Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royally Blessed

Did you guys happen to wake up and watch the Royal Wedding yesterday?!  Not me, no, George Tivod it for me :D

So after, work, and kids and everyone where they're suppose to be, Maria and I sat down to watch the royal wedding.  No, not all six hours.  More like two.  We fast forwarded through a lot of commercials, a lot of people standing around, etc.  But, the wedding itself was absolutely beautiful.  Princess Catherine's brother got up to do a reading.  It was Roman's twelve.  It was very beautiful.  I was struck by how much Jesus Christ was mentioned throughout the ceremony.  I don't know why.  I just was.  I wondered if the Prince and Princess were really listening.  It's hard when you're the person getting married.  You try to take it all in, but you miss so much.  So, in the age of all this technology, it's wonderful that you can go back and see things you missed.  During the ceremony, Maria said "I want a wedding just like this, but shorter.  I don't want a Mass."  After my internal gasp and what the flagnogg I said something to the effect of "okay or you've got plenty of time". 

After the wedding was over, and the kisses on the balcony were done, Maria wanted to watch my wedding video.  So, we did.  We being she and I as George was workin the Hut.  I sat watching my wedding with my daughter.  She pick the weirdest things to comment on during the ceremony.  "Did Daddy just say something about happy meals?"  Yes, yes he did.  He had a mic on that apparently picked up everything.  He was saying who he thought should run through the drive thru for the kids meals. lol  Then, at another point during the ceremony, after Fr. Gabe had extended his hand over our heads and given us a blessing, Maria said "Did Daddy just say "awesome"?  Yes, yes he did.  In fact, he said "we got an awesome blessing." lol  The rest of the ceremony and reception Maria was focused on how tiny her and her siblings were.

I commented in the last post about how I forgot Jesus was at my wedding.  Well, this viewing reminded me of how much he was actually there.  Not just from the readings, but from the comments and all the love that our friends and family shared with us.  At one point, a woman who I vaguely remember, whose name I don't, said how much I was a part of her life and how much I meant to her.  Who is this woman!  If I made that much of an impact on her and obviously we were friends or I wouldn't have invited her to my wedding, why don't I remember her?  Why aren't we friends now?  Then, I thought in ten years, how many of my friends that I have now will I forget?  What can I say, my crazy train sometimes derails into morbidville.  But, I digress, it was beautiful to see Jesus was actually there.

Then, as the wedding came to a close Maria wanted to know why the ceremony was so short.  I think her words were "where's the rest of it?"  I told her we had a Catholic Mass.  It's one hour, just like on Sunday.  Then there was the "ohhhhhhh" and the realization kicked it.  I'm pretty sure at her wedding, it's gonna be a Mass lol.

At the reception part of the video I was transfixed for quite some time.  See, while I saw certain loved ones during the ceremony.  They weren't really talking.  But, during the reception, there they were, My Mom (technically George's Mom lol) Carol and Mema.  Talking and laughing.  My heart felt so hollow.  My eyes filled with tears that refused to leave they just stayed there.  I watched myself dancing with Mema.  I watched as I hugged Mom good-bye.  I listed to them and all they had to say.  I saw their smiles.  My one regret, well two if you count the snafu from the night before, was that Mom was sick for the wedding.  She had a cold.  I felt so bad that she was sick, but she (and of course, Dad) were there.  It was so beautiful watching Mom and Mema throughout the reception.  I miss them.  Everyday.  But, I realized something, take away all the pomp and circumstance of the royal wedding, and we had the same one.  Albeit, they're not Catholic but close, I think.  I think it was the Archbishop of Canterburry (someone correct me if I'm wrong please) was speaking and said that every couple on their wedding day is royalty.  They are Kings and Queens.  He talked about love, just like Fr. Gabe did at my wedding.  So, after a night filled of weddings, memories, and wacky questions from my daughter, I remembered exactly how blessed I am.  I am royally blessed.

Until next time,
Pray for Pope John Paul II.  His beatification is tomorrow
Prayers of happiness and love for my Alyssa's birthday, it was yesterday.
Prayers of love and happiness for a certain awesome podmate whose birthday is this week!
And, prayers of happiness and thanksgiving as my son will be 17 on Tuesday, if we let him live that long! lol


Monday, April 25, 2011

My Wedding

Once upon a long, long, time ago, there was a show called Touched by an Angel.  There was an episode where a couple was getting married and it turned out they weren't allowed b/c when the blood test was done, it came back that one of them had a rare disease and was going to die.  They opted not to find out which one it was.  And, they got married in the forest by Della Reese.  As they are talking about getting married someone, I think it was Della said something to the effect of "you invited everyone to your wedding, but not God".  That stuck with me.  And, I decided then and there, that I wanted God at my wedding.

Fast forward years later.  George and I get married.  We picked the Corinthians thank you.  I thought the whole Love is patient, Love is kind, while beautiful was well over used.  We picked the songs...I want our processional to be Hallelujah Chorus.  I want the choir to sing (as I was a member of the choir).  I want the one choir guy to sing Ubi Caritas.  He sings it so beautifully.  Yes, I am aware that Miss so and so is the one who sings at weddings, but I would like him to do it please.  And most definitely, I was going to have a mass.

Now, while I am a cradle Catholic, at this point in my life, I was very young in my faith.  I didn't read the Bible.  Didn't pray all that much, but I did talk to God! lol  However, I knew that my husband to be had to be Catholic, like to read the bible with me (we would read the Song of Solomon), and have a Mass at the wedding.  Now, a little while later, I'm not exactly sure how long after the wedding, I realized that I had forgotten to invite God to my wedding.  I don't remember actually inviting Him with my words other than watching that one episode.  I can tell you how I was sad we didn't have a unity candle (church rules), how I didn't take flowers to Mary (I can't remember the reason why).  I can tell you how I was still irked the morning of my wedding from a snafu from the night before.  I can tell you how my veil was cathedral length and at communion Mema's heal accidentally got caught in the train and my head got pulled backwards.  She thought I would be upset, I was far from it, I thought it the funniest thing!  I could tell you about one of my favorite parts of the Mass was when George leaned over to me and asked "are we married yet?"  But, I don't remember inviting God.

At one point this year during lent, I was in my Mary's office talking with her and Della and somehow we were on the subject of songs and Della said how she loved Ubi Caritas.  I told her how I loved it and how it was played at our wedding.  This prompted me a few nights ago to dig up the program from my wedding almost 11 years ago.  Mind you, it wasn't hard to dig up, it's where all my important stuff is, in my bible box.  Now, Ubi Caritas is not sung in English, at least the one I know isn't and I decided to google it and look up the words.  I was surprised to find out that it is usually played at the washing of the feet during Holy Thursday one of my very favorites Masses of the year.  Second only to Good Friday (Easter Vigil is my third in case you were wondering lol).  Here are the words:

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.
The first reading, was from Song of songs, then our Psalm was Psalm 34.  I went back and reread them too and thought how beautiful they were.  How years ago, I would never have had a favorite Psalm, now I love 139, 142 and a host of others.

What sparked me to share all of this with you?  Why share with you the events of my wedding from so long ago?  I will tell you, o questioning one.  At our wedding, it was commented to us by a friend of ours that they had never heard our opening song at a Catholic wedding before, but usually at a Baptist church.  I don't remember what my comment was.  Probably something how about how I just loved the song.  Which I did, and still do.  See, while my faith wasn't nearly anywhere it is today, God spoke to me in song.  I could find God anywhere and I still can.  I can see Him in my friends, in people who aren't exactly my friends.  I can see Him in my dreams, in clouds, in rain.  Anywhere.  So, while I had not officially invited God to my wedding, He knew how much I wanted Him to be a part of my marriage, and He came!  You can see it on the faces of my family members at the wedding.  You could hear it in the readings, and you could see it on my grooms face.  His was all I looked at as I walked down the isle.  God was there.  I watched a video of the song this evening.  It was one of the most amazing versions of the song I have ever heard and I wanted to share it with all of you.

And, while my faith and my marriage has grown, neither is perfect.  They are not perfect because I am not perfect.  What is perfect is God and His love for me.  And, for you.  So, while you think you are going throughout your day and you forgot to talk to God or to tell Him something.  Don't worry, He already knows.  Just talk to Him when you remember.  And, soon, you'll start remembering to talk to Him more and more.  He is just a heartbeat away.   Truly, How Great Thou Art!!!

Until Next Time,
Say a prayer for all those who are suffering.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!!!!

So last night my family and I went to Easter vigil Mass.  It's an amazing Mass.  Not just because Jesus is risen, that's a huge and main part of it, but also because people who have decided to become Catholic, who have been studying for eight months, become Catholic.  It's about a 2 1/2 hour Mass.  It's so beautiful that parts of it bring me to tears.

In order to explain why I get so emotional during this Mass, I have to back up a few days to Holy Thursday.  The Priest, our amazing Fr. Tim, strips the altar at the end of service.  All the candles on the altar are extinguished.  The tabernacle is open and empty and the light in front of the tabernacle is extinguished as well.  This is all done in preparation for Jesus' death.  He's no longer in the tabernacle He is gone.  This part just breaks my heart and I was crying at this part of the Mass too.  Then, right before Mass last night,  they prepare the altar!  Oh, it made my heart sing with joy!  And, while the rest of the church is singing and thinking whatever thoughts they were thinking, I was glued to the candle in front of the tabernacle.  I waited and then, there it altar server was lighting the candle!  Jesus is coming!!!!!  He's about to be risen!!!!!  I was so excited!!!!!

I got emotional confirming my baptismal promises, I got emotional watching those about to become catholic get baptized or confirmed.  Then, this one particular moment, the first person, a rather tall gentlemen, to get baptized, after he was baptized he turned to his sponsor and they embraced.  It was such a touching moment.  There were husbands sponsoring their wives, wives sponsoring their husbands and others. But I don't know who was smiling more the sponsors or the candidates!  It was so very moving!  At one point, the whole ceremony made me wish for a brief minute that I wasn't born Catholic.  That I could be a part of something so cool and come into the church like this.  But, then I realized, I was a part of it, I got to confirm my baptismal promises, I got to state my profession of faith, I got to participate!  HOW COOL IS THAT!!!????!!!!

Then, there came a point towards the end of the Mass, we were singing.  I'm not sure exactly what song it happened during, but at one point, my heart was so filled with love and joy that I could not contain it.  There was a point when my soul almost separates from me.  My soul is so filled with praise for my God, for Jesus.  I couldn't help but look up in praise and wonder and I could not stop smiling.  I cannot express enough how cool this moment was.  My soul was lifting itself up!  It was so amazingly beautiful I could not help but cry.  I looked up to God and I said to Him "I don't know why you love me.  I have no idea why.  But, I am so very glad that you do!"  I'm a sinner, I'm so not perfect, I constantly make mistakes.  I fall, a lot.  And, He loves me still!  HOW COOL IS THAT???!!!

Last night was amazing!  Christ is risen!!!!!!!  Happy Easter!!!!!

Until next time,

Happy Easter!!!!!!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Devil, Mary, and Fr. Tim

So, today started out beautiful.  Then my son comes home.  He was camping this weekend.  And, as it turned out some kids were shall we say 'less than kind' to my son.  This happened about ten minutes before we were about to leave for Mass.  At this point, as George likes to call it, I was in Momma Bear mode.  I was loaded for bear.  Expletives were flying, as were my Italian hands lol.  I wanted to take my son's cross and go beat those 'less than kind' kids with it.  My son, who was okay with the situation as he dealt with it last night, was attempting to calm me down.  George, knowing better, just let me roar.  I wanted to stay home from Mass and stew in the injustice that was done to my son YET AGAIN by these same 'less than kind' people.   But, Bob, who always had my back, gentle told me not to stay home.  He and I both knew, I needed to be at Mass.  Bob, even had my friend call me this morning for something and in the middle of my roaring, I answered the phone with a smile and what I thought was a chipper voice.  My friend, my Patti, knew something was up.  I didn't have time to go into detail, but being her awesome self, said she'd pray for me.

Fast forward to Mass.  I was physically present, but that was all I could give today.  I was still fuming, still in Momma Bear mode, still reeling.  Then, Bob and Gabriel began whispering to me.  They were helping to calm me down.  I cried throughout the Mass.  I know the Gospel was about Lazarus' death and Jesus.  But, I have no idea what the homily was about.  Zip, zero, zilch.  Nada.  I started to pray really hard to Mary, Bob, Gabriel (my guardian angel), St. Monica and then I called on all the angels and the Saints.  I knew I couldn't receive the Eucharist when my heart was full of such hate.  I asked them all to hold me, to cover me, to pray for me.  Still crying, I cried to Mary.  I asked how she managed with all the injustices done to her son.  She said "I prayed" and "God's will not mine".  Crap.  That's not what I was hoping to hear.  Mind you, I am not comparing myself to Mary and my son to Jesus, but she's the best mom I know.  She's my mom, so I went to her.  Then, I realized, the whole morning had been the devil.  He tried to keep me from Mass, he tried to keep me from the Eucharist.  However, he didn't count on my faith.  So, I figured if my son is okay, that I will be okay.  I also prayed "forgive them father, for they know not what they do."  Then, the Momma Bear in me prayed from Sister Act II "forgive them father, they know exactly what they do" because it's the truth.  These people knew exactly what they were doing.  So, I asked God to forgive them.  I then walked peacefully up to receive the Eucharist.  Then, after Mass, I went with my JYM group to the Convent.  Nothing like being around cheerful nuns to cheer you up!

Then, something struck me throughout the day.  Last night I had a weird dream.  Not bad, but weird.  And, in one part, a friend (a dream friend, not someone in real life) and I were walking to a circus type tent to see Jesus.  There was gonna be lots of food and cotton candy (my fav) don't ask, it's a dream, just go with it.  I asked my friend what they were most looking forward too and they said the Eucharist.  I was all excited and replied "ME TOO!"  Then, as we walked in the tent, we were given little velvet bags like the type you keep your Rosary in.  Then, as we went to the table and opened our bags the Eucharist came onto the plate and we were eating.  I remember being sad that mine was all broken.  I still ate a couple pieces and looked up at Fr. Tim who was sitting across from me.  He waved his hand over it, and my Eucharist became one whole piece.  Then, my head was bowed and Fr. Tim asks me "When you go to confession, where do you go?"  I said "Into the little room".  He said "No, where do you go?"  And I said "Into Jesus' heart".  He smile and said correct.  Then, when I looked up, Fr. Tim was now Jesus.  So, throughout this day, I kept coming back to Jesus' heart.  Even with the devil attacking me today.  Even with all the prayers to Mary and Gabriel, and Bob and all the angels and Saints, I kept coming back to Jesus' heart.  That is how I was able to ask for forgiveness for those who showed unkindness to my son.

I said it on facebook today, and I'll reiterate it here, my son, my amazing son is a bigger and better person than I will ever be.  His heart is always full of love.  As you can see from the aforementioned, mine not so much.

The devil tried to steal my mooshy!  NOT COOL!  But, Mary, Gabriel, Bob, Jesus, Fr. Tim, Patti, and of course George and my Jaime made sure that didn't happen.

I'm keepin my mooshy! lol

Until next time, please pray for my friends Mother-in-law, Mary whose back in the hospital.


Monday, April 4, 2011

What a weekend!

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! lol

I had such a fantastic time on my retreat, it was AMAZING!  Lots of relaxation.  Lot's of prayer and lots of time with God.  So much stuff happened that is just between me and God, so I'm not gonna share that.  However, I have gotten requests to share a story about something that happened over the retreat.  When it was time to talk, I shared it with my friends who went, and they requested I blog about it, so here we go.

For those of you who don't remember (and I honestly wouldn't expect you to) my Mema passed away nine months ago.  Then two weeks ago today, my beloved wonderdog, Lizzie passed away from cancer.  When it was evident that Lizzie wasn't gonna make it, I was talking to God and said, "AND MY DOG TOO!!!" lol  Saturday morning, I go to sit down to breakfast at a round table.  I was sitting with one of my new friends from St. Jude, Evelyn Mishork (AWESOME lady!).  All of a sudden, she decides to move from my left side to my right.  Then, I notice why.  A woman was pushing her elderly friend in a wheelchair over to our table for breakfast.  Unbeknownst to me, this was where the woman in the wheelchair, Ms. Rita, liked to sit.  Ms. Rita was amazing.  She's beautiful.  Dressed lovely, pretty while hair and always a smile....and an oxygen tank.  As she wheeled up next to me all of a sudden, it wasn't Ms. Rita sitting next to me, it was my Mema.

Now, I felt the tears about to come, and my fight or flight response kicked in.  I was about to get up and leave.  But, then I decided, I didn't want to miss this moment.  No matter how bittersweet it would be.  So, I sat with my Mema and we had breakfast together, and I cried.  A lot.  My friends Evelyn and Sarah (Righetti) checked in to make sure I was okay (without words, of course).  I was okay.  I was having breakfast with my Mema.  We had a beautiful conversation.  Then, once I realized Ms. Rita was done with breakfast, I knew it was okay to go.  But wait, there's more....

Sunday lunchtime, it's time to talk again.  I had to talk to Ms. Rita!  So, I go up to her friend and I explain what had happened.  I said "I know you'll probably think I'm nuts and I am, but not as big a nut as I seem" and she laughed.  Her and Ms. Rita have been friends for 39 years!  Sadly, I can't remember her name, but she was just awesome.  I was in awe watching her.  Anyways, I explained to her about breakfast and why I was crying.  I showed her a picture of Mema and she said "they look so much alike!"  Turns out they're both 92!  She tells me to tell Ms. Rita and so I do.  I explain what happened and Ms. Rita replied "I wanted to see if you were okay, but I couldn't lol!" (b/c we weren't allowed to talk).  Turns out Ms. Rita's birthday is the day before mine, July 20th! lol  SO COOL!  So, I got to have breakfast with Mema and make a new friend!

So there you have it, by request, my little Monserrat story.

One thing was really cool, this lady from Oklahoma (I think) came last year at the same time we did too, and when we could talk, she told me how she enjoyed watching me.  I didn't know what to say, so I said thank you.  I told her she should've been watching Jesus and I don't think she heard me or heard something else, b/c she said "thank you".  Nonetheless, it's cool to know that I could bring a smile to her face.

SHARON!!!! MY SHARON!!!!!! I got to have dinner with her on Thursday night before we had to be quiet and got to catch up with her and Sandy her sister and my good friend :D  All I could think of was how many conversations she and I have had over the last year.  Either by email or phone, it doesn't matter.  Time, distance, it doesn't matter.  She is my awesome friend and such a gift from God.  And, the cool thing is we're not just 'hello' friends.  We, like so many of my friends, are spiritual friends.  We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We talk about family and faith and friends and our dogs.  We talk about it all.  That is such a gift from God.  Both my Sharon and Sandy are!

So many, many things I wanted to tell you, but everything is now a blur, it happened so fast!  Just know that if you are reading this, I prayed for you on my retreat :D  I had lots and lots to pray for and I have lots and lots to be grateful for!

Here's a picture of Me and my Sharon, me and My Julie and me and Fr. Jose :D
Fr. Jose and Me
Me and My Julie <3
Me and My Sharon with my Marcia in the background! <3

 Until next time,
How's your lent going?