In Search of Hope and Transformation

butterflyI’ve been an annoying re-blogger the past few days.  I spent three intense days on a marketing proposal I had to present Tuesday, and in good old obsessive fashion I thought of nothing else until it was complete and behind me.  Then yesterday I was in recovery mode from this and spent my time reading other people’s work and re-blogging good stuff.

Now that I’ve recovered from my marketing obsession, I have so many ideas that I want to write about. The problem is determining which one to dive into first. And then I saw a simple post over at Tired of Thinking About Drinking that inspired me to write my own similar post listing the “search terms” people use to find my blog.  This at least has gotten me going and I expect I’ll have two or three posts to follow before the day is over. I hope y’all (yes, I’m from Georgia) don’t get tired of me today!

Search terms used to find my blog:

  • mother son intimacy
  • aa logo
  • catholic and alcoholism
  • catholic alcoholic
  • adopt a cardinal
  • sobriety blogs
  • different kinds of saints
  • is aa ok for catholic
  • lectio divina
  • blog catholic alcoholism
  • 4th step prayer
  • catholic coping mechanisms
  • catholic alcohol addiction
  • prayer book for catholic addicts
  • mother teresa
  • catholic healing for alcoholic parent
  • catholic alcoholics anonymous women
  • catholics and alcohol
  • catholic and being alcoholic
  • gods will regarding alcoholism catholic
  • bruce willis alcoholic
  • mindy mccready suicide
  • 12 steps for catholic priests book
  • hope
  • mary magdalen and the egg
  • pilgrimage florida
  • catholics love alcohol
  • catholic beer
  • calix
  • heather king magnificat
  • “celebrate recovery” catholic
  • king paw jaguar
  • catholic alcohol recovery
  • catholic help with alcoholism
  • pope benedict commentary
  • catechism views on alcoholics anonymous
  • cloud of witnesses

Pretty interesting–at least to me!  So there are people out there searching for the kind of experiences I write about. Dear God, please direct my thinking and my writing so that if ever someone comes across my blog they are left with Your hope. As your dear servant Pope Emeritus Benedict said,

“To be effective the proclamation of faith must begin with a heart that believes, hopes, loves; and a heart that loves Christ also believes in the transformative power of the Holy Spirit!”

So if it be Your will, God, let me be an example of this transformative power of the Holy Spirit.

Different Kinds of Saints

sisters at sunriseSister Weekend 2013 is coming to a close.  We were all up this morning though to see the sunrise–and there were dolphins!  All bundled up and with blankets, we laughed and told stories and huddled close while the humongous perfectly round orange sun rose into the clear sky.

Mom and I were up at 5am first, saying our prayers.  We got into a discussion about how different people pray in different ways.  She prays for others.  My Mom has a list of people she prays for every day.  This list is SO LONG.  And some of the people on her list are people she’s heard about on the news or gotten a prayer request about long ago–and she doesn’t even know if they’re better yet, but she keeps praying for them. But the majority of her prayers are for her eleven children, their spouses and children, and Dad.

One person on her list is a child who was smushed by an elevator—but she doesn’t know how he is doing today or if he even survived.

Mom has all these saints and prayer cards and typed meditations in her little prayer bag—she has a third or fourth degree relic for Padre Pio, something that touched another Padre Pio relic.  My mom loves to pray through Padre Pio, Saint Faustina, Infant of Prague.  She has a prayer for priests, a prayer for religious liberty, a prayer for the Pope, a 30 day prayer she says for all of her children.  She was showing me, “I pray this prayer for you and your sister, this prayer for that person, this prayer for this person, this one for the sons-in-law, this one for Paul’s back troubles…

me and jennyI was so impressed.

In my prayers, I read/pray and meditate on the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Mother Theresa, Saint Therese the Little Flower, and lately I’ve been praying on the Cloud of the Unknowing.

And then (full disclosure here) I “remember” to pray for everybody else.  It’s like an after thought for me to pray for others during my morning prayers.  I pray for my loved ones throughout the day as their struggles come to mind, but unlike my Mom I do not have a list and a persistence to my prayers for others.

I find what she does is truly remarkable. I’ve thought about this before–like is my way is a little selfish?  I’ve wished I prayed better for others.

And then my Mom this morning commented she wished she could pray more like me.  She’s actually taking a Lectio Divina class at Church with Daddy to learn how to do this better.

She said she has trouble connecting directly to God, having an intimate relationship with him. I said that’s all I do, is connect intimately with God—but it’s all about me!  lol

I was floored.  So, is my way of praying “okay?” If my Mom thinks it is okay, then it must be okay because my Mom is a living saint.  I am thinking about this now.

Last week’s Gospel reading at Mass explained how we each have different spiritual gifts but we’re all of the same body. And there are hundreds and hundreds of saints given to us by the Church to show us there are different ways of approaching God, living our vocations, praying.

I’m drawn to the mystics because they pray like I do:  read, reflect, meditate and pray.  My Mom is drawn to other types of saints, who do acts of service and pray for others.  Because they’re more like her. Like Saint Faustina whose whole big thick diary is filled with praying that others receive divine Mercy.

Anyways, these are thoughts I think of today.  We are all different parts of the same body.

Sister Weekend and Mother Theresa

12345I’m down in Saint Augustine, FL with the goddesses for Sister Weekend 2013.  It’s been several years since we had our last Sister Weekend; and my Mom is so happy to be at the beach with her six daughters.

We are all—all six daughters and my mother—so connected to the beach, the tides, the moon. Something about being near the ocean calms my every anxiety.

Mom and I went to bed at 9:00pm last night; but the other sisters stayed up until after 3:00am–they didn’t get drunk (like I would have!).  They were just enjoying one another, drinking wine and laughing.

My room is at the top of the hardwood, echoing stairs so I could hear every word. I didn’t sleep well; but I couldn’t go down and sit in the “merriment” because I would have wanted to join in.

I know their laughs so well. I even knew which ones were accompanied by tears of laughter.  They were laughing so hard! Many times I laughed with them, albeit upstairs in my bed alone.  They were telling such funny stories, cracking up with Youtube videos, posting silly pictures of themselves on Facebook. I could sit here and say I sulked upstairs, sober, feeling left out, but that would be a lie.

I was completely okay about it.  I was okay not being down there with them—I guess I’m in a good place spiritually right now where nothing can touch my sobriety—I had actually asked God to surround me this weekend, so I could be present with my sisters and be of service.

I enjoyed it with them but didn’t  have to be in the middle of it, in the middle of all the wine and all the fun.

This morning I was up with my Mom at 6:00am—it was wonderful hanging out with my Mom, saying our prayers, talking and drinking our coffees.  We went out to the beach and watched the sunrise.  It was freezing, but so beautiful.  There was a seagull that kept staring at us even though I told him we didn’t have any food for him.  Other seagulls would try to come by; but our little seagull friend yelled at them that we were his people; and so they left.

sandpiperHe just sat there staring at us.  And then I noticed another little bird down in the water and Mom said it was a sandpiper.  I had never seen a sandpiper–or at least didn’t know that’s what it was if I ever saw one before.

Mom gave me this meditation prayer she says a lot and I was determined to re-type it here in my blog, my space.  I’ll type it on another page and back date it because it’s very long.  Click here to read it—it’s Mother Theresa’s own personal prayer she wrote as if Jesus was talking directly to her.  I love it.

I’m going to go to a 9:00am AA meeting–I found one called “Sober Sisters” about 5 miles away.  It will be nice to be in a meeting.

In Recovery and Finding My Own Calcutta

mother-teresaI love this. Came across it this morning on Love Being Catholic’s Facebook page and had to share:

Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. … You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.” – Blessed Mother Teresa

Dear God, show me where you want me.  Show me my own Calcutta so I can better to Your will where You want me.  Love, Number 9

Sunday Snippets – A Catholic Carnival

Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena

So excited to post my inaugural Sunday Snippets with a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. This week Sunday Snippets is hosted over at This That and the Other Thing, so be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers over there.

This past week I blogged about

Different Kinds of Saints where i wrote about the differences between the way my mom prays and the way I do.  In Sister Weekend and Mother Teresa, I wrote about spending the weekend at the beach with my mother and five sisters. My mother gave me a beautiful meditation prayer written by Mother Teresa.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about how I am grateful to be sober in this post and this post.

Here I wrote about how I use the Catholic type of prayer called Lectio Divina to practice the 11th Step of AA. And in this post and this post I wrote about beginning Step Four in the 12 Steps of AA.

Have a great week everybody and thank you so much for including me!

Mother Theresa’s Meditation: “I Thirst”

My Mom gave me this. It’s a meditation Mother Theresa wrote as if Jesus was speaking directly to her.  I am putting it here on my blog because I love it and will refer back to it often.  I wanted to share this with others who might like it as much as I do.  I love prayers and meditations that are written as if Jesus is talking directly to me.  That’s how my favorite My Daily Bread book is written.  So is the Cloud of the Unknowing, which I love.  Also, the Imitation of Christ.  LOVE.

***

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20)

mother teresaIt is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter.

And I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension–a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father (“As much as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you…” John 15:10).

I come-longing to console you and give you strength, to left you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul.

I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you==even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you–not for what you have or haven’t done–I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image.

It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life, and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and its destructive power.

I know what is in your heart–I know your loneliness and all your hurts–the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations, I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love–how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished.

But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside with passing pleasures – with even greater emptiness of sin.

Do you thirst for love?  “Come to Me all you who thirst…” (John 7:37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished?  I cherish you more than you can imagine — to the point of dying on a cross for you.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you–that is how precious you are to Me. Come to Me and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds.

I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials.  You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live my life in you.

If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all.  For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you.  Open to Me.  Come to Me.  Thirst for Me.  Give Me your life–and I will prove to you how important you are to My heart.

Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment?  Trust in Me.  Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life, and I will.  I promise you before My father in heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this?  Because I thirst for you.  All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely.  I will do all the rest.

Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My Kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in the life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you, or bring the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life.

Above all, do not run from Me when you fall.  come to Me wihtout delay.  When you give Me your sins, you give Me the joy of being your Savior. There is nothing I cannot forgive and heal; so come now, and unburden your soul.

No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in the life; there is on thing that I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change.

I thirst for you–just as you are.

You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you.  You forget Me and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day–standing at the door of your heart and knocking.

Do you find this hard to believe?  Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you.

Have you not understood My Cross?  Then listen again to the words I spoke there–for they tell you clearly why I endured all of this for you:

“I thirst…” (John 19:28)

Yes, I thirst for you–as the rest of the psalm I was praying says of Me: “I looked for love, and I found none…” (Psalm 69:20). All your life I have been looking for your love–I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before.

Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit, “No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock.

Open to Me, for I thirst for you.”

Blessed Mother Teresa