Category Archives: Jesus Christ

Set the World on Fire

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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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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

 

 

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Becoming Fully Awake

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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.

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

Adore Him

The Eucharist bathes

On Sunday night we taught a Life Night (Life Teen) on The Ten Commandments.  The end of the night we experienced Eucharistic Adoration… for the first three Ten Commandments are all about loving God and what better way to end “the Lord’s Day” than with adoration.

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Yes it is the most amazing thing to do… spend time with Jesus. Let the Son shine down on you.

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It is almost as wonderful as receiving Holy Communion… My Lord and My…

God

…to just sit quietly in front of the Monstrance…

This past spring our Fraternity went on retreat and during Eucharistic Adoration I began to write… and this is one of the poems I wrote:

Adoration

     hits me warm

           at the throat

head lifted

I let Him settle on me

         in me

soft

He shines

       enlightens

quiets me

down down down

                   into His arms

I rest

       glowing

I can do no harm

                when He wraps me

enfolds me

           cherishes me

Peace grows solid

                            palpable

      a silent song vibrating in our chests

Holy Holy Holy

                         It is enough

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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.

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Salvation

salvation

I haven’t blogged in awhile… I meant to post this 2 months ago… but then… *sigh* … life got in the way…  I had written this Salvation “talk” for a retreat …actually it was called The Holy Spirit, the Gift of God Parish Mission of renewal back in June…  it was an awesome retreat.  …  and  for several weeks afterwards people who had been to the retreat/mission came up to me praising my courage and told me I was an inspiration.  I was quite surprised at how many people approached me about my talk. I thought, I have to post it (blog)… but I put it off. Well,  It’s funny, tonight at a Daughter’s of Isabella meeting I was thinking about blogging and thinking about posting my talk…  but feeling lazy and wishy-washy about it …again …. BUT then after the meeting a Daughter came up to me and told me she was at the retreat in June and she said I was an inspiration…. I thought, okay, okay…  I need to post it… so here it is…:

God is good. All the time …. all the time, God is good…

Wow. I never thought I would be here, doing this, saying that. If you told me 12 years ago that I would be a passionate “on fire” Catholic~ I would not have believed you. No way.

Fr. Joe already explained what salvation is in his talk. SALVATION is The forgiveness of sins and restoration of friendship with God, which can be done by God alone. My favorite bible verse about salvation is from Ephesians “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works that no man may glory.”
I am saved and I give all the glory to God!

Since I only have 5 minutes to tell you my “salvation” story I will quickly explain what that means to me and highlight who I was and who I am now.

I like to think of myself as a “Born again” catholic… I am a revert, meaning: I left the faith for a period of time and then came back. I grew up in a good catholic family, but like many others, I left the faith in my late teens. Being religious didn’t interest me and I wanted to do what everyone else was doing. So I and lived a very sinful secular life for over 20 years. You name it… sex, drugs, alcohol … I lived a wild crazy immoral life style… and I was even proud of being a wild woman. I thought I was the coolest chic.

So what happened? By the grace of God I am changed. That is the only way I can explain it. By His grace and because He loves me so much I am a completely new woman. The catalyst that got me here to where I am now was seeing the movie The Passion of the Christ back in 2004. I wept as I drove home from that movie. That intense movie opened a door inside me and a curiosity for my faith was set on fire… I didn’t just go back to my faith; the Holy Spirit ignited a desire inside me! Sure I went back to mass, but I was so incredibly hungry for my faith that I needed to consume as much Catholic stuff as I could.

God worked in me and in my life for over ten years getting me to here, to where I needed to be and helped me become who I am today … through mass, ministries, book clubs, retreats, bible study … I did it all… I had many Holy Spirit moments. I even felt God speak to me and push me into teaching religious ed …. Which terrified me… I had never taught anything in my life! …and now look at me! I am a special education teacher, go figure. If you had told me ten years ago that I would someday be a special education teacher I would not have believed you. That is God working in my life. That is grace! That is His love and mercy. He loved me so much he grabbed me back, set me on fire and gave me a place and purpose.

It has not been easy. Trying to be a good Catholic has been a long difficult journey. At the beginning I had a hard time being the “Jesus freak” that the Holy Spirit was calling me to be. It took me years to be really comfortable in my faith and to talk about it with others, especially non-Catholics. It was really hard to “live the gospel” in my life especially when friends and family were doing and saying things I no longer thought were appropriate. I could not laugh at crass jokes or watch certain movies anymore. I would watch 5 minutes of a rated R comedy and would have to turn it off; horrified, mostly because the old me would have loved it and would have thought it was hilarious. And it was hard to be with old friends and not get caught up in the gossip and swearing. I so easily reverted back to my old self when I was with certain people …. it was disturbing. I actually had to walk away from friendships that were bad for me and that was very difficult. But God was leading me in the right direction, cleaning up my life, and I knew that…. So I just kept following Jesus.

He changed many aspects of my life: I had a drinking problem since I was a teen… now I have been sober for almost 5 years. God literally spoke to me to get me to stop drinking.

I was militantly pro-choice. For over 20 years. Now I am adamantly pro-life and part of an abortion healing ministry called Rachel’s Vineyard.

To get my second marriage right with the church (and God) I had to go through a lengthy annulment process, which took a year. When it was over I remarried my husband in the Catholic Church and then that same year he took RCIA classes and became Catholic too. and is now a Knight (of Columbus).

Getting right with God was hard … but I got the strength from Him to do it. My favorite bible quote is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and I pray that often!

This long, hard, crazy journey has been so worth it. And I am still amazed that I have changed so much. Who would have thought wild, crazy me would belong to a religious order: the Secular Franciscans… One of the things I love about St Francis is that he was blown away by what God did in his life too. He also had a conversion. He said, “If God can work through me he can work through anyone” and I feel the same way.

Saint John Paul the Great said it best  “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.”

That is what salvation is to me. God taking me, a prodigal daughter, a wretched sinner and completely changing me, bringing me back into His friendship… and making me into who I was meant to be.
God is good….

all the time.

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Filed under born-again, Catholic, Christian, Faith, Jesus Christ, salvation, transformation

Mary’s Fiat

mary's fiat

No, no, no… not that Fiat… hahahaha… but yeah, if the Virgin Mary drove a car it would definitely be that one.

Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. (Nine months til Christmas!!! AAAAHHH!) … The day that changed the world forever. The day of our salvation. Mary’s obedient Fiat. Her YES to God. The day she said she would be willing to give birth to our Lord and savior.

Imagine being her. A young woman, a girl really, barely a teen. Being visited by an angel, and not just any angel… but Gabriel himself… imagine for a minute … that scene.
The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896
Seeing an angel. Incredible! And having him speak to you, call you holy, and ask you to carry the son of God in your womb! Wow… just imagining that scene blows my mind!

Would you have been as brave as her? Do we ever think of Mary as being brave? We always think of her as this beautiful, pure young woman… but do we think of her as the strong, courageous girl who was willing to do God’s will no matter what?… Knowing full well that she could be stoned to death for being pregnant out of wedlock! Stoned to death. But she did it. She said yes. She accepted. She had faith that God was with her (literally!) and that He would protect her and take care of her. She loved the Lord that much.

Do we have faith like that? Crazy trusting faith! Do we listen to what God is asking us to do? Are we silencing our crazy, busy, loud lives and sitting alone with God? Are we listening to what he wants of us? And when we do hear Him are we responding like Mary by saying “Yes, Lord!”? Are we stepping out of our comfort zones … are we willing to do something crazy for the Lord? Something that will change our lives and probably others…

Sit with Mary, the Mary that just said yes to an angel. Sit down next to her, take her hand. Talk to her. What would you say? What would you ask? How would she respond? What would she ask you? Would she reassure you? Would she speak to you sweetly, comfort you and help you, convince you to say yes to God in your life? Imagine looking into her face, her eyes. Seeing her smile. You got this…

Be not afraid. Nothing is impossible for God. You can do it; with the Lord you can do anything.

Thank you Mary for your Fiat.

The-Annunciation 2

Thank you God for Mary.

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