Mary Undoer of Knots

Christ came to bring JOY;

Joy to children, joy to parents,

Joy to families and friends,

Joy to the sick and elderly,

Joy to all humanity.

In a true sense, JOY is the keynote message of Christianity,

And the recurring motif of the Gospels.

Go, therefore, and become Messengers of Joy!

~ Pope John Paul II

Friday, September 17, 2010

Everything is Grace

Grace abounds!  St. Therese once said, Everything is grace.  How right she was.  Even in this time of suffering, when it seems that most everyone I know is enduring some spiritual, emotional, painfully terrible situation, and where I, myself, am wondering when God will permit me to come to Connecticut to serve Him as a Daughter of Mary, I still know, in my heart of hearts, that there is always mercy.  I know because He tells us, and I know because I have experienced it time and time again, that God does not permit us to suffer any situation, large or small, without knowing that He can bring about a far greater good for our souls. 

And so here I am, even in the midst of having come to the end of my inspirations for how to go about fundraising and 'helping God" to remove this obstacle, (HA!) I know that He has the situation under complete control.  Even though there seems to be nothing stirring in the world to remove the blinders from those who might help in this ministry, I know that our Father's Will, will always be done.  And what is better than that?  Nothing.  (Although I still need much work on internalizing this great Truth).

As an act of faith, I am gathering all of the belongings I can divest of myself of, to sell at a big yard sale October 1st and 2nd.  As I look at things like my china, which I love to use for dinner parties and making holidays special, my first thought is to keep it, so I will have it for Christmas.  My second thought is that an act of faith is just that--An Act of Faith, that this obstacle will be resolved and I will be serving our Lord before the holidays, so be done with this stuff!  Actually, there is a certain freedom I am feeling from getting rid of my things.  Everything is grace, and our merciful God is using this to stretch my faith muscles.  Again, I surrender.  Please Lord, help me surrender.

Fiat.  Your will be done.

Friday, September 10, 2010

NEW BOOK REVIEW: Hope for Hard Times ............ a '30-minute read' by Scott Hahn

     I love this little book! It is classified as a ’30-minute read,’ and truly it is. It’s just a perfect little nugget to chew on, for anyone who is experiencing hard times, or for those who may be trying to help a friend or loved one who is experiencing a painful period in his or her life. Let’s face it, people who are suffering and struggling do not often have the time or the strength to read and digest a 300-page college level discussion. This valuable little book is a succinct but great reminder of truths we already hold dear.

     I especially appreciated the numerous scripture references and quotes from great saints. These example gives us courage to persevere. Here is one I had never heard before:

          If God allows you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. ~ St. Ignatius of Loyola

     Dr. Hahn does not downplay or sugar coat the suffering of anyone in this little gem, nor is his attitude a platitude of pity. Instead, it is solidly backed in scripture and the Truth. The Truth is that all of the saints suffered greatly, and their suffering had great redemptive value. Unlike so many televangelists preaching a" prosperity gospel" today, Dr. Hahn points out that our suffering is not without merit – Our Father always uses it to bring about a greater good. Those who find themselves successful in the eyes of the world, having suffered very little, may find the joys of this world to be their only joys as they find no need for God and travel life on the wide path to perdition. On the other hand, those who pick up their Cross, uniting themselves to Christ on the narrow path, have their hope and faith fulfilled in the world to come.

     St Theresa of Avila once complained to God about how He treated His friends, saying, “It’s no wonder You have so few!” Dr. Hahn tells us it is OK for us to complain to God, but that those who find themselves in trouble, are those who complain about God.  St. Paul warned the Corinthians in 1 Cor 10:9-11 about the consequences of grumbling, and Dr. hahn compared Paul’s words to the Psalms, of which more than 40% are psalms of ‘lament’ or complaint. The Psalms, like Paul, always end with an act of faith, so their complaining always has an underlying hope for the future, even if it is not to be realized until one reaches heaven. We should not be afraid to come to God with our complaint, as long as we remember to make our acts of faith and hope. What we want and what we need are two entirely different things. God always gives us what we need. He may not always give us what we want.

P.S.  If you are interested in reviewing books for the Catholic Company, you can receive free copies of the books you review.  Check the Catholic Company for more information.

P.P.S  If you know anything about me, you know I love our Mother, Mary!  Be sure to check out the Catholic Company's Mary Statues as well as lots of great books on why Catholics love their Mother so much!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just a pencil . . .

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

I don't claim anything of the work. It is his work. I am like a little pencil in his hand. That is all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.

                            ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta