- 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
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I have been gifted with a mother's necklace. It was made with love by my sister, Cheryl, and given to me by my daughter, Nancy. As a new mother after waiting hopefully for many years to meet her future husband and have a family - my sister brought Nancy a special necklace with Our Lady holding her son medal and then Augustine's birthstone on either side above it. Nancy loves it so much that other than sleeping... she wears it constantly. She asked me to write down all the birthdates of my children in order from oldest to youngest... including the 6 in heaven. The resulting necklace is a beautiful aray of colors, and with the total of 11... my sister started with my January baby Ruth at the bottom, and then added the 5 on each side to total the 11! How precious to me to have all my kids together! Thank you Nancy and Cheryl for this special gift, that respects all the life that awaits me here and in heaven. My entire family of LOVE and LIFE! Jesus, we trust in you.
Last minute John saw clear to go to Texas with his old parents... it was a wonderful gift to have him along. We were excited at this point as we drove through New Mexico mountainous area and watched the elevation approach a mile high! The things that you discover on an adventure across the country... the arid landscape makes you appreciate the black earth and large fertile fields that we are blessed with. Here and there we would see a lone cow trying to fill it's belly with meager grass or whatever. Pat and John discussed much about the differences... it was just good to have John with us from both of our perspectives. It seems that after sharing a year battling his brain cancer... that we yearn for times that we can be close and share everything! And as close as John and I were on that seat that we shared... it was truly a close time for us, and with a folded comforter under our bottoms to make the seat more soft and roomy.. it was a good and memorable time for us to laugh at and reminisce about. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of our son, who returns to the days of hanging out with mom and dad with great excitement and joy!
How his heart bled about what Maria was going through...Today I am being reminded that there are many things worse than losing a early pregnancy, and I need to realize that there are many losses that are worse... I was told of a 14 month old that died of crib death... too hard to even allow myself to imagine such a loss as that! There are always those that have it worse than us, to remind us that life is about taking those hurts and pain and put them to use in our lives... to empathize with those that suffer and put our effort into prayers for them and those in our domestic church - our family that face loss and pain. John certainly has taken facing death in brain cancer to find more compassion for others and has such a soft and caring place for all his sisters and brother-in-laws, and nieces and nephews... whether in the womb or here with us. I received such a beautiful note, that made me weep, the other day from his house mother at his fraternity, who spoke that John "is very wise and thoughtful about many things. I've been going to write you to tell you what a joy it is to have John here at Farmhouse. He makes me smile everyday." writes MaryAnn to his tearful mother! How I see that John has been softened and humbled as if he were chewed up and spit out... to put it in crude terms. He has a new and loving and caring perspective on life and family and all aspects of his faith! How he asked to find his faith for many years, and now he has! "I don't have anything big in my life to make me turn to my faith!" he would say.... well, that has all changed!
So many powerful feelings are filling me to the brim these days... related to John's healing! The experiences we had at Lisa's funeral and wake, where we met other parents of those that had lost their young 20something children to brain cancer and how they looked at John with the hunger to see someone who had not been killed by the enemy, but had life and a future in his eyes! Then to have a lady friend share with me that she had come to the mass where John was prayed over for healing with annointing by Fr Paul and also the prayer for healing with the relic of Venerable Solanus Casey... "I had had a stomache ailment of a few months, and I decided that I would ask for healing too! I was healed from that day forward!" I hugged her and thanked her profusely to know that this happened for her, and although John didn't go leaping down the ailes healed at that moment... many were touched to "see" a family that took prayer so seriously and could say that from that day they prayed for John and now he is healed! Prayer really is powerful, and really works! Now looking at the idea that this will be our 40th anniversary this Christmas of our family becoming Catholic... and the possibility of the priest - Fr Custodio - who gave us our instruction, coming to say mass for our family as we gather for Cross Christmas camp. John also remembers that Fr Custodio came to his hospital room in the first week of his scarey cancer journey and layed hands on him for healing... Who knows how all of the prayers and sacraments and saints and doctors and rosaries combined together to heal John? But he is today healed and tomorrow we expect to get only good news once again! Jesus, we trust in you!
Jesus, we love you and are filled with such wonder and awe at the wisdom of your amazing Church, and all those that have been with us on this journey called cancer/healing! All the ways that we have been ministered to as we walk the path of the Cross... through that Cross we have found healing, and resurrection in a new life of caring and compassion for all those in this world and around us that suffer! All of us have hurts and losses and we are reminded that there are always those that have greater pain than us. We need to look past our hurts and embrace our brother or sister next to us and that helps us to heal and find YOU! To see your face in those around us, and to cry out to you in our need - "Jesus, we are weak and lost and hurting... lift us onto your shoulders we are wandering and confused by the pain, and the lies of the world. We rejoice to know that we are yours, and that you want to share every part of our lives and each part of each day with us! Thank you for this year of anniversary and celebration of our coming to Your Church 40 years ago! We have your fingerprint on us and we are forever changed and transformed! Jesus, we love you and trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!
"All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him
for the kingdom is the Lord's; he is ruler of the nations.
They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.
And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
'These things the Lord has done.' "
"Reveal your might, O God, and come;
Descend to earth in magesty,
In magesty of poverty,
In power of humility."
Hymn to be sung to the tune of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
St Andrew, on this your feastday... a humble fisherman, who answered the call to follow him even to death on an upside down cross. Pray for us!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
"Jesus rejoices because the Father reveals the great things of heaven to the childlike, that is, to those who, like Jesus, receive everything from the Father. If 'the baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair,' what will come of our lives if we dare to be childlike? The little child in Mary's womb guides us." from morning prayer explaining the readings for the day... see http://www.magnificat.com/
What does this say today? That we need to be trusting and unaware of the danger that lurks in the cobra's den... playing there and the Lord will protect us from any harm..."There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea." Isaiah 11: 1-10. Maria's sisters told me that it was right and good that I was with her at the time of her loss - which has happened with her last two pregnancies now. "Mom, you can be there for her, and help her from the perspective of one who has been through it personally. And you would want to be with her if it hadn't worked out this way!" Is that true? It is so hard, and I feel so helpless and almost angry that she has to face this, when I pleaded and prayed without ceasing for this to never happen to my girls, and that their wish for family would be blessed. How can I expect for this to not be part of their story too? It was a Cross which became the Tree of Life for me, so why not for my girls? Life becomes so much more valuable when we have our foot over into heaven with the value we place on all life from conception on. Maria debated whether she should name this one for a few minutes, but then we only had to look at the wisdom of our amazing Church - life is respected and valued from conception to Natural Death. Little Patrick/Magdalene was here for only 8 weeks but the conception happened and so it was a life, and continues on in heaven to await and pray for it's mother, father, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, greatgrandparents... the family that will embrace it with love and gratitude someday in heaven!
Jesus, how we need you and cling to you, and your wisdom and love for us no matter how small! As Horton said... " a person is a person no matter how small." We are grateful for the days we had with our little family, and the powerful ways that they look to you for all that gives them LIFE and LOVE! We place all in your hands, and rely on you for all that gives us Truth, and show us the Way,and the Life. When we are weak is when you come to us... as we falter and stumble and hurt and cry out to you... "Jesus, we need you and life is so hard to understand from our perspective, but from the difficulties we endure comes the power and reality of eternal LIFE through the Cross! Jesus, we trust in you." Amen and Halleluia
"On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: A Spirit of counsel and of strength, A Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.... Justice shall be a band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips..." Isaiah 11: 1-10
"When we look into our hearts, do we find that our basic question is: 'What can I give to God?' There is only one answer - God's answer: 'Nothing beloved! Only receive with glad hearts what I give, and that is myself. The greatest gift you can give me is the trust that lives by this truth.' It is, of course, what Jesus is saying when He tells us we must have the heart of a child in regard to God. I wonder whether we take seriously enough, we grown men and women, the stress that Jesus puts on being a child in order to recieve what God has to give? It means God can come fully only only to the little ones. ... I think that when Jesus takes the child in his arms, sets him in front of himself, pointing to him a model, it is to himself that he is pointing. His inmost heart was always that of a child and that is why he could live with such freedom, courage and self-squandering."
Sr Ruth Burrows
Lord, help us to nurture and respect the child within ourselves. Amen and Halleluia
Monday, November 28, 2011
We spoke of our trip as we were on the last leg from Sioux Falls to our farm... John spoke of how hard it was to go through the hard loss of our grandchild with Maria and her family, and I truly am in a numb state of sadness and shock to have to relive that now with my daughter. But the actual trip and the getting their stuff to them went really well, and Pat, John and I feel that we came through the almost week of being away without a hitch! Thank you Lord! We have seen much of the center of our country from the seat of a truck and then a car coming home... the cattle that dotted the landscape throughout whether desert of grassland were a sight that we never tired of... however, we are tired to the deepest parts tonight and our beds are calling.
We are missing the loving hugs and kisses of our sweet Therese and David, and John will head off to the Cities for school in the morning. We appreciate all the prayers that have been with us on this journey of so many dimensions... WE ask for more as we return to Rochester on Thursday to have John go through his tests to be sure that the cancer is staying away. Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!
Guardian Angels watch out for us!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Maria had a tough time this afternoon with her losing the baby. She is now in a better place physically and mentally and spiritually. Tonight at mass we had tremendous healing from the mass and the words of wisdom. Jesus, we trust in you! Thank you for the prayers... we feel them. Pray for us as we hit the road.
Jesus along with your Mother... we thank you for the love and care and comfort we gain from each other and your wonderful Church! We are reminded that you are in control. Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!
"O God, by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary, you have given to the human race the reward of eternal life. Grant we beseech you, that through the intercession of the mother of the Author of Life, the Church may become the mother of many children who take their place before your throne to sing your praises for all eternity..." see www.magnificata.com Our new little Patrick/Magdelene has joined the joyful chorus of praise around your throne!o
Friday, November 25, 2011
We celebrated a Thanksgiving dinner in the midst of getting the truck emptied... many comments on the good food and the many beautiful colors... being with family in this far distant place... sharing mass and prayer and tears at the feet of Jesus. Uncertainty this day as Maria's pregnancy is in question. Kneeling in the adoration chapel - I asked the Lord WHY? Why do I have to be with Maria when she experiences the one thing that I pleaded with the Lord that none of my girls would ever have to lose a life to mischarriage... so hard and so sad and so much the Cross!
I had the experience yesterday of having two women sit down in front of me and share the morning 'office" together. Very familiar with my daughters and son-in-law over the years. So beautiful to hear the words of the psalms and the shared prayers and scriptures... as I gaze at the tabernacle and pray for Maria, my new grandchild in her womb and am carried back to the years of my many losses and the awareness of them with me from heaven and awaiting me there.
After mass Therese and I went over to see the beautiful statue of Our Lady and Therese kissed her crowns that were to hold candles lit for her prayer intentions. The priest homily made us all pause in wonder at his profound words of the Lord's second coming..." The Lord comes to us each day, and we need to be prepared for his coming. Each night when we go to sleep... we are reinacting our death and when we awake we find HIM there with us in all that we face with each day." I was amazed at the simple beauty of these words and how they are so the TRUTH that will set us free.
Then we went to see St Therese... Maria is heading into the ER for an ultrasound and possibly a shot of progesterone if the baby is still fighting for LIFE. We ask for prayers now - Jesus, we know that you are with us in all that we face in this life. The cross comes with life, and we ask that we can accept and embrace those things that we do not understand. Jesus, we trust in you. Amen and Halleluia!
"We are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not at what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eteranl."
2 Corinthians 4: 16-18Bless-bless, Barb
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A cute sight greeted my eyes as I roamed the farm with 3 year old grandson, David. We are up early today to hit the road, and are pleased to have John with us too! He finally could see clear to go on an adventure with mom and dad.... as we drive the U Haul down to see his sister, Maria's family in Texas! It will be close quarters for the next two days, but we have spent so much close time together over the last 2 1/2 years with John's brain cancer - that we kind of thrive on it...John is up and out with Pat to leave everything as perfect as possible for Paul, who will be doing the chores while we are away! It is very hard for Pat to leave the farm, and all that he needs to do on a daily basis, but he usually doesn't look back too much as we are heading down the road. John just pointed out how "tight" we will be in the cab of the truck - I told him that "tight" is our middle name, and he said that he thought that "late" was our middle name... True! I prefer tight though... in the sense of the physical closeness and also the spiritual and emotional and mental closeness that we have found on our cancer/healing journey!
Grinding hay so that there will be plenty of feed for Paul to feed the cows... Jesus, go with us as we travel to see family on this new adventure. May all those that are traveling this holiday be safe and share the journey with great joy and excitement as they form a tight bond of love and FAMILY! Yes, that usually involves those ups and downs and friendly arguments and tensions, but then may we remember the true meaning of togetherness is a way of giving one to the other. May we put the others first and ask for the gift of humility. St Cecelia - may your example of looking to Christ imspire us as we share morning prayer this morning as we head down the road on this your feastday! Jesus, we love you and want to share your love with all those around us... especially in close proximity... and especially those that we love the most in this world - our families! Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!
"A line from the 15th century story of St Cecelia explains how she became the Western patron of music. Faced with a forced marriage, despite her desire to dedicate her virginity to Christ, 'she sang in her heart only to God' for protection - and received it. This early Christian martyr's song of faith has certainly outlived the military and political power of her Roman oppressors." See http://www.magnificat.com/
Monday, November 21, 2011
My husband is a doer and he is always putting others and their needs ahead of his... especially when it is our kids! So I am starting to see that there will be family times that are really different and out of my comfort zone... rather than the traditional family gathering for Thanksgiving on the farm... we are heading with a huge UHaul van to Texas with all of Maria and Joseph's possessions. I must say that so far it has been OK with lots of good help loading it yesterday afternoon, and that Pat loves to see the country and there will be plenty of that on our trip from the top of our country to the botton over 2 days! He is also very good at conversation, so the radio and books on tape are not really a necessity either. We will get time to pray as long as the day is light enough, and then we will have those wonderful days with our pregnant daughter and grandkids! Today we are reminded of the importance of our families and being there for them in deed and in prayer... it is the feastday of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a child in the temple..."The story of the Presentation of Mary in the temple as a child captures the essential Gospel portraite of Mary as a woman entirely dedicated not merely to doing but to living the will of God. Her own willing obedience, unhesitatingly given and never revoked, lies at the heart of her life of self-sacrifice offered in love."
"How many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders and designs
that you have worked for us;
you have no equal.
Should I proclaim and speak them all,
they are more than I can tell!
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead I am here.
In the scroll of the book it stands written
that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law
In the depth of my heart.
Your justice I have proclaimed
in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
you know it, O Lord.
I have not hidden your justice in my heart
but declared your faithful help.
I have not hidden your love and your truth
from the great assembly.
O Lord, you will not withhold
your compassion from me.
Your merciful love and your truth
will always guard me."
Sharing a family meal after the work... thank you Lord! The Gospel for today - Luke 21: 1-4 reminds me of Hallel's community and how they ask the poor to welcome them as Christ knocking on their door... the words of Christ after she has put her two small coins in the offering..."I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." Jesus, I love it when you speak to us! I love it to realize that we can and should give our all to you, and to walk away from the lure of the material in our lives. The difference of the two Wallmart bags that Maria took with her when she entered the Poor Clare Monastery compared to the huge truckload we loaded yesterday... we laughed at the difference! We all agreed that we will move Hallel next with her small amount of possessions... she can carry it herself in her hands! There is something to say about having no ties to the "things" of this world... that much more we can give to HIM!
Jesus, we thank you for family and the many ways we are called to care for one another. May this Thanksgiving be a special time for families to gather in thankfullness for all that they have shared in the next year and look forward to in the next, but also that the day of sharing food together and the joys found in sharing and giving will heal and mend. May the poor have warmth and food and fellowship. Be with all those traveling for safety especially our little family on their way. We love you and honor your amazing Mother of Heaven and Earth on this her feastday! She brought LIFE and LOVE into the world for the family to become whole and complete in HIM. Our Mother come into the heart of families and minister to their many needs with your Son, Jesus our King! Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!
"The celebration of the Presentation of Mary reminds us how much our life resembles that of the people on Noah's ark. Alone and adrift, we ache for some sure sign that God has not forgotten us, that there is more to life than empty horizons, that God's mercy is greater than his wrath, that divine providence will show itself in a concrete sign when we need it most. What exultation must have errupted on the ark the moment that the little dove flew back to its deck with an olive branch in its beak! Even more, what would the people on the ark have done without this dove?
The feast of the Presentation of Mary gives us the assurance that God has confided to us someone we can rely on who will convey to us the promise of the Lord's saving love. We send forth this Dove, and she returns bearing in her womb one who carries not the olive leaf but the tree of the cross. This is why Blessed John Paul II declares that "the whole of the universe is... touched by the divine favor with which the Father looks upon Mary."
Fr Peter John Cameron an excerpt from the book Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: Living Our Lady's Graces
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Jesus, our King, you are the Truth and Healing that we need to go forth filled with the fruits of your Spirit! That we may minister to the "hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison" those that we find close to us in our own family and beyond! Jesus, we trust in you! "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me." May we hear these words, dear loving and forgiving Savior and King. Amen and Halleluia
"For the sake of Christ, such Christians regard such earthy beauty, adornment, glory, honor, and the riches of kings and princes as nothing because they have tasted divine beauty and the life of heavenly immortality has dropped like dew into their souls. Therefore, they ardently long for that love of the heavenly King and they have him alone before their eyes in every desire. For this sake they detach themselves from every wordly love and tear loose from every earthly attachment so that they may possess that one desire always in their hearts and never mix anything else with it."
Pseudo-Macariua (390) was an Egyptian monk and hermit
Saturday, November 19, 2011
WE are just a month away from the shortest day of the year... the full moon is gone, so when the sun sets at 5p it really gets dark, and with the first snow covering the ground today - cold! We have the woodstove going and True Grit is on the TV... I am looking at this time at sunset in Kansas City last summer... it warms my heart, and reminds me of good family times. It chases away the feeling like winter is here, and what will it hold for us this year. One cold day at a time, and they are talking that the snow will be gone quickly and we will be back to our brown fall/winter. Jesus, we trust in you. Bless-bless
Saturdays are devoted to the Blessed Mother of God, Mary Most Holy! With some close to us... Mary is a wall that comes between us - they as Protestants cannot see why we give her so much of our attention..."Christ is sufficient." Yet, I look at all the hurt and damaged and struggling families of every shape, and it is True that they need to find Christ in their lives, but think of the healing that could take place with a wonderful Spiritual Mother there to take them on her lap, and comfort them, and take them to her son after she has bandaged them up and fed them... as a mother is given the gift of being the lap to nestle in and listen to stories, and the maker of meals, and the listening ear, and the one to kiss and put a bandage on wounds that come with life and growing up. How we need our wonderful life giving Spiritual Mother! So many ways that we are led away from LIFE and LOVE, by the lies of Satan and the world! She helps us find the narrow path... the path to eternal life and true LOVE!
Little Mary is named for Our Lady, and how she has always looked up to her and Loved her without reservation! " Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you" and in you! Luke 1:28-30 May you come humbly into the homes of families, and show them how to find Jesus - healing and forgiveness. Through your revealing how to say "yes!" to his saving life... may families find a way to heal and embrace the Truth of Life and Love. Lead them away from the false notion that we need to limit the number of children so that we may have all the "things" of this world. How can possessions come close at all to having others to share this journey with? The gift of life is to be cherished and protected from the evil and misleading influences of this world! May we look to the example of the Holy Family, and allow them to come and be within the heart of our Domestic Church - our families! Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia
"O God worthy of all praise, the Mother of your Word sings for all eternity the hymn of your praise which she began on earth. By her example and intercession, lead all the Church so to live in this world that we may praise you for ever with her in the next. Grant this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen and Halleluia." Closing prayer of Morning prayer see http://www.magnificat.com/
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus." Luke 1:42