Tag Archives: celebration

Divine Mercy and Pope Saints

Today we are blessed with 2 new saints to our army of intercessors, friends to pray with us, friends to pray for us and friends who were once Pope.  Jenny is hosting a little gathering of memories of Saint Pope John Paull II and there are a ton of great stories, photos and pictures,  a great way to remember the man and to celebrate the saint!

My contribution contains no personal photos of up close and in person with JPII and no earth-shattering and profound moments except that when I came back to my faith in the late 90s, early 2000s, John Paul II was Pope, when my world fell apart in 2003, John Paul II was Pope, when we entered our season of separation and survival, John Paul II was Pope, as we ended our first school year in that season, John Paul II passed away.  The foundation had been poured and the example of his own mercy, forgiveness and love for humanity penetrated deep into my own heart and has since been lived out in ways that can only be accredited to “By the Grace of God” through the living example of Pope John Paul II.  Not only did he pray for mercy for the whole world (see a portion of the Divine Mercy Chaplet below),  he sought to bring his whole flock to the faith and love of Christ and he fought hard for the youth, knowing that the  young are our future.  Perhaps that is the message that sticks with me the greatest.  And so today, Divine Mercy Sunday, we welcome 2 new Saints and rejoice in the example of faith in their lives and hopefully go forward sharing our own faith with all we come in contact with, that we may all come to love and trust in the saving power of Christ in His endless Mercy, Compassion and Grace.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I’ve tried to find out a bit more about Saint John XXIII as well and just loved his quotes I found this morning on the Catholic News Service…because we should all find some humor in life (which I often struggle with among the daily “must-dos”)!

1. Visiting a hospital he asked a boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. The boy said either a policeman or a pope. “I would go in for the police if I were you,” the Holy Father said. “Anyone can become a pope, look at me!”

2. “It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about the serious problems afflicting the world and I tell myself, I must talk to the pope about it. Then the next day when I wake up I remember that I am the pope.”

3. In reply to a reporter who asked, “How many people work in the Vatican?”, he reportedly said: “About half of them.”

4. When a cardinal complained that a rise in Vatican salaries meant a particular usher earned as much as the cardinal, the pope remarked: “That usher has 10 children; I hope the cardinal doesn’t.”

5. When he went to visit a friend at the nearby Hospital of the Holy Spirit in the evening, the nun answering the door said: “Holy Father, I’m the mother superior of the Holy Spirit.” He replied: “Lucky you! What a job! I’m just the ‘servant of the servants of God.'”

6. Not long after he was elected pope, Blessed John was walking in the streets of Rome. A woman passed him and said to her friend, “My God, he’s so fat!” Overhearing what she said, he turned around and replied, “Madame, I trust you understand that the papal conclave is not exactly a beauty contest.”

7. He once wrote: “There are three ways to face ruin: women, gambling and farming. My father chose the most boring one.”

8. When he was cardinal and patriarch of Venice, the future pope was talking with a wealthy city resident and told him, “You and I have one thing in common: money. You have a lot and I have nothing at all. The difference is I don’t care about it.”

9. When a journalist asked the then-patriarch of Venice what he would be if he could live his life all over again, the future pope said, “Journalist.” Then he said with a smile, “Now let us see if you have the courage to tell me that, if you could do it all over again, you’d be the patriarch!”

10. A Vatican official told the pope it would be “absolutely impossible” to open the Second Vatican Council by 1963. “Fine, we’ll open it in 1962,” he answered. And he did.

Today as we welcome these Saints we can pray,

“Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII, pray for us and the whole world.”

Trading earth’s cross for heaven’s crown

Dear Lisa,

Woman.  It is the most breathtakingly STUNNING day here today.  A rough start with the rain and wind this a.m. but now….oh.  My.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Nice wind.  Hovering on the 70’s….just barely.  I can’t think of a better day to celebrate you.

Somehow I managed to make it through with 3 tissues.  Your humongous family, your beautiful girls and your brave and valiant husband filing in just made my heart ache.  In the same breath, my heart was filled with joy at the sheer numbers present.  You seriously made an impression on a lot of people, an indelible print on their hearts.  Way cool.  What a blessing to call you friend.

Your faith and courage in your fight with Ovarian cancer could not help but to spill over on to everyone you came in contact with.  Sharing that faith just came natural and so did encouraging your students and friends to live life to the fullest.  Embrace every day and when you introduced Brendan (and our family) to the story of Nick Vujicic your genuineness and love of God became that much more real.

Thank you for your friendship.  It was a true blessing to know you.

A few words from today that I KNOW you’d be shaking your head “YES” to:

  • You traded earth’s cross for Heaven’s crown.  WOW!  I just love that.  You are free.  You are free.
  • When we let go of fear we step out and grow in faith.  Like taking off without training wheels for the first time.  May we ALL be propelled to grow in faith by crushing fear with the same German stubborness you had.
  • Fight the GOOD fight.  Life is busy and we get pulled in so many directions.  May we all focus on those priorities of living this life and fighting the GOOD fight.
  • Life is hard.  So many people, situations and choices constantly turning us sideways; faith is what guides us through.  A beacon of hope.  You stayed focused on that faith in God’s plan to the very end.  I can think of no better race that was run.

Rest in peace, my friend.  Until we meet again!



The bluest of blues.  Sky today.

The bluest of blues. Sky today.

Celebrating life

Last night I went out to meet old friends for a few hours.  A very old friend, Stef,  (since middle school!) was setting up a celebration for another friend, Shannon, who was coming into town.  However, the celebration was celebrating LIFE!  This friend coming into town was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer 8 months ago.  She just finished her chemo and 2 weeks ago her energy returned.  She’s sporting a fancy wig and some apprehension of her upcoming tests to assess the efficacy of her chemo, but for these two weeks she is celebrating with friends and family.  Stef had set up a beautiful slide show for Shannon of old and new pics, including treatment pics and a few from a 5K Shannon did right at the end of her treatment for her birthday.  To say the tears were flowing, is an understatement.  Life is short.  Unfortunately, the older we get the more we realize how precious each day is.

My face hurt from laughing and smiling so much (these people are Facebook posting picture crazAY!!) and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in months and some in years.

Camera hams. Every last one of them!

Another friend that was there is on the backside of her breast cancer treatment is in reconstruction stage.  My mom used to work for her dad (an orthopedic surgeon…now 87 and working and patenting new forms of electricity and power for the love!!  how cool is that!??!?), she is the sweetest thing.  She found her cancer because a friend of hers was diagnosed, so she went for a baseline mammogram @ age 38, no symptoms.  They found cancer.  3 young children and a husband.  She’s doing wonderful, because they caught her cancer early.  Moral of the story:  LADIES.  GET.  YOUR.  ANNUAL.  MAMMOGRAM.

It was a fun night overall.  I left to pick up our son from roller skating so I missed destination #2 (and that’s a good thing!).  However, the hilarious finale was when someone discovered the restaurant had a GIANT camera in the billiards area and you could post straight to Facebook from this wall camera….OH.  LOOK.  OUT!!!  **all of these pics are from that camera.  Enjoy.

Happy Weekend!

Party sucess…another birthday for the books!

Our oldest girl is now in the “double digits”.  WOW.  Not entirely sure how that is even possible.  Once I started contemplating the reality of that knowlege; I realized we will have a 15 year-old-driving-permit kid AND a 13 year old by summer’s end, not to mention the baby turning 9.  Heart palpitations, check.  Life rolls on.  Like a locomotive. With no brakes.  Down a steep and icy hill.  <sigh>  and that’s the blessing, right? God’s gift: The present.   We wake up.  On the other side of the dirt and we can experience everything each day brings.  Even if it’s realizing these little kids aren’t so little anymore.  Which is why I LOVE to make such a big deal over their birthdays.  Not the over-the-top,MTV- pimp-my-birthday, big deal, but a SPECIAL deal.  It’s their day.  And we celebrate it. All day!!!

Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.  Yes, please!  Lunch with mom @ school–Publix sub!  Dinner of choice:  chicken soft tacos!  Family birthday cake with siblings, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents–but of COURSE–with a homemade ice cream cake!  Delish.  Wrapped up with a birthday party with classmates and neighbors on the weekend.  And here’s how it went down…..

Dramatic Fanatic is our go-to place for a home mystery birthday party.  They’ve got it all, invites, thank you’s, the whole play. Good stuff!  Last year I printed it up the day before the party.  No costumes.  No rehearsal.  and guess what?  HUGE hit!  Huge, I tell you!!  So this year, we printed it up a week before the party and sent the character parts out with the invites, costumes encouraged (but not required).  We kicked dad and the boys OUT.  (There was going to be way too much noise of the high pitch levels)  We held it mid afternoon 2-4:30.  (a perfect time…chores were done in the a.m., lunch was over,  little snacks were ready and plenty of time to relax afterward before dinner, etc).  The girls were costumed up, for the most part and brought their drama.  It was so fun.  Everyone really got into their parts and there was plenty of hooting and hollering going on and accusations of “who done it”.  Prizes were given (after voting) for best constume and most dramatic. The whole theme. Sheer brilliance.  No goodie bags, but sent the girls home with a litle Valentine treat.  Seriously low stress and high fun.

And now, apparently our youngest is ready to bring it back for her summer party.  Aye, Aye, Aye!  At least I have a few months to prepare!  God is good.  All the time!!

Happy birthday, sweetness!

Oh, yeah…still no pics….laptop is with the Geek Squad though and hope to be up and running this week!  Fingers crossed, prayers offered up!!  I’ll have to do a photo post on all the missing pics from my posts…that could be kind of fun!