Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Grace before....reading?

Read this earlier on streetevangelization.com:

A quote from GK Chesterton (whom I hope to read more of this year)
~~~~~~~

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” – G.K. Chesterton
~~~~~~~

Father, please help me to remember to pray to You in all things, and thank You for Your Grace and any talents I have received from You.  Let everything I do give Glory to You, o Great One.  Amen!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

First time doing public evangelization!

Today was my first day being a part of the St. Paul's Street Evangelization (www.streetevangelization.com) . Be clear: I'm not sharing my story for myself; I'm sharing it to encourage all of us to do this, or something similar. If I can do it, anyone can do it; it might be to share the Good News vocally, or pray for those who are. Find the talents God has given you, and let Him glorify those talents for His Good! I have lots of words....thank you Lord for helping me to use them in such an amazing way.


We went to a local 'soup kitchen' for the homeless adjacent to a local Cathedral. I was soooooooooooo nervous! Last night, I was sitting and talking with my husband, and had tears coming down my face. What if I mess up? What if I make a mistake? I hadn't felt nervous like this about something since my children were born. Sure I've been nervous, when starting a new job, or something like that, but it wasn't an 'important', or 'life changing' nervous. I prayed, prayed, prayed, and had great support from my husband.

I woke up, not completely rested, but raring to go. We arrived early, got our table set up outside the dining room area of the 'soup kitchen' (but it's more regular meals, than soup). We prayed the Rosary together before the doors opened. I was a little skeptical of how many would actually want a Rosary. Most were there because they were hungry for food; little did I know how many were hungry spiritually, for a one on one connection. A few came in to us pretty quickly, even before the announcement that we were there (we were in an adjacent hallway). Our team leader/head of the local chapter was immediately approached by a young man with a lot of strong ideas and opinions, and kept him busy for quite a while. That left us 'newbies' (2 of us). My husband was there, but he was just along for the ride, so to speak, as he isn't comfortable sharing with others. He was our silent prayer warrior, reading the Bible and praying the Rosary as we did our 'work'. However, he was even pulled in to join me in prayer when there was a long line of people wanting to get a Rosary from me, and the other 2 were busy.

I've only ever offered prayer in public once, last year, out of the blue, at the bookstore.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Be true.

Some people work so hard to make others think that their lives are wonderful, perfect, and how great they are. Why? It falls flat upon even distant inspection.  

Be yourself. Be true. You don't have to prove anything to anyone else.  Don't look to others for affirmation about who you are. 

BE who you are.  You'll find the happiness that you are trying to convince others that you have.  The people that want you to prove to them how awesome you are, aren't worth the time or trouble. <3 

You know what? You are already loved.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Prayer of St. Augustine: Too late have I loved you

Amen! Amen! Amen! Thank you, Lord, my Rock and my Salvation.

PRAYER OF SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
Finding God After A Long Search

Too late have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient,
O Beauty so new.
Too late have I loved you!
You were within me but I was outside myself,
and there I sought you!
In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made.
You were with me,
and I was not with you.
The things you have made kept me from you,
the things which would have no being
unless they existed in you!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

When things don't go as planned....look at the blessings you receive instead

It was our anniversary (Hi husband! I love you!!), and the Archdiocese was holding a special Mass to commemorate World Marriage Day (a day celebrated the Sunday before Valentine's Day, since 1981; so don't take it as anything but a celebration of marriage, and not new with the current marriage debate in this country).  We were truly looking forward to attending, especially since it had been a full year since we returned to God and the Faith, and it landed directly on our anniversary.

As often is the case, weather can turn on a dime, and it did.  The quick flurries forecasted turned into a bit more, and traffic reports from a friend confirmed what concerned us: the roads were slick, and travel was at least temporarily, treacherous.  Sighhhhhhhhhhh.  We resigned ourselves to attending Sunday Mass at our own parish nearby, and watched a favorite movie together (Ocean's 11).

I had another thought...perhaps we could attend the Cathedral that evening instead.

My 'Facebook' announcement when we were returning to the Faith and to God

I posted this when we returned to the Faith last year.  Before our return a year ago, you could find (what seemed to me) funny, sarcastic, sometimes PG-13 rated humor on my timeline, mostly in shared pictures from pages that I followed. I also did my share of complaining. Once returning, I couldn't share those anymore, and didn't want to be a complainer. After all, what could I complain about? God's Love and Mercy supersedes all!!  I didn't even find them that funny anymore.  Here's my post regarding that:

Changes.....

Friends,
Some of you may have noticed a change in my recent Facebook posts.  This is, I hope, a reflection of the change in my real life.  Some (most) of the changes here on Facebook are what I'm NOT saying, things I would have said or posted before.

I’m so filled with Joy that we have returned to the Catholic faith, and members of a wonderful parish (Holy Trinity) after falling away due to some major conflicts we had with our first parish in the City.  That is our fault as well, and we allowed ourselves to be pulled away in our moments of weakness.  We are blessed to have now a parish that practices the Catholic faith as it is meant to be, if one is to be Catholic.  I like to think that our loved ones who have went before us, have prayed for our return to the Faith (and perhaps, even loved ones still on earth).  I know that my grandparents, my in-laws, and many others are happy that we have started to find our way again, or should I say, His Way.  I’m definitely not saying that everyone has to be Catholic; I’m saying that’s what God intends for me, and I’m 100% sure on that.  He has blessed me with challenges to share my experience and faith with others; it’s easy to do with strangers, or fellow parishioners. But I need to share that with those I love and care about as well.

If I had a feast, and it was open to everyone who knew about it......

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reversion of a Collapsed Catholic

So, what were you doing one year ago?

February 5, 2013:
(while this posting does include emphasis on my own Reconciliation in my return to God and the Faith, it's a conversion/reversion story, not one focused on the Sacrament)

I'd been away from the Church and from God for maybe 10 years, attending Mass only when required for a funeral, wedding. I rarely even attended with family at family functions. I couldn't attend in good faith, knowing I was living was apart from Christ. I couldn't receive the Eucharist, and I had no desire for confession over the many years.  I didn't even attend Protestant services, because while there is also good in other religions, I deep down knew I was supposed to be Catholic (as revealed to me many years earlier, from God; your mileage may vary).

Our oldest son had emergency surgery for a spontaneous collapsed lung a month earlier. Despite him being a young adult, I was just as scared as if he'd been 5 years old.  As I prayed in the nearby waiting room (what? prayed? Yep, even as a sinner, fallen away Catholic, I still knew God was there, but that I wasn't there for God; I wasn't praying for myself, but for our son), I thought of all my relatives who I believed were in Heaven, or at the least, on their way there. I pictured each of them in my mind, and asked each one of them to pray for our son (as well as every saint I could think of...which wasn't many). I saw my beloved grandparents, friends and other family members....including my aunt, Shirley.

Now, my Aunt Shirley had been in a wheelchair for over 20 years when she died a few years ago.  She was in a lot of pain, and suffered greatly.  That's how I always remembered her, when she crossed my mind over the years. But not that day.  That day, my beautiful Aunt Shirley had a smile on her face, and walked towards me from the 'line' I was visualizing.  She had such joy on her face like I don't ever remember seeing.  It was a very spiritual moment, because I felt that she was telling me it was going to be okay (it was), and that she was happy and healthy once again, in God's arms. Wow. I didn't consciously think about that...it just happened.  Our son recovered fully from the lung collapse, praise God.

The few weeks after his surgery, I seemed to be struggling.  I guess I was struggling against God. I knew I wasn't worthy (I'm still not). But I felt Him calling me. My life was 'okay'...my husband had recently received full time employment; our kids were in college, and I was doing okay. But deep down, I knew. I was living in fear. I was afraid to die.  The pathway I was on was easy and clear, and the destination was not a good one.  I didn't realize the fear I had in my heart and soul until it was gone.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beauty

For my husband:
Silver strands
                swirling from the sky,
                                sparkling, cascading,
        dancing diamond dust, breath of angels
                   Each crystal a hymn of 
                                      Heavenly rejoicing
floating, falling, lifting in a breeze
            each flake - a wish
               every drop - a dream 
Comes a glistening Gift from God
         swirling, softly, caressing the soul
                           nourishing the spirit
                                       Whispering, sweetly 
              His consuming Love.

cmg 2-4-2014 copyright 2014