Showing posts from January, 2014

'They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord . . .' Sunday Reflections, Presentation of the Lord

Simeon and Anna Recognise the Lord in Jesus Rembrandt, c.1627 [ Web Gallery of Art ] he Presentation of the Lord, as a Feast of the Lord, takes precedence over the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                   Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel:  Luke 2:22-40   [or 2:22-32]  ( New Revised Standard Version, CatholicEdition , Canada)  When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord   (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”),   and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;   this man was righteous and devout,

A Catholic Parent's Resource for Vaccines & Human Cell Lines

A friend of mine recently told me she had had a hard time finding out information regarding the Catholic stance on the use of aborted fetal cells in the production of vaccines for children.  She had visited the USCCB’s website, along with a few others, and all she could find was that she should avoid the vaccine for chicken pox.  She then asked me to send her resources...  continue reading

Last Day for A Wonderful Free Book by Michael Seagriff

  Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime “ by   Michael Seagriff . Today is the last chance to get FREE copy of  “Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime” Please let your  friends, family and followers know of this opportunity to read a book by a man whose only “ hope is to touch hearts and stir souls.” . On Amazon- .


Just like when I was a little girl, visiting my Gram still makes me happy. She is a one-of-a-kind special lady. And even better now, I get to see my girls love her too. Visits to my Grandma's house always involve good food, some sort of craftiness, making music, and playing with unconventional toys. My Gram doesn't throw anything away. Ever. So she has tons of fun stuff for my girls, much of it things they wouldn't otherwise think to play with (or more accurately, things I wouldn't normally think to  give  them to play with). Plastic easter eggs, golf balls, styrofoam egg cartons, a bucket of random lids. And of course her piano. They had a blast. In her box of goodies for them, I found a God's eye. I used to make them all the time with my Gram when I was a kid. Turns out the one in her box was one I  had  made as a girl.  30-ish years ago . Told you she saves everything… Continue reading HERE .

Thriving by Surrendering

Psalm 13:5  But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I realized that I had to let go of this futile sense of responsibility for my children but foolishly, I was afraid of what would happen once I did.  An image which described my struggle to surrender control, was a wagon wheel suspended over a deep chasm.  My large family of 10 stood on the rim of a wagon wheel, while I crouched on the hub, frantically turning this way and that, grabbing all the broken spokes, desperate to hold the crumbling structured together.  I realized that I had to let go of this futile sense of responsibility and control but I was afraid to stop, afraid that one moment of inattention would cause my entire family to tumble down into the abyss.  I was trapped. Yet, I realized that my tension prevented natural, organic growth and healing. My control acted like a wall, shutting out all divine intervention and grace. My sincere concern and earnest self-sacrifice actually

United in Heart and Soul to Our Beloved

Aimed at greater intimacy than the one-flesh union, married love "leads to forming one heart and soul,” states the Catechism. ( Section 1643 ). How do married couples become one in heart and soul, especially when the demands of daily life keep getting in the way? Becoming One Heart Talk to your beloved about what's in your heart. Sometimes men don't talk enough and women talk too much. What do you think about all day? Do you share those thoughts with your spouse? If not, why not? Take your concerns and preoccupations to prayer and ask God to help you share them with your spouse in a productive and positive way. Becoming unified with your spouse is a foretaste of becoming one with God, the Bridegroom of our soul. But union entails sorrow as well as solace. St. Catherine of Siena experienced a  mystical marriage  with Jesus, which both increased her love and familiarity with Jesus and gave her a more intimate participation in his sufferings. Do we offer to participa

If Hypocrites Upset You..

Consider this

Create a guided Christian meditation for kids, step by step

David and Goliath from the Breviari di Marti, 14th-15th century (photo credit: Wikipedia). I’ve had a lot of requests lately, especially since my interview on Carmelite Conversations , for more details on teaching children to pray. So I’ve decided to write a step-by-step post to help you create these meditations for your children or students. I will walk you through a meditation I created for my boys. We’ll use the story of David and Goliath as a basis for this meditation, because everyone is familiar with it. You can write a meditation for your kids without first praying over the Scripture passage yourself. I was making a Bible-based curriculum for the boys for a few years before I realized how akin it was to Christian meditation. At that point, I tried meditating on the Scripture passage first. What happened? The lesson became more personal. I was more excited about it. My kids and I were then focusing on the same things in our spiritual lives.   Read the rest

"Father Ignatius in hell" - A story by Victor S E Moubarak

In this story a kind and faithfull priest ends up in hell, with unforgettable memories of what is in store there.  The first thing Father Ignatius noticed as he entered hell is the total and absolute darkness of the place. Not the faintest glimmer of light shone in that bottomless abyss of intense void. He tried hard to peer into the pitch-black darkness to make out something, but it was totally in vain. He could see nothing. Totally and completely nothing. Continue reading HERE

Reading Sacred Scripture. Do you read the Bible? Here's How I, I mean, someone Used to Feel.

Why should I read the Bible? Simply put, Sacred Scripture, also known as,  the Bible is the written word of God.  Just as in any relationship, If you want to know God, you listen to what He says to you.  One of the best ways to learn more about God and His unending love for us is to read the Bible.  None of that stuff written in the Bible applies to me now.  It was all written so long ago.   Times may change.  People may change, but God never changes.  He was, is, and always will be Love.  Through Sacred Scripture, God is teaching us how to love and obey.  He is also teaching us how to for heaven.  Read More at:  "His Unending Love."  Click HERE

Christian One Liners: Humbled With a Smile

There is an old saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  This adage  is especially true when we need insight into our own characters because there is nothing like laughter to sneak past our defense mechanisms. A good joke is worth ten heavy-handed sermons. Many people want to serve God… but only as advisors. Prayer: Don’t give God instructions — just report for duty! If God is your Co-pilot – swap seats! continue reading>

Advantage #2 of Having a Large Family - We reuse the world's leftovers!

Winter gear and skates can cost a fortune for any family but not if you buy these items used. While the masses are out buying the latest and newest versions of technology, large families are accepting your gently used last years models. To read more click here

For Those Who Live in Town

'Almost all those who have written hitherto about devotion have been concerned with instructing persons wholly withdrawn from the world, or have at least taught a kind of devotion that leads to such complete retirement. 'My purpose is to instruct those who live in town, within families, or at court, and by their state of life are obliged to live an ordinary life as to outward appearances.' 'A strong, resolute soul can live in the world without being affected by any of its moods, find springs of piety amid its salty waves, and fly through the flames of earthly lusts without burning the wings of its holy desires for a devout life.  True, this is a difficult task, and therefore I wish that many souls would strive to accomplish it with greater ardor than has hitherto been shown.' St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Image Books, 1989 from The Cloistered Heart

Saint For All Authors, Journalists and Writers

January 24: St. Francis de Sales, (1567-1622) continue reading>

A Better Giver!

I need to be a better giver. I take when I give and I haven't realised it until recently. What I mean is I need to give more when it's uncomfortable and inconvenient for me. To read more click here

Making Connections With The Eastern Orthodox Churches

Today  was an Orthodox day as I peeked through a Pinterest window into the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, her icons, images and the sayings of her monks, nuns and saints.To say that this is fascinating would be an understatement because I discovered recently that my Protestant father was not raised Roman Catholic before his mum died when he was about 9 but as a Ukrainian Orthodox Catholic. Since I became a Catholic, I have always been influenced by Madonna House Apostolate. It was founded by Catherine De Hueck Doherty, who incorporated many Orthodox elements of spirituality into her apostolate. I love this prayer which is chanted while bowing, touching your forehead, heart and then touching the floor. "Holy God, Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal, H ave Mercy on us"                                                              Although I was named after  Melanie in Gone With the Wind , there is a   St. Melania , an Orthodox saint that is not just some obscure mino

FREE Copy of Sarah's Reinhard's Catholic Family Fun for Next Retreat Registrant

Can We Cana's First Ever Give-Away! Awesome author Sarah Reinhard has generously agreed to donate a free copy of her book  Catholic Family Fun : A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless  to the next person to register for my  online marriage enrichment retreat  this February 3, 4, 10 and 11!! So be sure to join in Can We Cana?'s first major give-away by registering for the retreat  here . For those of you who don't already know Sarah, she describes herself as a Catholic convert/wife/mom/reader/writer enjoying the idiosyncrasies of life on a farm with critters and kids. She blogs at the  National Catholic Register  and has written  five books  for amazing Catholic publishers like Pauline Books and Ave Maria Press. She's heavily involved with and is always ready to lend a helping hand to beginning bloggers such as yours truly. Sarah's book,  Catholic Family Fun , is as great as the name suggests. It's packed wit

'For those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Neubrandenburg , Caspar David Friedrich, c.1817 [ Web Gallery of Art ] The people who sat in darkness      have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death      light has dawned (Matthew 4:16, NRSVCE). Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                   Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel   Matthew 4:12-23 [or 4:12-17]  ( New RevisedStandard Version, Catholic Edition , Canada)  Now when Jesus   heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee.   He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,   so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,      on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—   the people who sat in darkness      have seen a

Announcing February Online Marriage Enrichment!!

             Looking for ways         to make your marriage                   stronger? Join me this February 3, 4, 10, or 11 in an online marriage enrichment retreat. Spend an hour or two, just in time for Valentine's Day, to make your marriage stronger! Similar to an interactive  webinar , the retreat offers talks illustrated by sacred artwork with a background of Gregorian chant.   If you've never attended an online retreat before, don't worry -- the technology is easy. All you need is high-speed Internet and speakers for your computer. You can ask and answer questions simply by typing in a chatbox. But if you wish, you can purchase low-cost earbuds with a computer mike and speak directly with me and the other participants. You’ll receive a link by email to enter the online environment and a friendly tech will help you get used to all the features. You can participate as an individual or a couple, during the early afternoon or in the evening -- whatever

Surrendering Control To God

The  pivotal point in my personal and spiritual growth was realizing that, in fear, I  clung to control. I have let go of this control at least a thousand times already. A thousand times of choosing to surrender fear and lies and trusting. Each time I peel back a layer, another deeper level of fear pops up. Surrender is not a popular word in our modern culture. In fact surrendering my outer life seems like such a big deal that I resist. I cling to control almost like an idiot who thinks that she is clinging to a cliff with her finger nails, afraid to let go lest she fall to her death. Of course this is an irrational fear, rooted in my subconscious. Actually there is no cliff with a rock bottom. When I finally let go, it is a short drop into the loving arms of God. My fear of letting go is especially ridiculous in the light of God’s unconditional love, mercy and patience which He has proved to me many times, thousands of times. Galatians 2:20 " I have been crucified w

In the News: “Popular Blood-Type Diet Debunked”

Theory behind popular blood-type diet debunked: Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) have found that the theory behind the popular blood type diet–which claims an individual’s nutritional needs vary by blood type–is not valid ... [And] ...the associations they observed between each of the four blood-type (A, B, AB, O) diets and the markers of health are independent of the person’s blood type ... ► Click HERE to read more at The Way to Nourish for Life ► [ Related post also available:  " In Search of Truth--amongst 77,625 ways! " ]

"A glorification of the means and a contempt of the end."

I have been wanting to address the idea that some believe natural family planning could be used like birth control. I argue that a couple  who are willing to control themselves at certain times are also more likely accept a pregnancy, even if unplanned.  A couple who chooses NFP over birth control is ultimately choosing life over death because they are putting their trust in a non-secular, life giving, approach to family planning. To read more click here

Mary Through the Ages: Images and Quotes

I have been overwhelmed by the thousands of gorgeous paintings of Mary on Pinterest. A peek at at a dozen or so unique images of Our Heavenly Mother "If you ever feel distressed during your day -- call upon our Lady -- just say this simple  prayer : 'Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a  mother  to me now.' I must admit -- this prayer has never failed me." -- Blessed Mother Teresa "Before, by yourself, you couldn't. Now, you've turned to our Lady, and with her, how easy!" --Saint Josemaria Escriva see more>

10 ways dads can help their children grow in holiness

In Daddy’s Arms by Nilson (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons). Today is my dad’s 75th birthday. I’ve been thinking about my relationship with him a lot lately, especially while writing a chapter on fathers in my upcoming book, Trusting God with St. Therese. Louis Martin was St. Therese’s prime example of God’s character. God made all human fathers to be mediators between Himself and their children. Fathers are the priests of their family. Here are 10 ways dads can help their children grow in holiness. Practice authoritative parenting. Authoritative dads are firm, but affectionate. They discipline when their kids break the rules. They show mercy when their kids are repentant. They kiss owies when moms aren’t available. Love and respect your wife. Fathers represent God in their families. Mothers represent the Church. Lay down your life for your wife. Tell her you love her often–in front of the kids. Never tolerate a child’s disrespect for her. Be humble. Don’t

"When disaster happens" - A Father Ignatius story by Victor S E Moubarak

In this story Father Ignatius teaches us how to deal with life when things go wrong. His advice may surprise you ... “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. To continue reading please click HERE



16 Good Reasons to Use Fiber Every Day!

Tired of always hearing the F(iber) word being tossed about?? And has it become such a commonplace word for us to hear — for so long — that we’ve become rather immune to it being said, over & over again?  Just maybe, then, we have preferred to overlook it, or ignore it… Maybe to believe, as well, that there really must be something else we could use in its place, which will sound much more effective & cutting-edge for us to try these days?  But why?? …especially when there’s so much ongoing support for its power, particularly when it’s delivered properly?  But there is a catch… And it has to do with getting real — and fulfilling a need for the whole truth ... A truth that’s S imple , S ynergistic , and S ane ! ...   16 Good Reasons to Use Fiber – the Right [Whole] Way : 1 . For weight regulation ; 2 . For serum cholesterol (total; LDL) control ; 3 . For blood pressure control; 4 . ... +more! ► Clic k HERE to Read More at The

Claudio Abbado RIP, Pope Benedict and Mozart's Requiem

Claudio Abbado  ( 26 June 1933 - 20 January 2014 ) Lacrimosa  from  Dies Irae , Mozart's  Requiem Lacrimosa dies illa Qua resurget ex favilla Judicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce, Deus: Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem. Amen. Full of tears shall be that day On which from ashes shall arise The guilty man to be judged; Therefore, O God, have mercy on him. Gentle Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest. Amen. Agnus Dei , Mozart's  Requiem , Lucerne Festival 2012 Pope Benedict on Mozart's  Requiem Pope Benedict attended a performance in his honour of Mozart's  Requiem  in Castel Gandolfo in September 2010. He gave a  short address  afterwards. Here are some quotations from that. Everything is in perfect harmony in Mozart, every note, every musical phrase is as it is and could not be otherwise; even those opposed are reconciled; it is called ' mozart’sche Heiterkeit'  (Mozart's serenity), which envelops everything, every moment. It is a gift of the Gra