Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ron's Continuing Saga...


Norman Rockwell

Ron leaves on his great adventure on Sunday to Tucson, AZ (Super Bowl Sunday is in Phoenix) for the Rock and Mineral Show. He's taking some of his specimens to see if he can successfully merchandise them (is that the right terminology?). At any rate, he's as excited as a kid in a candy store.

As a result he is flying out of INDY, so we trek north tomorrow evening after work. We'll see the kids and grandkids and send Grandpa off on his journey. I have to admit I'm excited for him, too. He'll get to visit friends and get to chat with people who share the same interests he has in his meteorites.

I'll be home again Sunday afternoon. Until then God Bless.

OH!!! Why the picture...Well, I thought to myself, this is the most snow I've seen this year and don't those kids look like they are having a grand time.
~~~~~~

Thanks be to God!

Monday, January 28, 2008

With Gratitude...


Kathleen at Daily Grotto and Kaila at Ego me bene-With me all is well both surprised me and humbled me by nominating me for this award. Thank you so very much. It is grand when a gift like this is received. Better yet is the opportunity to give it away. I will do my best to gather 10 people. If you have received it before please accept it with my sincere thanks for all the pleasure you have given me.

The rules:

By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want-even those that have received it already, but please award at least 10 people.

1. Beyond Horizon3
2. From Where I Write
3. A Crocus in the Valley
4. This I Do
5. Mommy of Four
6. Musings
7. Poetry, Prayer, and Praise
8. What I Choose Today
9. Unexpected Journey
10. Contemplative Haven, asylum for your refugee soul

~~~~~~~

Thanks be to God!

I Really Must Catch Up...

I was tagged for this MEME by Kathleen at Daily Grotto a week ago. I have some catching up to do...So here goes!

1. Were you Named after anyone? Yes, my Great Grandmother, Catherine Leadon and St. Catherine of Siena (and baptized at St. Catherine of Siena Church) .

2. When was the last time you cried? When I viewed 99 Balloons at Sailing by Starlight.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes, but I like my daughter Laura's better and she can do calligraphy, as well.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Chicken salad, plain or with bread.

5. Do you have kids? 2 daughters and 3 sons.

6. I you were another person would you be friends with you? Absolutely

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Yes, I can get away with it in fun.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? NO

9. Would you bungee jump? No...nothing could entice me to do so...

10. What is your favorite cereal? Frosted Mini Wheats.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes

12. Do you think you are strong? Not really, then only courage I ever seem to have is when bolstered by the Holy Spirit...I'm a real "scaredy cat".

13. What is your favorite ice cream? Peppermint, and it's only seasonal.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their smile (whether they have one or not)

15. Red or Pink? Pink. I never got to wear it until I had gray hair (had red hair, blue eyes and freckles as a child but mainly the red hair!)

16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself. My tend to nag. Still it is a mother's job isn't it. (It is so hard sometimes to "butt out"!)

17. Who do you miss the most? My dad's Aunt Ida. She was a wonderful cook and a smile and a laugh that could brighten and entire room!

18. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Brown

19. What was the last thing you ate? A Stromboli last noc for dinner.

20. What are you listening to right now? The Best of Andrea Bocelli

21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue or Green

22. Favorite smell? Tulips, mountain pine trees, Honey Suckle, baking brownies, spaghetti sauce and vanilla.

23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Marianne

24. Favorite sports to watch? Live basketball, baseball, football...but I try not to watch much...I get too emotionally involved, especially if the Broncos are playing.

25. Hair color? Gray

26. Eye color? Blue

27. Do you wear contact? No, glasses.

28. Favorite food? Spaghetti with meat sauce, "funky" chicken...a family recipe.

29. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.

30. Last movie you watched? The Sting (on DVD)

31. What color shirt are you wearing? Tan

32. Summer or winter? Spring and Fall...Oh, those weren't the choices. I guess either, one is too hot and the other too cold.

33. Hugs or kisses? Hugs

34. Favorite Dessert? Chocolate cheese cake.

35. What book are you reading now? Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly, et. al.

36. What is on your mouse pad? I don't used a mouse pad.

37. What did you watch on TV last night? Mansfield Park on Masterpiece Classic...was very good.

38. Favorite sounds? "The Sounds of Silence"...

39. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles

40. What is the farthest you have been from home? Mundesley, England on the North Sea. A lovely village.

41. Do you have a special talent? If talking too much is a talent then I am truly gifted!

42. Where were you born? Denver, Colorado

Now I must tag others...in hopes that they have not already been tagged. Here goes...

This I Do

Unexpected Journey

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life with Three Sons

Mommy of Four

Musings

cascadingwaters

Or as Kathleen would say anyone who wishes to do it...Please let me know so I can read your answers. And if you have already been tagged let me know so I can read yours too.

~~~~~~~

!!!And for all this fun!!!

~!Thanks Be to God!~

Sunday, January 27, 2008

THANK YOU


Well, it is with sincerity that I say "thank you" to all who prayed for me while I was giving my RCIA presentation. God has called, and these men and women have said, "Yes" to the Call to enter the Church. They appear sincere in their faith and grateful for those who are on the journey with them. And so it is with all those who in this process everywhere. I pray that the Spirit will guide those who instruct and that He will continue to be with those who inquire.

~~~~~~
For all who have entered my life and support they have given me, I say, thanks be to God.

Friday, January 25, 2008

RCIA

Dear friends, Sunday is the day of my RCIA presentation of the Healing Sacraments. If you could send up a prayer that I be a TRUE instrument of the Holy Spirit and that His voice is the one they hear and it is his Love that is shared.

The Spirit really is a true friend. One I have come to rely on for some time. Thanks to my dad, who said he didn't start his day without a word with Him, I think it is now second nature to me.

I really was having trouble with organizing the "Breaking Open the Word" portion of the presentation, but after my son, David, and I prayed together it just seemed to come together. Thanks be to God and David's phone call.

So the work is done on the presentation. Now the work starts with me. "Just Pray," Mom says, "the rest comes together." So I think with an army of prayers I should do okay.

!!!!~~~~~~~!!!!

For you all who give so generously, I say,
THANKS BE TO GOD!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Right to Life IX

Montgomery Falls
Quebec, 2003



Day Nine
Meditating on the Gift of Life

Prayer
Father of life, may the mysteries of our Redemption stir us to contemplate with wonder the invincible hope which is our in the Gospel of Life.

A Reading form the book of Revelation 22:1-5
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like the crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the tree serve a medicine for the nations. Nothing accursed will be found anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it , and his servants will worship him. Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun. for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, may men and women of every time and place proclaim the Gospel of Life: a Gospel of God's love for us, a Gospel of human dignity.

A Reflection by Pope Benedict XVI*
[The] Eucharist is far more than just a meal; it has cost a death to provide it, and the majesty of death is present in it. Whenever we hold it, we should be filled with reverence in the face of this mystery, with awe in the face of this mysterious death that becomes a present reality in our midst...Death is the ultimate question...Only when this question is answered can men truly celebrate and be free. The Christmas feast, the Eucharist, plumbs the very depths of death. It is not just a matter of pious discourse and entertainment, of some kind of religious beautification, spreading, a pious gloss on the world; it plumbs the very depths of existence, which it calls death, and strikes out an upward path to life, the life that overcomes death.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life, p. 44


~~~~~~~

Spiritual Adoption prayer

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to
spare the life of ( Baby' s name) the unborn baby that I have
spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion."
- Prayer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen-
~*~*~*~*~*~



I have added this prayer that was first displayed by Kathy at Daily Grotto. It is an example of what to say when you desire to pray for a child you do not know and will never know, yet one who needs your prayers. I will be praying for "Matthew Thomas". I had decided that as soon as I read Kathy's plea.

And as God would have it, I had made the commitment to pray for "MT". Then my son, David, called to tell me he and his wife were going to the Dr. that day. Kelly is with child. This will be their 5th and I will be a grandmother once again. And so it is with joy I will be praying for two wee ones now. "Matthew Thomas" who I beg will be spared and another who will be loved and nurtured and cherished. God Is GOOD...all the time!

~~~~~~~
I truly say,
Thanks be to God!


Right to Life VI

Day Six
Preaching the Gospel of Life in Every Moment

Prayer
Father of life, from the beginning of each day and into the night, teach me the sacred value of every human life from its very beginning until its end in you.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 14: 7-9, 10c-12
No one lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord and If we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: "as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then each of us shall give an accounting of himself to God.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, infuse in the minds and hearts of all who serve us in government, the academy and the healing sciences the right of every
human being to the respect of their God-given lives.

A Reflection by Pope John Paul II*
For the Christian, [the commandment "You shall no kill"] involves an absolute imperative to respect, love and promote the life of every brother and sister, in accordance with the requirements of God's bountiful love in Jesus Christ. "He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1John 3:16)...It resounds in the moral conscience of everyone as an irrepressible echo of the original covenant of God the Creator with mankind. It can be recognized by everyone through the light of reason and it can be observed thanks to the mysterious working of the spirit who, blowing where he wills (cf. John 3:8), comes to and involves every person living in this world. It is therefore a service of love which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted especially when it is weak or threatened

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

* Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 77

~~~~~~~

Today we are invited to pray for LIFE. Give thanks for LIFE. Bear witness to LIFE. This is the time to reflect on all those hugs, giggles, tears and pain.
If you can visit our Lord in the tabernacle. Spend REAL time with him.

And in so doing say,
"Thanks be to God."

+++++++

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Right to Life VIII


Pieta, Shrine of Sainte-Anne de Beaupre
Quebec, 2003


Day Eight
Consecrated to the Sacredness of Life by Christ

Prayer
Father of life, in every moment of the day remind me of the incomparable value of every human person.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John 3:16-18
For God so love the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, as by his birth, Christ united himself with us, so by the way we live our lives, may we witness the boundless love of the one who so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

A reflection of Pope Benedict XVI*
[The] words [of Pope John Paul II]...constantly echo in my ears: "Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!..." Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that he might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope said: No, if we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation...Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

*Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate, April 24, 2005.


~~~~~~~

"No, if we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide." I can only imagine what it is like to stand in front of David's Pieta. I only know that standing in front of the Pieta at the Shrine of Ste. Anne I could only be filled with sorrow for the mother who held her lifeless son in her arms and gratitude to God our Father for his Son. I cannot truly empathize with her loss. I really have never experienced loss as devastating as this was, but because Our Lady was the mother of God...Oh! I cannot put what I want to say into words. They escape ME!!! Indeed, there are times when words are useless and one must only be quiet!! And so it is for me today. LIFE is GOOD!!!

~~~

In gratitude for quiet reflection, I say,
Thanks be to God!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Right to Life VII


Mt. Rushmore, 2007

Day Seven
Remembering Our Forefathers

Prayer
Father of life, help this nation to hear the voice of our forefathers: and to believe that God has truly given us the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 17: 26-28
[God] made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For "In him we live and move and have our being..."

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, make every one of your children a defender and promoter of the right to life.

A Reflection by Pope John Paul II*
[The] Gospel gave a new meaning to the concept of native land [patria]. In its original sense, it means what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers on earth. The inheritance we receive from Christ orientates the patrimony of human native lands and cultures toward the eternal homeland. Christ says: "I came from the Father and have come into the world; again I am leaving the world and going to the Father" (John 16:28). Christ's departure to go to the Father introduces a new homeland into human history. Sometimes we speak of the "heavenly home," or "eternal home: These expression indicate what has been accomplished in the history of man and the history of nations through Christ's coming into the world and through his leaving this world to go to the Father.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

*Pope John Paul II, Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium, pp. 62f.

~~~~~~~
There are so many songs we have as a nation that give rise to patriotism. There are also many more songs, I would contend, that should give rise to Christian Patriotism. I'm also thinking there are songs of gratitude that must be sung, as well, for this precious life we have been given. "Now Thank We All Our God" is one I am humming now...A grand and glorious song of thanksgiving, I'm thinking!

~~~~~~~
For all who join in this chorus, I say
Thanks Be to God!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Right to Life V

Photography by Jerry Harpur

Day Five
Resting Only in Your Truth

Prayer
Father of life, help me to bring every longing to the infinite fulfillment of every heart's expectations.

A Reading from Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans 2:14-15
For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified. For when the Gentiles who do no have the law by nature observe the prescription of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people's hidden works through Christ Jesus.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, when I am afraid, weak, or uncertain, open my mind to your truth and goodness, that reading your work written on my heart, I might learn to treasure the life of every man.

A Reflection by Pope Benedict XVII*
an "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth...We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith-only faith-that creates unity and is fulfilled in love...on this theme, St. Paul offers us some beautiful words as a fundamental formula for Christian existence, in contrast to the continual ups and downs of those who, like children, are tossed about by the waves: make truth in love. Truth and love merge in Christ. To the extent that we draw near to Christ, in our own lives too, Truth and love are blended. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like " a clanging cymbal" (1Cor 13-1).

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

*Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Homily, Mass for the Election of the Pope, 18 April 2005

~~~~~~

I would ask for prayers for all those who this day may be traveling to Washington, DC to participate in the Right to Life march that their journey might be safe and all return home safe and sound. I pray this for all who represent St. John the Baptist Church and all churches that have members of this one family in Christ participating.

I would also ask for prayers for Christian Unity. For as Fr. Joe reminded us, this week is the Prayer for Christian Unity week. Needless to say this is a week in which we must all pray incessantly and with determination.

And so I interject this reflection by Pope John Paul II:

Unity, penance, prayer.

In the school of the Apostle of the Gentiles we can gain consciousness that we are all in need of conversion.

There is no Christian without penance.

"There is no true ecumenicism without interior conversion"

"Who are you to pass judgement on another..."(Romans 13:4). Let us rather recognize our faults together. This holds good as well for the grace of unity: "All have sinned." We ought to see and say this in all seriousness and draw our conclusions...

Jesus Christ is the salvation of us all..."We are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1) and among ourselves...we believe and together profess all that...

All our gratitude for what remains in common to us and unites us must not blind us to what still divides us...We are called to go forth together, in dialogue of truth and love, to full unity of the faith...We must not leave anything untried. We must do everything to unite ourselves. We owe this to God and to the world...

The will of Christ and the signs of the times urges to common testimony of the increasing fullness of truth and love...The tasks awaiting us are great and grave..."The Spirit helps us in
our weakness" (Romans 8:26).

~*~*~*~*~
And for the privilege to live in a nation in which I can pray without reprisal I say,
Thanks be to God.



Saturday, January 19, 2008

Right to Life IV

Quebec, 2003

Day Four
To Love Through Amazement

Prayer
Father of life, as you have given me the gift of life, so may I give it away each day to your, and to my brothers and sisters, that through penitence, prayer, and charity my days on earth may lead me home to you.

A Reading from the first Letter of Saint John 3:14-16, 19-20
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brother. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers...Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, help me to listen with everyone I meet to the profound and persuasive echo in their heart of the Gospel of Life and the joy of your presence.

A Reflection by Pope John Paul II*
Yes, dear brothers and sisters, our Christian communities must become genuine "schools: of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion until the heart truly "falls in love." Intense prayer, yes, but it does not distract us from our commitment to history: by opening our heart to the love of God it also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God's plan.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

*Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Novo Millenio Inuente, no. 33


~~~~~~~

I feel the need today to tell the story of a young lady from our parish who is a living witness to us all. She daily lives out the word of God by deed and example. Rachel (this is not her real name but those who know her will recognize who it is, and I cannot tell this story without a name for that is what will give this story life). Rachel lives this "life of love" every day. She began this journey of love when she was a university student and spent a summer in India caring for the indigent, sick and dying. Rachel says she felt the tug of our Lord to go to China after graduation, and as parents are wont to do, tried in all ways to discourage her going to this godless place in fear and love for her. I would have been no different if one of my children had said the same thing to me. For we love them and want the very best for them. But again His ways are not our ways.

Rachael did indeed go to China where she cares for handicapped, abandoned, and orphaned babies and children, most of whom are girls. Rachel openly witnesses to her faith daily. She travels by bus making several transfers to attend Mass daily. She and fellow employees pray and study together. She walks among the people with the assurance of the Holy Spirit. This tender, gentle, soft spoken young lady daily LIVES the Word of God.

Rachel says she could not say "no" to the call for she was compelled to do so. The Lord's summons to her was so strong that she could not deny Him. And so it is, that in the midst of the parish of St. John the Baptist (though far from us) , we have a living example of what it means to truly answer the call and live it daily.

And what of her parents? They are gracious, loving supporters of their gift, their treasure from God.

~~~~~~~
As for her presence in my life and how I have been touched by her, I say,
Thanks be to God!



Friday, January 18, 2008

Right to Life III


Quebec, 2003

Day Three
To Truth Through Amazement

Prayer
Father of life, unworthy though I am, implant within my heart an amazement that you have shared your life with me, and have destined me for eternal bliss.

A Reading from the First Letter of Saint John 1John 3:1-2
See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation give me the grace to live this day as a prelude and a preparation for eternal life with you.

A Reflection by Pope John Paul II*
Revelation therefore introduces into our history a universal and ultimate truth which stirs the human mind to ceaseless effort; indeed, it impels reason continually to extend the range of its knowledge until is senses that it has done all in its power, leaving no stone unturned...The truth of Christian Revelation, found in Jesus of Nazareth, enables all men and women to embrace the "mystery" of their own life... Christian Revelation is the true lodestar of men and women as they strive to make their way amid the pressures of an immanentist habit of mind and the constriction of a technocratic logic. It is the ultimate possibility offered of love which began with creation. To those wishing to know the truth, if they can look beyond themselves and their own concerns, there is given the possibility of taking full and harmonious possession of their lives precisely by following the path of truth.

Our Father. . .
Hail Mary. . .
Glory Be. . .

*Pope John Paul II, Encyclical, Fides et Ration, nos, 14, 15.


~~~~~~~
"To those wishing to know the truth, if they can look beyond themselves and their own concerns, there is given the possibility of taking full and harmonious possession of their lives precisely by following the path of truth." As I read this, I was struck by the wealth of insight in these words. Imagine, Cathy. If you can be less selfish and more selfless you can follow the Way without those burdens that claim you when the "I" in you is overshadowed by concerns for the "other". The "truth" is I know and have experienced the "path of truth". But wanderlust causes me to roam and I have to stumble, twist an ankle or stub a toe in order to know I must find my way back to "the path." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to "read" this map.

Taking full and harmonious possession of my life means loving Him who made me and loving what he made, Me! Some days I am not so easy to love, by me or anyone else. Knowing that God always does, no matter what, is the hardest part of the concept to understand and yet since it is true I must glory in that and in turn love "me" as well. So it is that true self-love means giving up the "ego" as I envision it and accept the vision of Truth as it really is. God made me, God loves me, and I have been saved by His Son. Amen.

~~~~~~~
~Today I have again been amazed!~
Thanks be to God.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Right to Life II


Niagara Falls, 2003

Day Two
Living life for Eternity

Prayer
Father of life, here and now, reveal the greatness of your love in the inestimable value of each and every human life.

A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 4:14--5:1
Know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. , as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory; but what is unseen is eternal.

(silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation, help us to see our earthly lives as but the beginning of the plans you have in store for us.

A Reflection by Pope Benedict XVI*
I believe. . .that our life tends in the end toward a discovery of love, toward receiving love and giving love. And the crucified Christ, who presents us with love lived out to the end, as he himself says in the Gospel of John, lifts this principle up into the realm of absolute reality. God himself is love. In this sense, love is indeed both the fundamental rule and ultimate aim of life. . . Human love always lays claim to eternity. Love contradicts death. . .This human love is turned from a promise into a fulfillment of reality only when it is wrapped in a love that can truly impart eternity. [Love] is what we are looking for and is the goal toward which our lives are directed. But within its own framework and on its own terms it directs our view toward God and brings us to wait upon God.

Our Father. . .
Hali Mary. . .
Glory Be. . .

*Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World, p. 185f


~~~~~~~
Example of his gracious love...
The Beginning of the Trip

I told you I would tell you about the beginning of the trip and I think this is a perfect time to do that. You see nearly a week ago, I began my journey to my mother's for a visit. I had packed and prepared for days in advance even to double checking the itinerary. Yours truly READ the itinerary incorrectly. I thought I left here at 10:30 a.m. en route to INDY. Well, that was not my departure time. It was my arrival time to INDY. I was to leave here at 8:30 a.m. I discovered this error at 8:10 a.m. My kind and loving husband, my belongings and yours truly left for the airport knowing that I would miss my flight. (The Hand of God: we did this in peace, calm, generosity of spirit and love.) When I arrived at the check-in counter I told the attendant that I had missed my flight and was told I needed to contact the carrier because I had purchased the ticket through Expedia. In the next hour and twenty minutes (Ron hoping that the cell phone battery was fully charged) Felice worked with all the airlines involved, but apparently none of them could resolve my dilemma. She was generous, kind and diligent. AND she was on overtime caring for me. We laughed together and I was lifted up by her understanding. (One could say that is her job. I prefer to see it as The Hand of God.) When all was said and done the only thing for me to do, she said was to present myself to the check-in counter again and ask if they would issue a new itinerary. I fully expected a full day's delay. When I approached the counter I explained to the agent again what I had been told and she started to work on my "project", when a gentleman standing behind her in blue jeans and a sweatshirt, asked her to take care of the man behind me, he would take care of me. ( The Hand of God: in less than ten minutes he had me rerouted from here to Atlanta, to Salt Lake City, to Billings with arrival only three hours later than anticipated.) My flight out was in about 20 minutes. Ron asked him about the penalty fee charged for the change of plans. ( The Hand of God: the gentleman said there is no time). That my dear friends is how my wonderful trip to my mother's started and I have to tell you that I did not experience one moment of anxiety or fear. Calm prevailed. And what of the $100.00? It will donated to the Newburgh Food Pantry in gratitude to The Hand of God.

God bless you all...

~~~~~~~
And thanks be to God!



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Right to Life


(Niagara River, 2003)

The Knights of Columbus at our parish have generously supplied all members of St. John the Baptist the Novena for Life. January 21, 2008 is the Right to Life March in DC. I'm a couple of days late in starting, but beginning none-the-less and would ask you to pray it with me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Day One
Created to Live with You
Prayer
Father of life, help us to long for the fullness of life and to know the wonder of what awaits us beyond the dimensions of this earthly existence.

A reading from the Book of Job 19:1, 23-27a
The Job answered and said: Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record: That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust; Whom I myself shall see; my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him; And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.

(Silent reflection)

Prayer
God of all creation grant us the wisdom to understand fully the mystery that life has no meaning apart from you.

A Reflection by Pope John Paul II*
The Eucharist is a straining towards the goal, a foretaste of the fullness of joy promised by Christ (cf. Jn 15:11); it is in some way the anticipation of heaven, the "pledge of future glory". . . Those who feed on Christ in the Eucharist need not wait until the hereafter to receive eternal life; they already possess it on earth, as the first-fruits of a future fullness which will embrace man in his totality. For in the Eucharist we also received the pledge of our bodily resurrection at the end of the world; "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (Jn 6:54)

Our Father. . .
Hail Mary. . .
Glory Be. . .

*Ecclesia de Eucharistia, no. 18.


Thank you for this time of prayer with me. Tomorrow then.

~~~~~~~
Thanks be to God!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Spreading the Love...


Much to my surprise I have been given the "Spread the Love Award" by Maria at Mommy of Four. To her I say thank you. It is a delight to be honored. But it is to all of you who have given me such encouragement that I feel obliged to say thank you as well. I do so enjoy this means of communication and education, because there is not one of you who has not taught me something, lifted my spirits and made me laugh, sometimes out loud with your contributions.


*!^!^!^!^!*

And so it is that I choose someone for this award. It is so difficult not feel as if you have left someone out! But here are a few of the ones who brighten my day. I have been blessed by so many that this is just the icing on a really wonderful cake. So to these who share their love I give you, Musings, Sailing by Starlight, Are We There Yet, What I Choose Today, View From the Pews, A Trucker's Wife, and Contemplative Haven, asylum for your refugee soul. And so it is for them to pass the baton!

~~~~~~~

~Thanks be to God~

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The End of the Trip.

You know, seldom can one say that the end of ones trip is as eventful as the beginning. But today I am here to tell you about the END of my trip. Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you about how IT started. This is much better and I have to tell very fulfilling.

As I arrived home here, we waited for my 1 bag to arrive. Well, it didn't make the transfer from Frontier Airlines to American Airlines in Denver (Frontier located somewhere near Aurora; American Airlines somewhere near Downtown...[exaggeration]. As everyone knows the airport is in the middle of nowhere). I wasn't concerned because I suspected as much since I had to change airlines and there was nothing of any value that cannot be replaced except 3 skeins of yarn I shopped for with my mother, and those can be replaced at Hobby Lobby. (It's just that they are part of the precious memories of my time with Mom, Phil, Deb and Megan). Doesn't everyone knit or find something to remind them of a treasured experience?

Well, any way, the bag was not here. But, there was someone very special at the airport that Ron and I were supposed to meet. He is a student from Lithuania. He had traveled for two days from his home to Dublin ( where he slept in the airport), to Chicago, and finally Evansville. God love him, only one of his bags arrived the other is still in transit and he STILL wasn't at his final destination. He still had to travel to Owensboro, KY some 26 form miles down the road to get to Brescia University where he was to start his 1st semester as a freshman. He told us after he made arrangements for his luggage he was going to get a cab to Owensboro. NOT! We would take him there if he didn't mind. He didn't.

Well, as luck would have it, Ron had ordered pizza ( that's what I said I was hungry for) and it was already at home. So before he traveled down the road again he had "American Pizza" and they were off.

When they got to campus it was after 9:00 p.m. and even though they found his dorm the doors were locked. They finally found two students who showed them where a security guard could be found. The guard told them that he thought that he had seen the president of the university in his office and perhaps he would be of assistance...Sure enough Rev Larry Hostetter was indeed in his office and he would be happy to get this young man settled in.

Edvin seemed like a delightful young man, who in spite of his denial, had a rather good grasp of the English language. Ron and I wish him luck and pray for his success.

Isn't GRAND when HIS plan comes together? And isn't it altogether Grand to be USED by HIM!

*******

And for the privilege to aid in the work of our Lord, I say,
"Thanks be to God!"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm Off


In a few hours I leave for the land of Lewis and Clark. Like a child in anticipation of a grand adventure, I cannot sleep. The suit case was packed long ago...I've always been like that I get so excited that I pack days in advance thinking that will make time fly and it NEVER does! So before I begin my daily rosary, I thought I'd share with you all today's prayer for peace in my very small prayer card called, let Peace Fill My Heart, Prayers for a Peaceful World.

The world before me
is restored in beauty.
The world behind me
is restored in beauty.
The world below me
is restored in beauty.
All things around me
are restored in beauty
*
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

Native American Prayer

~~~~~~~

Peace be with you all,
and
Thanks Be to God!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Rediscovering Catholicism



I must get this in before I fly to visit my mother in MT for a few days. I will be back on Saturday. Will try to visit when I can. Yes, my mother at 82 is pretty computer literate. I am really proud of her.

At any rate, this book is one of the nicest Christmas gifts I think I have gotten in some time, just because it was a real surprise. It has taken me so long to get to it because of all the other post I wanted to make. That was why the initial introduction to Matthew earlier.
~~~

First, I mentioned that we went to St. Brigid's Church Christmas Eve for Mass. The gift to the congregation, to all present, was this book by Matthew Kelly. The pastor got up at the end of Mass and said this book was a gift to all attending whether parishioner or guest. I was really dumbfounded. This parish takes formation seriously and has taken it to a higher level.

I started reading the book today. Yes, I forgot to list it as one of the books I wanted to read. It's interesting reading and not only that...when I turned the bookmark over that was inside the book I found that Matthew Kelly will be speaking at St. Brigid's April 20, 21, and 22. And if you are in the vicinity of Alpharetta, GA on those dates you would not be wasting your time if you went to hear him speak. He is in love with his God and the Church and it emanates in his enthusiasm.

No, this is not a paid announcement, but I believe that this young man is a missionary. And his mission is to bring us all into the loving arms of our Lord. Like Paul and Barnabas, Matthew goes to the people, encouraging them to share that goodness they have with others.

~*~*~*~*~
For Matthew and others like him,
I say, " Thanks be to God."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I was tagged...


before Christmas by Lisa for the Book Meme. Before I wait another day and I realize somewhere over Denver that I did not reply to this, I am going to do it now. It was really fun to do because it allowed me to think and reminisce about the books, new and old, that I have read. At my age it is good to challenge the memory. So here goes:

*1. One book that changed my life: My Other Self, in which Christ speaks to the Soul on living his life, by Clarence J. Enzler. I don't know if is still in print but it is much like Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ, but I found I could identify with this interpretation better.

*2. One book that you have read more than once: Rome Sweet Home, by Scott Hahn. (not to mention all of Jane Austins books).

*3. One book that you want on a desert island: The Holy Bible.

*4. One book that made me laugh: If life's Bowl of Cherries,What Am I Doing In the Pits?, by Erma Bombeck. (A women who could help you find the humor in parenting.)

*5. One book that made me cry: The Diary of Ann Frank. Enough said.

*6. One book I wish had been written: Statistics for Dummies. I could have used it at SMWC as it was mandatory for graduation and I struggled to get that passing grade...and a more grateful student God has never seen!

*7. One book I wish had not been written: I don't know of any book I wish had not been written, but there are a few books I wish I had not READ.

*8. One book I am currently reading: Sweet Revenge, by Diane Mott Davidson. Her books are great books if you need a Colorado fix (and I usually do since I live in Indiana so far from my roots) and if you like mysteries.

*9. One book I've been meaning to read. Okay, I have tried to do the one book thing for as long as I can. So I have 4--count them 4--books I've been meaning to read. 1) A Christmas Beginning (a mystery and yes, I know it is no longer Christmastime) by Anne Perry; 2) Parish Priest by Douglas Brinkley and Julie M. Fenster; 3) Living the Catholic Faith, by Charles J. Chaput, OFM, Cap.; and 4) Murder on K Street, by Margaret Truman.

So there you go...I gave it my best shot. Now I must try to tag someone who has not already been tagged. If any of you whom I have tagged have already done this you can always pass it on for me to someone you know has not been tagged

Here are my choices Lisa at Unexpected Journey, Maria at Mommy of Four, and Danette at A crocus in the valley. I will drop in on these ladies and let them know what I have done. They are new pages to me and maybe this is a good way to welcome them to my "family". Good day to you all and ...

~~~~~~~

Thanks be to God!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness

I want to introduce you to Matthew Kelly. Ron and I have had the privilege of hearing this young man speak. He was the guest of the Newman Centers at the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville two years ago. He is dynamic and he has a wonderful message. He wants us all to be "A better version of ourselves". I'll share more with you later.

With witnesses to the faith like Matthew I say, Thanks be to God!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Microscopic Scrutiny




Ron took pictures of a few of his meteorite slices under a microscope. The color is not true. It is that steely color. Please enjoy!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Choices

This is such a wonderful reflection that I just had to share it. It says so well what it is we are all trying accomplish by stepping out with confidence in this New Year.

O sing to the Lord a New song,
for he has done marvelous things.
~Psalm 98:1~

~~~~~~~

The Baby sits in the middle of his super-duper play saucer, propped upright by a towel around his middle, his feet dangling in the air. His eyes are wide open, and his head just can't stop moving as his gaze darts from toy to toy.

Within seconds, he starts wailing. It's all just too much. The wealth of amusing and developmentally helpful plastic objects has overwhelmed him with choices.
As the new year begins and we contemplate what we want to make of it, our reaction may be similar to the baby's. Evidence of our faults surrounds us, and opportunities for growth and change overwhelm us. Which way should we go? What should come first?

The psalmist give us a different idea. Instead of beginning with scrutiny, why not star5t this year with a new song: one of openhearted praise?

***

Lord, I thank you for my life and for the chance to grow that this new year brings.

from A Catholic Woman's Book of Days
by May Welborn

~~~~~~~

It seems when I can't find the words to express what I want to say, the Holy Spirit guides me to the location where the answer awaits. Thanks be to GOD!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Meteorite Metamorphosis

Do you remember this picture, those "neolithic-looking" rocks, that I thought were so ugly,The Traveler is Home? Today Ron finished sanding some of his meteorite slices. He cleaned up one of the slices and then etched it. I hope you enjoy seeing the change and I hope I was able to capture the process adequately.



This is before...





video The process...





The finished product. It is amazing to see how the beauty of this gift of the heavens emerges from the stone.


~*~**~*~**~*~
Thanks be to God.

From the Blue Book...


Thought I would just send this along. Just because I didn't know all about the designation 'til I read this. I really have a lot more to learn about our history and traditions. ( It has probably been explained to me on a number of occasions from the good sisters to a homily at Mass but I just didn't "hear" it until now.)

MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Today's feast has had many themes over the years.

It is the feast of Mary, the Mother of God--celebrating the title that was controversial in the early centuries. The question was: Although Mary is the Mother of Jesus, can she be called "Mother of God?" The Council of Ephesus in 431 declared that she could, and the feast of Mary under that title has been celebrated ever since.

Today is also the Octave of Christmas. It has also been traditional to celebrate the naming and circumcision of Jesus on this date, for Luke says that it was eight days after his birth that Jesus fully became a member of God's chosen people.

In recent years, today has also be designated as a day of prayer for world peace.

And, of course, today is New Year's Day.


NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
~Luke 2:19~

Studies have indicated that New Year's resolutions are not always effective. We try to make too many of them and we don't think them through or prepare for them very well. They don't have roots.

Taking a cue from the Gospel, instead of making resolutions, maybe we should think of making reflections. For example, where is my life moving?

The Gospel says that the shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem where they found Mary, Joseph and the infant lying in a manger. There is movement here. The shepherds moved toward Christ.

My life has a movement to it, a flow. Life is never inert, standing still. I can direct my life, or I can let it drift, but I must never have the illusion that it is standing still.

Where is my life moving?
Toward God...or away from God?
It's definitely moving in one direction or the other.


~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~

For the free will He has given me to make the "move", thanks be to God!

***

As an aside. Was anyone else surprised by the revelation that, not
until his circumcision did Our Lord become a member of the "People of God"?
Just as we become children of God through baptism, so Jesus became part of
the race He chose to be His people through the covenant sign of circumcision.

***It never occurred to me! WOW!!***