Wonder Women of the Bible!

Who Does He Say You Are? How do we discover our true identity, pathway forward, and source for personal inspiration? This is the question pondered in my first Friday blog found below. I hope you enjoy this spiritual safari into one of the most often neglected of destinations, your own conscious and subconscious mind.

 

wonder-woman-533663_960_720

Various Super Heroes: Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman.

How do you discover your true identity and source of personal inspiration? Through movie heroes or heroines? A number on the scale? An insightful medical journal, website or TV new’s pundit? Your family, friends, or Church community? All of these sources may prove to be of value as we strive to live our lives in a secularized and often confusing world. However, as Christians, we must ultimately look to God for our answers and guidance. We are called to be in this world but not of this world. Right? But what does this old saying actually mean? In John 17:14-15 we find Jesus speaking to His Father, “I gave them your word, and the world has hated them for it; they do not belong to the world [anymore that I belong to the world]. I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to guard them from the evil one.” Here is our first clue to its meaning!

 

meditation-2262835_960_720

The Christian balancing act of being in the world but not of it.

 

This represents the Christian life dichotomy. How do we keep one foot in this world and the other in the next (in God’s Kingdom) without falling into the big hole in the middle? I would say, “very carefully but filled with joy!” In St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we read, “Although I am not bound to anyone, I made myself the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible. I have made myself all things to all men in order to save at least some of them. I do all that I do for the sake of the gospel in the hope of having a share in its blessing,” (1Corinthians 9:19, 22 and 23). Here, St. Paul instructs us to go into the world and recognize the goodness in every culture. By doing so, we may become more effective evangelizers of the Gospel.

balance-2034239_960_720

 

The trick, or ultimate balancing act as a Christian, therefore, is to enjoy the good things of this world (a gift from God), but not to be conformed to this world’s secular value systems. “Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord,” (Romans 12:9-11). This scripture passage helps to illuminate the true secret and source for the successful Christian balancing act. We are to love the world, but simultaneously keep our eyes focused on God’s will for our lives. In the Gospel of John, we learn how we, as Christians, are called by Jesus to be the world’s salt and light. Salt makes things more palatable and pure, while light brings clarity to the darkness. This light or clarity is the truth of the Gospel (good news).

 

wonder-woman-1694801_960_720

Wonder Woman with her lasso of truth, badge of justice and attitude of love.

So back to our original question: How do we discover our true identity, pathway forward, and source for personal inspiration? I say we find what is beautiful, true and lovely in the world and Christianize it. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed the recent remake of the TV series Wonder Woman. In this refreshing big screen box office thriller, we find a powerful female “demigod” who loves truth and justice, and despises the dark forces which plague mankind. Our heroine consistently fights for the world’s persecuted and forgotten, all in the name of love. How refreshing to find such a powerful demonstration of the Christian Gospel in today’s secularized world! Admittedly, if we were to put the lasso of truth on Wonder Woman herself, she would inevitably reveal that she was in fact a mere creature of the One True God. Made in God’s image, she represents a kind of mini-version of what all Christians are called to be.

We are all called to be superheroes for the Lord in a world in such desperate need of truth, love and justice. In our every day life as Christians, we must simply remember and acknowledge the most perfect and ultimate source of love, truth and justice. We must always turn to God for guidance and give Him all the Glory. We praise You Lord, Jesus. Amen. To learn more about your secret identity, as a daughter and/or spouse of God, please consider joining me, and the other ladies of WINE (Women In the New Evangelization), at one of our next Women, Wine and Wisdom (Mandeville or Metairie) events entitled, Who Does He Say That You Are? These events will include a fabulous meal (lunch or dinner), original music by Kara Klein (of HisOwn) and an inspirational talk by Colleen Mitchell. Colleen, author of Who Does He Say that You Are? will discuss women who were transformed by Christ in the Gospel. Please see the flyer below for more details. Grab a friend and register today!

wine dec 17

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. Amen

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 Trinity of Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

A Mountaintop Experience!

mountain top

I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me; give ear to my voice when I call you. Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice, (Psalm 141:1-2).

Reaching Up To Heaven. You may be wondering, “where will today’s spiritual safari take place: Colorado, California, Alaska, Switzerland, Chili, Kenya, or the Holy Land?” These would be good guesses, considering today’s spiritual safari blog title: A Mountaintop Experience. Ironically, however, I will be discussing my own recent “mile high” spiritual encounter, which took place in the pancake flat suburbs of New Orleans, as I gathered with over 260 women of W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization) at four Louisiana Women, Wine and Wisdom events. Joining us was Kelly Wahlquist, the founder of W.I.N.E., a rapidly growing, national Catholic woman’s movement designed to infuse the hearts and souls of women across the nation. Gather, nurture and send, this is W.I.N.E.’s motto, and boy did Kelly deliver!

WARNING: the following content contains extreme joy, zeal and love for the Lord! Read with caution, for these spiritual symptoms are known to be highly contagious!  

First Joyful Gathering: Women, Wine and Wisdom Lunch with 77 women of W.I.N.E. at the Fleur De Lis Center in Mandeville, LA on June 13 from 11:30-2:00.

“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them,” (Matthew 18:20)

 

fleurdelis

Pictured Above: Kelly Wahlquist, the founder of W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization), with many of our Louisiana W.I.N.E. Core Team Members, including Karen Sheehy, Paige Rosato, Barbara Dillon, Jodi Awbrey, Juliana Cloud, Michelle Seibert, Linda Vernaci, Maria Guichard, Nellie Diaz, Denise Heisser, Cathy Cresson, Karen Ronquillo and Janet Schwaner.  

table

W.I.N.E. tables decorated for the day’s faith filled meal and celebration of the feminine genius. Spotlighted book: Created to Relate. God’s Design for Peace and Joy by Kelly Wahlquist.

Second Joyful Gathering: Women, Wine and Wisdom Dinner with 82 women of W.I.N.E. at Impastato Cellars in Madisonville, LA on June 13 from 6:00-8:30.

Although you have not seen him (Jesus), you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls, (1Peter 1:8-9).

girls night

table night

Third and Fourth Joyful Gatherings: Women, Wine and Wisdom Lunch and Dinner with over 120 women of W.I.N.E. at Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie, LA on June 14 from 11:30-2:00 and 6:00-8:30 pm.

Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel, (Isaiah 12:6-7).

kelly lorraine

Pictured above: Lorraine Hess (pianist, song writer and vocalist) with Kelly Wahlquist (founder of W.I.N.E.) ready to start day 2 of our New Orleans area Women, Wine and Wisdom Events.

toasting

Offering a toast to the women of W.I.N.E. and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 15:13).

If you are interested in learning more about W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization) or “working in the Lord’s Vineyard” with our LA W.I.N.E. “Cluster” please visit CatholicVineyard.com or contact me, Karen Sheehy, your LA W.I.N.E. Specialist. Cheers!

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. Amen

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

 

At Work in the Vineyard.

Women, Wine and Wisdom: A Gathering and Celebration.

grapes buckets

“The harvest is rich but the workers are few; therefore ask the harvest master to send workers to his harvest,” (Luke 10:2)

“Listen to what I say: Open your eyes and see! The fields are shining for harvest. The reaper already collects his wages and gathers a yield for eternal life, that sower and reaper may rejoice together,” (John 4:35-36). 

All of our hard work is paying off! Thanks be to God, the personal invitations and steadfast efforts of our New Orleans area W.I.N.E. (Women In the New Evangelization) Core Team have produced abundant fruit. We joyfully anticipate our four upcoming Women, Wine and Wisdom events, as we gather to celebrate the good news (Gospel) with over 240 women in our rapidly growing Louisiana W.I.N.E. “cluster”. Come join the fun!

Red Wine on Summer Day

“I have food to eat of which you do not know. Doing the will of him who sent me and bringing his work to completion is my food,” (John 4:32-34).

Each of our 2 1/2 hour events will include a free wine tasting, great meal (lunch or dinner), opportunity to gather with faith-filled women, and an inspiring talk by Kelly Wahlquist, the founder of W.I.N.E. and author of Created to Relate: God’s Design for Peace and Joy. Our Mandeville dinner is sold out, however, tickets are still available for the other three events, (see the flyer below to register or learn more). Join us, as we gather to celebrate the fruits of eternal life offered to all those who labor in the Lord’s Vineyard.

wine_www Created to Relate Flyer 2

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. Amen

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

 

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?

well-w-bucket

“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.

wine_www Created to Relate Flyer 2

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.

dsc02198

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

toasting

wine and water MASS

eucharist2

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

Women, Wine and Wisdom!

Women, Wine and Wisdom, I’m all in! After all, who couldn’t use an afternoon or evening filled with female companionship, wine and a little wisdom. I’m inviting all you ladies out there to join me, and the women of WINE (women in the new evangelization), for a lunch or dinner on Tuesday, June 13th in Mandeville at the Fleur De Lis Center or Impastato Cellars, OR Wednesday, June 14th in Metairie at Andreas. (Hint to all the men and children out there, this event would make an awesome mother’s day gift!). The invitation and registration form can be found below. Please feel free to share this info. Learn more by visiting the WINE website womeninthenewevangelization.com or on-line event registration at wine-event-louisiana-june-2017.eventbrite.com.  Hope to see you, and your friends, at one of our events.

Today’s blog question: What’s in a name? Why women, wine and wisdom? What do all these words have in common, other than the obvious “w”? What comes to mind is “life changing gifts”. Please join me, as we unpack the beauty and transformative powers of each.

THE EVENT. Created to Relate. God’s Design for Peace and Joy.wine_www Created to Relate Flyer 2

THE FIRST GIFT: Women.

man and woman

Then the Lord said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. The man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore, a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh, (Genesis 2:18, 21-24).

The most distinctive thing about each of us, and the entire human race, is that we are created in the image and likeness of God. “God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them,” (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, while there are differences between the sexes, we find their commonality here. Both are equals, created as rational and emotional beings, with equal rights to choose and impact the world around them. Likewise, each are “hard-wired” for relationship, for God is trinitarian (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Man’s aloneness was the first thing in Creation that was not good, for humankind was not created for isolation. God saw that “it was not good that the man should be alone,” (Genesis 2:18). Woman, therefore, completes God’s plan for humanity. As a helper, woman assists mankind in reaching their complete fulfillment. The word helper, or advocate, is also utilized in the Gospel of John, “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you,” (John 14:26). As the Holy Spirit helps the believer, so too, does woman help man and humankind. Transformed by Christ, women are called to become a reflection of Him and a vehicle of healing, love and mercy for the world.

THE SECOND GIFT: Wine.

two-types-of-wine-1761613_960_720

Jesus took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” (Matthew 26:27-28). 

As Catholics, we profess our faithful acceptance of the transubstantiation, which indicates the changing of the sacramental bread and wine into the very body and blood of Jesus during the celebration of the Mass. Although the outward appearance remains the same, the substance itself is mysteriously transformed into spiritual food for the body and soul of believers. Sacramental wine differs from commercial wine in that it must be free from corruption. Its grapes must come from the vine and be naturally fermented. The wine itself, must be free of preservatives, added flavors, or the vinegars of sour wine.

Outside of the Mass, we find many Bible passages describing wine as a blessing or gift from God. “Your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine,” (Proverbs 3:9-10). “You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart,” (Psalm 104:14-15). The prophet, Jeremiah, speaks of many blessings in the age to come, including wine, “they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil,” (Jeremiah 31:12). Jesus, Himself, while here on earth, enjoyed wine and table fellowship. Therefore, enjoy a glass or two, always in moderation, and remember the divine gift and transformative powered offered through it during the Mass.

THE THIRD GIFT: Wisdom.

woman-571715_960_720

The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the path of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones, (Proverbs 2:6-8).

“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever,” (Psalm 111:10). The Greek word for wisdom, sophia, refers to the intimate understanding of God’s words, and commandments, which lead to holy and upright living.  Throughout the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is referred to as, she. In Proverbs 9:5, we read, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” In Isaiah 11:2-3, we learn that wisdom, or fear of the Lord, is a gift bestowed upon the righteous through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Through Jesus, we all receive the gifts of the Spirit including wisdom, understanding, faith, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Additionally, “the Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way,” (1Corinthians 12). Included, are the gifts of faith and prophesy, the ability to heal, discern spirits, and speak in tongues. To partake in their full benefit, however, each must find their expression in love, and transform the hearts and lives of their recipient, for a gift must be freely opened and graciously received.

Closing Prayer: In honor of the many women and mothers who represent an invaluable gift to the world, I offer the following prayer (taken from the latest edition of the Catholic Register). Dear Mary, our spiritual mother, I come to you today and ask you to intercede on behalf of all our mothers. Ask your Divine Son, Jesus, to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they can join with you in giving their own “fiat”. May they find daily strength to say, “Yes” to the call to sacrificial love, the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son. Amen

Happy Mother’s Day from Karen Sheehy, your spiritual safari guide.

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).

wine_www Created to Relate Flyer 2

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.

visitationchurch32s

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).

 

dsc02203

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.
DSC03014

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

 

 

He is the Vine and We are the Branches.

Small Things, Great Love: It’s What We Do. It’s what we do? Whose we: children, pets, teachers, social workers, nurses???? Please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to The WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) Catholic Woman’s Conference, held in Burnsville, MN last weekend (February 25, 2017), as we search for answers.

Joel 2:22. Fear not, O land! Exult and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things. Fear not, beasts of the field, for the pastures of the plain are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and the vine give their yield.

wine-conf2

This past weekend, I had the great privilege of joining over 1,200 women, from across the country, at the 3rd annual WINE Catholic Women’s Conference at Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, MN. Last October, I was part of a local WINE core team who launched our very own WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) Conference in Metairie, LA, where over 450 were in attendance. WINE is a new and exciting national ministry that inspires women to joyfully work with their God-given gifts to nurture and build up the body of Christ. Playing on its unique acronym, WINE is based on the first miracle of Christ, the turning of water into wine. In fact, this miracle at the Wedding in Cana perfectly sums up the goal of WINE:

  • to meet women in their need, and invite them into relationship with other women and with Christ,
  • to help women grow in love for the Lord by following the example of the perfect woman, Mary, and thus “Do whatever He tells you,”
  • to live out their Catholic faith with renewed confidence, conviction and hope within a vibrant community of faith filled women,
  • to help women find peace, joy and that sense of belonging in the friendships that come about as a result of spending time laughing, learning and growing in faith.
wine-conf

Keynote speaker, Lisa Hendey, an author and founder of CatholicMom.com from Los Angeles, spoke about the importance of Catholic women saints and a vibrant prayer life when seeking healing and realizing how each woman’s unique gifts can contribute to the Church’s call for a new evangelization. Sister Clare, a Franciscan Sister, talked about a woman’s call to spiritual motherhood, “Spiritual motherhood is the key to a woman’s identity. It is the indwelling light of God, the father and the Holy Spirit.” According to Sister Clare, there are three central characteristics to spiritual motherhood which can be learned from Mary, our model for spiritual motherhood. These characteristics include receptivity, listening and joy.

Hosea 14:7. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; he shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; they shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Filled with the spirit of love, and inspired by the amazing witness of spiritual motherhood on display at the Conference, I returned home determined to further expand the mission of WINE in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. The result, two upcoming Women, Wine and Wisdom (WWW) events to be held in June and October of this year. Each of these 2 1/2 hour events will include either a lunch or dinner out, wine tasting, fellowship, and a faith sharing presentation by one of the amazing authors of WINE. A follow-up book club will be available for all interested participants. Please stay tuned for more details. If you are interested in helping out with these events or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me at karen@spiritualsafariguide.com.

wine-glass

Genesis 40:9-11. Then the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. It had hardly budded when its blossoms came out, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes, pressed them out into his cup, and put it into Pharaoh’s hand.”

In the above quote from Genesis, we read that wine is found in clusters, and thus my goal, for these upcoming WINE events, is to gather clusters of women (100-200) in the Baton Rouge, North Shore, South Shore, and eventually Houma, Lafayette and Gulfport areas, so that we, like Mary, may fill our soul’s with love and humbly place them in the hands of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In doing so, I pray that each of us will, like the waters of Cana, be transformed into the best versions of ourselves, so that we may participate in the Lord’s sacrifice with love and joy. After all, we are women and it’s what we do, as we strive to do small things with great love.

Today’s 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.

To learn more about W.I.N.E. and how you can become a laborer in the Lord’s Vineyard, please visit http://womeninthenewevangelization or contact me directly https://www.spiritualsafariguide.com.

Please click on the link above to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, to 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!

 

 

 

 

The Vine and The Winegrower.

WINE (Women in the New Evangelization).

John 15:1-2 and 5. I am the true vine and my Father is the winegrower. He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones he trims clean to increase their yield. I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing.

grapes

Generally speaking, it takes about one hundred grapes, or one cluster, to fill a wine glass, and 400 grapes, or four clusters, to fill a 750 ml bottle of wine. 

Virtual Pilgrimage: WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) Catholic Woman’s Conference in Metairie, Louisiana. Saturday, October 15th.

This faith-filled day, spotlighting the boundless love and mercy of God, surpassed my greatest expectations. Imagine over 400 faith-filled women, enough “grapes” to fill a 750 ml bottle of wine, singing, praying and celebrating God’s beautiful plan for each of our lives and the unique role that we, as women, are called to play in the Church’s New Evangelization. Our time was filled with inspirational talks, friendships, Adoration, Confession and the Celebration of the Mass by Archbishop Gregory Aymond. Key note speakers included Teresa Tomeo (author and host of The Catholic Connection radio show), Kelly Wahlquist (Catholic author and founder of WINE), Kitty Cleveland (National singer-songwriter and inspirational speaker), and Judy Klein (Catholic author and speaker).

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are over 10,000 different types of grapes, each varying in shape, size, skin density, sugar content and pit size. 

The Winegrower. Every grape, no matter its variety, is considered a precious commodity to the grower. Desiring a bountiful harvest, the grower will attempt to optimize farming techniques and climate conditions to ensure top quantity and quality of grape juices. After all of the hard work, trials and tribulations, the grapes are ready for harvest. After picking, they are crushed and pressed to produce the juice for fermentation. Yeast and nutrients are added throughout the process to avoid microbial spoilage along the way. Racking and fining remove any remaining impurities or particles and lead to a clear looking red or white wine.

The Vine. Wine has always played an important role in religion. In Catholicism, it plays a pivotal role in the Celebration of the Mass as it is transformed into Christ’s Sacrificial Blood of Atonement. The gathering of the people of God, into One Body in Christ, is much like wine making, for both are a labor of love. Easy to access and enjoy, one can loose sight of the loving care required when growing, harvesting, and producing a single bottle of wine. So too, with God, can we take for granted and misunderstand His intimate care and concern. God, the perfect grower, loves us, works for our good and gives us the Sacramental graces necessary for our salvation. Crushed and pressed, we too, die and rise to new life with Christ during the Sacrament of Baptism. Each of us, impacted by concupiscence, must seek God’s healing graces and mercy through participation in Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance.

vineyard

Genesis 40:9-11. Then the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. It had hardly budded when its blossoms came out, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes, pressed them out into his cup, and put it into Pharaoh’s hand.”

WINE (Women in the New Evangelization). In the scripture quote above, we see many facets of Christian discipleship. Each of these facets, on display at the W.I.N.E. Conference last weekend, are imperative for our spiritual well-being and quest for holiness. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, and as such, we must surrender to God, the ultimate grower and source of all that is good in our lives. It is through perfect trust in God, that we can produce a maximal harvest. Next, we are called to evangelize the good news of God’s boundless love and mercy to others. For now we are entering into the harvesting season. This means that all of our hard work, trials and tribulation, will help us prepare for the harvest. Then, the blossoms and clusters of ripe grapes will appear as a perfect offering to the Lord! AMEN.

To learn more about W.I.N.E. and how you can become a laborer in the Lord’s Vineyard, please visit http://womeninthenewevangelization or contact me directly https://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

Today’s 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.

 

Encountering God’s Boundless Love and Mercy!

wine

vineyard

I will not be posting my usual “virtual pilgrimage” blog this weekend because I will be participating in a “real-time” pilgrimage of faith entitled, W.I.N.E. (Women in the New Evangelization) Catholic Woman’s Conference on Saturday, October 15th from 8:00-3:30, at Rummel High School in Metairie, LA (1901 Severn Ave). There, I will join over 350 faith filled women from the Archdiocese of New Orleans (and from around the country) for an inspirational day filled with faith, fellowship and fun.

The event will focus on God’s boundless love and mercy, so I am sure it will be unforgettable. For all you ladies who live nearby, please consider joining us for a wonderful day celebrating God’s healing eyes of mercy, as walk-ins are welcomed ($65 paid at the door). Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. allowing time for registration, shopping, and coffee. Faith related activities will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m. with emcee Alyssa Bormes, (Catholic author and host of Catholic Kaleidoscope). Keynote speakers include Teresa Tomeo (author and host of The Catholic Connection radio show) Kelly Wahlquist (Catholic author and founder of WINE: Women In the New Evanelgization), Kitty Cleveland (National singer-songwriter and inspirational speaker); and Judy Klein (Catholic author and speaker). The day will include praise & worship music, shopping, opportunities to be prayed for, confession, adoration, tons of laughter, a fabulous lunch, CHOCOLATE, and the option to go to Mass at 4:00pm., celebrated by Archbishop Gregory Aymond.

Stay tuned for a brief summary of this amazing event in next week’s “virtual pilgrimage blog”.

Today’s 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.

To learn more about my new book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, please click on the link below.

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com