more bluebirds…everywhere!

bluebirdThis is the third day of my St. Therese of Lisieux novena, and instead of roses, I’m getting bluebirds.

Everywhere.

It’s amazing.

We live in a fairly quiet community that has a good bit of wildlife. All manner of birds. Deer. Raccoons. An occasional fox. Too many bunnies and chipmunks and squirrels.

And now: bluebirds.

We’ve seen them here and there over the years, but it seemed like they never came up the hill to our backyard. Maybe it was too dense up here — too many trees. But a couple of years ago we starting clearing the back yard and doing some landscaping, and B00M! — the bluebirds came.

It’s kinda neat. We’ve been sitting on the porch enjoying the late afternoon breeze, sharing our space with the hummingbirds and the rest of the Disney characters, and now, delightfully — the little bluebirds of happiness.

still can’t bi-locate

Enjoy my friend, Padre Pio, next to this creepy bobble head of none other than Mother Teresa. What a pair!

Enjoy my friend, Padre Pio, next to this creepy bobble head of none other than Mother Teresa. What a pair!

My dad was devoted to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and St. Pio was devoted to prayer.

Today, on his feast day, I remember Pop, and offer you this brief prayer composed by Padre Pio:

May Jesus comfort you
in all your afflictions.
May He sustain you in dangers,
watch over you always with His grace,
and indicate the safe path
that leads to eternal salvation.
And may He render you
always dearer to His Divine Heart
and always more worthy of Paradise. Amen.

a word about prayer

Do it.

Ok, that’s two words. Do it anyway.

It turns out that the more you pray, the more you pray. And then you get better at it.

Pray for yourself. For what you need. For what you desire. For what grieves you.

Pray for others.

That right there is the ticket. When you pray for others, something happens to you, too. That offering of love comes back to you. It’s a gift of grace.

It’s also an action, and you have to make the choice, the commitment, to pray. Choose well.

Pray.

 

at Catholicmom.com!

Hey there! Here’s a little reflection on going to Mass while on vacation. With picture goodness!

I brushed sand off the back of my husband’s pants as we walked up the steps to enter the little beach-community church for Mass last week. I realized I ought to do the same. We were staying at a house right on the sand, and it was impossible to get to the car without dredging through sand, no matter how hard we tried.

Read the rest of Finding Home on Vacation at CatholicMom.com

taking a break for prayer

shell rosary

Here’s a lovely prayer to

accompany me on my rosary walks:

Ave Maris Stella:

Hail, bright star of ocean, 

God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.

Break the captives’ fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Joy forevermore.

Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.

a little question about faith

“Would you share with me your personal definition of faith?”

I came across that question on Facebook this afternoon, and it has driven me to distraction all afternoon as I pondered what I could respond.

It is such an amazingly personal question, but the query is posed with an acknowledgement of that — even suggesting that the answer could be sent via message. That’s part of the reason why I feel compelled to answer here although I could very well hide from the public discourse.

While it’s a deeply personal request to share the definition, it’s a profoundly public experience to live it.

For me, faith is a commitment. It’s a response to the gift of God. It’s a promise kept. It’s the thing that keeps me in the pew when I don’t want to be. What sends me to confession in spite of myself. What gives me hope when despair would be easier. What gives me joy in the highs…and the lows.

To live the faith means to assume the risk of living it publicly. Scary in today’s world, isn’t it?

I looked up what the Catechism has to say about faith, and found this:

166 Faith is a personal act – the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. You have not given yourself faith as you have not given yourself life. The believer has received faith from others and should hand it on to others. Our love for Jesus and for our neighbor impels us to speak to others about our faith. Each believer is thus a link in the great chain of believers. I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith.

That’s why I wrote it here. To share my thoughts, and ask you the same.

“Would you share with me your personal definition of faith?”