My Baby Just Wrote Me a Letter

My baby just wrote me a letterOne of the things that readers of The Working Catholic Mom always ask me is, “How do you XYZ as a working Catholic Mom? I really need some tips!”

 

I am always amazed when I ask them, “Well, how do you XYZ?” It usually becomes an exchange of tips and strategies used to strengthen our faith and walk a journey together.

 

Today, I want to write a little about loving Jesus, and how I have been able to put prayer into my own form of love directed right at the Heart of Jesus.

 

Just recently, I realized that for years on my faith journey, Jesus took the back seat. I could relate to God, the Father; and I could sense the Holy Spirit had special and unique gifts for me that I should use in life. But Jesus – I thought intimacy with Jesus was reserved for those in monasteries and cloistered convents. It scared me to think I could love Jesus like a Bridegroom; after all, I had a physical bridegroom, and I loved him with my whole heart. It intimidated me to think of a more intimate relationship with the King of kings.

 

However, in the last several years, I’ve been learning more about Jesus through journaling, and specifically through writing love letters to Jesus each day.

 

Through these love letters to Jesus, I’ve found intimacy with my Savior…my Bridegroom. Coincidentally, this intimacy has grown my intimacy with the hubs.

 

I reflected on verses from Song of Songs today:

 

“Upon my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but he gave no answer. “I will rise now and go about the city in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves.” I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me, as they went about in the city. “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” Scarcely had I passed them, when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem by the gazelles or the hinds of the field, that you stir not up or awaken love until it please.” (Song of Solomon 3: 1-5)

 

What a beautiful picture of love…seeking the one whom your soul loves. This is a beautiful perspective on the relationship I have with Jesus – as a married Catholic woman…seeking to know and be known by her Lord.

 

Journaling has helped me to grow this relationship in ways I never knew were possible. As a writer, keeping a journal is like breathing to me…it comes naturally. Knowing that not all women have the same gifts and talents, there may be other ways you are able to grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ. I would love to hear those ways. Especially for working Catholic mommas who happen to be married to the loves of their lives, I would love for you to share your strategies with our readers.

 

Here is my simple formula for journaling like this each day:

 

Salutation: What do you call Jesus? What is it that you uniquely call out to Him in prayer? I usually start with a exclamation of Jesus’ name, and follow that by names I’ve known Him by that particular day. For example, one day earlier this month, I was having a particularly difficult day at work, and I kept turning to the Lord in continual mental prayer throughout the day. This act of turning to prayer during the day helped me to stay interiorly recollected, or at peace internally, though the chaos was apparent in the office. I couldn’t wait to get home to my prayer corner to journal to Our Lord that night. Here is how I greeted Jesus:

 

“Dear Lord – My love! Holy, adorable, beautiful, love, mercy, hope and freedom. Lover of my soul; keeper of my heart.”

 

Before I write another word, I wait on the Lord. During this time, I don’t want to miss anything he may wish to tell me. Sometimes I am led to some Scripture, but most of the time, I am led to acknowledge and express love to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is especially beautiful in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which I journal in front of as frequently as I can. Here is what a passage to the Sacred Heart written on that same day:

 

“Lamb of God – Shepherd of my soul. Comforter of the weak; Power above all. Jesus Christ, my love and only Lord – hide me away in Your Most Sacred Heart, and while there – teach me to love and forgive with abundant joy.”

 

You may have a particular devotion. You can honor that devotion by including it in your daily journaling.

 

Next, I recognize all parts and components of my day as belonging to God. I recognize that my whole day first and foremost belonged to Our Lord, and that all that happened, joy and struggle, were gifts for my best benefit (i.e. my holiness). On the request of a priest in confession, I’ve been keeping a daily list of the top 5 things I am grateful for in a day. I recognize this gratitude as being owed to Our Lord. Here are my top 5 from this particular entry:

  • For being able to attend daily Mass today – it was so incredibly Holy
  • For conversations with my teenagers.
  • For time with Steve walking and talking in the evening.
  • For food this month (our finances were very tight)
  • For the new rental home. This has been a blessing for us.

 

This recalling of blessings helps me to thank Jesus for all, recognizing it is all a gift from Him.

 

Next are the intentions. A holy priest told me one time that as a mother and wife, my job is to pray daily for my family. He said his job is to pray for his bride, the Church. This was incredibly instructive to me, although I had always prayed for my family. I had never done so in a very intentional way. Journaling afforded me that opportunity. Here are a few intentions that day:

 

  1. For Steve. Lord, I trust in You with our marriage and our family. Help Steve to be the leader You created him to be. Help him to be the provider this family needs. Give him the tools and the virtue, including patience and perseverance, to carry out Your plan for him.
  2. For Liz – for her faith, increase in love, and openness to forgiveness.
  3. For Eddy – an end to his headaches.
  4. For Emma – reconciliation with her friends, and an openness to resolving conflict.
  5. For Elani – discernment of silence vs. speaking out all the time.
  6. For Elie – continued advancement of her good behavior, manners and virtue. It was an honor for he rto ask me to bless her last night.
  7. For all of Fr. Josh’s intentions.
  8. For all of Deacon Brad’s intentions.
  9. Etc…

My extolling of the Sacred Heart, as well as the gratitude and intentions make up the bulk of the body of my letter to Jesus.

I try never to leave my letter without speaking also to Our Blessed Mother. She is the most important woman in Jesus’ life – His mother. And I am consecrated to Jesus through the merits and virtue of His mother, so I definitely spend some time with her in the letter. Here is an example of what that would look like:

“Blessed Mother, please lend me your virtue and teach me to be a better mother that I may lead my children to Heaven. Wrap our family in your most protective mantle, and present us to your Son.”

By this time, I’m 20 minutes into writing, and besides my hand getting tired, my kids are usually seeking my assistance by this time. My closings are typically quick, but with lots of intention. Here is an example:

“Thank You, Jesus, for our time together. I love you. Your little Mary.”

Some days, I also invoke the intercession of all patron Saints in our family. This could become a long list for our family of 7. However, I know these are personal friends of my children and husband, and I want to make sure to stay in good communication with them.

Some days, my time is very short for journaling. I use the time to journal what I can, making it the best love letter for Jesus. It is not about the amount of time you have, it is about the amount of Love you approach prayer and communication with Jesus. More than the journaling…the LOVE is what has increased intimacy with the Lord.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when journaling:

  1. Get a pretty journal! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Currently, I am using composition notebooks that have beautiful flowery covers.
  2. Try to keep a consistent time during the evening or early morning. I try to find times when distractions are at a minimum. Right after dinner in the summer works for me currently, because the kitchen is cleaned, and the kids are getting ready for bed. However, when school starts again, I know that I will be inundated with homework help for the kids. I’ll have to find a different time. When you find your right time, commit to it on your schedule.
  3. Write from your heart. It is a love letter to Our Lord. He wants your heart.

OK…here’s your chance…what strategies do you use to develop intimacy with Our Lord? I would love to hear your ideas, and I know our readers will, too.

Blessings and Peace to you and yours!

Mary

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Comments

  1. Nancy chapman says:

    I love the letter idea. Writing to Jesus about each family member is great! I am going to start mine tomorrow. Thank you!

    • Nancy!

      I try to do it each day for sure, and I am 95% at that. However, I am also gentle on myself if I miss. Because I know Jesus would not want me to be harsh if I missed. I talk to Him each day, regardless.

      Writing about each member of my family has been a blessing for me. It helps me as a mom to zero in on what they need prayers for, and to learn a little more about Jesus’ particular love for them, too.

      Blessings!

      Mary

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