Joys of heaven

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before and I realize I am thinking only in terms this world gets…BUT when we get to heaven we are able to celebrate our chosen patron saints feast day with them! Maybe we tell them why we chose them or get to thank them for their example, wisdom or guidance or…

Boom! So very cool!  On this feast of St. Thomas Moore, I think of My late husband Jeff, who choose to become Catholic at 31.  He said he wanted to have that thing that lit me up inside when I prayed…Anyone who met him could see it was already there.  The light of Christ shone so very brightly in his actions and through his words.  And like Thomas Moore he embraced God’s will for him even to death. 


What a party today must be Jeffrey Thomas!- St. Thomas Moore, June 22.   Looking back at the quotes, wow, so totally you. 

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If you are seeking peace…

Pray the rosary.

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I learned to pray the rosary when I was two and my father was thought to be dying of a perforated colon.  Despite what the doctor’s told us, he miraculously survived.  Much later in his life, when my father was very close to death, his heart was still not aligned with God’s will and Dad was in spiritual torment.  My mother and I prayed in his room while he slept and when he heard us praying he would tell us to stop that…Until he woke one time while we were praying the rosary and he didn’t ask us to stop.  When we saw he was awake, we continued to pray, but much quieter.  He said “No, keep praying.”  My mother looked at me and started praying in a louder voice and I did as well.  Shortly after we finished, my father confessed that he was afraid to die because he loved my mother so and would miss her.  I saw an opening of his heart and spoke the words  a dear friend had shared with me, seemingly out of the blue,  about losing her husband years ago.  “Death is not the end of love, it is loving everyone as intensely as you love your spouse here on earth.”  My father sighed and gave his will up to God.  He became peaceful about everything and died in peace a few weeks later.  His soul could be at rest. IMG_3639

Not every end to my prayers has been as miraculous an answer…Jeff didn’t survive the second cancer.  Our baby didn’t make it out of the womb alive…Or maybe they have.  It’s just not the way I wanted the prayers to be answered.  I prayed Jeff be free of the cancer.  I prayed our baby would be happy and follow the Lord always.

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What is undeniably true for me however;  is that when I do pray the rosary, I am given a peace much like my father exhibited.  When I pray the rosary, I see the life of Jesus.  I reflect not only on how Mary felt, but how different people in the mysteries reacted to God’s message.  When I pray the rosary I notice that it makes it easier for me to align my will with the Father’s will, through His Son and guided by the Holy Spirit, the spiritual spouse of Mary.  I used to go to the rosary only in moments of trouble of severe need.  It struck me that it was selfish if I only went when I needed something so desperately.  It is a devotion of  growing closer to Jesus through the eyes of His mother.  Do I only want to be close to Him when I am in sever straights?  No!  I want to continue to know Him better and be closer to Him all the time.

I remember someone in prayer each rosary I offer. Sometimes it’s the souls in Purgatory, sometimes it’s for someone who has been presented to me with a specific need. 

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I pray the rosary while I walk our dog in the morning, besides other times.  I think Buddy likes me feeling peaceful too.

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Worth the minutes

Praying the rosary brings peace to the soul for the whole day, and takes maybe 20 minutes.  

You need to make time to reflect with prayer and let it soak into your soul. Each bead of each mystery is an opportunity to think on the life of Jesus. It is never vain repetitious prayer. There is often a new insight or thought.  


I used to try to pray it on my commute, but I cannot focus my soul.  My language and feeling in city traffic definitely do not  dispose me to prayer.  I have a challenge with where my life and mind are right now, in stopping to sit and pray, unless I go to Adoration. 


 However, I enjoy connecting with God in nature, even if it’s just a stroll around the neighborhood.  So, I have recently taken to praying while I walk with Buddy in the morning, using the audio guide on the “Holy Rosary – Scriptural Edition v2.1”


And I recently acquired a rosary that has a definite tactile difference in the beads and is comfortable to hold. 


It may take you “a minute” to figure out where and when your soul is most disposed to praying, and in what form of devotion, but definitely seek the minutes. What a difference those few minutes can make. 

In the Garden of life 


While Buddy and I tended our gardens, I remembered something my husband said,

“It looks kind of haphazard, but it works.”

 

And I got thinking, events in time may feel or appear haphazardly “planted” or possibly come in unwanted combinations…

Really though, could something so full of life be so random?

Nah…The plan is just not yours.

Thank you God for the seemingly random nature of life, still so full of lush possibility and moments of sense-filling beauty. To You it all makes perfect sense, please help me to see that that’s enough. 

And Buddy, it’s enough for him.

A Moment of Peace

For a break to be effective it doesn’t have to last for days, could be a few hours away.  You just have to let go of everything else you’re letting into your head.  Took the new camera out for a spin after evening Mass and went up to Dahlonega, GA and let everything else fall away and just be, me, myself and the camera…Well and the Budster 😉

 

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Happy Birthday Mary!

“Oh highly favored daughter!”


A little research into the nativity of the Blessed Mother led me to The Apocryphal Infancy Narrative of St James aka the Protoevangelium of James

I have heard pieces of this over time since although it did not make it into the Catholic canon it is the basis for some of the Tradition of the Church concerning Anne and Joachim.

Very interesting read. Although we can’t take it as authoritative, it may help us to be inspired! It is helpful to me to possibly fill in some of the missing pieces in my mind. When I pray the Joyful mysteries I will have some more dynamic scenes in my mind to dwell on.  And reafing it helped me feel a little closer to the human side of the greatest story ever told and the divine as well.

Mary and her “yes!” are significant.  I find myself finding reminders of the Blessed Mother and her “Yes!” to God everywhere and if that helps me with my “yes!” Then, that is a beautiful blessing.

Artist exhibit at Zen Tea Korean madonnas – gift store

Sanctuary and chapel at  Atlanta Korean Martyrs Catholic Church

Magnificat Breakfast statues

St Joseph’s Maronite Rite Church, Little Five Points, ATLANTA

Grounds- Holy Cross, Atlanta


My back yard oasis.  I love to sit out with the Blessed Mother and think on her Son.

All Saints, gardens outside the columbarium Dunwoody

Holy Spirit Chanel window, Atlanta

Narthex and Sanctuary IHM, Atlanta

Christmas tapestry – Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Atlanta


My kitchen table, piece that’s been in our family for generations. So beautiful!

Buddy likes to hang with her too!


And that was just going back through the past year!

Mary please be a mother to us every day and lead us to your Son. Amen.

Sharing Mom’s Flowers

with our heavenly Mother. 


 My maternal grandfather had a deep devotion to our Lady which I think carried on with his girls. Mom taught me to pray the rosary when I was two, I have always thought she is so beautiful.


It’s not that I wanted my mom to stay and suffer, but losing your mom, it’s something so surreal. 


I think she would be pleased to offer her flowers to Mary.

I know when I go out to water them, I will be reminded say a prayer to my heavenly Mother for my mother.  I know that in time it will heal what’s broken in me.  

In Paradisum Mom. 
 

Seeing It! With your soul

I love it when you’re struggling and praying and trying and 
suddenly boom you see it!

God saying “See I’ve got you, My love surrounds you!”
Well I don’t like the struggling part, except it means you are aware the dark place you are isn’t where you are called to be.