not your ordinary fourth of july

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Helen Kowalska, the best golden retriever in the universe.

It has been awhile since I have posted about Helen!

It has also been awhile since I have done a Wednesday posting

for Saint Maria Faustina KoWalska (what else,)

with a brief reflection on the Divine Mercy of God!

And since it has been out of the ordinary…

let me first offer a quick “refresher” on this Saint,

who is also our Golden’s namesake!

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Our Helen Kowalska wearing her red, white, & blue and a Tiny Saints Charm of St. Faustina.

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, known today the world over as the “Apostle of the Divine Mercy,” is numbered by theologians among the outstanding mystics of the Church.  She was the third of ten children born into a poor and pious peasant family in Glogowiec, a village in the heart of Poland. At her baptism in the nearby Parish Church of Swinice Warckie she was given the name “Helena.” From childhood she distinguished herself by her piety, love of prayer, industriousness and obedience as well as by her great sensitivity to human misery. She had hardly three years of schooling, and at the age of fourteen she left the family hearth to help her parents and to earn her own livelihood serving as a domestic in the nearby cities of Aleksandrow and Lodz.

When she was only seven (two years before her First Holy Communion), Helen
already sensed in her soul the call to embrace the religious life. When later she made her desire known to her parents, they categorically did not acquiesce in her entering a convent. Because of this situation Helen strove to stifle this divine call within her. Pressed on, however, by a vision of the suffering Christ and by the words of His reproach: “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?” (Diary, 9), she bagan to search for a convent to join. She knocked on many a convent door, but nowhere was she accepted. Finally on August 1, 1925, Helen crossed the threshold of the cloister in the convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on Zytnia Street in Warsaw. In her Diary she declared: “It seemed to me that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving” (Diary, 17).

Upon her entrance to the Congregation Helen received the name Sr. Maria
Faustina. Her novitiate she spent in Cracow, and there, in the presence of Bishop Stanislaus Rospond, she pronounced her first religious vows, and five years later, she made her perpetual profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. She was assigned to work in a number of the Congregation’s houses, fulfilling the duties of cook, gardener and doorkeeper.

To all external appearances nothing betrayed her extraordinarily rich mystical
life. She zealously went about her duties, she faithfully observed all the religious rules, she was recollected and kept silent, all the while being natural, cheerful, full of kindness and of unselfish love of neighbor.

Her entire life was concentrated on constant striving for an even fuller union
with God and on self-sacrificing cooperation with Jesus in the work of saving souls. “My Jesus” – she avowed in her Diary – “You know that from my earliest years I have wanted to become a great saint; that is to say, I have wanted to love You with a love so great that there would be no soul who has hitherto loved You so”(Diary, 1372,)

A portion of the original Preface to the Polish Edition, 1981.

Continue reading “not your ordinary fourth of july”

remembrance…

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Photo from Unsplash, Laurentiu Lordache.

We don’t know them all but we owe them all.

 

“During the month of May and especially on Memorial Day, our nation has the obligation to honor the men and women who serve our country and never to forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The pain of losing a friend, brother, sister, mother or father can never be taken away. However, we take refuge and comfort in our faith in Christ, knowing that death is not the end, but the threshold to everlasting life.

In 1995, Saint John Paul II beautifully said, “there is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us … This is our faith. This is our witness before the world.” As we honor and remember those we have lost in battle, place your sadness and pain in the hands of the Lord; His love and consoling embrace for us are boundless and infinite.

If you are able to, please visit one of the National Cemeteries. Say a prayer, place a flag or a flower on the tomb of a fallen soldier in memory of their valor and the brave life they lived, for we can never repay the sacrifice they made.” – Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

 

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Photo from Unsplash, Aaron Burden.

 

The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) is truly blessed to have benefactors who support her mission of caring for military members and their families. Through your kindness and generosity, the AMS is able to extend her loving arms and provide the hope, love, and peace that can only be found in Christ. 

Ways to support the Archdiocese for the Military Services can be found here.

“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Continue reading “remembrance…”

Saturday’s path.

Spy Wednesday.

Holy Thursday.

Good Friday

Silent Saturday.

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Photo from  Unsplash, taken by Avery Woodard

God’s work amongst us.

God’s Salvation for us.

God’s gift to us.

Each lenten season – within the catacombs of these 40 days – we have the opportunity to listen to God speak to our hearts as His life, death and resurrection are re-presented.  And we have the beautiful opportunity to receive the great gift of discovering His individual message to us – as He fashions our heart ‘with desire’ – in the hope that we will choose to embrace this great act of love, poured out for us. Continue reading “Saturday’s path.”