Friday, March 30, 2007
Friday's Feast #137
What are you proud of?
I am proud of my children... Though it is difficult raising them alone at times, I am proud to be their mother and thankful for them in my life.
What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?
Hmm... I won a community service award when I was in high school for the time I spent working with and interpreting for deaf children. This included awards from local political figures. The real prize, however, was seeing the kids learn, grow and change...
Name something you do that is a waste of time.
Watch television... this is such a waste of time and the older I get, the more I see this. At the same time, I really enjoy it!
In what year of your life did you change the most?
I would have to say my 24th year. I became a mother for the first time and my life has never been the same since. I grew up that year... learned to be a mother and a better friend, too.
Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?
Is there such a place? Can someone please point out the way to this place? I’d like to go there!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I hope that God will use this, as Jeff said, in a way I cannot yet see... I have to admit that I did expect this a bit as I came near to Confirmation and I realize that feelings are not what makes or breaks one’s faith. I suppose there is a part of me that envies the presence that others say they feel... Perhaps Confirmation will help to make a difference.
Our RCIA does not have a retreat before confirmation. We are simply required to attend three Holy Week "events"... although a retreat sounds really nice about now. Next week, the television will not be turned on at my house at all, in hopes I’ll be able to add some quiet in order to better prepare myself for the Easter sacraments.
Thanks, RobK, for the book recommendation. I took a look at the book online and will likely purchase it on my next payday. My whole faith seems to be "an act of the will in spite of not feeling it..." Thank you for your prayers...
I have not read Dark Night of the Soul but I’ve been meaning to. Perhaps this is a good time, huh?
I’m feeling a bit more encouraged today. RCIA was great last night as we rehearsed for Easter. I had several friends tell me they plan to attend and even my sister said she may go, which was a surprise. I decided it might be best to get a sitter for the children because, otherwise, I will stress out the whole time about them behaving and being bored... especially since I won’t be able to sit right next to them. I really just want to be able to take in the moment and they are too young to really understand what would be happening.
And it’s official... the saint I chose for Confirmation is Elizabeth Ann Seton, single mother and convert to Catholicism. There are other saints I admire but this one speaks so much to my personal life experience and to the kind of Christian I’d like to be, devoted to helping others while working hard to care for my own children. Every time I examined the lives of saints, I’d always come back to her so I believe I was meant to choose her... or perhaps, she chose me... ?
Again, thank you all for your prayers and support. This journey is only beginning and I have a lot to learn and a lot of growth still ahead of me. In nine days, I will submit myself to the authority of the Catholic Church and I am thankful for the stability, continuity and unity found within the Catholic faith. I will finally be home and I cannot wait!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Prayer to live in God's Presence
God, my Father,
You have promised to remain forever with those
who do what is just and right.
Help me to live in Your presence.
The loving plan of Your Wisdom was made known when
Jesus, your Son, became man like us.
I want to obey His commandment of love
and bring Your peace and joy to others.
Keep before me the wisdom and love
You have made known in Your Son.
Help me to be like Him in word and deed.
I want to feel...
What is wrong with me?
I haven’t written lately, because, quite simply, I don’t have anything to say. I’ve been feeling really depressed. Perhaps it’s a test to see if I’m really ready to stick with it... to push forward even though I feel it’s getting me nowhere. I know there have been saints who have experienced “dryness” and this gives me a bit of consolation but I don’t want to feel nothing. I want to feel something... something beyond abandonment.
I know God is there... but I cannot feel His presence. While others do, I simply don’t.
What is wrong with me?
I will press forward. I will not give up. I will continue to pray, continue to read the Scriptures, continue to learn... but I desire more than anything to feel what others feel.
Lord, please... I long to feel your presence...
Monday, March 26, 2007
Catholic Dads Blog
On another note, I cannot believe I am only 12 days away from Confirmation! Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I was months away and now here it is, right around the corner!
I went to lunch with my dad last week and asked if they were going to make it. He said they probably wouldn't come and he apologized for not at least letting me know when they didn't show up for the Rite of Election. This opened up a good conversation between us and I was able to explain my position a little more. I only hope that something I said might have reached him. Despite that I know they won't be there, I had a peace come over me. I think not knowing was too difficult. And now I know I can fill my reserved seats with those who truly are supportive.
Damion and kids
Bill - continued strength and healing
J, sister and family
Jill - for faith
Renee and kids - for healing
Cindy, Terri and JillD
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Can't think of a title...
It will be interesting to see how they do it next Sunday.
I have yet to talk with the director about the whole Bible issue. I have to think of a good way to approach it and I may wait to do so until after the Easter Vigil.
Thank you all for your prayers and support in the last several months. I really appreciate all the comments and thoughts as well.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Friday's Feast #135
Name two things that made you smile this week.
Only two? Seeing Clay safely return from the NASCAR races in Las Vegas. Every time I spoke with Damion.
Fill in the blank: Don't you hate it when a co-worker stops you when you're on your way out to lunch and you've already clocked out?
When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?
All I have to do is read... Reading puts me to sleep and this is a big problem for me when I really WANT to be reading. But, I usually don't have trouble going to sleep.
What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?
Why is faith in God so easy for some and seemingly impossible for others, even when presented with the same evidence?
What is your favorite pasta dish?
I am not a fan of pasta but I like macaroni and cheese (preferably oven-baked with real cheese).
Monday, March 12, 2007
Jesus said to her, "Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
I can think back to times when I’ve been thirsty... when I’ve been parched to the point where I’d do just about anything for a cup of water, a soda, or anything. I can think back to how wonderful it was to quench that thirst with a drink... relieving the dryness in my throat.
It’s ironic that Marie brought up this passage just the other day and there it was yesterday, being read in Mass, during the First Scrutiny...
Knowing thirst on a physical level helped me be able to see a deeply spiritual meaning in this passage. So often, in the past, I’ve felt spiritual thirst and ended up trying to quench it with temporary things: friendships, material possessions, spending money... These things would make me feel better for a while but, in the end, I was always more thirsty that I was before, like when I try to quench my thirst with a soda. It’s nice when I have it, but once it’s gone, I’m no less thirsty than I was before.
Of course, the only thing that will actually quench my spiritual thirst is the living water of Jesus’ love and truth. Each time I turn to God instead of looking to the temporary things of this world, my thirst is quenched and my relationship with God grows. With each drop, I desire more, not due to thirst... but because the water is simply so refreshing, renewing and uplifting. Only if I spend time with him in prayer and in His Word, will my thirst be fully quenched. This is not to say that friendships are not important or that material possessions are wrong. These things are important and necessary in our lives but never at the expense of our relationship with God!
When my thirst is quenched with the living water, a “soda” can be had not for quenching thirst but for enriching my life... and hopefully, I’ll be able to share the truth of God’s living water with others I encounter along the way. I never again want to feel parched in my spiritual life...
Lord, thank you for your living water. Thank you for your love for me. Help me daily to do your will. Quench my thirst and do not permit me to crave the temporary things of this world but to keep my eyes focused on You. Amen.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Friday's Feast #134
What is your usual bedtime? Do you like that, or would you rather it be different?
Sometime between 10:00 and 11:00. I think it's a little too late but I can't seem to make it any earlier!
When it comes to advice, do you give more or receive more?
Over the years, I've learned to listen more so I think it's fairly balanced. Of course, it all depends on the situation and who I'm talking with.
Describe a memorable meal you've had.
I remember the first time I met Damion at a restaurant after not seeing him for eight years. I knew right away that I was going to fall in love with him...
Name a work of fiction that affected the way you think about something.
I cannot remember the last time I read a work of fiction... and I don't recall reading anything that really affected the way I think... I might have to think about this one a bit more...
What is your favorite type of fruit juice?
Apple... boring, huh?
Thursday, March 08, 2007
"There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz'arus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom.
How often do I act as the rich man, forgetting those who are hurting or who are considered outcasts by society? I often forget to think just how much God loves them... no less than me. I've come to realize that many of my possessions weigh me down and hold me captive... I really want to simplify my life, to own fewer material items and grow in appreciation for having less. In short, I want to "get simple".
I am a bit of a packrat. The problem is that the thought of throwing things out actually causes me a lot of anxiety. What if I regret it? What if I throw out something I need or want later? (Silly, I know!) But I'm reaching a point where it's causing me more anxiety trying to hold on to so much stuff! I've been improving, trying to let go of things that just sit in boxes. I desire to get more organized but the task of doing so is overwhelming in and of itself...
I've been much more aware lately of how my money is spent as well... When I think of the material things I'd like to have, I often think about those who don't even have the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, clothing, or even adequate water. I rarely buy bottled water because when I do, I feel terrible for those dying from poor water, who would live if they could only drink what comes out of my tap.
I believe this is going to be quite a process for me but it's my goal to simplify my life by parting with all the material baggage I have. By this time next year, I want to be free of the anxiety I feel from carrying around so much "stuff". I want to re-train my mind to keep only what is important or of high sentimental value and toss the rest. I believe this will help me see the needs of others in order to help them. The Lord wants us to be ready to drop everything to follow him. The more I have, the more difficult that will be and I don't want to be hindered by materialism.
Lord, help me to know what is truly important so that I may follow you with all my heart, mind and soul. Let me not be burdened by materialism and ease my anxiety so I can part with the things that weigh me down.
v Damion and kids
v My parents
v Jill – that the Lord would give her some Christian friends and strengthen family relationships
v Bill – that he continues to recover from illness and that he regains the strength he needs quickly
v Ruth – that her husband would come to understand the Catholic faith
v Renee and children – that the Lord would give them strength and peace in this time of tragedy
v Jose and Amy Lopez – for the repose of their souls
v For the Lopez children and family - dealing with their loss
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Photos: Rite of Election
Left to right/top to bottom:
Ruth (my sponsor), Bishop Randolph Calvo, me
Christian, Trinity, Clay
Me and Damion (posing with the Bishop - haha)
Monday, March 05, 2007
Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.