Friday, July 30, 2010


 A work of art in progress,

stage 1

moves from one stage
to another

                  like the good fight of faith,  

 Stage 2

         I have problems.

You have problems. How we get through them shows us our progress in the good fight of faith. The fight is not with one another but with the principalities and powers of the air. The source of our problems are from another world. We cannot fight our problems with weapons from this world. They just don't apply.

Instead we must gather weapons offered from that other world. Considering how sophisticated is the intelligence of our enemy, we are no match for him. Our only real defense is a weapon forged by God Himself..our ability to pray. With that, he cannot compete.

Not all weapons are created equal. One stands above all others. According to Father John Corapi, who has fought in world wars himself, the greatest weapon we have against the devil is the Rosary!  He holds it up to the camera like a flaming missile.

It has taken 64 years as a cradle Catholic for me to buy into this.  But, as I have shown in my recent posts, I cannot deny its power - the 54 day novena has convinced me. I have seen such seemingly impossible turnarounds in my son and daughter's lives and characters that the rosary has my whole heart and has lifted me into a new stage of faith.

My test of faith came  when the phone rang for my husband a second time. He addressed my son heatedly, f-bombs flying. I was on the deck  nestled by a cathedral of pines, working on a painting of a lake scene.  I swallowed hard, my heart pounding. What now? Visions of impending disaster!  Yet, I was able to..just sit still, and keep on painting.

How was I able this time to keep my sticky fingers off the heat? I know it was the power of the novena kicking in. Mary, who loves me as family, was helping. Just like at the wedding feast, when she cared even about the possible embarrassment of her host running out of wine, Mary now whispered to steward of my soul, Do what He tells you. (He has skills..wait and see)

I did exactly that.  A few hours later, my son called back; he had handled everything himself. From the sunny deck, I heard my husband praising my son for his competence. Because I did what He told me - nothing - I was able to make progress in my painting, enjoy the afternoon, and avoid a blowout with my husband.  

I amazed myself and my daughter who witnessed the drama in that, for the first time, I could leave the cleanup of  a boiling pot between my son and husband, to Mary, who gave it back to her son, Jesus. Problems were solved, and the real bonus was that my son grew in self-reliance and my husband was given the opportunity to acknowledge him for his self-reliance.

I am shedding the thin skin of a worrier  for the  thick armour of  a warrior.  And I am doing so, mystery by mystery, bead by bead.

Stage 3, unfinished

Today, I noticed some progress. When tempted to worry,
I just kept right on painting...


Monday, July 26, 2010

Angels Rush In where devils dare send dread

                                        and know..
                                 ...I am working on 
                                                      a small oil painting
                  expressing my thanks
                                                                    for  the wonder
                                                                                              of Lake Tahoe!

About that nasty package..well, this weekI got a peak inside...and it is good!

Just for the record, I listed my intentions for this, my third 54- days -of prayer on a recent post, Strike While the  Spirit Is Hot!
...and on the fourteenth day, I was struck with this answer:

Here is the story:

1. For a good job for my son.

My son managed, in this rough economy to get just the construction job he so badly needed. There is really no way to convey how much it meant for him to do this completely on his own - with no help from us, his former ennabling parents.  He was elated, and told his brother, I am not a loser anymore!!! grinning ear to ear.

Immediately after he got the call that he was hired, he called his father. We were thrilled! O happy day! We were on the same page.. God has heard our prayers! 

Apparently good news travels fast in the underworld.  A few minutes later, right on schedule, the adversary sucked the joy out of the air with one of his well camouflaged decoys. Of course we don't recognize the master of  disguises,..unless we are seasoned intercessors, and even at that, he operates from an incomparably sophisticated tower of intelligence and super skills.  On our own we are no match.  Our only skill is that we know how to pray for help.

As soon as the news settled in, my son went into a full blown panic attack, (the ugly wrapping). He felt  and was completely unprepared for, I would like you to start..tomorrow! This meant he had a couple of hours to get his driver's license renewed, borrow a vehicle that could haul stuff, buy work boots, get help for his dog, scrounge up some tools, borrow some cash for lunch n gas n all and be there at 8 sharp after an hour's drive.

My unsuspecting husband, on picking up the phone a second time, was sucker-punched with demands for what he needed to be ready in the morning.  When guys like him get scared, they get angry..unlike us who get to cry. So while my son was pushing the panic button, my husband was being muscled by the pressure. He got upset, scared, and..angry.  I cry.  If this is your answer, Lord - it stinks!

My husband tried to stay calm, but did not rush in to help with the usual handstands. In a couple of hours, a few calls later, my son had it all handled himself...hmm. 

He made it to work early the next morning, even though his boss said he could have another day if needed. He told my husband, who met with him after work, that he had a great day, and the boss expressed his approval of his work. He upped his pay because he had more skills that his boss thought he would have. Yay!!  He is on his own..finally.

It has only been a few days, but he has been grinning ear to ear, is exhausted from his new schedule - and is standing tall.  He hasn't in a long, long time - probably since he was about twelve - about 15 years    This job is an opportunity for him to shine on his own, to prove to himself that he has his own metal - and that he does not need to lean on his father for work.

The delivery of this gift of answered prayer came just in time. The gifts were in a two-pack. The second intention of this novena was:

1. for a resolution of the conflicts between my husband and son.
To our amazement, in apologizing and thanking his father, he said that he now understood why his father kept telling to trust that God had his back and would help him at this next stage of his recovery. He had been  angry from the time we did the hardest thing  parents  ever have to do, refuse to help an adult child in dire need.  He had spend several weeks before ranting about how untrustworthy his father was because he was no longer employing him and that he had made false promises.  After he got the job on his own, he told his father that he was right and he would have spared himself  if he had been able to trust that God would do what he did for him.

Two answers in one, and I am sure, many more will cluster out from the  seed of these two. The enemy's super intelligence, far be it above ours, is no match for the One who created every form of life, including his.  Just look at heaven's spiritual eco-logics - budding uncountable fruit from the flowering of one little prayer said in faith, hope, and love...again and again and again.