Saturday, October 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
"Much will be required of the person with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."
O Jesus, I pray for your faithful and fervent priests; for your unfaithful and tepid priests; for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for your tempted priests; for your lonely and desolate priests; for your young priests; for your dying priests.
But above all I recommend to you the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me; the priests at whose Masses I assisted in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me; all the priests whom I am indebted in any other way. O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It is very strange, the twists and turns life takes when I participate in it. Yes, I admit, I fully participate in my life, the best that I can. A strange comment, sure, but as I look back on what has led me to where I am today, I am certain it cannot be me. I would have never in my life expected to be a blogging, etsy-arts-crafting, cd slinging, twittering catholic. Yet, here I am. And, yes "Jesus, I do trust in you."
Putting out a CD has never been on my "bucket list", but, once I read about Mother Antonia and her sister's and the lives of Mercy that they emulate - I really wanted to do something to help earn some money to send to them. The Divine Mercy message has such meaning in my life, that putting together Mercy is... became a way for me to help spread the message, and help a cause that helps others realize that mercy.
Also, I have certainly been interested in art as a hobby, first with drawing, as a release I guess. Starting in my 40's, I really just wanted something to do on my own. I found that the most meaningful pieces to me were those that were an expression of faith. In hindsight, this is not so surprising since I had really stopped "performing" any music years ago - yet am so richly engrossed in the beauty of music in the liturgy. Able to let go of my insecurities, and participate in the love of music in my life at mass. There is no place I would rather sing than with the angels during Holy Mass.
So, completing the cd, and having photography, and arts, filling my soul (and my shelves for that matter), I realized my true interests lie in whatever I can humbly do that will glorify God. This is where "Faithful Servant Arts" comes from. First, I strive to be a faith-filled, and thankful child of the Lord; a true servant (in-training, I am nowhere near the servant that Mary was, or many other saints ), and perhaps through my expression of love for the Lord - some might see Arts.
Monday, June 28, 2010
(click on title for link)
This is a beautiful quote that I came across today. It was enjoyable to read this after celebrating the ordination of 6 new Priests in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, yesterday. And, attending the first Mass of Fr. Mario Lopez at our humble parish in Dallas, GA.
I enjoyed reading this today particularly because the homily today, given by a great friend and brother Priest of Fr. Mario’s, was very touching. So many beautiful things were said, including the recommendation that Fr. Mario stay close to our Mother Mary. That she is always there. I do wish I could remember his exact words, as they were so beautiful. However, it was such a beautiful reminder that she is there for us, to intercede for us, lovingly calling each one of us to her Son. And, in a very special way, she is there for and by all of our wonderful Priests.
Let us continue to remember all of our Priests as we offer up a Rosary each week; especially Pope Benedict XVI.
Friday, April 2, 2010
However, this year, I've had an even different take on the inner-experience of Good Friday. So many years I have gone through Good Friday with dread. Yes, I know it's not supposed to be a picnic. But, never connected to the Hour of Mercy, and the actual somberness of the day. I know you are "supposed" to be somber - but, in reality, in the 20th/21st century, I didn't really feel it. I knew that Easter is coming, and let us not forget that we live in the age of the risen Christ.
So, this morning, I thought to myself - what would it have been like to love the Lord as I do now, but, in Jesus' time. To know, love, and follow his teachings but not have any idea what would happen after today. The dread of watching, not able to do anything to stop it. The absolute pain of watching a loved one die. And then, at 3pm, "it is finished..."
I would think there would be inconsolable sorrow.
I started understanding why we would not work, why we would not carry on with normal day to day activities. It has not happened very often in my life yet, but, you know the moment when you first learn that someone very close to you has died? Each time I experience moments that I can only explain by saying that time seems to stand still - and nothing else matters. As if my soul reaches out to heaven, to God; whether for comfort or understanding, or just to say goodbye. I am sure it could be explained away by "shock", or some great medical term. But, I still believe, that there is a moment of time, or timelessness that is merely for the soul.
I think that time for the soul to takeover, to adore, thank, love, and just be, is very appropriate for Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Even in my business of the day, I will try to be nothing today -
Thursday, April 1, 2010
When praying often I might meditate on the sorrowful mysteries, and think of this dear man, my God, crying with so much fervor and anxiety that he sweat drops of blood. How can I not pray at that moment, thankful and humble for our Savior's love for us.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Mercy,
you are the refuge of sinners,
the health of the sick,
and the comfort of the afflicted.
You know my wants,
my troubles, my sufferings.
By your appearance at the Grotto of Lourdes
you made it a privileged sanctuary
where your favors are given to people
streaming to it from the whole world.
Over the years countless sufferers
have obtained the cure for their infirmities -
whether of soul, mind, or body.
Therefore I come to you
with limitless confidence
to implore your motherly intercession.
Obtain, O loving Mother,
the grant of my requests.
Through gratitude for Your favors,
I will endeavor to imitate Your virtues,
that I may one day share in Your glory.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This is a week of prayer for Christian unity. It's interesting living in the south, because I don't necessarily find it difficult to talk about faith here. In fact practically everywhere I go, from the grocery or post office, to a Dr.'s office; you can wish someone a "blessed day", and they don't look crazy at you. In fact, it is not unlikely to be approached with some kind of smile, or reference to our Lord and Savior, as I am walking to my car with the man at Publix. (They take your groceries and load them for you, no charge!)
However, the other side to that coin is the misconceptions that can arise from other denominations, and the other side to that dialogue...oh, your Catholic,...? Some think we are destined for hell if we not "really" baptized in their faith. I am happy to say though, that in most cases, this does not happen, and as Christian brothers and sisters of any denomination we share a true love for Christ, and His teachings; and I praise God for that.
Rather than get into an ecumenical debate however, my thoughts today have to do with sharing a simple prayer. When recording the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, I knew that it is a devotion, or meditative prayer, known largely in the Catholic faith. One that I have found much comfort in, many times over. I did not really think of it reaching interest beyond our faith.
Then one day while praying the chaplet, I realized how "ecumenical" it really is. It is a prayer uniting everyone on the same need of God's ocean of mercy. Of course this is the case! Just as the Creed is recited in many denominations, and the Our Father is universal as well, a prayer asking for mercy for "the whole world" is completely non-exclusive:
" for the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
Now, I have shared the CD with many christian friends, catholic and protestant alike, and many people of other denominations speak of the beauty of the Chaplet. In fact, one woman from our church purchased one to share with her brother, a minister of a protestant church. He shared with her how beautiful he felt it was, and was going to share it with his church I think at a prayer service.
So, I guess, we must look at our prayers sometimes with a childlike trust in God, and what He will do with those petitions. As adults, we may think with limitations, but God has no boundaries. Christian unity is possible, we just can't put "human" limits, or water it down so that there is no definition to it either. I do pray for Christian unity, that hearts will be opened up to an understanding of faiths, so that dialogue can happen, through the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Just my own thought on ecumenism. "Mercy is...for everyone."
Friday, January 8, 2010
The other day, I had the word Grace in my thoughts. It followed me throughout my morning, and stayed with me as I was preparing for Mass. I kept thinking about how beautifully Mary was greeted in (Lk 1:28) Hail Mary, “Full of Grace”. Then, remembering the “fullness” of my humanity I thought, wow, if only…
I had my journal next to me and I wrote:
*filled with Grace
Pray like you are*
Be humble as if you are*…
I understand all too well the difference between “Mary” the Mother of God, – of course she was filled with Grace – and myself; a forty something house mom of 3 from Georgia who gets overwhelmed by the simplest task. So why was I considering the thought that we could live, love, or even pray as though we are filled with Grace? In fact, the next words, “the Lord is with thee” sheds the light on that truth, reminding us that Mary, being human, is “full of grace” (because) “the Lord is with” her. She was chosen by God to carry His Son. Ok then, I am nowhere near being “full of grace”. So, where am I? ½ way full? 1/3? 1/8?
I’m obviously not talking of the Grace that we say before we eat our meals, or a little extra time to pay off my Visa, no I’m talking of that supernatural sanctifying grace which the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes as:
The free gift of God establishing the soul in the way of justification and
holiness. Its intimate nature is beyond mere human analysis, but judging by its
effects, we are justified in regarding it as a physical adornment of the soul,
permanent in its essence, incompatible with grievous sin, recreating the soul as
a new nature competent to act supernaturally and meritoriously. It is habitual
grace regarded under one aspect - the real interior sanctification which
enriches the soul and makes it permanently holy in the sight of God.
Then it dawned on me, Grace is bestowed on each and every one of us; it is a gift right? Here is where I openly admit to a very basic non-scholarly, theological understanding. Particularly when I am discussing something that is “beyond mere human analysis”. But, I imagine perhaps to fully receive and participate in that grace, we have to acknowledge its presence.
As an example, if I am a vessel of some kind, empty, then I go to the source to add “life” to it – in this case Grace. If I choose to receive a bit and feel better knowing that I have received Grace – is that enough to “live” in that grace? How can I share that grace with others if there is “just enough”. I have caught myself thinking, “I really don’t want to continue asking for grace – “but, in truth there is an infinite amount to go around. So, today I have a thought that if I continue acknowledging, really “knowing”, that grace – then it will continue “filling up” in an ongoing basis – spilling over – flowing freely to others.
Lord, may I find the humility to acknowledge your Grace; that I might know and live in Your grace, and share it continually through love with others. Amen