Friday, March 20, 2015

In My Fantasy

I love this song and the words to it.  It came out in a movie called, 'The Mission' aired in 1986.

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

It's about a Jesuit missionary (Father Gabriel) who goes to South America with the purpose of converting the natives to Christianity. The Treaty of Madrid of 1750 transfers the land from Spain to Portugal; the Portuguese wish to use/sell natives for slave labor.  Father Gabriel and a reformed Christian 'Mendoza' decide to defend the mission but conflict arises when neither can agree on how to do it. The character of Father Gabriel is based on St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz. There is an interesting article celebrating his feast day and that of two other martyred jesuit saints that died with him.

There is a book that is also an interesting read; 'The Lost Cities of Paraguay' by Father C.J. McNaspy, S.J.  Amazon has this book for purchase.

Saints Juan del Castillo, Roque Gonzalez and Alfonso Rodriguez, Jesuit martyrs at Paraguay

 I've watched parts of the movie but not all, as I have never liked movies with even a little violence.  Growing up, my two brothers and I had a distaste for violent movies or shows.  In today's times, graphic and gore seem to appeal to the younger generations.  I think it has de-sensitized our young people a great deal.  Anyhow, this song touches my heart and the lovely girl that sings it, Jackie Evancho, is also very touching too.

In My Fantasy  (Nella Fantasia)

In my fantasy
I see a just world
where everyone lives in peace and honesty.

I dream of souls 
that are always free
like the clouds that float 
full of humanity in the depths of the soul.

In my fantaasy
I see a bright world
where each night there is less darkness.

In my fantasy 
exists a warm wind
that blows into the city
like a friend.

I dream of souls that are always free
like the clouds that float
full of humanity in the depths of the soul.

Feast of St. Joseph

I woke up late today but hurriedly got dressed and made a run to the coffee shop, located by our parish, with my daughter Melinda.  My other three children were already out in the world doing what they're supposed to be doing, I guess.....working.  Mary went to work at 'Towne Crier', which is a wonderful little steakhouse here in our hometown.  Jacob works as a 'bugman'; actually he works for a bug exterminating company.  He's very good at it; going into homes and getting rid of insects, rodents etc.  Lastly my son Joshua, sleeps late every day.  Still looking for a job.

But it was a quiet lovely spring day!  It felt good to be out in the world.  Coffee and cinnamon scones for myself and Melinda respectively, and a nice quiet drive around the outskirts of our hometown.  I have unfinished sewing, unfinished knitting and unfinished reading; but all can wait.

But today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, of all thngs!  So lovely!  It was a good day to just meditate and pray.  I took Melinda to her Ballet class later and did my daily walk around a local college campus and prayed the rosary.  I have an app on my iphone which I purchased; it has Ann Blyth reciting the rosary.  I have no idea when she did this album, but I just love it!!

And then I meditated on St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and husband to Mary.  Our Lenten season is almost to an end.  More prayers, candle lighting, evening rosaries.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


My daughter, Melinda, and I went to IHOP after the noon Mass today.  We attend services every Tuesday and then eat a late breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes at either IHOP or Cracker Barrel.  I brought a church bulletin with me and was reading it while we were waiting for our order. I came across a picture of a parishioner in the bulletin and shared a story with my daughter about this particular person. I'll call him Patrick, since this is St. Patrick's Day, after all!

First, Patrick is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet; and has alway had a nice friendly disposition since I've known him in middle school.  As the story goes; his parents divorced when he was very young.  He was 10 years old or less.  His biological father, thereafter, was not an active part of his life.  I think Patrick saw him once in a while.

His mother remarried and this man was, according to Patrick, the most wonderful step-father any child could ever have.  He was attentive, loving and was what Patrick had wanted from his biological father, that he didn't get. It's all right.  His step-father was a hero to Patrick and he loved and respected him so much that when Patrick turned eighteen and graduated high school, he changed his last name from that of his biological father to his step-dad.

That was a long time ago; we're all in our fifties now.  Patrick carried on his step-father's business and is happily married with grown children and is a grandfather himself.

I told Melinda this story because I thought the story was unusual; most step-parents get a bad rap in our society. They get a bad rap in most fairy tales that we read to our children, such as Cinderella or Snow White, or whatever fairy tale involves a step-parent.   I'm glad Patrick's story was such a good one.  I'm a step-parent myself and I know that being a step-parent can sometimes be hard, but not because of the children involved, but because of the adults involved.  First of all, you get blamed for things that are entirely not your fault.  You get lied to, framed, and used as a 'scapegoat' for things not turning out right in your step-child's life.  And if your step-child reflected anything positively significant in their lives, well you had nothing to do with it.  Sad, that adults are responsible for this. I know that as life continued on, I had no choice but to accept that I would always be the bad guy and a fake, with ulterior motives because this is what was told to my step-children by their wonderful, loving jealous mother. How did I come about this information?  Because my step-daughter told me to my face that her mother had been telling her and my step-son this since their father and I married many many years ago. How did I respond?  With silence.

So what did I do?  Nothing.  What do you do when your own child acts up? (and I have four angels that tarnish their halos every now or then) or when you're married to a spouse whose parenting skills or advice you don't always agree on?  What I did was develop 'coping' skills of my own.  Going to Mass is my anti-anxiety.  It makes everything all right for me and puts everything into perspective.  It has a calming soothing effect to my soul.  Of course, I've also been told that I'm putting on a 'show' for everyone to think that I'm a 'good Christian'!  Did I deserve to be talked to like this?  I don't think so.  A person can go about their own personal lives and still be 'dogged' about something.  A person goes to the hospital when they're sick; I go to church to heal my soul, worship God, receive the Eucharist, and to feel the strength of the Mass within the walls of the Church.  Why subject me to such condemnation when I have done nothing to no one but go about my activities of daily living?   Oh yes,...I forgot....I live in this secular world.

So, developing coping skills as a parent or as a step-parent is a good thing.  You can't do anything about how people look at you or treat you when you become a step-parent; it's a sacrifice, whether it's meant to be or not, because of adults that selfishly refuse to act like adults and because of the way our secular society has made it.  Being a step-parent is going to always have its taboo.  Going to Mass as often as I can and praying the rosary is what I do to make myself feel 'whole.'  Last of all, forgiving those that choose to hurt me and love to hurt me.  When Jesus died on the cross, he said "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."  So I take up my cross daily and don't ask but forgive.

This is why I told Melinda of Patrick's story.  His outcome was a wonderful one.  He loved his step-father very much,  Maybe this was because his step-father wasn't hampered by outside influences.  I don't know.  But bless the step-parents who want to and are allowed to love their step-children without the verbal demolition of others. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Being Sick

Wow.  When I get sick, I get really sick!   I worked this weekend at a local hospital.  What I was told; there's a virus going around.  About one third of my co workers were coughing, sneezing, had super runny noses and headaches.  I was bound to catch something from them.  So miserable right now.   After my shift was over Monday, I went straight home, took a shower and hit the bed.  I was never so glad to be home like I was today.  I slept and slept.  Then I had to get up around 5:30 to go to my Statistics class.  It's a three hour class, but I was only able to stay a little over an hour and a half.

O my gosh!  Went straight home and hit the bed again!  When I woke up it was 12:00 a.m.  My body feels so sore.  I put the heating pad to my feet to warm them up.  I'm off for several days before I go back to work.  Hoping and praying I get over this terrible 'bug'!

Sometimes when situations arise, such as this illness, you reflect as I did today and was so glad to be home with my kids around me and my husband too.  I'm an avid sewer; when my husband moved back home 18 months ago, I lost my sewing room.  Had to put most of my things in my bedroom.  I was pretty upset but I got over it.  I fixed my bedroom as best as I could.  It has become a dual bedroom and sewing room.  But it's neat and tidy.  I have my favorite books on a shelf, and my favorite 'Silver Screen' movies on a shelf too.  Then there's my fabric and yarn, which I've had to store in bins and on a bookshelf, which holds most of my sewing books and fabric and notions.

I know I'm blessed with all that I have, and don't have.  I'll say a prayer this evening and thank God for my life, as I recuperate from this illness.  God is good; he is always good.

Deo Gratias.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Part 1:  The Creed and Chapter 1:  Laying a Firm Foundation ~ Lawn Chair Catechism

We’re introduced to the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church this week through Paprocki’s H.E.L.P. acronymn:
  • H = We Hold on to our faith that is revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition and is summarized in theCreed.
  • E = We Express our faith in the liturgy and sacraments of the Church.
  • L = We Live our faith according to Catholic morality.
  • P = We Pray our faith by maintaining a healthy prayer life.
As we begin Part 1, we’ll be looking at the Creed, the “H” for “Hold” above.
At the end of Chapter 1, Paprocki writes,
What difference does it make for Catholics to believe that “Christians are made, not born”? It means that we are called to be receptive. Faith is something that we receive. It does not belong to us but is passed on to us like a family heirloom that we treasure, protect, and pass on faithfully.
Questions for Reflection and Disucssion:
  1. Who is someone you know who has a “well-built faith” and what do you attribute that to?  My cousin, Nena.  I attribute that to being brought up in a Catholic atmosphere. Mass every week; studying the Faith; having a father that led the family to God and Mass with joy and veneration.
  2. What have you been doing/could you be doing to deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith?  Studying the Faith; attending Mass every week (this is something I have fallen short of.  I work so much that going to Sunday Mass has lessened, it is something I want to do better-attending more in the near future); keeping Christ in your mind on a continuous basis.  
  3. Who has been a “pillar of faith” in your life? My cousins in California, and my oldest son.  
  4. What event(s) in your life have most significantly shaped you into the person you are today? The births of my four children. Children can bring out the best in a parent.
  5. Creed: What is the difference between an idea and a belief? I think, an idea is something that comes to you that you'd like to try out or carry out, perchance?  A belief is something you feel with your mind and heart wholeheartedly to be true. What role does trust play in believing? Trust is something you feel without doubt.  Sometimes I have trouble with this.
  6. Sacraments: When was a time you felt compelled to express yourself without using words? All of the time, I guess.  I haven't been blessed with the gift of 'speech'; therefore expressing myself has always been difficult. So, I go about my business, being silent and mostly listening to others.  Most people around me can tell that I am happy because I smile alot.
  7. Morality: Why do you think it is so difficult for us as God’s own people to live moral lives? Because of our secular world, temptation is in abundance.  Because society attempts to make us believe that some things which we know are really wrong, is right.  
  8. Prayer: With whom do you have the best communication?  My cousin, Nena.  She should be my sister.  She knows me so well.  What makes that communication so effective?  Listening and understanding.  She knows the Catholic Faith and continues to learn more about it.  She encourages me to trust everything to God.     How good is your communication with God? My communication with God is through everything; such as my daily walks around a local college campus~seeing God through a million stars or touching him through the soft falling of rain on my skin), cooking (bringing Christ to the table), sewing, (clothing our bodies) reading, reading, meditating on the rosary, looking to the saints to help me in my endeavors through their invocation. I think God communicates in many ways.  We have to use all our senses, I think, to know he is there. Always.