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Showing posts with the label sacraments

The Sin We Don't Like to Admit

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The Sin I Hate to Admit to is Envy A few years ago I was sitting in a conference hall awaiting the next speaker.  It was Jeff Cavins and he was coming up to speak about envy.  I actually contemplated going to do something else for that hour because although I knew I had an occasional issue with jealousy, I was all set in the envy arena. OH my, was I wrong!!  Probably why the Spirit sat me mid-row that day; and as I looked down the row and realized how many people I'd have to vault and navigate to leave, I decided to leave my bottom planted and listen.

That Time the Nice Boy Swore at Me

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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 finish…

Why Even Faithful Catholics Suffer From Mental Illness

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Although most respectable members of our parishes try to look healthy and content in public, mental illness is as common and invisible among the faithful as it is in secular circles. I would wager that mental health issues are especially prevalent among the devout who are serious about their inner life; when people tackle deep inner issues which prevent God from working in their lives, their inner equilibrium is upset by stress, anxiety, and depression. 

This probably explains why most saints experienced profound periods of depression when they finally looked beneath their pious actions to face the reality of their own ingrained sin and subsequent need for inner purification.

God offers His children the means to become free from sin, bad habits and mental illness through the Church, prayer, confession but also through therapy. Let's bring mental illness out of the shadows of shame and into the Light of Christ.

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Pope Francis' Recipe for Holiness - One Part Grace

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The Grace TrifectaStanding before a room of 30 or so women facilitating my first faith sharing back in 2006, I fumbled around for the proper words as I tried to answer one participant's seemingly simple question on the grace of God.  What is grace?  While I had this innate understanding, I could not formulate the right words to express what I believed it to be. I realized, I had no definition.
Fast forward a few years, I am sitting in a small chapel in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (aka Jesus in the Eucharist). In my reading I once again face the question, what is grace? This time I open the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit.   That day the Allison abridged version of how I define the grace of God, was born (see image above) and I discovered the GRACE TRIFECTA ... Read More

All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

Ideas for Refilling Our Grace Well

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The most effective way to refill the ‘grace well’ at the heart of how we may more easily choose the things of God over that of the world is by participating, in what I affectionately refer to as, the “Grace Trifecta”. The secret is simple – immerse yourself in God’s abundant grace through the frequent, it not daily, practice of prayer, sacrament and scripture.

For specific ideas on how to embrace the grace God has abundantly available for us through prayer, sacrament and scripture - read more ...

Using Your Angelic Legion Effectively

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Q.  "Are there Legions of Angels?" Yes, there are Legions of Angels.  Jesus spoke of twelve Legions of Angels that were available to Him.And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.  Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:52-53)But never forget, the Demon has also Legions also.   Remember when Jesus went to exorcise the man of the demon that dwelt among the tombs that could not be contained with a chain?TO READ MORE....CLICK HERE!!

Storm The Gates! (Part 1)

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And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18.


"...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.".  What does this mean? How can a gate prevail?  Wouldn't it be demons that would prevail, but that isn't want our Lord said, He said 'gates'.    

A gate is something to keep something in, or to keep something out.  It can also be used as a passageway.  

From the scripture we know there is more than one gate. ('gates' plural).  There are supposedly 12 gates into heaven the same as the number of apostles, the demon loves to mock God, so their must be more than one gate into hell, but how many?
To Find out How Many.. Click HERE!!

First Communion, Fourth Time Lucky

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Scabbed heads, burned faces, and stomach viruses might not seem like a lucky start to my fourth child Marguerite's First Communion day. Poor Marguerite tripped over the curb at school a few days before her First Communion and went flying up, up, up, and then down onto the pavement. Scabbed knees, scabbed hands, but the worst was a big scab on her forehead right by her hairline. Not the best for close-up shots.

Then there was my husband's burned face. He got scalded in the shower (horrible, I know -- how did that happen?), and the entire left side of his face was covered by a reddish-purplish burn. To disguise it, we had to decide between a Phantom of the Opera style mask, a Middle Eastern veil, or Loreal True Match foundation. We went with the foundation.
Read more of our story here...

Life in the Universe: Focusing the Search

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Scientists have found at least a dozen planets where life might exist. They're learning more about biosignatures: signs of life.
Understanding Life's Limits"...An Enormous Quantity of Creatures of Every Kind...""...So Much We Still Don't Understand"A Growing Catalog of Known WorldsEarth-Sized Planets: Billions of ThemSearching the Sky: Frustration and Vindication Life on Other Worlds: Imagined
(From "Quatermass and the Pit," via Tales of Future Past, used w/o permission)
('That's odd: he doesn't look German.')

Some science fiction movies strayed from the man-in-a-rubber-suit style of space alien. But most extraterrestrials in the movies look at least vaguely human.

I don't mind, since "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Last Starfighter," and "Spaced Invaders" are entertainment: not documentaries....

...Angels are persons, too: beings of pure spirit, with no bodies. They "are personal…

Ash Wednesday ain't just for Catholics!

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We all know that I am married to an atheist. Who gasped? Really, it's something that we work on in our marriage like anything else. Granted it was hard and there was arguing in the beginning. I even ruined some tongs over it. A lot of it is a delicate balance of respect and a whole lot of Holy Spirit intervention and trust! What does this have to to with Ash Wednesday? It's a perfect example of that balance I wrote of earlier. We always try to compromise on the little stuff so it's easier to when the big stuff comes. Usually, when he compromises, I can tell, because he says funny things like "I accept you, and I love you", with a grin, especially when I come downstairs in the morning looking particularly groggy, or scratch my very dry legs while watching a basketball game, and even...burp! That last one doesn't happen often anymore.
See, (tangent coming) I thought when you didn't let the burp out, no one could hear it. My husband finally filled me in on …

Switching it Up: Changing Kids' Wardrobes from Fall to Winter

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While kids are merrily jumping in piles of fall leaves, moms of many are getting buried in piles of last season's clothing. Denim shorts and fluttery sundresses get ever so gently yanked out of clutching hands to be stored away for younger siblings. Executives of Rubbermaid and other containerizing companies must grin ear-to-ear at this change of season. Because, really, is it possible to have too many plastic storage tubs? Not in my house.




In the picture above, you can see three of my daughters sitting in a sea of last season's clothes. (That's actually more like a week's worth of laundry, but you didn't think I would dump it all out, did you?)

Read more...

Holy Tuesday: Reflecting on Christ Alive

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This Holy Tuesday morning I drove to the Carmelite Nuns Monastery in Georgetown for daily Mass.  It's a good 25 minute drive from where I live, and I had hoped not to be late.  I arrived at my destination with 5 minutes to spare.

Not only did I wish to attend Mass, but I also hoped that the Nuns had posted their Triduum schedule.  They had.  Now I can look forward to attending their Holy Week liturgies.  I have done so in previous years. 

The Monastery has a public chapel where visitors attend Mass while the Nuns have their own chapel to the left side of the sanctuary.  Their chapel is separated from the sanctuary by a grill.  You might enjoy looking at the chapel photos on the Nuns website, here.

The daily Mass is not too different from daily Mass at a parish, but the atmosphere in the chapel is, in my opinion, quieter, as there are fewer people present, and those who are observe great reverence.  At communion time, the chaplain, Fr. Tom, distributes Holy Communion …

Back to the Catacombs

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In the future the Catholic church will again be despised as it was when it was beginning. The culture will rise up against the church all over the world. The Holy Mass will be outlawed and the Holy Mass and the sacraments will go underground again. The weaning out of those that will not be able to stand those times has already begun. Many will not be able to stand the pressure that the culture will bring to bear on our faith. They will just fade away quietly, but fade away they will. In many hearts is not the fortitude to stand up to what is to come as we are again attacked for our faith. What will be left is what we had in the beginning of the church, no weakness, faith as strong as iron, those who don't "believe", they KNOW. 

The remnant will not only give all they possess, but not even deny God their own blood to be shed for the faith, for they will know that if God wills, it is by shedding their blood that there is victory and many will be saved. 

Now is not the time f…