Category Archives: Faith

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.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Brave, Catholic, courageous, Faith, Holy, Jesus Christ, prayer, saints

They Were Satisfied

feeding-4000

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

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Catholic, Christian, Eucharist, Faith, God, Holy, Jesus Christ, Mass

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

1 Comment

Filed under Catholic, Faith, God, poetry

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Catholic, Christian, Faith, Heart attack, Uncategorized

Give Me Rest

fdgh

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28

*Sigh* Thank you, Lord.

As the dust settles on yet another crazy, stressful school year I am finally able to exhale and smile.  I made it. Relief floods me and I am finally able to rip that burden off my shoulders and stomp on it. Hahahaha die, die, DIE! Mwuahahahahaahaha …

teacher

 oops… sorry about that.

 … Ah, summer.  A long sweet, green road stretched out before me….  I so need this summer break… time at the lake, bike rides on the rail trail, camping, water parks, and mountains of novels… ah. So looking forward to doing a whole bunch of wonderful nothing. I so deserve it.

I survived yet another hell-ish year. Why do I do this? (Suffering to save souls! Hahahaha!!!) Because I love it!! Hahaha! Well, I suppose I cannot say it was all hell-ish, because it wasn’t. I love my students~ I feel I make a difference in their lives. They are why I do this! I am their mom at school.  They are “MY” kids!  I just received yet another email from a grateful parent, thanking me for all I have done for her daughter and wishing me a wonderful summer. I also received gifts and cards and best of all ~ hugs… actually… best of all: seeing 8 of my students, who I have been on my caseload for 3 years, graduate!!! I know this is important work… even when there are some who do not see how much I do, how much I care, and the extra ten miles I go to make sure my students have what they need to be successful… but we won’t go there… I won’t get into not being appreciated. I know the reason why I do this and that is all that matters.

God placed me on this road for a reason. And this year He saw how difficult and stressful it became for me….  So He did me a favor. He shut a door. He made me stop. He made me rest.  I will not be teaching summer camp this summer.  Though at first I was a bit upset by this…  now I see it is a blessing in disguise.  I now see its benefits and I have decided this is the best thing that could happen to me this year… a well-deserved rest.  Time to just BE with him, with my family and rest.

Sure I have plans to clean out the basement, scrape wall paper and paint bedroom walls, work on my collection of short stories (maybe get it self-published?!!) … but my most important mission this summer is to just be still, be quiet, to sit out back in the sunshine, look at the blue sky and be calmed by the tall whispering trees …  and, what I need most, to just listen to God. My life has been so chaotic and noisy these past several years. I need to just BE. I need to just be with God ….  to quiet my soul in His presence.

I need this… I need to be human again…

teacher human

Thank you Abba Father.

girl praising

1 Comment

Filed under Catholic, Faith, God, Peace, special education, teacher

Becoming Fully Awake

rest_in_the_lord_by_kevron2001-d6t93cp

I don’t want to say that 2016 started out bad … but it has been a stressful few months. I had deemed January “hell month’’ due to the high volume of meetings and other various work related craziness I had to do. My head was spinning and I thought it would slow down once February hit, but no… a bit of that hell seeped into February as well. Sigh. I am just grateful that it is finally February break and I am able to slow down, sit back, take a deep breath and relax. My goal this week:  to do a whole bunch of wonderful nothing.

I realized that once again I had prayed and God answered… in a way that I did not like.  As I have said before, careful what you pray for, because He may literally take you at your word and give you exactly what you asked for. Knowing this I, of course, never pray for patience, and I no longer pray the litany of humility, ugh. But there I was everyday innocently praying to be the best case coordinator I could be  … and what happens? I get in trouble at work for not doing my job properly. Sure I want to be better at my job, but I do not like to be reprimanded, no one does. But having this happen made me realize~ to be better I had to pay more attention to every detail and to follow all procedures. Though part of the problem had to do with having too much on my plate, but that is another rant for another time.

I need to remember that God honors our prayers and wants us to be the best we can be. ‘For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, as a father chastises the son he favors.’   Proverbs 3:12 .  ‘When you are scorned by others and lashed by God, do not despair. God lashes us in this life to shield us from the eternal lash in the next.’ St. Peter Damian.  I have to continually remind myself, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Romans 8:28. Even though it felt like a punch in the stomach, I know good will come of all this, whether I can see it now or not. I just have to trust. I have to have faith. I have to embrace it all knowing God is working in me. I have to remember to always get back up and keep moving forward. I need to rise each day anew.

Today is the Second Sunday in Lent, The Transfiguration, one of my favorite gospel readings. There was one line that struck me this morning. ‘Becoming fully awake, they saw His glory,’ Luke 9:32. Becoming fully awake. It made me question: Am I fully awake? Or am I just going through the motions? Am I taking my time, slowing down, sitting with Him, listening in the silence? Am I becoming fully awake in my faith? In my job? No. No I am not. That needs to change.

It is Lent and it is February vacation. It is a good time to assess my life. Time to get serious.

For Lent this year I did not give up coffee (ugh, that was hell for everyone involved haha) nor did I give up Facebook (though I still am addicted). What I am doing this year is writing Haikus. Yes you read that right, writing Haikus. That little Japanese poem-y thingy… counting on my fingers syllables: five, seven, five… Easy yet so hard. I write one every morning and sometimes I write two if the mood hits me. Today after seeing the movie ‘Risen’ (which I highly recommend) I felt very peaceful. Moved. And while on the elliptical at Planet Fitness an idea for a Haiku came to me, so I wrote it down on the memo app on my smart phone while elliticalling (if that is a word. Well, it is now).

Can’t do it alone

Nail me to yourself, my Lord

With Him I will rise.

Attached to Jesus, carrying my cross, I will continue on, though at times I hate my cross, I know He is with me. I know that in my weakness I am strong with Him. So I will keep praying that prayer, and all my prayers, paying attention now to what I am asking. But still, I will let Him answer as he sees fit. For I know he has great plans for me, even when it feels like the world is falling apart. I know that He is with me. So I will become fully awake (Risen!) and ecstatically see His glory fill my life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Catholic, Christian, Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Lent, prayer, The Cross

Lord, I Need You

God of Peace
I was just sitting out back with my dog Cooper, listening to the crickets and birds… enjoying the breeze, watching the trees sway and play hide and seek with the setting sun. It was the most peaceful I have felt in a while. Grace. I asked for the gift of peace today at Mass and I received it.

Recently I have felt like I am under attack. I have this feeling of dread and anger and bitter disappointment plaguing me … not sure why. Maybe it’s because the NH Rachel’s Vineyard team has reassembled … maybe because a new year of Life Teen has started … and he, the deceiver, the liar, does not like it, he knows the good we can do in the world.

This morning as I read the Magnificat before Mass I was struck by Ephesians 4: 1-3. “I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” That stopped me in my tracks. I needed that. I needed to stop. He had been whispering lies in my ear and I needed to remember my purpose; to preach the gospel with my life. To be love and peace… but I was not feeling that at all… this darkness surrounded me, poked me, whispered in my ear… made my head spin and made me seethe … He wanted me to lose my temper. He wanted me to lash out and quit. He wanted to ruin me.

My friend reminded me that

The enemy fights hardest

And she reminded me: when God wants you to grow He makes you uncomfortable … ugh. Maybe God wants me to do new things … Maybe. Not sure. Usually if I make plans God laughs. I have no idea where God is taking me or what He wants me to do this year … but I realized today maybe God wants me to rely on Him more, spend more time with Him. To be silent and to grow in my spiritual life, because I have been too loud in my head and he cannot speak to me when the crazy noise of the world takes up residence in my skull.

Mass… ah, the peace of the Mass soothed me this morning. Psalm 54. The Lord upholds my life. … behold God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life. And then James … cultivate peace. … and the Gospel according to Mark… the first shall be last, be a servant… be like a child… and then I was slayed by a song. Our band played, “Lord, I need you.” And I lost it. I wept. How beautiful.

I needed a visual: All I could do… I climbed into God’s lap like a child, curled up, snuggled up next to Him. He hugged me to Him and wrapped His wings around me; sheltering me. Lord, I surrender. I am not strong enough. I am too angry, to bitter, too weak. I give it all to you. Help me. Give me the grace to move forward as I should. Give me Your peace. I cannot do it without you. Your grace is enough. If you want me to move on or want me to try something new I am ready. But please give me your grace…. Your peace.

held_by_jesus

Thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Catholic, Faith, God, Grace, Jesus Christ, Peace