Saturday, March 25, 2017

The "YES" that saved the world/Stations of LIGHT/"bright ray streaming towards her womb"

Evangeline and mom light 14 candles for our family stations of the Cross last night.  "I have learned that kids pay more attention if they know that there is a candle to blow out with each station."  Maria wisely shared.  A special time shared in prayer on a Friday night.  We had discussed trying to get to Stations at Church, but with hungry kids right at supper time we decided to have tuna, egg salad, and tomato soup at home and gathered up 14 candles to light and blow out with each station.  My thoughts were drawn to a dear friend, who suffered  a miscarriage yesterday.  How the feelings of grief flood me with memories of my many losses on our journey called being open to LIFE and raising LIGHTS!
Ready to begin... Romeo had cars and was making a lot of distracting noise until he was invited to come and blow out the candles...

All I could say to my friend, was that I was there with her, our families share our grief, and that when we share the pain of the Cross of miscarriage and still birth that it brings us closer together and the value for all LIFE runs very deep!  I have witnessed the bond and respect for all life and the LOVE we have one for another, and value for all LIFE from conception to natural death.  Life is to be cherished and protected no matter the cost!  Yes, through sharing The Cross in this way we have received such a bounty of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!
Patrick was a wonderful bearer of Christ on the Cross as we traveled through The Stations of the Cross with Jesus. 
"We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you."
"For by your Holy Cross you redeemed the world."
On bended knee and bowing low!  Little 4 1/2 month old, Evangeline, sharing in her first Stations!

Today is such a powerful day... The Feast of the Annunciation... the "yes" from Mary that brought our Savior into the world!  This most beautiful image filled me with great awe...
A ray descends from heaven, sometimes emanating from the dove of the Holy Spirit.  And there in the bright ray of God's presence streaming straight toward the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  And there is this detail : on his shoulders he carries his cross.  Fr James Sullivan, O.P.
To shift gears in the middle of Lent is difficult, but we are aware of the Cross even here!  It reminds me of Patrick having the cross placed on his shoulders in the womb at his birth 3 1/2 years ago.
Therese helping her 2 1/2 year old brother, Romeo, blow out the 4th station... Jesus meets his Mother.
I recently was able to act out this station at a retreat... the pain I experienced as all the swords that pierced my heart were there before my eyes as I witnessed my Son, the Son of God, there before me beaten and bloodies and carrying the source of his torture and death upon his shoulders!  "My Son, never did I imagine that this is what would have to happen to you!  My Son, I love you and long to take this cross from you, yet I know that it must happen to save the world.  Help me to have the strength to stand by you, and at the foot of your Cross to watch you die.  There you give me to all to bring into their homes.  There I will teach of your LOVE and bring all to YOU as I reveal you to them and bring all their petitions to lay at your feet.  Jesus, I trust in you."
The 13th station - the body of Jesus is taken down from the Cross and laid in his mother's arms.  So powerful to have this at the end just before he is laid in the tomb!  Imagining all the suffering is finally complete, yet the many swords that have pierced his mother's heart!
The Crucifixion/A Mother's song by Danielle Rose
It is hard to get through this without weeping... comparing how she held his warm body in her arms at birth and then at the end of his agony!
Holding his LOVE for us/The Cross deep in our hearts!

It is kind of hard to find this deep place of the Cross this day of The Annunciation, yet the beautiful words of The Angel, Gabriel, the words we repeat for the Rosary throughout our days..."Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you."  "All that our heart cries out for became flesh in Mary's womb.  When we repeat the words of the angel by praying the Hail Mary, the Word of God germinates in our soul.  Christianity is this never ending event of encounter with God made present in the maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary." see
How we are enjoying our baby girl.. in less than a week she will no longer be the littlest of them all.  Ruth is due to have her baby girl on next Friday!  So many prayers!  It was a year ago today - on Good Friday last year which landed on The Annunciation...  that we switched places, so both of us were moving on the same day!   It was kind of hard and crazy and good and perfect to do it on Good Friday!  This year to celebrate Easter still 3 weeks away and to have The Feast of The Annunciation all by itself yet in the midst of Lent still brings the fact that this beauty of LIFE in her womb - The Son of God still led to The Cross where our Salvation was paid for with his Body and Blood!
Looking around at my wonderful new home - a year today!  I have been blessed now with all new bathrooms and went with a "beach theme" in the two downstairs that we remodeled.  I had too much fun yesterday getting out the watercolors I have done while on the beach with my family over the years!  I think I have painted one for every day I have been there, and the love of The Big Lake and sharing it with my family pours out!  It is sad to know that our wonderful times will be ending with the sale of our special place in the U.P.  It fills me with a lot of bittersweet feelings as I find myself making this my HOME these last days.   Today our first anniversary is one of great interior celebration!
The older sketches are from 1997, our first summer at the cabin, and the others are 2015s... Love it!

Jesus, I think Mary's prayer to you on the Way says it all for me!  How I love to have you in my home after Jesus in his last moments of earthy life gave you to bring into our Homes!  I am so happy with my new peaceful home, and having the young family loving and living on the farm!  Now with a new little one soon to join them!  Ruth and I both had a new baby a year after moving on the farm there in that house!  It fills me with awe to see with eyes of Faith the way that Ruth has been given my life to live over again.  It was great for me and I sense the same JOY in her!  I am filled to overflowing with YOU, my Jesus!  I say "YES!" to all that you ask of me!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen
My mother's artwork and family photos at The Big Lake!  Does it show how much I love this and how deeply this has been planted in me?  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
My sister, Cheryl's, wonderful watercolor of the lighthouse in Manistique, MI!
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"In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You." Saint Augustine
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Nancy's Jesus tree for Lent!   Love how they share their Faith with JOY!
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And coming to her, the angel said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
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Friday, March 24, 2017

"Unseen, I answered you..." Psalm 81 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart..."

I am enjoying having my 9 year old Therese around and the joy of doing her hair each day.  Yes, our time together is narrowing down, but we still have about 2 months to carry forth with this daily fun.  Over the years it seems that they are with us for a month here and there while Joe is being trained, so this is an oldie from about 6 years ago when they were here with us. 
About 6 years ago... a lot has changed since then.  Most especially the decline and now passing of Pat's mom, who was a huge part of our lives!

 I have been in a bit of a nesting frenzy around here, and it is kind of surprising until I realize that it is the one year anniversary of our move tomorrow.  Last year it was Good Friday which trumped the Annunciation, which is back in it's proper place this year.  Getting our bathrooms completed a few weeks ago and kind of triggered my decorating and putting up things that are reminding us of our home, which is now filled with Ruth and her family!
It really felt like home when I put up my grandmother's plates, which we had up in our farm house.  It just feels like our roots are planted here with familiar homey touches.
Pictures are always huge for me, and this is fresh and new using old wonderful pictures of which I have boxes and boxes!  Enjoying generations of pictures... John noticed that I put my hunky husband in the center.  Well...

An oldie in front of the picture window 6 years ago, the window still is here with a different couch in front of it!  This cat is now living here with us, and Mary is at home in the farm house! 

Emotions are running high today, and this is spiraling in some tangents.  There are projects calling to me, and distractions all around.  The words from the mass readings today spoke to me, yet they are distant now.  The Lord certainly continually has touched my life and answered me in unseen/yet obvious and powerful ways!  "Unseen, I answered you..."  Yes!

One of my distractions... so fun!  Clothes basket, little girl. and doggy and froggy! 

Jesus, I long to love you more completely with all my heart!  May I serve you without counting the cost!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
Snuggling babies, Farmer Pat, and cow TV - 5 calves overnight... we have almost reached 100/98 officially this morning!  Ruth predicted that we would reach 120 by time the baby arrives in one week from today!  Three a day is highly likely and she is a pretty good farmer/mother of soon to be 6/farm wife/nurse/Creighton model instructor/wonderful daughter and sister! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Think of all the powerful weapons with which we can withstand the devil." Family sharing Faith on the Farm!

Therese in our new Jacuzzi full of balloons in the midst of her family celebration/the house full of 10 kids along with many 5 adults!  Gathered to celebrate our "T's" 9th birthday!  Her beautiful dress thanks to her Oma

A dance party with balloons and two 4 year olds making an arch of JOY! 
We take a break to pray together the 5th glorious mystery/Mary is crowned queen of heaven and earth for Uncle John, who is sharing his story in Fulda.  "Mom, the prayers of children are so powerful... thank you!"  He reported that the talk went well and he was asked to meet with individually with a youth group that had heard him speak. 
The power of prayer shared as a family keeps the devil away!
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 Sister Lucia of Fatima: "'The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.’ Don't be afraid, she added, because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Then she concluded: ‘nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head’.”

Further reading:
How true is this?  Don't we see family and marriage attacked all around us?  We so badly need to use all the weapons we have been given!

David got the Black Madonna, which Breno had gifted us with from Brazil about 16 years ago... Our Lady is our Queen and leads us to her Son, and protects our families from the culture of death and darkness!!  John fell madly in love with her while in Lourdes just a few short months after being stuck by brain cancer!

This was in the meditation for today pertaining to our Gospel - in which Jesus drives out a demon that was mute, and the man speaks!
Think of all the powerful weapons with which we can withstand the devil - our holy faith, the Blessed Sacrament, God's Holy Word, the glorious example of the saints and all good people, the prayers of holy Church, and more besides - all strong weapons against the demon.  He has no greater force against these arms than a fly has against a big bear.  Let but a man resist, and he never can be overcome.  Father John Tauler, O.P. (1361)
I love this as I have shared so many times this exact Truth... we have so much to fight for our eternal lives forever with Jesus in Heaven!
Such a beautiful girl growing up with her strong Faith and seeing Jesus all around her. She has a special vision of Jesus in the poor!
Sharing her birthday pictures with her baby sister!
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“Mary seeks for those who approach her devoutly and with reverence, for such she loves, nourishes, and adopts as her children.” » Saint Bonaventure – Bishop of Albano
So true!
It just feel so right to be on our knees praying together with our children to our Spiritual Mother, who brings us to her Son!
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I love this from Bishop Baron today..
"The demonic power is always one of scattering. It breaks up communion. But Jesus, as always, is the voice of communio, of one bringing things back together.

Think back to Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. Facing a large, hungry crowd, his disciples beg him to “dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus answers, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”

Whatever drives the Church apart is an echo of this “dismiss the crowds,” and a reminder of the demonic tendency to divide. In times of trial and threat, this is a very common instinct. We blame, attack, break up, and disperse. But Jesus is right: “There is no need for them to go away.”

How these words rang like a bell for me, as I am experiencing those dividing voices in my life.  This puts into words and thoughts the pain in my heart at watching loved ones turn their back on The Church and break away.  How can this be of HIM?  We are called to LOVE and join together in communion as we trust in HIM and reject nothing that the Church holds out to us as Truth and helping us down the narrow path to heaven forever with Jesus, Mary, and all the Angels and Saints!  Does it not cause us to question those voices that ask us to divide in anger and blame of others?
Sisters are a gift!  A week from tomorrow we will welcome our newest granddaughter!  "Another birthday to celebrate!"  Then will be Easter, and then our huge celebration of Big Dave's first Communion, his new sister's Baptism and Rose's birthday on May 1st.  Oh, and I forgot Mary's 11th birthday on April 19th!  As Paul said last night; "We have our girls in the spring, and our boys in the late summer/fall. "  They definitely have a pattern going, and it is a masterpiece!  To cap it off we will have our amazing home visit with our Little Sister Hallel from May 3-8 and then a bunch of us will drive her back to KC and put Maria and her 5 on a plane to go and see dad and head together to their new home in Washington State!  So much JOY and excitement fills me!
These two girls are so sweet together! 

Jesus, I am so filled with all that you have given me this day and every day of my journey called Faith/Family/Farm!  Yes, our family is our domestic Church where we share our Faith with great JOY!  We are aware of the constant protection of Our Spiritual Mother, Mary of heaven and earth!  She cares for our every need and allows us to find peace, joy, love... all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, as she takes our needs to her Son, Jesus Christ,  in our homes!  We are able to experience a small slice of heaven here with our eyes focused on heaven forever with you, O Jesus!  May we die to self so that you may live in us now and forever and serve without counting the cost.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen

Life can be as fun as a bathtub of balloons!  Yes, you are all special and loved so much!  May we return the unconditional love and forgiveness and Mercy we have been given to those around us!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Had to grab a few for St Patrick's Day! 

The birthday cake procession through the house - we learned this specialness from The Community of the Lamb!
God is blessing you now!
Trick candles kept relighting!
Dance party!!!
Taking it all in and loving the LIFE!
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We share the same heart for the family!  St Teresa can't be beat!  She sees with the eyes of her heart!
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Patron of all the wonderful farmers in my life... Pat even had an great uncle named Isidore Louwagie!
Danielle Rose - I thirst
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Danielle Rose - Memorare
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"Contemplation is nothing else than a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love. "- St. John of the Cross
Faith is such a glorious masterpiece of art in our souls!

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"Talk things over with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. His love for you exceeds your ability to understand it. He realized how difficult it is for you to love the Blessed Sacrament as much as you would like, He knows how distracted you are with the problems of your daily life. He knows, too, how spiritual things have a way of getting lost in the shuffle. He understands!" Fr. Peffley
Adoration is the best hour I spend all week!  I put our over 200 in the monstrance with Jesus - litany of FAMILY - both Pat's and mine!