Friday, February 27, 2009

Lenten Reflection with St. Therese of Lisieux

"Since it had been necessary for Christ to suffer so that he would enter through that into glory, you must also drink from his same chalice if you want to have a place at his side."


Many times when I have spoken to people who are suffering in one form or another and they are complaining that God is punishing them. My first question to them is this; what have you been praying for? There answer is always "to be closer to God."

I then ask them if they know how this is achieved and they have different responses, some say through prayer, attending daily Mass, praying the Rosary three times a day and the list goes on. No one mentions suffering.

When I tell them that the only way to become closer to God is through the Cross which means suffering they look at me askance.

Do we really believe that we are so holy, so pure that God does not need to purify and discipline us?

Do we believe that we can legally murder the unborn, euthanize the ill and elderly, legalize prostitution and narcotics(in some countries) and demand that homosexual couples marry in the name of civil rights and think that God is not going to call an accounting?

We are living in the days of a new Sodom and Gomorrah and just like the people of those towns we think there will be no reckoning for the continued abuses of society. And so we dance and make merry with no thought for tomorrow.

God calls us to make reparation for all the evils that are now taking place in the world, but are we ready for it?

Are YOU ready?

Are you ready to suffer for those who spit in God's face? Who ignore His Commandments? For people who on one day can march to save the Whales (& other wildlife) and the next day march to kill the unborn?

The only way to Christ is through the Cross. There are no short cuts.

Are YOU ready to answer God's call?

Reflection Written by Marie


O gracious Master,

infuse in our hearts

the spotless light of Your Divine Wisdom

and open the eyes of our mind

that we may understand the teachings of Your Gospel.

Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments,

so that having curbed all carnal desires,

we may lead a spiritual life,

both thinking and doing everything to please You.

For You, O Christ, our God,

are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies;

and to You we render glory,

together with Your eternal Father,

and with Your all holy,

life-creating Spirit,

now and ever, and forever.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What is Lent Really About?

Within my parish many are following this season of penance, by giving up 'things'. Some have decided to go without sugar in their coffee, one lady said she would go without cream in her cup of tea and also give up eating dessert. Others said they were forgoing watching their favourite television shows 'for God.'

How does this affect God? I don't think it affects God at all. What can we give to God who is sufficient unto Himself?

Lent is about purification and a time to reflect and ask within ourselves the hard questions. Lent is also a time of inner surgery, where we find and search deep within our souls and personality to see where have we offended God. Where have we failed to do His Will? Where have we wounded Him and in so doing wounded ourselves and others?

Where have we walked away from God and what opportunities to do good did we overlook or fail to act on even though we knew it would benefit another?

Then there are the other questions we need to ask. What have we placed before God, where have we been inattentive to His Will. And most importantly how much time do we spend with God, alone.

These weeks of Lent are our time 'spent in the desert' as we seek God's guidance and weed out our weaknesses and those things which seperate us from His Divine Love.

In order for God to work fully within our souls we need Him to purify us from all that which holds us to the world. It is time to weed out selfishness, laziness, unkindness, impatience, anger, pride. This is a momentous task, for me at least especially as I fall into many of the above categories.

Once we confront these lesser qualities within ourselves and through the Sacrament of Penance only then can God fill the empty vessels of our souls with His Divine Love so that we too arise, renewed and filled with joy.

Rather than give something up, give of yourself to those in your community who are hungry, tired, lonely, sick, deprived and unloved.

What is our most precious commodity? The thing we prize most of all?

Our time.

Amen, Amen my God, breatheth in me the dew of thy Grace which bringeth me to the well spring of they Awesome Love, which overcometh my timid soul, and fills it with all good things, so that I may boast, here in lay my strength. I am nothing and God is ALL.

Written by Marie

Ash Wednesday Prayer

God of the desert,

as we follow Jesus into the unknown,

may we recognise the tempter when he comes;

let it be Your bread we eat,

Your world we serve

and You alone we worship.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Marriage Is Hell

That's what Hollywood will have you think.

Why do so many films portray marriages as two seperate savages sharing the same house?

Wives are portrayed as brittle, hysterical and bored. While the men are seething volcanoes of disconent. This portrayal of marriage has been going on for years in film and I am getting tired of it.

From 'American Beauty' and 'Little Children' to the new film 'Revolutionary Road,' these films make the great jump that marriages don't work and that most married people are miserable and walk around with painted on smiles.

The real message that is missing in these films is the search for authentic happiness and it is not to be found through someone else. In other words if you are discontented, unhappy and unfulfilled don't think another person can fix the void within yourself. In other words YOU are in charge of how happy you wish to be and that is the truth of it.

One other thing that is missing from these hollywood productions is the spiritual element to marriage. In these films there is none and perhaps that is why these marriages are doomed. The actors portray empty, one dimensional characters whose main focus is to highlight what is wrong in their marriage rather than what is going right, with the emphasis being on self fulfillment to the detriment of everyone else.

Does Hollywood have it right? Are most married people miserable malcontents who feel deprived rather than privileged?

My own belief is that this is merely another way for Hollywood to marginalise the Institution of Marriage itself and I wonder what impact these films make on teenagers?

Isn't it time for those who DO enjoy a wonderful married life to speak up or as the case maybe to blog up and tell the world that though most marriages take a lot of work, it is worth it in the end and the blessings far outweigh the minuses.

Lisa has written an excellent piece on the joys of a large family. Please do read it. Click here.

What do YOU think?

Written by Marie

Take Courage...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Psalm 139- 1

What I've Learned...

A tree can look beautiful, have lovely spreading branches but be hollow and rotten on the inside.

Delinquency and bad behavior are rewarded.

Get a child hooked and you have a customer for life. Get the children to believe what you want them to believe and they will support any and everything you put forward.

If I’m against rap music, I’m racist. If I’m against abortion, I’m anti-woman and not progressive. If I don’t support President Obama, I’m not for change, racist and can’t see outside the box.

Gone are the good old days of living within ones means, working hard for what one wants to accomplish and taking the moral highroad. Here are the days of entitlement.

I don’t need to take responsibility for anything I do. Why take responsibility when I can blame someone else.

Sometimes the best solution is to do nothing, less is more. Sometimes the body needs medication and sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing and let the body cleanse itself.

Change does not start from the bottom or the top, it starts on the inside.

DO as I say but not as I DO.

People don’t understand what freedom really is. If my freedom infringes on another’s is that freedom?

Greed and irresponsibility are the root cause of many of our problems.

Getting everything you want is not always a good thing.

When you play with the devil you are playing with fire and you are going to smell like smoke.

The law is always on the side of the criminals.

The people in charge are clueless.

We treat the addict with disgust but what about the pushers and the suppliers?

Peter does indeed pay for Paul.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Importance Of A Correct Email Address

A couple from Alaska derided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules.It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday and the wife would follow him the next day. On arriving as planned the husband checked into the hotel.There he opened up his laptop and sent his wife an email .However he accidentally left off one letter in her email address and sent the email without even realizing his error.

A widow had just returned from her husband's funeral service.He was a minister of many years and had been "called home to glory" following a heart attack.The widow checked her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor and saw on the computer screen which read:

To:My Loving Wife

From: Your Departed Husband

Subject: I've Arrived

I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow.Looking forward to seeing you then.Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Waiting For Cake With Icing

I don’t know if people realize how difficult it is to be celibate and single in a sex-crazed society. Almost everyone who is privy to this information thinks that something has gone horribly wrong with me, some think I hate men, or I’m hurt and afraid or just downright cold.

Why it is so hard for people to understand or believe that I have decided to look for something more than a casual, fake relationship. How many people are in "relationships" and still feel incredibly lonely? You know in your heart that this isn’t who or what you are looking for, but you just don’t want to be alone, sleep alone and want to have someone to show off to the world.

Sitting back I really can understand why so many people live like they do accepting a watered down version of what love should be. Love has been commercialized. To show someone you love them means that you have to spend an arm and a leg. What is termed 'romantic music' are mostly songs about sex, how to seduce a woman and how to get away with unfaithfulness, its no wonder why love is treated the way it is. Sex has become so casual that it has lost its meaning and its reason for being. Unfaithfulness is seen as multitasking, everyone does it.

I understand that there is much more to a "relationship" than the physical and sexual aspects, maybe that’s what so many just don’t get. I do get lonely, but it sure does beat beating myself up over something that lacks foundation with somebody who is equally unfulfilled. I don’t believe in there being a Mr. Perfect, I believe that there is the perfect man for me and I believe God will let me know. When asked about my lifestyle I get the pitying looks, "It doesn’t work that way and if you are not careful you will end up sad and alone." Then there is the "everyone cheats so just accept that that’s the way it is." Or the saddest of them all "there is no such thing as true love, its all nonsense."

So if I go by what everyone tells me, I should ‘be with’ someone which means living in sin even though I may know in my heart that this particular man is not the one I love, there is the pressure to simply 'be with' someone. What is society saying to me, that to live with anyone is better than living alone? Is it because some people think time is running out? 25 and the clock is against me, imagine that!

The first couple years may be okay because of the ‘novelty’ of it all, have a child when the time is right. But because the relationship was not built on the right foundation, my partner would start being unfaithful not only because that’s just the way it is but because I look ‘tired’ after having a child. By the time the child is enrolled in school, I’ll be tired of begging my partner to notice me and the emptiness will be harder to ignore, so I’ll probably start having affairs or maybe I’ll just spend my days trying to fix everything that is wrong with me so he will love me. Maybe we will split up or maybe we will stay together for the sake of the children.

This way of life may work in soap operas but not in real life. Society teaches us what happens to many single parent households and that is not something I want for myself or for any child that God may bless me with. I want more. I deserve more.

Misery does love company. What an awful fate. The majority of people encouraging me jump on the boat are living the life I have outlined above. I don’t want to end up alone but why would I want that?

I don’t think I’m perfect, I treat people as I would like to be treated. I consider each guy that comes into my life not only as my potential spouse but as someone else’s. Maybe someone is doing the same for me. Call me the eternal optimist, but I don’t want the batter, I want the cake with icing.

Prayers For The Crash Victims of Flight 3407

Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon them (him, her).
May their soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What Is Love?

When we claim that it's love

that we have for someone,

are we correct?

Something to ponder upon.....

Are your palms sweaty,

is your heart racing and

is your voice caught within your chest?

It isn't love, it's LIKE

You can't keep your eyes or hands

off them, am i right?

It isn't love, it's LUST

Are you proud and eager

to show them off?

It isn't love, it's LUCK

Do you want them because you know they're there?

It isn't love, it's LONELINESS

Are you there because it's what everyone wants?

It isn't love, it's LOYALTY

Are you there because they

kissed you, or held your hand?

It isn't love, it's LOW CONFIDENCE

Do you stay for their confessions

of love, because you don't

want to hurt them?

It isn't love, it's PITY

Do you belong to them because

their sight makes your heart

skip a beat?

It isn't love, it's INFATUATION

Do you pardon their faults

because you care about them?

It isn't love, it's FRIENDSHIP

Do you tell them every day

they are the only one you think of?

It isn't love, it's a LIE

Are you willing to give all of your favorite thing for their sake?

It isn't love, it's CHARITY

************** LOVE **************

Does your heart ache and break

when they're sad?

then it's LOVE

Do you cry for their pain, even

when they're strong?

then it's LOVE

Do their eyes see your true heart,

and touch your soul so deeply it hurts?

then it's LOVE

Do you stay because a blinding,

incomprehensible mix of pain

and relation pulls you close

and holds you there?

then it's LOVE

Do you accept their faults

because they're a part of who they are?

then it's LOVE

Are you attracted to others, but stay

with them faithfully without regret?

then it's LOVE

Would you allow them to leave you

not because they want to

but because they have to?

then it's LOVE

Would you give them you're heart,

your life, your death?

then it's LOVE

**************** ? ****************

Now, if love is painful,

and tortures us so,

why do we love?

Why is it all we search for in life?

This pain, this agony?

Why is it all we long for?

This torture, this powerful death of self

************ why? *************

The answer is so simple cause it's...


"It is such an addiction that even people who don't have love,

wish to experience it and share it!"


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prayers For Australia

Please keep the people of Australia who have been affected by the fires in your prayers. The death toll has crossed 100 and hundreds of homes have been destroyed.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Cannot Pray

I cannot say OUR if my religion has no room for others and their needs.

I cannot say FATHER if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily life.

I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if all my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.

I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I, who am called by His name am not holy.

I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.

I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.

I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN unless I am truly ready to give myself to his service here and now.

I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of my fellow men.

I cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.

I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.

I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.

I cannot say THINE IS THE KINGDOM if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.

I cannot say THINE IS THE POWER if I fear what my neighbors and friends may say or do

I cannot say THINE IS THE GLORY if I am seeking my own glory first.

I cannot say FOREVER if I am too anxious about each day's affairs.

I cannot say AMEN unless I honestly say, "Cost what it may, this is my prayer



Dare to be different in all walks of your life.

Dare to stand alone.

Dare to stand up for your convictions even if the crowd around you may move in another way.

Dare to be fools for the sake of Christ.

With the Word of God & power of the spirit, dare to be a Crusader for Christ.

Dare to follow the footsteps of our heavenly Father.

Dare to take up the cross & follow him wherever He leads you.

Dare to be a real Christian with a strong backbone.

Dare to say "no" to momentary pleasures that the world has to offer.

Dare to tell others about your Heavenly Dad.

Dare to stand for holiness, purity, & sanctity as a dove, no matter what it takes.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Computer Trouble

Person to Person

There once was a time.....
When I could call a business by phone.
Today it's a waiting game,
While I burn to the bone.

Why am I upset?
Why such a fuss?
I've simply had it with:
"Your call is important to us".

And there's that other phrase,
Just as sure to peeve.
"Your call will be answered..
In the order received".

But the worst by far is the 5 menu option,
Leading to 5 more.
Now I'm really getting mad,
Right to the core.

By the time I reach option 5
I 've forgotten 1 thru 4.
And in total disgust
Go through it once more.

Finally I'm there,
I've waded through it all.
When horror of horrors,
I'm given a new number to call!

Well, that's progress,
Or so they say.
But I'll take person to person,
Any day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Cold Within

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

James Patrick Kinney

When God Seems Far Away