Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rosary Workout Gift

Wow... I experienced many emotions today when I opened up my email and saw a message from Peggy Bowes who created the Rosary Workout.  A beautiful way to feed the body and the soul at the same time.  Praying the rosary while exercising.  A brilliant concept and I was informed that my blogging friend Sue, had picked ME for her receive this gift... I am grateful, joyful and humbled... and excited too!  I will learn alot from this experience.

Thank you Sue!  You are so kind to pick me... I have wanted to get The Rosary Workout ever since I saw Peggy Bowes on EWTN.

I highly recommend Sue's blog -  She is a talented writer who can sweep you away in her postings.  God has gifted her with this ability that I so admire and wish I had a quarter of her talent!  You should check her out.

As I explore this wonderful new workout, I will keep everyone posted on my progress!  Thank you to Peggy Bowes for creating a workout that honors Jesus through Mary!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Defund Planned Parenthood Prayer Vigil

I just received this email from Live Action this morning which is encouraging us to go to our local district, Representative or Senator's office to pray TODAY at noon.  Well, I need more notice than that so I won't be going to any office but what I will do is stop at noon today and pray the rosary for this intention.

Dear Pro-life Friends,
As you know last week, the House of Representatives voted - by an overwhelming majority - to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal taxpayer funding…
… But the struggle is far from over.

Planned Parenthood is FURIOUS, and is mobilizing abortion advocates across the country while running attack ads in the home districts of courageous House members who voted their conscience.

Now, the pro-abortion Senate has to create its own version of the “Continuing Resolution” bill… and it’s far less likely to include an amendment to stop federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

And regardless of the vote in the Senate, things don’t end there.

For the President to sign any bill into law, the wording from the House and the Senate versions of that bill must be exactly the same. The next step will be to send the Continuing Resolution bills from both the House and Senate to be ironed out in “Conference Committee.”

After the final bill from the Conference Committee is voted on again by both chambers, it will head to the President’s desk to be signed into law, or vetoed.

Bottom-line: There are still several hurdles to overcome. And media outlets are predicting that the measure to strip Planned Parenthood’s tax funding likely won’t survive …

… But we know that “WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE” — even removing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars annually from Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain!
It is absolutely critical that our elected Representatives in Washington understand: Defunding Planned Parenthood is non-negotiable and pro-life Americans won’t rest until our tax dollars no longer support Planned Parenthood.
That is why the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition is asking people of faith and conscience to once again hold peaceful prayer vigils coast to coast, pleading with God for justice to prevail — for innocent children at risk of death by abortion, for their mothers, and for the young girls being exploited by sex trafficking — aided and abetted by Planned Parenthood.

This time, we are asking you to hold vigils on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, at 12 NOON, outside the nearest district office of your Senator or Representative — to pray that they will do the right thing in the days ahead.

This requires rapid action in order to show Planned Parenthood, our elected leaders, and the media the power of pro-life America to bring about change!

It’s simple! To find out what you need to do, visit the Expose Planned Parenthood homepage, where you’ll see step by step how you can plan, promote and conduct your prayer vigil this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, at 12 NOON.
It’s vital for us to act swiftly and take a public stand against to insist that our Representatives in Washington treat the defunding of Planned Parenthood as non-negotiable.

Together, we really can make a difference! Let’s act quickly to make sure Congress understands: the American people cannot support the killing of unborn children or be complicit in the aiding and abetting of underage human trafficking.
Let’s pray that our elected officials will realize that the time has come to DE-FUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD! Please visit the Expose Planned Parenthood webpage immediately to learn how to plan your vigil this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, at 12 NOON!

For Life,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prayer Request Update

I have fabulous news about the health of Dana, a new mom who had an infection from a c-section after having her son.  This was on Valentine's Day that she was in ICU recovering.  It got worse though... on Feb 21 she had blurred vision and a headache and was transported by helicopter to Rush St. Luke in critical condition.  Then, it become even more dire... that night she coded and was put on a ventilator.  Here is the most recent miraculous news from Dana's family member Becky:

Thank you all for your prayers. After a traumatic day yesterday Dana is recovering in the ICU at Rush St. Luke. She has regained her eyesight, some kidney function and her brain swelling has decreased significantly. They have removed her from the ventilator and she is resting as comfortably as can be expected.  Many specialists are on her case and along with all the prayers of so many people she is starting to turn a corner.

The baby, which I didn’t realize was born premature is doing great and had lots of loving arms around him while the family spent critical hours with Dana. Her rebound is nothing short of a miracle.  I hope to have more good news to report soon.

Thank you all for allowing me to share this with you and for your continued prayers.

Thank you to all my blogging prayer warrior friends who have kept Dana and her family in their prayers!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mary's Yes

I was watching EWTN last night and came across the Woman of Grace show and they were talking about what our Blessed Mother has meant to them which got me thinking... what does she mean to me?  I tear up just thinking about her and her special role in the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Mary's complete trust and obedience in God is amazing.  When the angel Gabriel came to her and said  "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."  And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"  And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

She in the ultimate believer in God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

She bore Jesus, raised Him, and then watched His passion and death.  This whole time she was doing God's will.

So, back to my original question... what does she mean for me? 

*The luckiest woman of all time to have raised the Son of God.
*The unluckiest woman of all time to have to watch His passion and death.
*The perfect role model in how I'm to lead my life.
*Grateful for her unceasingly efforts in following the will of God.
*The perfect model of courage and obedience.
*Someone I need to know better.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Defund Planned Parenthood

Did you know that Planned Parenthood receives $360 million dollars each year in federal taxpayer funds?

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240 to 185 to defund Planned Parenthood.  This vote approved the Pence Amendment that strips Planned Parenthood from receiving millions of tax paying dollars to fund abortion.  This is not over though.  Our legislators are returning home to their districts and the U.S. Senate is meeting next week. We still need to continue to pray and let our legislators know that we do NOT want our tax paying money to fund this evil.

Mike Pence is a Republican Congressman from Indiana and he's been fighting this battle for over a year.  He said, "It is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortion, like Planned Parenthood of America."

In response, the Director of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards states "that 90% of their care is preventative care while 10% is related to abortion.  Taking away their funding would leave 3 million women without healthcare.  She also claims that federal funding does not go towards abortion and it hasn't for over 30 years."  Either she is out of touch in what's really happening in her 800 Planned Parenthood Clinics or she is lying. 

We all need to continue to pray for Ms. Richards, our legislators, and our fellow American men and women to do God's will in this matter.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Dark Night of the Soul

I just finished reading The Dark Night of the Soul by Dr. Gerald May who examined the works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila who lived back in the 1500's.  Dr. May explores this darkness that leads to a deeper faith.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. May's book that describes St. John of the Cross' perspective on God.  "Thus every part of us is, at its core, a desire for love's fulfillment.  Though we seldom recognize it, our senses seek the beauty, the sweetness, the good feelings of God. 

Our mind seeks the truth and wisdom of God. 
Our will seeks to live out the goodness, the righteousness of God. 
Our memory and imagination seek the justice and peace of God. 

In other words, we yearn for the attributes of God with every part of ourselves.  Human beings are two-legged, walking, talking desires for God.  Ultimately, it is only God's very self that can truly satisfy our deepest desires and liberate our love for all of life."

 St. Teresa of Avila became the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church.

Now I would like to read more of the works of these two great saints!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National Pro-Life Alliance

I received this in the mail today from the National Pro-Life Alliance for Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky, one for Senator Mark Kirk and one for Senator Richard Durbin... all from Illinois.  This petition is asking for the Senate and Congress to vote for a Life at Conception Act.  It would declare that unborn children are persons legally entitled to constitutional protection, it will rescue millions of unborn children from dying by abortion-on-demand.

This petition means that I am against abortion.  I signed it immediately and mailed them off.

Please pray that our senators and congress open their hearts to the pleas of their constituents and pass this act!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Planned Parenthood

I was curious about something this morning... Planned Parenthood.  We've all heard the recent story on the news of a man and woman posing as sex traffickers in a New Jersey abortion clinic.  Where they tell the manager at the clinic they have underage girls that need abortions... Amy Woodruff is the LPN and clinical manager at this abortion center.  Her response is "tell the girls to lie about their age.  We want as little information as possible.... their abortions are cheaper because they're younger."

Why did she not call the police?  She is told and it's caught on video, that the girls are 15 and 14 years of age.  These are actors posing as a pimp and prostitute coming to Miss Woodruff for advice on how to take care of unwanted pregnancies of their sex slaves.  No bell goes off in this woman's mind to really help these girls by contacting the authorities.  Here is the footage from  Live Action Video .

Live Action is a New Movement for Life.  This organization is a youth led movement that aims to fight for life and end abortion.  They are young men and women who are dedicated in exposing the truth of abortion, to educate their peers on what it really is, and to protect our most vulnerable babies from this evil.    They are the ones who exposed the New Jersey abortion clinic for what it is and how intrinsically evil it is.

Another pro life group in Texas called Life Dynamics is also working hard to protect the unborn to obtain full legal protection.  Their motto is Pro-Life Without Compromise, Without Exception, Without Apology.  They also have audio tapes of their activists pretending to be a 13 year old girl who is pregnant by their 22 year old boyfriend and calling in for advice.  Again and again the abortion clinic workers advise the underage girl NOT to discuss how old the boyfriend is.  Here is their link - Life Dynamics

This insidious advice was so disturbing to me that I decided to look at Planned Parenthood's website and they blatanly advertise "this service" as if it was a cure for heart disease or cancer.  They state on their website Planned Parenthood that 1 in 3 women have an abortion by the time they reach 45 years of age.  Can that be true?  They also list Parental Consent and Notification Laws by state.  My state, IL, has no parental involvement requirement.  Who have we put into office all these years?  Morally corrupt politicians.

My eyes are wide open now.  As my heart is breaking for these young girls and women who struggle with this choice... or those who have already made that choice and are living with the heart also aches for those abortion clinic employees and doctors... I pray for them all and will continue to spread the message.

When I was a young girl and young woman, I didn't know what Planned Parenthood really stood for.  I'm confident there are many young girls and woman who think the same.  That's the scariest part of all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prayer Request

My cousin Liz contacted me today with a prayer request for her friend's family member.  Here is the email:

"I just received a call and need prayer for my cousin’s daughter, Dana.  Dana gave birth to a baby boy a couple weeks ago and over the weekend developed a horrible infection in  her C-section incision. After eight hours of surgery yesterday she is in intensive care.  Her mom, my cousin, Diane is at home taking care of her new grandson and can’t be at the hospital with Dana. Eighteen years ago Diane lost a son at 10 days old due to hospital negligence  (he was electrocuted) and I’m sure the trauma of all that is flooding back for the whole family.

Please lift up Dana and her husband and all the medical personnel involved in her case.

Please pass this along to any of your prayer warriors."

My blogging friends ARE PRAYER WARRIORS!  Please keep Dana in your prayers!  I am going to Eucharistic Adoration tonight to pray the rosary and I will pray that the graces from the rosary prayer go to Dana and her family.


Happy Valentine's Day!

He is the patron saint of love, young people and happy marriages.

I researched the origins of Valentine's Day and there are several possibilities of how this holiday came about.  I've learned there are a couple different stories of how he became St. Valentine.  One story was he was a roman who refused to give up his christian faith and was martyred for it in the year 270AD, another was that he was a temple priest who was jailed for marrying and helping Christians.  Interestingly, during his imprisonment he befriended the Roman Emperor Claudius.  This temple priest tried to convert Claudius to Christianity and was beheaded for it. 

History shows there was a St. Valentine when archaeologists discovered a buried church dedicated to Saint Valentine whether he was a priest or not.  Pope Gelasius makred February 14 a day to honor his martyrdom in 496 AD.  It wasn't until the 1400s that this story of St. Valentine was written down for prosperity.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Scout Sunday

Today is Scout Sunday for my son's Cub Scout Pack which means we went to a church service from the church that sponors us.  (We didn't miss our Catholic mass because we went to Saturday mass.)  The church that generously sponors our pack is a sect from the United Church of Christ - a mainline Protestant Christian denomination that has it's roots from Lutheranism.
We go to Scout Sunday once a year to thank the church for sponsoring us and give a financial donation.  All the boys are in full uniform and participate in the flag ceremony.  It's a wonderful way for the boys to show their appreciation and for the congregation to see who they're supporting.  The congregation is very warm and welcoming to us.

However, it is a VERY different experience than being in a Catholic Mass.  There are some similarities as if they picked and chose what they liked from Catholicism or Lutheranism and made up parts to fill in the rest of their service.  Here are some of my impressions and/or comments:

*  They do not believe in the Eucharist being the body and blood of Jesus so communion is only done once a month and it's a self-service type of thing. 
*  The pastor is a woman and she seems to know the names of every parishioner.  Impressive.
* They begin their service with announcements in a fun and joking manner. 
* They do an Old Testament and New Testament reading which I like and the pastor gives a sermon.  And today, being Scout Sunday, she did a very good job at explaining the history of scouting and discussing the first duty of scouting...1)  Duty to God.
*  They do not recite the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed.  Instead they have something called, "The New Creed."  Not at all like the Nicene or Apostle's Creed.
* Their youth came out in the middle of the service and they performed skits to entertain the congregation ... a kind of comedy routine and they ended in a hip Christian song.  They were good, really good and I can tell it took a lot of guts and work for the kids to learn their parts but I found myself wondering... what does this have to do with Jesus?  The skits had nothing to do with God.  I didn't get it... I found it amusing for their talent but didn't see how it should have been part of a church service.

After I leave one of their services, I find myself appreciating my Church Mass more.  I love that our Church feels holy and sacred.  That we are there to worship Jesus and not be entertained.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes February 11th

The first Marian Apparition at Lourdes occurred on February 11, 1858 in southern France.  The Blessed Mother appeared to a young girl named Bernadette.  Through Our Lady's visits to Bernadette, she requested that Bernadette scratch the ground in the grotto and when she did, water gushed forth from it.  It is said to this day, that the water from this grotto has healing powers and many people visit the site to pray and be healed.

When Bernadette asked Our Lady for her name, she said "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes
Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy;
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy;
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us;
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven;
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world;
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit;
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God;
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary;
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God;
Pray for us.
Mother of Christ;
Pray for us.
Mother of our Savior;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying;
Pray for us.
Queen of heaven;
Pray for us.
Queen of peace;
Pray for us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
Have mercy on us.
Christ hear us;
Christ graciously hear us.
Let us pray:
Grant us, your servants, we pray you, Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body. By the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrows, and enjoy everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord.

Fr. Groeschel from EWTN will be hosting a special on EWTN tomorrow (Feb 11th) for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welcome Wednesday is a blog hop from Take it From Me Blog.  It's a fun way to add your blog link to the list and to meet up with many new bloggers!  I'm new to this blog hopping world, but it's been a great way to meet new women, gain ideas and share stories.  It's astounding how many women blog sites there are!

If you want to be a part of Welcome Wednesday, just follow these 5 simple steps:
1. Follow the Welcome Wednesday Host (Take It From Me) as well as the 2 Spotlighted Blogs of the Week. (These will make up the top three slots on the Linky)
2. Link up your blog name and URL with our Linky. (You only need to add your info once for it to be seen on all the blog hops)
3. Grab our Welcome Wednesday button and include it in a post about the event on your blog.
4. Go to as many blogs on the MckLinky as you want and Follow them. Be sure to tell them you are from Welcome Wednesday!
5. Be sure to Follow back any followers you have gained from our Welcome Wednesday event!


Catholic News

My friend Marge, sent me this link:

Update: Madonna University Cancels Planned Parenthood Speaker After CNS Raises Concern

Update 2/7/2011:  A student from Madonna University forwarded to us an email written by Madonna’s president, alerting the campus minister that the Planned Parenthood speaker was cancelled.  The email is dated February 6, two days after we raised initial concern about the speaker.  President Sister Kujawa’s email reads:
I wanted to inform you as soon as possible that there will be no speaker from Planned Parenthood at Madonna University(including the Orchard Lake or any other MU extension).  You can share this with our Campus Ministry students.  I am sure this will bring relief to their parents as well.  Thank you for your prayers.
Sister Rose MarieSister Rose Marie Kujawa, CSSF, PhD

Madonna University is a small private school in Livonia, Michigan.  They only have about 4,000 students. I'm greatly relieved that they did cancel the Planned Parenthood Speaker who is "Christine Gannon, MS.ED. is the Professional Development Manager at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania and a CODA.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lynchburg College and her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Human Sexuality Education.  She has been doing sexuality-related education and training since 1995.  She presently coordinates and oversees the Sexuality for the Deaf and the Professional Development Department through Planned Parenthood."

The reason this speaker was cancelled was due to the Cardinal Newman Society Blog.  Thank you to the CNS Blog!

But I can't help but wonder, why did Madonna University (a Catholic College) slate a Planned Parenthood Speaker in the first place?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My First Blog Award!

When I opened my email this morning I learned that I won my first blogging award!  I can't even tell you how shocked, thrilled and honored I was.  I am VERY grateful to Just Another Hat for this award!

There are some rules that go along with this.
1.  Thank the person who awarded you & link them back in your post (Done)
2.  Tell everyone 7 random facts about yourself
3.  Pass the award on to 15 new found bloggers
4.  Contact each blogger and let them know you've passed the award on to them, and let the "giver" know you accept the award.

OK, here are some random facts about me:

1.  I'm a cradle Catholic who is on the journey of deepening her faith.
2.  I am on my son's PTO school board as VP of Hospitality... which I really enjoy.
3.  Chinese food from Chang Jiang Buffet is my favorite cuisine... and The Cheesecake Factory comes in a close second.
4.  Went to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercovigna for a pilgrimage.
5.  When I'm older, I would love to adopt senior dogs to give them a chance for happy golden years.
6.  I enjoy baking but I'm not good at "making pretty baked items."  I have two bake sales coming up so I'll be doing alot of baking this week and next.
7.  Love to read.

Since I'm still new to blogging, they're all new to me but here is my 15 top favorites:

1.  My Little Flower  (I think everyone knows Gardenia but she's my number 1 for being so supportive of me and her blog is a blessing to us all!)
2.  A Slice of Smith Life  (Tracy is the one who has taken the time to teach me how to make my blog better... her blog is a testimony to how important her faith is to her.)
3.  A Catholic Harvest (Paula is the Thrifty Thursday girl who has an eye for beauty and a deep love for her family and faith.)
4.  My Apologies  (Patty has a unique style of "in your face... reality check" blogging.  She says what needs to be said.")
5.  Sue Elvis Writes  (Sue is a beautiful writer who openly shares her experiences with her readers.  I so admire her courage in revealing herself.)
6.  The Clay Rosary Girl  (Sarah is probably known by most of you for either her devotion of her family and faith OR for her gorgeous jewelry... and I'm going to place an order soon!)
7.  Ropcorn  (I am new to Alexandra's blog and have been drawn in by her beautiful pictures and her fascinating stories in her travels.)
8.  The White Whimisies  (Marci has probably won this award numerous times but I so enjoy her coupon savvy and love for her family and faith.)
9.  Our Gifts of Grace  (Anne's blog is an open book of her life with the joys and challenges of being a mom, what I admire most is her obedience to follow God's plan of her.)
10.  Forever, For Always, No Matter What  (Jen has the most beautiful giving heart.  Her blog is an open portrayal of her journey adopting 6 children.  When I was a little girl, my dream was to grow up and do what she's doing.)
11.  Jamericanspice (Colette's blog is one of the newest ones I've come across and she has a new Island Hang Out Forum that has many great discussions.  I of course, enjoy her spiritual needs section and that she includes scripture on her blog.  She also has a beautiful profile picture of her with her baby!
12.  The Arrowood Zoo (Kayla's blog is another very new one for me and I find it very informative with great pictures.  She's a professional!)
13.  Ramblings of a Sinner Following Jesus (I'm very new to Kez's blog and the title popped right out at me and I had to check it out.)
14.  Our Side of the Mountain (Jessy's  blog has a fantastic picture on her template and wonderful pictures of "her side of the mountain."
15.  Break for Mom (Sharon has taken a hiatus from blogging but this is the first one that I followed and enjoyed.  I hope she comes back to blogging soon!)
16.  Joy Filled Family (Lena is a complete pro... gorgeous, goregous pictures and explanation of our faith.  I first saw hers, and was completely intimidated!)
17.  Cherished Hearts at Home (Gae's blog is filled with information and gorgeous!)

I know I went one over but I couldn't end my list at 15.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What I Am Grateful For...

This man... my husband who during this snow storm/blizzard worked so hard!  He spent hours snowblowing and shoveling our property as well as our neighbors.  We live on the end of an alley and when the plow trucks come through they pile it on the end of the parkway by the alley.  This means it's very dangerous backing out into the street because the snow piles are over 5 feet tall and we can't see.  It was heavy, wet snow... not easy to move.  He spent a long time working on reducing that snow mound and now we can see!

My son and I helped but in truth, he did the majority of it. 

Then in the midst of all this work, our snowblower broke... a worn out belt.  He immediately found his friend to help him replace it and he was off again.

He's a planner... he went back to the store to get salt, windshield wiper fluid and gas for the snowblower.  The temperatures are going to drop tomorrow to negative degrees during the night.  But we don't have to worry, because we're prepared!

You know what else he does for me?   Our vehicles are parked outside so each morning before he goes to work, he will make sure my car doors open (sometimes they're frozen shut), brushes off the snow, and warms up the car. 

He's a good man, my hubby.  I'm am blessed to have him as my husband!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how hard my son worked.  He was out there with us too working and playing in the snow!

Stay warm and safe!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blessed Mother

After learning of the approved Marian apparition site in Wisconsin, I did a google search and found a list of Marian Apparitions from the year 1347 until present.  It's a long list and I've never heard of the majority them.  I did find the one listed at the Queen of Heaven Cemetary in Hillside, IL.  However, it indicates that it has a local bishop approval letter but not yet approved by the church.  Most of them have not been approved by the church.  So what does that mean?  Are they real or not? 

Personally, I believe it's possible and if the messages are similar to the approved ones, and if it brings people to pray and turn to Jesus, it's a good thing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our Lady of Good Help

I just learned from watching EWTN, that the church approved a Marian apparition at Our Lady of Good Help which is 17 miles north of Green Bay, WI.  She appeared to Adele Brise, a young Belgium immigrant in October of 1859.  This occurred one year after the Blessed Mother appeared in Lourdes.  Sister Adele is on the right in this picture.

The Blessed Mother had asked her to catechize the children in the Green Bay area.  It's said that before a school was built, she took Our Lady's message to heart and walked up and down the Green Bay peninsula area... as far as 50 miles.  Eventually she worked to open a Catholic school and the children came to her.
She devoted her entire adult life to teaching the Word of God and she passed away on July 5, 1896.

Bishop Ricken Issues Formal Decree. Marian Apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help are first and only in the U.S. to be approved by the Church! Bishop's Coat-of-arms

So now I wonder... why have I never heard of this before?  Now I want to take a road trip up there and visit this Shrine.  I want to learn more about what it means it was "the first and only"... are there other claims of Marian apparitions in the U.S.?  I know of the ones at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL.  My mom, aunts and sisters have all visited this cemetery.  In fact, my mother is buried not too far away from the site of the apparitions.  I think I will google this and see what I can find out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine Craft

We spent some time on one of our snow days making Valentine Cards for the veterans at a local VA Hospital.  We had done this craft with my son's Cub Scout Pack on a recent Pack Night and then I thought it would be nice to make additional ones since we were snowed in.  The pictures did not turn out great (my camera is on the fritz) but I think you get the idea.

One Valentine Card idea was from Lacy at Catholic Icing Catholic Icing (and I would link it here if I knew how to do it but I don't... thank you Tracy for teaching me how to do this!!)  You write the word valentine down the middle and write the bible verse John 3:16 around it. 
For God so loVed
the world that He gAve
his onLy son, that
 whoEver believes
iN Him
should noT
perIsh but
have eterNal
I'm having difficulty lining it up on the computer but you would line up the Valentine in the hearts and write the verse around it.
My son was a bit concerned that those cards may be given to someone who doesn't believe in God and I told him, then that's exactly who should get it.  We don't hand pass them out, we bring them to the Volunteer Office at the hospital and they'll distribute them but I will pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them to those who need to hear it.

My son's scout pack made Christmas cards and yarn cross ornaments for the veterans in a VA Hospital this past Christmas and it was a big hit.  At school, they had made cards and sent them overseas to the active soldiers which is wonderful but we also wanted them to be aware that some soldiers come back injured and they need our gratitude and love too.

I'm the one that brought the ornaments and cards to the hospital and was amazed at it's size.  They provide so many services (i.e. blind rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, women's health, medical foster home...etc.) to men and women who've devoted their lives for our freedom. 

It was a humbling experience to think so many soldiers come back injured... and I wonder if they feel appreciated?  Admired for their courage and dedication?  I can't imagine they come back feeling whole and very good about life after experiencing war.  They need our prayers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping

Has anyone read this book written by a Friend of Medjugorje?  Has anyone heard of what's been happening in Medjugorje these past 30 years? 

Medjugorje is in Bosnia-Herzegovina (which used to be Yugoslavia) and the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing to six people to give messages to the world about:

How far away we've strayed from Jesus. 
How secular our world has become. 
How we as a nation, as a world, are not Christ Centered.

She comes to give us hope and to ask us to pray for peace for the world.  She informs us that we are now in a time of grace.  A time to convert and turn our hearts to Jesus.  This is a time to deepen our faith and come closer to God before it's too late.  She reminds us that Jesus has given us tools/weapons to fight against the evil of this world.  They are:

  • Daily Prayer (Of the Rosary)
  • Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Daily Reading of the Bible
  • Monthly Confession
  • Holy Communion

Throughout the course of history, Jesus has given us His Mother to show us the way back to Jesus.  Many others have found eternal life in Jesus through Mary.  What a gift Jesus has given us!

But how do we treat it?  The media stays clear of such subjects.  Do our priests talk about how we can deepen our faith during their homilies?  Do we as families, discuss it at home?  With our friends?  I think if the answer was yes to the above questions, our world wouldn't be so lost, so wounded, so fixed on itself instead of Jesus Christ.  Imagine what our world could be like if Christians imposed our morals on our government?  Made abortion ILLEGAL!  Let God back into the schools.  Let Him back into the mainstream of society

Our country was founded on Christian principals.  If the majority of Americans are Christian, that should be an easy task.

I began this post mentioning a book title - Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping by a Friend of Medjugorje.  Many of the Virgin Mary's messages are mentioned in this book.  It's a startling book that suggests our world would change drastically for the better if we followed one important commandment -
Keep Holy the Sabbath Day.

I highly recommend this book.  It'll open your eyes and you'll be grateful it did!  My firiend Holly first told me about it and I'm not sure where she first learned of it?  Relevant Radio?  EWTN?  Not sure, but I would say it's a must read for Christians.

I follow a blog called My Apologies by Patty and she wrote a recent post called "Why I Hate Being Catholic" and of course it drew my attention.  She inspired me to write this post and you should read hers because it's good, very good.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Blizzard of 2011

The weather forecasters got it right this time.  We were hit with a massive snow storm yesterday afternoon that snowed well into today.  My poor Toby had to go outside this morning to take care of business and we could only open one door.  We have three doors that lead to the outside and two of them were snowed in.  Fortunately for him, he is a very tall dog and was able to go out into the 18+ inches of snow.  He came back pretty fast though.  Here are some fun pictures of our morning shoveling our way out of the house. 

As of now, the main street is plowed but our side street and alley are not.  I have complete faith in our city's ability to get the streets and alleys plowed!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feast of St. Brigid of Ireland

Today is the Feast of St. Brigid of Ireland.  My niece Bridget was named after this Irish Saint who lived from 451-525 BC.   Even as a child it was already apparent that Brigid had a calling as she showed a special love for the poor. She kept a secret store of clothes and food for them, and on one occasion when her mother sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. She even makes gifts to the poor from her father's property when there is nothing else available. Dubhthach and his wife are less than tolerant of this behavior, and together they seek ways to make Brigid someone else's responsibility.  Their schemes of trying to get her married did not work.  Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to God at a young age, choosing a life of virginity, dedication to God and service to the poor.

Prayer to St. Brigid
Brigid, You were a woman of peace. You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness. You brought hope to the downcast. May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world. Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made. Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary. Strengthen what is weak within us. Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens. May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.