FET Update and Spiritual Works of Mercy: IVF Edition

After my appointment on Wednesday I received word that all is a go!  I am scheduled to transfer our last frozen embryo, our last child conceived by IVF, early morning on March 2nd!  I’ll keep you updated!

Knowing that we will never need to rescue another of our own children from his/her frozen enslavement brings me peace, but not completely.  There are still over 600,000 embryos in the U.S., waiting to continue their lives, stagnant in time, hoping to be loved and nurtured by their parents.  So what do we do about that?  We can stop this very large number from increasing through our actions and our prayers by using the Spiritual Works of Mercy!

 

Spiritual Works of Mercy- IVF Edition

Admonish the Sinner

If someone you know is thinking of doing IVF, then tell them why it is wrong and the moral dilemmas they will be faced with if they go through with it.  This is a great site that explains why IVF seems like good intentions, but in reality it is extremely immoral.

Instruct the Ignorant 

Teach everyone about the immorality of IVF.  I guarantee that most people don’t know the truth.  If you are the ignorant or would like to show someone more information on the immorality of IVF, watch this IVF video by Father Tad Pacholczyk for great commentary.  If you’ve been through IVF and know the implications, your story is your most powerful weapon.  Here is mine.

Counsel the Doubtful 

Infertility is hard, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s not easy to be around friends and family who pop out babies left and right while you suffer.  This makes it all the more difficult to stay the course and remain on moral high ground.  IVF clinics are showing up like Donut shops and they claim to offer you that child that you so desperately want to hold and love.  It’s enticing, but at what cost?  Not just financially, but ethically? If you or if you know someone who doubts the unethical actions of IVF then please watch Father Tad’s video above.  What other option do you have?  NaproTechnology.  Watch this video by New Hope Infertility for a detailed explanation.

Comfort the Sorrowful

Do you know someone who is struggling with infertility or who has lost children through IVF or is dealing with the moral dilemmas that IVF brings?  Be there for them.  Listen.  Offer help in any way.  Hug them. Let them know how to be patient and wait for God’s plan or to seek forgiveness through confession.

Bear Wrongs Patiently/Forgive All Injuries 

Forgive anyone that might have coerced you into doing IVF or who was involved in the act, such as the nurses and doctors at your IVF clinic.  If you are the one who needs to be forgiven for undergoing IVF when you knew that it was wrong then please go to confession.  If you need to forgive someone else for having gone through IVF when you specifically told them it was wrong, don’t hold it against them.  We all do crazy, stupid things when under duress and through desperation.  It’s what we do with our mistakes that make us good and holy.

Pray for the Living and the Dead

Pray, pray, pray for all of the embryos that are still frozen.  That they will one day continue their lives, be born, participate fully in God’s creation, or that they are released from their stagnation and die in peace.  Pray that their parents realize the unethical depth of IVF, seek moral guidance and do what is right.  Pray for those contemplating the act of IVF and that they alter their decision and choose a route that does not create life outside of their marriage, nor manipulate, or destroy it in the process.  Pray for all the children that have been eradicated due to IVF’s abuse of life.  Pray for the salvation of their souls, their parents souls, and the souls of the employees in the IVF industry.

 

Please forward this post onto anyone who may be contemplating IVF.  I hope this changes their mind.

Last Frozen Embryo Transfer Update

Just wanted to give an update on the cycle of our Last Frozen Embryo Transfer.

After my doctor’s appointment yesterday, once again, our scheduled transfer date is pushed back a week due to insufficient thickness in my uterine lining, therefore, our new transfer date will be March 2nd, give or take a day or two.

All is well otherwise!

In the meantime, I am encouraged by pregnant Mary’s words when, after the annunciation, she visits her cousin Elizabeth, and John the Baptist leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb upon encountering the presence of Jesus Christ, and Mary says this:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;my spirit rejoices in God my savior.For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.The Mighty One has done great things for me,and holy is h.png

I will pray this everyday because that is exactly how I feel, no matter the outcome, always accepting and being ever grateful for His will.

Benedicamus Domino,

Kara

Don’t Just Give Up Something This Lent, Do the Works of Mercy

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Can you believe that Ash Wednesday (February 10) is just around the corner?

This Lent will be different than other Lents because this is the Year of Mercy, and Pope Francis calls us not to sacrifice, but to show mercy:

For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favourable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practising the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness.” – Pope Francis

So I’ve compiled a list to do just that through the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  

These are practical ideas that anyone can do once a week or everyday, even those of us with young children.  Some of these activities even include the little ones!

Just think of how many people’s lives we can touch, change and even save by doing these works of mercy!  

Someone out there needs us and it is in these works that we will find them.

*Scroll to very bottom of this very long list to find out the four most important works of mercy!

**Suggested Pro-Life works are highlighted in green.

 

Corporal

Feed the hungry

  • Cook meals for your family – they are hungry too!
  • Fast – eat two small meals and one regular per day with no snacking in between.  Take the money saved and donate it to a food bank.
  • Keep treats in your car/purse for the times you encounter the homeless
  • Bring a meal to a new mom – they are starving and don’t have time to cook!
  • Budget by giving up restaurants, fast food, and cutting costs at the grocery store. Give the saved money to a charity such as a food bank or the St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Buy a meal for a soldier in the airport or give them a gift card to a fast food chain
  • Take a friend/co-worker/family member out to eat
  • Host a dinner for friends or family
  • Invite a person in need over for dinner
  • Pay for a meal for the person behind you in the Fast Food line
  • Provide a grocery store gift card to someone in need
  • Provide snacks at your child’s next play date/group activity
  • Buy one-level-down – “Whenever you are going to purchase something, look at what you want, then buy “one level down” from that. Order a smaller meal, go for the off-brand, rent a movie instead of going out, etc. At the end of Lent, tally up the money you saved and make sure someone in your community has a meal this Easter.” – DynamicCatholic.com

 

Give Drink to the Thirsty

  • Stop drinking coffee/wine/soda/tea
  • Budget by giving up coffee shops/going out to bars and give the money saved to charity
  • Keep water bottles in the car to hand out to the homeless or anyone who looks thirsty
  • Get your kids involved and set up a lemonade stand.  Give the lemonade out for free or give all proceeds to a local charity.
  • Pay for the person behind you in the Coffee Shop line
  • Give a Coffee Shop gift card to a soldier, law enforcement, fireman, garbage man, mail man
  • Provide baby formula to a new mom or donate some to your church
  • Provide drinks at your child’s next play date/group activity

 

Clothe the Naked

  • Ladies, clothe yourselves – dress modestly and cover up what you would normally flaunt
  • Show your strength in being chaste! – Read this 10 1/2 Reasons to Be Chaste to better understand why. “The key to love is chastity, because it is only through chastity that we can learn to love one another as God loves us (1 Jn 4:12).
  • Stay away from sexually explicit movies, music, TV shows, and magazines
  • Give up purchasing new clothes, accessories, cosmetics, spa appointments, any luxuries and use that money for charity
  • Clean out your closet of anything that you don’t wear anymore and donate it to charity
  • Keep old blankets in your car and give them to the homeless
  • If you can sew or knit, donate some of your creations to charity
  • Have your kids go through their clothes and pick out ones they would like to donate
  • Host a Baby Shower for a pregnant friend or someone who is adopting

 

Harbour the Harbourless

  • Give up buying home decor and donate to a charity that provides shelter to the homeless
  • Take cold showers and turn down the heat
  • Keep shelter information and locations on hand to give to the homeless
  • Help your neighbors/friends/family repair something in their home
  • Help your neighbor/friend/family move
  • Get your kids involved and make a “Welcome” treat for a new neighbor or any neighbor
  • Babysit for a friend/neighbor/family member

 

Visit the Sick

  • Spend time with an ill friend or family member
  • Send soup/meal, flowers, or a card to someone ill
  • Bring your young kids to a nursing home or hospital and let them do the work of cheering up the patients!
  • Have your kids make a card for someone sick or lonely
  • Spend time with someone healing from an abortion gone wrong, which happens more often than you think.

 

Ransom the Captive

  • Go to confession, especially if you haven’t been in a long while.  You are being held captive by your sins!   If you are nervous or haven’t been in a long time this is a great Examination of Conscience and here is a “How To” guide to get you through the process. Trust me, the priest has heard it all!
  • Bring someone to confession who is hesitant and guide them through it or watch their children for them if they do not have childcare.
  • Have your kids make a card for someone imprisoned.
  • Pray for the imprisoned and for those on death row.  All lives matter.
  • Provide good advice for someone troubled.
  • Bring a meal or help the spouse/children of someone imprisoned
  • Give a new mom a break and watch her kids so she can leave her captivity to do personal errands
  • Pray for or guide someone that is held captive by their own spiritual absence, ignorance or misguidance
  • Pray for those held captive by their misconceptions on the sanctity of human life – Abortionists, parents considering abortion, abortion clinic employees, Pro-Abortion activists and politicians.

 

Bury the Dead

  • Pray at an abortion clinic – Get involved in 40 Days for Life!
  • Call, visit and console a woman who has lost a child through miscarriage or abortion
  • Attend a Memorial Service or Funeral of someone you know or someone in your parish
  • Send/bring food or flowers to a funeral service
  • Visit, bring food or help someone who lost a loved one with housework or errands
  • Visit the grave of a lost loved one or someone else’s
  • Pray for the Salvation of Souls of the deceased
  • Quit using Contraception (forever!) – Women and Men, you should not need contraception if you are single.  Be a strength in your chastity.  Married? Use Natural Family Planning instead of contraception.  If you are using contraception for medical reasons read here to understand that it’s doing more damage than good. Want an all-natural alternative that actually works?  Use NaProTechnology.  If you are Pro-Life, stop using any type of birth control now! Why? It uses a backup mechanism that causes spontaneous abortions.  Read about it here.
  • Stop supporting companies that donate to Planned Parenthood – Go here to view the 77 companies that have given corporate donations or sponsored events for Planned Parenthood.  I’m sure you will be as shocked as myself when reading the list.  I’m upset because I will now have to give up Starbucks! 

Spiritual

Admonish the sinner

  • Show your love for someone prodding down the wrong path by giving them wise advise.  This is tough because we don’t want to come off as judgmental. – “It means being intentional and meticulous with how we choose our words—words full of meaning and appeal. It means letting our love of God and God’s love for the other person radiate. It means relying on God to work through us and being patient with God’s timing. It means attentively listening and responding to what the other person has to say.  It means humbly recognizing our own weakness and tendency to sin.  It means giving witness to the incredible things God has done and is doing in our lives.  It means being courteous, respectful, gentle, and open to discussion.  It means praying for the other person and entrusting them to God.” – dynamiccatholic.com
  • Recognize your own sins (Pre-marital sex, cohabitation, usage of contraception, idolatry, self-obsessed, vanity, intoxication, avarice (greed of money), hedonism (indulgence of pleasure), abortion, In-Vitro Fertilization, etc) and go to confession.  If you are nervous or haven’t been in a long time this is a great Examination of Conscience and here is a “How To” guide to get you through the process. Trust me, the priest has heard it all!

 

Instruct the Ignorant

  • Teach your children to pray, about The Ten Commandments, the Sacraments, about Mary and lives of the Saints, the Holy Trinity, and especially about the meaning of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Teach them about God’s love for each and every one of us!
  • Teach your children manners – how to respect their elders and authority figures, express gratitude, and how to give back.
  • Share your own story of conversion to someone in need of truth. No one can tell you that your story is wrong.
  • Pray for those who have never read the Gospels, never encountered Jesus, never known love like the love of Christ.
  • If you are the ignorant, begin reading the Gospels, study the Saints, understand the meaning of the Sacraments, and most importantly get to know Jesus.

 

Counsel the Doubtful

  • Bring someone to confession who is hesitant and guide them through it or watch their children for them if they do not have childcare.
  • If you are the one who is doubtful (even saints were doubtful at times), consider seeing a Spiritual Director (I have been seeing one for three months and it has deepened my relationship with God and with other people in ways that I never could have imagined.) or someone of leadership in your church.
  • “By not viewing doubt (or the person) as a problem to be fixed, you can encourage the afflicted person to explore the meaning behind their doubt. Doubt, after all, isn’t always a bad thing. It can be the driving force behind an honest pursuit of truth.” – dynamiccatholic.com
  • “Recognize that counseling the doubtful doesn’t always begin with great advice. Sometimes engaging in the “ministry of presence” is the best way to prepare a heart to receive the counsel they need.” – dynamiccatholic.com

 

Comfort the Sorrowful

  • Find the person who seems to be in the most pain at your next social gathering and talk to them.  Show them mercy in any way you can.
  • See those in pain through the eyes of Mary, as your own child.  It will help you better understand their situation.  
  • Listen to them, smile, hug them, provide words of encouragement, let them cry on your shoulder
  • And, by all means, use humor!  Tell a funny story!

 

Bear Wrongs Patiently

  • Don’t just pray for patience, practice it.  The more you practice, the more peaceful you become toward any wrong done to you.
  • Pray for those who do harm to us
  • Remember Jesus suffered through all the wrongs done to him: he was scourged until his body was unrecognizable, he was beaten a crown of thorns onto his head, he carried a heavy cross burdened with our sins up to Calvary and fell three times doing so, he was nailed to the cross and died because he loved us and loves us still that much!!

 

Forgive All Injuries

  • Forgive someone in your life that you’ve been holding a grudge against, such as an estranged family member.  That grudge is weighing you down.  Forgiveness will free you of that burden!
  • “It is a great deal more difficult to love the one who has hurt us. We do not need to excuse wrongs, or even to forget them, but we must always forgive.” – Sacred Silence by Phillip Zagano
  • Pray for all people in the world, especially in the Middle East who are persecuting Christians.  May they find the love of Christ and realize what they are doing is hateful and wrong.  It is not God who calls us to kill or harm others.  It is God who calls us to love one another.
  • “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).”

 

Pray for the Living and the Dead

  • Pray for your family: first your spouse (it is your number one job to get him/her to heaven!), then your children, then mom, dad, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
  • Pray for your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  • Pray for those not on your Christmas list, people you dislike and your enemies – they need your prayers more than anyone else!  
  • Pray for the salvation of souls for those who have passed.  May their sins be forgiven in haste, so they spend less time in Purgatory and make their way to Heaven in due time.
  • Pray to the Saints and the dead up in heaven.  They are so close to God and can intercede for you!  The more you ask, the more they ask God!
  • Pray the Rosary every day!
  • Do the 33 Day Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  I plan to begin this on February 21, so I will end on March 25, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is also the day before my husband receives his Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation in the Catholic Church!
  • Go to Eucharistic Adoration! – This is an hour or more of praying directly in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament at your church.  It is quiet time with Jesus! If you’ve never been, go. It will be the most intense, spiritual, and profound hour of your life.  Whatever Jesus wants for you will be revealed during this hour.  If your church doesn’t offer it, find a Catholic Church that does!!

 

I know this list is quite long, so if you are strapped for time, what are the most important works you can do?  Forgive someone, Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and Pray the Rosary.  If you do those four, you will be make a difference, you will help someone, including yourself.  You will show mercy.

 

 

 

 

Path to More Children: Our Last Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle Begins

Yesterday was Day One of our very last Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle, in other words, we initiated the phase to release our final child conceived by IVF from her frozen chamber.

It is our closing round of making a wrong a right by continuing the life of a child suspended in time.

It is the beginning of the end.

Her enslavement is also our own enslavement.  Our conscience will not be at peace until all of our children are free.  Every single one of them deserve a chance at life.  My heart is glad that this is our last child and we are putting this IVF business to rest.

I call this child “her” not because we know by any scientific data that she is a girl, but because I feel that she is (I could be wrong.  I usually am with guessing gender). God saved his masterpiece, Eve, a female, as His final creation, and I think He is doing the same for us.

But I noticed something else.  How the core of Mary’s story resembles our own journey through IVF.

“The first Eve disobeyed God and thereby brought sin and death into the world. The New Eve, Mary, obeyed and believed God’s message which was given to her at the Annunciation ( Lk .1 :26-38 ), and brought salvation and life to the world in her son, Jesus, who crushes the head of the serpent. Mary, like us, shares in this victory (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/meditations/neweve.html).”

In doing IVF, a sin, similar to sin that materialized through Adam and Eve, we were presented with a grace, Mary.  As she was announced to and accepted to save humanity through her son, Jesus, we were given a path to salvation through my children conceived by IVF.  As Mary did, we are crushing the head of the serpent, the badge of sin, with our actions in continuing the lives of our children, instead of leaving them to indefinite stagnation or donating them to science or disposing of them.

We are combating the manipulation and destruction of humanity in IVF with good…with life.

As of today, I begin taking estrogen then will go back for a sonogram to check my uterine lining on February 17.  If all looks good, I begin the progesterone “bum and bummer” shots, then we are a go for the Frozen Embryo Transfer to take place on February 24.

We have so much hope for this last child conceived through IVF.  I continually pray for her survival and to give her the strength and health to be born.  To grow alongside Gadsden and Davny, participating in the many blessings we share in our family, and to live a long, loving, virtuous, healthy, and joyous life.

I ask you to pray the same.  Thank you!

Benedicamus Domino,

Kara

A Bottle of Wine Led Me to Saint Thomas Aquinas

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St. Thomas Aquinas via soul-candy.info

 

In honor of The Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas today, I would like to share my Saint Name Project with you that I wrote last March for my Confirmation.  It gives a brief history of Thomas Aquinas’ life, ministry and accomplishments within the Catholic Church, and the reasons why I chose him as my saint, which ties to my fondness of wine.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

I have chosen Saint Thomas Aquinas as my Confirmation Saint Name.  Before I give my motivations for favoring him, I would like to present a little history of his life, which will provide more understanding of his path to sainthood.

Saint Thomas Aquinas’ mother, Theodora, and father, Landulph, count of Aquino, gave birth to their son  on January 28, 1225 in Roccasecca, Italy.   His family came from royal descendants, but their class rank was likely considered at the lower end.  At age five, Thomas was sent to Monte Cassino to begin his education, then was moved to Naples, where he became acquainted with the studies of Aristotle, which would later provide an enormous impact on his teachings of theology and philosophy.  At age nineteen, against his family’s direction, he chose to assemble with the Dominican monks and receive his habit.  His family felt violated, so they decided to kidnap him and hold him captive in their castles back home at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca for a year.  During that time his family attempted to dissuade him from being a Dominican monk, even to go so far as to entice him with a prostitute, but Thomas would not relent, and the incident only gave him more strength to remain a virgin.  His family finally subsided, and in 1245, he was released and returned to the Dominicans.  Over the next several years, he studied in Naples, Italy, then Cologne, Germany, where he became ordained as a priest in 1250, and later ended up in Paris, France where he was taught by St. Albert the Great, the Patron Saint of Scientists, and earned his doctorate in theology.

 During this era, one big controversy was how theology (faith) and philosophy (reason) were or were not correlated.  Previous philosophers thought the two were completely separate from each other, and Thomas wanted to prove that one was needed for the other to work accordingly, so after completing his education, he felt compelled to begin a preaching voyage to teach his learnings and to document his research on their interdependence.  Thus became his writings of almost 60 known works, and among them the Summa Theologica and the Summa contra Gentiles are his most acclaimed and controversial.  In his writings, he distinguishes Theology and Philosophy as two different sciences of God, and to achieve revelation (theology) one must be advised by reason to restrain from lapse of judgement, and one needs reason to analyze and define their faith.  He also wanted to show evidence that everything originates from God.  Amid much of  Thomas’ discoveries, I believe his greatest achievement, and most argumentative today, is in the Summa contra Gentiles, in which he proves the existence of God in five ways: 1)Movement needs someone or something to make the unmoved move, and that is God. 2) Effect needs a cause, and the cause is God. 3)Being is temporary and the permanent being is God. 4)Humans are defective, God is perfect. 5)Knowledge is given to humans by God, who knows everything.

 Among his time, Thomas was offered a bishop ship, but he declined any higher clerical positions for he only wanted to teach and write.  Then one day while celebrating the Feast of St. Nicolas in 1273, Thomas claimed he was told by God that he did not need to write anymore because what he had written was well enough.  Shortly thereafter, on March 7, 1274 he passed away.  His canonization took place in 1323, and in 1567 he was given the title as a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius V.  His feast day was originally the day of his death, March 7, but it always fell in the time of lent, so it was moved to his birth date January 28 in 1969.  In the late 19th century, during the time of Pope Leo XIII, Thomas’ theology became the essence of Catholic indoctrination, both inside the church and in Catholic educational institutions, therefore, he was announced as the patron of Catholic education and students.

 Now for a few reasons why I chose St. Thomas Aquinas as my saint.  I’ll be honest here, as I should be since this is a project for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The main reason I know of him and why I chose him was because I came across a bottle of wine named Aquinas while dining out with my husband.  We thoroughly enjoyed it, so I read the back of the bottle.  I wanted to find out what this Aquinas was about because I had never heard of the name.

To my delight, I discovered that “Aquinas wines are named for St. Thomas Aquinas, the seminal 13th century Italian priest, theologian and philosopher who dedicated his life to reconciling reason and faith.  Just as he challenged the assumptions of his world, we are challenging the assumptions within ours.”

I was intrigued by their statement, and I wanted to discover more about this saint.  Upon more research, I realized that I felt exactly the same about his belief that God and Science go hand in hand.  Science can’t exist without God, who created it, and God uses Science to prove to us human beings that He exists.  It was like a lightning bolt and it made so much sense to me.

I also was impressed by Thomas’ loyalty to God by remaining celibate, even given the temptations by his own family.   He was incredibly humble.  He knew what his calling from God was supposed to be, which was to write and teach, so he declined any position that was of higher rank than a priest.  He was a man who went against the odds to seek answers, and he was able to brilliantly prove a correlation that everyone else thought was completely unrelated.  He was a man of honor.  He was a man of God.

Bibliography

“St. Thomas Aquinas – Saints & Angels.” Catholic Online. Catholic Online, 2015. Web. 24. Mar. 2015

“St. Thomas Aquinas.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

“About.” Aquinas. Don Sebastiani & Sons, 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

Mission Impossible: The Eucharist

This is sort of a continuation from my most recent blog post As an Adult, what gives me that childlike Christmas Morning Joy?  The short answer is the Eucharist.

The Gospel reading for January 15th was Mark 2:1-12.  To summarize, four men carry a paralytic man on a mat through the crowds that Jesus attracted through his preaching.  These men were so determined for Jesus’ healing powers to restore this man that they broke a hole through the roof where Jesus was teaching and lowered the man down right next to Jesus.  Jesus was so moved by their faith that he instantly healed the paralytic man and forgave his sins.

Talk about determination to get to Jesus.  

After reflecting on this Gospel reading, my own light-hearted, modern-day version of this story came to me and how far I would go to be with Jesus.

I call it Mission Impossible: The Eucharist.  

It’s Christmas Eve and I arrive alone at St. Gabriel’s in McKinney to attend midnight mass.  The most beautiful vigil celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth.

The church is packed.  So packed that the greeters won’t allow any more people to enter because they are over capacity, according to the fire code.

I’m bummed and frustrated because I really wanted to receive communion.  To consume Jesus at the moment that he came into this world would be the greatest Christmas gift from God and now I will not be able to encounter him until tomorrow.  

Ugh!  I am quite agitated with the “Chr-easters” (people who attend mass only at Christmas and Easter) that are taking up all of the seats!  I forget that I used to be one of them.

Suddenly, I am wearing a cat-womanish outfit, equipped with Mission Impossible like climbing gear, sticky gloves, and a laser cutter.  

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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

I begin to climb up the walls of the church using the sticky gloves.  I reach the roof and peer down through the glass windows.  Ahhh!  I notice Communion is already under way!  Luckily, the lines are long.  I have time, but I better hurry or I will miss it.

I accurately discern the exact area where I need to be to drop directly next to our pastor giving communion at the main altar station, which is also straight in front of the crucifix.  

With my laser cutter, I cut a perfectly shaped circular hole.  Somehow, I know how to prepare all of my climbing gear and I begin to lower myself down into the sanctuary.  Down, down, down like a spider descending from its web.

mission-impossiblemovie
Mission Impossible. Courtesy of tvtropes.org

Everyone in mass stands in awe.  They are so dumbfounded by what I’m doing, they are motionless.  Then, instantly, they all disappear.  It’s only the priest.  

I land right in front of him and I kneel a most reverent kneel.  I stand up.  He holds up the Eucharist and says “Body of Christ”.  I say, “Amen.”  All of a sudden, he is promptly holding the chalice and says “Blood of Christ” and I say, “Amen.

I. am. complete. I. am. one. I. am. Jesus.

 

I hope this made you smile or chuckle.

Benedicamus Domino,

Kara

As an Adult, what gives me that childlike Christmas Morning Joy?

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In light of this recent Christmas season, I wanted to reflect on a recent blog post that caught my attention about the “Crazy, Twirly, Fist-Pumping Christmas Joy” that children experience every Christmas morning, “and why, when we reach adulthood, we lose that sense of giddiness.”  

So, I started to think if it was true.  Now that I’m an adult, have I lost that I-can’t-wait-to-jump-out-of-bed feeling?  Does anything give me that childlike anticipation and joy?

In my old secular life, I would have said, No, but in this Renewed-Catholic-Everything-is-Filled-with-Life Life…100% YES!

So what is it that does it for me?  

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The Eucharist.  

Otherwise known as Holy Communion, the Blessed Sacrament, Transubstantiation or the Real Presence.

It is Jesus Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity consecrated into a material substance, bread and wine.  It is His greatest gift that He left for us; Himself as our food to fuel our bodies with His love and passion.

Mother Teresa said, 

Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. 

It’s so simple, yet so hard to comprehend and trust.

For a while I had to abstain from receiving the Eucharist because my civil marriage to Matt was not valid in the Catholic Church, but once Matt and I convalidated our marriage this past November, and I was able to receive Jesus Christ’s body and blood again, Oh what a miraculous state of consciousness I experienced!

This time receiving communion was infinitely different from the countless other times I consumed it because this time, I believed. I truly, wholeheartedly, with my entire body, mind, and soul believed that Jesus Christ is and always will be present in the Eucharist.

My absence from Holy Communion had made my heart grow fonder and wiser.

This moment, something that I had intellectually and spiritually prepared for, nurtured, and safeguarded for so many months had finally arrived and I was as eager and elated as a child on Christmas morning.

Body of Christ. Amen.   Blood of Christ. Amen.  I believe.  This is Jesus.  He is in me and I in Him.  We are one.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

All at once, I was awake!  And more aware of my surroundings and the life that filled it than ever before! All of my harboring struggles, sins, and sorrows lifted up and out of me. I gave them to God and I was so overjoyed with emotion that tears began to quietly flow.  

I’m not sure if anyone witnessed my reaction, but I didn’t care.  I felt zoetic, on fire, and a perfect love envelop me!  I felt His inconceivable mercy…once again.

And I feel this elation, yearning, peace, and fondness each time I attend Mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament.

C.S. Lewis beautifully illustrates how I adore the Eucharist:

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

And finally, Saint Maximilian Kolbe had it right when he said,

If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.

 

Here are a couple of videos that brilliantly explain and portray the Real Presence in the Eucharist:

Sophia Sketchpad: The Eucharist

https://youtu.be/QcB7Uem00n4

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

http://youtu.be/bJjW3LXuHzo

 

Benedicamus Domino,

Kara