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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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"This daughter of Jerusalem is lovely and beautiful as she ascends to heaven like the sun at daybreak."

 When I awoke the morning this is the cloud that greeted me.  The sun was peaking through the clouds.  How wondrous that we had clouds today on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When I think of the Assumption I think of clouds and the Blessed Virgin going to heaven among them.  I am sure it is because as a child I thought of heaven as being in the clouds.  Much religious art contains the images of clouds with the Blessed Virgin Mary and with Jesus.

As Mary is my Mother, is it not right that I think of her as a child would?  For as long as I can remember Mary has been an important part of my life.  My Mom has always encouraged me to pray to Mary.  When in trouble or struggling her words still ring in my ears, "Say a Hail Mary."

How many Hail Marys have I said in my life?  I can't even begin to imagine.  But I know this; happy or sad, in trouble or not, The Blessed Mother has been there to guide me, to admonish me and to lift me up.  She draws me closer to my Lord on a daily basis.

~Cindy

P.S. Thank you for the rainbow!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thoughts on the Confiteor

I am always humbled during the Confiteor.  The recitation reminds me of how humble I should be in the Presence of the Lord.

I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters,
(Boy am I relieved that I don't have to confess to each and everyone of you out loud.)

that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words,
(my greatest sins: thoughts and words.  Lord you know the sharpness of my tongue and all of my thoughts...)

In what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
(sins of omission...these are the ones that trip me up.  I know what is expected, but...)

through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault,
( Yes, I am admitting my fault three times and still it doesn't always seem adequate.)

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angles and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God.
( I am not only asking. I am begging, pray for me! I want the heavenly switchboard to be lit up!)

May almighty God have mercy on us,
( Please be merciful.)

forgive us our sins,
( I long for your forgiveness.)

and bring us to everlasting life.
(Everlasting life, it is the goal.)

During each and every Mass we all stand together and admit our sins.  We ask for prayer, and forgiveness. We hope for God's mercy and everlasting life.

I place my trust in you, Lord.

Cindy~

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Instant Happiness

There it was at the checkout line in Wal-Mart hanging among the cards for iTunes, AT&T, Cheese Cake Factory...Instant Happiness for only $25.00

I grabbed it thinking this is just what I need...happiness and instant no less.  Much to my chagrin it was for the Chipotle Restaurant.

So many times we want life to be easy.  Easy is good we think, but God has different plans.  He knows that we need struggle in our lives.  It seems that we grow most during the times of struggle.

When God had Moses leading the Israelites out in the desert he fed them with manna, provided water and the 10 Commandments.  And still they grumbled and whined and complained and then threw a party worshiping another god.  They were looking for Instant Happiness.

Every morning I pray the Divine Office.  The morning pray starts out:

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

Yes, Lord make haste to help me for I am not doing such a good job lately.  I am angry, tired, frustrated, stuck, hurting and longing for some happiness.

So these are my intentions for the day:

Soften my sharp tongue for it cuts deep.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Help me to be patient.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Help me to offer up my small suffering, for yours was greater by far.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Help me to realize that I am not stuck, only standing in front of you, Lord waiting.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Help me to see that happiness is in me waiting for me to open the door.
Lord, make haste to help me. 

~Cindy

Monday, August 5, 2013

Staying Insulated

"When I found your words, I devoured them;
they became my joy and the happiness of my heart,
Because I bore your name,
O Lord, God of hosts."
Jeremiah 15:16



These words touched me this morning.  I awoke hungry.  Not just for breakfast, but for the Word.  I couldn't wait to start praying the Office.  I needed to hear the voice of my Lord.

Sitting outside and praying as the sun came over the mountains I could feel not only the warmth of the sun but the warmth of the Son and it became my joy!  I was able to step away from all the worry and the list of things to do and just bask in His love.

In the desert water is life as the Lord is life to us.  As water is so important we must care for the hoses that bring it into our home.  The hose we had was sun faded and swollen and threatening to break at any time.  It had set out in the sun for a year.  Unprotected from the elements it was showing wear.  Time to replace it.  So this morning I replaced it and added a layer of insulation to protect it.
new insulated hose

Prayer is like that.  If left, we become sun faded and the hose of prayer is broken.  Just like that hose I replaced this morning my prayer life needed not a replacement as much as a focus, a renewal, and yes a little insulation.

~Cindy

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The True Vine

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more fruit."

John 15: 1-2 The Jerusalem Bible

I have been looking at our lemon tree lately.  Branches are everywhere all the way to the ground.  There is not much fruit.  I know the tree needs attention and a serious pruning, but it is hot and the work is hard, so I have been procrastinating.

This morning I awoke early and got out the pruning shears.  It took me over an hour to get that tree pruned and looking good.  It was a job well done.

I am a lot like that lemon tree.  Badly in need of a pruning.  It most likely will take more than an hour to get me looking good. Remember that I am slow learner.

My husband was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in May of 2013.  It has brought more than a few fears and dark nights.  It was the beginning of the pruning process.  As we started to go through the motions of seeking treatment and coming to terms with the diagnosis our lives stopped. Not literally, but it sure was changed.

Snip...hand the fear over to me.
Snip...don't try and take it back
Snip... Trust
Snip...Pray


Looking at my yard after the pruning there was a pile of cut branches.   Some with fruit, small, hard, and green.  Certainly not the kind of fruit that you want to pick and use.  My prayer life sometimes looks like that pile of pruned branches with small, hard, dry fruit.  But if I lift my eyes to the newly pruned tree there is  a trunk and branches reaching toward heaven., waiting to start bearing good fruit.  Fruit that is large, and soft and moist.  Fruit full of promise .
Cindy~ 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I Did Not Want To Come

When we moved to the desert, I did not want to come.  I am not a desert person. I would tell that to everyone and anyone that would listen to me.  I did not want to look at sand and beige.  I wanted green, the jungle the ocean.  But I was called to the desert.

I wasn't like John the Baptist making straight the path for the Lord. No not me.  I was questioning and quite frankly whining.  Several people tried to explain why or give me reasons.  I wasn't buying any of it.  My life was turned upside down.

Slowly the Lord began lifting the veil and gave me small glimpses of what he wanted.  It was so simple.  He wanted me.  Me, the one that had turned her back on him so many times.  He knew me well.  He knew I was a two by four learner.  The two by four that He choose was His Mother.  The weapon was the Rosary.

It started slowly the praying of the Rosary. Hurried prayers in the early morning or late at night. Repetition of the rote prayers taught so many years ago.  Slowly my heart began to be softened, my ears began to be opened, my eyes began to see.

And so it started...praying the Rosary