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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Deo Gratias

"If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Colleen, from her inspiring blog Thoughts on Grace, hosts this wonderful meme each Wednesday. She says, "Deo Gratias is Latin for Thanks be to God. Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big & small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!"

Each week, I join Colleen in remembering & sharing the many blessings in my life. This is such a great exercise for me, helping me to focus on the good that truly is happening in my life, no matter how many trials & stresses I may have.
1) We are part of a wonderful Rosary group consisting of members from our parish. We meet monthly to pray the Rosary, led by the children, then we eat & socialize. It's been a great experience & much fun. Deo Gratias! 

2) I've been given many opportunities to rejoice in all things so far this year, living true to my scripture verse of the year, Philippians 4:4. Deo Gratias! 

3) Blueberries were on sale at Kroger last week...a 4 lb. package for $7.99. When we went to pick some up on Sunday, they were marked down to $3.99 because they were on the verge of being too ripe. I made blueberry muffins w/ some of the squished ones, we ate some, then I froze a bunch. Deo Gratias! 

4) Matt is nearing the end of his first semester back to school. His last day is Friday. He's done a great job & I am so proud of his efforts. Deo Gratias! 

5) Despite his stress as he's studying for final, Matt & I have found opportunities to watch several movies, take walks around the neighborhood, & laugh/joke w/ one another. Deo Gratias!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Light in the Darkness

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." ~ St. Francis of Assisi

Let us be that single candle, spreading light into a dark world!

Welcome to my Light in the Darkness meme! (If you missed my post on the inspiration for this meme, you can read all about it HERE.)

This is the place to share good things that are happening in our world...whether it's a link to a news article/video, something from your personal experience...anything good that can bring light into darkness!
"Bloom where you are planted" was the first thought I had upon re-reading this reflection from today's Gospel in The Word Among Us. I read (& reviewed) Fr. Solanus Casey's biography several years ago. Many times in our lives, we need to search out & find the light in our darkness. I think Fr. Casey's situation is a wonderful example for us!

It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. (Matthew 13:32)

Solanus Casey (1870–1957) was what some would consider a “small seed.” The son of a farmer, he became a Capuchin priest. But because his grades weren’t all that good, he was ordained a “simplex” priest—he could celebrate Mass, but he was not permitted to preach dogmatic sermons or hear confessions. Still, Casey showed himself to be very intelligent and very good at dealing with other people. After several assignments, he was sent to a parish in Detroit, Michigan, where his main job was porter. He was, for all intents and purposes, a priest-doorman.

But what other priests might have considered a humiliation, Casey took in stride. During his twenty years in Detroit, Fr. Solanus Casey came to be revered as a humble, wise priest filled with spiritual insight. His position as porter was the perfect one for people to visit him—and thousands came as reports of healings and miracles began to spread. When he died, 20,000 people attended his funeral. This simple, unassuming man touched countless lives!

The key to Casey’s ministry was his “smallness,” his willingness to be planted in whatever ground God had chosen for him. Being a porter was certainly not what he had in mind for himself as a young man, but he accepted God’s vision, and the results were stupendous. Here was a living testament to Jesus’ promise: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).

We can all follow Solanus Casey’s path to holiness because it is the path of the gospel. It’s only a matter of looking for Jesus in the “small” situations we already find ourselves in. Every moment can be holy. Every task can be filled with divine light. Welcome the Lord into those situations. Listen for the inspiration of his Spirit. No matter where you are or at what stage you are in your life, you can bear awesome fruit for his kingdom.

“Lord, I want to be your servant, so do with me as you will. Help me not to seek reputation or renown, only the satisfaction of doing your will.”