Saturday, August 31, 2013

A picture of coolness

Rose out by the pool in 90 degree heat - was greatly amused by Lilly drinking and splashing in the pool.  It made her giggle and laugh as Lilly spun around and took big drinks of cold water. 

A princess for the day - little Rose Ida

Rose gets to spend the day with grandpa, grandma and John at the farm.  The rest of her family is heading up to the State Fair for the day.  Ruth and Paul are working at the Farm Bureau Booth, and thankfully it is not as hot and humid as it has been over the last week.  Ruth being 7 months pregnant makes you a bit hotter than normal, so she has assured me that there will be a lot of big fans in the place they are working.  As Rose was walking in this morning the thought of the little precious princess she is in the eyes of our Lord and his Queen Mother, Mary Mother of Heaven and earth.  Pat and I had just prayed the Saturday morning prayer which is devoted to Blessed Virgin Mary, so it is only proper that if she is our Queen Mother that we are princesses if we LOVE and look to her as our spiritual Mother.  How does this fit with the reality that we are nothing without Christ to forgive us unconditionally and denying ourselves to allow the Spirit to dwell in us and use us?  We all know that we are precious in His sight and he loves us and sees the beauty that lies within us - we are loved unconditionally so why try to hide our faults from HIM?  He sees all there is in us good and bad, so we need to humble ourselves and lay our burdens and sins at his feet in the confessional.  What freedom we are given as we face the fact that we are nothing without HIM and when we do that he multiplies the 5 talents or 2 talents we have been given and we double and triple the good we can do through HIM in this world. The LIGHT becomes brighter and more are shown the path and the Truth!  We are nothing without HIM yet when we humble ourselves we become Princes and Princesses in this world. 
Princess Rose playing with a box of animals, and going around sharing them with everyone. 
 Jesus reminds us over and over that the little ones in our lives show us how we are to love Jesus.  We are called to LOVE them and nurture them in the Truth given us by Christ and His Bride, The Church!  It is very easy for me to see Christ in my gift's from God - grandchildren.  It is not as easy to see him in all those we meet throughout our days in this world - yet Christ is in each one that we meet!  "I wish to see Christ in you."  is a prayer that is always filling our hearts, minds and souls.  It seems that this is hardest to see in those the closest to us in our domestic Church/family. 
I just did a photo shoot with this picture of Jesus - the Good Shepherd - so in keeping with the way He looks after us as a little helpless child. 
Jesus, we need YOU now and always as we limp through LIFE.  You give us our talents and we are to take those and share them with all those around us so that they multiply in the richness of LIGHT/Truth!  May we follow after you carrying our Most Cherished Cross down the narrow path into your LIGHT/LOVE/LIFE!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
While I was taking these pictures with the Good Shepherd I was singing the "Jesus song" to her.
"Jesus, Jesus
Jesus in the morning
Jesus in the noontime
Jesus when the sun goes down!"
Rose did cradle the picture and give it a big hug!  Always love Jesus, Rose, holding nothing back and without counting the cost!

Friday, August 30, 2013

John is better tonight

It has been a bit of a rough day around here today - John has had a very bad headache for most of the day and one big memory lapse that rocked my world.  But he is feeling better tonight and I am starting to think that it was just his first SMART episode since June of 2012 when he scared us all silly with some stroke symptoms that suddenly appeared.  Just as then the migraine that comes along with it lasted about a day and then it got better - by the next morning it was just a slight headache.  So thank you all for the prayers, and it looks like we are through the woods and coming out into the daylight.  Jesus, we thank you for getting us through this day and we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

"the plans I have in mind for you..."God

This verse began morning prayer today - "I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe!  plans to give you a future full of hope."  Jer 29:11
This really brought back to me the last 4 years with John and how we have been given HOPE eternal over and over - with each hurtle we faced - the answer came in the form of so many prayers and expert medical care.  Yes, there is still that bit of fear when something comes along, and from others that have fought the cancer/healing battle we know that this is just part of the journey.  Yet, we are reminded of our having the "new John" here and somewhat staggering down the narrow path due to his ataxia on the left side of his body, and carrying his Most Cherished Cross called cancer/healing/now what do you want of me Lord?... we are reminded that our constant and without ceasing prayers have been answered by HIM, and we all know that He has a perfect plan for John.  John has a burning desire to share with the world the great gift he has been given - Faith in Jesus and his glorious Bride, The Church!  There is no doubt that as Pope Francis says - "make a noise!" ... He wants John to share the message of hope with all those and sometimes use words - for him it is mostly use words!
I am on my way into urgent care with John as we are looking at another of his smart syndrome due to his radiation.  Prayers would be appreciated as we go down this bumpy path.  Jesus, we are yours and we trust in YOU.  You are in control in the midst of the storms of LIFE.  Jesus, we need you when we are weak and worried - may we be humbled in that way all the time so that we don't go off on our own thinking that we know what it best for us.  You are our LIGHT in the midst of the darkness, O Lord.  We are reminded by the wise Virgins today that we need to be constantly filling our flasks with oil for our lamps through study of your Word, the Sacraments, and prayer constantly and with every breath that we take and every beat of our hearts.  Good Shepherd place us on your shoulders and carry us down the narrow path this day.  The 97th psalm from today's mass -
"Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the Lord, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
Rejoice in the Lord, you just!" 
Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
"The designs of his Heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death and to keep them alive in famine."  Psalm 33: 11, 19

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ugly - Gross - Hard to take Gospel/Life lessons

I am so blessed to have two of my children here helping me with the big job of taking care of 4 pails of tomatoes yesterday... They visit and share in the work - so familiar over our entire marriage.  And Pat too is a big help on these days - always willing to do a lot of the stirring, putting through, lifting and turning the sealing rings on super tight with all his strength.  Reminded today by a dear friend how hard it is to see these strong men become weak as they approach the end of their lives.  A call to prayer for my friend, Deb, and her family as her dad is down to facing the end of his life here on earth and walking into the sunset of his life. 
With tongue in cheek this morning I wished John a happy feast day - today being the passion of St John the Baptist.  Why do I say that?  Because this is one of those very uncomfortable days in which we read the gross Gospel of drinking/partying/ suggestive dances by young girls/beheading/and then presenting that head on a platter.  It truly makes my stomach turn and last night when I usually read with great excitement the Gospel for the next day - I couldn't make myself read it.  This morning I did read it with Pat and then again with John as we shared morning prayer and the office together, and it was still a very hard Gospel!  It seems to me that there was really nothing very sweet, beautiful or nice about John the Baptist... yet, people flocked to him to be baptized, including Jesus himself!  John confronted us with the Truth, and it stung yet it struck a nerve close to home - we are sinners and we need to be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb!  Is there anything that is not gross about that?  No!  This is one thing that people criticize our Church about - we are cannibals in that we eat Jesus' Body and Blood.  It doesn't matter that He asked us to do that - see John 6 - it is gross and horrible to actually believe that this is Christ Body, Soul and Divinity that we are taking into ourselves!  No!  It is LIFE given to us, and we are gifted with it each day of our lives as long as young men continue to answer the call to become his priests in this world of darkness.
I once entered a hospice photo contest with a different picture of Ruth and John walking into the sunset on this exact same beach... I spoke about how with Hospice the patient and his family are given what they need to face death knowing that all their needs have been met - first of all giving them relief from pain and peace.  From that place of comfort then to look at all areas of their lives and meet those needs - physical, emotional, and spiritual.  What matters most at the end of our lives is our Faith and our Family.  All the other trappings of life that seem to consume us - money, power, houses, cars, boats, vacations - we see them for what they really are - nothing!  Death is very difficult for many and hard for the family to watch their loved ones go through.  It can in many ways be Ugly, Gross, and hard to take or watch our loved ones endure.  I first hand have been a hospice nurse for probably almost 20 years - even my work now in the nursing home involves hospice work on the trench level - there is a lot about it that is difficult, yet there is a lot of satisfaction in helping those that are facing death find peace and walk into the sunset prepared and ready.  Ready to be done with this life and on to Newness of LIFE with HIM!  It is that ever present Most Cherished Cross which we must embrace to find LIFE.  I look to that day with great anticipation and almost find myself longing for it at times, to be brutally honest.  For some reason that word - "brutal" - just seems to fit todays sharing.  The Cross is brutal and hard and gross - the worst - yet it is where we leave our selfishness behind and find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT that Christ brought into the world through his horrific death even though He was God/without sin!  Psalm 90 from mass today
"Teach us to number our days aright,
That we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O Lord!  How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!"
Lord, life is not pretty or nice much of the time.  We are humbled and robbed of the false/lies of the world which wrongly try to lead us into the darkness and confusion of this world, when the Cross enters our lives in many forms - facing death is the final and most shocking of all!  We "see" with eyes of Faith that power and riches make us think that we are above moral Truths - look at King Herod and how he took his brother's wife.  Yet, this is what so many strive for and dedicate their lives to - be rich and powerful.  Lord, help us to be humbled this day and in our weakness give up more and more of our selfishness - looking to YOU and your beautiful Bride, The Church!  Life has taken ahold of this sharing and I am now going to call it ended for today.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
One of those hard things - losing my sister, Mary, at 28 to lymphoma cancer. 
"Now may God himself, Our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.  Amen."  I Thessalonians 3: 7-13 The first reading for today - heard around the world today.  Come to Jesus by Chris Rice

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Still have kids helping me

This is what makes me tick!  To have two of my kids still here helping me on these big days of canning!  Last week there were 3 helping me as Nancy was down helping while Billy was in Brazil for two weeks of business. 
Yes, I do help some and not just take pictures.  Today we made 50 quarts of spaghetti sauce.  This day we made tomato soup- about 30 quarts.  We also had a big day of salsa with Nancy.  So much fun for me to have my kids here to help.  Poor Ruth lives 3 miles away from me and is by far a better gardener and grows amazing tomatoes and everything else.  So when we put it all together we add up to 4 pails of tomatoes and as Ruth says -"Why do we always fill everything to the top, and use up all our jars year after year and have to buy new jars?"  Why?  Because we give our food away to Kansas City and El Paso and St Croix Falls and our jars are too far to get them in time for canning.  We do the work and share it with the 4 generations of family.  At least Ruth is always there to help me and Pat is always more than willing to stir, lift and put through in the blender/colander!  With his muscle we are a great machine called canning food on the farm for the Family.  Jesus, we trust in You.  Bless-bless, Barb
The canner on the front that I am stirring... is 35 years old.  It was a wedding gift from Pat's 9 siblings... the writing was on the wall along with some tomato splash that I would be canning a few months of every year.  But I do appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!  Some of my most favorite family time are the days we spend in the kitchen canning our food to share with Family and enjoy through our winter on the farm.  Thank you Pat's brothers and sisters after 35 years of canning it is beat up but has put up probably hundreds of quarts of apples and tomatoes! 

3 years ago we were at Nancy's wedding - today we celebrate with a huge job -50quarts!

Ruth came over with two heaping pails of tomatoes and two kids- the other two are suffering in their hot classrooms and are getting out early to ride on the hot bus for 1 1/2 hours.  Starting school in August is not looking so smart!  I then went out and picked about 2 pails from my garden - grand total of a big days work - 50 quarts mostly of spaghetti sauce!  Little Rose found her own fun canning by putting tomatoes straight into the jars - after she took a bite out of them as she loves tomatoes! 
I carved out some morning prayer with John - it is his feastday too as he chose St Augustine - the Doctor of Grace - as his confirmation saint.  His sisters had very much given him input on this and suggested Augustine to him... I think that they realized that St Augustine could be helpful in John making his Faith his own.  John's complaint over the years - "I don't know what I believe.  I don't feel anything, because my faith has never been tested.  Life has been easy for me and there has never been any challenge to make me turn to Jesus and truly believe in HIM."  This was before he half-heartedly prayed for Faith and before the storm hit called Brain Cancer!  All is different now including a "new John" and St Augustine and his finding Faith after struggling and wandering seems like an amazing patron Saint to him now with his new Faith and new outlook called - Cancer/ Healing/Now where do you want me Lord?  It happened then the year after his battle that Nancy and William married on this exact day 3 years ago.  They met and dated through our shared family drama of John's cancer and at the same time Hallel's taking the habit and changing her name.  Bill is a wonderful cook and made us a wonderful Thanksgiving turkey and all the rest up at Maria and Nancy's home during the second week of John's radiation.  Hallel and little Sister Judith came and drove John to Rochester for that week and we all gathered at Joe and Maria's for a family feast thanks to Nancy and Bill!  They say that the way to your heart is through your stomach, and we certainly fell madly in love with this wonderful kind and thoughtful man of Nancy's!   Their dating was a bright spot in the midst of all the craziness, as was the arrival of our new grandson, David, to Joe and Maria about a month later on Dec 21! 
John helping out on his feast day with the family work we share to make it go quickly and efficiently.  We pretty much have canning down to a science around here.  It is fun to see the next generation helping out - 5 year old Dave was running the colander just before John came in and took over.  We are discovering that David is a worker, and enjoys helping for more than just a few minutes.  So we are thinking of our sweet little family up in the Cities today.  Being married on this great feast day carried over to their first child - a son born in May - yes, they celebrated their first anniversary with a 3 month old!  The math works, and so it should as they waited for marriage!  They named their precious boy, Augustine/Gus for short, so he too is having a feast day today!  Happy anniversary Nancy and Bill and feastday to Gus! 
Getting the last into jars!  Pat is quite happy these days when we use the huge pots he picked up at a auction of old things at the Catholic School a number of years ago.  Today we filled them to the brim!
Jesus, we are filled with wonder and awe on this special day for many of those close to us!  What JOY we experience in the beauty of your Church.  All the ways we are blessed on our journey by the Sacraments, the Saints, your Mother Mary, the sacramental that cause us to pause and meditate on YOU throughout our day!  Our day is filled to the brim... just as our huge pots were today, with all the goodness and beauty of Truth that comes to us from Jesus and His Bride, The Church!  We are pulled up from the day to day grind by all that glistens and glows in the crown of Sainthood with each of these great Saints standing at the foot of your throne and always there to intercede for us and show us how to walk down your narrow path embracing/carrying our Most Cherished Cross and through that finding LIFE eternal/everlasting!  We are aided by such powerful and real examples of sinners that have found YOU and rejected their world of darkness and sin.  St Augustine, help us to reject sin and darkness and come into the LIGHT of Truth!  "Through your LIGHT we find light, O Lord!"  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Rose and mom and the baby are tired after our big day together.  Home for a nap and wait for the other hot school kids to get home.
Bless-bless, Barb
“Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you…. The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.” (Bk. I, 1, p. 21) St Augustine from his Confessions
“...I was born into this life which leads to death—or should I say, this death which leads to life?” (Bk. I, 6, p. 25)

Happy 3rd Anniversary - May your day be filled with JOY and your year with great LOVE and Happiness!  St Augustine, pray for us!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The vigil of St Augustine feast day/Nancy and Bill's anniversary

Three years ago we were celebrating a wonderful occasion tomorrow - Nancy and Bill's wedding... getting ready for their anniversary and John and Gus's feast day!  Super day of celebration!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

A mother's PRAYER/TEARS - St Monica

Maria is my daughter, who considered cloistered religious life for 5 months with the Poor Clares, after she had studied in Rome for a school year and read Story of a Soul by St Therese of Lisieux.  She discerned that she was not called to this life, and returned to get her masters in Catholic Studies and meet her spouse, Joseph.  Both had considered a call and attending daily mass was huge for them, and continues to this day.  Maria attends mass with her 3 little ones on the military base in El Paso each day!  I love this picture taken of Maria with her young daughter, Therese, as we stayed with them during John's cancer journey, and went faithfully to pray at mass for his healing.  Nativity Church with its' perpetual adoration chapel was a haven for me as I wept loudly, at times, for the Lord to heal my 20 year old son from brain cancer!  The Lord answered my tears with conversion and a new John.  This morning as we prayed together... we have an intention today for yet another job interview in this humbling hard summer of rejection time after time.  He hears often that they are hiring those with experience, but I just have a nagging doubt that part of it could be the obvious piece of his battle with brain cancer.  Yes, in our eyes, he has won the battle, but from someone looking on with his hair gone and somewhat staggering gate - it looks as though he is still in the midst.  We are aware of others, who have had this cancer recur and as John said this morning - "That scares me."  We must not give way to fear, but trust that the Lord will continue to heal him and hold him in the palm of his hand.  How John yearns to find that open door to the future the Lord has in mind for him and walk through it joyfully and with great excitement! 
This was taken in a Church near Rochester... the tears of a Mother - The Mother of Heaven and Earth, Mary Most Holy, who brought LIFE into the world with her "Yes."  Then she stood at the foot of the Cross and watched God/Jesus die the most horrible of deaths.  Do you not think that this perfect mother cried a river of tears?  Yes!  I, who cry very easily, for both happiness and sadness... Tears are the job of motherhood from my perspective.  There are times in my life when I am weary and feel that I can not have any more tears - I remember sitting in the barn for the year my sister, Mary, was dying of cancer and crying.  I felt that my baby in my womb, Susan/Hallel, would be somehow affected by the constant crying I did while she was growing there and then until she was 8 months old when Mary died!  It surely had some influence on her life and that of the other girls, who watched me in a constant state of tears.  Those tears did not keep my sister here... the Lord needed her with HIM.  But with her struggles with Faith she probably was saved by her leaving the world of darkness and confusion for the eternal LIGHT at that point.  It is a mystery that we will only know on the day of our arrival in Heaven.  Just as I will be united with my 7 losses for the first time... so I will see my sister there - for this I pray daily on my chaplet of mercy. 
Jesus meets His Mother on the way of the Cross.  From the beautiful chapel at St Mary's Chapel in Rochester - how we knelt in this Church and laid all our fears at the feet of Jesus when John went for his biopsy!
Jesus, tears seem to be cleansing and wash the fears away as we attempt to fully trust in YOU and Fear not!  We are so blessed to have St Monica showing us the way to follow our hearts and to pray with tears.  It is with this full heart - filled with LOVE that overflows and brings with it the rivers of tears to in a very real way show those around us how deep goes our care and concern.  Yes, they grow tired of our emotions, but they have been placed there so deeply by YOU, O Lord.  We know that your Mother kept all she witnessed in her heart and pondered it there.  So that when it came time to stand before you in the way of Your Cross - she could trust and LOVE and give you all her strength at a time when you needed her LOVE to take that next step!  We do that for our children - we go to their sides when they need us, and shed those prayerful tears at the hard times on our knees for their needs.  Just a year ago I was getting my ticket to go to El Paso and help Maria with the arrival of her 3rd child - there for her as her husband was in Afghanistan.  It all went terribly wrong with the tearing of her uterus and the placenta coming loose... yet, my tears of great agony were answered as he was brought back from death and found newness of LIFE and healing!  My prayers were groans of great fear and a river of tears!   John knew that this was a miracle in the making and called me to say that he wanted desperately to pay forward his hundreds of prayer warriors for Patrick!  Lord, we are so filled with awe at the way YOU are at work in this world.  You know that John is on his knees - asking that you show him the path you want for him... with the burning desire to share the miracle and answer to prayer that he received from YOU.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you." Isaiah 49:15
Constant prayers for Ruth and her little boy - just 2 months away from joining our family. 

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
St. Thérèse de Lisieux  Danielle Rose singing A Mother's Song - get Kleenex all you moms! 
Ruth loves LIFE and Trusts in HIM!
I never get tired of seeing my girls with their little blessings - LIFE!
 The 5 - all 3 daughters with their babies!!! A MASTERPIECE!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Sharing the battle with others

John yearned to find some normalcy when after he had received the shocking news that he had a very rare brain cancer, had a biopsy that left him unable to walk on his own to discover the few cells that showed us that answer, and had his first chemo treatment... so we brought him home after a couple weeks at Mayo on our 31st anniversary - August 3, 2009 - and the next morning he was at the beef show at the County Fair with his dad!  The incision still has the staples in it. 
Since we started our cancer journey with our 20 year old son Father's Day four years ago... there have been quite a few others that have shared many of our experiences.  Just today we discovered another young man, who grew up in Marshall and is doctoring at Mayo for brain cancer.  He even shared the same doctor for his biopsy - Dr Parney.  Lately we are in the midst of our wonderful memories of going to France suddenly Susan's taking the habit and becoming Little Sister Hallel - noting that the Queenship of Mary was a few days ago and that marked the occasion.  WE are in deep thought and prayer for Matthew as well as Justin from neighboring Bird Island, and little Anna from Rochester area... she is only 9 years old and came to see us while at Mayo with her parents and little sister.  They have been fighting the battle on and off for probably 5 years now.  They are currently in Boston having radiation, surrounded by many other children fighting the battle of their lives!  Involved in prayers daily for all of these struggling with brain cancer - keeps us real in knowing that we need to continue to pray and trust for John and his continued healing!
This came to John early in his battle from the Community of the Lamb with a relic of Blessed John Paul II - the story is that this girl had a brain tumor and was healed by the touch of soon to be Saint John Paul II!  I know that many prayers had been said to Blessed John Paul II for John's healing!  All the pieces of prayers, and all that the Church has to offer come together with the medical care from Mayo all add up to a new John and healed of cancer JOHN!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb
In France 4 years ago!!!  Miracles happening from the beginning!

"God's corrections are acts of LOVE.." Discipline to be a disciple

My thoughts are finding their way to France and the Community of the Lamb these days.  Four years ago we were in France and at Lourdes for the first time.  There was no doubt that we needed to get John to Lourdes with so much hope that he could find healing from this sudden giant - brain cancer - that was calling him out across the battle field.  Surrounded by so many prayers and all that our amazing Church has to offer - he stood there like the strong youth, David, with the sling shot.  He was so brave and filled with youthful strength and HOPE and Faith... and his aim was perfect and the giant was defeated, yet he is now the new John as a result of the battle!  I am sure that David too was no longer looked upon as a fuzzy faced youth after he had defeated the Philistines.  John had found this HOPE and FAITH after he half-heartedly asked God for them... the words from the Magnificat in evening prayer last night ring true - "God's corrections are acts of LOVE."  I read this to John this morning and he knew so well just what this means.  I shared at much more length about this on the page I devoted to John's cancer stories -   I also talked to John about how the words disciple and discipline come from the same Latin word meaning "to learn."  It was my impression that discipline is painful, but I was surprised that John did not feel this way.  We definitely live in a world that encourages us to live for the moment and with thoughts of ourselves and our enjoyment of LIFE and comfort while doing it.  This is not really in keeping with disciplining our selfishness in our striving to be Disciples of Jesus! 
John in Lourdes - broken and humbled by the Lord's answer to his prayer for Faith... knowing fully and truly that "God's corrections are acts of LOVE."  I have always felt that John using his sisters on  either side to walk when he is unable to walk alone... it appears that he is hanging on the Cross and truly he is - on the Most Cherished Cross - Brain Cancer/Surrounded by thousands of prayer warriors and all that The Catholic Church has to offer for healing - and that is so much!  John has found his path to discipleship and it is The Cross!  So true for all of us on our individual journies!
Jesus, we know that sometimes each day we need to be corrected, in case we might go off on a destructive path.  "God's corrections are acts of LOVE, for he does not ever want to lose us."  see  We are asked to accept and embrace all that the Church holds out to us!  We are called not to judge those who are misled and pick and choose what suits them.  Yet, it hurts so badly to see them misled and hurting themselves and their journey with YOU when they turn away and listen to the lies of the world.  May our joyful embracing of the Truth show your light to those that are struggling with the blindness brought on by the darkness.  Yes, we are limping and weak as a wounded Lamb, but that is so powerful as we go forward down the narrow path as we pass through the narrow gate in the shape of Your Cross!  It is through that gate that we find LIFE and LIGHT and LOVE unconditional! Being sinners does not permanently separate us from Christ, although we need to be aware of our weaknesses and turn to HIM.   “No,” Pope Francis said in the Sunday Angelus, “you are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you.”  Jesus, we look to YOU, and Trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
"Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!  Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you."  Isaiah 35:3-4  The entire address by our new Pope Francis
Words of wisdom by Pat Verly this morning - "We are called to love unconditionally all those that disagree with us as we would and do love our children no matter what they do." 
Francesca Batisttelli - Lead me to the Cross

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees." Hebrews 12

After my 5:30a sharing this morning before I went for a work day... in which I shared my "limping through life."  At mass tonight hearing the second reading really grabbed my attention - talking about how the Lord loves us and instructs us by his the difficulties that we face.  "God treats you as sons.  For what 'son' is there whom his father does not discipline?  At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.  So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.  Make straight paths for your feet, and what is lame may not be disjointed but healed."  Hebrews 12:11-13  I know that I will still limp through LIFE but with from that humble place I can be used more by Christ and in that is the healing for all those that I encounter.  Most especially with those in my domestic Church/family.
The LIFE/LIGHT/LOVE that surrounds me - heals me,Lord.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb and family

Limping or striding through LIFE?

I have never been a physical specimen of great athletic abilities.  My mom describes me as struggling to climb the steps of the school bus, and I can remember that feeling of almost defeat at some of things in life.  In my work at the nursing home - I find that I am hobbling after a day on my feet and being so active.  My junior year of high school I went down hill skiing for the first time, and had an accident that caused me to tear the cartilage in my left knee.  That was then removed, so over the years my knee deteriorated as well as the other one as I compensated for the bad one.  I now have both a left knee and hip replacement, which has helped immensely, but that foot now swells and hurts after a lot of time on it.  In all this I am saying that I have always accepted and embraced the fact that I am weak, so in my spiritual LIFE I find it probably easier than a strong and athletically active person to realize that I need help from the spiritual army to fight the good fight! 
today in the Gospel Jesus talks about the narrow gate, and be close to Jesus so that he welcomes us into Heaven.  Jesus, we are weak and need you to be a true warrior in this world.  May our selfish desires become weaker and weaker until they die altogether.  We need YOU, O Lord.  We long to love and serve you without counting the cost.  Use us as we limp along today.  May we see your face in all those that are around us.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
"It is good for us to run into opposition and to have others think badly of us, even when our intentions are good.  For these things help us to be humble and rid us of pride.  Then we seek God more earnestly, Who alone knows our inmost self, when outwardly we are ignored and discredited by others."  Venerable Thomas A'Kempis