Tag Archives: Peg Pondering Again

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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