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Monday, May 23, 2016

When I Draw Near The Ciborium, All My Sighs Are Heard...

If I am despised by the world,
If it considers me as nothing,
A divine peace flood me.
For I have the Host as my support.
When I draw near the ciborium, All my sighs are heard...
To be nothing is my glory. I am the atom of Jesus...



“I am convinced that one should tell one's spiritual director if one has a great desire for Communion, for Our Lord does not come from Heaven every day to stay in a golden ciborium; He comes to find another heaven, the heaven of our soul in which He loves to dwell.” 

 ― Thérèse de Lisieux, The Story Of A Soul: The Autobiography Of St. Therese Of Lisieux

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday - Psalm 139 & You Were There

"So haven't I learned that my ways
Aren't as high as Yours are
And You alone keep the universe
From crumbling into dust
You are God and though we would
Not have understood You...
 There You were"


Fr. Bartoloma, JCL quoted today from Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI and Psalm 139 on Blessed Trinity Sunday.


Behind and before you encircle me
and rest your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?

If I ascend to the heavens, you are there;
if I lie down in Sheol, there you are.

If I take the wings of dawn
and dwell beyond the sea,

Even there your hand guides me,
your right hand holds me fast.


Psalm 139 is the basis of this song, that I am listening to today as I worship The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.  You were there...You were there. 

God Bless your Trinity Sunday.

Monday, May 16, 2016

FIRSTS - Pentecost High Mass & First Holy Communion

Pentecost Sunday marks the FIRST birthday of the Catholic Church.


It was also this young priest's FIRST High Mass.


For 2 young girls, It was their FIRST Holy Communions!


What was not a FIRST was my emotion.  As I approached the communion rail I glanced at one of the Communicants that had returned to pray in her pew.  

Her face.

O....her face.

She closed her eyes and smiled and in that expression was BLISS.

Bliss mixed with I've-been-lost-and-now-I-am-home, and my breath sucked in. I knelt and had to fight back tears.


So much to be grateful for today....for FIRSTs and for reminders of what we have in the Mass and Eucharist. It was easy to feel the Holy Spirit at work today.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Reflection & Prayer for Wisdom

By three methods we may learn wisdom
  • First, by reflection, which is noblest; 
  • Second, by imitation, which is easiest; 
  • and third by experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius


Reflecting today on many things. Endings, like the school year, and beauty.


For Beauty, it is said to be in the eye of the beholder. We may each have our own vision of what is beautiful. 

And for Homeschooling, it is indeed beautiful to me. I'm committed to it. Beautiful things usually take effort and homeschooling, like other hard work, can bring worthwhile results.


Our beauty and our commitments (homeschooling) can be a "bitter experience" to others. 

In our world today, across many areas and topics, there are examples of one-way tolerance. "I can like what I like but if you like what YOU like...then you're hating on me."  

Tiresome.


We fall into traps, imitating the wail of society that seeks to silence.

A friend shared with me that in sharing what was beautiful to her, others felt she wasn't being "real." Why is there distrust of beauty, seeking to silence it? Why is her beauty not real?  

"Real" is likely having something troubling you and being triggered by it's opposite. 


Experience reminds me and teaches me what beauties and committments to focus on.  If experience proves bitter, God will bring something good and beautiful out of it. 


I pray He shows me how to bridge the divide, the distance, in communicating what is beautiful to me in a world of triggers. Conflict is the opposite of beauty, to me, and I am in search of the wisdom to transcend it with others.


What wisdom can I find in reflection, imitation and experience?  To return to this daily prayer, written by John Henry Cardinal Newman, may I reflect/imitate/be-the-experience of True Beauty...Wisdom Himself!

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance 
everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly,
That my life may only be a radiance of Yours.

Shine through me, and be so in me
That every soul I come in contact with
May feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
So to shine as to be a light to others;
The light, O Jesus will be all from You; none of it will be mine;
It will be you, shining on others through me.

Let me thus praise You the way You love best, 
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, 
not by words but by my example,
By the catching force of the sympathetic influence 
of what I do,
The evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.

Amen.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

MOTHERHOOD...What Is The World Without You?

MOTHERHOOD, I hold you in value...what is the world without you?  

Two ladies in Facebook groups have recently shared that having announced their pregnancies they were surprised by rude comments...from friends... to their husbands... instead of congratulations. I have heard similar stories from other friends of mine with large families.

My friends with large families have taught me so much about generosity and selflessness and trust. They show me so much about what is good in life... and meaningful. Their love, their beautiful families, are a witness... not a punchline.


When did LIFE become a joke?  

When did parenthood, life-giving LOVE and the noble service of Motherhood become devalued and mocked as something less than desirable?  Do people really flourish without it?  Isn't it more the case that they are damaged when motherhood isn't embraced and affirmed?

4 Generations 

I know women who mourn for want of children. Their empty arms and hearts ache...
Mocking pregnancy hurts them, too.


Our relationships with our children will be what we are thinking about at the end of this life.  Will we be thinking about success or thinking about the LOVE? LOVE is what we really want from life and our happiness is often measured by the love we feel.


When the comments say "get fixed" what is broken? I know it says more about the commenter than about the family. When the comments say, "are you done?" which child in a family should be "returned"?  


What happened to the word SHAME?  Aren't we ashamed that this is considered humor, to chide the miracle of life? The culture of death has changed us and made a mockery of parenthood.

MOTHERHOOD, I hold you in value...
what is the world without you?  

HAPPY MOTHER's DAY and a THANK YOU to my mother, who always showed us the dynamic importance of Motherhood and a mother's love.
GANGSTA LOVE!
I am grateful for the legacy and the love and friendships that surround me! For those who have no children but offer their spiritual motherhood in nurturing others, I am also grateful. May the Blessed Mother keep them both under her mantle.


LIFE IS PRECIOUS.  
God will use each life and bring love to it.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Two High


Two High Masses, that is.

We went to Pittsburgh for the High Mass at St. Boniface Sunday at 11am.

St. Boniface is on the Historic Registry
 The High Mass was very beautiful, with transcendent chant and the Priest had a beautiful voice as well!



video

Afterwards, we drove through beautiful Pittsburgh. I love the town and saw endless spots I want  to photograph. 

Can't wait to go back to Pittsburgh!


We had crepes at Pamela's Diner in the strip district and loved the retro theme and all the 1950's style family album-type photos lining all the walls. 


Later, at 4pm, the last High Mass of the school year was held at Franciscan University. So we went to our second High Mass that day.  


The choir was E X C E P T I O N A L ! (Wish I had been in a better spot to capture it in video.)


The room dimmed a bit as thunder and rain came over the chapel.



In God's goodness, the rain stopped as Mass finished and lovely drops of rain beset the tulips and flowering trees...




like an abundance of graces...


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday ~ St. Peter Canisius Quote on Collusion with Church's Enemies

St. Peter Canisius Quote on Collusion with Church's Enemies and Foes of the Faith.


Honored today in the Extraordinary Form, for more see LINK.

Monday, April 25, 2016

9 Scripture Verses For Times of Worry, Trouble & Testing


For thousands of years, Christians have turned to scripture, and praying scripture, in times of worry and when they feel overwhelmed. 
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalms 46:1
When you pray scripture it is said that you pray God's promises back to Him. And so, how can His own words not be efficacious? 
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16.33
He is a God who keeps His promises.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10
There is a peace in those who surrender to Him.
 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15
Place a note with one of these verses on your bathroom mirror, or by your bedside, or above your kitchen sink. Breathe in and out deeply and slowly as you pray the scripture, asking God for the graces you need. 
2 Corinthians 4:16-18  “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
We often lean on others, a friend...a loved one, to share our burdens and troubles. Our Lord is all those things and more! 
Romans 5:3-5  “ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Scripture can lift us out of this world and remind us of the next, giving us perspective. 
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
In that new perspective, we can find strength and grow character. 
James 1:12  “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
It's hard for me to remember the stress of college finals testing and the worry of grades, but I have two sons who are in the midst of that and I pray they will grow from this experience, in faith and knowledge. 

God does provide us with experiences to draw close to Him.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Baptism Quotes from Early Church Fathers, Saints & Scripture (with Photos)

ONE Lord,  ONE faith, ONE baptism Ephesians 4:5


Baptismal Font ready for 3 Extraordinary Form Baptisms
Saint Basil the Great [379] All of us who desire the kingdom of God are, by the Lord's decree, under an equal and rigorous necessity of seeking after the grace of Baptism. 


In the Extraordinary Form, the Rite of Baptism is so rich.  Sad that too few receive these symbolic prayers today. They begin outside of the Church.

Baptism procession to the font
On Divine Mercy Sunday, I was privileged to be invited to the Baptisms of 3 friends! 
The Church is alive with babies and families.


St. Vincent Ferrer ~ Every baptized person should consider that it is in the womb of the Church where he is transformed from a child of Adam to a child of God

St. Thomas Aquinas ~ Just as a man cannot live in the flesh unless he is born in the flesh, even so a man cannot have the spiritual life of grace unless he is born again spiritually. This regeneration is effected by Baptism: "Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Jn 3:5) 


St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church ~ Baptism is not the work of man but of Christ, and this sacrament is so holy that it would not be defiled, even if the minister were a murderer. 

St. Ephrem (d. 373) wrote a beautiful hymn in which he connected the baptism of Jesus with the womb of Mary and the sacrament of the Eucharist: “See, Fire and Spirit in the womb that bore you! See, Fire and Spirit in the river where you were baptized! Fire and Spirit in our Baptism; in the Bread and the Cup, Fire and Holy Spirit!” Christ, the Light of the World, dwelt first in the womb of the Virgin—who was thus “baptized” by her Son—and then in the womb of the Jordan; he emerged from both as the Incarnate Word, the Savior of mankind. Those who are baptized thus become the children of Mary and partakers of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of her Son. [source]

St. Hippolytus of Rome (“The Apostolic Tradition,” 215 A.D.) “Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them.”



We are to imitate Christ in all things, and He shows us the importance of baptism by being baptized himself. His baptism was a public act of faith, and so we should do likewise.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church 537 ~ Through Baptism the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in his own baptism anticipates his death and resurrection. The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father's beloved son in the Son and "walk in newness of life":


Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Mass and Photos


 Easter Sunday Mass at St. Peter's in Steubenville
Asperges

Fr. Timothy Huffman ~ Elevation , St. Peter's Steubenville
Fr. Timothy Huffman, St. Peter's Steubenville ~ Easter 2016

recession
  


My Mother and Father joined us

My Dad singing Dino to my Mother at the mural of Dean Martin, in his birthplace of Steubenville
Holy Saturday Golf game ~ Popsy and his boys
Hope you had a blessed Easter, too.  He is risen!