Daytimer Prayer

Sometimes I have resorted to Lenten resolutions or gimmicks to get myself back on track in my prayer life.
(More about prayer gimmicks to come in future posts!) 
With a particularly bumpy start…it looks like this Lent is going to be one of those times.

Read about how a dollar store daytimer is going to jumpstart my prayer life this Lent

do you need a Lifelong Confession?

I was speaking with my spiritual director and confessor.  Almost as an afterthought, I told him that sometimes I didn’t feel forgiven, even after confession.  He explained that it was possible to be overscrupulous…but he also mentioned the lifelong confession.

I knew instantly that I was being called to do this…and it was terrifying.
lifelong_confession
I spent the next 2 months preparing for a lifelong confession…not because anyone should necessarily take two months to prepare, but because the only confessor I could imagine asking…was the one who had suggested it…and he lived 4 hours away.  We booked my lifelong confession for a retreat that he would be chaplain at.
I prayed.  I reflected.  I asked the Lord to show me what I needed to confess…and boy, did He.
I remembered things from a long time ago…and other things that I had probably already confessed…loosely, vaguely, conveniently omitting frequency or severity.
I wrote everything down, especially if I wasn’t sure if I had confessed properly before.

I remember crossing the threshold into the room where I was to have my lifelong confession.

As I stepped through the doorway, I looked down at my shoes and I was thinking “I can still turn around and run!”.  It was kind of how I felt every time I walked into the hospital to have a baby…a little anxious and fearful; only then…running away wasn’t an option.
It wasn’t easy…in fact it was one of the hardest things I have ever done…to speak, out loud, a bunch of things that I was ashamed of.  I had never been so deliberate or specific or thorough …during confession.
I can still feel how incredibly, awesomely relieved I felt after that confession.  I understood the Mercy of God and the power of confession monumentally, unbelievably, giant-steps bigger in the absolution of that confession, than I had ever felt or understood before.  It really took.
Things that I had felt mortifyingly embarrassed and ashamed about, have been released from my guilt. I know it’s the Mercy of God, and Jesus’ humongous Suffering and Death on the cross that gives us the incredible gift of confession and ability to erase our sin…but there is no doubt in my mind that I paid the little tiny price…as big as I could offer by humbling myself in front of a priest, a friend who I love and respect so much.  This was no anonymous confession.
I think being prepared and having true contrition are conditions for confession (I’ve been trying to look up the exact wording, but I can’t find it).  I don’t think I could have been more prepared or more (mortifyingly!) sorry.  No detachment, but full accountability …and in return I received Jesus’ Love and Mercy… just for me.
My confession was one of the most powerful experiences of God’s Love that I’ve ever had.
It almost made my heart stop to do it, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
And that list I wrote of my past sins?  I destroyed it. I would have set it on fire if it wouldn’t have set the sprinklers off at the hotel where the retreat was.
My spiritual director / confessor and good friend once signed a card to me with these words.
Remember that you are unconditionally loved by God and sustained at every moment by His Grace.
Pray about it.  Are you being called to do a life-long confession?
Talk to a priest and book an appointment.  You should probably give him the heads-up that this would be a life-long confession.  This is not a 5-minutes-before-Mass-starts-and-there-are-people-waiting-in-line-behind-you kind of confession.
Spend time in prayer, in preparation for this special confession.
Ask the Lord to help you remember everything that you need to confess.
Write it down…but you might want to keep that list hidden or use some serious code.
Be open to God’s Grace, His Infinite Mercy and His Unconditional Love for you.
Remember that you are unconditionally loved by God …and sustained at every moment by His Grace…
…no matter what you have to confess to Jesus, through a priest.
Priests are AWESOME and compassionate and have the power through Jesus to free you from whatever you need to be freed from.
Go to confession.  Have a blessed Lent!
If you have read all the way to the end of this post or if you have been affected by this post, please leave a comment.  Just checking if anyone is reading this. =)

Arma Dei Shoppe

Looking for ways to teach the Catholic Faith to kids in fun ways,
with activities and crafts and games that they like to do anyway? 
Looking for a gift for your child or Godchild…
that celebrates their Journey of Faith?
Check out our Journey with Jesus through the Sacraments!
We even have craft kits available for immediate download
…to print for a whole family or class!
Celebrate your child’s Journey of Faith!

Got Mary? Awesome T-shirt GIVEAWAY!

Please help me out and support my FIRST special co-hosted GIVEAWAY!!
The
Got Mary? T-shirt GIVEAWAY
is now OPEN on
this Feast of the Immaculate Conception: December 8, 2011!
Aren’t these great shirts I found at a recent Catholic Conference?
(See a comprehensive listing of Catholic Conferences with links)
The nice people at Got Mary? are hosting a giveaway with me…
The sweepstakes begin on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8)
and end on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12)

Check out Our Lady of Guadalupe on the back…perfect timing!
You could win a Got Mary? T-shirt!
Check them out and enter to win!
See instructions below.
ENTER the SWEEPSTAKES with 3 little steps!

1. subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families …and preferably leave a comment after this post, naming your favorite title or Feast day of Mary
2. “like” the Got Mary? facebook page , preferably leaving a comment on the wall

3. Enter the Equipping Catholic Families ~ Got Mary? Sweepstakes

Be sure to read the rules.

You could win a Got Mary? T-shirt!
plus some Saint-filled stocking stuffers!

Throughout these two awesome Feasts of Mary…
Got Mary?

Visit the Our Lady of Guadalupe Link Up as part of the Festival of Links!

Book Badge Review: The Third Testament

This is my Book Badge Review and Doodle Summary of The Third Testament.

John Eklund writes of the journey of Fred Sankt, who, in the midst of personal crisis feels compelled to record historical events and figures within the context of a third installment of the Bible: The Third Testament.  Presented through the thoughts, conversations and discoveries of this character, Eklund’s approach removes himself from presumption: because after all, who in this day and age could write an addition to the Bible that would be widely accepted as a necessary and Holy Spirit-inspired expansion of our sacred scripture?





Check out EquippingCatholicFamilies.com for the complete 

for people who wear their Faith on their Blog

I just made a new blog badge button.

Feel free to award this blog badge:
to people who wear
their Faith on their Blog!
Check out my first nominations here
 
Here is the code:
<div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”>
<a href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bTJqqER1YhE/TqBqCD5BxpI/AAAAAAAAA8k/8XJIBg2nqHE/s1600/iblogJesusBadge.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ rda=”true” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bTJqqER1YhE/TqBqCD5BxpI/AAAAAAAAA8k/8XJIBg2nqHE/s200/iblogJesusBadge.jpg” width=”178″ /></a></div>
Who would you like to give the I blog Jesus Badge to?

“Send Me Your Guardian Angel” {Book Badge Review}

The friendly and simple presentation of Padre Pio’s Guardian Angel’s presence in his life is profound, refreshing and inspiring. It challenges us to better acquaint ourselves with our own Guardian Angel and to take advantage of the help that they are delighted to offer us.
Padre Pio’s Guardian Angel was a…
read the complete Book Badge Review
You may need to go to the EWTN catalogue to purchase it.

on my Book Badge Review & Doodle Bucket List!

I would very much like to do a Book Badge Review / Doodle Summary of this book,
God’s Heart for You by Holley Gerth!
Happily accepting any donations or birthday presents of this book. =)
Here is a short excerpt from the book, but it’s not enough!
You can subscribe to Holley’s Heart to Heart with Holley blog for the whole post…
but you’ll probably want Holley’s book too.
Jesus answers that call of our hearts…
He says to the little girl, “I want you on my team.
I even have a special position and purpose for you.”
He says to the woman at the party, “I think you’re beautiful.
I want to know you and be with you.”
He says to the older woman, “I place great worth on your life.
 I see you and I hear you.”
And He says to you,
“I choose you, just as you are, and I love you more than you can imagine.”

God wants my heart

Listening to a homily by Fr Roger (Aug 14),
I heard about the ONE thing that God wants: 
God wants my heart. 
Here’s my prayer doodle:
I hope I get this right. =)
 
My heart is the core sanctuary of my will, my personality, my values,
my motivations, my desires and my dreams.
There are 3 important ways to give God our hearts.
1. The Practice of the Presence of God.  I have just read this book again.  It’s a great little book of letters by Brother Lawrence, a humble monk who was in constant conversation with God throughout all of his daily duties.  He was able to have the same tranquility in the chaos of the kitchen as he did in front of the Blessed Sacrament and believed that every task he did, no matter how small, gave glory to God if he carried it out with great love.  Sounds like St Therese!
2. Practice Abandonment to Divine Providence.  This is also a book…but I don’t have it yet! 
We are reminded that we need to completely surrender: continually abandoning our will in favor of God’s Will for us.
3. Practice doing the Duty of the Moment.  We are reminded that we are meant to serve God in our own vocations.  He doesn’t expect heroic deeds from us, but He expects us to do the little things that we are called to do…and to do them well for love of God.  This was what Brother Lawrence did too.
Ultimately, we need a personal relationship with God.  He wants to share His Divine Love.  He wants us to draw closer to Him, through prayer from the heart and service to others out of love for Him.