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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.

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.


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.


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.


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!

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!


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.

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.