17 Aug 2017

That undervalued little thing called smile (Spanish) El devaluado beneficio de la sonrisa.


Resultado de imagen de TERAPIA DE RISASEl tema de hoy es un tema que muchos considerarán intrascendente, pero sin embargo y en lo personal nos parece de gran importancia y valor. Valioso e importante para nuestro caminar por la vida, para nuestro trato con los demás, para nuestro beneficio y hasta para nuestra salud.
 

16 Aug 2017

The Fear of Fear is the greatest of all Fears

WHAT DO YOU REALLY FEAR?
TELL US ABOUT IT?
THIS IS WHAT I FEAR ... CLICK HERE

In Honor of the Assumption of Mary

Because this week we celebrate Mary’s Assumption into heaven, I thought it fitting that this blog be the introduction from my book The Catholic Companion to Mary. Hope you enjoy it! . . . In Amy Tan’s novel The Joy Luck Club, four young women, who are estranged from their mothers to varying degrees, come to understand them after hearing the stories of their lives back in China. This new knowledge lets the girls really see their mothers for the first time and leads to deeper relationships with them. Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, was given to us by him as a gift when he was hanging on the cross, looking down on her and St. John the apostle. He told John (who stood for all of us), “Behold your Mother.” Click to continue

When Do You Ask God to Take a Back Seat? A Look at the First Commandment


How well do you think you adhere to the First Commandment to worship no other gods besides the one true God? Do you think that because you “believe” in the one true God, that you’re good? Think again. When we place money, power, fame, or anything else first in our lives, we ask God to take a back seat. By doing that, we violate the First Commandment.

Do You ask God to Take a Back Seat?


We are all guilty of asking God to take a back seat in our lives, from time to time. For example, when we obsess about finances, feeling compelled to find a better paying job, we ask God to take a back seat. Rather than trusting in the Lord to provide, we feel obligated to fix the situation ourselves. This is because... Read more...

Art Celebrates The Assumption of Mary

“Therefore the Virgin is immortal to this day, seeing that he who had dwelt in her transported her to the regions of her assumption”
 (Timothy of JerusalemHomily on Simeon and Anna; 400 AD).

14 Aug 2017

Death in Charlottesville



A vehicular homicide case near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, is international news.

I regret the loss of life, particularly since the driver apparently intended to harm or kill the victims. I'll get back to that.

Heather Heyer had been with several other folks there, protesting something — or maybe someone — which or who she felt should be inspiring more outrage.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Intern: Did People Actually Like This?


Okay, time for another movie rant.

The other day, I was browsing the $5 DVD bin on a Walmart run when I found The Intern and snatched it up. I'd remembered hearing good things about the film from Facebook friends when it first came out, and I tend to like Anne Hathaway. So I figured it was a safe bet to throw down five of our hard earned dollars... Continue Reading

Feast of St. Maximillian Kolbe - a 20th Century Saint


Today is the Feast Day of Saint Maximillian Kolbe, a 20th century Franciscan monk. He died in the Auschwitz concentration camp, in Poland, during World War II. In true Christian fashion, he laid down his life for another person, by volunteering to take the place of another man. This one action shows fortitude, courage, bravery, and self-giving love in a truly Christ-like manner. Who among us could say that we would have the strength of faith to do the same? At the time of his death, he was only 47 years old. But what he accomplished, in such a short life, is forever memorable.

Maximillian Kolbe’s Love for the Immaculate Conception


As a young boy, Mary, the Immaculate Conception, appeared to Maximillian Kolbe and offered him a choice between two crowns; one white, for perseverance in piety, and the other red, for martyrdom. Maximillian bravely replied... Read more... 

13 Aug 2017

Crocheting For An Atrium of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was inspired by Mari Montessori, a devout Catholic, in Rome in 1954.  Just like in Montessori schools, in an Atrium, children use their bodies, along with all their senses, to meditate on the Sacraments and Holy Scripture.
A catechist creates a sacred space and then adds to the atmosphere by lighting a candle before reading from the Gospel much like a lector in Church. Little children are invited to reflect on the passage using physical materials which help children experience each Gospel message. When contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation, the catechist uses figures from the Christmas nativity scene.

Miracles



I'll be talking about miracles today. Also religious art and kitsch, the Mayan apocalypse, and why folks occasionally see faces that aren't there. Even by my standards, this post rambles a bit.

Quite a few folks act as if they think faith and reason, religion and science, have about as much to do with each other as cheese and Wednesday.

Some go a step further, and blame the world's woes on religion.

The antics of loudly-religious folks don't help make faith look like a reasonable, or safe, part of today's world.

I think faith isn't reason, but that it's reasonable. I also think that an honest search for truth doesn't threaten faith. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 31-35, 159; "Fides et Ratio;" "Gaudium et Spes," 36)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Intimate Bond: Father and Child

As the Morning Rising: Intimate Bond: Father and Child: That moment when the light gets in The bond is so intimate that I can address Him as Father, the relationship so clos...

Desperate Prayer

12 Aug 2017

TOO HEAVY

'This is the struggle of our life - to let Christ rule.' Sunday Reflections, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Salvation of Peter, Andrea da Firenze [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

Fr William Doyle SJ
3 March 1873 - 16 August 2017

Father William Doyle SJ, killed on 17 August 1917 in the Third Battle of Ypres, Belgium, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, wrote this commentary on today's Gospel.

About the fourth watch of the night he cometh to them

Christ did not show himself until the fourth watch of the night. How often is this same history repeated in our own case! There is no encouragement, no comfort. We are wearied waiting. There is no sign of approaching help. Why not give up! Surely we never bargained for this. We never believed things would come to such a pass! Oh, the anguish of these moments, when in the midst of struggle, depression and loneliness Christ withholds his sensible presence. 

Continue here.

11 Aug 2017

Sane Environmentalism

I think being concerned about air quality, recycling, and other environmental issues, makes sense.

But I don't think only being concerned about the environment is a good idea. People matter, too. I don't think it's an either/or thing.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Perseverance

As the Morning Rising: Perseverance: When I began to journey a bit deeper into my faith the word perseverance kept coming up. It was clearly a quality and often associate...

9 Aug 2017

Dying for Compassion, by Barbara Golder – Book Review


Dying for Compassion, by Barbara Golder is sure to be a hit! As with Golder’s first book, Dying for Revenge, familiar characters return for more mysteries to solve. Once again, we meet our Lady Doc, Jane Wallace, the lead character. She is a strong, feminine role model carrying the titles of forensic pathologist, medical examiner, AND lawyer – quite an accomplished woman!  In Dying for Compassion, Jane is faced with several deaths occurring in her town; unexplained poisonings and a possible case of euthanasia. As the intentions behind these deaths stump Jane, she is thrown off-kilter in her personal life.

The storyline from Dying for Revenge carries through to Dying for Compassion. In Dying for Revenge, Jane processed grief from the loss of her husband, John. She meets author, Eoin Connor, who helps her through her grief and the two develop a romantic relationship. Fast forward to Dying for Compassion, and Eoin Connor becomes a central character.

Everything is going swimmingly between Jane and Eoin, until one night... Read more...

What's a Sister or Nun Today?

Yesterday about four hundred people gathered in our provincial house chapel to witness the final, perpetual vows of Sister Mary Kelley Rush. It was a glorious (and long) celebration of Mass. Today when religious Sisters are few and far between some people, even Catholics, don’t know one. Neither do they know about Sisters. Several times I’ve heard the comment, “When the church allows women to be priests, you sisters will be able to be priests.” Wrong! A consecrated religious woman and an ordained priest are two different species. (I have no desire to be a priest.) A Sister is called by God to offer her whole life to him. She follows Jesus and imitates him usually by making the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She belongs to a particular congregation founded for a certain purpose and marked by a charism, that is, a special gift for the benefit of the whole Church. Congregations can be devoted to social action, promoting life, giving retreats, missionary work, or publishing. Others focus on the traditional ministries of teaching and nursing. We Sisters of Notre Dame, who trace our roots back to the French revolution when the Church was being snuffed out, were founded to catechize, especially poor children. Click to Continue

8 Aug 2017

Before I Fall: The Antithesis of 13 Reasons Why


I hated Netflix's “13 Reasons Why” adaptation for lots of reasons. You can read my rant in The 13 Reasons Why Issues No One is Talking About. But despite the travesty that that show was, my love of young adult stories prevails.

So now, there's this young adult movie out on DVD. I wondered if it might sneak under everyone's radar, but I saw it was actually one of the most popular rentals in Redbox right now. It's called Before I Fall, and I just had to watch it... Continue Reading

As the Morning Rising: Trust in God

As the Morning Rising: Trust in God: Sometimes you find that all that it takes is all that takes, and you're there! You've climbed the mountain! Praise be to God!

7 Aug 2017

The lost sheep and the Good Shepherd (Spanish)La oveja perdida y el Buen Pastor.

 Resultado de imagen de el buen pastor 
 Una vez más, Señor, ante ti.


y Tu siempre ahí esperando....

      Estás en todos los Sagrarios de la Tierra desde hace más de dos mil años. Estás desde aquella "noche" en que te quisiste quedar para no dejarnos solos, para acompañarnos como se acompaña al amigo en sus momentos felices, en sus horas tristes y amargas,  también en el lecho de la enfermedad, en la soledad de los años viejos....

Estuviste, estás y estarás. La generaciones pasan, el tiempo no se detiene y Tu quisiste quedarte porque sabías que te íbamos a necesitar.

| Sunday Style / Ordering Our Lives |

 Hi there, ya'll! =)
I realize that wool floppy hats are generally more of a Autumn/Winter accessory, but this weekend the temperatures dropped and it FELT like Autumn, so I thought it would be acceptable.  Plus, it was raining and gloomy most of the day, and this hat protects my hair perfectly.  Sometimes you just have to step out of the box and break some fashion rules to save yourself...and your hair. ;P


Sometimes life can be completely overwhelming...actually, it would be more honest to say life is GENERALLY overwhelming.  Balancing relationships, housework, self-care, your spiritual life, etc., is tough, and can keep you so busy and wrapped up in your responsibilities that you fail to actually live your life, which is the whole point behind having all these responsibilities! As important as they all are, sometimes we need to take a step back and evaluate their purpose.

As the Morning Rising: The Garden of the Soul

As the Morning Rising: The Garden of the Soul: My fears may not be voiced aloud, my anxieties may not all be shared, my dreams may or may not be aired so that other human ear...

Excuse Me! When Did Lying Become Morally Acceptable?


I’m the type of person that treasures truth. Therefore, if I learn that a person has lied to me, I tend to lose all respect for the person. My husband and I discussed this very topic early on in our courting relationship. After 38 years of marriage, I can say that being truthful with each other is what held us together. There have been times when the truth was painful, but my husband knew that lying would result in worse consequences. So, it is in the sharing of truth, that we have stayed together, through the good times and the bad.

Lying Breeds Mistrust


It is through the sharing of the truth that trust is built. A marriage without trust is not a good marriage; just as any relationship, without trust, is not a good relationship. It takes a lifetime to build a relationship based upon truth and trust. Yet, it takes only five minutes and one lie to smash it all to smithereens! Read more...

As the Morning Rising: Absence and Agony

As the Morning Rising: Absence and Agony: St Mary's Catholic Church Cushendall Co Antrim Asleep, and but a stone's throw from His agony!  Sweat like beads of blood s...

6 Aug 2017

Bomb in Bloomington



First, the good news. Nobody was hurt or killed.

Folks at a prayer service say they were surprised. That's understandable, since someone set off a bomb near them yesterday. My guess is that many of them are still feeling uneasy. This sort of thing is uncommon in Minnesota's Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Navel-Gazing in August



Someone said "write what you know." It was definitely Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Nathan Englander, or somebody else.

I've mostly seen the quote applied to writing fiction.

Apparently some folks assume that it means authors should only write stories about events they've experienced. That may help explain why fantasy and science fiction stories aren't taken seriously in some circles, and entirely too seriously in others.

Others, including John Briggs, Diablo Cody/Brook Busey-Maurio and Jason Gots, say it means using the author's emotional memories when telling stories. They're professional writers, so I figure they know what they're talking about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

MIRACLES

DO MIRACLES REALLY HAPPEN?
EVEN TODAY? IN OUR TIMES?

As the Morning Rising: Feast of Filigreed Light

As the Morning Rising: Feast of Filigreed Light: Filigreed Light Even in dreams my soul sings Like a bird set free, Unbound by winter's mystery. My closed...

5 Aug 2017

As Your Heart Dictates


Masterminds: Dumb, but Funny


I love comedies. But the thing is, in recent years anyway, your typical straight-up broad comedy movie has a lot of raunchy material in it. Not always, but I've noticed a trend lately. In fact, I haven't even found too many PG-13 comedies recently – they're mostly rated R.

So when my husband and I found Masterminds, a PG-13 comedy staring Kristen Wiig, Zach Galifianakis, and Owen Wilson, streaming on Netflix, I was excited to give it a try... Continue Reading

'I was able for once to offer the Holy Sacrifice on my knees.' Sunday Reflections, The Transfiguration, Year A

Transfiguration of Christ, Paolo Veronese [Web Gallery of Art]

As the Feast of the Transfiguration is a feast of the Lord  it is celebrated today instead of the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

Father Willie Doyle SJ, in a letter, writes about the Mass he celebrated on Monday 6 August 1917 in the trenches during the Third Battle of Ypres, Belgium, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele.
For once getting out of bed was an easy, in fact, delightful task, for I was stiff and sore from my night’s rest. My first task was to look round and see what were the possibilities for Mass. As all the dug-outs were occupied if not destroyed or flooded, I was delighted to discover a tiny ammunition store which I speedily converted into a chapel, building an altar with the boxes. The fact that it barely held myself did not signify as I had no server and had to be both priest and acolyte, and in a way I was not sorry I could not stand up, as I was able for once to offer the Holy Sacrifice on my knees.
It is strange that out here a desire I have long cherished should be gratified, viz. : to be able to celebrate alone, taking as much time as I wished without inconveniencing anyone. I read long ago in the Acts of the Martyrs of a captive priest, chained to the floor of the Coliseum, offering up the Mass on the altar of his own bare breast, but apart from that, Mass that morning must have been a strange one in the eyes of God's angels, and I trust not unacceptable to Him
British trench, Battle of the Somme, 1916
One keeping watch while the others sleep [Wikipedia]

Continue here.

As the Morning Rising: Our Lady of the Snows

As the Morning Rising: Our Lady of the Snows

4 Aug 2017

Prenatal Memories and Ancient Hebrew Wisdom


A young child, who knows enough words to communicate, can describe their prenatal memories and their birth from their own unique perspective, not as an observer. Most of my nine children were able to verbalize their womb and birth experiences if my husband and I posed questions before they were three and a half or four years old because most children can no longer remember after that age.
Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. CCC 2258
read more

As the Morning Rising: The Master's Feet

As the Morning Rising: The Master's Feet: Nothing can be too beautiful to lay at the Master's feet, nor too complex for us when all is told.

Book Review: Hail Mary, the Perfect Prayer

Peter Ingemi, in his blogging persona as Da Tech Guy, is a Massachusetts-based writer and political reporter whose blog is a staple for conservatives in the region. The writers Ingemi welcomes on his blog (a group that includes me) all get fair warning before coming on board that the boss is unapologetically Catholic.
In his new book, Ingemi puts aside political reporting and takes up a labor of love: Hail Mary: the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer [Imholt Press, 2017, 80 pages, $6.99 paperback, $2.99 Amazon Kindle e-book]. Ingemi is donating a portion of every sale to his local Catholic radio station in north central Massachusetts.
The book’s title is intriguing and perplexing at the same time...

A Mixed Bag

I picked a mix from 'science news' this week: tardigrade genes, fertility fears, and what is probably the world's oldest living culture.

Folks in Western civilization have known about our neighbors in Australia for about four centuries.

Understanding their beliefs became easier, I think, when some of us realized that respecting them makes sense.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

3 Aug 2017

As the Morning Rising: Walk on the Wild Side

As the Morning Rising: Walk on the Wild Side: My husband, not once but twice in recent days has spotted a kingfisher on a local countryside River Walk. On the second occasion it had ...

Let's Not Be Puffer Fish!

When Tom and I started and pastored a non-denominational church years ago, there was a young, single guy that joined us. When we came back to the Catholic Church, he followed, went through RCIA and became Catholic. 

He is currently in Thailand as a missionary, fighting human trafficking. He works with a Protestant organization but greatly desires to partner with Catholics. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much luck finding Catholic groups over there to partner with.

Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

2 Aug 2017

Rescue Drive

IS OUR CHURCH SOMETIMES WRONG?

Charity by Accepting Charity

Did you ever offer to help someone who firmly rejected your offer to help?  If so, how did you feel?  Conversely, how did you feel when you were able to be of assistance to someone?  Maybe you helped a person carry a load or cook a meal or drive somewhere. No doubt this act of charity warmed your heart, made you happy, and perhaps let you feel a bit proud! When we accept someone’s offer to help us, we cause these same positive feelings in them. This is an act of charity. However, being strong, independent Americans, we tend to reject other people’s offers of help. We say, “No, thank you,” or “I can manage, thank you.” By doing this, we deprive them of their chance to do a good deed. We are like Peter who protested to Jesus at the Last Supper, “You will never wash my feet!” Click to continue

Neighborly Love: Who is My Neighbor? What Does It Entail?


Do you think that you can pick and choose who you want to love? Do you think you can toss aside those not selected? Think again! As Christians, we are called to love, serve and forgive everyone. That is neighborly love! However, given our human weaknesses, that’s a tall order! Yet, as followers of Christ, it is a mantle we must take upon ourselves. Christ asks much of us, but with his command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39), He gives us the grace needed to fulfill His desire.

Who is Your Neighbor?


Although I have the best next-door neighbors (Mike and Carolyn), they alone are not the only ones that Christ calls me to love. When Christ says “Love your neighbor” He is referring to every person that crosses your path. He is not asking you to form a friendly bond with every human being, but He is asking you to... Read more... 

1 Aug 2017

Disney's Moana Took Me By Surprise


Often, when a big new animated movie comes out on DVD, we rent it from Redbox and watch it together with our 3 year old for a little family movie night. But for some reason, despite the hype surrounding Disney's Moana, we never got around to seeing it.

Now, it's actually streaming on Netflix already, so we gave it a watch... Continue Reading

31 Jul 2017

Dealing With Cystic Fibrosis

A "Benefit for Teri (Sanden) Starkey" notice was on the Our Lady of Angels bulletin board this Sunday.

The event was Saturday, July 29, and in Litchfield; a town south and a bit east of here, about an hour and half away.

I saw the notice a day late to do anything by Saturday, but figure I could pass along what I learned.

She has cystic fibrosis, and needs new lungs. The clinic in her area wouldn't or couldn't do the procedure.

The good news is that an outfit in North Carolina will. However, getting a chance to keep her alive means raising money to move her, her two kids, and husband, to North Carolina. That's something like a thousand miles away.

My guess is that the family has above-average medical expenses, too....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Feast Day - A Soldier for Christ




Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Born in 1491, in Azpeitia, Spain, Ignatius grew up dreaming of becoming a knight in the Spanish army. With an affinity for the military, its structure and leadership, Ignatius followed through on his dream. However, in a battle against the French in 1521, Ignatius was struck by a cannon ball – between his legs! Ouch!

Saint Ignatius – Soldier for Christ


While recuperating, over an extended period, he grew restless. Therefore, to combat the boredom, the hospital staff brought him the only books they had available to read. One book was about Christ, and another about the saints. In reading these books, Ignatius recognized the obedience to Christ and the perfection of the saints as similar to the attributes of dedicated army personnel. The inspiration of Christ and the saints created... Read more...

30 Jul 2017

Infallible Pope?

Infallibility?



The "most disturbing image" gag in Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur comic depends on a fairly common misunderstanding of Catholic belief. The important word in that sentence is misunderstanding. Papal infallibility doesn't mean that.

I'm none too pleased that Catholic beliefs are misunderstood by non-Catholics: and by some Catholics. But I can't fault a cartoonist for poking fun at cultural quirks I see as silly. Not reasonably.

Besides, strips featuring the Church of Danae's "so-called holy scriptures" have given me pretty good illustrations of what I don't believe....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Bells, Bells, Bells...

Morning in the monastery:  it starts with a bell.  

Come to think of it, most activities in the monastery start with a bell.  Time to rise:  the bell rings.  Time to pray, eat, study, work, have recreation: the bell rings. Anyone who has spent time in a monastery knows the bell as at least a background.  

Monastics look upon it as the voice of God.

In the dark silence of our monastery morning, the bell calls.  It may not be all that welcome.  It shatters our darkness and our dreams.  If we don't live in a physical monastery, our bell might be a baby's cry.  Or the insistent bleep of an alarm clock.  And oh, our slumber has been so comfortable.  Go away, we think as we slap at the snooze button; give me just a few more minutes.  Let me have time with this dream.....(continue reading)

That undervalued little thing called smile (Spanish) El devaluado beneficio de la sonrisa.

El tema de hoy es un tema que muchos considerarán intrascendente, pero sin embargo y en lo personal nos parece de gran importancia y valor...