Tag Archives: faith

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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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.

 

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

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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Filed under Catholic, Eucharist, Mass

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.

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

Echoing Their Joyous Strain

images

A year ago I blogged about the shepherds and what it must have been like to be there, to have witnessed the heavenly host of angels and to have seen the baby Jesus. How amazing that must have been. Life changing. I can only imagine.

Recently I had another Christmas epiphany… our book club read and discussed (and ate Christmas cookies!) Scott Hahn’s Christmas book Joy to the World. How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (And Still Does), an amazing explanation and examination of the Christmas story (our favorite Christmas book so far!). The one chapter I enjoyed the most was~ Angels: Echoing Their Joyous Strain. Recently I have been fascinated by angels and angels books (and my own guardian angel and how frustrated he must get with me, haha). I think what blew me away in that chapter was when Professor Hahn explained, “In coming to earth, Jesus united heaven and earth in the praise of God’s glory. Shepherds and angels were, ever afterward, singing from the same hymnal. The song the angels taught the herdsmen, the Gloria, is still part of the Church’s ritual at Sunday Mass.” I had to stop and read that again. Wait… what? The Gloria?  That song, the one we sing, sometimes half-heartedly every week, came from … angels?! … Why didn’t I realize this before?  Why didn’t I catch that?  Why did that amazing truth not blow my mind years ago?!  Say it again: The song we sing at Mass EVERY SUNDAY, the beautiful Gloria, was a song that was sung to, and taught to shepherds by ANGELS!  ANGELS! A heavenly host of angels!  A multitude! A sky filled with them!  The night sky illuminated with a choir of angels! Messengers!  Teaching poor, humble men how to praise and worship God through song! Can you imagine being knocked to your knees in awe and being swept away by the melodious resounding serenade… angelic voices filling the air, praise and worshipping God the creator… caressing the stars with song….  wow!  That moment, one of the most important moments in history, when the angels rejoiced and shared their song~ the Gloria~ with the herdsmen… a song that filled their heads and hearts and sprang forth from their lips as they in chorus themselves marched off to Bethlehem… wow…..  just wow. POW! Mind…. blown.

Seriously. I had to really stop and think about that. I had to stop and mull over that image.  I had to stop and acknowledge how amazing and important that one song is. God came down to earth and became man (a baby). and to introduce Him ~ angels… a whole army of angels, appeared and gave one of the most important lessons ever given to humans. A song of praise. Look!  This is how you glorify God. This is the song. Don’t forget it. Sing it forever.

… and then I realized… the wonderful Catholic Church did not ever forget it. She cherished it. She knew it’s value and purpose. This song is an integral part of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. … this beautiful song shared by angels…  and I think I am most blown away by this epiphany and rightly disturbed… because it is a song we take for granted … just another song we sing at Mass. I am disheartened that I hadn’t realized this before. Why did this allude me?

So, now that I know, that I recognize, that I have this vision in my head… when I go to Mass, especially this Christmas eve, when the Gloria is sung I will belt out those words and I will rejoice in my heart knowing that angels are all around us… those same angels from 2,000 years ago… all singing with us… because heaven does come down to earth and sings with us when we glorify God during Mass.

Echoing that one song over the ages…

Seeing-Shepherds-hr
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth. Lord God heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

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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.

eucharist

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

eucharist 2

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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Filed under Adoration, Catholic, Eucharist, Jesus Christ, Life Teen, prayer

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