Showing posts from October, 2017

| Beautifying The World Around Us |

Hi there, ya'll! =) I've been MIA these past few weeks because my family and I have been on vacation in Mexico! I am planning to share a vlog of our trip on my YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe so you can see it as soon as it's posted!



Halloween is Catholic? Yup

raised my nine children in the shadow of other dedicated Catholic mothers, mostly homeschoolers, who thought Halloween was evil, dedicated to witches. Their children were not allowed to celebrate with their neighbors but went to a church basement to celebrate All Saints Eve. I felt my children suffered enough because of a perceived alienation from their peers. At our tiny Catholic, country, school everyone dressed up for the day and often joined friends afterward to go door to door. I did not want to deny them the joy and creative fun which surrounded this cultural, childhood tradition. I wish I had been able to read Father Steve Grunow’s research and commentary 30 years ago.  continue

Why I'm Watching Stranger Things

I have to say, I'm rather excited by the media buzz surrounding the Netflix original series “Stranger Things,” with the premier of its second season this past Friday. One of the big reasons I'm excited is because it means something is happening that has been getting more and more rare since the advent of streaming platforms and the DVR: A lot of people are watching the same thing at the same time... Continue Reading

On the Halloween Express

Tomorrow is Halloween. I hope you have a good one.

I mentioned St. Wolfgang of Regensberg, All Hallows' and All Souls' Day, and the autumnal equinox, last year.

Also Gaelic and Welsh traditions, jack-o'-lanterns, and Easter eggs.

Enjoying my culture's traditions, within reason, makes sense. To me.

It's arguably better than bitter bewailing stuff I can't change: and don't want to....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Do You Live by the Spirit or by the Flesh?

In today’s first reading from Romans 8:12-17, Saint Paul encourages us to live by the spirit and not by the flesh. What does it actually mean to live by the spirit? And for that matter, what does it mean to live by the flesh? Let’s clear up the answers to those questions first, before we can determine how we should live.

To Live by the Spirit
As a baptized Christian, you are an adopted son or daughter of God. That makes you a rightful heir of God. As an heir of God, your inheritance is Heaven. Therefore, how you live your life on earth, will determine how you live for eternity. Will you squander your inheritance, or will you live your life in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s guidance? Saint Paul strongly urges us to live our lives in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That’s what it means to live by the Spirit.

To Live According to the Flesh
Do you place more importance on the here and now, rather than eternity? Is it most important to you to...Read more...

Love. And Science

Pharisees and Sadducees had important roles in the Land of Israel for about two centuries by the time our Lord talked about love.

They agreed on quite a bit. Maybe more than they realized. But they didn't see assorted political, social, and philosophical points the same way.

Pharisees didn't like Helenization, adopting at least some foreign ideas. Sadducees thought Helenization was a generally good idea.

But Sadducees thought the written Torah was divine authority's only source.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.



Wealth or plenitude? The aim of human development programs..(Spanish) Riqueza y plenitud: hijas de distinta madre.


'He brought forth compassion, a loving compassion that embraced the world.' Sunday Reflections, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix), Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Mt 22:39).
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 22:34-40 (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEd.)

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan , Archbishop of Seoul (1922 - 2009)
This time three years ago I visited Korea to attend the ordination to the priesthood on …

Swatting Fast Flies

We're a lot smarter than flies, which probably helps us swat them.

But the insects are very good at being somewhere else when the flyswatter or newspaper hits whatever they were on.

I've run into a few reasonable speculations. One was that flies are hypersensitive to air movements, and feel an approaching object. That may be part of the answer.

Scientists found another piece to that puzzle recently. "Recently" by my standards, that is. Flies live a whole lot faster than we do. Or, in a fly's eyes, we move in slow motion....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

No Dentures


All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten: All Souls Edition

Who is God?God is the supreme being. Why did God make me?God made me to show forth his goodness, and to make me happy with Him in heaven. What must I do to be happy with God in heaven?To be happy with God in heaven, I must know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life. These three questions are probably what I will be reciting on my deathbed after all other thoughts have decayed. Pretty much every thought I have ever had regarding faith and morals goes right back to these three questions and fits into this framework. In the last couple of months, I attended two funerals on my husband’s side of the family. We took the boys (thankfully, they behaved); in the middle of sorrow, sometimes it is a welcome reminder that life continues. Death never gets the last word. One of these times, I am going to have to explain to my boys what is going on. Likely next year when we celebrate the upcoming All Souls, I’ll have an inquisitive 3-year old that wants to know what all the hoopla at the Requiem Mass…

Vice or Virtue, Slavery vs. Obedience – What’s Your Choice?

Today’s first reading from Romans 6:12-18 speaks to the heart of whether we choose vice or virtue to guide us in this life. When we walk towards vice, or sin, we become slaves to sin. We lose our freedom, because the sin rules our life; very similarly to an addiction. Think about how a drug addict will do anything to get the next fix. Sin and vice have that same kind of hold on a person. So, the question is, do you want to be a slave to sin, or might you prefer moving in the opposite direction?

Obedience vs. Slavery: What’s Your Choice?
God and sin are polar opposites, because God is all good and sin is all evil. So, when we turn our backs on sin, we move 180 degrees toward God. When we turn toward God, we reject sin. We opt for obedience to God, the Supreme Good, because we want that goodness. To get that goodness, we choose to obey God’s commands. We willingly embrace virtue! We choose to...Read more...

When Things Go Wrong

We all have periods in our lives when so many things go wrong, we wonder what else could happen…and then, surprise, it does! The other day at 6:30 AM I got in the car to go to Mass in the dark, and the key wouldn’t turn in the ignition. This had never happened before. In the same brief time span, the television went black, the car’s engine warning sign went on, I couldn’t connect to Facebook, I cut my hand on a Reddi-wip can (very hard to do!), and a thank-you card I sent came back. I won’t even mention what was happening on the national scene. I also lost the large cross that identifies me as a Sister of Notre Dame. How ironic! The Lord had supplied plenty of other crosses. So how does a Christian cope when minor problems pile up or one huge one crops up? You can get frustrated and depressed, but there are tips to help maintain inner peace and sanity. Click to continue

Would Jesus Eat With Harvey Weinstein?

If you want to get inside my head, my title question is the type of stuff I think about. I don't really know for sure the answer. Even though Weinstein's actions were deplorable, it does seem like he has become a type of scapegoat. I say this even though I could easily say, "Me Too!" because I have also been the recipient of sexual harassment. Once, I even reported it at the job I was at and nothing was done about it. I remember the way it made me feel...completely belittled and ashamed. I remember not wanting to wear skirts anymore to work...but I digress.  
Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns>

Netflix Original "Atypical" -- Hilarious, But Flawed

Initially, I was drawn to the Netflix original series “Atypical” more because it was a show that appeared to be about teenagers and family life than because of its actual premise.
It's about an autistic teen who decides he wants to start dating. So, knowing relatively little about autism myself, I expected I would learn more about it and be rather entertained by the character dynamic of the show. What I didn't expect was some serious hilarity that, unfortunately, was often rooted in a fairly messed-up view of the world... Continue Reading

Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Eternal Life

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us the parable of the rich fool who wishes to tear down his smaller barns to build bigger ones, to store his massive harvest; a harvest, expected to last for years to come (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus refers to this man as a fool, because the man is clueless to the fact that the man will lose his life that very night. What good is all of those earthly possessions, if one is dead the next day? If the man had focused more on eternal life, the man would have been better prepared to meet his Maker.

Jesus gives us this parable to alert us to the fact that earthly possessions cannot save us from death. Only Jesus’ salvific power and mercy can save us from our impending death; to give us eternal life, with Him, in Heaven. Therefore, our goal in life is not to accumulate as much wealth as possible, but to participate in the salvation of our own souls. How do we do that? Read more...

Wanting Truth

I think truth is important, so do many others. Some see truth in ways that doesn't line up with my views.

Sometimes I can respect how they reached their conclusions. But I still think I'm right. Closer to what's true, at any rate.

That doesn't make me one of humanity's paragons of candor and acceptance....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Flute


Season to Journal

The 10 Minutes Daily Retreat is currently focusing on the art of spiritual journaling through a new site: Season to Journal Our 10 Minute reflections are guiding us through the beautiful biblical poem... 'For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:'Ecclesiastes 3

We would love you to share the blessings of Spiritual Journaling.

The Missionary inside every Catholic.( Spanish) ¿Cómo apoyar a las misiones evangelizadoras de la Iglesia?

No nos podemos quedar indiferentes al saber que millones de hombres redimidos, como nosotros, por la Sangre de Cristo, viven aún sin conocer a fondo el amor de Dios. Es el mandato de Cristo cuando vino a la Tierra.
La Iglesia católica es misionera por naturaleza y por lo tanto la evangelización constituye un deber,un derecho yuna obligación de cada uno de sus miembros que somos nosotroslos fieles.

Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

Christ offers even adults an easy way to commune with Him.  Relax. Give up striving. Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds. No wonder Jesus praises children, I assure you,” He said, ‘unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven’ [Matthew 18:4] continue 

Day 1 Quitting Smoking

So as of 3pm it will have been 24 hours without a cigarette! Everyone has been so encouraging and because of that I want to document my experience for the reality of what it is. One thing I did not expect was to wake up at exactly 12 hours without (3am-ish), with a runny nose and sore muscles. At that point it was the first  affirmation of quitting because these are symptoms of withdrawal. Which is disgusting, I had forgotten how nicotine is a drug! Silly me, I thought this would be easy! I have been super rude and irritable to my close friends and family which is super selfish of me. So Sorry Everyone! Especially my poor husband! I have probably already thrown too many nic-fits! The other gross thing is that my sweat smells like tar (patches probably don’t help)! I am actually sweating out toxins! I have been using clove oil and bergamot oil (which are available in my shop), on my hands to help fight the cravings and will be using them for a detoxifying shower wash which I can’t wait…

LIGO/Virgo: Another First

Another gravitational wave observation gave scientists the best evidence yet about one aspect of merging stars.

On August 17, 2017, folks with the LIGO/Virgo collaboration observed three clusters of gravitational waves.

This time astronomers found an infrared, visible, and X-ray event near where the gravitational wave source.

The August gravitational wave observation, GW170817, is the first one where astronomers found electromagnetic waves coming from the same spot. It's a very big deal.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Augustine is not an Excuse

Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo. -St.AugustineA few weeks back, the incorrigible Milo Yiannopolus posted his side of an unpublished interview with the Jesuit magazine America. (reader discretion advised, it is, after all, Milo) The general gist of it seemed to be “Yeah, I am a bad Catholic, but that’s okay. There were lots of saints that were bad Catholics.” He uses several quotes from St. Augustine’s Confessions to justify his behavior. The interview is a fascinating read. He professes his love for his Faith, Evelyn Waugh, Aquinas… He knows his stuff! It kinda sorta in a weird way made me really proud to be Catholic. Even this guy, so full of himself and so blatantly living in contradiction to the Faith recognizes the philosophical and moral supremacy of the Catholic Church. And yet it frustrated me so very much. Midway through, he suggests that someday, he will, like Augustine “recall his past foulness”. He is so charismatic, so intelligent, and extremely influential…

Saint Luke, Gospel Writer and Doctor; Evangelist for God

Today, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Luke, Gospel writer and doctor. Luke wrote both the Gospel According to Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Yet, Luke, himself, was not an Apostle. He learned of Jesus’ message via tradition, as did many people of the day, in circa 85 A.D. It is Saint Paul who refers to Saint Luke, in several places throughout Saint Paul’s epistles. Saint Paul refers to Saint Luke as his beloved friend and co-worker (Col 4:14, Phlm v24, and 2 Tim 4:11). Through the teachings from Saint Paul, as well as the writings of the Gospel of Saint Mark, Luke crafted his two masterpieces.

Saint Luke, A Man Filled with Compassion
Of the four Gospels, Luke provides us with the gentlest of approaches, with words filled with compassion and care. Writing in Greek for Gentile Christians, Luke crafted a message of mercy and forgiveness; calling on the faithful to be Christ-like. In Acts, Saint Luke gives us a ring-side seat to... Read more...

Why Pray a Psalm at Mass?

At every Mass we pray or sing a psalm after the first reading. A psalm is a prayer-song taken from the Old Testament and attributed to King David, who, as you know, played the harp. I thought of blogging about psalms today because we are in the month of the Holy Rosary, a devotion that is rooted in the Psalms. Originally people prayed the 150 psalms. Having them memorized was even the requirement for joining some communities. The many illiterate people were at a disadvantage. But then some creative person started praying 150 Our Fathers as a substitute for the psalms and thus began the paternoster beads, the forerunner to our rosaries. The psalms were an integral part of Hebrew worship and the prayers of Jesus and Mary. They are also appropriate for our worship and our personal prayer life. Because they express our every emotion, we can find a psalm to pray when we are glad, sad, mad, or have been bad. Being in Scripture, the ultimate source of the Psalms is God. They are…

'I die His Majesty's good servant - but God's first.' Sunday Reflections, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

'I die His Majesty's good servant - but God's first.' St Thomas More A Man for all Seasons
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMatthew 22:15-21 (New Revised  Standard Version, Anglicised CatholicEdition)
Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emp…

Beauty and the Beast: My Take on the Controversy

I've heard a lot of varying reactions to Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast remake. I'm talking, thoughts that are so radically different they span the range of, “It was so beautiful that I cried,” to “It is evil and terrible.” Well, most of the evil-callers had not actually seen the movie and were just appalled at the supposed celebration of homosexuality it contained. There was even a movement to boycott the movie (complete with a petition) when it was in theaters, and a couple of foreign countries decided to ban the film over the matter.
Now that the movie is on Netflix, I decided to see for myself... Continue Reading

How to be a waffle: the art of compartmentalization

There is a book called, Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham, which a review on Goodreads posits as the healthier alternative to I Kissed Dating Goodbye (more on THAT monstrosity another day). The premise is based on neurological research that shows how men and women process information differently.

Men have little mental boxes they keep things in. At work, they are in their work box, and not thinking a ton about home. At home, they are in their home box, and not thinking much about work. On game day, they are in their football box, and lord help us then....

Women, on the other hand, have neurological connections that look more like a plate of spaghetti. Noodles wind in and out of each other, this thought connects to that, we're showering and thinking about what's for dinner, our husbands are trying to be romantic and all we are fixated on the dirty socks on the floor, we're playing organ and brainstorming for the next greatest revolution in marriage mini…

Committing your actions to God: and how simple and difficult it can be!

I want to start off by saying to all those who attended my Bible Study last week that I am so sorry that I am just now posting the notes. I don’t even have an excuse, I completely forgot. What does it mean to commit? The dictionary says: “to carry out or penetrate” or ” to pledge or bind to a certain course or policy”
When we become born again, this is the time that we pledge ourselves to a certain course and policy. That being of course God’s plan and policy. But how do we stay on this course? The first thing that we have to understand before we commit our actions is to understand how they work.
Click here to continue

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Feast Day - Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun and mystic, from the 17th century. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was always religious, from early childhood on. However, as she grew into her teen years, she strayed a bit. Yet, even with the straying, and maybe because of it, she is known to have received visions of Jesus. One night, when she was out with friends, Jesus appeared to her, scourged at the pillar. In this vision, Jesus was not happy with Margaret Mary’s behavior. Thus, she... Read more... 

St.Teresa of Ávila: Down to Earth, Smart, Holy

Today, Oct. 15, is the Feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus. I love this woman. Although she is a doctor of the Church and one of the three great 16th-century Spanish mystics (along with St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John of the Cross), she is humorous as well as wise.

St. Teresa of Ávila is the real deal; holy, down to earth, humble and best of all extremely articulate.  Her phrases are succinct, to the point yet those few words point to a deep, Divine wisdom.


'Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables.' Sunday Reflections, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Supper at Emmaus (detail), Caravaggio [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 22:1-14 [22:1-10] (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEdition)

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. …

New Windows

(Adoration chapel windows in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.)

I've spent an hour at the adoration chapel almost every week for a few years now. Signing up seemed like a good idea at the time.

It still does. But this sort of spiritual practice doesn't come naturally to me. That's not a criticism of anything or anyone.

We're "all one in Christ Jesus," as Galatians 3:28 says. And we're not all alike. This is a good thing, or should be....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

St Francis of Assisi - Part 11 - A New Rule

Innocent III had died a year after the Fourth Lateran Council in 1216, to be succeeded by Honorius III, so when St Francis returned from the Holy Land to deal with the disputes that had arisen about the interpretation of his first rule written in 1209, he went for help to Cardinal Hugolino who had been appointed Cardinal Protector of the Order by Pope Honorius.  The wrangles over the rule were long and lasted for almost three years. Inevitably a rule written by Francis at Rivo Torto for no more than twelve men would have to be rewritten when, as unexpected, almost four thousand or more had poured into the Order by the time he had returned.  However that was not the problem. The problem lay in the sort of rule many now wanted. A new generation of friars, many of whom were priests and highly educated, wanted to water down the rule that Francis believed had been given to him by God himself.  read on...



Top 100 Catholic Blogs

See the Catholic Blogs List. The Best Catholic blogs from thousands of top Catholic blogs in our index using search and social metrics. Data will be refreshed once a week. These blogs are ranked based on following criteria Google reputation and Google search rankingInfluence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sitesQuality and consistency of posts.Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review Top 100 Catholic Blogs Winners CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top Catholic Blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Catholic blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.
Our site is listed as no. 97. my own blog, joy of nine9 is 71 and Ginny Lieto's blog is 91. Go to the site and submit YOUR blog for consideration because the list is revised every week. read more