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Archive for February, 2008

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           Dear Readers of Saint Joseph’s Lilies! My sister Honeysuckle was looking at a Catholic magazine and in it she saw this spectacular key-chain of the Father the Son and the Holy spirit. I thought the key-chain was breathtaking.  It really made me think of how closely knit the Holy Trinity is. You can order it online from their website. I wanted to share it with all of you since, I myself, am a keychain collector and liked it very much.

About the Autom Magazine 

          Unfortunately I was unable to find much info about Autom magazine but I do know this: Autom Magazine has been publishing for over 60 years selling many different Catholic items: crucifixes, pictures, key-chains and much more. The authors of Autom magazine are Paul and Tom DiGiovanni.

-Rose ❤

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Seeds in His Garden

            Last night I was lying in bed thinking about a TV show that I had been watching lately, and I thought to myself “Why am I thinking about this, how come I’m not using this moment to think about God?” so I turned around to a picture I had on the wall of Mary and Jesus it was kind of weird because suddenly rather a random thought came into my head, “What if Jesus had come in the modern world and had to compete with thing like technology?” well Jesus does have to compete with technology because he is in every one of us! He has to try and fight things like TV shows and internet every day! It is unbelievable how much everyone in today’s culture “worships” technology. I have found myself very distracted during mass and other things thinking about the TV show I watched last night or when I get home I have to E-mail this person back… I have a lot of trouble thinking about God as much as all the saints did, its no wonder there all saints, all they ever did was think about Jesus. I would like to share with all you readers of this blog a prayer written by saint Teresa of Avila (My Confirmation saint) that I say every day.                                                 

                                             A seed of Love-St. Teresa of Avila 

Although I have often abandoned you, Oh Lord you

have never abandoned me. Your hand of love is

always outstretched towards me, even when I stubbornly

look the other way. And your gentle voce constantly calls

me, even when I obstinately refuse to listen. When the

sins in my soul are increasing, I lose taste for virtuous things. Yet even at such moments, lord, I know

I am failing you and failing myself. You alone can restore my taste for virtue. There are so many false friends willing to encourage sin. But your friendship alone can give me strength of mind to resist and defeat sin. What a good friend you are, Lord! You are so patient, willing to wait as long as necessary for me to turn to you. You rejoice at the times when I love you, but You do not hold against me the times when I ignore You. Your patience is beyond my understanding. Even when I pray, my mind fills with worldly concerns and vain daydreams. Yet you are happy if I give only a single second of honest prayer, turning that second into a seed of love. Oh Lord, I enjoy your friendship so much, why is it not possible for me to think of you constantly?

I love this prayer very much and I find that it helps me a lot, to remember that I am never alone and that God is always with me. And those times when I feel alone its not because God isn’t with me, its because I am not with God. There is a lot of truth and reality in this prayer which is one of the reasons I like it so much, There are a lot of people and things in this world that the devil wields to encourage sin. We need to constantly remind ourselves were we come from and who Jesus is and how much he loves us. I would persuade all of you to say this prayer every day and give God that moment of solid prayer and ask him to turn it into a seed of love.

-Rose

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Greetings!

I see that there have been a lot of new visitors to St. Joseph’s Lilies in the past few days, and I wanted to briefly welcome you all and thank you for the encouragement. I should also thank Rose for her lovely post, which was as inspiring to me as it was to you. The retreat this past weekend at the Mount was the beggining and the end of many journeys for many people – as the MC said, everyone was there for a reason, because God called each individual to Emmitsburg for that particular retreat. I encourage and of you that wishes to share some of your experiences this past weekend in the comments!

+Lily

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My Experience at Mount 2008

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Mount 2008               

  Mount 2008 was the best retreat I have been on in my life so far and maybe even the best ever…I felt the love of God so strong within me you can’t even begin to imagine. It was filled with spiritual speakers like Fr. Peter Mitchell and Todd Lemieux both of whom I would like to thank personally for such wonderful talks. I would also like to thank all the Seminarians and Priests that made the retreat possible. I was only one of hundreds of teens who attended Mount 2008 and I have to say that none of us have the same story to tell or the same spiritual experience at this retreat. I would like to share with all you faithful readers of St. Joseph’s lilies the experience I had, and my love story with Jesus Christ during this weekend at Mount 2008. 

Friday, Feb. 8, 2008              

   We arrived at Mount 2008 at around 4:00 or 4:15 after meeting our friends at the hotel and car pooling over to the “Mount”. We went and had dinner then we went to save seats in the Knott ARCC (Athletic Recreation Convocation Complex, where most events were held on Mount Saint Mary’s campus) which was completely empty when we got there and slowly filled to the gills by the end of all the singing and dancing. So then we were welcomed to Mount 2008 by the president of Mount Saint Mary’s; we were briefed on all the rules and where the bathrooms were and so on…then we all greeted Fr. Peter Mitchell; the first of three talks led by him. He showed to us how he was changed by Gods grace when he saw Pope John Paul the Great for ‘World Youth Day’ in Denver. He laid down a perfect example of how not to live your faith and how we shouldn’t just play by the rules but follow them and still move forward…he told us how in basketball there are so many rules: no crossing the line, no double dribbling, no pushing, no shoving and so on, he said you could just sit in the middle of the court dribbling and not disobey the rules by going any where. But what is the point of basketball…TO GO TOWARDS THE BASKET so in the church we can’t sit around and do nothing and say “Hey I’m not sinning right? I’m just sitting here.” But that is not what it means to be Catholic we have to take a step towards Christ; we defeat temptations as they come along by turning towards Christ. He also spoke to us on the devil and how easy it is to fall into sin and also how hard it is to be Catholic and how important it is that we are Catholics! After we applauded Fr. Mitchell for his talk we had mass and a great homily by Fr. Leo Padlinghug and on the Body of Christ; the food of all life and how we also need to be the food of all life and feed everyone God’s eternal grace. And so Mass ended and we went back to our hotel curled up in bed and went to sleep. 

Saturday, Feb 9, 2008        

         After going to sleep at midnight I woke up with only six hours sleep, got ready, ate breakfast while chatting with all our fellow tired companions and then we drove over to “the Mount” ready and willing to praise God, though tiredly. When we arrived at the ARCC, music was already being played as a good wake up call to all the tired teens in the room. I couldn’t help but feel good and start dancing and try and get my sisters to dance too. After the gym was once again filled, we welcomed Fr. Mitchell back for his second talk. In this talk titled “Catholics are Weird” It was mainly about the Eucharist and the verse in John   6;53-55 when Jesus said “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life within you.” He told us the importance of the Eucharist and how it IS the bread of life, after Fr. Mitchell’s talk we had Mass and this talk made me think of the bread of life and helped me to love God even more in the sacrament of communion. After Mass we waited for an hour listening to music waiting for our group to be called to have lunch and when it was, there was a resounding “huzzahs!” and we walked over to have hamburgers at the cafeteria. After eating we walked back to the ARCC and I attended confession. When I entered the confessional and saw a very kind looking priest who heard my confession willingly, and afterward I asked for his advise on how to listen to God speak to me since all the speakers at ‘The Mount’ kept pressing the idea “listen to Jesus in the silence of your heart”. He answered me saying “God may not call you to your vocation just yet; right now he is just laying down the pieces to our life’s puzzle”. He told me how much God loves me and how He was always speaking to me about everything, I just had to take the time to listen. The priest told me a story about a friend of his whose father died so after the funeral his friend and his mother were packing up the house, when he heard his mother in the other room say “I just heard from your father he says he loves you!” of course his friend stands up and runs into the other room thinking his mom had cracked and found her sitting on the bed reading a letter that her husband had left for her before he died…and apparently they had written love letters to each other there whole lives and she was still finding them. The priest told me that God is leaving love notes to me in the Mass and all I had to do is listen and I would hear them. I found that experience of confession very moving and it helped me a lot.So after confession I went and sat down on the gym floor again and welcome Todd Lemieux the chastity speaker. He had a great talk on what not to do in a relationship and was afterward rewarded by a big round of applause by all the people in the room. After the talk by Todd Lemieux we said the Divine Mercy Chaplet, then once again for the third and last time welcomed back Fr. Peter Mitchell. He talked to us of the time he was in Rome when Pope John Paul the Great died and Pope Benedict the XVI was elected. He told a heart wrenching story of how the hours of John Paul’s death were “Just before he died, St. Peters square was silent; every person was quiet and only the fountains could be heard.” It was the most amazing thing because as he told the story the entire room of thousands of teens was also quiet. We were all amazed when he said that over nine BILLION people watched the popes’ funeral. Fr. Mitchell said he wrote a book, which I now own, called John Paul II, We Love You! , about the time Fr. Mitchell was in Rome during the last days of the Pope’s life. It was a fantastic talk, you had to be there! After the huge applause succeeding Fr. Mitchell’s talk we went to dinner. After dinner all the girls returned to the ARCC to hear the women’s vocations talk and the boys stayed at the cafeteria to listen to the men’s vocation talk. It took a while for all the girls to gather in the ARCC, so at last our vocations talk began. Sister Claire of the Franciscans gave the talk. She told us how she grew up with the order of sisters, which she joined later in her life. She told us that her sisters have normal jobs; they work during the day and they all meet in the convent at night. All in all it was pretty intriguing and it made me rethink my desire of the married life and consider the idea of being a nun. After the nuns vocation talk we waited for the boys to return from their vocation talk and while we did I heard a seminarian playing his guitar some place in the back of the church. So I went back to listen to him and the rest of our group followed me, and we sat as he sang. And for his last song he had us all turn and face the Blessed Sacrament, it was beautiful. He did a great job playing the guitar and I really enjoyed it, it really made me think how truly great God is. Then all the boys got back and they had the marriage vocation talk which was equally as good. The couple that gave it had five children and were very cute together and gave a good talk of how in marriage it’s important that you love your spouse and care for them always. So after all that, we all sang some more and then came time for the Eucharistic Procession; the event I had been waiting for since last year. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed I and all the other teens in the room with me, were on our knees. I felt Jesus Christ love me so much that I couldn’t bear it. I felt as though I was going to explode I was flaming so much with Gods love, and during that hour long procession I gave my heart to Jesus. And when I prayed after the procession I looked up at the banner above the alter of Jesus Christ crucified and I saw that the halo surrounding his head was on fire it was so bright and beautiful that I just closed my eyes and prayed the hardest that I have ever prayed. Then we all got up and left in silence to go back to the hotel. I said some prayers and went to bed still amazed at God’s almighty grace.    

 Sunday, Feb 10, 2008               

  I woke up with the memory of the night before and with big rings under my eyes because it was almost 1:00 AM when I had fallen asleep and 6:01 that I had gotten out of bed. And so, we drove over to “the Mount” for the last time for the entire year. We went inside the ARCC and people were still praying, since all-night adoration. Then the Blessed Sacrament was put back into the tabernacle and when the music started, I woke up singing and dancing, jumping up and down, smiling, waving my arms in the air while singing “Days of Elijah”. After we danced for an hour we again welcomed Todd Lemieux and he came to give the last talk of the retreat he talked about all the saints and he showed us a video of the last scene in ‘We are Soldiers’ when they are talking about watching each others backs and being the first and the last on the battlefield. We need to stand up for are faith like the martyrs and all the saints like Pope John Paul the Great when he said a Mass with soldiers pointing a gun to his head telling him to stop. We need to watch each others backs and be sure we do not go astray and leave the Catholic Church we are all in the trench together. He told us how when we leave this mountain we will feel alone and like we can’t fight temptations but there will be every other person in the trench with you hoping that you will say no to the devil and fight the temptation. Thank you Todd Lemieux, for an excellent talk!               
                            
After the last talk we said the international rosary then once again had Mass but this time with Bishop O’Brian, who gave a great homily. And before the final blessing we all clapped for all the people who organized Mount 2008 and for the chaperones and for the priest that heard over 1000 confessions over the weekend. Then the priest told us all to bow our head and close our eyes and listen to our hearts and if we felt we had a calling to the priesthood or religious life to please stand up but keep you eyes closed, then he told everyone to open them and look around the room to see how many people stood up. So I opened my eye and looked around the room, I started crying as I saw way over a hundred people standing including myself; who felt I great potential calling over the weekend. We all signed cards so the priests and seminarians could pray for us during our discernment. But I was truly amazed at how many people stood up it was absolutely beautiful and stunning. So after we received the final blessing we said goodbye to all the friends we had seen there, ran around, took pictures with Fr. Mitchell and Fr. Leo, went outside to be amazed at the forty-mile-per-hour winds outside, God was so happy this weekend that the Holy spirit was knocking down trees. We got in the car drove up to the grotto said a prayer and left…and so ended Mount 2008 as I fell asleep in the car.                

I do hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing and living it and I hope to see some of you next year at Mount 2009! 

-Rose ❤

Check out the Mount 2000 website!

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New Matt Maher CD!

2006 Unity Award Winner and Catholic artist Matt Maher is releasing his fourth CD this Spring, entitled “Empty and Beautiful”. Keep an eye out on the official site. I heard him for the first time at the March for Life Youth Rally this year – his music in INCREDIBLE.

+Lily

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News

I nearly forgot my exciting news of the weekend: God has led me (in His good time, of course) to a new spiritual director. I am so happy! Our first appointment is two Fridays from now; please keep me in your prayers.

+Lily

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Prayer of Trust in God’s Will

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Oh God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray and to concentrate my thoughts on you: I cannot do this alone. In me there is darkness, but with you there is light. I am lonely, but you do not leave me. I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help. I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience. I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me…Restore me to liberty, and enable me so to live now that I may answer before you and before me. Lord, whatever this day may bring, your name be praised. Amen.

This is one of my favorite morning prayers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor in the 1930s, having studied theology in Germany and America. A prominent religious leader during the war, Bonhoeffer was one of those who was silenced and forbidden to speak in public because of his opposition to the Nazi government. Later, in 1943, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy for his involvement in a plot to assasinate Hitler. At dawn on April 9, 1945, Bonhoeffer was executed. The prayer above was written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his imprisonment.

That said, I have a few meager comments on the past week, some of which I plan to mull over and draw out more in the coming days.

On Wednesday, I ate lunch with a Sister from the order of the Sisters of Mercy, who live a very active charism. Sal Mazzucca, a dear friend of mine, called me over out of the blue to his information desk at the Shrine and said he wanted to introduce me to Sister. Lunch was pleasant, and the conversation focused for the most part on the meaning of community life in the convent. One thing she said struck me in particular: in reponse to my “devil’s advocate” criticism of community life, she pointed out that God doesn’t call girls at random to the religious life. Rather, He hand-chooses each girl to enter a particular order at a particular time, and as a result all the women living together in community are indeed meant to be growing together as Sisters.

Something else I’ve been thinking about lately: the incredible pressure placed on women of all ages today to work their hardest to have the best education possible and the highest-caliber career. Before saying any more, I must say that this is not meant to disparage any woman with a career. But I think our society and culture has made it so difficult for a woman to choose differently; essentially, a girl who chooses not to pursue education and a career is swimming against an incredibly strong tide. This saddens and concerns me. If girls are to really and truly discern their vocation in life, they should not be pressured by culture and society.

+Lily

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