4/30/2011

TSMSS: Untitled Hymn



Amy hosts this wonderful meme every Saturday.  Click on the link to join in and hear what's in everyone's heart this morning.
This song is so beautifully done...it brings me to tears when I hear it, it's so beautiful.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I.

Please remember all of the tornado victims in Ms., Al., and Tn. in your prayers.  Such devastation and loss of life.

4/29/2011

Calm Day

Yesterday was much calmer than Wednesday.  In Greene County, which is about 1 1/2 hours from me, there were some deaths from the storm.  I have a couple of very good friends who live there, so I checked with them to make sure they were okay.  One friend said that several of his kids' schoolmates lost their houses, and one lost her father.  The other friend said that she and her family were okay, but there were many who weren't and needed prayers.

I texted OS a couple of times before I got an answer:  He was okay and he didn't think it was bad at his university.  I think he's just used to SC storms and didn't realize just how bad it was.  One of my sisters lives near the university.  She said that there was some damage to her house, but they were fine.  It's a good thing tax season is over; her husband has time to take care of things now.

MS' car did not have a branch through it: his broken back window was the courtesy of hail.  I went up and put plastic over it; he drove it home yesterday evening and vacuumed the glass out.  I couldn't believe how much glass is actually in a back window.  It completely shattered.
There were several cars in the same shape when I pulled into where he had parked his car.  And, all of the kids who came by and talked to me told me their cars had damage, too.    His poor little car has dents all over it, too.  It looked pitiful.  When I went to Lowes to get the plastic and tape, I talked to 4 people who said they had windows in their house broken.  So, it could've been much worse.  God was really protecting us last night.
Good news:  the baby bunnies appeared to have made it through the storms just fine.  I checked on them yesterday morning and saw the cover of the burrow moving.  Mama was close by, keeping an eye on me.  Pepper's been doing a good job of listening to me when I say, "Uuuuuh" when she starts heading toward the burrow; Ally is still clueless.  Here's a picture of Mama Bunny:  the burrow is just to the right of the tree on the left.
Another weekend is upon us.  Gosh, I love Fridays!  









4/28/2011

Thunderation

I started this post last night, and finished it this morning, so it may seem a "little" fragmented!

Things were really rockin' & rollin' in my neck of the woods last night.  We had almost a continuous tornado warning for about 8 hours.  The rain was off & on, and at a couple of points we had some good-sized hail.  We had to go down into the basement a few times. 

My main concern in all of this were the baby bunnies Pepper discovered Tuesday evening.  I was outside with the girls, and Pepper walked under a tree and was sniffing at something.  I looked over and thought it was a bird's nest that had fallen out of a tree.  As I got near, I looked down and saw a couple of little-bitty baby bunnies in a little burrow!  I shooed Pepper away and let CH & YS know so they would watch her when she went out.  Ally had no interest at all.  She's pretty clueless.

I checked on the bunnies when I got home yesterday.  Mama bunny had covered up the burrow pretty well; if I didn't know it was there I wouldn't be able to tell.

When the boys were younger, when it stormed I would always "sing" this cheer to them:
Thun thun thun thunder...
Thunderation!  We're the (Small town!) delegation
When we fight with... determination we create a...sensation
(And then you repeat that until someone tells you to be quiet!)

When I was little, I was terrified of storms.  As a matter of fact, it wasn't until after I got married and CH went to an Army School that I put my big girl panties on and it didn't bother me.  The Rosary was my biggest comfort when it stormed at night.  I would lay in my bed and say the heck out of some Hail Mary's!  My parents didn't believe in any of us getting in bed with them.  I guess they figured that if they let one in, they'd have to let all of  us in.  The couple of times I remember getting my courage up to even go to their door, I was turned away with the reminder to say my Rosary. 

A few years ago, the high school football team opened their season at a high school that's about 3 hours away from us.  We could see the storm coming, but CH & I (and a few other idiots) thought it was just a little summer storm, and it would pass over.  The announcer told everybody to go to the school, but some of us decided to ride it out under the concrete bleachers.  BIG. MISTAKE.  People were praying, some were laughing, telling jokes, and some were singing gospel songs.  The wind blew, the lightening was intense, the thunder was loud, and the hail came down.  The lights went out and the wind started swirling.  At that point I thought, "we're okay unless it starts hailing."  About that time, down it came.  More Hail Mary's were prayed as I hid behind CH and was holding his hand as hard as I could.  All I could think about was CH's high school that got hit by a tornado, and that I didn't want to die under the bleachers of a high school stadium in a place I've never been before.  Obviously, we got out of there just fine, found MS (YS was spending the night at my parents' house & OS had just started college) and headed to the hotel.  I took a long, hot shower; the best shower I think I've ever had before in my life.

No school today because of downed trees blocking roads and power outages.  Our yard appears to be okay, the only casualty was the "stick tree" that broke off.  Our cars had minimal hail damage, or appeared to.  MS' car (that he had brought home a couple of weeks ago but decided to take back to school on Sunday) apparently has a branch through the window.   I saw mama bunny this morning near the burrow, so hopefully they're okay.  

I realize I'm rambling, but it was a crazy night.  How do you handle thunderstorms/tornado warnings?  Do they make you nervous, or do you love them?

4/27/2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge



1. What is something that bothers you if it is not done perfectly?
One thing?  It bothers me when people don't put the dishes in the dishwasher correctly.  It bothers me when paperwork at school isn't done correctly.  Do I need to go on?

2. What is one of your best childhood memories?
Going to Texas to visit relatives.  I've talked about this before:  All of us piled into a car with no air conditioning or radio for a 2-day car ride to see Grandma.  Once we were there, we got re-acquainted with our cousins.  The highlight of the trip was putting on a show for the adults.  Good times, for sure.

3. Do you plan to watch the Royal Wedding and when was the last time you wore a hat?
I probably won't watch the wedding since it's on Friday and it's a workday.  (Sorry, Wils; I'm not taking a day off to watch you get hitched!)  I'm not a hat person.  I'm always so jealous of friends who look great in hats, especially ball caps.  Me?  I look like a guy.  One of my friends told me that I should get a hat that has a pony tail attached to it, but I told her that then I would look like a guy with long hair wearing a cap.

4. Where do you fall in the birth order in your family? Do you think this has influenced your personality?
I'm the 8th child, the 6th (and last) girl.  I definitely think it's influenced my personality.  My sisters call me "brat".  Do I need to say more than that?  

5. Where do you think you spend most of your money?
Groceries.  I don't even have to think about that one!

6. When you need to confront someone would you rather communicate in person, on the phone, by email or by letter? Why?
Email or letter, definitely.  I'm not a confrontational person at. all.  
 
7. Dodge ball, freeze tag, kickball or jump rope? You have to pick one.
Kickball.  I don't like getting hit, I'm not fast, or real coordinated.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Is anybody watching "The Amazing Race"?  Guess where they went this week:  Lichtenstein!  Seeing it just confirmed that I definitely want to go there.  It looks so incredibly beautiful!

4/25/2011

Misc. Monday

You've gotta love 4 day weekends! CH had Friday off, too, so we enjoyed the day just kicking around the house. MS was suppose to call as soon as he woke up so I could go and pick him up. I called his cell phone, which went right to voicemail. I finally got in touch with him through Facebook at 4:00; he said that he had just woke up. Oh, to be a college student! He said that he went to bed around 2:00 a.m. after playing video games, and he has a blanket over his window, so he had no idea what time it was. Amazing. I was going crazy because I couldn't get in touch with him.
Saturday I got involved watching "Downton Abbey". It's part of the "Masterpiece Classics" on PBS, but I watched it on the Instant Netflix. The first season is 7 episodes; when I googled it, I found out that filming on Season 2 started in March, 2011. I tend to get a bit obsessive with series: The Tudors, Pillars of the Earth, Dexter, and now Downton Abbey. At first I thought maybe it was a remake of "Upstairs, Downstairs", but then found out that there is a remake already out. The 1st episode begins as the Titanic has sunk, and one of the passengers was the fiance of Earl Crawley's oldest daughter, Mary. The Earl's wife is an American; when they married, the Earl's father had her sign a contract that if she failed to produce a son, the estate (Downton Abbey) would be inherited by the next closest male relative. This is where Matthew Crawley comes in: He is the 3rd cousin twice removed of the Earl. There's back-biting of sisters (between Mary and Edith-daughter #2) and of servants. There's the youngest daughter (Sybil) who gets involved with Women's Rights. There are the servants with things going on in their own lives and their secrets. I hope I don't forget to watch when it comes back on, because it's very good.
Easter Sunday morning we went to Mass. I have to admit, it was a little odd. I've never been to Easter Mass where the priest sprinkled holy water just on a section of the congregation. Usually the priest will walk all around the entire church, even in the "overflow" section for the "latecomers". It was very different. We had a nice rest of the day; my parents came up for Easter Dinner. The only thing that was missing was OS: he came in last weekend, and was going to come in this weekend but had some things to work on at school. I really missed having him home.
Today is an "optional" work day at school. That is something I've had to get used to: I've worked in 6 school systems, and this the first one that had "optional" work days. Apparently this is how it works: you can do 12 professional development hours on your own and get a couple of days off during the year. Next year we have 3 days (or 18 hours) we can do on our own and get 3 days during the year off that have been designated as professional development days.
Since I had the day off, I went to Daily Mass. It really is nice to start your day off in church, regardless of your religious affiliation. Then, it was back home to more laundry. On the list today: rugs and sheets. I love that you can put some of the rugs in the washing machine! It's so easy to just throw them in and go about your business.
We only have 3 more Mondays until Summer Break!

4/23/2011

TSMSS: Christ is Risen




This is a great Easter time song from Matt Maher that pretty much sums it all up. Enjoy!

4/22/2011

Meatless Friday: The Triduum

The Triduum is the 3 days preceding Easter:  Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

On Holy Thursday we commemorate the Last Supper; the beginning of the Eucharist.  Washing of feet is also done:  “So when he had washed their feet / ...he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? / ... I have given you a model to follow, / so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (Jn 13:12, 15)    Mass is celebrated in the evening because Passover begins at sundown.  No masses will be celebrated until the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. This was very emotional last night:  The altar was stripped, and the tabernacle was opened.  Seeing that empty tabernacle was heart wrenching.

Good Friday:  The day when Jesus died.  The day when the world realized that they crucified the Son of God.  Upon walking into the church, one sees a bare altar, with the tabernacle that holds the monstrance (which holds a suspended host) open, but empty.
 There is no Mass on this day; only a service.  The difference is that the host is not consecrated at this service; the hosts used were consecrated at the Holy Thursday Mass.  (Consecration occurs during the part of the Mass during the Eucharistic Prayer:  when the "wafer" and wine becomes the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ.)  The service consists of a reading from the Bible, Prayers of Intercession, Veneration of the Cross, and Communion.  Veneration of the Cross is a favorite of mine:  We go to the altar and kiss the feet of Jesus on the crucifix.  Before venerating the cross, the priest says:  "Behold, the wood of the Cross."

On Holy Saturday there is an Easter Vigil in which Catechumens  are received into the Church.  These new members have gone through RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), have studied the Catholic Faith, and are ready to become full-fledged Catholics.  I've never been to that Mass, but I've heard it's incredibly long. And beautiful.  The Mass begins in darkness; the Easter/Paschal Candle is blessed and lit.
After the Catechumens are baptized into the Catholic Faith, the veils come off of the statues on the altar, bells ring, and the "Gloria" and "Alleluias"  return.  It's officially Easter!

Resurrection Cookies are a really neat way to take part in the Easter Story with kids.  You can find the "recipe" here.

4/20/2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Holy Week Edition


I love reading Joyce's posts, but her A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts are killing me!  She's been to places I've only dreamed of, and she has the most amazing pictures.  
Here are the questions for this week:

1. What are your plans for Easter Day/weekend?
Saturday I need to put out my Easter decorations.  I just couldn't put them out during Lent this year, in keeping with the solemn time that Lent should be.  I'll keep them up for a while:  In the Catholic Tradition, the Easter Season lasts until Pentecost, which is on June 12th this year.  I don't think I'll keep my Easter flags and mailbox cover up quite that long!
2. Besides Jesus, what one person from The Bible would you most like to meet and why?
Mary.  I didn't even have to think on that one.  The Mother of Jesus, the one who said "yes" when God asked.  How incredible it would be to talk to her and see what it was like to be the Mother of God.  How deep her pain must have been.
 
3. What is one modern day convenience you didn't have as a child that was easy to live without?
Oh, that's easy!  Cell phones!  How in the world did we live without them?
4. Are you more right brained or left brained? If you don't know what that means there is an interesting little quiz here.
Oh, Joyce! Where do you get this stuff?  The quiz said I was more left-brained, but I'm left-handed, so what does that mean?  When I read the description, I thought "there is no way".  It said I'm not verbal.  HEEEEELLOOOO:  I'm a speech pathologist.  How can I not be verbal?    When I read each category and the descriptions, I kept saying, "oh, definitely"!  Interesting.
5. What is something you intended to do today but didn't? Why?
Call the heating/air guy....because I forgot.  I asked CH a few weeks ago if we should check the air conditioner, but he said he thought it was going to be okay.  We turned it on a couple of weeks ago, and it worked fine for a while, but then it quit blowing cold air.  I need to call and get them to come out before it gets really hot again and they're covered up.
6. Cadbury Creme Eggs or Reeses peanut butter?
I have a friend whose husband is British.  She swears by the real Cadbury Eggs, but she hasn't bothered to share!  Give me Reeses...anytime!
7. Who was your favorite cartoon character when you were a child?
I don't think I had a favorite.  I don't remembered what I just had to watch on Saturday mornings , aka "Cartoon Day".  These poor kids today:  they have cartoons anytime they want.  They have nothing to look forward to during the week!  When I was in high school, I would come home from school and my mom & I would watch "Tom & Jerry".  I don't think that went on for very long, but it was a memorable time! 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Since Joyce asked about Easter candy, I have a question:  Remember those cheap cream filled eggs that you used to be able to get in a pack of 6?  I'm not talking about the Russell Stover eggs; I'm talking the cheapo eggs.  Are they not making them anymore?  I can't find them anywhere.  I haven't looked at Big Lots yet.  I LOVE those things!  On second thought...maybe it's a good thing I haven't found them!
The Dove peanut butter and the Dove coconut eggs are wonderful.  Has anyone else tried them? 

4/19/2011

Black Madonna

Last week, during our Parish Mission, Father Simon spoke quite a bit about the "Black Madonna of Czestochowa".  She also called the "Queen of Poland".  Get ready to hear an amazing story.

Originally it was said that this icon was painted by St. Luke, who lived the same time as the Virgin Mary.  It is said to have been painted on the top of a table that was built by no other than Jesus Himself.  While St. Luke was painting the picture, Mary told him of Jesus' life, which is how St. Luke wrote his gospel.
However, the Pauline Fathers' website indicates that the icon was "probably from 9th century Greek or Italian origins with 13th century overpaintings."

The icon left Jerusalem and stayed in Constantinople at the urgency of St. Helena, who was Constantine's mother.  400 years later, it was used as a dowry for one of the princesses who married into the Russian Opolsey Family.  That family married into Polish royalty, which explains how the icon ended up in Poland.  Prince Ladislaus, ruler of Poland, decided to move the icon after the Tartans attacked the castle, and an arrow was shot through a window, slashing the icon on Our Lady's throat.  During the move to Opole for protection, Ladislaus stopped in Czestochowa for the night, and placed the icon in a church for safe-keeping.  The next morning, the horses were unable to pull the wagon.  After several unsuccessful attempts, the prince knelt in front of the icon and asked what he was suppose to do.  His answer came in the form of a dream:  He was instructed to leave the icon in Czestochowa and to have it enshrined on Jasna Gora (the highest place in the town).  The prince brought the Pauline Fathers from Hungary to Poland to guard over the icon.

Unfortunately, the icon was not completely safe.  During a raid in which many monks (who were trying to keep the icon safe) were killed,  religious artifacts were taken out of the church and were thrown into the vandals' cart.  They were 1 1/2 miles from the church when the horses stopped and could not be budged.  The icon was thrown on the ground, broken into 3 pieces, and slashed.  This is how the marks on Our Lady's face happened.  The vandal was about to do further damage, when he was struck by lightening and killed.  The other vandals ran away after seeing what happened.  The priests, upon seeing their beloved icon, knelt and prayed.  A spring suddenly appeared, and the priests used that water to clean the icon as best they could.  Saint Barbara's Church was built on that site to accommodate pilgrims who visited and were granted physical and spiritual healing.  Today, pilgrims to the shrine at Jasna Gora will see crutches and braces along the wall, visual signs of miracles that are attributed to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.  Pope John Paul II (who was Polish) credits his miraculous healing from the assassination attempt to the Black Madonna; he left the stole he was wearing when he got shot on the altar.

Tradition says that Our Lady is black because of the soot of the votive candles that have been placed around the icon.  The Pauline Fathers' site indicates that she is dark because of the paints that were used.  In the shrine, the icon is protected from fire and bullets through fire-proof and bullet-proof glass. 

When restoring the icon, the slashes on Our Lady's face were left alone, as a reminder of the desecration that the image suffered.  When I look at those slashes, I think about the hurt that Mary has gone through and is still going through:  Seeing her son crucified, as well as seeing nations turn against her son.  It's a reminder to me that my disappointments and sufferings are nothing compared to what she went through.  It's also a reminder that she understands and will intercede on my behalf.

Below is a clip of the song "Czarna Madonna" (Black Madonna).  The song starts in Polish; the English verses can be found around 1:50.

There's a corner of a country
Which the pilgrims gladly seek
Where in glory hangs the portrait
Of a Queen slashed on the cheek.
She is grieving, She is caring,
She invites us, everyone:
"I'm your Mother, be my daughter,
be my son."

Madonna, oh Black Madonna
I'm happy your child to be
Oh grant me, oh Black Madonna
That your arms may cradle me.

In your arms we find the refuge
And the warmth of your great love
In your arms we do find hope, joy
And the strength to go through life.
In your arms is found the Saviour
The Bread, The Truth and our Way,
In your arms is found the Peace
For which we search.

Madonna, oh Black Madonna
I'm happy your child to be
Oh grant me, oh Black Madonna
That your arms may cradle me.

4/18/2011

Meet Me on Monday



I'm back answering Java's weekly questions!  It's a chance to get to know your friend's better, or get to know some new friends!

1.  Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?
Garden salad.  We do like to eat a caesar with chicken or turkey and put it in a pita.
 
2.  Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
I'm so out of it, I didn't even know exactly when it was!  What time is it?  I bet I'll be at work when  they get married, but I'm sure it's going to be beautiful.
 
3.  Last thing you spent lots of money on?
The bathroom remodel  and windows.  That's what our tax refund went to.
 
4.  Window seat or aisle seat?
Window.  I don't really care for watching the clouds once we're up; I just keep thinking about how the pilot knows there isn't another airplane up there in the clouds with us.  On a bus, I prefer window as well.  I really enjoy watching the countryside go by.
 
5.  Do you know your blood type?
Yes.  The only reason I know it is that a one of our boys had to have a shot after they were born because their Rh factor is different than mine.  And, CH & I both have the same blood type, except he's positive and I'm negative.

4/16/2011

TSMSS: Amazing Love



This is one of those songs that you just have to belt out when it comes to the refrain.

4/15/2011

Meatless Friday: Divine Mercy

This week at church, we had a "Mission".  The visiting priest is Polish, and he knew Pope John Paul II.  Pope JPII canonized St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, who was also Polish.  St. Faustina was one of 10 children, and only had a 3rd grade education.  When she was 20, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of our Lady of  Mercy; sisters who dedicate their lives to working with troubled young women.
Since she wasn't educated, she was assigned to household tasks.  She had visits from Jesus and Mary, and visited Purgatory.  Her spiritual director encouraged her to write a diary, which was difficult for her due to her limited education.  In 1958, Pope John XXIII condemned the Divine Mercy, reasoning that the diary was misinterpreted because of misspellings and punctuation mistakes.  Pope John Paul II, when he was the archbishop of Cracow, opened up the investigation into Sister Faustina's life and again allowed devotion to the Divine Mercy.  She became a saint on April 30, 2000.

Jesus appeared to her and requested that she have the following picture painted with the words "Jesus I Trust In You":

The 2 rays:  The red denotes the blood and the white denotes the water that poured out of Jesus when his sides were pierced.  "The white ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous.  The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. ....These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father."  (Diary 299)

So, why do we use pictures?  Father Simon said it perfectly:  We're human.  We have to have something visible.  It's a reminder.    We don't pray to the picture, we use the picture to focus on our prayers.

The mission of Saint Faustina consists in:


Devotion to the Divine Mercy:
Using a Rosary, the following prayers are said:
1 Our Father
1 Hail Mary
1 Apostle's Creed
"Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world."
The following is said 10 times:
"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
(The "Eternal Father" and the above prayer are then repeated 5 times.)
The following is then said 3 times: 
"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

I had heard of the Divine Mercy, but wasn't real sure what it was about.  This week was wonderful.  It happened at a time when I needed it.  And, it's a wonderful way to start the day.

4/10/2011

Break

I need a few days to recharge, so I'm taking a little bit of a break.  I'm sure I won't be able to stay away from the Wednesday Hodgepodge, and, of course I'll be doing my "Meatless Friday" post. 
I'll see y'all in a few days!

4/08/2011

Meatless Friday: Reconciliation


Reconciliation

Reconciliation, or Confession, is one of the 7 Sacraments.  I can sum it up in one word:  Humility.  Think about how hard it is to tell someone you're sorry for something you did to them.  And then to ask for forgiveness.  That is Reconciliation:  Facing another human and admitting your sins, taking responsibility for your actions, and asking for forgiveness.
Now think about how relieved you were when you asked for forgiveness from someone for some wrongdoing.  That's how it feels after Reconciliation.
When I made my First Confession (as it was called back then), I went into a confessional, knelt down, waited for the door of the window screen to slide, and did the following:
Made the sign of the cross while saying, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been (however long it had been) since my last confession and these are my sins."  That would be followed by a list of wrongdoings, then, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."  The priest would then say words of absolution, and assign a penance.  The penance may be anything from fasting, doing some kind of charity work, or, more often, prayers.
Last night we had a communal penance service.  The opening prayer was beautiful:
"Jesus said, 'There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous who have no need of repentance.'  No matter how hard we try, we are a people who always stand in need of repentance, and our gathering tonight brings joy to the Lord."  There was a reading of a Bible passage by one of the priests, followed by a Responsorial Psalm, a Gospel reading, followed by a Homily.  During the Homily, the priest recounted a story that had been going around in e-mails:  there was a man from the country who was in the big city for the first time.  He stood in front of an elevator, and saw an old woman go into this small room.  The doors closed, and when they opened, a beautiful young woman stepped out.  The man looked at his son and told him to get his mother.
Then, he related that story to Confession.  I thought it was a great analogy.
Following the Homily, there were a couple of prayers.  There were about 8 priests at the service; each priest had a "confession station" (as I call it).  Parishioners can go to one of their parish priests, or they can go to somebody they don't know.  I had always gone to a priest I didn't know (it makes it easier when you know you won't have to see him again!) until we lived in SC.  That was when I felt comfortable enough with the parish priest to admit that I wasn't perfect and I had done some things I was ashamed of.  I forgot to mention that now confession is done face to face.  No more hiding.
So, last night, I got in line for my parish priest...the African...my buddy.  As I stood in line, examining my conscience and deciding just what I was going to say, I wasn't nervous.  Then, I started thinking about how I've let that priest down.  He has told my mother how happy he is to see me at Daily Mass or at Sunday Mass.  He always has a hug for me and thanks me for coming or tells me that he's happy to see me.  He went out of his way to write a sweet personal note in a birthday card.  And I started to panic.  I was about to let him know that I wasn't just full of rainbows and sunshine.  I was going to tell him that I'm not perfect.  Humbling?  Absolutely.  A relief?  You bet.  That is Reconciliation.
I feel like I have to address the question:  Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?  Why not go directly to God?  The answer can be found in the Bible:

John 20:19-23 "Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." 

  The apostles were the first priests.  In saying those words, Jesus was giving them the power to forgive sins, and to pass that power down to future generations.   In Matthew 5:23, Jesus said: "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar. Go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

Going to Confession is a difficult thing.  I kept putting it off because it's not easy to go in front of another human being and admit your faults.  Pride kept me from going before last night.  I would like to think that it might get easier.  Especially since the priest knows my secret:  I'm not perfect.

4/06/2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge



1. National Read a Road Map Day falls on April 5th. Would people say you have a good sense of direction? Do you rely on a GPS when you drive somewhere new? When was the last time you used a map?
This question is hysterical!  I had to chuckle when I read it because I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag!  CH relies heavily on GPS...even when he knows where he's going.  Me?  I just follow the signs.  CH gets a little put out by me when we go somewhere...he'll ask me how to get someplace, and my response will be, "Just follow the signs."
2. What's your favorite cookbook?
The internet.  I'm not kidding.   I get a recipe a day from Allrecipes delivered into my inbox.

3. What painting would you like to "walk into" and experience? Why?
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.  Could you imagine being there?  My parents have a good sized painting of The Last Supper in their family room; it used to be above the big table where we ate when I was growing up.  I don't know who that print is by, but I used to look at that picture and just imagine what was being said and what the people were feeling.

4. What annoys you more- misspellings or mispronunciations?
Both are equally annoying, in my opinion.  When people I work with or other friends mispronounce something, it's all I can do to correct them.  And, it really irks me when people (especially teachers) misspell words.
5. What is something your mother or father considered important? 
Working hard and being honest.  (Oh, that's 2 things, isn't it?)  

6. Do you like or dislike schedules?
I LOVE schedules.  I grew up on schedules, my kids grew up on schedules, and I thrive on schedules. 
7. Let's have some fun with National Poetry Month (that would be April)...write your own ending to this poem-

"Roses are Red
Violets are blue..."

Incidentally if you'd like to read the history behind that little ditty you'll find it here.
Roses are red
Violets are blue.
How to finish this ditty
I haven't a clue.
8. Insert your own random thought in this space.
This is a picture of the boys from about 11 years ago.  It was taken on the front porch of our house in SC.
In honor of the Lady Aggies: the women basketball players from Texas A&M (my dad's alma mater) who played in the NCAA Championship last night.  Congratulations on their 1st ever NCAA National Championship!   Gig 'em!

4/05/2011

Sweet Solitude

What a good weekend!  I think last weekend was the first weekend I've ever spent completely alone.  Nobody to worry about, nothing to do for anybody except myself (well, except for their laundry), and no plans.
CH & YS went to "March Moto Madness":  a "by invitation only" kickoff rally for the motorcycle season.  They went last year, but this year YS was invited; he wasn't considered CH's guest.  YS doesn't ride; he went as a cook.  CH bought a dutch oven to go into the fire, and YS was set.  Almost.  When I got home on Friday, I saw the cooler sitting by the garage door.  I looked and inside, and saw their food.  A quick call to CH to ask if there was a reason the cooler was in the garage, followed by  a couple of "I thought you got it."  Luckily a friend of CH's volunteered to ride the cooler on the back of his bike up the next morning.
With last Friday being a "First Friday", I went to the church for the Rosary, Mass, fish dinner, and then Stations (in that order).  I got home, checked e-mails, and called it an early night.  Saturday I got the house clean and laundry done.  I don't know about y'all, but I can clean much better if there's nobody here.  I got a LOT done.  Saturday evening I went to Mass (so I could take it easy on Sunday and sleep in...if the girls would let me) and then to dinner with my parents and 2 other couples.  Then I settled in and watched a couple of movies from RedBox.  I was just a tad bit disappointed on Sunday when CH & YS got home around 1:30.  I was in the middle of a movie, and was enjoying watching it all by myself.  I don't think I'd like to be alone all the time, but every now and then sure is a nice thing!

4/03/2011

Meet Me on Monday



Oh, how I love that Java comes through for me every Sunday night!  It's a good way to slide into the week!  This week's questions:

1.  If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Okay, I'm stealing this from someone else's post that I read last week:  Pizza, because you can change the toppings out!
Edit note:  I got a comment letting me know who I stole my answer from!  The Beverly Buzz  Thanks for not being perturbed at me!  (You weren't were you?)  :)

2.  Do you write your blog posts in advance or the day you post them?
I usually write them the night before, but every now and then I get in a groove and will write posts a few days ahead.  Which brings me to a question:  Does anybody else have a problem with scheduling a post, only to have it not post at the designated time?  There are days when I want the post to be published at 5:00 a.m., but it didn't post and the edit post says"draft" instead of "scheduled".  Does anyone have a clue why?


3.  Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
When I was 3 months pregnant with OS, I was in a car accident.  A car hesitated at a stop sign and pulled out in front of me.  I had no where to go, so I hit him.  When the ambulance got there, I mentioned I was pregnant, and that my chest was hurting (from where the seatbelt caught me).  They hooked me up to a heart monitor and took me to the ER.  The counselor from school happened to drive by and rode with me to the hospital (CH was away at an Army School so I was on my own).  On the way to the ER, the heart monitor started beeping wildly.  The counselor looked at the driver and asked if I was okay, to which he responded, "she's fine...they're just stepping on the lead."  When the monitor was going crazy, my initial thought was, "So this is what it feels like to die," followed by "You're not dying, you idiot!"  My car was totaled, and the other driver told his insurance that I had crossed the center line and ran into him.  It ended well; apparently he had been caught in some lies before, and it was pretty obvious what had happened.
 
4.  What is your favorite candle scent?
During the fall, I really like the pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon.  I have Bath & Body Works Midnight Pomegranate in my candle warmer right now.
 
5.  Coffee or tea?
Coffee.  With lots of the flavored stuff in it.  Over the winter when I didn't feel well, I did enjoy drinking hot tea with honey in it.

Join in and get to know your blogging friends better! 

It's a Par-Tay!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Here's a great way to check out new blogs and have new people visit yours!  Welcome to the party!

I'm a mom to 3 boys  young men between the ages of 16 & 22, and a wife to my husband, CH (Chubby Hubby...his term).  We moved back to my hometown after living in 2 other southern states for 20 years.  Did I mention I also work full-time for a local school system?  I've been a speech pathologist for 26 years, and have no intentions of slowing down...at least for a few more years!

Life in a small town at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains gets crazy sometimes, but it's slowing down now that I only have 1 son still at home.  I write about trying to find where I fit into this small town, my boys' shenanigans, as well as my Catholic Faith. 

Get comfortable, and look around.  Questions?  Just ask.  Comments?  Leave them below!

4/02/2011

TSMSS



Here's another song that is sung during Mass.  The quality isn't great, but it's the best I could find.




Go over to Amy's and see what songs others are singing this week!

4/01/2011

Meatless Friday: First Friday

 Around 1673, Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque had a vision of Christ's heart,  and He allowed her to rest her head upon His Sacred Heart.  His message:  frequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of the Month, and Adoration (Holy Hours).
Saint Margaret Mary was French, and, as a child, was sickly.  Once she made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to become a nun, she was healed.  According to an article from Aquinas Goods, she was not surprised when she received the visions; she assumed everyone had them.  She was assigned the task of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 
Saint Margaret Mary lived in a time when going to Communion wasn't a weekly occurrence, as it is now for Catholics.  So, going to Communion frequently was huge.
In order to be endowed with the below promises, one must, for 9 consecutive First Fridays, attend Mass and receive Communion.


The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life." 
2. "I will establish peace in their homes." 
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions." 
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy." 
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent." 
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection." 
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored." 
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts." 
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out." 
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."
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