From the sky you send rain on the hills,
and the earth is filled with your blessings.
You make grass grow for the cattle and plants for us to use,
so that we can grow our crops and produce wine to make us happy,
olive oil to make us cheerful,
and bread to give us strength." Psalm 104:14-15
I think King David wrote a wonderful faith-filled statement that farmers pray for and hope for and depend upon God for!
How I smiled and laughed out loud this day as I read the readings and reported to Pat that the Psalm was an Hallel Psalm - 149! Let the Faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches.
Why would that be funny since my blogging spot is now on a couch facing an open window allowing the fresh air to surround me and the sight of my peaceful green yard to fill me mostly with peace and happiness although the lawn to mow and the weeds to pull are sucking some of that joy away? Well, it is so funny to me because my Little Sister Hallel never sits on a couch! There are no couches or cushions to sit on... only wooded chairs, benches, kneelers, and beds. When I was in France... I noticed this and asked Hallel if she missed having something soft to sit on. She looked surprised and confused and without hesitation said; "No, I never think about it. I am too busy." Talk about embracing your vow of poverty with total acceptance and going forward down the narrow path. I think this Psalm also can mean that when we go to bed whether it is on a board or a sleep number bed or the ground - that we take our LOVE, Peace and JOY with us into the darkness of the night and not let those night demons prey upon our hearts and minds!
I love the story of Lydia in the first reading from Acts 16 today! How she listened to Paul and was good ground... accepting the seed and planting it in good soil to bear much fruit! She immediately opens her house and family to them away from home and living on divine providence! She teaches us that we need to be giving of ourselves always without counting the cost, and allow the seed to break open and send out shoots to bear much fruit! The seed must die just as we need to come out of our shells of selfish ambition and looking out for number 1... The Holy Spirit dwelling in our inner temple cannot use us if we are all tied up with our selfish sinfulness and thinking about "me." It is so healthy for Mary to care for other creatures and learn the lesson to look outside yourself and help where needed.
Jesus, I am overwhelmed to see with these grandmother eyes the same life I was blessed with my 5 kids on the farm - now again with Ruth and her 5 kids on the farm! Yes, there have been changes to make it their home and Ruth's vision is a needed and good one - to keep her eyes on what is going on out there so that all may stay safe! Hear our prayer, O Lord! It is so wonderful to see your creation respected and protected as our farmers feed the world! May we embrace your Word/seed with good soil and bear much Fruit as we embrace our Most Cherished Cross and find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT/Jesus and His Bride, The Church! Jesus, we trust in you. Amen and Hallelujah
"Nancy, Look I am writing you a letter... aren't you impressed? Well, you better be because both you and I know how often this happens. I am writing to tell you now extremely excited I am about your engagement to Bill. I have to admit, when I got the news I wasn't really shocked but that night as it sunk in during adoration and the next day during mass I was so happy. My heart overflowed with joy for you. How beautiful to know that you have found your... most cherished cross. While I have never had the experience of being married, from what I hear is that he will truly be your cross. But not your cross as human eyes look at it, as a thing to run away from, as a thing of torture but rather as that which is truly the tree of life. It is only when clinging to the cross that one can truly live, it is the source of all life and of all love. Your marriage to Bill will be this, not something to run away from when it gets hard and when it hurts, but something to hold tight to, especially when it hurts because it is in this that you will find life and love. Know that it is through your marriage that Jesus wants to show you his great love for you and also that the best example that you can give to the world of Christ's love is a marriage lived in truth. So, in other words, know that I am so happy for you and that I love you a whole lot. Know that you are in my prayers during this crazy time of wedding planning; that you may not go crazy but rather learn to love each other better and that you may both have great joy and great peace. Remember to pray for me too! God Bless, Your little Sister Hallel "
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
A stunningly beautiful picture of wine growers in Europe trying to save their crop! Farmers everywhere tending to the earth.