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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary: The Pentecost

 

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts 2:2-4

Sometimes a theological idea, liturgical theme, feast day, or simple teaching, has to “slow cook” in my mind and heart for quite a while. We are all a work in progress, aren’t we? The way I understood the sacrament of marriage, for instance, 23 yrs. ago, when I first said my vows, looks very different than how I understand it now. Because of experiences God has given me, insights, observing other marriages that have been around longer than my own, obstacles we have faced, joys we have experienced. It will look very different to me 20 more years from now for the same reason. 


We celebrated the feast of the Pentecost 2 Sundays ago. I have been thinking about it ever since. It is also the 3rd glorious mystery of the Rosary, right after the Resurrection, and the Ascension. I used to and even still sometimes, be tempted to expect some kind of “experience” on Pentecost. After all, the Holy Spirit is alive and working, is He not? and I am a baptized Christian, a follower of Christ, so couldn’t I experience maybe even just 1 “tongue of fire”? 🤔 


Don’t mistake me, I have had experiences, with the Holy Spirit. And I have felt His presence strongly, at certain moments of my life. But the day to day work of the Holy Spirit in me, is not usually “consumed with tongues of fire” or emotionally exhilarating ecstasies or visions (sorry to disappoint). 


It is a sloooow, refining, burn. 


It is the gentle but sometimes it hurts a little, stripping of my attachments- be they actual possessions and people, or personal ideals and principles, pride, vanity, and the like. It’s Him shining a flashlight in the dark areas of my heart, one corner at a time and whispering “it’s time for this to go, so you can make more room for me.” It’s the reminder to get back up and try again, say “I’m sorry”, die to self. over and over again, every day, until it slowly, starts to get a little easier. Then, He moves to the next room. 😄 And we begin to clean the house of my soul, little, by little by little. And I try not to look at the things we’ve left behind, and focus on what He places in front of me. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Yellow Sauce, Low Carb & Low Fat

 This is a really simple sauce I started making for myself. On Trim Healthy Mama I could actually use it in any setting: S-Satisfying, E-Energizing or FP- Fuel Puel. It is dairy free, coconut free, soy free, low carb and low fat. 

You will need the following: 

7 yellow summer squash, peeled and cut up 

1&1/2 cups broth 

1-2 Tb. Beef tallow 

1 tsp. Paprika 

1 tsp. onion powder 

1 tsp. sea salt 


A high powered blender


Put all ingredients in a large skillet. Cover and let simmer on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash is very mushy and the broth is all cooked out of it. Let cool slightly and purée in the blender. You might need to add back a little water to get the blades turning. Blend until smooth. I make a lot of lean meat or fish/ vegetable skillet meals and I love topping them with a couple tablespoons of this! There are about 2 carbs in 1/4 cup. I am learning that I have to eat small amounts of fat for my own gut health right now, and this is a perfect  replacement for the much higher fat bernaise sauce I used to put on everything. Enjoy. 😊


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary: The Ascension

 


The Ascension of the Lord Jesus is the 2nd of the Glorious mysteries of the rosary. We celebrate the feast of the Ascension, today, Sunday. It’s the moment the apostles see their master in all His glory, rising up to heaven to sit on His throne. It’s the great commission, when Jesus calls upon them to go and preach the gospel to every nation, and baptize them into His Church. 

When I imagine myself at the moment of the Ascension, I can’t help but think, there may have been mixed feelings. While I would feel joy and complete awe at the sight of my Savior in glory,  I might also feel some sadness and a little childlike fear, when my sight of Him is covered by clouds. “What am I going to do without you?!” and “Did we not just get you back Lord? after having grieved so horribly over your death? Where will I find the courage to press forward in your name?” 


I was with my mother today. I am blessed to still have her in my life. Some of my friends do not have that privilege. Even when I can be so burdened by the cares of life, anxious about current events and about the future, being with her always gives me hope, joy, and courage to keep on in my vocation. To just keep being faithful. As she has been so many years. to the Lord and to her family. Don’t you know that’s why the Lord left his mother with the apostles and the church? That she must have longed to leave this world with Him more than we can imagine? But she was needed here, to encourage the apostles, console them. Being the first spouse of the Holy Spirit, she needed to be with them when He came to anoint them all with His Holy fire. Being the mother of Christ she was called to the great purpose, of being a mother to us all. She is mother to you now. In the dark, in the unknown, she will gently lead you in the path of light to her Son. When she spoke to St. Juan Diego in 1531, a peasant man from Mexico in Guadalupe, as he was distressed about the health of his dying uncle, she said “Am I not here who am your mother?” and continued with many other comforting words. 


And so, while we still await the Lord’s return, and with all creation groaning (Romans 8:22) for the fulfillment of God’s kingdom and glory, she is still saying “Am I not here? Who am your mother?” There is no one longing for the fulfillment of the kingdom of her Son more than the Blessed Mother. She went through everything with Him; she knows the level of faith required of us right now. Ask her to intercede for you every day, to be faithful, have courage, and never lose hope. Christ is in fact, still coming back. And what a glorious day it will be! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Great Things

Picture I stopped to take on a run today 


I am in my mid-forties and have had 6 children. I was diagnosed with a hypothyroid a little over 10 yrs. ago. In addition to that, adrenal fatigue, candida overgrowth, and a hyperactive immune system. Some of those conditions are improving, some have disappeared. 


You know what I say to all of that? Whatever🤷🏻‍♀️. I started running again a few weeks ago. Actually, I started walking. But one day I was walking and I heard in my heart “Run towards Me and hold nothing back!” So I literally started running and kept it up for at least 20 minutes. I don’t plan on doing marathons, yet. But I’ve been running ever since. And on every run, I pray and think, about running towards my Savior, in all areas of my life. Because my coach is Jesus, and he’s not bothered by my age, diagnoses, or what anyone else says I am capable of. Maybe right now it’s running, further down the road it may be something else. 


I am not saying there are not legitimate health problems that may immobilize a person, or keep people from doing things in life. But I do believe this. You are as “old” as you believe and tell yourself you are. Your health, your life, every day, is an opportunity laid at your feet. How will you defy what’s “expected” for you? Because God expects and plans great things. Great things. 


 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Defer to One Another


 I left the house for a walk after a heated discussion the other day with my beloved 😄,to cool my head, get some fresh sunshine and air, maybe a fresh perspective. At first I was thinking, what was important to me was not being acknowledged, and felt indignant. Then I thought of this verse. I once had a professor in college say, this was an overlying instruction given for both husband and wife. I also had a priest in my life I greatly admired, say that we should be “obedient to all” in a way, as a practice of humility. A way of dying to self. 


This does not apply of course in cases of immoral acts being imposed upon us, or abusive behavior. Just, maybe it’s not our cup of tea. Maybe it’s a little against our will. But wouldn’t hurt us to give in to the other. That’s what I’m talking about. 

I then thought of Christ our Lord. And how with what great self-control, because He could have wiped all of them out with a single thought, He submitted to His persecutors, even people He Himself had created at the beginning of time as the Word. I wasn’t even being persecuted, nor have I made anyone without God’s help. Just having a conversation with someone who loved me. 


I pondered that quite a bit. 


When Jesus’ true identity was questioned, He did establish who He was... 


“Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’” 

(Mark 14:61-62) 


But He knew what the Father’s will was. And so, He submitted. And it was not an act of weakness, it was actually a show of strength. 


See what we can get confused about, is that humbling yourself before another, especially when it’s hard, is evidence of a great deal of strength and humility. Not weakness. And a tremendous act of real love. Think of Christ, who was God, practicing this to such an extreme. And if we are in fact, his disciples, sons and daughters of the Father, are we not to imitate Him in all things? 


I pray I can begin, little by little.