Monastery Bells

Monastery Bells

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Corgi Stella and Cake


 Oh, Fire, hmmmm....but I'm a Corgi, and it's CAKE!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Saint Joseph the Worker


Joseph, quiet, got up in the morning, did his work, took care of his family, he did what our Lord asked, and went to bed.

Think of Mary


May, the month of our Blessed Mother Mary!  This was on my beautiful calendar today.  Mary!

O Salutaris Hostia

This morning at Mass, I became lightheaded and dizzy, a reaction to a new medication.  I was having a difficult time staying conscious.  By shear force of will, I made my way down to receive my Lord, and then sat on the front row--for fear I would not make it back to where I was originally sitting.

After Mass, just before Adoration, my mind was in a state just before consciousness, and unconsciousness.   And my beloved priest sang this song.  Sitting directly behind him, on the front row, I was delighted that his voice was the only one I heard, it had such a lovely familiarity to the sound, I felt like a little baby being held in her mother's arms, safe and peaceful.  I think it was the most beautiful song I have ever heard.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Stella!!!


This is my STELLA!  She is now seven years old.  When I first got her from the breeder, I asked St. Joseph to watch over her--and he has.  Thank you St. Joseph.  Folks talk about their "heart" dog--Stella is my "heart" dog.  She is the very best dog EVER.  Smart, happy, obedient, and good with kids.  She is just awesomeness!  How blessed I am to have had her with me for the last seven years.  Happy Birthday Stella, and may we have many, many more years together!

Oh, and your sister Agnes, says Happy Birthday too!  She loves having a big sister to torment.

Basil Sprouts


Overnight, look what came up, my "Organic" Basil seeds have sprouted.  Yum, I know it's supposed to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet--but I just like Basil because it tastes so good.

Ex-Muslim Mona Walter Left Islam After Reading the Quran

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mental Balance

If someone wants to have mental balance, equilibrium of the nerves, and wisdom, let him read The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
"Demons sometimes harassed St. Ignatius, but he wasn’t afraid of them; in fact, they feared him. During his lifetime, demons who possessed people would sometimes cry out at the mention of his name, saying, “Ignatius is my greatest enemy!” After the saint’s death, his followers found that pictures or relics of him were effective in exorcising the possessed."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"The Rose".... Don Williams (Rare Recording).wmv



I say love, it is a flower,
And you, it's only seed.

The Rose


Some say love it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love it is a flower
And you it's only seed
It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dyin'
That never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tara's Big Adventure

It has been said, that Heaven will be one big adventure after another--well, I started my Heaven on Earth by taking an adventure away from home to Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon.  

My mission: To become an Oblate of the Benedictine Monastery.  

Where to begin?  The Attraction, to Saint Benedict.  The first Saint I read about after converting the the Catholic Church in 2002.  I remember the word: "LISTEN" and ever since I read the book, thought of what St. Benedict said--to "hear" the word of God, you had to listen!  At Mass, I began to very carefully focus on listening to the word of God.

I did not have much experience with the Bible, and when I read the story of St. Elijah--and how he heard the voice of God, in the cave on the mountain--I was enthralled.  How important it is to LISTEN.  So, it was in listening to my heart, that I knew there was more for me.  Hearing about Benedictine Oblates, they had a Monastery--right here in Ogden--I wanted to JOIN!  But on closer examination, they were a bit too "worldly" for my conservative nature.  So my friend and priest, suggested I join the Carmelites--HA, very convenient since they had a third-order right here in Ogden at my parish.

Time went by, and I loved the Carmelites saints, the study, but there was the nagging in my heart--I was listening.  I was not a Carmelite.  "But, you love St. Elijah," I told myself,  "you are a contemplative--no doubt about that," but the nagging in my heart… And there are no Benedictine orders here since then, the women Benedictines moved out of the area.

Then, searching the internet, I found exactly what I was looking for--Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon--not to far from here.  

And so off on my Adventure!

I have to admit, traveling alone--is a bit scary--but, I could overcome that in order to attain my mission!  After all, was this not the Will of God?--He would be with me the entire time--FEAR NOT!  

The first day:  Driving to the airport early, arriving in Oregon, getting my car to rent, and programing my iPhone with Google Maps--to lead my way.   Ooops, for some reason???  I accidentally put in an alternate route, and ended driving way out of the way through farmers fields--well, I had a full tank of gas, and the countryside was beautiful.  My iPhone battery was depleted, and I had to stop at a gas station to buy a charging device to charge my phone--Google maps takes a good amount of energy.  

Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, I arrived at my destination, Mount Angel Abbey!  


The GIANT pine trees seemed to envelop me as I drove through them--like a gently welcoming caress.  The fresh air smelled full of pine.  

The pathway to the Monastery, God surrounding me with His created beauty.
Then…I arrived…and started to cry.  Pure joy, THE BELLS, were ringing--the bells were ringing!!!  Monastery bells are like the voice of God to the Monk, he is to drop whatever he is doing, and respond--the bells are as the voice of God himself--calling one to prayer!  And my Lord, was calling me.  If I had not accidentally programed my "alternative" route, and not stopped to buy a phone charging adaptor, I would have arrived an hour earlier--the bells would not be ringing at the very moment I arrived… Not able to call my husband, because of being able to speak and cry at the same time, I texted my friend, "The Bells are ringing!"  Then before they were finished called my husband, so he could hear them too.  He was un-impressed, it reminded me of the great joy many years ago, when I called him to express my joy at hearing my child's heart beat for the first time, ever, overwhelmed, I pulled off to the side of the road--at a pay phone, and was crying with joy, and said, "I heard the heartbeat, I heart the heartbeat."  He was like, okay, and you called why?  LOL!  Feeling sort of silly, I wondered, if I had gone to a Monster Truck Road Rally, would he have been very much more impressed, if I told him of the joy of hearing the engines rumble?  
  
Since dinner would not be until later, instead of going into the Monastery, I went to the town of Mount Angel to search for food.  If my husband knew that I had not eaten breakfast--well--I did have orange juice and courtesy cookies on the plane--he would have scolded me.  I thought of going to this place first, I thought it said "Frank and Stella," but then noticed it was Frank and Stein.  

Right across the street was this restaurant, The Glockenspeil, that had the most excellent German Food EVER!  Started my meal with butternut squash soup--man, I wish I had their recipe! 

After lunch, going back to the Monastery, green, green, green!  

My first view of the Monastery.

The retreat house is behind all those trees. 

Mount Angel Monastery Church, with the BELL TOWER!

Going into the retreat center, a very lovely woman, gave me some information, and I went to the room.  On the door was MY NAME.  Sorta like when your name is on something--it makes it more personal--yes, I felt like I belonged here.  

Later, walking past Lavern's room, the door was open, noticing the warm bright colors, she consented to let me take her picture: 

There was this icon of saint Benedict on the wall.

And this picture of the first Abbey Monks.

The retreat house even had an Adoration Chapel, so you could go and hang with Jesus any time you wanted, day or night, ahhhh…

Early the next morning, Vigils began at 5:30 in the morning.  The bells were ringing as I walked through the dark to the lighted church--Jesus was calling me, and I was listening.

Father Odo, one of the Monks who was our teacher, said, lets begin our adventure!  And I wondered if he had read my mind, as I thought it was most certainly my adventure.  But between conferences, I did have the opportunity to take a walk--even though it was raining lightly.  
Of course, Mount Angel Monastery has a statue of our Guardian Angel:

And the grounds were very neatly maintained.

Saint John Vianney;

Praying Angels.

My Walk.






We went to the church, for three souls, to make their solemn promises to God, to live the rest of their lives as an Oblate.  They all got a Benedict medal, and I wanted it so bad to be me!  

I did not take pictures of the persons--this is a Monastery--and I did not want to disrupt their peace by taking their pictures.  But Father Pius, reluctantly, agreed to let me take his picture.  The candles are from the Oblates, who at least yearly come on pilgrimage to the Monastery, and they renew their solemn promise.  Then, they light a candle--from the Baptismal candle--and place it upon an altar.  I want my light to shine from that altar too!  

Saint Benedict.

Outside the Monastery Church.

The night before I was to leave to go home, I wondered, would I return?  The next day, I would become an "official" novice Oblate, receiving a copy of St. Benedict's Rule to read daily and have a Saint Benedict medal blessed, and begin my year of discernment to becoming a life-long Oblate.  We never know what each moment in life will bring, I could be dead before morning?  We do not know what the Lord's plans are for us from moment to moment.  We just need to, as my beloved priest always says, "stay in a state of grace."  I am "listening" Father!  We could be called to our real home--anytime.  This night, the sky was aflame with Holy Spirit fire!

A few years ago, leaving Rome, looking back at Saint Peter's square, I wondered would I ever return, it was like leaving a beloved family member.  And looking back at Mount Angel, anxious to get home to my two dogs, who were not eating they were so lonely for me, God, will I be back???  I went back to Rome, and my hope, is to come back to Mount Angel next year and make my solemn promise to God, to live as a Benedictine Oblate, of Mount Angel Abbey, for the rest of my life.  Good-bye for now. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grandma Time

 Philip loves "his" dogs!
 Hiking everyday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sleep is The Little Brother of Death


Sleep is the little brother of death.  When you fall asleep it's a little death, you have let go of your control fully, or you would not be able to sleep.   Some folk who cannot sleep, perhaps, are in need to keep things under their own control--in sleep--they are unable to control themselves or manipulate others, and therefore, holding on to their anxiety and fears, they cannot sleep.       


Sleep is precious.  And to be healthy, it's important to get enough rest.  So, parents of children, night workers, and Monks who wake in the night to pray, are making a great sacrifice for the needs of others.  Some Monasteries still have the practice of night prayer.  I was curious about which prayers they pray in the night? and was surprised to find out it is the "Office of the Readings."  

After Vatican II, the "night office" became the "The Office of Readings" and the prayers now, can be said at anytime during the day.    I suppose, it was easier for some orders where the monks were getting much older, and it is hard to get up in the middle of the night to pray.  Some monasteries where the monks do much hard physical labor during the day--disturbing the night perhaps, is also too much of a hardship.  Seems as though Vatican II was all about making things easier for folk.  Good thing?  or Bad thing?  

Praying at night, goes all the way back to Apostolic times, the Monks prayed to "sanctify" those hours.  Night is also a time of the demons, in the night, when we have totally abandoned our control, this is the time we need the light of Christ.  Monks who pray in the night, say there is no better time to experience this light than to awake and pray in the dark, beautiful, peaceful, consoling, silent night.   

Philip's Birthday

Philip enjoyed making his name in blackberries on his Birthday tart--mostly the blackberries were being popped into his mouth.

Philip did not want to blow out his candles by himself.  Grandma told him, that he would get his wish, if they were all blown out at the same time.  His wish, was to have Stella as his own dog.  Grandpa assisted Philip with a small fan.  Philip wanted to take "his" dog Stella home with him when he left Grandma's house!  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Message Without Words


Saint Therese said: 

"When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.”

Roses, 
Long a symbol of love and passion.  Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, they also represent confidentiality. In fact, the Latin expression "sub rosa"(literally, "under the rose") means something told in secret, and in ancient Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door to a room where confidential matters were being discussed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Heart of The Benedict Medal


At the heart of this medal, there is the cross.  It is the cross of Christ.  The Cross is what conquers evil.  Evil is always the cause of suffering.  Suffering is always included in our lives.  It's all about becoming one with Christ, and that involves suffering.  Following Christ--causes suffering--it's true, look at the martyrs, who if they did not follow Christ would have not suffered to death.   And showing that a faithful man ought to even bear every disagreeable thing for the Lord, it saith in the person of the suffering: "For Thy sake we suffer death all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter"  (Rom 8:36 Ps43[44]:22)

It's all about becoming one with Christ.  Jesus recommends us to suffer, rather than to inflict our pain on somebody else.   Sometimes we avoid suffering by self-destructive activities, pills, drinking, overeating…in order not to feel the pain, but sometimes we inflict our pain---we hand it on to others.  Jesus recommends there is a cross that you have to carry, your cross, and you can with the help of Jesus.   Leave it with yourself.  You should rather suffer in this little area than to cause pain and suffering in those around you.   Picking up the Saint Benedict medal each day, we can remind ourselves to pick up and carry our very own cross daily, not give it away, or try to avoid the suffering carried in that cross.  ---From a teaching on "Suffering" by Father Mauritius Wilde.  


Monday, August 18, 2014

Want to be Loved?

Want to be loved? Give respect. Want to be respected? Give love.

Philip's Visit to the Fair

Karen and Cheryl took Philip to the Fair


Philip loves feeding the goats.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fear and Pain in Their Hearts

Respect for life, that, for me, is the picture of John Paul II.  When he got a form of Parkinson's disease, he did not quit working, but he showed the world, that we--human beings, still have worth--even when we are sick and drool, we are still valuable.  He was not so full of pride, that if the world saw him drool--it did not diminish this holy man of God, but he gave example of the worthiness of life.

This Pope mirrored the humility of Jesus on the Cross--he accepted the Will of the Father.  He was not so all prideful, as Judas, or now Robin Williams who took their own lives.  Because they could not accept the "humiliation," the pain of the loss of human esteem, that is dependent on accomplishment, being healthy, and not being dependent--on others for assistance.  The fear and pain in their hearts--that their pain would never end--their families would always be burdened.  

"Fear Not!" The Pope gave us an example of true heroism.  In his weakness he showed us true strength, he showed us the value of life--to live according to the Lords Will.  

If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.
In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat,
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.
Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
O the happiness of the man
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.