Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Outside = Inside

Say what you mean . . . and, mean what you say. This is a motto which suits me well. I am not one to kiss a "behind" in order to get what I want. And, I don't appreciate when I am the one whose behind is getting kissed! False praise is lying, right? Proverbs 29:5 says it all: Whoever flatters a neighbor is spreading a net for the neighbor’s feet. It's difficult when engulfed in situations where the false praise is being slung back and forth like a tennis ball at Wimbledon. To sit back and observe it is quite interesting . . . and reinforces the importance of staying focused on Christ and, and in my case, keeping my mouth shut. I detest the falseness of flattery when it isn't warranted . . . and doesn't make sense. To clarify, I'm not talking about complimenting someone on a job well done, a beautiful dress, a great new haircut . . . if you truly mean it. I try to compliment people on a daily basis. But there is a point where people cross the line, and the flattery glares 'I want or need something from you.' We all need to take a look at our behavior when we desperately want something . . . are we flinging false praise instead of asking for what we want? Or, is the false praise used to bring attention to ourselves? Either way, work on making the outside = inside. You don't need to impress anyone other than God.  

In todays Gospel (Luke 11:37-41), Jesus teaches the importance of consistency:

After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! 
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Serving in Clarity, Jesus asks us to trust Him:

"My beloved apostles who are experienced in service illustrate consistency. Always consider My will. In each moment look to your Returning King for instruction. I will have a purpose to each moment of your time on earth and it is necessary only for you to trust Me. There are many times when My purpose is obscured from you. Be at peace in this. You do not have to know what is in the King’s mind once you know what is in the King’s heart." 

Lay apostles, work on being consistent as Jesus requires of us. Jay has a great affirmation he learned during a difficult time in his life: I am free of the need to be loved, approved, appreciated or understood by anyone other than God or myself. It's a good one to remember on a daily basis!

Thank you, Lord, for all the work You have done and will continue to do so my outside = my inside. 

God bless,


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's That Simple

The Itsy-Bitsy-Spider/Ring-Around-the-Rosey/One-Two-Buckle-My-Shoe combo I use to sing Colton to sleep is beginning to lose its effectiveness. So I started singing the "Our Father" (our Church's version!) followed by ten Hail Mary's (my own melody!). Works like a charm. These prayers are so simple but say so much. I want Colton to know them well. 

In todays Gospel (Luke 11:1-4), Jesus tells us exactly what to pray . . . He couldn't be more direct:

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

In Volume One, our Blessed Mother encourages us to pray, always:

"Pray more, even when you do not feel like praying. Pray always, even if it is just a simple sentence, a simple thought. We are slaves to your prayers, my dear little struggling souls. We hear a plea from you and we hasten to provide every assistance. Look closely for the answers to your prayers and you will find them. Never be fooled into thinking your prayers fall on deaf ears. We work quietly and sometimes our time is not like earthly time. But we hear your pleas and share in your concerns. Be certain that we have the answers. They are here for you and we will not leave you without guidance." 

Lay apostles, we all know the Our Father and Hail Mary like the back of our hands. So when you are too tired, too upset, too (you fill in the blank), say these simple prayers. Get in the habit. Then try praying the Rosary. Don't know how to pray a Rosary? Click here to learn how. Heaven is waiting to hear from you!

Thank you, Lord, for making such a simple prayer for me to pray . . . and to teach my grandson!

God bless,


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Showing Up

Why is it that some people only show up when they need something or it's convenient for them . . . when our expertise or faith or knowledge or compassion provides comfort or calm or direction. I'm struggling with this one today. Do we continue being the ones who show up, only to feel slighted when the courtesy is not returned? Or, do we detach with loving kindness? I'm not sure what the right answer is, but I have discovered that by detaching from the emotional side of feeling unimportant to another works for me, and uniting my feelings of rejection to Christ's. I have found by setting boundaries of what I will do and won't do contributes to a peaceful existence. I will always respond with loving kindness to anyone asking for help. The hard part for me is seeing my loved ones experience the same rejection . . . and realizing it's time to detach. It took a lot for me to detach from my past and old patterns of behavior. We are all called to be compassionate and gentle in our responses, yet Christ is very clear in terms of when our love is not received or rejected, we must detach and dust off the dirt from our sandals and move on. And, moving on means not getting stuck in negative thoughts.  

Mondays Gospel (Luke 10:25-37) reminds us how important it is to show up:

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,  “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Lessons in Love, she encourages us to look to Christ when the world disappoints:

"In many cases, one party must offer pure love consistently, without a return, and only over time will the other become willing to accept this pure love. It should not discourage any of us that we do not always know how to love. This should not even slow us down, any more than a small child going off to school for the first time is concerned that he does not know how to read. On the contrary, our awareness of our difficulty in loving others should make us seriously determined to show up for heaven each day, presenting ourselves to Jesus Christ as willing and eager students." 

Lay apostles, we have choices. When a loved one tries to gather the family together, do you make excuses not to attend? Is this something which happens repeatedly? If it is, take a look at why you don't show up. Is it insecurity? Is it anger? Is it because of a disagreement? Figure it out. Life is too short to hold on to anger or resentment. Love without any regrets. After all, God is Love . . . and we won't be living forever. Start practicing and show up. 

Thank you, Lord, for the lessons and challenges. Please help me to see the gifts You provide in each one.

God bless,


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rejection Hurts

The other night I received a phone call from a young woman just ending a very difficult day. She just needed to talk. She had suffered rejection not only at work, but in her personal life (so thankful I'm not young and dating . . . ugh!). The bottom line . . . it hurts when others feel you aren't important enough to treat with love and respect. Now, imagine how Christ felt . . . talk about the ultimate rejection! Yet He continues to love us despite our flaws and rejection of Him during the course of our lives. Remember the next time you judge someone out loud, make a negative comment, or you yourself are hurt . . . Stop rejecting Him. Stop rejecting others. It's time.

Yesterdays Gospel (Luke 10:13-16) couldn't make it any clearer:

Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me.  And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

In the Monthly Message of June 2006, Jesus showers us with encouragement to continue our climb: 

"I speak to My beloved apostles today from the pain of My wounded heart. I suffer for each soul walking the earth without knowledge of My love. Despite rejection, My love cannot be limited and overflows into the world. Those who do not welcome the love of the Saviour continue in loneliness. Those who welcome My love are deluged with it. Dear apostles, I know that you are weary. You do not see the full impact of your service on the Kingdom but please believe that one day you will experience the fruits of your labour. You will exult in each act of service and each act of self-denial because you will see the act attached to all of the graces obtained from it. At that time you will marvel at My generosity. You will also thank Me for obscuring this from you during your time of service because it is through this trust that you gain both merits for your eternity and conversion graces for souls. How many sinners are pulled back into My Sacred Heart through your smallest act of trust and love in the face of scorn and mockery? Dear apostles, you must consider whether or not you yourself were called back to Me through the selfless action of another. It is in this way that we are a family." 

Lay apostles, stay focused on the positive. When challenges arise, face them standing tall. Look at any road blocks as lessons or gifts given to us from Him as a way to stay on a path to holiness. He has promised to never leave us. And, Jesus only speaks the Truth.

Note from Jay: Have a great football Saturday and Sunday!!! Go FSU and Da Bears!!

Thank you, Lord, for every hurdle You have placed in my path. For without them, I would never be able to bask in Your abundant, overflowing love!

God bless,


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Clean Up and Get Moving

Out of the mouths of babes . . . 

My youngest daughter Taylor moved back home for a few months to save some money for her potential move out west. (I say potential because I am still praying she stays in Florida!). As you can imagine, along with my beautiful daughter came "stuff" from being on her own for the last 6 years. One bedroom is completely filled with boxes and random items. The room she is sleeping in holds all things needed on a daily basis . . . clothes, computer, etc. Well, the room looks like a hurricane hit (but I have to say she is working to clean things out)! Yesterday, when my grandson Colton got here, I took him in to wake up Auntie TayTay. Now, Colton has a thing about messes. He doesn't like them. If there is even a fuzzy on the floor from a stuffed animal Jet or Molly (my daughter Whit's dogs) happens to be shredding, Colt will begin shouting, "Mess! Mess!" looking at me to get it cleaned up. It is adorable!! So back to Auntie Tay's room . . . after he gave her a kiss hello, I set him on the floor. He walks straight over to a laundry basket and sees multiple items all over the place. He begins his "Mess!" pleas, looking right at me! We laughed and Tay told him she was working on it!  Messes are usually only temporary, lay apostles, and with a little faith and hard work, everything turns out cleaner in the long run.

Colton helping Tay clean this afternoon! It was going to be a big job so brought in the lawnmower!

In today Gospel (Luke 10:1-12), Jesus tells His disciples to dust off and move on when it is time to head out:

Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you,  it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

In Heaven Speaks About Divorce, St. Anne assures us Jesus is the answer to any mess:

"It is like standing in a big mess. When you bring it to Jesus, He pulls you away from the mess, and, with a glance, reduces the mess to nothingness. He is your Healer. He is your trusted friend who will not make your cross heavier. He will make it lighter and manageable." 

Lay apostles, sometimes our circumstances seem so disorderly . . . even chaotic. Do as Jesus tells His disciples in todays Gospel. Shake it off and move on. We all have a choice. Either we buy in to the chaos becoming just as angry, fearful, entitled, or (you fill in the blank).  Or, we go to prayer and let Jesus take care of anything we experience causing us unrest. He is ultimately in control! Something I have to tell myself all the time. We may feel we are in the middle of a mess, but truly, He is working behind the scenes to create a pathway for us to climb the mountain of holiness to His Sacred Heart.

Thank you, Lord, for keeping me out of the mess of the world, allowing me to hear Your messages clearly.

God bless,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Take Your Guardian Angel to Church

(Running short on time, so here is my post from last year on todays Gospel!)

Angels.  Beautiful celestial beings God has supplied to protect us.  Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Guardian Angels.  This beautiful prayer comes to mind:

"Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day (or night), be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."

Sometimes I forget my Guardian Angel is around.  I'm taking the longer periods of "quiet" as an indicator I am making some good choices lately. Believe me, there are times I believe all of heaven fires a million warning shots only to have me ignore my conscience and make choices based on what makes me feel better . . . not what is best for my soul. My dear angel has worked overtime in the last 40 years, and saved my life a few times in the process.

When I was a freshman at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, I was driving over Monarch Pass home to Denver for spring break.  Three other people were on board. As I came to a two-laned hairpin curve, I slowed down, and with one hand held the wheel while the other hand ejected the cassette tape (no cracks about age here!) to change the music. At that instant, the passenger in the front seat grabbed the wheel (we were about to go off a very steep cliff) and I slammed on the brakes.  The combination sent my car rolling.  

May not be the exact spot I rolled, but you get the idea!

As you can see in the pic, it was either go off the cliff or slam into the mountain. Only by the grace of God, there was a place to pull off the side of the road to sightsee where my car landed.  I ended up with a broken nose, but thank the Lord everyone else was ok. I can imagine my Guardian Angel petitioning very quickly to move a mountain . . . 

Todays Gospel (Matthew 18:1-5, 10) creates awareness of how much God loves us. So much so he assigns each an angel:

The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."

The following quote profoundly affected my oldest daughter and me when we read the following message from Jesus in Volume Nine: 

"The angels surround you, My dear ones. They minister to you in so many ways that I could not clearly explain this to you. I am going to give you some idea of these heavenly friends, however, so that you will understand the strength on your side. When you attend Mass you are praying and worshipping with thousands of angels. Your guardian angel goes with you, of course, and is so grateful for the opportunity to rest in the heavenly companionship of his fellow angels. These beings of light pay rapt attention and take such joy in praising Me. Truly, each church is filled with angels. When you enter a church and find it empty, that means that you can see no other human. But there are angels present and they welcome you as they welcome your angel guardian. This loyal servant of Mine, your special guardian, prays for you without interruption. When you are safely on the path to heaven, this angel then begins to petition heaven for greater and greater spiritual gifts. Your angel can communicate with the saints in heaven and often seeks out their intercession for you. When you are working with your angel and with the saints, you will find yourself making sublime spiritual progress because the gifts being secured are of the deepest and sometimes most indiscernible variety. You are often making progress that you do not feel, little soul, but your angel is watching it closely. When something threatens your spiritual progress, your angel attempts to warn you. He does this in many ways. You often hear whisperings, what many call your conscience. This is your angel attempting to persuade you that whatever you are considering will be bad for your cause. Your angel can anticipate danger so you should always ask him to be alert and assist you."

Lay apostles, after I read the above quote years ago, every time I brought someone to Mass who really didn't believe or want to be there, I knew I was giving their Guardian Angel time for heavenly companionship. Can you imagine the scene if we were allowed a glimpse? The next time you are dragging your teenager, a friend, or a lost relative to Mass, think about his/her angel's thankfulness for the effort.  Ignore the annoyance and know his/her angel is petitioning heaven for the soul they are assigned.

Thank you, Lord, for my dear Guardian Angel.  I am working on listening to the warnings instead of debating them! 

God bless,