Showing posts with label virtue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virtue. Show all posts

14 Mar 2018

Do You Hear the Voice of God? Boom or Whisper?

Do you hear the voice of God speaking to you? Sometimes it may come as an inner feeling of peace. Other times it may come to you through the voice of a trusted spouse, or friend. And then there are those times when you might read a piece of Scripture, and in your heart, you know that God is directing you to do something. In today’s Gospel from John 5:17-30, we read,

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life, and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24).
This passage affirms for me that my belief in Christ, and His salvific action of dying on the Cross and rising from the dead, will one day lead me to spending eternity with the Blessed Trinity. Some days, when doubt creeps in, I need to hear this message.

How do you hear the voice of God?

For me, one day, God spoke directly to me through... Read more...

7 Mar 2018

What Demons, AKA Vice, Do You Need Driven Out?

We hear from St Luke in the Gospel reading today (Luke 11:14-23) where Jesus is casting out demons with divine authority. Fast forward 2,000+ years. Jesus continues to cast out demons in our lives; those demons we call vice. What vices do you need driven out from your life? Is it one of the seven deadly sins?

Do you suffer from unresolved anger that bubbles to the surface in a moment’s notice? Or perhaps you envy the nice things/attributes possessed by others? Let’s not forget greed and gluttony; an overzealous desire for money, power, fame or food/drink. Maybe your “demons” are more sexually oriented, due to lust. Perhaps you just don’t give a darn about anything because you suffer from sloth. And then there is pride – the root of all evil – deemed the deadliest of the seven deadly sins. With pride, we exhibit a lack of humility, thinking we can handle everything on our own. Well, that’s a surefire sign of pride.

Driving Out Demons

We may suffer from some, or all, of these vices, but we are not lost because of them. No, we have hope in the saving grace of Christ. He shows us... Read more...

5 Mar 2018

Molly McBride and the Party Invitation – Book Review

Molly McBride is back! I was so excited to see Molly McBride and the Party Invitation, by Jean Schoonover-Egolf hit the shelves. This is Egolf’s third installment, in the Molly McBride series. I’m a big fan of Molly McBride, as I love her spunky attitude. I’ve enjoyed reading all three books, courtesy of Egolf. You can read my review of the first two books here.

Molly McBride and the Party Invitation

Now, let’s talk about Molly McBride and the Party Invitation. In this installment, Molly’s birthday is about to occur, and of course, we must have a party! Yet, Momma says that ALL of Molly’s classmates MUST be invited to the party. That includes that mean boy, named Sam. If Sam comes to the party, he’ll ruin it! What is Molly to do? How can she have a great party, AND make sure that Sam doesn’t come?

What ensues is a tale of...

28 Feb 2018

The Battle Against Yourself, by Greg J. Vogt - Book Review

The Battle Against Yourself is a gripping real-life story from Greg J. Vogt. In Vogt’s debut novel, a memoir, he takes us from despair to hope, from sadness to happiness. He tells us of his battle with depression and attempts at suicide. It started in high school; with what many might overlook as typical teen angst. Yet, if we were to peel away at the layers of the onion, so to speak, we would see that Greg’s depression, at its root, stemmed from an internal feeling of lack of control, coupled with external factors/occurrences that sent him “off the deep-end.” Greg Vogt artfully articulates his internal loneliness, his low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness, brought on by those eternal factors that exasperated his situation.

Rather Than Battle Against Yourself, Take Control

I found Vogt’s story extremely compelling, authentic and well written. He doesn’t sugar-coat the harshness of reality; nor does he gloss over trivialities. His story is down-to-earth, and uplifting at the same time. The subtitle of the book says it all: Take Control, or Be Your Own Worst Enemy. His advice is... Read more...

26 Feb 2018

Seeking Mercy This Lenten Season

For approximately one year, I have been reading the Diary of Saint Faustina. It started out as a Lenten practice to learn more about Christ’s mercy. Usually, I can read a book within a few days. However, in this instance, it’s taking me quite a long time to work my way through this book. It is so jam-packed with information concerning Christ’s mercy. I read a few pages, at a time, on Mondays, when I attend Adoration. Then I reflect on what Saint Faustina is trying to convey regarding how Christ’s mercy works, and why we should all be seeking mercy.

Seeking Mercy – A Few Tips as to Why We Should

From what I have read to date, here is what I want to share with you:

  1. Christ’s mercy is readily accessible to everyone willing to seek it from Our Lord.
  2. Jesus wants... Read more... 

21 Feb 2018

Seeking God’s Forgiveness During Lent

Lent is an excellent time for seeking God’s forgiveness, via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this sacrament, God cleanses us from our sins and reunites us to Christ. Although you may be apprehensive at the onset of disclosing your sins to priest, it is really Christ in whom you are confessing your sins, as the priest is acting in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. You will exit the Confessional filled with God’s graces of gratitude, humility, joy and peace.

As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator for my parish, I work with people coming from other Christian faiths, (or no faith), who wish to consider becoming Catholic. One of the most common questions I get is “Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? Why can’t you just ask God directly for forgiveness?” To answer these questions, this video from gives the best answers: Read more...

19 Feb 2018

Does a Random Act of Kindness Really Do Any Good?

Did you know that Saturday was Random Act of Kindness Day? Might someone have provided you with a random act of kindness that simply made you smile? If so, please share the experience in the comments section below. We could all use a little good news about now. It would be nice to know that some people are out there doing good for others. How grand it would be if we applied the principle of Random Act of Kindness Day to our everyday lives! Oh, just think of what a nicer world it would be, if we were all kinder to each other.

Kindness Produces Good Ripples

When someone is kind to you, you naturally want to respond in a positive way. Kindness produces good ripples!!! If everyone did one kind thing for someone else every day, then kindness would spread everywhere. For example, ...Read more...

14 Feb 2018

Hearts and Ashes; Love and Mercy For the Taking

Wow! Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day on the same day! Hearts and Ashes in one fell swoop! Today is the day when we show our love for our spouses and loved ones, with valentines. It is also a day that we show our love for Christ, with ashes on our foreheads; marking ourselves as belonging to Christ. Today, we can consider the ashes on our foreheads as our own personal valentine to God, acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His love for us.

Talk about bittersweet days! No hearts filled with assorted chocolates this year! Considering that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence, there is no going out to dinner tonight either. Yet, the love of Christ is ever-present on this day, and we soak it up. I’ll give up a candy heart, and a steak dinner, knowing that Jesus loves me. There is no better Valentine than that! My fasting and abstinence is a small sacrifice of self-giving love back to Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross.


12 Feb 2018

A Storytellers Guide to a Grace Filled Life – Book Review

I must start this post by telling you that I have been a friend and fan of Tony Agnesi for approximately four years now. Several years ago, as a fledgling Catholic blogger, I reached out to him, seeking advice. You see, Tony has an awesome blog over at, where he blogs about virtue as well. Where I write more from a theological/academic point of view on virtue, Tony writes from experience. I once asked him, “How do you come up with such great stories? You are quite creative!” His reply, “Those things really happened to me!” God uses Tony, daily, to reach out to the less fortunate; to witness to the faith; and to use his gift for storytelling to reach the hearts of many. In A Storytellers Guide to a Grace Filled Life, we see Tony Agnesi at work in God’s Garden of life.

A Storytellers Guide to a Grace Filled Life

… captures the best of Tony Agnesi’s stories aimed at showing you how to find God’s Grace in your own life. As a master storyteller, Agnesi shares with us stories of virtue and grace found in all aspects of life; from the family, to the workplace, to the streets of your town. With each story, he offers... Read more...

7 Feb 2018

Lent is a Week Away! Are You Ready to Make It Fruitful?

Can you believe it? Lent is only one week away! We’ve barely left the Christmas season, and we are about to walk the journey, with Christ, to Calvary. Are you prepared to enter the Lenten season? Are you ready to make the most of it?

Things You Can Do to Make Your Lent Fruitful

  1. Prayer: Make a point to set aside a few minutes each day to pray. If you have enough time to say a full Rosary, great! But, sometimes, the day gets away from us. So, a vow to say a single Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be is a commitment I think we all could easily make. Prayer is talking with God. He wants to hear from you!
  2. Fasting: At a minimum, make the effort to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting, I mean a reduced breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner. No desserts! If you can do this on a set day of the week, once weekly during Lent, all the better! Fasting helps us to understand that without God, we are nothing. It is God who provides for us: our homes, our jobs, our food, everything!
  3. Almsgiving: Make a point to reach out to the less fortunate. Clean your closets and donate some clothes/goods to the poor. Donate your time, money and/or food to a food pantry. Volunteer for a ministry at your Church. Remember what Jesus said, “whatever you did for the least of these, my brothers, you did for Me” (Matt 25:40). Be charitable toward others.

5 Feb 2018

Do You Believe Christ Can Heal You? Do You Believe in His Power?

In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 6:53-56, we hear of Christ giving His healing touch to so many people. More than that though, we learn of the faith of the people who believed that “they might touch only the tassel on his cloak” (Matt 6:56) and be healed. And yes, merely touching the tassel of his cloak was sufficient. Fast forward 2,000 years. Do you believe today, that Jesus can heal you? Do you believe in His power? I do!

Jesus Christ Responds to Prayer

Recently, my sister, a paraplegic, entered the hospital, with medical concerns. Many people said many prayers for her healing. The doctors were concerned because after two tries at some tests, the results were inclusive. Her situation required consultation with experts, to obtain a proper diagnosis. For a few weeks, (over the Christmas holidays), we all held our breath, and said many prayers. Then... Read more... 

31 Jan 2018

Bullying Has No Grace; But Forgiveness Does! Here's My Story

I have a great deal of personal experience when it comes to bullying. You see, I was bullied for eight consecutive years, while attending a Catholic grade school. There were only 38 children in my class, so I was an easy target. Because of my physical deformity of clubbed feet, I wore braces on my legs. This set me apart from the others, making me the “outcast.” (The photo to the left was taken in 1962, at age 5). After what I experienced, it is amazing that I am still alive to tell my story today.

Bullying Has No Grace

The ugliness of the constant and consistent verbal abuse, demeaning my dignity and self-worth, proves to me that bullying has no grace. Bullying is an evil act. My bullies constantly referred to me as “metal legs,” “cootie bug,” – you get the picture. Their derisive behavior played havoc on my self-worth, leaving me changed, and not for the better. They scarred my psyche.

The Lingering Effects of Bullying

As I progressed through high school and college, I always felt like I needed to prove myself. No matter what I did, it was never good enough (in my mind). I didn’t realize how damaged my dignity and self-worth was until I was approximately 40 years old. I was at lunch one day, and had an epiphany. This epiphany was the beginning of a very slow process to recovery and forgiveness of my bullies.

I came to realize that...

24 Jan 2018

Philothea, or An Introduction to a Devout Life, by Saint Francis de Sales

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, a 16th century Bishop of Geneva, who is also designated as a Doctor of the Church. What better way to celebrate this man, then to discuss one of his masterpieces. I found Philothea, or An Introduction to a Devout Life to be a gem!
We start with the title. “Philothea” translates to the study of God. How better to study God than by trying to emulate Him via living a devout life. How does one go about living a devout life? By embracing virtue and incorporating said virtue into the fabric of one’s life.

Saint Francis de Sales, A Master of Virtue

In Philothea or An Introduction to a Devout Life, Saint Francis de Sales does a masterful job of setting the stage by counseling us in understanding a desire for a devout life. He then instructs us on our approach to God in prayer and through the sacraments. Then, de Sales devotes an entire part of the book to the practice of virtue. He places special emphasis on dealing with temptation. Saint Francis de Sales concludes his book with an entire part devoted to the renewal of the soul and the confirmation of the devotion. Read more...

22 Jan 2018

Assessing Your Virtue Maturity: How Do You Fare?

You know what you do well, and you know where you fall short. The question is do you know why? In the areas that you do well, where the task comes easy to you, these are the results of God’s grace. He has showered you with talents. In the areas in need of improvement, these are your imperfections. It is with the imperfections, aka faults, that God gives us an opportunity to transcend beyond our current state, and grow in virtue; come closer to perfection. But, before we can strive for perfection, we first need to assess our Virtue Maturity.

Assessing Virtue Maturity

So, how do we assess our good qualities and those areas in need of improvement? We do so by evaluating how well we... Read more...

17 Jan 2018

Time for Reflection, Finding the Gold in Your Life

It seems to be common practice to take stock of our lives, as we turn the calendar on one year and welcome the next. January makes for a good time for reflection. Everything seems to calm down after the holidays, offering us an opportunity to assess our lives. In this assessment, we tend to look at the pros and cons that make up us. We identify our good qualities, as well as our faults. By doing so, we gain perspective on where we are at, on this journey we call life.

Time for Reflection: Finding the “Gold”

Sometimes it is a scary endeavor to face reality. We may not like what we find. But, if we look close enough, and dig deep enough, we may just find gold! Looking deep, we find some virtues that come innately easy to us. We find that there are many things for which we excel at. For example, perhaps... Read more... 

15 Jan 2018

Martin Luther King Jr., A Man of Peace and Many More Virtues

Today, in the United States, we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. He was a loving father, and husband. Yet, most of us know of him as an influential preacher within the evangelical movement; a solider for Christ. King was a fighter for the underdog, as a Civil Rights leader of the 1960’s. He took Christ’s message to the streets, leading non-violent marches, seeking equality for all. This man truly understood what it meant to work for the common good of all. Today it seems that our leaders would rather work for the benefit of the elite, or few.

Who espouses the qualities of Martin Luther King Jr.  today?

I’m glad that we are remembering this man’s contributions to our society today, for I fear that his message of equality is quickly becoming lost on those in power, who have the ability and charge to work for the common good. Income inequality is skyrocketing. Racial inequality continues to plague our society. As in the 1960’s, we need voices like Martin Luther King Jr. to... Read more... 

11 Dec 2017

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness

Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. Advent is just that, but it is also a time for healing and forgiveness, as we see in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:17-26, In this Gospel reading, we learn of the power and authority of Jesus to forgive sins. We hear about the paralyzed man lowered from the roof into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus not only forgives the man of his sins, but because of the confidence in God, expressed by his friends, Jesus also heals the man of his paralysis.

What sin may be paralyzing you; preventing you from embracing the joy and peace of the Christmas season? Now is the time to seek...Read more... 

6 Dec 2017

Feast of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

The Feast of Saint Nicholas is one of my favorite feast days for a few reasons. First, this day marks my husband, Nick’s, Feast Name Day. Happy Feast Name Day Nick! Second, I just love the story of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra! Let me tell you some interesting facts about this holy man.

The Real Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas was born into wealth, in 270 A.D., in a town along the southern coast of Turkey. He was raised as a devout Christian. However, his parents died, from an epidemic, when Nicholas was very young. They left their money to Nicholas. Literally following the biblical passage, “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” (Matt 19:21), Nicholas used all his wealth to give aid and comfort to the sick and the poor. Therefore, known for his generosity, Saint Nicholas has become... Read more...

27 Nov 2017

My Mission Expands: Coming to a Parish Near You

Most of you have gotten to know me through my blog posts on this website. By sharing my thoughts and experiences, I hope that you grow in virtue and grow closer to God. I am blessed that my blog has been named in the top 100 websites worldwide by Yet, a blog can only reach so many people. There are so many more who need to hear the message of Jesus’ Way – via the virtues, prayer and spirituality. So, in addition to blogging on the virtues (and other points of interest), I also do public speaking engagements on matters related to the Catholic faith. In my engagements, I bring the virtues, prayer and spirituality to life, showing others how they can more easily incorporate them into their daily lives. It is truly a rewarding experience. It is my mission to bring to life Jesus’ Way to others. And now, my mission expands.

In moving from my desktop computer, to the parish hall, I take Christ’s words of wisdom to His faithful. To date, my speaking engagements have been at parishes within my Diocese. Now it’s time to expand my mission. With that expansion, there is a lot of preparatory work involved. For example, a public speaker needs...Read more...

22 Nov 2017

Give Thanks This Thanksgiving - Join Me in Showing Gratitude

I can’t believe that another holiday season is upon us! This year just zoomed past me. Yet, I have much to be thankful for this year. On this eve of Thanksgiving, I give thanks for:

  • Each of you, for your support and friendship. May God bless every one of you.
  • My loving husband of 38+ years. May we have many more together.
  • Good health for both my husband and me. We had a health scare earlier this year, but God is good, and all is well. May we all continue to be in good health.
  • The opportunity to serve as RCIA Coordinator for my parish. What a blessing to be able to share the faith with people who really want to have a close relationship with Jesus. We have seven women going through the program, with the hope of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter. Please keep them, and me, in your prayers.
  • A roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, and food on my table. God provides! Sometimes, I don’t know how He does it, but He does it!

Give Thanks with Me

For what do you wish to give thanks for this Thanksgiving? Add your thoughts... Read more...

Catholic Authors: Pray, Listen, Then Write

Some Catholic authors write as if they belong to a Church Beleaguered, not the Church Triumphant.  Articles tend to be either defensive ...