Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On the third Day of Christmas...

...I just could not get it all done (do we ever?) so here is a little family blessing from our house to yours. We Sullivans had such a good year and here are some photo highlights from 2011. For me, I had been dreading, for years, Maggie's obtaining her learner's permit for driving. Well, goes to show that we should truly "fear not," because helping her learn to drive has been some of the most fun I have had in years. Watching Joybeth during her first year as a teenager has been a joy in all aspects. Our son, who is 10, is full of energy and, while I do not have a soccer photo in the mix, that was such a big time for him this fall.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Grandmommy loves you....

...more than you'll ever know, Sara, darling."

Growing up in Kentucky, I heard this thousands of times in a soft, southern drawl. I am named after my paternal grandmother, Sara Evelyn Gott Cohron. I know few people so unadulterated, so full of wholesome love and affection. She died just a month before our wedding day, in the summer of 1994, but her pure and loving spirit abides in my heart. The beauty of the Communion of Saints is that I am still getting to know her quiet, steadfast person. She is praying for me. I know this. I know that many of the soft, sweet promptings that I feel, as a wife and mother and sister in Christ, come from the love poured in to me by my grandmother Sara. Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise!

This morning, as I was reflecting on a book of daily spiritual meditations (I try to take some time every morning to ask God "in" to my day, hopefully listening to one or two things that I know He has planned for me for the day.) I was deeply aware, for a minute or two, of the refreshing love God is always sending our way. He is so meek and humble of heart. His servants are meek and humble of heart.

This is so sweet. I am also praying and reading alot about our need to completely experience the Father's blessing, through the one saving act of His Son on the Holy Cross. I know that sounds like remedial Christianity. It is. As I have been going around the house doing my work, I have been humming and singing the words of the good thief, the thief who "stole Heaven." We pray:

Jesus, remember me, when You come in to Your Kingdom.
Jesus, remember me, when You come in to Your Kingdom!

As I mentioned in a recent post, lately God has been asking me to become more aware of the various charisms He gives to us, the members of the Body of Christ. Thanks be to God and his priests, there is an Awakening going on in my soul. This may sound corny. I do not care. I am, and always have been, a bit of a country girl. In the Kentucky of the 1930's, one of the delights of my grandmother Sara's youth was to feed the chickens on her family farm. Here in suburban Georgia, last month, at a recent parish mission, the priest talked about "entering the atmosphere of God's Kingdom," and he evoked an image in me of the recent movie I had seen earlier this summer with my husband and my son, "Apollo 13," with actor Tom Hanks.

In the movie, the astronauts do not make their lunar landing, as planned. They do, however, leave the atmosphere of their home planet, Earth. They circle the moon and view the Earth from afar. This has happened to me with the terrible sufferings of what has happened in Regnum Christi and the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ. Sufferings shoot us out of ourselves, making us so vulnerable. So often, it can make us bitter; and, we may choose to leave our "homeland," which is God's Love and Mercy, for a long time.

Thanks be to God, this did not happen to me. I asked, and asked, and asked again for Mary to "hold me." I asked the Blessed Mother to pray to Jesus, her Divine Son, Who will refuse nothing she asks. I asked her to ask Him to tell me what I need to stay the course and live out the Father's Holy Will for my life. In a nutshell, the answer was the Holy Spirit.

So, I do not know everything. I do know that I am loved and blessed beyond my wildest imaginings. That is so good. On that, I can hang my hat. On that, I can call it a new day, a day in which I am open and ready to love others as God loves. When I fail, I jump in to Mary's lap, which is mysteriously the Seat of Wisdom.

I answered my grandmother's blessing this morning during my prayer time. I told her, "I am just starting to know what 'more than you'll ever know' is..." I am just starting to know.

May Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Renewed, restructured, repurposed...

...recycled, re-invited, revised...what more comes to mind? At the end of last school year, I responded "Yes" to an invitation to attend a one-day (Saturday) Catholic Charismatic Conference, here in suburban Atlanta. It was a day dedicated to "praise and teaching." My heart and mind were renewed. I was taught in a very special way, hard to articulate for me, even with two university degrees (was graduated in 1989 from Brown University, B.A. with Honors; and, again, in 1992, from Vanderbilt University, M.A. with Honors.) that God's Wisdom is truly not human wisdom. I have been thinking and praying lately that I desire and need the Holy Spirit to guide my steps, as we enter in to a new school year. Our children are 15, 13 and 10.

I am a wife and mother. Thanks be to God and to my faithful husband, I have, throughout most of my almost 17 years of marriage been a stay-at-home wife and mother. We began homeschooling 6 years ago and this little work has done so much to enrich our life of faith and grace, within the arms of Mother Church. We try hard to ask God to increase our faith, hope and love. We often fall short and are very human ("in the flesh" as one dear sister in Christ recently expressed to me). His grace is surely enough, and that is an awesome reality indeed. Alleluia!

I enjoy looking at the odds and ends around our house, garage and yard, especially our eclectic mix of furniture, and see how we can move things around, paint something, or use some thing or some place in our home for something a little fresher, a little different from what or where it has been. I think our awesome God, in His infinite creativity, often looks at our lives that way. He is inviting us to change. We know this.

If we set about to plan our daily lives -- daily, weekly, monthly...into retirement-- without Him and the Spirit of God, we will surely "poop out" and find ourselves exhausted and depleted. This has happened to "me and mine" on several occasions. On the other hand, we must turn to his holy mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and hear the Words of her Spouse, "Repent and believe the good news!" The Sacrament of Penance saves us over and over and keeps us humble, secure and free.

This summer 2011, I have been hearing God tell me to turn to Him, to wait on the Lord and let Him fill me with His grace and purpose FIRST, then I can "go out and make disciples of all the nations." Here is the big news that is big and little, at the same time:

We wives and moms are called to make these disciples first and foremost in our homes among brother husband and sister daughter. Among brother son. Among brother dog and sister cat. If I may add, with a bit of reverant humor, among brother dust and sister laundry!

I am off to do some cooking and to pray a morning offering with our son. I hope and pray for renewal in Mother Church, starting with one domestic church at a time.

Please, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, renew this wife and mother's heart. Bring my heart between your Holy Hearts and make a "heart sandwich". I want my heart to be completely consumed by the fires of Divine Love, so that all evils will be conquered, especially those evils that hatch so close to home through the internet, salacious advertising and music, and general concupiscence. May Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Holy Will be Done in us, as persons and as families, now and throughout all eternity. Amen.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Blessings 2011!

I will hopefully add some family photos to this post soon. Spiritual renewal is ongoing; and, this time of year we feel the blessing and power of the Resurrection. We pray to be risen, to live and work and see all reality with that supernatural vision that faith in Jesus Christ and His Mission give us. I have ups and downs like everyone, even still, there is one constant thought in my mind -- it is the utter and absolute amazement that Christ would die for us sinners. This is inseparable from the reality that He rose for us too, so that we would have the courage and confidence to accept our adoption as children of God.

For a wonderfully inspiring article that encourages us to see how St. Therese can give such timely spiritual guidance throughout the Easter season, go here.

“Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples” (Matthew 28:8).

"Ascending on high he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." (Ephesians 4:10)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

from all your idols I will cleanse you...

Canticle – Ezekiel 36:24-28
The Lord will renew his people
They will be his own people, and God himself will be with them, their own God (Revelation 21:3).

I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands,
and bring you back to your own land.

I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart
and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.

I will put my spirit within you
and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.

You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
you shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

from Morning Prayer (Divineoffice.org)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila to keep keeping Lent

“Why O Lord, should I be preoccupied with my fears and lose courage in the face of my weakness? You give me to understand that I must fortify myself in humility, and convince myself that I can do very little alone, and that without your help I am nothing. I shall put all my confidence in your mercy, and shall distrust my own strength, convinced that my weakness is caused by my self-reliance. You teach me not to be astonished at my struggle, for when a soul wishes to give itself over to mortification, it encounters difficulties on all sides. Does it wish to give up its ease? What a hardship! To scorn a point of honor? What a torture! To endure harsh words? Intolerable suffering! In short, it becomes filled with extreme sadness, but as soon as it resolved to die to the world, every anguish is at an end.”

Saint Teresa of Avila

I was over at the Catholic Spiritual Direction blog and found this prayer. Perfect timing!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Lady of the Annunciation, pray for us!

This prayer is from the Invitatory on DivineOffice.org:

Prayer to Our Lady of the Annunciation

Queen of heaven and earth,
daughter of the Father,
Mother of the divine Son,
spouse of the Holy Spirit,

I praise God for the unique grace given to you.
Mary, you became the great Mother of our divine Savior,
our Master, true Light of the world,
uncreated Wisdom, source of all truth and first Apostle of truth.
You gave the world the book to read, the eternal Word.

For this I bless the holy Trinity
and I ask you to obtain for me
the grace of heavenly wisdom,
to be a fervent disciple of Jesus
and to be lovingly devoted to the Church,
the pillar of truth.

Make the light of the Gospel
shine to the farthest bounds of the earth.
Queen of the Apostles, pray for us!

Prayer Source: Fr. James Alberione SSP

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Poem for March

Written in March

THE cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plowboy is whooping- anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!

William Wordsworth

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

from Morning Prayer

READING 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation! He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from him. As we have shared much in the sufferings of Christ, so through Christ do we share abundantly in his consolation.