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!


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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Our Humble King

Jesus enters Jerusalem to cheers and hosannas and waving of palms. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” - Mark 11:9
I wonder how he felt when he heard those hosannas. He knew it would all change because he knew he would have to suffer.
Cheers one day. Denial the next.
Worship one day. Rejection the next.
And it still goes on today in the hearts of all of us at one time or another. We are sinners, after all. Sooner or later we reject or deny him. Sooner or later we doubt and we question.
Especially when it is not popular to follow Jesus and His teachings.
And yet, through it all, Jesus still loves us. That is the message of the Cross.
Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. Jesus came to save us and to love us.
And Jesus came to forgive us, even when we crucify him.
Even when things get tough and we hang on our own crosses, God has not abandoned us. And He won’t.
Jesus was a humble king on that first “palm day” long ago. And he remained a humble king through all the pain and suffering.
And he is our humble king now. Today. Loving us through our days of sorrow and rejection and crosses.
We are never alone.


Lord, help us to remain ever faithful and true. Help us to forgive and love others who abandon or reject or betray us. It isn't easy. We cannot do it without you. Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Deo Gratias - March 25



"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. Hubby and I went to see Jersey Boys - a live production - and it was awesome. We had such a good time and enjoyed the show so much. Deo gratias!

2. I had a 4 day weekend and I got a lot of rest, which I desperately needed. Deo gratias!

3. Monday I felt like I was coming down with the flu, but within 24 hours I was feeling much better. The extra rest over the weekend must have helped, but I am amazed at how quickly the symptoms went away. Deo gratias!

4. I was feeling sad and missing my sister who passed away last October. Her birthday was this week. My son called me out of the blue to see how I was doing. He just lifted my spirits so much. Deo gratias!

5. I really did not plan out my Lent like I usually do. I think between the stress at work and the sadness of missing my sister, I felt like I was doing enough penance. But, I did go back to centering prayer for the first time in a long time and I am happy about that. I really felt God calling me back to that form of prayer. And I have done lectio divina too on a more regular basis. Deo gratias!

FYI - Next week is Holy Week. Probably the only blogging I will do is this Deo Gratias post as I want to give thanks to God for all He has done for us.


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Light in the Darkness - March 23


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!

This story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The parents lost 2 of their children to suicide. A local company chose them for one of their "Pay it Forward" projects

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Way of the Cross

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” – John 12:23b-24

Shortly after becoming Catholic, I attended a day of reflection at a nearby retreat center. It was a retreat for survivors of child sexual abuse.
During a break, I walked outside and noticed Stations of the Cross set up outside. I had never prayed them before but felt the need to do so. I had no idea of what to do or what to say, so I decided to read the inscription on each cross and reflect on them.
As I walked the path, I was struck by the fact that my life seemed to follow the same path. I had carried many crosses. I had fallen many times. I had died many deaths.
I was so moved and decided I needed to go through all of the Stations again. I reflected on my childhood and the heavy cross I had carried most of my life. I cried and I prayed and I thanked Jesus for the times I knew he helped me carry my cross.
And I went home, a new person, never to forget that day. 
This was the first time in my spiritual life that I had understood that, to be like Jesus, to follow Jesus, we too must carry our own crosses. We too must die to ourselves.
And I also learned that, while dying to self can be difficult and painful, it can also be healing. Transformative. Renewing.
A kind of resurrection.

Dear Lord, as we come closer to Palm Sunday and Holy Week, as we ponder your passion, death and resurrection, help us to meditate on these things. Help us to know your will for us and increase our understanding of what you have done for us. Help us to know your love for us is eternal and unchanging. Heal us, Lord. Transform our lives and our hearts so we grow closer to you. Amen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Deo Gratias - March 18



"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 a flare of my RA symptoms one day last week. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get out of bed but I did and as the day went on, I felt better and better. Deo gratias!

2. Have had some beautiful night skies to look at this past week.I love seeing the stars and the moon and feeling the breeze. Just very peaceful. Deo gratias!

3. Had a long phone conversation with my mother the other evening. It was fun and comforting at the same time. Deo gratias!

4. I have a four day weekend coming up and I cannot wait! Deo gratias!

5. One of the things we are going to do this weekend is go to see the production of the Jersey Boys! It was a Christmas present for my hubby and the day to see the show is finally (almost) here! Deo gratias!

Hope you are all having a week of blessings and gratitude!


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Monday, March 16, 2015

Light in the Darkness - March 16


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!

Another moving story. Be sure to watch the short video. A school worker puts out a fire and a grateful teacher pays it forward!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

God So Loves the World

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him." - Jn 3:17
I saw a picture online recently of a cross and a rainbow. At first glance, it almost seems strange to see them together in the same picture.
The rainbow reminds us of God's promise that He would never send a flood to destroy the earth again.
The cross reminds us of pain and suffering.
But the cross is also a reminder of another promise from God, one that we read in John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

God, thank you for your love, a love so great and so eternal that we will never reach the end of it. Help us to know your love and to trust in your mercy. Amen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Deo Gratias - March 11



"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 am thankful for our new shower head filter which is filtering our hard water. My skin and my hair know the difference already. Deo gratias!

2. I am thankful for the season of Lent. It helps me refocus on Jesus and my prayer life. Deo gratias!

3. I am thankful for the ministry of spiritual direction. It is an amazing gift. Deo gratias!

4. I am thankful for the new program I am using for scheduling extraordinary ministers of holy communion and lectors. It is really awesome! It has taken me a little while to figure it out and I still have more to learn. But it is amazing and makes my job a little easier. Deo gratias!

5. I am thankful for the pretty "candles" I have that run by battery! They flicker and look like real candles. There is no scent, however, so they won't completely take the place of my real candles (vanilla scented). They just look pretty and add to the flickering light in my living room. Deo gratias!


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Monday, March 9, 2015

Light in the Darkness - March 9


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!

I like this story from the Readers Digest. The number of strangers who helped this woman on a difficult day just warms my heart. I hope I would do the same.