What’s Growin’ On?

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my garden.  If I had my way the whole yard would be nothing but one big bed – O.K. maybe two – one for flowers and one for veggies!  (Perhaps one day!)  I look forward to coming home everyday, clipping, weeding and watering – and recently, harvesting!!

Here’s a look at what is going in the garden over the past two weeks:

Some of my favorite things:   I’m very excited that are a fig tree and a dogwood tree that I thought were dead have come back to life!  I’m growing peanuts and asparagus for the first time.  (See if you can spot them above.)  I have a nice new stepping stone from my amazing prayer partner at school – a great reminder of the power of prayer and friendship!  I’ve transplanted our olive tree from a large pot to the ground, and it’s got some great new growth on it.  Also, my sister-in-law gave me some spider plant “babies” last year.  They are finally making offshoots or “babies” of their own!

Something else  has been taking place in my backyard!  Check these babies out!

You can see how much they’ve grown in just two weeks.  They come by now morning and evening for breadcrumbs! (And to get their picture taken!)

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A beautiful “bleeding heart plant,” a gift from my son and his fiance’ last year – This year it is blooming like crazy:)

I hope that you all are enjoying spring as much as I am!  May God Bless you and yours!

Posted in gardening/nature, photo entry | Tagged , , , ,

Sing it Until you Mean it (Or the “Power of Praise”)!

 

 

UnknownI don’t know about you, but I just feel depleted – like an old, dry rotted bicycle tire that has gone flat.  You try to pump it up to ride, but the air just flows right through, leaving it saggy and listless instead of firm and resilient.  (Now that’s a picture for you!) I guess I’m in a slump of sorts – and probably feeling – well,  50:(    It’s a good thing that school just let out, huh?!

If you are feeling down, overwhelmed or worn out, praise God!  ( I bet you’re thinking I’ve had a bit too much to drink!)  Nope.  I know what I’m saying!   You see, when you praise God in the storms of this life, it actually makes the burdens lighter and gives joy to the soul.  You might be thinking, “The last thing I feel like doing is singing.”  I understand completely.  Trust me on this.  You say it until you can sing it, then you sing it until you mean it!  You will notice that the doom and gloom begin to lift.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to put on a smile and “fake” happiness when having to  address a group of people.  Something miraculous happens when I do that.  While it is difficult to paint that smile on and speak with enthusiasm, after a few minutes, I actually begin to feel what I’ve been faking!  Try it.  Smile until it is no longer a chore!

When we suffer – physically, mentally or spiritually – this can be a gift from God – an opportunity to draw closer to Him.  When we unite our suffering to Him who suffered for us, our hurt can be used to obtain graces needed to turn souls in need of conversion to Him.  I don’t know about you, but it always helps to ease my suffering/sadness when I know that it is doing somebody somewhere some good!

There are many wonderful contemporary praise and worship songs that you can play and sing along until you are feeling blessed (not stressed) :)  One of my favorites is a hymn that is usually sung right after benediction, Holy God We Praise Thy Name.  Won’t you give it a try?

Holy God, we praise Thy name. Lord of all, we bow before Thee.  All on earth, Thy scepter claim.  All in heaven above adore Thee.  Infinite Thy vast domain.  Everlasting is Thy reign.  Infinite Thy vast Domain.  Everlasting is Thy reign!

Words: Ignaz Franz, 1774;
trans. Clarence Augustus Walworth, 1858
Music: Grosser Gott

 

Posted in health/well being, Informational, Inspirational | Tagged , , , , , ,

Not My Usual Post

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I’ve learned from a doctor I’ve been seeing that I have a build up of plastic and metals in my body.   What???!!!  Anyhow, I have long been concerned about the apparent link between the aluminum in canned drinks and antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s disease.  Well, I gave up canned drinks years ago, but wasn’t willing to stink.  My doctor told me that he uses a crystal that he applies while his pits are still damp.   He always smells fresh, so I decided to investigate.  Sure enough, I found the product online.  It only cost about $5 and is said to last a year!!!   It works by keeping the bacteria that causes body odor from forming when we sweat.

I’ve been using it everyday with my normal level of activity, and have been very pleased.  It also feels good to know that I am not applying something that could harm me.  I did, however, use this product on a day where I had to do vigorous activity for a few hours.  I don’t think it held up to high demands.  So, I’ve decided to use this crystal for everyday, and my usual “poison” when I’m in danger of “offending” due to athletic activity.  Just thought I’d pass this along, in case any of you have the same concerns about aluminum exposure:)

Posted in Informational | Tagged ,

The Answer

You know, I don’t cherish many things – people yes – but things – not so much!  However, something that is very special to me is a letter I received from Cardinal Raymond Burke. When the manager of the bookshop at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin gave the Cardinal a copy of my book on the Sacred Heart,  he sent me a letter, along with a hardbound copy of his book on the same subject.  What an honor!  I was so thankful and humbled!

I have a separate website dedicated to educating people on Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home.  It can be a life changing consecration and family devotion – also a shield against the evil in our world that threatens our families.  Please consider browsing and sharing.

The Answer

May we all grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with each passing day!

Posted in Catholic, Prayer, Sacred Heart | Tagged , , ,

My apologies/Vocation Sunday

Imagine my surprise when I went to mass this morning and learned that the gospel was that of the Good Shepherd – not about the Eucharist for which I wrote extensively last night!  I’m not sorry that I wrote about the Eucharist, but am sorry that I had the wrong gospel.   Silly me!

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Today is Vocations Sunday.  I hope that your priest mentioned it today at your Church!  This morning I read a post on the subject and would like to quote something that stood out for me.  It all comes down to this:

We all have a vocation in life, and our sanctity largely depends on our conformity with that vocation and our fulfillment of the duties that attach to that vocation.  (https://fatherdoyle.com)

If you are a priest, how faithful are you to the calling that you received and to the promises you made at your ordination?

If you are married, how well do you live out your vocation that you said yes to in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony?

If you are a nun, or consecrated single…

You get the idea!!

I think it is important to mention here that we should not be asking the young what they want to be when they grow up.  That’s the wrong question.  We should be asking them, “What do you think God wants you to do with the gifts and talents He gave you to best serve His Kingdom here on earth?”  You want peace, fulfillment and joy in life?  That only comes in following God’s plan for your life – not in “bucking” it.  Whatever He asks, as difficult as it may sometimes be, is in your best interest – your eternal interest – and may be connected to the eternal interests of others.  Can there be anything more rewarding than “catching” souls for Jesus?  John Paul II often encouraged people to never fear God’s call.  Again and again He said, “Be not afraid.”

Let us pray today that all may hear the voice of God in their hearts and respond as Mother Mary did in her FIAT, “Yes, Lord.”   May we have the courage to answer His call generously, fearlessly and whole-heartedly!  Yes!  May we have the courage and grace to live out our calling to the very best of our abilities – day by day – moment by moment.  Yes!  When we one day meet our Maker, may He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  YES!

Posted in Catholic, Faith & Children, Prayer | Tagged , ,

A Most Perfect & Precious Gift

I bet you are wondering what great present I received!  No, it’s not my birthday.  It’s not Mother’s Day (yet!)  This gift is life changing.  No, it’s not a youth formula, or a shiny, new  car!  (Though both would be pretty amazing.)

If you want to know what makes me a generally happy person, this is it!  If you want to know how I can sing despite all of the garbage in the world now, this is it!  If you want to know how I can be satisfied even though I can barely pay my bills some months, this is it!  If you want to know how I’m able to persevere through trial, this is it!  If you want to know how I’ve been able to forgive the unforgivable, this is it! If you want to know what keeps me going, this is it!  Only it is not an it – it is a He!  

He wants to do the same for you!  Surrender.  He has given ALL of Himself to you.  Will you give all of yourself to Him without holding back?  I assure you that He can be trusted.  No one cherishes you as He does.  No one has your best interests at heart as The Sacred Heart Himself.

Changing gears for just a moment…

When we read this Sunday’s gospel, it is important to note the lines that come just before it:

52The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.b 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”  (John 6:  52-58)

Here’s the gospel for this Sunday.

Jesus asks, “Does this shock you?” There were some who just could not believe/accept what Jesus said.  They left and returned to their former way of life.  People are still rejecting this precious gift.  Some still cannot accept that it is Jesus.

In many churches, the lack of belief that the Eucharist is precious – is JESUS- is evident.  The demeanor, dress and behavior of many a minister and recipient screams disbelief, lukewarmness, or at worst utter disrespect!  I don’t think they even realize it.

There are so many people – Catholics included – who do not believe that the Eucharist is Jesus’ body.  Do you think that Jesus only gave His body to the 12 apostles?  Were there only 12 that He came to nourish? 12 He came to save?   Did He only want 12 to have eternal life?  I don’t think so.

The Eucharist has been the best gift I have ever received or will ever receive while still on this earth.  I know with all my heart that it is truly Jesus, because receiving Jesus and adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament has been transformative – completely life changing – for me.

Through the Eucharist,  Jesus gives me peace – that peace that He alone can give – the peace that NOTHING or NO ONE in this world can give.  I know!  I’ve tried that already!  It’s a big, fat lie!   The ONLY lasting peace and truth you will ever find is in the One who gave His life and His body for YOU!

The Catholic Church is currently undergoing the trial of trials.  It has problems, for sure – big problems!   I love my Church, however, because it is the only one that can give me Jesus in this precious and perfect gift, the Eucharist.

In my spare time, I like to read prophecy – from the bible, from popes, from saints and mystics whose messages have been Church approved.  Sometimes, I even read the alleged messages of modern visionaries prayerfully.  There seems to be a consensus that a time is coming when the Eucharist will not be readily available – that many will have to worship in secret. It is frightening, I know.

Let us treasure the Eucharist and receive Jesus as often as we can while we still can!  Then, let us trust that the innumerable graces that we receive in this Blessed Sacrament will carry us through the times when it is not readily available.

Remember that Jesus will always be close to those who love Him – as close as your next breath – as intimate as your heart beat.   Just as Jesus’ image was left indelibly on Veronica’s cloth, so the Eucharist leaves an imprint on the heart of the receiver – never to be effaced.  Praise be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

TheEucharist

 

Posted in adoration, Blessed Sacrament, Catholic, eucharist, Sacred Heart, scripture, Scripture Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Be Still and Know

God sends me “love letters” from time to time.  I treasure these little notes, as I am a very slow learner, and the reassurances really strengthen my faith.  I have a little collection going on my refrigerator.  These little cards and scraps of paper have literally been picked up off of the ground at times when I’ve most needed to hear their messages.  Isn’t God amazing?

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my refrigerator collection

You wouldn’t believe it, but the card with the rainbow on it was left on my desk at school anonymously.  When I left my classroom to head back over to the main building, there was a rainbow in the sky above our school.  I believe that God wanted me to take a second look at what was on that card – and to take it to heart!

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Jeremiah Card

Most recently, I have struggled greatly with something – something I fear.  Much of it is a fear of the unknown – a challenge for a control freak like myself!  I have prayed a lot about this thing, but I guess I never really let it go.  (I thought I had)  I was very busy trying to “help God” work out the details of what I thought was His plan/His will for me.  Oh how stupid of me!  I lost my peace in the process.  Then, one afternoon as I walked back from the chapel to my classroom, a tiny purple corner of something caught my eye as it was wedged underneath and between rocks.  At first I walked past it, then something made me go back to find it and to check it out.  I bent down, pushed the rocks aside to reveal the purple rectangle, and discovered that it was, in fact, a magnetic bookmark with a profound message for me, “Be Still and Know that I am God.”

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Now this is part of a Psalm that I know very well.  In fact I have it hanging on the wall in my hallway above a canvas print of a picture I took of a favorite waterfall.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[a] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult…

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

God was telling me to cease my activity – to relinquish – to let go.  He doesn’t need me to help Him work out the details!  He is God, and if He wills (whatever it is), then He will see that it happens in the manner and in the time that He wishes.   Oh my goodness!  There is so much freedom and so much peace in that simple (but Oh so profound) verse.  Be still and know that I am God!  God is in control.  God wins!  Whew!  What a relief!

Lord, please push me aside if I try to get in the way of Your plans.  Please forgive my lack of trust.  Lord, I love you.  Help me to love you better.  Help me to grow closer to you with every breath that I take.  Amen.

Apparently, I cannot upload videos anymore as they are not supported without a paid upgrade.  REALLY!?  Check out Word of God Speak by Mercy Me on You Tube – a beautiful reflection on “Be Still and Know…”

 

Posted in faith, Prayer | Tagged , , , ,

Because of You

Fear, shame, low self esteem, lack of trust, problems in school, problems with peers, difficulty sleeping, all you want to do is sleep, depression, suicidal thoughts, withdrawing…the list goes on.  All of these can be signs/symptoms that a child has been abused.  Many of these adjectives and phrases could have described me at different points in my life, because I was sexually abused as a child.

This morning, I heard the song Because of You by Kelly Clarkson on the radio.  I found myself singing every word like an anthem.

I have received substantial healing in my life because of my faith.  That is not to discredit psychological help.  I did receive help lots of this kind of help many years ago too.   I’m not going to lie and say that I never asked, “God, where were you?” because I’ve surely had those moments.  I’ve come to the realization; however, it was God who helped me get through this dark time in my life, and helped me to keep my sanity.  That’s huge!

If you have suffered rape, incest, physical abuse or other kind of trauma, I’d like to share my story with you.  It’s a story of hope for healing.  April is child abuse prevention month.  If by education one more child could be protected, that would be an answer to prayer.  If by sharing my story, I could give a survivor hope for a brighter future, then that would be remarkable.

During this month – and all throughout the year – please don’t forget to pray for the survivors of abuse that they may get the protection, help and healing that they need.  God Bless!

Posted in health/well being, Informational, Prayer, suffering | Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Great Post on Revelation

Posted in Prayer, scripture, Scripture Reflections, suffering | Tagged , ,

Prayers for Divine Mercy Sunday and Everyday!

Today, on this great feast of Divine Mercy, I’ve been looking back at the Diary of Sr. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul.  I’m a underliner!  I underline all of the books that I read/study – words and phrases – that have special meaning for me.  That way, I can go back and re read them when I need answers or inspiration.

Here were a couple of profound parts of the diary that struck me:

Today Jesus said to me, ” I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion.  Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation.  When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion.  This is the prayer:

“O blood and water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You.” (Divine Mercy in My Soul, pg.  102, #186-187)

Another prayer for tough days:

“My Jesus, support me when difficult and stormy days come, days of testing, days of ordeal, when suffering and fatigue begin to oppress my body and my soul.  Sustain me, Jesus, and give me strength to bear suffering.  Set a guard on my lips that they may address no word of complaint to creatures.  Your most merciful Heart is all my hope.  I have nothing for my defense but only Your mercy.  In it lies all my trust.” (Divine Mercy in My Soul, pg. 401 #1065)

IVIL

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