somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Share the Light of Christ

We, as Christians, are called to be lights in the darkness.

Sometimes, it feels as though the darkness that is raging in our culture and in the world, is engulfing us.  However, we must remember that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the light of Christ resides in our hearts and souls.  That light calls out to be shared with those who are living in the darkness.

Listen to the voice of God that is stirring your heart.  

There are people all around you that are suffering…all in different ways.  See and hear the struggles and despair of those that are in need of compassion, love and mercy.  Ask the Lord to direct you, so that you may know the needs of his children that he places on your path.  It may be a family member, a friend, or someone that you come across in your day to day routine.

Listen.

Listen to what souls are in need of. It may be that they just need a listening ear and heart. They may have a particular financial or material need that you can help with.  They may be hungering for encouragement regarding their faith. They may be in dire need of hope.

You may be their lifeline to Jesus.  Sometimes, a person needs to know that “somebody loves me” before they can accept that “God loves me.” 

Let’s take the time to really see and hear those around us.  Let’s love eachother and extend friendship and fellowship.

Let’s be that person who shares The Light of Christ.


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Look for the Pattern

Today, I came across this post that I wrote years ago, reminding me of God’s Love and Providence.  Know that He is there, especially when we are not aware of His Presence in our lives.  I hope these words touch your heart.

Ok, I have to admit, I absolutely love playing a popular online word scramble game.  The kind that shows a bunch of letters, and you have to find all the words that can be made out of those letters.  If you don’t find the big word that uses ALL the letters, you lose.

When playing this game, I learned that the key is moving the letters around until you can find a pattern.  Sometimes it is easy to spot the word, and it is a familiar one.  Other times, if you just keep looking for a pattern and try it out, the word is eventually found.

Many times I never even heard of the word that is revealed to me.  I just had to trust the logic of the letters.

While playing the other day, the thought hit me that our lives are like the word scramble game.

For me, so many years of my life were a scramble, and I could not see any purpose or connection of one day to the next.  I was floundering.  The mixed messages from life experiences, peer pressure, inner turmoil and what I was hearing at school and Church, were scrambling my ability to see, think, hear and know what the Truth was.

My day to day existence was more or less just hanging on to the belief that there IS a God, and He says that He loves me.  I prayed, attended Church, and even was very involved with our Church Community, however, inside, I was struggling.

In those years, there were joyful moments with my husband, family, and friends, especially once my sons were born.  However, there was always a deep pain and longing inside my heart and soul.  I did not know where that darkness and pain was coming from, and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t making it go away.  I could not see where He was working in my life.

Much like the scrambled letters in my word game.

Faith, spiritual growth, and the eventual opening of my heart to the Love of Jesus, has been a long process.  For so many years I have been only looking for the familiar patterns in my life, thinking I would be able to figure things out and heal myself with self-help books and visits to therapists.  Yes, progress was made, and I was enlightened one small step at a time.  But I knew something was missing.

Then, my journey took a sharp, unexpected turn.  I began to meditate on the life of Jesus through praying the rosary.  (something I never believed in before)  I meditated on the pure trusting spirit and humility of the Mother of Jesus, and how much God the Father trusted His Son to her loving care.  I realized that since God is my Father, and Jesus is His Son, then Jesus is my brother….that would make Mary my mother.  A loving mother that wants only good for my life.  A mother who is constantly praying, interceding and leading me toward her Son. The more I prayed, the closer my relationship formed with Jesus, my Savior.  I finally began to understand, that although I always believed that Jesus is the Son of God, I did not have a relationship with Him.  I didn’t know Him.

Through the Holy Spirit, I was lead to pray in faith, and to read spiritual books instead of “self help” ones.  I was being enlightened to READ AND TRUST the Bible, instead of trusting the scrambled so called “wisdom” of the world.

My foundation is now a firm one, and my eyes, ears and heart are being opened, a little at a time.

My journey with Jesus is just beginning.  There are many dark places in my soul that I trust that the Holy Spirit is working on right at this moment.  Many events that have occurred that have been scrambled from my comprehension…

In the past, I thought God wasn’t answering my prayers, because I asked Him to reveal things relating to my memories, and it didn’t seem as though He was allowing that to happen.  I felt like I had a steel trap door that was blocking me from seeing things that would help me to progress in my spiritual/emotional well-being.  I thought these things because I was unable to see the truth and the pattern of my journey. In order to do that, I had to look at my life through different eyes….see through the “scramble” and start to move the events around, seeing the patterns emerge…

because the patterns/evidence of Christ in my life were there, and the answers were there, all along. 

You see, the key to understanding, in faith, that God is always with you and working His wonderful plan for your life, is like finding the big word, using all the letters, in the word scramble game.  If you don’t find that word, you lose the round, and have to start over.

If you don’t put your faith in Jesus, you will flounder because you will not be able to see His work in your life, and will not see the pattern of your life.

Now, when I look at my life, I can see the pattern… the fingerprint of God.  He was there all along.  He was there loving me tenderly when I was afraid, lonely, suffering, and living in spiritual darkness.  He was there when I reached for help.  He was there when I prayed, even when I did not fully believe.  He was there when I demanded that He heal my heart…when in selfishness and despair I wanted certain people in my life to “disappear”.  He was there when I hurt the ones I loved the most.  He was there in my dreams, revealing bits and pieces of the source of my pain…ever so gently.

The Lord desires for us to be happy, living in His Presence.  The  mission of our life will be revealed to us…just be ready…expect the unexpected.   You will not find Truth and Peace  in the world’s scramble .  You will find it in the revelation of God’s love for you and the special place you hold in His Kingdom.

Never give up…always look for the ways the Lord is leading you.  He will speak to you in ways you do not expect.   But He is always there.

May you be blessed in the total peace and love of our Savior.


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Real Love and Valentine’s Day

From My Heart to Yours   From My Heart to Yours

Valentine’s Day is a sweet reminder in our daily lives of the love that we are blessed with.  For me personally, the day touches my heart in a special way with gratitude for all the people that have touched my life… my family and friends, and especially my husband, Joe.

The special love I speak of is not the kind that requires red roses, diamonds, or chocolates.  Those things are nice and always appreciated, however, this is much deeper than any of those types of gifts can convey.

So Joe…this is my Valentine thank you for the real love you show me each and every day; the way that you help me to see the beauty in myself.  That true love can only be inspired and sourced in the Holy Spirit…thank you for your faith and openness to be a vessel of His love.

Some of the ways you show me that I am loved:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not  proud.

You have a quiet confidence that allows you to be happy and supportive toward others.  Even when I am off track or floundering…you are my “even keel”. 

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Your deep, thoughtful desire to help, honor and respect all the ones God places in your daily life amazes and inspires me.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

When I get overwhelmed with the negative of an event or situation, you always help me to see past it and focus on the good.  Many times you help me see past my own flaws and weaknesses, and help me to see the goodness within myself.

 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You are my safe haven in this life, and we are united in hope and perseverance to become the people the Lord intends us to be for his divine plan.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Lord has blessed us with Himself, and through his love, mercy and grace, the love we share will never fail.  You will always be in my heart… in this life and the next.

I love you, Joe!  And by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Beloved Daughter

Over the last few days, I have been reading the stories of women that were actually told that they were ugly when they were young.  It is so evil and sad that any person would spew those lies to a child or young woman.  It is devastating.

I feel compelled to share this post from a few years ago with you:

Today I am especially feeling the loving touch of the Holy Spirit through my whole being.  And through that Spirit, I am being led to share some loving words from our Heavenly Father.  This is a love letter to you, His precious daughter. 

Beautiful one, this is for you:

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Do you pick apart each facet of your physical body, and compare yourself to other women?  Do you feel inadequate or inferior; sometimes even feeling as though you are hideous in one way or another?  Do you sometimes feel ugly inside, like if people really knew you, they would realize how ugly you truly are?

The next time you look into the mirror, I want you to try something different.

I want you to see yourself through MY Eyes.

You were loved long before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  Each detail of what makes you “you” is like a brushstroke on the canvas of a great masterpiece. You were bathed in my loving light as you developed and grew in exactly the way you were meant to.  You are my special and lovely jewel.

You are beloved.

When you were born, heaven rejoiced!  Such a beautiful, sweet baby you were, my daughter.  Did you know the angels held you, and you were comforted by the tender love of Jesus?  In your helplessness and vulnerability, you were being loved and carried by a power so loving and beautiful, that sometimes you couldn’t help but smile or sigh.  Such an exquisitely beautiful baby you were!

As a little girl, you grew and brought me such joy.  Your zest for life, and your amusing antics.  The way your hair caught the light when you were playing gleefully, or the way it matted up after your nap.  Your beautiful innocence was shown through your bright, clear eyes.  Those eyes that touched me deeply because they showed the honesty of what was inside your heart.

Then you grew, and ready or not, you were a teenager!  I know those were difficult and confusing years for you.  I was right there with you, through everything.  When you were trying to fit in, and not seeing or feeling your true worth, you sometimes wondered where I was.  There were times when you were hurting, confused and lonely. I was there, holding you in my arms, and loving you, even when you did not feel me with you.  You were a beautiful bouquet of so many special characteristics that are yours and yours alone.

You didn’t see it at the time, however, all of what you were then was evidence of the beauty that was already a part of you, deeply rooted in your heart and the love I have always had for you.   That beauty was about to spill over, illuminating your physical being…laying the foundation  of the woman you are now.

What do I see when I look at you?

I see a beautiful woman of strength and character.  You have enjoyed many happy moments in your life, and also suffered through deep pain and anguish.  You have felt so weak and powerless at times…that is exactly when I carried you through.  If only you can fully realize that every single detail of you is beautiful and deeply loved.  You were not meant to be anything else.  You were created simply to be YOU.

Do not look to the world to see your true beauty, for the world’s view is veiled and tainted.

Look to Me.

Let go, and allow yourself to rest in my peace and love.  Submit yourself to me…all of who you are.  All of your strengths and weaknesses.  Your joys, your sorrows.  Your accomplishments, your failures.  Trust me – I will work all of the brush strokes of your life into the great masterpiece of my Divine Plan.

You are my beloved daughter, sparkling with a beauty more dazzling than the most precious gem imaginable.

You are loved.

Always,

Your Heavenly Father

 

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.   Psalm 139:14

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.   1 Peter 3:3-4


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Love Always Remains

Today’s post is one that is truly difficult to put out there in words…in black and white…which will suddenly make it all real.  My oldest sister, Patti, of whom I have written about on a few occasions, passed away on December 6, 2021, at the age of 79.  

For those of you who do not know her story, Patti was stricken with polio when she was 12.  She experienced a severe case, and almost died.  Her prognosis was not good at that time, and she was given only about 10 years to live in her condition, even after treatment in an iron lung and then physical therapy.  God had another plan in mind…she lived a full life, touching  countless hearts of all that came into her life.  Patti lived the remainder of her life as a quadriplegic, with only the use of her left hand and neck…and a brain filled with intelligence, love, trust in God, and an incredibly feisty and grateful spirit.

It’s hard to describe what Patti meant to me, and to my family.  “Back in the day,” there were no government programs in place for her or for any families that were caregivers for their loved ones.  There was no financial help, and no respite help.  Come to think of it, as far as I know, there were never any offers to help our family back then.  I am sure that most friends and family members were intimidated by the scope of what was needed for her care.

With that said, from a very young age, my other two sisters and I learned how to help care for all of Patti’s needs.  Bathing, hair washing, skin care, bedpans, turning her and changing her position so she would not get bedsores.  We also were “on call” for anything that she needed or help with the things she desired to do. We assisted her, and made sure that she had her writing tools and papers, books to read, the telephone to visit with friends and family, cups of cozy coffee, among many other things.

Patti was the center of our existence, and her role in our lives is so intricate that it is impossible to explain to others, even to other family members and friends. We grew up in a volatile, abusive, confusing and uncertain home. The kind of home where you never knew what was going to happen hour to hour, or even minute to minute.  There were wonderful times, that felt loving, lighthearted and fun.  However, those comforting times could change in a fleeting instant…and we lived in a home that the “spirit” of the day ahead of us could be felt in a palpable way. Our life was confusing, filled with the stark contrast of darkness and light.

That is one of the ways that Patti was a grounding for us.  She was a constant source of light, love, nurturing, connection, and positivity.  We spent a lot of our time as babies, toddlers, and teenagers, in her room.  She was there for us when we came home from school, to listen to whatever needed to be shared or discussed.  We watched special movies together, in her room.  (remember…there were no dvds or streaming back then so it was “a big deal”) We listened to record albums in her room, as a family.  This would include Shakespeare plays and most of the musicals.  I especially remember listening to Macbeth, all together in the dark.  Very memorable and scary!

My most precious memories spent with Patti, when I was a child, was laying next to her, listening to my favorite stories and poems that she would read to me for hours.  She most probably is the reason for my love of reading and writing.  As a little one, I experienced the stories of Poppy, Heidi, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Happy Prince, and The Selfish Giant.  I also learned about the love of Jesus and His Precious Mother…and countless stories of the lives of the saints.  She read me beautiful story poems and also whimsical, silly ones.  She was the one who helped me with homework, and also helped with special projects for school.  She offered much encouragement when I practiced for a speech or presentation…which absolutely terrified me.

Somehow, Patti knew how to touch my soul. Or shall I say that she was an open vessel for The Holy Spirit to work through.  This was evident in our family, and each person that she came in contact with.

Although she lived her life with a disability most of us can’t even fathom, she never complained or cried about her condition.  She chose a different way…the way of gratitude, love, and trust in God.  As I have said before, she was the least handicapped person I have ever known.  She forged through life, and viewed it as an adventure.  There was not much that she wouldn’t be open to, if there was a way for her to do it.  I remember the time in her life when she painted miniatures using a mouth stick.  That amazed me!  I also remember when she was strapped to the back of a motorcycle for an exhilarating ride. Yikes! (remember…she could not hold on or sit up on her own)

Actually, everything about Patti will always amaze me.

Patti, I know that you are in heaven, and are part of a world that I can not see.  But I know you are here.

You are here in my heart.  You are here when I enjoy the newness of each day and what it will bring.  You are here when my heart explodes with love for those that God has blessed me with…for your heart exploded with love into me when I was a confused little girl.  My fears and anxieties have kept me from many experiences throughout my life…everytime I am able to break through those fears and try something new or creative, you are right here with me.  You always encouraged me and loved me where I was at.  I am learning to do the same with myself and others.

Thank you for all that you have given to me and to the world. Thank you for showing me what a blessing it is to open myself to the love, forgiveness, peace and mercy, that only God can give.

Thank you for teaching me what it means to be truly grateful for all that God has blessed me with in this life.  You always focused on the beauty around you and that meant that your focus was always outside of yourself.  That is where your secret of happiness resided...it lived in the beauty of God’s creations and blessings, and especially in the hearts of those that He placed in your life.

Thank you for the love that you share(d) with me…I feel you so strong right now, that my heart is overflowing.  Thank you for being there for me throughout my life.  Your love and spirit  will be carried in my heart until my life has ended…and hopefully, will then be passed on to my loved ones and those souls that God places in my life.

God is love, and we will be connected in His love forever.  Thank you for teaching me that.

Your physical presence here on Earth is missed in so many ways.  It is not the same place without you.  However, the light that you shared will always be here to comfort us. Love always remains. I love you.

Patti’s Obit https://www.dispatch.com/obituaries/b0057891

Past Post about Patti  https://somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/patti-your-life-is-a-prayer/

 


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Blessings Through Barrenness

Thought you might enjoy these thoughts that I posted a few years back:

This is the time of year that I used to dread.  Most of the Christmas decorations have disappeared from our neighborhood’s homes, the warmth of holiday music has dissipated, the air is bitter cold, and the trees are dark and seemingly devoid of life.

Blessings Through Barrenness

My husband and I commute to work together, and lately I have been struck with beauty that I haven’t noticed before.  One thought has been swirling in my mind for a few days now.

There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.

This thought strikes me as my eyes take in the awesomeness of those trees that in the past I would describe as cold, dead and dull.  What I see now is entirely different and enlightening.

As we drive home after work, the winter sunsets are almost overwhelmingly gorgeous.  Last night there were deep shades of indigo, violet, magenta, pink and blue.  The colors were layered beautifully, and could be viewed through the intricate patterns of lace and latticework formed by the branches of those “dead” trees.

All it took for me to notice and see the beauty of barrenness was to look past it, and focus on the beauty through it.

Our lives are like that.  We tend to focus on what is lacking, and sometimes just can’t understand why a loving God would allow certain things to happen in the world.  We look at our own lives, our sufferings and weaknesses, and we feel barren and sometimes even abandoned.

We are called in faith to look through the barrenness and focus on the perfect beauty and love of God.

He is the beauty that calls, amazes, humbles, and overwhelms us with love.  He is The One that works all things toward good for those who love Him.

Do you love Him that loves you?  Are you willing to look through your weaknesses, persecutions, and sufferings and focus your trust and whole being on the saving love and grace of Jesus?  Will you open your heart to His Divine Mercy?

Only then will your eyes be opened to the intricate beauty of barrenness… for only Our Lord knows the full design of the tapestry that is being masterfully created through what we view as unacceptable.

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


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Feeling Hopeless and Empty?

In the last few years, I have personally experienced a roller coaster of emotions and issues, which were brought on by circumstances that I did not fully understand…and probably will never understand. Trudging through the thickness of my own private internal battles, I have managed to learn a few life saving gems.

These gems are not the sparkle and glitz types that are flashed at us through clever, and somewhat deceiving marketing ads.  What I am talking about are true nuggets…the kind that are hidden in plain view.  The kind that summon and invite us in, and once these nuggets are discovered, accepted, polished and lovingly cared for, will actually sustain us for life.

I have found that when I am at my lowest, feeling hopeless and empty, there are two areas that need to be acknowledged and developed. This is true in all of us… I witness it through all of the sadness, depression, confusion, anxiety, hopelessness and despair of those around me.

At this moment in time, there is much darkness enveloping our world.  There is much that attempts to bring fear and despair into our hearts.

However, at the same time, there is always love to be found…goodness that finds a way to radiate from difficult or dark circumstances.

The nuggets that lead us to truly see and and experience goodness and love are the virtues of gratefulness and humility.

Humility is understanding that God is everything.  We are alive because God wills it…every grace and blessing in our lives is gifted to us by God.  It does not matter what the world thinks of us, or how human eyes view us.  God created each one of us, and He alone knows our souls, and knows our true purpose.  He loves us with a love that we cannot comprehend.  

Humility is understanding and accepting that we are nothing without Him.

Gratitude, naturally flows from humility.  Once we know with our minds and hearts that life is truly a gift from God, and that all good things come from Him, we can’t help but to thank Him for every blessing and grace in our lives. One way to develop gratefulness is to thank God every night for each blessing that we experienced that day.

I once read something profound that posed a question to my heart.  “What if you lost all the things that you did not thank God for?

I try to thank God for everything in my life…starting with the fact that I am still alive. Listing out each of my senses, and how they are a blessing to myself, and can also lead to being a blessing to others.  I can walk. I have clean, running water. Hot showers. A cozy home. Food. Drinks. My husband. Friends. Family. Heat. Air Conditioning. We all have different blessings.

Once you get started thinking about all the goodness in your life, and know that God is the provider of all that is good…you start to see the world in a different way.  You start wanting to align yourself with God…and you learn to look up toward God for your joy and happiness, rather than continuing to search in all the wrong places for peace, joy and love.

Life is not easy, and never will be.  We are here to learn how to know, love and serve God.  And until we truly understand what it means to open our hearts and souls to the perfect love of God, we will struggle.  We must keep our faith in God, and know that we are saved through Christ Jesus. No matter how we continue to fall, and no matter how much we struggle and suffer…our hope and joy is in Him.

 

 

 

 


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All the Pieces

Today I completed a rather challenging 1000 piece puzzle.  It was especially fun for me to piece together this particular puzzle, because it pictures what I imagine as the epitome of a welcoming, vibrant autumn day.  And, I must add, autumn is my favorite season.

Working through the process of this puzzle got me to thinking…about life.

I can only speak from my own life experience, however, maybe you can relate.

When my puzzle arrived, the top of the box revealed the beautiful image of the finished product, and nestled inside, was a bag that contained all the pieces thrown together.

Isn’t that like life?

We were created by a loving God, who knew us before we were formed in the womb.  He knows the finished product of who we were created to be.  He knows the beauty of what we truly are.

The first thing I did to start my puzzle, was to dump out the pieces, turn them all over, and then separate the frame pieces from the rest.  Being a 1000 piece puzzle, this took considerable time.

We go through life unaware of the pieces that we are connecting together.  As we experience life as babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, and finally adults,  there comes a time when we realize that there is a heap of puzzle pieces of our life that we can’t find, or can’t figure out where they fit in.  We search and search to find the complete picture of who we are, however, there are many empty spaces, and from our perspective, we are incomplete and rather shabby.

We wonder if we will ever be whole.

Then the process of piecing the puzzle together starts to show the faint makings of what the final result will be.  Slowly, as each piece is found and added, we start to see glimmers of clues that pop up in different areas.

As we live our lives, our memories and our experiences fit together, and reveal snippets of who we are…or who we are becoming.  This often feels as though it will take forever, and there are many times we feel hopeless, and we get very impatient and frustrated.

We want to give up.  We are SO tempted to give in to despair and to JUST GIVE UP.  It is so hard to see the complete picture of who we are meant to be. After all, we are made in God’s image, right?  Why is it so hard to trust Him and have faith that it will all come together?

So, as I look at my completed, beautiful puzzle, I am reminded that God looks at us in that way.  He sees what we are meant to be.  He sees our purpose.  He sees our beauty…and only He knows all the pieces that will fit together in our lives to transform us and make us whole.

 

Only He can see the whole, complete picture.  It doesn’t matter that we can only see the partial image…we need only to trust Him.

Jesus, I trust in You!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 

I am confident of this: that the one who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

 

 

 


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What a Father Should Be

Since our move to the area, my husband and I have found a new church here in Fort Collins, CO at St. Joseph Parish.  It is a beautiful, traditional Catholic Church, and the reverence of the Holy Mass pulled me right in, including beautiful bells being rung during the Eucharistic Prayer, and an altar rail.  (which I have greatly missed)

I felt completely at home from our first visit, and realized that many things at this Parish remind me of my childhood Church.  (St. John the Baptist in Campbell, OH) Even though we are new members, I feel community, connection, and most importantly…I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

One of the first things that I learned, was that we are in the midst of The Year of St. Joseph...December 8, 2020 – 2021.

After Mass, we offer this prayer:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To you God entrusted his only Son;

in you Mary placed her trust;

with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,

show yourself a father

and guide us in the path of life.

Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil. 

Amen.

I  never heard of this prayer before, and being perfectly honest, I never even thought of St. Joseph and his so very important, blessed role in the Holy Family.

The first time I attempted to read the prayer outloud, my eyes and heart filled with tears, and the words could not be formed out of my mouth.

It took my breath away.

This prayer conveys the perfect example of manhood and fatherhood.  What a father should be to his family.

A concept that I was never able to fully grasp with my own father.

St. Joseph took on the will of God with submission to The Father, total love, and humility. He was worthy in God’s eyes to be entrusted with the care and guardianship of The Blessed Virgin, and her son, Jesus, Our Savior.   

The words touch my heart because the prayer describes what a true Catholic father should be for his children and wife. What an important and blessed calling it is!

“To you God entrusted his only son”  To you, God entrusted his child (children.)

“in you Mary placed her trust;”  In you, your wife placed her trust.

“with you Christ became man.”  With you, your daughter or son becomes a woman or man.

“Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.”  Show yourself a father and guide your children in the path of life.

“Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil.”  Pray and Live in a way that your children will be blessed with grace, mercy and courage and defend them from the evils of the world.  

Be sure that you, as a father, are never the source of evil in their lives…but the protection from it!

May we always be open and willing to follow the perfect examples of Jesus, and the role models of parenthood that God the Father blessed us with.  

May God bless you and your family on your journey to Him!

 

St. John the Baptist Church

 

 

 

 

 


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The Monsters We Create

The other night, I happened to see a discussion of the movie “The Bride of Frankenstein.” Upfront, I need to let you know I have never seen a Frankenstein movie and have never read the book. It just did not interest me. Although I usually do not put any credence in what “stars” say, Drew Barrymore’s  words interested me. She said it was a beautiful movie, with lots of symbolism. She also inferred there was a strong ethical and moral theme throughout the story, and a person could not help feeling sadness and compassion for the “monster”.

My curiosity was aroused, so I watched the movie.

Then I had to watch it again with my husband. This movie was filmed in 1935. There are many scenes that modern movie enthusiasts might laugh at, because of the acting and low technology, according to today’s standards. However, what I saw was a truly beautiful film, with much symbolism and reference to God, good, and evil. That kind of shocked me…I was not expecting that. Here was a monster that was created from dead bodies, and given “life” by crazed scientists. When the monster acted like a monster, the people were horrified, terrified, so of course they turned against him. They did not understand him, and were too afraid to even be in his presence. The monster stumbled his way around, because he simply knew no other way. He killed a few people indiscriminately, some of them by accident.

One truly beautiful scene, was when a lonely blind man was playing his violin in his little shack. The monster heard the music, and was drawn in by the beauty. He opened the door to the shack, and expected the man to scream and run. Since the man was blind, he did not do that. He literally prayed to God in thanksgiving…thanking God for sending him a friend in his loneliness. The man nursed the wounds of the monster, provided him with food and drink, and even tucked him into a comfortable bed, so he could rest. He accepted the monster as he was, without preconceived judgment. Not only did the man minister to his new “friend’s” needs, he also taught him to talk, and shared some finer things of life with him…namely wine and cigars. They became friends to each other. Because of the man’s blindness, he was able to show love without fear; he did not see the monster in his friend.

At that time, some men who were lost, happened to come into the man’s shack and saw the monster. They tried to kill him, and pulled the man out. The shack was left burning, and you see the monster escaping out of the flames, sadly calling out for his friend.

I won’t tell you the ending of the story, because I don’t want to completely ruin it for you. But let’s just say, the monster ended up having more humanity than the humans that created him had. I know it sounds weird, but that movie truly touched my heart. How many times do we create “monsters” and then turn our backs on them?

We allow the removal of God from our schools, and then are shocked when throngs of young adults turn their backs on God and the Church. And then, because of political correctness, we allow them to continue on their Godless path without a word, because we do not want to “offend” anyone.

We allow and condone the killing of unborn babies, the “innocents”, and then we wonder why there is so much violence and murder…and such disrespect for life in general. Again, we remain silent, after all, isn’t killing a baby in the womb a woman’s right? Really???

We allow our children to play violent, gory, evil games for hours on end, and then wonder why they cannot relate to people in a normal, healthy, loving way. In extreme cases, they play out their killing games in real life. Again, we make excuses. It’s only a game, it’s only a movie, it’s only music. Again I say…Really???

We allow the infiltration of our society’s minds, including our children’s innocent minds, with immodesty, promiscuity, and disgusting behavior. Then we cringe and back away when we see the results. Physical disease and debilitating emotional and spiritual sickness, unwanted pregnancies, suicide. But we often just want to turn away from what we have created. We judge and point our fingers at the “sinners.”  After all they chose that lifestyle, and need to repent. Right???

Because of busy work schedules and lifestyle choices, we spend less and less time together as families. Family meals are far and few between. Because of “smartphones” and other technologies, we have lost the art of personal communication and relationships. Families communicate through pithy and clever phrases, and don’t take the time to truly discuss feelings, dreams and beliefs. Our children are floundering…they are hungry for unconditional love and attention. But we are doing as much as we can; our family needs our two jobs, and we all need to be “active” and involved in community and recreational activities. We are exhausted…no time for anything else. Right???

Maybe we should all step back, and breathe in the love of God. Maybe then we will realize all the monsters we are creating on a daily basis…once created, the monsters we would like to ignore. The monsters we would like to destroy.

However, those “monsters” are our children, our friends, our family, our community, our country. The monsters are us. Instead of going with our first instinct of turning away in fear and disgust, we need to  look toward God for the grace to love His children in blindness to their circumstance and guilt, and love them for the beauty that  He sees inside their hearts.

Jesus sees the hurt, pain, sin, and darkness that we all have in our hearts. He is waiting for us to open ourselves in faith, submission and humility.

That is how our world will be converted to a much more beautiful place. With less monsters.