Showing posts from November, 2013

Shattered and Renewed

I was just thinking that I had not shared about my pain, struggle or suffering, only about the joy of mothering, the joy of living as a daughter of God. I friend also pointed out to me the other day that I never really talk about the long, dark periods in my life. I guess it is because joy always triumphs in the end in my life, I tend to forget about the painful years. The love of little people, strong tea, laughter and the Presence of God in the midst of chaos seems to crack anxiety and stress but yes, I have been shattered by the demands of mothering .

Yet God always manages to use those moments when I am shattered to crack my heart and soul open to more of His presence and healing. It is like childbirth, the pain is forgotten when I hold my newborn but on the other hand if there is no pain, there is no baby or new growth in the Spirit.

 For me God speaks through books as well as my spiritual director and the written word has often  changed my life, flipped an inner switched by bring…

Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Did I say “confession”?  I'm sorry... I must have been mistaken (!), but I have found that having a sense of humor is very helpful to me!  I just wanted to talk a little today, though,  about a potentially big issue for many of us.  It's about the matter of an “All-or-Nothing” approach—because, unfortunately, this approach can have some very negative consequences at times that relate directly to our health & wellness.
Now THAT would be A MISTAKE THAT TRULY MATTERS! It’s just that waiting to be able to do something the “right” way, or at the "right" time, with 100% effort & compliance [such as with a diet & exercise program], can easily mean never getting started at all—
Or, if we have already begun, it might cause us to 100% give up!

So, on that note, I spotted a recent story in the news [noted below] that offers encouragement for positive perseverance, even when we think we can’t give it our “ALL”… A healthy message for both perfectionists & non-perfe…

The Five Effects of Grace

God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work,(2 Corinthians 9:8). Grace, the unearned, undeserved gift of God’s love manifested in Christ’s salvation and received by us through the gift of faith, is powerful, plentiful, essential and effective.We need never fear surrendering to the Lord who seeks us out with a love that no power on earth can weaken or destroy. Driven by his unconditional love, he pursues a love relationship with us. He can’t not love what he created. By his nature he pours out his love. That is why he is still alive in the world today and why so many love him. People still renounce their possessions out of love for him, still surrender everything to him, and still build their daily lives around receiving his life in the sacraments. His pursuit of us makes him a sign of contradiction in our times. Few people are neutral about him. They either intensely love him or hate…

'Therefore you also must be ready . . .' Sunday Reflections, 1st Sunday in Advent Year A

The Great FloodBonaventura I. Peeters [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) GospelMatthew 24:37-44 (Canadian Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition Jesus spoke to his disciples: “As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. “Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in …


The Chaplet consists of 5 Sets – one Our Father and three Hail Mary’s. Pray each set for the following intentions:
Set 1 - The recognition by all that God creates human life at the moment of conception.
Set 2 - An end to all legalized abortion.
Set 3 - For all expectant mothers - that they value the precious life within them.
Set 4 - The conviction of conscience in the Truth for anyone considering abortion.
Set 5 - An inner healing for all who have been involved in any way with abortion: Mothers and Fathers; Health Caregivers; Legislators; Those who, in their thoughts, words, actions or lack of action, have supported abortion.
At the end, say the following prayer:
Heavenly Father, please forgive this generation for the arrogance of abortion. Heal the many wounds abortion has caused in our hearts, in the world and in our relationship with You. Unite us in the Truth. Amen. (Blessed Mother 03/24/13)
• Every time the Chaplet is prayed from the h…

Holy and Wholesome

It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought  to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins. 2 Maccabees 12:46 Douay Rheims Roman Catholic Bible En Los Corazones de Jesús y María~Camino La Mancha

The Cliff/Why Every Priest Should Be A Saint

I'm standing near the edge of a cliff.  The land is barren with no vegetation.  The edge of the cliff is jagged.  I look over the edge and see a drop that takes my breath away.  This is the eternal pit that if you fall in, you never come out of.  The fall into this darkness is for miles and miles.  At the bottom of this pit are horrors that I will not mention here.  

I look to my right and a mile wide along the edge of the cliff there are people standing at the edge ready to fall in.  Behind them, packed very tightly are thousands of souls behind the ones on the edge and they are so tightly packed that they cannot move even their arms easily.  They cannot run from the horror that awaits them as there is something constraining them, keeping them in place.  Occasionally one or two will break free of the bonds that are holding them and run away from the path of destruction.  

Then I see the most horrible thing.  People were being added to the back of this horrible line and the addition…

Illuminating Orthodox Icons of Christ

 top left-       Christ the Good Shepherd
bottom left- Byzantine icon of Christ Pantocrator (Savior of the World),“Christ Enthroned,” by Isaac Fanous,                           Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Los Angeles
right columnThe Church is the sacrament of the Kingdom, the Good Shepherd icon by Fadi Mikhail,
                      Jesus with John by Ann Chapman

Tis a New Season

Tis the Season to Eat, Drink, and…
a.) be unhealthy—and stressed? b.) be bloated—and fatigued? c.) be joyful—AND nourished! Hmmm.
Yes, it’s that time of year again… “the most wonderful time of the year”, of course!
But as we begin to unpack our Christmas decorations, do you feel as though it's time once again to leave all your wellness goals, and good intentions for health, back upon the shelf?   Have you been lead to believe that being joyful and well nourished, at the very same time, just isn’t an option during the holidays??  But it is!  It is!  It’s a very real option… a pro-active choice that we have---that can actually make us feel better when we awake on January 1st – in body, mind, & spirit.  Oh, what a great new start that could be!

But it’s really less about our actual Thanksgiving and Christmas-day meals; and rather more about our approach to the whole 35-day season [last year it was 41 days] that will really matter in our choice of the above options.  So the go…

Bad Confessions Mock God and Damn Many Souls

Do you know what you are doing when you walk into the confessional?  Such a grace is present there that it cannot be adequately put into words.  The confessional is one of the greatest gifts God gives us to reconcile us to Himself and to have the possibility to attain heaven.  Walk quickly to the confessional when you err, but only with the true intention in your heart to amend your life and never hurt God again.  You cannot use the confessional as your own 'fire' protection, and then continue your life the same way you did before you walked into the confessional.  Don't you know that the confessional is the fire of heaven?  The same fire that Elijah called down and burned the wood that was soaked in the water, for there is nothing it cannot change.

I went to Holy Confession to Father Bob at St. Matha's Catholic Church..  Father Bob laid his hands on my head at the end of my confession and gave me absolution.  The next day I was at St. Michael praying the Chaplet of Div…

Saying ‘Yes’ to the Unexpected with Mary

I have experienced a bit of the shock and wonder that Mary must have gone through when the angel Gabriel announced that she would become a mother. I can only imagine her initial sense of bewilderment at the idea of becoming a virgin mother of God; just becoming an ordinary mother was dramatic enough for me. Moments after giving birth to my first child, still in the delivery room, I forgot my exhaustion and pain the moment I held my newborn. A surge of motherly love rose up in my heart combined with a sense of awe at the miracle of creation as I examined tiny, perfectly formed fingers and toes. There was something about my baby’s open, trusting gaze that literally drew love from me. My newborn could see clearly for about 8″, just far enough to focus intently on my face. It was almost as if the initiative to bond came from my son first, especially when I consider his fierce hand grip.To ensure that I fed him, he was born with a powerful rooting reflex and a cry that literally triggered…

Meditation for kids: the thankful leper

Instructions for Parents I recommend that you meditate on Luke 17:11-19 in your own prayer time before presenting it to your kids. If you’re not sure how to do this, look at last Thanksgiving’s meditation. Talk to the Lord about it from your heart. Ask Him to teach you to be truly grateful, and to lead your children towards thankfulness.

Next, read and discuss the passage with your children. Use your favorite children’s Bible. Define any words they may not know. (I have highlighted some words in the meditation you may want to define before praying with them.)

Choose one or two of the optional activities at the end of this post to help them dig deeper into the meaning of the passage.

Finally, read the meditation aloud to them, pausing for several seconds to a couple of minutes after each of the first two paragraphs. Ask them to repeat the final prayer after you, sentence by sentence.
This meditation works best with children ages seven to ten. For younger or older children, …


Before we left for Canada in 2011, I gave my oldest daughter a plastic rosary that was given to me at RCIA when we learned about prayer.  As we crossed the Confederation Bridge into PEI Canada, we got a telephone call informing us that our first grandbaby was in the hospital, due to a collapsed lung.  We would later find out that this was her only working lung, as they discovered that her left one was missing a valve that connected it to her heart.  To say that his baby has seen her share of medical professionals, hospitals, and stethoscopes, would be a severe understatement. My daughter still has this rosary, and her children have taken to it, handling it, sleeping with it, and sometimes wearing it around their neck.  Today, Grammie Reward #1 (baby with the heart issues) had it, and was using the crucifix as a stethoscope on her Momma.  She would place the cross on her Momma’s chest, and say “Happy?”  then move it to another spot on her chest and ask again “Happy?” Watching this Sac…

A Father Ignatius Story: Closed for Candles by Victor S.E. Moubarak.

It was just before 10 o’clock in the morning, early Mass had long been over and everyone had left. The church was empty, or so Father Ignatius thought. He came out of the Sacristy to spend a few minutes with the Virgin Mary, sitting on the front pew reciting his Rosary as usual, when he noticed a young man sitting in his place. He was wearing a very smart dark suit and had a small business case with him lying beside him on the pew. Father Ignatius nodded a greeting and sat on the other side of the church, by St Joseph’s statue, for a change. He thought it prudent to give the young man some privacy to pray or meditate. He’d never seen him before, “not one of our regulars,” thought the priest as he started his prayers. A few minutes later the young man got up and made his way towards the priest.

“Do you work here?” he asked hesitantly.

“Yes … I am the priest here, they call me Ignatius. At least to my face, that is …” joked the priest standing up.

“I saw a book at the back about Catholic Sa…

Personal Litany of Thanksgiving

Litany of Thanksgiving

Lord, have Mercy.         

R. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.        

R. Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy.        

R.Christ, have mercy.

Lord, we thank You for this day.             R. Lord, we thank You!

Finish the litany at "His Unending Love."

Dad is Fat, and Other Big-Family Belly Laughs

"You know what's funny? Catholicism!" proclaimed the Washington Post recently. More and more Catholic public figures cheerfully crack jokes as they evangelize, including stand-up comic Jim Gaffigan, Stephen Colbert of the Comedy Central television network, and even Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.

The new book Dad is Fat, by Irish-American comedian Jim Gaffigan, is a perfect blend of hilarity and wisdom about parenting a large Catholic family. Gaffigan hides parenting advice amidst the jokes in the same way some moms try to hide pureed zucchini in their chocolate-chip cookie recipes -- and he's probably way more successful. Gaffigan says it best in his own words, so following is his advice on everything from home birth to bedtime. Enjoy!

Read more here...

Self-Important Humility

When many Christians think of  humility and sanctity, they often think of ascetic fasting and the heroic acts of the saints but these sorts of practices often focus more on self than on God. It is actually a subtle sort of self-delusion that is difficult to discern but God is finally getting through to me, helping me shake of self-defeating,  pious actions that actually drive me further from God. I cannot earn His love or Presence. He must do everything in me. This is true humility.

Pride entices me to work harder, pray more, fast religiously and perform heroic looking acts of virtue.Humility accepts that only God can save me and other people
WHY? We must come to the realization that we need a Saviour. It usually takes, even Contemplative Monks decades to finally let go of the last of their pride and to humbly surrender control. Pride makes us try to earn our salvation with good works.

Do Not Forget Him

'Think often of God, by day, by night, whatever you are doing, in your duties, even in your amusements.
He is always near you and with you.  Do not neglect Him.
You would think it rude to leave a friend, who came to visit you, alone;
why then leave God alone?  Do not then forget Him,
think about Him often - to do so is the proper business of a Christian:
if we do not know our calling, we must learn it.'

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
Painting:  Charles Allston Collins, Convent Thoughts 
From The Cloistered Heart

Without Mary

Without Mary we do not really understand what it means to be a disciple, a member of his Church. Without Mary we do not really understand what it means to be a human person. Without Mary we do not really understand what it means to be a creature. And because of all that, Without Mary we do not really understand much at all about God, since God is known to us only through Christ, through the path of being His disciple in the Church, through our own humanity made in his image, and through the order of his creationI I think this is a quote from Pope Francis but please correct me of I am wrong

A Fruitful New Way Begins

Today is our very first “Let’s Be Fruitful” feature!   How fitting, then, to begin with…… The North American Cranberry – just in time for Thanksgiving, of course – But it’s really a fruit to be grateful for all year long!  Check out these 5 fruitful reasons why.

1.)  Nutritious:  Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Fiber, and more; Rich in Phytochemicals, particularly from the Flavanol family [such as Quercetin, Proanthocyanidins (PACs) & other Polyphenols].
2.)  Unique:  The Cranberry’s proanthocyanidins (PACs) are “A-type” [rather than B-type present in most other fruits], which are credited for giving the cranberry its special anti-adhesion properties, known to be of benefit to the Urinary Tract system (anti-infection).
3.)  Multi-Talented:  These unique PAC compounds are now believed to benefit other areas throughout the body, including the:
● Cardiovascular system (due to anti-atherosclerosis properties),
● Gastrointestinal system (potentially anti-ulcer / ant…

'Today you will be with me in Paradise.' Sunday Reflections, Christ the King, Year C

CrucifixionPedro de Campaña, c.1550 [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 23:35-43 (Revised StandardVersion – Catholic Edition
And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at Jesus, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews." One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving …

Have You Taken Your Medicine Today?

It is a special medicine… Do not forget to take it, because it does us good: the heart, the soul, our whole life!−Pope Francis Check out the medicine our Papa has prescribed! [via link] Pope Francis Prescribes “Misericordina” to Faithful: “On the outside it looks just like any medicine box, with the contents clearly printed on it: 59 intracordial pellets…”

The busier we are, the more we need time for prayer

by Sr. Maksymiliana, Sisters of the Merciful Jesus A notorious “lack of time” is a syndrome of the world we live in. Like a precious commodity, every minute in today’s world is scrupulously counted and faster cars or faster computers don’t seem to help us that much. But, at the same time, a great amount of time is literally “leaking through our fingers". The average European citizen watches more than 5 hours of TV everyday. Is this really necessary? So, you have to ask yourself: do we have time or not?
The reality is that we live in very troubled times and we inherit the spirit and mentality of this world, a place where people are more and more impatient, living life in the fast lane. It is a world that wants things right away, wants to see immediate effects; it is a world that believes in the strength of intellect, in its ability to organize and to be highly efficient. [continue reading]

“My God! How Did She Get Herself Into That Mess?”

I am conundrum. A rather outmoded sort of woman, ridiculed by modern career women, vilified by the earth’s prophets of doom and sanctified by the religious right. I was the least likely candidate to have a lot of children.I mean, I had never even held a baby before my first born.You would think having nine children would have turned me into a frazzled wreck with a figure like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and a brain gone to mush, but I remain quite articulate, with a quirky sense of humour, standing at 5’1” and weighing in at 106 lbs. Not quite a rosy-cheeked, robust, matronly looking mother of a large brood.

When the words The Joy of Mothering popped into my head as a sub-title for my short stories, it was like an epiphany for me because those few words verbalize my experience living with little people. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Embracing an outdated lifestyle on a traditional, small, family farm has been a struggle through confusion,…

Frankie Award: Vote for the year's best Catholic spirituality post

It's time to vote for the 2013 Frankie Award!

One of the things I love about Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network is the variety of blogs and posts. This contest introduced me to some new writers--some witty, some deep, and all promoting the Gospel  About half are not currently members of CSBN. I enjoyed reading all the entries. Now it's your turn.

Please vote for just one post--your favorite. I am going to post each one on Facebook and Twitter as well, to involve as many people as possible. That should also make them easy for you to share. I encourage you to do so.

Voting ends on December 3 at Midnight PST.

See the nominees and vote at Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network.

Spiritually Adopt a Priest, Please!

Our priests need prayers.  Priests are challenged as satan seeks to tempt them and devour their souls. They are the first line of attack that satan wages on our church.  He knows that without our priests, we have no sacraments.  We have no Eucharist.   Evil seeks to destroy our church.  Without priests, we have no church.  They are the roots of the vine that Jesus planted when he chose Peter as our first Pope and the apostles as our first priests.  Without prayer, priests are unarmed in a world of sin.  We need to pray for our priests! 

Read more at "His Unending Love."  It's a great idea!

Pro-life Stories

I had an abortion 4 years ago.
I want to share my story with you guys out there so that you can be equipped with the knowledge I never had before. I’m dating my man for 5 years now and to this day we regret the decision that we made, of course I was still in school at the time and we had no source of income to raise a child. We booked in an appointment when I was 5 weeks along… that night I took the pill was extremely hard I felt alone and completely confused…. I only realized the mistake we have made when I got my bleed that morning… to this day I cannot face a baby without thinking what I have done. I’m extremely guilty and sad…. I hope you guys make a decision with much thought before you rush into anything… life is precious and a baby is innocent.
I’m thinking now of having a baby … I know it won’t fill that void I just hope that the baby I lost through negligence and selfishness comes back to me and my partner, I love him for taking responsibility and staying by my side throughout …