Friday, May 30, 2008


Photo by Robin

When I least expect it the beautiful words of another awaken me to the glory of God. It has happened again today as I read Bread for the Journey, A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith by Henri J. M. Nouwen. The gift to me is my gift extended to you today, as I cannot give what has already been given.

Jesus Is a Peacemaker

Jesus, the Blessed Child of the Father, is a peacemaker. His peace doesn't mean only absence of war. It is not simply harmony or equilibrium. His peace is the fullness of well-being, gratuitously given by God. Jesus says, "Peace I leave to you, my peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you" (John 14:27)

Peace is Shalom--well-being of mind, heart, and body, individually and communally. It can exist in the midst of a war-torn world, even in the midst of unresolved problems and increasing human conflicts. Jesus made that peace by giving his life for his brothers and sisters. This is no easy peace, but it is everlasting and it comes from God. Are we willing to give our lives in the service of peace?

I guess this what I am asking myself as I make the application to be a Providence Associate. "Am I willing to give my life in the service of peace?" I'm stepping into the unknown, so I pray heartily for the companionship of the Holy Spirit.

God bless you all and have a Grand Weekend!!


Thanks be to God!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm Behind Again...

I always have such good intentions and though I started it late in the year I had hoped to stay on course. "What IS she talking about?!"

Just after Lent I found at Cornerstone, while shopping for First Communion gifts, My Daily Catholic Bible, 20 minute Daily Readings. Thinking this would keep me focused on reading the Bible in a more regular format, I purchased it and began my sojourn. I can make all sorts of excuses for what happened but none will really do. Suffice it to say I am now behind. I entirely missed the reading for Nehemiah and the text is already four days into Tobit. Well, Tobit is one of my favorite books so I will endeavor to be more committed. I will try to catch up and stay on course.

I Pray:

Please, Father, allow this wayward child to find my way through your word to the Word, without taking so many side trips that I lose my way. Keep me focused and attentive to your wishes, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.


Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wonderful Holiday Weekend...

I had such a nice weekend. It wasn't hectic, just nice. Attended Mass Saturday evening at St. Joseph's where Kellie, our grand daughter, received the Serra Award. Sunday went to Anna's graduation picnic!!! Monday was just quiet...

Mom sent me this via email and so I think I will share it with you as we start back to work for a "short week" and take a walk down memory lane. At least it's memory lane for me as I graduated from high school in 1965...Please enjoy!

Cars We Drove


For the good times and the not-so-good times
Thanks be to God!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gifts of Words, Music and Flowers.

I was given this beautiful gift today. The words hopeful, the music restful, and the pictures reflective. It's for all who dream and hope and love. It was given in friendship and mutual concern for ponds and waterlilies, but it is also wonderful because of the gift itself. So to SMA at A World of Beauty, I say a most sincere, "Thank you!" I also say, "Thank you," to you all and please enjoy!!!


Thanks be to God!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Pond Has a Hole In It...

The Upper Pond
Taken 5/18/2008

I will make rivers well up on barren heights,
and fountains in the midst of valleys;
turn the wilderness into a lake,
and dry ground into waterspring.

Isaiah 41:18
(The Jerusalem Bible)

Well, it would seem that we have another hole in the larger of the two lily ponds. We had one in it before but Ron was able to find it and repair it. He hasn't been that successful this time. The water lilies in both ponds, however, are really very pretty this year. The fish are gone and Freddie, our resident frog has taken up residence elsewhere, I suspect. Last year the lily pond was the only thing in the garden that didn't need work. Now, with the results of the drought last summer and the ice storms this winter it has really taken a toll on the yard. I have been glad that the dandelions that Ron worked diligently to keep down for the last two years did not return. So we have our work cut out for us with the "barren heights" and the "dry ground."

It just means we'll just have to keep pluggin' along, little by little.

Have a Grand Weekend!!
Thanks be to God!

Call to Prayer!

I would ask that you join me as I join easter a. at Mostly Prayers in prayer for those who are or will become unemployed during this time of fuel shortages. It not only affects us here but around the world. We are "our brother's keeper," and are thus responsible for his well-being. So let us pray and sacrifice, in order that ALL might suffer less everywhere.


Dear St. Joseph, you were given the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon our brothers and sisters in their anxiety over their present struggle to support their families due to job loss. Please help them find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from their hearts and that they soon will be able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to their care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.


This we ask through the intercession of St. Joseph, in the name of Jesus Christ our brother, Lord and Savior. Amen!

Thanks be to God
all who pray and sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I was reading through Pope John Paul II, His Essential Wisdom, Edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi and found this quote:

I am not severe--I am sweet by nature--but I defend the rigidity principle. God is stronger than human weakness and deviations. God will always have the last word.

"God will always have the last word." I thought about how hard it is to be a parent sometimes. It was hard when the kids were young to "defend the rigidity principle." Saying "no" and really sticking to it. Not compromising my resolve was not only distressing but oft times painful. Wanting to give in would have been so much easier. What I had to realize, as much as I wanted to be my child's friend, was I was first and foremost the parent.

Now after all these years, my children still love me, and we are friends. It's just a matter of being sure as a parent, we follow the model of Almighty God, and have the last word.


Thanks be to God in His wisdom,
to Pope John Paul II for conveying it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dr. Kris' Birthday

Birthday cake in Hamburg
Originally uploaded by robokow
Today is Dr. Kris' birthday! So there will be pizza for lunch and (though it looks nothing like this lovely cake) the cake I made (I haven't even iced it yet) with my annual banner for the lounge wall...

And the gift to the man who has everything? A large can of cashews!!!

Have a grand day all!!! I know I will!


Thanks be to God!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Simple Woman's Day Book

This looked interesting from The Simple Woman. It's called The Simple Woman's Daybook. It has been interesting to read other's thoughts and dreams and so I thought I would give it a try. So if you are interested in giving it a try visit that address above.

FOR TODAY May 19, 2008...
Outside My Window...The light breeze blows through the trees in the neighborhood.
I am thinking...I wish we weren't so busy today. I could spend time in the garden.
I am thankful for...friends who share their dreams with me.
From the kitchen...I'm considering what to do this week for meals. A busy week it is. Tonight will be left overs, tomorrow dinner out with my Cursillo group. Perhaps Brunswick stew in the Crockpot for Wednesday as it is Kellie's 8th grade graduation and we will be scurrying hither and yon to get ready. MMMM leftover Brunswick stew Thursday (even better then) and out to dinner and graduation parties all weekend to come.
I am uniform for work.
I am creating...still the baby afghan for "little miss muffett."
I am going...come home from work this afternoon and start potting my outdoor petunias.
I am reading...2 Chronicles, which is a real challenge, Buckingham Palace Gardens, a mystery by Diane Perry.
I am start a Philadelphia Catholic in King James Court, by Martin De Porres Kennedy
I am hearing...silence.
Around the house...the cat is curled up on the blanket in the back bedroom, Duke and Duchess are napping.
One of my favorite things...listening to old radio programs.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Meet with Father Gene for Spiritual Direction, and work with a friend on planning some changes in our gardens.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Mary Engelbrecht


God Bless you today
Thanks be to God!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

The Blessed Trinity

How often have we made the sign of the cross, invoking without really adverting to it, the name of the triune God? In its original meaning the sign of the Cross was, each time it was made, a renewal of our baptism, a repetition of the words by which we became Christians, and the assimilation into our personal life what was given us in baptism without our cooperation or reflection. Water was poured over us and at the same time, the words were spoken: "I baptize you in the name of the Father , and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The Church makes us Christians by calling on the name of the the Trinitarian God. From her beginning, she has expressed in this way what she regards as the truly definitive mark of our Christianity: faith in the triune God. We find that disappointing. It seems so remote from our life. It seems so useless and so hard to understand. If there must be short formulas for expressing the tenets of our faith, then they should at least be attractive, exciting, something whose importance for men and for our live is immediately apparent. Yet, in the last analysis, this is what we are saying here: Christianity is not primarily concerned with the Church or with men, but with God. Its proper orientation is not to our hope, our fears, or our wishes, but to God, to his majesty and his power: The first article of Christian faith, the basic orientation of Christian conversion, is that God exists. We must, therefore, learn again to understand from God's perspective what being a Christian really means--that is, believing that he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If he is that in himself he must be I and You and so he must be one God in three Persons
Pope Benedict XVI
from Magnificat Magazine, May, 2008


Enough said...


Thanks be to God!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kellie is Fourteen

Kellie, May 17, 1994

Today Kellie is 14. She was our first grandchild and God only knows where the last 14 years have gone. Today she is a beautiful young lady who is graceful and filled with the love of music and dance. She volunteers helping with Children's Sunday School at St Joseph Church and sings in the choir. It has been a blessing for us to watch her grow and mature into the person she has become. Her birthday also happens to coincide with an appropriate reflection by Amy Welborn in A Catholic Woman's Book of Days.

Then he appeared to more than five hundred
brothers and sisters at one time, most of
whom are still alive, tough some have died.
~1 Corinthians 15:6~

When I was about thirteen years old, my previously clean-shaven father grew a handlebar mustache and took to wearing striped, bell-bottom pants (it was 1973).

I was distressed and actually a little angry. I remember thinking--although I don't know if I ever said it out loud--that he just didn't look like a Dad anymore.

The Gospels and Paul tell us that after the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to many. All who saw him had some difficulty recognizing or accepting him. Their faith had to take them a step or two beyond their previous experience and expectations in order to really see Jesus.

When I look, is there something preventing me from seeing Jesus for who he is?

Lord Jesus, bring me close to you in faith.

I would also offer for reflection this verse.

Jesus said to her," Woman why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was a gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" [And she recognized Jesus.]
John 20:15-16

You see there are times when I look back at the pictures of Kellie and my other grandchildren and remember with delight how they were. And because I don't get to see most of them as often as I would like, the next time I do see them they have changed in stature and maturity. I don't recognize the child as they were before and a part of me doesn't want them to change. I want them to stay a wee child and...I guess it makes me sad. Yes, indeed they must grow, change and mature. And when I see their success, I cheer and thank God (with a tear in my eye!) heartily! That's when I know I must rely the Spirit and his good judgment and once again understand who is in control.

I think the illustration above is much like that. Jesus enters our live in many ways. But am I open to his presence? I hope so, too! For he does not always appear to be the same. Well, (sigh) to be honest...I know I miss the presence more than I care to admit. The reality is, it is up to me to GROW and MATURE (though I am still mostly young) so that I can be in His presence and know it. Yep, that's it!!! And in reflecting on Kellie's birthday today and her beautiful life I too have grown-up just a little more, I hope.


Happy Birthday, Kellie!
Thanks be to God!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Simple Devotion

As she often does Suzy at Sailing by Starlight has guided me to a new and interesting site called The Simple Woman. There I have been challenged to THINK and REFLECT on scripture. I share this as part of her reflection.

Relish in the moment, the here and now. We know that times are hard and they will be...the end is written and the world is in travail, but we also know that we are never alone. Take comfort in this...

Philippians 4:8 (which is the "blueprint” verse for my life) it says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” I just love this scripture and find the words very simple to understand. I find them healing to a burdened spirit that is hurting.

And you know I can. She reminded me that when things are burdensome I find myself singing or humming one of my favorite hymns, You Are Near. It becomes a prayer and then I appreciate the consolation derived from the nearness of God. What a grand opportunity to say Thank You and give praise to the Almighty.

I would ask you to visit The Simple Woman for she has a great deal to offer. Thank you to Suzy for leading me there.


Thanks to be to God, always!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feast of Saint Isadore the Farmer

I'm sharing this today because I have friends who are farmers. They are hard workers and diligent in their work and their love of the Lord. Farming is in itself HARD work and risky! A farmer knows not from year to year what will come of his efforts. He is at the mercy of the elements over which he as no control. And they pray.

When I shop for groceries, eat out, or spend time fixing meals I fear I don't spend time thanking these men and women who tend the soil. I take them for granted until the prices in the store rises and then I complain. I forget that they are the ones up early feeding the cattle, sheep, chickens, turkeys. They are the ones praying for rain so that the crops will yield a good harvest. Or for the farmers here praying the rain will subside long enough to get into the fields to plant.

Today I would ask you to take time our to pray for these very special people who feed the world!!!

Patron of National Rural Conference in the United States

St. Isidore, the Farmer
St. Isidore, the Farmer

St. Isidore was born at Madrid, Spain, in the latter half of the 12th century. For the greater part of his life he was employed as a laborer on a farm outside the city. Many marvelous happenings accompanied his lifelong work in the fields and continued long after his holy death. He was favored with celestial visions and, it is said, the angels sometimes helped him in his work in the fields. St. Isidore was canonized in 1622.

In 1947, he was proclaimed the patron of the National Rural Conference in the United States. He is the patron of farmers, and his feast day is May 15th.

Prayer : God, through the intercession of St. Isidore, the holy Farmer, grant that we may overcome all feelings of pride. May we always serve You with that humility which pleases You, through his merits and example.


Thanks be to God and to
those who till His earth!

Astonomy Day, 2008

In the beginning...God created the heavens and the earth...
Genesis 1:1

This year's Astronomy Day wasn't quite as exciting as last year's
Adventures in Astronomy. But it was family time together none-the-less. Neil is an astronomer in training and must be what his Grandpa Keller was like when he was 8 years old. Neil has his telescope and time spent with his dad at Grandpa Ackerman's farm firing his rockets is what he really enjoys. Kids!!! Don't you love it?!

Neil really enjoyed the games while sister, Kellie and Mom looked on.

But while Mom and Neil made HIS constellation, Kellie and Grandma went to see the Rodin exhibition. The truth is Mom was quick to see the exhibition, too, as she is one of the art teaches at Memorial High School.

I was pretty pleased with my camera play as the picture actually looks like I'm looking at the earth and the Big Dipper from outer space...Right?

The last picture of the moon, though, was taken Monday night by Ron through his telescope and though it is not perfect it is really a wonderful picture of God's creation!!! That night the moon was not only clear but Saturn was displayed in all his glory!!!

Thanks be to Go!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

I must give credit where credit is due. I was lead to this by someone who visited this blog and offered this as a comment. I am embarrassed to say that my two years of Spanish did me no good as I visited this sight, La opinion de ciudadano. But the gift that was offered was tremendous and a wonderful witness to the youth of the world and their love of Our Lady. To this person I say, "Thank you."

I would also like to offer a word of encouragement by St. Bernard of Clairvaux :

If the hurricanes of temptation rise against you, or you are running upon the rocks of trouble, look to the star--call on Mary!

And Thanks be to God!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Church of the Immaculate Conception
St Mary-of-the-Woods College

It seems like just yesterday when I had spent a wonderful week witnessing the work of God in my midst and felt that there must be something I was being called to do because of this experience. I wrote about it in the post This Week Ends. Last Sunday after Mass, I was approached by the head of the Adult Formation Commission, to which Ron and I belong, and asked me if I would consider becoming a Providence Associate.

To quote the information about the Sisters of Providence:

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods are women of faith committed to effecting positive change in the world.

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence, was canonized on October 15, 2005 and Ron and I were privileged to attend the Mass of Canonization at the Woods the same day Pope John Paul II conferred her sainthood in Rome.

I have been blessed by the friendship of the Sisters over the years and am proud to call Sister Dorothy Rasche a dear friend. I have had the privilege of being educated at The Woods and received my degree from there in 1994.

Now, I have been called again. I want to be sure this is not my "Irish zeal" that is urging me on but a serious discernement of the will of God. Right now I am praying that this is the answer to those urgings I was feeling those few weeks ago. The preparation for becoming an Associate takes a year and I will journey with a companion through this period of discernment. I will not travel alone.

Please, I would ask that you would pray that this is the place God wants me to be right now and if it is indeed, I will be worthy of the call. I pray the Holy Spirit will endow me with the wisdom to know this is the call and the courage to follow His lead.

Thanks be to God!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Doggie Wisdom

Duchess and Taco Bell

Duchess is so funny sometimes. She begs and begs and begs for something until we relent and she gets what she wants. The other night she wanted the empty can of refried beans. She barked. She whined...She whined, barked and jumped on our lap. Finally, just so we could have some peace and quiet, Ron gave her the can. Instead of devouring the dregs of the can, she painstakingly licked and savored its contents. Savored the contents!

This became a lesson in perseverance in prayer to me. If we pray diligently without wavering, in time the answer will come. Before joyfully proclaiming the answer to a prayer to one and all, take time to savor the goodness and love of the Lord. Thank him first. Cherish the moment with him, be enveloped by that moment. Boasting in our success at prayer will only leave us empty, if we have not first spent time in gratitude with the one who makes all things possible.

The soul of the sluggard craves in vain,
but the diligent soul is amply satisfied.
Proverbs 13:4

And so it is. Lazy prayer yields nothing but complaints from those who say their prayers are not answered. Because I have times of "lazy prayer" I have heard myself make that same complaint. But when I pray in diligence the rewards become so much more apparent and clearly visible. But prayer is HARD work, and when results don't seem to be forthcoming we get lazy. So, today commit to diligence. It won't be easy but then nothing worthwhile ever comes "easy." My dad always said, "Nothing is free. There's a price to pay somewhere or to someone."

So to Duchess, "Thank you for your lesson on prayer where even your empty can of refried beans did not come free to you. It came in your diligence."


God bless you all
Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"The Light That Lifts Us Up"

Washington Monument at Night
September, 2006

There are some books that are good to read from cover to cover and then there is the book that once read, you pick up to read in bits and pieces. And so it was that I returned to one of my favorite books today and read this from Living the Mysteries, A Guide for Unfinished Christians by Scott Hahn and Mike Aquilina. So I would like to share this with you.

Eustathia, Ambrosia, and Basilissa were three women who had consecrated their lives to God. St Gregory wrote to give them advise and encouragement in the ways of prayer. In one brief passage, he sums up the difference God made by becoming human. He enlightened our lives. He made us divine. This is what it means to be saved.

"When the sun plunges his beam into the gloom, he doesn't dim the beam's brightness. Instead, the beam changes the darkness into light. So also the true Light, shining in our gloom, was not overshadowed, but rather enlightened the gloom by means of itself.

Our humanity was in darkness. As Scripture says: 'They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness' (Ps 82:5). Then the Illuminator of this darkened world darted the beam of His divinity through our whole composite nature, through both soul and body, and so He took all humanity by means of His own light, and He lifted it up and made it just what He is Himself. This divinity was not made perishable, though it inhabited a perishable body, so neither was it changed, though it healed all that was changeful in our soul.

St. Gregory of Nyssa

I was wondering as I read this, isn't it funny that just the other day I was thinking about my soul and how it needs to be tended. And here are the words of encouragement to which I was guided. Because of the saving power of God through the life, death and resurrection of His Son and through Baptism my soul is divine. It will not perish. And on any given day, the light divine is what people see in me when I "practice what I preach." Pray for me, as I pray for you, that the light might shine bright in his glory. Amen!


Thanks be to God!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Hope in My Garden

Hope In My Garden

"And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down in rushing, rising rivlets..." and I had such "Highee hopes...highee hopes, high apple piie in the skyeee hopes..." but it looks like we won't be working in the muddy garden today!!! It is in such need of "repair." It needs some serious grooming and a definite face lift. But unless we wear hip waders it's just possible that it won't get done this weekend. DRAT!

So as we all do, I thought if it clears up enough (sour grapes), then Ron can take the telescope out and look at God's "garden in the sky" tonight. Saturn last weekend was really beautiful...He still waiting for Jupiter to make "his" appearance.

Well, it occurred to me this morning when at Mass that the garden I should be worrying about is not the one with the weeds in the soil outside, but the weeds to be pulled and the seeds to be planted in the garden of my soul, The Real Garden. Goodness! What a revelation. For how my soul looks with its weeds and flowers is also how I appear to others who witness my works. So it is that I will try to work harder on the soul within, as well, as the soil without. The one may need hip waders, the the other certainly does not!

"'Blessed be God who has raised you up!
may he be blessed for all ages!'
For in you they shall praise his holy
name forever!"
Tobit 13:18


Thanks be to God!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

National Day of Prayer, 2008

Simply put, this is a day in which we can all come together in communion with all faiths to pray for the "health" of our nation. We need to come together to pray for the "health" of the world. Praying for world peace, the end to world hunger, and an end to sickness and disease everywhere is essential and God will bless us in our efforts.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church will observe the day with an evening meal and prayer service starting at 6:00 p.m. Sister Jane Nesmith, Pastoral Administrator at St John the Evangelist Parish, will be our guest speaker.

Check to see where your community is observing this year's National Day of Prayer and plan to personally participate. We are called to be one. What better way to begin!

Thanks be to God for the freedom
to participate in this endeavor!