God gave me You

weddingOn the morning of August 18, 1984, I walked into St. Peter’s Catholic Church and down the center aisle on the arm of my father, a single woman.  I walked back down that center aisle and out of that church on the arm of my new husband.  I had a new name and a new purpose in life.

That was 30 years ago today.  Three kids and two grandkids later; I continue to marvel at the gift God gave me that day!  It has taken me many years to see God’s Hand in my marriage; but I see it clearly now.

Our oldest son is preparing to marry in January.  He and his fiancée had lunch with my husband and I over the weekend.  They told us about their compatibility test as one of the marriage preparation duties.  We laughed.  I remarked that I think we would have flunked a compatibility test.  My husband was quick to add that it seemed to him that we never agreed upon anything.  It is true we are very different personalities;  but, we are different in only that we complete each other.  Where I am weak, my husband is strong; and where he is weak, I fill in.  On matters that are really important, faith and family, we have always seen eye to eye.  We each took our vows to heart before each other and before God.  Raising our children was our number one priority for most of our married life.  We have finished that job and move onto a new path in our journey together.

The journey has not been easy.  There are many storms of life.  I have learned that if a married couple humbles themselves and choose to have faith in God, they can weather these storms and become stronger because of them.  My faith and my marriage have taught me that we must be accepting of God’s plan for our lives and be truly thankful for all our Blessings.  We are all called to follow Jesus on the road to a Heavenly Jerusalem.  I am very lucky that I was asked to bring along a very special man on my journey.  We are not perfect, but we love each other and we love our Lord.  Our most important task in life is to get each other and our children to Heaven.

Thank you Lord for the gift of my spouse.  He has been a wonderful husband and father.  I look forward to the next thirty years with this special man.  We will continue to walk our path of life together, hoping to give You Glory forever. Amen.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

Lady of the Acadians

assumption

August 15th is the Feast Day of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary.  It is a day which celebrates Mary being assumed body and soul into Heaven at the end of her life.

Based on very early church writings and on the writings of mystics, such as Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, it is believed that the apostles traveled to be with Mary at her deathbed; some of them even transported on white clouds from the towns they had been preaching.  St. Thomas was not present for Mary’s death.  Upon Thomas’ arrival, Mary’s tomb was reopened. It was found empty except for her grave cloths.  Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich describes Mary’s assumption in great detail.  She saw Mary’s soul lifted up to heaven in a bright light where it was met by her Son, Jesus.  Her soul then follows her Son back to her tomb where it is joined with her transfigured body.  She then ascends body and soul with her Son to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Catholics believe Mary’s assumption was a Divine Gift for her role as the Mother of God.  By her example of following God’s Will and living a life without sin, we are shown a promise of the gift that is waiting for all of us on that last day.

Our Lady of the Assumption holds a special place in my heart, since she is the patron saint of all Acadians.  August 15th is National Acadian Day and has been celebrated since 1881.  In Canada it is known as the Fete Nationale.  Businesses close on this day in parts of New Brunswick, Canada.

There was much debate in Canada over the date on which to have a National Day to recognize the Acadians.   Abbot Marcel-Francois Richard influenced the decision for August 15th with his eloquent speech: “…in fact it seems to me that a people who, for over a century of hardships and persecutions, was able to preserve its religion, language, customs, and autonomy, must have acquired enough importance to affirm its existence in a solemn way; and this could not be accomplished better than by being able to celebrate its own national holiday…It is important to stress that we are not descendants of Canada, but of France…We must choose a holiday that reminds us of our origin…Louis XIII vowed to give his empire to the Blessed Virgin and he wanted the Assumption to be the kingdom’s national holiday…he sent colonist to take over Acadia…it is true that the national devotion of the Acadians is their devotion to Mary.”  Thus, the convention chose August 15th, Feast of the Assumption, as the national holiday of the Acadians.  It was ratified by the Vatican on January 19, 1938 and Saint Pope John Paul the Great proclaimed Our Lady of the Assumption to be the patron saint of Acadians, where ever they may live.

An Acadian flag was established at the 2nd Acadian Convention in 1884 at Prince Edward Island.  It is a French Flag, tricolor – blue, white, and red. There is a gold star at the top left. The star represents the Virgin Mary, their patron saint.

A “Cajun” Acadian flag was designed at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1965 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana.  The tricolor flag has three symbols.  The first is a gold castle on the red, which represents the Spanish kingdom who allowed the Acadians to settle in the area.  The silver fleur-de-lis on the blue, represents the French heritage. The gold star on the white represents the Virgin Mary.  The flag became the official “Cajun” flag for the Acadiana area in 1974.

Cajun people’s love for Mary is very evident as you drive around Cajun Country.  Statues of our heavenly mother are proudly displayed in front of many homes, churches and public places.  She is the new Eve, the “woman clothed in the sun”, and the new Ark of the Covenant.  We love our patron saint!

Happy Feast Day Mother Mary!

C’est Bon!

Love,

Sherry

 

Remember

holy spiritIt is Memorial Day.  I have much respect for our fallen soldiers.  My husband is a veteran; I know first hand the sacrifice and life-threatening situations our soldiers endure for our country and our freedom.

This Memorial Day, I am also choosing to remember our fallen brothers and sisters who died defending their beliefs and Jesus Christ.  It is so important to remember these sacrifices especially today when  it seems as if so many in today’s culture wants us to forget the lessons taught by our Savior more than 2000 years ago.  The battlefield has moved to our own state capitals, county court houses, and our own back yards.

In the history of the United States of America, there have been many wars and battles.  The Revolutionary War of 1775 saw 25,000 dead; Vietnam War, a total of 58,209 died.  All together, over a million United States citizen have died protecting our freedoms, including our freedom to follow our own religious beliefs and morals.

Since the time of Jesus Christ, there have been countless martyrs.  Saints Stephen, Peter and Paul all died proclaiming the gospel.  St. Joan of Arc was executed in 1431.  More recently, Maximillian Kolbe died in 1941 and Oscar Romero in 1980.  You may be thinking that all of these individuals were not killed in this great country that was founded on principles of freedom, and that is true.  This country is slowly persecuting Christians by taking away their jobs and economic resources.  Speak out candidly regarding matters of faith and you risk losing your job, friends, and respect.

I will also argue that there are many more victims killed in this country today than ever in our country’s history.  Remember the “Massacre of the Holy Innocents”, Matthew 2:16?  Since 1973, Roe v. Wade, over 40 million innocent babies have been legally killed in abortions.  That is 1100 times the number of fallen soldiers in the Vietnam War.  Already this year, there are over 450,000 victims.  Pro-abortion advocates have always stated that legalized abortion protects women.  The truth is that in 1970 there were 119 deaths resulting from illegal abortions.  Legalized abortions have not brought down that number, in fact it has increased.  Abortion clinics have not been regulated and women have been injured, harmed, and many have died.  Of course there is always a death in every abortion, as a creation of God is given a death sentence because they are an “inconvenience”.

One of the readings at mass yesterday was Acts 8:14-18. “they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”    This passage for Catholics is the Biblical foundation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

As infants, we are baptized into the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ.  As adults, we become confirmed, which gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit.  Once confirmed, we are to become true witnesses of Jesus Christ and are obliged to spread and defend the faith by our words and deeds.

It is not easy to speak out in defense of our beliefs these days.  Society wants to tell us our beliefs are old fashioned and meaningless.  We must remember those who have gone before us and gave their lives so that we could be brought up in the faith.

I encourage all of you to view the YouTube video clip of Jim Caviezel’s speech at the Rock Church.  Not only did Jim play Jesus on the big screen; he is living a life in imitation of Christ and defending what is a true Christian.  If all Christians spoke out in defense of our faith – this nation would see great changes.  If all Christians voted according to candidates that will uphold our Christian values – this nation would see great changes.

It starts at the home.  Teach the faith to your children.  Teach your children to stand up for their beliefs.  Pray as a family.  Pray and fast for the conversion of this nation and our world.  Remember all the fallen soldiers who have died protecting our country and our freedoms.  Remember the Christian Martyrs who have given their life in defense of Jesus Christ so that His teachings would remain. Remember the innocent victims of the legalized sin of abortion, both the mothers and the children.  Remember your faith.  Remember Jesus Christ.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

“Behold Your Mother”

olphMy husband and I are members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.  I have attended mass at this church all of my life, beginning at my baptism soon after birth.  There is a beautiful replica of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon in our Church.  I have always loved the icon, but never took the time to understand its meaning or significance to our church history.

It is the tradition of the Catholic Church that Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the oldest Icon of the Church.  It is believed that it was painted by St. Luke while Our Blessed Mother was still in Jerusalem.  According to legend, St. Luke showed the painting to Mary and she blessed it, saying her grace would accompany the Icon.  Many miracles have been attributed to the veneration of this Icon.

St. Luke reportedly gave the Icon to his best friend, Theophilus.  There is little reported on it until the 5th century when St. Pulcheria erected a Shrine in honor of the Icon as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” in Constantinople.  The Icon disappears around 1453 when Constantinople became under siege.  It reappears years later on the island of Crete.

After exchanging hands a couple of times, the Icon finally found its way on March 27, 1499 to Rome.  There are still centuries of war and reconstruction.  The Icon spent many years hidden away and at one point forgotten.  But the Lord gave us His Mother and He did not want her forgotten!  The Icon was eventually discovered and restored.  It is kept today in The Church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri in Rome.

The Icon is full of symbols and messages.  There are angels on the left and the right sides of Mary and Jesus.  The left angel has the Greek initial for St. Michael the Archangel  He is holding the lance and gallop of Christ’s Passion.  On the right is the Greek initial for St. Gabriel, the Archangel.  He hold the nails and the Cross.

Mary is silent, but speaks volumes.  She is wearing a red tunic; which was worn by virgins at the time of Christ.  The dark blue mantle was worn by mothers at that time.  She is virgin, but also a mother.  Her eyes are large and turned toward us.  She seems to be pleading to us to avoid sin and love Her Son.  Mary’s left hand is supporting Christ possessively; she is His mother.  She comforts Her Son, but also everyone who calls on Her for help.

“Behold your mother.”  John 19:27

She was the mother of God.  She comforted Him and nurtured Him.  She knew of His fate; but she knew it was God’s Will.  She was full of faith and love even as He was dying on the Cross.  Her Son’s last gift to His faithful followers was His Mother.

Every part of Jesus that was human was from His mother – our mother – Mary.  She still sees Him suffer.  There are many more sins in the world today.  She is still trying to comfort and mother His followers.

Happy Mother’s Day to Mary, the Mother of God and of us all!

May mankind finally learn to follow the examples of your Holy Family.  It is not about making you and Jesus happy – You are radiant and in God’s Kingdom.  Following the ways of Jesus and His family will lead to OUR HAPPINESS!

C’est Bon,

Love Your Daughter,

Sherry

 

 

A mother’s prayer

weddingTwenty-seven years ago this day, my eldest son was born.  He came into the world on the feast day of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus.  He was given a middle name after my father, Christopher.  He was our first son and both our parents’ first grandson.  He rose to the occasion!

He was a curious and talkative child with a kind heart and big personality.  He made friends with everyone.  I watched him grow and mature into a handsome (no, I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother), confident and faith-filled young man.  He was taught values according to our Catholic faith and he lives that faith.

He has always been a hard worker and has exceled at just about every endeavor he has put his mind to.  From the teenage band to elocution contest to football and powerlifting… he went on to graduate from college and begin a successful career.  Sounds like he has it all…but as a mother, you know when something is missing.  That something turned out to be a young lady named Megan.

A year ago my husband and I took a pilgrimage to Caritas Birmingham, Alabama.  My focus for this pilgrimage was to consecrate my family, especially my children to Mary.  Nine days prior to arriving at Caritas Birmingham, I began a novena, saying a special consecration prayer for my children.  I had not told my husband of the novena.  When we arrived on the ninth day, we visited the chapel, which had a beautiful Mary room.  There was a life size statue of Mary with a sand box in front, in which candles could be lit and placed.  I grabbed a candle to light.  My husband quickly told me that I should light three candles, one for each of our children.  After lighting the candles and placing them at the feet of Mary, my husband stated, “you just gave your children to Mary”.

I was overjoyed!  I excitedly told my husband, “That is my novena!”  I took out my prayer booklet and opened it up to the prayer I had prayed for the last eight days and we stood there together in front of our mother and said the ninth prayer together.  I instantly felt a connection and peace in my heart.  Mary would be praying and interceding for the intentions in my heart concerning my children.

About a month after our return, my son called to inform me that he had met someone special.  They became engaged last month and will marry in the Catholic church in January, 2015.

Her name, Megan, means pearl.  And like a pearl she is a rare and valuable treasure.  She is gorgeous on the inside as well as the outside.  She was raised with the same morals and values as my son and loves her Catholic faith.

Christopher means “he who holds Christ in his heart”.  My son who has Christ in his heart has made room for a precious pearl.  May God bless them during their engagement and bless their marriage.

I gave my children to Mary…and she gave me a precious daughter.

Happy Birthday son!

C’est Bon!

Love,

Mom

is Knowledge really Power?

adam and eveGenesis 2:14  Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.  He told him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”

Genesis 3:4  The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that because He knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”

What did Adam and Eve do?  They wanted to be like God and so they ate the forbidden fruit.  Who was telling them the truth?  Of course, it was God who is the Truth.  They were given everything, and still they yearned for more.  Man turned away from God’s truth and innocence.  The sad part is that thousands of years later, nothing has changed.

The forbidden fruit today is everywhere.  Knowledge is at our fingertips like never before.  As technology and man’s knowledge of this world advance, dependence on our God and His Truth decline.

Think about it; what does all this knowledge really do for us?  Are we using this knowledge to guide us in the path towards God’s Kingdom?

I will give one example of a technological advance that has brought about good, but also much evil;  something as simple as an ultrasound.  Ultrasounds have great medical value.  It gives doctors eyes into our bodies.  They are able to diagnose, treat, and heal with greater accuracy and less evasiveness.

I had my first ultrasound when I was expecting my second child.  (My first child was born two years earlier and at that time ultrasounds were only used during pregnancy if the doctor suspected a problem.)  My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were expecting our first boy during this first ultrasound, and that he was healthy.  Unfortunately not all parents receive that kind of news.

I recently read a wonderful book by Chad Judice, Eli’s Reach.  Chad and his family also live in southern Louisiana.  The book was a follow up to his first book, Waiting for Eli.  The two books chronicle the story of Chad and Ashley and their second son, Eli, who was diagnosed with spina bifida while still in the womb.  Although 80% of children diagnosed with spina bifida in the womb are aborted, Chad and Ashley chose to trust in God and His plan.  Today their son Eli is a blossoming five-year-old, who does have medical problems, but also has above average intelligence and the hearts of everyone who meet him!  Chad is active in the pro-life movement as a public speaker and has changed many lives with the story of Eli.

How many Eli’s are never given a chance to live?  Most parents with the KNOWLEGE that their child will be born with major medical issues and possible brain damage, chose to bite that forbidden fruit.  They think they have the POWER of God, and can decide whether or not a child should be born.  Too often they decide that their child’s life would have little value.  How could anything God creates be of little value?

Adam and Eve sinned against God and brought death upon man.  Jesus and Mary said yes to God.  They asked for His Will to be done.  This brought about new life for man.  It saddens me to think how much Jesus suffered for our sins.  He was abandoned, betrayed, tortured, and crucified.  He left this world with no possessions.  His mother had to watch in horror the treatment of her Lord and Son.  What mother has suffered more?

When will we learn that there is no knowledge outside God’s Truth?

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.  Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.  Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.”

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

To Be or Not to Be

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I was in the grocery store last week, waiting in the check out line.  A magazine caught my eye.  The words “No Kill Nation” had my attention.  I immediately picked up the magazine, opened it up to the center section, and began to read:  “Long considered by some as an idealistic, unworkable goal, the no-kill effort has now moved into the mainstream. ‘Even just a decade ago the majority of Americans probably believed that a no-kill approach was improbable.’…But today as people see cities, such as Reno, Kansas City and Austin successfully establishing no-kill programming, they increasingly believe the ideal can become a reality.”

I had high hopes upon seeing the words “no-kill” that I was picking up a pro-life magazine.  I had hopes that the idealistic goal of no-kill was one pertaining to humans.  I was wrong, this magazine and article were advocates against euthanizing dogs.

There has been much debate of late with regards to euthanasia and the term brain-dead.  I have watched the news regarding the 13 year old Jahi and her parents’ fight for her chance to prove her doctor’s diagnosis of brain-dead wrong.  I have seen a husband take a hospital to court to remove his pregnant brain-dead wife from life support.  I was sadly disappointed to hear that Belgium has allowed legal euthanasia for people of all ages, including children.

I am glad there are advocates against cruelty to animals.  No creature made by God should be treated as anything less than a Godly creation.  What I do not understand is why are humans treated as less valuable?

The unborn human child is thought of as tissue.  Women are told that pregnancy is a choice and they do not have to stay pregnant if they are not ready to be a mother . The truth is that child from the moment of conception is a child of God; has a soul and a guardian angel.  He or she from the moment of conception has a mother.  That mother will either be the mother of a live baby or a dead baby.  That is the only “choice” being made.  To kill or not to kill.

A child lies in a coma and doctors say she is brain-dead.  Her parents see signs of life and want to see their child continue treatment.  The hospital refuses.  The hospital sees no value in the child’s life and no hope for any recovery of her brain function.  The truth is that the brain is far from being understood.  The book “Proof of Heaven” written by a neurologist who was supposedly “brain-dead”, proves that man cannot know God’s plan.  God can work a miracle any time and any place.  Why should a parent have to fight for a child’s life at a hospital.  To kill or not to kill.

I hope and pray that one day we will be a No Kill Nation.  One that respects the life of all humans – born and unborn.  A nation that respects the Creator and leaves all decisions regarding life and death in His capable hands.

Sirach 18:1 “The Lord, who lives forever created the whole universe and He alone is just.  He has given no one enough power to describe what He has done, and no one can investigate it completely.  Who can measure His majestic power? Who can tell the whole story of His merciful actions? We cannot add to them; we cannot subtract from them. There is no way to comprehend the marvelous things the Lord has done. When we come to the end of that story, we have not even begun; we are simply at a loss for words.”

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry