Monday, November 28, 2011

A Call to Prayer

I just learned this evening that one of my blogging buddies had lost her house from Hurricane Irene this past August.  Nanette from The Crooked Halo blog had disappeared from the blogosphere and I thought she'd just taken a break... I had no idea that her home was destroyed and she had to move to Florida to live with her son.

Please pray for her that her faith in God continues to be her rock during this most difficult time!  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent and St. James Intercisus

I'm linking up to RAnn's Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival today!  RAnn does a fabulous job gathering Catholic Bloggers every week to share posts about our faith.  Thank you RAnn!

Today is the beginning of a new year for us Catholics!  Today is the first Sunday in Advent!  While the world is busy with the holiday sales, let us not forget what's most important ~ the birth of Jesus Christ.   I first saw this really cool Advent video on Tracy's A Slice of Smith Life blog and wanted to share it here too. I think it explains the difference of those who get caught up in the secular meaning of Christmas and those who are celebrating Advent for what it is... the expectant and joyful waiting for Our Savior to be born!

This is a sacred holiday season for Christians and I was curious if there was a saint who shared today's date with the first Sunday of Advent.  And there is:

St. James Intercisus

St. James Intercisus who was born around 375 and died a martyr's death in 421.   He was a Persian military officer that was favored by King Yezdigerd I and was put to the test when the king began persecuting Christians.  St. James initially failed this test and renounced his belief in Jesus in order to save his life.  After King Yezdigerd died, King Bahram ascended to the throne of Persia and this time, St. James refused to deny Jesus as the Son of God.  For this confession, St. James suffered a horrible gruesome death.  His body was cut into pieces and when that didn't kill him, King Bahram had him beheaded.  He is the patron saint of lost vocations and torture victims.

I come away with this connection of St. James and the first day of Advent... Jesus was born in order to die for our sins.  St. James was born and died for his love of Jesus.  He is an extreme example of following Jesus admist real trials and sufferings.  Real ones.  How easy we have it here in America to celebrate Advent and not have to worry about dying for this conviction.  We are blessed more than we can possibly imagine or appreciate.

Michael of Reach Paradise posted on Community of Catholic Bloggers last month of an eye opening fact.   Something to the effect of American Catholics commenting on "how they hope the mass isn't too long because they have a party" and Catholics in Sudan, India and Egypt "pray that they won't get killed at mass today."  They live in the life of St. James Intercisus ~

 loving and following Jesus could cost you your life.

This Advent Season I want to be very mindful of the blessings I have here in America, in my family and in my own home!


Friday, November 25, 2011

I Blog Jesus Award

The amazingly creative Monica from Equipping Catholic FamiliesArma Dei and the creator of the I Blog Jesus Award; and one of the sweetest, kindest bloggers, Sue from Sue Elvis Writes both nominated me for the I Blog Jesus Award!

Monica, who designed this new award, has probably created the most important type of award that I could receive... to honor Jesus in my blog!  All of the other ones are fun and make me smile, yet this one makes me feel humble.  I do my best to blog about topics that glorify The Holy Trinity and Our Lady.

In a little over a month, I will have been blogging as Rosary Mom, for one year.  The blessings that have flowed from the connections I have made from other fabulous Catholic bloggers is astounding.  My faith has deepened and the knowledge gained has inspired me to learn more.

God can be glorified through the internet!

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11

Now it's my turn to nominate several other blogs who are worthy to receive the I Blog Jesus Award. I know of many more than several but after prayer, these bloggers come to mind:

Victor from Time for Reflections ~ his sense of humor is so unique and refreshing as he gives us his Fr. Ignatius stories.  He is also a great supporter and encourager of everyone he knows!

Michael from Reach Paradise ~ he is an author from the Community of Catholic Bloggers who writes concise thought provoking posts.  He challenges you to go beyond the expectation of daily living and live with Jesus at the foremost of you mind.

Judy from Ben Makes Ten ~  her love for Christ, her family and others is evident in her blogging.  She has a depth of knowledge of our faith that leaves me inspired to live according to God's word.

Trish from Lily-Rose Cottage ~ is a lovely lady who gathers bloggers once a week to share posts that are:  Whatever is... Lovely, Admirable, Cheerful and Encouraging.  She has a gift for writing that is encouraging and gentle.  I imagine her to be a real lady!

Lena from Joyfilled Family ~ she is one of the most organized and detailed bloggers of the Catholic Faith.  She is on top of blogging about the feast days of the liturgical calendar and her ministry, Little Flowers.  She uses beautiful pictures in her posts of Our Lord and all his angels and saints, Our Lady and her own lovely family.

Tricia from Saint Bound Sinner ~  she has a very relatable style of writing that draws the reader in while teaching about the apostles, church fathers and saints.  I believe she is a new blogger as well and she is doing a wonderful job of glorifying Jesus!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I received this email from this morning and loved Our Lady's message and felt it was so fitting to celebrating Thanksgiving with our loved ones:

Our Lady said on August 25, 1988:

"Dear children, today I invite you all to rejoice in the life which God gives you.  Little children, rejoice in God the Creator because he has created you so wonderfully.  Pray that your life be a joyful thanksgiving, which flows out of your heart like a river of joy.  Little children, give thanks unceasingly for all that you possess, for each little gift which God has given you, so that a joyful blessing always comes down from God upon your life.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

I pray that everyone who reads this post to hear Our Lady's message and I pray that your life be a joyful thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prayers Answered, Abortion Clinic Closed

Last night, our church hosted a meeting for a local pro-life group called Northwest Families for Life and heard some amazing news!  The abortion clinic where this group had been praying on the outside, and my son and I on the inside, recently closed!!!    My son had numerous appointments in that building with a podiatrist and a dermatologist and each time we would bring holy water; and mark the front entrance with the sign of the cross and then go to the gait that blocked the doorway of the abortion clinic, and mark that gait with the holy water.  We then briefly prayed in the hallway before going to his doctor's appointment.  I've blogged about it here and here.

Every Thursday during the 40 Days for Life Campaign this past Lenten Season, this group prayed at this location.  I would see them occasionally there on other days when they learned that the abortion doctor had moved his patients to this location from another one a couple of miles away. Yes, this doctor has 6 medical centers in which he has privileges that he performed abortions in the suburbs of Chicago.  He used to have 7 but now it is down to 6.  Praise God!

At our meeting we had the founder, Ms. Mary Zeien, of The Well of Mercy in Chicago present about their new center that offers housing and education for single mothers and their newborn babies.  Those who choose life, can stay there and receive support- both mom and baby.  We were able to meet one of the moms who lives there and her 3 week old baby.  What a blessing they were to us all!  God has orchestrated the opening of this center so single moms have a place to live, receive support and have their babies.

I am linking up with Trish's Simple Joys today because what could be more joyful than the blessing of a baby?  What could be more joyful than a support system for a single mom opts to have her baby?

What could be more joyful than life?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not My Finest Moment

A couple of months ago, without volunteering, I became a lector for daily mass.   If you know me, I am not a public speaker.  That's way outside of my comfort zone.  I'm a great behind the scenes kind of support person but please, oh please, do not put me in front of a group of people to speak! The request came out of the blue following my pastor's request that I make the Rosary Rally announcement last month.  I dreaded making the announcement yet managed to get through them.  Then my first few attempts as a lector went with some mistakes but generally, it was ok.

Today, when I arrived I learned that I was to lead the congregation in song.  I don't sing.  Or at least, not well.  Our visiting priest kindly told me that I was to sing not him.  Ugh... he had a couple of songs picked out and I chose one that I knew.  Here it is (this is not my church but one that I found on youtube):

I do really like Gather Us In so I sang it, albeit off key at times but I managed to get through it.  One thing I know for sure, I will not be receiving an invitation to join our church choir!!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Mail for Heroes

I learned today from Paper Dali that there is a program through the Red Cross to send Holiday mail to our troops overseas.  Prayers for our troops have been on my mind since we recently celebrated Veteran's Day so, this is the perfect opportunity to continue to show our love and support for their sacrifices!  Without their bravery and sacrifices we wouldn't be free.  If the men and women of the past and present didn't step forward to defend and protect our nation; and defend and protect other nations who cannot defend themselves, we wouldn't have a free nation.

This year on Veteran's Day, we went to Cantigny for their Veteran's Day Celebration.  They had an incredibly moving program called Veteran Voices where they had soldiers dressed in uniform from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm reading actual letters from soldiers who had lived and fought during those wars.  It was extremely explicit in revealing the suffering and trials they went through in war.  They showed pictures and video of these soldiers and it was incredibly moving.  I found myself tearful in thanksgiving and respect for their sacrifices.

Each luminary represented 6 soldiers who died in combat.  As you can imagine, it went on for rows and rows and rows.  Strongly imprinted on my mind was their families that were at home waiting for their loved one to come home.  And when they didn't, my heart ached for their pain.

They did a beautiful job in respecting and celebrating the soldiers of the past and present.

May our fallen soldiers and their families be with God in heaven and may the protective hand of God be upon our soldiers who are in combat.  


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Sobering Question

I read the following question on Judy' Benmakesten Blog:

"What if all I had today were the things I thanked God for yesterday?"  

If everything else I didn't thank God for was taken away, what would I be left with?  A sobering thought because I feel I've been in the prayer mode of requesting things rather than thanking Him for the things I already have.  There is so much need of prayer around me and for some reason prayer of thanksgiving has fallen to the bottom of the list.

Since this is the month dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, I've been praying for my family and friends who've died and for those who have no one praying for them.  Especially on my heart is a middle aged man named Marcus who committed suicide a few weeks ago.  I didn't know him but I met his sister who was in tears at my church asking me to pray for him.  She showed me a happy picture of Marcus which gave no indication of the inner pain he must have been struggling with.  Another person who's been on my mind is a former co-worker of mine who died a couple of weeks ago and I've been praying for him.  He was only 44 years old.

These prayers are important indeed but I must remember to give praise and thanksgiving instead of only praying for my needs and wants.  I must do it daily.  Thank you Judy for blogging about that... it was what I needed to hear!

I'm linking up with Heidi of Sacramental Moments this post for Pondering in My Heart this week.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Thomas!

I just finished reading Sue Elvis' wonderfully emotional book called Grief, Love and Hope:  The Death of Our Baby Thomas.  It is an incredibly open and poignantly raw book of Sue's experience of learning that her unborn baby had a diaphragmatic hernia and wouldn't survive, to the birth of her son and the most precious 28 hours of his life before he went home to God.  Throughout her book she categorizes each part of the journey that she had written down in her journal so she wouldn't forget every precious moment of Thomas' life.   She's included poems, short essays and pictures that her children had written and drawn that adds to the whole picture of Thomas' impact on her entire family.  Very moving indeed and at parts, my heart ached for them, and other parts, my heart rejoiced for them.  Sue's faith in God pulled her through the darkest times of her suffering and she came through it with a stronger faith and trust in God.  She was also blessed with two beautiful daughters after losing Thomas.

Happy Birthday Thomas!!!

My finishing of Sue's book happens to land on Thomas' birthday.  He was born on November 9, 1999 and was called home to God on November 10, 1999.  His time on this earth with his family was incredibly brief but he had a huge impact on their lives.  He is now a saint that they will all meet again one day!

I've no doubt that Sue's book has helped other mothers and will continue to help those who've lost a child to process through this tragedy.  She is openly honest about the range of emotions a mother goes through and how a mother can survive the death of a child.

I'm linking up with Trish at LACE~ Whatever is..Lovely, Admirable, Cheerful and Encouraging.  Phil 4:8


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coaches Behaving Badly

We were at my son's basketball game last night and their team participates in a Catholic school league in the area.   Our team won last night which was great since they lose about half of the games they play.   As for this game, both teams played hard...they really did.  On their way out, the losing team's coaches had an argument in the hallway which escalated into pushing and shoving, which then escalated in profanity.  I didn't see the end of their disagreement since "they took it outside" but I saw the beginning.  One coach was reprimanding the other one for not telling their boys that they had had a good game even though they lost.  They did have a good game.  They were trying their hearts out.

Photo credit.

So why do some coaches behave so badly in front of children?  Is it so devastating to lose a basketball game?  To lose every basketball game?  I know it's frustrating for coaches because they put a lot of their time and efforts in training the kids.  I get that and admire their dedication to working with kids in a positive way.  What I don't get is when their frustration reaches a level where it spills over and creates a scene in front of kids.

Fr. Robert Barron quoted a French writer on a recent Youtube video about what was the worst or saddest thing that could happen to someone.  He said, "not to become a saint.  You can be the president of the U.S. and it's all meaningless if you do not become a saint."

Well, the coaches behavior certainly wasn't saintly and I pray they realize the errors of their ways, forgive each other and apologize to their players and parents who witnessed the argument.

The season is only half over.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


Our culture is full of them... excuses.  We explain why we do what we do or why we don't do something instead of saying "I'm sorry."  We teach our kids to say they're sorry at a young age but somehow it doesn't translate over to adults.  At a mission retreat this week, I heard a priest talk about this very subject and he thinks because our culture is focused on self-interest instead of interest in others, that's where we've lost the thread of accountability that leads to a sincere apology.  He also said he believes that is why the confessionals are not busy with long waiting lines.  We don't even apologize to God for our sins enough because "I was just tired" or "Our schedule is too hectic" or "I didn't sleep well last night" "I can just ask for His pardon in my heart" etc.  Catholics have a wonderful way to repent and feel refreshed by going to reconciliation to receive absolution of our sins.  It truly is refreshing to admit out loud to a priest what I am sorry for.  It's also intimidating too, but I end up feeling like a load has been taken off of my shoulders.

No excuses work with God anyways.  He's heard them all and He knows our motivation behind it because He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves.  And if you really think about it... it's incredibly insulting to Him.  He has given us E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G., including His son who died for us.  It's important to praise and thank Him yet it is more important to ask for His forgiveness.

During the retreat, the priests talked about many things but what struck me the most was I need to stop excusing my behavior and apologize for it.  So, I decided to start first with God by going to confession that evening.  Following the talk, they had 5 priests listening to confessions with long lines of people waiting to apologize for their sins.  I was in that line too to make my own apology to God for what I've done and for what I've failed to do.  It felt good!

"For I will be merciful and gracious towards their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more."    Hebrews 8:12

I'm linking up with Trish at L.A.C.E. this week. Whatever is...Lovely. Admirable. Cheerful. Encouraging.