Your duty is to sanctify yourself. Yes, even you. Who thinks that this task is only for priests and religious? To everyone, without exception, our Lord said: Be ye perfect, as my heavenly Father is perfect. St. Josemaria

Friday, January 30, 2009

Paco's Smile!

“God is helping me to live my sickness with faith. In reality, everything is meaningful – only God knows what he is doing.”

Paco’s Smile: The Story of a Legionary Novice with Cancer!

Paco just arrived.”

“Does he need oxygen?” “Let’s see.”

Stretchers were moved out into the emergency room parking lot outside the Child Jesus Hospital in Madrid, a hospital dedicated especially to children with cancer. It was the end of August, and although it was midnight, it was still very hot.

“You’re Paco, right? I’m Antonio. I’m going to be your doctor. How do you feel?”“A little dizzy but fine. If I sit down, I can breathe.”They lay him down in the stretcher.“I can’t breathe!”The doctors set him up immediately with an oxygen mask and bring him directly to the ICU (intensive care unit).

The next day, he receives a visit from some priests dressed in black, with their Roman collars. The relatives of other patients in the ICU think the boy must be in a very serious condition and that the priests have come to give him the anointing of the sick.

But during the next few days, more priests keep coming, dressed in black with their Roman collars.What is happening to this boy? Why do so many priests visit him? “He’s a seminarian,” explains an older woman. She is the grandmother of a boy who has been sick for the past 10 months with various kinds of cancer. The nurse asks the smiling seminarian, “Paco, how are you?” “Fantastic!” he answers. One day, he had given a scare to the doctors because right after answering with his cheery “fantastic,” he had promptly passed out in the hallway.

Chemotherapy had left him without defenses, and he had caught pneumonia. In the hospital, Br Francisco Mateos, LC, is known as “Paco.”

One might wonder: if he is a seminarian, why is he in a children’s hospital? The answer is simple: he is barely 18 and
“I thought, if he wants this for me, then my life is his. I knew what was happening but I abandoned myself into his hands.” He can still respond to the treatments that they give to children, which are usually very aggressive.

Br Francisco Mateos, LC, was born on December 29, 1990, in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, but spent most of his life in Madrid. His mother died of cancer when he was 13. Paco served as an altar boy at the funeral Mass on the same day of her death. His aunt, in the midst of that day’s commotion, saw him serving Mass with such focus, so immersed in prayer, and so full of strength that it seemed he had grown up fast, and that there at the altar, he was already a man. She thought to herself, “This boy is going to be a priest.” And that was, in fact, the first day that Paco thought he could be a priest one day. “I felt very peaceful in that Mass. I felt different,” he recalls.

Br Francisco Mateos, LC, received his Legionary uniform (a black cassock) on September 15, 2007, after finishing the two months of discernment in the candidacy program. “Yes, we started the candidacy on July 7, 2007. We call it the James Bond candidacy… 777,” he says.

Br Francisco remembers his first year of novitiate as the happiest year of his life. It was a preparation for the great trial. Last August, his sickness was declared. There was a lot of back pain, difficulties in breathing… the diagnosis was a T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. He had a tumor located between his heart and his lungs, in an area called the mediastinum. This area of the body is so delicate that it is not possible to operate on it. The tumor lodged inside is like a fragile sac full of sick substance; if it breaks, it will end the young man’s life in the span of a few hours. The cancer is lymphatic because it damages the blood, just like leukemia.

Br Francisco had entered the hospital in a situation of extreme urgency. He had four and a half liters of water in his lungs, when the lung capacity is only six. His aunt Patricia, who cares for him, cannot believe how she found him in the Salamanca hospital, near the novitiate, just before he was rushed to Madrid. He was seated in a chair, surrounded by other novices, laughing and snacking on chocolates and Coca-cola.

Br Francisco was smiling ear to ear. “Paco, how are you doing?”“Fantastic!” he answered.After a few weeks of treatment, his aunt Patricia ended up telling him, “Look, Paco, stop saying that you’re doing fantastic. They’re going to think you’re stupid. At least say, ‘I’m doing fine.’ You say ‘fantastic’ and you’re hooked up to the oxygen tank without being able to breathe, in the ICU, connected to a thousand things…” But the truth was, Paco did feel fantastic. “I felt peaceful, abandoning myself to God. I thought to myself that I gave my whole life to God on September 15, so my life is his. If he wants this for me, then my life is his. I didn’t understand anything. I knew what was happening but I abandoned myself into his hands. They gave me a cross a little bigger than the one I received on the day of my religious profession, and I hold onto it very tight, saying, ‘My God, whatever you want,’ and I keep holding on. I have it with me all the time.”

Br Francisco miraculously survived his first days in the hospital, at the end of August and the beginning of September. They were able to drain the liquid out of his lungs and begin chemotherapy. He ran the risk of the tumor bursting in the first three days of chemotherapy, but he overcame it. There are many more chemo sessions planned for the next few years. Brother is mentally preparing for his path. “In this sickness, it is very important to have a good spirit, to be positive… because if not, you can’t overcome it.” He is already very familiar with the hospital hallways, the hospital rooms by day, the shared rooms. To him, the hospital looks like a field ready for the harvest. He is convinced that God continues calling him, and that he is meant to save the souls entrusted to him.

The patients and their relatives have become “his souls.” “I was very edified by a man with two little daughters who are sick with cancer. One is four years old and the other is four months old. He was telling me that with his daughters’ sickness, he has recovered his faith. The man was telling me, ‘I have really come to realize that we are just flesh and blood. The only thing that matters is God. Now, every time they give me good news, instead of celebrating I go down to the chapel and thank the Blessed Virgin.’”

Br Francisco continues, “And the lady in the room to my right has a little boy only a few months old. For a while, they thought he wouldn’t survive, and now they have just told her that there is hope for his life…” For many days, this woman had gone to visit Br Francisco in the hospital after seeing her son. She liked soaking up “Paco’s smile.”

Francisco says, “Yes, whenever I talk to her, I see her wanting to learn more about her faith, wanting to know God and be close to him. If she sees me smiling and happy all the time, it’s because God is helping me to live out my sickness with faith. In reality, everything has meaning, because God knows what he is doing. Really, we don’t know why God does things. God knows what he is doing, and we always have to let him be the Guide.”

Francisco Mateos Cubas is a seminarian of the Legionaries of Christ. He is 18 years old and is sick with cancer. He is currently stationed in Salamanca, Spain, living out his novitiate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its my honor to be called his Daughter!

Today is my Father's "Papi" Birthday! I just noticed today (I am slow learner) that on his birthday is also St. Thomas Moore.. As I thinking about it, they are very much alike. My father decided that it was better to leave his beloved country, to leave his family and friends, to leave his possession and his newly profession all for the sake of his love..

His faith..

Cuba at that time was just taken over by Castro (50years in Jan.). He has told us some stories and I bet you that many more are missing but its too painful for him to retell them. One that I remember is that he would say that they were search every time they went to mass, even daily mass and he said.. my faith is my life, if no faith than no life in Cuba..

I recall how St.Thomas didn't give away his faith either, They both are wonderful fathers, honest and hard working professionals and in my eyes.. Saints!

Thank you Papi.. For all you have done but most of all of your faith that you have shown me to live it at any price!

WOW--Week 1

Well.. I have done week one of WOW.. Its not what I would like it to be.. Have you ever heard seen the movie.."The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"? a Western movie of Clinton Eastward.. I love that movie, I would see it with my father all the time.. Well.. that is how this is..

The Good:
1. I was able to exercise 6 days out of 7 days..walk 10.5 miles using WalkawaythePounds.

2. I am writing down just about everything that I am eating and drinking. Which I have never done before and its good to see it. I bought a notebook, and place right in kitchen so that I can see it and write in it! Every morning I draw 8 glass and that way I can cross out.. (its the teacher in me that has to have these types of systems!)

The Bad:
1. I drank too many sodas even thu it was diet.. still! Also having my coffee with milk and sugar daily is not helping me!(on days its two cups..aww)

2. Husband's birthday dinner party, I cooked all Mexican food and a chocolate devil cake with chocolate chips.. It was too good!

The Ugly:

1. I gained 1.5 lbs... Awww!

Well.. My goals are :

1. lose 2 lbs

2. Drink h20 at least 5 glass (I have to aim small to hit big!)

3. NO sodas!

4. Exercise 7 days..maybe 2xs a day (if I ever get up at a good hour!!)

Thanks for letting me share this with you! Head on over to Regina's if you would like to join us or encouage us! God bless.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday My True Love!

Today is my Beloved's Birthday... I am so grateful that I have this wonderful father and husband as my own! God has blessed us with a true gentlemen who goes out every day and works for his family. Everyday he wakes up with a smile, knowing that God has given him another day to live. I could write a book on all of his greatness.

Thank you, Beloved! May God and St.Joseph give you the courage and strength and wisdom to be a real man in this world so that you will enjoy world after!

Friends came over last night to celebrate his birthday! We thought it would be a good idea to put candles on the "Sixs Pack" of beer!

Blondie.. "doesn't get it!"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ice Cream & The Election

Ice Cream & The Election
Excellent analogy! From a teacher in the Nashville area. The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year.

The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote. To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have.

We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot. The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best.
Everyone applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium.

Her speech was concise.

She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down. The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."

She surely could say more. She did not have to.

A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it? She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.

Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and fifty-two percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other forty-eight percent of us know we're going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Homeschool Moment!

So We are doing some handwriting drills, Princessgirl has to write and rewrite the words she missed in her pre-spelling test! As she is doing this, she asked me.."why is everything so hard.." and I replied .."thats life.." (my usually replied!) and than she says...

"Thanks a lot Adam and Eve!"..

I just couldn't help but to laugh!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Ok.. SO I am inspired by Jessica over at Showers of Roses, on WOW (weight on Wednesday), as I write my goals on this journey of getting back into shape after the birth of baby #4! Thanks to Regnias who thought of this great idea, check it out!.

So my goals for next week is:

1. to lose 2lbs...

2. drink more H2O.. 8 glass a day of 8 oz..
3. at least exercise 3 times (that meaning getting up early since its so hard with the kids up and running..), I discover this program thanks to Jessica, its great.. Walk Away the Pounds..

4. No Sodas not even diet!
5. record my habits; eating and exercise.. found this great program and its free, my gyminee

So next Wednesday will be my 1st week on writing on WOW. I thought if I put it out there for all to see than it will give me the courage to keep at it! Thanks for your support!
God bless!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Imagine the Potential!

A dear friend sent this to me. It will be play all day tomorrow on T.V. I sure hope makes everyone think about it!

God Bless America!

Happy Bday..Blondie

Today, Blondie turn 2 years old..however, I feel that she is going on 8 or so..

The attitude ...

God bless and love you always!

You can't just help but love them!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Atheist Bus

"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

This is a public bus in Spain ; an 'Atheist Bus' !

The title of the article says: Locals show indifference toward 'Atheist Bus' campaign in Spain

What life?

On Earth which last about..hmm 94 (if Lucky) or Eternal Life (forever)!

Its a No Brainier!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trainboys Dream

On Saturday we went to the Brandywine River Museum to see the train exhibit. As you might be able to see, it was trainboy's dream come true. He stay there for 3 hours! He was in Heaven!

PrincessGirl enjoyed herself as well!

Two Buddies sharing one dream!

Everyone was having fun!

"I'm loving it!"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to a Saint

Today is the birthday of St. Josemaria... founder of Opus Dei... A true beautiful person! Aren't all saints! He reminds me a great deal of my grandfather! Its also the birthday of my goddaughter E.G. An interesting fact.. She also has the same Holy Communion day of St. Josemaria... She is a great little girl.. Miss her dearly!

"Meditate on this frequently: I am a Catholic, a child of Christ’s Church. He brought me to birth in a home that is his, without my doing anything to deserve it.My God, how much I owe you!"
The Forge, 16 St.Josemaria

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Daughter of God

(at her party w/Grandmam Pico)

On Jan.3rd... My beautiful babymums... became God's daughter.. As with all my children, their baptismal day is more emotional for me than their actually birthday! Do we really think about it, that you and I are God's daughter and sons. That He loves us so much that He gave us His only Son and the Beautiful Church...

At the church with our friends.. Most of our family joined us by their prayers and spirit.

Fr.Andrew was a very kind and gentle priest. We are so bless to have him for our homeschooling group and our souls!

A proud dad!

"All men are children of God. But a child can look upon his father in many ways. We must try to be children who realize that the Lord, by loving us as his children, has taken us into his house, in the middle of the world, to be members of his family, so that what is his is ours, and what is ours is his, and to develop that familiarity and confidence which prompts us to ask him, like children, for the moon!» St. Josemaria..

Monday, January 5, 2009

We 3 Kings..

Tonight is the Eve of the 3 Kings... This is where we give or lets say the 3 Kings bring our children their big gifts. They write letters to the kings and we get a balloon , tie it and up it goes to Heaven.

Next they place their shoes by the door and off to bed to await. .

Bright and early they will be up to see what the Kings have brought them. Each gets 3 gifts to represent what the 3 kings has brought baby Jesus.

One can have a three Kings cake and inside is hidden some type of silver coin or any thing that will not melt . Who ever finds this hidden item will be king or queen for the day!
There are some great books and prayers to celebrate this shinning star of a night!

O God, Who on this daythrough the guidance of a stardidst manifest

Thine Only-Begotten Son to the Gentiles;

mercifully grantthat we who know

Thee now by faith,may one day be broughtto the contemplation of the beauty of Thy majesty.

Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.