Emily | A Year of Living Adventurously
This is one of those mysteries that you can ponder for a long time and never quite finish pondering it. The “preaching of the kingdom” covers just about everything in the gospels: the Sermon on the Mount, the parables, the cures, the Loaves and Fishes, the Bread of Life discourse–all of Jesus’ preaching and activities. In that sense, it’s an easy mystery to pray, because you can pick your favorite image or story or event and meditate on that.
But I think it’s also fruitful to use this to ponder our own sense of mission. For nuns and sisters, it’s their prayer and their apostolate that is their preaching. For married women, it’s their married life, and growing in holiness with their husbands; for a mother, it’s taking care of her family, and raising her kids to know God and to be devout Catholics. For the single, it can be a little harder, but we are all called to holiness, to prayer, and to bringing that to the world.
In the Dominican order (of which I am a part), we believe that you must fill your own well first, then bring it to others. St. Thomas Aquinas gave us the phrase ‘contemplate and share with others the fruit of your contemplation.’ So we have to pray, study, and live the Gospel ourselves before we can go out and give it to others. In secular parlance, you can see it as having to take care of yourself, before you can take care of others.
We can see this clearly in the second Greatest Commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” As yourself. How do you love yourself? Do you take care of your spiritual, physical, and emotional needs? Do you beat yourself up constantly, thinking that everything you do is wrong, that you are unlovable?
Meditate on this mystery and realize that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to us. That is immense, unchangeable love! God loves you as you are. You are so important to Him. Go to Him in prayer, in study, in lectio, and fill your own well. Realize that God has placed you here to serve Him and preach to others in your own unique way.
St. Teresa of Avila said that she found God among the pots and pans. In that same way, Jesus went among our pots and pans–our daily lives–and ministered. He preached everywhere He went. He used the basic things of life–loaves and fishes, bread and wine–to work His miracles.
In our own lives, we can preach in the most basic things. Doing our jobs well, making dinner for our family, even having coffee with a friend and providing a listening ear. Everything we do can be sanctified, and we don’t need to pass out tracts to do it.
Holiness is attractive–real holiness. That’s something we can work toward.Jesus preached the kingdom to us so that we could know it, know HIm and His Father, and then follow Him. Following involves telling others what we have heard and seen.
In 10 days we’ll celebrate Easter. Mary Magdalene on that morning ran back to the Apostles and said that Christ has risen. She brought them news of the kingdom, indeed. Let’s realize how much God loves us, and use that love to motivate us to preach the kingdom in our own small corners of the world.
Emily | A Year of Living Adventurously
I would not have wanted to be a first century wedding planner.
Instead of an event that last a day, these weddings went on for multiple days. People knew how to party in first century Israel. And anyone who’s ever planned a party knows that the two most important things you have to provide are drinks and food. What humans like hasn’t changed that much.
And you also had one heck of a guest list. No wimpy “plus ones” at these events. Jesus was there with Mary and all the disciples. Can you imagine that today? “Miriam? Hi, this is Mary, down the road…we’d love to come to Elizabeth’s wedding. My son will be coming, and about twelve of his closest friends…”
So we have the wedding. And then we have the party–a days long party.
With apparently very bad planning, because the wine ran out. Early.
At these parties, you started with the best wine you had, and then, as people “enjoyed themselves”, the wine got progressively “less good”, shall we say. It was prudent not just monetarily, but after a day or so of drinking, people probably weren’t noticing the quality anymore.
But at this wedding, there was no wine, of any vintage. Imagine the scene in the classic film A Christmas Story, after the dogs have devoured the holiday turkey: “No turkey! No turkey gravy! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, all gone!”
The wine was indeed gone. All gone.
Now, Mary had probably thrown a few parties in her day, or watched her mother do it. There was probably a party when she and Joseph became officially engaged. And like many seasoned hostesses, she didn’t panic. She simply turned to her son and said, “they have no wine.”
Now Jesus, like sons (and daughters) throughout the ages, had a little “do I have to” moment. (Remember, Jesus was human, in all ways but sin). “My hour has not yet come.”
Mary ignores this, and calls over the servants. “Do whatever he tells you,” she says. Then, Jesus performs his first miracle–he turns the large jugs of water into wine. And not just any wine–wine so good that the chief steward is amazed at its quality.
This is a “fun” miracle. No one’s life hangs in the balance, but the appearance of the wine saves the hosts from a lot of embarrassment that would probably be mentioned at every social gathering until the Second Coming. (It’s a quirk of human nature that we remember the ‘imperfect’ parties, but not the perfect ones.) But it’s also a nice reminder that Jesus and Mary care about the small events of our lives, things like parties and celebrations. We can turn to them in all times, when we need a healing, but also when we just need a party to come off without the turkey falling on the floor or someone spilling red wine all over the carpet, or the kids destroying the leather couch or the basement dry-wall.
Jesus and Mary were involved in every aspect of humanity, and that included the social aspects. In Lent, we’re probably not throwing a lot of parties. But we can remember that our heavenly family cares about everything we do, even our feasts.
Catholicism isn’t just a religion of the cross, although that’s an important aspect. It’s as Hilaire Belloc said: “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine/ there is always laughter and good red wine.”
Emily | A Year of Living Adventurously
The Baptism of the Jordan begins the Mysteries of Light, or the Luminous Mysteries, given to us by Blessed Pope John Paul II in October of 2003. It’s the only change, really, that’s been made to the rosary in its long history.
Before my transplant, my parents asked me what mysteries of the rosary they should pray. I said they should start with the luminous, because they’re my favorite.
Looking at this mystery, we can ask, “why did Jesus even need baptism? He’s perfect, right? Why is this necessary?” Jesus himself gives us the answer in the Gospel of Matthew:
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized y him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now: for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented.” Matthew 3: 13-15, RSV
“To fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus doesn’t need John’s baptism, and John knows it. But just like the Virgin Mary didn’t need purified in the Temple after Jesus’ birth. But Jesus didn’t shun the outward signs of faith and belief. So why, then, the baptism?
To show us what we need, that we may imitate him. As we imitate Jesus when we honor his mother, and partake of the Eucharist, so we do so when we baptize our children, and repent of our sins.
Ash Wednesday is quickly upon us. On that day, at Mass, the priest will mark our foreheads with ashes and say, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” This is an echo of what John said and did during his ministry–he called his people to repentance, and to believe in God’s word. He prepared the way for Christ, so that when Christ appeared, he could say, “This is the Lamb of God. This is one you should follow, not me. I am only his messenger.”
We tend to discuss John more in Advent, but he also deserves our attention in Lent. We are to prepare the way for Jesus now, just as we did in December. Lent and Advent are both penitential seasons. Are we preparing, or starting to think about preparing?
John, from the moment he met Christ, He was ready for him. He was always prepared to welcome him. Are we? What can we do to make our lives more open to God, so we too can fulfill all righteous, and fulfill our baptismal promise?
How do we prepare the way of the Lord?
Good Morning Ladies! I heard from many of you that the Scripture helps for January’s Scripture Memorization were helpful, so I made some for February.
Here is the Post It Note Template provided by Sugar Doodle. Print this template off. Then place your Post It Notes over each little square. Open the February Scripture memory helps for 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (Click on that link and it will download the Scripture formatted to fit on the Post It Note Template). Place your template, with the Post It Notes attached, in your printer and print.
Place these Scripture reminders over the sink, on your computer, in your Bible, on your mirror…anywhere you’ll see them to help as we memorize 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 together for the month of February.
The baby’s peaceful breaths as he nurses back to sleep, the dishwasher, Shepherd Me, O God (Psalm 23).
Vegetable garden’s, chickens, cows, and pigs.
Thanking God For
::being the mother of a 9 year old boy
::a husband who listens to my wild dreams and does not always remind me how often my dreams are waaay bigger than my reality
::living out in the country
::grocery stores within 10 minutes of my country home
::$5 pizzas ready for pick up after mass
The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh … Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees
::Our priest who has the flu and the rest of us that we don’t get it.
::to be a good steward of all the Lord has abundantly blessed me with, including time
Leo playing “Where’s Leo?”
Join us each Monday as we journal our days. Share a glimpse into your life just like we were standing over the back yard fence or the quilting frame.
So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men.
The above quote is from the Apostle Paul, defending himself against the governor Felix. The above quote should describe each and every one of us. It’s really, really important. It is critical to our well being…yes, that important. We see why this way of life is so valuable in the next chapter. In Chapter 25, Paul is now appealing to to the Emperor Festus. Look at verse 7
And when he had come, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem stood about him bringing against him many serious charges which they could not prove.
So you have these swirling voices accusing Paul, of some serious things the Scripture says, yet they could not prove them.
I wrote a little note next that verse:
“Satan’s lies do the same things to us!”
How many times my dear sisters have the voices been churning in our minds–upsetting our stomachs, agitating our lives? I will answer that one for us all…too many times. There are not enough tally marks in the world to keep account and I’m pretty sure the average would be outrageous. Let’s go a little farther into chapter 25.
For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.
My little note in the margin…“A prisoner without charges, that’s me sometimes.”
Are you a prisoner without charges? A crazy yardbird of a woman being held hostage by the imaginary squawk of Satan? Yeah, me too sometimes. Held tight by invisible chains wrapped so tight I can’t breathe. Satan may get the ball rolling and then, as the country song says, it’s like a snowball headed for hell.
But let’s go back to where we started, keeping a clear conscience. How do we do that?
Go to confession.
Go to confession.
And then…go to confession.
Not a scrupulous, frantic dash to knock people out of the way in the confession line because you are the worst of the worst. That’s not God either. Do not be fooled into thinking of yourself as a vile sinner unworthy of God’s merciful love. Those thoughts come straight from hell meant to keep you out of the confessional and far away from a merciful and loving God. No, I mean keep a regular date with Christ in the confessional. Write it on your calendar, and go.
You may be sweating bullets on the drive and feel a bit jittery in the line, but when you come out of that sacrament, come on…you know you love it! You just encountered Christ and He placed you in His merciful heart, the one that was split open wide to prove His death, for you, was complete. He placed you in there and He showered you and filled you up with His immense, unconditional, always merciful and waiting for you…love.
Do not let Satan try to convince you of something you are not. Stand firm in who you are…
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
And tell the devil he’s full of baloney.
I made some helps for our memorization of Ephesians 4:25-32. Using a Post It Note Template, I typed out the Scripture verses in various ways: all together, each one building on the others and one at a time.
Click on the Ephesians 4:25-32 link below…
This will download a zip file to your computer. You want to right click and “extract all” After you extract these files, open them and follow the directions for printing on the Post It Notes.
Place these sticky notes wherever you are going to see them the most. There are only 8 verses in Ephesians 4:25-32 and there are 12 days left in January (I know!!) so that roughly figures out to a verse a day.
We can do a verse a day!
The Post It Notes are practical, now here is something pretty to help us memorize.
I am finally getting around to this exciting post letting you all know the vision I have for Suscipio in 2013. This vision was just kind of floating around until your comments and suggestions on the Book Club Survey. Thank you for taking the time to respond and help make Suscipio an even better place on the web for the Catholic woman.
Here’s my vision for us…
Each month has a theme, based on the traditional dedication of that month, a book or reading that we will discuss, and some memorization for us to work on in community.
Dedicated to: The Holy Family
Discussion: Splendor in the Ordinary: Your Home as a Holy Place
Memorization: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Dedicated to: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Theme: Love of and for Jesus
Discussion: Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat- Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Memorization: Matthew 6:25-34
Dedicated to: The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Discussion: The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life
Memorize: Luke 1:46-55 (The Magnificat)
Dedicated to: The Holy Rosary
Theme: Daily Prayer and Devotions
Discussion: The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary
Memorization: The Rosary
Dedicated to: The Poor Souls in Purgatory
Memorization: The Prayer of St Gertrude for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
Dedicated to: The Immaculate Conception
Memorization: John 1:1-16
For example, January has been traditionally dedicated to the Holy Childhood of Jesus and our theme is “Littleness”. We will be discussing The Story of a Soul and memorizing Ephesians 4:25-32 together. I know January is half over, don’t worry. I found The Story of Soul online or a free audio version for those of you who do not own the book and the memorization is only 8 verses!
I want you to contribute, you want to contribute, and having a theme will help you. You may be inspired to write on sacrifices…that happens to be our theme in September. We would love to read your thoughts and meditations on sacrifice and you have eight months for that post to brew if you need.
Do you see a favorite book or topic on the vision? Great! You could help lead the discussion. Is there a prayer on there you’ve always wanted to memorize, but haven’t? (Um, you all know the trouble I have had with memorizing the Magnificat!) How about a Scripture verse you would love to have tucked away, but have not found the support or encouragement to memorize…we’re going to memorize together! Our own accountability and support group.
See those two blank spots under November and then again in December? I’m stumped. What, if anything should we discuss during the busy time of November and December. Any suggestions?
So look this over, print it out if you like, and let’s celebrate this Year of Faith reading, praying, learning, memorizing and discussing as the awesome group of women that we are here at Suscipio!