Showing posts from October, 2015

We Pray For Our Loved Ones Who Have Died... [A Prayer for the Deceased]

“A prayer that we pray together is a powerful prayer”! Let us pray...

Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us... >>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>
including family prayer for our deceased loved ones (plus song...).

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings. –Isaiah 40:31
One thing I love about the shape of my days is that I get several new beginnings sandwiched in between dawn and dark. 
My habit of napping – begun of necessity during the years of (constant??) pregnancy – has stayed with me as a mini-Sabbath that is a priceless gift. From it, I emerge newly begun every afternoon. The Divine Office is a dip into a pool of deep refreshment three times a day: Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer.
It may seem strange to think of Night as a new beginning, but it’s a wonderfully quiet, still, relaxed phase for one whose mind can let go of today and tomorrow by way of the night office. Sleep (young moms may have forgotten what a full night’s sleep is, but even a partial sleep is heavenly!) is a vital time of brain-reorganization and integration that takes advantage of your incapacity to act, in order that you may be acted upon. 
Great ideas and creative solutions to problems are often born during a restful night, and God sometimes touches the sle…

'Rejoice and be glad . . .' Sunday Reflections, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day

The Coronation of the Virgin, Fra Angelico, 1434-35m Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy [Web Gallery of Art]
Gospel Matthew 5:1-12a (New Revised Standard Version, CatholicEdition, Canada)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely …

7 Favorite Quotes About the Saints

I love the saints.  I know - shocker - right?  Having a blog named Saints365 might be the dead giveaway there... The Solemnity of All Saints'  is one of my favorite celebrations of the Church's calendar - like a big party for all of my heavenly friends. I am so inspired by reading the lives of the saints, and find in each of them some unique expression of a lived-out holiness that leads me to desire ever more fervently to be like them.  In celebration of All Saints' Day, click here to read seven of my favorite quote about the saints - not about any one saint in particular, but about the saints in general.  Please feel free to download, pin, and share the quotes.  (please retain the Saints365 mark on the graphics).

HALLOWEEN and that Commandment !!!


Kerberos, Mars: Answers Raise New Questions

Images sent back from New Horizons gave scientists their first opportunity to see how big Kerberos is. It's much smaller than they expected, which raises new questions.

Meanwhile, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's instruments provided evidence that there's running water on Mars: every summer, on some crater slopes. It's not the Mars of Burroughs' Barsoom tales: but I think the planet is getting more interesting, the more we learn about it.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Life restored after a season of loss: “River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times” in word and song -

I am pleased to announce my first book, published by Ave Maria Press.

River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (now available on Amazon) is a spiritual memoir that reveals how several major losses helped me rediscover creativity and faith. Ave Maria Press describes it as "Filled with powerful insights on the presence and action of grace--in the Mass and the sacraments, nature and grief, and even through the life and works of Louisa May Alcott--River of Grace guides readers in strengthening their faith, discovering their own hidden gifts and restoring a joy in living during and after tough times." It contains lots of practical spiritual exercises called Flow Lessons that lead you there. (Some of the Flow Lessons are on this site--check them out here.)
Losing a part of yourself One of the losses I experienced was that of my singing voice. Yet throughout the writing of River of Grace, I kept thinking of songs that would fit with each chapter. While writing the t…

What Kind of Catholic Are You Today?

I ask this question because my daughter asked me this question. She’s an adult, and she knows better, but sometimes, profanities come out of her mouth. When I correct her, she reminds me of my sins. She says, “Does it just depend on what kind of Catholic you are that day?” Ummm, well, she does have a point. I correct her, but, sometimes, I don’t correct myself.

I had to take a hard at myself and my attitudes toward Christianity and Catholicism.. What kind of Catholic am I on any given day? Am I a “good” Catholic one day and a “cafeteria” Catholic another day?

Catholicism is more than a “religion,” a “belief system,” or a faith, it is a way of life. Catholocism is a way of life because our faith and our lives are one. Therefore, if I do not follow the commandments, if I do not integrate prayer into my life, if I do not follow the precepts of the Church in my life, I might say that I am a Catholic, but, in truth, I’m not, except when I’m at Church.

Read More at P…

On Our Way


The Seven Reasons Why I Go To Church

I see a lot of articles on the (insert number) reasons people don’t go to their Catholic Church, so I thought it was time for an article on the seven reasons why I do go to church.

To read the reasons, you can go to
Anyone who enjoys Contemporary Christian praise and worship music knows about Matt Maher. Coming on the scene in 2007, Maher has written and produced eight solo albums with three of them having reached the Top 25 Christian Albums Billboard chart; four of his singles have reached the Top 25 Christian Songs chart (Wikipedia). He was awarded the Dove Award this year for Songwriter of the Year and Best Song ("Because He Lives (Amen))"

He is the only Catholic musician to have garnered such awards. Maher served for thirteen years as a Lifeteen music minister at St. Timothy's in Mesa, AZ where he met a certain Liz Corupti. Corpupti is now the director of the New Evangelization Worcester for Youth & Young Adults (part of the Worcester Diocese). She brought Maher to Worcester to enthusiastic crowds. This is the article I wrote for the Catholic Free Press about the Matt Maher concert at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA on Friday, October 16. The paper's editor attended the…

The Halloween Asteroid: 2015 TB145

(From Alex Alishevskikh,; via Flikr and, used w/o permission.)
("Trail of the object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013."

Asteroid 2015 TB145 won't hit Earth, but it will be only slightly farther from us than the Moon at 1:05 p.m. EDT, 5:05 p.m. UTC, October 31. I've talked about asteroids, Earth Time, and why thinking ahead makes sense, before....

...Fifty years ago, we probably wouldn't have noticed an incoming asteroid until very shortly before it hit. Even if we did, there wouldn't have been much we could do, apart from praying — and that's another topic....

More at More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Feast Day of the Patron Saint of Difficult or Impossible Cases: St. Jude Thaddeus


The Calling


Interview With Ruth Hogan Herne: “Refuge of the Heart”

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Catholic novelist Ruth Hogan Herne about her latest novel “Refuge of the Heart”.  Ruth is a gifted storyteller; I was captivated by the characters, plot and message of this novel before I finished reading the first chapter. Her prose is well-written, and the dialogue sounds true to life.  My reaction to this novel reminded me of the English poet and philosopher Samuel Coleridge’s term “the suspension of disbelief”. “Refuge of the Heart” passed Coleridge’s test of a well-written book because I forgot I was reading fiction. However, “Refuge of the Heart” is not merely a well-written Christian romance; it tackles complex moral and social issues with equally complex, multi-layered charactersIt is actually a parable about the triumph of faith and the strength of the human spirit to thrive, not just survive, adversity. continue reading

Forgiveness: St. Maria Goretti

Does Forgiveness Elude You? Forgiveness is difficult for many of us; yet, not so for young St. Maria Goretti.  Maria died at age eleven, from mortal stab wounds caused by unwanted advances of a young man. Forgiveness for this young man was one of her last words uttered before dying. She not only forgave him, she openly prayed for him, while suffering from those stab wounds prior to her death.

How many of us would be so forgiving? How many of us pray for those who wish us harm or have hurt us physically, emotionally or spiritually? Read more...

Are You Blind or Like Bartimaeus?

Here is a guest blog from my friend Amanda Haberman:  My Great-Uncle Jim was legally blind and still driving his car weekly well into his 80s. This was comical to me as a teenager, but I’m sure it was alarming and dangerous in the eyes of my parents and probably his neighbors. While Uncle Jim would take the wheel, my Auntie Annette would sit in the passenger seat and be his “eyes” while he was driving. You see, Auntie Annette didn’t have her license, and she had never driven a car in her life. So, she wasn’t going to let her husband’s deteriorating eyes keep her from running errands and making it to Mass. She would remind all of us just how close she lived to these locations; therefore, in her eyes it was “no big deal” that Uncle Jim was driving blind. So as long as Jim could use his limbs, he was driving her. Click to continue

Keep Calling Out Again and Again...

It's funny, not in a laugh out loud sort of way, but in a funny, sweet, melt your heart kind of way. I've always been the parent my kids went to when something was wrong.
When they didn't feel well, they wanted to cuddle with Mom. When something bad happened at school they came home to milk and cookies with Mom (True at least when they were little! I miss those days!) When Firefighter and Jerry Rice, our guinea pigs, died (now that's a story!), it was Mom who provided comfort.
But it's also Mom they go to when something bad happens, even when bad isn't so bad but they just don't feel like dealing with it, like when they are carrying groceries in from the car and drop a bag of flour leaving a mess you can only imagine! Or when the toilet clogs and there's no one but the clogger and Mom. Or in a multitude of other ways. My boys know they just have to call, and I'll be there - eventually.
To read the rest of the Go…

10 Interesting Facts and Prayers about Purgatory and the Souls that are There

1. The fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell; the difference between them is that the fire of Purgatory is not everlasting.
St. John Vianney
2. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1032: “From the beginning, the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.”

Read More At Prayerfully Yours

Prayers For Those Who Are Addicted

Let us pray, and take heart,
after all, “a prayer that we pray together is a powerful prayer”
…just as Fr. Joseph M. Wolf says beginning each EWTN Family Prayer,
even if we are praying at different times on different days! 
So, please, pray with me…

>>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>> [including prayers plus 15 Bible verses on no longer being slaves to our sins and addictions]

100 Posts!

We're celebrating 100Praying with Grace posts!
I began this blog for the Apostleship of Prayer in October 2013. Through it, I have encountered many gracious, thoughtful, and prayerful people. I take a month off from the blog each summer, but otherwise here we have been together, every Tuesday morning, for two years. I am grateful.
Thank you for praying with me.

Please join me at Praying with Grace for today's unique prayer experience.

In The News: “Arsenic Found in Many U.S. Red Wines, but health risks depend on total diet”

Sixty-four wines (of the 65 wines tested) from America’s top four wine-producing states had arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
… According to the report, water (for drinking) is not allowed to contain more than 10 parts per billion of arsenic, while the wines tested averaged 24 parts per billion (ranging 10 to 76 parts per billion); Oregon with the lowest concentration.
But the likely health risks will probably depend on how many other arsenic-containing foods and beverages one consumes…
>>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>

10 Facts About My Faith Journey

Inner issues cripple everyone’s ability to become saints. We are not told how to grow in authentic holiness. I have worked with a Catholic psychiatrist (who is also a friend) for 25 years on my own inner issues. I am interested in mental health and helping others through the inner healing process.
My most recent understanding of our faith is that Christians must learn how to let go of pride. Pride manifests itself in trying to save ourselves through our own efforts. This means we do not allow Jesus to save us.
continue to read

How Can I Keep From Singing?

My life flows on in endless song; Above earth's lamentation,I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn That hails a new creation;Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing;It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?

My Sleeping Saint Joseph Statue

This past March I came across this article about Pope Francis’ Sleeping Saint Joseph statue. I posted the picture and article on my Being Catholic ... Really Facebook page and everyone just about lost their minds! “Where do I get one?,” everyone asked. So the search was on and I contacted several Catholic gift stores. No one knew what I was talking about or if they did, they had no source for the statue.
To find out how and where I got my statue, you can read the rest at My Sleeping St. Joseph Statue.

Road of Virtues: Twists and Turns

The road of virtues is not necessarily a straight path. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes we take the long road, finding out that the short-cuts weren’t worth it. Together, you and I have traveled the road of virtues for the past 20 months. In that time we have reviewed and studied every virtue in the Virtues Guide – Second Edition. In series of posts, I have defined the virtues, explained why it is important to embrace the virtues and provided suggestions for how to practice the virtues.

Now it’s time to take…

As the Morning Rising: The Battlefield

As the Morning Rising: The Battlefield:

 Just supposing you and I ( God forbid ) were on a battlefield plunged into oceans of ugliness and injury, and terrible suffering. And then ...

continue reading

Suicidal Man.

There is a young man who just sent me an email that says he is ready to commit suicide.  I don't know him where he is, all I have is an email address.   What he described in email could be from a demonic influence.


Matthew C.

Entering into the Prayer of Christ

Join me in listening to my podcast on my new look website
Progress in the Spiritual Life is rather like trying to walk up a downward escalator. The moment you stop going forward is the moment when you start going backwards.

First Beginnings

Prayer and My Personal Journey

To mark the publication of my new website I would like to introduce you to my own personal spiritual journey, as I first learnt how to pray. I am only doing this so that you may learn from my failures more quickly that I did, and in the hope that what little I have learnt may be of some help to you on your journey.

My first recollections of prayer were of kneeling at my bedside repeating the same set of petitions night after night. God bless Mummy and Daddy, my brothers, and all my aunts and uncles who were mentioned by name. It was only after my cousins were prayed for in order of age that my turn came. I was not taught to ask God to bless me as he was asked to bless everyone else, but to make me a good boy!

Who wants to be a good boy?  I didn’t! So I stopped praying to be a good boy the moment I was left to pray on my own, and I started to ask for things instead. read on......

Rediscovering My Own Catholicism

To celebrate the first day of my vacation, I went to one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast. Before my food arrived, I took out Matthew Kelly's book, Rediscover Catholicismand started to read. Unfortunately, I was on the chapter about fasting. Oops!

You can read the rest of the article at

Who Shall Stand Unscathed?

'We know but too well that we deteriorate by our friction with the world.  Our clothes get worse for the wear, and so do our souls...'(continue)

New Evanglization: Fire and Light

"The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize...."
("New Evangelization," USCCB1)In a way, the "new" evangelization isn't new. Matthew 28:19 means the same thing now that it did two millennia ago.

But it isn't the first, or the 11th, century any more. We're in the 21st, and the world is changing.

This isn't a new situation:
"...the world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again, as it were, for they bring a thousand false witnesses against him. They would raze his Church to the ground.... No, my sisters, this is no time to treat with God for things of little importance...."
(Camino de perfección, 1, 5; St. Teresa of Avila; quoted by Benedict XVI on July 16, 2012)1) St. Teresa of Avila wrote Camino de perfección around the middle of the…

'What do you want me to do for you?' Sunday Reflections, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ Healing the Blind, Nicolas Colombel,1682 [Web Gallery]

Gospel Mark 10:46-52 (NRSV, CatholicEdition, Can)

They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Fr John Burger is an American Columban served as a member of the Colu…



Peeved and Blessed

Customer service people often let me down. A pet peeve of mine is the one who, on being asked a question, simply says, “I don’t know,” instead of “I’ll go find out right now.” Another is the one who answers a phone call while I’m speaking to her in person, as though I just don’t exist as soon as that bell rings. Another, the one who doesn’t see an item on the shelf, and must be coached and coaxed to check the backroom shelves and the back-order list for clues about how to provide a needed item to a customer. Another…well, you get the idea. But, I’m also – and often – blessed by the kindness and helpfulness shown to customers. A video was posted online recently of a fast food server helping an elderly customer cut up his food. I watched from a long line at the post office as an employee offered to help pack a shaky grandma’s gifts to her grandkids for mailing. Nobody was impatient in that line, but all seemed blessed by this tender and respectful gesture.

Now is the Time to Cultivate Your Heart

There are a lot of people right now going through tough times. Maybe you are one of them and it seems that there is one trial in your life after another and you will never catch a break. Maybe it feels like you are in a washing machine that is constantly on spin cycle and you are being stretched and wrung out to the max. Be encouraged that the Lord has a plan and is in control! What you are going through is not in vain! He is trying to get you to the point where you can stand and have faith even in the midst of adversity. 

Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns >

What Story DO You Hope to Tell?

As I peruse the book titles in the Catholic aisle of my local bookstore, it is hard not to notice the plethora of conversion stories being told.  What I do not see a lot of accounts from the person who grew up Catholic and drifted in and out (mostly out) of practicing their faith until something changed in them or for them.  They had a turn around a GREAT awakening in their soul as to who the Triune God really was - not distant, not mean but loving, truly loving, merciful, trustworthy and faithful - just to name a few of the infinite God's characteristics.

These stories are sometimes referred to a re-conversion or reversions, and while I am awed and fascinated by conversion stories be it former atheist, agnostic or baptist minister, I am most drawn to how faithful people are set on fire for the faith or even how those cradle Catholics keep from drifting away. This is my story.  A small town suburban girl with divorced parents, low self-esteem, and moderate means - that attended 9 y…

A Doorway into Our Souls: Praying with St. Teresa of Avila

Who is this saint, you ask? What does a young 16th Carmelite nun still have to teach us..or better yet, what have we left to learn? Yearn to take an inner pilgrimage, or encounter God in a life changing way? Then, I invite you to join my friend and companion, saint and mystic Teresa of Avila for a time of intimate discovery. In a time when Spain was experiencing a profound theological and spiritual dialogue of cultures, religions and ideas,Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born.[1] The granddaughter of Jewish merchants, and daughter of new Christian Spanish nobility, Teresa is said to have taken to the piety of Christianity with both passion and humility.  A passion witnessed early, in her readiness at age seven, to leave home to decisively embrace a beheading for Christ by the Moors.[2] Likewise, Teresa possessed a humility illustrated in an awareness of humbler Jewish origins, as a women in a patriarchal society, and ultimately in her place before God.[3]Read More..

The Week is O'er...

I’m almost ready to kick off my shoes and enjoy a silent glass of wine. It’s Friday, and I think of all the Fridays I’ve ever lived, and there were many. In all of them, Friday was an ending to a beginning. It’s only 6:20 PM and the sun has already set. The houses in the neighborhood show signs of lights being lit. Even when you’re retired, Friday is an end to the week.

I think back to the time when Jesus was still with His Mother and father, Joseph, working as a carpenter, to help support the family. Was Friday a day of rest for Him? Did He and His Mom and Dad kick off their sandals after supper and speak of the days when Moses lead the Jews out of Egypt? Did they sing psalms of praise to God, the Father, for all the blessings He had given them this week? Did Jesus help clean up the kitchen and put away the clean dishes?

Read More at Prayerfully Yours

In The News: Can Antioxidant Supplements Make Cancer Spread Faster?

Headline: Antioxidants Cause Malignant Melanoma to Metastasize Faster.
“Fresh research at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that antioxidants can double the rate of melanoma metastasis in mice. The results reinforce previous findings that antioxidants [in form of supplements] hasten the progression of lung cancer.
According to Professor Martin Bergö, people with cancer or an elevated risk of developing the disease should avoid nutritional supplements that contain antioxidants.” ... >>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>

Zircons and Earth's First Life

Bits of carbon encased in zircon crystals more than four billion years ago may have come from living creatures.

Then again, maybe not. Either way, we're learning more about Earth's long story....

...This space-time continuum doesn't work like Anaximander's model, either. Anaximander's cosmology had Earth in the center: but he speculated that we might not be standing on the only world, and that worlds change.

Aristotle's cosmology had Earth in the center of the universe, too: but he didn't think multiple worlds existed. About 16 centuries later, educated Europeans like Dante Alighieri had a very high opinion of Aristotle....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Powerful Paintings and Quotes: St. John Paul II for His Feast Day

BE NOT AFRAID “There is nothing more man needs than Divine Mercy – that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights to the holiness of God.” St. Pope St. John Paul ll continue

As the Morning Rising: The Blessedness of God

As the Morning Rising: The Blessedness of God: It's a strange world we live in. The material things and support structures that are needed to improve and sustain adequate living cond...

continue reading

The Healing of a Confession Chicken

Confession. That practice of walking into a little room with a priest, whom you may or may not know, and spilling your guts to him.  That laundry list of should have nots or should have but didn't.  To many it seems ridiculous that one can not simply that their contrition to the Big Guy themselves.  What is the deal with the middle man? 

Here are my thoughts on the beauty and blessing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation from my Confession Chicken Converted heart!   

Petrified.  That is the best word to describe how I approached Confession as a 2nd grader before First Communion, as a teen before Confirmation, as a young adult before my wedding, and as slightly more mature adult following my reversion back to the Catholic Church -- and every other time in between.  Heart raced, palms sweat, throat closed, and FEET wanted to sprint out the door, if I even managed to get myself INTO the door (I was the queen of excuses for confession procrastination).  I hated every moment of it -  until…

Feast Day of St. John Paul II

“Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. 

My Personal Litany

When I pray, I ask for help from the Trinity, from the Blessed Mother, and from the angels and saints. I finally decided it might be easier if I had all of my intercessors written down so that I could call on them when I needed. This is how my Personal Litany was born. I add saints, and I add titles for Our God, Mama Mary, and the names of saints. Feel free to use this in your prayer time, too. When you see my list, who would you add? What titles for Our God and Savior and Mama Mary would you add?

Lord, have mercy. Kyrie eleison.
Christ have mercy. Christie eleison.
Lord, have mercy. Kyrie eleison

Read More at Prayerfully Yours