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Showing posts from May, 2017

Gifts of the Visitation, by Denise Bossert - Book Review

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Gifts of the Visitation – Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth, by Denise Bossert, is filled with virtue! I thoroughly enjoyed how Bossert took Luke’s accounting of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and highlighted all the virtue contained within it (Luke 1: 39-80). Bossert devotes nine chapters to discuss nine virtues; so beautifully brought to life in her book. She brings a whole new, refreshing outlook to this passage. From Mary’s spontaneous yes, to her courage needed to fulfill God’s word, to the thanksgiving Mary expresses to God for entrusting her with such an important honor, we traverse with Mary to visit Elizabeth.

As a mother herself, Denise Bossert, correlates stories from her own life with Luke’s Gospel passage. She peppers her life’s stories; intertwined with the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. The reality of Denise Bossert’s life makes the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth that much more enchanting and meaningful.

Read more...


Oscar Winners on Netflix: Reviews on The Big Short and Spotlight

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My husband Luke was in a journalism class last semester, and he had a homework assignment to watch one of two journalist-themed movies, one of which was the 2016 Oscar winner Spotlight. Because he had already made his Catholicism known to the rest of the class, he thought he ought to choose that movie for evangelization's sake. Because it's a movie about the exposition of the priest abuse scandal... Continue Reading




Sometimes when I look up Oscar-nominated movies (since I often haven't heard of them until they are nominated), I get really excited about them. The Big Short was not one of those movies.
It's about some guys predicting the housing market cash of the mid-2000s and making a bunch of money off it. Oops, I think I might have dozed off already... Continue Reading

Family Fun: Dinner and a Movie at Home? Yup!

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I think God delights more in joyful chaos than in miserable, tight perfection  in our family life.
It is a simple fact: there is no better way to form deep relationships and a sense of family unity than conversation over a home-cooked meal, then sharing a good movie afterward. It was our large family’s version of going out for dinner and a movie in town. Life around our dinner table was relaxed and happy because I allowed my children to behave in age appropriate ways. I did not demand adult perfection. The consequences of this decision were messy but well worth the time it took to mop up after meal time. Best of all dinner and a movie at home was a cheap, affordable way to have fun together, no need to spend a lot of money at a restaurant and a movie theater. If you’re looking to save some money too, and check out some wholesome, Christian content, give Pure Flix’s free month trial a look

continue

As the Morning Rising: The Visitation - Poem

As the Morning Rising: The Visitation - Poem: The Visitation  Kinship and kindness meet Bringing Mary far, Road-weary And excited at the thought of       Greeting El...

Why the Wichita Diocese has so Many Priests

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On Saturday, May 13, 2017, Bishop Carl A. Kemme of the Wichita Diocese ordained ten men to the traditional diaconate. God willing, those men, next May, will be ordained priests. Just one week later, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, Bishop Kemme ordained ten men to the priesthood. TWENTY.PRIESTS.IN.TWO.YEARS. Twenty men have decided to follow Jesus no matter where He leads. Which kind of begs the question, What the heck is going on in the Wichita Diocese? Why have so many men made this decision? As I have watched and studied our priests, I have to tell you some things. We have remarkable priests, each and every one with different personalities and gifts. Some are crazy intelligent. Some are deeply, deeply spiritual.

Rigid Trads, Judging Catholics & The Demon of Medjugorje: A Brief Update

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Here are my latest posts:One post is an excellent article I reposted, that focuses on Traditional Catholic's and how there is some rigidity concerning how (we) use the term "Novus Ordo" in things we do not like. It wraps up wonderfully with reminding us trads how blessed we truly are to know our Faith and Tradition, but that we mustn't judge that others know it as well and just refuse to take part in it.

 Another post is on "JUDGING". Anyone ever hear of Matthew 7;1 "Judge not lest ye be judged" ? It is used so much nowadays to cover a multitude of sins and to keep quiet about the Faith. But then, there IS a large problem with Catholic's judging others ! So what does the Bible really mean when it talks about "judging" ? 
 We take a look at the meaning between judging and "admonishing", and look at other sources concerning this issue such as Saint Thomas Aquinas and Mother Angelica.

 "The Demon of Medjugorje" is based…

As the Morning Rising: The Long Haul

As the Morning Rising: The Long Haul: Are the poor, the refugees, the homeless and the dispossessed far more aware of the distance between us and them than we are? It is eas...

Memorial Day: Remembering the Dead and The Family Left Behind

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With today being Memorial Day, I thought I would use the power of my space to tell you about a fine young man who died serving his country in Vietnam. PFC Thomas Wayne Myers, born on March 9, 1943, was my next-door neighbor. I was just a child of 12 years old, on that warm Spring morning of May 27, 1969, when Tommy died at Dinh Tuong Province, Vietnam.

Memories
I remember being outside, playing by myself, when the Army car pulled up in front of the house, on Saturday, May 31st. It was Memorial Day weekend! Two men, dressed in uniforms, got out of the car and walked up the driveway to ring Mrs. Myers’ doorbell. I stood on my front lawn and watched as they approached Mrs. Myers’ front door to tell her that her son had died in service to his country. From that moment on... Read more...

To Be or Not to Be . . . a Saint

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This past week I was interviewed about saints for a podcast, so I thought I’d share some thoughts about them this week. I believe it was Leon Bloy who noted, “The only failure in life is not to be a saint.” A saint is someone who made it to heaven. Consider the alternative. Sometimes people say (or think) “I’m no saint.” No, none of us earthlings are yet. We still have time to determine our eternal future. Our concept of a saint might be a grim person, a goody-goody, a priest or nun . . . but not us. But saints were as human as we are. They too had failings, as someone put it, “tilted haloes.” St. Jerome had a temper, St. Therese was sensitive, St. Augustine once stole pears—not to mention his other sins. But the saints lived in a way that mattered: they loved God and people the way Jesus did.

A youngster was asked what a saint was.  Thinking of stained-glass windows, he replied: “A saint is someone the light shines through.”  Yes, saints let the light and love of Chris…

"The Federation of the World"

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Tennyson said "Locksley Hall" expresses "...young life, its good side, its deficiencies, and its yearnings." I'm inclined to believe him, partly because I was young when I first read the poem. A half-century later, these are still among my favorite lines of poetry:
"...For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
"Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;...
"...Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
"In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
"There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
"And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law...."
("Locksley Hall," Alfred, Lord Tennyson) I still think building something like Tennyson's "Federation of the world" is a good idea. I'm quite certain that it will be a long, hard, process.

But we're already making some progress....

More at A Catho…

More Than a 3-Day Weekend

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Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

It's equivalent to Dodenherdenking in the Netherlands, or Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The holiday's original purpose was to honor those who have been killed while serving in our nation's military.

That's still the holiday's official purpose. Recent generations have used the three-day weekend as an unofficial start of summer vacation season. That's not, I think, entirely inappropriate. I'll get back to that.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

My Life on the Fence

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The life of a nun would be impossible for me, because I don't have grace for it. Sometimes, however, I long for the framework of such a life. I long for physical structure to securely fence me in and keep me from getting sidetracked by things that are unimportant, frivolous or even sinful.

In the midst of a society that finds the very thought of living "for God" repressive, fanatical, and politically incorrect, I find myself not securely fenced in, but camped out and living on the fence. I don't intend to embrace the world's standards, but in my attempts to blend in with the rest of society, sometimes I just might find myself compromising.

The fence is where I settle in to watch a PG-13 movie while trying to close my ears to the language and my eyes to "those scenes." It's where I enter a party determined not to gossip, but wind up laughing along with those who do. It is where I know I'm to stand up for Christ, for life, for morality, for bibl…

What Catholics Should Know About Netflix's Daredevil

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My husband and I started watching the Netflix Original series “Daredevil” a few months after it was released, kind of on a whim, knowing very little about it, beyond that it looked at least mildly interesting.
The premise is basically: blind guy becomes a vigilante/superhero in “Hell's Kitchen” (which is apparently what a part of New York is called). We don't mind a superhero story now and then, so we gave it a whirl, with very few expectations. 
A Pleasant Surprise
Out of the blue, bam, Catholicism.
I think it's pretty rare to happen upon a Catholic character... Continue Reading

The Big Bang

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There may be evidence for a Big Bang, but there is no evidence that there was simply nothing, ‘no thing’ whatsoever before it. What went bang? ‘Nothing’ cannot go bang.

You do not need to be a scientist to know that, a two year old child knows that. What created this surge of energy that has been bursting outward for 13.82 billion years? Energy does not come from nowhere, it comes from somewhere.

Only atheists believe that it comes from nothing, because they are terrified of hell which for them is believing in God and having to throw in their lot with, what they call the ‘god-lot,’ who they cannot abide.  read on ...

St. Augustine: Catholics Should Learn How to Dance

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The average Catholic probably thinks sanctity is for a select few and certainly does not associate play with holiness. Most of us are deaf to God's invitation to join His glorious, cosmic dance. Yet, life in Christ is all about surrender, letting go of control, not labouring in our own puny strength to the point of exhaustion. In fact, once we have been purified and transformed, life in Christ is child’s play, a dance of joy. Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers. I praise the dance. O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you. Saint Augustine continue 

Climate Change, Whirligig Icebergs

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Climate change is still in the news. Don't worry, I won't rant about impending doom, or say that Earth's climate isn't changing.

This planet's climate has been changing for several billion years. I'd be astounded if it stopped changing now.

How much we know and understand about our own past, and Earth's, is also changing. I'll be talking about that, and why I'm not upset that we're learning.

I'll also take a look at (real) climate change, why I think we are not doomed, and choices we must make soon. "Soon," in this case, is somewhere in the next millennium or so. My opinion. We really do not want to make these decisions hastily....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'The Lord goes up with shouts of joy.' Sunday Reflections, The Ascension

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The Ascension, Andrea della Robbia[Web Gallery of Art]
For Readings for the Ascension and the Seventh Sunday of Easter and for Reflections on the Ascension click on the following:
The Ascension

Three White Cottages in Saintes-Maries, van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
A work of art is the fruit of the creative capacity of the human being who stands in wonder before the visible reality, and who seeks to discover the depths of its meaning and to communicate it through the language of forms, colors and sounds. Art has the capacity to express and to make visible man’s need to go beyond what he sees; it manifests his thirst and his search for the infinite. In fact, it is like a door opened to the infinite — to a beauty and a truth that goes beyond the everyday. And a work of art can open the eyes of the mind and heart, carrying them higher(Pope Benedict XVI).

Catholic TV and Movie Reviews

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Hello, my name is Adrienne, and I am very happy to join this network! I recently started a blog of TV and movie reviews from a Catholic perspective. I am a screenwriter and have a background in film/TV analysis, so I love sharing my thoughts on both the artistic merit and the moral quality of things I've watched. I'd love for you to check out my site, and feel free to comment or even debate me if you disagree with my take -- I could talk about this stuff all day! https://thorneintheflesh.com/

Your chance to win a book

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ENTER COMPETITION TO WIN ONE OF MY BOOKS CLICK HERE

God is Not Fair - Insights and A-ha's (Book Review Reflection)

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"WOW" Moments  The Month of May has been trying but also one of the most spiritually fruitful of my life.  After putting off a routine mammogram for nearly 5 years, I finally went.  The test revealed an enlarged lymph node - I am happy to report it was finally determined to be due to inflammation [You can listen to the MIRACULOUS story evolving that on this special episode of A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras - it is NOT everyday one receives a favor from a Almost-Saint]. As the Lord, slowly walked me through this valley, Fr. Horan's words were equal parts comforting and inspiring. This was a time of acute awareness to pray always with urgency but without anxiety.  Here are some other "WOW" moments gleamed during that time from the pages of God is Not Fair:
We are not better than anyone else.  Regardless of what blessings God has allowed in your life, what talents you posses, or how you use them.  Additionally, those gifts that God bestows only bless you to …

So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?

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To the casual observer, I appear to be a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do people realize that although I did pour out my life struggling to raise nine kids on a small farm with little disposable income, I actually missed the core of Christ’s message; I tried too hard to be a perfect Christian rather than allowing myself to be loved by God. Refusing Love The stress of my lifestyle brought me low, low enough to finally realize I was not as Christian as I had once supposed. In fact, I realized I was actually a verified Pharisee, striving to please God. When I confessed this devastating insight about fifteen years ago, the priest told me he had never heard a better confession but I had missed the next step after my brutal self-examination, the most important step for a disciple of Jesus. I was refusing to accept the forgiveness and love of God. continue

Death in Manchester

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(From European Press Agency , via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Thousands attended a vigil in Manchester earlier"
(BBC News)

Manchester is England's second-largest urban center, in terms of population.

At around 10:30 Monday night, something like 21,000 folks — pre-teens, teenagers, adults — were leaving a music concert at the Manchester Arena. Someone with a bomb set it off in or near the arena's foyer.

He's dead. So are more than 20 other folks.

Except for the chap who killed them, the dead had been enjoying an Ariana Grande concert. The youngest victims I've read about were eight years old.

Quite a few others are injured. Some are missing.

I am not happy about this, putting it mildly....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

On Spending

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Occasionally I watch the television show Pawn Stars, shown on the History Channel. It can provide a fascinating look at historical objects, some of which are museum quality.             In a recent episode, the owner of the pawn shop (located in Las Vegas) took a trip to Los Angeles to procure more merchandise for his store. In particular he was searching for movie memorabilia.             But my jaw dropped at the amount of cash he doled out for one item: more money than my husband and I paid for our house. So what was it? The ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz? Perhaps Sam's piano from Casablanca?             Nope.
https://reflections911.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/on-spending/

As the Morning Rising: To walk with God in Realms of Light

As the Morning Rising: To walk with God in Realms of Light: It is always night in a soul that deprives itself of light. There is no glory there, no joy, no promise of dawn. But it need not be so....

Novena to the Holy Spirit - Seeking Virtue

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The annual Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this coming Friday, May 26th and continues through to the day before Pentecost, June 3rd. In this Novena, we ask the Holy Spirit to grace us with seven gifts. Each one of theses gifts happen to be virtues as well:

Awe (also known as Reverence) – We ask for a sovereign respect for God, as well as a filial submission to the Father.Piety – We ask for love and respect for those consecrated to God; including priests and religious, the Blessed Mother, the Saints, the Church, our parents, and our country and its rulers.Fortitude – We ask for the strengthening of our souls against natural fear. We also ask for support in performance of our duties; to endure without complaint.Read more...

DOUBTING GOD'S LOVE

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DOUBTING GOD'S LOVE CLICK HERE

As the Morning Rising: Mercy by another Name

As the Morning Rising: Mercy by another Name: The door that had been closed over was now wide open and it seemed that the outside and inside were as one - colours, fragrances, pat...

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis - Book Review

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I was long overdue, but recently, I finally sat down and read the classic, Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. Once I opened the book, and read the first chapter, I questioned what took me so long to get to this masterpiece, centered on man’s reaction to moral concepts and what it truly means to be Christian. C.S. Lewis begins with a discussion on Natural Law:

Whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature.If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently (p. 8)? Hmm…that’s something to chew on! Lewis’ logic and common sense abound in Mere Christianity. Written during the Second World War, this book was aimed at helping people make sense out of tragedy. Lewis attempts to assist his fellowman in mentally processing the atrocity of evil acts, so prevalent at the time. He asserts that we, as Christians, are called to love our neighbors, of whom some of them might actually be our enemies. Yet, in war-torn Englan…

GOD IS GETTING OLD

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GOD IS GETTING OLD PLEASE CLICK HERE

The best preventive medicine: promote marriage. (Spanish) La mejor inversión en salud preventiva: promover el matrimonio.

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En este siglo XXI uno de las áreas de la vida humana que continúa siendo una prioridad en programas y políticas internacionales y de gobiernos del mundo es la salud. Se invierten millones en ella y sigue costando un gran porcentaje de sus ingresos a muchos países. Y en el caso en los que las condiciones son precarias, el costo en calidad de vida, enfermedades y muertes es muy alto.
Pero en ambos casos, a lo largo de la historia, se ha comprobado que se necesita algo más que médicos, medicinas y campañas para alcanzar una vida sana para todos. Lo que se ha necesitado es prevención y hábitos de vida saludables para evitar muchas enfermedades y generar calidad en la forma de vivir de las personas. En los últimos años se ha encontrado una de las claves para lograr prevención sin importar el contexto de riqueza o pobreza de la población. Sorprendentemente, este eslabón perdido no consiste en campañas, mensajes, ni programas gubernamentales sino en algo tan arcaico, ancestral y depreciado c…

Holy in the Midst

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'Live on the divine Eucharist, like the Hebrews did on the manna.  Your soul can be entirely dedicated to the Eucharist,  and very holy in the midst of your work and contacts with the world' 
St. Peter Julian Eymard (from The Cloistered Heart)

Acting Like Truth Matters

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"Folks have thought truth is important for quite a while...

"...I think truth is important, too. As a Christian, I'd better...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Advocate? What Advocate?

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Ammonites, Dinosaurs, and Us

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Today's world is remarkable for a lack of dinosaurs. Big ones, anyway. Those critters would have been among the first things someone would notice here for upwards of 200,000,000 years.

Then, about 66,000,000 years back, something awful happened. The only dinosaurs left are those little tweeting, chirping, and cawing critters we call birds.

Ammonites had been around for even longer, but whatever finished the 'thunder lizards' wiped them out, too. We showed up much more recently, and are learning that there's a very great deal of our past, and Earth's, that we don't know. Not yet....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.' Sunday Reflections, Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A

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Last Supper, Lorenzo Ghiberti[Web Gallery of Art]
Readings and Reflections: Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A
Posted by at 17:23

5 Practical Ways to Pray When You Can't Focus

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I cannot think of anything more difficult for my ADHD brain then the sustained mental focus sometimes required to pray. The good news is prayer comes in many forms and these 5 strategies are sure to help you engage in meaningful prayer - whether you have an attention disorder or not!  Here are some of my tried and true methods for conversing with God even when I am completely out of focus. Walk and TalkTwo Years ago I was struck with this crazy inspiration to get my butt outside to pray the Rosary.  Uncomfortable walking the streets alone, I decided to encircle my home. This was made easy, in my mind anyway, because I live on a fork-in-the-road and have a driveway that connects the two streets.  I am only on grass when I traverse my backyard.  Around and around I go, praying the rosary, talking with God, the Blessed Mother, my Guardian Angel and whoever else in Heaven (or Purgatory) will listen.

The practice has become so much more than I ever anticipated it to be.  The exercise has he…

A Revert's Perspective

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It is no secret that my husband has struggled with deep regret over us leaving the Catholic Church and being away for 10 years. He has since worked through it and has forgiven himself, especially now that the Lord has restored him and he is doing what he is passionate and gifted in. I on the other hand have not dealt with the same regret. I can honestly see how the Lord used our time away and coming back to give us a deeper appreciation for what we had. The Lord can work good out of anything! Also, sometimes, you have to go to the other side to realize the grass isn't always greener. 

Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

As the Morning Rising: Fill My Senses Lord

As the Morning Rising: Fill My Senses Lord: Fill My Senses Lord Fill my senses Lord Flood my eyes, my soul, my life With waves of light  Otherwise I sleep In sluggi...

Pruning Bears Much Fruit!

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In today’s Gospel reading from John 15:1-8, we hear one of my favorite Gospel readings. We learn how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. God the Father is the vinedresser, who cares for the vine and its branches. What beautiful imagery of a life-giving force! Yet, even vine branches require pruning and trimming to promote further growth. When we hear about the pruning of the vine in this Gospel passage, take note that we are the ones of whom Jesus references! As God prunes His vine branches, He removes those aspects of our lives that hinder further growth.

Pruning for Future Growth
For me, God prunes my prideful ways, so that... Read more... 

Why Did God Make Mothers?

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How about a little taste of eight-year-old reasoning to act as a reality check to balance all those manipulative commercials and sentimental Mother’s Day cards flooding the market for Mother’s day? A warning.

The following true comments are not politically correct. So simply laugh and enjoy these hilarious comments from little people; no need to flog me with feminist remarks afterward.
continue

As the Morning Rising: The Healing Rose

As the Morning Rising: The Healing Rose: The Healing Rose Intimate as woven threads Our prayers and hers Her tears the beads we tell Her heart a home Of mercy and of f...

Mother's Day: Sadly, No Reason to Celebrate

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I don’t know about you, but I am always thankful for the day after Mother’s Day, as Mother’s Day is a very difficult one for me. The television ads end. The happy wishes cease. I find the television ads for Mother’s Day gifts difficult to watch, as I have no reason to make a purchase. I cringe when people wish me a happy Mother’s Day, as I have no reason to celebrate, because I have no children. My mother-in-law died in 1985, and my mom died in 2000. So, for my husband and me, Mother’s Day is just... Read more... 

As the Morning Rising: Finding in Everything a Little Way

As the Morning Rising: Finding in Everything a Little Way: Finding in everything a little way.

Where Two or Three

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Mother’s Day, and Mary

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Upwards of 40 countries celebrate mothers at some point during each year.

America's Mother's Day doesn't seem to connect with Phrygia's cult of Cybele or Japan's Haha no Hi, apart from being a recognition of motherhood.

Our Mother's Day has roots in my country's civil war. Ann Jarvis organized a committee in 1868, promoting "Mother's Friendship Day." The idea was "to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

I am God personified

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Catholics and Mental Illness: Coming Out of the Shadows

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Since mental illness is as common and invisible among the faithful as it is in secular circles,  concern for mental health cannot simply be relegated to the secular sphere, especially during Mental Health Awareness month in May. I admit the topic of how and why Catholics experience mental illness might seem completely irrelevant to most Catholics. After all, many of us are too busy with daily life to actually step back and evaluate the state of our mental health objectively. Meanwhile, our fellow parishioners are just as concerned as we are that they appear healthy, happy, and whole in public. Yet, I would wager that mental health issues are especially prevalent among the devout who are serious about their inner life because when people tackle deep inner issues which prevent God from working in their lives, their inner equilibrium is upset by stress, anxiety, and depression. This probably explains why most saints experienced profound periods of depression when they finally looked ben…

Second chance at 40´s (Spanish) Segunda adolescencia:la crisis de los 40´s

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¡De pronto te das cuenta que has rebasado los 40s! ¡Es en esa fiesta de cumpleaños cuando contienes la respiración (quizá con dificultad ya) para apagar las velitas, o cuando caes en la cuenta de que solo ponen velas de números...o cada velita representa una década! Algo esta cambiando, tu rendimiento, tus fuerzas, tu digestión, tus rodillas, al verte al espejo son más evidentes las ojeras, las patitas de gallo, las comisuras de los labios son más marcadas, el pelo escasea, las canas son evidentes.

En esta etapa se presenta la crisis de la mitad de la vida, algunos le llaman también crisis de la segunda adolescencia; se produce una evaluación de la vida en base a la comparación entre las metas fijadas y los logros, se puede experimentar una sensación de estancamiento, y vive en forma egocéntrica y sin mucha proyección hacia el futuro. Etapa de reevaluación que se extiende a las relaciones personales, intimas y otros aspectos del estilo de vida; sucede debido a un cambio en la orientac…

'Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.' Sunday Reflections, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

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St Philip, Giuseppe Mazzuoli [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings and Reflections:
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

Canonisations in Fatima





Lucia Santos, left, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto [Wikipedia]
On Saturday 13 May Pope Francis will canonise Blessed Francisco Marto (1908 - 1919) and his sister Jacinta (1910 - 1920) in Fátima, Portugal, on the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Mother there to the three children.


A good friend of mine who is a priest and a Scripture scholar once pointed out to me that in all the places where the Church has affirmed that our Blessed Mother truly appeared it was to poor people. We can see this in such places as Guadalupe (1531) in Mexico, La Salette (1846) and Lourdes (1858) in France, Beauraing (1932-33) and Banneux (1933) in Belgium, Fátima (1917) in Portugal and Knock (1879) in Ireland. I have been blessed by having taken part in pilgrimages to all of these except La Salette and Guadalupe.

You may find this article of inter…