Showing posts from June, 2015

Works of Mercy: A Cure for Misery

Feeling blue?
I've been feeling sad lately, and maybe I'm not the only one. Despite the magnificent warm weather and glorious summer vacation, life just seems more difficult than usual--like walking through Jell-o.

Often, during times like these, I try to count my blessings. But then again, when I remember the millions of things for which I should be thankful, I grow angry with myself for feeling useless and oppressed. So then I'm sad and frustrated.

How do you shake the blues?

Join in the conversation about the Works of Mercy at Praying with Grace.

A Response to Fearmongering

People are writing with fear and panic underlying their comments and articles in the face of the States sanctioning same-sex marriages. Why?  We are people of hope, not doomsayers or fearmongers. Christ has already triumphed over sin and death. We are  not called to focus on disaster, on evil, on sin. Christ commanded us to refrain from condemnation and judgment so  we will not be judged and condemned by our Master.  Our mandate is simple; allow the Light of Christ to grow ever more brightly within us, especially as the darkness deepens. Then we will be a light unto the world. He will conquer darkness through us. We are simply channels of truth, light and mercy.  This is the central message of the New Testament. continue 

My Top 8 Reactions to the SCOTUS decision on Same Sex Marriage

My Top 8 Reactions to the Supreme Court Gay-Marriage Ruling. After Friday's Supreme Court Ruling I got a number of Facebook messages and e-mails asking for my opinion or asking me to explain my opinion.

1. The hashtag #lovewins, was all over social media.  Did that mean that #hatelost?  Of course not.  This wasn't a love vs. hate conflict.   To frame it that way is really the logical fallacy of false dilemma.

I have known many wonderful gay and lesbian people in my life time. All of them have been gifted, talented, funny and really enjoyable folks to be around. I fully believe what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, that these people must be:

accepted with respectcompassion, and sensitivity. I believe that we are called to do all of those things for all of God's people, and that one can do that and still oppose so-called same sex marriage. In fact, to really love our fellow human beings, one MUST oppose SSM.
Read More Here.

Book Review: Drop By Drop

By the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Department of Justice, Peace and Development In Partnership with Loyola Press In this beautifully illustrated book, we follow a young girl named Sylvie from the small country of Burkina Faso in Western Africa and the experience of Mike, a Catholic Relief Services worker working in the region.  Having been invited to speak to the classroom of Sr. Mary Jerome, Mike shares with the students the day-to-day challenges of living in an area of immense poverty. Read More..

Persevere in Faith? How So?

Persevere in Faith

To persevere in Faith, “we must nourish it with the Word of God.”1 That means that we need to read Scripture. The more we become acquainted with the Word of God, the more we come to know God, trust God and love God. Through the nourishment of the Word, we are able to believe in Him and all that He promises. This helps us to grow in trusting the Lord. Yet there are times when He is silent, and during these times we quickly feel abandoned. It is at these times that we must persevere in Faith. We must trust in God’s timing, and never give up. Read more...

2015 Catholic Press Awards

The 2015 winners for the Catholic Press Awards were announced last week in Buffalo, NY. Congratulations to Bezalel Books author Laura Pearl for two wins for her charming YA novel Erin's Ring!

Erin's Ring won 2nd place in Books for Teens and Young Adults Erin's Ring also won 3rd place in Catholic Novels

Laura is also the author of Finding Grace and blogs at String of Pearls.

The worst result of the SCOTUS marriage decision

The worst result of the SCOTUS marriage decision is an article I posted to my Being Catholic ... Really page (scroll down to find the article and the comments made) and I got a lot of flack for it.  Some thought I wrote it and became very angry with me.  I didn't correct them because I agree with what was stated.  I lost a few likes over it too.  That's happened before so it doesn't bother me like it used to when I first started blogging.

You can read the rest at Being Catholic ... Really.

Erin's Ring Receives Two Book Awards from the Catholic Press Association

I was thrilled and honored to learn that my YA Catholic novel, Erin's Ring (Bezalel Books, 2014), was a recipient of two 2015 book awards from the Catholic Press Association.

If you'd like to read more about it, the full post is over at String of Pearls.

In a World That Has Forgotten the Song


Saint Francis of Assisi and Brother Wolf

"...'Brother Wolf, you have killed and pillaged like a wanton criminal, and for that you deserve punishment! But accept instead the forgiveness of all the men you have wronged. Come now, here is my hand. In the name of the Holy One, come to me, and pledge that from this day on you will live at peace with men. Come!'...

"...He was only in time to see the berserker-wolf take the last hesitant step of its advance. To see it raise one metal paw — and with its steel claw-fingers gently touch the kneeling friar's extended hand...."

That's from Fred Saberhagen's "Brother Berserker." The "berserker-wolf" part of Saberhagen's tale is based on a legend in "Fioretti di San Francesco," written a century and a half after Francis of Assisi died.

"Firoetti" is probably the most popular collection of stories about Saint Francis: but "Scripta Leonis, Rufini et Angeli Sociorum S. Francisci," compiled by Brother Leo…

What is the most effective way to preserve marriage?

What is the most effective way to preserve marriage?  How can Catholics preserve the sacrament of holy matrimony? My husband and I often talk about the disintegration of marriage.  My husband feels that the baby boomers (our generation) have destroyed marriage.  We were the ones who brought about free love, living together and the divorce epidemic.  Divorce has become common place and the "starter marriage" is part of our vernacular. You can read the rest of the article at Being Catholic ... Really

Life and Marriage and Equal Protection

As long as the Supreme Court is basing a big ruling on equal protection, how about protecting something even more fundamental than marriage? Read more ...

Cover Reveal and Publication Date Announced

For children, waiting for anything seems endless! Faith Livingstone would agree, having just moved to a new town, and about to enter a new school. Faith wants so badly to make new friends.  She wants to feel like she belongs in her new surroundings. It all can’t happen fast enough for Faith. Journey with Faith as she struggles to make new friends; yet, learns the value of the virtue of patience in the process.

More info about Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity - Finding Patience can be found here and here.

Beavers, Floods, and Yet Another Dire Prediction

Beavers are back in England, which is good news or bad news: opinions differ on that point.

Quite a few folks died when drains blocked up in Nigeria's capital. Then a gas station exploded. There's more rain in the forecast, so their troubles are far from over.

Finally, there's a new doomsday prediction in a brand-new publication. Madagascan lemurs are imperiled: but not, I think, cockroaches, rats — or humans.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Time-Travelling Priest Now On Kindle And Nook!

The Father Capranica Mysteries: Stories of the Strange and Supernatural by Fr. Mike Driscoll is now available on Kindle and Nook. Driscoll's fiction book is an excellent accompaniment to his non-fiction book Demons, Deliverance and Discernment.

Preview of Catholic Ebooks On Sale

Welcome to Indie Catholic Authors first ebook-only joint sale! Grab 17 ebooks from 16 different Catholic authors for $.99 or less each. For details on all the books, their authors, and buy links, read on Echoes of the Divine by Melanie Jean Juneau Although babies are pre-verbal, they are perceptive and remember, even their time in the womb. Since infants come from God, they are more spiritual than adults ever imagined. Melanie offers insights through slice-of-life stories which will surprise you and make you laugh. Her writing is humorous and heartwarming, thoughtful and thought-provoking, with a current of spirituality running through it.  #1 Rated Nonfiction-Religion&Spirituality-Christian Life/Family on Smashwords Blue Hydrangeas: an Alzheimer’s love story by Marianne Sciucco What if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn’t remember your name?  Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in their beautiful home no matt…

Honestly, Does it Matter? 5 Ways to be Ready for the End of Times...

Things happen. That's the way of life. A flare of the sun does not mean that this is an omen from God. A "blood moon" only means that this is a blood moon.
Many people are now obsessed with the end of times.  Events, even of the most ordinary, become predictive of the "end of times." Many people live in fear because these "prophets" of our time say that everything will change.  Millions upon millions of people will die. I've seen this happen in my church where a group of fervent women pray, but they live in fear. Whereas prayer is good, fear is not from God. Read More at:: His Unending Love

Let my heart be the House

There are steadfast hearts that still beat strong
In the valley of their torment
There are hearts with walls built all around
Misfortune and pain to prevent
There are mended  hearts in the aftermath
of healing from sorrow and pain
But let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
And let your Spirit reign.
Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode Let my will to yours comply
Your plans that are good, meet the hopes that I had
As you set to purify.
I cannot fulfill my hopes and dreams
By trying to dodge Your plan
Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
And let your Spirit reign. Read the rest of my latest poem at New Things and give me some feedback please.

Thoughts on Prayer and Adoration

To sit, even for a single moment, in the Presence of God during adoration or in the tabernacle, is the source of amazing graces for our souls. Even the angels cannot measure the graces poured into our hearts and souls for they are too many to count. In these times when our world has gone crazy and our hearts are troubled, we need to humble ourselves in the Presence of God and say,

“My Lord and My God!”
Read more at:: Prayerfully Yours

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Part 3

This is the third in my series on the works of mercy and how to live them in everyday life.  You can find posts about feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty in the archives.  The Works of Mercy are integral to living our faith, yet they are often overlooked because we do not know how to do them even though we know that we should.  Also, as parents we must teach the Faith to our children, but teaching does not mean just book knowledge.  To truly teach Faith, a Faith that is ingrained on the soul and in the heart and throughout the mind, it must be lived.  As St Paul said, "Faith without works is dead."

Here are five ways that you and your family can learn to clothe the naked and so be the hands and feet of Christ here on earth.

In the Gospel of Luke,  John the Baptist says, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none"  We all have more than one shirt, and St John is not advocating only having one outfit.

Continue reading o…

This Man

What if you were there when He walked on earth?
What then?

Be Patient! Just Be Patient!

Be Patient! Just Be Patient! Oh my goodness – how many times have you heard that line, or better yet, delivered that line to your children? If you are like me, you have heard it over and over again; and if a mom or dad, delivered it over and over again. However, that is exactly what we need to do; be patient and let things work themselves out in accordance with God’s will and His timeline. He calls us to stick with it and persevere. How can we even think of persevering (another virtue) without patience? If we become impatient… Read more...

A Few Notes on Music in Life and Worship

One of the most delightful gifts we human beings have is music. Thank God we can enjoy listening to it, making it, singing to it, whistling it, humming it, and dancing to it. Although preferences range from stirring classical pieces like Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and operatic arias to rock numbers and toe-tapping songs like “Happy,” everyone likes music. It’s no surprise that music plays a dominant role in our worship. Singing is a way to use our body to praise God. As St. Augustine remarked, “Singing is praying twice,” or as my friend pointed out, the saint really said, “Singing well is praying twice”!   Click to continue

Everyday Can be Mother's Day:: The Power of the Rosary

I rescue and repair rosaries. Not every rosary I rescue is broken, but when I find a rosary that is in need of repair, I repair what I am skilled enough to fix. Friends will often bring me their rosaries to repair. I love these broken beads! Often, the repair is simple, just a link that needs to be attached to the next link, that’s all, then this staunch weapon of Our Lady is back in the hands of the user again.

Broken rosaries come from use. Is your rosary broken? Maybe, if it’s not, the time has come to find it and pray your rosary again. If you don’t remember how to pray a rosary, or if you were never taught, here’s a link to a page that explains the details of this prayer.

Check out this PAGE

Read more at:  Prayerfully Yours

Thirsty for Love!

“...You will feel lonely. Know then that I want you to unite yourself more closely to Me. I am concerned about every beat of your heart. Every stirring of your love is reflected in My Heart. I thirst for your love,” Jesus tells St. Maria Faustina Kowalska [Diary, entry 1542]. Yes, O Jesus... for even if the hearts of all creatures were offered to me,
they would not satisfy the depths of my heart...
"Come to the waters, you who thirst and you'll thirst no more…
And all you who labor in vain, and to the broken and shamed.
Love is here
>>Click Here to Read More at: The Way to Nourish for Life>>

A night in the Holy Sepulchre - Afterthoughts

I was sitting waiting for my train at Waterloo Station in London feeling sorry for myself. ‘What oh What’ I thought, would all that I experienced in the Holy Sepulchre mean to the vast majority of outsiders, who knew little if anything of the Christian faith? I was watching the commuters, the tourists, the retail therapists and the other miscellaneous men and women rushing past me. They were of all ages, of all colours, and of all different shapes and sizes, but they all seemed to have one thing in common; they all seemed to be busy, in a rush, all totally preoccupied. read on....


Pope Francis' encyclical reminds me we are not angels. We have bodies, and we must live in the physical world. It is this physical world, our common home, that Pope Francis asks us to consider: On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. [61] Interestingly, when I searched for images of "home" to include here, nearly 100% of the photos looked like this: Read more at Praying with Grace!

Just Say a Little Prayer for Me!

Several years ago, Cowgirl wrote a letter to Saint Nicholas asking for a special "grown-up" rosary for Christmas.  I try hard not to buy items made in China. It is nearly impossible to never buy any Chinese goods, however, I really try my hardest.  At the same time, I have such an appreciation for handcrafted items, especially when I can have a conversation with the crafter and custom design my gifts.  In my search for the perfect, affordable, beautiful rosary, I discovered Battle Beads.  The workmanship was excellent and the prices unbeatable.

Continued on Veils and Vocations...

Beyond the Best Sellers: An Indie Catholic Book Sale

Catholic Indie Authors need 48 more people to support them so they qualify for a media blitz called Thunderclap. It only takes one click to support the campaign. There are only 2 days left.

Beyond the Bestsellers
Looking for something beyond the bestsellers? Books written from a Catholic worldview.
100 supporters on Jun 24th at 12:00pm
Indie Catholic Authors
Join this Thunderclap

Waiting on the Lord! Tick-Tock!

Waiting on the Lord can be tough at times, especially in times of stress. Waiting on the Lord to provide sustenance, or direction, can seem like suffering in itself. Whether it is periods of unemployment, or waiting for medical results, the clock ticks slowly and it is easy for impatience to surface.

Patience requires an ability to corral our emotions, exercising composure and self-control (another virtue and fruit of the Holy Spirit). Saint Francis de Sales stated it best regarding why we should embrace patience, when he said:

…the more perfect our patience, the more perfectly do we possess our… Read more...

No Matter How You Look at it, It's all about love!!!!

“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Genesis 2: 24

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;  above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Go…

Father’s Day Through The Eyes of Art, St. Joseph and the Church

Fathers are so important in the development of their children.  The Bible is clear that Fathers are to be spiritual leaders in the home and has much to say about both our earthly fathers and God our heavenly father. Psalms 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
Deuteronomy 1:29-31you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’
Modern sculptures and paintings of St. Joseph, emphasize his strength and protective attitude for his young wife and vulnerable infant son. A model for modern dads.
continue reading

Your Cloister in the Midst of the World


Charleston Church Shooting: Emotions and Reason

A young man joined a Wednesday evening Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this week

After participating for about an hour, he killed nine of the folks there and left.

I'm angry, and sad, that nine lives were unjustifiably ended in that church: and am profoundly impressed at the calm shown by some of the victims' relatives.

In my considered opinion, what the young man did was wrong. I'll get back to why I think that's true: and what I'm doing about my anger and sorrow.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' Sunday Reflections, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt, 1633 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, USA 
Gospel Mark 4:35-41 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” The very first pastoral visit outside of Rome of Pope Franci…

Father's Day Survival Guide - 8 Tips for Single Moms

Fathers should be honored and appreciated, but for the single mom, Father’s Day can present challenges.
Ad after ad shows giggling children bouncing on shoulders of fun loving dads, cuddling for stories, cooking messy masterpieces, climbing into their parents' bed for tickles and laughter, and inviting scores of friends to a paint-balloon shootout barbecue in the backyard.
Friends on Twitter, Facebook, PinterestInstagram and other social media outlets post photos of their favorite parenting moments and praise husbands and fathers for being hard-working both at home and at work, for standing with their families in both good times and bad, and for being strong lovers, protectors, providers, leaders, and role models.
But life isn’t always so picture-perfect, and Father’s Day emptiness sometimes becomes a seemingly inescapable reality as single mothers kiss their children goodbye and watch them run off with a man who doesn’t match up with false promises. To read the rest, please join me…

What does the South Carolina shooting mean to churches?

What does the South Carolina shooting mean to churches?  Does it mean we have to have metal detectors at the doors?  Will we have to have ushers frisk people as they enter our churches?  Do we have to be afraid to greet strangers?

You can read the rest of the article at Being Catholic ... Really.

Have you come out as Catholic?

Have you come out as Catholic?  What I mean is, do people know you are a church attending, community involved, saint-loving, magisterium following Catholic?

You can read the rest at Being Catholic ... Really

Tell them about Mary


Tiny Microbes and the Tree of Life, Big Aliens

Small critters: The University of California, Berkeley, press release calls them "bacteria," but scientists may decide that they should get another label. These tiny microorganisms aren't quite like anything else that's had its DNA analyzed before, so textbooks may need to be rewritten in a few years.

Big aliens: Ever since reporters garbled a 1950s UFO sighting, "little green men" has meant "space alien." We still don't know whether there's life, intelligent or otherwise, elsewhere: but a scientist says that if we've got neighbors, they're probably bigger than we are.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Help Spread the Word about Catholic EBooks

Fifteen members of Indie Catholic Authors are hosting a sale of their ebooks from June 24-26.  All books are sale priced at $0.99 or less. You can buy a whole new library for less than $15! On Wednesday, June 24, we’ll post all the details about each book here, including buy links. This is our first joint sale that focuses exclusively on e-books. Could you help us spread the word by joining our Thunderclap campaign.? Sign up to have an automatic tweet, Facebook or Tumbler post on the 24th at noon. We need at least 100 participants to blast social media with our message. Click here to more

Anna's Story

Marriage breakups strike even those who are faithful, those with big families, and those who love the Lord. The trauma of a broken marriage is made even more heartbreaking when a new baby is involved. Anna is a single mom of five young children who contacted me via my website, Single Mom Smiling. She is hopeful that her husband will rediscover his faith and return to his family. Please join me in reading Anna's story and in praying for her family, for a return to faith in today's self-centered world, and for a healing of wounds only our Savior Jesus Christ can truly understand and heal. Anna is one of many brave, faithful women praying for the healing of their marriages. Take no moment for granted, treasure your family, and please read, pray for, and share Anna's story:
My husband has been going downhill gradually for the past 3 years. I first noticed it when I was pregnant with our fourth child in 2012.  To continue reading, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.

God Bless...

Same Sex Marriage Ignores the Dignity of the Human Person

What is the dignity of the human person? “Human persons are willed by God; they are imprinted with God’s image. Their dignity does not come from the work they do, but from the persons they are.” 

Our dignity comes from who we are. It comes from our “being” rather than our “doing.” The very fact that a person has been willed into existence by God and imprinted with His image, gives them a dignity that cannot be taken from them. This fundamental dignity must be respected.
To read more, see The Sincere Gift

Another Mother Teresa, Promoter of the Sacred Heart

I’m actually writing this on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, when we celebrate the incredible love Jesus has for us. This feast dovetails with recent projects I’m involved in. Over the past weeks, I’ve come to learn about Mother Teresa Casini, foundress of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Francis declared her Blessed this year, and the ceremony will be this October. The miracle that led to this honor occurred in Youngstown, Ohio, the only site of the Sisters in the USA. A five-year-old child from one of their schools drowned in a pool. After intense prayers to Mother Teresa, forty-eight hours later he was miraculously healed on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The boy not only lived but was spared the severe brain damage predicted. Thirteen doctors of different faiths testified to the miracle. Click to continue

Patience in an Up-Tempo World

Patience in an up-tempo world – what a contradiction! The technology advances of the 20th century created an expectation for obtaining things NOW. With that, the virtue of patience seems to have fallen by the wayside. Does anyone even remember what it was like to be patient? Remember when you had to wait for the new school year to start to get some new clothes and shoes? Or do you remember waiting until your birthday to get that toy you really wanted? Or best yet, do you remember in the “olden” days when you actually waited until you saved… Read more...