Category Archives: Catholic

Set the World on Fire

,catherine_siena_nails_were_not_enough_md

Wow. What wisdom.

It has been too long since I have written… blogged…. and what a perfect feast day to jump back into it.  Ah, one of my favorite saints, St. Catherine of Siena, though it is very un-catholic of me, I like to think of her as one of the most “bad-ass” female saints (right up there with St. Joan of Arc) … for she was very outspoken and persistent, something I strive to emulate. I need to be strong like her, strong in faith  … it seems recently I really need strong Catholic women (saints) I can look up to!

These past several months I had fallen into a mini dark night of the soul… this oppressiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger clutched onto me and would not let go… and I couldn’t seem to drag myself out of it.  So I persisted through it, offering up my sufferings and praying through it.  Of course trying to understand why we go through moments (months!) like these is sometimes next to impossible, we cannot see what it means now …. we just need to trust that He is doing something important. For God has a plan and He is working in us, making us better people, making us holier.  Though I, of course, did not feel holier during this time.  I felt like an epic failure. Was I supposed to learn something? (I didn’t). Was I supposed to be kinder and forgiving? (I wasn’t). Was a supposed to learn patience? (Good God I hope not!).  Or maybe I was just supposed to suffer yet endure. I have also been reading St Faustina’s Diary recently (another amazing saint!) and boy did she suffer a lot!  So I understand that at times we must suffer for God to work.  But suffering is just that… so painful, suffocating, difficult and draining…  how can I continue on when I feel so oppressed?

Why am I bringing this up on St Catherine’s feast day?  Well, here are two very powerful quotes that I feel help me get through.

St Cat fire

Bam! Be who you are meant to be.  That simple. God made you unique. There is no one else like you. There is a reason for that. So BE that person he created you to be, because no one else can do what you do.  No one else can set the world on fire like you!  Don’t let others drag you down and tell you to be something you feel you are not.  The only changing you should be doing is becoming more of a Christ like YOU (if that makes sense). God made me like this… at times outspoken  (obnoxious might be a better description. haha) … and rebellious and radical.  He did not mean for me to ever sit quietly and not speak out when I see something wrong. He made me like this!  So I find offense when I am admonished (and silenced) for speaking out, for asking questions or when I point out hypocrisy.  Hey!  Back off! Good wants me to be me.  I have struggled with trying to understand how I am supposed to act and who I am supposed to be … but I  now know that God wants me to be me, it’s that simple.  He wants me to set the world on fire in my unique way. He wants me to speak out.  Which brings me to this next infamous quote.

St cat cry out

YES! I will not be silent. She is right… especially now… the world is ROTTEN ROTTEN ROTTEN (Yes three rottens!!!) because of silence… especially recently…. everyone is so afraid to speak out about life, marriage and gender (among other things!) … and now we have lost the battle (read Matt Walsh’s book The Unholy Trinity, Blocking the Left’s Assault on Life, Marriage and Gender… he explains it all!) … It disturbs me that so many do not speak out! … but we should not give up! We need to continue to cry out!  So I will be ME and I will be brave… I will CRY OUT!

St cat start-being-brave-about-everything-drive-out-darkness-and-spread-light-don-look-at-your-st-catherine-of-siena-86-43-57

So thank you St Catherine for your wisdom! Know that your words give others like me the faith to be the strong Catholic women we are meant to be.

 

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Fat Tuesday Musings

what-if-lent

Hm….

So today, as I was googling “Fat Tuesday” memes to post on Facebook I came across this one. Makes ya think… doesn’t it? If you think you should give up something for  40 some odd days to bring you closer to Christ (which is the point of Lent) then maybe you should give it up altogether. HUH!

About 11 years ago I gave up drinking for Lent. This was, of course, back when I was still drinking… (obviously). It was very difficult for me, especially since St. Patrick’s Day is always during Lent and I love my Guinness on St. Patty’s day!   But I survived the “fast” and was quite proud of myself. I did it! After that Lenten fast I knew that I would eventually have to give up drinking (there was this still small voice in the back of my head) … I knew it deep down in my soul. Then four years later I finally did give up drinking for good (I am 6 years sober!). God was patient with me… and He gave me the grace to do so. I so needed to cut drinking out of my life. Being sober brought me closer to God.

Also about 3 years ago I gave up coffee for Lent… (AAAAHHHH! OH the HORROR!)

coffee-for-lent

… now that was even harder to do since it was something I drank daily!  Giving up coffee was a huge sacrifice!  But I drank tea during my coffee fast and  survived (though I hated tea for months after that haha).  I never thought I would eventually have to give up coffee… why the heck would I give up coffee?!  Coffee is not beer/booze! There is no reason to give it up! Or so I thought … Well, sorry Kelly, there was a good reason.  Health reasons… reflux/heartburn all attributed to coffee… so last fall I gave it up. Thing is… I’m fine without it. Go figure. And I feel better. Healthier. Praise God.

So … after seeing this “What if I told you…” meme… and thinking about my past “fasts” I was thinking … is this time of year (Lent) really a taste of what we should truly be doing…? A time to reassess how we have been living…  how else can we die to self and have a closer relationship to God?  Will what I “give up” this year eventually be something that is given up for good? And will the things I add become a beloved habit? .. Kind of scary… yet inspiring and exciting…

This Lent: I am setting aside more time for prayer/bible reading and reflection (up at 4AM!). I am going to write Haikus every day of Lent like I did last year (loved doing that!). and I am going to eat healthy (no junk food for you!). I hope, eventually, all of these things become a natural daily habit. God willing.

And for those of you giving up Facebook… well, you’re just crazy. Haha!

Well, Fat Tuesday is not over yet!…  and there are Rice Krispie treats to shove in my gob…

fat-tuesday-lent-meme

May God bless you this Lent!

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They Were Satisfied

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Just a quick pondering …. Today’s gospel reading from the Gospel of Mark had me thinking… what must it have been like to have been there with Jesus and the disciples when He multiplied the loaves and the fishes?  Sitting there with a huge hungry crowd… Did the 4,000 + people know what was happening? Or were the oblivious to the miracle? All of a sudden, after 3 hungry days, they were handed enough food to fill them up and satisfy them…. Did they wonder where it all came from?  Did some of them who were close to Jesus and the disciples see them doing something with the food? Did some see the miracle as it happened? I wonder … what did that miraculous multiplied bread and fish taste like? Bread and fish that Jesus blessed…  Was it the most delicious meal they had ever had? It says “They were satisfied.” There were left overs…. fragments filling seven baskets… so obviously  everyone was full, satisfied, smiling and content, probably one of the best picnic lunches they had ever had.

To have been there.  When I read the gospels I always think of what it would have been like to have been there with Jesus.Wouldn’t it have been amazing to have been there and received that gift? A miraculous meal created by Jesus…

… and then… I had a “duh” moment… a holy dope-slap upside the head moment. A “D’oh!” epiphany (haha)… Der, Kelly… He does give us a miraculous meal all the time… every single time a Mass is celebrated… every. single. day.  The Eucharist. Body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Right there. For us. A gift. …But do we take this for granted?  Do we go up to receive Him with the full knowledge of His sacrifice and His unending love for us…  or do we numbly, indifferently receive Him without a second thought?

eucharist-pope-bene

So tomorrow, when you receive the Eucharist, do so reverently (maybe on the tongue instead of in your hand~ I have started doing this!)…  with the full knowledge of what it all means. This miraculous meal… the most important meal in the history of the world. The gift of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We should be filled with joy after receiving Him.

We should be satisfied.

eucharist-st-maria-g

 

 

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Nursed with the Word

After reading a quote from our beloved Papa Bene yesterday I was inspired to write this poem…

flower

Plant the seed of the Word

                      into me

          nurture it

water it

                      bless it

feed it with your light, Lord

call it forth

          whisper

                               songs

                                             psalms

       soulful

                        joyful awakening

Green heads popping up

          bursting through

my pain                         my sorrow                              my weakness

flowers 2

Let it bloom huge

                                     musky flowers

                   heady with intoxicating angelic perfume  

spraying hues of truth

                   through my veins

                                            And butterflied laughter

                             out my shining eyes

butterfly

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Wake Up Dead

Heart

“The greatest gift that we can receive from God in the present world is this: To know how, to desire, and to be able to conquer self by renouncing our own will.” St. Francis of Assisi.

Careful what you pray for. Yeah. Again I prayed for something and did not expect the response… I had prayed that God would help me get in shape and lose weight. Yeah, I prayed that.  I have been struggling with some extra weight and I felt like I was getting nowhere… so I prayed about it. Please help me Lord. So what happens?  Last Thursday night I wind up in the Emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack! Yeah really!  If that’s not a wakeup call, supernatural slap upside the head, I don’t know what is!

Now I’m not saying that God is a big meanie … no I know God is merciful and loving… hey, I admit, it’s all my fault. Sure I exercise ~ I bike 14 miles on the rail trail, lift weights and use the elliptical at Planet Fitness pretty much 5 days out of the week… but my diet…. Heh … here I was asking for help and I was not holding up my end of the bargain. I eat too much (though most of it is healthy, well, maybe not most) and I snack too much…  like a whole bag of Veggie Stix… yeah they’re made out of vegetables…  but I scoff down the  WHOLE BAG! Yeah. That. Years of eating like that.

So last Thursday I had been feeling like someone was squeezing my heart. All day.  I had felt this on and off during the week but on Thursday it was a continuous feeling of a pain in my chest. Right in my heart. I assumed it would just go away. Nope.  So at about midnight I was lying in bed with this chest pain thinking, “What if I am having a heart attack?”  I also had shortness of breath and a weird sensation/pain up my left arm. Knowing that women can have different symptoms than men I began to get nervous. I also have a heart murmur. What if I go to bed and wake up dead? O.o  Seriously.  Yup I came upon that dreaded moment… what if I die now?  What about my family, my boys, my friends, my students, my collection of short stories I never published … 50 is too young! AH!

So I woke up my husband and told him what I was experiencing … off to the hospital (props to my hubbie who stayed up 40 hours with me!) and they did the usual battery of tests, blood work, chest x-rays, stress test (running on a treadmill without a bra! Woo hoo hahahahahahha!)

Here I am all hooked up, yeah right on my tattoo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

my heart attack

… but it all came back negative for a heart attack. It wasn’t my heart! So of course I had sent out messages for all my friends/family to pray for me… what a great feeling to know that so many were praying for me (such love!). But once it was all said and done I kind of felt like an idiot when it wasn’t a heart attack. I know that sounds weird… but when they said it was probably reflux I thought… “Huh. …really? That’s it? It really felt like a heart attack! Reflux sounds lame and embarrassing.” Yeah I know. Silly me. It was good news and I was getting all embarrassed. Duh.

So this was God telling me, “Hey, Kelly. You asked me to help. This is where you are now.  You have to eat healthy now or this pain will not go away.  You have to eat a restricted diet. You know I love you and you know you have a lot more to do. So you have to get healthy. You got this girl.  I am with you.”  Okay. Got it. I don’t like it.  But hey, I usually need a divine dope slap to get me to take things seriously. I know, I know we are not here forever so I need to take better care of myself.  

I needed help conquering self.  Daily conversion. Transformation. Yeah  I know… but I thought I could eat ice cream and potato chips while transforming… hmph.

Okay Lord, I will try harder. Thanks for  not giving up on me.

 

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Year of Mercy… During an Election Year

year of mercy

Yeah I don’t know why it didn’t hit me before… coincidence ..? Hm. I think it dawned on me at the beginning of July when I was doing my morning prayers, my St. Maximilian Kolbe consecration to Mary and July’s intercession is: “That resentments and anger may never stifle our ability to love.”  Bam. Right smack in the middle of the Black Lives Matter/5 police shot in Dallas/the FBI overlooking Hillary’s shenanigans …  ETC. Yeah. That. Being my obnoxious, opinionated, conservative, catholic self I have a hard time NOT saying anything. It’s hard to not get caught up in the political snarling debates, fiery posts attacking, actually, both candidates, and posting witty cutting un-merciful memes on Facebook.  It’s hard to be kind because I am disgusted and discouraged by the state of our nation.   It’s hard to be merciful to those who have differing opinions when it just feels like they are ruining the country with their division.

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At times I just don’t want to be merciful…  I am too angry and disappointed to ‘let it go” to “agree to disagree”  I want to rant and rail… sigh. But as a Catholic in this Year of Mercy …. I need to step back and assess the situation.

So there’s mercy. Be merciful like the father. Luke 6:36. The logo for this year. Heck I may hate what the “other side” says.  I may think they are wrongwrongwrong WRONG!!!! about so many issues. Case in point:

black lives matter

… I may think they are ruining this country. I may think the Founding Fathers are rolling over and over (and over!) in their graves … 

founding fathers rolling

but… Mercy. Be merciful like the Father … He forgave all of us (we all matter!!).

Jesus all lives matter

Though we may not like what others say or do… we need to show them mercy. Yeah, I know. Garshblamit. I don’t want to. I DON’T WANT TO! … It’s hard.

God is always asking me (you, us) to step out of that comfort zone and BE that kind, caring, compassionate, merciful Christian, especially when we don’t want to.  (Especially when they are wrong about so many issues… .) He never said it would be easy… He actually said living this life would be hard and many people will despise us for it… but we don’t have to despise them back…

This is going to be challenging for me and I know I will blow it several times (wanting to post that funny, yet obnoxious meme that shows Hillary’s hypocrisy!) but I am going to TRY to be less me and more Him. Like the Father~ Merciful.

Yeah… I’m going to need a lot of prayers…

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“Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope.” Pope Francis.

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Mass Hysteria … (or Let the Summer Son Shine in)

summerSo…yes… summer has begun.  We spent last week glamping (camping… but in a cabin haha!) … so this week is the beginning of my summer of being home and doing a whole bunch of wonderful nothing … for once. So I thought to myself… how best can I begin each morning? Ah!  Easy! Morning Mass! Yes!

Some of you may be thinking: What?  Don’t you want to sleep in?  Sure… waking up at 6:50 IS sleeping in for me (during the school year I get up at the God awful hour of 4 AM… 4:25 AM to be exact).  So I am sleeping in and since I am now over that proverbial hill I just can’t seem to stay asleep anymore… so maybe, just maybe (my guardian angel is whapping me upside the head!) I need to get up and do something worthwhile. Be with Jesus.

Okay and I know there are others of you thinking, “Mass?  Really?” Yes, REALLY. I love going to church.  (This is my church! xD)

STA

I love attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I love the singing, the readings, the homily… and most of all: the Eucharist.  Some favorite mass/Eucharist quotes: “If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.” ~ Saint Jean Vianney. Who couldn’t do with a bit of joy first thing in the morning?! Another favorite quote, “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.” ~ St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Yes it is that important.  Too bad so few take advantage of this wonderful sacramental experience.  It is that awesome! Believe me … it is a JOYFUL experience to attend Mass… it is almost: Mass hysteria! HA! I love it that much!

Another reason to go to daily Mass this summer would be to see my priest and friend, Fr. Joe, who will be leaving us for a new assignment in Canada soon. So there is that. So sad he is leaving.

And then there was the reading this morning from the Holy Gospel of Matthew~ 8:18-22 that confirmed this. All about following Jesus… following Him now… stop procrastinating (“Let the dead bury their dead!”) and stop putting off being the Christian you were meant to be. No more saying, ‘I’ll do it another day’….  Do it now. Follow Him NOW!

follow-jesus-sand

I contemplated this after Mass …Hm..  what does that mean for me this summer? Ha!  easy: go to morning Mass. Receive the Eucharist. Be filled with His light, love, peace and joy…  and carry around Jesus all day, every summer day… be a walking tabernacle.  Let the Son shine through me every day this summer. Be renewed by Him (which I desperately need)..

Yeah. I think I could do that.

holy Communion Kolbe

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