Sunday, March 30, 2014

At A Loss for Words

Here I am again, 
Lord, facing a blank page with an empty mind, 
wondering why my love for the written word 
is hampered by the inability to forge the right ones in an easy flow. 
And has my passion for photography disappeared 
or is it suffering from not being fed by frequent changes of scenery?  
I thought that I had fared so well in this past season of little light.  
I had even been able to exercise with a reasonable frequency.
  Or is it something I fear even more than death, 
the loss of myself in that dreaded disease Alzheimer?
Am I being consumed by that green devil called Envy?  
Or is it despair disguised as admiration 
thinking that those bloggers I marvel at have no problem 
with the flow of words onto the page,  
that their Muses visit them often 
with their gifts of word-weaving, 
and clear visions of just the right likeness 
to accompany their verses?  
Or, horror of horrors, 
have I approached my blogs with the wrong attitude- 
the desire of having a massive number of visitors to my sites, 
thus filling me with an inflated ego?  
This thought was sparked by reading Courtney Chowning’s 
Blogging Tips from the Fruit of the Spirit.  
I ask You, the ultimate Creator, 
to send your Spirit to fill my psyche 
with the necessary means to write, 
or help me to face the hard truth 
that my talent lies not in writing, 
only photography. 
Or perhaps my gift lies elsewhere. 
Enlighten me, I ask, through Christ, our Lord.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Random 5 for March 28, 2014

1. I am anxiously waiting for my friends to arrive for our Friday Night Book Club.  The book we’ll be discussing is Victims by Jonathan Kellerman.  Afterwards we decided to read something more light-hearted for our April meeting. So we will be reading The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
2. Yesterday evening was Eucharistic Devotion which ended with the dedication of a Rosary made from the funeral roses of our beloved Father Keane.  The rosary now hangs on the hand of the stunning statue of the Blessed Mother.  I am using an image I have shown before.  I neglected to take my camera last night so I will update Mary’s image with the new rosary as soon as I can. 

3. A book I ordered on Tuesday from Amazon arrived just a few minutes ago.  It is entitled Surviving the Angel of Death: the Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Kor. 
I saw a live stream of Eva on a university’s site.  I had already read a different book by another Holocaust survivor.  It was called Sevek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die by Sidney Finkel.  You can read about his presentation at a nearby school on my old blog-Scrappy Grams.  That post can be found here.  I lost my Scrappy Grams’ dashboard so that I could no longer write on that blog.  It saddened me, but as you can see, I’ve moved on.

4. I am still wrestling with the idea of having only one blog.  I started Faith in a Bottle to share my faith with others, but I see many whom I admire write all their posts, spiritual and otherwise on one blog.  Then I think, “Do I just dump one or do I create another new one?”   hmm…

5. I saw on Facebook that my newly engaged granddaughter is going to use Ball jars in some way for her wedding reception.  I wonder…

sharing with
Nancy Claeys'

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mondays with Mary: Mother of Mercy Prayer

Blessed Virgin Mary, 
who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks 
for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent!  
Receive our gratitude, 
and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins. 
Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven 
and enable them to make our peace with God.

Holy Mary, help the miserable, 
strengthen the discouraged, 
comfort the sorrowful, 
pray for your people, 
plead for the clergy, 
intercede for all women consecrated to God. 
May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection.  
Be ready to help us when we pray, 
and bring back to us the answers to our prayers.  
Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, 
for you were blessed by God 
and were made worthy 
to bear the Redeemer of the world, 
who lives and reigns forever.  
~Saint Augustine of Hippo~

With the sad news of the Malaysian flight 370
most certainly thought to have crashed into the Indian Ocean,
there are so many families who will be dealing
with the loss of loved ones.
I know that our Blessed Mother
can relate to these families.
May we pray for their loss and 
the grieving they will endure.

sharing with

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Haiku My Heart: God's Canvas

 God's canvas,
brilliant array of colors,
blows away Man's hues.
 pondering the sky
 this past week,

 opened my eyes
to all the lovely pastels
not available
to any earthly artist's

All these images were shot within
a two minute range from different angles
the evening sky.

linking to Rebecca's
wondrous Haiku My Heart

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Random 5 for March 21, 2014

1. My 3-year old great grand-daughter’s first day of daycare was this past Monday.  
One of the caregivers was surprised to learn that it was her first day because how she seemed at ease with her surroundings.  This relieved her momma, Nana and myself.

2. I am feeling exuberant for the actual onset of spring!  
I have even viewed the first signs of spring in my yard.

3. I kept my best friend, who is also the wife of my middle son, 
company while Son went to Comic Con with his grandson.  
We all had a full weekend. 

4. Daughter-in-law and I spent Saturday morning 
at St. Mary’s Day of Recollection in our parish hall.  
It was well attended and enhanced us in our spiritual growth.  
The main speaker was the diocesan Vicar-General 
who happens to be our pastor’s brother. 

5. One of my former students is now in her 5th year of remission 
from her cancer.  She celebrated that fact recently.  
I pray that she remains so.  
I find it troubling that I know many people battling with that awful disease.  
Note to those who pray to saints for intercession to God: 
St. Peregrine is the patron of those who have cancer.

St. Peregrine "was cured of cancer,
after he received a vision of Christ on the cross
reaching out His hand to touch his impaired limb. 
He died in 1345 and was canonized in 1726.

He is the patron of cancer patients
linking with pleasure to
Nancy Claeys'

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ABC Wednesday: Jesuits

Our ladies’ group, Women at the Well, 
is reading this book by a Jesuit priest Father James Martin.  
Since we meet only once a month 
and do not meet in the summer, 
we will continue to read this interesting book into 2015.  
Father Martin relates the saints’ lives, 
as well as those who led saintly, holy lives, 
and how they have impacted his own life.  
The saints or saintly that we have encountered thus far are these:
The Saint of the Sock Drawer- Jude
Joan of Arc
Thomas Merton
Ignatius of Loyola
Pedro Arrupe
Bernadette Soubirous
And for April, we are reading about these:
Mother Teresa
Pope John XXIII

 Then some of our ladies 
share the history and spirituality of each saint 
we have studied with their own unique presentations.  
We are fortunate to have such industrious 
and interesting speakers in our group.

I highly recommend this book 
for its spiritual value 
as well as its entertaining way of sharing 
the lives of these faith-filled people 
whose journey we may choose to emulate.

linking to 
hosted by
the inimitable and founding blogger,
Mrs. Nesbitt

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day

May the faith of St. Patrick
bring you courage 
to stand up for your beliefs
in the Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

From St. Patrick's Breastplate-
Christ shield me this day;
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, 
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

Image of St. Patrick

Details about St. Patrick's life
can be found here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lenten Path

Lead me, O Lord, on the path
that leads to your Easter celebration.

digital project using
From Teddi with Love program and 
one of my own photos

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Random 5 for March 7

1. Our Bible Study celebrated Mardi Gras.  
I blogged about our fete on Tuesday, but I had no photo of our group yet.  
Thanks to one of the ladies who took our picture, 
I now have one to post. Thanks, BJ.

2. Having missed a few Bible Study meetings 
because of my anxiety about driving on snowy roads,
 I was greeted with “I’m glad that you’re back.”  
What a wonderful boost that was for my sagging psyche!

3.I bought a Samsung 3 Tablet last Saturday.  
The advantages I’m enjoying are- 
reading an ebook with much less swiping it 
to turn pages 
and I can journal at my kitchen table 
with less strain on my arthritic neck. 
I passed my Kindle on to my daughter.

4. Speaking of reading, 
I am currently reading Victims by Jonathan Kellerman.  
I really like the  yin and yang of the two main characters Alex Delaware 
and the policeman Milo.  If you like mysteries, it’s a real page-turner.

5. The sun is shining and the high predicted for today is 60 degrees!  

Note to readers, my daughter is healing quite nicely from her surgery.  
God is good and so are my friends who prayed for her!

hop on over
to Nancy Claeys'

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ABC Wednesday: H is for Holiness

A friend from church recommended 
Thirty-Day Devotions for the Holy Souls by Susan Tassone

to our group that is meeting Sunday mornings for a six-week period. 
I immediately ordered it online, and boy, am I glad that I did.  
Even though the book is not in sync with the season of Lent, 
I felt that Day 25’s devotion about fasting 
is an excellent message for all of us who are observing Lent.

What follows are Tassone’s words verbatim-

“We are all called to fast.  
However, not all are called to fast in the same way.  
We should seek God, ask His direction, 
and then follow the impulses we sense coming from Him:
Fast from bitterness- feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern- feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety- feast on eternal truth.
Fast from anger- feast on patience.
Fast from words that destroy- feast on words that build.
Fast from discontent- feast on gratitude.
Fast from discouragement- feast on hope.”

I invite you to try   
feasting on Susan Tassone’s words
during your Lenten journey.  
I know that I intend to do that 
with hope of growing in holiness.

linking to
hosted this week by Reader Wil


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras Fete at Bible Study

King Cake, as shown on Concannon's Bakery Facebook page

One of our Bible Study ladies brought a King Cake
from Concannon's to our Mardi Gras Fete today.
 Other ladies baked other goodies for us 
to indulge ourselves on this Fat Tuesday.  
We feast today, for tomorrow,  
Ash Wednesday, we will fast on the first day of Lent.  
Our faith encourages us to adhere to the Three Pillars of Lent 
which include prayer, fasting and alms giving. 
During Lent, we fast and abstain 
from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays.  
Even children are encouraged to do 
a form of these three pillars consistent with their age.  
Our Bible Study group chose a different way for us 
to help ourselves to grow spiritually during this Lenten season.  
Each of us wrote three or more suggestions 
pertaining to the three pillars on slips of paper.  
Then all of these were put in a beautiful container.  
Each week, three slips of paper will be pulled out; 
each will be read out loud.  
Then each of us can choose one or more of them for that week.  
I like that I will be united 
with my friends in our journey to Easter 2014.

Sister Jean, CSA, has several links 
on her web site to aid anyone
wanting suggestions for his/her
Lenten journey.
May the grace of our Lord 
and the love of our Blessed Mother 
be with each of us during Lent.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Postcards from Paradise:

The bells chime, 
sounding Jesus’ invitation 
to enter His abode and spend some quiet time 
with Him.  Who can turn away from that summons?  
Is there anything more important than time spent with our 
Lord?  Would not time spent here provide grace enough 
to make all actions weave together more effortlessly?  
Of course, one does not need to enter a church to meet with 
Jesus, but the environs of a church provides us a place built 
with the intentionality of being a haven for prayer.  
 Why not answer the call 
the next time 
you hear 
the bells?

linking to