Monday, May 30, 2011

Emotions are high and hope remains in our hearts.

How wonderful is our new grandson!  Home now... Pat drove me home this morning after spending the night with his new wonderful grandon... and checking in with Nancy, and pleased with the good news as they adjust to each other and appreciate the newness of family... Augustine has brought to their marriage! 
Grandpa's large hands really are amazing... and Gus seems to feel secure resting in them.  He seemed very peaceful and relaxed meeting his grandpa for the first time!  Maybe someday yours will be that big too!  Hard to imagine that now though.
We continue to hope and pray for Maria and grandchild #7... we will pray and support and love.  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!  Bless-bless, Barb

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pat and John are on their way to see Gus!

Maria with her kids and new nephew, baby Augustine. two days ago.  Pat is coming up to see Gus for the first time, and Maria is at home resting and praying.  How we continue to hope for our 7th grandchild's welfare at the same time that we are celebrating the arrival of our 6th one.  Pat plans to get to know his grandson as Nancy feeds him through the night.   In between - he will probably be the one that will hold him and enjoy his little warm body in his arms.  He is a delight and his grandpa is a wonderful man that he will always look up to  - literally - and every other way too.  A wonderful role model as a wonderful Catholic family man!  
Johnny with baby Dave... our family is in the midst of drawing together to support and love and trust and hope... we are filled with the wonder of the most Cherished Cross - the Life giving Tree of Life!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

"Beloved: Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.  Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope...  Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit." I Peter 3: 15-18 The amazing second reading from mass today!

Reassurance for Nancy and worry for Maria...

Just a few days ago I was in Missouri with Maria,Joe and their family...  Nancy had surprised us with the arrival of Augustine two weeks early.  Now on day 4 he has just been to his first mass with his parents since birth, and just before was in the clinic with a glowing report of gaining 5 ozs in just a day and a half and looking to be doing wonderfully in every way!  As Nancy and Bill knelt in mass wiping tears at the blessing in their arms... our thoughts and prayers were with Maria and her anxiety as she worries about her 6 week pregnancy!  

I am to the point of getting in the car with Maria to head back to be with her husband in Missouri!  She should not be traveling alone in the uncertainty of this pregnancy.  We rejoiced to know that they found the heartbeat yesterday evening, but still knowing that there is a 50-50 chance of it going either way!  I am grateful to be able to leave once again and to be assured of getting her little family safely home!   So the saga is continuing with all of the ups and downs filling us with the knowledge that we are the Lord's and He is in control!
Lord, we are little helpless lambs and we need you to rescue us and carry us down the path.... Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

Psalm 23 (New International Version)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David. 1 "The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.
 5 You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Easter continues - Family comes first

6th week of Easter... The Lord's Day... we are off to the doctor with Gus and Nancy to check his bilirubin and Nancy's anxiety that is getting in the way of her sleeping in the intervals between feeding her son.  We gathered in prayer before going to bed last night and beseeched Mary and Jesus and Joseph - the Holy Family to intercede for us.
Nancy just reported that the night went well.  I had to tell the nursing home that family needs me and that I couldn't make it there to work this morning.  There are times when family comes before all else! Jesus, we trust in you.  Go with us this morning and thank you for always being there carrying us like lambs when we are weak.  Bless-bless, Barb
We should be ever mindful of the end of our lives, and live each day as if it might be our last. This prayer to Christ, asking Him to grant us the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph at the hour of our death, is a good evening prayer.

For the Protection of the Holy Family

Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Prayers for Maria and the baby...

Blessing pancakes with the 5 little ones yesterday morning.  Maria had come with me here to welcome little Augustine into the world.  We had to travel 10 hours from Missouri, but it had gone smoothly.  Today just as I was struggling to get tomorrow off, so that I can be here for Nancy a bit longer.... the first one is so much of an adjustment.  Just when I knew that I would be here for them, Pat called with the shocking news that he was taking Maria into the ER as she had started spotting.  The old feelings of anxiety and worry started to set in with my history... I started to think the worst.
A table full gives me delight.... family meals are big and loud and sticky when syrup is involved!  Maria called to let me know that the had seen the heartbeat and that they are now trying to get her a progesterone shot before he leaves the ER.  We are grateful that she is still pregnant, but she knows that it is still 50-50 that the pregnancy will continue on to a healthy baby.  

So let us pray tonight for Maria and for all life in the womb - that it be protected from harm and loved as a life.  Jesus, we thank you for the heartbeat of life and we ask that you be with our grandchild and Maria.  We love you and thank you for all the ways that we look to you for help with our families and all that is happening within and without them!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb the humble and fervent
Prayer of John Paul II for LifeO Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
John Paul II

Pope John Paul II
Encyclical Letter "The Gospel of Life"
Given in Rome, on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995.

Prayer to St. Michael ArchangelSaint Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince 

Prayers for assistance to Mary...

I had the delightful job of watching the 3 boys while the girls went shopping for infant sized sleepers at a local thrift store.  We went out and spotted the statue of Mary that has a history within our family.  I happened to be in a big Catholic gift store here in the Cities with Susan/Hallel as she was heading home from the discernment house in May of 2008.  She chose this statue of Mary as one that she liked the best of the ones there,and I bought it.  Every time I look at it I think of Hallel and her love for Our Lady.
When Maria and Joe bought their home in St Paul about a year later... it left my deck where she looked after me and my home and took up residence in their back yard among the hostas.  That house became the port in the storm for our family as Nancy lived with Maria and her little family there as she started her  courtship with Bill and up until their marriage. It was also where John and I spent a lot of time as we dealt with his brain cancer from Father's Day through the winter and daily radiation.  We celebrated Thanksgiving there with Hallel, who had come back from France to be with us and drive John for a week of radiation before she headed back to Kansas City.  Such a wonderful gift to have this home away from home filled with the family of our married daughter, Maria, with her two little ones, and Nancy as her prayers were answered by Bill!  
Two years ago...she drew the little children to her and she watched over us on our huge hard family journey called cancer/healing!  Next she helped Maria and Joe sell their house as Joe was answering a personal and spiritual call to enter the military.  After their house sold - it came to reside in the yard of Nancy and Bill's new home. And yesterday the two Davids and I took some rocks and made her a more stable platform to stand on amongst the hostas at the base of a tree.  How the boys love her and grandma had to tell them that this Mary was chosen by Aunt Little sister Hallel!  
So today with struggles of adjusting to the first baby for Nancy - her milk is in and Gus is adjusting to breast feeding.  There was a reminder that Mary went through this with her newborn, Jesus.  And that she certainly can be asked for assistance, and just about then Gus latched on and got a good breakfast and Nancy had a smile of relief and contentment on her face.
"Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."  Luke 2:19
Why not look to Mary's assistance for those hard things along the way - especially those things that involve being a mother and all that that means and includes... from caring for a newborn and the worries and frustrations that comes with that to the Cross of brain cancer in your 20 year old son.  She is there to comfort and to help!  I got through all these years and all that a mother faces with her always there with me and a rosary in every pocket that I own!  How I love her and am forever blessed to have her in my life and helping me to be anywhere near the Mother of the Universe, the Mother of the Savior of the World, the Mother of God, the Mother of us all!  
Jesus and Mary, One minute I am singing to little Augustine a Jesus song and the next minute we are asking for the help of your mother... we are filled with wonder and awe to have so much assistance with us every step of the journey of our lives.  Gus in now 3 days old and has come to know you in song and prayer and in assistance from you.  We are so grateful for the hard times when we call out in our need!  When we are weak- you come to us and carry us forward down the path laid out for us.  We thank you for the wonder of a new little one to care for, and know that your mother faced all that we are facing in these early days after your birth.  WE can place our entire trust in you, and know that we are not alone. Jesus and Mary, we trust in you!  Amen and Halellulia!
Bless-bless from Aunt Maria, Uncle John, and Barb the fervent and humble

Chosen through Mary

"When the archangel Gabriel was sent by God to the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce to her the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God in her chaste womb, he saluted her in these terms:  "Hail, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women" (Lk 1:28)  These words, the most auspicious that any creature has heard, have been repeated from age to age upon the lips of Christians, and from the depths of the valley of tears they cease not to repeat... to the Mother of the Savior: "Hail, Mary!"  The hierarchies of heaven deputed one of their chiefs to address to the humble daughter of David this glorious salutation, and now that she is seated above the angels and all the celestial chiors, and human race, of whom she is the daughter and the sister, addresses to her here below the angelical salutation: "Hail Mary!"  When she heard it for the first time from the mouth of Gabriel, she conceived immediately in her most chaste womb the Word of God:  and now, every time that a human voice repeats to her these words, which were the signal of her maternity, her heart is moved by the remembrance of a moment which had none like it in heaven or on earth, and all eternity is filled with the happiness which she experienced."  Now that's the epitome of JOY!
Fr Lacordaire (1861) was a great Dominican preacher who refounded the Order of Preachers in France after the French Revolution

Friday, May 27, 2011

Therese reads him his first story at day 2

Nancy and Bill took a nap and little Gus wasn't quite ready to join them.  He had just gotten home from the hospital to a house full of cousins and aunts and his Uncle John.  We gladly took care of him so that mom and dad could get some badly needed rest.  Therese is a wonderful 3 year old, who loved her little brother when he was born a year and a half ago, and now is equally in love with her special cousin, Augustine.  She wanted to read him his first story and he had his eyes wide open!  His dad wiped a tear when he saw this picture after his nap.  
How delightful for grandma to see this unfold... and to capture it over and over from this angle and that.  
I think that he knows in his heart and head that little Therese loves him very much!  She held him so sweetly and put many sweet kisses on his soft head.  He knows that he is loved by many and little cousin Therese is so loving towards him.  Now she has left to head back to Missouri by way of our farm in Marshall, but she gave us many precious pictures of the two of them to cherish!
Many beautiful pictures - like this one of Gus surrounded by beautiful girls in pink... Maria- mother of Therese, cousin Mary, and Therese!  The story had made him fall asleep, but we still think that he is so special and beautiful!  Thank you Jesus, for the joyful bundle that is now filling our arms with the warmth of love and life!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb the humble and fervent still here with Nancy, Bill and Augustine in Plymouth, and so happy to be here to support and celebrate!  
Prayer of Consecration to Mary

"Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee
Blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. 
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen
O my Queen and Mother, I give myself entirely to you.  To show my devotion to you I consecrate to you this day my eyes, ears, mouth, heart, and whole being without reserve.
Therefore, good Mother, since I am your own, keep me and guard me as your property and possession.  Amen"

The JOY of family...

After 2 months of being separated from Maria and the kids by the army, and finally being united with their dad.  I found myself in Missouri after an overnight in Kansas City with the Community of the Lamb.   Maria needed me to bring her a car and some of her things.  While in Kansas City, Nancy gave birth to Augustine... 10 days early! 
Arriving in Kansas City and my expanded family, which includes my daughter Hallel, and to be there in the midst of their deep and amazingly powerful prayer the arrival of little Augustine unfolded with frequent updates by phone.  We went to the phone and called Hallel in France to let her know that he would be here and prayers were appreciated, and then that he had arrived!  Many hugs and tears at the wonder of sharing in our joy of the safe arrival of Augustine!  "It is so wonderful that you are here with us on this glorious day!"  They rejoiced with us!  
I depart to head to Missouri to see my little Joseph and Maria family with the knowledge that my new grandson is here and with the song of their blessing in my ears and heart and soul..."May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace."
Time with them on base as Joseph shares the military life and finding his place in this life for now.  He is filled with great appreciation of this service to his country and is valued by those that have worked with him and taught him along the way of his 6 month journey so far. He is now LT Joseph after completing his officer training with flying colors!  
Missouri is quite beautiful as we hit the road for Minnesota with the little family in tow to see our new arrival - Augustine/Gus!  The joy of a family just grows bigger and bigger with the arrival of every new member.   Just like parents as they welcome each new arrival - love doesn't get divided and lessened as more arrive - it just grows and grows huger and huger and more wonderful in every way!  Love expands and grows!!
After 10 hours on the road we arrive!   So happy and excited to be brought together by the early arrival in the midst of a big adventure of little special, Augustine William!
Together at last... all the waiting and anticipating could never have predicted this perfect way that we were all drawn together in a most amazing way!  For Maria and the family to come 500 miles to bring me home and straight into the hospital room and...
the JOY of holding my new precious grandson on day two of his coming into this world!  We rejoice and are glad!  Jesus, we are filled to the brim knowing that our love has gone up a notch with the arrival of precious little Gus!  Jesus, we thank you for the gift of LIFE and the LOVE that is always with it hand in hand.  There cannot be one without the other, for the fruit of LOVE is LIFE!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb the humble and fervent
Bill and Nancy have arms full of their precious son!  Such a blessing beyond belief!
"This is my commandment:  love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.  .... so whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  This I command you: love one another."  Jesus speaks these amazing words to us in the Gospel today - John 15: 12-17...  Today is the feastday of St Augustine of Canterbury -pray for us.
"When we love God and when we enter into these relations of friendship with him, our life takes on a wideness which is measureless, and becomes eternal life."  Dom Augustine Guillerand (1945)  was a French Carthusian monk and a revered spiritual author.  And there are Augustines everywhere this 3rd days of Gus's life!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I held new precious life in my arms!

We are safely here after a wonderful day of visiting, praying and seeing the countryside in the beautiful sunshine... Pat has reported that they are back in the field planting beans, so we are happy for that news too!  How many times today I have marveled at the wonder of the timing of all this bringing our family together in such a glorious day.  Yes, I did get pictures of the 6 grandkids all together tonight!  I love them even though there are some varied emotions going on... that's the reality of life with little ones... 
So amazing the little Therese got here to hold her new two day old cousin! I am still just so filled with wonder and joy! Thank you, Jesus, for the wonderful gift of family and new life!  
So beautiful in every way!  We are amazed and feel forever blessed to have this new member of our family!   He certainly had a wild evening with the loud noises you have with 5 under 6 together in the same room while the adults are sharing about the nitty gritty of giving birth and then all the flashing of cameras at every move or happening.  He truly got baptized into the craziness of the Verly bunch!  He will know that this is a celebration!
Jesus, we are so filled with the joy that comes with new life -the fruit of love is life!  Thank you for little Augustine and how he has come at just the perfect time to bring our family into a united celebration of a new member joining us in our little slice of heaven - our family!  May he always walk with you in this life and guardian angel watch over this tiny precious little one.  Blessed Mother we know that you are sending your love down upon him and his joyful and happy parents.  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!  
Bless-bless, Barb the humble and fervent
ST Augustine and your wonderful mother ST Monica pray for your namesake - Augustine William ans his parents.
"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. "
Saint Augustine 

High Family and Faith Adventures

Without the ability to add pictures here in Missouri - yes, I drove through winding roads in the midst of tornado warnings to add to the prayers and mystery of this whole adventure!  I am using pictures of the night before I left while Ruth and Mary were getting a double handfull of asparagus to eat for supper.  It seems that the asparagus likes the rain and supplies us with food every few days.
I am on short time today as we are jumping in the car and heading back to Minnesota in an hour!  Nancy had her little boy, Augustine, yesterday!  We are all thrilled and the little sisters were full of hugs and shared tears with me as we followed Nancy's progress - awaking at 3a to the news that she had been in labor since midnight, at 5:30a with the news that they were in the hospital and dilated to 6... later to 8 and then that he was here at 9:30a - little Gus all 5lbs 15ozs of him!  Nancy and Bill are thrilled that he decided to come two weeks early, and so we are all heading there to see and hold him!  Maria is now coming with the kids to take me back rather than flying and spend a few days with family!  Too perfect!

My time with the little sisters began with adoration in progress as I walked in the door and was so powerful all the less than 24 hours that I spent with them.  I heard about Hallel's experience in Rome and have pictures to share when I get back home!  I heard about her encounters with many that knew her or of her all around the city!  I can see that she is truly a social butterfly on the Rome scene, or should I say a spiritual butterfly....  She even ran into the Mother Superior of the new order she had lived with while discerning in St Paul!  Too amazing!  I wept many times at the sheer depth of it all and to see my beautiful Susan/Hallel beaming and happy in many wonderful pictures... and in the midst of looking at them we got the call that Augustine was here!  We ran to call France and let Hallel know!  She had been called to pray a few hours earlier.  The whole family was on high prayer alert!

And so I will end this, as we climb into a car for a 10 hour trip to St Paul and soon I will be holding my new amazing grandson, Augustine!  The Lanoue kids, who are into Cinderella are excited to meet "Gus Gus."  Mary says that she hopes he is chubby and has a 'tail."  Wrong on both accounts, but we will all instantly fall in love with him!  Jesus, we are overwhelmed with all the many blessings, and ask for safe travels and wonderful family times that we cherish and hold close to our hearts!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!  
Bless-bless, Barb the humble and fervent
"We ought to hope for and love the glory of God by means of a good life."  St Philip Neri (1595)
Today is his feast day - St Philip Neri pray for us