Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Landmark day... St Ignatius, thank you!

Last week I had the joy of having my parents here for a few days.  My dad sat over by the huge picture window in the front of our house praying and reading his prayers and office of the deaconate.  In our family we all know that we are covered in prayer by my parents... my dad prays for each member of our family by name daily!  Just back from mass with John on this feastday of St Ignatius... the man who started the Jesuit- Society of Jesus order, and also developed the Ignation Exercises.  My parents were starting the Ignation Exercises at the Cenacle Convent about 41 years ago, and my dad was meditating on Isaiah 55: 1-2, when the Holy Spirit told him that he should leave his Protestant ministry and join the Catholic Church... in the next year all 13 of us - my parents and 11 children took our first Communion as Catholics together at Christmas Midnight Mass at the Cenacle Convent!  Each day has been filled with majesty for me ever since!  I am filled to overflowing by the blessings of this journey!  Thank you, Lord!
My dad as a Permanent Deacon at Joe and Maria's wedding!  The blessings are always and forever!  Jesus, we are forever changed and our hearts are reborn in your Catholic Church!  St Ignatius, in following your call and ministry we are brought into the Truth and the Way and the LIFE!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia
Dad reading the Gospel at Maria's wedding.  Bless-bless, Barb
Off for a big day of FAIR...with a rosary in my pocket.  Please join me in prayer for safety for Joseph in Alghanistan. 
"At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend,of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Phil 2: 10-11
Heaven comes to earth in the MASS!  Feed us, O Lord!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pictures are in...

I had fun changing this beautiful red rose from our trip to France a year ago into black and white... It was a good day of working with my granddaugther on her pictures and then getting mine ready to go and they having some fun time in registering pictures with my son, John, after we went to mass together!  A good day came to a wonderful end.
This was one of my favorites of Mary's... this was her plant life entry

She didn't even use this one!  I love it a lot!  Super cute of Ruth's two youngest children taken by their 6 year old sister!  Thanks for taking this Mary!  I love it a lot! 

She really had fun with this one!  Her mom black eyed Susans - digitally manipulated to be hot pink! 
Of course, Snowball for her animal picture.
Mary's Black and white ...

Cute one on the fence that she didn't use.  WE had fun and time will tell how she does... she is about the youngest of the bunch... she is 6 and you can enter all the way up to 15 years old.  I will let you know how Mary and I do! 

My color flower entry... Kind of cool in the setting sun of the pasture in early June
Bless-bless, Barb

Fair time...

I am in the midst of the craziness of getting my pictures ready to enter in open class at the fair, so I will be using some of them to illustrate my sharing this morning.  I really do feel overwhelmed and mind-boggled by the volume of pictures I have to wade through to find the ones I want to enter.  I really feel the weight of too many pictures, yet at the time I am taking them they are almost too important to me!  In looking through them last night - Pat thought that I had my best chance with this one, so it is the one I am starting with.  I am off shortly to work with my granddaughter, Mary, on her photography entries too... she is my mini-me and is taking up my hobbies - geology and photography, and I suppose watercolors too!  A bit scary to see her so much appreciating what I have embraced in my life... knowing how far I have carried some of those hobbies into obsessions. 
My color children entry - Mary's bright swimsuit partially was why I chose this one... Color, and light, and, yes, black and white too are so wonderful in pictures.  I find that I do better in black and white - probably mostly because there is less competition in that area. 
Here is a black and white people entry...  I love the faces on all of the kids and Maria at this story time in Michigan. 
I must be getting frantically busy getting all ready for entering my projects tonight.  I just prayed with John for PEACE to dwell in and with me!  Jesus, I need to carry you forth into my day, and may all those I come in contact with KNOW that you are at my side.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
Psalm 148:7-14 - a Hallel Psalm of highest praise to our God! 

New International Version (NIV)

7 "Praise the Lord from the earth,

you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,

stormy winds that do his bidding,

9 you mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars,

10 wild animals and all cattle,

small creatures and flying birds,

11 kings of the earth and all nations,

you princes and all rulers on earth,

12 young men and women,

old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[a]

the praise of all his faithful servants,

of Israel, the people close to his heart. "
"Lord God, you have made heaven and earth by your great might, with your outstretched arm; nothing is impossible to you."  Jer 32: 17
"Our glory is to mirror back in loving praise to God who made us the beauty we glimpse dimly in all that comes from his hand."  See http://www.magnificat.com/

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Venerable Thomas A'Kempis

I know that this is blurry, but think of it as impressionistic.  It is a self protrait in front of our "farm" in Wisconsin.  We moved to Minneapolis - inner city- the Bascilica was our parish, when we all coverted to Catholic.   I was just 20 years old, and the 10 under me were within about 12 years - all 13 of us converted together!  My parents had bought an abandoned building site for us to work on and get livable with windows, plaster on walls, sanding and varnishing the floors...we had a pump for water, and did have electricity.  We had a large garden there and froze vegetables from that.  We did not do the canning that I have learned to do here on the true farm in Southwest Minnesota.  Seeing our farm through Pat's eyes truly showed me that we were a far cry from a true farm, but after we left there - they did once again milk cows in the barn. 

How I smiled and let out a small cheer to read that the meditation for the day was written by Venerable Thomas A'Kempis!  As a new Catholic... I have wonderful memories of diving into my ever growing, by the day, love for the Church.  One of my early mentors was reading A'Kempis - The Imitation of Christ.  I poured over his words and just groaned by his depth and Truth!  Now to see that he has been venerated by the Church was just a delight to me!  Well, I have a 4 year grandson here talking to me and I am not able to truly concentrate on this... plus I am groggy after working overnight!
Another impressionistic one of my sister Mary and I on the front stoop of an abandoned Church in Wisconsin farm country... now that my sister has been dead for 16 years - this takes on a very deep meaning for me, and it is too precious to delete.  Venerable Thomas speaks about the Miracle of the Multiplication
"My soul longs  for your body; my heart desires to be united with you.  Give me yourself - it is enough; for without you there is no consolation.  Without you I can not exist, without your visitation I cannot live.  I must often come to you, therefore, and receive the strength of my salvation lest, deprived of this heavenly food , I grow weak on the way.  Once, most merciful Jesus, while preaching to the people and healing their many ills, you said: 'I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint on the way.'  Deal with me likewise, you who have left yourself in this Sacrament fo the consolation of the faithful.  You are sweet refreshment to the soul, and he who eats you worthily will be a sharer in, and heir to, eternal glory."

The 13!  Lord, the journey to you is one shared and nourished within my domestic Church/family.  Your fingerprint is upon us, and we are forever filled with wonder and joy!  So many paths we all have found laid out before us!  Jesus, we love you and thank you for that last 40 years - each day has been a blessing within our True Church!  May we all be together in heaven someday with all your angels and saints... Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Silly Dave - he found the scarf that Little Sister Hallel made me a few years back - I think you can see that I was distracted by cute silliness!  Bless-bless, Barb

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Feeding takes work and rain...

This is the grass in my yard... as I was walking to the garden to pick it this morning, I noticed this green blooming clover in the middle of the dead burned out grass.  It is surprising how some plants can look like they are lush and watered by some mysterious source, and it gives us hope that there can still be rains that come and help our thousands of acres of crops.  Hear our plea, dear Lord! 

We sure didn't need to worry about mud when we were out picking our sweet corn, and my garden is producing as we are watering it every week or so.  It was most pleasant out in the garden this morning with the breeze and it even clouded over and looked like our prayers for rain could be answered, but Pat reported that the rain went South of us this time!  It is like we have an invisible bubble over the top of us!  Tonight at mass we heard the amazing Gospel of Jesus feeding the 5,000!  So after a meal from the garden and making our first canner of applesauce... it is a reminder of how feeding is a ever ongoing job for the mother of a family.  How powerful when we can be fed daily by Jesus in the mass/Eucharist! 
Squash comes from the blossoms...

The dogs have discovered the yumminess of fresh green beans, and even are starting to learn how to pick them themselves! 

Just don't take them out of the pail, Lilly!  That is the droughted out field of corn that runs beside my garden!

Apples already and before the birds get them!

John putting through the first applesauce of the year.  Fresh tomatoes for BLTs, fresh beans just picked an hour before we eat them, sweet cucumbers and applesauce - yummy fresh farm lunch that took some work, but isn't that part of how good it all tastes?  Jesus, we are fed by the wonders of your creation and the sweat of our brow... please give the farmers RAIN!  Jesus, we trust in you.

Bless-bless, Barb

Mother- Grandmother care...

Rose has passed a milestone... Her mom has had her maternity leave, and is now back to work half time as a nurse.  So now her grandmothers are able to share time with her in a much more constant and personal way.  Even when we were busy with sweet corn on Thursday... I told Ruth that I would be the one to sit down with her and feed her a bottle when she needed to eat.  She had given the other grandma some long hours of walking her and trying to get her to take a bottle the day before, so I felt that we needed to continue to work on it even though her mother was there to nurse her.  It is very enjoyable to sit and hold and rock and feed her, and I am getting to know her much more.  In a way I feel sad that her special time with her mom is now hit or miss, and yet I am enjoying having her to myself.  The day I had her was really nice in that the other grandma took the other 3, so all I had to do was care for and enjoy little Rose Ida!
She got to know her grandpa too...when his huge hand holds her there is a calming sense of security and the talk of the farm seemed to be interesting to her too.  It comes from both sides for her - I wonder if she will have pet cows and calves like her older sister, Mary?  There will be unique things that are just Rose, and it will be super fun to see them start to come out.  She is so like our girls in appearance and that is already so much fun for us.  Our Lady on this her feastday - Saturday - did not have grandchildren in this world, but she is our Spiritual Mother and yes, Grandmother to all the little ones!  She is always there to bring us ever closer to her Son, Jesus Christ!  And he adores her and honors her as the Mother of God.  Whatever she asks of HIM, He responds to with LOVE and LIFE!  I can sense the same honor in my own son, John,towards me!  After sharing our year long battle and defeat of the enemy, cancer, there is a closeness and deep appreciation in all that we share now. 

Jesus, with your loving arm around your Mother's shoulders, how you honor her and give her your ever listening ear and heart to all the needs that she brings to you.  She intercedes for all of those that have recourse to her through the amazing devotion of the Rosary!  I lift up all those that are in my life needing prayers - my children, my husband, all those that we have met on this journey called cancer/healing, my Godchildren, all those that have asked me for prayers.  I "see" that these prayers are answered and carried to YOU!  Thank you dear Spiritual Mother, Mary Most Holy!  I sense the devotion of a son for his mother through the LOVE of my own sweet son, John.  We see your hand upon him, as he goes forth discerning your Call to him.  Thank you for this new and amazing journey in his path, and continue to guide and direct him.  Jesus we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb

"Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world! We humbly beg of Thee to manifest in Thy Church the Spirit Whom Thou didst so abundantly bestow upon Thy Apostles. Call, we pray Thee, very many to Thy priesthood and to the religious life. And may zeal for Thy glory and the salvation of souls inflame those whom Thou hast chosen; may they be saints in Thy likeness, and may Thy Spirit strengthen them. O Jesus, give us priests and religious according to Thine own Heart!

O Mary, Mother of Jesus! Obtain for fervent souls the grace to hear and the courage to follow thy Divine Son in the path of religious perfection.

Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

Queen of Virgins, pray for us."

Maria considering the Poor Clares - 2004
little Sister Hallel helping John walk shortly after his brain biospy - August 2009 - in Saint Pierre, France!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Finding his place?

I went to work today filled with a great feeling of wonder and awe... My son, John, had just had me sit down while he prayed over my tired and sore knee - the result of washing 14 pails of corn yesterday on our huge freezing day!  He laid hands on the sore spot, and prayed for me to have less pain, and the strength to make it through the day of being on my feet.  I was very moved, and touched, and everytime I thought of my knee a warmth of rememberance came over me!  There were a few twinges, but it really got me through, and made me marvel at what has come over JOHN!  Then he has gotten me to daily mass with him, just as Susan/Hallel did when she was home for the summer before she left for France!  John is wrapping up his paper work for applying for the Seminary in the fall, and he is showing how serious he is about this by getting up for daily mass, and praying according to some instructions from his spiritual director.  To hear him speak loudly and forcefully at the intentions... for the safety of all those in the armed services - Joseph - and all the life from conception to natural death... I am coming to realize that he has felt the power of prayer in his healing, and is now embracing it totally and without reservation!  I am sensing an excitement and peace in him as he walks through the doors that are openning ahead of him.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
A Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood

"Lord Jesus, you invite us to pray the Lord of the harvest that He send labourers into his harvest.

Lord and God of all, call to the priesthood men on fire with your divine love, who will be the voice of the good shepherd to the scattered sheep of the flock.

Lord of the harvest, send labourers into your harvest.

Lord and Saviour, bless us with holy priests. Through their ministry may your life-giving presence in the sacraments always be present in your church.

Lord of the harvest, send labourers into your harvest.

Lord and Giver of life, raise up men filled with your power and with great missionary zeal, so that all who dwell in darkness may come to live in the light of Christ.

Lord of the harvest, send labourers into your harvest.

Silent pause for personal prayer.

Lord Jesus, you called chosen men to be with you; to preach the good news of salvation; to have authority over the powers of darkness. Send your Holy Spirit upon the men you have chosen for the priestly ministry. May they answer your call and follow you with generous hearts. Amen."

"rich soil"

Yes, we have very rich heavy black soil here in Southwest Minnesota!  But we do tend to get very dry at this point of the summer, and we are in the midst of a pretty desperate drought now.  We had plentiful rain this spring surprisingly after a severe drought that began on July 1st of last summer.  How we celebrated that gift, and watched the part of the country just South of us have no rain and the drought continued for them.  So hard!  There are very sad pictures of dry streams, low lakes, and dead crops nightly on the news, and when we walk into our fields it is getting to be a sad sight too.  The prayers for rain are constant and desperate!  The Gospel today of the sower is very close to home for us - farming family that we are.  We can become the "rich soil" and the rain is there to gently supply our needs in our amazing wonderful Catholic Church!  John and I just shared mass and morning prayer and we are given the rains that we need to go and bear fruit!  We are rejoicing in the Truth that will set us free to share the Light with all those that we come in contact with - especially those in our domestic Church - our family!
Yes, we filled all of these pails with sweet corn and froze it as a family project yesterday!  We are set for corn through the long cold winter and then some...  Our growing family can now come and share in our hard work - that is what family is all about - doing for others without counting the cost.  I must say that I am not the best at doing this, and my wonderful generous husband is constantly trying to teach me at his feet.  I am a hard headed person, and it takes him giving me lessons on serving over and over again.  I am today grateful for his hard work and desire to provide for his growing family, but in the midst of pail after pail yesterday I was less than graceful or grateful.  Through Pat the Lord wants to help me to be "rich soil" but those thorns and rocks are there too.  It is painful to get them picked or pulled... but yes Lord... I want to be "rich soil!"

Mary helps Rose feel that she is loved and appreciated by reading her stories in the midst of the busyness of a family sweet corn canning day.  There are many blessings that come from a day of family work and sharing when the ages range from 21/2months to the old grandma matriarch of 60... a beautiful gift of Family and Farm and Faith.  The verse from John 7:37 as well as Isaiah 55 comes to mind today as I write this -  "Anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink."  Looking at our despereate need for rain on our wonderful "rich soil" and knowing that we are blessed with all the graces and devotions and sacraments that pour down upon us as the result of Christ's love for us and giving us His Bride, The Church!  There is never a drought of faith if we only turn to HIM in faith and Trust and Hope and Peace and LOVE!  He is our Way, Our Truth and Our LIFE! 

Jesus, we are overwhelmed by your drenching rain that gives our soil all it needs to bear the fruit of your Truth and Love!  We are forever yours and want to love and serve you in our weaknesses.  We are nothing without you, and we are given the graces we need to be "rich soil" by following after you and carrying our Most Cherished Cross.  There are times when it is only the Cross and it hurts to have those imperfections in us pulled out and tossed into the fire... yet, that is how our soil can become free of the thorns and the rocks!  We need to trust in your way for us.  We ask that you protect all those in harm's way - especially our Joseph this day and always.  Jesus, protect all LIFE this day, and may abortion come to an end.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
"Refreshed, O Lord, by this saving food and drink, we pray that we may always be bathed in the Blood of our Savior, so that it may become for us a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen." 
Prayer after Communion
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW5unzXXC0k  The Well by Casting Crowns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgRWe98tmfs  And from Tenth Avenue North - Love is here! 
Cleaning the Sacred Heart!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First babysitting job...

We were in the midst of freezing 14 pails of corn today, and little Rose was feeling lonely down in her infant seat with all the activity going on in the kitchen.  We asked her 6 year old sister, Mary, to read her some stories, and gave her the title of babysitter.  I think she learned an important hint for all babysitters - stories are a sure hit for kids!  They gather around and sit quietly and listen to the books, and little Rose is no exception.  She loved the attention from her older sister and she was very interested in the colorful pages and her sister's voice "reading" the stories.  It was super cute to watch them sharing this special time together, and I think that they have discovered that their new little sister is just like them... she likes stories too!
This was the sight of the rest of us in our craziness corniness!  A big job done for another year!

Eating lunch outside on such a nice afternoon - how I yearned to sit back and take a nap with my rosary... instead I got to gaze upon the sweet little Rose Ida in the midst of mountains of corn!

Bless-bless, Barb

St Joachim and Ann - Holy Grandparents bless us!

This amazing picture was shared by Danielle Rose today of FB... it is the great day of rememberance of Mary's saintly parents and therefore the grandparents of Jesus!  At mass this morning standing beside my son... I was praising HIM for the blessing of all the children in heaven and earth that I have to pray with and for.  Now the coming forth of the grandchildren - Nancy had her 24 week check up yesterday and heard her little girl active and healthy!  What joy fills our hearts!  We are on our way to do a big sweet corn freezing!  Lord, hold my cousin Marc close to your heart burning with love for him!  Marc died last evening on hospice after a brief and brave battle with brain cancer!  Jesus, we know that you have your nailscarred hands reaching out to embrace Marc after his suffering in this world.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord."
Col 3: 20