Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dear Lou Ann Paz,

Jesus Christ is LORD!

Thank you for submitting your prayer request to us. We are praying with you for:

Lord, I humbly ask you for the gift of fasting. I ask that your blessed mother, Mary interceed for me in this request. I ask that you heal the hearts of those crying out for your healing and that you provide us the grace necessary to do your will everyday. Amen"Pray always without becoming weary." (Lk 18:1)Please visit our Prayer Room often to pray for other requests.

In the love of Christ,

PM Intercessors Prayer Team

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Suffering in Secret

The loudest and scariest noise I can remember besides my Mother screaming... was the big drum accompanied by the drum corp at a Las Cruces Homecoming parade when I was about three years old. I felt as though my heart would come out of my chest with each beat.

I was always a shy child. I compensated by forcing myself to join drama productions as a youngster and by taking speech class every year from high school into college. In high school, lunch was the worse time of the day. I hated walking into the cafeteria surrounded by other kids who seemed so comfortable in their surroundings. Knowing that I kept to myself--- afraid if I sat with anyone, I would end up making a fool of myself.
I have a sensitivity to fluorescent light. I am hyper sensitive to criticism, studies show that people with my disorder grew up in a highly critical environment. Studies have shown that people with this disorder are very creative and intelligent.... I suppose when they're not busy scaring themselves to death.

As I go through the tapes learning about how to live with this disorder, I have decided to write daily. Perhaps one day, it might help another understand the fear.

FOR TODAY September 2, 2008, Tuesday
Outside My Window...A very quiet day clear skies, big puffy clouds...Breafast: Protein Shake Lunch: Chile Beans Dinner: a salad

I am wearing... brown sweat shorts and a white tee...

I am creating... a platform for understanding the sadness and depression

I am going... to the gym rather I'm being dragged to the gym; but always thankful that I went

I am reading... the newspaper

I am hoping... I can remember to offer up the darkness in my soul

I am hearing... the sound of the air conditioner humming away.

Around the house... quietly waiting ironing.

One of my favorite things... my grandchildren's smiles ;-)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Go with Luly tomorrow to watch her girls while she gets her hair highlighted. And ...keep remembering to offer this sadness up for the salvation of souls.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

All You, Holy Men and Women Pray for Us

At the 6 p.m. Mass on August 26th, this beautiful case was blessed and dedicated. The design was taken from the original altar in the first St. Genevieve Church built 150 years ago and torn down to make room for a bank.

The case was designed and built by Seminarian, Christopher Edward Williams during the summer. He also chaired our Retablo Project. The communion rail is also from the old church.

The case will hold the relics of 13 saints. Frank and I were asked to carry St. Maria Goretti's relic to the case during the dedication mass. I wish I could explain how having a small piece of this little one close to my heart moved me and the others who were honored with carrying a relic of another saint. I will publish the biographies of the saints we honor in this case at another time.

We have at the top a splinter for the cross. Relics from St. John Newman, St. Pope Pius X, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bartholomew, St. Jude, St. St. Maria Goretti, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Theresa of Avila, and a few others that I will present very soon along with their biographies.

The Mass was beautiful! I guess, because it reminded me that these men and women were alive just like me and had trials just like me, and yet managed to follow Christ to the end. Each one contributing to the faith in their own unique and marvelous way.

I believe that the real story about this case is that it was not planned in the mind of any person. That is to say, that events took place that put this project into motion and the project took shape, materials and talent was provided and finally became realized miraculously.

For one thing, Father Ricardo Bauza, our pastor, could not get his paperwork finalized for his visa; which in turn keep him at the parish instead of Norte Dame where he studies during the summer. Wood was provided by a parish member who found the tree knocked down on the side of a road and asked if he could haul it away. The owners of the property were thankful to be rid of it. It was dark walnut. Our Seminarian, Chris is an accomplished carpenter with a love for the historical. He found his inspiration in pictures of the old St. Genevieve.

Frank and I were asked to carry Maria's relic to the case. I had painted her last month. I spent at least 7 days with her and was sad when her image was completed. I learned about her and felt that the time I spent with her had taught me about forgiveness. To understand the lesson, you have to know Maria Goretti.

Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16, 1890; her farm worker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her children.

In 1902 an eighteen year old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed her from her steps and tried to rape her. When Maria said that she would rather die than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife.

As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Her death did not end her forgiveness, however. Alexander was captured and sentenced to thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him flowers. When he woke, he was a changed man, repenting of his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released after 27 years he went directly to Maria’s mother to beg her forgiveness, which she gave. “If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withhold forgiveness,” she said.

When Maria was declared a saint in 1950, Alexander was there in the St. Peter’s crowd to celebrate her canonization. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII for her purity as a model for youth. She is called a martyr because she fought against sexual assault. However, the most important aspect of her story is her forgiveness of her attacker—her concern for her enemy extending even beyond death. She is the patron saint of Purity, Youth, and Rape Victims.
It is easier to forgive when a person is sorry and repenting, isn't it? I mean when you see the heart of the person sorrowful for the wrong that he has committed. But in Maria's situation, he was not sorry until she came to him after death in a dream. She has taught me so much about forgiveness. When we were chosen to carry her relic, I was stunned because very few people know about my fondness for this little saint. It was if she was letting me know that she knows my heart and that she is interceding for me. I truly felt her friendship and her grace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Have A Heart

From today's readings: " I will give you a new heart and place a new spiritwithin you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you naturalhearts.... I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins....The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come....
"Have a Heart! The desperate cry to "Have a Heart!" is among the most tugging appeals one can make beseeching another to re-consider some cold intention orassessment. The appeal plainly and plaintively points out that the proposal under consideration appears heartless, and even inhuman. How touching to note that God uses this same appeal with all His people,entreating us not only to "have a heart," but more specifically, to have the heart that He offers to give us! At first, it might seem inappropriate for us to be saddled with the charge of having "stony hearts," since each of us would hasten to assure all that we certainly do love our God! Yet in all honesty, we must also admit that we have too often treated Him heartlessly. This is particularly true, according to Ezekiel, when the great Name of theLord is profaned among us. This refers not just to the ubiquitous profanity in our midst (which, tragically, is accepted so casually), but also to any ways in which God's rightful place in our lives is demoted or denigrated in any fashion. For example, if a man is too embarrassed to ever speak seriously about his faith (even in his own family!), or if a woman can find plenty of time for romance novels or soap operas, but no time for reading the Bible, then God's Name has certainly been heartlessly profaned in such households! Today, remember above all to have a heart for the Good Lord who gave you your heart!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Madonna of the Streets

I've been given a gift.

Mother says that I've always had the gift but only recently decided to use it.

Perhaps, that is only partly true.
I believe that I didn't know quite how to use it.
Only recently, have I begun to paint retablos for a church fundraiser in November.
Our parish will be purchasing new pews.
My daughter, Carrie asked me to paint our Lady, Madonna of the Streets.

I couldn't resist... and truly,
Igive all glory to God for the result.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Dream

My mom had a dream last night, although vivid... (at one time she was tempted to touch one of the visitors from the beyond)... it was in truth only a dream. She told me that she awoke about 2:30 in the morning because these days she wakes up when she can no longer give her back a pain free place in bed. She had moved to the recliner in the living room and through her locked front door my Grandma walked in looking as though she had picked out a body and face from 1940's closet to wear for her visit. Oh, and Grandma brought my Mom's late dog, Jennifer with her, who I guess came across for the ride. Jennifer was not a dog to be left home, she went everywhere with my dad and then after he died, she spent a few months grieving with Mom until she died... of a broken heart, I was told.

Jennifer was so happy to see Mom that she no sooner jumped through the bolted door when she jumped on to the recliner. Mom said, "I could feel her weight on the comforter, but although I wanted to pet her, I didn't dare because I didn't want to know that the visit was real."

So what did Grandma say looking all fine without the osteoporosis hump on her back that had changed her perspective from looking ahead in life to appearing as though she was always searching for something she had accidentally dropped on the floor.

Grandma brought a dark cloud with her, and said "Your dad is going to die."

"Did you mention to her that she was 18 years late with that news flash?" I asked my Mom. "Didn't she attend his funeral 5 years before she was the guest of honor at her own going away to eternal slumber party?"

"I thought it but decided against mentioning it aloud to my ghost mother."

You see that's a youngster that learned to never argue with a parent, especially a dead one. I was raised the same way. This thought brought me to my next point. I thought it were better to let her know right now that in the future...should she find herself a spirit with a message for me she should just save it until I go to her. Don't be troubling yourself to find a nice face and body from the 1950's or 60's for the visit. Just wait up, I be there before you know it. The message will keep.

My Mom believes I can interpret dreams. I don't think it is that hard. Sometimes a dream is a sounding board for the stresses of life, other dreams are lessons given to help us with the journey, and sometimes they hold important information that we need. Dreams are like cryptic messages filled with images that stand for other things. Like the way your hide a bad taste or texture behind sweet bananas on a spoon for a baby learning to eat solids. You don't know the spoon is loaded until it is too late. Dreams are loaded, but carefully covered with symbols we can swallow.

"So what could it mean?" my Mom asked. "It doesn't make any sense."

"Someone is going to die, it's a heads up from beyond."


"Even if she could, I don't think that she would honestly tell you. Do you?"

I thought about today's readings and mentioned to Mom that at least we don't have to die twice like Lazarus. The guy was risen from death by his good friend Jesus, who wept at his tomb. There is one way into this life and one way out for everybody. I thought about how Jesus is always saving us from many spiritual deaths each time we ask His mercy and forgiveness. The death of a soul outside His great mercy would be our greatest fear.

Mom will be 70 in a few weeks. She has outlived her son, Paul, her husband, and Jennifer. She is having extreme back pain and is looking at some life changes in the next decade. Maybe Grandma's visit was to remind her that death is a beginning of a whole new life for those who believe. That from the beginning, we were created for that perfect, amazing life. We have nothing to fear and so much for which to look forward.

In between, there is so much life. So many opportunities to love as a foretaste of what is to come. The kingdom of God is alive and living in each heart that loves Him! Even in suffering we can give to Him a joyful gift! Because everything is made good through Him and in Him and with Him. We have nothing to fear because a great and awesome God first loved us.

I think that Mom just needed to be reassured that everything was going to go down perfectly because it would be His will for us and He only looks for our very best interests yesterday, today and tomorrow...and then finally to one day bring us back home with Him. We all need a reminder from time to time of the "Good News of our salvation!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.

2 Samuel 7:4-17
Psalm 89: 4-5, 27-30
Mark 4:1-20

The promises made to David in 2 Samuel 7:4-17 were tremendous! But my favorite because it comforts me is 2 Samuel 7:14. "I will be a father to him and he shall be a son to me." In Mark 4:1-20 Jesus says to his followers, "The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you." The word only requires rich soil. It must be accepted, it must take root, tended with the sacraments, daily Mass, the rosary, the chaplet of mercy; and then it will bear fruit thirty, and sixty and a hundredfold.

We know that tribulation and persecution does come and trample the garden of our hearts with weeds and rocks and hungry animals. This is when with confidence that we again, get on our knees to guard the precious Word, renewing the covenant as in Psalm 89 "Forever I will maintain my love for him; my covenant with him stands firm." Recalling this promise, we like David can cry out: "You are my father, my God, the Rock that bring me victory!"

I awoke last night a three in the morning. This is not a rare occurrence. Usually I'm asked to do something. Last night I was asked to write this reflection. God the Father is asking for each heart to be made into a home for Him. Every house, like a field requires the owner to maintain the property so that it doesn't fall into disrepair. When my children were small, we had a dog and between the girls, the dog and lack of money to fix the house our home looked worn out. Missy, our dog had pulled up the carpet when she was teething, and then later continued to chew on our flooring to pay us back for leaving her behind. The girls had stuck stickers on walls, the furniture; and for me it was great fun to see where the next sticker would pop up. Crayons and pencils were utilized for murals on our walls. Although, the house would never be photographed for the cover of House Beautiful Magazine, it was a home. The residents were family in every good sense of the word. Values and virtues were taught and practiced, and most of all, we loved one another.

One day, my sister came to visit. She looked around and made an odd comment. "Don't you have any pride in ownership?" Looking around, it appeared that I didn't. On the surface it looked pretty bad. But the foundation and roof were great. It needed cosmetic work. She didn't notice the love, I thought to myself. She looked at the house, but didn't see the home.

Today, we are more conscious of appearances than ever before. Houses are getting bigger and grander. We spend more time, effort and money on decorating them, sparing no expense to live in mansions that reflect what we can afford. We have extended appearances to our face and bodies, spending to preserve our youthful looks. Injecting our faces with chemicals to hide laugh lines and wrinkles while our hearts grow colder and darker.

God the Father wants a home in each heart. He is not concerned with appearances. He wants a home. He will notice the love. He won't notice the shortcomings, even the sin he will correct as a father corrects, and He will never withdraw His favor from us. Open your hearts with great confidence. Open your hearts now!

The Mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven. (Mark 4:12) and (Isaiah 6:9-10.

Faith will keep the Word safe in our hearts, so that we may look and see and perceive the greatness of our LORD; we will hear and listen and be quick to obey; we will be converted and forgiven, bearing fruit to the glory of our beloved God.

I want my God, to love you face to face.