Showing posts from April, 2014

Lily, You're Free!

Exploring our freedom and our "stuckness;"
lessons from Lily the goat...
I had an interesting experience today that I wanted to share with you. My goat, Lily, got her head stuck between the metal bars of her hay rack. She was screaming from the barn most of the day I'm sure. Unfortunately, I was not home until early afternoon to hear her. Picture a child with their head stuck in a stair railing and you'll have a visual...

Read more here. God bless you!

When You Become a Saint, You Will Be Known as the Patron Saint of What?

St. Joseph is venerated as the Patron Saint of so many things, actually, just about everything.  He's the Patron Saint of the Universal Church, the Patron Saint of workers, the Patron Saint of a Holy Death, etc. etc. etc.

Other canonized saints, such as, St. Francis of Assisi are known for other things.  St. Francis is known as the patron saint of ecology, nature, and animals.

St. Catherine of Sienna is the patron saint of nurses.

Our newly canonized saints, John XXIII and John Paul II, are also patrons.

John XXIII is the patron saint of Papal Delegates.

John Paul II is the co-patron saint of World Youth Day.

Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint of teachers, students, and  academics.

Mary Magdelene is the patron saint of tanners, pharmacists, and hair dressers.

St Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, printers and theologians.

Read more at:  His Unending Love


Continuing the theme: - Praying the Our Father  - The Ladder of Perfection My earliest and happiest memories  are of going to visit my grandfather. It wasn’t because he played games with me, gave me  my favourite chocolate or even money to buy myself an ice cream on the way home, it was just because I  loved him. He  was such a lovable kindly man  that it was more than enough just to be with him and feel myself enveloped by his  love. This was before I even went to prep school. By the time I did he was dead  ‘though by today’s standards he was still a young man barely old enough to  draw his pension.  read on http://davidtorkington.wordpress.com

Who will replace Cardinal George as the next Archbishop of Chicago?

Who will replace Cardinal George as the next Archbishop of Chicago?  There has long been speculation of the Cardinal's successor ever since he was stricken with cancer. I don't really care who is chosen by Pope Francis, but I do have an idea of what the next Cardinal should do.  The next Cardinal should check up on his priests. You can read the rest at Being Catholic ... Really.

Do Not Be Unbelieving, But Believe

“God’s Love is the flower – Mercy the fruit.  Let the doubting soul read these considerations on Divine Mercy and become trusting” –St. Faustina, Diary (948, 949)…Praises of The Divine Mercy [excerpts]: Divine Mercy, greatest attribute of God, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, incomprehensible mystery,
I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, fount gushing forth from the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity
I trust in You. ClickHEREto read more at The Way to Nourish for Life

The Wardrobe

Once there was a child whose name was Nancy.  This post is about something that happened to her while she was very young...

There was a tall brown wardrobe in Nancy's bedroom.  Mother and Daddy borrowed it just for the few years when they'd be living in a very old house, because there was not a single closet.  No, not even one... (continued here)

Impatiently Postponing (@ Melody's Harmonies)

I have always known my vocation to be a mother. I've never felt a pull towards celibacy, my heart has always belonged to babies. For as long as I can remember, I was going to be a mommy when I grew up. I imagined getting married at a fairly young age and starting a family right away. Life obviously doesn't turn out the way we plan it. Read the rest here.

When Your Child Talks Back - Parenting Strategies

If you're child's old enough to talk, they're probably old enough to "talk back"! This post discusses common cause for children talking back, and gives 10 positive parenting strategies that can help.
There are many different parenting styles - I dare say there are as many styles as there are parents! That being said, I believe all parenting styles can basically be classified as what I call Old Testament parenting and New Testament parenting.
Men in Old Testament times had a very different approach than the New Testament. They were just. They loved God. They were good. But they were governed only by the 10 Commandments, a list of "shalt nots". The New Testament did not abolish the 10 Commandments, but it fulfilled it by focusing on the greatest commandments of love, and adding the Beatitudes, which, instead of focusing on the "shalt nots" focus on all the things we SHOULD strive for.
Parenting is similar. We can center our style on justice and…

Our greatest spiritual battle is against ourselves

Sometimes life is a war zone. So many things disturb our peace. The kids act defiantly. An important contract falls through at work. Our finances are in trouble. The phone rings during a serious conversation. These are all surface battles. The real war we fight is the war against ourselves.

God created man in love and goodness. Adam and Eve sinned. Evil entered their hearts. Where once it had been easy to do God’s will, it became a struggle. They passed this struggle down to us, their children.
I want to do good, but I don’t St. Paul wrote, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members” (Romans 7:15, 21-22). Haven’t we all experienced this?

We start the day…

Canonizing Two Thoroughly Modern Men: The Gifts of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to the Church

On this past Divine Mercy Sunday, two beloved Popes were canonized in St. Peter's Square -- Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Both popes believed firmly in ushering the Church into the modern world, Pope John XXIII by calling the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II by working tirelessly to implement those conciliar reforms in a way that did justice to the Church's past and her present. But Pope St. John Paul II will always be closer to my heart.
When I began contemplating conversion to Catholicism in the late 1990s, Pope John Paul II had already reigned for more than 20 years. The JPII generation was on fire with love for Christ and his Church. They were passionately devout, fiercely intelligent, and quoted passages from the original documents of Vatican II with the same fluency an evangelical might cite Scripture. John Paul II's Theology of the Body (or TOB), with its message that our bodies and sex itself were glorious gifts from God, was just becoming the…

The Heart of the Matter

This past weekend our family went on a retreat with the BSCD. It was our annual regional gathering. We had it at St. Leo Abbey in St. Leo, Florida. It is always good to get together, reconnect with other like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ and encounter the Lord together. It was a powerful time and the Holy Spirit definitely showed up and blessed us!

The Lord started speaking to me right off the bat when we arrived. We were letting our children run around on the beautiful monastery grounds before we went up to our room. My five year old daughter was enjoying herself at first but then she kept encountering bugs which were scary to her. continue reading >

Lord, Fill Me With Your Joy

Lord, fill me with Your joy,
For I am nothing without You.
When life wears me down,
And desperate tears flow,
Lord, fill me with Your joy.

When Your blessings poured forth are bitter,
The nights are long and sleepless,
Lord, fill me with Your joy.
Remind me I serve You only,
Lord, fill me with Your joy.

When endurance reaches the bitter end,
When the cross becomes too heavy,
Lord, fill me with Your joy.
When others reach out and see You in me,
Lord, fill me with Your joy.
When the summit of my pain is reached,
Lord, fill me with Your joy.

Read more at:  His Unending Love

My new car

So ... what does my new car have to do with God?
Click HERE

Portrait of a New Saint

My husband and I are fortunate to have in our possession this beautiful painted portrait of Pope John Paul II, which was a gift from one of our daughters-in-law--who happens to be a college friend of the artist who created it, a talented young lady named Carrie Mitchell.
We loved it when we received it shortly after she married our son; but after yesterday's canonization ceremony in Rome, and the subject's official elevation to sainthood, it is even more precious to us.

If you'd like to learn more about the gifted artist behind this portrait of Saint JPII, a young woman who believes that art has the power "to express ultimate Beauty, God himself," you can read the full String of Pearls blog post here.

15 Ways to Prevent Power Struggles with Your Child

Parenting is a great joy, but also a great responsibility. God has entrusted us with children that are ours, but are really his. We need to love and guide them, which includes sometimes disciplining them, but always remembering their dignity as children made in the image and likeness of God.

Guiding and disciplining children becomes particularly difficult when they decide to challenge back and try to engage the parent in a power struggle. This is a result of human nature - as children discover their freedom, they test it to discover how far they can go with it and establish their boundaries.  Incidentally, I think this issue is becoming more intense for modern parents because challenging authority has become the "thing to do" in today's society. So many video games, movies, advertisements and books encourage kids to defy the norm and challenge what they're told. Granted, challenging authority can sometimes be a good thing. If an earthly authority is going against Go…

It Is Not a Fairytale

A book that questioned my basic premise about the nature of reality, rekindled joy in my drooping spirit then challenged me to change. We have all read of saints who claim to live in mystical union with Christ. The image that comes to mind is of a medieval monk, morose and miserable, wearing a hair shirt and living on bread and water. However I discovered that the claims of saints are not bogus but true and furthermore that it is completely realistic that I expect that I too will live joyfully in the Resurection. The accounts of the saints might be couched in fanciful, archaic laguage but they are not allegories or fairytales. This Resurrected life is not a for a select few because humans are wired for a life lived in and through a mystical connection to God. Twenty-five years ago, my husband discovered a book at a Trappist monastery that changed our lives, called “Guidelines to Mystical Prayer” by a British Carmelite nun, Ruth Burrows. She describes Petra, a woman who lives only by …

Now it's Official: St. John XXIII; and St. John Paul II

(From Reuters, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
(Early arrivals at St. Peter's, Rome.)
About 1/1000th of the world's living Catholics were in Rome today, to be on hand for the canonization of two Popes: John XXIII and John Paul II. We don't have an exact count, since they didn't all fit in St. Peter's Square, but it looks like about a million Catholics came to be near, if not at, the ceremony.

(From BBC News, used w/o permission.)
(Several thousand of the folks who came to Rome, in St. Peter's Square.)
Most of us couldn't make it to Rome: and never will. That won't stop us from celebrating on our home turf, in culturally-appropriate ways: like these folks in the Philippines:

(From Reuters, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
('Mini-popes' and Filipino 'Swiss Guards' in the Philippines.)Two Millennia and Counting More at
A Catholic Citizen in America

Raising Future Saints

As two new saints are canonized today, I find myself thinking about the great graces that were showered upon Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II--graces that they not only received, but embraced and chose to use for God's greater glory during their years here on earth.  I think about what kind of parents they must have had--and how their parents' guidance must have contributed greatly to their faith formation, must have helped to set them on the road that would lead them to Rome.  For the most important job we have as parents is to do our best to raise our children, whose souls have been entrusted by God to our temporary care, so that they will become saints and be joined for all eternity with their Father in Heaven.

My husband has always taken his role as a Christian father--with its imperative to be the head of his domestic Church, his family--very seriously, and I often talk about this on my blog.  He says that I make him sound much better than he really is when I write about …

7 Ways to Create a Faith Centered Home

Hi! I'm Ellen, and this is my first time posting here! I'm honored and excited to be joining the ACWB team, and hope to share encouragement and resources related to faith and family, parenting and kids with all of you.  

As a Catholic mom with two little boys (ages 3 and 2), it's very important for me that my kids grow up knowing, loving and serving the Lord. I want the faith to be an active, and normal part of their life. I know that one of the reasons I know and love my faith today is because it was integral part of my family's home when I grew up. Looking back, I know that this wasn't by accident. My parents went through great lengths to make Catholicism something central in our family life.

Our faith wasn't just another dimension, albeit it important. It can really be the "glue" that holds everything together and imbues all we do. We are Catholic all the time, and in everything we do, religious or otherwise. I value this and want my kids to value…

The Catholic Church has two new saints

The Catholic Church has two new saints!  No other time in the Catholic Church's history have two Popes been canonized.  Not only that, but the canonization was witnessed by the retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Sainthood is one of those things that I've always felt happened to other people.  In reality sainthood is for everyone.  We should all be striving to become saints within our own lives.
You can read the article here at Being Catholic ... Really.

Oh, What a Mercy Sunday!

'I considered this message 
(of Divine Mercy) my special task. 
Providence has assigned it to me
in the present situation 
of man, 
the Church, 
and the world.'

St. John Paul II

St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, pray for us! 

...continued at The Cloistered Heart

Fear, Foreboding, and Getting a Grip About Technology

Maybe some folks still have religious scruples about 'defying God' with lightning rods: but I haven't run into any, and I'm certainly not one of them.

My house has a lightning rod, installed by a previous owner. I made sure it's in good working order, since our chimney is one of the taller structures in the neighborhood. Ben Franklin and Prokop Diviš's invention is on most tallish structures in my part of the world.

Lightning rods have apparently joined movable type and the moldboard plow as technology that 'we've always had.'

Even the Internet seems to be gaining grudging acceptance: although I regularly encounter folks who don't seem at all comfortable about social media: and express their grave misgivings in online posts.

My guess is that every generation has included a few with profound misgivings about newfangled technology: or change of any sort, and that's almost another topic.

I grew up in a world of AM radio and dial telephones. So…

Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II Canonization Highlights

4:00AM. I grimaced when the alarm went off. I'm an early riser, generally up and at my desk by 5:30AM, but 4:00AM on a Sunday is a bit extreme, even for me. However, as a JPII kid (he became Pope when I was 11 years old), I felt compelled to watch his canonization live, much in the same way that I rose in the middle of the night 9 years ago to watch his funeral Mass. That day was one of great sadness at the temporal loss of a man who I viewed as my spiritual Papa - today, however, is a day of great joy and victory as our beloved Papa, along with Pope John XXIII, is recognized by the church as one of her great saints!

Here are some of the parts of the canonization Mass that touched me the most.

Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance by Neal Lozano

Reviewed by Nancy Ward I discovered Neal Lozano's book, “Unbound,” when our covenant community planned an Unbound Conference with him. About 50 of us learned how to cooperate with the Lord to gain freedom from the influence of evil spirits and then guide those coming to the conference in this prayer method. We learned the five keys that unlock the doors we have opened to intimidating spirits and how to close them.The five keys are not complicated when we understand that not our power but the power of the name of Jesus accomplishes it all: Repentance and faith. Forgiveness. Renunciation of evil spirits. Taking authority over those spirits. The Father’s blessing. That’s the strategy that answers to our prayer “deliver us from evil, freeing us from the lies Satan tells to keep us from God’s plan for our life. As we learned these keys, we tried them out on one another. Instead of believing the lie that I could never do this right, my confidence grew that the Lord could use me in this m…

Thomas' Legacy

I visited some friends the other day. It was a warm evening so we sat in the garden chatting. Moments later they both went into the house to prepare some refreshments and left me in the garden alone.

I sat admiring the view when suddenly out of the bushes came a fox. He moved around for a few seconds then hid again.
When my friend came out I told him about the fox. “Can’t be a fox” he said, “we live too far into town for a fox to come here …”

I said nothing and continued our conversation. Minutes later out came the fox again for a short while.

My friend shouted to his wife still in the house “We’ve got a fox in the back garden!”

Her exact reply was “Can’t be a fox, we live too far into town for a fox to come here!”
He called her a doubting Thomas and laughed it off.

Later that evening I thought about Thomas the disciple. What a service he did for Christianity without realizing it. By doubting Christ’s resurrection Jesus appeared again, and this time Thomas saw Him. The whole eve…

7 Lessons From Pope John Paul II

As we celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II this week, I have compiled 7 lessons from him that have most profoundly touched my life. Click here to read lessons 2-6.  I'd love to hear how JPII has impacted your life - please share in the comments section!  
--- 1 --- Do not be afraid.
"Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power....Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ." These words, spoken by Pope John Paul II during his inaugural homily on October 22, 1978, are perhaps the most well-known words of his entire pontificate. They resonate deeply in the heart of each of us because they challenge us to overcome a nearly universal fear - the fear of the Lord's demands. I am not referring to the gift of a holy fear of the Lord - that is a virtue which enables us to experience awe and wonder at the majesty of God. I am speaking about the fear in our heart of what surrender to the Lord Jesus will require of us.
Click here to r…

'My Lord and my God!' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday of Easter Year A

St Thomas the Apostle Jusepe Martínez, c.1630, Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest [Web Gallery of Art]

Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy) Year A

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                   Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) GospelJohn 20:19-31 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada)  When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retai…

The Search for Life: Earth-Size Planet, in the Habitable Zone — Found

Many of this galaxy's 17,000,000,000 or so roughly Earth-size planets are probably too hot or too cold to support life. Last week, scientists found one that is a little cooler than our home: but not by much....
...If we discover life on other planets while I'm still around, I'll be delighted.

From the way folks respond to new ideas, I'm pretty sure that many will share my fascination.
Others, apparently convinced that God wouldn't or couldn't disregard their values and assumptions, will almost certainly denounce reports of extraterrestrial life as a Satanic plot. We've gone through this sort of goofiness with vaccinations and evolution. (February 12, 2014; January 2, 2014)

I hope we find neighbors in the universe: people who aren't human, but share our nature: creatures with intelligence and will, made of spirit and matter. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 311, 362-368.

I think it's very likely that life started on other worlds. Given the size and…

ANZAC Day greetings to readers from Australia and New Zealand

Anzac Day Dawn Service, King's Park, Western Australia, 25 April 2009 . I posted this three years ago.

Many contributors to and readers of this blog are North Americans and may not be aware of ANZAC Day or of its significance in Australia and New Zealand.

The Columbans arrived in Australia in 1919 and in New Zealand two years later. Our arrival in those two countries was only a few years after the event in the Great War, World War I, that had a huge impact on their people of European origin, mainly British and Irish at the time, the landing in Gallipoli, Turkey, on 25 April 1915. Many of my confreres are from these two countries and because of that, their history is part of mine.
I paid my first visit to Australia just after Easter 1990. I was there for the 75th anniversary of the landing of the first members of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, the 'Anzacs', in Gallipoli. That particular anniversary generated new interest in this event. The Australian government fle…

Discovering Joy Inspite of Myself

I discovered  joy in the most unlikely place,  in the midst of suffering. Years ago, living in poverty, united with a husband struggling with depression and surrounded by the clamour and demands of nine children, I was stretched to my limits of endurance. Lack of sleep was part of the reason that most of my inner walls of defense crumbled and hidden, inner demons tormented my dreams. I felt my emotional pain physically, as though a dagger had pierced my heart.

It was easy to picture myself as a victim.
It was easy to let go of my innate optimism and sink into moments of self-pity.

I did not want mere happiness. I knew that there is a world of difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is dependant on circumstances but I knew that it is possible to dwell in joy, even in the most dire of circumstances. To me happiness is a fickle, surface emotion that is fleeting at best, impossible to even touch when I am surrounded by difficulties. Yet it was precisely a life filled with difficulties …

Thoughts on the Resurrection

“After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. “
Matthew 28: 1-6

“Therefore the Eucharistic Celebration is much more than simple banquet: it is exactly the memorial of Jesus’ Pascal Sacrifice, the mystery at the center of salvation. Memorial does not simply mean a remembrance, a mere memory; it means that every time we celebrate this Sacrament we participate in the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.”
Pope Francis

Read more at:  His Unending Love

Kicking Stress to the Curb (II): By Way of TRUST!

Upon introducing our series here on STRESS,  I began to describe a time in my life when stress had made itself at home— through me, with me, in me. It had crossed the threshold of my heart, where it should never come to dwell, but did... Read more at: The Way to Nourish for Life

The Power of A Single Act of Kindness

On a hot and humid summer day over a decade and a half ago, while attending my Grandmother's wake, I had an encounter with the power of a single kindness.  Read more about my experience here....

Reactions to Resurrection

Many people played a part in the Passion story. Some were heroes, some villains, and some merely minor characters. I wonder what went through their minds on learning that Jesus was alive? Maybe it was something along these lines . . .
Pilate:  Why didn’t those soldiers do a better job at killing him? Now he’ll probably overthrow Rome and establish his kingdom. I’ll be the first one he comes after.
Pilate’s Wife:  I knew Pilate should have listened to me.
Mary, the Blessed Mother:  Thank God my Son’s mission is complete and he has triumphed. I’m so proud of him. I’d say yes all over again despite the excruciating pain it entailed for both of us. Continue


Continuing the theme - Praying the Our Father The next letter of the OUR FATHER is the letter Awhich stands for Abandonment. It took me a long time deciding whether or not to use such an uncompromising word, but frankly I have no choice. If we really believe in God and what he has planned to do for us, has already done for us, and is doing for us now to put his plan into operation, to unite our destiny with his, then there is only one way to respond. He has chosen to give us his all, how can we do less than give our all for him.  read on ....

Your Emmaus Valley

Have you ever been to Emmaus Valley? Dark clouds above and a gloomy future ahead?
Father Ignatius teaches about such situations in our lives ...
Please read HERE

His Love Endures Forever

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His Love endures forever” Psalm 107    When fear beckons to overcome me, I run to His Presence. I throw myself down at His feet, knowing that I will find safety there.     As I gaze upon my Eucharistic Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, He embraces me with his tender love and mercy. I weep before my King and He ever so gently wipes away each tear. Continue Reading

Learning typology with Daniel in the lions’ den

Daniel in the Lions’ Den by Rubens (Wikimedia Commons).
I  titled this post “learning typology,” instead of “teaching typology,” because this is a subject we can adapt to any age group. Many adult Catholics are unfamiliar with typology. So if your children are grown, or you’re not a parent, read this for yourself. If you do have young children or you teach religious education, you can adapt this to your students’ ages.

If you are completely unfamiliar with typology or need a refresher course, start with my post on Teaching typology with Joseph and his brothers.

Since it is Easter,  it’s a good time to look at the similarities between the prophet Daniel and Christ. The story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den prefigures Christ’s Death and Resurrection. I will go through a proposed lesson step by step for various age and skill levels.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Country Girl's Daybook is Hosting a Finding Grace Giveaway

It's amazing how many wonderful people I've "met" in the Catholic blogging world in the three years I've been adding to my little String of Pearls.  One of the sweetest gals I've gotten to know is Iris, the voice behind Country Girl's Daybook.

Iris is giving away a signed copy of my Catholic novel, Finding Grace, over at her lovely blog, if you'd like to stop by and throw your name into the hat!

Just click on this link for a chance to win: Country Girl's Daybook: finding grace book giveaway
My deepest thanks go to Iris, who is helping me to spread the word about my book--though she's never even met me in real life.  I am truly blessed to have friends like her.

So head on over to Iris's--and as she puts it, "May the odds be ever in your favor."

Story of a Soul of God

By a most unusual of circumstances, which is usual in my life, I ended up living in the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge Ma. I ended up there to translate the Divine Mercy material into Spanish, which I had already started while living in Mexico. I lived in Mexico from the first day of my homelessness.
That’s another story altogether.
As I was furiously translating the first book, one of the Marian Fathers came in holding a photo, of what seemed to be a painting I had done of St John Vianney. I really don’t know how father ended up with that photo. No one there knew my past career as a professional artist. Without letting me see that photo, he showed me a large page illustration of a mural from Portugal of stunning power, even as it was in a black and white very old piece of paper.
Father asked me if I could paint that picture. Completely flabbergasted of how could he possibly have known that I could paint, I blurted out : “yes father, I can do that”.

to continue http://theoutlawedgod.…

To Give Up One's Cloak

When St. Martin of Tours encountered a poor, naked beggar, he tore his own warm cloak in half, to share it. Later, he discovered in a dream that the beggar was Christ. Throughout his life he had a special love for the poor. The story of St. Martin and the beggar touches on an area of Christian life that is often dealt with superficially and with suspicion. This area is the equality and dignity of woman. It seems to me that most voices do not echo Jesus in either His actions or His words. Jesus was a defender of the true equality of woman precisely because He always showed us the way to true dignity: a dignity that is shared by men and women alike, because they are human. "Did the Lord at any time make a distinction between men and women? […] But in His love He knew and knows now no distinction." [1]  Continue Reading...

Route 66 Travel Update: Maintaining Spiritual Momentum Beyond the Season of Lent

Happy Easter! Christ is Risen!! Victory has been Won!So what are we going to do next?!  We're going to Rome!...along with Fr. Barron!  When I read the following message this evening from Fr. Robert Barron [concluding his "Lent Reflections" series], I couldn't help but think of our ongoing support group for "The Route 66 Challenge" & Way... Hope you, too, find his words to be encouraging!... ClickHEREto Read More at The Way to Nourish for Life

Easter Eggs, Art, and All That

Decorated eggs aren't a Christian invention: folks were trimming ostrich eggs 60,000 years back. I gather that folks in Mesopotamia started the Easter Egg custom: using real eggs.

From 1885 to 1917, Peter Carl Fabergé supervised the design and crafting of several dozen very fancy 'eggs.' Fabergé eggs are still famous, one stayed in Russia, and that's another topic.

In today's America, stores sell plastic eggs and egg-dying kits.

The Easter Bunny is a hare, not a rabbit, emigrated from Germany in the 18th century, and that's yet another topic....

...I like the matter-of-fact look of Francesca's "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Quite a few artists took a more flamboyant approach....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Received into Full Communion

It's official. I'm Catholic! I have been trying all day to come up with the words to describe Saturday night's Easter Vigil Mass. I'm falling short. Of course, it was beautiful. It was amazing. It was wonderful. It was awesome. I can think of many other overly-used words that describe the service, and all are true as these words are all true. But none of them are sufficient. My experience at the Mass Saturday night was indescribable. Truly, I do not think I can put into words what it is like to be baptized, then confirmed, then receive first communion all in one night. But you know I'm going to try anyway, so here goes. I laughed. I cried. I got drenched. I got oiled. Twice. It was incredible. Joyous. Emotionally wonderful and exhausting.

Read the rest HERE.

I Will Destroy This Temple and build it up again in 3 Days.... John 2:19

In 1997 I was born again.                      Back off evangelicals!!!!, it’s not what you think!.
                      The other day I was watching something on TV about the tallest ocean waves and this surfer was coming down it. It was incredibly frightening. The wave was curving over him so fast and he was sliding, cutting across the water just as fast… the white water began to cover him but he would emerge out from the foam…..
                     Watching that reminded me of my born again experience.
                     I’ll leave for another storiette the why it happened, but over night I became homeless. The IRS thought that I should give them all my income to pay for a fictious debt, minus about 10% and I disagreed. God gets the first 10%, neither them nor me get it  Well, that’s what the paper work says. But I am going to tell you what really happened.
                    Because they levied my salary, I could not pay any of my expenses, so my house now had a date with a forecl…

Father Ignatius makes a discovery

Father Ignatius makes a discovery which he did not know about ... what is it?
Did YOU know this about Jesus?
Please read HERE

By Way Of Introduction: Author Interview

I have been a writer at the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers for a few months now, and Catholic just posted an Author Interview with me, which might serve well as an introduction also here.


Easter Afternoon

My husband and I hadn't been to Helyar Woods together in years. I remember going with our sons when our puggle was a puppy; Greg doesn't remember the last time we walked the woods together and neither do I.

This 43-acre patch of old growth forest sits hard against U.S. Route One in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Easter afternoon seemed the right time to wander these trails.

Read more here...