumstances (job, age, income, family, etc)
o 40% UP TO YOU! Make happiness your goal!
Strategies to increase your happiness
1. Stay in the PRESENT moment
2. Make tough stuff work—Ziba shared that when he was undergoing nine weeks of radiation for cancer, he finished writing a book and made this rap. He chose to find the good of having 9 weeks set apart from his normal routine.
3. Get control of your life – make lists, cross things off, plan/ schedule when you’re going to get things done!
4. Focus on relationships –relationships are the single most important factor in our happiness! Human connection, face to face, is essential.
5. Develop a mindset of gratitude – Thank you Lord!!
6. Preform RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) – being kind to others makes you happier!
7. Spend money on the right things—spending on others is always good. Studies show investing in experiences and people bring more joy than investing in things.
8. Be content and easy to please
9. Be happy for the good fortune of others –Share in their joy even if you don’t feel they deserve it.
10. Develop your spiritual side
11. Become resilient –have a core set of beliefs, face your fears, reach out for support, and don’t beat yourself up over the bast!
12. Recognize what makes YOU uniquely strong!!!! And don’t waste time dwelling on your weaknesses.
13. Focus on behaviors you can control –get enough sleep, eat well, exercise!
Avoid TOXIC behaviors
o Gossip/ comparison
o Loneliness – reach out and join a group or seek out a friend
o Conflict – Make up your mind you’ll have NO negative relationships (We all agreed this can be incredibly hard with certain family members. Ziba’s response was to “kill them with kindness until the end of time.”)
o Dwelling on the past
o Striving for fame and fortune
October 15 - "Broken is Beautiful"
On Monday we were blessed to have Stacey Popp talk with us about how our brokenness is beautiful. We enjoyed getting to talk as a group about the times we feel broken or down as mothers and wives. It was refreshing to share and learn from each other! Here are a few pieces of wisdom that were discussed:
Babies Don’t Keep
Cleaning and scrubbing
can wait ‘til tomorrow
for babies grow old
we learn to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs
and dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby
and babies don’t keep.
"My home is clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy."
o When you’re home with your little ones, try to mix in play time or an activity with the chores. At the end of the day, you’ll never regret stopping to read your child a book. Try not to say, “just a minute” as much. Rather, take the minute to be with them.
o A thought to ponder…Are we striving to get our children in to Harvard or Heaven?
o Focus on growing your children into good decision makers. Include them in thought processes of the day as much as possible and don’t be afraid to let them struggle.
o Book recommendation: Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness by Father Jean Baptist Saint Jure S.J., Saint Claude De La Colombiere, S.J.
November 26: Kimberly Hahn "Chosen and Cherised, Biblical Wisdom for your Marriage"
This week we watched a video of Kimberly Hahn’s speech: “Chosen and Cherished: Biblical Wisdom for Your Marriage.” If you’d like to view the video on your own you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nU8LnacP_M
Hahn referenced Ephesians, Chapter 5 https://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/ephesians/5.html. There is a lot to unpack in this chapter. If you have a few moments you may want to read it. Some of our dialogue after the video focused on chapter 21-33
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Hahn reminds us that our obedience to our husbands should not be passive but an active participation with them. As Saint John Paul II wrote about woman’s uniqueness, Hahn reminds us that woman have qualities through our thoughts and intuitions that balance our husband.
24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32 This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church;
33 however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband