Saturday, January 31, 2009

Picture of Mary

My Dad made this picture of Madonna & Child out of wood! It is truly remarkable - this picture does not do the craftsmanship justice.

The Madonna & Child are in the middle of the Jesse Tree. Below is a view of Jerusalem.

I thought you'd enjoy viewing.

Sister ... In Waiting...

They say patience is a virtue ... well, God is REALLY testing me on this virtue!

The meeting this morning did not happen. Not because of lack of planning - car trouble.
C.T. was having car problems - she could not get into her car because her locks were frozen. She called her parents who live nearby - and even the de-icer would not work. They called AAA, however, someone would not be able to get there until 2-3 hours.


The Vocation Director and I talked a bit while I was there. We are going to try to reschedule yet again so the 3 of us can meet. In the mean-time, it is looking like late February, early March when I will be entering. You got it ... in A MONTH!

This is going to be very difficult for me because this will be the first time I will be away from my family for Easter....I will be with my new family.

I know it's all in God's time - and so far, He's been doing the planning. We're just trying to keep up with Him.

Update on P.H.'s brother - he was in ICU - he stablized and the doctors sent him home. Without getting into any details, he needs many, many prayers. He's angry, confused, and needs God's guidance. Child Welfare is going to be called to assist the daughter who witnessed the event. She is currently in good hands and safe. Please continue to pray for the entire family.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thanksgiving & Prayers


Wanted to give an update on C.T. - SHE PASSED HER SOCIAL WORK BOARDS!!!!!
Thank you all for your prayers!


A good friend of mine, 'T.H.', needs your prayers - actually her entire family needs your prayers.
Her brother and his wife were having marital problems...there are many issues involved and several children, one of whom is still living at home and in high school. The wife stabbed the husband with a knife yesterday morning....collapsing one lung and nicking the aorta. He is in the hospital and alive.

Please keep not only their family, but the entire H. clan in your prayers. This has hit the family really hard. The youngest is currently staying with relatives but in emotional turmoil. Apparently, just before this happened, she was yelling at her father and told him that she hates him. We know this was an emotional outburst and that she really did not mean it - but then the incident occurred and she's really torn inside.

Please say an extra Hail Mary for this family.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hour Approaches...

Our meeting with the Vocation Director at the Trinitarians is quickly approaching. C.T. and I will be meeting with her, discussing the 'date' (the date that we will enter as Postulents) as well as other pertinent information.

Please pray for C.T. - she is taking her boards for Social Work this Friday.

I'll keep everyone updated on our next steps.

Thank you for all of your prayers!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just a bit o'humor

What happens to a dyslexic agnostic who has insomia?

She lays awake all night wondering if there really is a doG.

Monday, January 19, 2009

God is a Verb

Buckminster Fuller once said, 'God is a Verb'.

Exodus 3:14
God replied, "I am who am." Then he added,
"This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you."

I am reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. (actually, I read it in three days) - and now I am continuously contemplating its message. One of the many points that struck me was that God defined Himself as a verb. 'I am a verb. I am that I am. I will be who I will be. I am a verb! I am alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. I am a being verb.'

Before this I never really thought about it before. God was God. The Holy Trinity. 3 Persons in One. Person being a noun; God the Name for all 3 Persons - also a noun. (For those of you who have heard the School House Rock! - you can sing with me - A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing).

The book continues: 'And my very essence is a verb. I am more attuned to verbs than nouns. Verbs such as confessing, repenting, living, loving, responding, growing, reaping, changing, sowing, running, dancing, singing, and on and on.'

But the more I think about it - God introduces Himself to Moses as a verb - a form of 'Be'. 'I am Who Am'. God can not be anything other that He Who Is present, past, and future...He Who Is Now. He is the same with Moses as He was with Jesus as He is right now at this very moment, and will be for years to come. He will never change. He is incapable of changing. He Is.

The book continues: 'Humans, on the other hand, have a knack for taking a verb that is alive and full of grace and turning it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules: something growing and alive dies. Nouns exist because there is a created universe and physical reality, but if the universe is only a mass of nouns, it is dead. Unless 'I am', there are no verbs, and verbs are what make the universe alive.'

I could not stop thinking about this. Do we really take a perfectly good verb and make it into a dead noun?

Expectations vs Expectancy

God does not put expectations upon us. How could He? He already knows the present, past, and future. We could never disappoint Him. He loves us and we belong to Him. We are a part of He Who Is. We are made in His image and likeness. Like Him, we have a trinity within us - Mind, Body, and Spirit. Sound familiar? There was the Word. And the Word became flesh. Mind - the Word. Spirit, the Soul, linked to the Holy Spirit. Body - God Who Is. God does not put expectations upon us - we do that very well on our own.

Relationship vs Relations

Think about it - relationship, relations. Relationship, relations. It is so true - relationship does sound dead when compared to relations. God does not want a relationship with us - He wants continuous relations with us. Relations where we include Him in every part of our life. He is the Sun of our universe - where everything revolves around Him and without Him, nothing will be.

How little I understood, and still understand, about God. God is a verb! His essence is a verb!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Listening - the Lost Art

A Priest that I know often sends an email to several people asking for feedback on his sermon idea for the following Sunday. This Sunday's homily is on 'Listening'. Here were my thoughts:

Listening.... it's becoming a 'lost art'

The thing about listening - is that I have to stop talking in order to listen.
Listening to God - I have to stop telling God what I want before I can hear what He wants for me.

And sometimes, listening means that I have to accept criticism - even from the Church (ecclesial & Magesterial). Lately, many Priests are receiving criticism from parishioners & Bishops for speaking the Truth about what the Church teaches and how we, as children of God, should live our lives. My take on this - the Priests and Bishops are our Shepherds. They are the ones that are trying to save our souls so that we can live with the Holy Trinity, the Angels, the Saints, our Heavenly Mother in the next life - in Heaven. Without them, we would be lost.

And if a Priest told me something that I need to work on and I am offended - actually, I should be thanking God for him being here to guide me so that I can become holy. If I am offended - that leads toward pride, which is not of God. This also means that I need to listen ... really listen to what God is telling me through that Priest.

This also goes for the Laity - it is our jobs to help guide others toward holiness. It's not just the Priests - we, as the ecclesial Body of Christ, need to listen to what Christ, the head of this Body, is telling us.

But listening has become very difficult to do -
I get up in the morning, I have the radio on. I eat breakfast at the computer, reading the stories for the day. I get to the train, conversations of others are overheard and the stops are announced. I get to Tower City, music is playing. I get to work, the phones are ringing, meetings are held, cell phones and pagers are going off, emails are read, etc. I get home around 7pm and eat dinner in front of the TV, family and friends call, friends come over, neighbors chat.... we have become such a 'turned on' society that we 'turn off' listening because it happens every minute of every day.

When do we actually MAKE time to pray? When do we MAKE time to listen to God?
Without a synthetic connection to God - like email, pager, phone, TV program - He is tuned out because we can't stand silence. And silence is what is needed when we talk to God.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Next Step ...

Ok, I have to admit, I am getting VERY excited!

The Vocation Director called me and wants to meet with C.T., the woman who is joining the Trinitarians at the same time as I am, and me to go over next steps. We will also be discussing the 'date' .... the date that we will enter as Postulents in the Trinitarian Order.

We are meeting on Saturday, January 31st!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Generations Lost

I recently read a book about 'paying it forward.' It's when you pay someone back by helping three other people in need. It's sorta like the '6 degrees of separation' in reverse.

If I help 3 people and ask them to pay it forward by helping 3 people...
they then each help 3 people in need....
conceivably, by the 5th 'generation', 363 people would have been helped (not including myself).

Don't believe me? Take a look.
Each triangle represents a person helped (do not count white triangles).

By the 10th generation, a total of 88,573 people would have been helped, including myself!
Eighty-eight THOUSAND!
Even my computer drawing abilities could not create that many triangles in one area.

Isn't it the same with families? Parents have children, who then have children of their own, who also have children. Generations! We've all heard of or seen the photographs representing 4 or 5 generations within one family. The stories, the laughter, the tears all because two people said 'yes' to God's plan, then two more, then two more. It's totally amazing.

Why is this important?

Just think - what if one, just one of those people were aborted?

Look at all of the lives that are lost because one person said 'no'.

Still don't get it?

There are 3700 infants aborted each day in the U.S. Yes, each day!
Which means, over 1.5 million aborted each year!

If, by paying it forward, I affect 363 people in 5 'generations', how many lives
would never be affected because of abortion?

Take the number of people within 5 generations: 363
Now, multiply that by 3700 (the number of abortions occurring per day in the U.S.)



(number of lives never affected per year because of abortion)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Urgent Novena against FOCA

Warning: Graphic Image below

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii posts the need for an urgent Novena against FOCA.
To learn more about FOCA, click here.
To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting starting on January 11th.
For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the Rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA.
For non Catholics I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days.

The hope is that this will branch andblossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact.
We have verylittle time so we all must act fast.

Just do three things:

1) Pass this letter to 5 or more people
2) Do it in three days or less
3) Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine consecutive days.
(Please also fast for at least two days during the novena)

Remember that with God all things are possible and the power of prayer is undeniable.
If you are against the senseless killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it!

8 weeks in the womb:

7 Month Aborted Fetus:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Introductory & Penitential Rites

For one of my Bible studies, I had to research the Introductory Rite and Penitential Rite.
Here is some of what I learned.

  • Objective Truth to the Mass: that by Divine Power, through the instrumentation of the Priest, acting in persona Christi, bread and wine are changed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

The graces we receive from this Sacrament depend on our receptivity, our disposition, and our readiness to receive them.

  • We receive grace to the extent that we are prepared to receive.
  • We must be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion (not be conscious of any mortal sins).
  • If we receive worthily (in a state of grace), along with the Body & Blood of Christ and many graces, we also receive numerous blessings, including the gift of our redemption.
  • We must purify our soul before receiving Holy Communion

Introductory Rite

Entrance Procession:
Represents our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem.
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey, he processed through the streets to shouts of joy & victory. The crowed, who held palm branches, welcomed Him in song (once a year this is presented liturgically on Palm Sunday)

For centuries the Priest would arrive at the steps of the Sanctuary and recite Psalm 42 along with the altar boy: ‘Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui lactificat iuventutem meam.’ Our Lord and King is about to enter the Sanctuary in order to defeat evil, sin and Satan once again. The entrance procession is a time for joy & victory, for our salvation is near!

  • Upon entering the Sanctuary (of Jerusalem), the Priest and ministers genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle and make a profound bow toward the altar.
  • The Celebrant, Concelebrating Priests, and Deacons then reverence the altar with a kiss.
  • The altar, which takes central importance in the Sanctuary, has always been the greatest sign for Christ, whose body became the altar upon which He would sacrifice Himself to the Father. It is the focal point of the Holy Mass.
  • The altar may receive the first incensation (3 others may follow during the Mass). The incense prepares the altar for sacrifice and may be used in any Mass.

Following the Sign of the Cross

Congregation is greeted through Sacred Scripture (epistles of St. Paul)

Priest: “The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”
- or -
“The grace and peace of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you”
- or -
“The Lord be with you”

Bishop: “Peace be with you”
By virtue of his office as Vicar of Christ, recalling the inaugural words of Our Lord to his apostles after his resurrection. (John 20: 19 – 23)

Congregation responds: “And also with you” (or more precisely translated, ‘And with your spirit’)

This completes the first dialogue of the Mass, expressing reciprocal conversation between Christ, the head, and the Church, His Mystical Body.

Penitential Rite

From the beginning to the end, Mass is a prayer, the highest prayer known to mankind. Mass teaches us how to pray.

In the Penitential Rite, we are in the midst of a conversation on prayer
The primary movement of prayer in the Mass is one of humility. In imitation of Christ, the Son of God, who humbled Himself to become man; take upon Himself our sins; undergo the Passion, crucifixion, and death on our behalf, we must humble ourselves.

The Church seeks to imitate the humility of Christ by first recognizing our sins and acknowledging the fact that we are sinners in desperate need of God’s abundant mercy.

  • We pause, examine our conscience in silence, and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
  • Recall individual sins
  • Become aware of our overall need for forgiveness and mercy for the sins that we have committed and the good we have omitted, which we may have forgotten.
  • Prepare our souls to abandon our old sinful habits and seek the grace and mercy that God has prepared for us in receiving his Body and Blood in Holy Communion.

Penitential Rite does not grant absolution for mortal sins. It does help us to receive forgiveness for our less serious sins, venial sins, which are forgiven when we receive Holy Communion with humility and love. (GIRM, 51)

One of 3 Prayers will be led by the Celebrant:

“I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters,: that I have sinned through my own fault (Strike breast) in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do. And I ask Blessed Mary, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.”

This is prayed as a community, confessing that we are guilty of sins in thought, word, and deed.
We seek the intercession of:

Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, who was conceived without sin and remained sinless throughout her life

The Angels, who battle with Satan and defeat evil

The Saints, who were sinners like us, but cooperated with God’s grace and mercy to defeat their own sinfulness and persevered in holiness of life

Members of the Church Militant (the pilgrim Church on earth) (“and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, our God.”)

Kyrie Eleison:
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison
(Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy)

This litany is the only surviving vestige of the Greek language remaining in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

Comes straight from the Gospel.
A great healing by Christ is preceded by the humble cry of a beggar, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Matthew 15:21
Mark 10: 46 – 52
Luke 17: 13

This is where we find ourselves at the beginning of Mass – a poor beggar in need of mercy.This is why we approach the throne of our Heavenly Father in humility from the very beginning.

Instead of the Confiteor and Kyrie, Two other Prayers could be led by the Celebrant

Priest: [These or similar words] "My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins."
[Pause for silent reflection]
Priest: "Lord, we have sinned against you: Lord, have mercy."
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest: "Lord, show us your mercy and love."
People: And grant us your salvation.
Priest: "May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life."
People: Amen.

-- OR --

Priest: [These or similar words] "My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins."
[Pause for silent reflection]
Priest, Deacon, Cantor or Choir: "You were sent to heal the contrite (or any other suitable invocation): Lord, have mercy."
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest, Deacon, Cantor or Choir: "You came to call sinners (or any other suitable invocation): Christ, have mercy."
People: Christ, have mercy.
Priest, Deacon, Cantor or Choir: "You plead for us at the right hand of the Father (or any other suitable invocation): Lord, have mercy."
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest: "May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
People: Amen."

Sprinkling Rite (Can be said at all Sunday Masses, Saturday evening Masses, and Holy Days of Obligation)

On Sundays, it is commendable that the rite of blessing and sprinkling holy water ("Asperges") should take the place of the penitential rite of the mass . . . so that the faithful may perceive the baptismal significance of this popular sacramental.

A holy water vessel and sprinkler (Picture) of ample proportions are easier to clean and to use. Water may be blessed in this vessel at the rite of the blessing and sprinkling at the beginning of a Sunday Mass.

A reasonably deep "bucket" with a moveable handle is more convenient. The sprinkler may take the form of a brush or of a hollow, perforated ball, perhaps containing a sponge. But the pocket-size sprinkler conveniently used in pastoral situations does not seem appropriate for celebrations in a church.

Priest: "Dear friends, this water will be used to remind us of our baptism. Let us ask God to bless it, and to keep us faithful to the Spirit he has given us. [Or similar words of introduction]"

Option A:
Priest: "God our Father, your gift of water brings life and freshness to the earth; it washes away our sins and brings us eternal life. We ask you now to bless this water, and to give us your protection on this day, which you have made your own. Renew the living spring of your life within us and protect us in spirit and body, that we may be free from sin and come into your presence to receive your gift of salvation. We ask this through Christ our Lord."
People: Amen.

Option B:
Priest: "Lord God almighty, creator of all life, of body and soul, we ask you to bless this water: as we use it in faith forgive our sins and save us from all illness and the power of evil. Lord, in your mercy give us living water, always springing up as a fountain of salvation: free us, body and soul, from every danger, and admit us to your presence in purity of heart. Grant this through Christ our Lord."
People: Amen.

Option C (during the Easter Season):
Priest: "Lord God almighty, hear the prayers of your people: we celebrate our creation and redemption. Hear our prayers and bless this water which give fruitfulness to the fields, and refreshment and cleansing to man. You chose water to show your goodness when you led your people to freedom through the Red Sea and satisfied their thirst in the desert with water from the rock. Water was the symbol used by the prophets to foretell your new covenant with us. You made the water of baptism holy by Christ's baptism in the Jordan: by it you give us a new birth and renew us in holiness. May this water remind us of our baptism, and let us share the joy of all who have been baptized at Easter. We ask this through Christ our Lord."
People: Amen.

[After blessing the water, the priest moves through the church sprinkling all of the people while an antiphon or other song is sung. When the sprinkling and the song is finished, the priest concludes this rite as follows:]

Priest: "May almighty God cleanse us of our sins, and through the Eucharist we celebrate make us worthy to sit at his table in his heavenly kingdom."
People: Amen.

[This rite is commonly celebrated during the Easter Season, but may also be used at other times. When it is used, the Penitential Rite is omitted, and the Mass continues with the Gloria (on most Sundays and solemnities) or with the Opening Prayer (during Advent and Lent, and on weekdays).]

The Penitential Rite has become one of my favorite parts of the Mass. I know that I do not deserve what God is about to give me, but I also know that HE can make me whole again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Adult Women 'Playing House' with Fake Babies

I read this article on Channel 7's website - 'Adult Women Play House with Fake Babies.'

Yes, you read that correctly... women are using fake babies to fill a void in their life.

"Some women are even going as far as taking day trips with the fake babies to the park, out to eat, and even hosting birthday parties for them. Forty-nine-year-old Linda is married with no children of her own. Now, she says she feels like a mother because she has Reborns -- dolls made to look and feel like the real thing.

"It's not a crazy habit, like, you know, drinking, or some sort of, something that's going to hurt you. It's like a hobby.and it doesn't really hurt anybody," Linda said. These women are paying big bucks for this hobby, from $100 to a few thousand dollars. For Reborn owner Lachelle Moore, the fake babies fill a void.

"What's so wonderful about Reborns is that, um, they're forever babies," said Moore, who has grown children and grandchildren. "There's no college tuition, no dirty diapers... just the good part of motherhood," she added.

This is so disheartening! These women are not only hurting themselves but also their families. They are missing the mark!

They are also missing out on all of the joys, laughter, and excitement of having children, seeing them grow up to be toddlers, boys and girls, teenagers, young adults, and finally adults....where the cycle then continues. Yes, there are times of pain and suffering, nights that you are up until the wee hours of the morning praying that your child is safe, heartaches and disappointments.

But it is those times when you see your child succeed in something that has been a struggle in the past, the laughter they bring to the family, the hugs willingly given, the 'I love you mom', and seeing them blossom into beautiful children of God that makes parenting worth while.

There are so many children in fostercare and orphanages that NEED and WANT a family to be loved as a son or daughter. It is so sad that these mothers feel that they can only get the love from a baby doll rather than from their husband or family. They need our prayers! Motherhood/parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world ... and it can not be substituted by a doll.

Please pray for these women.