CONNIE’S MEMORIES-VALENTINE’S DAY

Hi all, Happy Valentine’s Day.  It’s interesting how all these different holidays and special days bring back good and I guess bad memories.  I tend to forget the bad ones, because I have so many good ones. And since I have married my sole mate and man of my dreams, I have had one great Valentine’s Day after another.  You should see the beautiful card he gave me today. And I must say, the one I bought him really made him happy also.

Now to memories.  I had a wonderful childhood. For some reason God gave me to terrific parents. They loved me and all their children. They were there for us and we knew it. They brought us up as Catholic Christians, taught us to know the Lord, and for me at least, helped me to have a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Which certainly gave me someone to count on during some of the very tough times.

Now, to VALENTINE’S DAY.  For as long as I was living as home, 18 years, my father came home from work for Dinner (at noon). On Valentine’s Day, he would come home with these nice big Valentine Cards for each one of us kids. They were always cute, big ones, that he could buy at Woolworth’s 5 & 10 cent store.  We used to love getting them and looked forward to them every year.  I don’t know how long he did this since I was the oldest of 7 kids, but he was doing it when I moved out and went to college and work.

He used to give my mother her Valentine Card in the morning before he went to work and they were always beautiful and sentimental. That was no big deal for us kids since he used to kiss her every morning before he went to work anyway.  I remember one year when I was older, he made her a card.  I don’t know if he forgot to buy one or if he just decided to do something different. Once he retired from working 50 hours or more a week working at the store we owned, he started working with wood, building things and carving birds from scratch.  The VALENTINE CARD he made was made from a square piece of wood. He had carved on it a heart and some nice words and painted it.  She was so pleased, she showed it to everyone who came in the house.  He did do a very nice job, it was very pretty, and she was so happy.  By then they had been married at least 50 plus years and were still very much in love.

I have to tell you that when my husband and I got married, my Dad must have been around 80 years old.  When he thought no one was looking, he would run his hand tenderly by his wife’s rear, and smile.  When we got married he told my husband to stop by any time except Thursday afternoon. He said, “don’t come knocking, the house will be rocking.”

I do wish you all that kind of love and marriage, and with God’s grace, you can have that.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

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ASHES,LENT CONTINUES

Song by Tom Conry

WE RISE AGAIN FROM ASHES, FROM THE GOOD WE’VE FAILED TO DO. We rise again from ashes, to create our selves a new. If all our world is ashes, then must our lives be true, an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

2. We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts, the gifts not fully given, the dreams not fully dreamt. Give our stumblings direction, give our visions wider views, an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

3. Then rise again from ashes, let healing come to pain, though spring has turned to winter, and sunshine turned to rain.  The rain we’ll use for growing, and create the world a new from an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

4. Thanks be to the Father, who made us like himself. Thanks be to his Son, who saved us by his death. thanks be to the Spirit who creates the world a new from an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

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We begins each Lent begging for “the blessing of forgiveness.” God longs for us to return to him with our whole heart. For without such repentance we remain tormented by the question, “Where is our God?” God has not cast us out of his presence; rather, he desires us to “become the very holiness of God.” The Father “who is hidden” waits for us to pray, “A clean heart create for me, O God.” Then the way that we reach out to reality to become one with it will reveal God’s saving Presence in every circumstance. “The joy of our salvation.” begins today.   (Magnificat)

 

ASH WEDNESDAY,GOD SPEAKS TO HIS PEOPLE

By: Father Richard Veras             ASH WEDNESDAY

When I was a young priest, I dreaded Ash Wednesday. I experienced myself as a marked  man. I couldn’t step outside the rectory or the Church without being asked/accosted for ashes.  After each Mass or service, it seemed that just as I had washed my thumb, somebody would stick their head into the sacristy with that plaintive smile that always means the same thing on Ash Wednesday.

HOWEVER, WITH the passing years and passing ashes, I have grown to love this day..not despite, but because of so many of my brother and sister Catholics who return to the Church on this day with such a mysterious but real desire to receive “their” ashes.

What an amazing witness it is, what amazing witnesses they are, to the fact that at its core, Christianity is a belonging to Christ, who has chosen us and offers his mercy to us.

And it is a very public witness! How many of their friends might needle them for those ashes, or even ask them why they got ashes if they rarely or never go to Church. I would venture to guess it might be hard for them to explain.. and thus they, and their ashes, witness to the deep mystery of Christ among us.

THE ASHES TELL THE WORLD THAT WE ARE SINNERS. BUT THEY ARE IN THE SIGN OF THE CROSS..AND SO WE ARE SINNERS WHO HAVE HOPE.

On Ash Wednesday, let us thank God for, and pray for, all of our brothers and sisters who witness to us that this hope does not die.

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When the priest makes the cross with the ashes on the forehead of the person he says:

“REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE DUST, AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN”

DURING LENT, let us spend the gift of time seeking the wisdom of heart taught by self-sacrifice, so that, dead to sin, we may rise to new life in Christ, in who death has died.

REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL.  (Mk 1:15)

 

SABBATH WORSHIP

RELIGION…is the virtue which helps us to show due worship to God as the source and goal of all things, an obligation which is strictly binding, but cannot be paid in full…It falls short of being a species of the cardinal virtue of justice, because, although we certainly owe God worship, we can never pay God a worship that is equal to his worth, except as we join Jesus in his worship of the Father. As Son of God Jesus alone can offer that full measure…

The natural law as well as the first three to the TEN COMMANDMENTS (Ex 20:2-11; Dt 5:6-15) require that we worship God, since as intelligent creatures we must in truth recognize him as our Creator and need to express this by word and gesture in the human community, as we express every other important truth. To be silent about the greatness of God is completely unnatural..

The first three Commandments demand that first we worship God alone and not idols; second, that we honor his NAME; third, that we keep the Sabbath. The  universal natural law which this third COMMANDMENT implements is that we set aside proper time for worship. Hence the early Church used its freedom from the ceremonial precepts of the law (Col. 2:16) to choose Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, in place of the Sabbath to indicate the new creation of the New Covenant.   (by Father Benedict M. Ashley,O.P. who was a prominent theologian, and the author of several books.)