Showing posts from September, 2013


This day at thy creating Word
First o’er the earth the light was poured: O Lord, this day upon us shine And fill our souls with light divine

 Universalis Hymn                                                                
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                                                       The morning comes 
                                                        like soft hands 
                                                        out of my dreaming, 
                                                        where I wake

                                                        twisting words
                                                        in flames of possibilities 
                                                        between the tips 
                                                        of attention;

                                                        becoming the coloring glass 
                                                        I am looking through


I never understood cutting. Or really gave it much thought.
In my years as a middle school teacher, if any of the students had actively cut him or herself, I was completely unaware.
Ditto regarding my years as a mother of teens.
Then an adult friend said something to me recently that really took me by surprise.
She had a sibling who had died and the subsequent days were filled with a sort of grief that became somewhat unbearable to her. Family relationships being what they are—and my friend being the driven, faith-filled Catholic gal that she is—started to create a perfect storm of human frailty.
I watched as my friend motored through a variety of emotions that ranged from helplessness to anger and then circled back to logic and reason peppered with charity and kindness. Through it all, my heart carried her burden. It pained me to see her in such anguish.
At one point, exhausted from it all, she quietly said to me, “I see why people cut themselves.”
I had no more> Cheryl Di…

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God Makes Us Good


The Warrior is a Child

I am especially inspired every time I hear the song “The Warrior Is a Child,” especially the line that says, “Deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.” It is true and touches the heart of everyone who keeps on fighting the good fight of life, trying to be brave and strong, standing tall and proud in facing life’s challenges and travails. But at the end of the day, we are down on our knees as we pray to God and call Him our Father, needing His love, comfort and grace.
The greatness of a child lies not in his appearance, but in the disposition of his heart. A child is always open to explore new things and learns from his experiences. As we grow older, we accumulate lessons and valuables in life that sometimes we do not want to trade or risk with new ones. We become too attached to our possessions and entitlements that we forget that, in the end, we come to God with only our bare selves.

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'At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus . . .' Sunday Reflections, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Dives and Lazarus, c.1595, Leandro Bassano
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England &Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Luke 16:19-31 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish i…

We Still the Heaving

'We must still the heaving of all that could raise a tempest in our heart - disappointments, separations, uncongenial surroundings, seeming injustice, painful remarks, want of consideration, loneliness and a thousand other things... We go through the excruciating pain of what looks to be loss, but in reality we are gaining superabundantly.'

(from Sheltering the Divine Outcast, compiled by A Religious, The Peter Reilly Co, Philadelphia, 1952, pp. 104-105)

Painting:  Laurens vieille normande

 from The Cloistered Heart

A Modern Day Miracle

This is a post that is a personal testimony to the providence of God, to His power to perform miracles today. At the mention of a miracle, some people scoff, others think that miracles are relegated to biblical times but others have experienced inexplicable events that can only be called miraculous.
Sometimes God snags a skeptic with a powerful surprise physical healing. This blows up the poor guys world view and suddenly he realizes that there actually is a God who loves him. These kinds of miracles are a pure gift. Another kind of miracle happens when we are desperate, without recourse to any other solution to solve our problem. Then the Father supplies our needs. As parents of a large family we depend on Him to supply a lot of the basic necessities. Not our wants but our needs. Even our skeptical children concede that this is true. We were completely oblivious at first to the fact that we were part of an unexpected miracle last winter. In mid January when our furnace was serviced fo…

Fighting demons while you sleep

I used to have spiritual warfare dreams. For what seemed like hours, I would dream that a demon was trying to attack me. To repel him, I had to say, “In the name of Jesus, be gone!” Then he would leave–and be back a few minutes later. Over and over I did battle with demons. I would awake exhausted.

Spiritual warfare in daily life I don’t usually have such dreams any more. But some days I feel like they’ve become my waking reality. Life as a homeschool mom can be trying. I must overcome constant temptations. One moment, three kids ask me for help at once. The next, “J” spills juice on the floor I just mopped. Then two others get in a fight, and one talks back when I discipline him. All during math class.

Now none of these situations is major. But when you barely have time to breathe between one and the next, you get exhausted. You discipline in anger instead of love. You yell at the toddler for acting like a toddler. You argue with your older son.

Or maybe you don’t. But I …

Preparing to Be Christ's Bride

"Fear not, for you will not be ashamed,
Be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced, for your Maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called. ~ Isaiah 54

I know of one means only by which to attain to perfection: LOVE. Let us love, since our heart is made for nothing else.  ~ Saint Therese

Read the rest here.

The Christmas Candle - In Theaters Nov. 22 - Official HD Movie Trailer (...

View from the Domestic Church: Our Invisible Friends!


Dead To Me

I read that the Clintons have a “dead to me” list.
Or maybe it is a “dead to us” list. They are, after all, a machine when it comes to politics so I imagine this list is some combined effort (he adds one, she adds one and maybe even Chelsea adds a few) based upon all their experiences over the past few decades.
And of course, the whole thing may just be a rumor—but between you and me, somehow I don’t think so.
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of appeal in making a “dead to me” list so if it is true, I imagine theirs might be very long, indeed.
Actually, whose wouldn’t be of some length?
It is so easy for us to take our hurts and our pains and turn them into such a list; it is only natural to see the injustices and the slings and arrows of life as a battle cry for retribution and retaliation.
read more> Cheryl Dickow

St. Padre Pio Looks Amazing

It was Padre Pio da Pietrelcina’s feast day, yesterday, September 23. 40 years after his death, Padre Pio looks like this. Padre Pio quotes 
“Don’t allow any sadness to dwell in your soul, for sadness prevents the Holy Spirit from entering freely.”​
“Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter. ” 
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. read more>

His Prayer for us Part 3

Of all the flowers that God created, the Sunflower is probably the most fascinating.  Did you know that when they are growing and developing, they literally follow the sun?  Even after it has set, for all 360 degrees of the sun’s path around the earth, a sunflower stays oriented to the sun.  The video above illustrates this phenomena.  Can you imagine the unity of a whole field of sunflowers, all oriented to the sun? As believers, we can show this same kind of unity by our orientation to “the Son”.
The third chunk of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, is specifically first for His Church, as he states in v 20 ““I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word…”  and also for the world.

He asks that:
His disciples be one (unity), as He is one with the Fatherthe world (seeing the unity of the church) may believe that the Father has sent the SonHis disciples would be with Him where He isHis disciples would see His glorythe world …

God's Embrace

Along the winding road to Church, we saw a most unusual rainbow. It's translucent kaleidoscopic rings gently hugged the blanket of multi hued Autumn leaves on the summit. "That's a hug from God just for you," I said to my daughter as she smiled, gazing with awe at the opalescent vision. We were on our way to attend Holy Mass in a neighboring town we had not visited for some time. We were uplifted and delighted by the Church's beautiful renovations.
Our simple photograph by no means captures the full expression of the artist's thoughtful, reverent work.~Please continue reaading here~

Finding patterns in the Bible

Last week for homeschool we did a narration of the Transfiguration. While reading the story aloud, I had an epiphany: it echoes the story of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments. I shared the parallel between the two stories with my boys. Now I’d like to share it–and the principle behind it–with you.

As a writer and avid reader, I am convinced of the inspiration of Sacred Scripture. (Besides, of course, being convinced as a Christian by the authority of the Church.) Dozens of writers over thousands of years produced the book we now call the Bible. They were from different cultures, used different literary genres, and had diverse purposes.

Amazingly, the same themes are developed throughout the Bible from beginning to end. Types and anti-types, prophecies and their fulfillment, fill its pages. You can follow one idea like a wave on the sea from Genesis to Revelation, or stand on the shore and admire the rhythm of the ocean that is the entire Bible.
I love to share these pa…

Catholic Art: Stunning Modern Madonnas


Near the World Trade Center: Contemplating an Open Heart

I had not been to the World Trade Center site in about five years, hadn't taken that big escalator up to ground level, hadn't seen World Trade One or Four or seen the memorial site. 
My friend M. and I on Saturday took the PATH train to the World Trade Center. Our final destination was about a fifteen-minute walk away and this was the quickest way there from New Jersey. 
During this journey, my heart was full, remembering: how I used to take the double stroller here with our two boys to visit my husband at work up on the 68th floor of Tower One and to have lunch at the Stage Door Deli, how one sunny fall day we lost friends who risked their lives in the buildings so that others could escape, how my husband managed to survive even though he waited and made sure everyone on his floor was accounted for before he headed down the stairwell. 
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Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement has deep theological significance in the New Testament.It points forward to Christ’s role as high priest.
The Jews have recently celebrated Yom Kippur on September 13th and 14th.It is also known as ‘The Day Of Atonement’ and is the holiest day of the year for the Jews.There are a lot of days to celebrate in September for the Jews.They include Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year and Sukkot – the Feast of the Tabernacles.September is a month of beginnings for us too.We celebrate the beginning of autumn and often the Harvest Festival falls at this time.The full moon in September is called the Harvest Moon because it allowed extra light for bringing in the harvest.We have the autumn equinox when the days and nights are of equal length.The days will now shorten until we reach the winter solstice in December.This used to be the beginning of the year too for farming communities and is reflected in the beginning of new school terms after the summer holidays.

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When Disasters Happen: A Father Ignatuis Story by Victor S.E. Moubarak

When disasters happen.

“We interrupt this programme to bring you a News Flash …” blared the radio in the kitchen.

Father Ignatius stopped his cooking for a minute and listened attentively. There had been a train crash not far from where he lived. Somehow the train was de-railed and fell down a steep embankment into a nearby river. There were a number of casualties as well as many injuries.

The priest rang the emergency number given by the radio announcer to enquire how he might help. He was asked to go to the local hospital to donate blood, and also to help comfort some of the not seriously wounded.

An hour or so later he was consoled that many of the town’s folk had responded to the appeal and a long queue had formed to donate blood.

from the Cloistered Heart

'There are not as many souls who go astray,
                        as there are souls who go through life
                        half in love with God.
                        There are not as many crosses and trials
                        trampled down and cast back into the face of God,
                        as there are inspirations of grace unheeded,
                        and invitations to intimacy with God

(from In Love With The Divine Outcast, compiled by A Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1934, p. 52)

                                             Re-post from The Cloistered Heart

                                            Painting:   Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter