22 May 2017

As the Morning Rising: Mercy by another Name

As the Morning Rising: Mercy by another Name: The door that had been closed over was now wide open and it seemed that the outside and inside were as one - colours, fragrances, pat...

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis - Book Review

I was long overdue, but recently, I finally sat down and read the classic, Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. Once I opened the book, and read the first chapter, I questioned what took me so long to get to this masterpiece, centered on man’s reaction to moral concepts and what it truly means to be Christian. C.S. Lewis begins with a discussion on Natural Law:

Whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently (p. 8)?
Hmm…that’s something to chew on! Lewis’ logic and common sense abound in Mere Christianity. Written during the Second World War, this book was aimed at helping people make sense out of tragedy. Lewis attempts to assist his fellowman in mentally processing the atrocity of evil acts, so prevalent at the time. He asserts that we, as Christians, are called to love our neighbors, of whom some of them might actually be our enemies. Yet, in war-torn England, in the 1940’s, how could it be possible to “love our enemies”?




21 May 2017

The best preventive medicine: promote marriage. (Spanish) La mejor inversión en salud preventiva: promover el matrimonio.



Resultado de imagen de salud en familia
En este siglo XXI uno de las áreas de la vida humana que continúa siendo una prioridad en programas y políticas internacionales y de gobiernos del mundo es la salud. Se invierten millones en ella y sigue costando un gran porcentaje de sus ingresos a muchos países. Y en el caso en los que las condiciones son precarias, el costo en calidad de vida, enfermedades y muertes es muy alto.

Pero en ambos casos, a lo largo de la historia, se ha comprobado que se necesita algo más que médicos, medicinas y campañas para alcanzar una vida sana para todos. Lo que se ha necesitado es prevención y hábitos de vida saludables para evitar muchas enfermedades y generar calidad en la forma de vivir de las personas. En los últimos años se ha encontrado una de las claves para lograr prevención sin importar el contexto de riqueza o pobreza de la población. Sorprendentemente, este eslabón perdido no consiste en campañas, mensajes, ni programas gubernamentales sino en algo tan arcaico, ancestral y depreciado como el matrimonio.

Holy in the Midst

'Live on the divine Eucharist, like the Hebrews did on the manna. 
Your soul can be entirely dedicated to the Eucharist, 
and very holy in the midst of your work and contacts with the world' 

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Acting Like Truth Matters

"Folks have thought truth is important for quite a while...

"...I think truth is important, too. As a Christian, I'd better...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

19 May 2017

Ammonites, Dinosaurs, and Us

Today's world is remarkable for a lack of dinosaurs. Big ones, anyway. Those critters would have been among the first things someone would notice here for upwards of 200,000,000 years.

Then, about 66,000,000 years back, something awful happened. The only dinosaurs left are those little tweeting, chirping, and cawing critters we call birds.

Ammonites had been around for even longer, but whatever finished the 'thunder lizards' wiped them out, too. We showed up much more recently, and are learning that there's a very great deal of our past, and Earth's, that we don't know. Not yet....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.' Sunday Reflections, Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A

Last Supper, Lorenzo Ghiberti [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings and Reflections: 

18 May 2017

5 Practical Ways to Pray When You Can't Focus

I cannot think of anything more difficult for my ADHD brain then the sustained mental focus sometimes required to pray. The good news is prayer comes in many forms and these 5 strategies are sure to help you engage in meaningful prayer - whether you have an attention disorder or not! 
Here are some of my tried and true methods for conversing with God even when I am completely out of focus.

Walk and Talk

Two Years ago I was struck with this crazy inspiration to get my butt outside to pray the Rosary.  Uncomfortable walking the streets alone, I decided to encircle my home. This was made easy, in my mind anyway, because I live on a fork-in-the-road and have a driveway that connects the two streets.  I am only on grass when I traverse my backyard.  Around and around I go, praying the rosary, talking with God, the Blessed Mother, my Guardian Angel and whoever else in Heaven (or Purgatory) will listen.

The practice has become so much more than I ever anticipated it to be.  The exercise has helped me drop some weight. The lack of distractions (ie phone, computer, housework) has made for some of the most connected prayer times ever.  There have been more than a few explained "wow" moments involving passing cars, butterflies and even Mack Trucks!

Reconciled To You CWBN Blog Hop for the Rest of these Simple Prayer Tips ... All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

A Revert's Perspective

It is no secret that my husband has struggled with deep regret over us leaving the Catholic Church and being away for 10 years. He has since worked through it and has forgiven himself, especially now that the Lord has restored him and he is doing what he is passionate and gifted in. I on the other hand have not dealt with the same regret. I can honestly see how the Lord used our time away and coming back to give us a deeper appreciation for what we had. The Lord can work good out of anything! Also, sometimes, you have to go to the other side to realize the grass isn't always greener. 

Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

As the Morning Rising: Fill My Senses Lord

As the Morning Rising: Fill My Senses Lord: Fill My Senses Lord Fill my senses Lord Flood my eyes, my soul, my life With waves of light  Otherwise I sleep In sluggi...

17 May 2017

Pruning Bears Much Fruit!

In today’s Gospel reading from John 15:1-8, we hear one of my favorite Gospel readings. We learn how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. God the Father is the vinedresser, who cares for the vine and its branches. What beautiful imagery of a life-giving force! Yet, even vine branches require pruning and trimming to promote further growth. When we hear about the pruning of the vine in this Gospel passage, take note that we are the ones of whom Jesus references! As God prunes His vine branches, He removes those aspects of our lives that hinder further growth.

Pruning for Future Growth

For me, God prunes my prideful ways, so that... Read more... 

16 May 2017

Why Did God Make Mothers?

How about a little taste of eight-year-old reasoning to act as a reality check to balance all those manipulative commercials and sentimental Mother’s Day cards flooding the market for Mother’s day?
A warning.

The following true comments are not politically correct. So simply laugh and enjoy these hilarious comments from little people; no need to flog me with feminist remarks afterward.

As the Morning Rising: The Healing Rose

As the Morning Rising: The Healing Rose: The Healing Rose Intimate as woven threads Our prayers and hers Her tears the beads we tell Her heart a home Of mercy and of f...

15 May 2017

Mother's Day: Sadly, No Reason to Celebrate

I don’t know about you, but I am always thankful for the day after Mother’s Day, as Mother’s Day is a very difficult one for me. The television ads end. The happy wishes cease. I find the television ads for Mother’s Day gifts difficult to watch, as I have no reason to make a purchase. I cringe when people wish me a happy Mother’s Day, as I have no reason to celebrate, because I have no children. My mother-in-law died in 1985, and my mom died in 2000. So, for my husband and me, Mother’s Day is just... Read more... 

13 May 2017

Catholics and Mental Illness: Coming Out of the Shadows

Since mental illness is as common and invisible among the faithful as it is in secular circles,  concern for mental health cannot simply be relegated to the secular sphere, especially during Mental Health Awareness month in May. I admit the topic of how and why Catholics experience mental illness might seem completely irrelevant to most Catholics. After all, many of us are too busy with daily life to actually step back and evaluate the state of our mental health objectively. Meanwhile, our fellow parishioners are just as concerned as we are that they appear healthy, happy, and whole in public.
Yet, I would wager that mental health issues are especially prevalent among the devout who are serious about their inner life because when people tackle deep inner issues which prevent God from working in their lives, their inner equilibrium is upset by stress, anxiety, and depression. This probably explains why most saints experienced profound periods of depression when they finally looked beneath their pious actions to face the reality of their own ingrained sin and subsequent need for inner purification.

Second chance at 40´s (Spanish) Segunda adolescencia:la crisis de los 40´s

Resultado de imagen de nido vacío

¡De pronto te das cuenta que has rebasado los 40s! ¡Es en esa fiesta de cumpleaños cuando contienes la respiración (quizá con dificultad ya) para apagar las velitas, o cuando caes en la cuenta de que solo ponen velas de números...o cada velita representa una década! Algo esta cambiando, tu rendimiento, tus fuerzas, tu digestión, tus rodillas, al verte al espejo son más evidentes las ojeras, las patitas de gallo, las comisuras de los labios son más marcadas, el pelo escasea, las canas son evidentes.

En esta etapa se presenta la
crisis de la mitad de la vida, algunos le llaman también crisis de la segunda adolescencia; se produce una evaluación de la vida en base a la comparación entre las metas fijadas y los logros, se puede experimentar una sensación de estancamiento, y vive en forma egocéntrica y sin mucha proyección hacia el futuro. Etapa de reevaluación que se extiende a las relaciones personales, intimas y otros aspectos del estilo de vida; sucede debido a un cambio en la orientación en el tiempo de las personas. En vez de pensar en el período de su vida desde el punto de vista de los años que ya ha vivido, la gente empieza a pensar en el tiempo que le queda por vivir.

12 May 2017

'Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.' Sunday Reflections, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

St Philip, Giuseppe Mazzuoli [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings and Reflections:
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

Canonisations in Fatima

Lucia Santos, left, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto [Wikipedia]
On Saturday 13 May Pope Francis will canonise Blessed Francisco Marto (1908 - 1919) and his sister Jacinta (1910 - 1920) in Fátima, Portugal, on the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Mother there to the three children.

A good friend of mine who is a priest and a Scripture scholar once pointed out to me that in all the places where the Church has affirmed that our Blessed Mother truly appeared it was to poor people. We can see this in such places as Guadalupe (1531) in Mexico, La Salette (1846) and Lourdes (1858) in France, Beauraing (1932-33) and Banneux (1933) in Belgium, Fátima (1917) in Portugal and Knock (1879) in Ireland. I have been blessed by having taken part in pilgrimages to all of these except La Salette and Guadalupe.

You may find this article of interest: The surprising connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam.

Ave de Fátima
Sung in Portuguese by the Choir of the Shrine in Fátima

Beatification in Dublin of Blessed John Sullivan SJ

Blessed John Sullivan SJ 
[Facebook. Portrait by Seán O’Sullivan]

Also on 13 May, for the first time in history, a beatification will take place in Ireland, that of Fr John Sullivan SJ (1861 - 1933), by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The ceremony will be held in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin, a church that is closely associated also with the Venerable Matt Talbot (1856 - 1925). These two men grew up within walking distance of each other, but in totally different circumstances, John Sullivan in prosperity and Matt Talbot in poverty. God called both of them to sanctity, as indeed he calls each of us through our baptism. They responded to this call.

St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St, Dublin [Wikipedia]
For some reason, Dubliners rarely refer to their churches by their patronal name but rather by the street name. Had this ceremony been held in Dublin 50 or 60 years ago it would not have taken place in this or in any other church but in an open, public space. It will be interesting to see how the Irish media will cover the event.
Please pray this weekend for a renewal of the Catholic Christian faith in Ireland where to a large extent in recent decades it has been rejected or marginalised as a purely private matter, and despised by some.

Homeschool Tips for Next Year

School is almost out over here at the Academy of St Therese for the Glories of God.  It has me thinking quite a bit about next year.  There is so much I want to do, but only so many hours in a day and these kids are growing like weeds!  Here are some tips to keep the homeschool ball rolling AND enjoy your children's childhood.

Visit Veils and Vocations to read more.

Good Intentions

Variations on "dead men tell no tales" go back at least to 1560 or thereabouts in my language. The idea is much older.1

As advice goes, it's arguably flawed. Folks who are dead aren't chatty, but their bodies occasionally pop up at inopportune times.

I'll be talking about unmarked and unremembered graves, insane asylums, and similarly-uncheerful things. It's not all bad news, though.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

What's the point of it all - really?


11 May 2017

5 Ways to Reduce Your ADHD Symptoms

In the early 2000s, when I first began to uncover my own ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from the World Wide Web (see below), with all my notes jotted along the margins. In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life.
Educate yourself

“Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You'll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.” (Hallowell & Ratey)

Nonfiction is my preferred reading. Ironically, the origins for this preference most likely comes from living with ADHD. When I start to read fiction, my mind wanders; sometimes it goes so far I either forget I am reading or I drift off.  Nonfiction has quantifiable details. It is interactive. I can grab my purple, pink or orange fine-tipped marker and underline facts and jot notes in the margins. Since I perceive it as interactive nonfiction can typically hold my attention fairly well. This is probably why this directive from Hallowell and Ratey to “educate myself,” turned into my becoming a full blown early childhood ADHD education expert. Once I started to read and research, I could not stop.  I devoured books, magazine articles and anything I could find on the budding Internet.  In addition, I found lectures and conferences to attend.  Then began giving workshops, presentations, and even a keynote address, on the subject.


“It is useful for you to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADD.”

My friend, Karen, is a nurse and the most organized person I know.  She is also a very selfless and loyal friend.  After this accountability partner idea had come up several times in my ADHD resources I know it was something I had to implement.  The advice often included a very strict warning to avoid asking spouses, parents or siblings to fulfill that role.  A trusted, honest friend, who also happened to have a medical background, seemed not only the most logical choice but also soon revealed to be an answer sent directly from heaven.

Our plan was simple...  READ MORE 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras
Quotes From 50 Tips for Managing ADHD by Hallowell and Ratey

10 May 2017

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean

Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

As the Morning Rising: Beside Ourselves With Joy

As the Morning Rising: Beside Ourselves With Joy: This coming weekend I'll be attending a Sacrament of Confirmation celebration, a St Elisabeth Choir Concert ( An Orthodox Convent Ch...

Praying on Empty

In  lieu of a Book Review this week and a regular post, here is the Introduction to my latest book . . .
A fat mother groundhog lives in the backyard of my convent. The other day I glanced out my window and thought I saw her standing like a statue. But no. It was an enormous bird! I grabbed my camera and dashed out the backdoor. Too late—the exotic creature flew off and disappeared. This experience is the perfect image for the subject of this book. God is sometimes as elusive as that bird. We yearn to come close to him, yet we can’t. Either God hides for some unfathomable reason, or we don’t have the knack of capturing him—not for a photo but for a heart-to-heart talk.

If the title Praying on Empty has seized your attention, you probably know what I’m talking about. You used to like to pray. You felt connected to God and enveloped by divine love. Sometimes you had a flash of insight about God, life in general, or your own life. A Scripture passage spoke to you with a new and personal meaning. Praying and singing with other Christians at Mass made your heart swell with joy. Prayer filled you with peace and seemed to empower you with the strength to face any trials. You felt good . . . and even holy.

All of a sudden your prayer dried up! You lost the sense of God’s presence, could hardly wait until prayer was finished, and maybe stopped praying entirely. It was as though you were in a desert and your car came to a sputtering halt with no gas station in sight. If this describes your prayer life right now—or will sometime in the future—don’t panic!   Click to continue

Seeking Justice: My Time on Jury Duty

In the United States, a person is presumed innocent, until the State can prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the person, charged with a crime, is guilty. I got to see the wheels of justice turn, first-hand, during the last week in April, while serving on  jury duty. A husband/father was accused of assaulting his wife and daughter; hence two counts of assault.

The trial was fascinating, especially the jury selection part of the trial. I thought, for sure, I would be dismissed for two reasons:

  1. I have many years of training, as an auditor, where my job was to ascertain whether someone was telling the truth. Whichever side was planning to present sketchy information, I would surely figure it out.
  2. I have a Masters in Theology, and I teach morality. If I’ve learned anything over the past six years of study, it is that you do not draw a black or white, yes or no conclusion of a moral act, without considering intent and circumstances.

For these reasons, I felt certain that either the Prosecution or the Defense would dismiss me. But no, I became Juror #9. Read more...

9 May 2017

The Heart of a Lion

My dad's name was Leon, but to his friends he was "Lee."  And to his "grandthings" he was "BIGFOOT." Always.  He insisted on that.  (If you were lucky enough to know my father, you know that he was a character.)

Dad passed away on November 25, 2016, one day shy of his 82nd birthday and about five months after celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary with the love of his life.
Mom and Dad on one of their early dates at the Naval Academy in 1955.
The end seemed to come quickly and suddenly, and it took our breath away.  But Dad's death was not really unexpected; just a month and a half before, we had gotten the tragic news that after years of blood disorders, frequent trips to the hematologist, and regular transfusions at the cancer center, he had full-blown leukemia.  Without treatment, he had maybe 3-6 months to live; but there was a slim chance that chemotherapy might buy him a year or two.  He chose the chemotherapy route, because as hard as his life had become over the past few years, dealing with so much pain and illness, he had one goal and one goal only: to stay alive as long as possible so that he could take care of my mother.  That was what he prayed for daily.  That was what he was living for.

Read the full post here.

Let's Talk about Mental Health and Wellness

Today is the day. Let's talk about mental health openly and honestly for a minute.

Let's be honest. And when I say honest, I mean opening a window of fresh air to the stale and stilted air that is still subtly threatening to stifle community ...

(alliteration was one of my daughter's spelling words this week...ha.)  

Robin Williams. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Kurt Cobain. This is the society we live in.  I share the following with those who know that they are living in the same world as these people. I share it with people who see society as a reflection of themselves, not an "other" that they don't understand. How many people do you know who have diagnosed mental illness? In my book, the more the better.

{Read the rest Here}

My Mortal Sin


8 May 2017

May for Mary (Spanish) Mes de Mayo: Mes de María

Resultado de imagen de A JESUS POR MARIA

Estamos en el mes de mayo, es el mes que la tradición católica consagra a la Virgen María.
La devoción a la Virgen María en el alma del cristiano va unida a nuestra fe ya que María no solamente es la Madre de Dios sino también Madre nuestra.

   La Virgen María ocupa un lugar intermedio entre Dios y los Santos, que da origen a un culto del todo propio y especial, muy inferior al de Dios pero superior al de los Santos.

As the Morning Rising: His Holy Name

As the Morning Rising: His Holy Name: His Holy Name In this secular world There is one belief I hold dear: I am a child of God, I belong to Him who is perfect love. ...

Recognizing God's Presence in the Familiar

Last week the Gospel reading was from Luke 24 about the road to Emmaus. It is one of my favorite stories in the bible. After Jesus died on the cross, many of his disciples became sad and discouraged. In this story, two of his followers were headed back to Emmaus, to their old life, from Jerusalem because they were disheartened over Jesus' death. Jesus appeared and even walked with them along the road but at first they didn't recognize him.

I have often found it baffling: How could they NOT recognize him! Yet, how often have I been in his presence and also didn't recognize him?

Continue Reading @beautifulthorns>

The Good News is Meant for Everyone!

In today’s reading from Acts 11:1-18, the Holy Spirit instructs Saint Peter, via a vision, to eat the food of the Gentiles. Per Leviticus 11:1-47, this type of food had been considered unclean. Any good Jew would refrain from eating such food. Yet, God had different thoughts. It was time to open the door to salvation to all. By telling Saint Peter to eat the Gentile food, He was telling Saint Peter that what man puts in his mouth is not as important as what is spoken from man’s mouth. It was time to share the Good News with those beyond the Jewish faith, specifically the Gentiles.

As humans, we are social beings, meant to engage in social activity with each other. The breaking of bread together is one of the most advantageous means of engaging with each other, as well as setting the scene for effective evangelization. With the Good News meant for everyone... Read more...

7 May 2017

Truth and Love

I take God very seriously. I also think people matter. I care deeply about truth and love.

By some standards this isn't a particularly "religious" blog.

For one thing, I keep saying that loving my neighbor and seeing everybody as my neighbor is a good idea. I'll get back to that.

For another, I write about science each Friday; real science. And I don't see it as a threat.

I don't 'believe in' science, in the sense that I expect it to replace God. That would be as silly as trying to find life's meaning in the second law of thermodynamics. It would also be a very bad idea....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 May 2017

When We Are Mystics

"Is this life of union a special vocation for priests, religious, Saints, privileged persons, and mystical souls? Not at all.   

This trusting and tender union with God is the very foundation of the spiritual life...." (read more)

As the Morning Rising: Happy Vocations Sunday!

As the Morning Rising: Happy Vocations Sunday!: These flowers were on display today in a school where First Holy Communion was being celebrated - you could hardly find a more fit...

5 May 2017

The Faithful Pew

Hi! My name is Jacinta, and “The Faithful Pew” is my little hole in the digital universe where I can freely and openly express myself and my views in such a way that makes me feel somewhat significant. Ha! 

(Isn’t that usually what a blog is anyway?)

 As probably most other bloggers out there, it is just a place where I write exactly what I believe and how that affects my view on things. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
 Aside from hoping that my little corner contributes to the saving of souls and bringing people closer to Our Lord and Our Lady, I also hope that if in any way my (poorly written) blog posts inspire others to stand firmly in the True Faith, no matter the consequences then… hurrah! If anything I am just happy to have a little place to call my own, to edit (and re-edit…. and re-edit) to my hearts content.
 I have not gone to college nor have I taken any extra classes on writing (as you may notice), but as long as it is readable and perhaps one step above sounding like a teenager’s Journal entry, I am happy.
Please feel free to check out my blog - The Faithful Pew

As the Morning Rising: The wonder of our being, the beauty that surrounds...

As the Morning Rising: The wonder of our being, the beauty that surrounds...: At the beginning and at the end of the day we can praise and thank God, and celebrate the wonder of our being in the bea...

First Americans?

Scientists used new DNA screening tech to study caves in Belgium, Croatia, France, Russia, and Spain. What they found wasn't a big surprise. What's exciting about the news is that we now have another tool for unraveling our family history.

We've been pretty sure that nobody lived in North America until about two dozen millennia back. That may change, if scientists who say they found 130,000-year-old tools in San Diego County, California. Quite a few other scientists are dubious, understandably.

I took a longer look at what we've been learning about Homo naledi. They're folks who don't look like humanity's current model. We found their remains in a cave they probably used as a crypt.

Since you may be reading my stuff for the first time, I'll review why I think truth is important. All truth, not just the bits I grew up knowing about. Also why I take the Bible seriously, but not 'creation science.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Sunday Reflections, Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A. Columban ordination to diaconate.

The Good Shepherd, Martin van Cleve the Elder [Web Gallery
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: )
Gospel John 10:1-10(NRSV, Catholic Edition, Canada)

Jesus said:
"Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

You'll find the Reflections here.
Columban Ordination to Diaconate

Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco of Cubao ordained Erl Dylan J. Tabaco to the diaconate on 30 April in the Columban House of Studies, Cubao, Quezon City. The new deacon is from Holy Rosary Parish, Agusan, Cagayan de Oro City. He spent two years, 2014 to 2016, on First Mission Assignment in Peru as part of his preparation for the Columban missionary priesthood. You can read about his work there with children who are profoundly deaf and with young persons with intellectual disabilities here.

Erl Dylan J. Tabaco with youngsters in Peru

Bring Flowers of the Fairest, also known as Queen of the May, a very popular Marian hymn in Ireland, especially during the month of May, was written by Mary E. Walsh and is sung here by the late Irish tenor, Frank Patterson.

3 May 2017

As the Morning Rising: Bluebells : Poems Portglenone

As the Morning Rising: Bluebells : Poems Portglenone: Portglenone Forest No amount of words spread wide Across this forest floor No loose alphabets of leaf mould that endure ...

Fatima, by Jean M. Heimann - Book Review

Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World, by Jean M. Heimann, is a wonderful book that chronicles the Fatima apparitions of the Blessed Mother, including beautiful glossy pictures of the town, people and churches of the area. Multiple apparitions occurred at Fatima, Portugal between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917, visible to three young Portuguese children from that town.

Most Catholics have heard the story of Fatima, possessing a vague idea of what occurred. In this book, Jean Heimann gives you an in-depth understanding of Mary’s purpose for the apparitions and the implication of her visit to the three chosen children. The story is riveting! I read the entire book in one afternoon!

My takeaway from reading Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World, is that... Read more...

Spring Cleaning: House, Body, and Soul

In just the past few days, the world outside my window has burst into bloom. A little tree filled with red blossoms is backed by a host of trees in various shades of green. The little azalea plant the mail carrier trods on when it's snow-covered still has buds. A woodpecker hammers a telephone pole. All is fresh. Now that the earth is renewed, I was motivated to renew my house and yard. The steps I took to accomplish this have parallels with our lives.

First, I realized that I am a hoarder. Every carton, large and small, delivered to me during the past ten years I tossed into the attic for future use. My nephew the fireman would faint if he saw the collection. Large bags were stuffed with styrofoam packing peanuts and other packing material.  And drawers and boxes held reams of half clean paper intended for copying my manuscripts...which nowadays are only on computer files. So the cardboard and paper went into recycling bins, and the peanuts and 50 pieces of cardboard shaped like book covers found a home in a school. The house is streamlined; time to streamline my life. For one thing, my body could shed a few pounds!  Then there are the superfluous activities that fill up my days. Do I really need to read all those novels and watch that many DVDs? In addition, my mind has a store of bad memories like hurts and failures. No need to dwell on them. Throw them out. Click to continue

2 May 2017

As the Morning Rising: Where Would They Go?

As the Morning Rising: Where Would They Go?: If there was no Mary-ness in us at all - neither in man nor woman, where would the sighs from earth go, for they would not have the power to...

1 May 2017

Saint Joseph, the Worker Feast Day

Saint Joseph is so special to the Catholic faithful, that we have two feast days set aside each year to honor him: March 19th (unless this date falls on a Sunday like it did this year, then it’s March 20th), and May 1st. Typically, on March 19th, we honor Saint Joseph as husband of Mary, and foster father to Jesus. We thank him for being such a good role model as a faithful husband and father.

Today, we honor Saint Joseph, the Worker, a carpenter, by trade. He worked diligently to provide for his family. Humble in nature, compassionate in heart, Saint Joseph remained ever faithful to God, and Mary. Beyond his humility and compassionate nature, there is so much to admire about Saint Joseph, as he truly was a virtuous man in every respect. To this day, he continues to serve as an exemplar of virtue for men to follow.


As the Morning Rising: Mercy by another Name

As the Morning Rising: Mercy by another Name : The door that had been closed over was now wide open and it seemed that the outside and insid...