- The amazing story of the 13 becoming Catholic!
- Our marriage stories - "The world needs LIGHTS!"
- John's cancer stories
- Now the stories of John's 4 sisters...Ruth, Nancy, Maria, and Susan/Little Sister Hallel!
- Susan Angela Agnes/Little Sister Hallel - the story of a Call
- The story of little Lamb - grandson Patrick
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The blessings of our faith and our family.... My cup overflows after an hour at my husband's side in front of the creator of this marvelous universe!
I arrived home this morning after a good night at the nursing home to find my husband outside looking at the rain guage - 1.6 inches of beautiful rain! - and getting ready to work on a grain bin getting ready for harvest. He offered to come in with me to have breakfast and do our morning prayer.... Then I would crawl into that wonderful bed for most of the day. Morning prayer began with what I knew had to be a "Hallel psalm" and sure enough it was a grand Hallel psalm which they call the ones that are around psalm 100! It was 104 and it was amazing!
"Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
"You stretch out the heavens like a tent.
Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you walk on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servants.
You founded the earth on its base,
to stand firm from age to age.
I will sing to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live.
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.
Bless the Lord , my soul."
So appropriate for what we just experienced with our amazing God and Savior! My hands were lifted praise and supplication as on my knees next to Pat... we beheld the Savior of the World and knew of his love and care for us and all our needs!The two flower girls in total peace and contentment... both fell asleep during the wedding... grandpa had to carry Therese out but Mary woke and walked out on her own...
I had shared earlier that Nancy and Bill had chosen an amazing Gospel.. I think that it is called the High Priest prayer if I am right! They had just studied the Theology of the Body together, in which JP2 had presented to us the beauty of the uniting of man and woman in the sacrament of marriage, and how being open to life in every act of intimacy is what will bring us to the culture of Life, and will bring that amazing gift of life into the world! What I love about natural methods of preventing children, when it is necessary, is that the Lord is still in the picture and we are still open to the Lord's plan for us! All of the readings they chose for mass were in keeping with what they had learned, and embraced as they studied this wonderful way that we have been given to understand the teachings of the Church when it comes to marriage and being open to family... in the Theology of the Body. In Genesis 2:18-24 they focused on how woman was made from man to complete him.... "This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called 'woman', for out of 'her man' this one has been taken." That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body."The psalm - #66 - "Let all the earth cry out to God in Joy!"
Their second reading was the amazing yet controversial one from Ephesians 5:2, 21-33
"Brothers and sisters: Live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us. Be subordinate to one another out of reverenece for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the Church, he himself the savior of the body. As the Church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything."
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the Church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body."
I will never forget when I first heard Christopher West talk about the message of the Theology of the Body... Ruth and I were traveling half an hour away to look at her wedding pictures just after their wedding... her cousin, Fr Paul Timmerman, had given Paul and Ruth a copy of him.... sharing in terms that we all can understand... the message of the gift of being open to life and the sharing of our bodies one to the other within the state of Holy Matirmony....We put in the CD and listened with tears and acclamations of joy and excitement... It was my mother's message of how there are different yet equally important roles for husband and wife, and the headship of the husband! My mom has since early in her pentecostal years had the "submission of wives to their husbands" as a message that she has shared with booklets and slideshows... to hear a young man speaking it in exciting terms of the right order in a marriage was exciting! I wept for joy at the wisdom of the Holy Father, and now to see that the young couples are being instructed in this and all the beautiful truths of faith and being open to family within the sacarament of Marriage is thrilling!How amazing to get such a wonderful start on marriage... to know going in that it is right a proper for them to have their disticnt and right roles to play as they united.... as one represent the love of Christ and His Bride, the Church! How He gave himself for her out of love and how she looks to Him as her Head! From evening prayer tonight - Song of Songs 3:4
"When I found him whom my heart loves, I took hold of him and would not let him go."
So much to take in! It is all so wonderful and such a gift that young couples can have this kind of a beginning to their lives together! Thank you, Lord!"How can I describe, Jesus, how gently and tenderly you guide me?" St Therese of Lissieux
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: Rejoice!" Phil 4:4
I need to get a rest before another overnight in the nursing home... Jesus, we are forever changed by all the blessings that you bestow upon us through our faith and our family! WE fall before you on our knees and ask that you forgive our weaknesses and use us, as unworthy as we are, to serve you in all that we say and do! Jesus we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!Bless-bless, Barb
Awake at 3:30p to a wonderful sunny day... after listening to the rain all night at the nursing home.
It was a delight to see my son in law, Joseph, as well as my dad up on the altar for Nancy and Bill's high nuptial mass! As my dad stood up in the pulpit to read the Gospel and preach... the beautiful vestments he wore... as you can see there was a cross that showed on his chest in the fabric. The Gospel they chose was John 17:20-23. They shared with me before that all of their readings were chosen due to their studying with Fr Pederson, The Theology of the Body.... I would like to quote it here as it is so absolutely amazing from the perspective of marriage!
"Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: "Holy Father, I pray not only for these. but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, that you loved them even as you loved me."My wonderful husband just showed up after a long hard day working in a hot bin, and reminded me that adoration is today. WE are shortly to leave, and I am looking forward to the best hour of the week, when I kneel before my Lord and look into his glorious "face." I at some point put each one of our family right there with Jesus... as I go down the litany of our wonderful families. Jesus knows them each intimately and knows how to minister to them, so I simply lift them up each to him one by one. After the joy of sharing with our huge families over this last weekend at two amazing celebrations... they are especially close and dear to me right now... after sharing this most powerful experience of Nancy and Bill becoming one! I will return with my face aglow after encountering his amazing Glory at this special hour! Jesus I trust in you!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Nancy with her precious 5 year old Godson, Simon Lanoue... He had his first day of school today as a kindergartener, and reports are that when he got home tonight he couldn't stop talking about how wonderful it was! Nancy has been a wonderful loving and caring Godmother, and Simon has responded to her always with utmost love and they have a very special bond. I was thrilled today to read about the widow that is so important to the community of the Lamb... I had forgotten that Jesus mentions her to those in his home town when he goes in to read from the scripture to them about...."The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has annointed me to bring glad tiding to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." It is a quote from Isaiah that is now quoted in Luke. The people from his home town are impressed but know that he is a humble carpenter's son, and shrug it off. That is when he mentions Elijah and the widow. So good to see her mentioned again! Thank you Lord!Frances Hogan writes in the meditation of the day..."Jesus said that his mission was to preach the good news to the poor, but what type of poverty? Later he gives the examples of two OT people who were helped by the Lord through his prophets. One was a poor widow, the other was a rich man impoverished by his illness. the poverty consists of our need for God. Some may be rich, like the tax collector, but be poor morally and spiritually. Our need for healing and redemption puts us all into the category of the poor, as well as those who are marginalized by their social position. The good news for the poor was that Jesus came to set the captives free. To release the captives not only means the release of prisoners of war, but Luke uses it with the special meaning of "forgiveness", meaning the release from slavery of sin, and the crushing power of Satan. Jesus will be anxious to free anyone from any bondage in order to release them to become sons and daughters of God.""Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be. They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them; For he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water." Is 49:9-10... I was just looking at evening prayer for tonight and thought that this was wonderful! I today had to go into my old place of work - the hospice office - to finish up some paper work... I saw a couple of the wonderful friends and nurses that I have had for many years there... In sharing with them the beauty and the power of the last few days...I could not hold back the tears as I shared not about Nancy, but about John! He told me that the first slow dance at Nancy's wedding he wanted to dance with me, and during that dance he told me with such emotion... "thank you mom for all you did for me over this last year... You were amazing." I wept so hard and just thinking about it now I am writing through tears! John is now gone to the state fair for the week and then will be up there for school to start next Wed. He came home with us last night and slept some and then I drove him 10 miles away to jump in a pickup with a trailer of pigs and travel through the night up to St Paul again. On the way in the car, he bid me farewell with once again the heartfelt thanks and I held back the tears as he asked me not to cry. But when I was sharing the whole entire story with the other nurses today... all I could say over and over was; " What a year it has been... John's cancer, Susan/Hallel and her community and huge step into religious life, Bill and Nancy dating,courting and marriage, and a new job for me now." Weeping and moved so powerfully... yet so grateful for all of it.... every last bit of it!The roses lay at the foot of the altar in rememberance of all those that have gone before us... We all feel that they are here with us and joining in with us at this wonderful celebration! I was just talking to my sister, Mary, today... promising her that I will daily lift up her daughter, Audrey, who came to the wedding and we connected with after over a year! I promised Mary that I would pray for Audrey each day with the mystery I pray for Nancy, and I know that Mary is appreciative of that! Looking at those 6 roses also make me feel that my 6 children are being honored and remembered for me on a personal note.Nancy's joy was so much more complete to have her brother healthy and there to support her and share in her day. I need to go to take a nap before working the night shift... I will either be floating on air or dragging... Lord give me the strength! Bless-bless, Barb
The wedding feast at Cana... Christ blesses our weddings with his powerful presence and miracles of JOY!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The combined journey of this last year came rushing upon me with the wedding from beginning to end and beyond....
I find myself with great fatigue sitting here tonight, as we just arrived home about an hour ago, and after unpacking and sorting through my many pictures here on the computer... I will start to share but not sure how far I will get or if I can truly put into words what this weekend has meant to me and our family! The true emotions came over me as just ahead of me John, my 21 year old son with whom we have been on an unbelievable cancer journey since a year ago... walked his two grandmothers down the aisle ahead of coming back to take me down. Watching him slowly walk them down with his slight unsteadiness... caused the tears to come rushing forth out of gratitude that he is here healthy and healing of all that the cancer has done to him, but also what finding the cancer has done to him... Now just days from leaving for college and letting him go back to "life"... I find it very wonderfully emotional!Then to have my 85 year old father be the deacon for them along with my son in law, Joseph, as the altar server.... It was a thing of beauty to watch them do the "high" nuptial mass uniting Nancy and Bill in the sacrament of Marriage! Nancy and Bill had labored over every part of their mass and wanted it to be the focus of their wedding day, and it was truly glorious to behold! There was such a powerful combination of all that the year has held just engulfing me with emotion, and the tears were rivers at times! Bill had been so interwoven throughout the last year as just before we went to France, Nancy and Bill had started dating, and then with all the stays up in the Cities at the house that Nancy shared with Maria and her family... we saw so much of Bill... and watched he and Nancy fall in love, and were there to support and celebrate the day that he proposed to her in April... and now 4 months later the glory of their union in a full and wonderful mass showing that Christ is first in their lives! How the neices and nephews love their Nancy and Bill and were so excited to be a part of their wedding! We are so blessed to have them here with us now as Nancy has waited years longer than her sisters for this to happen. Yes, there have been some tears over the years and many prayers on her mother's part and I am sure on Bill's mother's part as well as each of them... "Where is the person for me to love, Lord?" They were glowing in their delight that waiting for the right person had now been rewarded with all they had ever hoped for! How Nancy loves her dad and admires how he is open and willing and wanting to be someone she can talk to even every day... and that is very often the case many times a day sometimes if there is some issue to deal with... I knew a long time ago that she was looking for a man like her dad, and she truly did find him in Bill! Thank you Lord for answering her prayer and for the wonderful man she can now call her own... "most cherished cross."Then there was the part of the feelings that had to do with Hallel not being able to be there for this family occassion of all family occassions! She is so intermixed in the last year as Nancy's Matron of Honor, her sister Maria, shared in her speech...John's cancer brought Susan/Hallel home from France and she could meet Bill, and then he was able to go to Kansas City and meet her within her community there and was touched as we all were by their prayer and poverty! Nancy and Susan have always been very close and to not have her share in this day was powerfully hard and yet so moving in a very love deepening way! Yes, we would have loved to have her there with us, but the fact that we all had to sacrifice her sharing with us in person made it a cross that became the tree of life! We knew that she was with us spiritually and when she got ahold of us today... we laughed and we cried together!The opening hymn had me in a state of a river of tears.... Without the music, which is enough to make you cry with the beauty of it and then to add the words! I know that I need to end this tonight as it is so very deep and hard to get it presented truly as it is to me... I will end with these amazing words as the tears run from my eyes once again at the amazing gift and wonder at the year we have experienced as a family! Add to that another new grandson just a few days before Christmas and my changing jobs.... it has been about as crazy unbelievable year as we could have ever thought could happen to us...
"O God beyond All Praising"
1. O God beyond all praising, we worship you today
And sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder at ev'ry gift you send,
At blessings without number and mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word
We honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.
2.Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
That we who know your favor may serve you as our king:
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
We'll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still:
To marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise."Nancy and Bill have centered their dating and courtship on Christ by sharing mass and adortion.... they wanted the focus to be on Him, and that was so beautifully done in the wonder of the nuptial mass filled with incense and bells and all the beauty that can be found in all the special parts of a "high" mass! Every part was a blessing and a gift to all of us present to start their lives off together with Him firmly between them and foremost of importance in their lives together as one! Lord, how they love you and go forward filled with hope and trust in you there with them - helping them to embrace all that comes their way! Jesus we trust in you and thank you for all the gifts of this last year, and how it all comes together into a huge cross- tree of life! Amen and Halleluia! Bless-bless, Barb