I SAW GOD TODAY

I SAW GOD TODAY

Yesterday was the Feast Day of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus.  As I drove through dark, empty streets to an early morning mass, I had time to reflect on the tiny miracles God had bestowed upon my family.  The names of these little miracles are Oliver and Olivia.

February 7, 1985, my husband and I were blessed to become the parents of our precious firstborn, a daughter.  The next seven years, we were blessed with two sons and our family was complete; or so we thought.  February 7, 2007 was the day we were proud to become grandparents to a sweet granddaughter.  Two years later, we celebrated the birth of her brother, our first grandson.

With each milestone our family celebrated, we have grown in number, in faith and in grace.  We have shared sacraments together including baptisms, first communions and weddings.  The years have brought good times and precious memories as well as hardships, illness and difficult times.

One such difficult time was the inability of our eldest son and his wife to conceive.  Each wedding anniversary for them was a time to celebrate, but also a reminder of the fact they remained a family of two and childless.  They heard the usual comments, “it will happen when the time is right…”  The love between the two of them and their love for Christ was evident as was the longing for a child.  It is natural for a man and wife to want to share their love with a child created by their love and God.  A child that is not only apart of their family, but also God’s family – God’s child.

As a mother, my heart ached for them and the emptiness they felt.  As a Catholic, I knew that I had to put my trust in God and wait for His Will.  Still, I felt I should do something!  I remembered hearing a story about Mother Teresa.  It was said that upon hearing a young couple lament over their infertility, Mother advised the woman to wear a Miraculous Medal and pray for our Mother Mary’s intercession.   The story goes that the couple returned a year later to inform Mother Teresa they had conceived.

So, in early 2018, I purchased a Miraculous Medal, had it blessed and wore it around my neck.  Our family prayed and put our trust in the Lord and we waited.

Ten months later, I took a trip with my daughter and two grandchildren.  While in my hotel room, my Miraculous Medal broke off the chain around my neck and fell to the floor.  I picked it up and quickly reattached the medal.  It had never done that before.

Upon returning home; I was relaxing with my husband and telling him all about my adventure, when there was a knock on our front door.  We greeted my son and his wife and soon learned that the day we had prayed and wished for had come!  My husband and I cried tears of joy upon learning our daughter-in-law was indeed with child!

We thanked God for His answer to our prayers.  I thought about the medal around my neck.  I decided I would continue to wear it as a prayer for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.  A few short weeks later, I looked down and saw just the chain on my chest; the medal was gone.  I knew it was a sign from above that there was no need to worry.

A friend of mine long ago said, “When God answers prayers, He does it in a big way, so that you know it is Him!”.  This was never more true, than the day my son phoned me with the news that there was not only one baby, but two!  He and his wife would be blessed with twins!

Ezekiel 28:26, “then they shall know that I, the Lord, am their God!”

June 12, 2019, our little family grew by two and our number of grandchildren doubled in a matter of minutes!  Two perfect little miracles were born!

Turning into the church parking lot yesterday, I could not help but joyfully laugh at God’s goodness.  The past three years have been a lesson in trust, perseverance and faith.  I thought about Saints Joachim and Anne; how they endured years of infertility before giving birth to the child who would become the mother of us all. Then they became the grandparents of the Savior of the world.

James 1:3-4,   “for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Every time I looked into the eyes of a newborn – my daughter, my sons, my grandchildren – I saw God.  I saw His handiwork.  His handiwork is always perfect.

James 1:16-18, “all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the Word of Truth that we may be a kind of first fruit of His creatures.

Amen

 

A Birthday Wish for Pope Francis

A Birthday Wish for Pope Francis

Holy Father, I cannot imagine the weight of being the 266th successor of St. Peter!  The entire Church of more than a billion people, look to you for leadership, clarity, and nuturing.  It is an awesome responsibility.  The world is much different than in the days of St. Peter, but the instruction from our Lord Jesus Christ remains the same: “Feed my lambs..Tend my sheep…Feed my sheep…Follow Me.” John 21:15-19

I love the Church Jesus founded on His rock, St. Peter.  I was baptized Catholic as an infant, was married in the Church, and in recent years have witnessed my grandchildren receive their First Communion.  I love the sacraments and understand how precious and wonderful are the treasures of the Church.  These treasures are not money or priceless art, but the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  His living presence is among us to this day!  The Eucharist is guarded by His Church, but also worshipped and adored.  Along with His physical presence, the Church and its leadership are entrusted with keeping sacred the Words and Teachings of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the Truth and the Way.

These are dark days.  As the world blocks out the light of Jesus, darkness prevails.  Many have fallen into this darkness, including some who were ordained into leadership roles of the Church.  Humans are weak.  Even St. Peter at the dawn of the Church denied Jesus Christ.  It was a dark time, but the Holy Spirit gave courage, wisdom and guidance.  A few men fed a handful of sheep with the Truth, which led to a world wide Church today.

Holy Father, you are a man of great humility. I see God’s mercy in all that you do and say.  As we celebrate Advent and the coming of Jesus, my birthday wish for you is that the Holy Spirit give you the courage, wisdom and guidance to bring the light back.  Please have the courage to speak the Truth and “speak the word of God with boldness.”  Acts 4:31

The flock of Jesus need to understand that sin does exist, so as to avoid the darkenss.  “If your brother sins rebuke him, and if repents, forgive him.” Luck 17:3

Being cautious of offending, has watered down the Truth of Jesus Christ.  Holy Father, be the voice of clarity and truth in this precious Church. May the Holy Spirit always inspire you and give you courage to feed His lambs, tend His sheep, feed His sheep and Follow Him.

Happy Birthday Pope Francis!

Lizards have blankets

1 lizardMy childhood was filled with imagination and fun fantasy thanks to my mom.

I remember going to bed at night and peeking out from under the covers ever so often, hoping to see the “Sand Man”.   I was told that the Sand Man came every night.  He had a bucket full of sand and would fasten the eyelids together of all little children with sand, so that they would have a good night’s sleep.  It made perfect sense to this little girl, who awoke each morning with a crusty-sand-like mixture in her eyes.  I felt this “Sand Man” was extremely aggressive and rude.  I tried and tried to stay awake long enough to get a glimpse of him, but he was too elusive!

My mom could talk to lizards.  We spent a lot of time outside in those days before computers and video games.  Occasionally we would come across a nice green lizard.  Mom would make sure we would stop in our tracks and be very quiet and still.  She would then, in a very authoritative voice, say “Lizard, Lizard, show me your blanket!”  We watched with eager anticipation, and sure enough, that lizard would pump out a great pink blanket from under its belly!  We were so amazed!  Our mother was just so magical in me and my sister’s eyes!

Of course we heard lots of stories about the tooth fairy, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.  The Tooth Fairy was one of my favorites. She was a little mouse fairy that flew around gathering little children’s teeth to make her mouse furniture.  I could picture a cute little mouse with wings, a tutu and wand.  But as hard as I tried, I could not imagine why anyone would want furniture made out of teeth!  How uncomfortable!

Role playing and imagination were vital to entertainment in those days.  My friend next door and I played house with our baby dolls.  I had loads of Barbie dolls.  These dolls had a camper, vehicle, and even an airplane!  Mom showed me how to take an ordinary cardboard box and using crayons, transform it into a Barbie house by drawing pictures on the wall and of course furniture! These hand-made houses were more fun than the already made vehicles.  I can remember playing “Ms. America” and answering the all important interview question.  We acted out our favorite movies like “Mary Poppins”.   Making up games was of no consequence.  Our little minds were just brimming with ideas and creativity.

According to mom, loud repeated thunder was God moving furniture.  I did not think God had furniture made from teeth.  I was sure it was gold and heavy – hence the loud thunder!  Mom talked quite a bit about God, Mary, the Saints and angels.  We knew our guardian angel was always watching over us.  We said our prayers every night, talking to God with Mom.  There was not a doubt in my mind that God knew everything I did.  If I did anything that I thought would make my parents mad;  I was also worried that God was mad.  He was a very real part of my life.

I eventually grew up and gave up the games and fantasy.  I never gave up my faith in God and my friends in Heaven.

In some way trusting in imagination leads to lessons in having faith.  Teaching a child to believe in mouse fairies and lizard blankets may seem childish and unproductive, but it is just the opposite.  A child is naturally inclined by innocence to believe.  Children look up to their parents and when a parent embraces the world of the unknown and unseen, a child is taught to have faith.  They understand  that not everything can be seen or touched or fully understood.

At a certain age, I knew there was no Sand Man lurking in the dark corners of my bedroom.  I gave up baby dolls and eventually had three real babies of my own.  I learned the real meaning of Christmas and Easter which has nothing to do with elves and baskets.  I never gave up my faith in God and my friends in Heaven.  I never gave up those evening talks with God.  Although I cannot see Him, I feel His presence and know that He is watching and guiding me and my family.

When I hear parents or teachers today complaining about a child’s imagination, I get sad.  The secular world wants to do away with imagination and fantasy play.  The secular world wants children to believe only in what can be seen and proved.  The secular world does not want to hear about babies in the womb having a soul or that people with disabilities are vital and have purpose.  The secular world does not want to hear about God or Jesus or Mary or Angels or Hell or anything of the spiritual realm.  It has an agenda that robs children of innocence and a proper childhood.

So, this summer, sit with your kids and watch Mary Poppins then act out your favorite scenes.  Take a walk outside and make your child giggle when you make a lizard show his blanket.  Look for fireflies and call them “lost fairies” looking for their home.  Then put your little one to bed and say a goodnight prayer to God together.

But you can leave out the Sand Man. He is too creepy!

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

 

Franny’s Poor Angel!

It is taught by the Catholic Church that we all are given a guardian angel the moment we are conceived in the womb and created by

guardian angelOur Lord.  Hebrews 1:14: “What are the angels then? They are spirits who serve God and are sent by Him to help those who are to receive salvation.”  Since it is God’s plan that we are all called to be with Him in eternity, it stands to reason that we all are given this angel as a guide throughout life.

According to the book, Get Us Out of Here, by Nicky Eltz, some of us have more than one angel.  Eltz spent quite a bit of time interviewing Marie Simms, an Austrian Mystic.  Marie claimed to have been visited by poor souls in Purgatory for much of her life. (She died in 2004)  The book is fascinating.  According to Marie all of us have at least one angel.  Doctors and Religious have two guardian angels.  These angels stay with us on earth and in Purgatory until we make it into Heaven.

When I read Marie’s testimony of Doctors having two angels; I immediately thought of my sister-in-law who is a Doctor.  I called her mom and told her that her daughter had two guardian angels.  She was not surprised and said she had known that for quite some time.  When asked to explain, she told me that when my sister-in-law was very little she told her mother that she had two angels.  She even knew their names, Meredith and David!

I too was not surprised.  I have always heard that little children often times can see and sometimes communicate with guardian angels.  In rare cases adults, such as Padre Pio, have also had the ability to communicate with an angel.

That got me wondering about my sister, Franny’s, angel.

I am ten years older than Franny, so I witnessed her grow up.  At a very young age, Franny had a very real but very imagined friend.  I would sit on my bed doing homework and listen to her have very involved conversations with this invisible girl – I cannot remember her name.  It got to the point where I asked my mother if something was wrong with Franny “in the head.”  My mother told me lots of kids have imaginary friends and she would grow out of it.  I remember thinking that my mother had to be wrong.  There was no way any “normal” child could have such lengthy discussions with an imaginary friend.

Now I wonder if that could possibly have been her angel.

Now let me tell you about Franny.  She was accident prone, a free-spirit, and definitely T-R-O-U-B-L-E!  I have always felt sorry for my parents for the stress raising Franny must have caused; but now that I think about it, her angel must need a serious vacation!

I witnessed her guardian angel in action.  She could barely walk and was standing beside the kitchen cabinet one day while my mom was fixing dinner.  I was sitting on the floor trying to get her attention.  Suddenly my mom dropped a knife.  I had a clear view of a knife barreling straight down, sharp side down, heading for my sister Franny’s head.  All of this occurred in the blink of an eye.  I clearly witnessed the knife make a sharp left turn and fall on the floor beside my sister.  I was shocked.  I knew enough about physics to know that nothing could have made the knife turn like that.  I jumped up and quickly told my mother what I had just witnessed.  My mom saw God’s Hand in everything and she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Must have been her guardian angel.”  I thought there was no other explanation.

By the time Franny was two she had made multiple trips to the emergency room.  There was a burn from a floor furnace, stiches on the lips from a fall while climbing on a high chair…

My favorite story of all is the quarter.  At the age of seven, Franny was home from school due to having pneumonia.  I guess she was bored and decided to fling a quarter in the air and try to catch it with her mouth.  She was really good at this.  In fact she was so good that the quarter eventually went straight down into her throat!  I was in my room and could hear a huge commotion in the kitchen.  When I entered I saw my dad holding Franny upside down while hitting her back.  Franny was red and choking.  My mother – the nurse- was frantic and screaming.  My dad yelled at my mom to grab the car keys. (The hospital was only about two miles away).  My frantic mother yelled that she did not know where her keys were and ran into her room to find them.  I could see my car keys.  I grabbed them and my dad and I took off for the hospital.  My dad was driving and Franny was sitting on my lap.  Lo and behold, as soon as she was upright again, she swallowed that quarter.

We drove up to the emergency room and my dad instructed me to take my sister inside and inform the nurse that she has pneumonia and had swallowed a quarter.  I was mortified and asked him why he was not going in.  He calmly stated that he left in such a hurry, he did not put any shoes on his feet.  I brought my sister who was breathing but still sobbing, into the emergency room.  My dad left to get shoes.

I told the nurse what happened.  She began filling out paperwork.  She looked at Franny crying and asked her what was wrong.  Franny told her that her back was hurting.  The nurse said, “That is probably from the pneumonia, honey.”  Franny immediately set her straight, “No, it hurts because my dad was hitting it!”  Again, I was mortified.  The nurse just laughed.  She took Franny get an X-ray.

At that moment a mad woman came barreling in the emergency room driveway in a red station wagon.  I knew the car and I knew the woman – it was mother!  Poor thing, she had no idea if her child was alive or dead!  She walked in just in time to see Franny coming out of X-ray and then a clear picture of a shiny quarter already settled in her stomach.

That quarter stayed in Franny for six months.  When scans showed it could not be passed and was in danger of blocking her intestines, it had to be surgically removed.   My mom called it her thousand dollar quarter!

Over the years there have been many more Franny tales and adventures.  She is married now and has two beautiful children.  Of course she still makes trips to the emergency room, recently breaking her foot!

I just have to laugh and say “Franny’s Poor Angel!”

 

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

 

Highway to Hell

My husband and I like old music.  We like most of the music from the

20130927_070409seventies and sixties, whether it be rock, country, pop, blues, …

A couple of weeks ago we had the TV on and the Grammys had just started.  We do not watch the Grammys; however AC/DC started the show so we thought we’d watch a little.

It ran through my mind the moment the show started that it was so sad how satan has taken over the music industry.  Music has changed in my opinion, and not for the better.

Not long after having this thought, AC/DC begins singing “Highway to Hell” and the entire audience had glowing red devil horns on their heads.  It was an ugly confirmation to what music has become…a mockery.

It is believed by many that lucifer was a very high ranking angel in charge of the ministry of music.  I believe there is beautiful music in heaven; music that glorifies our Lord.  Here on earth, our music can either glorify God or not.  It is sad to see that so many famous and glorified music talent of today choose to glorify sex, drugs, violence…anything but God.

Think about it.  God created the angels with specific jobs in mind.  There was one angel who was given great beauty and wisdom.  This angel was to always be in God’s presence and had the great responsibility of keeping the beautiful flow of godly music throughout the heavens.  Next God creates man in His own image.  Man has an immortal soul and is made to one day share in God’s divine nature.  The angles became man’s protector, guide and servant.  Out of jealousy of man, one angel with much power headed a rebellion against the Creator.

What did God do?  Those angels were cast out of heaven.  God sent His only Son to save mankind.  Jesus was tempted by the evil one just as we are tempted.  He was promised riches and control over all of the world.  Jesus instead took up a cross and allowed Himself to be murdered rather than go against His Father.

The devil is very cunning.  He has been very patient and has gradually diluted man’s sense of right and wrong.  He used his ministry of music to begin planting seeds of revolt.  I am not sure when exactly the change began.  My first memory of seeing talent stripped of any decency was Madonna.  She chose the name Madonna in mockery of Mary.  She then had hit after hit with songs that snubbed moral teachings.  Her aim was to be the exact opposite of the true Madonna, who was humble, respectful, holy and not just “like a virgin”; she is the perpetual virgin!  “Like a virgin’s” Madonna is rich and powerful. She has a huge following; but at what price?

Not all music is influenced by the devil.  God still has good angels.  There is music today that is wholesome and good.

So ask yourself- what music are you listening too?  What are the lyrics?  What are your children and grandchildren listening to?  Does your taste in music glorify our Lord?

I am sure that when the audience at the grammys had on their devil horns and were laughing and enjoying themselves; lucifer must have been laughing and enjoying it as well.  He only wants to lead man astray. He hates us.  We are the cause of his fall from the heavens.

Jesus who allowed Himself to be tortured and killed for our sins and transgressions, must have been very sad by this mockery.  His mother was probably shedding tears again.

Play some music in your home today.  Music that is good and decent.  Music that glorifies God, not man.

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

Wrong side of the fence

MICHELANGELOI spent election day with my granddaughter and grandson.  We had errands to run in the morning, and so I thought it a good idea to have a gift for each of them at home for our return – if the two of them behaved.

It worked!  The two kids were very well-behaved and were very excited upon returning home to find a doll for the girl and a ninja turtle for the boy.  I was very proud of myself!  The kids immediately became involved with playing with their gifts and I began working on a gumbo.

It was nice to spend the day with my grandchildren.  The day was going extremely well until we took the dog, Oscar, out in the back yard.  My grandson decided to take his ninja turtle outside and began throwing the turtle around.  Our back yard is not very big.  There is a barbed wire fence at the very back of the yard separating my yard from a pasture.  Having the big field behind us gives the illusion that the yard is very big indeed.  After my grandson threw the turtle a couple of times, inching his way to the fence, I warned him to stop throwing the toy because it could end up over the fence.

Well, that was a mistake!  My grandson heard these words, looked back at me, took a big step forward and flung the toy over the fence!  He turned back towards me, and my face must have said it all!  His eyes got really big and he yelled at me to not worry;  he would go over the fence and get his toy.  I immediately yelled back at him that his toy was not on my property and he was not allowed to go over the fence.  And so the battle began.

He was not happy.  He had trouble controlling his emotions at that point.  The stomping, yelling, and crying took control over him.  I kept my cool and simply told him to get back inside.  He began jumping and yelling.  I began counting with my fingers – did not have to say another word – and he stomped right back into the house sniffling and carrying on.  I had to sit him in the hallway and told him he needed to calm down.

As soon as he quieted down, I sneaked out of the house and was able to just reach his ninja turtle.  I rescued Raphael from the neighbors and went have a sit down with my grandson.

Before I returned the toy, my grandson and I talked about LISTENING.  When I asked him what it meant to listen, he replied that one should listen to their moms, dads, grams, and pops.  I explained that he was a child and he should always listen to the grown up in charge.  I then asked him what happens when we don’t listen. He shrugged.  I told him, “BAD THINGS HAPPEN”!  He wiped his face and agreed with me.  He promised to try to listen.  He apologized and I gave him back the trouble causing “behavior gift” along with a kiss and a hug.

As children we are tasked with listening to our parents and grandparents, teachers, etc.  As adults we are tasked with listening to our Father in Heaven.  I am sure that when we don’t listen and BAD THINGS HAPPEN…God must shake His head!  Like any good parent, He must watch and say softly, “If only you had LISTENED!”.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” Hebrews 4:7

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119

It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

The world tells us it is not necessary to listen to God.  The world tells us that we make our own rules and can do what makes us happy.  But our Father knows what is best for us and knows the way to our true happiness….Will we listen or end up on the wrong side of the fence?

C’est Bon!

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my Wounded Healer Super Hero

wounded-healer-image

 

My five-year-old grandson is star struck with super heroes.  There are many of them: Ninja turtles, Power Rangers, Spiderman, and The Incredibles are a few I’ve heard about.

That has me thinking – just what is a SUPER HERO?

Ok, I get it that these characters are the good guys who defeat the bad.  But, what are we teaching our kids about defeating the bad when it seems you have to have super human strength and be able to beat up or destroy with a wide grin on your face?

Sadly, it seems to me that more and more, the lessons of Jesus Christ are being ignored and forgotten.  Jesus is our ultimate SUPER HERO!!  He defeated the ultimate bad guy – Satan!!  Our Savior came into this world to preach Love and Forgiveness.  He was pure Good and Love and how did mankind respond?  Jesus was mocked, beaten, tortured, and murdered.  Jesus could have stopped this madness.  After all, He was God.  Instead He offered Himself up for our sins and our salvation.  His sacrifice was a lesson in Redemptive Suffering and the power of Forgiveness.  The Cross became the ultimate symbol of LOVE!

Too often people are judgmental, selfish and proud.  We look for the worst in others to make us feel better about ourselves.  We choose to be divisive and  disrespectful of all God’s children who are different than ourselves.  The world has become a harsh and unloving world.  The people who do choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ are mocked, beaten, tortured and murdered.  These followers are the new Super Heroes.  They are standing up for their beliefs and their God.

Our Lords’ mother has been making trips to this earth regularly during the last few centuries.  She has been warning about times like these.  She always asks for prayer and sacrifice.  She always asks that we change our hearts and follow her Son, Jesus.

This is the message given in Medjugorje today by our mother, Mary:

“Dear children, with motherly love I implore you, love one another.  May there be in your hearts, as my Son desired from the very beginning, love for the Heavenly Father and for your neighbor in the first place – above everything of this world.

My dear children, do you not recognize the signs of the times?

Do you not recognize that all of this that is around you, all that is happening, is because there is no love?

Comprehend that salvation is in true values.  Accept the might of the Heavenly Father, love Him and honor Him. Walk in the footsteps of my Son.

You, my children, my dear apostles, you are always gathering around me anew, because you are thirsty. You thirst for peace, love and happiness. Drink out of my hands. My hands are offering to you my Son, who is the spring of clear water.

He will bring your faith back to life and purify your hearts, because my Son loves pure hearts and pure hearts love my Son.  Only pure hearts are humble and have firm faith. I ask for such hearts of you, my children.

My Son told me that I am the mother of the entire world. I ask of those of you who accept me as such to help me, with your life, prayer and sacrifice, for all of my children to accept me as a mother – so that I may lead them to the spring of the clear water.

Thank you.

My dear children, as your shepherds offer you the Body of my Son with their blessed hands, always in your hearts give thanks to my Son for the Sacrifice and for the shepherds that he always gives you anew.”

He has healed us with His Wounds.

He has given us His Mother to help us follow His footsteps.

Let’s teach our kids about the Greatest Super Hero – OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry