Monday, 28 October 2019

It's early but get ready to: Put Christ back into your Christmas cards!

Hello dear friend,

Thank you so much for stopping by! It cannot have missed your attention that though Christmas is still a couple of months away we are already being bombarded by consumerist adverts. Get your sofa ordered, plan your meals, buy the children’s toys, and so on. Although I personally don’t like this extra-long build-up I only have one reason for today’s blog: I would like to encourage all Christians to send Christmas cards relevant to the birth of Jesus.

Many Christian friends and relatives have said they do not send religious cards as they can’t find any. So my early plea is coming to give you plenty of time to source them. The place I buy mine is at the church I go to. So do check yours out as the first port of call. After that, if you can’t find any in your local shops, there is a list of links below to make it easier for you to get your hands on something relevant to the religious celebration this year.

What it really takes though, I feel, is a decision to only send these relevant cards instead of usual robins and tinsel. Hands up – I used to send these too! Robins happen to be my favourite birds by the way, and I love a lot of tinsel decked around my home and Christmas tree. The decorations sit happily beside my nativity scene crib. But some years ago I made the decision to stick to the point of Christmas in my cards: a religious festival. And when I visit friends and relatives at Christmas and see that often the only religious card among the strings of cards on display in their homes is mine it makes me sad…

You know it would make you feel better to start the celebrations in the right way: commemorating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Come on, let’s put Christ back into Christmas!

Blessings
Teresa

Here is a selection of the links I found on Google for religious Christmas cards. I have not bought any from them so I have none to recommend personally. But I do read Our Daily Bread daily and can vouch that it is an inspiring read so I’ve put them at the top of the list.














Sunday, 6 October 2019

Fearful of the future? Try this for peace of mind!



200px-Faustina.jpg

#St. Faustina Kowalska
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faustina_Kowalska

Hello dear friend,
Thanks for stopping by!

The 5th October is the feastday of St Faustina Kowalska, a Polish Catholic nun and mystic who died on this day in 1938, aged 33, and was sainted in the year 2000. Her apparitions of Jesus have inspired great devotion in the Universal church to Christ's Divine Mercy. And the saint bears the title Secretary of Divine Mercy.

To find out more about this saint you can visit, for example, the website dedicated to her by clicking on this link. https://www.faustyna.pl/zmbm/en

I recently found a copy of her book among my late-father's belongings. Dad had a great love of Divine Mercy. Today I began to read Divine Mercy In My Soul, a diary by Sister M. Faustina Kowalski, published by Marian Helpers Press.

Following on from my last blog on poetry I wanted to share one of the saint's poems. I hope that, like me, you are impressed that a saint is but a human being who tries hard to rise above the trials of this life. It it also a good reminder to try to stay in Today instead of galloping headlong and fearful into the unknown tomorrow.

O My God
By St Faustina

When I look into the future, I am frightened,
But why plunge into the future?
Only the present moment is precious to me,
As the future may never enter my soul at all.

It is no longer in my power,
To change, correct or add to the past;
For neither sages nor prophets could do that.
And so, what the past has embraced I must trust to God.

O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire.
I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of your omnipotence.

And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child,
Offering You each day this heart
Burning with love for Your greater glory. []


Wishing you a blessed day!

Teresa
PS Don't forget to take a look at my other blog: 
https://creativelivingforthebestyou.blogspot.com/

Also, for further inspiration check out my website:  http://www.teresaodriscoll.co.uk  
where you can find out about my inspirational book 9 Days to Heaven, How to make everlasting meaning of your life - a practical guide to joyful living! 

See the book trailer by clicking on this link:  http://youtu.be/154luv8KMns

PPS Currently reading, as well as the above Diary (I always have more than one book on the go), #If I Stay, a compelling novel by Gayle Forman - Living is all about making choices. Dying is no different... Enjoy!





Thursday, 3 October 2019

National Poetry Day: Give Him a Chance!




Hello dear friend,
Thank you for stopping by!

Today is National Poetry day so I took a look through my small collection to pick one out to share with you.

Also, though, my lovely friend Jan sadly lost her mum this morning... Yes, it's another one of those 'I don't quite believe it' moments.

For this reason I chose the poem below. And for this reason too I chose the photo above of an angel on a chariot which I took when visiting Rome with Jan some years ago. It seems fitting.


13th February 19 Despair
By Teresa O'Driscoll

What do you do when you’re in despair?
I turn to God ‘cos I know He’s there.

But what about you?
Do you know Him too?
If the answer is No
He’s still the place to go.

You don’t need fancy words
He’s heard them all before.
What He wants from you is a chance.
With me? You might ask. Yes, you!

Just speak from your heart
And tell Him your all –
The pain, the doubt, the fear.
Be open and trust
after all He is Love

And give Him that chance
to let you know He’s near.

And you will find that’s all you’ll ever need.

God bless,
Teresa x





Thursday, 12 September 2019

Angels are real: I saw one!

Angels are all around us


Hello dear friend,
I hope you are having a good day. I hope I can make it better by telling you that angels definitely do exist. I have seen one! Also, it is my belief that one of my friends became an angel after her death.  I am sharing these things with you to give you hope and encouragement.

First let me tell you about the angel I saw. I was in noisy and crowded café having a meeting with my friend Erica from church about a new project we were thinking of doing together. As we swapped ideas the talk was lively and positive. Finally I said to her, “You know, I feel the Holy Spirit very strongly here with us. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we were surrounded by angels listening to our conversation!” With that I looked up and saw an angel. It was a quick glimpse, no more than a couple of seconds. 

I said to Erica, “I’ve just seen an angel! And it had its hand under its chin like this.” I demonstrated with my hand under my own chin in a listening pose. “It was confirming that it was listening!” My friend and I looked wide-eyed at each other. The angel – I couldn’t tell if it was male or female – was a pale golden colour and ethereal in appearance, it had short bubbly curls, and looked like a child. So I think what I saw was a cherub.  I think I had a peak at ‘the other side’ of life; which is also Life!

I said to Erica, “I think we can take it that we are supposed to be doing this project together.” And she agreed. We have had a few further meetings and it is coming together very nicely. I’ll let you have some details when the time is right.

To continue for now with angels I want to tell you that the above picture is a bookmark which my dear friend Thalia gave me. If you read my last blog headed “A challenge to spiritual growth!” you will have already heard that she has gone, this ten years since, to join the angels. Actually, I do mean that literally as, after her death, I had an experience which told me that she had become an angel. I questioned this as I thought angels were angels and people were people. But the explanation I was given was, “She willed it.” And when I mulled it over I believed it. I have never known anyone so focussed on angels as Thalia.

I will leave you with a photo of Angel Thalia and a poem I wrote shortly after her death.

Love and blessings

Teresa 

Thalia

Ode to Thalia
By Teresa O’Driscoll, 4th March 2009

Dead and buried.  Over.  Done.
89 years of living, learning, growing,
all locked up in a box.

Only half a story.
Eternal.  Spirit.
Everlasting Love -
Joining the angelic host
kneeling at the feet of
Our Father.
Gone on before me.
Living in my memory.
Living in Spirit and in Truth.

I believe therefore -
I am.
I believe therefore you are:
Alive and Vital;
renewed.







Wednesday, 4 September 2019

A challenge to spiritual growth!



Perhaps, like me, you love the month of September! In childhood it was the invigorating beginning of a new school year. Now, I consider it a great opportunity for a general fresh start to my life. And those of you who know me well know that I am a huge fan of those.


So when, clearing up some paperwork, I came across the small poster you see in the picture above, it hit the spot perfectly. It was given to me by my dear friend Thalia who went to join the angels ten years ago. It was a lovely example of what an inspirational person she was. I have typed the contents out so you can read them easily.

On the left is the sublime bible passage from Corinthians about love. While on the right is the poem The Invitation by Orah Mountain Dreamer.

Both, in different ways, throw down the gauntlet, as they challenge us to grow spiritually.

I hope you enjoy them and are prompted to join me in that fresh start.  

Love and blessings

Teresa

First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians

Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a limb or an organ of it. Within our community God has appointed in the first place apostles, in the second place prophets, thirdly teachers; then miracle–workers, then those who have gifts of healing, or the ability to help others or power to guide them, or the gift if tongues of various kinds. Are all apostles? All prophets? All teachers? Do all works miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues of ecstasy? Can all interpret them? The higher gifts are those you should prize.

But I can show you an even better way.

I may speak in tongues of men or of angels, but if I have no love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I may have the gift of prophesy and the knowledge of every hidden truth; I may have faith enough to move mountains; but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give all I possess to the needy, I may give my body to be burnt, but if I have no love, I gain nothing by it.

Love is patient and kind. Love envies no one, is never boastful, never conceited, never rude; love is never selfish, never quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs, takes no pleasure in the sins of others, but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance.

Love will never come to an end. Prophecies will cease; tongues of ecstasy will fall silent; knowledge will vanish. For our knowledge and our prophecy alike are partial, and the partial vanishes when wholeness comes. When I was a child I spoke like a child, thought like a child, reasoned like a child; but when I grew up I finished with childish things. At present we see only puzzling reflections in a mirror, but one day we shall see face to face. My knowledge now is partial; then it will be whole, like God’s knowledge of me. There are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of the three is love.
                                                                 Corinthians 12:27-13:13



The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for your adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon
I want to know if you have ever touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself
If you can beat the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it’s not pretty
every day,
and if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with Failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon
“YES”
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t matter to me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
                                    Orah Mountain Dreamer, May 1994  

Don't forget to take a look at my other blogs:  http://teresaodriscoll.blogspot.co.uk/
Also, for further inspiration check out my website:  http://www.teresaodriscoll.co.uk
PPS Don't forget to check out my book: 9 Days to Heaven, How to make everlasting meaning of your life - which is a practical guide to joyful living!   You can see the book trailer by clicking on this link:  http://youtu.be/154luv8KMns


Friday, 4 January 2019

Feed a poor child for that Happy New Year feeling!

 
Cité Soleil. Mary's Meals fed 6000 primary school children here before the earthquake, the rebuilding process is well under way.

Photo by Thomas Black57 - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11205076



Happy New Year dear friend. And thank you so much for dropping by.

Over the Christmas holiday I watched more television than I have in years!  This included watching adverts by a number of charities bringing the plight of those less fortunate to our attention. And though it did prompt me to donate, it also reminded me of the charity, #Mary's Meals,  a wonderful organization which you will never see advertising.. anywhere.  (I heard about it at church.)

Their slogan is: A simple solution to world hunger.

The reason for their seemingly low profile is the fact that they use 93 pence in each £1 donated to feed the children we donate for - please see my 2012 blog post Mary's Meals Deliver Food and Hope. The main work of Mary's Meals is to encourage children in poor countries to get an education. They do this by providing a meal for them each day they attend school.

Brilliant!

Effective!

When I went onto the Mary's Meals site I found something great going on: a campaign called "Double the Love" ! This means that if you donate now the UK government will match your donation.

It costs the organization £13.90 to feed a child at school for a whole year. The great thing is that by donating now they can feed TWO children instead. Wow! I highly recommend it.

For more information and to donate please click on the link below.

Mary's Meals

Love and blessings

Teresa x

PS I found the above photo on Wikipedia

Monday, 24 December 2018

A Christmas message from my late-mum Charlotte

Hello dear friend,
Despite being crazy busy today trying to fit everyone and everything in I came across something my mother had written down and wanted to share it with you. I know that she is quoting but don't know who.

A Christmas message from my mum Charlotte:

"Once for a shining hour
Heaven touched earth
Hope was born anew
And peace reigned in the world."

"May you have
The Gladness of Christmas
Which is Hope
The Spirit of Christmas
Which is Peace
The Heart of Christmas
Which is Love."

"Christmas is Love
Love is Friends
Friends are Forever.

To you and to those who share it with you: Merry Christmas."


I echo the lovely message my mother left behind.

May your Christmas be filled with the Joy which comes from loving and worshiping God.

Teresa x