Thursday, December 10, 2009

Path Makers

My husband's latest creation: rope swing for me! Wherever my husband and I have lived, we always managed to etch out a special spot or two on our land on which to sit. Like mini parking spots for rest and reflection. My husband loves to clear debris to make a path to a place to sit. He moves rocks from here to there, then back to here, then to there again. He lovingly creates these areas of respite and enjoys sharing a "time out" with his favorite person on earth: me. I feel so honored when he happily sounds the trumpet that the throne is ready and we go outdoors together to experience the new perch. We talk about how we love it, how nice it is and I remark about the hard work he did, he says it wasn't that hard and eventually, silence comes over us. We sit in quiet friendship and just watch nature until one of us says something: "Hey, how does a cup of coffee sound?" or my favorite, "have I told you lately how much I love you?"
He also has created several tree stands from which he hunts, and I imagine, does his best praying.
We pray to connect to God, each other and ourselves. In praying I give God a chance to help me. Our Lady says to, "pray, pray, pray".
I know, sometimes to concentrate on prayer seems almost impossible especially when you've so many things you need to do. It may seem like just one more thing to add to your to-do list (s). Prayer isn't on your to-do list, no more than breathing or blinking is. Prayer is what enables you to write a proper to-do list.
Here is Our Lady's message for 11-25-09:
"Dear Children! In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little Children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from this His love. Little Children, be my extended hands, hands of love for all those who have become lost, who have no more faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call".
If I could tell you all the terrible experiences my husband and I have endured, you would be amazed that we are still together as man and wife after all these years. Heck, that we are still alive for that matter. What does it take? It takes LOVE and every sub-category under LOVE. Forgiveness, compassion, humility, selflessness, understanding, prayer, peace.........all of it. Judging each other is so useless, unless you want to lose opportunities to learn and grow in happiness.
Remember to keep your own sins in view. Remember the mercy you have received. Take part in God's miracles by offering forgiveness instead of evil. Open the door for God into whatever situation you find yourself by that key you yourself have been given; forgiveness. Be God's Hands and create a place for someone who has become tired and lost and you will find rest.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Need Help?

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin, (never known to fail). O most Beautiful Flower of Mt. Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God. Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. Oh, Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein You are my Mother. Oh, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech You from the bottom of my heart to succor me in my necessity (make your request). There are none that can withstand Your power. O Mary, Conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee (3 times). Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands (3 times).

Pray this prayer for three consecutive days. Then, you must publish, and it will be granted to you.

This prayer works wonders! Say it with love and from the heart.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Never Settle for Less!

When we become a friend of Jesus, we become of Jesus. I was reading in the Poem of the Man God about how Mary Magdalene's conversion caused many to scorn and laugh at her.
They thought she was the best thing since sliced bread when she was on their side. But now, she became a new sort of controversy and very few who used to be so enamored with her, now detested her and wanted her to fail.
Isn't that the way it goes?! Many people just wait for a Christian to fall so they can feel better about their own sins.
Oy! Another trick of the evil one!
We must be cautious not to allow this scornful attitude to come and dwell in our hearts in any shape or form.
Our Lady has said that this world does not know how to love.
(When I first read that I was puzzled, because I loved lots of people.)
Ah, it goes much deeper than that. And I for one, do not want to rob myself of knowing how to love as God intends. I do not want to settle for second best in any area of my journey with God, and so therefore, nor with you. I'm searching my heart daily for anything that may block my view of the beauty God is showing me in all people.
In the Poem of the Man God (what a book!), Jesus says:
" Improve your love, then. Love, to be really such, must not be exclusive. When one can love only one object, and cannot love anything else, even if one is loved by what one loves, it is clear that that is not true love. Perfect love loves, with due gradation, all mankind and also animals and vegetables, stars and water, because it sees everything in God. One loves God, as is proper, and one loves everything in God. Be careful; exclusive love is often selfishness. Endeavor therefore to love everybody else out of love."
He had said this to Judas the Iscariot who had complained that Mary Magdalene was an embarrassment and should not be allowed to walk with the disciples.
Jesus also said that Mary Magdalene was no longer Mary of Magdala, she was Mary of Jesus, and that her separation from the past was complete.
Know anyone who is trying to be good? Encourage them.
In your heart, be a mother or father to children you do not know. Be a sister or a brother to strangers.
Most likely, you won't have to say a word. Just love them in silence because what is in your heart, the world sees.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thoughts from the Hayloft

I love it when I get an inspirational idea. Ever since we changed to round bales of hay, instead of the rectangular, the hayloft is empty, (round bales too heavy and are kept on main floor). After I was finished feeding Nancy and Betty this morning I noticed the hayloft door was open and decided to climb the ladder to see what was up there.
Not much.
Then I thought, "hey!!! I could dry my herbs up here instead of in the house where everyone complains about it!"
So, I started in sweeping, sweeping, sweeping.
Put in some hooks, nails and such to hang herbs on and used an old wooden desk to work on. I'm going to make some floral wreaths, too.
I've got enough Sweet Annie to supply the township. I just love that stuff! But, my family thinks it awful and were thrilled that I had discovered a space, unclaimed for the most part, to work with my dried herbs.
There is the back door to consider. A doozy of a step should I forget and fall out! And the front door isn't much better.
Still, it does one a world of good to create.
Somebody asked me the other day why I like to paint pictures of furniture.
Maybe it's because I love the idea of decorating but never had the money or energy to spend. Also, I think I enjoy creating order and the fun of how paintings take control and guide you along in accordance to how they want to come alive.
It's just fun and is good for the soul to create.
Everything is a lesson. What you learn can be applied to living a life with God and in peace.
One needs to be teachable. It's almost always best to take the student position in situations. For example an argument that you think is unjust because you know you are right.
Forget being right, instead: what are you hearing? learning? and how can you bring God into the equation?
Keep your heart open to that which is of God.
If you pray for peace, you have to be careful to do your part.
Sometimes, saying sorry is the key. Forgiving also opens opportunities for God. So open as many doors for God as you can, while you can.
".....and He speaks the truth without breaking anybody's heart, without rousing anybody's indignation and without reproaching. Of course, He is He!" . St. Peter was speaking about Jesus in the Poem of the Man God. The disciples had been trying to testify and witness to the Truth and found that some people were thirsty for God, and others became indignant.
When speaking of these challenges to Jesus, Jesus replies, " And you do not love them. That's your mistake. Love them even if you do not know them. Say to yourself: "They belong to our Father".
You will then seem to know them and you will love them."
This is from the Poem of the Man God, Volume II.
It's great when we speak to another person who is in agreeance with us, but when someone turns up their nose? oy, that's not so easy, but it is a valuable lesson if you can remember to take the student position and learn from it.
We need to love, be ready to love and to give. It takes prayer, lots of prayer to cleanse your mind, wash all the worldly stuff out of it and make room for God. Peace follows. Peace is a treasure in your family, guard it wisely.
Here's a photo of some sort of bug who came to my water fountain for a drink. And, another photo of a sunset I took sometime this summer.
I am amazed each day at what God has prepared to share with us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Confessions of being haughty

I saw this guy in the grocery store. He wasn't annoying me or inconveniencing me (as I sometimes feel towards people while grocery shopping).
Yet, I judged him silently in my mind.
By the way, this is a confession, which I share only to bring light to how we hurt ourselves and others without much thought or care.
Shamely, my thought was this; "geez, if he wasn't so fat maybe he would be able to walk".
Horrid, I know.
I am truly sorry for my ignorance.
But how did I know I was entertaining such a terrible thought?
I related him to someone I know (which by the way, is how the Holy Spirit often teaches me). I noticed the back of his neck and for a split second, saw the back of my husband's neck. Then, again for a second, I saw my own husband in a wheelchair in the future without his loving family beside him, fending for himself in a cruel and cold world while stuck in a wheelchair and at the mercy of strangers.
My mind was enlightened, my heart filled with love for this man I do not know and probably will never see again. Maybe he was an angel? But, I learned and saw all within a few seconds a valuable teaching: Judge not!
One reason is because you cheat yourself. I don't want to judge this man. I don't want others to judge my loved ones when they are all alone and vulnerable!!! What I really want to do is sit down, share coffee and have a good conversation, perhaps a few laughs, encourage each other and become friends.
I owed God an apology for my initial attitude towards one of His children. God, used my own failing to teach me, lovingly, how to be aware of my thinking and not let it grow into outward rudeness. Though, I'm sure all of our inner thoughts are plain to see on our faces. We fool no one.
We isolate ourselves with these sort of thoughts. Silently making fun of people who do not look like we think they should look like. Okay, so how should he have looked? Strong, tall and muscular?
Oh come on!!!!!!!!! That image is given to you courtesy of some stupid commercial for Hane's underwear. There must be absolutely countless ways to undermine our purity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the way home that day, I noticed how sad I felt, not just because of this one instance, but because of countless other ways I've dismissed others as less than myself. Oh, so you see? yes, it only makes me feel less of MYSELF.
But, with God all things are possible.
Keep seeking God in all things, and He will help you love.
Otherwise? You will be empty, sad and angry. Just looking for more to make yourself miserable.
Like gloomy rain everyday. Dark houses everywhere.
All inside your heart.
What to do, what to do. What to do? Start. BEGIN! Just pray, "Lord God, help me to love, show me how!!!"
All of us need to learn how to love, and when God does start showing you, even tiny small seconds of enlightenment, your heart will burst for love.
Gratitude fills your entire being, almost too much to contain!! You start to see beauty in everyone and in everything.
You know that guy at church who grates on your nerves? Yes, even he you will see with love and tenderness all the while you learn that being better than everyone else is a burdensome act to keep up.
I confessed this sin and other judemental thoughts and attitudes to the priest. He said, "ah! I just read something about this earlier, what you need to do is when you realize you have this thought, immediately say a Hail Mary for the person whom you are judging".
I thought that was awesome! I can do that!!! Going to confession really gives graces, direction and peace of heart.
I leave you with my heart, full of gratitude for your patience with me as I stumble along, slowly learning but growing in love.
Peace and smiles be within your heart and on your face.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Make a move!

Write this down: Medjugorje
This place, Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia belongs to Our Mother of the Redeemer. She will prove that She loves us, way before the Church has time to approve these apparitions.
Every knee in the world, IN THE WORLD, will bend in awe of Her love for us. She will leave a sign that no man can touch to prove to all of us, everyone in the world, that She, the Mother of Jesus Christ has come to bring us to holiness, to lead us to Jesus. There will be an enormous world wide revival, all religions that worship Jesus, will experience a new springtime in their hearts. Christians as well as lots of non-Christians. millions will convert.
If you have little children, they will grow up in the era of peace She is bringing to us.
All these years, we've been frightened of what the future may bring. If you are frightened, then you need to pray and ask God to help you understand. You will find love. If you knew how much Our Lady loves you, you would weep tears of joy.
I cry a lot.
When I was a little girl, my mom told me I would run out of tears. As an adult, it did happen to me, her words came true. During the days after my son died, I did run out of tears. It was like dry heaves, only with my eyes.
I must tell you when I fell away from God, I rarely cried or felt my feelings or listened.
I was on my way to becoming a stone.
I was on the wrong path. I had been on the right one, and well, I fell from it. But now I am back on and God has created in me a new being.
I want to run up to strangers and explain about how God is love, He's really real!!!! But it is difficult to find even one person who is open, or looking for Him.
At least go to and read some of the info. You have to put forth some effort, you have to exercise your own will.
If you are on the wrong path, if there is any doubt at all, just ask God to help you.
God is the author of Love.
Evil cannot even grow a blade of grass.
Why do we give evil so much attention then?
The following is a message from Our Lady to non-believers, She gives a new message on the 2nd of each month.
July 2, 2009
"Dear children! I am calling you because I need you, I need hearts ready for immeasurable love - hearts that are not burdened by vanity - hearts that are ready to love as my Son loved - that are ready to sacrifice themselves as my Son sacrificed Himself. I need you. In order to come with me, forgive yourselves, forgive others and adore my Son. Adore Him also for those who have not come to know Him, those who do not love Him. Therefore, I need you;therefore, I call you. Thank you."

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Never letting go

Prodigal: one who has returned after an absence. As a prodigal daughter I am filled with awe and gratitude at open doors. Morning mass, all welcomed. Many drive by not even aware of what amazing love transpires behind these beautiful doors. Many, like I used to be, drive by knowing, but lost touch and keep themselves preoccupied so it doesn't hurt so much.
Still, after all this time, I am overwhelmed at the love that comes pouring into my soul at mass, or at Adoration, or at my own backyard shrine. I stop to think, how could it be? me?
Why do I know this love? I don't deserve it, but I reach for it just the same.
I am presently studying "The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood".
Trying my best to live in accordance with it's direction. There is a lot of staying home, being quiet and praying. Lots of praying.
Chapter 81 "My Sacred Heart Is Your Resting Place" Jesus says, "If you but make the effort, I will reach out My hand and grasp you, drawing you closely to Me where you will find your rest and the joy which surpasses earthly pleasures........Blissful and eternal love is yours for the asking, but first you must desire this above all else in your life and proceed in courage and faith in your ascent to Me............Stay with Me in love; never leave Me. Think of Me always and I will dwell within you perpetually....."
I'm so grateful! excited and full of hope!!
peace be with you♥

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rainbows at Night

I haven't been on the computer lately all that much. I felt the need of lots and lots of quiet time. I need to pray. I want to be very sure I am living the messages of Medjugore: Pray, Peace, Sacraments, Fast, Holy Scriptures.
Once in awhile, one needs to get one's priorities in order; it's simply foolish not to. Foolishness, silliness and hilarity mixed with drinking alcohol is not a smart way to go. When I look back on the times I acted like that, I'm embarrassed.
I'm ashamed.
I confess, I've wasted much of my life to foolishness. Why? What's wrong with having a little fun?
I love fun, but only the kind that evokes love, and makes me so happy for the other person I want to hug them.
I have found that simple pleasures truly are the best. I shy from things that shock my soul. Like t.v.
I really believe that most of the reality shows have been sneakingly damaging to many, many souls.
My daughter watches them sometimes. The other day, I caught a glimpse of one. It was a mother who had about ten little kids. She was getting a divorce. They showed her sitting on the couch explaining why divorce was the right thing to do.
"Oh, so simple. I see, ........that's the way you do it." Thoughts like that permeate people's minds when they are given an opportunity to be shown how to be evil, yet look acceptable, normal and even attractive....or worse, justified.
What about a reality show where you live day in and day out with a parish priest? Straight away, people would think it would be about exposing his secret sins. Might they watch it if it were not?
What if it were a holy, good and loving priest? A parish priest is a busy guy. Always putting out fires and helping all sorts of people, he also brings us hope.
Evil tries to take hope from us because loss of hope pulls us away from God and we start depending on people to cheer us up, or encourage us. We become weak and even more scared.
There are tens of thousands of people right now praying for nine straight days a Novena of Hope.
You can read about that at
Help by praying for people to hope in God, not the news media, or the bottle or their anger's fury.
If you haven't prayed because you think there is no hope for you because of past sins, that God will not hear you, or if you are afraid of His Wrath (which is the beginning of wisdom), regardless, go to God.
Tell Him what I said when I thought I was too lost; "I am Your child, help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Who am I to be sitting at Mass this morning receiving Holy Communion?
Who am I? I'm nobody. Just an ordinary woman who believes, who has experienced God's love and refuses to let go.
Our Lady said if you knew how much She loved you, you would jump for joy.
I've experienced Her love, just a tiny bit, for a second, when my son died...........that second has got me through 22 years of deep grief, relentless fears and doubt.
Sometimes at Mass I think to myself, "oh my dear Lord, where would I be right now had God not allowed Our Lady to guide me?!!"
She is leading me on the path to Heaven.
My sins? They are paid for.
By who? Yes, you've heard it a million times from a million people, it's Jesus, God's Son. You've heard His Name.
I'm still in utter awe that me, a scrawny middle aged woman, a sinner and pity-party-type person with no education, really; I have nothing except my family, anyway, regardless of my failings and my miserable goof ups, I am a daughter of Jerusalem, an Israelite (belongs to God). I'm all the things this world hates.
I'm all the things that embarass people.
Yep, and I'm eternally grateful.
Last night, after the storm, I saw a rainbow at night. I've never seen that before. I had been praying and meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. When I finished, I went to the window and saw this rainbow. I called to my husband to come and see and he said "go get your camera!"
So, thanks to him, I can share it with you. The other photos are taken at the same time, the firey sky is the west, the bluish is the north, and the rainbow was in the east.
Peace to all you who happen by.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How to be good

How many times have you heard or said, "be good"?
I say that to my dog when I leave the house, most times she listens. I say it to my daughter and husband, and most times they listen too! And, I say it to myself!
In re-reading a passage in the book "The Poem of the Man God" by Maria Valtorta, where Jesus explains a way or method of how to do this being good stuff.
In replying to Peter who had just asked what Jesus and the disciples were discussing as he came upon them. (Jesus had been teaching about being good).
Jesus said, "order, patience, perseverance, humility, charity.
Peter asked what order had to do with it.
Jesus responds, "Disorder is never a good quality. I mention it first, whereas I mentioned charity last, because they are the two extremities of the straight line of perfection. Now you know that a straight line on a plane has neither a beginning nor end. Each extremity can be either the beginning or the end, whereas in the case of the spiral, or any other design which is not enclosed in itself, there is always a beginning and an end. Holiness is linear, simple, perfect and has but two extremities, like a straight line.
Peter said, "It is easy to draw a straight line..."
Jesus says, "Do you think so? you are wrong. In a drawing, even if it is a complicated one, some imperfections may not be noticed. But an error is noticed at once in a straight line.
Joseph, when he taught me the trade, insisted a great deal that the boards should be straight and quite rightly he used to say, "see son? a small imperfection may not be seen in a decoration or in a turned work, because the eye, unless it is very experienced, if it watches one point, does not see another. But if a board is not as straight as it should be, even the most simple work will not be satisfactory, such as a poor table for a peasant. It will be on a slant or it will wobble. It is only good for the fire".
Who starts his spiritual work in an unplanned manner, starting from useless things, jumping from one thing to another, like a restless bird, will end up by not being able to join the various parts of his work. They will not fit in. Therefore, order and charity. Then, holding those two extremities firm in two vices, so that they may not move, you can work at all the rest decorations or carving, whatever it may be."
So there you have it, Order, patience, perseverance, humility, charity. These 5 things starting with order, ending with charity will help you "be good".
You can apply this to all sorts of things you want to be good at. Even shopping for groceries, making a bed, planting flowers or washing dishes, etc. Practice being good at small efforts and discover that you will remember to apply these methods at doing good in other areas of your life.
By the way, I highly recommend reading The Poem of the Man God:)!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Look for it

The other day I was reading an article "The Secret of a Happy Family" by Mary Ann Budnik. I found it on the EWTN site. She wrote about how many of us center our lives around the quest to be happy. Mistakenly, we may dedicate all our energy towards pursuits of power, wealth, fame, winning the lottery, etc. CS Lewis points out that:
"God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."
When I read that I thought how true that statement is. God is the sole creator of happiness.
He wrote the book on it!
We can try to figure it out on our own, but we usually take ourselves and those we love down the tubes.
She also pointed out that as parents we fail to teach our children the value of suffering. There will be times when they will suffer. We have to help them learn how to handle these sufferings to keep them from searching the world over for a distraction. (The world has plenty of distractions; drugs, shortage there, ugh!)
I remember my dad crying when his mother passed away. I was a little girl, he was around 55 years old. I can still see him sitting all alone behind the barn with his head in his hands, sobbing. I ran up to him, put my arms around him and asked him why he was crying.
He said, "I miss my mother!" and he allowed me to comfort him.
I remember thinking how huge his love must be to hurt this much. I'd never saw my dad cry before.
I also remember the strength that showed in his face, a determination.
Then, many years later, dad passed away & I experienced the same thing; finding a quiet place in which to cry and even saying the same words, "I miss my dad!"
Dad allowing me to see his pain, gave me the ability to sit with my own, and to find strength. Love never dies, it gets stronger, even after death, loves grows.
Amazing when you finally realize the realtiy of this fact!!!!!
I don't need a holiday named Memorial Day, to remind me of those whom I love that has passed on, or those whom I didn't know but paved the way for me. This reflection is respected every day in the Mass, in my heart and in my child's eyes. I see my son in my daughter's eyes. I see my dad in my brother's eyes, my mom in my sister's eyes. When my niece laughs, I hear her dad's laugh. When I see my nephew's smile, I see his brother's smile.
All the love you have ever known surrounds you. God never takes, only gives.
I've read where people cry the most, not when they are hurt, but when they find hope.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today, Our Lady of Fatima

This Mother of fair love will take away from your heart all scruple and all disorder of servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to run the way of her Son's commandments (Ps. 118:32) with the holy liberty of the children of God. She will introduce into it pure love, of which she has the treasure, so that you shall no longer be guided by fear, as hitherto, in your dealings with the God of charity, but by love alone. You will look on Him as your good Father, whom you will be incessantly trying to please and with whom you will converse confidently, as a child with its tender father. If, unfortunately, you offend Him, you will at once humble yourself before Him. You will ask His pardon with great lowliness, but at the same time you will stretch your hand out to Him with simplicity, and you will raise yourself up lovingly, without trouble or disquietude, and go on your way to Him without discouragement.

(taken from "True Devotion To Mary" by St. Louis DeMontfort) regarding the "Wonderful Effects" of devotion to Our Lady, and was entitled: Deliverance from Scruples, Cares and Fears.

One of my favorite messages of Fatima is that in the end, Her Immaculate Heart will Reign.

that's a relief!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Moving Forward, clean or dirty!!!

Ever wonder where you went wrong? But at the time, it didn't seem wrong? I can remember one, that for some reason came to my mind today. It was years and years ago.
It wasn't too long after my son died and I was trying to cope with doing everyday things.
I had put a little black/white t.v. on the kitchen table and let it play in order to keep me from thinking. All day, my daughter and I watched I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith and Mr. Ed. I couldn't tolerate the loud, noisy shows on regular channels, (they shocked my soul.)
One early evening I was setting the table and saw only 3 plates, instead of 4. Four chairs but only 3 place settings.
And that was then it all started, with this one thought, "my family is inadequate."
This thought was cancerous, extremely malignant and spread to every corner of my brain. And that is how I began believing other thoughts of "who cares, what does it matter anyway, I'm no good, I can't do this", etc., etc. I wish I had listened to the other little voice that said, "investigate this thought, you know it's not right."
Oh no. That would have been too easy and I love learning things the hard way.
I just didn't connect the dots till this morning when I was putting down 4 clean placemats, even though, still, only 3 are needed.
I have come to accept my little family of 3 as adequate. I am proud to be the wife/mother of this family. And we are busy, prolific and good people.
I had been asking God, a lot, lately what made me screw up in life so much? or why did I fail at this or that? why, why, why??????
This is my answer: I believed the thought my family was inadequate. I basically, without really understanding it, told God, "hey, hate to tell you this but I'm not happy with only 3". And that was the beginning of my unhappy journey of feeling inadequate, believing I was not good enough and basically a heavy weight around who's ever neck had to put up with me.
I believed it, like it was a religion: I was NOT good enough, at anything or for anything.
Nowadays, I am utterly amazed at how important it is to pray. Pray, when you don't feel like it. Say sloppy prayers if you have to. Just try. And question the source of thoughts.
Ask for the gift of discernment of spirits.
Years ago Jesus TOLD me to ask for this.
Right afterwards I thought, "oh swell, that's the one I DON'T want." (I'll explain this in another post)!
So, if you believe that God has rendered you inadequate you'll have a really hard time when mud is thrown at you like, mid-life crisis, deaths, demotions, criticism, rejection, failing grades, being excluded. I could list examples a mile long which feeds into this inadequacy attitude, and how it all becomes a concrete part of who you are and how you see yourself.
As for me, I am on a non-ending course of healing. I guess life is just that.
So what do these mud covered bikes on top of a pristine clean car got to do with it?
I'm seeing Divine Mercy carrying His mud covered sheep forward! God teaches us ALL the time!
Oh! speaking of sheep, while you are here, look at our black sheep Betty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why sweat it?

I haven't been in an art making frame of mind lately.
Lent this year was powerful for me and I've spent most of my free time praying. I'm determined to discipline myself to pray and as each day passes, I feel my soul soaking up the energy praying provides.
How I understand it, is like this; conversion comes in stages. Like kindergarten through high school. I was held back a couple times because I wasn't paying attention, I'd rather play than pray. Being in charge, making my own rules and banking on getting by with the skin of my teeth, after all I know I'm going to Heaven, so why sweat it so? That was my mind in playtime, or a perpetual recess if you will.
Here's why you want to sweat it TONS and pray, pray, pray and make gigantic efforts to get as close to God as possible: because a soul estranged from God hurts Him, and your life becomes dark. You lose your way and before you know it, it feels (I repeat: feels) like all hope has vanished from your heart.
And if the evil one gets his way, you'll believe all hope is lost.
Okay so, you are sitting in the back of the room facing the wall wearing the dunce cap and feel like crap. Now what?
Ask for help. If you can't ask for help in detail, just say Jesus. Keep saying His Name.
After I had fallen away and had to wear the dunce cap, I went to confession. The priest asked me what was it I wanted from the Church? I just broke down, sobbed and could barely answer "I want to come home".
The priest said, "if you can't meet God 1/2 way, He'll come the rest of the way".
Confession is the best way to get rid of a dunce hat. How so? After you've made your heartfelt confession you realize that you are a child of God. You realize God never left you and went on vacation to leave you fend for yourself. A child of God doesn't need to go about as a cone head.
But, ya gotta ask.
Which, takes humility.
Anyway, so now how to do I feel? Grateful. I'm no longer drenched in fear and it's a lot easier to smile.
I think I may feel these things I'm saying so deeply because God became real to me when my son died. But, after a few years went by, I decide I didn't like the pain of my son's absence, so I needed to distract myself from all that pain. You see, it doesn't take much to mess up because we all lack love in our hearts, and I just fell hook line and sinker into complacency and sloth (to name a few). I was being a brat. I didn't think I mattered all that much.
(No wonder God tells us to be on guard!)
But you see, from the beginning of my conversion in 1987 Our Lady worked and worked to lead me to Jesus. And now I am in the class where you learn to live that Jesus Christ is THE Savior. And it just so happens He is the Teacher of this class. Works out great.
Do you know, those words turn people off? "Jesus Christ is my Savior" Tell a stranger this and they'll most likely roll their eyes at you and try very hard to avoid you. Hey, it doesn't need to be a stranger, it could be your friends or family just as well.
Tough, too bad! it's my truth, my life and I'm not holding back to be politically correct. This is serious business folks! I'm spending the rest of my life thinking about what pleases God, not phony progressiveness or whatever one identifies as up to date in accordance with today's thinking.
I don't think being able to please everybody will help you love them. You just end up depleted.
Ever cry in gratitude that you made everyone happy?
Speaking of tears, I try not to cry in mass, sometimes I manage, sometimes not. But when I think of how awful it is to "feel" lost, and knowing I am in the folds of Our Lady's mantel, that I'm getting ready to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament.....that I am THERE in mass.... I become overwhelmed with gratitude. Simply overwhelmed. And it fills my heart with love. I don't ever want to be a dunce again!!!!
Today at mass, I started thinking how not too long ago I was afraid to go outdoors and get my mail, let alone drive all the way to the church.
Fear is useless! And that's putting it mildly!
Picture this; Our Lady got me by the ear, sat me down and said: PRAY.
Oh, what a beautiful Mother we all have. Even if you are a Baptist, She is your Mother. (And I can say that because I was Baptist at the time my son died and Our Lady helped me.)
I'll end with the message of Our Lady Of Medjugore dated 3/25/09:
"Dear children! In this time of spring, when everything is awakening from the winter sleep, you also awaken your souls with prayer so that they may be ready to receive the light of the risen Jesus. Little children, may He draw you closer to His Heart so that you may become open to eternal life. I pray for you and intercede before the Most High for your sincere conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call"
Thanks Mom!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Powerful Art in the Home

This picture of Jesus was on my parents bedroom dresser for as long as I can remember. Now, it's on my mantel. I always tell people to think carefully about what sort of art they place in their homes, as it lives on in children's minds for a very long time. My mom made sure there were images of Jesus in our home. When I became a mom, I understood why! We need all of Heaven's help to get our children safely into Our Lord's arms. Even if they stray, it is promised that they will find their way back. That happened to me. I strayed,... several times. Mostly to escape my emotional pain and consequently made my life and those around me even worse. I've finally learned how to learn from my mistakes. Whenever I see this verse, I remember when I was that smoldering wick. Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench... Have a blessed Easter!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bursting into life from the dirt

I read somewhere without dirt, flowers cannot grow. I relate to this.
Something wonderful happened to me, something really wonderful. Ever since my son died, I've been plagued with horrific thoughts and images in my mind's eye. They've escalated over the years and taken form of crippling daytime nightmares. They became so real that my body reacted before I realized what was happening.
I was exhausted and agitated from this and feeling isolated as it seemed only I was dealing with this, while everyone else is busy chattering away, I'm sitting there seeing bloodshed and sensing my heart racing and my breathing stopped. A couple weeks ago on the way to Mass I asked my husband to pray for me during mass to help me with these visions, I told him I was exhausted. Exhausted in my mind, my spirit and my body. I was about at the end of my rope. This had been going on since 1987 and was progressively getting worse. When we go to mass, before it begins, we say prayers and just settle ourselves to quiet. I began praying to God about this problem of mine and I told Him there was no need to remind me to "not be fearful", that I may as well be told to go out and kiss the back end of a yellow Volkswagen rabbit. That's what I was whispering in prayer, not my words tho. I sat back in my pew and my husband asked me what was the matter. I told him I thought God was trying to remind me not to forget humor. He said that made sense to him. We both chuckled. Later in the Mass, after Holy Communion, I did hear Jesus tell me, and no mistake about it, He said, "I see everything you see". I felt something inside me collapse, like a dark thick wall, just crumble into dust. I hadn't realized how all alone in my own private world of terror that played out in my mind I had been all these years. I didn't realize how isolated I felt from others, even if they were right beside me. I haven't had a problem since with this torment of mind stuff. I feel very happy and light inside my soul. It was a miracle, to me, that God healed me in such an intimate way and let me know He was in "it" with me, and always will be. I face nothing alone.
Nor do you, or anyone else.
I believe praying the Rosary and The Divine Chaplet helped pave the way to this healing.
A few days after all of this, I went to Confession and dumped out the rest of the trash that had gathered in the corners of my soul trying to grow mold.
"A clean heart, create in me, O Lord!"
Yes! a clean heart! Soul scrubbing can be wonderfully painful once you realized how sin had deadened you. Feeling the pain of cleaning is welcomed.
I'm grateful I feel the pain of remorse for my sins. Without that pain I don't think one can experience the joy of gratitude to Christ for our salvation. The elation of knowing you've been rescued, that you've not been forgotten or passed over because of your sins, that you were loved all along, reaffirms that being a part of the Body of Christ is truly LIFE.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Red Ears and Naps

My mother used to say that if your ears were burning someone was talking about you!
Oh my! our beloved pets certainly make us smile.
Elle is enjoying the warm afternoon sun and I couldn't resist the way her ears captured the sunlight.
Meanwhile, outdoors, Nancy and Betty take a nice nap in the same sunshine.
Spring is here today! The sun makes me sleepy, too.
However, winter gives me more time to rest and now that rest is over as the outdoors need tending, let alone every single window in my house needs cleaned (and the screens).
Check out the honeysuckle bush, looks like a big hairy monster! But in a couple months at most, it will be beautiful.
And, if seen with wisdom, most things do become beautiful, if you give them time.
The end of this song, "Awesome God", there is the sound of people praising and rejoicing. Is that what Heaven sounds like when one of God's children returns home?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Goodbye Jeep (snif snif) :(

This past weekend I traveled to So. Ohio hoping to find new signs of spring. I certainly did find some.
Even smelled for a moment or two that familiar sweet alfalfa scent that is prominent in this area in spring. All things must have their season, have a chance to speak their mind, and then like melting snow, another view gets the podium.
Like my Jeep for instance, I loved that thing, but it's sold now in order to make funds for a better vehicle.
I get attached to my vehicles. They become a real friend to me. The Jeep was also an adventure to drive. I'll miss waving hello to all the other Jeep owners I passed in traffic. (Same thing happens if you drive a motorcycle. Most all motorcyclists wave. I think that's a hoot!)
Anyway, I'm thrilled my husband has a decent vehicle to drive to work and since I stay home and only drive a few miles a week, the Ford is fine and actually a safer vehicle. So all is well.
And now a word from St. Peter Chrysologus:
"Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God's ear to yourself"
(Sermo 43: PL 52, 320.322).