Monday, April 25, 2016

Blue Skies and Butterflies

They've been there all my life. Blue skies and butterflies. But they became electric.
When my sister passed away, the sky was so blue. She loved the song "Blue Skies". The earth stood still that day within my soul. Some big part of me died too.

I think it was my heart. It's a good thing hearts can resurrect, just like Jesus did on the third day.
And now we can all cross over to the other side.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Prayer Walking

This is my favorite form of exercise--prayer walking. Okay, so I’m killing two birds with one stone. The old expression meaning, I achieved two things with one action. This is something I’ve enjoyed doing for decades. It’s a discipline—that is, sometimes I have to force my will to get to the park where there’s a walking trail. The first half mile I can feel a little stiff, but going on the second mile I’m loosened up and happy to be there.


Yes, there are certain prayers I pray—I meditate on the mysteries of the rosary for the day. BTW, those mysteries focus on the life of Christ, not Mary as some are mistaken. Then I call on the litany of my favorite saints and invite them to come and be with me—to intercede. A few of them are: St. Therese of Liseaux, St. Joseph, St. Benedict, St. John Paul…who I call on is a whole other story—so for now…I continue brisk walking and pray for the sanctification of priests whom I know and then usually pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy before my three miles are finished. Somewhere in between the litany and chaplet, I listen after asking the Lord to speak to me—in that still small voice.


Today I received lovely thoughts about motherhood, from conception to the birth of a child and how that nine month period puts mothers in the throes of the paschal mystery. The what? Paschal mystery—meaning the dying, rising and going forth of life. Like Jesus when he lived, then died and rose again. It’s what we experience in life whether we realize it or not.


So regarding motherhood, I was thinking about the joy of conception—there’s a rising, generally, speaking until the first bump in the road of pregnancy—maybe that “bump” is slight morning sickness or perhaps more severe, maybe there is tiredness, or repulsion of certain foods, and thus we’re dying to self. We cooperate with this experience of discomfort to bring life into this world. One day we might feel well and the next day not so much. And such is the paschal mystery that can change from day to day, week to week or month to month. Certainly throughout nine months or a year we’ve been on a roller coaster ride of the paschal mystery—up and down, again and again, dying and rising and going forth.


But here’s the main point that resonated with me this morning on my walk—there’s birth after dying—there’s rising to new life, like after Jesus’ passion and death, there was the resurrection of his body.

When women go into labor to deliver the child, that’s real suffering—real dying—pain brings death to self--not literally, but figuratively speaking. But, then the child is born. There is new life. So remember whenever you are going through painful experiences and dying to self, there is new life coming.


New life coming--now take that thought on your next prayer walk!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peace quotes by saints

Peace       

A great means to preserve continual peace and tranquility of soul is to receive everything from the hands of God, both great and small, and in whatever way it comes.
--St. Dorotheus

'See, my children, a person who is in a state of sin is always sad. Whatever he does, he is weary and disgusted with every thing; while he who is at peace with God is always happy, always joyous. . . Oh, beautiful life! Oh, beautiful death!'
--St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney

He who is humble easily obeys everyone, fears to offend anyone, is at peace with everyone, is kind with all.
--St Thomas of Villanova

"Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy." (300)
--Diary of St Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul

Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?
--Saint Gerard Majella

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
--Blessed Mother Teresa

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
--St. Francis de Sales

"Keep your soul at peace, in order to be able to be attentive and very faithful to the inner movement of the Holy Spirit." (To Mme. Stephanie Gourde, November 25, 1850)
--Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“Peace begins with a smile.”
--Blessed Mother Teresa

“If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”
--Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. The rest will be given.”
--Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
--Saint Francis of Assisi

"Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at peace with you."
--Saint Jerome

The servants of God...whether provoked by word or work, by keeping themselves tranquil and peaceful, evince a perfect nobleness of soul.”
--Saint Thomas Aquinas

”By humility a man finds grace before God and peace with men.”
--Blessed Giles of Assisi

”We must sometimes bear with little defects in others, as we have, against our will, to bear with natural defects in ourselves. If we wish to keep peace with our neighbor, we should never remind anyone of his natural defects.”
--Saint Philip Neri

”The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.”
--Saint Alphonsus Liguori

"Opting for peace does not mean a passive acquiescence to evil or compromise of principle. It demands an active struggle against hatred, oppression and disunity, but not by using methods of violence. Building peace requires creative and courageous action."
--Pope John Paul II

She  who is silent everywhere finds peace.
--St. Teresa Margaret

She who desires peace must see, suffer and be silent.
--St. Teresa Margaret

“Always receive with equal contentment from God’s hand either consolations or sufferings, peace or distress, health or illness. Ask nothing, refuse nothing, but always be ready to do and to suffer anything that comes from His Providence.”
--St. Teresa Margaret

Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people's, if we are always criticizing trivial actions - which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through our ignorance of their motives.
--Saint Teresa

Peace is the work of justice indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace; but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity according to its very notion, causes peace.
--Thomas Aquinas
 
All works of love are works of peace.
--Blessed Mother Teresa

Let us not be justices of the peace, but angels of peace.
--St. Therese of Lisieux

Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors.
--St. Therese of Lisieux

Peace is not just the absence of war. Like a cathedral, peace must be constructed patiently and with unshakable faith.
--Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Have Salt in Yourselves!

Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50).

Funny how you can come across a scripture verse that grabs your attention and you think "Was that always there?"
 
Have salt in yourselves? What on earth does that mean?
 
Since last Sunday's gospel reading was about being salt and light in this world, I've been reflecting on its meaning for me.
 
Our Pastor, Monsignor Daniel Mueggenborg, challenged us with a few good images of salt:
 
We are to be people who "flavor" all aspects of our lives and relationships with the values of the Gospel.
 
We are to be people who pray and guard against temptation so as to preserve ourselves and others from the corruption of sin and human vices.
 
We are to be people who constantly purify our lives by removing what is contrary to the Gospel or distorted in our priorities.
 
We are to be people who unite our difficulties and persecutions of faith with the sacrifice of Jesus so as to be offered with Him to the Father.
 
Lastly, we are to be a people who become catalysts of conversion in the world so as to allow the fire of faith to catch more quickly in people's lives, to burn more intensely in our hearts and theirs, and last longer.
 
Which of these images of "salt" has special meaning for you? And why?

Be filled with salt and be at peace, my friends!

Celtic Blessing

Dear friends,

Enjoy this lovely Celtic blessing and song "Deep Peace" today~~

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the gentle night to you.

Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.

Deep peace of Christ the Light of the world to you.

Deep peace of Christ to you.
 
 
God bless,
 
Sheila
 
 
 
Music: Bill Douglas's CD "Jewel Lake"
Visionary Photography: James Heartland

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Testimony

My precious mother, Kathryn Grant, striken with Alzheimer's disease and unable to write, walk, speak coherently, or feed herself any longer wrote this beautiful passage in 2003 on the tragedy of 9/11 two years after the horrific event.
 
I am led to share it with you today because the call remains to 'take up arms' and to be hope bearers in this world and I, her daughter, will issue it again now a decade later and together we will pass it on from generation to generation.

"The heart of our nation has not fully healed since the tragedy of 9/11. The grief of the victims' families has not been assuaged, nor has the magnitude of their loss been minimized by the passage of time. Indeed, the intervening months have brought more violence and death around the globe, in spite of enormous outlays of money and arms at the disposal of those who seek peace and do not find it. Meanwhile, there is an opportunity that begs the attention of we older citizens to 'take up arms'-, our own -, that is, to put our arms around the children and young people of this nation. We have lived through a succession of wars and civil upheavals; we have seen the fall of Communism and Fascism; we have seen an earlier culture turned upside down by radical changes of every kind. We have lost loved ones, family and peers. By virtue of age and experience, we are singularly qualified to be hope bearers. Like the canaries sent down into the mine shafts to test for any toxicity, we bring good news that all is well. Not even the monstrous blow of 9/11 can bring us to our knees, except in prayer.

So, my, dear brothers and sisters of faith, we are called to a challenging "war effort." Our weapons are our collective voices of reassurance to our children, grandchildren, all who have lost hope for the future of our beloved country which we have historically called 'invincible.'

One of us repeating Jesus' words, 'Be not afraid' is good, but when we collaborate, the collective power of our voices can turn the tide of events as they unfold. We are people of prayer. How else does one survive what we have been through in our long lives? And prayer will be our greatest weapon in bringing hope to the hopeless.

The dues in our organization will be steep! requiring millions of prayers for the balance of our lives for our loved ones, and others all over the world who yearn for peace and security. We will be one voice for one people!" Kathryn Grant
 
Dear family and friends,

Momma's (Kathryn) testimony continues to touch me powerfully and I hope it does you. Let us continue to bring good news that all is well!
 
Love & peace be with you & yours from generation to generation,
 
Sheila 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"The Miracle"

Vatican Insider Staff
Rome

Muslims and Christians came together in St. Peter’s Square today and prayed using words from their own religions. Many described this as “the miracle” of Pope Francis’ ecumenical appeal during today’s fast and four-hour long vigil of prayer which broke the barriers of faith in an attempt to stop the war in Syria. 100,000 came to St. Peter’s Square in the late afternoon to join the Pope in his appeal for peace.
 
A silent ceremony, with flags from countries all over the world lining the sides of the square: from the Syrian flag to the Chinese and Argentinean one and the one depicting the rainbow of peace. The atmosphere was meditative and almost surreal given the presence of Syrians and Muslims in the square: according to Italy’s Arab community there were several hundred who attended.  Some of them recited verses from the Koran as the sound of the Ave Maria rose from the lips of Catholics standing just metres away. A fusion of faiths and prayers in the spirit of peace.
 
But a wind of division blew across the Syrian community attending the vigil in St. Peter’s Square. A group which supports the ideology of the “rebels” moved away from the so-called “pro-Syrian people” group, and went to the other side of the square. “We fear infiltrators from the Syrian embassy, it’s best if we keep away,” they said. But for many others it was simply a moment of peace. Many Catholics called it “a sort of miracle performed by St. Francis.”