Ramblings of a Catholic Christian trying to be more like Him.
Please leave me messages and comments so that I too may grow and learn!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The True Compassionate Heart of a Child

I missed mass this weekend while traveling.  This was a tough weekend as we had planned to spend time with my significant other's son, daughter in law and 3 grandchildren in Virginia.  Sadly, the daughter-in-laws grandmother passed on Wednesday.  We altered our plans to be able to visit my daughter in Columbus, drive to spend a shortened time in Virginia with them, travel back halfway to Pittsburgh and help them with  the grandchildren (7,3 and 6 months), and visit my son who attend college in Pittsburgh.  Whew - tired from reading all that?  I am exhausted!
Just because I missed Sunday mass and we did all that visiting and traveling didn't mean that I didn't have a lesson to learn!
This morning, before the funeral mass, we had the 2 older children.  They are not accustomed to church as I don't think they attend regularly (I am not being judgemental here!).  They were wondering around in this beautiful church before anyone got there.  The three year old E was mesmerized by the church.  While gazing at the body of our Lord on the cross, she says "That really has to hurt, I will have to give him a band aid!".   I need to say too it was not only her words but the look in her eyes!
Wow!  How compassionate and heart warming!  In her world, she recognized the pain the our Lord suffered on OUR behalf! 

Pray for our country and those suffering the devastating effects of Sandy!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Worrying Mom

I have to admit that at mass this past weekend I was not very attentive during the liturgy of the word.  The homily was good but I found myself again with a wondering mind.  I am sure that many of us have been there from time to time.  So this evening I reviewed the readings again.  I did get a message and I will try to explain what hit me between the eyes!

There was something that my parents tried to drive home with me years ago. That was, it doesn't matter how old I was but my parents would be concerned (and my mom would be worried) about my well being.  I have been learning this for quite sometime now with my 25 year old daughter and 23 year old son.  I don't lay awake with worry.  But I have been known to fret quite a bit over their well being, whether their cars are working right, whether they are getting enough sleep and so on!

When reviewing the readings I heard- Norma- all you can do it pray for the mercy and grace for timely help.  Hebrews 4:14-16 clearly tells us that He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.  He has been tested in many ways and yet is without sin.  So when I fret over my children, I need to keep praying for them with the confidence that we will receive mercy and grace in His time.

Psalm 33:22 sums it up better than all my words:  "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you".

I wish you blessings this week!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

long time pondering....

This past weekend I opted to go to church at St. Rose.  Not my home parish but I really enjoy Fr. Dave Ross's sermons.  To my surprise, Fr. Howe gave mass Saturday night.  His opening words to the sermon have been rattling in my brain:

"If you were offered a $1,000,000 to skip mass next weekend, what would you do?"

Fr. Howe was giving us a modern day option Christ offered the man who wanted to join Him in his journey from Mark 10:17-30.  Reading it in the gospel sometimes seems surreal and it had to be easier for them.  But when Fr. Howe updated it for our time... wow! 
I tell you I have thought this over and over.  I love the Lord.  I want to be a good Christian and follower.  But I didn't have an immediate answer to turn down the million.  The guilt for my indecision is indescribable.  It still is. 

What woud your answer be?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Prayer for my children

I have two children a daughter who is 25 and a son who is 23.  A number of years ago, while at a Magnificat Breakfast, a woman who I just met told me her prayer for her children.  Her prayer was that her children would be surrounded by Christian friends. 
The readings this morning reminded me of that prayer.  The first reading was from Genesis about the creation of Woman and this is why a man leaves his parents and "clings" to his wife.  The other two also center around commitment in relationships. 
My thoughts and prayers went to my children and my prayers for them to be happy.  There is nothing that I wouldn't pray for them more than to find spouses and friends who are committed to their relationships. 
Of course I want them to be successful in their endeavors.  Without someone to share them with the successes can be hollow. 
So this is my prayer for my children: 
Heavenly Father, Keep my children safe.  Guard their hearts.  Keep them in the company of  others who have a heart for good and righteousness.  Let them lead by example showing care and concern, love and hope, faith and trust in all those placed in their path.  AMEN.    

Monday, October 1, 2012

Taking the positive road

This past weekend the Sunday readings were hard for me to connect with until I took a positive sping on James 5:1-6.  It seems to be a harsh commentary on the materialistic parts of our lives. 
I know many of us have been in the spot where we wish we had more and better.  I have felt that way so many times.  At times when I tell others where I live, I get the "Oh you live in the richey rich area".  I always counter immediately with comments like,"And no I don't live in the 'mansion' district".  Sometimes I have to admit that I sure wish I did. 
Then enter my son and his girl friend from their visit this weekend.  I had minutes of conversation with each individually with each of them.  My son commented on how being at home was a time of relaxation in between visits.  His girl friend shared how she felt more at home at our house than other places.  What wonderful comments that warmed my heart! 
In the positive essence, that was what James was telling me this weekend.  A home is far above riches and material things that will soon fade and disappear.  It is a loving place, a place where you can breathe and sink into comfort. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Lord upholds my life

My daughter Kate phoned on Friday night with car problems.  She felt it was not safe to drive it because the power steering was not working.  She was able to find a friend to come pick her up and she was safely home. 
It does not matter that Kate is 25.  Once a child always a child and reason for this mom to be concerned.  I had concerns that someone would hurt the car overnight (even though it was in a well lit parking lot), concerns that her car would not be able to be fixed, concerns that it would be very expensive, concerns that she would not have a way to work and everywhere else she needed to go, concerns that someon would take advantage of her not knowing all the ins and outs of cars.  Need I say more?
Saturday morning she was able to have out insurance roadside assist tow the car to a nearby repair shop.  Indeed the car should not have been driven as the serpentine belt was off.  The repair shop let her know that they could get it looked at and found a belt tensioner was bad; belt was good but off.  They were honest and told her that they could put the belt back on.  It may be 1 day or 1 year before it would go off again without replacing the tensioner.  She made the decision to be safe and replace it.  They were very reasonable and could guarantee it would be done by 2 pm.  While there, they shared their lunch of pizza with her and a few other customers.  She was fortunate to be able to have a great conversation with a fellow Christian woman.  The repair shop gave her dessert.  As she was paying, the repair shop printed out coupons for her.  One she is using soon since she needs her oil changed. 
Now this was a lot of information some of you may be thinking but the message of this hit me that day of how we are taken care of so frequently by random acts of kindness, integrity and business responsibility.  The responsorial Psalm from Sunday, "The Lord upholds my life" could never have been more true that for Kate's experience.  We are fortunate that He uses those placed in our every day as his instruments to uphold our lives!  How has God upheld your life today?

Blessings to you-

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living

Today while in church, I was waiting nervously to speak about joining our Women's Bible study group when we rehearsed the responsorial Psalm, "I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living".   I put away my notice that I was supposed to read and really thought about that line from Psalm 114 verse 9.  So many times I feel like I am just a survivor trying to get by day to day.  From "living" like that I feel like some days I am not really in the land of the living.  I feel like I am treading water trying to catch my breath.  I am sometimes even afraid to speak because someone may not like what I have to say or better yet they will not understand what I am trying to say.
This is not the way our God wants us to live.  He wants us to experience the ups and downs, highs and lows and the ins and outs with tears and grins.  The roller coaster called life that we are on is meant to be just that lived, walking before the Lord.   That is what the land of the living is for me today.  I pray to embrace the roller coaster ride and stop shying back from my faith, beliefs, feelings and just enjoying the sunshine or the rain.
I pray that you all have a wonderful week.  I pray that if you are reading this that you comment back to me about your ride this day!
Blessing to you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Always a lesson

Not a really impressive photo, but it was a wonderful evening on Wednesday as my hometown of Wapakoneta held a memorial tribute to Neil Armstrong.  The tribute offered stories of the boy, the man and the hero.  My hometown is quite small and so Neil has been an icon to our community.  If you ever drive on interstate 75 and see the "moon" on the East side of the interstate near 110 mile marker (in Ohio!) you can tell how important he has been to our community. 
The lesson learned though is that he was indeed a humble man.  While all of us marveled at his accomplishments, he never wanted any hoopla that he could have easily reveled in.   He lead a quiet life continuing only to help educate anyone wanting to learn more!  RIP Neil!

I was able to attend mass this week on Saturday evening this week.  I was scheduled to work Sunday morning so I planned to attend mass Saturday after taking my friend's grandson to an afternoon high school football game.  T, the grandson, is a 12 yr old who began his school year at his local Catholic school versus his previous public school.  He was Baptized in the church but has not had any other formal religious, let alone Catholic education.  (He will be going through a RCIA program for children soon.)  T is a little precocious.  At 12, he speaks and acts as if he has all the answers.  This makes it difficult for me at times to stay in his company long.  When he asked if I would take him to mass with me, I refused because of my schedule.  It was only moments after the "no, I am sorry, I have to be somewhere after mass" that I regretted my words.  As I sat listening to the 2nd reading from James  chapter 1 : "Be doers of the word, not  hearers only," my heart sank even lower.  I had a 12 year old WANT to go to church to learn more about God and the church.  I certainly did not behave like a doer of the word!  What a lesson to learn.  I asked for forgiveness and strength to share our Faith in our heavenly Father.  I also pray that the opportunity comes along again soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

another one hits home

This Sunday all the readings were centered around making choices.  Joshua said to make a decision who you are going to serve.  Those words, "As for me and my household we will serve the Lord" say it all.  Trying to serve any other way results in so much unhappiness.  Things that I have tried to serve - money, people pleasing, gluttony, being a fixer (and I could go on) have only left me feeling more lonely.  Ephesians is about making a choice to commit to relationships.  And in the Gospel, Jesus offers the choice to his discples to return to their former way of life and they choose to continue to follow him.
Now this past weekend, I had two family reunions and fully intended to leave mass early which I do not do.  But with timing it would have been easier to leave early so that I was not in a rush to get to the reunion.  Then came the Liturgy of the Word!  These three readings reminded me of my measly one hour commitment to attend a FULL mass.  Not just part but all - meditate after receiving the Eucharist, hear the announcements of weekly happenings and accept the final blessing.   So yes, I stayed and prayed a little more for the many intentions in my heart!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


This weekend has been a wonderful experience.  My daughter turned 25 this past week and I drove to her home for celebrations that included going shopping, food, mass, picking her brother up from the airport (he came home from his internship in California), a slumber party for the 3 of us in a hotel suite and Color Me Rad! 

We had such a good time the entire weekend and of course I am thankful to have welcomed Adam home for a short time before he goes to Pittsburgh to finish his Masters.  I am so thankful for my adult children.   They  are kind and hard working people!  They are blessings.

I was fortunate to attend St.John Neumann Church in Sunbury with my daughter.  This is her home parish and she is has become an active part of the youth and young adult ministry there.  This weekend they had their Upbeat Band Station 14 play at all the masses.  Have you ever gone to mass and been so touched by the praise and worship music that you cry?  Well, I did!  It was an amazing feeling. 
More of a blessing was the message that Fr. Dave Seizmore gave.  The Gospel, John 6:51-58 is the basis of the Eucharist.  The Eucharist and its meaning is one of the summits of our faith.  His focus was to reteach us not to take the Body and Blood of Christ for granted.  He gave suggestions for a way to meditate on the Eucharist.  The one that meant alot to me was to focus on that by receiving Christ we are carrying not only Him with us but we are carrying all those who have gone before us and who are present with us.  By receiving Him we will have life within us - He will remain with us and us in Him.  We will have life!  He suggested on meditating on the life within us, the life of those who are no longer with us that we will see again some day and the life of those who are also in Him that are with us now.   I have a new perspective on how His sacrifice makes us whole!    I so wish I could have taped his message as it was amazing and I have not given it some justice!

Have a blessed week! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


After listening to the readings for today at mass, I felt compelled to write my thoughts and ramblings about what different scripture means to me and how it can apply to happenings in everyday life. 

Have you even been at church and thought that wow those reading were meant just for me to hear?  It happens almost every week with one of the readings. 
This morning it was about Elijah.  He was praying for death because the journey had been so hard.  It so reminded me of times when I have felt that way.  Now two people I love are going through the same things.  God blessed Elijah with food and rest.  He was then able to complete the journey that God had started him on.  What great news!  Some days it is hard to remember that God will provide us with what we need to stay on the journey. 
This is my prayer for you all today is that wait for the Lord to give us our provisions whatever they may be to keep us on the path of our journey.
Have a great day!