Saturday, April 30, 2016

"I have chosen you out of the world." John 15

Ruth with Luke and her niece, Abby, going through the mud in the yard after about 3 inches of rain earlier in the week.  Rubber boots are a must on the farm!

After a day of the flu... the wind has been taken out of my sails a bit.  I am also stressed not to have my Magnificat for tomorrow - May.  With the move it is not here, and I am so dependent on it for morning and evening prayers and the readings.  I know that I can find them elsewhere and I will, but I am sad and all quivery inside partly due to the flu and partly withdrawing from my Magnificat!
Ducks swimming in standing water on the field after the rain a few days ago.  We need sun now to dry things up and start planting again.  Pat said that it could be a month from the first crop going in to the last.  We love and need the rain, but warmer and sun is now needed badly!

The Gospel today adds to the sickness I am still struggling with and the dark cold outside "world."  The Word of Jesus reminding us that we are to stand firm and to stand apart of the culture of death which is embraced by "the world."  There are so many insidious ways that Satan lies to us and tries to convince us that things are OK or not that bad.  Things like a woman choosing to end the life in her womb by abortion, or when you ask how someone can vote Democratic in the election as they stand on the right of a woman to choose this horrible sin..."Well, the number of abortions is going down. Let's look at other parts of the platform."  How can we overlook even one life taken in this way?  How can we support any party that pushes and supports the taking of human life?  Yes, it is horrible that many don't have enough food or jobs, but how can that compare?
Picking up Rose from pre-school with Luke... she got a polka dotted balloon and she let Luke carry it to the car.  Talk about a nice big sister, but it was hard not to play with it as they walked down the hall!

How do we raise our kids to value LIFE and to realize that although abortion is legal it is a horrible wrong and sin?  Early in my marriage - the first year - I decided that I wanted to do something about my strong feelings about LIFE and against the horror of abortion.  I joined a small group of amazing women in Birthright.  As I was learning to do the pregnancy test... I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter, Ruth!  I have always taken Monday nights at the office and answer the phone in my home.  I have discovered that this example has influenced my kids powerfully!  All have embraced this cause and have worked, prayed, taken a stand for LIFE! 
The pigs chewing on Abby's boots...

Jesus, it all seems hopeless at times when we face such huge obstacles for sharing the Truth and shining a light on the lies and wrongdoings.  May we embrace Your Truth and stand up to the world - no matter how we are looked down upon or hurt of trampled on or belittled.  We know that by humbly facing all that we are given and turn to you that you will be Our Good Shepherd and hold us close to your heart burning with love for us!  We will fight without counting the cost!  We will LOVE as it truly is meant to be by embracing Our Most Cherished Cross and through that finding it to become the Tree of LIFE filled with all the fruit of Good works and when necessary using words!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
I now have my rubber boots here, and they have been through a lot with me!  Yes, I have walked out of them out in the cattle yard before, but you can clean them up with lots of water. I wish it was that easy to clean up this mess of a world!   Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

My Patrick...

Danielle Rose - The Saint that is just me

Friday, April 29, 2016

"The Community is having a party today!" St Catherine of Siena is reason to celebrate BIG!

Our family is getting excited for the arrival of grandchild #13, and granddaughter #5!  Nancy and I have fake plans for me to jump into my car day or night as soon as she starts going into labor, so that 6 hours later I can be there to take over the other 3 kids and welcome our sweet new baby!  We are all very excited, and Maria shared this on her blog this morning... the Cross Stitch Family of Nancy and Bill that will go in the corner of the baby blanket that Maria has sewed for her.  Such a precious keepsake!  Maria got her idea and design from a dear friend of mine, Paula, who has made amazing baby blankets for all my grandkids!  Many of them have become their beloved special blanket, which they have to sleep with a drag around all day long.  Thankyou so much dear friend!  Maria appreciated your blankets so much that she has copied them - the height of compliments to you!
Ruth and Paul say that in the near future I will break down and get a nice camera... I must admit that when I am over there and I see it laying on the counter... I am snapping away and the pictures are so special, but I do love to have my camera in my purse and so easy to grab and use... after all it is my right hand!  In other words, I am addicted to pictures of everything!  There is no worry of being caught up on my life in short order and a new grandchild is the top of the list!

I find myself wandering in my mind and heart to our wonderful family, The Community of the Lamb, today!  They prayed into the night and sang and read her writings for the vigil of The Feast of one of their most amazing patron Saints - St Catherine of Siena.  Today they will probably have chocolate and coke to celebrate along with all the prayers and mass and adoration... all flavored by this amazing Saint! 

Such an amazing picture and it speaks volumes of how deeply she loved and was devoted to her Christ and His Bride, The Church!  So fitting is the Gospel today for all of us to look upon her example of serving The Church without counting the cost. 
"This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you... I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.  It is not you who chose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  I command you: love one another."  Jesus said to us his disciples in John 15:12-17

St Catherine definitely embraced her Christ and followed his commandments to serve Him and His Church - she received the stigmata/wounds of the crucifixion on her own body!
I borrowed this special picture Ruth took of her sibs and dad laying hands on her and praying a blessing over her on her birthday - "God is blessing you now." I am sure the Community with celebrate with lots of deserts and maybe even have some conversation at their meals - it's a party day/feast day after all!

St Catherine has also been influential in many with her example of The Church, The Pope, and not afraid to speak The Truth!

Simon in Kansas City a year ago after we got up in the middle of the night for the Vigil of Easter!  Pitchers of coke, sweets and candies were laid out to add to the amazing celebration!  The Little Sisters and Brothers know how to celebrate with great JOY!  The Catholic Church celebrates Saints and Our Lady and the huge events of Christ's LIFE/Death and Resurrection with much feasting and celebrating!  Life should reflect that Faith shared with JOY by how real, true, and deep it dwells within us and comes pouring out to all those around us - most especially those in our domestic Church/family!  As the motto of The Community reminds us - "Wounded, I will not cease to love."  In following the example of The Lamb, who died for his friends and brought us life everlasting if only we follow his commands!
Hallel and Simon at the Easter Vigil a year ago!  It was a great and special time to share with Aunt Susan/Little Sister Hallel!
A big part of Simon's getting up was the wood laid out for the fire started in the middle of the night to signify the LIGHT coming into the darkness!  So much beauty and sharing The Truth with all the wonders and liturgy of our amazing Catholic Church!  It must be beautiful in every way... the sights, the sounds of the singing and The Word shared, the smiling faces and hugs of LOVE coming from the Little Sisters!  The smells of wood smoke, incense, and candles glowing.  The swelling of our hearts as we are filled to the brim by so very much more than we can take in - filled to overflowing by all we are given by The Church!
The family arrives on Easter morn for a feast of wonderful food and sweets to celebrate the Easter Feast... it continues as we are now approaching the 6th Sunday of Easter!
Mary loves to put on her blue apron and help with dishes!  Dishes and prayer is how Hallel describes her life as a contemplative nun.  How I am thinking about her today!
Hallel with Dominic meeting St Dominic, and on the other side of the window in their chapel is their Dominican Saint Catherine of Siena!

Jesus, we adore you and are filled with such JOY at the wonder of celebrating your amazing Saints with each passing day.  May we learn from them and ask their assistance in being better followers of you.  May we give up our selfishness/our life for our friends and help them to see and know and love and follow and give without counting the cost - You, O Lord!  If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. Hallelujah  Communion Antiphon from mass today.  St Catherine, we long to follow Christ more perfectly and totally, intercede for us we pray.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Who would have thought that a year later Nancy and family would be living close to The Community of the Lamb in Kansas City?  Now a new arrival of our granddaughter in the next few weeks!
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Another one now to intercede for us struggling here on earth.  Mother Angelica, pray for us.   Mother certainly embraced the beauty of The Church!

The tree of LIFE!

Unspoken - Start a fire
Tenth avenue North - You are more

Thursday, April 28, 2016

St Gianna - "Remain in my love." John 15

Luke with his cousin, Abby, pose so sweetly today after a day and night of much cold rain.  Rubber boots are a must for young and old today!  I find myself distracted by the movie HOME as I watch grandkids while Ruth is out slogging through the mud as farmer along Pat this day.  Just so it is understood why this is disjointed and lacking today.  Now we are off to pick up Rose from preschool, so...
A borrowed this from Ruth's camera of some amazing Rapunzel braids that she made.  This is her version of Anna and Elsa braids modeled by the two 4 year old cousins.  I can say that now that Rose will be 4 on Sunday! 

Returning with kids and lunch and a moment of quiet to try to compose my thoughts this day of interruptions called family and farm.  I have been spoiled lately with quiet in my new home to allow the Holy Spirit to guide my Faith sharing.  I am sure that due to this day being filled with other things here on the farm that this sharing will be much shorter.  I can sense that there was an audible sigh of relief... most especially the few family members of mine that read this often.
Luke in the tractor tire of his beloved tractor.  He was talking on and on about it and climbing in and out.

It was a delight to find that today is the feast day of the modern day role model to women - St Gianna.  Here is a wonderful short version of her life and message to all! 
Gianna Beretta Molla was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on April 24, 1994, during the international Year of the Family. She was canonized on May 16, 2004.  She is the patron saint of physicians, pregnant mothers, unborn children, and against abortion.
“St. Gianna died as a result of sacrificing her life so that her unborn child in the womb could have the maximum chance at life. Divine Providence accepted her sacrifice and suffering and she was rewarded with Eternal Salvation. Thus it is very beautiful that her heroic virtue was acknowledged and confirmed by the Universal Church through two intercessory miracles involving two mothers and an innocent baby in the womb.”  St. Gianna Physician’s Guild
I have known her to be called The Pro-life Saint, and yes she intercedes with miracles from Heaven!
Luke wants to have his mom in the tractor...
How did St Gianna have the vision, the wisdom, the strength, the LOVE to make the choice to give her life for her child?  She was a true contemplative follower of Christ!

Gianna was also committed to prayer and contemplation to discover God’s will for her life. According to one account, “Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected upon her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself ‘to forming a truly Christian family’.”  She married in 1955 and welcomed four children into the world.

What a wonderful role model of one who asked God always to show her the path He had just for her.  Then answering that call with her total commitment to live it as Christ asked of her..."As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love.  If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love; just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you this that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." 

How, you may ask, was this true for St Gianna when she left this world with her husband and 4 children were behind?  She died giving life to her daughter, and she entered heaven and is saving lives still from heaven as a Saint so close to her loving Savior! 
The glorious apple blossoms, we brought in the other day have totally opened up... borrowing Ruth's camera they are a work of art this cold wet day!

Yes, St Gianna is for our modern world such a lesson for those that work at professions plus are open to life and raising lights in a Christian family... April 28 is the feast day of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, medical doctor and mother of four. She is a saint for our modern times with much to teach us through her life witness as a faithful Catholic, successful working woman, devoted wife, and loving mother."

Her example to this busy world is so important! Put your Faith in Christ and His Church first and all the rest will fall into place!  How do we know what to do and how to act and what choices to make as we follow the Commandments of Christ and remain in His LOVE?  By looking to the wisdom of The Church and The Word!  Questions about birth control, about where we can get married, about sharing our faith... look it up in the Catechism of The Catholic Church or google it.  We are not to pick and choose, but to embrace it fully and completely!  I love, love, love The Church and have no reservations on it's dogmas and teachings - this is not blind following... it is because I know and believe in my heart, mind and soul that these are TRUTH!
Beauty inside and a wet cold world outside.

Jesus, with St Gianna at your feet adoring you and praising you and interceding for those that come to you for help with their pregnancies or fertility or other needs.  We are so in need of her example of juggling a profession, family and putting you first and praying and going to mass.  Yes, we are pulled in many directions this day and age, but we must always take the time to come to you and set our hearts and minds and souls on what you are asking of us.  To firstly love and serve those the closest to us without counting the cost.  Our home is where we share our Faith with joy and when necessary use words!  Our home is our domestic Church filled with all we need to grow into the LIGHTS to make a difference and banish the culture of death and replace it with the culture of LIFE/LIGHT/LOVE!  By embracing our Most Cherished Cross and following your example we find our path and come finally to Heaven forever with you.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
There was so much water that I had to bring over my rubber boots to do my chicken chores today.  Farmlife would be impossible without our rubber boots!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Aunt Ruthie spoiled the girls - play dough and Elsa and Anna braids!  On Sunday Rose will join Abby - they will both be 4!
Play dough time with Luke while Rose is at preschool!
This blogging is cutting into my rosary time today... how I love my beads and my prayers and my dosing off...

St Louise today too... talk about someone who loved our Lady!  He is the most loving of all!!!!

 Many little girls are celebrating their feastday today!

A great prayer in the car with John- he is his and I in mine... thank goodness for speaker phones!  Praying for peace..."Just as Saul became St Paul through the Spirit taking him from hate and anger and persecuting to one of sharing love and peace..."  Wow!  Come Holy Spirit!  The Our Father we shared was so powerful and meaningful to end our prayer on wheels!  John's wonderful prayer/sharing the LOVE ministry is such a gift to me and many others.  Jesus healed him also and brought him to Faith after his half-hearted prayer!

Makes us feel like the great job we do and if we do it lovingly that makes it perfect!

I heard this on the way to pick up Rose - Same Power by Jeremy Camp
Wow!  We do have The same power - The Holy Spirit!
Jordan Feliz - The River
Danielle Rose - Pursue me - asking the Lord's plan for me!
 eucharist-p21.jpg (288×360)
'She (Mother Mary) is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God.
If you say "Mary" she says 'God'." ~ St Louis de Montfort

St Louis de Montfort, pray for us!

"Our body is a cenacle,
a monstrance:
through its crystal the world should see God."

St Gianna Beretta Molla
Wife, Mother, Doctor, Martyr
Italy (1922-1962)
FEAST DAY - April 28

I just shared this amazing quote with John traveling back from Sioux Falls... how we love Our Lady and together we prayed over the phone for a sweet friend, who asked for prayers with her infertility.  Our Lady loves so deeply and helps with LIFE coming into the world.  Jesus, we trust in you. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chilly apple blossoms, cows and calves out to pasture, Life-givng water through the Vine!

Going to Maria's blog while talking to her on the phone this morning... I found this great bright megawatt smile on Patrick with Romeo by his side at the new art easel for homeschool!  I just had to start with my sweet grandkids so far away today.  It is supposed to reach 80 today in Missouri, but here it is winter coat weather!  Just back from the chickens with Lilly the dog at my side... the cold wind is whipping and no better way to get warm than to see this beaming smile! 
Inside Pat's new pickup as the cows and calves were loaded for the 3 loads we took 10 miles away to our furthest pasture.  Pat is so happy with his great hauling pickup! 
With the rain coming today... Pat was anxious to get them on grass rather than the muddy yard!  We did it too!

We need to get through this cold week and then the warmth will be so welcome and feel so good to man and beast and apple blossoms, which are budding forth even in the midst of the cold and the winds and probably because of the rain!
Lots of lush grass and they can lay down out of the wind... happy to be on pasture!

We were able to do morning prayer this morning due to the rain delay in field work, and the big job done of getting cows and calves out to pasture.  A total of 65 pairs are now on 4 different pastures, including about 8 pairs behind our house here.  John and I could here them mooing while we ate our supper out on the porch night before last.  That would not happen today!  It is miserable out there.  I hear from Nancy in KC and Maria on base in Missouri that they are having temps in the 80s and are using their air conditioning.  I apologize to granddaughter,Therese, for giving her mom my allergies and then passing them on through her... so goes the cycle!
The last load and the pretty sight of cows and calves together on grass!

I have been waiting with some anticipation for the Gospel of the Vine and the Branches... I knew that it was later in the Gospel of John and I hoped that it would be soon!  Today is the big day! 
The kids and I had to go out and pick some branches of apple blossoms yesterday... they are loaded this year and it should be a big apple year as last year wasn't.  I had to take many pictures with them and found this special spot in my house with baby Jesus nestled in his mother's arms and in the midst of the apple blossoms... how does this speak of the Gospel this day?  Yes, this particular branch has been cut off and will wither and not bear apples.  It is fresh now due to being in water, but the many blossoms represent the large amount of fruit we will get this year from the branches that were left on the tree!  Our staying always connected/remain in Him... is how we bear much fruit!
Even in the cold the tree is blossoming forth prolifically! 
Rose, apple blossoms, and the tractor coming back from dropping cows and calves off in the back pasture.
The world and all in it - He made!  Don't you find yourself looking at the wonder of nature and realizing how infinite is the wisdom, love, care, mind, heart, soul, knowledge and understanding, and all that comes to us from God?  The miracle of our bodies, of how we are blessed with the beauty of apple blossoms in the spring and how with bees pollinating them they then grow into apples... produce much fruit as the nutrients and water and all that is needed fill them from the branch and from the tree and from the earth that the roots reach out and down into!  What an amazing world we live in! 
Sitting in this dark house and listening to the cold wind blow...  If it weren't that we had rainy days and miserable days... the good days would not be nearly as good!
Yes, my putting the picked branches in water... I can enjoy them in the house for a few days.  But those that are attached to the tree will bear the fruit, and we too must remain in Jesus!  Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing... By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.  John 15:1-8
One more from Missouri to brighten my day!
Jesus, how can we remain in you and where is our fruit?  Yes, it is hard to resist sin and not try to hide our weaknesses, sins and failures in the darkness, but You, O Lord, see it all so why try to hide it from you?  No, we need to bring it into the LIGHT in the confessional and hear your words of unconditional love and forgiveness and leave them there on the cross!  Freed from all the keeps us apart from you we then are given more than we could ever use each day in The Church!  How I loved reading that in the first reading from Acts 15 today - "When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by The Church..."  Talk about the beginning of my beloved Church!  I love, love, love The Church and am filled to overflowing by The Word, The Sacraments, The Saints with the Queen of Heaven and earth, Mary my always companion through the gift of prayer/my rosary!  So much!  The life-giving water and nutrients that come through remaining in the Vine bring forth the fruit for the world to see.  A family united in The Faith and being open to LIFE and raising LIGHTS to make a difference in the world turning to the culture of death!  Lord, I am yours... may I die to self so that you may live and all the LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT that flows through me will fill my world with YOU, Jesus, Peace!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
The family wall - I am surrounded by Faith/Family/Farm!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke!
Another bright smile and brown eyed look - giving grandma a lot of warmth!
Rose loves to watch the doings on the farm - Ruth planned her home with that in mind.  Safe in the house with grandma yet able to keep an eye on the farmwork at hand. 
Yes, Jesus, our human relationships need to have you placed first... "May we always put you first in our lives and then the rest will be of YOU!"  His Sacred Heart how it suffers to find True LOVE through The Cross we find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!
May we leave our old sinful ways behind...
Pope Francis does get that it must happen in our family/domestic Church first and foremost - sharing our Faith with JOY!
Love this!
Casting Crowns - East to the West
One nailscarred hand to the other...
Danielle Rose - wonderfully made - Psalm 139
Francesca Battistelli - he knows my name
Lauren Daigle - I will trust in you
Take the time to read this with an open heart...
All this quiet in my new home away from the bustle of the farm is truly teaching me some new things about myself.  I adore my rosary time each day and throughout all that I am doing... even in the pickup with my husband taking cows and calves out to pasture and watching the gate.  The beads are with me and very portable in taking my mind, heart and soul to Jesus through Mary!
So true!  But it got you to smile?!?
St Joseph giving the infant Jesus a toy... LOVE the love of family!