Sharon Krause

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Posted by Sharon Krause on Sep 25, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Have you ever tried to give nose drops to a cat? Well, that was our job after our old cat, Buddy, saw the veterinarian who told us that that medication was to be the treatment for Buddy’s nasal congestion. What fun!

After we moved from Connecticut to southern Florida last November, not only Buddy but also my husband had a problem with congestion. My husband now uses an inhaler and some prescription pills for his bronchial allergies.

And, while we are talking about congestion, the traffic congestion where we live is quite challenging too! Lots of people live around here, and especially at rush hours, there are so many cars and trucks on the roads that even the spray of frequent thunderstorms does not ease or slow down the volume!

There are other kinds of congestion. We can get a bit thought-congested in our busy schedules and in our minds. We are bombarded daily with social media websites, questions about choices and priorities, and challenges to our beliefs. Just as we have to hold Buddy very still as we administer the drops we need to take time to hold still so that we can pray and listen to God’s truth and counsel. The Holy Spirit is very generous with inspiration and help. The reading from the Prophet Isaiah (55:6-9) at yesterday’s liturgy is a good place to start:

   Seek the Lord while he may be found,

       call him while he is near.

   Let the scoundrel forsake his way,

       and the wicked man his thoughts;

   Let him turn to the Lord for mercy;

       to our God, who is generous in forgiving.

   For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

       nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.

   As high as the heavens are above the earth,

       so high are my ways above your ways

     and my thoughts above your thoughts.


Lord, help me to stay close to you today.

Help me to think clearly and to reflect your

truth and love in my words and actions.

Assist me as I resist even the smallest of temptations to sin.

Help me to clear the way for others to find you.

Direct my paths and lead me to be grateful for your constant care.

I ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.


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Topics: praying, Sharon Krause


Posted by Sharon Krause on Sep 18, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Sometimes, out of the blue, a person or event you have not thought about in a long time pops up in your memory. It might be hard at first to figure out what has triggered the thought. There are a number of possible explanations.

A certain word, location, scent or even melody can somehow connect your brain to a relevant moment in your life. The experience can be interesting and thought-provoking. It may also be a prompt for prayer. Maybe the Holy Spirit is suggesting you say a prayer for that person who is unexpectedly popping up in your mind. Perhaps it is time to slow down a little bit and just say a thank-you prayer for that blessing you are recalling or for the time the Lord gave you strength to weather a life storm.

Have you ever had the pleasant surprise of a favorite song that just happened to play just as you turned the radio on? How about the time an old friend crossed your path without notice? More occasions for thank-you prayers! We always hear, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you” when tragedies occur, but isn’t it a good idea to think and pray during those small blessing times, too?

In today’s world it is easy to get so used to instant responses whether on our computers and tablets or on our phones. It could be that these little pop-up incidents are opportunities to acknowledge our very creative Creator and his gifts to us.

It might be a good personal prayer exercise to ask the Lord to remind you of a particular event in your life in which you took for granted him or some gift he had given you. Gratitude is a wonderful bridge to prayer. It could be time for a bit of remedial self-reflection.

Certainly, there are times the pop-ups can remind us of sad events or a bad feelings, but even in those times we can acknowledge that we have had the strength of our faith and the availability of saving graces to encourage us and give us hope.

Let us pray and consider what St. Paul recommends in his first letter to the Thessalonians, verses 17-22:

Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.


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Topics: praying, Sharon Krause

Feet of Jesus

Posted by Sharon Krause on Sep 11, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Jesus, when you were a baby lying in your mother’s lap,

   did she kiss your feet so precious, each small toe, both front and back?

When you helped in Joseph’s workshop, did sharp splinters pierce your toes

   from the scraps and jagged fragments as the crafts you came to know?

John the Baptist felt unworthy to loosen sandals on your feet:

   feet that never stopped when weary, feet that bore rough roads and heat.

A sinful woman was repentant when she washed your tired feet

   with her long and flowing tresses and her tears of sorrow sweet.

Jesus, when you walked on water, did it feel so fresh and cool

   as you gently beckoned Peter to trust and walk on water, too?

You washed the feet of your disciples, though, at first, they did protest.

   You taught the worth of service to those who follow in your steps.

Three times your feet gave out beneath you as the heavy cross pressed down;

   What pain you must have suffered when they drove the nails so long!

Jesus, when you hung there dying, did your mother come and bless

   the feet she knew before they walked, that now had climbed the road to death?

When you appeared, on Easter morn, to the women on their way,

   they caressed your risen feet and worshipped Savior Jesus, that holy day!

Your feet, Jesus, now in heaven, your feet, Lord, that walked with men,

   are the feet that lead to glory. Guide us to our Father. Amen.


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Topics: Sharon Krause

New Dwarfs

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 28, 2023 6:00:00 AM

I recently heard that Disney may be coming out with an updated version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Wouldn’t it be interesting for those who work with little children to challenge them to come up with names for “holy” dwarfs and use those ideas to teach about good religious practices? I have some suggestions for dwarf names, but I am sure these are not the only possibilities.                                

Prayerful – This dwarf prays every day. Which prayers does he know? Does he make up his own prayers too? Prayers don’t have to be long and full of big words. They just have to be sincere, from our loving hearts.

Gentle – This dwarf is kind and treats others gently. He tries not to lose his temper or say unkind things. It isn’t always easy, but Gentle loves God and God’s creations.

Thankful – Thankful dwarf tells the Lord how grateful he is for his many daily blessings. Lots of time people pray for things they want but forget to take as much time in praying thank-you prayers for wonderful things they have received.

Sorrowful – This dwarf reminds us how important it is to be sorry and to tell God we are sorry for the sins we have committed. Jesus is always ready to forgive us as we try to do better. We all make bad choices now and then, but the sacrament of reconciliation is there for us to start over. And Sorrowful never holds grudges against anyone.

Joyful – This dwarf is always full of joy because he thinks about his sharing in God’s life through the reading of the Bible stories and the sacraments of the Church. What is your favorite Bible story?

Singer – This dwarf loves to sing hymns about our wonderful, generous God. He does not have to be in church to sing; he can sing in his room or with his friends. He even makes up his own songs sometimes.

Blabbermouth – This dwarf is not your normal “blabbermouth” who can be annoying and unstoppable. Blabbermouth loves to spread the word about the good news of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He talks about Jesus’ teachings and healings and other miracles. He tells everyone about the great gift of Holy Communion and even about the comforting sacrament of the sick.

It is important to teach little children and encourage their feedback. How about drawing pictures of what they think the new dwarfs might look like? And how about us adults? Do we take advantage of my fictitious dwarfs’ good attributes? Being young at heart is a good thing.


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Topics: praying, Sharon Krause, words

Mary - Queen of Heaven

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 21, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Two times in this month of August, we are reminded in special ways in the liturgy of the wonderful mother we have in Mary. We celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the middle of the month and began the readings with the entrance antiphon from the book of Revelation 12:1:

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon

under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Queens I have read about usually have crowns full of precious jewels and robes made of special silks and threads. Mary, the Queen of Heaven, has a cosmic wardrobe and Scripture even tells us how angels rejoice in her assumption. The twelve stars in Mary's crown suggest some of the wonders of the Lord she prayed about in her Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). She mentioned these twelve “star” reassuring facts about our Lord:

*the greatness of the Lord;

*He is her Savior;

*He has looked upon her lowliness and ensured that all ages will call her blessed;

*He has done great things for her;

*Holy is his name;

*His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him;

*The Lord has shown might with his arm, dispersing the arrogant;

*He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones;

*He has lifted up the lowly;

*He has filled the hungry with good things;

*He has sent the rich away empty;

*He has mercifully helped Israel, according to his promise to Abraham and his


I suggest that each of us could list twelve “stars” or blessings the Lord has given to us in our lifetime. It may be a good exercise for a prayer time.

Mary, Queen of heaven, did not ride in a luxurious coach, but on the back of a donkey. She faithfully nurtured and raised our Prince of Peace. She heard his first words and saw him take his first steps. She witnessed his death on the cross and held His limp body in her lap. Mary, our queen and our mother, is strong and loving.  

At tomorrow’s Mass, we will celebrate the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is Queen of Heaven, the loving queen who intercedes for each of us. Just stop and think about how many times you have prayed, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” She is a regal example of Our Lord keeping his promises. While not worshipped as a goddess, Mary is our humble, solicitous heavenly mother who gave herself unselfishly as mother to the Savior of the world. May we never let a day go by without thanking her. Hail, Mary, our Queen Mother!

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Topics: praying, Sharon Krause, words

One - Two - Three

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 14, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Have you ever noticed how often things happen three times in a row? Sometimes it is on purpose. Sometimes it is by chance. And I suppose sometimes it has to do with when you start noticing and counting. For example, I used to watch a television show about a medical center, and when the “doctors” were moving a patient from a gurney to a bed, they would always say, “On three: one, two, three,” as the lift occurred.

Remember the nursery rhymes and stories with three little pigs, Goldilocks and her three bears, three blind mice, and the three little kittens who lost their mittens? In baseball, three strikes and you are out! There’s the expression: “Three time’s the charm,” which means that success comes on a third try. In Sacred Scripture we read of the Magi, the three astrologers from the Orient. We also read that on the road to Calvary, Jesus fell three times. At Mass we pray, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts.” After the consecration, we pray the Agnus Dei or Lamb of God three times.

What got me thinking about all these threes? Well, being retired, my husband and I enjoy going out to restaurants for breakfast, and a lovely “three-time” experience occurred for us in just a week’s time. We were sitting in a small diner and waiting for our food, and I noticed that the two women sitting at a nearby table had just received their breakfasts. Before they ate, they silently joined hands, closed their eyes, and said a brief prayer.

A few days later, we were in a different restaurant and a young couple was sitting near us. When their food came, they joined hands, and each said a silent prayer. In that same restaurant about two days later, a little girl, a man, and an older man were seated at a booth. It seemed as if they were all family members. When their plates of food came, they all quietly said a blessing together before they ate.

What lovely faith witnesses! I hear so much in the media about God being left out of our lives. Three times in one week I saw evidence that that isn’t true! I know they were only short religious pauses in those peoples’ lives, but they were good pauses, and inspirational reminders to anyone who happened to notice.

What if we tried to thank God for our meals, or even our snacks, every day? What if we picked out three specific things each day that we usually take for granted and thanked God for creating them or for creating the inventors or manufacturers or designers?

Just like those thank-you prayers for breakfasts, prayers don’t have to be extremely long. If the prayers are sincere and remind us of who is always there to hear us and love us, then they are valuable. Prayers can be made up on the spot, in our own loving words, and can draw us closer to God and to fellow pray-ers. It can be as easy as 1-2-3!

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Topics: gratitude, saying grace, Sharon Krause, daily prayer


Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 7, 2023 6:00:00 AM

During the course of a day, we rely on our personal definitions of things to determine our actions. We know what “breakfast” means, what “work” means, what “recreation” means. Our definitions are precipitated by what we have been taught by others, our life experience, our physical makeup, our belief system, and/or environmental influences. Of course, numerous other factors can come into play, and our definitions can change many times over the course of our lives.

Through the fourth grade, I attended public school. I was dismissed with a few other Catholic students an hour early on Fridays for “release-time instruction” at the nearby Catholic elementary school. After fourth grade, I was enrolled in a Catholic grammar school full time and also attended a Catholic high school. I learned a lot about the Mass and sacraments and Catholic definitions.

Not long ago, I heard that there were fewer attendees at weekend Masses at my local church. This suggested to me that perhaps many of us need to review definitions of Catholic rites and rituals. Maybe “release-timers” especially would benefit from going over some of the truths and explanations associated with our Church. There are so many websites on our phones and computers now, we can look up words and find the Catholic Church’s explanations and definitions. We can be reminded of the wonderful things available at Mass and through our sacraments. Many of the words we might look up have more than three syllables and not used often in everyday conversation.

I suggest that for refreshment and renewal, we might look up the following words at a Catholic website and savor their definitions:

Eucharist           Consecration         Transubstantiation

Reconciliation     Penance      Responsorial Psalm

Liturgy     Epistle       Evangelist       Contrition     Grace

 In light of the increasing shortage of priests, we might try to reintroduce ourselves to many of the opportunities for sacramental grace and religious practice while we still can with relative convenience. We might need to redefine our religious life practices and what is really important and valuable for our earthly and eternal lives.

 Sacred Scripture is a vast source of knowledge and inspiration. Let us consider what St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11:

    When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child;

   when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

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Topics: spiritual grouth, Sharon Krause


Posted by Sharon Krause on Jul 31, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Although it was decades ago, a memory fragment of mine pops up now and then. I must have been about four or five years old when my mother brought me to our parish church, St. Joseph’s, in Middletown, New York. I recall her leading me up the aisle toward the sanctuary so I could get a close look at the altar and its immediate surroundings. I remember asking her, “Where are we going?” That is all I remember, but I assume she was just getting me used to the environment, because she had decided I was old enough to start attending Masses with her and would be quiet and well-behaved. Perhaps it is a good question for each of us to reflect upon in our spiritual life journey: “Where are we going?” or even better as we mature: “How are we growing?”

In gospel passage read at today’s Mass, Matthew 13:31-35, Jesus refers in his parables to the tiny mustard seed and remarks how it produces a large bush; and he refers to yeast and how it makes the flour mixture grow. Experience teaches that we can grow in good ways and not-so-good ways. Unlike certain, natural anatomical growth that happens spontaneously, spiritual growth is something we can nurture and pursue.

 My mother took me near the holy place in the church, the sanctuary, so I could get a close look. It is important to take a little detour now and then from our normal routine and take a close look at our path to holiness. Could it be that holiness itself is a stepping away from the familiar, normal, material world so that we can come closer to the Lord? That is one reason why daily prayer time is important.

It is so easy to become distracted and caught up in mundane habits. I look around and see people walking with what looks like a growth on their chin and it is really their cell phone being held up to their mouth as they continue their walk or other activity. I hear people seemingly talking to themselves, but really they have earbuds in their ears as they talk to others who are not near them. There can be several people seated at a restaurant table all staring down at their cell phones and not socializing with the diners so physically close to them. If we get out of touch with people near us, how are we growing closer to our Savior who is actually closer and more lovingly available than anyone?

Just like the parables’ seeds and yeast, we can start small in our quest of spirituality. So long as we water the prayer seeds and stir in the little biblical yeast tablet, day by day we can promote growth. Here is a good scripture passage to consider:

      For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,

     virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance,

     endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with

     love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from

     being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).

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Topics: praying, spiritual grouth, Sharon Krause, distractions from prayer


Posted by Sharon Krause on Jul 24, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Have you ever hesitated to do something, to take on a project, to try out an idea, because you thought you did not have the wherewithal to do the job right? Did that decision to delay the attempt relieve your worry, or did it just give someone else the chance to take over and, perhaps, be successful? Did you ever think, “Oh, I wish I had thought of that!” or, “I could have figured that out”?

Taking chances involves faith. When we wait until all the pieces are in the puzzle or all the conditions are positively right, we miss opportunities to be inventive and maybe even surprise ourselves. Worst of all, we leave the Lord out of the hypothesis and problem-solving. So what if something is not quite perfect? God is perfect and is ready to inspire us and help us on our journeys. Even if we fail in our attempts, at least we are doing instead of stewing. We learn and grow with our mistakes and failures if we bounce them off of the Holy Spirit. We certainly are not perfect, but God’s love for us is perfect and he is with us in all of our challenges.

                                      Procrastinator’s Prayer

Praise to You, Lord, who did not hesitate to suffer and die for the sins of humanity.

Reign in my heart and mind today and remind me of your presence.

Open my ears that I might hear words of encouragement and confidence.

Create new and good ideas in me that I can use to spread love and compassion.

Raise my hopes and dreams to help me to overcome fear and doubt in myself.

All-loving Lord, help me to do away with signs of laziness or neglectfulness.

Show me how to spread your mercy and love to other people today.

Teach me to trust in the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, even in little tasks.

Inspire in me words of forgiveness and starting-over with family and friends.

Now and forever, remind me to acknowledge and use well my God-given gifts.

All-loving Jesus, energize me with faith and enthusiasm for life.

Thank you for saving me every day in big and small ways.

I love you, and I am sorry for the times I have made unloving choices in my life.

O Savior of the world, teach me to act this day on my joyful inspirations.

New life and freedom are mine because of you, Jesus. Energize me today! Amen.


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Topics: Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Sharon Krause, Rely on Jesus

Away With Words

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jul 17, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Words can take us away from stress, from boredom, from sadness. Wordplay, i.e. creating puns, is a double-take brain game that can be quite humorous. Of course, we have to choose our words carefully, depending on situations.

Words are like life: many have interesting histories, come from other countries or languages, and can get distorted and misinterpreted, misspelled or misunderstood. Many words aid in solving problems, help in categorization, but also can cause dissension. Certain words are overused while others pass out of popular usage. Words can follow fads and trends, just like life. Words are big and small, old and new. Special words can console and be very calming, while others can spark controversy.

In the reading from Matthew’s Gospel in yesterday’s Mass, Jesus uses his to teach in a long parable about a sower and the different places his seeds fall. Jesus used that as an analogy for the different ways of hearing the word of God and reacting to it. We are blessed that Jesus used so many wonderful words as he patiently taught the disciples. Hopefully we take the time to digest and understand his words and yield the fruit he wants us to yield.

We know that words often go in one ear and out the other. We get busy, distracted, weary and emotional. We might not pursue nuances or go deeper. When we pray, the words can become so habitual that the meanings diminish. We should not do away with words but use them thoughtfully.

The words we use in private prayer can bring us comfort and peace. Faith sharing and praying with others can be enlightening and faith-bolstering. We can use our words to teach, to enlighten, and draw closer to Jesus. We should not “do away” with words, but “come away” with words that enrich our communication with God and with each other.

St. Paul exhorts us in his letter to the Philippians (4:4-7):


   Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known

   to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and

   petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of

   God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ


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Topics: kindness, Sharon Krause

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