Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Glory of God is All Over Michigan's Autumn!

From the website comes this beautiful description of Fall in Michigan....
Fall begins with a slow dance of turning leaves. The colors of autumn crescendo into a flurry of vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. When the 19 million acre woods explode in their annual blaze of glory, the fall colors of Pure Michigan invite you to take a fall vacation and soak it all in. 

This is Gallup Park, about a 25 minute bike ride from my house.

Really helps motivate me to get on that bike and ride when such a beautiful destination awaits.

Everywhere you look there is color..

We have rough winters here....very rough winters sometimes.  But we have four beautiful seasons..

And Autumn is the most spectacular...

The glory of God is all over everything...

God is good.  All the time.  Blessed be God!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More on the Rosary...

Perhaps you have heard enough about the rosary.  I know there are some very good Catholics who are not drawn to the rosary as a devotional.  I always think in response that the way to start loving the rosary is to start saying it on a regular basis.  Just thinking about the rosary may not be that appealing for two reasons.  First, just thinking about the rosary and whether or not it seems like a devotion that you would enjoy does not bring forth the grace that saying the rosary imparts.  And secondly, the idea of saying 53 Hail Marys and 6 Our Fathers probably sounds repetitive and bland.  What is important to consider is that while you are saying the rosary you are to contemplate the mystery of each decade.

Contemplating the mysteries draws your mind into the lives of Jesus and Mary.  You are invited to immerse yourself into these mystical realities.  Therein lies the avenue for grace and peace to flow within you.

It can be hard to stay focused on this task.  It's OK if your mind wanders a little.  Jesus knows how our minds work.  Just draw your attention back.

I have written a series of prompts and ideas for meditating on the rosary for  They are not deep theological treatises or profound philosophical insights.  Just ideas and Scripture quotes that have helped me stay focused on the mystery.  I offer the links to these ideas below for anyone whom they might help.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Luminous Mysteries

The Glorious Mysteries

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Rosary...

The rosary....It is difficult to explain how significant the rosary is in my life.

There was a time in my life when I had a great deal of trouble sleeping.  I clung to the rosary.  I said many, many rosaries those nights.  Eventually I started falling asleep after having said several.

Now, I just have to have a rosary in my hand when I fall asleep.  It's as though I have to have that connection with the Blessed Mother.  I don't feel secure without it.  Some nights I barely finish the
Apostles Creed before I fall asleep.

When I was a little girl the sisters at our parish Catholic school told us that if you fell asleep saying the rosary your guardian angel would finish it.  Well, why not start one at least then?

Now, I sleep pretty well.  But I nearly always start a rosary.  If there's something weighing on my heart I ask the Lord to help me finish it, if that is what he would like.  And, if I fall asleep, could he please receive the completed rosary from my guardian angel for the intention with which I started it.

If I find myself wide awake in the middle of the night I start a rosary for the first person who comes to mind.  Sometimes, this appears to be a randomly selected person.  No matter.  I say the rosary for that person anyway, because they may indeed need it.  Occasionally I have found out later that that person was really in need of prayer.

The above photo is the corner of the headboard on my bed.  Lest you think that the number of rosaries hanging there is some indication of my devotion, let me confess the reason for their being there.

I do always sleep with a rosary, usually a plastic one because they do not tangle.  One by one, these rosaries have slipped off the top of the bed after I've fallen asleep and have accumulated on the floor behind the headboard.  I finally pulled the bed out and, with the help of my daughter, retrieved them all out.  This photo shows the accumulated supply.  :-)

I guess I won't have to look for a rosary for a long time now.  Thanks be to God.

Monday, October 27, 2014

He Leads the Mother Ewes with Care!

To any new mothers who may be reading this, Congratulations!   You have cooperated with the Author of Life and look what God has wrought! Love has miraculously created a new person who is, and will forever be, unique in all of human history.  And you, you have been given the privilege of caring for this new life.  What a sacred and humbling responsibility. ....

No pressure or anything....LOL
Read my entire post here on Catholic 365.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thanking God for the Gift of Mike and John! The Birthday Boys!

May God bless these two men.  My second oldest son and my husband of 34 years who happen to share the same birthday!  Mike always says that John is the best birthday present he ever received.

I want to honor my husband Mike for being a devoted father, a loving and hard working provider, and a skilled engineer.  Mike is a man of kindness, gentleness, and concern for others. I will always be grateful for his openness to life and his dedication to our family.  May the Lord bless him on his birthday and always!

I also want to honor my son John.  Most people know that John is a gifted pianist. No need to elaborate. :-) What others may not know is that he is also a man with a kind and grateful heart, a keen intellect, and one who lives life with a positive attitude and a ready smile.  May the Lord bless him and guide him all the days of his life!

I thank you, Lord, for blessing me with Mike for a husband and John for a son.  May your love and your grace always be upon them!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lesson Learned and the Power of St. Anthony

Perhaps some of you read my gripe post about my new iphone.

Yes.  I declared that I hated it.  (And I did hate it.  I like it a little better now.)

Yesterday, I lost it.  I remembered having it at the 12:00 Mass and had no recollection of seeing it after that.

I pleaded with my longtime good friend St. Anthony.  Repeatedly.  Kept looking, even in the odd places, but no luck.  I looked all through my minivan, under the seats, everywhere.  Not there.

This morning I went to 6:45 Mass and checked where I had been sitting yesterday.  I checked the Lost and Found.  I retraced my steps from the church to my car, in case it had fallen out of my pocket.

I even cleared off my desk thinking it might be under papers.  Nope.  All the time, pleading with the Lord to hear the prayers of St. Anthony that I might find that phone.

Finally, I said to the Lord something like this, "I know I complained about that expensive iphone.  I know I complain about a lot of things.  I'm sorry.  Perhaps you want me to realize that I really have been very blessed.  I may not find this phone.  It's OK.  I will accept that.  Maybe that's what you want and its loss will draw me closer to you."

About five minutes later I found the phone.  It was sitting in plain sight on a table in our family room.  I can't imagine I hadn't looked there.  Perhaps St. Anthony moved it there.  He's moved other things.

Thank you, St. Anthony.  Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for the phone and thank you for putting up with me.

God is good.  All the time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ebola Czar....reporting to whom?

So Ron Klain has been appointed the ebola czar.  We have a National Institutes of Health, a Center of for Disease Control, and a Department of Health and Human Services, but I guess when there isn't strong enough leadership in the existing bureaucracy a new bureaucrat is deemed necessary.

Ron Klain is a former chief of staff to both vice president Gore and vice-president Joe Biden.  Not sure how that qualifies him.  He has no medical background.  I've heard his appointment defended with the argument that his role is implementation and he's very good at that.  OK.  How is he going to know what to implement?  He will coordinate efforts at multiple agencies-- CDC, NIH, and potentially State Department and even the military.  Does he not need to know what efforts need to be coordinated?
I hope he surrounds himself with knowledgeable people and does get the job done.  Just seems like a medical person at one of the already established organizations ought to have been able to do it.  I guess they are busy with other things.

Even more curious is the fact that Klain will report, not to the president as one would expect, but to National Security Advisor Susan Rice.  Yes, the Susan Rice who claimed on all the Sunday talk shows that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous demonstration in response to a video and that there was no evidence that it was a terrorist attack.  It was not spontaneous.  It was not in response to a video and it was clearly an organized, terrorist attack.  Inexplicably, the media never held her or the administration accountable for misleading the American people.  Yes, that Susan Rice.  One might also ask what does ebola have to do with national security.  Yes, I think one might ask that question.

Ultimately, the administration says Ron Klain will report also to the Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco.  Does anyone else find it odd that ebola is being treated as a national security issue?  It's a health issue.  The Department of Homeland Security was originally established, according to their own website, to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, to reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and to minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur. (their wording)

How is the ebola virus related to terrorism and national security?  And why is Obama treating it this way?  Is he trying to minimize the very real security threats to the United States?  Is he trying to take our eyes off the ongoing threat of radical Islamism?

I find the whole situation very puzzling, including the use of American troops to fight ebola in West Africa.  We should help West Africa in every way we can.  But is this a good use of the military?  Is our president so reluctant to acknowledge the true purpose of the military that he wants to focus our soldiers on a nonmilitary mission?  And call a health threat a national security issue?

The Obama administration continues to keep me wondering....