Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Slammed Again

The persecution of Holy Mother Church has been going on since Christ was crucified.

I know it goes on everywhere, but because we do not have cable T.V., and because I am very picky about what I watch on Netflix and what I listen to on the radio (mostly 990 a.m.)  I am not wholly aware of the vast array that is out there.

Recently I re-upped my membership at Planet Fitness; one because it's cheap, two because I like the variety of equipment, three because it's really close to home and four (but really #1!) because Hannah asked me to.  We hit the gym two days a week at 5 a.m. (All nominations for mother-of-the-year gladly accepted! )

My first day on the elliptical I got an eyeful of said persecution!

On not one, but two T.V. monitors in front of my particular machine were shows that are the lowest form of scum not found in any pond.

The sleezy outfits and worse dialog (you really only need 2 seconds to read the filth in the captions bar to know it's something you do not want to be exposed to) are sickening.

The part that made me the most angry was that the people dressed this way and speaking this way all had large crucifixes around their necks!

Garbage!!!

So now I work out with my head down and/or my eyes closed.  I don't bring headphones so I don't have to hear it and I can bring Christ to the gym with me by praying my Rosary while I work out. (The section where the treadmills are - where Hannah works out - don't play the same shows thankfully. )

Planet Fitness claims to be a "judgement free" zone.  The have a video that plays every time I'm there that shows a team of Planet Fitness higher-ups going into schools and workplaces to teach the children and adults how to treat others fairly and to offer communication and conflict resolution tips.

To see these two choices on the monitors in the gym shows a huge disconnect between the good they are trying to bring to the larger community and what they are willing to play in their facilities.

I'm going to write them a letter (or send them my blog).  It would be great to have something wholesome (that isn't a food or clothing infomercial) to watch for those of us who have made a commitment to a healthier life-style who would prefer not to have our minds polluted while we take care of our bodies.


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Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Date Night Journal Update

So I'm still getting used to "hearing" God tell me what Bible book and passage he has for me.

Case in point:  In my previous blog I explained our new date night routine.

Well, Friday was date night so we had dinner (at L.A. Bistro--it was amazing!) and headed back to the Adoration Chapel.

All week the first reading at Mass was from the book of Tobit.  It's a beautiful story that you may want to read if you never have.

On Wednesday, because I'm a bit impatient, I asked God what book he was going to have to go to on Friday.  He answered, "Tobit".  I figured it was just me because that is what I've been hearing all week, so on Thursday I asked again.  Again, "Tobit".

So on Friday, I knelt down in the Chapel, and tried really hard to clear my mind and just listen. Again, "Tobit".  So, I waited a few minutes and 'heard'  1 Corinthians 5.

Oh YES, finally I'm hearing properly.  I opened my Bible to 1 Corinthians 5 and read.  And it was all about incest.  :-(

And then I heard God say, "So......Tobit???"  Silly me.

I found the verses He wanted me to have and then sat there a little distraught.  I'm not usually at a loss for words when I write, but last night was hard.  To open up and be honest (which was actually one of the lines in 1 Corinthians 5) was going to be a little more challenging this time.  Wayne was sitting a few rows behind me and I could hear his pen scratching on his paper and he was going to town.  I knew I had to begin.   I started writing, and writing and writing.  It was pretty amazing.

The best part was sharing.

I started reading Wayne's journal first.  It meshed so well with my own (though he had a totally different book and verses to pray and write about.)  I said to him,  "This is incredible. If this isn't from God, I don't know what is!"

Of course, he hadn't read my journal entry so he wasn't sure what I was talking about.  When he got to mine, he said, "now I know why you said that. Wow!"

I whole heartedly recommend this date night activity.  No matter how long you've been married, God has so much to give to your relationship. Give it a try.  I would love to hear feedback.

Dearest Jesus, thank you for a new way to connect with Wayne. Thank you for your presence in this chapel and in every tabernacle in every Catholic church and chapel all over the world. Thank you for your gift of You to us. Keep drawing us closer to You and to each other.  Amen

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reconnecting

After 34 years of marriage, a majority of couples have had an empty nest for years, and have gotten used to the new normal of just the two of them.

We have been married 34 years and have 4 offspring still left in the nest, the youngest of these is 12 years old. It will be a long time before we know what it's like to be on our own.

Still, we are at a point where the kiddos need us to do less and less for them.  (It is very weird cooking for 4!)

We are learning how to be a couple again.

With an idea I gleaned from my cousin (she had done a 40 day journaling experience using Bible verses the Lord lead her to) we have a new date-night plan.


I found these soft cover journals at Staples.  On Friday nights, after dinner, we head to the Adoration Chapel and spend some time.  We sit apart so as not to impede the prayers and thoughts.  

I've often had people tell me that they sit in the chapel and ask the Lord to show them a verse to pray with.  I have tried it in the past but have been too impatient (or dull) to get anything out of it. 

Well, two weeks in a row I have been to lead to verses He wants me to ponder. Wayne, too, has had the same blessing.  

I tend to get books instead of verses so I figure God has a lot to say to me. 

We each write out the verse(s) we receive in prayer and then add a prayer or our own thoughts about how the verses speak to us. 

When we get home we exchange books and read aloud what the other has written.  It is a beautiful time and is making a huge difference in our communication.  

Dear Cuz,  you know who you are. Thanks for sharing your journey and leading us to this wonderful new date-night gift.  



Monday, May 15, 2017

A Thank-You Note to Jesus

Dear Jesus,

I just wanted to say thanks for all you do for me.  You bless me constantly and I am trying really hard to be very aware of all of my blessings.

The big ones are easy:

  • Awesome hubby
  • Awesome children and sons-in-law
  • Max
  • Grace 
  • Max's sibling due in July
And, of course, the rest of this huge family that I get to be part of.  For food and a lovely home. 

Thank you for the things that make my life easier: 
  • truck that runs (no payments)
  • phone
  • lawn mower
  • vacuum cleaner
  • dish washer
  • washer/dryer
  • refrigerator
  • stove
  • lights
  • heat/air conditioning
  • indoor plumbing
  • and so many more blessings
Then there are the parking spaces close to the door in the rain or snow,  and for all the times you've kept me safe driving here, there and everywhere.  For all the times you've said, "yes" when I ask you for things.  For the times you've said, "no" and then shown me why ( and even when you haven't shown me why yet.) 

Thank you for alone time, and me time, and time with those I love! 

Thank you for spring!!

Thank you for giving me ways to draw closer to you, my loving Savior; Mass, confession, Bible study, Dominicans, so many wonderful books to read to help me stay on track. 

 Thank you for giving me your Mamma as my Mamma.  

Thank you my Jesus for loving me like You do.  For picking me up when I fall and allowing me to try again to be the person you created me to be. 

Thank you most of all for becoming one of us.  Thank you for your life, death and resurrection and the promise of eternity with you that make this pilgrimage on earth so worth it.   

I love you, my Jesus.  Amen 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Mary-nating"

As part of my Lenten journey this year I am receiving emails from Fr. Richard Heilman.

His emails are called Nineveh 90 and are preparing us for the 100th anniversary of our Blessed Mother's apparitions in Fatima, Portugal.

Today's email went straight to my heart and exactly describes what it going on inside of me this Lent.

'The "one thing necessary" constitutes the essential foundation for the interior life and consists in hearing the word of God and living by it (I will serve!). It stems from the story of Martha and Mary (Lk 10:38-42), where we first see that, amazingly, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was sitting right in their living room. Now, Martha remains busy with the good and noble protocol of hospitality while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, her eyes locked on his holy face, peering into his soul, hanging on his every word. Mary is actually in adoration, soaking in everything our Lord wants to give her. I like to say that she is "Mary-nating" - soaking in the gusher of God's graces. ' (Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ by Fr Richard M Heilman)

Yes, a new book will grace my life soon! I need to delve more deeply into what Fr. Heilman has to say.

As for being in adoration of the Second Person of the Trinity, the opportunity avails itself readily to us.  Christ is there in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church one enters.  He is available in every Adoration chapel, as well.  When the monstrance is placed on the altar (or even when Jesus is reposed in the tabernacle) HE is present.  He longs for us to come and "soak in everything Our Lord want to give [us]."  

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If you have never been to adoration, I encourage you to find a Church, or adoration chapel soon.  Go "waste some time with the Lord." (Fr. John Riccardo)  You will find that that "wasted" time was the best part of your day. And you will most likely find that your heart calls you back there again and again.  What more could we ask of this Lent, than to grow closer to the heart of the One who loves us best.  Go ahead--"Mary-nate".  You and Christ will be glad you did.


www.thatslife12.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Light in the Darkness

We had quite a windstorm yesterday which caused fires, downed trees, and power outages.

Since our high schooler is home sick, I decided to go to early Mass.

When I pulled up to the church it was obvious that there was no electricity on the campus.

There was a gentleman standing at the entrance to our Adoration Chapel, flashlight in hand, leading us to the tiny 16 seat chapel.  When Father looked up from his morning prayer and saw that there was a standing-room only crowd, he hesitantly decided to move the Mass in the main church with the admonitions to be careful, and that he did not want to get sued!

With the glow of cell phone flashlights leading the way, we uncharacteristically squished into the first several pews, side-by-side to begin Mass.

Father had a goose-neck lamp on the altar so he could read the prayers.

The altar server generously held a flashlight so that the lector could hold the lectionary and read without having to wrangle a light as well.

He then did the same for Father for the Gospel.

Mass progressed nicely and as it did so, the sun began to rise and shed it's light through the stained glass window making the sanctuary visible enough to make the reception of Communion easy and a lot less dangerous than it would have been in the dark.

It was a lovely way to start the day with everyones' patience and generosity with their lights showing true Christian charity.

I've sent up a prayer that the electricity will soon be restored as it is a cold day and many are without heat or a way to fix their dinners.

Thank you, Jesus, that you come to us even in the dark times of our lives.  You are always our Light in the darkness.


www.thatslife12.blogspot.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

Your God-Shaped Hole

If you do a Google search on God-shaped hole, you come up with many explanations about the origin of the term; from a quote from a book by Blaise Paschal to St. Augustine's famous "our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in you."

I have been contemplating this empty space in us that only God can fill, and I come up with my own explanation.

If you look in a full-length mirror you can see how large the space that God longs to fill is.  It is our whole being.

He longs to fill our mind with His word; Sacred Scripture.  He wants us to learn about Him and His ways so that we will follow them.

He longs for our eyes to look upon His creation both in nature and in each other and be in awe, so much so that we refuse to look upon things that are abhorrent to Him so as not to offend Him.

He wants our mouth to be full of Him; praying without ceasing, singing His praises, bringing Him to others whom we meet by a kind word or an "I'll pray for you."

He wants our ears to hear only that which is life-giving and affirming.  We don't need to be a part of gossip or trash talk.

He wants our heart to be full of love for Him and to long for heaven and union with the Beloved.

Our hands are to be His hands on earth.  We can find a thousand ways to serve Him if we only look for ways to incorporate the corporal works of mercy into each day.

Our arms are His arms for hugging a crying child or a friend in need.

Our feet are His feet.  They take us to His Church for Mass, to hospitals and nursing homes to care for those who are lonely and ill. They take us to soup kitchens were our help is needed to serve the homeless and hungry.

Our whole being cries out for God to fill us with Him so that we can be His light in the darkness of the world.

Dear Lord Jesus, fill me with You!  Let all who encounter me know that you are the center of my life. Amen.


www.thatslife12.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At Once

In the fourth chapter of St. Matthew's gospel, Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, "Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew tells us, "At once they left their nets and followed Him." (Matt 4:18-20)

Focus on the words "at once".

They did not ask why.  They did not say, "Hold on and let us finish washing our nets."  They did not ask if they should bring a lunch or if they could get a good night's sleep first.  They responded  "at once".

I, for one, struggle with "at once."

I often tell myself I'll just get this done or that accomplished and then I can do what God is asking of me.

Sometimes we are forced to do what He is asking "at once" but we do it with a bad attitude.

We have been down to two vehicles with four drivers and four schedules for going on 4 months.  At first I was patient.  We looked at some vehicles, we borrowed a friend's car for a bit, I called on my mom to help more than once.

As time went on, I started getting whinny.  It began in my head.  "Ugh, I have to jump through all these hoops to make sure I have a way to get where I need to be today.'  'I have to get up too early.'  'I have to get Max an hour early and make him put up with being in his car seat for an hour while I do my thing.'

Soon, my head whining turned to out-loud whining, "I'm so tired of this!"

My sister was on the receiving end of this complaint and she calmly said, "You're offering it all up, right?"

Embarrassed, I answered that no I was not offering it up, I was whining about it!

Just think if I had offered it up "at once."  How much more beneficial my puny suffering would have been.

What else am I holding back on?  What else is God asking of me that I am putting off doing at once?

These are questions I will be asking in the days leading up to Lent.

I think I've figured out what God wants me working on for  those 40 days, so that by Easter, I will really begin to be good at "at once."