Thursday, February 26, 2009

After The Fast

*JMJ* Well I'm glad that that it over with. Whew that fasting is really hard. I was OK for most of the day yesterday but between 3 to 5 pm, it was not going to good for me. I finally did eat my one meal for the day at 5:30 pm. And that made me feel kind of sick after I ate because I didn't eat for the whole day. But it did give me enough energy to make it through the evening mass to receive my ashes. As soon as I came home from church I just went to bed and I was starting to feel hungry again. But I just closed my eyes and knew that when morning came, I could have my favorite bowl of cereal. When I woke up this morning I wasn't hungry. I even worked out before I ate breakfast. I did eat after my workout before I carried on with my day. It was so weird yesterday though. I just felt a peace with me all morning long. I also didn't get a headache which I usually do when I don't eat enough. I could really feel the Lord's presence yesterday. I even prayed and did some light housework and some blogging. That helped to occupy my mind away from my hunger pains. Now I'll have to do that again on Good Friday but that's not for several weeks away yet. I hope you all drew close to the Lord yesterday as it was the beginning of the Lenten season and continue to do so. I hope that this is your best Lent yet, as far as drawing closer to the Lord. God bless each and everyone of you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday, The First Day of Lent

Today Catholics celebrate ash Wednesday. It's the first day of Lent. The mardi gras celebrations are over. It's a day of fast and prayer. The whole Lenten season is a time for being sorry for our sinfulness. Not only our own but for the whole world's sinfulness as well. We pray that we want to be better Christians. We ask Jesus to help us change to be better follower's of Christ. It's also a time of alms giving. To help by giving money or giving your time to someone in need. And penance which is being sorry for your sins and going to confession. Don't forget that Catholics are obligated to make at least one confession a year. And you guessed it...we're to go during Lent. Also it's a day we get to go to mass and receive the ashes on our foreheads in the form of the cross. It's to remind us that we will all die one day. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. Which means you are not required to go to mass. But don't you want to? Why would you miss out on an opportunity to receive Jesus in the Eucharist? Plus it's just the perfect way to start Lent. Yes mass is in the evening and I'm starving at that point in the day. But I do it for the love of Jesus I guess. I always look around the church and think, are these people starving like I am or what? I usually leave my cross of ashes on till the next morning. I like to sleep with it on my forehead. I go to mass in the evening so my children can go after school. But what about you? Do you go get your ashes in the morning? Do you where your ashes wherever you go that day? The ashes that are used are blessed from the priest. Also the ashes come from the palms that were collected and then burned, from the previous year. I wish you all a prayerful Lenten season in hopes that everyone will draw closer to the Lord. "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return...."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Soon It Will Be Lent

*JMJ* I told you Lent was coming a few weeks ago and now it officially starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. Yep and we all know what that means. Fast. Ugh. It's so hard to fast. But because I have been watching what I've been eating this past year, I'm hoping it won't be so hard on me. I love to fast but then I hate to fast. Does that make any sense to anyone out there? I love this time in the church. Like I said in my previous post, It's a time I feel like I can really participate in the church. I don't like to fast because it's so hard to. I think if you don't fast, it's a mortal sin because it's something the church is asking us Catholics to do. But we are allowed to have one full meal during that day. We have to fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. Those are the only two days that the Catholic church tells us to fast. I think if your over 62 you don't have to fast. But check with your church for I'm not real sure on that age. I do know that you don't have to start fasting until your 18. But when your 14 you do have to abstain from meat. Also check with your church for these ages as well. Also on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday your not allowed to eat meat. The six Fridays during Lent your not allowed to eat meat either. I post a note, 'No meat' on the fridge on those days for a reminder. I usually won't work out on those days or do heavy housework. I have to preserve my energy the best I can. I don't do good on the days I have to fast. You are allowed to have coffee, hot tea and water. Your not allowed to have like a milk shake. Every time I fast I always say that I'm going to get myself up at 12:01 Thursday morning to eat! But that never happens. If I do wake up in the middle of the night I'm usually not hungry because I've been sleeping. But I always smile knowing that the fast is over and I'll be able to eat when I wake up. Yeah! I love that feeling when I know the fast is over and I did it, with the Lord's help of course. It's hard. It's really hard. I have to get my mind set on fasting for tomorrow. I struggle with not being able to eat. But don't fear because I have a yummy menu for Thursday's dinner. A whole baked chicken roasted in the oven with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. Mmmmm. But do not forget. Today is Fat Tuesday. So remember to get your punchki's and we'll just have to worry about fasting tomorrow when Mardi Gras is officially over. God Bless you and good luck to you all during your fasting!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Little Black Book

*JMJ* Yep I got my little black book for my Lenten reflections. You can get a blue one during Advent and a little white book follows after the little black book for the Easter season. I just love those little books. They do help you to pray daily to. It has neat little tid bits about Lent on the left side of the page. The right side is for some scripture taken from the bible. Then at the bottom of it, it leaves you with a time to reflect. You'll know what I mean if you get the book regularly. It says, 'Spend some quiet time with the Lord.' From here your suppose to say your own prayers. I do hope you all attain one of these little black books for Lent to help you stay close to the Lord during this Lenten season. I got mine! Every little thing that helps us Catholics to get geared up for Lent, is great. These books were written by Bishop Ken Untener. He passed away in 2004 but these little black books still get circulated by the editor by using the writings of Bishop Untener. As I am writing this post I'm now wondering if others from other states even get these little black books. So let me know. I'd love to hear from you. P.S. Today is shrove Tuesday. It's a day when Catholics eat pancakes to help them use up some dairy that is left over before they start there fasts tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Don't Have Time To Pray!

*JMJ* Sometimes my life goes haywire. I don't feel right inside. I feel like I'm being pulled in 1,000,000.00 different directions. I'm a housewife. I feel overwhelmed. I think how in the h*ll I'm I going to do all of this! How I'm I going to pull this off! How I'm I going to get this done! I have a full plate! And no one can take this full plate from me. It's mine. I start to panic. My life has become like a whirlwind. My life starts to snowball. I become so unfocused. I'm just trudging water to get the priorities done for the day. But I still don't feel right inside. But deep down I know what the problem is. I've been trying to get through all of these days on my own without God. I think, "Oh Gees, I don't have time to pray! I'm just to darn busy!" But deep down inside I know what the problem is. And it's a BIG problem!! I've pulled myself away from Christ in thinking that I can handle even my daily life without Him again. A quote from the bible comes to mind, but I don't know the exact quote on hand at the moment. It says something like, "Place your burden's on me and I will give you strength.". This especially comes to mind when I'm sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament at the adoration chapel. There have been many days when I go there that I can't even pray. I just say, "Here I am Lord. You called me to come and here I am." This miserable person that I am, I can't even muster a few words in prayer. I feel so tired. I feel so drained. But I give it all to my Lord Jesus Christ. My burdens and all my sorrows that I hold in the depths of my heart in front of the Blessed Sacrament. But most importantly Jesus is asking me to pray. He is asking me to draw myself to Him. To find strength in Him. To find comfort in Him. That He is the ONLY one who can bring focus to my life. But most importantly, He is the ONLY one who can give me peace for my soul, no matter how busy my life is. He lets me know in the depth of my heart that I am nothing without him. He reminds me that I need him. Even in my little ole daily life that is filled with so much stuff that I can't do it without him. He lets me know that if I tried to do it without him, that all my heavy labors would mean nothing to him. That even my heavy heart wouldn't mean anything if I don't offer it to him. (That is where I know that the Lord sees the truth.) I can't even hide my heavy sorrowful heart from Jesus, even if I wanted to. He won't let me! And he doesn't want me to. So here I go again. I'm reading my bible daily. I'm saying my rosary. I'm saying my St. Bridget prayer. I'm saying my personal prayers. I've always went to mass though. God never let me miss mass. When I arrive at church, I always say, "Thank you Jesus for bringing me here to mass." I do the same thing when I go before the Blessed Sacrament. I do believe it's the Holy Spirit moving me toward Mass and the Adoration Chapel. Because I'm so darn lazy, I can't see myself bringing myself to it week after week. But there is one word that stands out to me and that is PERSEVERANCE! I read it in the bible all the time. When I do pray, my life is completely transformed. It's like night and day! I don't know how and I don't understand it. But I will be going along with my daily chores. Or I will think, "How in the heck I'm I going to get all of this done today?" Then it will be noon. My prayers were said that morning. My chores some how, some way got finished earlier that I thought they would be done. I even find myself enjoying a cup of hot tea at noon. I'll just bow my head and say, "Thank you Jesus!!!! I don't know how all that stuff got done, but it got done." I don't remember where I read it before but it said something like, when you pray first, even if you don't think you have the time, you will come to find out that everything that needs to be done will get done. And I have found that out. I don't know how that is. It mystifies me. I can't make any sense out of it. But when I pray first, my day goes by more smoothly and some how, some way, all the important stuff gets done early in the day! That feeling of trudging water on a daily basis goes away. I don't understand it. Because if I do the same things the next day without saying my prayers, well lets just say it would end up being a horrible day. But when I do pray, I find that I have time to sit for a little while at mid day with a cup of hot tea in silence. And of course thanking the Lord. God Bless You! Please say your daily prayers! And you to will feel the peace of the Lord!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Saint Bridget Prayer

*JMJ* When I was visiting the adoration chapel the other day, I seen this old man who I see in there all the time. The priest of our parish shared with us that someone had told him that he sits with the Lord for nine hours a day in the adoration chapel. I suspect it's this holy man because he's in the adoration chapel all the time. He was passing these booklets out to everyone who entered the chapel. I quickly browsed through it and it was one of those prayers that if you teach and pass the prayer along then you will get some help from heaven. The prayer looked familiar. I thanked the old man. He made copies for everyone to keep. It was the 15 prayers of St. Bridget. The Lord visited St. Bridget for one year and taught St. Bridget these prayers and asked her to pass them along to everyone. These 15 prayers are to be said every day for one year. It's sort of lengthy so I kind of put it in the back of my mind for a few days. Just a few weeks ago, I had started praying the stations of the cross again. And that to is a lengthy prayer. So I was like, there is no way I can start up with the St. Bridget prayers. I like the stations of the cross. Especially with Lent coming. One day I picked up the booklet and read the promises that come along with the St. Bridget prayers. But I just set it down again. Then again the other day I picked up the booklet again. I opened it and like the second or third page it said that this prayer could be said in place of the stations of the cross! I thought ok. God just gave me his answer! So now I'm into my second day of saying the 15 prayers of St. Bridget. It takes me 15 minutes to recite it. So about the same time it takes me to recite my rosary. I've also been reading my bible on a daily basis again! Ugh. I just got so much praying to get in, lol. I need more time in a day. Well that's another post, which I will right about soon. But anyway, I just hope that I can keep up with this St. Bridget prayer for a year. I know this sounds silly, but pray that I can keep up with my prayers, lol! I would hate to have said the St. Bridget prayers for 10 or 11 months and then stop! Oh no I would not want that to happen. So pray for me would you please, lol. It's lengthy but check it out! The 15 promises of this prayer is at the bottom of the webpage. Also I will put a link to this webpage on my sidebar.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Oldest Son

*JMJ* I to believe that my oldest son was visited by someone from heaven when he was a child. When my oldest son was two, he was into all of his shows. He liked Barney and all of those toddler shows. One day I needed to get my shower in so I told him to stay put in front of the t.v. I told him that I was going to take a really fast shower and that I'd be right out. He was in the living room watching t.v. on the floor. If you look to the right you can see the glass sliding door from where he was sitting. I hurried with my shower so that I could check on him. When I came out of the shower, my son was standing in the kitchen where the glass sliding door is. As soon as he saw me, he asked, "Who was that lady?" I said "What lady? What was she wearing?" He said, "She was wearing pink and red and had yellow hair with Power Ranger buttons all over it." I said where was she standing?" I thought he was going to tell me that she was standing right outside the glass door. But he said, "She was standing on that garage." Right over our privacy fence, directly behind us in the backyard, our neighbors garage is butted up right against our fence almost. So all you see is the roof top of their garage. I told my son that I didn't know who that was. "He looked at me and said it was an angel." What was weird to me is that I never talked to him about angels. He was only two years old. Then years later, after I became Catholic, I read about Our Lady's apparition in Pontmain, France in 1871. I almost dropped the book as I was reading it because there were so many similarities to what my son said he seen. In this apparition, Our Lady was being seen only by children and not the adults. Our Lady was seen in the sky above a rooftop. The apparition began in the evening on January 17, 1871. A little boy looked into the sky and seen a woman first. The woman appeared above a house across the road. She was a tall beautiful young lady of 18 years old. She was wearing a blue robe seeded with small gold stars. She wore a golden crown. She looked at the boy and smiled. When the boy called his brother and father over, only his brother could see the lady but not the father. After dinner, the family went back along with all the others who lived in town as the word spread. Still only the children were able to see and no adults. The children now seen a small red cross on her chest. The adults were praying furiously. In the mean time candles were lighting around the lady and stars were moving out of the sky surrounding the lady. There was a scroll under her with gold letters appearing. Every time the adults changed prayers, something different would happen in the apparition. One time it read, "But pray my children." The next time it read, "God will hear you in a short time." Then the children yelled out, "She's laughing!" Then the scroll read, "My Son." And then all the adults knew that it was The Blessed Virgin Mary that the children were seeing in the sky. The children said she was laughing, smiling and that she looked beautiful. After awhile the whole vision disappeared the children said. I left some of the story out obviously because this is a post and not a book. But perhaps my son seen the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know he seen someone from heaven. Whether it be an angel or Mother Mary. My son is a teenager today and when I ask him about it he says that he made that up. But he didn't. A two year old can't make up something like that, and talk about angels when he never knew about angels until that day. If you are interested in reading about the whole apparition, the book I read was, 'Key Apparitions of Mother Mary." And one of the stories in that book was about the apparitions of Pontmain, France. Obviously I couldn't add all the details here in this post but what an amazing apparition that was. Happy Lord's Day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Daughter's Baptism

*JMJ* I have three children. And I do believe that each have been visited from heaven by someone. I know this sounds kind of weird but let me explain. My daughter was baptized in the month of March when she was an infant. Every night after I put her to bed I would close her bedroom door because I use to smoke back then and I tried to keep the smoke away from her. On the night that she was baptized, I closed the door as usual. My daughter was baptized Lutheran. It was the only church that I could find at the time who would baptize her. I wasn't Catholic yet. Well the next morning I remember waking and her not waking me. She was just beginning to sleep through the night without having to be fed. So I hurried to check on her. When I opened her bedroom door, a rush and powering smell of flowers whiffed through my nose! It was like the windows were wide open but they haven't been. It was winter time. I never forgot that. I closed the door the next night. But the next morning the smell wasn't there. That over powering scent of flowers never returned. It only happened the night of my daughters baptism. Then later as I became Catholic I learned of St. Therese of the Little Flower. I even read the books and diary on her. Then my thought came back to what happened to my daughter the night when she was baptized. St. Therese could have been the one to visit her that night, maybe Saint Therese knew that one day my daughter would become Catholic. St. Therese is known for the rose flower. So is the Blessed Virgin Mary to. Or maybe it was my daughters guardian angel who was guarding, watching or visiting her that night. I don't know. But I know that I smelled a rush of flowers in the middle of winter in her closed bedroom for just that one time. My daughter picked St. Therese for her confirmation name when she made her confirmation. Either case, I don't know who it was visiting my daughter that night, but I do know for a fact, that it came from heaven and not of this world. And I have never forgotten that. I will never forget it. It never happened to my other children when they got baptized. I even checked the next morning after the first year anniversary of my daughters baptism. But that heavenly smell never returned. Who ever it was, I know that my daughter has that same special someone watching over her to this very day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Doing Well

*JMJ* In my sidebar I have a prayer request list. I do believe in the power of prayer. I asked if you could pray for my father-in-law's continual recovery from his open heart surgery. Thanks to your prayers, he is doing well. So I will be removing him from my prayer request list. Also, my mother needed surgery. And she to is at home and recovering really well. And I'm sure she will be feeling herself real soon. My daughter on the other hand is still pregnant and having minor complications with her pregnancy so I ask that you would still pray for her. That she will be able to carry her pregnancy to full term with a good outcome with baby and mommy doing well. Thank you in advance. And thanks again to everyone who prayed for my father-in-law and my mother. God bless you all!

My 10th Anniversary

*JMJ* I just wanted to mention that my 10th anniversary of becoming a Catholic will be this 2009 Easter season. Actually during the Easter Vigil back in 1999 is when it took place. And what a gift the Lord will be blessing me this year as I celebrate my 10th year of becoming a Catholic. My 40th birthday will fall on Easter this year. But most importantly is that my son will also be making his First Holy Communion this spring. Another blessing that I will be having this spring is that my second grandson will be born within days apart of my son's First Holy Communion. I just feel like the Lord is really flooding me with such blessings as I celebrate my 10th year of being a Catholic this year. It does make me humble. There are a lot of great events that are going to take place this spring. But the way I look at it is this. It doesn't start with my birthday being on Easter or me celebrating my 10th year as being Catholic. It begins with the EUCHARIST. And then all the blessings trickle down from there. That's the way I see it. To me it's so easy to see that. I'm so happy that the Lord called me to Catholicism. And I'm so proud to be Catholic. I truly love my religion. And I pray that the Lord will keep me faithful to him, until I take my last breath. Blessings to you all. *Note- I just want to mention that I was baptized Catholic but finished my initiation as an adult. *Oh I almost forgot. It will also be ten years that my husband and I got married into the Catholic church. Shame on us, but my husband and I sometimes, ok well usually forget that date because we don't celebrate our anniversary on the date we got married into the church. We go by our original date. Which was ten years prior. That's probably why. I just had to come back to add this in. Have a blessed day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Detroit's New Archbishop

*JMJ* This is Detroit's new Archbishop. Allen H. Vigneron. I got my Michigan Catholic Newspaper in the mail yesterday. It was the only piece of mail that I got. And this was the first page of the Michigan Catholic. I think this picture taken by Larry A. Peplin @ the Michigan Catholic Newspaper, says it all! How exciting! Just look at his face. You can click for a closer look. Have a blessed day!