Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Get Off This Mountain! {2nd Sunday of Lent}

The above quote is from my parish priest as he spoke on the Transfiguration. He was very passionate during his Homily last night. It's not quite as strong as the subject line in my email from Blessed is She (Get Your Butt Off the Mountain), but passionate just the same. While James, Peter, and John wanted to hang out with Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, God was telling them to move on and get busy. Prepare for what God has in store for us. 
I've mentioned this before: during RCIA, we take a few minutes at the beginning of the class to read and reflect on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel. The line that hit me was "Listen to him." So many times during the Gospels that same thing is said. Listen to him. So many people had to be told to listen to him. We have to be told to listen to him. Not to hear what he is saying, but, as Father Bill said during the homily, internalize what he is saying. Not to just say, "yeah, yeah...I'm listening", but really internalize what he is saying. Thank goodness it isn't to "understand" what's being said, because I have a tremendous way to go before I understand half of the gospels. 
Father reminded us of what happened just before the 3 went to the mountain with Jesus: the apostles were arguing about who would take over when Jesus wasn't with them any longer. Then, Jesus takes the 3 up onto the mountain, where they encounter Moses & Elijah, and see Jesus in a conversation with them. One of the ladies in RCIA asked about the significance of Moses & Elijah; the deacon explained that Moses is the law, and Elijah the prophet. So, Jesus fulfills the law and the prophesies. The 3 (I know it's not a coincidence that Jesus brought 3 apostles with him!) fall down  in fear, and Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Aren't we all called to do this? Be firm in our faith, and not be afraid to live out our faith. Some days, it's easier said than done. Yet, we are called to get up, be courageous, and be Christian. We all have our crosses to carry, and we've had tragedies during our lives. We have to pick up those crosses and move on.
In the end, Jesus tells the 3 not to tell anyone until he rises (another common theme throughout the Gospels). Jesus isn't all "hocus-pocus". He doesn't want people to believe because of events that have been relayed while he is still with them. He wants us to be a people of faith...of real faith. 
Father passionately said that we have a glimpse of His glory at every mass: During the transubstantiation, the host is transformed into the body of Christ. At the end, we are ordered to "now GO". It doesn't end with the Recessional. We are to take strength from the Mass...strength to get off this mountain and do what we have to do.
This week, I challenge you to get off this mountain and do what you have to do. All for the greater honor & glory of God! 

Friday, March 10, 2017

{SQT} Thoughts in My Head

I'm joining Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum this week for Seven Quick Takes.
Our CCW (Council of Catholic Women) was asked to host the Diocesan Convention this year. We had a meeting on Monday, and 3 of our officers almost managed to get kicked out. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. We did, however, get "shushed" some. We're in our second (and last!) year of being officers. We do like to laugh and have a good time. Some were not amused. 
After last year's convention, we were holding our breath because we knew it was our Deanery's turn to host. We almost got out of there without hosting!
After the meeting, a young lady saw my Blessed is She Planner (currently sold out) and asked if she could see it. We completely Catholic Geeked out talking about what we, as Catholic working women, want need in a planner. You've gotta love talking to other women who 'get' what you need!
I'm doing the Catholic Sistas Lent Photo Journey. I've started it the past 2 years, but failed miserably. I'm actually having a pretty good go of it this year. Never mind that we're only in the first full week of Lent! Here is a collection of my pictures so far:
You can follow along with my photo journey through lent by following me on Instagram: @tnslp. To catch up and/or join in, click here for the information.
This whole "keeping your thoughts about other people to yourself" thing is hard. REALLY hard. It's making me realize how many times I think negative thoughts about other people. I guess if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
You know how you feel like you know someone through their blog or the radio? Yesterday, I looked quickly through my twitter feed (which I very rarely do, because...HELLO! Waste of time!) and I came across this:
I don't know Leticia, I've only listened to her on the Jennifer Fulwiler Show (The Sirius Catholic Channel). She's gone through some real struggles in her life (she is a self-proclaimed "hot mess"), and this just absolutely broke my heart. I looked back through her feed, and she seemed to be getting things together with classes. Just the day before she was asking people to pray for her dog, and yesterday she's asking for prayers for her son and her family.  I know from experience how traumatic it is when you have a child dealing with depression, but this is beyond my comprehension, to lose a child due to suicide.
Please pray for her, her family, and her son. May he now find the peace he was unable to find.
As a School Speech Pathologist, I am responsible for 2 schools. 1 of them is not far from the gate to the Smoky Mountains National Park, so the scenery can be pretty, depending on when the sun rises. The past few mornings I've driven there, it seems like God has painted the sky just for me. August skies are usually pretty spectacular, but lately they've been just as pretty. I had to pull into the middle school parking lot on Tues. to take this picture. It was just gorgeous!
The picture still didn't really do it justice, but I think you get the idea!
Every now and then, when I read the daily readings, a song will pop into my head. And stay there. A true "ear worm". Tuesday's reading did just that. "Lord, teach us to pray." And I've had the following song stuck in my head ever since. We had this album when I was young. There are some really good songs in that album; this one in particular comes back to visit often.




Friday, March 3, 2017

{SQT} Fasting, Gossip, with Some OCD Thrown In

Kelly from This Ain't the Lyceum graciously hosts Seven Quick Takes every Friday. So, jump on over to join and see what everyone else has to say.

1. So...fasting on Ash Wednesday. Did anyone else have a headache? I made a conscious effort to fast; I didn't even have coffee (I'm assuming this is where the headache came from). 
2. I'm making an effort to fast from lunch with co-workers to keep from being involved in gossiping. I enjoy eating with them; we're actually a fairly close-knit group. 

3. Speaking of not gossiping: I saw a teacher wear something so totally unprofessional and inappropriate to be wearing at school. It took all I had not to run to my friends and make a comment.
4. If you've subscribed to Dynamic Catholic's Best Lent Ever, then you saw the video from Thursday where Matthew Kelly talks about being happy. I've found that when I stay away from gossip and keep to myself at work, I'm happier. Not only that, but I also get more things done and I am more focused.

5. Being organized also makes me happy. It definitely makes the day seem to go so much smoother. Some people may say I'm a bit OCD, but...whatever!
6. One of the good things about playing in the choir for Ash Wednesday Mass: You have a seat.
It was seriously crowded. I didn't think the ashes were ever going to be finished. 

7. My favorite hashtag about Ash Wednesday: #getyourashinchurch . I've used it every Ash Wednesday since I first saw it. Father did a good job with my ashes; I think it was the best ash cross I've ever had!