Monday, August 31, 2009

Plastic Jesus?

I'm often amazed at the workings of the Lord in my life. I wonder why it is that he chooses to bring certain people to us at the exact moment in our lives when we need them the most, and we had no clue that we needed them. My friend Heidi and I go way back to 7th grade. I hadn't seen or heard from her since high school. She found me on facebook a few months ago, and she has changed my life. I am inspired by her deep faith and gentle kindness. She inspired me to begin blogging. She inspires me to pray more, to take scripture into my heart. She inspires me with this post, especially the video. I see myself in it. Do you?
Living in His Amazing Grace

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Love of a Mother

Mary came running to the van in tears at the end of her second day of life as a third grade student. She climbed into my lap, barely fitting behind the steering wheel, and buried her tear-stained face into my neck. Gently rubbing her back, I asked her to tell me what was bothering her. "Oh Mom, Colin told me that the reason my locker is on the bottom row is because I'm so small!" Once again, sobbing overcame her. "But Mary," I said, "You are one of the tallest girls in class. You know that what he said isn't true. That's such a little thing to be so upset about." She looked at me earnestly and replied "Mom, it hurts." The tears continued. All I could do was to hold her close to my heart until my sons came out of school and it was time to leave. A promise of some special time baking cookies together helped to ease her pain for the moment and she crawled into the back seat, buckled her seat belt, and we drove home.

This is how I imagine our pains look to Jesus. He knew the ultimate suffering, yet he gladly welcomes us into His arms with all of our 'little things'. He lets us cry and sob as He holds us close to His heart. He promises us the joy of heaven if we can only bear with the pain in our hearts a little while longer on the journey to our eternal home.

My dearest Jesus,
when You suffered little pains of daily life, did You run to Your mother and cry on her neck? Did she hold You and rub Your back and comfort You with the gift of her time? Did the tender love she showed You each day help to carry You through during Your greatest suffering in the crucifixion? Remind me that no matter how small and trivial my sorrows may be, I can always find comfort in the arms of your Blessed Mother just as You did. Thank you sweet Jesus and dear Mother Mary for always being there for me whenever I need a little reassurance in my daily trials. Amen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Silence the Song

I heard the bird sing
so sweetly
outside my window.

His merry tune
woke me
each morning.

the silence
hangs heavy,
my own song.

On the lawn
a mass of feathers
tells the gruesome tale,
and one satisfied cat
hides in the bushes,
licking his whiskers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Living with Boys

My sons fill my house with loud, boisterous life.
They laugh and shout and fight and make lots of strange noises.
They slap each other on the back for encouragement or in anger.
Dirty looks and course language are often exchanged.
Sometimes, I think the ceiling will cave in when they wrestle and jump upstairs!
I scowl and frown and remind them to behave.
But inside, I’m envious.
I wish I could join them in their energetic youth.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flood of Peace

Loving Jesus,

Wash me away
in a flood of peace.
Take me somewhere new,
somewhere calm and serene.
Let Your flood of peace
fill me
so I become unaware
of everything
Your love.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family Rosary Tradition/

You may have read from other blogs that is back! You can find my Family Rosary Tradition story here.

Please visit for all of your rosary needs!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pondering Pages/Gifts From the Sea

A weekly MEME sponsored by Lara at Holy Mothering...

A few years ago, I experienced what I was sure was a mid-life crisis. I know that term seems so cliche, but I just can't explain it any other way. For the first time in my life I felt challenged to define who I really was and where I was headed with my life. Up until that point, I was always self-assured and confident. Suddenly, I felt like a frightened child, as if everything I had known and loved fell to pieces in my heart. I was scared, confused and depressed. I'm sure that God used this time to draw me closer to Him, as He often uses our trials in life as a means to show us His deep and tender love for us. In "Gifts from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, I felt the compassion and understanding of God through her words of experience. This book tells the story of a retreat she took at her summer home by the sea. While alone with God, the sea and her notebook, she pondered the meaning of her life in a beautifully poetic way and through her words, I no longer felt alone in my struggles.

"Many people never climb above the plateau of 40-50. The signs that presage growth, so similar, it seems to me, to those in early adolescence: discontent, restlessness, doubt, despair, longing, are interpreted falsely as signs of decay...In middle age, because of the false assumption that it is a period of decline, one interprets these life-signs as signs of approaching death. Instead of facing them, one runs away; one escapes into depressions, nervous breakdowns, drink, love affairs, or frantic, thoughtless, fruitless overwork. Anything rather than face them. Anything rather than stand still and learn from them. One tries to cure the signs of growth, to exorcise them, as if they were devils, when really they might be angels of annunciation.

Angels of annunciation of what? Of a new stage of living when, having shed many of the physical struggles, the worldly ambitions, the material encumbrances of active life, one might be free to fulfill the neglected side of one's self. One might be free for growth of mind, heart and talent; free at last for spiritual growth. Beautiful as it was, it was still a closed world one had to outgrow."

I also loved some of her passages about writing:

"What release to write so that one forgets oneself, forgets one's companion, forgets where one is or what one is going to do next-to be drenched in work as one is drenched in sleep or in the sea."

"I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living."

And finally, about friendship...

"Men kick friendship around like a football, but it doesn't seem to crack. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces."

And for my friend Judy, at BENMAKESTEN, some pieces of glass she's been wanting to see, my own gift from the sea!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Few Assumptions about Mary

On this Holy Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would like to make a few assumptions about our lovely Mother...

I assume that Mary delighted in each and every kick of the infant Jesus inside her womb, and used those kicks as a reminder to thank God for the blessing of the life within her.

I assume that Mary lovingly prayed for her mother, St. Anne, each time she wrapped the baby Jesus in the swaddling blanket that St. Anne so lovingly wove from finest fabric for her Grandson.

I assume that Mary grimaced as she scrubbed the dirt from Jesus' neck when he returned home, hot and sticky, from helping St. Joseph in the carpenter shop.

I assume that Mary worried about the friends that Jesus associated with and prayed that they would be faithful and well-behaved.

I assume that Mary cried the day that Jesus left to begin his mission in life, as the empty place within her heart which would one day contain the sword began to ache just a bit.

I assume that Mary would have rather died on that cross herself, than to stand helplessly beneath it.

Holy, sweet, beautiful Mother, on this glorious day of your Assumption into heaven, I ask you to remember all mothers who long to follow in your path of holiness. Ask your Son to fill our hearts with a gentle love like yours, a love that silently ponders the wonders and sorrows of our world, as we await our own glorious entrances into the eternal kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pondering Pages/I Believe in Love

Joining once again with Lara at Holy Mothering...

I just finished reading I Believe in Love:Retreat Conferences in the Interior Life by Fr. Jean du Coeur de Jesus d'Elbee. This book was recommended to my son John by a seminarian during the Summer Camp for boys who are thinking about the priesthood. I am so glad that Matt(the seminarian)recommended this book for John, because not only did he enjoy it, but I did as well!

As a devotee of daily Mass, I was encouraged by this quote..."Let your Mass be the center of your day. Everything must flow for you from your daily Mass and everything must culminate in it."

Regarding the crosses we all carry in life..."He will never let the cross crush you; on the contrary, it will lift you up toward heaven. It is no longer you who will carry it, it is the cross which will carry you. Jesus took upon himself the bitterest cross and he will add a balm to it before giving it to you-that is certain. The sweetness of the crosses accepted with the joy of free will is a great mystery, yet very real." Isn't that beautifully comforting?

Finally, regarding the title..."There existed between Jesus and John the particular tenderness which comes from preference. Jesus had a special tenderness for John. And John knew himself to be preferred...Why was St. John the preferred? He tells us in a word. "Because I believed in love." And he makes the supreme revelation: Deus Caritas est. "God is Love." 1John 4:8 How do you learn that God is love? By your intimacy with Jesus. Where do you learn to live in this intimacy? At the foot of the tabernacle, at the Mass, in the Gospel."

Do you believe in love?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Daily Blessings Special Feature

I want to thank Judy, mom of ten and super sweet manager of several blogs including BENMAKESTEN and A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings (both in my sidebar of favorite blogs) for interviewing me for her Daily Blessings Special Feature blog. It was both a thrill and an honor! You can find that interview at the following link:

House of Love

It is not at all uncommon for Mary to cry,
but this time,
I could tell that she was really hurt
and not just looking
for attention.

As I snuggled her in my arms,
to offer her comfort and love,
I sang a lullaby to her
that I hadn’t sung in the
eight years since she was a baby.

John and Jack heard me singing
and they came to comfort
Mary as well.
They gave her hugs and kisses.
She was surrounded
by the love and care
of her devoted family.

A look of pure
fell upon her face
as she drifted off to sleep
in my arms.

This is the house
of love, Lord.
It is filled with Your
Holy Love
as we strive to
follow your example.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


branches snap
under my feet and I think
I could break
just as easily

my prayer is dry
my soul is parched

I need to be drenched
with the consolations
of Your sweet love
my Jesus

fill me
until I overflow
quench my thirst
for You

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Torn to Shreds

In honor of the Feast Day of St. John Vianney, a story about forgiveness in remembrance of the Saint who spent countless hours in the confessional...

When my son Justin was preparing to make the Sacrament of First Reconciliation, he was quite nervous as most children are the first time they confess their sins, and as some people are every time they confess their sins. Part of Justin’s nerves were due to the fact that he thought he might freeze up in the confessional and forget the sins he needed to confess. His remedy for this fear was to write all of his sins down on a piece of paper, tuck it in his pocket, and pull it out if the need arose.

Sure enough, as nine-year-old Justin sat face to face with the priest, he drew a perfect blank about what he wanted to say. So, he pulled that paper from his pocket and “read” his sins to Father. After he received absolution, the priest asked to see the list of sins. As Justin handed the paper to the priest, Father immediately tore the paper to shreds. He told Justin, “This is what God has now done to your sins. God has torn your sins to shreds; they are gone forever. You should completely forget about them.” What a wonderful symbolic action on the part of this priest! Justin left the confessional just beaming!

I need to frequently remind myself of the lesson Justin learned that day, because although I know that my sins are permanently absolved in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, my good old Catholic guilt won’t let me forget them. I keep trying to pick up those scraps of paper and glue them back together again. I keep trying to tell myself that my sins are so bad I can never be redeemed. How that must hurt Jesus to know that I can’t seem to accept his forgiveness wholeheartedly, that part of me continues to hang on to my sin. I need to remind myself over and over again that God loves me, right here, right now, whether I am sinful or redeemed from the state of sin. He longs to pick up those scraps of paper that have been torn to shreds and burn them in the fire so there will be no way I can try to pick them up again.

Dear, sweet, forgiving Jesus, help me to remember that my sins, once confessed and forgiven with the blessing of absolution, are no longer mine to hold on to, they are now yours to do whatever it is you wish with them. It was a precious gift of love when you took my sins upon yourself through the suffering you endured on the cross. Help me to show my appreciation for that gift by forgiving myself as you forgive me. Amen.

Pondering Pages/Revelations of Divine Love

Joining with Lara at Holy Mothering in a weekly sharing of favorite books...

It's a classic, and I completely fell in love with this book. It came as a real surprise to me that I would feel so strongly about Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich because I thought it would be too challenging for me to understand. It's written in Olde English and I thought it would take forever for me to finish, but once I opened the pages, I couldn't close the book until I was finished. It was breathtaking poetry from beginning to end! Here are the passages that have remained embedded in my heart...

"I saw Him-yet the more I saw the more I needed to see. I had Him-and the more I had of Him the more I knew I lacked."

"For that contrariness is cause of our tribulations and all our woe, and our Lord Jesus taketh them and sendeth them up to Heaven, and there they are made more sweet and delectable than heart may think or tongue may tell."

"They that were His friends suffered pain for love."

"All His doings be easy and sweet, and to great ease bringing the soul unto the fair sweet deeming of our Lord God."

"I was left in heaviness and weariness of my life, and irksomeness of myself, so that scarcely I would have patience to live. Souls sometimes be in comfort and for profit of man's soul, a man is sometimes left to himself. Freely our Lord giveth when He will; and suffereth us to woe sometimes. And both are one love."

"For this is the cause why we be not all in ease of heart and soul; that we seek here rest in those things that be so little, wherein is no rest, and know not our God that is Almighty, All-wise, All-good. For He is the very rest."

Such beautiful poetry, such heart-felt prayers...I could rewrite the whole book for you here because I loved all of it! But, I will leave the rest for you to discover for yourself, if you haven't already. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


"You need hands to hold someone you care for,
You need hands to show that you're sincere.
When you fear nobody wants to know you
You need hands to brush away the tears.

When you hold the brand new baby
You need tender hands to guide them on their way
You need hands to thank the Lord for living
And for giving us this day."
The Sex Pistols

I'm floored every time I think about how strange it is that these lovely words come from a punk rock band that symbolizes the exact opposite of love and peace. But in this song, I think they have captured a very meaningful representation of an important part of our bodies. I've been thinking about the power we hold within our hands. We can reach out to others with an embrace or a handshake and offer our love and friendship. Or, we can strike others, lash out in anger through physical violence and obscene gestures. Holding our hands open in front of us resembles the openness of our hearts, the welcoming we desire to both give and receive.

I have been remembering my dad's calloused hands from years of hard work and repeated daily diabetes testing. I can picture my mom's arthritic hands, gnarled and swollen with pain. I recall with great joy the sweet sensation of my own babies hands wrapped around my finger. All of these hands bring feelings of joy mingled with sadness. But perhaps the hands which have been the most meaningful to me throughout my lifetime, are the beautiful hands of a priest as he caresses the bread within them and through his touch, this simple food becomes God Himself. What a miracle each and every Mass contains through hands which are devoted to God.

I thank you Lord, for the gift of our hands. Help us to use them with great care, remembering that they can carry your love to the world, or they can shut the world out of our lives. I pray that when we hold our hands in prayer to you they will become more holy, more gentle and more loving. I pray that others will see and feel you in the tender touch of our hands. Amen.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Being Christ

“Each of us may be the only Christ that another person ever experiences. How vital it is that we live our faith well.”
Fr. Don Hying


There have been times when I’ve desperately needed someone to be You for me, but I couldn’t find anyone to fill Your shoes. How lonely that felt!

There have also been times when someone stepped in for You most magnificently and through them, I was renewed.

So I wonder, when have I been Christ for others? How well do I live my faith? Forgive me Jesus, for in this regard, I know that I fail miserably.

I need you Jesus. Come to life for me. Be resurrected in my soul today so that I can exist for You alone, and bring You to the world around me.