The Buzz at Liguori

Call me Mother Bee, a combination of monikers bestowed on me by my coworkers. I’m called the Mother of Liguori Publications because my door is always open and everyone knows they can come to me for help, information, and a listening ear. P. Del Ricci and Dave, the “Saintly Sinner,” are very good friends. But my friendship with Brother Secundo Pia Columbanus D’Silva goes back many, many years. Although he now lives in Wisconsin, his words of wisdom remain ever present with me.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mary, My Son, and Faith

Faith doesn’t have to be this abstract thing. It can be very real. During this season of Lent, I have reflected on how Mary must have felt as her son was taken into custody, ridiculed, tortured, and ultimately put to death. I tried to put myself in her place and imagine how I would feel if that was my son. I would have been tremendously proud of him and treasured his wisdom and the impact he had on the people. But as I reflected more on Mary and Jesus, I immediately experienced a feeling of terrible fear, wanting to protect my son and knowing I couldn’t. A mother’s instinct is to do everything in her power to make sure nothing bad happens to her children. I cannot comprehend losing my son, and to watch it happen. I felt Mary’s pain and experienced terrible, terrible grief. For me, the Passion Story will never be the same. Before, I believed just words. But now, it has taken on a different perspective as I feel and experience my faith.

"Mary was obliged to stand at the deathbed of her son but could offer him no relief. She longed to clasp him in her arms to comfort him and to let him die there, but she could do nothing. Her sorrows were increased when she heard him complain that even his Father had abandoned him. She longed to help him, but could not" (adapted from The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori).

My good friend Brother Secundo also experiences the Passion in a personal way. He wrote a series of reflections on Lent and the Passion and offered a wonderful explanation of how we can all make this season more meaningful in our lives.

Mother Bee

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Power of Prayer

I received an e-mail asking for prayers for a dear friend’s ten-month-old daughter who was to undergo open-heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart. I sent a request for prayers to a vast number of people via e-mail, and, in turn, they sent prayer requests to their families and friends throughout the country. Her name was added to prayer chains at numerous churches of different denominations. The prayers offered for this little girl were endless. The power of prayer is phenomenal! Her parents knew that God would take care of their precious baby girl. They shared that they felt so humbled as they remembered that God can do anything! He did, as he always does. Her surgery was successful and the prognosis for a complete recovery is excellent.

Mother Bee

Trivia and Tragedy

The other evening, some friends and I participated in a Trivia Night that was sponsored by our local Optimists Club. Over two hundred people attended, which made for a really fun time. Getting reacquainted with people I hadn’t seen in twenty-five years was icing on the cake for the night. Our team didn’t win any big prizes, but we really enjoyed one another’s company.

A group of friends from Liguori got together recently to play ten-point pitch. I could play for hours. It is such fun. We decided that the next time we get together, we’ll play 98, LCR (White-Elephant prizes) , Golf, Spoons, Taboo, and Trivial Pursuit—somewhat of a change of pace, but still lots of fun. And we are all sharing quality time.

I took my mom to see all the tornado damage near my home. The destruction was incomprehensible! We prayed for those affected by all the devastation and also said prayers of thanksgiving that our family had been spared.

Mother Bee

Friday, March 10, 2006

Daily Reflections

"Jesus said, ‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven...’" (Matthew 6:9-15).

This Lent, let us pray this beautiful prayer each day.

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"Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you" (Matthew 7:7).

This Lent, let us speak to God as we do to our dearest and most loving friend. He will listen and his love will do more for us than we can ask or imagine.

Mother Bee

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Daily Reflections

"Through all your days, keep the Lord in mind and suppress every desire to sin or to break his commandments. Perform good works all the days of your life, and do not tread the paths of wrongdoing" (Tobit 4:5).

This Lent, let’s go to the desert of our hearts and find ways to change our lives and become more pleasing to God. God refuses no good to those who ask in faith. Let’s ask God to be with us as we prepare for Easter.

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"Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

This Lent, let us be kind, and thoughtful, and considerate of everyone. We are all God’s children whom he loves very much. When we act in this manner to others, we are showing our love for God.

Mother Bee

Lent at Liguori

I celebrated the Stations of the Cross and Benediction at my parish church the other evening. I arrived early and read The Stations of the Cross with Pope John Paul II by Father Joseph M. Champlin. The prayers and reflections in this booklet were so meaningful, as were the haunting illustrations. I was touched in a special way. Then when our pastor led us in prayer, I was reaffirmed of my faith.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I volunteered to shepherd the Lenten activities for our employees at Liguori. Each day of Lent, we are invited to select a number from a container and find the corresponding activity from a list posted on our Mission board. This is our focus for the day. Listed activities include — •compliment someone today, •don’t complain about anything today, not even one tiny thing, •do something for someone today, but don’t let them know you did it, •when you feel terrific, notify your face—smile today, •just for today, don’t worry about anything, •forgive someone today.

In addition to these positive actions which will contribute to a rewarding Lent for all, free publications are available for everyone’s reading pleasure. Everyone has offered very appreciative comments about our Lenten program.

Each day, I send (via e-mail) a passage from Scripture with a short reflection to all our employees. I also post these on our Mission board. Quite a number of people have passed these on to friends and family which is a wonderful way to spread God's word.


Mother Bee

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sad News


Hello,

I just learned that a dear friend has breast cancer. I met her a few years back when she worked at Liguori. A blessing to all of us, she was personable, intelligent, very efficient, always willing to go the extra mile to help others, thoughtful, and caring. Everyone found her a joy to work with. Just as we welcomed her with open arms, several years later we bid farewell with a mixture of sadness as well as happiness for her new job opportunity. Now, this! I immediately knew the one thing I could do for her and her family was pray.

My mom and I share weekly prayer time at the perpetual adoration chapel in our parish, and we are including my friend in our prayers. We’re both reading Risking Hope: Fragile Faith in the Healing Process by Kathleen O’Connell Chesto so we can better understand our feelings and Come, Healing God by Joan Guntzelman and Lou Guntzelman to find meaningful prayers to remind us that God is near and hears our pleas. We’ll continue praying our rosaries each day and know that reading these books will help us, as friends, remain close. (As a note, I have had many conversations with my friend, Kathy Chesto. She is such an inspiration. We also share grandchildren stories.)

I actively participated in our area’s first “Relay for Life” a number of years ago and have always supported the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. My family and many friends have been affected by cancer. So, I will continue to be an advocate of this worthwhile crusade.

Mother Bee

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Planning for Lent

Hello:

I’ve volunteered to shepherd the Lenten activities for our employees at Liguori. The past several years I’ve held a conviction that doing something positive in my life—changing a bad habit, developing new practices instead of "giving up" something just during Lent—is best for me. I’m sharing that philosophy with everyone via our Lenten focus. I will also display special prayers, quotes, and words of wisdom throughout the season.

This prayer, written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, has always been a favorite of mine.

Acquire the habit of speaking to God
as if you were alone with God.
Speak with familiarity and confidence
as to your dearest and most loving friend.
Speak of your life, your plans, your troubles,
your joys, your fears.
In return, God will speak to you—
not that you will hear audible words in your ears,
but words that you will clearly understand in your heart.
These may be feelings of peace, hope,
interior joy, or sorrow for sin...
gentle knockings at the door of your heart.
Mother Bee

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Birthday Presents and Grandchildren


Hello:

Both my son and son-in-law celebrated their birthdays this past month. I gave each a copy of And God Said, "Play Ball!" (published by Liguori Publications). They are both active in their respective churches and are also great baseball fans. So, what better gift! Even my eighty-eight-year-old mother enjoyed this book and bought it for a friend.

I spent a few days visiting out west with my son, his wife, and their three boys. My grandsons, 6, 3½, and sixteen months, are such delights in my life. I read the same books to them over and over and over ("again, grandma"). We played games, went to my oldest grandson’s basketball game (youth league), saw The Chronicles of Narnia, watched Shark Tale, visited an indoor amusement park, the Childrens’ Museum, and the Butterfly Pavillion. The kids thought it was super that grandma was so brave and held "Rosie," the tarantula. Of course, we all went to church on Sunday where I attended my son's Sunday School class. I miss them already, so I’ll have save up so I can fly out again soon.

Soon after my return, I made a road trip to visit my other three sweeties. My grandson is four and the twins—a grandson and granddaughter—are almost two. We sang songs and I read books to them and we played with all their toys. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Now I'm refreshed and can get on with life.

Mother Bee