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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good Morning

Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
~Psalm 40 8a & 9a

The sunrise evoked two immediate thoughts this morning. First, thank you God for the incredible beauty you bestow and secondly, Good Morning Michael.

Here I am, one year and one month after Michael's passing.  I can't believe it.  Life is moving on and the sun keeps rising and setting and I am making plans.  In fact, I am going to Mexico.  There is serendipity to this trip.  Mexico was the first destination that Michael and I traveled to as a couple.  I am going to the same town but with different people.  Though I know that Michael will be with me as he is in every journey that I embark on.

Samuel was called in the middle of the night by the Lord to begin his journey.  The Gospel today reminds us that Jesus walked and John saw Him and announced, "Behold, the Lamb of God."  And two disciples began their journey.  Andrew tells his brother Simon, "We have found the Messiah."  Thus Peter begins his journey.

We are all called.  Some are knocked off their horses because that is the only thing they understand.  Others hear God in the silence of the night or a whisper in their heart. Some in the echo of longing.

The call by God echo down the centuries.  We repeat the words spoken by the Angel Gabriel to Mary with each Hail Mary.  Ancient words spoken by many mouths daily and hourly.  Mary's yes was and is an example to all to answer God's call to each of us.

Here am I Lord; wanting to do your will.
wanting to echo Mary's yes.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Devil is Suttle

"We lose your souls not only because we do evil things, but because we neglect to do good: the buried talent, the unmarked second mile, the passing by the wounded.  How often in the Gospel condemnation follows because we do nothing."
- Venerable Fulton Sheen

I have been tired lately.  Not because of physical labor, just tired.  I am anxious for life to move forward, but aware that I must not wish away a single moment.  I somedays feel like I am swimming against the tide along an unending shoreline.  The devil knows I am tired and he is attempting to use that against me.  When I think about not going to Mass during the week, he encourages me to hit the snooze button or to think what difference does it make?  When I think about breaking promises or lazily reciting my prayers he is working on me.

 I NEED Mass and my prayers.  They keep me grounded and start my day off with thanksgiving and a sense that I can handle anything that comes up during the day.

The devil loves Facebook.  He can use it to anger me, but more importantly it is a time waster.  What did my Grandma say? "Idle hands are the devils workshop."  She was and is right.  Flicking through the countless posts and videos of cats and political rants I find that hours can slip away and at the end of the day what do I have to show for it? Not much.

I am aware that I have become a virtual hoarder on Pinterest.  Instead of pinning and dreaming and wishing I need to just get out there and do something!

So I am.  The devil can taunt me with glossy pages of ideas and blood boiling posts and hours of wasted time, but I am going to get up and do something.

I believe that I will start with Mass.  Not because it is Sunday, not because it is a Holy Day of Obligation...because I NEED it.

I know that you love me and protect me,
Help me today to be aware of my wasteful moments.
Help me to fill my days with things pleasing to you.


Sunday, January 4, 2015


Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal.  Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let the false delights of a deceptive world deceive you.
-St. Clare of Assisi

I have been missing Michael a lot this week.  I have been weepy.  I have also felt him so close during Mass.  One time I could feel his hand on my shoulder.  He was sitting on my right.  I could sense him there at the Consecration.  How right that he should be there when all three parts of the Church are together; the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering.

I have been restless and wanting out of my skin, but no luck,  I am firmly in it.

Then today at Mass Father reminded my of a poster that I had on my wall as a teenager.  The Desiderata written in 1927 somehow managed to speak to me then as I was trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be.  The words today are as fresh and timely as when they were written.  Now they speak to an older and hopefully wiser me.

I find them calming in this time of missing Michael and finding my new single self.  I share it with you for it is worth sharing:


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. 

© Max Ehrmann 1927


Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year

 No one heals himself by wounding another.
-St. Ambrose of Milan

It snowed on New Year's Eve Day in Bullhead City.  It does not happen often here, in fact the locals say the last time was 1977!

Snow was as I remembered it; cold, wet, and beautiful!

I was reminded of my childhood running unconcerned in the snow, my mittens so laden with melted and refrozen snow that they hung off my hands in a mix of ice and wet yarn.  My boots were usually rubbing large bleeding sores just below my calf, but I did not care.  It was snowing!  The sound of children's voices echoed in the neighborhood as we skated, built igloos and tossed snowballs at each other.  I have made my fair share of snowmen and snow angels.  I have placed my boots, mittens and coat over a warm register in the front hall and contributed to the unique smell of melting snow and wet yarn drying out.  On occasion you could hear the water drip, drip, drip and sizzle on the register.  I remember hot chocolate with marshmellows too and as I grew older hot toddies!

The snow here was met with differing responses.  Some were happy and others annoyed.  To some it was a miracle and to others an event that they wish they had not had to endure.

This morning, New Year's Day finds that the snow has retreated to higher elevations.  So we sit in the valley and look up to admire it.  It is almost a memory.

As I pondered the snow, I pondered my resolutions.  Why was I making any at all I thought.  In a day or two they will be a memory if I follow my usual pattern.  I don't want to follow my usual pattern.  I want my resolutions to last and I want change to come of them.  Not change in others, but change in me.

So here they are:

Change me and the way I look at my brothers and sisters.
Change my will to Yours in all things.
Change my propensity to worry into joyful acceptance of Your plan.
Help me to change into that person that You desire.

I look forward to our year together.
I believe that no matter what happens it is part of Your plan.
I believe that You will provide the grace and strength needed for any and all challenges.