Truly “Risen”

God will use any medium to teach us/help us, if we listen.  The movie “Risen” is fast becoming one of my favorites, and as I reflect on it I hear new messages of consolation, hope and faith.  

Recently I was afraid of a life situation of which I have no control and it could be devastating.  I was constantly allowing myself to be stressed and anxiety ridden. 


There are at least two scenes in the film when people are struggling with something and Jesus, who is portrayed so lovingly says “Tell me, what are you afraid of?”  And they do and they are freed from their fear.  It struck a chord with me at the time and came freshly to my mind in prayer.    


Isn’t that the truth of it? what He is asking of us when we struggle with issues in life. “Tell me…” So I told Him.

I felt Him say, “I have that, be at peace.”  It was like awakening to a beautiful day ūüôā  


Every time that fear creeps back into my mind, I stop and remember – He has it, and I do the next thing He gives me to do. 

Because I cannot help but be a catechist, it is through the acceptance of the gift of the Holy Spirit we received at Baptism and affirmed in Confirmation that,  we may know Him. Ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to increase in you every day.

May you realize that His grace and love are far stronger than your fears and may God’s Peace that is beyond all understanding be with you.  May your heart release it’s burdens this day. 

A Grace from Lent: As Always More Abundant Than I Thought Possible 

I am finally reading the Acts of the Apostles during Easter Time! I have wanted to do this for years and always allowed myself to be distracted. However, one of the gifts of this Lent was the grace to make the time!  

I love it, because when we hear the Acts of The Apostles proclaimed during the Easter season at Mass,  I think to myself, “Oh there you are Peter, or Stephen etc.!” It feels like seeing a good friend after you’ve been following them on FB, because you haven’t been able to connect in person. 

 
And when I think about it, just over the past weekend, the Lord has led me to reconnect with some of my dearest friends who I have likewise been missing in person!  There is no substitue for being in their presence. 

I love how He does that! 

  
   
    
 Spending time with the Scriptures and life of the early Church reminds me of my spiritual history, who I am and who I am called to be.  Much like being with these wonderful people again, I am refreshed and renewed.  Abundance!     

  • Where are you finding His gift of grace to refresh you?  

An interesting little Lent 

I am not a writer, I am a teacher and a photograpical essayist.  So it’s odd to me after many years of attempting and failing to have taken to spiritual journaling recently.  I feel called to carry my black moleskin journal wherever I go!  I am now even drawing in it!  Make no mistake,  I will never be confused with an artist…But it makes my soul smile when I see the colors take shape with the words.
  

  I will pull it out at Mass and often catch a whisper of the Holy Spirit or sometimes a down right forehead slap!  I open it during the Divine Office and Scriptrual reading. In Adoration, I write down all the names and intentions from FB who asked me to take them with me or just liked the post. 

 When I asked Jesus what He wanted me to do with their prayer requests and Likes, He said “Remember them to me.” And so if you respond to my request to pray for you, I remember  you to Him,  who you are and your “soul shine”- whatever about your soul that calls out to me as I remember you to Him- your smile, your kindness, your authenticity, your joy, your laughter, your service, your devotion, your strength, your silliness, your “you-ness!”

And I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Because when I Remember you to Him something in me is changed and touched by you…Your opening to His Mercy and Love is making me a more aware person, a grateful person, a less judgemental person, I hope a better person…Simply by allowing me the honor of praying for you. 

I especially thank Allison Gringas of http://reconciledtoyou.com/a-seeking-heart-blog.html – Catholic podcaster, writer, speaker and friend, for her example and loving manner introducing me to this way to pray.  It is amazingly powerful and yet simple. You are a true woman of prayer and light. 

It’s how we get Home, loving each other, being in communion, accepting this beautiful grace in a community that prays in words and actions.  

Being the Body of Christ

Community. A word that has been ringing clearly in my soul after a recent conversation with a dear friend.  We spoke of many things and imparted many words to each other, but that one rang a note with me and has stayed in my soul and opened my eyes to such beauty and grace in the face of recent events. 

To have a community is so important. Find one that is authentic, where you know God’s love when you are gathered- that listens, forgives, prays, admonishes, guides and celebrates with you. The love, compassion and support of a community can help you get through and beyond some of life’s toughest moments.

We recently lost my Father-in-Law and I was reminded again and again of the community gathered – family- my SIL, husband and I- My FIL’s brother and his wife and their kids, but further out too, extending into the local community established neighbors and dear friends, co-workers and parish leaders. I was aware of the ties reaching out even further into the hospital community that was newly developing around us.  Praying for him and us and offering their love and kindness even in their brokenness and pain. 

Community – The Body of Christ – a gift of God to be acknowleged, cherished and savored. 

Bible verses in community

Final Repose for Olivia

It is said that a parent should never have to bury their own child. This always made very logical sense to me. Who would argue? Now it touches a reality that goes far beyond logic.
We still hadn’t ever heard her or saw her but we had hopes and dreams for her life. Taking her to the waters of Baptism, teaching her first prayers, going to Mass, making her First Holy Communion, being Confirmed as an adult in the Church, these were the anchors around which the rest of her beautiful little life would develop.
I saw Brian teaching her how to play the guitar and the finer points of music. He would begin her Aikido training making her our “warrior princess” to be able to defend herself and learn disciple and harmony. I of course was going to teach her the piano and sing with her night and day show her how to create many things, and make sure she spoke at least three languages. We wanted to expose her to all the beauties of this world and delight in her own personality and interests.
There are a number of things about this world I feared we couldn’t keep her safe from and I wasn’t sure how we would be able to do it.

All those things we had hoped are now a dream of the past. She is with God, and knows far more now than we could ever have taught her in a far truer way. There is some comfort in knowing that as parents we gave her all that the small amount of time together allowed.

And that she was surrounded by the love of her family both near and far.

Yesterday, at the Honeycreek Woodlands, we laid her to rest, surrounded by many of the people she would have known as family. They would have been with us at those events or there in Spirit, they would have surrounded her with their love and shared their faith and love of Christ to help her grow into the wonder she was created to be. And even though they didn’t have long to do it, they did share themselves with her. As Elizabeth put it…

I am amazed by the events of the day – the love and joy in the midst of grief – Christ’s presence when we gather together – the beauty of the earth in great rain – a fitting farewell until we meet again – hope in answer to faith – Thank you, Lord

Now we let her go to where she is safe and we pray where she will know God’s grace. May Olivia Marianna, rest in God’s Mercy. May we see her at the end of our days.

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Sacred Journey

I had a good lunch today over informal tacos with a woman who has become a sister of my soul and God used it for us to share a beautiful moment.   She wanted to learn how to bring her husband communion at home, he has ALS and sometimes in the mornings just getting to Mass is too much…. I love them so and my heart bleeds for them, for her.  They are walking a most sacred and painful road, the way of Jesus, the way of the Cross.  It is a section of that road which is all too familiar to me and still brings a stopping of my breath at times.  But, watching this journey from the outside makes me even more grateful and in awe of God and how He brings us to holiness.  It is so apparent to me that only in our brokenness and acceptance of it that we can be made whole.

Blessings that we all may walk the road with such gracious understanding and love.    

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