Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009 ~ Second Sunday in Lent

Note: These Sunday & Holy Day Gospel Reflections are written so that mothers may prepare for Holy Mass in advance either as a small group or individually (especially since we are so often necessarily distracted during Mass itself).

Mark 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.


Can you imagine being given the privilege to see the Lord in His glorified state? to be given a glimpse of Heaven on earth? That is exactly what the disciples witness in this Sunday's Gospel, and they are just as amazed as I would be. In fact, they are terrified by the sight of this, so much so that in His perfect compassion even Jesus does not know what to say to them to calm their fears. So, instead God intervenes and speaks from the cloud.

How intimately these men must have known Christ! How intimated He must have known them! And yet, they were still human, unable to comprehend the sight before their eyes. And yet, He was still human, His heart overpowered by emotion for His friends.

That kind of intimacy should be our goal in this life. Peter, James, and John were literally a step away from Heaven at that moment, within reach of the Eternal God. Our entire lives should be spent trying to reach that moment, trying to become so intimately woven with the Master's heart that we know Him and He knows us.

This takes effort. This takes time. It is not something that just happens. The saints spent their whole lives in penance, adoration, works, and humble prayer, trying to grasp that elusive unity that seems entirely out of reach to most of us.

During this Lenten season, all of our fasting, prayer, and almsgiving means nothing unless its purpose is to become more intimately familiar with the Lord. For me, I can often focus too much on the practical implementation of such sacrifices and forget the intention. In silence, I remember. His Sacred Heart aches for ours.

"I am His Beloved and He is mine."

Webinars - Enjoy Great Speakers from the Comfort of Your Home!

I want to share a great new resource for homeschoolers! A friend of mine conducts free webinars for homeschoolers with the cooperation of Maureen Wittman, author, speaker, and homeschooler. A webinar is basically an online presentation; you see and hear the speaker(s) and can use a chat box feature to communicate with him/her. You do not need any special software or equipment (just speakers or earphones), and it is all done online.

All of the previous webinars have been recorded and can be enjoyed for free online here. The recorded topics are:

Bringing an Appreciation of Art & Music to Your Homeschool - Maureen Wittman
How to Teach History with Real Books - Maureen Wittman
Caring Connections: Maximizing the Benefits of Homeschool Family Relationships - Danielle Bean
Organizing Your Classroom 101 - Maureen Wittman
What Is Homeschooling - Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Upcoming live webinars include:

Homeschool Dads: Husband, Father and Teacher - Dr. Mary Kay Clark
Bringing Joy to Your Homeschool Math and Science Lessons - Maureen Wittman

They also do a monthly "Mom's Night Out While In," which is a casual chat session for homeschooling moms to ask one another questions and share what is happening in your homeschool. You can register for future webinars and chats here.

I have listened to a recorded webinar, attended a live webinar, and attended a Mom's Night Out While In, and I can assure you they are all creative, useful, and helpful for the busy homeschooling family. Enjoy!

Random Fact - Blogger Spelling Dictionary does not recognize webinar, homeschooler(s), or homeschool, so this post is ripe with "misspellings!" :-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Morning Prayer Sheet

Someone asked me to share my morning offering prayer. Below are the prayers listed on my prayer sheet without the graphics and formatting I included to make them "pretty!" The first two were written by St. Therese!

Morning Offering (St. Therese of Lisieux)

O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to His infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His merciful love.

O my God, I ask of Thee for myself and for those dear to me the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy holy will, to accept, for love of Thee, the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all eternity. Amen.

Prayer for Priests (St. Therese of Lisieux)

Jesus, Eternal High Priest, preserve Thy priests in the protection of Thy Most Holy Heart, where none can harm them. Preserve without blemish their consecrated hands, which touch daily Thy Holy Body.

Keep pure their lips, which are reddened from Thy Precious Blood.

Keep pure and holy their heart, which is sealed with the noble sign of Thy Glorious Priesthood. Let them grow in love and fidelity to Thee and protect them from the infection of the world.

Give them with the power of transubstantiation over bread and wine the power of transformation over hearts. Bless their work with bountiful fruit and give them some day the crown of eternal life. Amen.

Daily Prayer of Consecration (St. Louis de Montfort)

I, N., a faithless sinner-- renew and ratify today in thy hands, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day, for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity. Amen.

Deliverance Prayer

In the name of Christ Jesus and by the power of His precious blood – I cut, I tie, I bind any evil spirit that might be in the air, in the water, in the fire, in the ground, in the underground, and in the world of shadows. I send them tied to the nearest Eucharist. I place myself at the foot of the Cross of Jesus, and I cover myself with His blood so that I may remain ever protected. Amen.