28 Apr 2017

Mindsets are Powerful but Mercy is More Powerful!

So, I have 6 kids - not because I have good pregnancies, but because Tom and I believed that to be God's will for our life. I actually had very horrible pregnancies! I had 24 hour a day nausea, gestational diabetes, and preterm labor, to name a few distressing side effects. The worst side effect being the strong contractions and preterm labor that would go on for months! The pressure was so great at times, it was hard to walk; I felt my babies were going to fall out of me!
Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

Repeatable Results That Aren’t

I'll be talking about scientific research that may not be "fake:" but isn't reliable, either. The good news is that many scientists want to fix the problem.

I'll also take a look at truth, beauty, Copernicus, and how a science editor sees faith and science.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Honour your father and mother

27 Apr 2017

This Unchosen Cloister

You may have noticed that lately I've been absent from behind these cloister walls. I wish I could say I've been away on a long vacation, but the truth is far less glamorous. I've spent the last few weeks in a cloister not of my own choosing... 
 
'Thank God, there still remains one sanctuary, the sacredness of which no earthly power may violate…  It is the sanctuary of the human heart.  It needs no fixed place for its confines, no stated time for the opening of its gates, no particular hour of silence for its prayer.  A thought, a word, a moment of reflection, and by faith and by love, the soul is within the blessed refuge, and the gates are closed on the confusion of life with all its noise and tumult. It is secure against the bitterness and the pain of persecution, or hardship or trial, or hurt of body, or wound of earthly pride, or failure of worldly ambition, for there she is inviolable, sacred, impregnable in the fortress of her own spirit.' (From The Living Pyx of Jesus)
 
(continue reading...)

The Harrowing of Hell

I first began to understand certain mystical truths as I prayed at the place where Jesus was crucified on the first Good Friday. I have written about some of these insights when I spent a night in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem,  but some  were too much for me to understand at the time, and it has taken some years for me to grasp them in such a way that I can commit them to writing. I do not therefore promise that this will be an easy read, but I hope it will be a rewarding one.
The prolonged and unprecedented eclipse of the sun that plunged the world into darkness during Christ’s terrible death on the cross, replicated the inner blackness that plunged his heart, his mind and his soul into pitch beyond pitch of anguish, grief and unutterable agony.   read on...

Back to Virtue, by Peter Kreeft - Book Review


In Back to Virtue, Peter Kreeft takes you into the classroom of moral theology, where you will learn why we need virtue to preserve human existence. For starters, Kreeft clearly defines the differentiation between virtue and vice. He discusses the cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, as well as the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Then, using the Beatitudes, he teaches us about each virtue that counters each of the seven deadly sins of anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth and the root of all evil, pride.

His words of wisdom percolate throughout this book. Here’s just one example:

If we can conquer everything except ourselves, the result is that we do not hold the power. 1
 
Once we learn that God is in control, and that He holds the power, then we begin to learn that... Read more...

26 Apr 2017

Journeying with Jesus

The first time I was to fly alone to Abu Dhabi to speak at a religious conference, I was rather frightened—petrified would be more accurate. It meant stopping in Chicago to switch to Etihad, the United Arab Emirates airline, flying over the ocean (daunting to a non-swimmer like me), and then counting on someone to meet me in the Abu Dhabi airport. I decided to imagine that Jesus was with me on this journey. We’d be taking this trip together. After all, it was his work I was doing.
In Chicago, when I requested a window seat, the clerk said the flight was full and none was available, but he would give me a good seat. It turned out to be the last one in the back, but there was an empty seat beside it…the only empty seat on the plane! So it was easy to think of Jesus as my traveling companion.  Click to Continue

Faith is not enough!

25 Apr 2017

Catholicism Is An Experiential Faith


Fear of Deception

The biggest stumbling block to Life in Christ is fear. Many Catholics are leery of any inner, spiritual revelations from their Heavenly Father because they are afraid of being deceived. However, fear of the devil cannot be stronger than our trust in God’s ability to keep us safe or we will miss out on the fullness of life in Christ which is available to us.
An attitude of fear which shuts out God completely basically means we trust more in the power of the devil, a mere angel, to deceive us than in the power of the Lord of Heaven and Earth to guide and protect us.  Of course, we need to exercise prudence and discernment concerning our inner journey towards the Heart of our Beloved but our God is not a harsh dictator. God is a loving Father who forgives and picks us up when we fall.
continue reading 

24 Apr 2017

3 Steps to Mercy for You - Guest Blogger, Kaitlyn Mason


There’s a lot of mercy talk these days in the Church. Why?  Because it’s the time of mercy!

Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday. If you’re not familiar with this message and devotion, take a moment to learn a little more here.

We should strive to show mercy to everyone we meet. Mercy is a great virtue, no doubt.  But today I want to ask you, how often do you show mercy to yourself?

Are you your own worst critic? Are you hyperaware of your faults and not sure how to actually improve?  Do you ever beat yourself up at the end of the day for not doing a better job at keeping it all together?

I’ve been working on kicking these bad attitudes for a while now, with great success. How?  Divine Mercy! Read more...

23 Apr 2017

Divine Mercy



I care about God's mercy because I'm a sinner. What that means depends on who says it.

I think and hope Jonathan Edwards meant well, and wish some of his imitators would be less enthusiastic. Or at least think about what he said.

Hollywood theology — I'd like to believe that many folks don't get their religious education from the movies, and that's another topic.

Basically, Americans have lots of options for what we think "sin" and "sinners" mean.

I'm a Catholic, so my view is 'none of the above.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Cherish Free on Kindle


In honor of Mercy Sunday, my Christian novel about forgiveness, Cherish, will be free on Kindle from now through Thursday, April 27.


Enjoy!

Looking for Life: Enceladus and Gliese 1132 b

We haven't found life on — or in — Enceladus. But we've found organic compounds in the Saturnian moon's salt-water geysers.

Scientists detected an atmosphere around Gliese 1132 b, a planet about 39 light-years away. It's Earth-like, in terms of size; but too hot for life as we know it. We'll almost certainly learn a great deal, though, by studying its atmosphere....

...Abraham, Moses, and Minnesota


I take the Bible, Sacred Scripture, very seriously. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 101-133)

I don't, however, insist on believing only what I find in the Bible. That's just as well, since I live near the center of North America.

I'm pretty sure that Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Saint Peter, and the rest, didn't know that the land I live on exists. But I'm quite sure that the State of Minnesota is real: even if it's not "Biblical."...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Spiritual Solidarity Binds Us To Souls In Purgatory


Just like gravity affects us whether we understand it or not, the Communion of Saints, the fellowship between the living and the dead, affects us whether we believe in it or not. There is a spiritual solidarity which literally binds us together. Even though most of us are oblivious to these invisible relationships, we are connected to those who have died in the Mystical Body of Christ and we can communicate with each other.
When most Catholics recite the Apostles' Creed, we often rush through the final list of dogmas as we say, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen". We rarely consider how this fellowship affects us personally. Yet, the unity between the members of the Church on earth, in Purgatory and in Heaven is not some esoteric doctrine which has nothing to do with our day to day lives. These dynamic relationships can influence our thoughts and emotions.

21 Apr 2017

'My Lord and my God!' Sunday Reflections, Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy), Year A


Year A
The Apostle St Thomas, El Greco 

Readings (New American Bible) 
Readings (Jerusalem Bible)
Gospel John 20:19-31(NRSV, Catholic Ed.)

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’


John 20:19-31 from The Gospel of John
We can read the words of Jesus to Thomas as a gentle rebuke that has led to the nickname he may carry for all eternity: 'Doubting Thomas'. But I prefer to see him as the one who understood that the Risen Lord must carry the scars of his crucifixion and who made the most explicit act of faith in the whole of Sacred Scripture: My Lord and my God!

The First Reading today (Ats 2:42-47) opens with the words They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 'The breaking of the bread' is an expression used for the celebration of the Eucharist. We can see in this sentence the essence of the Mass as we celebrate it today: listening to God's word, praying and sharing in the Sacrifice of Jesus and sharing his Body and Blood.

Some commentators say that the failure of Thomas was not to listen to God's word as related by his companions. Maybe he did fail here but did the others have the same awareness as Thomas had that the Risen Lord must carry his scars for all eternity?

In Evangelii Gaudium No 7 Pope Francis writes: I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: 'Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction'.

Thomas had been a companion of Jesus for two to three years but what he experienced in today's gospel was precisely what Pope Benedict describes as the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.
Servant of God, Fr Emil Joseph Kapaun (20 April 1916 - 23 May 1951) celebrating Mass with American soldiers during the Korean War [Wikipedia]

Full post here.

19 Apr 2017

As the Morning Rising: A pure and powerful breeze that stirs and warms th...

As the Morning Rising: A pure and powerful breeze that stirs and warms th...: There's a kind of quiet we experience when the din of traffic noise dies down after the rush hour. Then there's the kind o...

Flee Your Road to Emmaus; Turn Your Sights on Jesus

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 24:13-35 speaks to us of Jesus’ walk with two men on the Road to Emmaus. We begin with two men departing Jerusalem, saddened in the realization that Jesus was not who they thought him to be. They were disappointed, for they thought He was their savior; yet He died. So much for being a savior! How often can we say that we are like the two men on the Road to Emmaus? Do we give up on Jesus when He does not do what we wish, or what we think is right?  These men wanted Jesus to rise to the level of King, but He died, and with that their belief in Him.

Road to Emmaus: Signs of Faith


As the men were walking, Jesus approached them. However, Jesus disguised Himself, disabling them to “see” Jesus as the Risen Lord. While walking with the men, Jesus asked them what they were discussing. The two men informed Jesus about the events of recent days: Jesus’ arrest, humiliation, crucifixion and death. They had hoped that “he would be the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24: 21). Even with the declaration from the women who visited the tomb, that the tomb was empty and that the Lord had risen, these two men were walking away from Jerusalem, downcast; their faith shattered. How often do we see signs of faith, but choose to ignore them? Read more...

Easter Symbols, Old and New

The Easter season is fifty days long, affording us plenty of time to ponder this fantastic mystery of our faith: Jesus made it possible for us to live forever. We celebrate the death/rising phenomenon employing various symbols that point to new, abundant life: eggs, rabbits, lilies, the sun, spring. I’ve thought of a new Easter symbol for our modern world. The other day my computer “died.” For no apparent reason, the screen became dark. No amount of clicking and pushing buttons brought back the manuscripts I was working on, the artwork I saved, and access to my email account and Facebook. After several long minutes of panic, I pulled out all the plugs and replugged them, and then turned off the power on the surge protector and turned it on again. Miraculously the computer came back to life. You can imagine my relief and joy. This experience, like other metaphors, limps. Yes, what was dead was revived. But on Easter, Jesus came back different—with a new and glorious life. He could walk through walls, appear and disappear, and he would never die again. Alas, after dying, my computer is not improved at all. It still has a virus, and it still won’t let me view certain videos. Moreover, I know that someday it will konk out again. Click to continue

18 Apr 2017

Ad/hd & Anxiety How the Catholic Faith Helps me Cope

Ad/hd as an Asset

My Ad/hd went diagnosed throughout my childhood and young adulthood.  Unfortunately, that resulted in some major self-esteem issues, among other things we'll be discussing in this series in the weeks to come.  The realization that I was blessed (and it is a blessing) with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder came in my early thirties when I was a young mother and an early childhood educator. My oldest was showing signs of Ad/hd so I began researching to learn more about the signs and symptoms.  I started with the book, Driven to Distraction by Ed Hallowell, in audio version on cassette from the library. Clue number one this wasn't just about my son should have been my reliance on audio books to finish books as staying focused reading has always been one of my biggest challenges.

I will never forget having to pull over and rewind the cassette to re-listen to Dr. Hallowell list the 15 possible symptoms of Ad/hd.  I took out a scrap piece of paper from my purse and counted up, not my son's symptoms, but mine!   At that time, I could identify presently displaying or having displayed 13 of the 15!  I was shocked.  Believe it or not, it had never even crossed my mind that I had Ad/hd.  That is the day I became an expert, literally.

For More on What Will be Covered in this New Series visit:  RECONCILED TO YOU All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

Cherish: My Fourth Christian Novel

My fourth Christian novel, Cherish, is now on Amazon. For a limited time, the Kindle version will be available for just 99¢. As usual, all net profits go to charity.


Here's the story:
About to give the closing argument on the most important case of her career, District Attorney Candice Boulanger is struck down by a heart attack. When she comes to, however, she discovers she is not in a hospital but in an odd courtroom with no windows and no doors.
 A judge explains she has been momentarily taken out of her life to prosecute a different case: the relationship she had with her former "best friend forever" Milly Winters. He promises Candice that, although she is allowed to return to her life at any time, if she sees the trial all the way through, she will receive supernatural aid to help her attain her greatest desire.
 Candice and Milly had been best friends since kindergarten and had vowed their friendship would last "no matter what." Even in their teens, when Candice started drifting from her Christian faith, they managed to set aside their differences—until one day an incident blew their friendship apart.
 Can their friendship survive . . .  even if one of them has already died?

As the Morning Rising: Touched by Grace

As the Morning Rising: Touched by Grace: To have the graces sufficient for our station in life is to know contentment. It does not matter what the station is, it can be anything...

17 Apr 2017

That Time the Nice Boy Swore at Me


Or ... Teaching the Faith Sometimes Means Carrying a Cross

Teaching the faith can be a challenge. The Confirmation retreat was nearly over, so we settled back in the main hall after a few hours in the church to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. Though I’ve presented to teenagers for years, it never gets any easier. Corralling them for 8 hours, most against their own will, usually creates a less than friendly atmosphere. This particular group, despite my attempts to provide engaging activities and quick witted presentations, was very difficult to reach.

It was a huge relief to glance at the clock and realize there were fewer than two hours left.“You got this,” I murmured to myself, and grabbed the microphone to begin my last presentation. I barely completed the sign of the cross, when suddenly a young man dressed in a suit stood up.

“Excuse me,” I politely addressed him, “break is over and we are clearly about to pray. We are almost finished; we just have one more subject to cover.” What happened next, even as I type it, still astounds me. “Who,” he began, “do you expletive think you are. This has been complete bull-expletive you have been shoveling at us all day.” Perhaps he saw an opportunity to pounce, since the room had emptied of all adults except me. Before I could answer, he continued with more sentence enhancers and crazy accusations. He had clearly come with preconceived and very misguided notions of Catholicism. My presentations always focus on living the faith in our everyday life and I purposely steer clear of controversial subjects – because I am fully aware that Apologetics are my Achilles heel. This young man perhaps sensed that as well.

The part of my brain that was presently retrieving all of my training in youth ministry and facilitating retreats was screaming “halt, do not fall into this trap, cease all arguments now”! How I wish my brain had won. Instead .... read more 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras

Modern Catholic Artists Celebrate the Resurrection

 The Resurrection by Ladislav Záborský, a Slovak painter who sentenced to seven years in prison by the communist government for his Christian art which was labeled corrupt.

While imprisoned, Ladislav felt as if his hands were nailed to the cross because he could not paint but only seek God in the depths of his soul.  Ladislav expressed the deep spiritual transformation which occurred during his imprisonment. The result of his inner crucifixion meant he no longer fulfilled his own desires but only sought God and His desires. He died just this last December 31, 2016, in Martin, Slovakia.


Resurrection by Father John Giuliani.
He began painting modern icons with images of Native Americans as subjects.
Father Giuliani, ” In my work I try to celebrate a union of a common spiritual understanding, to show how a single mystery can be approached through diverse cultures”

Hope in the Resurrection: Believe in Christ's Promises


The Lord is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Happy Easter Monday everyone! Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, on Easter Sunday morning, is such a glorious reason to celebrate, that the Church gives us seven weeks to soak in this wonderful event! Easter runs from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. The meaning of Jesus’ resurrection is so profound that we need this much time to discern its impact for all mankind. Jesus conquered death, and in the process, showed us all the way to new life – eternal life! In Jesus, we all have the hope of one day being resurrected with glorious bodies.

Hope for the Eternal


As Christians, we place all our hope in the promises of Christ, because Jesus spoke Truth, and only the truth. So, if He says something... Read more...  

16 Apr 2017

The Nature of Sin

WHAT IS SIN?
DO WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VENIAL AND MORTAL SIN?
HOW DOES GOD VIEW SIN?
DOES THIS ALIGN WITH HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH VIEWS SIN?
HOW DOES GOD JUDGE SIN?
THESE AND OTHER QUESTIONS ARE DISCUSSED IN THIS ARTICLE
YOUR VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE MOST WELCOME

The Eighth Day: Two Millennia and Counting

Easter is when we celebrate "the crowning truth of our faith in Christ" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638)

It's among the top major events so far. Depending on how you count them, there have been only three to six: the creation of this universe; humanity's creation and fall; and our Lord's arrival, execution, and resurrection.

There's another big one coming, eventually, and I'll get back to that.

The idea that the Son of God was human and divine has seemed insufficiently 'spiritual' to some folks for two millennia now. But like John 1:14 says,1 "...the Word became flesh...."

The crucifixion, and what happened later, wouldn't mean much otherwise....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

15 Apr 2017

14 Apr 2017

Grief and Gratitude on Good Friday

Great griefs are like great joys: they bend time. My sister died twenty years ago. Sometimes it seems so long ago that mercifully, I can barely remember the details. Other times, those details rush back at me so sharply I have to steel myself for impact.

Suicide does that.

I can smile now at the memory of my sister. I felt disloyal the first time I did that, as though permanent grief could be the only fitting monument to her memory. Time, mercy, and God’s grace have done their work, bit by bit.

For the first time since her death, I am writing about her and about losing her. This is an anniversary, and the time is right. For years, I thought she had taken Easter away with her and left nothing behind but wreckage. Gradually I found that she left me other things: a greater appreciation for the gift of my family, and how to live with gratitude despite wounds that are bone-deep. Those aren’t compensations. They don’t cancel out anything. They are gifts nonetheless.

I extend my hand to anyone who’s facing a loss, or anniversary of a loss, this Good Friday. I can’t make the pain go away. I can only say that you’re not alone. All I have is compassion, “suffering with,” in whatever way I can manage. The time and mercy and grace I mentioned were not my doing, and I couldn’t rush them.

Read the rest of the post at ellenkolb.com.

Light Just One Candle This Holy Saturday


One image from Holy Saturday stays embedded in my mind my mind and never fails to move me to tears. Every Catholic Church in the world begins the Easter Vigil Mass plunged into darkness, a symbol of our world before the Resurrection. 

After burning a bonfire outside and lighting the Pascal Candle, the main celebrant carries this bright symbol of Christ’s death and Resurrection. From this single candle, light spreads as each person turns to light all the candles around them and so a gentle wave of light ripples from the Pascal candle.


 Do we really grasp the ramifications of this historical event? Do we really allow the reality of the Resurrection to sink in and save us, transform us? If we did, we would all be saints—real, miracle-working saints.

Christ depends on us to be a light to the world. continue reading

Mars: Leaky Red Planet

What we're learning about Mars, and a new type of really small spacecraft, reminded me of earth, air and kilts.

Also pharaohs, Thomas Paine, and Lord Kelvin. By then I was running out of time to write something more tightly-organized.

I figured you might be interested in some of what I have written. On on the other hand, maybe not. So I added links to my ramblings before and after what I said more-or-less about the science news, and figure you can decide what's interesting and what's not.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Time for Reflections

JUST TEN MINUTES TO REFLECT ON HOLY WEEK

'For as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.' Sunday Reflections, Easter Sunday


Easter Sunday

Resurrection, Léonard Limo Sin
The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible
At the Mass during the Day
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible)
Note that the above links also give alternative gospels that may be read on Easter Sunday.
Gospel John 20:1-9 (NRSV, Catholic Ed.)



Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

John 20:1-9 from The Gospel of John

I remember as a young priest, maybe in the summer of 1968 about six months after my ordination, celebrating Sunday Mass in the chapel of the Irish Sisters of Charity (now the Religious Sisters of Charity) in Stanhope Street, Dublin, where I had made my First Holy Communion on 20 May 1950. The beautiful chapel is no longer there.

Full post here.

As the Morning Rising: Within the Wounds - Good Friday Poem

As the Morning Rising: Within the Wounds - Good Friday Poem: Within The Wounds Somewhere within the wounds There is a language deeper than words Deeper than wells Deeper than w...

13 Apr 2017

Living With Only a Thin Veil Between Earth and Heaven


I tend to rush through my daily duties like a solitary soul, disconnected from God and other people. However, I became aware that humans are actually intimately connected not just to God and the living but also to those who have died and are alive in Christ after recent encounters with birth, death, and dying. There is only a thin veil between heaven and earth; I can communicate with all who abide in the Mystical Body of Christ simply because I am a member of the communion of saints.

A Near-Death-Experience

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.

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

 “But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last’’. Mark 15:36

Death has many guises

‘This dying man has no relatives, I want you to sit and hold his hand.'  What compassion this nurse had so many years ago.
I was very young and in my first year of nursing. What did I know of death and pain and dying?


‘Dying is a lonely process,' she said as she led me into the patient’s room. 'He is unconscious but on some level he will know that you are there.' 

Washing of feet

WHAT IS THE REAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WASHING OF FEET?
DO YOU REALLY KNOW?

As the Morning Rising: The Way of The Cross

As the Morning Rising: The Way of The Cross: The Way of the Cross If someone should spit in your face, hold back, walk away, and go to the Cross. If someone by their ...

12 Apr 2017

Emotional moments of His delicate love: Last supper. (Spanish) Amor delicado: servicio y entrega.

Resultado de imagen de lavatorio de los pies jesús
Con el  Evangelio de San Juan 13,1-15 quedamos introducidos en la parte central de los acontecimientos más relevantes de nuestra fe. Ya estamos de lleno en ellos. LA ÚLTIMA CENA.

Jesús quiere despedirse  de  sus seguidores, de sus compañeros, de sus amigos .

Otra vez su gran humildad. Su gesto fino y lleno de ternura. Va lavándole los pies a aquellos hombres que lo habían visto ordenar a los vientos y a las  olas, la quietud en la  tormenta. . . que le habían visto dar la luz a los  ojos de los ciegos. . . hacer andar a los paralíticos.... sanar a los leprosos. . .  resucitar a los muertos, que lo habían visto radiante como el sol en su Transfiguración y ahora, con un amor inconmensurable, con una humildad sin límites les está lavando los pies.

I Am Loved Retreat: The Gift of Love

What is the best gift you have ever received?  How about one that you have given?

Learn how God loves and why the gift of love is the ultimate imitation of Christ.

Read the talk here at Veils and Vocations.

I Am Loved Retreat: The Royal Treatment

Who doesn't like to be pampered like a princess?  This talk is the second in my retreat series and explores how a princess of God should be treated.


Read it at Veils and Vocations!

I Am Loved Retreat: In the Father's Eyes

Early last summer, I had the pleasure of hosting a mini-retreat for preteen girls and their mothers.  It ahs been a long time in coming, but I finally am sharing the talks and resources from that retreat so that others can host their own. 



To read the first talk, visit Veils and Vocations.

Forgiveness: A Lenten Message


Who Do You Have to Forgive

truth is, we all have someone to forgive(1)," writes R. Scott Hurd, in the very beginning of his life-changing book Forgiveness: The Catholic Approach ("Forgiveness").

The following is Scott's list of people we may need to forgive; the comments in the parentheses are my two cents.

1. Rude drivers (very appropriate for those of us who live in Massachusetts)
2. Spouses (thank goodness for Sacramental Grace - that is all I have to say!)
3. Friends (they can hurt or betray us, or over time may become our "frenemies")
4. Bosses (those who steal our ideas, treat us unjustly, or are just plain grumpy)
5. Bullies (even as adults we can find ourselves faced with cruel people)

But Wait, There's More!

I would add:
1. Ourselves (often the hardest person to forgive)
2. God (It is okay to admit this, He will not send down lightning to smote you for being honest.
Furthermore, let's face it: He already knows you are angry. If He created your brain, don't you think He can also read it!?)

We cannot begin the healing process if we do not first acknowledge that we need to forgive, and then identify who that person is. I have encountered people at my retreats and presentations on forgiveness who admit they really can't think of anyone they are angry with. 

Read My Response HERE ...

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras

Entering Into Good Friday as a Family


When I was a young mom with four kids under the age of six, I had one emotion: OVERWHELM.
I distinctly remember wanting to wear make-up or exercise or plant flowers. Mostly, I had a baby attached at the hip or the breast and toddlers in various stages of mess and undress.

I.Was.Neck.Deep.In.Survival.Mode.

SO, when I would hear of a mother and how she had created this beautiful Easter project for her two angelic kids, I would have this instant envy.
Then I’d feel defeated.
I just couldn’t muster up the energy or grace to do beauty.
But I still wanted to honor Jesus and His Agony and Glorious Resurrection. I wanted to TEACH my children.
So I stumbled upon this one idea and we have used it ever since that time.
For three hours on Good Friday, from noon til three, we maintain silence in our home.

Holy Wednesday: The Day Before the World Would Change Forever


Many people approach Holy Week in great anticipation of liturgical rites scheduled for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Many even enjoy taking part in the blessing of their Easter food on Holy Saturday. For me, I find Holy Wednesday to be quite intriguing every year; for Holy Wednesday is representative of the day before the world would change forever! By that I mean that on Holy Thursday, the Lord would institute the sacrament of the Eucharist, where He would, for the first time, change bread and wine into His own Precious Body and Blood.

Jesus knew exactly what would happen over the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday-Friday-Saturday). Therefore, everything was in place,  with a plan ready to execute. I often wonder what was going through Jesus’ mind on Holy Wednesday. I’m sure that He made the most of the day, surrounded by His mother, friends and followers – loving others and being loved in return.

Approaching Holy Wednesday


Holy Wednesday is the “calm before the storm.” I always take solace in the calm of this day. I make... Read more...

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple

By Jane Borg 
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19: 25-27

This is the moment Jesus commended his mother to us all. Just as she had been Jesus’ mother, she is now to be ours.

Mary, the perfect mother. She nurtured her son into a man – she fed him, she washed him, she taught him, fixed his scrapes, she faced his challenges with him as he grew, listened to him as he shared his life, watched him develop in his trade with his earthly father, supported him as he explored his vocation, and loved him unconditionally.  

How to Celebrate Easter

Weeks before Easter, my mother would begin creating Easter eggs. She used melted beeswax in a coffee tin lid to make strokes on the eggs using a straight pin in the end of a wooden matchstick. Then she soaked the eggs overnight in Chick-Chick dye. When she scraped off the wax with a butterknife, the white patterns stood out against vivid colors. My new book Living Faith at Home, which offers suggestions for nurturing the Catholic faith in “the domestic church,” includes ideas for celebrating Easter. You might adopt one or two from the following excerpt: Click to continue

11 Apr 2017

As the Morning Rising: Dying - Poem

As the Morning Rising: Dying - Poem: Some people die Not on a cross as we know it Not with nails and mockery all around But yet they die A hundred little deaths In a daily t...

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief

And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there.  And over his head they put the charge against him, which read: “This is Jesus the King of the Jews”. 

Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right hand and one on the left.  And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying:
“You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross”. 

So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him, saying:
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.  He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him”. Matthew 27:35-42


As horrific as this scene is, don’t we do it too in some ways? Whenever we wonder why Jesus allows suffering, loneliness, starvation, aren’t we expecting Him to come down and save us, prove to us that He is there? Read on: https://susannetimpani.blogspot.com.au/

Mindsets are Powerful but Mercy is More Powerful!

So, I have 6 kids - not because I have good pregnancies, but because Tom and I believed that to be God's will for our life. I actually h...