Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jesus Heals

I took the day off from work today and went to our diocesan cathedral for a Mass for child abuse victims. Our bishop gave a wonderful homily. He has done this Mass for several years now and I find it quite moving and also very healing. 
Healing as a Catholic who has suffered much from the church's sexual abuse crisis. 
Healing of my own pain as a survivor of child sexual abuse. 
Healing from the loss of my sister who died last October from long term effects of PTSD and clinical depression (related to the child sexual abuse she suffered). 
So where did I see Jesus today?
I saw him in the bishop and in the Mass. I heard him in the prayers and the songs. I saw him in my loving husband who got up early with me and drove me to the cathedral and sat with me (we deacons' wives often sit alone, but not today.)

And I felt Jesus in the peace that came over me in the middle of Mass and has stayed with me all day. Even now. 
Still.


April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Educate yourselves about child sexual abuse. Find out what your church is doing in this area. Find out what your schools and community are doing.
Sexual abuse is in all segments of society.
And the victims are real people. 
Like my sister.
And me.
 

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We Are Witnesses

"You are witnesses of these things." Luke 24:48
We were not there in the Upper Room. We did not see Jesus' wounds for ourselves. We were not with him on the way to Emmaus. We did not see the risen Lord eating a piece of fish to prove he was not a ghost.
But we too are called to be His witnesses. We too are called to witness to the truth that Jesus is risen.
We have seen the evidence.
We have seen Jesus in the breaking of the bread. We have seen Jesus on our altars and in our tabernacles. We have seen Jesus in our Church and in scripture.
And we have seen Jesus dwelling within our own hearts.
"You are witnesses of these things."
We have heard the call.

Dear Lord, with all that is going on in our world today, we know we are called to stand with you and to witness to the evidence of your resurrection. Give us the right words, Lord. So many need to hear our stories and to hear your voice. May we be your instruments, Lord. May we be your witnesses. Amen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Deo Gratias - April 15



"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 had my Remicade treatment last week for my rheumatoid arthritis. I had a bad flare the preceding week so I guess I was due. I feel much better this week. Deo gratias!

2. I had almost a whole day to myself last weekend to read and nap and just hang out at home. A nice lazy day which I do not get too often. Deo gratias!

3. I am almost finished with a writing project. Deadline is the end of the month and I am not panicking for a change! Deo gratias!

4. I love the Starbucks ice coffee that is available in many stores now. It is excellent and I love my ice coffee! Deo gratias!

5. I had a great telephone conversation with my mother last night. It is always so nice to hear her voice. Deo gratias!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Light in the Darkness - April 13


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!

Every been stuck out of gas or afraid you would not get to a gas station in time? You will appreciate this story as much as I did!

 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

God's Everlastng Mercy

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  - John 20:27-28
What speaks to me most about Divine Mercy Sunday is the reminder of God's everlasting merciful love. The responsorial psalm says it over and over - "His mercy endures forever" ... "His love is everlasting."
I sometimes take that for granted. I speak of it and I believe it. But then when I am faced with something in my own life, I sometimes hesitate and ask that question - will God still love me after this?
Often, I am able to say, Yes! But sometimes, that doubt creeps in, and like Thomas, I want to see it for myself. I want to experience God's mercy for real.
The wonderful thing about today's gospel story of Thomas is, I do not feel so bad for those weak moments of unbelief. If it can happen to one who "sees", then doubt can happen to all of us. In fact, I think having doubt actually leads us to grow more in our faith. We ask a lot of questions. We say a lot of prayers.
After all, let's look again at Thomas. He is the first one to say - My Lord and My God!

Lord, thank you for your everlasting love and mercy. Help me to trust in it always. Help me to be like Thomas, so when I experience your presence, I do not hesitate to witness and say to all who will hear - My Lord and My God! Amen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Deo Gratias - April 8



"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. For a beautiful Holy Week, deo gratias!

2. For my husband's beautiful and powerful homily on Good Friday, deo gratias!

3. For Jesus, who loves us and makes all things new, deo gratias!

4. For all kinds of families including stepfamilies and families of origin and my parish family and the Catholic Church that has helped me to understand family in a new way, deo gratias!

5. For all kinds of friends who support each other, including blogging buddies, deo gratias!


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

my little rant

I love Mary Magdalene. I guess I have a strong devotion to her. I can so relate to her need to be with Jesus to the end. Her need to go see his tomb and her absolute fear and grief at finding it empty.
And then her joy at hearing her name called. Mary.
And she answers, Rabboni.
It is one of my favorite Gospel stories and I cannot get enough of it. Something about Mary Magdalene and her spirit and devotion that just calls out to me. And warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes.
Fr. James Martin, SJ, posted a reflection on Mary Magdalene on Facebook, using this gospel reading (John 20:11-18) and ended it saying that between the time she saw Jesus and told the disciples the good news, Mary Magdalene was the church.
How beautiful. And very moving to me.
Unfortunately, there were people who decided to take this opportunity to make the statement that women should be priests. And going on and on about it. I get so tired of that happening all the time. This was a case of a priest writing a beautiful reflection for us to meditate on and pray about. It was not the time to push our favorite cause or whatever.
I refused to let it ruin my reflection, but still, maybe it did. I was annoyed. Can we just pray and reflect on the Lord, without church politics getting in the way? Without people pushing their favorite “cause”?
Can’t we just praise and honor and thank our Lord?

I love you, Jesus. Please forgive my whining.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Awesome Story of Shirley



I couldn't help but cry when watching the story of Shirley. Elephants have long been my favorite animal, since I was very little. This story will light up your day!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

He Saw and He Believed

Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. - John 20:8
He saw and believed.
The beloved disciple was the only disciple that did not run away when Jesus was arrested. He stood at the foot of the cross and watched Jesus die.
And then, on that first Easter morning, he saw an empty tomb and believed.
One day, many years ago, I was so depressed that I could hardly get out of bed. I sat in my living room chair for most of the day, barely able to move. I felt like I was at the bottom of a dark pit.
And then I started reading the psalms.
Suddenly I realized that God was not far away, waiting for me to get my act together. God was right there in the pit with me, holding me through it. He had not left me and I knew then, that he never would. The depression lifted, right at that moment. The darkness went away. God had not abandoned me.
Do we believe when we see an empty tomb? When we see the emptiness of our days? When our world seems dark?
Do we see Jesus in that emptiness, in that darkness? Do we believe that He has not abandoned us?
The beloved disciple did not know the rest of the story. He did not know about resurrection and ascension. And yet, in that dark moment, when he thought Jesus was dead forever, he saw the empty tomb.
And believed.

Jesus, I love you. I praise you and I thank you for dying to save us. Help me to bear all things for love of you. Open my eyes so I see your presence in all things, even the dark and empty tombs of my life. Amen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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.

It is Holy Week and there is so much to be thankful for.

1. For the beautiful Masses this week, especially the Triduum, Deo gratias!

2. For Jesus and for His love and mercy, and for his promise to be with us always, Deo gratias!

3. For my faith, and for my conversion to Catholicism, Deo gratias!

4. For my family, Deo gratias!

5. And for all my blogging buddies, Deo gratias!


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.