25 Jul 2017

As the Morning Rising: Under the Eucalyptus Tree

As the Morning Rising: Under the Eucalyptus Tree: It was the eve of the feast day of St James. Two friends and I were chatting, enjoying the weather, and catching up on news. We were ...

24 Jul 2017

The View of Self That Does Not Lead to Pride

Especially as Catholics, many of us have been taught not to think too highly of ourselves or we will fall into pride. I myself have fallen into spiritual pride.

You see, when I first started following Jesus at the age of 19, I ran way ahead of him. A lot of what I was doing however ended up being in my own effort and strength. This led to spiritual pride. Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

Interview with my Brain


A Non-Sci-Fi Nerd's Perspective on Rogue One

The most recent Star Wars movie, Rogue One, is already on Netflix streaming. My husband is a fairly big fan of sci-fi in general and Star Wars in particular. He had already seen the movie when it was in theaters, but he was excited to watch it again, with me.

Sometimes when I watch action, or especially sci-fi, movies with him, I have a hard time staying interested and following along. Don't get me wrong, there are times I am quite entertained. But occasionally, it's a struggle. When I watched the first six Star Wars movies with him years ago, I was as least mildly entertained (more with the original three than the prequels...), so I had hopes that this latest movie would keep my interest... Continue Reading

23 Jul 2017


Adam and the Animals

I think pursuing knowledge and truth is a good idea. That's probably why Tennyson's "Ulysses" is one of my favorite poems.

It's the source of my Google Plus tagline: "To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought." (March 26, 2017)

I'll be talking about science, faith, and why I see no problem with admiring God's work. Also the Flat Earth Society's origin, and my own silly notion: a doughnut-shaped Earth.

But first, an excerpt from Apollodorus that reminded me of the pottery metaphor in Genesis 2:7:
"...Prometheus moulded men out of water and earth and gave them also fire...." (Apollodorus, The Library, Book 1, 1.7.1; via The Theoi Classical Texts Library)
Bible translations I grew up with often called the material in Genesis 2:7 "clay." The Hebrew the word is אדמה, adamah/adama. It means ground, land, or earth — dirt.

I use the The New American Bible these days, where Genesis 2:7 says that God formed Adam "out of the dust of the ground." The meaning seems clear enough. We're made from the stuff of this world and God's breath....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Wheat

As the Morning Rising: Wheat: Wheat Today I will be the grain That will fall to the ground And be the cause of new growth. A shoot will rise from dark...

22 Jul 2017

Old Henry's Sin

How to Find Lost Things and St. Anthony's Help

A picture appeared on Facebook showing St. Anthony of Padua saying “Seriously? You lost them again?” As the patron of lost things, this saint is possibly the one most prayed to other than our Blessed Mother. How did he acquire this reputation? According to a legend, St. Anthony, as the novice director for the Franciscans, taught the novices about the psalms. His book of psalms was marked with his class notes. One day a novice decided to leave the community and took with him St. Anthony’s psalter. Naturally, St. Anthony was distressed and prayed for the return of the novice and his valuable book.  The novice came back, repentant, and returned the psalter. Click to continue

21 Jul 2017

Using Vaccines Wisely

Using drones to deliver vaccines seems reasonable for places like Vanuatu.

But vaccines won't help if folks don't know how to use them correctly, or can't.

Others avoid vaccines because they believe warnings from dubious sources.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.


As the Morning Rising: The Listener

As the Morning Rising: The Listener: The Listener God's ear is the wall, the bush, the flower or tree God's ear is close to you and me He listens for...

' . . . but gather the wheat into my barn.' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sheaves of Wheat, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]

For Readings and Reflections for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A,  click on the following: 
The HarvestÉmile Bernard [Web Gallery of Art]
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
An old Protestant hymn from the USA, Bringing in the Sheaves, performed in Cape Town (Kapstadt), South Africa.

 The hymn is based on Psalm 126 [125]:6.
They go out, they go out, full of tears,
 carrying seed for the sowing; 
they come back, they come back, full of song, 
carrying their sheaves.

19 Jul 2017

Preachers of the Word within the world (Spanish) Apóstoles de la verdad en el mundo

Resultado de imagen de LAICOS CATOLICOS
     Ante ti, Señor, una vez más.

      Me gusta recordar esas palabras que quedaron marcadas como con fuego en tus apóstoles, en tus amigos, cuando aquí en la Tierra eras su Maestro, su Señor.

      Les ibas enseñando poco a poco tu Doctrina, a veces les reprendías como buen padre a sus hijos, otras con parábolas poniendo ejemplos y siempre lleno de amor y paciencia.

      Hoy medito en lo que en tu despedida dijiste. ¿ Cuál podía ser tu último mensaje, un instante antes de elevarte y ocultarte en una nube en tu Ascensión a la Casa del Padre? Estas fueron tus últimas  palabra Jesús : -" Me ha sido dado todo el poder en el Cielo y en la Tierra. Id, pues, y haced discípulos a todas las gentes, bautizándolas en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo y enseñándolas a guardar todo lo que os he mandado. Y sabed  que yo estoy con vosotros todos los días hasta el fin del mundo." Mt. 28,18-20.
Resultado de imagen de apóstoles de hoy

Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden – Finding Authentic Freedom

Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden, is the first in a dystopian trilogy of books centered around a young woman. Liberty resides in futuristic Aldonia; a city where authentic freedom, familial love and objective truth have been squashed by government forces aimed at controlling the population. Without the freedom to grow up in a family with a mother and father, Liberty tries to make her own way in a society that allows little choice.

As Liberty approaches adulthood, she is told by the government what her vocation will be: that of breeder. Apparently, she has exquisite genes and intelligence; so great, that the government decided that she would spend her fertile years giving birth to as many children as possible, via in vitro fertilization. She would never know if the children she carried were her own. In addition, she would be the nanny for groups of them for the first five years of their lives. Once the children reach the age of five, they relocate to another facility (like orphans) for further training.

Something within Liberty tells her that this is just plain wrong. Read more...

18 Jul 2017

So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?

To the casual observer, I appear to be a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do people realize that although I did pour out my life struggling to raise nine kids on a small farm with little disposable income, I actually missed the core of Christ’s message; I tried too hard to be a perfect Christian rather than allowing myself to be loved by God.

The stress of my lifestyle brought me low, low enough to finally realize I was not as Christian as I had once supposed. In fact, I realized I was actually a verified Pharisee, striving to please God. When I confessed this devastating insight about fifteen years ago, the priest told me he had never heard a better confession but I had missed the next step after my brutal self-examination, the most important step for a disciple of Jesus. I was refusing to accept the forgiveness and love of God.

continue reading

Netflix Original Movie "War Machine" is a Compelling but Strange Film

I'll be the first to admit that I know very little when it comes things like modern warfare or the intricacies of the recent Middle Eastern conflicts that the U.S. has taken part in.

I'd like to say that it was the prospect of learning something new about what went on in Afghanistan that drew me to watch the Netflix Original movie War Machine. But I'll be honest, I was really just wondering why Brad Pitt was starring in a Netflix Original – isn't that only for the likes of Adam Sandler?... Continue Reading

The Life-Changing Marriage Advice That Really Works

You know what gets my goat more than anything else in marriage?
When I expect something and receive zero follow-through from someone else.
I know that is the 100% most hypocritical thing I do, and 100% what I do wrong on a regular basis. I expect certain things from others, yet let them down in the exact same ways.

Honey, why don't you... take me on a date here? Buy me roses every week? Give me beautiful presents?
Well, when was the last time I left a note on his car windshield, paid for his vacation, bought him a nice mug or other gift? I expect so much, yet I'm apathetic in the same ways. But I can only see what *he* is doing wrong 95% of the time.

Someone (Namely, my counselor) recently told me that instead of fighting (when things don't go my way), instead I should affirm and encourage my husband. I know that for some of you, that's easy. It's obvious. You're lucky. #verylucky #moneyinthebank
For me, I have had to fight against negativity and my own big mouth for 4 years-- in counseling. Things haven't been particularly easy for us recently, but counseling is the best decision I have almost ever made. #almost

I decided to try this theory out. Do you want to know what happened? read the rest at tacywilliamsbeck.com

Beauty Tuesday Link Up

Come help spread the beauty, truth, goodness, and joy of Our Lord.  Share your post on the link-up to spread a bit of light in this world!

Read more at Veils and Vocations.

17 Jul 2017

Natural Law: What is It? What Role Does It Play? Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

How is it that we innately always seem to know right from wrong, even when we freely choose to move in the direction of wrong? For example, how is it that I innately know that it is wrong to take a life of another? I don’t need to refer to the Fifth Commandment; nor do I need to have a civil law on the books to know that taking the life of another human being is just flat out wrong. The answer lies in God’s Natural Law, a law that is infused into the hearts of every man at birth.

Natural Law: What is it?

Natural law is the participation of man in the plan of God. It is the objective order established by God that determines the requirements for people to thrive and reach fulfillment, enabling man to ‘discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.’ 1
God is all good. He wants only what is best for each of us. He has a plan and calls us to participate in His plan. God, as our Creator, established what is acceptable versus unacceptable behavior; what is good and what is evil; what is right and what is wrong. It is through our reason and intellect that we innately know how to decipher these concepts.


16 Jul 2017

Calling Us

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas July 2, 2017

What a week this has been, a Deacons Retreat at the Abbey of the Hills, resulting in thoughts, reflections, and stories to share....

...His theme for the weekend became known as old books. Besides the Bible, obviously an old book, he spoke extensively on G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and a bit on Tolkien....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"A Writer Who is Catholic"

My #3 daughter has some of my qualities, and attitudes.

About four years back now, she vented frustration about writers, faith, and assumptions. She wasn't nearly as loud as I've often been during 'vents.'

When folks learned she's a writer, they'd often say something like 'oh, good: we need more Catholic writers.'

She'd say something like "I'm a writer who is Catholic, not a 'Catholic writer.'"

I know what she means. She isn't writing another 'lives of the Saints,' or book of prayers. She's a Catholic who writes....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Was that the man who carried the Cross?

As the Morning Rising: Was that the man who carried the Cross?: A well-loved parishioner recently passed away. I met a woman while out walking who was trying to put a face to the name. ' Was that...

Little Conversations


15 Jul 2017

Practice Makes Prefect in Life and Prayer

Although we do not like to admit it, even to ourselves, we still believe that prayer  happens suddenly, or never happens at all. We kid ourselves that saints are born, or created by an arbitrary decision of God who every now and then suddenly decides to top up humanity’s quota. This is a comforting idea that we harbour at the back of our minds because it absolves us from any serious effort to live in union with God.
The predicament of the alcoholic is but a dramatic ‘blown-up picture of all of us. The fact that our perilous plight is not so obviously dramatic is a mixed blessing. If it were, it would at least force us without undue delay to see ourselves stripped naked of all falsity and pretension, to face stark reality. Then we might come to a moment of decision that we might otherwise cowardly evade, drifting into a life of superficiality, merely existing on the surface of human experience. Often when an alcoholic hits ‘rock bottom’, they become serious about changing their lives by surrendering and dedicating their lives to God through hard work, by practising new habits.  
       read on...

What Makes Netflix Original "The Crown" So Good?

When I was about 32 weeks pregnant with my now 7-month old son, my husband and I had just finished the show we'd been watching nightly on Netflix and needed something new to try. This was right as the antsy baby inside me was continually tricking me with pre-term contractions. Needless to say, I needed a distraction.

Kind of on a whim, we started the Netflix original historical drama “The Crown,” a biopic about a young Queen Elizabeth II of England. I'd seen the trailer and was intrigued myself, though I wasn't sure if it would be too chick-flick-y for my husband to really get into. But we decided to give it a go... Continue Reading

FINALLY A Catholic Modesty Website That Makes Sense!

I've been searching everywhere for information on Catholic Modesty that didn't just incorporate the opinions and feelings of the writer involved, but that actually had to do with Catholic Teaching and quotes from Saints, Doctors of the Church, and proofs.  I FOUND IT!

www.Catholic-Modesty.com has literally everything one needs to inform themselves on Catholic Modesty. It looms from quotes from Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, Papal Documents (including infallible encyclicals), helpful videos, tips and tricks, common sense answers to the crazy questions (for example is it immodest to wear makeup and so on!) and so much more! But the biggest thing that attracted me to this particular website is the MIDDLE GROUND MINDSET. 

 This is from their "about the site":
"This website is dedicated to the promulgation and education of Catholic Modesty. Everything is connected to the Teachings of the Faith, and the learning of what is means to be “modest“, and all that follows.....  www.catholic-modesty.com

14 Jul 2017

Climate Change, Attitudes

I'll be talking about Earth's climate, China's pollution problems, and icebergs: including one the size of Delaware. The big berg broke off from Antarctica this week.

The recent G20 meeting was mostly about economics, not climate change; but that didn't deter the usual colorful protestors.

I'm not complaining about folks at the fancy-dress street party in Hamburg. If nothing else, they added a touch of human interest to an otherwise-dry international business meeting....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'. . . and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold . . .' Sunday Reflections, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

The Sower (November 1888, Arles)
Vincent van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
Listen! A sower went out to sow . . .
For Readings and Reflections for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A,  click on the following: 

Green Wheat Fields, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
Other seeds fell on good soil . . . 

Wheatfield with Reaper at Sunrise, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
. . . and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen! (Matthew 13:1-9)

Mystical Realm

Youtube video on the mystical realm.


As the Morning Rising: Open Letter to Archbishop Eamon Martin Primate of ...

As the Morning Rising: Open Letter to Archbishop Eamon Martin Primate of ...: Friends, here is my letter to Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland  Any views expressed therein are entirely my own and writ...

12 Jul 2017

Moral Behavior: Are We Losing Sight of Objective Truth?

I am an adjunct professor of Theology, who specifically teaches a morality course at the undergraduate level. Given the recent shooting at a Republican baseball practice, and the ensuing remarks from Congressional representatives that “we are on one team,” I was encouraged by the willingness of both parties to place vitriol commentary into the history books; to reset, so to speak, and begin toning down the rhetoric. However strong this intention may be, the spirit is weak. It will take more than mere effort to be more civil to one another. There is an underlying concern that must be addressed to allow civility to flourish. As a society, we must face objective truth, together.

Objective Truth

The belief in objective truth seems to have taken a back seat to such erroneous concepts of morality as situation ethics, proportionalism and consequentialism. But before I get ahead of myself here, by diving too deep into these topics, let’s first define objective truth, as it is my greatest concern. We, as a society, are not working together to understand, and abide by, objective truth.

Objective Truth: “…those essential and innate human and moral values which flow from... Read more... 

Why Covenant Theology Matters (And Why Catholics *Should* Take Note)

If  we hold fast to the confession of our faith, we will be  outcasts.
In fact, if we're sell-outs, we're definitely doing something wrong.
We need to understand the *purpose* of faithfulness, or "empty" doctrine falls on our deaf ears and remains empty doctrine.

People won't go to Mass, and they don't go to Mass. Father Robert Barron has said that only 31% of American Catholics attend Mass every Sunday.  Faithfulness, as departing from the deadly sin of sloth, matters because I believe Heaven matters.

Right now, Christianity, as it is known in most modern, popular circles, is a dumbed down, watered down "love to all," with a vague notion of Jesus + a lot of false and horrible views on marriage, the Church, and authority...
Let's take marriage for starters.
Listen to the news. Pay attention to the lyrics in any popular song. Watch some of the new shows coming out on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

We're too bitter as a culture to value the purpose, nature, and provision of Covenant. read the rest at Tacy Williams Beck

Jumpstarting Your Prayer Life

This chapter (abridged) called Priming the Pumpfrom my book “Praying on Empty” was reprinted in a daily devotional . . .

 Grant, O our God, that we may know you, love you, and rejoice in you; and if in this life we cannot do these things fully, grant that we may at the least progress in them from day to day, for Christ’s sake. Amen. ~ St. Anselm
My family used to spend weekends on land my father purchased in the country. Next to the house, Dad had dug a well that operated with a hand pump. Each week when we arrived, one of the first things he did was to pour a little water down the well. This “priming the pump” caused water to flow when we needed it. Similarly, there are “priming” acts you can try in order to fill your parched, empty soul and slake your thirst for God. (Remember, however, that your dryness might be a gift from God and out of your control.) Click to continue

11 Jul 2017

Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs

When we suffer in isolation for our own failings or act like a scapegoat who suffers as the result of others who sin against us, we like to think of ourselves as saintly martyrs, but our suffering is anything but holy and especially not redemptive.
 In fact, there is no act filled with more pride because we are in fact stealing Christ’s job. It takes humility to realize our miserable, self-inflicted suffering does not save anyone, least of all ourselves. The only way to become humble is to trust in God to save us because we realized our own efforts have failed.

Beauty Tuesday Link Up Party

It's a party!  Have anything beautiful, good, or true on your blog you want to share?  Come link-up and join the fun!

Every Tuesday at Veils and Vocations!

The LEGO Batman Movie: Almost Everything is Awesome

I saw the trailer for The LEGO Batman Movie a few months back and thought it looked like a fairly promising family movie night choice that my husband and I might enjoy along with our 3-year-old. We'd watched The LEGO Movie and rather liked it, even if its “Everything is awesome!” song was stuck in our heads for days afterward.

So, now that the Batman installment came out on DVD, we decided to give it a try, having no idea how much our expectations were about to be blown out of the water... Continue Reading

Perception is Everything!

What we focus on in life makes all the difference in the world! What we focus on can either invite God's blessing into a situation or hinder his blessing.

Do we look at a situation and see the majesty of God or adversity? Do we look at the world and see darkness or see opportunities for God's light to break through. 

Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns>

10 Jul 2017

Time Management is Reality Management

In Latin you would say "Ordo ab chao" = "order to chaos"; and most of struggle with trying to make this a reality.
Father Mike Schmitz makes a very good point about this and I would like to share it with all of you before we continue.
I don't know about you but when the discussion of time management came up before I was sick, I would procrastinate.

Click here to Continue 

The Purpose of Birthdays: Showing Love

Today marks my husband’s 64th birthday! So, I take this opportunity to wish Nick a very Happy Birthday. Have you ever wondered why we mark birthdays as a time to celebrate the passing of another year? If we gave it some thought, a birthday means that we have one less year to live on earth. We have one less year to accomplish our goals. Yet, birthdays are meant to be celebrated. Why? Because it is a very good way to show love to those we hold most dear. It’s a day to place a loved one upon a pedestal; to show that person how much they mean to us.

God’s Desire

As humans, we are born into families. Families act as our nucleus for love. Within families, we learn not only how to receive love, but to how to give love in return. God created humankind to live in community with each other, making us social beings yearning for love. The love that we extend to our family and friends is an... Read more...

9 Jul 2017

That I May Leave My Heart

Pythagorean Dribble Glasses

The diagram shows how a Pythagorean cup works. It's a thinking person's dribble glass, sort of. The cup, pan, and ladle in the photo is a yuza no ki. Both are gadgets used for teaching moderation.

The yuza no ki is in the Ashikaga District, 足利郡, in the Tochigi Prefecture. It hasn't been since around 1896. Ashiga District, that is. Not officially.

The cup might be.

It's a learning tool. Empty, it's tilted. Pour a little water in, and it goes upright. Pour in more, and it tilts again.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Cushendun Bay - Poem

As the Morning Rising: Cushendun Bay - Poem: Cushendun Bay Returns! Returns! Cry the waves As they deposit Skip-loads of tree cuttings onto the sand That person ...

8 Jul 2017

The Disappointments of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

I think it's not a big stretch to say that most fans of the original “Gilmore Girls” series were somewhat unsatisfied with the way it ended. Not enough closure, no real evidence of happily-ever-afters for the characters we had grown to know and love...

And now, suddenly, in our social-media-outcry day and age, we have an entity like Netflix that can see a show with a cult following, realize that that cult following was unsatisfied, and identify that making a reboot of the show is a good idea.

But the question is, does this reboot satisfy? Continue Reading

7 Jul 2017

A Near-Death-Experience

I discovered that giving birth and dying are not that different and life and death are not as far apart as I had once presumed.
Exactly three years ago, I finally became cognizant of how thin the line between life and death really is when I nearly lost one of my daughters as she struggled to give birth. During labour, she almost bled out when she lost a litre of blood in mere seconds after an emergency C-section, the result of a series of unforeseen complications, a one-in-ten-thousand chance.

'You have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants.' Sunday Reflections, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

First Steps (after Millet), Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]

For Readings and Reflections for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A,  click on the following: 
A Beggar Boy with a Piece of Pie
Master of the Blue Jeans [Web Gallery of Art]

Misusing Opioids

"Crisis" or not, opioid overdose is a problem. A lethal one, sometimes.

We've used one opioid, opium, for millennia. Others have been developed during my lifetime. They're all useful: and dangerous if misused.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Catholics at their best

6 Jul 2017

8 tips on Decision to Join Camp NaNoWriMo

Joy of community. Writers go forth. Onward and Upward. God Bless
Join me in my camp here.
Are you familiar NaNoWriMo? It is National Novel Writing Month. It is a virtual camp for writers to achieve their goals in creative writing. Having tried to do this camp NaNoWriMo thing for years. Finally, I am a participant yeah for me. In July, the writer can choose their own word count. Well, in any camp you can. Just do not let the stress and getting it perfect get to you anymore. My saying is “better done than perfect”.
If I reach the goal, great and if I do not great. I am participating, to me that is all that matters right now.                read more

5 Jul 2017

Creating your own Industrial Revolution

The stress of life can cause anyone to fall behind and, for those of us with chronic illness, we fight this battle daily. I mean that if you work full time, have chronic pain (or maybe your child is chronically ill and, if so, I pray for you and your family), if you have small children (or large ones), pets or a hobby if you’re lucky; you end up falling behind.
 We all do different things to benefit our families and sometimes the pay out is not a monetary one (even if it can be also that as well). If you are a stay-at-home wife or mom, you are worth just as much as you would be if you were working. If you collect disability, that’s the insurance for if you did work. If you work full time or part time you are truly blessed; as are all you wonderful business owners and women with side hustles. 

As the Morning Rising: Under the Eucalyptus Tree

As the Morning Rising: Under the Eucalyptus Tree : It was the eve of the feast day of St James. Two friends and I were chatting, enjoying th...