Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Last Supper

A long-ish time ago I hung a combo of frames on a big, bare wall in our kitchen and a long-ish time ago I really, really didn’t like how it turned out.

Exhibit A:
Not that bad, I guess, but definitely nothing to write home about, or blog about (even though I did).may262012004_thumb1
I thought it was a great idea to spray paint all the frames silver and haphazardly toss some art in them and call it a collage.

And so for a long-ish time I saw it everyday as I walked back and forth; to and from the kitchen and I didn’t like it each and every time. 

But not anymore!  Nope!  While Anthony was at the March for Life in DC a couple of weeks ago, I took the old down and started anew on a fresh slate.  It’s looking much better these days…
Yes?  You think so?  I hope so!

It all started with this picture of the Last Supper:
It’s an antique that my grandma gave me a couple of years ago.  It used to hang in the farmhouse my grandpa grew up in.  I love it.  :)  And it only took me a long-ish time to finally get it hung here!  The “take & eat” above it hearkens to Matthew 26:26 – While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

The rest of the collage is a conglomeration of thrifted frames (that were spray painted), DIY art,  these mirrors from Target (I found them for el cheapo at Dirt Cheap because one of the three was missing a piece of mirror), and a couple of little thrifted mirrors.  I’ll be back this week to give you alllll the deets on the DIYed stuff, don’t you worry.

Now, for fun, let’s take a few steps back and to the side and then a little into the past to see how far this little eating spot has come, shall we?

A picture I took on our second visit to see the house before we bought it:Random 480

After we moved in, painted, and hung a real light fixture:
kitchen1 (14)

This morning (Feb 2015):
  IMG_5789[Of course we don’t keep decor on the table…ever.  That was just for the sake of a pretty picture…as was the two high chairs plus the kid seat on the chair.]

I would say we’re done decorating/renovating/tweaking in here but the truth is, we’re not.  We’ve been tossing around the idea of blowing out part of the wall (not visible in the pictures) to the left to open the space up a little more to the living room and I’ve really been wanting to trade in our thrifted dining table and chairs for another (probably thrifted) set.  So, time will tell.

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What have you been working on?  Hanging any pictures?  Dabbling in art?  Taxes?…speaking of, I’ve gotta get those done.  I’m always doing them at the last minute.  Well, whatever you’re up to, I hope you’re having a good Monday (or what’s left of it considering it’s probably nearing it’s end for you as it is me). 


Happy Feast Day!

Today is the feast day of St. Cecilia, who happens to be the incredible saint I chose for my Confirmation in eighth grade to be the saint I would imitate and who would be my guide and leader to our one, true, and loving God...a.k.a. my heroine.  :)  So, because of her day and her awesomeness, she deserves a special, it's-not-Saturday blog post.

(image found here)

There are so many words I could type to describe this holy woman but I'll stick to the stories that pluck my heart strings and that glorify our Lord, proving His powerful presence and undying love for us.

Cecilia was married to a man named Valerian, an arranged marriage, but vowed to remain a virgin.  On their wedding night she revealed this vow to her new husband and also told him that an angel of God in her presence, guarded her virginity and would let no one touch her.  She told Valerian that if he were to believe in the Lord and be baptized, he too would see the angel that guarded her.  He did and upon returning from his baptism, he saw Cecilia praying in her chamber, beside her an angel with flaming wings who placed two crowns of roses and lilies upon each of their heads.  Can you imagine?  Sometimes I wish God would allow us all to see the angels that roam this earth so that everyone would believe, but I know that we would either pass out or die just looking at their beauty.  And, what's the value of faith if everything is handed to you on a silver platter, right?

So anyway, on to the sad and a little gory, but glorious part of her life...her death.  Because of her outward love for God in a time when religion was persecuted, Saint Cecilia was condemned to die, first by enduring extreme heat and thereby, suffocation.  By the grace of God, and I mean by the grace of God (oh my gosh!), it had no effect on her - she didn't even SWEAT!  Seeing the ineffectiveness of her "death sentence", an executioner was sent in to sever her head.
(image found here)
  After three blows, he gave up trying.  He had succeeded in severing her head partially but she still lived for three days, preaching and praying to God.  After the three days were over and her death came to pass, those around her knew she must be in heaven.  It was around the year 177 A.D.
Now my fave the year 1599, her body was exhumed and found incorrupt - meaning it did not show signs of decomposition!  If that's not proof of a working, magnificent God, I don't know what is?!  Things like this don't just happen! 

Presently, Saint Cecilia is buried in a church built in her honor in Rome.
The picture above shows a sculpture in St. Cecilia's in Rome that was handcrafted by a sculptor who was present at the time her body was exhumed and found incorrupt.  He formed his masterpiece based on what he saw, Cecilia's body 'distored but somehow graceful'.  The pavement in front of the statue contains a round marble slab with an inscription of the artist's statement, made under oath, that Cecilia's body was found incorrupt:
Behold the body of the most holy virgin Cecilia,
whom I myself saw lying incorrupt in the tomb.
I have in this marble expressed for you the same saint in the very same posture.
(Quoted from here.)

Her story takes my breath away every time I hear it and causes me to love God with a renewed fervor, counting on his unending mercy and hoping to one day be in the His presence and that of all of His saints.
Saint Cecilia...Pray for us!
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To read more about Saint Cecilia, click here and/or here.
To read about more incorrupt saints, click here.  (Yes, there are lots more!)
To read more on what the big deal about consecrated virginity is and why it's special, click here and/or here.

The Feast of the Assumption

Tomorrow, we as Catholics celebrate the Assumption of Mary, the mother of God.  That is, we celebrate the day she rose into heaven, body and soul.  And now, I'll turn it over to "the man of many words"...a.k.a. Anthony to explain:

"In Genesis 3:15, we see God say to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed…”  The serpent represents Satan and his seed is sin, evil, and all evil humans and angels.  The Woman represents Mary and Jesus her seed.  The Church defines this enmity as an absolute and complete opposition to sin and evil.  Thus, Mary was granted, as a gift from God, an immaculate (sinless) nature at the moment of her conception – the Immaculate Conception.  Naturally flowing from this truth, Mary then would not suffer the effects of original sin, one being death and corruption of the body.   Therefore, this absolute and complete opposition prophesized in Gen 3:15 is opposition to sin and the effects of sin, death (Rom 5-8). Also, proceeding from the Assumption is the Coronation, which is Mary being crowned Queen of heaven and of earth.  We see this in Rev 12:1, and this presumes Mary being assumed bodily into heaven.

Because this is a gift granted to Mary by God, and therefore declared that by the Catholic Church in the form of dogma (the highest truth), acceptance of Mary can not be arbitrary nor extraordinary.  It is appropriate that we come to Jesus the same way he came to us, and that is through Mary the Mother of God.  We as Catholics do not worship Mary, we only worship and adore God.  We give Mary the highest honor and veneration over all creatures ever created, because God did first!  We see in 1 Kings 2:19 Bathsheba, the Queen Mother, and her role in the Davidic Kingdom.  She enjoyed a position superior to all other women, was crowned, and sat in a throne at the right hand of the king.  (see also 1 Kgs 15:13, 2 Chr 15:16, Jer 13:18, 29:2)
Therefore, it is essential that we find a place in our hearts for Mary.  We must honor her because God honored her and crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.  Because of Mary we have received the Word of God made flesh.  On this feast of the Assumption may we truly take Mary into our homes and hearts just as Christ, using His last few breaths on the cross, commanded us to do (Jn 19:26-27)."

Mary, Mother of God...Pray for us! 

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

Last weekend Anthony and I made a little excursion to New Orleans where we we had some delicious beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde, walked through the French Quarter, visited St. Louis Cathedral, and most importantly, got a peek into the life of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.  He was a German priest who came over to America during the Yellow Fever Epidemic and gave his life helping those afflicted with the disease, even until it eventually took his own life.  You can read more about him at

His remains are housed in St. Mary's Assumption Church.  Read more about this gorgeous church here.

I couldn't get enough of the super-ornate, arched ceiling...incredible!

This is where Blessed Francis' remains lie and also where many people quietly kneel and pray for his intercession to our Heavenly Father.  Two prayers are better than one you know, especially if Blessed Francis is pullin' for you.  :)

This is the sternum bone of Blessed Francis.  The bone closest to his heart.

This is a glass-enclosed display in the museum dedicated to Blessed Francis showing a little of the history associated with Yellow Fever and what was thought of it during his time.  We thought the antique bottles of quinine and other medicine they used to treat the disease were so cool.  History is incredible!

Saints are one of the many treasures of the Catholic Church and hopefully one day Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos will be officially regarded as one.  There are many saints today - a saint being a someone who is recognized by the Church to have lived a life of heroic virtue and charity and, because of the life he/she lived, is now believed to be in heaven.  To read more about the process of officially declaring someone a saint, go here.  To read about the lives of other saints, go here.  If you don't understand the Catholic Church's teaching on saints or other subjects, find out more here, ask questions here, or read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Many miracles have been performed both during and after the lives of these amazing people, so ask for their intercession in anything!  The Lord hears their prayers along with yours and will seldom refuse any request from an open heart!  Just make sure you are open to the will of God and remember that His plan might be a little different than the one you had in mind!  :)


Given For Us

This weekend we made a road trip up to Virginia to witness two of our great friends enter into life together through the Sacrament of Matrimony.  We filled the 28 hours of being in the car with conversations, music, and listening to talks on cd.  One particular talk by Fr. Larry Richards struck me and I just want to share it.  He was giving a talk during Holy Week and was talking about how Christ died for our sins.  I hear that all the time and you might too but this time was different.  Fr. Larry went through the Passion of Christ in a detailed way, from the thorns piercing His brow to the nails being pounded into His hands.  I thought of the movie "The Passion of Christ" while I was listening and realized that every time I've watched that movie, I've watched it like I'm watching a gory History Channel show.  It makes me sad to watch it but it seems I forget that what I'm seeing He did for me!  He was scourged with whips that had sharp pieces of sheep bone on them that literally ripped skin off of His body.  He had a crown of thorns placed on His head that broke through skin on his ears, forehead, eyebrows, and even His skull.  He was stripped of everything He had on, humiliated, and was made to carry a huge wooden cross while bleeding and in excruciating pain up the hill to Calvary.  Nails were pounded through His wrists and feet and He hung, suffocating on the cross.  What's more is that everytime we sin, we shout "Crucify Him".  Wow!  Just thinking about it again makes me hate every sin I've ever committed.  I imagine myself alone with Him on the hill of Calvary just staring up at his bruised and beaten body, staring into His eyes.  His pain is personal.  It was done for me and everyday I take that forgranted.  How many times in my life have failed to acknowledge Him? 

He paid for our sin with His life and opened up the gates of heaven for us.  But, we have to choose Him!  It's our choice by the way we live our lives whether we will enter into heaven or be miserable in hell for the rest of eternity.  Today's gospel said that 'the road to perdition is wide and many take it, but the road to heaven is narrow and few find it'.  It's not easy to get to heaven and no one has a free ride.  We are 'saved' but we have to choose to accept Christ's sacrifice and live our life accordingly.  My only desire is to live my life doing God's will so that I may one day be counted among His saints and that is my hope for you also.  May God bless your decisions and your journey.