Do you have a motto?

Okay, so I’m finally getting around to reading that America interview with the Pope.  Haven’t gotten too far yet — just up to the part where the interviewer has asked him who he really is.

And he repeats: “I am one who is looked upon by the Lord. I always felt my motto, Miserando atque Eligendo [By Having Mercy and by Choosing Him], was very true for me.”

And then he goes on to talk about mottos, of St. Ignatius, of John XXIII.

I love the idea of having a motto — especially if you can change it when you feel like it.  My motto used to be something that I came up with when people used to ask me all the time, “How do you do it?” — meaning, raise kids and meet deadlines and make supper, I suppose.  So my answer and motto was, “Praise God and cut corners.”

My family once put together a family crest, which I describe here, including our motto, which was “It Could Always Be Worse.”  And, in the last year we homeschooled, we were doing a medieval unit, so we put together coats of arms.  The motto my son came up with was, “REVENGE.”  Yup, put the little sucker in school the next year.

How about you?  Do you have a personal or family motto?  Did you used to have one that no longer fits?  If you had to come up with one today, what would it be?

"Can The Jerk have this space now that you're done with it? I mean, it's ..."

I’m moving!
"Wonderful Ideas for newborn baby and their parents also, its good to give them handmade ..."

Welcome, baby! 12 gifts that new ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kristy Knable Ziegler

    Most days I find my inspiration from Dorie on Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming….” I’d say that’s pretty much my motto, but I should probably work on a more inspiring one.

    • Barbara Fryman

      What’s more inspiring than that?!

    • That’s a good one, I might have to type that up and put it on my wall. LOL That’s pretty dang inspiring.

    • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

      I feel a great deal of empathy with Dorie. My short term is (almost) as bad, and I have a habit of being scatter-brained.

  • Rambling Follower

    “I am a beloved sinner.” I swiped this from an excellent homily by the chaplain of the Rutgers U. catholic center.

  • “Keep Hope Alive!” my best friend and I have been saying it for years.

    • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

      I’ve read some of your blog (love!), and considering your story, that’s quite a feat that you can say that, so inspiring.

  • Kate Cousino

    When I was a teenager, it was “All things passeth; love only remains.”

    Then in college I borrowed from John Henry Newman: Cor ad Cor Loquitur. I even had a blog called “Heart Speaks to Heart”.

    When I’m in a tight spot though, I find myself repeating, “There’s no way out but through.” I knew I’d read it somewhere, but never figured out where…until just now, when I googled and realized I’ve been quoting Robert Frost for the last decade.

    And I think our family motto should be, “further up and further in!”

  • Lisa Cook

    Several years ago, we attended a local Marian conference, and one of the speakers (Fr. Joseph Hirsch, Dio. La Crosse, WI) used this line in his presentation, and it is repeated in our household whenever we have a difficult choice to discern: “Pray for the courage to do something difficult with your life, for Jesus.”

  • Dan F.

    “What’s a motto?” “nothing, whatsa matta with you?” 😉

  • Eileen

    Different days call for different mottos. Some days – more days than I like – it’s “Keep putting one foot in front of the other” or “Our help is in the Name of the Lord.” Other days, it’s “Who gives a rat’s ass what the rest of the world thinks?” My actual family motto (the one on the crest) is “Death before dishonor.” How cool is that?? What I’d like my motto to be, what I really wish it were is something along the lines of: “Thank you God for all our blessings.”

  • My blog and I have a Scripture motto :Romans 14:16 “Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.”

  • kiwords

    Life is hard; God is good.

  • Cynthia

    Carpe Diem. I have had it for some years now and it really applied when my husband and I were separated for a lengthy time. That motto was what I did every day with my children. We squeezed the life out of most days and have some fantastic memories from a very difficult time. (Dh and I reconciled, praise be to God.)

  • richard

    Always know where you stand.

  • ThomasSanjurjo

    “There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon.”

    ~Matsuo Basho

  • MeanLizzie

    “Just kiss it up to God and calm your ass down.”

    • Victor

      Sounds too sexy Anchoress butt I like “IT”! 🙂

  • anna lisa


  • Tom

    “This is Mr. Davis; I forgot my mantra,”

  • Barbara Fryman

    “Life is work.”
    It’s the thing I say to my kids that they’ll groan about as teens and gasp when they repeat it to their kids.

  • Betsy

    Half-assed is better than no assed. Loosely based on St Theresa of Avila’s “perfection is not attainable in this life but in the next.”

    • Cat

      only a little loose. 😉 I love it.

  • Victor

    (((So my answer and motto was, “Praise God and cut corners.”)))

    I think I get your drift!? 🙂

    God Bless

  • Christina Channell

    My motto is “stand for something or fall for anything.” Though I really like “Praise God and cut corners;” may have to use that one next time someone is astounded (ASTOUNDED!) by my three children at Target.

  • Don’t know if it’s a motto, exactly – more like an anticipated epitaph: “Better late than never.” That has been the story of my life since… like… a long time ago.

  • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

    I like the first line of the Psalm that says “Save me oh Lord for the waters are up to my neck.” Perhaps a bit long for a motto though, more like a description….

  • amdg1966

    My family used to say ” Nobody likes a smart-ass”. This was mostly directed at me. I had my own: A prophet in his own land…

  • Cat

    It’s kind of cheesy but my motto is “Go big or go home”. If you’re going to trust God, trust Him always and with everything. If you’re going to love, love until you are simultaneously empty and full. If you’re going to be a child of God, be a saint.

  • CSmith

    Breathe deep and look up

  • Mark.

    From John 9:3: “…but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” No obvious miraculous cures in my case, and yet somehow I’m not as bad as might have been. I think. Strikes even me as a bit presumptuous, yes.