PODCAST - Walking in History, CC012

As we were walking through an antique sale, I was intrigued by so many items that opened the door to our history.  Join me in a reflection that leads to a discussion about our elderly, and those "hidden" gems who carry our past with them.
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Have a blessed day in God's Word.
Janet Cassidy

Who Decides?

Years ago I taught a workshop on life issues to 8th graders and their sponsors, and part of it included a discussion on Euthanasia.I passed out scenarios and asked those gathered in small groups to answer some questions.
The conclusion I always drew on assisted suicide sprang from the question, “Who decides?”The reference was to who decides that it is time for a person’s life to end and what would be the basis of that decision.
My point was that for some people, not having the ability to move their limbs might signal their desire that life is not worth living.For others, it may be the loss of an arm or a leg, or maybe their eyesight.Perhaps it would be chronic pain.
In the end, I concluded with that question, “Who decides?”
The answer, of course, is not us.
Although I should do a column on this topic, I don’t want to wander too far from the point of this one for now.
Even though that life issues workshop was many years ago, it came back to me in a flash when I heard the response of P…

Trusting in God Can Be a Challenge

Trusting in God can be a challenge. I know, I’m living proof! I’ve been struggling with living up to a vow that I made to God to allow Him to do with me as He pleases. As I retired from a career in banking, back in 2011, to pursue education and work related to evangelization, I gave my life to God. Yet, the bills need to be paid. So how does one ascertain how to live up to the vow and pay the bills? During Lent, I sought solace to this conundrum in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For my penance, the priest asked me to read anything from the Gospel of Luke. Since we were near Holy Week, I thought I would read the Passion Narrative. My Challenge to Trusting in God Before I started to read, I chatted with God, letting Him know that I was having difficulty ascertaining His will for me. How am I supposed to know for certain that I am pursuing my career path in accordance with His will? I struggle in knowing that what I do each day is what He wants from me, given the challenges that come …

'We will come to them and make our home with them.' Sunday Reflections, 6th Sunday of Easter, Year C

The Trinity, 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)
GospelJohn14:23-29 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. ‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am comin…

Still Got Easter Joy? The Power of the Resurrection

Still got the Easter joy? We’re only half way through the Easter season, yet most people have moved on. They’re thinking of summer vacation, or better yet, Christmas! I know a handful of people that are already counting the days to Christmas, shopping year-round for Christmas presents. But today, I want you to stop for a second and think about the power of the Resurrection. The fact that Jesus loved each of us so much that He would suffer and die on the Cross for our sins, and then rise from the dead, is so over-the-top love, that we need to stop and let that soak in. Who else in your life could claim that feat? No one. Who else shows that depth of unconditional love toward you? No one. This life-changing event was so momentous, in the arc of history, that we need seven weeks to celebrate the awesome power and love of God; an unparalleled power waged against sin and death; a supreme love that is never-ending and filled with mercy and forgiveness. Keeping the Easter Joy I hope the East…

PODCAST - Why Don't My Prayers Work? CC011

Ever feel like your prayers aren't working? 
If you find yourself thinking "I don't know why I bother praying," or, "Is anybody really listening?" than this PODCAST is for YOU!
Listen in as I take up this topic which includes some insight from Pope Benedict XVI on what it does for us when we call out to God in those times of distress.
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(If you are making plans for the upcoming year and you would like to arrange for me to speak to your parish, group or organization, I can be reached at
Janet Cassidy

Human Composting?

As you may have heard, Washington State could be the first state to allow human composting in 2020 if a current bill is signed by their governor. Don’t know what human composting is?Stay with me. There is a gentle video online showing the care and respect provided for the family who lays their loved one in a special core to decompose. Through the breakdown of natural material like straw or wood chips, your loved one’s body decomposes and then “becomes a new material” which is basically soil. If a family wishes, they can take the yard of soil that is their loved one’s remains, and spread it on the ground to bring new life out of their death. For instance, “You can even become a lemon tree” if you want to, according to the founder of the company promoting this. Like so many other things that are sacrilegious, the video explaining how this takes place and the process itself is all dressed up in a sweet-talking, gentle, explanation.It is like an old advertising trick.You can sell anything to…

'Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.' Sunday Reflections, 5th Sunday of Easter, Year C

The Last Supper, El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]
Today's Gospel is from the Last Supper Discourse of Jesus.

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel John13: 3i-33a, 34-35 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)
When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer.”  ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
Léachtaí i nGaeilge

John 13: 3i-33a, 34-35 in Filipino Sign Language

A familiar sight until a couple of months ago here in St Columban's, Dalga…

'Bring Flowers of the Rarest'

Garland of Flowers with Madonna and Child Christiaen Luyck [Web Gallery of Art]
Bring Flowers of the Rarest

This hymn, very popular in Ireland particularly in May, was written by Mary E. Walsh in the late 1800s. The words are here. It was sung by the late Irish tenor Frank Patterson at the Faith of Our Fathers concert in Dublin in 1997. Frank was a deeply committed Catholic and died in 2000 at the age of 61. May he rest in peace
The Virgin and Child in a Garden of Flowers Rubens [Web Gallery of Art]
Missa IX, Cum Jubilo
This Gregorian chant setting of the Mass is sung on Solemnities and Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is sung here by the Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis, Milan.

Virgin and Child in a Stone Niche, Surrounded by Garland of Flowers Gaspar Peeter Verbruggen the Elder[Web Gallery of Art]