Wednesday, February 14, 2018

happy vaLENTine's day!

Wherever you are, I hope you find God's love in your day. If you're a little sad because you're fasting instead of feasting, go do something for someone else...guaranteed it will change your attitude!

We are at the Shrine of St. Bernadette in Albuquerque, NM today handing out the small bits of love we packed to bring along to pass on to others. Even if we have no good stories to share afterward, I'm grateful that we can distribute God's love, even in some small way, on this first day in the desert.

even the little people helped

inside the envelope...

under the heart ;0)

We are blessed! Have a fruitful, prayerful Lent!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

God is can help!

Let me tell you a story. It's true, it happened about an hour ago, and it's important for you to read.

Every year the kids and I make Valentines to take to Mass and pass out afterward. We've had so many amazing interactions with all sorts of people as a result of this family tradition, it's something that we actively look forward to each year. Imagine my JOY when I realized that Valentine's Day actually fell on Ash Wednesday this year? Wow, that is the best gift ever.

Like a few years ago, we're going to be out of town for Valentine's this year. It's not the first time (click here to read more) and it's kind of fun to surprise people you don't know and who really can't repay you...because, that's the point. We're trying to do something nice without any thought of repayment. That's being the face of God to others...that's our mission here behind the veil. Kindness for the sake of kindness.

It's been nagging at me, though. Yes, it is nice to give to others you don't know. At the same time, however, there are people who actually look forward to our Valentines and their joy would not be fulfilled if, somehow, we missed their local delivery. So, we've been working on trip stuff (and Valentines to take) but we've also been making Valentines to give away before we leave.

This morning was a perfect storm of sleet/snow and general mess. All the schools were canceled. #1 had her standing date to read at Mass but I was thinking seriously that it would be more prudent to stay home. When I mentioned that at breakfast, #5 got a very sad face and said, "I just want to go somewhere HOLY." (I don't take offense...I understand there is holy-Church and holy-home...different things). So, with that encouragement, we made our plan and headed out.

We were happy to see all the people who also made it through the storm to celebrate Holy Mass and we were happy we brought a nice stack of Valentines. As often is the case, many people remarked at how thoughtful we were and how nice it was. It wasn't until we walked out of church, however, that we realized why God had us distribute at this Mass, today.

A middle-aged gentleman came out the door a few paces after us and said, "Dominic! My new friend! Thank you again!" I turned and looked at #2 and he had a nice smile but said nothing. The man continued, "He didn't tell you?" When I shook my head, he filled us in.

The man is from a town almost an hour away but came to this area to drop his daughter at work this morning because of the storm. He said he had been driving up and down the roads, looking for a Catholic church to attend around noon. His very close friend had just died very unexpectedly and he wanted to offer Mass for him today. He finally found our parish, pulled in and had a very emotional Mass, during which he prayed to God, "Please help me, please, if you can, send me something so I know that Dominic is ok." His friend's name was Dominic.

After Mass, our kids dispersed to hand out their Valentines and our #2 handed one of his to this dear man. "Son, what is your name?" When he was told, it was immediately clear to this man that his prayer had been answered. Tears. All of us. Our God is AWESOME. And if you believe this was all happenstance, perhaps you're reading the wrong blog.

You see, none of this is about our family. We don't have anything that makes us more special than any of you who read this. Many of you have more and different gifts to share. The point of this entire story is that, if you let the Holy Spirit guide you, if you have an idea about doing something nice, even if it sounds out of your area of comfort, go with it. He will not leave you and He will not disappoint. Your experience may be commonplace or it my be extraordinary but you will be amazingly blessed to take part in His work on earth.

Please pray for Mike and the repose of the soul of Dominic today. Please, please, especially with Lent on the near horizon, open your heart to opportunities - they are there in abundance. Say "yes" to God's urge to help others, to deny yourself, to go outside of your comfort zone. Do His will. It is an incredible gift.

We are blessed.

(I'll post a picture of the Valentine next week...the envelopes said "please don't open until Feb 14th" and that's what we're doing!)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lent is coming...Repost

If you've been around much, you know we like to make Valentines and give them away randomly after daily Mass. This year you get the DOUBLE BONUS that you should, probably, be at Mass anyway, since it happens to be Ash Wednesday as well!

We are deep into the Valentines process and we're not unveiling until after the event (we will actually be handing out in Albuquerque, NM this year!) but feel free to enjoy the post below from several years ago (the kids were so tiny!). There are also links to many other great ideas to Keep the Love in Lent.

Go to it! Also, don't forget your local 40 Days for Life will begin it's next vigil soon. Find your local vigil and participate!

We are blessed

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Power of Silence

There are many things to say but, for now, I'll choose to be a poor beggar and let you reflect on some of the amazing thoughts of Robert Cardinal Sarah...
The silent man is no longer a sign of contradiction; he is just one man too many. Someone who speaks has importance and value, whereas another who keeps quiet gets little consideration. The silent man is reduced to nothingness. The simple act of speaking imparts value. Do the words make no sense? It makes no difference. Noise has acquired the nobility that silence once possessed.
 The man who speaks is celebrated, and the silent man is a poor beggar in whose presence there is no need to even raise one's eyes.