Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Morning "Feasting" with St. Mark!

This was a fun and easy way to bring the feast of St. Mark into our morning!
Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness, `The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord,' or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King."
I made 4 Lion Fruit Plates.  
Each one took about 2 cutie oranges.  Then, I used a total of about 2 kiwi, 1 apple, and 1 banana.  
I also shared this idea over at Catholic Cuisine.

+Happy Feast Day+
"Jesus said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

Saint Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, accompanied Saint Paul on his first missionary journey and later went with him to Rome. He was a disciple of Saint Peter whose teaching was the basis for Mark's Gospel.  Mark is said to be the founder of the church of Alexandria.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Good Shepherd Sunday Celebration

This post is one for the records!
I realized thought I didn't have all the links in one place for the 4th Sunday of Easter, which is always Good Shepherd Sunday.  Then I found an old post that wasn't labeled.  So I did have the links posted here after all. (As I'm more than half way done with this post and spent an hour looking for my sheep template)! Argh. Oh well, I'm finishing this one anyway!  It will be fun for us to look back and see the differences over the years;)
Celebrating Good Shepherd Sunday has been one of our many liturgical celebrations over the years.  Some of the others have come and gone but this one has "stuck" for our family!  (It has officially made it to our annual list of traditions and everyone looks forward to it. Mostly, I think everyone loves the menu:)  For me, I love the reminder that we are the sheep and Christ is our Shepherd.  Like good sheep of the flock, staying closely pressed to Him is the best place to be.
We made these cute little guys a few years ago.  I loved them because they were easy to print out on card stock, color, and fold for each member of our family.  They can be found at the Crayola website.  I also Pinned them so they can always be reproduced if we add more family members or if one gets ruined.  We bring them out to graze the table (above) on Good Shepherd Sunday:)
Each year our menu stays pretty much the same, though our dessert has varied.
Shepherd Pie
{I always use this one from Simply Recipes and add a shredded cheesy Cross to top before baking}
Shepherd staff breadsticks
Green pasture salad
Flock of sheep dessert
In previous years, we have made Flock of Sheep Cookies but this year we stuck to easy peasy Rice Krispy treats since I have a sheep cookie cutter.
This year my Good Shepherd glass candle fell to the floor, broken by me and not the kids this time.  I am able to reproduce it very easily with this link and instructions for a tall glass candle jar. Yay!
Well that's about it.  Praying all of you readers are still feeling the graces of Easter!
When all else fails, count eat sheep:)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Forest IS Through The Trees

My fog is lifting and I am beginning to see the forest through the trees:)

We took a beautiful little hike last weekend and I was snapping photos like mad...the scenery was gorgeous!  The funny thing is... This little park and hike- by- the- river is very close to home and it's crazy-silly that we had never been there. It just proves that there's always unexpected beauty waiting to be discovered right under our noses! (Note to self)
Spring has definitely arrived in our neck of the woods.
God's glory, at it's finest, is all around us.
It's still Easter and I'm singing Alleluia="Praise the Lord!"
With God, we can always find our way.
Yet why do I resist moving forward sometimes?
Why do I get so locked up?
Is it because I know I will stumble? 
The road ahead is sure to be a little unsteady, bumpy, and even dark at times.
Springtime always arrives (eventually), this I know, so what's the problem?
I recently read a meditation passage in the Magnificat that really spoke to me.  (via Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.) It said that when we are self-fixated, we tend to be static and obstinate, separating ourselves from Jesus because He is always on the move towards the will of the Father.  Fixing upon ourselves literally causes us to get stuck.  If we prayerfully (continually) shift our focus, fixing our eyes on the Father, we, too, will always be moving ad Patrem, towards the Father. We shall always be  in via, always on the way.  
I love that!  
I needed to hear that.
 I am eager to be constantly in via, always on the way.  Now this might seem Christianly commonsensical but I think we could always use the constant reminder.  
At least I do.
The follow up was a tangible hike...A"new foot path" towards being in via...
I get it.
New vistas opened out before me.

Eyes off me, myself and I.
Forward motion and surrender to God's will screamed
Get moving!
Mobility is good:)
I am free.
Dealing with the unknown, practicing patience...
Yes! I am on my way.
(At least until the next time I get stuck;)
Only His light shines through the darkness...Helping us see the forest through the trees.  
These images are helpful as we see the light of Christ triumphant (being the central image of the Easter season) that rescues us from the darkness of death.
(John 1:5)
These trees were absolutely majestic...
Reaching out,
Pushing forward,
Lifting up,
Watching and rustling,
Like a canopy of forest angels.

Would they reach down and catch the ball flying through the woods?

They let boys be boys:)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
on your own intelligence rely not; 
In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.~Proverbs 3:5-6
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.~Psalm 119:105
Moving forward must be a continual process...
There will always be bridges to cross...
 But in faith we know that a helping hand waits on the other side...Keep moving, keep moving!
I am inspired to keep moving.
In Via!

In his mind a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.~Proverbs 16:9
I'm on the way, again, as
A new path awaits...
And the forest is definitely through the trees!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I've been in a terrible funk since Holy Week...Soooo, needless to say, "resurrecting" is taking a little longer for me this year.  {sigh}
It's been awhile since I've been this down.  
Some of it was certainly triggered by Good Friday, death anniversary, and the tragic events in my past that swirl around my spirit like a hurricane this time of year.   However, the continuation of the angst must be connected to other (unrelated) life changes and stresses.
I could certainly use *prayers*.

On an up note, the beauty of being a Catholic Christian through life's painful circumstances and emotions is that there is still Easter rejoicing.  There will always be Easter rejoicing, no matter what.
The stone was rolled away and light became a truth-teller.
I know this... 
Pain, sorrow, wounds and all, only because
Christ showed us this, Himself. 
It's a good thing, too.  
Otherwise, I'm not sure how many of us could go on.
The Resurrection sustains me.

  More than ever, I am thankful that the Resurrection is not a fleeting feeling or an emotion. 
It's a more than a single event... 
It's more than a season or a time period... 
It's a sure thing, it's a constant, and it's forever.  
 Unlike the here and now that can be consuming at times, the resurrection is freedom.
We are reminded of this in the Acts of the Apostles (5:17-26) where the angel of the Lord leads Peter and the apostles out of the darkness and confines of the prison into the morning light and freedom of the temple area.

 Though I am not good at being patient with my trials. At. all. 
The resurrection serves to remind me that my struggles are not in vain.  Without a struggle to roll back the stone, we are tempted to retract, weakened by a door that is too heavy to open.  Longing for the light, gives us strength to bear the load. 
Resurrecting might take longer than 3 days for most of us.  In fact it just might take a lifetime.  I'm ok with that, as long as I get there eventually...One Easter at a time. 
Though every sun shall spend its fire
And galaxies shall dim to shade,
The Light by whom these lights were made
Shall never flicker, never fade.

In us arise, O Light of lights.
Burn brightly in the caverned heart.
Consume the shade that fear supplies, 
And peace and truth instead impart.

Hymn from Magnificat

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