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Lord, If This How You Treat Your Friends . . .

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If you try to help a struggling butterfly emerge from the prison of his cocoon, his wings will be permanently deformed.  As a butterfly struggles, fluid is forced into its wings so they stretch and open, allowing them to fly but butterflies are not the only creatures who must struggle before they have the ability to fly. God uses our difficult circumstances to transform us into saints so we are free to soar into the very heart of God.
If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint. (St. Ignatius Loyola) continue 

Thoughts on Dismantling the Biggest Lie

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Dismantling the Biggest Lie could take a lifetime. Matthew Kelly has published another excellent thought-provoking book. I had the privilege of reading his latest book before it was available to the general public. (Being a Dynamic Catholic Ambassador provided me with that privilege).
A Lot of Quote-Worthy Material This book is chock-full of quotes you'll want to remember, so make sure you have your highlighter with you each time you pick it up. There is a lot of information in this book, so you'll want to make sure you have time to really stew on it.
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My Last Day with My Dad - A Story of a Father's Love

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Today is a very difficult day for me. It was June 20, 1999, Father’s Day, that I had my last conversation with my dad. In 1999, my husband and I lived in Utah, and my dad lived in New Jersey. On June 11th of that year, he was taken to the hospital; diagnosed with emphysema, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  Things didn’t look good. So, my husband and I flew home on June 12th. When we got to the hospital, and walked into the room, my dad was so happy to see me. He kept telling me repeatedly throughout that evening that he loved me. I consciously appreciated hearing the words, but I thought it odd as well, as my Father was never the gushy type. The words “I love you” were sparse throughout my life. Yet, by his actions, I always knew that he loved me. To hear him repeatedly state his love for me that evening turned out to be one of the greatest gifts given to me. My Last Day with My Dad The next day, my father couldn’t breathe on his own, so he was intubated. From that day on he …

A Treat for Your Heart and Soul

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For this week's blog, I offer you a video that is a gorgeous celebration of creation: God's gift to us. Enjoy our Earth-home—especially this summer— treasure it, and protect it.  Click on the address below, and when you see the video, enlarge it.  (Click on the triangle on the bottom of the left side to play the video.) click to continue

A little bit more than football: Rusia 2018 (Spanish) Mucho más que futbol, un evento de esperanza unificadora.

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UNA REFLEXIÓN DE NUESTRO VENERABLE BENEDICTO XVI SOBRE LO QUE ESTE GRAN EVENTO HUMANO PUEDE TRAER AL MUNDO...

¡HERMOSO!



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America's Mental Health Crisis: Stop Saying 'reach out'

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In the wake of the two prominent figures' suicides, an entire nation is alert to the issue of mental health.  Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain ushered in- for better and/or for worse- a discussion of mental health- its ramifications and effects.  I noticed that people within the subculture of Twitter were all over the map. Some seemed shocked that those with wealth, power, and fame could feel such despair. Many spoke out by saying, "If you are hurting, reach out to those around you."  Platitudes flowed aplenty wherever news and extemporaneous thoughts were shared.

The frustration I had as someone who indeed struggles with mental illness- -and I like to call myself a "functional, sorta healthy person with mental illness"- somewhat in between the two extremes of institutionalized, definitely struggling, but also semi-healthy for the most part-- was that we do need to stop issuing platitudes.  Insiders to mental illness do not appreciate condescension, let me tell y…

‘Do not fear, only believe.’ Sunday Reflections, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Raising of the Daughter of Jairus, Paolo Veronese [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 Mark 5:21-43 (or 5:21-24, 35b-43) (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. [Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had hear…

'His birth brought great rejoicing.' Sunday Reflections, The Nativity of St John the Baptist

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Birth of the Baptist, Andrea Pisano [Web Gallery of Art]


The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist takes precedence liturgically over the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
At the Vigil Mass

The Vigil Mass is celebrated on Saturday evening and has its own proper antiphons, prayers and readings, different from those of the Sunday Mass. Taking part in this Mass fulfils one's Sunday obligation.
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Luke 1:5-17 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)

At the Mass during the Day

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Columban Fr Martin Ryan RIP

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Fr Martin Ryan 23 January 1929 - 15 June 2018
Fr Martin Ryan was born on 23 January 1929 in Wildfield, Muckalee, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Educated at Muckalee National School and St Kieran's College, Kilkenny, he entered St Columban's, Dalgan Park, Navan, in 1947 and was ordained priest on 21 December 1953.

St Kieran's College, Kilkenny[Wikipedia]
Father Martin was assigned to Mindanao, Philippines, in 1954 where he would work in various pastoral assignments over the following fifty years. He served in Gingoog City (Misamis Oriental, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro), Dumalinao (Zamboanga del Sur, Diocese of Pagadian), Mambajao (Camiguin, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro), Maranding, Linamon and Maigo (all in Lanao del Norte) and in Corpus Christi, Iligan City (those four in the Diocese of Iligan).

Mambajao, Camiguin[Wikipedia]
Around the mid-1980s Father Martin became acutely aware that he had a drinking problem. After many fruitless attempts to keep sober by his own efforts, he eve…

Emily's Hope, by Ellen Gable - Book Review

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In Emily’s Hope, by Ellen Gable, Gable gives us a glimpse into the two mindsets of the abortion/pro-life movements. In this fictional tale, Gable introduces us to Katherine Clayman, circa early 20th century, when women did not have the right to an abortion, let alone the right to vote. We learn of the illegality of ending a pregnancy and the lengths women would go to do just that.  Kathryn is a proponent of ending unwanted pregnancies and she doesn’t believe in God. Her philosophy was, “we live our lives, then we die and that’s the end of us.” (p.304). Contrast that thought with that of Emily Greer, Katherine’s Great-Granddaughter, who believes in the sanctity of life. Emily, born in 1959, sees life as a precious gift from God. She believes in a God who is the giver of life; seeing children as the fruit of self-giving love between a husband and wife. Katherine and Emily’s viewpoints on life offer a stark contrast, worthy of the read. Throughout the novel, Gable takes us back and fort…

MY SECRET CONFESSION

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I CONFESS CLICK HERE

The Bucket List

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LET'S BE MORBID WHAT'S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? CLICK HERE - IF YOU DARE

Joy: The Cure to FOMO

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Our culture isn’t really atheist. It isn’t even agnostic. It’s just really apathetic and has a horrible case of FOMO. “Let’s live it up now, try everything, have all the fun, and then after we’ve had all the fun, then think about our eternal salvation. Maybe.”
There’s a way to reach the FOMO Millenials (and others) before they land themselves in that proverbial foxhole. The way to do that is through joy.
The fear is that when we turn to God, all the good and fun things we used to do will be taken away. We’ll be sour-faced saints, sitting in Church for hours at a time being bored out of our brains, turning down every party invitation, and never having a raucous Friday night again. For some, that might be what Christianity looks like, but not for us!
Read more at Messy Buns & Latin Chant

'Ag Críost an síol, ag Críost an fómhar - To Christ the seed, to Christ the crop.' Sunday Reflections, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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The Sower (after Millet), Van Gogh [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)
GospelMark 4:26-34 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’ He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so…