Psalm 86:15 & 17

15 But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, most loving and true.

17 Give me a sign of your favor; make my enemies see, to their confusion, that you , Lord, help and comfort me.

It’s impossible to even attempt to live a virtuous life without the grace of Our God. I just commented how the example of patience and being slow to anger is a virtue that I so badly yearn for at this point in my life. My middle daughter (K), during her meal time prayer last evening, prayed for “mama to stop yelling so much.” Sigh. I’m completely aware of how loud and obnoxious I sound at home and I think we all get under each other’s skin. We are definitely ready for the structure (as much as possible!) of the homeschool year and starting the school-year extra-curriculur activities back up.

Still, that all feels like an excuse. Rather than praying to God to help me continue my work through the summer, I tried to rely on my measly strength. So, it’s not that I need a sign or symbol to strike me, I just need to increase and provide a batter example of daily prayer to my family. And to keep up my work, knowing that if I am doing God’s will for me, I will be given the graces needed to march on.

The Assumption of Mary

Today we remember the venerable Assumption of our Holy Mother into Heaven. It’s a Holy Day in the Catholic Church and many other religions do not understand the reverence we hold for the Blessed Mother. We believe that soon after Mary died (not a death we would know now, more of a long sweet sleep) her body was taken into Heaven with no need of waiting until the general resurrection of the dead. She was most holy, most obedient, most pure and therefore, did not have to wait until the final judgement.

The virtues of Mary that stick out most to me, those that I wish to emulate daily, are patience, kindness, purity, and humility. She is the ultimate mother-figure for any one of us. Working ever so diligently toward copying these virtues, imagine the life we can have on the last day! Let alone the life we can live while still here on earth. I didn’t go to Mass today, and this is part of the spiritual sloth that I’m currently experiencing. I’m honestly feeling spiritually depleted since my husband started his new job and we haven’t been attending (Latin) Mass together. I feel closest to my Faith at the Latin Mass, being with my family, and nothing ever quite feels the same for me when we aren’t there. I recognize this and really am hoping to find our way back home soon.

If I cannot be the glue to get us back together, so to speak, we’re just going to keep separating further and further. This will not be good for upholding a stately prayer life at home either.

 

Proverbs 24:30-34 Battling Sloth

“I passed by the field of the sluggard, by the vineyard of the man without sense; And behold! it was all overgrown with thistles; its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall broken down. And as I gazed at it, I reflected; I saw and learned the lesson: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest-Then will poverty come upon you like a highwayman, and want like an armed man.”

I first think of sloth as equal to physical laziness and this is how Scripture portrays it. The house that was overgrown and not tended to, everything looks broken, maybe even abandoned by the man “without sense” enough to care for what God has given him. Do I reflect this? If one were to look at the outside of my house, there would be weeds, toys scattered about, and dead flowers. First impressions of me? I have kids. I don’t have a green thumb. I don’t make any extra work for myself by taking care of plants or gardens. I wouldn’t say the first impression is lazy to someone on the outside looking in. Surely, upon entering my home one would see neatness, organization and a well-lived in, learned and active home-life.

But sloth is more than physical laziness. It’s the spiritual, mental laziness of the definition that has been effecting me. When I googled “what is sloth” I found this. It’s that looking for ease, that trying to do what needs to be done in the quickest, most efficient way possible. I find my battle with sloth in the impatience it takes to get minute tasks and chores finished. I find my battle with sloth in the never-ending to-do list of preparing for this or that or something else. I find my battle with sloth in the incessant multi-tasking that I swear is more  effective than just picking one thing and getting it done before moving on to the next.

A big rat race, isn’t that what we say? Our head spins in a hundred different directions of everything we have to do. But what do we really have to do? Focus! that is what I’m all the time telling my kids. Focus, please! Do I need to write it across my forehead so you remember every time you look at me? (I seriously say this more you’d think.)

I need to focus on short term goals in order to reach our long term ones. And the number one goal that needs my full attention right now? Prayer! That is my means to having everything else in my chaotic life fall into place. Prayer is what will keep our school days focused and productive. Prayer will strengthen my marriage and establish a better home life for all of us.

My commitment in the coming weeks is to continue my prayer journey and include my kids in this Scripture reflection. Meditating on our lives, how we are living now and what we must focus on to avoid this deadly sin. Please pray for us.

Proverbs 19: 1-3 A Soul Sense

The first proverb here is not suggesting one cannot be both rich and filled with integrity. Indeed, that is what I think Our God wants of us. But if you are rich and abuse people with anger, hatred, belittlement and cast them down for your own sake, there is a problem. It would be better that you have little or no money and a strong soul-sense, working ever toward the Greater Glory, than be rich and haughty.

If you have no sense of your own soul, you have no sense in which direction God is leading you. Everyone has a purpose in life. Number one: resist temptation and get to Heaven. In the mean time, beg for forgiveness of your moral and venial sins by regularly going to Confession. Study scripture and discuss moral and theological issues with a trusted mentor or spiritual director. Number 2: fulfill your earthly purpose in order to resist temptation and get to Heaven. So many people, including me for several years in my 20s, wondered around worried and anxious about what to do with my life. When you have the end goal in your mind -Heaven – you can begin to generate positive leads on how to get there.

Things will happen along the way – a new baby, a job loss, a chance for education (in one form or another, not necessarily college), a death. Sometimes you get a very obvious roadblock. At least that is what I call it. Your house needs more work than its worth, your fertility gets hijacked by unforeseen circumstances, your husband is worried about changing a job because of the risk. So many “roadblocks” can tarnish your soul-being and make you question the path designed in perfection by God Himself, just for you.

Open your mind to the possibilites and hope that lie ahead. Stand tall with integrity even if it means the potential to be ridiculed and mocked. Turn the other cheek, say a prayer before your crucifix and keep yourself from quarelling in anger. It gets you nowhere.

At times of utter frustration and anger inside of my soul, I immediately pray a “Hail Mary” (or two or three) and turn it all over to my soul- Mother who knows best how to handle me. My earthly mama, too, is such a comfort at these trials and tribulations that I walk.

1 Samuel 25-26

In this passage David found himself having to beg for his needs from a rich man, Nabal, even though David had previously helped servants and felt like he deserved to be aided in his own time of need now. However, Nabal being the wealthy man he was with many animals almost turned his nose at David’s request and refused to help. It is one perspective of middle-class or even the poor, to think that wealthy people won’t help because they themselves have bills to pay and needs to take care of. Often, my thought with my wealthy friends, is that they deserve it, actually. They have worked hard and most of them have worked their way legitimately and honestly to better themselves in the ways and means of society. Would being envious solve anything? No, because jealously is the total and complete opposite of productivity. At times in my life, I have had to ask for help and at other times when work is going well, and we are back on our feet, I’ve been able to give back. Donating food, clothing, furniture, time and money is something I want to give more of. So, if I spend my time worrying or being jealous toward those who have more material than me, I’m not being productive.

God gave me the intelligence and family members that I need in order to know how to find the means to provide for my children. Along with my husband, that comes first, but those less fortunate than us, are not forgotten. I want to be at a point in my life, sooner rather than later, where we can do and give even more. I want my family to be an example that patience, hard work and prayer can not only richly nourish you soul, but also abundantly bless your pocketbook in order to improve quality of life for us and all those less fortunate.

My biggest struggle with the wealthy/poor conflict is that I feel rich in my soul and in my heart, but I wonder at times how to relate to that to financial wealth. And how not to judge others’ souls based on their financial wealth.  It is awkward, but only for me, because I presume to give that status structure an identity. I don’t have to and why it pops up now and again, I’m not sure. But feeling so richly blessed in my soul, if wealthy people feel that way, too, then why is there room for disdain? Find the riches in your core, in your whole complete and deep being and there you will find much wealth.

Since I turned 30 I have found it much easier to take it upon myself, the sins of others, especially those in my immediate family. Nabal’s wife, Agigail, begged that David not kill her husband or any of their servants. She reached out and boldly made amends with David and pleaded forgiveness for her husband’s irrationality and insincerity. My first thought? What goes around comes around Mr. Nabal. But, could it have been that Nabal was not feeling richly blessed in his innermost being? And so, if his wife was feeling that way, then why shouldn’t she be the one to beg and plead for mercy on behalf of the one she loved? In doing so, she saved David’s consciousness and standing with God and God therefore, avenged the wrongdoings of Nabal by taking his life anyway.

David’s learning to be patient, and let God lead and be in control is admirable. Being caught up in every day chaotic distractions makes it difficult for me to be patient and rely solely on God’s time and terms. The example of David and Nabal, and then David and Saul, is a great example to strive for when we are feeling irritable and at our wits end for some particular situation.

St. Dominic

St. Dominic has a special place in my soul because he is the saint for whom my nephew is named. I’m not sure why Dominic was chosen but I’m sure it’s not coincidence. St. Dominic brought us the Rosary, after listening to Mary herself talk to him during his prayer time.

My grandmothers both had a special devotion to Our Lady, and to the Rosary. I remember every evening car ride I ever took with my father’s parents, the Rosary would be recited as well as a “Jesus, Mary & Joseph” gasp when grandma got nervous about grandpa’s driving!

On my mother’s side, her parents had a small shrine in their bedroom dedicated to Mary and filled with Rosaries and statues of Mary from their world travels.

Someone as willing as St. Dominic was, to demolish heresy and say that “God has never refused me what I have asked,” is confidence that I wish I had. Actually, I do see that confidence resonating in my nephew. Although he is a mere age 6, the confidence that boy has is no less than amazing. As his godmother, I hope I can help propel that confidence into doing good works, works of the Faith.

Perhaps when my grandmothers prayed their daily Rosary, they were praying for the faith-filled confidence of their great-grandchildren.

Essential Oil 101

What is an essential oil? 

There are three parts to a plant: the water, the fiber and the essential oil. The water gives the plant life, the fiber supports the plant and gives the plant its structure and the essential oil is what gives the plant the healing life-force within. Think of our blood and how our blood carries oxygen, nutrients and good substances to the parts of body that need those things. The blood also carries the waste, toxins and excess of what our body can’t use, or doesn’t need, out. So, too, does an essential oil work in the same way – both within its’ host plant, and within our human body.

An essential oil can be found in a root, stem, or petal of a plant. It can be found in the bark, root, or leaves of a tree. It can found in fruit, herbs or spices.

How do you extract and essential oil from a plant?

Steam distillation has been found to be the most effective way of extracting an essential oil You cannot heat the plant to extreme temperatures otherwise you risk damaging the chemical makeup of the essential oil. The oils within the plant are very precious and should be handled with care. An essential oil is a whole. It is complete. God alone created the plants and thus, the essential oil properties within each plant. He took great care to craft each plant, tree, fruit and herb with His own hands, so that His people would have something to use to address common ailments. Extracting the oils takes time; a process that mustn’t be rushed or else the chemical constituents of that oil will virtually be burned out. It will no longer be a “whole” oil.

Why Young Living Essential Oils?

Young Living takes the time to carefully and whole-listically extract an essential oil. Delicate handling of the plants from seed to harvest, to distillation to bottling is priority to Young Living’s mission. Researchers, farmers, scientists, doctors and people like you and I study, share, and test the oils. Together, we want to bring the world back to a time when families passed on traditions and classic home remedies that have been carelessly misplaced and at times, misguided in the name of progress.

Why now?

There is no more necessary a time than the present to consider the direction of your health and give your children the sense of knowing how to make themselves feel better. Our environment, our food, our souls even, are wrought with toxicity and synthetic poisons. If we, as parents, as a society raising the next generation, do not stand up for pure, whole health, who will? Our first fight is for our children and their children, but let’s not leave us out of the picture either. The research is coming, some of it is already out there. Find a support network, get involved, ask questions, delve into the deeper issues at hand and be part of something bigger, something far greater that God has had in store for us from the beginning. You are worth it. Your children are worth it.

*This post is my opinion and rewritten as the way I have found most effective to talk about Young Living Essential Oils. There is so much more up for discussion. If you are new to Young Living and do not have an upline please contact me. If you have questions and you are a current Distributor please contact your upline for further information. Nothing in this article is meant to treat, diagnose, cure or heal. Please consult your doctor, preferably a D.O. who has some understanding of alternative health modalities.