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Thursday, August 21, 2014

St. Francis Prayer to Birds - "Little Sisters"

The patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi, built bonds of love with all of kinds of creatures in the animal kingdom. 

But Saint Francis had a special relationship with birds, who often followed him around and rested on his shoulders, arms, or hands as he prayed or walked around outside.

One day, as Francis and some companions were traveling through the Spoleto Valley in Italy, Francis noticed that a huge flock of birds had gathered in some trees beside a field, and he walked over to preach a sermon about God's love to them. 
Here's the story of that famous sermon:
Francis told the birds: "My sweet little sisters, birds of the sky, you are bound to heaven, to God, your Creator. In every beat of your wings and every note of your songs, praise Him
He has given you the greatest of gifts, the freedom of the air. 
You neither sow, nor reap, yet God provides for you the most delicious food, rivers and lakes to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys for your home, tall trees to build your nests, and the most beautiful clothing: a change of feathers with every season. 
You and your kind were preserved in Noah's Ark. Clearly, our Creator loves you dearly, since He gives you gifts so abundantly. 
So please beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and always sing praise to God."
The people who witnessed Francis' sermon to the birds reported that the birds listened intently to everything Francis had to say and remained attentively gathered around Francis until he blessed them and they flew away.
I remember the children reading this in a 4th or 6th grade resource from Catholic Heritage Homeschool Curriculum, but this quote comes from this LINK.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Surfing with Scapulars

Catholic ...  E V E R Y W H E R E.

In all circumstances, devoted to Our Lord & Lady.

They swim with scapulars.

People on the beach notice them... mention them... sometimes it sparks conversation.

I pray it is a reflection of  Who is closest to our hearts. 

I have read that this was St. John Paul II's favorite hymn - Pescador des Hombres
Lord, You have come to the seashore
Neither searching for the rich nor the wise, 
desiring only that I should follow


O Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the
water. At your side, I will seek other shores.

Lord, see my goods, my possessions;
in my boat you find no power, no wealth 
Will you accept then my nets and labor?  (Refrain)

Lord, take my hands and direct them
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost, 
returning love for the love you gave me. (Refrain)

Lord, as I drift on the waters 
be the resting place of my restful heart.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Learning Can Happen Anywhere

Learning can happen A N Y W H E R E !

We are learning and loving at our favorite place, the shore!

God's beautiful creation reminds us to be be awed.

Friday, August 15, 2014

OCNJ's Assumption Mass Procession to Bless the Waters

St. Augustine's Priest said at Mass today that in some coastal areas, the seas are also blessed on the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sea is sprinkled with Holy Water and the Sign of the Cross made over it. It is believed that to swim in the waters blessed on this day is curative.

Here is a 2 minute video - 

This was our 2nd time processing in OCNJ from St. Augustine's to the shore.  In 2005, Father rode a jetski into the ocean.

I enjoyed the look on the faces of those on the streets and sidewalks who wondered at the masses who lined the streets and stopped cyclists on the boardwalk to make their way from the Church to the surf....singing to Mary.

May Our Lady intercede for us today and always!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Soundtrack Sunday - Michael Johns, Q

In the Soundtrack Of My Life, "Q" is on there.

Michael Johns of American Idol died at 35 years old on Friday.  How sad.

He was my favorite that year. I lost interest in the show but I had hoped he'd have a big career.

This song of his, from his time in the band Film, made a connection to me...Q....Film.  

In the iTunes version on my ipod, which is a bit different from this one (lyrically and with a fuller, studio sound) has him singing, "I am soooo alive." 

Wish it were so...Rest In Peace.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Farm Fotos

One of our summer blessings has been a beautiful day spent with friends on their 80 acre farm.

While the kids played dodgeball tag and the men smoked stogies and drank craft beers, I snuck off to capture the lovely textures of the surroundings.

My newest lens, the Lensbaby, requires practice to find the sweetspot.

I found lots of practice.

A special blessing...for me, hater-of-heat....was that it was an unusually cool day.  Their property is atop a hill where breezes abound and I knew I wouldn't have explored so much and traipsed through high grass if it hadn't been so temperate.

Colorful flowers speckled the green grass, always more to see if one takes the time to look.

I wasn't the only one "shooting."  The boys took turns shooting targets.

As the sun set over the hills and fields, the children and the parents meet back up on the deck to finger the beads of rosaries and fill the air with the sound of our prayers.

Deo gratias!

Monday, July 28, 2014

And Life Is Pushing My Swing - Kennywood

A summertime classic diversion - a day at Kennywood, an 1898 historical national landmark amusement park just an hour from Franciscan University.
In some ways it feels like summer is just beginning, as more good times are ahead of us.

Hope for you, as well, that you've had occasions for hands-to-the-sky delight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ever Ancient, Ever New - The High Mass at St. Peter's, Steubenville

 Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, 

late have I loved you! 

You were within me, but I was outside, 
and it was there that I searched for you. 

In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. 

Created things kept me from you; 
yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. 

You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. 

You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. 

You breathed your fragrance on me; 
I drew in breath and now I pant for you. 

I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. 

You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

from The Confessions of Saint Augustine

Thank you, St. Peter's parish for your faith example.