Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Galactic Catholic Photo of the Day: Louisiana

There is a silver lining to every cloud. More often though we cannot see it. It hides behind a darkness we create in our minds when we don't get our way.  Even worse, not living for the life you are called to this day hinders you from seeing the down pour of grace that Christ showers all of us with.

The rare occurance of seeing the silver lining can make more apt to behold the brillance of God the Father's ever lasting ray of light that that calls you to him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A post for the Pleiades

Amos 5:8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The LORD is His name. NASB

Wow!  I nearly leaped for joy when I read that line a few weeks ago.  God is so great. God is so great.  

It's funny that, in a mention of a near death story, a woman asks the persons she sees around her if the 'light' is God.  She said that they told her it was His breathe.  I always felt like the Holy Spirit was like the rain, but when the liturgy wording was changed to 'like the dewfall'.  Ahhh, that is now one of my favorite lines of the mass.  God is so great.

As you may have guessed, I am one of those nut jobs who love nature.  I see God in all aspects of it.  The birds that live in the Arctic are amazing to the plants that grow inside of host insects.  All of these and all of man that numbers the stars are a beautiful creation and true evidence of God's beautiful work.

It's how we relate to the work of God that helps us to either see Him and desire to know more or be blinded by the work of man.  Simplicity is key.  I would love to live in cave and look at the stars and study trees every day and night, but Christ calls me to interact with people darnit!

While people can be quite difficult, it is pretty clear from scripture that there is a way to go about it.  The main sticking point for Christ is that he listens.  He listens now, he listened when he was God in man on Earth.  He even listened before we were made.  What is cool is that I, we, have the opportunity to listen back.  It's not a test, but a contest!  If you can't relate to God's love, then you most certainly can relate to Our Savior's ability to listen no matter what.  

Some may get disheartened and think that He is not listening.  Myself included.  But it is true folly to try to test Our Lord.  But if you listen to the trees, the wind, the Pleiades, you may hear the desires of God within the heart of man.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spiritual Meatloaf

Reading liturgy of the hours today, was like eating delicious comfort food after a really long hard day.  It has been a surprise to me and not what I expected it would be.  God is glorious and the prayers for the liturgy of the hours are full of waters of the spirit reaching to my dehydrated soul.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Liturgy of the Hours

I just purchased a Christian Prayer book in order to try out Liturgy of the Hours.  I also just put in my two weeks notice at my current school.  It goes without saying that I need extra grace!

The two really don't relate that much.  I have been wanting to pray the liturgy of the hours for a while and I think it's important to get to praise God in Heaven as much as possible.  I am definitely into the Old Testament verbage. I am very excited about the daily time spent trying to figure out how and when to pray these prayers.  Okay, not really.

I realized I need more grace and a friend was saying how great the Liturgy of the Hours was, so I figured I would give it a go.  One thing I love are those goofy wood cut graphics that are used.  They make me smile.

It sure would be cool to be called to religious life and prayer this stuff like the holy people do, but I'm not, so I'll just wing it and grow more.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Laissez les bons temps rouler

I can't say how happy I am to be in Louisiana again.  There is something in the feel of being home that you can never get out of your system.  The main reason I left two years ago was to find a better teaching experience.  I had a wonderful, wonderful teaching experience in Florida, but I felt God calling me back to bring that experience to the kids who need it most in New Orleans.

I made a connection with my New Orleans teaching experience and the priest's homily on the scripture today.  The connection was on the idea of letting negativity get to you and losing your cool when you try so hard not too.

It's hard to teach kids that have a tough life.  It's very easy for a hot-tempered French heritage person like myself to lose my temper a little.  But I remind myself that these kids have a lot of experiences of anger at home, so if I yell, it does little to change their lives for the better.

Luckily, they are much different from the students I taught before in a poor situation, in that those children lived in a constant trauma state of being.  The kids I teach now are a little better off, but still willing to fight over the smallest thing.  But I like their fire and grit and spice.  They love big and they live big.

Christ calls out in the gospel to love the children as the first among us.  I cannot compare myself to Christ in any way, and that is not what this article is about.  It is about the need to keep your cool in difficult times.  Especially when you have experienced pain or aggravation, your brain gets a little mushy and you forget to be your best self.

I hate loosing my temper and I haven't done so in years. I dislike arguing to the point of just not talking about the argument till I have gone to adoration or prayed about it.  But you can't always make it to adoration when your working or you have other little people to watch over.

The important thing to remember is that Jesus Christ gives the grace you need for today.  I loved in the Magnificat, how the reflection discussed the 'lack of knowledge' of the called disciples.  How they would be the last ones you would think, would be picked to inspire a new way of thinking: to love fellow men as yourself.  They were given, as we are given, grace enough for the moment.

The comparison of ourselves and the disciples is that we still live amidst other people.  Children and adults that have souls longing to know Christ.  

I can't say I haven't screwed up and talked too loud to them, because I have.  But I can keep trying to hold myself accountable to what Christ calls of me. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Galactic Catholic Universe:Church Window Photo of the Day

Episcopal Church in Lakeland, FL.  I left this large so you can appreciate the beauty of it too.

Our visible God can be seen in the actions of those that strive to show Christ to others. Saints that have walked among us in the last century such as Mother Theresa and Padre Pio are well known as examples of the faith.

Our invisible God grants sustenance through his son Jesus Christ in the form of the consecrated Host that is transubstantial. The invisibility is felt through the change in direction from prayer or exterior guidance.

Ultimately, God is at work in and among us, both visible and invisible.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does a soulmate exist?

A while back I went looking for a little understanding on the idea of a soulmate. Did they exist? So I asked my mom. Before I repeat what she said, this is what I thought. I think, and still do think, that our hearts have a great capacity to love more and more. That just loving one person in a lifetime is not possible when our hearts are called to such great love of all in humanity. I looked up the definition too and this is what came up, that absolutely resonated with me: soulmate. This definition was totally beautiful for a meaning if you ever looked for one. I've loved deeply a couple of times and this one really hit a mark. But then my mom said something a little different. She said that she always loved my dad but he became her soulmate. So that idea of one becoming a soulmate is viable also. I always go right back to Christ on these things because He is the one who can truly know another soul. And the first one who has loved you is the Savior. The value of knowing the Savior loves you in this way and so deeply, is better than an Earthly soulmate. That doesn't mean that an Earthly companion in this life isn't super great too, it just means that to love Christ as much as you would a spouse is possible and achievable. The cool thing is, is that Christ will not hurt you, He will only love you deeply because your soul calls out to accept the great mercy He has for you. It would be great to find a special love in this lifetime, but if not, it is better to have loved. And Christ has died trying to save our souls, accept that love and pass it on.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mountain Climbing for the Spiritually Minded

If personal standards were a mountain, then some would climb Everest and some might wade through a swamp.  Measuring up to God’s standards is easier said than done.  The greatest obstacle is measuring up to our own standards. 

But for those who seek God, one of the hardest things to do is accept his mercy and live with joy.  The words of saints can testify to this in their desire to seek perfection.  I prefer to think of it in a more easily understood way. 

Consider the actions of a beloved pet dog.  The dog learns that he/she has done something bad through trial and error.  The dog knows when you are displeased with it.   After that discipline and punishment is given, your pet does not dwell in sorrow and mortification.  He comes to run, play, eat and poo again.

A priest I spoke with recently clarified the worst sins well when he said that ‘of course sin in all its forms is bad, but for each person the sin that offends Christ the most is one that keeps him from charity’. 

God’s standards are pretty clearly written in the Scripture and attested by the Traditions set forth by Jesus Christ himself.  It is vital to accept Christ’s saving grace in the absolution of confession and proceed with joy and charity.  Spiritual mountain climbing then depends on your gear. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vocation Poster

This is what I came up with for my parish.  I have some other ideas, but this is the teen/young adult fun poster.  We'll see if they like it in the office.  After years of working with priests, you get used to them sometimes not liking something to bright!  But I love the church and I love to work on vocation committees.  Roman Catholic Priests have studied theology and they know a lot more than me about reasons behind why they do things.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Discern Your Vocation in the Holy Catholic Church!!

I am working on a vocations poster for my parish today.  I came across an old graphic I made for a friend's blog, before I made a blog.  It came about because I love fish sandwiches from McDonalds.

Here is the link:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Choice for Good or Evil

There is always a turning point to realize more about Christ’s love for us, or to turn away and shut a door to the light.  There are several questions that come up from that line of thinking. One is the question of how to choose the right when you are faced with an easy wrong, and another is what to do when you have chosen wrongly.

Luckily, if you choose wrongly, I can assure you that your head will not blow up like the guy in “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.”  I love that movie!  If you choose correctly, nothing may happen also.

These type of choices have much to do with the spirit within.  The right choice can bolster your soul and person. The right choice can be reflected in your next right choice.  The right choice may only show in that moment after a year that you have been praying for courage or some grace which God has revealed to you.  The spirit within will continue is longing for truth in Christ, if a right choice is made.  The spirit within will be guided by a greater force and lead you to and through hardship or joy.

When the wrong choice is made, or let’s call it a missed opportunity to love, there is sense of loss within the spirit.  It depends on how long it has been since you allowed the spirit to guide you in your choices. All persons have a faith, whether they know it or not.  For some of the faithful, there is a feeling of loss when a sin is commited.  A wrong is not necessarily a sin, but the choices I am thinking of either lead to sin or are already themselves a choice to sin or not.

But you don’t know that you may have sinned in the moment.  It may be a choice for laziness, greed or desire.  It may be a choice made with a clouded view from something in the present or the past environment.  Either way, a loss of grace can take place if the choice made is one that is no good for the soul.

I think we all have experience with both choices.  You can go about your easy weekdays and poof, here comes an opportunity to make a choice right out of the blue.  It can be as simple as helping someone and showing charity without judgment to not falling in to your deepest set of sins.  How do you choose the right one when the urge and habit are to choose the greater evil.

It takes an immense amount of strength that humanity just doesn’t have.  That’s right, we can’t choose the right. Not you or me, with out the help of the Holy Spirit.  There is plenty of good to go around though. On a side note, one can say what about the people who haven’t heard of Christ, who chose good during their life?  On a side answer to that, super for them, but they still will meet Jesus Christ and have to choose Him, which will fulfill and complete the actions and purpose of their lives.

The fact is, those people are living without a full cup of the Holy Spirit.  We all have good within us because we were made in the image of God and God is all good.  But we are talking about mainly, the daily battle against evil that we all face in our choices to love God and obey His commandments or not.

If we choose wrongly, and our heads don't blow up, then the next choice is to pray and ask for the guidance for the right choice. If we choose rightly, and our heads still don’t blow up and we don’t get to heal a bullet wound or whatever, then the next choice is to pray and ask for the guidance for the next right choice.  That’s what a relationship with God is, a choice.  A full cup can only be full if you continue to fill it up.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Teachers' Trees

The trees for the forest is something I just don't get unless I think about actual people.  I mean, are you supposed to think about the trees or the forest?? I get it for people though, because I am a school teacher and education is changing every day, for the trees or the forest, I don't know.

It frustrates me greatly that there is such a great need for each individual child to experience good and kindness during their school day, while also experiencing knowledge and discipline.

The teacher/first responder/pseudo-parent/special needs coordinator is tasked with an insurmountable burden when there are many children put in a room that also want good, kindness, knowledge and discipline.  How is one to do all these things and get them to pass tests also?

Over my ten years of education experience I have found it is most important to love.  A school classroom is extremely like the real world.  Extremely.  There is so much that goes on under the exterior artifices that exist in the classroom.  Between the people in charge of the teacher and the parents in charge of the child, the teacher is pulled in many directions that cannot be handled all at once. 

When I think of the forest, there is a lot of stuff you don't see that is making it all work.  Like the fungus decomposer and the food web replanting seeds and nurturing the Earth.  When I think of the tree, I see an outer shell with many inner shells that have been effected by past events that will determine its success.

It is hard, but I do believe it's Christ's work. Hug a tree. Hug a child.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Spirit Diet

Had a nice visit and conversation with Our Lord at the beach a couple of weekends ago. He said to write, he said to chill out more.

One of the things he also listened to me complain about is that I am frustrated to have such an annoyingly strong conscience but such a weak will.

All of the religious types say to form the will with good reading and all that.  Of course I do and have done.  But the frustration lies in knowing that faith grows in the leaps and bounds of Christ.  There is no pill for it or faith diet, or even any Spirit surgery.

You just have to keep on and do it.  Pray that is.  Have those continuous tough conversations even if it totally sucks.

I don't like that word, but it reverberates my point to the heart.  Sometimes things are yucky.  Faith isn't, prayer isn't, but the obedience that Christ calls us too is.  His obedience was to be crucified, so mine, as one who must die to faith is nothing to complain about.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Take a Knee

A few years ago, I realized I was thankful to be able to kneel.  Bad knees and arthritis runs in my family and I hope I don't experience it sooner rather than later, but at some point it will be hard for me to kneel. So I am thankful I can now.

Yesterday, the meditation in Magnificat had the phrase "subject the flesh to the spirit" which reminded me of when I first thought about kneeling.

For a few weeks I was trying to think of some small mortification I could do for our Lord. To kneel for long periods of time hurts, but we could definitely call it subjecting the flesh to the spirit as well as bending the mind to the will.  I thought kneeling is an inconspicuous way to offer extra for Christ on Calvary.

There are always ways to raise up small discomforts to join with the sufferings of the cross, but to kneel before His great glory in joy, thankfulness, sorrow or dryness is a great grace.

Any extra time spent kneeling in church or not is part of a narrow path that God calls us too. I am going to try it out a little more at home and see what God comes up with for me.

Queen of the Universe Adoration Chapel, Orlando, FL

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Good Intentions

I thought of many great things I could write about for my mini-blog over the holidays, but really I don't have time this school year.  But when I might try to squeak out a complaint, I get a post from a page called iamviable, that I follow on fb.  I added the quote because I want to hang this in my class room.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Generosity of Mary the Mother of God

The beauty of Mary the Mother of God is able to be seen in the faith of a child's prayer. With beautiful hearts those children that experience the love of Our Lady trust her as a child trusts a mother to bring food or care or help.

The other day while in the beautiful church of Our Lady of Mercy, I remembered the childlike love I had for her. I always credit my own human mother for the love that the Spirit grew in my heart for Mary because she is the one who told me to ask her for help when I was four.

Our Lady readily came to my aide in a very distressing series of nightmares. I didn't have those nightmares again for several years after. My faith in God grew from a simple act of a Mother telling her child to ask Sweet Mary for her help.

Ever since that time Our Lady has gently coerced me back to the loving arms of Christ and his saving love. I revere Mary as the Theotokos, the God bearer. But also as one great and first saint among us that as shown me the fruition of trusting in the will of God and not my own will.