Monday, December 31, 2007

Have a Great 2 0 0 8


Prayer for a Blessing on the Gift of a New Year~ who knows what it may hold...
Let us Pray
O sacred and adorable Trinity, hear our prayers on behalf of our holy Father the Pope, our Bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, we beseech You, during the coming year, the whole Catholic Church; convert heretics and unbelievers; soften the hearts of sinners so that they may return to your friendship; give prosperity to our country and peace among the nations of the world; pour down your blessings upon our friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and upon our enemies, if we have any; assist the poor and the sick; have pity on the souls of those whom this year has taken from us; and be merciful to those who during the coming year will be summoned before your judgment seat. May all our actions be preceded by your inspirations and carried on by your assistance, so that all our prayers and works, having been begun in you, may likewise be ended in You. Amen. catholicprayers.com

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Prayer



Lord, in this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance. Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Being the Manger


A manger must be ready and willing to receive and to accept. It gets no choice as to what is being placed in it. I need to let go of self will, plans and opinions if I want to be empty. A filled manger is not helpful and gets by-passed. True, it’s hard to wait in emptiness for Jesus to come. The paradox is that a filled manger may be useless but when I’m empty I feel useless. I have to be comfortable or at least peaceful being empty of myself. If I fill my manger with things or people that don’t belong there I’ll still be empty…wanting. So I can’t get past it. In emptiness is my fulfillment.

When I give up my things and opinions my wants and plans I have to stay soft. Can’t get crusty! I’ll need to smile, to welcome, and to forgive others. My eyes still need to tear and my heart needs to melt at the sight of others’ pain. Forgetting myself cannot make me cold. I have to practice tenderness in dealing with others – seeing each one as God’s special child and welcoming them into my day. I need to figuratively stop looking in mirrors. It’s all about meekness, 1Cor 13-ness and simplicity.

How much do I want Jesus to stay in my manger?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Be the Manger


A manger must be available, receptive, empty, waiting, and patient. Most of all a manger fulfills its tasks in humility, going unnoticed.

To become the manger I need to transform. I need to change what I look and act like, giving up part of myself to receive Jesus. It may hurt to let go or lose what I’m holding on to. I’ll need some extra help and grace.

The important part about being the manger that receives Jesus is that it be empty. A filled manger is useless.

A manger for a newborn should be clean, free of any kind of sinfulness.

It’s important too that the manger be soft and warm so Jesus can rest comfortably there. No hardness of heart or mind can offer that.

A manger needs to be stable and balanced so as to contain the Lord safely. It must be steadfast and never allow harm to come to Jesus or to anyone who represents Him.

Lastly it needs to be filled with softness and warmth, which are our acts of self-denial and good deeds. Fill your manger every day if you can with an act of selflessness or generosity to others.

When Christmas Eve comes make of yourself an invitation to God: “Come, dwell here!” Then wait. He will surely come.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dear St. Therese,



~ Little Flower~

Please teach me how to be completely dependent on God so that I recognize my nothingness. I cannot correct my faults but I insist on trying – as tho I had the ability to do that or anything else on my own. I understand that my good deeds are only done with the graces and talents God has given me. Why do I think my faults/sins could be corrected on my own? What ability do I falsely think I have?

I am neither good nor bad as I am nothing. You’ve described your body as an envelope. You’ve described yourself as a grain of sand. Those are things that are completely ignored. An envelope is empty and useless once it has fulfilled its purpose. What envelope or grain of sand is appreciated, remembered or even noticed?

It is only God; His talents thru me and His mercy to me. I should spend my time praising and thanking Him rather than on self focused activities.

I understand your way but I get too
tangled up to be able to live it. Will you help me please? I humbly thank you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I thirst

Grace is free flowing like water. It must be. Water will find a way thru any barrier. It can smooth out a stone. Such is grace. No matter how high my self imposed wall is (self will) God’s grace eventually permeates my soul and drenches me with forgiveness. His grace fills in the cracks of the dried up clay I become and allows me to be malleable in God’s hands. When I feel empty and when I thirst God’s grace blesses me with sustenance. This world is not satisfying; rather it actually creates a hunger and a thirst for something of greater substance. It’s a chronic soul ache that can only be sated by God’s grace. Nothing or no one else has the capacity to fill that void. “God alone suffices” St. Teresa of Avila aptly said, because the Artist knows His design.
See: www.bibletruths.net

I beg for your grace, Lord.
What is grace to me? It’s the help you give me Jesus. It’s a warm touch that thaws a cold heart. It’s what rounds off the sharp edges of my personality. It’s the hand on my shoulder that calms me when my insides are shaking. Your grace is the bit of energy I get to carry me thru when I’m exhausted and I still have a To Do list. Your grace is what keeps my tongue still and my mouth shut when I’m feeling the urge to verbally strike out or to talk about another person. It’s the connection you make with me during a busy day that reminds me of who I really am and who You are.
I beg for your grace, Lord.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm hungry...

That I want Thee. Only Thee – let my heart repeat without end. All desires that distract me, day and night, are false and empty to the core. As the night keeps hidden in its gloom the petition for light, even thus in the depths of my unconsciousness rings the cry – “I want Thee. Only Thee.”

As the storm still seeks its end in peace when it strikes against peace with all its might even thus my rebellion strikes against thy love and still its cry is “I want Thee. Only Thee.”
-by Tagore Gitanjali

said another way......
Text: Luke 19:28-40
...Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

and another way.

Everything else is just something on the journey toward Him.

Friday, November 09, 2007

About drinking the cup...



When arrested in the garden and Peter the apostle cut off a soldier’s ear Jesus said, “Put your sword away. Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” Jn 18:11

We pray lots of prayers and go to church every Sunday. But when it’s offered to me thru some relationship issue, health problem or life situation ~


Shall I not drink the cup?


It all leads up to that. I’m not 20 yrs old anymore nor new to the Catholic life. If I can’t actually drink the cup then it’s all talk.
Jesus knew what was going to happen but being fully human it must have hurt him terribly to have his friend apostle Judas betray him. Jesus’ response was the return of an embrace to Judas and the question
,


“Shall I not drink the cup?”


* When my to do list is longer than the hours in a day
* When ‘a friend’ turns on me or gossips about me
* When my health or that of a loved one moves beyond regular aches and pains into something more serious
* When expenses go up but my paycheck doesn’t


Each answer should beShall I not drink the cup?”


Jesus left His Word in the Bible so we’d know what to do and how to act. He did that so we could follow His example. Knowing we can’t even do that without His help and grace~ let’s each go on our way today abandoning our independence and self will armed with his grace to drink the cup we are offered today.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Special, Secret Place

Close behind and close in front you fence me around,
shielding me with your hand.”
Ps 139

I’m in a protective bubble – the bubble is your grace Lord. Bad things, words, events might try to penetrate and they may actually get to my body…but they won’t reach my soul. It is yours, my Lord. It is your life within me, my Jesus. I won’t deny you and you won’t deny me so we’re kind of stuck together in the protective bubble of my soul. It’s an intimate place where we can enjoy each other’s company. No one in the world knows where it is so they can’t know the way there. That’s between you and me. It’s our place and our time together.
So special. So sacred. So holy. So ours. Amen

Saturday, October 27, 2007

YOU ARE



You are my strength, O God, the source of grace. You are my purpose and goal. You are my model. You challenge me and call me to grow. You do not let me stay where I am comfortable but lovingly call me forth. You are the Extreme example of how to love others. You are 1Cor13. You have unbelievable patience and gentleness and accept what I offer you. You are parent and brother, Beloved and friend, spouse and companion, teacher and Lord. You are faithful and loving and available to me day after day, mood after mood, need after need. You are my comfort and peace. You are my hope during struggles and what I look forward to at the end of my days. Ours is a relationship I treasure and work at because I hunger for you. You wisely feed me when I’m hungry but not when I’m full. You pursue me but do not bind me. I am ordinary but special to you. I am overwhelmed by your goodness.

Praise and thanks to you, Lord!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

This Is What I Yearn For

“Like thirsty ground I yearn for you.”
Psalm 143:6

I yearn for wisdom in decision making.
I yearn for peace of mind during troubling times.
I yearn to finally recognize you in others.
I yearn to see you one day face to face and be dazzled by your glory.
I yearn to be the person you always wanted me to be.
I yearn to live 1Cor13 so my life will bring others to you.
I yearn to be a comfort for you.
I yearn for the day when the world will see you and believe you. When all humans ask for your forgiveness and offer you praise and thanks. When you will be worshipped as you so deserve.

My simple prayer… Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Distrust Yourself

…and trust in God. I’m learning how useless I am without God’s grace. I cannot even keep the promises I make to God without His grace. And when I fail I cannot right things without His forgiveness. On my own I am helpless. I don’t mind admitting that, in fact, I need to confess it more than I do. I’m so dependent that I don’t care about my own weaknesses. What should I expect? In God alone I should have confidence. And with His grace alone can I improve.

The more upset I get about my own failures the more self dependent I am.”
Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli
We are too apt to overestimate our own abilities.” Fr. J.P. de Caussade
http://www.aquinasandmore.com/index.cfm/author/Lorenzo-Scupoli/FuseAction/store.AuthorSearch/Author/482/inde

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What Is Love

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"

Lauren - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The rest of the answers..

Since I'm going on vacation for a week beginning Sun September 30th, I'll have to share the rest of the answers to the quiz about the Saints posted on 9/17/07...

1=g See post on this blog dated May 09, 2007 for info about St. Bridget of Sweden or this link:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintb07.htm

2=e

3=b

4=c

5=f St. Joan of Arc- God’s Gracious Warrior.
She began hearing voices at age 13 which continued until her death at age 19. The voices became visions. She escaped being captured by jumping from the roof of a 60 foot tower which she miraculously survived. At the stake the executioner gathered up her ashes to throw into the Seine but could not get her heart to burn.

6=a

7=d


Hope you did well, but even more than that I hope
"The difference between our lives and the Gospel is the same as the difference between written and sung music" .

Thursday, September 27, 2007

And # 2 is.....


E ! How're you doing? Will you get 100?

(see quiz on 9/17 post)

St. Therese- the Little Way to God
The way of trust and absolute surrender – a way that anyone at anytime could follow.
At age 9 she suffered from hallucinations and bodily tremors – a complete breakdown. Therese’s uncle told her she was a little flower that God wanted to gather. Her way of spiritual childhood meant “to recognize one’s nothingness, to expect everything from God as a child expects everything from his father, to feel incapable of earning one’s life or the eternal life of heaven.”
She found opportunities to show her love for Jesus by “not allowing one little sacrifice to escape, not one look, one work, profiting by all the smallest things and doing them through love.”
Her mission was to make others love God as much as she loved him.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The answer to #7 is

[see the quiz on Sept 17th post]
St. Anthony Mary Claret
Had the gifts of prophecy and miracles. Reported to have preached 10,000 sermons, published 200 works. Spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
When people got sick and came to him he simple made the sign of the cross over them and prayed. They recovered by the scores. He shook up the status quo and that won him enemies. Caused several attempts on his life. One mae slashed Claret’s throat disfiguring him from chin to cheek bone. “I had so long desired to shed my blood for the love of Jesus and Mary.” In imitation of Jesus, Claret refused to defend himself. He possessed and undying passion to bring
souls to the Lord.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Name That Tune and the Saints

see the quiz posted on September 17th...
St Francis de Sales wrote the following in his Treatise on the Love of God:
“It often happens among partridges that one steals another’s eggs with the intention of sitting on them. Behold a strange thing yet well supported by testimony – the young one which was hatched and nourished under the wings of a strange partridge at the first call of the true mother quits the thief partridge and goes back to the first mother.
Same thing happens with the human heart. At the first look it throws on God, at its first knowledge of Him the natural and first inclination to love God which was dull and imperceptible, awakens in an instant and suddenly appears as a spark from amongst the ashes.”
His emphasis was on the mercy and love of God. “Everything must be done through love, nothing through force. Obedience must be loved more than disobedience feared.”
“Nothing so impedes our progress in perfection as to be sighing after another way of life.”
St Francis said, “ The difference between the lives of the saints and the Gospel is the same as the difference between written and sung music.”
He also wrote Introduction to the Devout Life and is a Doctor of the Church and patron saint of writers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Here's another answer to the quiz (click on the title)

St. Teresa of Avila
Her works on prayer are considered to be some of the greatest pieces of spiritual literature ever composed. Once when God told her to bring a message to someone she replied, “Why do you give me this trouble? Can’t you speak directly to him?” She wrote:
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God finds he lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

St. Teresa’s autobiography is called The Book of Her Life and was written under obedience to her superiors
.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The answer is...

The Answer to #4 is C:
Blessed Migues Augustin Pro – the undercover priest
Refusing a blindfold he stood with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other, arms outstretched like the cross, forgiving his enemies. He cried, “Vivo Cristo Rey!” “Long Live Christ the King!”
Five bullets then entered his chest and one final bullet went through his head.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Here's a short quiz....



If “The difference between the lives of the saints and the Gospel is the same as the difference between written and sung music” as a famous saint said. (Hmmm, who could that have been?) Then can you name that tune?

Match up the numbers with the correct letters~

1. Could smell sin
2. The “Little Way”
3. “Let nothing disturb you”
4. the Undercover Priest
5. Heart would not burn
6. Spiritual Exercises
7. Slashed from chin to cheekbone


a. St. Ignatius Loyola
b. St. Teresa of Avila
c. Blessed Migues Augustin Pro
d. Anthony Mary Claret
e. St. Therese of Liseaux
f. St. Joan of Arc
g. St. Bridget of Sweden

The answers will be printed in upcoming posts.

Monday, September 10, 2007

God's Fun

My theory is that every day’s got a surprise in it and that surprise is from God.
Aren’t we continuously learning? Always meeting new people? Faced with choices and opportunities? That’s what life in God is to me. Today He’s teaching me something I wasn’t ready to learn yesterday. I’m recently realizing I’ve turned into a do-er and I’m not a be-er. So now that I know that (because God decided I was ready to have that pointed out to me)


(picture by Yardley at Christart.com)


I must look for opportunities to put this learning into practice. For me this was about paying attention to how I handled the moment in the day and the people I passed those moments with. I had to concentrate on it with the eagerness and anticipation of pulling wrapping paper from a present. The moment, the person or the event IS the present (present/ gift…get it?) God is in the now. I don’t need to look around or forward for Him. So I search the person’s eyes to see where God is. Especially hard if it’s someone I don’t have time to chat with at that moment or if it’s someone I’ve not gotten along with easily. But that’s the challenge! God’s saying “Here I am! This is your present. Fine me. I am definitely in here. “
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Either way it’s a pleasant surprise. Sometimes I may need a “lifeline” to show me where and how to look: a friend, a co-worker, or a short prayer. Life becomes like a constant discovery process. “Can you find me here?” God asks. “Can you hear me now?”

God’s fun. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord

Eucharist – consume what was the host and is now an opportunity to be one with Jesus. I need to receive Him in order to be more like Him and less like me. More graces, blessings, gifts thru Eucharist, sacraments, prayer, fellowship. I need a lot of help to stay on track!

  • Taste Jesus thru prayer – I can be intimate with Jesus and look at Him eye to eye in prayer. Being completely honest with Jesus about myself creates that intimacy. Jesus returns the gift by faithfully sharing His love and attention with me. He encourages and challenges me. That soul to soul connection tastes Jesus.

    Taste Jesus thru life – That’s about not shying away from opportunities for growth. I can choose to remain safe and in control of my own little world to some degree or I can grow. I can go where God leads me, reach out to others by taking the initiative to do so. I can look for Jesus’ features and characteristics in others. I can listen actively for his words coming through the mouths of others. But this isn’t a spectator sport. Tasting Jesus in life is about going, growing, reaching, looking and listening. It’s not about watching, waiting and being comfortable.

    To know Jesus is to love Him. So when I taste, I see.
  • I participate actively in Jesus’ plan.
  • I learn of Jesus’ mercy and faithfulness when I fail.
  • I feel Jesus’ confidence in me.
  • I recognize him better in the people, places and situations around me.
  • I am more intimately connected to him.

and I hunger for him more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Practices of Nothingness

St. Therese of Lisieux didn’t make acts of penance as was popular in those years. “Alas, I never made any.” She preferred instead, beginning at the age of 15 to:
Not draw any attention to herself
Not seek personal recognition
Have NO personal preferences.




She focused on :
secret inconspicuous acts of service to others
not putting her opinions into conversations
refusing to harbor thoughts and feelings that were about herself.
She would not (in accord with 1 Cor 13) foster any form of self indulgence, self promotion or self pity. That is how she forgot about herself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stepping Stones



I believe it is all about the little things. They do make a difference. The path to sanctity and fulfillment of the Gospel life style is filled with minutiae. Each stone along the road could be called something each of us is very familiar with.

1. When I woke up today I was still really tired. Do I give attitude to my family because of that or do I swallow it and make it a better morning for us all?

2. Traffic is a mess. I may be late even though I left in plenty of time.
Do I get angry with everyone behind every steering wheel except mine? Does that anger boil up to name calling or yelling? Do I then speed or drive in an otherwise unsafe manner to make up for the lost time – thereby potentially (if not actually) endangering lives?

3. I arrive at work or school – a little late. When I shut my car door did I leave my attitude and impatience with others on the road or did I just carry it in with me thereby infecting others?
does anyone temporal punishment?~~

4. I begin going about my daily routine Have I talked to God at all yet today? Gotten my marching orders from Him today? Have I prayed for others who may die today, or may experience homelessness, pain or hunger? AS each person approaches me do I recognize God speaking to me thru them? Do I actively look for His will as I make decisions during the day?
God wants me to grow and to be the best person I can be. I need to actively find my opportunities for grace and growth throughout the day.

5. We all make mistakes. Jesus never defended himself. I don’t need to be defensive either. Do I allow my ego to control me? Is my level of patience on a very short leash? Am I transparently honest? Have I asked my family members and/or friends to forgive me when I failed to live up to my potential as a Catholic? Have I asked God for forgiveness?
6. Change is good. Self reflection is always necessary. It shouldn’t turn into self preoccupation or on-going deep introspection. Despair is not of God. Did I make an honest effort to transform my heart today? If the answer is no, what would it take to do that? How will I make tomorrow different from today?

Every second of every day is an opportunity. We’re not all headed for halos, but we can keep trying. To get down about our failures is the devil’s way of distracting us from the path ahead. God’s grace and love abounds and surrounds us. All we need to do is stay on the path and put one foot in front of the other.





Thursday, August 16, 2007

When I say "I'm a Christian"

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean living." I'm whispering "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible. But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches so I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow .

copied from : Jul 1 2007 6:56A Felicia myspace.com

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Believe...


I believe that anyone who knew the depth of divine love for them would be filled
with self knowledge, understanding and peace.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Irreplaceable Work of Art Destroyed!

My emotional needs are many, Jesus. I am self centered. I desire emotional and spiritual integrity - to be the person You designed me to be. I want your creation to be pure and uncluttered. It's like destroying a work of art that someone (You!) took great pains to create. Imagine a vandal going into the MOMA or the Louvre and just spray painting over rare pieces. We'd be devastated! It would be in all the papers. "Look what's been destroyed: irreplaceable works of art. Creations lost forever!" we would say. But I do that very thing when I try to love others with my own love which is self centered and tainted. I love when convenient or with conditions, not with my whole heart
selflessly and purely for the sake of the other- all others. If I could love and serve others the way You did then I'd be a person of spiritual integrity. I'd be true to my core self- my soul, and to You, Jesus.
But we have God's free gift of mercy. So unlike those art museum pieces we can change and return to our true spiritual identity.
Confession is like a restoration artist. The priest can grace me back to the original creation God designed. Eucharist strengthens my character. Meeting you in prayer, Jesus, gives me a sense of resolve and fortitude. I am weak and sinful so I need all the daily helps I can get. I need frequent communication and interactions with you, Lord. I desire to offer you pure love and a life of gratitude. I don't want to be a graffiti covered design. I want to reflect you- to be a your work of art.
Praise and thanks be to God!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why don't people pray?


I’ve always wondered why people don’t pray. They may say they don’t have time or they’re experiencing a dry spell or it doesn’t “do” anything for them. Whatever the reason, lots of people tell me they don’t take time for daily prayer. I’ve figured out why.
You don’t talk to people you don’t know. That’s all it is. They don’t know God. Because in this case, to know Him is to love Him. If you really knew God you’d want to be in his presence more. But you need to know Him in order to want to be in His presence. What’s the answer?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I wrote half a Song....


If I were to write a song of praise to God for one of his gifts, what gift would I choose to write about?
Mercy. Here’s my feeble attempt at song writing…lyrics only, of course. If any reader wants to take a stab at the music go right ahead!


Your heart is full of mercy.
I see. I see that my Lord.
Abundant, undeserv-ed mercy.
I see that my Lord.
If I present my heart in honest sorrow
I will walk away with hope for tomorrow
Because of your great mercy, mercy, mercy Lord.

You are always giving, merciful God.
Loving and forgiving, merciful God.
I do not deserve it.
Nothing I’d do could earn it.
You went above and beyond to prove
Your mercy, my God.

You have the right to judge me, blame me.
I see that my Lord.
You chose instead to love me, die for me.
I see that my Lord.
You give your love and mercy over and over again.
You could call me wrong but you call me your friend.
Because of your great mercy, mercy, mercy Lord.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our Lady of Perpetual Help



The icon depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a dress of dark red with blue mantle and veil. On the left is the archangel Michael, carrying the lance and sponge as instruments of Jesus Christ's crucifixion. On the right is the archangel Gabriel carrying a 3-bar cross and nails. This type of icon is a later type of the Hodegetria composition, where Mary is pointing to her Son, known as a Theokotos of the Passion. The Christ-child has been alarmed by a pre-sentiment of his Passion, and has run to his mother for comfort. The facial expression of the Virgin Mary is solemn and is looking directly at the viewer instead of her son. The Greek initials on top read Mother of God, Michael Archangel, Gabriel Archangel, and Jesus Christ, respectively. Jesus is portrayed clinging to his mother with a dangling sandal. The icon is painted with a gold background. The icon is on a walnut panel, and may have been painted in Crete, then ruled by Venice, and the main source of the many icons imported to Europe in the late Middle Ages and through the Renaissance. It was cleaned and restored in 1866 and again in the 1940s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Our_Mother_of_Perpetual_Help&oldid=145339923

In this picture the face of the Blessed Mother stares straight ahead. It’s a strong look. The child Jesus has apparently run to his mother’s arms so quickly that one sandal is falling off his foot. He ran there because the angels Michael and Gabriel are showing him the cross and a lance, both of which will be used on him on Good Friday. As a child Jesus immediately ran to him mother for protection. I may have been living on another planet all this time, but I can’t say I’ve ever really examined his image before.
Jesus, you ran to your mom because you were scared and rightly so. As a child you needed her protection and she held you close. She stares straight ahead with a look of strength and almost defiance. I will rescue you, Jesus. Don’t be afraid. I’ll protect you.
Mary, as his mom you had to do that countless times, no doubt. I’ve never imagined that before. Jesus was running to you for help. “Mom! Mom! Help me Mom!” You turn around to see what or who is threatening your child while you lean over and scoop him up. As you hold him very close to your heart you see angels Michael and Gabriel with the instruments of torture. You can only imagine their purpose. Still holding tightly onto your son, you face forward and instinctively defy their approach. It’s only natural for you to do that, to protect the child you gave birth to. To rescue him from the potential evil. To save him from the fear it has caused him. You hold him tightly and close. As his fear eventually decreases so does your grip on him. When he calms so do you. He feels safe and comforted now and returns to his play. The incident has left its mark on you though.
Jesus seems to be a toddler in the picture. At that point you had already escaped Herod once by going to Egypt. You and Joseph had presented Jesus in the Temple and heard Simeon’s ominous predictions. Then an angel told Joseph it was safe to return to Galilee. Now this. Your instinct told you to protect your son but you knew you wouldn’t always be able to do that. Mary, your own heart must have been tortured by that thought. How did you deal with it? Only God’s grace and your willingness to receive it could help you. I have trouble accepting life’s problems sometimes. Babies get sick. Defenseless seniors and children get abused. Spouses are unfaithful. Sons die while fighting war. None of this makes sense.
You begin to wonder who would want to hurt your innocent Son. You could have said the same thing as he stood before Pilate. I guess, sadly, you can say the same thing today. Why do people intentionally hurt my son? I certainly don’t want to be in that category. But every time I sin, that’s exactly where I am. Instead, let me join with you in protecting him. Let me change anger into calm~ my own and others. Superiority into equality. War into peace. Sadness into hope. In my own little way I want to protect and help Jesus, too.
Can I be someone he wants to run to? Or does my behavior make me someone he’d prefer to run from?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's much more simple than we think...

on Dorothy Day - a really cool lady!

In 1946 she said, “What we would like to do is change the world~ make it a little simpler for people to feed, to clothe and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. But the more we do, the more we realize that the most important thing is to love.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Love is the measure by which we shall be judged and that love is shown by works of mercy, not war.”

Monday, July 09, 2007

Eucharist and Transformation

St Augustine said: "Those who receive the Eucharist properly become what they receive, Christ Himself." The two disciples at Emmaus were changed when they recognized Christ at the breaking of the bread. In the Eucharist the Lord becomes the food we need to continue our search for truth and justice."Go, the Mass is ended" means we are being sent on a mission. We are being charged to commit to witness God's love thru our words and actions. "Eucharist that does not transform into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented." (Pope Benedict XVI :Deus Caritas Est) This food of truth leads us to promote justice, reconciliation and peace. It empowers us to work for the dignity of all. It renews our strength to work tirelessly in building up a civilization of love. (Cardinal Justin Rigali 4.11.07 homily)If, in fact, we each became transformed into promoters of justice, reconciliation and peace rather than promoters of our own personal agenda however noble that might be, there's a good chance this crazy world could be transformed too.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Check out this quiz....

http://quizfarm.com/run.php/Quiz?quiz_id=7095


I'm Roman Catholic. Big surprise, huh.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

...If you are what you eat....

Become What You Love
It’s not only true that you are what you eat. You also become like the people you hang around. I’ve even heard that couples begin to look like each other. I’m not sure that’s true but I do believe they may take on each others traits and characteristics. Wouldn’t it be great to do that with Jesus? To spend so much time with Him in prayer day after day and year after year that people recognize His qualities in you? That looking at and talking with you reminds them of Him?

I have a post-it in my closet....

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
I have a little post it in my closet with that note on it. So every morning when I dress for work I remember to put Jesus’ personality traits on top of my own. Years ago I learned I am nothing on my own and that I need Jesus. This little prayer helps me work toward that goal. I want people to see Him before they see me. Only God’s grace can do that for me. So that’s why I make a daily prayer to put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Undo What I've Become

God’s blessings and His design made me who I am. He is the Everlasting Artist. God is my Creator. And when He made me I believe He made something beautiful – because of who God is.
Throughout the years of my life, however, I’ve managed to transform His creation of me into someone not as beautiful or as full of grace as He created. I’ve sinned. I’ve taken on bad habits. I’ve created patterns of behavior for myself.
In prayer I ask God to undo what I’ve become. (Change me back, please to the simple grace-filled version of me that You initially created.) I need a daily re-conversion thru prayer so that I may return to my Source and be renewed. During that special time together I am who I really am, the person God created me to be. Face to face with Him in candid and open communication I can be nothing less if I want to have an honest relationship with Him. The challenge is to remain that person throughout the day. For that I need to be conscious of His presence. That presence is not only within me but in everyone and every situation around me thru-out the day. When I learn to recognize Him I know I am closer to my Source and my real self, i.e. a person of integrity and grace.
I praise and thank you God for your mercy and love.

The Song I’m referring to is great. Check it out!
Artist- Rush of Fools
Song Name - Undo What I’ve Become
Verse 1
I've been here before
now here I am again
Standing at the door
praying You'll let me back in
To label me a prodigal would be
Only Scratching the surface
of who I've been known to be

CHORUS
Turn me around pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, need Your help
I can't do this myself
YOU'RE the only one who can undo
What I've become

Verse 2
I focused on the score, but I could never win
Trying to ignore, a life of hiding my sin
To label me a hypocrite would be
ONLY Scratching the surface
of who I've been known to be

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE
Make every step lead me back to
The sovereign way that You

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What They Taught Me

What They Taught Me About Jesus
* The Blessed Mother taught me faithfulness in spite of trial and to stand by Christ when everyone else disappears
* St Therese of Liseaux taught me to think of Jesus before I think of my own needs and how to live virtues to an heroic degree
* My best friend taught me to be more public about God and the value of prayers
* My mother taught me extreme giving in God’s name, poverty, selflessness and detachment
* My former religious community taught me the potential of depth prayer can reach
* My siblings taught me by their example how to endure suffering but remain faithful to God; to search for fulfillment in Him
* The Catholic Church taught me how to perfect my search for God; the comfort of rituals; what Christian community is
* My Spiritual director and retreat directors taught me how to perfect my search for God and how to be less of a perfectionist while being more gentle with myself and others
* The Friends that I admire most taught me simplicity, humility, the gift of tears and spiritual intimacy; different approaches to a personal relationship with God; honesty in prayer; how to live a life that evidences God as my priority
* My Enemies taught me humility, endurance and faithfulness to prayer
* My “Jesus Women” Prayer Group taught me the value of community and spiritual support /encouragement; the definition of spiritual strength, especially in family.
* My job taught me about the corporal works of mercy; what *PRAXIS means and how blessed I am.

I look back at all the people who’ve contributed to my spiritual formation and I stand grateful.
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praxis_(word)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

change is a good thing

c o u r a g e
i choose how i behave
my life can change and so can i
i can be a better person than i am now
i am free to live differently
Hope for the homeless homepage image
hope
patterns of behavior don't need to tie me down
routines don't need to be prisons

Saturday, June 02, 2007

THE BIBLE ACCORDING TO KIDS


(The jewels found below are said to be written by actual students and are genuine, authentic, and unretouched. Compiled by Richard Lederer. They appear in the 12/31/95 issue of National Review.)

"Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.”
“When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the
Magna Carta”
“A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called
monotony.”
"Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.”

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's the Last Day of May...

...Mary's month. So don't forget to

Monday, May 28, 2007

Prayer is a Hunger

"Ages pass, and still thou pourest,
and still there is room to fill."
Gitanjali

I marvel at you Lord God. I hunger for you and you fill me with your Eucharist. I ache for you and you send me your Word in Scripture. I thirst for you and I am sated by your graces and fellowship with others.
You continue to give. But I am living proof Lord, that our hearts will remain restless until they ultimately rest in You.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

AS IS but loved

Did you ever go to IKEA, the furniture store? There's a section marked " AS IS". The store's rejects are brought there. You may see a chair with a stain on it or a table with a wobbly leg. People who visit the AS IS section don't expect to pay full price because they know this furniture isn't first quality. The standards are lower there. The furniture is usable and fixable, but not worth full price.

In the furniture store of life, that's where I belong. I daily tell God how very much I love Him and how I want to live a virtuous life to an heroic degree but I mess up. I'm like the chair with the wobbly leg - good design but imperfect. I'm old enough now to be willing to accept the reality of my weaknesses. I haven't given up by a long shot. I do want to please God with all my heart and soul, but like St. Paul "I do the very things that I hate." (Rms 7:15) It's amazing how easy it is for me to slip into selfishness or laziness no matter how fervent my prayer that morning might have been. I'm disappointing to myself. I'm a great design with imperfections. As Is. Not special enough for the showroom floor.

Unlike the wobbly legged table at the furniture store though, I am worth full price! Jesus Christ thinks I'm really special. He believes in His design. Jesus believes His creation has wonderful potential and He loves me. I celebrate Jesus' unconditional love and mercy. I rejoice in His tender care and protection of me. It's all about Him. I can't get depressed about my own behavior because the focus would be on me. Wouldn't satan love that? I'm not giving him that chance. No way. Instead I offer my praise and thanks to a merciful generous God. Even though I'm AS IS God thought I was worth the death of His only Son. That's full price. Jesus thinks I'm worth His daily graces. He gifts me with His word and with Eucharist. That's Full Price for sure. How blessed I am to be fully and completely loved AS IS.

Praise and thanks to you, God!

Friday, May 18, 2007

God Gifts

God calls the end times the “renewal of all things” in Mathew 19:28
“Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that time of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

What appears to be pain and sorrow has frequently in my life been the predecessor of intimacy with God. The Gospel even calls the end times a renewal. What can I endure with the knowledge of God’s presence within me and his protection surrounding me?


Don’t we get excited when we know we’ve bought or made the perfect gift for someone? We wrap it carefully and well, decorating our emotional wish to please a loved one. We present it with a smile being that sure the recipient will be pleased. If it really is as perfect the gift we thought it to be, that mutual happiness of the moment adds joy and intimacy to the relationship. Wasn’t that the purpose of the gift in the first place?

God’s packages to us aren’t always pleasantly wrapped. His gifts aren’t always fun. But gifts they are. Pain, be it emotional, physical or spiritual can sometimes be a gift depending on the way we see and appreciate it. We must accept gifts gracefully and acknowledge the Giver. Simply being a participant on this globe, of course, can impose pain. Even that pain though, is a gift and can be transformed.

So God gifts us or allows us to experience sorrow. Is it to test us? To prove us? Or like many gifts does it depend on our spirit of understanding and acceptance? Do we rebel asking such questions as “why me?” citing our honest attempts to live a decent life? Reading the lives of the saints helps me in this area the most.

St Joan of Arc
Blessed Mary of Australia
St. Louis Marie De Montfort

They were misunderstood, judged to be insane and persecuted for their Godly lives. What made them saints is their heroic degree of virtue. And Joan, Mary and St. Louis Marie De Montfort were simple human beings like us. Their prayer life, i.e. their intimacy with God in the face of trial gave them strength and courage.


Renewal of all things.
Times of refreshing from the Lord.

It does require time spent in the Lord’s presence to be able to translate pain and sorrow into renewal and refreshing. It’s barely human to be able to do that at all. Spiritual intimacy with the one who was persecuted for our sins is the only way for me.

Prayer: Jesus you know how much I really mean that. I come to you be to repaired and made whole. Re-paired that is, to be paired up with you again. Your example and your love is my strength. Thank you for ALWAYS being there.
THE SAINTS CLUB

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

If Sin Had An Odor


St. Bridget of Sweden could SMELL sin as it had an odor to her and caused a bad taste in her mouth. If sin could be smelled~

*Buy stock in Renuzit, personal deodorants and perfume companies
*People would try to pretend the smell was coming from someone else
*What would a reconciliation service smell like before and after
*Would different sins have different odors so that each person’s sin would be recognizable? Pride would smell like onions; a lie would smell like a skunk…
*Saturday afternoon lines in Church would be longer than the lines in the mall stores.

Your ideas?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spiritual Intimacy

What is spiritual intimacy? (aka Prayer)

  • to share the deep seated fears and anxieties that I don't share with others
  • to admit that I am known and understood more fully by Someone Else
  • to let myself be loved completely and wholly by a Perfect God
  • to offer protestations of undying devotion and complete adherence to His will - then to fall on my face tripping over my own words. At the same time spiritual intimacy has the audacity to look at God right in the eyes after that experience.
  • to be completely and comfortably quiet with nothing to say for long periods of time

It is hunger for more information about Him whom I love. It is the revelation of knowledge and insight He shares with me thru reflection on Scripture and quiet time together. It is the confidence God has in me that encourages and challenges me to grow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Enduring Joy


Endurance: the ability to make it to the end. To plow thru all the little things that get in the way precisely because of the value of the goal. To examine a goal, determine it to be worth any price and work toward its achievement accepting any sacrifice.

Enduring Joy: not just when the spring pastel colors arrive on the scene, nor the chocolate and butterflies. Words like constancy, loyalty and faithfulness come to mind. Joy that comes from Christ is that which endures, i.e, rises to the surface in the face of any obstacle. It is not to say that human emotions disappear or should be denied. While on the cross Jesus did say "My God why have you abandoned me?" Rather enduring joy give us strength to go beyond the natural human reaction~ in time~ and move to a place of peace with God. The gift of joy comes from the knowledge that God is love and that He chose you and me to be the object of His love despite our unworthiness. When I accept the gift of joy from God I commit to daily being faithful to Him and to His relationship with me until the end, overcoming any obstacle.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Rms 8:18
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil3:4
also see Phil 4: 4-7

I wish you joy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rejoicing in the Relationship

You have blessed me Lord! You've guided me and protected me all thru my life. You keep promises you make and you are faithful regardless of my faithfulness and sometimes despite me. You are full of surprises, like rising from the dead! I know of the goodness of all your ways. I know of your mercy and patience. You forgive me and believe in me. You also work thru and challenge me.
I rejoice in our relationship. I rejoice that you chose me. I appreciate you not as you deserve but as much as I can. I worship you and you alone for you are my Risen Lord. Amen. Alleluia!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Father & Son


If my son was killed ~ even if I knew it was going to happen and had to happen for the greater good~ I cannot imagine how I'd feel. Like the story of the man whose job it was to switch the railroad track not far from his home. One morning his young son ran out of the house to go see his dad. His son ran across the field smiling and reaching out his arms toward his father. The father had already switched the track as his young son neared it...and it was too late. The father had to make a decision.....
If after that, I had to opportunity to see my resurrected son...well, just imagine that Easter Hug between God the Father and His Resurrected Son, Jesus!

I believe


Monday, April 02, 2007

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: 2nd Anniversary of the Death of Our Beloved John Paul II

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: 2nd Anniversary of the Death of Our Beloved John Paul II

a sign worth seeing

WTAT

Words tickle. Actions thunder.
(St Francis of Assisi)
Wasn't St Francis a smart man? Anyone can talk. But very few can walk the walk. I'm conflicted while writing all these words, as what is really important is living them. That will be my focus this Holy Week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

God Invited Me Into His Home

“Jesus please take me home to see your Father. I want to meet your Dad.” We’re walking along the beach and Jesus asks me if I want to get cleaned up first. “ Yes, of course!” is my reply. I know I’m not worthy of this blessing. I know my sins and weaknesses. But my hand is in Jesus’ and I know He’s the only way I can access the Father. Jesus and I walk toward the water and I
kneel in the ocean facing him. With my face held in his two hands Jesus speaks. “My friend I know of your sinfulness and I know the shame you bear b/c of it. I’m the only one who knows it all, who sees it all. I see your
soul and I know your life. As I pour this water over your head see your shame fall away. Watch your sins drown in the ocean and get pulled away from us by the tide. Let them go. Do not concentrate on them, but look at me instead.” I look in to Jesus’ eyes and feel sorry that I ever hurt him by these sins. I can feel them tumbling out of my head, my heart, my hands.
They fall down into the ocean with every handful of water Jesus pours onto my head. They float around me for a short while before they disappear into the tide. The next wave encircles me and washes away all the remnants as Jesus continues to look into my tear filled eyes. “I am so very sorry Jesus. I’ve been weak many times and selfish. Please forgive me.” Jesus replied;
“I forgave you a very long time ago my daughter. I forgave you on the cross long before you even knew me. As I walked along Golgatha I remembered
you. When they nailed my hands and feet I was thinking of you. ‘I can do this,’ I thought. ‘ I can do this for her. She’s worth it all. I love my friend!’ Did you know you were on my mind then?

As sorrow for my sinfulness and weakness overwhelms me Jesus takes my two hands and tells me to stand. Its time to meet his Father! Jesus is so happy that it’s contagious. We’re both smiling as we walk along the beach toward a small cottage further down the road. I’m full of anticipation. It’s a mixture of nervousness and excitement. Jesus is jumping up and down all around me while he talks, “ Just wait, you’re going to love him. He already loves you. I’ve told him so much about you! He’s looking forward to talking with the person I care so very much about. He’s just like me but even better.
I learned every thing I know from Him. I can’t wait for you to meet Him.” I can’t help but absorb Jesus’ joy and I find myself grinning from ear to ear. With each word we get closer to the beach cottage. It’s a small but friendly looking home. I can see a porch with a 2-seated swing and plants lined up on the railing. The house is white and there’s a pathway and a welcome mat
leading to the front door.
Jesus looks at me and his eyes are wide with anticipation, ‘Here we are’ he says. ‘Are you ready?’ Feeling encouraged by Jesus’ happiness I say yes. I’m also very anxious to meet his Father. Jesus never stops talking about him. He’s so proud of he’s Abba- that’s the nickname Jesus uses. I’ve never experienced a Father-Son relationship like this one before. They are
definitely very close. And Jesus says he’s the spitting image of his Father so he must be a great man. With an ever so slight shaking of my knees I say, “Yes Jesus. I really want to meet your Father. Let’s go in.”
Jesus opens the front door for me and while walking into the living room he says, “ Abba this is my friend. She’s the person I was telling you about. I really love her and I’m very proud of her so I wanted her to meet you.” Then he turned to me and said, “This is my Father.”
Immediately God the Father walks over and greets me with a strong voice and a welcoming hug. “My son Jesus has not stopped talking about you. I’m so happy we can be together now and get to know each other a little better. Come in and sit down. Put your feet up. We’ll have supper together a little later.” And God directs me toward a soft armchair in front of the
fireplace. He and Jesus sit on the sofa to my right after they’ve hugged and given each other loud pats on the back. It’s a warm and friendly atmosphere to be sure, but I’m still a little nervous. Experience taught me that the best way to get over yourself is to focus on others. I comment on the quaintness of this simple home and its charm. Pictures line the mantle and adorn the walls. Jesus and me, Jesus and His mom, Jesus and His friends – the apostles. There’s a framed picture of Jesus and Peter, the first Pope, on a side table. On the shelf under that table is a photo album through which I browsed later and saw photos of some of their special friends: Mother Teresa, Pope John XXIII, my grandmother, St Francis and many others.

Sharing a cup of tea together we begin to chat about how Jesus and I first met and how our relationship has grown over the years. I realize while hearing myself speak that throughout all that time Jesus was much more attentive to me than I was to him. As a matter of fact I was surprised about the degree of pride Jesus had in our relationship. He felt he could let it all out. He kept smiling and his eyes were dancing. I was embarrassed frankly by this outpouring of attention and tried to return the favor. “I’m sure He’s told you about the time I read all those books about saints because I wanted to be a better person for Him, but then I couldn’t put it all into practice. Well, Jesus turned right around and blessed me with graces to live my daily life to the best of my ability and accept that with humility. He always knows how to make people feel better about themselves.”

God the Father replied, “Oh for sure I know that about my Son. He spent his whole life doing that. I told him it would be hard and that people might not accept him but he was determined not to let that stop him. He’s a great Son and always has been. We’re very close, my Son Jesus and I, and I’d like to include you in that relationship too if you’re willing.” “That’s why I’m here,” I answer, I’m not as good nor anywhere near as
holy as Jesus is for sure but I’m willing to work on it.” Jesus says, “You misunderstand. My Father wants you just as you are. He loves you because he sees the potential you have, your eagerness your simplicity. He’s just affording you the opportunity to be more of a participant than a spectator.” With a pat on Jesus’ back God chimes in, ‘I couldn’t have said it better myself Jesus! That’s what I mean. So what do you say? Are you interested in becoming more intimately involved in our family?”
Well what would that mean?” I ask. My heart is pacing with nervousness and anticipation. Can I do this? What if I fail? Will they be disappointed in
me? My thoughts were interrupted by God’s words “ Only more times together like this. My Son and I could let your see circumstances and people as we do. We’d introduce you to some of our friends and spend more time with Jesus’ Mother. We could talk things over together. What do you say? Do you want to join us? My nervousness had melted away with the sound of
God’s voice. It was replaced with a kind of awe and embarrassment. They just wanted me to hang out with them. It was much simple than I thought. It always is with Jesus. Everything is much more peaceful when He’s with me. Without Him I get full of myself and cocky, eventually tripping over my own feet. I could tell that being with Jesus and His Father could do nothing
but make me a better person. Why wouldn’t I want that? “I’d love to if you’ll have me,” I answer. God and His Son look at each other and smile. As one unit, they engulf me with a double hug “Thank you” says Jesus, “Thank you for believing in us we’ll never let you down.”
God the Father directed us over to the table where supper was waiting “Wait till you taste the Bread,” he says. “It’s especially delicious.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

what a team!


You are the sand that everyone enjoys
We’re all different seashells –decoration, extra

You are the picture people admire
We’re the frame allowing them to focus on you.

You are the water people drink when they’re thirsty
We’re the glass, helping them to hold on to you.

You are the dish of my favorite flavor of ice cream.
We’re the spoons that help others connect to you.

You are the Creator we are the clay. Potter and earthen vessel.
What a team!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Through the Eyes of God the Father part 4

Looking at the drops of real blood coming through Jesus’ forehead like perspiration you wanted to say, “Let’s forget this. No, Son you don’t have to go through this. Stop it right now.” You wanted to wipe his face, hug him, pat him on the back and say, “It’s OK. We don’t have to do this.” But as your only Son begged for help you remained silent. You did not rescue him. It was your agony too. Father and Son both suffering in that garden because of my sins. Because you loved me more than I deserve to be loved. Because you knew it was the only was for sins to be forgiven and eternal happiness to be available to all.
God I cannot fathom that much love. I can only respond in silent awe, humility and gratitude.
End.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Through the Eyes of God the Father part 3

As the supper neared the end Jesus asked his three good friends to go with him to the olive garden. You knew then that soon you’d be able to comfort your Son whose own heart was beginning to feel very heavy. Jesus told the three to pray while he moved to a more solitary place. That’s when you heard your Son’s struggle. He talked with you for hours. He finally realized the physical pain his human body would have to endure. He knew the torture he’d have to go through and the rejection by his own people. Foreseeing all of that of course he’d go to his Father. His real Father. He’d go to the One who could actually do something about it. He’d go to the One who truly loved him, who was a part of him. Your Son went to you God and asked for mercy. He begged over and over again. “Please don’t make me have to do this. If you say I have to then, of course, I will. Please tell me it isn’t necessary, Father.” You, the Perfect Dad, look at Jesus, the Perfect Son. You know what will happen. You know how much pain your own child will have to endure. It must have been agony for you God! Understanding this had to happen was not as painful in the planning stage.
…to be continued

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Through the Eyes of God the Father part 2

I believe you began to show him how it would all unfold. You both knew what was coming. And, too soon, it did. You understood Judas’ actions as part of the plan. You watched as Judas went to the authorities and betrayed your Son. You heard him arrange for 30 pieces of silver. Your Son- sold. Then your Son gathered them together for their Last Supper. Jesus sent Judas on his way. It was all beginning to unfold. Your heart began to ache as you watched your Son memorialize the offering of His body and blood in bread and wine. It would represent him because his life on earth would be coming to an end soon. Your Son learned humility from you and his Mother and foster father. Your heart must have been moved as he washed his disciples’ feet. I guess you memorized his every movement, thinking “we need to talk. We need to spend some time together soon.
…to be continued

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Through the Eyes of God the Father part 1

God our Father, you gave us the life of your only child, you own Son. You must have been happy at his birth. You didn’t want him to be born in a castle, I’m sure. So you celebrated with angels, a drummer boy and kings. We got that part of your message easily because it’s a gift for us. I like gifts, especially one so special. Your precious Son obeyed his parents and served them until he was finally baptized by John. At that point you just HAD to burst forth! You had been quiet the whole time. “He everyone, this is my Son!” How fatherly an act. How proud of him you were at that moment. Then you watched him go about performing miracles and preaching about you. You two shared hours of prayer together, quietly communicating during the middle of the night.
…to be continued.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Turn to God, others, and self

During Lent we might want to reflect on Teshuva (Hebrew for repentance, from shuvah, “to turn”). Each of us is given the chance, again and again to turn toward God and Lent is a good time to look at our lives and make decisions about how we might once again turn toward God, toward self and turn toward others. We can take some time for reflection and thought about each of these elements and how we might turn. “How will I turn toward myself during Lent?” I wouldn't normally think about that question. “How will I turn toward others?” “Who are the others and how can I turn toward them?” In thinking about the “other”, we think of people who may irritate us, or a boss or co-worker who is difficult to get along with. What can we do to turn toward them?

"We should have only one ambition: that people see that we, despite our limits, are people who really love the Lord, who are in love with him and who do not create an abyss between that which we say and that which we really are," Cardinal Ce told the pope and Vatican officials early in a retreat. To me that means we live our lives as people of integrity.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Plain Ole Blog

I'm kinda new to the whole world of Blogs and blogging ~ as evidenced in my own. Not wise to all that shines, clicks and rattles. Have no idea how to do all that...must have been absent that day. The recent blog awards caused me to search around in Blog world and I'm duly impressed! The Ironic Catholic, Curt Jester and a few others really WOW me.
My own blog is....well, its design is boring. Someday I'll learn blog-ese and that will be great. In the meantime I appreciate the readers' patience with my Plain Ole Blog. Yet, somehow, it speaks of simplicity to me. Not an excuse, really. It's just an example of how my mind works I guess. I only want to share my personal prayer and thoughts with anyone who chooses to read it...and perhaps they might share their own. That's what it's like to be a part of a spiritual family.
But I admit it would be nice if the reader was visually pleased, too! Kudos to all you Super Bloggers!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Someday we'll be home.

Dear Friend
“Someday we’ll be home.”
God challenges you and me to live in the opposite way this world lives; counter culture. What others value, we don’t. What others have as their goals, we don’t. And I know you are as OK with that as I am. We’re different and that just has to be ok. This life is just a journey in which we’re supposed to touch as many lives as we can and show them a good example of God’s love by the way we live. It’s a difficult journey sometimes and sometimes it feels long. Remember the saying “He ain’t heavy. He’s my brother.” That’s what this journey is like. We can do this because of whose we are.
And someday we’ll be home. And it will all be worth it. And you and I will be together there and it will be HOME. Home is where you feel like you belong. You’re with the people you love and they all love you. There’s an abundance of kindness and patience, depth and sincerity. But beyond all that, it’s where we’ll finally see Jesus face to face (I can hardly write those words comfortably because I know I am not worthy).
For now tho, it’s all about the waiting and how we’ll do that. I’ll pray for your waiting and you pray for mine.
Thank you.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Praise Prayer

I praise you Creator of the universe! Wonder Maker! Artist Divine! Your works are beautiful. The human body, birth, the changing of seasons, human’s ability to connect with the Supernatural thru prayer, miraculous healing, humans who can live virtue to an heroic degree. Impressive work, my God! You show your divinity best thru simplicity. Your greatness is displayed in humility. Your power in pure faith. There are no others like you, my Lord.
You teach us how to be at peace by trusting in you. You gave the example in Gethsemane. “Your will be done, Father.” After that surrendering prayer you remained calm. You didn’t struggle or resist. You allowed those whom you created to torture you because you needed to show us how much you love us. There is so much to learn from the example you gave us. The world cannot contain your goodness. We humans do a poor job of being your reflection. I thank you for your Word, which instructs us, and to which we can always turn for guidance. So generous of you to leave us with something we can pour over and reflect on.
I thank you too my very giving Lord for allowing us to connect with you so imtimately by consuming your very Body and Blood. How much closer could you allow us to be? So simple these gifts are but so immensely profound an act – to eat your Body and Blood in bread and wine; thereby becoming one with you. Divinity and humanity co-mingling. Is that allowed? Can it be done? Do Kings share their lives with paupers? Only in You, my God. You are glorious and worthy of all praise and thanks.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

1 Cor 13

Not long ago Sunday’s Gospel was 1 Cor 13. “Love is patient, love is kind…” You know the one that’s read at every wedding. But it reminded me of the definition of who I must be. “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If I can speak in tongues but don’t love I’m only noise. If I’m smart enough to know everything, that wouldn’t matter. All knowledge is useless when Jesus finally comes. No one will need information. It will be useless.
“When perfection comes the imperfect passes away.” If I have faith enough to move mountains I am absolutely nothing if there’s no love with that. Scripture doesn’t say I’m good for a short while. Nor does it say I could be of a little help in one specific case. Paul says I am nothing. All the information in the world and all the faith/spirituality I can dig up from within me is nothing. Nothing I do, say or think is worthwhile if I am not at the same time patient, kind, humble and persevering.
I could be a martyr (“surrender my body to the flames”) or live in complete simplicity and poverty (“give all I possess to the poor”) and that would mean nothing if I wasn’t gentle and peaceful during my life.
It’s all about who I am not what I do or have or think or believe. The big hurdle I’d have to overcome is the 18” distance between my head and my heart.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

wish I knew how to put this on the sidebar....this will have to do for now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Holy Family in Egypt

After the three Kings left and the Presentation in the temple, Lk 2:39 reads “When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him. “
The Gospel of Matthew explains that because of Herod, Joseph had to take his little family to Egypt where they live until Herod died. So they may have returned to Nazereth in Galilee when Jesus was about 5 yrs old.
Jesus as a toddler in Egypt….So he learned to walk and talk there. His first steps and his first words happened somewhere in Egypt. They traveled south across Palestine to escape Herod’s threats. No cell phones or land lines then so His grandparents probably had no ideas where they were or why. Joseph and Mary began their married life together in Egypt, alone with Jesus.
Finally one day they learn that Herod is dead and they begin their long journey to Nazareth. No doubt Jesus’ grandparents were all thrilled to finally meet him!
What was that reunion like?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Image Prayer: Jesus’ infancy

Their story began with an immaculate conception to a virgin out of wedlock. The fiancée is instructed to marry her anyway. Political situations require that they leave their support system and travel for days on a donkey. When they finally arrived the holy family found no room to rent in Bethlehem. They shepherds, angels and wise men come to adore Jesus. They learn that Herod is trying to kill Jesus and escape to Egypt while the Holy Innocents were murdered. From anxiety to exultation to fear, their emotions ran. In Egypt they became a “normal” family raising a baby son. That’s an awful lot of stress for a newly married couple with a baby when the mom is only about 15!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mary visits Elizabeth

The Annunciation to Mary was your date of conception, virginally. So God our Father had made the decision to have you come to earth the way every child does except for your virginal conception. God chose an average girl in an average town. So Mary, the young girl is pregnant with you and soon after she tells her parents and fiancée. You, Jesus, were still very tiny in utero at this point with your body still being formed.
Soon afterwards, Mary travels to visit her cousin who is also pregnant. (You traveled a lot while still in the womb!) She probably came by donkey with others. After several days journey she gets off the donkey and approaches Elizabeth’s house. Mary’s cousin was pregnant too. Her baby picked up on her excitement and your cousin John moved all around in his mother’s womb. Elizabeth says this to Mary who responds by praising God, their heavenly Father for all the miracles He has performed. John was born first, but Mary had returned home by then. God’s mystery was beginning to unfold but the children’s parents didn’t know how that would happen. John would be raised by Elizabeth and Zechariah. Zechariah told everyone that John was going to prepare the way for the Lord – and that he did!