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Showing posts from February, 2018

5 Reasons Almsgiving is Important

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With Lent comes an emphasis on prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The rice bowls or other ministry containers come home and we are reminded to take the money we save from fasting and give to the poor. Some people take this seriously and some people don’t. However, almsgiving is an important part of Lent ...CONTINUE READING...

The Battle Against Yourself, by Greg J. Vogt - Book Review

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The Battle Against Yourself is a gripping real-life story from Greg J. Vogt. In Vogt’s debut novel, a memoir, he takes us from despair to hope, from sadness to happiness. He tells us of his battle with depression and attempts at suicide. It started in high school; with what many might overlook as typical teen angst. Yet, if we were to peel away at the layers of the onion, so to speak, we would see that Greg’s depression, at its root, stemmed from an internal feeling of lack of control, coupled with external factors/occurrences that sent him “off the deep-end.” Greg Vogt artfully articulates his internal loneliness, his low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness, brought on by those eternal factors that exasperated his situation.

Rather Than Battle Against Yourself, Take Control
I found Vogt’s story extremely compelling, authentic and well written. He doesn’t sugar-coat the harshness of reality; nor does he gloss over trivialities. His story is down-to-earth, and uplifting at the sa…

Heart to Heart with Mary Review, Thanks to a Friend

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Sister Margaret Kerry reviews Heart to Heart with Mary, a daily devotional that makes excellent Lenten reading.  You can purchase this book for $12.00 by emailing the author at kglavich@ndec.org. If you like the book, kindly please place a sentence or two review of it on Amazon.  Click to continue

Am I Writing Like a Worker Ant or a Child of God?

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The secular world desperately needs to hear the perspective of Catholics on pressing issues, especially on the sanctity of human life. However, most religious authors write in a small niche, read mainly by fellow Catholics and perhaps a few other critics we would secretly love to block. An amusing analogy came to me the other day which clarifies this dilemma. Consider the life of an ant, not a queen ant, a worker ant. continue reading

Seeking Mercy This Lenten Season

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For approximately one year, I have been reading the Diary of Saint Faustina. It started out as a Lenten practice to learn more about Christ’s mercy. Usually, I can read a book within a few days. However, in this instance, it’s taking me quite a long time to work my way through this book. It is so jam-packed with information concerning Christ’s mercy. I read a few pages, at a time, on Mondays, when I attend Adoration. Then I reflect on what Saint Faustina is trying to convey regarding how Christ’s mercy works, and why we should all be seeking mercy.

Seeking Mercy – A Few Tips as to Why We Should
From what I have read to date, here is what I want to share with you:

Christ’s mercy is readily accessible to everyone willing to seek it from Our Lord.Jesus wants... Read more...

ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE

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Training time for the spiritual triathlon of Lent. (Spanish) Ponerse en forma para el Maratón de Cuaresma

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En esta temporada de Cuaresma, nuestro Maestro inicia un camino en ascenso y con alto grado de dificultad. No es fácil porque implica mucho esfuerzo y preparación. Pero Él está dispuesto a todo con tal de enseñarnos cuál es la manera de obtener el triunfo. Si están de acuerdo, y quieren triunfar también, preparémonos para seguirlo. Y como seguirlo no es fácil, ¡hay que ponerse en forma! Intentaremos aprender de Él: seremos sus discípulos. ¡¿Y qué es ser un discípulo?! Es ser aprendiz y alumno destacado del Maestro. Para esto es necesario conocerlo e imitarlo. Iniciemos pues como discípulos, con Jesús el Maestro, el ascenso. La Cuaresma es el camino hacia la Pascua. (Y por cierto, ¿has oído hablar de Cristo? ¿Lo conoces? O naciste “creyente” por cultura familiar. Porque sólo una verdadera conversión personal nos hace discípulos. Y la Cuaresma es el tiempo por excelencia para convertirnos.) Pensemos como atletas. Ellos necesitan una rutina, una alimentación, un entrenamiento constante, un…

God, Love and Clouds

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Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10, describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions, and laundry detergent.

It seems like a better idea than getting upset that not everybody calls the second Sunday in Lent "Transfiguration Sunday."

Or that some folks read this part of the Gospel on a different Sunday. Or that we had a different second Sunday Gospel reading last year. Or that our Feast of the Transfiguration is August 6 this year. And is a Monday.

Occasions for angst abound. I'd rather look at what today's Gospel says and what's been said about it. Then think for a bit and see what happens.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Give us a sign

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Oxygen, Alien Life

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We haven't found extraterrestrial life. But we're still finding planets circling other stars. Thousands of them.

Some of those planets couldn't possibly support life as we know it. But some might.

Atomic oxygen may be a good biosignature: evidence of life. That's what some scientists said in a recent paper. If they're right, we may be a step closer to finding life in this universe.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Stabbing Myself in the Heart

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Christ is the only sacrifice who redeems and heals us, not our own self-inflicted suffering. I stood at the sink, pain lancing my chest, sobbing silently, tears blinding me as I tackled a mound of dirty dishes. Exhaustion weighed heavy, continue reading

Does Wealth Bring Contentment?

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'I just want a place at the feet of Jesus.' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B'

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Transfiguration, Blessed Fra Angelico [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Mark 9:2-10 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Edition)

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they we…

Seeking God’s Forgiveness During Lent

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Lent is an excellent time for seeking God’s forgiveness, via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this sacrament, God cleanses us from our sins and reunites us to Christ. Although you may be apprehensive at the onset of disclosing your sins to priest, it is really Christ in whom you are confessing your sins, as the priest is acting in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. You will exit the Confessional filled with God’s graces of gratitude, humility, joy and peace.

As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator for my parish, I work with people coming from other Christian faiths, (or no faith), who wish to consider becoming Catholic. One of the most common questions I get is “Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? Why can’t you just ask God directly for forgiveness?” To answer these questions, this video from Bustedhalo.com gives the best answers: Read more...

What I Learned from giving up shopping for Lent

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What do you DO? Three Questions

but back to the series...

"Three things are necessary for man's salvation," said Thomas Aquinas, "to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do."

In this three part series, during Lent, I am going to take apart this quote from Aquinas. In this quote, he begs the question.... actually three questions.

What do you believe?

What do you desire?

What do you do?

These are the three essential questions for faith and for salvation.  Aquinas said it: it must be true!  :0)

This year during the season of Lent, this will be the focus of my conversations. 

Today, I'm discussing what we do.

How's the 'no shopping' going for Lent?

Well, it's interesting. It is really opening my eyes!  

read the rest here

Centering Prayer for a Centered Lent

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As we hear the latest news reports, we might wonder, Where is God in all of this? As we struggle with personal calamities or are heartbroken by hardships our loved ones are facing, we might ask, “Where are you, God?” The answer to these questions is God is omnipresent–living and active everywhere. As Paul said, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Becoming more conscious of this truth is a good goal for Lent as we strive to renew our spiritual life. One place where God dwells is in the deep center of our very selves. Jesus promised, “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). St. John of the Cross lamented that we seldom give thought to this mind-blowing mystery. Coming in touch with God in our hearts makes us more aware of his hand at work in the world. It also brings forth in us the fruits of peace and joy no matter how stressful our life.  A prayer practice that cultivates being sensitive to God at the core of our being is centering prayer.…

Takeaway Lessons from Olympic Athletes

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The Olympics are here! Have you been watching? I’ve watched some: snow boarding, a little of the sking, and my favorite, figure skating.



I am always amazed at the level of talent and effort put in by the Olympic athletes, and all serious athletes, really. There’s a reason St. Paul often used the analogy of athletes for the spiritual life. They are a great example of what we need to succeed in the spiritual life and in life in general. Here’s three of them: READ MORE

WHAT'S WEALTH WORTH?

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A REFLECTION FOR LENT WHAT IS WEALTH WORTH? CLICK HERE

David's Talk at his Book Launch of Wisdom from the Christian Mystics

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I hope Association of Catholic Women Bloggers continue to indulge me with another podcast. 

David gave a talk at his Book Launch of Wisdom from the Christian Mystics - How to Pray the Christian Way on 15th February 2018 at The Athenaeum, Pall Mall, London.

"A Ground-breaking Spiritual Classic" - From The Catholic Universe Christmas Edition 2017 -  Michael Winterbottom, deputy editor
David Torkingtons latest book - Wisdom from the Christian Mystics has already been described in superlatives by reviewers, even before it has been officially launched at the Athenaeum, Pall Mall.  Kevin Grant, the former Editor in Chief of the Catholic Universe and  former Master of the Catholic Writer's Guild simply called it, 'a masterpiece'. For a writer and a poet, who is so careful with words, it is remarkable that in his endorsement of the book he even suggests that the author could be canonized for writing it - hopefully not in the near future! We need to hear much more from a w…

Introductory Talk at David's Book Launch

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I hope Association of Catholic Women Bloggers will indulge me by listening to a podcast rather than reading a blog.

Introductory talk at Book Launch of Wisdom from the Christian Mystics -  How to Pray the Christian Way
by Professor Henry Mayr- Harting - Emeritus Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Oxford, England.
at The Athenaeum, 107 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ER
on Thursday 15th February 2018
Professor Mayr-Harting gives his impressions and his review of the book..... not without humour......
Wisdom from the Christian Mystics - How to Pray the Christian Way
Published by Circle Books of Winchester, UK and Washington, USA   Please find the podcast here.....

Columban Fr John Lagomarsino RIP

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Fr John Lagomarsino[Source] (6 November 1939 - 3 February 2018)

John Lagomarsino was born on 6 November 1939 in Sacramento, California, USA, to Louis L. Lagomarsino and Helen (Higgins) Lagomarsino. He is survived by his older brother, Dr Paul Lagomarsino, and his younger sister Mrs Lucia Foster.He attended Sacred Heart Grade School, and later Christian Brothers High School (1953-55) as well as Sacramento Senior High School (1955-57). Afterwards, he attained a BA in History from Sacramento State College.
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacramento [Wikipedia]
In 1961 John joined the Peace Corps and was among the first group assigned to the Philippines. There he met the Columbans while teaching English as a Second Language in Ilog, Negros Occidental.
[Wikipedia]
He returned to the United States in 1963 and applied to the Columban seminary. He began his studies at St Columban’s College and Seminary in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. His Spiritual Year (1964-65) was spent at the Columban seminary in …

Does a Random Act of Kindness Really Do Any Good?

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Did you know that Saturday was Random Act of Kindness Day? Might someone have provided you with a random act of kindness that simply made you smile? If so, please share the experience in the comments section below. We could all use a little good news about now. It would be nice to know that some people are out there doing good for others. How grand it would be if we applied the principle of Random Act of Kindness Day to our everyday lives! Oh, just think of what a nicer world it would be, if we were all kinder to each other.

Kindness Produces Good Ripples
When someone is kind to you, you naturally want to respond in a positive way. Kindness produces good ripples!!! If everyone did one kind thing for someone else every day, then kindness would spread everywhere. For example, ...Read more...

Mass Murder: No Fast Fix

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This year's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day were the same day.

Folks exchanged greeting cards. Many got their foreheads marked with ashes. And 17 were killed at a high school.

Someone's already called last Wednesday's mass murder the 'Valentine's Day Massacre of 2018.' The famous Valentine's Day Massacre was in 1929. It happened when a Chicago gang tried resolving a disagreement over bootleg booze. It didn't succeed. Not quite....

...I'm quite sure the 17 folks killed at Stoneman Douglas High School will be missed by their families, friends, and acquaintances....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lent: Not Doing Too Much

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Quite a bit happened this week.

We started Lent's 40-day stay with our Lord in the desert. Not literally. That's mentioned in today's Gospel: Mark 1:12-15. I've talked about deserts and Deuteronomy, penance and porridge, before. (February 11, 2018; February 26, 2017)

There's a more technical — and more useful, probably — discussion in Catechism of the Catholic Church 538-540....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Temptations of Christ

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Series on Lent pt. 2: What Do You Desire?

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A Huge Oopsie

The other day, after picking my oldest up from her volleyball practice (she joined the team last week and will begin competing in games in the near future),  I let the kids play in water outside because despite being February, we had the rare 70 degree day.  They were squirting the hose, and playing and laughing.  I put Conrad down for his nap, checked my iPhone, then went outside, to find no one in the backyard.  I called for Annabel (the toddler) but she was nowhere to be found.

I looked in the front yard first, then ran upstairs and asked Molly and Frances where Annabel (and Anders and Madeleine) were.

read the rest at tacywilliamsbeck.com

#MICHAELSTRONG

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I’d like you to meet Michael.  He’s one of my heroes.



Michael is the nephew of my second-born son’s wife, the third-born of her sister's six children. He just turned nine years old and I am going on sixty; but believe me when I say that when I grow up, I want to be just like him.  When you hear his story, you will undoubtedly feel the same way.

T-shirts were made for Michael's friends and family to wear in support while he fights the toughest battle of his young life against a bitter foe, a disease that has ravaged his body but not his spirit.  The shirts have this logo on the front:#MICHAELSTRONG

Mars and Beyond

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Falcon Heavy's test flight last week wasn't perfect. But I'll call it a success. That's good news for SpaceX. Not my opinion: the largely-successful flight.

The test flight's dummy payload included an actual dummy. "Starman" is that mannequin wearing a spacesuit at the wheel of a red Tesla roadster.

I'll be talking about that, how I see the news, technology, and humanity's new horizon....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'Their blood confesses Christ.' Sunday Reflections, First Sunday of Lent, Year B

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The Temptation of Christ, Tintoretto [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel Mark 1:12-15 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
Ordination of Columban to the Priesthood
Please pray for the Reverend Erl Dylan J. Tabaco who will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday 17 February in Holy Rosary Parish, Agusan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, where Columbans worked for many years. May the Lord grant him many fruitful years as a Columban missionary priest.
Respons…

Hello

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Hello, Carol D'Annunzio here. I have been a long-time reader of the Association of Catholic Bloggers and very happy to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and posts with all of you here.

About me:

I am married for almost 15 years to a wonderful, truck-driving guy named Michael and we hail from New Jersey. Together we have an almost 13 year old whom I homeschool and an adorable rescued Dachshund-Chihuahua named Nugget. I am passionate about my faith and writing and love being able to combine the two on my blog, Simple Catholic Living.

I look forward to connecting with some one you. God bless.

My Novel Amaranth Free on Kindle

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From February 15-19, my Christian novel Amaranth will be free on Amazon Kindle.
https://www.amazon.com/Amaranth-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B00WSCJT64
About the story: Would you take an elixir that made you perpetually young and physically immortal?
What if the price for it was your eternal soul?
Billionaire Desmond Sceller acquires such a wonder drug. But when eighty-year-old Marie Long is rejuvenated by it against her will, she quickly discovers unending beauty and youth is not the paradise it seems. Sceller, however, intends on using the elixir to entice all mankind into submitting to his tyrannical control. When Marie and her grandson Peter unearth this evil scheme, they soon discover that only an extraordinary sacrifice on their part can free humanity from Sceller’s nefarious plan.
For ages 13 and up.
During this promotional offer, my other Christian novels—Rain from Heaven, Nearer the Dawn, and Cherish—will also be just 99¢ each on Kindle with all net profits going to charity.

Origin of Creation: How Did the Universe (and You) Begin?

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As you watch a program about the millions and millions of galaxies that lie beyond our own, or when you are adrift in the daze before falling asleep, you might wonder, “How did everything begin?” The answer is, “No one knows.” This lack of knowledge, however, does not stop creative human beings from proposing theories. Currently I’m working on a book that had me investigating how people explain the existence of the universe. Now at the outset of this post, since it is Valentine’s Day, I state the Christian position: All of creation is a tremendous act of love from God, who is best defined as love. It is an overflowing of his divine love. God fashioned us, his children, in his likeness and created the world as our home. Just how God did this remains a mystery, since no one was present to make a video of it.  Click to continue

Hearts and Ashes; Love and Mercy For the Taking

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Wow! Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day on the same day! Hearts and Ashes in one fell swoop! Today is the day when we show our love for our spouses and loved ones, with valentines. It is also a day that we show our love for Christ, with ashes on our foreheads; marking ourselves as belonging to Christ. Today, we can consider the ashes on our foreheads as our own personal valentine to God, acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His love for us.

Talk about bittersweet days! No hearts filled with assorted chocolates this year! Considering that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence, there is no going out to dinner tonight either. Yet, the love of Christ is ever-present on this day, and we soak it up. I’ll give up a candy heart, and a steak dinner, knowing that Jesus loves me. There is no better Valentine than that! My fasting and abstinence is a small sacrifice of self-giving love back to Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross.

Read more...

Three Things Are Necessary ... (A Series on Lent, Part One)

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Three Questions

"Three things are necessary for man's salvation," said Thomas Aquinas, "to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do."

In this three part series, during Lent, I am going to take apart this quote from Aquinas. In this quote, he begs the question.... actually three questions.

What do you believe?

What do you desire?

What do you do?

These are the three essential questions for faith and for salvation.  Aquinas said it: it must be true!  :0)

This year during the season of Lent, this will be the focus of my conversations. I am going to start that conversation here, with part one on my blog!


Let's Talk About Lent

And before we get into that question, I want to discuss Lent for just a minute.  I remember in years past, I heard about a girl who was going to give up creamer in her coffee for Lent. However, it was too tough for her, but she still wanted to honor God by doing some kind of sacrifice during Len…

Fr. Albert Macpherson O.S.A.,“God You Have Made Us For Yourself“

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Almighty God, you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
so lead us by your Spirit
that in this life we may live to your glory
and in the life to come enjoy you forever;-  St. Augustine


Over the years, I have attended many retreats and masses, followed by healing prayer led by Fr. Albert MacPherson. For over 30 years, Father Albert MacPherson O.S.A. has traveled the globe on a healing mission. He takes his special healing ministry to parishes and provides parish communities with healing Masses and retreats. One mass I attended a few years ago was especially memorable. After mass, dressed in a black cassock, using holy water, blessed salt, holy oil and traditional prayers of the Church, Father simply blesses the people with God performing wonderful miracles in his wake. continue reading

A Storytellers Guide to a Grace Filled Life – Book Review

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I must start this post by telling you that I have been a friend and fan of Tony Agnesi for approximately four years now. Several years ago, as a fledgling Catholic blogger, I reached out to him, seeking advice. You see, Tony has an awesome blog over at tonyagnesi.com, where he blogs about virtue as well. Where I write more from a theological/academic point of view on virtue, Tony writes from experience. I once asked him, “How do you come up with such great stories? You are quite creative!” His reply, “Those things really happened to me!” God uses Tony, daily, to reach out to the less fortunate; to witness to the faith; and to use his gift for storytelling to reach the hearts of many. In A Storytellers Guide to a Grace Filled Life, we see Tony Agnesi at work in God’s Garden of life.

A Storytellers Guide to a Grace Filled Life
… captures the best of Tony Agnesi’s stories aimed at showing you how to find God’s Grace in your own life. As a master storyteller, Agnesi shares with us stories…

Did Hank Done It This Way?

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DID HANK DONE IT THIS WAY? CLICK HERE

Reflections For The Soul

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Skydiving and Lent

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Lent is fast approaching. How I see it and what I do is up to me. Ash Wednesday is next week, so I don't have much time to decide.

Christians, Catholic and otherwise, in my culture generally change what we eat for this season. I'm a Catholic, so I've got rules.

But not all that many. Mostly they're guidelines. I put a link to my territory's rules about diet under 'Fast & Abstinence' near the end of this post....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.