Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Mary the Sorrowful Mother

A stillness enveloped her, a breathless moment, then, wings of a mighty angel enfolded her,
exuding drops of blood ... consolation beyond all agony!
Mary, Mater Dolorosa.

Today's is for Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother. I started marking this special day on the liturgical calendar when I lost my son Raphael in stillbirth. Our church has a little shrine to the Sorrowful Mother and every year I put a little plant or flower on the shrine and pray.

However this year was fraught with a few more difficulties.  Because of the powerful wind storm we were without electricity all night until about 7:00 this morning.  We also have a car with a busted fuel pump, so  I wasn't able to get a flower for Mary's shrine.  Nonetheless Sam and I started out walking this morning at 7:30  to make it to 8 a.m. mass.  The church was still  without power, so Father V. said mass the old fashioned way- by candlelight!

Father said the most insightful things this morning.  He mentioned that just because someone is faithful or even chosen, does not mean that their life will be without hardship and pain.  Mary's certainly wasn't.  And as we sat in the middle of God's house we certainly noted that the church hadn't been spared from the effects of the weather.  But Father said we could chose to be used by the hardships that befall us, or we could chose to use those hardships for good.  He also talked about how sometimes these difficulties draw us closer to God.

As the mother of a stillborn son that certainly was my experience.  I did feel prayed for and loved when our baby died and I felt the need to draw myself closer to God in my sorrow.  And the result of my experience has been useful a few times, in comforting other moms who have lost babies.

Maybe that is why also on this blog I have felt the need to encourage moms with difficult pregnancies, with babies with terminal diagnoses to accept the cross that has been given to them and to mother their children for the time that they have, because any amount of life and love is so precious. 



This prayer has much special meaning for me.
Mary, my mother, obtain for me, I beg you, the grace of a holy resignation. Obtain for me the grace to understand this trial which is so hard for me to bear. I know that God in his all-wise providence has seen that it is for the best. Yet it is hard for me to bear the grief I feel. I come too you,dear mother, comforter of the afflicted and constant aid of those who trust in you. I know that you can obtain for me the peace and resignation that I seek. I confide in you entirely in this my tribulation and sorrow. You know the meaning of a mother's love, and can understand the dept of my affliction. Be to me a tender and protecting mother. For now, dear Mother Mary, I feel more than ever the need of your motherly love and sweet consolation.

Mary sorrowing, Mary of all Christians, pray for us!

From a Mother's Manual

Jeremiah 31:15

15 This is what the LORD says:
"A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because her children are no more."

A wonderful idea for commemorating the day here!

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