Tuesday, April 8, 2008

St Anne, teacher of Mary

As mothers we are entrusted with the most profound responsiblity in the world – the education of our children in the faith and life. We don't go into this task 'unarmed' thank goodness, we are given the graces for that undertaking, by virtue of our sacrament of marriage.
Here is what the Catholic Catechism has to say:
"Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelising their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the 'first heralds' for their children. They should associate them, from their tenderest years, with the life of the Church" (2225, p.537).
Now listen to what G.K. Chesterton says about the sublime role of parent especially one that takes on the whole education of their child in the home:

“I am concerned with pointing out that the passage from private life to public life, while it may be right or wrong, or necessary or unnecessary, or desirable or undesirable, is always of necessity a passage from a greater work to a smaller one, and from a harder work to an easier one. And that is why most of the moderns do wish to pass from the great domestic task to the smaller and easier commercial one.

They would rather provide the liveries of a hundred footmen than be bothered with the love-affairs of one. They would rather take the salutes of a hundred soldiers than try to save the soul of one. They would rather server out income-tax papers or telegraph forms to a hundred men than meals, conversation, and moral support to one. They would rather arrange the educational course in history or geography, or correct the examination papers in algebra or trigonometry, for a hundred children, than struggle with the whole human character of one.

For anyone who makes himself responsible for one small baby, as a whole, will soon find that he is wrestling with gigantic angels and demons.”

Don’t you just love that? “....will soon find that he is wrestling with gigantic angels and demons.” Oh boy, he was right there!

What I like about Chesterton is that he is smack-bang on the mark every time. He cuts through the chaff and gets to the pearl of great price. Many in this world are stumbling around in the chaff and can’t recognize a pearl even if it were dangled in front of them. Sadly many parents are influenced by the so called "fashionable thinkers" of our time who perpetuate the fallacies. Little do they know they are bringing down a culture, a generation and more...

As Christian mothers we DO know what that priceless pearl is – the education of our children. We are honoured to be given this noble task, God in fact, entrusts ALL of this to us. Of course, it is one that requires fortitude, courage and strength on our behalf. It requires that we call out for that grace daily, that grace we were assured of on our wedding day.

St Anne of course is the PERFECT heavenly intercessor for these graces. Just reminding you of what Good St Anne says about her:

“Sublime was her office in instructing this blessed child (Mary) in virtue and holiness”

“How encouraging this is to all parents who make the holy education of their children their principal duty. By this they glorify their Creator, perpetuate His honor on earth and sanctify their own souls. From the hands of the parents God will one day require the souls of their children. Happy will those parents be who can say to the Divine Judge: “Not one of those whom Thou hast given me has been lost through my fault.”

“Realizing, therefore, the great duty she has in rearing her children well, the Catholic mother will daily recommend her children to God and pray especially to St Anne for the gift of imparting to them a good training, the highest and most difficult of arts.”

“The highest and most difficult of arts.” It certainly reflects Chesterton’s words, doesn’t it?

It is for this reason we are in great need of support and mentoring, someone who knows only too well, just what graces we are in need of. St Anne is that saint to whom you can entrust your dearest desires for yourself and your children, knowing she was given the awesome task of and succeeded in, the education of the Mother of God.

There have been many good mothers canonized throughout the history of Christendom and even beautiful, inspiring examples from the Old Testament, all those good mothers are worthy of being called ‘prayer warriors’ for us mothers today. But except for the Blessed Virgin herself, who can incline more, the heart of Jesus towards our pitiful cries when we are ‘wrestling’ with our cherubs?

Think of the times when we chosing a catecetical program for our children and need to make the best decision possible? Who can we turn to? St Anne.

Of the times when we are struggling in setting the best example daily for our children? Who can we turn to? St Anne.

And those times when a child has opened his or her heart to us, maybe even unwittingly and we are needing guidance in how to respond to it? Who can we turn to? St Anne.

And what about those days when we ourselves feel we can no longer perservere in the daily struggle and toil of providing our children with their academic education, we feel we just can’t continue on? Who can we turn to? St Anne.

Who can we call upon in the protection of our children’s souls from all things that are harmful to character and virtue? St Anne, of course!

She has the blessing and good pleasure of her own beloved daughter and Divine Grandson, when we turn to her with confidence and love.

Parents' Prayer to St. Anne

We call upon you, dear St. Anne, for help in bringing up our family in good and godly ways. Teach us to trust God our Father as we rear the precious heritage entrusted to us. May His will prevail in our lives and His providence defend us. These blessings we ask for all families in our neighborhood, our country, and our world. Amen.

Daily Prayer to St. Anne

Dear St. Anne, you never tire of assisting those who recommend themselves to you. Trusting not in our merits but in your powerful intercession, we request your help through this present day with all its duties and responsibilities, all its situations whether happy or anguishing. And when "tomorrow" becomes today, assist us anew for God's glory and our good. Amen.
Good St. Anne, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek....... Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.


Meredith said...

I love the prayer at the end, so many more beautiful thoughts here Anne, thank you!

Lillian said...

I loved the Chesterton quote! These reflections are so wonderful and I look forward to Tuesdays.

Heidi Hess Saxton said...

What beautiful prayers! (I linked to them at "Behold Your Mother," (http://beholdyourmotherbook.blogspot.com) and borrowed the GKC quote for my post today at "Mommy Monsters" (http://mommymonsters.blogspot.com). Thanks for being such an inspiration today!

Heidi Saxton

Dad said...

I thought you might want to know that Domestic-Church.Com has added two new sister sites:



These sites contain the contents of two of our "In the Domestic Church" books published by Ignatius.

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Anne, these Tuesdays are such a gift. Thank you!!

Marilyn said...


I just love these Tuesday meditations - it is my treat to sit down with them and a hot drink at the end of the day.