Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Courtyard, A Place Where You are Always Welcome

Hello Out There! The month of March has been full of life for our family. The spring
40 Days for Life campaign has been going on, we have been blessed with the birth of
grandchild number nine and are expecting the birth of grandchild number 10 sometime
next week. The girls out number the boys 4 to 1! Yes, we are very blessed to be the
grandparents of ten (this includes our granddaughter that is due to make her appearance
next week) healthy, happy, full of life and energy grandchildren.
I spent Tuesday with my daughter, and her three daughters, including the little one who
is due next week. We were also accompanied by three more of my granddaughters, those
old enough to enjoy lunch and a movie. We took them to see Cinderella and it was a really
good movie. I'm so thankful that I was able to spend the day with so many of my girls!
My mom died of cancer when I was twelve, so I really treasure the relationship I have
with my daughter.  I love spending time with all of my grandchildren, but Tuesday was
"just for girls." Life is amazing, two new babies born within a couple of weeks of each
other. Two baby girls growing up together as cousins and friends.
Today is Day 32 of the 40 Days for Life Campaign. I wanted to share something that
I realized on Thursday.
Even though we are not in front of an abortion facility, people come through the gates of the courtyard for many reasons. Some come to talk. Some just need a listening ear, some tell us
that they pray as they pass the signs and banners. One young man came in through the gates
asking, "Is this where we pray about abortion?" It was a very cold morning and we invited
him to sit down by the heater and pray with us. He sat down and we gave him a blanket to
cover up with, and he prayed with us for a while, thanked us and as he started to leave I 
asked him if he knew about the sack lunch ministry. His name is Michael, and he replied that
no, he didn't. So as the other ladies continued to pray I walked with him to the back of the
kitchen and showed him where they handed out the lunches and told him the times. I reached
out my hand to shake his as I said goodbye, but instead of shaking my hand he hugged me,
and said, "God Bless You,"  and then he went on his way. We have given away several 
rosaries, and booklets on how to pray the rosary. Some people take brochures with them, and
many stay and visit a while after they have prayed. The fellowship we all share is wonderful. 
We've told people about the sack lunch ministry, RCIA, and Mass times at the Cathedral. It is amazing what happens when you are just there, out in the open, a smile on your face, saying
come on in, we are here for you.
 So as you go about your day, hold your head high, make eye contact with people, and smile.
A smile goes a long way. And if you are out and about in San Angelo, come join us in the
courtyard at Sacred Heart, a place where you are always welcome.
                                                            Bye for now,  Sharla

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Signs are Everywhere, Just Open Your Eyes, Listen to Your Heart!

Good Morning Out There! Today is Day 30 of the 40 Days for Life Campaign.
A quick post before I head to the courtyard. I have been blessed in so many ways
during the campaign. I will post a summary of the campaign at a later date, but
I wanted to share what happened last night.
I didn't get to the courtyard until 6:00 pm last night because I had to take my
granddaughters who live out of town to meet their other grandmother. The drive
is about two and a half hours one way. We had a busy morning, my daughter and
and her two girls stopped by with donuts so that "the cousins" could see each other
for a little while before we left. While they played, Jess and I, finished packing up
for the girls. They left and we loaded up and headed to see my daughter-in-law,
and the rest of the cousins, including our newest blessing, a baby girl born last
week. They live about 35 miles from us. We arrived there, they held the baby and
then dashed off to play with their older cousins. I held one of the younger grand-
daughters on my lap while my daughter-in-law fed the baby and we had a nice visit.
Her step-mother, a wonderful lady, was there also. I rounded up the kids gave them
all a kiss and my other two granddaughters and I headed off on our journey. We stopped
to pick up some lunch, sang silly songs, and talked about all kinds of things. We
arrived at our destination, unloaded their bags from my truck and loaded them up
in their other grandmother's vehicle, and then hugs, kisses and good-byes were said.
I had received a phone call while we were on the road, it was from a sweet lady who
also goes to Sacred Heart. She said that she had a gift for me, and that she and her
husband wanted to stop by the courtyard and give it to me. I explained about the
road trip and told her that I would be at the courtyard about 6:00 p.m. I prayed on the
way home from the trip. I prayed about 40 days for life, my role as the coordinator
in San Angelo, and asked what I needed to do to get more people involved. I told God
how I felt, how much the pro-life movement meant to me. I told Him how much I
wanted to get the message out, but sometimes I wondered if I was headed in the
right direction. I felt at peace after I prayed because I knew He would
lead me. I knew I just needed to listen, then I sang this refrain as I closed my prayer:
"Lead me Lord, lead me Lord, by the light of truth, to seek and to find the
narrow way. Be my way, be my truth, be my life my Lord, and lead me Lord,
lead me Lord, lead me Lord today."
I arrived at the courtyard at 6:00 p.m. and the couple from church pulled up at the same
time. We laughed when we got out of our vehicles at the good timing. She held a
beautiful bag covered with red roses and tissue paper in her hand. We walked over
to the picnic table in the courtyard and sat down. I told her how sweet it was of her
to bring me a gift. She wanted to explain why she bought the gift.  She told me that our
Blessed Mother wanted me to have this. I felt my chest get tight, and reached inside the
bag and pulled the box out carefully. When I opened it, tears welled in my eyes. There
was the most beautiful two-sided plaque, on the left side was a picture of Our Lady
of Guadalupe, the one picture that shows our Blessed Mother pregnant with our Lord.
The following prayer is on the right hand side of the plaque:
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Life, Cast your maternal gaze on your children,
born and unborn. We are in such need of your protection. The enemies of Life are
strong, but you are infinitely stronger, since God chose you to "crush the head of the
serpent," the devil. As we strive to overcome evil we remember your words of comfort
to St. Juan Diego, "Am I not here, who am your mother?! Therefore, we approach
you with great confidence.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Life, Pray for Us!
She then told me that they received all kinds of catalogs and she usually just threw them
away, but for some reason she kept this one. She looked through the catalog and saw the
picture of this plaque and thought, "Oh I bet Sharla would love this!" Then she thought,
she probably already has one. She didn't throw the catalog away, and she kept going back
to the picture, and she felt like she was suppose to buy it for me. I wish I could describe the
emotion that went through me, I thought about my prayer earlier, they had no idea what the
timing of this gift meant to me. I thanked them profusely, and about that time, two people,
a faithful mom and her teenage son, came to pray. I showed them the gift. We visited for a
little while longer and then they left. I sat down to pray. As I prayed, I watched my little
squirrel dash to and fro, and the birds fly in and out of the trees, the noise from the traffic
seemed to be at a distance as I prayed and thanked God for letting me know that I needed
to press on. I thought I was going to write a quick post, but God had other plans. I really
must get to the courtyard now. I pray that your day is full of blessings.
                                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Blessing #9, Camping out at Nana and Pa's Home, and Praying the Rosary

Good Morning Out There! Joyful news.........Grandchild #9 was born this past
weekend, a healthy baby girl! Her four siblings are camping out at Pa and Nana's
home (Jim and myself) for a couple of days! I haven't been able to get out to the
courtyard very much the last couple of days because I have been cooking for four
extra hungry mouths, washing dishes, washing hair, brushing hair, wiping mouths,
and changing diapers. I've also been washing lots of clothes!
But the best part is, I've also received lots of hugs, lots of kisses, heard lots of mealtime
and bedtime prayers, and heard the words, I love you Nana, so I feel very blessed!
I have to go fix breakfast, but first I want to share the Pro-Life Sorrowful Mysteries
with you. As Catholics, we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary on Tuesdays
and Fridays. We pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Mondays and Saturdays.
The Joyful Mysteries fit what is going on in my life right now. But I know that there
are women out there in a crisis pregnancy that are scared and don't have the emotional or
financial support they need. If you are Catholic, you might add these special intentions
when you pray the rosary today. Even though it's Tuesday, I think I will share the Joyful
Mysteries first:
First Joyful Mystery
The Annunciation
Luke 1:28
And when the angel had come to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women."

Mary is troubled by the angel's greeting, yet rejoices to do God's will. Let us pray
that those who are troubled by their pregnancy may have the grace to trust in God's

Second Joyful Mystery
The Visitation
Luke 1:41-42
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice: "Blest are you
among women and blest is the fruit of your womb."

John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother's womb. We pray that people may realize
that abortion is not about children who "might" come into the world, but is about
children who are already in the world, living and growing in the womb, and are
scheduled to be killed.

Third Joyful Mystery
The Birth Of Jesus
Luke 2:7
She gave birth to her first-born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid
Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the place where travelers

God Himself was born as a child. The greatness of a person does not depend on
size, for the newborn King is very small. Let us pray for an end to prejudice
against the tiny babies threatened by abortion.

Fourth Joyful Mystery
The Presentation
Luke 2:22-23
When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought
Him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord, for it is written in
 the law of the Lord, "Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord."

The Child is presented in the Temple because the Child belongs to God. Children
are not the property of their parents, nor of the government. They -and we- belong
to God Himself.

Fifth Joyful Mystery
Finding The Child Jesus in The Temple
Luke 2:46
On the third day they came upon Him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers,
 listening to them and asking them questions.

The boy Jesus was filled with wisdom, because He is God. Let us pray that all people 
may see the wisdom of His teachings about the dignity of life, and may understand
that this teaching is not an opinion, but the truth

Aren't the Joyful Mysteries beautiful? The Sorrowful Mysteries are next:

First Sorrowful Mystery
The Agony in the Garden
Luke 22:44-45
In His anguish He prayed with all the greater intensity, and His sweat became like
drops of blood falling to the ground. Then He rose from prayer and came to His
disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted with grief.

Let us pray for mothers and fathers who are in agony because they are tempted to
abort a child. May they be given the good news that there are alternatives, and may
they make use of the help that is available.

Second Sorrowful Mystery

The Scourging at the Pillar
John 19:1
Pilate's next move was to take Jesus and have Him scourged.

As Christ's flesh was torn by the instruments of those who scourged Him, so the
bodies of babies in the womb are torn by the instruments of the abortionists. Let us
pray that abortionists may repent of these acts of child-killing.

Third Sorrowful Mystery
The Crowning With Thorns
Matthew 27:28-29
They stripped off His clothes and wrapped Him in a scarlet military cloak. Weaving a
crown out of thorns they fixed it on His head, and stuck a reed in His right hand...

Jesus suffered the pain of thorns in His head, and did so silently. We pray for the
mothers and fathers of aborted children. So many of them suffer deep grief and
regret over a choice they can never reverse. So many suffer in silence, because
others tell them it's no big deal.

Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
The Carrying of the Cross
John 19:17
....carrying the cross by Himself, He went out to what is called the Place of the Skull
(in Hebrew, Golgotha).

Jesus was not condemned by the power of wicked people. He was condemned because
of the silence of good people. Silence always helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Let us pray that we may never be silent about abortion, but rather will clearly speak
up to save babies from death.

Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
The Crucifixion
Luke 23:46Jesus uttered a loud cry and said, "Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit."
After He said this, He expired.

As we ponder the death of Christ, let us remember the many women who have died
 from so-called "safe, legal" abortions. Let us ask forgiveness and mercy for them.
 May their memory save other women from making this tragic mistake.

Please pray for all women and young ladies, who are in a crisis pregnancy, please
pray that they will receive the encouragement, love, and guidance they need to choose
life for their unborn babies.

Please pray for families everywhere. I have to close now, I'm needed in the kitchen, it is
time to cook breakfast for my little chickadees!

                                                                  Bye for now,

                                    Jesus, protect and save the unborn.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This Blog is My Way of Speaking for Those Who Cannot Speak for Themselves

Good Morning out there! It is cold and icy outside! Please don't drive if you don't
have to. If you are scheduled to come and pray at the courtyard, please pray from
wherever you are! Be safe, God will hear our prayers!
I'm going to list some of the prayers we pray out at the courtyard.

                                            Prayer to End Abortion

                        Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
                       and for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
                   I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
                           yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
                                  by the Resurrection of Your Son.
                              I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
                                        Today I commit myself
                                         Never to be silent,
                                         Never to be passive,
                                   Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
                                       I commit myself to be active
                                         in the pro-life movement,
                                      and to never stop defending life
                             Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
                                   and our nation once again becomes
                                     A nation with liberty and justice
                                       not just for some, but for all.
                                   Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

We pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary on Thursdays. At the courtyard, if you
are Catholic, we pray the Pro-life Rosary because it has specific intentions for the unborn
following each mystery and the scripture.

I'm going to list the five Luminous Mysteries for the Pro-Life Rosary.

The First Luminous Mystery:
Baptism Of Jesus
And when Jesus was baptized,...the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of
God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him, and lo, a voice from heaven, saying
 "This is my beloved Son," with whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)
All are called to become adopted sons and daughters of God through baptism.
We pray that children in the womb may be protected, so that they may be born
and welcomed into the Christian community by baptism.

The Second Luminous Mystery:
Wedding At Cana
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."... Jesus said to them,
 "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. (John 2:5-7)
 Let us pray for strong marriages, rooted in the Lord, and open to the gift of new life.

The Third Luminous Mystery:
Proclaiming The Kingdom
"And preach as you go, saying "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Heal the sick, raise
the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay."
(Matthew 10:7-8)
Let us pray that these first words of Jesus' public ministry may be heard by all. May
they know that the Lord calls them to conversion, and may they experience life-giving repentance.

The Fourth Luminous Mystery:
And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance was altered and
His raiment became dazzling white. And a voice came out of the cloud saying,
"This is My Son, My chosen; listen to Him!" (Luke 9:29,35)
May the eyes of all people be transformed, that they may see each and every human
life  as a reflection of the glory of God Himself.

The Fifth Luminous Mystery:
Institution Of The Eucharist
And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them,
saying, "This is My body which is given for you.".......And likewise the cup after supper,
saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."
(Luke 22:19-20)
Let us pray that parents who sacrifice the babies for the sake of themselves may learn
instead to put themselves aside for the sake of their babies.

Praying the Rosary of the Unborn has been a life altering experience for me. I've always been
pro-life, but ever since I began praying the Rosary of the Unborn, my heart has been touched
in way that made me realize just saying I'm pro-life isn't enough.
The scripture from the Wedding at Cana, where Mother Mary says to the servants, "Do
whatever He tells you." I take that to heart, and I know in my heart that He is telling
me to speak up for the unborn.
The scripture from the Transfiguration, God says "This is My Son, My chosen; listen to Him!"
This blog is my way of speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

I pray that you all are warm and safe, please take a few minutes today to pray for the
unborn and their mothers and fathers.    Bye for now, Sharla

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Winter Weather Blessings from the Courtyard

Hello Out There! Today is Day 12 of the 40 Days for Life Campaign. We did
not pray at the courtyard on Day 10 and Day 11 because the roads were icy and
it was too dangerous to get out! I told everyone to stay safe and pray from
wherever they were at. Yesterday afternoon Jim and I drove to the courtyard and
checked out the ice situation. The concrete was iced over below the oak trees and
as you walk in through the gates. So we devised a plan of action for this morning.

Step one - Get out of bed at 5:15 am - Jim did, I didn't
Step two - Make the coffee because we didn't last night - Jim did, I didn't
Step three - Get dressed and ready to go - Jim was, I wasn't

At 5:45 or so I finally got up. Jim brought me some coffee to drink while I was
getting ready. He went and loaded up two push brooms, a regular broom, rock salt
and Epsom salt (because we didn't have enough rock salt) and started the truck and
turned on the heater so that it could warm up. He also warmed up some tortillas
and heated up some bacon I had fried up yesterday and made us a bacon tortilla wrap
for breakfast (yummy)! Yes, I know, I am very blessed to have such a wonderful
husband. I thank God for him all the time. We are a team, we work together.
After two cups of coffee I am ready to go! We load up and head to the courtyard.
It is dark and a light mist is falling, the trees are covered in ice and look so pretty
and shimmery (not sure if that is a word or not, but I like it)!
We get to the courtyard and carefully walk through the gate, I start sprinkling salt
and Jim starts pushing the broom. I go and get a big trash can out for the leaves and
a stand up dust pan. Another vehicle pulls up, and our friend Doug steps out. He is
there to pray, but he sets up the chairs and grabs a broom to help Jim first. It is cold
but the wind isn't blowing so it is not too bad. We set up the propane heaters and
light one. After the work is done, we sat down to pray. About 9:30 a.m. Muriel shows
up, she is dressed up ready to go to the 10:00 a.m. Mass but she sits down to pray
for a little while first. Right before 10:00 Muriel heads to Mass and at 10:00 Doug
heads home. I ask Jim if he would please go and get me some coffee from
McDonalds, and maybe some oatmeal too! I felt like I had burned off the bacon
tortilla wrap already. (Probably not, but I like to think so!) Jim took off and I was in
the courtyard by myself, and I just sat by the little heater and read from my daily
devotional book. I watched the ice fall from the trees as it began to melt, and I just
felt so at peace.
Jim got back and I went and sat in the truck with him while I ate my oatmeal and
he ate some kind of McMuffin thing. Then we went back into the courtyard and sat
down and started reading our devotional. Mass ended and Rickie and Irma
stopped by to say hello. Irma said that she and her mama would probably be back
to pray later on, Muriel showed up and told us to go home. She sent me a picture
about an hour ago of her legs wrapped in a blanket and red cotton gloves on her
feet propped up by the heater. The caption read something like, keeping my toes
toasty warm! She is so funny, and so devoted. She told me that Phyllis was there and
that she was leaving, and Matt will be there from 1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m.
Muriel is going to go back at 2:00 p.m. and stay until Jim and I go back at 3:00 p.m.
We go to the 6:00 p.m. Mass so someone will take out place while we are at Mass.
Praying hours in the courtyard are from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Tomorrow will be another day full of blessings, come and join us if you can, if not,
please pray from wherever you are! The babies, and their families need our prayers!
I'm going to close with the following scripture:
   We are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
            Isaiah 64:8
                                                           Bye for now, Sharla