Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pope Dancing With the Youth!

I came across this video today......and I love it.  Pope John Paul II dancing with a large group of young people -- in 1986.  Wow!

One of John Paul II's primary focuses was to bring the youth back to the church, to get them involved in the church, and to lead them to the Lord.  I personally think he was the main person to get youth ministry going as well as it has in recent years.  His support was immeasurable.

I will never get the opportunity to meet him (unfortunately) but am blessed to have been able to experience him as our pope.  His ability to draw people to the Lord was amazing.  I know that my faith life was enriched greatly because of him.

He was the primary source of the World Youth Days around the world, that bring youth from all over the world together to share their faith.  I truly believe these types of gatherings help everyone know and understand that we are not alone in our faith journey!

He will be canonized May 1 in Rome.  I am very jealous of my niece, Heidi, who just happens to be studying in Rome right now and will be able to be present for his beatification.  What an incredible opportunity!  I hope that she shares lots of pictures of this time.

What JPII did for Catholics around the world was huge!  But, we can do the same things, on a much smaller scale, each and every day!!  We can share our faith.  We can bring a smile to someone, or a hug for someone who may not need it, or expect it.  These things go a long way to bringing us together as a faith family.

What can you do today to enrich either your faith, or those around you?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Family Prayer

Family Prayer

Imprimatur: Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

Lord God, we thank you for the gift of family. We acknowledge that our image and name as family come from You.

We believe that within our family lies a home-made holiness. We affirm that it is in this household of faith that we experience Your presence, Your forgiveness, and Your love.

We are family. We give thanks to You, for the many joys and blessings that have come to us through our family.

As family, we sometimes feel pain. And so we offer to You our disappointments, frustrations, and hurts. Help us to forgive those members of our family, including ourselves, who have caused pain.
We pray for the strength to be a light within our family. May we open our hearts, our eyes and ears and carry our light to those in need.

God, Creator of the earth and all its people, help us to be mindful that, as members of one global family, we are equal in Your eyes. Help us to continue to appreciate the diversity of persons in our homes and in our world. As members equal in human dignity, may we build a better world and proclaim our willingness to be the holy people you call us to be. Amen.

So, my brother sent me this prayer today.  I loved it so much, I thought I would share it with you. 

Jim and I feel so lucky and blessed to be part of the families that we are.  I know when my dad died, a lot of people commented to me, and the rest of my family, about what a great man he was.  That was really nice to hear.  I know I always thought that, but to think that the rest of the world saw it, too, was truly a gift. 

As one of my friends said to me at that time -- if only the kids who are without parents, or without good role models that we had could have used our parents for a small time, we wonder what would have, could have become of them. 

I'm not sure we always appreciate what we have when we have it.  I'm sure when our kids are getting chastised for something that they sometimes wonder about us, but hopefully, eventually, they will realize that it was always to make them better people in the end.

I know that now I appreciate the values and sense of family that my parents instilled in us, as we find ourselves without parents, that all of us still understand and value the meaning of family.  One of the grandchildren worried when Grandpa died that we may not see each other as much any more, when we simply had to remind them that that will NEVER be an issue.  We love each other and need each other too much!

I thank my parents, and Jim's parents, for helping us to be the people we are today.  Good and bad, happy and sad, we are very grateful.

PS Cardinal Bernardin, the impramatur of this prayer, also confirmed me!!  What an awesome man!!  (And not because he confirmed me!).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Be bold in your faith!

I just got back from a really neat youth rally.  Put on by the office of vocations (oopsies, typed vAcations first -- maybe they would like that!) and the office of youth ministry in our diocese, and heavily helped out by the youth ministers in the area, it's an annual event, held in a local church, to help foster vocations.

To clarify, a vocation is not necessarily to be a priest or a nun or a brother.  It is what YOU are supposed to do with your life-- so it might be a priest, nun, or brother, but it might also be a wife and mother; or husband and father, or maybe to lead the single life.  It's a really neat opportunity for the youth to get together, share a meal, have some fun, and then break bread together.

They had a really neat speaker tonight -- Emily, who is the youth minister at University of Dayton.  She spoke of going out of your comfort zone and being bold in your faith.  She did a GREAT job!  :)  I loved her talking about standing up for your faith and showing others, through your actions -- that you are Catholic. 

She ended with a great visual.  God gives you all the tools to be a Catholic -- you just have to use them.  She took a glass of milk.  Good.  Then she squirted in some chocolate syrup.  On the outside, the milk was still white milk, and still tasted like white milk.  It wasn't until she physically mixed them and made an effort to make chocolate milk, that it became chocolate.

She compared that to our faith.  We can do all the "right things" -- go to church, be good to our families, etc., but unless we mix in the chocolate syrup (the holy spirit) and make an effort to mix it, our faith will be lacking.  We need to display our faith and show everyone that we believe!

We ended the night with mass, celebrated by Archbishop Schnurr, and assisted by a transitional deacon.  What a wonderful example for the youth to see -- a young guy ready to be ordained, celebrating with them.  Loved it!

I hope you had a great weekend.  I hear warmer weather is in store.  I'm not one to complain about the weather, but lately have been wishing for something a little different -- not so cold!  Hopefully our wishes will come true. 

Have a great week!  :)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Well, it's all over :(

Remember the other week when I posted about the fun ccd classes we were putting together?  Well, I'm sad to report that they are all done.  History.  No more.  :(

I have to admit, they were some of the funnest classes I have ever taught.  Working with other people, and bouncing ideas off of them, was fantastic!!  Not to mention what I learned in the process!!!!  :)

We ended the year by playing Holy Redeemer Jeopardy!  Brad put it all together using many of the themes we discussed over the past 4 weeks.  We had prizes (t-shirts, cd's, bibles), and, of course, candy.  It was a great game, and we all noticed that there was not one person there not playing.....some may not have been giving it their all, but they were at least playing!

As is always my hope, I hope we opened these youth's eyes a bit.  Hope we whet their appetites and gave them at least a little hunger for the bible and what it means to them, and their faith.  And, if they aren't there yet, hopefully someday they will look back on these classes and realize what a beautiful opportunity their bible and their faith present.

So, we finish another CCD year (for the high schoolers, at least).  And, for one person in my house, we finish with CCD forever.  I hope we gave them the tools to succeed.  Or, at least, the tools to figure out how to succeed.

Hope your weekend is going well.  We're off tonight to see NBHS production of "Dead Man Talking".  It's an original play written by a man here in town.  Let me just say that guy's got talent!  I haven't laughed that hard in a while!  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

So, I have a secret.  I wasn't totally honest with my family today.

You see, today is the feast of the Annunciation, or the day that Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she would carry the Savior of the world.  And she said yes!!!  Kind of like the first pro-life day -- ever!!! 

So, a few years ago, the Catholic Bishops determined that whenever there is a feast day on a Friday during lent, that the resrictions for meat are lifted for that day.  Meaning, because today is the Annunciation, technically we could have eaten meat all day. 

So, oopsies......I forgot ;) to tell my family, and we suffered through a no meat Friday anyways.  Why?  Well, first of all, to me, no meat Fridays are much more than "no meat".  We're so used to eating meat without thinking of it that to go without makes us think all day to be conscious not to eat it.  To me, that's a big part of lent.  Thinking about what we are doing.

I remember a few years ago when St Patrick's Day fell on a Friday.  Now that, I kinda understood -- some just have to have their corned beef on St Patrick's Day.  Not I, but some.  :)

But somehow, it didn't seem as if there was a reason to eat meat on this particular Friday.  We all survived the day.  Even without meat!

So, I'm coming clean and telling you I lied to my family today.  Because I did. 

But I'm ok with that.  :)

Happy Annunciation, everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

He didn't give up!

Wow!  Did you just see American Idol tonight?  I don't know about you, but I think this is the best crop of contestants EVER!!

I knew we were in trouble when Ryan kept saying, "A shocking elimination" tonight.  Little did I know HOW shocking!  Casey Abrams, one of the best contestants  (in my opinion, at least) this year, was not only in the bottom three with Thia and Stefano (two other somewhat shockers, I think), but received the fewest votes.  Yikes!!

He got his chance at redemption -- to "sing for his life" before the judges, and they had the final say on whether this would be his last night on the show or not.  Casey has been regarded, not only by me, but by many this year, to be a really great singer.  However, last night was not his best night performance-wise.

He sang, or rather started to, and the judges cut him off.  The look on his face was priceless.  He turned white as a ghost.  I'm not sure I wouldn't have done the same thing -- I don't remember them ever stopping a performance before and he probably didn't know what to think.  They told him they knew how he was and it was way too early to send him home.  He was safe!

I honestly thought the guy was going to pass out on stage from shock.  He went and hugged the judges, and his parents, and finally sat on the stage.

He responded by saying that it was so early in the competition that he thought he was going for sure -- that they would save their one and only save for the season for later on -- not realizing that he is THAT GOOD that he is worth saving.   (If you didn't catch it, I'm sure it's on youtube, or will be soon.  It's really worth it just to watch him sing for his life.)

I'm glad he's still on there.  There are a couple of other people that knew they should be the ones leaving tonight, so I hope this means people will start voting (not that I do!) for their favorite person so they don't get kicked off.  Or, as someone I know does -- they vote for everyone BUT who they want to go. 

I've been really thinking about this whole process tonight since the show ended.   How much is this like our own life, only instead of Randy, Steven, and JLo, we get our "do-overs" before God?  We get to sing for our lives -- by talking with Him, by reconciling with Him, by going TO reconciliation......and what does he do?  He gives us redemption!!!  He lets us go on!!!  What a wonderful gift He gives us each and every day.

God so wants us to be perfect.  He knows that intrinsically we ARE that good that we are worth saving.  After all, He made us in his image. 

He gives us the chance to renew and refresh and become whole again.  It's us that screws it up again!  Why?  Read above!  Just as Casey thought, we don't think that God means US when he talks about perfection!  We don't think He is talking about giving US redemption.  We can't be that important.

Or can we?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Words of inspiration!

Have you ever had that moment when you needed to hear something, or read something, or see something to make you better?  And then somehow, seemingly out of nowhere, the right thing comes along? 

I had one of those moments today.  I had a pretty busy (and stressful) day, and was just looking for some words of comfort.  Somehow, with all of my connections and groups that I read, I knew something would come along.  I didn't know what it was I wanted to read/hear, but I needed something.

Little did I know I would find it from my friend, Alicia's, page.  She is always posting neat little quotes and sayings.  Today was no different.  She had the perfect words to make me feel much better.  Thanks, Alicia!  :)

How often don't we hesitate to post something, or tell someone something, when we really want to, thinking maybe no one will read it, or enjoy it, or appreciate it?  How many missed opportunities have we had?  I often read things from people, and try many times to respond, to let them know I appreciated it, but don't always, so people may not know anyone appreciated it!

We often talk in my religion classes about this topic -- needing an answer or needing some propping up and where we turn.  I often turn to the bible (although in all honesty I didn't today only because I didn't have one near me, and what I'm about to describe doesn't work well on a computer!  LOL)  Have you ever done this?  If you are looking for an answer somewhere, open up the bible.  It is AMAZING what you will find.  Just a random passage will often bring you comfort, or peace, or whatever you are seeking. 

I love that God provides for us in this way -- helps us to understand that whatever we are going through, many others have, also -- and have been since many many years ago!  :)

So, today, if you are seeking answers -- consult your bible! 

By the way, if any of you are looking for presents for Easter, a great present is always a Bible!!!  A great bible that I love (even at my age!  LOL) is the Catholic Youth Bible.  It is well written, and has discussions, very relevant discussions, for many of the more "popular" readings and passages -- to help you to think about them.  What a wonderful gift for someone -- or a treat for yourself! 

Have a great day, everyone!  And thanks, Alicia, for the inspiration today....just when I needed it!  :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Change our hearts, this time......

We sang at church this morning the song, "Change our hearts, this time"....

Change our hearts this time,
your word says it can be,
change our minds this time,
your life could make us free!
We are the people your call set apart
Lord, this time, change our hearts!

What a beautiful lenten anthem!  However, if you look closely, the author says "this time" not once, but twice!  Yeah, that's kind of how it is, isn't it?  We all do it -- make lenten promises and try to renew and revive ourselves and our spiritual life, but somehow we always seem to revert back to our old ways.  Hopefully this lenten season finds you with renewed interest in getting rid of the bad and bringing in the good (whatever that is).  May we truly change our hearts -- and minds -- this time!

If you heard Archbishop Schnurr's homily this morning (if you're in our diocese!  LOL), he was making his annual appeal -- and I was struck by several things -- first, he discussed how in the first reading God asked Abraham to leave all of his belongings and follow him.  What?  Leave all of his belongings and follow him?  Leave his stuff?  Gosh, what a leap of faith that would be.

We are such a society of "stuff"......houses, cars, motorcycles, campers, tvs, computers, phones, clothes.....the list could go on......and for someone - anyone - to ask me to leave my stuff, would be huge.  How would I ever do it?  

But if we truly consider where all of the "stuff" comes from, it is truly from Him himself -- and to give it back should not be hard.  I would love nothing more than to write today that I would easily do that.....but must tell you it would be hard.

The second interesting thing I heard him say today was to "prayerfully consider" what we can give towards his appeal.  Prayerfully consider?  How the heck do we do that?

I sometimes wish that there were more classes on prayer.  I"ve taught a few in the high school, but certainly don't always feel that prayer is my strong suit.  Sure, I pray.  I pray before and after meals.  I pray in the morning before my feet hit the floor (even though sometimes when I'm late getting up, it may sound something like, "Oh, God, here we go!"); I pray in the evenings.  I pray when something's hard -- one of my kids is having a tough time, or I/we have a big decision to make.  I certainly prayed a lot for strength the weeks of the funerals of my parents.  

But how to pray?  And how do we know we're doing it right?  Like, in the instance of the appeal, how does prayerfully considering help us to give?  I can tell you this:  if you have never tried it, do it.  Do it right now.  Go someplace quiet.  Say a very simple prayer -- "God, help me/us to determine what we can afford to give to the appeal."  Then comes the hard part.  Listen.  Don't try to say more.  Listen.  I can almost guarantee you that you will hear the answer.  In time.  It will come to you.  

We will probably discuss prayer more big of a topic.  

Life is good.  Let's change our hearts, this time, this week -- for the better -- and for forever!

And, if you're one of my kids -- the answer to the bonus question from church is in here!  (I asked them to tell me at brunch who said the homily this morning).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

What a very beautiful Irish blessing.  St. Patrick's Day -- the day that even those of us who are 100% German become Irish.  A day to wear green -- or get pinched if you aren't wearing it!  Did you get pinched today?

I read a really neat story today about a young guy asking some others if they were going to "celebrate" St. Patrick's Day.  I was really struck by the honest, candid conversation these two guys had, when it all started with what one of them was probably saying matter-of-factly to all of his customers that day.  Read on:

An Irish Blessing

You never know who God is going to bring into your life. This past week I had an amazing experience of God while waiting for my dinner.
“Iced tea, please.” I requested with a genuine tone.
“You guys goin’ to get ripped on Friday?” the waiter asked me (and my friends).
“I’m sorry?” I asked a little confused and more than a little intrigued.
“You know, are you guys gonna get lit up to celebrate St. Patrick’s day this Friday?” he asked again, (obviously assuming that because we were young adults that binge drinking and public drunkenness must be our favorite past time…)
“Um…no.” I replied with a stern and disapproving but gentle, non-judgmental tone.
“Why not, are you guys like recovering alcoholics or something?” he pushed, searching for an answer as to why we would not choose to inebriate ourselves on the altar of public opinion or conformity.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Thomas” he replied.

“Thomas, I have to ask you a question. You obviously plan to get wasted on Friday to “celebrate”. Why is getting drunk necessary? I don’t want to sound prudish, but I just don’t understand why you consider that the ultimate sign of your freedom as a young adult?”
His facial expression showed how perplexed he was. His body language did little to disguise his defensiveness.
“What nationality are you?” he asked me (in an odd retort).
“I’m Irish and German.” I replied.
“Oh well, you see, I’m 100% Irish, so you wouldn’t understand. Drinking is a part of our heritage, and only being half Irish you wouldn’t understand the significance of St. Patty’s Day. It’s how our ancestors celebrated and it’s been passed down from generation to generation. Maybe the Irish in your family weren’t proud of their heritage, but my family is…” His attempt to justify his intention to binge drink was obvious, but his assault on our family pride in our heritage was unfounded and ignorant.
I had planned to let his comments go, but I could not…for he would undoubtedly spin the same inane dribble on another unsuspecting table later in the day, and he needed a little dose of reality.
“Hey Thomas, I don’t know how to break this to you, but getting hammered doesn’t demonstrate your freedom, it relinquishes it. Further, saying that your ancestors celebrated their Irish heritage by getting wasted is unfounded and a sad commentary about your family tree. Alcoholism, like any addiction, is not an exercise of freedom, it is an exercise of slavery. Ironically, the very slavery that your ancestors were probably fighting in Ireland prior to the arrival of St. Patrick.” His face went white. He was confused, upset and grew a little angry (but not too angry, because he was still working for a tip).
“Well, that’s your version, but I know my Irish history” he replied, clinging to the rationalization that would leave him drunken and guilt free.
“Oh, and Thomas, one more thing…St. Patrick wasn’t Irish…at all” I said with a gentle but assured humility.
That was it. You would have thought I pulled his still beating heart out of his Kelly-green covered chest and smashed right in front of his (no longer) “smiling” Irish eyes.
I would have been fine letting it go, but after his last comments, I felt the need to set straight my belligerent, well-intentioned new friend who was way long on ego and bit short on actual knowledge.
“St. Patrick was Welsh-Italian. Most agree, too, that there weren’t any actual snakes in the country. That is a myth. He wasn’t the first Christian missionary sent to Ireland, either, that was Saint Palladius. Lastly, St. Patrick is not only the patron saint of Ireland, but also of Nigeria. He spoke out against slavery, pagan worship and was a champion of women’s rights in a time when people treated them as objects (not unlike today). He stood for Jesus Christ, spoke out against pagan influences and the debaucherous lifestyles that were leading countless masses into sin – including drunkenness, idolatry, witchcraft, and sexual sins. In short, St. Patrick would be rolling over in his grave if he felt that millions every year ‘celebrated’ his life in the ways that you are suggesting we do.”
Thomas had nothing to say. He had forgotten his argument. He had forgotten his heritage. He had forgotten our order (it took forever to get our food).
“I understand that you like getting wasted and see it as the ultimate exercise of young freedom, I used to think that way, too. The reality, though, is that it’s a lie. Freedom is not ‘doing whatever you want’. Freedom is the capacity to love and to do what is right. Alcohol, like any drug, enslaves the human person. St. Patrick went to Ireland to free the slaves with the Gospel. Those temptations were the ‘snakes’ that were killing the masses. I don’t judge you, brother, and I don’t want to come off as ‘holier than thou’ or any of that garbage. I genuinely want you to know that. God has bigger plans for you than you do for yourself. Those plans will be hard to see and hear if you’re hiding behind a drunken stooper for the most formative years of your life. Do what you will do, and know that I’ll be praying for you this Friday. I pray that you choose wisely.”
Thomas disappeared to the kitchen. You could see he was thinking a great deal. You could tell that what started as small talk turned into far more. The conversation had done more than challenge his mind, the words we exchanged – two strangers that were now acquaintances, were challenging his heart.
Later on in the meal, when the check came, something unexpected happened. My new brother in Christ, Thomas, thanked me.
“I saw your crucifix. I’m assuming you’re Catholic. I was raised Catholic but I haven’t been to church in a long time, since I moved out of my parent’s house. No one has really talked to me like that since my grandma died. Where did you learn so much about the faith?” He inquired.
“Here and there” I replied. “Lemme give you a website.” (pointing him to
“I’m still going out on St. Patrick’s day, you know” he admitted.
“I figured” I replied with an appreciation for his honesty.
“Maybe I won’t drink too much” he offered.
“Maybe you won’t drink at all…” I urged with more belief in him than he has in himself.
“What is the point in that?” He asked.
“To celebrate the life of a man who put God’s will before his own wants, and the salvation of an entire nation ahead of his own bodily desires. Basically, to truly honor St. Patrick.” I suggested.
“What’s your name?” he asked me.
“Mark Joseph Hart” I replied. In fact, “Thomas” was my Confirmation name.
“What’s yours?” I asked back.

“Thomas Patrick…” he replied.
“Well Thomas, it was a pleasure. I’ll be praying that St. Patrick makes you uncomfortable this Friday.” I said jokingly.
“He already has…” Thomas replied honestly.
As we left and I headed to my car I had to grin. Over 1500 years later, St. Patrick’s life is still converting hearts. And in the middle of a restaurant, Thomas Patrick had an experience of God…Thomas (the doubter) is no match for Patrick (the snake charmer).
God is good.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.


I'm struck, not only by the discussion they had, but even more so, how by the end of the meal, he had the waiter asking and talking about his faith.  That's a very difficult thing to do (ask any CCD teacher!) -- to get anyone, much less a young person, to talk about their faith.  I've run across a few in my life, but it is actually more the exception than the rule.

But isn't that part of our faith?  To spread our faith?  To talk about it?  I KNOW that the more I talk about it, and am open about it, I learn more.  Why?  Because people ask questions, and when I don't know the answer, I try to find out.  So I learn, too!  It's a win-win situation!  If only we took those opportunities more to open up to people -- it would be great!

I have someone near and dear to my heart (well, he isn't so near physically any more, and I hardly ever see him :( -- but when I first started working at the church, he was such a blessing to me.  He knew lots and lots and lots of stuff, which started a LOT of conversations....and really helped all of us out!  And today, he is the Assistant Director of Vocations for our Archdiocese!  Pretty impressive, huh?  I'm sure it's all due to me (not!).  LOLOLOL  But really, I'm really proud of him and who he has become.  He's recently started a blog of his own -- Learning 2 B Joseph ( -- BUT even better, he was recently published.  And I LOVE the title of his article!  :)  I am speaking of my friend, Wayne Topp.  Click the link below to read his recently published article.  I am sure it is the first of many.  You go, Wayne!  :)

Have a great evening, everyone.  Tomorrow is Friday!  Busy weekend ahead.  I am not sure how much posting you will see.  I do want to remind everyone to submit questions if you have them, and on Sunday we'll do an open line type thing.  "Be Not Afraid"!!!  :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy 3/16 day!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I heard a challenge on Klove this morning for everyone to share this and thought it was neat.  The kids talked at dinner tonight about what a neat week it's been, with Pi Day (3-14), the Ides of March (3-15), 3-16 day today, and St Patty's Day tomorrow!  How fun!

It did bring up the discussion of how Al Gore a few years ago was trying to quote the bible and started talking about John 16:3, reversing the chapter and verse of the famous bible quote we see at so many sporting events.  I have always been struck by the irony of the actual verse he quoted: 

"They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me."

One of the many reasons I don't quote the bible without reading directly from it.  :)

I have never known the bible well, but am working on it.  It's one of my goals for 2011, to become more familiar.  I know enough to be dangerous!!!  :)

Tonight's CCD class was about Parables -- what they are, why they exist, and, continuing on our quest to compare and contrast the writers of the Gospels -- what are the similarities and differences in the parables in the different books.

I have been working with the book of Luke this session -- it's been what I talk about in these big groups.  Tonight, we looked at why there are parables, concentrating on Luke 8:9-10......

"Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be.  He answered, "Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that 'they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.' "
We discussed the parable of the sower and how that relates to our faith -- how if you have rich soil, but do not water it or fertilize it, or have rocky soil to begin with -- nothing will grow.  And so it is with our faith.  If we do not feed or water it, it will not grow.  I used the sports analagy -- to get really good at a sport, you have to ______(practice) -- and so it is with our faith.  We must practice it to get better at it, or understand it.  I think they got it!  The other guys were talking about the other writers in the bible.  I really like this class, and think the kids do, too -- at least they SEEM interested!  LOL

I hope your week is going well.  It's Wednesday!  Have a great Thursday!  :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jesse & a litany for you

Sorry the posting has been less frequent the past couple of days.  Life gets busy sometimes!  But I haven't forgotten all of you......I just really haven't had time to sit down and think what I want to write about.

So, let me start with music.  Music is always good, especially for the soul.  I heard this song the other day, and felt it the perfect lenten anthem.  When you click on the link, you will have to click on the player to hear the song.  If you look below that, the lyrics will be there, so read along.  I LOVE Jesse Manibusan (have had the great pleasure of meeting him a couple of times) and although Sarah Hart is new to me, she isn't new to the music scene.  I suspect we will be hearing lots more from her.  Love this song! 
"More Beautiful" by Sarah Hart & Jesse Manibusan

I'm still glued to the news and learning more every day for the people of Japan.  Hopefully you've seen by now the many options to donate money to help them out.  It just seems as if we are so far away......and it's hard to think that we can help in any way.  But we can!  I found this litany to pray, to help the people of Japan. 
Litany for Japan:

Are you curious about what a litany is?  I tried to describe them, but found this, and think it describes it much better, so here goes:

What are Litanies?

If you have ever talked about someone you really look up to, and you listed all their good qualities, you have experienced the basic idea behind litanies. When you're describing someone you love and admire, you want to say all the wonderful things you can think of about that person.

When you pray a Catholic litany, you're telling God, or Mary, or the saints (depending on whom the litany is addressed to), "You're so wonderful! You're so holy! You did so many great things, and I want to be like you. Help me to get to heaven."

How is a litany constructed?

"The word ‘litany’ comes from the Latin ‘litania’, ‘letania.’ It stood for a form of responsory prayer which involved a number of invocations or petitions grouped around one main subject or sacred theme." (A Prayerbook of Favorite Litanies by Fr. Albert J. Hebert, S.J., published by TAN Books. Used with permission.)

The Beginning: Litanies usually follow the same pattern. They start with the "Kyrie eleison," whether in Latin or English, ("Lord have mercy on us"), which we say at every Mass. Then we ask each Person of the Blessed Trinity for mercy. ("God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us, etc.)

The Invocations: Next comes the main body of the litany: the invocations. Each invocation praises the one to whom the litany is addressed by describing a different way that makes the person admirable. As an example, if you were writing a litany of a famous sports hero, you could include things like, "Honor of the team," "Joy of the coach," "Perfect goalie," "Scorer of victories," etc.

The Response: Each invocation is answered with a response, such as "pray for us." The response remains the same for most or all of the litany. This is what makes the litany a "responsory prayer," in the same class as the "Prayers of the Faithful" and the Psalm at Holy Mass.

As you read through various litanies, notice the difference in the responses, depending on whom the litany is said to. The response for litanies to God is usually, "Have mercy on us," while litanies to the saints or to Our Lady have "pray for us" as the response.

The Petitions: Often, in a more solemn litany, or in litanies to God, there are a set of petitions after the regular invocations. Sometimes these petitions ask for various graces, and are answered with a response "We beseech Thee, hear us;" other times, they ask God to protect us from various spiritual and physical evils (sin, war, etc.). (see the
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus or the Litany of the Saints as examples of petitions used in a litany.)

The Closing: After the invocations (and petitions), is a set of three invocations to the Lamb of God. Usually this is followed by a versicle (marked "V."), said by the leader, and a response (marked "R."), said by the people. (The versicle-and-response can also be found in different sections of longer litanies, such as the
Litany of the Saints.) The last item is always a short prayer.

In fact, you can listen to the song while praying the litany :)

I hope your lent is going well.  If you find yourself slipping on your lenten promises, just remind yourself that it wasn't always easy for Jesus, either.  And we are no better than Him!  Get back on and continue the ride -- bumpy though it may be!

Have a great day!  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Woo -- whatta weekend!

Wow -- what a weekend!  With lots of emotions!

Friday, as everyone knows -- was a pretty awful day -- first the earthquake in Japan, followed by the threat of a tsunami in Hawaii pretty well stressed me out for a while.  If you are not aware, my nephew and his wife are stationed in Hawaii -- and, of course, my sister and her husband were visiting them.  I usually know her travel plans -- we exchange itineraries -- but didn't have hers this time.  And, of course, because clearly my ability to think logically had become disengaged, I didn't think to contact either of her boys right here under my nose.  Instead, I asked my brothers -- what was I thinking?  Boys never know anything!  LOL 

After many hours of praying and worrying, we finally found my sister and her husband were safely back in the states, unaware until they landed that there were any problems (probably better that way!).  My nephew and his wife were ok, too -- just a little stressed about the whole ordeal.  But they were troopers.  We have a friend who is still in Japan, safe, but trying to get a flight out -- any prayers you can spare would be appreciated.  He hopes to get out on Tuesday -- when flights start leaving again.  I hope it is uneventful for him.

It was contest weekend at our house, and in New Bremen....choir Friday night, and band Saturday afternoon.  Perhaps because I was so emotional earlier in the day, (or not) when the choir came out on Friday to sing, immediately my eyes started leaking....I thought they were great!  I would have given them a "1", but.....the judges unfortunately didn't agree.  Neither choir made it to state, and I was sad....they were so awesome!

Saturday brought the band, and they did receive the opportunity to go State in a couple of weeks. 

We are so proud of all involved in both of these endeavors.  It takes a lot to get up and sing in front of not only your peers, but also parents, and strangers.  They did fantastic!

We travelled from Van Wert (band contest) to Findlay for a winter guard contest, which was awesome!  I love to watch all of these groups do what they do best.  Very enjoyable (which is good, because we have another one this weekend!  LOL).  Emily and Sarah participate in this guard along with girls from Wapak, Marion, and Lima.  Very talented girls!  :)  They received first place in their division, which was the best they've done this year so far! 

Today, I went to see a musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone" with my friend and her sister in law.  It was fun.  I love the theatre and wish I could go much more than I do.  I appreciate her asking me.  Dinner was fun, too!

So......I was thinking today about some of the comments that I've received, and decided to try something.  If I get feedback, we'll do it.  If not, we won't.  LOL

I want to have Open Line Sundays.  This is going to be easy.  Either comment on this post, or send me an e-mail, or a Facebook message, with questions your have regarding anything to do with our faith.  If I don't know the answer, I promise to find out and answer in this blog.  The fun thing?  It will be anonymous.  I know that many times people worry that they shoud know things, but don't.  Don't worry -- there are lots of things people don't know, and maybe the same question you have is the same question someone else has.  So ask away!  :)

I hope this week is great for all of you!  :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Scripture Challenge!

Are you still looking for something to strengthen your faith this Lenten season?  I ran across this tonight and thought it quite interesting.  Included in the link are all 9 readings, but I would encourage you to read one at a time -- and pray it.  Meaning, pray before so that God will help you read and grasp what He wants you to, soak in whatever words and/or phrases that pop out to you.  Spend 5 days or so on each reading (I think that math works out :) -- and really try to figure out how God is speaking to you through each reading.  I PROMISE you if you read these and soak them in, and then attend Holy Saturday mass -- the readings will NOT seem like they take as long :)

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Did you know that the Easter Vigil traditionally has nine readings which recount Salvation History? Seven are from the Old Testament, one is from the New Testament and the Gospel reading. Here’s our Lenten Scripture challenge to you: Can you read all nine readings by Holy Thursday? Here’s the first reading from the Easter Vigil (we’ll post readings weekly):


And since I'm not being quite so "blabbery" tonight, I really want to take a second to thank all of you who have sent me e-mails and messages about my blog.  I really appreciate your comments and thoughts -- and even your tears (and mine, too!).  As I keep saying, I am not sure where this is going, but I honestly feel like I am doing the Lord's work.  If you have any topic requests, let me know.  I am no expert, but am always willing to learn and find information out, if I can.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You know, sometimes a wonderful opportunity just plops in your lap.  Like tonight, when we were rushing around to get to 5 pm mass.  Becca was just getting home from track and needed to shower, we were rushing around getting ready, there was a missing shoe, and somehow, when we got in the SUV to go to church, there was an extra kid in my car!  Dropped her off -- got to church and lookie there -- everyone and their brother is at 5 pm Ash Wednesday mass!  Yippee!!! 

So, I dropped the kids off at the front door (so we weren't ALL late) and head back around to find a parking spot.  Look.  I found one.  Well, it wasn't really a parking spot, per se, but Jim and I coined the phrase "Kaiser Spot" a long time ago.  It's that spot that you park your car in at church when there's no where else to park and you're late.  So, I parked in the Kaiser Spot.

I rush into church, looking for my family, just as everyone is sitting for the readings.  Yeah, that wasn't embarassing.  LOL  Just as I find the kids and get to the pew, our music/liturgy coordinator comes up to me and says, "Can you distribute the bowl tonight in the chapel?"  Sure, I say. 

"Oh, by the way," he says, "can you distribute ashes, too?"  I think I gave him a scared look....."What do I need to know about distributing ashes?"  I ask.  I can easily distribute communion on a whim, but ashes notsomuch.  After all, we only do ashes once a year.  How am I supposed to remember what to say?

He says, "Just remember:  'Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.'"

OK.  That's all you got for me?  Really?  OK.  I can wing this.  LOL

So, I spent the better part of the first two readings repeating that phrase -- over and over and over again, worrying about if I forgot it -- what would I do?

So, it comes time for me to receive ashes from father -- I pick that up that I'm supposed to head to the altar....and look at the little bowls of ashes and smile.  For there, beside the bowls, are little pieces of paper with my script on it!  Whew!!!  (And, for the record, I didn't need to look at the script once -- it was just insurance!)  It's moments like these that I wonder why I worry -- God will always take care of us.  :)

But, I want to tell you about the act of giving out ashes.  Man, was it powerful for me tonight.  Really, ashes are just a symbol of us entering into lent -- a period of reflecting, repentance, and prayer, but tonight was a neat moment for me.  As I was distributing ashes on people's foreheads, I looked into their eyes to give them the message bestowed onto me -- and several times I felt very deeply that I was looking into the eyes of Jesus.  I actually got goose bumps while distributing -- it was that powerful. 

It was at that point that I realized how much we (at least I) take advantage of the opportunities our church gives us.  I made the most of distributing those ashes tonight, hoping that we all were entering this season with the same feelings.

I love to distribute the body and blood of our Lord.  What a wonderful gift that I am allowed to do this.  I love love LOVE to stand on the altar behind Father and watch him consume the bread and the wine -- what a very powerful moment.  Tonight was no different. 

During Lent, we use the "plain" dishes -- no crystal, just ceramic dishes and stainless steel cups -- in the spirit of simpleness.  I like them.  It reminds me of what Jesus used -- no fancy stuff, let's just break bread together and share.

I hope that you were able to enjoy Ash Wednesday services wherever you were tonight -- and that they were as powerful for you as they were for me!

(I have to mention that not only did we get a GREAT mass at 5, but then were treated to a terrifc soup supper by the youth group, AND I was home by 7 pm on a Wednesday night.  Winners all around!  Now I can watch American Idol!  Yeah!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Lent Eve.

Have you made your lenten resolution yet?  I'm seeing a lot of activity on Facebook of people listing their "final answer" of what they are giving up, or doing for Lent.  Some are even making lists on their refrigerator for all to see!  I love it!

If you are still deciding.....I've come across a few statements and resources that you might want to consult (no, Hershey's isn't one of them!).

Here's an interesting idea: 

Pick the one sin you keep commiting over and over, and resolve to conquer it this Lent. Make a plan, ask your priest for help if necessary, and put it into action. Then greet Easter as a new creation.

Love that one.  There's that one thing that always seems to be a "ditto" for me at reconciliation.  Maybe I can conquer it with some serious concentration.

Or maybe your promise is to work on your prayer life.  Perhaps you need some help in this can be very difficult, but becomes easier with practice. 

The key to effective prayer: bring to God a clean heart. Forgive anyone who has wronged you first, and then ask God for what you need. "When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance ..." (Mark 11:25)

If you're looking for some assistance with your prayer life, I love what this site has to say:

Maybe you want to read more scripture.  But how?  Well, unless you are a speedreader, you aren't going to get through the entire bible during lent.  So, choose a smaller venture.  Maybe you want to choose one of the Gospel writers to read.  After all, we will be most familiar with their writing, so it may make sense a little easier.  Take little nibbles.  And don't promise yourself you will read so many pages each night.  Instead, read for content.  You may only get through a couple of paragraphs, but if you are absorbing what you are reading, who cares?  Don't forget to pray before you read scripture, so that the Lord will open your heart to read/hear the words He wants you to hear. 

There are lots of other options -- going to mass one day during the week in addition to Sundays, going to the Stations of the Cross, praying the rosary.  All are good.  And God will be happy with whatever you choose.  Just do something to improve your life, and I guarantee when Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday come around, it will be much more meaningful than what color Peeps are in your basket.

It might be fun -- if you want -- to post what you are doing for lent.  If you want to make it anonymous, great -- but it may make you a little more accountable if you put it in writing.  :)

Happy Lent!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mass is ended; go in peace.

"Mass is ended.  Go in peace."

Ah, the golden words to every child who has endured mass for the past hour, probably asking their parents at least 5 times, "Is it about over yet?"

I heard those words this morning and they made me think about the Gospel we heard today.  We read from Matthew, with very fitting words (physically) about flooding and making sure your home has a good foundation.  Here's the entire reading if you want to read it:  Matthew 7:21-27.

I was reflecting on the same line that Father was discussing in his homily today, verse 25, which says:

"Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock." 

How fitting for those of us who have seen and experienced flooding this past week, and are praying that we see and experience no more.

However, as Father mentioned, and I was reflecting on later......our faith, too, must have a firm foundation.  I have talked a lot in my ccd classes that your faith is not sometehing that just comes to you, and, like anything, must be practiced.  To get good at anything, we must practice, practice, practice.  And if we don't practice, sometimes we can still be ok, but most times we don't succeed.

Much like with our faith.  If we go to church on Sunday, but don't fully participate (just go because we are supposed to), or don't do anything to grow in our faith outside of mass, our faith is never going to grow!

And, much like a house needs a firm foundation, so does our faith.  We have to know and practice the fundamentals (prayer, sacraments, following the 10 commandments, etc.) before we can build upon that.

And really, those last words that Father says at mass are not an ending, but rather a challenge for the week ahead.  Go in peace.  Go in peace!  Go forth and bring peace.  Bring goodness to the world and share His word. 

(which reminds me of something I learned a year or so ago and find very interesting.  Did you ever wonder why they bring the book of the Gospels into church but not back out?  Well, it's because we bring the word of God to church, but it is OUR job to take the word back out and spread it!  So, by leaving the book up at the altar (or in the ambo), we are challenged to bring the word OUT.  Interesting, huh?)

I have a couple of things that I have found to hopefully make your lent a little more meaningful, and will be sharing them throughout the week.  For now, let's figure out how strong our foundation is, and how we can make them stronger!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lent, Lent, Lent.....what should we do???

Well, the discussion has begun at our house.  What are you giving up for Lent?  Chocolate?  TV?  (the ever popular) showers?  LOL

We've been working (especially with the older folks in our home) over the past couple of years to not only give something up, but to also DO SOMETHING MORE in some aspect of your faith life.  Praying a rosary, reading the bible, going to the stations of the cross, being ready for church 5 minutes earlier....anything for the glory of God.  I even had the audacity to challenge one of my children, who is addicted to texting, to *gasp* give up texting (or even all social media) and spend that time in prayer each day.  I haven't been successful with that just yet.

I found this really neat little guide online, in case you or your family is looking for a resource for lent.  It gives some ideas on Lenten promises, but is also a nice little guide about some Lenten traditions, the Way of the Cross, etc. 

You can find it here:

Here are ways to boost your spiritual life during Lent:
Begin each morning with the prayer: "Lord, I offer you this day, and all that I think, and do, and say."
Attend Daily Mass as often as possible.
Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
Make the Stations of the Cross at home or in a parish celebration.
Read Scripture for 10 minutes every day.
Pray the Seven Penitential Psalms (Psalm 6, 31, 50, 101, 129 and 142).
Spend some time in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Abstain from meat for an extra day or two each week.
Listen to spiritual music or a spiritual speaker.
Keep a Lenten journal with your spiritual insights, special intentions, people you want to pray for, hurts and disappointments that you want to offer up, and progress reports on your Lenten resolutions.

"May Lent be for every Christian a renewed experience of God's love given to us in Christ, a love that each day we, in turn, must 're-give' to our neighbor, especially to the one who suffers most and is in need." - Pope Benedict XVI

I'm still working on mine.  We've tried to do a family rosary for the past couple of years, but our family is getting so busy, it's hard to find time when everyone is awake and alert to do it.  If you have any great ideas, feel free to write them for all to share.  Don't feel that it has to be earth-shattering, but if you think of all that Christ did for us during those 40 days, and especially the Triduum, it should be easy to do a little something for Him.  Hopefully, at the end, you will feel a little closer to Him, and feel like you paid Him homage. 

Good luck!  Hope you stocked up on fish this week at the store!!  :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

March 4 = March Forth!

I heard the date today, and it struck me.  Today is not only the 4th of March (already!), but if said in the correct way, it's an order!  March forth!  Move on!  Go forward!

So......what does that mean?  What does it mean to you? 

I went to a really neat talk last night at the Coffee Shop in New Bremen (love that place!).  I took my friend, Alicia, and we had a nice time chatting over dinner (great lasagna plus a terrific salad that my mouth is still watering over!), and then were treated to a wonderful speaker.  She was an inspirational speaker and spoke on "Blooming Where You are Planted."  Very entertaining, and very enlightening.  I love it when someone makes me think like that.

We talked about life's goals and whether we were doing what we wanted to do or not.  If not, how could we make them happen?

I got out my pen and paper (as if I was going to take notes!  LOL), and copied down one thing.....Ephesians 2:10 (I know it, I seem to have a real bible fetish lately!).  Here's what that passage says:

For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.

Wow, did that get me thinking!  LOL  We are created in Christ Jesus (yes, I knew that) for the good works that God has created in advance ---- hmmmmm.......this is where I always get stuck.  How the heck do we know and/or figure out what this is???  And then I'm supposed to live in it?  Yikes!!!

I wear many hats in my life -- wife, mother, sister, friend, ccd teacher, insurance agent, 4-H advisor.....the list could go on......and each one of those is something I LOVE to do!  And I feel drawn to each of them.

So, I asked myself last night (and maybe even a couple of times today!) -- is that what I'm supposed to be doing?  I guess time will tell.  Eventually, God always seems to reveal Himself (and His intentions), sometimes when we least expect it.  I figure if I don't hear Him saying those are the wrong things, that I will continue on.  LOL

I do know that I heard Him telling me for a long time to write this, and I resisted.  I've heard a few other things from Him as well, but am not quite ready to reveal them just yet.  For now, I'm moving forward with this because I heard it long enough that I knew it was what I was supposed to do.

So, what about you?  What are you hearing?  Is God telling you that what you are doing is right, or not?

Let's March forth to March fifth!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

People die in February

I have a confession to make:  I smile often during funeral liturgies.  Maybe it's because I've gone through the funerals of both of my parents, but I have really changed my mindset about funerals.  I used to think they were gloom and doom, and all you could really do is cry during them.

Of course, many funerals are very sad.  If we've lost someone that we think died too young, or too quickly, or tragically, we are not prepared for the loss.  We are not really sure what to think.  And, we are sad because we miss the person who we are mourning....I'm not trying to bypass that part.

But lately, I've been going to visitations and funerals of people who were ready to move on to the next life.  First off this year was my dad's....followed by the fathers of several of my friends....and today, we buried my Aunt Wilma. 

I smiled today during her liturgy.  Why, you ask?  Because we were celebrating her life!  I picture Wilma gladly reunited with her husband, Victor, from whom she has been separated by death for 25 years.  She has her memory back!  She can walk easily, and tell people things.  What a great celebration!

We had a great reading today that really made me smile.....

Proverbs can look it up and read the entire thing, but it is the proverb of the virtuous woman.....a very beautiful proverb that really did describe her to a "T".  One line in particular caught my attention.....verse 22, which says,

"She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing."

I smiled to myself as I heard that, thinking, "Wow -- I never realized that Wilma and I shared a love for purple."  I was pretty proud of myself.  Until.....

My cousin, Craig, who was the celebrant and homilist for today, mentioned in his homily that he, too, appreciated what great similarities there were between that reading and Aunt Wilma.  She cared for everyone around her, even in the face of adversity.  She was one of Grandma's children who actually picked up her love for crocheting and did make many bedcovers.  But, Wilma did NOT love the color purple.  In fact, she despised it!  Apparently, a few years ago for Christmas, one of her daughters gave her a purple shirt, and Wilma looked at her and said, "But it's purple."  After Wilma's death, looking through her closet, the purple shirt was found to still be hanging there.  With the tags on.  She wasn't kidding.

And I was wearing purple from head to toe.  I suddenly thought I should remove it all, because she didn't like it.  And then I smiled, thinking, "She doesn't really care.  She's in heaven!"  But we did share a few giggles about it at the luncheon afterwards.  I will probably not wear purple for a while without thinking of Aunt Wilma!

I found myself in church sitting directly in front of the Sisters of Saint Francis, who came, as they always do, to support their sister in Christ, my Aunt Sister Marge.  It was such a joy for me to sit in front of them and join, if only for today, their choir of angels singing.  What a treat for me!  I've known many of them since I was a little girl, so it is always nice to see them and maybe get a hug out of the deal.

I titled this post the way I did because of something Wilma's daughter, Mary, told me at her visitation.  Apparently Wilma, who has had dementia for a little while and really had no concept of time any more, told Mary sometime in November or so, "People die in February." 

I had forgotten that, but that is really quite true in our family.  Wilma's husband, Victor, died in February; my Uncle Dick died in February, and Grandma died in February.  All towards the end of the month if memory serves me correctly.  Well, apparently, Wilma knew what was going to happen.  She departed this life on February 27, 2011.  She knew.

My dad knew it was coming.  My uncle has told people he's ready to go.  And you know what?  A little part of me is very jealous of them!  No, I'm not wishing my life away.  But look at what the prize is if you depart this life!  Eternal life!  How wonderful!

I have to share this poem that my niece shared with all of us when my dad died.  I absolutely love it.  It was a great discussion tool in our house while trying to deal with Dad's loss.

I am standing on the seashore....

A ship spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the
ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at
my side says, “She is gone.”

Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment when
someone says, “She is gone,” there are others who are watching her coming.

Other voices take up the glad shout, “Here she comes,”

and that is dying.

~Henry Scott Holland

I like to think that my mom was waiting for my dad just like that.  And I'm sure that Uncle Vic was waiting for Wilma, too.

RIP Aunt Wilma.  Your work is done.

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How did
                                        "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold."   Luke 8:5-

turn into "Thorn bush, thorn bush, thorn bush, fruit."??????

Remember that game of telephone you used to play when you were a kid?  Where you would whisper in someone's ear, and they would whisper to their neighbor, and so on, until it got to the end of the line and the last person would say what they heard?

Well, we played that game tonight in CCD, in an effort to show that the bible, while written by people who either witnessed events occurring in the bible, or spoke with people who did, are sometimes telling the same story, but we hear/read something entirely different.

We started by telling a group of kids the story (above) and then had them return to their groups and pass that story around.  I knew my group was in trouble the minute the second kid's story was MUCH shorter than what was read.  LOL

In the end, we had 4 stories.  I chose the thorn bush one to tell because it was the funniest tonight, but also because it seems to echo what we do when we tell a story, pick out what we think is important and then pass it on.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.....

Four men, writing about the same things, but sometimes saying different things.  Sometimes not even telling a story at all, as in the birth of Jesus (do you know which Gospel(s) doesn't include the story of the birth of Jesus?  If not, look it up -- or ask your kids!  They can tell you.  If you really want to know, ask me and I'll clue you in.

Four men, writing from very different perspectives, about the same things.  And yet we hear different things from each one.

It was a VERY interesting class tonight -- one I wish we could can.....the kids appeared to be very into this, and trying to learn about each Gospel -- or at least the one they were in charge of.

By the way, if your child is in our class -- their assignment is this:

1.  To tell you about our class, and help you learn.  :)
2.  To ask the Easter bunny for a Catholic Youth Bible (or their choice of bible) if they need a new one.
3.  To consider using the bible as part of their lenten promises.  :)

Cool class, cool kids.  Love the other teachers.  I am blessed.

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Well, here they are!

Short and sweet tonight.....just thought I would report that the #@$@% (bifocals) are in.  Here they are.  Let me know what you think.

I'm slowly adjusting to them....the grocery store was interesting.  I'm sure anyone who didn't know what was going on with me thought I was looney -- I kept looking up and down throughout the entire store.  LOL  But I'm adjusting.  Not sure you get the whole "purple" theme on there, but it's what is seeing me through this transition.  :)

Prayers continue to go out to everyone in our area so deeply affected by the flooding this week.  So interesting to me about the Gospel reading on Sunday about not worrying....God really does have messages for us, if we just sit up and take notice.

Finally ~ a funny for you.  Tonight at dinner we were spelling words (I know, we're nerds, but anyone who knows me knows I'm a stickler for spelling).  Will's word was effervescent.  He asked me to give him a definition, so I said (obviously I didn't have a dictionary in front of me since I was eating), "Something that bubbles in the bathtub."

He gave it a good try with (I think) effervesant.  Pretty good, I thought. 

Harry said, "I know how to spell it!  F-A-R-T."


Have a good day tomorrow, everyone.  Hopefully tomorrow night, I'll have a good report from our CCD class.  Good luck to the boy's basketball team, as they play in tournaments tomorrow night. 

Until next time,