Tuesday, April 30, 2013

THE QUEEN'S RIDDLE

 When Barack Obama met with Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of England , he asked her . . .  

"Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? 
Are there any tips you can give me?" 


"Well," said the Queen, 

"The most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people." 


Obama frowned, and then asked, 

"But how do I know if the people around me are really intelligent?" 


The Queen took a sip of champagne. 

"Oh, that's easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle, watch" 
The Queen pushed a button on her intercom. 
"Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?" 


Tony Blair walked into the room and said, 
"Yes, your Majesty?" 



The Queen smiled and said, 

"Answer me this please Tony. 
Your mother and father have a child. 
It is not your brother and it is not your sister. 
Who is it?" 




Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answered… 

"That would be me." 


"Yes! Very good." said the Queen. 



Obama went back home to ask Joe Biden the same question. 
"Joe, answer this for me." 

"Your mother and your father have a child. 
It's not your brother and it's not your sister. 
Who is it?" 


"I'm not sure," said Biden. 

"Let me get back to you on that one." 
He went to his advisors and asked everyone, but none could give him an answer. 


Frustrated, Biden went to work in congressional gym and saw Paul Ryan there. 

Biden went up to him and asked, "Hey Paul, see if you can answer this question." 
"Shoot Joe." 
“Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. 
Who is it?" 


Paul Ryan answered, 

"That's easy, it's me!" 



Biden smiled, and said, "Good answer Paul!" 


Biden then, went back to speak with President Obama. 
"Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle." 

"It's Paul Ryan!" 


Obama got up, stomped over to Biden, and angrily yelled into his face, 

"No! You idiot! It's Tony Blair!" 


. . . AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS PRECISELY WHAT'S GOING ON AT THE WHITE HOUSE



 
 

  ­­  

Monday, April 29, 2013

"YOU ARE THE SONG"



POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR MAY

 

Each month, the Holy Father names two prayer intentions:  a general intention, and a mission intention. Catholics and all the faithful are invited to unite our voices in prayer to the Father for these heartfelt needs.
The Pope’s general prayer intention for May is:
“That administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right conscience.”
His mission intention is:
“That seminaries, especially those of mission Churches, may form pastors after the Heart of Christ, fully dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel.”
Let us pray.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

IGNITUM TODAY - THE VOCATION OF LOVE

IgnitumToday


Posted: 27 Apr 2013 04:00 AM PDT
feet-washing

God has called the members of His church to a specific state in life. He has called some to the priesthood, others to the consecrated life, others to marriage, and some to the single life. Over the years, I have seen numerous online articles and debates that discussed which vocation is considered the greatest. Today I wish to submit a surprising answer. The greatest vocation is not priesthood or religious life. It is not marriage or the single life. No, the greatest vocation is the vocation of love (or to love) which is the foundation of any vocation, religious or not.

Love is the foundation of Jesus’ teachings heard in today’s gospel for this Fifth Sunday of Easter—I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus tells us that if we have love for one another, then others will know we are His disciples. This teaching of Jesus is succinctly summarized in a hymn that will resound throughout the churches this weekend:  “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.”    What are some concrete expressions of Christian love that people will know us by?  We only need to turn to Matthew 25, in which Jesus explains how he will separate the sheep from the goats. If we have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the prisoner, gave drink to the thirsty, etc., we have done these things for the Lord. These are corporal acts of mercy, acts of love. These are ways that they will know we are Christians by our love.

Love is quintessential. Everything we do should be motivated by love of God and others. The ministry of the apostles in the early Church recounted in the Acts of the Apostles was a ministry of love.  In today’s first reading, Paul and Barnabas proclaimed the Good News and made a considerable number of disciples. They proclaimed God’s love for humankind; a love that motivated the incarnate Son of God to die on a tree for the sins of the world. Jesus died out of love for us to win our salvation. And at the conclusion of Paul and Barnabas’ mission, the people gathered together to recount what God had done to them. They recalled the many ways in which God had manifested His love toward them.

For Paul, love was the foundation of everything we do. Love gives meaning to everything. Listen to how Paul begins his famous ode to Love in his First Letter to the Church in Corinth:  If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. And as we all know, he told us that love is patient, and kind, that it does not brood over injury, and so on. Paul concluded with a teaching on the theological virtues: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.

Love is the greatest because that is all that remains in the end. Faith on earth in what we cannot see will be fulfilled when we see God in heaven. Our hope for salvation and to one day be united with God after we die will be experienced in Heaven. All that remains is love. John helps us to picture this in today’s reading from the Book of Revelation. He says that God will dwell with them and they will be His people and He will always be with them as their God. Moreover, God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, mourning, wailing, or pain, for the old order has passed away. The new order is a place where there will be no more suffering; it will be an order of love. In Heaven love is all that remains because it is an everlasting relationship with our God who is love.

One of the popular saints of recent years best encapsulated the vocation to love. St. Therese of Lisieux said, “My vocation is love!  I want to be love in the heart of the Church. To make Love loved. To Work for God’s love alone, with one purpose of pleasing God, consoling His Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love God eternally.”  Therese sincerely wanted to obey Jesus’ commandment of love toward others. She often took on penances and tolerated annoyances out of love for another sister. She wanted to do everything as an act of love. I once heard (or read) that if St. Therese encountered a stick on a sidewalk in the courtyard, she would pick it up and move it as an act of love, so one of the older sisters would not have to. She truly knew Love; She responded to love and wanted to be love.

We are all called to a vocation of love in the way we have responded to God’s personal call in our lives whether we are priests, religious, married, or single. Love makes human society function. If it were not for love of others, our world would be self-interested and not care about the elderly, the poor, the homeless, the immigrant, etc. We all need to embrace our vocation to love. Maybe it is by offering a prayer for someone or being a friend to someone who needs one. Maybe it is taking care of a sick relative or visiting a son or daughter in prison. Maybe it is loving another even when you do not experience love in return.

In the next week let us heed the Lord’s new commandment of love, to love one another as He has loved us. He loved us to the point of shedding blood and dying on the cross. Are we ready to shed our own blood and die for someone we love?  Remember, If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.  The world will know you are a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, if you have love for one another. So today go and love your family, your friend, neighbor, or enemy for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A CONVERSATION WITH GOD

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won't get mad
...
God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm Sorry God

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Message to Marija - April 25, 2013



Today, April 25, 2013, the Blessed Mother appeared to the visionary Marija and delivered the following message:
Dear children! Pray, pray, keep praying until your heart opens in faith as a flower opens to the warm rays of the sun. This is a time of grace which God gives you through my presence but you are far from my heart, therefore, I call you to personal conversion and to family prayer. May Sacred Scripture always be an incentive for you. I bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

LETTING GO


Positive Thoughts

Letting Go...
Posted: 23 Apr 2013 03:43 AM

The temptation to hold on too tightly to things we need to let goof can be overwhelming. A bad relationship, trouble at work, money problems,or a general dissatisfaction with our stations in life are common things that keep us up at night. Most of the things we worry about the most are things we cannot change, and yet, we let them wreak havoc on our health and well-being. Teacing ourselves to let go of unnecessary worry is the only way to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Focus on what can be changed.

The best way to come up with a solution to a problem is to meditate on possible solutions. But what if your problem cannot be solved? We cannot change anything but ourselves, so everything else is not worth the energy it takes to worry about it. Look at every situation that worries you and ask, what can I change about myself to make this situation better? if there is nothing more you can do, you must trust that it will work out for the best and that you did everything you could. Focusing your valuable time and energy on improving your habits and outlook will yield much better results than any other pursuit.

Take a chance.

Humanity's entire history has led to the amazing masterpiece that is you. You are capable of wondrous things that will shock and inspire not only yourself, but those around you. You will never know what you can do, however, unless you let go of fear and take a chance. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone will make you confident and will build to a collection of skills and experiences that are uniquely yours. Let go and talk to new people , go somewhere different, or try a new hobby,and you will be free of the limits you think you have.

Make a difference in the world.

The deepest peace in our hearts and most important legacies we leave are all results of the differences we have made in the lives of others. Creating something that leaves the world  a better place than when we found it banishes the fears and doubts that hold us back. Let go and do what you can to make a connection with someone else and your life will have purpose and meaning. Every day is a new chance to do something that makes a difference.

Happiness comes easiest to those who aren't looking for it. If you cannot let go of the things you can't control, they will only control you. Take a chance, make a difference, and do not allow fear and doubt to hold you back.

Karina Loureiro.


Monday, April 22, 2013

ABOUT PRAYER

"Here I am Lord; it is I, Lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, where you lead me; I will hold your people in my heart."

One of my favorite hymns.  Moreover, the words resonate within me. I find myself singing this hymn some days when I am all alone in my home, doing chores and suddenly, I'm singing out to God.

I don't know about other people, but when I chose to deepen my faith my praying more fervently, truly meditating on God, Jesus and Mother Mary, it happened that I was drawn closer to them and my faith. I can't tell you "when" or "where", or that it was even caused by an event of some kind.  I just know that I love more deeply, I have mended relationships that had gone astray, I look at the world as God's gift, and I pray silently in my head all of the time.

Some people are "put off" by too much "religion".  I am definitely not a "Bible Thumper", but when I am seeing a need in someone, someone who is going through a difficult time, God speaks.  I want to lead people to God so that they can attain their place in heaven where God intended for them to go when their time comes.  When I counsel someone who beseeches me for "advice", I try to make that advice Godly.  That means that I encourage people to be prayerful, and if it is truly sincere and one's heart is focused on God during that prayer, He WILL comfort you.

Whenever you need to get something off your chest?  Your best friends are God and Jesus Christ.


"How many times have you prayed today? Do you know how to pray? The most beautiful part of becoming a born again Christian is your direct route to talking directly to God. He does answer prayers. Even if you sometimes don't have the words to say, just speak from the heart and He will listen.

This is such an important part of Christian life that most people forget about - talking to God can improve your life in so many ways. He may answer your prayers or maybe even give you answers to question you didn't even know you were asking. The special relationship between you and God is important and you should take part in it every day.

Read the Bible verses on prayer so that you can become closer to God. The scripture on prayer will teach you how to pray - and most of the time isn't anything more than taking time out of your day to be quiet and talk to God. (1)"


When leaving home to drive to the doctor, the grocery store or someplace else, that prayer pops into my head for God's protection against danger.  It's become "automatic", i.e., habit.  I have a rosary hanging from my rear-view mirror; I reach up as I drive along and run my fingers over the crucifix in my palm and say, "I love you, Jesus."  Sometimes I sing hymns as I drive to and from my destinations.  I just know that is makes me feel close to Him and I can feel His presence and Him lifting me up with love and grace.  I am grateful, and GRATITUDE is essential in a Christian life.

All of these things that I speak of have come over a period of about three years.  I cry when I am in adoration.  I cannot help but be overcome by the greatest love of all and my being able to be in His presence.

Being close to God, Jesus, Heaven, Mother Mary, all things heavenly, only comes naturally when you have done your part.  That means practicing certain things in your life regularly.  Reading the Bible, prayer every day, looking for God in all things - even negative events, accepting that sometimes bad things happen to good people, remembering Him in little prayers throughout your day, giving thanks for all that you have, meditating on Him, and that means clearing your mind of everything but Him and His tremendous love for you.

God always answers prayers; however, people seem to think that when they pray for something, the answer is going to come immediately. NOT!  God has His own time and it is quite different from ours. Don't give up; keep on praying.  There's an old saying:  "God doesn't give you everything that you want, but He always gives you what you need."  God may be answering your prayers and you don't even notice it because it has come in a different form than you are expecting.  God is not earthly; He is heavenly.

I'll give you an example.  My best friend had been going with a fella for 17 years.  She bought an old place on the lake early in the relationship.  They cut trees, built a shop and patio by the water, and did lots of renovations to the house.  She thought they were building something for THEM to grow old there with each other.  It turned out that he was not what we thought he was.  He was perverted and ultimately found someone who was as perverted as himself.  He cheated on her and she found out about the girl, and hence, they broke up.  She is a quiet person and she was depressed for two years, but made herself keep on going.  I prayed constantly, "Please Lord, send someone to [my best friend] who will love her unconditionally, and be good to her."  This went on for quite some time.  One day, her broker who lives 50 miles away found a chocolate lab roaming on the highway.  He didn't have a collar so no owner could be identified.  He took the dog in and advertised and asked around, but didn't find the owner.  He called my friend and asked her if she would like to take him in and she said "yes".

It's been six years now.  At first, Charlie [the dog] stunk to high heaven.  But over time, my friend kept bathing him, taking him for groomings, his shots and checkups.  She named him Charlie.  Today, Charlie is growing old, he has arthritis in his back legs and it may get better with warm weather.  But he love my friend so very much, and she loves him.  She takes him with her to her mother's and sister's homes.  Her sister will "babysit" him if my friend wants to come and spend the night at our house and go to dinner, etc..

My point is this:  God answered my prayer, but not in the way that I expected.  I prayed for someone who would love her unconditionally and be good to her, and Charlie is all this and more.  So you see? God is probably giving you the answers and you're not paying attention!  This is my favorite story to tell those who are skeptical or feel God doesn't answer them.  He DOES and IS answering prayers constantly, and He LOVES hearing from you, so don't be shy, just talk to him like you would your own father.

When my mother had a stroke December 15, 2010, I didn't think she'd ever know me or speak again. That's how awful it was at that time.  It devastated me and my father.  But today, she can get out of her chair using her walker and she can go to the restroom alone - regaining some privacy is HUGE!  She has also learned to dress herself.  All this learned through a lot of therapy which she loved.

My mother is a Godly woman in every way.  She's the one who told me when I asked if she got depressed about her situation, "No. I can't do anything about it, so why worry about it:?"  Instead she has taken the bull by the horns and worked very hard over the last two years and some months to get where she is.  I remember going to Texas to see them and her saying "it's gonna get better", but I doubted her, and God.  I have been proven wrong on both counts.  She has come a very long way; she has fought to get her life back and I am so proud of her.  She is prayerful and PATIENT!  I wish I was more like her, and I am trying to be so.  She is private about a lot of things, and she doesn't talk much about God and prayer like I do.  Maybe because all of this is so new to me and I am so excited that I can't wait to see what God is going to do for me next!

God uses us as instruments of His peace.  Things that happen to you may be intended to affect someone else in a positive way, to bring them to God.  I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but we must thank him for the bad, as well as the good, because no matter what is transpiring in our lives, God is at the wheel and you MUST accept that God has a plan and everything happens according to his plan.

Now this doesn't mean that he allows terrorism and the like; but, after the fact, so many are drawn to Him, their lives changing for the better.  It's always amazing how much people can change in the face of adversity.

BUT, you cannot call on Him only when you want something or something bad has happened in your life.  First and foremost, you have to thank Him daily for all the good things in your lives.  And when you begin to pray with gratitude for all you are and all you have, humbling yourself to his Mighty Power and His Infinite Love, your whole world transforms.

I thank God for aches and pains, for negative things in my life that are quite upsetting, and I use the second half of my prayers to pray my intentions - to God, to Jesus, to Mother Mary, and to my patron Saint, St Theresa of Lisieux.

Begin right now, pray with me.  Lord, I am so thankful for all that I have, my wonderful husband who provides so well for me, for my children who are so dear, and for my grandchildren who are the light of my life. Thank you for the prayers you've answered, for the blessings from Heaven, for the hurts I've experienced for I know that they are intended to help me grow more close to You.  I am your Instrument of Peace, and I will tell people about You and Your wondrous Love, Grace, Mercy and Protection.  Lord, please protect my family from all harm or danger.  Watch over my mother and daddy, and help mama to keep advancing in getting her life back, and for my daddy who takes such good care of her. Keep him healthy and give him strength. Thank you for the friends that I have and love. Thank you for this beautiful day, and all the creatures that I hear and see outdoors.  They are all so beautiful.  Please forgive me for the sins that I have committed for I know how they hurt you and I am so very sorry.  Help me to go and sin no more, Jesus.  Help me to grow more fully in your love.  Send the Holy Spirit into my heart to guide me on the right path.  God, I love and adore thee; Jesus, I love and adore thee; Mother Mary, I love and adore adore thee.  I am happy to be your instrument of peace.  I will do all that You ask of me with a glad heart.  In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.

I will leave you with a few short verses of prayer that are easy to remember.  Use them.  And also use The Serenity Prayer - that one has really helped me through some difficult times!

Now, got in peace and serve the Lord in all that you do.  The results will come and eventually you will see a huge change in yourself and you will fall on your knees and give thanks, and wonder "what took me so long?"

With the love of Jesus Christ,
Abbey

Matthew 7:7  ”Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 21:22 
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24 
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 14:13-14
 
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

(1) http://www.godvine.com/bible/category/prayer

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WHO AM I?

I am SO guilty . . . and I am extremely contrite this morning. Let me know how you see yourself after reading the following very timely article from Ignitum Today.

~*~
IgnitumToday


Posted: 16 Apr 2013 09:10 AM PDT

Man is inherently social. He is Aristotle’s “zoon politikon.”

It is with this anthropology in mind that John Paul II affirms, “Man can only find himself in a sincere gift of himself.” It is only outside of his own being that he can find the answer to the Fundamental Question: the purpose of his own existence. Who am I? Why am I?

These questions must be sought for outside of his own being. Any other option devolves into narcissism. Each human heart yearns for the affirmation that it is good that you are alive and can never possibly hope to provide this answer for itself. This word must be uttered by someone else.

The American Enlightened Individualist laughs in the face of this need for the other to speak this word and plows through dozens of self-help books until finding that perfect strategy for ensuring their personal stability. With frenetic energy, he searches. Only when he has emblazoned enough techniques into his life that will finally allow him to repress the need for someone else can he take a breath. Standing at the gut-wrenching precipice of true openness to communion with the Other (whether that person be human or divine human), he turns away in sadness and fear. The individualism, drilled into him from birth, again turns him instead inward, convinced that to need would be weakness and to stand in vulnerability waiting for love would lead only to disappointment. He cannot let go of his ego. He went away sad, for he had many possessions.

He will continue to search for the answer to this question. “Easy!” psychology assures him. You’re just lacking a sense of self-esteem. Simply wake up, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “Darnit, it’s good to know you.” Meanwhile, his heart burns for a word of authentic love to be spoken to it. Instead, he shouts this desire into silence. “It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re all fine.” Can there be a more profound suffering? Hell is other people, right Sartre?

sistine-chapel-creation-of-adam

Man craves for his existence to be affirmed, yet he cannot speak this word of affirmation to himself. He needs the other, and even the love of a human other will only serve to display his need for an even higher kind of Other. The immutable, utterly benevolent, perfectly loving Other. He needs a Charity, a Love that is not fabricated or forced but is pure gift. He needs to stand open to Love and let this word of love be spoken to Him. A Charity he has no claim on. Undeserved and still completely offered.

The very act of man’s existence itself is to be the yearning for this love. As Pope Benedict XVI shared with us, the purpose of prayer is to heighten this yearning and recognize its fulfillment outside of earthly experience.

This is a reality that is more known than felt. For this to happen, faith needs to become more than a doctrinal proposition. It has to become a cognitive discipline revealing the way things actually are. Faith is always a conviction about what’s real. The Human, built limited but open to the transcendent, must come to recognize that he has been made from a completely abundant act of love and is held in existence by that love. In fact, each second of the very action of his existence is an affirmation of the fact that it is good that he is.

Decisively, conclusively, exhaustively. Forever. “It is good that you are alive.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

GREETINGS, DEAREST ONES

I apologize. I've been visiting my 81 year old parents in Texas for the last two weeks. I'm flying home today and will be back in the saddle this week. It's been a great visit. My mother is now able to get up from a sitting position using her walker, and she can dress herself. I'm so proud of the hard work she's accomplished. I remember a time a year and a few months ago when I was devastated and didn't think my mother would ever walk, much more, speak again. Praise God for her tenacity and determination.

I'll leave you with a quote from Positive Thoughts and prayers for a Blessed Day!

''Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always make you less than you are.'' 

~Malcolm Forbes

IN CHRIST,
Abbey 🌹

Monday, April 01, 2013

FROM TWITTER

HOW I MISSED COMMUNION ON EASTER SUNDAY

This was just too good not to share. I know you will be as touched as I was after reading it. I also highly recommend subscription to Dr. Marshall's emails.  They are so inspiring.  Incidentally, he was a convert in 2006.  And I especially loved the Prayer for Spiritual Communion. I'll be adding it to my daily prayers!

Blessings +++
Abbey  

~*~

How I Missed Communion on Easter Sunday - A Lessoned Learned

Link to Dr. Taylor Marshall | Canterbury Tales

Posted: 01 Apr 2013 09:28 AM PDT
The Marshall Children on Easter Sunday
I'm going to share a somewhat embarrassing story about how I missed Holy Communion on Easter Sunday.
As most of you know already, my family attends the Latin Mass at a parish of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) - Mater Dei Catholic Church in Irving, Texas. It's a wonderful and beautiful parish. We could not be happier with our priests and friends there. 
The Solemn High Mass (with priest, deacon, and subdeacon) was packed on Easter Sunday morning. We have six children so including mom and dad, we need a place that holds 8 people in a row per pew. Now the usher, a friend of mine, was able to squeeze our family into an already tight pew...with the exception of myself who was holding the one year old named Blaise. Joy (who is 8 months pregnant) and the 5 older children were in safely in the pew.
Suddenly, another usher gave me his seat next to his wife since he probably wasn't ever going to get to sit down on this busiest of Easter Sundays. So our family was divided in Mass. This is key to understanding what happened later.
So I was sitting with the one year old Blaise. He was pretty good at first. As we got the Collect and then the Epistle, I could see that the restlessness was growing within him. We got through the Gospel. We got through the first few minutes of the sermon, and then he does what he always does. Without music or activity in the sanctuary, he begins to compete with Father's homily. He begins to preach his own baby sermon by making grunts and then delightfully listening to his voice echo throughout the church.

I obeyed my rule: If the little one makes 3 noises in a row or makes a noise that lasts over 3 seconds, we take him out to the narthex or the cry room.

Well, three strikes and we were out. I took Blaise, stopped by the holy water fount and went to the narthex.
He eventually calmed down and we went back in for the consecration. However, after the consecration of the Precious Blood, he was getting loud again. We went outside.
After the Canon was over, my 11 year old son Gabriel appeared. The priests of the parish have a rule about bathrooms. Father, for the sake of protecting young people, says that everyone under 12 has to be accompanied by an adult to the bathroom. So if my 11 year old needs to go to the bathroom, then I have to escort him to the restroom, wait for him and then take him back to the pews.
So I do that. 
Then, as I'm walking Gabriel back to the church, one of my 9 year old twins greets me. Guess what? She needs to go to the bathroom, which means that I have to escort her to the bathroom, which I do.
And I wait outside the women's bathroom for ever and ever in saecula saeculorum. Finally, she comes out and we head back to the church.
As we get the doors, my usher friend says, "Man, are you going to Communion? You had better hurry!"
So I go into the Church. I enter just in time to see the priests returning the to the altar and then place the ciborium in the tabernacle. It's over. Holy Communion is over. I missed it. My heart sank.
I was so discouraged. I just walked outside and strapped the one year old into his car seat. I got in the front seat and I cried...
All the fasting. All the preparation during Lent. Getting dressed up for Easter Sunday. Getting new outfits for the children on Easter Sunday. All that, and I missed the most important thing on Easter: the Holy Eucharist.
Easter Mass wasn't a moment of liturgical glory. It was a baby-sitting stunt. It was a time of escorting kids to the bathroom. It's mundane.
For some reason my mind was stuck on the "foolish virgins" of Saint Matthew's Gospel who weren't ready when the Jesus Christ came. They missed their big opportunity:

[10] Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.
[11] But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. [13] Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.

You might say to me, "Oh Taylor don't be hard on yourself. You were just doing what you had to do. You juggled three kids and it just happened." You'd be right. I don't think that I sinned. I don't think that I did anything wrong. But still, I was bummed out. 
In my heart I began to resent my children. And then I began to resent my wife. Why didn't she help me out?!

Then I realized that I was thinking and feeling in a way that was contrary to Christ and contrary to His Gospel. I stopped. I made a spiritual Communion. Over and over and prayed the prayer for a spiritual Communion.

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.  
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.  Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.
After Mass was over, we went home. My heart was not full of Easter joy. I was literally empty. 
I was unhappy until I realized that I wasn't a foolish virgin. Jesus wasn't punishing me. The door wasn't closed yet. I'd just go to another Mass and receive Him there. And so I did. 
I went to the Cathedral in Fort Worth - the place where I became a Catholic in 2006. I received Our Divine Lord there in the Blessed Sacrament. It was not convenient, but it was wonderful. It was beautiful. It was worth it. Everything is worth it - even the children who have to go to the bathroom and the complications of going to two Masses on Easter Sunday.

Jesus is worth it. 
What did I learn? Even when we are doing our "duties," we need to be eagerly aware of moments of grace.  The window of opportunity for each day may be more limited than we think. If I had been more aware, I could have asked the usher, "Is it almost time for Communion? Do I have time to take her to the bathroom?" I could have told my daughter to hold it for 5 minutes. Instead, I just assumed that the timing would all work out...and I was wrong.
But even if we do miss it, we can always go back to Jesus who is the Divine Mercy. True, when we die, it's all over. There are no more second chances. But in this life, we can constantly make another run at it.

I could have sat in pity and ruined my own Easter. I could have been bitter about having "all these kids" like George Bailey during his break down in It's a Wonderful Life (see photo). Or I could just drive to another Mass and do it all over again. It's a little more work. But it's worth it. 
Jesus is worth it.

Have a great Eastertide!

Godspeed,
Taylor
PS: And of course, the kids are worth it, too!
Blaise, the one year old, is the little guy in the photo.
He enjoyed Easter - just not the Mass part of it.

Now I'll open up the comments: Have you had a moment like this? Parents especially, do you ever feel like you're getting gipped during the Mass? It's hard to juggle kids and pray. How to you understand your vocation to pray and offer intentions as being in "conflict" (for lack of a better word) with your vocation to care for little ones during the liturgy?

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DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYERS - DAY 4

Peace be with you!
 
It's time to celebrate... Easter! 
 
That's right, we are still in the Easter Octave. Easter is so huge and important that one feast day can't contain it... it needs eight! Let's continue to pray the novena prayers today while we celebrate God's mercy!
 
Here are the prayers for today:
 
Divine Mercy Novena Prayers - Day 4
 
"Today bring to Me THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD AND THOSE WHO DO NOT YET KNOW ME. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."
 
Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.
 
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages.
 
Amen.
 
 
 
---------------------------------
 
I hope you have a great week!
 
I'm praying for you!
 
God Bless You,
 
     John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com