Monthly Archives: February 2011

Saint Joseph’s Cathedral: “My Noah’s Ark”

Every year on Christmas Eve, “Santa” without fail, would bring me a model Noah’s Ark. Before I could play with it, after all the wrapping paper was picked up, and sometimes before, I would bug my father to put it together. He would glue the two portions of the ark together, sometimes that night, so I could immediately play with my new toy, when the glue dried. I would sit for hours, laying on my stomach, setting up the animals two by two, pretending I was just as small as the plastic pieces and I was going to enter the ark with them. After all, God was about to destroy the “bad people”. I wondered for hours what it was really like. What it must have looked like and wished I was in Noah’s family during the great flood.

As much as I loved that toy ark and as much joy it brought me, my lack of caring for it was the reason it needed to be replaced yearly. Between the family dog chewing up the animals, slowly, one by one due to my leaving them out or my moms vacuum cleaner sucking them up, and my own destructiveness, they ended up with the same fate of my brothers army men, usually in the vintage hand crank 1940’s ice crusher in the basement. The ark itself, that my father glued together, would always end up in the bottom of the toy box, crushed by the weight of the junk piled on top of it.

The story of Noah was always my favorite as a child. By the age of 10 or so, I became “To Big” to want THAT toy anymore. Quickly forgetting the hours of wondering and joy it brought me. Not much longer after that, unfortunately, my faith, took the exact same path. I won’t go into details regarding my conversion back to the Catholic Church at this time but it has been a solid five years or more, that I am home again. I will say, the day my conversion back home began was on September 23, 1996, just after six at night, when the Lord took the man who glued all those arks together, home. The road back home, in many many ways, was like waiting “for the glue to dry”.

A few weeks before this past Christmas, I was in need of confession. My husband had been working weekends and making it to confession on Saturdays was next to imposable because I would have to bring my two small children with me. Mind you, they are 4 and 5 and them sitting quietly, without mom for any given second, IN church, while mom is in the confessional is WAY to much to ask of them. Something had been weighing very heavy on my soul and I didn’t want to wait for an appointment time with my priest. I looked for any Catholic Church where confession was offered at a different time and found Saint Joseph’s Cathedral. I was so happy for two reasons. One, I found a church and two, I had never been in a cathedral before.

I arrived at the Cathedral 20 minutes before the doors were open. I sat on the front steps and prayed until it was time to go in. When I walked in, my eyes were adjusting to to the light change and I was blinded for a few moments until my eyes adjusted and was overwhelmed with the beauty I was seeing. The extremely large stained glass windows let in the only light at that time, along with the light that came in through the open doors. There were workmen everywhere doing reconstruction work, but it didn’t take away the beauty from this place I was in. I preceded to walk to the confessional and stand in line during this visit. My mind was more on my confession and not where I was confessing. After the sacrament, daily mass was offered and I stayed. When it was over, I knew I didn’t have much time to spend in this beautiful place, and my return back was a must.

My return trip was for daily mass and of course, confession again, a week before Christmas. For the first time in my life, during this trip to the confessional, I was able to hear the words “I absolve you of these sins, and all your sins”, with my heart. I walked out of the confessional, sat in the pew and felt the weight of the world come off my shoulders. I became so relaxed, I stretched my arms across the back of the pew, and tossed my head back, looking up to the ceiling to thank Christ for the joy and peace, and at that exact moment, He took my breath away again. I stared in amazement at the beamed ceiling. The massive roof trusses all exposed, just like Noah’s Ark. I went limp and I remembered the gift I received every Christmas.

I then noticed the small hatch like windows along with the porthole lights just below the roof line, reminiscent of a ship’s. Knowing full well, God’s plan to Noah, did not have these, but wondered if it was God’s plan for me to catch this detail, to remind me of the hours I spent as a child and the “Great Flood” of remembering filled me. I pondered my 40 plus years alive and Noah’s 40 day’s and nights, on his ark, and the rainbow, God’s covenant with man, that he would never destroy the earth in that manner again. But rather with fire. A similar fire I have felt, with the Holy Spirit, purifying my soul, destroying what God did not place in my heart when He created me, on my path back home to the Catholic Church, and in time, into His arms.

Another detail; the marks in the walls. After mass, I looked closer at them. I was overtaken by the thought of the scourging of Jesus. Then I thought again, maybe their just best left in the walls, placed there from all the sins we have committed. Like scars, left in the physical temple as we enter into holy mass to purify the spiritual temple. Either way, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will not allow myself to become “To Big” to lose that peace, joy and wonderment again. Every time I return there, I am that small child again at Christmas, but now small enough to enter into the “Ark.”

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Sunday Morning Reflection…

Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.
12 As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.
13 As tenderly as a father treats his children, so Yahweh treats those who fear him;

Today’s Psalms bring me back to yesterdays post,
Washing The Kitchen Floor With The Holy Spirit
How we so often “Think” we know the vast love and mercy of our Lord, and when we ponder deeper, we quickly understand our “Thoughts” can never fully comprehend the gravity of His love, grace and mercy.

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Washing The Kitchen Floor With The Holy Spirit

My typical Saturday…with only one difference. I got my lazy but off the computer for a break to wash my kitchen floor and had a friendly chat with the Holy Spirit while doing so. It went something like this:

Holy Spirit: Hey Peg?

Me: Yes?

Holy Spirit: Remember back when you were so distraught and didn’t have anyone left to turn to regarding the state of your soul and the mortal sins you were covered in? Remember when your eyes were so swollen from crying, thinking that God would never forgive you and that He must be punishing you, and you thought God hated you?

Me: Yes. I’ll never forget that day. Or the days that followed.

Holy Spirit: Remember when you dropped everything you were doing, got in your car, drove to find any Catholic Church, and parked your car, walked in and sat in the pew, and broke down in tears again, begging God to forgive you?

Me: Yes. I don’t know how I got there or how I brought myself to do that.

Holy Spirit: Remember there was only one other person in that church, that just happened to be open? A church building where the doors were not locked? Remember then after sitting in tears, the Catholic Priest who just happened to be there, who just happened to tap you on the shoulder and ask you if he could help you?

Me: Yes. I was lucky that day!!

Holy Spirit: Luck? HAHA! Remember it being as if the Priest was pulling your teeth, for him to get you to confess your sins? Remember Him asking you if you would like to confess them and you did everything you could not to and told him that God would never forgive you but you confessed your sins anyway?

Me: Yes. For many years after, I struggled with thinking He was very angry with me. I walked out that day thinking, pfft, yeah. My life then was hell. I hated being there but didn’t know how to get out. I wasn’t sure if I could. In the state of hell that is. I didn’t want to leave the church.

Holy Spirit: Do you understand now, it was I who was with you, before you acted on my Love for you and you decided to go? Do you know now that it was I who carried you out of that hell you were living in and continue to keep you from there? Do you know now, that is God’s Grace? Do you know now, it was I who planted the seeds of repentance? I who made it possible for you to find the open church? I who made sure the Priest was there for you? I who was with you when you left and stayed with you? I who am STILL with you? I who Love you? I who made everything so EASILY possible for you to return to me? All you did was listen and followed your heart, where I can always be found. Do you know now how much God loves you? How much God loves ALL his children?

Me: I do now. Thank you Lord!

More like the Holy Spirit washing the floor with me…..

*Self Knowledge

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Tasting Death

‘I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.’ Mark 9:1

Pondering…physical death? Or the death of the “worldly person” not reborn into the faith that should have been growing in each person, upon hearing Jesus speak and seeing His work first hand.. The second Jesus began his mission, the Kingdom of Heaven began to grow. The carpenter was now the Messiah, soon to be the King of the Jews, and for ever, the King of Glory. The Kingdom of Heaven on earth arrived the day of His birth. Just as the “Mustard Seed”, small at first, just a seed, which was planted, died and sprouted to bring forth “New Life”. Upon hearing Jesus and seeing the miracles, faith in Him should have began to grow.

I often think of St. Thomas the Apostle who even after the resurrected Christ appeared to the other apostles, refused to believe until he verified the resurrected Christ himself, by sticking his hand in the wounds of our Lord.

I also ponder this scripture in regards to the Scribes and the Pharisees. Most of them didn’t care what miracles Christ performed or how many were cured. They were to blinded by there own “Worldly” hate and jealousy to see anything but a threat. Jesus certainly was not the military leader THEY believe the Messiah should be. Someone else I would toss into this category is Judas Iscariot. What did Judas see before his own death? What almighty power was unleashed on him? Was he confronted face to face with the truth of Christ being the Son of God and could not cope knowing what he had done?

In pondering this scripture, I must keep in mind, the full Glory of God to come again!

How many times have we in our own lives, seen Jesus work with us, speak to us in our hearts and felt that absolute peace KNOWING He has helped us, did we go right back to worrying about how we were going to handle the next situation we ran across? If your like me, I bet that answer is most of the time.Forgetting like gnats what grace is given to us daily.

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