Friday, August 12, 2016

In the spirit of Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth - total trust in humble gentle service

Paul and David pull out of the pack with their pink pig as the cloverbuds show with their parents to start the pig show this morning.  Everyone is happy to see a bunch of new kids coming up to show pigs as the numbers are down this year.  David is a bit under the weather, so he and grandma got to come home early and I have the gift of the morning to get my house in better order for the arrival of Nancy and her family tomorrow!  The love of the Fair as shared family time runs deep for us!

David and his friend Katie showing pigs together in the soft light and green backdrop - another half an inch of rain overnight keeps the green lush and vibrant.  It has been a wonderful summer for the crops and the pastures.  Thank you, Lord!

The Gospel today is about our marriage being forever and ever and ever.  How do you divide one flesh without totally destroying both halves?  The sad stories of broken marriages are all too common this day and age.  The two spouses suffer horribly, but the children torn and broken is the heart breaking damage done.  The Saint for today lost her husband after 9 years of a happy marriage - St Jane Frances de Chantal.  She folded her suffering into prayer, devoting herself to her children's education and her disagreeable father-in-law with kindness.  She faced her responsibilities alone and in prayer and action!  She then founded the Visitation order of nuns for women who did not have the stamina for the life of the traditional orders.  In the place of physical mortification, the Visitation nuns devote themselves to total trust and gentle service in the spirit of Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth. 
Mary helps show a smiling pig, and the judge really liked her and placed her 2nd!

I loved to read about the Visitation order, because I long to live the contemplative life, yet I am weak and old and limping and a physical shambles and I miss my pillows to sit on or my couch to relax on or my mattress to sleep on and the poverty and mortification are difficult for me.  When I spend a week with Hallel and her Community I miss my comforts, and I asked Hallel if she ever missed a soft chair or couch to sit on.  She gave me a blank look and said that she didn't have time to think about it.  In other words, "No!"  For that I am grateful, but I think that if something happens to Pat and I look into an order for myself... much like St Jane Frances did after raising her kids and seeing to her Father-in-law,  I think I will look into the Visitation Nuns.  "Humble gentle service" sounds about right for an old worn out nurse/farm wife.
Smiling Mary and smiling pig in the soft green sunlight... they look to be relaxed and enjoying each other.

Humble gentle service beckons me to consider a better more peaceful approach to my family life.  I have been gifted with a peaceful island of a day as I nurse an under the weather grandchild.  It is a gift to nurse others as we are called to quietly serve them and "rest" is usually the best medicine.  This is also true of the quiet times I spend with my mother-in-law on hospice.  I look forward to the quiet as I am called upon to be there with her.  My rosary beads are my companion...
Sitting out on the deck at my mother-in-law's sharing a rosary together on the feast day of St Dominic... Our Lady gave him this amazing prayer that has filled our lives with prayer and Trust in Jesus through the intercession of The Mother of God!

Yes, humble and gentle service is the call for me today and lots of times at this point of my life.  The Gospel today also speaks about those that sacrifice marriage for sake of the Kingdom of heaven...  That speaks to me of the priests and nuns, who take a vow of chastity to serve the Lord with their all!  Marriage is a hard cross to bear a lot of times, but through embracing that Most Cherished Cross we find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  For Hallel part of her cross is not having a husband and family of her own, and with being free of that she loves those in her life that much more!  We are assured of her constant prayers for her sisters and brother as they are called to marriage and single life.  Those prayers help us along the narrow path.
Always prayer gives us comfort and peace and hope and Faith that in Jesus and his plan for us.

Jesus, I long to do better in my marriage and family life.  May some of the rough edges be worn off and may I become more humble and gentle in all that I do for others without counting the cost.  May I look upon the Visitation of Mary to her elderly cousin, Elizabeth.  Both were pregnant and the two lives within them recognized the Savior entering the world through her "yes."  Yet she came to humbly serve and bring peace, joy, love and kindness and gentleness - the fruits of The Spirit dwelling in her!  Jesus, may I die to self so that your Spirit may live and move and breath and serve and give without counting the cost and may I be your hands and feet and heart beating with love and caring for all those that need me this day.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Quite a wonderful gathering for Josephine's Baptism in KC last Sunday!  Family time is the Best!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
at the foot of the Cross we want to give you our all, O Lord!
The little ones at the foot of Jesus' most Sacred Heart, which burns with love for each of them!
Newly baptized and in total peace and contentment, and another little one giving grandma that quiet humble gentle time that she so loves to have throughout her days!
New life doesn't stretch our love more thin, but makes it grow larger and larger, and more and more, and bigger and bigger.  Swimming in a huge ocean of LOVE due to LIFE and raising them as LIGHTS!
The source of our LIFE everlasting!  Jesus Christ here to feed us and give us his LIFE eternal!
St Jane Francis and all the Saints!
Always the Cross...

An encouraging thought for the day from the Saint of the Day, St. Jeanne de Chantal:
"In prayer one must hold fast and never let go ... If it seems as if no one is listening to you, then cry out even louder. If you are driven out of one door, go back in by the other."

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