Dec 18, 2011

Twas a Week Before Christmas...

Today begins the fourth and final week of Advent. How exciting it is to think that in one short week we will be celebrating the birth of our Savior.  This will be the first year, in many, that I will get the pleasure of attending midnight mass.  As a child, it was the one time of year that I would beg to go to Mass.  Celebrating in the dead of night when the world is quiet and sleeping gives Christmas an almost magical feel. We as Catholics follow in the footsteps of the angels and shepherds, who gathered to look upon the newborn Savior. In the stillness it is easy to imagine the quiet awesomeness of that night so many years ago. The special knowledge of his magnificence was known only to a few.  Now in this world we are that few, who knows the wondrous things that Jesus was sent to earth to accomplish. So through much yawning I will be quietly celebrating that beautiful birth in the stillness as did those on that first night.

Dec 12, 2011

Can You See?

In formation this month we got into an interesting discussion about visions.  Some people in our group have seen many visions and others have had none.  I only recall ever having two.  The first vision is still as clear as day even though I was only preschool or kindergarten age at the time.  I was in the living room of my grandparents home sitting on the couch watching TV.  My grandmother was doing dishes in the kitchen.  The layout of the house was such that I could see into the kitchen from where I was sitting.  A bright shining light came in through the window by the kitchen sink, flew through the kitchen, into the living room and out through the living room window.  I sat there in awe of this light that I was convinced was Jesus Christ.  I don't really know why I thought that it was Jesus, but I was definitely sure that it was and I had no qualms about telling everyone about this vision.  The second vision was during my retreat at Broom Tree which I previously posted about.

I have had far more experiences where I have heard His voice or just had a feeling that I had to do something.  For example, one morning I woke up with the overwhelming feeling that I had to go to Mass that day. There wasn't anything particularly special about that day, but it turned out that the homily was exactly what I needed to hear.

I would love to hear what your experience has been with visions or other encounters with God. Did your vision effect a change in you or were you directed to do something for God. Please post them in the comment box.

Dec 9, 2011

Our Time

The Foundations of St. Theresa of Avila is a fascinating study of the trials and tribulations St. Theresa faced in setting up her monasteries in sixteen century Spain. While there are some very stark differences between her time and ours, there are some eerie similarities. As in her time and ours, obedience seems to be in short supply.  News report after news report lists the transgressions and dissent of church laity, priests, nuns and bishops alike. Some in the Church visibly defy the hierarchy and what it teaches. There seems to be an endless supply of self-appointed interpreters of God's law who feel it necessary to tell the Church how it is wrong in all things, while still maintaining they are devout Catholics.

Some of those in defiance of the Church may never understand that when they defy the teachings of the Church, they are defying God. We must have hope that they will see the error of their ways before it is too late to repent.  Until that day comes, we must follow St. Theresa's example of total obedience to our Church.  From this obedience we can reform the Catholic Church and drown out those voices of dissent.  St. Theresa led the way in reforming the Church in her time, it is our turn to do so in our time.

Nov 13, 2011

Broom Tree Pictures

Here are a few pictures of Broom Tree Retreat Center.
This is the retreat center and hotel.

Inside Sts. Isidore and Maria Church on the grounds

One of the many beautiful sun rises that can be seen across the  prairie surrounding the retreat center.

Our Lady of the Prairie

One of the outdoor Stations of the Cross

Nov 8, 2011

God Speaks

Be careful what you ask of God, He might just give it to you. I am one of those people who St. Teresa says sins so often that they can't see their sins. The examination of conscience guides have been no help, so I've struggled with confession. My walk on Saturday opened my eyes.  God gave me the grace to see all of the wrong that I had been doing.  It was very hard to take this reality check. It's a real shock to discover that you're not as good as you think you are.

I had the luck of going to confession that night and left Sunday a much more humble person.

Thank you for opening my eyes, Lord, so that I may be more like you.

Nov 4, 2011

In Silence

Today is the end of the first full day of my silent retreat at Broom Tree Retreat Center near Irene, SD.  It started yesterday at 6, but today was really the first day.  I thought that not chatting would be the hardest part.  Was I ever wrong.  The hardest part was getting all of the voices in my head to shut up so that God could talk.  I am so used to all the noise of everyday life and all of it's distractions that my mind didn't know what to do in all this quiet.  As the day has gone on the noise has been going away and God's voice is getting clearer.

Last night after Mass, I got the clear vision of Jesus with hand out beaconing me to walk with him.  With all the noise in my head I avoided him. Being the patient and merciful God he humored me and just stood on that path all day.  Until tonight that is. At eucharistic adoration He spoke again. He said, "Tomorrow you will walk with me."  I, of course, could only answer with "Ok."  To be perfectly honest, my mind was starting to wander when he spoke up, so I was a little startled.  So I guess tomorrow I better be ready to listen.

Aug 28, 2011

Getting My Religion On At Walmart

I discovered a couple of things about working chaotic hours at Walmart.  First, that chaotic hours are no fun!  Especially when you work late and have to be up early the next morning.  Second, that I have a lot more prayer time than I did before.  Strange, I know.

In an office setting you make friends and get distracted by idle chatter, lunch dates, etc.  At Walmart my schedule is unique and rarely do I have a break with someone I know.  Thanks to the Divine Office app on my phone I can say morning or evening prayer while on break.  My phone also allows me to read electronic books, so instead of watching whatever mindless program is on the TV I open one of my many books.  Right now I am about half way through Welcome to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites by Aloysius Deeney, OCD.

The book is a compilation of speeches given by Aloysius Deeney on the Vocation of OCDS.  As an Aspirant  I am required to read the first speech on discernment.  The others are for my own personal reading.


Aug 25, 2011

It's Official

As of last Saturday I am officially an Aspirant.  Being a person who jumps into just about everything with both feet, it's a little scary.  As a visitor I could be part of the group without the commitment.  Now that I'm officially a part of the group I worry that I'm just not worthy of being part of the group.  It isn't so much failing to meet the expectations of the OCDS, but rather failing to meet God's standards.  Am I strong enough and dedicated enough to fulfill the mission that he gave me?  I hope the saying is true that God doesn't give you more than you can handle because right now it feels like what I'm being given is too much for me.

Dear Lord,
I trust in you to lead me where you want me to go.
I trust in you to help me shoulder my burdens.
I trust in you to give me strength to handle what comes my way.

Dear Lord, 
I trust in you.


Aug 9, 2011

More Challenges

I finally found a job, although it's only part-time and my schedule is all over the place.  It makes it difficult to keep to a consistent schedule of prayer.  Who ever said it would be difficult following Jesus was not kidding.  This world offers so many obligations and distractions that can get in the way of doing what God wants.  I just have to find a way to mesh all of what and need to do with my obligations to God.  Where before I had challenges with fitting in meditation, I now have challenges with completing the hours.  Some days I work during the day and other times I work in the evenings.  Until I find a normal Monday through Friday job, I will have to work around the challenges.  I may have to find a quiet spot at work and say the hours on my break as close to the normal time for morning and evening prayers as I can manage.  On the bright side no matter when I say morning and evening prayers there will be someone somewhere in the world saying them with me.

Jul 20, 2011

In God's Hands

Tomorrow I go for a second interview for a prospective job.  It's not what I was looking for, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and accept what you can get.  I have to trust that God knows what is best for me and will put me where I need to be.  Looking back over the past few months I can see where God has silently stepped in pushing me in the right direction.  He took my main distraction away so that I could focus on my relationship with Him which was sorely in need of renewal.  Then He led me to Carmel over Easter.  Last but not least He gave me time to deal with my diagnosis before bringing on a new job.  I just makes sense to follow his lead as St. Theresa of Avila did throughout her life.  She turned over all control to God.  She didn't worry about anything but her vow to be obedient to God.  Amazingly God provided for her and her Carmelite nuns many times over.  Tomorrow I will take God's lead and trust that he knows what is best for me.

Lead me, Lord, lead me, Lord,
by the light of truth 
to seek and to find the narrow way.
Be my way; be my truth;
be my life, my Lord,
and lead me, Lord, today.

Jul 19, 2011

Sioux City OCDS Website

The website is up!  It is not anywhere close to being finished, but it's out there for all to see.  Click here to take a peek.

Jul 18, 2011

Much Better

This week is starting off much better than the last few.  Saturday was our OCDS meeting and two of our members were clothed.  This time next year I will be one of those standing at the alter receiving my scapular.  I get chills of excitement just thinking about it.  God has put me here with this group of men and women to serve him and grow closer.  St. Theresa of Avila wrote in The Way of Perfection that those who truely love God seek good.  Sometimes I think God has to show some of us the way to good because we are so lost that we wouldn't know where to find good.  And good is this OCDS group.  Even though I've only been to three meetings now I am learning so much of what it means to love God with all my heart and soul, and how to share it with others.

Tomorrow I am meeting two of my new found sisters at the monastery for morning prayers and mass, then we are meeting to begin development of a website for our group.  The least I can do to show my appreciation is to use my extensive computer skills to help them out.  Pope Benedict has said to use all of the means available to evangelize and that is what we are going to do.  Maybe this little venture will help at least one lost soul.

Jul 10, 2011

Filled With Grace

I so needed Mass today.  As I walked through the doors of the church a great joy filled me.  It was like finally returning home after a long absence and being with someone you love.  Being in the presence of God washed away all the stress of the past week and a half.  It was a wonderful grace to have those burdens lifted from shoulders even if only for a short while.  I feel more focused and able to get back to doing God's work and helping lost souls find their home with Him.

O God, of Whose mercies there is no number, 
and of Whose goodness the treasure is infinite; 
we render thanks to Your most gracious majesty 
for the gifts You have bestowed upon us, 
evermore beseeching Your clemency, 
that as You grant the petitions of them that ask You, 
You will never forsake them, 
but will prepare for the reward to come. 
Through Christ our Lord.


Jul 5, 2011


My life was turned upside down last week with a diagnosis of diabetes.  My mind has been so focused on learning how to make the changes in my eating and activity that God has gotten put on the back burner.  If it wasn't for my cell phone alarms I'd miss the Morning and Evening prayers nearly every day.  And prayer time comes in little prayers throughout the day rather than a block of time.  My reading has also come to a stop and daily mass has been discarded for the moment.  I feel so guilty for spending so much time on myself and so little on God.  Nothing could be worse than approaching God upon my death and having to say "Sorry, I was too busy".

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
According to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,
So that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgement.
Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing heart.

Jun 26, 2011

Carmel by Surprise

As I strolled the gardens of Trinity Heights I took out my rosary to pray.  This rosary was the first rosary I purchased when I returned to the church and I've had it for about 8 years.  Until today I never noticed that the centerpiece is the scapular medal of Mt. Carmel.  As I think about all the saints I've pursued, the books that I've purchased, the practices that I've acquired all center around Carmel.  God was leading me by the hand to Carmel without my even knowing it.  Well I'm glad he did because I've never felt so at home.

Jun 25, 2011

Shopping Therapy

After last nights vote to legalize same-sex marriage I needed something to refocus my mind and energy.  So I did some shopping therapy.  I headed to my favorite Catholic bookstore and found a couple of new books to immerse myself in.  This trip served multiple purposes.  First, it redirected my thoughts back to God rather than to the sinful ways of others (which sometimes I focus way too much on).  Second, it allowed me to support a good faithful Catholic institution.  And since this bookstore is connected to a church and pilgrimage site I am helping to keep them open and spreading the truth.  Last, it gave me the opportunity to spend time in prayer in a beautiful outdoor setting before Our Lady of Carmel.  Peace flooded through my soul as I listened to the sounds of God's creation and let out all of my frustrations in prayer.  

The books that I picked up today are Edith Stein by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda and Prayer Primer by Thomas Dubay, S.M.  I don't know anything about Edith Stein other than that she is a Carmelite saint, so this should be an interesting read.  The second book is a companion book to The Fire Within which I have previously read.  It seems to have some practical guidance for fitting prayer into a busy life.  Anything to help me get in more prayer and keep up with my normal practice of the Liturgy of the Hours is always appreciated.

Father in Heaven, 
You made me Your child 
and called me to walk in the Light of Christ. 
Free me from darkness 
and keep me in the Light of Your Truth. 
The Light of Jesus has scattered 
the darkness of hatred and sin.
Called to that Light, 
I ask for Your guidance. 
Form my life in Your Truth,
my heart in Your Love. 
Through the Holy Eucharist,
give me the power of Your Grace 
that I may walk in the Light of Jesus 
and serve Him faithfully. 


Jun 19, 2011

Good Intentions

That saying, "The path to Hell is paved with good intentions" is what comes to mind when St. Theresa talks about the worst temptation.  Satan is an excellent deceiver.  When you think you are doing something for the good of God, you really are doing evil instead.  Unfortunately you don't know this until it's too late.  Those who support euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage believe they are doing good.

Euthanasia takes away a persons suffering, but it also takes away any chance for good either towards that person or from that person.  Suffering is a reminder not to waste what little life that we each have.  As St. Theresa said, "black is that much blacker against white and white is so much whiter against black."  Without the contrast everything would just look gray.

Abortion is another grave sin for which supporters believe they are helping.  I read a bumper sticker recently that said, "Abortion doesn't make you unpregnant, it makes you the mother of a dead baby".  Although rather harsh sounding it is so true and heart breaking.  It may not sink in right away, but one day it will and those women will have to live with the fact that they murdered their own child.  The intentional killing of children by their mother doesn't destroy just one life.  It destroys two lives.

Same-sex marriage seems harmless enough.  Supporters just want homosexual couples to have the same happiness that other couples have.  If only it was that innocent.  Marriage is a unique bond between a man and woman.  It's not just for love or producing children, but a covenant created by God that binds two people together in love and as the basic support system for the raising of children.  Homosexual couples may love each other, but they weren't designed by God to fulfill the marital covenant or to be the basic support system for raising of children.  They as a couple can never have children.  While there are couples that are infertile or choose not to have children, they still fulfill that covenant and make up the basic structure to support children.

I pray that the people led astray by their good intentions will have time to realize their mistake and repent.  It would be very sad indeed to discover too late that they have paved their path to Hell with these good intentions.

Lord Jesus, you have endured me all these years with my sins, but nonetheless You pitied me;
I was led astray in every way, but now I will sin no more; 
I have wronged You and I have been unjust; 
I will be so, no more; 
I renounce sin, 
I renounce the Devil, 
I renounce iniquity that stains my soul; 
free my soul from all that is against Your holiness;
I entreat You, Lord Jesus, to rescue me from all evil; Come Jesus now, come now and abide in my heart;
Forgive me, Lord Jesus, and allow me to rest in You, For You are my Shield, my Redeemer and my Light and in You do I trust;
From today I will bless You Lord at all times;
I repudiate evil and all other gods and idols, for You are the Most High over the world, far transcending all other gods;
By Your mighty arm, rescue me from ill health, rescue me from being a captive, rescue me from trouble and defeat my enemy the Devil; come quickly to my help O Saviour!


Jun 14, 2011

Patron Saint for those with ADHD?

In formation we are finishing up The Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila and on my own I am reading Interior Castle.  St. Theresa's writing is rambling and by her own admission her mind frequently wanders.  For those who like very ordered writing I wonder how they ever get through her writings.  Even with her frequent off topic musings, she expresses a humility and love of God that I can only aspire to.  And sets a wonderful example for those who struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  She shows that even with all ones faults a person can attain great things through God.

As my Bishop likes to say, "Catholics aren't good listeners."  And he's right.  Our minds wander while in prayer, at Mass, and especially during the homily.  Theresa advises that one close their eyes to worldly things and distractions so they can better focus on God.  She also talks about having the image of Jesus in your mind as if you were two normal people having a conversation.  Now I don't know about her, but to me Jesus is anything but a "normal person".

These two simple acts have greatly helped my sense of focus during prayer and while in church.  My understanding of the rituals and words have opened up greater depths of appreciation and love during Mass. It makes it seem less like a chore and more like a piece of art that unfolds in new and unique ways to express our love for God.  In prayer I have grown closer to Jesus as he sits patiently listening to me pour out my soul to him.  At times I curl in his lap like a young daughter who needs comfort and other times I look upon him from afar in awe of his greatness.  I am grateful for St. Theresa's beautiful testament and instruction.


Give me focus 
in my thoughts 
and in my actions

Curb my tongue
from impulsive words

Stay my hand
from impulsive deeds

Fill my heart
with patience

Let all that I do 
be a glory to your name


Jun 6, 2011

Long Road Up Hill

I am never going to be a Saint, that I am for sure.  The best that I will be able to say when I get to those pearly gates is "I tried, Lord".

God's mission for me is prayer.  I struggle with this mission.  Especially on days I'd rather stay in bed than go to Mass or pray the hours or go to Eucharistic Adoration.  But when I think about whether staying in bed is better than spending time with God my answer is a definitive No.  So I pull myself out of bed and start my journey on that long road up hill praying that each day will be a testament that "I tried, Lord."

Last week was tougher than most.  School has ended so my usual schedule of getting up, going to daily mass, come back home, tell my son to get out of bed for the first time, take the dog out, mention it's time to get up again, pray the morning hours, yell at my son to get out of bed so he's not late for school, wait for him to get a shower and get dressed, drop him off at school.  Then at night there was a normal routine that is ruined because it's just too darn hot to go to bed at my normal time.  Let's just say that getting out of bed at 6 am after going to bed at midnight or later just doesn't make me a pleasant person and sleeping in and missing morning hours makes me just as cheerful.  So I have broke down and turned on my air conditioning so that I can get back to a somewhat normal routine.  How religious kept their schedule prior to A/C I think is miraculous.

But I thank the Lord each morning for the beautiful day and try to spend as much of it outside admiring his wonderful creation.  I find it so much easier to meditate on Our Lord when I can feel his presents in the blowing of the wind, the orchestra of bird songs, and swaying of the trees.  His presence is so strong it's impossible not to marvel at how complex a system he created.  I get a tiny glimpse at what it must feel like to be in heaven.  And this long road up hill that I'm on just seems a little bit easier.

Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor

And all blessing.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.

How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

 All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.    

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, lowly, precious, and pure. 

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.

How beautiful he is, how joyful!  Full of power and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Happy those She finds doing your will!

The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.

  ~ St. Francis of Assisi   

May 28, 2011

Lord I Am Not Worthy

As I was getting to know the other visitor to the Secular Carmelites, he told me that he would pray for me.  At first I didn't know what to say.  My first thought was "Please don't".  I would rather have him pray for someone who is truly worthy and in need of his prayers.  Anyone but me.  There has been more than a few times that God has laid his hand upon me and picked me up after a fall.  I am most grateful for his aid and feel blessed that I was given his assistance.  But to have someone pray for me is like asking God for something that I don't deserve.  In the end, though, I simply said thank you.  It would have been uncharitable for me to refuse this unsolicited gift from a person I barely knew.  And as with all things it reminded me that we must take everything to God, even if we want nothing from it.

May 23, 2011

Love at First Sight

Saturday was my first meeting with the Secular Carmelites.  This was the first time that I had ever been to a monastery and seen cloistered nuns.  I felt like I was on the wrong side of the bars and should have been on the cloistered side, but at this point in life it's not an option.  Everyone in the secular group was so filled with the same love that I have for Jesus.  It was sad when the three hours was over and I had to leave.  I would have stayed all weekend if I could have.  The wait until August to begin my Aspirancy seems like an eternity away.  Until then I will continue on with my own personal journey toward loving God to the best of my ability.   

May 11, 2011

Prayer of Peace by St. John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus, 
give me stillness of soul in You. 
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me. 
Rule me, O King of Gentleness, 
King of Peace.

May 9, 2011

Oh How I Adore Thee Lord

Today I went to Eucharistic Adoration for the first time at the Cathedral.  In the past Eucharistic Adoration has been the 5 or 10 minutes that I could squeeze in before I had to go to work.  That small amount of time never allowed me to spend time adoring our Lord like he deserves.  Now that I am temporarily out from under the obligations of work (ie unemployed) I have been spending that time attending in the presents of our Lord.  I am fortunate to live in a town that has several Catholic churches and a monastery, so I have a nearly daily opportunity to spend time with the Lord.

I thought that after several weeks of going to Eucharistic Adoration my "school girl crush" would settle into a routine affection.  Instead it seems to be getting worse.  Every time I go before the Eucharist, I want to giggle and squeal as if the cute boy just said hi to me in the hallway at school.  My hour (or longer) with the Lord lifts my heart and makes my whole day seem a little bit brighter.  And then I can't wait until the next time to do it all over again.

Prayer to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

Heart of Jesus in the Eucharist,
I adore You.
Sweet Companion of our exile,
I seek You.
Holy God become man,
I beat with Your Heart.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
solitary, abandoned,
humiliated, cursed,
despised, outraged,
ignored by men,
have mercy on us.
Lover of our hearts,
pleading for Your beloved,
patiently waiting for us,
eager to hear our confidences,
desirous of our devotion,
have mercy on us.
Heart of grace,
silent and wishing to speak,
Refuge of the hidden life,
Sharer of the secrets of union with God,
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, Victim, I want to comfort You.
I unite myself with You.
I offer myself in union with You.
I count myself as nothing before You.
I desire to forget myself and think only of You,
to be forgotten and rejected for love of You,
not to be understood, not to be loved, except by You.
I will hold my peace that I may listen to You.
I will forsake myself in order to be lost in You.
Grant that I may quench Your thirst for my salvation,
Your burning thirst for my sanctification,
and that, being purged, I may give You a true and pure love.
I no longer want to deny Your expectations.
Take me. I give myself to You.
I entrust to You all my actions and thoughts -- my mind, that You may enlighten it,
my heart, that You may fill it,
my will, that You may establish it,
my soul and body, that You may feed and sustain them.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
Whose Blood is the life of my soul,
may it no longer be I who live,
but You alone Who lives in me.


May 8, 2011

Mother of Us All

Today is Mother's Day.  I couldn't be more blessed being both a mother and a daughter.

To my child who always keeps me on my toes, but is there with a ready hug when I need it.  I love you.

To my physical mother, who gave birth to me and raised me on her own I say thank you and I love you.

To my spiritual mother, Mary, the mother to us all, I am thankful when you are there for me when my physical mother can't be.  I am thankful for your powers of patience and compassion.  But most of all I'm thankful for your strength.  I imagine that being the mother of God is an easy task, but then remember all the pain you must have gone through when your only child was drug away, beaten and crucified.  I could never have been in your place.  Thank you for all that you do and I love you.


Please remember those whose mothers have gone to your loving arms may they be blessed with knowing that you have given them your own mother as theirs.

Please remember those who have never known their physical mother and now yearn for her.   Let them know their spiritual mother who will comfort their sorrow and tears.

Please guide those women who have recently become mothers through natural birth or adoption.  Let them be filled with the compassion, mercy and strength of your own mother.

Please protect those who are separated by war, illness or disagreement.  May they be comforted in there loss and soon reunited.

For all mothers, along with their daughters and sons, may they be blessed with joy and happiness this Mother’s Day. 


May 6, 2011

Mission from God

For the past few weeks I've been discerning over whether to join the Secular Carmelites.  My answer has been complete silence.  I've spent hours and hours in prayer hoping for something, anything that would tell me what God wanted me to do.  Today I got my answer.

Beginning Holy Week I began my commitment to going to daily Mass.  Normally I go to Mass at noon because I like my sleep, but I have decided to go to early Mass this morning.  I was tired and not at all thrilled to be out of bed before 7:00 a.m.  God was gracious and didn't strike me with lightening for complaining about Mass being so early which I'm very thankful for.  As Father was saying Mass the same phrase jumped out at me several times.  "Pray for those who have no one to pray for them."

Even now I get chills and tear up just thinking about it.  It is such an intense feeling that I want to shout for joy and scream all at the same time.  It seems like such an impossible task to pray for those who have no one to pray for them.  There are so many lost and lonely souls that I wonder how my tiny prayers could be any effect.  But if praying for them is what God wants me to do, that is what I'm going to do.

Prayer for Adopting a Dying Soul

O MOST MERCIFUL JESUS, lover of souls,
I beseech Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart,
and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother,
wash clean in the Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world
who are to die this day.

Remember most especially the soul I spiritually adopt
with the intention of entrusting him or her to Thy Shepherd's care:
I beseech Thee for the grace to move this sinner, who is in
danger of going to Hell, to repent. I ask this because of my
trust in Thy great mercy.

If it should please Thy Majesty to send me a suffering this day
in exchange for the grace I ask for this soul, then, it, too,
shall please me very much, and I thank Thee, Most Sweet Jesus,
Shepherd and Lover of Souls; I thank Thee for this
opportunity to give mercy in thanksgiving for all the mercies
Thou hast shown me. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying.