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Showing posts from April, 2009

What's going on around here

Just a quick note... I haven't been avoiding blogging, just too busy.

1) Andy is almost done with his spring semester... just 2 more weeks!!! He'll be taking summer school classes until the middle of July, but it won't be the 17 credit load he is currently taking.

2) We are packing to leave early tomorrow to catch a plane to Louisiana to witness a beautiful, sacramental wedding of one of my dear friends and her wonderful fiance. May God bless their marriage!

3) The boys are staying with Andy's parents... which means time away for Andy and I. We will miss the boys and are sad to leave them even for a long weekend, but this is sooo needed. Thank you Sarita and Eric for giving us this opportunity! And please, Lord, bring us safely back together Monday night!

4) Two more wonderful young Catholic moms, and wonderful friends, joined the blogging community! Please check out their sites: http://krissyfruitfulvine.blogspot.com
http://fallingupwardholly.blogspot.com

God bless you…

Falling on His Grace (what's in a name)

Though it has taken many forms or fallen under many names, I have dealt with some form of depression and/or anxiety for as long as I can remember. It has become a kind of cross for me, one for which I am always looking for ways of setting aside and moving beyond but one that I just cannot seem to shake. While still looking for ways of moving beyond depression and anxiety, I am making peace with the fact that it is a part of my life and am even beginning to see it as a sort of gift. That is, until I fall deep into its lairs once again and find myself struggling to make my way back from the darkness of despair to the light of hope and peace. Praise be to Him who, when I reach my hand out in prayer, reaches back and pulls me out of the darkness with a whisper of encouragement.

I have reflected quite often on this cross I carry as this scenario has repeated itself many times over. When I am standing in the light of hope and in prayer, I can clearly see that this cross of depression an…

A small gift

I went out to meet a few mothers for breakfast this morning. As I said bye to Blaise this morning, he handed me a Hot Wheels race car. "Here Mom, bring this with you." It was a favored race car of his, one he rarely gives up or allows his younger brother to play with. Yet he insisted that I bring it with me to breakfast. I thanked him and told him he was very thoughtful and left.

On my way home, I stopped at church to spend a little time with our Lord. As I reached into my pocket, I felt the race car and pulled it out. "Thank you, Lord, for Blaise's thoughtfulness and ability to share such a special toy. Thank you for such a wonderful, caring boy."

Thanks in Advance

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The retreat I had gone on two weeks ago was at a Franciscan Capuchin retreat house. One of the Capuchins opened up the retreat with a prayer similar to one a fellow deceased Capuchin, Solanus Casey, would often pray: "Lord, thank You in advance for all the blessings You will grant us during this retreat" (paraphrased). I found it instantly opened me further to the plans God had for me during that retreat, rather than my own, more narrow plans.

I've been praying that prayer daily since: "Lord, thank You in advance for all the blessings You will grant me today" or "...for all the blessings You will grant me this evening with my family" if I'm on my way home from work, or another phrase as appropriate. I find it opens me up to the blessings He does have in store for me that day and helps me to be more joyful as it does remind me God is constantly sending His graces upon us all. It helps me to let go of the narrowness of my plans, of the anxiety t…

Thank you, Lord, for the awesome gift of redemption

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After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone.... The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.'" (Matthew 28:1-2, 5-7)

May God bless you all this Easter!

To my Holy Mother

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Mary, as I am waiting for Easter, I wonder how you must have felt waiting, after your Son had been put to death on the cross. And I wonder how you must have felt during the events leading up to His crucifixion. Were you startled when He was arrested and being sentenced? Were you praying that Pilate would excuse Him? Were you surprised at all that was being said against your innocent Son? Did you understand all that was happening and why it must happen this way? As He was being scourged, did you feel every whip blow? How you must have wanted to run in and hold back the hand of the man so brutally beating Him! As you saw His bloodied body carrying that wood to Calgary, how much sorrow you must have felt! How did you feel as He gazed so lovingly into your eyes with the love only God can give? When He fell, did you try to rush in against the push of the crowd to pick up your Son as you had when He was a child? Did you picture Him as He had been when He was just learning to walk…
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Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)

The Cup

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I have always been intrigued by the Agony in the Garden. Jesus, sweating blood, asks His Father, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done." How He must have suffered, knowing the trials and pain He would undergo. What strength and love He showed in willingly allowing Himself to be brutally beaten and hung on the cross so that we may all be reconciled to God. Jesus says, in Matthew's account, "Do you think that I cannot call upon My Father and He will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?" (26:53-54). I am thankful He did not do just that. He knew He must drink of this cup, and His Father was not going to take it away from Him, but "to strengthen Him, an angel from Heaven appeared to Him" (Luke 22:43). He who had the strength of God was sent an angel to strengthen Him in Hi…

The Opportunity of the Cross

"Paul does not regard the cross from the perspective of its horror, its hardship, or its hurt. He sees it as a chance. The cross is the way to break out of our crippling self-reliance so as to depend fully on God. Without the cross in our life, how comfortable we would become - how complacent and self-content.... The cross is the way that God persistently calls us back to Him, moment by moment, detaching us from all our secret supports by which we would connive to become autonomous and self-serving."
Peter John Cameron, OP; Magnificat, September 2008; Vol 10, No 7.

Thank God for our crosses, or trials, then. If not for difficulties, we would never know our need for Him. We would simply go through our lives, content and comfortable, though unfulfilled. It is in our crosses that Christ calls us back to Himself.

Our trial are opportunities to turn to God and to grow closer to Him. They are opportunities to look to Him for all that we need and for guidance, so that we becom…

Ok, ok, I get the hint.

You know how sometimes you hear something in church or you read something that you know was meant just for you? Well, that didn't happen this time. I was too busy. But God wanted to make sure I paid attention and got the message. I have heard this Bible verse several times and a couple reflections on it over the course of the last couple weeks, and then it was part of the theme at the retreat I was at this weekend, when I actually had time to listen. Ok, God, I get it. I'll pay attention.

As they continued their journey He entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at His feet listening to Him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to Him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one t…

New blog... please read!

One of my very best friends just started a new blog today. She is an absolutely beautiful woman, devout Catholic, wonderful mother and wife, and fantastic friend! Please visit her.

HuMAMAe Vitae

Update

I have not posted anything in a week or so, and so I thought I'd write a bit of an update.

I am still struggling with what I wrote about a week ago, but I suppose that day last week was my low. I know that will be a struggle for a while longer and that life is not easy anyway. But I also know I can learn to appreciate what I have been given. What I find difficult is that I take one step forward with learning to find joy despite the difficulties and busyness of life, then I take two steps back. Once I feel I am doing well, life hits me like a ton of bricks. But spring will be coming to Wisconsin soon, and the weather is one piece of the puzzle, so that will help.

I will be going on a retreat this weekend, which I believe will also help. The theme is "The Freedom of Letting Go" and is about meeting the challenges of our day. I think it is not only the perfect timing but also a wonderful topic for me. This is one place I certainly can see God's hand in my life. …