Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pondering "childlike"

Well, I am cheating a bit... it is David's birthday week and Saturday is the day - still 3 days away.  I had a grandma day with the 5 yesterday, so I made them a nice farm supper with a wonderful roast beef - it seemed appropriate while there parents along with John and Pat were away at the Cattleman's tour- and then a cake.  I mentioned that we could practice celebrating for David's birthday coming up and then the candles were found and lit, and grandma had an instant picture with the 5 together smiling and happy.  Cake and candles will do that after a wonderful farm meal complete with green beans from the garden which they all gobbled down.  Such good eaters!
David was concerned that he would have too much help in blowing out his candles, and even after lighting them twice he claims that he didn't get to blow any of them out!  But with 2 pieces of cake and ice cream he was not too bumbed, and he still has his birthday to look forward to on Saturday!

After a day with the 5 and all that entails the Gospel for today about the "childlike" seeing the Truth more clearly than the learned and wise.  It is especially interesting to spend a day with Luke, who is only 2 1/2 and already talks like a 5 year old!  When his aunts were here with little boys around his age - they commented that it is so interesting to hear what a 2 year old thinks.  So true!  What does Luke have to say so much about?  He talks about cars and tractors and 4 wheelers (fededers is his term for them), he talks about icies and snacks quite a bit and he will ask about mom and dad from time to time...  He was coming down with a cold yesterday and that slowed him down a bit, but he is an active and precocious little boy yet so much of what he says and feels and describes with his many words is "childlike." 
Luke and Simon helping blow out the candles for round #2.

Childlike is a little one that needs our care and protection and intervention when their nose is running and they are rubbing their eyes and crying more easily - we change their diapers or talk to them about potty training and work on that, we snuggle them into grandma's bed with their blanket and they smile appreciatively and fall asleep for that much needed nap for them and grandma!  Luke is able to help himself to snacks and usually they are healthy fruit or the usual icies , but they need mom or grandma to make them a healthy meal and encourage them to eat it three times a day.   Childlike is humble and weak and small and needing help with their cares and needs... that is where our Father figure/God in the person of Jesus Christ with His Mother always there to care for our needs and cares.  If we think we can do it... think again!  Jesus is in control not we!
Our noon meal out on the beautiful porch on a glorious day shared with the two dogs... the kids each cleaned up there plates, but any scraps or droppings went to good use!  The bucket was for watermelon rinds which went to the chickens... it feels good that all is put to use!

I started the day with a wonderful reminder of how "childlike" Venerable Solanus Casey touched many including John during his battle against brain cancer 7 years ago! 
"Father Solanus felt called from childhood to religious life, yet struggled with academics and nearly failed out of the seminary. As it was, he was ordained a “simplex” priest, one who could not hear confessions or give doctrinal sermons due to his lack of understanding of deep theological matters. And yet, the people of the parishes where he served loved him and found in him a man full of God’s love and humility—so much so that his cause for canonization was opened shortly after his death."
The fair calves are locked up and the work begins!  The ones with white on their faces always stand out and the kids seem to like them best - maybe because you can pick them out in a crowd of all the all black ones!

Mary, Simon and David will be showing them this year, but Rose is impatient for her turn!  Years of showing pigs and cattle lie ahead.

"Father Solanus embodies today’s Gospel. He was a simple man who, although a priest, did not comprehend the vast theological intricacies of our faith. But what God teaches us through his life is that we don’t need to. God reveals to the simple of heart, and sometimes mind, what is necessary for salvation. And that is this, as the prophet Micah says, “to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with God."

How we hold a deep love for this man on the road to Sainthood as he certainly shared in our journey towards John's healing and now the new John looks to him and takes courage from his story of humble faith and sharing the LOVE he has found through all the prayer support with all those he encounters!
It seems that time doesn't go fast enough for 4 year old Rose.. she wants to do what the bigger kids do!  Waiting will make her that much more devoted to giving her all... hopefully!

Jesus, how we see that we need to be humble and small and not try to take control of our lives, our families, our world.  When we try to be "wise and learned" and think that we know what is best and how things should be and happen is when we are trying to be like God.  It is out of our control and it only makes us turn away from you when we think it is for us to run our lives.  It would be so much better if we could only give it all to you and trust.  Making the best of each day we are given and serve without counting the cost. May we take up our Most Cherished Cross and follow after you, spotless Lamb, who gave your all without a word of protest!   Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
After church on Sunday..

 I found a wonderful way to pick beans today sitting in a chair and even could say a few "Hail Marys" while I was working... my knee is a mess right now and I need to go forward so it was a humble way to do that.   Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
One more of the 5 all smiling and sharing a moment of contentment and happiness... it is a precious time that all grandma's cherish... cake with frosting and ice cream will work this wonder every time!
Love these pictures that Nancy took with Ruth's wonderful camera!
One more to add some happy bounce to your step today!
My girls take some great pictures and I willingly use them!
The wind beneath my wings for today!
This reminded me that tomorrow is Adoration and I want to try really hard to get there for the best hour of my week - sitting at the feet of Jesus!
So great to have this reminder!
I was amazed when he said this, and it is so true!  He himself had a son killed by police and decided to become a policeman and make a difference!
-" his son died after being shot twelve times by police officers & his brother was murdered by drug dealers but rather than burn down the block he has risen to one of the largest police departments in the nation in his efforts to stop police of many EFFECTIVE non-violent ways to make a difference -
He is Chief David Brown, Head of the Dallas Police Dept "

Each day she walks with me in prayer and I find peace!!
Satanism & the Eucharist
Andrew Trapp, Catholic seminarian  4/24/2004 (Now serving as a priest)
   During my parish work last summer in France, one of my responsibilities was participating in a weekly prayer group for young adults who had fallen away from the Church. The last meeting of the summer, one of the guys made a surprising revelation to us all: before his conversion, he had been a full-fledged Satanist. This reflection is the true story of that conversion and what I learned from it.

"One of the most chilling moments in The Passion was during the Lord’s scourging, when Satan appears cradling a baby who slowly turns to reveal a hideous face. Here Satan is mocking Jesus and Mary by presenting himself as a twisted sort of “anti” Madonna and Child, as if to proclaim that he and his offspring have won, and not the woman and her offspring as foretold in Genesis 3:15. This is how the Evil One loves to work—Satan loves to mock God by imitating the holy and twisting it in a sick way. This past summer I was struck with this truth in a totally new way.

Nicolas had been a part of the prayer group all year long, but this was the first time that he had talked about his life before his conversion. He told us about how he became involved in Satanism while in his late teens. It enslaved him, bringing despair and utter loneliness to his life, to the point where he was tormented with thoughts of suicide. He felt trapped and helpless in its grasp. It was only through the constant prayers of his mother that he was finally freed from this slavery a couple of years ago, and he began to give his life back to Christ.

I had never met anyone like Nicolas, openly admitting a past involvement in Satanism. After the initial shock, I bombarded him with three questions, one after another. First, how did they ‘worship’ Satan? I had always heard that it was not anything like worshipping an image of Satan or singing hymns, but by having a so-called “Black Mass.” In other words, their entire service is a mockery of the Catholic Mass. Was this true, I asked him? Not a Protestant preaching service, not a Buddhist temple ritual, but an explicit mockery of our Mass? “Yes,” Nicolas told us, “that is true.”

I had also heard, I continued, that Satanists steal consecrated communion bread from their local Catholic churches which they desecrate at these black services. For example, I have heard of Catholic parishes where this is such a problem that the pastor is forced to post special attendants during Holy Communion who watch to make sure that no one receives the Eucharist and walks away without consuming the host. The Satanists take these consecrated hosts to their services—these wafers of “bread” that Catholics believe have been miraculously transformed by the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ—and desecrate them with spit, bodily waste, and other such unimaginable blasphemies. Before your conversion, I asked Nicolas, did you and your fellow Satanists steal consecrated hosts for this purpose? “Yes,” Nicolas answered, “we did.”

The poor guy probably felt like he was being interrogated by the CIA by this point, but knowing that I might never have this opportunity again, I asked Nicolas one final question. I told him that I had also heard that those who were very deep in Satanism could actually tell whether a communion host had been consecrated or not. For example, they will not steal communion bread from Protestant communion meals, nor will they steal unblessed communion bread for desecration at these “Black Masses.” It would not work because some of the Satanists would immediately recognize that it was just ordinary bread. They would be able to tell that Jesus Christ was not sacramentally present there.

I asked Nicolas whether this also was true. He again replied that it is, and he told us that he could do this himself before his conversion from Satanism. A chill went down my spine. If someone were to put ten identical communion hosts in front of him, nine  unconsecrated and one consecrated, he would have been able to point directly and immediately to the host that had been consecrated. I asked him in amazement, “But how were you able to know?!?” He looked at me and the words he spoke are forever burned in my memory: “Because of the hate,” he said. “Because of the burning hate I would feel toward that host, apart from all the others.”

His words hit me like a baseball bat. Some of the saints also had this mystical knowledge of the Lord’s Eucharistic presence, but this knowledge flowed from their deep union with Christ. Nicolas, on the other hand, knew Christ’s presence because his worship of Satan had worked the opposite mystical connection to the Eucharist
he knew Jesus was there not because of his love for Jesus, but because of his deephate. 
It makes my skin crawl just to think about such hatred.

This is how Satan operates. He loves to mock whatever is holy and sacred, to imitate the truth and twist it in a perverse way. The Mass is the most sacred prayer on earth, the most awesome way for us Christians to offer worship to our Lord, so Satan has his followers worship him through a mockery of that prayer. Instead of lifting the Eucharist high with adoration and loving reverence, the Eucharist is thrown to the ground with loathing and derision. Rather than knowing Christ’s true presence in the sacrament through their love, they perversely recognize Christ’s presence through their hatred.

Let’s not pretend otherwise—it is scary to hear a story like Nicolas’. It is terrifying to realize that such evil exists in this world. But more than frighten us, his testimony should give us hope, comfort, and strength. Satan does exist and he is powerful, but Jesus Christ is infinitely more powerful. Even the most wicked sinner can be brought back to the love of the Lord, through Christ’s grace and through the prayers of believers (like Nicolas’ mother!) 
If Satan so despises the Mass, then we should be moved to even greater devotion, preparation, and participation in  Mass. If Satan so despises the Lord’s true presence in the Eucharist, then our hearts should burn with even greater love and thirst for worthily receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

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