Saturday, April 30, 2011

Very tired from emotion!

Out to check on our wounded calf, Oliver... we decided to no longer worry about the wounds that are healing nicely, but now to splint the foot that drops... Saying "Hail Marys" while we are wrapping and up he gets and walks on his hoof for the first time in a month!  WE are hopeful and prayerful!  The dramatic sky catches my attention as this heifer has its attention on me - photo op! 

In the house - Johnna and Herbert meet in Hervie's domain - the basement... Johnna is all warmed up and...
Pat comes on the 4 wheeler to take her out to momma - the report is that Johnna nursed on her mother and her mother knew her after she had been in the house for the morning! "Now they are laying together in some nice bedding."
Our Lady of the Clothes line - strong winds and patchy sun through the gorgeous clouds... dry clothes in short order and almost ripped off the clothesline by the gale force winds!
Watching the vigil in the Circus Maximus in Rome... I wept and always scanning the crowd for those religious wearing blue.  Saying the Rosary along with all the many countries with Mary shrines!  I am exhausted by the emotion of it all!  On the news it had the photographer that I quoted this morning and he showed the picture I described of John Paul hanging on the cross near his death.. I grabbed a picture... I will rise early to see the Beatification at 1:30a!  I am so much moved by all of this! 
Jesus, I trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

My heart is in Rome today..."Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16

How wonderful is the Easter Cross for 2011!  Our "most cherished Cross!"  Nancy and Bill finding their partner after waiting for many hopeful years and soon to embrace the fruit of their love their precious son, John's embracing of his healing and going forth into the "new normal,"  Maria and Joseph into the military with their little family, Hallel and her following her call to be the bride of Christ which has taken an ocean away to France and to Rome for this weekend of the most amazing proportions - the Beatification of my most wonderful John Paul II... I am totally with her there, and was just saying today that I would love to have Susan/Hallel pick me up some of the memorabelia that will be everywhere, but without a phone to contact her or a penny in her pocket...that will not happen!  Sigh! She has definitely embraced a life of poverty, and to walk away from all the material things of the world is a good thing, but............ I sure would love to have some of the stuff they are selling to commemorate this day of all days in my lifetime... of someone, who has been so much involved in my marriage and life as a new Catholic over all these last 40 years! 

My little article is cute and short in our local paper today... I have only seen it on line and am not sure if they used the amazing picture I sent of Paul and Ruth getting their marriage blessed by him in 2003... But here is the link if you would like to read it -  Pat is convinced that there has to be more or that it is in the paper in conjuction with other articles about the event, but we haven't seen the actual paper yet, so are not sure... I am just relieved that she sweetly shared some of my amazing personal journey and it is just right that she misspelled our Hallel's name.  It just marks it as our small town paper, and we almost expect to see that.  It really is my fault that I did not think to spell it out to her on the phone.  It is a very unusual name...
I so love the article that they printed in our Marshall paper yesterday rather than the semi negative one I was quoted in... Thank you Lord for that!  It is by the man , who was his personal photographer for all 27 years of being Pope, and how there is no shadow of a doubt in his mind that this was a living saint!  This probably isn't the picture he is speaking about but Auturo Mari shared this touching powerful story..."Along them is Mari's most iconic photograph or John Paul just days before he died.  It shows John Paul sitting in his private chapel, holding a crucifix as he watched the Good Friday procession on TV, too sick to participate himself in the re-enactment  of Christ's death that takes place every year in the Colosseum. 
The image is heartbreaking, a pope clutching a crucifix on Good Friday as he himself nears death, resting the cross against his brow in prayer.
"Look at his hands, the strength of his hands, how he grips the cross!" Mari marveled as he studied the photograph.  "Look, they're red!  He's working really hard. You can see his great suffering, it's like all his life was on that cross."  Wow!  I wept as I read this!  Many asked for him to step down as his Parkinsons progressed, yet he stayed there to model how to die for the world - something that we are all going to do someday... as I have always said about hospice - dying is just part of life! 
Yes, my heart and soul and mind are in Rome today!  I picure Hallel with the wonderful community in Rome - the ones, who she met while studying there and she began to listen to His call... her beloved Rome and for her a place where her heart dwells all the time - the Heart of His Church!  She must be in a constant state of JOY and celebration!  I am so there with her every moment that even the intrusions of life are brief distractions.  Like....

Baby Bertha - a granddaughter of Bertha - found out in the rain this morning... we just rubbed her dry and warmed her up and she should be fine, but my heart jumped when Pat yelled up from the basement for me to help him!   I want to add a name for John Paul's special day like Johnna Bertha!  She will forever be a symbol of this weekend and all that is going on with our two children John and Hallel! 

John got an amazing email from an uncle this morning, who has sold insurance for alomst 40 years, and I was so moved in his powerful words - "The insurance "internships" and license will be here when he gets back, and will always be there. The opportunity to be able to live and work within the religious community in France, and be nearer to his Sister Hallel, and contemplate his miracle is as close to getting a phone call from God as it gets!"  John has since called to check on his passport being up to date... There is so much hope in my heart for this to happen for him! 

Lord, I am in such a state of awe and wonder today as my most favorite man in all the world and now standing at your right hand in heaven is to be honored and called just steps away from being a "saint!"  For Hallel to have the gift of being there to honor this man, whom she has loved within the arms of her Mother Church in Rome!  I am filled with such JOY!  My heart is truly there with her, and if John does go to be with her for the summer... I know that my heart will be with the two of them in the heart of the Community of the Lamb!  Jesus, I am so overwhelmed by your love and amazing gifts!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb
The amazing rays of divine light that greeted us after the rain overnight!  Now the wind and sun and I am out to put a large load of clothes on the line - Our Lady of the Clothesline pray for us!
“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.”  soon to be Blessed John Paul II

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mary smiles...

My special granddaughter, Mary, age 5 and I have a close bond after I was her daycare provider for her first 3 years of life... from 6 weeks old, I had her here with her brother, Simon for 2-3 days a week while their mom worked in the local hospital as a nurse half time.  We shared adventures around the farm, and many books - her favorite - Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet... we have read it thousands of times and started with the fast version with clip clops on my knees and only in the last year have gone to the reading of the entire story!  Yesterday she stopped in to drop off her little brother while she was off to shop and go to her brother's spring concert at school... We hugged and said that we would have to spend a day together soon - "We can paint and go see the cows and calves (Mary has a favorite - Snowball)."  "And grandma there is that other thing that you love to do."said Mary to me.  "What is that Mary?"  "Say your rosary, grandma, while I rest and read books like Cowardly Clyde."  I lept up, laughing and clapping my hands!  She truly knows her grandma inside and out!  Praise Him!
Hail Mary - watch over your sheep!  Praying John's decade in front of Jesus last evening - I am totally confident that John's future is in the Lord's hands... if I could trust in His being in control, and give my son to Him with the horror of brain cancer... I certainly can know without a shadow of a doubt that He has amazing mysterious plans for his future ahead!  Jesus, I trust in you! 
And I did get a special adventure with Mary, after the concert, on the straw bales on a beautiful spring afternoon... she found some twine strings and tied them around the buds coming forth on the trees... what a perspective up on top of the bales on the back of the pickup in the warm radiant sun! 
A thoughtful moment to take in all of the wonder of God's creation on the farm... Life is a masterpeice and we are the most amazing work of art in the midst of it all!
Roger gets some snuggles in the sun.  Mary can make grandma and a small beast smile inside and out!  The world is a brighter and more special place with the gift of every child!
Mary on the back of the truck filled with straw bales - it was April 2008 and she was just about 2 years old! Roger is there too, and it was so fun to redo a special adventure on the farm... now 3 years later!  Bless-bless, Barb

The disciple whom Jesus loved said.."It is the Lord." John 21

In a few hours I will be interviewed for our local paper.  The topic will be John Paul II, and this happened as a result of my mentioning to them that there was an AP article written this week in which I was quoted... then I qualified it by saying that I was OK with the article, but I had so much more that I wanted to share about him, and the usual bringing in of the sex abuse issue was a disappointment too.  If you are interested... here is the link -
One of my pictures of St Peters at night...  Well, the local paper went from putting the AP story in today to not doing that and instead interviewing me about my deep love for him.  I am kind of happy about this, because I hope to gush profusely about the meaning the man has had for me in my life and continues to...  I just am praying for the Holy Spirit to take over and for the words meant to be shared to come forth.  He is so interwoven in so many powerful experiences in my life that I get bogged down in all the details and I need to be concise and yet share from the heart!  I attempted to write my sharing of what he meant to me for the National Catholic Register, and wrote 4 pages! 
Maria, now a wife of an army officer with two children, with two priests then deacon/seminarians in Feb of 2003 - Pat and I had gone to Rome for 10 days while Maria was studying there for the year and discerning a call to cloistered life at a Poor Clare!  I dug out the few pictures from Rome that I can find... my album is among the missing - ST Anthony,St Anthony! Trying to crystalize how deeply John Paul II came to be the heart of our domestic Church - our family!  Pat and I knew what the Church upheld as Truth when it came to our marriage being a sacrament and our openess to family.  We were very clear on that, but found many others - all those that were on our engagement weekend with us- that discounted the call to being open to children, and were going to have no children to the preached at 2!  I had the second of 10 tell me at one point that she wanted her kids to have all that she wasn't able to have growing up!  How can siblings ever be compared to things?  And Barb is off on one of her tangents once again!
Where does John Paul II come into all this?  About 2 months after we were married!  And what a champion for family and marriage he was!  So often he would be bombarded by those that thought that the Church was archaic in their stands... thinking that they should allow those making up the Body of Christ - the Church to use artificial birth control, and limit their families size.  But he stood firm, and how could he waver from the Truth!  Early on I read the term "domestic Church" and that was a bell within me that continues to ring loud and clear to this day!  We knew that along with being open to the children the Lord had for us that along with it came the responsibility and the joy of raising them in the faith!  We took that very seriously in our home and as a family we worshiped with great excitement together every Sunday morning... usually to the early mass as Pat milked cows morning and night!  "You would come into mass with all those girls with ribbons in their hair and then you had that boy!"  So many have marveled at our family over the years!  A witness to family and all the blessings that means to us!  We found a sure guide and champion for family in John Paul II...His theology of the Body - brought God into the bedroom in a very glorious way - "free, total, faithful, fruitful love!"  The joy that can be found there and for those, like my daughter Ruth,who must space their children due to physical limitations... there is the powerful journey of a couple that follows the abstinance on days of fertility - how strengthening for a couple and showing their love and devotion one for the other!  A gift in the form of a Cross!
With Maria in 2003 in Rome!  John Paul was still pope and was slowly losing his health due to Parkinsons disease... we saw him the first day we arrived at a general Audience!  We walked down to St Peters and this beautiful sight met our eyes...

A beautiful bride in front of the fountain in St Peter's square - we asked to take a picture - only later at the audience did we realize that there were over 20 couples dressed in their wedding clothes and going forth to have their marriage blessed by the ailing pope!  She became a total symbol of the blessing that John Paul had been to us in our marriage as a Catholic couple raising "lights to the world."

Then 9 months later he was well enough to bless the marriage of our eldest daughter, Ruth and her husband Paul.. just days after they wed!  This graces our home and is a reminder of how important John Paul was to us in our marriage!  I think that this is the offficial picture for his beatification this weekend!  His feast day will be October 22 each year...Well, there is too much going on inside of me... I need to take some time for prayer before I speak from the heart.  I know that the Lord has come into the world in a powerful way and now stands at the feet of the Lord and Our Lady interceding for all of our needs.  John Paul come and help me this day to spread the message of family and life and love in its truest sense that you revealed to the world in a most powerful way!

I recently found the pictures that Susan, now little sister Hallel had taken while she visited her sister, Maria, in Rome over Christmas of 2002... this was one of her most prized photos - showing the result of John Paul looking at all the saints represented in St Peter's sqare, and there are many... and his comment was; "But where is Our Lady?"   She was his mother as his own had died at a young age.. how he loved her!  So this special image was added and how I love that.   I picture him always in a state of prayer to her to intercede for all of the needs of the world!  Wow!

Photo taken by Hallel at Christmas midnight mass in 2002 - he lived a slow suffering death until April 2, 2005!  Jesus and your wonderful Mother of the heaven and earth, be with me this morning in all that I share... may the beauty and Truth of your wonderful Church come through as I share from my heart and soul.  May the Family and Domestic Church shine forth as the true way we are called to come into the culture of LIFE!  May the words touch the lives of those that are called to read it.  Use the life of this saint in our time to show the Way, the Truth and the Life!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
This picture of Susan/little sister Hallel in Rome is so appropriate now as she is there but in her blue habit and viel... how I will be glued to her on the TV... hoping to catch a glimpse of that blue!  For those interested the vigil will begin tomorrow, Saturday at 12:30p and last through the afternoon.  Then the beatification will begin at 1A on Sunday and go until 5a... I will be glued to the TV! 
"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."

Pope John Paul II
The Pope's last audible words, on hearing tens of thousands of young people singing in St. Peter's Square as he lay in his deathbed, Friday, April 1, 2005: "I sought you out and now you come to me. Thank you."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Straw bales over 20 years old, but still glorious!

With the cold wet spring and over 100 calves to keep healthy - Pat has had to dig out the last of his square straw bales out of the hay mow of the barn over at Ed's... we figure that they are about as old as John - 22years -I lucked out that they were still in the back of the pickup, so I pulled it out into the sun for some fun and amazing photo shoot... it started with Dave and Herbie...
Then a repeat of 3 years ago with Simon and Roger...
Mary now 5 instead of 2 "Celebrating!" 
And such a beautiful sunny bright and wonderful as this day that we have longed for, for a long long time!  Thank you Jesus! 

"incredulous for joy" Luke 24:35-48

meaning of incredulous - skeptical or disbelieving, unable of unwilling to believe something... unwilling to admit or accept what is offered as true... I just looked up the meaning of this word and was surprised in a way to discover that the feeling of disbelief at seeing the risen Christ had not disappeared as they looked at his hands and feet..."that it is I myself.  Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." Although he had told them many times that he would die and rise on the 3rd day - they could not find the ability to BELIEVE!
The amazing Gospel for today is the time in Luke 24 where Jesus has just walked on the road to Emmaus and they had recognized him in the breaking of the bread... then Christ is suddenly in their midst - they are terrified that it is a ghost!  Yet, even after they see and touch him...they are still incredulous... unable to believe the TRUTH!  He is alive!

Easter joy was not within them..."incredulous for joy"... it took the Holy Spirit's decending upon them for the TRUTH to become within their hearts and believable, and by that time Christ had ascended to the Father and was no longer walking with them on earth! 
It is truly crazy to think about how He had to leave this world and send His Spirit to us...for us to believe and be filled with the fire of His Love - and the strength to go out and spread the Gospel!  I look so often to amazing St Paul, who like us never walked the earth with Christ - yet is one of his most on fire apostles - the whole Gentile world coming to Christ through his efforts and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! 

In the Gospel Christ once again "opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And he said to them,'Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentence, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations... You are witnesses to these things.' "  It just shows how important the Word is to us and that it truly is Christ in our lives! 

"All the holiness God has destined for our souls has been placed in the humanity of Christ, and it is from this source that we must draw."  (Blessed Columba Marmion)  Those who dare to look at his wounds and live as "witnesses to these things" hear the risen Christ say, "Peace be with you."  see

May the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us make us accepting and sharing of the JOY of Easter...not incredulous that we are truly changed and filled with His Love!  Our sins have been nailed to his most cherished Cross and are no longer a reason for us to be seperated from HIM!  May we continue to lay our burdens at His feet and rise to Him in newness of LIFE! 

Jesus, the look of sheer joy on these little faces is how we should be within our soul as we "see" you alive! No longer dead and in the grave, but alive for each and every one of us!  We are filled with the belief that we are cleansed and made whole to love and serve you with our lives and most importantly within our families!  May we show our love in all that we do, and may the fruits of the Spirit...the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity (or love), joy, peace, patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long suffering), mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity." By their fruits you will know them."  May our lives and our families reflect these fruits for all the world to see and wonder!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia! 

Bless-bless, Barb
Words of St Paul from his letter to the Hebrews 4: 14-16
"Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus,the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help."

So many crazy and amazing thoughts for my two youngest these days... Hallel/Susan is on her way to Rome to be there with hundreds of thousands to celebrate the beatification of our beloved John Paul II!
So my heart is in Rome....
How I loved him!  I just was quoted in a somewhat dissappointing article by Associated Press about my love for him!

Then to go through the emotions of John's decision to go to France for the summer or not... I am usually a river of tears and praying like crazy!  Jesus, I know that you are in control of this and will show us the path to go down!  Jesus, we trust in you! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Lilly Wednesday!

Easter Sunday isn't the end of Easter - It's all week long!  Today is Easter Wednesday and Ruth reported that her husband, the local Ag teacher, had been gifted with all the left over Easter lillies from a local grocery store... She had clustered them around their Mary statue - The wind had beat them a bit, but still pretty as a picture!  A purely wonderful and joyful way to keep the Easter greeting of JOY and HAPPINESS growing and showing!
The tie of Mother to mother with her precious child, who loves both mothers!
What joy fills my heart and soul!  Easter JOY that never ends!  My cup overflows!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb