Showing posts from April, 2015

How satan stops you from praying and how to combat the evil one....

I don’t know who said it, but they were right.  “satan’s greatest lie is convincing us that he does not exist.” When I was growing up, way back when, I remember that I did not know what sex was.  I didn’t know what a huge swear word meant.  I didn’t learn the meaning of THAT word until I was in college, and, even then, I was shocked! In the 21st century, we are being challenged to love the sinner but hate the sin.  What we once considered to be appropriate behavior is considered old and outdated.  Politicians are calling for people to change religion so that their ideas will be accepted and acceptable. Women’s health is inevitably tied to abortion.  “It is a right,” they say.  The baby in the womb has no rights, but that doesn’t matter.  The sick and elderly, in many places of the world, are being subjected to euthanasia.  Assisted suicide is being promoted as a means of relieving unnecessary suffering.  People want to die on their “own terms.”  We are trying to become …

How to market your Christian Books


In Each Moment

'Faithfully do what God expects of you in each moment, and leave  the rest up to Him. I assure you that living in this manner will bring you great peace.'
St. Jane de Chantal (from The Breadbox Letters)

Positive Words: In Praise of Praise, Part 2

The art of patting someone on the back is not complicated. First we have to train ourselves to see goodness. For instance, we can spare a child the ignominy of being a total failure at needlework when she crochets bedroom slippers if we ignore the lumps and uneven stitches and point out that the pompoms are positively perfect. click to continue

As I Struggled for Ideas...

I realized that the Holy Spirit has a wonderful sense of humor.  I was looking for Catholic Blog Prompts on Prayer.
I prayed to the Holy Spirit for fruitful ideas.  As I prayed, I began to see blog posts about prayer journals.  I kept searching. There had to be something to this.  The Holy Spirit knows what He is doing.
I found a set of blog prompts for a prayer journal.
Do you keep a prayer journal?  I do.  It’s on and off, but, yes, I have one.
Read More at: Prayerfully Yours

How to Talk to Children about Suffering

When we talk to children about suffering, it's unhelpful to discuss WHY bad things happen. Suffering--a result of the Fall--makes no sense in and of itself. What children need to hear is that our suffering can be a powerful source of good for others. Jesus shows us how.

Children can learn to be sensitive to suffering. When adults empathize with them (I'm so sorry you tripped and scraped your knee. Oooh, I know that must hurt!), they learn to share others' sadness. And when empathetic children grow up, they become courageous citizens who defend the weak and the suffering.
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 36:26) Please click on over to Praying with Grace to read more of today's article
and to see the reflection & activity sheets for children.

What I Would Say If My Child Were Gay

We are treading on controversial ground here, and I cannot go there without a disclaimer that I realize this is heavy. And also, I must say that I am not all-knowing, so always with controversy, I accept the humility that my opinions, facts, and ability to reason are subject to flaw, because of my nature (fallen, that is). You don't have to agree with me. In fact, I welcome open-minded thoughts here. I wouldn't be writing this if I thought we all thought the same thing.
If your child decided that he were gay, what would you do? Would you go into full-on, freak-out mode? Recently, I read a post on Glennon Melton Doyle's very popular blog Momastery, in which she writes an imaginary letter, in the event that her son Chase hypothetically turned out to be gay.  She states, as the title suggests, that it's "a mountain she is willing to die on." While it was a lot of good food for thought- I recommend reading it, just so you know what is out there- I felt like she h…

Theology of the Body Thursday #15: Have you ever heard of e5 men?

Have you ever heard of e5 men? Many of the men at my Catholic Newman Center in college participated in it. I remember them all fasting all day and then gathering in the kitchen of the Newman Center at midnight to break the fast together. While they are no longer together, I know a few of them have kept up the practice post-graduation. e5 is an international movement of Christian men inspired by Ephesians 5:25... Learn how they are inspired on True Dignity of Women:

The gate


Catholic Joy?

Humour, the ability to laugh and not take ourselves too seriously, puts the grueling process of inner transformation into perspective. If I am self-centered instead of God-centered, everything becomes intense and dramatic. When I take my eyes off myself, my faith, my religious practices,  my spiritual ‘progress’,  my sins and rather look at my Saviour, everything comes back into the proper perspective. I am filled with joy, the joy of the Lord.  Thomas Merton, a Trappist, was asked if  it was possible to tell if someone had truly undergone  inner purification, becoming transformed into the image of Christ. “It is very difficult to tell but usually it is accompanied by a wonderful sense of humour.” continue reading

Hold Fast To His Hand

'Do as little children, who with one hand hold fast to the hand of their father and with the other gather strawberries or blackberries along the hedges.  In the same manner, while gathering and managing the goods of this world with one hand, hold fast to the hand of your heavenly Father, turning to Him from time to time to see if your actions or occupations are pleasing to Him.  Take care, above all, that you do not leave His hand and protection, thinking of collecting and gathering more.' (St. Francis de Sales)

from The Cloistered Heart

Remembering the Armenian Genocide, Looking Ahead

The Armenian genocide's start is rather arbitrarily set as April 24, 1915. That's when Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested about 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, and eventually got around to killing them.

Armenians had been rounded up and butchered in odd lots before that, though.

The Ottoman Empire 's 1915 ethnic cleansing wasn't limited to Armenians. The Ottoman government exterminated Assyrians and Greeks whose crime was living in Ottoman territory and having the 'wrong' ancestry or faith.

It wasn't called a genocide at the time. That word first showed up in Raphael Lemkin's book, "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress" (1944). He defined it as "the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group." (Wikipedia)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'I know my own and my own know me.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

FromThe Gospel of John(2003) directed by Philip SavilleToday's Gospel, John 10:11-18 [1:19 - 2:30] Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.No one takesit from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” Fr Bar…

Infallible Pope?

Infallible Pope? Really? CLICK HERE

Why Did You Have So Many Kids?

I decided to post  one of my articles on the struggles of a mother of nine
as a complementary article to Melody's reflections on infertility.

After the birth of our fourth child, Michael and I struggled to understand exactly how we were meant to live our lives. We were discussing an article by an author whose main premise was that letting go of control and trusting in God was not some abstract principle but a day-to-day practical call that included the surrender of our fertility. Of course, we practised natural family planning but I was one of those rare people who could conceive long before ovulation. As my doctor said once, “Ah, I remember reading about a woman in New Zealand, two years ago, who conceived five days before ovulation.” I raised my hand and chirped, “Well, you can add me to that list!”
continue reading

Catholic Infertility Resources (@ Melody's Harmonies)

Last year for NFP Awareness week I posted a list of NFP Resources, y’all seemed to really like it so I thought I would do the same for Infertility. Below is a list of blogs, church documents, books and fertility centers dealing with the many forms of infertility. If you have other resources to suggest, please do and I hope these can be of help to anyone in need.

Read the rest here.

Faces of Infertility (@ Melody's Harmonies)

Infertility occurs in many forms. Whether it be primary infertility, secondary infertility, or miscarriage. Infertility hides it's face in fear and shame. And it is only when we are brave enough to share our stories that the painful reality becomes evident. These are the faces of infertility.  These are the stories. 

Read the rest here.

Mass Extinctions Revisited, Moving Octopuses

We've known about the Capitanian crisis for some time: some scientists have, anyway. What's new is the idea that it may have been a major mass extinction in its own right: a sort of prequel to the Great Dying.

Other scientists solved part of the puzzle of how octopuses coordinate their arms when moving. Their research may help folks design soft robots: useful in medicine and rescue work....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Life can be a puzzle

Life can be a puzzle.  Sometimes the pieces don't always fit together right away.  Even when they do, we don't always see the whole picture. To see the photo gallery of this post, please go to Being Catholic ... Really.

Infertility Awareness Week (@ Melody's Harmonies)

Last year, Infertility Awareness Week* came and went without my knowledge. It’s an unfortunate thing that you don’t realize the pain of infertility until you experience it. This year, I’m keenly aware that we are in the depths of infertility. It’s still new and it’s still a very raw pain. To be honest, I’m not sure my husband and I have actually used the word “infertile” in our conversations. To say it out loud to one another would be to acknowledge we both know what we’re dealing with and somehow remaining blissfully ignorant seems safer. 
Read the rest here.

Worth Repeating Wednesday: 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.

Read more at:: His Unending Love

Walking a Mile With Another

How often are we quick to judge someone who we see as disagreeable, strongly opinionated or assertive? Feeling our own sense of pride offended, and leaving indignant we frequently proceed to telling others or instead harbor that annoyance within. Yet, neither of these options can be understood as beneficial either to our relationships or to our spiritual growth.Scripture firmly emphasizes the importance of conflict resolution as a community if we are to be the body of Christ in the world. No pretences, we are to leave our gift on the altar, and work towards reconciliation. Moreover, we are to speak to that person privately first. “If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ (Matt 18:15-17) In doing so love, and not self righteousness, needs to be the intent of reconciliation. Read More..

Positive Words: In Praise of Praise, Part I

Last week I wrote a poem for children about good words to say like “Please” and “Thank you.” This prompted me to think about good words for adults to say. Of course, words like “Excuse me” and “Thank you” are ingrained habits by now, but we might not always state what needs saying. I recall once introducing my niece to someone and remarking what a great job she does at her workplace. My niece responded, “Aunt Kathy, that’s the first time you ever said you liked what I do.” Hmm. I realized that perhaps I’ve been stingy with words of praise. We might mentally acknowledge someone’s success or good qualities and yet fail to let the person know our thoughts. We might take someone’s achievements for granted. Click to continue

10 Practices that Will Bring You Closer to God in Prayer

1. Always remember, prayer is direct communication with God.  Be prepared to open your heart and your soul to Him.
2.  Begin your prayers by praising and thanking God.

3. End your prayers by praising and thanking God.

4.  Turn off the distractions: phone, computer, iPad, iPod, tablet, electronic readers.  Move them far away from you.  Lock them in your car, if need be.  Give God 100% of your attention during your prayer time.

5.  Light a candle.  Keep your Rosary in your hand.  Set a tone so that you may enter into your quiet place to pray.

Read More at:: Prayerfully Yours

The prayer of quiet

The prayer of quiet is the second type of contemplative prayer God gives in St. Teresa’s fourth mansions. Here is Teresa’s description of the prayer of quiet from Way of Perfection:
This is a supernatural state, and, however hard we try, we cannot reach it ourselves… In this state the faculties are all stilled. The soul, in a way which has nothing to do with the outward senses, realizes that it is now very close to its God, and that, if it were but a little closer, it would become one with Him through union. The faculties that Teresa refers to are the powers of the soul, namely, the powers of thought, will, and memory. Teresa states that the will is occupied during the prayer of quiet, captivated by God, and enjoying a love communion with him.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Pope Francis' Big Heart For Children

A Big Heart Open to God. That's what the world's Jesuit magazines titled their interview with Pope Francis six months into his papacy. (You can read the English-language version at America Magazine here.)

Yes, Pope Francis seems to have a big heart open to God, and to all of us. He often reveals his heart for children too. I would like to dedicate today's blog to some of the Pope's inspiring words about children and the adults who care for them. (All excerpts come from the Vatican Information Service.)
We parents, grandparents, teachers, catechists, and other adults who work for the welfare of children can pray with the Pope. We can pick one or two lines from these passages and ponder them in our hearts, as Jesus' own mother Mary did:  Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. -Luke 2:19

Visit Praying with Grace to be INSPIRED!!

15 Reasons Why I Love Being Catholic

God, the Father: Creator of Heaven and Earth.  Father Almighty.  God of Love.  One of three Persons in the Trinity.  Through Him, all things were made.

Jesus: The Son of the Living God, Begotten not made, one if being with the Father.  Agreeing submitting His Will to the Father, Jesus suffered an horrific death for the sake of all humankind.  “Not my Will,” He said, “But Your Will be done.”

Holy Spirit:  The Third Person of the Trinity.  The Comforter.  The Guide.  The Paraclete

The Resurrection of the Body:  Jesus defeated death when He rose from the dead.  By His death we were saved.  By His Resurrection, we, too, will rise, one day.

The Truth - The Catholic Church speaks the truth, even if it’s not a popular truth to speak.  From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Article 1: Section 1950: The Moral Law. 

“The moral law is the work of divine Wisdom. Its biblical meaning can be defined as fatherly instruction, God's pedagogy. It prescribes for man the ways, the rules…

Novena Day 4: And Then There Were None

On Facebook, the other day, there was a meme that stated, "If we offered a minute of silence for every victim of the Holocaust, we would be silent for eleven and a half years.  It got me wondering, if we offered a minute of silence for every victim of persecution and ethnic cleansing, would we ever speak again?

In college, I had the opportunity to spend six months in Austria to study political science and history.  As one of our study tours, we visited a small concentration camp. It is the only part of my three semesters abroad for which I have no photographs.  It seemed like too hallowed of ground to photograph. Also, I knew I would never forget being there-- twenty years later I can still feel the immense weight of sorrow that presses in on you and smell the stench of heinous deaths.  What struck me most, though, was the small strip of green grass that separated this place of horrors from a beautiful town.  Yards away people were eating and drinking, playing and building lives…

Theology of the Body Thursday #16: Dolce & Gabanna on Gay Adoption and Surrogacy

This week [originally published 3/19/15] fashion designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce came out against gay adoption and surrogacy. They are both gay men (they had been in a relationship for 23 years) and have previously spoken out against gay marriage. The backlash against them was swift and powerful with some very big names joining the boycott against the designers. What struck me, however, was how similar their views are to the views of the Catholic Church. From AP They are both Italian natives, I wonder if they were raised Catholic. I cannot find anything to either confirm nor dispute this theory, but if they were, their catechists should be proud and here’s why... Find out why on True Dignity of Women:

Marriage Divorce Annulment


Jesus Christ is Risen!

Easter Sunday 2015:
Acts 10:34a, 37-43Colossians 3:1-4
1 Corinthians 6b-8John 20:1-9 Easter Sunday 2015 By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
April 5, 2015
Jesus Christ is risen! This means that life takes on a new horizon. Have you ever thought of yourself as immortal? Have you ever considered that you have "forever" to live? The resurrection from the death of Jesus casts a new light on our human existence. No longer are we bound by finite ends. Our life has an all new endless and brilliant horizon, and we come to share in this new resurrected and glorious horizon gifted us by Christ Jesus through our baptism.

In baptism, we are born into the resurrected life of Jesus Christ, a life that knows no end, no boundaries....

More, at A Catholic Citizen in America.

A Way Through That Wall

I never want to be separated from the love of God. So I'm thankful to have the following as a vital piece of my grillwork: "I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

I read these words a second time, and a third, and I let their power wash over me.  Time cannot conquer this astonishing love, death itself cannot separate me from it. No distance anywhere will ever be too far.

However, if I look closely at the "grille" (Scripture and the teachings of the Church), I do find one specific thing that can put a wall between me and the love of God.

"Sin sets itself againstGod's love for us and turns our hearts away from it..."  (click to continue)


Spring Retreat for the youth group is two weeks from yesterday, and as usual, I am speaking.
I also haven’t prepared a single word.

Doomsday Du Jour — or — Doing My Job

Earth was not destroyed on June 13, 1857. The comet didn't even show up.

Mass starvation and various related catastrophes didn't happen in the 1970s and '80s, but the Ehrlich's reprise of Malthusian assumptions is still popular in some circles.

Apocalyptic predictions aren't unique to Western civilization, or Christendom — which are not the same thing, and that's another topic — but I'll concentrate on the Christian variety today.

Hyppolytus of Rome said the Second Coming would happen in the year 500. He died a martyr more than two centuries shy of his spurious Parousia. Hyppolytus of Rome is Saint Hippolytus of Rome now.

Saints are canonized for their heroic virtue, not for being spot-on accurate....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Joyful Chaos: Dining With Eleven

Listen as I struggled to gather my crew every night for a family meal. “Oh good, you’re done barn chores. Perfect timing; dinner is almost ready.” “Two more minutes, everybody!” “Joseph I’ll help after we eat, okay?” “Mary, please run up and open Jean’s door and shut off the music.” ‘Dinner is ready!” “Grace, I know you love that book sweetheart but, remember, no reading at the dinner table.” “Where’s Mark?” “Honey would you lift up Daniel into the high chair?” “Are we all here? Anyone missing?” Ah, dinner time in a large family. Dinner was the highlight of the day with everyone clamoring to share their news or simply squeeze in comments into the cacophony of voices. It was a humorous symphony which sounded perfectly in tune to my ears. High pitched baby squeals combined with loud, boisterous little boys.and the quavering of a male teen voice balanced teenage girl’s chatter. Dad’s reassuring bass tones soothed my shrill calls for everyone to listen to the toddler’s newest word. The h…

Celebrating "Celebrate Teen Literature Day"!

Posted two days ago at String of Pearls:It's still National Library Week, and I'm still running a giveaway here at the blog.  Leave me a comment anytime before midnight on April 18, and you could win one of two prizes: a signed copy of my first novel, Finding Grace, or a signed copy of my second novel, Erin's Ring. This is a good day to talk about these two books, because today has actually been dubbed "Celebrate Teen Literature Day," and both of my novels fall into the teen/young adult (YA) category.  (Although don't let the YA tag deter you from reading them if you're a full-blown adult; I tried to write these stories in such a way that they could be enjoyed by readers from middle school to middle age.)

When I set out to write Finding Grace, I wasn't even sure it would ever be officially published as a book, with a glossy cover and professionally printed pages.  I thought that when I finished, I might run off copies for my boys, so that when they h…

Assumptions tell a Different Story

Catholic Spirituality – Scripture and Tradition.
Forty years ago I was challenged by a Canoness. I had just finished a weekend course on personal prayer at the retreat centre that I ran in North London when the Canoness struck. She wasn’t just any Canoness, but a Canoness of the Holy Sepulchre. Her dedication to liturgical prayer had made her somewhat dismissive of personal prayer which she felt was all well and good for the laity, but not for semi-contemplative nuns like her, whose spiritual meat and drink was primarily and almost exclusively ‘the prayer of the Church’- the corporate expression of the faith of the community.

Shortly after I had founded the retreat centre, where I had given the course, I went to Franciscan Italy to prepare myself for the task ahead. I spent some time in the hermitage of Fonte Colombo high up on the hillside overlooking the Rieti Valley, where St Francis had completed his rule in 1223. It was here that I first came across the words of the great Francis…

A Novena and a Giveaway

The plight of the persecuted has never been more dire, yet most of the world has remained silent---a deafening silence!  My heart has been heavy with wanting to help those who are suffering the unimaginable.  They are constantly on my mind and in my prayers.  While I have tried hard to shield myself from the graphic photographs, just reading about the atrocities has flooded my mind with images that I can't forget.

Many nights thoughts and fears have consumed me. Perhaps fear is not the correct word. I do not fear, I know that the gates of Hell shall not prevail. I know that my God has already won. I know that Christ is risen, and in Him I shall never die. God always prevails and provides. However, the feeling of evil closing in around us has greatly saddened my heart.

Read more on Veils and Vocations.
Dark matter and dark energy will probably be in the news — science news, anyway — quite a bit over the next few months. CERN's upcoming research, using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), pretty much guarantees that. (April 10, 2015)

The Dark Energy Survey, an international team of scientists, gave a second-year report on their five-year project this Tuesday. They are mapping the universe, tracing the effects of dark matter and dark energy: or whatever is pulling — and apparently pushing — galaxies and galactic clusters into position.

Other scientists, studying galaxies about 1,400,000,000 light years away, collected and analyzed data that may help us understand dark matter....

...The universe, although not yet perfect, is a place of beauty and order. Since part of our job is taking care of this world, learning how the universe works and developing tools is not just 'allowed.' It's part of being human....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Kokedama Ball and Prayer

A kokedama ball is one in which a plant is encased in a mud 
pie, which is then encased with moss, which is then tied with twine.
The plant, which should have grown into a much bigger plant, has been changed. It is now a bonsai plant. It will live and survive in this ball of mud, moss, and twine for the rest of it’s life. No longer will this plant be able to grow to its fullest potential.
However, it is still a work of art, a miniature work of art which can only be defined by the size of the ball in which it lives St. Therese of Lisieux talks about the beauty of God’s Garden.
Read More at:: Prayerfully Yours

Oh Mother...The Victory.

What victory is this, that all suffering that we suffer now will pass away, and every tear, every pain along with every joy, and shout of praise will bring to fruition the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.

I have seen the victory, and it is wondrous.

In a moment at God's will I was shown the end....TO READ MORE..CLICK HERE!

Threads of the Resurrection (Luke 24:35-48)

The power of the Resurrection--the Risen Jesus made present in your own life.  Have you seen Him? Where? When? These were the questions posed to me yesterday, and three life moments immediately came to mind. The first--eighteen years ago..our 5 year old daughter had just been diagnosed with cancer. We were standing out in the hallway, just feet from where she lay in her hospital bed, but not visible to her. "The two disciples, recounted what had taken place along the way..They were startled and terrified." Here we could talk about what had just happened, what was happening--how scared we were. Here we could finally break down, let out our pain.  Both of us, sobbing, collapsing, falling to the floor, alternating between strength and weakness, holding each other up. "I can't do this. We can't do this!" I cried. Our fear was so great--incomprehensible to a young parent--never a part of our overall plan.  Life was spinning out of control and we were no longer s…

If not now when?


Praying for Our Priests

Father John Hardon, SJ, writes about praying for priests. “Prayer and Sacrifice for Priests.”  Father Hardon says,

“In a single sentence, the most important reason we need the priesthood is: without the priesthood there cannot be the Eucharist. Without the Eucharist there would be no Sacrifice of the Mass, no Holy Communion, no Real Presence of Jesus Christ on earth, where He continues His work of salvation in the world.”
The article can be found at:: for priests.  This article is well worth the read. Please step back and read that sentence again.  What does this say to you?
Read More at:: Prayerfully Yours

An interview with The Priests at St. John’s Food Pantry: International singing stars with the hearts of servants

Originally published in The Catholic Free Press on April 3, 2015


WORCESTER–March 27, 2015.

It was not your typical Friday at St. John’s Food Pantry in Worcester. As some five hundred of the city’s poor streamed in for a hot meal, three new faces greeted them. These men radiated warmth and kindness as they dished up generous portions of scrambled eggs with ham, Belgian waffles, and various meats and vegetables to grateful patrons.
Surprise guests Most could not have guessed that they were being served by world famous singing stars The Priests. That very night the critically acclaimed group would give a concert at the Hanover Theater to a near capacity crowd.

Click here to continue reading. There are two videos of The Priests plus an audio version of the full interview.

Happiness Tips for When You're Blue

On the news this week it was reported that 11% of Americans were on anti-depressants. That’s sad! We were made to be happy, and we wish it for others, saying “Happy Easter, Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas.”  Why aren’t so many of us happy? Of course, we can blame the theological reason: original sin that stole heaven’s bliss from us. Still, some modicum of happiness is within reach here on earth. We know the joy that comes from a job well done, a surprise party, a newborn baby, a gorgeous nature scene, and someone loving you. Experiences like those leave us bubbling over with happiness. There are stretches of time when we are content, at peace and enjoy getting up in the morning. Joy evaporates, however, when tragedy strikes, stress builds up, or failure darkens our life. Sometimes we might feel blue for no identifiable reason. At such times we might cry, wish we hadn’t been born, try to drown our sorrows in alcohol, or hate getting out of bed. Click to continue

Why I Don't Like the Word Brat, But I'll Still Tell You to Read a Book That Uses It

Brat- noun

1. achild,especiallyanannoying,spoiled,orimpolitechild(usuallyused incontemptorirritation) I was able to do some reading on our recent trip to Texas, and I woke up with a headache early in the morning one day, and read this book, pictured, cover-to-cover. It’s short and very readable. In fact, over all, I really liked the book, It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way, by Ginny Seuffert, published by Seton Press. This is the first book by Seton Press that I have read.

In the end, I was very glad I read this book. It helped some friends of mine to get their kids on track about an eating schedule, so that they’re no longer eating out of boredom, or always begging for snacks.  It also gave me clarity about confident, consistent parenting, such as ideas for bedtimes, and wisdom for frugal parenting (especially in their later, teenage years). These and other things were very helpful to hear discussed from a Catholic perspective.

Hearing encouragement about taking kids to Mass was also very he…