Monday, November 28, 2016

"I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof..." Matthew 8

The Advent wreath up and aglow with Luke and Rose taking it all in this morning - they arrived with mom to pick up their Christmas tree and Advent wreath out of the basement. 

The family picture taken at our Labor Day gathering is no longer complete... I had to add little newly arrived 4 week old Evangeline with her 6 month older cousin, Josephine!  Pat, I and John started a nightly Advent prayers with the TV off and the candle lit and sharing night prayer and petitions for all the needs and, of course, for our family!  Pressing on our hearts in prayer is the 7 year old girl and her family we shared prayer with in KC.  She is dying, and we spent time gathered around her in her home and now in prayer without ceasing!
The rain washed most of our snow away overnight, so it is a wet dreary world out there today.  We will be working on the calves this afternoon, so it would be really nice to have the wind settle down.

The Gospel today is a familiar one and more so now since we use these words before we receive Jesus in the Eucharist at each mass we attend.  After reading it numerous times including in our shared prayer last night by the Advent wreath... the words of the Centurion really share the shame I have at my sinful state under my roof and how I need to clean it up before my Jesus enters in!  With Advent we move from the darkness into the LIGHT and I feel the strong need to get to Reconciliation and lay my burdens and sins and sickness at his feet. 
Such an exciting time of year for the little ones, and if Advent and Jesse tree is shared in our domestic Church/family... the focus is not so much on the presents that Santa will bring, but more on the beautiful life-giving gift Jesus coming into the world has been for us.  This increased prayer time of Advent is what we did as a family with our young ones.  We would read from the Saint book, read from the Bible, sing praise and worship songs from my Protestant days, say a decade of the rosary together.  It brought us to a place of looking to Mary and Jesus rather than Santa! 
John is missing his sweet Goddaughter, Josephine. 

After doing evening prayer and our petitions on our hearts, Pat read the Gospel for the next day.  This is something we have learned from our family of The Lamb!  They always start "chewing" the Gospel by chanting and reading each line many times starting the night before.  After doing my prayers, I feel the excitement building inside of me as I turn to read the Gospel for the next day.  I go to sleep with that ringing inside of me like a bell!
With her first bow!

Jesus does not demand that we be worthy, because we are small and weak and sinful and that is truly when we turn to Jesus.  But he does want us to be sorry and humble about the sad state we are in and then he will be able to live and move and work and change our hearts!  A priest friend just shared these wonderful words - "We have now begun the Season of Advent. A time where we move from the darkness into the light of Christ. It becomes even brighter when we can change our hearts to be more like Christ….loving everyone as a brother or sister. "  Fr Tim Biren
And how can we do this?  By getting rid of all that has come between us and our Jesus through The Sacrament of Reconciliation, and attending mass and receiving him Body and Blood, and by spending time with Jesus in Adoration!
I always say this... "You need to believe that the Eucharist is Jesus to receive it, and if you do why would you be anything but Catholic?"  To all those that get upset that they are prevented from receiving the Eucharist as they have left The Church or are not a practicing Catholic. 
My friend, Scott Hahn, loves The Church like I do!  It is time to throw off our sinfulness and come to that change of heart and find healing from Christ!
Kids and cats galore...
Me pregnant with Ruth during Advent 1979 with my sister, Mary, who died from cancer 7 years later.  Ruth was born just after New Years - 1/4/80.  The beginning of our family and our Advent traditions.  Each day I am so grateful to our wise wonderful Church for giving us this wonderful Season to come into The LIGHT and leave the darkness behind.  So amazing!
I just had the opportunity to share the deep spiritual Thanksgiving mass, meal and visiting the death bed of a 7 year old girl with The Community of the Lamb with my sister-in-law kindred spirit, Angela.  How I love the lack of superficial and real and meat and potatoes we have with them.  It is never superficial or surface lip service... but REAL LIFE/LIGHT/LOVE/The Cross/Jesus/The Church!  I have always loved to get the small unimportant out of the way and focus on what is truly important in our lives - Faith and Family!
From the first reading in Isaiah 4 today is so true of what we experience when with our Community of the Lamb - For over all, the Lord's glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain.
My friend, Bianca, leaned over before mass and we shared this joyful moment - "The flowers are back!"  Their gorgeous arrangements from donated flowers and those found throughout the neighborhood... Share their LOVE for Jesus in ways we are lifted up!
The two newest members of our family provided lots of snuggles/love!

Jesus, I am filled with so much gratitude to have this most special Season of Advent in our glorious Catholic Church!  It has always been such a powerful way to bring our family together sharing our Faith with great JOY!  We long to be with you always at the "banquet in the Kingdom of heaven!"  Thank you for all the ways you help us on our journey if only we humbly fall on our knees and confess that we need you and are unworthy.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
One more little girl to join our family in March!  What JOY fills my heart!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Luke and Rose are excited to welcome their baby sister when the cows are having their calves on the farm... March!  LIFE is the most precious of gifts and must be protected and cherished from conception to natural death!
With 3 new granddaughters in a year - we will almost catch up to our grandsons... 7 granddaughters and 8 grandsons!  Now maybe the dollies will be all over and less of the light savers and swords and guns!  I am ready for a change!

So amazing!

Puts us in our place and away from the "me" and "I" of the holidays!

There is a wonderful story with the Little Sisters that an angry gang member, after they shared the Gospel with her, offered them a glass of water!
Now into each day - the first week of Advent!
Danielle Rose - give and take
The Afters- Broken Hallelujah
Lauren Daigle - Light of the world

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