Sunday, January 30, 2011

Picnics and Beatitudes

I loved how Instrument of Your Peace presented the beatitudes this morning:
"Life is as nice as you choose to make it.
"It's not always picnics in the sun.
"I know that.
"Preserver. Everyone has ups and downs, good days and bad days (which sometimes last much longer than a day). Its normal.
"Being happy is just as much about making good things happen, like picnics, and having the right attitude.
"The beatitudes have always seemed to me very much about having the right attitude."

1 When he saw the crowds,
2 he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:..."

* * * * *
I agree that the beatitudes shared in today's gospel reading are definitely a frame of mind. It's about stepping through life with the right attitude. It's about having a picnic when the weather is right or spreading a blanket on the living room floor when it's raining outside. It's about calling weeds a flower. It's about creating a picnic out of five loaves of bread and two fish...literally. It's a backwards slant at our natural impulse and often a detached opinion of the ways we think things are suppose to work. Idioms if you will...

Blessed??? the poor!!!
They who mourn will be comforted?!?!
Those who hunger and thirst! will have their fill?
Blessed??? are the persecuted!!!

And so on.
In today's Magnificat "Day by Day" reading, Fr. Servais Pinckaers, O.P. shares:

"The Fathers saw in the Beatitudes the response of Christ to the question of happiness. When they present Jesus as addressing the philosophers' central question, the question of happiness, they are portraying him as the true sage...

"One cannot fulfill the Sermon on the Mount from constraint, from obligation or from duty. It is only attainble through the way of love, which rests at the center of its teaching and is the first gift of the Spirit. This love makes us free because it makes us act of our own accord, by our own inclination and spiritual enjoyment, in imitation of Christ and according the preferences ofthe Spirit. We cannot, however, enjoy or exercise such freedom unless we have accepted the detachments and purifications that are necessary in order to learn true love and be freed from our selfish instincts. This is the work of the Beatitudes..." ~ Fr. Seervais Pinckaers, O.P.

It's about saying that God is God and we are mere men and women.

The Beatitudes are about accepting this fact, embracing the unchanging limitations that go with it, presenting our weaknesses and deficiencies to God in a bread basket, offering everything up to His unfailing Mercy, Kindness, and Love, and going to the picnic anyway.

There we are guaranteed that our spirits will be fed. If we don't show up, we'll never know what was offered nor how much was given.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dead of Winter Daybook

This is my own Cajun Cottage version of the Simple Woman's Daybook ...begun Sunday night, forgotten by Monday morning, finished Friday at noon
Outside my Window..."the dead middle of winter" is what the newscaster calls it...brown grass...brown leaves...brown ground...brown trees...brown everything.

I am thinking. . . I want one of these. Anyone know how much one costs?

I am hearing...(Sunday Night) Sweet Home Alabama...the children are watching Despicable Me
(Friday @ Noon) slight hum of electricial fireplace, steady scratch of pencils across are doing their school work as I pay bills and finish my daybook...and incessant clawing of pet dog at the French doors wanting to come back inside because even she knows where warmth and comfort are.

I am thankful for. . .Holy Experiences and Graces
From the schoolroom. . .must find my copy of "Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum" in order to re-evaluate my 11th graders curriculum. Saint Anthony? Are you home?

UPDATE: I found it by Wednesday morning. Thank you, St. Anthony.

From the kitchen. . . Annie-girl and her Daddy are mixing and stirring and gumming together the Gum Factory Kit that her Godmother got her for Christmas.

UPDATE: She made mint bubblegum and all her siblings tried a piece. Not bad! Quite tasty!

I am wearing. . . old, red, baseball "My Daughter is a Sweetheart" T-shirt, jeans, warm socks

I am creating...a poetry study of Longfellow's Evangeline
I am reading. . .The Pope's Reflections on Facebook because I really do enjoy Facebook and I can always use our Holy Father the Pope and our Holy Mother the Church's guidance in making sure I don't overstep my compulsive boundaries.

On this Feast of St. Francis de Sales (patron saint of communicators), our Holy Father invites us:

"I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness. In this field too we are called to proclaim our faith that Christ is God, the Saviour of humanity and of history, the one in whom all things find their fulfilment (cf. Eph 1:10). The proclamation of the Gospel requires a communication which is at once respectful and sensitive, which stimulates the heart and moves the conscience; one which reflects the example of the risen Jesus when he joined the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35). By his approach to them, his dialogue with them, his way of gently drawing forth what was in their heart, they were led gradually to an understanding of the mystery."

I am hoping. . .this week is a replica of the past three far so good.

I am praying...for my college's going to be a long, tough road this semester.
And for Garrett's MRI results...hopefully there is something that can be done.
Observing the Liturgical Calendar...I really want to do a better job this year and am using Pope Pius XI's Quas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King) as my home and at church.

"For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year—in fact, forever. The church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life." (Pope Pius XI)

Around the house. . . I cleaned my pantry last week and my laundry room yesterday. Small spaces. Small spots. Small corners. I'm better in the small than I am in the large.

I am wondering...what brings you more domestic pleasure? A linen closet? Or a pantry?

One A few of my favorite things. . .
  • my new Scentsy (A Gift Heavenly and Sweetly Sent!)
  • my new iPhone (Love. It!)
  • movie nights w/ Annie-girl!
  • my chickens
  • fresh brown eggs
  • a husband who can fix almost anything
  • planning First Reconciliation/First Communion Retreat for 2nd graders
A few plans for the rest of the week. . .Co-op classes on Monday/ Keeper's Club and Basketball Game on Tuesday/ Work and CCD on Wednesday/ Shopping and Birthday party on Thursday/ dr. appt. and Basketball Game on Friday/ Catechetical Conference on Saturday

Here is couple of picture thoughts (to brighten the "dead of winter") I am sharing...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pure Sugar...with a Little Bit of Peppermint

A December post that never got posted...

I couldn't find the meat tenderizer-hammer and my littlest elf, who beat the peppermint candy on our last peppermint spree, wasn't home; so I didn't remember what we used to crush the mints. Had to go out to my husband's shop to find a hammer. Done!


My middle daughter enters the kitchen. She's sick so she has to stand back from the baking center by about fifteen or so feet (give or take an inch). She ventures an observation, "Mom, yours doesn't exactly look like the one in the picture."

Remember, she is speaking from some fifteen feet away...possibly fifty.

"I know, honey. Mine never does. That's why I'm not on television with Rachael Ray and Paula Deen making the big bucks. But it tastes all the same, doesn't it?"
It's all good...and very yummy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Counting My Holy Experiences

It's been a long breath since I read Sarah ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance. I remember how she said to script a journal of simple blessings everyday.
Last Christmas my friend Kimberly gave me a "Blessings/Gifts Journal" with a shell the color of my current blog banner and the simple instruction to: "Every time you think of something the Lord has given to you, write it down."
And a prophesy: "May this journal become a legacy for you and your children---and one day, grandchildren---of the faithfulness of the Lord. May it remind you just how much He loves you."
Thus begins my sampling of those holy experiences that shines a candle over the faithfulness of God and how much He loves me.

* * * * *

#1  A week entered into w/ trepidation yet blessed with God's grace on everything and everyone
#2   Being allowed the friendship of one so dear and the grace to listen to her as she commits to my prayers the health of her children, her heart cracked open by the recent loss of her baby, flooded anew by her husband's recent unemployment, and shuttered by a more recent car accident.
#3   Our church's Confirmation candidates for 2011
#4   People who work the home mission field with me...for God and no other
#5  For scattered paper trails and Duct-Tape Art projects
#6   Clean pantries
#7 Boston Creme Pies
#8 Older daughters who come home
#9 Older daughters who have aced the fine arts of everything domestic even though you can't take credit for teaching any of it...unless it was all those years of helping to care for younger siblings.
#10 Middle daughters who have become exceedingly tidy...though you can't take credit for that either.
#11 President's List
#12 Dean's List
#13 Reminding another child to always remember that a test score does not define his life
#14   Co-op classes which prepare my children for studies in the areas I lack
#15   Awesome sons who give me and get me set-up and all-a-twitter with my first-ever Iphone!
Dare to Live...Right Where You Are...Count Your Holy Experiences...See how Much God loves you...

Friday, January 7, 2011

My First {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Hosted by the inspiring SouleMama.

So I couldn't do it with a single photo, neither can I do it w/out a comment.
You see, these two have got to be the most competitive, the most protestive, and the most argumentive...towards each other.
But {this moment} is all about "Moments" and even these two have their "Moments".
This was one such "Moment" that I wish to capture and keep.
Photos courtesy of "Nanny Lanell"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Begging Belief

"When the king of heaven was born, the heavens knew that he was God because they immediately sent forth a star; the sea knew him because it allowed him to walk upon it; the earth knew him because it trembled when he died; the sun knew him because it hid the rays of its light" (Saint Gregory the Great)

"The manifestation of the Son of God to the world begs belief from us by which we will be led home by another way." ~ Magnificat (Jan. 2011)

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