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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

I wish you a Merry Christmas 2016! We are still within the Octave of Christmas, and even after that, we have much, much, much of the Christmas season left to celebrate, according to the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church! Is it the same in the Russian Orthodox Church liturgical calendar? And the Greek Orthodox? Inquiring minds want to know! Well, p'raps Wikipedia can shed some light on the answers for me!

Santa Claus brought me a fancy Kindle Fire HD 10 for my birthday (just turned 52 in November) and Christmas. While it is not the calibre of tablet that my mom's super, ultra fancy iPad Pro is as far as camera capability, it is good enough for me, as I still believe in (1) using real cameras, (2) taking pictures of things/people/cats/dogs/Christmas decorations other than myself (!!!). I am still learning how to use the camera facing me. It's been quite awhile since I've posted a photo of myself, as I am not a member of the Selfie Religion >^..^<  - catty remark! The below photo is the best I can do for now. I'm not likely to try again for awhile.



***

I just finished watching Mikhail Baryshnikov in the 1977 version of The Nutcracker, on YouTube. I loved it all over again. The more recent versions of The Nutcracker which I've seen performed have left me cold. Baryshnikov is my favorite dancer ever. The full video is at https://youtu.be/0qScYCR5y5k . The ballerina dancing Clara's part is Gelsey Kirkland. Enjoy! It's a beautiful production - gorgeous!

***

I realize that Christmas Tide is a difficult and heart breaking season for many people. Please know that you are in my special prayers for Christmas joy, and gladness. It is so hard to be sad at Christmas time. I've been there. In fact, I still go there sometimes. You children of divorce and you divorced people/single parents know what I mean especially, as do the widows and widowers, and the parents of children who died young. I'm so very sorry. Jesus bless you and caress you with His tender love and compassion.

***
Am lining up some St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta quotations for the Saintly Quotations blog (www.saintlyquotations.com ) but hope to share some here soon. The Feast of the Holy Family is on Friday before New Year's. There are some really pertinent quotes for that feast.

Much love and most of all: many, many, many prayers going up for you! 

~Miss Chris





Friday, November 18, 2016

Prayer of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Fortify me with the grace of your Holy Spirit and give your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all needless anxiety, solicitude, and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to you so that your will may be my will. Grant that I may rid myself of all unholy desires and that, for your love, I may remain obscure and unknown in this world, and be known only to you. Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, referring all honor to your majesty, may I glory only in my infirmities, so that renouncing sincerely all vainglory that comes from the world I may aspire to that true and lasting glory, which comes from you.

Amen.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Things and Stuff: The November 15, 2016 Edition

Hello out there!

I've been having a struggle between embracing obscurity, and letting my light shine. This struggle seems to have gone on for ages. I strongly suspect that embracing obscurity is the high road, at least in terms of what I perceive as the Lord's will for me. But, I figure it can't hurt for me to at least drop in to the blog to say "Hello out there!" and "I'm praying for you!" once in awhile. (I really and truly do pray for all past, present, and future readers of my blogs, every day.)

There is so much to be grateful to Jesus for, but most of that belongs in my personal gratitude journal. 

Do any of you keep gratitude journals? It is truly a great, healing, liberating-from-fear-and-worry practice. If you like, you can have an art journal-gratitude journal. I am finding that even if I'm having a really terrible migraine or fibromyalgia day, if I can just crack open that gratitude journal and scribble in one little word or sentence, it sets in motion the wheels of more things to at least whisper a heartfelt prayer of thanks to our Good God. 

Have you recently read what Psalm 50 says about making a "sacrifice of thanksgiving", which is more pleasing to the Lord than many other kinds of sacrifice? Do you have health problems that make it difficult/impossible to fast from food? Then offer to the Lord a sacrifice of thanks! 

It's not because He needs His ego to be stroked that He asks this of us! It's because He knows that it is good for US to give thanks to Him! "Because He is a Good Father! That's Who He Is! And YOU are loved by HIM - that's who you are!" (I'm borrowing that from a Casting Crowns song). He wants us to remember all the ways He has protected and taken care of us in the past, so that we may have stronger, greater, bigger faith and trust in His goodness in the things about which we are so concerned here in the present moment... and also about those things in the future which scare us so much.

About the only part of the Proverbs chapter 31 "perfect woman/good wife" thing that I understand and can really, really, really hear God calling me to grow in is asking Him for the grace to "laugh at the days to come". All that other stuff in there is kind of off the charts for me; it doesn't apply because I'm not married and I don't have kids! Maybe you're in the same boat. Want to learn how to laugh at the days to come? Then thank Jesus for today and its blessings.

God bless you, friends. Thank you for spending a little time here at my blog. Please know most importantly that I remember you in my daily prayers. Jesus knows who you are and exactly what blessings you have need and want of. Oh! Please trust in Jesus! He loves you so very much - so very, very, VERY much! He loves you more than you love yourself, and He loves you unconditionally, radically. He wants good things for you and those whom you care about even more than you want those good things! Open wide your mouths in praise and thanksgiving, and He will fill you with even more blessings. Please trust in Jesus! Please love Him in return! He waits for you to talk with Him each day. You really, really, REALLY matter to Him! You matter to Him a great deal. You are not insignificant in His kingdom! I say this to all of you, but especially to those of you who are facing health problems and mental health challenges, and who find that they can't keep up with being active in the church and in the world at this time. You are NOT insignificant! YOU MATTER VERY MUCH! The world is a much better place just because YOU are in it! Thank you for being you! Thank you for all the ways in which you've said "YES!" to the Holy Spirit's promptings - some of you even at the risk of your lives, some of you in more seemingly hidden ways! God sees! He knows! He understands! He will reward you!

Okay, enough out of me! Peace and all good to you!

~ Christine






Sunday, November 13, 2016

St. Mother Cabrini on Prayer

Prayer is powerful! It fills the earth with mercy, it makes the Divine clemency pass from generation to generation; right along the course of the centuries wonderful works have been achieved through prayer.

- St. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini








Monday, October 03, 2016

A Single Candle

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.

 

 - St. Francis of Assisi

 




John 3:30

Hello, old friends!

My absence from the blogosphere is explained by this verse from the Bible: 

"He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30 ESV)

I've been reading The Imitation of Christ, Embracing Obscurity, and much about St. Therese of Lisieux. It is better at this time that I be little, hidden, and obscure while praying and working on overcoming my sins, faults, failings, and weaknesses, and busy building up the Lord's people.

In short, I am trying, in my own small and feeble way, to be a light in the darkness rather than merely cursing the darkness (terrible and expanding as that darkness is).

Please know that each of my readers - past, present, and future - are in my daily prayers. May Jesus richly bless you with all that you stand in need of. 

Much love in Jesus,

Christine



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Maggie the Kitty Does the Grumpies

It's officially Spring 2016, and my dear little cat Maggie has the hairballs to prove it (poor thing!). 

Here is a picture of her looking GRUMPY. 



She's really the sweetest little thing. However, she's been fractious lately, so she's getting lots of TLC.

I, too, am feeling grumpy. My email has been down since March 18-19th except for webmail. I feel like going Luddite and forever forsaking all technological "progress". Do any of us remember old fashioned, archaic, quaint little things that involved penmanship, zip codes, and postage stamps?! Ah! That was back in the Dark Ages before Al Gore invented the internet, right, Kiddies?! *sarcasm fully intended*

Just bought a book of postage stamps and a bunch of pretty note cards. If I can retrieve my snail address book, some of you might be surprised... especially if I can find my stash of old crochet projects and decide to start the hallowed tradition of The Traveling Siberian Spoon Warmers *joke attempted to call out old friends*.

Well, my little grumpus is here looking for food. That can only be a good thing. :)

I'm praying for all of you. I mean that!

Much love to one and all... you know who you are! :)

~Miss Chris



Tuesday, February 02, 2016

So Glad to Be Alive: February 2, 2016

Here in central Wisconsin, USA, on Groundhog Day 2016, we are experiencing a winter storm. It's not as "bad" as the meteorologists were originally predicting, but then again, "It ain't over till it's over". We've got more than nine hours left in the winter storm warning.

I enjoy snow. It is one of my guilty pleasures! It makes me glad to be alive - so very, very, very glad to be alive! Now, I don't have to drive, and I don't have to shovel, and life simply seems grand with a fresh white coating of new-fallen snow. I think the El Nino weather pattern has finally gone es kaput and that winter is - at long last - arriving in earnest for us in our part of the nation. Sighing a sigh of relief and dancing a jig for joy! Color me jigorous (that's a shout out to my fellow Ceili Rain friends!).

It's also Candlemas (the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord). We took down our outdoor Christmas decorations this morning before the snow began to fly. Indoors, however, we are still decorated for Christmas, though I am not lighting the Christmas tree any more. And also haven't listened to Christmas music in a few weeks. Even little Christmas fanatics like me need a break once in awhile. *grin* Nonetheless, I am lining up Christmas crochet projects to begin. I bought two new mega books of crocheted snowflake patterns, I have a jumbo spindle of white crochet cotton, and have polished up my trusty crochet hooks (most of which I inherited from my Italian Nani). Have also unearthed my crocheted angel patterns. I would rather be knitting, but have developed a nasty case of Knitter's Shoulder. Ouch. Meaning, I need to rest my knitting muscles and do something less taxing for awhile.

Isn't it amazing and beautiful how God creates blizzards of bazillions of snowflakes out of nothing in nanoseconds with no two being exactly alike, yet we humans who craft snowflakes must painstakingly stitch replicas from patterns? I think God is some kind of wonderful!

I go bonkers when I'm not creating something. If I'm really, really, really tired like this past month, it is all I can do to color in a coloring book. You all know already that the latest craft rage is adult coloring books, right?!  Well, on days like the past week, I've not even been able to color those with their intricate patterns. No! I have ended up back at Winnie-the-Pooh and Care Bears level! Thank You, Jesus for the $1 big coloring books at the Dollar Tree!!! :)

Got a new camera for Christmas, and also got the second most recent one fixed. The third most recent one is still great. I am a Kodak girl. The two oldest ones are bridge cameras (something between DSLR and a point and shoot), with excellent German lenses and lots of creative control (I can set the aperture and shutter speeds myself if I like). The newest one is a bridge camera as well, but it's not got the German lens. It does have lots of bells and whistles. But what do I do but take a crazy number of pictures of my cat, in an effort to learn how to use all of the bells and whistles in time to take the camera(s) to the zoo this spring-summer-fall. And, I admit it: I like taking pictures of my cat! 

People, however, don't seem to like having their pictures taken. The prefer to take selfies, the goons. Taking selfies is really a sign of a personality disorder. People have been known to attempt and successfully commit suicide over their selfies. People have been known to take thousands of selfies and still not be happy with even one shot. Get some help, people! 

You are not your selfies! You are a precious child of God, created in His image and likeness. There is no one else just like you, there never was before, and there never will be again another you! You are wonderful just the way you are! There's more to life than how you look! Forget about the boob job and the nose job! Your boobs are going to sag eventually anyway, and your nose is going to get bigger as you age anyway! Ask God for the grace to see yourself as the beautiful creature that He made you; ask God for the grace to see yourself with His eyes of love,,, the way HE sees you. Does what anyone else think really matter?! Hell no!

We all just want to be loved, and that's why we obsess over our appearance. But, we age. We gain weight and we wrinkle. We develop health problems that warrant our need to take medications which make us gain even more weight. The latest fashions are for toothpick models who look like they have a foot and two arms in the grave already, and we want to look like THEM, for pity's sake????!!!!! OY GEVALT! You ARE loved already, by the One True God, whose love is infinitely more powerful and healing than that of all of the human beings on this planet put together.

End rant! Please know that you are loved!

Well, this didn't turn out to be quite the post that I'd intended, but c'est la vie! I return to  my coloring book and my addiction to certain Pandora stations which I have put together. Am currently enjoying some really rowdy Big Band Dixieland Jazz, and also 1920's Jazz.

Praying for hope for all of us worldwide. The Middle East is in an intensifying piecemeal Third World War. We need to be peace - the peace of Christ - in this troubled world. Each one of us matter in that effort to be peace.

All of you are in my prayers!

With love in Jesus,

- Miss Chris







Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thankful Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's Thankful Thursday! What is your heart glad about today? I encourage you to blog about it!

Topping my Glad 'n' Grateful list today is:

* the precious, wonderful, beautiful, fantabulous gift of life! I might be chronically ill and disabled with acute pain, but LIFE IS STILL SO VERY GOOD! Please don't buy into the pro-death people's mentality of "quality of life"! Abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are not the answer! Those things are never, ever, EVER the answer. I've been ill and in pain for over 35 years, and the fact that Jesus has carried me tenderly like a lamb to His Heart (especially on the really very bad days) gives me the right to stand up and say that Jesus is faithful! He is compassionate! He is tender! He sustains! He heals, and He saves. He gives joy, He carries us, He dances with us, He watches over us with great and tender and personalized care. Never give up!

* for the gift of friendship. Friendship heals! Choose your friends wisely, but don't ever be a snob when someone offers you their friendship and invites you to the party.

* for the gift of laughter! My old readers (are any of you still out there?!) know that I'm an advocate for the healing power of laughter. Yes, take your meds and your vitamins and eat your veggies, etcetera, but please take time to laugh every day! 

Example about laughter: Both my dad and I are in the throes of a nasty sinus infection. Daddy became so ill that he went to the doctor Wednesday afternoon and ended up with a prescription for an antibiotic. He and I decided to watch some Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C  on DVD before saying good night. Oh my goodness, gracious! Did we ever LAUGH! We both felt so much better afterward that we're making it a point to watch more classic TV comedy together in the future. Now, we're both still ill, but our outlook on life and on being able to get through the remainder of our illnesses, is brighter and more faith and hope filled.

Well, I need to get out my "beads for battle" (Rosary) and start my late night shift of intercessory prayer for life, marriages, and families. 

Celebrate life!

I love you, readers! Many of you are strangers to me, and some of you are old friends lurking in the outer realms of blogdom, but I pray for you daily. We will meet in Heaven some day!

God bless you!

- Miss Chris

PS: On Friday, the Day of Prayer for the Protection of the Unborn, please find it in your heart to thank your mother and dad for the gift of life. Even if they've hurt you a lot, at least silently thank God that they carried you full term and let you see the light of day. If you can't do that, then try spiritually adopting an unborn baby and pray that they won't be aborted. I especially warmly encourage you to pray for the babies with Down Syndrome.