Kissing The Face of God

Kissing The Face of God
Kissing the Face of God

Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1)  Some dear friends from my CRHP group committed to fast a meal today for my husband and son, and several of us carpooled down to our diocese's cathedral, St. Mary's, for the noon rosary and mass service to pray for my home situation.  It was made even more special by the unexpected fact that, this being the feast of the Chair of St Peter, our Bishop, Joe Vasquez, led the Mass. It was my first time to meet him, so I was somewhat star struck, I must admit!  We also saw one of our parish's Deacons who is working with my husband, who had stopped by for the mass as well. I am truly blessed by such special friends.

St Mary's Cathedral, Austin, Texas--outside


Bishop Joe Vasquez, Diocese of Austin

2)  The gift shop at the Cathedral had the neatest traditional liturgical calendars! WOW! They have everything you'd ever want to know, both the traditional feast days and beautiful artwork. They are made by the Seraphim Company.

3)  Watching "The 300" on TV. Talk about weird filming techniques! Interesting film, though--those Spartans sure were......spartan.......weren't they?

4)  Speaking of movies--I sure wish they would produce more Catholic-themed movies that were not dubbed into English or have subtitles in English.  With the subtitled ones, I can't even shut my poor bleary eyes for a second without missing something.  I am hoping to see more in English one day soon.

5) If you could go anywhere....where would you go?  A trip all alone, say? I think I would love to visit what used to be called the "Mountains of the Moon" in Africa, between Rwanda and Uganda, and see the mountain gorillas.

6)  I am so so tired.

7) I need just a small break, God, please.  Please, just a small one.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beauty in Darkness

Although I did not know it at the time, I can see so clearly now why the Lord led me to my Catholic faith two years ago. I did not know how much I would need Him, but He did. He led me right to where I needed to be. And then, when I resisted doing the CRHP retreat and formation, He pushed me several times until I did, and now, I have so many devoted friends helping me through this dark and scary time.

Also, I have found daily Mass to be such a comfort--Holy Communion, the peace of God's house, the words of encouragement from one and all, the dear ladies who pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet after Mass each's so very needed.

I just got done taking the Ethics and Integrity in Ministry class last weekend, so hopefully now I can soon volunteer in the nursery or preschool or maybe in RE--I need the faces and laughter of little ones right now. How can you resist teaching little faces about Jesus?

My husband is coming home for the weekend from M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston, before going back monday for final treatment recommendations.  He is having a liver biopsy tomorrow to find out what drug would be best to use.  They are not expecting a cure, as there is metastasis, possibly to the T4 vertebra and esophagus, but they will be doing chemo and radiation to control spread and extend life hopefully. Please keep him in your prayers.

MD Anderson

I ask also for prayers for our 13 year old son who has Aspergers (a milder form of autism), ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Without going into great detail, this has been a very difficult year for him, at school and at home, and  his symptoms and aggression are very poorly controlled medically. He really needs inpatient treatment right now, and his Dr agrees, but our state is 48th in the nation on spending for mental health care and there isn't a single place that will take him without his being actively suicidal or homicidal unless we have good insurance, which we don't.  Things are rapidly rising to a boiling point and he is failing all his subjects in school, refusing to do anything anyone tells him, stealing from us, etc.  We are at a loss.  Right now, with all the other stress going on, it just is almost more than I can bear.

Thank you for your prayers and love!

Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1)  What are you doing for Lent? Or NOT doing? I was going to try not raising my voice with my 13 year old but I don't think that's going to work.  So, now I have to come up with something else.  And I'm two days late. So, it would be good if I could think of something I haven't done in two days that I like to do to get a jump on my tardiness.  But what........?

2)  Scorpions--I have to wonder why Jen at Conversion Diary sees scorpions every ten minutes in her house, in the same area as my house, and I have never seen a single scorpion since I moved to Texas in 1978? Why is that?  I have seen rats, flying tree roaches (seriously--FLYING roaches?????), yellowjackets, fire ants, geckos, you name it, but never a single scorpion.  Why is that?

3) Speaking of hideous critter tales--once upon a time about 10 years ago when we lived in a little stone house with crumbling foundations and fireplace holes that could not be plugged up and an attic opening big enough for raccoons, etc, we had the occasional rat scamper merrily across the living room floor as we were watching tv or something.  It sent me into paroxysms of terror as we had a baby in the house, plus I am no friend of rats.  We called the pest control people and they basically said there was nothing they could do.

Then, one horrible night around Halloween, I had a bowl of those small orange mallow Halloween pumpkin candies on a table beside my bed. We were asleep and suddenly, I felt a warm, furry creature nestled in my hair in the crook of my neck.  As we had no small pets, I immediately deduced what it was and threw myself screaming onto my husband, and the critter wisely took off. We turned the lights on, I sat up, and one of those pumpkin candies rolled out of the crook of my neck and onto the bed.  It had teeth marks in it and they weren't mine.  That was not one of my better nights.

A little bit like this

4) As for the flying tree roaches, I was instructed by the wife of the former renters that I should never ever venture outside the house at night--that the backyard was full of all kinds of unsavory flying and swooshing and slithering things, like in a Stephen King novel, and I would regret it bitterly.  She was right.  The tree roaches, however, came right on in when it got too hot outside for them, and I recall vividly lying in bed with my 4 day old baby and watching one emerge from our closet and begin walking slowly around the top of the wall towards where I was ensconced in the bed with my innocent babe. I actually called my husband and made him come home from work to murder said tree roach before it reached us.  I was having enough problems already with mastitis and thrush and giant purple nipples from the gentian violet I was told to use on them without tree roaches trying to carry off my baby.

It is NOT ok for these to fly.

5)  I JUST got this nice picture of Pope Benedict put up and now he's leaving office.   I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I wish him  peace, bless his sweet heart.

6)  My husband is still at MD Anderson in Houston, awaiting test results next monday morning from his PET and MRI scans, to see if and to where the cancer has spread.  I am terrified. I  cannot fathom being without him.  Please keep praying for him.

7) I am so grateful for all the dear friends in my life who have done so much for us these past few weeks of agony--I could never have made it through without them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI and Ash Wednesday

Like many of you, I was surprised and saddened to hear of our Pope's resignation of his office a couple of days ago, starting at the end of this month.  I was not yet a Catholic when Bl. JPII died, but I recall watching the announcement of his death and the papal conclave on television, and thinking how sad it was to lose such a great man.  His final words, "Let me go to my Father's house", moved me deeply.

However, I must admit that I was unaware a pope COULD resign. I had often wondered what would occur if one became thoroughly incapacitated, perhaps with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, or complete physical incapacity. What would occur? Has this ever happened in papal history? I'm still not entirely sure.

I will miss Pope Benedict--I enjoyed his writing, his gentle manner and soft voice, and his openness to a resurgence of traditionalism in the Church.  I pray that he gets some much needed rest and is able to serve God in a new capacity now.

Pope Benedict XVI

As for Ash Wednesday this is my first one as a confirmed Catholic, so I will be attempting to carry out the fasting ritual, attending Mass for imposition of ashes, visiting with Fr Wade, my Spiritual Director, and visiting our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  My husband is in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center, undergoing testing to find out the extent and origin of the cancer--he will be having a PET scan tomorrow. Please keep him in your prayers, as well as my son Daniel, 13, who is having severe, extreme behavior issues, as well as strength and faith for me.  Thank you so much and a Blessed Lenten season to you all!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday--on Saturday

Ok ok, so I'm a day late for 7 quick takes, but I have been so busy and drained I can barely drag around these days to read other people's blogs, let alone come up with 7 coherent ideas of my own, lol.  SO, please excuse the delay.

1) As I was perusing our local Catholic store today--my favorite thing to do on a Saturday--I ran across this lovely----statue or something---of St Francis of Assisi and his animal chums.  It had a flat back with a hole for hanging, so it was obviously meant to be hung on a wall or something, and at the base it had a bowl of sorts made of grass. I could not decide it it was a holy water font or perhaps a rosary holder--BUT nay, 'twas not. In the packaging it said it was a BIRD FEEDER!   And here it is:

St Francis the bird feeder

Well, in MY house and my mind he's going to be a rosary dish/holder, and that's that.

2)  I talked with my lovely nieces last night--Kathleen, who is two years younger than myself, and Colleen, who is 9 months older than I.  My brother was 21 when I was born, already married and with a daughter. My sister, 17 at my birth, always said I threw her out of the house, taking over her room with my baby implements and forcing her out to the local YWCA to live, where she met and married a lovely Catholic gentleman and had three lovely children of her own.  My nieces and nephews were almost like siblings to me, as they were much closer in age, and we saw them very often as I was growing up in Southern California.  Kathleen and Colleen were closest in age to me, and have both led hard lives as have I, but have turned out to be beautiful, strong people (as have all my nieces and nephews). They made me laugh last night on the phone for the first time in a month, since we got the awful news about my husband.  I bless them for that.

Kerry, Colleen and Kathleen, circa 1970

3) A book I have been reading lately is called "Travel Guide to Heaven" by Anthony DeStefano. It makes Heaven sound like someplace you absolutely cannot WAIT to get to--no angels on clouds plucking harps, but a beautiful place of nature, houses of incredible awesomeness, and all the ones you loved who died in Christ--and above all, the beatific vision!  It's a must read, based totally on scripture and tradition, written in a lighthearted but not joking manner, and it is helping my husband feel much better,

4) Gray carpets should be illegal.   Really. My carpeting is so old and so dingy that it is no longer possible to tell what color it was originally.  Only I know it was once light gray---3 kids, 5 dogs, and three daycare babies ago.

5) I love reading about large families--especially large Catholic families! I love reading how they function, make things work, get by financially, live the liturgical year at home, all that good stuff. I only wish I had become one sooner, and had had a chance to welcome more little ones into the world.  But hey, my oldest son is getting married soon, in April, so maybe I will have some grandbabies to cuddle!

Aren't they cute?

6)  Please continue to pray for my husband's health and the full conversion of his soul to Jesus.  Going to M.D. Anderson in Houston for more tests this week.

7)Please keep praying for Jen Fulweiler over at Conversion Diary, taking care of a houseful of little ones while pregnant and with pulmonary emboli due to a blood condition.   Hail Mary full of grace, please wrap your mantle around Jen and intercede for her health.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Schoenstatt Pilgrim Shrine

Today was a  nice day for me, relatively speaking.   I git to go with a couple of sweet ladies from my church to another area church for Mass, a Marian lecture, a peek at their neat gift shop (!) and  some refreshments.

Best of all, I got to bring home our local traveling Schoenstatt Pilgrim Shrine:

Pilgrim Mother Shrine

I will get to keep the shrine and honor and pray to the Blessed Mother for a few days before she moves on to another home in our parish.

I also got a blessed candle due to today being candlemas.  I love the richness of Catholic tradition!

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1)   I have no earthly idea who all of a sudden my blog will not allow me to reply to comments or add my own comments--when I try, I get a combox that is cut off at the top and unclickable and I cannot type in it.  Please know that if you have left me a comment in the past few days, my lack of response is not due to rudeness, but rather, computer ineptitude.  Which, by the way, I have a lot of.

I need that key!

2)   When I was 12, I became obsessed with Gone With the Wind. I saw it with my mom and aunt at a downtown theater that was having a revival, and I was mesmerized! Those dresses! The drama! The pageantry! I promptly read the whole book and was further entranced. I read books about the making of the movie. I got the album, and memorized all the themes and music.  I duped my poor, non-driving mother into taking three buses down to a tacky theater near the beach to see it again. And so, what could my poor mother do but contract with a florist/dressmaker to create a period gown for 12 year old me, complete with hoopskirt, bonnet, parasol and hanky. I had my hair done and went to get my portrait made in the taffeta gown, and then wore it for trick or treat that year, and then it was laid away forever. But BOY was that a cool gift!

The spittin' image of the old South, right?

3) Just pondering how far things have come since the only computer in our high school was the huge "Careers Computer" in the counselor's office, where you could go and answer a few questions and it would spit out your ideal career choices. I remember well that mine were "Ballet Mistress" (I had never taken ballet in my life) and "Veterinarian Tech" (I was allergic to guinea pigs and long haired cats and dogs).  Now, everyone in my son's school has their own laptop it seems as well as a smart phone.

A little something like this

4)   I'm sorry, but since finding Etsy, which I love, I cannot stop laughing at this blog that makes ongoing fun of Etsy's more "eclectic" offerings, such as knitted cozies for your apples, nose warmers, etc. It's too great not to share:

Cries for Help

5)  Why oh why must I play Farmville 2 ?  There is no excuse, no reason to grown curly purple kale, no need for an Indian peacock on my modest farm, none of that. So why do it? Because sometimes you just need something utterly mindless, especially when your mind is teeming with terror.

6)  Speaking of which, we are taking my husband to the oncologist on monday as well as a second liver doctor. Please pray for us, for God's will, and for my husband to come to Christ through his illness, and for strength for our family.

7)  And on that note, I am gonna cheat and use #7 to say I have to hit the hay. Blessings to you all, and thanks for reading!