Happy Updates: Prayer Works!

A little while back, I posted, asking all of you to pray for Henry, who was born 2 months premature.
(Original postings here and here)

As you can see, Henry is doing well, getting big, and already digging into those ham sandwiches! ๐Ÿ™‚
(Okay, okay, the photo is staged… but still….)
Henry Inspecting Ham Sandwich

Thank you so much for your prayers! Prayer really does work! Praise God! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Blood of Christ

A friend e-mailed me, asking if I would serve as Eucharistic minister this weekend in her place, which I gladly accepted. I arrived early to sign up for a spot, but when I arrived, all the “bread” positions were taken (why they call it “bread” and “cup,” I have no idea, because we only go up into the sanctuary after consecration, so shouldn’t they be “Body” and “Blood” positions?).

I have only ever given out the Body of Christ, and ever since that first lecture in RCIA when Fr. John was speaking about dropping the host or spilling the consecrated wine, I have been terrified of doing either. I am still concerned when holding the Body of Christ, but, as a non-liquid, He is less . . . wiggly . . . in this way than the Blood. That, and I have nightmare daydreams about little kids grabbing the cup from me and spilling.

When I saw that I would be doing a “cup” position for the first time, I was kind of freaking out. After all, it wasn’t my choice to be a Blood minister. I had thought that eventually I would choose to try being a Blood minister (okay, there’s gotta be a better term for this) . . . you know, when I was ready. I told several of the other Eucharistic ministers with me that this was my first time — looking for reassurance. They were all very nonchalant about it, so I was left unvalidated in my fear. Adding to my sense of unease was the fact that I had been listening to the Bible on CD on the way in to church, and I was in the middle of Leviticus, where they are talking about splashing the blood on the altar. Which I really didn’t want to do today.

I was doubting my abilities to adequately protect Him until He was safely consumed and united with the faithful. Silly me, right? I mean, obviously, Jesus can take care of Himself. But, you know, I worry anyway. So, I was praying about this — trying to ignore my fear and trust that God wouldn’t have anything bad happen.

Then came the homily. Our associate pastor was the one celebrating this Mass; however, our pastor came out to tell us of a situation in the archdiocese which has recently become public. As I reflected on the matter, I was made even more aware of the significance to me of being the one who would be providing access to people to the Blood of Christ. Because it is the Blood of Christ which washes away our sins and effects our reconciliation with God. True, that we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus under either/both species; however, it is a stronger sign (for me anyway) in drinking of His Blood.

I felt, particularly at this time, that it was a time where everyone affected — our parish, the archdiocese — needed to be immersed in Christ. It was a time for reconciliation, healing, and most of all, for love. Whatever the truth of the matter, there are two people directly involved — both of which are hurt — and many other people indirectly hurt. This really hits home demonstrating the devastating effects of sin and how sin is a community affair — not limited to the involved parties.

I pray for God’s will to be done in regards to the situation, for His healing hand to be on the minds and hearts of everyone affected, and that the Holy Spirit works within us all so that we can love, show love and be love to all those who need it — especially in this matter. I pray that this will not divide us as a community. I pray that we will continue to have faith and trust, and leave the judging in His hands.

I do feel that I have a particular vocation, and it sometimes expands in scope, and I believe that in this case it includes this situation. Please pray for my compassion, empathy and strength, and the capacity for rendering whatever aid God asks of me.

So, I felt blessed to be able to participate in this way, in this specific Mass, being entrusted with the Precious Blood of our Lord. Somehow, it all tied together perfectly for me in a way which confirmed to me God’s presence. As was very recently pointed out to me, I am in His hands always — and that goes for every single one of us.

Sorry to be so vague.

— In His Love

Reconciliation

Since tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday, I thought it would be best to reconcile myself with God. I figured that my priests at my home parish would probably be quite busy, so I decided to drive down to St. Bonaventure in Detroit.

PictureMail

It had only been 2 weeks or so since my last confession, but I have things that I struggle with for which I need grace, and I have been feeling rather conflicted between the “me” that I was before and the “me” that I am now that I know the Lord.

During my absolution, the priest said that he absolved me of all the sins of my past life.

That’s right. My past life.

That hit me about like an anvil.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was attending a lecture by Fr. John, where he was telling us that Reconciliation is like a second baptism, where we are cleansed from our sins and made new again.

Each time I go to Reconciliation, I am made into a new creature, and my past sins are forgiven and gone. They truly are the sins of my past life.

Then, before I left, the priest gave me some prayers. I got a booklet called “One Bread, One Body” which appears to be some daily reflections taking us from Winter into the Lenten season — a little out-of-date, but I am sure still very valuable and worthy of reflection. A sheet on how to pray the rosary (since I admitted that I do not really do this all that often). And these two prayers:

A Litany of the Person
image of God
born of God’s breath
vessel of divine Love
after his likeness
dwelling of God
cacacity for the infinite
eternally known
chosen of God
home of infinite Majesty
abiding in the Son
called from eternity
life in the Lord
temple of the Holy Spirit
branch of Christ
receptacle of the Most High
wellspring of Living Water
heir of the kingdom
the glory of God
abode of the Trinity.
God sings this litany
eternally in his Word.
This is who you are.

My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you well never leave me to face my perils alone. — Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

I do not normally get emotional going to Confession. I wasn’t particularly emotional during this one, or right afterwards. I came out of the confessional and went into the church to pray my penance in front of the tabernacle. As I was kneeling there before the Lord, I just started weeping. I couldn’t tell you why. I was sorry for my sins, but I wasn’t weighed down in sorrow. Actually, despite my tears, I felt… love. His love for me and mine for Him. And gratitude.

I am not sure why, but I find much comfort in going to St. Bonaventure for Reconciliation.

Wisdom from “The Imitation of Christ”

by Thomas ร  Kempis, published by Vintage Spiritual Classics:

“…the union he desires with God is sacramentally achieved on earth whenever he partakes of Christ’s gift of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.” — Introduction, page xxxvii

“No one undergoes a stronger struggle than the man who tries to subdue himself.” — Book 1, Chapter 3, page 6

Prayer of the Day

I’m probably going to end up repeating myself a lot on this blog, but praying the Liturgy of the Hours/Christian Prayer really gets me sometimes — and I just have to share! ๐Ÿ™‚

To you, Lord, we lift up our souls; rescue us, do not let us be put to shame for calling out to you. Do not remember the sins of our youth and stupidity, but remember us with your love.

This one seems particularly fitting for Reconciliation.

I Hope I Did Not Actually See That

On the drive in this morning, it was raining and I was driving perhaps a little more carefully, because I was thinking over the bills I needed to pay during lunchtime, and realized that my car insurance was a little overdue. (Hey, it was Holy Week! I had other things to think about!)

On I-275, near the 7 mile exit, traffic slowed to a crawl, and then I heard the sirens. Stopping on the highway, two fire trucks passed right in front of me coming from the on-ramp, crossing all lanes of traffic and going across the median to the northbound lanes. Already there were a couple of police cars and ambulances. As I passed, I saw a pretty smashed up looking car, and what looked like the body of a person lying on the road, covered in what appeared to be plastic.

I hope that was not actually what I saw.

I pray for all those involved in that accident. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Update:

Six cars crash on I-275 after man leaps from taxi
Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News
Livonia — Authorities aren’t sure why a passenger jumped from a moving taxi cab this morning, causing a multi-vehicle crash that closed down northbound Interstate 275 at Seven Mile.

According to the Michigan Intelligent Transportation System, the incident happened at about 7 a.m., and by the time it ended, six cars ended up crashing together.

Two persons reportedly received minor injuries, including one woman who was injured when her airbag deployed.

A spokesman at the Metro South Post of the Michigan State Police said the unidentified passenger also received minor injuries and was transported to Botsford Hospital, where his injuries were treated before he was admitted to the psychiatric unit for observation.

The MSP said it was unknown at this point if the taxi jumper would be charged.

Man jumps from moving taxi, causes I-275 snarl
BY TAMMY STABLES BATTAGLIA FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
April 15, 2009 08:07 AM

Traffic backed up this morning on I-275 at 7 Mile in Livonia after a passenger jumped out of a moving taxi and into highway traffic.

No one hit the man at 7:01 a.m., but two cars crashed into each other trying to avoid him in the northbound lanes, according to the Michigan State Police.

One of the drivers suffered a facial injury after her airbag deployed, but no one else was seriously hurt, a spokeswoman at MSP’s south post said.

The man who jumped was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and police were interviewing the taxi driver to see what led up to the accident.

By 7:45 a.m., only one lane of traffic was blocked, she added.

When Venti is Just Too Small…

I thought this was hilarious! Biggby coffee already has as their largest size a 24 oz, which is 4 oz larger than a Starbucks Venti (my usual size). But then, I was randomly looking at Biggby Bob’s blog and found THIS!

Check it out, you will laugh too! Happy Wednesday!

Says something about us, doesn’t it?

Saint Obama? Disturbing Photo of the Day

H/T to Jennie C.

Obama AP

This is a rather disturbing image. Jennie (the other Jennie ๐Ÿ™‚ is right, it looks like religious icon art. You know, I do hope that President Obama becomes a saint one day. I hope that everyone makes it home. However, with his public actions, especially regarding life issues, I feel that there is much to pray for. I pray for a conviction of heart, a determination to do God’s will and an understanding of the intrinsic dignity of every human life.

I pray for all those in leadership and who have wide influence, but also for all of us. Each of us can be an example for better or for worse to those around us. May all of God’s people recognise each other as such.

God bless you!