Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your Grace is Enough

I have had an awful week, full of retreats and bitterness.  I won't go much into it, because I am now trying to have a gentle spirit, and be docile in my life.  BTW, docile, according to's second definition means "teachable."  I used to believe it meant gentle or humble, or submissive.  I don't know why I thought this, but I did.  Now, I am trying to be "teachable."  Isn't this what I tell my staff all the time? to follow as well as able to lead?

My lessons of this week are too many to name or even comprehend.  My spirit is stirred, and I am trying to listen to the Lord's messages of mercy and love in my life, and in my family's time together.  I reflected on Matt Maher's song, "Your Grace is Enough," and I have received many graces from the Lord this week.  Here are a few of the graces:

  1. I love my husband now more than ever.  I never did not love him, but even more so this week, I recognize that his humble spirit and docility are what I am missing in my life.  He is an excellent example and leader in our home.  Praise be to God that He saw fit to bring us together in Holy Matrimony.
  2. I can't control outcome to my prayers.  I pray in great expectation of being heard, but I must be open to the Lord's answers, and not my own...the Lord's time, and not my own...the Lord's wisdom, and not my own.
  3. I love Paul, and I am so thankful for the wisdom of the Holy Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict, that he saw fit to make this the year of St. Paul.  What a year of CONVERSION!  My own first...Paul tells it like it is...especially about our Eucharist...Look at 1Corinthians 11:  23-33.  Paul is also very clear about the gifts of the Holy Spirit...and how docility is an aid to being open to the gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12).
  4. To continue with Paul, speaking to the new Christians at Corinth, and to us today, in 2009, Paul says the Lord told him the following:  "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Paul is great in Christ!  God is good all the time.  Love is above all.  God is love.  I am in a better place now.  Thank you, Jesus!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I have had time to think...and Read...

So, my earlier post was a rant about blah blah blah. Today, I read the daily readings from the USCCB, which I will post the first reading here...

Reading 1
1 Jn 4:7-10

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only-begotten Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

God didn't need to hit me over the head any harder! Love is the answer. Love...And, I was listening to Matt Maher this morning singing "As it is in Heaven," which is an excellent musical and lyrical version of the Lord's Prayer. In it, he speaks of God's mercy. I am asking for mercy and forgiveness for my bitterness and anger over the last few weeks. I am going to turn to love. That doesn't mean I don't think these things are wrong (ok, maybe God does need to beat me over the head), I just believe that one of Jesus' message to us was love.

Peace out,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Is Anyone Catholic Anymore?

This weekend has been a test of my faith. I am praying that I listen to the Lord, and to my husband in these matters.

I am a proud parent of a first reconciliation candidate. Elani makes her first reconciliation next weekend. This weekend, she attended her retreat. During the retreat, the catechist continually pointed to herself, kept using herself as an example of proud/pride/etc. I was consistently bothered throughout the entire retreat, listening to this. Never did she talk about how leaving a legacy for your children grounded in God's forgiveness. She continued to talk about how leaving a legacy for your children so they remember you when you are gone is the most important thing. that started off my weekend.

My second retreat of the weekend was the Confirmation retreat. I sponsor one of the candidates. She is an excellent teen-ager, actively growing in her faith. She is a teen that my daughter looks at as a role model, and I am happy to have her do so.

There was so much propaganda during this retreat that I almost walked out of the retreat. I am praying right now about whether or not to talk to my priest about it. I am concerned for the candidates, but I am honestly very concerned about my daughter being catechized. Things were spoken of during the retreat that really sounded like moral relativism. This bothered me quite a bit. Additionally, during Mass, the youth were very out of it, not responding to prayers, not listening to the homily, chewing gum, etc. HOW DISAPPOINTING!!

Everyone tells me that the future of the Church is in the youth. This scares me. Though there are some very good examples of young faithful Christianity, I am honestly seeing examples I fear as role modeling. I know as a parent, I am most responsible for my children's faith formation. However, after this weekend, I can see the influence the catechist have on the kids, and I see the misinformation that is out there.

Some may think, "Well, do you teach CCD?" The answer is that I currently do not because of a recent discernment. But, maybe the Lord is leading me back. I am only one person, though, what can I do? What happens when my daughter gets to the Confirmation class and gets misinformation? My daughter talks to me plenty, but she may not mention everything. I can't correct things I don't know she is learning.

I asked my husband to please pray about us staying in this church parish. I am not sure what else to do.

Happy Epiphany!


Monday, December 15, 2008

What an amazing Advent Surprise I've been in the blah Advent/Christmas mood. I've not wanted to decorate, pray, spend time in reflection about the season. I've just been of those times in your life where your faith is just at a stand still. I know many who would profess they've never had the desert. I like to think that without the desert, you aren't so amazed and blessed by the overwhelming graces of God. I like to think that I am living that Christian lifestyle, through my suffering, which includes (at times) myself as my own worst enemy.

Tonight, I had a Christmas office party. Everyone in the office had gotten a present for the boss, except you guessed it, because part of my blah mood includes my reluctance to shop for Christmas. Here it was, another night I spent aside from my family with my job. I didn't mind so much, but it was all a part of the bigger picture of my blah mood.

Steve had written me during the day that he and the girls had a surprise for me. I thought it was going to be a clean house. When we pulled into the driveway after my dinner with my co-workers, noticed Christmas lights in the kitchen area of our home. My heart started beating fast, as I realized it could potentially be a Christmas tree. On December 15, when we usually have it by the 1st. Guess what? It was just what my soul needed. Steve and the girls had moved the dining room table in just the right place in the kitchen, had decorated the most beautiful tree, placed out many of our decorations, with our nativity front and center. The Advent wreath was in the center of the newly placed table, and the kitchen and living room were clean, and festive. The mantle was beautiful with the snowmen, like every year.

What a blessing I have in this family! The best Christmas gift I've ever received. See, they knew my mood. They knew I wasn't taking the initiative like I do every year. With just one gesture, I am beginning to prepare my heart for the Baby Jesus. Now, my "Come o Come Emmanuel" rings loudly in my heart.

Peace on earth and Good will to all Men.

Mary F.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel...

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. This is typically a time we already have the tree up, decorated, Advent wreath blessed and blazing with the first purple candle. However, as I finish up 3 projects for class, I am reminded that I have not been on "Watch," as reminded in our Gospel reading from Mark. My humanity has certainly pulled me away from being watchful and anticipating the Blessing of this time of the year...

The children are in Slidell this weekend. I asked my mother-in-law to bring them to church this morning. Last night, Elizabeth, our oldest, called in a panic because our 10 year old, Emma decided church is boring, and now Granny wasn't going to take them to Mass. I told Elizabeth I would take them this evening to CTK. What I didn't tell her was Emma was coming, too. When I told Deacon Daddy about this, he said he would bring some discipline to the situation.

These things, plus the economy, plus all things of this world, have me melancholy in spirit. Why am I allowing this to pull me away from our focus??? Come Lord Jesus, send us your spirit, renew the face of the earth!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Entry - Yippee

So, I decided to use some boredom time (i.e. time I should be studying) to update this stupid blog.

I had an amazing experience in church this morning. The little girl that was hurt in the four wheeler accident this summer was at Mass this morning. After the intercessory prayer, Fr. Matt explained that the word, "Eucharist" means, "Thanksgiving". He explained that we need to offer our prayers of Thanksgiving, and then told the congregation that all of our prayers were lifted to Heaven for Katie, and that here she was after a long road of recovery. I was brought right back to the summer of 2002. I couldn't stop crying at the witnessing of miracles. Katie has a long way to go. Steve did as well. Hearing Steve talk this morning about the timeline of the Bible and which books were written, why and when, reminds me that we are all called for purpose. Katie is, too. She may not know what that purpose is. I don't know my purpose yet, either. We are all called to know, love and serve the Lord. Steve does that through his wake up call of 2002. I never understood that. I think we were both called to serve through that incident. I used to resent that. I embrace it now. I want to be the Proverbs 31 wife, as was read this morning at the first reading. When Steve becomes a deacon in the church, I want to be that wife that brings him honor and such.

I love you, Jesus! I love you, Jesus!

Praise God.

Wallace, OUT!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gustav...Thank you, very Much!

Since Gustav hit, our family has been topsy-turvy. Our entire little family (6 of us) moved into my office for about 3 days, until Deacon Daddy said, "Enough." He and the little ones moved to Slidell until this morning. We still have no power, but I called Steve last night crying, "Please come home, please come home." I am essential staff at my work, and for them to go to Slidell, well, I really did get things done. But, I now miss my family - power or not!

I went to CTK church last night, upset, and yearning to receive our Lord. Father Vu talked about how he had met a woman that "exuded a love for the Lord, even in the midst of Gustav." I want to be that woman. I want to exude a love and confidence in the Lord, no matter the circumstance. I want others to say about me, "She is confident in the Lord." I want to be an instrument the Lord uses to bring others to Him. Love, mercy, kindness.

Why is my faith on low fuel right now?? As I was in Mass last night, I prayed, "Let me feel you again." Why can't I feel His presence right now? This seems like part of my struggle. I remember in my younger days, I had no doubts that Jesus was walking with me. Now, I feel that absence. I took Eucharist last night in thanksgiving, and love, and yet, so unworthy. Please pray for me.