Showing posts from August, 2013

Rediscovering Playful Writing as a Child of God

When I remember that I am a writer, a born writer, not someone pretending to be a writer by wearing a mask, then work becomes play. God gave me a love of books and an artistic gift of writing and drawing. When I simply relax and enjoy life as a child of God, then I can allow Him to work through my fingers and my imagination. Now we create together. It is a joyful experience.
MY FAMILY’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH BOOKS IS A GENERATIONAL BLESSING. My maternal grandfather, uncles and my mother love to read. I in turn love books.In fact, I have always loved books, reading voraciously as a child. I remember walking slowly home from the library with a tall stack of exciting choices, reading my first choice even before I managed to walk through the front door. My mother would cajole me in the summer, “Well, at least read outside in the fresh air.” read more

Six Mile Run and the Seasons of Marriage

As anyone who has been married for a while knows, marriage has seasons: the early years, the years with babies and toddlers, and so on. Right now, my husband and I have two teenaged boys and no travel soccer on our family calendar any more. This means our weekends are wide open.
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Expand Your Family, Expand Your Heart (A Review of Big Hearted)

When the cover story of Time magazine brags that having it all means not having children, the culture badly needs a reminder that getting married and having kids is actually a good idea. That having children, whether one or five or ten, is not only praiseworthy but worth it. The percentage of childless couples has nearly doubled since 1980, and the percentage of families with three or more kids has dropped by almost half. Today's burning question is no longer why would any couple want to remain childless. It's why would anyone want more than one or two.

Big Hearted, by Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas, answers that question in a collection of moving, true-life stories, each one more inspirational than the last. The stories in Big Hearted open up a window into the private thoughts and feelings of parents of large families. Not all of them love babies, although some of them do. Some mothers walk away from corporate jobs without a backwards glance, and others lock themselves in…

Holy Work by AmySecrist

“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.  If you are blamed, you won’t be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won’t put yourself on a pedestal.” 

 ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

My ears adjust, repressurize
in response to the forty-fifth high-pitched scream of the day
as I scrape uneaten bits of lettuce and broccoli from the dinner plates. “This is holy work,” I tell myself,
my face close to the trash can, the odor
of old banana peels and used diapers mixing and wafting upward. My husband stops home for a quick dinner
and I tell him how I’ve not yet lost my mind;
then he heads back to the office and I lose my mind. The little ones pick and poke and pester each other,
and I add my screeches to their screeching and everything stops -
“I’m sorry,” I tell them, stooping down.  ”I could have said that nicely.”

Almost before I ask, they forgive me and we are hugging; they are giving me all of their love, so I am giving them all of mi…

'You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.' Sunday Reflections, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Columban Fr Aedan McGrath speaking about his time in solitary confinement in China, 1950-53
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Luke 14:1, 7-14 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
One sabbath when Jesus went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, "When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to y…

Journey Home Episode

I really was blessed by my time speaking with Marcus Grodi on Journey Home. He is a very gracious man and has a very kind, welcoming, and hospitable group of people at the Coming Home Network. Please consider joining Marcus and I and feel free to email me any questions you may have about anything we talked about. I've been so touched by the kind emails I have received since the airing of the show.

Cheryl Dickow

The Bride of Christ for Others

I was reduced to tears as I read Sarah’s summation about her impressions ofForming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus,
I was particularly struck by the idea of kerygma, the idea that Jesus is the whole reason for everything we do. Period. We have to have a relationship with Jesus. In fact, I want to break down and weep as I write now. So many people are cold, hungry and outside the Church but they do not know where to look for the answers. I was one of the lucky ones.. and that thought has me breaking down again. He brought me into His Church in spite of myself God was so merciful and Kind.. I was  anti-Catholic . The teachings seemed almost anti-gospel to me. And then, while i still had a protesting, Protestant mind

Lord, I am not worthy...

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
This response at Mass seems to me to sum up the whole spiritual life. It provides wonderful material for meditation.

I am not worthy On my own, I cannot please God. I can only vaguely know His character. He had to reveal Himself to me through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the teaching authority of the Church. He gave me parents who were loving enough to have me baptized and teach me the faith. He continues to show me His design for my life. All this is a pure gift which I could not merit.

But I have found the Christian life to be a constant battle. I fall every day. I repent, make resolutions to be good, then sin again. God’s purity is so beyond me. His holiness is a burning fire that I would never dare approach.


Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.

Prayer Journal - Teach us to Pray

Gather your favorite artsy supplies and your creative juices, and let’s make a prayer book or prayer journal. This project can be as simple or as involved as your imagination, creativity and time constraints allow.  If you are a scrapbooker, or painter, or smashbooker,  you may have some supplies or techniques that you want to incorporate into your journal.  The purpose for my little book of prayer is to break down and illustrate the Disciples’ Prayer into bite sized pieces for reflection and meditation.  I’m keeping it simple for now, but may want to embellish down the road as I pray through it in the future.  This would make a fun VBS craft for kids, especially if you had cutouts ready to glue on for quick pages.

I chose to use the tiny composition notebooks (found them 3 for $0.88 at Walmart), but if you like to write out your prayers, you can certainly use a larger one (they are marked down to $0.50 each for back to school sales!!!)  I also have some kiddie scissors, …

Stained Glass Angels

Relax and bask in the peace evoked by strong images of angels as the Light of God light shines  through these rich colours.

Was St Monica an 'Irish mother'?

St Monica, Luis Tristán de Escamilla 1616 [Web Gallery of Art]
I posted the following four years ago on Bangor to Bobbio and two years ago here. I thought it might be of interest to the newer contributors to  and readers of Catholic Women Bloggers and so I'm posting it again here on the feast of St Monica:

The second reading in the Office of Readings for the feast of St Monica (332-387) always brings a smile to my face and leads me to ask, ‘Was St Monica an “Irish mother”?’ St Augustine’s brother had said to their mother when she was dying that it might be better if she died in her homeland in north Africa, rather than in Italy. The extract from St Augustine’s Confessions goes on: But as she heard this she looked at me and said: ‘See the way he talks’. And then she said to us both: ‘Lay this body where it may be. Let no care of it disturb you: this only I ask of you that you should remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be’.

The latter part of the last quotation appe…

A Fr. Ignatuis Story by Victor S.E. Moubarak

A Fr. Ignatuis Story 

by Victor S.E. Moubarak
What did she know?
It’s amazing how sometimes a chance remark or a word spoken in jest can lead one to think something anew or with a fresh point of view.

Father Ignatius was helping with the dismantling of the Nativity scene in church and putting away the various statues safely for use the following Christmas. One of the helpers lifted the statue of the Virgin Mary and remarked: “Look at her face. She looks sad. It’s as if she knew what was to happen to Jesus when He grew up.” 

“She’s probably tired after giving birth,” replied another helper.

“No … she looks sad, not tired. Do you think she knew that Jesus would be crucified Father?”

Father Ignatius sat down on a nearby chair. 

“I think we need a rest, at least I know I do …” he said.

The other helpers stopped for a while.

“It’s a good question you ask …” continued the priest, “many people have argued about the Virgin Mary over the years, and no doubt will contin…

Sabbath Moments: Listening With MY Heart

Welcome to the Saturday meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. How about joining us and sharing a few of your own? *

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Wisdom From a Cloistered Heart by Nancy Schuman

AUGUST 24/2013 
'What a beautiful sight is that of a soul  who goes about her ordinary duties with calm;  who enters into the activities of life;  who shares the joys and sorrows of others,  while she holds her soul, as it were, in her hands,  lifted up for the eyes of God to rest upon it!   She gathers all her forces together.   She centres all her attention upon God.   She walks through life simply, but supernaturally.  These are the souls that scatter
blessings upon the world.   They are in constant touch with the Master.'
(from In Love With The Divine Outcast, compiled by A Religious, 
Pelligrini, Australia, 1934, pp. 190-191)

Painting: William Adolphe Bouguereau, 
Young Mother Gazing At Her Child, 1871

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Embracing Motherhood: Angels this fall!


Demons Don't Carry Identity Cards

I was skimming the channels and happened upon some of those "Ghost" shows where they talk to the dead. The only problem is that they DO NOT KNOW who or WHAT they are talking to. DEMONS DO NOT CARRY IDENTITY CARDS!

 The 'spirit' took on attributes of a person's mother that had recently passed.  The 'spirit' even knew the Mother and Daughter's 'secret' word that they had chosen in advance of the Mother's passing.  Well that must be proof that was the Mother, right?  NO.  Let me explain.  Demons are constantly around us trying to trip us up so that we lose our salvation, they will DO ANYTHING, let me repeat: ANYTHING including taking on the shape, voice, smell, and even provide secret code words in order that you will seek the paranormal (their playing field) and as a result putting you at risk of losing your salvation.  How did the 'spirit' know the code word? Simple, the demon assigned to the Mother or Daughter was present when the…