Monday, October 31, 2016

"humbly regard others as more important than yourselves..." Philippians 2

Ruth always loves to go as a theme family on Halloween.  I am giving you a big hint about this year's theme.  This little guy goes "Tick Tock Tick Tock" everywhere he goes!  It is always super fun when they come by the house from dad to mom and all 5 kids making a special picture, and I take many! 

An early happy birthday to Luke, who will be 3 tomorrow on All Saints Day along with a new cousin to arrive and also his Aunt Little Sister Hallel's feast day!
Talk about taking many pictures...2 years ago Nancy was with us on the farm for Halloween week as Bill was traveling internationally for work... I took so many of these 2 year olds greeting each other by the door that my photo program made a moving picture of little red riding hood meeting the pink princess!
Baby Dominic in a lion costume we had around.  I just talked to Nancy, who is coming back from a week with Bill's family in Pennsylvania.  Ruth was describing her theme for this year to her over the phone.  I will wait for the big unveil with pictures tomorrow.

So much of my thoughts and constant prayers are flying to Missouri this last week more than ever.  We will welcome our granddaughter, Evangeline Mary, tomorrow.  I will be hugely relieved to have her here in her mothers, Father's and sibling's arms!  I know that Therese will have a hard time giving the others a turn!
How's that for a great picture?  I recall this time 2 years ago and how fun this was to share with my two daughters.  Nancy has added Josephine since then, and Ruth is expecting her daughter in March during calving on the farm!  This window still is at the front of Ruth's home and there bushes for the time being... next year a porch will be here instead, and that will be wonderful for them!

I found myself feeling emotional for the first time about our farmhouse which is now Ruth and Paul's last night, when an Alaska show Pat and I would watch together by the wood stove when the farm would slow down.  It was super great to hear Rose tell me today that she loves her new house much better, and doesn't miss this one.  "It's because we are on the farm, right Rose?" asked her mother, and Rose agreed.
With all these little ones there is constant motion, but such loving and adorable motion!
With all I took again one that moves - don't get seasick.  No, the toothbrush was not part of Bernadette's costume - she could be the tooth fairy princess?!?

How I love to ponder and meet Jesus in The Word each day!  Now we are being fed with the rich feast of St Paul to the Philippians, and it is not disappointing at all!  After some humbling experiences lately that John and I shared at breakfast with morning prayer in the dark this morning... I deeply aware that I have no reason to place myself above anyone!  These words today are so true...
Do nothing out of selfishness and vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.

What an amazing difference there would be in this world if we all did this! 
Today they are both 2 now, but tomorrow Luke will become a 3 year old.  He just put up his 3 fingers for grandma, and he is ready to be 3!  He potty trained himself in the last month... a few months off of diapers for Ruth!

Jesus tells us in the Gospel today something that I see put into action by my family of the Lamb!  They take the banquet along with them as they knock on the doors of the "poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind..."  How do they do this when they are begging for their food from the poor?  They are Christ knocking as they take Jesus in His Word to share with all that they encounter.  They share this Truth and LIGHT with all and then ask for their prayer requests to take with them to mass and Adoration each day.  How humbling is it to beg for what they are able and willing to share with them?  Yes, they have been given a glass of water, and isn't that bringing to mind a Gospel from Matthew 25 - "When I was thirsty you gave me a drink.?"  The little Sisters and Little Brothers certainly place all others as more important than they! 
So powerful to be there in their humble yet beautiful prayerfilled chapel during Adoration.  The week I was there Monday started with a day of Adoration!  Jesus, on the altar!
The sweet faces and the bright beautiful color!
Some outside with grandpa's special apples fresh off the tree, and Lilly now is put out to pasture over here with me!  Lots of changes and growth since this time, and now a new family on the farm, and they are happy to be there an loving the family farm life sharing our Faith is foremost the glue that binds us together and gives us a small slice of heaven in our day to day lives!

The Gospel today - "When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.  For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."  Jesus to us!  It is really powerful and encouraging to me to be reminded that The Banquet each day for me is the Word that is read in every Catholic Church from St Peters of the tiniest in the back country... Jesus comes to us each day and we are filled with a huge feast of Truth/LIFE/LIGHT/LOVE/Jesus and his Bride, The Church!
Pat and his beloved mother yesterday sharing the feast of Heaven and earth - Jesus in His Body and The Word!

Jesus, how I long to humbly serve you and share the banquet with all those in my life!  May I die to self so that your Holy Spirit may work through me .  Rid me of my judgmental pride and looking down on others.  I know that you love all!  "If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing..."  St Paul puts is so well, and speaks my heart!  I sure do find this to be true in sharing our Faith as a family.  Thank you, Lord!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah

Luke getting a back rub from Herbert the cat...  I am so thrilled to have my Ruth just 3 miles away and her stopping in often.  Family time is the Best!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
A huge mountain of corn outside of Lake Wilson the other day... so much corn this year!  Pat and Paul are in trucks waiting in line at the corn plant today.  Lord, thank you for the amazing crop and keep the farmers safe.
Me with Bernadette a year ago... her daddy brought this back from India!  The pearls John gave to me from a beat cancer auction - "Thanks mom for being with me for the fight for my life!"  I cried, but what else is new?  I also wear them constantly!  With all the costumes dress up is very big for the kids!  Just ask Maria about that, too!
Ruth's bunch last year - There was an old woman who swallowed a fly, spider, bird,cat, dog, cow, and the doctor that saved her!
Costumes just because they are fun in Missouri in Feb!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

"O Lord... lover of souls." Wisdom 11

My first precious daughter Ruth Ida.  How I love my nest years and she was my first sweet girl.  She has been an amazing oldest child, and a great mother, nurse, farmer and woodworker.  She will be having her 6th child - a little girl come March.  I will have another granddaughter on Tuesday and many thoughts and prayers for her!
My mom with me and I was her oldest child...

I was enticed today by the words from the first reading... "O Lord, lover of souls."  Just back from working at the prolife breakfast and all those lives lost to abortion are recalled by many.  "I just don't understand how all those innocent lives can be taken!"  Just imagine the pain and suffering we must inflict on the lover of souls!  So many millions of souls lost to this world and now dwelling in heaven forever! 

Lord, help our country to have a change of heart, and protect and respect all life from conception to natural death.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Such a model of loving all souls!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save." CCC 501

Mary in Kansas City at the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Lamb a few years back.  This day is filled with MARY!  Saturdays are the feastday of Mary each week, and rightfully so as she is our Mother and the Mother of God!  John was just saying that no one has to remind him that he has two of the most amazing mothers - me a bit distant from Our Lady!  I have no jealousy or hurt because John and I share such a deep and profound love for her!  I just read to him this line from the Catechism of the Catholic Church - another CCC!  "Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save."  It is so glorious and I am filled with joy at having this I can quote sharing the deep feelings I have for this Truth!
Sweet Mary last night in a play at Holy Redeemer School... she was in a group of wood elves that sang and danced in Rapunzel!  Yes, they were French, and I am sure that Hallel would get a total kick seeing her niece in it.  It also happens that Pat's sister, Mary, is here with her mom and is very excited to go watch granddaughter, Mary, this afternoon at her former school she attended for 9 years!  As I said Marys are filling my Saturday!
A group of elves and Mary was the youngest!  Since being in the Missoula play 2 years ago and the Community Theater with John and her younger brother, David, this summer.  The bug has bitten and the stage lights are bright.  We all know that there are disappointments, too!  It is just so nice to see her spreading her wings and having fun!

The readings for today are wonderful as always!  It is so great to see that we go now from Galatians, to Ephesians and now St Paul to the Philippians!  St Paul speaks about how he longs to be forever with Jesus in heaven, yet knows that he is needed here to help others on their journey to find Christ and have that change of heart.  I do relate so much!  These words ring like a bell for me -
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain...  I do not know which I choose.  I am caught between the two, I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better.  Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit.
I will say this that if you center your lives on Jesus with the help of your Faith - for me that is His Bride, The Church... that you can experience a small slice of heaven here on earth!  If you can share that Faith with your Family it is a beautiful healing and life-giving thing!
The little ones were adorable mushrooms that added to the cuteness factor.

How do we manage to bring that kind of Faith into our domestic Church/family?  Jesus has the answer to that today - by being humble and be willing and seeking to be the last rather than the first!  How does this happen?   We realize that if we fight for what we want and that we are always right - peace will not reign!  We need to give up our selfish desires and ambitions and put the other first!  Humility is hard, but we have a supreme example from our Spiritual Mother!
"Ladies and Gentlemen, whoever is not humble strives in vain to be devoted to Our Lady.  There is no love for her without humility, for how could it be that she, who is humility itself, would be served by pride?"  Sr Juana Ines de la Cruz (1695)
Therese praying in St Patrick's Cathedral in downtown El Paso for her brother, Patrick, 4 years ago!
Mary is always there to hear our heartfelt prayers!  Her rosary prayer got me through the battle for John against brain cancer and saving Patrick's life and now a healed and healthy little boy!
I love the icons where Jesus is eating his mother's chin out of LOVE!
I have seen that LOVE demonstrated by my grandchildren for their wonderful mothers - open to LIFE and raising LIGHTS!

Jesus, how filled I am with so much gratitude at the sinless womb you chose to enter the world through - your mother and mine - Mary, the Mother of God!  She is so important to me as I face all that comes with life.  I long to imitate and become humble as she is.  May I die to self so that you may live in me - your Holy Spirit allowing me to bring the fruits of the Holy Spirit into my domestic Church/family and my world.  Please be with us in this critical election in our country.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
My champion for LIFE with our first daughter 36 years ago.  On our way over to milk cows in the morning - Ruth would go into the farm house and snuggle with Pat's parents in the morning while we milked the cows!  A special time indeed.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Litany of Humility - Danielle Rose

Friday, October 28, 2016

You and I... "a temple sacred in the Lord." St Simon and Jude, pray for us!

Our first Christmas card of many over the years with our new little ones, and now with each year it seems that our family grows larger and therefore more love to share!  I am following a theme today of men holding the little ones in their arms, after my heart burning with LOVE for my husband last night as I watched him go to 2 young neighbors doors with a small but sincere baby gift to congratulate them on a new member in their family. 

The other day Pat suggested that we give a gift to two neighbors that have a new baby in the last month, and I questioned why we would.  "Because these young families are open to new life," and are embracing The Truth of The Catholic Church that we need to be open to life and raise them as lights.  Yes, I have embellished it, but this is the basis for our family and now that of our 3 married daughters!
  My dad with me in Boston where I was born while he was in seminary to become a Protestant minister.  My parents, although not in The Church at the time modeled for me the beauty of a big family and being open to LIFE!  I being the oldest of eventually 11!
The 4 girls - Pat holding Susan like a sack of potatoes at one of our first Christmas Camps in 1986.... just 6 months after my sister, Mary, died of cancer.  Pat has always supported our many pregnancies - 7 now in heaven and two of those buried at the cemetery as they were still births - losing two boys after John at 5 months each.  William and Robert were hard and sad losses.

I had a friend ask about our Christmas Camp...  It has been going on for 40 years and we now number 110+ with the new little ones coming fast and wonderful!  Within a years time we will have 9 new little ones!  We rent wonderful camp grounds over the years and most recent we go to Camp Wapogasset in Amery, WI the weekend before Christmas starting on Friday night and go home at about noon on Sunday.  We share huge meals, crafts, cookie decorating, time outside, mass on Saturday night in a neighboring town, Santa comes, exchange of gifts for all those 12th grade on down, a dance with finger lights, lots of visiting and catching up and holding each other's babies, it is a beloved wonderful family time for my family each year!  My parents are there with us most years for the entire time  and we have wonderful family rosary and prayer to start each day for those that cam make it.  We also have a time for intentions for baby Jesus with Santa before he passes out the gifts.  We try to keep our eyes and hearts on the reason for the season.  A huge family picture happens after our huge evening meal on Saturday night and before Santa and the dance! 
Pat holding his son, John, in his huge hands!  How surprised we were as we thought we were having girl #5 from our 20 week ultrasound... not quite as clear as they are today.
My parents with the 11 at the farm in Wisconsin... about 40+ years ago.
Cross Christmas Camp about 4 years ago... it has grown since by about 25 or more!
Pat loves to share his farm life with the grandkids - here with year old Simon - our first grandchild, who just turned 12!

Today is one of Simon's feast days as we celebrate St Simon and St Jude, who shared friendship and apostleship with Jesus!  It is special to have such Saints in heaven to help us on this journey as we also are included as "members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.  Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Ephesians 2 - the first reading for today! 

Wow!  It really strikes me as a powerful promise to have this kind of help to become that sacred temple within and the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit!
John is a great Godfather to his David and now Josephine and Regaen!  Loving LIFE and helping to raise LIGHTS!
Arms full of grandkids - Gus and Rose about 4 years ago.  If there is a baby to be held - Pat wants to have it with him! 

Lord, I am so filled with happiness and joy that your Truth is embraced and LIFE is welcomed and protected from conception to natural death!  I pray for our country and pray that we can elect good leaders that will call us back to protecting ALL LIFE!  Each life is a temple sacred... Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Visiting my sister's grave with her 2 Goddaughters, Nancy and Susan.  They know of her prayers for them, and they pray for her.  A mystery we will understand only in heaven.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
A picture of Hallel for today - with her Goddaughter, Therese, about 6 years ago.  On Tuesday, Nov 1st/All Saints Day, which is Hallel's feast day, Therese will have her new baby sister born by scheduled C-section!  We are all so prayerful and excited!
Therese is ready and able!

Mine is calling me right now!
I shared this with my girls as a precious Halloween idea for their little boys!