"I heard it said once that motherhood is a type of asceticism. Like the ascetics, mothers find themselves in a situation that requires their utter devotion, self-denial, daily emotional exercises, facing extreme challenges, and much prayer."
What is asceticism? The word comes from the Greek word for "training" or "exercising"; but pursuing an "ascetic lifestyle" is not just for monks and nuns! As Orthodox Christians, the purpose of disciplining our minds and bodies through prayer, reading of Scripture, and fasting is to help us draw closer to God and bring us back into communion with Him.
The fruit of asceticism is something all Mothers strive for, in themselves and their children: the fruit of the Holy Spirit... But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23]
What You Will Find in this Practical Book:
After a discussion in Chapter I of the Virtues - or "good spiritual habits" - taught by the Church, Annalisa moves on to a frank look at despair in Chapter III, "Tea Time at the Abyss: Prayers in Times of Trouble". She offers Scripture verses and prayers about everything from anger, anxiety, and difficult pregnancy to envy, financial strain, and infertility.
I especially appreciated Chapter VII, "Prayers Through the Stages of Motherhood" (it included prayers for Grandmothers), and Chapter VIII, "Prayers for Godchildren and 'Bonus' Children" (with lots of good tips regarding the responsibilities of Godparents.) She includes an honest look at Stepmothers and "bonus" children, asking: "Did you ever think of the fact that the Theotokos was a stepmother?"
This prayer book would make a perfect Mother's Day gift for Mothers, Stepmothers, adoptive or foster Mothers, Grandmothers, and Godmothers. These Mamas would all benefit from the Orthodox treasures found in this wonderful new offering from Ancient Faith Publishing - here.
Annalisa Boyd knows motherhood! Married for 21 years, she and her husband have 8 children (through birth and adoption) and have fostered 31 (so far.)