Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving with our family of the Lamb/Hallel/"thankful for The Little Sisters and Brothers coming to KC for me!"/Nancy's bunch/glorious day!

My two KC granddaughters... so much fun being able to do their hair after a relaxing Thanksgiving morning  preparing food to take to the Community/family feast following a wonderful mass with two daughters!  I told Nancy that she gave her girls her beautiful brown eyes!
Bernadette just turned 5 and Josephine was one in May... wearing blue to see The Little Sisters is special to us all!
Gathered around John and Bobbi's engagement pictures... Hallel kept them in her pocket to show everyone.  After praying John through brain cancer and all the ups and downs over the years since... they are truly his family!  He has also shared about his journey and prayed over a young girl, who died in the last year of brain cancer,

The LIGHT house on the hill!


Such a beautiful day here!  How wonderful to stand out in the warm sun in shirt sleeves waiting for mass!  Catching up with Hallel in person!
The biggest news for her to catch up on is her baby brother is getting married on June 2nd!  She will not be able to come to the wedding, but I have a feeling that they will be coming to meet Hallel and share some time with her over this gift of a year that we are given with her!
Mass in the beautiful light filled chapel and Hallel there leading the singing!  Such a special time to have her here in the U.S. this year.  She did share that she misses Rome and her love of hearing the Italian language spoken all around her!  The wonders of this world she is discovering through her "yes" to Jesus to follow His plan for her, and allowing her family to share in the JOY
Wearing their winter capes has begun!
Leading the Psalm in the mass today.
Hallel lives in the U.S. and she loves to spend time with the kids!  Ruth has fake plans to come and visit during Christmas vacation, and Maria will bring her family when they come for John's wedding.  I also think that John will try to come and spend some time with her so that she can meet Bobbi.  We all want to get here to see her during this precious year!
With her Dominic, who is named after the patron Saint of their community!  I also drew his name to be my patron for the next year!  St Dominic, lead me ever deeper into The Truth of your LOVE the Cross/the Tree of LIFE!

While we ate our wonderful Thanksgiving feast there was a pilgrim and Indian present along with round after round of wonderful food!  As we ate to our hearts' content there was a microphone passed around and many shared what they are thankful for!
Wonderful moist turkey with fresh made cranberry sauce were the highlight!
All gathered around a special young adult of the Lamb/Curt, who is celebrating his 40th birthday.  He shared that The Community came to KC for him..."I didn't think I would live to see 40/I was lost/The Community came here to KC for me!"  Tears of deep emotion at how the Lord had shown him such love to bring them here to the U.S.  I feel similarly in how just as Hallel was making a decision about her call to be a Little Sister they came to the U.S./Kansas City, Kansas! 


Many miracle stories all around us!  Having them in our lives and now our family through our 4th daughter, Susan/Hallel!
A sleeping baby gives Hallel the gift of her arms full of sweet baby girl Josephine Francis!
A much needed nap and more time to visit with or daughter!  We shared updates on kids/she heard about her Simon's first Jr high dance and all the firsts he has experienced this last summer. We spoke with the postulants she is working with about how Hallel is teaching them about the LIFE the community lives. 


 I am so happy that they have this American girl, who listened to the call and said "yes" and shows her great JOY and LOVE for Jesus in his Sacrament/Body and Blood and The Word on her beaming face as the Word is processed forth at mass!  That these two girls, one from Minnesota and one from the KC area, can glean from her deep love!
With the Cross of the Lamb and her sweet rosy cheeks!  In the next few years Hallel will receive her Lamb when she takes her final vows!  We have fake plans to all be there when she does and that probably means all 26 of us heading to France!  Time will tell!
A picture that I took way too many of... but I am wanting to hold every moment close to my heart for this next year.   It was so special to sit next to her while she sat and enjoyed her arms full of her baby niece and share our shared family life and her stories of how the love her Community has for the poor has changed the lives of so many!


Lord, I thank you for this Thanksgiving like none other before it!  We shared your LIFE giving meal/The Eucharist and then with JOY with our Community/Family of the Lamb!  "Wounded, I will not cease to love!"  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barbara Mary Luke!
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Happy Thanksgiving! 
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ruth and Paul celebrate 14 years!!! They live by this - LIFE-giving in all they say and do!


My dad marrying Ruth and Paul 14 years ago... how can he do that in the Catholic Church?  My father is Deacon Robert Cross... a Protestant convert along with all 12 of his family, who was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Church with the first Deaconate class in the Arch Diocese in 1976!
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/the-amazing-story-of-13-becoming.html


I have also written a page about the girls including Ruth, so rather than saying too much about my wonderful oldest today... I will share that link here, too!
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/now-stories-of-johns-4-sistersruth.html

Yes, there was an ice and sleet storm on this date 14 years ago that made things challenging, but Ruth and Paul managed to get up to the Cities the next day and fly to Rome and this happened on Wednesday after their wedding!  A sickly Saint JPII blessed their marriage... Paul looked at him and asked for "Bless us with a happy healthy family."  This Saint has answered their prayers in such a beautiful way!  The Lord's Plan is always the BEST!
I marvel at this beautiful and powerful event which happened in April!  It was David's First Communion Day and Father Paul also baptized his baby sister, Joy, during that mass for about 70 other first Communicants!  Why would he do that?  He was reminding the families that they had brought these same kids in to be baptized in The Church, and where were they the last 8 years?  It is so important to share our Faith as a family!  The most important part of our lives and it allows us to find a small slice of heaven here on earth!
This beautiful couple has shared their faith with their growing family of 3 boys and 3 girls with JOY!  "I get to go to mass and Catholic School and pray at night before bed and share faith as a family praying before meals... not that I have to!"  That I get to do this because I love my Jesus is what makes for a happy healthy family!
LIFE is a gift!

There is a wonderful lesson that Ruth and Paul took from their engagement weekend and lived in their marriage!  To be life-giving in their marriage one to the other in what they say and do!  I can see how they love and respect each other in all ways and that is such a lesson for me!  I think when the priest told me in the reconciliation room that I should be "positive" that being life-giving and respectful would make that happen and would accomplish this in my marriage!
family picture in July after church! 

St Cecelia today and this just seems appropriate for this wonderful singing family!  Simon has an angelic voice and Mary and Ruth and David is now joining in the chorus all around us when we share mass together!  How I love this with all my heart, as I have shared this with my girls and John and it lifts us up to sing our love and praise to Jesus and His Bride, The Church when we worship together!  It just seems to perfect to have her gracing their anniversary!  Our JOY sings forth and we join with the angels and the Saints when heaven comes down to earth during the mass when we are given our heavenly food for the journey - His Body and Blood!
I was given permission to use one of the swing pictures!  This was totally their idea and it was such a joyful and happy picture!  These two are watching Ruth and Paul's kids tonight so they can go out and celebrate their anniversary!  Faith/Family/Farm makes the world go round!

Jesus how we love you and long to be life-giving in all ways in our lives and in our marriages and our families!  May we take the many graces and gifts and all the mercy we have been shown and return it to all those around us... most especially those in our domestic Church/family!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
such happiness!!!  Bless-bless, Barbara Mary Luke
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Happy Feast Day
Our Lady of LaVang
The Saint of Vietnam
Feast Day: November 22
A reported Marian apparition at a time when Catholics were persecuted and killed in Vietnam.
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My Mary!!!
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the Gospel - Ryan Stevenson


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him..." Maccabees 6

John asked me why I used the not so nice ones on my blog yesterday, so... I guess the floodgates have opened!  I was trying to steer clear of the ones I knew they would be using for one thing or another, but now I feel that I can share some of the super nice ones from our shoot on Sunday!


We received news that a cousin of Pat's, Sister Doreen, passed away this morning.  Sharing about her journey of the Cross she has been given for the last 25 years since she had a stroke rob her of her active life and ability to speak except for a few words.  She and a companion would come often to visit Pat's mother and so we saw her often, too.  Always got a hug, and Pat's sister went to see her on Sunday and she still reached out with her good arm to give her a hug around her neck from her death bed! 
A fun one by the grain bins with the rare blue sky, and the cows are now all home for the winter!


In the discussion of the 25 years of suffering that Sister endured as she had been a "tomboy" in being very athletic and active in her life, and than to have that taken from her by the stroke out  of the blue.  Raterra was saying that with all that taken away she had to focus on compassion and relationships with others... become more thoughtful and inward.  Yes, I would say with John's looking death in the eyes that he found peace and hope in the seed planted in the soil of his soul in this inner temple where the small flame of Faith was lit!  He and Bobbi have devoted much of their months of dating to sharing prayer and study of their shared Catholic Faith throughout!  Such a wonderful groundwork to build their marriage upon!
Their favorite, but they cropped it and made it black and white!  I had to talk them into the tractor tire picture, but John said that it was the smiles and not the setting, which is pretty cool too!


A sweet Feast day today that I was so happy to share morning prayer first with Pat and then with John... the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary!  The precious pictures of the young girl, Mary, at age 3-4 on the temple steps with her parents behind her in support... the priest reaches out to her!  In the temple of God the Virgin is seen openly, foretelling to all the coming of Christ... the most pure temple of the Savior, his most sacred bridal chamber, The Virgin, sacred treasury of God's glory, enters today into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace of the divine Spirit.  The Angels are singing:  "Behold, the heavenly tabernacle!
The black and white by the grain bins is a tradition for engagement pictures!  For Nancy and Ruth... I took them in the spring with lilac bouquets, but for John and Maria I took them in the fall with fresh made cornstalk bales... Maria and Joseph were on the bales while they were still out in the field!

It is very hard to find joy in suffering!  The first reading from Maccabees today is of an old man, who will not try to fake eating forbidden food in order to gain a few more years of life.  Instead her finds happiness in being true and setting the example for all that we need to live and die for Our Faith in Jesus Christ and His Bride, The Church!  We are all called upon to bear our own crosses through which we find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  And knowing that we are on the narrow path following him... we do find this Truth of "suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him."  Maccabees 6
A special and fun time together!

The Gospel today is a cute one too!  It is the story of the small man, Zacchaeus, and how in his excitement to see Jesus he went to great lengths, and Jesus responded to him by having a very personal encounter with him and coming into his home!  Zacchaeus was transformed by Jesus, and turns his life around. 
Maria and Joseph engagement pictures at the same time of year... their 11 anniversary will be on John and Bobbi's wedding day!  June 2nd!
Ruth and Paul with spring Lilacs... their anniversary #14 is tomorrow!  Happy Anniversary you two wonderful people!  Ruth and Paul live by the motto of being "life-giving" in what they say and do for one another!  How I need to do better and learn from their beautiful example!
Nancy and Bill with barely open lilacs ....their 7th anniversary was August 28th!  Yes, they had a super short engagement! 
One of the favorites! 

Jesus, I love you with my all!  All the suffering brings me to my knees and that is where I am weak and I need you!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
So fun!!! Luke and the puppy playing in mom's dirt while the sun was setting last night!  We were done working the cows/preg checking turned out quite well!
Luke's adorable preschool turkeys on the fridge!  Happy Thanksgiving!  We are on our way to KC tomorrow to see two of our daughters!  Bless-bless, Barbara Mary Luke
Wreathes await after Thanksgiving - beautiful sunset!
The glorious end of a day of work on the farm!
The reflection of the sunset!  Joy was so good for grandma!
The command station from which Ruth can watch all that is going on in our busy farm!  Guardian Angels watch out for all of us!













The farmhouse filled with LIFE!
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“Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer a day, except when we are busy – then we need an hour.”

It is so so hard to make personal prayer time happen while caring for little ones. So many distractions. I am frequently called away from whatever I am trying to do. But God sees our efforts, sisters. And it makes him smile.


The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day: November 21st


November 21st is the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary was consecrated to God as a young child; when she reached three years of age her holy parents, St. Anne and St. Joachim, presented her before God in the Jerusalem temple where she was to be educated and raised.

This dedication was a result of a promise St. Anne made to God while she suffered from many years of infertility. This liturgical celebration honoring this event appeared in the East much earlier than it did in the West. In the late Middle Ages it was promoted as a feast day for the universal Church.





Love!!!




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The winner of our photo shoot!  LOVE it and them!
Danielle Rose - A Mother's song
Danielle Rose - Hail Holy Queen