Monday, December 31, 2007

Sydney New Years Eve Fire Works


"This is one of the great challenges of this life on earth: To live and love in each moment since we never know how long we have to be with those we treasure most deeply."
Thankyou Alexsandra
Treasure life, even the painful parts...What would joy be if there wasnt a trace of sorrow..What would sorrow be if we couldnt laugh through our tears.
Life is LIFE. LIVE It. Embrace it. Enhance it. LOVE it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mothers death. My mother died at 3PM exactly on New Years Eve 1994, she was only 56 years old, her birthday was on January 10th. I cannot convey in words the great loss we suffered except to say, Joy she IS, Joy she gave, a Joy to us always.

Please say a prayer for her. Thankyou.

O almighty and eternal God,

Lord of both the living and the dead,

Your tender mercy embraces all men

foreknown to be Yours by faith and a good life.

Through the intercession

of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother,

and of all the saints,

grant Your merciful pardon to all mothers for whom we pray,

whether they still are living in this world

or have departed from this flesh into the world to come.

Especially, dear Lord,

grant the requests I now make of You

or my own beloved mother.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas With Love

I know it´s late but better late than never.

May your home be filled with the love,
And wonderful peace of Jesus,
Our Lord and Savior, King of Kings,
Lord of Lords Who's with us.

Yes He is the Miracle Babe,
Born in a manger that one night,
While the love of God shone Above,
And the angels sang to invite.

May your heart be filled with a love,
And great longing to see Jesus,
For He came for us, you and me,
And always we'll be His to bless.

Oh love Him and revere His Birth,
He's your Love and your Life all 'round,
And He'll hold you like no other,
His wonderful peace keeps you sound.

May your spirit be filled with love,
Worship Jesus on each day now,
Let the joy of His love be full,
As in His Presence you will bow.

Merry Christmas with love in Him,
His wonderful peace will alight,
When your home is filled with Jesus,
Just as His love that star filled night.

I wish you all a Season filled with joy and happiness..
May those you love be filled with the joy of this special day.
May Jesus and His Mother Mary glow within your hearts.
May we never feel compromised about what this season truly
means to us all who celebrate the Birth of Our Savior
and may we never forget the "reason for the season."
How sad that so many people have to hesitate to say
"Merry Christmas" without offending any who have this
insane power to change the meaning of the very word
"Christmas" ~ A time of special meaning for millions of
people around the world. So many things have changed
through the years and now such a rampant display of
words are offered so not to offend the "mighty few" who
have the power to change the very heart of what Christmas is.
It is the birth of a Child who brought Light to our world.
Be joyful in your expressions of what you have been taught to
share. May your Holidays throughout the year be filled with
the same love and kindness that you should experience on your
very special Holidays. Be joyful in your ability to be able to
express words that you wish to express and do not allow anyone
(however small minded) to change the joy that you feel.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my friends. I thank you for the support you have given me through the year and wish you a day of happiness... each and every day of the year.

God Bless Us Everyone!

Love Always,

The Truth About Shepherds

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night" Luke 2:8

What do you picture when you read this familiar verse? The squeaky-clean children of a hundred Sunday school Christmas pageants, self-conscious in bath-robes with towels draped around their heads. Cute, perhaps, but not accurate. Let's try another version.

"And there were in the same country street people, huddled over a heating grate by night, passing around cheap wine in a paper sack"...

Closer to it! The shepherds belonged to one of the "despised trades" of Jesus' day - folks that proper people scorned and avoided. Why? Well, dirt, for one thing. I remember the time I helped sheep-ranching friends pack fleeces after shearing. A fleece is the sheep's wooly coat freshly clipped off his body - sticky with lanolin, smelly, loaded with dirt. To pack it for shipping, you gather it in your arms and throw it into a tall burlap wool bag supported on a stanchion.

Because of their size, my youngest son and our friend's daughter had the dubious honor of standing in the bottom of the bags and stomping the fleeces down tight, one by one - the dirtiest job of all.

By the end of that hot afternoon, we all wanted nothing so much as a bath. Packing fleeces is such a messy job that most ranchers have machines do it.

The shepherds outside Bethlehem worked with sheep up close and personal, all day, everyday. In dusty desert country, water was scarce and precious. They had little opportunity to bathe. Moreover, as they followed the animals from place to place, I'd guess they rarely even changed clothes. Keeping the Kosher laws - much less the elaborate cleanliness rituals of the faithful Jew - was out of the question. Add to that the shepherd's less than kosher scruples.

Because they moved their flocks from place to place, they often used other people's land without permission. And most certainly they were not above appropriating sheep from other flocks if they thought they could get away with it.

Yet God passed by all the upright, faithful Temple-goers who had arrived in Bethlehem to announce his Good News first to these smelly, scruffy outcasts. God surprises us with His grace. He delights in showing us He is bound by no human expectation or convention. He will always do things His way. Beyond that, however, His action shows us very clearly that we don't earn the Good News. The shepherds were not "good people." If we had been charge, there is no way we would have rewarded those shepherds with the honor of being the first to hear about the Messiah's birth... which is precisely why God did so. His love is a free, glorious gift, not a prize to be won.

By choosing the outcasts of society, God declared there is no one beyond the bounds of His love. No one is too dirty, too sinful, too despised. There is no place too ugly for His presence, whether a sheep pasture or a cross.

Jesus' Mother

Would you want to have been Jesus’ mother…
Knowing that your child was to die for the sins of others?

Watching Him as He lay in that manger so warm and still…
That from the beginning this whole plan was God’s will.

You watch Him play on that earthen floor…
Realizing that one day He would walk out your door.

Even as He grew and learned Joseph’s business so well…
You knew that to a piece of wood he would some day be nailed.

Now you hear Him say that His Father’s business must begin…
Your heart breaks in two because this signals the end.

Thirty plus years have come and gone…
What a terrible burden a mother carries alone.

There hangs your Son on a rugged old cross…
Giving His life to save all who are lost.

You remember that old inn, where they said there was no room…
Now your son lies in a cold damp tomb.

A truer love you will not find in any other…
Than the love that Jesus knew from His precious mother.

Christmas Reflection

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there as no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2: 7

There was no room for Him, the Inn was crowded and he had to be placed in a manger. Are we still shouting “No Room!” today? SELF is the Crowded Inn today and the manger is where SELF has been DISPLACED.

We have become so self absorbed that we lose all focus on the real reason for the season. Thoughts of what do I get my loved ones flood our minds. The Christmas parties, shopping for new clothing, the decorations, and our minds are racing a mile a minute. We clean our homes and make all these preparations but do we do the same with our hearts to prepare for this Blessed Season? Do we dust our hearts and remove the cobweb from our souls? Do we polish our spirits?

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior. His birth changed the world, the angel proclaimed to the shepherds “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”

When Jesus was born, there were mixed reactions. Some welcomed Him, some ignored Him, some rejected Him. There was no room for Him at the inn so the Son of God was laid in a manger where the animals were kept. Today we see the same reaction to Christ. Some welcome Him, some reject Him and some ignore Him.

What do we do to prepare for the King of Kings today? What will we get Jesus this year? The shepherds came from their fields leaving their flock to see Him. The Wise Men left their homes and security and made a very long journey to find Him. They brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What will our gifts be?

Yes there is room for the tree and the goodies that we associate with this season but we must focus on the true meaning of the season. The birth of the Christ Child should be the focus of our celebrations so that out hearts may be turned to Christ now and always. The light of Christ is meant to put us in touch with a great virtues and move us to become more grateful and generous. Christmas is meant for us to focus on God’s purpose for us even as it unfolds before us.

The Christmas Story is about real life then and now. The real people courageously struggled to survive in the ‘rat race’ of their time as we do now. It is about how much each one was willing to give of themselves, no matter the stakes.

Our homes are the connection to the Christmas story. Home is where the heart is. Christmas is not the same if we are not home. Christmas is God in flesh, warmly moving into our homes, moving into our hearts. Do we have room in our “Inn”, is it crowded or is there room, a manger heart? How do we move from the crowded inn syndrome to the manger heart? Grace. Self is displaced and God’s love fills every room. We are humbled knowing that He who we have been searching for has been walking beside us and became God in skin so that He may give his life so we may gain ours. Such joy and gratitude erupts within us that our response is awe and wonder, we fall to our knees in humble worship. This is Christmas.

“Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him"-- and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds."

“Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts."-- Max Lucado

So what will our hearts be like this year, the Crowded Inn, “No Room No Room!!” or will we have manger hearts “Come Lord Jesus Come, there is ROOM!”

I wish you all a Season filled with joy and happiness..
May those you love be filled with the joy of this special day.
May Jesus and His Mother Mary glow within your hearts.
May we never feel compromised about what this season truly
means to us all who celebrate the Birth of Our Savior
and may we never forget the "reason for the season."

To those who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you
the same love and joy for all who celebrate in other
ways, for other reasons ~ all with the same simple message.
Be joyful in your expressions of what you have been taught to
share. May your Holidays throughout the year be filled with
the same love and kindness that you should experience on your
very special Holidays. Be joyful in your ability to be able to
express words that you wish to express and do not allow anyone(however small minded) to change the joy that you feel.

And may the spirit of that wonderful birth that brought our Savior to us
be in your hearts all during this season and the rest of the days to come
as we wait faithfully and stand together in love until His return,

forgetting all pettiness, unforgiveness, ill will, envy, strife, malice,or anything that would hinder us from working side by side as we laborin the Kingdom! Let us remember that we are fellow laborers in Christ! And there is no room for competition ...
We are a Team, and a Family!

Let us judge each other with the standard of God's love!
We may not always agree or even be pleased with each other in every
instance, but we can walk together in the oneness of our faith in
Jesus Christ, our Messiah, and Lord!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Yes! It is Esthers Birthday!


With love & friendship

Marie xoxoxoxo

I Love The Word Impossible

I Love The Word Impossible

It's like joy after sorrow.

People being friends after being enemies

Rainbows after drenching rain.

A wound healed

Sunsets on quiet evenings after

Hot noisy days.

Paralyzed, injured limbs learning to grow

Strong and useful again.

Forgiveness after wrong

Truth after fog.

New love-made babies.

Birds learning to fly and own the sky

Bitterness turned to mellowness

Fresh, genuine hope .. once abandoned

People finding each other at right moments

In unexpected, obscure places ..

For God-ordained reasons.

I love the word impossible because my God believes

In adventure

And extraordinary mountains

And he dares to be alive in a world

Crawling with terrible situations

He promises to be bigger than any impossibility

Because He is love ..

And love always finds a way through, in time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's Not about the Manger

What image does the mention of Christmas typically conjure up? For most of us, it is a babe lying in a manger while Mary and Joseph, angels, and assorted animals look on.

Heartwarming picture, but Christmas is about far more than a Child's birth—even the Savior's birth. It is about the Incarnation: God Himself, Creator of heaven and earth, invading planet earth, becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

It is a staggering thought. Think of it: The Word—that is, Logos in the Greek, which meant all the knowledge that could be known—the plan of creation—that is, ultimate reality—becomes mere man? And that He was not born of an earthly king and queen, but of a virgin of a backwater village named Nazareth? Certainly God delights in confounding worldly wisdom—and human expectations.

Thirty years after His humble birth, Jesus increased the Jews' befuddlement when He read from the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor . . . to proclaim release to the captives . . . to set free those who are downtrodden . . . " Jesus then turned the scroll back and announced: "Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

In effect, the carpenter's Son had just announced that He was the King.

So, yes, the birth of Jesus is a glorious moment, and the manger scene brings comfort and joy and Christmas cheer. But it should also inspire a holy terror in us: that this baby is God incarnate, the King who came to set the captives free—through His violent, bloody death on the cross as atonement for us, His unworthy subjects.

It is through the Incarnation God sets His grand plan in motion. He invades planet earth, establishing His reign through Christ's earthly ministry. And then Christ leaves behind an occupying force, His Church, which is to carry on the work of redemption until His return and the kingdom's final triumph.

Do we get this? I am afraid most of us are so preoccupied, distracted by last-minute Christmas shopping and consumerism, that we fail to see God's cosmic plan of redemption in which we, as fallen creatures, are directly involved.

The average Christian may not "get" this announcement, people in the developing world get it. Whenever I have shared this message with the poor and oppressed people overseas, I see eyes brightening. Stripped of all material blessings, exploited by earthly powers, they long for the bold new kingdom of Christ.

Today is Christmas: Go ahead and enjoy singing about, and celebrating, the birth of the Savior. Set up a manger scene in your home. But do not forget this earth-shaking truth: The birth of the Baby in the manger was the thrilling signal that God had invaded the planet. And that gives us the real reason to celebrate Christmas.

Charles Colson

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Both Ginny and I wish everyone a Blessed and Safe Christmas. Thankyou for your kindness and generosity which you have shown to us.

Mary's Story

Joseph and I came to Bethlehem because there was a decree that all should go to their ancestral town to be registered. In obedience, Joseph and I went. God even used the oppression of the Roman government to bring about your salvation: because in this time of oppression, my Son, your Savior, was born. We looked for a place but there was no room in the inn: the town was so full. What was offered us was a stable not too far from where the shepherds were guarding their flock. It was soon that my Son was born: that the King of Kings would be born a pauper. It was soon that the very Word would be made flesh. Joseph left me in the stable and went outside for a while thinking that he was not worthy to be present at such a great miracle. While he was thinking, the moment came when my Son was introduced to the world. Because of the immensity of Love that the Lord had filled me with, I felt no pain at His birth. There was pure joy at the coming of my Son. I held Him in my arms: He was the very Savior of the world. A while later, Joseph came in, he saw me with the Child and he was also filled with wondrous joy. As some time past, the shepherds that were near the stable also came. They knew about the birth of my Son: the angels had told them. Heaven was rejoicing at the birth of my Son.

My children, look upon the greatness of your Lord Who has loved you so much as to come down to show the immensity of His Love for you. Show your immensity of love for Him: be humble, be grateful for what you have, be it little or great, and whatever you do have, use it in a way that will give pleasure to my Son. See the face of my Son in those in need, those in want, and respond in love to Him. Pray to the Heavenly Father in this mystery for the gift of simplicity and for the woes of the poor and I will pray with you. I will ask the Father to give you the grace to be generous with those less fortunate.


Catholic Online

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mary and Joseph Living the Divine Will

In the lives of both Mary and Joseph we see two ordinary people who with their whole hearts, minds and soul allowed God to work within them and transform them both to reflect the Divine. These two holy souls became so incorporated into the Divine Presence that when we study them we see the reflection of God in their lives, their words and their actions.

It is the holy lives of this couple, Joseph and Mary that show us that we too are called to give our fiats to God in order for the indwelling Spirit to transform us into living reflections of the Divine. Through Mary and Joseph we learn what it is to live the Divine Will without needing an explanation, as if God had to explain Himself to His creatures.

Joseph and Mary also through their actions teach us what true humility is and also to trust in God's Wisdom, even if it seems bizarre to do so. How many of us would follow a dream if we were told by an angel to rise and leave? Would we not consider it 'just a dream' and fall back to sleep?

Through the life of Joseph, Mary and the young baby Jesus we see how it should be for all of us. How family life should be centred around God and their Faith and not a longing to gain 'things', for what profit is there if one gains a mansion only to lose his/her family?

The example provided by the Holy family is to simplify our lives and to enjoy our families, and first and foremost to place God and our Faith at the centre of our family unit. The lives of Joseph and Mary should not be out of the ordinary in that we should all be trying to emulate them within our own lives.

For both Joseph and Mary lived the Divine Will, even if they at times did not fully comprehend the Way's of God, still they simply Trusted in God's Goodness, because God is Good.

Through the first Christmas that we see how God dignifies the lowly and allowed the humble to see the face of God. Do we see the face of God in today’s society?

Celtic Woman - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

This is truly beautiful DO listen. God bless you ALL.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Life's Journey

Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.

It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Do not set your goals by what other people deem important.

Only you know what is best for you.

Do not take for granted the things closest to your heart.

Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past nor for the future.

By living your life one day at a time, you live all of the days of your life.

Do not give up when you still have something to give.

Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

It is a fragile thread that binds us to each other.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.

It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find.

The quickest way to receive love is to give love.

The fastest way to lose love is too hold it too tightly.

In addition, the best way to keep love is to give it wings

Do not dismiss your dreams.

To be without dreams is to be without hope.

To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been,

but also where you are going.

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Legend Of The Poinsettia

A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy.

"I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes," said Pedro consolingly.

Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.

As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro's kind words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.

Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.

From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.

Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia!

MARY's Song-A Reflection

My soul doth magnify

And glory in the Lord

His lowly handmaiden

He has chosen over all

My spirit doth rejoice

Over God my saviour

For He has truly blessed me

And shown great favour

Blessed and exalted

Is the fruit of her womb

The promise from ages past

Was coming very soon

I wonder if Mary

The servant of the Lord

Understood with depth

The magnitude of her call

The son she brought forth

Called Holy and righteous

Blessed Prince of Peace

Forever there to guide us

Did she know that Jesus

Is the name above all names?

That no one else can save us

And take away our shame

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bloggin Blessing

Today I came online to find that wonderful lady Esther had nominated me for a Bloggin Blessing. What a lovely way to greet the day. Thankyou Esther

The idea… it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. To read more about the bloggin’ blessing please click here .

I now bless....Marilena, Paula and Lisa

I bless these three ladies who allow us a glimpse into what moves their spirit and how much they love and share their faith. One can truly see God's Hand in all they that write.

A prayer for Marilena, Lisa and Paula: may the blessing of almighty God, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, come down upon you and remain with you forever. Amen. May your hearts be always guided by the Holy Spirit and may the love of Our Lady always protect you.

Total Blessings sent so far: 3

and that’s it, nearly…

So, all Marilena, Lisa and Paula now have to do is to;

a) bless 3 blog buddies

b) Include the ‘God Bless you’ image in her post

c) Explain briefly why they are blessing the person they are blessing

d) pray/include in the post the prayer for the recipients of the blessing

e) write in their posts ‘X’ blessing sent. For example, Marilena, Lisa and Paula will write ‘4′ blessings sent, when they have blessed someone…because Deb was the first blessing sent, and mine is the second. This then makes mine the third blog blessed.

Since this is a somewhat orderly means of blessing we should know exactly how many blessings have been sent at any time because then finally….

f) The recipient and subsequent sender of a blessing should type in the com box of this very post that a blessing has been sent. For easy reference a link to this post will make it into my sidebar.

Sounds a bit confusing, I know. But it could be fun, we’ll soon see!

Thanks for playing along.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saint Joseph A Man Among Men

The Scriptures don’t reveal much about Joseph, but the little that is shown is very telling. For it lets us know, immediately that not only was Joseph a good and kind man, he was also obedient to God. Joseph never questioned the Angel that directed the path which he should take in order to protect the life of both Mary and Jesus.

The kind heart of Joseph is revealed when he recognised that Mary was with child, in full knowledge that he was not the father. Joseph bore no ill feelings towards Mary, though hurt and confused he must have been. So when he made the decision to quietly let Mary go, he did so to once again protect Mary from the authorities.

Of course we know the Angel appeared to Joseph and unlike Zechariah, Joseph did not question the Angels Divine intent, but simply trusted that this was Truth and took Mary as his espoused wife. Joseph truly is the shining example of a man who trusted God, and in whom God Himself placed much trust in. God recognised Joseph’s humility and entrusted the protection and upbringing of His Beloved Son.

Joseph was not merely a representation of a father figure; he was in the true sense a most noble father to his son Jesus. Protective of Jesus, teaching him the Faith, instructing him on life issues and the vagaries of nature. Showing a filial and most Holy and Chaste love for his wife, Mary. All these things Joseph taught the young Jesus as any father would do.

Joseph was a man who kept his own counsel and gained his strength through prayer. It was hard living in those days of heat, dust, insects and a multitude of discomforts, all of these conditions Joseph would have worked under, yet not once did he ever complain.

This was a man after God's own Heart, Joseph is the most perfect example of humble obedience and a guide to all fathers who are raising their own families. For in Joseph and Mary we have a true guide as to what constitutes a family. Here was a man who lived his Faith in total trust of God's Goodness, in providing an income for this most holy family and of instilling a strong Faith because the love for his Faith sprang from within.

Joseph truly is a man among men.

Philosophy Of Life

Think freely
Practice patience
Smile often
Savor special moments
Make new friends
Rediscover old ones
Tell those that you love that you do
Feel deeply
Discard worry
Forget trouble
Forgive an enemy
Keep a promise
Take a chance
Try something new
Reach out
Have good ideas
Make some mistakes
Learn from them Be crazy
Count your blessings
Observe miracles -- make them happen

Pick some daisies
Share them
See a sunrise
Listen to the rain
Look for rainbows
Gaze at the stars
See beauty everywhere
Laugh heartily
Spread joy
Give in
Slow down
Let someone in
Be soft sometimes
Work Hard
Be Wise
Try to understand
Cry when you need to
Trust life
Have Faith
Enjoy wonder
Comfort a friend
Believe in your self

Author Unknown

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI-A Makeover?

Pope Benedict XVI grew up in an era, where two tyrannical regimes ruled the world, National Socialism and Communism. This would have given the young Joseph an inside view of how great power can corrupt those who lust after it.

It afforded him the ability to observe what happens when God is taken out of the equation and what fear can do to the individual soul when confronted with evil. This has given our Pope a unique perspective and a forewarning of what can happen when God is ignored or substituted with other ideologies.

The then Cardinal Ratzinger (from when he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) took a deliberate position of protecting that which is inviolate, the Authority of The Catholic Church and the Infallibility of The Pope.

Cardinal Ratzinger often came across as a very authoritarian figure, strict and disciplined. But who exactly is our Pope?

It is wrong to try and 'manage' Pope Benedict XVI in order for him to be more appealing to the masses. This is our Pope he is not a movie star who needs a better 'image' nor is he a politician in need of a spin doctor.

We need to accept Pope Benedict XVI for his own personal qualities and Gifts he brings to the Church and the faithful.

It is wrong to try and turn Pope Benedict XVI into a carbon copy image of our late great Pope John Paul II. Both men have impacted the Catholic Church with a positive and yet approachable leadership.

Pope Benedict should be accepted, respected and loved for himself and the position he holds as the Vicar of Christ. He is a man of great intellect and yet remains humble in spirit. He is a strong man who knows when to discipline those who try and teach a different gospel, yet he also extends the hand of friendship to those who have wandered from The Church.

Unlike the image that the press have portrayed, Pope Benedict XVI has an impish sense of humor, and a very humble and self effacing opinion of his own qualities and gifts.

Let us accept our Holy Father as he is and give to him our filial love and respect.

This beautiful servant of Christ has served The Catholic Church all his life.

Pope Benedict XVI has no need of an image maker and I hope I can speak for the Catholic blog sphere and say with all our heart.

Thankyou Holy Father, soldier of Christ for your service to the Church and to the Faithful. We respect you. We admire you. We love you.

Recipe For A Happy Life

Take a couple of whole months, clean them thoroughly of all Bitterness, Rumors, Hate and Jealousy; in other words, make them as fresh and as clean as possible.

Now cut each month into 28, 30 or 31 different parts...

But don't make up the whole batch at once..

Instead prepare it One Day At A Time.

Mix well each day:

One part of Faith,

One of Patience,

One of Courage,

One of Work,

Add one part each of:





Blend with:

One part Prayer,

One part Meditation

Good Deeds.

Season the whole with:

a dash of Good Spirit,

a sprinkle of Fun,

a pinch of Play

a cupful of Good Humor.

Pour all of this into a Vessel Of Love,

Cook thoroughly over Radiant Joy

Garnish with Smiles

serve with Quietness, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness

And you are bound to have a Happy Life.

Author Unkown

Leaving On A Jet Plane...... But I'll Be Back Again

Well friends I am all packed and ready to go. The next time I post up I will be somewhere in South America. I will keep in touch as best I can but for now I'm signing off.

God bless and keep each and everyone of you.

Chao, hasta pronto !!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Joy To The World

Blessed be to you and yours
this special time of year
And may the precious gift of life
forever bring your cheer.

What a wondrous blessing
have we to behold
Born to us one Holy night
a union for our souls.

Such delight we've come to know
now that the season's near
A joy and love and peace for all
when Christmas Day is here!

Precious love we share is ours
a gift for all mankind
Born two thousand years ago
by a blessed hand divine.

Blessed be this Christmas time
O, come let us adore!
A wish for peace for all the earth,
and blessings to your and yours.

No Room

No room, he said, there is no room;
there's no room here for you.
But there's a stable you can use;
I'm sure that it will do.

I wonder just how Mary felt
when they were turned away.
I wonder if she softly wept,
and what did Joseph say?

I wonder if he held her hand
that cold night,
assuring her that everything
would somehow be all right.

And did the keeper of the inn
feel guilt, remorse, and shame,
or did he merely look at them
with arrogant disdain?

I wonder if the animals
awoke from where they slept
and grazed awhile upon the hay,
and if the stable smelt.

I wonder if she shivered much
in piercing, frigid clime,
and if she agonized in birth,
and did it take much time?

I wonder if she wept with joy;
did Joseph beam with pride
and gaze upon his little son
asleep at Mary's side?

I wonder if the shepherds knew,
when they heard angels sing,
the baby born upon this night
was born to be the King.

As Christ seeks entry to all hearts,
transgressions to inhume,
I wonder why that still today
so many say no room.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Prayer

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus' sake.


God is near

Too many of us think of God as someone “out there” or “far out there.” We cry out in our prayers “Lord come to me and save me.” There is a story of a master who says to his students “I will give an orange to anyone who can tell me where God is.” One of the students replies “I will give you two oranges if you can tell me where God is not!” The moral of the story is God is everywhere, there is no place that God is not.

God is already here, we are the ones who are not here. We don’t know how to be here, we are not here to complete the relationship, the dialogue and the conversation. We are always running to the future or living in the past, we are anywhere but here, NOW! Here just seems to be too boring and inadequate. When we are doing the dishes we are thinking about that rude sales clerk. We do not notice the way the water bounces off the glasses, the lemony smell of the soap or the smoothness of the plates. I mean why should we, its just mundane, boring stuff!

Many of us will never reach the state where we are fully awake to the present and can see the magic of everyday experiences for any length of time. We are slow to recognize that living in the NOW reduces stress, reduces our pulse rate and lead us to inner peace and a more enjoyable life.

There is a simple technique that brings us into the present. Our body is the secret, our body is always in the present, simply be aware of what your five senses are telling you. Be aware of breathing in and breathing out without trying to change it. You can do this anywhere. When you are out walking, instead of thinking, feel the sun on your face or listen to the sound of the leaves fluttering. The body is rooted in the present but the mind is a flirt. It darts all over the place, the past and the future.

Living in the present is not easy, it takes practice. It’s like reminding yourself to stand up straight.

We are temples of the Holy Spirit, if God lives in us shouldn’t we wake up full of the Spirit and live in that constant awareness all day long? There can be no relationship with God without a determined effort. The everyday hustles of life push aside thoughts of God. How then do we keep from forgetting? Can it be that we put God in this box or special place and we can only find Him there? Sitting on a bus may seem an unlikely place to find God, but remember God is where we are. What can be more natural than keeping in touch with God who is with us all the time? Scripture tells us ”Be still and know that God is with you.” Musicians say that what makes music is the silence between the notes. God is found in the silence, He is present invited or not. God does not ask us for much, the smallest heartfelt remembrance will always please Him.

God is nearer to us than we think. He is found in the hustle and bustle of our lives, in crowded buses and trains, noisy homes and offices. We meet Him not only in church but in the supermarkets, waiting at the doctor’s office and in the airport. The ground we stand on is holy ground. The space we occupy is sacred space. We are called to be disciples in the hustle of our daily lives, we are not meant to be one person in church and one person at home.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mary Beloved of God

Mary's part in the Salvation of man is of the utmost importance for each of us, for through Mary, we also learn to live the Divine Will with perfection, as did Mary. It was never God's intention to consign Mary to the history books as if she had no more to offer in and of herself.

Mary, was chosen by God to help bring Salvation to all men, through the birth of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The most singular feature in this is that God loved Mary for who she was and not for what she would give Him. This is why understanding Mary's unique place in the Salvation of man is integral, because it reveals the Love of our Heavenly Father to his children.

God is a delicate and sensitive Father who Loves us with a depth that the human mind will never be able to comprehend. How can so many disregard the role that Mary played in the Salvation of mankind, as if she were of little consequence?

It is Mary that teaches us true humility in that she drew no attention to herself but instead always points to her Son. Our Blessed Mother looked for no earthly titles in that God loved her for herself, what need would she have had for grand palaces or worldly titles?

Mary knew what was important in life and it was not in a gaining of things but in a giving of herself, an emptying of herself for love of all mankind. Through her Fiat, God became man with both Divine and human nature.

It is Mary who reveals the Awesome Love of God The Father who sent His Son to be the Savior of All.

Let us raise our voices in Praise for our Heavenly Father not for what He gives us but to love God for Himself alone.

Do You Hear What I Hear

This young woman sings this song beautifully. The song was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Please take the time to listen to it. Peace to you all. Peace to the world.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Confessional Christmas

Advent is a time for joy as we wait in expectation of celebrating our Saviors birth on the 25th of December. Though our hearts are alight with joy and good wishes which is only right. We must not forget to also open our hearts and minds to The Holy Spirit.

It is during Advent that we can use this most Holy Season to reflect on the year that is coming to an end.

Just as we peel an orange in order to eat it so too we must peel away our own superficialities which we hide behind in order to camouflage what we dont want to face.

Is it time for some spiritual surgery?

We need to examine our conscience in line with God's Commandments and the Tenets of our Great Church. As we examine our conscience we need to pray for the help of the Paraclete to bring forth our mistakes, our sins.

Living in deliberate forgetfulness is no excuse to ignore what will Heal our wounds. As St Augustine said, "God cannot deliver us unless we first undeceive ourselves."

Let us therefore go to our Lord in the Sacrament of Penance with our souls full of contrition for our disobedience. While we keep our hearts full of hope that only in this most beautiful Sacrament will our relationship with God be restored.

Have you thought about Confession during this most Joyous of Seasons?

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God? (Psalm 42:2-3)

The Lesson of Bethlehem

Christmas for many is a joyous occasion but for others it can be a time of great loneliness. Please include in your prayers those who for one reason or another will be having a lonely Christmas.
Here is an excerpt from the late great Pope John Paul II

On this night let us therefore think of all the human beings that fall victim to man’s inhumanity, to cruelty, to the lack of any respect, to contempt for the objective rights of every human being. Let us think of those who are lonely, old, or sick; of the homeless, those suffering from hunger, and those whose misery is the result of the exploitation and injustice of the economic systems. Let us also think of those who on this night are not allowed to take part in the liturgy of God’s birth and who have no priest to celebrate Mass. And let us give a thought also to those whose souls and consciences are tormented no less than their faith.

The stable at Bethlehem is the first place for solidarity with man: for one man’s solidarity with another and for all men’s with all men, especially with those for whom there is ‘no room at the inn’ (cf. Lk 2:7), whose personal rights are refused recognition.

The newborn Infant is wailing.

Who hears the baby’s wail?

But heaven speaks for Him, and it is heaven that explains it with these words:

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy His favor" (Lk 2:14).

Touched by the fact of the birth of Jesus, we must hear this cry from heaven. That cry must reach all the ends of the earth, all men must hear it anew. A Son is given to us.Christ is born to us.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mary and Joseph A Perfect Union

Mary and Joseph had a unique quality that meant they were made for each other. Both loved God and placed Him at the centre of their lives. This meant that their daily lives revolved around God and not their whims. They never questioned God's Good order but with simplicity of trust and confidence they obeyed it.

Mary accepted God's Will and with her Fiat she then co-operated with God in the Salvation of all men. Mary through the Mystery of Mysteries, became the Mother of God. For the Incarnation was not a creation of a new life, but the enclosure in human flesh of the Life that gives Life to all.

Joseph also had his own questions and upon receiving his answers he too from a filial love and devotion to Almighty God accepted his place at Mary's side. To be a good husband and a true father to, their son Jesus.

It is this aspect of complete 'oneness' that both Mary and Joseph shared that makes them unique and sublime; they took God at His Word with full knowledge that God would fulfill it in His time. But God also acknowledged Joseph's role in the upbringing of Jesus. It was Joseph who was the head of their household, but this did not negate Mary's role. It simply ennobled the family unit as God created it to be, with the man as head of the home and the wife as his helpmate and support.

This does not denigrate either couple, but simply compliments the exquisite differences that made this Holy Union so blessed. Their love did not revolve around themselves but was centred in doing the Will of the Father.

Through this Holy couple we can see how much God esteems the family unit. It is also through Mary and Joseph we glimpse how all marriages should reflect that displayed by this most devout union. For a couple that is totally committed to God are also totally committed to each other.

The union of Joseph and Mary is not only God's gift to them it is also God's Gift to each of us. We look to their example of placing God as the foundation of their union and from that springs eternal happiness.
Is God at the centre and core of your family?

Listen To Your Heart

We all want to make things better in our lives,

But lots of times we just don't know

Where or when to begin.

Sometimes we are troubled about

Something deep inside,

And we are afraid of dealing

With our problems because

We've been hurt before,

And we remember what hurt can bring.

Making things better involves changing

But change isn't such a bad thing.

Life isn't always easy

No one ever promised it would be.

But it can be wonderful at times,

And it's up to us to make those times happen.

Where? Beginning within.

When? With the dawn of each new day.

How? Listen to your heart ..

And it will really show you the way.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thankyou Lisa-A Blog Bouquet

Lisa at Episcopollyanna has been very kind by giving Marilena from Divine Mercy and Ginny and myself a Christmas gift.

Thankyou so much Lisa for your kindness and generosity. You truly have brightened my day.

Peace & JOY to you always

Marie & Ginny

A Gay Rosary?

As many know I often surf the net looking for pics for our blog. Yesterday while looking for another pic I came across one of our Blessed Mother. I clicked it expecting to see The Rosary, sadly it was another form of the 'rosary'.

I got my first clue with a picture of the Archangel Michael, he looked very effeminate. Then I read some of the content.

I did not know there was such a thing as a 'gay rosary' what truly saddened though was that this particular 'rosary' was blasephemous. They had taken out the usual Mysteries and instead made their own.

The first 'mystery' was the centurion who sought Christ to heal his servant. In this version the centurion is gay and his servant is his homosexual lover.

The second 'mystery' is the rich man. Yes! You guessed it he is also gay.

I could not bear to read anymore and so exited out. I do not know what the other 'mysteries' consisted of.

We are all sinners, and we all fail at times to live the Credo and the Commandments of God, but never should we try and reconcile our sin as something good.

The Rosary should never be changed just to suit a persons lifestyle. What would be next 'the adultery rosary'? The 'pornography rosary'? I could go on but you get my drift.

The Rosary as approved by the Church is a very powerful prayer tool, but when it is distorted such as the above it becomes a tool of the devil.

This is not an anti-homosexual post. It IS an anti-sin post.

We should never try and disguise our sins, instead we need to prayer the True Rosary. Seek out all the Sacraments of the Church, especially the Sacrament of Penance and allow God to restore that which has been broken through sin.

Jesus said 'go and sin no more.'

We need to take what Jesus said seriously and not try and disguise it with political correctness.

I hope we can pray for the misguided souls who 'pray the gay rosary' and hope that they will repent and come home to God who waits with open arms.

Will YOU join me in praying for them?

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Power of a Smile

She smiled at the sorrowful stranger.
The smiling seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
And wrote him a thank you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank you

That he left a large tip after lunch.

The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,

Bet the whole thing on a hunch.

The next day she picked up her winnings,

And gave part to a man on the street.

The man on the street was grateful;

For two days he'd had nothing to eat.

After he finished his dinner,

He left for his small dingy room.

He didn't know at that moment

That he might be facing his doom.

On the way he picked up a shivering puppy

And took him home to get warm.

The puppy was very grateful

To be in out of the storm.

That night the house caught on fire.

The puppy barked the alarm.

He barked till he woke the whole household

And saved everybody from harm.

One of the boys that he rescued

Grew up to be President.

All this because of a simple smile

That hadn't cost a cent.

Author Unknown.

Patron Saints

Over at Esthers blog, Marianne will help you choose your Patron Saint.

For the past two years, I have been helping the saints "choose" people to walk with through the year and am planning on doing so again this year. The first year was a great year, with over 400 saints uniting with those that were interested in a heavenly intercession. Last year was beyond belief with the devotion spreading to over 1100 people!

I have a bin of over 1500 saints and would be glad to assist anyone who isinterested.

Please check out Esthers blog for more information

Thankyou Esther.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Special Gift

I wanted to give the Lord a gift.
But, what had I for him?
Money was scarce at my house.
Christmas was looking grim.

I went to the store to look for
What I could give my Lord.
It had to be something special,
Something I knew I could afford.

I stood, looking in the window,
When I heard a pitiful sob.
"What's wrong," I asked the woman.
She said, "My husband lost his job.

I can't afford to buy him a gift.
I wish Christmas would never come."
I smiled, as I opened my wallet,
And, from my Christmas money, gave her some,

Now, my money was even less.
But, it's alright, I thought.
I still had enough to pay for
The gift of love I sought.

Then, I saw it, the perfect gift.
But, I, also, saw a child in tears.
I knelt down and took his hand.
Somehow, I had to calm his fears.

"We just don't have any money,"
He said, as he wiped his eyes.
"I wanted to give Mommy a present,
Because I know how hard she tries."

Once again, I opened my wallet
And my last few dollars were given.
Now, I couldn't buy that special gift.
My heart sank as I looked toward Heaven.

"Lord, I wanted to give to you
A gift that came from my heart.
Now, I'm the one with no money."
Then, I felt the teardrops start.

"My Child," the Lord whispered,
"You gave, not one but, two gifts
That came from your heart
And given with love by you."

The Best Gifts Come in Small Packages

There is an immediate and slight disappointment in finding that the package with our name marked on it is the smallest gift under the Christmas tree. A huge box has much more instant gratification, for it in comparison to the others it makes a person very significant-and we all want to be openly cherished and valued.

Then, the quote soars to mind that "The best things come in small packages," and we feel relief because our gift might be the winning lottery ticket or a diamond wedding ring.

Jesus came small, tender, and vulnerable. To the outside world His birth seems insignificant against the hullabaloo of colored lights, pine smells, and sonorous carolers. But for us who believe, we find the God of the universe packed in swaddling clothes. As we slowly unwrap Him, we find the initial gift of salvation expanding before our eyes as our faith growths, until He consumes our whole existence. Suddenly the babe is a man, then the Lord of our life, and finally the coming King.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Dr. Seuss wasn't thinking of me when he wrote The Grinch That Stole Christmas. Charles Dickens would not have asked me to play Scrooge. In spite of what you may read later, remember that! Our family has a tree every year, we exchange presents, play Christmas records, sing carols, enjoy the festivities, and even wish folks "Merry Christmas." Believe me, I have no bone to pick with the yuletide season, unless it's off the turkey.

But you'll have to agree, it's not without its unique problems and temptations. Our lovely land of plenty drifts dangerously near insanity three or four weeks every year. If you doubt that, consider these statistics: Americans spend 8.5 billion dollars during the Christmas season; 150 million dollars will go for wrappings alone, most of which will be immediately discarded; 100 million dollars will be spent on trees; 200 million dollars will be spent on postage; 2 million telegrams will be sent between the 23rd and 25th of December. (My figures are out of date, but if anything, each would be increased this year.)

Along with all this, emotions, unpredictable and undisciplined, begin to run wild. Nostalgia mixed with eleven months of guilt can prompt illogical and extravagant purchases. Neighborhood pressure can cause perfectly normal people to mount extravagant displays and string hundreds of lights on their houses. Television advertising, Christmas bank accounts, and special "wish books" only increase the pull of the magnet that inevitably ends with the sound of cash register or the hollow snap of the credit card.

While we think we may be immune to all this, we Christians need to be especially alert to the dangers and think through a strategy that allows us to combat each one. 1'11 mention only four.

Doctrinal Danger... substituting the temporal for the eternal. A couple of Scriptures give needed counsel here: "... keep seeking the things above, where Christ is .... Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth .... And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed... (Col. 3: I-2; Rom. 12:2).

It's important that we understand exactly what we're celebrating. It is our Savior's arrival, not Santa's. The significance of giving presents is to be directly related to God's presenting us the Gift of His Son.

Personal Danger... impressing but not imparting. We represent the King. We are His chosen ambassadors, doing His business "in season and out of season." So let's do it this season! People are wide open to the Gospel these days.

Economical Danger... spending more than you have. Before every purchase, think: Is this within my budget? Is it appropriate? Is it really saying what I want it to say? And remember, homemade gifts are often more appreciated and much less expensive. A safe rule to follow is this: If you don't have the cash, don't buy it.

Psychological Danger... getting built up for a letdown. One of the most effective maneuvers of the world system is to create a false sense of excitement. The Christian can get "high" very easily on the crest of Christmas, and the afterglow can be a dangerous, depressing experience.

Guard yourself. Keep a firm hand on the controls. Don't be deceived. Enjoy the 25th... but not at the expense of the 26th. If you stay occupied with the Person, you'll seldom have to fight off the plague. Make Hebrews 12:3 your aim: "Consider Him ... so that you may not grow weary and lose heart."

A Finishing Touch: This Christmas, let's forget about trying to impress others by what we buy and spend more time imparting what we already possess.

Heavenly Father You have blessed us with things we can do for You in special ways because each of us is Your special creation. With joy and thanksgiving, help us to experience the power of Your Holy Spirit in all that we do, to be open to Your leading in a world that desperately needs the touch of Your love through Your people. We pray in Jesus' name, for Jesus is your gift to us, a present that lasts to eternity.