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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...


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 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:
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.


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!


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


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!


Saturday, September 14, 2013


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.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day of Prayer for Peace

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.


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.


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