Posted by: wordofthevine | August 30, 2013

The Power of Family Relationships


With the feasts of Saint Monica and St. Augustine this week, I reflected on the power of family relationships and the effect  mothers and fathers have on their children’s holiness. St. Monica’s faithfulness in prayer for her husband and for her son, Augustine, gave us Saint Augustine, a doctor of the Church and a husband who lived a rich life of faith.   I recalled a marvelous story from a friend, Lorreen, that illustrates the power of the Holy Spirit and of parental love.

A few years ago, Lorreen had accompanied her friend, Cindy, a great vocalist, to Florida to give a concert within the federal prison system. Cindy has a very developed ministry of singing and inner healing. Lorrenne went thinking that she would be in the background as a support person, something she was used to as a mother of a large, grown family. What a surprise she had in the car on the way to the prison. God had other plans for her. Out of the blue, as she was driving Cindy turned to Lorrenne and said, “I think God wants to use you to touch these men.” “What” Lorrenne gasped, “What do I have to tell them?” “Pray,” Cindy responded, “Because I’m sure that God is going to show  developed ministry of song and inner healing.  Lorreen sat quietly the rest of the 10 mile trip. Her heart fluttered as she and Cindy made it through all the security check points of the prison and she was looking out across an audience of 200 male prisoners.  What happened next surprised Lorreen and has stayed with her, even several years later. In her own poverty, God’s grace took over. All of a sudden, she felt a deep energy and passion to speak to the men. She was focused and felt the Lord’s words well up in her heart, “Tell them about how much they are loved by me. Lead them to forgive their mothers of anything their mothers may have done or not done that had hurt them. But,most importantly, I want them to ask their own mothers for forgiveness for any pain they have caused their mothers by their choices.’ Lorreen continued, “And, he gave me such an overwhelming love for those men. I simple spoke as a mother to her children. Right then and there, I had the charism of being their mother. I spoke with loving conviction and I saw the men were moved. When I was finished after I had led them into praying for the Holy Spirit and for love to forgive their mother, there was a great energy in the room. Many were praying silently and others were crying. When we were finished,  I had more men line up to greet me than Cindy did. Over and over, I heard, ‘Thank you for sharing your love with me as a mother. I am so sorry for the pain that I caused my mother.’  “In that moment,” Lorreen continued, ” God helped me  to embody their own mothers to them. The Lord wanted to act in their lives to bring the healing that a mother can bring. I guess that is what Our Lady does for each us too, when we listen to her guidance and love for us. Let us each listen to the love and guidance of Our Mother, Mary and if we are a mother or father, let us savor the grace of our call and the spiritual power we can wield in the lives of others, including even those we spiritually engender.

What about you, can you become a spiritual mother or father to someone who needs it most?  I suggest, that yes, God can make that happen! ~Mary

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