- The amazing story of the 13 becoming Catholic!
- Our marriage stories - "The world needs LIGHTS!"
- John's cancer stories
- Now the stories of John's 4 sisters...Ruth, Nancy, Maria, and Susan/Little Sister Hallel!
- Susan Angela Agnes/Little Sister Hallel - the story of a Call
- The story of little Lamb - grandson Patrick
Friday, November 30, 2012
Super cute heifers laying in the grass in the pasture this morning. Better than laying in snow drifts and much more comfortable too.
I love this display on the doors by the TV... I love to just sit and look at the wonderful blessings that have come to us in the form of beautiful LIFE/grandchildren! They are truly LIGHTS in our lives- we are so filled with LIFE, and LOVE, and LIGHT!
Every year I get a dated ornament... this was 1983 and we had a 1 1/2 year old baby girl, and a new 3 month baby girl too! Nancy was less than 2, and she was my Eskimo baby - thick dark hair and dark complexion. Nanuck of the North we called her! This was the ornament that we call hers... Now she has had her first daughter- Bernadette!
She is a beauty and there are things that remind me a lot of my Nancy Anna - Bernadette Anna is a gem!!! Bless-bless,Barb
"O Cross... endowed with heavenly LOVE." St Andrew before his crucifixion on a cross shaped like an "X"
I know that Maria was with us in spirit, and longed to share the weekend with Hallel, and I always love to see my kids together with my eyes as they are in my heart! So.... I had my fun putting them together in the LIGHT! To be honest, I do yearn for the actual time that we all can come together! In a week and a half on the day that John has his 6 month checkup in Rochester - MRI to check and make sure that his brain cancer continues to be healed and gone - we will return to the Cities that evening and pick up Maria and the kids at the airport and take them to Marshall for the day. They will visit great grandma and other relatives, and then off to the Cities again and seeing family and friends there. Grandpa Pat has yet to see his namesake, and after all the praying that he did for him as did so many others... he is such a special sign of Faith, Hope and Healing for him. He is looking forward so much to see his grandson, who had the Cross placed on his shoulders in the womb. Maria's womb ruptured and he was without oxygen for 20 minutes before he was born and brought back to LIFE! The only issues we are unsure about is his siezures. He is on medication for them morning and night, but the neurologist told them that his brain could heal yet and he would be able to come off of them. In a month or so they will be doing another EEG to check his brain. We, and the entire prayer army will be called to prayer for that event for sure!
Another fun time I had making this painting of Hallel with all the neices and nephews. Three couldn't make it last weekend, so it was just great to put them all in front of the chapel they are building as the centerpiece of their little Monastery - Lumen Christi - Light of Christ! I put Mary in her blue apron that she wears when she is there helping in the kitchen. Hallel is holding the two baby girls, Rose and Bernadette, and Therese is holding her baby brother, Patrick! She loves to care for him and her mom has asked her to take care of her dolly, Anna, so she is right beside her mommy all day caring for her dolly just like mommy does Patrick! I have heard that she is filling up coloring books as she sits beside him all day, and colors in her books. How she loves and watches out for her little Lamb brother, Patrick. I love the part of the picture that describes the little ones as the LIGHTS of Christ, for they truly are being raised to be LIGHTS for HIM! So wonderful to behold and it brings us closer to HIM knowing that we are all called to become humble and lowly as the little helpless Lamb/children. A beautiful sight to behold! My heart is warmed by gazing at this simple painting and it speaks of the mission of Truth that my Patrick spoke to me 35 years ago at our engagement weekend. When I asked him if we were being selfish to want to have a large family in this mess of a world... "The world needs LIGHTS!" he said through the Holy Spirit! Yes!!!! May the Truth be known by all that the Church asking us to be open to family is their call to raise LIGHTS in our domestic Church/family!
The kids are off to school on this feastday of St Andrew... There is this glorious sharing of St Andrew speaking about the Cross just before he was crucified. He did not feel worthy to be crucified as was Jesus, so his cross was the shape of an "X."
"Hail, O Cross, inaugerated by the Body of Christ and adorned with his limbs as though they were precious pearls. Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear. Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift. Believers know of the great joy that you possess, and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared. I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me exultant as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you... O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord's limbs!... Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me. Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!" St Andrew
Wow!!! That is TRUTH of the Paschal Mystery so beautifully shared! Through the Most Cherished Cross we find LIFE eternal in HIM!
Jesus, I am filled with wonder at the message of LIFE we gain through the Cross. How we hate to suffer, Lord. Yet without the pain and hard things that come to us... the good and happy times would not be near so great. May we carry forth in our lives today always clinging to the message of the Lamb and of the Cross - "Wounded, I will not cease to love." Give us the strength to respond with patience and kindness when we are treated in difficult ways this day. May we not fly off into a selfish reaction with those closest to us. Jesus, you modeled for us how to LIVE and to die to self. Jesus, we trust in you. Amen and Halleuia
"Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality. It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the comparable means for perfect configuration with the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth. Here we have a very important lesson to learn: our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the cross of Christ, if a reflection of his light illumines them. It is by the Cross alone that our sufferings too are enobled and acquire their true meaning. The Apostle Andrew, therefore, teaches us to follow Jesus with promptness, to speak enthusiastically about him to those we meet, and especially,to cultivate a relationship of true familiarity with him, acutely aware that in him alone can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and death."
Pope Benedict XVI
"The world needs LIGHTS!"
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
The litany of Humility by Danielle Rose ... Lord, help us to pray for Humility this day and always!
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Leaving for mass this morning as the sunrise was pink on the horizon reflecting off our front windows glowing pink...the moon was very pretty and I stopped by the mailbox to try to capture the sight. The cows are now in the yard, and the cornfield has been ripped as we thought that it was going to freeze solid by now. Another beautiful day! We will take it, and an open snowless winter would be the wish of my farmer husband.
He feels that the snow is not much for moisture, and just a lot of work!
I had fun today doing a watercolor of Hallel with all the grandkids in front of the new chapel in Kansas City! She missed seeing Maria's kids including her Goddaughter,Therese, and David and meeting Patrick for the first time. It just felt good to put them all together and the name of the Chapel applies to them too...Light of Christ! They are each beautiful LIGHTS to the world. I just had the joy of sharing in prayers with Ruth and Paul's 3 oldest here in our upstairs bedrooms as their parents are going for a meeting in the Cities. Their petitions were heart warming - ever since we prayed outside an abortion clinic with them 2 years ago they pray for the babies to be safe and "no one to kill them." The prayers of children are so powerful! They are saving the LIVES of babies with their prayers! I am sure of it! They are truly LIGHTS of Christ! Thank you, Lord, for those innocent little ones that live and believe and see the Truth so clearly and simply and humbly! Jesus, we trust in you. Bless-bless, Barb
So close to Jesus in the family room for adoration now that the weather is turning colder! It takes my breath away and fills me with the glow of HIM!
Driving through the bank this morning I was asked by a good friend of the family about our visit with Hallel last weekend. "She is very happy!" I said. Her responce made me smile..."I have always known her to be happy." Yes, that is a beautiful thing to be able to say about another person. It says a lot about the person and the path they have chosen in life. Some say that Hallel has chosen the easier path in her poverty - not weighed down by worldly possessions, and her having only herself to think about with her giving up of family and all that carries with it. But when you see how much she loves little ones, you know that it is a sacrifice for her to be Christ's alone with no children of her own! She had always said, when she was discerning, that she was either going to get married and have 10 kids or be a nun.
A window in the Church in Kansas City where the new postulant started her life with the Community of the Lamb, and following the Lamb wherever He leads!
"O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast."
Such beautiful words to describe our need for HIM and how HE blesses us with great LOVE all over and around and within us! Having a daugther, who is called to be HIS Bride is a powerful blessing for me...I am allowed to step into that world from time to time! So amazing!!
"I slept but my heart was awake.
Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.”
Song of Songs 5: 2
When Hallel left to join the Community - we found a scrap of paper with a verse from Song of Songs on it! So deeply personal was HIS call to her!
Hallel had played this song by Danielle Rose over and over before she left behind all her possessions, including her little red car with this CD in the player. Everytime I played it for the next year... I would weep for shere JOY and WONDER! It speaks of her True LOVE found in her spouse, the Lamb of God... Christ Jesus! Now John too is discerning the Call to Priesthood! Join us in prayer for him and all the seminarians! We need priests to bring LIFE into this world of darkness!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Pat and I watched the Lanoue bunch tonight, and I could hear Mary crying in her bed. I went in there and asked her what was wrong, and she said that it was too painful to share. She said that it happened at school, and she had told her mother about it already. My heart breaks for my sweet Mary! I am so sad that she has been hurt, but that is part of life for all of us, I guess. I hurt for my kids when they were treated harshly. I remember that Ruth had asked to join in a group of girls that were playing together and they said "no" to her and crushed her feelings. All I could do was tell her that she should remember how much that hurt her, and if anyone ever asked to play with her to never say no! As as matter of fact, she should look around for anyone that is alone or left out, and reach out to them. I was one of those kids alone, and to see it happen in my own kids hurt almost more than the pain I felt as a shy and lonely girl on the playground! Now to have my granddaughter hurting... it is a helpless and hard knot in my throat for my precious beautiful inside and out little 7 year old girl! May the hurt bring her to a place of caring for others. Jesus, we trust in you. Bless-bless, Barb
It is such an exciting time in our family... each of our married daughters has had a baby in the last 6 months, and so their arms are full of LIFE! Our son, John, who is miraculously healed of cancer is now in seminary to discern the priesthood! And we just had the JOY of real hugs and time spent with our daughter, little Sister Hallel, as she came to the U.S. and we had a late Thanksgiving celebration in Kansas City with her! After spending 3 days with the Community of the Lamb and getting in touch with the depth of their lives of living out the Gospel... it grabbed my interest to see that there was a "song of the Lamb" today in the first reading from Revelations! I have no doubt that it has been put to music by Hallel's order as song is very important for them in their prayer and celebrations. On the Vigil of Christ the King on Saturday night they spent 5 hours in prayer and sharing the word and song from OT to NT. They know how to dig deep!!!
Hallel trying to break the ice with David... he surprised us by being shy with her.
"Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." The song of the Lamb!!! It is so crazy that the image of God here is the Lamb! He is innocent and without blemish yet is sacrificed for our sins! "Wounded, (brutally and mortally) He did not cease to LOVE." He became LOVE and the Cross became the Tree of LIFE!
Hallel trying to break the ice with Augustine by teasing him with his cookie. It was very interesting when little sister Marie shared about why she decided to have blue habits. "I wanted to keep them simple and since we worked and lived among the poor... I thought that making them out of jeans was what I did." This was in the 80s. So we are right in saying that their habits look like they are made of jeans!
With so many little ones modeling the beauty of the Lamb. Small innocent and helpless - totally dependent on others to care for them and protect them! There are so many conversations I have had with the Community over the years when they describe someone as a "lamb." I can begin to see the beauty of this description for someone, who is submitting to the Cross in their lives and finding the LIFE and LOVE that comes to them as a result. One powerful lesson we learned through John's journey called Cancer/healing is that you find LIFE everlasting through the Cross! John was a Lamb as was our grandson, Patrick, in his scary death/birth and finding healing and LIFE!
Just had a conversation with my mom to share the joyous news that the priest, who gave us instructions into the Catholic Church 41 years ago... is now coming to our family Christmas to do a family mass for us! She shared a wonderful Journey Home show they watched last night in which a young girl described her following the lies of the world and turning her back on her Catholic faith... This is her site - http://www.catholic.com/profiles/leah-darrow She now has a ministry to young people that are sucked into the lies of Satan as far as sex, and immodesty to name a few. I was very disappointed to see one of my great neices put a suggestive yet beautiful picture of herself on FB, and to hear all the accolades to her about how gorgeous she and her breasts are!!!! So hard and sad! We live in the midst of so many lies... the young are in a very dark place! We need people like Leah, who was very deeply pulled into the darkness and finally called her dad to come and get her or she would lose her soul! What did he have her do before he would drive her home? "Go to confession - that is where you begin your journey back!" Yes!
Family time setting up the chapel for mass. So glorious for these young innocent Lambs to be shown the beauty of Faith and Truth!!! Little David did not remember knowing little Sister Hallel before, as he was only 1 1/2 when he last saw her, but he watched how she showed Mary how to get ready for mass with great interest!
Jesus, I am feeling so many deep and painful longings inside today, as I see the darkness and lies that are worshiped and given worth. How can we make a difference? How can your Truth come to the LIGHT? Use us, Lord, to bring to LIGHT the beauty of modesty, and moral choices in saving our beauty for YOU,Jesus Christ the Lamb once slain for us, alone. If we look to YOU always, and in everything - You will open the doors to our path, and carrying our Most Cherished Cross we will find LIFE and LOVE, as we walk ever forward into the LIGHT of TRUTH! Your sacrament of Reconcilliation is calling out to me today, and I am reminded of how it gives me strength to carry on, and to go forth and serve you more and more completely! Thank you for all the blessings we have received through the Lamb of God! May we model our lives after HIM, and his total and complete sacrifice of LOVE, in order to give us LIFE eternal! Jesus, we trust in you. Amen and Halleluia
Hallel tells Mary that the Cross is to be set on the altar facing the priest... David looks at it too! We must always remember the Cross and embrace it!
"Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
His holy arm.
Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those that dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!"
Psalm 98 - a grand Hallel Psalm - the highest of Praise for our God! Lord, we trust that YOU will truly come to rule the world!!!!!
David shows little Gus the LIGHT of the TRUTH!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO_YUOAA1HU One of my favorite songs by Danielle Rose! She writes her music in front of Jesus in Adoration! This was even one of our songs for TEC!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGmK8rIX8H0 One last thing today... we were touched deeply by this Utube video - ADORAMUS TE DOMINE/ WE ADORE THEE, O LORD!
To find this image in the midst of it's beauty!! What tears of JOY! Take the time to watch it, and "see" with eyes of FAITH - the great LIGHT of TRUTH!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
In the small chapel we gathered for mass Friday night and Saturday morning. The community sat in the front rows and then the families were closely in the back of the chapel. There was in and out with babies crying and needing to be fed or changed. The older kids were better, and there was a lot of manuevering to allow people to come forward for communion. The Community has a way of saying/singing mass with much song and pauses to savor the times of Word and Eucharist!
Mary and the friend that she made were very cute on their special little kneelers in front of a stool. It was special to watch Mary as she greeted the Gospel with her hands raised as Hallel and some of the sisters do! I find myself raising my hands to welcome the Gospel when Christ is presented to us at mass in His Word! The look of JOY that I have witnessed on Hallel's face when the Word is processed in to be read at mass! So amazing!
Close family time like no other!!! Sharing Jesus in his Word and Body and Blood! Jesus, we trust in you. Bless-bless, Barb
Happy to see our Family of Faith - the Community of the Lamb! "You are our family too!" Little Sister Benedict
After having 4 girls in a row to start our family... I had the joy and delight of dressing them alike for a number of years! So with the newest granddaughters now just 6months apart, and knowing that they would be together for the first time. I had to plan a dresss alike session. My daughters thrilled me on our last night bringing them into our hotel room all dressed in their adorable soft pink sleepers adorned with a kitty! So fun for all of us! Little Rose was in such a sweet mood with smiles for all, and precious little Bernadette is just as peaceful and wonderful as any baby born! So fun for me!!!
So many prayers for these two precios ones! Just contacted today by a young friend from TEC, who is now on the NET team traveling the U.S. giving Catholic retreats to high school age youth. Well, they are in Kansas and yesterday, and they were introduced to the Community of the Lamb by Fr Anthony, who is a diocesan priest of the Lamb! She was greatly touched by meeting them, and shared that she has been feeling the Lord call her to consider a call to religious life. Sharing that she plans to spend some time with them, and consider a call to join them! Requesting prayers... YES! We always have room for more to pray for! Praying for each of my children on the 5 decades of the rosary... it seems that there are places for the others in need of prayers. With Hallel's decade I feel that it will be a good fit for our friend, and I will remember her there each day. How thrilling it was on Sunday when the 4th girl from the U.S. entered postulancy with the Community at a glorious mass with the Archbishop!
One thing that struck me in the last year is that Hallel was the 4th of my daughters, and I started going pretty crazy with the idea of dressing the 4 girls alike! Now in religious life... she is dressing alike with all of her fellow sisters! It is like I helped her to feel comfortable with the dressing like all the others! I can hear Hallel saying - "Yeah, right, mom!"
Here is a dressing alike at Halloween... corn leaf grass skirts was a cute idea until we trashed all the houses we visited!
Mixed up the colors this time... Susan/Hallel is the smallest - sister #4!
Once again dressed alike -except for Maria, the bride, and John, of course!
A picture of my family - dressed alike as four of my 5 sisters - Mary, the 5th is the bride. She died 25 years ago of cancer.
I appologize somewhat for my rambling today... but there is such a deep feeling of happiness connected with my nest years, and all my little girls followed by their doted and much loved little brother, John! John teases Hallel that he finally has a "little Sister." It was such a gleaming shining LIGHT on Sunday, when the Archbishop did a small humble ceremony for Courtney entering the postulancy of the Community of the Lamb! The glowing smile on her face, and the parents all wiping tears to see the way that the Spirit is at work in our country!
The other 3 American postulants and our Little Sister Hallel, the first American woman to take her first vows in the order, were called to stand behind Courtney to show their support and Community of LOVE! Such a powerful sight to behold, and it really struck me at how the Lord is at work - calling those to HIM! I think that the Archbishop too was greatly moved and humbled that the Community was called to his poor and humble city of Kansas City, Kansas! He said so in his homily... that it was truly wondrous to him that they came to Kansas! But talking to the other parents and how far they had to travel - it was almost the same time on the road as us from Minnesota. They truly are in the center of our country there, and that would be the heart of our country too! How the heart of our country needs to have LIFE and LOVE and TRUTH brought into it! And it is starting!!! The darkness is being chased away by the morning LIGHT!
And just a day after our return from this sight greeting our hearts and eyes... now to hear of another young girl that is hearing the whisperings of a call within... Praise HIM! The seeds of faith have been planted and the harvest is great! "Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth's harvest is fully ripe." Rev 14: 14-19
Jesus, we are so overjoyed at the work of your hands here in the heart of our misled country! There is so much darkness and deceit - Satan is lying to so many - it breaks my heart, Lord! How can we make a difference in this world? Thank you, for your Truth that is shining from those that LOVE and follow after you carrying Our Most Cherished Cross. May the world "see" with eyes of Faith and come to know you in your Word and Sacraments!! Continue to call young people to YOU and may they listen to your Call! Jesus, we are overjoyed to have Hallel and her amazing Community of the Lamb in our lives. It brings us to such a deep place of Faith and Truth. "Wounded, we do not cease to LOVE." The Lamb shows us the way to humbly give up of our selfishness and to allow YOU to be our LIFE, LOVE and LIGHT! Jesus, we trust in YOU. Amen and Halleluia
"What have we to do with the allurements of a passing world when, already baptized into the world to come, we cannot belong to this one? Why be anxious about duration or delight in this world when our hearts belong to another? ...
When we ponder the meaning of such realities, literally, the Last Things ever to be remembered, we are engaged in an essential exercise that bears on the whole content of Christian hope. And Hope is an enormously important, if widely neglected and misundertsood, virtue; to ener into the study and practice of it will lead one to the heart of the Christian mystery. Nothing more sharply distinguishes one's membership in the Body of Christ. Put it this way: the perspective of Catholic belief is one that not only looks at the past, reposing its confidence upon the person and promise of Christ, but also gazes expectantly into the future, venturing all on the Christ who awaits us at the last." Regis Martin
The two modeling the beauty of discerning a Call to HIM!
At home in the chapel and helping set up for mass... so beautiful for the young ones!