Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sisters Praying

Being Loved in Small Ways

 (How many bouquets I get through the week that say I Love You. They make me say, Thank you, for loving me and seeing God~s unconditional love in every aspect of the day.)
(Maddy doing Math and then showing me her answers, and a little love note during school time.)

(Specially-made cup for my coffee.)

Last night I went upstairs to find the sweet fragrance of lilac come from a lit candle sitting on the side of a hot bath, with a love note next to it from our four sweet ones that read: Mom, we love you! and a refreshing glass of água com gás e limão from Caleb. Thank you, my Beloveds, for your love. As we give thanks to God for the love in our life, in every shape it takes, trials which we each carry and have been especially designed for our soul, please pray for those who are experiencing a lack of love. I am thinking of a dear friend whose Beloved is no longer with her because he has lost his way and is looking elsewhere. For all of these times, God is with us. In the dark times He is thereç it is in these that some say, He is most likely holding us so close to His Heart, where pain and love abound.

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.

Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.

1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.

1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…
Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Day That She has Waited for and Learned about for So Long

......It was Maddy's First Penance and her First Communion Day on June 16, 2013. As far back as we can remember, Maddy has been preparing her heart and soul for her day of holding Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity within her. Maddy has always held such a deep love and sincere care for Jesus. After much preparation and waiting, and planning out the details for this beautiful day, she finally received Our Lord. And for the 5 days that followed, she received Him in our home, where Mass was said. A blooming relationship will go on as she will continue to learn more build her relationship with Jesus, and His moving great grace in her little soul.

We had planned to have a dear friend, a holy priest, who baptized Penny, hear Maddy's First Penance and give her Our Lord in her First Communion, but plans changed. We were blessed by news that another friend of ours, the associate priest at our parish in the States, was planning to visit us. He also was very happy to give Maddy her second and third sacraments. It was a dream, and Maddy counted down the days with great anticipation. She and I had made a journal, a little booklet of helps and her hand-written Commandments, as well as many other notes and journal entries as a small help in aiding her in her First Confession. She said that she wanted to have Mass and Confession early in the day because she would be too excited to wait any longer. And so, it was done. She dressed in Grandma Mimi's First Communion dress, the same that Aunty Lou, Aunt Kate, and Mommy wore for their First Communion days. Madge also wore Mommy's wedding veil and her brand new shoes, a gift from Pita (Pita wanted to buy glass slippers, but we just couldn't find them :) As the weeks and days grew closer, Pita would write notes to Maddy saying how excited she was for Maddy to make her First Communion. We prepared pans and pans of lasagne in advance, and the cake batter and icing was prepped in advance. A yummy butter-cake recipe and butter icing that we began using on Pita's 1st birthday when we made her lollipop flower cupcakes. And, some Mexican Wedding Cookies to celebrate Jesus being the Groom of our Souls through the Eucharist. Lots of traditions were woven into our preparations.
On the morning of Maddy's big day, Madge met Father in the playroom upstairs and made her First Confession. So sweet, so simple, so real. She emerged peaceful with her penance already made. Downstairs she came and there we put on the veil beneath her little blonde bun adorned with 5 colorful flowers, a mix of roses and mums, all chosen by her days before at the grocery store. The blue, she said, were for Our Lady. The guests, 40-plus friends, and the U.S. Ambassador, began to gather in the living room for 11 o'clock Mass. We began, with Fr.'s suggestion, of saying the Rosary as everyone entered. A full living room it was, and an amazing Sunday morning for us and our home.

The altar was set, and a family friend helped serve, while anotherof Maddy's friends, read the second reading in Portuguese. Maddy read the First Reading, and Mommy, Maddy, and Penny, together, helped with the Responorial Psalm, while Daddy read all of Prayers of the Faithful:

For the Pope, that God may grant him strength to serve the Church, we pray to the Lord.  - Lord, hear our prayer.
For families around the world, that they may be the domestic church God has called them to be, we pray to the Lord. - Lord, hear our prayer.
For the poor, the hungry, and the homeless, that the Lord will hold them close to His heart and comfort them in all their needs, we pray to the Lord.  - Lord, hear our prayer.
For a greater respect for God’s creation of holy marriage, the family, and the gift of human life from conception until natural death, we pray to the Lord.  - Lord, hear our prayer.
For the youth of our world, that they may herald Christ’s call to “Go out and preach to all nations” by their word, example and daily living. May they know the true dignity in which God has created them and may His reflection be mirrored in their lives by living faithfully their call to be vessels of the Holy Spirit, we pray to the Lord.  - Lord, hear our prayer.
For all mothers and fathers, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends who cannot be with us today. We lift each person in prayer and ask that God’s abiding love may satisy their hearts and strengthen each person in their daily vocation.
For an end to abortion and the culture of death, that our political leaders will work to protect the weakest in society, especially the unborn and elderly and disabled, we pray to the Lord.  - Lord, hear our prayer.
For Maddy, that she will grow everyday more and more in her love for Jesus and work to always do His will, we pray to the Lord. - Lord, hear our prayer.
In thanksgiving to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, particularly the gift of life, our individual vocations, and the great gift of the Catholic Church, Our Lord’s Bride on earth, we pray to the Lord.  - Lord, hear our prayer.

The songs that laced the Mass were beautiful and hand-picked, as Madge sang them around the house the weeks before her First Communion:  I Received the Living God, Faith of Our Fathers, Come Holy Ghost, and, Faith of Our Fathers. 

It was so beautiful and moving to see Maddy receive Jesus for the first time. She hung her brand new Rosary (handmade from Loreto Rosaries, beautiful work!) from Mommy and Daddy on her chair, which was close to the altar. After receiving Jesus, closing her eyes, and just being in His Presence. She prayed the Anima Christi with us all as she celebrated her first Thanksgiving with Our Lord. 

A beautiful day that begins the lifetime of love, real love, in body, mind and spirit, with The One Who gives Life. True Life. We were blessed and thankful for the day, and the pictures that followed were testaments to the joy that was deep in everyone's hearts!