Friday, October 21, 2016

Looking at the Bigger Picture

 Hey if anyone is looking for a good movie to watch this weekend, I would like to recommend God's Not Dead 2.  It's out on DVD already and is great movie the whole family can watch.  (And if you haven't seen God's Not Dead, the prequel, I would recommend that as well.)  This movie follows a couple of different character's struggle with their faith and what they are willing to do or give up because of their faith in God.
  I think everyone struggles with their faith from time to time.  We don't always get warm fuzzies when we pray, we are surrounded by people who get ahead because they don't mind bending the rules, we don't always feel like forgiving, and we don't always feel blessed in times of difficulty.  But we have to remember that our faith isn't based on feelings, our faith is a gift from God.  A gift that requires patience, nurturing, and a constant reliance on God.  We have to trust that God is always on our side, even when our adversaries appear to have the upper hand.  We have to remember that our perception of time, the world, and our current problems is limited, because we can't see the whole picture.  Our reality is based on the now, and we have difficulty seeing how God uses today's troubles to mold us into a closer resemblance of Christ, himself.  Even though our vision may be limited, God can see the whole picture.  We see the current problem and God looks into our soul and pours down His blessings on us and says,  "Don't worry child, you are blessed, and I can't wait to show you how beautiful your future is going to be.  Just keep trusting Me."   


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Falling for Mary

          Falling in love with Mary is so easy to do.  Just sit and talk with her.  She has an amazing way of helping us draw closer to the Lord.  She gently guides us so that our thoughts and actions are centered on Christ. Whenever I have a problem, I always turn to Mary for help.  I honestly don't know how anyone can get through life without reaching for Mary's loving hand and trusting her intercession.  Do yourself a favor and allow Mary into your life and into your heart.  Allow her to color your world with her warmth and abundant graces.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Who Are You Following?

Something to think about:
Who are you following? No, I don't mean on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, who do you let influence and guide your decisions? When asked this question, do you think about who you model yourself after with the way you look or dress? What about the way you act? Do you follow the actions of others because it seems popular? Is there something more to life than being popular, esteemed, or successful? What about holy?
  How come no one ever says, "When I grow up I want to be holy.  I want to be pleasing in the eyes of God?"  I wonder why that is?  Is the idea to old school in our ever changing, fast paced, technological world?
 Who should we be following? I really like the footprints of Jesus, the Nazarene.  He is never too busy to talk to me, He never calls me stupid for making mistakes, and He has this great way of redirecting my gaze away from the mirror and the reflections of the world, and into the thoughts and desires of the Father.  I guess one of the scariest things about following someone, is where you may end up.  A path of holiness is not glamorous or easy, but the destination is heavenly.  There's one thing I have discovered, though, footprints disappear after a time.  That is why you must follow very closely, don't take to long deciding who you wish to follow.


Friday, October 14, 2016

One of Those Dreams

 Did you ever have one of those dreams and after you wake up, you ask yourself, "Why did I dream about that?"  Last night I had a dream like that, and it kind of stayed with me throughout the day.  I kept thinking about it and kept wondering. 
  My dream began by the ocean.  I had my camera and was taking pictures.  I was trying to get a better picture of Theresa who was closer to the shoreline.  There were a lot of people just standing around, and I saw a path to the right to get around them.  As I began walking, my sister was suddenly by my side and then I noticed a huge building along the path.  I looked at the building.  It was completely open.  No doors.  Anyone could just walk in.  As I was looking I saw someone carrying a bag that said "The Center for Divine Mercy".
  I looked at my sister and said,  "When did this building get here?  I can't believe I didn't know about it."
  My sister replied, "I heard about it.  I keep meaning to check it out, but something always comes up."
  "Come on, let's go inside." I said as we began to walk in....
  "Mom, Wake up!  I have to get ready for school," my daughter announced as my dog began barking.
  "Please, give me 5 more minutes, I was having a good dream."  Unfortunately I wasn't able to fall back into the dream, but I couldn't stop thinking about it either.  
  I thought about the mercy of God.  It is as big and wide and vast as the ocean.  God's mercy is for everyone at anytime.  Is it possible that there are still lots of people who are not experiencing the saving and healing grace of God's mercy?  Have they heard the invitation and not responded yet?
  So, I have a personal request.  Please help me spread the word about God's loving mercy.  Encourage those around you to celebrate the mass.  The sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist are amazing experiences for your soul.  They are the fountain of God's mercy.  Let everyone know- the time is now and God's mercy is for you.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Every Day Miracles

 One of my coworkers shared this image with me.  This image appeared at her aunt's church in Marietta, Georgia just before Christmas of last year.  I was amazed when I saw this image of Mary just behind a Marian statue.  I love miracles!  I am a big believer in every day miracles.  I think God spoils us with little miracles all the time, but we often give the credit to "luck" instead, or being at the right place at the right time.  I wonder why that is?  Why is it easier to believe that you are a lucky person,  rather than a person blessed by a God who loves you?
  I remember a moment at the end of one my first years of teaching catechism.  It had been one of those hectic weeks, where everything ended up occurring the same week.  I remember asking my husband to entertain our kids so I could finish preparing for my class.  My husband (who was a little crabby that day)  said, "Why do you fuss so much over your lesson plans, do you really think your students even care?" 
 I have to admit, I was a bit hurt by his words. I shrugged my shoulders and wondered for a minute and then said, "Yes, I happen to think someone does care."
  When my students came to class that night, one student handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and another student gave me a box of chocolates.  I was very touched.  I felt like the hand of God came to my class that night and said, "Thank you for fussing over me, I really do care,"
  I believe God is always speaking to us, we just don't actually give Him the credit.  Do I believe that image is Mary in the window?  You bet.  Mary is the perfect model of discipleship.  I bet God smiles every time He thinks of Mary, and He can't help but share that love with all of us.


I have included the following websites if you are interested in reading more about the image of Mary.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Desired Habit

  Have you ever found that after spending a lot of time with someone, you acquired some of their habits?  Think of someone close to you and how they have influenced you.  Now let me ask you this- How great is your desire to spend time with the Lord?  Is it possible that if each of us spent more time with Jesus, we might start acting more like Him? 


Friday, October 7, 2016

Leaf It up to God

  Lilly and her mom were walking through the park collecting leaves for a school project.  Lilly picked up leaf after leaf, looking for the perfect one for her project.
  "Mom, I can't just pick any old leaf.  It has to be special.  I want my project to be the best."  Lilly replied when her mom suggested this might be taking longer than it should.  Her mom, Bridget, decided to sit down on one of the swings.  This was probably going to take awhile.  Bridget let herself get lost in her own thoughts as the swing slowly and rhythmically went back and forth.
  "Oh, Mom, look at this one!  It looks like a heart!" exclaimed Lilly.   "I love it, but I don't love these marks over here." 
  "Well just look for another one without marks," suggested Bridget.
  Lilly began to collect one yellow heart leaf after another.  "Mom, I can't find any hearts that are perfect.  I'm so disappointed."
  "Hmmm....sounds like you and God have the same problem."  Bridget said under her breath, not thinking her daughter would hear.
  "What do you mean?" Lilly asked. "You mean people have marks on their hearts, too?"
  Bridget thought for a minute before she answered.  Exactly how was she supposed to explain this to a five year old.  She wished she would have kept that thought to herself.  "Well, unfortunately not very many people love God with a pure heart.  We all make mistakes and we tend to put ourselves before others.  We forget to love everyone the way God intended us to do."
  "So if I'm not nice to people my heart is going to look ugly?" Lilly said with a disappointed look.  "I don't want to be ugly on the inside.  Won't people see that?"
  "Umm...I don't think you have to worry about being ugly on the inside."
  "Why not?" Lilly wondered.
  "Because if you let Him,  God knows how to fix that." Bridget declared.
  "He does?  How?"
  "Well you know how it feels when Daddy gives you a great big bear hug before you go to bed?"
  "Well when we make a mistake and tell God we are sorry,  God wraps His merciful arms around us and pours His love into us and makes our hearts ready to be loving to others again," Bridget explained.
  "He does?  Did He ever give you a hug?" Lilly asked.
  "Yep, lots of times.  It's called Reconciliation.  In a couple of years,  you're going to get to go, too."
  "I am?  That sounds awesome!"
  "You know what?  It is really awesome!"
  Lilly looked at the leaves in her hand.  "Well maybe I will take this leaf with the mark on it.  I know it's not perfect....but...if I pour enough love into it, I bet it will look beautiful." Lilly said thoughtfully.
  "You know, honey,  I think you're right. I bet that's what God thinks, too."