365 Days of Love Notes, Week 52

Sunday July 26, 2015

Mass

Monday July 27, 2015

Work and Paul Simon on the radio and dinner with Brittany

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Tuesday July 28, 2015

Work and some relaxation

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Work, and some research

Thursday July 30, 2015

Work, and a new obsession with a hair cut. What do you think?

Friday July 31, 2015

Work, and some delicious pizza.

Saturday August 1, 2015

The Jersey Shore for the weekend. Lots of sun :)

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

365 Days of Love Notes, Weeks 50 & 51

Sunday July 12, 2015

Mass

Monday July 13, 2015

Received a lovely post card with a flan-stamp and had some snuggles with Ms. Cat.

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Tuesday July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day, America! and some delicious peaches and I went to Fr. Jacob’s class.

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Wednesday July 15, 2015

Some watercolors and old crosses

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Thursday July 16, 2015

My missionary sandals came! And I bought “Go Set a Watchman” and went to Fr. Jacob’s class.

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Friday July 17, 2015

Friday!

Saturday July 18, 2015

Drove down to Ocean City, New Jersey for a long weekend.

Sunday July 19, 2015

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This was in the local parish bulletin. It made me chuckle.

Monday July 20, 2015

Beautiful Ocean City

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Tuesday July 21, 2015

Drove back home and then went to Fr. Jacob’s Class

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Wednesday July 22, 2015

Back to work…

Thursday July 23, 2015

Went to Fr. Jacob’s class, which was really, really good.

Friday July 24, 2015

Happy Friday!

Saturday July 25, 2015

Went to the Mets game!

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Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Let’s stop comparing

“If every tiny flower wanted to be a

“Each of us is Willed. Each of us is Loved. Each of us is necessary.” BXVI

Now, I know that this comparison thing is something that we all deal with. But this is my prayer, that each of us will see how necessary we are, as the person that God made us. That each of us is unique, each of us is talented, each of us is beautiful in our own way.

Capuchin Outreach and CYFM

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Being that I wasn’t able to visit CYFM during a retreat, I was invited to take part in their annual Capuchin Outreach Program. This is a service based retreat for high school aged students. I was asked to participate in the Vacation Bible School because this particular program had the most student volunteers and number of participants. There were about 40 kids, and 16 teens. Now, I had never been to VBS, or volunteered to help at one. And yet, I felt obligated to kind of know what was happening. After all, I was supposed to be the “Adult”, and at the same time I felt like I was to take a step back and really observe and try to understand CYFM as a whole. It was a bit conflicting.

We had survived the first day of VBS and successfully learned the choreography to “Stand Together” and “Stand Strong”. By the end of the day, I realized that the scripture sharing (which I was in charge of) would need to be altered for each age group. And I was exhausted. By the end of the day I had familiar feelings of loneliness and a sense of not being good enough set in. For as long as I can remember, these feelings follow a new day anywhere, even in Church settings.

But Tuesday was a new day. And it was better. And Wednesday came, and it was better. I had started to feel comfortable with the teens, and I had a better understanding of the needs of the kids at VBS. Water day was my favorite part of VBS, and I would say that this was my turning point, I had started to feel like myself again.

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Thursday came, and we played messy games and had a talent show. I wrote my prayer partner letter and spent time in the beautiful chapel. And then friday came. We finished scripture sharing strong and VBS was over. The closing ceremony after mass started, and I found out that the chaplain of CYFM had been assigned to pray for me. This was a big piece of assurance for me from the Big Guy. By the end of the week I had a better sense of why I was put there, and a better sense of the community as a whole. This year is going to be an adjustment for me, and that is something that I can’t ignore anymore. But when I got home Friday night, I had a spiritual high, and Chris gave me an anniversary present.

This present was super appropriate, and he knew that. It was a St. Therese of Lisieux medal, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the back. St. Therese, being the patron of missionaries, even though she never left her convent, and the Sacred Heart, the devotion of Saint Leonard, my saint of the year. Also, I totally just noticed this, but Saint Leonard was a Franciscan who gave Parish retreats and who was an ascetic writer. That’s almost too similar to what I’m going to be doing this year.

If you want to read about COP from the perspective of a current CCV, you can do that Here.

Before I leave you today, here are some lovely pictures from the two chapels at Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries, where I spent much of my alone time on the COP 2015 retreat.

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Love and prayers,
Mary

Brush Lettering and Watercolors

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How does one figure out if a new hobby is worth the investment? Well, if you enjoy it, go for it. I grew up loving art. I especially loved painting. One of my common daydreams was being a painter along the river seine. This new obsession started with Blessed Is She and their beautiful weekly wallpapers. One of their designers, Be A Heart, is probably my favorite at the moment. Be A Heart is offering a few workshops in NYC in the next few weeks. Alas, I really shouldn’t be spending that kind of money.  So, I went for it. I went to Blick and bought a few good watercolor brushes so that I could play, and hopefully build up some sort of skill, so that I can make beautiful pieces over the next year.

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For my first attempt, these aren’t too bad! I’m excited to continue practicing. It was very relaxing, and I had a definite sense of accomplishment at the end. Do you have any hobbies that you were nervous to try at first?

Also, here are some pins that I’ve found helpful in learning how to properly use watercolor paint:

OneTwo, and Three

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 49

Sunday July 5, 2015

Mass

Monday July 6, 2015

Went to work and had a meeting at the Parish

Tuesday July 7, 2015

Work and some relaxation

Wednesday July 8, 2015

A free concert in the park with my Dad, and picked out this quote from Blessed Is She

“I know for certain that Christ called and used the Apostles in spite of their weaknesses and transformed them through their work for Him.”

Thursday July 9, 2015

Some room shopping for CYFM and Adoration with some good people

Friday July 10, 2015

Pizza and some time with Chris

Saturday July 11, 2015

A day at the Beach, Mass, dinner, and an event with some friends

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Four.

Spread Love wherever you go, let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
-Mother Teresa-

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Our day began with iced coffee, a bag of cheerios, and a lovely new St. Therese medal
(he gets me)

But for real, we drove out to one of our favorite places on Long Island. Greenport was bound to be bustling, so we stopped there briefly to take out cash so that we could visit Lavender by the Bay in East Marion. To the eye, it was beautiful, to the nose, it was delightful. Even the little busy bees were content. They were too busy checking out the lavender to pay attention to the people walking by. The little shop was bustling, so we decided to walk through the fields first. We decided to keep our day low key, and this farm ended up being the best way to celebrate.

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In the shop we decided to pick up some dried lavender and soap for mom, and had enough left over store credit to get a post card. Then we walked next door to have a late lunch at The Blue Inn. One day I would love to stay there, but having lunch was absolutely wonderful. The food was awesome. To start we had fried brie with cranberry. That was incredible. I love cheese, but this took cheese to a whole new level. For lunch, Chris had cod and I had an open chicken sandwich. Both of our meals were specials of the day, and we weren’t disappointed.

To say that I am grateful for this relationship would be an understatement. A few years back, I read that marriage is learning to love like Christ. While we are not married, this still holds true. This relationship helps me to love like Christ each day. That’s a selfless kind of love. It’s funny, because we basically wrote the same thing in our cards to one another. We essentially wrote that our relationship is strong and beautiful because it is rooted in Christ, and we have grown in Christ, together over these past four years. It’s a beautiful thing.
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365 Days of Love Notes, Week 48

Sunday June 28, 2015

Today was the day, I went to an early mass and set out for CYFM in the afternoon. I will go into much more detail later on though. I arrived in the late afternoon and entered into the first part of the retreat.

Monday June 29, 2015

First day of VBS! It was draining, but the little kids made it worth it.

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Tuesday June 30, 2015

VBS Day Two: was much better than day one. And we had adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Wednesday July 1, 2015

VBS Day Three: Water day. And it was awesome.

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Thursday July 2, 2015

VBS Day Four and Messy Games and Talent Show.

(Pictures to Come)

Friday July 3, 2015

Last day of VBS and the COP Retreat. I may have cried. I didn’t expect to. However, when I found out that the chaplain was my prayer partner, I knew that God wanted me at CYFM.

Saturday July 4, 2015

Four Years of Loveliness with my Best Friend. I couldn’t ask for a better companion to grow in Christ with. (More on that later too…So many blog posts to write!)

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Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 47

Sunday June 21, 2015

Father’s Day breakfast and a day at the beach. Later, Mass.

Monday June 22, 2015

Working full time this week, grateful for a job that is so flexible with my hours.

Tuesday June 23, 2015

Work, and I found audio books on Spotify!

Wednesday June 24, 2015

Work, a lovely surprise in the mail, and dinner with a good friend.

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Thursday June 25, 2015

Work and dinner with Chris. It has been a whole year since I left for Ireland, and I found these pictures on my phone:

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Friday June 26, 2015

Work, and then I went to dinner and saw “Inside Out” with Sandi!

Saturday June 27, 2015

 A lazy day with some productivity.

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Fall in Love, Stay in Love

Fall in Love, Stay in Love, and it will decide everything.

This quote, taken from a poem (prayer?) by Pedro Arrupe, was given out to each graduate from Catholic Life at Hofstra. I think it sums up perfectly what it means to be a Catholic today. It can be so hard to live this type of life in this type of world. And yet, I find myself giving up a year of my life to serve Him. I find myself living for Him in the Eucharist, and I find myself wanting others to know him too. I want others to fall in love with Him more and more each day. That’s where this poem comes into play. It’s so true, that if you fall in love with him, if you truly fall in love with him, it will decide everything in your life.

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read,
whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

Yesterday, I got home from work to find a hefty piece of mail in the mailbox. It was addressed to me, and it contained two books to prepare me for my upcoming year of ministry. The first is Engaging a New Generation and the second is Forming Intentional DisciplesAnd so, I went through my bookshelf, took the two books I had planned on reading this summer, and lined the four books on top of one another. And then, like any other millennial, I took a picture and posted it on Instagram. Using an app to size the picture, I found this lovely background of pink roses. Thank you St. Therese, patron of Missionaries. 
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Luckily, I had a catch up date with my good friend Brittany. She has a few priest friends, so adoration was included. I’ve been thinking and praying about the true presence a lot lately. Come August, I’ll have a chapel in my house *cue happy jump and squeal*

Definitely feeling grateful for the Eucharist.

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I know that my campus minister and chaplain knew how fitting that prayer was when they decided to give it out at Baccalaureate Mass, but I didn’t. And it’s only as I continue to look at it, hanging in my room, that I see just how lovely and beautiful it is.