The Heart of Our Mother
Lisa Anthony
Mary may have been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son, but that doesn't mean her life was easy. She knew emotions and challenges like ours and that’s why she can sympathize with our petitions to her. Let her wisdom and trust in God’s plan guide all parents.

Mary knew her priorities would shift the moment the angel told her she was to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:28-35).
 It didn’t matter that she was not yet married or that she didn't know the details of what would happen next. What mattered was that a remarkable life was now her responsibility.

Comfort was forfeit when Herod put a death sentence on Jesus. (Matthew 2:13-15).
 Any new mother wants to be surrounded by loved ones who can providing an experienced and guiding hand when the baby arrives. Yet, threatened by Herod's search for the child, Mary and Joseph they fled their home, leaving everything behind to ensure his safety. 

Responsibility for raising the Savior must have been overwhelming at times
. Mary surely experienced difficulty, uncertainty, and fear. For example, when Jesus was 12, he was lost for days until they found him in the temple (Luke 2:41-49).  It all made sense later, but at the time, Mary felt unspeakable fear.

Knowing a child will suffer is the most difficult part of being a parent
. As a good Jewish girl, Mary knew what Scripture said about the Messiah and how he would suffer. Still, being prepared didn’t make it any easier to watch her son die. Yet, Mary had complete trust in God and stood with dignity at the foot of the Cross. Now she and her son are together for eternity in heaven. That's what she wants for us, too.

Q&A Is “stewardship” another way of asking for money ?
Lisa Anthony

Remember the parable of the three servants who looked after the master's money while he was gone? The first two servants invested the money wisely, but the third was punished for having done nothing with what was given him. (See Matthew 25:14-30.) He was a poor steward of his master's goods.

A steward is someone trusted to manage an employer's affairs and possessions. We have each been trusted with talents and strengths to use in God's service and to further his mission. He expects us to use these gifts to help others know him, love him, serve him, and be happy with him in Heaven.

Today, stewardship means committing the best portion of our time, talent, and treasure to the mission of the Church. Generous sharing of resources, including money, is central to caring for God's Church and his people. When you realize that everything you have and everything you do is from God, then you want to give back to God in thanksgiving. That's modern day stewardship in action.

Celebrate your mistakes
Lisa Anthony

Celebrate your mistakes

Do you dread making mistakes and feel terrible when you do? Mistakes are simply outcomes we didn’t expect and can lead to growth.

Start by admitting your mistake. You can only learn from a mistake if you admit you made one. As soon as you start blaming other people, you miss out on any possible lesson. Admitting the error – even if it is only to yourself – takes the focus away from assigning blame and moves it toward understanding.

Enlist help. Talking to someone else about what happened gives you the benefit of your friend’s experience. He or she may have made a similar mistake or know of a way to deal with it. Plus, describing the event forces you to think it through and may even help you see opportunities you didn’t know were there.

Decide for change. Ask, “What will I do better next time?” Real growth and change happen when you see room for improvement. Then commit to making the necessary changes to avoid the mistake in the future.

Benefit from mistakes. So the most important lesson is to remember that if you can learn from the current one, you may be able to avoid a future one.

Making a mistake doesn’t make you a mistake. Remember, God is the only one you know who doesn’t make them.

God always answers prayer
Lisa Anthony

God always answers prayer
Ever pray really hard for something but got only silence in response? It may have felt like God didn’t answer.  Yet, the Bible tells us that if we trust God, we’ll always get what we need and perhaps what we want, too (Matthew 6:25-33). But we have to do our part.
Strengthen your friendship with God. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). God wants our friendship all the time, not just when we want something. The closer we are to him, the more likely we are to ask for what is in harmony with his will.
Come clean. Unconfessed sin creates static in the connection to God. The sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) helps clear the line. In Psalm 32, David says that his life was miserable when he avoided responsibility for his sin. As soon as he confessed it, God answered his prayers.  
Look for it. God’s answer may not be what you were looking for but may be even better than you imagined.  
Don’t give up. Jesus promised, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). God has a wonderful sense of timing. He’ll pick exactly the right moment. 

Darn those distractions ...
Lisa Anthony
Darn those distractions!
Ever wonder how you can be riveted for hours by one TV show after another, but spend only a few minutes in prayer before your mind wanders? In fact, distractions can help enrich your prayer life. Our minds tend to wander to things that are important to us. We can recognize them and make them a part of our prayer.
For example, "Lord, thank you for the gift of my home. That reminds me that I better clean out the gutters or the roof will leak. That would be bad even if our furniture isn’t as nice as the Spencers’ new living room set. But forgive me Lord for feeling envy, and help me to be grateful for what I have." And so on.
The idea is to acknowledge the distraction and ask God's help in overcoming its source. Then use it as a tool to get back on track. Remember, prayer is not a rigid routine we have to get right. It's a conversation with someone we love. 

The Saints Were Human Like Us

Sometimes we forget that the saints were people like us. They had the same weaknesses and temptations we have today, but conquered it all for God. Getting to know some of them gives us models of holiness we can follow to Heaven.