Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May day - Rose is 2 in the morning

Vigil of Rose Ida's second birthday!  We will have to give her some special attention tomorrow.  Thank you, Lord, for our zesty Zita.... she adds a lot of spice to life!  Bless-bless, Barb
The family is ready to celebrate!  It will also mark the 6 month birthday of Luke - this calls for a BIG celebration and probably some cute pictures too! 

"God so loved the world..." John 3:16

Where do I see God's love in this world?  In the beauty of LIFE in the domestic Church/family!  Yes, there is the beauty of nature all around us and I do see God's love there too!  Yes, there are many needs and problems that come to us with those many members of our growing family, but there even more than other nice parts of our lives brings us to HIM.  Jesus, we need you and we are so filled with HOPE after - "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life..."  John 3:16 which is the Gospel for today. 
Combined with that LOVE of God I find in family is how sharing our Faith in that family truly brings that family to be a domestic Church!  Why do I say this so often?  Because this is where the faith is truly passed on and carried forth into the world - by making our families sacred ground where we pray together and share the Word and the Saints and all those prayers including the rosary that fill our days with what we need to go forth into the world as LIGHTS! 
Here is Jaci Valesquez singing God so loved the World... it just seems right to put it here. 
Mary receiving Jesus for the first time in His Body and Blood - The Eucharist - surrounded by her parents, and then taken by her parents on Sunday to continue to be fed and to come and worship and adore HIM as a family -not out of obligation but out of LOVE for God sending his only-begotten Son to bring us to everlasting LIFE!  We look to HIM in our lives and our struggles bring us to Jesus... those small deaths we experience each day - the Cross - that makes us turn to Jesus to find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT! 
Yes, we need to bring The Church to LIFE in our homes! It is there that we grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus and His Bride, The Church.  We come to recognize the faces of the Saints that are there to help us on our journey.  We look to our guardian angel.  We honor and look to Our Spiritual Mother, Mary the Mother of God, as she bears Jesus to us and takes our pleas for help and direction to HIM!  We read and discuss how Jesus speaks to us in his Word, and share other spiritual readings together.  We keep the evil and bad influences out of our homes - we monitor TV and computer use.  None of our kids have cable anymore, and one has no TV at all!  It is very hard to keep the dangers of todays thinking and influences out of our homes!  It is also important to share the service of others as families and caring for those needs of the poor and downtrodden.
When we have that firm foundation shared in our homes and yes that includes sharing the dogmas of our Church without hesitation or without judgment or without picking or choosing what we think we will take - as if we could go through the dogmas like a person with a shopping cart picking this or that and leaving others behind as not what we like or want.  Our Faith is a complete package of believing and trusting in the wisdom of The Church!  And no, the Pope and magisterium does not have to be preaching... abortion is evil, contraception is wrong, homosexuality is not to be practiced with every other breath... they are dogmas that will never change and we need to be sharing that Truth in our homes and instilling them into our children that there is no doubt as to what the Church teaches and upholds as far as life or morals.  To say - "Why didn't the Church tell us that co-habituating before marriage is wrong?"  is the most ridiculous statement I have heard in my lifetime! The true question is: Why didn't the parents do their job in their domestic church/family?
I think you can see that when the family becomes this domestic Church that then the family filled with this knowledge and love of Jesus come joyfully and enthusiastically to share together every week at mass!  This is how the Church is filled with JOY, Peace, Love, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness... the fruits of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22  How?  By families nourishing, and cherishing, and proclaiming, and living, and serving, and listening to the Truths of The Church, and being open to LIFE and raising lights for the world... becoming a domestic Church/family and thereby carrying forth our Faith!  We gather in The Church to share that each week at mass where Jesus comes to feed us His Body and Blood, and reveal himself to us in His Word, we also find Jesus in one another... Jesus is alive and well in this world through The Church filled with all of us! 
Jesus, we love you and want to share that Faith with those you have given to us raise as LIGHTS in our domestic Church/family!  How our hearts are filled with sadness and pain at the horrors against life and your love done in this world.  Truly the darkness is evident and we yearn to bring the LIGHT into all corners hidden from sight.  May we be the light set upon the lampstand - and may others realize that nothing is hidden from You, Jesus.  So why not lay all those burdens at your feet and be free to LOVE and serve YOU without holding back.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Mary and I will be going to Kansas City in a week with other girls looking at religious life as a wonderful possibility in their lives.  How amazing could that life be?  The best!
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
"Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done by God."  John 3:21
Tomorrow our little Rose Ida will be 2!  She is a blossom that is opening in the LIGHT/LOVE/LIFE of our shared Faith in our domestic Church/family.
Third Day - Trust in Jesus

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Learning to serve

Rose watches her brothers, David and Simon, hand out books and programs for the First Communion mass on Sunday.  It is good to serve and to find it as a enjoyable thing to do. 
Special occasions are more so when people work together to do the small things it takes to help out.  So often we take it for granted, but it makes you pause when you see these boys doing their part it makes me take a lesson in serving with a smile on your face.
They did a small part in their sister's special day.  May we serve others without counting the cost.  Bless-bless, Barb

"The best way to 'keep the faith' is by sharing it." Scott Hahn

Watching my girls choose wonderful husbands, being open to life and raising their children in The Church... this quote from Scott Hahn truly comes to reality in their domestic Church/families!  It is so true that our faith grows stronger and for sure we take it in more and more as we share it with those we love and then beyond. 

It is wonderful to know that all my grandchildren are being raised as lights for the world.  Carrying on the words of the Holy Spirit through Patrick at our engagement weekend - "The world needs LIGHTS."  After we shared that we were open to a large family and open to life, all the other couples shared that they were only going to have at most 2 kids, some one and some none due to the mess the world was in.  It made me feel like we were being selfish and misled... when I asked Pat - he did not hesitate one minute - "The world needs lights."  Yes!
The Spirit is alive and well at mass today in the readings from Acts as well as the Gospel from John3.  Then there are the family famous stories of how the girls have been led to their husbands with the help of their dad.  So dads keep your eyes open for men you think would be good for your daughters and point them out to them.

Jesus, thank you for allowing us to grow in faith as a family.  It gives us the LOVE/LIFE/LIGHT we can take with us as we go down the narrow path following You carrying our Most Cherished Cross.  We are filled with your Spirit and are led in right paths.  May we be yours more and more and give without counting the cost.  For we know that in sharing our faith it becomes more ours and much stronger as we face the storms of life.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  St Catherine of Siena pray for us.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
"Oh how sweet is this glorious wood which is our soul's support!  It helps us run on and reach our goal!  And our end and goal is eternal life.  This is the objective I want you to set before your mind's eye, and then you will be a true pilgrim and will reach the port of salvation."  St Catherine of Siena (1380)
Great-grandma Verly
Casting Crowns - Praise you in the storm

Monday, April 28, 2014

Some pictures to share

A special gift...
Work in the morning so goodnight and Lord go with me.  Bless-bless, Barb

"Children drive people to church."

I am borrowing pictures from Ruth's Blog this morning - please go there and read her beautiful words describing how our life on the farm is tied to our Faith never to be separated, and of course the family part is what brings it together there.  This one is so special as that huge rough farmer's hand gently lovingly gives his precious granddaughter the precious Blood of Christ for the first time.  Beyond words beautiful as Heaven comes down to touch earth.  It is as if the angels are all around them as well as the Saints - most prominent the new Pope Saints of this day - St John XXIII and St John Paul II!

Lately I have come across articles about those that choose not to have kids due to the amount of time and money they take.... Willfully Childless by William Murchison.  And on how the Catholic Church in the West - us - have lost their faith hand in hand with the destruction of the Family.  How the West Really Lost God; A New Theory of Secularization by Mary Eberstadt is reviewed in the Catholic Servant we get.  "Children drive people to Church."  How often have we seen this in those in our family?  Once the kids come they start to think about going to Church to have them baptized and brought up with some kind of faith.  I have been disappointed that there is a lack of understanding that our faith has to be taught in the home.  "I drop them off at religion and they don't learn much there, what is wrong?"  "You need to be the first teachers of your kids in your home!"  "Well, we aren't very good at that."  Please share prayer and the Bible and the lives of the Saints and attend mass every Sunday and Holy days and more if possible and share it all with the greatest of JOY!  The Joy factor is what attracts and brings the family together in HIM and together we love and respect all His Bride, The Church, has to give us!

      " Faith is what keeps life together. On the farm there are so many things that are out of our control: weather, prices of products, and sometimes health of animals. Faith is needed to know that things may seem to be out of our control but there is a God who always has our best interests in mind and knows the bigger picture in life and is always in control. Every night during prayer time with the kids we pray for favorable weather for the crops, fair prices, and health of the animals. Our children are learning that we need to place our life in God's hands and have faith that he will provide for us. Faith and farming go hand in hand."  Ruth Lanoue from her blog post
I thought this was so wonderful that I had to borrow and share here.  This is a prefect example of sharing Faith within our family - called Domestic Church by Saint John Paul II.  So true!!!!  Our home is where the church takes root and grows into a Faith to be carried forth a LIGHT to the world.  We are called to be open to LIFE and to raise all those we are blessed with to be LIGHTS to the world in our domestic Church/family! 
Mary and Naomi were baptized together and now both received their first Holy Eucharist together.  Their dad was saying that they should enter the convent together and take each other's names.  Both girls are being raised in families that look to Jesus and His Bride, The Church... asking what God wants for them and their children. 
Jesus, we thank you for the wondrous gift of family and how the children bring us to Faith.   We share and grow and marvel at all the wonders of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT we encounter as we share life on the farm and surrounded by family sharing faith!  The rain is falling outside - please protect all the animals, crops, and those without protection out in the elements today.  Rain is always welcome around here, so we thank you, Lord, and trust in your divine providence in watching out for our needs here on the farm.  You are in control of all, O Lord.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah!
 Sharing a joyous celebration! 
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
"The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."  Jesus to us today in the Gospel - John 3:1-8
This requires much meditation as we are truly filled with the Spirit and used directed down His Path in Life carrying our Most Cherished Cross.  Lead me, Lord!
Mary and her dad reading the beautiful words of grace received in her cards.  Parents teach your kids the Truth and Faith!
Danielle Rose - Pursue me, Lord
The Recycled Catholic's photo. 
Yes, are all called to be Saints!  St John Paul II help us and intercede for us and when we look at you may we find the model of Sainthood.  Amen and Hallelujah

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Close your eyes and focus on Jesus..."

Mary glows after the wonderful mass of her first Holy Communion.  She is wearing a special necklace of her namesake - Mary the Mother of God - a gift from her parents.  Inside she is filled with the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time!  Mary received a beautiful rosary from her Godparents along with a special note from her Godfather, Joseph.  He reminded her to be very reverent when she receives Jesus in His Body and Blood and close her eyes and concentrate on Jesus.  A very profound and powerful meditation to hold onto always!
A gift to last a lifetime within and without...
Mary and Naomi were baptized together and now their first Holy Communion is shared.  Now on to the considering of a call to religious life... we think.
A pretty nice family shot with two that have just got up from a nap to smile or just stare.

A special day...

Jesus, we love you and thank you for coming to us now and always.  St John Paul II pray for us.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

A day of great celebration - Feastday!!!

In their Easter finery while visiting in Oregon... this is an appropriate way to begin my quick sharing this morning.  We need to be at Church about an hour early to get seats for the special day- Mary's first Communion.  Although some of the family members will not be here in person, we all know that we are united in the Eucharist.  Hallel in France, Maria and Joseph and family in Texas, and Nancy and Bill up in the Cities... we all share the food from Heaven today. 
Bernadette knows that it is a special day to get so pretty for the Lord. 
How I wish that I had gotten up for the special occasion at St Peters overnight, but I just knew that I needed my sleep more.  Well, today I can proclaim from the rooftops that St John Paul II is my hero, and from the moment he left this world I have been praying to him.  Now more than ever!  He pointed out to the world that the way the family goes so goes the world, and that is a bleak statement this day and age.  If only we have ears to listen to the Truth the Church upholds to us in how we are to live out our family-life/domestic Church... we could find a small slice of heaven here on earth. 
Light has come into the world!  We have experienced his Mercy once again with the coming out of Lent into Easter JOY!  Many of us have experienced his forgiveness and healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Why do I wait so long? I know that Saint John Paul II went weekly and I have even heard daily.  They made it to sainthood and we are called to do that too.  I could really dig deep if I went at least monthly or bi-weekly like little Sister Hallel!  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith..."  I Peter:1  The second reading from the Divine Mercy Sunday mass today!
Mary's first communion day is a day of great celebration throughout the world on this second Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy Sunday!  Additionally added to all the rest was the Sainthood of ST John XXIII and John Paul II!  The Gospel today is the one of the doubting Thomas as Jesus appears to him after he says that he must see to believe!  May we be filled with Faith through all the blessings we are given and may we gain in that Faith as others share with us the ways they have found the Lord and been touched by him.  May we fall on our knees when His Body and Blood are raised during the mass and we say "My Lord and my God!"   recognizing Him in the breaking of the Bread. 
Dear Jesus, here stands sweet Mary in the midst of this huge day of celebration in Your Church.  May she go forth into her Faith journey now filled with your Body and Blood each week of her journey, and hunger for You in her life.  May she leave her selfishness behind and learn to turn to You, O Lord.  May she look to you to lead and direct her life - asking what you want of her and not what the world tells her she should have or follow.  We thank you for this great day of celebration/Feastday she has been blessed with to receive her first Holy Eucharist surrounded by family here and around the world - united in the Eucharist with all the angels, Saints including you St John Paul II, Our Lady, and all those in heaven with Our Lord... that is truly a tremendous glorious celebration of JOY!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
Basking in His LIGHT!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
"Peace be with you."  the risen Christ to the Apostles - you and I
John 20: 19-31 The Gospel for today!
Danielle Rose - See you in the Eucharist
Danielle Rose explains why we see our loved ones in the Eucharist