Showing posts from June, 2016

The Cat Shall Nurse the Bunnies

Perhaps there was a bit of heaven on earth on our hobby farm because natural enemies became friends. I like to think that the Holy Spirit flowed from our hearts into the land and swirled around, soaking into and transforming our animals’ personalities. The signs the kingdom of God has arrived:   The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little childshall lead them.-Isaiah 11:6 On our little farm: The cat shall nurse the bunnies. The goat shall weed the garden. The horse shall dine in the kitchen.              continue reading 

Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval Recipient

With excitement, I share some great news with all of you! Please celebrate with me! Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity – Finding Patience, received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. The Guild awards this honor to literature that embodies and reinforces teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Guild’s Seal of Approval provides retailers, and the public, with assurance that what they purchase contains quality. Seal of Approval books are known for their Catholicity and editorial quality. Each submission goes through much scrutiny. The Guild prides itself in only recommending those books that positively add to the spiritual life of the reader, in accordance with Catholic teaching. Therefore, I am humbled and honored that Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity: Finding Patience now counts among what the Guild considers quality, Catholic literature.
FREE Giveaway – Kindle Version 

Saint Peter and Saint Paul's Feast Day

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (formerly considered a day to honor all twelve apostles). We honor Saint Peter, the first Pope, and Apostle to Jesus, as well as Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Saint PeterIt was to Saint Peter that Jesus declared that whatever Peter and the Apostles determined to be bound on earth would be bound in Heaven, and whatever is loosed on earth would be loose in Heaven (Matt 16:19); and with that Jesus bestowed upon Peter, as the first Pope, the keys to Heaven. Peter came from humble beginnings and grew to become a fisherman, until that day when he met Jesus, and after that became a “fisher of men.” With a simple style of humble means, Peter grew in courage and perseverance, wisdom and understanding to become the first leader of the Church as Christ’s successor, and to this day, through apostolic succession, the line of leadership as Peter’s successor remains unbroken. Saint PaulIt was to Saint Paul that Jesus paid a visit, afte…

Pray always and All Ways

At first glance St. Paul’s exhortation to pray always (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) seems to be a mistranslation. Maybe what he really said was, “Pray a lot.” Praying ALWAYS is a mental impossibility. When I’m writing a book, for instance, my mind is 100% focused on the ideas I’m typing, not on God. The only way I can think of to pray always is to make all our daily activities a kind of prayer-in-action by consecrating our day to God by praying the Morning Offering. We can, however, weave thoughts and words to God throughout the day in various ways. Click to continue

As the Morning Rising: The Way

As the Morning Rising: The Way: If someone should spit in your face, hold back, walk away, and go to the Cross. If someone by their words places you on a ped...

Even More Images of Mary You Have Never Seen Before


Charity Event!

Hey everyone I am hosting an event on August 12, 13, and 14 at the River Walk in Penns Grove, NJ! We are raising money for the National MS Society. Since I have changed my way of living and have begun my walk with Christ, charity has become a huge part of my life!!!   If you are interested in participating in any of the following please feel free to contact me! And stayed tuned because I will be posting some awesome coupons for the event!!! VENDORS WANTED !
We are looking for vendors for the River Walk Junction Event located in Penns Grove NJ at the river walk, August 12th (7pm-11pm), 13th(11am-11pm), and 14th(11am-7pm). A one day fee for vendors is $35 for a small table, and $65 for a large or $95 for three days of vending for a small table and $180 for 3 days with a large. Tables are not provided small table would be a small card table and a large would be a long folding table. You may contact Bella if you have any questions. Fees are not collected until Friday afternoon on site. If …

Handling Disappointments Appropriately

Disappointments come our way from time to time. It’s how we handle those disappointments that matter. For example, I recently learned that a big-time Catholic catalogue would not carry my book, Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity: Finding Patience, simply because I self-published the book. It didn’t matter to them that the book was named a 2016 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist. In fact, they commented that they thought it was a really good book. They just don’t like dealing with my printing company. For that reason alone, they were declining to carry the book in their catalogue. My immediate reaction: Major disappointment!

Handling Disappointments Appropriately
With every disappointment there are lessons to learn; lessons that can shape your future for the better. Let’s face it: no one ever learns anything from success. They learn from failure. So, what am I going to do about this disappointment?


As the Morning Rising: Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help

As the Morning Rising: Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help: NOVENA PRAYER Mother of Perpetual Help, with the greatest confidence we come before your holy picture to be inspired by the example of...

Pope Francis to the UN : More humaneness for humanity´s sake( Spanish) El Papa ante la ONU : Más humanidad por el bien del mundo

Hace tiempo, el Pleno de las Naciones Unidas en la apertura de su “Cumbre Mundial para la Agenda 2030 Para el Desarrollo Sostenible”, recibió la visita de un visitante muy esperado: el Papa Francisco, que en su pequeño carro llegó a las instalaciones de esta importante sede de encuentro de los países del mundo. En medio del entusiasmo de los presentes, el Papa reconoció, antes de tratar otros temas, las grandes acciones que este organismo ha realizado a lo largo de sus 70 años de labor.
El corazón de su mensaje fue una invitación a que todos, representantes de las naciones y hombres y mujeres de a pie, a abrir sus corazones y mentes para reconocer al prójimo en el otro. Ya sea en el diario vivir de cada persona o en la toma de las grandes políticas de esta noble institución, subrayó la necesaria conciencia de que los que se verán beneficiados o afectados son seres humanos con alegrías y tristezas y no solo números y estadísticas.

A Morning Offering


10 Minute Daily Retreat: Spiritual Gift of Wisdom Reflection 5

How many times do we find our minds being 'unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind'? (James 1:7) Do you have a mentor in your life who will calmly tell you to go away and 'pray about it'? Sometimes I find that response infuriating. I can't hear myself think, let alone sit still and listen for the voice of God. Yet God 'is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him.' (James 1: 5)

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As the Morning Rising: Snapshot of Family Life

As the Morning Rising: Snapshot of Family Life: Family Geraniums on windowsills White nets and red blossoms Worked their way into memory So too strange coins, and stamps in little opa...

Centering prayer and distractions

One Centering Prayer practitioner wrote to me in an online conversation, “In this information age of constant texting and tweets I think Centering Prayer is a very practical way to do ‘be still’ and surrender in God’s presence; it’s helped me to detach from negative thoughts and feelings…”

This is a common assertion, one I’m sympathetic to. We certainly do have too much “noise” in our world–not just beeps and drum beats, but also texts and pop-ups and real-time videos. The over-abundance of sensory stimulation distracts us from focusing on God in prayer. How can we be free of such distracting thoughts?

Continue reading at Is Centering Prayer Catholic?

'Another said, “I will follow you, Lord'". Sunday Reflections, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

The Disrobing of Christ (El Espolio), El Greco, 1577-79
Gospel Luke 9:51-62 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can)

When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” An…

Pope Francis and Holy, Undignified Joy

Joy is not just for Pentecostals; joy is also for Catholics. Joy is not just for a few simple-minded anti- intellectuals, it is also for intellectuals. As C.S. Lewis explains,“Joy is the serious business of heaven”. Pope Francis is explicit when he states: The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded. Pope Francis N0 one is exempt from embracing the joy of the Gospel, not even serious Catholics who focus more on social issues than on their inner life, nor sophisticated theologians. Even those who love solemn, traditional ceremony are not exempt because they too are called to live in holy joy as they celebrate the Latin Mass. continue reading

As the Morning Rising: Future - Poem

As the Morning Rising: Future - Poem: Future Unafraid to be led by the hand And taken to a place I've not yet seen A place of mystery Of delicate unfolding I journ...

As the Morning Rising: Reserved

As the Morning Rising: Reserved: There should always be a place reserved for God round the table of happy moments.


What would you do if your priest has been arrested and is accused of murder? Would you join the tittle-tattle and gossip amongst parishioners? Would you not believe the accusation and defend the priest; perhaps offering support? Or would you do nothing and wait until events unfold?

When Father Ignatius is accused of murder his whole world is turned upside down. The Church is shaken to its foundation and people jump to all sorts of conclusions.

THE PRIEST AND PROSTITUTE” is a fast-paced story with believable characters and situations. A realistic self-test as to one’s faith and beliefs, as well as the ability to stay focussed on God when it seems He has abandoned you. The author skilfully combines humour with suspense to deliver a Christian message relevant to today's society.

For more information please CLICK HERE

Perfect for Summer! Stations of the Cross:An Adult Coloring Book

This summer, surrender to the feelings of love and gratitude found in contemplating and coloring these beautiful Stations of the Cross renderings by Father Victor KyNam. Accompanied by Scripture and prayers written by Kathryn Mulderink, OCDS, The Stations of the Cross: an adult coloring book is truly a transformative experience.

Being What God Wants Us to Be

“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”
St. Therese of Lisieux This little bug has been a pest this week! He and his kind have eaten my kale down and made the kale lacey instead of whole. The kale leaves are beautiful thanks to this guy, but they are not edible. This little critter also likes milkweed. He’s been eating the leaves and feasting on any eggs he finds there. I’m hoping that the peppermint tea I sprayed on the leaves this morning will help to deter him, but I don’t know. He’s only doing what he was made to do. He was made to eat leaves and reproduce. He’s doing God’s Will.

Read more at Prayerfully Yours

To pray is human

Since starting my new website Is Centering Prayer Catholic?, I’ve been pondering why certain errors about prayer are so common. I think I’ve hit on a root misunderstanding that’s at the bottom of many of these errors: ignoring the distinction between the natural and the supernatural in prayer.
The Catechism quotes St. John Damascene in saying:
“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (No. 2559) This indicates prayer is a human activity. One raises one’s own mind and heart to God. Note that this is not true of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer is a divine activity. As St. Paul says, “We do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26), so God steps in to help us.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool

Return to Paradise, by Tim Speer - Book Review

Return to Paradise, by Tim Speer, makes for an interesting read. David Martin, a Catholic investment banker from Dallas, Texas, is in the process of driving to his hometown in Missouri.  OOPS! His car suffers a little mishap near Spring River Missouri, requiring that he stay in town for a few days.

While in Spring River, David learns of some unsavory financial happenings in town.  Such dealings promise to make life miserable for many of the local citizens. David suspects that the action is illegal. His moral values of truth and righteousness urge his conscience to investigate the unsavory business dealings. Might there be anything he could do about it?


Perseverance Pays Off!

Lately I’ve been receiving lessons on perseverance. The most dramatic one was the incredible victory of the Cleveland Cavaliers with odds against them. After a 52-year drought, they clinched the NBA championship to the delight of their many diehard fans. Closer to home, I could not get the DVD player to work with the new television equipment that was installed recently. Last night I tried one more time and bingo. . . it worked! The other day I was telling someone how difficult it was to market my books. I prefer spending my time writing. He said, “Don’t give up. Keep trying.” I came across this quotation: “If you do nothing to market your book, do you know what you’ll get? Nothing.”
These experiences lead me to reflect on other situations that call for perseverance . . . Click to continue

As the Morning Rising: Straight From Him

As the Morning Rising: Straight From Him: There's a little story behind this photo. I had wakened early, had breakfast, checked e-mails etc but I was not motivated enough to ...

Remembering God

When I was a kid, we went to Church every Sunday. No matter what, we were not allowed to miss Mass. We went together as a family. If there were other activities, which was rare, they waited until after Mass. We also ate lunch of supper together, whichever time was more conducive to a gathering. Sometimes, people came and went throughout the day. The cousins played together. We, sometimes, fought with each other, but we had better have a good reason for that. We’d run to the park and swing untili we heard the food bells ringing away. We’d wash our hands and find a spot at the dinner table where we’d make the sign of the cross, say grace, then, even though we were STARVED, we would finally eat. 
Read more at Prayerfully Yours

My Summer Resolutions

Most people make New Year’s Eve resolutions, but I’ve started making summer resolutions. Mary Schmich, of the Chicago Tribune, wrote an article entitled, “Making the Most of Summer Requires Resolution.” I have found the older I get, the more I look forward to summer.
You can read the article here.

Hello Summer! Embrace the Season with Gratitude

Today marks the first day of Summer. It’s a time of year when families come together to refresh mind, body and spirit. Perhaps it’s a trip to the mountains, or a week at the beach; whatever your pleasure, I hope that you experience much peace, joy and fond memories this summer.

Summer is a time when we can sit back and take stock of all of our blessings. Perhaps it is a stable job and health insurance. Perhaps it is news of improved health of a loved one. Whatever your blessings, I pray that the Holy Spirit fills you with... Read more...

As the Morning Rising: Belfast City Sunset

As the Morning Rising: Belfast City Sunset: Belfast City Sunset The sun is slipping down behind Black Mountain St. Peter’s spires are lost to me till dawn But in my head the p...

No Matter Our Life Work


St. Joseph, Art, and Modern Fathers


As a Father...


10 Minute Daily Retreat: Spiritual Gifts; Wisdom

I'm working on a new novel and I've struggled to understand the fundamental motivation of one of my own characters.

I know what he wants, but not why. I've had to 'interview' him virtually non-stop for over a week. While I walked, drove, cooked, stared into the computer…I've felt like shaking him, 'why? Why do you desire this goal? It's a crazy goal, but you desperately want it. Why?'

You and I desire many things; a healthy body, a successful novel, recognition in the workplace, a stable income, loving relationships. None of these are bad. Many of these God desires for us.
Wisdom is knowing that if our fundamental desire is for God, He knows best which of these desires He will satisfy.

'Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these will be given you.' Matthew 6:33

Father´s Day and the Macho attitude decoded. (Spanish) El Machismo decodificado.

Muy presente en el discurso del feminismo moderno que pretende lograr la equidad de género se encuentran el patriarcado y el machismo como fuentes centrales de discriminación y violencia hacia la mujer .Muchas mujeres (y también hombres) sufren los efectos de estas actitudes deformadas que están muy enraizadas en varias culturas, sobre todo latinas. Pero ambas realidades han sido erróneamente contextualizadas por muchos años. El patriarcado no es una herencia religiosa, como se le cataloga, y el machismo no se centra solo en el dominio sobre la mujer y no solo lo ejercen los hombres.

'Those who lose their life for my sake will save it.' Sunday Reflections, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Apostle Peter in Prison, Rembrandt, 1631
Gospel Luke 7:9:18-24 (NRSV, Catholic Ed,Can)
Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”
He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.
Sir Thomas More, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1527

On 12 June 2013 the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland stated in …



As the Morning Rising: In Memory of My Father

As the Morning Rising: In Memory of My Father: This year marks my father's tenth anniversary. Although he died in hospital it's not the picture of life ebbing away that rema...

Holy, Undignified Joy

A Christian is one who is invited… to join in the feast, to the joy of being saved, to the joy of being redeemed, to the joy of sharing life with Christ. This is a joy! You are called to a party!  Pope Francis  The Saints Were Not Miserable Even though some old Catholic icons and holy cards often depict saints and the Holy Family looking miserable, with tears streaming down their pale faces, the truth is the saints lived in God’s Presence and in His joy. Even when saints suffered, their suffering was lived out in, with and through Divine Love. St. Francis of Assisi, a famous joyful saint, wrote “The Canticle of the Sun” while almost completely blind, with a body ravaged by poverty and hard labour, bearing the stigmata.
Look at our pope, whose namesake is Francis; his very countenance radiates kindness and joy even as he bears the burden of shepherding the world’s Catholics and a grueling schedule as the pontiff. Some traditional Catholics disapprove of our joyful pope and seem irritat…

Shedding My Pharisee Facade

Jesus warned to not be like the scribes and Pharisees, “For they preach but they do not practice,” another way of looking at that, “practice what you preach.”    Sadly, I can think of at least one (okay, who am I fooling really MANY more than one) example in our lives, either now or in the past, when this could be said about me.

However, as I read these words, I thought of something I am far more often guilty of, “I practice but I do not preach,”  Instead of the ole' do as I say, not as I do, I have created my own version with do as I do, not as I fail to say.  Which is fine, because as St. Francis of Assisi is credited with saying, "Pray the Gospel always, when necessary use words," but sometimes WORDS are necessary.  As this lifelong Catholic, who has just in the last 10 years begun truly practicing her faith, has learned; Catholicism is a very rich and beautiful faith about which most people know very little.  Those who have discovered it ought to be sharing its depth …

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

I simply worshipped the heroes of ancient Greece when I was at school. I loved to hear stories about Troy and the heroes who fought there. I loved to read about the Persian wars and about the warriors who fought for freedom at Marathon, Salamis and Thermopylae. Most of all I worshipped Alexander the Great and marvelled at the mighty empire that he set up before he was even thirty. I couldn't help it if the hero I was introduced to in the religious class seemed to be rather weak compared with them. He didn't actually triumph over his enemies as my Greek heroes did, and there wasn't much in it for his followers either, unless you happen to like being thrown to the lions!  However, I had something of a conversion experience shortly before leaving schoolthat led me to join a prayer group run by the school’s spiritual on....

As the Morning Rising: Clonard Novena Mother of Perpetual Help 2016

As the Morning Rising: Clonard Novena Mother of Perpetual Help 2016: The annual nine day novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help has started at Clonard Monastery. The first se...

Presence Evangelism

Now the Spirit of God is moving among the grassroots. It is the time  for the little people to shine.
 God is choosing humble, ordinary people who have suffered and lived obscure lives faithful to Him and allowed Him to purify and mold them into His presence. 
Such men and women attract others who are hungry for God because people sense the love and power of God in them. There is no room for pride or ego because it is all about God saving them in their littleness.
continue reading

Sanctity for the Average Catholic: Keeping It Real

I think most, if not all, Catholics like the idea of becoming a saint. Not because everyone wants official recognition but because the bottom line is: saints are in heaven and that’s where we want to be. In this way, the saints become a beacon of hope, a confirmation that the daily struggle is worth plowing through, because success is possible.
Raised in a strong Catholic family, I grew up reading and loving the lives of the saints. I knew from a young age that these people were close to Jesus, and I hoped that some day, I would be close to Jesus too. Our desire for sanctity, in itself, is a good thing – it’s a reflection of our longing for God and innate sense that our hearts are made for him. So looking for some sort of formula or solid role model to follow is natural. Hence the importance we place in our faith on the saints and their example. Over time, however, I realized that finding inspiration in the saints was different from finding a realistic and imitable example in them. Do…

Luke Gabriel: The Back Story Behind the Scenes

In Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity: Finding Patience, Mr. Luke Gabriel lives next door to his new neighbors, the Livingstone family. He is retired from corporate life, and a widower. To fill his spare time these days, he breeds Westminster Terriers. Why, you might ask? Because the loss of his dear wife left such a hole, that he attempts to fill that hole with the unconditional love from puppies. He has developed quite a passion for these dogs, and they are fun to have around an empty house.

When Faith, Hope, and Charity moved in next door, Mr. Gabriel was delighted. He loved having children around. Not only did he miss his beloved wife, but he also missed... Read more... 

The Bible: You've Got Mail, Part 2

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of my latest book, Praying with Scripture.
Come to the Bible, not to study the history of God’s action, but to be its object; not to learn what it achieves throughout the centuries and still does, but to be the subject of its operation. ~ Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J.

There once was an elderly lady in Scotland who was very poor, even though her son had become a wealthy man in America. Neighbors, who charitably supported the woman, wondered why her son had apparently forgotten her. One day they questioned her about this. The mother stood up for her boy. She said, “Every week he writes me and sends a little picture. See,” she said, opening her Bible. “I keep them in here.” Stashed inside her Bible were hundreds of U.S. bank notes. Ironically the pages of the woman’s Bible held much wealth, but she was unaware of it.

Just as the woman’s Bible contained a hidden gift, so our Bibles hold hidden treasures for us. The Bible is one of the greatest gifts that …

Death in Orlando: Love and Solidarity

The 49 folks killed at an Orlando entertainment venue late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, and the person who killed them, are still dead. Others are hospitalized, and may or may not survive. A whole lot of folks are mourning the loss of family and friends.

Repeating what I wrote Sunday afternoon, I should love God, love my neighbors, see everybody as my neighbor, and treat others as I want to be treated....

...Here's what a Bishop, an Archbishop, and someone at the Vatican, had to say....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Mass Murder in Orlando

A young man killed more than four dozen folks at an entertainment venue last night/early this morning. He took some of the survivors hostage, and is now dead, too.

I've run into several assumptions about what happened: and a few facts....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Saint Anthony of Padua, My Favorite Saint

On this Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, I just had to share an experience that my husband and I had while visiting the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, Italy. We had planned on visiting Rome, Florence and a day trip to Tuscany. Padua was not originally on our schedule. However, while travelling from Rome to Florence on their high-speed train, I saw that a trip to Padua from Florence was only a 90-minute high-speed train ride away.

With Saint Anthony of Padua being my all-time favorite saint, I couldn’t travel all the way to Italy and not visit his tomb, when he was only a 90-minute train ride away. So, my husband and I made the trip on June 16, 2011. I’ll never forget this day.

As we entered the Basilica, my husband noticed that Saint Anthony’s tomb was immediately to our left. As we approached the tomb, my husband noticed that everyone was heading toward the back side of the tomb. So we followed. Then we saw people touching the tomb. So we followed suit. Wow! What happened next i…