None beside you

Father,
There is none beside you
But the Son, in heaven above.

Jesus, 
There is none beside you
But the Spirit, who is Love.  

Spirit,
There is none beside you
But the Mother of the Lamb.

Mary,
There is none beside you   
But our God, the great I AM. 

 

References

I am Jehovah, and there is none else; there is no God beside me (Isaiah 45:5; DBY).

Since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to what we believe (Hebrews 4:14; NLT).

He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5; NLT).

As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36; NLT). 

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14; NLT).

Giver of mercy

No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven 
(John 3:27; NLT).

 

Giver of mercy, 
Our Father, our light;  

Giver of patience,
Our Mother, our life;

Giver of healing,
Our Saviour, our Priest; 

Giver of comfort,
Our Spirit, our peace.

 

References

The Lord our God is merciful (Daniel 9:9; NLT).

Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often (Luke 2:19; NLT).

Jesus healed many people who were sick (Mark 1:34; NLT).

As you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us (2 Corinthians 1:7; NLT).

What is my flesh?

 

What is my flesh,
If not your Spirit’s temple? 

What is my mind, 
If not your Son’s mind, too?

What is my heart
If not his Mother’s home, Lord? 

What is my soul,
If not a part of you?

 

References

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? (1 Corinthians 6:19; NLT).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home (John 19:27; NLT). 

There is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them (Job 32:8; NLT).

You’re my Father

 

Lord God, 
You’re my Father,
So I never feel alone.

Mary,
You’re my Mother,
For I have none of my own. 

Spirit,
You’re my Comforter,
My Advocate and Friend.

Jesus, 
You’re my Saviour 
And my Shepherd, to life’s end. 

 

References

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9; RSV).

He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home (John 19:27; NLT). 

He will give you another Advocate [Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor], who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth (John 14:16-17; NLT). 

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18; RSV).

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and they know me (John 10:14; RSV).

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

A second chance

 

Lord God, 
If our fathers didn’t treat us 
As they should,
You give us a second chance,
By offering your love.

Mary, 
If our mothers gave no comfort 
From the start,
You give us a second chance,
By offering your heart.

Jesus, 
If our brothers didn’t help us 
As they might,
You give us a second chance,
By offering your light. 

Spirit, 
If our sisters were uncaring
In our youth,  
You give us a second chance,
By offering your truth.

 

References

God is love (1 John 4:16; NIV).

Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often (Luke 2:19; NLT).

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12; NLT).

He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth (John 14:17; NLT).

Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother! (Matthew 12:50; NLT).

Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:29; NLT).

My mother’s death

 

Last night, my mother died peacefully in her sleep. She was 102, and had been increasingly deaf, blind, bedridden, incontinent and confused for the last few years.  

On hearing the news early this morning, my initial reaction was one of relief that she isn’t suffering any more, though it’s too early to tell what feelings I might have in the longer term about her. I’ve spent many years in therapy working on the consequences of her behaviour towards me, so hopefully that will now help me to cope with her death.

My mother was a complicated, intelligent, energetic and demanding woman. She was very controlling, dominating, angry, frustrated, and emotionally abusive. Throughout, and beyond, my childhood, her unpredictable, explosive rages were utterly terrifying. During these uncontrolled episodes she was verbally aggressive towards those present, and could be could be violent and destructive towards objects nearby.

She was also a very selfish, manipulative and egotistical woman. Despite the efforts I made as an adult to talk to her about her behaviour, and the ways in which it has affected me, she always minimised it, never acknowledging, or apologising for, all the damage she caused.

Recently, I’ve been trying to forget the bad things she did, and to remember instead the good things about my childhood. However, the positives are so few, so undependable, and so short-lived, that I quickly gave up the effort, which felt artificial and unhelpful. 

Well, none of us is perfect. We all have many faults, including me. Fortunately, I started working hard to forgive my mother several years ago, and have continued to pray for her, and try to forgive her, every day. 

Some months ago, I spoke to her privately for the last time about her behaviour, its effects, and my forgiveness. However, by then, she was incapable of replying. I’m glad, though, that I was able to be completely honest with her, after a lifetime of anxiety, fear, dread, panic attacks, depression and physical illness caused by her abuse. May she rest in peace, at last.

 

References

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

Written on the day of my first Holy Communion

 

Lord, 
From today, I turn my face away
From all the harm
My mother did to me,
Remembering it no more.

Instead, 
I call the positives to mind, 
While thanking you
For bringing good
From all I have experienced in life.

 

References

I will never again remember their sins (Jeremiah 31:34; NLT).

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28; NRSV).