Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hanging out with the Saints

St Luke is my patron saint, and St Joseph is Pat's.  I chose Luke as a 20 year old convert, because he writes the most about Mary in the early times of her becoming the Mother of God and when she carried HIM inside of her to visit Elizabeth, etc.  He also was a physician and I was in nursing school then, and am a nurse now.  He has been a special patron saint for me, and I called myself "Barbara Luke" in my early Catholic days.  The person responsible for my life - Margie/Raterra - Pat's sister... still can call me Barbara Luke from time to time or just LUKE!  I like it and that can transport me back to my romantic IN LOVE WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DAYS!  I have never recovered, but the years of reading Thomas Merton and A'Kempis up at our hobby "farm"in Wisconsin were very wonderful for me!  My nun years as I call them.  St Joseph is very special to me too... I pray to him everyday for the wonderful father and family man that I have been given in Patrick Gerard Joseph Verly!  The sign next to him to protect our troops and bring them home with my son-in-law gone... I cling to St Joseph and join without ceasing for that request!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Bless-bless

"Compete well for the faith." I Tim

I am not a sporty or really a competitive person, but the words from St Paul in evening prayer last night reminded me that in some ways I am very competitive and I have on my armor for the battle!  "Compete well for the faith.  Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called."  I Tim 6:12
Then St Paul speaks these words in Philippians 2
"Hold on to the Word of LIFE, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.  But, even as I am poured out as a libation upon the sacrficial service of your faith.  I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.  In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me."
When it comes to my faith and the fight against lies and evil - I am a fierce competitor!  And I probably still run with all my might into the fence as I did in junior high... I was determined to run fast for once - so I got up from my starting crowch in a race and ran very fast with my eyes closed to really concentrate and ran into the fence!  Shocking, embarassing, and humbling - suddenly I was knocked to the ground by this fence!  I felt to be the most stupid fool in the world, and it is still a cause of laughter for my kids!  I am reminded of the gene I passed on to them of incoordination, and poor skills except for swimming.  Now in swimming my girls could compete, and some of them could make it to section swim meet, and got qualifying times!  So we did find a sport that they could be in and contribute to the team!  I guess that watching them and John in hockey and speech over the years has shown me that there is competition we can rise to!  Then I also do enter pictures in open class at the fair and compete against other people to take a ribbon.  I do have the experience of competing, and striving to the finish line! 
I really look at a lot of sharing of my faith as a battle that I am engaged in... there are so many lies and deceit that are ingrained into the fabric of our lives.  I do feel such a righteous indignation about some of the lies of Satan that are accepted as fact.  The idea that before marriage or engagement a couple should cohabitate to see if they are compatible!  Can you imagine the way this leads into having multiple sex partners before marriage as well as probably gets some couples so involved that they marry wrongly.  It just muddies up the picture and does not allow for prayerful and honest discerning of whether we are being called to marriage to a person.  By listening to HIS Word and the Wisdom of His Bride,the Church, we can see that premarital sex is a sin, and to remain pure allows us to give such a beautiful GIFT to our spouse on our wedding night! Also there is the lie believed in the world that we should limit our families to two children - Why?  So that we don't overpopulate the world, bring children into a messed up world, or so that they can have everything that I didn't have.  Can you see how lame all of these reasons to limit family are?  I even was confused and wondered if we were being selfish when we were on our engagement weekend, and all the other couples were only having 1, 2, or none due to the mess the world is in.  When I asked Pat about this - he did not hesitate one minute and told me this; "The world needs lights!"  Wow!  Talk about a Holy Spirit moment, and it carried through our entire marriage, and continues on now with our children!  So much wisdom and so powerful not only in our openness to the children we were to have here and in heaven, but also the domestic church/family... praying and sharing the saints and mass and all the glorious wonder of The True Church!  What joy we shared and continue to share, and how we are drawn together to love and share the "sacrificial service of your faith." 

Lord, families are under attack and we must put on the armor of God to fight for the victory! Eph 6:10-17 (NIV) ..."Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  Wow!  I am a in shape and muscle bound ready for the fight warrior - fully protected with the armor of God!  I have done battle and will fight to my last breath for HIM and HIS Truth!  Use me,Lord, I am totally devoted to YOU and there is no turning back from Your Way, Your Truth, and Your LIFE!  May your LIGHT shine forth for all to see and believe!  Use me, Lord, I am totally YOURS!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb

"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.  For I too am a man subject to authority, with servants subject to me"  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith...You may go; as you have believed, let it be done to you."  And at that very hour his servant was healed." 
Matt 8 The Gospel for today!
"He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases."  Isaiah

Friday, June 29, 2012

My muscle man

I know that I used some of these pictures last night too, but I really like them.  It is so different to see Pat standing in the middle of a piece of machinery, and the rakes on the spool that pulls the hay through are just kind of spikey and wicked looking.  It was interesting trying to work on the "canvas" without getting one of these metal toothes in our heads or other places on our body.  I had to remind Pat not to stand up at times or he would have gotten poked - his responce - "I have worked on this thing so many times that I can sense where I should be."  Like an old personal friend, I guess.  It was a lot nicer day in the shade yesterday... it felt cool and comfortable unlike today which was hot and muggy without the wind.  It was a picture perfect afternoon with my muscleman farmer husband.  And these pictures I took while he talked to our son-in-law are a special reminder of the man that I love and married!  He is a jack of all trades with many jobs from working with the equipment to fixing and tuning the equipment to working with his cows and calves, caring for the crops and then the big business of marketing the crops.  He is not only muscular but smart too!  It is good to see his many facets that make up Patrick Verly! 
But what I love best is his love and devotion to his FAITH and FAMILY and then add the FARM and WOW!  He is the whole package!  Thank you, Lord!  Jesus, we trust in you. Amen and Halleluia! 

Bless-bless, Barb

Two amazing Saints - the foundation of our Church!

I had the gift of making it to mass this morning for the hugely wonderful solemnity/feast day of St Peter and St Paul!  While John, Pat and I were sharing morning prayer afterwards... I was reminded that two years ago we were visiting Little Sister Hallel in Kansas City on this day!  We had made icons with Hallel and Paul and Simon had made one with their two patron saints on it for the occassion.   It was a powerful time for us to go and embrace our wonderful Hallel/Susan - 4 carloads of Verlys all went down on seperate occassions to see her before she left for France.  This is also reminding me that it has been two years that she has been in France!  It was a wonderful thing for us all to go and share in the life of the Community of the Lamb at that time, and now there are two new members of our family that Hallel has not met, nor have they had the experience of the Community there.  I just have to think that soon she will be coming back to the U.S. to help with all that it is going to take to finish the little monastery they are in the midst of building this summer.  Hallel has discovered that she loves to do woodworking and manual labor.  There will be plenty of that to do with the furniture they will have to build, and the inside work of finishing up the spaces.  She had traveled to Kansas City back 4 years ago, and helped them build the chapel in their old Belgian rectory they had been given to live in here in the heart of our country - in a very poor neighborhood... which is exactly as they desire to embrace poverty in this way!
The chapel was a place where we all shared times of prayer throughout the day... it was very sweet to watch little Simon, at that time he was 5, sitting beside his aunty Sue/Hallel.  Look at the example of prayer, and joy, and placing the Word as Christ in our lives... We are all touched by our time with the Community, and having a daughter/sister/aunt who has said "yes" to her spouse, Jesus Christ!  Simon discovered that he was named after a most human man, St Peter, yet knowing the Truth that will set us free man- Simon Peter - The first Pope and the rock upon which the Church is placed!  Such an amazing legacy to his name!

It is with some sadness that I know that this old building is now torn down to make room for the little monastery!  Yet, there will be a new humble, yet so beautiful, chapel filled with the power of constant prayer and Jesus in the Word... this in the heart of our country is so needed, and there to heal the wounds of our world and our country!  I know that Hallel and her community are praying for our son-in-law today as he is traveling to Alfghanistan!  "Proclaim the Word; be persistant whether it is convenient of inconvenient, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching."  2 Tim 4:2

Putting on the blue apron - 4 year old Mary learned to work beside her Hallel in service to the Community.  Jesus, it is such a gift to have this day tie us back to our time with the Community of the Lamb and our Little Sister Hallel!  She is part of our beating heart - our family - that gives us LIFE and LOVE!  Our family is so large within our wonderful glorious Church!  It includes now that many more daughters and sons through the Community of the Lamb!  We have not lost Hallel, rather we have enlarged our family to include so many that know and love you with their lives of poverty, chastity, and obedience!  How we learn and grow to LOVE and serve you through our time with them!  How we are blessed by their prayers surrounding us daily.  The prayers they poured over us 3 years ago with John's cancer/healing journey was powerful in the total picture of healing and a deep journey of FAITH!  May our arms not ache too much to hug our sweet Hallel, but rather give her to YOU and trust in how much you care for every hair upon her head - with every beat of her heart and every breath that she takes - "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..."  WE are forever blessed by her vocation and example to us. Thank you, Jesus!  May all those named Paul and Peter be blessed with such powerful and joyful memories and celebrate with great JOY and Blessings on this Holy Day!  Jesus, with Peter and Paul at your side, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
The spot where a little Monastery is now putting down roots in our country - we are forever blessed!  Thank you, Lord!  St Peter and St Paul bless the Community of the Lamb this day and forever... as well as all those that desire to follow in your footsteps as disciples of Our Lord, Jesus Christ!

"How can they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how can they believe in him in whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone to preach?  And how can people preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!' "
St Paul to the Romans 10: 14-15

Christ in his glorious WORD and the BREAD OF LIFE in the tabernacle!  So much for our Journey called Domestic Church/Family! 
The Wheat - may be die as a grain of wheat and bear much fruit this day!  If we are his Body by Casting Crowns really says it all today! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Stay safe, and keep the faith!"

Pat and I were out in the shade working on his swather - the phone rang and it was our son-in-law, Joseph.  He is heading out to Alfghanistan tonight!  Pat told him how proud he is that he is protecting our freedom, and assured him of our prayers.  I knew that I needed to speak to him the words of my heart, and they were flavored with tears.  My family is to the point that they expect that from me, and I have learned to talk through my tears.  I found myself telling him how much I love him, and these words pretty much describe Maria's husband's love and mission in the army - "Stay safe, and keep the faith."  He voiced to Pat that he has many mixed feelings to be leaving his wife and kids - including the newest one to be born in 3 months.  And yet excitement at this new adventure and mission in the army!  How we will miss him and our prayers will surround him over there!  He is a shining beacon of LIGHT in his faith that is openly shared in a place where it is rarely seen! 

Lord, we are so wanting to support our daughter's family through this difficult time in their lives.  May our love and prayers surround them all and give them the LOVE they need to find Peace and Joy in the midst of this cross.  Jesus, we beseech you that Joe is kept safe and all the young men that are placing themselves in harms way to protect the freedom that we have here in our wonderful country.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
Prayer for Our Military

"O Prince of Peace, we humbly ask Your protection for all our men

and women in military service. Give them unflinching courage to

defend with honor, dignity and devotion the rights of all who are

imperiled by injustice and evil. Guard our churches, our homes,

our schools, our hospitals, our factories, our buildings, and all

those within from harm and peril. Protect our land and its people

from enemies within and without. Grant an early peace with victory

founded upon justice. Instill in the hearts and minds of men and

women everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and

good will towards all. Amen."

"Set solidly on rock." Matt 7

When I am with the grandkids on an adventure - I love to capture the walking down the path pictures as they are so visual of the journey of LIFE and LOVE we are on with Christ!  This day last week with the gloious clouds in the sky and the crops coming up nicely, due to the good rains we have gotten... I was behind the older 3 pushing little Rose in her stroller for her first ever pature adventure!  She has already had her first "running through mudpuddle adventure" after a big rain.  She seemed to turn her head to listen to the glee, and laughter, and splashing of her brothers and sister as they ran back and forth through the water.  She truly does "listen" to their LOVE and LIFE which has surrounded her always - even within the womb she could not only hear her mother's voice, but also the commotion of her loving and living family!  She seems to calm, and starting to smile, and look at them... when they are with her, and touching her, and kissing her!   A family that is "set solidly on the rock."  Today's Gospel is from Matt 7, and is the one about the house built on rock or sand.  It is kind of funny in a way as we are heading up to our cabin on Lake Michigan, and there is not much doubt that it is built on the sand... Yes, a foundation was dug and cement put at its' base but to be realistic- it is in the midst of a sanddune and built on sugar sand!  There is not much doubt that a huge storm could push it down, but being on the inland sea - Lake Michigan - it likely won't ever be a tropical storm or hurricane there.
Today Ruth and Paul and their 4 kids are heading out to Michigan.  Praying for safe travels!  It is also the day that our son in law, Joe, is heading out to Alghanistan!  Our heart is with his family as they say goodbye.  Lord, protect him and be with them as they are seperated one from the other.  Maria and the kids will be coming to join us for our time in Michigan on Sunday, so we are overjoyed to have them here in the bosom of their loving extended family.  So many conflicting and deep emotions on this day and need for constant prayer!  We cling to Our Lord and Our Spiritual Mother, Mary Most Holy!  "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock."  Matt 7: 21-29  There is no option of leaving Christ's Church, and Word, and Truth behind, when the storms of life beat against us!  We find our HOPE, PEACE, JOY there and there alone!   "How did you keep your faith in God in the midst of John's brain cancer?"  We are asked.  To me that is crazy to even think about - How would we have survived or John found healing without our holding onto the ROCK of faith... Jesus Christ with his Bride the Church?  That was where we found the ability to put one foot in front of the other and follow the path to cancer/healing! 

Jesus, it is overwhelming to see how we are blessed with all that we need, if we build our house on the rock!  There can be no doubt or worry... as you are with us, and give us ALL that we need!  You are the Way, The Truth, and the LIFE!  We are never alone, and can find comfort in Your Word each day; Your Sacraments of LIFE and LOVE and Forgiveness; in the gift of prayer and the devotionals that are so rich and powerful - for me the rosary is my lifeline for prayer; in the Saints that walk with us always - today St Irenaeus is specially memorialized, and shows us how to cling to the ROCK; also the angels are all around us protecting and guiding us through life!  Our prayers one for the other also are the wind beneath our wings!  How can we ever doubt of your LOVE and Direction in our lives?  You are always directing us on the Path of LIFE as we follow after you carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  We know that you are surrounding Maria's family this day of departure. Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb  This went so deeply into my inner cathedral/sanctuary... the feeling of the precious little life in my arms, the sound of the wonderful gurgling steam - much like the sound of the water in the new baptismal font at church, the beauty of a glorious summer day with no bugs, the sound of children enjoying each other on a beautiful day, and the beads of prayer to my Spiritual Mother at the side of her Son, passing through my fingers and prayer in my soul!  A GIFT as I am built on the ROCK!
"The Law of the Truth was in his mouth; no dishonesty was found on his lips.  He walked with me in integrity and peace, and turned many away from evil." 
Mal 2:6  This is speaking of St Ireneaus, and may he intercede, and show us how to give our all for Christ! 
"I long to see you a strong stone, with your foundation in that gentle firm rock, Christ Jesus.  You know that a stone or building set on sand or soil is tumbled by the slightest wind or rain.  So it is with people whose foundation is in the transitory things of this dark passing life that pass away as quickly as the wind or as dust thrown into the wind.  Every little difficulty knocks them down.  We were like that when our foundation was in self-centeredness, which is the most wicked wound and leprosy we can have.  It is the leprosy that weakens and kills all the virtues...So my soul longs to see you set on the living rock...He is a master architect who knows what we need, he wants nothing else but that we be made holy.  Whatever he gives and permits - whether temptation from the devil, or being tried and hounded by other people, or hurt or abuse or any other sort of trouble - he gives and permits it for our good... Without this rock we cannot live.  And because he is united as one with the Father, this Son is so sweet that in him, in his sweetness, everything bitter becomes sweet.  In him is living mortar, not sand or soil."
St Catherine of Siena (1380)  With all the water - the well by Casting Crowns just seems to be it for today! 
Isaiah 55: 1-2
Invitation to the Thirsty

55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

2 Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare."  Laura Story - Mighty to Save!!!!
"He can move a moutain..."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"O Day, all days enlightening."

Clear hot summer morning with the bright sun enlightening all to dazzling bright!  Out to pick up bales along the busy highway that passes around Marshall in the early morning.  Returned home to my Mary Statue radiating to me the assurance that she is there at the side of her Son, Jesus Christ... always bringing all my needs and prayers to her Son!  I was able to say the first 5 decades of my rosary as I traveled 10 miles an hour pulling a bale rack with 11 bales on it home.  Lots of time to take in the morning sights and pray without ceasing!  Such a beautiful gift is this amazing devotional of our Church - the rosary- I now have a glorious granddaughter named to remind us of Our Lady and her prayer... little Rose Ida!  She was born on May Day - May 1st in the Month devoted to Our Lady and it is so appropriate that she would be little Rose - light to the world! 
Nothing more soft and calming than a beautiful wheat field in the bright morning light!  How I would love to have grandchildren running through it or standing in it, but alas it is not our wheat field and was just there along the road to grace my early morning slow travels down the shoulder of a busy highway with rosary in hand.  So appropriate to look upon with the many references to "wheat" by Christ to us!  Once again Jesus talks to us about bearing fruit today - not using wheat but good trees and rotten trees... " A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.  So by their fruits you will know them."  Matt 7: 15-20  Here He is speaking in terms of wheat... the theme of Die day for our weekend retreat, and such a reminder of how we need to "die" so that Christ can bear that fruit through us as His hands and feet!  "A grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies."  John 12: 24  Now continuing with verse 25-26 - "But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." 
Thank you, Lord, for the rain and heat to make the crops so beautiful!  We are so grateful and ask that the rain can continue to give life and growth to the crops, so that we can feed the world with the work of our hands and the help of nature, which we cannot control.  Thank you for allowing us to "see" with eyes of faith how the ways of seeds and fruit reveal to us how we can be yours and bring YOU to those in our family/domestic Church as well as the family we are blessed with through the wonder of Your Church, Your Bride, Your Body!  Jesus, we are filled with LOVE for HER and know that She is there to show us how to get to Heaven.  Heaven can be here on earth if only we look past our selfishness and into your face in all those that surround us!  Thank you, Our Lady, for traveling with us on our journey.  The temple within is aglow with LOVE and LIFE as we fall down in worship and adoration - Jesus, we love you and trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
"Jesus Christ
Has no hands but our hands
To do his work today.
He has no feet but our feet
To lead people in his way.
He has no tongue but our tongue
To tell people how he died.
He has no help but our help
To bring people to his side."  Author unknown
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." 
Matt 11: 28-30
Lord, humble me and use me!  This amazing song will fill you with HOPE and TRUST - Mighty to Save by Laura Story!  Hear our prayer, O Lord! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rejoicing at milestones of a baby sister!

Little Rose is growing so beautifully and her siblings gather around to celebrate her growing into a big crib!  Ruth has to space her children a number of years apart due to her rupturing her uterus with Vback attempt with Mary, her second child!  Rose's brother, David, will be 4 next month... so he is very interested and excited at having a little sister now.  He notices all that she does and truly is interested and loving towards her - kissing her often throughout the day.  Little Rose is starting to turn her head and watch her mom, dad and siblings!  She calms down when she is held and kissed by her siblings! 
David loves those healthy chubby cheeks and really can hardly walk past her without giving her a loving kiss!  Little Rose has to know without a doubt that she is loved and cherished and much welcomed into her domestic Church/family! 

There is so much love all around you little Rose Ida!  You are a beloved gift from God, and forever a cherished member of our family.  Jesus, thank you for the gift of LIFE and the resulting LOVE that grows and grows!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb

The road that leads to LIFE!

I am awash in tears at the moment... just received an email that a young man, who shared a TEC weekend with me years ago - I drove him to and from, and we shared the experience that touched both of us... the touch of Christ as we felt his loving and forgiving embrace... was killed in a car accident last evening!  I remember how this quiet young man shared with joy and wonder at how he had felt Christ's LOVE on the weekend we shared.  He went back with me as we gathered a couple weeks later to share how this encounter had forever changed us!  I vividly remember his transformation and desire to pursue the Path of Christ! 
My heart is broken for the agony of his family at this shocking loss of their young son!  As I just returned last evening from a TEC weekend, and am overwhelmed by the depth of the experience... yes, the tears are perhaps closer to the surface for me, but knowing that we shared this "real world" together, and how I knew that he was forever touched by it - gives me a lot of peace and hope for his finding the way to Jesus!  I have had many loved ones that have said "yes"to the retreat called Together Encounter Christ, and although they don't continue to come back to it, as I have... I know that they have been forever touched and changed by this encounter with Christ, and getting a taste of Heaven - the call each of our hearts have to come to HIM in eternal LIFE!  A wonderful young friend/ brother of mine said with great JOY something that has been held closely in his heart - "I will never forget the reminder that the world out there is not the real world - this encounter with HIM and HIS LOVE is the real world!  This is the real world, and we can take it with us in our hearts and souls as we leave here and go forth!" 
The Gospel for today is Christ speaking to us..."Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.  This is the Law and the Prophets.
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.  And those who find it are few." Matt 7: 6, 12-14
These are kind of hard words to hear, yet for us that are willing and wanting to follow HIM, know that it is a hard path at times!  Yet the LIFE we gain through the death of the Cross is so powerful and filled with such depth of LIFE and LIGHT!  We are overwhelmed by HIM - HIS nailscarred hands are reaching for us always and without hesitation!  No matter what He loves us and forgives us, if we only turn to HIM and are humble and contrite! 

Jesus, I fall before you in such depth of feeling and LOVE!  The LOVE is made the richer and more profound as I am filled with such deep emotion of the pain of the Cross this day!  The road that leads to life is one of suffering which brings us to the realization that we need you to show us how to LIVE!  Jesus, you gave up all and yes ALL - your earthly life was ended by death of sin and darkness. Yet overcame death and showed us the path to LIFE!  Through the Cross we find LIFE!  That is being pounded home to me in my walk with you carrying my Most Cherished Cross!  I cannot do it with my puny strength, but armed with the gifts of the Spirit, and leaving my selfishness behind - I can with the help of Christ, who strengthens me!  The Gifts of the Spirit - reverence, which you fill us with wonder and adoration before the majesty of God.  Piety so that you will always walk in the awareness of God's personal love for us.  Spiritual Knowledge whereby our mind and heart and the mind and heart of God blend together like the flame of two candles drawn one to the other.  Courage of fortitude so that we may stand strong against all those forces which would rob us of our dignity as sons and daughters of God.  Counsel of right judgement so that we may know the joy of living in friendship with Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit which leads to making good choices in life.  Wisdom so that we may see the world through the eyes of God and love the world with the heart of God.  And the gift of understanding so that we may interpret God's will in the daily events of our lives.  If we continue to live this way in God's presence, our lives will be filled with the fruits of the Spirit - love, peace, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  May God keep us in HIS LOVE!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
The Road that leads to LIFE by St Josemaria Escriva (1975)
"Let me tell you about an event of my own personal life which happened many years ago. One day I was with a friend of mine, a man with a good heart but who did not have faith.  Pointing toward a globe he said, 'Look, from North to South, from East to West.'  'What do you want me to look at?'  I asked.  His answer was:  'The failure of Christ.  For twenty centuries people have been trying to bring his doctrine to men's lives, and look at the result.'  I was filled with sadness.  It is painful to think that many people still don't know him, many live as though they did not.  But that feeling lasted only a moment.  It was shortly overcome by love and thankfulness, because Jesus has wanted every man to cooperate freely in the work of redemption.  He has not failed.  His doctrine and life are effective in the world at all times.  The redemption carried out by him is sufficient, and more than sufficient.
God does not want slaves, but children.  He respects our freedom.  The work of salvation is still going on, and each one of us has a part in it.  It is Christ's will.  St Paul tells us in impressive words, that we will fulfill in our flesh, in our life, what is lacking in his Passion, 'for the good of his body, which is the Church.'
It is worthwhile putting our lives on the line, giving ourselves completely, so as to answer to the love and the confidence that God has placed in us.  It is worthwhile, above all, to decide to take our Christian life seriously."
So powerful!  This man was cannonized while Maria was studying in Rome, and he is the man behind the Opus Dei Movement in our amazing Church!  Here is a link if you are learning more -

Come to the well...  This song touched me deeply this last weekend - may it touch you as well - we come to YOU, Jesus, our loving and forgiving Savior!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Little Rose looked so excited and happy to stretch out in her big crib... at 7 weeks she had outgrown the little bassinet that she was in beside her mom's and dad's bed!  I told Ruth that she is looking now and would love to see a mobile with music above her... how they grow!  It is a wonderful amazing thing to behold!  I will always remember a little cow that baby Gus followed around and around... just the cow - no other farm animals attracted his gaze.  I think the next time that I go over there - the kids will be fighting to crank up little Rose's mobile!
Her brothers and sister all gathered around her to celebrate this step in her growth!  All the milestones and stepping stones of GROWTH that these 4 will share together as they live together, and worship together, and celebrate the milestones of life together in their domestic Church/family!  Their family is much like the one that Ruth grew up in with her siblings - in the country away from neighbor kids - they are each other's best friends and playmates.  It was a good thing for our kids and is equally great for Ruth's!  We had fun going out - even little Rose in her stroller- on an adventure down to the creek in the pasture behind their home yesterday. 

The three older ones helped each other across the water in their wonderful rubber boots!  What would we do without them on the farm?  Simon was the only one, who got water over the top, but he would just empty out the water now and then and go back to playing in the gurgling creek.  I had a feeling that little Dave alone would fall on the tippy rocks underfoot, but his older and more sure-footed siblings got him across safely!  Once again revealing the growth on many levels as the years pass.  But the teaching them of kindness and caring to take care of their younger brother and not leave him stranded or allow him to get hurt or worse yet how some siblings actually hurt each other...  This is where the raising kids as lights and in a faith filled home comes into play!  The Spiritual Growth is actually the most important way for children and all of us,no matter what our age, to take to heart... Allowing the seed to be planted to good soil and to bear much fruit!

Splashing onto the other side!  Thank you,Lord.  For all the ways that we are gifted with growth in YOU!  How can there be any doubt of a God when we look upon the miracle of LIFE and growth of all the systems together in all of their intricate dependence one on the other!  We are a glorious work of art and the human body is a miraculous masterpiece!  I will always remember my little nun anatomy and physiology professor at St Catherine's, Sr Teresita, telling us that just looking at the human body proves, without a doubt, that there is a God!  So true!  As you tell us in the beautiful glorious 139 Psalm - "I will praise you for I am wonderfully made!"  We are especially filled with the Truth that foremost we need to grow in our faith and become LIGHTS to the world!  May parents take this to heart.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"The lamp of the body is the eye.  If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.  And if the light in you is darkness, how great will that darkness be."  Matt 6: 19-23 The Gospel for today!  St Thomas More and St John Fisher, pray for us. 

Helping little Dave back across...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pasture Adventure with the 4!

Ruth had her check up after birth,so I had all 4 and we all went on a pasture adventure!  It was the best day ever with beautiful puffy clouds, nice breeze, and no bugs at all!  The 3 older ones put on their wonderful rubber boots, and Simon was the only one that waded back and forth and had the water go over the top of his boots.  He just would come to the edge and pour out the water, and then put them back on for more fun!  Little Dave is unsure on the rock crossing, so he had his sister on one side and brother on the other... a dream picture for grandma!  It was a small slice of heaven sitting on the bank with my sweet baby granddaughter, Rose Ida.  The sound of the gurgling rushing water and the kids getting some outside time together... So wonderful! 

Always time for a kiss on baby sister's cheek, and then back to play.  Rose liked being up on grandma's shoulder and fell asleep lulled by the sound of the water gurgling over the rocks.  The warm sun on her head, and the light breeze keeping her cool and comfortable!

Kitty, Purrrrrs, getting some attention too!

Soft and luvvy!

Mary catches a big Simon fish!  Fun in the sun, puffy clouds and wonderful breeze and no bugs!  I think that it was HEAVEN!

Jesus, we thank you and trust in you.  To have that little precious girl in my arms on such a wondrous day... it was the BEST!  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb

Water and sticks = Boy's fun in the sun!