Showing posts from July, 2016

The Connection


Humility isn't Being Delusional

Truthfulness and humility are virtues, pride is a sin, and we’re supposed to practice humility.1

So Olympic athletes should say they're puny?

Small wonder some folks think faith makes no sense.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 Minute Daily Retreat: Spiritual Gift of Understanding Reflection 3

Life's path is never straight.  There may be smooth stretches, but they don’t last. A dead end causes our plans to screech to a halt. A fork in the road forces us to make an unexpected decision. A hidden obstacle trips us up.  If we fall hard enough, the injury is not only painfully inconvenient, but sometimes it signals the end.

Or does it? Would it make any difference if we followed the voice of a trusted Global Positioning System? (GPS) This examines all the possible routes and – within its robotic limitations – directs us away from the no through roads and back onto the path.
If we switched on our inner GPS, by sitting in quiet prayer, we are likely to hear the Voice of God. However, there is one significant difference...
Read More:

'Set your minds on things that are above.' Sunday Reflections, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Fr Jacques Hamel (3o November 1930 - 26 July 2016)
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory (Colossians 3: 2-4. Second Reading.)
GospelLuke 12:13-21 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.) 
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.And I will say to my soul, …


DOES WEALTH BRING CONTENTMENT? Lk. 12:13-21 We can’t live on fresh air. Money plays a large part in all our lives. Most of us have to concern ourselves with earning a living. That concern occupies a sizeable portion of our waking hours. Making ends meet requires careful planning and hard work. We also have to provide for the possibility of accidents and the probability of old age. To ignore such matters is to invite disaster for ourselves and our family. In this world no one can lead a responsible life without giving some time and attention to money. Jesus realised this and so devoted much of His teaching to how we are to cope with money and possessions. In today's Gospel He told the story of a farmer who had accumulated a fortune. His wealth was measured not in money, but in produce. His land had produced such a bountiful harvest that he had to build additional storage space. He had enough to last him for the rest of his life. He could live comfo…

Hope for Peace and Understanding in Pope Francis pilgrimages (Spanish) Sembrando esperanza y encuentro en las visitas del Papa Francisco

En este Año Santo de la Misericordia que transcurre lleno de eventos que nos empujan a salir de nosotros mismos, la visita del Papa Francisco a Polonia nos trae recuerdos conmovedores de cuando estuvo en México a principios de año. 
Se ganó el corazón de miles de mexicanos que salieron a la calle a buscar al sucesor de Pedro que venía de Roma y se encontraron con un hombre sencillo y cercano que brincaba del Papamóvil para saludar a los niños y enfermos.
Encontró a nuestro pueblo cabizbajo y enfermizo y como buen médico de almas nos miró a los ojos y nos abrazó, no sólo con su ser sino también con sus palabras de aliento y ternura. Nos aplicó la medicina poderosa de la misericordia: escucha, interés y amabilidad. Pero también, como buen amigo y padre, nos habló derecho y sin repujas. Con sinceridad y sin rodeos nos habló de aquello de nuestro ser que nos encadena al sufrimiento, que no nos deja ser felices y que nos urge cambiar... @mujer_catolica

Pray Along: Day 3

Today was set aside by the French Bishops as a day of prayer and fasting after the slaying of Father Hamel in Normandy.  Even if you did not get to fast today, please pray along with me for our clergy and the conversion of our enemies.

Please visit Veils and Vocations for the prayers.  God bless.

Centering Prayer and the CDF, Part 1

In 1989, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation. Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, signed the document. The Latin title isOrationis formas (OF). Its purpose: “[M]any feel the need for sure criteria of a doctrinal and pastoral character which might allow them to instruct others in prayer, in its numerous manifestations, while remaining faithful to the truth revealed in Jesus, by means of the genuine Tradition of the Church. This present letter seeks to reply to this urgent need, so that in the various particular Churches, the many different forms of prayer, including new ones, may never lose their correct personal and communitarian nature.” (OF no. 1)It goes on to detail several problems found in modern prayer methods.

Read the rest at Is Centering Prayer Catholic?

Listen Lord, your servant is speaking!

My life never really went along as planned. When I was a young, unbaptized woman, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married and I certainly wasn’t going to have children! After my conversion to the Catholic faith, I got married and we had three children. I was a stay-at-home mom for 25 years when I decided it was time to return to work. I got a job in retail during the Christmas holiday (which nearly killed my Christmas spirit!).

You can read my very first post at here.

My new morning commute

My new morning commute began July 11 one week after I quit my job.  I was anxious to attend daily Mass and to continue my daily walk that I did when I worked.

You can read the rest of the article and view the photo gallery of my new commute at Being Catholic ... Really.

Studying Thousands of New Worlds

Scientists studied the atmospheres of two exoplanets, planets orbiting another star, earlier this year. Both planets are roughly Earth-sized, with atmospheres a bit like the Solar System's terrestrial planets.

Juno arrived at Jupiter last month, and will start its science mission in October.

Finally, scientists found more than a thousand new planets; including more than a hundred Earth-sized ones.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lazarus, Martha, Mary and YOU


Day 2 of Novena

It is day 2 of our novena, please keep praying and feel free to share this even if you missed a day.  Here is the post for day 1 if you are behind.

Visit Veils and Vocations for the prayers.

Patience at the Post Office

Patience is one virtue which anybody who knows me will readily state I do not possess in abundance. And what little I have was very much tested one day at the post office. Only a single teller was on duty, so the line was longer than usual. And then who should step up to the counter but The Girl Who Could Not Make Up Her Mind. continue

Patron Saint of Missing Socks, Pray For Us

People’s mouths drop open and their eyebrows shoot up when they discover I raised nine kids because I am tiny and do not look like a worn out, frazzled wreck. God has blessed me with a gift of joy which defies my circumstances. Mothering came naturally to me; it was easy to look like a saint on the outside as I mothered nine little people.  The trouble was, although I looked like I lived a life of self-denial, losing myself to give life to others, I tended to over control. I depended on my strength to get through the overwhelming chores which were part of running a household of eleven.
 In all honesty, though, the only chore which actually threatened to kill me as a mother of a large family was the laundry, specifically pairing all the socks.
continue reading

Please Pray along with Me for Our Priests

I am hosting this pray along of a novena of novenas for the protection of our priests and deacons, as well as the conversion of our enemies--not only for our sake, but the sake of their souls. Please pray along with me and share this with your friends and family, our clergy needs our prayers and petitions more than they ever have!

Please visit Veils and Vocations for more information and the novena prayers. God bless.

World Youth Day - Sweet Tweets Flashback

In 2013, I had the honor of traveling with the Boston Deaf Apostolate to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day! Despite my best intentions to share every moment of #WYD2013, technology limits and a busy schedule left me only able to share my experience in snippets of 140 character moments.
The sweet #WYDRio tweets: Finally here waiting for train to Christ The Redeemer Statue!! So blessed to be here #WYD2013Came face to face with my favorite #EWTN Priest, Fr. Mark Mary yesterday was too #shy to say hi. Such a #Catholic dork #WYD2013 #GraceJust drove by building where Pope having lunch!!! At least that is what our guide said #WYDBOSBy the way at 5ft tall I see nothing. lol #WYDBOS lots of happy screaming Catholics #blessed To SEE me wearing a very FASHIONABLE trash bag and to read more of my amazing World Youth Day experiences visit Allison's blog ... Reconciled To You 

The Martyr, Father Jacques Hamel

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this article about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic state terrorists.  It was the first I had heard of this unspeakable murder.

Please read the rest of the article at Being Catholic ... Really.

Finding God and Roasting Green Chiles

Doing the dishes: boring. Cleaning the bathroom: boring. Making the bed: boring. Most of our lives are lived in the ordinary. There is little that is extraordinary about our lives. Of course, you have the celebrities, the politicians, the jet setters who make our lives seem boring and mundane. Well, compared to them, our lives are boring and mundane, and that’s all right. Not everyone can be famous. Not everyone can be rich. Not everyone can live an exciting life. Rarely did the saints live more than ordinary lives. Yet, in the ordinary, they found God and holiness. 
Read More at Prayerfully Yours

As the Morning Rising: Touched by the Father's Love

As the Morning Rising: Touched by the Father's Love: Sometimes our experience of an event is enough in itself to give us hope and strength when darkness looms and storms move in. I can ...

Recipe for Holiness: Ingredient #3 Fortitude

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."James 1:5  Where I lack the greatest wisdom without a doubt is in discerning the Will of God. There are several factors that block my clearly hearing God speak in my life - primarily my own voice and will are often drowning out God's voice. A very anxious person by nature - I erroneously believe the more of my life I control; the better my life will be. I seem to have this crazy notion that I know better than the creator of the universe what is needed for me to be happy.  

God is not in the happiness business - he is in the holiness business.  Paradoxical however,  the more I order my life to holiness - the truly happier I will be. Not the fading worldly happy but a much deeper, "it can't be taken away from you" joy! His ways are always 'different and higher' (Isaiah 55) from any ideas I may hold onto.   I see tomorrow, and the next day - he sees…

Are you lonesome tonight?


Love is?

When the kids were little, someone told my husband and me, “Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems.” At the time, I was trying to wean my son off breast milk at 19 months, and he was refusing. He loved our time together, and he didn’t want food. I was ready to be done, and he had teeth! 
Read more at Prayerfully Yours

Natural Family Planning; Our Journey

In Honor of the anniversary of Humanae Vitae I thought I'd share our journey. The real, and somewhat ugly, but redeeming journey. Read about it here.

I Had a Dream...I Was Not Alone. What Could That Mean?

About a month ago, I had a dream that changed my life. In the dream, I was alone in a moving car. My legs were embedded between the back of the front passenger’s seat and the actual seat itself. I tried to free my legs so that I could get into the driver’s seat and stop the car. However, I couldn’t break free. I looked out the front window, and I saw that the car was heading down a very snowy, icy and steep hill. The car slid on the ice and drifted off to the side of the road, filled with trees. As I headed straight for a tree, feeling helpless, all I could say was... Read the rest of the story.

¿Por qué el Papa Francisco insiste en la misericordia y perdón?

En  su primera visita a México, el Papa Francisco ha querido venir como peregrino a  México para compartir nuestra amor a la Guadalupana y hacernos llegar su esperanza en lo que la Misericordia de Dios puede traer a nuestro corazones y a nuestro pueblo: Paz. Esa paz que muchas naciones necesitan. Como lo ha mencionado él en su documento sobre el Año de la Misericordia, los beneficios del perdón llegan muy lejos hasta curar heridas producidas por ofensas y daños. No solo al interior del perpetrador sino también del ofendido: “Siempre tenemos necesidad de contemplar el misterio de la misericordia. Es fuente de alegría, de serenidad y de paz. Es condición para nuestra salvación.” (1)

As the Morning Rising: In The Quiet of the Night

As the Morning Rising: In The Quiet of the Night: Sometimes we find answers in the dark rather than in the light. Maybe it's because the day holds many distractions for us and in ...

A Secret Closet

'We must always reserve in our hearts amidst all affairs,
as it were, a secret closet, where we are to keep retired
within ourselves and where no business of the world can ever enter.'
St. Antonino Peirozzi
(from The Cloistered Heart)

Citizenship and Being Catholic

I like being an American, most of the time.

I know that my country is far from perfect, but I'd rather be here than anywhere else on Earth.

Living in Sauk Centre, a smallish central Minnesota town, probably helps. I really like it here.

But it's no Brigadoon, unchanged and unaffected by the outside world....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy,' WYD Krakow 2016. Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Man Praying, Van Gogh, April 1883, The Hague
Gospel Luke 11:1-13 NRSV, Catholic 

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give hi…

Early Agriculture, New Tech

'Genetics news' caught my eye this week.

DNA from barley that's been sitting in a cave for six millennia is helping scientists learn about agriculture's origins.

A fits-in-your-hand Biomolecule Sequencer is at the International Space Station. If it works, folks up there won't have to send samples down for analysis.

Finally, the world's first farmers were an unexpectedly diverse lot....

...Science? In a "religion" blog??...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Good Things: St George's Market Belfast

As the Morning Rising: Good Things: St George's Market Belfast: God doesn't owe us anything - yet in His grace, He still gives us good things. - Billy Graham

Infants as Vessels of Mercy #OTEM

Did you realize that infants are not only open to the Mercy of God but that they can be vessels of His mercy to you as well? Babies live in the present moment, in God’s presence. It might amaze many but according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, infant baptism is another example that the Church recognizes the unseen Almighty can relate to a baby: The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth. continue reading 

As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

This is a post from my blog in which I show how I discovered a method of forgiveness that really works. You might give this a try if you are having trouble forgiving someone or if you are still in pain from someone else's actions.  I stared at the computer screen. According to Facebook, my eighth grade teacher, Sister Ann (not her real name), had died at the age of 99. Former students posted about what a wonderful teacher she had been, what a sweet person she was. Which she was—to everybody except me.
In about the fourth grade, I began being bullied by some of the other girls in my class. I couldn’t figure out what had caused this shift in attitude. We were still the same girls as before, weren’t we? Yet, all of a sudden they called me stupid and ugly. Despite my prowess with a basketball, I was always the last chosen for a team—and even then the team captains argued over who had to take me. Of course my athletic skill had nothing to do with it. It was all about popularity, and it…

As the Morning Rising: Poem for a New-Born Child

As the Morning Rising: Poem for a New-Born Child: Poem for a new-born child  Let them build no walls around you, little one, Look on the world as home. Walk barefoot if you wish, tr...

Morality, Virtue: Foreign Words? If so, why?

People hunger for goodness and happiness in their lives. Yet, when I mention the words morality or virtue in a conversation, I see eyes glaze over and minds shut down. What is it about these words that turn people off, especially since these words represent all that one actually hopes for in this life? There is a definite disconnect. So, as an adjunct professor of Theology, who happens to teach a course called the Fundamentals of Catholic Moral Theology, let me help by connecting the dots.

First, let’s define morality and virtue: Morality refers to the standards by which we judge actions to be good or evil. 1
Virtues assist the Christian in living the commandments as well as effectively pursuing a holy life in Christ. 2
At birth, God infused within each of us, His Natural Law; “which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.” 3 So, there is no getting around it: We all know when... Read more...

A Saint for Eliminating Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is one of the largest businesses in the world. People unscrupulously make money from enslaving others, even young children, and selling them for sex. According to the U.S. State Department's annual report, in 2015 there were 6609 convictions for human trafficking and an estimated 20 million victims. How long will God tolerate this vile activity? How long will we?I offer as a patron saint in the fight against trafficking Josephine Bakhita, who was canonized in 2000. The story of her life reveals why. When she was eight or nine and living with her prosperous family in the Darfur region of Sudan, Arab slave traders kidnapped her as they had her older sister earlier. When the girl didn't speak, they named her Bakhita, which ironically means "Lucky One." She was made to walk 600 miles barefoot to the market and forced to convert to Islam. Five times she was sold to owners who mistreated her severely. She was subjected to beatings and whipp…

Close to Heaven: Breathtaking​, Outdoor Vatican Statues

Many statues of the outdoor statues in Rome are on the top of churches, seen only from a  distance. The statues are huge (up to 20ft/6m) with some details sculpted at a larger scale to make them visible.


Riding Your Dragons - Reflections for Challenging Times

A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras on Breadbox Media - is an 'on-air' book club - finding the best spiritual reading and sharing it with listeners as if we are friends around my kitchen table with a cup of our favorite brew!  On these episodes, I spent time looking at some of the challenges in our lives - family (everyone is related to or friends with an Eeyore!); finances (shared another miraculous prayer answer); parenting and health issues.   To listen or for more podcasts visit :  ReconciledToYou

Recipe for Holiness: Two Parts Courage

Life requires courage.  That is clear in the horrific events of this year - just making the decision to leave our homes can be cause for pause.  In the case of my dear friend from our parish, stabbed in her own home by a random act by a distraught young man, even home doesn't feel safe any longer.  There is illness and accidents; and so much beyond our control that can lead our hearts to ache; and fall into despair and fear.   As a person who has battled anxiety her entire life (actually diagnosed with a 'nervous stomach' at age 9); just watching the news or reading social media can send me spiraling into a panic attack.  

So what do we do? Where do we find the courage and strength to get out of bed each morning, to love life and those you are blessed to share it with, and to embrace the promise and hope of an unseen heavenly abode?  ...  read full post on my blog: Reconciled To
All rights reserved,  Allison Gingras

As the Morning Rising: Silence Is Worship Too

As the Morning Rising: Silence Is Worship Too: Whether before or after Mass, whether at weddings, christenings or funerals, it is quite apparent ...

Yes, God Can Commune With Infants

God even relates to babies while they are still in the womb. It was an unborn baby who was the first to recognize and respond to Christ. Then, Elizabeth blessed Jesus while He was still in Mary’s womb. This is why modern parents should feel comfortable blessing unborn children with the Mercy of God.

Perhaps those expectant mothers of old were more spiritually aware than modern women because they often choose to stay in quiet, peaceful seclusion praying psalms and soaking their unborn children with the Spirit of God while they waited for labour to begin. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you. Jeremiah 1:5 continue reading 

As the Morning Rising: Things Ungodly

As the Morning Rising: Things Ungodly: The world seems shrouded in things ungodly. Where old ways were good, Lord lead us back. And where new ways open onto fields of pr...

Could We Show a Little Tact Please?

The conventions are upon us. Today begins the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, running though to Thursday, the 21st. The following week we have the Democratic National Convention beginning July 25th through to the 28th. With that said, I have a request to make: Could we, as a nation, show a little tact please? I think it is sad that I have to ask that our political candidates use some tact in their political discourse. Needless to say, it requires that I make a plea for civility, given recent historical experience.

If history is any guide, then we are all in for a few months of rough seas. I get to this time of year, every year, and November can’t come fast enough for me; Read more...

Revisiting The Hidden Staircase

You and I have the same basic, fundamental, always-and-forever root vocation. We are called to be saints.

To be with God in Heaven is sainthood, and we are called to nothing less. The world will not put the designation 'Saint' before our names, but that's of no importance. God will know. God knows now. He sees every little step we take, every hidden hint of progress toward holiness. 'By holiness we mean the absence of whatever sullies, dims and degrades a rational nature; all that is most opposite to sin and guilt.' (Blessed John Henry Newman).

Did I accept God's grace today to conquer some temptation, perhaps in a tiny, hidden moment...?continue....