I love W.I.N.E

wine and water

Water, wine and a beautiful sunset. A small slice of heaven on earth!

 

W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization). I do like wine, after all, it tastes good, accompanies and enhances a wide range of cuisines, and when used in moderation, provides us with many health benefits. But this is not the W.I.N.E. that I love, for the wine made from fermented grapes, no matter what vintage, always leaves me thirsting for more. No, the W.I.N.E. that I am referring to stands for Women In the New Evangelization. This W.I.N.E. leaves me refreshed like no other. According to Kelly Wahlquist, the founder of W.I.N.E., a national, Catholic woman’s movement and non-for-profit organization, “like the woman at the well, we are looking for the living water so that we will never thirst again.” This is the refreshing drink that I long for! How about you?

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“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life,” (John 4:13-14).

Do you desire a life that teams with joy, fulfillment, and the peace that surpasses all understanding? Do you long for a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with the Lord? If so, consider joining me, and the many other women of W.I.N.E., at one of our June Women, Wine and Wisdom events in the Mandeville and New Orleans areas. Entitled, Created to Relate. God’s Design for Peace and Joy, these exciting gatherings are sure to feed your body, mind and soul. Each event will include a complimentary wine tasting, lunch or dinner, dessert, and inspiring presentation by Kelly Wahlquist, the author of Created to Relate, and the founder of W.I.N.E., (see the event flyer below). Choose from four different event offerings, including:

  • lunch at the Fleur De Lis Center in Mandeville (1645 N. Causeway Blvd) from 11:30am until 2:00pm ($35 per person)
  • dinner at Impastato Cellars in Madisonville (240 Highway 22 East) from 6:00pm until 8:30pm ($45 per person)
  • lunch at Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie (3100 19th St.) from 11:30am until 2:00pm ($35 per person)
  • dinner at Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie (3100 19th St.) from 6:00pm until 8:30pm ($45 per person)

Register for each event at wine-event-louisiana-june-2017.eventbrite.com. To learn more about W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization), or these exciting events, please visit our website CatholicVineyard.com or call 985-249-9258 for more details.

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Is W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization) truly about drinking wine? While each event will include a free wine tasting and a cash bar, W.I.N.E. finds it true inspiration and purpose in Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist. According to Kelly Wahlquist, “wine was and is serious business in our Catholic faith.” After all, Christ Himself chose wine to be the vehicle for His blood during the celebration of the Mass. Although the outward appearance remains the same, the substance itself is mysteriously transformed into spiritual food for our bodies and souls. This is what we Catholics call the transubstantiation. W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization) looks to Mary, our spiritual mother, for inspiration, for at the Wedding Feast of Cana, she too saw the value of wine and the living waters available to all those who place their trust in Jesus.

When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you,” (John 2:3-5).

Cana became the site of Jesus’ first miracle, as He turned water into wine. This wine, however, was far superior to the one offered by man. Just as the servants at Cana did as the Lord directed them to do, so too are we called to do the same. As Kelly says, “These words ring true for us today as we strive to do the will of God.” Subsequently, when we do His will, Jesus will transform our gifts and offerings in a miraculous way. After all, each of us, like Mary, are created relational. We are perfectly made for the new evangelization and to heal of the body of Christ.

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Large water jar found at the ancient site of Kafr Kanna in Israel, believed to be the location of the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Join us, as we gather to celebrate the feminine genius, learn why women are created relational, and pivotal to the new evangelization. Together, we will enjoy some wine, a great meal, and the companionship of fellow women of faith. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we shall leave refreshed, for this W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization) surpasses the benefits of the finest vintage. It offers:

  • healthy, glowing skin, and a healthy, glowing soul
  • a peaceful night’s rest and an eternity of peace and joy
  • freedom from sin and death, not just a promised reduction in colds and cancer cells
  • a healthy heart, filled with love and happiness
  • the ultimate decrease in mortality, eternal life with Christ.

W.I.N.E. offers the refreshing drink we all long for. It fills women with a renewed sense of conviction and hope for the future, so they, in return, can mentor other women and help them grow in faith and relationship with the Lord. Join us, as we raise our glasses in celebration and thanksgiving for the greatest of all gifts, salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen

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wine and water MASS

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Closing 3:00 Prayer for Divine Mercy.

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 the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

Created to Relate!

The Feminine Genius. Pope St. John Paul II used a very interesting phrase when referring to the unique gifts, rights and dignity of all women, that of the “feminine genius”. But what does this mysterious phrase mean and what are the divine gifts bestowed upon each and every woman made in the very image of God? Today’s virtual pilgrimage will attempt to search for answers and also provide a personal invitation for you, or the important women in your life, to learn, first hand, about the feminine genius at work in W.I.N.E. (women in the new evangelization). W.I.N.E. is a national woman’s movement which helps women to grow spiritually, learn about the faith, and utilize their God given gifts to work in the Lord’s vineyard. Along the way, the women of W.I.N.E. develop a deeper relationship with Christ and other women who share a common love for the Lord. Continue reading as we further explore the “feminine genius” and how women are “Created To Relate,” (see the W.I.N.E. event flyer below).

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In Pope Saint John Paul II’s 1988 Apostolic Letter to women entitled, The Dignity of Woman, the spiritual leader of the world recognized and celebrated the beautiful design and unique vocation or mission of women. Referring to the “feminine genius”, John Paul II encouraged women to recognize their giftedness, fully engage, and offer their maternal comfort, support and love to a world in such desperate need of radical change or transformation. According to John Paul II, it is only when a woman loves sacrificially, in the true image of God, that she becomes fully alive. With her full dignity complete, she then becomes a true reflection of the love of Christ and a profound conduit of blessings to the community as a whole.

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Mary and Elizabeth at the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem outside of Jerusalem. Located on the brick wall of the courtyard, just outside of the church, one finds over forty ceramic tablets bearing the Magnificat prayer in various languages from countries around the world.

As we search for the fullest understanding of the vocation of womanhood, we can turn to Mary, the Mother of God, as our ultimate role model. Pictured above, we find Mary and Elizabeth, both embodying the four crucial elements of the feminine genius: receptivity, sensitivity, generosity and maternity.

  • Receptivity: At the visitation, both Mary and Elizabeth exhibited feminine receptivity to life, which not only includes biological motherhood, but also its emotional and spiritual aspects as well. Mary, for her part, offered her humble submission to become the “theotokos” or “God bearer” for the world. Through her “fiat”, or freely given yes, she ultimately delivered the promised Offspring of God who “crushed the head of the serpent” and restored the full dignity of the human race, (Genesis 3:16). Upon her arrival at the house of Elizabeth, Mary sang the Lord’s praises (Magnificat) in recognition of the tremendous gift He had given to her and the entire world. Elizabeth, in return, recognized and received the blessings offered by Mary, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb,” (Genesis 1:42).

 

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The Wedding Church at Cana, built in 1901, sits atop the archaeological excavation site containing a 1st century synagogue and 4th century cross-shaped Christian Church. It is believed by many to be the wedding location mentioned in John 2:1-11, the site where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine.

 

  • Sensitivity is defined as the feminine discernment or alertness to the inner life and needs of others. The feminine ability to see with the heart, beyond the external, effectively exhibits God’s ability to meet the deepest needs of the human heart, mind and soul. Feminine sensitivity is beautifully demonstrated in the Gospel story  of the Wedding of Cana. There, we find Mary, fully aware of the needs of others, bringing these concerns to her Son for rectification. Son “they have no wine.” Jesus said in reply, “Woman, what has this to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” In response, Mary says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you,” (John 2:3-5). Subsequently, Jesus performs His first miracle and turns the water into wine.
  • Generosity A woman’s heart is a generous heart. Generosity makes a woman attentive and responsive to the needs of her family, Church Parish, community and work associates. Welcoming a new life into the world is perhaps the best example of feminine generosity, however, there are many other aspects of feminine generosity on display in various Gospel accounts. An excellent example can be found in Martha and Mary’s constant care and concern for Jesus. In Mary and Martha’s example, contemporary women find a personal invitation to participate in the ongoing mission of Jesus. This is a mission of love, directed and guided by the orientation of the heart, for a generous and loving act of kindness can transform the world.
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The interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built atop Golgotha, which means Skull Place, where Jesus was crucified, (Matthew 27:32-38). Picture above is the location where Mary stood beneath her dying Son.

  • Maternity. In no other place is physical and spiritual motherhood on fuller display than at the foot of the Cross. There, we find a sorrowful mother offering her unconditional love and support to her dying Son, while simultaneously taking the lost disciple, John, as her own. When Christ said, “Woman behold your son, son behold your mother,” John, the Church and each of us gained a spiritual mother, (John 19:26). Filled with sorrow, love, hope and compassion, Mary became the ultimate symbol and living model of the “feminine genius”. She remains an eternal beacon of light reflecting the glory of God to a world in such desperate need of love. Each of us, as women, mothers, daughters, wives, and faithful Christians, are called to do the same.

To learn more about the “feminine genius” and God’s design for peace and joy, please join us at the Women, Wine and Wisdom Event detailed in the flyer above. Hope to see you there, but if not, please consider sharing this flyer and blog with all the special women in your life! Additionally, I suggest that you give each of them a great big hug as you tell them just how much you appreciate their “feminine genius.” I am quite sure that this gesture will simply make their day!

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

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 the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

 

 

Our Spiritual Mother, Mary: A Perfect Reflection of Self-Sacrificial Love.

Why is the rose often associated with Mary, and what does motherhood have in common with this beautiful flower? To search for answers, please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to:

  • Mary’s home in Nazareth, where she loved and raised Her Son, Jesus,
  • Cana, where Mary’s compassionate love and concern for all people is visibly on display,and
  • The Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrows, where Mary met her Son, Jesus, on His ascent to death by Crucifixion.

 

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The Grotto of the Annunciation, located within the lower level of The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

 

Book Excerpt. Chapter Twenty-One: The Joy of Mercy (The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. By: Karen Sheehy)

Filled with gratitude, the new mother watched as the priest poured living water on her son’s forehead saying, “Joseph, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Dressed in a beautiful white gown, he cooed and joyfully accepted the cleansing waters and Spirit of God. Cherishing her new little gift of life, she pondered all these things in her heart. Aware of her adoptive son’s in-utero risk exposure, she pictured a rose, beautiful but containing thorns, as she anticipated both joy and pain in their upcoming journey. Accompanied by the Spirit of God, and her husband’s bright future, she remained confident in their ability to face any hardships they may encounter. Despite her confidence, she had no idea what self-sacrificial love actually entailed and how it could possibly benefit others in the Kingdom of God, for there were so many aspects of the faith awaiting her discovery.

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The Immaculate Heart is a name used to refer to the interior life of Mary’s joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and above all, her virginal love for God the Father, maternal love for her Son, Jesus, and compassionate love for all people. 

About 6 years back, I had the privilege of going to the Holy Land, where I walked in the very footsteps of Jesus and His Mother, Mary. As I touched and saw the spots where Love was born; born in a stable in Bethlehem and on the Cross in Jerusalem, I began to know the true meaning of self-sacrificial love and the impact it has on others. It was there, that I saw the joy and sorrow of motherhood reflected in the thorns and petals of a rose. It was there, that I encountered the Immaculate Heart of my Spiritual Mother, Mary, the perfect reflection of her Son, Jesus, Who is Love Itself.

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The ancient remains of the original childhood home of Mary, located under The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

Nazareth is the largest city in the Northern District of Israel. Within the heart of this populated region is the ancient remains of “Old Nazareth,”described in the New Testament as the home of Mary and site of the Annunciation. It was there, that Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say,” (Luke 1:38). This simultaneously joyful, confusing, and frightening announcement clearly represents the profound joy, uncertainty and pain often accompanying the vocation of motherhood. In this encounter, we find maternal guidance within:

  1. The angel’s words, “Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God, (Luke 1:31), which reminds us, that we too are favored by God, who alone can provide for all of our needs.
  2. Mary’s questioning of the angel, “How can this be since I do not know man,” (Luke 1:34), which encourages us to seek answers from the Lord in times of doubt or uncertainty.
  3. Mary’s “fiat” or ultimate surrender to the will of God, which reminds us to trust in the Lord, Who only desires what is for our good.
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Exterior view of The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

Only 4.3 miles northeast of Nazareth, one finds the town of Kafr Kanna (Cana), best known as the place where Jesus performed His first public miracle, (John 2:1-11). There, at the Wedding Feast of Cana, we witness Mary’s compassionate love and concern for all people as she says to her Son, “They have no more wine.” Despite Jesus’ reluctance, she instructs those waiting on tables to, “Do whatever he tells you.” Here, we find two more valuable lessons:

  1. Continually take all of your concerns to your spiritual mother, Mary, who in return will bring them to her Son, Jesus, and
  2. Do whatever He tells you!

Pictured below is the Franciscan Wedding Chapel at Cana and a large stone vessel, thought to be used for the Jewish rites of purification, found in its general vicinity.

 

This brings us to our last and final virtual pilgrimage location, the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrow. This 2,000 foot winding route, located within the Old City of Jerusalem, starts at the ancient ruins of the Antonia Fortress and goes westward towards its final destination, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The Way of Sorrow contains 9 marked stops, or Stations of the Cross. The remaining 5 are located within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher itself. It is at stop number four, where Jesus meets His mother, Mary, that we find our final and most profound demonstration of a grieving mother’s love, for there we find Mary’s quiet suffering and steadfast support in the face of such profound sorrow. There, we find Mary, our spiritual mother, the perfect reflection of Love. There, we find the rose of motherhood, simultaneously lovely and pierced with thorns. Amen

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Station Four on the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

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 the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com