Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Catholic Blog Directory

*JMJ* Yeah! I made it into the Hall of Fame!!! Well not exactly. But my blog did make it into the Catholic Blog Directory. If you'd like to see it, just go to this link and check it out. It's in alphabetical order. And there as so many more good Catholic blogs to view in this directory. This woman I met (via e-mail) Andrea, compiles all these great Catholic blogs. And I just want to publicly thank her for her dedication to that. And I would would like to thank her again for adding my blog to the directory. In the directory, you will find blogs from priests, nuns and just laymen people like myself. I do hope you go and check it out! God bless you!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Feast of the Holy Family

*JMJ* Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. As you know, my blog is dedicated to the Holy Family so I felt compelled to write in my blog today about this Feast day. I don't know if you have noticed, but I do begin each post with JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph). Bishop Sheen use to begin his writings with that. I'm sure other holy people have done it but I haven't looked into that. I love Bishop Sheen by the way and I to hope for him to become a saint, soon. I've always had a strong devotion to the Holy Family since I became Catholic. Perhaps because I'm a Catholic mother and wife. I'm also a stay at home mom. I love my family and their happiness means everything to me. Our families are considered "little churches" in the Catholic faith. I have a Holy Family statue in my home where it is easily visible to me to see it everyday. My parents were also divorced and it completely destroyed my family. There is no good that comes from a divorce. And Satan will do his darnedest to destroy families, and especially Catholic families. I seen a bishop on EWTN. He said that he performed and exorcism once and that Satan spoke to him. Supposedly he said, "I am the Christ killer! And WHEREVER Christ is, I will try to kill Him!" When I heard that, I was like, "Come on! Bring it on! Show me what you got! If your going to try and destroy MY family, your going to have a fight!" I was a fairly new Catholic and very feisty and full of energy! And I felt like I had the strength to back it up, meaning the sacraments and but who else? Who would fight for us? Our heavenly mother, Mother Mary. I heard all you have to do is mention Mary on your lips and the enemy will flee because he can't stand the Blessed Virgin Mary. It hurts me to have to write that. All we need to do, is just ask for her help and protection and there she comes to aid us miserable sinners. Well folks, I try and make Christ the center of my family. Will the devil try to destroy my family? You bet he is doing everything in his power. Will he prevail? That is why I stay close to Jesus and Mary and Joseph and the sacraments. I pray that the Holy Family will watch over my family and ALL families! Like that saying goes. The family that prays together, stays together. So we all need to be diligent in watching and caring for our families because the devil is lurking to destroy ALL families. Because it reminds the devil of the Holy Family. The devil will look for the slightest weakness in an individual and just go for it. He will do whatever it takes to destroy that family. I have seen strong Catholic families destroyed and unravel in my lifetime. We all know, that 50% of marriages fail within three years of their marriage. It's so unusual for people to be married for 40 or 50 years anymore. Do I have an easy answer? No. But I think we can all agree that we need to guard our families and make our families our first priority. I seen this prayer on EWTN once. I love this prayer and I thought it was fitting for this post. Just a little note.Saint Anne is the Blessed Virgin Mother's, mother. Saint Anne, Bless My Family My family is the heart of my life. It is my little church. Saint Anne, guard the members of my family against all physical and spiritual danger. You lived in the presence of your husband Joachim and your little daughter Mary. Later, you welcomed your son-in-law, Saint Joseph, and above all your beloved grandson Jesus, our Savior. May your family inspire our families. May we remain united in a deep mutual love. If my family is broken by separation or divorce, remain for us the Saint of tenderness and lead us to God. Saint Anne, you were a spouse , a mother and a grandmother; bless all the members of my family. Keep us faithful to the Lord. May we remain attentive to the needs of other families. Protect all families. Amen *I'm not sure of the author to this prayer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

That Christmas Peace

*JMJ* That Christmas peace. How do you explain it? How do you describe it? Have you never felt it? Have you ever let a Christmas go by without searching for it? Have you ever gone to bed on Christmas Eve without trying to feel it? Can we make yourselves feel it? Or is it a gift to us from above? When you search for it...and then there it is. No matter where your at. It's that peace that envelopes you. That peace that surrounds you. That Christmas peace that comes upon you from above. And what joy it brings to ones heart searching for that Christmas peace. That quietness. That stillness. That enters your heart. The sweetness of it. The gentleness of it, like a little babe's tiny breath...yes it's that Christmas peace, that Jesus gives to those who seek. Thank you Jesus. And Happy Birthday Jesus. Thank you Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. May you all find that Christmas peace in your hearts this Christmas. Jesus, thank you for making it so easy for me to come to you, when you came into this world as a baby. Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lighting of The Advent Wreath

*JMJ* Well as I mentioned in a previous post, my family was invited to light the fourth candle for the fourth Sunday of Advent at my parish this morning. As honored as I felt for the parish to think of my family for lighting the candle, that was a little uncomfortable for me. I was definitely out of my element and comfort zone. Yikes! There goes my new found confidence that I had mentioned in my previous post. It went straight out the window. I'm so shy. So it was really hard for me. My family walked up the center of the isle along with the procession. First the crucifix, then us, then the priest with the other two deacons followed. I was just so nervous. Then we had to be seated in the front pew where it was reserved for my family. Then the priest announced my family's name and invited us up to light the candles. I was grabbing onto that long match as hard as I could without it breaking so that no one would see my hand shaking. Then when we sat down I was so upset for the rest of the mass because when I looked over at the candles, I think one of the candles weren't lit. Oh well, I thought. To late to worry about it now. It was really uncomfortable to sit in the front pew to. I like to blend in with the crowd. I just felt so uptight throughout the whole mass. I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk, lol. I have to also learn to loosen up and learn not to take things so seriously. I need to laugh at myself. Even while I'm at church to some extent. I mean you still have to act a certain way when your in the house of God. But I think you know what I'm trying to say. I shouldn't be so hard on myself when it comes to church. Don't get me wrong, I'm also not talking about not following the Catholic rules. I'd always try my best to obey them. But I mean to lighten up in the way that I don't have to be so perfect in church. I don't want to become...shall I say...stuffy. That candle not being lit really bothered me through out the whole mass and I had a hard time focusing on the mass but tried my best. As we left, I thanked the priest for the invitation of lighting the advent candles. As honored as I felt, I will be glad to sit amongst the other parishioners somewhere in the parish on Christmas, where I can just blend in with the others. That was really hard. I was really kind of surprised that I had such a difficult time doing that. It's just God Himself showing me, I still need to grow. Enjoy the Lord's day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bah, Humbug!

*JMJ* I'm sure that we all have encountered this behaviour from people who work with the public or that are just out and about in some way. Let me just start off by saying, I'm not being judgemental. But I do feel like this needs to be addressed. As I thought about this post, I could tell that my thoughts were being pulled in different directions, but I want to try and stay on the topic of people being rude. What are the patron saints for dogs? Because my little pooch is going to need some intervention today. Pray that she still has her ears and tail intact when I go to pick her up from the dog groomer. Oh dear. I took her back to this new groomer who clipped her ear a tiny bit last time. I figured it was an accident and took her back to the same groomer. But what I really want to talk about is people's bad attitudes, bad manners and unhappiness in life in general. I'm not talking about people who lost loved ones or someone whom they are close to is ill or are ill themselves. I'm talking about people who have no good reason for their bad behavior. Like today when I walked into the doggy parlor. There were two people working there who did not greet me, I greeted them! Then I asked for my dog's groomer. She came around the corner and I got no greeting from her either. She kept walking back and forth a few times before she even spoke to me. She looked like she didn't want to be there. Her shoulders were slouched down, looking sad and depressed. Didn't her mama teach her any manners? When she came around that corner, she should have stood up straight, greeted me with a smile and said happy holidays, it's nice to see you and thank you for letting me be your dog's groomer today. I'm just tired of seeing people's grumpiness for no darn good reason. It's so rude! Myself, I'm very shy. And I have to combat that because I don't ever want anyone to think that I'm a rude person. For example, when my youngest son started school a couple of years ago. It had been several years since I had to deal with an elementary school with rude moms who were very snobby. This time, I tried to combat my shyness to make it a point to talk to as many moms as I could. Even when clearly they did not want to talk to me, I would continue to talk to them. I think they finally gave in to speak to me because they probably seen that I wasn't going to go away. It's not that my shyness went away, that will never go away because that is apart of who I am. But my shyness was not showing in public. So I started to talk to these moms almost on a daily basis. I didn't think we were friends, we were just acquaintances. We were all moms with our kids in school. I was on a mission. I was going to become friends with all of the woman in our group of moms. Not so much for me, but so that no one would feel left out. If I seen a mom by herself for a few days at the beginning of a new school year, I would make it an effort to talk to her for the next few days. Then, she would join with the group of moms. I felt bad for the woman by herself. She must of thought I was so snobby and rude. But I combated that by talking to her. Then like I said, a few days later she joined in with the group of moms. I felt better because no one was being left out. And no one could say that I was being rude or snobby. One day there was this lady who usually talked to us but she was standing on the side, away from us. When I turned around and seen her standing there by herself, I motioned for her to come stand by the group of mothers and she did. Yeah maybe I did take it upon myself that day to presume that she wanted to be with us. Maybe she was having a horrible day and just wanted to be by herself. But I gave her the option of standing by us or standing by herself. I guess I'm just trying to point out how I will go out of my way for another human being so that they don't think that I am being rude or snobby in anyway. A couple of years ago when this all started, someone even asked me if I was in the PTO. I said no. In the group of woman, we are all different. Different nationalities, different ages, etc. But I have to say we are all speaking. Like I said, I am shy and I don't know why God chose me for the job. But I can clearly see God working through me. I feel comfortable enough to possibly have these woman over for a tea party. Two years have passed. Their all moms like me and they to work very hard. Some work out of the house and some are a stay at home mom like me. Some even have babies. But like I said, we're all talking. And one reason why I'm still iffy about asking them over for a tea party is because there so many moms now who are talking! I'd have to invite all of them! I could not be rude and leave anybody out. :-) I remember two years ago when my son entered Kindergarten that there were like 12 moms just standing there and not even speaking to each other! I thought how horrible. How rude. And what terrible manners! My hubby knows how shy I am. I tell him, boy you wouldn't know I was your wife up at the school with all the talking I do now. And I have to watch that balance. Because you don't want to be dominating or stalking anyone. Yet I've noticed that with my new found confidence, I may be shy but I can still be in a group. I've built confidence within myself, thanks be to Jesus. I've noticed it taking place at my church as well. Maybe it comes with maturity to. I wouldn't say it's low-self esteem with me. I've always felt like a worthy person. Some people don't like it when you have confidence. They wonder what your so happy about. And then they will be rude to me. They will turn their backs on me. But what they don't realize, is that your not turning your back on me, your turning your back on Christ who dwells in me. I have respect for all human beings. Because I know that the Lord loves them just as much as he loves me. God created them. So I have a general love for all people. And you wonder what brings that confidence and happiness within myself? Jesus. The King of Peace. I always feel at peace with my Lord. And if I start to feel uneasy, I know what I must do. I know when I'm not close with the Lord because that uneasy feeling creeps in. That is when I run back to the Lord where I know that I will find that peace that I think all humans long for really. Then there are times when your confidence feeds off of other people and they are drawn to you. But what their really looking at, is Christ working through little ole me, in my situation. So how should I end this post...Just know that God loves all people. He created them. Your important to him like no other person on this earth. You need to put your priorities first. When I'm closest to God, I find myself being happy about my life. Yes I am not exempt from going through difficult times. For one because I'm still breathing. But that confidence I feel when I'm close to the Lord can never be taken away from me by anyone. I guess through mortal sin, but thanks be to God, I haven't fallen into mortal sin and I hope I never do. I guess I'll close by saying, if your close with Jesus, how could you ever be rude to anyone again? Like my priest told me. You live close to the Lord, you die close to the Lord. Thanks be to God! Jesus I LOVE you! P.S. By the way, my doggy looked fabulous. And the the dog groomer loved her Christmas tip. :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Saturday Night

*JMJ* A few weeks ago, out priest announced that our parish would be holding a Spaghetti dinner for a fundraiser for St. Vincent de Paul. They are in desperate need for food for the poor. Our priest told us that at least a couple of people would come to the parish to ask for some food probably twice a month. Now our priest told us that people are coming in daily to the parish and asking for food. Our priest asked the whole church, if every family could go to this spaghetti dinner to help St. Vincent de Paul feed the poor. He said that this was an important fundraiser. The Men's Club who was hosting the fundraising dinner was also asking for donations for the food that they had to buy for the dinner. So I was getting my family all geared up for weeks now telling them that we will be going to Mass on Saturday instead of Sunday. My family was like, "Ugh, why Saturday?" I told them because of the Spaghetti dinner fundraiser was following mass. We were going to the dinner anyway so why not go to mass before hand. Well hubby got a bad cold so he didn't go. So it was just me and my two sons going. After mass our priest told us that the church was more filled this evening and he was hoping it was because everyone was planning on going to the spaghetti dinner fundraiser after mass. And boy did they! Let me tell you! The line was going out the doors! I repeat OUT THE DOORS!!! I mean, my parish, was the place TO BE on a Saturday night! The place was just hopping. There was a buzz in the air and everyone was in wonderful spirits. You could just feel the excitement in the air. It was spectacular! I was taken aback. The dinner cost $6 for adults and $3 for children. They gave you raffle tickets upon arrival as you entered into the social hall of the parish where the dinner took place in the church. There was also a bake sale going on. Once you got into the social hall then there was another long line to get your food. Once you got up there they gave you a plate of spaghetti and asked you if that was enough. Then they asked you if you wanted marinara sauce with that or meat sauce. They gave you a huge piece of garlic bread. You could also get a bowl of salad with any salad dressing you could imagine to chose from. They gave you those nice heavy duty paper plates with real silverware and those thick napkins. Then you could go over and get any drink you wanted. They had all kinds of pop, coffee or ice water. Then you had to try and find your family a place to even sit down. The tables all had table clothes on them. And each table had a Christmas center piece on it. One table would have a sleigh. One had bells, a snowman, etc. Our table had a white candle with artificial snow sprinkled in the center. So pretty. Then there was Christmas music playing in the background. It was so nice. People were chatting and talking and having such a wonder time. I heard a lady walking by say that they ran out of spaghetti and had to cook some more. The lines were still going out the doors at this time. But when I looked up I soon seen that they were already serving the people with more spaghetti so it didn't take them long to get the line going again. I have to say, that the dinner was delicious! The garlic bread was crispy with baked pesto and cheese on it. I'll have to try and bake pesto on my garlic bread next time. I never thought to bake it like that. They also had chopped up garlic in their spaghetti. I love garlic. Our priest was going around through the social hall talking to everyone. You could just see how happy he was with the turn out of people showing up. And I am not kidding! When my family was done eating, I cleaned up the table as much as I could for the next people to sit down who was still in line. I am not kidding. When my family was getting up to leave, there was still people lined up OUT THE DOOR to get in to eat!!! I just couldn't believe it! As my family walked out of the church doors, into the snowy night, I was just so touched of what I had just experienced by the whole church. As I was walking to my car with my children on this wintry night, I just felt so good. The thing that came to my mind, was the team effort of all of the volunteers as they hustled and bustled to do their job...together. And also the parishioners...who came for the support of the poor...together. What a nice feeling. What a nice feeling to be apart of that. And what a nice feeling, that my children witnessed that. And I could just feel the Lord's presence hovering over our parish tonight. And what a nice Saturday night it was.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Die Hard Catholic

*JMJ* Today is the feast day for the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation! Yes, obligation! That means it is our duty as Catholics to go to Mass today. I had a choice to go either this morning or this evening with my family. I am going this evening. Sorry that I haven't written for a few days in my new blog here, My Catholic Oasis. I was contemplating where I wanted to go with this new blog. And I was waiting to see where the Holy Spirit would guide me in writing in my new blog. I'm not much into politics and I'm by no means a theologian. I try to write factual on the Catholic religion but, I'm only human and I could be wrong in the things I write. But I do write things with caution because I do want to be accurate. I'm still not sure where this blog is going but something did touch me to write about. Today I seen two people from separate families who go to my parish and they have their children enrolled also in the Chatacism program. I asked them if they were staying after Chatacism to go to mass. They both said, "For what?" I said in reply, "For the Holy Day of Obligation." They both said, "Oh no that's to late. It's a school night. We're not doing that." Well this evening would make for a long evening. The children have to go to Chatacism from 5:30-7:00 p.m. During that time parents were to go to this meeting for an explanation on the Family First work books that they use and showed us how their web page is set up and how to use that in addition to the workbook. Well I noticed that not all parents went to that. Anyway mass would follow at 7:00 p.m. for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and run to 8:00 p.m. Let's just start off by saying that I am not trying to be judgemental here. But my son is going to second grade Chatacism along with those other children who are also in the second grade. People, they will be receiving there First Holy Communion in the spring! And they are not going to take their children to mass?!? Oh my gosh! I don't want to hear of excuses, "Well it's to late. I need to get my children to bed early, it's a school night." I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. To me there is absolutely no excuse why those parents did not take their children to mass. I'm not going to go on and on about my day and tell you how busy I was detail for detail. But my day started at 4:00 a.m. Yes, I am a stay at home mom, but I tell you, my feet aren't up on the footstool eating bon-bons, watching soaps operas. My children and I were tired to. My second grader goes to bed at 8:00 p.m. also. In fact, I made my teenage son tag along with me last night because I wouldn't have time to run home to pick him back up for mass. So we were in church for three hours last night! When I lay my tired head down at night, exhausted or not, I know I did what God wanted me to do that day. I don't care if I had to stay at the church all day with meetings or whatever else, I would not ever let my children miss mass. To me there is absolutely no excuse for it. Especially lets not forget that it's a mortal sin to miss mass. Yes a mortal sin. That means you must go to confession before you can receive the Eucharist again. I am not a cradle Catholic. It will be ten years in the spring that I have been initiated into the Catholic church through the R.C.I.A. program. I'm I a die hard Catholic? I don't know. All I know for sure is that when I became Catholic, I didn't just do it for something to do. I didn't take it lightly. It wasn't just something to do at the time. I try my best to follow the Catholic faith to the best of my ability. I know that I will be judged on that one day. I just know it. I can feel it. I know that my life is no dress rehearsal. That this is it, playing out before my eyes. Well, now that I got that off of my chest! I didn't mean to be harsh if it came across like such. It's just that I'm so passionate about my faith and do take it very seriously. I guess I am a die hard Catholic! And proud of it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Nativity Set

*JMJ* I set up my nativity set today and put it under my Christmas tree. I hate to put in under there because you can't see it very good. But I really lack table room in my living room so this is the best place for it if I want to bring it out. I wish I could remember the year I got it. My husband got it for me at Frank's Nursery & Crafts several years ago. I think I might have gotten it the first year I was initiated into the Catholic church in 1999 when I completed the R.C.I.A. program, but I'm not sure.
I thought I'd take a picture and share it with you all. So have any of you put up your nativity sets yet? Oh I would love to see yours! Have a blessed Advent season. Jesus is the reason for the season! I just love that little saying.
I also added the pics of some of the little trinkets of what my son got in his Advent calender so far.
2...chap stick, he wanted. 3...Hershey's Kiss.
4...tub squirter's. I know I'm going to regret getting him these, come bath time!