Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm Back

Hello everyone,

I am so sorry that I have not posted anything in a long time but I have been rather sick for awhile, and am just now getting things back to normal. As many of you know I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and I have been having allot of problems with that. The medication that I am on suppresses my immune system and therefore leaves me open to catch everything coming and going. I developed MRSA back at the end of winter and ended up being in the hospital for a month and had 9 operations, I truly believe that I was close to death when I made it to the er, the dr said that I was in septic shock and so I was on very powerful antibiotics for awhile and because I was on them it affected my kidneys and so they had to deal with that. But thank you Lord I am now well and back home and finally getting back into my normal routine.

I have leaned allot on our Holy Mother during this difficult time in my life and I know that during my darkest hours she was there with me and I am so grateful to have her in my life. She truly is an amazing Lady. And I thank Her Son our Lord Jesus Christ for His healing hand because I know had it not been for Him I would not be here today. I to also prayed allot for the intercession of Blessed Mother Teresa during my sickest times, and I truly believe that she interceded for me and for that I am so grateful, she truly deserves the title that she was finally given as a Saint. Well I guess I had better get off here and get my kitchen cleaned up, I just wanted to let you all know that I am back and will start posting articles again very soon. Have a blessed evening.

Through Mary To Jesus,
Annie Chester

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Do You Celebrate Christ

I know that as Catholics sometimes we can get caught up in rituals of the Mass, especially if  you are one that attends daily Mass.  Yes it is beautiful, and meaningful but for those of you  that are cradle Catholics and have witnessed the same event every Sunday or daily, you can  have a tendency to loose the spark of what it all means.  I often tell cradle Catholics that I  consider myself lucky in the since that coming into the church as an adult I have a better  understanding of what it all means, I can appreciate it more than say those who have been a  Catholic their whole lives because see as a cradle Catholic, the Catholic Church is all you  know, when you come into the Catholic church after having been affiliated with different  denominations you can see what you have been missing, and I feel that for allot of us converts  to the Church it helps us to have a deeper passion for the Mass.

Now I am not saying that converts are better than cradle's what I am saying is if you have  gotten to the point in your life that the Mass is more of a routine than you need to spice up  your Church life. I often times will tell people that I consider myself an evangelical  Catholic, and I am sure that you are giving the screen the same confused look that people often  give me when they hear me say that.  See I grew up in a Baptist church, and so it was not  uncommon for someone to be "filled with the Holy Spirit" and shout or raise their hands when  they felt overwhelmed with love for God.  Now I am sure that if I was to do that during a Mass,  I would probably get some very strange looks.  But see there are times during the Mass that I  do get that overwhelming love for God, especially when I partake of the Eucharist, and there  are times that I have to bite my tongue to keep from expressing the over abundance of love that  I am feeling.

One thing that I have done that has helped me to keep that fire for Christ burning ever so  bright is spending time in worship here at home.  I know that this sounds silly but some of my  most Spirit filled moments happen when I am cleaning my house.  I turn on some praise and  worship music full blast, and I sing along as I am cleaning, there have been many times that a  song will strike a cord and I stop whatever I am doing and lift my hands up in the air and  spend time just praising the Lord.  I can be so deeply ingrained in praying my Rosary, focusing  on the different mysteries, and I have caught myself stopping, lifting my hands and praising  God.  Or if I watch a movie on TV, I have caught myself tears streaming down my face, praising  God, this happened to me just last night.  I was watching the movie Facing The Giants, I could  not hold back the tears, not because the movie was sad, but because it was so profoundly  moving. Things like the examples I have given are all ways that I celebrate God.

God is not only just present in the Mass, He is present all around us, each and everyday, no  matter where we may be, if we look for Him we can find Him.  So how do you celebrate Christ?   Just during the Mass?  Or do you seek a relationship with Him at all times?  Where does God  stand in your life?  Think about these questions, be honest with yourself, and if you find that  you are not celebrating Christ each and everyday, then you need to spend some time in prayer,  and ask God to become the center of your life again, not just during the Mass but each and  everyday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Righting A Wrong Way Of Thinking

As any of you that have watched the news in the past couple of weeks knows the area in West
Virginia that I live in was hit by a total of around two feet of snow within a two week period.
This caused all of the roads to be bad, and when the snow started to melt it caused a huge
flood in our area.  Many people lost their homes, and everything that they owned it truly was a
State of Emergency like the governor declared.  I am grateful that our home was spared, and
that the only things that were a true threat to us were the slick roads.

In the process of the river rising because of all the water it effected our city water plant
and caused it to have to shut down, which left us with no water.  As I write this we are still
without water for 5 days now.  Remember now our home was spared from the flood, our electric
managed to stay on throughout the storms, so we had a dry safe, warm home and for that I am
truly grateful.  But not having water for the past five days for some reason has bothered me
more than it should, and I am ashamed to have to admit that the way that I have reacted to it,
is in a way shameful.

There are so many people that have lost so much, everything that they have worked for, gone in
a matter of hours.  And here I am complaining just because I don't have any water, how
embarrassed I truly am.  So why are you writing about this on a Catholic site you might ask?

Well I know as Christians we are suppose to have it ingrained in our minds and hearts that God
is there and He will take care of us, but we also are human and imperfect people and we have
thoughts, and concerns just like everyone else, and yes even Christians at time can have their
periods of doubt, especially in times of great stress.  It is hard during times of heartache to
see God's hand in something, but no matter how bad things look at the moment, you don't have to
worry because God is always there.  And as an imperfect human I have allowed this minor problem
that I am having with no water fester and become a lot more that it really is, and in essence I
feel like I have failed a test that I have been given.

You have heard the saying that hind sight is 20/20, and that is true, as I write this and look
back at my reactions to the struggles that have been placed in front of me, I can see where I
have went wrong, and now I am taking the steps to make them right.  Instead of getting on my
Facebook and complaining to people who have no control over this situation I should be on my
knees asking God to give me the grace to handle this situation in a way that will bring glory
to Him.

In conclusion as I finish writing this article, it is now day 6 with no water, but see I am OK with that now.  Because after giving all of my stresses to God and allowing Him to take control over the situation things are starting to work out.  I was able to go to my daughters house last night and take a long, hot, relaxing bath (with hot water), my dear husband came home from work with a 5 gallon drum of water, and with 6 gallon judges of water, so now after I finish this article I can go in and wash my dishes, and get my kitchen straightened back up, and actually cook a meal for my family this evening instead of us having to eat out yet again, and I spoke with the water department and they are pretty sure that they will have the water back on within a couple of days.  By giving God the control in my life, instead of me trying to control what I can't, not only were my prayers answered, but God is where He is suppose to be in my life, the driver's seat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Thoughts On Our Lady Of Fatima

A friend of mine recently ask me what my thoughts on Our Lady Of Fatima were, and it got me to
thinking a lot on the subject.  I remember when I was first learning about the Catholic Church
and hearing all of the wonderful things that people had witnessed in the Church I heard about
Our Lady of Fatima.  When I first heard about Fatima I remember I was instantly amazed at what
the children had witnessed there, and I remember that I believed it right off, I had no doubts
in my mind that it truly did happen and I found the account amazing.

As I read about the three children I was almost jealous in a way that it had happened to them,
and not to me.  Could you imagine seeing Our Lady, listening to Her speak?  Oh how wonderfully
blessed those kids were, I don't really think they understood at the time what a profound
impact that this would have in so many millions of peoples lives.  It never fails to amaze me
the many different ways that God makes His presence known, and the fact that He uses Our Lady
shows how much love He has for His Mother, and it is that love that He has for His Mother, that
makes me love Her so very much.

She is my Spiritual Mother and I have often talked to Her just like I did when my mother was alive.  She can understand me in a way that no one else can, and to talk with Her gives me such a peace in my heart.  At the beginning of April I am going to be reading yet another book on Our Lady of Fatima, and I am going to be sharing my thoughts on it chapter by chapter on a separate page on my blog.  If you would like feel free to get the book and read it along with me.  The title is Our Lady Of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Do You Defend Your Faith

I am sure that if you live in a large area, or one that is predominately Catholic then you probably don't run into this problem very much if at all, but if you live in a area like I do to where you are the only Catholic among allot of Protestants then you have probably encountered this on more than one occasion.

I don't know about you, but as for me I am constantly having to defend my beliefs and my Church, from people who know very little if anything about it, and go on false teachings that they have received from others who know very little if anything about the Catholic Church.  Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen said it best we he said "There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church."  And that statement is just as true today, as it was back when he said it.

Some of the basic questions and comments that I receive on an almost daily basis are, don't you know that the Pope is the anti-Christ?, why do you all worship Mary?, You know that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon as spoken of in Revelations, You know you are not suppose to call any man Father, etc....  Oh how many times have I had to explain the answers to these same questions, shew if I had a dime for every stupid question that I have been ask I would be a millionaire.  I do have to say though one good thing about all of these constant questions is that it has made me have to study more about my Church and it's teachings so that I can be ready to defend it in battle.

I grew up in a family of Protestants Baptist to be exact and I constantly got to witness how they treated two of my aunts and their families that were Jehovah's Witnesses.  The comments that were made, the way that my family would act around them like they had some kind of deadly virus, all because they believed differently.  I now know how they felt, because in essence I have been treated the same way, and it pains my heart so much to know those kinds of hurt feelings all because they believe something that is a lie, and rather than checking it out for themselves they would rather go on believing those lies.

But it is in those times of battle that I stand firm on my beliefs and my Church, because I know the truth's that she holds.  Not only do I have a strong Church family here on earth to back me up, but I have all the Saint's in Heaven praying for me when I need it the most, oh how strong they all make me.  I can be having such a rough week that I just don't know how much more I can take, and then I go in the presence of the Lord and receive Him into my body and my strength is completely renewed so that I am ready to fight my battle for another week.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How Do You Embrace The Mass

When you attend Mass, is your heart in it, or do you just go through the motions?  Do you think
about the words being spoken, the songs being sung, the prayers being said, or is your mind
somewhere else?

I know that these are some harsh questions, but if you are going to be honest with God then you
have to be honest with yourself, and sometimes that means stopping to take a look at your way
of thinking.  I know that I have spoken to cradle Catholics and converts, and have ask them
this very question, and I must say that I appreciate their honesty.  Some have informed me that
a lot of times they are thinking about a bill that is due, what are they going to have for
dinner, I even had one tell me that they have actually fallen asleep during the service, which
I find hard to believe with all the standing, kneeling and sitting.  But have you ever really
given a hard, long thought to the the meaning of the Mass, to what is actually going on?

For me participating in the Mass is very emotional, and I always make it a point to leave all
of the outside world, and the worries in the car when I get there.  The Mass is my time to
spend with the Lord, to worship, and admire Him, everything else can wait.  I view each prayer
as my conversation time with the Lord, I view all of the singing as my time to praise Him, I
view the message the Father gives as God's instructions for my life journey, and I view
partaking in the Eucharist as my time to fully embrace the love that my Lord has for me, to
take Him in completely body and soul.

I have even became so ingrained in the Mass that when it gets to the prayer, Father I am not
worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed,
I find tears streaming down my face, because I truly understand all that He went through for me
and to know that He has that power to forgive me is truly amazing. And when I walk up and
receive His body and blood I see that as a protective shield for me, when I take Him in I feel
that He is protecting me body and soul and it gives me such a warmth that I have never
experienced in any other way.  It is then that I can say that I truly have experienced the full
love of God.

The next time that you attend Mass start by leaving all your concerns in the car, go in
expecting to filled with God's love, really listen to the word's of the songs, the prayers and
the homilies, don't just go through the motions, really take God in, and you will be surprised
at the great love that you will feel.

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Christmas Miracle

As many of you may know I was raised, married and raised my kids the first part of their lives in the Freewill Baptist Church.  In 2006 after a very long journey I came home to the Catholic Church.  I will write about my conversion story in another article.

In my joining the Catholic Church I really offended allot of my family members who were all Protestants, especially my dad.  He would call me often and try and talk me into coming back to the Baptist Church, and each time I would politely say I appreciated his concern but I was happy where I was.  He would tell me that because I was Catholic I was going to Hell, that the Catholic Church was the Whore of Babylon that is spoken about in Revelations, and that the Pope was the anti-Christ. These are all basic teaching in the Baptist Church, and him being a devout Baptist believed them whole heartily.

Over time he seemed to back off a little instead of it being an almost everyday thing, he died down to maybe once a week, then every two or three weeks, but I always knew how he felt and always tried to be prepared for whatever negative comment about the Catholic Church that I knew at some point would come.

Ever so often I would invite him and my stepmother to come and attend Mass with me, and my stepmother did and liked it allot, she has a very open mind and even though she is a devout Baptist she does not hold negative thoughts about different denominations.  My dad on the other hand would always have a reason not attend, there was something special going on at his church, he had other plans etc... but it never stopped me from inviting him on occasion.

I would pray a Rosary for him daily, and I would ask the Lord to please open his eyes to the truth about the Catholic Church, and I knew that in God's good time if it was His will, my prayer would be answered.  I had been talking to my step mom and I ask her if she might help me to convince my dad to come to Christmas Eve Mass with me, she said she would talk to him about it, and I just played it off, thinking oh well he will just come up with another excuse, and I let it go at that.  A couple days later my phone rang and it was her, and she told me that she had convinced my dad to attend Mass with us on Christmas Eve.  She told him that it was only fair since I had on occasion went to Church with him.  She told him that he needed to go and see for himself what went on, not just to depend on what other people told him, and so I was getting a Christmas miracle, my entire family, my parents, my husband and both of my kids were attending Christmas Eve Mass with me for the first time ever.

I don't know why, but over the next couple of days leading up to the Mass I was so nervous, I knew how the Mass was, and I knew how much I loved it, I was just praying so hard that God would open my dad's eyes to the truth and he could see for himself the love, and passion that Catholics have for the Lord.  I wanted him to see the love that our Priest had for his congregation, the love that he had for the Lord, I wanted him to see the wonderful family that I had there in my fellow Church members.  I just knew if he would go in there with an open mind he would be wowed by what he saw.

Finally it was time to head to Mass, as we walked in the Children were just starting their little play, I could not help but keep looking toward my dad and to see him smiling at the wonderful job the kids were doing just melted my heart.  As the Mass began and the songs started,and the prayers were said, and the message was given I watched as my dad tried to absorb everything that he could, part of me thought that maybe he was trying to catch one of the things that he was taught about it in the Baptist Church, but as time went on, you could watch him relax and really get into the service.

After service was over, and we had walked out to the car, I could no longer stand it, I said dad so what did you think?  And he looked at me and smiled and said ever so simply, "that wasn't bad after all", and for him that was saying so much.  I ask him if he would ever consider coming back with me to visit again, and he said why sure I did not see anything bad in there.  I then told him, well the next time that you hear someone say something bad about the Church, could you maybe tell them that you have been there, and seen it for yourself, and maybe before they go and believe everything that they are taught that they should go and check it out for themselves?  He did not say anything but gave me that reassuring smile that I am so use to seeing when he knows the truth about something.