Showing posts from August, 2015

More Good Books for Children

Warning: If you don't like books, then STOP READING!

If, on the other hand, you agree with Cicero that “a room without books is like a body without a soul,” then come with me. . . .

I'm continuing my articles about interesting books for children. I keep running into authors at conventions and discovering new books, you see, so what else can a book lover do?!

Here's the latest from Catholic Kids:

In Gifts from Our Father: A Catholic Prayer Book for Kids, author Tom Wall and illustrator Martin Whitmore offer a truly unique collection of All Things Catholic: prayers, definitions, teachings, devotions, and feast days.

Read all about it at Praying with Grace!

Ecumenism in the 21st Century: Can We Really Be One?

The Gospel of John tells us that, shortly before his Passion began, the Lord prayed, “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are” (John 17:11). While we often associate division among Christians with the schisms that led to the Orthodox Churches and the Reformation that led to Protestant denominations, division among Christians goes back to the early Church. Paul himself asked the Church of Corinth, “Has Christ been divided?” when he heard that Christians were claiming to belong to Paul, Apollo or Cephus. He urged the Christians to “be united in the same mind and in the same purpose” (1 Cor 1:10).
Two thousand years later, we look around and see that we are still far from Christian unity and must still work on being of the same mind and purpose. We talk about it. We long for it. We reiterate the significance of Christian unity every time we say the Nicene Creed and refer to the Church the Lord founded as “one, holy, catholic and …

Lord, Save Me From the Latin Mass...

I am old enough to remember the Latin Mass. When I was 7, I made my First Holy Communion, and the Mass was in Latin. Even at that age, I didn’t like the Latin Mass because you couldn’t understand it. Also, the priest never turned around and looked at the Congregation during the Mass. All the readings were in Latin, and, unless you had a Missal, you couldn’t understand what the readings meant. It was way too easy to let my mind wander far away from church, the mass, and everything else around me. If the priest’s homily was based on the readings, it was hard to make a connection between what the priest was saying and the words read by the priest in Latin.

When Vatican II had concluded, and I attended the first Mass said in English, I was stunned.
Read More at:  Prayerfully Yours

We Have a Warrior God

I saw "War Room" this past weekend with friends, and it inspired me to become more disciplined about praying for loved ones. Here's my review.

This movie is produced by the Kendrick brothers, the writers who gave us "Facing the Giants," "Fireproof," and "Courage." I've seen all these movies, and the messages are always good and on target. However, the actors (not well-knowns, other than Kirk Cameron) have not been stellar, and this always trips me up a bit.

I understand that Affirm Pictures (the Kendrick brothers company) is a small outfit. (Hollywood doesn't, in general, produce movies with a Christian message.) But, I support them. I'm going to see every movie they produce, because that's how they will grow and bring in revenue and at some point draw the bigger names. I get that making movies is about money. I hate it, but I get it.

Having said that, I loved "War Room." It's the best yet from the Ke…

Grateful Hearts: Count Your Blessings!

Grateful hearts humbly acknowledge that there is a need to be filled, via the talents of others. We consider it a blessing from God when someone steps up to address the need that we couldn’t otherwise fulfill ourselves. We are grateful to God and to our fellow man for rushing to our aid!

What are you grateful for these days? When was the last time you counted your blessings? I can attest from experience that when I count my blessings and express my gratitude to God, my mood improves. I have had many opportunities to do so, while going through… Read more...

Divorce Thoughts of Revenge & the Evil Within

Oh the thoughts I've had about my ex and the other woman! The comebacks I've considered for their mean and spiteful comments, the responses I've rehearsed to their false and damaging accusations, the scornful piteous glance I'll offer that other woman when she learns the truth.
I'd be lying if I said I hadn't gone through some of that. I'd be lying if I said I don't catch myself every once in a while falling back into that trap.
But that's exactly what those negative thoughts are - a trap. 
In Sunday's Gospel Reading from Mark Chapter 7, the Pharisees questioned Jesus about the disciples' lack of proper protocol. Why didn't the disciples cleanse their hands? Why didn't they go through proper purification processes? Why didn't they...?
Jesus responded to their questions in this way...
To continue reading, to share, comment, and follow, please join me at Single Mom Smiling. Thank you so much.

God Bless...

The Last Age Before the Messiah Comes: The Age of WAR.

In all history of God there have been three ages and we are in the last of the three ages.

The first age was the Age of the Prophets, find out what the other two ages are...CLICK HERE!

OUR Cloister

As a cloistered nun or monk lives within a specific area known as the cloister, we can make a specific choice to live within the will of God.... (click to continue)

(Not) 'Going Native'

As a Christian, and a Catholic, I should be 'in the world but not of the world.' That idea shows up in John 15:18-19 and 17:14-16, and Romans 12:2.

Joining a cloistered outfit like the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) is one option: they're part of the Benedictine family, contemplative monks and nuns.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Fear of God


'Because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is.' Sunday Reflections, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ, El Greco, c.1606 Cathedral, Toledo, Spain [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada)  Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands,thus observing the tradition of the elders;and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it;and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not liveaccording to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”He said to them,…

Weekend Poetry:: I Try, I Really Do...

I Try, I Really Do.

I try,
I really try.
Some days, there’s no trying.
Prayer doesn’t come easy,
so I sit,
humbled at adoration.
My God!  My God!
Your mercy covers me.
My God!  My God!
You are all I see
Present in the monstrance,
our God
in one small host.
I don’t understand,
but I trust.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Read more at:  Prayerfully Yours



Early Hands, Mutant Mice

Scientists created "super-intelligent mice" — but this isn't a cartoon, so the mice aren't hatching plans for world domination. The research may lead, eventually, to treatments for Posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.

Other scientists found hand bones shaped pretty much like ours: from at least 1,840,000 years back....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Sometimes When Things Happen,

When the storm hits and hits hard, God is reminding us to pray.
There is nothing else we can do but pray.

Pray! Pray! Pray!

Be the light in this world to those covered in darkness.

Pray for Peace.
Pray for Pope Francis.
Pray for our sister and brother Christians around the world who are persecuted.
Pray for your children.
Pray for your families.
Pray for your soul.
Pray for the souls in Purgatory.

Just get down on your knees and pray.

Read More at:  Prayerfully Yours

The Sin of the Century


Elizabeth Reardon Interviews Melanie on An Engaging Faith

“With 9 children, and a heart full of love, faith and humor, Melanie Jean Juneau shares of her vocation to motherhood and love of writing! ”

Although Elizabeth is a new host on Real Life Radio, she is a gifted interviewer. She adapted her questions according to my comments. Elizabeth focuses on the person she interviews; she researched my blogs, websites where I post articles, the website ACWB which I am the administrator for and even my Pinterest boards. Elizabeth does her homework.
"Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at Joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life
continue reading

Touring Chicago's beautiful churches: St. Monica

Touring Chicago's beautiful churches brought my husband and I to St. Monica and to a mini family reunion.

You can read the article and view the gallery at Being Catholic ... Really.

A Question Of Life

If life is a gift, why is there so much suffering? I don’t want to live a life of suffering. I know that unborn babies would feel the same way. Besides, they aren’t really alive. They couldn’t survive outside the womb.

Did you know that during an abortion their is a great deal of suffering, not only for the mothers, but also for the babies? Unborn babies can feel pain even before 20 weeks. Check this out. The fetal heartbeat begins around 5-6 weeks in development. Isn’t that a sign of life? Little ones (fetuses) show signs of movement when touched by a scalpel when medical procedures are needed for the child in utero. Responses that are similar to the responses of an adult in pain, have been observed by doctors as they perform surgery on the little ones.

Read More at Prayerfully Yours 

The Gift of Sufferring

“God loves us, so He makes us  the gift of suffering. I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids, and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice,

”Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.”

What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was I would be shallow, without depth and strength.
If this is the situation, I say bring on suffering because I want—no I need—to live in reality, in God. continue

Gratitude is Personal and Reverent

Gratitude is personal. Here is an example. If a person needs to take a taxi to the doctor’s office, he simply does so. However, if this person were to receive a ride to the doctor’s office by a neighbor or friend, then this person would most likely feel a sense of gratitude. He/she would express gratitude by saying thank you for the kindness expressed. Therefore, for gratitude to exist, two human beings must be involved; one that gives, without expecting anything in return, and one that receives. “…gratitude is the expression of a personal encounter in human need.” 1 For the giver, an act of kindness, or the striving to meet another’s need, must be voluntary. No sense of quid-pro-quo should exist.

Besides being personal and voluntary, Father Romano Guardini offers a third condition for gratitude in Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God: Read more...

Where's God When You Can't Pray?

Lately I’ve been writing books on prayer, in particular about praying on empty. Maybe you can identify with this: During your prayer you keep checking the time and the minute hand seems barely to have moved. You understand why St. Teresa of Avila shook her hourglass as she prayed, attempting to speed up the time. Instead of enjoying time with your Lord, you are restless and your mind is full of distractions. You don’t sense God’s presence, and he certainly isn’t speaking to you. It’s as though you are talking to yourself. Periods of dryness in prayer are frustrating and confusing. You might think that God no longer loves you or maybe you did something to displease God or, worse yet, maybe God doesn’t exist! Click to continue

Down to Earth

What is it about having hands in the warm earth that speaks so sincerely to my soul? For as long as I can remember, I have cherished this invitation to connect with the Creator and his creation. To till the soil, plant, and cultivate from its humble beginnings to harvest, that is the essence of a season in time.   Watching the grass grow, enamored by the sudden appearance of each bud, blossom and fruit I wonder the delight that God must have too in each of these small miracles. Yet not only an observer, we are participators and co-creators in caring for this life that has been entrusted to us.  What a blessed and wondrous responsibility!Read More...

Unless By Frequent Rains


Celebration Time! Book Published!

Let the celebration begin! Join in on the fun! Celebrate the launch of my new book with me. Read to learn how to get in on the action. There is a Giveaway! Read more...

Is Centering Prayer Catholic?

“What is Centering Prayer? What are its origins? Is it a form of New Age meditation, or a thoroughly Catholic prayer method that can lead to contemplation? Connie Rossini digs into the writings and public statements of Fr. Thomas Keating, one of Centering Prayer’s foremost proponents. She compares his words with the writings of St. Teresa of Avila on prayer, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on New Age spirituality. Find out if Centering Prayer is a reliable method for union with God, or a counterfeit that Catholics should avoid.”


Is Centering Prayer Catholic? Fr. Thomas Keating Meets Teresa of Avila and the CDFA new book  by Connie Rossini.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Theology of the Body for Children, Part 2

Sooner than I expected, the gender-identity crisis has hit my family. A friend of my high school children recently announced that she occupies the wrong body. She is adopting a male name and look, and asks that everyone embrace the new identity.
My children are struggling to respond. I was about to write that my children are agonizing over how to respond (which is true), but whatever confusion they are experiencing is nothing compared to the agony of their friend. A bright, talented young person, their friend has decided--at the age of eighteen--that her body is a mistake. Every conscious moment must be torture for her. Every time she moves, looks at herself, or speaks, she regrets having the "wrong" body.

Please join me at Praying with Grace to get a glimpse of a new set of books for children (ages 4-7) that can help adults respond with love to gender issues.

Life Lessons from a 90-year-old

I rarely repost but this list is a treasure trove of common sense and practical. 

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles. 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do. 35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young. 37. Your children get only one childhood. 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

I'm not Sure What God is Telling Me, but...

I was very surprised to see this dove sitting on the ground, showing no fear or concern as my dog and I walked by. Even when I stopped to take a picture, she didn’t move. She sat there until she started to peck into the ground looking for food. It was a calm moment, perhaps the calmest moment of my day, when I saw her.

She’s a lovely bird. She was peaceful and calm.
I googled the meaning of a dove in Christianity. Of course, the Holy Spirit was a frequent reference. Other references include a Eucharistic Vessel, inspiration, divine guidance, fortitude, peace and hope in the Resurection. All of these are good things. She was a simple dove representing so much in our faith.

Read More at:  Prayerfully Yours

Thank You! Two Words Never Overused!

“Thank you” can never be said too much. Gratitude is a sense of thankfulness to God and to your fellow man for kindnesses extended to you, expressed in word or in deed.

Everything good that comes our way is a gift from God. We came into this world with nothing. We leave with nothing. All that we obtain in between comes from God. Therefore, we say thank you to God for meeting our needs and blessing us in abundance; for providing us with possibilities and opportunities. We even say thank you to God for times of... Read more...

Reader Q&A: What type of birth is right, for me?

A few weekends ago, I traveled to North Carolina to be with a friend that I have the privilege of calling a lifelong friend, for her after-the-fact wedding reception (she was married out of the country, and was celebrating with a reception in NC). The friend I mentioned above is currently pregnant with her first baby, and we were talking about birth for a little while. She was asking about my experiences with birth, and she asked me what I thought about it.... for her. "What kind of birth is right, for me?" she asked. She's a blog reader (and informed me that so is her sister, hooray!), so even though we already talked about it in person, I'm going to answer her question here!

Q: What kind of birth is "right"? In what direction should I go if I'm on the fence about the whole "birth" thing? Are you "hardcore" about doing birth a certain way, and should I be?
A: This is a very, very good question. Birth.... it's a tough subject, but …

'Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.' Sunday Reflections, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Saint Peter, El Greco, 1610-13 [Web Gallery of Art] Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial, Madrid  John 6:60-69 (NRV, Catholic Edition, Canada) 
When many of Jesus’ disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can …

I attended Mass Here Today

I decided to take a small road trip for Mass today. In truth, I only drove about 15 minutes, but a good part of that time was spent on Highway 94. I really don’t like driving on that road, but it was worth it.

I attended Mass this morning at the Church of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Paul. It was a church that I had heard about onFather Rocky’s Facebook page. He had shown the photo of the statue of Mama Mary pregnant with her Son, and I knew that I had to see this church.

Read More at: Prayerfully Yours

Who Know Their Creed So Well

'I want a laity... who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it...' (Blessed John Henry Newman)(continue....)

Change Happens

I took an unexpected trip to North Dakota Friday, delivering parts my son had been working on: and enjoying a few hours with family there, including our granddaughter.

On the way out, I stopped off at Fergus Falls for gas: and discovered that Debbie's Home Style Kitchen isn't there any more. That's what it looked like, back in 2010.

I found a partial explanation on a Fargo, North Dakota, station's website....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Suicide: No Future in It

Socrates was a troublemaker, and asked too many questions — which got him killed. I talked about that Friday. (August 21, 2015)

What he said at his trial probably didn't help...

...Nobody forced poison down Socrates' throat: but I'm not sure whether his death was quite "suicide." He'd been told to kill himself, after a trial which apparently followed Athenian judicial standards.

About suicide: I think it's a bad idea. I've had the impulse occasionally, but decided that there's no future in it. Depression, and an autism spectrum disorder, made — makes — my life interesting. (December 14, 2014)

It's also treatable, and there's help available for those of us with suicidal thoughts: like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) / 800-273-8255 — a free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information and local resources. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline / www.suicidepreventi…

An Engaging Faith : Elizabeth Reardon on Real Life Radio

With a Jesuit leaning, An Engaging Faith looks at the discovery of God in our everyday while also engaging the social realities in the world around us. She will be interviewing Melanie, our administrator, on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 4pm and another of our writers, Virginia.
Tuesday: Melanie Jean-Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at Joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, a columnist at CatholicLane,CatholicStandCatholic365 , CAPC & author ofEchoes of the Divine. Wednesday: Virginia Lieto, In 2011, Virginia decided to leave Corporate America and made a commitment to give her life to God. With that commitment, and her faith, she obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. Upon graduation, Virginia became an adjunct prof…

A Visual Feast: The Queenship of Mary

A selection of the best art and icons capturing the humility, dignity and nobility of Mary, Queen of Mary.

Is Your Food Making You Sick?? From Anxiety To Arthritis… IBS to Insomnia… Migraine to Muscle Pain…

In a wide array of medical conditions and symptoms, it really is possible for Food Sensitivities to be playing a role—at least for some of us (who are many!). Examples Of Medical Conditions Where Food Sensitivities Can Play A Primary Or Secondary Role: "Sensitivities" are a type of inflammatory reaction... >>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>

When Someone Famous Dies, Do You Pray for the Repose of their Soul?

I’ve thought about this often. People who are famous, die, too. Rather than have them be one of the abandoned or forgotten souls in Purgatory, do you pray for them?

When a person dies, the time of merit has ended. The souls who merited heaven, thank God for that gift for they lead lives of grace and holiness. If souls have merited Purgatory, they can no longer pray for themselves. Their suffering is great. Yet these souls are grateful because they can no longer sin, and they know that their purgation will merit them the gift of heaven.

These souls are completely reliant on our prayers to ease their sufferings and hasten their cleansing. They know that they do not merit hell, but those who do not have others to pray for them linger in this state of eternity.
Do you pray for the Souls in Purgatory daily?
Read more at Prayerfully Yours.

New Worlds: 51 Eridani b, HD 219134b

Scientists are looking, literally, at a newly-discovered exoplanet, 51 Eridani b. It's less than 100 light-years away, about as far from its star as the gas giants in the Solar System: and very young, only around 20,000,000 years old.

Studying 51 Eridani b should help scientists understand how our Solar System formed.

HD 219134b is much closer: a little over 21 light-years away, in the constellation Cassiopeia. It's a rocky world, like Earth; but larger, and blistering hot. It's also the closest transiting exoplanet we've found so far. This is a big deal, at least for scientists who study planets....

...Whether you know why I'm not offended by God's design choices or not, feel free to skip ahead to "An Infant Version of Jupiter"; check out, and/or mainstream comics at; or do something completely different....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.



Remembering to Pray

Do you have a system to remind you to pray? Some days, it’s so busy around here, like realizing at 3 PM that you have not gone to the bathroom all day, I realize that I have not raised myself to God in prayer, except for the short morning offering that I pray as my day begins.

Reminders, especially at my age, are good. So what I do is this. I wear my Rosary bracelet all day and all night. It’s blessed, so it’s a sacramental, and it’s a reminder to pray whenever I can. I also went rock hunting a while back. I found the rocks in the photo, and I wrote prayer intentions on them. I keep these rocks around my home, and when I see them, I whisper a quick prayer for the rock I saw first.

Read more at:  Prayerfully Yours