1 Dec 2015

Get Yout Advent On!

Today's post features Advent ideas from lots of great places: Catholic Mom, USCCB, Our Sunday Visitor, Holy Heroes, Loyola Press, and much more. If you've ever wanted an easily-accessible collection of great family resources, this is it!

(c)Edyta Linek/Getty Images

Please join me at Praying with Grace today!

As the Morning Rising: Advent Poem

Advent Poem Bless my soul, Lord, At this time of waiting And anticipation. May your word be as benediction As I prepare the way f...

continue reading- As the Morning Rising: Advent Poem:

30 Nov 2015

Catholic Divorce, Single Parenting, & Anxieties of Every Day Life

"You'll get over it."
"Time cures all wounds."
"It's time to move on."

If you're a divorce Catholic Christian, heck, if you're a divorced anybody, especially if you're not the one who wanted the divorce, you've probably heard others say these things to you more often than you'd like to think about, and in many ways they're true.

I've been single since Mother's Day 2009, six and a half years now, and I am far from the trembling, heartbroken, confused, terrified, hurt child I was then. Thank God! I believe, between the shock of my husband's sudden departure and his filing for divorce so quickly and having our last little boy, I literally shook for a good six months, probably more like eight or more.

To read the rest of my Gospel reflection for the divorced, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com

And, as always, thank you for liking, commenting, following, and sharing.

God Bless...

If You Lived in Afghanistan...

Afghanistan and Faith: Dealing with Reality

Sarah Abraham lived in a small village outside Kabul, Afghanistan with her two young boys, Jeremiah and Amos. She had lost her husband in a gunfire attack two months ago. Now, she was alone, and five months pregnant with a third son. However, the stress of living as a Christian in war-torn Afghanistan weighed heavy on her mind. As a result, while walking to the marketplace one sunny morning, she felt sharp pains and became weak.

Sarah lost her child that day due to a miscarriage. The ensuing grief would be nothing compared to... Read more...

29 Nov 2015

the First Sunday of Advent: No Matter What it is, It's all About Love

Last Sunday the priests’ vestments were green, today they are purple. The new liturgical year has begun. The Birth of Jesus is imminent, but before He is accepted into our hearts and souls, we must change. We must strive to leave sin behind and focus on Jesus, who is all Holy! Blessed Be His Name!
The readings for today focus on both the beginning and the end. Love is the theme. God reiterates His Promise of Salvation when He will raise up a “Just shoot.” All th be that the prophets have proclaimed will be fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. The Psalmist asks that the Lord teach us His Ways, then He praises and thanks God.
Read more at Prayerfully Yours

A Beauty Sufficient

'To eyes which know how to find it, there is in the 
least luxuriant season of the year a beauty which is entirely sufficient.....' (continue..)

Promote Catholic Indie Authors

I am one of 5 Catholic Women Bloggers who wrote about our experiences and discoveries mothering. We really have not launched this little gem properly and so it remains buried under all the other indie books.

Yesterday, I stumbled on a site which promotes Indie authors. If you vote for our book, we could win $300. One book wins each month. I am not sure if I am slated for November with only two days left or not, but most books only have one or two votes with one with 36 votes. We can submit our book once a month. Each author can only win once a year.

We only need 30 more votes - The money would allow all of us to buy books to have on hand to give or sell to family, friends of people interested in promoting Love Rebel.

How to vote- You must register first, but it is easy and there are no few fees. Simply click on link http://booksgosocialdaily.com/love-rebel-reclaiming-motherhood/ 


What is Advent?

What is Advent?  According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, it is "the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting," and "the coming of Christ at the Incarnation."

Please go to Being Catholic ... Really to read the rest of the article.  Happy Advent to you!

Advent - hold the Christmas carols

It’s Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year, penitential and contemplative in tone as befits preparation for a great feast. It’s a blessed relief from any number of things. I enter it this year sick at heart due to some recent events, ready for a time of prayer and quiet and humility and renewal.
Keep that elf doll away from me. Throw a curtain around that poinsettia display for a few more weeks. And in regretful (some will say regrettable) defiance of my bishop’s directive, I am fleeing my parish church for the duration in order to avoid Christmas carols at every Advent Sunday Mass.
Read more at Leaven for the Loaf

Advent: Looking Both Ways

It's been nearly a week since I've seen someone's announcement that the end of days is upon us.

False alarms are nothing new. It's been about 18 centuries since St. Hippolytus of Rome figured the Second Coming would happen in the year 500.

Swedenborg speculated, in 1758, that the Last Judgment happened in the previous year — I give him points for originality — and Harold Camping got it wrong twice. (January 25, 2015; April 19, 2015)

Me? I believe what our Lord said: including what's recorded in Mark 13:32-37, which ties in with today's Gospel reading....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Ten Times Ten Thousand

As the Morning Rising: Ten Times Ten Thousand

There is strength born of weakness. Weakness floors us – we find we have little or no power or energy. If we turn to God in our weakness ( ...

Snap ~ A ~ Day Advent Photo Challenge

HERE it is -- the most wonderful time of the year.  Not Christmas but Advent. This time of preparing hearts and home for the coming of Jesus. Preparing both as memorial of his arrival in the world as infant on Christmas day 2000 years ago but also preparing for His second coming.

This advent I am again hosting the Snap ~ A~ Day Advent Photo Challenge - also known as#SnapAdvent on Instagram (though you can post on any social media by using both the #SnapAdvent and that days particular hashtag- plus don't forget to tag me @reconciledtoyou .

YOU do not need to post each day to participate - I hope you will send a photo when you can.  I just so enjoy knowing how people are journeying with Christ during this season. The creativity as to how people see these themes always tickles my heart!

In addition to the Photo Challenge - I will be reading and then reflecting daily using the new book from Pauline Books & Media entitled, "Advent with Pope Francis" as well as a few other Advent Reflection books.   ...  READ MORE!!

All Rights Reserved, 2015 Allison Gingras

28 Nov 2015

'Be on guard . . . be alert at all times.' Sunday Reflections, First Sunday of Advent, Year C

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt, 1633, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston [Web Gallery of Art]

We begin Year C, which highlights St Luke's Gospel.
Gospel Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada)

Jesus said to his disciples

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Conditor Alme Siderum (Creator of the Stars of Night)

An ancient Advent hymn sung by the Christendom College Choir & Schola Gregoriana

Here is Pope Benedict's Angelus Talk on the First Sunday of Advent, 29 November 2009

Full post here.

In The News: “Vitamin D Awareness Month” As We Head Into Winter

A sun-in-the-skyImportant for Canadians — and non-Canadians alike — who are at an elevated risk for Vitamin D deficiency, considering that the further we live away from the equator, the less vitamin D we can make during the winter months, if any at all.

Excerpts of news report provided [in quotations]...

“In order to raise awareness about the dangers of low vitamin D levels for Canadians, the Vitamin D Society [a Canadian-based non-profit organization] has declared November Vitamin D Awareness Month...

>>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>
PS: And the further we get from the One and Only Son, the more deficient and sick we can become!

Worth Revisiting: Spiritual Sisterhood

While not an old post, this week I have been giving a lot of thought to the gift of spiritual sisterhood. When I consider all that I am thankful for I cannot help but include all of those women in my life that continually uplift, guide, pray for and challenge me each day. They inspire me by their own witness to offer all that God has given me as a friend, mother, teacher,  and sister in Christ to all those I encounter. Read More..

As the Morning Rising: Holy Doors

As the Morning Rising: Holy Doors: / http://saintpatricksbelfast.org.uk/

 I remember a Kiltegan priest  http://www.spms.org/  relating a story of an African woman who w...



27 Nov 2015

Mutant Medflies, GMO Mosquitoes

First, the good news: releasing genetically-modified medflies and mosquitoes may mean fewer crop failures; and fewer deaths from malaria.

Now, the not-so-good news: I'm pretty sure some folks won't think it's good news....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Nov 2015

Lessons: Gratitude of a Single Mom on Thanksgiving

Lessons in Single Mom Gratitude Thanksgiving drawing of turkey and my son and me


If I had to sum up all I was thankful for in one word, this would undoubtably be the word I'd choose: Lessons.

I was thinking about this post while running around doing different Mom-type things and wondering how to express all I was most grateful for. What would I write about? Like every other person on the planet, my life has highs and lows, but I was most grateful for the ability to see the Good through it all - most of the time anyway! ;)

I am grateful for my Faith in God the Father who Loves me,

in Jesus Christ who shows me what Sacrifice & Forgiveness truly means,

and to the Holy Spirit who is an almost tangible presence in my life every time I get up again.

To read the more of what a single Mom of five boys can be grateful for this Thanksgiving, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com

God Bless...

And, as always, thank you for liking, commenting, following, and sharing!

Discovering the Fountain of Youth

Advertisers have tapped into a universal craving to stop the relentless ravages of time in the human body by pushing countless gimmicks to keep us youthful. These products keep us healthy, but the secret fountain of youth is not a thing to buy but rather an attitude, an inner way of living.
Youth is not found in a bottle of vitamins or in a jar of face cream.
Youth is found when we connect with the source of all life deep in the ground of our being. There are countless ways to connect with the Holy Spirit but as a mother, I discovered a secret, a secret few people seem to recognize.
Living with little people keeps you young.      continue

The Altar

New Things
See, I'm doing something new!  Is 43:18

The Kitchen has been called the heart of the home.  Family life is nurtured in the kitchen; conversations, tears and laughter coexist and comingle; food is prepared and consumed.  Generally, because of use and abuse, the kitchen is the messiest room in the house. If the kitchen represents the heart, the sink would be its altar.

Read the rest of this post at New Things

Thanksgiving Top Ten!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  Faith, family, freedom and food are among my Thanksgiving top ten list.  What's on yours? 

Read more here.

25 Nov 2015

The Grandest Power

Thanks Be to God and You!

Thanks is an easy word to say…

… but sometimes it doesn’t get expressed as often as it should. Therefore, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to take this time and space to specifically say thank you:
  • To God, for blessing me with abundant graces. He guides me every day. He loves me unconditionally. He forgives my transgressions and extends mercy on my soul.
  • To my husband, for your never-ending, self-giving love, support and friendship.
  • To my family and friends who share my joys and sorrows. Your love is pure gold to me.
  • To all of my followers:...

Is Christ Your King?

We’ve just celebrated the Feast of Christ the King, the climax of the church year. My religious province in Chardon, Ohio, was named Christ the King and used to celebrate this day in grand style, complete with the majestic song “Christus Vincit” in four-part harmony. In those days the feast occurred in October when the surrounding countryside was ablaze with autumn leaves. In my religious community, when the time came to receive a religious name, it was the custom to submit three name choices, usually those of saints. The general superior in Rome would then select your name, and you would celebrate your name day on the saint’s feast day.  Because I had my heart set on having the Feast of Christ the King as my name day, I came up with thirty-two names that stood for him. Some were unique, such as Inri (for the sign on the crucifix, the acronym for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). Rana, which is “king” in modern Indian, made my list, until I discovered it meant “frog” in Latin! Click to continue

24 Nov 2015

When Your World Crumbles, Remember Where Your House Is

Jesus looked at His accuser,
"My kingdom does not belong to this world."

I can't count the number of times I sat in courtrooms awaiting judgment, wondering what injustice would be brought upon my children and me next, confused by what was happening and the fact that no one wanted to hear my side, frightened by the man who had claimed to love me so deeply only a short time before, concerned for the children I was now solely responsible for, children I'd have to feed and clothe and help with homework and cart around to practices and Scouts and religion classes, children I'd have to teach to be real, Honest, Strong, Faith-filled, Hopeful Loving Men, children I'd have to teach how to treat a Woman while I was being so badly treated myself. How could I do that?

Materially, we lost our house in foreclosure. We relied on family and friends for help to pay mounting attorney bills and then were forced to settle when my ex refused to pay his court ordered share. Local Churches and Pastors and private anonymous Good folk deposited money into our mailbox providing us with food and heat to supplement the firewood my boys and I chopped and hauled in from the backyard. Our elementary school provided Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. The local hospital provided Christmas presents.

Please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com to read the rest of my Gospel Reflection for Divorced Catholics . . . God Bless..

Peace: Is this the Best We Can Do?

Bombs. Wars. Beheadings of children. Airplanes flying sorties into “enemy” territory. Deaths on the battlefields. Refugees. Explosions. Attacks. Intolerance. Persecutions. Earthquakes. Fear. Anxiety. Hatred. Is this the best we can do? We can’t blame God for this.
God is a loving God, but we brought this on ourselves. When we stray from God who is Love and Peace, we find ourselves enveloped in chaos which is not from God but is from satan. 

Read More at Prayerfully Yours

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Bury the Dead

They are dead and we rejoice in that shred of hope that at least they can commit no more atrocities against humanity.  However, part of me always wonders, what were their last thoughts?  Did they have children, a wife, siblings, friends?  Even in a radical, militarist society, their mothers must weep knowing they are gone.  Surely, even with a mission from Allah, they will be missed.  Even if they aren't, they were all infused with immortal souls at conception, they were blessed by the LORD and their lives were planned before eternity began.  Yes, they have turned against God.  Yes, they have sinned against their fellow man, taking innocent lives and creating fear in a cloud of evil and destruction.  But, do we not all sin?  Does it not grieve the Father when we speak harshly to our brother or child, when we react selfishly and refuse to focus on the other?  Are we any more deserving of mercy because our sins have not become international news?

Read more at Veils and Vocations.

Dear Padre Miguel Pro

November 23rd was the anniversary of the death of Fr. Miguel Pro, SJ. He died a martyr for Christ during the persecution of Catholics following the Mexican Revolution which erupted in 1910.

Dear Michael,

We shared your story at dinner last night. It was the 88th anniversary of your execution, and my husband and I wanted to honor your memory, passing on your story to our children.

Some people may think it’s strange for me to write you a letter, I know. Obviously, I will never find a mailbox capable of getting this letter to you, but I know we’re connected. As Jesus reminds us in Mark 22:32, the Lord proclaims he is “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Even when we die, we live in God who has no beginning and no end. Disciples of Christ needn’t bother about space and time. You’ll get this.

I wanted to write to you because I am so grateful for your life—and your death. While you were still a young man you chose to become a Jesuit, a priest to serve the people of God. You had other options, of course.

Please read the entire letter at Praying with Grace.



23 Nov 2015

A historical perspective. Monasticism to Mendicants

Podcast: In the Carmelite Tradition

Talk to the Discalced Carmelites, Boars Hill, Oxford, England. A historical perspective. Monasticism to Mendicants and back to Contemplation

Maybe You're Grateful for the People You Love, But Do You Appreciate Them?

Of course, Novvember is the month when we focus on being grateful. Thanksgiving is Thursday, so we are heading to the end of the cycle. I’m sure you, like me, have come to realize that we have so much for which we can be grateful, including our families and friends. I’m sure you realized how much you are loved by those you love. Being grateful works, and it helps you to become a much happier person.

While this is good, I want to challenge you with this question: Do you appreciate the people for whom you are thankful? Yes, there is a difference. Here’s how to find out. This exercise won’t take long, but you will come to appreciate those around you whom you love.

Read More at Prayerfully Yours

Lose Weight the Right Way!

Lose weight at this time of year?

Yes, it can be done!

Lose weight the right way – this time for the right reasons and for good! It’s that time of year, when we are tempted to imbibe on eggnog and eat all sorts of baked goods. The temptations are everywhere you look: At the grocery store, on TV, in magazines; even in your own home.

Would you like to get through this holiday season and not gain weight? Maybe even lose a pound or two? If so, let me introduce you to the process I used to lose 60 pounds... Read more...

Thoughts on The Screwtape Letters

Recently, while reading C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, I came across this quote, and it stopped me dead in my tracks:

“We want him to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear.”

And I thought: Imagine if C.S. Lewis— one of the most influential Christian thinkers of his day (and of all time, perhaps?)— listened to the naysayers- and was choked up, grabbed and threatened, and crippled from writing, because of fear? This book suggests that certainly, that would have been a sinful temptation.  To not hold out, to not radiate truth in spite of- or rather, because of- the spirit of negativity? That would be giving in, and not holding out. It might even mean giving up, defeated because of a feeling.

There are all kinds of dryness. And truly daily, I feel crippled by a thousand things.  Spiritual dryness. Selfishness.

{Read the rest at Picture a Skyline}

22 Nov 2015

Finding God When there is no Light

Last summer, when we had an eclipse of the moon and a blood moon in that eclipse, the night got about as dark as it could. We sat outside watching the moon darken and turn red. The situation was erie. It would make the start of a great novel. “The moon was the color of blood, and there was no other light in the world.”
I felt safe watching this miracle of nature because we sat there as a group marveling at the changes we saw, knowing the cause and knowing that, soon, the moon would be bright again against the dark sky. 

Read more at Prayerfully Yours

King of Hearts

Happy Solemnity of Christ the King! I hope you are able to take advantage of the abundant grace available through this Solemnity! One of the graces offered is to help us experience greater interior freedom. We can do this as we more fully surrender our hearts to Jesus and allow Him to reign there. He desires to fully dwell and make a home in our heart!

Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns>

Be for Me a Refuge

A Vision?



Truth and the Big Picture

Pontius Pīlātus was the fifth prefect of the Roman Province of Judea. That sounds important, but Pilate was one of the Equites: Roman aristocrats, but ranking below Patricians.

Think of him as 'middle management.'

Judea was a strategically important border province, giving the empire access to Egypt's agricultural resources, and a measure of protection from the Parthian Empire.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 Nov 2015

Laughter Turned a Tragedy into a Comedy of Errors


What was my reaction to this overwhelming scene? I leaned against the kitchen wall and slid down till I sat on the floor with my legs sticking straight out. Then I giggled. Then I laughed and laughed and laughed until my stomach ached and tears were streaming down my face. 
continue reading