Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God,
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Do you remember your confirmation? Mine is a little hazy though I do recall lining up in front of the altar with two or three other teenagers, sponsors behind us, their hands on our shoulders. A bishop went down the line, gently placing his hands on our heads to anoint and confirm us in the Holy Spirit There was probably a party afterwards.
Memories of my grandmothers, mother, aunties and confirmation sponsor-mom are much stronger. The expression of faith in the lives of these good women looks very different one from another, yet they all had a hand in my formation. Gifts I received from each live on in my own life of faith.
To name just a few: a desire to celebrate Sunday Eucharist and share Sunday dinner; an appreciation for the hard work required for good marriages to last, the courage it takes to end bad ones, and the knowledge that both choices can make lives of love and hope possible for others; the grace to open heart and home to the many and often unexpected ways we find ourselves called to be family, even or especially in difficult times.
Today I give joyful thanks for the gift of Elizabeth, Gretchen, Rena, Mary, Kathy, Marj, Anne, Connie, Chris and Donna, and lift them all up in prayer to God. I invite you to do the same for your foremothers. St. Paul and I are confident that their faith “lives on also in you.”
Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—from Book of Blessings, © The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989Please share the Good Word with your friends!