Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ciao di Roma!

Seeing as I haven't written on this blog in seven months, I feel the need to offer a brand new welcome! And now hailing from across the ocean, I will offer it in my newest language: Bienvenuti!

The Lord has been blessing me with an amazing pilgrimage before and now during my study-abroad semester in Rome. It would take forever to chronicle all that He has brought me to see and experience, but I do want to share some of the highlights with you! (Unfortunately, due to technological diffculty on my computer, I can't share pictures just yet but I promise to post some in the not-too-distant future).

My fellow classmates and I first travelled to Assisi on pilgrimage, where we walked in the footsteps of St. Francis and St. Clare. It was a beautiful experience to watch the sunrise over the mountains three mornings in a row and so powerful to pray in front of the San Damiano cross where St. Francis heard the voice of Christ. Next, we went to Siena and stayed by the home of St. Catherine and sang for Mass in her sanctuary. We also had the amazing opportunity to attend Mass in the chapel of a Eucharistic Miracle. In 1730, 223 consecrated hosts were stolen from the Tabernacle of a Church. Two days later, they were found in the back of another church and today, after 281 years, the hosts have not disintegrated but are still perfectly fresh and intact.

Then we returned to Rome to settle in and begin classes. What a privilege to walk across St. Peter's Square every day. I will never tire of that beautiful basilica! I love being in the heart of the Church. There is so much exquisite art and architecture here and the history is so alive and tangible! This past week, we attended a papal audience and saw Pope Benedict XVI within five feet. On the same day, we went below St. Peter's basilica to see St. Peter's tomb. It was full circle: the first Pope to the current Pope, all in one day!

The latest highlight was taking a trip through the mountains and up the coast of the Adriatic Sea yesterday to visit Loreto, where the home of the Holy Family was miraculously transported from the Holy Land during wartime. Scientific research has confirmed "that the building materials used in the house correspond to those used in the basement of the home still in place in Nazareth... Furthermore, various markings of Jewish-Christian origin found in the stones also resemble those found at Nazareth." (Catholic Shrines of Western Europe Book)

Sending prayers for you from all of these holy places. If you have any special intentions for me to remember, please let me know. Arrivederci e Dio vi benedica!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Word Became Flesh...

...and dwelt among us!

Dearest Mary, as we celebrate the day you uttered "Fiat," giving life to the Son of God become man in your womb, please teach us to joyfully say Fiat to whatever He asks of us! Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jesus in the Eucharist

"Children have need of Him that they may be formed to habits of virute; youths have need of Him that they may obtain mastery over their passions; maidens have need of Him that they may preserve their innocence untarnished; grown-up men and women have need of Him that they may advance in virtue and carry out faithfully the duties of their state of life; there are none who can afford to neglect the great source of spiritual stength, none who can do without Him."
- Pope St. Pius X

Lenten challenge: try to make time during the week to attend Holy Mass and receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist more frequently--every day if possible! For the spiritual strength He gives us in this Sacrament is "the surest and shortest way to Heaven" (Pope Pius X). Even if you are already in the habit of frequent reception of Holy Communion, take a few minutes to quietly contemplate the immense GIFT He bestows by giving us Himself. What a privilege to receive the King of the Universe into our hearts!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blessed Advent Week of Love!

From the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Advent:

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” - Matthew 1:18-24

Praising the Lord for all of His blessings, especially that of being home with loved ones after a full, intense, yet blessed fall semester at Christendom!
Dearest Lord, teach us how to be perfect in love just as You taught Mary and Joseph, and show us how to give You this perfect gift for Christmas. Amen.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Now I'll set a new record...

...and post twice in 10 minutes!
A brief update on this past week at Christendom College:

Last weekend: The Christendom Players' Fall Production of "Appointment With Death" by Agatha Christie. Yours truly acted not on stage but behind the scenes as program-designer and hair-dresser.

During the week:
- Paper on "The Role of the Family in the Church and in Modern Society" for Second Vatican Council Class
-Latin exam on a letter by a Roman magistrate regarding the early Christian martyrs
-Elections for the Chester-Belloc debate society spring semester
-Visit from our dear friend Victoria and her mom for the weekend
-Exegesis on Psalm 84 (Oh how lovely is Thy dwelling place...): an examination and presentation on the rich levels of a scripture passage...23 pages long
-St. Cecilia's Night! Last night Veronica and I both performed vocal numbers: I soloed "Esurientes Implevit Bonis" from Bach's Magnificat, and together we sang "Duo Seraphim" by Richard Dering. What a privilege!
- Now two more paper assignments await my attention... :)

But today is the great feast of Christ the King! The choir will be singing a glorious Mass in our Christ the King Chapel in the morning and the special Palestrina choir which I am a part of will be leading Vespers in the afternoon. Medieval Fest and a debate on penal law to follow in the evening. Never a dull moment here at Christendom!

Viva Christo Rey!

"You have made us for Yourself, O Lord...

...and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."
- St. Augustine, Confessions, book one

Oh how grateful I am that God is always here to bring peace to my soul, even when time is too short to complete all that must be done. It is His work, not mine, and so I re-consecrate it to Him.

As Thanksgiving approaches, what do you thank Him for today?

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Gratitude for Many Blessings...

My goodness, I think I just set a record for the longest period of time not updating this blog since its inception. Apologies for my very extended silence! Sophomore year has been, shall we saya little intense? this semester. :) At the same time, though, it has been filled with so many countless blessings and reminders from our good God that even though we are so weak, HE is strong. And even when times seem stressful and there is too much to do, HE has everything under control. What beautiful lessons in trust He daily teaches me! How many opportunities He gives me to blossom as His daughter, and to appreciate all that I am learning here!

In prayer last night the Holy Spirit led me to meditate on Psalm 84. Why don't you dust off your bible and quietly ponder these holy words -- His words -- for a few moments?

Praising His glorious name, and begging that I may always add to His glory during my brief time here on earth!

Yours in Christ, through the intercession of Blessed Mother,

Monday, August 30, 2010

On the Priesthood...

"Just as from the temple all good emanates, so from the temple all evil emanates. If the priesthood has been unspotted, the whole church flourishes; if, however, it has been corrupted, everyone's faith is withered. If the priesthood has been involved in sin, the whole population is turned toward sinning. Just as when you see a tree faded and withered, you know it has a defect in its root, so when you see a people undisciplined and irreligious, without doubt the priesthood is not healthy."

- From a Father of the Church (quoted in Piers Plowman, Christendom History 201)

Let us pray fervently for our priests, for on their shoulders rests the power to either bring many souls closer to Christ or to lead them astray. May Mary, Mother of all Priests, keep each of them united to the Heart of Her Son, Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Give Thanks to the Lord...

...for He is good. His mercy endures forever!

I just realized how long it's been since I last wrote anything here, and for that I apologize! The Lord blessed me with one of the most wonderful and memorable summers ever. It would take pages to describe it all, so I will just list a few highlights since Ave Cor Mariae Summer Camp:

- Spending precious time with family and friends, working together to spread the light and love of Christ to many souls (and sometimes doing random fun things like play volleyball in the yard at midnight :)

- A visit to Wisconsin to spend a week with Grandpa and Grandma, helping serve hundreds of people at their county fair, and learning the joy of bringing a smile to people's faces...even when they are complete strangers.

- Working into the wee hours of the morning preparing for "Catholic Cruz: All Aboard the Sacrament Ship!" Catholic Kids Day Camp, doing such things as writing the daily Saint skits, painting helper's t-shirts, writing, drawing, and type-setting "Gifts of God" - our newest coloring book on the Seven Sacraments, and so much more. What a blessing to do the Lord's work and be used as instruments of the Holy Spirit in such a way.

- Guiding the "Lighthouses" group of 20 preschoolers at Catholic Kids' Camp, and making up fun religious ditties to help them remember who we were (The Lighthouses!) and what we were learning about (the Sacraments!). What a joy to guide them each day to their activities, lead their lessons, bring them to Eucharistic Adoration, and to experience their enthusiasm and love of life!

- Attending the Couple to Couple League Family Convention in Greenlake, WI, with my family, helping lead music for Holy Mass each day, teach children's songs, instruct a family contra dance and young adult swing and ballroom lessons, and spend time with big, happy Catholic families!

- Camping in Michigan near "Sleeping Bear Dunes" and experiencing two picturesque days of hiking, swimming, singing, and praying with my family (and a young couple we met on their honeymoon!), climbing back up the 450ft dune, watching the sunset and then the stars come out, writing "God is Love" in the sand with big rocks and then witnessing a young man propose to his (now) fiancee and ask her to marry him! It was beautiful.

Now I am back at Christendom, with a joyful and grateful heart for the MANY ways God continues to bless us. Please keep Veronica and I in your prayers as we have now entered the new school year.

Challenges await all of us! But God is on our side. All He asks is for our faithfulness.

For the King!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Praise the Lord!

My mother, sisters, and I just spent a truly blessed week at Miles Jesu's Ave Cor Mariae Catholic Girls' Summer Camp in Dixon, IL. Not too many years ago I attended as a camper myself, but for the last few years I have gone back as an assistant leader. What a beautiful mission field Our Lord calls us to! Each day we were privileged to help minister to 72 girls from all over the country in all sorts of ways... Mom as camp nurse and Claire, Veronica, and I leading daily activities such as art, craft, hair, dance, skits, and finally a talent show at the end of the week. Even though each day was extremely packed, Christ was so present there, providing all the strength and grace necessary to carry out His work! Each morning began with Holy Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions were available each afternoon. So much joy and love abounded and I am so grateful to have been a part of it all.

Thank You, Lord, for Your Goodness!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Congratulations... my talented sister Claire who is attending the Sacred Music Colloquium this week and was selected to sing the soprano solo in her polyphony choir. Praise God!

"Make music to the Lord with the harp and melodious song." - Psalm 98:5

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Since I am a Princess with Jesus as my King and Mary as my Queen...

...and this month is dedicated to Them, it is only fitting that I dedicate a post to Them! And since blogger will not let me copy the beautiful consecration prayer to the Sacred Heart that I wanted to post here, I will simply include a link:

I love the prayer all the way at the bottom of the page entitled "Renewal of the Consecration of Families". Please head on over to Catholic Culture and pray it with me. And if your home and family have not yet been enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, please read about the devotion and consider doing it with your family! We had our home and family enthroned on my birthday in 1994 and it has been a huge grace for us.

All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph.