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Showing posts from July, 2013

Everyone can be a saint

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I’ve been re-reading St. Therese’s autobiography, The Story of a Soul. Almost at the beginning she writes about her view of the “world of souls” as a flower garden. She is one little flower in it, surrounded by others. Each has its own size, color, strength, and beauty.

“[God] has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be.”

It’s easy to have spiritual envy. We read about the graces God gave St. Therese and think, “That’s not fair. Why didn’t He give such graces to me? I’d like to be a saint too.”
But notice that Therese does not mention any soul in God’s garden who was not made to be a saint–just greater and lesser saints. We all have different graces, but we are all called to be saints.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homesch…

Legendary geneticist Jerome Lejeune in a rare interview in English.

Embracing Motherhood: Our Lady's Protection: A Sacramental from our Church

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Our Biggest Delusion

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There is a world of difference between a man who is aware of himself, sitting on a hill and looking at a beautiful sunrise and a man so enthralled with that very same sunrise that he forgets himself and becomes  absorbed in the scene. In the first instance the man is egocentric; he is at the centre 0f his world, not God. When I see beauty everywhere, I experience joy and a sense of connection because my eyes are not on myself. The truth is that I am simply part of the whole. Everything does not depend on me. I am free to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature and the Spirit of God which permeates all when I am in the right place in the scheme of things. I am living in a fantasy when I see myself as the center of the universe, viewing everything as it circles around me. As believers we sing and recite prayers that proclaim that God is the centre of all but our psychological make-up screams the exact opposite. I view people, events, history and yes even God through my eyes, judging what i…

Teach your kids the one thing necessary

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Are you teaching your kids to do mental prayer? I’ve written about this in the past with a few examples  of kids’ meditations. Today I’m sharing with you a meditation for kids about… mental prayer.

You may want to print this out.


1. Read aloud to your children Luke 10:38-42, using your favorite children’s Bible. This is the Gospel from last Sunday, so they should recognize it.
2. Study the painting above. (It’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, attributed to Georg Friedrich Stettner). Ask them to identify the people in the painting. Discuss the painting in this manner: “Martha and Mary are both holding something. What do you think those objects are? What does each represent? (Mary is reading the Bible. This represents meditating on Sacred Scripture. Martha is holding a duck, symbolizing being busy with household tasks.) Who are the other people in the picture? What are they doing? How many people appear to have been listening to Jesus? (Only Mary does.) Does Mary look di…

Talking Catholic Fiction with Marcus Grodi

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How many books have you read in the past year or so? (This doesn’t count the ones that you started but did not finish and now languish on a shelf gathering dust.)

I’m talking about books that you have read cover to cover.

That may reduce the number by as much as half if you are anything like most people—so don’t feel bad!

And of those books, how many are Catholic fiction?

So now the question is: How many Catholic fiction books have you read in the past year or so from cover to cover?

Sadly, the odds of an adult Catholic reading a Catholic fiction book are pretty miniscule—especially on a consistent basis. I know this from the countless people I have talked with over the years as well as from my professional experience as a publisher working with Catholic bookstores and so on. Ever since I taught parochial middle school English and religion, I’ve been on a bit of a mission in this regard. Add to that the years (decades, really) that I’ve watched my good friend devour her Protestant fi…

Who wants a pre-born baby with Down syndrome?

The answer: nearly one thousand people from around the world. Here's the story.

When I read the email, my pulse quickened. As the mother of an eleven-year-old girl with Down syndrome, I oftenhelp parents cope with the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. This email was urgent, “There is a couple in another state who have contacted an adoption agency looking for a family to adopt their Down syndrome unborn baby. If a couple has not been found by today they plan to abort the baby. If you are interested in adopting this baby please contact Fr. VW IMMEDIATELY. We are asking all to pray for this baby and the wisdom that this couple realize the importance of human life and do not abort this beautiful gift from God.” Read the entire story here.

Mothers-in-Law

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I love Marie Barone in the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

Sure she’s a bit meddlesome.

Admittedly she’s even a tad overbearing.

Maybe she’s even off-putting to some.

But her motivation is pure.

She’s committed to her family. She really never puts herself first—even if we are led to believe that she does. If we are really paying attention, her scheming is done to ensure that her family is safe and sound and well-fed.

No matter what, it is always important that they eat. As a mother of three sons, I get how my own feeling of peace is tied to the care and feeding of my boys—and so I instinctively understand why Marie is forever handing food to whomever walks through the door. “Are you hungry, dear?” she asks while handing over a plate—without any regard to the answer.

Now, as my own sons grow older and the prospects of one day becoming a mother-in-law myself become a real possibility, I take note of mothers-in-law in a new way. And Marie Barone is at the top of my list.

I’ve got to admit, I…

Letter to an Atheist Whom I Love

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The Way, The Truth and the Life.

Dear ______
The reason I am writing you is because I hope that by my witness you would come to know the truth.
My dear friend, I have experienced God personally.  If God is love for each of us individually, there will be no “evidence” or “proof” of that love, the love of God is a personal experience and when a soul experiences it, it is for that soul alone, not to be proven.   If God must “prove” his love, doesn't that cheapen it?  We have loved men in our life, how it would hurt us, if in loving someone they turn to us and say, “Prove it!”.  No.  God provides no proof for what He gives a soul in love, because it IS love, the purest love of all.    There is no greater intimacy than the love of God that He pours out on a soul that He loves.  I have felt this love.  During prayer, I felt the love of God fill me to the brim.  I was given the knowledge that it was only a small part of the love He has for me, yet I knew that if he gave me even the smallest…

'One thing is needful.' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

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Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Johannes Vermeer, 1654-55(?)  [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 Luke 10:38-42 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her."


Perhaps the poorest man I've met in my life was …

If I Am the Heart of the Family, Why Was I Not Missed?

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I have always heard that the mother is the heart of the family, especially a stay at home mother with a crew of kids, who also helps with a hobby farm. So Why was I not missed when I spent hours locked in the chicken coop?
You must first understand that even if this was a subconscious belief, I behaved as if I was the most important member of the family. It took a drastic experience for God to shake me out of my arrogance. Ten years ago on a very cold winter day, I decided to go with my husband to the barn. I bundled up in Michael’s extra set of warm boots and coat. Since I am a size 2 in women’s clothing and he is an X-Large in men’s sizes, I looked quite comical trudging after him to the barn. We divided up the chores and rushed to finish them as quickly as possible because the wind was fierce.My last task was to water , feed and gather eggs from our laying hens. Michael passed in the bucket of water that he had hauled for me and then left me so he could complete his own chores in the …

Infinity over Infinity or why Jesus Has to be God.

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To understand why Jesus has to be God, we have to understand the Father also.  The Father is infinite, with no beginning and no end.  Therefore, his attributes are also infinite.  His knowledge is infinite and, most important to us, his memory is infinite.  We were created, and we have a beginning, but with a soul that shall exist forever.  God is the creator of life, and if the angels shall not taste death or annihilation, then neither shall we, to say that our souls face an annihilation is not consistent with the nature of God as creator of life.  We shall be "somewhere" for all time.  A short time, (very short when you think about it) in the flesh, and then eternity either with God or banished from His presence.  

So let's go back to the Father's memory.  The Father's memory is infinite, which means He will remember all things for all time.  (He is actually not bound by time, but that is another blog post) So think about that, what you do in the flesh God will …

Becoming a Saint One Day at a Time

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God calls us each to holiness, to sainthood.

Every day, each experience we have helps us grow in our faith and in our purpose: To achieve holiness; to become saints; to fully become the person God intends us to be.

Each experience, then, has the potential to be “purgative.” Purgation is a process that gets us ready for God. Just as God’s grace was given to the martyrs, so it is given to us to grow in holiness and towards sainthood.
In this process, it is imperative to see God as the Potter and know that we are the clay. Each experience, then, is given over to God for His guidance and our growth. Sainthood means allowing God to mold us just as a Potter molds clay. (Isaiah 64:7)

Everything we experience is an opportunity to grow in our holiness. God can “make us worthy and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose” by giving us circumstances that cause us to depend on Him, to trust in Him, and to respond according to His will

In other words, through our circumstances we allow God to…

My first post on AmazingCatechists.com!

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I'm so happy to join the talented group of educators and writers at AmazingCatechists.com! My review of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, by Jared Dees, is up on the site today. Please take a look. And if you're a catechist, let me know in the comments below. All suggestions for further posts are welcome.

Sunday's Homily: "Bringing Some Heaven To Earth"

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Luke 10:25-37 The Parable of the Good Shepherd




The goal of the parable in today's Gospel is not about “getting you into heaven”. It's not a parable about salvation. This parable is more about bringing some heaven to earth.

The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is 18 miles, and winds through the mountains. This made it easy for bandits and thievesto camp out and take advantage of travellers.

Jesus is painting a picture that everyone hearing the story would understand and relate to. It was a dangerous journey. And it would not surprise anyone listening that a man was mugged in this story.

Both a priest and a Levite saw the wounded man and ignored him. These men knew the Law and didn't feel like they needed to help.

Taken on face value - this parable preaches itself. The answer to “Who was this man's neighbor?” is obvious.

I think the key to understanding this parable is not in the story itself. Nor the response of the lawyer. I think the key to understanding the Parable of the Go…

St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Mums

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I have recently discovered that my spirituality is very similar to that of St. Thérèse the Little Flower probably because I have lived with children under the age of 18 for 33 years. 

 I think that many mothers can relate to this saint as well. She lived thelittle waylike all people who are not rich and famous but want to serve God their loving Father through their littleness and simplicity. She chose to stay as a child in they eyes of God, performing all of her duties with love and obedience, no matter how small and insignificant they were.  Matthew 18:3: and said, "Truly, I say to you,unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  I like to say that a child, frog and tree are holy because they are who they called to be without a mask or false persona or large ego.
St. Thérèse said, “Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.”
 I pray now by simply resting in Him, looking into the light and His eye…

A Prayer of St. Benedict

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"Bestow on me, O gracious, O holy Father,
Intellect to understand You,
Perceptions to love You purely,
Reasoning to discern You,
Diligence to seek You,
Wisdom to find You,
A spirit to know You.

A heart to meditate upon You,
Ears to hear You,
Eyes to behold You,
A tongue to proclaim You,
Conversation pleasing to You,
Patience to wait for You,
Perseverance to look for You.

Grant me a perfect end:  Your holy Presence.

Grant me a blessed resurrection,
and Your recompense,
eternal life."

St. Benedict








post from The Breadbox Letters

God calls you to holy poverty

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When Karol Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II) was bishop of Krakow, friends used to buy him new cassocks, which he would promptly give to poor priests in his diocese. He would continue wearing his old, worn-out cassock. In doing so, he imitated Christ, who “for your sake made Himself poor though He was rich, so that you might become rich by His poverty (2 Corinthians 8:9).” Not only those who take religious vows, but all of us are called to this evangelical (Gospel) poverty.

In the world, people avoid poverty. The Bible, however, blesses the poor and celebrates the virtues of the poor in spirit. The widow who was destitute gave generously to the temple; the rich young man “went away sad,” because he could not give up his many possessions to follow Christ.

When we have too many possessions, we easily become attached to them and place our trust in our own resources, rather than relying on God. Our many earthly concerns distract us from heavenly matters. We find it difficult…

'Who is my neighbour?' Sunday Reflections, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

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The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix), Vincent Van Gogh, 1890  [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 Luke 10:25-37 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"  He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?"  And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell…