Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sabbath Moments - The Rosary and Grace

Colleen at Thoughts on Grace is the host of the weekly meme, Sabbath Moments. These are moments when we live in the present and "let go and let God".

It's been a bit of a hectic week filled with babysitting and caring for my own family. There are times I get frazzled and wonder how I can find quiet time to spend with the Lord or even time to post for that matter. One thing that never fails to calm me when I am lacking peace is the Rosary. Grace, grace, grace every time I pray it. It's uncanny how I can go from feeling as if everything is falling apart to calm, peaceful, and collected after praying the Rosary. It never ceases to amaze me! It's like an instant "attitude adjustment". Since it's difficult to attend daily Mass or Adoration during the summer I often sense God asking me to pray the Rosary instead. He "nudges" me.  I can't bring my daughter and my sister's children to Mass because it's just too difficult for the younger kids to do and I can't cart them all up to Communion with me. The Rosary and the Bible are my "weapons of choice" during the summer months! I also spend time with the Lord before I go to sleep. The Lord is purifying my mind lately (always really, but amping it up recently) and I had a dream last night that God told me that He was "simplifying my thought life" which made me smile because I tend to overthink things and this will really help me. Simplify away, Lord, and thank you for doing it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Frightening day

Today was a very scary day here. This afternoon Michaela was eating a cookie and she must not have chewed well before swallowing because it got stuck in her throat and she couldn't breathe at all. I had to perform the Heimlich Maneuver three times before I finally dislodged it. Afterwards, she kept throwing up and crying. She said that she thought she was going to die. I was frightened, too, because the first two attempts didn't work. It took an hour to calm her down.

Tonight, I got a call from my mother saying that my nephew was in a motorcycle accident and in the   hospital. Thankfully, he escaped with just facial injuries and no head trauma. He needed a lot of stitches, though. I think everyone in my family is breathing a sigh of relief that his injuries weren't worse than this.

Thank you, Lord, for protecting my family.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Going nowhere in a hurry

We are a "fast" nation. Many of us live in a perpetual rush without even noticing it. Slowness is equated with sloth and speed with a good work ethic and an active, healthy lifestyle. But let's look at it from a different perspective:

St. Peter to Jesus,  "Lord, why are they all scurrying around like chickens with their heads cut off down there?"

Jesus simply shakes his head.

"What, Lord? Is there something important going on down there that I don't know about?"

"No, Peter. They are all going nowhere in a hurry."

"What?!! You mean they're doing this on purpose for no reason?"

Jesus looks greatly saddened.

"Peter, they aren't even AWARE that they are rushing for nothing. It gives them a false sense of accomplishment to hurry along through life. It has become a race to see who can get the most done in the shortest time. Look at that woman over there. The one tugging on her child's hand, rushing along the road and telling the child to hurry up. She has nowhere that she needs to be right now, she's on vacation."

Jesus directs Peter's attention to a man trying to beat another man into a parking space and then to a woman scurrying to beat an elderly woman to the checkout line at the grocery store.

" My people rush around so much that they miss what's right in front of them. Life itself."

The woman tugging at the child's hand was me. You would think I would be far more patient after all these years but I still have my unlovely moments. Rushing can be a form of pride. It's saying, "My life is more important than yours therefore I have the right to have the closest parking space, to be the first in line or to speed a child along because she is stopping too much on the way home from the beach." Sometimes God uses my own child to correct me. After tugging at her hand, telling her to "speed things up, please" and frowning at her she asked me "Why, Mommy? Where are we going?" I looked at her and realized that it was a very good question.
I was going nowhere... very fast :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Prayer Meme

Kee at Little Hare has tagged me for a beautiful prayer meme created by Mac at Mulier Fortis. Thanks, Kee! The rules are:

Name your three favorite prayers and explain why they're your favorites. Then tag five other bloggers- give them a link and let them know they've been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you have completed the meme. The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here.

I had a tough time picking out favorites but these three speak to my heart in a special way:

Daily Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Creator Spirit, come and visit the souls that are Yours; fill with heavenly grace the hearts that You created.
You are called by the name of Paraclete, gift of God most high, spring of life, fire, love and the soul's anointing.
Seven gifts are Yours to give. You are the finger of the Father's right hand. You, the clear promise of the Father, give men's tongues the grace of speech.
Kindle a light in our minds, pour love into our hearts and uphold with Your unfailing strength the frailty of our human nature.
Drive our enemy far from us and give us always the grace of peace; so may it be that, with Your grace ever guiding us in this way, we may avoid all that is sinful..
Grant that through You we may know the Father and the Son, and may we ever believe You to be the Spirit of both the Father and the Son.
Glory be to God the Father, and to the Son, who rose from the dead, and to the Paraclete for ever and ever. Amen

This prayer is a great reflection on the Holy Spirit. I've always loved meditating on the titles of God and this prayer contains a number of them. Perhaps that's why I love litanies so much, too.

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, heal me. Blood of Christ, drench me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
Good Jesus, hear me. In your wounds, shelter me. From turning away, keep me. From the evil one, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me. Into your presence lead me, to praise You with all saints, for ever and ever. Amen.

This prayer speaks for itself. Wow! The simplicity and truth in this prayer electrifies me. Drenched in the Blood of the Lamb...mere words aren't enough to express my gratitude to Jesus.


Holy Spirit, God of Love, be present to me; accept the offering of myself which I make to you. Receive these hands, these feet, these eyes, this tongue, and all my senses. Receive my memory, my willl, my understanding, my desires, my sighs, the longings and the aspirations of my soul. Receive my every hour, my every moment, and all the happenings of my life.
Holy Spirit, God of Love, knit my soul to you. Let your love possess my whole being - my senses, my powers, my affections, my very life. Let your love rule my labor and my rest, my going and my staying, and move me as it pleases. Let your love disquiet or comfort me, humble or exalt me, and burn away all my faults.
Holy Spirit, God of Love, draw me to yourself. Do with me what you will. Nothing will cause me fear if only your love enfolds me.
I ask confidently because your desire to give is greater than mine to receive. Transform me into yourself, so that I may no longer know myself, nor find myself, except in you.                
                                                                                                          Thomas of Jesus

I love prayers of abandonment to God and this one is a favorite of mine. Beautiful! Over the years it has become a constant refrain in my heart - to abandon myself to the Divine Will. It's helped me so much to "let go and let God" and to release control of my life to Him. To keep my mind and heart on Him during the course of the day I place myself in his hands often - sometimes with words and sometimes without.

Having said all this, my favorite kind of prayer is simply... heartfelt conversation with the Lord of all that is.

I tag:
Colleen at Thoughts on Grace
Karinann at Daughter of the King
Victor (here's a mimi for you) at Time for Reflections
Bernie at On My Own
Nancy at Be Not Afraid

Speaking of memes, I always thought the word was pronounced mem (no clue why) but found out it is meem thanks to Breadgirl who Googled it :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rotten potatoes are stinkier than rotten eggs!

We are back from the beach! I like going on vacation but I like coming home even more!'s good to be back. I spent all day yesterday packing and cleaning and all day today unpacking and kind of (ok... half-arsed) cleaning. At least I got to clean my fridge and freezer. They were disgusting! So was one of my cabinets - rotten potatoes stink! PHEW!  I let Randy clean up the potatoes...I was too busy gagging to handle that job. He didn't look very thrilled (smile) but probably figured it was better than the fridge. I was too kind to disabuse him of that notion, so, once again, Mary chose the better part (and it wasn't taken from her, either).

Today I learned that rotten potatoes are smellier than rotten eggs. Live and learn. Not bad for a day's work, eh? The school of life brings much useful knowledge Confucius say :)

I offered up the stench.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sabbath Moments - Loss

Colleen at Thoughts on Grace hosts the weekly meme, Sabbath Moments. These are moments that we "let go and let God" and live in the present.

Before we left to go on vacation I had to take my elderly dog to the vets where he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and put on medication. I was nervous about sending him to stay at my mother's house because I was afraid he'd pass away over there without his "momma" around to help him.Well, he did die. God is good, however, and nudged me to travel home from the beach Wednesday to check on him. When I got to my mother's house I held him and patted him for half an hour. When I put him down he seemed okay so I left to go to the gas station and then returned. I went back downstairs and noticed that his breathing was growing labored so I picked him up and sat in a chair. He put his head on my chest and relaxed into my body. I knew it wouldn't be long so I just rocked him and held him until his last breath. I asked Jesus and St. Francis for their help and managed to stay calm until he died. Of course ...I was hysterical and sobbed for hours after but I was so very thankful that God brought me home just in time to help him. When you have a pet for 16 years they become part of the family and I was blessed to be able to comfort him when he passed. It was a peaceful passing for him and he wasn't frightened because I was holding him.

I think he waited for me to come home.

Thank you, Lord. He was a sweet and gentle dog.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Under the spotlight- stunted souls

Every person was made to live in God's spotlight. A one on one relationship with the Lord of all that is. Unique, because every person is different and expresses different aspects of God's goodness. He doesn't compare his children because no two are alike. We were each created to live in his light.  As children, this "holy bubble" surrounds us and the indwelling of the Trinity is a natural part of our existence. It does not feel foreign to us at all, there is a close unity that exists between God and children despite the fallen nature of the human race. Children are humble and their mistakes are no obstacle to a God of love. Many people can probably remember this constant "support" by God if they think back to their childhood. We were meant to lean on God our entire lives and if life progressed as it was meant to, a human soul would be ready for heaven when God called it. Souls would grow as they were meant to and all would understand the love in which they were held.

So what happened? Why are souls so stunted these days?

It is likely a confluence of many things in the world today. We fail to nourish the soul and instead focus on the physical to the point where the spirit "shrivels" from neglect. We lose our inner vision  Our spiritual well being is so neglected that most of us were taught that it is okay to constantly give in to the yearnings and whims of the flesh. We are bombarded by "experts" who say that denying oneself is unhealthy and even harms the human psyche, but the truth is... we gratify the senses to the detriment of our souls. And our souls are crying out in anguish. Our physical bodies become dust (eventually) but our souls live forever and this, too, we have lost sight of. A good remedy for this imbalance would be fasting from many of the worldly things that vie for our attention. I don't mean food specifically, (though this is good) but all the myriad "not God" stuff that grabs our attention and makes us forget that we are more than physical beings. Perhaps if we draw our minds away from the "junk food" we are constantly being fed we would become more aware of the constant call that echoes in our hearts. If we ask God to govern our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls....He surely will.

Abba, set our hearts on fire for you. Free us from the sins of the flesh so that we may hear you more clearly. Take our focus off the world and place it on you. I ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blue skies!

We are still on vacation and the weather has been awesome! Not one cloudy day yet! The 4th of July fireworks were incredible as they lit the sky over the ocean. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because we forgot our digital camera.  My husband took some pictures with his Blackberry but they aren't very clear.

Today, the ocean was a bit rough and there was a riptide so we didn't do much swimming. Three men died last year because the riptides were so severe. Michaela is too daring in the water and I have to watch her like a hawk. She'd stay in the water for hours if we let her! 

While we were swimming the other day a huge striper bass kept circling around us. Randy was trying to catch it with his bare hands. Fat chance of that happening but I didn't have the heart to disillusion him. Good exercise, at least. Today, he's out fishing with his pole. Trying to catch stripers. Fat chance of that happening :)

I hope he doesn't read that remark because I have my computer hooked up to his Blackberry.

If he catches a keeper I might have to eat my words. Better my words than the fish, though! Yuck!