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"Love letters" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com) Pixabay (2013), CC0 Public Domain[/caption] Have you ever received a handwritten note in the mail which arrived at just the right moment? It touched your heart because it was written with love. You could not help but read it again and again. Somehow you knew that not only the words, but also the tears being shed as you read were healing your heart. The letter put a smile back on your face. There have been times when I have prayed for a touch from God, and a card or letter will appear in my mail box. It is an answer to that prayer. The sender usually has no idea how much their words mean to me. It is hard to convey what goes on in one’s heart to others. These treasured letters I save in my memory box. It has become a yearly ritual to take out the contents of my memory box and read them once again. Just as the handwritten notes which arrive at just the right moment touch our heart, God’s Word does the same. It is like our treasured love letters from our Heavenly Father written with His love. Reading His word is how we begin to learn his voice. It molds our hearts. The scriptures are written to instruct, to heal, to encourage, and to correct us. His words are planted in our souls. God waters, He weeds, and plows the field of our heart. Then He waits. Before too long, His Word becomes our delight. We begin to treasure our love letter from Our Heavenly Father. As a mom, many times I too have written “love letters” to my children. I do not write often, only when I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to write. I pause in prayer, wait and ask the Holy Spirit to guide my words. After listening for His still small voice, I write what is on my heart. As a writer, I know the importance of the written word. It touches the heart. I have written many different kinds of letters to my children as the Holy Spirit prompts me to do so. Some letters are written to encourage, when I know that they are going through a hard time. Some letters are written to to guide them toward a new direction. Some letters are written as my apology, when I have wronged them. When one of my adult children is in mortal sin, not going to church or walking away from their Catholic faith, I become burdened in my soul. After discussing the situation with my husband, followed by fervent prayer, and seeking wise council, I write a letter to guide them back towards Jesus and their Catholic faith. Sometimes my letter is private and for only one of my children. Other times it is a family letter, to all seven offspring. Do they read the letters? I do not know. I do know that some of them do. In fact, some of my adult children, after receiving the letters, have been known to tell me what they think. They usually say, “Mom, you do not need to write letters.” My answer is always the same. “Oh, but I do! God told me to.” One time the Holy Spirit put on my heart to write a poem to each of our children as one of their Christmas gifts. The poem was titled “I Want to Leave a Legacy!” Once the poem was written, I framed a copy for each child. Another time one of our daughters was going through a trial in her life. She needed the family to be there for her. I wrote all of the family, saying, “She needs your support, as well as your prayers. Please support her. Life is unpredictable. You may be the next one in the pit. Then we will all be there to support you.” To my surprise, another time,  one of my adult daughters wrote a love letter to me and framed it. Did I save it?  Yes, of course! I saved it forever. A love letter from Mom can be a rare treasure, especially if the Holy Spirit prompts you to write it. Mine are written from my heart, while I am in prayer.  I can never be sure the recipient will treasure it right away, but maybe in the days to come. So I often wonder about their response. Will they read it over and over again? Will it bring back their faded smile? Will it be answer to prayer? Will they save it in their memory box? If I pass away, will they remember that day and read the letter one last time? I may never know, but I say to myself, I'll write the letter even so! Love letters from Mom is one way I guide my children in their faith. However, no matter how hard we try we cannot change an adult child’s heart or their life. Eventually they have to read God’s Love Letter in the Bible for themselves, then freely choose to follow Him. What we can do is listen to the voice of God guiding us, and try to guide them in the same loving way. Moms can patiently plant seeds of faith, hope and love. We can water the seeds with our tears, weed the field with correction, and plow the field by being a good example.  Then we too, like God the Father, have to wait patiently for the fruit to grow. This is what a mother is called to do all the days of her life. They are called to journey alongside her children. God grows a mother’s heart within us strong enough to carry our children to the Lord in prayer, their whole life through. The most important thing we can do is pray. God hears us. Our prayers are wrought in love from a mother’s heart, which He grew inside us.

This Mother’s Day, why not surprise your children with a handwritten note from you?

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you compose it. Will it bear good fruit? Will they read it? Will it touch their heart? Wait and see. Who knows they may write a love letter back to you too!
Copyright 2018 Ellen Mongan