Wednesday, December 30, 2015

An old woman who prays day and night in her inner temple - me!

 The two Daves... born about a year and a half apart.  It is a name they share - the older being Big Dave and the younger Little Dave.  It didn't work to call them Dave with the first letter of their last names as both are "L".  Maria shared that yesterday was the feast of shepherd boy turned king David, so candles were lit and placed in waffles from breakfast and we talked together about Goliath and how he came from God to show that David was to be King.  It was from his line that the True King of kings came to earth - God and man! 
 A house full as Maria and her family are staying over at Ruth's - 9 kids!

Such a sweet story of Anna today in the Gospel!  I can relate to her as I yearn to spend a chunk of time each day in prayer, and it is my constant companion!  I attempt to also never leave my inner temple and "worshiping day and night with fasting and prayer."  Luke 2:36-40  Even when Life's hard knocks come along - I cling to my prayers - most especially "Hail Marys"  I find that I smile inwardly when I am dealt a piece of humble pie and think to myself that I am coming closer to Jesus with this lesson of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT/The Cross!
 The two three year olds - Rose and Patrick... Rose was playing nurse and has on one of her mom's scrub tops.   She is telling Patrick that he needs to get out of the girl's room.  Patrick knows that he is stronger than Rose, but she sure likes to be the boss.
 Mary's bunny comes in for a visit...

I am enjoying reading from I John for the first readings at mass... today was one that is not real familiar to me, but quite wonderful in speaking to husbands, children, young men, and all of us... Do not love the world or things of the world, the love of the Father is not in them.  The world and its enticements are passing away.  But whoever does the will of  God remains forever.  I John 2
Bunny soft...

Lord, it is good to take a moment to recall your love and unconditional forgiveness of my weak sinfulness.  How I need you to find the ability to then turn around and forgive all those in my life - most especially those in my domestic Church/family.  Why do we treat those we love the most the worst?  Help me to truly make this a year of Mercy in my heart, mind and soul.  May I give without counting the cost.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Patrick still in the girls' room.  He is such a sweet loving snuggler with grandma and grandpa, and he is talking so much better!  Still amazed at the healing and answer to prayer that he continues to show the world!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
 Lots of in and out with the beautiful snow... winter has come!
 A white world...
Luke loves to talk to grandma - mostly about grandpa, his tractors, and bales feeding the cows.  I predict he is going to be a farmer someday.  With 3 boys - it just makes sense for them to be here on the farm, so the big move is starting with us clearing out our first floor for some major remodeling.  Yikes!  Next week the bomb is going off. a neat article about John Wayne's coming into the Catholic Church.

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord, and long to be forever with Jesus!

My inner temple began in earnest when I converted to The Church at 20 and Thomas Merton and A'Kempis were huge then and still dwell in my inner temple!

Danielle Rose - The Saint that is just me
Danielle Rose - the litany of humility

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We all await our salvation to greet us with Simeon

Mary sharing her amazing cat skeleton with her Godmother, Maria, and family on this snowy day.
We are amazed and Dave got a snowmobile helmet from grandpa Larry!
Today is the feast of King David, so the Davids had to share some of this history and blow out candles on waffles. 
They had to be tricky and blow out each other's candles.  Typical Davids - has anyone seen the super cute books called Bad David? 
So great to have the 9 grandkids only missing Nancy's 3 together.  Ruth worked over night and slept here while Maria and Joe were in charge of the bunch!
Mary's bunny, Dusty, came in to visit in the girls' room! 
Love this... Looking out the window at the Fed Ex man coming up the driveway... love the light and expectation on their faces!  We wait with expectation for our Salvation/LIGHT with Simeon today!  Jesus we long to be forever with you in Heaven... Bless-bless, Barb
Singing grace before lunch - O come, O come, Emmanuel! 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Life celebrated and special - the baby martyrs

 We introduced the family to a special way of celebrating special occasions of people.  It was Holden's birthday so the little ones processed around the room with a candle in a cake singing happy birthday and "God is blessing you now."  At first Holden looked sad  that he had been left out, until he realized that the parade was for him!
 A parade of celebration for Holden's birthday!
 Little ones gather around in the light of excited faces.
 "I am special" Holden's smile says.  Such a simple way of sharing JOY!
 The nativity was read and acted out by the grandkids.  This was a tradition that was part of Verly Christmas when our kids were young.  It is fun to bring it back.  Next year we need to remember to have an angel. 

Today the story of baby Jesus takes a very serious turn with the feast of the Holy Innocents.  All those babies that died when Herod tried to kill the newborn king by ordering all those 2 years old and younger to be killed around Bethlehem.  In the Christ Child, we see foreshadowed the suffering Savior.  In the murdered children of Bethlehem, the first of many martyrs, we see foreshadowed the futile effort of the power of sin and death to destroy the true power that will bring it to destruction, though that power lies hidden in a child.  see
Even though Luke had sheep ears - "I am moo-moo."  Too cute! It was so wonderful to have Pat's mom there to share our Verly Christmas!  Jesus, thank you for all life - may it be protected and cherished no matter the cost.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
 A lot of boys and lots of space for them to renew their cousinship..
 Good time!
 With all the boys - the tractors were a hit...
Don't forget running around.
 Nancy's kids with Pat's mom and two sisters.
 Getting ready to preform.

 Dominic got missed but still part of the kids adoring baby Jesus.
Ready for next year.  With Nancy's new one we should have a baby Jesus next year.  Bless-bless, Barb
A few left, and some couldn't make it but a good turn out and a wonderful time together!
One of the last times for a movie in grandma's bed as in less than a week this will all be moved out!
Maria and her 4 are here for a week on the farm.
Supper at Ruths!
 The two Daves together again.  Bless-bless

Sunday, December 27, 2015

May our family be holy

 My gift from John arrived by the mailman yesterday.  I do not have our Lady from Megogorie, and so he gifted me with this beautiful image along with the hope that we will someday travel there on a pilgrimage.  Time will tell, but it is wonderful to have her in front of the Advent wreath as we prayed the office the last couple of days.  My house is empty with all my 40+ Marys and Jesus packed away for the big move. As John says - she is always reaching out to us in whatever way she appears to the poor and humble and small... many times children.
 John helped me with sugar cookies to decorate at Verly Christmas today.  Over and over I thank him for being here and making this Christmas special! 
 Winter arrived and thankfully we have bright sun and no wind today!  We are cleaned out and the cattle are bedded and comfortable in the clear cold of Minnesota winter.
 Pat clearing the way for Paul and Dave to come and help with bedding and feeding this morning. 

Many prayers for a wonderful time with Pat's mom this day as we gather in the Church basement.  It is so powerful to read the readings for today honoring the first Holy Family and their example of LOVE in the midst of difficulties they faced... on the road when giving birth, no room in the inn and giving birth in the stable, the life of Jesus threatened and having to go to Egypt.  Mary truly needed Joseph to love and protect her and her son, and of course, Jesus needed Mary to feed him and care for him as only a mother can!
 More work today with the snow.  Safe travels for all on the road today!
 The dogs greet Paul and David on this winters day- the Feast of the Holy Family!

This second reading bears sharing today;

Reading 2 Col 3:12-21

"Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands,
as is proper in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives,
and avoid any bitterness toward them.
Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this is pleasing to the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children,
so they may not become discouraged."
How this speaks to us all!

David in the snow under the snow bedecked trees...

Lord, this is the year of Mercy, and how prefect is that for this day of the Feast of the Holy Family!  We are asked to forgive that grievance with one another as we have been forgiven over and over by You my Lord!  May the fruits of the Spirit abound this day and always most especially in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Danielle Rose - the Star of Bethlehem - the 3rd joyful - the Nativity
Danielle Rose - Holy Family

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"You led me to it, and through it" John's intention

 Humble gift opening after mass and sharing Eucharist with Pat's mom... This morning marks the feast of the first martyr for Christ - St Stephen!  We may not merely stand adoring at the crib; we must also follow to the cross.  see www.magnificat  What? we only have one day to adore new LIFE coming into the world and then we are led to the Cross? 

It is so fun to see Nancy and Bill share this today - they had sick kids in the AM of Christmas so ended up going to 4:30p at The Basilica of St Mary where Pat and I were married 37 years ago on August 3, 1978!  The best!  To know that we shared mass when Heaven comes down to earth at Basilica, in Wisconsin, at Holy Redeemer in Marshall and in Rome from Christmas!  The wonder of sharing with great JOY our Faith as a family is the best gift of all!
 Praying the office with John this morning after morning prayer with Pat, who is out facing the weather and keeping his animals safe and bedded as the wind picks up the half foot of snow and blows it!  During intentions for peace in our families and the world, John prayed for his future path and thanked God again for his brain cancer and the message of finding faith through brain cancer!  "You led me to it, and through it." The LOVE he was shown through the Sacraments and prayer is now overflowing and he shares it with all!
 I thanked John for giving us a family Christmas by being here with his smiles, his games, his laughter, and his heart filled with love for Jesus, Mary and Joseph! 

This year of Mercy is so important in our prayers and our family time.  We have been shown mercy and now we are called to return it to others most especially those in our domestic Church/family!  The ones that are closest to us are the ones we treat the worst!  How can this be?  Lord, make us adore you in the manger and then embrace The Cross and find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!
Jesus, I fall on my knees and gaze at the beauty of new LIFE which entered the world through Mary's yes and St Joseph's listening to the Holy Spirit.  May we in turn say "yes" to the hard things that we don't understand but are called to do for Good to be in this world - for darkness be banned by the LIGHT!  May we embrace our Most Cherished Cross and find The Truth and the narrow path leading us to eternal life forever with you.  May we face all persecution and be a martyr for you, and in no way do this to others!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
 It's pretty but a lot of work for the farmers with animals to care for.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
 Praying for safety on the roads - especially tomorrow with Verly Christmas in the Church basement.
 After sharing prayer we are lifted up and find...
 Peace in the world and in our hearts...
Joy and Hope in this season of LIGHT entering the world!  "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Acts 7:59  St Stephen and each one of us as we follow Christ carrying/dragging our Most Cherished Cross!    "You will be hated because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved."  Matthew 10:22 Jesus to us in the Gospel today.  May we face all with JOY and HOPE! 

Those tiny lives that face martyrdom! 
Jordan Smith - Mary did you know