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Novena For Barbara Therese

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To St. Peregrine.  Please read Barbara Therese's Prayer Request. B.T. We love you and are here for you.     http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/novena/peregrine.htm                

Thank you all so very much.  Your prayers are putting me rapidly back on my feet and about all that is happening is that I tire very quickly, but am up and about and pottering coupled with periods of

Thank you v-ery m-uch (dUSt behave yourself!) Anne Line, very much indeed.   Yeah Phatmass crashed on me a couple of times last night.  7.41am here in Sth Aust Fri 26th April 2013. An Act of Aba

Thank you for the prayers, which carried me through quite a bit of a shakeup.  Watching a movie on TV today "Cromwell" who before a battle prayers "Lord if I forget you, please do not forget me"

Anyway, operation completely successful and appendix removed at same time.  Came home after four days and promptly could hold nothing down and was re admitted. Came home yesterday and my son and his partner will be here for another week or so to get me back on my feet.  All is progressing as it should and I am asbolutely grateful and for the many prayers here on Phatmass and abroad that prayed when I could not..

The Doctrine of The Mystical Body is such a beautiful and consoling truth and wondrous gift once one strives to make that truth a living reality integral to ones life when the leaves of an incredibly beautiful flower beyond description slowly begin to unfurl.

Signing out now and probably wont be back until I am more mobile.  This sure has rocked me off my feet!  And again my gratitude and apologies for not yet reading any further posts and responding.



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Guest Allie

Oh Thank God. I'm happy to hear you are doing better.  Had a feeling that you might have been re-admitted.  Praying for you.  Please pray for me.  In two weeks I'll be at Bethlehem Monastery listening for His will..


love and prayers,



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Thank you all so very much.  Your prayers are putting me rapidly back on my feet and about all that is happening is that I tire very quickly, but am up and about and pottering coupled with periods of rest in bed in front of a magnificent flat screen TV (Derrick and Pauline bought me) about 5ft x 4ft in diameter with stereo sound and an almost 3D type of image.  It is just like sitting in a movie theatre especially if I close my bedroom door.


My son is doing some more jobs around the house for me and his partner, Pauline, is reading a book I have lent her about Reality Therapy and Choice Theory - and really getting in to it!  We are all broken people, weak fallible and restless in our pilgrimage here ("our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in Thee" St Augustine) and in the by far majority just really good people who now and then do stupid things.  There is such evil afoot in God's beautiful world and very thankfully very very few and by far in the minority evil people seemingly infected to the core by it.  "Choice Theory" (which flows from Reality Therapy) is an excellent self help book.http://www.amazon.com/Choice-Theory-Psychology-Personal-Freedom/dp/0060930144

All truth comes from The Lord, who is Truth.  My brother is a Reality Therapist tutor, personal friend of Dr William Glasser, and a counsellor (retired from the Education Department) in reality therapy.


Tuesday, Derrick and Pauline and I are visiting my beloved pal, best mate, mentor and sometime advisor and Carmelite prioress.  Tomorrow I feel up to making some chicken soup for us and can already put washing in the machine, which Pauline hangs for me.


It has proved quite a journey in which I had to admit to myself that despite sound and firm resolutions to be a good patient, that such virtue proved beyond me.  Now and then in breaks in things I found difficult to impossible to endure, I was able to unite myself to the Passion and Heart of Jesus and very reliant on the Mystical Body to make up for my many lackings.  The Mystical Body of Christ on earth, The Church, now to me are the saints in Heaven, the souls in Purgatory and The Church militant and The Church suffering on earth.  Though not in these words I often prayed: "Lord when I forget Thee, please do remember me".


Three images travelled with me in my journey.  An artist's image of Jesus with penetrating gentle, kind yet firm and direct gaze looking direct, it feels to me, into my soul and with a very slight smile of affection and love.  A statue of St Joseph the Worker and one of Our Lady of Medjagorjie (both 30cm), which though not an approved apparition is one of the most beautiful images of Our Lady I have ever seen.  Pauline tells me too that she has a beautiful crucifix about 3ft x 18 inches to give to me.  I already have a beautiful crucifix probably about 35cm central in my prayer space.  Derrick will buy and install two small shelves either side of my central crucifix for the statues of St Joseph and Our Lady.  The image of Jesus usually sits on my kitchen cabinet below another crucifix I have long had.


A prayer of thanksgiving with me from my Phatmassers in the Mystical Body and further afield would be much appreciated.


I am rapidly coming back to normal.  Deo Gratius!  On the feeling level I feel as if I have been 'somewhere' (or other) though I don't know where and have returned with a new image and value about what my life and "Bethany" is about and on many levels. A newer and renewed 'vision' as it were.
My Carmelite prioress and I discussed this today on the phone.  I will be getting a Jesuit priest director (I am now located close to a Jesuit Centre).  My Carmelite Prioress joked, if you start to wander a Jesuit wont let you get 2ft away before hauling you right back!!! :)  I have found a wonderful Confessor in our new parish priest.  Father will bless "Bethany" once I am truly back on my feet.


Received a beautiful Get Well card from St Vinnies signed by our ground floor staff with some lovely messages by each.  Our Office Manager encouraged me to get well very quickly and be back on deck very soon and absolutely welcomed back at St Vinnies.


When I first shifted here my whole way of life in "Bethany" over 30 years completely collapsed.  I invested in that Divine Providence, my constant guide, knew what He was about and now before me that darkness has lifted and alight shining on the road ahead.  As Thomas Merton once wrote in Contemplation in a World of Action and paraphrased - sit in your cell and your cell will tell you what to do!



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Mary's Margaret

BarbaraTherese, your post makes my heart smile.  I am so very thankful that you're recovering well and 'returning' with such beautiful spiritual gifts.  I rejoice with you in the loving care you're receiving from Derrick and Pauline - such beautiful souls they must be.  I will take the three of  you to Mass this morning.    Oh, and if the artist's image of Jesus is the one by Fern Beckham, I have the same and love to rest in His gaze...it carries such peace and love.  

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Thank you, Mary's Margaret!  I did look up your image by Fern Beckham and while a beautiful image, was not the one I had copied off the internet.  The link to my image is here:





After prayer, I decided not to contact the Jesuit priest first, rather to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate not far from me and their prior and novice master has agreed to direct me and was over the moon absolutely about the donation each visit I would like to offer.  The Jesuits near me have a standard charge $25 more expensive - with of course allowances for those who can not afford it.


Thank you, MM - Derrick and Pauline are indeed two special type of persons and I am absolutely one eyed on the score.  In both their lives, suffering has eked out a space that has been filled with compassion and concern for those who struggle in any way whatsoever.  Derrick is a journalistic photographer for one of the largest, if not the largest, circulation newspapers in Australia. My foster son Marc (and my true son) has exactly the same disposition for the very same reason. Marc cares for the elderly full time in a home for the aged and does so with much love, care and concern for their health and dignity, general well being.  I don't know Marc's partner very well just yet - but both my son's partners are Catholics whose Faith is important to them, if not the rituals and regulations within our Faith and this is very sad but very often where divorced Catholics find themselves feeling as if they are always on the fringe as outsiders looking in only.  But time can bring about many changes indeed - time, Faith and trust on an absolute unflinching level.  Not only this, we cannot limit the Love and Mercy, concern and many Graces of The Lord granted free of all rules and regulations and no matter source nor reason of those rules and regulations - under which faithful Catholics labour daily.  While a labour and work of love.


My book arrived today "An Invitation to Contemplative Living" (based on the many writings of Thomas Merton).  Prior to surgery I bought the basic colours in very good acrylic paint and I have been working for some time on my conception of an image of Our Lady although still not happy with my sketch.  So I have plenty to keep me out of mischief.  Tomorrow night my family and friends, neighbours, will be here for drinks and nibbles to thank them for all they have done for me.  Tonight I am working on what we need to buy and do before tomorrow night.  During the afternoon I am having my eyebrows shaped (first time ever!) and my hair washed and blow dried.

I take two things very seriously indeed in my life.  These are my dual vocations firstly to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience and secondly to the fact that God has called me to motherhood and confirmed this vocation through the birth of my son.  Hence, I try very hard if in public with my sons to be someone they can be proud of in hope in every way including physically.  For many years my dual vocations presented me with many problems and conflicts because I thought I could only have one vocation until the day star broke confirming that indeed I do only have one vocation and that is to holiness, and by whichever road I choose, or along whichever road The Lord may invite.  Whichever one chooses and responds to.


God bless and thanks MM and to any readers as well, those who have whispered a prayer for me.  From here on in, my journey in every hope is one of recovery and back to the rhythm of "Bethany" and life in general to the full.  Deo Gratius Alleluia Amen!

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Thank you so much, Allie!  Your faithfulness and 'sticking to Barb's cause and need' has really moved me and a truly wonderful witness to the Faithfulness and Absolute Sticking to all and sundry even the most least of Jesus and His Sacred Heart.


I am progressing rather rapidly along the road of healing - although determined to take things very easy and not go backwards on this current journey pre and post hysterectomy.  So I am really giving myself lots of TLC and this, indeed, is quality fuel for the healing process.  Once one can give oneself some TLC if needed and at times in the journey of life, it is necessary to do so.  Prudence and wisdom (2 Gifts of The Holy Spirit at Confirmation) will inform when and how our very first and immediate neighbour (our own selfhood) is in need of TLC.  How can one know that Prudence and Wisdom in The Holy Spirit is indeed our guide.  Well I simply take it for granted that it is with absolute trust and confidence that if I am wrong, Jesus will not see me wrong for too long nor too far from Him.  Absolute and blind trust and confidence in Jesus and His Sacred Heart will never ever lead one astray.  NEVER! EVER! EVER! EVER! NEVER!


But once we can learn to be forgiving of our own poor humanity and one's own many faults and failings, foibles, we then have learnt an important lesson in the forgiving of others - equally human, faulted and weak, rising and falling.  And this falling and rising in our lives and in the lives of those around us is a very real two feet on ground witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus and very often very evident to all and sundry and a 'preaching of The Gospel without words'.

I reflected the other day too that without the poorest of the poor of the faulted, weak and limping along the road to holiness, Jesus could not reveal just how overwhelmingly abundant His Mercy actually is.  And only the greatest of sinners seeking his ever ready Love and Mercy, Forgiveness, can fully reveal to all and sundry just how extensive these qualities are.  The greater the sinner, the greater extent to which His Love and stunning Mercy is revealed.


Derrick and Pauline leave early this morning around 7am (4.50am just now) for their home state, have another week off work to relax and unwind after the whirlwind I can be - and then they are both back to work and their normal way of life.  Both have done so much for me!  Derrick working on the exterior of "Bethany" and Pauline on the interior.  They have literally worked daily while here 'like a couple of donkeys and worked their b**t off" as the sayings go.  I really am going to miss them and the total joy that they both are to my heart - but then I am so very much looking forward to the absolute Silence of Aloneness with the Alone once more.  I am the first up this morning and went out under the pergola, putting lights out to just sit quietly and embrace and glimpse and know that The Alone waits and embracing me.  I also had coffee and a smoke under the pergola as I felt The Alone embracing me.  I am one of those bods that when my sons call in at any time can have a smoke or two or three or nine and then when they are gone forget smoking altogether other than in brief patches with long spans in between.  But I know if I ever bought a packet of cigarettes, I would soon be smoking 40 or so daily again.  So I am a total smoker of OP's (other people's) :hehe2:


Tuesday we suddenly decided to have a drinks and nibbles night and invited my family, neighbours and some friends to drop in on that night.  Of the 18 or so I invited we had around 13 come knocking, which is a really good response at only some hours notice.  But the night was a wonderful success with lots of laughter and conversation.  At one point, Pauline and I were out under the pergola having a smoke and coffee and I said to her "Just listen" and we could here the laughter and happy conversation drifting outside.  About 7 or so people were meeting for the first time and sometimes this can make things a bit awkward - but no!  Our "Thank you" night was a great success.  I decided to do a drinks and nibbles just to say "Thank You" to the many around me who have helped me in support, care and concern.  Love.  I am a great believer that we should celebrate in supernatural ways and also in very human ways in order to thank He who became fully human for our sake.  Visited my Carmelite Prioress earlier in the week with Derrick and Pauline and a younger Sister remarked - every time you open a Gospel more or less, Jesus is out somewhere partying, celebrating in some way.  And I silently reasoned "and not kneeling in the temple either - but out with the people, publicans and sinners, having a meal or celebrating quite humanly in some way".  "Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the sons and daughters of men.  Now therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways.  Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me, shall find life" (Proverbs Ch8)



Derrick and Pauline came with me to visit Sr. A, OCD.  So Sister met them for the first time.  This afternoon was a great success with much happy chatter and some more serious reflections too.  I don't think there was 2 seconds of silence all afternoon - and that only to take a breath and sip coffee or tea.


I am so looking forward to my life going back to normal - but plan to not undo in any way all the good that has been done to date - the gratuitious gift of successful surgery and healing process. I have almost felt the prayers and hopes of others carrying me along this journey - and once again, in a rather special way, you, Allie...........thank you! :winner:




Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Above are the Crucifix in my prayer space with my favourite artist's renditions of Our Lady (of Medjugorie) and St Joseph (The Worker).  Although Medjugorie is not an approved apparition, the above rendition is my very favourite rendition of Our Lady.  She rests on a cloud and her veil billows behind her as if hurrying to earth. Her face in inclined towards the earth and her right hand depicts great humility while her left arm is inclined towards the earth also, hand slightly cupped as if hurrying to embrace.  I bought the above statues and crucifix from ARK RELIGIOUS SUPPLIES and they were not costly.  Because I was buying on the internet and the advertised images not big enough to clearly discern the facial features, I was a bit concerned.  But when they arrived, their facial expressions are truly beautiful and appropriate to me.  I like the rather concerned features of St Joseph as just now especially the Church is in a time of crisis and transition and St. Joseph as patron of The Church is so very rightly concerned about our journey and passage at this time.


For our drinks and nibbles night, I put them out under the pergola on an outdoor table with all my farm animal statues surrounding them.  Now I have a rather large cute and very lovable worm which rises probably to just above the cloud at Our Lady's feet.  Joe, my worm, has huge bulging eyes and so initially I put him facing away from Our Lady and St Joseph, but then something struck me when I put Joe facing them as one eye looked at Our Lady and another at St Joseph.  And I loved the image!

To further my little story, when I read St Teresa of Avila calling herself nothing but a worm, I thought to myself "What on earth have worms done to you, Teresa, for you to consider them a derogatory term!"

Now and then I like to just open my Bible and read until something strikes me - and one day I read the second of the following quotes.  So I entered "worm" into search of the Old Testament on the Douay Rheims translation of Scripture, and found a few more references to

"worm" :




Job 25:6
How much less man that is rottenness and the son of man who is a worm?


Psalms 21:7
But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.




Isaias (Isaiah) 41:14
Fear not, thou worm of Jacob, you that are dead of Israel: I have helped thee, saith the Lord: and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel.




So I think St Teresa of Avila probably got the derogatory noun "worm" from Scripture!


Any my worm, Joe, with one eye looking at Our Lady and the other eye looking at St Joseph struck me as entirely appropriate.  Especially since Joe's huge bulging eyes have an element of wonder and surprise about them


Just a bit of trivia and useless information for yer!  I am full of it! :disguise:


Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Another wee reflection!  I have been intrigued that no matter where I position myself, the eyes of St Joseph will not look directly at me - and believe you me, I have tried every position to get him to look at me with no success.  Just been out under the pergola reflecting (with coffee and smoke) what St Joseph might be saying.  It struck me that he is looking at something he can see but only he (because Our Lady is looking directly at Joe, my garden worm, at her feet) - and St Joseph has a concerned expression and his gaze is quite intent at something beyond.  Then it hit me, St Joseph is Patron of The Church and today at a time of crisis and transition, and he is looking at satan as if to say "You watch it, mate, because I am on your case and every day and all and every night protecting The Church.  So you just v e r y carefully watch it - I'm watching you at every single little step!" :wedgie:


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