Thursday, February 7, 2019

Simple Country Catholic: Winter and the Wild Goose

Simple Country Catholic: Winter and the Wild Goose: Embracing the Chill The older I get, the more I love winter. Last week, we were in a deep freeze with negative temps and wind chills. M...

Winter and the Wild Goose

Embracing the Chill

The older I get, the more I love winter. Last week, we were in a deep freeze with negative temps and wind chills. My children and I bundled up and headed out for a bit. I wanted them to feel what bitter cold is.  I reminded them of the homeless and of people that have to work out in all weather.  The air was 'breathtaking'. We managed 40 minutes before returning inside to hot chocolate. The next day warmed up and we spent a few hours playing in the woods. The small brook was frozen. The kids played 'hockey' with sticks and chunks of ice. My soul was happy.

Winter is a time for 

Deep breathing
Embracing all the elements
Slowing down
Hearing the lone goose call.

The Wild Goose

The Holy Spirit has been called the Wild Goose. The Holy Spirit speaks to me louder in the quiet, cold, silence of winter. I'm sure because my life slows down and I have time to contemplate, reflect and be quiet enough to actually listen. For I know, he is always speaking, but I don't always hear.

A beautiful sound of winter.

If only I could have captured the call of the goose.  

A few days later, I saw a flock of geese flying north.  A tell-tell sign of spring.  Did you know that when geese fly they take turns being a leader so that no one goose has to bear the headwind long?  Also, if one goose goes down, two other geese follow him, stay with him until he dies or if he is able, then they will catch up to the flock or try to find another flock to fly with together.  They honk to encourage each other. The V is so that all can see what is front of them.  The migration route never changes, the geese do.

The Celtics call the Holy Spirit the Wild Goose because it cannot be tamed. It has a tendency to scare and surprise.  Have you ever been attacked by a goose?  My neighbor has two geese that have come at a me a few times.  I understand where the term 'getting goosed' comes from!  It is scary and hilarious at the same time.  The Holy Spirit cannot be tamed, it is frightening, but when embraced and used for its purpose it is an orchestrated beauty of encouragement, love and support.  It guides you to your destination.

May you find in the quiet, stillness of winter, the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide you on your earthly migration to heaven.
Hugging winter!

How do you embrace winter?

Psalm 51:7 "Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow."

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Mary is NOT Catholic

Mary is NOT Catholic.  

She lived as a Jewish woman. What is she now?

Simply put, Mary is everyone's Mother.

But that's a hard one to understand for many or it's toooo "Catholic".

To clear up one confusion. Catholics believe Mary is not God, or a Goddess, she's a heavenly help for us.  Not just any heavenly help, but the Mother of our God help.  She prays (intercedes) for us. Just as I can ask my grandmother in heaven to pray for me, Mary does also.  We believe our loved ones, all the angels and saints still pray for us in heaven if we just ask.

When we talk the context of the family it usually involves a mother, father and child (this is not a post about the changing dynamic of the family). Many Christian denominations talk about God the Father and Jesus the son, and preach on Christians as a faith family.  Where is the Mother?  Oh, she just comes along at Christmas time.  A figurine in a nativity scene.  Some might get excited singing the song "Mary did you know?"  But when else? The beauty of Mary is that she was the ONE who was always there in every step of her Son's life. From his birth, first miracle, ministry, death and resurrection.  She was the perfect disciple.  We can learn so much from her.

The standard Mary statue every good Catholic home should have.

Resale Store Books

One of my favorite things to do is look at movies and books in resale shops.  My husband at one time came across a book called "Peace of Soul" for 10 cents at the Salvation Army.  The author is Servant of God, Fulton J. Sheen.  That's the first book of the Sheen book and DVD library we now have in our home.  We both loved him so much, we named our youngest son, Fulton, after him.

But I can't read most of his books because I'm not smart enough. I'm more of a 'practical' Catholic than a theological one.  I recently went to Goodwill and found a book called "Mother Mary Speaks to Us" by Brad and Sherry Hansen Steiger.  The book was written in 1996 and cost $2.59 (gotta love a bargain)!  Sherry is an ordained minister but doesn't tell which denomination (my point is not Catholic). I think the Blessed Mother chose this book for me to read.

The book reports on the many Marian apparitions (appearances of Mary) reported from people of all different religious and non-religious background.  The authors claim this is the "Age of Mary".  The Catholic Church only recognizes 9 Marian apparitions.  Not because others are not truly of Mary (some can be Satan trying to deceive) but because it's a heavenly phenomenon that is difficult to understand.  From what I know, if the apparition brings you closer to Mary's Son, her purpose has been complete, officially recognized or not.  We named one of our children, Bernadette, because I feel in love with of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Marian apparition.  Saint Bernadette had visions of Mary. Oh, and our oldest is Mary.

Lady Wisdom 

When I think of the Blessed Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) my head hurts.  Who can understand three persons in one God?  I know not all followers of Christ believe this, but Catholics do. I think there was a heresy about this one. As the good Saint Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate three leaves yet one leaf, that's the best way I can wrap my head around it.  After reading the Steiger's book, I had a different view on the Holy Trinity, one of the masculinity and femininity of God.  We have God the Father, the Creator, the Organizer, the 'Structuring principle of the universe'.  Jesus, the Son, the Redeemer, the Savior. Then there's the Holy Spirit.  I always viewed the Holy Spirit as the teacher.  What about the Holy Spirit as wisdom?  Throughout history, wisdom is viewed as a female. In the book of Ecclesiastes, wisdom is called a 'she'.  The Greek Goddess of Wisdom was Athena. The Greek word for wisdom is Sophia. Throughout the Old Testament wisdom is personified as a female, "Lady Wisdom".  So, could the Holy Spirit be a representation of the female of God?  Today's feminists want to call God a 'She'.  God is neither female or male but the representation of both.  What about the Holy Spirit as the feminine aspect of the Trinity?  God, the Father as the male and Jesus, the son as the child.  A family.  The Holy Trinity creates us, saves us, and gives us wisdom. Ok, my head hurts. Enough 'theology'.  Doubt if I would get the Imprimatur seal of approval on this one.

Where does that leave Mary in all this?

She is not in the Holy Trinity but she is carnate wisdom.  She has a special role in heaven and on earth. Just like the Archangel Gabriel, she's a messenger, not the message.  She's a messenger that like a good mother, provides comfort to us.  Catholics have a phrase "To Jesus through Mary". She always points us to her son.

Why has Mary appeared so much in the last century?

The best take away from the book for me was the quote "I am the balance to the male energies".  Think about it.  World War I and II, Vietnam, Korea, Russian Communism, Korean War.  Yes, we have always had wars, but not as much world wide destruction as these.  We need a Mother, a nurturer, soft touch for humanity.  Now there's a social war on the family.  50% divorce rate wreaks havoc on families and the disregard for little lives growing in the womb is not good for mankind.  She told us when she came to the children of Fatima, the last battle will be on the family.

What happens when Mary visits?

Heaven comes to Earth!
She might just have a message of encouragement, warning, prophecy and many times miraculous healings have occurred. Some natural phenomenons have happened like thousands witnessing the 'sun dancing' in Fatima. She asks us to pray (for Catholics especially the Rosary), do penance, do good, sacrifice, love. Once again, she's the messenger, not the message.

Who does she come to?

Mostly those who are open the the spiritual world and common folk. The naive, the innocent, the stupid, the sinners, the psychic, the orthodox, the mystics, the mediums, the new age, non-Christians, atheists, those with open hearts. Why Catholics more than others? Because we honor her, but we are not her only children.

What does she look like?

Mary takes on whatever race she believes you will relate to. Our Lady of Guadalupe looked like an Aztec Goddess, the black Madonna, the white Irish Lady of knock.  She almost always is in white and blue (the color of virginity). Her flower is a rose, some claim to smell roses when she appears.

Fascinating Visions and Messages

I knew the story's of the the visions from Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Medjugorje...the big ones. I knew of a woman in southern Indiana that had seen visions and heard of someone in Wisconsin.  All Catholics, but this book encouraged me in what I have been thinking all along, she's for everyone. She comes sometimes just as a presence, no words. Sometimes it's over a course of time, sometimes just once.  I want to share some messages and terms mentioned in the book that spoke to me that are not of the traditional Catholic jargon.

"Call me Woman of All People."

"We are all interconnected. She comes to lead humankind back to the God Light within, Return to love, Love Mother Earth."

Divine Mother energies are called Mary, Christhood, Christ-Conscience, are in each of us.

"The Heavenly Realms are here to assist you, not to find truth for you. You must find it. Your path is between you and God. I do not make such decisions."

"To be all that you as humans were meant to be is the one goal that should always be on your minds, and it is my task to facilitate heart centered thoughts to bring about such changes in humanity."

"Open your heart to receive-and you shall. Ask for me, and I will be with you. Even if you do not see me, you will feel me."

"I am the love of God incarnate and the God in action."

"If you look at the past 200 years of this country of United States you will see the results of the energies of the Divine Mother.  The old thought patterns are disappearing. No longer is it acceptable to believe that one person is better than another because of the color of skin.  More and more people accept the reality that there is a common goal, a common origin, and a common God for all humans."

"Love is what we ask of you."

"If there was true peace on Earth, there would be no need for the establishments. There would be no need for the controls. There would be no need, as was shared by my Son, for the requirement of 10 rules or laws or commandments. Each man would do and say and be what is best for all, for the one commandment that he offered would fulfill within all people the unity to love one another. In that loving is found respect, concern and caring. In that loving is found forgiveness. For in that loving is found the heart of God."

"Your governments, your religions will be found to be standing on ground that is not solid. You will find may things to be brought into light. You will find changes that reflect fear within the hearts of many men.  Let not your hearts be troubled. You know within your being that the Father has a purpose and a path for creation. It is not haphazard. It is not one of chance. Your soul is a part of that purpose. And in this time upon your Earth, your soul is awakening to that which it has known."

Muslims worship Mary under the name Fatima. She appeared in the village of Fatima in 1917 to 3 children. The Mother of All has been called throughout history names such as Isis, Sophia, the Lady, the Mother Diana, Athena and so on.

The native Americans view her as a grandmother creator spirit.

She is the Lady of Light.

I could quote many more passages, but the point I'm trying to make is...

Simply put, Mother Mary's love is for everyone.

This reflection of Mary has spoken to my soul. This book had come to me in a time I needed to increase my devotions to our Blessed Mother.  She is important. In our society we value the woman. We raise her as a creature who has power, control, can be anything and for all.  Our wombs are blessed. We are not men. We are the female part of God, wisdom (not saying that men are not wise).  But why are women so stressed out? We think we can do it all? Have we lost our 'wisdom'?  I believe only can be fully alive when we have the peace in our soul to know why we do it all. We are not for just us or our family, but for the good of humanity.  We can ask for the heavenly help, the Divine Assistance, the Blessed Mother to help us in our earthly pilgrimage.

Women and men, don't get so caught up in this world that you forget all the supernatural around you. Dig deep into yourselves and pull out the God light, Christhood, Grace, beauty in your soul so that this experience on Earth will be a hint of what lies in store for us in heaven.

How do you view Mary?  I know for many Catholic Converts, she's the last teaching that is hard to accept.  It took me awhile to understand and pray the rosary.  My love for Mary is not anywhere close to where it should be. I'm talking to her more intimately now, as I would my own Mom.  I share my concerns for my children, my marriage, our world with her.  I feel peace when we talk.

Do you have the divine light in you?  Make no apologies who you are, but are you really who God wants you to be? or what is safe and acceptable by society?  Is your soul troubled or at ease?

Can you break away from the stigma that Mary is only 'Catholic'?  Can you see her role in humanity? To point us to her son? To seek Lady Wisdom?

I would encourage you to read a few stories on Marian apparations.  This site is incredible.

Mother Mary, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Simple Country Catholic: It's a GREAT Time to be Catholic!

Simple Country Catholic: It's a GREAT Time to be Catholic!: Say what? You Crazy, Girl! Yep, I said it and I'll say it again. IT'S A GREAT TIME TO BE CATHOLIC! My turn to chime in on the ...

It's a GREAT Time to be Catholic!

Say what?

You Crazy, Girl!

Yep, I said it and I'll say it again. IT'S A GREAT TIME TO BE CATHOLIC!

My turn to chime in on the recent scandals.

Mama Bear

Thanks be to God the scandals are being revealed, people are coming out to tell of their abuse, and Bishops are being called out.  The laity are mad.  I am sickened by the creepy priests that preyed upon innocent children. I am sickened by the hierarchy that abused their power.  I can't help if it were one of my sons that was violated, WOE to that man.  I would attack him like a mama bear gauging his eyes out, shredding his skin, and roaring so loud he would no longer be able to hear.  Don't mess with the innocent, shame on you.

Papa Bears

Thanks to those faithful priests and bishops who are speaking up. Be LOUD. Be NOISY.  Growl like you are a Papa Bear protecting it's family.  Help us laity restore our faith in you, faith in the Church, the hierarchy Jesus established.  These are historical times.  The Catholic Church is called to be in this world, but not of this world.  God has called us out, bringing forth the evil because we needed intervention.  We were becoming too worldly, following the culture too closely, and accepting sin.  My dear Papa Bears, help us travel back to the other world, the Kingdom of Jesus.

Gone are the days...

I love this story my husband tells.  Growing up his grandma lived a few doors down from St. Mary's.  He was an altar server.  One day he was walking along the street towards grandma's house.  The dear Father was driving by.  He rolled down his window and said "Wanna grab a burger? Go ask your grandma."  So, they drove down the street and ate together.  No evil intentions, just a wonderful man offering a meal.  How many more vocations there would be if this could happen?! There's no way a priest could or should put himself in that situation these days.  How sad.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen and Every 500 Years

Oh, if Bishop Sheen were alive today!  If you haven't read any of his books, are you in for  a treat. The man was a prophet.  I recently read an article where he talked about every 500 years the church renews itself.  It was written in 1974.  Guess what folks, it's about that time.

First 500 years-Heresies, persecutions
Second 500 years- Schisms
Third 500 years-Protestant Reformation
Now-"The Spirit of the World."  I think it's a result of the sexual revolution.

You can read the article here:

I'm Catholic because I'm Catholic, not because of a Priest.

Too long the laity have relied on priests.  Shame on us.  We have a responsibility more than just to attend Mass on Sunday.  We are the ones in the world. We are the ones who impact culture. We are the majority.  I have been Catholic for 18 years now. Something I have learned and often say "I'm Catholic because I'm Catholic, not because of a Priest." No one can have your faith for you.  If you leave a church because of a priest, your faith needs a little work.  The priest didn't die on the cross. 

Our parish is small, 45 or so families.  Our laity MUST do the work if we want our parish to survive. We are a mission parish and do not have a residential priest.  No one can hide behind the pew.  Are you hiding behind the pew?  Too long we have just taken from the Church on Sunday, what will we give back on Monday?

Fatima Again

Fatima, i'll say it, is just eerie.   What Our Lady told those children; Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco back in 1917 has come to fruition.  We think 'oh that was so long ago' but God doesn't know time. Our Blessed Mother, warns us, like a good mother would.  We think communism is a thing of the past.  We are still 'reaping it's benefits' today.  Another article here:
Bella Dodd,  a former communist and revert to Catholicism, said she was responsible for recruiting more than a 1000 gay men into the priesthood.  She planted a seed.  The idea was to take down the Catholic Church.  Priests are called to be celibate.  The temptation would be too strong to be faithful to their celibacy.  We see how successful this has become.  Once again, Our Lady warned us the last battle will be on the family, but no worries, she comforts us and says all will be well.  But there's still the battle to be fought, we are in the midst of it.

The time of being lukewarm is over.

C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters" is not something to read before you go to bed.  I had nightmares.  I read this many years ago and what I remember most from that book is what Screwtape said to Wormwood is 'try to keep them lukewarm'.  The devil revels in lukewarm water.  Indifference.  Are you lukewarm in your faith?  It's time to turn up the heat.  Revelation 3:15,16 warns:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

This is where I see it's a great time to be Catholic.  We are going to see the water turned to scalding hot for our faith.  We have taken it for granted, bathed in the lukewarm for too long.  What's your faith temperature?

Christian Unity

God speaks through all Christian churches.  I think he speaks loudest through the Catholic Church simply because it is the biggest throughout the world.  Maybe His voice can be heard throughout the world because of the organization Catholics can provide.  I believe the Holy Spirit is calling all Christians to conversion.  This scandal of sexual abuse in the Church is not simply limited to just Catholics.  It's in other denominations, Hollywood, schools, families.  Our society is so sexual. Is this a wake up call for all Christians?  The time of tit for tat, your faith is wrong because of this Bible verse or that Bible verse has got to end.  We need to unite, not necessarily on Sunday mornings, but truly unite if we are to build up the Kingdom of God.  We are all in this together. 

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

I'm a gardener but this year's garden got away from me.  It's awful.  I admit, I just gave up.  God doesn't give up.   We are experiencing an historical shift in our Church.  God is weeding his garden. God is nicer than me, he doesn't pull the weed by the root, he only cuts it back giving it a chance to grow.  Last year I learned how to forage in my yard. There's plenty of 'weeds' God gives us to eat in our yard, dandelions for example.   We see it as a nuisance  but God sees it as a purpose.  The beauty of our faith is the garden is full of variety, sinners and saints together.  The sinners, who recognize their sin, admit their faults, grow into plants that will either nourish or provide beauty to the world.

My weedy garden.

Those faithful and repentant that are left are going to rebuild a more beautiful garden.

It IS a great time to be Catholic. A time to renew your faith, water it, watch it grow.  Pray, fast, read, learn, grow into the magnificent soul you were created to be to help build up His Church, His Kingdom on Earth.

Weeds that blossom into flowers.

How does your garden grow?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Simple Country Catholic: Simple Conversion

Simple Country Catholic: Simple Conversion: It's not really a simple conversion.  I wish it was. My stubbornness and pride made it more complicated that it really needed to be.  ...

Friday, July 13, 2018

Simple Country Catholic: Family

Simple Country Catholic: Family: Family, the simplest, yet most complicated unit, in history. Family is where we come from. We may be blessed with a wonderful family o...