Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beautiful site...

Better late than never...

I'm now halfway through Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you need a good, quick, powerful read before Christmas, this is the one. Every woman, from any denomination would benefit from the courage and wisdom of Mother Angelica. Having been to Canton, OH. and seeing some of the places mentioned, e.g. Timken Co. this past April, it's more "personal" to me in a way. If we read this, we'll be reminded of just how much God loves us, and looks out and provides for us...always, even when the "dark night" looms.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Couples for Christ...USA and global

Angels among us...

These are a few favorites of mine I found while doing some research for a children's book I hope to get published in the not too distant future. I never had a real appreciation for angels, and am only now, after 5 years of being a practicing Catholic, learning more about them. I do pray to my Guardian, but not as much as I should. If any of you have instances where you know your Guardian Angel was looking out for you, or someone you love, please comment. It doesn't have to be a huge story or really profound, but if so, that's welcome also. Do you pray to your Guardian? How often? I've heard some people name their 'protectors'... do you? Is it ok to do that? God bless.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

My prayer room...

Saw a screening last night in Council Bluffs...

Powerful depiction of the warnings given to three children
for the early 20th century
and a warning for us now
possibly ...
a final one?


On Friendships

h/t Saintos

"Sweet, blessed liberation"

I've been thinking about, praying about and going through the same thing as what an 'on line' friend, Owen, sums up so nicely in his latest cartoon (click "On Friendships" above.)

Last week, there occurred an epiphany in my soul that has completely set me free and given me such peace. I "gave my friends" to God, and to my Blessed Mother. Nobody need require of me more than they. I'm now free from letting creatures or things have such control ... it is truly 'sweet, blessed liberation!' How I love it! It's not perfected in me by any means, but I know something inside has happened, to release me from the "yoke of slavery" to affections, (even if good) that have too much control over me. Yes, I am my sisters/brothers keeper, but they don't "own" me, God does.

Reality/Truth check:

Friends change.

Things change. Change is life. But happily, God never changes. He is to be our "FIRST resort, not friends or things" and once I make that a reality in my heart, once I say it, and say it often, when I'm hurt by a friend, or feeling ignored, or forsaken to some degree, that brings the most consolation to my soul...I am God's. He is all good and deserving of my love. No person or thing created is. Jesus my Lord, my All in all, my truest Friend and Lover of my soul is my "First and only Love."

Friends, true friends, allow for each other to grow, to change, even if it makes us "uncomfortable" and we want to give them our opinion - usually too quickly. The old adage: "Don't give advice you're not willing to take" rings like the pealing bells I used to hear on Sunday mornings when I was a girl. We're to help each other attain sainthood, not just "be pals" and that means knowing that no matter what, or how someone might let us down, we're to simply "love" but we're to love as God does, not as we 'feel.'

Friends cannot meet every emotional need we have, no matter how close they are, even our spouses cannot meet every need or we'd not need God. God is a "jealous lover" and will not allow anyone or anything to take His place in our hearts. It's a hard lesson at times, to let a friend go, or to let her change, or even fade away for a time, or forever. It's not because we've disagreed on things, it's just that we're all at different places on this arduous, tumultous journey in this land of exile. God will bring them back or He won't. He'll give you a new friend, or He won't. Friends are important, yes, for those of us who don't live in convents, we need friends... but even still, they're not to be the 'be all end all' that only God is to be. God gives and God takes away...for our good.

He sent his apostles out, two by two, for a reason. There is safety in numbers. It's "not good for 'man' to be alone." We're not "islands in the sea" but we're not to be "joined at the hip" where they or we ourselves seek to 'control.' If we love others for 'how they make us feel ' it's selfish and 'not to be.' We've already lost if that's the case, and it could get messy and unecessary strife and contention or vain imaginings will replace what started out to be "good" due to too much 'self-love' still lurking about. It doesn't mean we stop caring, for we always care for those in our lives, whether since childhood, or newly made friendships. We love them if they 'move on' (spiritually or geographically) or if they don't, but if we don't communicate as much as we once did, it is (or should be) fine. Unless there's been something done, a hurt commited to amend, it is as God wills, not us to will. And the reactions, responses, replies or lack thereof on their part is not for us to pine about, but to "offer up" and MOVE ON ourselves. Shake the dust off your feet, not in disgust, but in love. No one that plows a field and looks back is worthy. Let the dead bury their dead. Somethings just need to be released when their time is completed.

A great song by the Byrds comes to mind just now. From the scriptures in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 --

To everything turn turn turn, there is a season, turn turn turn, and a time to every purpose under heaven... a time to heal a time to rend...

Let friends do what friends should do, but don't let them take the place that only God should have. He may take them all away, and you could end up dying alone, as little Jacinta did, at the age of 8. Alone, not a friend by her side when she died. But she was totally and completely God's. Her last sacrifice for sinners was to die alone.

Next time you're feeling lonely, or sorry for yourself, or pouting, or moping about, just remember little Jacinta and in a sense, "die" to a friendship that's perhaps 'taken over' your thought life. Let your friend 'die' in a sense, not to ignore them, but not to have them have more power over you than they should.

As we all must 'die to ourselves' then we'll be free to live and to love, to really love them as they should be loved, and God will fill us up to the brim, to overflowing, in ways we cannot realize or imagine. If Jacinta could relinquish her desire for someone to be with her at such most crucial time, her death, at the age of 8, how much more should I desire to "completely God's" and 'die to myself' and my longings, even for good things' like friends, at 54? Our desire for the poor souls and lost sinners of this world should be to resemble that of a saint, who was only 8, with a faith much more mature and beyond her years.

Thanks, Owen. Great observation, insight and advice. As St. Julian of Norwich was so oft to utter: "All is well."

And another great piece of advice from 'The Natural' -

"They come and they go, Hobbs. They come and they go."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We love St. Clare!

Sister & me...

I forget her name, but she was a delight to visit with on my first 'formal retreat' in 2006, at St. Benedict Retreat Center in Schuyler, NE. I hope to see her again and reconnect. Above is Fr. Jindra, Theresa & Leo, Fr. Vaccari, from Brookly, NY. It was a wonderful time!
Queen of Angels - Assisi, Italy

Behold Your Mother...

One of my favorite pictures I took while in Rome, in 2007, on the
(Behold Your Mother) pilgrimage
with Scott & Kimberly Hahn and Mike Aquilina.

Friday, November 13, 2009

For "Fans of Flannery"
see sidebar

Been here, done this

You've probably done it, too ... at 3 o'clock.

It's true, when you pray the Divine Mercy chaplet,

it's always for a good reason that you find yourself awake before the sun.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Broken Things...

Mother Mary, intercede for me ... my heart hurts. Take my weary soul, wrapped in your mantle, to the feet of Christ by your blessed intercession. "To Jesus through Mary"...always. Here's my heart, Jesus. Your Mother's been so kind to comfort me, to kiss the wound,like the Loving Mother she is. Now I fall at Your Feet. Please forgive me, cleanse me of all my sin...I am yours. I will run on feet with wings to your confessional, and find your mercy that's always there, for you are all GOOD and deserving of my love. Thank you. I love you, Lord.

Patroness of this blog, besides Mary...

Such fervent love for her son and for the Church
She looks so much like Mother Teresa.
Saint Monica, and Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Presentation of Mary ...

Welcome ...

A warm welcome to you all.

This is a blog for us Catholic women to share our love for Our Blessed Mother, for our 'sisters in Christ' and to find out what resources are available for us to live out our Catholic faith, as single women, wives, mothers, daughters, sisters (religous, too ... at least non-cloistered) new and old friends. To be "prodigal daughters" of Our Mother, lavishing our love and devotion on her, to give Mary our "fiat" and truly become "Mary's handmaids," as she assists us with her maternal protection and intercession to become saints.

We're just getting started, so please bear with us. We'll be adding more as time goes by, including favorite authors, books, dvds, movies, Saints, music, charities, missions, etc.

We'd love to hear from you and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Handmaids of Mary *

The Memorare

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions but in your mercy, hear and answer me.