his eye is on the sparrow…and he watches over me.

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Resting on the observation deck, (or lawn!) Giggles.

It is obvious we love our dog, Helen.

And her smile continues to show us, “I love you, too!”

Love helps us to feel valued.

And safe from harm.

But do we guard the love we’ve been given?

Do we protect it from harm?

Eagle-eye Helen found a surprise visitor to our backyard the other day as she watched over the grounds we dwell upon.

A delightful feathered friend,

who helped to remind us just how much

GOD LOVES US

as He watches over each of thee in this very same way!

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A visitor to North Star, the red-tailed falcon.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will [a]protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will [b]guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.  Psalm 121: 5-8

God is always watching over us!

He is our guardian and His eyes never miss anything that is going on in our life.

God’s eyes are always glued to us!

He never grows weary from observing us.

(And nothing He sees is going to make Him stop loving us.)

He will only watch all the more, in eager anticipation that we might see the love He desires to share, and choose (ourselves) to protect this endless-love from harm!

Today, may we take comfort in this truth and rest in His watchful eye!

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And remember to be grateful for those He sends to watch over us with Him!

hugs n’ blessings to all, as you place your trust in Him!

“I have opened My Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust” (St. Faustina’s Diary, 1520).

Overcome with great longing for You!

“O my God, I am overcome with great longing for You today.  Oh, nothing else any longer occupies my heart.  There no longer contains anything for me.  O Jesus, how strongly I feel this exile, how very prolonged it is for me.  O death, messenger of God, when will you announce to me that longed-for moment, through which I will be united to my God forever?”

St. Faustina’s Diary (1573)

Today is the Feastday of my gal-pal-hero, St. Faustina Kowalska!

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Picture taken at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

I love this day.

I love the opportunity to be especially mindful of giving thanks for a Saint who has touched my heart, strenghtened my spiritual walk and lovingly taught me: “Jesus, I trust in You.”  I long to sit alone at some point today, with my God, and feel the smooth pages of St. Faustina’s Diary between my fingers; as my eyes rest in the words she left for us to comprehend God’s Mercy.

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My copy of St. Faustian’s Diary

This past August I visited the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  First class relics of both St. Faustina & Pope John Paul II are there.

The peace & joy I felt while praying before them is still with me.

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Saint Maria Faustina Kowalski (1950-1938) was a young member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland.  Born into a poor farming family, she had only two-and-a-half years of basic education, and so was assigned the humblest tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or garden.  However, she received extraordinary revelations from the Lord Jesus, proclaiming God’s loving message of Divine Mercy, which he instructed her to record.

To celebrate her feast day, may we all reflect on these beautiful quotes from her diary:

“I have found that the greatest power is hidden patience. I see that patience always leads to victory, although not immediately; but that victory will become manifest after many years.”

“O inconceivable goodness of God, which shields us at every step, may Your mercy be praised without cease.  That You became a brother to humans, not to angels, is a miracle of the unfathomable mystery of Your mercy.  All our trust is in You…”

“O Lamb of God, I do not know what to admire in You first:  Your gentleness, Your hidden life, the emptying of Yourself for the sake of man, or the constant miracle of Your mercy, which transforms souls and raises them up to eternal life.”

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The Divine Mercy Shrine Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Saint Maria Faustina, you told us that your mission would continue after your death and that you would not forget us. (Diary, 281,1582.)

Our Lord also granted you a great privilege, telling you to “distribute graces as you will, to whom you will, and when you will.” (Diary, 31.)

Relying on this, I ask your intercession for the graces I need, especially…

(here mention your special intentions)

Help me, above all, to trust in Jesus as you did and thus to glorify His mercy every moment of my life.  Amen.

hugs n’ blessings to all those with great longing in their hearts!

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Helen Kowalska, the best golden-retriever in the universe, would like to wish everyone a blessed & holy feastday of her namesake St. Faustina, (aka Helena Kowalska!)

(To read more about Divine Mercy and my gal-pal-hero or Helen Kowalska the golden-retriever, please click above on my toolbar.)

 

Super-Paw-Star!

Can you believe it?!

Helen Kowalska’s in a magazine!!

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She’s a Super-Paw-Star!

But I really meant this Helen Kowalska!

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St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

Helen, (the best golden-retreiver in the Universe) & I were just fortunate enough to be included in our Diocesean Faith Magazine along with her!!!

Faith Magazine of the Erie Catholic Diocese, the largest family publication in Northwest Pennsylvania, contacted us for an interview…and today the April edition was released with Helen & I in it!

FAITH Magazine was introduced in January 2005 by then-Bishop Donald Trautman. Today, Bishop Lawrence Persico serves as publisher of the award-winning magazine. All 62,000 Catholic households registered in parishes throughout the diocese receive the magazine, free of charge, every other month as part of a major restructuring of evangelization and communications strategies. Bishop Persico and the local parishes are committed to reaching out to every Catholic home with FAITH Magazine because they want to remind us that we belong to something — our local parish; and we belong to someone — Jesus Christ.

Why did the Diocese of Erie commit to FAITH Magazine?

Many Catholics attend Mass weekly and are active participants in their parishes. At the same time, a growing number of busy families and individuals find themselves participating in the life of the church less and less. Still others may have had a negative experience, become lukewarm or fallen away altogether. FAITH Magazine was created to reach out to all Catholics with stories of inspiration. The magazine is also designed as a formation tool, providing answers to common questions as well as a glimpse of international, national and local news.

The Diocese of Erie was the third diocese to affiliate with FAITH Magazine first published in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan in 2000. Today that number has grown to more than two dozen dioceses and institutions! You will find that the major feature stories, as well as local news stories, are based in the Diocese of Erie. FAITH Magazine is part of the diocese’s answer to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “new evangelization.” The magazine is designed to touch the hearts of people both within and outside of the faith.

(*information taken from the Faith Magazine web-site.)

I have never been shy regarding my devotion to the Divine Mercy.  And I truly enjoy cyber-journaling about my personal experience of growing closer to God as a result of this devotion.  I usually dedicate any journaling I do on Wednsedays to this topic, which you can easily find under the Divine Mercy heading of my toolbar. However, I was completely surprised & humbled when asked to participate in a publication sharing tangible ways to explore mercy more fully.

When Anne-Marie Welsh, editor of the magazine, interviewed me for the article I had not anticipated just how much JOY would leap out from inside of me, as we spoke of St. Faustina!  I felt like a giddy-school-girl introducing her new BFF from summer camp to the friends I already knew well!  Jesus said to St. Faustina: “Let no sinner be afraid to approach Me.”  And by the grace of God, THAT IS NOW ME!!! 

In Faustina’s “Diary,” Jesus invites each one of us to yield to His infinite mercy, to trust in His compassion and forgiveness. Great graces are promised to all those who proclaim His great mercy.  And so it is, that I am resting in the peace which comes from trusting His unwavering love for me as I strive to know, to love, and to serve Him, despite my human inclination of falling into sin.

“I shall protect them Myself at the hour of death, as My own glory. And even if the sins of the soul are as dark as night, when the sinner turns to My mercy, he renders Me the greatest praise, and becomes the glory of My Passion. When a soul praises My goodness, Satan trembles before it and flees to the very bottom of hell” (Diary, 378).

One of the many things I have discovered, through reading the Diary of St. Faustina, is that the simple message of mercy is this:

That God loves us, all of us, no matter how great our sins!

He wants us to turn to Him so that He may bless us,

He wants us to recognize His mercy, and allow it to flow through us to others.

(As St. Faustina did.)

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In this way, all will come to share in His joy!

God wants us to approach Him.

We need only repent of our sins and ask for His Mercy.

Are you ready to completely Trust?

God wants us to know the graces of His mercy,

which are merely dependent upon our trust in Him.

Jesus, I trust in you!

Will you?

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Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Joseph/BOL Erie, Pa

You never know…you may be in a publication with Helen one day too!!

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Auto-Paw-Graphs given on request!

hugs n’ blessings to all those who are trusting in Him!