somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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Let Us Kneel Before the Lord

Yesterday, the daily devotional from “A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days”  really touched my heart.  

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!  Psalm 95:6

The author recounted a time when she took a group of high-school students to a retreat day at a Monastery.  Part of the day involved attendance at Mass.

Afterward, some students remarked that the experience had been different from Mass at their home parishes.  “Here, it was like the focus was all on God.  At home, it’s more like it’s all about us.

Wow.  Such insight from young minds.

For many years, I was the one who was sometimes bored, thinking that Mass was supposed to entertain me, or that it was meant as only a fellowship time with my Church friends.  If the music was “good,” and the homily was “catchy and interesting,” I considered myself “fed.”  Otherwise, I really just went through the motions, fulfilling my Sunday Mass obligation.

Then I read “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn.

How misguided and totally selfish I was.   You see, the Mass is not intended to be of entertainment for us.  We can be entertained anywhere in this world.  The Mass is a gift offered to us…to share in the Eucharistic Table together, in humble worship of Our Lord and Savior.  How blessed we are, that we have been invited to share in this banquet feast…The Lamb’s Supper.

During Mass, we are led to turn our minds and hearts to Our Lord, Jesus.  We worship through hearing His Word, singing praises to Him, and receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus.  Through the Eucharist, Jesus becomes one with us. He is in us, and we are in Him.  What could be more spirit filling than actually receiving Jesus into our bodies…into our beings?

How does that miracle of love even remotely compare to being “entertained?”

When at Mass, we are in communion with The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We are also accompanied by  God’s angels and saints.  The Communion of Saints…how mystical and beautiful!

How blessed we are to have a tangible way to be intimate with our Lord.  To be totally one with Him, and through Him.

Lord, I thank you for gifting us with your Church on Earth.  Thank you for inviting us to this Loving Banquet.  Please send your Holy Spirit to infuse our hearts, minds and will with your amazing and unfathomable love, joy, and mercy.

 

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.  John 6:52-56

 

 

 


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My Second Mother’s Day Without my Mom

Today is my second Mother’s Day without my mom.

I never thought I would be the one to continue to grieve, to be overcome with emotion, and to miss my mother so very much.

Since my mother passed away, about a year and a half ago, I have felt her presence with me…a love that fills me and sometimes overwhelms me.  All of the moments that are precious and a treasure to me now, at the time were experienced as normal everyday moments.  Not realizing the memories that she was gifting me with…going through my days, as though each one was just another day, and not having the eyes yet to perceive true beauty.

My mother lived with Joe (my husband) and me for about eleven years.  Through those years, I was the one that would help her make purchases for gifts.  When it came to gifts for me, she would usually tell me what she would like to give me, and would ask me to choose and purchase.  Needless to say, I was never surprised!

Mom’s Final Gift to Me

When she was in rehab before she died, she was thoroughly enjoying herself.  One of the activities she loved was Bingo.  One day, I walked in to her room, and her face was all lit up.  She told me that she won Bingo, and was able to choose her prize.  She chose a beautiful flower arrangement so she could give it to me.  She was so excited and happy that she was able to surprise me with some beautiful flowers.  I was very touched at the time…but as time goes by, that one simple gesture touches my heart in the most deep way.

These are the moments that stay with us.  Snapshots of time that keep us grounded in love.  The miraculous scenes of life that play and replay through our minds and hearts of times gone by.

Moments spent with those we love.  As I sit here thinking and honoring my mother for all she was, and all she did for us as a family, many of those times come to mind.

Some of those moments that will always be with me:

Watching my mom through the window of the Senior Center when I arrived to pick her up.  Seeing her sitting at a round table with five of her friends, laughing so hard that she had to lay her head down on the table.  I had never seen her laugh like that.

Seeing her in her cute reading glasses, looking up from her book at me, when I came home from work and popped my head in her room to ask her how her day was.  She usually said, “I had a beautiful day.”  I will never be able to part with those glasses.

Watching her eyes light up when Joe or I served up one of her favorite meals.  Or favorite desserts.  Come to think of it, most everything was “her favorite!”

Getting beat royally by her when playing Canasta, Skip-Bo, or Sequence.  Sometimes it was downright mortifying how bad she beat me!

Losing my temper and yelling about our differing politics.  Feeling awful afterwards, I would apologize, and she would just say, “Sometimes things just need to come out.”  She would never hold those outbursts against me.

Strolling through Costco pushing my mom in her wheelchair with a cart in front of us…stacked so high with items she wanted to purchase, that we could not see where we were going!

Her excitement upon learning that she was going to be a great grandma.  That was one of the things that was holding  her back from passing on…she wanted to see her grandson’s baby that would be coming in five months.  I said, “Mom, you know that in heaven you will be able to see your grandson.”  She looked in my eyes and smiled.  She said, “I know, but I am not ready to leave this Earth yet.”  She didn’t make it to see Brayden’s birth, but I KNOW she is with him now.

The privilege of assisting her to shower, wash and style her hair, and put lotion on her.  In the beginning, she was embarrassed to have me help her in that way.  However, it became comfortable and natural for us.  And I enjoyed helping her to feel a little pampered.

Seeing the joy on her face when looking out her bedroom window and seeing three snowmen that the sweet neighbor girls built for her.

Sitting next to Mom at Mass and special worship times, feeling so close to her.

Seeing my mother, as she was near death, look me straight in the eye and tell me that I had the most beautiful blue eyes she’d ever seen.  Then proceeded to call me “Jan,” telling “Jan” that her daughter and son in law take good care of her, but she worries about their health.

A few days before she passed away, I climbed into bed with my mom, and put my arm around her,  I asked her if it was ok that I was there with her.  Her answer?  “We should do this more often.”  Yes, we should have….

Once I asked her if there was anything she would have done differently, being that she had a hard life.  She told me she wouldn’t change a thing.  She said that her family is her blessing, and when things get difficult, you just need to “offer it up to the Lord.”

I have learned to do just that, Mom.  I have finally learned to offer my life to the Lord.  And a large part of myself is the part that came from you.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for loving the Lord.

 

 

 

 


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Jesus People

There is a cute little house on the corner of our street that has an amazing sign in the front yard.  When I walk by I can’t help but “feel the love.”

The words that call out to me by my humble neighbors are “Pray for America…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

Being that we live in a mostly liberal college town…it takes a very strong believer to be willing to publicly profess what they stand for.  

A few weeks ago, I introduced myself to the owner of the home, and shared with him how thankful we are that he has the sign posted.  He said that there aren’t too many that share our faith in this community, and he appreciated my stopping by.  I let Him know that there are probably more of us around than we realize …however, most practice their faith in a quieter fashion.

So… today is a gorgeous, sunny  California day, so hubby and I took a walk to the library.  As we passed the “Pray for America”  sign, the next driveway was a busy yard sale.  We started talking with the woman who was the “seller” and I assumed she was the woman of the house with the sign.  I introduced myself, and I asked,  “Are you the one that posted the “Pray for America” sign?  She kind of stared at me in a blank way, and then blurted out, “No, those are “The Jesus People.”  She looked toward her neighbor’s house and kind of rolled her eyes a second before I jubilantly answered back, “Well, that’s awesome, because we are Jesus People too!”

At that point, she changed the subject.

My husband and I got a chuckle out of the encounter, and although she may not have the same belief/faith system we have, she was a nice woman and we enjoyed visiting with her.  But it got me thinking…

Do the people in our daily life look at us as “Jesus People?”  Do they know by the words that come out of our mouths, the way we carry ourselves, the entertainment we partake in?  Do they see Jesus in us through our love, kindness, charity, and mercy?  Do they see something different in us..different from what they are accustomed to according to world standards?  Do they see us standing firm as Christians?  Not afraid to profess our Faith in Jesus and our love for Him?

Or are we Christians in words only, and continue to live as the world does?

I pray that in my life, Jesus works through me as a vessel, and I am identified as one of “The Jesus People.”  For that would be a blessing and the most wonderful compliment I could ever receive:-)