Tag Archives: Gratitude

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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Thanksgiving – 2019

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For all that has been

For all that is now

For all that will be

Thank you Lord, I love You too.

For all time, and all eternity.

 

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I Am All Yours, Lord

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The soul, has grown aware of her obligations and observed that life is short (Job 14:5), the path leading to eternal life constricted (Mt. 7:14), the just one scarcely saved (1 Pet. 4:18), the things of the world vain and deceitful (Eccles. 1:2), that all comes to an end and fails like falling water (2 Sam. 14:14), and that the time is uncertain, the accounting strict, perdition very easy, and salvation very difficult. She knows on the other hand of her immense indebtedness to God for having created her solely for Himself, and that for this she owes Him the service of her whole life; and because He redeemed her solely for Himself she owes Him every response of love. She knows, too, of the thousand other benefits by which she has been obligated to God from before the time of her birth, and that a good part of her life has vanished, that she must render an account of everything—of the beginning of her life as well as the later part—unto the last penny (Mt. 5:25) when God will search Jerusalem with lighted candles (Zeph. 1:12), and that it is already late—and the day far spent (Lk. 24:29)—to remedy so much evil and harm. She feels on the other hand that God is angry and hidden because she desired to forget Him so in the midst of creatures, Touched with dread and interior sorrow of heart over so much loss and danger, renouncing all things, leaving aside all business, and not delaying a day or an hour, with desires and sighs pouring from her heart, wounded now with the love for God, she begins to call her Beloved.  – St. John of the Cross

Msgr. Pope has a beautiful analysis here

St. John of the Cross, pray for us

 

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Yup! He DID!

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He sure did!

This is my daughter Chloe and her reaction to the empty tomb at Santa Sophia Catholic Church after Holy Mass today. We share the same expression for all He does.

Thank you Lord for all your gifts, especially the gift of Life.

Happy Easter – He is risen indeed!

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Strange Events And Our Lord’s Mercy

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When my daughters started this school year, in both classrooms, were sign up sheets for various programs for family’s to help out with through the year. As I looked about my fifth graders room sheet, I had noticed no one has signed up for the 5th grade retreat, which would be taking place this Advent. I had never helped with one and figured I would, since no one else would.

Time had passed and months flew by until I was contacted about two weeks ago. Her teacher had caught me in person and mentioned that she would be emailing me the information and we needed to sit down and discuss what the theme would be along with other items that would be taking place. I waited patiently and another week came and went. No email. I asked my husband if she had emailed him and he did not receive any information either. So I sent her an email asking her what we needed to do. For some reason, the email never go through. A few days later, I received a general email from the school, in which all family’s were notified, talking about the upcoming retreat and that we needed to nail down a date. I responded back, being it was a Friday, I knew I wouldn’t hear back until at lease Sunday evening. The email bounced back. It seemed as if something didn’t want me to partake in any way shape of form in doing anything for this retreat I had signed up for, months ago, that no one wanted to do.

That following Sunday, I had entered the Parish Hall between Masses and our Pastor was there. He had called out to me from across the room, but called me by another name. I looked at him and he did it again. I said to him, no Father, I am Peggy. He said your not so & so? I said no Father. My name is Peggy, you know, Violet and Chloe’s mom? He laughed a bit and called me that other persons name again and said he wanted to talk to me about the upcoming Seventh grade retreat. I said to him, Father, that is not me. We haven’t nailed down a date yet for the retreat and I haven’t heard any news as to when it is yet. He said yes we did and I need to talk to you about it, calling me the other persons name again. Once again, I told him, I was not her and did not have a child in the seventh grade. He looked at me puzzled for a moment and with that his eyes widened and said, okay. Your Violets mom. It finally registered with him. I left and went back home, immediately checking my email to see if any news came through and nothing was there, once again.

The following morning, my husband took our girls to school and I had him inform my daughters teacher that all the emails I had sent were bounced back and I just could not get any information through to her to get this going. The day after that, on my way into school to pick up my girls, a parent told me that she was working on the retreat and was wondering if I could help them. I informed her of all the things that had taken place and would love to help along with telling her I was grateful that someone was doing something as it was like I was being sabotaged at every turn in trying to do anything for this event. It seemed as if everything I was doing, was blocked and just couldn’t get anything through. As if I wasn’t supposed to be doing this even though I had volunteered for it. She had informed me that the day for the retreat was just set for December 10th and it would only be a few hours in the morning. I was grateful for any information and thrilled that it would be taking place. Along with being very grateful to our Lord, that someone had done something to get the ball rolling. She told me she would email me some ideas, I left and went home. Guess what? No emails received. He knows what we NEED before we ask.

Last Friday, First Friday, as I attended Holy Mass with the school children, something happened. Keep in mind my health is not the greatest and I have struggled with many strange things over the years, out of the ordinary things, from needing emergency surgery for a Spontaneous Heterotopic Pregnancy to congestive heart-failure that had originally been diagnosed as seasonal allergies along with degenerative disks in my spine that once, pinched my spinal chord in my neck and made it seem as if I had a stroke. Last Friday, was no different. While at Holy Mass, just before the Consecration, it was as if someone jabbed me just under the ribs with a knife on my right side. It brought me to my knees as it took my breath away for a split second and as fast as it happened, the pain was gone. I continued to concentrate on our Lord and joined my pain with His Wounded Sacred Heart, as through the rest of Holy Mass, I was at peace with Him, although still in slight pain. As I left Mass, I was a bit perplexed as to what this could be. I had my gallbladder removed just last year and hadn’t had that type of pain since back when I still had one. I prayed. The next day, I attended Holy Mass again as it was First Saturday and I was meeting with my Carmelite Brothers and Sisters for our monthly meeting. As I sat in prayer and contemplation, the pain returned a few times, although not as strong and I knew something was up. Something was wrong and needed to be looked at. Being that it was the weekend, I would put it off until Monday to call since the pain was not so great and could be dealt with by just taking it easy. Our Lord had me completely at peace and I continued on with light chores and prayers.

Sunday came and after my family and myself attended Holy Mass, I received a phone call from another classmate of my daughter, in regards to the retreat. We spoke at length of different ideas she had designed and asked my opinion on a few other things and we agreed on all of them in regards to how the children would have a wonderful morning. It was done. I only had a few ends to tie before this coming Thursday for making Advent Calender’s themed for the Year of Mercy, for the remainder of Advent until Christmas. As I hung up the phone with her, it dawned on me, our Lord provides. He knew I was going to have health issues that would get in the way of doing as much as needed to be done for this Children and He, in His MERCY, provided for them. Although most of what took place seemed to be one way, in which it looked as if I may have dropped the ball, or someone did, it actually wasn’t. All these little inconveniences, steering me away from what I wanted to do, even though through good intention, needed to take place to ensure the children’s fifth grade retreat was able to be taken care of, by someone other than me, because I was not going to be in any shape to follow through with it. Our Lord is MERCIFUL. He knows what He is doing and He knows EVERYTHING. He knows the plans He has for us.

I had called my doctor yesterday, Monday, and gave his nurse all my symptoms. They made room and got me in today, beginning a whole series of tests. I will not have my blood work back until Friday, as they are currently looking for something wrong either with a bile duct or something with the liver or pancreas. My doctors orders are to RELAX and REST and not to do much of anything while he plots out the next course of diagnosis, be it CT Scan or MRI, after he discuses this more in detail with the Radiologist. If I get a fever or worse pain, I am to go to the ER for emergency treatment. All this, while I discuss it all, with our Lord, the true Doctor, in contemplation and prayer. That being said, it would put a HUGE damper on this Fifth Grade Retreat that WILL now take place on this Thursday, without me, if I was kept in charge of it. If I had anything seriously planned, if I had been given the entire task. It would have been compromised by an unforeseen, by me, health issue that our Lord most surely did know about. That is the mercy of our Lord as seen by a very grateful soul. Praise, glory and honor to our Lord, Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen

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