St. Joseph's Altar at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy

We are very devoted to Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, Bl. Mother Theresa & the message of Divine Mercy. This Blog is dedicated to our Lady and the Divine Mercy message.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pray for our Priests by offering up good deeds

I need to get started on my chores.  I have spent the better part of the morning reading my now favorite blog of a homeschooling mother of 4, who is a 3rd order Carmelite, living in a small apartment in DC.

This is a link to a post she wrote on Holy Thursday, April 10, 2010.  My plan is to try to adopt this manner of praying for our priests (and all religious for that matter).


Friday, September 3, 2010

I am not sure I can actually think of 7 things to write about......

1.)  Today is my last day at work.  Well, I should say that today is my last day working outside of the house for awhile.  There are so many people I will miss, but I have reached a point where I just cannot/do not want to put any additional effort into a company I no longer admire.

2.)  My company is celebrating an anniversary milestone this year.  They have been in business a long, long time and have won the "most ethical company" award for several years.  That is something to admire, but (queue ominous music) one of the celebrations involved participating in a seance at a historical residence.  We are not allowed to have anything religious in our workstations, but this company has participated in a seance, and was proud of it.  A new campaign has "Zen" in the title. It is time for me to leave.

3.)  Starting next week I will have a new goal list, and I'm rather excited to start working on my "project plan."  
  • Daily Mass as much as possible
  • More frequent Confession
  • More prayer time
  • Working out at my gym 3-5 times per week
  • Following the Flylady plan for organizing and de-cluttering my life and house.
  • Continue researching information on good, wholesome foods: farmer's markets, raw milk, grass-fed beef & chicken
4.)  Thanks to Jen at Conversion Diary I have discovered a new blog (along with everyone else who reads her blog.) LOL!!!  Abby & her husband are Third Order Carmelites and she is a wonderful & inspiring writer.   Abilgails-alcove

5.)  I am having Fr. Corapi withdrawal.  The A/C decided to croak in my CRV the other day, so into the shop she went.  The Cavalier I am driving has a broken CD player.  Wouldn't you know I have brand new Fr. Corapi CDs too.  Rats....  LOL!!!  We have a wedding to attend on Saturday and I sure hope my CRV is back from the shop.  I don't want to try to manage a long dress in the old Accord or Cavalier.  The Accord's A/C is about to die also.  But, we will be attending the wedding of a good friend's daughter, and that is a very good thing.  ;o)

6, 7)  I am fresh out of ideas to write about.  I may add more later. (I did come back and add #5)   For now I will say...please have a blessed and wonderful day.  Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Simplifying your life...actually my life needs simplifying

This is a fantastic blog post listing 5 ways to simplify ones life.  I am in the process of starting to do this and found this post to be spot on perfect.  Enjoy..........

Lord, please help me (and everyone reading this post) to simplify my life in order to glorify you and to practice detachment to material items and anything else that keeps me from communion with you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

St. Augustine's Feast Day - August 28


I beg of You, my
God, let me know You and love You 
so that I may be happy in You. And though I cannot do this fully
in this life, yet let me improve from day to day till I may do so
to the full.
Let me know You more and more in this life, 
that I may know You perfectly in heaven.
Let me know You more and more here, so that I may love you
perfectly there, 
so that my joy may be great in itself here, and complete in
heaven with You.
O Truthful God, let me receive the happiness of heaven 
which You promise so that my joy may be full.
In the meantime, let my mind think of it, let my tongue talk of
let my heart long for it,
let my mouth speak of it, let my soul hunger after it, 
let my flesh thirst after it,
let my whole being desire it, 
until such time as I may enter through death into the joy of my
there to continue forever, world without end. Amen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is a link back to the host of 7 Quick Takes Friday:  Conversion Diary

Well, this is now my 2nd Quick Takes Friday.  I'm sitting here wondering what in the world I will write about.

My patience has been tested almost beyond it's breaking point.  I spent over an hour composing 5 items for this quick takes and my laptop went off line and all my pictures and words went "poof" into cyberspace.  Since I am more than annoyed, I will compose this again in the morning....maybe.  I'm thinking that I should be able to clean out Purgatory by offering up how extremely annoyed I am right now.  :o)

I'm going to try this one..more..time.   ;o)

I have finally located my old Flylady Control Journal.  I'm happy to see that it remains in pristine shape, without a trace of ever being used after I spent all that time creating it.  No wonder my house is in CHOAS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)...I couldn't even find my organizing tool.  If you would like to fly with me, you can find Flylady and all her wonderful advice here:  Flylady


I discovered a new book and author about a week ago.  "Rediscovering Catholicism", by Matthew Kelly looks really interesting.  The book is sitting on my kitchen table looking at me, but I haven't had time to open it up yet.  Anyway, this is a book written for fallen away/questioning Catholics to bring them back into the faith, or at least to explain the Catholic faith.  We have so many friends and close relatives who have left the Church/don't attend/think it's no big deal that I would like to find subtle ways to give them information if they ask.  I will probably leave the book out on the coffee's that for subtle?  LOL!!!  Matthew Kelly also has a website that looks interesting and provides quite a lot of information:
Dynamic Catholic

Father Corapi just keeps coming up in my blog.  i love this man and his message.  I tend to like well-mannered, more subtle & kinder people in real life, BUT when it comes to my faith I want a priest who "tells it like it is" and who isn't afraid to pull punches.   That priest is Father Corapi.  Luke-warm faith does nothing for me....priests who are not loyal to the Church, their bishops and the pope do nothing for me.  Father Corapi feeds my soul.

I purchased his Mercy series and the first 16 pack of talks a few years ago, and promptly put them away for a rainy day. (you wonder how I lost my control you see a pattern here?)  ;o)   My husband found the Mercy series quite by accident and left it out for me.  I decided to listen to the series in my car, driving to and from work.  Then I hunted down the 16 pack I remembered I had also purchased.
I went onto Father's website and found that he is having a summer sale (40% off) and bought myself an early birthday present.  I am now the proud owner of the entire Catechism series and part II of the 16 pack.  This is the link to Father's website:   Father Corapi


Yet another awesome book.  Fr. Calloway was a real bad boy and the fact that he is now a very holy priest is nothing short of a miracle.  We have another St. Monica/Augustine miracle.  This book is an excellent read.  I loved it so much that I sent a copy to a good, Catholic friend right from Amazon so she could read it.

You can find it here on Amazon:

"No Excuses Workout".  I found this guy through Flylady and signed up for his 12-week challenge, which starts on Sept 6.  I'm finished with work on Sept 3rd, so this challenge is just in time for me to begin my new life as a SAHW (Stay at home wife....I'm not a Mom) .  He has a paying part of his website, but he also has several free areas. That's where you'll find me.

My goal is to get to the gym in the morning.  I'm aiming for 3-5 times a week at around 7am.  I love the gym early in the AM when it's quiet and the crowd is older....some older than me.  LOL!!!  You can find Jonathan, the groups and the challenge here:  No Excuses Workout and Flylady

I'm out of Quick Takes for this week.  This weekend will be fun.  I need to get to the gym, Confession, Mass, tackle my house and visit my niece in her new apartment.  I'm taking her an old Pfaltzgraft set of dishes that has more accessories than a store.  Handing these over to her will clear out a huge space in my garage.....Yay me!!!!  The dishes will provide her with something to eat off, which I have found helpful.   ;o)

Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I am humbled and grateful for anyone who actually clicks in here and reads something...anything.  Take care!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Archbishop Chaput: "Systematic Discrimination Against Church Now Seems Inevitable"

Patrick Madrid posted a link on his Facebook page to a talk given by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput at the 15th symposium for the Canon Law Association of Slovakia on Tuesday.  He spoke about discrimination against the Church, and the effect this is having on the world and the Church.

I highly recommend this very interesting, albeit disturbing article.  The link below is to the shortened version of the talk.  At the bottom of the article is a link to the 12 page talk.
Lifesite News Article

We need prayer more than ever in these dark days.  I wonder if our Lord will allow it to get even darker before we find relief, and I am left wondering in what form that relief will come to us.

Pray without ceasing....please pray the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Offer up Holy Communion and your sufferings for the world. At the very least pray, "Jesus, I Trust in You"and "Jesus, Mary, save souls" non-stop.  God Bless you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is my first "7 Quick Takes Friday".

I am working to change my life of "sloth" one baby step at a time.  I don't have children, and there really is no excuse for the state of my house, mind & soul.  ;o)

For the house, I have rejoined Flylady.  This will help with my "flight plan" for getting my house under control while (gasp!!) learning to become more organized.  I might even learn to make a list or two and not lose said list....we'll see.  There could be hope for this SHE who was not BO yet. (for definitions of those acronyms, you need to visit her website)  ;o)

For my mind, I will begin reading books written by the saints.  Well, OK I admit to starting quite a few, but I never seem to finish since I would rather read good Christian fiction...oops!  Because of this I will work on *finishing* and applying the knowledge gained in said book to expand my mind, which could help my soul too.  ;o)

For my soul, we plan to continue making frequent pilgrimages to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy.  I will add daily reading of the Bible and praying the Rosary. I already am completely faithful to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (one good habit gained over the past year....thanks Mom!!).  I have also been listening to Fr. Corapi on CD to and from work.  He sure does make the time pass quickly, and I feed my soul at the same time.

I had a peaceful week at work; my manager was on vacation, and my projects are humming along nicely.  I should be finished with them by Sept 3rd, which is my last day of work--hopefully for a long time.

It's hard to believe that summer in winding down here in the NE and fall is right around the corner.  Thankfully, it is still warm, but other than at night the AC isn't on as much.  I'm looking forward to all the fairs (Big E is the BEST!!) and other fall "stuff".

One last thought....I sure hope I start meeting more wonderful Catholic ladies through blogging.  I don't think I write much of anything worth repeating, but it is fun to share thoughts and laughs with "like-minded" people.  Gosh, does that read like one of those "ads" in the free paper?  LOL!!!

Happy Friday to anyone who may wander over here.  Please say "hi".  I'm looking forward to meeting you.  God Bless!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time to lighten up......the gift of laughter...

Growing in holiness does not mean life has to be serious all the time.  I realize that I have been way too serious for the past year and that it is now time to lighten up, especially since I have made a life-changing decision to leave my place of employment....yah me!  ;o)  My full-time job will be to get the CHAOS in our lives and house under control.  The Lord and our Blessed Mother will provide the support and Grace I need, and this lovely lady will give me the "project plan".  Flylady

This lighthearted picture reminds me that our Lord gave us the gift of laughter and we should use this gift daily.  I must have been the only person in the world not aware that the people who take care of the cabins, on cruises, create animals out of towels--a different one each day.  When we returned from dinner this guy (wearing my sunglasses) greeted us.  I was taken by surprise and just couldn't stop laughing.

Have you used your gift of laughter today?

Lord, please help me remember that everyone around me benefits when I remember to laugh.  Thanks to your Grace I smile a lot, but I forget to laugh.  God Bless!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One year ago today, God called you home......

"God saw she was getting tired, and a cure was not to be; so He put His arms around her, and whispered, "Come with me." With tearful eyes we watched her suffer, and saw her fade away; Although we loved her dearly, we could not make her stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands to rest; God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the Best!

Today is a bittersweet day.  One year ago today, on the Feast of the Assumption at 3:00 pm, the Lord called this wonderful woman home to him.  I never ask the Lord for "signs", and I know that Mom was a good Catholic-Christian woman, but still I wanted to be certain she truly was in "good standing" with the Lord.

When she began to rapidly go down hill in August I asked the Lord to take her on a Marion Feast day, but I begged him not to take her before her birthday.  You know Lord, there are quite a few Marion days coming up, please get her through the Assumption and take her after her 80th birthday, which was August 26th (she shares a birthday with Bl. Mother Theresa).  

Several days later, I asked for a second "sign"--in that she would be taken at 3:00 pm. I have to admit that I felt very guilty asking our Lord for two signs, but he knows how important this was to me.  The night before she passed (August 14th) while I was praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet I heard the Lord tell me that she would be taken tomorrow at 3:00 pm.  Whoa! "Tomorrow" was not only too soon, but it was also the Feast of the Assumption and at 3:00 pm!!!!  The next morning when I met my husband at the nursing home (he worked the midnight shift) I told him what I had heard.  His eyebrows went up, but he too has learned to completely rely on the Lord.

We turned on EWTN and waited.  We prayed, talked to the nursing staff and watched.  Mom could not speak, but for the 1st time in a week her eyes were open and she looked at me/us the entire time.  Her breathing was so labored that it was heartbreaking to watch her.  At 3:00 the contemporary version of the Chaplet began.  My last words to her were, "Go home to God--he's waiting for you."  "I'll miss you every day of my life, but I'll be go." And she did.....  But, before she left I suddenly felt "someone" give me the biggest hug. My shoulders went up and tightened against my body.  I know our Lord had granted both of us one...last...miracle...

I have to share the words she had picked out for her prayer cards.  Several years prior Mom had bravely gone to the funeral home by herself and planned her entire funeral.  She picked all the tear jerker songs that we all love for funerals...On Eagles Wings, Ave Maria, etc.  Her prayer card surprised me at first.  I was picturing a very "Catholic" and holy prayer.  She was a simple woman, with a child-like faith in God, and a deep love for her only child.  Some people who are more "new-age" would choose this poem for different reasons, but I know why she picked this was for me...... She wanted to let me know that she would be in Heaven praying for me, and that she would always live in my heart.

"Do not stand by my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentile autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift up-flinging rush,
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the solft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pray for our Priests and Religious

I know we should pray for our priests, especially since they are on the front line in the war against evil.  We, the common people, know we are tempted and spiritually attacked on a daily basis; just think of the spiritual beating our priests and religious take.

I am sorry to admit that although I fully understand and support the need to pray for our priests and religious, I just didn't spend a lot of time doing this.  Side note;  I think I'm going to spend eternity in Purgatory making up for all the things "I have failed to do".  Even last year, during the Year of the Priest I picked up several prayer cards at different times during the year, but I didn't pray the prayer.  I watched my mother pray for priests every single night, especially when her cancer was getting really bad, but still I failed to pray.

What I witnessed in Mass today I feel is a direct result of this failure to pray.  We are each responsible for our own sins, but I share in the responsibility because my prayers bring Grace to others as well as to me.  We have an elderly, retired priest in residence who still says Mass every Sunday.  He is a bit too liberal for my taste and I have found myself annoyed with him on more than one occasion when he gently reprimands the Bishops for "covering up" the priest scandals. He brings this subject up every time he preaches.  I do realize that Fr. N hurts deep down in his soul about the details of this scandal, but his sermons tend to work at tearing apart the seams of our Church and are not focused on healing.  Today he once again digressed to the scandals...I sighed...then a lightbulb went off and I realized that I am called to pray for him, especially since he admitted that speaking of the scandals is in direct disobedience to the Bishops and Church.  He then went on to state that women should be ordained.  Wow!  I was blown away by his lack of knowledge of the Bible and Church teachings.  Disobedience...ordain women??!!  WHAT??!!

I began praying for him right then and there.  I'm sure there were others doing the same.  During the Consecration my prayer became more intense and as soon as I stated in my mind that Fr. N needs to stop preaching against Church teaching he faltered and for a minute he couldn't find his place in the book of Eucharistic prayer.  I would like to believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said these same words.  I'm praying now that he listens to them and responds to the Grace pouring down.  I begged God to pierce his heart with knowledge of the truth.

In the meantime, please do not forget to pray for our priests and religious.  They need us very badly.

Forgive me Lord for forgetting your priests who are close to your heart.  Please give me the Grace to remember they need us and not to fail in the mission to pray for them.  Lord have Mercy on me, a sinner.

God Bless and thank you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fr. Corapi's Conversion Story - Condensed Version

If you have not heard Father Corapi's conversion story, please listen to this shortened version where he explains the beauty of our Lord's Mercy.

May our Lord fill you with Peace & Blessings today.  May you always feel his Mercy, which endures forever.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In the still of the early morning......

I love the early morning when it's quiet and the world is not yet awake.  The sky is just beginning to show signs of light--birds are chirping softly and crickets are singing.  I'm sitting in my kitchen, drinking coffee while contemplating my day, and wondering why God urged me to title this post "In the still of the morning."

My heart is heavy this morning, because I had to take an action at work that I find distasteful.  I'm far from "saint-like", but I do not take pleasure in "throwing another human being under the bus", which is something I felt I finally had to do after putting up with the negativity for 2 1/2 years.  My motivation was not vindictive, but to save this person from herself and to stop the constant criticizing and abusive behaviors she directs towards others, especially me.

Anyone stumbling on this post, even if a lot of time has passed, please say a prayer for "A", and ask our Lord to comfort her and infuse her with His Grace and love.

As the sun rises higher and higher, lighting up the northern hemisphere, I continue contemplating my day in the "stillness of the morning"... finally a light bulb illuminates my mind.  I think I have figured out what our Lord is asking of me. On this morning, and every morning, He is asking that I look for Him in the stillness of the morning..feel His peace and all worries and fears into His loving hands, and listen to His voice as He whispers, "Trust me" to my soul.

Lord, on this day and every day I will work hard to place all my trust in You.  I realize that no matter what happens, You will never abandon your people

Jesus, I trust in you...  Mary, please pray for us...  St. Joseph, please watch over and guide us...  St. Anthony, please pray for us and help us find our faith, true contrition for our sins, and perfect charity for God and neighbor.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lessons in Forgiveness....Difficult week.....

Have you ever wondered why difficult people seem to keep popping in and out of your life? I have struggled with this question for years. Why do I repeatedly have people in my life who are excitable, yell a lot, and are downright mean when "discussing" what is wrong? 

I could go into a long, probably boring, post about spiritual warfare and the battle for souls, but I think the bottom line is that these people are placed in our lives

so we will learn to pray for them and to forgive from the heart. It's not easy to pray for your "enemies" and forgive wrongdoings. In fact, for most of us, the cross of forgiveness is so heavy that we can barely lift it. We stare at it, refusing to carry it, while we wallow in self-pity and replay the scene(s) over and over in our head, becoming more and more agitated and angry. How do I know this? Because I just described myself, and the struggle I had this week with forgiving a person. This is not unusual for me. This is a sin that needs to be uprooted from my soul.

I don't even remember if this happened Tuesday or Wednesday of this past week. This person was angry, which is not unusual for her. She gets angry quite frequently, and in turn pulls aside others to take that anger out on them. Mixed in with all the emotion and barbed arrows she slings is many times an element of truth. She never takes the blame for anything, but twists the story so she is completely innocent and everyone else is entirely at fault for the anger she is feeling and is expressing.

This is where my biggest forgiveness struggles lay/lie?(?) People who are manipulative, twist stories and shoot barbed arrows generally get a huge dose of contempt from "pious"little me. If the person apologizes I will accept the apology, but that does not stop me from mulling over the insults and from having a self-induced "pity party". If the person does not apologize, well, it gets even funnier (in an ironic kind of way) and the "pity party" of anger and self-righteousness is bigger than New Year's Eve at Times Square. (blushing)

I tired to pray for her this week. I tried to pray that I would forgive her this week, but all that garbage just kept getting in the way. All I could see in my mind was my anger and hurt. I could see her side and that she was scared, but I could not get beyond the fact that she took it out on me. By Saturday I was exhausted from a struggle I could not seem to win.

I knew I needed Confession, but I did not go. Luckily, I am married to the most supportive, warm-hearted guy in the world. He looked at me and said that we need to head back to the Divine Mercy Shrine. I immediately calmed down and began to think straighter. This trip is a huge sacrifice to Paul, who works the midnight shift. He won't get much sleep, and he has to go to work tonight. It's very humbling to realize that although the pilgrimage will help him also, he is truly making it on his knees. (metaphorically speaking that is.) Thanks to Paul's sacrifice, I am able to make the pilgrimage for a plenary indulgence, which believe me is greatly needed after this week's "party", attend Mass, go to Confession, pray the Chaplet and immerse in God's Mercy and forgiveness.

Please pray for me that I will extend our Lord's mercy and forgiveness to those around me.
God Bless you and may you also immerse yourself in His mercy.

“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” Henry Ward Beecher

Disclaimer: I was thinking about this post and realized that I failed to include a vital piece of information, in that *no one* has the right to abuse another person...verbally, physically or otherwise. (Nor do we have the right to abuse others, no matter how angry we are over a sitation.) You have a right to your feelings of hurt, anger and fear when you have been on the receiving end of any type of abuse. My meanderings today are only to address my responsibility for my reaction to, and the need for me to practice forgiveness for conversations that I take offense to, even if they are not actually abusive.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Good News!

I'll make this short and sweet. Paul & I both tested negative for cancer. Thank you, Lord! We prayed for God's Will to be done. Apparently, he has different crosses in mind for us to carry.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

May our Lord's Blessings and love pour down on you this day. His Mercy endures forever!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Under in progress...

Although my spiritual life will be "under construction" until the day I go home to God, this post is a note about my blog. I recently transferred a couple of posts from Wordpress, and started posting here, but I have not yet added all my links to websites and blogs.

For now, here is the link back to the Wordpress blog. I hope to get time this weekend to add all my links here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Test of Faith.....

It has been quite a week, and today is only Tuesday (now Wednesday since I left this post in draft mode). I can only imagine how interesting the rest of the week will be.

Last week, Paul had an appointment with the doctor who performs his colonoscopes. Apparently, three years ago Mr. Paul misunderstood that the doctor wanted him back for a 2nd colonoscopy 3 months after (not a couple of years later). Dr H. found an opening at the hospital for the following Wednesday, which is today. We are praying that all is well.

This week I went in for a 2nd ultrasound, external & internal to check out what appeared to be a benign fibroid 3-months ago. I'm beginning to think there is a theme going on here. "3" is a very holy number, representing the Trinity. Anyway, I digress..... The fibroid looked like the texture of a fibroid, but did not behave like one. Marvelous, now I have a rebellious fibroid inside me. Since this misbehaving concerned the doctor, he ordered 3 (that number again) cancer marker blood tests (oh yippee!) and a pelvic MRI. If these tests are inconclusive he may order up a laparoscopic surgery to go in and check out the "thing" that has decided to attach itself to me.

The very strange thing is that right now I am not scared, which surprised Paul. After the reconversion (of the heart) experience I had recently, I have found an indescribable peace. I do have concerns, but they are not taking over my life:

1. This is the biggie....that I will mess up somehow, and find myself not right with God and thus will spend eternity "burning". This is something I can tell you I definitely do NOT have any desire to do.

2. That Paul is not OK and I will eventually lose my best friend. God has granted us the gift of a good marriage and a tight bond, that if broken by death would be debilitating. I know God's Grace will prevail, but I can only imagine how painful and lonely my existence would be without the love of my life.

3. Ok, this one will seem dumb, but I'm afraid the doctor will want to take me off my bioidentical hormones. I have no desire to return to the fogginess, depression, lack of energy and hot flashes that caused me to disengage from life. Between losing my mother and trying to balance my hormones, I am lucky I didn't get fired from my job. I was a mess. I'm now back to normal, and I just want to stay where I am.

4. That my insurance company won't pay for "alternative" cancer treatments if it turns out that one, or both, of us is sick. We do not believe in Chemo, and we are both convinced that Chemo just doesn't work. I read there are 3 (that number) types of cancer Chemo does put in remission, but the rest is a "crap shoot". I'm not poisoning my body and impairing/compromising my immune system for a "crap shoot".

Conclusion, we are stepping out on faith that we will do God's Will and not our own.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Divine Mercy Shrine - Jubilee Year (50 year anniversary)

Today, Paul & I spent a wonderful day up in Stockbridge, MA. at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. This is *the* Shrine where EWTN filmed the Divine Mercy Chaplet shown daily at 3:00pm. This chapel is stunningly beautiful and so very peaceful.

2010 is the 50th anniversary of the Shrine, and Pope Benedict has declared a plenary indulgence for pilgrims visiting the Shrine who fulfill the usual obligations for the Indulgence. I don't know about anyone else, but I can use all the help I can get. It doesn't hurt that the Shrine is a beautiful, holy and peaceful place to visit.

We made Mass by the skin of our teeth. Well, we weren't on time, but the readings hadn't yet started (blush). Side note....Question: How does a girl brought up to always be at least 10 minutes early for any event continue to be 5-10 minutes late. Answer: Marry a laid-back guy who works the midnight shift and you'll find out.

This is Saint Faustina's altar. I forgot to take a picture of Pope John Paul II cap and rosary. Where was my head?
This is the altar on the left side of the Chapel which is devoted to St. Joseph. There is a beautiful statue of Mary here. Of course, once again I forgot to take a picture.
This is a reflecting pool with an area devoted to St. Joseph. The pool was empty and dirty from the winter when we were last here on Divine Mercy Sunday. We were excited to see the pool clean and filled with water. The small building behind the pool contains a statue of St. Joseph & the baby Jesus, along with hundreds of candles. Wouldn't you love to sit here, with St. Joseph, and find refreshment in the Lord? Side note: We are very devoted to St. Joseph. I've asked him to guide me like he is my actual father, and help me stay on track.

I "met" a very holy priest in Confession today. He was so excited that I was in Confession. He radiated such joy, that I imagine every person going to Confession left with a bit of his joy.
I left with a feeling of joy, peace and happiness that God had granted, yet again, one of my prayers.

The Confessionals at the Shrine are the old-fashioned, Priest behind the screen, Confessionals. I am on the shy side, and I am also very private, so going to Confession is actually a bit torturous for me. I believe in the sacrament of Confession and I'll be the first to advise another person they should go to Confession. I only go if the Lord practically throws me into the Confessional. (Pray for me please that I get over this pride thing and just go.) I have been praying to find an old-fashioned confessional, because I thought it would help (and it did). I happen to be one of those people who just loves the old-fashioned traditions of the Church (pre-Vatican II). I am NOT one of the "Traditionalists" that think everything from Vatican II and beyond is heresy (or whatever they believe). I just love the comfort that "tradition" brings to me. God is good all the time. He answered my prayer, and I am humbled and grateful.

Our next visit to the Shrine will be bittersweet. We plan to head there on the Feast of the Assumption, which is August 15th. My mother went home to God last year, on August 15th, at 3:00pm, just as the contemporary (weekend version) of the chaplet began playing on EWTN. A trip to the Shrine will definitely be a pilgrimage and will be a happy/sad day for sure.

I hope you had a Blessed and peaceful Sunday. God Bless!

Where to live/Patron Saint for 2010 (a seemingly unrelated post) LOL!!

(this is the first post I moved from Wordpress)
Warning! Long Post

My husband and I have discussed from time-to-time where we would like to live in 2-5 years. We have thrown out different ideas/states/areas, but we really have not committed to extensive research. Our hope is to one day live in a Catholic, vibrant, faith-filled, family-centered community. We do not have children, so there is no one to take care of us if we should ever need assistance, or if one of us passes before the other. We would need to be part of an old-fashioned, close-knit community to (God-willing) stay out of nursing homes one day. We also like the idea of having the ability to remain outside for the majority of the year. Here in the northeast we would be stuck in the house a good part of the year. I really believe this ages older people very fast because they lack light, exercise, fresh foods and human contact.

I was thinking about our goal for the future (near or far) when I found a link to Ave Maria, Florida. This is a town constructed by the owner of Domino Pizza. He had a conversion experience and the outcome was that he sold off his plane, boat and other unnecessary objects of wealth. His dream was to build a community based on Catholic values. Everyone is welcome to live in Ave Maria, but the values are based on those of the Catholic/Christian teachings and beliefs. Fleeting thoughts fill my mind about this town as I move from excitement to apprehension. The pros include everything we desire (Catholic, faith-filled, vibrant, family-centered). The cons include apprehension about living in Florida (Hurricanes, excessive humidity, insects...the biggest obstacle is the thought of Hurricanes and weeks without power, along with needing to be evacuated from my home.) If we move to Hurricane territory one day this will definitely be under the heading of "stretch assignment" from God, and "other duties as may be required." I do not need to live in the lap of luxury, but I do like my creature comforts, and evacuation and no power does not appeal at all.

My next step was an intense desire to take this to prayer. I also realize that this could be an ongoing prayer for weeks/months/years and the answer will depend on God's timetable, not mine. Names of known saints began running through my head, and I figured the easiest way to discern which saint I should be praying to was to pull up a list of patron saints. Sigh...seemed like a great idea until I remembered I am the world's worst Googler. I found a list, but was confused about how to find a saint who is the patron of every question I have:

* Where to live?

* How to pay off debt our quickly? We are on a plan, but have approximately 2-years left before all the credit card bills are gone for good. Is there a way to accomplish this goal sooner?

* How to get the money to do the necessary home repairs needing to be completed before we could even think about selling our home?

* How to get rid of all the excess "stuff" in our house. We need to make money, and not just give it all away, but we do not want to have others pay too much for our "stuff".

* What would we do to earn a living in Florida? (Or anywhere else for that matter.) We still need to work for several years.

* How would we get ourselves organized to accomplish all this?

The list of my questions goes on and on. We truly want to discover and fulfill God's will for us. I "Googled" again and fell into the blog of a woman who will pray, and email to those who ask, the name of a patron saint who has chosen the person asking. Hmmm...I like that idea. A saint who has chosen me to pray for his/her intensions for those here on earth and in purgatory, and for whom I can ask to pray/intercede for us as we face not only the questions of where we should live, but also as we face our daily challenges. If you are curious about who your patron saint for 2010 is, you will find the link to Marianne's Blog in my Blogroll to the right.

Once Marianne gets back to me about our Saint(s), I'll post the name(s) and some information about the Saint(s). I'm looking forward to growing in holiness as Paul & I discern God's will for our life together.

May our Lord bless you abundantly on this glorious day.

ETA:  The woman is not currently accepting any requests for saint names.  For now, I'll stick to my favorites...St. Joseph, St. Anthony, Divine Mercy Chaplet & I'll add the Rosary back to my daily prayer. I think the "right" saint has already found me.  ;o)

Moved from Wordpress....

I started this blog over at Wordpress, which is a wonderful environment, but not for this computer challenged, non-geek. ;o) I need simple and easy for now.

I finally gave in and came back to Blogger because this site is more user friendly, and I do not need to purchase a book to figure out how to post and make changes. I will copy my blog posts from Wordpress so I can shut down the blog in the near future.

May our Lord Bless you today and always.........