Archive for the tag “lent”

heart speak

here i am. strength flickering from a busy week. big kids needing rides all over. job searching. resumes. algebra II. laundry.

ashes. ashes. mom falls down. after being carried away to mountaintops. fiercely seized by satan and falsely shown magnificent looking things like: knitting groups. field trips and countless other distractions. comparing them to what seems little. poor. and insignificant.

i will deliver them over to thee, he lies. that father of lies.

if kneeling down though wilt adore me.

graciously i accept strength and the consolation of angels.

it is a tenet of our universal faith that we experience a passion of our own.

i wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

i cannot imagine living passionless.

stripped of pride i humbly accept that so many things remain undone.

a WIP basket of dreams. careful. easy stitches. nothing complicated.

nothing that i can’t pick up and set down without thinking too much.

what do these stitches say? they say i didn’t have time for anything else.

these mama moments pass all too quickly.

and i don’t want to miss a thing.

after all it’s not every day that there will be hummingbirds to rescue and nurture back to health with sugar water.

or those impromptu long walks where we stared at the sky amazed at the grandeur of the clouds.

and how about inhaling the sweet smell of rosemary in bloom….

so many beautiful things are calling out to behold and see during this holy season of lent.

with eyes lowered yet they remain always on the prize.

frail and in need of help: i seek only HIS grace and love.

hoping and praying that we may bear some fruit during this time of fasting and praying in secret.

coming out now again only to share what the heart speaks….of burdens made easy. and a yoke that is light.

happy weekend, friends.

hope all is well with you and yours.

free samples.

it’s why my kids help me make things.

they like to have their fingers in everything.

sometimes clean. sometimes not.

the other day the baby made his sister a glass of strawberry lemonade and i happened to mention: did you remember to wash those strawberries first?

and all i heard was a quiet: oops.

horrified at this culinary faux pas, she didn’t finish said glass of strawberry lemonade.

she didn’t finish the sweetness.

because the bitterness of what might be in there was too much to swallow.

if i must glory i will glory in the things that concern my weakness…that the power of CHRIST may dwell in me.

those words leapt off the page and into my heart during mass.

they reminded me of his sweet little offering.

and our intentions.

and i can relate.

because lent is coming.

am i ready?

yes and no.

i feel a lot like the baby.

like i have something to offer.

but my hands are dirty.

and i am too weak to head into the desert of contemplation.

for forty whole days.

whole being the key word.

but that is really the reason for the journey, is it not?

that we will be made whole.

without diminution or exception; entire, full, or total.

the Church in her wisdom knows we’ve been feasting too much. and not exercising enough. and there is no glory in that.

that doesn’t make us full.

containing all the elements properly belonging; complete.
i have never properly belonged anywhere.
and quite often confuse who i am with what i do.
undivided; in one piece.
the idea of being in one piece greatly appeals to my innate sense of order. yet achieving order is another thing.
not broken, damaged, or impaired; intact.
yet HIS power is made perfect weakness.
yes, that means in my broken. impaired. damaged heart.
uninjured or unharmed; sound.
the idea that we can somehow get through this life uninjured and unharmed is something i cling to.
especially as my kids get bigger and venture out further and further away from the safety and ideals of here.
the simplicities of childhood become a mixed-up. dangerous tangle of boyfriends. girlfriends. friends with cars. driving. motorcycles. ipods and cell phones.
that’s what i call it.
things they once played with so innocently become more real
bigger. and important.
bigger than me.

life and things are so easily muddied. and muddled.

a mess of dirty offerings.

they’re all i have.

flustered. i find myself reaching through walls as they leave.

some literal. others figurative.

to give a blessing.

in the Name of the Father. and of the Son. and of the Holy Ghost.

they can’t see me.

is it still effective?

this hidden, imperfect blessing of mine?

sometimes settling is all one can do.

when circumstances and obstacles seem overwhelming.

resting assured that those same circumstances and obstacles are not accidental.

i taste and see His goodness constantly.

He is THE sweetness that never ends.

a free sample if you will.

for our grubby fingers to partake.

HE is unimpaired. undiminished. perfect. complete.

and i can be those things too.

in spite of the millions of oops that are mine. (some quiet. others not so.)

daring to grasp and to finish that sweetness.

even if it means swallowing some of the bitterness too.

standing myself on the outside waiting for an unseen blessing.

because the power of Christ dwells in me.

and you too.

happy monday, friends!

a little break

taking some time off to meditate on the Passion. Death. and Suffering of Our Lord.

praying for all of you.

“i have many distractions, but as soon as i am aware of them, i pray for those people the thought of whom is diverting my attention. in this way, they reap the benefit of my distractions.” ~st. therese of lisieux

saddened by all of the purple.

“our joy depends on the Cross, and our Lord would not enter into His glory save by the way of bitterness. He leads you by the same path as the Saints.” ~st. vincent de paul

longing to hear that alleluia again.

“if we endure all things patiently and with gladness, thinking on the sufferings of our Blessed Lord, and bearing all for the love of Him: herein is our perfect joy.” ~st. francis of assisi

hoping to taste some of that joy on sunday.

“the Blessed Eucharist is the perfect Sacrament of the Lord’s Passion, since it contains Christ Himself .” ~st. thomas aquinas

wondering where these 40 days went and perhaps being too scrupulous about all of my miserable failures.

“but since all your satisfactions and penances are too small and deficient to atone for so many sins, unite them to those of your Saviour Jesus lifted upon the Cross, receive His Divine Blood as it flows from His wounds, and offer It up to appease Divine Justice.” ~st. peter julian eymard

and wishing you a very blessed Easter in advance.

“remember not former things and look not on things of old. behold I do new things and now they shall spring forth. (43:18)

I am He that blot out thy iniquities.  for My own sake I will not remember them. (43:25)

but He was wounded for our iniquities: He was bruised for our sins.

the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.

and by His bruises. we are healed (53:5)” ~isaias.


“prayer ascends and mercy descends. high as are the heavens and low as is the earth, God hears the voice of man.” ~st. augustine.

station keeping

daisy chains on lampshades. blooming flowers and marshmallow atoms. a few frivolities from this past week. things that didn’t go unnoticed by this tired mama.

i had a hundred things on my mind. but now as i sit here i can’t remember any of them.

i could brag about how clean my kitchen is and how i am caught up on my laundry. but i can’t take credit for such sweet successes. because those organizational feats, friends, are truly just the fruits from the power of praying the rosary. no matter how busy we were this week i made sure we fingered those beads every chance we got.

in fact i clung to them.

hanging on for dear life.

because there is peace of mind that comes from the gentle repetition of those prayers making the yoke easier and the burden lighter.

the spirit of those prayers is the same spirit that gave mary the grace and the strength to stand at the foot of the cross. her station keeping.

but not only did she stand there she walked. she prayed. she wept. she consoled her tender Child.

close to Him to the last.

lent is almost over and i don’t know if i am any closer to Jesus. there were certain habits of mine that i worked on. crushing my own will being one of them. and let me tell you, it’s not easy, this path to holiness thing. the consistency. the dedication.

but if sanctification through loads of laundry and piles of dishes is where i am to keep station, then who am i to complain?

i don’t deserve easter. i don’t deserve heaven either.

none of us do.

but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying.

and encouraging each other along the way.

veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

because all of it is easier said than done.

our crosses are often heavy.

simon helps Jesus carry His cross.

but we should never lose sight of those words…close to Jesus to the last.

that is definitely where i want to be.

dying to self

“if the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. and even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.” ~st. francis de sales

dying to self seems to be one of the biggest struggles for me. not just during lent. but always.

i am a housewife. and homeschooling mama. so i am quite often home. which works out nicely for one who has a myriad of hobbies that can be squeezed in here and there throughout the day. in between those thirty loads of laundry or while someone is “doing” their math with the help of a computer program.

squeezing those hobbies in is my sanity. but it can also be so tempting to let other things go.

then there’s that  bag of leftover valentine candy on top of the fridge. it’s not helping matters either.

but isn’t that just life? temptations big and small hiding around every corner. trying to make even the best of us fall.

Jesus fell. and He was tempted. but with the grace that came from being God’s Son, He got back up and He did not succumb to that awful devil.

i say that with the taste of chocolate still in my mouth.

a traitor.

like judas.

bitter. sweet. chocolate.

terrible. i know.

me. not the chocolate.

but thankfully  today had all of these redeeming moments (doesn’t every day?) where i was given opportunity upon opportunity to really do something for HIM. something that meant letting all of my plans go. something that meant dying to my selfish self. something that meant biting my tongue….i won’t go on and on.

my point is that i will continue to wander. and be distracted. because i am oh so flawed and wounded.

but i will also take my heart back to HIM. again and again. and place it. pitiful as it may be. in HIS presence. because something deep down inside of me isn’t content to remain far. and wounded for too long. because i have tasted HIS goodness. and it is sweeter than anything i have ever tasted.

my Jesus,

she no longer says alleluia

during lent the Church clothes herself in somber and dark colors. she no longer says alleluia.

~excerpt from the sermons of st. francis de sales for Lent given in 1622

a few frivolous pictures before the fast. a finished scarf for my girl. in simple garter stitch. and some new seeds with little pots. i am itching to get something planted. the weather is delightful. sorry cold weather friends. but this is CA we’re talking about.

today was anything but fat. i didn’t make any goodies like the kids wanted. being under the weather makes me less accommodating. it’s different when they are sick. i try really hard. but just getting school done is taking all my energy.

i am really looking forward to lent this year. the Church, in her infinite wisdom, has set these forty days during a time when the house needs cleaning right along with the soul. all the feasting from Christmas treats has added some extra pounds. new “things” make closets and toyboxes seem fuller and well, frankly, i could use some discipline.

especially right before spring.

it is my very favorite season. and it’s almost here. i can smell it. the doors and windows are open. yesterday and today we had such warm temps. i enjoy doing school outside. the fridge is filled with lots of fresh veggies and flowers are starting to bloom everywhere. for the past few days i’ve had bare feet. the cool wood floors feel so nice. we even did a bit of bird watching this afternoon. the trees are still naked so we can see our little visitors without any hindrance from the leaves.

it’s all a bit premature. this spring fling. i know. but it is so enjoyable.

it’s going to be so hard not to say alleluia.

i am going to try really hard to focus on those dark. somber colors. a good honest look deep within myself will surely give me plenty of reasons.

i want to fast well:

“entire and universal. with all the members of my body and powers of my soul. keeping my eyes lowered, or at least lower than ordinarily; keeping better silence, or at least keeping it more punctual than usual; mortifying hearing and the tongue so that i will no longer hear or speak of anything vain or useless; the understanding, in order to consider only holy and pious subjects, the memory, in filling it with remembrance of bitter and sorrowful things and avoiding joyous and gracious thoughts; keeping my will in check and my spirit at the foot of the crucifix with some holy and sorrowful thought. seeking to please God alone.”

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