Author: caitlynnegrace

I'm a working mum with five children. I blog from the heart. This blog is cathartic in its function. For too long, I have been denied the right to be ME. Now, I am slowly learning and discovering my heart and soul. writingonmyheart allows me the anonymity to be one of the who-s that I am - REFLECTIVE.

9th of 9

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          This beautiful break draws to a close. Even at so late the evening hour, tiny night breaths bear the lonesome call of the last water birds. Gazing at the gate I must soon open to return to the world tomorrow, my heart constricts. This has truly been a beautiful 9 days. Even the day I slipped and returned to anger brought me to a new day lovelier than the day before. It’s as if God would not allow anything to tarnish the pearl of His gift to us.

          Still, the 9 was not a break from this world. God did not shield us from pain and stings on this break, He did not take us to a world away from this world. Instead, each day that we lived cuddled in our joy in the evergreen valleys of home and hearth, we also stood within the circle of pain of others. Granted, despite our best intentions, we did not always live our hours in perfect charity and obedience. But like seasoned sailors we rode each crest and billow, our eyes in constant seeking of the Master’s Light. If we fell, we got up and sought our post again.

          Although I tried to live this break for God entirely, no effort of mine could have scripted even a single minute of these 9 days. The gentle flow of hour into hour, from the rose of each sunrise to the sultry, triumphant bloom of sunset, sang of the grace of God Who loves and gives beyond compare.

          It was truly, truly Grace that wrote the story of each day.

 

 

 

 

         

 

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The Hour of Smallness

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Evening Prayer to God

O eternal God and Ruler of all creation, You have allowed me to reach this hour. Forgive the sins I have committed this day by word, deed or thought. Purify me, O Lord, from every spiritual and physical stain. Grant that I may rise from this sleep to glorify You by my deeds throughout my entire lifetime, and that I be victorious over every spiritual and physical enemy. Deliver me, O Lord, from all vain thoughts and from evil desires, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.   ~   Saint Macarius

 

          Today, from the birdsong morning hours, I vowed to give glory to my God.

          I did all I could to stay close to my Lord’s heart.

          Hurrying from one appointment to the next, we squeezed in a quick stop at church in the city and I was delighted that we managed it. I seal my heart in Thy Tabernacle, I prayed and then got up to leave. Despite our busyness, I remembered to weave prayer buds into the hours, praying the Divine Mercy chaplet for the troubles in our land. Later in the day, returning home in the wan sunset blessed by rain dimples, a huge rainbow journeyed  alongside us, and I gave God glory for the reminder of His promise to me that help is coming.

          Today was one of those rare days when I had been busy yet immersed in prayer. I was quietly pleased I had lived the hours the way I did.

          Everyone was tired and I was eager to get dinner going for an early night in.

          But in a sudden moment, I let a dart of anger lead the way. Despite the prayer~laced hours before, in that split second of the present moment when the path forked, I chose to be Lot’s wife, I chose to return to the old me. I seemed to have stayed so close to Jesus today, yet something in my day nefariously assured that I had a right to indulge this old sin – the price of which is the company of sadness and regret even in the quiet midnight hours. Although dinner was good and laughs aplenty, that one moment sits by still my window of consciousness.

          How could I have let this happen? What I wouldn’t give to take it back.

          Then comes this sunset prayer, tiptoeing to my mourning,

Forgive the sins I have committed this day by word, deed or thought. Purify me, O Lord, from every spiritual and physical stain.

          I whisper its lines to my heart, feeling no comfort, no hope, wondering if I’ll ever leave this gnarled of old behind, these sudden bursts of anger. Suddenly, I’m made aware of my smallness, my inadequacy, and only now do I see that nothing of this day was through my power. Not the prayers, not the plans.

It was all by the grace of the Most High.

          There’s nothing I can do for now but place the hurt I’ve caused an innocent heart, and my own sorrow and regret, into my Saviour’s Heart, and whisper my plea,

Grant that I may rise from this sleep to glorify You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange and Gold

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          Night Rosary. A final offering of my day, everything for God, even the imperfect. Especially the imperfect. Save my country, Angel Gabriel. Closing my eyes.

          Then, the colour of gold. Such a colour of gold my eyes have never seen. Rich orange~gold. Pulsing with life. Beautiful. Utterly beautiful.

The Angel and His Mother

… a princess arrayed in Ophir’s gold   ~   Psalm 45:10

Twin rainbows up North

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

 

 

 

The Cock is About to Crow

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          Rising early yesterday to travel to the city, heaven touched my eyes briefly.

Pray to St. Gabriel

          There are 3 of them on my heart, so with no further instructions forthcoming, I prayed to all 3 saints. And then, the mists rose, and my heart could discern no more.

          The day went well but as the night veils uncurled, the winds began to lift the sands. The twilight hours were soon filled with piercings over the state of our nation. A missing child found dead. Bumbling police. A leader bent on destroying the nation. Elected representatives with their moral compasses askew. 

          A succession of crises, one worse than the other.

          We gathered as a family and talked about the issues that had come up, at the heart of each was the right to life. We were emotional, we were charged up. Still, we reminded  one another to fight the fight each is called to. And then we prayed.

          Though tired from travelling, my sleep at night was not as restful as hoped for. Awakening in the middle of the night, I pressed the air for hope.

          No new hope did the night yield me. All the problems of our troubled land strained towards me. So, I gathered what I had and reached for the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

          When I awakened later, soft sunrise, like old gold, greeted me in the new hours of the day. The winds, infinitely gentle, tread softly as they descended among trees silent and firm in their wisdom. A new gentleness had settled upon our land, like a soft blanket placed upon our sore hearts by a loving Mother.

          As I tiptoed among the lightening hours, my heart rejoiced quietly at this change, even as I pondered and wondered. Something… something

As if night has passed.

          Then, Gabriel laid out for me this prayer by St. Ambrose, one I’ve never before seen.

MAKER of all, eternal King,

who day and night about does bring:

who weary mortals to relieve,

does in their times the seasons give.

 Now the shrill cock proclaims the day,

and calls the sun’s awakening ray,

the wandering pilgrim’ guiding light,

that marks the watches night by night.

Roused at the note, the morning star

heaven’s dusky veil uplifts afar:

night’s vagrant bands no longer roam,

but from their dark ways hie them home.

 The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er,

the foaming billows rage no more:

Lo! e’en the very Church’s Rock

melts at the crowing of the cock.

 O let us then like men arise;

the cock rebukes our slumbering eyes,

bestirs who still in sleep would lie,

and shames who would their Lord deny.

New hope his clarion note awakes,

sickness the feeble frame forsakes,

the robber sheathes his lawless sword,

faith to fallen is restored.

 

          My breath caught at the words,

Now the shrill cock proclaims the day

The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er

New hope his clarion note awakes

          Memory returned me to the words of God 4 months before, God will help it at the break of dawn.   ~   Psalm 46: 6.

          The seas are in a fury now, tempest after tempest roiling the waters. We row on, fighting ourselves, fighting for others, fighting the ever towering waves. It seems as if the night of oppression refuses to die, that dawn will not come soon enough.

          But the angel descends  today to sound the call of new hope.

Now the shrill cock proclaims the day

The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er.

          Beloved Gabriel come to rise our spirits,

Dawn is about to break.

 

Thank You Sunday

Early morning at the Church of St. Primoz, Slovenia

          Early Sunday morn, eager once more to live for God, I was already going through my options when it occurred to me that I should ask God what He wanted of me. Quite sure that God would agree with my Sunday offering for Him, once more, I was surprised. In His quiet answer to me, He placed a song by a young girl on the ears of my spirit. The song was Thank You, sung from the soul of someone who had to learn to trust God. In many ways, it is my song too.

So many times,
You reached out to me,
But I turned my back ’cause I didn’t think you had what I need.
Now you’re everything,
You’re everything to me.
I can’t be without you God,
You’re everything.

And I want to say thank you,
I was lost and you found me,
I was dead inside,
And you breathed into me,
And you brought these bones to life.
I want to say thank you,
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally God.

2. You stood with open arms,
But I ran away.
‘Cause I was scared of the pain that came with trust.
But I came running back,
Into your embrace,
Because I knew you’d still be there,
You’d never leave me God.

Chorus

I don’t deserve you God (x2)
But you keep on loving me anyway.
Oh, You’d never stop loving me God.

Chorus

 

 

 

 

No Holding Back

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          I have a secret pleasure: each day, when the sun has gone to his bed and the stars dimple the skies, I often go among the old hours of my day, gleaning from them what is of some worth.

          I hold each of these kernels of deeds, close to my heart, breathing in their soothing perfume, taking from each bud what comfort they give in telling me how I’ve lived my hours. Sometimes, there are many buds; often too few. Sometimes, I remember to thank God for the strength, the wisdom, the patience, which He gave me, enabling me to complete tasks, achieve goals.

          Often, though, I number among the 9 lepers who forgot to return to thank Jesus.

          Yesterday, the first day of my 9, everything I did I gave to Jesus. No morsel did I hold back for myself. No ache at letting go did I feel, no firm tug at my will to comply either. From morn to night, I skipped in happiness to the Heart of Jesus to empty my basket at God’s altar.

          I know this was possible only because my spirit is wrapped up in the anthem of joy and relief at 9 days away from shadows. I wish this could be me always; yet no such vow do I make. For once, I don’t want to go outside the gate, nor crest the hill to sight what lies beyond. All that matters for these 9 days is to live in the meadow of today.

          And on the first day, I lived it by giving, no holding back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Posy for My God

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          I’m on a 9-day break from today and there are no words for the relief and thankfulness at not having to see my work place for 9 days. But I wished to also put the 9 days to good use, mainly by resting as much as possible to prepare for the tough coming months. I’d have to travel to the city daily for a couple of days but there is home and family and love and duties to return to each day. There’s the beckoning of a garden waiting to be loved, stomachs to be filled and perhaps a head start on the Christmas cleaning of closets too!

          In my head, I had the 9 days pretty filled.

          Then, I realized something. Rather than put myself and my responsibilities at the centre of my break, I could consciously try and live these 9 days for God – making it a special prayer. A perfect novena. 

          I am so grateful for this break, and what could be more beautiful than making a posy of each day for God?

 

 

 

 

Transfiguration Prayer

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          Upon rising in the dark pre-dawn embers, on this Feast of the Transfiguration, I asked Jesus for His prayer for me this day. In the past, He has given me the simple, Transfigure me, O Lord. I expected today to be the same.

          Instead, He asked this of me:

 

Shine Jesus Shine

Lord, the light of Your love is shining

In the midst of the darkness, shining

Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us

Set us free by the truth You now bring us

Shine on me, shine on me

 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth Your word

Lord, and let there be light.

 

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence

From the shadows into Your radiance

By the blood I may enter Your brightness

Search me, try me, consume all my darkness

Shine on me, shine on me.

 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth Your word

Lord, and let there be light.

 

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness

So our faces display Your likeness

Ever changing from glory to glory

Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story

Shine on me, shine on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Give You Everything

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Our Lord loves you and wishes to see you advance with great speed in the way of His love, however crucifying to nature. Therefore, do not bargain with Him, but give Him all, and you will find all in His divine Heart.   ~   St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

          Thanks to a fellow blogger, I think I’ve fallen in love with Switzerland, Mürren especially. It’s a car free Alpine village and it’s gorgeous. I think that with the need to walk (since we don’t have cars there), the sheer loveliness around and quietness of the place, I’d be thin in no time.

          And it would be easier to be good!

          There are times when we need all the help we can get just to be good and kind. Beautiful flowers everywhere, crisp, clean air, decent people around you – can do wonders for me. But God’s not going to create a Mürren for me so that making sacrifices comes easily, or that prayer just springs from the heart instead of having to go and dig for it, and then to lash my will to it.

          God is not going to make me a Mürren to make anger management easier either. Life doesn’t work that way, at least not for me. So, so often, I ask myself, Where has my young heart gone to?

Where is the spirit that used to quicken at the pink and orange blush of the dying evening skies?

Where is the girl who used to awaken at nights just to enjoy the sound of the winds singing among darkened boughs?

          And there is no answer save that of, She is gone.

          For years now, I’ve looked high and low for her, this person whose spirit is primed to settle into the deeps of the smallest cups of loveliness. Sometimes, I think I have glimpsed her, but when I reach deep within to hold on to her, to stop her from running away again, I come up against emptiness, as if she was never there.

          I feel the bite of tears for the girl I once was, rising quickly in hope and light after every fall and push, but to cry is to hold on to what has gone – for that young one is no longer there. I am no longer that girl, I’ve grown old; but my soul is likely still young – immature, petty, unsteady. In a perpetual wobble. Never learning well enough the many lessons God has taught me over and over, I flounder in the breech between the past and the present.

          I am tired. Tired of this life, so very, very tired. Unlike many, I have so much to live for, yet, today, I can barely see each gift. It is not for want of trying though;

My eyes are dimmed with sorrow,

worn out because of all my foes   ~   Psalm 6:8

Today, as the hot evening motherwinds try with all their might to sing me their strength, nothing slips past the door of my spirit.

          Our Lord loves you and wishes to see you advance with great speed in the way of His love, however crucifying to nature. Therefore, do not bargain with Him, but give Him all, and you will find all in His divine Heart.

          This was God’s word to me yesterday. I see the word, crucifying, and I flail against it. Oh, how right my priest was when he looked deep into my eyes and read my soul right, Patience, you need patience. But soul loved by God himself, the priest did not leave me bereft of hope. The miracle you seek will come, he has assured me gently. It will come, but not in the violent wind, not in the fire, nor in the earthquake. It will come in a quiet and gentle unfolding.

          The tears come then, and this time, I do not dam the stream, pretending a fortitude I do not possess. I have given my all today. There’s nothing left in me. No hope, no excitement even for the future. It is as if all has died. Nothing left to be of use to God, my cup of offering is dry.

          Patience, you need patience

          Then, give me Yours, Lord, I pray in deep weariness, for I have none left in me.

…do not bargain with Him, but give Him all…

          How can I give what is no longer there?

…do not bargain with Him, but give Him all…

          I give you everything, Lord. What is there and not there. What is seen and unseen. I give you everything, Lord.

          I am moving on empty now. Somehow, I clean the house, teach the younger ones their lessons.

 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.