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.