Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just a reminder...

I've got a cold...for most people, that does not pose a threat.  For those afflicted by auto-immune arthritis, like myself who are on immuno-suppresant drugs, a cold can quickly develop into something much, much worse.  When I get sick, I have to rely on people, rest, fluids and more drugs to make sure I fully recover.  It leads me to believe that a cold is more than a virus, it's a symbol...

I think it's God's reminder for me to be humble.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whadda ya gonna do about it?

When completely overwhelmed with life and the trials it throws your way, there is a struggle to not fall into complete despair.  Knowing that it is precisely these times in life when the devil tries to take his due, the effort is worth every ounce of intellect and will to fight the spiritual battle, even if it leaves you exhausted.  Yet, there are very dark times when God seems so far away and you feel left alone, betrayed even, because of the stress.  What can you do?


Pray...Even if it seems as though God is not answering you.

Pray...Even when you think there is just not enough time to even get your daily tasks done, let alone be still and on your knees long enough to communicate with Jesus.

Pray...Even when you feel as though God has let you down.

Pray...Even when it seems the whole world is against you and you think there is nothing you can do to change the situation.

Pray...Even when you fail to see the upside to the fact your body is failing you.

Just pray.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I don't know why...

I don't know why this happens but every time I have completed a major project in one of my theology classes (this week it was an oral presentation in front of rolling cameras on the Book of Numbers) I can't get to sleep at a normal time for about three nights thereafter.  This is especially true when it feels as though I just haven't done enough to even get a passing grade yet I get kudos from the teacher or fellow classmates.  I think, on some level, I feel weird about receiving praise for something I've only coherently presented by the mere grace of God.  If it weren't for his divine assistance, I'd be a blabbering idiot. Everything I produce is because of Him.  I simply cannot take credit for any brilliance I may muster.

It is bothering me.

It is keeping me from getting to sleep.

I feel so inadequate and stoo-pid.


Guess it's time to get on my knees and pray:  pray in thanksgiving,  pray for more help, pray for more grace.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

God is good!

If you trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul that, even in the darkest of times, He will provide.  Ask and receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.  Trusting in His providence, I have been boldly filial in my request of Him.  Fervent has been my prayer that He show me, in unmistakable ways, what his divine Will is for me and my family.  He has provided and He has shown us the path.  Just a few weeks after the layoff in a troubled economy, my husband has work.  Just a few weeks after the layoff, we have seen the blessing of my husband being released from a company that was more interested in its bottom line than the well being of our family.  Just a few weeks after the layoff, we have discovered the freedom that comes from letting go of temporal goods and unreasonable attitudes towards wealth and its accumulation.  Just a few weeks after the layoff we have come to understand how wonderful it is to have our family intact on a daily basis without the disruption of business travel.  Doors are opening everywhere.  Opportunities abound.  In all, we have recommitted ourselves to the notion that regardless of what we think we want, following God's plan is always spot on (silly us for thinking otherwise)!

God is Holy, God is Almighty, God is Wonderful; deserving of more praise than our feeble human hearts can possibly muster.

God is good!

Monday, August 9, 2010

As the deer longs...

"As the deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."  Psalm 42:1-2a, RSV-CE

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

God's answer to prayers may not be exactly as expected...

My husband had been out of town for a while on business and was required to be gone over the weekend.  It is difficult when he travels, but especially so when he is not here on Saturday and Sunday, our family and worship days, days when we grow together in the Lord.  As I was returning home from church after Mass, alone in my car, I began to feel a deep, wounding sadness.  I missed Carl.  I mourned the life that we were not experiencing together as a couple and as a family because his job requires him to be away many weeks out of the year.  In a deep, longing sigh, I asked the Lord to make our lives better.  The sacrifice my husband was making for the general welfare of our family was just too great, I said.  I implored God, in his infinite wisdom and abundant mercy, to make our lives better by allowing Carl to be at home with us more often.  I was thinking that maybe if he just didn't have to travel so often...

Today, out of the deep blue, my husband was laid off from his job that he has held for many years.  Shocked?  Yes.  Surprised?  No.  God has a way of granting requests, just not in the way you expect. 

God also is the giver of all good things and I truly believe in His divine providence.  We will be ok.  We will be more than ok.  I am so looking forward to having Carl home.  God indeed is good!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

About the title...

The Lord is the shepherd
of our little flock of four.
When we seek and knock,
He always opens the door.
In return we give thanks
and strive to live life pleasing to Him;
He gives way to our needs
and disregards our whim.
Living by His rules
in our word and deed
helps us really to be
"simply Catholic" indeed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Attention All Catholic School Teachers!

It is more important for secondary educators (remember parents are the primary educators) to impart Truth than to assist their students in "feeling good" about Truth.

Do we not teach the truth of math and disregard how someone "feels" about it?

Please, please, PLEASE treat the souls under your care with the same respect when teaching the tenets of the Catholic Faith as you treat the minds of your students in other subjects.

Also, keep in mind that faith is not just a product of squishy "feel good about Jesus" exercises.  It is also highly intellectual.  The children can not only handle Truth, they crave it.

We all, including children, are in constant spiritual battle with the master of deception.  Therefore, let us all don the armor of God. 

~Ephesians 6:10-18

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I know I'm growing in prayer when...

  • I experience fewer distractions while praying (my mind is more easily focused).
  • "Time flies" when I am praying (but with a richness and depth that doesn't happen when "time flies" as I'm having fun)
  • I have a yearning to pray, especially in solitude, and something in my day seems amiss when I don't take the time to pray regularly.
  • A habit to pray is formed.
  • I constantly seek the will of God in everything I do.
  • I no longer have a fear of praying with others nor am I embarrased to pray in public (e.g. grace before meals at a restaurant, making the sign of the cross when passing a church, etc.).
  • When confronted with a difficult situation, my first inclination is to ask for God's help
  • My prayer becomes more bold, with a filial trust.
  • I persevere in prayer, even though I may not want to, or am frustrated, or am tired.
  • I willingly set up a prayer space in my home and invite my family to use this space as often as they choose
  • My actions become more Christ-like and my behavior more Christ-centered in my day to day activities
  • I recall God's Word much more readily
  • I begin to see God's children as He sees them and love them because He loves them
  • I can't wait to go to Mass
  • I crave time in front of the Blessed Sacrament
 What else?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tongue Twisters

Here are a few of my very favorites:

  • Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
  • Toy boat.
  • She sells sea shells on the sea shore.
  • Butterfly flutterby.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • Any three- or four-syllable words I try to speak late at night (midnight and beyond) after taking a benadryl and drinking a full cup of Lipton tea.

How much wood...

Q:  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A:  How the heck would I know?!?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Remember the deeds of the fathers...

Got this message from God today:  1 Maccabees 2:51-64

Love this part:

"And so observe, from generation to generation, that none who put their trust in him will lack strength.  Do not fear the words of a sinner, for his splendor will turn into dung and worms.  Today he will be exalted, but tomorrow he will not be found, beause he has returned to the dust, and his plans will perish.  My children, be courageous and grow strong in the law, for by it you will gain honor."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And a highway shall be there...

Having gone to confession last night, this morning I thanked Jesus for His mercy and forgiveness.  I asked Him to give me further instruction by His revealed Word and He led me to Isaiah 35 (I used that "classic" technique of opening my bible and with my eyes closed pointing to a seemingly random section).  He never fails to give me something meaty to chew on...

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.  For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haund to jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein.  No lion shall be there, nor shall any raveouns beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Why was this so perfect a message for me?  Let me give you a bit of background...

I have been a bit overwhelmed by what I am learning at school, afflicted by a bit of a spiritual dry spell of late (well maybe not dry but more like a roller coaster), and challenged by those who wish to attack the faith (and me because I am Catholic).  Recently, I was asked a bunch of questions about the Catholic viewpoint on certain things, most notably the seemingly ever present sex "crisis" in the church by a friend who is not Christian.  Among some of the queries were some rather barbed attacks on the Pope, the bishops (the "good ol' boys' network" as he put it), and the sacredness of the celibate priesthood (his answer to the crisis was not very original...'if only priests could be gay or be married that would solve a whole host of problems').  I answered all the charges to the best of my ability, and though it ended with him being very surprised that the Catholic faith sees the Jewish people as the Chosen Ones and that we recognize our Jewish heritage (CCC 674, 839-848) I still felt rather uneasy after the whole thing was over; so much so that I fretted for days, even losing sleep because I had incorporated my stirrings into my dreams.  I was unsettled:  Maybe I wasn't up to the task of evangelizing; maybe I wasn't supposed to be learning (after all, what I have learned I wasn't able to articulate very well in my conversation, or so I thought); maybe I just don't have enough faith, after all I am getting very distracted at Mass these days, losing my focus precisely at the time where my focus is primarily warranted and of utmost importance:  during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, maybe, maybe, maybe...

So, in asking for his assistance today, the LORD in his infinite wisdom and goodness told me this:

"Be strong, fear not!"   [I have nothing to fear, even if I make a mistake in my evangelization efforts, for God is there to save.  I cannot save, only the LORD can.  I can simply plant the seed; He alone is the sower.]

"The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad."  "For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thristy ground springs of water." [So much for my "dry spell"...there is hope, lots of it!]

"...the grass shall become reeds and rushes."  [In my newness to apologetics, I am like a small blade of weak, flimsy grass.  But with His grace and mercy, I shall become strong and resolute, like a rush, able to withstand the oppressive forces wanting to crush me in my efforts to do His will.  Get thee behind me, Satan!!]

"And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein."  [I do not wish to be a fool...I must continue with my studies, no matter how inadequate I feel.]

What's more amazing that I came to this passage during Holy Week.  This particular chapter in Scripture gives prophesy to the Kingdom of God and what will happen when the Messiah comes (Jesus Christ, that is).  This is what the ancient Jews could have expected to happen once their savior appeared. See how Isaiah 35:3 relates to Hebrews 12:12 and how Isaiah 35:5-6 is fulfilled in Matthew 11:5 and Luke 7:22.   God dwelt among us, that is clear and should not be doubted.

God is AWESOME! 

Thank you Jesus for answering my plea!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

How would you wager?

Pascal says:  "I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true." How would you wager?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vanity, mediocrity, complacency...

Reason is the cure.