One of the best parts of being a Catholic Christian is that God welcomes us at whatever moment we say ‘yes’. We are assured of this welcome from the promise of the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt 20) and Jesus’ own words earlier in Matt 11:28ff:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Take note – there is no timeframe given, no due date just a “come to me”, and we all qualify for this invitation as all of us are under one burden or another.
So, if you haven’t really jumped into Lent for yourself or your kids might I recommend:
**We are praying for all of you but are offering extra prayers and sacrifices for all the LF/BK families struggling in Texas. May Christ give you strength.**
From uplifting painting of John and Peter that illustrated the article written by Patti Maguire Armstrong to her concrete advice, I was reminded of a few helps I had forgotten.
Are you familiar with the Novena of Holy Surrender by Servant of God Fr. Ruotolo? I even got to laugh out loud when she referenced MY Scripture verse for 2021: ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand’” (John 13:7)’.
I’m bookmarking this article so I can reread it throughout the upcoming year as I know that struggles are a part of life. I just do not want to ever echo the disbelief of the people in today’s Gospel (Mk. 6:1-6). I know who Jesus is, regardless of what the world may think or what I may ‘see’.
There is so much we could say about the witness the Holy Family offers us. Shall we think about the Blessed Mother and Jesus the toddler? Did he climb on everything as a few of mine did? How about Jesus the preteen working at St. Joseph’s side learning woodcraft from his foster father?
Perhaps your own family could really use their intercession right now. Have the troubles of the world missed your family? Didn’t think so.
Over at Catholic Stand, I found a reassuring article:
I also found this wonderful story of St. Louis Martin, our St. Therese’s own father and his struggles late in life with mental health issues.
But, perhaps your family is enduring a time of peace and blessings. Have you been spared from any real struggles recently? If so, this month might be a time when you can dedicate your prayer time to intercede for families in crisis.
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, is our reminder that seasons of blessing and seasons of strife come and go:
“There is an appointed time for everything….
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose…..
What profit have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to mortals to be busied about. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life.”
During this month, remember that whatever season you are in, the Holy Family is there to console you or celebrate with you. They understand as they also endured times of challenge and times of joy.
Happy First Day of Ordinary Time! While we might think of Jan. 1 as the first day of the year, as Catholics today can be seen the first day of the year as we enter into ordinary time with Mark’s telling of the call of Simon, Andrew, James and John (Mk. 1:14-20).
I like to think of how it would sound to add my own name, Rachel, to that list; and then Matthew and each of my children and then my family, my friends, and maybe you?
I’m not a fisherman, and He is asking me to remain at the work of my marriage, my family, and other work such as this. But, I want everything I do to be a result of the reality that I follow Him.
The 33-day consecration begins Jan. 9 and ends Feb. 11, the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.
“Our Lady of Lourdes is special in our diocese,” Bishop Keenan explained. “Every year we make an annual diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes to consecrate the diocesan work to Our Lady there. Because of the pandemic we can’t do it this year.”
“I see this as going to Lourdes as we would do each year and consecrating our work for Jesus through her.” There is need for a lot of physical healing, “and to pray for our deliverance from this pandemic. And also spiritual healing for the world feels anxious.”
An act of consecration does not need to be complicated and realizing you may not have the resources mentioned in the article or a specific book, you could easily just do the Prayer of St. Maximillian Kolbe for your evening prayers (which is my family’s choice):
Thank you for your support and prayers during 2020. This year brought challenges for all of us. Throughout it all, we have leaned on the love and mercy of Jesus, along with your continued support and prayers.
May 2021 be a time of renewed commitment to following Jesus Christ as well as an outpouring of real health, joy and peace for us all!
I am the living embodiment of the old phrase, “Adding insult to injury!”
For those who might not know, I fell in my yard recently and ended up with a series of micro-fractures to my upper humerus (which is NOT at all humorous!). I will be wearing a stylish, black sling until Thanksgiving at which point we will assess any lingering damage, see about physical therapy, etc.
While I was quick to blame my MS, the ER doctor reassured me that ‘anyone with feet risks a fall’, but still……
However, there really is so much to be grateful for as it was my right arm, and I am left handed, I fell on soft ground and not concrete and the leaves and sticks in my hair was, according to my lovely husband, a ‘good look’!
I appreciate everyone’s prayers as my mood remains optimistic (for the most part) and I regularly remind myself that if Jesus endured the cross for me, I can endure this.
Thank you all, again and I’ll keep you posted as best as I can.