Monday, September 30, 2013

Thinking about El Paso tonight...

A year ago I was in El Paso waiting for the arrival of Maria's 3rd child.  Today was her due date, and Patrick was in no hurry to be born.  Today I talked to Maria twice about the possibility of their coming to Minnesota for Christmas - it is a work in progress and gives us the opportunity to chat about things that are important.  This is a picture I took the day before I left for home and the day that Patrick had come home from NICU! 
Wish I could give my little family a kiss, but now Patrick is running too fast for grandma to catch him and give him a kiss!  He is the picture of health!  He is a miracle of healing and we are filled with great wonder and awe!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

Planting the seed in little hearts, then pray without ceasing!

Rose learning from big sister how to wash windows.  This day we are shown a child by Jesus and told "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me... For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest." Jesus speaking to us when we allow ourselves to get big, and inflated, and in the way- preventing the Holy Spirit from doing it's work within us -  in the Gospel today in Luke 9:46-50
It is very important as parents to plant those seeds of Faith inside the hearts, minds, and souls of the little ones we have been blessed to share our journey called Domestic Church/family with.  Each new member we are given only expands our LOVE and does not stretch it more and more thin.  Our LOVE grows more and more!  In the process of raising my LIGHTS to the world - I thought that it was very important to consider a call to priesthood/religious life!  I had to send them an hour away to a Schoenstatt camp to see sisters in habits as there were none in our area.  To me wearing the habit is a very real sign to the world of your being a Bride of Christ, and I say this having very good friends that are Sisters out of habit.  I see that the young girls, that are answering the call now do seem to feel this way too... they want the sign to the world in their habit and veil - that they are set apart in a special way and are wanting the world to know that this is a beautiful option for each to consider.  That Christ could be asking them to leave all behind and to give their all to HIM!  Such a wonderful call to Holiness in this special LOVE for HIM!
This was a sight to behold today as a sweet friend from TEC shared this today.  It portrays much the same wonder and specialness that Mary, Simon, and David had as they were allowed to come close to see Marie lay on the floor - humbly giving herself to Christ in the beautiful ceremony where she took the habit of the Community of the Lamb and changed her name to little Sister Inez (Agnes in Spanish).  My parents are deeply touched to see the ways my kids and grandkids are exposed to such depth and beauty of what our Church has to offer each one growing up in The Church.  May they each consider that the Lord could be calling them to a personal call to be HIS!  I certainly did consider it in a very real way - living for a month behind the enclosure with the Cenacle Sisters in Wayzata one January and writing a paper about religious LIFE.  I would say that each of my girls considered it also.  Maria, much like me, lived with the Poor Clares for 5 months and prayed and asked for direction.  She found that it wasn't for her, yet her time with them cemented a family bond of prayer with them for a lifetime!
From the ceremony in Kansas City... Marie lay on the ground barefoot and prostrate...
O eternal God, O abyss of charity, clothe me, clothe me with yourself, O eternal Truth, my gentle Lord, O my love.
Wholeheartedly I prostrate myself before you, O Lord, I do not abandon me to my own will, you have done so much for me, in your great love have mercy on me.
O eternal God, o abyss of charity, clothe me, clothe me with yourself, O eternal Truth, my gentle Lord, O my love.
Planting the seeds of JOY!
Other young girls from the neighborhood were invited, so wisely, by the Community to come close and watch with their eyes of Faith!
"During your postulancy you have experienced the LIFE of the Community of the Lamb, a very simple life of fraternal communion, of prayer, of study of the Word of God, of preaching the Gospel, a life of poverty and of abandonment to Divine Providence, of mendicancy, a life of humble and joyful service to the community, where together you all attach yourselves to live the holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, announcing the universal reconciliation of men and the return of Jesus.
Do you desire to live this life according to the Purpose of LIFE of the Community of the Lamb?
Yes, I do with the grace of God!  answered Marie - soon to become Little Sister Inez!
"May the Lord have you put off the old nature with its practices and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."
The tunic - "Receive the tunic.  May the Lord clothe you in mercy and tender compassion!  Let the same mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus; may the Lord clothe you in strength and gladness."
The scapular ( the long straight piece that goes over their head and covers them front and back)
"Receive the scapular, this blessed garment, it is the yoke of Christ, meek and humble; wear it joyfully and, along with it, put on the humility and meekness of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The belt - "Receive the belt.  May the Lord gird you with fortitude and truth, may he keep you awake in love and find you watchful at his every coming."
the sandals - "As you put on the sandals, may the Lord grant you the zeal to spread the Gospel of peace, the promptness and attention to every form of obedience and to every good deed, the patience and vigilance to carry out the offices of the night and of the day."
The veil - "Receive the veil, and sign of your belonging to Christ.  May he clothe you in his fidelity and may your heart remain undividedly his."
The rosary - "Receive this rosary, and may the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, help you to enter the mysteries of her Son Jesus Christ, she of whom are entrusted all the children of St Dominic.  May Christ be fixed upon your hearts, he who was fixed onto the Cross for all."
Beautiful glowing, Little Sister Inez, at the end of her day of celebration!  We look with new eyes at the habit and veil she wears and all that it means to her and to the world that surrounds her! 
Lord, how touched and forever blessed we are to have this wonderful Community of the Lamb in our family and now to have a little Monastery - Lumen Christi - Light of Christ in the heart of our country!  We see with eyes of Faith the LIGHT that it is for this poor community in Kansas City, and also for many in our country.  The Truth is filling our world with LIGHT/LOVE/LIFE!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
Keep the farmers safe, O Lord!
"Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the Gospel of peace, besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the Evil One.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints."  Ephesians 6:10-18
Generations exposed to the LIGHT of Truth!  Just off the phone with Maria in El Paso - "I love Pope Francis, and his message of LOVE!  We must LOVE as Christ has asked us to - the dogma will never change, so why beat it to death.  We will win those to Christ with LOVE and not judgemental hatefulness!  Pope Francis' love for the poor reminds me much of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and how she touched and changed the world by embracing the poorest of the poor!" 
A picture from El Paso today - a trip by the homeschoolers to a pumpkin patch! 
I was looking for the way that the Community sings Salve Regina and found this from Sister Act - the best!  As John says it makes good fun of our rich and wonderful Church.  Don't you think that our Lady is smiling when she sees this too?  Yes!!!!
So excited that the date has been set for the Cannonization of JPII and John xxiii- April 27th, 2014 - Divine Mercy Sunday/ 2nd Sunday of Easter - so appropriate! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy happy happy

Time with Rose and Mary while the guys were out farming on a beautiful Sunday...
Beauty in the corn field on an adventure before supper...
Out to say "Hi" to Our Lady.
In daddy's tractor with apples from the tree.  A true adventure with lots of fun to be had all over the farm!
Mary full of Grace bale pyramid...
Rose's turn...
Out to see Snow Crystal in the barn with the other calves.
Rose in pink boots from the garage - big but she is into them literally.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

Two weeks ago - "It was beautiful wasn't it?" Hallel

No pictures from mass today with the family - minus Ruth at work.  Remembering all the wealth of pictures overwhelming me on that occasion - two weeks ago as the Little Monastery, Lumen Christi, was dedicated, and how I thought that I was too blessed by them all... Now I can use them two weeks later to share the great blessings that we have been given.  Here is Jesus on the altar in the day long adoration that followed the mass that morning.  A postcard came yesterday from Hallel with her new address in Marseille, France.  A reminder of the beauty of our time together, by our daughter in the Community, is a precious thing as she doesn't often share her feelings about things. To me, known for my volumes of words that pour forth on a daily basis - it is quite something to have this simple phrase..."It was beautiful wasn't it?"... to mean so much to an old mom.   Knowing that many were touched by the greatness of this occasion, followed by the taking of the habit in English by Marie as she became little Sister Inez!  The Gospel today is very much how the Community embraces their "poverty" - begging for their food from door to door... they are content with the scraps that fall from the table.  The only difference is that they beg from the poor, and not the rich!  Giving the poor the opportunity to give from their lack is a true call to embrace the Cross in our lives!  Even a simple cup of water is allowing them to give as Christ asks us in the corporal works:
  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbour the harbourless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy are:
  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead. Matt 25
Jesus, we thank you for all the many blessings we are given on this journey of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  We learn to give without counting the cost.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Halleujah
Bless-bless, Barb
"The poor are not only brothers and sisters to be loved in a brotherly way because they are our brothers and sisters, they are also 'our lords the poor' because the poor man is Our Lord.  He is the sacrament of our encounter with Christ, of our love given to Christ - there is nothing Platonic about the parable of the Last Judgment."  Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel (1964)
"Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the "culture of waste." Pope Francis
Danielle Rose - You did it to me... Matt 25

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sharing art with the sun painting us

Mary and I watercolored outside in the sunlight of the early evening!  I love the beauty of the world, and us too, painted by the sunlight!  Mary got this wonderful big paintbox at an auction of school things for 50 cents.  It was such fun and I love the special paintings that Mary draws and paints.  I told Mary that these are some of my favorite times, and she shared that she has learned to appreciate crayons and how you can start coloring more quickly than drawing and then painting a picture.  "But I do love to paint with you too, grandma."  When I have taught a photography class I speak about how light is a paintbrush making the world a work of art, and that is what you try to capture with your camera.  So it was a special thing to try to capture Mary painting in the sunlight - painting her! 
Kitty silouettes against the sunlit corn field on a glorious evening - the men started combining beans at about 4p tonight.  Prayers for safety for the farmers in the glorious golden fall paintbrush of the sun.  Jesus, we thank you for the beauty of this world we live in.  Our life in the country on the farm is a gift and we are filled with great happiness at our life and sharing it with each new LIFE.  Protect Ruth and the baby as we are in the last month.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

Blesssed Mother Saturday - "God's truly ALIVE!"

Climbing out of the fog of working an overnight.   Blessed with rain this morning and able to pray with my husband morning prayer.  Reminded that this Saturday is devoted to Our Lady along with other Saints of the Church.  She rises above as the bearer of LIFE to this world!  Thanks to her we can proclaim with Newsboys - God's truly Alive!  Our Blessed Mother's "YES" - brought LIFE into the world - "For every hardship we endure for LOVE of God is rewarded.  Its fruit is to kept for us in everlasting life, where there is life without death, light without darkness..."  St Catherine of Siena (1380)  Mary certainly endured hardship yet she never faltered - "Mary pondered and did the will of God not reluctantly, out of a sense of martyred duty, but with her whole heart, in delight."  see How often, do you think, Jesus mentioned to his parents growing up that he would be "handed over to men?"  as He told the apostles today in the Gospel of Luke?  How painful would this be for a mother?  A mother, who knows that Jesus, her son, is the Son of God, too?  You would want to have Joseph take him to some far distant land to protect him from harm - as Joseph did when he was an infant - taking him to Egypt as Herod was slaying all those boys under 2.  You would want to beg him to continue to be low key and work as a carpenter along side his foster father, Joseph, and just spend time in contemplative prayer for the darkness in this world.  To stay safe and sound in your loving home... But no!
Jesus had to go out and proclaim the Kingdom of God - much of which was in parables and not understood in human terms.  He did work miracles and healed all those in need, and this revealed God to those that witnessed it, just as we see God today in the ways we are touched in our lives!  But most of all he had to be handed over to men, and suffer and die for us sins - the spotless Lamb of God!  Mary did not stand in His way, but watched from a near distance as He proclaimed and lived out our salvation in the most horrific way!  I am rended in my heart when I watch my own son, John, with his changed abilities since battling with brain cancer and defeating the giant/cancer!  He is the new John and as we shared the morning office/Lauds today he prayed in gratitude - "I have always wanted to speak, Lord, and now I am asked to speak to groups about YOU!"  So powerful that the Lord answered his half-hearted prayer for Faith and then opened the door for him to share it far and wide!  The job hunt has held many humbling disappointments for John, yet the chances to speak and share his story are coming in almost weekly!  Truly what counts in what really matters in LIFE?  We do know that the Lord has a plan and the door will open and John will walk through with great excitement and enthusiasm to make a difference in this world.  Every time he speaks - we pray that his words will touch hearts that are numb and dead like John's was - going through the motions and not having faith or believing the Truth of our amazing Church!  Here is John's webpage for info to have him speak to you.  he would love to share and as Pope Francis said at world youth day - "make noise!"  Read Psalm 30 - it is John's mission - "I will not be silent!"
The bean harvest is on hold today due to the rain.
Jesus, we are so hopefilled in this day as we are reminded of your work in this world.  We look to your Mother, Mary Most Holy, as she brings you to the world - you fill us and the world with your LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  We ask that you are with our Hallel, who returned to France this week, and we know of her prayers for us and her work for YOU.  The Community of the Lamb is truly a LIGHT in the darkness.  We are filled with the knowledge of your salvation through the embracing of our Most Cherished Cross and looking to the Lamb to show us how to do that.  May we be lambs in the face of hardship and suffering - "Wounded, I will not cease to LOVE."  the motto the Community lives by.  May we also live this out most especially in our domestic Church/family, where we are less than loving and forgiving to those that are the closest to us.  May your Word spread throughout the world and turn the darkness into LIGHT everlasting.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
I am remembering that today I was in El Paso with Maria and her family - awaiting the miracle that is Patrick!  A year later and seeing the miracle for what it is - so amazing!
"They were all amazed at his every deed..."  The Gospel today - Luke 9
May we never lose sight of your hand upon us, Lord. May we serve YOU without counting the cost.
Hallel with all her nieces and nephews in April - on her feastday Nov 1 her newest nephew will arrive - join us in praying for the safety of Ruth and her son!
God's not dead - the Chronicles of Narnia!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Awake to the late afternoon clouds...

Missing a lot of the day after working in the nursing home overnight.  It had rained complete with thunder and lightening just before the sun came up this morning, but not enough to keep the guys from combining this afternoon.  My lunch making skills were required by the men, so I had an opportunity to see all the action under the clouds of the overcast sky and the dust of bean combining. 
Newsboys singing God's not dead - He's surely alive!
I just have to share this here.  I have been reading my blog in print about the time I spent in El Paso from a year ago today for a month.  You can find it from Sept 27- Oct 27, 2012 by going back in my blog.  I also wrote a page about my little Lamb, Patrick Joseph,
While reading it I was reminded of this song, which grandson David would belt out on a regular basis, and the Truth of it's message gave us HOPE and Courage to face all of that came with the birth born dead of Patrick after 20 minutes without oxygen!   This is on in the background as I am writing now, and it is truly the theme of Patrick!  I am overwhelmed by the picture of Patrick today, compared to the doubtful future he faced at the weeks after his traumatic birth!  There was mention of certain disabilities that they would bravely face in the future and now he is discharged and charging ahead into LIFE with great health and excitement!  I think of his big brother, David, singing - "roaring like a lion!!!!" like he is truly roaring!  Now I hear of Patrick running around the house with his sword and shield, wresting with dad, brother and sister, and getting potty trained at under a year old by mom!  He is truly roaring like a lion of great strength and courage - healed and a beacon of LIGHT to the world in his message of HOPE and JOY!
It was special to share with a Catholic resident at the Nursing Home in the early morning that today was  the special feastday of St Vincent De Paul - we smiled at each other knowing that we both appreciated sharing this knowledge.  St Vincent has such a heart for the poor - I am sure that the Holy Father Francis had much to say about his day in the Church and his great work that continues on in city after city in this world!  "Three centuries later , The followers of St Vincent de Paul still work tirelessly for charity and justice.  His name is still synonymous with care for the poor.  In twenty-first century LA, everyone knows where to send the down-on-their-luck family who need clothes, pots and pans, or furniture: the football arena-sized Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store."  Heather King
Jesus, there are so many blessings that cover us with each new day!  The days are different and we are called to make the most of them, and to look to YOU in all.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb
For safety for all those taking out the crop - be with the farmers, O Lord!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bean harvest has begun!

No, one year old Rose is not harvesting them.  I have only heard that they have begun - I have not been out with a camera to show you the big equipment at work, but there will be plenty of those this fall.  Rose is much cuter after all.  I will be working overnight at the nursing home, so I have been resting up to be alert and do a good job.  Lord, go with me - I need YOU.
A soybean centerpiece along with some ears of corn from the field just here by the garden - Pat was pretty impressed by the size of the ears, but they might have gotten some of the watering of the garden helping them.  This harvest will be interesting with the drought speeding it up as well as taking away from our bushels.  I took this photo of the apple pie filling we made from 4 pails of apples the other day - Ruth took a dozen with her, so there would be 12 more jars = 66 quarts and 3 pies! 
A beautiful fall evening and we are announcing that harvest has begun - praying for safety for all those farming/taking the crop out.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb
I just wanted to add one more of Patrick in the water park - look at that happy boy go!!!

Discharged from - a baby born dead

Patrick goes to the toy box and gets his sword and shield each day - after watching army lieutenant Dad, and big brother, David...  Yes, he is walking/running and not only doing well but advanced in many areas!  A miracle?  Pat asked today if the doctor looks at him as a miracle... I don't think there is much doubt about that!
I looked on Maria's blog for a picture to use today with the news of Patrick's discharge from a baby with an unsure future after he was born dead - without oxygen in the womb for 20 minutes, brought back to life and surrounded by hundreds of prayers... the sickest baby in NICU, discharged after two weeks on seizure meds, 6 months later taken off that as his brain looked good in MRI, and now discharged from being a baby born with an unsure future due to his beginning in this world.  "I was in there for 2 minutes with the doctor - he took one look at Patrick walking at 11 months and perfect in every way, and he said loud and clear -' Discharge this little guy!' "  I am remembering that I tried to get John to pose with a fake sword as a symbol of his fighting so courageously to beat cancer and he won!  So this is a very appropriate picture of our strong, brave and called by God - Patrick Joseph! 
These pictures were taken a year ago today - I was preparing to leave the next day for El Paso to be with Maria as she gave birth to her 3rd child.  Her husband was deployed to Afghanistan, and so as her mother I was leaving my farmer husband at harvest time and heading for Texas!   Maria's due date was just 2 days away, so we were both hoping that she would hold off until I got there.  We were laughing on the phone yesterday, as she called to share the wonderful news of Patrick's discharge, about how we waited for 2 weeks for Patrick to come and watched a program on Netflicks - they don't have TV, and she happened to have this for a offer for a month at this we waited and waited and waited.  Finally she was induced and that led to the events of terror as I thought I was watching my grandson die, and maybe even my daughter!  Weeping at her bedside the following morning, after spending the night at another hospital's NICU with Patrick, I shared this with Maria.
"We both are here, and we both made it mom!"  Praise HIM!  They are a burning LIGHT on a lampstand for all the world to see - We put our trust in God and he answered our plea - He touched us and healed us!
Patrick was brave, he responded to his mom and dad's love and prayers, and amazed all that worked with him!  He had so many tubes and wires that it took 6 nurses to change his bed - each in charge of some things he was hooked up to as he was lifted to change under him!  The tubes and wires came out one by one with each milestone, and he has never looked back!  So many prayers surrounding him!  He taught us the meaning of a Lamb that embraced his cross and found LIFE!  We learned to pray without ceasing and with great groanings as in childbirth!  "We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains... In the same way, the Spirit comes to the aid in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes with inexpressible groanings.  And the one who searches hearts knows what the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the Holy One according to God's will."  Romans 8:22,27  This was gifted to Maria and I at the mass for St Teresa of Avila on Oct 15th.  We both were in tears at these words - describing how we were reduced to nothingness so that the Spirit could groan our needs to the Lord, and He came to our assistance according to the Truth of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT, Jesus Christ!
The tubes are less and less needed as Patrick is healed!
Today the Gospel is one showing that Herod is confused and perplexed by Jesus whereas we as Christians find confidence/trust in HIM.  Why?  Because He dwells within us and blesses us with all we need each day through His Bride, The Church!
Jesus, we are filled with so much wonder and awe this day as once again we are reminded of your great work in this world!  We need only look at each new LIFE to know that this is the greatest gift of all!  And to look upon our almost 1 year old grandson, Little Lamb Patrick, and once again be reminded that he has been touched by YOU and healed... we are filled with the greatest of JOY.  How can we not believe and trust in YOU?  You are there gazing at us and holding your arms wide to us... just as I was able to put my hand in the hand of St Patrick and know that this man, who chased all the snakes out of Ireland (you should have seen David's eyes when he saw all the snakes around the feet of St Patrick fleeing - this was a real Good guy!) would intercede for his small Lamb namesake, Patrick! 
I am flooded with Your LIGHT and great JOY fills my heart, mind, and soul!  The gifts and consolations we receive from you are without end!  Your Church fills me with all I need and I am nourished with LIFE everlasting at the banquet of LIFE!  We know that you have a special call to both John and Patrick, as they have felt your touch of healing and returned them to LIFE!  So much excitement and JOY fill us - knowing of your plan for them and for each one of us.  Each time that John is asked to speak and share his story - with the fervent prayer that others may be touched and changed by YOU.  That their Faith may come to LIFE with the realization that YOU are walking this earth with us in this very day!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barb
"The relationship between humanity and God, in spite of the distance between them and the humble reverence necessary on our part, is a relationship built on personal trust.  God bases many of his promises on the trust we should place in him.  Many miracles and graces depend on the trust with which they are prayed for and expected."  Fr Alfred Delp (1945) was a German Jesuit priest condemned to death by the Nazis in Berlin
Bishop LeVoir reminded us when John's cancer came growing uncontrollably back through his chemo - "When things look bad repeat this phrase - 'Jesus, I trust in YOU.' St Fautina "  So true, and a life-line in the midst of our storm! 
So amazed to see the reflection of a cross on the wall as Patrick prays in his deepest place!
Patrick a few days ago at the zoo with his family... his life as a chosen child of God lies ahead of him filled with all that we prayed and hoped for!
Danielle Rose - In the Silence of the Heart - a song of discernment that I will always remember with great emotion of Maria dancing with her little boy, David, in my kitchen when they lived with us for some months while Joe was in officer training!  I am sure that Patrick has gotten a few dances to this one too, and he too will discern the call of Christ!
Peter Mayer - Holy Now - so true after John and Patrick's healing!  Now we ask for protection for Ruth and her baby boy in her womb as she enters her last month!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.
Patrick cooling off at a splash park in the El Paso heat!