Living sanctuary…..

It’s been a crazy, blessed, busy summer!

In June, on Pentecost, our two oldest children (Peyton, 14, and Jazlyn, 11) made their profession of faith, were received into the Church, and received their First Holy Communion!

In July, Peyton and I had the privilege of participating in Prayer and Action – a week-long mission within our diocese with teens from other parishes.  I went without expectation and ended up profoundly moved!  It seems selfish to have gone to serve others and somehow received so much.  I would live P&A year-round if I could!  We got a lot done in the little town of Belleville during our week there, and I know the other weeks did too!

Last week I went on a 4 day hermitage at the base of the Rocky Mountains (just enough to be out of the city, not enough to get nauseous while driving up the mountain).

 
I’ve been trying to not keep God in my little box (aka not have expectations) but wowsers did I not expect the hermitage to go as it did 🙂  I will spare you details, though, and instead share some reflections that I journaled while I was there.

DSC_3916     During the night last night, I was given Psalm 96 to read.  When I read it this morning, verse 6 struck me:

Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

You’re familiar with the song “Sanctuary” right?  “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.  With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.”  Beautiful song!  While we were at Prayer and Action we sang that, a capella, during communion every morning at Mass.  While I’ve known the song for many years, that was the first time I’d sung or heard it since my conversion, and my heart melted.

As Catholics He truly does call us to be a living sanctuary for Him – after all, we receive Him – body, blood, soul, and divinity – in the Eucharist.  Outside of death, we cannot get any closer to our Lord and Savior than when He enters us in communion.  At that time, we come into union with Him and we truly are His sanctuary, acquiring the strength and beauty written in Psalm 96:6.

Lord thank you for calling me to holiness, for purifying my heart, for making me transparent, and firm in my love for you, that I may be, with thanksgiving, a living sanctuary for YOU!

Peace like a river?

You know that hymn “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul!”, right?  When Peyton, our oldest, was a baby, I had a home daycare.  One of the little guys (then 3) I watched was such a ham!  He was playing one day singing a song, so I asked what he was singing.  “I’m singing the song that was in church!!!  ‘Police lying in the river, I’ve got police lying in the river……….'”  LOL!!!   Still makes me chuckle 😉

medium_97053248561

 

As I was lifting up many loved ones that are seeking the Lord’s peace, that hymn went through my mind.  Peace flowing like a river………….

 

How many times have we prayed for His peace to be upon us?  If you’re anything like me, it’s a lot!  But perhaps we’re blocking it – being the dam, if you will.  We dam it up by living a lifestyle of sin, being full of pride (trying to fix everything ourselves), conforming to the patterns of the world (do we enroll our kids in every activity to “keep up with the Joneses”?),  making ourselves too busy to spend ample time with Him daily, being disobedient, avoiding confession (this could also fall into the pride category!) or not being repentant.  That’s just a few of the things that came to mind anyway.

 

Are you seeking His peace?  Ask God to reveal to you what’s keeping that river from flowing into and through you.  He’ll tell you – question is, are you willing to listen and then act on it?

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  John 14:27
photo credit: batintherain via photopin cc

Brylie is baptized!

One of the things I get to experience having come into the Church with my kids at an older age is their decisions and participation in the Sacraments.

Baptism has always been very important to me – even from the time I was baptized at age 8, I felt that baptism was an essential part in a person’s walk with the Lord and accepting His gift of salvation.  I don’t recall if this was taught to me or if it’s a belief that I formed on my own, but it’s in line with the Church’s teaching on the importance of baptism 🙂

Brylie (7) has been asking for almost a year to be baptized.  When I decided to come into the Church I knew why I had hesitated before – now she could be baptized and in doing so become part of the Catholic Church! During the last of my formation/education I had asked Father Norbert, and we set the date.  Brylie was THRILLED!!!  Father knew some of her knowledge of Christianity because we had met with him as a family, and just wanted to meet with her once to make sure this was her decision (at about this age the Church considers them to be the age of reason – they know right from wrong and can choose for themselves).

10297904_10152370722035359_3535251878557107520_n

Yesterday was the big day – we had talked and talked about what it meant, the awesome gift that Jesus had given us on His Cross, and she was READY to be cleansed, become a child of God, a daughter of the King, a new creation in Christ, and receive the Holy Spirit!  Her baptism was to take place after Mass, and as Father was making a couple of brief announcements she knew Mass was all but over and could not sit still, lol!

 

She listened to everything Father said with such intensity.  It was absolutely precious!!!  10308267_572079106239420_8195425157472823316_n

She answered all of his questions perfectly (she was worried that she’d mess up) and was full of joy (Holy Spirit!!!) as she was baptized

In the name of the Father.

And of the Son.

And of the Holy Spirit!

10325295_572079179572746_1983938884130306929_n

After her godfather lit her baptismal candle from the Paschal candle, she received a blessing (as did the rest of her family and her godparents).

10152389_572079199572744_8186176104247482169_nIt was such a joyful day for all of us!  She was still floating this morning – Mom!  Yesterday was a REALLY BIG DAY FOR ME!!!

It’s so renewing to see child so seeking God, no holding back, that reminds us to come to Him as children – without hesitation and full of joy, anticipation, hope, excitement, and love!