Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Lowcountry Summer

I love summer and all the gifts of nature--from land and sea and sky. The back porch affords a lot of entertainment. Across the marsh, there's a hollow and we've been watching a mama raccoon and her two babies. It's very hard to see the babies--they peek out and she pushes them back in. Dagny showed me a trick to get pictures through the binoculars. Fun to have her visit. I love having adult children and dream of our future.

I love that Dagny can appreciate her father's beer and he can appreciate the spirits she makes. She routinely asks about gardening. Love that we get to eat so much fresh produce. I'm constantly snacking on the cherry tomatoes. And if Michael picks just one ladyfinger, I can't help but eat it right away. They are delicious raw, cooked, pickled. Soon we'll have many ready for picking all at once. The eggplant is from my sister's seeds I brought home from Texas last summer. So fun. 

While Michael works hard, the cats and I enjoy a leisurely life reading, writing, housekeeping, and praying. I still have to pinch myself every time I walk over to St. Clare for Mass or Adoration--how beautiful it is to have this life here right now. My heart knew I was home when we moved here twelve years ago. Here is what the children remember best; here is where their home is. Dagny is rooted here, and I know Max will eventually work his way down here too. 

I don't usually have my phone with me on my daily walks to the church or library, so am writing this to remember: eating fresh figs, a baby alligator in the pond looking very cute with his smiley mouth and stripes, a mother deer bounding away, her two fawns right behind her, and getting caught in a pop-up storm. How refreshing! I'm actually writing this in my wet clothes because it's so cooling. Reminds me of the monsoons in India. I've been asked several times by my neighbors why I walk in this heat; it's hard for them to understand how much I enjoy it and with a bottle of water, I remain hydrated. Of course, I sweat rivers but if I only stays indoors, I'd miss so much beauty.

With regular choir practice on hold during the summer, we've been going to the beach in the evenings. We miss our practices so have choir come over for an evening for supper and to sing our favorites--non nobis Domine (an oldie) and O Holy Jesus (A Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester). How's your summer going? What treasures will you share?

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Sound of Freedom

I can't say enough good things about this movie: Sound of Freedom. It is so well-done. At first, I was nervous about watching a film about child-sex-trafficking because what if it were too graphic and I couldn't unsee those disturbing images, so Michael went to see it by himself while I was visiting my parents in Chicago. I love this about him--he does everything in his power to protect me. Yesterday evening we went together to watch it. What a story! I urge you all to go see it because it is such a powerful story of courage and sacrifice. When God calls you to do something, you have to do it. In the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary--Jesus presented at the Temple--we pray for the virtue of obedience no matter what the cost, but how many of us do? I am ashamed to say that deep down I'm a coward. Fear has always been my nemesis. It's something I strive to fight but it doesn't come easily. The only proper fear should be fear of the Lord.

The story focuses on two Honduran children--a little girl and her littler brother--who are offered a photo-shoot for modeling. It's just a ruse but the father brings them. He's told to pick them up at 7 pm. You just want to tell this father, "No, No, Don't. Leave. Them." You can imagine his horror at discovering that there are no more children when he comes to collect them. 

Enter Tim Ballard, who works for the Dept. of Homeland Security catching pedophiles but when a colleague asks him how many kids he has returned home, he finds a new direction. He's a father himself. Months away from being vested in his pension, with his wife's encouragement, he quits his job at DHS to save the children.

Of course, the movie is dramatic given that these children's lives are in peril and so also Tim's and his team's who are helping them become free. I really loved what Tim says to one of the guys he's trying to recruit. Forget about the 50. How about just one? It's what Mother Teresa often said--you don't have to save all the children. Just one child. And spoiler: I'm happy to tell you that they rescued over 50 children.

You can read more about the movie, what's real, what's made up here Sound of Freedom vs. the True Story of Tim Ballard ( and be assured that there will be no horrifying scenes of child-sex abuse. But you will see beautiful performances by all, the suspense palpable. You want so much for Tim to be able to pull this off; you know there are no second chances. It's a good study for writing about difficult subjects too.

I can't remember all the statistics, but child-sex-business is over a $150 billion dollar industry and we in these United States are the largest consumer. We have to end this demand that sexualizes children. Preserve and protect their innocence. That's what real men do--they protect the weaker members of society. 

The ending shot is the same as the opening--a little girl slapping a drum and singing, and although we are relieved she's at home again, we know she's not the same. Nor her little brother. Their innocence was stolen.

After I wrote this I came across a message from our Lord Jesus to a seer: Jennifer - The World Has Entered the Time of Warning – Countdown to the Kingdom

My child, I come to you now with great urgency, for the world has entered into the time of warning. I do not speak of the time of My visitation, rather this is a time of warning that will usher in the period when all of humanity will be brought to its knees to see their souls as I see them. My child, those who fail to recognize this time — when evil is seeking to elevate itself, yet is being simultaneously pierced by the light of truth—will find themselves like the foolish virgins. I tell My children with great urgency that it is time to repent. It is time to recognize the hour you are living in.

I am a God of repetition. Mankind must turn away from evil and defend the truth. Those who turn away in ignorance will be as those who failed to heed the warnings of Noah. I say to My people: defend and protect my little ones. As I have warned before, the blood of the innocent is upon the world because too many have failed to defend and protect them. Woe to those who seek to harm My children in their sinful lust. Woe to those who seek to manipulate My Creation, My plan. It is time, my children, to come to the fountain of My mercy. Those who fail to seek the ocean of My mercy will come to the harbor of My justice. Turn away turn away from darkness and seek the light, for I am Jesus and My mercy and justice will prevail.

We are told to not despise the words of prophets, but to test everything; hold fast to what is good... (1 Thess 5:20-21). Truly, now is the acceptable time. Repent and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:15).