21 Nov 2017

Wonder Woman: Very Good (Though Perhaps Not Amazing)

Catholic-Perspective Review of Female Superhero Movie Wonder Woman

After months of hearing nothing but praise for the new female-driven superhero movie Wonder Woman, it's now out on DVD so I finally saw it. Needless to say, I went into it with pretty high hopes, given the massive praise I'd seen.

My verdict: The praise was mostly well-founded. Mostly. Because it is quite good, and definitely filling a very real gap in female-driven content. And yet, it still wasn't as mind-blowingly amazing as I might have hoped... Continue Reading

2 Major Events that Changed the World

Welcome Friend,

2 - Major Events to talk about with you today that changed the entire world:

  1. Birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Going to keep this short, because there are many things I could write about Jesus.

20 Nov 2017

Advent Shopping list/guide

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Very Merry Advent {Shopping Guide}

So, wait?! I can't start celebrating Christmas right now? ....Well, I guess I'll twiddle my thumbs.

No! >>Don't Jump The Gun.<< Some people have all their bases covered, even an Advent playlist (!!!). But what if you're a newbie to the Advent game? It starts in two weeks!  What is needed?

In honor of the fact that I'm going out of town, today is a special post! Here are 20 things to kick off your Advent celebration and observation.  

and.... joke time.
Stephen: Why does Sufjan sound so sad when he says "Rejoice"?
Me: He's happy, but he's expectant.  #laughcry

Julia's Gifts; Great War, Great Love - Book 1 - Book Review

In Julia ‘s Gifts, Ellen Gable whisks us away to war-torn France, circa 1917-1918. The setting: World War I. The main character: Miss Julia Murphy. In this tightly woven love story, we see Julia Murphy exhibit many virtuous qualities; generosity of spirit, compassion, and most importantly, self-giving love. This tale sends us on a romantic adventure in search of Julia Murphy’s beloved; only Julia has no idea who her beloved might be!

At the age of 17, she began setting aside Christmas presents for her future beloved, with the hopes of one day gifting these presents to him. At the age of 21, the war in Europe was waging, and the American Red Cross was looking for volunteers. Julia and her friend, Ann, thought it a great idea to volunteer and go overseas to give aid and comfort to injured soldiers. As Julia prepared to embark for the journey to Europe, she brought very few personal possessions with her. She did, however, bring the box of four precious gifts she had amassed over the past four years, with the hope of possibly finding her beloved.

The story then takes some twists and turns, with... Read more...

19 Nov 2017

St Francis of Assisi - Part 13 - The Canticle to Brother Sun

After St Francis  received the Stigmata he travelled all the way back to Assisi on a donkey for he could not walk. Nor could he see or hear much, because he was filled with such sublime joy that most of the time he was lost in ecstasy. But on his return he was filled with a new lease of life that enabled him to set off on brief missionary journeys in the surrounding countryside. It was the last flare of a flame that was about to peter out. Soon the first part of his prayer was about to be answered, as serious sickness enabled him to experience something of the sufferings that Brother Jesus had to endure on the cross. Yet, it was when he was at his lowest ebb, living in a mud hut outside San Damiano and pestered by a plague of mice that he wrote his beautiful poem in praise of Brother Sun. It was the first great poetic work to be written in the Italian language.

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honour, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendour!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.                
read on .....

Disorders, Decisions

Whether you call it mental illness, lunacy, or insanity, being crazy isn't fun. It's not a lifestyle choice either. Not for most. Certainly not in my case. I'll get back to that....

...Somewhere along the line "mental hygiene" got repackaged as "mental health." I think it wasn't just a new coat of paint on old ideas. We were learning more about how minds work, and sometimes don't.

We were also learning what we can do: and what we shouldn't....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 Nov 2017

Antarctic 'Hot' Spots

Some scientists say there'll be more carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere this year. They may be right.

I think the information's interesting, and may be meaningful. But I'm pretty sure this isn't a portent of doom.

Neither is a new and more detailed map of Antarctica's bedrock temperatures.

I'll be talking about that, the Halley VI base getting back in operation: and why I think we should keep learning about how Earth's climate works.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

16 Nov 2017

'Enter into the joy of your master.' Sunday Reflections, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Woman Sewing, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. (Proverbs 31:13, First Reading)
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 25:14-30 [Shorter form, 14-15, 19-21] (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEd.) 

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
‘For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. [The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.] After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” [And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”]
Jesse Robredo (27 May 1958 - 18 August 2012) [Wikipedia]

There was real sorrow throughout the Philippines when news broke that the small plane in which Jesse Robredo, Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the administration of President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines had crashed offshore while trying to make and emergency landing on Masbate Island. Secretary Robredo had been on official business in Cebu but wanted to be present at a swimming competition in which his daughter was taking part in their home town, Naga City in the heart of the Bicol Region at the southern end of Luzon. So he hired a small plane to fly from Cebu to Naga City.
Continue here.

What Christians Can Learn From Malcolm X

I have been reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X and I am very impressed with the man. I was interested in reading it after someone mentioned how reading changed his life (I am all about promoting literacy and education.) I learned a lot about how things were during his life and also how things got to be the way they are now. It seems to me that a lot has improved since his time, but a lot is still very much the same. His message to his black brothers was for them to love and respect themselves, do for themselves, and demand justice for themselves–this is hard for me to disagree with. Malcolm is still thought of today as a divisive and angry figure, unlike the inclusive and inspiring Martin Luther King, but there are many things we can learn from the life of Malcolm X.
1. Through self-discipline, Malcolm found freedom. While in prison, his family was trying to get him to follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad–they started by telling him to give up pork and cigarettes and that they would help him to get out of prison. He began to decline the pork as it was passed around and also the cigarettes. I believe this was the turning point where he began to see that he was something other than a victim of injustice with no power over his life–he began to see that even in prison, he could make choices for himself, giving up the sensual and temporary pleasure for something greater. As Christians, we practice this same discipline during Lent and Advent, and (we ought to be) Fridays as well. Denying ourselves some worldly goods can strengthen us for the spiritual fights we must face.  

15 Nov 2017

California Murders: and Remembering

(From Getty Images, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Police say a number of students had to be medically evacuated from the school"
(BBC News))

I hadn't planned on writing about murder and getting a grip this week. Or next. But another multiple murder is international news....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Ungratefulness is Ugly: Count Your Blessings, Be Grateful

Do you know “Debbie Downer?” She’s that person that always has something to gripe about. You never see her in a good mood. She is too busy feeling sorry for herself to ever say “thank you” for anything. Debbie doesn’t have many friends, and maybe that’s because ungratefulness is ugly.

We tend to steer away from the Debbie Downers of the world, because as human beings we are drawn to the good, and virtuous qualities, we see in others. Innately, we like to be around positive people, because they lift our spirits. If you are a Debbie Downer, or know someone who has negative traits (and don’t we all know someone who has those traits?), then consider the need for a mind shift.

Changing the Heart from Ungratefulness to One of Gratitude

I think we could all call ourselves Debbie Downers from time to time, especially when...Read more... 

14 Nov 2017

We’ve Forgotten How Great It Is To Be a Catholic Woman

It is difficult to be a woman today, especially a Christian woman. It’s no wonder Catholics are confused about who they are. The Church boldly declares feminine traits are part of a woman’s core identity, deeply rooted in their souls, not just apparent in their physical appearance. Saint John Paul II, in his letter On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, explains God created women to be different but equal to men as complementary partners, be it as married or religious/consecrated or single women.
Our contemporary culture opposes this view as misogynistic. Some feminists promote the idea that women are born as blank slates with exactly the same traits as men, dismissing femininity as simply learned behaviour. If this were not confusing enough, society now toys with the idea of a blending of genders. We have somehow lost the truth about how great being a woman actually is.

Non-toxic Masculinity

It ain’t easy being male. Not that I would know, but lately being a wife and a boy-mom, I’ve had a lot of sympathy for the less-fair sex. Feminism ran rampant, going so far beyond its noble beginnings with woman’s suffrage and ended up shaping our entire culture into a place where genuine masculinity is no longer welcome.
It starts when they are so young. Boys are forbidden to play “cowboys and Indians” because that is racist. They can’t play with sticks and toy guns because that is training them to be violent. When a little boy can’t sit still for six hours straight in a classroom, he is put on Ritalin because he must be disordered. He probably isn’t disordered, he is probably just a boy! They don’t sit very well and they like to pretend to shoot things. Surprise, surprise!
By the time they reach adulthood, the male species as a whole has been socially castrated, forced to take his God-given natural aptitudes for manly pursuits and competitiveness, and trade them in for avocado lattes and safe spaces. Just grow a beard and put on a flannel if you are feeling particularly manly today.
Click to continue reading... 

Hail Mary: From the angel´s lips. ( Spanish) EL AVE MARIA:DE LOS LABIOS DEL ÁNGEL Y DEL ESPIRITU SANTO.

13 Nov 2017

Scripture quote Inspirational Reflection called Scripnet

Hello Friend,

Sharing thoughts of inspiration. Reflection on this is appropriate. I think it is always good and inspiring to reflect on scripture and the Holy Spirit. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. Right!
This is the beginning of posts I am writing to give words of inspiration. Encouraging one another to go forward.

Inspirational quote from scripture.

 Click here to go to post.


Had I Really Forgiven the Bullies? Or Did I Have More Work to Do?

Forgiveness can take seventy times just to get it right! I thought I had forgiven the bullies who verbally abused me in grade school, until one recent Sunday, when I heard the Gospel from Matthew where it states,

Then Peter approaching Him asked, ‘Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times’? Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy times’ (Matt 18:21-22).
I realized that although I had forgiven the bullies, and therefore, hoped that they would be granted admission to heaven one day, I also thought that I wouldn’t mind if I never crossed paths with them in Heaven. This was because I was still holding tightly to the pain. Had I really forgiven the bullies fully, if I felt this way?

I didn’t want to hold on to the pain any longer. That day, I gave the pain to Jesus – literally! After receiving Communion, I went back to my seat to kneel and give thanks. As I closed my eyes, I saw...Read more...

12 Nov 2017

The Dream

He woke, heart racing, breathless, wet with sweat, in the starlit time before dawn. He shuddered when something touched his arm. It was his wife.

"Again?" she asked, rolling her belly onto him. Soon she would bear his first child.

"Again," he gasped. He waited until his breath came more easily. "The same thing. It was awful."

She waited. He would talk soon. Perhaps then he would sleep.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

A Season to Journal: 'a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A Guest Post by May-Kuan Lim, author of The Curious Scribbler
I feel a hint of pain when I look at these early photos because my children were young and easily amused. I, too, was young and life was uncomplicated: feed the ducks, throw a ball, pick a daisy.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. The season for early motherhood has passed. The children are teenagers now. One has left home. I have to find my place in the world again.

The words of Ecclesiastes wash over me: a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to uproot; and on it goes, each verb making sense in its context but what is this – a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them? 
What a strange expression. Who scatters stones? Farmers scatter seed. Hansel and Gretel scatter breadcrumbs. But who scatters stones? Aren’t stones too heavy to be scattered? Perhaps pebbles can be scattered, but to what purpose?
Instead of ‘scatter’, other translations use the words ‘cast away’ or ‘throw’ as a counter point to ‘gather’. Cast away is a much more weighty action, showing effort and intent. But what do the stones represent?  Read on: www.susannetimpani@com.au

10 Nov 2017

A Physical Healing? Really?

It was a conference for Sunday School teachers.
The crowd consisted of down-to-earth housewives, mothers, even some older, benevolent grandmotherly types. Lots of nice, well-meaning women attending, simply trying to fill a need at their church. Most were mothers who wanted to be involved in teaching the faith to their kids. My friend and I were the only Catholics in the group and that added to a feeling of alienation. So, I came albeit grudgingly. I really did not expect to learn anything more than a few interesting tips on how to hold children’s interest.
I was pretty fed up with learning techniques and strategies. I wanted, no I needed, to receive more from God in my deepest self, in my spirit because I was tired and depleted. I did not need more facts...

9 Nov 2017

Veterans Day 2017

Tomorrow is Veterans Day in my country. It's a national holiday, related to Armistice Day, Remembrance Day and Volkstrauertag.1

I'll be talking mostly about what's happened since 1914, why I don't fear the future, and what I think we can achieve if we use our brains.

It's mostly history, with a little science. This isn't the usual "science news" post....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

8 Nov 2017

'You know neither the day nor the hour.' Sunday Reflections, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Year A

Christ and the Wise Virgins- Mediaeval German Sculptor [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEdition

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.'

In the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down from the panel above your head… Secure your own mask before helping others.
I have heard those words hundreds of times before a flight takes off. I have never experienced having to use one of these masks and I hope that I never will. The others mentioned in the instruction refer to children and persons with disabilities of one kind or another who would need help. But the instruction is clear: Secure your own mask before helping others.
Continue here.

Carrying Our Crosses Can Be a Struggle

If it was easy to carry our crosses, we would all do it willingly. Instead, it can be a struggle at times. We are all given something to bear in life that we wish we did not have to endure. For me, God gave me clubbed feet. My cross is a visible sign of what I must endure in this life. For others, the cross is invisible to the eye. One might think that a visible cross is tougher to bear, because everyone can see it; but I say, not necessarily so. An invisible cross can be just as crippling as my clubbed feet. A good example of an invisible cross would be mental illness; running the gamut from mild anxiety to schizophrenia.

Carrying Our Crosses for Christ

Whatever your cross may be, know that God is with you always. At the most difficult of times, when life seems so unbearable, He helps you carry your cross. God will never give you more than you can bear. Trust Him. We all have crosses to bear. Yet, by carrying our crosses, Jesus wants us to... Read more...

A Meaning-Full Advent

We are on the verge of Advent, four weeks that tend to be a flurry of activity in preparation for Christmas. This week Jen Deshpande, who is on the parish staff of St. Dominic, wrote a reflection for our parish email that I needed to hear and thought you might too. She allowed me to make it my blog post today. I especially liked the last sentence:
I saw a good friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing. She looked up, voiced lowered, and said, "I'm so busy, I have so much going on." Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was doing. Again, same tone, same response, "I'm just so busy." Busyness is a widely accepted part of our society today. We even consider it part of our identity. If you are not busy, then what are you?
We may think being busy is good; we are accomplishing so much, checking off all the boxes on that to-do list! Yes, some of our commitments are really important. Spending our days doing what we love and with the people we love shows that we are living according to our values. And I believe that much of what we do during the day aligns with a good and holy life. The problem comes when we wear our busyness as a badge of honor and status symbol. We think busy people must be more important. Why are American's so impressed with busyness? What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measure of importance?  Click to continue

Nun on the run


7 Nov 2017

Scripture quote with inspirational reflection

Welcome Friend,

Have new posts set up. They are short inspirations. A quote from scripture and a quote from a person. Usually along with a reflection inspiring all. Maybe with a life story.

Let me know what you think.

Read all about it here. 

See you there.

Murder — Again — Still

That's Devin Patrick Kelley, and First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

We're still not sure why he opened fire on the folks gathered for worship yesterday morning. At the moment, it looks like he was in a snit because he’d been arguing with his former wife and in-laws.

That doesn’t mean I think we should ban marriage because it leads to mass murder. That makes about as much sense as my SADIST proposal. (November 6, 2017

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Nov 2017

From Toy Town with Love

When I was a boy I used to call people by what they did. My older brothers used to laugh when I said I had seen Mr Postman, Mr Builder, Mr Plumber or Mr Dustman. I suppose  the idea came from my favourite radio program 'Toy Town'. Everybody was called by what they did. It was Mr Mayor, Mr Policeman, Mr Inventor, Mr Magician and even Mr Grouser! When the Parish priest visited and pointed to the picture of the Sacred Heart, he asked me who he was. I answered,  "Mr Loving." Once again my older brothers laughed, but the parish priest didn't laugh. He said that  I was absolutely right . However, when he asked me who had told me, I said nothing, because I knew my bothers would laugh at me again if I said it was from my favourite radio program, 'Toy Town'.
Although pictures or statues of the Sacred Heart depict Christ dressed as he might have been while he was on earth, a closer look reveals that he is actually depicted as he is now in heaven. For instance, you can see the marks on his hands made when he was crucified, the crown of thorns around his heart, which is now flaming with a love fully ignited after being reunited with his Father.    

Self-Giving Love: Giving Without Expecting Repayment

The definition of self-giving love is to give without expecting repayment. With self-giving love, one gives from the heart, solely because he/she loves another for the sake of that person. There is no self-interest; only concern for the other person.

In today’s Gospel from Luke 14:12-14, Jesus tells us, via one of His parables, not to invite the wealthy to a banquet, for we may be asked to return the favor one day. Rather,

…when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

How to discern self-giving love

Let me take this one step further and ask you: When you give to the poor, do you... Read more... 

The Final Fight

Sister Lucia, the oldest of the Fatima visionaries prophesied that the final fight between Our Lord and Satan will be over marriage and the family. Being the one good thing that remains from Paradise, it is easy to see why the devil would attack it so harshly. With sex scandals upon scandals, the acceptance of same-sex “marriages”, the normalization of incest, the epidemic of contraceptive use, and a million other violations of the natural order, it’s not terribly crazy to speculate that we are nearing that final battle.
Faithful Catholics easily recognize the dangers of the big lies society is pushing, and we seem to frame our understanding of this final battle as being against these big issues, but that is only the surface of the fight.
Those of us in faithful, sacramental marriages, I really think we are going to be attacked more than anyone else. You only have to do a quick read through of the Book of Job to see how much the devil delights in bringing destruction to God’s faithful ones....
Keep reading here at Messy Buns & Latin Chant

Daylight Saving Time: A Modest Proposal

Perhaps I should remember my station, and be respectfully silent before the weekend's mighty display of power and glory.

I am, after all, but one of those who live neither in the Northeast megalopolis nor the shining lands of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Daylight Saving Time — Again — Still

Enough of that 'umble posturing.

If you live in America, there's a pretty good chance that you remembered to set your clock back an hour during the weekend. We've gone through this routine every year for — too long, I think.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

5 Nov 2017

When You Live For Jesus, You Have Peace Even In Times Of Uncertainty

By Laura Durant

When you live for God and allow Christ to live within you, nothing is impossible. Challenges that come your way are but opportunities for the Lord to show His majesty and power. You have total trust you will be taken care of, you will not be forgotten and all your needs will be met.

It is important we ask ourselves when uncertainty comes our way, when challenges arise, when things don’t go as planned, where do I turn? To whom do I seek for advice, counsel or comfort? Your Lord, the One who created you in His image and likeness, desires your answer to be that you turn to Him first, always and forever. If you do, you will always find peace, even in the midst of life’s greatest challenges and obstacles.

Read more in English      Read more in Spanish

Science, Faith, and Me

This universe is bigger and older than some folks thought, a few centuries back.

I don't mind, at all. Besides, it's hardly new information. We've known that we live in a big world for a long time.
"4 Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth." (Wisdom 11:22)
If that bit from Wisdom doesn't sound familiar, I'm not surprised. It's not in the Bibles many Americans have. The one I read and study frequently is the unexpurgated version....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Season to Journal - 'a time to mourn and a time to dance.'

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:4

Despite the poor quality photo, this picture captures a moment from a dance I encountered while working as a Lay Missionary in Papua New Guinea.

Sitting in the dirt surrounded by a jungle of utter blackness, I lost connection with everything I considered as 'normal'. I didn’t just witness the dance, I experienced it. I have no idea if the dance was a dance of grief or a dance of joy, but the depth of emotion released by the creativity extended beyond the dancers into the community.

In my own community, most of us can't perform like that, unscripted, in harmony with others, to the rhythmic thump of magnificent handcrafted instruments. Read more: Season to Journal

4 Nov 2017

3 Motivational Quotes (that are hogwash)

yolo neon lights

Everyone loves a good motivational quote. These little bite-sized mantras have the power to refocus our attention and push us to achieve before unreachable goals. I’ve got one from Winnie the Pooh hanging by my front door, one above my cabinets, one usually on my whiteboard, and one each on my laptop and cell phone wallpapers.
Have you heard this one before?
“If you want to be a miserable failure, just do what makes you happy.”
Yes, you read that right.
This opinion piece from a few weeks back got me thinking. It boils down to the fact that while we often tell ourselves and our children to “just do what makes you happy in life”, if you really want to be successful, you need to put in the hard work, get out of bed when you don’t want to, and maybe turn off Netflix next time it asks, “are you still there” instead of continuing the binge of Marvel’s Defenders.

Youth at the center stage on the Church. ( Spanish) LA IGLESIA SE RENUEVA A TRAVÉS DE SUS JÓVENES.

Resultado de imagen de JOVENES CON PAPA FRANCISCO
 Así como la familia fue el centro de la atención de la Iglesia en los años pasado, ahora serán los jóvenes los que tomarán el estrado en la iglesia. Con el tema de “LOS JÓVENES, LA FE  Y EL DISCERNIMIENTO VOCACIONAL” el Papa Francisco ha dicho a los jóvenes de todos los rincones:

“He querido que ustedes ocupen el centro de la atención porque los llevo en el corazón.” (1)

En su labor de atender pastoralmente a las comunidades del mundo, se abocará a escuchar las necesidades y conocer las realidades de los jóvenes realizando un proceso de 2 años recoger inquietudes a todos los niveles para elaborar un documento de trabajo y un compendio pastoral final por el Papa Francisco, que ha captado su energía y disposición durante los encuentros con ellos:

“En Cracovia, durante la apertura de la última Jornada Mundial de la Juventud, les pregunté varias veces: «Las cosas, ¿se pueden cambiar?». Y ustedes exclamaron juntos a gran voz «¡sí!»”. Esa es una respuesta que nace de un corazón joven que no soporta la injusticia y no puede doblegarse a la cultura del descarte, ni ceder ante la globalización de la indiferencia.

Un mundo mejor se construye también gracias a ustedes, que siempre desean cambiar y ser generosos…También la Iglesia desea ponerse a la escucha de la voz, de la sensibilidad, de la fe de cada uno; así como también de las dudas y las críticas. Hagan sentir a todos el grito de ustedes, déjenlo resonar en las comunidades y háganlo llegar a los pastores.” (2)

3 Nov 2017

St Francis of Assisi – Part 12 – Francis Receives the Stigmata

On leaving Rome in 1223 Francis made for the Rieti Valley and back to the hermitage of Fonte Columbo where he had written his rule. It was here that he had an idea which was to stain the memories and the imaginations of everyone for centuries to come with the mystery of the Incarnation. 

As Christmas drew near the following year he approached John Vellita who owned land in the vicinity of Greccio, and asked him for permission to use a cave on his property to re-enact the birth of Brother Jesus at Bethlehem. There was an ass and an ox in the cave and a manger with a statue of the Christ-child lying in the straw.  St Francis was deacon at the Mass and spoke with such love and tenderness that many believed that the statue came alive as he cradled it in his arms. 

Whether this was true or not one thing was for sure, Francis had brought back to life the humanity of Jesus Christ in the minds and in the imaginations of his contemporaries.  read on ....

Mom Shop Hop--A Christmas Shopping Guide

Looking forward to Christmas?  Get your shopping done now and enjoy Advent as a time of prayer and anticipation. What's more, this guide will help you find some amazing shops run by hardworking moms.  Support small business and families at the same time!

Read more on Veils and Vocations!

A Century of Science

BBC News posted what a scientist thinks about we've learned in the last hundred years. That's hardly news.

What's remarkable is that he didn't go on to say that the sea will catch fire, or that if we don't recycle with greater zeal all the birds will die.

In short, that we're doomed. Doomed! DOOMED, I TELL YOU!!!!!

Not that BBC News goes in for that sort of thing. They're very British. Even so, an essentially upbeat look at a century of science and technology is somewhat remarkable.

The way I see it, science and technology are tools. Whether we use them to help or hurt each other is up to us.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

2 Nov 2017

'The greatest among you will be your servant.' Sunday Reflections, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Christ as Saviour, El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 23:1-12 (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEd)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practise what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

Apostle St Matthew, El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]

The Philippine Daily Inquirer carried a a story of extraordinary courage on 28 October: How Scout Ranger commander won hostages' release.
MARAWI CITY—He took off his helmet and bullet-proof vest, laid down his firearm and turned on the megaphone to speak to the Islamic State-inspired gunmen here on Oct. 19.
“I just wanted to get the children, the women and the injured (hostages),” Capt. Jeffrey Buada said through the megaphone.
At the risk of being shot, Buada, commander of the Army’s 15th Scout Ranger Company, slowly walked through the rubble and tried to get near the building, where hungry and thirsty hostages were anxiously waiting to be rescued
Continue here.

1 Nov 2017

Blessed are the Cheese Makers

All Saints Day: A Source of Virtuous Inspiration for Everyone

We take this day to remember all those saints who walked our path before us, triumphing in the face of adversity by placing their trust in God. Some of those saints are famous, like Saint Augustine, or Saint Francis of Assisi. And then, there are those saints who remain unknown to us; but, nonetheless, strove to do God’s will while on earth. Whether famous, or unknown, they now reap the reward of everlasting life with God. With perfected souls, they pray for us. They ask God to give us strength to resist evil. Through their intercession, we receive grace to persevere on our own journeys. These souls are a source of virtuous inspiration, making All Saints Day a day of remembrance and celebration.

All Saints Have a Story to Tell

Each saint has their own history, or story to tell. Saint Therese of Lisieux tells us of her “little way” of growing closer to God in The Story of a Soul. Saint Faustina shows us... Read more... 

31 Oct 2017

| Beautifying The World Around Us |

Hi there, ya'll! =)
I've been MIA these past few weeks because my family and I have been on vacation in Mexico! I am planning to share a vlog of our trip on my YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe so you can see it as soon as it's posted!


Halloween is Catholic? Yup

raised my nine children in the shadow of other dedicated Catholic mothers, mostly homeschoolers, who thought Halloween was evil, dedicated to witches. Their children were not allowed to celebrate with their neighbors but went to a church basement to celebrate All Saints Eve.
I felt my children suffered enough because of a perceived alienation from their peers. At our tiny Catholic, country, school everyone dressed up for the day and often joined friends afterward to go door to door. I did not want to deny them the joy and creative fun which surrounded this cultural, childhood tradition.
I wish I had been able to read Father Steve Grunow’s research and commentary 30 years ago.  continue

30 Oct 2017

Why I'm Watching Stranger Things

Catholic-perspective review on Netflix original series Stranger Things

I have to say, I'm rather excited by the media buzz surrounding the Netflix original series “Stranger Things,” with the premier of its second season this past Friday. One of the big reasons I'm excited is because it means something is happening that has been getting more and more rare since the advent of streaming platforms and the DVR: A lot of people are watching the same thing at the same time... Continue Reading

On the Halloween Express

Tomorrow is Halloween. I hope you have a good one.

I mentioned St. Wolfgang of Regensberg, All Hallows' and All Souls' Day, and the autumnal equinox, last year.

Also Gaelic and Welsh traditions, jack-o'-lanterns, and Easter eggs.

Enjoying my culture's traditions, within reason, makes sense. To me.

It's arguably better than bitter bewailing stuff I can't change: and don't want to....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Do You Live by the Spirit or by the Flesh?

In today’s first reading from Romans 8:12-17, Saint Paul encourages us to live by the spirit and not by the flesh. What does it actually mean to live by the spirit? And for that matter, what does it mean to live by the flesh? Let’s clear up the answers to those questions first, before we can determine how we should live.

To Live by the Spirit

As a baptized Christian, you are an adopted son or daughter of God. That makes you a rightful heir of God. As an heir of God, your inheritance is Heaven. Therefore, how you live your life on earth, will determine how you live for eternity. Will you squander your inheritance, or will you live your life in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s guidance? Saint Paul strongly urges us to live our lives in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That’s what it means to live by the Spirit.

To Live According to the Flesh

Do you place more importance on the here and now, rather than eternity? Is it most important to you to...Read more...

29 Oct 2017

Love. And Science

Pharisees and Sadducees had important roles in the Land of Israel for about two centuries by the time our Lord talked about love.

They agreed on quite a bit. Maybe more than they realized. But they didn't see assorted political, social, and philosophical points the same way.

Pharisees didn't like Helenization, adopting at least some foreign ideas. Sadducees thought Helenization was a generally good idea.

But Sadducees thought the written Torah was divine authority's only source.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Wonder Woman: Very Good (Though Perhaps Not Amazing)

After months of hearing nothing but praise for the new female-driven superhero movie Wonder Woman , it's now out on DVD so I finall...