Lady of the Acadians

assumption

August 15th is the Feast Day of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary.  It is a day which celebrates Mary being assumed body and soul into Heaven at the end of her life.

Based on very early church writings and on the writings of mystics, such as Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, it is believed that the apostles traveled to be with Mary at her deathbed; some of them even transported on white clouds from the towns they had been preaching.  St. Thomas was not present for Mary’s death.  Upon Thomas’ arrival, Mary’s tomb was reopened. It was found empty except for her grave cloths.  Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich describes Mary’s assumption in great detail.  She saw Mary’s soul lifted up to heaven in a bright light where it was met by her Son, Jesus.  Her soul then follows her Son back to her tomb where it is joined with her transfigured body.  She then ascends body and soul with her Son to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Catholics believe Mary’s assumption was a Divine Gift for her role as the Mother of God.  By her example of following God’s Will and living a life without sin, we are shown a promise of the gift that is waiting for all of us on that last day.

Our Lady of the Assumption holds a special place in my heart, since she is the patron saint of all Acadians.  August 15th is National Acadian Day and has been celebrated since 1881.  In Canada it is known as the Fete Nationale.  Businesses close on this day in parts of New Brunswick, Canada.

There was much debate in Canada over the date on which to have a National Day to recognize the Acadians.   Abbot Marcel-Francois Richard influenced the decision for August 15th with his eloquent speech: “…in fact it seems to me that a people who, for over a century of hardships and persecutions, was able to preserve its religion, language, customs, and autonomy, must have acquired enough importance to affirm its existence in a solemn way; and this could not be accomplished better than by being able to celebrate its own national holiday…It is important to stress that we are not descendants of Canada, but of France…We must choose a holiday that reminds us of our origin…Louis XIII vowed to give his empire to the Blessed Virgin and he wanted the Assumption to be the kingdom’s national holiday…he sent colonist to take over Acadia…it is true that the national devotion of the Acadians is their devotion to Mary.”  Thus, the convention chose August 15th, Feast of the Assumption, as the national holiday of the Acadians.  It was ratified by the Vatican on January 19, 1938 and Saint Pope John Paul the Great proclaimed Our Lady of the Assumption to be the patron saint of Acadians, where ever they may live.

An Acadian flag was established at the 2nd Acadian Convention in 1884 at Prince Edward Island.  It is a French Flag, tricolor – blue, white, and red. There is a gold star at the top left. The star represents the Virgin Mary, their patron saint.

A “Cajun” Acadian flag was designed at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1965 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana.  The tricolor flag has three symbols.  The first is a gold castle on the red, which represents the Spanish kingdom who allowed the Acadians to settle in the area.  The silver fleur-de-lis on the blue, represents the French heritage. The gold star on the white represents the Virgin Mary.  The flag became the official “Cajun” flag for the Acadiana area in 1974.

Cajun people’s love for Mary is very evident as you drive around Cajun Country.  Statues of our heavenly mother are proudly displayed in front of many homes, churches and public places.  She is the new Eve, the “woman clothed in the sun”, and the new Ark of the Covenant.  We love our patron saint!

Happy Feast Day Mother Mary!

C’est Bon!

Love,

Sherry

 

Remember

holy spiritIt is Memorial Day.  I have much respect for our fallen soldiers.  My husband is a veteran; I know first hand the sacrifice and life-threatening situations our soldiers endure for our country and our freedom.

This Memorial Day, I am also choosing to remember our fallen brothers and sisters who died defending their beliefs and Jesus Christ.  It is so important to remember these sacrifices especially today when  it seems as if so many in today’s culture wants us to forget the lessons taught by our Savior more than 2000 years ago.  The battlefield has moved to our own state capitals, county court houses, and our own back yards.

In the history of the United States of America, there have been many wars and battles.  The Revolutionary War of 1775 saw 25,000 dead; Vietnam War, a total of 58,209 died.  All together, over a million United States citizen have died protecting our freedoms, including our freedom to follow our own religious beliefs and morals.

Since the time of Jesus Christ, there have been countless martyrs.  Saints Stephen, Peter and Paul all died proclaiming the gospel.  St. Joan of Arc was executed in 1431.  More recently, Maximillian Kolbe died in 1941 and Oscar Romero in 1980.  You may be thinking that all of these individuals were not killed in this great country that was founded on principles of freedom, and that is true.  This country is slowly persecuting Christians by taking away their jobs and economic resources.  Speak out candidly regarding matters of faith and you risk losing your job, friends, and respect.

I will also argue that there are many more victims killed in this country today than ever in our country’s history.  Remember the “Massacre of the Holy Innocents”, Matthew 2:16?  Since 1973, Roe v. Wade, over 40 million innocent babies have been legally killed in abortions.  That is 1100 times the number of fallen soldiers in the Vietnam War.  Already this year, there are over 450,000 victims.  Pro-abortion advocates have always stated that legalized abortion protects women.  The truth is that in 1970 there were 119 deaths resulting from illegal abortions.  Legalized abortions have not brought down that number, in fact it has increased.  Abortion clinics have not been regulated and women have been injured, harmed, and many have died.  Of course there is always a death in every abortion, as a creation of God is given a death sentence because they are an “inconvenience”.

One of the readings at mass yesterday was Acts 8:14-18. “they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”    This passage for Catholics is the Biblical foundation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

As infants, we are baptized into the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ.  As adults, we become confirmed, which gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit.  Once confirmed, we are to become true witnesses of Jesus Christ and are obliged to spread and defend the faith by our words and deeds.

It is not easy to speak out in defense of our beliefs these days.  Society wants to tell us our beliefs are old fashioned and meaningless.  We must remember those who have gone before us and gave their lives so that we could be brought up in the faith.

I encourage all of you to view the YouTube video clip of Jim Caviezel’s speech at the Rock Church.  Not only did Jim play Jesus on the big screen; he is living a life in imitation of Christ and defending what is a true Christian.  If all Christians spoke out in defense of our faith – this nation would see great changes.  If all Christians voted according to candidates that will uphold our Christian values – this nation would see great changes.

It starts at the home.  Teach the faith to your children.  Teach your children to stand up for their beliefs.  Pray as a family.  Pray and fast for the conversion of this nation and our world.  Remember all the fallen soldiers who have died protecting our country and our freedoms.  Remember the Christian Martyrs who have given their life in defense of Jesus Christ so that His teachings would remain. Remember the innocent victims of the legalized sin of abortion, both the mothers and the children.  Remember your faith.  Remember Jesus Christ.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

Sacred Truths

angelsMy husband and I viewed the movie “Heaven is for Real” today.  I had read the book and found it a very moving testimony, especially since the testimony is from a four-year-old!  God uses all of us –  no matter our age – no matter how long we lived on this earth- no matter if all our whole life was in our mother’s womb – to divulge His truths and lessons.

I am sure most people are aware of Colton Burpo’s story.  Colton’s father, Todd, is a pastor and he was certain that Colton experienced heaven and spoke to Jesus for a reason.  After some soul-searching, Colton’s family decided their mission was to spread the message that heaven is real – a real place where we can love and serve our Lord after we leave this earth.  After reading Colton’s story, I became convinced that there was another message.

Colton told his dad that Jesus had a message for him.  He informed his dad that Jesus wanted his dad to know that He loved the children.  When Colton’s dad responded he already knew that Jesus loved all the children; Colton repeated several times, “But He REALLY loves the children.”

This message from Jesus along with the fact that Colton met his sister who “died in mommy’s tummy”, led me right away to believe that Jesus wanted Todd to preach about the precious unborn.  The Burpos had lost a child of God before they even knew if the child was a girl or boy.  This little girl presented herself to Colton as his sister and could not stop hugging him.  Colton was only four and had not been told of his mother’s miscarriage.  When he related this encounter with his sister to his parents; they truly believed Colton had experienced something very few of us live to tell.  Soon after this revelation, the Burpos were blessed with another baby.

It was revealed to a four-year-old that all life is sacred.  Even the very young in a mother’s womb, who never have a chance to be named or see this earth, share in our eternal glory with God.

I have my own personal experience with this message.  After reading “Heaven is for Real”, I shared my love for the story with someone very dear to me.  She went out that same day and bought the book.  She was in the early stages of her first  pregnancy and she and her husband read the book together.  One week later, the two of them went for a 2 month ultrasound and learned that she was carrying twins.  Double the reason to rejoice – but no, one of the babies was alive, the other baby was dead.  I was out of town when I heard this news and hurriedly called her knowing that she would take this news extremely hard.  But, the Lord had prepared her.  In His mercy He had allowed me to share the story of Colton and He led her to read the book with her husband.  She was calm.  She told me that they were very grateful that one baby was healthy and alive and they knew the other twin was in heaven and they would see Angel one day.

Yes the Lord loves us and sends us messengers.  He guides us and consoles us.  We do not know the reasons for the bad things.  We only know that He knows what is best for us!

God sent His only Son, the Word, to spread the truth.  He now calls each of us to continue what Jesus taught.  It may mean suffering or persecution.  We should follow the example of His Son and take up our cross.

Corinthians 4:1  “You should think of us as Christ’s servants, who have been put in charge of God’s secret truths.”

Thank you Burpo family for picking up your cross and spreading God’s sacred truths!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

is Knowledge really Power?

adam and eveGenesis 2:14  Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.  He told him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”

Genesis 3:4  The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that because He knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”

What did Adam and Eve do?  They wanted to be like God and so they ate the forbidden fruit.  Who was telling them the truth?  Of course, it was God who is the Truth.  They were given everything, and still they yearned for more.  Man turned away from God’s truth and innocence.  The sad part is that thousands of years later, nothing has changed.

The forbidden fruit today is everywhere.  Knowledge is at our fingertips like never before.  As technology and man’s knowledge of this world advance, dependence on our God and His Truth decline.

Think about it; what does all this knowledge really do for us?  Are we using this knowledge to guide us in the path towards God’s Kingdom?

I will give one example of a technological advance that has brought about good, but also much evil;  something as simple as an ultrasound.  Ultrasounds have great medical value.  It gives doctors eyes into our bodies.  They are able to diagnose, treat, and heal with greater accuracy and less evasiveness.

I had my first ultrasound when I was expecting my second child.  (My first child was born two years earlier and at that time ultrasounds were only used during pregnancy if the doctor suspected a problem.)  My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were expecting our first boy during this first ultrasound, and that he was healthy.  Unfortunately not all parents receive that kind of news.

I recently read a wonderful book by Chad Judice, Eli’s Reach.  Chad and his family also live in southern Louisiana.  The book was a follow up to his first book, Waiting for Eli.  The two books chronicle the story of Chad and Ashley and their second son, Eli, who was diagnosed with spina bifida while still in the womb.  Although 80% of children diagnosed with spina bifida in the womb are aborted, Chad and Ashley chose to trust in God and His plan.  Today their son Eli is a blossoming five-year-old, who does have medical problems, but also has above average intelligence and the hearts of everyone who meet him!  Chad is active in the pro-life movement as a public speaker and has changed many lives with the story of Eli.

How many Eli’s are never given a chance to live?  Most parents with the KNOWLEGE that their child will be born with major medical issues and possible brain damage, chose to bite that forbidden fruit.  They think they have the POWER of God, and can decide whether or not a child should be born.  Too often they decide that their child’s life would have little value.  How could anything God creates be of little value?

Adam and Eve sinned against God and brought death upon man.  Jesus and Mary said yes to God.  They asked for His Will to be done.  This brought about new life for man.  It saddens me to think how much Jesus suffered for our sins.  He was abandoned, betrayed, tortured, and crucified.  He left this world with no possessions.  His mother had to watch in horror the treatment of her Lord and Son.  What mother has suffered more?

When will we learn that there is no knowledge outside God’s Truth?

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.  Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.  Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.”

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

God, the Author of Life

20121016_135645

January 22, 1973, Roe vs Wade was decided by the United States Supreme Court.  January 22, 1973, Life in the United States drastically changed.  In a country that was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness”, LIFE was taken out of that Declaration which was signed July 4, 1776 by our founding fathers.

If God is the sole Author of Life, man is the author of death.  And so the deaths began…

A February 2008 issue of Scientific American, posted an article entitled, “Your cells are my cells“.  The article revealed that research has proven that women carry cells from every child we have ever conceived for the rest of our lives.  Surviving children also carry our cells and any subsequent children who follow the loss of a sibling carries cells from that sibling.  We are all connected because we all have one Creator.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb we have been created.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb, we are a human being, and as such, we should have the same rights and protections as all humanity deserves.

There are millions of babies who have never had a choice; never had protection under the law.  It is time that society stands up for these babies and the countless more who have yet to be created.

I met a remarkable woman this past week.  Her name is Brenda DesOrmeaux and she founded the DesOrmeaux Foundation.  After the tragedy of 1973, Brenda felt a calling and decided to act.  She became an active member of the Acadiana Right to Life, working for the Pro-Life cause.  Her years of participation in this Fight for Life led to her running the Women’s Center of Lafayette.  After forming the DesOrmeaux Foundation, Brenda gave up her role in the Acadiana Right to Life and devoted herself to defending Human Life, the sanctity of marriage, and promoting chaste relationships.  Through her efforts, Lafayette, Louisiana now has a Pregnancy Center which offers free pregnancy test, family planning counseling, free ultrasound and financial assistance; the St. Marguerite d’Youville home which provides women with a peaceful, secure setting to help them process their needs, emotions, and choices; and the Baby and Me Boutique which specializes in selling maternity and baby items at give-away prices. Brenda heard God’s calling and she responded.

These are urgent times.  The more we advance with technology, the more technology points to the fact that a pregnant woman does not hold a blob of tissue. Each person is created unique and in the image of God.

Jesus said it best to Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia, January 6, 1991: “Oh what a terrible, grave sin abortion is.  Man does not know the destiny of each child conceived, does not know the destiny of any child conceived.  So popes are murdered, priests are murdered, nuns are murdered, and on and on. Does this grave sin not bring about the wrath of God?

And again to Nancy on February 6, 1993: “You must know that abortion is murder. I am the Creator, you are not.  I am the Author of Life, you are not. Do not kill who I have created.  The commandment of God is “Thou shall not kill”. You will battle with each other over laws that you create apart from Me.”

We are all called.

Romans 11:32 “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.  Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is proper.”

September 29, 1992; Our Blessed Mother’s message to Nancy Fowler for America: “America pick up your Rosary, kneel down and pray.

This week marks the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Do something.  Go to a March for Life; attend a prayer service or mass; contact your state representatives…. Together we can give hope to all the children of God who are yet to be.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

Jesus Saves

20130525_115634The following is a witness to the miraculous power of Jesus Christ through faith and prayer.  Mr. Yearwood’s journey was shared with me by my good friend, Brenda.  I share it now with you.

My Healing Journey Guided by the Hand of God

Peter 3:20 “The few people in the boat, eight in all, were saved by the water, which was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you.  It is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience.  It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone to heaven and is at the right side of God, ruling over all angels and heavenly authorities and powers.”

The angel told Mary, (Lk 1:37), “For there is nothing that God cannot do.”

Job 42:2 ” Job – I know Lord, that You are all-powerful; that You can do everything You want.  You ask how I dare question Your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know. You told me to listen while You spoke and to try to answer Your questions, In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen You with my own eyes, So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes…..The Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life even more than He had blessed the first…And then he died at a very great age.”

Amen.

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handcrafted Prayers

Rosary

Rosary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

rosary house  The Rosary House in New Iberia, Louisiana has been family owned since 1946.  The store features handcrafted rosaries, statues, Bibles, artwork, holy cards, and so on.  It is located at 200 Ann Street and there is a candle manufacturing facility across the street.  The founder, Robert Minvielle, saw a need for the Rosary House in this largely catholic populated area.

It is a favorite shopping spot of mine.  A baby is getting baptized – I go shop at the Rosary House.  A wedding – I shop at the Rosary House….

I know many people have questions about the Rosary.  They point to the fact that it is not found in the Bible.  They are wrong.  The rosary is centered on the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ.  It is a prayer that invites us to look at Jesus through the eyes of the disciples and His mother.  The rosary consists of the prayers “Hail Mary”, which comes directly from Scripture, the “Our Father”, which appears twice in the Bible, and the “Glory Be”, which also appears twice in the Bible.

When we pray the rosary we are not praying to Mary, but through Mary and with Mary to Jesus Christ.  While praying the rosary, we meditate on the life of Jesus through the four mysteries of the rosary.

It is the most beautiful and powerful prayer that exist.  The rosary was a gift to all of mankind by our loving mother.  She intended it to be a prayer weapon for all people of all faiths.

For an indepth study of the power and meaning of this handcrafted prayer, I recommend “The Rosary” by Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of “Left to Tell”.  Her story of survival of the Rwanda genocide is an unbelievable account of evil and the power of forgiveness.

If you ever get down to south Louisiana, I recommend you stop by the Rosary House.  It is a spiritual adventure!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry