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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Come to Me...

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

I am weary Lord.  My heart is heavy and yet I find comfort in Your word and Your promise.

I look for Your blessings and find them in little things.  Laughing on Christmas Day with family.  Enjoying a sunrise or sunset.  Completing the tasks that are numerous before me.

I especially want to Thank You for the feeling I had yesterday as I hugged Michael's urn.  For just a moment he was back in my arms.  I wanted to hold him forever.

Lord, help me to lay my burdens down and lay in Your arms.

~Cindy

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas


Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength;
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary;
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31



It is Christmas morning and the dawn is upon us. The sounds of celebration are all around.


It is also one week since Michael passed into eternity and I am struggling Lord.  I want to be happy, but find that I am not.  I do feel the Joy of your birth and hold on to it with a vengeance.  I look for him and he is not here.  I turn to him in the night and he is not there.  I thought I heard him call me, but no...it was only an echo of my heart.

I know that you have him in your arms and that he is celebrating with all the Heavenly Hosts.  So I will try not to be too sad this Christmas.  There is reason to REJOICE!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Fourth Sunday of Advent Arrives

Sound the trumpet in Zion; the day of the Lord is near; he comes to save us, alleluia.

Open to me the gates of holiness;
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord's own gate
where just men may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered 
and you are my Savior.





Here we are days away from Christmas, all our preparation almost complete.  I finally put up a small simple tree that my sister lent me.  I only put on small white lights.  It sits in the window like a small beacon in the darkness.

It is barely four days since Michael passed into eternity.  Our preparations to tie up his earthly life are just beginning.  The preparation for my new life without his physical presence is upon me.

I feel like the night that we were crossing to the Bay Islands on Dragonheart and the seas were confused and large.  We were tossed about and felt lost, lonely and afraid.  Yet, as dawn broke even though the ocean was steel gray dolphins came to swim beside us and remind us that this night was ending and the new day was dawning full of promise and land.

Psalm 30:5 reminds me:

Weeping may last through the night, but JOY comes with the dawn!

My joy will come....I love you Michael...

~Cindy

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Called Home

Psalmody 19 December

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
come and rescue me, for you are my
refuge and my strength.



Michael's battle with pancreatic cancer ended yesterday.  He went surrounded by family praying the rosary and playing chant music from the Benedictine Nuns.   We all talked to him even though he could not answer.  He was too busy passing from this life of pain to the life of eternal joy.

We made a promise to each other that I would pray for his soul in purgatory and he would pray for mine.  I am going to hold him to that promise.  He was able to come back to the Church and be embraced by the loving arms of Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord and Saviour.

Michael would not want us to stop living.  No this was a man who loved life and lived it to the fullest.  So as we continue to prepare for Christmas I am comforted that Michael will be there to truly celebrate.

We have loved him during life. Let us not abandon him, until we have conducted him by our prayers into the house of the Lord.  St. Ambrose

~Cindy






Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gaudete Sunday of Advent


The third week of Advent.  The time when we briefly move from the purple of suffering to the Rose of Joy.

It reminds us that the time is near for the coming of Our Lord.  He comes quietly in the night as a babe in a manger.  He is not the warrior King that was hoped for by the Jewish people so long ago.  No, He comes as the Prince of Peace.

For today I am reminded that in my grieving that there is space for Joy.  There is time to play Christmas music in the background as Michael rests in his new hospital bed.  There is time to bake biscotti with Cynthia while he slumbers. 

The words of today's first reading resounded in me:

Isaiah 35:1-6,10

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.
Strengthen all weary hands,
steady all trembling knees
and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.
‘Look, your God is coming,
vengeance is coming,
the retribution of God;
he is coming to save you.’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
the ears of the deaf unsealed,
then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy
for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.
They will come to Zion shouting for joy,
everlasting joy on their faces;
joy and gladness will go with them
and sorrow and lament be ended.
 
So as I sit in my wasteland I am reminded that my God is coming!  There will be an end to sorrow and lamenting.  There will be everlasting Joy!
Let us pause in our grieving and Lamentations to lift our hearts with joy to God.  For truly He is our Hope and our Salvation.

~Cindy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not Even One Hour

Lord, I feel like the apostles when you were in the garden.  You asked them to keep watch and they fell asleep.

I wanted to sleep last night.  My head hurt, my stomach was upset and I was impatient.  Michael for his part was up and down, confused and a little miffed at me.  I didn't understand what he wanted and he didn't understand that I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep.

How small of me not to be able to keep vigil with him with joy in my heart.  Why was it difficult for me to remember that these are precious, sacred moments that we have together?

I was drawn to the concluding prayer at Midday in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Almighty God, who command us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord,
Grant in your kindness, we pray,
that no infirmity may weary us
as we long for the comforting presence
of our heavenly physician.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
-Amen

Help me Lord, to be a good caregiver.

~Cindy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Second Week of Advent Calls

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of the righteousness from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.
(Bar5:1-2)

From the Liturgy of the Hours.






I laid in bed this morning Lord and watched my husband breathe with  assistance of the oxygen tank.  The steady hum was our accompaniment all night. It's tubing was gathered up several times as we made our trek to the bathroom.  Careful not to get tangled up in our feet as we made our way from one room to the next.  A reminder that we were connected to that tank that eased his breathing and my mind.

I could not help laying my hand on his this morning and wondering when they had gotten so small and frail.  I have seen those hands do many things.  They have changed diapers, put worms on hooks, buttoned coats, smoothed a charts, written a letter, raised an anchor and steered a boat.  Those hands have held my hand for a little more than 23 years.  They have fixed cars and built things.  Now they hold a Rosary at night and seem to flutter over his chest as he sleeps.

He seems restless and anxious and I try to calm him.  We are moving forward in this season of preparation.  Calm our fears, hold us in Your Hands, keep us safe.

~Cindy

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Miracles Abound

Dawn finds me ready to welcome you, my God.



Even in the darkness of our struggle I am amazed at the miracles that You give us Lord.  Last night I saw forgiveness and love in a simple hug and the words, "I love you."

They were spoken by two people who have struggled to come to terms with each other for a long time and now as one faces then end of his earthly life You have provided a path for them to connect.

I have prayed to Your Mother and mine to help in this request and once again She has answered.  You have answered us a hundred fold.  Even in the darkness you bring light!

Thank you Lord for each and every blessing that you give us.

~Cindy

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Walking in Preparation



Oh Lord, my heart is heavy.  Yesterday was hard.  We had to admit that we were entering a new chapter in Michael's care.

We are so grateful that you continue to put in our path the people to help us with this walk of preparation.

I remember all the times that you have carried me and my troubles and made me whole.  I place my trust in you again that once again you will lift me up!

~Cindy

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent

Advent is a time of preparation.  A time to focus on the coming of the Christ Child.  A time of waiting.  I find myself in a different type of preparation.  I am preparing for the death of my husband.

Both are a time of clearing your mind and your life of distractions.  A time to focus on what is important.  There is foreshadowing in the readings and the traditions of the Advent season.  The wreath, the candles and the prayers all draw us to the cradle; the promise of the infant that will be the Redeemer of the World.

My waiting is also full of promise.  A promise of eternal life.  We keep our focus on what is important.  Telling each other that we love one another.  We remember times that are special in our life and we mourn the loss of our future.  But in the mourning is also the belief that the Redeemer of the World will be there in his justice and his mercy.  We have the promise of life eternal.

~Cindy


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Praying the Our Father



The Our Father is one prayer that seems to cross all lines of denominations.  I have been praying it a lot these days.  As I pray it I tremble when contemplating what I am truly asking for when I say:

"And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

These are powerful words.  Do I really want God to forgive me in the same manner that I forgive those that have hurt me, made me angry, trespassed against me? No.  I want him to be more forgiving, but truly I am the one that needs to be more like him.  He has forgiven me much and I am quite sure that he will forgive me much in the future.

In my hurt and my anger, justified though it may have been He led me to this quote:

A moment of patience
in a moment of anger.

Prevents a thousand
moments of regret.

Ali Ibn Abi Talib

Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane cut off the ear of one of the guards.  Jesus healed the guard.  He asked Peter to put down his sword and I am putting down mine.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lord Your Word is a Lamp to My Soul

Psalm 37

Do not fret because of the wicked;
 do not envy those who do evil:
 for they wither quickly like grass and fade like the green of the fields.
 
If you trust in the Lord and do good,

then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart’s desire.
 
Commit your life to the Lord,

trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light,
your cause like the noon-day sun.
 
Be still before the Lord and wait in patience;

do not fret at the man who prospers;
a man who makes evil plot 
to bring down the needy and the poor.
 
Calm your anger and forget your rage;

do not fret, it only leads to evil.
For those who do evil shall perish;
the patient shall inherit the land.
 
A little longer–and the wicked shall have gone.

Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land
and enjoy the fullness of peace.

~Cindy
 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

Lord, you know that I didn't sleep much last night.  You also know that every time I woke up I was angry and hurt.  I feel so betrayed.

How can a child take advantage of a dying confused parent?  How can they put their own selfish desires and wants ahead of others?

Lord, I want to throw over tables like you did with the Money Changers in the Temple.  I want to throw the tablets like Moses did when he came down from the mountain.  I want justice.  I want to scream at the unfairness of it all.  But most of all I want the anger and hurt to go away.  I don't want to drive a wedge any further in this relationship.

Help me Lord to hold my tongue in my anger.  Help me to listen to your guidance.  Give me the words I need to express myself clearly and express my disappointment in our sons behavior.  Help me to remember that my call is to provide a sacred cocoon of love for my husband as he faces his final days. Help me to not seek revenge, but to also not be a doormat.

Lord, Help Me.....

~Cindy

Friday, November 22, 2013

They Came

Lord you know how afraid I was to make the call and ask for help.  I want to be strong, but you tell me that I am only strong in my weakness.

So the call for help was made and they came to comfort and support.  To laugh and talk.  To mourn.  What a witness to your great love for us; that you show us in our own families the truth of your mercy.  You show us daily that there are many "Simons" that help us carry our cross.

So as I gather myself for another day I look to you and Your Mother for the grace to put myself second.

My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

I long to gaze upon you, Lord.
 

~Cindy

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You Send What We Need

Lord you know how hard yesterday was. It was long and difficult and full of speed bumps that disheartened us.  But it was also full of Mercies and Friendship.

I found this prayer and it summed it up.

Prayer for All Who Carry Their Cross

Oh my God, I thank you for this cross you have allowed me to carry.
Please give me the strength and faith to perservere so that I may bring glory to your name
while withstanding the burden of its weight.
Thank you for offering me a share in your suffering.  
I know that you have always been, are now, and ever will be,
at my side every step of the way.
Thank you also for every "Simon" that you have sent to help me bear this cross.
I have prayed so often that this thorn in my flesh would be removed,
but I trust that your grace is sufficient.  
Change my heart's troubled cry of,
"How long, O Lord",
into words of trust:
"However long, O Lord."
May I seek only to do your will and to unite my sufferings with your passion.
Help me to not get lost in my own self concerns, but may I find in these trials
a way to greater virtue, 
a call to prayer and a path to trust in you alone.
Permit me not to waste my pain,
but to make of these struggles a sacrificial offering for others.
Lord, when I am weary and I fall,
exhausted under the weight of this cross,
please give me the courage to press on as you did.
Lord Jesus, I embrace with love my cross,
as a share in your own.
By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory.
I abandon myself totally to your will.
Christ Jesus, I trust in you.
Amen
Pedro de la Cruz 2012

To all the "Simons" in my life.
Thank you!

~Cindy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Night

We had a hard night Lord.  Anxiety covered us like a dark cloud and we shivered in our fear.  We couldn't lay in the bed and be comforted.

We sat in the living room with the fireplace going, he in his recliner covered with his afghan and I in a chair drawn close to him.  We sat in the glow of the fire and I rubbed his back.  Fear was in the room. We had no words to say, no comfort to give, and then he asked, "Can we pray the Rosary together?"

So we sat in the night with our Rosaries in hand and prayed the ancient words together.  We offered up our fear and asked that you take it or help us carry it.  We are unable to do this alone.  Finally he said he was able to lay back in bed.

We are bound together with you, Lord.  We are nothing without you, Lord.  Help us in our fear.

~Cindy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Stone in My Heart

Lord, there is a stone in my heart.  It feels so heavy today.  It is more like the boulders that dot the landscape.

Then there is the young girl, who looked to be in her late twenties in the doctor's office.  She was almost running as she left.  The tears were streaming down her face and her mother followed behind looking stunned.  My heart went out to them and I asked you to show Your Merciful Face.  To fold them in Your Arms.  To comfort them.

I ask you to comfort us as we struggle with this cross you have given to us.  Help us Lord to keep getting up when we stumble.  Help us as we stand empty before You, with nothing more to offer.

Help me to remember that tears are prayer also.

Lord, there is a stone in my heart.

~Cindy

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sitting in the Shadow of Death

We are all sitting in the shadow of death, but of late I am more aware of just how transient our time in this world is.  We complain about our lives and bemoan perceived hurts.  We argue over the mundane and make mountains out of mole hills.

Yesterday as I sat watching blood flow into the veins of my husband who is courageously battling cancer I sat in the shadow of death and kept watch.

 The nurses encourage you to stay or leave as you desire, but I can't bring myself to leave him and do the mundane daily tasks that await me at home.  I don't know how much longer we have together and every moment is precious.  So I sit and watch the blood flow and him sleep and listen in to conversations on the other side of the curtain.  I read my Divine Office, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and pray the Rosary.  I feel a sense of peace as I call on heaven to help us.

I no longer pray for a miracle, though I would gladly take one.  I pray that we have courage and grace to accept the Will of God.  I pray that we can be a witness to others of God's great mercy.

So today as I picked up my prayers I was drawn to these parts of the Morning Prayer.

Responsory
At daybreak, be merciful to me. At daybreak, be merciful to me.
Make known to me the path that I must walk. Be merciful to me.

Luke 1:78-79
In the tender compassion of our God 
the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.  

~Cindy 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Tale of Two Rosaries

How blessed I am to have a prayer partner.  Someone that on a daily basis comes together with me across the miles to pray the rosary every morning and to close the day with me in prayer.

How blessed I am that she came with her husband to visit us.  We were ready for a visit.  A time to feel normal, to laugh and for a little while forget that we have a large cross to carry.  Their visit made it lighter.

So of course we had to look at our Rosaries.  Independently of each other we had purchased Rosaries from the same vendor in Oklahoma that hand-makes lovely stone Rosaries.  We had a good laugh about that and how great minds think alike.
Our Rosaries


We were able to talk about how God lifts us up and gives just what we need in times of trouble.  We talked of God's Grace in our lives and how he continues to weave the tapestry of our lives and expose the true heart of each of us.

We talked of the goodness of God in his continuing healing of Michael's heart and how courageous he is in the face of this cancer that is stealing him from us, but guiding him to a reward that we can only imagine.

We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we ate, we celebrated that fact God had placed us in each other's lives.

As I struggle with my own sorrow I was reminded of words by Saint Therese of Lisieux.

~ Cindy

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Feast of All Souls

November my month!  I love this month not only because it is my birth month but because of the way it starts.

First the Solemnity of all Saints and then All Souls Day.  Today we remember all who have gone before us and ask Our Lord to shine His perpetual light on them.

Just a few of the souls I especially remember today and every day.

John & Helen Bonham
George & Sarah Smith
Larry Allen Paddock
David Wayne Lawson
John Frank Bonham
James Samuel Paddock

and the Poor Souls in Purgetory

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen

~Cindy

Friday, November 1, 2013

Solemnity - All Saints Day

I love this Holy Day of Obligation.  I think about all the Saints in Heaven with God singing His praises and hopefully putting in a small good word for me.


Lately I have been feeling small and empty.  I am distracted in my prayers.  There is no comfort to be found and yet, I continue to pray.  Every saint that I have ever read about has felt empty and small and distracted.  Some for years or decades.  Yet, they continued to pray.

In case you may be wondering, I know that I am NO saint.  Not yet anyway!  I hope to be one.  I long to be one.  I pray to be one.  So I look to my go to Saints for guidance.

St Therese the Little Flower - a simple all encompassing love was her's.  She offered herself as an empty vessel to the good God.  She saw Jesus' arms as elevators to Heaven and longed to throw herself into them.

St Jude - Impossible Cases. That's me all over.  You have gotten me through some tough stuff.

St Anthony of Padua - Finder of lost articles.  You not only have found things I have lost, you helped me find me!

The Blessed Mother - My mother in Heaven.  I put my trust in your continued love in full knowledge that you will lead me to your Son.

On this Solemnity of All Saints I am reminded:

Ephesians 2:8-9:

 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 
 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Afghans, Quilts, Transfusion, and Prayer

Blessings this past week.  A stranger to me and my husband, a member of my Mom's Bible Study, crocheted an Afghan for him.  It warms him when he is chilled and is a visual reminder of the many gifts that God sends via our brothers and sisters in Christ.




We needed the blessing when we were told that he is anemic and needed a transfusion to help out his bone marrow so that he can continue his chemo therapy.  Yes, it is a normal event when getting chemo, but it still felt like a step back, a bump in the road, a small intake of breath.

Yet as I was sitting with him and the blood that was a gift of another total stranger dripped in to his arm I noticed that his cheeks were getting pink!  It has been a long time since his cheeks have been pink.  A blessing, a gift, and answered prayer.

Sometimes my prayer life is in need of a transfusion.  It is a little rote. I need a little something to put some pink in my cheeks.  Lately it has been in the readings of the Divine Office and the addition of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to my morning prayer time.

A yet again a blessing from a stranger.  I won a quilt from my church.  It was a raffle to purchase gifts for the Christmas stockings for our Troops overseas and for the Warrior and Family Support Center at Fort Sam Houston.  Currently there are over 100 children of Wounded Warriors staying there.  My gift was small.

Lord, you have given me so much this week.  Three gifts and of course the greatest gift, The Holy Eucharist. You lift me up. You let your light shine on me in the darkness.  Thank YOU!

~Cindy

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am the light of the world

Getting up in the dark to take Cynthia to work has given me a chance to watch the world wake up.  I loved getting up while living on the boat and watching the moon set and the sun rise while sitting in the cockpit and contemplating my day.

Now I sit in the desert and watch the lights twinkle in Laughin across the river.  The moon still sets and the sun still rises.

This morning as I sat waiting for Cynthia, I was reminded of a time on the boat when we were on the Inter-coastal Waterway.  It was dangerous to travel at night and we planned each day to be somewhere safe away from the traffic of the barges.  One day in Louisiana we failed to get to our anchorage before dark.  Dark, I have never seen it so dark, as it was that night on the ICW with no moon or light of any kind except the glow of our chart plotter.

Our safe anchorage was what they call a hidden anchorage.  It was only as you lined up with some trees and motored through the lily pads that it opened up to a cove that two boats could fit in.  We missed it in the total darkness and were hard aground.  Stuck in the darkness.

It is so easy to get stuck in the darkness.  We make bad decisions, we forget to pray, we think that we can do it ourselves.  We let petty slights fester into gaping wounds.  And so we sit in the darkness with danger all around us.  We forget that Jesus is the Light of the world.  We forget that He holds us in the palm of His hand and has called us by name.

So this morning I was drawn to two verses about light.

John 9:5 While I am in the world I am the light of the world.

Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Lord, help me help you be the light of the world, the dawn is breaking!

~Cindy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cataracts, Pumpkin Bread and Prayer

It finally has cooled down enough that I can bake!  Yea!  There is something about baking that makes me feel good.  I always make too much, but then there is enough to share, which is always a good thing in my book.

Today's offering is Pumpkin Bread.  Simple, smells good and satisfying.

Today is also the day my Mom had surgery on her cataracts.  She will be good as new in a couple of days.  Able to see the world with new eyes.  No more putting her nose to the newspaper to read it.

Prayer starts my day.  I find that it centers me and helps me face whatever may happen.

Besides prayer what do pumpkin bread and cataracts have to do with my spiritual journey you may ask...well;

The Eucharist which I can now receive is much like pumpkin bread. Simple, and satisfying.  There it is the little white host, unleavened, holding the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It makes me feel good and connected to the entire body of Christ.  And there is always enough to share.  Jesus made it that way.  At the Last Supper he didn't just establish the Eucharist for the 12 Apostles.  He established it to include us.  He always has enough to share, be it the Eucharist, His mercy or His love.

Cataracts cloud our vision and make it difficult to make our way in the world.  Even with glasses cataracts blur and distort our vision.  After surgery individuals may need glasses or some other aid to see the world clearly.

Prayer helps us to see the world more clearly after the cataracts of our doubt and fears are removed. It is not enough to just have our doubts and fears removed.  We must continue to pray or wear our glasses.  For me the most perfect method of prayer is the Rosary.  It focuses me and binds me to the Blessed Mother, who in turn takes my hand and places it firmly in her Son's.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


    A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of MaryMost Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.
Amen.
--Venerable Pope Pius XII

From EWTN - Consecration

Please take some time from your day to ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary to bind you to her heart and to the heart of her son, The Sacred Heart of Jesus. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Lady of the Rosary

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.  It is also the completion of my retreat.  Today is the day that I make my Consecration to Our Blessed Mother.

There has been a calm in my heart for several weeks as I prepared for this consecration.  But the last couple of days I noticed that I fell into some old patterns.  Bursts  of frustration, anger and ill temper.  At first I was confused as to what was happening.  Then it hit me.  The Devil. 

He really was not happy with how things were going.  He was losing traction in my life and like a spoiled child he was going around and stamping his feet and throwing things.  He knows me well, that one.  He knows every chink in my armour and how to open it up to do the most damage.

For my part, confession, prayer and Holy Communion.  I know that I won't be perfect from this moment on.  I do know and believe that I am a child of God and that He and I share a Mother!  He choose her and he gave her to me.  I for my part have placed everything that I am and hope to be in her care. 

She knows me better than the devil does.  She knows the good and the bad.  She knows my struggles, confusion, and hurts.  She helps me stand at the foot of the cross and embrace it with all my being.  Our hearts are united.  She has given us the perfect weapon, The Most Holy Rosary!

~Cindy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In the Waiting Room



I was feeling sad yesterday sitting in the waiting room with Michael.  They were running late with his chemo, so we sat and waited. The TV was on low and there was only one other person in the waiting room.  We were alone as we are even if the room is packed.   I was drawn to rub his back.  I am not sure if it was to comfort me or him.  Both of us, I suppose.  We sit quietly together and alone full of our own thoughts, fears and hopes.

They call us in.  We laugh with the nurses who shelter us with their smiles and good humor.  We welcome their jokes and hugs.  I love it that they always try to get Michael in his favorite chair.

Lord, help us as we pray in our own Garden of Gethsemane.   We too would gladly let this cup pass, but we accept your will.  Abandon us not, but strengthen our desire to embrace your cross as our own.  Amen

~Cindy

Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting Lost in the Busy

I was texting with my prayer partner last night.  She is feeling a little over busy and is concerned that she may be losing sight of her call.  It happens and I can relate.  In the Honeymoon phase when you are so on fire you sign up for every retreat, society and mission that you can work into your schedule.  You fill your day with commitments that are more about doing then about being.

Prayer becomes rote and there is little meaning.  Though in times of aridity it is right to continue praying.  We want to be careful not to become "whited sepulchers" more concerned about the Law than the Spirit of the Law.  We don't want to be: just seen praying.  We must pray!  But it is not important to let others always see or know that we are indeed praying.  We continually must evaluate our motivation.  It is a delicate balance.  I like to remember that Jesus often times appears to be overwhelmed by the crowds.  He takes time to go to a quiet place to pray.  We need to do that too.  Prayer is the battery charge that keeps us going and gives meaning to our lives.


So I was praying about my prayer partner this morning and I thought of Martha and Mary.  In Luke 10:38-42 we read:

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

I am a lot like Martha.  I run around and make sure that everything is as it should be and only stop when exhausted and a little upset that no one was helping me.  Though if I am honest they wouldn't do it the way I want it anyway.

I struggle to be like Mary.  I want to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus, but my mind starts to wander with all the things that I need to get done.  I am making mental lists of lists.  I find being quiet difficult!  I can hide in my busyness.  So I try and practice being quiet.  I try to listen.

So dear prayer partner if you want I am willing to change places though I think we both need to take a breath, go to a quiet place, and listen.  I believe that He is calling...

~Cindy

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Novenas are Great Spiritual Life Vitamins

My prayer partner and I have been praying Novenas for about a year.  We take turns picking the one that we pray.  I feel that the Holy Spirit definitely leads us to the novena that will help us grow the most.

I went a little off the reservation and started a novena without including her.  She will find out if she is reading this blog.  Sorry, but it felt right to do this one solo.  Found a wonderful site that emails me daily with the prayer of the day.  It is great because then I don't have to remember which day I am on.  All I have to do is check my email, pray and I am on the correct day.

So this is the info on the next novena.

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Starting on October 4th, I am joining more than 63,000 Catholics to pray the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for a special event coming up!
Pope Francis is planning a Marian Day celebration at the Vatican and at this event he plans to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
This event is on October 13th and PrayMoreNovenas.com is organizing a novena as a way for us to join in unity with the Holy Father and prepare for this event.
You can sign up for handy email reminders to get the the novena prayers here:
http://www.praymorenovenas.com/novena-immaculate-heart-mary
After you sign up, maybe you can help spread the word as well. God’s Mercy is abundant and overflowing, let’s share it!

Please consider signing up and praying the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Let's prepare our hearts for the upcoming Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

~Cindy

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Grandparents came this morning

I am still riding on the high of being able to receive Holy Communion.  It is like a cloak that has settled on me.  It makes me warm and feel safe all at the same time.

This morning as I was praying the Rosary what I at first thought was a distraction turned in to such Grace!

I was just beginning the 3rd Glorious Mystery when the thought of my grandparents drifted across my mind.  Then this ache started in my heart and spread throughout my chest and then there was a warmness and tears began to fill my eyes and then I could smell them both.  Helen and John were there with me.  I still am tearing up when I think of them.

They had such faith.  My grandpa was gone much to soon from my physical life, but he has always been a guide for me.  Someone that I turn to when in trouble.  He has always comforted me.  Grandma, what can I say?  You who quietly professed your faith.  You went to daily Mass and yes you took me with you even when I was not so excited about going.  But you just kept on with praying your Rosary, attending daily Mass and being a witness to the grace of God.

So what I thought was a distraction turn into another Tender Mercy from my Beloved!

~Cindy

Monday, September 23, 2013

Your sins are forgiven. Go and Sin no more.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

My Beloved has answered my prayers and all the prayers of my family and friends.  As of today Michael and I are home.  We have been welcomed back to the Church!

We made our confessions and received absolution.  And then the longing of my heart was answered and we received Holy Communion!
This is the Body and Blood

My heart actually physically hurts I am so happy.  I have longed for this moment for a very long time.  Now Our Blessed Mother has moved her Son to grant not only that I am in full communion with the Church, but she extended her mercy to Michael.

After 23 years of marriage we said a Rosary in thanksgiving together, both in good standing with the Church.

There really are no words to tell you how wonderful and at peace I am.  I am now carrying my Beloved in my heart.  He has removed all obstacles and made me whole.

Alleluia, Alleluia

~Cindy

Friday, September 20, 2013

Prayer, Pruning and the Blessed Mother

Wow what a morning!

I was up before the dawn to take my daughter to work.  There it was the velvet sky with the moon shining brightly and a scattering of stars to dust the sky.  I was filled with wonder and couldn't wait to be able to get home and meditate under that sky.

I was not disappointed.  The celestial dance began with the moon beginning to set and fade and the sun rising and growing lighter and lighter.  I was reminded of a quote of Pope Francis:

" Jesus is the sun and Mary is the dawn announcing his rising."

As I watched in wonder my heart felt as though it would burst with love for my Beloved.  He had created this morning just for me.  It was His Gift to this little sinner sitting in the desert.  But he was not done with His Tender Mercies.  No He had so much more in store for me.

Opening my reading for the day on my Retreat to Consecration to the Blessed Mother the words of Mother Teresa broke my heart open!

"Our Lady's role is to bring you face to face...with the love in the Heart of Jesus Crucified."

Mother Teresa goes on to remind us the Our Blessed Mother is pleading with us to "listen to Jesus' thirst."

I continued to meditate while pruning the unruly shrubs.   They aren't shaped as I would like them.  I thought well I am not shaped as Jesus would like me to be either.  A clip here and a snip there.  I stopped to look again at the moon and then I saw the tool in my hand.  A pair of rusty pruners. My prayer life is like that rusty pair of pruners.  I know what I want, but instead of maintaining them so that them are efficient and useful, I have left them to rust in the dark corner of the shed.  Forgotten.

A prayer life can be like that, rusty, not efficient and left in a dark corner, forgotten.  But then you take it out and dust it off.  You clean off the rust and oil the hinge and immediately it is more efficient.  Now it is ready to shape your life.  To make it a worthy gift to give our Lord.

Wow what a morning!

~Cindy

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Distraction


Again I am pruning.  Pruning not only the trees and shrubs, but also my prayer life.  Like the trees that I pruned earlier you could see that it helped them grow up tall and straight reaching for the sky.  I am told that if you prune the sucker branches immediately that it helps the tree put it's growing energy into growing up and not into the little sucker branches that keep it short.

Sucker branches are like distractions in my prayer life.  There I was all pruned and growing straight and reaching for the heavens.  Then like the tree I found that I had sucker branches/distractions.  Before I start the Divine Office let me check my email and my Facebook, my bloglov'n feed.  As I am praying the Rosary, my mind wanders and I am thinking about what to make for dinner, the laundry that needs to be done, etc.

Distractions fill my day and I am like the child with ADD.  I can't sit still.  I am pulled in all directions and accomplish nothing.  I am sound and fury.

I am being pulled to the Cross.  It is a where my Beloved is.  It is there that I find comfort. But then I get distracted and look away.  When I look away I am scared and uncertain.  It is only when I am able to not only stand at the Cross, but to embrace the Cross that I am whole and not distracted.

So today on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross as I was able to meditate this morning this thought came to me.

It is always the Cross.  You call us to it.  You ask us to not only stand there but to embrace it.  Our love story is the Cross!

~ Cindy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Summons

In today's Gospel we are called to leave everything and become a disciple of Christ.  As the Homily reminded me, being a Disciple of Christ is not an ala carte affair.  We must accept all his teaching.  We must leave our families and our possessions and even our own lives.  This is not an easy thing.  Jesus did not tell us it would be easy.  We are reminded that without the Cross there is no Crown!

Called to embrace our enemies.  Called to forgiveness. Called to love the unlovable.  We are called to be Christ in the world.

Because my words seem inadequate to my own ears I will borrow from John L. Bell.

The Summons

Will you come and follow me,
 If I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, 
Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown 
In you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind,
If I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare
Should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer 
In you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see,
If I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean,
And do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean 
In you and you in me?

Will you love the "you" you hide,
If I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you've found
To reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound
In you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true
When you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you
And never be the same.
In your company I'll go
Where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I'll move and live and grow
In you and you in me.

~Cindy


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day of Prayer for Peace

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9f/8b/7f/9f8b7fe110c3b70fdcb91149767195d4.jpg

My husband and I tuned into EWTN today to join the Pope and billions all over the world pray for peace.  Our intention was to pray the Rosary with the Holy Father.  We did and then we couldn't turn it off.  We stayed for the entire vigil!

Then we continued to watch and saw a wonderful piece on Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos C.Ss.R.  We were both so moved by his life.  He was a Redemptorist priest who is now called Blessed by the Catholic Church.  He had such a deep abiding prayer life!

He was born in Germany in 1819 and came to America were he was ordained in the Redemptorist Church of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland.

So humble was this Servant of God that he begged the Pope NOT to make him a Bishop.

The Blessed Mother told him the time and means of his death and yet he continued in his missionary zeal to bring Christ to those most in need.

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was a great healer while on earth and continues to intercede for those who ask.  He is buried at the National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R. Shrine in St. Mary's Assumption Church, New Orleans, Louisiana.

What an amazing day we had.  Oh, did I mention that we continued to watch and saw a show from 1957.  Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was on next.  Yes, we watched!

Thank you Lord for all your Tender Mercies.

Cindy~

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day Three of my Retreat

Wow!  It has been a busy week.  I have driven to Las Vegas twice on business and that was tiring.
A Gift for my morning

The prayer for today is:

Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary.
 Give me the grace to reject Satan and follow Christ more closely.

Yes, please give me the grace to reject Satan in all his forms.  My sharp tongue and impatience.  My quick anger.  My doubt.

How it must hurt you that I can lay down my Rosary and immediately be so angry at some small slight.  I want to offer this little things up, but I keep failing.

I again ask for your mercy and your grace.  Without them I am lost.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Private Retreat

My prayer partner and I started the 33 Days to Morning Glory private retreat today.  It is total consecration to the Blessed Mother.

It is not something that we take lightly.  We both have been thinking and praying about it for a long time.  Each of us hesitant for our own reasons.  Not that we do not love Our Blessed Mother.  We do!  We pray the Rosary everyday together.  It is the Blessed Mother that has strengthened and transformed our lives and relationship.

It is a big commitment. This format breaks it down in to days which makes it easier to meditate on.

The Book is available in local Catholic Book Stores, iTunes, and Amazon.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Petition Update

Continued prayers are needed, but the Priest just left to go submit the paperwork.  He was kind to us and took the time to make it a priority in his day.

We still must Trust in the Lord and know that we are on his time schedule not ours.  I was reminded that years are just a blink of an eye to Him.

And yet the Morning Prayer continues to run through my head....

God, come to my assistance.
-Lord, make haste to help me.

~Cindy

Petition of Frater-Soror

My Spiritual Journey has been a bumpy one to say the least.  I took myself away from the Church several years ago and during that time I married.

Of course we were not married in the Church, we were living in sin.  A little over two years ago I decided that I was being called back to the Church.  Our Lord can be persistent.  My difficulty was that my husband was not hearing the same call.

Life has changed yet again and now we both want to be in Full Communion with the Church.  Yes, he could petition of an annulment, but we do not think that we have time for that.  He has been diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer.  Currently, he is doing palliative Chemotherapy so that he can have some time.  Time to get his life in order.  Our Parish priest was most helpful in leading us in the direction that he felt would be most expeditious.  Therefore, we are petitioning for a Petition Frater-Soror.  In other words to live as Brother and Sister.

Oh, there are complications.  We live in Arizona but have chosen to go to the Parrish in Nevada.  It is only across the river a 15 minute drive. Not to worry, we live in the digital age and he could fill out the Diocesan paperwork.  He called the Arizona Diocese and got his code so that he could enter the data. Complication...the Arizona Bishop will not sign the Petition Frater-Soror unless it comes from the Parrish Priest in Arizona. Our Priest has spoken with the Arizona Priest and the Arizona Priest will meet with us today and decide if he will support our Petition.

I understand that sometimes we must deal with the business side of the Church and that it has its place.  However, I am disappointed.  I am hurting.  I am concerned for our souls.  I long with all my heart to receive the Holy Eucharist.

Lord, I have to lay this at Your feet and walk away.  Walk away in Trust that You, who can move mountains know the desires of our hearts and will send the Holy Spirit to whisper in a couple of ears.

Jesus, I Trust in You

~Cindy

Friday, August 30, 2013

Responsory



















At daybreak be merciful to me.
Make known to me the path I must walk.
At daybreak be merciful to me.

This Responsory spoke to me today.

  Lord, I am not sure of the path that you want me to take.  If I can quiet my heart and listen,  I know that You will show me.

At daybreak be merciful to me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rocks...

I have been building a prayer garden in my yard. 

Because I live in the desert it involves a lot of rock.  Big rocks, little rocks, and rocks of different colors.  I find myself looking at rocks on the side of the road and longing for them.  I really want the boulders, but my back isn't strong enough to pick them up.  I love the sunburned rocks that you see here in Arizona.  They are two toned, pale cream on one side and black on the side that the sun hits all day long.  Yes, I have stopped and taken a few specimens from the roadside.

As I was placing gravel the other day I was struck by the differences.  At first glance it all looks gray and boring then you will see one that looks polished or a red one or one that is cut open and has color inside of the boring gray.  Some are smooth and some are rough.  Some are dull and some sparkle when the sun hits them just right.

I think that we are like rocks.  So many times we get caught up in what we see on the outside and we make judgements.  I am like that, I see rough edges and make assumptions.  I don't like that part of me much, but it is who I am.

But what if we were geodes?


 On first glance they are not attractive.  Bumpy without much color lying there on the ground among the other rocks.  Then the magic happens...you cut them open to look inside and they are full of color.  They can be purple, blue, yellow, etc.  They are full quartz crystals.   They are transformed when cut open.

Our souls I think can be like geodes.  So many times they do not look like anything special to the naked eye, but in the hands of the artists they are transformed into shining crystals.  God is the artist of our souls.  It is He who cuts open our souls and transforms us from the boring gray rock that many would pass by.  He is able to see inside.  Our task is to open ourselves so that others can see what Our Lord sees.

~Cindy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged

I saw this photo on Pinterest the other day.  It has been on my mind ever since.
Confession
It was titled, "This is Confession."  It is from the time that Mel Gibson was filming the movie "The Passion."

At first my eye was drawn to the actor portraying the Christ and I was touched.  It reminded me that Christ did suffer and die for me and when I sin I pick up the whip and hurt Him yet once more.

Secondly, I noticed that Mel was wearing his Brown Scapular.  That is a good thing in my mind.

Then it happened.  I noticed that it was Mel Gibson who has been in the news for anti Semitic rants, public drunkenness, adultery, etc.  The fact that Mel was sitting there bothered me.  So I decided that I would photo shop Mel out of the picture.  Not being very skilled at that, I was not successful.

Here is that 2X4 that I sometimes need to get the message.  Here is what I share with Mel Gibson.  I too have committed the sins of public drunkenness and adultery.  There are many more sins, but these two I  share with Mel.  I also share the Brown Scapular and my need for Confession.

It is not my place to judge Mel.  His sins are between him and God.  I do not know Mel Gibson's heart nor the condition of his soul.  My place is to take care of mine.  My place is to pray for my fellow sinner.

I confess to you my brothers and sisters....

~Cindy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Miracle a Day

Psalm 102

O Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry for help reach you.
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear towards me
and answer me quickly when I call.

For my days are vanishing like smoke,
my bones burn away like a fire.
My heart is withered like grass.
I forget to eat my bread.
I cry with all my strength
and my skin clings to my bones.

I have become like a pelican in the 
wilderness,
like an owl in desolate places.
I lie awake and I moan
like some lonely bird on a roof.
All day long my foes revile me;
those who hate me use my name as a curse.

The bread I eat is ashes;
my drink is mingled with tears.
In your anger, Lord, and your fury
you have lifted me up and thrown me 
down.
My days are like a passing shadow 
and I wither away like the grass.

And then His Face shone upon me...He gave me a new grand daughter.  A baby always seems like a promise of the future to me.  Thank you Lord, for her safe delivery.

And then His Face shone upon me...He gave us good results on my husbands chemo.

And then His Face shone upon me...The primary results from the Tribunal look positive.

Thank you for your tender mercies....

Cindy~

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I am Angry

There I said it.  I said it to my sister yesterday.  What am I angry about?  I am angry that my husband is dying and there is nothing that I can do.  I am angry that he seems lost and hurt that he can't do the things he wants to do.  I am angry that I have to pick up the slack.  I am angry that we don't have the time together that we thought we had.  The anger comes and goes.  Some days it is replaced with fear, or confusion, or grief.

I remember the day that we got the diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer.  It was like being kicked in the gut.  This can't be real.  Some days even now I wake up and I think that it was all a bad dream.  But it isn't.  It is our reality.  I am not sure how to help him, so I pray.  I pray that he will have strength and peace.  I pray for myself, that God will keep my heart open to His love and that I will find meaning in this struggle. I pray to thank God for the time He has given us and continues to give to us.  I pray that each day I realize how blessed we are that we are alive and able to enjoy the day together.

Today as I was praying the Office a covey of quail came by and I remembered that He had His eye on them, so I know that He must have His eye on me.

Rachel of www.rachelwojo.com posted a prayer that spoke to me.  I will share it with you here:

a prayer for when you feel like giving up

Dear Jesus,
Sometimes the day can't pass quickly enough,
While others fly by at lighting speed.
I can't seem to keep up
With the pace of this world.
I'm tired Lord.
My heart is weary and my spirit is weak.
I'm trying my hardest
To take the next step
To keep trying
To move on.
But between me and you, Lord
I feel like giving up
Help me remember the reason I began
Help me see the purpose behind Your plan
Provide the necessary grace
Keep me set upon Your face
To find strength for that next step
To discover faith to keep trying
To pause for this moment
And then move on.
In Jesus name, Amen

~Cindy