Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Twisters as usual walk the walk…” The Twisters Tornado Relief Marathon

30 April 2011

By Teri Peters

Updates by Kimberly Morin

Assistance by all the Twisters!

April 30, 2011

The Twisters Tornado Relief Marathon

We are nine women from across America who joined forces less than a year ago with a focused mission; to sponsor and raise money for conservative political candidates. Our twitter bio states that we are “ a tightly knit group of superpower wielding, patriotic conservative bad-asses of the female kind.” Most of this is true. Unfortunately we don’t really have superpowers. Therefore this weekend we are asking for your assistance in a mission that is a departure from our norm. Beginning now, that mission is to provide a variety of assistance, primarily financial, to the victims of the deadliest tornadoes to hit the United States since the Great Depression.

Our avatar is a twister with clouds that resemble a heart. It has obviously been enhanced but the original image was born from an actual twister. As I have learned in the past few days, tornadoes have no heart. Though I live in California and have never experienced the wrath of a tornado I need not be an expert to know that Mother Nature has once again reminded us that she is the one with the superpowers.

Since the tornadoes began I have been worried about using the twisters hashtag. My concern is that someone affected by the tornadoes might find it insensitive or worse. It is not an irrational thought. In the midst of posting updates about San Diego’s 7.2 magnitude Easter day quake in 2010, I received a tweet expressing the hope that “ California would fall into the ocean” . From my perch under the dining room table, I broke down. Not wanting to cause any further strife to a victim, I have been pondering the thought of temporarily changing our avatar and dispensing with the twisters hashtag. As is often the case when I am troubled, yesterday I spent some time at the beach mulling things over. Sitting on the warm sand witnessing the familiar power of the sea, a thought occurred. Instead of disabling the hashtag we could use it to help the victims of this tragedy. The twisters tornado relief marathon was formulated. Within an hour the twisters were on a conference call and this plan was quickly formed. I stress “quickly” as we know we haven’t captured all of the links or resources and there again, we seek your help.

This post contains links to numerous relief agencies, information on how you can help and as much data as we could gather on short notice. The blog will be updated as additional resources come to light. Though our primary goal is to raise funds for the victims of these deadly tornadoes, we will also be posting information on rescue and recovery efforts. We have seen the great generosity of Americans on so many occasions when natural disasters strike and we are confident that with your help we shall rise to this challenge.

We are acutely aware that these are difficult economic times, even for those of us who did not lose our possessions or loved ones in the devastating storms. This does not daunt us. Our experience with political fund raising and social media has taught us that even a $5.00 or $10.00 donation adds up quickly and every little bit helps. We are posting a wide variety of charitable organizations and resources so if one is not to your liking for whatever reason; we hope you will choose another. We are only asking you to do what is within your means. All assistance is welcome including ideas. If all you can do is help us enhance this effort and/or spread the word, please do so. We are asking for your retweets and Facebook postings. Additionally, please email this and any updated posts to those who are not on social media.

As stated, this marathon was planned quickly and we know that we have not captured all of the resources. We need your assistance to inform us of additional relief efforts, organizations or any other information that will be helpful to our fellow Americans who have been impacted by this horrific series of storms.

Tragedy knows no political affiliation. Although “the Twisters” are 9 conservative women, we are hoping that this be an apolitical effort. Our ideology may differ but events such as these remind us that politics are unimportant when our neighbors are in need. We thank you in advance for your help with this marathon. We are not famous or wealthy but we do have social media as our arena. Let’s rock this!

You can track our posts by following us at @theTwisters and/or on our individual twitter accounts = @0402sgrl @1SupremeGoddess @AssKickyMcHotti @ConservativeInd @FlyingPatriot @GaltsGirl @hipEchik @Runedart @Suziplasse. We are also on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/2dn4gs2 . Additionally, you can follow the #twisters hashtag on twitter.

The hour is late, the time is short. Please forgive any typos etc. The organizations we have chosen to begin with are as follows (in no particular order). Please help us help those in need. Thank you and God Bless.

UPDATE: This list has gotten quite extensive – a huge THANK YOU to everyone passing along information!! We are separating out by state so that if you are in that state or near and want to donate or volunteer you can easily find where to go and what to do. THANK YOU to all who are donating money, items and time – you have no idea how much this means to the people of these devastated states.

Please click here to go to the TwistersMoneyBomb.com blog for the complete Resource list…

NOW YOU KNOW WHY I LOVE THESE GIRLS! If you want something done right, go to #TheTwisters! Please go to the site and be generous…these are our people suffering in this devastation. AMERICANS! Our brothers and sisters of this great land. We give to the world, let charity BEGIN AT HOME!

God love the Twisters!

Sofia


Novena to end on Fulton Sheen’s Birthday May 8th

29 April 2011

Here at AlwaysCatholic.com we always end Editorial comments and personal messages from Sofia with the exhortation, “God Love you!”

This was the phrase which was used by the holy, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen whenever he met with people on the streets of NYC or from the studios of his TV show, “Life is Worth Living”. His Eminence never worried about whether the person was a Catholic, a Christian or even an atheist. He knew that God loves us whether we believe it or not and wanted to share that with all whom he came into contact.

Those who volunteer their time here at AlwaysCatholic have started a small prayer campaign following the lead of our dear friend @lamblock on Twitter for the beatification and canonization of Archbishop Sheen by praying for Sofia in his name. Many friends on twitter and the blog have joined in. We firmly believe that his intercession has contributed to the healing of our sister in Christ.

With that being said and much more to be written on this topic, we would like to post this Novena that is beginning April 30 ending on May 8th. The following post is from the site: Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Servant of All


Novena in honor of Archbishop Fulton J Sheen – Day One – April 30th

“In each child, God whispers a new secret to the world; adds a new dimension of immortality to creation” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

God whispered a wonderful love story to the world through Fulton J. Sheen so let us whisper prayers back to Him. This is a 9 day novena with the prayer for canonization at the bottom of this page.  As all of us are “Treasures in Clay” the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation invites you to join us in a journey reflecting upon the wonderful life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen through a novena beginning on April 30th and ending on May 8th, Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s birthday. Please join us in praying for the cause of his canonization while reflecting upon his life. After each quote and prayer we will pray the Prayer for his Canonization, The Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father. May this journey bring you closer to God through the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

DAY 1 “How God will judge my life I know not, but I trust he will see me with mercy and compassion. I am only certain there will be three surprises in Heaven. First of all, I will see some people whom I never expected to see. Second, there will be a number whom I expect who will not be there. And – even relying on God’s mercy – the biggest surprise of all may be that I will be there. When the record of any human life is set down, there are three pairs of eyes who see it in a different light. 1. As I see it. 2. As others see it. 3. As God sees it.“ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Lord help us to focus on You as Fulton Sheen did so that we may be humble when looking upon ourselves, so that others will see You when they look upon us, and so we can see our lives as You see it.

Prayer of Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

PRAYER FOR CANONIZATION:

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people. If it be according to Your Will, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For the rest of the Novena click here…


Prayer Breakfast Celebrates JPII

27 April 2011

by Matt Bowman
CatholicVote.org
April 27, 2011

 

The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast here in DC concluded about an hour ago and was once again a highly professional, inspiring event.  CatholicVote was among many sponsor level organizations.  Here is a sampling of what we heard.

Virginia Governor and lifelong Catholic Bob McDonnell recounted his sometimes embarrassing adventures as an altar boy, and emphasized that Pope John Paul II’s defense of human dignity and rights is resonant with America’s founding principles that the rights of life and liberty come from the Creator, not from the government.

Former Speaker of the United States House and recent convert Newt Gingrich described the video he produced about the “Nine Days that Changed the World” when Pope John Paul II visited Poland in 1979 and created a “revolution of conscience” that eventually brought freedom to peoples dominated by the Soviet Union.

Bishop William Lori was the keynote speaker–he is bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport Connecticut as well as being a leader on USCCB pro-life and pro-marriage committees and a spiritual leader of the national Knights of Columbus.  He recounted Pope John Paul II’s synthesis of human dignity, freedom, and truth, emphasizing the importance of religious freedom.

Pro-life activist and also recent Catholic convert Lila Rose reminded the audience of Pope John Paul II’s love of the youth and his prophetic calls that America defend and welcome the most vulnerable among us, the preborn.  Lila also noted that she grew up as one of eight siblings, and since she became Catholic 2 years ago four of her siblings as well as her parents have entered into or reconciled with the Church.


Happy Birthday Holy Father! Thanks FatherZ!

16 April 2011

Say a prayer today for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, whose birthday it is today.

The Holy Father is 84 years old.

A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a spirit of filial devotion, devoutly recite any duly approved prayer for the Supreme Pontiff (e.g., the Oremus pro Pontifice):

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

Our Father.  Hail Mary.

Let us pray.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Great Idea from Sofia…Celebrate the Holy Father’s Birthday this weekend by buying yourself, a loved one and your friends a button as a birthday gift! Click on image and go to FatherZ’s CafePress Pope Page!

 



Breaking News! Doctor admits “Prayers Work!” Really? Duh!

12 April 2011

As some of my readers already know I have been off from working the blog for awhile now. Also, my trusted intern Jenny has her hands full at home and hasn’t been posting or Tweeting either.

Well, first, I am doing much better and was scheduled to come back this past weekend on Saturday. My Confessor came to see me and ordered me to continue my”rest” for a few more days. His order was for a few days of spiritual rest, devoted to things of the soul. Good advice.

I now feel whole with a fresh eye on what is considered my “work”, here at the blog. I learned the being “Always Catholic” means more than formal prayer, spending my day’s fighting for the cause and hoping to be humble enough to share the Gospel. I have truly learned that OBEDIENCE is first in the eyes of God, Our Father. Yes, folks, the “O” word…the “O” word that most of us consider more risqué than the other “o” word. (Sorry, trying to make a point here!)

Look, it was easy for me to be Obedient when my physical body was falling apart (well, not that easy, hah!) but to be Obedient when my Confessor felt that my soul needed that extra “oomph”? Not THAT’S tough…

Well, I did it. I made it through Tuesday and Wednesday waits with open arms. Back to the blog and to all of you whom I love so much. Jenny’s back on Friday when her family’s explosion of Chicken Pox should be cleared up. Yeah, dear Jenny was catching the Sofia workaholic nonsense and Our Lord smiled and thought it was time for her to slow down. Interesting twist: Jenny isn’t down with the Chicken Pox, she’s helping her mom care for 6 of her 8 siblings! Now, THAT’S even a tougher obedience!

 

Now as I finish this up this evening, I wanted to share the best part of my return to work. So many of you (probably all of you!) have been praying for my health. Well, your prayers were answered.

 

When my Doctor came in to let me know how well my echocardiogram looked, he turned to me, smiled and said “Prayers work!”

 

No kidding, Doc.

 

Great to be back, let’s do this thing!

 

Sofia

 


 

Here are the Random Drawing Winners of the ACBlogaversary Contest!

5 April 2011

Thanks to all our new readers who have registered as users on ACBlog. Please feel free to continue to comment as it only makes us work harder to bring you the kind of information you really need and want.

We will be getting two new interns to help, so we are going to try to answer all comments in the future. This blog has grown so quickly and with Sofia having issues with health at times, comments are not answered and thats not what we want here at AlwaysCatholic. We want to remain a personal place where those who have a question or just want to talk with someone about a prayer for a special intention will be realized.

Thank you for your patience in this area and we look forward to communicating with each and every one of you!

 

Random Prizes for our Random Drawing…Maybe you will be “Randomly Lucky!!” Take a look under each prize! 

Winner of the Fr Z mug is: Lisa her blog is lschorp.blogspot.com

Very kewl Womens Twisters TShirt
Winner of the Twisters Tshirt is:    Lexy @lexy315 on Twitter

Winner of the Mystic Monks Mug is:Sister Lisa and her blog, “Nunspeak” and  @Sr_Lisa onTwitter


Grand Prize Random Winner of the BattleBeads.com Women’s Rosary is: Esther & her blog is “A Catholic Mom in Hawaii”


Grand Prize Random Winner of the BattleBeads.com Men’s Rosary is: Alfonso @ithot on Twitter

Sofia’s Mystery Writer who she would like to recognize with a gift for her contribution to AlwaysCatholic Contributing Bloggers is Lisa Graas.

Lisa is a professional writer who has been so generous with her time and her work for Always Catholic. Lisa will be the beneficiary of a Traditional Latin Mass said for her special intention.

Thank you to every single person who participated in every way this year on ACBlog. In particular, our readers! We would like to thank you by giving every person who registered and commented on ACBlog from March 26th through March 28th. A small token of our Catholic Faith will be sent to you after you email AlwaysCatholicBlog@gmail.com with your address. Thank you again for all your support this past year and we are looking forward to another great year in the Catholic Blogosphere!


Here are the WINNERS of the ACBlogaversary Writing Contest ! Random Drawing moved to 8PM so Sofia can be here!

4 April 2011

This was probably the hardest thing we have had to do in a long time. How do we pick the order of winners in a writing contest when ALL THREE entries are so profound, touch and so-well written.

Nonetheless, we had to decide a first, second and third place. Please know that we love each piece for its’ own uniqueness and we loved all three!

Now, it’s time to list the winners in order:

 

First Prize: Erica

Pope Benedict’s Book, Jesus of Nazareth Part II

Second Prize: Layna

Pope Benedict’s Book, Jesus of Nazareth Part I

Third Prize: Teresa

Pope Benedict Poster

PLEASE, we can’t stress enough that we LOVED all three pieces!
We never thought that it would be so difficult, but know that our readers will enjoy these posts as long as AlwaysCatholic is around. We will post the pieces on the Contributors Blog tomorrow and the Erica’s post will be tomorrow’s Home Page or Front Page Post!

In addition, when we do our first Radio Show on the Internet (coming soon) Erica will be our first guest!

Thank you to all who participated and our gratitude for your continuing presence at AlwaysCatholic on our Contributing Bloggers page.

Our Random Winners will be announced at 8pm so Sofia can join us on Twitter for a few minutes…

Thank you for being patient but we know that everybody wants to hear from Sofia herself and the Doctor has said 30 minutes from 8 to 8:30 pm EST! Deo Gratias…then it’s back to rest for Sofia.

BTW, our Mystery Writer mention will be announced by Sofia, herself at 8PM. Once we found out she could be on Twitter tonight, Sofia wanted to do the honors. See you at 8 pm!


The Entries for our “Divine Providence & You” Writing Contest

4 April 2011

Here are the entries for our Divine Providence & You Writing Contest. We had hoped originally to get more entries, but to be perfectly honest these three were so good we would have gone crazy trying to pick just three for the prizes. Our job, we thought had been made a tiny bit easier, uh, not so much. We now have to pick the First, Second and Third Place Winners. Wow! What a job…

Tonight at 6pm EST, The Winners of the Writing Contest will be announced and the winners of the Random Drawing will be announced. Praying that the Doctor is in a good mood, Sofia just migh be there to tweet out the winners and say congratulations and hi…for just a minute! So be there and in the meanwhile, here are the entries. Read and judge for yourself…Good, huh?

BTW, We have one other separate winner we aren’t posting here. The writer and the piece will be posted at 6pm also. The explanation why will be there too. Hmmmm? See ‘ya at 6 (3pm PST) for our friends in Cali!

Thanks,
Jenny


From Layna at http://she-poured-out-words.blogspot.com/
@Layna_Hess22 on Twitter

Divine Providence

If one were to walk up to me, and ask me: “What is Divine Providence?” I would say:
“It is simply God acting in the world.” I believe God acts in this world constantly, but so often we don’t open our eyes.
We don’t look for it. There’s a song that I like, and while it doesn’t relate divine providence, the main line in the song is:
“Just open your eyes and see that life is beautiful.” And it is, because God blesses us in so many ways.
Divine providence is always there, we just have to look. There has been some extraordinary ways in which I believe God has worked in my life,
and I do believe it’s all been Divine Providence.

I will be talking a little bit about that today. I’ll take you back in time to what my life has been like.
I’ll give everyone a taste of who the real Layna is, on a more personal note. I’ll start around middle school and junior high.

For me, I’ve always been home schooled, but during this period of time I was doing an online schooling program. It was through this online program I got wrapped up in the wrong crowd. And my Faith wasn’t strong at this point. I was basically going through the motions of my Faith. I went to Mass, I went to confession, and that’s about it. Occasionally I would pray, but never devoutly like one should. I had just moved from California to Ohio, and really didn’t have any -true- friends.

The youth group I had -tried- to get involved with, weren’t very “accepting” of me. So, I felt like a complete outcast.
I was going through a dark and lonely time. But, it was this that drove me to pray for good friends. I remember praying for months for good friends, until Summer of 06 rolled around. I was about to start 9th grade, and I remember my dad picking up a church bulletin and it advertised something called: “The Fest” (basically a huge Catholic event with Mass, games, confession, live music, etc.) My dad said I should go, and I was hesitant, because it seemed so out of my element. (This is coming from someone that was into hard rock/dark music at the time.) But, I remember calling the youth minister because he was in charge of this program, and he said he’d love to have me.
For some reason, I was still hesitant to the point where I was basically set on not going at all.

But, a force came over me. A force that said: “Go!” and I couldn’t say no to it. So, I went, and there I met my friends, and other great people that have changed my life for the better.

Especially one person in particular. He’s my best friend. And this person has taught me the true meaning of friendship. I have found that true friendship is not about sharing common interests, or hanging out all the time, that’s only a small portion. It’s about unity with each other through Christ. We are both discerning our vocation, and we have a special friendship because Christ is the center of it. We’re constantly striving to uplift each other. Not always in an emotional sense, but in a spiritual sense.
With Christ as the center of our friendship, we definitely see God working in each others lives, and it’s a beautiful thing.

I also got involved with the youth ministry program, and later on became active in Catholic Scouting.
Scouting is what broke the leadership in me out. And it was Catholic Scouting that “re-perked” my interest for the religious life, because there’s a community of Sisters 10 minutes away from where I live, and that’s where we used to have some of our meetings. I do believe this is the work of God, because if I didn’t move here, meet my friends, get involved with scouting, then I never would have known to take discernment seriously.

From everything I’ve said, it may seem like my life had been blessed by God, and everything was perfect from there on. But, I’ve gone through hell to get to where I’m at now. My heart was very divided between good and evil. Especially during 2008 into 2009. I was struggling with a problem on the side, and still had people in my life from my old online school. I was being influenced in a bad way by them. So, it was common for me to go to scouting/youth group, come home, and then basically be a completely different person. There was some sort of “attachment” there.

I remember 2008-2009 like it all just happened yesterday. I remember even though I had finally found good friends, got more involved with the Church, feeling bound in chains by the situation I was in. I wanted to break free, I strived for goodness, I desired change! But it’s like I couldn’t do any of this. This situation completely distorted my mind, that I remember this darkness took over me at one point while in Church. I remember running out of the church because I couldn’t stand being there.
Everything I looked at…the paintings…the statues….everything got twisted in my mind.
Never have I felt so far from God in my life. It felt like I had infection in my brain, that had spread.
And I hated myself for this. But, this was actually a turning point.
It was from that point on, that I truly prayed for a complete conversion.

My friends didn’t really know what was going on- I never spoke about it. But they knew I was struggling with something,
so they advised me/prayed for me in the best way that they could, and that in itself was comforting. I knew I had their support.
I remember praying and the words “Change my heart, Lord” is the main thing I said.
Over and over. In tears, I begged, I pleaded, and it wasn’t until September of 09, that I had a complete conversion.

September of 09, I went to the Eucharistic Congress in DC. When I went, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
But, I went, and there I met so many religious orders. I listened to great talks. I was surrounded by so many Catholic people,
including my own good friends from youth group. I remember going to Mass one day, and hearing beautiful music.
As I heard the beautiful singing, I was gazing upon this painting of Jesus in the National Shrine of the Basilica. I just started crying.
I felt such abundance of love and mercy fill my soul, that with my entire soul, I just said: “I want to live for you, Jesus.”

I’ve realized that this is how God works. Sometimes He lets us fall flat on our faces, in hopes that we cry out to Him, crawl back to Him, and beg Him to have mercy on us.
I believe when we beg for God’s assistance, and don’t hear from Him, He is testing us.
That in itself, is God acting through us. He’s testing to see how committed we are to Him, and how trusting we are of Him.
He is begging that we cry out to Him. Crawl back to Him. Beg Him to have mercy on us, not just with our mouth but our entire being.

My job, while it may be tough, and reflect darkness, I look at it as Divine Inspiration for what’s to come, simply because it has made me strive for more in my life.
I only see this as preperation for what God has in store fo me.

Divine providence in my life, has always taken place in times where I’ve suffered.
I suppose that’s why I enjoy talking about suffering so often- because I’ve been there.
All I can say that it’s divine providence that I’ve been given everything to crawl out of the ditches, and climb over the hills. God has given me the right friends.
And now I can start anew. There isn’t a day that goes by, where I don’t thank God for all that He has done in my life….


From Erica at From The Heart Of Mary & A Patriotic Nurse
@EricaTwitts on Twitter


Guided Through Life By Divine Providence

“I am Eternal Truth, incapable of any lie. I am faithful to My promises.” – Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

Have you given much thought to Divine Providence or how it has impacted your life? Often things happen in our life and we aren’t really sure as to why this or that happened. To have a better understanding of the meaning of Divine Providence:

The purpose, or goal, of divine providence is to accomplish the will of God. To ensure that His purposes are fulfilled, God governs the affairs of men and works through the natural order of things. The laws of nature are nothing more than a depiction of God at work in the universe. The laws of nature have no inherent power, nor do they work independently. The laws of nature are the rules and principles that God set in place to govern how things work.

This is what I believe Our Lord was saying to St. Margaret Mary, it is through his promise of never lying to us and always faithful to the promises of life eternal as long as we simply believe.
I am a convert to the Catholic Church and truly believe that this too, was an act of Divine Providence. I was born into a family to parents of different religious backgrounds. My Mother was from a rural community and worshiped in a rural Church. My Father was a “city slicker” and had attended parochial schools and was baptized Catholic. However, after the marriage, my father no longer worshiped in a church of his faith but would attend church with the family as a whole. Life was good in those days and to a child it was carefree! My mother let us visit other churches with friends and relatives and it was one of those times with a great-aunt that I knew I was destined to become Catholic. Vatican II had not yet come into play so Mass was still said in Latin but I was in awe, not by the vestments of the Priest but by how I connected within my young soul. After hearing sermons with the minister pounding his fist on the podium and raising his voice to make his message known, I was transformed at Mass by what I felt at the time to be that of holiness and a sense of feeling God’s presence. I was always an inquisitive child and I think that trait has sense transferred to my adulthood! I would ask questions relentlessly of the great-aunt in which I had attended Mass with and she did the best of her ability to explain to me as time went forward. She told me about the Rosary and it’s meaning and even gave me a small altar to place in my bedroom to put candles on. However, though at the time not fully understanding everything herself about the Catholic Faith I was instructed to give the altar back to my aunt by my mother. I soon became, sadly, bored with going to the Protestant Church as I no longer felt the connection like I had went I went to Mass. As I became a teenager and like most of you know, teen-agers at some point think they know all about everything…so I decided that I was just not going to go to church!
Bad decision! Unfortunately, like many teen-agers I fell into what is commonly referred to as the “wrong crowd.” This is not a confessional of any sorts but a means of showing you how Divine Providence led me out of the darkness.

As I reached a “mature”age, I started to seriously do some soul searching and looking at where I was at in my life. Was I pleasing God? Was I living right? By this time, I had separated myself from my family and was in a very low place or like Mother Theresa wrote about being in doubt. I was in a job that no longer made me happy for at the time I wasn’t sure what that was. I started to pray..and pray..once in a while I would think that my prayers were in vain for nothing seemed to change. One evening while driving downtown I drove past a century old Catholic Church and suddenly as if someone had flipped a switch I felt the urgent need to go to Mass and the following Sunday, I was sitting nervously in the middle of this ornate Church. I stood when the others stood and knelled when they knelled. It was on that occasion that I knew what I had to do! I called the Parish closest to my home and soon was in Catechism classes. I was belittled by those who thought was I was doing was ridiculous but I never let their words deter my intentions. I finished the classes and the following Easter was welcomed into the Church. I was elated! I finally felt that I was on the right track and then something else started to bother me, I was unhappy doing the work in which I was doing at the time. It really doesn’t matter what it was but I knew in my heart that it was not pleasing to God and that is what I wanted most in the world was to please Him and in a sense seek forgiveness for the sins of my youth. So, once again I found myself praying in earnest, often to the point of tears streaming down my face and once again…the doubt started to enter my mind. Was it really “me” having the doubts or was it Satan who was realizing he was loosing his grip on a lost soul as I no longer felt lost. This time my wait wasn’t as long as before and you know the old saying, “things don’t happen in our time but in God’s time.”
One particular day while napping I was awakened by the phone and my Aunt (by marriage) was on the other end and with an excited tone began to tell me that she thought she had met my grandmother while visiting her relative in a nursing home. I couldn’t believe my ears, I hadn’t seen my paternal grandmother nor my maternal grandparents in years…The very next day she went with me to visit her in the nursing home and guess what? Divine Providence once again became relevant and clear…It was that visit that led me to my current career as a Registered Nurse. I knew by caring for the sick, I would be able to please God with my service. Many refer to us as being “Angels” but I always scoff at that terminology and say that, “no, I am not an Angel but a servant to God.”
As my paternal grandmother lay dying, I sat beside her bed and placed the Crucifix on my Rosary upon her heart and prayed until I felt that I had swallowed a grapefruit. She would whisper, “pray for me” and I reassured her that indeed I was. I had started my nursing career in long term care but quickly and once again attribute this to Divine Providence moved to the hospital setting and I quickly applied at Catholic Hospital so I could work in a setting that reflected my faith.
I still have days where I have my doubts but they never last like they once did. I am reminded daily as I enter a patient’s room and see the Crucifix on the wall just what Our Lord sacrificed for us. I am more humbled by the suffering I see as I attribute this to the suffering Our Lord endured and it has only made my faith stronger.
One of my strongest devotions is to the Divine Mercy and I use it often when at work and caring for a terminally ill patient. As Jesus had instructed Sr.Faustina: “Unceasingly recite this chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death…Priest will recommend it to sinners as a last hope of salvation. Even the most hardened sinners, if he recites this chaplet will receive grace from My infinite mercy…Oh what great graces I will grant to souls who will recite this chaplet…By means if of it you can ask and obtain anything if what you ask for will be compatible with My will. I want the whole world to know My infinite mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who Trust [emphasis mine] My mercy.”
I feel blessed by His grace and by His mercy for it is by His Divine Providence that I am able to write about this today. Never lose your Faith and hold true to the promises that Our Lord gave to St. Margaret Mary and to countless other Saints and yes even to us if we only open our hearts and accept and Trust Him for he is ever with us.


From Teresa at Teresamerica & Tunecede
@Teresamerica on Twitter

Divine Providence

When writing a personal story about Divine Providence, one shoud make sure not to omit the information that would answer certain simple, straightforward questions in the mind of the reader, such as the following: What did God do for you? Why did you need that? How bad off were you before God intervened? What would have happened if He had not stepped in? What good came of what God did?

For me, the answers to those questions are ultimately as simple as the questions themselves. God saved my life and my soul, literally. When our Lord acted to save me, I was at the lowest point in my life and seriously considering suicide. If God had not stepped in, I would have lost both my life and my salvation.

As I said above, at the lowest point in my life a ticket came into my hands by what some would call chance but what I know was divine providence. The ticket was to attend a Catholic Conference celebrating the Millennium. It was well after the cut off date so I couldn’t have gotten it on my own efforts. I know in my heart that God was calling me to that conference.

I am a cradle Catholic. Having been raised in the faith I had knowledge of it, but that knowledge was superficial, just memorized facts. I believed what I was told because that was how I was raised but I had no understanding of the fullness of the Catholic faith in my heart. In my late teens I started attending a Catholic university which was faithful to the Magisterium. It was at this place that I began to experience and know the fullness of the Catholic faith.

Due to health issues I had to live off campus and attend the university part-time. Over the next couple of years I began to feel lonely. I wasn’t able to see my friends nearly as much as I was previously able to, and I felt detached from my friends who were living on campus. I ended up renting a room from a lady professor, which led to my becoming acquainted with her handyman. My main focus at this time was my studies but I have to admit it was a nice feeling knowing a man was paying attention to me. After conversing with this guy for a couple of months he asked me out to lunch. We went out and I enjoyed myself. Then one afternoon He asked me to hang out with him and some of his friends at night. At the time I didn’t see any harm in going out with him.

I went out that night and let’s just say that events didn’t go as planned. Unfortunately, some of the options I was given to choose from that night were not good ones. I was so scared and I didn’t know how to get out of the situation I was in. Because of my being scared I made some bad choices in trying to avert something worse from happening to me. By the end of the night, the handyman I went out with sexually assaulted me. At the first available time I told the professor that her handyman had sexually assaulted me. Well, one would think one would respond with understanding but what came out of the professor’s mouth next shocked me. She said “I thought he didn’t have the greatest outside life but I didn’t warn you because I didn’t want to be your mother.” After having heard her response I was both shocked and upset.

At the college I started seeing a counselor to help me deal with the fact that I was sexually assaulted. At the beginning she seemed like a good counselor. I had a very frustrating experience with the police department being less than helpful to say the least. Unfortumately, I didn’t know my perpetrators last name. In addition, the police refused to ask the professor for his last name. As the semester continued tensions mounted. A couple months later this professor forced me to leave her residence. This happened right before my last exam was to take place. This caused me great stress but thankfully I found a couple of friends who were willing to put me up for a couple of nights.

During the next semester I continued with counseling. I finally heard from the police in mid-march. I picked out my assaulter’s picture out of a photo lineup. Fast forward a bit…. During the summer I the police informed me that the guy who assaulted me moved to the state where I attended college. This wasn’t good news. I was scared. After I returned to college I continued with counseling.

The previous year I had filed a complaint against the professor for her awful treatment of me after she found out that I had been sexually assaulted and for being unwilling to give up my perpetrator’s last name. During the previous year my counselor asked me to write a feelings letter and to write a journal of my feelings over a short period of time, so I did. When a person is violated, having that person write a feelings letter or journal is a therapeutic tool to help that person vent their feelings about the incident.

During the summer our previous president had retired from his post. At the beginning of the fall semester our new president was introduced to the students. I felt the need for justice to be done, to get this criminal off the streets before any other girl or woman was hurt. It had been almost a year since my sexual assault had occurred but I had hit some road blocks along the way, with regards to both the police and the university. One day I happened to see the new President, a priest, walking around campus and I asked whether I could talk with him. He said Yes. I informed him about both my situation and the complaint I had made against the professor. I asked him to look into this and he agreed to check it out. I made it clear to him that I didn’t want my complaint to be swept under the rug. Over the following week a series of events unfolded that was unexpected to say the least. Before I knew it the staff at the university had falsely accused me of the unthinkable, and had decided to suspend me for something I didn’t do. They used my feelings letter against me and accused me of threatening this professor. I didn’t do this. I never thought of doing anything of the sort. All I ever really wanted was for this man who assaulted me to be taken to court in order to prevent him from harming anyone else. I didn’t want any other woman to have to experience the horror that I experienced. In addition, I thought that the university should at least talk to the professor since she had treated me so badly.

I had formed a number of friendships at this university. This university helped me to experience the fullness of my faith. I loved and enjoyed attending this college. Its beliefs were in line with my beliefs. After I was suspended I felt like my heart was ripped right out of me. I began to ask, why did this happen to me? How could God let this happen to me? How could this university which I loved and adored treat me so horribly? I became severely depressed. I thought this college would handle my problem the correct way but they didn’t. The staff at the college stabbed me in the back, scapegoated me. It was the year 2000, and our diocese was getting ready to celebrate the mellennium with a huge conference located about a half hour drive away. But, unfortunately there weren’t any tickets left. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was meant to attend this conference. I was friends with my parish youth minister at the time so I talked with her about getting a ticket to the conference. She said that she would keep her eyes open for a ticket. Then a couple days later she gave me a call, and told me that her father became ill so I could have his ticket. This was divine providence. Now I was able to go to the conference. The millenium celebration conference took place a week after I was suspended. But, during that week I became very depressed. I was in so much pain that I thought life wasn’t worth living. I was seriously contemplating committing suicide.

I attended the Sunrise 2000 Conference. I was able to see some friends of mine from the diocese who I hadn’t seen in a long while. Seeing them was good. I really enjoyed the praise and worship in the different workshops. There was also some people from my parish who gave me support and cared so much for me during this conference it was so touching. While at the conference I felt this very strange awesome, soothing feeling come upon me. The presence of the Holy Spirit calmed me, soothed me and gave me this feeling that I was loved. God showed that he loved me. I do believe that it was divine providence that I was given a ticket when there was none left, and that it was divine providence that I attended the conference. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me.


A little Chicken luv for ‘ya

1 April 2011

Happy April Fools Day!

Thanks to Doug Savage & his Savage Chickens!

posted by Jenny


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