Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Grace and Gift of True Friendship


This post is a bit of an update to my last one. My friend's sister died yesterday morning. While I am sorry for my friend's tremendous loss, I am also relieved that her sister is at peace. She died in Christ's friendship so I believe she is with him now. However my faith teaches me that we must pray for our dead. I am reminded of something one of our priests once told us about his mom when she was dying. She told him not to tell people "I'm in heaven" because no one will pray for me; a wise woman- any wonder her son became a priest? Anyway I digress...
As I said in my previous post, watching my friend suffer through this was and is painful, but it has also been a wonderful grace. The give and take of friendship; I am honored and privileged to be able to be here for her now. To do the little things to make her life a little easier and to just love her as she has loved me through my own difficult times.
Friends such as these are truly one of God's precious gifts to us. They make this earthly life bearable when it seems unbearable.
I could go on, but this post might never end. Thank you to those of you who commented and offered prayers. I know that it is the prayers of good Christians getting her through this very painful time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Difficult Graces


I'm not sure where to begin this post; I just have the urgent need to write because I don't know what else to do. So if you find yourself reading this, I apologize in advance for the scatteredness of my thoughts.
A dear friend is in the midst of a bittersweet grace. She is spending the final days, perhaps hours with her sister who is dying of cancer. My friend is more like a sister to me than a friend. She has been there for me over the past 6 years praying me through some very difficult moments. She is the kind of person who always seems to know what to say and do in difficult times. Well, now it is my turn to pray her through this. I know that prayer is the best thing I can do for her and her family right now, but that doesn't stop me from feeling helpless.
This feeling of helplessness~ I stopped to really think about this over the last few days and I realized that this is more about me than it is about my dear friend. By concentrating on that awkward feeling I realized that I was turning things toward me instead of her. So as difficult as it is to watch her go through this, I know that God is at work and has it all under his control. So I return to prayer. It is all I can and need to do for her right now. I know that in my weakness is God's strength.
I am always amazed at how God works in these situations. When I take the time and effort to stand back and just let Him do what He needs to do, I truly am in awe.
My friend's sister is on the cross. My prayer for my friend is that our Blessed Mother obtain from her Son the strength He gave her while she stood at the cross and watched Him die. May my friend find that same strength.
I started this post by saying that my friend was experiencing a bittersweet grace; I believe that I am being given that same gift in a different way. True and deep friendship is an awesome gift from God. I thank him everyday for this special woman. This side of heaven I will never know what I did to deserve a friend like her.
So I will continue to pray the best prayer that can ever be prayed~in all of this, may God's will be done.
Thank you, kind readers, for bearing with me through this post. I would also ask that you pray for my friend and her sister.
*Picture courtesy of allposters.






Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Unsung Hero


Today we celebrate with the rest of the Church, the feast of Saint Joseph. I have always thought of this great saint as one of the Church's unsung heroes. Scripture says little about him. In fact Joseph really doesn't say a word. However his actions speak volumes! He answered God's call and protected the infant Jesus and his Mother during very perilous times.
The saints throughout history have always had great devotion to St. Joseph. St. Teresa of Avila says that devotion to St. Joseph is important to our interior lives. St. Bernard says, "There are some saints who have the power of protecting in certain, specific circumstances; but St. Joseph has been granted the power to help us in every kind of need, and to defend all who have recourse to him with pious dispositions."
So, as the Pharaoh in Egypt told the people, speaking of another Joseph~"Go to Joseph." We can take this advice and go to the good and righteous St. Joseph. He is a model of fidelity and obedience and also of great courage. He will protect us and care for us in all our needs.

St. Joseph, holy and chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, foster father and protector of our Lord Jesus Christ~pray for us; intercede for those we love. Protect the Universal Church. Bring all those who have died and will die this day to a holy and happy death. Amen.


*I have posted about St. Joseph before. See the archives for the post from Dec. 19, 2008.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fr. Barron and the "Nones"

Fr. Barron is back with a video on trends in religion. Here he talks about the "nones"- the unchurched. He has an interesting perspective~ as always.
Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook~March 16th

*Oops! I usually post this on my Blessings for the day blog. Oh well it and my readers get a change of scenery this week.
For Today... Monday

Outside my window... skies can't seem to decide whether to be cloudy or sunny.

From the kitchen... not much~need to go grocery shopping!

I am wearing... brown cordouroys and cream sweater.

I am reading... still working on Fr. Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien

I am hearing... Chris Tomlin's How Great is Our God.

Around the house... spring cleaning supplies

One of my favorite things... time to do or not do as I please. ~not a whole lot of that lately.

A few plans for the rest of the week... grocery shopping, plans with friends on Sunday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...sorry~don't have one today.
Join Peggy at Simple Woman for more Daybook posts and to add your own

Sunday, March 8, 2009

King of Glory

God often uses music to speak to me. Third Day is one of my favorite Christian groups. In their songs I hear God's "I love you". I was listening to one of their CD's today and heard the song "King of Glory". The words and music are powerful. The song has been on my mind for most of the day. I found this video in which this song is the background for artist Susan Werner's paintings of Christ's Passion. The paintings are as powerful as the music. I just felt like sharing this. Enjoy the music and the artwork. Let them remind you of who our Lord is and how much he loves you.
God Bless!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Father Barron on The New Atheists

Here he is again. I never tire of listening to this very intelligent and down to earth priest. Here Fr. Barron talks about the "new atheism". You know, those placards on the sides of European buses saying things like "relax, enjoy your life-there is no God." He goes on from there. Listen to what he has to say and then visit his website at http://www.wordonfire.org
Enjoy!

Pieces of Me


For some time now I have been wanting to tell my conversion story and put it over on my sidebar. Time and other things have seemed to have not permitted this. However, I have told a small part of it in a post I wrote for the Titus 2 blogparty, titled Spiritual Motherhood. You can read it if you like over at my other blog, Blessings for the Day.
The post was prompted by our hostess's question for the day, "How many children do you have?" You'll have to read the post to find my answer. The post reveals some parts of my life I am not usually comfortable revealing. Blogging these last several months has moved me to share, not for my own purposes, but for God's glory and perhaps to help someone who reads something. I have to say, the post I just completed over at Blessings is a work of the Holy Spirit. How do I know that? Because it just poured out of me from start to finish.
So it is there for what it is worth. I just wanted to give those of you who read this blog the opportunity to know a little bit more of the puzzle that is Karinann.
*picture courtesy of all posters.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One Simple Carpenter ...

As we continue our journey through Lent, we come closer to Holy Week where we walk with our Lord through his Passion. This video is a beautiful remembrance of his life, death and resurrection. The music is powerful so turn up your volume.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Where's the Reverence?

I have written on this blog before about how I do love my parish, but have been a little disheartened by things in recent times. I am here again with this same disheartened spirit. The behavior I witnessed before Mass this week has made it more so. Three weeks in a row I have been moved to tears over the lack of reverence our Lord is shown in His own home.
The last three weeks I have attended our 5:30 vigil Mass. I always arrive early to pray evening prayer from Magnificat and then just to sit with our Lord and prepare for Mass. Unfortunately I have had had to do this in the din of needless conversation. Last night I actually got up and moved to a different pew! People seem to have forgotten why they are at Mass and who is present in the tabernacle. Why are they talking to each other when they have Christ right there in front of them? And our tabernacle is where it is supposed to be- in full view behind the altar, so they don't have the excuse of it is not in sight.
Now all that being said, Mass was beautiful. During Lent the Latin Sanctus and Agnus Dei will chanted. Our priest last night chanted the preface leading to the Sanctus; it was awesome.
Something inside me says that when we took down the Communion rails and allowed everyone and anyone on the altar, reverence went away. When did it become custom for the ushers to play "meet and greet" as they guide people from the pews to Communion. Do we really need them to tell us when to leave the pew? I saw behavior from an extraordinary minister that literally made me cry and feel physical pain! (I will spare you the details) I know that not all ushers and extraordinary ministers behave this way. I don't mean to judge and make broad generalizations, but when did the Mass become about us and not about Jesus?
If any good has come out of this, it is that the behaviors of people has led me to more fervent prayer. I guess the tears and pain I have experienced can be considered a form of internal mortification and so I have offered them up and prayed as Christ did, "Father forgive them, they just don't know!" And while you are at it, please forgive me for judging.
With each passing week I realize that I have to get past my "uncomfortableness" and just go to a Traditional Latin Mass. I consider my parish my home and as such I just can't desert it. However, just as when children grow up they move out, and home becomes a place to visit; perhaps my parish should become this same type of home. In the meantime, I think that the 5:30 vigil Mass is not the Mass I need to be attending. I think next week I will try the 9:00a.m.
This post has been in the composition stage since last night. Before coming back here to finish it, I came upon a post by Adoro Te Devote on Reverence. She says what I have been feeling much more effectively than I have in my own post. Please read her post (if you haven't already); it is excellent.
I thank you, kind readers, for listening to me vent yet again on this topic. I know that God is calling me to get up and move out of my comfort zone; I just need to listen to him and do it.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.