Friday, 31 July 2009

Spiritual Mothers: Where are they? First report tomorrow, DV

A picture is forming, here at least, and from my inbox, which shows the United States way ahead in response to Cardinal Hummes' initiative for Spiritual Motherhood. I suspect that this is being helped by the TSK factor (Tulsa, Bishop Slattery, Father Kirby).

First report tomorrow DV, and in the meantime, please pray for Europe!

God bless all here,


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Please note that a post composed tonight appears below as for July 27

It's the beginning of the Chaplet meditations so I hope you all find it!

God bless


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Spiritual Mothers and Friends: Thank you for your response.

I've been astonished by the volume of response to this new blog, - in the number of followers, in the comments, and in private emails. I've been answering the emails and this is the best thing I could have been doing. However, it's meant that I have not posted here today as I originally intended. Those posts will come in God's good time, the meditations on the Chaplet for instance. But the experience of the last 48 hours has shown me that there are things we need to address and be aware of. You have shown me that you are seeking answers to important questions.

The main one is: How much, and in what fashion do we commit ourselves in order to be accepted as spiritual mothers of priests in the Church?

Another is: Must we be part of an official consecrated diocesan or parish group, or can we privately vow ourselves to this vocation and remain totally hidden.?

I believe that between the extremes of these alternatives is the place Our Lord wants each one of us to be. We have to pray and seek spiritual direction and discernment to know where that place is. But I will try to answer these questions in the coming days.

(All that being said, a special message to Esther in Honolulu:

I've been trying to put up your link but it hasn't worked so far. Will try again tomorrow. It's so important because it proves that we must all ask our bishops. If we do not ask........
If I can't make your short talk come up on here, I'll do an explanatory post. )

Until tomorrow,

God bless,

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Beauty of Time Zones

If you are in North America, you can be anything up to 9 hours behind me here in France. South Africa and the Holy Land one hour ahead of me and so on. On the one hand this means that when it's bedtime here it's only about 3pm in Tulsa for instance. So if from the US you comment here after that time any day, I'm unlikely to pick it up until you've gone to bed! But we will manage I'm sure. And of course on the other hand it means that already we know that members of this blog are praying for priests almost round the clock.

Back tomorrow morning, French time. It's been a busy day.

God bless all here.


Thanks to Father Mark Kirby on 'Vultus Christi'

I'm just off to thank Fr Mark on 'Vultus Christi'.' Since he posted about this blog not only have there been three comments but Followers have increased from two to 9 overnight. Three for certain found me through him. I'll be back later today. In the meantime I'd be most grateful if all commenters and followers would let me know what country they are in, if in the US the state would help as well. I'm trying get a global picture of spiritual motherhood. I want us to be able to say that are represented in these countries. From what he says, I think Fr. Mark would like that too. If you would prefer to give the information privately by email, please contact me at

Until later welcome to you all

In union of prayer for our Holy Father and for all priests,


Monday, 27 July 2009

Chaplet Meditation 1: The Blessed Virgin accepts her role and destiny Part 1

When I wrote about the Annunciation in my first book, I did so from what might be called a general point of view. However, because the atmosphere of what I wrote then (8 years ago) still seemed to be hanging about me, I wondered why. I've decided to reproduce certain bits of the text and then perhaps comment on them later, in the specific light of what they convey to us about sprititual motherhood of priests.

From the entry for December 20 in 'Gardening with God: Light in Darkness' Burns & Oates Continuum Internationsl. Copyright Jane Mossendew 2002

"In the Old Testament angels are often unrecognised by the people they visit; they are only partially understood and sometimes cause fear. In the New Testament, Zechariah is troubled at the very sight of an angel. 'Fear fell on him,' says Saint Luke. The old man seems poleaxed, even before Gabriel speaks to him, and his doubting response is punished by dumbness until his son is named. Mary on the other hand does not seem much frightened. Perhaps in the very economy of his language, Luke intends to make it clear that her recognition and acceptance of the angel are immediate and calm. Has God already led her so deeply into contemplation that she is able to react in such a still, receptive way? She IS troubled by the TERMS of Gabriel's greeting, but only because she cannot at first comprehend HOW they can apply to her. She ponders them rationally in silence. Gabriel reads her mind and explains. Her response is totally different from Zechariah's. His had the flavour of, 'What you say is not possible.' Mary's conveys, 'HOW will what you say be MADE possible?' She offers no argument against God's ability to make this amazing thing happen, but gently enquires how it will be so.

"Everything we know of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, marks her as the complete antithesis of her forebears. She does not, like Sarah, laugh at God's plan, she has no jealousy of another woman and her son, no dynastic ambitions. She stands, the perfect opposite of her ancestors ....And so whilst Gabriel tells Mary of Elizabeth's pregnancy, we and the whole world, as St. Bernard of Clairvaux so effectively puts it, wait for Mary's decision in regard to her own. Can she have known, he continues, what actually hung on her answer? Did she know that our salvation depended upon it? God knew of course, 'Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, which means God is with us' (Is. 7::14). Given Mary's circumstances, and whatever the answers to St. Bernard's questions, her 'fiat mihi', despite its familiarity to us now, is eternally stunning. She was no passive instrument, but accepted God as Master of the future and made the act of perfect compliance with his will to effect our freedom through the redemptive incarnation of his Son. She spoke the word, and received the Word.

But Jesus was Mary's son in the flesh as well. Maisie Ward, in her 'Splendour of the Rosary', mentions the medieval vision of Sister Eulalia, during which Mary, described as 'the Mother of all Nature', tells of the deep thrill of joy she feels when we linger on the words 'the Lord is with thee' in our repetitions of the angelic salutaion. Then it seems to her that Jesus is within her even as he was during his preparation to come into the world to save sinners. She knew unutterable bliss at the time, and remembers it whenever the Dominus tecum is said with proper attention. The historicity of the vision may be doubtful, but it enshrines an insight that has profoundly affected my own praying of the Hail Mary."

And it always has done, from the day I learned of it until now. A thing like that can never change.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A Spiritual Mother's Chaplet for Priests

This idea came to me on Thursday July 9th after praying the Rosary. I prayed about it straight away and became certain that the chaplet should be scripturally based. I spent the next day going through the four Gospels and listing all the texts which seemed to me to have something to teach us about spiritual motherhood. It was obvious from the beginning that Our Blessed Mother has the most to teach us. There is of course a lot of other material, e.g. that involving St. Elizabeth, the prophet Anna, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Martha and other women who appear in the Gospels, but I decided to concentrate on the Marian texts first.

Here is what I had sketched out by last Friday.

The chaplet is structured in the same way as the Most Holy Rosary, fifteen 'lessons' being meditated with a Pater Noster, 10 Aves and 1 Gloria for each one.


Learning at the School of our Immaculate Mother

1. The Blessed Virgin accepts her role and destinyLuke 1:38 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.'
(Full reading Luke 1: 38-56)

2. The Blessed Virgin sets out to share her joy with her cousin Elizabeth and to support her.Luke 1:56 'And Mary remained with her about three months.'

3. The Blessed virgin Mother proects her Infant son.
Luke 2: 7b 'She wrapped him in swaddling bands.'
(Full reading Luke 2: 1-20)

4. The Blessed Virgin Mother treasures and ponders what the shepherds had told her.
Luke 2:19 'But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.'

5. the Blessed Virgin Mother preents Jesus in the Temple and offers sacrifice according to the law'.Luke 2:24 'They offered..."a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons." '
(Full reading Luke 2: 21-24)


1, The Blessed Virgin Mother silently accepts the protection of St. Joseph.
Matthew 2:15b 'Out of Egypt I have called my son." '
(Full reading Matthew 2 13-15; 19-23)

2. The Blessed Virgin receives the prophecy of Simeon.
Luke 2: 35b ' ....and a sword will pierce your own soul also.'
(Full reading Luke 2: 25-35)

3. The Blessed Virgin Mother and St. Joseph, after great anxiety, find Jesus in the Temple.
Luke 2: 49b 'Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?'
(Full reading Luke 2: 41-52)

4. The Blessed Virgin Mother treasures these things in her heart.
Luke 2:51 'He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient unto them.'

5. The Blessed Virgin Mother is concerned for her friends and gives them instructions
John 2: 3b ' " They have no wind." ' John 2: 5b ' "Do whatever he tells you." '


1. The Blessed Virgin Mother stands outside and sends to Him and calls Him.
Mattthew 12: 46 '....his mother....standing outside, wanting to speak to him.'
(Full reading Matthew 12: 46-50)

2. The Blessed Virgin Mother is silent as Jesus identifies those who are his 'mother and 'sisters'.
Matthew 12: 50 ' "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." '

3. The Blessed Virgin Mother stands beneath the Cross.
John 19: 25 'Meanwhile standing near the cross of Jesus....his mother.'

4. The Blessed Virgin Mother receives St. John as her son and is received by him as his mother.
John 19: 26b '' "Woman, here is your son." ' ; John 19: 27 'Then he said to the disciple "Here is your mother." '

5. The Blessed Virgin Mother prays with the disciples before Pentecost.
Acts I: 14 'All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer....including Mary the mother of Jesus.' ; Acts 2:1 ' When the day of Pentecost had come they were altogether in one place.'


Since last Friday I've been meditating and praying round these texts as well as doing related reading. I'm working on written meditations for each 'lesson' and will post them here, as and when ready. In the meantime, and in any case, every spiritual mother has the option of making her own, and indeed, I trust will do so..

Monday, 20 July 2009

Year of the Priesthood Triduum in Tulsa

You can take part in this spiritually. For details please see my post on Thoughts from an Oasis blog. Just click the link in the right hand sidebar and let me know either there or here whether you will be joining me.

God bless

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Thanks for your patience

Hello to my two followers and anyone else who may be checking up on me!

The Holy Father's output has been particularly demanding of late! Once he's ensconced in his cabin in 'Les Combes' it will give us a couple of weeks to catch breath and pay more thorough attention to the spiritual gifts he has been giving us.

Please join me in prayer for his meeting with President Obama tomorrow afternoon (European time).

God bless.

In Christo pro Papa