Showing posts from February, 2015

Seeing with new eyes: Reflections on the Sunday Gospel Mark 9:2-10 by Father Steven LaBaire

In preparation for Mass this weekend, Father Steven LaBaire of Holy Family Parish in Worcester offers his insight on the gospel reading:

"In the ancient world, the journey up a mountain often symbolized “enlightenment” or “seeing” things in a “new” or different way from previously. In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus takes his students (disciples) up a very high mountain. (Mark 9:2-10)"

Click here to continue.

This Name is Medicine


A Matter of life and Death

When he was only twenty eight, the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was, condemned to death. It was the spring of 1849. He was condemned for reading ‘subversive literature and frequenting suspect gatherings of anarchists’. There was nothing in these charges, but at the time the Tsar, like other monarchs, who had survived the aftermath of the French revolution, was still paranoid. Two days before Christmas he was taken to the place of execution. The prison yard where he was to meet his death, was arranged with funereal decorations to suit the occasion and strike further terror into the condemned. The whole thing was a farce, a pantomime, ordered by the Tsar. It seemed to appeal to his obscure sense of theatre.
As the executioners raised their rifles the procedure was suddenly interrupted by a messenger, hot foot from the palace, with a reprieve - the charade was over. The sentence was commuted to eight years hard labour in Siberia. Later Dostoyevsky said that day, December 23rd 184…

Is it really all in the details? Wisdom from the story of St. Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes

How we live our interior spiritual lives matters a great deal, right down to the last detail.

I have taken on as my Lenten journey the study of St. Bernadette Soubirious. This journey was inspired by a Facebook post back on February 11 by Father James Martin, SJ. In honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes he recommended the viewing of "The Song of Bernadette," a critically acclaimed 1943 movie starring Jennifer Jones. He wrote, "The film, based on the book by Franz Werfel actually corresponds very closely to the real-life story of St. Bernadette Soubirous, with only a few exceptions."  ...

I am reading Werfel's book along with a book by Abbé Francis Trochu:

My desire is to get into the interior life of this saint. Bernadette's life was one of fidelity to those small details that make one a saint.

Click here to read a wonderful example of her way of holiness--what does this example inspire you to do?.

From Trilobites to Whales: Getting Bigger

Those trilobites were huge: in the Cambrian. These days, foot-long critters are common, and not particularly big.

Scientists thought related species of animals generally got bigger as they evolved: now a team has evidence to back up that assumption. We still don't know why critters usually get bigger, though.

That, and seven "croc" species sharing the same turf in the Amazon Basin — before the Amazon was there — is what I picked for this week's post....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Time For a Laugh

I should not have given up killing mice for Lent

Prayers to Know as a Catholic Family

Recently, I have been compiling all of the prayers I want our kids to have committed to memory, that I believe we should know. I feel firmly that we would be in grievous error if our children were not baptized, attending Mass faithfully, and praying at mealtime.  But I don’t want to stop there. I don't want to do just the bare minimum when it comes to their rich faith. I want them to be hungry for knowledge and wisdom. I want to help them to come to a rich understanding of Catholicism. Thus, I have been compiling the things (besides the Catechism) that they are committing to memory.

Here is the list.
You can view and/or print my Memory Work document here, on GoogleDocs. I included English and Latin versions for some of the prayers.

{read the rest at pictureaskyline}

Who is My Neighbor?

Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan: 

But wanting to justify himself,* he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
* (A lawyer asked this question.)

 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii,gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who…

A call to prayer from the monastery’s bell-- prayerful disciplines for Lent

What comes to mind when you hear the word “discipline?”

Punishment? Do you think of those times as a child when you were disciplined by your parents for doing something wrong?

Dull, repetitive actions such as practicing a musical instrument or working out to keep in shape? Perhaps even prayer, like reciting the rosary, feels like such a discipline, an endless repetition of Our Fathers and Hail Marys.

I was resistant at first to applying discipline to my spiritual life. How can a discipline be heartfelt? I remember watching “The Nun’s Story” with Audrey Hepburn and noticing the way she chafed at the bell ringing for prayer. ....

Lent offers a wonderful opportunity to establish a prayerful spiritual discipline. I would like to offer my regimen as an example. Click to continue.

WARNING: Signs of Eating Disorder Ahead. Seek Help. Find Hope!

25 Potential Signs of Eating Disorder On The Way… But first, before moving forward to learn of these common warning signs that can alert us to the presence of a possible eating disorder and need for help, a few words of caution for us all… ►Click Here to Read More at: The Way to Nourish for Life◄ including look at 25 Red Flags [Physical, Psychological, & Behavioral Signs] + more.

Lessons from Snow: A Mixed Blessing

Now that Boston is buried under more than 100 inches of snow and my Cleveland driveway is coated with it yet again, I decided to reflect on snow. A good snowfall is one human experience that Jesus never had since he lived in a desert climate. The most he probably ever knew of snow was seeing snow-capped Mount Hermon in the distance. But yesterday ten inches of snow fell in Jerusalem—a rarity! To me the most remarkable thing about snow is its beauty. Individual flakes are delicate works of art. Together they form blankets of pure white, covering everything and sparkling in sunshine.  Snow's loveliness is a reflection of its Creator who is all beautiful. The three men thrown into a fiery furnace for their faith sang, "Hoarfrost and snow, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever" (Daniel 3:70). Also, there's nothing so cozy as being in a warm house and, through a window painted with lacy ice, watching large, soft snowflakes drift to earth.Cli…

Focusing on Blessings and Growing in Virtue

I have never been a big fan of New Years resolutions. (I do realize it’s February but stay with me!) I can never seem to keep those resolutions. It can be so defeating to begin something big at the start of a fresh year and then “fail” at whatever change I have made. A year is a L O N G time!Plus there are SO many things I want to work on, how do I decide which ONE thing to work on allyear through? Why do we feel such a need to start fresh on the first day of a new year, or even the start of a new month or week? I am so grateful God’s Mercies are new EACH MORNING! We are offered a fresh start each and everyday! That just gives me such comfort. If you want to read more about what my family is doing to focus on blessings and grow in virtue click here.

How is your Lent going?

How is your Lent going?  I know it's only a week in, but I'm asking for a friend. Not really.  I'm asking for me because mine got off to a rocky start and I'm hoping I'm not the only one. You can read and comment here at Being Catholic ... Really.

Lay people and the third mansions

My most recent post at was about the one path to holiness. Everyone, I wrote, is called to deepen their relationship with God through prayer. Everyone becomes holy by prayer and virtue. As always when this subject comes up, some want to argue that Teresa of Avila’s teaching on the mansions was not meant for lay people.

Lay people are too busy to be expected to pray much, the argument goes. So they must be content with offering their day to God and the like.

Now, I have no problem with lay people offering their day to God, making their work a prayer, praying as they work, et cetera. Of course we should do that. But I do have a problem with the notion that only monks, nuns, and priests are called to contemplation, or that only they need to spend much time dedicated to mental prayer.

So I was happy to read the second chapter on the third mansions in Interior Castle. In this chapter, although Teresa is writing primarily for her cloistered nuns, she uses lay people i…

The "Hygiene Hypothesis" Blows Lent Wide Open

Driving to work yesterday, Iheard a story on NPRabout scientists studying the "hygiene hypothesis." The thinking behind the hypothesis goes like this: Developed countries have detergents, sanitizers, and machines to clean things in ways humans have never cleaned things before.We also don't hang out around livestock like our ancestors did Back In The Day.Children who grow up in these super-clean environments lose contact with good old-fashioned GERMS, tricking their bodies into thinking every microbe in town is hazardous.Thus, their adorable little immune systems go berserk: #eczema #allergies # asthma
Are we too clean?
Please join me at Praying with Grace to reflect and comment on how our faith might be too sterile, as well. Do children need to suffer?

My Confession and Penance


Did You Know that There's a Saint for Toothaches?

Her name is St. Appollonia. I found this in my new prayer book, "Healing Prayers." 
This book bears the impramtur of the Most Reverend Bishop William C. Skurla, D.D, Bishop of the Eparchy of Van Nuys.
I carry this book with me in my purse.  It is a treasure trove of prayers for all that ails you, whether it be spiritual, mental, physical, or emotional. Only 96 pages long, this is not a book you read, but it is a book you use.
This beautiful prayer book begins by talking about healing through history and explains why we are in need of healing today.
The book has the standard, ancient  prayers and scriptures. Then there are instructions on how to pray using the scriptures.

Read More at:: His Unending Love

The Greater Art of Falling Down

In Akido, there is a concept called, "the art of falling down." Falling down is considered an art because if falling is done with skillfull intention instead of just being caught unaware by a blow, the person who falls will be safer. 
During this Lent, I have been following Blessed Titus Brandsma's meditations on the Stations of the Cross. He wrote these meditations in Scheveningen Prison, awaiting his execution. Tonight, I read about the "seventh station," where Jesus falls for the second time. Blessed Titus wrote that Jesus allowed himself to be overwhelmed by the weight of the cross and to fall. 
I hadn't contemplated this before, but of course He did. Our Lord God incarnate, maker of miracles and who later resurrected would not do or allow anything to be done to Him without intentionality. Jesus intentionally fell down. 
Falling is an art. Not just for our "safety." Not just so we can learn lessons in life. Not so we can build the courage to g…

However Great the Crowds that Surround You

'You must withdraw, mentally rather than physically, in your intention, in your devotion, in your spirit...  You enjoy this solitude if you refuse to share in the common gossip,  if you shun involvement in the problems of the hour  and set no store by the fancies that attract the masses;  if you reject what everybody covets,  avoid disputes, make light of losses, and pay no heed to injuries....  However great the crowds that surround you,  you can enjoy the benefits of solitude if you   refrain from curiosity about other people's conduct and shun rash judgement.'
St. Bernard (from The Cloistered Heart)

Dim Day of the Soul

Sometimes it's easier to see at night. It depends on what you're looking for.
"O guiding night! O night more lovely than the dawn!"
(Translated from "Dark Night of the Soul," St. John of the Cross) I decided that this year's Lent would be a good time to upgrade my prayer life. (February 15, 2015)

That could have been a topic for this post: except that I couldn't think of anything to say about it. Not that 'clicked.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Secret of True Love

Many years ago when I used to run courses for school leavers, I used to begin by asking the boys and girls to tell me when they were last really happy. I remember one boy said that it was when he was fishing with his father, another when watching one of his favorite films, and yet another when he was playing football with his friends. One of the girls loved a day of retail therapy with her mother, another loved playing the piano, not for her exams, but for the sheer pleasure of it. Finally one girls said her happiest moments were spent on holiday with her boyfriend. Strangely enough it always used to take them a long time to see the common denominator - the reason why doing all these different things had given them all so much pleasure. For a greater or less period of time they had been so absorbed in something, or someone else, that they simply forgot about themselves. In the discussions that followed they usually came to the same conclusion, namely that, this happiness could be fou…

Fish Sticks Friday!

When I was a kid, Lent was one of my favorite seasons in the Church.  Of course, at that time, you had to abstain from meat during the entire season of Lent.  It took some creative cooking for that to happen.  I remember eating a lot of beans and cheese sandwiches for supper.  I attended Catholic school, so my mother never worried about what was served in the cafeteria as it would always be in compliance with the Church.

As a child, I celebrated the season of Lent with great joy!  I remember going to the grocery store with my mother as she struggled to balance the food budget, made a little easier without the absence of beef, chicken,or turkey.  She’d ask me what I wanted to eat on the weekends.  I’d always answer, “Fish sticks.”  So, by default, Friday became “Fish Stick Friday.”

Along with a helping of beans, salad, and bread, fish sticks became the go to meal for Fridays.  I remember watching my mother eat our meal on Fridays.  She ate the beads and salad and bread, …

Give Up Soda For Lent and For Life!

What might soda really be costing us?? In the news, yet another reason to give up on soda... Popular soda ingredient poses cancer risk, still. Current research analysis suggests that soda drinkers consuming 1 or more cans per day are possibly being exposed to 4-methylimidazole, a potential carcinogen.  Excerpts from latest news release from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provided. >>Click Here to Read More at: The Way to Nourish for Life>>

Setting Earth's Thermostat

Events like the Pinatubo eruptions of 1991 happen about once a century — on average — roughly.

Some scientists say that next time there's a Pinatubo-scale eruption, we should deploy a fleet of instrument-carrying aircraft, balloons, and satellites: to see exactly what happens when sulfur dioxide and other chemicals get dumped into the upper atmosphere.

We know that the stuff causes regional and global climate changes: but we don't know exactly how the process works.

There's more than pure scientific curiosity behind wanting this knowledge. Earth's climate is changing, which is par for the course: but we're at a point where our actions can affect climate.

The job at hand is leaning how Earth's climate works, how it changes, and what causes the changes. Then we'll decide what to do about that knowledge....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

From the Hub to the Heart

I am pleased Ellen Gable Hrkach of Full Quiver Publishingasked me to be part of a book-launch blog tour for Andy LaVallee’s book,From the Hub to the Heart. His new book  tells of a journey from “fast living to living the fast”. Although I have not read it yet, I can’t wait because  the reviews are fantastic. Others on this blog tour, who have read his book, love Andy’s warm, personal voice. They are riveted by his dramatic conversion and the power of both the Holy Spirit and Mother Mary in his life. Andrew LaVallee lived the fast life.A man of extremes, LaVallee grew up in a tough neighborhood and he drank, swore and gambled his way through most of his adult life. He achieved financial and worldly success in his bakery distribution business. After his conversion, LaVallee embraced the Catholic faith of his youth and felt God calling him to promote fasting.,... continue reading

What I Want You to Know (@ Melody's Harmonies)

There are days that go by when I forget that we’re trying and failing at growing our family and then there are days when I can barely keep my head above water. Unfortunately the latter makes up the bulk of our days.  

There are so many things I want you to know about this experience that I don’t even know where to start. I want you to know how stupid I feel for daring to make any plans for our life when we were first married. I want you to know how I wish we’d never tried to avoid a pregnancy in the beginning, and how looking back, I’d give anything for a mistake that would have resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. I want you to know it breaks my heart when I hear of unwanted, abandoned or aborted children. I want you to know that I would take each and every one of those children because I want them. I want you to know hard it is to plan anything or make any decision about our future when we wish so much that our present was different.   

Read the rest here.

A Fast from "Too" (@ Melody's Harmonies)

The internet and the catholic blogosphere is exploding with posts on Lent so I hesitated to say much. I also hesitated because up until this point I was really not sure what I was going to “give up”.  I really struggled because I don’t want this act of sacrifice to just be something I do out of obligation.  When I looked at my list of potentials, one thing was pretty clear to me: there was just too much. Too many things that I do too much of. And very few of them good for my physical, emotional and spiritual health!  I don’t want my Lenten sacrifice to be just be an action, I want it to be something spiritual, something reflective  and nourishing for the soul that encompasses all of me from the physical to the emotional.

Read the rest here.


Ash Wednesday. Forty days.  Lent begins. And with it comes the ubiquitous, all too familiar question: "What are you giving up for Lent?" One of the most common things for people to give up during Lent is chocolate.  After that,  it seems like soda tops the list.  Having drastically changed my eating habits this fall, those items are no longer a part of my daily diet, so giving them up is not an option. Several weeks ago, I decided my answer was going to be dairy--more specifically, milk and cheese. It sounded like a good plan, to me, until I mentioned it to my daughter, who reminded me that I don't really eat that much cheese, and for the amount that I do eat, it is not something that has a hold on me.  Basically, I can take it or leave it. I started to think a little more deeply about what I was going to give up, and why. How do I want to be different on Easter Sunday morning then I am today? Read more:

Loving Lent

Thoughts to Ponder I choose to surrender the clutter in my life, heart, spirit So Jesus will set me free from stuff, Then fill me with His Loving Presence. May the things of this world fall away so I may fall in love with God.
God can only fill the empty places.Grace does what I cannot do.Jesus will have to do everything.This is true humility Pride entices me to work harder, pray more, fast religiously, perform heroic acts of virtue. Humility accepts that only God can save me and other people.It is my job simply to surrender in prayer and give Him permission to flow through me. continue

Detecting Grace in Life's Messes

I can relate to the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day because I just had an entire week of bad days! My phone was cancelled by mistake, and it took six days and talks with seven agents before it was restored. I lost the PBS station on TV (jeopardizing my viewing of Downton Abbey). A new talk I spent days preparing turned out to be cancelled, but no one thought to tell me. Instead of sprinkling a dash of cinnamon in my coffee, I grabbed the wrong bottle and tossed in half of my Vitamin D pills. Then when I stood up, I walked into an open cabinet door. On my way to be a substitute reader at Sunday Mass, I stopped to do an act of charity and got stuck in an icy snowdrift on the side of the driveway; AAA said they’d be there within an hour and half. The reading for that Mass happened to be from the Book of Job. I thought, Just call me Sister Jobette.Click to continue

50 Things to Give up or Do for Lent

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  Mother Theresa1) Write a letter a day to a different person, everyday during Lent and mail them.  The letter can be a letter of thanks, a letter of love, a letter of sympathy, a letter of forgiveness.  Write that letter with the intent of making the reader a happier person.2) Work on forgiveness.  Get God involved in helping you to forgive.  Ask for the graces.  You will receive3) Perform one good deed per day.4) Find 5 things to thank God for each day.5) Read Sacred Scripture daily aka the Bible.6) Leave food on your plate each meal.  Don't eat it all.  Don't throw it away.  Save for another time.Read More at:: His Unending Love

Don't STOP for LENT

DON'T STOP DOING IT FOR LENT !!! This is the time when people try to give up something for Lent - which is good. But let's remember first of all that there is nothing we can do which would repay the great sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross. Not a million prayers, a million candles, or a million flowers ... God does not need any of these "gifts" or sacrifices as repayment for His love for us. He is in no way diminished, lacking in any way, if we stop doing these things.

But we do them all the same. We do them as a sign of reverence, love, and respect. And I repeat - this is good.

Here's a short list of things we could do during Lent.

1 Give up something (chocolates) and give the proceeds to charity.

2 Do someone a good turn or a kindness.

3 Pray for someone without them knowing it. Just anyone, not only your  loved ones. If you see an old person struggling as they shuffle along in the street, or you hear of someone with a problem or difficulty; just pr…

A Heavenbound Letter to my Mom

Today would have been my mother's 63rd birthday.  We miss her so much, but she is at the great Heavenly banquet--what a way to spend a birthday!

Dear Mommy, Today is your first Heaven birthday. I wish that you were here. I wish you'd bake your own cake and cook a low fat meal. I wish that you could grow old and then"remember when." I wish you could see my kids sprout up and start to spread their wings. I wish we could go shopping, then stop for a treat and sip and chat about the deals we got, the lovelies we couldn't buy, and all the gifts we still need but don't remember why...
Read more on Veils and Vocations.

Hairshirts and Flagellation

Hairshirts Flagellation Pain and Sacrifice Essentials tickets to enter Heaven? CLICK HERE

How to Be Successful At Lent

If I had to list my most "successful" Lents I would probably say the following ranked as the top three:
The year I gave up shopping and did really well except for the pair of shoes that I bought and hid in my desk at work until Easter so my husband wouldn't notice them.  I sure did save a lot of money that year!  The year that I gave up coffee and no one at work wanted to speak to me before Noon.  Boy did that one require perseverance-especially on the part of  my co-workers. I did kick that nasty caffeine habit, though!Finally, there was the year I gave up grated parmesan cheese - what a major sacrifice for this Italian girl.  I practically top brownies with that stuff.  Talk about HOLY!!!  Plus, I lost a few pounds that year as well!   Epic successes, all of them. Well done, Debbie. 
The problem is, Lent isn't about being successful.

Read more here...

The Perfect Sandwich for Lent

I'll keep this short! I know everyone has a lot of blog reading to do today before the Lenten hush sets in over the Internet.

Here's a quick and delicious recipe for Lent, the perfect sandwich you can enjoy every single day in the season of purple: The PRAYER sandwich.

Check out the "recipe" at Praying with Grace!

Bread That Does Not Satisfy

This Wednesday, February 18th, is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I happen to love Lent! Lent is a time when we can take stock and reflect on the things in our life that we may be turning to and trying to find satisfaction and fulfillment in other than God. It is a time to do penance and fast from these things.

Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns >

The third mansions and preparing for Lent

Are you ready to begin the season of Lent? What does Lent have to do with St. Teresa of Avila’s teaching about the third mansions in the interior castle?

Teresa offers us many images to aid our understanding of the interior life. First, she asks us to imagine the soul as a castle, with God the Divine King dwelling in the central room. Then she speaks of the first mansions as filled with reptiles. The second mansions are a battlefield. What of the third?
The person in the third mansions, she says, is like the rich young man of the Gospel. He has great desires. He wants to inherit eternal life. He even goes so far as to keep the commandments.

But, as we know, that wasn’t the end of the story.
Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’
When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” (Mt 19:21-22) This serves as a warning to all of us.

Blood Cries Out by ooberfuse (HD) (in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti)


A Catholic Self-Publishing Video

Well, I have taken the plunge, and officially started to compile my stories into sections for a book.It might take forever to rewrite and edit because my method of writing is pretty basic; I simply  spill out artless slice-of-life stories with little or no revision. I am surprised how many I have actually written. If I include spiritual reflections on family life, I have the book  more than half done with 46,700 words without calling on my adult kids to help trigger my memory. I also entered a first chapter contest.  After finishing two more teaching modules, I will be officially finished the first chapter which is about 9,500 words. To win, I need  people to click on the cheer meon button. Winning simply means promotion on the editor’s website. Perhaps the first stage will be to self-publish a short excerpt with the helping of Connie who is staging a forum to help newbies. If you are interested drop in to register for the 30 minute, free forum tonight and as many times as you want, es…

Dung Coloured Glasses

I discovered a secret after years of mothering my tiny children. They
taught me to take my eyes off my exhaustion and to take delight in the plethora of tiny details all around me. Little kids are born with a sense of wonder and the ability to enjoy little things. My daughter’s retain an appreciation for detail; they all remember the little things. A friend of mine once asked Rachel, when she was about six, what she liked most about Christmas. She replied immediately,
“The pineapple.” My daughter’s answer astounded Martha. Similarly, one evening before dinner Emily, now a young adult, said, “I always remember the fresh smell of clean sheets every week.” Such a small thing, yet a child, with a heart full of gratitude, takes great pleasure from it. Psalms 33:8  ” let all the inhabitants of the World  stand in awe of Him.” continue reading

Our Walls Are...

The will of God is prime spiritual real estate.  It is the safest, most secure “place” in which a person can dwell. In order to live within this refuge, however, we must embrace its walls. 

The primary perimeters of God's will are not at all hard to find. They are revealed in Scripture and outlined clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  

Because God loves us, He has set these boundaries in place for our security, and He has generously revealed them to us.... (continue)

Skydiving and Lent

I'll be giving up skydiving for Lent again this year: also mountain climbing, another activity I am profoundly unqualified for and uninterested in. (February 13, 2013)

So, what am I doing for Lent?

Some folks in my circles are going offline for Lent — refraining from socializing online. That's a good idea: but I won't be changing my online habits. Not much, anyway....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Preparing for Lent: Giving it up to the LORD

I can't believe how long it has taken me to write this post, nor how soon it is until Ash Wednesday. We all know that it is customary to give something up for Lent, but before we choose what that is this year, I wanted to share some different perspectives on "giving up" that will bring us closer to the LORD. Here they are in seven quick takes.

Source 1 Look beyond chocolate and soda. Give up those bad habits. We all have them. Lent is the perfect time to refocus our lives off of our selves and onto God. Nail biting and chewing on pen caps aren't sins, but they are bad habits that are controlling you instead of the other way around.  Practicing self denial not only reigns in your impulses and ground you in more conscious behavior. While it may seem woeful to live without ice cream for forty days, finally kicking that habit will be harder but more fulfilling. Being conscious of your every behavior affords the ability to put God first in all things because you die to se…

DNA, Babies, Life, and Death

DNA evidence in a court case isn't new: but deer DNA in a poaching trial is.

Less than two decades after a cloned sheep's birth, British Members of Parliament okayed human cloning: using DNA from three people.

Scientists who think this is a good idea may be right: at least for some versions of the new tech.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

50 things to know about Fifty Shades of Grey

The video and Sr. Helen Burns' perspective is worth seeing and reading.

You can view the video and get the link to Sister's review at Being Catholic ... Really.

I'm Taking the Veil...

Of course,  that veil has to be pink! I've decided that during the season of Lent, I will use a chapel veil in Church. Believe me, this takes me back to pre-Vatican 2 years. It was during this time that all women wore head coverings when at church.
A woman could wear a hat, a veil, or a small chapel veil. It seems that the older I get, the more I long for the older ways.  
Read More at:: His Unending Love

All This for Even ONE Vocation

The Social Media Coordinator of Ascension Press wondered if I would share a video entitled "I Will Follow" to get young men excited about the priesthood. It is part of their larger Mass education program called "Altaration" which they have designed specifically for teens. Ascension has already attracted over 100k views on Facebook for their videos. I loved it. + When I agreed to post it, I was delighted with their Social Media Coordinator's response.I will end this short post with his words ringing in your mind, heart and prayers. Awesome! If we get even one vocation from this project we will consider it a success.
Watch  their short film calling young men to consider the priesthood. See why it has already received over 95k views. Learn more about the project at

I auditioned for Listen to Your Mother

About a month ago I wrote an essay and submitted it.  Last weekend, I auditioned for Listen to Your Mother. You can read the rest at Being Catholic ... Really.

'If you choose, you can make me clean.' Sunday Reflections, 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ as Saviour, El Greco,  National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh Web Gallery  GospelMark 1:40-45 (New RSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)

A lepercame to Jesus begging him, and kneelinghe said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.”Moved with pity,Jesusstretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!”Immediately the leprosyleft him, and he was made clean.After sternly warning him he sent him away at once,saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesuscould no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.