Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wait and Watch the Tomb


The picture is called “Two Marys Watch the Tomb” (by James Tissot).
I first saw it online. My heart responded to it immediately. I was so moved. It is so full of meaning. A simple picture. But not so simple.
See the intensity of the women watching the tomb. It is like they are willing the tomb to open up. Pain is written all over their faces.
This waiting time is hard. They don’t really know they are waiting or what they are waiting for.
They just know they cannot leave. They cannot leave Jesus. They cannot leave their Savior. So they wait.
They wait and watch the tomb.
I was 8 months pregnant when my mother-in-law got sick and went into a coma. My husband and I sat with my father-in-law and waited. We prayed. We begged. We willed her to wake up, to open her eyes.
She waited too. She waited for my brother-on-law to fly in from another state and make it to the hospital to see her. Soon after he left her hospital room, she passed away peacefully.
I was doing a different kind of waiting as well. Waiting for new life. In a month my waiting would be over. I would greet my firstborn son with joy, as I mourned the loss of his grandmother. He would become the apple of his grandfather’s eye.
Holy waiting. The waiting for we-know-not-what. The time in-between the dying and the rising. The time in-between the sorrow and the joy. A time when we wonder if we will ever feel joyful again.
It is the time when we need to hold onto hope. We need to hold onto the belief that no matter what, God makes good out of bad. We can’t make it happen. We can’t hurry it up. We can only wait. Wait with hope.
Wait and watch the tomb.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Deo Gratias - Happy Easter


"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. The awesome-ness of the Triduum. The beautiful music, scripture, the candles on Holy Saturday, the baptisms, the Passion, Deacon hubby holding the cross on Good Friday, while people venerated the cross. So moving. And his inspiring homily at the Easter Vigil. And the new Catholics welcomed into the church! Deo gratias!
2. Easter Sunday with family and friends. A calm and happy celebration with good food, good company, Easter egg hunt for younger grandchildren. Deo gratias!
3. A 5-day weekend!! Woo hoo! Much needed and appreciated! Besides Thursday and Good Friday, I had Easter Monday off, a tradition that our pastor started years ago and much appreciated by a tired office staff. Also enjoyed a wonderful phone call with my mom on Easter Monday. Deo gratias!
4. Chocolate! While I did not exactly give up chocolate for Lent, I did my best to stick to my diet and to avoid any extravagances, like M & M's! My hubby bought me some for Easter. What a guy! Deo gratias!
5. This Lent I did not go crazy and over do my prayer schedule. I stuck to my plan and really enjoyed the new prayer times and readings that I did. With Lent over, I plan to continue with same kind of schedule and resources etc. For a while, before Lent, my prayer life seemed to be hit and miss and I was kind of all over the place, if that makes any sense. I will write more about it later but I got a lot out of my lenten prayer times. And surprised myself by not overdoing! Deo gratias!
Happy Easter!


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Light in the Darkness - Love Heals


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness! 

A heartwarming animal story.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Blessed Easter to All

My gospel reflection this week is here at CatholicMom.com.

Triduum

The Garden
Gethesmene.
I have been there. On a trip to the Holy Land I visited the garden of Gethsemane. It looked just like I had imagined it would look. Those olive trees.
I have experienced my own Gethsemane as well. Probably more than once. My own gardens of pain and fear and loss. A time of hoping against hope that someone would sit with me in the dark. Sit with me and wait with me.
And what I have learned in my gardens of suffering is that I am never alone.
Always God is with me.
Always.

The Cross
Crosses. I have carried my share. Not quite as physically painful as what Jesus suffered. Emotionally painful, yes. And the feeling of being alone.
I found God at an early age, in the middle of my Good Fridays. A young child, sexually abused for years by my father, Jesus came into my life. A gift from seemingly nowhere to a little girl who had little religious instruction.
Given the grace to survive.
And to know I do not carry my crosses alone.

The Light
Easter Vigil. Became a Catholic as an adult and my life’s journey changed dramatically.
Light overcame darkness.
Pain from my cross and my Gethsemane still there sometimes but now is offered for all victims. Now there is always hope. I know God is with me. 

Always. No matter what.
Hope.
New life. Resurrection.
Light.
Love.


Wishing you all a blessed Easter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deo Gratias - Holy Week


"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. Holy Week - my favorite week of the year. The liturgies. The reading of the Passion. The Triduum. Deo gratias!
2. Being Catholic - I am so grateful to be Catholic. I love my religion. I am so blessed and thankful that the Lord led me to His Church. Deo gratias!
3. Easter Vigil - the readings, darkness to light, the lighting of the candles, the paschal candle, the baptisms and confirmations. Christ is risen! Joy oh Joy. Deo gratias!
4. My husband - he has had some back pain for past week or so. I was so worried. I hate to see him in pain and with Holy Week coming up, how would he do all he needed to do? So he went to the doctor finally. God is good. Hubby is much better. Deo gratias!
5. The present moment - Lent is such a busy time for a parish office, but I am learning to live one moment at a time. A blessing for sure! Deo gratias!


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Monday, April 14, 2014

Light in the Darkness


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness! 

Check out this story about nursing home residents rescued and cared for the angels God sent.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sunday Snippets - April 13

This is the weekly Catholic Carnival! Be sure to visit RAnn at This, That and the Other Thing and check out some posts from other bloggers participating in Sunday Snippets this week. Why not join us and share a blog post or two from last week?

Question of the week: What is your favorite part of Holy Week?
That's easy. The Triduum. I just love going to those 3 Masses and experiencing the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus in such meaningful ways. The Easter Vigil is my favorite Mass of all year. Partly because it is an anniversary for me - I am a convert who was brought into the Church at an Easter Vigil Mass over 20 years ago. More than that, when the church goes from dark to light, I am overcome by such an awesome feeling of joy - Christ has risen!


1. Deo Gratias - Some Stuff I Just Love


2. Light in the Darkness - The Gift of Hearing


3. Jesus Wept

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Deo Gratias - Some Stuff I Just Love


"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. I just love Holy Week. And it is almost here ... deo gratias!
2. I just love writing and reading and talking about God ... deo gratias!
3. I just love my ipad, using it for reading and writing and praying and music and so much more, proving that technology can certainly be used for good ... deo gratias!
4. I just love my grandchildren. A couple of them are graduating this year. One from high school and one from college (another teacher in the family). I just love that, too ... deo gratias!
5. I just love collecting quotes ... deo gratias! Here is one on gratitude: 
A simple grateful thought toward heaven is the most complete prayer. (Gotthold Lessing)

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Light in the Darkness - The Gift of Hearing


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness! 

The precious gift of hearing - this short video tells a story of a little boy hearing his mom's voice for the first time.