Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friends In High Places

I love this devotion in the book God Calling. I read this the other day and it spoke so profoundly to me. I love the fact it talks about having friends in the Unseen. Since becoming Catholic I have been given a few of those unseen friends or maybe they picked me. The very first person to come to my aid would be Mary. Looking back on certain events in my life I know it was Mary there helping me and I did not even realize it! The next would be St. Therese. She was one of the first saints that I was introduced to through a St. Therese Rosary that my Step-mom gave me. That was my very first Rosary. And that was before I was even Catholic. I love St. Therese.  There is just something about her that I connect with. I just know she is there praying for me and she sends me roses! The next friend I came to know was St. Clare. I love her too. And recently I have come to know St. Joseph as more of my friend also. I have been asking for his intercession. I love St. Teresa of Avila too. There are so many I have learned about since being Catholic. So many that I love.
But a lot of my family and friends question me on the Catholic belief of saints. They think we worship them and that is so not true. When I was converting to the Catholic faith of course I had questions about the saints. But all I did was go to God in prayer and ask Him if these things are really true of the saints, purgatory and Mary etc...and God simply answered my questions. It was not complicated for me. I am just a person who believes very simply. I have always been that way. These things were not an obstacle for me at all. I am the only Catholic in my family besides my step-mom so when I converted all these things became an issue with them. But I enjoyed learning about it all! The saints are our friends and their prayers for us are powerful. 

I just love the way this particular devotional explains about our unseen friends!
I have been reading this devotional for several years now I never get tired of reading it.

"Your Loved ones are very safe in My Keeping. Learning and loving and working, theirs is a life of happiness and progress. They live to serve, and serve they truly do. They serve Me and those they love. Ceaselessly they serve.
But their ministrations, so many, so diverse, you see not more than those in My time on earth in human form could have seen the angels who ministered unto Me in the wilderness.
How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand better, protect better, plan better, and plead better their cause with Me.
You do well to remember your friends in the Unseen. Companying with them the more you live in this Unseen World, the gentler will be your passing when it comes. Earth's troubles and difficulties will seem, even now, less overwhelming as you look, not at the things that are seen, but at the real, the Eternal Life. "And this Life Eternal that we may know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent."
Learning to know me draws that Kingdom very near, and in Me, and through Knowledge of Me, the dear ones there become very near and dear."

Monday, September 02, 2013

Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Shortly after I became Catholic I found this book on Our Lady Undoer of knots. I found the little book intriguing. I love the picture of Mary undoing all the knots. I really believe that Mary was the one leading me to the Catholic church. When I went to Rome in  2004 I bought a very tiny miraculous medal as I was checking out at the Vatican gift shop. I don't know what even compelled me to buy this. I liked the color. And it was so tiny I could not even read what was on it. I did not even know what it was. I had no idea that it was a miraculous medal or what that even meant. I just put the medal away and did not even think about it until I became Catholic. After becoming Catholic I remembered I had bought this at the Vatican. So one day I went to go get it. And realized that this little medal was a sign for me. That Mary was leading me and was with me. Even when I did not know it. We have moved several times since I had bought that medal and I have never lost it. As tiny as it is it has always stayed with me. What I believe is that Mary has been undoing my knots all along. Starting with my buying that miraculous medal.

Recently I felt God leading me to volunteer in the youth group at our parish. And I was telling God I am only going to volunteer for this. I don't want to get myself involved in too many things. I tend to do that. And then I get burned out trying to do them all. But a few weeks ago I had bought this picture above of Mary. It just caught my eye. Then I started to look for my little book on her and I could not find it. So I was in a gift shop a short time later and I found another book on Our Lady Undoer of knots. And during this time I had been reading a book called Visions (I bought the book here). In the book the Priests name was Father Ignatius. The book was very intriguing to me. It is about three children who see a vision of Jesus. Just loved it.

One day at church I was talking to one of my friends at church. And she was telling me about the womens Acts day team at church. The Acts day team puts on a retreat for the actual Acts team. And I was asking my friend what the theme of the day retreat was on and it just so happen to be on St. Ignatius. And I got to thinking about the book I had been reading and the Priests name in the book was Father Ignatius. And the retreat theme was on St. Ignatius. So I started to put two and two together. I started to feel like God was wanting me on this Acts day team. But I had already told God I was not volunteering for anything else. But I was feeling this nudge that it maybe God. So I told my friend that I would do it. And they had already had two meetings but she said that was okay. I could catch up. When I got to the meeting the very first thing I seen was the picture of Our Lady Undoer of Knots. I didn't quiet know what to think. I went to my friend and told her how I had just bought the picture of her and about me reading the book on Father Ignatius. And here at the retreat is on both of them? St. Ignatius and Our Lady of Undoer of knots. And then there was one more confirmation for me. But that is just for me. Don't want share that one. But I knew in my heart Mary was leading me here to be on this retreat. I am just starting to feel closer to Mary. I feel she is really with me helping me like a mother and friend. 

"Be Still And Know That I AM God"

Lately God has been telling be to be still and quiet before Him. It is so hard to do sometimes just to be be quiet and sit in stillness before Him. I seem to be always the one doing the talking. I can talk a lot. And God is probably saying to me "are you done now?" I know there are things He wants to tell me. 
I have this Scripture in my guest bedroom which is also where I spend my time praying. It is the one place I can go where it is quiet and I can pray. I just need to be still and quiet I guess. He has been giving me this scripture over the last week or so. And at Mass yesterday I heard it twice. I just worry a lot about things. And it is hard for me sometimes to just put things in God's hands. 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Serenity Prayer

This is was my Dad's favorite prayer. He went through a lot the last several years of his life. He went through a divorce with my Mom, then two heart attacks and had two triple by passes within a few years. He battled melanoma and chemo for a year and beat it. Then the last couple of years he was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Which there is no cure and he lived on oxygen the last two years of his life. I watched him struggle for every breath he took. The most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with was to watch him struggle to breath. He died four years ago. But through everything he went through he would always say this prayer. And I never heard him complain through all his illnesses. He was always grateful for another day. I miss my dad dearly but I know where he is and he is not suffering anymore. 
"The Serenity Prayer"
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world As it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next.
Thought to be by Reinhold Neibuhr
(1892 - 1971)