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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! Today we celebrated by waking up really early (I mean early…really) and heading off to the church for a huge celebration.  It was good, but needless to say it has left me tired.  I loved seeing the devotion to Mary under this title.  It is one that I have never really heard of much until the past few years.

 There was a modern-day picture of our Lady of Guadalupe in my archdiocesian newspaper, so I played around with it and here it is.  I find it really beautiful.

It is really beautiful and colorful.  It portrays such a different perspective.  Here is a quote from Our Lady of Guadalupe

“Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the Fountain of Life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?” -Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego on December 12, 1531

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Why are you Smiling?

Having arrived back to New Jersey, I find that I am overwhelmed with so many things.  Yet in my appearance, not many would even know so.  Maybe this could be due to the way I am dealing with those things that do overwhelm me in some way, shape, or form.  I am certainly most excited to be back here, there is no doubt about that.  One of the girls asked me today, ” why are you smiling all the time?”  Of course I responded with, “Why not?”  It was not enough of an answer and I knew it, but I wanted to see what she would come up with next for me.  “But really?”  To that I did respond, “Because I am where I am supposed to be and I am happy.”  It rolled right off my tonge and it felt good to say that. 

That statement is such a relief in many ways, even though I am not sure how long before I will need another relief.  Many things are sitting in me.  There is tension, worry, fear, frustration.  The thing to remember and work on is handing it all over.  I may not see eye to eye with those I live with.  I may be fighting a losing battle trying to make amends.  I may do things in a different way and not always be understood.  I may have a lot of other things like that in my life as well, but who is to say that I should let it get in my way.  I see a lot of walls, hurdles, fences, pools, trees, wild animals, and so much more in my path that I travel.  That cannot stop me from what I am striving to do, which is whatever God has willed for me in this life on earth.  Yes, I am scared out of my mind sometimes and so very unsure when something gets in my way.  What is key is placing it before the Father, the Son, the Spirit, Mary, and all the saints to whom I may implore.

I thought this year was tough, but next year may be just as tough for me.  Formation is not supposed to be easy, it challenges a person and pushes them to fulfill something greater in them.  The feeling of that greatness is in me, I can feel it.  Getting there is so hard and there are many doubts along the way.  Is this the right path?  If so, why all these unneeded difficulties?  I am here to discern through God’s will for me.  Friends are good to make along the way, but sisters are what we really gain.  This is a lesson I have learned a lot this past year.  Friendships that blossom and friendships that fade away.  Sisters though, are there no matter what.  Whether they are the best friends of sisters or the ones that never talk, they are sisters and they are there just the same.  Have I learned more?  Yes, sure I have.  Do I see myself very different from the rest?  Yes, of course so.  This is tough, this life is not easy but it is joyful.  By golly, it makes me smile all the time even amidst the struggles.

So yes, I am excited to be back.  It is not without its pains and fear, frustrations and trials.  Even so, you will find that I am often joyful at this call though it all.  You can’t hesitate at what you know is God’s will for you, even if you don’t think you can handle it.

So why then, in the end of it all, am I smiling all the time like an idiot?  God must have me right where He wants me in life and I am enjoying as much of it as I can!

Mary, help me.  Father, protect me.  Jesus, transform me.  Spirit, move me.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Jesus’ Infancy and Childhood

For our creed class, we were each given a part of Jesus’ life to teach/present to the class.  It was based off paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  As you can see from teh title of this post, I had the infancy and childhood of Jesus.  My Catechism numbers were 522-534. I started out with a song to reflect on in which we talked about after reading through my reflections.

Letters on Preparations

Who is this Messiah?

Author: Anonymous Pharisee

It is all over the scriptures that I read; there is to be a Messiah!  I wish I could tell you all exactly how he will come, but I don’t know.  If he is going to rule over all, he must be coming as a great king.  There are a lot of symbols and rituals we have.  One day I hope that they will lead to something greater.  This king is said to be able to deliver us.  With the oppression we face, some saving is what we could need.

The people were waiting for Messiah for years.  Everywhere around them were the symbols and signs of what was to come, but when it hit them they would not see.  Do we stay open to the signs that are around us, hints and nudges from God that lead us to something greater?

Jesus is Coming!

Author: John the Baptist

God chose me from many to prepare the way for His son.  I could feel myself on fire and desiring to get people to be ready to follow Him.  Yes, I had many followers.  Once this chosen son of God comes my way, I would know.  My works involved preaching to the people, and giving a Baptism of conversion. 

Later we find out that John also died the martyr’s death for Jesus, on top of what he shared with us.  It is truly amazing what one would go through for Christ.  Knowing that Jesus is coming again, what are you doing to prepare His way?

 Letters on The Christmas Mystery

My Daughter, Mother of God

Author: Anne, Mother of Mary

The look on my daughters face told it all.  There was peace.  Of course she is scared, I am too.  Who knew but the Lord if Joseph will take her still?  My daughter is going to give birth to our Messiah.  It is hard to believe that this could be true.  Even so, I must now make sure she is protected and cared for if this child is to grow up to be who this angel told her he would be. 

The yes that Mary gave was such a turning point in our history.  Now we look to Mary as our mother.  Do we allow her to be our mother in the same way that she was mother to Jesus?

Seeing the Newborn Child

Author: Shepherds

We knew something was going on.  There was a star in the sky unlike any other.  My fellow companions and I were struck with curiosity, so we drew near to the place that the star was over.  There, lying in a manger was a child with his parents surrounding him.  This must be the one that we have heard of from the prophets who traveled around.  Who would have even figured, a king to be born to such a poor and humble family, with us mere shepherds as the first witnesses?  The king came as a child, to save all of us.

Who today is born in a stable and laid in a manger?  It is only imaginable what Mary and Joseph were thinking when the shepherds came to witness the birth of the King.  We often wonder, “how must we enter the Kingdom of God?”  Just like that of Jesus, as a child.  Only When Christ is formed in us, will the mystery of His birth be fulfilled in us.  How can we emulate this simple birth of Jesus today?

Letters on Jesus Infancy

The King is Circumcised

Author: Local Priest

Two parents brought their child to me.  I knew there had to be something special about him, but I was not sure at that time.  As was customary, I did the circumcision.  It is a sign of submission to our Law and the worship of Israel.  The boy grew up participating in the Law his entire life. 

What does circumcision mean to us today in a society where it does not happen much?  That moment in Jesus’ life is a sign that prepares us for the “circumcision of Christ,” which is Baptism.  How is this so?

The Epiphany

Author: The Magi

Oh what a glorious even this is for us!  We traveled very far as soon as we heard of a Messiah of Israel’s birth.  We all wanted to adore the child Jesus in person and bring him gifts.  Sure we were Pagans, but by going to see this newborn Son of God and Savior of the World, we could open wide the doors for our people!  To bend down at His feet and leave Him fine gifts was such an honor.  We had been asked to return to tell others of this great news, but then we decided to go somewhere else to save the child’s life.

It was in this visit of the Magi to see Jesus that all became worthy to share in the heritage of Israel.  What do you think it was like for these Magi to travel such a long distance to see the birth of this Messiah and to do Him homage?  Would we travel that far to see a child said to be the Son of God or would we consider a hoax?

Jesus’ Presentation

Author: Simeon

As the child Jesus was being brought into the temple, as is customary, I took him into my arms and praised God!  The Holy Spirit had revealed to me that I would not die until I had seen the Messiah.  I knew it from the moment I saw the child in his mother’s arms.  How beautiful it was to see Jesus so peaceful there.  Yet I knew of the sword that would pierce him for all of us. 

The presentation showed Jesus as the firstborn son who belonged to God.  While here Jesus is seen as the Messiah that has been long-awaited for, but also is a sign that will be spoken against all of His life.  Not only that, but this sign is still spoken against in today’s society.  What can we do to take away that with speaks against this marvelous sign and wonder that is our faith?

To and From Egypt

Author: Joseph

When I heard that I must flee to save Jesus’ life, I woke Mary up and we left immediately.  It was said that Herod was sending His armies to kill all the firstborns in order that no king should arise from them.  This struck such a fear in me that I acted immediately.  They were after my son!  We spent some years in Egypt waiting for the Lord to tell us what to do next.  While we waited, I took in every moment I could have with Jesus.  I did not know when things would change.  Here I am, on my death bed, and I trust that I will see the great things Jesus will do as I gaze from Heaven.  Coming home from Egypt was something we had wanted for the longest time.  Mary’s mother was so glad to see us.  Jesus was happy to see this home that we spoke of over and over.  That time of fleeing was hard, but I got time with my son.

This fleeing to Egypt again shows the opposition of darkness to light.  Many innocent children lost there lives to the darkness trying to find Jesus.  When the family came back from Egypt, we are called back to the exodus of Moses from Egypt.  The connection here shows Jesus as the one and only liberator of God’s people.  Are we ready to make an exodus for the sake of God?  What things do we need to leave behind for our faith?

Letters on the Hidden Life of Jesus

Basic Life, Basic Kid

Author: Family Friend

If you had told me when Jesus was younger that he was the Messiah we had all been waiting for, I am not sure I would have believed you.  I saw Jesus grow up under the care of Mary and Joseph.  They were the most loving parents that I had ever seen.  Our Messiah lived a life just like any other human being in our situation would have lived.  He played with my son, helped Joseph with the carpentry work, and listened to his parents.  They were a great little family, there was nothing usual about them and I saw at that time no particular greatness that made him different than anyone else.  As he got older, he did have a keen interest in scriptures.  Of course, looking back now I can see the signs that brought him to this point where he is carrying out his Father’s work.  I am so blessed to have known him as a child.

Jesus lived an ordinary life as a child.  It is in this way that we can really relate to him.  There was nothing extravagant show outwardly about him.  This basic life that he lived allows us to be in fellowship with him.  It gives hope as well, to those who think they have to be great all of life to achieve something.  Anything can be created with hope and love that is placed in the Lord.  How do we relate to the simple life of Jesus’ childhood?

The Faith of Jesus

Author: Mary

Oh how the Lord has blessed me!  Jesus was a faithful young boy who followed all of the Jewish Laws with great obedience.  Never once do I remember him being disobedient to Joseph or me.  He heeded every word that we said.  There was just once that I remember particularly where he gave us a bit of a fright.  We were traveling in a caravan between cities for a couple of days.  I had thought that Jesus was playing with our friend’s son when Joseph and I realized that he was missing.  How could I have lost God’s son!  I was so distraught.  We went back to look for him.  After much searching, we found Jesus in the temple with the elders of the temple.  What a relief it was to have had found him!  I could see that the Lord was beginning to give him a glimpse of this mission that he was given.  It would not be long, I could tell, before he would really start his work.  I wondered what it would be like.  Now I know; it has been a long road and people persecute him.  “Lord, protect my son.” This is my prayer.

Obedience, it is something that a lot of people struggle with.  Jesus, our savior, was able to show such humble obedience to his parents and the religious laws to which he lived under.  This obedience that Jesus shows to the Jewish Laws and his parents restores what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed at the beginning of time for the human race.  It is also interesting that the only event to enter the Gospels of Jesus’ childhood is when he is found in the temple.  He was there talking with the elders.  In this, we see a glimpse of the mystery of his mission that stems from his divine sonship.  How do we emulate the same obedience Jesus had?  Is our faith just as simple as his or do we over complicate things?

 

While You Were Sleeping [Christmas Version]

Artist: Casting Crowns

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight, tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Mary shivers in the cold
Trying to keep the Savior warm
Born among the animals wrapped in dirty rags
Because there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Creative Corner, Inspirational Music

 

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Mary, Woman of Wisdom and Patience

For one of the class we have with the sisters, we were instructed to read this certain passage, reflect upon it, find Mary’s message for us in it, and such.  Then we are to give the title to Mary that we feel in our hearts.  We have been talking about some that we could give her based on specific stories from the bible.  Here is the passage that we are to use.  It is John 2:1-12.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  (And) Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”  So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

However familiar it may be with me, I had to read it over and over again before I could come up with some words that could describe my reflection.  There are many different perspectives one could take.  Even though my focus is to be on Mary, I ended up seeing it from others’ perspectives too, which served to help in getting a good grasp on what may have been really happening at the wedding.  I did not allow myself to think of Mary quite yet.

The first time through, I was drawn to the servers and what they must have felt and thought.  To them, this man was expecting them to bring him water so that they could serve wine.  Yes, they had done it, but there must have been some confusion in their minds. 

The second time through, I thought about the two getting married.  We do not hear about them other than the praise that the headwaiter (who had not known what had happened) had given the bridegroom at serving the best wine last instead of first.  Did the newly married couple know what had happened later down the line?  Had they known that they ran out of wine and yet there was more to be served?

In the third reading that I did, my focus went to Jesus.  This was the first miracle performed by Him.  What was He thinking in the process?  Maybe Jesus had an idea of how He would react, but He may also have had no idea what would be said of this miracle.  I am left to wonder, would Jesus have done it if Mary was not there?

From there, I read the story a fourth time.  In this reading, I focused on who Mary was in this event and what role she had in the miracle.  I found that she had an immense patience with Jesus.  Her son calls her woman and gives what we would call today as attitude.  She knows what Jesus is to do, as she was told by an angel some years ago.  Was she be spoken to by God to start Jesus off on His ministry?  Despite what Jesus told her, she still turned to the servers and told them to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.  The respect people must have had to listen to what she says, overstepping what Jesus told her.  During and after the miracle, the writer does not tell us anything more about Mary’s presence.  Letting my imagination run, I can see her backing up and watching from the side all that is taking place.  I see a big smile on her face at seeing Jesus begin the ministry He was born to do.  There had to be wisdom in her that she knew what to do and what to say.  There had to be patience in her in order to respond as she did in talking to Jesus.  There was a deeper connection she had to what good needed to happen and how.  Despite that Jesus was God made flesh, He grew up with a mother as any human child would.  Mary, His mother, had the wisdom and patience with Jesus as God gave her on the day He was conceived. 

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Mary, Be My Mother

Oh Mary, favored one most holy

Please be my mother and guide

For I need someone to talk to

Someone in whom I can confide

Hold me in your loving arms

I need to share all in my heart

It is overflowing with so much

Keep me close, never from you part

I pray for your intercession

Keep me safe under your wing

That I may fulfill my purpose

And with pure happiness, sing

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Creative Corner

 

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Mary Most Holy

Mary most holy

Will you guide me

In this journey

 

I want to know your son

With whom it all begun

A love of sorrow and fun

 

Mary most holy

Will you guide me

In this journey

 

The long road is difficult

I hold in me many a fault

Please keep me from a halt

 

Mary most holy

Will you guide me

In this journey

 

Can you show me your ways

So I can travel this maze

Living for your son all my days

 

Mary most holy

Will you guide me

In this journey

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Creative Corner

 

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The Christmas Story told through Facebook

This is a video I was shown that someone posted on Facebook.  It is awesome enough that I had to share with all of you!

What do you think!?

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Videos

 

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