Thursday, July 12, 2007

Life is....

What day is it? All my days have been morphing into one giant day….but guess what is totally exciting? It’s Wednesday night, 10:57 pm. I am sitting at the desk in my newly arranged room (I got bored with the way it was a few nights ago and while praying, was inspired to move the furniture) after the best day yet after getting here.

I am in complete awe with this man whom I call my boyfriend Jesus. I don’t even know where or how to start what I want to say—there is just so much. I find it totally hilarious how God works in my life first of all—there is not a lot of in between—I am either with it or not with it if that makes sense. I think I will begin with my prayer experiences the past few days, because prayer is my oxygen. I need it for survival, I need it to wake up, to function, to run my apostolets, to be charitable, to just be fully alive as Maria.

For those of you (Jan) who were mildly freaked out about my state of mental stability from the last long post, things are on the upswing. Allow me to describe what has been happening. “Developing a Strong Interior Life” has been the theme of the week. For most of you, you realize a large motivation for me to give a year was to get my shit together (sorry, it is necessary) which basically boiled down to developing a life rooted strongly in prayer. Knowing that was a need in and for my life, this program was even more enticing. Our morning mediations have been based on forming prayer and having dialogue with Jesus. For our compositions of place, we have been guided to travel with Jesus and learn from Him how to pray. So this is Maria in the 5th pew of the chapel every morning: Jesus, I am focused. I approach you this morning with a humble heart. I desire to pray like you, to know how to love you more, how to form my heart like your heart so I can love like you. Please, let me join you….oh that is a cute skirt…..whoops. sorry Jesus, I got distracted..

He invited me to follow Him—where did we go? Let’s see to the top of a mountain (He wouldn’t let any of the other apostles go with Him, just me) I sat with Him in Gesthemane, but nothing was working. My heart desired to meet Him personally, so I could see Him as a real person, my best friend and the love of my life. Its hard for some to believe, but I am impatient, and even go so far as to challenge God with His timing of things. God what the heck? I am praying fervently. I am even not dominating the conversation. Do you remember yesterday? I didn’t even talk once—I listened even during my extra visits. What are you thinking?

Today, this morning, after breakfast I went into the chapel to visit Jesus. Sitting in my seat, the 5th row, I squinched my brow to begin my fervent silence of prayer. And then, it happened. Something just clicked—I was in a coffee shop. As I begin the whoops Jesus, distracted again, the glass door swings open, the bell rings and in walks a man in jeans, a t-shirt and sandals. His hair, shaggy and misplaced slid to the right and fell a bit in His eye. Eyes that glistened and spoke directly to my soul. He smiled—a beautiful, warm, welcoming and completely, totally loving smile, and He just said “hey Maria. Thanks for coming to see me.” Well not only was I stunned by His good looks, but it finally happened. Jesus was sitting down in front of me. In an atmosphere no one imagined I would find Him, not even me. Caught off guard I asked Him—“have you been listening to anything I have been saying?” and he just laughed, which caused me to crack a smile. In this moment, I made the commitment I have been longing to make for so long—the commitment to accept Jesus and welcome Him into my life as my best friend. We met all day in these casual ways—passing on the street, we got some pizza and walked down a crowded city street at sunset. It was beautiful and exhilarating. As we walked He stopped and looked at me and said The battle is over. You are mine—by your own decision. This doesn’t mean that you won’t fall, or it’s going to be easy, but now you know how to find me, how to ask for my help and my love.

Not only was Jesus meeting with me today, but Mary sent me some graces today that were amazing—one in particular. I hope Peter Donald my favorite friend, won’t mind me sharing this….you all know how athletic I am—I enjoy picking flowers on the soccer field and braid girls hair on the side lines and when the ball comes toward me I run away from it….Believe it or not, I am getting better and am becoming totally obsessed with playing basketball. But that’s not my story. So in the spirit of the movement, I am trying to offer up events in my days for souls. Each of my family members has an event, and Peter D’s just happens to be sports. Today, I was running (yes friends, by my own free will I was running) and after one trip around the loop I was panting, dripping sweat and my legs were sore. Turning to go in, my little angel Ashley calls, “c’mon, lets go around again.” Today was supposed to be my “hard” day, which constituted another lap that I was going to give up. But how could I let that request go? So I continued. When I was about ¼ mile away from the house, I felt like I was going to fall over. A voice inside nagged, “just stop. Walk the rest. You’ve done enough” and these comments were followed by an almost cackle. Satan. While this was happening I passed a statue of Mary, and suddenly I received a new spurt of energy that no joke sent me into full blast sprint for ¼ mile to the house. The whole time I combated Satan saying “by the power of Jesus and the grace of Mary, you WILL NOT touch Pete. You may not have him—and you can’t touch me either” and for the whole ¼ mile (that was a lot for me people going full blast) I said that over and over again until I somehow ended up at the front door in front of our statue of Mary. Talk to be about graces—so Pete, I hope you felt that one buddy. Literally, I was dripping in sweat—but I don’t think the running is all to blame—there was a minor battle going on also. My devotion to Mary is growing—I have asked her to meet Grandpa at the gates of Heaven with St. Therese, of course. One of the girls here says a beautiful decade of the rosary for Mary. For every bead, you ponder a virtue Mary possessed. I’ve started to say it everyday after lunch, and I encourage you to also and encourage your daughters to do it also!

Angelic Sweetness

Ardent Charity

Blind Obedience

Constant Mental Prayer

Divine Purity

Divine Wisdom

Heroic Patience

Lively Faith

Profound Humility

Universal Mortification

This is the prayer that accompanies it:

Ave Maris Stella

Hail, bright star of the ocean,

God’s own Mother blest,

Ever sinless Virgin,

Gate of heavenly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave

Which from Gabriel came,

Peace confirm within is,

Changing Eva’s name

Break the captives fetters,

Light on the blindness pour,

All our ills expelling,

Every bliss implore

Show thyself a Mother;

May the word Divine

Born for us thy Infant,

Hear our prayers through thine

Virgin all excelling,

Mildest of the mild

Free from guilt, preserve us,

Pure and undefiled

Keep our lives all spotless

Make our way secure,

Till we find in Jesus

Joy forevermore.

Through the highest Heaven

To the Almighty Three,

Father, Son and Spirit,

One same glory be,


Isn’t that beautiful? I am obsessed. This is how I got it figured—I have her and St. Joseph covering my husband….I think we are in pretty good shape! ;)

So…a bit less deep—yesterday we had “Defensive Driving” with probably the funniest and cutest “baby boomer” ever. Roger…God love him. Unfortunately I was completely immature, I giggled through the whole class, but he totally loved us. My friend Ashley and I were sitting at the front table (yes of course, I was obnoxious out in the open) and we compiled a list of Roger quotes. I will share with you my favorite quote “If someone is tailgating you, don’t suddenly stop—they will get out of their car and shoot you with their gun.” I’m sorry—after four hours of this I couldn’t help myself. And also—it all goes back to Murphy’s Law. That was our Defensive Driving Class.

Today was our outing day and it was so much fun! We explored Christmas Town, otherwise known as Frankenmuth, MI. Cute and extremely German, we spent the day trying fudge, eating ice cream and exploring the shops including the extensive CHRISTmas Shop and we visit Stille Nacht Chapel. For those of you who are not up on your German, that translates to Silent Night. J And now we are back, writing letters and getting ready for our weekend of apostolates—I am working on Missions in a “ghetto” of Michigan. I am so excited to take what I have learned in class and apply it—I love to “do” Jesus and here I go. I am a team leader and once again I have no idea what to do, but am learning slowly but surely. Its also really funny, becasu e everyone thinks that I would love Missions, but I feel a bit uncomfortable, so it will be a stretch—but stretches are great—God is gonna teach me something!

I can’t wait for my next post—I’m sure I will have some great testimonies after Missions. Until then, you are all in my prayers. I’m taking your names to Adoration tonight! Keep me and the souls we will be reaching this weekend in your prayers! Love you!

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