What I’m Reading, Watching and Listening to… How about You?

Besides obsessing over things best left in the capable hands of God,  I’ve become a Youtube geek!  Honestly, I have spent a lot of time taking things in, instead of putting things out there myself.  It’s time to get back to work!

So I’d like to share what I’ve been, reading, watching and listening to:

READING:

I’ve just finished Infiltration by Dr. Taylor Marshall.  It kind of puts the puzzle pieces together for those who are wondering what has happened to our beloved Church.  I have to say that it is meticulously referenced.  As a reader, I really appreciate those citations.  The best part to me was the ending, when Taylor gave ( I think) 5 options for how to deal with what has happened and what is still happening.  I agree wholeheartedly with him that it is not time to “jump ship.”  It is time to stay and to fight!

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Along that same line, I am reading Bishop Barron’s Letter to a Suffering Church.    I’m about half way through it.  It seems sincere and genuine.  I’ll let you know what I think when I’m finished.

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A priest gave me the book, In Sinu Jesu, to read.  It is about a Benedictine monk whom God allegedly began speaking to in 2007 during his time in Eucharistic adoration.  These are inner locutions that he has written down that speak of the renewal of the Catholic priesthood.  I’m reading the book as a prayer aid – one or two entries at a time.  It does give me great hope for the future Church!  Hope is good, and it is necessary!

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WATCHING:

Confessions time!   I told you I’ve become a Youtube junkie.   My husband and I love to watch the latest posts by IPOT (In Pursuit of Truth), And We Know (Q Anon/anti main stream media related news)  and dnajlion7 (Daniel Lee) from “Beautiful Juneau Alaska.”  Daniel is a Messianic Jew (I think).  Anyway, his whole platform is doing investigative journalism to aid in bringing down pedophiles and child sex traffickers.  This is near and dear to my heart!  Go Daniel! 

I also love watching “TNT” – the Dr. Taylor Marshall and Tim Gordon Show (“Glad Trads”) as well as survival and homesteading videos.  I hope to live out in the country someday – away from the ever growing traffic in our highly populated (and still growing) area.   I crave quiet, alone time and especially love spending that time out in nature, admiring Almighty God’s handiwork.

 

LISTENING

Well, my son is taking a music appreciation course, so I’m ever so glad to have some Beethoven and Bach back in the house!   When I’m cleaning or doing paperwork, I love to listen to uplifting Christian music.  Two current releases really speak to me.  I love to sing them like a anthem when no one is around to hear!  They are Symphony by Switch and Rescue by Lauren Daigle.   (As a side note, I think that Symphony is a great stand alone song and did not need the rap solo, but I get who they are trying to appeal to.)  When I’m in a more reverent or prayerful mood, I LOVE Kitty Cleveland –  particularly her Sacred Arias and Sublime Chant. 

Sometimes, I feel I am imprudent in sharing too much of myself with others.   I’m almost an “open book.”   I thought at least here, it may do some good??

I’ve turned off comments on my wordpress site, because I simply do not have the time to read and respond properly to them all.  I’d love it if my Facebook friends would share something edifying that they are watching, listening to or reading in the comments.  (No Big Brother or Kardashians, o.k:)

 

 

Posted in Book Review, Catholic, Christian Music, Prayer | Tagged , ,

Silent No More

perhaps-you-were-born-for-such-a-time-as-thisIt’s funny how total strangers – even people from another place and time can enter one’s life to teach a lesson!  On my classroom windowsills, I have colorful, wooden blocks with bible verses and inspirational quotes.  One of them says, “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this -“  a verse from the magnificent story of Queen Esther in the Old Testament.   (If you haven’t read it, you really should! )

In life there are times of routine, times of chaos, times of joy, times of sadness…There are also times that are defining moments for each of us – a change in course or in standing up for something for which we really believe.  Queen Esther faced one of these defining moments “with a heart frozen with fear” (15:5) and “with deathly anxiety” (14:1).   (I can relate!  Can you?)

Esther was very beautiful, and the King was enamored with her.  Hence, she was asked to go to plead the cause of her people – to try to change the King’s mind about killing the Jews.  Unbeknownst to the King, Esther was a Jew – one in disguise – so to speak.  If the King found out about her heritage, surely Esther would be killed – and the people whom she hoped to save would perish as well.  Everything was riding on Esther – or was it?

Mordecai, Esther’s guardian, encouraged her with these words, “For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s house will perish.   And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (4: 14)

Esther’s response was truly inspiring and showed her deep, trusting relationship with God.  She humbled her body before the Lord and asked her people to fast and to pray along with her for three days and nights.  Esther prayed, “Lord, make yourself known in this time of affliction, and give me courage.” (14:12)  She asked God to rescue her people and to also “turn (the evil ones’) plan against themselves.” (14:11)  Esther was successful in saving her people, but only because she allowed herself to be completely used by God for His Divine purpose.

As God shows time and again – through stories like those of Moses, Noah, Daniel and Esther –  It is God who fulfills His own plans.  As His unworthy servants, all we can do is pray, trust, then “show up” to (hopefully) be an instrument in God’s Mighty Hand.

What is my point in recapping this story for you?   I have been away from my pen and paper here for quite sometime.   When people have asked why I haven’t written, I have responded, “I think I’ve said all I have to say – I just don’t have it in me anymore.”    What is probably more truthful is that “I’ve said all that I can say without fear or anxiety.”   Revisiting Esther’s story has encouraged me to be steadfast in prayer and to try fasting again (It doesn’t come easily to me)  – to overcome my fear – so as not to be silent at such a critical time.

The truth is that we have all been chosen for such a time as this.  There are no accidents in God’s creative plan.  God loved you into existence at a very particular moment in time so that you would be here today – in 2019!

Our world, the government and the Church is swirling with chaos and confusion.  (This is not a news flash.)  Here, almost nothing seems certain.   People want TRUTH, but most don’t know what that is anymore.

There is nothing to be confused about.  In a world full of change and turmoil, God never changes.  He is the One we can depend upon to remain steady, true, loving, merciful and just every moment of every day, every month, every year, every decade, every generation…

This is not the time to remain silent.  This is a defining moment – our defining moment as Christians!  Will we submit to fear – fear of rejection, fear of being mocked or humiliated, fear of losing our livelihoods, fear of disapproval of family, fear of being killed..?  “Lord, make yourself known in this time of affliction, and give us courage.”

Silent no more.

 

Posted in Prayer

Bacchus Open House 2019

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This is just a snippet of the family day hosted by the Bacchus organization this year.  We were blessed to be invited, and a good time was had by all!  The menu this year was the most extensive ever – crawfish pie, meat pies, gumbo, muffalettas, Lucky Dogs, pralines, gelato, mimosas, milk punch and bloody Marys, as well as beer, wine, water, soda and more!  The theme of the parade for 2019  is “Starring Louisiana.”  The floats each represent a movie filmed in New Orleans.  The folks at Blaine Kern surely do amazing work!

Posted in photography

I Believe

My heart has been singing this song all morning – a song from my childhood – elementary Catholic school days.  When I did an internet search, I learned the source of the lyrics.  It was written during WW2, on the wall of a cell by a Jewish prisoner in the Cologne concentration camp.  Here is an excerpt:

“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial,
there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter,
to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me, saying hold on
my child, I’ll give you strength,
I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while…”

I’ve been thinking of the things that I believe too, this morning – trying to verbalize them – set them in my head and heart, knowing that I will surely be called to answer for them and to testify to those beliefs more and more as the world falls deeper into depravity and immorality.

After the news events of previous weeks and months regarding our Church and our country, God may have brought these words to me as consolation – reminding me (us) that we are not alone – even when things seem darkest, or when God seems not to be answering us fast enough for our taste.  Padre Pio once said, ” You can’t give God deadlines.”  (He is one of my favorite saints because he did not mince words and gave of himself untiringly and selflessly to bring souls to Christ.)  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life it is that God’s timing is almost never our timing, but His timing is always perfect.  If we are going through a trial – and we are!! – that God will bring a greater good from it.  He is making diamonds from a lump of coal!

May I suggest spending some time in silence today meditating upon God’s Word and praying.    I got up at 5:30 this morning and had a whole hour with the Lord.  It has brought hope (and sunshine:) to me on this gray day.  In the silence, the Spirit’s still small voice may rise within you saying “Hold on, my child, I’ll give you strength, I’ll give you hope.  Just stay a little while…”

Some other quotes from Padre Pio on Spiritual Combat.

 

Posted in Prayer

I’m a Slow Learner

This morning I awakened with these words in my heart and in my head, “Obedience without hesitation.”  You see, I had an experience earlier in the week, where I felt moved to share some words of comfort with someone – a stranger.  I knew that it was what I was supposed to do, but I bungled it up because of my doubt and hesitation.  I felt so disappointed in myself.

I’ve been asking Mother Mary to teach me her ways – the way of self denial, of humble obedience, etc.  Well she gave me a test, and I failed!   Maybe the failure in itself was to teach me a lesson:  “Obedience without hesitation, Dana.”

Funny, as things go…I’ve discovered more and more in these past few years that,” The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart Hebrews 4:12 (RSVCE)  This is why it so important that we read it daily.  St. Jerome once said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  When we truly love someone, we want to know EVERYTHING about them.   Do we love Christ enough to give Him and His Father’s word first priority in our day?

As I read the gospel this morning before mass, I revisited the story of Jesus telling his apostles to “cast into the deep.”  Immediately, Peter’s response was BUT LORD WE’VE BEEN casting all night without success.  HESITATION.  At last, in obedience, he cast into the deep and the catch was astounding – to say the least!   He felt ashamed and humbled by his doubt and hesitation.  Christ, in his mercy did not hold it against Peter.  Instead, having learned the lesson, He gave Peter more responsibility – Go and fish for MEN!

We are so blessed to have a heavenly Mother – that Jesus gave her to us while He was on the cross.  I know that if we stay close to her, she will take our hand, bring us to Jesus and teach us her ways!

 

 

Posted in Prayer

The Photography Fast is Over!

My husband gave me the best gift ever – for no special occasion – a refurbished Canon point and shoot camera.  (Thank you, Honey!) Most of you know that I love capturing the beauty of God’s creation in photos.  My old Canon Camera broke nearly a year and a half ago.  I tried to replace it with something cheaper, and, well… that was a bad idea!  This caused me to “hang up” my photography hobby for awhile.

Today, I felt so alive trekking through the woods with a camera in one hand and holding the hand of my husband with the other!  We visited Bogue Chitto State Park in Washington Parish.  It was a brisk, grace-filled day.  With most weekends being rainy and gloomy as of late,  I had really been missing the trees and the sunshine!  I hope you enjoy my slideshow –  including the “Michael Jackson” shot that Eric took of me on the bridge:)

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Posted in Prayer

Catholics and “the Word”

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Catholics get our beliefs from two places – Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.  Unfortunately, we, as a religion, are not well-known for our knowledge of Scripture, as many other denominations are.

Scripture is truly God’s love letter to us.  If we claim to love God, then we should want to know Him more fully each day.    Do you know that if you were to go to mass everyday for three years you would have (nearly) read the entire bible?

Fortunately, there are multiple resources for getting these daily readings – Apps like Verbum or Laudate; or subscriptions like Magnificat, or the Abide in the Word book.  How about the good old-fashioned daily missal?

I must admit that for years, I did not feel moved to read scripture on a regular basis.  I wrongly believed it to be about people thousands of years ago in a time and place that had almost nothing to do with me.   I felt I couldn’t relate.

Then I decided to start each of my religion classes with the gospel reading of the day.  You would be surprised at some of the insights the children have; the respect they show when the Word of God is being read; and the impact this small thing has had on some students in retrospect.  They’ve actually returned to tell me about it!!  That’s a God thing – not a Dana Doyle thing – for sure!

In the past few years of my spiritual journey, these two quotes from the bible have really struck me as being powerful and (of course) true:

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

 Your word is a lamp to my feet
 and a light to my path.  Psalm 119: 105

Stop and reread those!  God’s Word is living and active – not old and out of date.  It is able to pierce the soul – to change us.    It is able to direct our paths and show us the way.  I need to know the way in this mine field of a world in which we live.

Think about how reading one line of scripture changed Saul to (St.) Paul!

In our world today, people are longing for Truth.  They are seeking God who is Truth whether they know it or not.  They are hungry for it.

The sad part is that so many want God, but they want Him on their own terms.  They say, “God is merciful.  God loves me.”  Yes, He does! But do you love God?  God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He does not change to suit changing morals, and the bible is indeed still relevant in 2018!

Oh my goodness!  I’ve been reading the prophets lately: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Micah…Many of the passages sounds precisely like what is going on in our world today.  Everything has changed, but nothing has changed.  Human beings keep on repeating the same dumb mistakes – or let’s be real and call them what they are – SINS!

Recently, I took a class on Lectio Divina, the prayerful reading of scripture.  It was awesome!  Talk about a powerful way to grow closer in relationship to God!  I’m just getting started practicing what I’ve learned.  Already, it has made a difference in my understanding of and use of scripture to enhance my prayer time.  Do you want to grow closer to God?  I will tell you what I learned and give you a resource in my next post.

For now, here are the mass readings for Sunday, July 29th.

Notice how the first reading with Elisha the prophet foreshadows the gospel story of the multiplication loaves and fish with Jesus.   Do you truly believe with all of your heart that God provides all that you have? Do you believe that He has the power to multiply what little you may have if you will just hand over your “loaves and fish” to Him?

 

 

Posted in Prayer

For You

It has been many months since I have posted anything.  A sweet friend told me the other day that she missed my posts.  You know, I used to get excited about having several hundred readers a day (in the blog’s peak.)  Now, it just seems so unimportant. I’ve all but disappeared from social media. I care, but I don’t care, if that makes sense.

I feel as though I owe an explanation, but don’t think I can give one, really.   I have not felt inspired.  The words that were free flowing for so long just dried up.  Something profound happened to me in December of 2015, and it changed my focus completely.   I became very introspective – trying to discern God’s plan for my life and the lives of my family members.  I started soaking up everything I could read to aid my understanding, including God’s Holy Word and the prophecy of Catholic saints, as well as modern day “prophets.”

I still don’t have many answers.  In my experience, the Lord takes His time in unraveling a plan –  it might blow our feeble minds if it was all laid out before us at once!   I also know that His timing is always perfect.  So I try to wait patiently for that answer.

I read something the other day that suggested meditation upon God’s Word – even if it was just a verse that was meaningful.  I opened my bible and these two lines from Psalms 37 struck me:

Psalm 37:5,7  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”

I keep saying that repeatedly to myself and have even posted it in several places I frequent.  The truth is that life is tough for all who love the Lord.  The farther the world departs from God, the more we will stand out – and it is uncomfortable.  The world today does not know God – Truth.  The world did not accept Jesus.  If the world treated Jesus unfairly and even cruelly, how can we expect any less?  We must accept and even embrace persecution – but can only accomplish this with God’s grace.

The world tells us that we should avoid suffering at all costs.  Jesus tells us and shows us the exact opposite.  In fact, there are so many paradoxes in the bible.  It seems radical (maybe even crazy in earthly terms) to say that suffering can be a blessing.  It surely doesn’t feel like it when you’re going through it.

I trust though that God has a plan – a plan that is best for our eternity  – if we will surrender to Him and allow Him to form and use us.  That molding can be grueling, but it can be done with a peace and inner joy that God alone can give – and He wants to give us that grace!   He tells us that He will never test us beyond our strength.  Sometimes, I’m ashamed to say, I doubt this promise – especially when in the height of a personal storm.

I believe that so many good people are suffering now because Christ is allowing us to share in His suffering to help save the millions of souls who are on the path to hell.   We are told that the Lord does not wish that one of His children be lost.  Do we wish the same for our fellow brothers and sisters here on this earth?  Do we care enough to offer all of our pain as a “ginormous” prayer for their repentance and conversion?

Two things have given me peace in the midst of suffering:   The rosary – particularly “The 7 Sorrows of Our Lady.”    I often listen to it at night before I go to sleep,  I feel Mary’s empathy and support in my own sorrows, because she has experienced REALLY tough things herself and yet she remained faithful.   Visits to the Blessed Sacrament also help me keep my peace despite the frequent world wind of trials and challenges. Just sitting in the presence of Jesus is so calming and restorative.  If I skip (because I’m “busy”) then my day inevitably derails.

I hope this has been helpful to someone out there.  Please pray for me – for discernment  and grace.  Know that I often pray for you, my readers and friends.

Posted in Prayer

Absolutely Breathtaking!

I’ve been working on a presentation for a retreat I’m giving.  I stumbled upon these music videos by Audrey Assad.  I love her voice, and I knew of her music, but I did not know of these picturesque videos of some old time hymns she sings.  They are absolutely breathtaking, so I had to share!!     It is Well    Be Thou My Vision   How Can I Keep From Singing    Take a few minutes out of your busy day.  You are sure to be blessed:)

Posted in Christian Music, Inspirational, Prayer | Tagged , , , , ,

The Blue Butterfly

Just had to share this story posted by a fellow I read all of the time, Mark Mallet.  It’s really good – read it all the way through:)  Open your hands and have a great, blue butterfly kind of day!

The Blue Butterfly

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Posted in Inspirational, Prayer | Tagged , , , ,