St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Then and Now


I was in high school at the time.  As part of math class we took a field trip to see a real computer.  Our teacher, a nun whose name escapes me now, told us that what we were going to see, was the future of the world. 

The computer was contained in a sterile room about the size of a small house.  The technicians working in the room wore sterile gowns, caps, pants, hats, and gloves. The scene reminded me of a surgical arena where break through surgical procedures being practiced.  The room was encased in glass.  The techs ignored us as we gawked at their work of collecting cards that the computer spit into different slots of this huge machine. 

Our guide frequently glanced at Sister, as she explained how important math was in the world we would grow into and inhabit.  The gentleman added very little to what she had to say.  He smiled as we boarded the bus and wished us well. 

(Insert the sound of fingernails scratching on an old fashioned chalkboard.)

Wait! 

I remember saying that I would never own a computer because I didn't need one.
Little did I know!

After we purchased our first computer, I remember saying that I would only use our huge 2 gig computer  for my college classes.  I went back to work for my special Ed certification.
My husband said that we'd never need another computer because we'd never fill this one up.

We were very surprised that we actually filled the computer up.

Our next computer had 8 gigabytes. 
That was a long time ago.

Today, I own a laptop, an old laptop, an iPad, and a smart phone.  Together they contain a lot more than 64 gigs of information. 

I carry one of my computers in my pocket - my smart phone!

Amazing changes in technology!

Yet through it all, there is one thing that has never changed.

God
Has never changed.
He is.
He was.
He will be
The same.


“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.”
― Teresa of Ávila

Thursday, February 26, 2015

'Nuff Said

Become the evangelist you were meant to be!

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Lamp Unto My Feet - A Meditation

Wikimedia Commons, Jäälyhty Jäspilänpihalla Keravalla, attribution
 “Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119: 105


I look to the Lord for guidance.  I seek to walk in the way of the Lord.  His foot prints are etched into the paths ahead of me, for He walked this way.    Where I walk now,  He has gone before.  He is always on my mind.  I find Him in the silent recesses of my heart.  I listen, and my footsteps echo His.  It is in silence that I hear him.  It is in the mist that I see Him clearly.  He holds His arms out to me.  He guides me as I walk. 



He says,

"Fear not.  I AM with you. I will never leave you unprotected. 

When you cannot see me, I AM here, with you.  Listen.  In the silence you hear My voice. 

Walk in confidence.  Keep your eyes on Me.  I AM here for you.  Step forward and know that I AM there.

If you fall, I AM here ready to take you back and lead you, again, on the right path.  Do not despair.  Run into my arms and seek forgiveness.  I will forgive and bless you.

Like a child, I will comfort you.  I will wipe your tears and hold you close to my heart.  You will find joy in my forgiveness and comfort in my touch.  Your heart will awaken to The depths of My Love.  Hear the beat of My Sacred Heart.  It beats to the rhythm of My Heart.  Join Me in the Father’s Love.

In Me you will find forgiveness and love.  Together, we will serve the Father.  The Father is Love and He and I are one.  The Spirit is one with us. 

Follow in My path as a servant, and you will be My friend.  Follow in My footsteps loving all, and you will grow in perfection.  Seek My ways first, and you deny the world, for you are a part of the world, but you are not of the world, for you are of My Heart."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Who is My Neighbor?

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain, The Good Samaritan
Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan: 

But wanting to justify himself,* he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
* (A lawyer asked this question.)

 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii,gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10: 29-38


So, who is REALLY my neighbor?  In this day and age, we don’t find many people to whom we can minister in this way, so, in our modern age, who REALLY IS my neighbor.

Someone I know has an elderly mother who is mean and hateful.  She is very abusive to her daughter.  Even when she was younger, this nasty old lady was mean to her daughter.  She’s often mean to other people.  She likes to think she’s “out spoken,” but she’s just mean.  Her daughter does more for her than anyone else.  Her daughter is very kind to her and helps her daily.  She’s helping her mother, at age 93, stay in her own home.  Her mother has grown a little more frail, but her basic personality has not changed.

I don’t like her at all.  I really don’t, and I wonder why her daughter is so kind to her.  I don’t know.  I know the commandments say, “Honor your father and your mother,” but…that’s an topic for another post. 

Is this nasty, old lady my neighbor?  According to what Jesus says, “Yes, she is.”

You know the lady at church who is so friendly and kind when she sees you, but when you’re not there, she gossips about you?  We all know someone like her.  Is she your neighbor?  According to what Jesus says, yes.  Do you have to like her?

You now that person who is jealous of you and very passive aggressive?  This person is the one who will get mad when s/he thinks that you have done something s/he doesn’t like, and seeks revenge.  This person is the one who tries to set things up for you so that you fail or look bad.  We all know someone like this person.  Is this person your neighbor?  Of course, this person is.  Do we have to like this person?  Absolutely not!
Samaritans were enemies of the Jews.  After the priest and levite ignored the plight of the Jewish man, a victim of robbery, the Samaritan saved the life of the Jew.  He showed great compassion and mercy to this man.  Their differences separated them, but the love and mercy of God brought them together. 

I can hear Jesus saying this to me, “Just to be clear, Lord, Who is my neighbor?”
                                                      
"Nasty old lady?” 
                                                        “What do you think?”
                                                       
“Two faced person?”
                                                        “What do you think?”
                                                      

 “Passive aggressive person?”
                                                        “What do you think?”

“All right, Lord.  All right.  I think I get it now.  These people are in my life now.  I know what I have to do.  I ask you to bless them and forgive me.  I am not being kind.  All You ask is that I love them, so for You, I do.  Bless them.  Change them.  Change me. Pour Your Love into their hearts.  Fill their hearts until they overflow with your Love.  Pardon them their sins, as you forgive me mine.  i will be kind.  It’s not going to be easy, but I will try.  I will try.  I also know that You will challenge me with more people whom I must love, even though I don’t like them.  Thank you for this purification.  Ouch!  It’s not going to be easy, but Lent is 40 days.  Each day will bring me closer to You!  Thank you. Oh, I do get it.  I don’t have to like them, but I do have to love them.  Amen.”
 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Did you Know that there's a Saint for Toothaches?

Her name is
St. Appollonia.
I found this in my new prayer book,
"Healing Prayers." 

This book bears the impramtur of the
Most Reverend Bishop William C. Skurla, D.D,
Bishop of the Eparchy of Van Nuys.

I carry this book with me in my purse. 
It is a treasure trove of prayers for all that ails you,
whether it be spiritual, mental, physical, or emotional.
Only 96 pages long, this is not a book you read, but it is a book you use.

This beautiful prayer book begins by talking about healing through history and explains why we are in need of healing today.

The book has the standard, ancient 
prayers and scriptures.
Then there are instructions on how to pray using the scriptures.
This book also teaches you how to find your 
"prayer voice," through journaling.
Here is a sample journal I wrote using the direction given in the book.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sweet Jesus,
Here I am at Your feet again.  My whole life needs healing.  I don't know how things got so out of control, but everything is way out of control.  Help me, please.  You are the Divine Physician.  You are my God!  Lord, I'm not worthy, I know that, but I beg Your forgiveness and healing.  Amen.

My Precious Child,
I know your life needs healing.  I know your life is out of control.  I will help you.  I will forgive you.  Peace waits for you in the confessional. Seek forgiveness first, then you will see how I can heal your life.  You must be patient.  Healing will come, but you must be patient and trust Me.  I love you.
Jesus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are healing affirmations, prayers for the healing of families, prayers for others, and even a prayer for healing during times of 
insomnia!

"Healing Prayers"
was published by Aquinas Press.

I am so glad I stumbled on this book.
It is an avenue to teach us how to pray, not only for ourselves and our healing, but to learn to pray with the heart.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fish Sticks Fridays or Any Days!

Photo courtesy of the National Cancer Institute
When I was a kid, Lent was one of my favorite seasons in the Church.  Of course, at that time, you had to abstain from meat during the entire season of Lent.  It took some creative cooking for that to happen.  I remember eating a lot of beans and cheese sandwiches for supper.  I attended Catholic school, so my mother never worried about what was served in the cafeteria as it would always be in compliance with the Church.

As a child, I celebrated the season of Lent with great joy!  I remember going to the grocery store with my mother as she struggled to balance the food budget, made a little easier without the absence of beef, chicken,or turkey.  She’d ask me what I wanted to eat on the weekends.  I’d always answer, “Fish sticks.”  So, by default, Friday became “Fish Stick Friday.”

Along with a helping of beans, salad, and bread, fish sticks became the go to meal for Fridays.  I remember watching my mother eat our meal on Fridays.  She ate the beads and salad and bread, but on more than one occasion, she would offer me what was left of her fish sticks.  I saw that  most of the fish sticks were left in her plate, but I happily chowed down on the left overs. 

How many ways could you eat fish sticks?  Well, it was challenging for her, but she found some ingenious ways to make them.

Fish Stick Casserole:: This is very similar to the Minnesota Dish called “Hot Dish,” but with one variation:: Fish Sticks. 

 Fish Stick Casserole

1 package of fish sticks chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can of cream of anything soup.
1 small Package of frozen vegetables
Some cheese for topping, usually, Velveeta,
And, if she could sneak them in,
onion rings in a can for the topping.

Mix.
Bake at 350 for an hour.
Serve.


Another favorite recipe was Fish Sticks and Tater Tots.  I loved those.  This is very similar to the Minnesota Tater Tot Hot Dish.

Fish Sticks and Tater Tots

1 package of fish sticks chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can of cream of anything soup
1 small package of frozen veggies
about 1/4 finely chopped onions, raw
Velveeta cheese.
Mix.
Bake at 350 for an hour.
Serve.


My favorite way to eat fish sticks was to have them heated and baked until done.  They were delicious, especially with tartar sauce.  Simple, but it did work. 

There were days, though, that my mother could not stomach another fish stick.  When she’d ask me what I wanted for supper, I’d say, “Fish Sticks.”  I think I saw her face turn a little green until she said, “How about if we go to the drive in and get a fish sandwich with green chile?”  Wow!  I was so thrilled!  We were going out to eat!  Fried fish on a bun!  I felt a little unfaithful to the fish sticks, but there was really nothing better than fried fish on a bun or tortilla with green chile!  I have to admit, it was a very nice treat.  I’d also get some french fries and a milk shake!  What a meal! 

Eventually, I grew up, married, and had children.  As they grew a little bit older and were aware of giving up meat on Fridays during Lent, I brought home some fish sticks!  I expected to see their little faces light up with joy when they were served!  Oh, the memories.

My daughter spoke first, “Mom, what are these?”
“Fish sticks,” I happily replied.
My son, “Mom, they don’t taste good.”
“Of course they do,” I said, “You just have to add a little sauce to them.”
“No, Mom, they taste awful,” my daughter said.
“Just eat one of them.  We don’t want to waste food,” I replied.
My husband sat quietly through this.
“I tried them,” said my son.  “I think I’ll throw up.  I can’t eat any more.”
My husband put down his napkin.  “Sweet heart,” he said to me.  “I have a great idea.  Let’s take the kids out for dinner.  They’ve been really good.”
Both of our children smiled and shook their heads in unison.
I was truly hurt.  “We’ll be wasting food,” I said sweetly.
My son said, “No we won’t.  Oliver ate mine.”
(Oliver was our basset hound.)
That dog had a smile on his face.  Our daughter gave Oliver her fish sticks.  That dog really did have a smile on his face.
“All right,” I said, “But these fish sticks are really good.”  Then I tasted one. 
“We better get going,” I said, “It’s Friday and the restaurants are busy!”
My husband chuckled.  The kids were cheering.  Oliver was smiling as I gave him the rest of the fish sticks.

I’m just glad I have my memories of Lent way back when.  Fish sticks weren't just good when I grew up.  They were delicious!







Thursday, February 19, 2015

What to do? What to do?

I had a "Sister Friend," Sister Sharon who has joined the Lord in Heaven.  (I'm sure she can be found in the heavenly library reading as we speak with many of her angel friends!)
Each Lent, she would give up
"sweets" for Lent.
She was so good about her sacrifice, and I could never entice her to break that promise for Lent.
She chose that cross for Lent and she stuck to it.

So, what are you going to give up for Lent?

I have decided to add three things to my spiritual practices.

1) I am going to practice the veiling devotion.
I will wear a veil each time I am in the presence of Jesus whether at Mass or at Adoration or in Church.
I plan to wear this veil as a gift to Jesus so that I can be more attentive to Him and develop more humility.
(I remember gladly shedding the hats and chapel veils.)
Looks like I'm being called to return.

2) I am going to keep a Lenten Journal.
I have no idea what I will write.
 CLICK
to see the start of it.

3) I will keep one hour of silence per week to give to the Lord.
This will be hard.
If you know me, you know that I have a difficult time with silence.  





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

10 Ways to Observe Ash Wednesday

The Obvious
 
Go to Mass
Accept the blessing of ashes
Receive the Eucharist in the state of grace
Receive the sacrament of Reconciliation
Abstain from meat
Fast


The not so obvious

Read sacred scripture
Pray the Rosary
Make an entry in your journal
Spend an hour adoring


 


"Remember,
You are dust,
And,
To Dust You Shall Return."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

50 Things to Give up or Do for Lent...

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  Mother Theresa

1) Write a letter a day to a different person, everyday during Lent and mail them.  The letter can be a letter of thanks, a letter of love, a letter of sympathy, a letter of forgiveness.  Write that letter with the intent of making the reader a happier person.

2) Work on forgiveness.  Get God involved in helping you to forgive.  Ask for the graces.  You will receive

3) Perform one good deed per day.

4) Find 5 things to thank God for each day.

5) Read Sacred Scripture daily aka the Bible.

6) Leave food on your plate each meal.  Don't eat it all.  Don't throw it away.  Save for another time.

7) Eat only half of the food on your plate at each meal.

8) Increase your prayer time by 15 minutes each day.  0 + 15 minutes is still only 15 minutes.

9) Give up your soda beverage or favorite beverage for 40 days and nights.

10) Give up "sweets."

11) Give up your pillow.

12) Give up your bed.  (This clearly isn't for everyone.)

13) Be kind to someone you don't like.

14) Keep a Lenten journal to record your journey.

15) Start a prayer journal.  Write in it everyday during Lent.

16) Give.up.chocolate.

17) Attend Mass everyday, if you can, during Lent.

18) Volunteer to serve at the parish suppers, if you can.

19) Attend Stations of the Cross as often as you can during Lent.

20) Practice the gift of silence once a week.

21) Adopt a priest during Lent and pray for him.

22) Go to confession each week during Lent.

23) Clean out your closet.  Donate those extra clothes and shoes.

24) Attend adoration once a week.

25) Give up gossip.

26) Turn off the TV for Lent.

27) Pray a rosary for peace everyday

28) Give up hot water for showers.

29)  Donate your soda money to a worthy cause.

30) Visit a nursing home either alone or with your children.

31) Give up buying books.  Check them out of the library or read the ones you have.

32) Subscribe to and read Catholic blogs and literature every day.

33) Write a prayer a day for Lent.  Pray those prayers.

34) Turn off the drama at home or at work.  Refuse to be a part of it.  Do not start it.

35) Wake up 15 minutes early and pray.

36) Practice a virtue.

37) Give up Facebook and other social media sites for Lent.

38) Listen only to Christian music during Lent.

39) Sing at church. 

40) Smile at the person next to you at Mass, or someone in close proximity.

41) Give up online shopping.

42) Only buy what you need and not what you want.

43) Give up those latte's at the expensive coffee shop.

44) Turn off your cell phone, IPad, Smart phone, computer until the end of your day for personal use.  Use it only after supper/

45) Read the Book of Esther in the Bible.

46) Stick to that diet.

47) Spend more time with your family.

48) Meditate on the crucifix every day.

49) Pray the rosary with your family everyday.

50) Make sacrifices for the souls in purgatory every day.  

You can add to this list, and I hope you do.  These ideas are just a starting point.  Add to the list.  Use the list, and make Lent a wonderful time of prayer and sacrifice.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Knowledge you Need for Lent - 40 days and 40 nights

Lent begins on Wednesday.  The first day of Lent is called, Ash Wednesday.  It is on this day that you will receive the gift of ashes on your forehead in the shape of a cross.  Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but it is day on which we are encouraged to attend Mass in order to receive the blessing of ashes.  

Lent is time of mortification through which we can grow closer to God and prepare for the celebration of the Risen Lord on Easter Sunday.  Fasting, abstinence, and  turning away from sin are parts of our spiritual journey in the season of Lent.




Jesus spent 40 days in the desert in which He fasted. He neither ate food nor drank water.  

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry." Matthew 4: 1-2
 

Here are two articles that explain the reasons for fasting and abstinence during Lent in the Catholic Church::
  

These are excellent references, especially when you are asked to explain these practices.

Now, is the time to begin thinking  of your special spiritual practice for Lent.  I'll have suggestions in my next post.  






 
 


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day:: You are a Precious Child of God and He Loves You!

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." 
John 15: 13 


"God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him."
1 John 4:9

Friday, February 13, 2015

She Knew


From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”  But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”  Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.”
Mark 7: 24-29


The people had heard He was coming into town.  They were anxious to bring Him their sick and dying.  They wanted to hear His words, but they thought He was not there yet.  They were anxiously waiting.  It was early morning.  Some children had been sent to the roads near town to see if they could see Him and His disciples.  No one had spotted Jesus yet. 

The truth was that Jesus and His disciples had come into town late the night before.  They were staying with a friend, and Jesus had commanded them not to tell He was there.  He had wanted to pray to the Father and refresh His Soul.  The Apostles and Disciples were still resting.  Jesus had gone off to e quiet place to pray.  He had left early in the morning without telling anyone.  This was not uncommon for Him to do.  He had been very tired when they arrived, and, He was still fatigued, but He had been praying to His Father since very early in the morning.  Now, He was more refreshed. 

Jesus was walking back to the home where He was staying.  He could smell the fresh bread being made in the village.  He was passing by a house where a woman was already at work.  She saw Him, and she recognized the Rabbi.  She was tired.  The air was already hot.  She saw Him walk past her on His way home.  She had only heard about Jesus and His teachings and healing.  Her daughter, her only child, began to screech so she ran to care for the young girl.  The child’s arms were flaying and there was foam in her mouth.  The mother held her daughter until the demon’s attack subsided.  She bathed her daughter in the only cool water the family had.  Slowly, the demon let go of his hold on her daughter, and she was limp and exhausted.  The woman  handed their child to her husband.

“I must find Him.  He will heal her.”

Her husband said, “He will not heal her.  We are not Jews.”

The woman looked squarely into her husband’s eyes with determination.  “He will heal her.”

With determination, the mother pulled on her veil and walked through town.  She was not to be stopped.  The town was just beginning to stir.  The veil of night had just been lifted and a gentle, soft mantle of daylight covered their town.  She walked until she saw the home.  She knew He was there.  No one had to tell her.  She raced toward the door, and He stepped out.  She looked into His eyes.  They were so kind and loving.  She fell on her knees at His feet.  She knew that, according to His law, she was a gentile and unclean.  She dared not touch Him, though she would have washed His feet and dried them.

“Master,” she said, “My daughter, a demon posses my daughter. Cast the demon out that she might be free.  Heal her, good Master. “

Jesus smiled at the woman, though she couldn’t see Him for she was looking at the ground.  She dared not speak.  She heard one of His followers say, “Master, we will drive her away so she doesn’t bother You.”  The woman of the house came out with a towel yelling, “Get out of here, woman.  You are not welcome here!”

The woman grabbed a small plant growing in front of the door. Her hands were bleeding from the small thorns.  The pain and the blood did not matter.  She would not go home until the Master healed her daughter. 

She cried out again, as Jesus stepped between her and the angry woman of the house. “I would like a drink of water,”  He said to the woman  The angry woman stopped and left to get the Master His water.

“Master, please heal my daughter!  She suffers greatly!  The demon attacks her.”

By now many of the towns people realized that Jesus was in town and had gather around the woman and Jesus.

Jesus said to the woman, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

The woman lifted her eyes to the Lord.  She still held on to the small bush.  Her voice was shaking as she replied, but she would not give up.

“Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Jesus knelt near this gentile woman.  He touched her on her shoulder and helped her up from the ground where she had been prostrate before Him.  The towns people gasped.  She was a gentile, and she was unclean. 

Jesus looked into her eyes. Her eyes were overflowing with tears of love and supplication.

“For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.”

The woman inhaled sharply, but she knew that what Jesus had said was true.  She bowed at His feet.  She whispered, “Thank you, Master.”  He smiled at her.  She ran through the stunned crowd that had gathered to see the drama.  They had expected to see Him send her away because she was a gentile.

One of His disciples came up and said, “Why?  She’s a gentile.  Why did you heal her daughter?”

“She has great Faith, Peter.  She will join Me in paradise one day.   She is very close to the Father.” Jesus said quietly.  Jesus found a bench and began to heal the ones who were waiting for Him.  He was given a cup of water and some bread, but he laid the food aside to teach His people.”

The woman raced into her home.  Her husband was crying.  She saw her daughter working in the kitchen making bread for her parents.  The child smiled.  She was at peace.  She was healed.  The family sat down to a meal prepared by the child.  They gathered to pray before their meal.  God was good.

Jesus saw everything, and He smiled.  The line of people grew.  He healed the sick.  He cast out demons.    He taught.  He was on His way to Jerusalem. 



Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Missed Things and Had to Change What I was going to Write today...

Yesterday, I had wrist surgery.  No big deal.  The pain, even without medication was nothing, really, I mean, nothing.  However, last night I had a FEVER.  It was low grade, but it was a fever.  99.9.  

I spent today in bed.
I had planned to attend the Healing Mass at church in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes.
I never made it to Mass.

My wrist is sore and itchy, but it's not bad.  I offered that up.
I offered up missing Mass.
I offered up the fever, chills and aches.
 My pneumonia shot site is red and itchy, too.

Called two doctors today.
Wrist doc said that I probably picked up a bug, and, unless I got worse to ride it out.
I offered that up, too.

Family Practice doc said that the reaction at the site of the shot is fairly common.
It should be gone soon.
Offered that up.

God offers us many opportunities to offer up everything to Him,
especially the things that go wrong in our day.
Lay it before His Cross.
Help to save souls.

Anyway, today I had planned on reviewing prayer books that might help each of us pray.
Didn't happen.
I felt terrible.

Offered that up.
Next week, if it's God's Will, 
we will start with reviews. 

Until then,
I'll offer it up.
 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'm Taking the Veil!

Of course, 
that veil has to be pink!

I've decided that during the season of Lent,
I will use a chapel veil in Church.

Believe me,
this takes me back to pre-Vatican 2 years.
It was during this time that all women wore head coverings when at church.

A woman could wear a hat, a veil, or a small chapel veil.

It seems that the older I get, the more I long for the older ways.  






Whether I practice this 
devotional of wearing  a veil, 
beyond the season of Lent 
depends on whether I am able to grow spiritually by wearing the veil.

I long for fewer distractions.
I long to be closer to God.
I long to embrace my faith as I never have before.

I don't know what will happen, but for now
I'm Taking the Veil!

 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Stepping Aside and Letting God do the Work

I worried and worried.
I had just graduated from college, and I needed to find a job.
I was still living at home, and I wanted to MOVE OUT ON MY OWN.
(I later learned that being an adult is not as great as it seemed then.)
 FINALLY, even though it was out of my major,
and I didn’t need a college degree,
I was hired to work as a teller in a bank.
I know.  I was overeducated.  I earned very little money, but it was enough to get an apartment with a couple of friends.
Whew!
God had some lessons for me to learn.
At first it was great, then there were the disagreements about food, utilities, and when the rent was due.
I lived there for 6 months, then  moved back home.
By that time, I was dating my future husband, and life was moving along.

I put God on the back burner, but I still worried.
I moved from the beautiful southwest to a very cold and backward town in North Dakota.
I’ve never missed that town.  We left and I never looked back.
I was just worried that I’d have to live there for the rest of my life.
Whew!  God was good!

When my husband finished his education,
it was time to worry again.
He needed a job.
We had no money.
It took three months, but he finally found a good job.
And then it was time to move on again.

I worried and worried.
We moved from Colorado to Nebraska for the job.
(He was an FBI agent.)
God was still on the back burner for me,
From Nebraska we moved to Iowa and then to Chicago.

I worried about living in the big city.
I worried about his commute from the City to home.
I worried about my children and their safety.
I just worried.
I was an example for Martha who was anxious about so many things.
Do you see the trend here?

We moved back to the midwest and north to Minnesota.

The stirrings of God’s Holy Spirit were beginning in my soul, but I still worried.
Eventually my husband of 34 years died from a terrible cancer.
I was exhausted from worry.
A few years later, my daughter developed the same incurable cancer that took my husband’s life.
I do worry about her, but I think that’s okay.
(She’s a figure of great courage and strength in her battle with cancer.)

Worry.  Worry.  Worry.
Anxiety.  Anxiety.  Anxiety.
Such a waste, when in spite of the challenges life has thrown at us, my worry solved nothing.
I learned that
no matter how hard we try.  No matter how much effort we make, things work better when we step aside and let God do the work for us.  He is after all, God.  He’s got the job of working miracles, not me.

My worry got me nothing except wrinkles.
I am only now beginning to learn to give up the need to control.
That’s not easy after so many years of this habit.
Now, there is less worry, even though the problems are still there.
I have more peace.
God has been good to me.
A very patient father He is.
He’s taught me some very important lessons.
I’m working on these lessons.
I pray for God’s guidance as I journey to the end of my life.

Oh,
Lord, God,
You are greater than all Your works!  Your might is shown in Your creation!  We stand in awe at Your handiwork.  Help us to trust You.  Give us the courage and strength to step aside as You work in our lives and in the lives of those we love.  Give us the gift of trust to know that You love us and all those souls whom You created.  Help us to let go and surrender to You all those things that cause us anxiety and stress. Help us to remember that You are the God of creation, the great I AM, the God of Abraham.  Thank You, Heavenly Father, for all that we have received. 
Let us show You our love through trust. 
Amen.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Just a quick announcement...In case you're interested....

I've added a new page called
Catholic365.com

I am listing the articles and links that I have had published on this wonderful site.

I hope you enjoy reading these articles.

I might recycle a few of them.

We'll see.

Anyway,
CHECK
IT
OUT!



7 Thoughts of Thanksgiving on a Friday

1) "Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint."

Isaiah 40: 31

Friday is a good day.  It's the end of the work week for many people.  The weekend becomes a time of renewal.  God is our strength and He renews us.  For this I am thankful.

2)"He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
Ecclesiastes 3: 11

God is always a mystery.  Time is not.  There is a right time for everything. His timing is not our timing.  His thoughts are not our thoughts, but His timing is always perfect, whether we think so or not.  Even though I'm retired, Friday is still a good day.

3)  "So teach us to count our days
    that we may gain a wise heart."

Psalm 90:12 

Friday gives me pause to think and review the week.  What have I learned this week?  How has God in His goodness intervened in my life for my good?  What graces has God poured down into my heart?  God is good!  I am grateful.

4) "We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work."
John 9:4 

The end of the day on Friday is joyous.  It means that I can rest.  I can restore myself with rest.  I will feel rested the next day.  I will even feel more rested by Sunday.  On Monday I am ready for the week again.

5) "My child, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments;

for length of days and years of life
    and abundant welfare they will give you. "

Proverbs 3: 1-2 

My week is always busy.  It's rare to have down time.  As I review my week, I look to the times I did all for the honor and glory of God.  There are times when I failed, but I have learned a little more about honoring God and trusting Him.  That's good.  God is good.

6) "Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed."

Psalm 139:16   

I don't know how long I will live.  Not many people know when their days are going to end.  The one thing I do know is that God knew me before I was formed in my mother's womb.  He saw me before.  He sees me now.  He sees me at the end of my life.  No matter what, God loves me, and for that I am grateful.

7) "But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day." 2 Peter 3: 8
  
Sometimes a week will feel like a thousand years.  Some weeks feel like a moment in time.  Time does not exist with God.  God is now.  God is love.  I am grateful!
   

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Faces of Mary in our Home

Mary, the Mother of God, is a well loved person in our home.
I'll give you a quick tour.
There are many more images of Our Lady in our home.
Here are a few we have.

This is our most recent acquisition.
"Madonna" 
by
Fuentes de Salamanca

She is the  most beautiful 
Madonna 
I have seen in years.
This drawing caught my eye and my heart!

I can feel her pain.

Mother of Sorrows,
Be with us now and at the hour of our death!
Amen.













Mary, Our Mother, is part of a statue of the 
Holy Family.
A friend gave this to me after her mother died.
I was touched.
Her mother had it in her home for many years.

Our Lady,
Pray for us!












We bought this statue of Our Lady in 
Medjugorje.  
Since I was the one carrying her,
I was pulled out of line at the airport and escorted to a facility in the airport where they checked 
Our Lady
for explosives!
She must have smiled!
I was scared!
She made it home, though,
safe and sound.

Our Lady,
Queen of Peace,
Pray for us!
















This image of Our Lady was given to me by my Mother many, many years ago.
She has traveled with me around the country as I moved.
I don't know her name, but 
she is Our Lady now and forever!

Blessed are You 
among women!













The bookstore at Church has so many beautiful images of Our Lady.
This image of 
Our Lady was there after Mass.
I knew she had to be mine.
She is!

Mother of God!
Queen of Peace!
Mary, conceived without sin,
Pray for us
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I've Learned Some New Terms...

I was surprised to realize that I didn't know what these terms mean.
The words are listed in the Vision Pastoral Plan for our Diocese.
Because some parishes have lost members and due to the lack of priests,
many parishes in our Diocese will be changing in 2016.

You might be in the same situation with your diocese.  Changes are going to be made.
Changes are necessary.
If you have concerns with the plan posted in your diocese, contact your pastor.  Contact your bishop.  
Get involved in the committees.
Learn your terms.  

Parish Pastoral Plan:
A plan developed by a parish that sets clear goals that responds to the needs of the parish community.

Parish::
A community of the faithful who gather together for worship which can include one or more worship sites.

Cluster::
A group of parishes that retain their individuality but might share staff, ministries, and resources.
Deanery::
A joining together of several neighboring parishes and clusters in a region for support and communications.
Merge::
A merge happens when two or more parishes canonically and civilly consolidate their assets, liabilities, worship sites, ministries, staff and properties.

Oratory
A worship site that no longer holds Sunday or Vigil Mass.  The building can be used for Catholic weddings and funerals.
Canon Law
The legal system and laws of the Catholic Church.
Learn these terms.  You might be hearing more about them soon.

 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Don't be Afraid to ...

Be honest.  Have you ever worn your Rosary out? 
Wait!  Do you know where your Rosary is? 
Wait! Do you own a Rosary? 
Wait!  Do you know how to pray the Rosary?

These are important questions for a Catholic.  Next to the Mass, the Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers we have in our arsenal of faith.  Each mystery of the Rosary takes about 20 minutes to pray.  Through each decade we view the Gospels with the eyes of Mary, His Mother. 

The prayers of the Rosary are simple.  We begin with the Apostles Creed which reminds us of the fundamentals of our faith.  The rest of the prayers are basic, prayers we should have learned as children.  There are a total of 6 Our Fathers, 6 Glory Be's, 53 Hail Mary's, and, between each decade the following prayer::

"Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins.  Save us from the fires of Hell.  Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of they mercy."

The prayers are repetitive and meditative. 

Each decade brings to a different encounter with Jesus.

There are 4 mysteries of the Rosary::
The Joyful Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries
And
The Glorious Mysteries.

In each mystery, we learn more about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, Son of the Father.  He teaches us through His life how we are to live and pray.  Even Jesus prayed to the Father. 

When we pray the Rosary, we join with Mary, the Mother of God, in walking through Gospels.

In the Joyful Mysteries,
we learn of Mary’s faith when the Angel Gabriel asked her to become the Mother of God.
We see Mary leave her hometown to care for her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist,
becoming the first Tabernacle of Jesus.
We skip to the birth of Jesus to His presentation in the Temple, and to Jesus teaching the elders in the Temple as His parents frantically search for their Son.


In the Luminous Mysteries,
we see Jesus leaving home to begin His ministry.
He is baptized by John in the River Jordan.
Here it is that we meet the Father who is pleased with His Son, Jesus.
Jesus performs His First Miracle, at His Mother’s prompting, at the wedding in Cana.
She said to the waiters, “Do whatever He tells you.”
Jesus then begins His Ministry by proclaiming the Gospel of Salvation to the Jews.
We see Jesus Transfigured on the Mountain.  His apostles are amazed when they see Jesus as God.
At the Last Supper, Jesus institutes the Sacrament of the Eucharist.


In the Sorrowful Mysteries,
Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He prays for His Cup to pass, but He accepts the Will of the Father when it does not.
Jesus is arrested and taken before the Pilate who orders Him to be Scourged.
Many healthy men died during such scourings.
In the midst of the tortures He endured, He was beaten, whipped, and crowned with Thorns.
After all of this, Jesus was condemned to death, a death of shame, on the cross.
Yet, He begged His Father to forgive His torturers because they did not know what they were doing.
Jesus was crucified and hung between two thieves.
As He is dying, Jesus gives His Mother to us as our Mother.
Jesus dies on the cross.


In the Glorious Mysteries,
Jesus after being buried in the tomb is resurrected from the dead.
After 40 days, Jesus ascends into heaven in the presence of His Mother and the apostles.
As He promised, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to enlighten and strengthen His followers who will carry on the work of His Church.
In the last two decades of the Rosary,
we return to Mary, His Mother, and ours.
Mary dies and is assumed into heaven, body and soul.
She is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.


The life of Jesus is condensed into the Rosary.
Based on Sacred Scripture, in the Rosary, we meet the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Each mystery is a prompt for meditation on the life of Jesus.

Through the Rosary, we come to know Him.

In our prayer, we come to know His Mother.
In our prayer, we come to know His Apostles and disciples.
This “extraordinary” event of love, which is the life of Jesus,
who, as the Second Person of the Triune God, defeated sin and satan.

Know this act of love.
Pray the Rosary!
Don’t be afraid to wear those beads out!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Feet Are Cold!!!

My Feet Are Cold!

Offer it up.

My shoes are uncomfortable.

Offer it up.

The old lady right in front of me just did something she can’t hear, and it smells.

Offer it up.

The homily is too long.

Offer it up.

The songs are too high to sing at Mass.

Offer it up.

My kids feet stink!

Offer it up.

It’s too hot outside.

Offer it up.

I ordered a choco-mocha latte and got a diet coke instead.

Offer it up.

I’ve waited over half and hour for the doctor.

Offer it up.

The sun is too bright.

Offer it up.

I’m so hungry!

Offer it up.

I’m too cold.

Offer it up.

My Heart is broken.

Offer it up.

I have a fever.

Offer it up.

That car cut me off.

Offer it up.

(See a trend here?)

Offer it up.


Why do we “offer it up?”

We offer our sufferings to God because our suffering is never wasted or meaningless when we join our sufferings to those of the Jesus on the cross for the salvation of sinners, the atonement of sins, or the forgiveness of sins.
We may also offer our sufferings for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for the sick and suffering, or for  special intentions.
You may also offer up your sufferings and ask Jesus to do with our sufferings as He chooses.

So, the next time you stub your toe, run late for a meeting,

OFFER IT UP!
Your prayers and offerings are never wasted.












Prayer

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and
Blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.