30 September 2009

Go To Hell?

Warning: this post may be rather depressing. Just sayin'.


I clicked over to FOX News' website this evening, and I gasped out loud when I saw the headline. John Couey died tonight and the banner read:

Go To Hell.

I have been churning with so many different emotions and thoughts since I read it, and I admit to feeling very conflicted. I was shocked by the headline. First, just to read that he was dead (of natural causes). Then, because of the audacity of the pronouncement, Go To Hell. How very direct! Don't be shy now, tell us how you really feel!

Jessica Lunsford's story has haunted me from the beginning, and I have lobbed many pointed questions at God... "Where were You when she was being terrorized and raped and buried alive??" "Where was anyone?!?"

No one rescued her from hell on earth... should the man responsible be rescued from eternal hell?

I remember quite clearly that I suggested the way to deal with Couey was to treat him exactly as he'd treated Jessica. I remember saying a prison cell was far too good for him. God help me, but that's what I said. All I could think was, "I have daughters..."

My heart has been so troubled this evening over this, and I have come to realize that I honestly do not wish hell for Couey. I really don't. I also don't want him in heaven. (Just being honest.) I feel a tug in my heart to do the unthinkable... the unimaginable... the impossible ~ to pray for him.

Dear Lord, I just can't do it. I don't want to. And yet, out of my mouth came the words, "Eternal Father, I offer You the body and the blood, soul and divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy..."

I said it once and felt like throwing up. Once more, still feeling sick. Tears and asking God, "Why??"

The only thing I'm able to do is ask God to pray it through me, in spite of me. And to forgive me for not wanting to show mercy.

Is this not precisely what mercy is for?

He showed Jessica no mercy, only terror and pain. Yet, as a favorite priest pointed out to me, the first thing she did upon entering Heaven's gate was to forgive him. She is no doubt totally free and in perfect peace. Thanks be to God.

What will be the fate of his soul? Not my call, not for me to know. But tonight, it is for me to ask God to help me release my anger toward this wretched man, and yes, to pray for mercy.


Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus, have mercy on us all.



27 September 2009

Praise!

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"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1

Praises today are in honor of my darling husband!
Happy Birthday, Handsome!


1. Praise God for YOU, Hubby! We sure do love you! Lots and lots!!

2. Praise God for ice cream cake in honor of the birthday boy. Homemade, by the way!

3. Praise God for your silly sense of humor that keeps me laughing.

4. Praise God for your gentle, warm brown eyes.

5. Praise God for your affectionate love for your daughters.

6. Praise God for your tender love for me, and the way you surprise me.

7. Praise God for the way He has knit us together over 10 years... we're stuck with each other now! Ha!

8. Praise God for giving you life for 36 years, for the countless times He has kept you from harm.

9. Praise God for a happy birthday!


What are your special
Praises this week? Share them! Praise God for all He has done, and all He will do.

I hope y'all have a peaceful week ahead. I hope you encounter God in unexpected ways.


25 September 2009

Be Still

Stormy night last night.

I sat up late and listened to the pounding rain... quiet house... just me, the rain, my thoughts, and Jesus.



Perfect.

Cloudy and quiet morning today. The kind I just love.


The theme running in my head and my heart for days now is simple:

"Be still and know that I am God."



How often do you stop -- really stop -- and be still? How often do you quiet your racing mind, push all thoughts out of your head except one -- Him?

I know how often I rush by Him, even shove Him aside because other things claim my attention and my energy, and there's simply no time left to ponder Him.

What a mistake. No wonder I end up dry and tired and discouraged.

Today, stop. Find a quiet place. Be still. He is God, and He is our loving Father. He waits.


Be still.


24 September 2009

O Autumn, Wherefore Art Thou?

I'm trying to be patient, really I am.


O Autumn, wherefore art thou?


Could you please hurry it up a little? Sorry, I mean...


Wouldst thou hasten thy step?


I'm sick of heat and summer and bugs! Ahem, I mean...

I am faint and weary of the sun's blazing face, and vexed in spirit by nature's biting, creeping mobs.


(sigh)


O Autumn, come to me... come quickly, lest I wither and die.



23 September 2009

Dressed for the King

Today, "Sunday best" seems to be the same as weekday casual, from the tank tops right down to the flip flops. Now, at the risk of sounding judgmental, ponder me this: if people will get all dolled-up to go out for dinner, why not dress properly for the banquet of the Lord?


...However, from where I sit, the greater issue today is not one of sloppiness, but of modesty and propriety. Too many women are, eh, revealing way too much. Pardon me if this seems uncomfortably blunt, but there's just too much skin on display at mass these days from the ladies, and it's simply inappropriate. From teenagers on up, there's an epidemic of spaghetti straps, visible lingerie, backless dresses, too-short skirts, and overt cleavage.



...Without question, we need a return to modesty in our society all around, and an excellent place to start is in church. It's a sacred moment we've come for, not a drink in a nightclub. Sexualized attire has no place in the sanctuary.

Read more here...




Thank You...

Some long overdue "thank you's" from me... (sorry they're so long overdue!)

First, I've received two very nifty blog awards from two very sweet ladies, Theresa and Sarah.

Theresa shared this one with me:


And Sarah bestowed this one:


I confess, I'm not altogether sure what "Anti-Muffin" means, but I like it! The text of the award reads:

The Anti-Muffin Award is for "bloggers who are decidedly "Anti-Muffins". Bloggers who promote what they believe without hesitation and without fear of possible negative feedback. Bloggers who don't conform to the world's standards."

Conforming is overrated anyhow!

The only trouble I have is, I'm certain all of my loyal visitors have already been given this award by someone else! So just add my name to the list of people who've crowned you a Loyal Visitor! I am always heartened and encouraged by those of you who visit often and leave your kind remarks. I'm glad to know you and the virtual welcome mat is always out for you.

Finally, I want to express to Judy how flattered I was to receive a note from her saying she'd spotlighted my blog on her Daily Blessings sight. She shared this image with me to include on my sidebar:


Thank you so much, Judy for giving me such a sweet surprise! You made my day!

Blog friends are great friends! God bless you, every one!


21 September 2009

Lift Your Heart Gently

For today:

Why are you surprised when the weak turn out to be weak, and the frail, frail? When you turn out to be sinful?

When you fall be gentle with your frail, weak heart.

Lift yourself up gently, accept your failure without wallowing in your weakness. Admit your guilt in God's sight. Then with good heart, with courage and confidence in His mercy, start over again.

It is tempting to condemn yourself with harsh words and even harsher feelings. But it does no good to lash out at yourself.


Seek instead to rebuild your soul calmly, reasonably, and compassionately.

Speak to your heart in understanding words:
"Rise up my heart still another time. Put your trust in God's mercy, so that you will stand stronger in the future. Do not be discouraged, God will help and guide you."


Pray with the Psalmist:
"Why are you sad my soul, and why do you disquiet me? Hope in God: for I will still give praise to Him; the salvation of my countenance, and my God."



St. Francis de Sales


20 September 2009

Praise!

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"I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good." Psalm 52:8-9


In between wanting to blow up the mosquitoes in my yard and digging up huge roots from holly bushes that simply
refuse to die (they come back, we dig them up, they come back, we dig them up, they come back, we contemplate gasoline and a match... then come to our senses and dig them up...) yes, in spite of all that, I have to say it was a good week. God is good and He is tender and patient. I'm thankful.

1. Praise God that
Christ became the servant of all, even unto death, for the sake of ungrateful sinners like me.

2. Praise God that He is
more merciful than we think.

3. Praise God that He is
more merciful than we are.

4. Praise God for the
unexpected ways He tells us He loves us.

5. Praise God that
He truly has a father's heart, and even our smallest offerings of praise and thanks are pleasing to Him just because we're His kids and He loves us that much.

6. Praise God for the great fortune and blessing of learning from
wise men and women. Those who've gone on to glory already, and those here lighting the way for us.

7. Praise God that
fall is on its way. (I'm saying that by faith. It's still too darn stinkin' hot and humid and I don't see a single leaf changing, but by golly, I'm gonna believe that fall is coming.)

8. Praise God for dark chocolate treats that make me go "yummmmm."


What's on your list this week? Sing out your
Praises to God for all His wonderful works! I pray that this coming week you will truly know that God loves you and just wants to be with you. Relax with Him, don't stress about the doing, and just enjoy being. Be not harsh with yourself, but receive His mercy.


18 September 2009

Prayer


"Prayer doesn't change things. Prayer changes people, and then things change."

Deacon Keith Fournier




17 September 2009

Can I Get One of Those Things, Please?

I walked from the van, to my front porch and inside the house with groceries. Had jeans on with sandals. It's cloudy and 72 today here, raining off and on.


Started unpacking the groceries and noticed my foot was itching. So was my hand. Itching!! Driving me nuts!


Took my shoes off and looked. Three huge mosquito bites! Two on my wrist and hand! ITCHING!! MUST SCRATCH!! AAAARRRGGHHHH!!!!


You know what I want today, right now? I want Eve's laser-blasting arm so I can go outside and start blowing up every single stupid worthless @#!#! bug I see.




Maybe then they'd stop messing with me.

Mosquitoes belong in hell.

15 September 2009

Sexual Counter-Revolution

With our government on the verge of passing health care legislation that, absent explicit language placed within it prohibiting Federal funds from being used for abortion, will mandate abortion coverage paid for by you and me, I figure now's a good time for a radical discussion about sex. We'll never change the way we view abortion until we change our attitudes about sex.


It's time for a sexual counter-revolution.


The sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, throughout all of life up to and including a natural death, is the only foundation our society will ever be able to stand upon if we hope to flourish as a truly free people. It's quite obvious our foundation is crumbling. To repair it, we must go back to square one and correct our ideas about sex.


Unless we give sexual intercourse its due reverence, we'll never give human life its due reverence. The two can never be separated, as Pope Paul VI tried to tell the world in his prophetic encyclical,
Humanae Vitae. If we don't regard all life as sacred -- and thus the creative act of sex -- then we will always find ways to rationalize and justify the murder of a child as a "right."

I'm not naively suggesting that prior to 1973 people were living chaste and faithful lives and that sex was held in the highest esteem by all, always expressed within the bond of marriage. I am saying that the decision to legalize the killing of our preborn children cemented a poisonous shift in our mentality, and that poison has corroded every aspect of our society, especially our treatment of sex. We replaced responsibility with "rights" and its been a downhill race toward insatiable debauchery ever since.



One criticism I hear often from people is that I and other Pro-Life folks ignore the real cause of abortions: unexpected/unwanted pregnancies. What needs to be addressed, they say, is the "tragedy of unexpected and unwanted pregnancies." Do you see what I mean? Pregnancy is a "tragedy" - not a miracle of life. There's that poisonous shift in our thinking. The creation of a new human being is a tragedy if we didn't expect it or want it. The tragedy isn't the new life; it's our self-centered, warped perspective.


Okay then, let's address it head-on. There is a solution to the problem of nearly all unwanted and unexpected pregnancies, but it's the only one that nobody wants to talk about or consider seriously. The answer is so obvious, it just begs to be shouted out, but no one wants to do it because it's the action that requires the most of us. As soon as I say it, I'll be laughed at and called an idealistic nincompoop (or worse).
I don't care. It might not be politically correct, but it must be said!



We all know exactly how babies are made so if you are not willing to lovingly accept a child into your life, then don't have sex! Period.


Please continue reading...
(it gets even better!)




P.S. Your thoughts are always welcome here and at Catholic Online... join this discussion!

14 September 2009

R.I.P.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon him.

14 September 2009


I'm not afraid to admit I loved Patrick Swayze. In my book, he had that old-fashioned, gentlemanly sex appeal quality that you just don't see in movie stars anymore. He was a great mix of masculine tough and melt-your-heart romantic. And oh, the man could dance! And sing! What can I say... I was a junior in high school when Dirty Dancing came out and "The Time of My Life" was the theme at the prom. My boyfriend and I danced to "She's Like the Wind" and it was the most romantic moment of my teenage life. Ah, memories... he's part of my history.

And who can forget Ghost...

He'll be missed.


My heart goes out to his lovely wife tonight. She's lost her life-mate and best friend. God bless her.


Update: Grandma K, you are SO right! I loved North and South... watched every minute. Orry Main was my favorite character. Irresistible!


13 September 2009

Praise!

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"Who do you say I am?"
"You are the Christ."
Mark 8:29


1. I praise God today for the faith and humanness of
St. Peter. Jesus built the rock of His church on a real, honest-to-goodness man, full of faults and weakness, yet full of passionate faith.

2. Praise God for the faith and touchable example of the
saints who left us their wisdom in writing, especially St. Francis de Sales and St. Therese. (My two current favorites.)

3. Praise God for the chance to start
a new day, to try again, to receive mercy, to be loved.

4. Praise God for our
Mother... pure, sweet, tender, strong, faithful, compassionate.

5. Praise God for
my family. We're together, everyone's healthy, we're sheltered, we're fed. We're blessed.

6. Praise God for
autumn coming soon...Oh, I can hardly stand the wait!

7. Praise God for the
waffle bowl full of chocolate ice cream covered in chocolate syrup that I ate last night. Every last bite, and I don't feel guilty.


Please join me in sharing your
Praises to God! It's wonderful to see your faithful faces each week and know you're Praising God!

I hope you have a splendid week ahead! God bless you richly... to overflowing!



11 September 2009

Cheryl Ann Monyak

As part of Project 2,996 I'm posting this tribute to


Cheryl Ann Monyak.



Cheryl lived in Greenwich, CT. She worked on the 96th floor of the North Tower as an insurance executive. She was 43 years old when she died eight years ago today.

Her family and friends set up this Tribute Page to honor her memory and celebrate her life. They all speak of her smile, her wit, her beauty and faithful friendship. They remember her laughter and they tell us of a woman who was firm in her values, excellent in her work, full of fun and enthusiasm, and loved by all who knew her.

On this anniversary of 9/11, my prayers go out to the Monyak family, and all the families of those who never dreamed they would be murdered by terrorists as they went to work that day, or boarded a plane for a routine flight that would turn out to be an instrument of insane evil.




May they all rest forever in the peace of Christ, and may the God of all comfort surround their loved ones with His presence.


And may we NEVER FORGET.



Lord Jesus, we beg Your mercy and Your protection on our nation today and always. God bless America.

Peace be with all of us...

10 September 2009

Void the Abortion Mandate!


Visit StopTheAbortionMandate.com to download the voided check for yourself if you like.
Keep calling your Congressional Reps!

Abortion is NOT Healthcare!


07 September 2009

Roses and Wildflowers

“Not every flower can be a rose.”







“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2


It’s been brought to my attention lately that I have a great deal to learn where humility is concerned. As painful as it is, the joyful irony is that only a God of infinite love and mercy would bother to teach this lesson.


Here’s what I suspect: much of what I think are the evidences of humility in my life are really something else entirely. There’s an ongoing skirmish between a desire for holiness (tainted with pride), discouragement over failings (tainted with pride) and goals of using my talents in the best way possible ~ for God’s glory of course. (Also tainted with pride.) Ugh.


The discouragement part is quite seductive actually, because it can give the appearance of sorrowful humility when it is often wounded pride. Humility does not mean I must dislike myself. To speak ill of myself, to mentally berate myself over my flaws and mistakes is not evidence of humility. It is evidence of pride. It just means I’ve not lived up to my expectation of myself, or worse, my delusion of grandeur. If I fail to live up to my standard of perfection I fear that I will be less esteemed by others. So I scold myself, feel sorry for myself, and cover my pride by declaring what a weak sinner I am, wailing “dear Jesus, please forgive me!”



In this way, I can feel superior to those wretched souls that don’t even have the decency to say they’ve done wrong and ask for pardon. You see, I’m less sorry for the particular sin, less sorry that I have offended my Lord than I am for having revealed the humiliating truth that I am not nearly as grand as I’d like to think I am.



Hiding within this discouragement is the unspoken craving for distinction ~ I must conquer my failings and defects in order to achieve the reputation I seek. This is what tarnishes the desire for holiness and turns the focus on me rather than on Jesus. In my secret heart – in hidden thoughts I never utter out loud – I fear that what Almighty God has ordained for me and my life is too modest, too common, too bland for my taste, and I try to persuade Him for more glory for myself while claiming to seek only His. I want what I want, and I beg Him to want it as well.



I must ask myself if I truly am willing to take the place God has ordained for me today without yearning for something “better” or more. As St. Therese put it, not every flower can be a rose. Some are wildflowers or daisies or violets.


I realize how much of my heart wants to be a rose and nothing else, because I fear that otherwise, I will not be special to Him at all. I fear He will not even see me as He walks past and will instead reach only for the stunning red rose, smile approvingly at it, and step on my tiny plain petals as He goes away. I fear being forgotten, dismissed and rejected.


Please continue reading...



06 September 2009

Praise!

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"O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise." Psalm 51:15


1. I praise God today that He opens the mouths of the mute, the ears of the deaf, and the minds of the incredibly stupid. (That would be me.)

2. I praise God today for the
BIG, beautiful butterfly the girls and I watched flitting around in my lantanas yesterday.

3. Praise God for
merciful love... merciful beyond my comprehension, beyond what I'm inclined to believe is true.

4. Praise God for
healthy kids.

5. Praise God for
quiet evenings.

6. Praise God for
homemade granola.

7. Praise God for every form of
tantalizing chocolate I can get my hands on!


What are the little things you're Praising God for this week? Big things? Share them... Praise God... and we will all be gladdened by the sharing.

Have a merciful and joyful week everyone! God's richest blessings be with you always.


02 September 2009

Learn From Jesus

More wisdom from St. FdS:

"Learn from me," Jesus said, "for I am meek and humble of heart."

"Learn from me," he was saying, "to be patient and gentle with your neighbor, and humble before my Father."

"Learn from me," he was saying, "to be patient and gentle with everyone, but especially with yourself."

Don't be anxious to condemn yourself every time you fall.

Instead, patiently, gently, pick yourself up and start all over again.

There is no better way to grow toward perfection than to be willing ~ and patient enough ~ to start over again and again.

To follow this simple advice is to discover the secret of a truly devout life.

God will give you an inward peace and all the patience you need, but you must sincerely ask Him for it.
And you must put it to work day by day.
Use every opportunity to perform acts of patient gentleness, no matter how small they may seem at the time, for our Lord has promised:
"To the person who is faithful in little things, greater ones will be given."

St. Francis de Sales


Stick this one on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, your car's visor... I might stick it on my forehead.

Have mercy on one another ~ have mercy on yourself.
Be patient with one another ~ be patient with yourself.
Forgive one another ~ forgive yourself.

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