Thursday, October 23, 2014

St. John Paul the Great Feastday...yesterday

As I read my Magnificat on the morning of the Feast Day of St. John Paul II, I could not help but imagine this picture my daughter took last week from her bed as she rose to get ready for school.

Prayer for the Morning - Psalm 19
For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays. (Mal 3:20)

"Saint John Paul II liked to quote Saint Augustine: 'We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!' Through years of painful unity with Christ's cross, he focused always on the Resurrection. Just as every Sunday is a little Easter, so is every single sunrise a reminder of God's glorious victory over sin and death."

"The daybreak from on high will visit us!" (Lk 1:78)

"You are our light and our salvation, Lord. Through the intercession of Saint John Paul II, grant us light to see your truth and wisdom and to love what we see, that we may walk in your ways today and all the days of our life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen"

Saint John Paul II loved our youth, spent time with our youth, talked with our youth. May the impact he had on our young people, and still has through his writings, give them and us the strength to share the light of Christ in our lives so that, as we read today, we may, like Jesus, "set the earth on fire."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Saint John Paul the Great

Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves is the book we are reading and discussing in a mom's group at St. Cecilia Academy where my daughter goes to school. I hesitated joining the group because of work and morning Mass. But, after reading the first couple of chapters and learning so much about the suppression of the Polish people by the Nazis and then by the Communists, and the struggles of Karol's family during that time, I just wanted to read more and hear what others had to say. It was very emotional for me.

The first day, as I passed by the St. Henry School Chapel after dropping my 7th grader off, I bemoaned the fact that I was missing Mass. I actually asked Jesus to come to me in some other way. As I arrived at the high school office, I was told that the book group was not meeting until 9:15 due to a PTO meeting. Well, darn. I had some work to do at the Aquinas library so I went over and then decided to go to the Atrium of Overbrook School where Sr. Mary Charles teaches the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I'd been promising to visit. As I entered, she was teaching some young students about St. Jerome and the importance of his work of translating the Scriptures and the importance of having the Scriptures available in every language for all people. Then, she holds up a few bibles in foreign languages and talks to the children and says, "And, this bible is Polish and we are going to get Sr. Mary Karol to read a little bit." Oh, the beauty of the sound of the Polish language! I cannot express how deeply I was touched as she read Scripture and I kept thinking that here was this sister from Poland whose parents, or some part of her family, were true survivors and who kept the faith and passed it on, obviously, to their daughter, who appropriately took the name of one of the great Saints of her Country. Tears formed as she spoke. Coincidence? Not. I truly felt the presence of God in that place.
Then, the children were allowed to go to the different areas of the Atrium and spend time. I walked around and watched as two boys put together the liturgical calendar, another set the altar for mass, some girls showed me about making unleaven bread and others were working with maps. It was beautiful and so fulfilling.

So far, we've had two group meetings and are on Chapters 6 and 7 for the next time. I have journaled all along the way writing quotes from this great Saint and from those with whom he worked. He is definitely a Saint for our times and this book is full of information to help us on our spiritual journeys, no matter our vocation.

"The more ready you are to give yourselves to God and to others, the more you will discover the Authentic Meaning of Life." St. John Paul II

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Maggie Valley Morning

Last day in the North Carolina Mountains and the morning greets me with such beauty! 
Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maggie Valley, NC

Just an update. Yesterday during Mass at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, in my temporary rolling hills, seven people were consecrated to Mary after 33 Days of Morning Glory.

We also had some rain which made the "stream" outside my bedroom start to flow and flow and flow.


And, a little early morning fog set in amidst the trees, with leaves beginning to change colors.

God is good. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary
Mary, Lady of the Rosary, as we meditate on your life, may we imitate your love. You never hesitate to reach out to the poor, to the less fortunate, and to the children. You serve all in their individual needs. Help us to work to restore those who have left the Church. Teach us ways to strengthen faith in our families so that we can reach out to others. Help us to bring your children back, our families back, our world back under your loving care.

Many times when we think we “got nothing,” we may just have it all. When we let things settle, answers come. When we rest, our vision is clear. When we pray, good things happen. 

from Visiting Mary: Her U.S. Shrines and their Graces

Monday, October 6, 2014

St. Margaret Church - Maggie Valley, NC

Each year at this time I travel to the hills of North Carolina and set up an entire store for the priest of the Diocese of North Carolina while they are on retreat in Maggie Valley at the Living Waters Retreat Center. I set up yesterday for about 4 hours and finished this morning in time to go to mass at St. Margaret's Church on the hill behind the Retreat Center. There were 8 of us including the priest and the deacon. Father read directly from the Magnificat for the beginning and for part of the homily. I can not say enough about the full reverence of the Sacrifice of the Mass despite the small crowd. Of course, size should not matter. We said some extra prayers after the homily and at the end of Mass. Prayers needed in our world. Prayers for peace and justice and safety. As the priest served Communion, of course, he personalized each offering except for me. I thought it beautiful, communal. If you look closely at the top area of the picture, you can see Christ crucified.
Outside, as I was going to the van, I snapped this -
That's what I'm stuck with for the week. I do love this place but by tomorrow I'll be missing my kids like crazy. So great for a couple of days, then so miserable for the rest. Oh well, the area is amazing and I just wanted to share, not whine. I'll head back home Thursday. Usually by now the leaves are turning. Soon. God Bless our priests especially in areas like this where there are so many small mission churches, or so it seems.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oh If I Could Only Keep My Mouth Shut...From Today's Reading

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.

I have been up and down a couple of nights stressing over a situation, as mom's can do. The first time I went for help with this "situation", my plea was taken totally wrong and it made matters worse. The second time I went for help with this matter the person I asked thought I was commenting on the way they were handling things. This is why my teaching degree sits in the drawer unused. I could never really get through to others what I wanted to say. When will I ever learn to just keep my mouth shut? Then, today's reading came across my early morning screen and I just have to thank God again for reminding me that it is just not about me. Life is more about how we treat one another, how we handle things as difficulty arises and yes, how we should go to Him for help and He will give us all we need. I so needed this. 

"Lord, help me to close my mouth, get on my knees and to listen to Your Words."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

St. Therese of Lisieux

“I will follow you wherever you go.” Luke 9:57

 On this Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux, I feel like these words from Scripture match her life precisely.

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus
Please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly garden
and send it to me
as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus,
ask God to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
in you hands
( mention your special prayer request here )
St. Therese, help me to always believe
as you did, in God's great love for me,
so that I may imitate your "Little Way" each day. Amen.