Monday, August 27, 2018

Be Illuminated by Truth

+JMJ+

 copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

This past Sunday, as I was kneeling and trying to pray, my mind kept wandering.  Looking around at those around me (not something I recommend), I noted those who seemed deep in prayer.......so oblivious to anything except God Himself Present in the Holy Tabernacle.  I felt envious........then I started to think about it all more, specifically in regards to personalities.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about maturity, acting a person's age, and how that should reflect on my personality in real life.  Kneeling there in church, I had a thought:  knowing and loving God alone will (or should) change who you are.

 copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

I suddenly realized that it doesn't matter what I'm "like."  If I truly love Jesus as much as I am able, my life and personality will reflect and be illuminated by that.

Self-abandonment in Christ means leaving yourself behind.......all pride, selfishness, and vanity, claiming only to be a child of God, a slave of Love Itself in Whom all lasting happiness is found.



Why focus on ourselves?  Move your gaze instead towards the Holy Throne of God!  What glory and awesomeness can be found when meditating on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.  What joy fills your heart when you realize just how much Jesus Christ loves you.

Yes!  The knowledge of the TRUTH will reflect in your life and personality and be illuminated by it!

copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

Ah, how infinitely good our Beloved Jesus is!  His Gentleness towards souls would touch even the most hardened of hearts, the joy He brings to souls is unimaginable in amount (you just have to let Him!), and truly, the blessed purification that He Himself brings to our souls when we receive Him Body and Soul in the Holy Eucharist........it is seemingly endless.

Surrender all to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Conglomeration of Thoughts

+JMJ+



How do I want to live?  What choices do I want to make?  These are questions I've often asked myself.

I feel strongly that even the smallest, simplest decisions you make as a person in your day-to-day life strongly affect the big picture of things and make you who you are.

Who do I aspire to be?  Emma, a faithful, loving, compassionate, humble woman.  A woman who will die for her Faith, who holds ever fast to the Truth, and whose eye's are forever focused on Heaven.  Yes, that is who I want to be.   

Can I just say, MY HAIR........uh.......long time no see.
copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

....................you know?  There are so many things I *wish* for or to be.  It seems like I'm always looking for something.  I'm never really grateful and satisfied with what I have or with were I am.  In one way, that's good: a person should always feel the need to attain a better spiritual life and closeness to God, ect.  However, when applied to the material world, the "always looking for something" thing doesn't spell "peacefulness."

 copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

One of the things I remember most from the many Sursum Corda talks was the definition of peace, that being "Peace is the tranquility of order."  

When I first heard that, I had one of those, "Ah ha, so THAT'S it!" moments.  I guess one could say "it spoke to my heart."  It just made complete sense to me.  It sort of felt like Christmas day but better.  You know what I mean :)

Anyways, those are just a few of my scatterbrained thoughts this Sunday evening.  I had wanted to write my thoughts on today's awesome readings, but I seemed not to have gotten around to that.  Maybe tomorrow?  We'll see.  

God bless you all.  I pray that Our Blessed Mother will wrap her mantle around each one of you and guide you to her Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  

Viva Christo Rey!


Saturday, August 25, 2018

a MUST READ from Church Militant

+JMJ+

when your halo goes flying

+JMJ+

 copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo


It happens.  Your chugging away with your spiritual life, making splendid progress, and you feel closer to Jesus then ever before........and then you hit it.  

Uh oh, there goes your halo.  

Stuck in a rut, you loose all of the good habits and feeling of progress only to attain a sense of utter failure.  God never felt so far away.  You just can't seem to get yourself out of the mess you're in.  

You do realize that it is in these times we can truly make leaps and bounds closer to God?  And yes, you can get out of spiritual ruts and the like.  

Keep running after holiness.......just don't depend or base your spiritual life upon those times of emotional joy.
Sure, God blesses us with joy (!) here and there......moments of time when joy and happiness abound.....but more often then not, we're tested for our love for God by tough times.

You know what I mean: when it's an uphill struggle just to be good.......when you're grumpy and tired and all you want is for everyone to leave you alone.  Those are the times when we can show God just how deep our love for Him is, how much we'll actually work to be closer to Him, and whether we like it or not, those things all show when we go through unpleasant times.

 copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

Next time you're struggling with attaining holiness and it seems the only solution to a situation is to loose your temper and your patience and/or yell a little at whatever or whomever your frustrated with.........remember what you want: to be a saint.

Our faith is always great when life is going smoothly and God's blessing's are ones that lift us up (not all blessings aren't pieces of cake!).  Is our faith just as strong when we are struggling spiritually, mentally, or physically?

I think most people would answer no to that question.  I know I would.

The beauty of it all is, by the grace of God, you can change, I can change, and everyone else in this world can change.

Next time you feel the need to vent at someone, stop yourself and merely give the situation to Our Blessed Mother so that she can bring it to the Throne of God.  God's grace will get you through and make your faith stronger in the end.

 copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

There's that one song that use to be popular a ways back that went, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  I think there's a little bit of truth to that, even when you apply it to the spiritual side of things.

Love God.  Subsequently turn from sin.

Remember, attaining Heaven is a battle worth fighting.  Imagine!  Being with God for all eternity!  That thought alone could get a soul through hard moments!

copyright Gloria In Excelsis Deo

Don't be afraid to force yourself to be joyful even when you're not feeling the part 😊.  Forget the world and all of your troubles and just smile.  You got this!  😇😎

God bless you all.  Pray for me, as I struggle for holiness and I will do the same for you all.

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Thoughts // Sursum Corda 2018


+JMJ+

 Copyright The Institute of Christ the King

One word to describe my experience?  Learning.  Sursum Corda for me was a learning curve……..I went into it focused on the social aspect of it: meeting new people, creating life-long friendships, and just having fun.

I came out with a whole-different view.  I never believed before that certain events could actually “change your life.”  Sure, it’s something people say, but I always thought they were just being over dramatic.  Well, I was wrong.  Certain events can change your life and Sursum Corda did that for me.  It was everything I needed combined into a 4 day retreat.  

 Copyright The Institute of Christ the King

The social aspect.  Oh, I was in my glory!  I’m an extrovert, just also extremely turbulent about it (thus, it may seem I am shy but I’m actually not…..but I digress), and so just the knowledge that I was surrounded by new people I’ve never met before in my life was completely thrilling to me (and I spent the entire retreat soaking it all in).  God really blessed me with it all, giving me the opportunity to almost constantly be around people and also giving me a friend who made sure I was safe the whole-time.  God blessed me with another gift: a good nudge to leave my turbulence behind and to be extroverted without fear of rejection or what people may think of me.  I really broke out of my comfort zone and had fun…….and it was hard and amazing.  I wouldn't say I met any close friends......but that's perfectly fine with me!  I met a lot of people who were very interesting to talk to and it was more then satisfying :) 

The spiritual aspect.  I learned so much during those 4 days.  I was forced to trust God more then I’ve ever needed to trust Him.  I was given hard crosses yet the greatest joys.  I was stripped bare even while grace was poured into my soul.  I was forced to realize the TRUTH about so many different things.  I struggled with my faults (pride, vanity, ect.) only to realize that this was the way, my way, to Heaven.  I realized even more why my vocation is to the family.  It was a sharp wake-up call to reality.  

 Copyright The Institute of Christ the King

Coming back home was hard…….I just didn’t want to go back.  I was afraid I’d loose the good habits I had fallen into, forget what I learned, and most importantly, loose the desire I had to learn more about my Faith.  I didn’t want to leave the people I was surrounded by, the Canon’s spiritual direction for us all, or the freedom I had experience by being there on my own (something I’ve never experienced before).

I came home and have floundered ever since.  I knew I didn’t want to go back to the life I had before in which my Faith was weak and I basically accomplished little other then my job and a few house-hold duties.  No.  I wanted to make a change.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do.  Thankfully, shortly after coming back home, I left again for northern Wisconsin, a place I’ve loved every since being a tiny little thing and visiting my relatives…..and so I was given a little bumper time.  

So yes, I’m back home, ready for a change.  As I’m fast approaching my 20’s, I’m finally ready to become more independent.  What that means, well, we’ll have to see.    

To be honest, I’m not sure why I’m writing this all down.  I sometimes hesitate writing about things like this because it makes it seem like I’m some perfect, quiet, humble angel who never does anything wrong and spends all day meditating on the higher things of life.  

Um…….ya, no.

By now, I’m sure you’ve you realized I have this thing about being truthful about who I am :)  I guess you would say it’s one of my pet peeves.  Ya, I’m farther from being an angel then the worst, most unpleasant person you know.  I very much struggle with pride and vanity and “quiet” has never been a word that has been used to describe me.  I’m over-dramatic, over-the-top, loud, mistake-making me.  If I seem like an angel, rub your eyes: it’s just a delusion.  Holiness is something I struggle for.

Right now, these are these two songs going through my mind.  I've been listening to them for a couple of weeks now and they'll always remind me of the end of this summer:



God bless you all!


In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,



Emma
  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ladysmith WI photo dump

+JMJ+

Hi all!  Yesterday we drove up to my Grandma's in Ladysmith, Wisconsin (north-western part of the state).  Sorry if I bore you all with millions of pictures and endless commentary that only means something to myself :) 


Leaving in my favorite weather.




Augusta, WI.  I always hope to see Amish.


I wasn't disappointed.



57 miles to go!


The skies kept clearing up the more north we went *heart*.  I love up north, even if it's a ghost-town I'm visiting (the rest of my family does not share my sentiment).    


My favorite spot at Grandma's.  It's here I usually write.

 

If you want to know what happened, you'll have to ask sister #5 who was with me (I won't say a name 😁).  


True, true.



Yesterday evening, Dad and I went on a walk.


The setting sun was perfect for pictures.










I feel like you could base a book off of this old door.  


This use to be a grocery store back in the day and it just so happens to be the first place my Dad ever worked at.


An old, empty church of some sort (I don't think it was Catholic).










I loved the wooden side-walk.





One of the nicer homes.






This playground is full of memories.  My siblings and I (when we were all little tots) use to spend so much time playing here......swinging on the swings, running up and down the "fire-truck," playing tag, or daring each other to do crazy stuff.


The old baseball diamond that Dad use to play at as a boy.


It seems like yesterday my oldest brother was trying to convince us girls to play basketball with him (it never worked).



This morning Grandma, Claire, and I headed out to the grocery store.  Fooling around while we waited for Grandma :)




After we got out of the store, Claire and I realized that we could walk over to the retail store.......so we hurried across the parking lot while stuffing a quick doughnut in our faces (I know, the perfect picture of feminine elegance).........shopping at Connections over breakfast any day!


Waiting for our ride.


We stopped at the farmer's market on the way back to Grandma's.






I convinced Dad to drop Claire and I off at the library so I could post these pictures.......bad timing, I guess.


........and here I am.