Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"God is a beggar for our Love!" from a video describing the Community of the Lamb.

Walked in the door from a whirlwind trip to Kansas City to say goodbye to Little Sister Hallel as she leaves for France in a few days. It was a special day and a half with Hallel and it allowed all of her family to come and spend some time with her and learn about her life and her love of her call to follow our Lord in this unique way!Relaxed and happy times with those neices and nephews that she loves... as John says about her..."She's the same old Sue!"

I am struggling with slow internet... so to bed.  Bless-bless, Barb

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fair thee well! We are off like a herd of turtles... to Kansas City

Out picking a few zuchini to take along to KC this morning... two things that we know we will find there with the Community of the Lamb... heat and humidity!  Also a wonderful powerful spiritual time!The blossoms and the puffy clouds in the sky and the two dogs and our Lady greeted me... I am always in awe and never alone outside around our farm...How I love my early morning trips out to the garden and around the yard!The bean field by my garden is lush!  That doesn't happen to us too often around here... we are still getting less rain than some of the neighboring towns, but this year that is a good thing!Apples are a special promise of applesauce!The barn swallows were a display of extreme joy and happiness as they swooped back and forth through the vividly blue sky... one with the clouds!" I will follow you wherever you go."  Matthew 8: 18-22"The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."  John 1:14  How I love to think about the young family years of Jesus with his mother and father... He was with them growing, working and being taught the faith and love of God in their "domestic church" - their home based on faith - for 30 years!My 24 year old daughter, Little Sister Hallel, is again following her amazing journey as she returns to the place of origin of their community - Saint Pierre, France.  She is excited to be allowed to grow and possibly take her first vows in a few months in the bosom of her community and with the graces of having both the founder and foundress still alive and sharing and guiding them...From morning prayer just shared with husband and son - "What was from the beginning, what we have seen with our eyes,  what we have looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us."  1 John 1: 1-2 

"The love of God is made visible in Jesus Christ: come, let us give thanks and praise!"  morning prayer see I fully expect to experience amazing things in the next few days as we share in the life of Hallel!  Know that you are always with me as I say each day the "crown of thorns" mystery for all of you and each of your needs!"In you is the source of life
and in your light we see light." Ps 36

No matter what darkens our world big or small, dear Lord.  WE love you and follow you!  If it takes us out of our comfort zone - give us the strength to embrace it and grow as never before!  As the cross is the plow in our lives - help us to bear fruit that is good and bountiful!  Jesus we trust in you!  I do not know if I will be by a computer in the next week... possibly on Wed or Thurs... but know that you are always with me in my heart and soul.  Bless-bless, Barb I wanted to leave you with a song from amazing Danielle Rose... this was the first one we heard her sing in Indianapolis about 7 years ago!  Enjoy!  Love and prayers always, Barb 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

As we prepare to leave for a week or more of family time!

I came across some fun old pictures from about 5 years ago... I really wanted to share with you all a video I took with my camera of Maria out in the yard with a very tame calf - it happened to be Curly Girl - who is now a cow and took me to the fence when I was out helping Pat this spring!  She is very tame to say the least!  This calf is plenty cute too!Tomorrow morning we are off to Kansas City to say goodbye to our youngest girl, Little Sister Hallel!  I will have my oldest and her family with me and we are the 4th bunch of Verlys to go and see her in the last week!  She will be leaving for France on the 1st of July!Five years ago Ruth and Paul were enjoying their first son, Simon...Tomorrow Simon, now 5 1/2 and the rest of his family along with grandma (me) are heading for a trip to Kansas City to see Hallel and wish her a wonderful "journey' to France and continued formation in her religious order.  She has told us that it would be a possiblity for her to take her first vows in August!  We would not be there this time I would think...but as we all know stranger things can happen!  It would be stunning to have her taking her vows on the same day as Nancy and Bill are sharing the sacrament of marriage... that would make it such a powerful and special day of our "family history"!Simon was the first of Ruth's children and started the tradition of showing her that he just loved her sooooooooooo much and just couldn't get enough of his wonderful mommy!  In other words... the same thing that Jesus did to his mother - eat her chin out of love for her!Here is Susan - Hallel with baby Simon.  I have a special story about her.  She wore a piece of chain around her ankle for years.  It was something that St Louis de Montfort asked of those that wanted to show that they were a "slave for Mary."  When she left to study in Rome for a set off the metal detectors and after that she got a link attached to it so that she could screw it off if she needed to.  It was a sad and hard day when she removed it once and for all to go to France on Sept 11, 2008 to join the Community of the Lamb... Just like all the things that spoke of Susan that she left in her room without a look spoke of her no longer living a life where she could be free to be a closeknit part of our lives.  Now we travel there to see her... not knowing when the next time will be...The girls have each gone to spend some time with Susan/Hallel now separately for the last week.  Each comes back saying that it was wonderful!  Pat talked to Bill on their trip back today... he shared that he was deeply touched by the stories they share of when they go begging for their food, and that he loved sharing with them in prayer and mass.  He is forever changed and touched by his time with them.  It was very wise of LS Benedict to say that Hallel could not come home to say goodbye to us for a few days... it would have made it much easier on all of us, but we all would have missed out on having the powerful experiences that each has had with Hallel and her community.  We are very priviledged as "family" to be able to for a brief time live the life that they are called to live.  It was funny yesterday as Pat and I were talking about how Nancy after watching so many get married and spend terrific amounts of money on flowers has decided that the morning of her wedding she is going to go to Hy Vee and buy 2 dozen roses - one dozen for Mary and the from the other she will give one to each bridesmaid and keep the rest for herself!  Pat said that after spending some days with the sisters that will certainly not get any more extravagant!  In other words... the life of poverty that they embrace affects us each in a deep way!Pat cannot stop talking about what a wonderful boy Simon was when he was in KC with them a little over a week ago!  Now for him to return with his family will be another chance for him to shine and show the other two the ropes!  I guess that in the chapel... he would go and stand next to Hallel and he was precious as he tried to sing along and pray with her!  What a powerful experience for these young children to have the Little Sisters in their lives!"We must in all our actions regard Mary as an accomplished model of every virtue and perfection, which the Holy Spirit has formed in a pure creature for us to imitate according to our little measure."  St Louis de Montfort - he had such an amazing devotion to Our Loving and Nurturing Mother, Mary most Holy!Nancy is Simon's special Godmother!  They love each other dearly!  Bill shared that part of what attracted him to Nancy was how loving and great she was with the neices and nephews!  They hope and pray to start a family right away and each is excited to share the roles of parents and being a "domestic church" in their home!  Jesus hear our prayers!I just returned from a walk back to the back of the grove to see the sunset... the bean field is looking lush and wonderful, but sadly there are many fields with Lakes where there are not to be lakes with so much rain that we have gotten in the last weeks!  With all that rain the misquitoes are bad too!  I think that a few of these grasses are hiding some clouds of misquitoes that surrounded me!  I am excited to see and hug Hallel and to share the experience of KC with my son in law, Paul and his kids Mary and David for the first time!  We will be forever changed and touched...and I will try to capture it with of course some pictures... I would like to end with this special thought... after sharing some "tender human affections" this evening that we are blessed with having the Community of the Lamb in our lives!

"My God, my Savior, I adore your Sacred Heart, for that heart is the seat and source of all your tenderest human affections for us sinners."  (see )   I thought that I would share more music with you if you would so choose - this is Casting Crowns and it is called  - Praise you in the Storm... It says a lot considering the "journey"

"There is a wideness in God's mercy, like the wideness of the sea." - Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

What a joy it was to have the 3 grandkids here the other had rained as it has been doing a lot lately and grandpa was wanting to see them, so he sent John over to pick them up from the breakfast table and bring them over... He was working on the swather... hoping to do hay soon.  Little 2 year old Davey crawled onto it and hit on the seat and said his only clear and true word -"Gampa."  Making it quite clear that grandpa should sit on there and give him a ride!  At mass last evening in a town we found ourselves in south of the Cities...the priest captured my attention by pointing out that in the Gospel for today the word 'journey" was mentioned about 5 times in the beginning pointing out that we are to follow Christ.... How often have I talked and thought and prayed about the Journey called cancer/healing that we have been on for the last year?  Daily if not hourly!The thing about his request to us to follow him in the last year... there was no discussion as to whether we would or not.. with cancer of the brain in our 20 year old son getting our attention... there were not really any other options!  AT about this time...Susan was with us from France... to be united was such a powerful unifying blessing and how we gained strength from that.  Now we are all gathering in KC - Nancy and Bill are there with Hallel and her community this weekend - as we say goodbye to her as she is leaving for France in a few days!

I am off to work now...  I ask to serve and follow our loving Lord and Savior!  "When a person becomes ill there may be no appropraite medicine.  But in supernatural affairs, it is not like that.  The medicine is always at hand.  It is Jesus Christ, present in the Holy Eucharist and he also gives us his grace in the other sacraments.  Let us say again, in word and in action: "Itrust in you; your ordinary providence, your help each day, is all I need."  We do not have to ask God to perform great miracles.  Rather, we have to beg him to increase our faith, to enlighten our intellect, and strengthen our will.  Jesus always stays by our side and is always himself."  ST Josemaria Escriva (1975) was the founder of Opus Dei

Dear Lord, John did ask you for an increase of faith and look at the amazing journey we have experienced - there is no doubt that you have been with us every step of the way!  Jesus we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, BarbAT the church last night - this envisioned for me... my son in this last year and the way he was surrounded and protected!   Thank you sprititual army!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A very early morning... Time to share some thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary before work.

One of my favorite things to see in my daughters with their children... is the way that their children "eat their chin" out of the shere love that they have for them.  I have seen numerous icons showing that little arm around his mother's neck and his own little face up there nuzzling his mother's chin to know that Jesus felt the same way about his wonderful mother too!  The perpetual adoration chapel up in St Paul at Nativity parish has an icon right behind the altar with Jesus "eating Mary's chin" out of love for her, and over the last year as I would stay up with my daughter, Maria, and drive John to radiation or other things like chemo or tests... I would make it a point to go to daily mass with time in the adoration chapel on one side or the other!Little 10 month old Mary....loves her mommy so much that she cannot get any closer to her!  That's the true picture of Mother/child LOVE!  There are many icons of Jesus doing the exact same thing to his mother, and he had all the reason in the World to do just that!  He loved her with His life!  Her saying "yes" saved the world!  This is a picture of the icon in the Adoration chapel that got me through the good and the bad times over the last year!  In the fall I noticed that John had 3 episodes of memory loss that I could not overlook!  They happened in about a 24 hour period and I called the doctor... she sounded very concerned and told us that we needed to come in for a scan.  It revealed that the cancer was coming back even with a new chemo with a vengence!  She said that we needed to do radiation... I yelled out "No!"  But John looked at me and said; "Mom, I want to live."  The reason for the drama at this point was that we had decided that radiation was one thing that we would not do as it could cause John to have some damage to his brain down the road and with his young brain and how much he will need it as he goes forward with his life and his profession... we would not do that.  So kneeling in the Adoration chaple that night... I wept long and loud!  I would think that in front of our Lord...this is not an uncommon occurance!  Many had told me of self help books or even books of spiritual help for this horrific journey called cancer/healing that we were on with our 20 year old son, John...but for some reason even though I would pick them up and start them... I finally realized that with the morning and evening prayers and rosaries and chaplet of divine mercy that I was saying every day along with going to daily mass whenever possible... My day was filled with my Church and all the many ways that was there for me.  I decided early on that I wanted to do this journey armed with my Catholic Faith and that is where I wanted to go to find the faith, hope and strength to make it through to the other side!  I was filled to the brim by that, and as I was in confession one first Saturday... I found myself telling Father that I had come to this and found all that I needed and then some to give me the strength! What an amazing blessing I found all the hours I spent in the Adoration chapel... one time I was there with Nancy and her now fiance, Bill.Nancy had shared a wonderful story of early in their dating.  One night after a date Nancy had told Bill that this was the night that she usually did a holy hour in the Adoration chapel and would he join her... He said that he had never gone before, and he would go with her.  Afterwards he had told her that he really didn't understand it all, so Nancy gave him some books to read and some devotional material to help him.  The next time... he was ready... afterwards he was in tears at the power and magnitude of the experience for him!  Now that is a man to hold onto!  Nancy says that he is always bursting with things and insights he has gained while in there to share with her!  A man that likes and loves to communicate... Nancy you certainly did find a man like your dad!  Your prayers have been answered!  How I needed my time with my God and Creator... then in the midst of my fear and weaknesses! I love the station of the cross when Jesus sees his mother along the way.... here is the station with my Mary statue behind where many rosaries have been said over the years... Maria came home from the monastery after 5 months and made me the stations for my grove.  The outside stations at her monastery had been a powerful experience for her as she had asked him to reveal his plan for her in her life!  Soon I will be going out there nightly to lift up the upcoming TEC retreat that Pat and I will be working together as Spiritual directors or more like spiritual servants.  Both of these friends of Maria are now sisters!   I pray for them and all those being called today!  Help them to say "yes" to this amazing life my Lord!    Openning prayer for mass today:

"Lord God, give to your people the joy of continual health in mind and body.  With the prayers of the Virgin Mary to help us, guide us through the sorrows of life to eternal happiness in the life to come.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.  Amen and Halleluia! "
Bless-bless, Barb

Friday, June 25, 2010

A whole new world! "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Mt 8:1-4

Sticky kids climb on the swather with grandpa to get away from the dogs that are trying to get their midmorning ice cream cones - after all aren't grandparents supposed to spoil their grandkids and then send them home for mom and dad to discipline the resulting bad behavior?
We are deeply moved to remember that a year ago we had left Sioux Falls behind after we were told by a neuro surgeon that he wanted to go from the top of John's head through his brain towards the brain stem and put shunts in both sides and try to get a piece of the "tumor" in the center of his brain... he could have been killed or forever altered much more than he is today!  We couldn't and left there and found ourselves in ST Paul with one of the top neuro surgeons in the world!  We had to have a second opinion... but so many times we have with dread thought about what would have happened had we gone along with this earth shaking idea!   We were on the brink of death and looking it straight in the eye...  Our precious 20 year old son!  The world although filled with great shock at the turn of events in our family's life took on new hope as we found ourselves in the best hands of the world!  HE was very cauious with us and as we knew the place that John's tumor was... was a place to not really mess with!  Many spinal taps were done to try to discover the answer non surgically!  We so hoped and prayed for that to happen!  This day a year ago was when John was annointed for the first time at St Joseph's hospital by a friend of our son-in-law, Joe...  we also were talking to our daughter, Susan, in France and she was reminding us to hold onto Jesus in the midst of this "storm".  We were also telling her that we needed her home with us!A few days later she was here with us and we were so thrilled that this awful crisis had brought us together to stand united in our FAITH!  I have once again added the link to the song by Kutless.... Some of the words..."I've seen dreams that moves the mountains...
Hope doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes - you will have the strength to rise!"From morning prayer psalm 32..."So let every good man pray to you
in the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high
but him they shall not reach.
You are my hiding place, O Lord;
you save me from distress.
You surround me with cries of deliverance.""He who trusts in the Lord, loving mercy surrounds him."  Psalm 32:10Life has returned to its new normal - the life we were living up until that Father's Day a year ago and forward is now a memory... John missed a year of college, but is now registered to return in the fall - cancer free!  He is going to three different therapies each day to regain the normal use of his left side after the actual surgery he had to diagnose his cancer going through the back of his brain to a small area that had appeared there... finally found two lymphoma cells in some blood that had been removed from the site of the surgery!   "I will do it.  Be made clean."  His leprosy was cleansed immediatley."  Matthew 8:1-4  All was taken from us in the last year and now it has been returned with the newness of a changed and altered person - baptized by fire of the unthinkable!"Be courageous.  Continually offer him your suffering while asking him for the strength to bear them.... Adore him in your infirmities, offer him your sufferings from time to time..."even in the midst of your greatest pain.  Ask him humbly and lovingly, as a child does his kind father, to be comforted to his holy will, and for the help of his grace."   Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1691) as a young man was a soldier in France and later became a Carmelite Friar."I don't know how He could leave me alone, since faith lets me touch Him, and He never withdraws from us unless we first withdraw from him.  Let us take care to remain near him.  Be with him always.  Let us live and die with him."  Brother Lawrence of the ResurrectionYes, humility has been huge on this journey - John is on his way at this time in for "chair yoga."  " I am the youngest by about 40 years.  The old people show me up when we have to do things that require me to balance."  John has shared with us... He can laugh about it and is forever changed and open to those that can help him work towards recovery of what he has lost, but little that he knows... the lessons he has learned in all of this are making him a better person!  A more faith filled person!I am so keyed up to share the Litany of Humility by Danielle Rose... I saw it on utube last night so here I go once again! summer two years ago...Pat and I were spiritual directors at a TEC retreat as we celebrated our 30th anniversary there!  We used the song by Danielle Rose called Small Things with Great Love... TEC is a Catholic retreat offered to those that are 16 to older!  It is truly geared to the young and we love that about it and appreciate that they accept old out of it adults... such as ourselves!  Danielle as I shared last night is from Duluth and writes her music in front of the blessed sacrament... Two summers ago... she was entering a convent of Sisters in New Orleans to discern whether the Lord was calling her to religious life and she put a message on Utube called "I will see you in the Eucharist."  Such a powerful witness and many of the young people that were working or making the retreat with us... watched it! I must end this... but I will mention first that there is a TEC retreat going on this weekend... Lord, be with all those at this wonderful opportunity for a closer walk with you!  WE fall at your feet this day in humble grattiude and praise!  Jesus we trust in You!  Bless-bless, Barb