5 Mar 2017



Cloistered at the Carnival

I once had a dream about a carnival. Specifically, I dreamed I was living in a little house on carnival grounds. It was night, but the light streaming in through my windows was bright and garish. It flashed bursts of purple and white and blue and yellow, ceaselessly, across walls and floors and faces. There were other people in the house... (continue)

As the Morning Rising: The Shattered Millwheel

As the Morning Rising: The Shattered Millwheel: I can feel helpless when listening to or watching the latest news bulletins. One day seems to follow the next with little evidence o...

Living With Consequences

I've missed one morning set, and several of the evening prayer sequences, in the routine I started February 13. (February 19, 2017)

I'm doing a little better with so far with the Lenten Chaplet. I started that Ash Wednesday.

Emphasis on "so far." I nearly forgot twice, which doesn't surprise me. There's a very good reason for my wife handling the household's schedules, and that's another topic.

This is where I could quote Romans 7:19 and launch into a 'wretcheder than thou' lament. It'd be accurate, on one level, since I've felt this way often enough....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 Minute Daily Retreat: Lent - "Can you drink this cup...?"

...“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”  “We can,” they answeredMatthew 20:22

I’m a nurse; I’ve seen people suffer. I’ve helped calm women as they experience the agony of childbirth.  I’ve administered morphine when the pain of cancer becomes too much to bare. I’ve held a mother as she wailed after the death of her child.

James and John want prestige, position and favouritism from Jesus. Instead he offers them suffering! And they accepted it. They went on to experience terrible suffering, and they persevered and endured.

Do we dare to sit before Jesus and allow Him to ask us, 'can you drink of this cup?'

During this season of Lent...read on: https://susannetimpani.blogspot.com.au/ 

4 Mar 2017

Lent:What Does God REALLY Want?

In these first days of Lent, the Church shows us exactly how God wants us to pray, fast, serve His people and worship Him.
The words from Isaiah 58:1-9 are like brilliant beams of light, cutting through any false notions we might have about this season of repentance that we call Lent. Often we tend to think of Lent as a time to share in the suffering of Christ yet when we do so, we become morose and end up centring more on our own sacrificial devotions than on God.

'Jesus, mercy; Mary, help.' Sunday Reflections, 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A

The Tempation of Christ, Juan de Flandes
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia)
Gospel Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Ed)

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’
Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
“Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”’
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Matt Talbot statue, Dublin [Wikipedia]
Full post here.

As the Morning Rising: Ways not Comfortable

As the Morning Rising: Ways not Comfortable: ‘The ways of the Lord are not comfortable, but we were not created for comfort, but for greatness, for good.' Pope Benedict...

3 Mar 2017

Lent Challenge: Becoming Healthier Physically and Spiritually! (Day 1)

As you all know Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. And here is my public proclamation of faith!

So we all know the topic to follow is of course Lent! This year for Lent I have chosen to give up soda (because I do not need it). I also chose to take on becoming more spiritually and physically healthy.
I want my changes to stick after 40 days and I know that I can not do it alone. At first I wanted to join a fitness program. It seemed amazing the girl who ran it seemed awesome but hubby said no. Mainly because I always start the gym  and don’t finish it. So he said that if I could do the workouts on my pintrest board that cost nothing that I always say I am going to do, we  could revisit the conversation.
So for getting myself physically healthy I am going to work out for 30 mins a day six days a week. I will admit that some things will have to be modified for me because of my fibro, but that will be mentioned as it becomes relevant. All of the work outs I use in the challenge will be available here on My Lent Workout Challenge Pintrest Board 

TRAPPIST-1: Water? Life??

TRAPPIST-1's planets may support life: or not. We don't know. Not yet.

We're pretty sure that all seven are rocky worlds, like the Solar System's inner planets.

Three are in the star's habitable zone. The inner two definitely do not have one sort of atmosphere that would make life as we know it impossible.

Even if we don't find life there, we'll learn a great deal while looking.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

2 Mar 2017

Requirements for Submission: Does your husband love you like Christ loved the Church?

Does your husband love you like: Christ loved the Church?
This has come up in multiple groups I belong to. It actually frightens me and I want to be very open and honest with all of my readers. Not everyone is going to agree with me however I want to spread this message.
First and Foremost! God has a definition of love. It is as follows “Love is patient and kind. Love is not JEALOUS or boastful or Proud or RUDE. IT DOES NOT DEMAND ITS OWN WAY! It is not irritable and it keeps no records of being wrong. It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices when ever the truth wins out. Love never gives up and never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance” 1 Corinthians 13:47.
Secondly, these are some other definitions I want to talk about (and we probably don’t talk about it enough):
“Spousal abuse is generally defined as any abusive conduct between intimate partners who are married, dating, or residing in the same residence. It can refer to single instances of abuse, although it usually refers to a pattern of repeated or cyclical abuse over time”

How To Win the War Against Sin

Every human being is basically blind to their own faults and sin. There are many reasons we cannot seem to die to self and enjoy communion with God – psychological reasons, inherited sin, pride, the tendency to control and other self-defeating behaviours. However, I think the biggest barrier to receiving the Love of God is egocentricity; we are centred on ourselves, on our own efforts to perfect ourselves instead of admitting defeat, taking our eyes off our own efforts, and allowing Christ to work out His salvation in our hearts.

continue reading

1 Mar 2017

Lent Does Not Have to be a Dreary Time! Want Some Positive Ideas?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Many of us look at this period on the Church calendar as a time of suffering and deprivation. Lent has historically been synonymous with a desert experience of dryness; a sense of loneliness, as if God is on vacation somewhere else. This connotes a sense of negativity. Yet, Lent affords us so much more, if we are willing to open our minds, hearts and souls to the various opportunities that make the Lenten season special in a positive way.

Lent, a Season of Faith, Hope and Love

Lent can be a time of renewal and personal growth; a time for getting to know Our Savior much better by... Read more... 

Unique Lenten Practices

Today is Ash Wednesday, or a few days after. Not too late to make Lenten resolutions. Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to Lent? Do you find yourself making the same resolution year after year? And maybe breaking it year after year? I wonder how many people, both children and adults, give up candy for Lent every year. For your consideration this week, I offer ten somewhat different resolutions that will bolster your spiritual life. Click to continue

As the Morning Rising: The Great Call of Lent

As the Morning Rising: The Great Call of Lent: The Great Call of Lent He came  to me out of the shadows Like a sun shaft Through a canopy of leaves And I knew in my deepest being Th...

28 Feb 2017

Mystical Marriage

When Helen, said to be the most beautiful woman in Greek antiquity fled with her lover to Troy, she did not receive the reception that she expected. Although her lover was Paris, the son of the King, he and his courtiers were reluctant to admit her. One look at her face rightly confirmed that her husband, the King of Sparta would indeed launch a thousand ships to retrieve her. She was therefore understandably interrogated about her motives for deserting him. The king was on the point of rejecting her when she cried out in her defence, “Do we not all know that the gods have made us to love and to be loved, and so achieve our destiny? I can only achieve that destiny here in Troy and with your son, Paris, whom I love with all my heart.”
One thousand years later Jesus came to tell us that our God has also created us to love and to be loved, as part of the preparation for the infinite loving that is our ultimate destiny. Learning to love here on earth, prepares us for the ultimate love for which we all yearn in heaven.    read on...

27 Feb 2017

What Carnival time tell us about our spiritual life (Spanish) Martes de Carnaval que nos habla de nuestra vida interior.


     El carnaval, como todos sabemos, es una fiesta popular que consiste en mascaradas, comparsas, bailes y regocijos bulliciosos.

  Son tres días que preceden al miércoles de ceniza y que en muchos lugares ya son de ocho días, toda una semana y hasta diez y doce días. Es una expansión que nos atrae y nos envuelve en su loca alegría, un tanto disparatada y desbordante, quizá por el hecho de vivirla en la incógnita de un disfraz y un antifaz enigmático... Esta especie de desbordamiento festivalero  nos trae a la mente  el deseo de todo ser humano de desembarazarnos de las preocupaciones, de aligerar nuestros hombros de la carga de obligaciones cotidianas y de dar "rienda suelta" al placer y a la alegría. Pero … ¡cuidado ! pues pudiéramos caer en la inmadurez de llegar a creer que la vida es semejante a un  carnaval... Y así vamos por el mundo tratando de mostrar un rostro y un ropaje que no son los verdaderos. Parece que somos una cosa y somos otra en realidad.

Olathe: Death and Hope

Murder and attempted murder in the Kansas City metropolitan area last week is international news.

If the suspect's neighbor is right, the 'drunken mess' who killed an engineer from India was having trouble dealing with his father's death.1

I think he could have found a better outlet for his grief....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly - Book Review

I cannot thank my brother Ed, enough, for gifting me with Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly. This book was a real eye-opener for me! As human beings, we naturally resist happiness, and when we do so, we resist God, the source of all happiness. “Why do we resist God? Because deep down we don’t trust Him…deep down we think that God is trying to limit our freedom” (p. 214). Kelly tells us throughout the book that we need to become “the best version of ourselves.” How do we do that: by stopping the resistance.

Throughout the book, Matthew Kelly shows us how we can find happiness by tackling our urge to be resistant. Let me share with you just two golden nuggets, gleaned from reading this wonderful book, that I believe will make me happier – just a couple of things I can do to fight the resistance to be happy.

Idea #1: Prioritize Your Life in Accordance with God’s Plan

Matthew Kelly comments in the book that when he conducts his various speaking engagements, he comes across people he has met in the past. Since Mr. Kelly always brings up the concept of setting aside 10 minutes a day in prayer with the Lord, he always asks “How many days last week did you spend ten minutes in quiet conversation with God” (p. 53)? Read more...

*Love one another as I have loved you" - IMPOSSIBLE

"Love one another as I have loved you"

Why bother to pray?


26 Feb 2017

Eating Disorder Awareness… “IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT”! [Part 2 of 5]

#NEDAwareness [Part 2 of 5] …In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week:
"We all have our own unique struggles but it’s what we do with our struggles that matters most. Accepting who you are, where you are right now, that is truly courageous. So be brave. Take the first step for you and for those you love.” –National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
It’s Time to Talk About It…
Renoir.Pierre-Auguste_Gabrielle Holding Mirror 1905
Renoir’s Gabrielle Holding A Mirror
NOTE: Further info provided via 5-part-"It's Time To Talk..." series including potential signs/symptoms, screening option, health consequences, and more. 

One Thing

Oatmeal For Lent

I'll be eating oatmeal for breakfast during Lent, and walking around more. If I was in England, I'd probably call it porridge, and that's another topic.

It'll be be good for my health, and I'm sure that's one reason my wife suggested it. But that's not the only, or the main, reason.

Lent isn't about me....

...Lent is when we join Jesus in the desert. Sort of....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Desolation Dog

Lent starts in just a few days. The first day is Wednesday, March 1st. If you are looking to grow deeper in your faith this Lent, you might want to consider reading the book, Discernment of Spirits  by Fr.Timothy Gallagher. It is based on the rules of discernment by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The rule I personally found most helpful and one of the hardest to follow is rule number 5. Rule number 5 advises that you do not make a change during times of spiritual desolation.

Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

As the Morning Rising: Water of Salvation

As the Morning Rising: Water of Salvation: Water of salvation Wash over me Invigorate me Cleanse me from sin Remind me of your power Especially in periods of drynes...

24 Feb 2017

'I want my life, my character, my actions to speak of me and say that I am following Jesus Christ.' Sunday Reflections, 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Rest on the Flight into Egypt (detail), Caravaggio [Web Gallery of Art]

But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me.’
Can a woman forget her nursing-child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,yet I will not forget you
(Isaiah 49:14-15).
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 6:24-34 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Edition

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Thursday 2 March is the sixth anniversary of the death of Shahbaz Bhatti, seen with Pope Benedict in the video above during an audience in September 2010. He was assassinated in Islamabad, Pakistan, shortly after leaving his mother's home. Mr Bhatti, a Catholic, was the first Christian to be appointed to the Cabinet in Pakistan and was responsible for minorities. The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for his death.

Full post here.

Who is My Neighbor?

This past weekend, the first Mass reading was from Leviticus 19 which talks about loving your neighbor as yourself. The Gospel reading was from Matthew 5 and was about not only loving your neighbor but also your enemy.

I believe that we are asked to love our neighbor because sometimes our neighbor is the hardest to love. They can often annoy and frustrate us the most! Especially those neighbors who are rude, obnoxious and do not understand boundaries.  Often, if we can learn to love our neighbors, we can love anyone. Also, if we are not able to love our neighbor whom we can see, how can we love God whom we can not see (1John 4:20)? Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns >

Face Transplant at Mayo

Andy Sandness wasn't born looking like that. He's lived with the consequences of a "wrong choice" for more than a decade.

Agreeing to get Mayo Clinic's first face transplant won't undo his decision. But now he has a second chance for a normal life.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.


I have to say that when I saw an advertisement for this event in my Church Bulletin, I was probably more excited than most people. However I do really feel as Catholics we live our faith through our works. Service work of all kinds is doing Gods work. This does include political public service (I know this fact surprises a lot of people but it is true). The MCC (MD Catholic Conference) describes their mission as “The public policy arm of the Catholic Bishops serving Maryland in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Wilmington (DE), & Washington (DC)”.
I know what you’re thinking. The Church has a public policy arm? Why would they need a public policy arm? According to the Church:
“Role of the Church in Politics The Catholic Church, its parishes and Church organizations are prohibited by federal law from participating in partisan political activities. The tax-exempt status of a parish or Church organization may be revoked if there is a violation of the law, and other penalties and taxes may also be imposed on any funds spent on prohibited political activities. However, the Church does have a role in politics and public policy formation through activities such as:

The cauldron of hatred


23 Feb 2017

As the Morning Rising: Silence and a Sense of Order

As the Morning Rising: Silence and a Sense of Order: If a horse breaks free from a paddock and runs amok in amongst well-tended flowerbeds, up-rooting and trampling at the same time, ...

Pope Francis: A Corrupt Creation, Christian Hope, and Rebirth

On February 22, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the importance of  Christian hope in the face sin during his weekly General Audience. Although his reflections focused on the corruption of creation, they are not the opinions of a left-leaning environmentalist but the profound insights of a man of God.

The Environment

Unfortunately, many Catholics might overreact when they read the title of the pope's latest address, just like they did in September when Pope Francis said it was a sin to destroy the environment, turning it into ‘wasteland full of debris, desolation and filth’  and called for concrete action on climate change. Again, last year, his controversial encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’, seemed to upset some conservatives. However, if we do not react to sensational headlines but actually read the Pontiff's homilies, encyclicals and addresses on the environment in their entirety, we will unearth deep spiritual inspiration which stands on the pronouncements of his predecessors.
continue reading

22 Feb 2017

SAINTS365: Life Lessons From St. Peter

I LOVE St. Peter. The Scriptural accounts of the missteps of this outspoken, hot-tempered, passionate first Pope reveal a man who is flawed and weak. I can relate. Equally, the Scriptures reveal to us  a man whose life has been thoroughly transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit - his flaws are remade into his greatest strengths. I can relate.

St. Peter's life, like that of all the Saints, opens up to us a litany of examples that we can both meditate upon and imitate in our own striving for the heights of holiness in the trenches of everyday life.

Click here to visit SAINTS365 for seven life lessons that we can draw from St. Peter. 

Chair of Saint Peter Feast Day - Why a Feast Day for a Chair?

Today we celebrate a very special feast day: The Chair of Saint Peter. On this day we reflect on Christ’s declaration to make Peter the leader of His Church:

…you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt 16:18-19).

Importance of the Chair of Saint Peter

Today we celebrate the papal authority of the Catholic Church; granted to Peter and his successors, by Christ. It is through Saint Peter, as our first pope, that Christ... Read more...

Lent Lessons from a Little Known Woman

Last week I found lessons for us in the life of Zacchaeus. Because I’m so engrossed in the people of the New Testament after writing that book about them, this week I’m reflecting on another one, Salome, to see what she can teach us as we near the season of Lent. Salome was the mother of the apostles James and John. Since John is reputed to be about nineteen when he followed Jesus, Salome was likely in her thirties when she decided to follow him too. Lesson one: Give up things to draw closer to Jesus. Sure, James and John left their boats and nets, but Salome left her husband, Zebedee, and her house to wander the roads with Jesus. She was so taken with this new preacher that she wanted to be with him every day. (Of course, this way she could also be with her sons!)  What can we give up this Lent in order to be with Jesus? A few minutes of sleep, rising early for morning prayers? Time in front of the TV or computer in order to go to Mass and receive Jesus in Communion? Reading novels so instead we have time to spend with Jesus as he comes in the distressing guise of the poor?  Click to continue

21 Feb 2017

A Lenten Overachiever (CWBN Blog Hop)

The Lent 2017 Kickoff

Here we are at the beginning of another Lent.  I am not sure when my Lenten love affair began, but I can tell you that it is currently in full bloom!   I feel energized during this time of sacrifice. The grace of a Christian world praying, fasting and helping others in order to strengthen their relationship with Christ, is exciting! This year, as I contemplated what areas of my life could use a booster shot of faith - 6 ideas came to me.  Being the overachiever that I am - instead of picking and choosing, I'm going to do my best to rock all of 6 them!

St Francis of Assisi - Part 9 - The Whole World is a Friary

When St Francis of Assisi had rebuilt a tumbledown little church given to him by the Benedictines he called it St Mary of the Angels. It was here, over 800 years ago that he heard God speaking to him through the Gospels whilst attending Mass. The message was simple – now your time living as a Hermit is over, you and your disciples must go out preaching the Gospel to all, as Jesus had done with his disciples. He so loved this little church, the Portziuncula, that he said it would always be the hub and the home of his Franciscan Family forever. When the first friars landed in America they immediately built a church and called it after that little church that St Francis had built with his own hands. Naturally they called it after their spiritual home, St Mary of the Angels or in the Spanish language that they spoke: - Santa Maria de los Ángeles. The town that grew up around it took the same name, until it came to be known simply as Los Angeles as it is still known today.   read on....

Why I Write

I am part of a little Catholic book called Love Rebel: Reclaiming Motherhood. One of the contributors, Bonnie Way, asked me questions about blogging for her own blog, The Kola Mom.

First, tell us a bit about yourself.

It took me years to finally decide to start writing again. I had taken a 30-year sabbatical after leaving university to raise nine children. I just couldn’t seem to start writing, probably because the computer still intimidated me before I started blogging. No wonder- I had written all my university papers on a MANUEL typewriter. However, realistically there was simply too much work running a household for eleven people and helping with the farm animals and our large vegetable garden.

20 Feb 2017

Cristina Trinidad visits A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras on BreadboxMedia.com.  
We discuss a fabulous new book that I was sent to review 
and fell in love with How to Read Your Way to Heaven 
by Vicki Burbach (Sophia Institute Press)

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

David's Talk at his Book Launch of Wisdom from the Christian Mystics

I hope Association of Catholic Women Bloggers continue to indulge me with another podcast.  David gave a talk at his Book Launch of Wisd...