Friday, March 20, 2009

Temptation

At mass this morning, father mentioned that today was the halfway mark of lent. He spoke about renewing our commitment to finish out lent. This got me thinking ...


So often even the smallest sacrifices can seem undaunting! My sister once told me that her family seems to crave hamburgers on Friday. It has become a joke in her family because of course they avoid meat on Friday but the ol' devil tries his best to distract them. Temptation comes in so many different tricky forms. Excessive worry is one, for example. How often have I prayed for an outcome and then worry excessively until the outcome is clear? I'm working on this one.

Something that has helped me to stay close to Christ, and to avoid temptation is to make a cross with my thumb and pointer finger. Now I'm not waving it in the air and showing everyone, but simply making it quietly as a reminder to myself.

This finger symbol has two parts to it. The cross is a sign of what God has done for me, and helps me to stay the course. The cross also looks like a 't,' which is the first letter in the word, Trust, as in, Jesus I Trust in You. I give this problem to you Jeus, and I TRUST you will handle it. Ah, the peace that has comes from doing this.

If we do falter, the best thing to do is to forgive ourselves, and ask forgiveness from God. Going to confession will give us the grace and humility we need to avoid near occasions of sin.


It is so important that we forgive ourselves. Otherwise unknowingly we could create a void between us and Christ. This void could fester and grow and before we know it we avoid God through our actions because of our guilt and shame. Avoid the temptation to wallow in guilt and come back running to Christ. He will always always ALWAYS be there with open arms.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feast of St. Joseph


We had a special Mass at our parish this morning. I belong to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, and we had 3 priests and a deacon saying mass. Afterwards, there was a celebration in the church hall. Julia and I were the only ones from my family ... she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

Memorare to St. Joseph

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary ever Virgin, my loving protector St. Joseph, that never has it been heard that anyone invoked your protection or besought your aid without being consoled. In this confidence I come before you; I fervently recommend myself to you. Despise not my prayer, foster father of the Redeemer, but graciously deign to hear it. Amen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

It is often hard to find peace in this world. Regardless of where we are in life, we need to have peace, no matter how hard it may seem to obtain. As a Catholic we have so many spiritual weapons that help us to find that peace, and keep it.

Saying the Rosary daily will help us gain that much needed peace. Saying the Rosary does not make Our Blessed Mother love us more, but it makes our hearts open to "hear" Her better. This goes for going to daily mass. Of course Jesus loves us unconditionally, but when we go to mass, we "Hear" Him much clearer. He gives us that dose of peace we all crave and need.

Years ago I picked up a pamphlet at the back of the church titled, "Finding Inner Peace. The ABC's of Serenity."[1] I recently stumbled upon it again and have been reading it.

Here is a part of it I'd like to share. It is under the "B" section of the ABC's.

B2, Bloom where God has planted you.

Serenity springs up when we stop prolonging the winter of our discontent all year round. Great tranquility of mind and heart can be ours if we are content with the way God has arranged our lives. In the seed of contentment is hidden the rich harvest of serenity.

If we are always grumbling and groaning about our human lot, how serene can we expect to be? Our groaning can be exterior or merely interior; In either case it spoils our chance for personal peace and happiness.

God could have planted us elsewhere -- in an African village or an Indian slum. The fact is that he has placed us where he has placed us, and here he wants us to blossom, to bear fruit, to lead productive and happy lives.

Serenity comes to those with a vital faith in God's wisdom and providence. Strange beings that we are, traversing the earth in search of happiness, we all too easily forget that happiness is a state of mind. Diogenes was content with this tub, while for Alexander the whole world was too small.

St. Paul had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself (Phil 4:11). He taught Timothy that we ought to be content if we have food and clothing (1 Tim 6:8). Imprisoned and in chains, Paul showed his contentment by praying and singing hymns to God at midnight (Acts 16:25).

Why did it take the Israelites so long to cross a desert that they could have covered in a few months or less? Because they were always grumbling about something. So they took one step forward and two steps backward, and that went on for 40 years! Most of them never did get to see their Promised Land.

There is promosed land of serenity for us in this world if we learn the secret of contentment with God's work in our lives.


THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS


"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10


[1] to order a copy of this pamphlet call 1-800-325-9521. or go to www.liguori.org.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick


“Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me” (from “The Breastplate of St. Patrick).

Ever hear of the leprechaun trap? Nor have I. I've heard of a rat trap & a money pit. I think you combine those and you have the leprechaun trap. kidding. I suppose a
candy company came up with this one! Just one more thing for me to remember to do. I'm sounding a bit jaded ... LOL ... OK I love St. Patrick just like the rest of you lasses. When my husband became Catholic and was confirmed, he picked St. Patrick as his patron. Maybe we'll catch some wandering leprechauns next year... someone remind me.

Back to the kitchen where I can finish making the Irish Stew I planned on... sheesh... I could have sworn I had some stew meat in the freezer. That leprechaun trap will come in handy after all. So we are having the very traditional, but little known, Irish Leprechaun Stew... made with you-know-what, tastes just like chicken. Never really found a recipe for that one. So I sort of made it up. A few glasses of Guinness and it will taste Irish to any bloke.

My youngest girls dressed completely in green today all on their own. Julia woke me to get down her Easter dress from last year in the closet. She paired it with a
Christmas velvet green blouse. The she insisted I put pony tails with green bands in her hair. She then found a pair of green summer slip ons that are usually worn with shorts or Capri's. A fashion plate to be sure!

I suppose we'll end the day sitting around the fire place reminiscing about our St.
Patrick's day memories. Of course my engagement story will be retold. My kids never sicken of hearing this story. I do believe I've mentioned it several times on this blog. I'm sure you'll let me know if you sicken of it. Just type the word DRUNK in the search above and you will find the story.


I hope you all had a lovely day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nomads

I'm reading, "Walking the Gobi: A 1,600 -mile Trek Across a Desert of Hope and Despair." What an exciting read! It is the true story of the Thayers. Helen, 63 and Bill , 74 trek across the Gobi dessert. Sometimes treking 25+ miles per day!!! Why you ask? Well frankly I said the same thing.

I didn't even pick this book. I am part of a book group and the book was picked for me. But as I read the book, and learned of the Nomads in the dessert, I realized that I would have never 'met' these wonderful people had Bill and Helen not shared this experience with me. Also, now this is deep, but it is somewhat metaphoric as we are all walking our Gobi's right now. Whether you are a person suffering from cancer, looking for a job, getting married, suffering a loss, going to school, or you may be a college student who is getting ready to graduate and start life. We are all walking our Gobi's.

Speaking of college students and Nomads. Now that was a smooth transition. Of course I have Nomads on the brain right now because I'm reading Helen's book. But I can't help but think of my own college age kids as Nomads. It is spring break and my home is their spring ger. LOL... then they will pack up when the winds change, or the break ends, and move to the north, south, east or west, and take up residence in a different ger until the winds change again.

OK, the coffee is doing overtime, and I need to get something in the crock pot. I usually have an easy dinner like pizza on Thursday, but I used it for Wednesday so time to face the music.

Have a lovely day, and remember, we are all walking our Gobi's and if Helen and Bill can do it, so can we! (I'm not even going to read over this, because I need to get MOVING across the desert or I'm going to shrivel up!)

BTW, get the book!