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

 

THE DAY THE SUN DANCED

Yesterday we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the miracle of Fatima.  October 13, 1917 over fifty thousand people witnessed the sun dance in the sky.  It was the culmination of several months of Mary visiting three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal.  Mary gave the children secrets and warnings of a second world war.  She begged for conversion, prayer and fasting.  She promised a miracle during her last visit in October.

It was a rainy day a hundred years ago.  The crowd of thousands were drenched and growing impatient with the children when finally the Mother of God arrived.  She brought with her sunshine and a sun miracle.  The crowd stood mesmerized by the movement of the sun and then became horrified as the sun suddenly looked as if it were falling out of the sky.  The vision did not last long, as just as suddenly as it had begun, the sun was back to normal.  The stunned crowd stood in disbelief as they noticed that their drenched wet clothes were completed dry.

I can only imagine the commotion of that day!  The tens of thousands of people included non-believers, believers, young and old.  Many who were ill or handicapped were healed that day.  There must have been screams, crying, rejoicing, praising…  I would have loved to have been there.

Surprisingly, I do know what it feels like to see a miracle of the sun.  About five years ago, my husband and I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama.  We visited Mother Angelica’s beautiful shrine and we made a stop at a little community where one of the Medjugorje visionaries was visiting.  Mary appears to this visionary daily and a group gathered outside the home of the host to say the rosary during the time of the apparition.  It was a beautiful day.  When my husband and I were walking to the site of the rosary, we noticed a beautiful rainbow in the sky.  Following the rosary, a spokesperson announced Mary’s message.  It was now nearing evening.  My husband and I packed up our blanket and rosaries when someone yelled, “Look at the sun!”.

Words cannot describe the beauty I beheld.  The sun was swirling and all colors of the rainbow were flying off of it.  It looked like a giant pinwheel in the sky.  We stood for a few minutes and watched a miracle take place before our very eyes!  I heard someone who was a regular to this community say that this was a rarity and very special.  I could not help but hold my head up and thank my heavenly mother for the spectacular show of God’s majestic creation.  It reminded me that this is God’s world.  It is His sun, His moon, His trees, ….

Too many of us today do not take the time to look up at the sky, smell the flowers, or listen to the sound of the rain.  Our God created these for you and me!  Let us never forget the messages of Mary.  We must live this life by following the teaches of Jesus.  We must never forget that we are a creation of God.  His Spirit lives within us and if we ever feel lost, we need only look up at the sky.

 

BIT OF FATIMA IN CAJUN COUNTRY

My husband and I daily drive around Cajun country in south Louisiana due to our work as insurance inspectors.  We enjoy the ride, chatting about life, finding unique places and meeting interesting people.  Sometimes we say our rosary together to pass the time on extended drives.  We are both devoted to our heavenly mother and pray for her intercession and graces every day.  The love of Mary in this part of the country is very evident to anyone who drives along the many country roads.  We have seen countless statues of Our Lady in front of homes and business.  It always brings a smile to my face to see a special shrine in someone’s yard; knowing that family has the same devotion to the mother of God.

A couple of months ago, during one of these drives, my husband and I came across a special and unique shrine.  In the middle of nowhere, we noticed a sign – “Ave Maria Shrine”.  I quickly asked my husband to pull into the parking area.  The property was very lovely.  There was a pavilion with seating and a small building under the pavilion.  I noticed the grounds were immaculate with rose bushes, statues, and wooden crosses marking the Stations of the Cross.  I was very curious about this shrine, having never heard about it.  My husband was uncomfortable being on this property.  I began to open the truck door and he immediately asked me what I thought I was doing.  I told him I was going have a look inside the building.  He let me know that he did not think that was a good idea; (he was being protective as any good husband should).  I looked again at the sign and told him, “Look, it says it is open from 6am to 6pm. It is open; I am going have a look.”  He knew there was no stopping me; he rolled his eyes and told me that he would turn his truck around while I had a look.

I opened the door to the shrine and was pleasantly surprised to see a statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  It was a small shrine, but there was enough room for a kneeler and a box to place petitions.  I could see that it was lovingly being cared for as there were flowers and candles on the altar.  I wrote a petition, placed it in the box and prayed.  On the way out I noticed a pamphlet on the shrine and took one with me.

My husband was patiently waiting in the vehicle.  I very excited told him what I found inside the shrine.  Together we read the pamphlet.  It stated:

“In June of 1994, two young men from Venezuela, visited the Opelousas Ave Maria Rosary Group.  They claimed to hear and see the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They shared messages of conversion, penance, fasting, sacrifices, weekly confession, daily Rosary and mass.  In April of 1996, she asked the Ave Maria Rosary Group to build a replica of the original Fatima Shrine.  This was built by hard work and donations.  The Shrine was opened November 19, 2000.  We have had claims of healings, conversions, and answered prayers since that time.  We invite you and your families to come to the Shrine to pray and receive the blessings, comfort, and peace from Our Lady….On the first Saturday of each month, Our Lady has promised her presence at the Shrine from 6 pm to 6:05 pm.  She is there to receive our petitions and prayers.”

“How wonderful!”, I exclaimed.  “I will be right back.”, said my husband as he left the vehicle and headed towards the shrine.

We returned to the shrine the following month and said our rosary together there.  We will return there on the 13th of May in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Fatima.  It is also Mother’s Day weekend.  I encourage anyone who is in our area to visit the shrine and thank our mother for her visits to earth, her prayers and intercessions.  The shrine is located at 3484 Prairie Rhonde Hwy., Opelousas, Louisiana.

I cannot make a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal; however, I will make a pilgrimage to the little Cajun Fatima Shrine.  It will truly be a special Mother’s Day weekend!

C’est Bon,

Love

Sherry

 

 

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

 

Love and Marriage

258-MEGAN_CHASE_WEDDINGIn 2014, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and also celebrated my parents’ 50th!

2015 started with a wedding.  Our son was married in the Catholic church in January to a beautiful woman.  It was an awesome sight to see the generations of grandparents, parents and children sharing in this beautiful and life-giving sacrament.

Weddings have changed over the years!  My parents wedding was very simple. She had a maid of honor and he had a best man.  Our wedding had a couple of more attendants, but was still simple.  There were no engagement parties, dinners, registries, wedding planners…the list goes on and on.

The focus back then was on the sacrament.

As I watched my son’s bride being escorted down the aisle in the gorgeous St. John’s Cathedral; I realized that the very heart of the wedding for our family had not changed.  The bride’s father escorted her up the center aisle towards her future husband, towards Our Lord and His altar.  It was before Our Lord that these two young people took their wedding vows.  They received the Lord’s blessing and were joined in Holy Matrimony.

My son and his wife expressed their gratitude to our Blessed Mother by presenting roses in front of her statue.  I felt love and pride for the man my son had become and accepted a rose from him knowing my job was done.  He was no longer only my son – he was now a husband.  His job is now being the spiritual head of his family and that means making sure his wife and future children leave this world prepared to enter into God’s Kingdom.

He is off to a good start.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

392-MEGAN_CHASE_WEDDING

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

 

 

 

I will follow Him

20130525_124013I think we all follow something or someone..

Dorothy followed the yellow brick road.  The magi followed the star.  Wall street junkies follow the stock market.  Some people follow blogs…the list goes on and on.

As Christians we are called to follow Christ Jesus.  It is a road that is hard and rocky.  To truly follow His ways and not the ways of man means ridicule, discrimination, and even today, death.

Today at mass, the gospel reading spoke of Jesus’ Baptism.  One may ask why Jesus, our Savior, needed to be Baptized.  The answer is He did not.  In order to fulfill the Will of God, Jesus did seek John for Baptism.  It was during this Baptism that the waters of the Jordan became sanctified and became the first “holy water”.  How could John Baptize our Lord without first being Baptized himself?  John was sanctified by Jesus when Mary visited Elizabeth.  John leapt in the womb when receiving his sanctifying grace.

Jesus’ Baptism was the beginning of His ministry.  His mission was to love and to show us how to love.  He asked that we give up our worldly influences and give ourselves to Him for our salvation.  He asked that we follow Him.

The reason to follow Him….because He loved us first.  He loved us so much that He gave all of Himself for our salvation.  With one drop of blood, Jesus’ mission for our salvation was complete.  Why did He give Himself up to torture and humiliation and total loss of blood then?  The answer is simple: He gave all of His blood because He had it to give.  He loved us that much.

Message given to Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia, January 13, 1992:

Mary: “Tell my children, they have been marked with the sign of the cross.  The cross is on your forehead. (Father Jorge later added that we are marked at Baptism)  Nancy asked if the cross was of white light. “Yes, it is a cross of white light. You name your children and we name ours.”

“Dear children of America, be children of light.  Walk away from sin.  Please children, many of you are in danger of losing Heaven forever.  There is no greater suffering than the loss of God.  Prepare yourselves for eternal happiness.  Come follow my Son’s light.  Banish all darkness from your souls.  Keep the laws of God.  You cannot love God without keeping His commandments.  I bless you.  I am praying for you to come to the light.  As my Son went to the water for His Baptism, I ask you to return to the light of your Baptism.”

I am today making a commitment to follow Him.

He loves me.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry