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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

One must see God in everyone.
St. Catherine Laboure'



Christmas has been different this year.  I have struggled to get into the spirit and yet I have been drawn nearer to the true meaning.

My decorations were few but meaningful.  I was waiting for my family to gather and they have, but there is still a quiet longing to see Michael sitting in his recliner enjoying the festivities.  I know that I will miss him every day and especially on holidays tho' that does not make it easier.

I have waited expectantly for the season and now the day has come when the earth stands still and hopes that there will be peace on earth, good will toward men.  It starts with me.



Lord,
I stand before the manger and there You are.  An innocent baby.
Yet all our hopes are laid at your feet.
Help us to take a moment today to stand silent.
To be at peace.  To be filled with wonder.

~Cindy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Expectant Waiting

We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.
~St. Francis of Assisi

The Fourth Sunday of Advent is upon us.  We are called to expectant waiting.  We, like Mary are waiting for the birth of a child.  Not just any child, but the Word made flesh.

We still have the empty manger, yet we can't  wait to see Him lying there.  Our salvation contained in that little baby!

All the prophesy is about to be fulfilled.  That child will heal wounds, unite what has fallen apart and He will bring home those who have lost their way.  He will call us to be like little children if we hope to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

When I remember Michael's last days with us. He had become a little child.  Everything about him changed as he had total trust in God.  How I wish that I was more child like.  A child that would and could throw herself headlong into the waiting arms of her Savior.  That would abandon any thought of doing her will and only doing His.  To be obedient to what He asks of me.

As I sit between the candles of the Advent Wreath and the candles of the Menorah, I wait expectantly for the coming of my Savior.

Lord, I am waiting.
I will try to be silent.

Help me to be child like.
Help me to abandon my will and
be more obedient.

Let me open my heart to You.

~Cindy

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Year is Complete

Death is no more than falling blindly into the arms of God.
St. Maria Maravillas de Jesus

I almost can not comprehend that it has been a year today that Michael passed into eternity.  Some days it feels like mere minutes ago and some days it feels like eons have passed.

I have learned a lot about myself this past year.  I have encountered such kindness.  I have been disappointed by some and absolutely amazed by others.

This year I was drawn to purchase a Menorah.  As I researched how to correctly use it and celebrate Hanukkah I discovered that Hanukkah this year began on the day of Michael's Memorial Mass Celebration and will end on Christmas Eve.
First Night of Hanukkah


As I light the candles and pray the prayers I am comforted.  I have always found comfort in lights and  a lit candle in a window is a welcoming sign.  Hanukkah reminds us of God's miraculous love for us and His willingness to give us physical signs of His love and care for us.

When I am sad and missing Michael I know that it is more for me than for him.  I am happy that he is not suffering anymore.  More than anything I am grateful that Michael reconciled with the Church and God and was able to find peace.

I miss you Michael and am so very grateful for all my memories of  "our little life".

Lord, watch over me and those who loved Michael today.
Help us to remember the good.
Help us to remain grateful for all Your graces and comfort.

~Cindy

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rejoice, Rejoice!

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.  The same Everlasting Father, who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow.  He will either shield you from suffering, or give you unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
- St. Francis de Sales


Today is Guadete Sunday where we are called to Rejoice, to take a pause in our penitential preparation during the Advent season.  The season of Advent originated as a fast of forty days.  It was reduced in the ninth century to four weeks and by the twelfth century the fast had been replaced by simple abstinence.

The Priest wears rose vestments, we light the rose candle and we are called to rejoice!  The first reading from Isaiah reminds us the the Spirit of the Lord is upon him.  He has been anointed.  He is to bring glad tidings to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted.

The Responsorial Psalm proclaims:  My soul rejoices in my God.

The second reading from a Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians starts out, "Rejoice always."  And finally the Gospel tells of Saint John the Baptist who is: " A voice crying out in the dessert, make straight the way of the Lord."

So here I stand in awe and wonder that God has placed me in the dessert, at a Church called Saint. John the Baptist, and He is reminding me that it is a time to REJOICE!

Lord,
Your ways are not my ways.
Your ways are a mystery to me.
Your ways lift me when I am tired,
and truly You heal the brokenhearted.

Help me Lord this week especially.
Be my help and my salvation.
Help me to focus on the celebration.
Help me to be a voice crying out in the dessert!

~Cindy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Did You Wonder Where I Was?

Beware not to disturb yourself, nor to be irritated on account of the defects of others, for it would be folly, because you saw a man throw himself into a pit, to throw yourself into another.
St. Bonaventure

Yes, I am late.  It was the Second Sunday of Advent and now it is Tuesday of that week.  My head has been spinning of late.   For some unknown reason I keep having a memory of an event in the Bahamas creep into my head.

It was around this time of year and the weather had been just awful.  It was so windy that we were tucked in a cove for over a week with steady wind around 40 knots with higher gusts.  We were safe, and our wind generator was making so much energy that we had to divert power! But we were getting a little stir crazy on the boat.  Finally we decided to launch the dinghy and go ashore for a walk.

As we climbed the bluff we could hear the waves crashing on the beach.  It was incredibly loud and as we approached the top we started to get sprayed.  The waves were huge, the beach was all but obliterated by them.  In fact they were crashing on the top of the bluff.  It was a sight to behold.  As we were standing there on occasion we would get glimpses of the beach and the amount of trash was unfathomable.

We returned in a couple of days after things had calmed down to go shelling.  There among the trash of broken and twisted items lay an unbroken light bulb.  I was amazed that it had made it unscathed to lay there reflecting the sun.

I feel like I am caught up in huge waves.  Being tossed about like so much trash, deposited on the beach only to be pulled back out to sea for more tossing about in the water.  I am distracted by others behaviors and find that once again my sin of judging is front and center.

I so want to be filled with anticipation and joy at the coming of Our Lord's Nativity, but there is this uneasiness that floats over me.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  I miss Michael!  I know it will pass as will the season.  But I don't just want it to pass unnoticed or unacknowledged, I want to feel it all.  The longing, the anticipation, the sadness, and the Hope.

Lord,
Help me to be like that light bulb.
No matter how tossed about I am or how bruised and battered.
Let me rest on the beach and reflect the light of Your Son.

~Cindy

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The First Sunday of Advent


Jesus is honey in the mouth, music in the ear and a shout of joy in the heart.
-St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Preparation.  We are or should be in preparation mode.  Advent is here!

I could not help but think of Mary and how she was preparing for the birth of Our Lord.   What great Faith she had.  Unmarried, espoused to a man that could have turned his back on her, living in an occupied country, and yet she believed that God was going to take care of everything.

My faith waivers occasionally in the face of the unknown or when I am not sure of what God wants from me.  I hear Him knocking and sometimes I hesitate to answer His call.  I am fearful of what He will ask of me.  Some days I can not even be a witness in small ways.

I complain about other drivers, parishioners that are not behaving the way I think they should, the clerk at Wal-Mart, and my friends on Facebook.

So here I am in preparation mode again.  I am trying to remember the reason for the Season.  It has always been my favorite Season.  There is a hopefulness in the Season of Christmas.  There is a sense that all can be right with the world.  But this will be my second Christmas without Michael.  The first Christmas without him came so fast of the heels of his death that I was numb.  Now I am struggling with decorating.  Should I or shouldn't I?  Michael would want me to decorate and enjoy all that the Season has to offer.

I remember when he asked me if I thought he could make it to Midnight Mass and I had to tell him that I did not think he would be here for Christmas.  Yet all around me Christmas lights twinkled in the night dispelling the darkness, carols wafted in the air, and Mass was celebrated.

It is not enough for me to just sit in my pew.  No I am called to more.  I am called to be a witness.  I am called to open the door and invite Jesus into my heart.  I am called to be a light that dispels the darkness.

Lord,
I ask you to come into my heart
this Christmas Season.
Open it wide so that I may be a light in the darkness.
Open it wide so that I may be kind to those that are unkind.
Open it wide so that I may be a gentle reminder of Your Love.
Help me to have the Faith of Mary.

~Cindy

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving

The body is our cell, and the soul is a hermit who stays within the cell for praying to the Lord and meditating on Him.
    St. Francis of Assisi

I sit here the day before Thanksgiving and can not help but remember last Thanksgiving.  Last year was Michael's last earthly Thanksgiving.  We all knew it and so did he.  It was truly the best Thanksgiving that I think I have ever celebrated.

We were with family.  We had all kinds of contingency plans if Michael couldn't stay for the whole celebration.  But he surprised us all by sitting in the recliner with that sweet smile on his face drinking in everything!

This Thanksgiving marks the last of my firsts.  No more this is the first (fill in the blank) without Michael.  Now I am headed for the first anniversary of his death.  The year has moved faster and slower than I thought it would.  It has been a roller coaster.  I find myself looking forward more than looking back.  I am making plans. Plans to move on and to live my life.

I often talk to Michael and wonder what he is thinking when he sees me struggle with a volt meter setting or using the power screwdriver.  I know that I have given him some good laughs.  But as much as I miss him I KNOW that he is with God.  He is so unconcerned with the earthly mundane things that fill our days.  But I believe that Michael still cares and loves each of us.  My God would not separate us from those that we loved on earth.

So this Thanksgiving I am grateful for many things.  In fact my heart is overflowing with gratitude.

Lord,
I give you thanks for each new day,
for the love and support of family and friends.

I give you thanks for the memories.
I give you thanks for the new plans.
I give you thanks for my faith.

Lord, help me to be the person that you want me to be.
Help me to be a reflection of you to everyone I meet.

~Cindy

Monday, November 10, 2014

Time

When I was in High School my science teacher had a sign under the wall clock.  It read: TIME WILL PASS, WILL YOU?

I can not begin to tell you how many times when I was looking to see if class was over that the only thing I could see was that sign.  The phrase has stayed with me all these years.  I think of it when I am anxious for some event to happen or when I feel like time is standing still. " It is all about perspective" to quote Fr. Charlie.


Now I live in Arizona on the border of Nevada.  Nevada honors daylight savings time and we do not. So time can be confusing.  I travel twenty minutes to church but the clock shows that I either gain or lose an hour in those twenty minutes depending on which way I am traveling.  I keep a clock set to Nevada time in my house.  It makes it easier for me, except when I look at it and think that is Arizona  time.

My prayer partner lives in a different time zone all together and every year, twice a year we do the dance when the time change occurs.  We never can get it right.  We are math challenged anyway.  We have depended on our respective spouses to tell us when we should be praying in our time zones.  They have tried to explain it to us, but we only want the answer.  We do not want to see their work.  The first couple of days we are still getting organized and every time we pray early or late and apologize to each other.  By then end of the first week we are back on course and all new alarms are in working order.  Now, of course, you can use your smartphone to tell you what time it is anywhere in the world.  Not that that has helped either of us!

Sometimes I become confused about what time zone I live in.  Sometimes I become confused about which world I live in.  I forget that I am only here for a little while and that my true home is heaven.  I should not concern myself with manmade things.  My focus should be on God.  But like the time change and living on the border I do not always look at the right clock.

I spend my time being concerned about the conversations swirling around me before Mass.  My focus is gone.  I am more concerned with the speck in another's eye than the plank in mine.  I spend time in laziness and procrastination.

God tells us that we know not the hour or the day and that death will come like a thief in the night.  That is the only time we should be concerned about.  Have I used my time and talents wisely?  Will I be able to give a good accounting?

I think of how Michael and I spent our last months together.  We knew that his time was coming to an end on this earth and we were trying our hardest to make the most of it.  I believe that when I am asked to give an accounting of my time, that those months are at the top of my list of time that I am most proud.  It was not squandered.  I did not procrastinate.  I held every moment dear.

Lord,
So many times in the past I have squander time.
I have forgotten that time is a gift.
Help me to spend my time as you would have me spend it.
Help me to use my time to become the person that you want me to be.
Yes Lord,
Time will pass, 
Help me to pass also.

~Cindy

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Birthday

I was like a stone lying in the deep mire; and He that is mighty came, and in His mercy lifted me up; verily raised me aloft and placed me on the top of the wall.
St. Patrick of Ireland

Today November 2, 2014 is Michael's birthday.  It is the first birthday that we are not together to celebrate.

This means that my year of "firsts" is coming to an end.  It is so very hard to think that we are not together to celebrate.  As our birthdays are only a day apart, we celebrated usually in between.

Last year our dear friends came to help us celebrate.  Boy did we celebrate.  It was a week of eating, laughing, and more importantly acknowledging that it would be the last time we would be together on this earth.  We were honest and talked about it.  We said those things we wanted to say to each other.  As exhausted as Michael was he said to me, " I would not have missed a moment of this for the world."

I am thinking of you and missing you and a little sad that you won't be here to see me turn 60!  I will miss you giving me a hard time about being an old lady.  But I will celebrate!  I will live my life, I will find new adventures and you will always be with me.

Lord,
I ask you to lift this stone from the mire.
Help me to remember that there is still celebration ahead.
I look forward to the day that we are all together;
Celebrating in Heaven.

Happy Birthday Michael!

~Cindy

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This seat RESERVED

If we are going to a fine dining restaurant we usually need a reservation.  We buy tickets in advance for concerts, ballgames, and other events.

At church usually we do not have a reserved seat, but if your church is like my church many of us, myself included have a seat that we consider ours.  We can get very upset if we find someone in "our seat".  Father reminds us that it is only a seat and we can sit anywhere.  Easy for him to say, he has a reserved seat.

If I think about it I do have a reserved seat.  When Jesus gave up his life for me He reserved my seat. He reserved seats not for the holy perfect ones, no He reserved seats for sinners!

These reserved seats are for the:
Liars, adulterers, misfits, prostitutes, tax collectors, the criminals, the hedgers, the ones that are lost.  These reserved seats are for the ones that feel unworthy, unloved, undervalued and the ones that are afraid.

These seats are for us.  So come and take your seat next to mine and let us find Peace.

Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

St. Augustine

Lord, help me not to pass by and not wonder at the beauty of all your creation.
Help me to be a reflection on Your love and peace.
Help me to slide over so that another may sit down next to me.
Let us lift each other up.

~Cindy

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HOPE

I have always believed that without Hope we are a pretty sorry lot.  This past 10 months has had me filled with hope that everyone was right, "It will get better."

It does get better.  The pain and loss do not go away, but with HOPE you begin to see a new future.  It is similar to watching the dawn break.   The sun takes it's time teasing us about what is to come.  Some mornings are muted and some stop you in your tracks.

Because of HOPE, I am beginning to see a new future.  One that is full of promise and adventure. One that will make my heart sing once again.

Because of HOPE, I purchased a new-to-me Motor Home.  My plan is to go to the places that Michael and I had on our list.  Plus I know that I will add a few destinations that are mine and mine alone.
Fr. Charlie Blessing the RV

It was difficult to sit across that desk from the salesperson without Michael there.  He was the negotiator as I do NOT have a good poker face, especially when I want something.

But Michael is here.  I can hear him, I can see him shaking his head, and I can feel his love.  So I will do as he asked and live my life.

My HOPE will continue to push me forward, even on the days when I have doubts and feel unsure.

I see God most in the wonders of nature.  Where He shines and there is little to distract me.  I am ready Lord to Trust that You do have a plan just for me.  Something that You have created just for me.



Hope, O my soul, hope.  You know neither the day not the hour.  Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one.
St. Teresa of Avila

Lord, you know how impatient I can be,
Help me Lord to not get in a snit when I am lost or confused.
Help me Lord to see you in all things and in everyone I meet.
Help me Lord to be a clear reflection of You.
Help me Lord to never lose Hope...
~Cindy

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

In reading the Memorial in the Magnificat today they quote Saint John Paul II...

"It could be said that each mystery of the rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. 'Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.' (Ps 55:23).  To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother.  The rosary does indeed 'mark the rhythm of human life,' bringing it into harmony with the 'rhythm' of God's own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life's destiny and deepest longing.  Through the rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer."

"As though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer."  The rosary for me has always been and continues to be a lifeline for me.  It connects me with everyone who has a devotion to Our Mother, the Angels and Saints and to Our Lord.  I can not imagine a day without praying the rosary.

On this Feast Day let me be reminded that Our Lord as He was dying gave His Mother not only to His Beloved Apostle, He gave her to each of us!

Dear Mother,
Look down on your daughter.
Help me to be the person that Our Lord wishes me to be.
Give me the courage to be a true follower.
Give me a grateful heart.

~Cindy

Sunday, September 28, 2014

There is a Time for Every Season...

I can not say that my thirst has been quenched, but I have had drops of water that nourished me.


It was not my week to be lecture at daily Mass, but I was asked to stand in on Friday.  The reading was from the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-83.  The song by Pete Seeger that was made popular by the Byrds was based on this passage and has always been one of my favorites.  It was the reading that was read at Michael's Memorial Mass.

It reminded me that there is a Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven.   A time to mourn, and a time to dance.  A time to weep, and a time to laugh.

I was comforted as I read the words and reminded that I am in the right time for me.

I was comforted today as we sang that God knows when I sit and when I stand.  He knew me before I saw the sunshine when I was in my mother's womb.  And I was overwhelmed distributing the Body and Blood of Our Lord.  I felt JOY!  What an honor to be able to be His servant.

It is with total awe that I contemplate my unworthiness and the greatness of God that He would allow me these small drops of comfort to help me carry on.

Lord,
I stand still moist from the drops of Grace You have bestowed on me.
Help me to be a comfort to others that are in greater need of comfort.

Let me the smile that brightens their day,
or the kind word amidst the harshness of unkind words.

Help me to know that You know-
all my needs before I do.

~Cindy

Monday, September 22, 2014

Forgiveness

I have been thinking about forgiveness a lot lately.  Perhaps, because I was in need of forgiveness.  I knew I needed to go to Confession...but I was embarrassed about what I needed to confess.  I was trying to pray before Mass and I kept being interrupted by the prompting to...GO TO CONFESSION!

So I closed my prayer book and walked back and knocked on Father's door.  I confessed.  As I looked at his face I saw no condemnation or judgement, just Love and FORGIVENESS.  I saw Our Lord with all His Mercy being given to me.

Back in my pew I came to the realization that how could I be embarrassed to confess what God had already seen?  He had full knowledge of my sin.  He was only waiting for me to come and say that I was sorry.  Once I acknowledged my sin and asked for His forgiveness it was mine.

Often I think that we believe that God thinks like us and that His heart is like ours.  How wrong we are.  We can not even begin to comprehend the magnitude of His thoughts and His Heart, it is larger than anything that we can imagine.  That huge heart is full of Mercy...ours for the asking.

Lord,
Thank You for Your Mercy and Forgiveness.
Thank You for prompting me to remember 
that it is mine for the asking.

~Cindy

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I was Reminded...

I must admit that the trip to Texas really took the stuffing out of me.  I am having trouble getting my legs under me.  I feel empty and parched.

Parched like someone lost in the desert with no oasis in sight!

My only consolation is the Eucharist.  I find myself tearing up and part of me wants to let go and just cry myself out.  But I am afraid.  Afraid that if I start I won't be able to stop.

My prayers are rote and empty.  They are just words that I mouth and bring me no comfort.  All I have is my emptiness to offer.

I was reminded today at Mass that many Saints had fellow Saints that helped them.  They encouraged each other.  They prayed for each other.

  Today we remember Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian.  Both priests and Bishops.  Both martyrs.
They knew they were going to be martyred and they held each other up.

I am NO saint.  However, I too have people who lift me up.  My Prayer Partner, my Family, my Parrish, my Priest and my Deacon.  I do not know what I would do without them and their prayers.


Lord, I am so empty...
I fear that I will never know
Your Mercy again.
I stand before you with nothing
to give to you.
I yearn for your comfort.
I yearn for some small measure of mercy.

  
                                                                                  ~Cindy
Please remember me in your prayers.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Home

I have just returned home after being gone for almost three weeks.  It is good to be home among my own things, with my schedule, and my bed.   As I drove for my visit to Texas I had ample time to think, to reminisce and to pray.  I began my trip to Texas with a blessing from Father Charlie and I began my trip home with a blessing from Father Michael. ( Sorry Father Charlie, but his was in a lilting Irish Brogue.  That always melts my heart.)

The road was well known to me as Michael and I had traveled it many times with familiar stops along the way and some that we had talked about stopping by in the future.  I found myself placing my hand on the seat next to me where Michael's knee used to be.  Still I talked to him and pointed out familiar attractions.  I complained to him about road construction.  I cried for myself.

My Spiritual Journey is a trip.  One that is familiar in many ways with known attractions and future stops.  The Church has given me a blessing to start my journey, it was my Baptism.   The Church will also give me a blessing when I am ready to return home.  It will be in the Sacrament of the Sick.  Along the way the Church provides a road map for me in other Sacraments.  She provides Devotions, Prayers and Sacramentals as guide posts and rest areas along the way.

Like many a traveler sometimes I have taken a wrong turn and become lost and forgotten where my home truly is; for we are called to be not to be of this world.  But like a good map or GPS the Church helps me to find my way even after an unplanned detour.

So I was pleased today to be home in My Parish, with My Community walking the road with My Brothers and Sisters.

Lord, You have called us to be
not of this world.
You have asked us to leave our families and our homes
to follow You.
Thank you Lord, for the guide posts and rest areas
that You provide along the way.
Until I come HOME, 
I ask You to watch over me and keep me safe.

~Cindy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Seat at the Table

When I was growing up there was always a place at the table for extra people.  I was so confident of this that I would on occasion invite people over for dinner and not tell my Mom.  She was gracious and made sure that some how she had enough to share.

Our dinner table was where we all sat down together.  We were not allowed to answer the phone or watch television.  It was a time to share our day.  We talked to each other.  We asked to be excused from the table when we were finished eating.  It was an important part of our day growing up.

I have often wondered what it would have been like to sit at the table with Our Lord.  This past week my prayer partner helped me to experience sitting at table with Our Lord in a very different way.

Yes, I know that when I am at Mass that I am invited to the Table of Our Lord in Holy Communion.  I take advantage of that great invitation as often as possible.  It is the Eucharist that sustains me.

But last week when I was so grieving Michael's death we went to the Grotto to pray our Rosary.  She had told me that there was a new "Jesus Table", but my mind could not even imagine what it would be like.

As we walked under the live oaks on the path to the grotto she instructed me to turn right and there He was.  Jesus was sitting at an empty table with open spots for all and any who wanted to join him.  I welled up with tears and a sense of peace came over me.  I wanted to sit right next to Him.  I wanted to touch Him.



There Jesus was breaking the bread with the cup in front of Him.  He assured me that there was a seat at the table for me.  I will admit that as I approached I thought about whether to sit on His right or His left.  But that thought left as a I
chose my place and sat with My Lord.

Oh Lord,
How can I thank You for all the blessing you bestow on me?
I come to you broken and empty,
It is You that fills me.
It is You that heals me.
It is You that offers me a seat at Your Table.


~Cindy

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bereft

I saw Michael's headstone in person for the first time. Today would have been our 24th wedding anniversary.
I sat in the grass hugging that marble that had his name etched upon it. I cried until I thought my head would not stop hurting and I would never catch my breath. I rubbed it and laid my head on it and told him so many things.

I sat there on the ground for hours, ants climbing over me and dragonflies surrounded me. The Texas sun was warm and occasionally there was a breeze. All around me were the fallen.  I could not bring myself to leave. I would gather my belongings and start to stand...then my head would find itself once again upon the stone or my finger would trace his name and I could not leave.

I am not sure what to do with this pain. So I must lay it in the heart of my Lord.

Lord, I hand you my broken heart.
I hand you my pain.
You are my comfort.

~Cindy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Be Still...

I am getting my pre-trip jitters.  That includes being anxious, making endless lists, and lots of sleep interrupted nights.

Every mother in the world has asked her child to, "Be Still."  Sometimes it is with actual words and sometimes it is a hand on the child's leg and sometimes it is The Look.

All week God has been asking me to "Be Still".  He knows how I panic right before a trip.  Did I pack the right clothes, the right amount of clothes?  Do I have everything that I promised to bring everyone?  Will I be able to see everyone that I need to see?  And so it goes.  I am in full Martha mode!

And yet the message remains the same, "Be Still."

I remember while in Guatemala several of us had made a trip to some water falls for the day.  You could find a peaceful part of the river and sit on a rock in the middle and if you were STILL, you were rewarded.  Suddenly you could see all the small life that was happening right there at your feet.  I remember that a certain friend came and sat next to me.  He kept moving his feet back and forth in the water disturbing my peace.  I asked, "Can't you just be still for a moment?"

The one place that I could usually be still was at night, at the helm of our boat in the middle of the ocean.  Sometimes the sky would be ebony with pinpoints of light and you could hear the water as we moved through it and the wind tugging on our sails, pulling us ever closer to our destination.  Some nights the moon would shine and light our way and the water would shimmer all around us and there would be phosperesence in our wake.  At night with everyone sleeping below I was STILL.  I felt engulfed in God's arms.

Psalm 46:10 
“Be still, and know that I am God. 
I will be exalted among the nations, 
I will be exalted in the earth!”

The prophet Elijah in today's reading hears God in the whisper of a breeze.  Today's meditation song reminded me, "Be Not Afraid", and Jesus stilled the waters for the Apostles.  I hear God speak my own words back to me..."Can't you just be still for a moment?"

Jesus, please still 
the anxiousness of my mind.
Help me to be not afraid.
I have seen you calm the waters of the ocean,
you always brought me home to safe harbor.
I ask you to still the tumult of my mind and 
whisper to me on the breeze.

~Cindy

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My One Year Blog Anniversary!

One year ago today I began this blog.  I was complaining about being in the desert.  I was so unsure about what God wanted from me.  In this one year He has begun to lift the veil and show me His plan.  I have not always agreed with His plan, but as we all know God has a way of bringing you around to His Way.

Today in St. Paul's letter to the Romans I could see the community being read St. Paul's words.  He was so full of passion and his words moved me.  I was and am especially moved by this passage:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I wish that I could tell you that I have this confidence that St. Paul speaks of everyday, but, no I get sidetracked.  I become uncertain.  I am afraid.  Then ever so gently God speaks and calms my heart and mind.  I am reassured by His word.  Our Lord gives me His Mother for my mother.  She strengthens me daily.

Lord, I know not what you have in store for me this coming year.
I face it with full knowledge and confidence that You will be beside me.
You will be my strength and comfort.
You may test me, but You will give me the grace to endure the test.
And I shall Rejoice!

~Cindy


Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Tangle of Threads

Wow, what a week it has been.  I have been up and I have been down.  Feeling a little discombobulated, yet sure that I am on the right path.  I pick up one thread and put it down only to pick up another and then return to the original choice.

I seemed to have trouble calming my mind to listen.  Then I read from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians:

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.

The message for me is there is always hope!  If I can truly carry the body of the dying Jesus in me then I will have the life of Jesus in me!  I will be as the people in the psalm, " Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing."

Rejoicing.  It is a word and an emotion that I fear we use little these days.  It is often difficult to see in our pain and sorrow that the God that loves us is there with us.  Our struggle is to use the pain and sorrow to be drawn closer to Him.  Joy and sorrow are both gifts, yes gifts that God gives us so that we may lay our head near His Heart and listen to the sound of Him in our Souls.

I have two bowls of yarn by my chair where not only do I create, but I hear God talk to me in the silence of my crocheting.

 One bowl is full to overflowing with bits and pieces of completed works.  Too small to be of much use, but you never know.  Even when living on our boat I was hard pressed to throw away any bit of rope or twine. 

The other bowl is piled with bigger left overs.  They seem to have more potential.  They are wound neatly enticing me to use them.  Yet, more often than not I find myself reaching into the small bowl of bits and pieces to mark my place, to consider a color combination.

I think that God is similar to those two bowls.  He helps us wind up the ends of threads, but He often picks from that small bowl of tiny bits to help us weave our lives into the creation that He wants us to be.

Lord,
Help me to remember that even when perplexed,
I will not be driven to despair;
When persecuted,
I will not be abandoned;
If struck down,
I will not be destroyed;
Lord, I am only an empty vessel,
waiting to be filled...

~Cindy

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Duck! There's a Plank in My Eye!!

There were so many distractions at Mass this morning.  Stage whisper conversations that were about gambling, winning and losing, health, grandchildren, and some that were just like a hive a of bees buzzing around my head.

I was trying to keep focused on my prayers and use the distractions as an offering up to Our Lord.  I have noticed though that conversations that I am not involved in are Distractions!  Conversations that I am involved in are Important!

So there I was in my pew trying to keep my head down and my thoughts focused and then...Father read the gospel and gave his sermon.  Yikes! can he read minds?

The parables of the wheat field that the enemy sowed weeds in and the servants that wanted to pull the weeds out, but no the owner said leave them.  The owner said, "I will have the harvesters sort it out in the end and they will gather the weeds and burn them and we will have wheat for bread."

Father reminded me that I am not the Judge.  I am the seed.  My job is to grow into the finest wheat that I can be...God's job is to judge at the end.  He has that covered.  God does NOT need me to judge and think that I know which is wheat and which is weed. I need to stop trying to do God's job.  I might as well, I am not very good at it.




In case you are wondering Father was not just talking to me, I am sure that he was addressing the entire congregation.  Though I think he did try and catch my eye!

Lord, here I am
a small bit of wheat blowing in the wind.
I go this way and that,
concerned about things that you have covered.

Help me to see that I am the seed.
A seed that has one job.
A seed that is trying to grow into the finest wheat.

~Cindy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Reading

Friday 18 July will be seven months since Michael passed into Eternal Life!  I really can not believe it.  A part of my mind refuses to believe that he is gone, but my heart knows the truth.

Today I was asked to fill in for the Lecture this Friday.  So I sat down this morning to review the readings.  Here is what I read:

When Hezekiah was mortally ill, 
the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him:
"Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order, 
for you are about to die; you shall not recover."
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD:
Isaiah 38:1-2

The reading goes on and after praying the LORD grants Hezekiah fifteen more years to his life.  We are continually reminded that we do not know the hour when death will come for us.  It will come like a thief in the night.


How blessed we were that we had time to put our house in order before Michael died.  He worked hard at putting his house in order.  Not only his material house and matters of this world,  he worked doubly hard at putting his spiritual house in order.

Not all of us will have time to put our houses in order.  No, we must daily prepare to depart from this world and enter the next.  We must clean the cobwebs from our prayer books, dust off our sacramentals and attend the Holy Mass in full communion with Our Lord.  We must avail ourselves of the Sacraments, so that we may attain all the grace the God is ready to bestow on us for the asking.

Lord,
Only you know the hour of my death.
My death in this life will only be a door that I  pass thru to enter Eternal Life with You.
Help me to put my house in order daily.
Help me to seek You out in the Sacraments.
Help me to offer myself up with You at Holy Mass.
May my Communions be a worthy offering to You.

~Cindy

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I was a Happy Sinner!

There was a time when I was happy in my sinfulness.  I rolled around in it like pigs roll in mud.  Not only was I happy to be a sinner, I encouraged others to get down in that mud and roll around with me.

Yes, in the back of my mind I knew I needed to rise out of the pigpen and flee back to my Lord.  I thought that I had plenty of time.  I WAS WRONG!

Yes, even at the last second you can with sincerity ask for forgiveness and it will be granted to you.  He pays the workers in the vineyard no matter the time, they came to labor.  He rejoices for the prodigal sons and daughters and He rejoices for the lost sheep that is returned to the flock!

That is why I am going to lure her
and lead her out into the desert
and speak to her heart.

I am going to give her back her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope.
There she will respond to me as she did when she was young,
as she did when she came out of the land of Egypt.
Hosea 2: 16-17

I needed to be lured to the desert.  God knew that I needed to be away and have time for silence so that I could hear Him.  He knows how easily I am distracted.  He knows how loud it can be in my head.  He calms me in the silence and there He tells me of his love.

Lord, I would walk in the desert all the days of my life,
If it is there that You want me.
You will be my water and my life.
It is Your voice that sings to me in the morning and the night.
Like a lover you call to me in the silence of my heart.

~Cindy

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I, Paul...

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 
 2 Timothy 6-8

Here I am Lord at the six month mark of Michael's passing.  It has hit me hard.  Half a year is gone and I feel like I am standing on the side of the road without directions.  The road ahead seems endless and oh so lonely.  And yet, I feel such great comfort when I meditate on You.

I am really not alone.  I have You in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  I have You in the Sacrament of Confession.  You are the air that I breath, the warmth of the sun on my face.  You are with me when I gather with my small community and we pray together.

Michael was like a libation being poured out.  I look at pictures in chronological order and I can see him being poured out.  He knew that the time of his departure was at hand.  He competed so well and with such heart.  He finished the race and he kept the faith.

Lord,
You alone are my cup and my portion.
You alone are my companion.
You lead me by the still waters
You quiet the beating of my heart.

I am nothing but the clay sitting on the wheel,
I am nothing but the yarn in the weaver's hand,
I am the empty vessel waiting for You to fill me.
Amen

~Cindy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  This is one of only three Nativities that the Church celebrates.  Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother are the other two.


It is not lost on me that I was called to the desert and to be a part of the community of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

John was the precursor to Our Lord.  He lived in the desert and lived on wild honey and locusts.

It was John that leapt in his mother's womb at the sound of Mary's greeting. It was John the baptized Our Lord.

In the Responsorial Psalm we hear:

Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.



Reading that response I was reminded that I am re-weaving my life.   But it was Our God that weaved me in my mother's womb!

In the Gospel according to Luke we hear these words:

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, "No, He will be called John."  But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name."  So they made signs asking his father what he wished him to be called.  He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed.

Not that I think that I am as great as John the Baptist, but I too was not named for a relative.  St. John the Baptist and I have many things in common.  He cried out in the desert and God heard him.  I can only hope that Our Lord still has His ear turned to the desert.

Lord,
I am sitting on the banks of the Colorado River.  The River Jordan is far away.  I too am sitting in the desert as John did.  When he heard Your call he answered with his whole heart and gave his life.  Help me to hear Your call for me.  Help me to have the strength to give you my whole heart and my life for You if that is Your Will.

O Lord, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
You understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
Psalm 139

Sunday, June 22, 2014

To Live in Love...

"To live in love is to sail forever, spreading seeds of joy and peace in hearts."

This quote of St. Therese of Lisieux sounds so easy.  It is part of her Little Way.  There was and is nothing simple about her Little Way.  It is total and complete abandonment of her self to Christ Jesus.

She focused on the little things that bothered her or caused vexation.  The little day to day things that moved her away from the one she loved.  She offered up the clicking teeth of the nun behind her as they were in Chapel.  She was sweet to the nun that irritated her.  She was in fact so good and sweet that the nun in question once said to Mother Superior, "I am not sure what I have none to make Therese love me so much."

I am not sure what I have done to make God love me so much!  I am such a great sinner.  I struggle daily with the little things that irritate me and cause vexation.  I roll my eyes in church at the talkers, the laughers during the Rosary, etc.  All the while forgetting that they are lonely and look forward to Mass as a time to talk to someone else.  I do not know their story or sorrows or needs or concerns.

Instead of feeling superior I should be humbled that I am more than willing to overlook my faults and focus on the faults of others.  I am surprised that I do not knock people unconscious with the plank that is sticking out of my forehead!

Every day God allows me to use my free will to choose to live in love or to be petty, angry, jealous, or bitter or unloving.  Every day God gives me a chance to be kind, forgiving, loving and to sail forever spreading seeds of joy and peace in hearts.

It is not my job to cure the entire worlds ills.  It is my duty to attempt to live in love!

Lord,
I want to sail forever!
I want to live in love,
I want to spread seeds of joy and peace in hearts.
I am but an empty vessel lifted up to you to fill and use as You need.

~Cindy

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven....

Hello Father,

It is me, Cindy.  I am struggling a little today Father.  You see tomorrow is Father's Day and tho I still have my earthly father, for which I am so grateful, my children do not.

Not one of my children. Not my birth children.  Not my adopted children. Not my step-children.  They have all lost their earthly fathers and I am sad for them.

I know that they have you, their heavenly Father, but they are not as aware as they could be and so they do not have the comfort of your Love.

It is through my fault, my most grievous fault that they did not fully come to know you.  I was busy with my life and I forgot to tell them about you.  So now I pray that they come to know you.  That they come to know your love for them that is everlasting.  That somehow I can be a beacon of light that reflects your love so that they may find their way home.

Yes, Father I have a request.  I ask for the repose of the souls of their fathers: David Wayne Lawson, Larry Allen Paddock, & Michael Edward Miller.

Love,

Cindy

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Week Full of Mercy

I am always a little sad to see the month of May end.  I have fond memories of being a young girl in Parochial school.  I was so thrilled when I was chosen to place the crown on Mary's statue in the front of the classroom.  Now I crown my own statue in my own home.  But May is gone and June is here.



June is the month of devotion to the Sacred Heart.  I am blessed to have the Sacred Heart statue that belonged to my grandparents.  It stands by the front door and greets everyone who enters.

Even though we have moved devotional months it does not mean that it is time to put away our Rosaries.  My devotion to the Rosary only grows with each passing day.  It is my comfort, my weapon, my words when I have none.  It is the rope of salvation between Heaven and myself.

Saint Padre Pio when asked if there was a shortcut to Heaven, replied that it was through the Virgin Mary and the Rosary.  I like shortcuts!

















The week full of Mercy or some would say blessings. It seemed that the Holy Spirit was manifest on my lips and on the lips of many around me.  We were given the chance to witness to Eternal Life and the promise of redemption to a new widow. We continue to see the bond of Community grow in our Bible Study Group.

But for me the biggest Mercy/Blessing were the messages that I kept receiving all during the week.  One night when not only did night fall but my spirit was falling as well,  a spark of light in the darkness lifted me. It came not from the Bible but from a television program, Call the Midwife.  In the episode I was half paying attention to suddenly I was drawn to pay attention:  Sister Monica Jones was saying to one of the nurses who's mother had just passed, "Come to Chapel.  I often find succor there.  In Chapel the words are all aligned as in a rope for us to cling to."  That is how I feel about the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary.  When my words are muddled and unintelligible or I am so confused, it is there that the words are all aligned!

And today at Mass Father Joseph Thieu Huu Nguyen of the Diocese of Hai Phong in Viet Nam came to speak on behalf of their community.  He reminded us that during the reign of communism in North Viet Nam the people only had two Masses a YEAR!  I am so blessed to be able to go daily.

But again it was these words that he shared, "  If you go alone, you go fast; If you go together you go far." that made me think.

So Lord, here I am,
Not extremely patient and always wanting to go alone.  Yet, you have called me to go with others.  Together we will go far!

~Cindy

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Our Lady Undoer of Knots

It was not until Pope Francis was elected Pope that I even heard of this devotion.  In fact my prayer partner brought it to my attention.

I understand the imagery of Our Blessed Mother undoing the knots in my life.  She is patient and works steadily to undo all those pesky knots that keep me from her Son.  The ones that keep me up at night and worry me throughout the day.

I just finished the Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots and one line out of all the meditations over the last nine days has been with me.

"The Holy Spirit was manifest on her lips."

 What a wonderful image that Our Mother never spoke in anger, or gossiped, or judged.  When she spoke she allowed the Holy Spirit to always speak!

How I wish that I was more willing to let the Holy Spirit speak through me always.  To quiet my own words and let His words flow from my mouth like milk and honey.  That my words would be an encouragement to others.  My words the words of comfort.  That always the Holy Spirit was manifest on my lips.

Dear Mother,

I come to you as your child and ask that you assist me now and always to quiet my words and let the Holy Spirit be manifest on my lips.

O Immaculate Lady - Undoer of Knots, Pray for us!
Amen

~Cindy

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Re-weaving my LIfe.

Since Michael's passing I have felt like someone pulled a loose thread on a tapestry or a loose piece of yarn from some crocheted afghan and I began to unravel. I was a mess.  But slowly I began to rewind my mess and put it in a neat ball so that I could once again begin to weave my life.

 For awhile I was content to lay on the floor in in puddle of emotion and have no purpose.  I cried all the time and my compass no longer pointed North.  It just spun around looking for North or a destination.


Little did I know that I was in my destination.  Though still on a journey, I am where I am suppose to be.  I cry less these days, tho in a moment I can feel the tears well-up when I think of Michael.  But I smile now more when I think of him and remember our time together.

I survived my first Mother's Day without him. I still have the four month anniversary of his death on the 18th of May and the 23rd of May will be the one year anniversary of his diagnosis.

I can't believe that the days are flying by so fast and each one moves me farther away.  Time might move me farther away, but it can not move him from my heart and mind.  He is with me.  He will always be with me.

Our Lord promised that He would be with us always.  He promised us Eternal Life.  In these past months I have felt the Lord moving in my life in ways I never imagined.  He has showered me with blessings.

Lord,
I thank you for your many and wondrous blessings that you shower on me daily.  I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and life eternal with you. I know that I have much to do.  Let us pick up our thread and begin to re-weave my life.

~Cindy

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Blessed Mother and Mother's Day

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God; pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

The Madonna of the Streets
I have prayed more Hail Mary's in my life than probably any other prayer.  It is my "go to" prayer.  My Mom always reminded me to say one if I was in trouble, didn't know what to do, needed an answer, and in thanksgiving.  My grandmother was also a great believer in the power of the Hail Mary.  The saints that are closest in my heart are Marian Saints.

Mary reminds us to be children and come to her with our wants, desires, troubles, triumphs and cares.  She is gentle, but reminds us that she can only hold back the arm of her son for so long.  She asks us to pray the Rosary.

The Rosary, such a simple repetitive prayer that allows meditation and yet; so powerful.  The weapon against Satan.  The story of Our Lord's life all wrapped up in those simple little beads.  A weapon that is as effective in the hands of a child or adult.

Mary showed us how to be good mothers to our children.  To love them, to let them go their own way even though it is hard to let go.  How hard it must have been to watch her son vilified and put to death.  But oh how glorious to know that He rose from the dead!

As Mother's Day approaches let us turn our hearts and minds to Our Mother, Mary and ask her to watch over our own mothers.

Dearest Mother,
I ask you to watch over my mother.  Keep her safe and under the protection of your mantle.   Be her constant companion as she moves through her day.  Be the watchful mother as she sleeps and be her guide at the hour of her death.

~Cindy

Saturday, April 26, 2014

How is it that They did NOT recognize Jesus

Here we are in the Octave of Easter.  The Gospel is full of sightings of Jesus after He has been raised from the dead.  The thread is similar in all of the sightings, They do NOT recognize Jesus!  They walk with Him, He calls to them and only when he breaks the bread and offers it to them do they know... IT IS THE LORD!

That has always puzzled me that here are the very people that walked with Him, ate with Him, shared His journey and yet, they do NOT recognize Him!


How many times does Our Lord appear to us in our daily life and we do NOT recognize Him?  More times than I like to think about.  Did I not see a glimpse of Him in the frustrated checker at Wal-Mart?  Was that not Him in the irritating individual at church?  Did I not see Him in one that I find it hard to forgive?

We are called not only to reflect Christ in our lives, but to recognize Him in others.  To recognize Him especially in those that at first blush seem the farthest from Christ. Christ is easy to see in those that think like us and act like us.  But I believe that we are called to find the Christ in those that He appears to be most hidden.

Lord,
Help me today to see You.  To see you in those that irritate me.  In those that I find it hard to forgive.  In those that do not act in the way I think they should.

~Cindy

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Peeps and the Risen Lord

Alleluia, Alleluia The Lord has Risen!!!

This Easter is a wonderful reminder for me that Our Lord and Savior has Risen!  Not only has He Risen, but He has promised that all who believe in Him will Rise again.  This is my anchor.  This is my salvation.

If you know Michael, you know that he loved Peeps. Me I just can't get excited about them.  But oh how he loved them.  He even joined the Peeps Club one year. It did not matter to him that the club was for children.  When it came to Peeps, Michael was a child.

The only other person that I know that loves Peeps as much is Father Charlie.  He is over the moon about them.  Of course many in the Parish give him Peeps every year.  Father gives a total on Easter Sunday.  He also informed us that it takes seven minutes of good walking to work off one Peep!  Father will be walking for awhile.

My contribution this year was a Peep Topiary that I found on, where else, but Pinterest.  As I was constructing it last evening, I thought about Michael and how very much he would have loved his own Peep Topiary.  I must admit that his Guardian Angel showed me the idea shortly after Michael passed.



Father Charlie was thrilled and even mentioned it in his Homily!

So in my heart Michael is looking down on all of us and he is with the Risen Lord! He has no need of Peeps anymore.  He has reached the goal.

Lord,

Accept my humble prayer of gratitude.   Gratitude for your Mercy.   Gratitude for my Family and Friends.  Gratitude for my Prayer Partner, Michael's Guardian Angel, and all the people who remember him in their prayers.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Our Lord and Savior is Risen, Indeed!!!!

~Cindy

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Thoughts

Lord you know the heaviness of my heart today.  It is the four month anniversary of Michael's death.  I know that he is with you and now he understands all and glorifies you constantly.  But I miss him!  I know that he is at peace and all suffering and doubt is gone.  But I miss him!

Today is the anniversary of your death and I am sure that the Apostles, the Blessed Mother and all the disciples sat at the end of this day and missed you.  They could not understand that you would be risen in three days.  So they too were saddened and missing you.  Wondering what would happen to them.  Fearful of the future.

I believe that You ARE the Risen Lord.  I believe that You ARE the Resurrection and the Life  of the world to come.  I believe that You Love your servant, Michael, and that he has been born into eternal life with You.

Lord, 
Help me to find comfort as I stand at the foot of the cross, unsure of my future, but trusting in you.  Abandoning my will to Yours, and being obedient to Your Will.  Help me to remember in my sadness that there is Joy!

~Cindy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hosanna in the Highest! Palm Sunday 2014

I woke up this morning and immediately started to wonder what it must have been like for Our Lord to know that this would be the final week of His earthly life.  He knew what was going to be asked of Him and He also knew that the road to get there would not be easy.  But He did it!  He did it because it was the Father's Will that He should be the Ultimate Sacrifice.




This is the week of ancient pageantry in the Catholic Church.  We have palms, we wash feet, we remember the crucifixion, and we wait on Holy Saturday so that we may celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Morning.

I wonder where I would have been standing on that dusty road to Jerusalem.  Would I be singing hosanna that day and asking for Barabbas the next.  Would I like Peter deny Him even though I had seen all His miracles?  I do not know.

I hope that I would have been with Mary, Mary, and John standing at the foot of the cross.
 This is also the week leading up to the four month anniversary of Michael's passing.  Good Friday will be the actual day.  It is my hope and prayer the Michael is in Heaven and that he will be celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord with Our Lord.  Now that is a wonderful picture.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Want a Plan

God, I want a plan.  I need a plan.  I am the girl who always knows what her next step is and where I am headed and what I want to do.  It feels wrong to just be sitting here in limbo yet again.

Then gently and slowly He pulls the scales from my eyes and says with such love, " Oh my daughter, I have a plan and it is unfolding just as it needs to.  Do not be in a hurry to move on, for there are lessons here for you to learn.  Haven't I given you fellowship?  Haven't I comforted you?  Haven't I given you time to pray and to ponder my love and mercy? Haven't I opened my Sacred Heart and let you lay there?  Haven't I come to you in the Holy Eucharist?  Haven't I sent my own mother to be your mother and comforter?  What more can you want?"

So this is the plan.  I am doing it.  I am moving forward.  I have everything that I need and more.

~Cindy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Me and The Poor Souls in Purgatory

The Poor Souls being released during Mass
The Poor Souls in Purgatory and I have a long relationship.  One of the favorite phrases of the Nuns and Sisters that taught me over the years was, "Offer it up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory."  As a child I really didn't think too much about those Poor Souls.  I thought like a child and did not understand just how much those Poor Souls needed my prayers.

As I matured I would often say to others, "Offer it up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory."  I said it more out of habit and less about an understanding of what the simple phrase truly meant.

Saint Faustina writes in her diary about her visit to Purgatory.
[The next night] I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him.  In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls.  They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves, only we can come to their aid.  The flames which were burning them did not touch me at all.  My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant.  I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was.  They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God.  I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in Purgatory.  The souls call her, "The Star of the Sea."  She brings them refreshment.  I wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. [I heard an interior voice] which said, My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it.  Since that time I am in closer communion with the suffering souls. Notebook 1- 20

Saint Gertrude the Great also had an affinity for the Poor Souls.  She wrote many beautiful prayers for them.  Our Lord told her that He would release as many souls as she asked for during Holy Communion.  He released more than she dared ask for.  I pray them daily.

It really became clear to me as Michael was dying and we talked about life, death, eternal life, Heaven, Hell and of course Purgatory; that Michael would be spending time in Purgatory.  As Father Kelly told me once, "Cindy, it is not if we are going to Purgatory, it is a matter of how long we will be there."

As the Poor Souls can not pray for themselves, only for us, Michael and I made a promise to each other.  We would pray for each other that our time in Purgatory would be short.

Please consider the Poor Souls for there are many that have no one to pray for them.  They are destitute and desperately in need of prayer.

Consider this:  During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass all three Churches come together; The Church Triumphant (the Saints), The Church Militant (us), and The Church Suffering (The Poor Souls).

From Saint Ambrose comes this prayers: "We have loved him dearly during life.  Let us not abandon him until we have conducted him by our prayers into the house of the Lord."


Holy Mary, our Lady of Deliverance, pray for us and for the holy souls in purgatory.  Amen

~Cindy