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Showing posts from December, 2016

As the Morning Rising: Mary Mother of God

As the Morning Rising: Mary Mother of God: Mary, Mother of God Mother of the Son of God Mother of the Eternal Word Mother of the child divine Mother Mary, Mothe...

Stunning Holy Family Sculptures

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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.
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As the Morning Rising: The Holy Family

As the Morning Rising: The Holy Family: The Holy Family To think of their saintliness would place them far beyond our reach so we come first to contemplate their humanity...

Gospel Reflection: December 28, 2016 – Holy Innocents

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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 2, 13-18 – Holy Innocents Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, a day when Catholics remember the baby boys in Bethlehem slaughtered by Herod. It is also called Childermas, instituted around 450 AD, and celebrated during the octave of Christmas to not only remember but honour the Church’s first martyrs who gave their life for Christ. More recently, the modern Church annually reaffirms her commitment to the sanctity of life on this feast. However, I want to focus on the question of the existence of evil in our world.  continue reading

Time for Reflection - Making that New Year's Resolution

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With every years’ end, we tend to enter a time for reflection. We assess our lives, our dreams, and the course we are on. We look to see where we need to make changes; therein lies the proverbial need for the “New Year’s Resolution.”

I bring you suggestions for how to approach making your New Year’s resolutions this year – resolutions that will last! These suggestions might be considered as slightly off the beaten path; nonetheless, they are a path work taking.

Rather than:
Going on a diet to lose weight, try to better understand why you overeat, or eat the unhealthy foods, and then resolve to fix the underlying cause instead.Going cold turkey to stop drinking or smoking, try to better understand why you do it in the first place, and then resolve to fix the underlying cause instead. Do you see where I am going here with these suggestions? .. Read more...

A New Poem to Recall God's in Charge

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My present to you: 
An encouraging poem as we face this new year.


Happy New Year!

God Knows by Minnie Louise Hoskins

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still:

Click to continue

The Adventures of Father Ignatius

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KINDLE EDITION ONLY - $1.28 PLEASE CLICK HERE

Prepare for Christmas: Open Yourself to God in Prayer

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Even after the celebration of Christ’s coming, we need to create space and time each day at Christmastide and in the New Year, to enable God’s fatherly love to penetrate us ever more fully until we begin to experience it welling up from within to possess every part of us.

Almost 25 years ago, I spent Christmas with a family who had one son who was adored by everyone. However, that Christmas there was another child present who had been semi-fostered. She stayed with them for some weekends and most of the school holidays. At first, the girl looked bewildered and not a little disappointed when she was given her Christmas present from under the tree, for when she unwrapped the parcel all she found was a bundle of papers. Then it was explained to her that they were her papers of adoption. From then on, she was a full member of the family. She didn’t need to go back to the orphanage at the end of the holiday. In fact, she did not need to go back ever again. Tears of joy just rolled down her …

As the Morning Rising: St John

As the Morning Rising: St John: Two thousand years after the birth of Jesus and yet there are still thousands of babies born in  places that are cold and forbidding. Yet. ...

Today we all are journalists in a way, and should be responsible of making comunication more human. (Spanish) Periodistas hoy somos todos y somos todos responsables de humanizar los medios de comunicacíón

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En la era moderna en la que las comunicaciones han evolucionado con más rapidez y que han conectado a más personas que nunca, encontramos, paradójicamente menos entendimiento y compresión. Hemos aprendido a usar el móvil pero se nos ha olvidado cómo escuchar al otro. Recibimos miles de opciones de información instantáneamente pero nos seguimos hipnotizando con lo estruendoso, sensacionalista y amarillista. Por eso, la fe católica se ha preocupado por insistir en la humanización de los medios de comunicación y la centralidad de una cultura del encuentro en los múltiples mensajes y formatos comunicativos
Buscando hacer relevante este tema, El Papa ha centrado la Jornada Mundial de las Comunicaciones del 2017, que se celebrará el domingo anterior a Pentecostés, alrededor de la responsabilidad del comunicador, que en esta era virtual somos todos, al aseverar que el “periodista” ( léase yo, tú y ellos) “escribe el primer borrador de la historia.”.

Merry Christmas! And some name talk :)

Merry Christmas to all of you! And happy feast of St. Stephen!

I was looking through some old posts of mine and thought any name lovers that might be reading would be interested in listening to this podcast I was featured in a year ago with the amazing Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas and Christy from Fountains of Home, chatting about Catholic baby names. A fun little diversion on a cozy day!

Catholic Novel Free on Kindle

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From now through December 30, my novel Nearer the Dawn is absolutely free on Amazon Kindle. 
If you got a Kindle for Christmas or know someone who did, here's the chance to put a book on it free. 
For ages thirteen and up.
Top Rated on catholicfiction.net and, as of this posting, all four and five-star reviews.
https://www.amazon.com/Nearer-Dawn-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B00J1AVQLM

Winter Blessings Bear Much Fruit

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We officially entered the winter season last Wednesday, and are now in that time of year when life slows down dramatically, in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We welcome the opportunity to come in out of the cold and seek the warmth of a roaring fire. Unlike many people, I love this time of year! I appreciate a good snowfall, especially when I get to stay inside, all cozy and warm. As an avid reader, I love sitting by the fire, curled up with my favorite afghan and a good book. I appreciate the solitude that winter blessings bring!

Even in winter, when all life seems dormant, God is at work, renewing us. The lull of winter is a gracious gift from God, filled with winter blessings. Read more...

"Good News of Great Joy"

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The Christmas Mass marathon — that's not what it's called — started yesterday with the Vigil Mass. Mass During the Night was next, followed by Mass at Dawn and Mass During the Day.

I didn't go to all four, I don't know how many folks do, but I looked up the Gospel readings for each....

"...We heard parts of the Vigil Mass Gospel last week. That's Matthew 1:18-24, when Joseph learns why Mary is pregnant...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Reflections on the Carol: "O Holy Night"

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O Holy Night is my hands-down favorite Christmas hymn and much to my children's chagrin I can listen to it over and over and over again (especially if Josh Groban is crooning it). This song is rich in meaning and has provided much over the years for me to meditate on and pray about.

Click here to read my reflections on  a few of it's most powerful lines.....

If You're Not Feeling Merry

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It's a bad time of year to be hurting.  Not that there is a good time for pain, of course, but the days around Christmas and New Year's can be particularly poignant for some.

Many of us have had such seasons. Times when we can't be with loved ones, or a close friend has died, or we've suffered a miscarriage, or we're sick, or we've lost our job, or there is illness in the family.  Even the time of year can make us feel blue.  Here in the northern hemisphere, night falls early in these months of bleak midwinter. We may be struggling to adjust to the long, long, long dark.

For anyone reading this who is sad, in pain, or maybe just wishing the holidays would be over and gone - know that you're not alone...
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As the Morning Rising: Every Tear Wiped Away

As the Morning Rising: Every Tear Wiped Away: Tears at Christmas For many there is silent weeping at Christmas. A sorrowful mystery is lived out in a quiet place of the hear...

During Christmas, Find Christ’s Joy In Your Deepest Wounds

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In my deepest wound, I saw your glory and it dazzled me.”- Saint Augustine. Most people assume they will automatically feel cheerful during Christmas.  Not only does the Church celebrate the birth of our Saviour with joy, secular society also promotes the idea that everybody is happy during this season, bombarding us with images in the media of lighthearted people giving gifts and enjoying each other’s company.   In fact, there is so much pressure on people to be in good spirits during Christmas, many sink even deeper into depression when they are unable to force themselves to even crack a smile.  Often, I also feel depleted and empty during the days leading up to Christmas, dismayed my emotions do not line up with my beliefs and certain there is something wrong with my spiritual life.  The more I try with my own willpower to get in the Christmas spirit, the worse I feel. continue reading

'But for a dream, born in a herdsman's shed, And for the secret Scripture of the poor.' Sunday Reflections, Christmas Day

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Adoration of the Shepherds- Jacopo Bassano 

What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people (John 1:4).
The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord has four different Mass formularies, each with its own prayer and readings. Any of the four fulfills our obligation to attend Mass. These are:
Vigil Mass, celebrated 'either before or after First Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the Nativity'; that means starting between 5pm and 7pm.
Mass During the Night, known before as 'Midnight Mass'. In many parts of the world it does begin at midnight but here in the Philippines since the 1980s it begins earlier, usually at 8:30pm or 9pm.
Mass at Dawn, Mass During the Day.
When you click on 'Readings' below from the New American Bible you will find links to the readings for each of the four Masses. The readings from the Jerusalem Bible for the four Masses are all on one page.
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Austral…

SETI: What If?

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Contacting extraterrestrial intelligence, meeting people whose ancestors developed on another world, has been a staple of pulp fiction for generations.

Lately, it's become a matter for serious discussion. I'll be looking at an op-ed's take on how learning that we're not alone might affect folks with various religious beliefs. I'll also share what I expect: and what I don't....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

A Christmas Message from a German Soldier - Preparing for Christmas 2016

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My great uncle found himself in hell during the First World War. He was trapped in a shell hole made by enemy artillery. He was cold, hungry and half submerged in more than a foot of mud for almost twenty-four hours. He could not raise himself more than a few inches or he would have been caught in the crossfire between the two warring armies. The bullets that passed to and fro between the armies symbolised the hatred that set them apart. In this hell he thought of heaven, the heaven that had been his home before leaving for the front. He dreamed about the warm, cosy security of bathing in his parents’ love when he was a child. He remembered that when he was ill his mother would gather him in her arms and take him back to bed with her, where he was placed between her and his father. It was here, experiencing the mutual love that bonded his parents together, that he felt safe and secure and loved. That love that had conceived him in the first place made him happier than in any other pla…

BETHLEHEMIAN RHAPSODY

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The Story of Christmas, Illustrated by Modern Artists

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The best Merry Christmas I can give you is to repeat the simple, unvarnished story of the first Christmas paired with wonderful, modern, Catholic art.

Luke 2: And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. continue reading

As the Morning Rising: Name above all names

As the Morning Rising: Name above all names: I'm not saying we should sit back now and pat ourselves on the back but at the same time I find it very encouraging to see so many p...

Receive Christ's Love This Christmas - My Wish For You

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It’s almost time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday! Christmas is almost here! I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you are traveling, safe travels.

As we close out 2016, and look forward, with hope, to 2017, I want to share with you one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the late Bing Crosby and the late David Bowie. It’s called, Little Drummer Boy. The message of the song is that one little child “can give all the love he can.”

Enjoy the video, then read my comments below on how we can take this message and bring it to life this Christmas season. Read more...

Reflections on the Manger in Bethlehem

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The first chapter of my new book out this month, Voices: God Speaking in Creation, is “Manger.” It makes a fitting post this week as we celebrate Christmas . . .
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger"  (Luke 2:7)
Jesus could have been born at home in Nazareth and placed in a wooden crib fashioned by his carpenter-father, Joseph. Instead, because he makes his appearance on Earth while his mother and father are en route, he has no suitable place to lay his head. This circumstance is prophetic, for more than thirty years later, as an itinerant teacher Jesus will claim, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).  Click to continue

Advent 30 Day Retreat: Week 4 Day 24

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Is peace on earth even possible amidst the violence and grief our world suffers?
'Peace on earth…' The opening verse of 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' infers a link between peace on earth and Christmas. Christians use an old fashioned word for this devastation. Sin. In 1739, the song writer for this carol, Charles Wesley, summed up the connection between Christmas and peace. 'God and sinners reconciled.' We all add to the lack of peace and devastation in our world. We all qualify for the best Christmas present of all. The gift of forgiveness, and the return of peace. Wesley writes that everyone is entitled to this free gift. 'Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.' 

If we are struggling with a lack of peace in our lives we can use this time to sit in God's presence and experience His precious gift.

Trust Me. It's More than Just a Nice Story!

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Who do you trust? Your mother? Your father? Your children, spouse, neighbor? Your girlfriend's brother's cousin's friend? Do you trust an ad on tv or a product endorsed by a celebrity? How about what you read online?
Who can trust you and why? When you give your word or say that you'll do something, do people believe you? How do you know? Do you look them in the eye, extend a firm handshake, or write up a contract? After agreeing, do you back out, come up with excuses, or simply forget? How does that affect how others view your trustworthiness?
In Marriage, more than in almost any other human relationship, trust is vital... To finish the rest of the post on recovering from betrayal in Marriage and in learning who and how to Trust, please join me at Single Mom Smiling.
God Bless...

Should we Pray for Money?

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On a message board on Facebook, (which has been one of the most amazing support groups ever) one of the members asked if it was okay to pray for money. Is it okay to pray for money?This was my opinion: “I believe that praying for money for a need like a light bill would be okay but it would be wrong to ask for a million dollars”.The Holy Spirit touched my heart to go searching for answers. Matthew 22:18-21 New International Version (NIV)18 “But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”” So this above verse is about taxes but it makes some very good points about money. “Whose image is this?” Jesus said. The point he is making is that money is a tool of the state. The state is just anoth…

Most Highly Favored Daughter, by Janice Lane Palko - Book Review

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Most Highly Favored Daughter, by Janice Lane Palko is salacious, intriguing and an all-around winner! If you are looking for a good book to read on a cold winter’s day, look no further than Most Highly Favored Daughter, set in Pittsburgh, PA during Super Bowl weekend.

Janice Lane Palko creates compelling, deeply fraught characters who lure you in from page one. Cara Hawthorne Wells, the socialite elite of the Pittsburgh area, finds herself in a real pickle early on in the book. Yet, Janice Lane Palko shows us that Cara is much more than a former debutante. Cara, a seeker of truth, demonstrates courage and integrity when faced with a sordid adversity. Cara’s sister, Sophia, originally comes across as the flighty, irresponsible sister. Yet, when adversity strikes, Sophia... Read more...

Men´s right to financial abortion ( Spanish) ABORTO FINANCIERO: LA RESPUESTA MASCULINA AL ABORTO FEMENINO

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Desde hace décadas el tema del aborto ha ocupado un lugar central en la agenda feminista y las políticas demográficas de los organismos internacionales como un derecho reproductivo de la mujer, pero si se analiza la naturaleza del problema se nota que se ha dejado fuera un elemento central de la ecuación de este tema tan controversial.
Este elemento es el aportador del esperma que contribuyó al embarazo no deseado o, en palabras anticuadas, el padre del niño. Ese ser totalmente borrado del horizonte dentro de una escena de toma de decisiones que, hoy por hoy, está marcado por la soledad, desesperación y la desesperanza para la mujer.

Rest Awhile

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Electronic Stocking Stuffers

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Looking for some inexpensive electronic stocking stuffers to give your Christian friends this Christmas? All three of my Christian novels–Rain from Heaven, Nearer the Dawn, and Amaranth–are now on sale for just 99¢ each on Amazon Kindle. That’s less than $3 for all three!  And, as of this posting, all the reviews are 4 and 5 stars. For ages young adult and above. As usual, all net profits go to charity. Rain from Heaven https://www.amazon.com/Rain-Heaven-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B00DPO6A3E Nearer the Dawn https://www.amazon.com/Nearer-Dawn-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B00J1AVQLM Amaranth https://www.amazon.com/Amaranth-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B00WSCJT64

The Meaning of God’s Secret Plan - Preparing for Christmas 2016

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I want to let you into a secret. It is the secret of sanctity, and St Paul was the first to pen it. It is simply this, “God’s power works most perfectly in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). That is why God always seems to choose the wrong person for the job, the person who appears to be unfit-for- purpose. Take Abraham and his wife as a case in point. He was a ‘not-fit-for-purpose, hundred years old’ and his wife was eighty, yet he was chosen to become the father of God’s chosen people. Moses had a speech impediment, yet he was the one God chose to be his spokesman before Pharaoh. The strippling David was chosen to fell the giant Goliath. The whole point of God choosing someone who we would think unfit-for-purpose, was to make it quite clear that it is not this man’s potency, or that man’s eloquence, or this boy’s strength that triumphed, but God’s power working through human weakness.  read on...

Gabriel, Joseph, and Mary

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Monday's Gospel reading, Luke 1:26-38, is a repeat from December 8.

It starts with....

...A little earlier in that chapter we get an account of Gabriel's interview with Zachariah: Luke 1:10-20. That's when Gabriel personally delivers God's response to Zachariah's prayer — and Zachariah demands proof.

Zachariah got proof, all right. He couldn't talk for for months. Not until he agreed with his wife about his son's name: in writing.

Elizabeth said the boy's name was John, the same name Gabriel had specified....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'St Joseph' in Manila. Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Advent, Year A

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The Dream of St Joseph, Georges de la Tour 
Gospel Matthew 3:1-12 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Ed.)

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’,which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord comma…

Christmas Gifts

Dear Readers,

With Advent rushing by and Christmas just around the corner, I've also decided to start a series of Christmas movie reviews. I'm kicking my reviews off with one of my family's favorites: Miracle on 34th Street (1994).

Yes, this is a remake of an older, even more beloved 1947 George Seaton film. Les Mayfield is the director here, and I'm not sure if Mayfield or his cinematographer is to be credited for the film's glossy beauty, but it certainly fits a film with the word 'Miracle' in the title. The production is led by a trio strong adult actors, Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Attenborough and Dylan McDermott, and anchored by a gifted youngster, Mara Wilson.

The plot's summary is thus: A lonely, albeit well-off, single mother Mrs. Walker (Perkins) and sweet daughter Susan (Wilson) find some much-needed Christmas cheer when Kris Kringle (Attenborough) arrives to save the day at a flagship 34th Street store. Christmas charm sweeps through the city. W…

Mars, Aliens, and SETI

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I'd love to be talking about unambiguously artificial signals picked up by the Allen Telescope Array, or reports of a ship from beyond the Solar System settling into orbit around our moon.

But that hasn't happened, and probably won't. Not in my lifetime.

Instead, I'll talk about why I don't "believe in" extraterrestrial life; and do not assume that we are alone in the universe. That puts me in the third of folks who aren't sure, and I'll get back to that.

My 'Friday' posts are usually about more-or-less-current 'science news.' That won't happen this week. I've read a few interesting articles, and will be talking about them — after the Christmas-New Year's gymkhana is over.

This week I'm using material that didn't quite fit into an earlier post. I'll also talk about the Great Moon Hoax, Nicola Tesla and Martians; and what I think about life in the universe.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

A CHRISTMAS TALE

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Lessons Learned from The Prodigal You Love

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When a BOOK is a Blessing
My son does not know if he wants to be Catholic. In fact he is not even sure if he even believes in God. When the subject comes up between us, my response, quite frankly is usually terse and accompanied with a tone much louder and more frustration filled than I intend it to be.  The result from the pain in my heart hearing his words which cut much deeper than he intends them to. I blame myself for his faith struggle, wondering what I could have done better or differently, and if it is now too late to make a difference.  Yet the truth remains despite my greatest efforts, or at least my best attempts at a greatest effort, my son is not sure where he stands with the faith that I love so very much.

For the Remaining 9 LIFE CHANGING lessons... CLICK HERE
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras, 2016

Saint John of the Cross, Carmelite - Feast Day Celebration

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St. John of the Cross, a 16th century saint, is most well-known for working with St. Teresa of Avila at reforming the Carmelite orders of priests and nuns. John of the Cross received his Carmelite habit in 1563. Upon obtaining his habit, he immediately asked to live a more austere life than his fellow Carmelites of the day. John sought to live a life more in line with the original meaning of being a Carmelite. In John’s day, the Carmelites had grown accustomed to the amenities of the 16th century. By living a more austere life, John of the Cross believed he lived a life more like the life of Christ.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1567, he met St. Teresa of Avila shortly thereafter in 1568. Together they worked tirelessly to reform the Carmelite orders of priest and nuns, bringing back the austerity of what it meant to walk with Christ.

In 1577, the Carmelite Order ordered St. John of the Cross to return to Medina. He refused, noting that he believed... Read more... 

You Don't Have the Right to be Happy, BUT...

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Pink. Sunday's advent candle was pink. In a house full of boys, pink stands out. Pink is rare. Pink is welcome. Pink is often part of my wardrobe in some form or another. Maybe it's found in my sweater, maybe in my accessories, or maybe in my socks where only I know it's there, but I am usually wearing pink something, somewhere, somehow... Pink in Advent And the third Sunday in Advent always makes me smile. In a wreath dominated by purple candles signifying both repentance and royalty, the pink candle stands out. It stands alone. It burns brightly surrounded by the others, a flame lit by the same hand that lit the others' this flame attracts the eye simply because of its difference. Pink is the sign of Gaudate Sunday, a sign of Joy beyond mere happiness. It is a Joy understood by a few and longed for by all.
To finish the post, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com God Bless...

Symbolism in Christmas Customs

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As I researched Christmas customs recently, I discovered the meaning behind some of them that many people, even Christians, are probably not aware of. I found the symbolism interesting. Maybe you will too.
Christmas  The name for this feast comes from “Christ Mass” because Mass was celebrated in honor of the birth of Christ. The short form of Christmas, Xmas, comes from the Greek word for Christ, which is also the origin of the chi-rho symbol used for Christ in Christian art.
December 25  This date was chosen for the celebration of Jesus’ birth because it was the day the Romans celebrated the feast of the invincible Sun and the Persians celebrated the birth of their god Mithras.  Click to continue

A Guinea Christmas

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A GUINEA CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL CLICK HERE

The Interview

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Interviewer:  "Hello,  and welcome to Mystical Talk Radio, I'm John of Mystical Talk.  We have with us a woman who says that she is a warrior in the true mystical sense of the word.  Welcome Miss Anne.  Now I want our listeners to know that Anne is not her real name, our guest only agreed to the interview on the condition that we not reveal her identity, is that correct Miss Anne? 

Miss Anne:  "Yes."
Interviewer:  "And Anne is not your real name of course."
Miss Anne:  "No, I'm afraid not."
Interviewer:  "Well tell us Miss Anne, our show is Mystical Talk Radio and from your book, Encounters with St. Michael the Archangel. you claim to have encountered the mystical realm, is that correct?"
Miss Anne:  "Yes, many times in fact."
Interviewer:  "So the mystical realm is real, is that what you are trying to tell us."

TO READ MORE OF THIS INTERVIEW... CLICK HERE.

What Guadalupe means to the mexican people ( Spanish) Lo que Guadalupe significa para los mexicanos.

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Nada tenemos tan fuerte en común los mexicanos como el culto a la Virgen deGuadalupe. Le rinden homenaje desde los más ricos hasta los más pobres, los artistas, los que no creen en nada más que en su Guadalupana....Inclusive “el movimiento de independencia tuvo como primer estandarte la Virgen de Guadalupe.”

God, Angels, and Belshazzar

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I don't know why encounters with angels,1 and God, aren't all alike.

Sometimes, like Abraham's meeting with the Almighty and two angels, described in Genesis 18:2, or Habakkuk's getting airlifted in Daniel 14:33-37, it's apparently much like meeting another human.

Other times, like Daniel's interview with Gabriel, it takes days to recover. I suspect that it depends on the personalities involved, and on just how much unshielded power we're exposed to.

"The writing on the wall" is still an idiom in my language, meaning "the likelihood that something bad will happen." (TheFreeDictionary by Farlex)

It comes from a reality check Belshazzar experienced....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Is Your Doctor Pro-Life? It Matters to the Unborn

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By the time I was pregnant with my sixth child, I was desperate to find a supportive family doctor and obstetrician. Four of my five children had been delivered by Dr. Leslie E.,  a brilliant, strong feminist.  As a mother of a growing family, I was an enigma to her as she was to me. In her office, successful professional women waited for gynecological care and women in their late thirties or early forties were pregnant with their first child.  I felt like every eye was on me when I walked through her door for my first visit, pregnant with a toddler on my hip and by my last visit with three or four other children clustered around me. Birth control devices enshrined on this doctor’s desk, encased in glass, seemed to glare at me every time I sat across from her. After one visit, this obstetrician said, in what I hope was a teasing tone,
“Would you quit bringing your beautiful children to my office. Someone always wants a reversal (from tubal ligation) after you leave.” Finally, A Pro-L…

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Our Blessed Mother's Feast Day!

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Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; a day to remember and reflect upon Our Blessed Mother’s appearance to Juan Diego. When Our Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego, his country was under the influence of pagan beliefs in false gods. Mary appeared to him to set into motion a means for personally evangelizing the people of Central America. Her specific words to Juan Diego were:

I greatly desire that a church be built in my honor, in which I will show my love, compassion, and protection. I am your Mother, full of mercy and love for you and all those who love Me, trust in Me, and have recourse to Me. I will hear their complaints and I will comfort their affliction and their sufferings. So that I might show all My love, go now to... Read more...

In This Time of Preparation

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‘Silence is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to recollection and listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior recollection, so as to receive and keep Jesus in our lives.’ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI  (from The Cloistered Heart)

Jesus and Expectations

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Pip's Christmas doesn't have much to do with Christmas, or Advent, but I figured this post should have something that looks 'seasonal.'

"...Blessed is the One Who Takes No Offense at Me"
We'll be hearing Matthew 11:2-11 this morning. The readings still aren't particularly 'Christmassy.'
"2 When John heard in prison 3 of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him "4 with this question, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'
"Jesus said to them in reply, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see:
"5 the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. "And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.' "
(Matthew 11:4-6) Our Lord balanced that rebuke with a reminder of the Baptist's great function in Matthew 11:7-15, and a complaint about folks who wouldn't l…