Sunday, February 26, 2017

Amazing things before Lent...

So this is sort of cool.

The other day, I was near break down levels.  The kids were sending me paper airplanes with notes of love and apologies for acting like crazed lunatics - I didn't care.  I was over it, and needed some space - big time.

I have no idea what led me to open a certain drawer, but it in I found my deceased moms prayer book.  She kept a small photo album type thing with pictures of priests she would pray for, holy cards that people had given her, and favorite prayers to say for specific situations.  Also in this book are index cards with handwritten prayer requests.  This really is a treasure.

In tiny letters I saw my name on one card, and next to it was her prayer for me.

"Purity and Conversion." 

Wow.  What was going on in my life at the time, that my Mom's strongest desire for me was to be pure and convert?  Yikes.  I have no idea, but I am thinking her prayer worked?  Maybe? Hopefully?

Now, at 39 years old,  I can honestly say that my relationship with God is the MOST important thing to me in my life.   I can be stressed about money, stressed about time, stressed about the house looking like a disaster, but I will never be stressed about my God's love for me.   It is secure.

That doesn't mean I love him perfectly however.  I am constantly working on that.  The hardest part for me in that area is loving HIS people.  Oh boy, some of HIS people can be really hard to love.  Especially the ones living in my house.

But here is the other thing that seeing my Mom's prayer book helped me realized.  My job as a parent is ONLY to help my children know how much God loves them.  For them to be pure and constantly converted back to GOD.  Every household rule, and every standard we set for our kids, really should be to support this supreme goal.  How simple it sounds, but so difficult to live.

SO the first thing on my agenda after discovering this book was to get myself one.  (Actually my Aunt already did, I just haven't had a chance to use it much.)

The second thing I need to do, is PRAY for my children; constantly.  Like immediately and right now. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Another new favorite Saint...

Saint Damien of Molokai is one cool dude.

The movie "Mokokai" is streaming for Free on Amazon Prime right now.  Gotta love the PRIME!

The story is about a Danish missionary priest in Hawai during the late 19th century.  There is a leprosy epidemic going on at the time, and Hawai's government decides to exile anyone who even remotely seems infected to a remote island called Molokai.  Fr. Damien willingly volunteers to go live among the lepers to love them, and minister to them as they live out their fate.

Without giving the movie away, because you really do need to watch it, I fell in love (so to speak) with this new Saint in heaven.  Mostly because he was just so selfless, and gave of himself completely over to the people on this island he was helping, and he witnessed TOTAL trust in God during his life on the island.


Okay, so my first thought is that I am one of the most selfish people that has ever walked the face of the earth compared to this dude.

My second thought it I really need to step my game up, if I ever want there to be a movie made about my life.

I don't know any Leprosy colonies still around, that I could move to, and start working on my life.  But the truth is, that I don't feel God is calling me to abandon my family and move to a containment camp.

So God, how can I serve you???

I love the quote from St. Theresa of Calcutta, "The best way to change the world is to go home and love your family."

I will start there.  And Honestly with my family - it will make one hell of a Movie!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Here we go Lent...

Lent is coming.  I am sure you all know that.

But here is my question...

How will I make this LENT awesome for me?  Notice first, that I say for "me."  That's because I couldn't possibly know what will make Lent awesome for you.

There has been a rough campaign the past few years regarding the "Giving Up" things for lent.  It seems to me that people are abandoning the idea that forgoing Chocolate will bring you closer to Jesus.

I say Hog Wash.

The last time I gave up Chocolate for lent, it left me on my knees in tears, begging for mercy.  It was definitely a spiritual exercise for me on needs versus wants.  Chocolate is a definitive need for me.

Honestly though, I think that fasting from all sorts of things can bring Jesus and all his suffering to the forefront of our minds.  I mean there is nothing more humbling for me, than crying over no coffee mate in my coffee, and then remembering all the sacrifices others made for my sake.

Jesus' sacrifice of course,  strengthens my resolve towards black coffee.  But my small sacrifice also reminds me of the sacrifices Mary had to make for my sake, the sacrifices of all those wonderful Priests and Religious I have encountered in my life, and the sacrifices my own parents made for my sake.

So giving up things for Lent is still on my list of possible ways to make it awesome.

A lot of Catholics I know are also big fans of the "Adding" to their routines during lent.  They may add daily mass to their normal Sunday ritual or  saying a rosary during the day a few times a week, or even daily, is a good way to strengthen faith.   Indeed.

I have been trying to pray a rosary a day for the past year - (I have a HUGE personal intention, that I am looking forward to.)  I have to say, in addition to bringing me peace, this 15 minutes each day, seems to keep me more positive focused.  (A rosary a day keeps the demons away? - I'm sure that is probably a "thing")

I have also thought of a few unorthadox Lenten habits that could turn an ordinary 40 days into something special.

How about hand written thank you letter or I'm sorry note to a specific person that I actually SEND  every day?  (I have issues with writing but then forgetting to send thank you notes.) (You do too? No way!)

I would also like to consider reading at LEAST one biography, or auto biography of a Saint.  I have started a few of these, and they are so RICH in lessons.  But then I never get past a few chapters because I start contemplating all the richness.  SO far I am working on most of the Theresas. They are all good.  If you don't know much about any of them, another great source is the book, The Four Teresas.

Whatever I decide to do, I decided I AM going to make this lent AWESOME.  We still have a few more weeks to prepare.

Here are some resources, check them out and start thinking about how you are going to make YOUR lent AWESOME this year.  Ash Wednesday is March 1st!!!