Monday, April 10, 2017

"Holy Week is our great Passover:... from death to LIFE." Dom Mark Daniel Kirby

Baby girl, Evangeline Mary, has been letting us know that she is ready to eat with her ear piercing vocalizations when she is awake.  The food grinder came out and her first food of sweet potatoes were eaten by the Easter Tree!  Not only does she look like her mom and her aunts ahead of her, but the words of my own mouth are coming back to make me smile... "My girls were reaching for food at 5 months."  Yes, Evangeline at 5 months and a week is living breathing proof that my words from years ago are true after all!

Each year lilac branches are brought in to watch the leaves come forth ahead of those outside in the snow.  This year with the unseasonal warmth and the late Easter... Mother nature assisted the leaves already budded out and ready to open today!  I would put my tree in front of the woodstove in my farmhouse... now it seems the patio door is the only spot.  With the added light I might even get some lilacs in the house this year!  I realized that in the crazy move last year that no Easter Cross and butterfly was made, so it might have to appear a year late.  I am also waiting for our time with Hallel to make them for this year.
How I love to get out my decorations from years past... 2004 when Maria was in the Poor Clare Monastery, and we shared our Easter meal through the grates of the enclosure!  Such powerful words about Holy Week from Dom Mark Daniel Kirby!
"Holy Week is the time of our great Passover: the passage from darkness to light, from sadness to joy, from time to eternity, from death to life And so we are drawn to the Cross and the Cross is offered to us, in this and in every Eucharist. The Eucharist is the place and the means and the price of our Passover for the Eucharist is the Church held in the embrace of the Cross." 

Yes, we are filled with so much as we began Holy Week yesterday!  The plans are in full swing for us to travel to Kansas City not only to see our Little Sister Hallel and get real hugs for the first time in 2 years, but for Maria and her 5 to see Captain Joseph as he flies in from Virginia on Friday night!  Their family will all be together for the first time in 3 months! 
Easter 2015 in Kansas City with Hallel! 

The Gospel today is such a rich and beautiful scene as Jesus is adored and honored by Mary, as she anoints his feet with costly ointment and dries them with her hair!
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How we long to join her at the feet of our Jesus in gratitude for all that he did for us as the spotless Lamb of God sacrificed on the Cross!
Together let us surrender to the mystery of the Cross.  Together let us receive from the altar the mystery of the Cross, and so enter into the silence and into the song of the great and glorious Pasch of the Lord.  In a week's time, having passed over from death to life, from the seven days of measured time into the mystic Eighth day, we will hail the festival day of Him who triumphs over hell and holds the stars of heaven in His hand (cf. Salve, Festa Dies, Easter Processional Hymn)."  Dom Mark Daniel Kirby

Filled to the brim with so much excitement and JOY this week of Holy Week 2017!
Easter 2009, just months before John's brain cancer appeared on Father's day - Susan was in France and came home to support her brother in the summer... we were called to embrace our cross and realize that Jesus was in control!
Our first grandchild - Simon... now we just welcomed his 5th sibling, Joy!  We now have 15 grandchildren which has made our love grow and grow with each new LIFE! 

More powerful words from Dom Kirby today;
"If you are weary, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you are fearful and isolated, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you are bitter, or bruised, or fragmented, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you hunger and thirst for holiness, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you would ascend with Christ to the Father, if you would make of your life a fragrant offering, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you would leave behind the darkness of the cold tomb, if you would know the joy of resurrection, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross."
Doesn't that beckon all of us?  Aren't we all needing to come to Him?  Yes!!!!  O, my Jesus, help me carry my Cross as I follow after you down the narrow path.
Before Hallel left for France, she was able to become a Godmother to her little niece, Therese!  Such a blessing for "T" to see her Godmother in a few days!  Do you think that this 9 year old girl will consider a call to religious life?  Yes!  without a doubt she already is!
In the midst of a huge family Sunday dinner... the chalice has arrived in our home for this Holy Week!  The prayer prayed for vocations by John and I at breakfast this morning, and daily through our time here this week. Such a important part of our family as I have always exposed the girls to Sisters in habits - sending them to Schoenstatt camp in the summers.  On the way home from one when Susan was 10 or so, she told me that she thought she wanted to be a nun.  A true Holy Spirit moment!  "Because of your "call" you have your Little Sister Hallel."  a Benedictine sister told me recently!
Yes!  My call to religious life led me into my beloved Church, and burned in me to share that option with my children... now my grandchildren!
With the tent made on the clothesline in this warm weather... came a tea set ordered in the mail for grandma to keep in her house... picture of Maria, Nancy and Susan having a tea party out on the deck of our small starter home about 30 years ago next to the new tea set with dreams of many wonderful parties ahead!
Hot chocolate and cupcakes for desert...
Quick dessert before they headed off to Share the Fun and play practice.   Therese and Maria went to watch and go to Reconciliation.  Maria brought the baby with her..."Did she go to confession with you?"  "Yes, she knows all my deepest darkest secrets."  What a surprise to the priest to have a 5 month old join her mother!
Many happy parties lie ahead...

Lord Jesus, the excitement is building as we look forward to the time with our Family of the Lamb, our Little Sister Hallel, and our Bandzuch family in Kansas City!  Be with all of our travels and may we be healthy and happy as we share our precious time together.  This week is such a reminder of all that you did for us... may we turn to you and humbly die to self so that the Holy Spirit may direct our hands and feet in service of you... most especially with those the closest to us in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen
A small slice of heaven from one generation to the next as we share our Faith with JOY!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Arm in arm going forth into LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!
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If we pray for God to deliver us from our suffering - and He doesn't, it may be that He wants to deliver us from our fear of suffering instead, which could prove to be an even greater healing. St. John Vianney reminds us: "Our greatest cross is the fear of crosses." And so let's ask our Lord, this Easter, to deliver us from our fear of the cross.
Scott Hahn
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This came up today from 4 years ago... our last home visit with the babies at that time... now we will have the 3 baby girls with Hallel!  These 3 are 4 going on 5 now!  Rose will be 5 on May 1st just days before Hallel will arrive on the farm!  Yes, out the window 4 years ago today was 2 feet of heavy wet snow, which kept her dad very busy. 
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The beginning of Holy Week
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Hillary Scott - Thy will be done
Danielle Rose - Pursue Me
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