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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!


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!


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.
--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!


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