Monday, April 30, 2012

The nest is ready - baby bird come!

Davey showed me the bassinet and the baby changing table all ready for the new little one!  We are all very excited!  We are now almost 12 hours til the arrival of our sweet newest baby Lanoue!  The kids and I went out for a pasture adventure on a beautiful afternoon... cows and calves and kids in the clouds! 

So much fun as we excitedly enjoy a wonderful day as the time marches on!  We are now back in the field too, after the wonderful lifegiving rains of the last few days!  Thank you, Lord, we trust in you and you don't disappoint us - we are so spoiled and taken care of like you LOVE us with your LIFE!  Bless-bless, Barb

Nesting...

Ruth admits that she is nesting, and with good reason... she is having her baby tomorrow morning!  Pat just told me that she is shopping this morning, and I told Pat that she is nesting - getting her nest ready for the family that will be at home while she and the baby are in the hospital, as well as the baby that will be coming home with her in a few days.  She is very generous with her baby clothes, and currently her girl clothes are loaned out, so she was anxious to get them back and clean and ready in case it is a girl.  Ruth has never found out what the baby is, so it is a huge mystery at this point.  We are all very prayerful and excited, and I would say nervous, but Ruth is so calm and feeling so good that I just take a look at her and it calms my fears - much like the reading in morning prayer this morning - Mark 4:35-41 - Jesus calms the sea!  It was wonderful to share that this morning, and to recall that in every situation we are to Trust!  I have shared numerous times that this was the Gospel the day that we took John in to discover that he did, in fact, have a tumor in his brain causing him to have double vision!  When we called Hallel in France... she reminded us that "Jesus is in control."  As I watch the baby growing every day... it has been so important to remind myself that Jesus is loving Ruth, and this baby, and is in control!  Just off the phone with Ruth - the excitement is building as we prepare for the arrival of our grandchild!  Life is a Gift! 
Siblings and family are a wonderful treasure!  It saddens me to hear the difficulties and divisions that are found in some families!  It is a heartfelt prayer of mine that healing can take place in families... Satan is raising a huge attack on the family, and the Catholic Church is a lighthouse on the hill leading the way to the Way, The Truth, and the LIFE - Jesus Christ!  There are so many values that are confused by darkness and sin - being open to family is hugely attacked and there is the false idea that having many children is selfish and wrong.  Another story I have shared numerous times is when Pat and I were at our Engagement weekend and we were the only couple that said we wanted to have a large family!  All the other couples said that they only wanted 2 to none as the world was such a horrible place and what about overpopulation?   I even started to question our decision... But Pat did not hesitate one second - "The world needs Lights!"  my wise Spirit filled husband said!  I know that each of our married daughters has adopted this and carry forth this banner of Truth for the resurrection of the Family of Faith - a domestic Church!  I love this in morning prayer;
"Life could not exist in the primal waters of chaos.  By his passage through the tomb, Christ has tamed the waters of death and transformed them into the waters of life from which a new world is reborn in baptism.  Our Good Shepherd leads us to these waters to drink our fill of peace."  See http://www.magnificat.com/   This is so powerful for me today as I ponder my 3 grandchildren growing and bringing new life into the world surrounded with the waters of LIFE in their mother's wombs!  Also that the faith that we shared in our family and the raising of LIGHTS has now advanced on to the next generation!  Pat prayed for our 3 girls to share the wonder of being pregnant together, and his prayer was answered!  The girls are calling him a prophet!  A new and special title for their wise and ever involved dad!

All the happy memories - the ups and the downs that families share bring them to the closeness and truth of coming through the Most Cherished Cross the find LIFE in the resurrection!  Today the Gospel has gone to John 10 and it is the Good Shepherd! "Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture... I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly."  Thank you, Jesus!  We truly look at our family and realize that we are saved through you and all the blessings of the Church, your sacraments, and your Word!  We are literally experiencing life more abundantly with the arrival of 3 new grandchildren in the next year!  There is no greater joy!  This morning as Pat and I prayed - we recalled the children and grandchildren that we have now in heaven, and that too is a beautiful gift!  We are drawn to heaven and know of their love and concern for us here as we strive to follow HIM carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  They know of the Peace which passes understanding - Jesus Christ surrounded by all his angels and saints and with his Mother, Mary Most Holy, standing at his side!  The Queen of Heaven and Earth, and through her womb the waters of LIFE came into the world!  How I love to think of the water surrounding my three little grandchildren... life-giving waters for sure!  Jesus, protect all life this day!  May abortion come to an end - save lives!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia, Halleluia, Halleluia! 

Bless-bless, Barb
A grand Hallel psalm 104
"Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are.

You made springs gush forth in the valleys:
they flow in between the hills.
They give drink to all the beasts of the field;
the wild-asses quench their thirst.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
from the branches they sing their song. ( and make their nests)

From your dwelling you water the hills;
earth drinks its fill of your gift.

I will sing to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live. 
Bless the Lord, my soul."
My our lives be a glorious symphony of LIFE and LOVE and LIGHT!

New life and water!!!
"Kneel down and think of the excellent and sovereign Majesty you are about to address. Do not think that he is far from you, but rather that he fills the heavens and the earth, and that there is no place that he is not present, and that he is more within you than you are.  Considering your littleness, make a profound reverence to him, humbling your heart like a tiny ant before a infinite being." 
The Shepherd's living voice by St John of Avila (1569)
Jesus, you are more within me than I am, I pray!  How I yearn to come to see you in the Cathedral/modest chapel of Peace within!  I will recall the littleness when I hold my brand new grandchild tomorrow!  Life is a most special GIFT! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Sunday was always a great family time!" John

Last Sunday my two guys dressed up in blue shirts and ties for mass... they agreed to pose for me in front of the patio door.  Last night, while I was working evenings at the nursing home, John and our son-in- law, Paul, were singing at the 5p mass.  The whole tribe from Pat's mom to the grandkids were all at mass, and then went out to the local Mexican Restuarant, and when I called them on my lunch break- I heard a lot of laughter and talking... as they enjoyed each other's company after receiving Jesus in the meeting of Heaven and earth at mass.  I just went to Maria and Nancy's blog - http://dosmallthingswithlove.blogspot.com/... it was wonderful to read Nancy's comments about Sunday dinner as well as Maria's sharing about the giving to the poor.  I would highly suggest that you take the time to read it, as I have been given strict orders not to borrow from that blog and put on mine.  This really chimed in with some sharing that John and Pat had last night about how wonderful going to mass was as a family, and then the laughing, and eating, and visiting grandma, or whatever came after was always great!  John told Pat that he remembers Sundays as a happy family day that they all enjoyed and looked forward to. I know that I have had many tell me that they remember us coming to mass with all the girls dressed alike and with ribbons in their hair at the 7a mass!  "And then you had that boy!"  I think there was a loud communal breath taken in surprise when we finally walked in with that blue bundle for the first time after 4 girls! 
Here is one example from my brother's wedding... I was a bit creative with the colors on this occassion, but yes I sewed them all... I even match!  My two guys are now much younger and dressed in white shirts and ties!  I just had a call from Texas and Maria's kids are super excited to realize that their new little cousin will be arriving in just 2 days!  I told Therese that we will have to call them on Skype so that they can see the new little one almost as soon as we do!  We had the gift of a baptism during mass today!  How I love to hear the prayers, and when you are standing there with your new little precious infant... the prayers are so powerful!  But after Pat shared on the way to mass this morning about how the kids really have such warm memories of worshiping together... the blessing prayers over the mother and father were especially powerful and sweet!
Celebrant: "God the Father, through his Son, the Virgin Mary's child, has brought joy to all Christian mothers, as they see the hope of eternal life shine on their children. May he bless the mother of this child. She now thanks God for the gift of her child. May she be one with him (her) in thanking him for ever in heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord."   Wow!  Isn't that just so glorious a prayer?  That my child and I may be thanking HIM forever in heaven for the gift of LIFE!


And for the father's blessing;
Celebrant: "God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May he bless the father of this child. He and his wife will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Once again the words and reality of what it means to a family to have a father, who is truly a teacher of the faith in word and deed!  This is where the basis for a domestic church/ family of faith starts, and becomes a  reality! 



Lord Jesus Christ, we are blessed to have this Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter!  We are filled with gratitude for all the love and Truth we find in our domestic Church/ family.  The gift of sharing worship and the LIFE and LOVE that our faith brings to us!  May we cherish all LIFE and may  that reflect to the world your LIGHT for all to see!  That in word and deed we may share YOU  with all those that we come in contact - especially with those that are the closest to us!  We are forever blessed by the sacraments and and wisdom of YOUR Church and YOUR WORD!  We fall on our knees and ask that you humble us and use us to your honor and glory!  Celebrant: "By God's gift, through water and the Holy Spirit, we are reborn to everlasting life. In his goodness, may he continue to pour out his blessings upon these sons and daughters of his. May he make them always, wherever they may be, faithful members of his holy people. May he send his peace upon all who are gathered here, in Christ Jesus our Lord."  We are forever grateful to you our Good Shepherd for gathering us into your fold.  Protect us from the wolves!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia, Halleluia, Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"It is my hope that with nice table settings I can be better about making a nice Sunday dinner every Sunday. My mom was always so good about this, and continues to be. I have many fond memories of sitting, eating too much, and sitting some more laughing and talking long after the meal is over. I also like that Sunday meals are more formal--and more of a Feast!"
daughter, Nancy Anna, from her  and Maria's blog -
http://dosmallthingswithlove.blogspot.com/  Sorry... it was such a sweet thing and I borrowed it, but please take the time to look at their blog!
I love to see my kids together... Maria's wedding 2007!

The two grandchildren will become 9 here with us and two in heaven in just a few months... in two days Ruth will have her arms full again!  Jesus, we trust in you!
 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Morning Arrives Radiant YES!

Another acronym - a thought made from the letters in Mary's name!  It is just something that I think is special to do, and allows me to be creative with the feelings that I have for these great days of the week - Saturday morning - devoted to our spiritual Mother!  And today takes that one step further in it being the feast day of St Lious de Montfort!  I am reminded of Hallel/Susan when I think of him, because before she went into the order she wore a chain around her ankle to show that she was a slave to Mary!  This was something that St Louis had introduced her to. 
Hallel's feet in Lake Michigan in the summer before she left for France to be a member of the Community of the Lamb - a Bride of Christ!
I just googled St Louis and found this site - http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/secret.htm
THE SECRET OF MARY


St. Louis de Montfort
INTRODUCTION
1. NECESSITY OF HAVING A TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY

A. The Grace of God is absolutely necessary

B. To find the Grace of God, we must discover Mary

C. A True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is indispensable

2. WHAT PERFECT DEVOTION TO MARY CONSISTS IN

A. Some True Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary

B. The Perfect Practice of True Devotion

[1. What it consists in]

[2. The excellence of this practice of devotion]

[3. The interior constituents of this consecration and its spirit]

[4. The effects that this devotion produces in a faithful soul]

[5. Exterior practices]

3. SUPPLEMENT

A. Prayer to Jesus

B. Prayer to Mary

4. THE CARE AND GROWTH OF THE TREE OF LIFE

A. The holy slavery of love

B. How to cultivate it

C. Its lasting fruit: Jesus Christ.
I guess that it was a better thing to say that she was wearing the ankle chain to show her "holy slavery of LOVE."  I plan to go back and dealve into this more, when time permits.  Yes!  I do want to be a slave to LOVE, and to leave more of my sinfulness behind and to be on the path from "sinfulness to holiness!"
Today in the Gospel the division started with those that could not accept that Jesus would expect us to eat his flesh!  "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"  How that must have hurt Jesus and continues to this day!  There is a sense of sadness that we are criticized in our Church - the Church which comes through the centuries from the first Pope - St Peter!  There are those that call us cannibals and are appalled that we are taking Jesus at his words to us in John 6...."Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you."   That is about as clear as it gets!  Jesus, we are slaves of your LOVE and embrace your Truth!  We turn to you in our weakness and need and pray that others may come to know you in the breaking of the Bread!  May we go forth into this day filled with YOU!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
3." Chosen soul, living image of God and redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, God wants you to become holy like him in this life, and glorious like him in the next . It is certain that growth in the holiness of God is your vocation. All your thoughts, words, actions, everything you suffer or undertake must lead you towards that end. Otherwise you are resisting God in not doing the work for which he created you and for which he is even now keeping you in being. What a marvelous transformation is possible! Dust into light, uncleanness into purity, sinfulness into holiness, creature into Creator, man into God! A marvelous work, I repeat, so difficult in itself, and even impossible for a mere creature to bring about, for only God can accomplish it by giving his grace abundantly and in an extraordinary manner. The very creation of the universe is not as great an achievement as this."
St Louis de Montfort
Off to mass with the Bishop and listening to a prolife speaker at the diocesan CCW convention here in town.  Thank you, Jesus, for the beauty of your Church and women in your Church!  Thinking of a man, who came to the Truth!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8RMvmrheE0  The conversion story of Scott Hahn!  Jesus, we love you and trust in you!




Friday, April 27, 2012

Flesh for all the world!

It was surprising to see the Divine Mercy image displayed under Jesus yesterday... It was the Holy Hour of the chaplet - 3p-4p when I arrived there.  The time that Jesus died on the Cross is the most Holy time to pray the chaplet for those that are dying and I also pray for those close to me that have died!  I do love to pray for my dearly departed on the decades of the chaplet, and hope that I will also have that help in reaching heaven someday after I limp out of this world.  Jesus, we trust in you, and pray that your lifegiving Flesh will cover these sad bones of humanity I have.  Make me more and more yours, Jesus.  Just as you personally took the man Saul, who hated you and your followers,  and called him to become your mouthpiece in spreading your Truth as Paul!  He is such a powerful example of someone, who is a man called by YOU!  Amen and Halleluia

Society should award stay at home moms!

The preparation for family pictures on Easter Sunday there was this unposed picture of Ruth with her 4 that I thought was special!  She is just days away from having her new baby on May 1st!  One thing about Ruth that has been hard for me is that she has worked as a nurse always and will return to half time nursing with this one too!  One way the Lord has answered my prayers is the gift of her day care providers have been myself and now their other grandma, Phyllis Lanoue!  Simon had to go to a regular day care provider for the first 6 months, but then they moved just 3 miles away, and it struck me that I would watch the kids and my flexible hospice job would work around that.  Now the other grandma has taken over, and she even comes to Ruth's home to watch the kids!  Ruth has it as good as it gets to be able to work half time and know that her kids are being cared for almost as well as MOM!  Fr Craig put this special sharing on facebook today... I know not the author...
A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found ...an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was... against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?... ''Yes," was his incredulous reply.. She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'..
How many times as a stay at home mom for 14 years - in my nest years - did I go over the day in my mind when my husband acted like "what did you do all day?"  or when someone made the comment - "Do you work?"  Yes, I work all day long at home with my 5 kids!"
Nancy has the blessing of being a stay at home mom for the most part - she does do some tutoring in the evening when Bill can watch Gus for a couple hours.  Fr Criag also said that Blessed John Paul II said that moms that stay home and care for their kids and families should be awarded by society!  That certainly is a far cry from reality, when we are made to feel that we are just wasting our time doing "nothing"with our lives.  Nancy and also Maria, who is at home with her two going on three in September, are sharing their joys and struggles on their shared blog - http://dosmallthingswithlove.blogspot.com/
Sharing their ideas for inexpensive things to make for your child as well as simple and charming insights into young Catholic wives and mothers.  I have been very touched by their sharing!  Maria carries forth into her family the 5 months that she had in the Poor Clare monastery considering a call to religious life.  She felt that this was not for her - yet I see the fruits of her still inner call to HIM as she and her children attend daily mass, and her home is empty of TV and other distractions that are in most homes.  Her children are a model of deeply faith filled and innocent beauty!  Speaking of mass - today has to have about the most out of this world readings ever!  The first one from Acts is the conversion of St Paul!  So amazing in how He was blinded by the LIGHT, yet in that he discovered the Truth and was forever changed from Saul the murderer of the Christians to the most on fire Christian ever!  There is one certain person in my life that I pray and hope could and would be a St Paul... Lord, hear my prayer!

Then the Gospel!!!!!!!!  John 6: 52-59
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life..."  Here are two people that want that life to the fullest!  Both Maria and Joseph considered a call to be a priest or a sister!  Now they carry that very beautiful Holy Place deep inside of them, and although they were not called to leave the world and enter the priesthood or monastery... they continue to yearn to receive His Body and Blood daily and become ever more and more Christ's!  For Joseph to now be carrying that LIGHT and TRUTH into the military is amazing!  How it is needed there, and how wonderful to see the LIGHTS that they are raising for the world within their domestic church/family!  Little Therese is already considering a call to be Sr Maria someday, but she has a sister and priest for Godparents so her parents kind of planted that seed for her.  How wonderful!  It was something that I wanted all of my kids to consider, and the exposure to the idea enriched every one of my children's lives!

Pat came to bed an hour ago saying that they had been rained out..."But that's a good thing."  How we love to get rain after the long drought,O Lord!  Jesus, thank you for the reminder of the beautiful gift of motherhood, and fatherhood, and families that put you first and foremost in their lives.  Our domestic church/family becomes a little slice of heaven when we know the Truth of your LOVE, and LIGHT, and LIFE!  Bless all those new lives that are growing in the womb.  Protect all life, and please help women to realize that it is a most cherished LIFE and is to be protected and loved at all cost!  End the horror of abortion- protectress of LIFE, Our Lady of Guadalupe!  St Paul intercede for us from heaven and lead us in paths of fighting to the death for TRUTH.  May the fire for faith blind us to all that tries to pull at us and lead us down the wrong path.  We are Christ's with no hold backs or reservations!  May I be your hands and feet at the nursing home today. Make a way for more mothers to be given the sacred gift to be home with their families and "do a whole lot of something" each day for the welfare of their domestic church/family!   Bless the gathering of women tomorrow at the Diocesan CCW convention!  Leslee Unruh - speaker for LIFE and mass with the Bishop!  Wow!  Thank you, Lord!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia, Halleluia, Halleluia!
Dad time is the greatest too!
Bless-bless, Barb
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, and wisdom and strength and honor, Halleluia."
Rev 5:12
Thinking of Little Sister Hallel today too!  She sacrificed her desire for family to "leave it all behind," and say "yes" to the call to become His Bride!  She models the joy of that special life for all of her family - especially those little ones that can observe her life and her amazing Community of the Lamb!
http://communityofthelambusa.org/mission.html... I just found this site for the group that is now in the heart of the US in Kansas City!  Please take the time to look at it!  You will not be disappointed!  Bless-bless

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The 4H flavor day to day.

Mary (age 6) took this picture the other night with entering photography in 4H in the back of her mind the other night!  She also took a "cloud" picture of her brothers as they were in the constant state of motion on top of the van...

She is discovering the challange of capturing a shot with the activity going on and the time it takes the camera to snap a picture.  It is funny to see the kids already thinking about their 4H projects when both Simon and Mary are in Cloverbuds or preschool 4H!  Mary is thinking that she will follow her Aunt Nancy into Geology, and really that goes back another generation to her grandma Verly - me!  I collected fossils on Lake Michigan as a young girl and actually know quite a bit about them, and took Mary and siblings on fossil hunts this last summer at our cabin on the shores of Lake Michigan -Upper Penninsula!  Mary really got excited to see the fossilized snails and sponges and corals from the bottom of an ancient sea!  We had great fun, and another generation of fossil hunters and geology buff was born!  Nancy got purple champion ribbons and state fair trip in an area where there is not much competition, and she has a lot of knowledge she learned to this day....  We can talk about honeycomb coral or petosky fossils and about stromataporide sponges... yes, we really understand the preshistoric seas from the silurian or devonian periods of millions of years ago.  It is very interesting to us, and I forsee some great geology 4H projects in Mary's future going all the way to the State Fair!  She also has taken the photography baton - already winning a first place in open class last year.  Go Mary!  4H is great and really teaches you things that you carry forth into your life!  We are better for having had 4H in our family growing up and now with our grandkids!  A great thing for a family to share, and definitely enters into our daily lives as the kids get into school and find life interesting and full of new and exciting things to learn!  Bless-bless, Barb

John is home tonight and out with his dad farming... rain is forcasted so they are getting as much corn in the ground until the rain stops them.  Jesus, thank you for the rain, and the good planting conditions.  Keep the farmers safe, and bless their efforts to feed the world.  Amen and Halleluia!

Cross Beauty

Thinking of the farmers as we are entering our 3rd day of planting.  So far things are going well, with wonderful weather, and that wonderful rain that finally started to come and break the drought since July 1st of last year.  We still don't have any subsoil moisture, so the rain must continue to come, and come, and come all summer, but it just feels like it can rain again... thank you, St Isidore and all you saints in heaven!  It sure is nice to have you to come to with our needs.  Speaking of heaven today is a continuation of John 6 in the Gospel - John 6:44-51 And Jesus is telling us about sending us our Bread from heaven...
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world." 
And the first reading is that beautiful story from Acts about Philip and the Eunuch on the road from Jerusalem.  How he tells this man about the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah of Jesus... "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth.  In his humiliation justice was denied him..." Acts 8  So much power and Cross Beauty!  By Cross Beauty, I mean that it is the beautiful necessity of suffering and death so that we could find freedom from sin and death... it is the taking up of the Cross and following HIM that we are called to do.  His Bread of LIFE comes to us from that Cross and his sacrifice - just as the unblemished Lamb that was slain - after the blood was put on the doorposts in the Passover of the Angel of Death in Exodus was roasted and eaten with bitter herbs!  It fed them, but with food that was merely food - not miraculous heavenly food of LIFE!  Each time... every day in the Catholic Church... we are revisiting the sacrifice on the Cross of the Lamb in the celebration of the mass... and His Body and Blood are there for us to eat of HIM and carry HIM forth into our world!  True Food and Drink for the Journey!

It was very touching to look up and see Mary and David holding hands as they walked along over the uneven ground on a beautiful summerlike day.  Sharing the moment in this physical bond, and helping each other over the rough ground as they talked and walked.  There is something so spontaneous and special in this human closeness and comfortable feeling of sharing.  "What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light to the human race."  John 1:3-4 Wow! This is such a great verse from John!  If only we can embrace that LIFE that He holds out to us daily!  I always smile when I think of a story that John shared with me about an experience at his Faternity the first year he lived there.  There was a young man, who was so excited about his faith.  He burst out with this comment one day;  "Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a church service everyday that you could gather and worship?"   John and his best friend, Brad, looked at each other with amazement and told him..."But there is that available in the Catholic Church!"  Too amazing and great for words!  Come here to the Catholic Church... I have felt from the beginning of my journey into the Catholic Church and every day since - "It has everything figured out, and I can trust every single part of it!"  I have not been disappointed by this ever! 

Off to work today...  Jesus, go with me as I serve with a smile those that have found their final home to be the nursing home.  May I be a true and willing servant of yours, and may your Light and Love touch those around me.  I am  nothing without you, and I truly need to come to embrace my Most Cherished Cross, and see the Cross Beauty of it!   See that it is truly the Tree of LIFE and has brought your eternal feast for us to eat and find LIFE!  May we come to you often to eat of your Body and Blood "for the life of the world."  May we become more and more yours and less and less selfish and confused by all that pulls at us in our lives.  We are yours!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia, Halleluia, Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"I wish for my food to be the doing of your will, O my Jesus; that adorable will which is to constitute my whole life.  I wish, O Lord, your will to be a Paradise for me, in spite of the sacrificces I am called upon to make.  But what matters if I endure them for love of you?  O Jesus, here present with me in the Sacred Host!  I need that life of intimacy with you, that constant presence of the Beloved One.  I want to live and breathe in your most Sacred Heart.  I have need of you, O my Jesus, to live, to be pure, to sanctify myself.  I wish for no other bead than the bread of life which takes away all hunger and thirst: the immortal bread; which opens the gates of heaven to those who partake of it.  ... and this food which is the bread of the soul is yourself, my beloved Savior, whom I ardently desire to receive each moment,at every respiration, and at every pulsation of my heart." 
Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (1937)
Wow!  She has the words that I don't!  Thank you, Lord!  I am yours!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Girl thoughts...

I am acting rashly, I suppose!  I was walking through Wallmart yesterday, and the baby clothes called to me... after having 4 girls before I finally had a boy - I am being drawn to the girl clothes.  Ruth is due to have her baby in just 6 days, and she never finds out what she is having.  Two of her kids are thinking girl and one boy, but we do not know until May 1st at 9a!  I figure that with 3 grandchildren coming that I will have a girl at some point, so I took the plunge and picked out 2 things for a girl and they are displayed on a chair, so when I walk though the house I see them and smile!  I have told Ruth that I have been praying for "rosebud" since we first found out she was expecting, so this is just ingrained in me.  I have a 50-50 chance of being right... time will tell.  No matter what we are all getting super excited for the arrival of baby Lanoue! 
Butterflies, flowers and sunny - now those are bright and sweet summer baby girl clothes.  The baby girls are so much a part of my life... it's a habit and a beloved habit.  But those baby boys are the greatest thing too!  WE are just getting ready and waiting for the arrival of our newest member, and then wait patiently for the other two!  These girl clothes might have to wait for a later arrival...  Praying, hoping and loving LIFE whether boy or girl.  Jesus, thank you for LIFE and we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

Sunrise this morning - so beautiful!  Each new day dawns filled with hope and love of LIFE!

For the family and friends of Gage...

Reading your sharing this morning on caringbridge - http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gagedriver... I have read it and reread it over and over with fresh tears each time.  Especially how Gage's little brother, Ben, has been taught "how to care" by the Cross of cancer/loss of Gage from this earth.  It brought back to me these two crosses that I have seen in the last two days... One was this one in the sky as we had just started planting the crop - my husband, Pat, is a farmer in Southwest Minnesota.  It reminds me of the very hard and powerful lesson we learned on our brain cancer journey with our son, John, almost 3 years ago... that Jesus is in control of ALL we face on our journey of life.  Now looking at this with your pain and loss in mind.... I just thought that it could give you hope and comfort and assurance that little sweet Gage is truly at Peace with Christ! 
This is the second Cross that I was blessed with the day before, as we were out on a hill overlooking the creek in the back pasture fixing fence.  I looked down to see that the place where we cross to get from one side to the other with the 4 wheeler had formed a cross with the glistening gurgling creek running through it.  I was able to spend some time with my shoes off walking in the cool water and reflecting on how lifegiving is the Cross in our lives.  It is through the Cross that we come to the Resurrection.  And for Gage that is certainly true!  It sounds from your sharing that it has brought your family into deeper ways "to care" for one another in love.  May this hard time only strengthen your faith, and I know already that you are ministering to others through your compassion caused by such deep pain! 

Jesus, the pain hurts so bad, we need you to hold us and carry us, because we are weak.  Jesus, hold Gage and his family and friends in the palm of your hand.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen

Bless-bless, Pat, Barb and John Verly and family

St Mark - the Diaconate

What do you think of this?  Quite something to look up and see in the sky.  Yes, we know that it was two jet streams crossing each other, but it still makes one pause and reflect on the fact that Jesus is over all and in all and with all of us... right?  In the last year I have grown to love and honor St Mark, and it was very wonderful to see that today is his feastday!  Why the new love and appreciation of this one of the 4 evangelists... writer of the Gospels?  I had always been predjudiced in favor of St Luke - I chose him as my patron saint as a new convert to the Catholic Church at age 20.  I was in nursing school and thought that there was a tie to him being a physician.  I also loved his first few chapters about Mary and just women in general.  So since he was the best in my eyes... I just wasn't open to the others as much - of course, there is the ever amazing St John's Gospel all about LOVE and then there is the out-of-this-world John 6!  But Mark was lesser in my mind... no longer!  I was very struck by how Mark sees the world that surrounded Jesus - filled with people reaching out to him, and basically swarmed by crowds looking to HIM for healing and for knowledge of the Kingdom of God!  I grew to love his short and concise vision of Christ in his love for us and his compassion for those around him.  Maybe this is the difference that I saw in the words of the prologue in my TEC Bible - Good News Bible - "Mark presents the story of Jesus in a straightforward, vigorous way, with emphasis on what Jesus did, rather than on his words and teachings."  I guess that I was really drawn to that as we followed Mark in the readings of the Church this winter...  I was drawn into the crowd that came rushing to HIM when ever they discovered that he was in a certain place.  The word would get out, and he would discover huge crowds so pressing and seeking that he would have to climb into a boat and sit out on the water to teach them!  Wouldn't that be wonderful now?  For people to run to HIM wherever he might be found, knowing that HE has the ability to heal and to forgive!  What a beautiful glorious world this would be... if we would constantly be seeking HIM in all the ways that He is truly present in this world!  Firstly within our domestic church/family, within the Church and its life-giving Sacraments, in His Word, and in each of our fellow men!  He is everywhere, and He loves us with an unconditional LOVE, and yearns to heal us, and give us LIFE everlasting! 
Up early this morning to help Pat out the door, and into the tractor for the day... the sky was wonderul to behold, but the apple blossoms were stunning... I couldn't get them both in focus at the same time, but I think that you get the idea...  Glorious banners of beauty unfurled to greet the day and our Lord, creator of heaven and earth!  A reminder on FB today that there was an ordination of 11 new deacons in our diocese on Saturday in Sleepy Eye!  How I had wanted to attend that, but overnight shift at the NH made it impossible.  What an amazing gift that is for our diocese... My father was in the first diaconate program in the Archdiocese and was ordained in 1974! It was such a powerful step in our journey as Catholics!  We had just all converted to the Catholic Church in 1971... we just celebrated our 40th anniversary of becoming Catholic - all 13 of us - after my dad had been led by the Holy Spirit to give up his being a Protestant minister, and come into the Church!  As I have shared many times - he was on an Ignatious retreat, and was praying over the scripture Isaiah 55: 1-2, which is very Eucharistic!  He heard the Holy Spirit telling him to become Catholic, and when he told my mother - she was thrilled as she had yearned for this to happen for years!  She had a devotion to Mary years before this, and there is no place to be but the Catholic Church when you love and respect for her!  Mary brings us to her Son!  I was the oldest of 11 children, and my dad told me that I and the two under me could decide for ourselves, but that the younger 8 would be joining with them.  I had been considering a call to religious life - a long story that I have shared many times in the past - so I was excited to become Catholic!  My other two sisters also decided to become Catholic - so we all 13 joined together!  Within a few years of that, as a permanent Deacon - my dad was now doing everything in the Catholic Church that he had done as a Protestant Minister!  He was able to marry us, baptize our children, preach, visit the sick and homebound and those in prison... he used his "chalktalks" for alcoholics, and visited the prisons!  The Diaconate has been a hugely powerful ministry for my dad, his family, and all the varying diocese where he has served the Church!  My mom cried with joy... she had yearned for The Church for years, but had no hope that it could happen as dad was very content with his ministry as a Protestant Minister and working with alcoholics.  Now, within the first years of his becoming a Deacon, she was sitting in the St Paul Cathedral watching my dad on the altar assisting the Archbishop!  "Pinch me!  I must be in a dream!"  She told us.

The dark, fertile, and now moistened by rain, soil...awaits the seeds to be planted and grow.  Bless all farmers, Lord!  In honor of St Mark, my dad, and all the new deacons today... Psalm 19 of how we are all called to proclaim the Gospel in our worlds... "the small circle of home and workplace to proclaim the good news in word and deed." 
"The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course. 
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat."
"Our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction."  I Thes 1:5

Jesus, each day brings with it the beauty of YOU... we feed on you in your Word and the Gospels, which give us healing and truth!  You are present for us in your Body and Blood on the altar of every Catholic Church... "My Lord and My God!"  We recognize you in the breaking of the Bread, and our hearts are burning within us as you reveal to us the Truth that will set us free!  We embrace our Most Cherished Cross with each new day, and go forward into the LIGHT.  The door is open ahead of us, and we walk through into LIFE, and LOVE, and LIGHT!  Bless and protect all the unborn in the womb this day.  May those that are thinking about abortion - come to realize that this is a most cherished LIFE!  Jesus, we especially ask that you be with our 3 daughters, who are expecting.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia, Halleluia, Halleluia! 
Bless-bless, Barb   Our Lady of Lourdes, may healings abound in your healing springs in France this day!  Thank you, for circling John with your warm embrace of a MOTHER, and carrying him to your Son, Jesus Christ, for his healing! 
"In order to kindle a great love of God in yourself by entering deeply into the heavenly sacrament of the blood and flesh of Christ, turn your thought to the contemplation of the love which God has shown you personally in this sacrament.  For this great and almighty God was not content with creating you in his likeness and image, and when you sinned and offended him and so fell from your high rank, he was not satisfied with sending his Only-begotten Son to live 33 years on earth to deliver you, and, by terrible torment and painful death on the cross, to redeem and snatch you out of the hands of the devil, to whom you became enslaved through sin, and again to restore you to your former rank; no, he also deigned to establish the sacrament of his flesh and blood as food for you, so that the whole power of his incarnated dispensation might imbue your nature most essentially.  Make this last token of God's strong love for you the object of your constant contemplation and deep pondering, so that, seeing its manifold fullness and richness, you should thereby feed and inflame your heart with undivided love and longing for God."
Fr Lorenzo Scupoli (1610)
"Simon and Mary! They are planting daddy's field!"




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fair weather clouds- good planting!

Yes, we went to tracks this year!  All the grandsons are very excited about it, and I think that their grandpa, great-uncle and daddy think that it is pretty nice too!  This is Paul's field close to town - the first one dry enough to start on today... the clouds add a beautiful backdrop!  I was here to pick up Pat and take him to get the water truck - needed to put on the chemical.
On the way home I looked up to see this cross in the sky - yes, I know that it is two jets whose streams have crossed each other, but it still is kind of cool to see it up there blessing our farm and our fields on this glorious day of the beginning of planting!  Jesus, we thank you for the rain, for the sun, for the nice black soil that is working up so nicely, and for the warmth surrounding those corn seeds as they go into the earth.  Keep the farmers safe as they go late tonight!

A blesssing over our farm as I drove up to it this morning... then to sit in the Church and hear the babbling and gurgling of the baptismal font... it was the exact sound of the creek rushing down the banks as I stood in it yesterday in the pasture - at the foot of the cross!  The sound of lifegiving water - "If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink."  John 7:37  How my thirst is quenched as I sit there in the ocean of LOVE! 

A beautiful new tree in full bloom where my old rose bush used to be made a glorious banner beneath the steeple of the huge Church!  We praise you to the highest heavens our Lord and our King!  Your beautiful creation salutes YOU! 

 Some time with dad on the grass by his field... the attack of the dandylion! 

Daddy jungle gym... while the field is getting close to being planted...

Landmark day - first day of planting April 24, 2012!  Bless-bless,Barb and the farming Verlys and Lanoues!