Showing posts with label Cross. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cross. Show all posts

17 Apr 2017

That Time the Nice Boy Swore at Me


Or ... Teaching the Faith Sometimes Means Carrying a Cross

Teaching the faith can be a challenge. The Confirmation retreat was nearly over, so we settled back in the main hall after a few hours in the church to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. Though I’ve presented to teenagers for years, it never gets any easier. Corralling them for 8 hours, most against their own will, usually creates a less than friendly atmosphere. This particular group, despite my attempts to provide engaging activities and quick witted presentations, was very difficult to reach.

It was a huge relief to glance at the clock and realize there were fewer than two hours left.“You got this,” I murmured to myself, and grabbed the microphone to begin my last presentation. I barely completed the sign of the cross, when suddenly a young man dressed in a suit stood up.

“Excuse me,” I politely addressed him, “break is over and we are clearly about to pray. We are almost finished; we just have one more subject to cover.” What happened next, even as I type it, still astounds me. “Who,” he began, “do you expletive think you are. This has been complete bull-expletive you have been shoveling at us all day.” Perhaps he saw an opportunity to pounce, since the room had emptied of all adults except me. Before I could answer, he continued with more sentence enhancers and crazy accusations. He had clearly come with preconceived and very misguided notions of Catholicism. My presentations always focus on living the faith in our everyday life and I purposely steer clear of controversial subjects – because I am fully aware that Apologetics are my Achilles heel. This young man perhaps sensed that as well.

The part of my brain that was presently retrieving all of my training in youth ministry and facilitating retreats was screaming “halt, do not fall into this trap, cease all arguments now”! How I wish my brain had won. Instead .... read more 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras

14 Mar 2017

Picking Up the Wrong Cross


...The Gift of Receptivity...

...Personally, my receptivity feelers do not fire on all cylinders. Sure, I’m open to whatever God has for me as long as it is good, healthy, and includes very little discomfort. Unlike Jesus entering into Jerusalem ready to fulfill God’s Will, I spend far too much time avoiding God and his Will. Perhaps I am hoping that if I am really quiet and well-behaved, I will avoid whatever cross is lurking in my day. Ironically, my cross has become my fear of the cross. My focus is far too much on this false fear of the possible tragedy lurking around the corner, and in turn I lose sight the good things God has in store for me—in any situation....

...Holy Thursday Blessings...


All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
Reflection part of the WINE Lenten Book Club #LentenWalk

7 Sep 2016

Journey to the Cross, by Shane Cloonan - Book Review


I recently attended the National Marketing Network Trade Show / Catholic Writers Guild Conference in Chicago this summer. At the tradeshow/conference, we Guild members got to meet many authors and receive free autographed books! I had a great time. Yet, the most memorable moment for me occurred as I traversed through the Trade Show booths.  I came across a table with a certain children’s book on it: Journey to the Cross. I said to myself, “Hey, that’s the book that won in my category at the National Indie Excellence Awards contest this year!” Okay, now I must see what’s so special about this book that it beat out my own book in the contest (mine was named a finalist). What occurred next was beyond awesome.

I stepped up to the table... Read more...

26 Jul 2016

Recipe for Holiness: Ingredient #3 Fortitude


"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."James 1:5  Where I lack the greatest wisdom without a doubt is in discerning the Will of God. There are several factors that block my clearly hearing God speak in my life - primarily my own voice and will are often drowning out God's voice. A very anxious person by nature - I erroneously believe the more of my life I control; the better my life will be. I seem to have this crazy notion that I know better than the creator of the universe what is needed for me to be happy.  

God is not in the happiness business - he is in the holiness business.  Paradoxical however,  the more I order my life to holiness - the truly happier I will be. Not the fading worldly happy but a much deeper, "it can't be taken away from you" joy! His ways are always 'different and higher' (Isaiah 55) from any ideas I may hold onto.   I see tomorrow, and the next day - he sees into infinity (and... oh come on we have to go there... BEYOND!).

.. read more on Reconciled To You .... 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

9 Jun 2015

Conversation With My Guardian Angel

Driving Home from Work.


Suddenly I had such a feeling of appreciation of all the times that I had been protected by my Guardian Angel and Saint Michael the Archangel.  I thought I would give thanks to God. 

Me:  "Z, my Angel, I know how God has allowed you to protect me in the past when I have gone to battle for souls that are lost, and I thank God and you for this gift.  For Z, you know I will go to battle again soon, as God wills it."

Z: "I will be there." 

Me: "I know, and I appreciate that."

Z:  "It is not by your appreciation that I serve." 



25 May 2015

THE EXCHANGE


The truth of our Salvation is far more terrifying on this side of the Cross than for the Jews before the Incarnation of God in the flesh.  

When you study His Passion, you only begin to understand the truth of what His Blood truly means to both those who accept Him and those who .....reject Him. 

TO READ MORE....CLICK HERE!! 

3 Apr 2015

Stabat Mater Dolorosa—Weep Over Sin

Just recently, I read Ali Baba and the Forty thieves for my children. In this story, the wife of Ali Baba’s (unfortunate) brother and her servant girls lament and cry by his corpse, retrieved by Ali Baba from the thieves’ cave. Their lament announces to everyone the death of Ali Baba’s brother. This is just one of many examples of weeping done not only because of a spontaneous desire but with a specific and sometimes direct ritual meaning. And whenever there is a ritual, behind it lies the desire to express a deeper human reality. The ritual, the task, vocation or place, is there to encompass the entire human being when she (the soul) comes in contact with a reality beyond ordinary expression. Or in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf, “not all tears are an evil…”
Our_Lady_Weeping
The task of lamenting is one forgotten in the Western world, along with most meaningful rituals. ....

In sharp contrast to this “liberated human” stands the Mother, weeping beneath the Cross...

10 Feb 2015

Dear Friend, Alone and Miserable

Getty Images
Dear friend,

Your heart is broken.

You feel abandoned and weak, a shadow of your former lively self.

I have been praying for you. At church this weekend, we prayed Psalm 147, and these verses leaped out at me, sounding so applicable to you, my friend:
The Lord heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;

he calls each by name.
I guess I've never thought about every star having a name, but there we have it: "He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name." So the stars have names. What's more, God calls them by their names, implying that the stars respond. The stars are in relationship with God. Not just cold, mechanical constellations that guide navigation, stars have a sort of life and dignity, simply because God makes them and calls to them.

Please join me at Praying with Grace for more.

As I repeated the Psalm response after the cantor, I wondered how calling stars by name and healing
hearts are related. Why do they appear side-by-side in praise of God's power?

Well, both of those tasks are enormous, far too big for any human person. We would never think of asking a mere mortal to call the stars by name! And yet, don't we often look to others to do that other God-thing, to mend our brokenness?

17 Oct 2014

I'm Here."


"Mom, why do you go to Mass everyday?"

"Because I love Him."  

"Who?"

"Our Lord."

"Oh."

"You don't understand do you."

"Not really."  

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE!  

2 Oct 2014

Using Your Guardian Angel Effectively (For the Feast!)


One of God's greatest gifts to us is our Guardian Angel.  He is assigned to us at our conception, and is with us throughout our whole life.  But our Guardian Angel is more than just to protect us various mishaps or evil persons that seek to hinder or even do damage to us.  To know how to effectively communicate with and receive from our Guardian angel all that God wishes us to have, then we have to know more who our Guardian Angel is. 

Who Is He?,,,read more here. 

5 Aug 2014

And The Heavens Opened..



So much happens at one Holy Mass, that it would take more words than exist to explain it.

There is only one place on the earth where the heavens are opened and a human has direct access to the very throne of God for his or her petition.....this is the Holy Mass.

The Saints are in attendance, looking down from heaven, so happy that the Holy Mass is being offered for us. I have seen the saints looking down from heaven, smiling, so happy for us.    I have seen...CLICK HERE!

14 Jul 2014

All...

All...


I was afraid to write some of the posts I have posted lately.  Part of me didn't want to write them, because of what they could cost me.  Yes, I have written the truth, I will not deny that, ever.  And I was commanded to write.  He said, "You MUST write."  "OK I will." And write I shall. 

The truth I tell could cost me dearly.  It has already begun to cost me, but because of my love, I will be obedient.  The Mathematics I love, may be only a dream, a certificate on the wall.   I may never get to use it.  Not my will but yours.  When you know the truth, any pain of any loss is small compared to the pain of the state of souls in the world. ....READ MORE.

1 Jul 2014

Storm the Gates (Part 3)

Nothing will be impossible for you...




This is another experience while I was praying the Stations of the Cross. 

This is what I asked for.

Out of love for all the lost souls that fall into hell constantly, that souls not be lost....

I asked God that the gates of Hell be closed for one hour.

To read more.... CLICK HERE.

2 Mar 2014

Advantage #3 of Having a Large Family - We Can't Helicopter Parent!

As parents of Large Families, we advocate for our children, we communicate with our children and their teachers and friends but we don't hover over them because we simply can't. There's no time! Have you ever heard of the term Helicopter Parent or Hover parent? I was indeed a Hover parent with our oldest. He would sneeze and I'd be at the ready with a Kleenex and a doctors appointment within seconds. What happened to my hover parenting days was 5 children. Once I had our second, our third and so on there just wasn't the time to hover over each child the way I did with my first. I now see that as a blessing although at first the inability to helicopter parent over each child came with some real guilt.

In the past few years, our oldest (I will call him J for privacy reasons) has been diagnosed with severe anxiety and now a new diagnosis of ADHD. We have learnt to advocate for J by encouraging communication with his teachers. Click here to read more!

12 Dec 2013

What Do You Put In The Collection Basket?


What you put in the collection basket says a lot about you and where you are at in your journey.

Some of us put in our 10% tithing without a second thought.

Some of us put in the few “extra” dollars we may have.

Some of us struggle with the need to “give” to the already “rich” church and so put in very little.

I remember once when one of my sons was quite young and had — unbeknownst to me — picked up all his change from his room and put it in the collection basket as it passed. I think it was about 19 cents.

But very few of us realize that when that basket passes, it is an incredible opportunity to give anything and everything to God.

Sure, it is about money and tithing; but money is only the beginning. That collection basket is a chance to empty yourself so that your gifts may be joined to those of Christ’s at the altar and used for God’s kingdom. They will be joined in the consecration and if offered with no strings attached can be appropriately dispensed by God, who sees all.

Remember that Mass transcends time and space and you are joining all the Masses said, at all moments in time, and that your gifts become priceless in the ways they can be given to others if you so freely give them yourself.
 read more >
Cheryl Dickow at www.BezalelBooks.com

2 Nov 2013

The Heartbeat of Jesus, Why I Live

I was wandering the woods in my amnesia, 
Following the lights to scattered campfires, wandering to who knows where.
The moon was full
My heart was hungry
Who am I? Where am I?  So lost, confused and crying.

When my father held me as a baby, his heartbeat soothed my every tear.

When I am close to Jesus, I am near his heartbeat too. 
I am a baby in his arms and His Sacred Heart holds my heart in the safest place I'll ever be.
As I grew older, my dad and I camped by the river. The heartbeat of the river soothed me in the intoxicating laurel thicket where we slept.
Every evening, my dad's friend would say, “This is the life.”

Years passed when I could not hear that heartbeat.
All I could hear were chaotic sounds of need and fear,
frantic crickets and cicadas seeking quickly fleeting mates.
The moon was full
My heart was hungry
Starving, all alone.


One day, I will find myself, floating on my back, nailed to my cross.
I won't move there but I'll be freer than in all my life, alongside of Jesus in that river of peace.
Indifferent to my pain, my peace will deepen, more than I have ever known. He has showed me that.
Jesus, floating with me, will say to me, with all delight, “My child, this is the life.”

The Cross, it is the Life, the life that pulls me back into the rhythm of His heart at His breast and the waves in their joy, “My child my child, this is the Only Life.”
My heart is full
As the moon fades into dawn.
Amen.

-Laura Paxton 11/02/2013

9 Sep 2013

True Beauty and the Cross

It seems as if everyone nowadays is so obsessed with appearance.  Many are trapped in the world that tells them that unless they wear their makeup the "right" way, they'll never be good enough.  Our society tells us that unless we look a certain way, and dress a certain style, and carry ourselves the "popular" way, we'll never be accepted and we'll never be cherished.

I beg to differ.  I'm a teenage girl ~ I know what's out there, waiting to starve our true spirits and transform us into jealous creatures who are intent on fighting what is a losing battle.

For "Dove Evolution" video

(This video shows just how much our society has negatively warped the perception of beauty.  In 1.25 minutes, we're shown that an average-looking woman is "airbrushed" into being model-perfect.  It's scary, actually.)

It seems like when culture tried to conform us all into the mold of the "perfect person", it threw out most of the originality, the spark... the very essence of being alive, of being an beautiful, unique soul that cannot be replaced.  Ever.

Just a few nights ago, I rewatched Frank Capra's It Happened One Night.  The part where Ellie asks Peter if he's given up on finding his ideal girl really struck me this time.  He says,

"Aw, where you gonna find her? Somebody that's real. Somebody that's alive. They don't come that way anymore.  I saw an island in the Pacific once. I've never been able to forget it. That's where I'd like to take her. She'd have to be the sort of a girl who'd jump in the surf with me and love it as much as I did. Nights when you and the moon and the water all become one. You feel you're part of something big and marvelous. That's the only place to live. The stars are so close over your head you feel you could reach up and stir them around. Certainly, I've been thinking about it."

Notice there are no descriptions of physical beauty.  Nothing like, "I need her to be five feet and seven inches tall.  Straight blonde hair.  Green eyes."  Really, personality counts.  

Read the rest here.

1 Mar 2013

The Priest and Your Cross



I went to Holy Mass and I was crying, not for myself, but sometimes God puts in on my heart to weep for souls that are lost. 

This day I was crying very much for the lost.  After we received the Holy Eucharist, the Priests (we had two that day at St. Luke) began to pray for me. I know this because I could feel their prayers for me.   I could feel these men's beautiful hearts praying for me. Men by their nature are made to be the protector of the family.  How much more so is a Priest a protector, not just by his nature of being a man, but by being "in persona Christi" for those in his church 'family'?

I could feel these beautiful Priests hearts praying for me, praying out of a desire to protect me, to shield me from any pain as evidenced by my tears, and if that was not possible, to have God intervene so that I would no longer cry. Good and holy priests, with hearts like St. Joseph, loving, protecting those in your charge.  Yet this heart was also like our Lord's, that is their hearts were on the cross.  Not only did they wish to protect me, but they hurt in their heart for me, taking on my pain and I could feel that too. 

This is why a priest reflects Jesus crucified into the world, because of a Holy Priests love for those to whom they have been given charge of.   These good and Holy men, anointed by God to the Priesthood were willing to take on my pain so I would not continue to suffer. What love this is.

This is why a priest doesn't just carry his own cross, but out of love for you he carries a little bit of your cross too. 

Augustine is not an Excuse

Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.  -St.Augustine A few weeks back, the incorrigible Milo Yiannopolus posted  his side ...