Showing posts from November, 2011

Can we learn something from the modern day hermits?

Modern day hermits bringing back an ancient tradition

The Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky has agreed to receive the Life Vow to be a hermit from a Bardstown man next November. Our pastor being a canon lawyer was given the task of researching the Church's canons regarding accepting hermits in a diocese. When he related this story with me, it piqued my interest in this form of consecrated life outside of religious communties, and how it is lived in today's world. Definitely, a path less taken by men and women called to devote their lives to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world. The consecrated life of a hermit is also part of the Anglican Church tradition, and other Christian denominations. An article in the New York Times talks about a city dweller named Richard Withers who chooses the life of a religious hermit:
Richard Withers does not fit the popular image of a hermit. His beard is neatly trimmed, and he is friendly, not…

heart speaks unto heart: Feast of St Andrew

heart speaks unto heart: Feast of St Andrew: When I was 20 weeks pregnant with my 9th child I went for a scan on 30th November 1998 & saw I was expecting another boy. Needless to say...
Tomorrow is the feast of St. Andrew, apostle, and martyr.

St. Andrew was St. Peter's brother. St. Andrew actually heard of Jesus first and took his brother to meet him. What a wonderful example of the importance of Godly siblings in our lives and the positive influence they can have on us!

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles scattered all over the known world to spread the Gospel message. Andrew went to Greece where he was eventually martyred. Andrew felt that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as our Lord, so his cross was set up diagonally like a big X. This type of cross is called "St. Andrew's Cross." (Andrew's brother Peter also felt unworthy to be baptized as Jesus was and was consequently crucified upside down.)

St. Andrew is to the Scottish what St. Patrick is to the Irish, although as far as we know, the saint never set a foot on the isle! There are two legends explaining this. The first is that St. Regulus had a dream that w…

Farewell, Fertility

Last night, I awakened at least four times due to tingling hands and feet and, frankly, stinky perspiration. As I live out my fiftieth year on the planet, I am experiencing that change of life that is the trade-off for the miraculous ability to nurture life inside me and give birth to children.

As a culture, we rightly celebrate women's fertility. A woman of child-bearing age is considered the most beautiful of all. Think Jennifer Lopez.  I've never looked anything like her, but the thing is, she is beautiful in this picture largely because she looks so fertile.

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Inter Mirifica: Witnessing the Burial of the Old Sacramentaries, Via Facebook

Our parish priests are taking Pope Benedict XVI up on his invitation:

"I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness."

A case in point: This morning I didn't go to daily Mass; instead my family walked over to the high school and watched alumni men and women play their annual soccer games. It's a glorious day. When I returned home, these photos were posted on my parish's facebook page with this note: "Stay tuned for the Blessing of the New Roman Missals, at all Sunday Masses this weekend."

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'Stay awake!' Sunday Reflections, 1st Sunday in Advent Year B

Women at prayer in Aušros Vartai (Gate of Dawn), Vilnius, Lithuania

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel Mark 13:33-37 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Jesus said to his disciples: 'Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!'

An Soiscéal Marcas 13:33-37 (Gaeilge, Irish)

San am sin dúirt Íosa lena dheisceabail :Bígí aireach, déanaigí faire, mar níl a fhios agaibh cén uair a bheidh an t-am ann. Is é dála duine é a d’fhág a theach agus a d’imigh ar an gcoigríoch; thug sé …

Rick Santorum Bares His Soul About Bella.wmv


Teaching Our Daughters and Sons


Duggar V Glee Warning Personal Opinion Post

How I don't want to enter this debate but I feel compelled to!  As far as I see it you have two ends of the pop cultural media extreme.  
One end has the Duggars who because of their faith feel that sex is for reproduction only and have the 19 plus one on the way to prove it.  Then other is Glee, (I don't enjoy Glee only saw one episode and thought it was boring), were Rachel and Blaine have their first sexual experience: Glee Recap: "The First Time" Season 3, Episode 5
Nov 8, 2011 09:00 PM ET
by Natalie Abrams
In this week's episode of Glee, opening night for West Side Story is approaching but the leading stars have yet to really experience the type of passion they're meant to convey in the show. Blaine and Rachel's journey towards their first times are quite different, but both enlightening. Now both of these examples are exploitative; the Duggars who want to preach to American their version of Family Value when it seems to me that they are in it for t…


The Duggars are expecting another child.
For most families, that is exciting news, welcome news, joyous news. But beyond close friends and family, that news draws a mild response at most - hopefully of the "Oh, good." variety. The Duggars are not most families though. Jim Bob and Michelle have nineteen children, so decent math skills will tell you that this little one is the twentieth branch on their family tree.
The reaction this revelation elicits from some quarters is very negative: outrage, repugnance, mockery. There are comments about Michelle spontaneously popping out a baby every time she sneezes, or Jim Bob not knowing how babies are made. People are snide and cruel - not to mention insulting and invasive with their comments and questions.
If you know anything at all about the Duggar family, if you've seen them on Good Morning America, or caught an episode of their TLC program, you know they are good people. They are responsible and civic-minded. Their children…

Extreme Makeover

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.~John AdamsWe are in the middle of a war. It is a war which involves every man, woman and child because it is a war not only for our culture but for our souls. The main battlegrounds of this war appear to be the minds and hearts of women because it is women who make or break family life.Once family life is destroyed or corrupted then the state becomes supreme with each and every one of us as its puppets. When women are degraded then the entire society loses it dignity and heroism. Once a people lose their nobility of soul and sense of honor then there is nothing left to them but enslavement. We now waver at the brink but all is not lost for we have women who see things as they are and are not afraid to talk about it.
Journalist and radio talk show host Teresa Tomeo is one such woman who assesses the facts and tel…

Remembering joy

Michael Coren’s column in last week’s Catholic Register reminded me that I can be a cranky, cantankerous Catholic. He actually wrote about holier-than-thou Catholics, but they do tend to be cranky and cantankerous, don’t they?I have found myself – and maybe you have too – chatting with other Catholics about the state of the Church and how it needs to improve, whether by enforcing reverence at Mass, imposing a dress code (skirts for women, ties for men), policing the Bishops, or outlawing guitar music. You know how it goes: it begins with giggling about Fr. Distracted’s tendency to wander off topic during the homily, and the next thing I know, I’ve condemned every person in the pews for not being as pious as me.It may be there are serious errors in my parish, and to be sure the Church must be vigilant against false teaching and laxity. To judge words or actions is not wrong. However, we cannot compromise fundamentals of the faith, and charity demands that when we spot error we shoul…

Moving video of French group of young men with Down syndrome


Something "to do" for Advent

Many of us are ocassionally looking for the "something that we can do" for God and his church. If you are looking for something "to do" for Advent perhaps this could suit you?

'I was sick . . . and you visited me.' Sunday Reflections, Christ the King, Year A

The Last Judgment, Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo, painted 1537-41
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel Matthew 25:31-46 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Jesus said to his disciples: 'When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.&qu…

Our God is Greater - Chris Tomlin


Reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" with a Generation of New Americans

Those of us who grew up in the United States and attended public schools probably remember reading Harper Lee's novel about racial justice and human dignity "To Kill a Mockingbird" sometime during our middle or high school years. I read it in middle school; most of my classmates were white and a few were African Americans. Now, as a high school English teacher, I am reading this story with students whose faces reflect every continent on the globe. This experience shows me how reading beautiful books can help us recognize universal truths that transcend time and place and culture.

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Shifting Perspectives at the Dublin Arts Council


Love this!!!

How could you not love this picture!!!!  And how can it not inspire you to do everything!!!!

Death: a time for gratitude

Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, with the round tower over the grave of Daniel O'Connell  There is a beautiful letter in today's Irish Independent expressing the writer's gratitude to those who had helped his mother in her latter days. He mentions, among others, bus drivers. I have seen many acts of kindness by drivers and passengers over the years on buses here in Dublin and similar acts of kindness in all sorts of ordinary situations. 'Whoever has eyes to see . . .'
I buried my mother in Dublin last week. Her quality of life became poor over her last two years as she battled against the effects of earlier smoking on her eyesight, heart and lungs.
But the people of Dublin were there to help. Bus drivers left their buses and walked her across to her little apartment; some even helped her up the steps and into her little 'home'.

Three complete strangers, her "three angels", did her shopping, washing and ironing and took her to get her silver hair done eve…

A Good Wife

Husband: "Why are YOU always so sensitive!" Said after the wife yet again misinterprets his tone, which to her sounds snarky and annoyed. Wife: Lowers head and acts as if she again did something wrong. It's a cross many wives and mothers bear. Let me explain. How we were raised affects every aspects of our lives all our lives long. I have been dealing with chronic depression from the age of thirteen, been in therapy and are taking anti-depressants for some time, fought many demons- won Thank God, and had to rewrite many inner dialogues which never placed me in a positive light. So, excuse me if my inner nob is tuned a little to the over sensitive side! And I can relate to moms who have come to me saying that with all the work they have done it never seems to be enough!

Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all th…

The beauty of complementarity: A day on authentic Catholic womanhood


heart speaks unto heart: Synchronization of the menstrual cycle!

heart speaks unto heart: Synchronization of the menstrual cycle!:  There are currently SEVEN of us females at home who have our monthly periods! I can vouch for the fact that there must be something in th...

How Many Children Do Your Daughters want

After writing the post: What's One More it naturally lead me to writing this post; if you follow my blog: Spiritual Lives Of Women, you know of our famous twinnie girls. Now these girls were not planned, and they were very much a surprise to be sure; we were expecting one but God had other plans. Our brunette is a little fire cracker who likes to push the envelope, is the oldest by seconds: litterally. She is more artistic, wants to be an actress, or hairstylist, or comedienne, but most defiantly a full time mom. She is very involved with the Students for Life at her Catholic High School. She was chosen to be the sophomore representative for the Michigan Catholic Conference: Catholic Legislative Day.  She adored going to the March For Life, thought it was the greatest expreince of her life.

Our blonde follows the rules to a fault. She is book-smart, while her sister also a smart young woman has more "street cred". Our blonde wants to be a veterinarian has since she…

'To everyone who has will be given more . . .' Sunday Reflections, 33rd Sunday Year A

The Parable of the Talents, 1712 woodcut
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel Matthew 25:14-30 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)I have a young friend who has been gifted by God with more than average intelligence. I'll call her 'Rosa', though that's not her real name. She 'breezed' through all her examinations from kindergarten to college. She was involved in legitimate extra-curricular activities at school, without neglecting her studies. While studying, she would readily help other students prepare for exams. Most importantly, she recognises that she has a gift from God. She doesn't hide behind a false humility nor does she boast about herself. She is now working with persons who have suffered deeply from the sins of others.
'It is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talent…

What's One More

I have a Twitter Friend, NoWealthButLife:  Rae Jericho who writes the blog; who wrote a tweet that caught my eye: "@nowealthbutlife Even when people are joking I hate the "well, if you have X kids, what's one more?" comments. One more is... um... A CHILD!"
Now I see why and how she feels that can be insulting.  On the surface it sounds so caviler, as if that person sees children more as objects than the precious gifts they are. So I tweeted her this reply: "@NoWealthButLife I see it more as, well I have found out I can do it!!!! No longer scared to be a parent."  It was, I hope, a gentle challenge to flip the comment on its head, view it from another angle.  When we say things we know what we mean and often because the person we are speaking with has the same context the meaning is clear, the message is receive as it was intended.  Still there are times when we the speaker and you the listener are not always in tune, and the…