Wednesday, 31 December 2014


It's the last day of the year, 2014 is almost over (or over depending on how long it takes me to write this). Yesterday I was listening to the radio and they were asking callers to say why 2014 was a great year so I decided that is what my last post of 2014 would be. I'm here to say why 2014 was a great year because it was.

2014 was a great year because it started with Mass at one of my favourite places Mt St Benedict

I missed the Mass that I wanted to go to because I was running late, decided to hang around for the next one so I ended up getting to spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament where I prayed the Rosary and then there was Confession. I had a pretty great start to my year.

I rode down a river into a swamp in a very tiny boat. There was some screaming and holding tightly

to the boat but the destination was worth it.

I ran into way more iguanas than usual this year. They were everywhere.

I planted a garden that did pretty well. The peppers especially were plentiful ending my black thumb,

inspiring me to try some more gardening in 2015.

I flew to Savannah and met up with some amazing women. It was so great to meet bloggers in person

and learn that they are just as awesome in person as they come off on their blogs. #NASavannah

I took a cooking class, the food definitely made up for having to wear a hairnet. I so want to do more

of this in 2015. It's fun, there is rewarding food at the end plus it's a great way to meet people and put yourself out there.

I met Teresa Tomeo over my birthday weekend, and got her to sign my book. She spoke at the
Women's Conference I attended.

Finally, I spent a lot of time in Adoration.

2014 was great and I am really looking forward to 2015.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

An Advent Blog Hop - O Anthiphons

Today I joining Bethanne's Advent Blog Hop. Be sure to check out all the great bloggers who are participating.

Today is seven before Christmas, one week. This season of waiting is almost over.

Yesterday the O Antiphons started. I love the O Antiphons, besides the fact that they act as a count down to the end of Advent and therefore the start of Christmas, they provide a way to contemplate Jesus under seven unique titles.

O Wisdom, O Adonai (Lord), O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Dayspring (Light), O King, O Emmanuel.

Each day's prayer ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. To end our wait. To be here with us.

From the 16th to the 23rd the O Anthiphons are the Alleluia verse at Mass. They are the antiphon before and after the Magnificat in the evening prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. They can also bee prayed on their own.

O Sapientia (December 17) O Wisdom (Eccl 24: 5), you came forth from the mouth of the Most High (Sir 24: 30), and reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly (Wis 8: 1). Come, and teach us the way of prudence (Isa 40: 14).

O Adonai (December 18) O Adonai or O Lord and Ruler (Exod 6: 13) and Ruler of the house of Israel (Matt 2: 6), you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush (Exod 3: 2), and on Mount Sinai gave him your Law (Exod 20). Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us (Jer 32: 21).

O Radix Jesse (December 19) O Root of Jesse, you stand for the ensign of all mankind (Isa 11: 10); before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse (Isa 52: 15). Come, save us, and do not delay (Hab 2: 3).

O Clavis David (December 20) O Key of David (Apoc 3: 7) Scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens (Isa 22: 22). Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10).

O Oriens (December 21) O Rising Dawn (Zac 6: 12), Radiance of the Light eternal (Hab 3: 4) and Sun of Justice (Mal 3: 20); Come, enlighten those who sit in darkness & the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10; Lk 1: 78).

O Rex Gentium (December 22) O King of the Gentiles (Hag 2: 8), Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one (Eph 2: 20). Come, and save poor man whom you fashion out of clay (Gen 2: 7).

O Emmanuel (December 23) O Emmanuel (Isa 7: 14; 8: 8), our King and Lawgiver (Gen 49:10; cf. Ezek 21: 32), the Expected of the nations and their Savior (Isa 33: 22): Come, and save us, O Lord our God.

The first letters of the Latin words read backwards are ERO CRAS meaning Tomorrow I will come.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Today is Gaudete Sunday. We've lit the pink candle and we get into a rejoicing mood. We rejoice!!!

Do we?????

Christmas is a little over a week away. Everywhere we go the crowds are ridiculous. That uncle we deleted from our gift list has decided that he will come to the family Christmas gathering after all so we should really get him a gift did I mention he has suddenly gone gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. You spend an hour driving around a parking lot, 25 minutes navigating the crowds in store, 45 in a line at the check out and all you wanted was 3 items yet still forgot one of them.

Yesterday I found myself in my car praying about my attitude. I left home an hour later than I wanted to after getting a phone call about a Christmas get together that I was asked to plan that I didn't really want to plan but felt pressured to. I was now driving around and around a car park looking for a space to park, cars behind me we honking because we hadn't moved in a few minutes, I was thinking of everything I still had to get done that day plus I needed to make some headway with that party.

I felt myself getting frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed and mean. I sat in a car that was neither moving nor parked, waiting for the ones in front to figure out what they we doing and my mind, heart and attitude just tanked. I was having unpleasant thoughts, a pity party and arguing with myself (I swear I am not crazy), definitely nowhere near rejoicing or finding joy in this beautiful season that we are in.

Thankfully God's graces abound. Just before I made another loop of the parking lot I caught myself. This is not the person I want to be, this is not how I want to find myself in these days leading up to Christmas. I took deep breath and just started pray asking God to change my attitude. To give me an attitude and spirit of joy, patience and love. To take away my anxiety and to give me peace in the situation.

It is very easy to let the petty annoyances build up and cause us to react. To let disappointments become bigger than they really are and lead us away from the peace and joy that we are trying to have this Advent.

This Gaudete Sunday let us find one thing to rejoice about. You got one present wrapped. Your favourite Advent song was sung at Mass. Someone complimented you on your clothes, hair, smile or the wonderful behaviour of your kids.


Friday, 12 December 2014

Our Lady of Guadalupe

On my trip to Mexico a few years ago one of the most obvious things to me was the number of tourist knick knacks that bore the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Why not after all the story is remarkable and even more remarkable is the millions converted because of it.

Don't know the story.

Juan Diego, a Mexican from the 1500's, had encountered Our Lady on a number of occasions on his walk to and from his home to the Catholic Mission. She wanted him to get the bishop to build a church, not that Juan Diego was rich and influential, he was a simple man. The bishop didn't go for it. Then on the faithful day of December 12, 1531 his uncle was very sick and JD needed to get help quickly. In order not to be slowed on this obviously important mission Juan Diego decided to use another route. Our Lady was pretty, the mother of God, definitely someone you want to make time for but his uncle was sick she would definitely understand that he needed to avoid her just this one time. No. She found him.

Our Lady told JD that his uncle had been cured and asked him to go back to the place where they had first met. You know the one he was avoiding on this particular day. There on the frozen ground he found roses and not just any old roses, roses that were not native to Mexico. Miracles of miracles right, roses on the frozen ground in the middle of winter and non-native roses in the bargain.

That was just the opening act of the miracle. JD gathered the roses in his tilma, Our Lady arranged them (a woman's touch is so important) and rushed to show this wonderful miracle to the bishop. Those beautiful roses should be more that enough proof to the bishop. However when Juan Diego opened his tilma to show the flowers to the bishop the main event really happened. As the flowers fell away an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on the cloth.

The bishop was amazed, I'm not even sure he paid all that much though to the flowers, God after all is an amazing artist. The Basilica of Guadalupe was built, millions were converted. Mary once again lead many to her Son.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the unborn so for her Feast Day I leave you with a prayer.

A Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Virgin of Guadalupe,
Patroness of unborn children,
we implore your intercession
for every child at risk of abortion.
Help expectant parents to welcome from God
the priceless gift of their child's life.

Console parents who have lost that gift through abortion,
and lead them to forgivenss and healing
through the Divine Mercy of your Son.

Teach us to cherish
and to care for family and friends
until God calls them home.
Help us to never see others as burdens.

Guide our public officials
to defend each and every human life through just laws.
Inspire us all to bring our faith into public life,
to speak for those who have no voice.

We ask this in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ, who is Love and Mercy itself.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Not Alone Series: Preparing The Way

Happy Advent! How do you prepare you heart, home, etc. for the coming of the Lord? Are there specific recipes or traditions you partake in? Share with us how you are making way for our newborn King!

I LOVE Advent!!!!! It's why I started my blog two years ago today on the 1st Sunday of Advent.

During Advent I like to stop and slow down which is kinda difficult in this very go season that is going on around me. Don't get me wrong I get my Christmas shopping done, I face the crowds, the inconsiderate parkers and bad attitudes that this season of joy brings out but I try not to get sucked into negatives. Christmas is not just one day and I need to prepare myself to enjoy it fully in these leading up.

This Advent I have set up my prayer corner complete with purple cloth. The purple walls are just a bonus.


Having an actual space to intentionally spend time in prayer that is dressed for the season gives me a reason to stop so I can spend some time with the Lord. I used to have an actual wreath for the candles but word to the wise when you live in the tropics do not pack away your wreath with your candles, it is not pretty 11 months later.

I am also praying the St Andrew Christmas Novena again this year. This is not a nine day novena. No, this novena is prayed 15 times a day from November 30 to Christmas Eve. I have prayed it for the last few years and I have found it very helpful in getting me to stop and set my heart on Jesus during the Advent season. I do not pray all 15 in one go, instead I prefer to pray it throughout the day to keep me in a prayerful spirit. Over the years I have used a variety of ways to help me keep track of the prayers. Pins, beads, stitch markers but whatever I use becomes a visible reminder to me to prayer and I love that. I also keep the prayer on my phone so if I look at my phone for some superficial reason I can also stop to pray.

I will be spending extra time in Adoration. Jesus is the reason for the season so why not spend some extra time with Him. I also want to be less selfish with my prayers, it's not all about me, so I'm also offering to pray for any intention that anyone may have (just leave a comment). I'm hoping for at least 3 days a week so I have lots of time to pray for all those intentions and still get quiet, reflection time and time to pray for my own intentions.

This is the last NAS post until next year (sad face) but don't worry we'll be back in 2015. So all the NASers hope you have a prayerful Advent, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

How do you prepare for the coming of the Lord? What ways do you find to stop or slow down during this busy rush season to truly focus on what is important? Leave a comment telling me all about it.

Don't forget to visit Jen for the link-up to see what everyone else is doing. Be sure the watch the video at the end of her post!!!!