Showing posts with label sacraments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sacraments. Show all posts

12 Jun 2017

The Sin We Don't Like to Admit

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.

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

11 Oct 2016

Why Even Faithful Catholics Suffer From Mental Illness



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.

continue

12 Jul 2016

Pope Francis' Recipe for Holiness - One Part Grace

The Grace Trifecta

Standing 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

22 Jan 2016

Ideas for Refilling Our Grace Well


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 ...

15 Nov 2015

Using Your Angelic Legion Effectively

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!!  

28 Jun 2014

Storm The Gates! (Part 1)

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!!

7 May 2014

First Communion, Fourth Time Lucky


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...

18 Apr 2014

Life in the Universe: Focusing the Search

Scientists have found at least a dozen planets where life might exist. They're learning more about biosignatures: signs of life.
  1. Understanding Life's Limits
  2. A Growing Catalog of Known Worlds
  3. Earth-Sized Planets: Billions of Them
  4. Searching 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 and immortal creatures," with "intelligence and will." But angels are not human. Not even close.

Would I Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

I'm not authorized to perform baptisms, so: no, I would not. I wouldn't baptize anyone, since I'm not a deacon, priest, or bishop.

Bear in mind that I speak with the full authority of some guy with a blog....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Feb 2014

Ash Wednesday ain't just for Catholics!

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 a little secret. "Keeping it inside, doesn't keep it quiet, (ain't that the truth for a lot of things!) but man, do I love you." That's how I know a compromise has been made. Because I kinda knew he could hear it. Deceiving myself!
The first Ash Wednesday we spent as a family was just last year. I came into the faith in 2012, and he didn't come with us (me and the boys) that first year, it wasn't an angry protest, he was just working.
Last year, we are sitting in the pew and it's time to go up to receive ashes. I am all about the wonder and awe of mass when my knees hit the carpet. I always pray huge thank you's to God that I am even there because, I really am blessed to be there.
Why? Continue reading at my place!

18 Oct 2013

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

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.


So last season.


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...

26 Mar 2013

Holy Tuesday: Reflecting on Christ Alive

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 first to the nuns, and then to those of us in the public chapel.  So this gives me ample time for pre-communion meditation.

More ...

9 Feb 2013

Back to the Catacombs




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 for sweetness and light, our priests and bishops must teach and speak the truth boldly from the pulpit. This does not lack any love. Is it love to allow someone to remain in a burning house and not tell them it is on fire? Sometimes it is better to shout the danger to souls so that they avoid the fire. Why do I predict this? Because the sin of abortion is like a cancer that is eating the secular culture giving way to many things that are evil being allowed or called good. We are truly in the time when what is evil in God's eyes is called "good". This greatest sin, killing our own children will beget a hatred and a desire to bring down the still living representation of God's church on the earth, the Holy Catholic Church. The tide is turning...the waves are beginning to increase even now. We will be persecuted, we are being persecuted - but not to it's fullest extent yet. 

I beg every priest that is within the sound of my voice to hear what I say now and hold it in your heart. When the time comes that the Holy Mass is again driven underground, I beg you...I BEG you...you must continue the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass privately. Even if no person may be able to attend for fear of the danger involved, the Holy Mass MUST continue on the earth - for without it the earth would cease to exist! This is one of God's gifts to His church so that the gates of hell would never prevail against it, the fact that the laity is not required to be in attendance at the Holy Mass for the Holy Sacrifice to take place. You will do us better service to continue the Holy Mass even if we cannot attend for fear of danger than by having it not performed at all. Do the Holy Mass at the Hour of Mercy, 3 pm if possible, thus also guaranteeing the perpetual sacrifice throughout the world. 

The ones in our pews now that use birth control, the I.U.D, and are not faithful to the Magisterium, when the time comes for the hardest of persecution, they will drop their faith like they picked up a hot pan. Thinking they are right above God, they will "pray" for us in our misguided desire to click to the "old" faith and not keep up with "science and the times.". I tell you these are the ones that are more lost than any protestant that never new the faith. Because they were given the Catholic faith, and all of our tools to seek and to know the truth. One rosary a day would have saved them...so little, yet many will not do this one prayer and thus be lost. 

While the Priests will be doing the Holy Mass for salvation of the world, we the remnant must know our faith so that we can teach others. The priest that is in hiding will have to focus on the Holy Mass and the Sacraments, it will be up to us to teach the faith and bring souls into the church. Learn your faith NOW, know it well, and evangelize it NOW teach your children the faith NOW, this will be the training ground for what must come later. 

'Or are you envious because I am generous?' Sunday Reflections, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

The Red Vineyard , Van Gogh   [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings   (Jerusal...