The Easter Lamb Cake

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Every year, since our Lord blessed me with a family, I have been making an Easter Lamb Cake. The task usually begins on Good Friday, after Veneration of the Cross. This year, with the pandemic, and not being able to attend physically, was no different. I had watched some very moving services being live streamed all over the internet and when it was finished, I began the task of preparing for my family’s Easter.

The Lamb Cake tradition began in when I was very little, as my mom would always purchase one for us. It was always on the table for after Easter dessert. In the Midwest where I am originally from, they were always present during Holy Week in the grocery stores. You couldn’t walk into one without seeing a beautiful Easter display of them, surrounded by Easter Lilly’s. No so here in California.

When my children were very little, about four and five years old, I didn’t want them to miss out on what I always looked forward to seeing when I was young. My husband purchased a lamb cake baking mold for me, and the tradition began. Over the years, it became a way to do something special for us, to bond in a way only we could understand. While our Lord was placed in the tomb on Good Friday, and silence filled the earth, we began to mix the “spices” of joy and life by making something to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection for us as a family.

Good Friday night, I mix the cake batter and pour it into the mold. Placing it into the oven, as our Lord was placed into the tomb, and made His descent into hell. Its a means of contemplation for me as I make the cake. What was once batter, comes out as something completely different. Its quite funny really, when the bake time is actually 33 minutes,  and that being the age of our Lord at the time of His Crucifixion.

When the cake is complete, it USUALLY breaks free of the mold, and emerges as the Victorious Lamb. This year, it did not. For some reason, the cake stuck in the mold, and I had to pry it out. It broke into several pieces, which upon looking at it, made me realize, I had to make another. Don’t assume it went to waste, as it would have been used to pick on for a snack after Good Friday was over. So, back to the mixing and pouring and baking. Pulling it out of the oven again, I remove it from the mold, and it sticks again. Breaking into pieces.

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As I contemplated all these pieces, my first thought was to build a Franken Lamb Cake, using all the pieces I had to build one complete Lamb Cake. As I prayed, the story changed and the darkness of that story, was overcome by the Light. The two very broken lamb cakes, were to become one. The Marriage of the Lamb!

This morning, Holy Saturday, the task began to assemble the pieces together. As my children were still sleeping, with the rest of the world, I assembled the pieces, my contemplation of our Lord gathering all the souls together, liberating them from the bondage of darkness and bringing them all into Him.

I stood the cake upright, and the face fell off. So I picked up the intact head of the other and placed it firmly onto the body. Christ is the head of the body! Although the cake appeared to be very broken, it was in fact read to dress. Our Lord takes all our brokenness and fixes it in the most BEAUTIFUL and JOYFUL way, His. What we see in ourselves, and in others, our Lord sees much differently. Although we can not be there with Him, He is with us always.

Finished

The dressing of the wounded cake was complete, and my children were left in awe, after thinking there would be no lamb this year on our table. Much in the way they did when He was placed in the tomb.  Much in the way that we as Catholics assume that our Lord would not be, with us this year, due to the pandemic.

“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

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The message is the same every year. Do not be afraid. Jesus Christ is LORD!

Much love to you all this Easter and for all time to come. He is RISEN INDEED!

 

 

 

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Holy Saturday 2020

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Like the bud of the Lilly, waiting for the command to open and reveal its true beauty, so to, is our Lord’s glory, waiting to burst fourth from the tomb to reveal His love for us.  To return from the dead and forgive us for putting Him to death.

Holy Saturday,  in silence.

Pondering: ” And the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” 

“I confess to Almighty God…”, I falsely accused Him, I cursed at Him, I scourged Him, I placed a crown of thorns on His precious head. I mocked Him, I sided with the wicked and not Him. I shouted for Him to be crucified. I had Him put to death. I did not love Him as He loved me. In my neighbor, with my rock hard heart of stone   – Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” God our Father

“Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel’

His agony is over and His pain is now gone, all that remains is us, to think about what we have done and to repent of our disobedience and to pray.

Hosea 5:15b-16:2

Thus says the Lord,
In their affliction, they shall look for me:
   “Come, let us return to the Lord,
For it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
   he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
   on the third day he will raise us up,
   to live in his presence.”

Hebrews Chapter 12

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Good Friday 2020

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At every moment we carry in our bodies the death of Jesus so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be manifested (2 Corinthians 4:10).

If you find yourself pondering our Lord crucifixion today, and I pray you do, I hope you can focus on the moment our Lord was placed in front of the crowd, scourged, beaten and mocked. His flesh torn to pieces, the crown of thrones piercing His precious head.  His face mangled and unrecognizable.

“Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”

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Is this what is done to a man with no guilt by the world who assumes to judge rightly? Daily.  Why? If we are followers of Christ, can we say, that by doing this to our neighbor, we do it because we love them and because we forgive them, as our Lord has forgiven us?

When the good thief, crucified with our Lord, said, we deserve this, but He (our Lord) did nothing wrong, think of this in regards to how you, yourself do deserve this, as do I, because we are sinners, along with, just because we deserve this, doesn’t make it right and just to do it, as it has already been done, and continues to be done, daily,  to the Man with no guilt, by us, without love, without mercy and without forgiving, to our neighbor.

“You did it to me”.

Its a good day to end practice. Pope Francis reminds us today, that the outstretched arms of our Lord are always there to welcome you, every time you stray from Him. I pray many do. I hope everyone does.

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Today begins the Divine Mercy Novena. Day 1, starting at 3:00 PM. I hope many take advantage of this wonderful novena and open your hearts to His mercy.:

EDIT TO ADD:

Please watch, a beautiful video just posted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa on this Good Friday – The 6 Mockings of Christ. Beyond the physical and spiritual suffering that Christ endured for our salvation, He also experienced relentless bullying and abandonment. In this video, Father Mitch goes through a lesser discussed aspect of the Passion, tying it back to our modern day problems and how each one of us can learn to love more greatly, endure with patience, and become ever closer to Christ on this holy Good Friday, 2020.

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Triduum Sacrum

King

This will be the first time, since my conversion back home, that I will miss attending the Easter Triduum.

I can pour out my feelings here about missing it, but it wouldn’t change anything. I can only accept what is. What I can do, is REMEMBER all the times I was able to attend, and be grateful to have been there. To remember how our Lord touched my heart and help me come to realize how much my sins hurt Him, but more so, how much He had forgiven me.  To remember the first time I had ever attended, and cried for all the times I had missed attending because I had so many other things that were, at the time, better to do. How foolish I was. When it became clear to me, everything had come to these three days, every day became a priority, to be with our Lord.

I remember Lord. I remember it all. I also remember the last Holy Mass I was in attendance. I remember how prolific the grace was, to see for myself, the Last Supper.

This day, as I can not be there, I will pray for all our Lord Priests. I will pray for all our Lords Deacons. I will pray for all our Lords Seminarians. I will pray for vocations to the Priesthood.

Lord, through Your most Holy Spirit, inflame the hearts of your friends with Your Divine Love. Touch their hearts as you have touched mine, that they may come to love you deeply above all else, in all souls and never be afraid to love as You have loved us. Give them Your Divine Courage to carry their crosses with You and to never leave You. Give them Your Divine Mercy, that they may be merciful as You have been merciful with us. I ask this through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to Your most Sacred Heart and may the glory be always our Father in heaven, for all time and all eternity.  Amen

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Taken from USCCB:

Gracious and loving God, we thank your for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.

Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.

Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.

Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.

Amen.

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Cardinal Pell’s Freedom

God

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” John 15:18-27

The “world” is still in the business of creating “scapegoats” and Cardinal Pell was to be another one, in the many it makes of souls. I am grateful to our Lord for his release. This is Holy Week. For Cardinal Pell’s freedom to come today, is a joyful celebration. You see, our Lord already paid the price for the sins of others, along with our own.

Imagine being saddled with every sin committed, by every soul, in all of time. When one thinks about this, in regards to their own sins, we can come to see the injustice that our Lord already carried to the Cross. He without sin, became sin itself. I can not atone for the sins of my children, my husband, my neighbor nor anyone. I can only atone for my own. What I can do, is offer up my suffering for their conversion and pray that they too, say YES to our Lord, and no to the sins they love more than our Lord.

When anyone else, besides our Lord, is saddled with the sins of his neighbor, justice is not achieved. All that comes about is more blame on the entire group, the entire Church, and the entirety of our faith. The Church can not be held guilty of the sins of its members. As the sins of its members do not speak on behalf of the Church. The true repentance of these sins,  the mercy and grace of our Lord, is what speaks by the individual souls actions, to say YES to our Lord, and no to the thirty pieces of silver they were offered in exchange for forgiveness.

When the “world” scapegoats a person such as Cardinal Pell,  falsely accuses him, falsely convicts him and places him in jail, for the sins of others, it is the epitome of injustice.  As Archbishop Fisher said: “But justice for victims is never served by the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of anyone. I hope and pray that the finality of the legal processes will bring some closure and healing to all affected.”

Who has already taken these horrific sins to the Cross? Our Lord has. Many have freely chosen His forgiveness and repented. Many have not and opted for the “thirty pieces of silver” instead. Also, many can not tell the difference between the two, as they have not grasped the severity of their own sins first. Which is what it takes to see the difference between the two. Many still refuse to forgive as our Lord has forgiven. And many still, feel the need to take on the sins of everyone who refuses to atone for their own sins, therefore taking on the guilt of NON-repenting sinners, and paint the Bride of Christ with darkness. Snap out of it! You already know that forgiveness from our Lord waits patiently for everyone. It takes a turning away from the false love they hold on to, and a turning to the First Love of their souls. I ask souls to ponder deeply, what became of Judas “Ministry.” The disciples chose a replacement for Judas. St. Matthias, literally “gift of Yahweh”. They did not wallow in the sins of Judas, but relished the Glory of our Lord. As do all repentant souls.

What then, becomes of the TRUE victims of such a crime? The JUSTICE of our Lord. “Not as the world gives you. “

Cardinal Pell said, “I hold no ill will towards my accuser”. And thinking of others who may feel “hurt and bitterness”, he said that he does not want his acquittal to add any additional pain. The basis for “long term healing”, he continued, “is truth and the only basis for justice is truth, because justice means truth for all”.

 

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A Little Visit – Holy Week

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Just before dinner this evening, my daughter pointed outside and said we have a visitor Mom! We sure did. Unable to attend Palm Sunday Mass, we talked about the Holy Spirit coming to us.  How our Lord is always with us and we need to focus on the Light in all we face at all times, and not the darkness that seeks to confuse and frighten us. Trusting completely in our Lord. We have already been forgiven for not being able to attend, so we must accept His forgiveness. Least we  sin against the Holy Spirit, not trusting in our Lord’s pardon.

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Palm Sunday 2020

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Although the PUBLIC Holy Mass has been canceled, Palm Sunday goes on. We must look deep into our hearts and see with faith, that nothing can take away the fact that our Lord has come into His Kingdom, and is seated at the right hand of our Father. Although we may not receive our free palms to make those beautiful crosses and to adorn our crucifix in our homes, we have received the greatest gift, that being our Lord, Himself.

We must still welcome Him, into the temple of our bodies spiritually. To rid us of our pride, our self contentedness, our sins, and so we to, can join Him freely, on the Via Dolorosa, as we carry our crosses, with Him, to be crucified with Him.

In all of this, I pray souls come to realize how much we all NEED the Sacraments. I pray souls come to a deep state of repentance. I pray souls throw themselves with desire into the Sacrament of Confession when it is available, often. I pray souls come to realize our Lord needs to be placed FIRST before ANYTHING else in our lives and return in droves to Him, our First Love. I pray souls learn how to forgive one another, as our Lord has forgiven us. And I pray that we never lose the importance of Him, ever again.

Yes God loves us, do we love Him? “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15

May we die to self, and rise in our Lord. My Lord Jesus Christ, graciously hear us.

 

 

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#PrayTogether

Pope Francis

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How to pray with the Pope on Friday

Link above – Faithful across the world are invited to join Pope Francis spiritually in prayer on Friday, 27 March at 6 pm Rome time.

Full text from Pope Francis’ homily for the special ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing:

“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.

It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).

Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.

The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.

In this storm, the facade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial. It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves. In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Faith begins when we realize we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.

The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.

Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring. It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. By his cross we have been saved in order to embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain all measures and all possible avenues for helping us protect ourselves and others. Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).

You can offer your Plenary Indulgence for someone dying today.

Alone

When you see this photo and want to cry, because it seems Pope Francis was all alone. Don’t. He was not alone. We were ALL with him in prayer. Use the eyes of your heart and SEE the faith is alive and well.

Vatican Live

 

 

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March 27, 2020 · 8:31 am

Solemnity Of The Annunciation

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Thank you Mom for saying yes.

What should appear over Lourdes today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, but the sign of our Lord’s covenant with His people.

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Shelter From The Storm

storm

As I woke this morning, I noticed we were in the midst of another rain storm. I pondered the day’s of Noah, and when the rain began to fall.

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I was not afraid, because our Lord told us not to be. Also, due to the Ark of the New Covenant. Thinking about how we are all cooped up, separated from everything that can harm us and others, as our Lord protected us, from the virus.

Glory to our Lord. I prayed, and contemplated all we are going through, the entire world and simply accepted what I could not change. The “Ark” for Noah was not a prison for forty days, but a Sanctuary. As the New Ark was the womb for our Lord, which He was nurtured and grew.  So also, my home is not a prison, but a domestic Church, to continue to worship our Lord, to be a peaceful place. To nurture and protect the life within. We grow in this home and it is up to us how we grow. Do we grow wild and angry with one another? Or do we choose to grow in respect and love for one another?  That, I believe, is another grace our Lord is granting us, through this difficult time.

Learn to love again as our Lord has loved us.

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As in the days of Noah, we choose the Ark.

Pope calls for 9pm Rosary for protection of our families

St. Joseph, pray for us

READING
2 Samuel 7:28-29

Lord God, you are God and your words are truth; you have made this generous promise to your servant. Do, then, bless the house of your servant that it may be before you forever; for you, Lord God, have promised, and by your blessing the house of your servant shall be blessed forever.

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Flower of Carmel, Pray For Us

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Flos Carmeli Prayer

O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine,
Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular,
who brought forth the Son of God,
still ever remaining a Pure Virgin,
assist me in this necessity.
O Star of the sea, help and protect me!
Show me that Thou art my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

Mother and Beauty of Carmel, Pray for us!
Virgin, Flower of Carmel, Pray for us!
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, Pray for us!
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Our Patron, Pray for us!
O sweet Heart of Mary, Be our salvation!
Amen.

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Today’s Last Supper

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Our last public Mass was celebrated this morning and I was blessed to attend with two of my daughters. Never until this day, have I ever had a more solid and absolute grasp of the magnitude and sheer beauty of the Last Supper. In every moment of Holy Mass, the presence of our Lord was made known to me. Just when you know you can’t take another step closer to Him, He draws nearer to you.

From the very moment Holy Mass began, and even now, a few hours after, my soul is at peace. Truly in His peace. Knowing this would be the last time, not only I but many other souls would be able to receive Him for a time, every word that was spoken today, drew me into the Mass in a way only our Lord could do. Everything meant something very significant and was a direct reflection and correlated  what I had said early today in a blog post regarding saying goodbye for now, things that I had said to my children before hand, things I had thought about and most of all, that being family and friends who do not know Him yet, and every fear was gone. I do not expect anyone to understand this. Everything is tied together by Him and in Him. Even the music today spoke to my heart. I could never put it into words, because the human mind can not hold nor process what its Creator can.

When I received Him today, I received the most beautiful consolation from Him.  When I received our Lord in the Eucharist this morning, I walked back to the pew, placed my head down with my eyes closed.  While my eyes were closed, there was such a magnificent BRIGHT light which I can’t describe.  There is nothing to compare it to. I began to cry as it became brighter and brighter still, as I just knew it was our Lord.  The Light filled me and after a time, as it diminished, I seen the Host at a distance until the light was gone, as if He was telling me, I am still here, hidden.  My children asked me if I was okay. I couldn’t speak but only shake my head yes and placed my head back down. I told them after mass, what I have written here today.

I took you all with me today in prayer. I received Him for all who could not. I pray He brings you to repentance and to His peace. I pray that you open your heart to Him completely. A very long time ago, “He told me everything I have done.” and with my entire heart, I wanted nothing more than to return to Him. Never take Him for granted. He loves you so much. Love Him back.

I pray you too can and do say, one day: “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

 

 

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Just For A Time, Goodbye My Love

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I will be able to receive our Lord today at Holy Mass, for the last time until this pandemic is over, and the faithful are all allowed to return to their First Love.

“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”.

As I ponder not being able to receive our Lord in the Eucharist, as Masses for the public are canceled, from my point of view, as I am blessed to receive our Lord today for a last time, until this is all over, I can see it as a Military spouse, kissing her husband good bye as he heads off on a short deployment. Its just for a little while.

While I have spent many years separated from my spouse due to many deployments, we still talked. We still loved one another. It was just for a time and he returned. So I still love our Lord in return, remain faithful, and do what I can to stay close to Him, as He is never far from us. Is it He who is leaving? Or is it us? Mass is still being celebrated and Adoration of Him is still available. So like a deployed spouse, we can talk and still see each other, but unable to receive one another. The spiritual battle is real.

Today’s Gospel, is very special to me, as it was our Lord  who spoke to me, an ostracized soul from many places,  in the same way as He did with the woman at the well. I will post more about this later today, but for now, as eleven O’clock Mass approaches, this time is reserved strictly for our Lord. I will receive Him for all who are not able to today, along with bringing you with me in prayer, along with all who have died.

Peace.

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Around Italy In Quarantine

Pope Francis leads Benediction outside Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome

“Yesterday in Italy the military flew over some areas affected by the Coronavirus with the Blessed Sacrament and an image of the Virgin of Fatima!”

“A great priest who never ceases to be present with his parish community. Thanks Father Ricotta”

 

 

Did you know the word “quarantine” was taken from the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning “forty days”? Penance & Lent

ALSO – Pope urges priests to bring Eucharist to sick during Italy coronavirus quarantine

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Cancellations Of Public Holy Mass

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To all who are fearing, do not be afraid. It may seem dark, but the Light is always shining bright.

Our Lord is still being worshiped, everywhere. You should STILL pray, and do all you can to be with Him, as He is with you, even if you can not attend Holy Mass due to the corona virus pandemic.

IF you can NOT attend Holy Mass, or Holy Mass has been canceled due to the pandemic – You can do this:

Watch Holy Mass on Catholic TV reverently. Meaning don’t break out the popcorn, but pray along as you would if you were attending Holy Mass in your parish. http://www.catholictv.org/masses/catholictv-mass or EWTN https://www.youtube.com/user/EWTN or another REPUTABLE Catholic outlet.  You can use: Salt + Light, Catholic Bishops in the Philippines – Catholic Bishops of England https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/the-bishops/  Check your area Catholic Bishops Page.

Make an act of Spiritual Communion- https://www.ewtn.com/…/devot…/act-of-spiritual-communion-339

You can go to http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030820.cfm For DAILY Mass Readings.

You can ponder the Gospel daily with the Carmelites through Lectio Divina. https://www.ocarm.org/en/lectio

You can follow Bishop Robert Barron’s Stations of the Cross https://stations.wordonfire.org/reflections?fbclid=IwAR3Ld0lLDDhIZHsM3EKyHBpQR2Se8toJVclNrDvf-z5gUkUy7r3PojOzRuM

Or go deeper with Word On Fire https://www.wordonfire.org/

We are called to pray without ceasing. Now is a good time.

Again be not afraid, this to shall pass. When it does, remember what it was like NOT to be able to receive our Lord in the Eucharist, to be separated from Him for a little while and hope that never happens again. Use this time wisely, to grow in faith and trust in our Lord.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder. May we all grow fonder of our Lord and fall in love with Him.

Ponder when our Lord was placed in the tomb. The tomb couldn’t hold Him back and neither will this.

Light a candle, pick up your bible, read and remember His Word. Offer it all up to our Lord and unite this suffering with His.

Peace

If you are tempted NOT to receive our Lord, because you can not receive Him on the tongue at this time, remember who it is that seeks to separate you from our Lord, while He is still able to be received. “Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?” comes to my heart.

Diocese of Rome cancels all public Masses, announces day of fasting and prayer

UPDATE: 

Pope Francis will broadcast his daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, so as to be close to all those who are suffering from the current coronavirus epidemic.

 

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Little Faith

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This morning, I sat in with second graders about to make their First Holy Communion through our RCIA classes. The children were learning about the Mass, but also covered a little section in their books on how our Lord spoke in parables. The kingdom of heaven is like…

A mustard seed..

As the children listened to the teacher ask about the mustard seed, they answered her questions. I sat watching them pondering these little ones sitting in their chairs, waiting to sprout and grow.  They all were playing with their pencils, looking around, getting distracted as normal children do. Nothing I could see in them regarding our faith was freely being applied right now, because they were like tiny little furrows who were placed in a row, as the seeds of faith were being planted.

As one child held his pencil, I looked at his blank paper in front of him and was able to see how nothing is accomplished if we do not put our faith to work. We can read the bible, we can study scripture, we can even sit in RCIA forever learning but if we do not follow our Lords direction and apply it, its just words to us and not the Word. If we truly believe, we act on that faith. If we do not act on His word, we remain a simple seed which sprouts and quickly dies producing no fruit.

A pencil must be put to paper with effort on our part for its purpose to be revealed. One can say that they want to be an artist, but if they never draw, or sculpture or paint, or even try, simply saying I want to be an artist, needs actions on our part to be one. If I say I want to go to heaven, but I do not do what our Lord has asked of us, to follow Him, and go off in my own way and follow my own feelings and do what ever I want, what shall that get me? False hope comes to mind.

Little faith requires much action on our part. It must be regularly watered and nourished by practicing THE faith or we lose it completely and follow our own directions, creating our own gods who we worship instead, inventing our own faith, creating false hopes in our own powers.  We must attend Mass, we must regularly attend the sacrament of confession, we must pray, we must fast, we must produce good works and keep producing them even in the little things so the weeds of sin and selfishness that are also planted along side by the world in which we live, do not strangle the faith growing within us. Applying this faith not just on Sunday, but every day, in every way in all our actions. In this way we are living the faith in Word and Deed, in our speech and actions.

It was a beautiful morning with these little ones. I can’t wait to see what our Lord teaches me through them next week. Please pray for these children and their family’s, that the faith they are learning, is nurtured by family who live the faith with them, as role models for them, that it may sprout, grow strong and produce good fruit for the next generation.

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First Week Of Lent 2020

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How can I describe this week, but best week ever. Normally we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday, but my family, due to unforeseen unintended consequences of overspending the week before, began our fast the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. We had many bills that all hit the bank at the same time. Mortgage, school for my youngest daughter, auto registration and a few other major things, that just could not be put off. So we started the week before lent, already in the negative.

My husband & I began to take stock of all the items we had in the pantry and freezer, ensuring we had enough food for the week, including what we would need for school lunches. I had not shopped yet so we didn’t have much, but our Lord ensured  us that we had everything we needed, and we were at peace, knowing that no matter what, we would do the best we could this week.

I had a little flour and olive oil, (in all honesty, as I found those two items, I pondered Elijah and the Widow, and I will get to that in a moment)  sugar, eggs , rice, a few bags of vegetables in the freezer along with a couple of pounds of different meat that had been frozen. A jar of peanut butter and some jelly, half a loaf of white bread and five apples.

We had already paid in advance for our youngest daughters hot lunch for a couple of days, and only needed to make sure she had three lunches for the week.  As dinner time arrived on Sunday evening, I took what I had found, prayed and did the best I could, with what I had. It was enough for us all and was good and very  filling.

Monday came and our daughters had lunches for school and I prayed and pondered what I could do for them for dinner. With the little flour and oil I had, I made a pizza crust by hand for the very first time. I had a small jar of yeast in the refrigerator I had bought a few months ago, which was still good to use. I had a half a bag of cheese which I used for stuffed shells the week before, a tiny can of chopped olives and three frozen Italian sausages. Every time I had tried to make bread it had failed miserably. I could never get the temperature right with the water and yeast, and ended up killing the yeast. Not this time. I mixed the warm water and the yeast, got the flour and measured just what I needed, having only two cups of flour left, with a little olive oil left. I added the yeast mixture to the flour, salt and sugar I had measured, placed it in the oven covered, and left it. When I checked on it later, it had doubled in size. It WORKED! I was dancing because I was so happy! Didn’t have a clue how it would taste, but it didn’t matter. I had a crust! Later that day, I assembled it for dinner & placed it in the oven for dinner, thanking our Lord in gratitude that it all came together and worked.

Monday Pizza

It was the BEST pizza we had ever had. My husband and children now want me to make it for them all the time. We will no longer be getting carry out, because it is just that good.

Tuesday came and lunches were provided for and as far as dinner, we had plans to attend Palm Burning and the Mardi Gras at our parish, which the youth group was sponsoring. I needed to bring a dish for my family, and a side dish to share. I made mashed sweet potatoes & meat loaf for us. Again, our Lord providing what we needed, through a little cash we had set aside.

Ash Wednesday and our children had minimal lunches, and we fasted until our Parish held soup night, just before the 7:00 PM Holy Mass. Our Lord providing again, and again.

Thursday came and our children had lunches. My husband’s check would register this night. We had nothing left but the flour, olive oil, left over tomato sauce, a little cheese and a sausage left in the fridge. I made that pizza again for them for dinner and just like the first time, the crust worked and everyone was satisfied. Although that evening we all realized how hungry we were after fasting the day before. We waited a little longer until Friday when I was able to shop again for what we needed.

That entire week, was one of the best weeks we had ever had as a family. No one was upset about our situation. No one missed being able to run to the store for things they wanted. Everyone understood that we were doing the best we could and we all made the most of it and I give the praise, glory and honor to our Lord, Jesus Christ for providing it all. Especially the understand and the peace among us. We all LIVED, trusting in our Lord who provides for all our needs.

Joyful

 

 

 

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Lent 2020

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As we enter into the season of Lent, a good question to ask ones self is what is your attitude about it this year?

What do the thoughts about lent evoke in you?

Are you excited in a joyful way?

Are you anxious?

Are you looking forward to completely handing yourself over to our Lord?

Are you reserved?

Are you wondering how you will get through it again and will there be a change in you, or will it be just like last lent?

A good place to start Lent is with these question. Followed up with: What are you hoping for?

For a long time I would look at Lent as being on the same level as dieting for a special occasion. Man I need to get rid of 10 pounds right now and when ______________ is over, I can go right back to eating all that stuff I love again.  Totally wrong in my attitude.

Lent is not a spiritual yo-yo diet plan for a special day, in which we trudge through it, complaining and suffering until we lose the weight and hope to go back to being exactly as we were when it’s over. It is a change for LIFE.

Lent is an exit ramp from a life of mortal sin and selfish ambition. It is a choice to follow our Lord, to enter into Him, and become obedient once again, not because we have to, but because we love Him in return.

Have you ever heard someone say, or have you yourself, like I have said:  Ugh! I can’t go to the game because I HAVE to go to Church. Or, I can’t go with you to the beach today because my mom is making me to to Mass. Or, Why do I have to do all this stuff, isn’t Jesus everywhere anyway?

Yes, Jesus is everywhere anyway, BUT, making the “choice” to love Him back, and to be obedient to Him, is no different than falling in love with a perspective spouse or hanging out with your best Friend whom you love dearly and share everything with. When we love in return, Church, nor obedience is no longer a “chore” we are forced to do and painful. It is rather a CHOICE we make, to be with the One we love above all else instead. Ones attitude changes from discord to joy, and becomes , I GET to spend time at Mass with our Lord! Rather than I HAVE to go. Therefore, Lent is our way to ENTER into this place to fall in love with Him. When we love in return, obedience to whom we love, comes natural. We change from one who can’t be bothered to listen to Him, to one who intently is listening for Him. Thereby practicing and acting on His direction and not that of the worlds.

I pray for attitudes to change this year, that our hearts of stone, become flesh again, and can accept the gifts our Lord wants to give to us all. That of Himself, completely.

Blessed Lent to all and may we come to know the One who loves us all. The One who came to set us free from our sins, from our lives of misery, and to give us Himself.

 

 

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Death Of A Catholic Parish

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On January 14, 2020, I was informed that the Archdiocese of Chicago was closing the Catholic School that I had attended for eight years, first grade, through eighth grade. It was going to be closing at the end of this school year. I, along with many other souls, were devastated at the news. This was home to me. The actual home I had grown up in, after my parents death, was located just three blocks from here and sold a month after their deaths. We had both my parents funerals here. They were Parishioners since the Church was opened. . Although all the comforts of my childhood seemed to be gone, I had always held St. Maria Goretti as a place that would be there for me, to remember. A spiritual anchor, so to speak, to remind me where I came from. Today, that is no longer the case. I learned today, they closed the Rectory and are moving all the religious documents to another Catholic Parish.

St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, has held a very special place in my heart for as long as I could remember. It was my family’s parish. I was baptized in this Church on January 1, 1967.

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I attended Sunday Mass here with my family, my sisters were Married here. It belonged to my family. My first memories are in this Church. I remember the Communion rail, and how everyone would just get up and go receive our Lord. I remember everyone kneeling to receive Him. I remember it being Lent and being terrified by the  purple ghosts. Which were actually all the statues covered in the purple cloth. I remember asking my mom to please ask the Priest to let me see inside the Tabernacle, because I had to see how Jesus was living in there. Did He have a table? Chairs? A bed? Was Mary and Joseph in there too? I remember this Church being packed with souls, worshiping our Lord. I remember this place being the most important place in my life. I remember this photo below, being taken of my youngest brother and myself.

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St. Maria Goretti was where Sr. Shirley Marie Patzelt OSF, (now deceased) taught me how to play piano when I was five years old. It was where I took my neighbor friend, when we were six years old, to go pray to our Lord, and ask Him to help her find her dog which ran away and could not be found.  It was the place we would drive by and know we were home. It was the place I could walk to without being afraid, and go play baseball in the field behind the Church. It was the place that had the BEST Church Carnival at the end of the school year, marking the beginning of Summer Vacation. Everyone from miles away would attend it. It was the highlight of childhood. It was the place I always KNEW in my heart, commanded respect, reverence and was safe. It was the place our Lord was. It was the place that held the body of our Pastor, when he passed away unexpectedly. I remember my mom and I walking into the Sacristy, walking up to the front of the Church, to pray for him as he lay in state. It was quiet and somber. I remember crying.

This is the School, my parents scraped and suffered for, to ensure I could have a good Catholic education. With that education, came some of the most memorable souls I have ever known. This is the Church they supported with all they could financially, during the hard times in the Parish history, and during the hard times we faced as a family. This is the Church I had made my reconciliation and Confirmation at, and remember speaking with Bishop Abramowicz, who told me my Confirmation name, Mary, was his mothers name. He asked me why I had chosen the name, and I said I needed very strong help. This is the Church, I, along with my eighth grade class, sang The Magnificat in Latin, during our Christmas pageant to surprise the parents. As they had not heard it for some time, being sung. This was the place I called home, for my formative years.

This was the Church that my first daughter was Baptized in, February 14, 1988, and was able to attend Catholic Kindergarten, that did not exist at the time I was in Kindergarten. This is the Church I chose to leave, as I chased a dream I thought I could attain on my own. This Parish was not without scandal and through it all, my parents stayed, and worshiped our Lord.

This is a place where I began to learn how to worship our Lord. This is a place I had thought, would be there at the end.

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This is the Church that my Father’s funeral was held. This is the Parish that would send extraordinary ministers of holy communion to visit my mom, suffering with lung cancer at home, after my Father’s death, as she was unable to attend Holy Mass any longer. This is the Church, my mother begged me to never forget. When I moved back in with her, she asked me to return to this Church with her, to receive Anointing of the Sick. We did together. This is the Church I returned home to, after failing miserably.  This was the Church, which also held the funeral Mass, for my mom, just before I left this place again, for the last time, and moved across country.

This is the Church I called from across country, 9 years after the death of my mom, to obtain all my Religious documents, so I could Marry my husband in the Church and enter the Third Order of Carmel. I was amazed to find that the Rectory secretary, was the same woman who had been there for over 40 years. We talked about the Church, my parents and reminisced a while, before I had requested the documents. She remembered everyone and everything. It was like talking to a family member, I had not seen in many years. She remembered my Great Uncle, the Msgr from Slovakia, and even had the copy of my First Holy Communion record, which was celebrated in my Grandparents Church, which had also closed in 1987.

You see, this was also the place that all my childhood friends received their Sacraments. When I say all, I mean, all. Everyone I knew, all the kids in the neighborhood, were Catholic. Over the years, Mass attendance dwindled. Although my parents and others attended, children grew up and moved away. Older members were dying, funerals were being held, and new Parishioners began to dwindle. Mass times changed to accommodate, and as I hear now, Masses are split between another Parish across town and this Parish, shares the Priest with the other Parish. There isn’t a Priest anymore, who is solely assigned to St. Maria Goretti, but one who splits his time between this Church, and another. The School will be closing at the end of this school year,  the Rectory closed this week and they are moving all the records to another Parish.

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This is an original copy of a Church Bulletin, from January, 1967 which my mom saved for me, as it announces my Baptism. 

I can not tell you how sad and painful it is, to watch a Parish die. Although I have many precious memories, I have just as many more thoughts of what could I have done more to help save it? I often hear Parishioners speak of the Priest shortage, but I must say, I don’t believe there is one. What I do see, is a Parishioner shortage. When souls live the faith, Parish life flourishes. When souls do not live the faith, parishes die.

There are just as many houses and family’s in the neighborhood as there were when I lived there. What there isn’t, is enough souls to fill the school and the Church pews. Just as there were not enough to fill the Church of my Grandparents parish back in 1987.

I will, if our Lord wills it, be visiting this place at the end of May, and will have an update at that time. For now, please pray for the souls of St. Maria Goretti Parish, especially the children who need to find a new school to attend and do not get to build the memories here, that our Lord allowed me to build.

I truly am pondering detachment of even the Parishes we have, although community in Christ is so very important. I ask myself now, is the attachment I had and have to this Parish a prideful one? As if to say this is mine! You can’t do this! Or is it more of an attachment due to it being a place where so many memories had been made, and I hold dear due to my parents being gone, knowing it belonged to them. Should my attachment to this place strictly be, the attachment I have to our Lord, knowing He is with me here where I am in my new place?  I guess its something for me to seriously pray about. I do know there is nothing I can do to change it. But rather, just accept it as it is. All things are passing away. Our Lord is my Anchor. It is He who I am to cling to and not the things nor souls that bring me to Him.

Its like all those life experiences you place in a box, put away, and hear that the place you stored them, was destroyed. I know we all get over things as this, but its to be grieved like the death of a loved one. You know you get through it, you know our Lord is with you, but its still extremely painful. Its a realization that if this can happen here, it can happen anywhere. Its a deep call of conversion home to the Catholic faith. Return to your “first love”, live the faith again, not in the shadows of society, but out in the open, boldly. 

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.

 

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Querida Amazonia

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Please read it yourself  here: QUERIDA AMAZONIA

I will be reading it over the next few days and post a few thoughts later.

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Eternal Life Begins Now

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We have many good lessons to learn, through this tragic event…

Sunday morning, my youngest daughter came to me in tears, showing me her iPad and asking me if it was true! She really took me by surprise and was yelling at me to tell her. I asked her a few times before looking down, what? What? Is what true?  She proceed to walk to my husband and show him and he picked up the TV remote, changed the channel and yes. It was true. Kobe Bryant was killed that morning in a horrific helicopter crash. My daughter was inconsolable. I held her as she cried, and asked her if she wanted to pray for him and we did together. My daughter is extremely sensitive when news breaks of anyone’s death.

She walked into her room sobbing while my husband, who happens to be an air traffic controller, and myself, sat in shock watching the news unfold. Later that day, hearing Kobe and his daughter attended Holy Mass, brought us all great comfort. We attended the evening Mass that day, and the Priest added Kobe and Gianna, his 13 year old daughter, along with all who had died in that horrific crash, in the prayers of the faithful. My daughter looked at me during that moment and smiled. She was at peace again.

First spiritual lesson to learn. I can not stress the importance of receiving our Lord in the Sacraments before we die. We never know when our Lord is going to take us home. If we become sick, or if we have sick loved ones, who are Catholic, PLEASE, before they slip into a condition to where they can not longer receive our Lord in the Eucharist, call a Priest to administer the Sacraments! There is a great post here on this subject: A Guide to the Last Rites May take this time for granted and wait until the loved one has already died, or is in a vegetative state. Please, the sooner the better that they may take our Lord with them on that final journey.

Getting back to the news of Kobe.  I must admit, I am not a fan of basketball. Not even a fan as I was living in Chicago, when the Bulls took the Championship five times with Michael Jordan and the rest of the crew. What I am a huge fan of, is repenting sinners. Another spiritual lessons to learn in this, is repentance. In learning more about Kobe and his charities, his regular attendance of Holy Mass and even attending daily Mass, my heart leaped knowing he sure looked like a repenting soul to me. At that point in anyone’s life, the moment of repentance, turning back to our Lord, what we ONCE WERE, is no longer who we are at this moment. It’s gone, as we allow our Lord to build us into what He created us to be. Letting go of what we want to be, accepting the good and the bad. What our Lord has already forgiven, can no longer be held against us. The sin is gone, although the residual effect of the sin may remain. Its not easy to find souls in this society we are exiles in, willing to forgive us, as our Lord has. Holding on to His is forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation, hearing the words “I absolve you”, is key to moving through all society holds against the repenting soul, and not allowing the world to take away the joy of being forgiven,  getting that second chance in life in Christ to do what is right and just again.  Society often holds on to the bitterness, unable to move past others sins, because it lacks the ability to forgive and heal, although society (the world) could never be burdened with thinking of its own sins first.

It no longer mattered to me what he may have done, but my hope for him and all was what may be. His continuing the journey on into eternal life with our Lord.

Another spiritual lesson to be learned, is not constantly looking at the ugliness of one another, and finding the good in each soul.  Anyone can see the dirt in their neighbor, be the one who finds the gold. We must remember that what we hold against our neighbors, will be held also against us. We are called to forgive as we have been forgiven. We are called to see the good in others, and not continually focus on the bad. A repenting soul, knows their own sins and do not need others to help them remember them, especially when they have already been forgiven.  I’m not saying Kobe is a Saint, although I hope he is, as that is a judgement left to our Lord. What I am saying is he definitely was working on his salvation, while he was still here. That is another key to our salvation. We live the faith now, repent now, so not to regret later. Eternal life begins in this life. CS Lewis said:  ‘Die before you die, there is no chance after.’

I pray for everyone, during this tragedy, to remember the words our Lord spoke, directly after teaching us how to pray:

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If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

I hope others see how important it is to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven.

I pray for the souls of all who have lost their lives in this horrific tragedy, and I also hope that more souls, still here, can see the joy of repentance and forgiveness and begin eternal life, now. Lord have mercy on us all.

Prayer for The Eternal Rest

Eternal rest grant unto them,

O Lord, and let perpetual light

shine upon them. May the souls

of all the faithful departed, through

the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen

 

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The Wounded Warrior

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Oh how our Lord surprises us, when we least expect it. One can never hide from Him, as He is everywhere. Hiding in plain sight.

My husband has been dealing with knee issues, since he retired from the Marines a few years back. For the past few weeks, he has had some serious pain, even waking him up at night, along with keeping him up. He finally had enough and called the VA to make an appointment. I drove him to the VA here in San Diego, and found myself unable to get a parking spot. So I dropped him off at the front doors, and continued to look for somewhere to park. A spot never opened large enough for my husbands car, so I corresponded with him, getting updates via text messages, as I parked a few blocks away from where he was. I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t see what he was going through, but I prayed. He was there for about an hour, and discharged. We had to drive up to the VA hospital in La Jolla, so he could get a knee brace and some other things. It actually was rather quick. Please keep Mark in your prayers, as we wait for a diagnosis, and for what our next step may be for him.

As we got to La Jolla, he realized it was much easier for him to access healthcare he needed there, rather than the one closer to our home. The parking was not cramped, and if for some reason, I was unable to take him, he could find a parking spot and not miss his appointment.

We walked into the hospital and could see a Starbucks, a good sized Military gift shop and many souls in need of prayers and healing. The women at the information counter told us where to go, and we began a long walk to where my husband needed to pick up his items. My eyes lit up when we got to the Hospital Chapel. It was just after noon when we arrived, and they had Catholic Mass celebrated at 11:30 AM. Not just that day, but every day but Saturday. I was not expecting this at all as our day began and quite honestly, wished we had made it sooner, so we could attend.

I said to my husband that I would love to go inside to see it. I could not see inside as the entrance was a solid door. We continued on to where my husband needed to go without looking in. As we got to the prosthetic’s department, he had to go in to be fitted for his brace and told me to go and check out the Chapel while I waited for him and I jumped at the chance.

As I walked in, I was awestruck. Instantly thoughts of our Lord on the Cross, came to me, as Thee Wounded Warrior. You see, He was there, right there in that room.

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He survived the battle of death, and defeated the enemy, once and for all. He lives today, to tell us all about it, to all who would listen. I was so awestruck, I could do nothing but listen with my heart. I seen in my thoughts, so many things that I could never put into words. How many hospitals & nursing homes I had been to with Him, bringing Him to the sick,  and this was His room, in this place.

I walked into the Adoration Chapel, immediately falling to my knees and began to pray for all the souls there, and others. I sat in silence, unable to think of anything but Him. He was here! Do others know? How is it that so many walk by without even noticing? I wanted to grab all the souls I seen and take them to Him.

There is a frustration that I have, which I see how souls can not see Him there, just as it wasn’t that long ago, neither would I have. There are days I want to SCREAM what is wrong with souls who don’t believe, but don’t.  Because I know, I didn’t either and forcing anyone to understand this, is not how our Lord works.

My little time with our Lord, the Wounded Warrior, was about to end here, but His time will not. This moment will be imprinted on my heart and I will be unable to forget it. Its just another moment of finding Him in places which we never assume He might be. Oh, but He is. Hidden in plain sight.

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From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop and martyr
(Lib. 4, 6, 3. 5. 6. 7: SC 100, 442. 446. 448-454)

Knowledge of the Father consists in the self-revelation of the Son

No one can know the Father apart from God’s Word, that is, unless the Son reveals him, and no one can know the Son unless the Father so wills. Now the Son fulfills the Father’s good pleasure: the Father sends, the Son is sent, and he comes. The Father is beyond our sight and comprehension; but he is known by his Word, who tells us of him who surpasses all telling. In turn, the Father alone has knowledge of his Word. And the Lord has revealed both truths. Therefore, the Son reveals the knowledge of the Father by his revelation of himself. Knowledge of the Father consists in the self-revelation of the Son, for all is revealed through the Word.

The Father’s purpose in revealing the Son was to make himself known to us all and so to welcome into eternal rest those who believe in him, establishing them in justice, preserving them from death. To believe in him means to do his will.

Through creation itself the Word reveals God the Creator. Through the world he reveals the Lord who made the world. Through all that is fashioned he reveals the craftsman who fashioned it all. Through the Son the Word reveals the Father who begot him as Son. All speak of these things in the same language, but they do not believe them in the same way. Through the law and the prophets the Word revealed himself and his Father in the same way, and though all the people equally heard the message not all equally believed it. Through the Word, made visible and palpable, the Father was revealed, though not all equally believed in him. But all saw the Father in the Son, for the Father of the Son cannot be seen, but the Son of the Father can be seen.

The Son performs everything as a ministry to the Father, from beginning to end, and without the Son no one can know God. The way to know the Father is the Son. Knowledge of the Son is in the Father, and is revealed through the Son. For this reason the Lord said: No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son has revealed him. The word “revealed” refers not only to the future—as though the Word began to reveal the Father only when he was born of Mary; it refers equally to all time. From the beginning the Son is present to creation, reveals the Father to all, to those the Father chooses, when the Father chooses, and as the Father chooses. So, there is in all and through all one God the Father, one Word and Son, and one Spirit, and one salvation for all who believe in him.

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Baptism Of The Lord

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From a Sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop
(Oratio 39 in Sancta Lumina, 14-16, 20: PG 36, 350-351, 354, 358-359)

The baptism of Christ

Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptizer; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists. Then John says: I ought to be baptized by you. He is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again. I ought to be baptized by you: we should also add, “and for you,” for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honor to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

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Discernment of Spirits

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Discernment of Spirits.—All moral conduct may be summed up in the rule: avoid evil and do good. See more here at Catholic Answers

The other day, here, I had seen a commercial. As I watched it, it became clear to me how important in all aspects of our lives it is to have and use discernment. Whom are we truly listening to? Whom are we speaking to?

Pope Francis spoke this morning about what I had been pondering & what I seen in this commercial, today. Pope’s Morning Homily: Ask Whenever You Have a Feeling or Instinct, ‘Does This Come from Holy Spirit, or Spirit of the World?’

This is something I have been accustom to doing, for many many years. Ever since this day, which I wrote here, in my post, Repent, Repent, Repent.

I can truly say, and profess this day, John 20:18

As I finished my morning prayers today, the concluding prayer became very luminous.

O God, whose Only Begotten Son
has appeared in our very flesh,
grant, we pray, that we may be inwardly transformed
through him whom we recognize as outwardly like ourselves.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
 Amen.

Back to that commercial…

Notice, Mayhem is NOT her Mother in law, but Mayhem. Although she may see her Mother in law. You never know who you may be listening to, sitting with and speaking to, so fill your minds and hearts with the Word of God, and do not be deceived, discern everything. Have courage, respond in kindness to that which is not our Lord.

 

Repent and submit to our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Fill yourself with our Lord, purge yourself of self.

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Epiphany – Peace On Earth

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The Lord has made his salvation known to the whole world

As we draw close to the Epiphany, and the world is rattling its sabers for war, might I suggest to all, to learn how to forgive those who have hurt you in any way, as I am sure we can all say, we are not so innocent to have never hurt anyone. The fact we are sinners is a testament to hurting someone.  So I also suggest to those who have been hurt by others in any way,  to forgive them. Everyone.

Think for a moment what would happen if every soul on earth, turned to their enemies and said, I am sorry. Please forgive me. And now imagine if that forgiveness was given. With our Lord, it is. And in that moment, we all begin to heal from the pain inflicted to one another.  The key to obtaining word peace is saying and carrying out the words: I am sorry & I forgive you. May the peace of Christ rule our hearts.

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 3 in Epiphania Domini, 1-3. 5: PL 54, 240-244)

The Lord has made his salvation known to the whole world

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ.

A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above.

Let the full number of the nations now take their place in the family of the patriarchs. Let the children of the promise now receive the blessing in the seed of Abraham, the blessing renounced by the children of his flesh. In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; let God be known, not in Judea only, but in the whole world, so that his name may be great in all Israel.

Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles. Let us give thanks to the merciful God, who has made us worthy, in the words of the Apostle, to share the position of the saints in light, who has rescued us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. As Isaiah prophesied: the people of the Gentiles, who sat in darkness, have seen a great light, and for those who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death a light has dawned. He spoke of them to the Lord: The Gentiles, who do not know you, will invoke you, and the peoples, who knew you not, will take refuge in you.

This is the day that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, when he knew that the sons born of his faith would be blessed in his seed, that is, in Christ. Believing that he would be the father of the nations, he looked into the future, giving glory to God, in full awareness that God is able to do what he has promised.

This is the day that David prophesied in the psalms, when he said: All the nations that you have brought into being will come and fall down in adoration in your presence, Lord, and glorify your name. Again, the Lord has made known his salvation; in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ.

Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

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Holy Mother of God

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The Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as “our Mother and sister.” 

Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

 

From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
(Epist. Ad Epicetum, 5-9; PG 26, 1-58, 1062, 1066)

The Word took our nature from Mary

The Apostle tells us: The Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she is to provide him with a body of his own, to be offered for our sake. Scripture records her giving birth, and says: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Her breasts, which fed him, were called blessed. Sacrifice was offered because the child was her firstborn. Gabriel used careful and prudent language when he announced his birth. He did not speak of “what will be born in you” to avoid the impression that a body would be introduced into her womb from outside; he spoke of “what will be born from you” so that we might know by faith that her child originated within her and from her.

By taking our nature and offering it in sacrifice, the Word was to destroy it completely and then invest it with his own nature, and so prompt the Apostle to say: This corruptible body must put on incorruption; this mortal body must put on immortality.

This was not done in outward show only, as some have imagined. This is not so. Our Savior truly became man, and from this has followed the salvation of man as a whole. Our salvation is in no way fictitious, nor does it apply only to the body. The salvation of the whole man, that is, of soul and body, has really been achieved in the Word himself.

What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.

The words of Saint John: The Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in Saint Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Man’s body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.

Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.

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2020 Vision

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Many have been comparing this new year as we entering into the 20’s as the roaring 20’s”. The only “roaring” I see about these coming 20’s, is the continuing of the evil one in the Advice to the Community  

Be sober an vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.

I continue to pray for all this year and I ask our Lord for all, to be not afraid of confrontation with those who do not believe in Him.  Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. May we imitate her faith, grow in humility and fear not, as the Angel Gabriel told her, of the things to come that may cause us great distress. May we ponder all things in our hearts. May be cling to our Lord on His cross at all times, until the day He lifts us up and takes us to Himself.

Stay awake. Be alert. Be not afraid. Our Lord, our Father, is God of all.

Blessed and peaceful Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God to all, and may His will be done, this year and for all time and eternity.

Please enjoy this. Start it from the beginning

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday

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A beautiful sermon by St. Leo the Great, reminds us, that Christmas is also our birthday. As this new year closes in, my prayer for all that that we embrace the newness that our Lord has made us, as we reflect on the old, that reminds us, “I make all things new”.

May you have a blessed New Year. May our Lord grant you a new way of thinking, new life in Christ and new and beautiful outlook on what you also once were before our Lord touched your heart, that you may give the praise, glory and honor to Him. May our Lord bring His peace to all.

Happy and blessed new year.

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 6 in Nativitate Domini, 2-3, 5: PL 54, 213-216)

The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace!

Although the state of infancy, which the majesty of the Son of God did not disdain to assume, developed with the passage of time into maturity of manhood, and although after the triumph of the passion and the resurrection all his lowly acts undertaken on our behalf belong to the past, nevertheless today’s feast of Christmas renews for us the sacred beginning of Jesus’ life, his birth from the Virgin Mary. In the very act in which we are reverencing the birth of our Savior, we are also celebrating our own new birth. For the birth of Christ is the origin of the Christian people; and the birthday of the head is also the birthday of the body.

Though each and every individual occupies a definite place in this body to which he has been called, and though all the progeny of the church is differentiated and marked with the passage of time, nevertheless as the whole community of the faithful, once begotten in the baptismal font, was crucified with Christ in the passion, raised up with him in the resurrection and at the ascension placed at the right hand of the Father, so too it is born with him in this Nativity, which we are celebrating today.

For every believer regenerated in Christ, no matter in what part of the whole world he may be, breaks with that ancient way of life that derives from original sin, and by rebirth is transformed into a new man. Henceforth he is reckoned to be of the stock, not of his earthly father, but of Christ, who became Son of Man precisely that men could become sons of God; for unless in humility he had come down to us, none of us by our own merits could ever go up to him.

Therefore the greatness of the gift which he has bestowed on us demands an appreciation proportioned to its excellence; for blessed Paul the Apostle truly teaches: We have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. The only way that he can be worthily honored by us is by the presentation to him of that which he has already given to us.

But what can we find in the treasure of the Lord’s bounty more in keeping with the glory of this feast than that peace which was first announced by the angelic choir on the day of his birth? For that peace, from which the sons of God spring, sustains love and mothers unity; it refreshes the blessed and shelters eternity; its characteristic function and special blessing is to join to God those whom it separates from this world.

Therefore, may those who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, offer to the Father their harmony as sons united in peace; and may all those whom he has adopted as his members meet in the firstborn of the new creation who came not to do his own will but the will of the one who sent him; for the grace of the Father has adopted as heirs neither the contentious nor the dissident, but those who are one in thought and love. The hearts and minds of those who have been reformed according to one and the same image should be in harmony with one another.

The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace, as Paul the Apostle says: For he is our peace, who has made us both one; for whether we be Jew or Gentile, through him we have access in one Spirit to the Father.

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Holy Innocents

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As I ponder this day, I am reminded of the descent into hell. These innocent little ones, waited 33 years for the coming of the Lord to free them and open the gate to Heaven. A sentence of 33 years for simply being thought to be the King of Kings. The King of Kings, who served 33 years here in exile, for us.

Pray for us,  Holy Innocents.

From a sermon by Saint Quodvultdeus, bishop
(Sermo 2 de Symbolo: PL 40, 655)

They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ

A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace—so small, yet so great—who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the savior already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

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Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

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Please read the beautiful Homily by Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, which can be found at the link below.

 

via Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

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December 26, 2019 · 10:28 am