The Prayerbook made for you!

My new prayer book... 

My new prayer book… 

   Do you need someone to pray with you?  For you?  The prayerbook above is meant for you! 

    How did this happen?  (This is the hardest post I’ve composed over the last four years!)

    In 2014, after much introspection, I realized a need for more consistent personal prayer in my life.  Prayer with God needs to happen in good times, meditative times, times of discernment as well as times of need.  A year ago I failed in most of those areas by being hit or miss.  On cue, God sent my son to me with a book about St. Dominic and the rosary.  A year of growth started in earnest as I devoured the book.  As I wrapped up the first year of work, I noted progress in many areas and several continued shortfalls.

    Prayer from others literally kept me upright following our two 2014 miscarriages.  Since then I made it a point to let others in need know I will pray for them as well.  The opportunity to pray with others had two incredibly powerful moments this past year.  One with close friends as we prayed over their sick child in the ICU.  The other was with a co-worker recovering from a heart attack in a different ICU.  In the second case it was special as we prayed with his wife and another friend from work.  

    I know God was listening, and I am grateful he supported full recovery for both requests.  I don’t want to sound crazy, but God’s grace was so present in each moment I was shaking afterwards.  The realization God was amongst us in those moments, tending to his children, left me feeling rather meek.

     This year I wanted to be more consistent in fulfilling prayer requests as they came in.  So I picked up a spiritual diary to catalog the requests over the next year.

    I publicly announced this year’s prayer campaign on St Dominic’s feast day at John Paul’s baptism. Current requests recorded so far include needs of friends for their parents, the manager of a transmission repair center fighting liver and pancreatic cancer, young men discerning their future vocation, our school’s success at its mission, a friend’s child with the same risks my wife had in pregnancy, a young priest at his parish, a new widow and her family, and two co-workers with heart ailments to mention just a few.   I also have some for people who never asked, but just have an obvious need for someone to requests God’s intercession on their behalf.

    Each night I review the prayer requests, hold it close, and pray for those inside.

    Prayer is the only thing I can do for most people I know in need.  I have no worldly riches, and little spare time in my days to travel and be with the many I know in need. 

    So you can see, this prayerbook is for you.  Please help me direct my prayers to God to help you, and I what I pray will be our collective journey to sainthood in the Kingdom of God.

-ehw

P.S.  Reply to the post, shoot me an email or better yet give me a call!  I’ll add you to the prayer rolls!

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And the World Begins to Grow

    As with most newborn families, we continue spending time letting Momma recover and John Paul his rest.  We are now at the beginning of a period I look as magical.  It is the time a baby can see further than his fist, shapes take on meaning, and eye contact begets social reactions.

    In between common household chores with my four big kids, a quick reward trip for donuts at Mr. Dunkin’s, and making an indoor BBQ we got time with the new son as his world expanded once again.  This is the reward time for Dad’s and family members.  Facial gestures, words and coos get replies from this intelligent creature of God’s creation.  I also find this is when we start to get a fuller assessment of a child’s personality.

    So as we head off to church this is a typical slow, family oriented weekend in my home.  Yet it is one I am fully thanking God for, because this is what the rewards of putting family life first is all about.

-ehw

God’s Viewpoint:”My Way Not Yours”

The Crucifix in the St Michael the Archangel Chapel at Regina Caeli Academy

The Crucifix in the St Michael the Archangel Chapel at Regina Caeli Academy

    On Monday, Father Tran provided a wonderful homily at the Regina Caeli Academy’s opening day mass.  One very important thought Father wanted us to take home is a key step all of us need to take when building a relationship with Christ and the body of Christ.  It focused on reorienting our discussion reference points while talking with God.

    Most of us, myself as a sinner included, begin our discussions with God saying, “I am in need…I wish…I…..I….I…I”  Father challenged us to recognize this type of thought and language implies the little partner in the relationship, or the child, is telling God to look at the world through our eyes.  When you ponder the statement, you quickly realize the insanity of our normal position.  We mortals, of limited senses and knowledge, tell the almighty and all knowing to work towards our designs.

    After thinking through this situation for but a minute or two, most rational people will recognize we should really be walking a mile in God’s shoes before we talk to the Almighty.  Rather than asking the Lord to make straight the crooked path ahead to ease our burden, maybe we need to ask the Lord for strength to correct the mistakes we made while making the crooked path ahead the day before!

    When we shift the thought process from our perspective to God’s perspective, we can more readily accept the wisdom of God.  This will mean more time walking with him, and less time arguing with our own selfishness.  Just maybe that will lead us better on the path of salvation.  The very path he called us to from the moment he formed us in our mother’s womb..  

-ehw

 

 

    

Enjoying Moments…a Large Family Blessing

Oh a moment of sleep....a break for Mom

Oh a moment of sleep….a break for Mom

    The vast majority of people outside our little homeschooling community think we were nuts for rejoicing on the possibility of a fifth child in our family.  I could not disagree more with the majority.

    The Bible described children as a blessing, and large families were a reward from God.  Nowhere in the Bible does a large family equal a curse.  I would agree having a large family however can present a challenge from time to time!  So far nothing I’ve faced is insurmountable, just a great set of challenges.

    With the arrival of child number five, good young John Paul, I look forward to enjoying one more round of moments like this one above.  I have the seasoning of parenthood four times before to know snuggling with my baby on the couch, in between diaper changes, is one brief moment in time.  The only moment in which I get to love my son with these cuddles.  In a few years, he will be all boy and want to wrestle the old man into submission!  

     I received five wonderful sets of moments like this.  I am looking forward more good times ahead, with the full knowledge valleys of darkness will exist as well.  It is all part of the large family blessing I behold day in and out.

-ehw

P.S. Photo credit to my favorite assistant Carrie Wojtkun who caught me sleeping on the job!  I did all the post processing for her!