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Showing posts from May, 2014

The Art Of Being Kind

My Dark-haired Daughter will likely never work at a job. She can't handle more than the simplest of math. Her reading comprehension is terrible. She struggles to follow the simplest of directions. We don't let her cook anything unattended, and she still has terrible nightmares.

But don't be fooled: she has a tremendous gift. It's the gift of being kind. No matter where we go, who we see, what we are doing, she is kind. She notices things about everyone (and I mean EVERYone) we meet and has something kind and uplifting to say:

"I like your skirt."

"Oh, your nails are so pretty!"

"I like your haircut."

"How old is your baby? He's so cute!"

She goes on her merry way, spreading a bit of cheer to all we meet. It can be in the grocery store, a flea market, a garage sale or church: she notices, is kind and takes a moment to be present with that person in the most charitable of ways.

What a gift.

Tuesday Morning Musings ('cause Monday was a holiday)

Our pastor, a few months back, asked us to really focus on the Collect, which is the opening prayer at Mass. This past Sunday's was: Grant, almighty, God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of the risen lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold t in what we do. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. So, are you celebrating these days of joy?If you're not reading the Matt Walsh Blog, why the heck aren't you???Curly-Haired daughter's new beau (whom we like very much!) is allergic to...well, everything. Including cats and dogs. Not sure if we'll be able to keep him. (Thanks goodness he's not allergic to beer; then he would have been gone immediately!)When was the last time you rolled down the windows and sang along to the radio? What are you waiting for?If you work in an office, and someone st…

Kindly help if you can

It's been awhile since I've said anything about this, but we are still trying to raise funds to help pay for legal fees surrounding my Dark Haired Daughter's sexual assault. Our case is on-going, and (duh) expensive.

Please help if you can: http://funds.gofundme.com/index.php?route=share2/link&url=5m4am8

Honestly, every little bit helps! And you will have our prayers for your intentions!

The truth about trials

No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. - 1 Cor. 10:13

Gotta admit: not my favorite Scripture verse. Why? Because I think that sometimes God IS giving me more than I can bear. I don't want all this nonsense, stress, upheaval, trials and tests. I want what I think everyone else has: a relatively easy life, a few bumps in the road, but nothing major - or at least, nothing major ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME.

Yet, that is not what God is calling ME to. I don't know why I have what I have in my life. I don't understand it. But if you look at that verse again, God isn't promising us understanding; He is promising us strength, faithfulness, a way out, the ability to bear what comes our way. That's not trivial.

I have a lot of crosses to bear. I'm not trying to play the martyr here, but it's the truth. Someti…

Monday Morning Musings

If you're following a truck on the expressway with Porta-Potties precariously perched on the back, change lanes.It's supposed to be 70 degrees here in MI. Let's just say we'll believe it when we see it.My sister, who's been away from the Church for decades, is going to register at our parish! Praise God!Yesterday, we had four young people receive First Communion for the first time at the 10 a.m. Mass. It was so beautiful, and Father gave such a good sermon reminding all of us what the Eucharist really was - not a symbol, not just "looks like" or "seems like" but really, truly Jesus Christ: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.From my morning prayers: From morning to night, every day of our lives, between the shores of our home, of our streets, of our encounters, flows the Word in which God seeks to dwell. - servant of God Madeleine Delbrel

No such thing as spare time

I was thinking this morning that I have time...a luxury a mom doesn't have when her children are small. My kids are mostly grown, and I only have two at home. I'm not spending every day doing loads of laundry, preparing and cutting up food for seven people, driving here-there-and-everywhere.

I have time. And that means I should pray.

Oh, I don't mean that every waking moment should be spent on my knees. I still have lots of obligations. But my mother taught me a lesson when she was caring for my father as he got ill with Parkinson's and then as he was dying.

For about three years, my parents' home was like a monastery. My mother would rise early to care for my father, pray, tend to some household chores, pray, prepare some food, pray....There was a rhythm to her days that mimicked that of a monastery or convent: work and prayer, work and prayer.

Now that my father has passed on, my mother still spends hours in prayer every day. She has many people to pray for: as …

You can't be depressed! You're Christian!

Oh, I wish I'd written this, but alas, the credit goes elsewhere. Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, S.C. and suffers from depression. This was in Christian Post:

#1 – Someone who is a Christian will never wrestle with anxiety and depression.
If this is true, then what about Moses asking God to take his life (Numbers 11:14-15), and then Elijah (I Kings 19:3-4) and later Jonah (Jonah 4:3) all asking to die? Paul admitted that he despaired life (II Corinthians 1:8) and even JESUS said that His soul was "Overwhelmed" (Matthew 26:38).
#2 – The way to overcome being overwhelmed is to pray and read your Bible more.
I often tell people that the theme song of hell is "Do More, Try Harder!" For far too long Christians have said they believe in grace, but when it comes to worry, anxiety and even depression we rely on works.
This Sunday at NewSpring Church I am going to talk about ONE THING that EVERY person can do (Chr…

Visiting A Convent - Behind The Walls

I'll admit it: when my kids were little, and days were demanding and I never seemed to have time to pray, I dreamed of a nice little cell in a nice little convent somewhere. Quiet would reign, prayer would be continuous, and peace would ensue.

I was kidding myself, of course. As an Irish lass, I wouldn't last a day in the silence that is necessary for such a rigorous way of life. I'd be the "How do we solve a problem like Maria?" sort of nun.

And yet...there is still a draw to that type of holiness. Over at Regina Blog, there is a lovely post about the life of Benedictine nuns, and their life "behind the walls."

AT HOME AMONG THE BUDDING DOGWOOD, REDBUD AND SAND PLUM TREES STANDS THE PRIORY, a great log cabin that once housed the monks of Clear Creek Monastery. Flocks of sheep attended by ever-vigilant sheep dogs raise their heads as a rare car drives by. Monks from the Abbey  can be seen off in the distance tending cattle, vineyards or constructio…

Suicide, Sin and Hope

At The American Catholic, blogger Donald McClarey discusses suicide. He quotes G.K.Chesterton (a fine man, a fine writer, but not a theologian):

"Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin,” Chesterton wrote: “It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.” Chesterton goes on to say that the act of suicide is selfish: “A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything.” 

I do agree with McClarey that suicide is a selfish act, but he poo-poos mental illness:

Contemporary views on suicide of course would view that attitude as harsh and Neanderthal and usually blame everyone but the suicide for their act of self murder. 

"Blame" is not the right word with suicide, just as it's not the right wo…

Whew! Where do I even begin??

Well, first, I'm glad to be back.

I checked myself into a psychiatric care program last Tuesday. I've been dealing (very poorly, as it turns out!) with depression and anxiety. It was consuming me, and I needed help. Thanks be to God, we have a tremendous psych hospital in our area, and it was just what I needed.

I thought I was doing things right, and in some cases, I was. But I wasn't caring for myself very well. In fact, I realized I would never treat another soul as badly as I beat myself up. I'm working on that.

I also am working on knowing - really knowing - that my children's choices and decisions are not a reflection of my parenting. As heartbreaking as some of those choices are, have been and will be, they don't mean I was a bad parent. This is a biggy for me: I know someday I'll have to stand in front of God and explain myself. I thought that meant that I was wholly responsible for choices my children make, but of course, that isn't true. They…