Showing posts from December, 2015

"(You're)..too late." The Hospice

Today in prayer I asked God to send me to where there was the blackest of heart that needed prayer.

I was inspired to go to a local Hospice.  I went into the building, not sure if I was in the right place, and finding the directory, I found where I needed to be.  Coming out of the elevators, I saw a chair and sat down.  To my right what looked like a sheriff standing guard outside one of the rooms.  There was a middle aged woman talking to him.  It was obvious that something very serious was happening in that room.


The Sacrament of the Present Moment

The Mass to inaugurate the Year of Divine Mercy had been prepared by the parishioners with the help of the curate and a group of the Sisters of Mercy. The readings, the psalms and the prayer had all been chosen to echo the overall theme of asking God to give his loving mercy to all those present and to the whole world that would be lost without it. The visiting preacher came straight to the point. “Why waste your time praying for God’s Loving Mercy,” he said. “Whether you pray for it or not,  his  Loving Mercy has been sent out, is being sent out, and will continue to be sent out whether you pray for it or not. Why not save your breath to cool your porridge, or rather save your breath to pray rather that we will receive it!” 

You do not need to go anywhere other than where you are to find the treasure that we all, deep down desire more than anything else. It is not just any love, but the love from which all other love has its origin, being made available here and now to everyone, who i…

Introduction: Susanne Timpani

10 Minute Daily Retreat -Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart. By Susanne Timpani

Hi, this is my first post to the beautiful Blog, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. I am married with four children, work as a community child health nurse and live in South Australia.
I am the author of the blog, 10 Minute Daily Retreat. These twice weekly reflections on the Word of God aim to deepen our experience of prayer. Throughout the month of January, I am coordinating a 30 Day Retreat, online, based on the Song of Songs. I would love you to join me on the Retreat, through my Blog.
My first novel will be published inFebruary 2016. 'Twice Stolen' is Inspirational Fiction, witha sprinkling of Medical Romance, and has a Contemporary Australian theme.  You can read more on my Web page: Or follow the Retreat on Facebook:

Song of Songs 30 Day Retreat Online: Invitation

10 Minute Daily Retreat -Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart. By Susanne Timpani  New Year's Resolution. As the year draws to a close, many of us consider making a New Year's Resolution. Do we have goals to develop our love life?
Considered one of the greatest love songs in history, the Song of Songs appears in the Bible. Scholars believe that it describes the love between King Solomon, named simply as the 'Lover' and a local girl, the 'Beloved', who later became his wife.
Parallels are often drawn between their relationship and the love that exists between God and ourselves. 
The 10 Minute Daily Retreat invites you to participate in an online 30 Day Retreat, focusing on the Song of Songs. Throughout the month of January we will reflect on verses from the Song, travelling with the Beloved and Lover in a quest to love and be loved by Jesus, the Son of the living God.
Song of Songs 30 Day Retreat Online: Day 1

Following in the father's Footsteps: A Single Mom's Fear for Her Children

It took a long time to get over my husband leaving, but I did. He made his choices. He was given free will by God, his Father. If God would not take away his free will and make him stay, who am I to try?

What took longer to get over was my fear that my children would turn out like him, that they too would cheat, leaving wives and families, justifying or turning a blind eye to damage done.
My children - These precious souls I carried inside me for nine months, who I nursed through infancy, whose brows I wiped sweat from in long, feverish nights, who I read stories to and did swim lessons with and whose dimpled little hands I held. These precious growing souls who I watched look up YouTube videos to learn how to tie a tie, who I bought acne cream and deodorant and first razors for while praying they didn't slice their own throats. These precious souls who gave me purpose when I thought I had none, who made me smile in my darkness, who brought me back to faith when I'd turned my an…

Time Full of Eternity


The merciful God of the Old Testament

One of the most common criticisms of the Bible by non-believers is that the God of the Old Testament is a tyrant, completely different from the God of the New Testament. This idea appeared as early as the second century, with the heretic Marcion.

We have heard this criticism so often that I’m afraid most of us are affected by it. During this year of mercy, if God wills, I want to present a series of meditations on God’s mercy in the Old Testament. I am not planning to write scholarly articles aimed at increasing your knowledge of Scripture. Rather, I ask you to ponder these things in your heart, especially during your mental prayer time.

I hope we will all learn to appreciate the ways in which God showed his merciful character to the people living before Christ.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

St. Michael and the Scales

There is no excel spreadsheet in heaven of all the prayers or good works that you must do to be granted access to heaven.  

We can do no action that benefits God in any way, because He is God, He is eternal, already complete and if we could do an action that benefited Him, then in some way He would be found to be lacking in something. 

 This is why the gift of the sacrifice of God's son, Jesus is completely, free and unmerited, because if all the human beings that have ever lived prayed constantly from their conception to their death could still not open the gates of Heaven and save us from the eternal suffering of hell they way that the blood of Jesus did.  

Yet, God gives us an 'action' plan of salvation.  We are not to just stay in our...TO READ MORE CLICK HERE!


My NEW YEAR RESOLUTION is not to care anymore. Click HERE to find out why.

Theology of the Body Basics: Prep for Summer Series

Want to know more about Theology of the Body?

The Life, Marriage & Family Office are running a Theology of the Body Summer Series for young adults from the 2nd of February to the 22 of March. If you’re thinking of going, check out this list of 8 ways you can get ready.

If you can’t go to the Summer Series, but still would like to find out more about the Theology of the Body, this list is for you, too!

4 Easy Ways...


Top 10

What is your top 10 List for 2015?

Funny, I was wondering what God’s was-- then, BOOM! It hit me! Duh! He wrote them down a few thousand years ago, and believe it or not, they still hold true for 2015 and beyond. They are known as the Decalogue, The Holy Law, even “The Big Ten” but we usually call them the Ten Commandments. I curiously asked if my child (who, by the way, has gone to Catholic School her entire life) could name them. Sadly, she couldn’t. Neither could her classmate. (What they said was actually pretty funny, but definitely NOT on the original list!)

Then I thought...

The Three Wise Men and Their Epic Road Trip

Road Trip!!! Load up the camels, pack a few months worth of food, and hit the open…sand dunes?

The Gospel of Matthew (2:2) tells us that “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.” Often believed to be Persian Zoroastrian astrologers and philosophers, these men were following the star of Jacob, predicted in Numbers 24:17. “A star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.” Interestingly, these foreigners representing the pagan nations came to “worship” Jesus. Regardless of potentially taking improved trade routes south through the fertile crescent with a caravan, their journey was not likely an easy one.

continue Reading

Stunning Holy Family Sculptures

Modern Holy Family sculpture often focuses on the intimacy and love Joseph and Mary have for their son, Jesus. They also depict Joseph’s protective strength which is something that I really had not considered before looking at these statues.


Change for the Better!

It’s that time of year once again, when we assess how we are doing; when we make resolutions to do things we have yet to do, or to do things differently. We want to see positive change! Yet, we are all creatures of habit, and sometimes our habits are not good. That is why every January we make resolutions to eat healthier, to stop smoking/drinking/taking drugs, etc. only to fall off the wagon as soon as the first temptation crosses our paths.

Have you ever stopped to think about why you are tempted; not what tempts you, but why you are tempted? Read more...

Turning Over a New Leaf in 2016: Revelations and Resolutions

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of suddenly realizing you have misunderstood something for a long time. For example, a friend of mine thought that in the Christmas song “Reindeer pause” was “Reindeer paws” until it dawned on her that reindeer have hooves not paws. Just as I began pondering this new blog, I had the revelation that turning over a new leaf does not refer to a leaf on a tree but rather the page in a book! Here at the brink of the new year we have the opportunity to write a new chapter in our life story. It is the traditional time to make resolutions. I prefer to think of it as a time to set ONE important goal that I will really concentrate on.  (Too many goals tend to be forgotten. Plus it’s discouraging when you fail to reach them!) On a website I discovered five tips for setting a good or SMART goal:   Click to continue

A Dream of Padre Pio

Before God gave me my current Spiritual Director,
I was feeling very alone, and I asked God to send me someone to guide me.  That night I had a dream. I was in a large beautiful Church, like a Cathedral. The floors where marble.
Padre Pio came up to me carrying an open book, He......

Father Ignatius and the painter


Dear 18-Year-Old Brain

My son plans to go to his first New Year's Eve party since he turned 18. Here's a letter I wrote to explain why I'm such an obnoxious parents.

Dear 18-Year-Old Brain,
Thanks so much for managing my son for all these years. What a time you two are having together!

I remember when you learned where your toes were, how to count, and what hot and cold felt like. I'll never forget the day you solved a complex math problem that I could not. Believe it or not, it delighted me to realize your development was surpassing my own in that way.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated your 18th birthday. Congratulations! I am so proud of who you are and of all you've learned. You are a senior in high school, and so many blessed opportunities await you.

Funny thing, though: you sort of thought passing that 18-year-old mark means you're all grown up. In many ways, that's true. You can now vote, join the armed services, get married, buy firearms, sue in your own name, and serve on a…

Just Adore!

This Advent reminded me that it is okay to just be. It is okay to wait and it is okay to just adore! Small things and small beginnings should not be despised! 

Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns>

St. Longinus, Murderer for Hire

One day at OLPH I was praying the Stations of the Cross for those that kill or murder for money.  I don't remember what inspired me to do this, but I was praying and begging God to turn these people back to Him, to open their eyes to what they were doing to their soul.  For just slips of printed paper...TO READ MORE: CLICK HERE. 

It's Time for your Patron Saint to choose You for 2016

2015: Blessed Mother Teresa
2016: St. Mary Cleopas

I have found that using the site: Saint’s Name Generator works very well and easily. Not only does it provide you a way of generating a Saint’s name, a blessed’s, or a venerable’s name, but this site also provides a link to know more about your patron saint for the year.

Read more at Prayerfully Yours.

Lord-y Mercy!

Greeting in Christ in this Jubilee Year of Mercy! I am Melissa Overmyer and so delighted to be a part of the ACWB. I am a convert to Catholicism and have taught the Bible for over thirty years. I have written a book about my journey called Metamorphosis of a Soul that you can order here: and see, by God's grace, how His loving hand has brought me along.
I find everything about Catholicism exciting and beautiful and delight in viewing it through my love of the Holy Scriptures I carry with me from my upbringing. I look forward to sharing my insights with you and hearing back from you as well. May we grow together as we explore all the goodness of our Great God of Mercy this next year!

To Honor The Innocents

“When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”                         Matthew 2:16-18  As Augustine noted these "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief”. In remembering them, I cannot help but also be reminded of the countless martyrs that have given their lives long after them. Read More..

Oxymoron? Virtuous Politician?

Oxymoron is defined as “a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in ‘cruel kindness’ or ‘to make haste slowly’” ( Here’s another one: jumbo shrimp (my favorite oxymoron).

Well, given today’s politics and discourse that we hear from the politicians, I believe that I am about to coin a new oxymoron: virtuous politician. There must be some, somewhere, don’t you think? I can be hopeful. However, where are they? Has anyone seen one? If so, please let me know, because I would like to shake that person’s hand. I cringe to think that... Read more...

As the Morning Rising: Doors Closing, Doors Opening

As the Morning Rising: Doors Closing, Doors Opening: For a while recently it looked like 2015 was going down ...

The Angelic Visitor

The hardest story to tell is the story that happened today. Today, December 12th is the day my husband died in 2008. 

 But this is a story that needs to be told because it is also the story of a visit by an angel.

Highlands Regional Hospital, Prestonsburg, KY:  

My beloved was dying.  The doctor told me there was nothing to be done other than put him on a respirator, which Terry had told me several times he did not wish to ever be put on a respirator.  I was completely..


Catholic Attachment Grandparenting

Throughout history, and even now in agricultural, third-world cultures, extended families are the norm. Secondary attachments in such families enrich the lives of children. As the African proverb reminds first-world countries, “It takes a community to raise a child.”
Unfortunately, secular society seems to believe that nuclear families should raise their children independently, even when both parents work full-time and have afterschool activities to manage. Conditioned in this way, families in need of help may hesitate to ask for it from anyone.  But grandparents have a wonderful way of establishing consistency in the lives of their grandchildren. They provide a sense of security, particularly for children whose parents are separated, live in poverty, have mental health issues, or struggle with addictions. Although articles on attachment parenting seem to address ideal families, I have witnessed families striving to maintain an image of perfection, eventually falling apart behind close…

Christmas Every Day


Angels on High and on Earth

The Christmas story is replete with angels: The Angel Gabriel delivers the startling news to teenage Mary that she was chosen to be the Mother of God. An angel (probably Gabriel) breaks the life-changing news to Joseph, her espoused, in a dream. At the birth of Jesus, an angel sends shepherds to find a savior in a manger, and then a host of angels appear and praise God. An angel directs Joseph to flee to Egypt, and later an angel tells him it’s safe to return home.
           Sometimes we speak of people turning into angels when they die. That isn’t true. Angels are a whole other form of being. They are pure spirits with no bodies. In heaven we will still have bodies but glorified ones. Moreover, angels are magnificent, awe-inspiring creatures, wiser, stronger, and more beautiful than we are. Ironically, because of the incarnation, angels now worship Jesus, who is human as well as divine. Although we can never really be angels, we can be angelic on earth by doing three …

Joy to the World!

(From Silar, Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Nativity scene at the Christ the King Church in Sanok, Poland, 2010.)

Shepherding is a comparatively new occupation, compared to hunting and knapping.

The earliest evidence we've found so far puts the first shepherds north of Sargon's Akkadian Empire, where the Hittite Kingdom was, a dozen or so centuries later. I've mentioned them before. (August 21, 2015; October 16, 2015)

That was about the time someone carved a bit of siltstone into the Narmer Palette, and folks started building Stonehenge; and that's another topic.

Around the time Emperor Ping died, leaving Wang Mang in charge — he was either a great reformer or conniving scoundrel, depending on who you read, and that's yet another topic — the Roman Emperor ordered an empire-wide census.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Indie Catholic Authors It's Still Christmas Sale!

16 Catholic ebooks are on sale today through Monday. $.99 or free each. Great authors. Fiction and non-fiction. Visit Indie Catholic Authors' blog for details and buy links.

Merry Christmas!

As the Morning Rising: Joy to the World!

As the Morning Rising: Joy to the World!: The National Geographic magazine which is published in 34 languages., in a recent edition hailed Our Lady as the most powerful woman in...

From Bethlehem with Love

The year was 1220, the place was Egypt, shortly after the siege of Damietta. A small nondescript looking man stood before the Sultan arrayed in all his regal finery. The nondescript man was St Francis of Assisi the Sultan was Melek-el-Kamel commander of the Islamic army. St Francis had moved the Sultan deeply, especially when he offered to walk into a fiery furnace with the Sultan’s Imam’s, as a trial by ordeal to prove whose religion was of God and whose was of man. The Imam’s refused, nor did the Sultan insist on the trial, because he felt sure that Francis would be proved right and his conversion to Christianity would, as he explained to Francis, lead to his own assassination. Instead he showered gifts on Francis which he refused, all save one, a passport granting him safe conduct to the holy places which were in enemy hands. When St Francis returned to Italy he built a crib at Greccio in the Rieti Valley in the Christmas of 1223, to fill his fellow county men with the joy he had e…

Remembering Christmas Eve Magic

As I clean and get ready for our adult children to come home from university and work in the city, it is nice to remember the magic of Christmases when they were little. In fact, the scent of magic is still in the air, especially as our  five grandchildren join our family! When you live with nine children, even the most crusty curmudgeon cannot resist the magic of Christmas.

SpaceX, Mars, and Someday the Stars

First of all: Merry Christmas! I'll have something more seasonally-appropriate ready by Sunday. That's the plan, at least.

Today I'll be talking about spaceships, practical and otherwise: and why NASA cancelled InSight's March 2016 launch....

...Instead of trying to analyze the reasons, I'll just get started with the December 1938 issue of Amazing Stories, Columbus, Robert Goddard, the Hanseatic League, and why airlines don't use disposable airplanes — not necessarily in that order....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: How She Loved Him!

As the Morning Rising: How She Loved Him!: This beautiful Nativity window is in St Therese of Lisieux Church Belfast. I recall one of the parish priests explaining some years ago...

Do Not Fear: The Shepherd's Journey

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 Throughout the accounts of the nativity story we encounter God working the extraordinary amidst the ordinary. Today, I find myself accompanying the shepherds in their journey this advent, beside the sheep in solitude and silence. "Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear...Read More

Healthy Butterscotch Banana Bread Cookies

Have you ever wondered how Santa flies to all the houses in the world, eating ever manor of sugar cookie, and doesn’t drop dead by the end of it? Sure, that’s one heck of a sugar rush, and I’m sure his sleigh has a coffee holder as well, but do the big guy a favor this year…give him something healthy! These healthy butterscotch banana bread cookies are so tasty, they are gluten free, and they aren’t loaded up with all of the sugar of most holiday deserts. So do your New Year a favor, by starting right now!

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

The headlines on the news scream disaster, struggle, violence, and hatred.  The world stage is filled with uncertainty and anxiety about the future. Innocent people are slaughtered mercilessly; politicians rage at each other, and even the church seems filled with discord and division. Temptations to fear and despair close in from every side.

 This Christmas, I find that it is the hauntingly beautiful ancient hymn "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" that whispers peace and comfort into my anxious heart.

Read my reflections here...

Last Minute Shopping??? I'm Here to Help!

Are you runing out of time and still need a whole list of gifts?  Do you ahve no idea what to buy someone special?  Tired of giving chocolate and ornaments, or wine and nickknacks?  Check out my blog post for great ideas for gifts that will have you ready for Christmas in a flash and give your loved ones gifts they will truly enjoy!

Continued on Veils and Vocations.

Joy to the World! Dance with Joy!

Dance with joy!Joy is different from happiness. Many people equate the two incorrectly. Happiness is fleeting; joy is lasting. Where joy has no “conditions,” happiness does have “conditions.” I’ll be happy if…where we place conditions on what makes us happy. Do you hear those words, “we” and “us” in that last sentence? We define happiness in this life, and we easily can disappoint ourselves; especially when the criterion for happiness is left up to us to decide upon. Many think that riches and fame will bring happiness; but that is not necessarily true. We search for happiness in vain, ... Read more...

The First Day of Winter, A Day of Hope and Decorating the Church

Today is the first day of winter. When you live in Minnesota, normally, at this time of year, we are covered in snow, and it’s very cold. Today, we are not covered in snow. The ground is bare, and it’s cold, but not that cold. There’s a 10% chance that we will have a white Christmas! That’s okay. Life will go on without the snow, but it will be different.

Read more at Prayerfully Yours

Something for me to eat


Let's Hear It from the Children!

Last winter Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Joseph. One of his remarks there was eagerly snatched up by social media: "Babies cry, make noise, go here and there. But it annoys me when a baby cries in church and there are those who say he needs to go out. The cry of a baby is God's voice: never drive them away from the church!"

Being a mother of five children, I've had my share of those who say my baby "needs to go out." A friend of mine was once asked to leave with her baby--by the priest, during his homily! And sure enough, there are times when an inconsolable child needs a change of scenery so other churchgoers can have a little peace. But children belong in church. Let's bring them on Christmas, the day when God's voice actually became the cry of a baby. Let's bring our older children too, who, crying in their pre-adult way, sometimes protest having to go to church. Let's bring our children to church over and over again, so we…

7 Simple Ways to Share Christ This Christmas

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” With these memorable words, Charles Dickens has captured the sentiment of every enthusiastic Catholic evangelist regarding Christmas. On the one hand, Christmas is an evangelist’s dream – a time of joy and hope , with an abundance of opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a weary world. On the other hand, Christmas can be an evangelist’s worst nightmare – a time of stress and struggle, when it seems like the world in general and the people around one’s own dining room table in particular, are indifferent or openly hostile to all things related to Christ.

Click here to read seven simple tips for sharing Christ this Christmas with your family, friends, co-worers and even the guy who just cut you off in the parking lot on the way to Midnight Mass.

Peace: Got to Get Me Some

Christ’s Peace Does it elude you? It seems that during this time of year, everyone wishes each other “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). Do you view this sentiment with hope, or do you think it falls flat?

If you have Christ’s Peace within your own heart, I think you view this sentiment with great aspirations of hope, because you wish for others what you possess for yourself. If it falls flat, then perhaps you do not have the amount of Christ’s Peace within your own heart that you desire.
How would you know if you actually had Christ’s Peace within your own heart? Well, for starters, you... Read more...