Monday, December 31, 2012

Do you want a Patron Saint for the 2013?

Catholics are extremely blessed to know that we can turn to the Saints in Heaven to help us anytime. I marvel at the fact that us "peasants of the Kingdom of God" can go to the Queen anytime to lay our needs before her, and she will bring them to Jesus for us. This is a marvel in our eyes! For we can't go to any leader and do that. I mean I can't call Mrs. Obama! But I have access to many brothers and sisters in Christ to aid me on this journey of faith to God. And a Queen to boot!!! Awesome!

As I read a  Catholic woman's blog this morning, I decided to pass on the site she posted about being given a Patron Saint for 2013. Click on this Site and email them if you want to be sent a patron saint for the new year. It seems like a nice devotion to join in on. I asked for one for my children, husband, and I.

God bless you and Happy New Year!

Persevere in prayer, pray for me to do the same.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Grace is falling!

A man where we use to live had a very strong devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. His first Friday devotion and his first Saturday devotion persevered until his death. The priest brought him Holy Communion on a First Friday; that night the man died. The next day being First Saturday, we trusted in Our Lady's promises that he was brought to Heaven that day because a layer of snow covered the ground. I was told by a friend that it meant that Our Lady had visited that morning.

Why tell this story? Well, it is this story that somehow added to my imagination that snow is a sign of Grace. Pope John Paul II said that rain is God's love falling to earth. Well, snow is God's grace falling. Just look how it falls lightly, how it reflects light, how it tickles, how pure it is, how it is given abundantly! "Ice and snow praise The Lord!"

I leave you with this thought: the other day when our first storm was starting. I was going out our back door at night to let our dog out, and noticed right in front of my eyes an inch of snowflakes clinging to the end of a cobweb! It was too cool! But it teaches us today that just like how God showers us with grace and waits for us to indulge in, so too does He hold specific graces out to each of us which are unique for the good of our souls and the souls around us. It is only up to each of us to live rightly so as to receive those graces and allow them to fill our souls with Light.

May God shower grace on you forever and ever!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holy Innocents Feast Day

By nature we deserve God's wrath like the rest. But God is rich in mercy; because of his great love for us he brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By his favor you were saved." Ephesians 2:3b-5



First, he loves us all and expiates all sin. 
Second, we did nothing to merit salvation.
Third, God saved us before we knew him.
Fourth, we are not special to know this truth, it is all mercy. We are no better than anyone else. But we are entrusted to share it.
Fifth, this is why we must forgive others without payment or satisfaction. For God forgave us before we even knew him. His mercy is open to anyone, we have no right to hold back or hide what he freely gave to us " when we were dead in sin."

When you find yourself judging a stranger, from your heart release him and tell God your forgive him instead of thinking negatively.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cave women.


"Only God can turn a mess into a message."


The morning after Christmas brings somewhat of a messy house. Toys, books, dishes, food seems to be piled...even if in small piles, in the areas of the house. But in the midst of this mess, there is the one truth...God is with us! We can find him in our midst. If we only listen to the angels and hasten to the Gift that kept the cave warm and bright. The cave of Bethlehem was cold and held the odor of animals. But the Holy family prepared it to be the best they could offer the Christ child. And in its center was their Treasure. If we too focus on the Treasure with each moment in our messy Caves, work will get done with a smile and the sheep will follow us to gaze on the face of Christ.

May Mary be our guide to Christ in the midst of our house chores!

God bless you and yours!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

God sure blesses our priests with the right words to speak to our hearts! I could not begin to restate the motivational and encouraging words of our deacon today. But I desire to try to pass on the message.

Before I pass that on I invite you, with the Church, to pray for priests. The spiritual role we have for them is essential. You will see in the link. They need us. Back to today's homily...

Deacon's messages were great. The part I got was this: the reality of God becoming Man is not limited to one day, but is a call for each of us to accept Christ to rest in the manger of our souls, especially by receiving him frequently in Holy Eucharist. We must let this Babe lie and rest in our hearts. We only have our weak selves to give Him. But this is where we find Him...in our poverty. It is the only way He becomes King of our lives.  And possibly He became poor in order to seek His one treasure-- our souls.

One prayer offered in the new missal by St. Thomas Aquinas is his prayer before Mass. It asks God to "enrich my poverty." Why? Why would we want to have more poverty? So our souls' only treasure is God. 

Keep the Incarnation alive in your lives daily, every year, all year.

Keep each other in prayer.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

That they be one.


That they may be one.

All of us ladies, I think, enjoy the movies that have the fairy tale dancing. The union of the dancers triggers in us the desire for a union that is One. To dance and move in sync with the man we love makes the younger side of us go silly. Of course we know this is fantasy. No one can dance like that without practice. And no one knows each other so well that quick. It takes time and effort, and prayer. 
 We may not be able to do perfect unplanned twists and turns, dips and catches; but a greater union or oneness is possible.

The other night I opened to a very simple prayer book. It is called Prayers of Hope Words of Courage by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. He was "imprisoned in Vietnam for thirteen
years. He continued to proclaim the gospel" to his people. This prayer is one of the notes to his people that he would sneak out of his imprisonment on little slips of paper. His life is amazing. He died in 2002.
Read this prayer slowly and consider how you can contribute in your marriage and family to encourage Christ's prayer for Oneness to be a reality.

That we may be one 
Everyone has his or her own personality and this can make it to very difficult to live together. But difficult does not mean "impossible,"  otherwise Jesus would never have prayed:  "That they all may be one!"
What is essential is to have confidence in you, Lord,
And to put myself to work,
Hand in hand with others to express friendship,
Shoulder to shoulder to bear the same burden,
Moving forward in step,
United in a mutual encounter.
In face of difficulties I will not break,
I will imitate the rushes and reeds,
Each one leaning toward the other.
Heart to heart-- united in love,
Mind to mind-- united in intelligence
So as to be able to reflect together 
And find the truth.
On this path, we will reach communion.
The Lord will welcome and share a meal with us.
Not only did he pray for us:
"Father, I pray that they may be one,"
But he also asked the highest degree of. Union
For us-- and I ask for it with you, Lord:
"As you, Father are in me, and I in you."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

First things first

Take to heart these words:

All plans and duties and activities you have before you today, none of them are as important as finding time for silent prayer. And when your immediate duties to family care demand your days full attention do not fret. God is with you. Seek then silence on those days in His service and trust it is all for good. But if you desire quiet time for prayer daily, seek it- God will help open the opportunities for you to find time. For see, it is actually God inspiring you to want that time, because He wants that time with you and has planted that desire in you.

As women we are "doers," but we often DO more than necessary. And I have learned and have dealt with it myself that many of us at one point or another feel guilty for taking time to sit or kneel and pray. We "feel" we should be doing something "better." This is a trick of the devil. Do not believe it. Rather remind yourself that God desires you and setting time for prayer is how you answer His invitation to go to Him.

Run to the One who knows you best!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Blessed Mother

I am still feeling my way through this blog. But one theme continues to come up among friends and others: The Blessed Mother.

Here is a You Tube video of an interview we all should watch. Get a snack and sit back:
How the Blessed Mother helps us get closer to Jesus

Tell us what you think!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's Wholly Understandable.

"Hail, Full of Grace!"

-St. Gabriel to Mary

Have you ever wondered what "full of grace" means? The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this: "In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne of God's grace." (CCC 490) In this and the next few posts, God willing, I am going to take these ideas in hopes that God causes your hearts to beat with excitement over His great wonders through Mary and to ignite a flame in you to realize your great dignity, take hold and join wholly the ride!

Mary should be talked about and we should grow in knowledge of her role and position in the Mystical Body of Christ, His Church. Especially as Catholic mothers, young and old; understanding her role and God's love for her aids us in realizing our meaning in life and the wonderful depth of God's love for us. So, lets talk...

Many people think that Mary was like us fallen humans; That she was just a vessel which God choose to use and then became unnecessary to Him.  This is a reflection of what too many women think of themselves. But it is not what women are and it was definitely not what Mary was or is. It is understandable that with our fallen minds we would overlook such things, but we need to rise above those limited perceptions and put on God's mind. We need to see that God rather made Mary to be the perfect "Temple" and "Ark" for His Son; AND to be forever useful to His Kingdom and His Children.  What does this have to do with you and me? If God used Mary to just be a vessel only, then He never intended us to be anything more then tools for His purpose either. And that is utterly untrue! Like Mary we too are meant for great things; uniquly different, but specific great eternal things. Not just here on earth, but for greatness in God's Eternal Kingdom. We are all meant to become...full of grace.  

But we ask again, what is "full of grace"? Grace is the very life of God. God's life! Think about that. Grace IS GOD's Life. "Sanctifying grace is a free gift of God which allows us to become children of God, to share in the divine nature, and to inherit eternal life." (from the Outlines of the Catholic Faith by Leaflet Missal) When a soul is in sanctifying grace it shares its life with God. St. Paul said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." That is Sanctifying Grace.

Mary was given this fully from her Conception as a free merciful gift to you and me, to the whole Church.  Why? 

I am no theologian, but this is what I have come to understand: Adam and Eve originally lived in Sanctifying Grace, fully sharing in God's life in them. When they were tested, they choose using free will to disobey God. Hence, the original sin. When humanity was given a second chance, (keep in mind this was purely out of God's merciful love, for He did not have to open the possibility for any of us to have a second chance) to be redeemed from our fallen nature. God's justice made it fair to us by giving us another woman, full of grace, to have the opportunity to obey or disobey God's will. So, like Eve, Mary too was purely in the full state of Grace. Hence, the Church in her wisdom has decreed True that Mary was Immaculately Conceived. First in God's mind, then in St. Ann's womb.

We should find this Truth a most precious sign of God's mercy on us. For what He gave freely to Mary is what He calls us all to become a part of: His Very Life----union here and then perfect union forever in Heaven. Mary is our model and proof that what God desires for humanity is True and given through His love. We only need to say, Yes.

 

Thanks!

I want to just thank all of you for checking out this blog. I am still trying to get a hang of things and discerning much from how to write to what to say, and what not to say. I seem to always have something I would love to share. The Lord has blessed me with so many wonderful Catholic women in my life and I have actually been noticing a rise in gratitude for each and every one of you, those I know and those I do not know. I encourage you to persevere in living the faith and reaching out to other Catholic women. We need to encourage one another and pray with and for one another. Oh yeh, please respond by checking your reaction after the post. This way, I think,  I may learn to write better, more useful things.

 Thanks again for your support.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tight Lip?

No matter how good food is, if poison is mixed with it, it may cause the death of him who eats it. So it is with conversation. A single bad word, an evil action, an unbecoming joke, is often enough to harm one or more young listeners, and may later cause them to lose God's grace.

– St. John Bosco

  I once read a little about St. Faustina in her Diary. It is a wonderful book. But I remember especially her awareness of the evil that comes from the mouth. She practiced great silence and self control of her words. I believe she looked at the mouth as the source of most sin. So how are we with our mouths?

Monday, December 3, 2012

You are worth it

We get so busy. I wish we did not.  I actually think we are much more busy in our minds than physically. Too much thinking drags us down more than the list of to-dos each day. A mind free of concern is a gift indeed. But what eats up your mind-time?

It is amazing what we say to ourselves. If you are negative to yourself much of the time, you will feel that way, believe that way, and it will influence your decisions and especially your prayer.  I know this all too well in my life.

I suffered greatly for a very long time from thinking negatively too much. But I started to do two things.  First, I tried hard to think of God instead. Whenever negative thoughts came into mind, I would hum a Church tune that made me think of Our Lord in the Eucharist.The second thing I did was I forced myself to smile. Yup. I would sit there and feel awfully odd and just smile. I did it for Advent one year and I was surprised how quickly my attitude changed. Do not think just these two things made me well, I had medical and emotional things to deal with and get help for. But it helped me get my mind on what was most important so those other needs were more helpful to me. But smiles are healing, too. First they fill the bodies, then our minds, and then with God, our souls. 
 


So, if you haven't already, start thinking of God instead of whatever you think normally of that drags you down. You will begin to see, and believe it too...that the great fact is He is with you! No matter what you are thinking, what you have done, He is with you.

Oh, you think you are not worth Him? Yeh, me neither! But that is why we each need Him! Believe this fact: there is a beauty in you that God is totally in love with. If you tell yourself you are not worthy of God, you are actually keeping yourself from experiencing the love you're actually desiring deep down. The kind only God can give. Negative talk to yourself and thinking you have to be perfect in order to "Be with God" is the devil's lie. Do not believe it! Think of God instead.

No matter who we are, we are all in need of God. He loves us each and seeks us each and wants to give countless blessings to each of us....but we must seek him, imperfect as we are. So, let yourself be loved by the King of Love!!!  Remind yourself of the truth that He is with you always! And SMILE!

God bless you and continue your life's work of seeking God!! You will be blessed!