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!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Let There Be Light...The Gift of Insomnia

 "And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day."
Genesis 1: 3-5

 In the night, we must use lamps or ceiling lights to see.  We humans are not creatures who have eyes that can penetrate the darkness, but it is good, for God made the night as a time of rest and sleep.

In our modern world, as sleep schedules are disrupted through modern technology and harsh work schedules, the night is often problematic when it comes to sleep.
Sleep clinics make a lot of money by diagnosing sleep problems and developing ways to treat these disorders.  I'm am in that group of people who do not sleep well.

Why? 
Stress, anxiety, worry...these are factors that contribute to my sleep problems.  I know I"m not alone.
There are many others who do not sleep well.  Often times we rely on modern medicines to "cure" us.
Sometimes the medications work, and sometimes they don't work.   For those who sleep well, I envy you.  However, I have learned so much through my gift of insomnia.

Yes, I did say gift.  Without this gift, I would not have learned some of the things I have learned.

1) The night really is quiet.  Even if you live on a busy street, the number of cars decreases at night, and the noises are often non-existent.
Jesus, this is a beautiful time I didn't know existed.

2) There are different shades of darkness at night. When you wait for teens to come home, safely, from their dates or parties, looking out the window does not bring much in the way of consolation when there are no cars approaching the driveway.  However, what you can see is that on a moonless night, even with street lights on, the cars in the distance are darker, but on the night of a full moon,
You can see way down the street as you wait for cars.
Thank You, Jesus, for getting them home safely.

3) Rain is most relaxing at night.  If you are lucky enough to have a tin roof on your house, to hear that rain falling and hitting the roof is a sensory treat that nothing can match.  Jesus did talk about many mansions.  I hope that I have a tin roof on my home.
Anyway, the smell of the rain as it flares in through the open windows on a cool night, can send a soul into near ecstacy, when the pitter patter sounds of the rain fall down on the home.
Jesus, is this why You gave me this gift of insomnia? 

4) Oftentimes, praying the Rosary brings me the joy of the soul, even in the darkest night.
The meditative, repetitive rhythm of the words soothe my soul on my most trying day.
Night lights, flickering like small candles lit in a dark church, make my home, my bedroom, my sanctuary where I can join Our Lady in prayer.
Jesus, thank You for giving me this gift of prayer at night.

5) When nights are truly sleepless, and I am awake at dawn, I have learned that being tired now, means a nap or a struggle during the day.  Most days become struggles because I cannot nap, so I pray and I pray that now, I might stay awake.  I sleep well the next night because I have no choice.
I am reminded, though, of the Apostles who struggled to stay awake with Jesus in the Garden, but could not.
Jesus, You bring me to You in these nights when I can't sleep.  If I must be awake, then I offer this night to You for the salvation of souls. 


Jesus said,
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
John 8:12 

The gift of insomnia, well, it's not a gift I would have chosen for me, but it was chosen for me.
  I am awake in the Garden, praying.
I am awake on the mountain, praying.
I am awake in the quiet place, in the early morning, praying.
The light comes with the dawn.  
Jesus is the light. 
How blessed are we!
  




Sunday, August 30, 2015

Weekend Poetry: I could have lived...

I woke up Saturday ready to write.
I found the couch before Pixie or kitties could get there.
I covered myself up with a warm, old quilt.
I covered my shoulders, and in the early morning light, now somewhat dark and misty, 
and I began to write.
This is one poem from the morning writing session.
I hope you like it.
It is copyrighted!
Thanks.










 I Could Have Lived

I could have lived a thousand years,
in faraway lands or here,
But how could I have ever loved,
without You being here?

I knew the world, I knew You not,
I never heard Your voice,
Yet call me to Your loving heart,You did, 
but then I had a choice.

I could love You truly, or love You not,
Lord, why are You so good?
You are Love embodied, You are King and Lord!
Can I love You like I should?
 
You loved me from eternity.
You’ll love me when I die,
My Lord, My God, I can only ask,
You blessed me thus, but why?

I’ve given You my small heart,
It’s not bigger than a drop,
You poured Your love out over me,
I know You’ll never stop.

I am not worthy, but I am blessed,
for You’re the great I AM,
Sweet Lord, above, You love me now,
You are the Sacrificial Lamb.

I’m puzzled yet, I don’t understand,
Why You chose this person, me, to love,
I thank You, Lord, for this great gift,
Of your undying, unending love.
 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ending the Week in Praise and Thanksgiving!

 "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.   

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4: 4-7 

1) God gives us so many blessings each day.  There are blessings we see, and there are blessings we don't see.
One thing I know is a blessing from God is
ICE CREAM!
A trip to Sonic, and Pixie and I had a sunday to share but, she didn't get too much because I got the rest.


For the ice cream, I do thank You, Lord!

2) It's a little bit early, but the normally high temperatures of August, haven't been so high, and the weather is cooling down a bit.  We haven't had a frost yet, but there will be one soon.
For the good weather, we thank You, Lord!

3) Today, after about 5 weeks, I was able to return to Eucharistic adoration.  What a beautiful gift that is from God!  We are able to see Our God and Savior in that host in the monstrance.  We are able to be in the same room with Him as we pray.  The graces were flowing.  I was filled with peace.

For the Gift of Eucharistic Adoration, we thank You, Lord!

"Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
James 1: 17


"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:11

 "For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished."
Malachi 3:6

 

 




 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why? I don't know, but He does.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.'
John 3:16

 In order for Jesus to be conceived and born, 
a vessel of the greatest purity and holiness could be chosen by God to bear His Son for our salvation.

Mary,
who would become the  Mother of God,
was visited by an angel, 
"And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

Of course she was confused.
How would you feel if an angel visited you tonight?
Would you be afraid or wondering what was happening?
I would be.

"But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  
 Luke 1: 29-33

Mary understood her heavenly visitor, but she was perplexed since she was a virgin. 
She knew the facts of life and how babies came into being.
"Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
Luke 1: 34 

The ever patient angel replied to Mary.

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. " 

Now, wouldn't that take your breath away!
You were just asked to be the Mother of our Living God!
I'm not sure I'd have words, and before Mary could reply, the angel gave her a job to do,
which, she took on with great faith.

"And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God."   
Luke 1: 37

Mary had known her cousin as she was growing up.
She loved Elizabeth!  Elizabeth had never been able to have children, but upon hearing of Elizabeth's pregnancy in her advanced  age, Mary began to make plans to leave to care for her cousin.

And the angel waited upon Mary patiently for she had not given him and answer.

"Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her."

The angel left so that God could do the work He intended to do.  
Mary then proceeded to the hill country to join her cousin Elizabeth.

God
so
Loved 
the 
World.   

Why?

I don't know.

We are grievous sinners who have removed God from our hearts and lives,

Yet,

God. So. Loved. the. World.

  


 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Worth Repeating Wednesday: 50 Ways to Show God You Love Him

Love His Mother.
Start your day with God.
End you day with God.
Pray.
Offer your day to Him.
Give Him your night.
Tell God you love Him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in all His ways.
Follow His Commandments.
Be kind to all you meet.

Pray for the souls in Purgatory.
Pray for non-believers.
Pray for your children.
Pray for your families.
Pray for the lonely.
Pray for the sick.
Pray for the depressed.
Pray for our military personnel.
Pray for the homeless and hungry.
Pray for those who are alone.

 

Tithe, if possible.
Share what you have.
Take the priests a meal or out for a meal.
Make a meal for someone who is ill.
Give to your favorite charity.
Invite someone over for dinner.
Make a meal for a new mom.
Clean someone's house for them.
Visit a shut-in.
Visit a nursing home. 

Pray a novena.
Say 3 Hail Marys
Turn off the TV and pray.
Listen in silence for God.
Attend adoration frequently.
Trust in God.
Become a regular attendee of the Sacrament do confession.
Visit the sick.
Make friends with an enemy.
Be kind to those who do not like you.

Read Sacred Scripture.
Meditate on the Word of God.
Bless your food before each meal.
Praise God.
Thank God.
Give to the poor.
Follow the laws of God.
Take care of your body.
Be kind to others.
Be kind to yourself.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hidden Right Next to the Poop..

I call my dog, Pixie,
Princess Poops A Lot,
because she thinks she's a princess and she does, well, you know...

When we are out on our walks, the rule of thumb is to take no less than 3 poop bags, but just to be sure, take 5 bags along.  Yes, I did say 5.  That was the record set this summer.

Hear the needle scratching on the record...
"Wait!  Is this a Catholic blog?" you ask.  "What does this have to do with God or Catholicism or anything of that nature?"

Well, the truth is, I learned something very important about God and His ways today.  
I have to preface this by saying that I don't believe in coincidences.  I know that God is orchestrating everything so that we will come closer to Him.  With me, He often has to go to extremes so that I will understand what He wants me to hear.  I believe this was the case today.

Princess Poops A Lot, I mean, Pixie and I were out on one of our many walks today.  I was armed with 4 bags.  On her first pit stop, she heard nature calling and answered its call.  I looked at the pile I had to clean.  Pixie looked at me, and I honestly think she smiled at me.  She knows I have to clean this up.  So I bent over to begin cleaning up her mess.  I moved from left to right until I had her "bodily waste" almost cleaned up.  On my last pickup, third bag, I scooped the poop into the bag, and then I saw it.  This time I smiled. 

Right next to the mess I had just cleaned up were these mushrooms.   They were so tiny, I wouldn't have noticed them if I had not stopped to be a good pet owner.   Pixie wanted to leave, but I pulled her back to the scene of the crime, and I took this photo.  Isn't that a beautiful consolation from God?

Appreciating nature is one thing, but being directed to it, is another.
This is an experience I would have missed without the goodness of God consoling me and directing me to the poop.

I guess I can say, "Thank You, Lord, for the poop?"  
No, really, thank you, Lord, for everything.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Church of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ever since the day I saw this picture on 
I wanted to see this church.

Yesterday,
I was blessed to be able to attend Mass at the
Church of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Not only was the church beautiful, I was impressed by the reverence of the congregation.
While waiting for Mass to begin, I noticed a toddler and his grandpa walking up the middle aisle to join the rest of the family in the front of the church.
The toddler, as he walked, would stop, about every 2-3 pews and genuflect.
He had to have learned that somewhere.  His very patient and kind, granddad would stop behind the child and wait as the little boy genuflected.

The life sized statues in the church were amazing!  There were statues of St. John Bosco, St. Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, St. Joseph.  There were others, but I just can't remember who they were.
After Mass had ended, I walked around the church looking at the statues.  As I did, so did a young family, both Mom and Dad, showing their children the statues and talking about them. 
Good family.

I have to back track here, when Mass ended, and the priest had left the church, no one, not a single person, got up to leave.  Everyone stayed in place and prayed for about 5 minutes.  The organist then played a song, and then people got up to leave.  I was very impressed.

There was one, sweet little girl, about 3-4 years old, who decided, after Communion, that it was time to leave.  She picked up her auntie's purse and yelled at the top of her lungs,
"Good-bye."
Of course, everyone smiled.  What else could we do?

 This statue, again, life sized, was on one end of the church.
Mama Mary was nursing her baby boy, and she was holding Him in her loving arms.

 
Directly opposite of Mama Mary nursing her baby boy, was this life sized statue of the 
Mother of God holding her Son's lifeless body in her arms.
What a contrast!

I hope to return to the Church of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary very soon.
I didn't see the confessionals, but I think I will find them, hopefully, next week.
I wish you could have seen this church with me.
It. Was. Beautiful!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Ending the Week in Thanksgiving and Praise

"Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow.
Praise Him All Creatures Here Below.
Praise Him above the Heavenly Host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!"


1) In the news: Planned Parenthood is being exposed for the monster that it is.  This is clearly a blessing from God.  The truth is being exposed.
Here's a commentary that is important to read.
Click HERE.

We pray for the mothers and their unborn babies whose beating hearts are stopped by the abortion or afterwards. 
Lord.
We pray for compassion towards these women and the conversion of those who work within planned parenthood.

2)  On the home front, Jenny is starting to feel better.  It's a long recovery, but it's been worth it.  
May God be praised for the gift of health.  

3) Summer is slipping into autumn.  I look forward to the cooler weather, but I will miss the warmth of summer in the air.
Thank you, Lord, for all the beautiful days of summer!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Follow the Signs


Today I found myself in the middle of an adventure.  While waiting for my daughter, as she was undergoing a bone marrow biopsy, I went for a walk to find the campus book store.  I looked outside, and the rain was not just coming down, it was pouring down and pounding the pavement like David pounded Goliath.  Since I didn't know how to get to the bookstore from where I was, I was going to return to the waiting room until a young man came to my rescue.  He showed me a sign. He said that I could get to the book store by following the signs. 

I don't like the idea of getting lost, but it looked easy enough to follow the signs, and I wouldn’t have to go out in the rain if I walked the maze of tunnels to reach the bookstore.  

So, off I went, searching for the signs to help me go from point A to point B. 

It took a while and a few wrong turns, one wrong floor, and the help of many people along the way, but I made it to the bookstore by following the signs.  Even though I was a little worse for the wear, I was wiser and more knowledgable about the campus.

“No, problem,” I thought, “I can make it back by following the signs.”  I did, eventually.  I actually took a wrong turn to get to the right place.  It was amazing!  It was dumb luck that I actually took the right turn and made it back from Point B to Point A again.

This made me think about God and how he works to bring us to Him.  He lets us go.  We do have the gift of free will, so He won’t interfere with that, but He will send us signs to help us return home to Him.  All we have to do is follow those signs.

You know when you go to Mass and you drift off during the homily?  Maybe that’s one of the signs God is sending you, not the drifting off, of course, but the information contained in the homily.  You know that person who keeps talking about going to confession, and you just roll your eyes, that could be the sign God is sending you.  He doesn’t put a billboard in front of you, but He keeps sending that person to you to talk about confession.  Maybe out of the blue, your child says, “Why don’t we say goodnight prayers, together?”  Signs.  They’re all over.  All we have to do is learn to recognize them.

We have so many ways to follow the signs.  We can attend Mass as often as possible.  We can practice the virtues.  We can read Sacred Scripture.  We can talk to others about our faith.  We can put God first in our lives.  Remember, you’re at Point B right now.  You want to go back to Point A.  How do you do that?

Follow the signs.  Follow the signs. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Worth Repeating Wednesday: Suffering and Difficulty in Prayer

What I know::


God is with me.  He knows and He understands my pain.  When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane He asked His Father,

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”  Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.”
Luke 2: 42-43

                       
Jesus suffered.  He felt the excruciating pain of separation from His Father during His agony.  In His anguish, as Jesus prayed, His sweat became  “great drops of blood.”  The Precious Blood of Jesus was spilled in the garden as the weight of sin grew heavy on His back.  His Precious Blood spilled, not in a small quantity, but in “great drops.”

Jesus knows my pain.


What I know::

This moment is a trial, a challenge, which God allows in my life to strengthen me.  Through this suffering I can grow closer to Him.  This is a time when  I must trust that God knows better than I, the suffering of His cup.  He knows what this suffering will accomplish in eternity. 

Jesus asked His Father to “remove the cup” from Him.  Jesus’ human nature recoiled at what  He must endure for love of us.  As God, Jesus knew the cost,  the great suffering He would endure when He submitted to His Father’s Will.   As our Brother, Jesus accepted the bittersweet cup of salvation for love of us.

His moment of acceptance, similar to His Mother’s fiat when Jesus was conceived, opened the Gates of Heaven to the graces of salvation.   Jesus accepted the Father's Will, and Jesus was at peace.  Jesus knew He, the Great High Priest, would be subject to the control of men.  He knew the cruelty, the wounds that would be inflicted on Him.  Jesus knew He would die for love of us.    Jesus knew that through His sufferings, we would be saved.   Jesus overcame sin through death.  When He resurrected, Jesus over came death.   Through Jesus’ submission to His Father’s Will, He was made weak.  Through the humility of Jesus, God was glorified and we were saved!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Who would Have Ever Dreamed?

JMJ

This year, I was stunned when my cousin died in her sleep.  She was 8 years younger than me.  She had divorced herself from our large family when she moved to Texas with her family.  We didn’t know why then.  We don’t know why now.   No one seems to understand.  The only person with whom she kept in touch was me.  Our conversations were only about once a year, but they were fruitful, enjoyable, and long. 

On the morning she died, I received a text from her son telling me that she had “passed.”  It was a shock to everyone, but the biggest shock came when I asked when her Mass of Christian burial would be.  No one would answer me until I saw on Facebook that a chaplain from the united unitarian church of paganism would preside at her memorial service.  There were no plans for a Mass of Christian Burial, and no one explained why.  My heart broke for her.  I had Masses said in my parish, but they are not the same as the Mass of Christian burial which she would never have.

This was very difficult to accept, but as my 80 year old cousin, who is also like a sister to me, said, “Let. It. Go.  You’ll never know.”  She was right, but difficult only speaks lightly of what I felt.

The second shock of the year came, when I asked my dear 80 year old cousin what she had planned for her funeral.  She said, “Nothing. I don’t want anything.  No Mass. No Rosary.  Nothing.”  No explanation was forth coming, so, I had to let it go.  Stunned, I was on my knees again in prayer.  God has His way of doing that.

When I die, I want a priest with me holding my hands, after he has anointed my palms with the holy oils of the church.  I want every priest I have ever known to preside at my Mass of Christian burial.  I want rosaries and Masses said for my soul.  I want the whole thing plus more, just to be on the safe side!  I want everyone to know that I was a Catholic woman who tried to live her faith, not always successfully, but she tried.  I want the homily at my Mass of Christian burial to one of praise to God. 

All right, maybe those wishes are overkill, but I want to be buried not just as a Christian, but as a Catholic.  This label is very important to me.  As we go through life, into the valleys and up the hills, we show the world our faith.  If we are unkind to our sisters and brothers and we fail the teachings of Jesus, what would be reasonable for them to think of our Catholic faith?  Is our faith a religion that teaches others how to live and love and serve God by the way we treat them?

So many children of God consider themselves to be spiritual but they don’t like “organized religion.”  How do we teach these daughters and sons of God, that God is there, alive in our churches, because He has taught us this is His Truth Himself?  How we behave affects what others believe. Religion is not bad. Like the Ark of the Covenant, it is where the Word of God is kept.

 Do we always set the best example?  No, we do not.  I am a grievous sinner, but when I fall, I get up, walk into the confessional, and through the priests’ ministry, I am forgiven my sins.  I can change and start again.  I pray that a priest will be with me for this purpose when I die.  I want to be reconciled to God and my fellow man.

When the last hymn is sung, and my body is taken out of the church to be buried, my hope is that, even though I was not perfect, I will be remembered as a Catholic woman who gave her all to Jesus through the Catholic Church.  I repeat, religion is not bad.

Yes, these are the ramblings of an old woman with wrinkled hands and fingers that are becoming bent and crooked as I age.  Once I had great dreams, but life interfered, and my reality changed.  These were God’s plans for me.  He’s brought me here and to my knees.  How can I thank Him for His love and compassion? 

I am blessed to be able to  live the rest of my life as a Catholic woman. In this capacity,  I can witness our faith for Him, Who is Love.  I can be His Hands, His Feet, His Mouth, His Eyes, and His Heart to His other children.  I can offer my sufferings to Him as an oblation of love for peace.  My heart is still young, and, life will not be easy as I age, but I am a Catholic woman, and I love that title!  I pray that people see the Catholic religion positively through me. 

Jesus said, “Follow me.”  He didn’t just mean Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.  He meant, “Follow Me.”

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

Monday, August 17, 2015

God has a Plan. He has a Purpose for Each Life.

I survived the 60's.
I left my faith in that decade.
I became a liberal.
I left home.

I led my own life,
doing my own thing,
My own way.

It was over 20 years before I made a good confession and returned to the Church.

I firmly believe that someone, during that time, was praying for me.

God showed His great mercy to me during that phase of my life.  
Had I died, I know my destination would not have been purgatory or heaven.
By God's grace I lived long enough to begin to try to make reparation for my sins.

Now, I'm older with grown children.  I wonder why I was blessed with age.  At least 7 members of our graduating class have already died.  Why was I spared?

I keep hearing in my heart.  God has a plan.  He still has a purpose for you.  Your work is not finished yet.

Younger people than me die everyday.
Why have I been given the grace of a longer life than they?
I don't know, but I am learning that
God's Mercies abound in my life. 
I am alive only by His graces and mercy.

Each of our journeys is different.
Each of our missions is different.
No two are the same.

Perhaps, it is I who must pray for someone during this time of waiting.
Perhaps, it is I who must ask for God's mercy for someone else, as someone once did for me.
Perhaps, it is my mission to continue to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory to ease their sufferings.
Perhaps, it is my job to help bring comfort to those who loose their loved ones.
Perhaps, it is simply my job to weep for those who are too young when they pass into eternity.

I pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I pray for His blessings on me as I near the end of my earthly sojourn.
I pray for those who will die tonight.
I pray for those who will end their own lives.
I pray for those who think there is nothing beyond this life.
I pray for those who suffer grievously on earth.
I pray for those who are persecuted.
I pray for those who live in loneliness.
I pray for those who, like me, wonder why.
 
 



 



 



 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ending the week in Thanksgiving with Praise and Glory to God!

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

1)  The sights of fall are showing.  There are small patches of yellow  leaves on trees.   The ragweed is beginning to bloom.  We've been blessed with two days this past week that preview fall.  The seasons are changing.  God is telling us to get ready.  Times are changing. 
Praise God!!!

2) It's really easy to rejoice when things are going well. God gives us the gift of free will each and every day.  This is a gift that He blesses us with until we die.  Then, our time of merit is over.  At that time, we can only do God's Will.  I think of all the persecuted Christians in our world now.  I read an article about the persecuted Christians in Syria who are murdered, beaten, driven out of their homes.  When interviewed, one of them said, "We always have our bags packed.  We are Christians."  The sufferings that they endure are great, yet they rejoice in the most difficult of circumstances.  Let us pray and rejoice in God with our persecuted Christian sisters and brothers.
Thank You, Lord, for their example of love and trust!

3) Fluff.  I write Fluff.  It's not what so many wonderful bloggers write about today, but that's okay.  I came to realize that what I am imparting to my readers is what made me who I am today and how I did it.  All of my experiences have come together to form fluff.  I'm glad.  Fluff is what brought me to where I am today.  Fluff is what made me who I am.  God made me who I am.  God molded me into what I am.  God made fluff.  I have lived fluff.  Perhaps I am fluff?  It doesn't matter.  God is good.  He has a purpose for me as he has a purpose for you.
Thank You, Lord, for this great gift of life!

Praise to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!!!!

 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Holy Days of Obligation and a Calendar link

Public Domain 
You might not realize this, but every Sunday is a
Holy Day of Obligation.
What does this mean?
In a nutshell, a tiny one at that, a
Holy Day of Obligation
is a day on which you must attend Mass.

What?  Do you mean I have to go to Mass every Sunday?
Yes, you do or participate in the vigil Mass which is a Saturday, and that is only if you cannot attend a 
Sunday Mass.

Many Catholics, today, don't realize that attending Mass is a duty, not a desire or want.

You don't want to attend because you're tired?
  There are exceptions, but please consult with the pastor of your church before you make that exception.

One exception that you can give yourself is when you are ill.
If you have the flu or a very bad cold, please stay home.
Really, the rest of us don't want you there.
The Church allows this exemption, but remember, a sneeze, by itself, is not a cold.
You must be truly ill to miss Mass on the weekend.

There are 6 other Holy Days of obligation during the year.
They are: 

The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God,
The Ascension of Jesus,
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
All Saints Day,
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception,
and
Christmas. 

On these days, like each Sunday of the year, you must attend Mass unless you have an exemption from your parish priest.  

Attending Mass on Sundays is a basic precept of the Catholic Church.
It is a requirement for us to gather together and worship God as a Church.
Each time we celebrate the Mass with the priest we become one body in Christ.
 Important to attend Mass?
Yes, I think so.
Questions?  Consult your pastor.  
 


 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Worth Repeating: Praying With Your Fingers, Thoughts from Pope Francis

I was searching the internet looking for quotes about prayer that came from Pope Francis when I stumbled on the Pope's method of intercessory prayer using your fingers.

You can read the entire article

HERE.

I highly recommend that you read the article.  It's very interesting.

This is a quick break down taken from the article, and I quote::

"1. The thumb is the closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones is a “sweet obligation.”

    2. The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.

    3. The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God’s guidance.

    4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even that it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.

    5. And finally we have our smallest finger, the smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way."





Simply put::
The thumb reminds you to pray for those closest to you.
The index finger reminds you to pray for those who teach or heal.
The middle finger reminds you to pray for our leaders and all those in authority.
The ring finger reminds you to pray for the sick, those whose lives are full of problems, those who are weak.
The smallest finger reminds you to pray for yourself.

Thank you, Pope Francis.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cleaning the Kitty Litter.

I would be a big, fat liar if I said that I enjoyed the job of scooping poop or cleaning the litter boxes.

God know, 
and He really does,
how much I hate these tasks, 
but,
when it's something that needs to be done,
you do it.


Paul seems to agree in Romans 7: 15

"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."

Yes, I hate cleaning kitty litter and scooping the poop,
but 
what does this have to do with God?

This is a Catholic blog, right?

Since Adam and Eve were escorted out of the Garden for their sins, all people became subject to the baseness of sin, with the exception of the 
Mother of God 
who was conceived without the stain of original sin on her soul.  
Other than Mother Mary,
there is no one who has not sinned.
There is no one who does not deserve to die because they have injured God through our sins.

Paul was also a sinful man.  He was no exception.  However, after his conversion, Paul sought holiness and perfection.
He felt frustration because, despite his best efforts, he continued to sin.

"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.  So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me."
Romans 7: 15-18

Paul was given one particular temptation.  We don't know what it was, but he refers to this temptation/sin as a "thorn in his side."  Paul felt that this was God's way of keeping him 
humble.
The Lord answered Paul, too.

"And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.  Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;  but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. "

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 

Like the rest of us who struggle with the sin condition, we can look to St. Paul as an example.
Remember, the Lord said to him,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

When we step aside, and let God be God, whether we ask for relief from a sin condition, we give God the room He needs to work in our souls.  
God wants to be God for us.
So many times, we don't trust Him to take care of our needs, 
but,
when we move over and say,
"Lord, help.  I can't do this on my own."
He smiles.
When we say, "I submit to Your Holy Will,"
He moves in our lives.

Now, what do you think He might do, if I said,
"Ok, Lord, the litter box stinks."
He might make me aware of a better litter, but I don't think He'll let me get out of cleaning the boxes.

Sigh.

Lord, I offer this chore to You.
I really don't like it, but we both know it has to be done.
Thank you for the gift of the kitties.
I offer up everything to You
for Your Honor and Glory!
Yes, even the smell.
Praise to You,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Praise!
  
 
 


Monday, August 10, 2015

He's Making Me Work Hard on This Tonight...

Before I begin to write,
I usually offer up a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit.
I also ask Him to direct my writing so that it might be pleasing to Him.
 I did the same tonight.

He's making me work hard tonight.

 I'm not sure what this post will yield.
That's up to the Holy Spirit.
May this journey be interesting.


 "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created
and 
You will renew the face of the earth.
Amen."

The Catholic blogging world has many wonderful writers.  I love to read what they post.
Of course, the majority of writers are not priests or nuns.
Usually, these women and men are experienced, faith filled writers.  Some are priests and religious.  Most are not, but they seek to follow Pope Francis' plea to evangelize the world.

These Catholic writers tackle topics of controversy in our modern world.
They teach us to  grow closer to God in prayer.
They teach us how to live our lives in the Catholic way.
They give us information about the world that is Catholic.
They give us the other side of the story, the one the world does not acknowledge.
They teach us truth and wisdom.
 Each one is blessed with a special gift from God, and that is the ability to write and be understood.

If you take nothing else away from this post, just know that there are those who seek to write and teach the way of the Lord through the written word.

Pray for Catholic bloggers.
Trust me, we need it.
We pray for you and we hope that you are inspired by what we write.

Thank, You, Holy Spirit. 
I had no idea that this post would be about Catholic Bloggers.
I hope You are pleased.
Amen.

 







 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ending the Week with Praise and Thanksgiving!

God never ceases to love us and gift us each day with that love.
Sometimes the love is shown in sorrow and tears.
Sometimes that love is shown in joy and surprise.
However God shows us His Unending Love,
He shows us in ways that are unique to us and in ways that bring us closer to Him.
Here are a few of the ways God touched my life this week.

1) When my dear daughter's hair began to fall out from the chemo,
my dear son offered to shave her hair for her.  She accepted.  When he was finished shaving her hair, he sat down in the chair where she was sitting, handed her the the razor and said, "Now, it's your turn."
What joy God brought into our hearts that night!

2)  Even though I cannot get to daily Mass right now, God is bringing me closer to Him.  I began, and SHOCK upon SHOCK, a 54 day Rosary novena.  27 days are spent in petition.  27 days are spent in Thanksgiving.  Miracle upon miracle, and I mean that literally, this person who has an extremely difficult time saying more than one or two days of a 9 day novena, has kept up with this Rosary novena.
God is so good!

3) In national news, Planned Parenthood is finally being shown to be the barbaric institution it is.  Those who went in and filmed the documentation deserve our praise for their courage.  
May God bless them and keep them for helping to save the lives of babies in the womb.  
If only one life is saved, their work, though not finished, has had a direct impact on God's most helpless children.  
Praise God!

Dear Lord, 
The song "Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow" is swirling in my head.  We do praise You and adore You, and we thank You for the greatness of Your Glory.
Help us, Oh Lord, in all we do, to bring Your Goodness and Love to all on earth.  May they be richer for having known us, for it will be through us that they know You.

We Praise You!
We Bless You!
We Adore You!
We Thank You!
We Submit Ourselves to Your Most Holy Will!

Amen!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

5 Things You Really Need to Know About God...

JMJ

 There are some things we really need to know about God.
It doesn't matter who you are or which faith you practice,
you do need to know something about God.


1) There is only 1 God, but there are three persons in one God.
Like an egg which consists of the shell, the yolk, which is yellow, and the albumen, which is the white of the egg.  All three parts go into the egg, yet, it is only one egg.

God the Father.
(Creator)
God the Son,
(Redeemer)
God, the Holy Spirit,
(The Paraclete)



2) God is Love.  Love is all that God is.  He is a being of love as are each of His parts.  God is called the Father, because He created all that is, was, and ever will be out of love.   His name is Father because He loves all. The Son, out of love, became Human and Lived among us for 33 years. He willingly gave His life that we may live eternally.  He redeemed us and restored the entire human race to the level of "friend," not slave.  The Holy Spirit is the breath of God's love.  He gives the spiritual gifts that God sends to us for love of us.  He is love.


3) In spite of the fact that God wishes all of us to live eternally in heaven with Him, He has endowed us with the gift of free will.  He allows us, through the gift of free will, to choose our destiny of heaven or hell.  In each we will live eternally.  God tells us that His graces are enough for us.  Yet, He loves us enough to let us choose our way, even if it is not His Way.

4) The love of God is unending.  He is ready to welcome the repentant sinner back with arms outstretched and love in His heart.  He forgives us our sins.  He gives the imperfect, and that is most of us, the gift of Purgatory where we can become purified before we enter the Kingdom of God.  God never stops loving us, even if we separate ourselves from Him.

5) God never changes.  He is always the same.  He is love.  He is hope.  He is peace.  He is eternal.
God loves us as no one else can.  We are His children.  As with any earthly father, God wants only the best for us.  He never changes.  He is all we long for on earth.  He is everything we seek in the life after death.  God is love.