A little bit of spiritual field research

With our pastor on vacation it’s a Latin rite day at our Maronite spiritual haven.  So I whipped out my grandmother’s mantilla, and we took our show on the road to continue my research into the pre-Vatican II experience!  I have been to an   Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, low daily Dialogue Mass at St. Peter’s at the tomb of St. Pius X, but this was the first time for me in the U.S.  Thank goodness for Brian!  He led me instinctively through a ritual that I could not hear and struggled to follow.  He was only a kid, at the time, but he said it was like his brain opened a vault and accessed a file from 1961. 

I have a lot of thoughts to process, and have garnered some perspective.  I can see why My mother used to say ” We don’t need a Vatican III. We need a much better implementation of Vatican II and see where we are.”

And then we had Mexican food at Zama and some balloons 😉 

   

Spur of the moment grace

We enjoy a planned vacation to a far away destination, but sometimes meeting the spontaneous “Hey let’s get outta here!” even for just an afternoon to snap a few photos is so relaxing.  Headed up to one of our favorite spots that’s uber dog friendly so the Budster gets away from the city too!  Historic  Dahlonega, GA is a short jaunt from the ATL, but a can feel a world away.  Sometimes a moment’s grace is all you need. 

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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“Have you been to Hapeville lately?”

When a change in plans altered the day.  I texted my friends.  “Have you been to Hapeville lately?”  With the addition of Porsche, there’s a lot of delightful art, and delicious food happening in little historic Hapeville, GA! 


See how many butterflies can you find on your visit!

And of course all that hunting makes you hungry! 

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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New insight on a classic! 

Korean Martyrs Catholic Church Atlanta 24th Sun Ordinary Time 


Gospel according to St. Luke 15:1-32 -The Parable of the Prodigal Son

“Any real love makes you terribly vulnerable / God’s loves for us brought Him pain and suffering.”


“…This parable is unusual as it repeats a line twice. Jesus usually doesn’t repeat- he is usually very straight to the point, so let us listen,’…My son was lost and now is found, he was dead and now has come back to life.’ Rather than the extravagant son, this parable is about the Father’s unconditional love, not because of who we are but because of who He is. He loves us enough to risk pain and suffering for us.”

I love it when I leave thinking and making connections…

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.