31 May 2011

Catholic Traditions

At a recent funeral of the bother of a very dear family friend I was struck by how comforting all the rituals were to all of us. Almost everyone there was knowledgable about the funeral rites and it allowed us to relax, to be carried along by the rhythm of the liturgy and to be consoled by the comfort of familiar roles and responsibilities.

In Catholic funerals, the Church seeks to provide spiritual support for the deceased and honor their bodies, as well as to provide a measure of hope for the family and friends of the deceased.

I have been to funerals where the closest thing to ritual was a CD playing “I can’t give you anything but love, Baby,” as the crematorium doors opened. [I kid you not.]

Others might find such off-beat funerals meaningful and original, but, when I am deep in sorrow, I don’t want anything new – I want the comfort of the tried and true.

Do you feel the same way?

Could we re-learn respect and modesty by covering our heads at Mass? | CatholicHerald.co.uk


Francis Phillips writes:

Having now read some of the blog posts at the (new) Association of Catholic women bloggers, I must apologise to the good lady who asked me to join it. At the time I saw it as a kind of breakaway movement from the proposed Guild of Catholic bloggers which has been discussed on the Herald blog site, and felt that we needed to be united, not divided. What I did not appreciate, in my haste to reject the proposal, is that it is not a question of ‘Either/Or’ but of ‘Both/And’. The Church is rich, diverse, and we Catholics have a multiplicity of different ways of communicating our common faith; thank God for it.

There are obvious difference between the posts on the Catholic women’s blog site and the Herald’s: the former is more personal in tone, less engaged in politics, less disputatious and argumentative, more concerned with sharing stories of conversion or ‘reversion’ and how faith is lived in family life and in adversity. In short, it points to the difference between men and women.

A remark on one of the posts has triggered this blog: “I [now] cover my head at Mass.’ I have sometimes debated this question with women friends. I grew up in the days when women always covered their heads at Mass, with scarves or hats; if I or my sisters emerged from the house on a Sunday without an appropriate head covering, my father would send us straight back indoors to find one. It came as a shock after Vatican II to see that this ‘rule’ was now totally disregarded. Even the elderly gradually stopped covering their heads.

Ctd at link below:

Could we re-learn respect and modesty by covering our heads at Mass? | CatholicHerald.co.uk

May Feelings IV- To Finish Off the Month of May


Thank you Padre Luis, a priest in Venezuela, for sharing this very moving video.

The Visitation



I posted this on my blog today but thought I would post my first post here! I am delighted to be associated with the "Association of Catholic Women Bloggers! I must explain that I am a priest from the Archdiocese of Birmingham. I qualify for the blog via invitation! I hope to post on here every now and again and I enjoy the inspiration found here so far!

The Visitation
Life is about the journey that anticipates the destination.

There is an excitement about arriving. I remember with fondness many holidays spent with a good friend. Arriving at the Hotel, getting checked in and sitting down in the room brings a great satisfaction, now the holiday begins!

The memories of a good holiday can impart joy and sustain us through moments when life can appear to be dull, when we hear a clock is ticking but the hands are moving slowly! These times are times of struggle when we endure difficulties, disappointments, sadness, at these points in the journey the clock slows down! In times of joy the clock seems to speed up.. holidays being a case in point.

When I go on holiday I am excited about the destination. I look forward to getting there. The journey can be a pain though! Airport queues, standing around, delays, hold ups, cramped seats on sardine can airplanes, noisy children kicking the back of wafer thin seats! The getting there can be difficult but the getting there evaporates the stresses of the journey ,it justifies the effort made in journeying.

Life is a journeying an anticipation of the destination. There is an end to journeying. That end is heaven. The journeying in itself is important though. How you react to the journey can determine how fulfilling the journey will be and how quickly we reach the end destination of heaven. Do I get grumpy at the queues? Do I get frustrated with the standing around? Yes I do! Am I annoyed by the cramped seats of life, the annoying episodes, the imperfections? You bet I am! Attending to the journeying with care means to be aware of the importance of the journey itself. Heaven is on the horizon but before we get there we are to journey.

Mary visits Elizabeth. Elizabeth says why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?  For the moment your greeting met my ears the child within my womb leapt for joy! The visit or the journey to her cousin is an important aspect of today’s feast. It anticipates the future reality of the birth of the Saviour. The period of time to that event did not magically happen. It took the ninth months of pregnancy before Mary gave birth. In that time Mary would have suffered discomfort, hardship, difficulties associated with pregnancy, in that time she does not throw her hands up and say it is too hard I give up! She persevered in the times of difficulty so as to experience the great joy of the birth of her Son.

We read the gospel and get to the destination IE the birth of the Saviour but the journeying of Mary and the apostles is not to be ignored. For in their journeying we get inspiration for our own journeys. Our salvation is worked out in the journey we take in life. In the way we react to the trials and tribulations that the journey brings to us.

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

By Jean M. Heimann, Cross-posted at Catholic Fire


Today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which recalls Mary's visit with her cousin Elizabeth. This event is also the second joyful mystery of the rosary -- the first being the Annunciation.

Elizabeth had been barren all her life, but in the Annunciation, Mary learned that her kinswoman was miraculously expecting a child in her old age. Upon hearing this good news, Mary fervently desired to share in Elizabeth's joy and serve her during the last part of her pregnancy. So she went "with haste" to visit Elizabeth and remained with her for three months.

Mary's first action after God had come to dwell in her was one of self-denying charity. She undertook a troublesome journey in order to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Thus, she proclaimed charity to be the virtue which above all Christ brought with Him from heaven. God made Mary's visit the occasion of a wonderful miracle. On her entrance into St. Elizabeth's dwelling, St. John the Baptist was cleansed from sin in his mother's womb. Mary was the channel of this exceptional privilege of the cleansing away of sin in the case of the unborn child. As then, so now: Mary is the channel of all graces, and above all, of the restoration of the sinner to friendship with God. Mary's charity is not less present now than at the time of the Visitation. She is far more eager now than then to promote the happiness and console the sorrows of those who come to her for help.

Patronage: St. Elizabeth: Expectant mothers.



30 May 2011

heart speaks unto heart: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


heart speaks unto heart: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: "I'm using ' Love Peace and Joy ' by Very Rev Andre Prevot, Devotion to the Sacred Heart according to St Gertrude.( TAN publications ). Ther..."

Katharine of Aragon › Welcome

Katharine of Aragon › Welcome

This is very interesting..

Name the lady

Speaking personally I'm quite happy calling her the Lady..but Flossie is nice :)

True Rest


God..Our True Rest

This is the cause why we are not at rest in heart and soul: that here we seek rest in things that are so little there is no rest in them, and we do not know our God Who is all mighty, all wise and all good.
For He is true rest.

No soul can have rest until it finds created things are empty.
When the soul gives up all for love, so that it can have Him that is all, then it finds true rest.

For He is endless and has made us for His own self only, and has restored us by His blessed passion, and keeps us in His blessed love.
And He does all this through His goodness.

God of Your goodness give me Yourself, for You are enough for me!
Julian of Norwich

*
May the God Who is enough..bless you.
..Trish

Saint Joan of Arc

 by Jean M. Heimann, Cross-posted at Catholic Fire

Today's saint is the valiant warrior Saint Joan of Arc, French national heroine, who was born in Domremy, France, 1412 and died in Rouen, France, 1431.


When she was about 13 years old, Joan began to hear the voices of Saints Michael the Archangel, Margaret of Antioch, and Catherine of Alexandria, urging her to free her country from the English. Joan’s visions told her to find the true king of France and help him reclaim his throne. She resisted for more than three years, but finally went to Charles VII in Chinon and told him of her visions. After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, she was given a small army with which she raised the siege of Orleans on May 8, 1429. Carrying a banner that read “Jesus, Mary”, she led the troops into battle.

She followed the famous campaign of the Loire during which the English were decisively beaten, and Charles was crowned at Rheims, on July 17, 1429.

When she was captured by the Burgundians during the defense of Compiegne, she was sold to the English for 10 thousand francs. She was then put on trial by an ecclesiastical court conducted by Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, a tool of the English. Although she astounded her judges by her answers, she was condemned to death as a heretic, and burned at the stake on May 30. In 1456, her case was re-tried, and Joan was acquitted (23 years too late). She was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.



St. Joan is the patroness of: France, imprisoned people, martyrs, prisoners, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, soldiers, Women's Army Corps, WAVES, and Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service.

Quote

“About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”

~ Joan of Arc, as recorded at her trial

29 May 2011

Cry out to God. With joy?

What a blessing to find a community of Catholic women, interested in sharing faith and life in such a beautiful and public way.

This morning at Mass, I was moved almost to tear at the Psalm. This rarely happens to me. I am not one prone to public emotion, but there you have it. I am pregnant, and perhaps more hormonal than usual. What was the Psalm that moved me to tears?

Responsorial Psalm:
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”  (R,)
...
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!(R.)
It has not been an easy few days for me.  I have been facing family troubles, lack of sleep, a new work schedule for hubby, and pregnancy worries.  Without going into details, suffice it to say that I am emotional and exhausted.  I do not feel like crying out to God with joy.  Still, I felt like this psalm was directed at me.  You know how sometimes God whispers quietly to our hearts, and we hear and obey?  This was not like that at all.  It was the reading at Mass.  The responsorial Psalm, no less.  I had to speak the very words that I am sure God wanted me to hear.  

I had been blogging, recently, about finding joy in suffering.  Then, for a week, I had nothing to say.  For a week, I did not think about joy.  I thought about getting through each day without losing my temper.  

Sometimes, it is all we can do to get through our days.  We do our best to avoid sin, knowing we will fail.  But sometimes it is nice to be reminded that we are supposed to aim higher.  I can cry out to God.  I cry out to Him all the time.  "God!  I need your help!"  With joy?  Sometimes.  I rejoice in thunderstorms and unborn-baby kicks.  I rejoice in days off and parties.  I rejoice in giggles from my daughter and the blessed silence of naptime.
Lord, Help me to see your wondrous love when I am struggling.  Help me to recognize your face amid my chaos.  Give me the heart to rejoice with all the Earth, and cry out praises to Your name.  Amen.

The Memorare

This popular prayer, a favorite of many Catholics, dates back to the 15th century and takes its name from the first Latin word of the prayer, "memorare," which means "remember."

The Memorare is of unknown authorship, although it has been attributed to St. Augustine (354-430), St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) and, with more reason, to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090-1153).

St. Bernard's sermons on Mary were famous, and it was his Cistercian monks in the monastery of Citeaux in the 12th century who popularized the name "Our Lady" for Mary.

The Memorare has also been attributed to the French cleric Claude Bernard (1588-1641), known as the "poor priest" of Paris, whose homilies contain passages that echo its words.

No matter who wrote this prayer, it was Father Bernard who did much to popularize it, teaching it in hospitals and prisons, where Mary's intercession was effective in working miracles of grace. The first manuscript of the Memorare appeared in 1489 as part of a longer prayer. It appeared again in 1503 and is found in its present form in an 1849 edition of theRaccolta, a collection of documents on prayers. ("Raccolta" is the Italian word for collection.) The prayer inspired a longer version in verse form, by St. Louis de Montfort in the 18th century, as well as "Memorares" to St. Joseph and other saints.


28 May 2011

Spiritual Advice for Parents Regarding Daughters and Religious Orders


Picture source

The following advice was given by Saint Teresa of Ávila, to parents. She wanted them to be careful when permitting their daughters to enter certain religious orders which gave the women too much freedom*.

"... Let them be prepared to allow them to marry far beneath their stations rather than put them into convents of this kind*. Unless they are very devoutly inclined and God grant that their inclinations may lead them into what is good!..."

Quote source: The Autobiography of Saint Teresa of Ávila.

The Prayer

A Universal Prayer

For All Things Necessary to Salvation

(Composed by Pope Clement XI, A.D 1721)

O My God, I believe in Thee; do though strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee; teach me to love Thee daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee; do Thou increase my sorrow.

I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.

Vouchsafe, O my God! to conduct me by Thy wisdom, to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.

To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts words, actions and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.

Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest.

I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.

Give me strength, O my God! to expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state in life.

Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.

May Thy grace help me to be submissive to my superiors, condescending to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.

Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.

O my God! make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.

Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions.

Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my comportment regular.

Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy commandments, and to work out my salvation.

Make me realize, O my God! the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven, the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.

Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear Thy judgements, and in the end obtain heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Opps! I accidently published this over here. It was my penance a couple of weeks ago and I've been asked a few times to share the prayer on my blog! But maybe there's a reason for my mistake! I hope you enjoy it!

Gifts from God

The unusual bouts of rain in the dry season have contributed to the rapid blooming of poui trees across the country, creating a breathtaking sight. The poui, one of my country's (Trinidad and Tobago) most spectacular trees normally flowers a brilliant yellow or mild pink between April and May or nearer to the middle or end of the dry season. Whenever the poui tree shed its leaves in the dry season and a shower of rain occurs, usually a few days later they start to flower.

When in bloom the yellow poui creates a carpet of yellow flowers especially around the Queen’s Park Savannah and on the hills of St Augustine. There are two species of yellow poui—yellow and black, while the pink specie, native to Venezuela, can be seen in abundance up the Islands. 

 I always look forward to my first sight of this unusual tree and the enormous pleasure it gives me. A truly splendid example of nature at its best. The Poui tree is surely a gift from God. 

Ten Reasons I Am Blessed as a Mom

Besides being blessed as a new member of this amazing group of Catholic Women, everyday as my children keep getting older and more wonderfully made, I've been taking stock in what surrounds me.  Thanks to Jackie for stopping by my blog to leave a comment and a lovely invitation to join here, blessings to all!  Here goes:

Ten Reasons I Am Blessed as a Mom:

1. I, together with my beloved spouse, played a part in the future of our society


2. Being pregnant, though miserably uncomfortable, I was able to experience something beyond my control and learn patience and endurance and prayer.


3. Seeing my beloved witness the birth of our children one by one, I was able to fall in love with him all over again with every tear of joy he shed. It was beautiful and unforgettable.


4. Sharing the responsibility of another life with my beloved spouse


5. Watching the progress of growth and development of each of our children is facinating


6. Being at the receiving end of unconditional love is both wonderful and daunating, trying to live up to their little (BIG) expectations and sometimes failing is disappointing.


7. Seeing the world around us through the eyes of a child is the sweetest testament that there is a God I know of. Watching them discover their world is grand, I don't want to miss a moment!


8. Being able to tell them about their loving God and bringing them to Church, listening to their voices as they sing and pray is a true blessing.


9. Watching them interact with each other has been fun, not when they fight, but then when it blows over and they are friends again, we can giggle about their little skuddles.


10. Being there when they need me, being at the receiving end of a hug, little hand in mine, or the little voice behind me saying, "I love you, Mom" Priceless!

Name the Lady?and a word about posts

Quite a few ladies have asked about/suggested names for the blogging regency lady pictured above. I don't know were Jackie got the picture so she may have a name already but I don't mind if you guys wish to have a little poll to see what name to use if she hasn't got one already!
Sorry if things are a bit bumpy as I am not that good with the technical side of things,I'm not quite a Luddite but I am definitely ignorant of computer programming, :)
Just a quick word about posts Jackie and I   decided if one person doesn't think something is truly in the spirit of charity or is felt by someone not to be, or is too much of a propaganda piece for any particular business we will remove it.We all have our own blogs for that sort of thing if we really want to post them, but here we want to be charitable, loving and supportive.

27 May 2011

Minute Meditation with Pope Benedict XVI

"We must learn to spend more time in front of God, before the God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ; we must learn to recognize in silence, within our very selves, his voice that calls us and leads us to the depth of our existence."

Blessed Francis X. Seelos - On Advice to Certain Women


Picture source

Aloha!

I have been following this new blog with much interest. What an honor to be here with all of you. Mahalo for asking me to join.

I thought I would share something from Blessed Seelos. He was truly a humble priest who was filled with joy. The following are words by Father Seelos to:

-his recently widowed mother who was lonely following her husband's death: "Love these days entirely recollected in God, like holy Anne who never left the temple...Prayer is the best medicine which conquers ever pain."

-a young lady contemplating the religious life: "A vocation and perseverance are special favors from God and can be obtained by prayer only. Therefore, I advise you to pray continuously not only when in church, but also when at home and at your work. But at the sacrifice of the Mass and after Holy Communion prayers are most powerful."

Quotations from Cheerful Ascetic: The Life of Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R. by Michael J. Curley, C.Ss.R.

Little Flower's Crown of Roses...: Morning and Evening Prayer...

Little Flower's Crown of Roses...: Morning and Evening Prayer...: "One of the things Secular Carmelites are asked to do is pray the Liturgy of The Hours, especially Morning and Evening Prayer. I have bee..."

25 May 2011

The Nun's Story

Inspired by post below! The book of the film is excellent..

Should Nuns still wear these?

Inspired by http://domusbirettarum.blogspot.com/  which is good Catholic fun I thought surely the men didn't have it all their own way, didn't Nuns used to wear some really groovy wimples, how about sharing a few pics of traditional sisters? Here is one I found with a quick google.
http://taylorempireairways.com/2009/09/sisters-of-charity/

Update...

Hi ladies...thanks very much to Marion & Joanna for helping me access this blog! My google signing in has problems..anyway I seem to be able to post now. We have 22 blog authors who all have admin permission. It seems to be working well. The posts have been amazingly inspiring. My friend Francis Phillips who posted on the Catholic Herald blog about the guild of bloggers has changed her mind about not wanting a separate blog for women. I asked her to drop by & my was she impressed! I know I keep saying I might disappear for a while! Well we move in to our new house totally on friday & won't have internet access for over a week, Maybe someone will take pity on me & invite me over! lol
I am happy for you all to help Marion out...if there are suggestions to make do go ahead..it's your blog! Oh & do spread the word amongst your friends..God bless.

Oh moving on from my old blog lead kindly light...to heart speaks unto heart

24 May 2011

Hearing God's Whisper

Hi! I am Colleen. My first post here is one I posted yesterday on CatholicMom.com. Hope you enjoy it! You can also check out my bio there!

Hearing God's Whisper
Sometimes God speaks to me in whispers. Sometimes He shouts to get my attention. But I am not hearing God at all right now. My prayer life has been so dry. Desert dry. I find myself looking for other things …
Read more in my column at CatholicMom.com ...

Photobucket

23 May 2011

Lord, I lift up my little emptiness this morning....


If You Have Nothing

The gesture of a gift is adequate.
If you have nothing: laurel leaf or bay
no flower, no seed, no apple gathered late,
do not in desperation lay
the beauty of your tears upon the clay.

No gift is proper to a Deity;
no fruit is worthy for such power to bless.
If you have nothing, gather back your sigh,
and with your hands held high, your heart held high,
lift up your emptiness!
-Jessica Powers, OCD

Powers was a Carmelite Nun and Poet. I believe she died in 1988. Her poems are really beautiful and if you are not familiar with them, I urge you to read a few!

This mom's life

Hello! Thanks so much for the invite, I am truly honored.

I am in the throes of what is a pretty usual day; 67 things to squeeze in, and that's just before lunch. How to prioritize is the key. Today, as too many days of late, I did not make it to daily mass. Big sigh. But when I decided to start blogging, my inspiration was to reach other women with the message that no matter how overwhelming your life looks at any given moment, God can reach into it and give it a completely new spin. My blog title, albeit a tad long, includes the word "unconventional" because I think so many of us feel a bit on the outside if our lives include the messy situations as a result of sins and failings~ our own, others, you name it.

But there is so much hope and mercy to be had at the hands of Him who died for us. So much encouragement in our present moments. He waits for us in His church, desires our prayers, our conversation, our messy lives. He looks upon us as a father looks fondly upon his children. If you have children, think of how the sight of them stirs your heart.

So even on these days when I am toiling away and not too sure anything is actually getting done, I give it all to Him. His love transforms the work of  laundry, the dishes, the sticky kitchen floor, all the service I give my family. I offer these for them, and for reparation for any sins. For our healing and wholeness. For tomorrow when I want to get to that morning mass. But today I will do what today offers~ adoration being one. I want to acknowledge Him and sit with Him. I may not see the immediate effect ( or I may!) but I know and trust that He is at work.

I don't want to leave you before I acknowledge how He imparts His joy. I have always loved the verse, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Because He sees all,even when there is sorrow or pain, there is also joy. My kids and grandson help me see and experience His joy regularly. (They help me see many other things too, but that is the topic for another day!)

My youngest (there are seven of them) is now eleven. Here is a picture she drew when she was no more than three. She was  sitting in the seat of the shopping cart (I stuffed her in there till she would barely fit, I think it was last week, because of her insatiable need to touch things), and she had a little pad and pen. This was when I was a single mom, on food stamps, doing one of those shopping trips that take forever, because the money would run out if not used by a certain date. So on one of those shopping-paloozas, this is what she drew while occupying herself.





Ah, perhaps this is a wee bit telling?

I never did like shopping.
















God Bless you! 

Kelly
http://amomforlife-theunconventionalfamily.blogspot.com/

When life brings you nettles


Imagine someone bought you a bunch of flowers, nicely wrapped in pretty paper with a big bow, and when you unwrapped them, you found a bunch of nettles and stung your fingers... :( You wouldn't be very happy, would you?

In many ways, this last week has been the equivalent of receiving a bunch of nettles as a gift. It's been fraught and tiring and full of *worry-potential*, trying to juggle work, family, grandchildren, my Mum who is in hospital and is likely to be in some kind of rehabilitation for weeks to come until she's mobile again. Plus, on top of all this, trying to keep a home, eat well, do the shopping and just generally remember a hundred and one things at any one time. Nettles...

But, I learned a great lesson about nettles this week, after my eldest Grandson and I had a "discover and learn" day on Saturday. We harvested a good crop of nettles from behind the house, and turned them from nasty and stingy to really rather lovely! We made nettle soup which was delicious, and I made some nettle oil for my youngest Grandson's eczema. We had fresh nettle tea, and I went to a local delicatessen and bought some Cornish Yarg cheese, which is wrapped in...yes, you guessed it...nettles!

The point of this post is that yes, life often does bring us nettles, but that which seems to be nasty, when offered up to God and united with Christ, can be made lovely. So, if life brings you nettles, don't dump them in the bin, make them into a bouquet for our Lord.

Here are some of the nice things that I made out of  nettles!

Nettle tea Nettle soup and Cornish Yarg 

Nice to Meet You!

Hi Everyone! I’m Cam and I usually blog over at A Woman’s Place… Since January of this year I’ve also been doing a second blog that I dubbed A Year of Dresses. It’s mostly just pictures that I manage to snap, hopefully before baby food or paint or mud go flying across my clothes, which always seems to happen at some point in the day.

I’ve been meaning to do an introduction post for a few days, since I got the invitation to join the group (I was very excited to learn about this site and to be invited to join!), but things have been a bit crazy here. My husband graduated on Friday with his Master’s in Theology. Perhaps just as great an accomplishment was that he survived 3 years at a “Catholic” university that proudly claims to be “the most liberal in the country” despite his very orthodox outlook on life. Because of the graduation we spent the weekend in “The City” with the entire family to celebrate his accomplishment (and to attend graduation since he commuted around 250 miles each way almost every weekend for the past three years!).

Now we have two and a half months of relative relaxation before we move from our home in Northern California to his new school in South West Florida, where he’ll be studying law.

Now for the hard part… what to include in an introduction?

I consider myself a stay-at-home mom, although lately I guess I’m closer to a work-at-home mom since I have three etsy shops where I sell the things that I make after my family goes to sleep each night (I have a rosary/jewelry shop, a headcovering/snood shop and a saint doll shop at the moment).

So far we have two daughters, an almost three year old named Sadie and an almost one year old named Margaret (although she goes my Maggie and Mae more often than not). I met my husband six years ago this September and we married a year to the day after our first date.

Before I got married I worked as a lifeguard, a swim instructor, a rock-climbing instructor, a student trainer in my college’s training room and had been hired by the CIA shortly before meeting my husband. I earned my black belt in karate while I was in college and taught that for a short time too. I was raised Southern Baptist, but by the time I met Paul I had gone through a Mahayana Buddhist phase and I basically considered myself to be agnostic when I met him. I had a ridiculous number of tattoos (a number which most people I know would not believe because they are thankfully, for the most part, well hidden) and at one point had industrial piercings to match (thankfully I’d already taken those out for the CIA interviews). I would have told you I was happy. I would have even believed my words. But there was a yawning void that nothing I could do would fill.

Through some small miracle considering the state I was in, about seven months before I met Paul, I found myself praying. I felt nothing but a great dryness in my soul. I believed little. And yet I found myself asking God to help me believe.

I didn’t expect the prayer to be answered at the time.

I’m very thankful that it was.

Paul told me when I met him that he was “Irish Roman Catholic from Boston” and it was pretty clear that he wouldn’t be going to any other Church. By then I had begun to feel the pull to attend a church, any church, and figured that his was as good as any.

In this way I stumbled Home.

I found the answers that I had never expected. You see, I’d always had questions as a Baptist that the Bible alone didn't seem to answer (at least not in the context that I’d been raised to read it). Suddenly though, I found the answers I’d been looking for staring at me from the page. Apostolic succession. The Eucharist. Christ’s promise that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church.

So I went from being a girl who wore mini-skirts and believed in nothing, to being a young wife finding my way and learning the truths of a religion I was very new too. Life is very different now. I wear skirts and cover my head and heart at Mass. We’re happily open to life (when I found out that Catholics didn’t believe in birth control, which, by the way, I didn’t learn about until after I was married and confirmed thanks to a rather cheerful, light Catholic education in both RCIA and our Engaged Encounter, I was shocked!) and are doing our best to instill in our growing family a great love for a wonderful God. We've found our nightly family rosary to be a huge help and are enjoying watching Sadie learn to say her prayers.

It’s nice to meet all of you and I look forward to getting to know you all better! I hope my getting to know you post wasn’t too long!

22 May 2011

The Church is alive & flourishing!

Please check here

Keeping Close to God, and Staying Fresh!

Keeping Close to God, and Staying Fresh!

A nice article (link above) regarding your children's Religious Education and school year winding down and how to keep fresh and close to God. My book: A Cathlolic Woman's Book of Prayers is mentioned. I'll be back soon to introduce myself to the group.

God bless!

Donna-Marie

21 May 2011

A true story;the retelling prompted by Jackie's post below it.

This happened to me 20 years ago, I was with a group of mothers and we were organising fund raising for the secular county primary school our children all attended. This was several years before we became Catholics,but we were still a Christian family and attended a local chapel with Sunday school for the children. It was quite a lively group and that day I had my youngest child ,my daughter aged 2 with me.
One of the "ladies" in fact several of them were given to colourful language, and noticing my discomfort at the effing and blinding one of the group pointed out that we had a young child present and people should watch what they said.
This prompted a few apologies and some bluster which included using the Lords name in vain and I was asked how I felt.Taking a deep breath and thinking Oh well here goes! I quietly thanked them for stopping swearing and added that I actually thought that saying His name as a swear word was worse than effing and blinding and that my children were being taught to avoid all bad language but especially the use of the names of God and his Mother, well you would have thought I had proposed some group sex the way everyone exploded!
I never go out of my way to discuss my faith and beliefs but sometimes one cannot stay silent and then we have to be true to our faith and our conscience.
I remember a prayer I once read ..O forgive me Lord for all my foolish proofs of Thee at which while the audience laughed, the angels wept..
I am inadequate and yet even I must speak up sometimes not for glory or reward but because I must.

Pope blesses astronauts in 1st papal call to space - Yahoo! News

Pope blesses astronauts in 1st papal call to space - Yahoo! News

Moving & food poisoning & posting on wrong blog!

Well ladies..I'm waiting for your posts! We are in the process of moving to a lovely, big house. My son has food poisoning..stayed at his nan's last night & had a chicken burger from McDonalds! just what we don't need! I rang NHS direct..- never again! Well I did interrupt her so she said "Jesus" & when I asked her to stop blaspheming she hung up! lol


Posted this first on my blog...

20 May 2011

How are we doing?

Well the AWCB has been here for a couple of weeks now, time to check a few things?
Jackie and I would like to see that this blogg continues as it is ,so far so good, unless you think otherwise!
A couple of points though we thought maybe not too many embedded You tube films ,(I know there's one below this !)
and were ever possible posts should be all your own original writing, we want to share our own feelings and ideas and support each other.
The GBTB have not yet got back to me about posting :( so although I had hoped to add something I cant yet do so. I should like to make it clear however that I am not a feminist nor am I anti-men (3 sons) and I don't mind the picture they have as a header, personally as a former  student art teacher i just love Medieval art and appreciate it for what it is, this lady doesn't look for token anything and I am more than happy singing hymns that use the word mankind etc and mean all of us!
and here is one of my favorite pictures of the Church


The triumph of the Church over blindness and ignorance, by Peter Paul Rubens part of a set of tapestries called The triumph of the Eucharist
 Dont you just love all that stuff going on!!

19 May 2011

Pope John Paul II: Do not let your hearts be troubled

Happy 50th birthday Lindy!

One of our blog authors Lindy here

Confession

Recent events in my life have highlighted areas of sin, and the need to go to confession on a regular basis. I know we are only required to go to confession once a year, but if I followed that, I would spend 11 months of the year crawling on my knees weighed down by a burden of sin! I often feel I am the only one who regularly goes to confession during the Saturday slot at my parish...no one seems to go in before or after me, even though I try hard not to notice. I must look like the most sinful person in the Parish!

I have always tried to make a regular communion, once a month, more often if necessary, for the good of my soul. Whilst we don't need to confess venial sin, it is ultimately worth doing so for the grace of the Sacrament, and the conferring of God's forgiveness, love and strength. Going to confession is like stepping in a power shower after a hot and dusty day. One feels clean and fesh afterwards, and resolved to make amends and turn back to God.

I took this photograph recently, at the Church of the Holy name of Jesus on Oxford Road in Manchester. The sun is shining onto the doors of the confessionals, but actually looks like it is shining from underneath the doors! What a wonderful illustration of the grace of confession! The light and life of God, His forgiveness, hope and strength, lie behind those doors. Why not open them and see?

18 May 2011

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Ven. Maria Celesta Crostarosa


A reader of my Blog and AWCB has asked me who the lady shown above is and why I have her picture on my side bar. 
 Its one of those little things that happen ,and seems to us with faith to be meant to happen for a reason, I like old books and always try and browse in junk shops, charity shops etc and I came upon a slim volume in a box of books for sale as no longer required in the resources room of St Josephs RC Cathedral Swansea while my daughter was at a meeting for her Youth Helpers at Lourdes Group.
The book has a big red cross on the front and says "In Memory of Me" in big bold blue letters.
inside it says Maria Celeste Crostarosa and The Redemptoristines. Now I am fascinated by religious life and I have done research while writing a pamphlet on St Robert of Newminster for my former Parish and they were new to me, the booklet bears an Imprimatur dated Nov 1948 and appears to be a first edition on typical post WWII austerity paper.Mother Maria Celeste Crostarosa lived a hard life of devotion and adoration tossed about by the misguided attempts of others to put her on what they considered the right path but with Christ and His hidden life as her model she was ultimately successful in founding the order for cloistered sisters and guiding St Alphonsus Liguori in founding the Redemptorist Order for men. She suffered greatly as Christ Himself told her she would if she chose to follow Him but that very suffering was her work, to follow Christ and imitate Him.
She has yet to be recognised as a saint and there are not many Redemptoristine Houses but her story is dear to my heart and I would have loved to have been one of her nuns.






in fact I think its time I read the book again its been a few years since i reade it all through.

redemptoristine nuns australia


Ven. Maria Celesta Crostarosa
Ora Pro Nobis.

How about having her as a patron for AWCB ??

17 May 2011

Humble Obedience

Her master, seeing his goods multiply, as it were, in her hands, gave her [St. Zita] ample leave to bestow liberal alms on the poor, which she made use of with discretion, but was scrupulous to do nothing without his express authority.
From: St. Zita
“Without his express authority”. Saint Zita was always careful to respect and obey the authority of her master. Wise words for all of us, not least in respect to the authority of our Mother the Church. As Catholics, we are called to obey the Church. There are many who would disagree with that statement, and espouse the right of the faithful to question and sometimes even disobey. The trouble is, when we do that, we are no longer the faithful. :(

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with questioning, especially when we come across something we don’t understand; there is nothing wrong with wanting to know the whys, hows and wherefores of our faith, but questioning needs to be done with a supple and compliant spirit, and with a desire to surrender to God’s will and be conformed to His way. The right kind of questioning is that which leads us to obedience to the Church’s teachings, and not into willful disobedience.

I saw, on a dissenting blog pertaining to be Catholic, a picture of a woman “priest” elevating the Host, in direct contradiction to the teachings of God, the Church and our Holy Father. It was a blasphemy. Questioning which leads to disobedience ultimately leads to blasphemy. As women, we are not called to be Priests, and those who decry this “lack of equality” have got it wrong. No woman is more elevated in any expression of the Christian faith than Mary is in the Catholic Church. God’s honouring of Mary honours us too, as women.

Sait Zita was humble and obedient to her station and her calling. May we always be humble and obedient to our Lord in thought, word and deed. 


This is our rightful place, kneeling in humble adoration before our Lord…

This post is one of a series on Saint Zita I have posted on my blog, Life on the Home Front. You will find the rest HERE

LAST WELSH MARTYR: TIME FOR ANOTHER BOOK GIVEAWAY!

LAST WELSH MARTYR: TIME FOR ANOTHER BOOK GIVEAWAY!

this blog promotes St David Lewis and its a story worth knowing.

Catholicseeking: St. Louis de Montfort on The Blessed Sacrament

Catholicseeking: St. Louis de Montfort on The Blessed Sacrament: "'In the Blessed Sacrament God loves us so tenderly, He empties Himself completely. O, who could believe it? Withholding nothing, ..."

16 May 2011

EWTN Live - The Book of Revelation - Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ with , Naji Mou...

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places...

Yesterday, after coming back from the hospital at tea-time, picking Mum's elderly cat up on the way, I had chance to finally sit and think about what had happened and its implications, but by this time tiredness had brought with it a sense of peace. I thought of the verse in Psalm 15(16) v 6: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage. How difficult it is at times like this to acknowledge that God has drawn my boundary lines in "pleasant places"!! But He sees this situation from above, on the beautiful side of the tapestry so to speak, whereas I see only the messy knotted threads underneath. I'm not saying that this is a pleasant place for my Mum, but it has to be God's will for me, and God's will is for His glory and my good. I have written this verse on my heart, as I have also Deuteronomy 33:12 which I blogged about last time.


Once again, a picture speaks to my heart. The above is a scene of beauty, and yet the sky isn't blue and clear of clouds. In fact it's a dark, heavy, brooding sky. But there is a light threaded through it, a promise of God's mercy, a reminder that God's beauty and purpose shine through in the darkest places, even when a deluge threatens. Just writing this and reflecting on the picture, I am full of hope ~ GOD IS GOOD!

15 May 2011

CatholicTV - America's Catholic Television Network

CatholicTV - America's Catholic Television Network

Blog author links..information

Just a brief note...we have 19 blog authors now...if you prefer not to have a link at the side you can remove it yourselves...also if you are added as a blog author & we haven't added your blog as a link or if you wish to change your link name, just go ahead & do so yourselves. Also if you change your mind you can delete your name as blog author & always come back another time. There are no rules & we aim to keep it flexible. You can contact Marion as at side link or possibly me on rosary@blueyonder.co.uk


I'm very much enjoying the contributions & I think it's great we have a forum to pray for each other. God bless.

Hello, My name is Mary Christine

(I love to take photos of churches)
I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this blog.  I have had a few days of technical difficulties, coinciding with Blogger's meltdown, but I think we are all good now.  I am humbled and honored to be here.

Let me introduce myself.  I call myself a Catholic Revert.  I was a cradle Catholic.  I came from a family with two Catholic priest uncles.  I went to Catholic schools until I was in 10th grade.  As a child, I wanted to be a nun.  When I became a teenager, I hit a brick wall and turned left... I went off the deep end and stayed there for a while.  I left the church and became a detractor of most things Catholic (but kept a Rosary, and prayed it relatively frequently).

At the age of 39, while going through another divorce, a friend very frankly said to me "Don't you think it is time you went back to church?"  I couldn't argue with her since my life was clearly a mess.   I was terribly afraid to go back, but I did.  

It took another two years for me to go to confession and truly try to live in conformity with all of the "rules" of the Catholic Church.  I cannot describe to you what it is like to receive Holy Communion after twenty-five years of exile.  

I have now been back home for twenty years, but I will never forget what it is like to be away.  I cherish my place in the Church, and my ultimate goal is my final home in Heaven.  

I am just finishing a four year Catholic Biblical School.   I am now considering where to go next.  It will probably involve more school, but I am praying to hear God's call for me.  

I am in awe of the women who have always done the right thing, gotten married and stayed married,  stayed loyal to the church, and not had the kind of ugly history I have.  You are truly my heroes.  But that is not my story.  It is my hope that my story might give a glimmer of hope to someone else who is as hopelessly lost as I was.  

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.  -- Romans 8:28

Between God's Shoulders

I spent 9 hours at the local hospital yesterday with my Mum, who fell off her mobility scooter and fractured her upper arm and broke her hip. Things are not good, as Mum's hip is badly broken (bone crushed) and she is having a hip replacement hopefully some time today (depending on emergencies, as it's weekend!) She's going to be in for at least 2 weeks and possibly a rehabilitation centre afterwards She's also very frightened, understandably, and was in a lot of pain, but morphine has helped. The ward staff were lovely, and she'll be cared for. I have also gained an elderly cat one-eyed cat called Rameses who is coming here to live with us until she's home!

But on my mind all day yesterday was a verse I found in a Catholic Women's Devotional the other day, which really impressed upon me, this one:
About Benjamin he said:
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”
Deuteronomy 33:12
This verse has strengthened and upheld me all through this, with the thought of being carried between God's shoulders, like a baby in a papoose, secure in God. It has been such a blessing to me...

I didn't sleep well last night, and had 2 awake periods, one for an hour, but didn't get up and used them to pray. I felt really panicky, with everything that's happened and its implications going round and round in my head, but kept repeating and repeating that verse about being between God's shoulders (which I've memorised) over and over. It helped. This morning I feel less worried/anxious, and have faith that "all will be well".

There are times in our lives when we are *hit* with things that threaten to overwhelm us, and knock us off our complacent and comfortable perches. It is at those times that God bends down to us, swoops us up in His arms and carries us. They are also opportunities for grace and growth. I need to remember this!

God's blessings to you this day,

Please pray for us...
Autumn xx

4th Sunday of Easter-a thought from a mother

Its Good Sheherd Sunday.
The Image of the Good Shepherd seems very masculine, but as a women and mother I think the idea is very close to my role in the family, after all what mother would not give her life for her children and always puts their best interests before her own? It is a hard road and fraught with pitfalls and nothing really prepares one for it, although watching and learning from a good role model helps! So I thank God for the role models of my Shepherdess my Mother and my Mother in Law and above all for the Heavenly Mother and The Good Shepherd.

14 May 2011

Putting on our Spiritual Armor!


Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning the Devil says,
"Uh oh....she's awake!"

Lord, teach and guide us to be the women YOU intended us to be!
Amen.

Lead Kindly Light


I thought you might enjoy this hymn just posted on my blog Lead Kindly Light. They talk about the bloggers "guild" being inspired by the Holy Spirit. I like to think the same Spirit is leading us ladies in true Christian fellowship & support. There is room in the world for all of us in the Universal Church!

Blessed John Henry Newman of course wrote the hymn. More of him soon & his beatification, which we were fortunate enough to attend.

Little Flower's Crown of Roses...: God's little dwelling place....

Little Flower's Crown of Roses...: God's little dwelling place....: "This morning I was praying the Liturgy of the Hours and read the following. It touched my heart so, I thought I would share it. It is take..."

LINEN ON THE HEDGEROW: AT LAST! THE GUILD OF BLESSED TITUS!

LINEN ON THE HEDGEROW: AT LAST! THE GUILD OF BLESSED TITUS!: "I think that, by now, I must be the last of the bloggers present at Westminster Cathedral's meeting last Saturday to make a comment. I think..."


so if it cant be called the Guild of Catholic Bloggers can we be AWCB ??probably not Why and what should we do? I haven't noticed an any activity by crack squads of prelates stopping us yet,so I presume no body has noticed us yet.Advice please!

13 May 2011

Introductions first...



I have been asked to blog along with all of you and am very happy to do so! But, first I'd like to introduce myself! My name is Lindy and I have been happily married for 29 years to my hubby, Steve and we have 2 great sons...Nick is 28 and Alex is 23. I am a member of the 'Divine Will' chapter of The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites and have been learning so much! Mass, the Holy Eucharist and Adoration are very important to me! I would love to meet others who are also Secular Carmelites!! I am also a facilitator for the Women of Grace Series, and am enjoying the fellowship that the program offers!
Also, I would like to ask for prayers for our son Alex who just finished up his first year of seminary!! We are very proud of him! He is a Seminarian with the Ogdensburg Diocese in upstate (waaay upstate) in New York! I look forward to 'blogging' with all of you! I can be found at crownofroses.blogspot.com
Blessings!
Lindy

Hello from Autumn again!

I posted a short introduction last night, but it disappeared due to recent Blogger troubles. Just watch, it will probably turn up again now I'm re-posting!

...and guess what? It just did! Just scroll down a bit to read my introduction and I shall post something more meaty tomorrow ;)

Autumn xx

Well - blogger!

Well that was fun! Not! Blogger is misbehaving! I've had to jump through hoops to post this! Thanks to Marion for holding the fort! We have 11 blog authors now who all have admin authorisation. Marion is our main "man!" woops at the moment! I like Marion's advice re posting. I've had to behave myself & speak nicely! lol
I'm really sorry that we seem to have lost some of the excellent posts. Blogger state they will re-post them but so far they are still missing. What a time to set up a new blog! That said we have already some excellent fellowship & I urge you to spread the word to your friends & fellow bloggers. If you or they could send your emails to Marion on Marion Banks -Wilkinson m.bankswilkinson@btinternet.com & give blog details if they have one.I'm back to packing now!

Hot news from the Bishops conference.

Catholic Witness - Friday Penance
By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so
in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in
fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in almsgiving, by demonstrating our solidarity
with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian
living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.
Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of
our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other
form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference.
The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear
and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those
which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the
faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.
Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops’ Conference
wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The
Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat.
Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some
other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011
when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time
of prayer and further self-sacrifice. In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ,
who gave up his very life for our salvation.
http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Catholic-Church/Events/Bishops-Conference-May-2011
So Fish recipes anyone? or as Im a veggie what am I going to give up any suggestions?

Under the Oak: Irish Saints of April: Luith of Druim-Dairbhreach

Under the Oak: Irish Saints of April: Luith of Druim-Dairbhreach

this blog is well worth a visit.

Normal service is resumed.

Well ladies, blogger is back and I am introducing myself. Jackie who started this ACWB site is a bit busy so she asked me to help out.My blog is here http://fortysomething-diddleymaz.blogspot.com/
and I am known as diddleymaz here and on facebook by  my proper name Marion Banks-Wilkinson .
I'm a 51 year old English woman who lives in south wales with my husband of 30 plus years and assorted family and pets.
I am convert from Anglicanism (11plus years ago)
Please Ladies no rubbishing others, but lets all pray for the success of each other and this Blog if God wills it!

12 May 2011

Why not join both?!

So here we have an Association of Catholic Women Bloggers and why not? as long as there is a Girl Guides and a Scouts, a Union of Catholic Mothers and a Rosary Confraternity, its OK to have men or women only clubs if that's what people want! We are not talking about stopping anything ,just starting things.
So I am happy to be here and may well be here too
http://areluctantsinner.blogspot.com/search/label/Guild%20of%20Catholic%20Bloggers if they want me..if I can contribute anything to both I will do so  and why not?
It doesn't matter what its called or who is "in"it if its legal, and in keeping with Roman Catholic doctrine and I enjoy reading and so do others. Lets just go for it! too much thinking is the downfall of many ,and while I do think a little planning is good I also love spontaneity too.
So if I feel moved I will post and if I'm interested I will read.
If its not my thing I may comment or just disappear but lets just get on with it.

Introducing Autumn!

Hello to you all, and thanks to Jackie for inviting me to be a contributor to this new and exciting venture. I have also enjoyed reading everyone else's contributions so far.

I am an almost 50 year old (just a few months of my 40s left!) Catholic wife, mother and grandmother (or "Mamar" as I am known) to a husband of 29 years, 2 daughters and 3 blue grandchildren and 1 pink ;) I work part-time as a counsellor in a Further Education College, but my heart is fixed firmly on God, family and home, where I seek, like Brother Lawrence, to find Him amongst the pots and pans. I love cooking and baking and creating a home which is hopefully one of welcome and warmth.

I am currently discerning a vocation to the Third Order of Carmelites, which is exciting ~ I started attending a Carmelite Spirituality Group earlier this year, and am now "hooked". My life's aim is to seek God, follow Christ and be transformed by the Spirit, with the help of my Mother Mary, to whom I have a deep devotion.

I have two blogs of my own, http://iamhisbeloved.wordpress.com/ and http://bloomingathome.wordpress.com/ and you are welcome to visit me there. I shall blog here again soon! Lovely to meet you.

Autumn xx

Book Review

As a Catholic and mother of an artist student with a speciality in photography, I looked forward to reading “Framing Faith” a book by author Sarah Piccini and photographer Ivana Pavelka. I was not disappointed. It tells the story of ten churches and the migrants and their communities that fame the history of the churches in. It is an absorbing and well written book which will not be out of place on any bookshelf for personal reading and reference or even your Catholic Book Club! There is such a rich history and architecture that you cannot help to become involved in the personal histories attached to the churches and an opportunity to look at the architecture in a fresh light. The book is also interspersed with quotes from scripture and makes an enjoyable read.
Framing Faith Synopsis:
Framing Faith tells the story of the faith of immigrants and their descendants, spotlighting ten Catholic churches in the Diocese of Scranton that were closed due to restructuring. . They are Polish, Slovak, Italian, German, and Lithuanian parishes with long traditions and deep roots. Each church was founded by immigrant groups who came to the coal fields of the Lackawanna Valley with little more than their faith in God. Their churches served as the center of the community and touchstones of the Old Country. Framing Faith traces their histories from small beginnings through baptisms, weddings and funerals to their final celebrations. Throughout the text are images from each church, visual reminders of what was for many an important part of their lives.
You might find the following links useful:
Book web site:
http://www.framingfaith.com

Book Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Framing-Faith/155670971158620?sk=wall


Tribute Books website:
http://www.tribute-books.com

Buy links:
http://tribute-books.com/shop.html#religion3

Evangelical Bodyguard kills his wife and children

The bodyguard of high-profile televangelist Joyce Meyer has gone on trial accused of strangling his wife and two young sons so he could marry his mistress.

Prosecutors claim Christopher Coleman, 34, feared he would lose his $100,000-a-year job if he split from his wife.

But his lover, Tara Lintz, revealed to a court in Illinois he had promised he would serve divorce papers on May 5, 2009 - the same day his family were found murdered in their beds.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383199/Christopher-Coleman-trial-strangling-wife-sons-marry-mistress.html#ixzz1LNpRB1EU


I think this story in the Mail reflects the wrong 'spirit' that is in these "positive affirmation" churches - it is a spirit of 'self' and seems to be far remote from the spirit of humility and serving that is in the Catholic Church in the main and their priests. In the Catholic Church we worship Jesus and honour Mary and the Saints and our focus is on holiness ad humility whereas in some of these Evangelical churches they worship self and their own advancement and are focused on keeping themselves happy and where their next spiritual fix is coming from. By the fruits of the tree you shall know them it says in the Bible. Everyday of the year in the Catholic Church we preach the Gospel and have readings from the Bible and prayers which all build up an inner spiritual life; there is not much of the gospel preached in these chuches except 'health, wealth and prosperity' like any new age philosophy and there is nothing preached on redemptive suffering. Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

Rob Bell shares his own version of Hell

I think Rob Bell's new book "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived" is typical of what happens when Protestant religions break away from the Catholic Faith because they all interpret the scriptures themselves and all have their own version of what 'Truth' is. Rob Bell, a respected Preacher in his own field, is preaching a type of Universalism where everybody gets to go to heaven and there is no suffering away from God, no demons, no devil. This is a 'false' gospel and follows on very much from the preaching of the 'health, wealth and prosperity' gospel that is common in America especially but also in some churches here. If you are not rooted in the truth of the Catholic faith then you are open to all sorts of interpretations of the Bible and to some fairy tale ending where everyone 'lives happily ever after'. Don't be fooled - there is an eternity - an eternity with heaven or with hell. Even the Buddhists - peace loving people - have hell in their philosophy of life and death. A lot of these ideas in the Protestant churches have arisen out of New Age and New Thought (the power of the mind) movements as well as positive thinking movements in the church. Even within these groups they disagree between themselves on theological issues and their understanding of the Bible, whether they should start even more new churches or leave the organised Church all together - the divisions and splits are endless. Whereas Jesus created 'one' Church and even the Bible says that there should not be divisions amongst themselves. It should always have stayed 'one' church. It is man's own desires and lack of obedience and pride and willfulness or ego that haa separated himself from the one True Church - everyman going his 'own' way.