CONNIE’S MEMORIES-MEMORIAL DAY

Hello folks, it’s been quite awhile since I blogged, although I have thought of a lot of articles. So perhaps I will do better this summer.

Memorial Day is one of my many Family Holidays that I remember as great family fun. My folks probably didn’t plan it that way, it was a day to honor our dead relatives, not just service members but everyone. I believe, what my siblings and I enjoyed was a tradition that had been going on since my mother’s father and grandfather died, which would have been around 1918.  My mother’s father died of the flue at the time of a flue epidemic that killed around 50,000  around the globe. Remember, no medicine to fight it at that time. My mother was 4 or 5 yrs. old at that time.  A few months later her grandfather died of mouth cancer from smoking a pipe or cigar. They were the first graves in our family plot at the Catholic Cemetery in our town.  My father’s family also had a family plot, because years before his father had died in his 60’s, his aunt had died when he was growing up, 2 sisters had died of TB, and one had died at birth. Also, my cousin’s father and sister were buried there.  If I remember correctly, that was the way the cemetery situation was when I first remember memorial day.

My earliest memories were of my younger brother, myself and my parents. Other siblings were added later. About 9:00am we would be finished breakfast and the kitchen cleaned up, when my grandmother, great grandmother, one maybe both of my mother’s two sisters  would arrive and sometime my older cousin, when she was on leave from the Waves. (Women in the Navy). The family members changed as some died and the men came home from the war but the tradition continued on even after I left home, if I made it back for Memorial day, the tradition was about the same.

This was my mother’s side of the family, my father’s side had their own tradition. There would be the arranging of flowers, our lilacs and if some were alive, some tulips were added.  The we all went up to the cemetery to put the flowers on the graves, both at my mother’s family and my father’s.  Then we all stood there and said prayers for our dead relatives.

You will note that I never had grandfathers when I was growing up, they had all passed away before my parents got married.

Once we got home, my mother made sandwiches and we went to the park in town for a picnic. (I don’t remember it ever raining but if so, we would have picnicked at home). Then we walked from the park, about a mile to my grandmother’s home which was near the Post Office and the Town War Memorial. During the afternoon, there was a band concert and speeches at the Memorial. My memories go back to when I was around five or so, which was around 1943-45 during WWII. After the ceremonies, we went back to my grandmother’s house and visited. I remember all of us being out side or on her big closed in porch. Her house was big and interesting with places to explore.  My grandmother’s brother lived on the third floor, and they were always there also. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but our relatives were very loving, and my brother and I were the first grandchildren, so for awhile we were the main attraction and since during the week everyone was busy, this was great family time.

When I was in high school and  in the band I was marching in parades, so wasn’t home for the cemetery visits, but always managed to make it to my grandmother’s house. Things changed thru the years as the older people died, but my parents kept up the Memorial Day tradition and cemetery visits until they couldn’t do it anymore, then my aunt and I took over, and then my husband and I. Last year, one of my younger brothers also started putting flowers on the graves, which is great, since I know the tradition will continue a little longer.  We also used to get to go back to the cemetery to tend the flowers and pick them up when they died. We got to explore the other graves at that time and find some more relatives. You probably get that I loved and love family history.

There are a lot of graves there now, sadly, all the people that used to make our Memorial Day fun, have passed away. So by going to the cemetery and putting the flowers on the graves, saying the prayers for their souls, and saying thank you for wonderful memories and a wonderful life, we are honoring them. I don’t believe the town has a memorial service like they used to, but they still lay flowers at the War Memorial which has now grown to honor service people from several wars.

Now, here is what I was thinking about on Memorial Day this year. How did my relatives ever get to my house with all those flowers?  They lived a mile away. and how did we all get to the cemetery which was a couple of miles up the road on top of a hill? No one had cars, and gas was rationed until after the war?  My uncle did have a car, he was a sales man,  so maybe they used his.  After the war, my aunt and uncles had cars, but not in the beginning. My folks didn’t buy a car until they had the money(no loans for them) and I was then in High School. So I guess it had to be my uncle’s car, and the rest of us must have walked to the cemetery and we definitely walked to the park, another mile or so from my house.

I guess I will never have the answer to that question, but my memories of Memorial Day are lots of fun to think about. The most important thing was family, family time and the fact that my family did not forget those relatives that gone before.

I hope you had a blessed Memorial Day, and if you couldn’t visit your family’s graves, I do hope you stopped to think about your family members, ancestors, and said a prayer or two for them.  My folks used to remind us that friends come and go, but you always have your family, good or bad, so make peace with them, and pray for them.

 

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GREAT GIFT OF THE EUCHARIST

Sunday, June 3, the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi which is Latin for: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Most Protestants and some Catholics don’t understand or perhaps have never been given a chance to understand what a great gift Christ gave us in the Eucharist. When he taught the Apostles how to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood as we see in the Gospels. I thought this article might shed some light on why this gift from Jesus is so important.

The Great Gift of the Eucharist by Deacon Omar Gutierrez: Sunday, June 3, is the Soemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ(Corpus Christi) Sunday. Mass readings: Exodus 24:3-8; Psalm 116:12-13,15-16,17-18; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26. The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ recalls God’s constant movement toward us and the challenge of our response. The first reading from the Book of Exodus recalls the way Moses retified the decision of the people of Israel to follow the law of God. Having received God’s ordinances, Moses refers to the blood of young bulls he sacrificed as the “blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you.”

The second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews notes that the new high priest, Christ Jesus, does not use “the blood of goats and calves,” but uses “his own blood.” This is because Jesus is both priest and sacrifice.

What’s more, whereas the sacrifice of Moses would cleanse our flesh, “the blood of Christ” will “cleanse our consciences from dead works to sorship the living God.”

The Gospel from St. Mark recalls the very moment of sacrifice, the beginning of the Paschal Mystery, when Jesus Institutes the Eucharist. Along with his Body, offered through the bread, Our Lord offers us his Blood, which he refers to as the “blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” Today we pause to appreciate the great gift that the Eucharist is and what it says about the kind of God we worship.

St. Theresa of Avila once marveled at the vulnerability of Our Lord in the Eucharist. One might be overcome by the chance to meet a king, said St. Teresa. However, it should never be forgotten that the King of the Universe has made himself available to us at all times, in every Catholic church. In every chapter of the story of salvation, Our Lord seeks us out and draws ever closer to us, to be with us in the most radical way in the Eucharist.

Today, as we revel in the unabashed love that the Lord pours on us through his true presence in the Eucharist, let us pray about how we allow this Holy Communion to transform our interactions with each other.

Omar Gutierrez is a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska.

TRUMP DID WHAT?

I promised awhile ago that I would keep you up to date on the good and bad things Trumps has done for this Country. I am not interested in the gossip and what the main stream media says, since they don’t check out their facts, and to be honest, are predjudiced against him.  So here are some of the facts I have accumulated.

JUDICIAL: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He is one of Trump’s most significant presidential victories. However, his judicial influence does not stop at the Supreme Court.  There are currently an estimated 147 vacancies in the Federal Judiciary, Trump has so far appointed 24 judges.  Since federal judges have life tenure once appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, Trump’s appointments will have a lasting impact on American public policy. Most of his judicial appointees are deeply conservative and favor a strict interpretation of the Constitution. This is what our Founders worked so hard for and what they expected according to what I have read in the Federalist Papers.

THE TRUMP EFFECT: The popular press will not say so, but America is on the rebound. Call it an awakening, a rediscovery of founding principles, the restoration of respect for our Constitution, recognition that RULE OF LAW, ECONOMIC GROWTH, BORDER AND NATIONAL SECURITY, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SAFETY, INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, AND THE SANCTITY OF LIFE ALL MATER. Call it the end of neglect. Call it the TRUMP EFFECT.  I don’t know how anyone can argue that we were sadly in need of improvement and restoration in these areas.

1: Biggest tax cut in 37 years, inuring to the benefit of virtually every American, lowering individual and corporate rates by percentages not seen since President Ronald Regan.

2. Stock market on a tear, surging 31 percent in the first year, with even mainstream media outlets like CNBC calling it “the best performance during the first year of a president since Franklin Roosevelt.”

3. Record-setting roll backs of restrictive regulations, lowering transaction costs and so-called X-inefficiency, eliminating delays and raising profits across the economy;

4. Dramatic upticks in overall employment across every demographic, age and race to region and income level, along with rising wage growth.  I just read the other day that Blacks and Latinos have the highest employment rate ever recorded.  So why would either race ever vote Democratic again?

5.Annual 2017 GDP growth over the final three quarters of 3.1 percent, 3.2 and 2.6 percent respectively, despite hurricanes economists predicted would deter growth.

6. Resurgent manufacturing, mining, energy, and service sectors, showcasing outsized 2017 growth, including mining up by 28.6 percent, service industries up seven percent, retail up by 5.6 percent, technical services up by more than five percent and health care up by nearly as much, plus high projections for 2018.

7, As the stock market and overall economy have soared, even before the tax cut impact is felt, other intangibles are stabilizing the US economy and returning income to average Americans, including:

A. A decisive end to Obamacare’s insurance mandate producing no penalty in 2019.

B. Predicted re-normalization of Federal Reserve Policy, including regular rate hikes and slight inflation.

C. Millions of dollars in bonuses paid to millions of Americans in 2017, (Walmart is on Co. I know of)and more predicted for 2018, what Democratic House Minorty Leader Nancy Polosi (D-CA_ glibly called “crumbs”.  In my opinion, any bonus and any pay raise, no mater how much, is a plus and something I wouldn’t have had otherwise and the fact that almost no extra bonuses were paid during the Democratic years. (and they are supposed to be for the workers?)

I have more to add another day.  I was looking, but couldn’t find just now, how much more credit parents are receiving for each child when they file their taxes in 2018, I know it’s almost if not doubled. That should make quite a difference in families.  The lower Cooporate tax should make a big difference for small family cooporations.

This does not even mention the wonderful things Trump has done to cut down on abortions in this country and elsewhere. I will mention those next time. Unfortunately we could have ended the killing of unborn babies over 20 weeks old, if it had not been for some pro-death senators. This is to our Country’s shame, and can be changed if we vote for pro-life candidates.

These facts come from the Spring, 2018 AMAC Advantage magazine, with articles by Robert Charles with my opinions added.

As JFK said, ” Ask not what your Country can do for you but what you can do for your Country.” Perhaps Pres. Trump can bring that attitude back again.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

A NEW START TO A NEW LIFE

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “PEACE BE WITH YOU.”  John 20:19

Here is a goal to strive for in our effort to make the Peace Prayer our own: learn to greet others always and everywhere in the same spirit that the risen Christ greeted his disciples after the resurrection.

Remember the scene. The disciples are huddled together in a locked room after the darkest days of Jesus’ passion, crucifixion and death. In addition to being fearful, confused and despairing, they are probably not a little guilt-ridden for having abandoned him.  They were probably expecting at least some mild rebuke from him.  And they might even have felt a little better on a purely human level if he had rebuked them.

Instead, Jesus greets them with, “Peace be with you,’ How forgiving, loving and liberating-how startling-such a greeting must have been to them.  Not a word about the recent bitter past. No chiding, no sarcastic comments, no recriminations.  No taunting reminders of how they were fair-weather friends who turned tail and ran. Bygones, it seems aren’t even worth mentioning by the risen Jesus. We’re starting all over here with the help of the Holy Spirit, he seems to be saying. Peace, that’s what’s in our future.

PEACE BE WITH YOU!

MY PASTOR’S EASTER MESSAGE:

“The Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity. “These were the words of Pope Francis at last year’s Easter Virgil. He continued to say: “Let us go, then. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by this new dawn and by the newness that Christ alone can give. May we allow his tenderness and his love to guide our steps. May we allow the beating of his heart to quicken our fairness of heart”

We are hopeful people, we are people who like to dream of things that could be, and we are people of pride and dignity! Jesus rising from the dead, should give us the hope, dreams and dignity which are fabrics of our faith life.  Let us rejoice and be glad, for this is the day the Lord has made! ALLELUIA!  ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

REMEMBER:  CATHOLICS ARE UNIQUELY AN EASTER PEOPLE. by Deacon Dave

Through this Easter, and the accompanying Easter season of 50 days, we celebrate the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our faith tells us that his celebration never never ends.  All we need to do is remember all that the mass teaches us, all it has done for us, and all that it accomplishes in us.  We unite ourselves to Christ in His suffering, attaching all of ours to His, and lifting it up to the Father.  All done at every mass.  Finally, we become One with Him as we take Him in-body, blood, soul, divinity. His very cells and DNA all com-mingled with ours.  All at every mass. That is why nothing else pre-empts the Sunday mass.  It is also why the Sunday obligation is of primary importance for Catholics.

At mass, we walk the stations, see the stone roled away, and witness to His glorious resurrection by sharing the greatest meal on earth with Him. Why do we do all this?

BECAUSE GOD LOVED US SO MUCH HE MADE US ONCE AND ALWAYS-AN EASTER PEOPLE.

 

 

 

NO INSTANT SOLUTIONS, CONT’D

I gave you the Peace Prayer the other day. Today we will start talking about how to pray it and use it for the good our ourselves, our neighbors and our Country.

We are asking for a great spiritual gift in the Peace Prayer. We are asking to live a life of gospel holiness, deep faith, compelling hop and self-giving love. We are asking to serve God and our brother and sisters. We are asking to be disciples.

Do we really want to pray such a prayer? Many of us are like the young Augustine: he was moved to ask God to make him chase and holy–but not just yet! Perhaps it would be more realistic to lower our goals this Lent and ask to be faithful in, say, the Ten Commandments rather then aspiring to become a self-giving instrument of God’s peace.

No, the reach of our prayers must exceed the grasp. There may be times when we don’t feel like praying a prayer that seems to put us on the spot as this one does. Yet we realize that we are called anew each day to live the gospel. We realize also that our responses of faith, ultimately are based on our will rather than on our feelings. We choose this, knowing full well that we may not be ready to choose it with our whole heart and soul. If we pray only when our faint heart conforms to all the aspirations of our prayer, how much praying would we do?

This Lent, let us humbly accept that, in our frailty, our prayer isn’t always as wholehearted as we’d like, and that, even on our best days, our weak wills may seem to be hedging.

So, folks, do we start praying and acting the St. Francis Peace Prayer? Do we start to change this Country, do we ask our teachers and our children to start acting the St. Francis Peace Prayer?  Do we start to being love, honesty, respect and hope back to this Country and our children? Do we do what really needs to be done to stop violence everywhere?

PRAYER;  Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy.

Give and show love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy to the people around you today. If you are a teacher, please start with your family then the children at school. God bless you all.

 

NO INSTANT SOLUTIONS TO SHOOTINGS

IN THIS COUNTRY EVERYONE WANTS INSTANT SOLUTIONS TO EVERYTHING. WELL, IN THE CASE OF THE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, THERE ARE NONE.

The problem with the anger and hopelessness that causes a person to shoot children in a school has been a long time coming.  If the parents, teachers, governors and congress and especially the news media stood back and too a good look at the reasons surrounding the shootings instead of blaming guns, changes could take place.  Think about this, every person shooting up a school has been full of anger, hurt, and hopelessness.  Does anyone ever ask why?  How many people in that particular school, children included, treated that person rudely, bullied him, made fun of him, treated him without respect, took away his hope?  And I know this happens every day in schools across this country.  Most people cope and move on, some can’t, and the anger boils over.

I suggest every person in every school in this country start living the St. Francis Prayer:

LORD, MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF YOUR PEACE. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.   DIVINE MASTER, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Do you think this would make a difference?  Of course, this would mean this country and our schools would have to allow God to help make a difference.  It’s been over 50 years since we have taken God out of our schools, stopped teaching respect and love, it may take many years to recover, but we could start now, but only if those in charge, parents, teachers, governors, congress, and especially the news media would admit it’s not guns causing the problems, it’s no RESPECT, LOVE, CONSIDERATION AND HOPE.

More in my next blog.  The how too.

 

 

MOTHER OF GOD, THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

I have been wanting to do a blog on the Blessed Virgin Mary for some time and just came across some meditations in the “Magnificat” that explains the Catholic Churches view of Mary very well.

VIGILANT WITH OUR LADY: In one of her antiphons, the Church solemnly tells us that “the fullness of time has come upon us at last.”  None of us in this room knows when the fullness of time will come for us. God grant we can meet it with courtesy. The fullness of time, in a deep spiritual sense, comes each day, a day which will never be again. Today is the absolute fullness of today. Let us be drawn to love and to give and to spread joy all about us.  We are not promised tomorrow, and we cannot do anything much about yesterday, except to regret what was wrong about it. But we have today!…

God expects that he will find us watching in prayer. This is where he found out Lady at the Annunciation. This is where he found her at Bethlehem. This is where he found her beneath the cross.   This is where he found her on Resurrection morning. This is where he found her in all the incidents of her life. This is where he found her at the moment of her death: watching in prayer. WILL HE FIND US WATCHING IN PRAYER?  We hope so, but we must will so.  We need to ask ourselves some very forthright questions.  Does he perhaps find us not watching in prayer but chafing under some circumstance, thrashing about in this situation, this thing that is asked of me, THIS SACRIFICE? It is up to us. HE WANTS TO FIND US WHERE HE FOUND OUR LADY, WATCHING IN PRAYER.   by Mother Mary Francis,P.C.C.

Keep in mind, all you who are talking about Respect for Women, Women Rights, etc. do you realize that Mary is the Mother of God, Jesus wants her to be respected and loved for who she is.

 

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Prayer to Mary, asking her to pray for us. This words all come from scripture

HAIL MARY, Full of Grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of the womb. Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen