December 12, 2008

Happy Feast Day to you... and then to me

Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day is today. So happy feast day to you all.

Let's be honest here, Mary, as wonderful as she is and as much as I loved her before I gave birth, is no longer my go-to woman. As I'm freaking out, stressed out, tired, resentful and ticked off about my loss of time, self and space due to my high needs baby the last thing I want to do is talk to the Immaculata about parenting her Son, God. I'm sure Jesus is none too pleased with me about this and the Holy Spirit wants to give me a firm talking to.

But all I'm saying is that at this point the Church doesn't offer us a lot of canonized moms, in fact Mary, Monica, Gianna and now Therese's mother are the only ones I can even think of. And from what I know about them, their problems weren't like my problems. Which brings me to this conclusion, I am just going to have to step up my game so that when I die I go straight to Heaven, start getting some miracles and am canonized myself. Seriously, we Catholic moms need a saint who had frustrations with NFP, struggled with the baby blues and emotional eating and had a hard time embracing her vocation and body. I could be the patron saint of moms, NFPing moms, fussy babies, parents with demanding babies, eating disorders, people who worked for the Church, home births, short engagements and therefore planning a wedding in 6 months, people with tempers, and people who frequently put their foot in their mouth. In fact, my prayer card could show me with my foot in my mouth. It would be perfect.

I'm completely serious about all of this, and it's a good thing I have spiritual direction/reconciliation scheduled for this Tuesday: I've got a lot of work to do.


  1. Bonnie I am sure it is quite obvious and I do not need to point out the sufferings of Mary to you. I understand what you are saying that you want to look to someone who can relate to the struggles of modern daily life. Do you remember that scene in the passion where Mary sees Jesus as he is carrying his cross? I just imagined that and thought that would be a good visual for you to relate better to Mary. In that moment she was enduring the worst suffering and pain. Compared to that all of our suffering can seem somewhat insignificant compared to Mary's suffering. I guess just feel comforted that suffering is redemptive. I think mothers throughout the centuries have faced many of the same struggles if not worse ones. I know that is hard to keep in perspective when you are in the midst of it though.

  2. i totally agree with how you feel bonnie...i feel like i go to mary when i am completely and totally overwhelmed and suffering a ton. but, for my daily struggles she just isnt my BFF. Out of everyone, I do feel like I am closest to St. Gianna, because i feel like she had more struggles then mary because she had more children and she worked when her kids were young (not that i want to work, but i know that working meant she was busy and stessed at least more then MAry). I am wanting to get closer to St. Monica, but I'd like to get to know her a little better first, which i dont really have time to do right now, so i'm still clinging to my G. :)

    so, to conclude,1- yes, we need a saint whom we can see her struggles a lot more. 2- since you are so honest and willing to share your struggles, i think that you should somehow either write a book about living your vocation or advertise your blog a lot more, and become the next danielle bean. 3- we are starting a new study friday january 23 at 9:30am and are reading "Holiness for Housewives," even though some of us have already read it. With 'abandonement to divine providence,' we felt like it was a bit too heavy for us and also that we needed more of a direct approach to being holy in our daily lives. Plus, we struggle when the autho in "abandonement...' kept saying how 'easy' and 'simple' it was to be holy. there were lots of great things i got out of the book, but he wasnt a mom and didnt go through what we do. anyways, you should come, its going to address everything youve written about, and im super excited for it.

  3. Dorothy Day's cause for canonization is open. I pray for her cause every day, and I think that she can give a lot of us encouragement (she was not just a mom, but a single mom). There's a wonderful movie about her called "Entertaining Angels."

  4. I think for a very very long time, the Church did not value Mothers. You bring up a really great point. Most of the saints are virgins, but how I see it, someone mothered those heroic saintly virgins. There are a lot of unnamed Women out there who have not been honored.

    After saying all that, I found that motherhood brought me closer to Mary. I know she understands my motherly fears and as much as we try to de-humanize Jesus by making him super Holy, he was a baby and Mary a human so I am pretty certain they had their trials and frustrations.

    And Dorothy Day is one who really intrigues me. How did she do it? How did her daughter feel about it?

    At the end of the day, you do the best you can and pray that therapy will be able to undo the damage. Ha ha ha :)

  5. I know this is an old post, but I was poking around and found it :) There are a few women saints that are well known in the Orthodox Church that are also saints in the Catholic Church but for some reason are not as well known. I highly recommend you get to know St. Emmelia! She had ten children and FIVE of them are canonized by church in both East and West. Her most well known children are St. Basil the Great and St. Macrina. I'm sure she struggled with many of the things we did as she strove to not only raise ten children but raise them as saints! Her son wrote quite a bit about her when he wrote the Life of his sister, St. Macrina and you can find the text online.

    Another that is recognized by both East and West is St. Nonna, the mother of St. Gregory the Theologian. I look to her because she liturally won her husband to Christ. He was a pagan and she a devout Christian and her constant prayers and example not only won him to Christ, but he became a bishop and was canonized himself.

    My patron saint is not a saint in the Catholic Church, as she was a 17th century Russian Orthodox woman, but she was the mother of 13 children, lived through famine and the death of her husband and several children and truly lived the life of the angels, devoting herself to charity and prayer. SHe has worked many miracles. You can read about her here:

    I'm working on a book for teenage girls about women saints to emulate that will contain several women saints. I'm not sure when it will be done, but you can keep an eye on (woefully neglected now) and there will be information there for sure!

  6. My confirmation saint is St. Margaret of Scotland and part of the reason I picked her is that she was a mom and absolutely had her hands full. :)

  7. I guess when I think about it, I don't usually try to be like Mary because it is impossible. She was without sin. We cannot possibly be without sin. Instead, I like to look at Mary more as my mother. I ask her for help like I would my own mother and ask her to pray for me since I know her Son listens to her. For me, this is a more realistic way of identifying with her than trying to be just like her.