Friday, December 24, 2010
We've been blessed with our first grandchild and between keeping him a couple a days a week and other writing...well it's been a bit wild.
Here this Christmas Eve I have a quiet moment to pray you all have a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with God's love.
As the years pass along, it's easier to see His love working and moving in so many ways. He is always there, sometimes we just fail to see Him.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Pray for the unborn, pray for the women and men wounded by abortion.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
If we could only stop to pray before our emotions gain control of our mouth and action!
The last line is a beautiful illustration of prayer bringing God to earth and His Spirit, through this prayer, lifting us to Heaven. Here we find a Father who only wishes to embrace His children, to comfort and love.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
~ St. Clare of Assisi
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
My brothers and sisters, question your heart, and if you cannot find
love of neighbor there set your mind at ease. Such love cannot exist
without the Spirit of God. Paul the Apostle bears witness to this: "The
love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us."
-- Sermon on 1 John 6, 10
This was posted on facebook today. When I read this, I thought about this truth. We are taught to try and see others through God's eyes. Even though on an intellectual level I've understood this for years, I haven't applied it.
Our prayer should be: Lord, help me to see others through your Heart...The Heart of a love like no other. Remind me to turn to you for the illumination of the Holy Spirit. For if the love in my heart is smoldering, the charity of your Heart is exploding, and your Holiness is the fire that lights up the world. Thank you for looking beyond our puny hearts and toward what you desire for us. We love you and ask you to help us love you more. In loving you Lord, we find the ease to love others because of you! Amen
Thursday, June 10, 2010
0 Sacred Heart of Jesus, I Place My Trust in Thee
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee,
Whatever may befall me, Lord, though dark the hour may be;
In all my woes, in all my joys, though nought but grief I see,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee.
When those I loved have passed away, and I am sore distressed,
0 Sacred Heart of Jesus, I fly to Thee for rest.
In all my trials, great or small, my confidence shall be
Unshaken as I cry, dear Lord, I place my trust in Thee.
This is my one sweet prayer, dear Lord, my faith, my trust, my love,
But most of all in that last hour, when death points up above,
O sweet Savior, may Thy face smile on my soul all free.
Oh may I cry with rapturous love, I've placed my trust inThee.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
For those who do not know, a chaplet is in the form of a traditional rosary but doesn’t have quite as many beads. Like the rosary it is used for prayer and reflection. There are many chaplets, but the new one covered in this post is called the USA Chaplet.
The dear lady who prayed about and brought us this new chaplet is named Mary. She has the Nihil Obstat from her local bishop, and this devotion is now available for the faithful. The USA Chaplet is a much needed prayer for our country. For decades we’ve seen our society sinking due to decaying morals.
The USA Chaplet consists of a Trinity Crucifix, Scapular center piece, 30 beads and is in the colors of the USA which also reflects the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Our Lady. Each group includes the Trinity and Our Lady, hence the 4 beads. The Pater's are in a deeper Royal blue because God is the King of the universe.
On the Crucifix we pray The Creed
1st bead from Crucifix pray the Our Father (clear/white - The Father's Love & Mercy)
2nd bead from Crucifix pray the Fatima prayer (red - Precious Blood of Jesus)
3rd bead from Crucifix pray the Glory be (clear/white - The Spirit's Guidance & Power)
4th bead from Crucifix pray the Hail Mary (light blue - for Mary & obedience)
5th bead from Crucifix pray for Help for the most vulnerable as follows:
"Merciful Lord, please protect and save the most vulnerable; the unborn, disabled, sick, elderly and those that know not Your Love and Mercy."
The Creed – Pray on the Crucifix
Our Father/Lord's Prayer/Pater – 1st bead
[Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4]
Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen
Fatima Prayer – 2nd bead
Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell ... lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy. Amen
Glory be – 3rd bead
Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen
Hail Mary/Ave – 4th bead
[Luke 1:28-35, 42-48]
Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Then pray 5 groups of 4 beads preceded by a Pater:
On the chain before the Pater's: Pray,"Most loving Father, may Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
On the Pater's: Pray, "Sweetest Jesus, for the sake of those that love You, by merit of Your Holy Passion, lift not Your Protective Hand from us and please bless the USA!"
On the Ave's: Pray, "Eternal God, united to the Perfect & Holy Passion of Jesus, we offer You our joys, sorrows, breaths, heartbeats and tears to strengthen the faithful, renew the lukewarm, restore the fallen away and convert the proud."
In Conclusion: Pray, "Merciful Father, whose tender Love has no bounds, grant, in Your Goodness and Mercy that we always embrace Your Perfect Will in all things with a joyful heart. Please cover us with the Precious Blood of Jesus in which we trust and rely. Send the Holy Spirit to renew our souls and our land that it may bring You honor and glory and we may, once again, be a nation under God! Bring us daily closer to the Sacred & Immaculate Hearts and increase our Faith that we may always strengthen each other, in Jesus' Name. Amen."
Click here to order your USA Chaplet
Monday, April 5, 2010
An Orthodox friend likes to tease me about Catholics "making" the Sign of The Cross backwards. Instead of going to the left shoulder then right, the Orthodox go from right to left. Because my Catholic rite is Maronite, I know Eastern Catholics also go from right to left. It is a difference in customs between the Western and
Some Christian faiths think making this sign is "ritual without reality." People should be mindful of why they are making this sign, but people should be mindful with all prayer. One of the Early Church Fathers, Tertullian (160-220 A.D.) remarked "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out…at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down,…we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross." Originally it is believed the cross was made with the thumb on the forehead only, as still used today during Ash Wednesday. Eventually the cross moved from just the forehead to a motion from the forehead to the chest or stomach and each shoulder. The Orthodox press the ring and pinky finger to their palm and their thumb touches the remaining index and middle fingers' tip. The two fingers on the palm represent the Incarnation. The other three fingers symbolize the Trinity. Most Latin rite Catholics make the sign with all five fingers open, signifying the five wounds of Christ. Either way is fine and both are beautiful and mindful of Our Lord.
Converts to the Church often ask why we make a small cross on our forehead, our lips and our chest before the Gospel. When the Gospel is about to be proclaimed, we make the sign on the forehead so we will keep the Word in our thoughts, next on our lips, reminding us to speak the Word in truth and finally on our chest, storing the Word of God in our hearts.
Is this ritual without reality? Absolutely not, it is the reality of a prayerful communion with the Trinity. When this sign is performed with holy water it is a renewal of our Baptismal promise. The Sign of the Cross is a remembrance of the love of Christ, His sacrifice for all mankind and His awesome gift of eternal life.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Today at church, we were listening to a meditation on the Stations of the Cross. We were reflecting on the tenth station where Jesus is mocked and stripped. As the narrator was reading about the mocking, a crow appeared at the window in front of us. He strutted and stopped to crow several times. Of course it sounded like, "caw." He continued to do this through the tenth station. At the end of this station he flew to a nearby branch. While we contemplated the eleventh station of Christ being crucified, he flitted around on this branch but didn't make a sound. The twelfth station arrived and we focused on the death of Christ. At the end of this station he flew away.
I thought it was an interesting event in light of what we were doing. This crow proposed an analogy of ~ could this be a mocking of Christ or a mocking of those persecuting Him? It could go either way. Do we speak against others, or do we speak up for them? Do we deny them compassion or do we love them as they are?
Easter is a time of reflection. Who knew that reflection would actually come through the window in the form of a crow?!
A Blessed and Happy Easter to all!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
"For where there is division and wrath, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop" (ibid., 8).
"[The Gnostic disciples of Marcus] have deluded many women. . . . Their consciences have been branded as with a hot iron. Some of these women make a public confession, but others are ashamed to do this, and in silence, as if withdrawing from themselves the hope of the life of God, they either apostatize entirely or hesitate between the two courses" (Against Heresies [A.D. 189]).
"[Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness" (Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).
"[The bishop conducting the ordination of the new bishop shall pray:] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Pour forth now that power which comes from you, from your royal Spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and which he bestowed upon his holy apostles . . . and grant this your servant, whom you have chosen for the episcopate, [the power] to feed your holy flock and to serve without blame as your high priest, ministering night and day to propitiate unceasingly before your face and to offer to you the gifts of your holy Church, and by the Spirit of the high priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command" (Apostolic Tradition 3 [A.D. 215]).
"The apostle [Paul] likewise bears witness and says: ‘ . . . Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. ]. But [the impenitent] spurn and despise all these warnings; before their sins are expiated, before they have made a confession of their crime, before their conscience has been purged in the ceremony and at the hand of the priest . . . they do violence to [the Lord’s] body and blood, and with their hands and mouth they sin against the Lord more than when they denied him" (The Lapsed 15:1–3 (A.D. 251]).
"Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who . . . confess their sins to the priests of God in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience. . . . I beseech you, brethren, let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, while the satisfaction and remission made through the priests are still pleasing before the Lord" (ibid., 28).
"[S]inners may do penance for a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of Communion. [But now some] with their time [of penance] still unfulfilled . . . they are admitted to Communion, and their name is presented; and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the Eucharist is given to them; although it is written, ‘Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]" (Letters 9:2 [A.D. 253]).
"And do not think, dearest brother, that either the courage of the brethren will be lessened, or that martyrdoms will fail for this cause, that penance is relaxed to the lapsed, and that the hope of peace [i.e., absolution] is offered to the penitent. . . . For to adulterers even a time of repentance is granted by us, and peace is given" (ibid., 51:20).
"But I wonder that some are so obstinate as to think that repentance is not to be granted to the lapsed, or to suppose that pardon is to be denied to the penitent, when it is written, ‘Remember whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works’ [Rev. 2:5], which certainly is said to him who evidently has fallen, and whom the Lord exhorts to rise up again by his deeds [of penance], because it is written, ‘Alms deliver from death’ [Tob. 12:9]" (ibid., 51:22).
Basil the Great
"It is necessary to confess our sins to those to whom the dispensation of God’s mysteries is entrusted. Those doing penance of old are found to have done it before the saints. It is written in the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist [Matt. 3:6], but in Acts  they confessed to the apostles" (Rules Briefly Treated 288 [A.D. 374]).
"Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? ‘Whose sins you shall forgive,’ he says, ‘they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.’ What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men [Matt. 10:40; John 20:21–23]. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven" (The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).
"For those to whom [the right of binding and loosing] has been given, it is plain that either both are allowed, or it is clear that neither is allowed. Both are allowed to the Church, neither is allowed to heresy. For this right has been granted to priests only" (Penance 1:1 [A.D. 388]).
"If the serpent, the devil, bites someone secretly, he infects that person with the venom of sin. And if the one who has been bitten keeps silence and does not do penance, and does not want to confess his wound . . . then his brother and his master, who have the word [of absolution] that will cure him, cannot very well assist him" (Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:11 [A.D. 388]).
"When you shall have been baptized, keep to a good life in the commandments of God so that you may preserve your baptism to the very end. I do not tell you that you will live here without sin, but they are venial sins which this life is never without. Baptism was instituted for all sins. For light sins, without which we cannot live, prayer was instituted. . . . But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the body of Christ. Perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities. That is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice to blot them out. . . . In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptisms, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance" (Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed , [A.D. 395]).
Click here for my latest examiner article on the Sacrament of Reconciliation!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You I am in darkness.
Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
When I was a small child, I was afraid of the dark. A night light stayed on all night, but my mother stayed with me every night, until I fell asleep. If I waked up, and she wasn’t there, I’d call for her. It’s funny how things change. Now I cannot stand any light when trying to sleep at night.
My previous posts on Padre Pio’s prayer touched on the first three lines. Each begins with, Stay with me, Lord... This fourth line seems so simple, but like so many times we find the profound in the simple.
How odd it seems to ask Our Lord to stay with us. It is us that walk away. For me, these four words mean don’t let me stray from You, and I want to add EVER!!! Because when I turn away from Him for even just a second, I’m headed in the wrong direction. And no matter how bright the day, I’m blind. I am blind even in good actions. My motive has to be questioned.
How many times during the day do I turn from Him? I don’t want know the answer. I just want to know that like the single flame of a candle in the night, He will be there when I’m in darkness, and He will answer when I call.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
I met LaNelle through facebook. We found out she and my mother worked together many years ago at a department store called Kenningtons. Then imagine my surprise when I found out, that many years ago, she lived near my mother-in-law and had visited her not that long before our meeting.
Though I've never met LaNelle in person (she lives on the west coast, and I in the south), I have learned a valuable lesson of the love of God from her. She told me each stitch was stitched with love. Isn't that something? Here she sends me a blanket to wrap around myself, and in doing so, her love wraps around me. It's like getting a hug from her. She's shown me God reaches out to us from places we've never dreamed of!
Through these months, I've learned a lot about LaNelle. She's shared stories of her life, photos and stories of her family and friends. I can tell she is enthusiastic about life and loved by many. I am so blessed to be in that crowd.
Dear Lord, thank you for all the friends you send our way. Thank you for LaNelle, and please keep her and her family safe in your Heart! And when her quilt wraps those through the coming years, help us remember the warmth of your love too! Amen
THANK YOU LANELLE!!!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
I was reading this again this evening, and that part of ... Thoroughly wash me from my guilt...struck me. Often after we are cleansed of our sins, we still carry the guilt. Don't we carry guilt over things that aren't even caused by our sins? An example would be as a parent, I experience guilt over something concerning my child. I feel guilty, like maybe I am not a good parent, and I have failed in this aspect. I found it interesting the next part was ...and of my sin cleanse me. Sometimes the sin is not believing God truly forgives us, so we hold on to the guilt. The guilt of the sin itself and the guilt of how it affected others. Am I rambling here? :)
I've always believed that even a sin done in the dark is like a rock thrown into water. The ripple effect spreads out and affects the Universe in ways we cannot imagine. The Body of Christ is wounded by sin. So my prayer is this ~ Dearest Lord, my sins wound your Body. Help me to see that when I seek forgiveness for my sins, I am helping not only myself to heal but also contributing to the healing of the Body of Christ. Amen
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
During the time the icon was in my home, I think I just enjoyed reflecting on the Christ Child. How amazing it is that the God of Eternity, came to live and be with us. He humbled Himself, so that by His example we could all have eternal life. I often think of the many ways He revealed Himself to mankind before the Nativity. A humorous thought pops into my mind. I picture Him saying, "well they still don't get it. I'm going to have to go and show them myself."
One thing I found for sure, is when praying through art each individual sees something different. Take the cord around the scroll Jesus is holding. There are seven cords wrapped around the scroll. Mr. Fowler said, "The scroll in his left hand is wrapped seven times with a string. This I feel is the need to read and follow the Scriptures daily in our lives." How interesting. Seven days make a week and he saw daily studying and following of Scripture. I also thought of the seven, but I thought of seven as the number of the Old Testament covenant. The creation story of seven days, the seven Sacraments of the Church. (Sacrament is Latin for covenant or oath). Jesus pours out grace on us through these Sacraments. The Sacraments are not something we do for or to God, but powerful avenues of His grace. These physical signs point us toward the spiritual, infusing us with the love and guidance of Our Heavenly Family.
As of lately, I am realizing, my existence is not what I can do for God. My reason for being is what can God do through me? He can do all things, if I lay aside self and become the channel of His desire.
Blessed Trinity, through the precious heart of the Christ Child, help us to remember to be still and recognize when you are working through us. Help us to lay aside the obstacles we place in your way, and help us to be loving examples of you! Amen
Thursday, January 14, 2010
As I gaze upon the original icon of the Child Jesus, I am drawn to several reflections. The first is from Sister M. Helen Weiser, OSC. She states, “The profound beauty of an icon is gentle. It does not force its way, it does not intrude. It asks for patience without the uneasiness of early acquaintance. It asks for times spent before it in stillness of gazing. More important, it asks the one praying to allow himself to gaze on it. One must yield space within himself to admire the icon and its persistent beauty. An icon is a prayer transferred to art. When exquisite art combines with prayer, it becomes a work of worship and wonder. The art becomes a sacramental. It manifests to us God who came through all signs and symbols with truth.”
The second reflection is from Brother Claude, the artist of this particular icon. When I asked what the icon meant he stated the following, “The view we have of Christ in the icon is that of the Father, God looking down from heaven. It is also the view of
As I have gazed and prayed for the past 14 years I have been given much in terms of the will of God, love, obedience, humility, poverty, labor, kindness, suffering and charity. The icon lettering reads, JESUS CHRIST – HE WHO IS. Each color in the icon has significance to me. The brown hay has its earth tone color. The blanket which Jesus is about to be wrapped in has red stripes, representing the blood He will give for us, and the white background signifies His purity. The blue ribbon will be used to hold the blanket secure to Jesus. This I feel is for the Blessed Mother Mary who will always help us remain close to Her Son Jesus. The nakedness of Jesus shows us His openness and willingness to love us unconditionally. The clutched right hand on his shoulder reminds us to take up our cross daily and follow Him with peace, trust and love. The scroll in his left hand is wrapped seven times with a string. This I feel is the need to read and follow the Scriptures daily in our lives. The legs are crossed under the child Jesus, reminding us that the steps we take in our “road of life” will always be with Christ if we remain close to the wood of the crib and the wood of the cross.
I have left the head of Christ for the last. The eyes are not looking directly at you. I feel this is important so that we will look to God the Father’s will first. We then look in love and service to our fellow man as Jesus did, before we look at self.
Blessed is he who possesses
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
There were also some survivors of the Hiroshima blast, a group of Jesuit Priests. These men give credit for their miracle to the rosary. Click here to read their fascinating story!