Thursday, December 11, 2014

pondering in my heart

pondering in my heart

I'm trying something new over at my main blog Equipping Catholic Families.
I've opened up a secret portal and I'm going to post some more reflective posts...some plucked right out of my prayer journal >gasp<

I recently heard in a homily...how we should be more like Mary and follow her example, pondering these things in her heart.

This is a part of what I'm pondering in my heart....the rest is over here.

---1--- Jesus loves me. Unconditionally.
---2--- Jesus loves my kids even more than I do and no matter what mistakes I make, He can and will fix them and call them to Him.
---3---I am the lost sheep....and I'm hardly the only one. Everyone of us is the lost sheep: loved and searched for and taken up into His Arms as the treasured one.
---4--- My desire to know Him, love Him, serve Him, please Him...is already a prayer and a sign that He is working in my life.
---5--- The Holy Spirit is real. He moves, He speaks, He prompts, He inspires, He gives hope.
---6--- The Saints are real. They call us, they come to us, they answer us, they look for ways to lead us closer to Jesus.
---7--- Jesus is real. He materializes in the words of the priest at the Consecration. He waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament, He asks us to seek Him as much as He seeks us and He answers our prayers even if we don't slow or quiet down enough to listen.
 
He waits for us to climb up onto His Lap...like a little child.
 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Let It Go...at Confession

Frozen's song "Let It Go" ...converted 2 Catholic by Fr Ariel Valencia

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Miscarriage, Mass and Music


 
I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My Voice
I claim you as My Choice
Be still, and know I am near

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are Mine
 
A few years ago, I attended a Memorial Mass for my best friend's mother, just a few days after I had lost Baby Gabriel at 19 weeks.  Another friend of mine sang a special hymn 'You are Mine' by David Haas, accompanied by my Mom at this Memorial Mass. Tears streaming down my face, I actually hid in the public washroom after Communion until long after Mass, not ready to face any familiar faces or condolences...and not yet able to give my friend nearly enough support through the recent loss of her Mom.

That summer was the season of 'you are mine' at church!

Those eight weeks of Masses...were filled with the hymn 'You Are Mine'. I hadn't remembered hearing it before....and now all of a sudden, it was the Holy Communion hymn of choice...no matter where we attended Mass!  Tired and embarrassed about repeatedly crying at Mass at my familiar parish, we even did a little Catholic Church hopping, visiting neighborhood parishes of some of our favorite priests. Communion time would come and my eyes would begin to tear up with the first 3 notes of accompaniment...even before it registered that it was that song again! 

By the end of that summer, we attended a Catholic conference...and do you know what Hymn Mark Forrest sang beautifully, EACH DAY of the conference for the Communion hymn?
You guessed it....and yes, I continued to cry like a baby.
 
 

7 years later, I chase 2 more kids in my house (one who could not have been born if we hadn't lost Gabriel). I also lost another baby in this time....for a total of 5 kids in my house and 3 babies in Heaven.

Last April, we were at Mass at our Parish and I was surprised to hear 'You are Mine' begin. Bill squeezed my hand with a 'you okay?' to which I confidently shrugged that I was fine, clearly having healed after such a long time.  Maybe I was just a little smug...because I then looked across the Church to see a couple I recognized, sitting beside their First Communicant. It was then that I remembered that they had been expecting their first child when I was expecting Gabriel....and that this Sunday would very well have been Gabriel's First Holy Communion day. OK, so maybe I just needed one more little cry to 'You are Mine'. Pray for me, Gabriel!
 
 
I just read these comforting words in a Facebook group from Madeline to another Mom who has just suffered a miscarriage. Sometimes people don't know what to say to another experiencing loss, but I think this wonderful lady has just the right words.

I know you had dreams of holding him close, seeing his smile, holding his little hand as he took his first steps, sitting him on your lap and telling him all the wonderful things about God, but He had a different plan. I hope you find comfort, one day, in knowing that you have a beautiful, perfect little boy in heaven who is now taking care of your family until you are able to join him, and that God instead, has your little boy on His lap and is telling him the wonderful things about you.
 
 

 



 
 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

to Jesus through Mother Mary


Mary, Mother of the Eucharist by Tommy Canning
Mother of the Eucharist by Tommy Canning
We have a print of this in our living room and it is absolutely beautiful!
Visit the Art of Divine Mercy Gift Shop!

I'm on an official quest to draw closer to Mother Mary. I realized that although I think I know about Our Lady and I have many friends and family with strong devotion to her, I don't naturally go to her to draw closer to her Son. I have thought of her as the ultimate model for motherhood which is true, but her perfect motherhood (you know, born without sin and all...and raising Jesus, the Son of God) ... intimidates me. I found myself wondering how she must see me in my little impatient Mom shoes, getting tired of the continuous demands of our precious little humans and being not so gracious about it.  If it weren't for her being so perfect, I would think she might be shaking her head, or at least sighing deeply...
But she's OUR MOTHER! I've heard how much she loves us (you and me!) and that she is our Mother ever since Jesus assigned her to us (alongside Apostle John). I've heard from others with deep devotion ...of her unfailing love for us, gentleness, compassion and her desire to draw us ever closer to her Son.
 
So I've been reading 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration (I'm on Day 28!) with a little Under the Mantle: Marians Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest on the side...and had some spiritual direction with my favorite priest. 
I'm going to keep trying to remember to pray for her help...and learn how to entrust myself completely to her so that she can bring me closer to Jesus.

Monday, November 11, 2013

a prayer

Jesus, I want to know Your Truth AND live it. Jesus, I'm so easily distracted, so easily jostled, startled, untethered. Jesus, I worry about so many things. 
Jesus, I want to pray. I want my words to be deliberate and heart-felt. I want to say what my heart feels and listen intently and hear Your Words to me in my heart, with no doubt, no second guessing. I want to be focused and consumed by You and undistracted.
I want to know You, bathe in Your Love, be directed by Your Priorities and I want to receive Your Love and Your intentions for me, correctly, fully, purely.
I want to brim over with the fire of your Love, uncontained, unfettered, unlimited, unconstrained so that I can only reflect Your Love, enthusiastically and untarnished by human limitations.
I want to see and think clearly, without muddying Your message to me, and to those around me.
I want to use the creative gifts You have given me to serve You and draw closer to You and to lead others to pursue You as You desire. I want to fulfil my vocation to the best of my abilities, recognizing but not giving in to my failings, offering up the little chores, the monotony and the little annoyances, frustrations and worries, surrendering my will and my lack of control, my pride for Your Greater Glory.
I want to pray. I want to express the yearning of my heart, to remain undistracted but focused on You. I want to connect with You, feeling Your unconditional Love, a love that is impossible for humans, only possible for God, loving me as if I was the only human, loving me incessantly despite my faults and failings, loving me without hesitation or requirements, expectations or conditions. Loving me because You have made me worthy through Your Suffering, for me, when no one except You could have even known I would exist.
Jesus, I don't want to get distracted by the meaningless details. I don't want to be preoccupied with menial concerns.
I want to pray, giving Glory to You, recognizing my weakness...and my only strength in You, through You, by You.
I want to cleanse the corners of my soul, I want to be open to Your Will ever trusting that You will only expect of me, ask of me, what I can truly handle. That You know what's best for me, You only want what is best for me and for my salvation.
I want to be a good wife, mother, daughter, friend. Jesus, I love You. I'm a afraid to be put to the test, because I know How weak I am. I know. I'm scared Jesus because I don't expect that I can measure up. I know I don't deserve Your Love. I'm as flaky as anyone. I'm selfish. I'm weak. I'm distracted and overwhelmed. I worry. I don't trust. I need You. I need constant reminders to pray, to focus, to offer up my will for Yours, to ask, to beg for Your pardon, Your Mercy and Your Help for every breath, every step, every worry. Jesus, I choose to trust in You but I need constant reminders to recommit. To trust. To serve, to surrender my pride, my attempt to control.  Jesus, I love You.
Let me feel Your Love.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Our Mother Mary

August is a special month for Mary, with the Feast of the Assumption on August 15th and the Queenship of Mary on August 22.


 
I want a deeper devotion to Our Lady. I know that Jesus gave her to us as our Heavenly Mother and given her role as Mother of the Son of God, she is the ultimate model for us Moms. Sometimes I assume that the house of the Holy Family must have been perfect; with Mary born without sin and Jesus, human in all things but sin and His Foster Father St Joseph, the epitome of humility, obedience and gentleness. I picture everyone gliding around the humble little house seamlessly, constantly serving each other with a smile, always anticipating the needs of the other. With just the necessities for food and clothing, the house was orderly and impeccably clean ( not my house!). No one raised a voice or argued with another. Everyone knew their responsibilities and carried them out diligently, with love.
 
 


Well, even if these three were practically perfect in every way, there was still emotion. We see emotion...and even a little attitude finding young Jesus in the Temple or at the Wedding at Cana when Jesus says to his Mom...."why should I help? it's not my time!" and Mary kind of ignores Him and tells the others "do as He tells you".
 
 


We also can't discount the world outside their home. They were driven out to Egypt for the first couple years of Jesus' life and that must have been quite the upheaval with a new baby!  How well do you remember the early days with your first child? I remember what a big deal every outing was, let alone traveling!
 
 

Even once they returned to Nazareth and their family and friends...there were no doubt those who didn't buy the 'conceived by the Holy Spirit' part and looked at Mary in a disapproving way. There would also be the everyday work that brought interaction with others: regular people with their less than virtuous thoughts, opinions, human motivations and personality quirks.


Mother Mary certainly sees our trials and challenges. She is the ultimate model motherhood with her prayerful, gentle way to cope with life's little adventures. Perhaps if we pray more incessantly for her guidance and her intercession, we can better follow her example bringing more peace and Faith into our homes.

Easier said than done!  Back to the Prompt Me to Pray prayer!

Sweet Mother Mary, pray for us!
 
Catholic Bloggers Collective
We are a group of Catholic Bloggers sharing posts on the same theme, once a month.
Nancy from www.dosmallthingswithlove.com
Jennifer from http://www.catholicinspired.com
Monica from http://www.equippingcatholicfamilies.com and http://www.iblogjesus.com
Melody from http://mamaslittleditty.blogspot.com/
Susanna from http://livingwithladyphilosophy.blogspot.com
Ginny from http://randomactsofmomness.com/