Sunday, September 30, 2012

Talking to a very tired and disappointed Pat at home this afternoon.  He was sitting in the shade by the grain bins as it was probably close to 90 degrees today in Minnesota.  Here it was a very pretty sunny day with white puffy clouds over the mountains.  I was missing home, after talking to two of my daughters, who were spending time in the different equipment, that started with a pancake breakfast at my house in the morning.  So I had some fun with markers making this farm scene, so that the two Texas grandkids could get an idea of how crazy busy it is at home now with all the different jobs that are part of harvest.   Pat was disappointed in the field of corn around our house - "You just don't plant corn on corn with two years of drought and get a good crop!"  Lord, please keep the tired farmers safe! It is so different here to look out at the desert landscape and the mountains on the horizon.
Such a different view, and it was probably even a bit cooler here than at home!  It was a beautiful day for the parish picnic!  Now we are anticipating with the vigil of St Therese tomorrow is her feast day!   Therese is most excited!  As I am in the midst of reading her amazing book - I too am very much anticipating a most special day!  
A very different sight for these old eyes.  We are awaiting the arrival of Patrick.  Jesus, it is in your hands.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Protect all those in the womb and all those in harms way!  Bless-bless
"Oh!  how sweet is the way of Love!  How I want to apply myself to doing the will of God always with the greatest self-surrender!"  St Therese Story of a Soul

Ft Bliss feastday - St Michael the Archangel

Today is a the feast day of Ft Bliss - we heard about it at mass today and were even invited to turn to all around us and wish them a happy feast day today.  We sat and looked at the banner which commemorates this day, and Dave is very impressed by the sword of his hero, and spoke long and excitedly about St Michael.  There will be a parish picnic at lunch time and if our little T is better we have plans to go.  Therese has been under the weather with a very high fever yesterday... thankfully she is better this morning.  We continue to wait for Patrick to arrive, and are praying for his safe appearance  soon!  
Fr invited all the kids to come up and stand around the altar... a beautiful sight to behold indeed!  Truly a way for them to come close to Jesus, and didn't Jesus invite the children to come onto him?  So powerful on this day of the most strong and valiant of angels - who fought the battle against Satan and won!   Yet, it is the humble that we are called to be like children!   So mind bending and part of the mystery of Faith!
A package was in the mailbox with gifts from dad in Afghanistan...  Jesus, we love to have the many examples of those that are called to love and serve YOU!  We need to be wise and follow the Truth and battle the enemy as we encounter lies and deceit in this world.  Yet we need to be humble and be less and less so that you, Jesus, can work in and through us!  Well, Lord, out is movie morning and we are watching Horton hears a Who... "A Person's a person no matter how small!"  Protect all life from conception to natural death!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen  and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
"Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one's works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb."  I Peter 1: 17-19
ST Michael, protect Joseph and all those in danger!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 2 in Texas - due date

John and Nancy asked how pregnant Maria looked.. here she is!  She was given this mug from another army wife.  Too cute!  This is the due date for little Patrick, so we headed out to the zoo.  Three hours of active walking and lifting kids to see the animals, but still no labor tonight.  
A beautiful lioness laid right on the other side of the glass and looked at us with her beautiful golden eyes.  Soon little Patrick you can go to the zoo with your siblings and mom.  We are waiting to hold you and meet you.  
Robin Hood showed grandma where the play pen has been put and the infant seat all ready for his new little gift from God brother.  Jesus, help Therese to get better, so that grandma can go and help her mommy through the delivery of her little brother any time now.  Keep all safe - especially Joseph in Afganistan.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
Monkey Island on a beautiful day!

"Good guy - Bad guy"

Today being the feastday of St Michael and the Archangels it is very appropriate to quote my grandson.  He is the son of a lieutenant in the army and walks around much of the time in a Robin hood costume, has battles with guns and swords, and is always talking about good guys and bad guys.  Maria just shared that part of his being too loud in mass is about why that guy has a sword and is killing the bad dragon.  He has a strong sense that the Good in this world has a duty to battle and defeat the evil in the world.  That is a good sense of the Truth to carry forth into life.  The world has been lulled to think that there is nothing truly wrong that all is relative, and that is a very dangerous wide road to Hell!  Today in the Revelations reading - 12:7-12...."War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.  The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.  The huge dragon and ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan , who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth..."
Maria and her two boys at mass yesterday...  It is a wonderful thing to know that there are many lies in this world... Satan wants to lull us into believing that marriage can be between anyone.  Even though God made us man and woman and to leave our parents and to join and be open to family.  One man and One Woman!  As a friend said at mass the other day; "Do you want your daughter to marry a goat?"  This was her answer to a person, who said that we are being judgmental in believing the Truth about marriage.  "There will be no difference to who or what you can marry, if this protection of marriage is not in place.  Therese is now on the phone talking to her dad in Alfghanistan and talking about how there is no mass here on Saturday, and about how there are times when the priest says things that she doesn't understand.  Now they are talking about some of the things they should be helping her to learn about with first communion just a few years out.  These parents take raising "lights" in the faith very seriously!  They truly want them to recognize the Truth and the battle of good and evil!  
David greeted me with his Robin Hood costume and favorite sword!  Too special!  I think the military will definitely be considered in his future as well as the priesthood!  Jesus, thank you for the Truth and the beauty of "seeing" with eyes of faith the world around us in all that is good and evil.  May we not be deceived by the lies of the Evil one, who is alive and well yet in this world and laughing at all the ploys he uses to confuse and deceive people.  May we look to you, Jesus, and follow after you carrying our Most Cherished Cross down the narrow path to eternal LIFE.  Looking us and seeing St Michael with his flaming sword fighting off Satan.  Jesus, you have put your Bride, the Church, there to show us the path to Heaven.  We are armed with your Word and the Sacraments and Tradition and Wisdom of the Church as we fight the battle of LIFE!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Therese pointing to her patron saint's statue on the prayer space in their home.  It will be her feast day on Monday!  St Therese pray for us.  Bless-bless, Barb
David surrounded by a Spiritual army of the Good guys.  
"Frequently when I was at recreation and had occasion to work with this Sister, I used to run away like a deserter whenever my struggles  became too violent.  As she was absolutely unaware of my feelings for her, never did she suspect the motives of my conduct and she remained convinced that her character was very pleasing to me.  One day at recreation she asked in almost these words:'Would you tell me, Sr Therese of the Child Jesus, what attracts you so much to me; every time you look at me, I see you smile?"  Ah! What attracted me was Jesus hidden in the depths of her soul; Jesus, who makes sweet what is most bitter.  I answered that I was smiling because I was happy to see her (it was understood that I did not addd that this was from a spiritual standpoint.)"
St Therese from her book, Story of a Soul

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thoughts of His Sacrifice of LOVE

After mass little 2 year old David touched the ouches of Christ with great compassion for his suffering. Maybe we all should do that on a regular basis to remind ourselves that we don't have much to complain about - as he was God and he suffered and died for us!  Here as I am writing is a crucifix with a small sign by it saying - This is How one LOVES!   Maria left that same sign by her brother, John's, crucifix over his bed when she left to enter the Poor Clare Monastery for 5 months on Jan 1,2004.  Speaking of the true sacrifice of LOVE he showed us through the Cross - our Most Cherished Cross!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
St michael protect us from battle!
"Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Girls in purple for CCW

You cannot see Maria's beautiful pregnant belly in this picture, but it is there as we await the arrival of her new son.  Today was a morning of gathering with the Military Council of Catholic Women.  Therese and I accidentally dressed in purple and Maria did it intentionally as that is the color of CCW, so we had to grab a quick "girls in purple" shot before we headed out the door.  It was a very special morning of rosary and meeting strong Catholic young women as well as the older retired crowd, and then a St Matthew Bible study led by my daughter!   All very powerful and such a lesson of the men in the military and the wives that support them and raise their families!  About 4 of the women there were expecting babies - one is having her 8th!  Many are homeschooling, which Maria has already started preschool with T and she is reading!   So it was a most uplifting morning including a young woman, who shared that both she and her husband converted to the Catholic Church in the last year!  Wonderful to hear those great stories shared, and shows that the Church is alive, well and growing with new LIFE!
Fr arrived a bit late to start mass, and he apologized.  But it was a gift for me as I was able to grab this great picture of Maria with all 3 of her kids.  Mass was very beautiful with the first reading from Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens.  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.  A time to kill, and a time to heal..."  These first three ring very close to home with Maria soon to give birth, Pat harvesting the crop at home in Minnesota, and Joseph fighting the war in Alfghanistan!  Lord, we love you and know without a doubt that you are with us at each point in our lives and every step down the narrow path carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb

"Blessed be the Lord, my Rock,
my mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold,my deliverer,
My shield , in whom I trust.
Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Psalm 144

The statue is St Barbara... as for myself I am striving for sainthood but have a long ways ahead of me!  So wonderful to have her here to embrace and intercede for me her lowly attempting to attain humility namesake.  St Barbara, hear my prayers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Grandpa's corn -YUM!

Therese had told grandpa that she wanted some candy...  Grandpa mentioned candy corn, which they had never heard of before.   So they were surprised when grandma pulled it out of her suitcase, and they thought that it was mighty good!  We had to call grandpa after they opened it and tasted its chewy goodness.  "Come and see me... that is the kind of corn that I grow here on the farm in Minnesota."  grandpa told them.  He just misses his kids and wants them to want to come and see him.  Sometimes lonesome farming grandpas have to tell a story to get them to come.  Yes, he is putting truck after truck of yellow golden corn in the bins, and to some it is sweet especially when they make sweetener out of it.   It just seems right that farming grandpa sends candy corn to his two military grandkids.  They were thrilled too!  "We love you, grandpa, and your corn is yummy!"
Now story time and Therese might be reading to me!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb from Texas

The traveling grandma

No longer will I be outstanding in my field of wife, mother and grandmother on the farm, but I will be grandmother/mother to my daughter living on the army base in El Paso,TX!  I am excited and nervous and will be very happy to have the flight behind me.  Jesus, on this feast of St Vincent DePaul, I cling to you and your army of angels and Saints.  Blessed Mother, I am so glad to have you with me in LIFE and LOVE - helping me to be a LIGHT and to raise LIGHTS and now to assist my family in carrying that forth.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

At least the birds waste nothing...

The birds leave only part of the peelings and the core of the apple and eat all the rest!  I have been kind of amazed at how there is really no waste, and I guess then I don't feel too bad about the birds getting some of them.  There are so many this year that I have filled jars and then some with applesauce and pie filling.  There are still pails of pie apples out there, but unless Nancy comes home and makes some pies this weekend after I am gone... there seems to be no one that wants them.  The grandkids sure did clean up their fresh crumb crust pie and ice cream tonight, so that makes me feel better about all the work!
Another glorious day of harvest!  Too beautiful to take it all in!  Now I head to the hot Texas countryside.  I will let you know when we have a new grandson, and probably other doings in El Paso!  Jesus, keep the farmers safe.  Thank you for day after day of glorious weather.  We are blessed with such a wondrous world, and fall is just about as beautiful as we could ever imagine our world could be.  How hard to go somewhere - where they don't really have seasons - although they did seem to get more snow than we did last winter!?!
Our Lady even seems to smile on the fall!  You will be my companion tomorrow my sweet Mother of Heaven and Earth.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

Our yearly letter from Hallel!

What joy!  A letter from Hallel was in the mail yesterday!  On it was this picture taken in Saint Pierre - the name of the Community of the Lamb headquarters in the foothills of the Pyrannies Mountains.  There must be a flock of sheep let in to graze the grass.  It is very much bringing to me the 23rd psalm!  This picture was a gift from ls Maylis, who we got to know very well when we were there last year!  How Pat loved working side by side with those that had labor to do.  I told him that I could read his mind as he was reading about all the work Hallel/Susan has been doing over the summer.  She has become a carpenter and wood worker.  She has worked on two buildings over the summer and both of them were finished minutes before the occupants arrived to move in!  She showed how she built the wood for some stairs and how it was a mathematical problem she had to figure out.  I know her dad would be there enjoying working with her so much!  Maybe someday he will get back there! 
I will use some pictures taken last year when Pat was in his glory helping out with the "work."  Here he impresses ls Judith with the huge hands the Lord blessed him with!  Hallel wrote about all the building she has been doing as well as being in charge of finding food for the large number that gather at Saint Pierre during the summer.  The communities in Europe all come home to gather and build community... and then families, such as ours, arrive for the taking of habits and vows in August.  There is much food needed for the many mouths and celebrations!  "I can tell you that God is too good.  There is a great economic crisis in Europe, but here in St Pierre we have all that we need and even more!  WE are able to share with another community that is not too far away and has a harder time finding food, and often have to buy things.  We are spoiled - what can we say?"  They are a begging community and do not grow or buy their food - it is all given to them!

Pat and Maylis getting ready to lay cement in front of one of their dwellings - each door opens into a cell of the little sisters, so 3 live in this building!  Hallel shared in her letter that she will be staying in France and looking out for ls Reginald, who is the same age as her grandma Anna, "but Reginald doesn't get around as well as grandma, but like grandma her head is still there and I am sure that life will be very interesting."  How special!  I am sure that she will think of her grandma often through the days of time with this special 93 year old - the oldest in the Community!  I think that there have been no one die yet in this young Community of the Lamb!

Here are the two of them together!  Such a special honor for Hallel to learn at the feet of such a wise and beautiful example of faithful loving Bride of Christ and his Bride, the Church!  I think that this woman has had polio all her life!

A picture that Pat requested of the work crew, and the little pickup that went straight up in the air with the cement in the back that they tried to get up the hill to put in front of that building I showed you before... Something that we laugh about to this day!  Hallel mentioned in her letter the numerous times that she was asked by John this summer, when they were all together.  "Watch out John, now a whole bunch of little sisters are not praying for your healing, but for your vocation!  Watch out!  You never know what Jesus might do, you give him a little bit of place in your life and soon he will take it all!  Jesus is very greedy!"  All those of the Verly family that have read the letter so far - have smiled and commented on Jesus being "greedy."  Pretty crazy amazing way to look at HIM!

Jesus, the idea of all the prayers of the Community and most especially our Hallel... gives us the deep sense of being loved and looked after!  "Even if I am not very good at taking up a pen and paper - know that I am with you every day in front of the Eucharist.  I love you!  God Bless, your little sister Hallel."  Yes, Lord, I was crying at this time!  I find such comfort and strength at the knowledge of Hallel putting me there in the monstrance with Jesus every day!  There is no other place that I would ever want to be more than with YOU!  We are all so richly blessed - not by having her here with us to share our lives day to day and to grace us with her goofiness and joy - but to have her and the community praying for each of our journies with Christ and his Bride, the Church!  Bless Hallel this next year as she walks the path laid out for her carrying her Most Cherished Cross - Christ her spouse!  Jesus, we praise you for this gem of a gift in her letter, and we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
Marriage prayer said each Sunday at the Milroy Church
"God our Father, we give thanks for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love, and the font of the family.
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children, fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.
The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the request of the Blessed Mother.  May your Son, through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as we join with all people of good will to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife, and guide our leaders to sustain and protect the singular place of mothers and fathers in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers be joined to those of the Virgin Mary, that your Word may transform our service so as to safeguard he incomparable splendor of marriage.  We ask all these things through Christ our Lord.  Amen
St Joachim and Anne, pray for us."
Jesus, protect the sancitity of Marriage as being one man and one woman! 

Mary, we fly to you!  And be with me as I fly to Texas tomorrow!  Calm my fears of travel, but mostly watch out for Joseph and all in harms way, Maria, and little Patrick in the womb! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Learning to farm and be super cute

4 year old Dave called grandpa and said that he wanted to be his helper today and ride along.  So the big semi pulled up to his driveway and he walked out with his lunch pail and mom to come down the driveway and climb in.  He had his shades on for the sunny day ahead. 
Down the road with grandpa for day of farming - taking out the harvest.

He has perfected naps in all different equipment... But he is always super cute Dave!
For sure!

"Life-giving, joy-giving knowledge of Jesus..."

The two sisters had playtime last evening.  Mary sang to her and helped her jump in her jumper and then would swing her out and back.  She laughed with glee and would cry for her sister to come back when she left to do her homework.  So special to be already  sharing joy and getting to know the bond of sisters sharing time.  Today the Gospel is that very abrupt and direct one where his mother and "brothers" are wanting to see him in the crowd... His responce - "My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and act on it."  Luke 8
Sr Ruth Burrows a Carmelite nun from England writes;
"Life-giving, joy-giving knowledge of Jesus and of the Father doesn't drop in our lap from heaven.  WE have to work for it.  'Come to me,' says Jesus, and we must go to him.  And the prime way of going to him is by intent, loving absorption of Scripture, particularly the New Testament.  Put simply; we must strive to acquire an intellectual knowledge of Him, of his attitudes,values and teaching.  This intellectual knowledge is certainly not intimacy, certainly not a 'knowing Jesus,' but it is an indispensable ingredient for intimacy and real knowing.  It is work we have to do, a practical expression of our earnest desire to get to know our Lord."

I see this so powerfully in the way that our Church goes through the Bible for us daily in the readings of the day.  Even if unable to attend daily mass... it is such a blessing to read them and ponder them as they each day have a Gospel reading and an accompanying OT and psalm.  On special feastdays there is a second reading usually from the New Testatment that adds to the depth and joy of learning to "know" HIM!  It is also wonderful to spend time reading and studying on our own alone or in guided study groups.  I find that I look for groups that are within the Church as there seems to be a united effort to tear down the Catholic Church in many of the others, and I don't need or want that.  I was interested to hear that the college Catholic kids are having a study group to learn apologetics and how to defend your faith when it is attacked.  As Catholics this is just something that we face.  The True Church is, of course, going to be attacked by those that have chosen to not be in it.  I find this especially true of those that, for one reason or another, left it behind.  That is hard as for some of us that is our own family!

Lord, may we do the work with great joy - discovering the Truth that is to be gained through your Word!  Over and over we see how those that are called to be your spouse take that time with great vigilance - time with you in your Word as well as the Sacrament of the Eucharist!  Two real ways that you are present to us!  We can also find your LOVE, and LIFE, and LIGHT there for us in our daily lives!  May we take the time to learn of YOU, and to carry that forth into our lives within our domestic Church/family!  Thank you for your Beauty in all that surrounds us - it pulls us out of our selfish inward ways and brings us out into the breathtaking wonder of your world, the beauty found in the little ones so miraculously here, the peace and beauty we find in the beautiful churches, the chapels of the Communities of yours... all around us we "see" your LOVE reflected back to us!  We are surrounded by your LOVE and your Truth!  We are YOURS, O Jesus!  We long to be more and more yours and less and less selfish and sinful.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
Psalm 104 - a Grand Hallel Psalm!
"Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are!

You made the moon to mark the months;
the sun knows the time for its setting.
When you spread the darkness it is night
and all the beasts of the forest creep forth.
The young lions roar for their prey
and ask their food from God.

At the rising of the sun they steal away
and go to rest in their dens.
Man goes forth to his work,
to labor til evening falls.

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.

I will sing music to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live. 
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord. 
Bless the Lord, my soul."

I am just back from following my husband in the grain cart and then moving him... my time in the pickup at that slow pace always give me wonderful time with Him and His Word through the rosary!  As soon as I pick up the beads and feel them in my fingers and the prayers and meditations begin - the world around me takes on an even richer beauty filled with Peace, Joy, Hope, Love and all the wondrous wellspring of graces from above!  Any chance I get throughout the day I am at prayer and the rosary is my vehicle drawing me heavenward!  Thank you, Our Lady, for your vehicle of grace- your prayer, The Rosary!  Come to the Well by Casting Crowms seems to be called for here!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Snapshots of a good harvest day

 a boy and his kitten
Mommie's lap is the best and the tongue is pretty great too!

Waiting for grandpa...
And there off!

Unloading on the fly while combining...
The spaghetti sauce in the process...
More unloading on the go...

Ruth calls it the Verly canning day - 2 canners and 34 quarts of spaghetti sauce - maybe we should open our own pasta place this year?!?

Mary and Rose playing with the Johnny jumper/swing.  It made Rose laugh!

Tired after a long day, but a good day.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb