Friday, December 24, 2010

I've been gone too long...Merry Christmas!

I've been away from this blog so long, I forgot my login! Thankfully, I found where I did write it down.

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. 

So peeking into the manger we find, in the crib sleeping, the sweetest babe...the Savior of the world.   Where do you find Him resting this Holy Season, and have you joined Him for awhile?  It's not too late!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For the newly engaged, newly married, still married and everybody else too!

Today, I stopped by a business I frequent from time to time. The two ladies who own and run the place often stop and chat with me. One was leaving, but the other asked me if I knew her husband had died recently. She told me how he’d suffered over the years; she spoke briefly about their life and about his last days. We even found out her late husband and my husband retired from the same police department.

This lady told me an older woman came in one day and told her, “At least your husband died loving you.” The older woman’s husband had left her years ago for another woman. Obviously it still hurt after all these years. When I heard that I told the lady who’d recently lost her husband how true the fact of having a loving marriage through it all was special. I told her one thing my own husband has taught me, through his actions and words, was to say “Thank you.” I have to say his example, even after twelve years, has opened my eyes to the need of sharing appreciation. She smiled and said her husband did the same thing. She said he told her thank you, and he said it often. I left with thankfulness again for the husband God has sent me.

When my husband and I married, our priest said sometimes the three most important words aren’t always, “I love you.” Sometimes the most important words are, “I need you.” We can be independent men or independent women, and sometimes it is hard to voice our needs. It can be difficult to share a new life with someone or old life for that matter. The key word is “share.” However, the key is to acknowledge the need for each other and to say those words of, “thank you.”

On the way home, I started to think about how this relates to Jesus as the Groom and the Church as His Bride. We know our need for Him and why we should continually be thankful. The question is how does Jesus need us? The answer is He doesn’t, but in love He gives us the ability to be needed by Him. He needs our hands, our feet, and our witness to His heart. He has shown His appreciation for us by sacrificing Himself and opening the door to eternal life with Him.

Like the groom for his bride, Jesus’ desire is for our gaze and heart to belong to Him alone. God has the ability to do whatever He chooses, but He gave us free will. Why would He do this? Maybe because He knows a forced love is not true. He could force us to love Him, and we would truly love Him, but it wouldn’t be freely given. By giving us free will, He knows when we come to Him through a relationship of discovery we will find we love Him the Creator of love. Though we may come through much pain, worry, sorrow and life’s troubles, we acknowledge the blessings of joy, friendship and love. No matter our lot in life we have reason to be thankful. The one physically wounded may still be thankful for a whole mind and spirit. The one spiritually wounded may still be thankful for a whole physical life….and the list goes on.

We finally arrive at a thankfulness of not only how God has fulfilled our needs, but even at times our wants. He delights in giving us the desires of our heart even unto the death of His Son. We stand before Him and say, “O Lord how we love you. We love you for being there through it all. We love you for not holding back even a small bit of yourself. We love you for teaching us the meaning of life, even though sometimes it hurt. We love you because you’ve shown us how to love. We are thankful for all you have given to us. We thank you for every breath we’ve ever taken, especially for the one of life you breathed into us. Lord we can never thank you and love you enough.” I envision His response to be one where He stands with open arms and says, “My love has forever existed for you, and my Heart has only ached for your love in return.” His wounds eternally present remind me how He has loved us and does love us. The Lamb slaughtered by our sinfulness bears the marks of a pure One willing to take on what He didn’t deserve. He knows His Bride is not spotless but He makes Her perfect. He presents us to His Father who sees us through eyes of pure love. Jesus not only does this because He loves us, but because He knows we need Him. This is where we should find the vision of love…unselfish and true love.


Father, we thank you and love you for loving us into existence. Jesus, we thank you and love you for loving us to your death. Holy Spirit we thank you and love you for bringing the fire of your love to us.

We believe Lord, help our unbelief. Amen

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sanctity of Life

‎" While still in the womb of Mary - Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth. The unborn was the first one to proclaim the coming of Christ." Blessed Mother Teresa

Pray for the unborn, pray for the women and men wounded by abortion.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Prayer Quote

Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven. -- St. Ephraem

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

United to suffer

“You must be joined together in a close union of mind and heart, which is stronger and far more formidable to the world and to hell than are the armed forces of a great nation to its enemies. Evil spirits are united to destroy you; you must be united to crush them. The avaricious are united to make money and amass gold... and silver; you must combine your efforts to acquire the eternal treasures hidden in the Cross. Pleasure-seekers unite to enjoy themselves; you must be united to suffer.” ~ St. Louis de Montfort

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quote about our Lord's Baptism

The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism.

~St. Ambrose of Milan

I've never seen this quote, but I think it is so beautiful and quite profound.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vessels of God's compassionate love for others

"We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others. "

~ St. Clare of Assisi

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

May we pray for each other?

I am finding it difficult to blog and write a column for, so I've decided to make this blog mostly one of prayer. Every now and then, there may be a thought or quote thrown in.

I've prayed about this because I've thought about shutting the blog down. I pray for my readers, past, present and future, so the thought came to me, to ask what your needs are. I'm asking each of you to respond to the requests you see here with prayer too. In a sense we will all be praying for each other. For now, I'm making this post a general prayer request post. Later, maybe we can categorize special needs. If you need a prayer partner, please leave a comment with your prayer request. You don't have to leave your name or name people. God knows who we are all!

I'll start with a prayer intention.

God, our Father, please give peace and understanding to all who read these words. Give them eyes of faith, a heart of hope and the reality of Your love. Shower them with your grace, and keep your angels around them. Watch over those they love. Also Father, please grant special graces to those who have nobody to pray for them. Lead them in Your Spirit and light to their place in Your Kingdom through Jesus' most Sacred Heart. Amen
PLEASE REMEMBER I have comment moderation, so people who write ugly things won't be published. So far, it's been in Chinese only (the ugly comments), but that's why I have it. If your post takes awhile to show up, that is why.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Such love cannot exist without the Spirit of God

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."
St. Augustine
-- 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

Sacred Heart Prayer

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

Heart's Ponder

"True virtue has no limits, but goes on and on, and especially holy charity, which is the virtue of virtues, and which having a definite object, would become infinite if it could meet with a heart capable of infinity." -St. Francis de Sales

How beautiful is this quote? ...if it could meet with a heart capable of infinity!

What does this say to you?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The USA Chaplet NEW

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

Is the meaning behind the Sign of the Cross prayerful or ritual without reality?

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 Eastern Churches. So being with my Orthodox friend should feel a bit like home to me.

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

A Crow arrives at the Tenth Station of the Cross

Before I tell you this quick story, I want to make it clear I do not believe crows are evil. My married name means "keeper of the raven," and these are creatures of God. I find the blue-black winged birds to be rather beautiful. Now on to the story.

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

WOW WOW WOW Christians and Muslims celebrate the Annuciation together

Good news for a change! Click on good news to read about the holiday celebrated by Christians and Muslims.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great Prayer Need

I am directing you to another blog by Da Mihi Animas.
Click here to read about the Senate Health Bill including taxpayer funding of abortion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some Early Church Fathers' teachings on the Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Confession

Ignatius of Antioch

"For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of penance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Philadelphians 3 [A.D. 110]).

"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 1:22 [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]).

Cyprian of Carthage

"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. 11:27]. 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[55]: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[55]: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 [19:18] they confessed to the apostles" (Rules Briefly Treated 288 [A.D. 374]).

John Chrysostom

"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]).

Ambrose of Milan

"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 7:15, 8:16 [A.D. 395]).


Click here for my latest examiner article on the Sacrament of Reconciliation!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Time Change is a Good Time to Change

For this part of the country and many others, we will experience "spring forward" this evening or in the morning. As much as I wish we didn't go through this every Fall and Spring, I guess it is a good time for reflection.

Throw me in the pile with everyone else who doesn't like change! The reason, I suspect, is because there is security in staying the same. We know what to expect in our little world. However, nothing stays the same. Eventually we grow older, our circle of friends may change or grow, our families change, and our view of life changes. The reflection in the mirror may change, our understanding of God's love may change, but He remains the same. Maybe the lesson He is trying to teach, is even if our changing world causes the seas of our life to be choppy or calm, He is our stability. He is our security, our anchor, and our light. If we keep our eyes on Him, the time of our life ~ will be an eternity spent in heaven!

Lord, help me to accept the inevitable changes in life. Help me to make good use of the time you've given me, and help me to relish that time ~ with those I share it with! Amen

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stay with me, Lord ~ St. Padre Pio

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

Missing when missing daily Mass

This week, I made it to Mass three times. That's up from one time last week. Well technically I guess it was two times this week, because today was a Communion service. Anyway, missing this special time with Our Lord may or may not show up to others, but I can certainly feel it.

Today I was asked to do the readings, and the reading on Joseph and his brothers seemed appropriate! How much he must have missed his family, especially his father. We know the story of how he was sold into slavery and eventually was the reason his family survived famine. This is another example of God taking something really bad and turning it into something really good! But Joseph's heart had to be heavy as he longed for his father.

The separation is what stands out to me today. When I'm away, the day seems so different. It may not be something I can put my finger on, but it is a feeling of having missed out on what is the best part of my day.

Unlike Joseph, we don't have to wait years to be with God our Father, but it's not like that for everyone. In some parts of the world people are not free to attend Mass, and others don't have Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Eucharist is thanksgiving, and I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to participate. More importantly, I don't want to miss out on Communion with Our Lord. And I suspect that "something missing" is a heart longing for the Love of it's life, a longing sometimes hard to define. It's a longing only He can calm with a love only He can give!

Lord, thank you for being the Lamb of God. Thank you for loving us, and thank you for calling us. Amen!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quilting and love!

The photo of the quilt on this blog was made for me by Mrs. LaNelle Renfroe Johnson.

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


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Telling God about our Wants and Needs

One of my recent readings, was about laying all our desires in front of God. We don't ever have to make an appointment with Him, but it doesn't hurt to picture ourselves putting our business or life plan on His desk. Keep in mind, God is the ultimate boss! He knows what is going on, and He will work things out. Why then do we have to even tell or ask? All prayer is a communion with Our Lord, and sometimes we have to ask and tell because we don't have a clear understanding of what we want and need in our lives. It is an opportunity for God to communicate our true desire because He truly knows us better than we know ourselves.

Sometimes when I look back over my life, I am thankful God didn't give me what I was asking for at the time. And even though waiting is still difficult, it is easier knowing that waiting on His will is best for me. It comes down to a matter of trust...trusting Him to lead us through this journey.

Dearest Lord, thank you for watching my steps and keeping me from paths not meant for me. Help me to remember some wants may not be good for me. Help me to remember my true needs are in your hands. Help me to remember your will is the best design for my life and the awesome manifestation of your Glory! Amen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Washing Away Guilt

Our Responsorial Psalm today was from Psalm 51.

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


Hi fellow bloggers and readers. I've been a lazy blogger lately. Maybe I should start a blog titled The Lazy Blogger. I'm sure someone has already done it! One of the reasons I'm having a difficult time is I am experiencing some blurry vision, sometimes in my left eye, sometimes in my right. The eye doctor didn't see anything out of order, so I'm headed to my General Practice doctor late in March. It was the earliest I could get an appointment. The blurriness is not present everyday. Anyway, God willing, we'll get to the root of the problem here soon! I hope you are all doing well, and you are always in my prayers. God bless you all, Margaret

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Prayer and Art ~ Again

My last post was on the Baby Jesus icon and one man's prayer through this painting. Mr. Fowler allowed me to take the icon to my home for awhile. He's done this with other people from time to time, and he asks each person or family to sign the back before returning the icon to him. Since that time, I've looked and looked for a Baby Jesus icon to no avail.

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

Prayer and Art ~ One Man's View of the Baby Jesus Icon

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 St. Joseph as the Child Jesus lies in the manger atop his swaddling clothes. He is about to be tied up in them (a symbol of taking on human flesh). He is God’s “word” in the world…and that is underlined by the scroll in His hand (again tied up parchment ~ flesh). Jesus gazes lovingly on His mother as He mourns the loss of God the Father’s direct presence. Soon He will look to Joseph and be consoled. Will He find the same love and consolation if He looks upon us?”

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.

Finally the icon gives us the simple gift of Him, asking us only to know, love and serve Him in this life so that we may have eternal happiness when He calls us to our eternal home. Are you ready for the next step in love and service through surrender, trust and joy in your heart with the support of the cross? ~ Bill Fowler

Blessed is he who possesses Bethlehem in his heart and in whose heart Christ is born daily ~ St. Jerome

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Rosary and the Miracle of Surviving Hiroshima

Today Tsutomu Yamaguchi died at age 93. He is Japan's only known survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic blasts. I pray he rests in peace.

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!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year So Far?

I hope everyone is having a Happy New Year! Blessings and peace are my wishes for your journey this year. :)