Our Lady's Garden

Spend some time with her and she will wrap you in her mantle





Nightmares 


and 


The Election


August 28th, 2016






Could we find another like him,” Pharaoh asked his servants, 

“a man so endowed with the spirit of God?” 

So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Since God has made all this known to you, 

there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. 

You shall be in charge of my household, 

and all my people will obey your command. 

Only in respect to the throne will I outrank you.” 

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, 

“Look, I put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 

Genesis 41 :38-41



I love the story of Joseph, son of Jacob. 

It reminds me to trust God and His plan when I don’t understand what is happening or why.


The story of Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt is one wild ride. It begins with his brothers'  betrayal as they sell him into Egypt. I imagine the pain he endured as Jacob’s favorite son now humbled, becoming a slave in a foreign land. Things get worse as he is accused of the worst crimes and imprisoned. Joseph knows he is innocent; yet he stays faithful to God through all his misfortune. At each turn he is punished for his faithfulness and piety. To an outsider, he appears to be  a cursed man. Did he ask the question, “Why is this happening to me?”  I have no doubt.  More important for us is that  Joseph continues to follow God and rely on his faith in all this trouble.


The years pass with Joseph still imprisoned, he continues to use his God-given gifts to serve others. His ability to interpret dreams is a not his but a gift from God. God offers the interpretations and Joseph simply is the mouthpiece that offers God’s help. Interpreting dreams brings Joseph from the prison to the throne room in one day. Consider Pharaoh’s distress which makes him desperate enough to seek Joseph. The dreams that plagued Pharaoh proved his ministers were fools, his magicians – fakes, all in his court were merely impostors. He had no one to help him, no one to advise him, no one to give him peace. He hears of a Hebrew slave in prison who interpreted the dreams of a cupbearer. . .  REALLY! 

How desperate can you get? It’s like the CEO of a huge corporation who seeks advice in the mailroom.


Movies depicting the scene are fantastic in that they show the Joseph unable and unwilling to bow or treat Pharaoh as a “god”. Joseph knows God and his constant devotion to the One True God most certainly will cost him his life. The situation could be one more opportunity to be punished or killed, but this situation is different because Pharaoh is encouraged by Joseph’s integrity. Finally, someone who is not a fake or a phony.  Pharaohs knows Joseph is the real deal. 


The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream is simple enough:


Things are just as I told Pharaoh: 

God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 

Seven years of great abundance are now coming throughout the land of Egypt; 

but seven years of famine will rise up after them, 

when all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. 

When the famine has exhausted the land, 

no trace of the abundance will be found in the land 

because of the famine that follows it, for it will be very severe.

That Pharaoh had the same dream twice means that the matter 

has been confirmed by God and that God will soon bring it about.


“Therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a discerning and wise man 

and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 

Let Pharaoh act and appoint overseers for the land 

to organize it during the seven years of abundance. 

They should collect all the food of these coming good years, 

gathering the grain under Pharaoh’s authority, for food in the cities, 

and they should guard it. 

This food will serve as a reserve for the country against the 

seven years of famine that will occur in the land of Egypt, 

so that the land may not perish in the famine.”


This advice pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 

Genesis 41: 28-37



Our Good God sought to save Egypt and the Hebrew people and this is the way He provided for them. Joseph became the second most powerful man in Egypt, subject only to Pharaoh.


What does this have to do with the election and politics in America? I think a lot. When I thought about this story, I thought about the humility it took for Pharaoh to seek God’s will. His nightmares were unavoidable.  Something bad was about to happen and what was he to do? Seeking answers brought him to the face of God using Joseph, a Hebrew prisoner. 


I pray powerful people everywhere seek God’s will, and embrace it when they find it. I pray that every person seeks God’s Will and choose to serve Him alone.  Please continue to pray for discernment during this National Novena and join me as I pray for a deep and abiding conversion for all who are elected and hold office  for the Glory and Service of God. 


Please Lord, grant us discernment and if you choose nightmares and interpret them so we may do Your Most Holy Will.

Jesus, We trust in You!


I could not find the scene on youtube from the throne room, the clip below is when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.  


Enjoy and I found a site where you can buy the movie! 






Click on the picture to your left 

to buy the movie.


It is also available to rent online.


(Caution, it is not a children's film.)

Pilgrimage

August 20, 2016


"Oh!  That will be fun!" was the common response from people when I told them I was going to World Youth Day in Poland.  I am sure I lifted my eyebrows.  On a few occasions, I was brutally honest,  "No, World Youth Day is like going to war."  


Being responsible for kids is hard, a huge responsibility.  I had the blessing to travel to World Youth Day in 1993.  I didn't know what I was doing when I got on a charter bus alone and traveled 9 hours with a group of strangers for the Mass that Sunday.  It was chaotic.  Our group found a place to sit and I tried to pay attention to the Mass as it was celebrated in the distance.  At one point, I had enough and decided to walk toward the main stage and get a different view.  The youth I saw there were exhausted, suffered from dehydration and looked like they had been through it.  When I agreed to attend World Youth Day, I knew it was a serious commitment.


That being said, World Youth Day is amazing!  It was a blessing.  It wasn't  a "trip", certainly not a vacation, it was a pilgrimage.  A pilgrimage strips you down to what is truly important and what you can and are willing to carry with you.  I anticipated "physically" carrying my load.  The blessing of the trip was dealing with the burden of what I carry spiritually and emotionally.  This pilgrimage gave me the opportunity to decide to cast off emotional burdens that should have been abandoned long ago.  This pilgrimage gave me the chance to look hard at my life and commitments and say to God willingly, 


"I only want to go where You want me to go 

Do what You want me to do

Say what You want me to say 

Be who You want me to be."


I am ready to surrender all, give all, give up all, to God's Most Holy Will.


I hope to share some of the experiences from World Youth Day that were meaningful and inspiring over the next few weeks.  Since arriving home, I have enjoyed being home with my children and husband and I have started making changes in my life.  I don't think I would have heard God's voice asking me to simplify without wearing sandals and a backpack.  My daily life is filled with "to do lists" and a lot of noise.  There is something radical about packing for the day and thinking, "umbrella, water, bread, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper."  Carrying toilet paper clarifies things, almost everything.


What is it that you really need today?  What is God calling you to do?  More importantly, what are the items that wouldn't make it into your emotional backpack?  Today is Saturday, can you abandon those things you don't need?  Just something to think about . . .


In the meantime, enjoy drinking water out of your tap and using that convenient bathroom.  

Having both are a blessing that we take for granted too often.   


I know that spending more time with my readers is something God wants for me, so thank you for continuing to check for new posts and thank you for your encouragement.  I truly appreciate it.  


May God grant blessings on you and your home,

Stefanie





Encountering the Mother of Mercy

July 20th, 2016


How does one prepare to meet the face of Mercy?  If it is me, not well.


The most amazing things are often found behind a simple door, up a flight of steps.  I met a simple door and began to wonder as I ascended the steps.  Once I noticed bouquet after bouquet of roses at each windowsill, I started to pay attention.  At the top of the flight of stairs I turned to see a couple in prayer.  They did not know that 100 World Youth Day Pilgrims from Wyoming were about to fill their small prayerful space.  We didn't know that we were about the stand face to face with our Mother of Mercy.







“Peace begins with a smile.”

                                                                 

                                                                         Mother Teresa

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