Reflection on a reflection on a reflection………….

My girl Cristina @ Filling My Prayer Closet posted a TBT blog-style, reflecting on a reflection………..and asked her readers to reflect too!  That’s a lot of reflection!  I decided (especially since I’ve been a horrible blogger and not blogged about all of the awesomeness going on) that I would share my reflections with you, and in turn as you to share back (reflect lol) in the comments, too!

Are you comfortable talking with others about your relationship with God?
+ This is an interesting question for me to reflect upon at this point, since my relationship has drastically changed with Him over the last year. I don’t think I’ve ever been uncomfortable sharing, but I do think that coming home (and all of the journey that has lead up to that) has made me more bold in sharing. That while I need to be sensitive to where someone is at, and how much I should give them (thank you Holy Spirit!) that I can and will endure any persecution that may come back at me.

 

Would you say that you’re a “normal” Catholic using the criteria outlined below? Or are you a “typical” Catholic, fighting that feeling that interest in the faith is only for a few pious eccentrics?

-It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be excited Christian activists.
-It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be knowledgeable of their faith, the Scriptures, the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church, and the history of the Church.
-It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have fellowship of other committed lay Catholics available to them, to encourage, nurture, and discern as they attempt to follow Jesus.
-It is NORMAL for the local parish to function consciously as a house for formation for lay Catholics.

+ Normal! Although while I agree that those things should BE normal, I definitely recognize they aren’t normal. What can we do to change that? I had to chuckle at your mention of “if you’re at a weekday Mass it’s because you WANT to be there” – YES!!! Even if it’s just you and the priest! 😉

 

Do you personally have, within your parish, a group of Catholics you meet with regularly, to discuss the faith, study the faith, and encourage each other to greater virtue?
+ I don’t know if I can say that this is within our parish, although it’s sprung from the parish and is ultimately a result of a parish mission last fall 🙂 But I’m so grateful to have a group of Catholics that I meet with (almost) weekly. We fellowship over a meal, enjoy praise and worship time, share what God has spoken to us through the week through scripture/lectio divina/prayer (amazing how others can help give insight as to what He’s saying if we’re open enough to share!), and minister to each other through the laying on of hands and prayer, and using our gifts given from the Holy Spirit! Can’t imagine my life without having a group like this 🙂

 

At this time, does your parish have in place a working system for actively mentoring those who want to grow in their relationship with God?
+ nope. Very unfortunate. ^^^ we’re working on that! ^^^ I think the work mentoring is key here too – it’s not just about having a lesson, but a relationship! Building each other up! Guiding each other!
Whaddya think?  How would you answer these questions?  How is God calling you to step out, be bold, and foster a need in your parish?   

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42

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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).

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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!

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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!

 

These worn pewbacks

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It really struck me the other day how worn the tops of the pewbacks were.  It prompted me to consider the parishioners before me…….

          How many people had rested their weary forearms there to plea to the Lord to touch their lives.

          How many children hung on with little hands in awe and wonder, learning how to come to Jesus.

          How many moms had leaned their elbows there, hands clasped and resting at their lips, praying for                 the salvation of their children.

          How many men had placed their head in their hands there, tears streaming down,                                           asking for direction.

          How many families had rubbed that wood while they said their penance.

 

The depth and history of our Catholic faith just amazes me.

 

What about………? {a series}

 

Many who aren’t in the Catholic church (and many who are, even) see the Church as nothing but a rule-imposing, overbearing, government of sorts.  But I’d like to take a moment to put a different perspective on this.

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As Catholics, we don’t worship the Church.  When Christ created the Church, He set it up to be a “household” of faith (2 Timothy 3:15 …..God’s household, which is the church of the living God…..).  You have parents that you love and honor, but do you worship them?  I hope not! 😉  The Church, in a sense (more on this analogy later) acts as a parent.  Just as parents we are to guide, educate, and direct our children to God, so does the Church for it’s parishioners. 

 

 As parents we have to set rules, boundaries, and routines in the home, and so does the Church in the Catechism.  If we let our children roam free, no guidance, no boundaries, no rules then they end up a mess – they don’t know right from wrong, they are sometimes fatally insecure, and they often feel no true love.  Not to mention the chaos that would ensue as a household!  The Catechism takes scripture and applies it to our modern-day lives, answering the question of “How do I apply the instruction that God has given us in the Bible to my life 2000+ years later?”.  The Catechism is here to give us boundaries, security, and to guide us.

 

The Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Marriage, Anointing of the sick, Reconciliation, Holy orders) are put in place to further our relationship with God, to aid our weak, human, simple, and sinful minds to relate to and experience Him fully, to help fill us with the richness of His love for us!

 

I know that these were some of the misconceptions I had prior to hearing the call to convert  that I have grown to greatly appreciate!  What are some subjects of the Catholic Church that you don’t understand?  I’d love to share my knowledge and address some misunderstandings!

 

There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.”  – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 

 

We interrupt this program……..

Yup, I’m behind.  I could catch up, but I’m choosing instead to be infused with the events and emotions surrounding Holy Week.  I’ll only come into the Church once, I want to savor every moment!  It’s already been an emotional and reflective week, and we’re just beginning the Triduum today!  I promise to catch up AND reflect on the week later!

Blogging the Saints, A to Z, letter “J”

A jolly good time to share with you some “J” Saints 🙂

 

St Jane Frances de Chantal, after overcoming some tremendous debt upon marrying her husband, served the poor by offering them soup and bread when they came to her door.  Sometimes the poor would pretend to leave and simply go to the end of the line to get more.  When others questioned why she didn’t turn them away, she replied, “What if God turned me away when I came back to him again and again with the same request?”  BOOM!  St Jane has a tremendous story of forgiveness and more – I do hope you’ll read more about her HERE.

 

St Jeanne Jugan, as most Saints, had a servants heart.  She served God in many ways – teaching catechism to the children of the town, serving the poor, and assisting at a hospital.  Most remarkable to me, though, was giving up her own bed to help a poor elderly woman.  Several women in the house that she lived did so also, and at the age of 87, 2,400 people were involved in their community, which had spread across Europe and across the ocean!

 

You can read more on Saints whose names begin with the letter “J” HERE 

 

Join me Saturday for a taste of “K” Saints 🙂

 

 

Blogging the Saints, A to Z, letter “I”

Are you interested in what I have for the letter “I”?  I sure hope so!

 

St Isidora the Simple (also called St Isidora the Fool for Christ) was almost like Cinderella.  She veiled her head with a simple rag, went about with the dirtiest of tasks, and was ridiculed and taunted by her fellow nuns.  That is until a hermit visited the convent.  He had received a word from God to go visit, and that “There you shall find an elect vessel full of the grace of God, and you shall know her by the crown that shines above her head.”  Upon arriving he asked to see all of the nuns, but it wasn’t until St Isidora entered into the room that he saw the crown shining above her head.  He quickly dropped to his knees, at which time she asked for his blessing.  From that point the other sisters repented of their behavior and honored her as a saint in their midst.

St Ia (how would you pronounce that?!?) was so successful at converting a Persian woman that she was arrested and tortured for several months before she was flogged to death and then beheaded.

 

You can read more on Saints whose names begin with the letter “I” HERE 

 

See y’all tomorrow for the “J” Saints 🙂