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Showing posts from August, 2014

Mid-week Musings

I've been without a computer (it's tough to update the blog on an iPad...) so here we go!

1. My first love died. He was 52. I don't know the circumstances of his death, but I do know he battled mental health issues for 30 years. May he rest in peace.
2. His death prompted to me to reach out to my best friend since 8th grade. We've sort of slacked of in keeping in touch. No more - life is too short.
3. I've been given the go-ahead for a big project at work regarding human trafficking. Please pray for me! My hope is that it will touch many lives, all for the glory of God.
4. Both my sisters have been laid up. One has had a re-occurrence of Epstein-Barr, and the other had major surgery on her foot. Sister duty has been busy!
5. Heading north for a long weekend with my mom. Pray that the visit goes well; she is at the point where I'm concerned about her living alone much longer.
6. Got a membership to the gym and I'm serious: gotta get healthy and strong!

May …

Saturday morning at the beauty shop

In places all across America, older ladies reign at beauty shops on Saturday morning. They need to look good for church the next morning.

And beautiful they are. Robbie Kaye, a photojournalist, began to explore the world of ladies in their 70s and 80s at the beauty shop. The result was a gallery titled "Beauty and Wisdom." I saw her work first at Mashable, but you can also check out her website.

I hope you do. These ladies radiate.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. - Prv. 31: 25

What to do if someone asks you to pray for them

It happens all the time: at church, whispered in the pew before Mass begins or chatting over a cup of cookies afterwards. Or on Facebook. A text. A hurried phone conversation.

"Please pray for me." "Pray for us."

What to do?
1. Say, "I will."
2. Pray. Unceasingly. Specifically.
3. When and if the issue is resolved, pray in thanksgiving.

What NOT to do?
1. Tell the person you know a great doctor.
2. Let them know you have a book on essential oils that will help.
3. Mention that an exorcism might be in order (I'm not making that one up, by the way.)
4. Tell other people, lest you gossip.
5. Badger the person about how things are going.
6. Forget to pray for them when you've said you will.
7. Pray "sloppily" by simply tagging on, "Oh, and for Larry" at the end of your evening prayers.
8. Tell them what happened to you in the same/similar situation.
9. Tell them what happened to someone else you know in the same/similar situation.

Tough Ladies Wear Pink

These sisters might look sweet as cupcakes, but they do tough work: http://blog.acton.org/archives/71697-unlikely-mercenaries-fight-human-trafficking.html

Monday Morning Musings

1. The Collect (the prayer that starts Mass) yesterday was beautiful:

O God, who have prepared for those who love you good things which no eye can see, fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of your love, so that, loving you in all things and above all things, we may attain your promises, which surpass every human desire. 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.

2. Saw The Giver yesterday. If you liked the book, you'll like the movie, although a lot of liberties were taken. Jeff Bridges is superb, and the theme remains intact.

3. Had fun hanging out with the Hubby yesterday. Explored the beautiful Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, and had the best sushi I've ever had. Bought some tea, and I'm enjoying Chocolate Cherry Bomb this morning.

4. Well, that was a first. Tallest Son took me out for a pedi. He got one too, and paid. I think he's hooked.

5. AAAARRRRGGGHH. Back to sc…

Mary, Queen of My Heart

It's been a rough week. With the death of Robin Williams, the news that one of our spiritual advisors has been asked by her order to move and begin a new ministry, the 15th year since the death of my sister-in-law, to not knowing where Youngest Son is, I can't say there's been much to celebrate.

Thank God for the Feast of the Assumption.

Many years ago (I'm pretty sure I was 15), my sister-in-law led me to make my Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Feast of the Assumption. It was in an OLD little country church. It was built lovingly by Polish immigrants, and the stained glass was beautiful. You know many pennies were saved by people of little means to make that church as lovely as they could. I also remember that the kneelers were extremely close to the pew in front of you; you sort of had to kneel at a 45-degree angle. "Offer it up!"

I had to cantor the Vigil Mass last night. I was praying through all my sorrows before Mass, as an older couple …

The Monster That Is Depression

Sweet, funny, kind, hysterical, soft, insightful Robin Williams has died. It seems that the Monster That Is Depression got him.

I remember one night when I was in college. I was at a friend's house; she had just gotten engaged. My roommate was graduating, another friend had decided to leave school, and my boyfriend was already done with school. It was a festive evening, lots of celebration and laughter.

And one point, I left the group in the living room, and stood looking out the darkened dining room window. I felt a sadness I had no words for, and could not express. It wasn't just that I was feeling the weight of my best friends being gone; it was the weight of the entire world. There was no logical reason for the pain I felt. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the first entrance of The Monster That Is Depression into my life.

Recently, I checked myself into a mental hospital. I was in the belly of the beast, and I could no longer cope on my own. I envisioned lining…

Shameless Cooing Over Goddaughter Ensues

Monday Morning Musings

1. What a joyful, blessed weekend! My husband and I have our first goddaughter in the family: Francesca Elise! (pics will soon follow!) Francesca and her sister Josephine were adopted by my niece and her husband and the girls were baptized yesterday.
2.In the peaks and valleys that are my life, Youngest Son has completely gone off the rails. All we can do now is pray for him.
3. Curly-Haired Daughter got engaged! We are thrilled, as we not only love the young man, but are thrilled that he treats Daughter like a princess.
4. Oh-my-gosh-! We have a wedding to plan!!!

I think that's enough for now, don't you??

Bittersweet life of an adoptive mom

This letter sums up my thinking and emotions. Here is just a bit:

After a year of making more sacrifices than most mothers to care for my broken children, still they tell me their hearts are only half as full as they were before – with their father. Their father who spent his days so strung out on drugs and alcohol he didn’t know they were there. The same father who can’t even keep appointments to come visit them. All my effort and sacrifice cannot measure up to him in their minds. It is I who pays for his sins. I pay for sins that are not mine in the face of society. My eldest, if I’d given birth to her would have made me a teenage mother.

I bear that stigma everywhere with frowns and sideways glances. It is especially bad at church where I’m the youngest woman there with a child in elementary school. Most women my age are in the nursery commenting on how much their kids look like them or their spouse.

Why we must keep fighting for life

Jonathan van Meran, at LifeSite.com is braver than I. He decided to visit the Gosnell House of Horrors Abortion Clinic. I am sure I could not do that.

However, what he found makes it clear that we must continue to fight for women and children. Abortion is an abomination.

I stop a young African American just across the street from 3801 Lancaster and point back at the decaying building.

“Do you know what happened there?” I asked.

“Yeah, that was the abortion clinic,” she said.

“Do you know anyone who had an abortion there?”

“Yeah, me.” She responded. “It was Valentine’s Day, 1997. When I went in, the women were packed into the waiting room like cattle. I went into the room, and some guy yelled at me to take my panties off. Then they gave me anesthesia and I don’t know what happened.” She shook her head sadly and kept on walking.

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

I have to admit, I struggle with understanding the Transfiguration. It's one of those events in the life of Christ that I don't "get." I'm not sure what the "take-away" is.

Here is a lovely, short piece from from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (via Scott Hahn) that helps:

I hope you enjoy this brief reflection of Pope Benedict XVI on the Transfiguration, which is drawn from his very last Angelus Address:

“The Evangelist places particular attention on the fact that Jesus was transfigured as He prayed. Meditating on this Gospel passage, we can draw a very important teaching from it. First of all, the primacy of prayer, without which the entire commitment of ministry and charity is reduced to activism. Indeed, prayer is not an isolation from the world and its contradictions. Instead, prayer is what leads us to love in action. The Christian life consists in continually scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and s…

How to evangelize when you don't really want to, or are scared to, or just don't know what to do

You know you're supposed to evangelize. Share the Good News. Be part of the New Evangelization. But maybe you don't know how. Or you're scared. Or you really don't want to.

It's okay.

First of all, "Be Not Afraid."

Second, there are ways to evangelize that do not require you to stand on a street corner and shout out Bible verses. (In fact, don't do that. You'll just look odd.)

Here are some ideas:

Wear a crucifix or a cross.Be kind. Always. Better to be kind than right.Invite a friend or family member to go to Mass with you. No big deal, "Come to Mass with me and then we'll get breakfast."Make sure your home reflects your faith. Do you have a crucifix in a prominent spot? A prayer corner? If a guest came to your home, would they know you're Catholic?Does your work space reflect your faith? You don't need to have a rosary hanging off your computer, but you can have a prayer card taped on it. You can have a small cross on your …

Monday Morning Musings

1. I really did NOT want to cantor yesterday. Just wasn't feelin' it. Plus, I had this frog in my throat; couldn't get it cleared. But I did. And it was amazing! Oh, not because of me, but because a friend showed up to sing with me, and our Religious Ed. director sang, and two of our high school girls played clarinets, and it just all melded and worked and was incredible!
2. Dear Husband and I were two of 109K+ people to watch Manchester United play Real Madrid Saturday at U of M. It was incredible to watch these two powerhouse soccer teams with a record-breaking crowd. Once in a lifetime experience!
3. Baptism! My two newest great-nieces have had their adoptions finalized and will be baptized this week. I'm so happy, excited, thrilled!
4. Going to meditate on yesterday's Psalm this week: "The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs." I need to remember that God answers my needs, not my wants, and His answers may not always be my answers.