First P: Prayer

Can Spiritual Direction Hamper Marital Intimacy?

Dear Holly,Our entire home schooling family has greatly benefited from a Mother’s Rule. Life is indeed better, more God-centered than before. Now my wife seems to be considering placing herself under the discipline of a”spiritual director” and as I read what is involved, specificallyThomas Dubay’s book on spiritual direction, I am deeply concerned that this might violate the sanctity and unity of the marriage, to be, in effect, a form of spiritual adultery.Doesn’t the obedience and submission of a married woman to another man violate a relationship what God has said should exist only between husband and wife? This is in no way a challenge and I do not fault the role of a spiritual director in the life of young priest, for example. I am genuinely perplexed and have serious doubts about the benefits of such an arrangement within a marriage, regardless of the “other” man’s rectitude and holiness. You talk about your spiritual director in a Mother’s Rule and, I gather, this causes Philip no... read more

What's the Purpose of Lent?

Dear Holly,As Lent approaches I am always at a loss to understand what I should be focusing on – what sacrifice(s) and/or extra effort to eliminate sin I should choose and why. In searching the internet I have found nothing to help me prepare for this important time. Can you recommend some reading – either books or internet that could help?Do you have a standard approach each year? Would some of your readers share their thoughts and plans? Please understand that I’m not talking about “stuff” to do like some of the Catholic culture books and articles recommend for families, but more something to help me decide what to... read more

More on Spiritual Direction and Reading

Dear Holly,I am re-reading your book this week. So many people don’t know where to start about getting spiritual direction – for years I haven’t been able to even figure out what it means. I finally began to get it when in confession recently I said, “Here are my sins, please tell me where and how to start.” It helped when a friend told me she tells the priest her name and a bit of a review so he can remember from the last time. Next time I’ll tell him my name so he can get to know... read more

Recommendations for Spiritual Reading?

Dear Holly,Your “Thoughts for Mom” section has me reading some new things. What “spiritual reading” would you suggest mother’s have in their personal library / read ? If you had to recommend 10 books for this purpose (NOT apologetics/catechism/catholic family activities reading…but real “spiritual direction/interior life/prayer” books), what would they be? (Would you put them in... read more

Deliverance Prayer

Dear Holly,I was reading the part in your book where you talk about deliverance prayer. I’ve felt the same kind of emotional turmoil and oppression, scoffing thoughts, etc.- and so often get told pat answers about it. I’m not sure how to go about finding a priest or asking a priest for this kind of assistance. Any... read more

Can Our Work Hinder Contemplation?

Dear Holly,This year I’ve really felt the Holy Spirit telling me to be available to my kids (just like in your book!) and I did this during Advent by doing much of our schoolwork together in group activities. It was a good thing as it gave us a common point of interest, and it gave me more personal time with my children, where we could discuss and I could hear their thoughts. When they all work independently, I am just not as in touch with each one of them. But at the same time, I am so attracted to God and contemplation, and I know I need to free my mind and heart up to make room for God. I have been looking at the possibility of doing all my school planning in advance in order to free my mind in this area too. But if I go this route, by planning all the children’s subjects individually, I feel I won’t really be able to do what I feel drawn to – spending more personal time with my kids. The bottom line question is – I fear that my time with the kids will fill my mind so much that I won’t be free enough, in mind or heart, for... read more

A Mother's Rule – A Path to Contemplation

Dear Holly…. I wanted you to know that your book is changing lives … drawing “us plain moms” to Jesus Himself. The end of your book, where you talk about Jesus coming to you (active contemplation) was the thing that finalized my choice to draw up my own mother’s rule. For I had read about this, but only imagined that it was for those who had less busy vocations, or at least, vocations where prayer times flourished. I didn’t think it was possible for someone with six kids to share in this. It is something I long for…. as you say, deep intimacy with... read more

Finding Spiritual Direction

Dear Holly,How do you go about getting a spiritual director? I have an amazing priest in my parish. However, I find that during confession there is not enough time to get into details. Should I tell him I need more direction and time with him outside of... read more

How Do You Live Your Consecration?

Dear HollyIn one of your comments on the website it sounds like you have consecrated yourself to Jesus after the example of St Louis de Montfort. Does living your consecration mainly consist in living your rule? Or do you try to imitate the life of Our Mother in additional... read more

Seeking Perfection and Self-Denial

Dear HollyI have read your posts so far about seeking Christian perfection as mothers. There’s just one thing that has always disturbed me about holiness – the whole notion of ‘self-denial’. I feel that if I really practiced this, I’d burn out and never have anything to look forward to again. How do you and others view... read more
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