Saturday, March 31, 2012

Let’s begin with a smile.

Let’s begin with a smile.
Three hundred and forty-eight novenas are underway or completed praying that the members of the children’s rosary will be the extended hands of Mary and Jesus in this world.  Daily Our Lady is also asked in the prayer of the Holy Rosary to help us to become her hands and those of her Son.  With Our Blessed Mother and Three hundred and forty-eight Saints interceding before the thrown of God for us how will we proceed.  
Mother Theresa
With our Blessed Mother guiding us, let us seek God's Will and do good to those whom God has put on our way and be light and joy.  For we know that the Lord loves a joyful giver.  Mother Theresa was fond of telling her sisters and those whom she spoke with to begin with a smile. For as she said "Peace begins with a smile".
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” (Mother Theresa)

To be a member of the children’s rosary one only has to tell the Lord in their heart of their desire to join us.  Then you are included in all of the prayers and novenas said daily.  Our group includes children and adults in the Parish of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford CT but it also includes everyone who told the Lord in their heart of their desire to join us.  Only the Lord knows how many we are.  What I do know is that around 125 people are saying novenas from across the United States.  Individuals from 111 countries have visited the blog many have visited repeatedly.  These include  Algeria, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Germany, India,  Egypt, China, United Arab Emeritus, Australia, Canada, Poland, Georgia, Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, Indonesia, Malta, Taiwan, Ghana, Kenya, Japan, Armenia, Swaziland, Zambia, Barbados, Senegal, Luxembourg, Philippines, Netherlands, Ireland, Myanmar, Cameroon, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Albania, Qatar, Estonia, Zambia, New Zealand, Jordan, Barbados, Portugal, Croatia, Belarus, Finland, Romania, Dominican Republic, Seychelles, Syria, Israel, France, MauritiusSaudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Guam, Uganda, Lebanon, South Korea, Greece, Latvia, Bulgaria, Spain, Dominica, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Venezuela, Columbia, El Salvador, Jersey, Argentina, Sweden, Madagascar, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Norway, Kazakhstan, Chile, Guadeloupe,Tanzania, Serbia, Denmark, Nigeria, Guatemala, Jamaica, Macedonia, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Belgium, Angola, Iraq, Oman, Zimbabwe, Hungary, South Africa, Switzerland, Mongolia, Libya, Syria, Ecuador, Rwanda, Thailand, Belize, Uraguay, Yemen, and the United States.  How these people found us I do not know but believe that our legion of saints invited to join the children’s rosary had a hand in bringing them to us.  What if we all took the advice of Mother Theresa who personafies good works and charity.  Let us begin with a smile.  Let us desire to change. For as Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman said “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often”.  Let us decide for joy.  Let us decide to smile to 7 people today. If we cannot do this then start with 4 or 5.  But let us begin even if only for one person.  If we continue to consecrate ourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary they will show us where we will be needed.  “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”(Mother Theresa)

May we never forget to extend our hands where there is need.
The hand of a small child from Uganda

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hunger and Thirst for Jesus

Hunger and Thirst for Jesus
On Wednesday after Mass I asked the priest saying Mass to hear my confession.  He graciously agreed.  In talking with him I  mentioned that I am often selfish with food as I am often trying to eat as much as I can before a fasting day.  He asked if I was fasting on that day and I answered, yes.  Every Wednesday and Friday I try and eat only bread and water.  He recommended that I not fast from the food but instead hunger and thirst for Jesus.  He said he didn’t know why he was saying this but again repeated the instruction.  Hunger and thirst for Jesus.  I wasn’t exactly sure if I knew how to do this and asked him how I could best go about doing what he recommended.  He went on to talk about the many in the world without food.  I mentioned that the poor do not fast by choice.  His eyes lit up as it I was finally getting his point.  I left the confessional not entirely certain I did get his point.
Thursday night, Alina, my eleven year old and I were talking about the novenas for the Children’s Rosary.  She was just finishing three novenas.  Looking through a book of Saints she asked if she could pick more saints.  We began reading about ones with feast days around her birthday in June.  She kept asking to do more novenas.    At 10 saints I told her that I thought this was enough. She was disappointed as she felt each saint she prayed to would bring more members to our children’s rosary.  
a child from Uganda
One of the saints she chose was, St. Charles Iwanga, from Uganda.  Fr. Richard, a priest who used to be at our parish, was from Uganda.  I told her Fr. Richard would be happy to hear we chose a Saint from his country.  I also remembered that Kostin’s school was collecting money for a clinic in Uganda.  An idea then came....with each saint that the children choose we could give a quarter to their chosen cause.  For Kostin it was for the poor of Uganda and for Alina it was the rice bowl cause for which her Catholic education class was raising money.  To pair prayer with charity was the answer.  Although the amount of money seems small it would make a difference.  Alina had completed 3 novenas and was starting 10.  Together that is 13 with a quarter per saint that would be $3.25.  Alina and Kostin were thrilled with the idea.  After so many struggles with the kids there was a moment of joy together in our hearts.  I was proud of Alina (this was such a welcome feeling for me as I have shared in the past my first inclination with her is usually to lose my temper).  She was giving of her time for no reason other than the love of another.  She wanted to pray more so that others might find their way closer to Our Lady and her Son.  They didn’t want the money for themselves but wanted to give it away.  I could see the Blessed Mother had been at work in their hearts.  
On Friday morning my husband was already making me a toasted bagel when I told him I wasn’t fasting.  The children wanted the bagel and I had cereal.  As I sat eating something other than bread there was a piece inside of me missing my bread.  The Lord showed me something.  Fasting had become routine for me and might I even say slightly dreaded.  it was something I prepared for by overeating foods I like the prior day.    The Lord was asking me to stop for a short while and yearn for the fasting.  Desire the fasting.  I thought too of the many in the world who are not given the gift of fasting.  They do not have enough food to choose not to eat it.  Fasting is a gift from God.  To take it for granted and dread it must be painful for the Lord.  I was not surprised my confessor had asked me to stop fasting.  Instead of pleasing the Lord I was offending Him.
Mass brought even more clarity to what was unfolding at home.  The gospel was from John "If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."(John 10:37-38)
Child being fed by the Haitian Health Foundation
Lent is about works of charity, fasting and prayer.  The priest at Mass, Fr. Jacob told us although prayer is essential the most important of these is works of charity.  As we know from scripture the only person that for certainty is in Hades is from the story of Lazrus. It is the rich man.  The man was sent to Hades not because he was rich, or he didn’t fast or pray but because he was indifferent to the suffering of another.  When Jesus said from the cross I thirst he did not want a drink but thirsted for souls.  In todays Gospel Jesus defines himself by his works. “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me”. (John 10: 38)
The words of my confessor, “hunger and thirst for Jesus” became clear to me.  Look for Jesus disguised in the poor.  Look for Jesus in the people most difficult to be good to-our family.  When that hunger for Jesus is strong then with a spirit of love resume fasting.  

This is an addition to the original post.  After posting this entry I found myself looking at this small hand for some time.  Nightly we pray to be the extended hands of Mary and Jesus in this world.  Looking at this hand I am ashamed of myself.  I need to look at his hand every day until there are no more hands like this in the world.  I pray that Our Mother Mary will show us daily how we can reach out to ease the pain of this world. Amen

Thursday, March 29, 2012

There are No Coincidences with God

Yesterday something unusual happened the reading at daily Mass was the exact reading we read at night prayer.  This is unusual as we read two Bible stories each night in order and when we finish we begin the Bible again.  The two stories we read last night spanned the exact verses covered in the daily reading.  This has only occured one other time about 2 years ago.  The story on that occasion was Lazrus and the rich man.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego bySimeon Solomon1863.
As I do not believe there are ever coincidences with God,  I began to reflect about the reading from yesterday.  It was from the Book of Daniel and described how King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego should worship a golden statue.  When they refused to worship anyone other than the one true God he threw them into the furnace. So often when reflecting about the daily readings floods of ideas come rushing in but today nothing.  One idea came and that was to ask Kostin our seven year old.  He loves reading the Bible and often stays up late into the night reading it. 

When I asked Kostin what the meaning of the story was he answered, “you should follow God and not serve golden statues”.  
It was as if a light went off!  Yes, exactly, how could I have been thinking anything else.  It was the book of Daniel describing the Gospel of Matthew 6:24 in a nut shell.  
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."(Matthew 6:24)
In our home we read this passage every Thursday and would have read it later tonight.  
The remainder of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego concludes with Nebuchadnezzar looking into the furnace and saying "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?""But," "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."(Daniel 3:91-92)
How similar is it to the promises made in Matthew. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you".“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble"(Matthew 25-34).
When we seek God He provides for us.  Just as a child who needs constant reminding God in His wisdom repeats himself.  It took a small child to show me how similar are God's messages and teachings.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Novena to St. Madeline Sophie Barat

Novena to St. Madeline Sophie Barat
Dear St. Madeleine Sophie Barat you Consecrated yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and spent your life opening Schools of the Sacred Heart and educating girls.  You were quoted as saying, “For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society”.  Your approach to children was based in gentleness as you advised, “Soften your reprimands with kind words; encourage and reward them. That is, in short, our way of educating”.  Please pray St. Madeleine Sophie that as parents and teachers we may have a softness and gentleness towards children as you did.  Please pray that the Sacred Heart of Jesus will pour Divine Love and Patience into our hearts. Please take our intentions before the Sacred Heart of Jesus as we know your prayers will be warmly received. Amen.

Short Biography

St. Madeleine Sophie was born in France on December 12, 1779. St. Madeline founded the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with three companions in 1800 and the first convent and school were opened in Amiens in 1802. St Madeline was committed to the education of young women of all financial backgrounds.  She pursued this cause in a time when the education of women were often not prioritized.  At the time of her death she had opened more than 100 schools and convents in 12 countries.  She died on May 25th 1865 on the Feast of the Ascension.  Her body remains incorrupt in Jette, Belgium.  Her Feast Day is May 25th.

"With the pupils keep an even tone, both gentle and firm. Show them by the care with which you help them to advance along every line for which you are responsible, that you care for their interests alone, and that you want to help them to acquire a solid and pious education, enhanced by learning, and thus make them happy".
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

I was extremely touched by the words of Madeline Sophie as I was one of the young girls who benefited from an education based on these principals.  Spending many years of my childhood at an all girls school of the Sacred Heart we prayed to Madeline Sophie regularly. As an adult my connection to her became more distant.  Through the process of inviting many saints to the children's rosary I rediscovered her.  Reading about her life as an adult I feel blessed to have grown and learned in the environment she created more than 200 years ago.

St. Madeline please join our children's rosary and guide and care for us with your tenderness and love. Amen

Monday, March 26, 2012

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord

“His kingdom there will be no end”.
Today is the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.  The Angel Gabriel brings good news.  He announces that a Son will be born of a virgin as it was foretold in Isaiah 7:14 “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel”.  Life is created in Mary’s womb as the power of the Most High overshadows her.  There is another promise made to Mary.  God promises “his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33).  One of the things an expectant mother immediately wants to know is if it will be safe and will her child be provided for.  God as the Father assures her of both, “Mary do not be afraid for you have found favor with God” (Luke1:30) and for all eternity His kingdom will exist.  In a time today where it appears we are destroying our environment and the family unit seems endangered mothers everywhere should take consolation in this promise made to Mary.  If we seek the Kingdom as Matthew writes in chapter 6 then all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) Therefore according to the Gospels we can be assured of continued care of all of our needs for ourselves and our children for all time.  This is a hopeful message which we must hold on to even when things appear uncertain in our future.

Mary please pray for the children's rosary that we may always say yes to the Lord and seek His Kingdom. Amen

Novena to Bl Didacus Joseph Cadiz

Novena to Bl Didacus Joseph Cadiz
Feast Day March 26th
You were called “the apostle of the Holy Trinity” and spoke with an understanding of this mystery given to you by the Holy spirit.  A dove was often seen resting on your shoulder.  Please pray for us that we may share as you did in the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.  May all of our actions be directed according to the Will of God.
1 Glory Be

Short background of Bl Didacus Joseph Cadiz
Didacus was born on March 29th in Cadiz, Spain. He struggled in his early years to complete the academics necessary to become a priest.  He had a gift for preaching and gathered large crowds where ever he spoke.  He was devote in his prayers and practiced severe penance saying, "My sins and the sins of the people compel me to do it. Those who have been charged with the conversions of sinners must remember that the Lord has imposed on them the sins of all their clients."  When he spoke of the Love of God he often levatated.  Didacus died in 1801 and has been likened to a second St. Paul.

Bl Didacus Joseph Cadiz was invited to join the children's rosary today and this novena was begun to him.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Take, O take me as I am.

"Take, O take me as I am".
Hearing this song sung going up to communion was such a consolation.  Each day brings with it a new chance to decide for God.  However, due to the weakness of my spirit I frequently find myself being less than I could or should be.  I become tired and become impatient with my children.  I  have a tendency to control too many things with my mother.  When I take off the cloak of Jesus and let my flesh act for itself I become disappointed with myself.   As communion approached I came before Jesus asking for His Divine medicine for my weakness and lack of love.  Hearing the song take me as I am seemed so fitting.  The next line of the song follows with “Summon out what I shall be.  Set your seal upon my heart and live in me”.  
As St. Catherine of Siena said, “knowledge of ourselves gives birth to profound humilty”. Apart from Jesus’ strength we would all be lost.  But for His sacrifice we have life.  As I see all the inadequacies I possess as a mother, wife and daughter I call upon Jesus to make up for those deficiencies.  Despite how small and unworthy I feel the one thing I will not do is turn away from the Lord.  He may be disappointed with me but if I convert my heart anew then with His grace I may achieve “what I shall be”.
The Gospel at Mass today also speaks of renouncing oneself and choosing to be the person God would have us be:

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. (John 12: 24-26)

St. Catherine of Sienna said it wonderfully, and Pope John Paul repeated those words in his homily at World Youth Day 2000, "if you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire". 

This was the only link I could find of the song "Take, O take me as I am".  For those of you not familiar with it. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

100 Novenas!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son, Jesus, cleanses us from all sins.(John 1:7)
Today I feel the world is good. There is a fellowship among us.  Even nature is singing.  The sky is blue and clear.  We are living in a blessed and special time.  With our rosaries in hand we are setting out as the extended hands of Mary and her Son.  Yesterday we reached 100 novenas being said to Saints for the intention listed below.  Seven days ago 63 novenas had been initiated or completed.  I reached out to God and all of you for help.  In seven days an additional 43 novenas were started.  Our total today was 106.  Over twenty people are saying these novenas from as young as 7 to some in their late 80s.  Individuals are saying the novenas from coast to coast. The Holy Spirit is at work and the impossible seems possible.  Just 7 days ago we hoped to have another 81 novenas said by Divine Mercy Sunday.  After the 43 novenas were started we only need  38 more to reach our goal.  It is my hope we will far exceed our goal.  It seems that when we ask God for help he always exceeds our expectations. 
When the inspiration first came to dedicate the second year of the children’s rosary to renewal of family prayer a flood of ideas entered my heart.  An idea that as families set out to renew family prayer they would need a Bible to read with their children. It seemed natural to provide the Bible that we use which has been so loved by our three children.  It also felt important that families have spiritual help as they renewed prayer and scripture reading in their homes.  As Jesus sent out the disciples two by two a desire to individually call upon saints to choose a family, individual or priest in their spiritual journey  was born.  As some members of the children’s rosary are living a consecrated life or do not have children the idea came to have the children make hand made bookmarks to be used in reading of scripture.  As saints would be randomly assigned to bookmark or Bible this would allow the Saint to choose the person or family they desired to lead.   
This experience of reaching out to strangers across the world is new to me.  To expose inner thoughts and prayers for the whole world involves a trust.  It is based in a trust in Jesus that as this endeavor has been consecrated to His Sacred Heart and His Mother’s Immaculate Heart, He will bring good from it.  Early in this endeavor friends within the children's rosary would call and we would begin discussing the plans for our anniversary rosary.  Initially there were many questions such as “ what are the bookmarks for?” and  “who says the novenas?”.  I worried that no one really understood what in my own heart seemed so clear.  With faith I continued. Knowing that the Lord, if it was his desire, would make the mission clear to people and bring fruits from it.  As more people began saying novenas it was as if the breath of the Holy Spirit was blown through the group.  Individuals who at first seemed unsure soon became excited.  They told me later that they felt wonderful saying the novenas and as they were doing their first novena they kept adding on a second, third, fourth and fifth novena all to different saints.  Members began sharing the prayer mission with family across the country.  Those who started told their spouses.  As it initially seemed difficult to explain the whole goal of this endeavor I am awe struck that now others are sharing it with friends and they are in turn telling others.  All of a sudden everyone seems to understand what we are doing.  As a I watch this from my view I can see that all is happening by the grace of God.  None of what has occurred could have been brought about by human intervention alone.  Daily I thank God for continuing to support and Bless this effort by connecting all of us together in the light and allowing us to have fellowship with one another.  

I am accutely aware that many prayers were said, some by individuals I may never meet that resulted in an awakening of my faith.  The prayers they said were sent up to Heaven and through grace a seed placed in my heart as a child grew deeply.  It is my prayer today that our prayers may provide a quenching drink of water to the seeds that sit dormant in so many hearts today.  As spring continues to unfold and the trees and bulbs break out of their dormancy may individuals across the globe awaken to a time of solidarity.  A time when we all desire to be the extended hands of Jesus and his Mother.  Amen
The intention being prayed for in over 100 novenas:


Friday, March 23, 2012

Thy Commandments

And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves”.(Exodus 32:7)

Just a brief reflection from yesterday’s first reading.  Fr. Sam had a wonderful insight into this reading.  He asked us all if we have met people who say they have their own spirituality.  They are not “religious” but are spiritual.  We all nodded our heads that we knew people like this.  These people as he pointed out create their own practices, their own rituals, their own inner prayers.  They do not attend formalized services.  This is akin to saying we don’t want to obey God we want God to obey us.  We have created our own rules that God must accommodate to. When one realizes how this must be received by God it seems ridiculous to think that God would be pleased when his rules are disregarded.  It is not much different from the Israelites who after being delivered out of Egypt made a golden calf and worshiped it.  Despite the diverse practices of many I leave all judgement to the Lord.  For even when the Israelites resumed praying to their idols the Lord’s anger was quickly replaced by his Mercy.  Therefore we must joyfully live the messages of the Gospel for “the Lord is kind and merciful slow to anger and rich in love”.(Psalm 145:8)

Lord please teach all who belong to the Children's Rosary to keep through pure love, Thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love Thee. Amen

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Novena to St. Tarcisius of the Holy Eucharist

Novena to St. Tarcisius of the Holy Eucharist
St. Tarcisius 
Dear St. Tarcisius you lived in a dangerous time to be a Christian.  Despite the risk, you held fast to your faith and bravely chose to defend the body of Christ present in the Eucharist at the expense of your own.  To the last moment you cherished Jesus’ gift of himself.  Intercede and pray for us that we may have courage and a deep faith.  Pray that we may never forget how precious a gift the Holy Eucharist is for us.  You who are now united with the Lord please obtain for us the petitions we are seeking. We thank you for your intercession and prayers. Amen
Say 1 Glory Be

A Story of St. Tarcisius

St. Tarcisius lived during the Roman persecutions.  He was twelve years old when he secretly set out to bring The Holy Eucharist to imprisoned Christians.  On his way to the Roman dungeons he encountered a group of Roman boys.  They demanded he give them his sack.  Tarcisius would not give up the Lord present in the Holy Eucharist.  He held tight to Him as they beat him to death.

St. Tarcisius was invited to join the Children's rosary today by one of the children from our group.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Novena to Saint Dominic Savio

Novena to Saint Dominic Savio
Feast Day May 6th
St. Dominic Slavio
Dear Saint Dominic Savio you grew under the supervision and care of St. John Bosco. Witnessing the zeal of your mentor you shared his desire to bring the Lord a great many souls. Despite your frail and weak constitution you devoutly waited for Holy Mass kneeling outside your church until the doors opened despite rain or snow.  
We ask you to look upon all young people and inspire them to love the Holy Eucharist as you did.  Pray that we may all share your aversion for sin and achieve a life of sanctity.   Jesus always spoke of his love for children and we know that your requests will be well received.  We humbly ask that you bring our petitions before the Lord.  
Saint Dominic Savio Pray for us (repeat three times)
1 Hail Mary

A Story of Saint Dominic Savio:
While at school a serious offense was committed by a classmate. The child who had previously been in trouble with the teacher wrongly accused Dominic of committing the offense.  The teacher threatened Dominic with expulsion.  Dominic made no reply to the accusation but stood in silence head bowed.  The teacher relented and did not expel Dominic as he had never been in trouble before.  A short time later the teacher discovered the identity of the real culprit.  He asked Dominic why he had not defended himself.

His answer came slowly but simply: "I knew that the other boy was in trouble for other things. I remembered how Our Lord had been unjustly accused, and I hoped that if I kept silence he would be given another chance."

This event occurred when Dominic was eleven years old and reflects both the depth of his faith and love of his neighbor.

Dominic also had a deep love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He often prayed to Mary, "I always want to be your son. Let me die rather than commit a single sin against chastity."

Dominic became increasingly sick and had to eventually leave the school.  Dominic died on March 9, 1857 at the age of fifteen.

St. Dominic Savio was invited to join the children's rosary today. One of the children of our children's rosary group began this novena to him today.  The children  are beginning novenas to other child Saints such as St. Maria Goretti and St. Tarsius of the Holy Eucharist.

Will of God

"I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me”.(John 5:30)
In the gospel from daily Mass today, Jesus brings criticism upon himself by proclaiming God as his Father. In his attempts to explain the relationship of Father and Son, Jesus also enlightens us as to our relationship with God. "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise.(John 5:19)  
If ever we feel we are drowning in confusion and struggling to discern what we are to do, we have only to pray for unification of our Will with the Lords. If we are able to achieve this unification then we will be living all the virtues perfectly as Our Blessed Mother did. 
Today many young people speak of a time of wandering and searching for direction.  If we reflect on the gospel we see Jesus was also searching.  What was he seeking.  His eyes were not down but up.  He was not searching for satisfaction through his Own Will but "the will of him who sent me". 

As I  feel extremely inadequate to speak further on the subject of attaining full union with the Will of God may I allow the Saints to speak.  

If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God’s will”.(St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)
St Faustina in her diary distills down the path to sanctity:
"Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God" (Diary 1107).

St. Faustina also tells us how best to show our Love for God:
"True love of God consists in carrying out God's will". (Diary 279)

"A man makes the most progress and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein he gains the greatest victories over self and most mortifies his will". (St. Francis de Sales)

Dear Jesus please look tenderly upon the members of the children’s rosary and Our Holy Father the Pope.  May we be your instruments, your hands in this world.  May we do this with joy and peace of heart. Amen

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Intercessory Prayer

We Need Each Other

The Lord came to show me something this morning.  Prayers said for another can move Heaven to act.  We believe that each prayer is heard but we also know that how a prayer is delivered to the Lord has much to do with how it is received.  If our prayers are said not for ourself but for another it shows a selfless love that touches the Heart of Jesus in a unique way.  For weeks novenas have been underway that all members of the children’s rosary would be the extended hands of Mary and her Son in this world.  This past week one member of our group offered to say four novenas for this intention.  The following morning it felt like a door being opened from above.  A new attention had been called down from Heaven to this cause.  Then yesterday two more people offered to say novenas and again today seemed to have an infusion of blessings.  My son Kostin who has been contrary all week seemed to have a whole new outlook on things.  Arriving at my mom’s house to help with cleaning horse stalls he was driven to work hard and with care.  Our younger son, Asher who is five, was complaining a bit as he was raking out the stalls but Kostin kept telling him this is all part of growing up.  To hear Kostin reassuring Asher that work is actually good for them was something that could have only come from above.
A story came to mind at Mass this morning that was told during a homily several months ago.  It was of the people in Hell.  They sit at a table full of food with elbows that do not bend.  They scream and yell in hunger because they cannot reach the food.  In Heaven a similar spread of food is laid out on the table.  The people also have elbows that do not bend.  However, each person is able to feed the person next to them.  They are laughing and their stomachs are full.  
Years ago when I was healthy I was extremely self reliant and prided myself on this fact.  Through the course of losing a lot of function of my  body the Lord has come to show me that their is much to be learned from asking others for help.  To admit that you cannot do it alone is critical in surrendering to the Lord and allowing Him to take control of our lives.  Recently, my old tendencies have resurfaced but not in physical ways.  Instead there has been a part of me that felt I could say enough prayers myself to bring wonderful change amongst us.  The Lord shows me again whether it be in physical activities or prayer we need other people.  We need to ask for help.  We need to pray for each other.  
Mary Rose and Caleb at our Children's Rosary
As we approach our 1 year anniversary of the children’s rosary we are trying to give our Blessed mother and Jesus a beautiful gift.  We would like to dedicate our upcoming year of the children’s rosary to renewal of family prayer.  As part of this we have purchase 94 children’s Bibles and have made many handmade bookmarks.  We are praying to individual Saints to lead a family, individual or priest in their spiritual journey.  Each Bible and bookmark will have a Saint written on it.  These Saints have been asked to choose you.  Therefore on April 15th, all in attendance at our morning rosary and afternoon celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday will be able to randomly choose a Bible or bookmark.  This will allow the Saint the opportunity to choose whom he or she wants to lead.  A novena is also underway to Our Blessed Mother asking her to guide each one of us as well.  Any members of the children’s rosary following remotely can contact us and have a bookmark sent to them free of charge.  One only has to tell the Lord in their heart that they want to be part of the children’s rosary to begin receiving all the benefits of the novenas and rosaries being said.  
The intentions that are being prayed for is included below:
Novenas to the following Saints have been completed:
St Gerard Majella St. Catherine of Siena    St. Paul              
St. Theresa the Little Flower St Padre Pio St. Joan of Arc
Bl. John Paul II St. Rita St. Raphael
St. Theresa Avila St. Peter St. Mark
St. Blaize St. Bernadette St. Peter Claver
St. Thomas More St. Ann St. Cabrini
St. John Bosco St. Philomena St. Andre
St. Peregrine St Vianney St. Lucy
Bl. Theresa of Calcutta St. Odilia St. Aloysius
St. Gianna Beretta Molla St. Dymphna St. Matthew
St. Cuthman St. Apollonia St. John Baptist
St. Mary Magdalene St. John Evangelist St. Joseph  
St. James the Apostle St. Francis of Assisi
St. Anthony of Padua St. Francis Xavier
St. Francis of Rome St. Maximilian Kolbe
St. Peter Julian Eeymard St. Catherine Laboure

Novenas underway:
St Faustina Bl. Pier Giorgio      
St. Michael St. Gabriel
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton St Vincent DePaul
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha St. Francis De Sales
St. Walburga St. Monica
St. Martha St. Alphonsus 
St. Maria de Liguori St. Louis de Montfort
St. Clare of Assisi St. Lawrence
St. Roque St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Elizabeth of France
If anyone would like to say a novena please choose a Saint not listed above and email me at to have the Saint added to the list.  In order to have a Saint for each Children’s Bible we wish to give out we need 31 more novenas.  To have Saints for our bookmarks(these will be given to members of our children’s rosary who do not have children) we would love to have another 50 novenas.  Could this happen I place it in the Lords hands and the hands of those of you reading this.  Amen.