Showing posts from February, 2019

'The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good.' Sunday Reflections, 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Blind Pensioner with a Stick, Van Gogh [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)
GospelLuke 6:39-45 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye”, when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye. ‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own frui…

Sickness, Death, God, Love and Questions

Just when you thought it was safe to grow up —

Folks in their 20s may afoul of a quarter-life crisis: the doubt and disappointment of student loans, dull careers and iffy relationships.

Others learn that they're terminally ill.

I learned about Michelle Pittman at Mass last Sunday.

An inoperable brain tumor will kill her.

She and her family have unexpected expenses. That's why a Michelle Pittman Benefit fund was set up at a local bank:

Michelle Pittman Benefit
c/o MN National Bank
PO Box 306
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

Michelle Pittman's situation and the benefit fund are the important part of this post.

I'd planned on writing about assorted crises, including terminal illness.1 That started me thinking about life, death and not having all the answers....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Rules, Principles, and a Defrocked Cardinal

I'm not sure how the 'defrocked Cardinal' story will play out in America's news.

Assorted presidential campaigns will be building up steam, and there's no shortage of other newsworthy angst.

Maybe the McCarrick case will be a nine day wonder, maybe not. Either way, I did a little checking, and shared what I found....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Arrivals and Departures

Light and dark, green and brown.
Crescent moon, textured memories.
Past is done, a quiet present.
What was, will be. Their now
Is yet to come.

(On A Catholic Citizen in America (January 30, 2019))


Reflections and reality,
Walking toward the light.
Footprints lost to time and tide.
Destination still unseen,
Following rippled outlines,
Walking toward the light.

(From A Catholic Citizen in America (February 16, 2019))

Foster Goodness for the Common Good

What do you gain by being uncivil? How do you benefit by thinking more of yourself and less of others? Why must your needs and desires supersede anyone else’s needs and desires? Incivility, a lack of humility, and a sense of superiority are at the root of our nation’s divisiveness. It is time that we foster goodness for the sake of the common good. It’s time that we begin acting more Christ-like and love our neighbor. Picture yourself standing in line waiting to check out at a department store. In front of you is a woman berating the sales clerk because she can’t use more than one coupon. What are you thinking? Are you saying to yourself, “You go girl! Give it to that clerk!” Or, might you be thinking, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not that clerk!” How is being uncivil making the woman look good? Certainly, she is not virtuous, as she lacks civility. When someone makes such outbursts, they do not foster goodness for the sake of the common good. Such actions demonstrate that the woman is only lo…

Gratitude and Hope Make for Joy

As little children, after we were given something, we probably heard our parents coax, "What do you say?" We learned the importance of expressing thanks. I'm currently reading a book about growing a grateful heart, which offers some practical ideas. One valuable one is to look for the good when facing adversity. A friend in her eighties was diagnosed with cancer. Her positive response was, "For all these years I've enjoyed good health. Thank God for that!"  Last week because of the threat of icy weather, I cancelled my flight to Maryland. This entailed hours of debating whether to cancel or not, followed by phone calls to the airline and the insurance company in an attempt to get a refund. A friend emailed: "Maybe this was God's way of protecting you." It turned out that on the evening I was to speak, everything in Maryland was closed. If I had made the trip, I wouldn't have given my talk and the journey would have been in vain! (Not to m…

Pruning Away the Dead Wood in Our Lives

By your fruits, you shall be known.

Pruning encourages new growth. More fruit ripens in the light of day.

Is it time to prune in the orchard of your life, too?

A new essay on my author blog about learning how to prune from an old farmer, and the lessons he taught me on a fall day about apple trees and new life.

Pruning Away the Dead Wood

Build Friendships, Not Enemies

If you’ve been reading most of my posts this month, you might have noticed that I am on a divisiveness awareness streak. February is supposed to be the month of love. Yet, in our country, I’m feeling anything but the love. All I see on the news, related to politics, is name-calling and bickering. Well, I’ve had enough of it! It’s time to build friendships, not enemies. Did you know that friendliness is a virtue? With what we see on the news lately, I would say that friendliness has become obsolete in the Halls of Congress and across the Trump administration. This attitude of unfriendliness permeates throughout our society, as well. It’s very easy to give people ugly nicknames on Twitter, or at a rally; thus, demeaning and dehumanizing them. However, it takes great strength to sit across the table from someone with whom you disagree with politically, and choose to find common ground upon which you can build friendships. The citizens of our country seem to lack the strength (another vi…

Understanding God using human logic


Catholic faith an Islam united for peace. ( Spanish) Catolicismo e Islam por la paz en el mundo.

En las ultimas décadas la asociación del terrorismo con la religión del Islam ha sido muy pronunciada y la persecución de diferentes grupos por sus creencias religiones en diversas regiones del mundo ha ido en aumento. Conscientes de esto, los máximos guías espirituales de la fe católica y del Islam se reunieron hace unas semanas para reflexionar sobre estos problemas y tratar de construir en conjunto cultura de tolerancia, justicia y paz a través de las enseñanzas pacifistas de ambos credos y de la hermanción de las estas dos fes.

Con ocasión del octavo centenario del encuentro entre san Francisco de Asís y el sultán al-Malik al-Kāmil, el Gran Imán de Al-Azhary el Papa Francisco se reunieron en de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, en Abu Dhabi donde, porprimera vez un Papa toca tierra árabe.(1)

leer mas...

'Love your enemies.' Sunday Reflections, 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Christ, El Greco [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)
GospelLuke 6:27-28 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what …

 Early Christian Spirituality - The Fruits of Contemplation

In 1968 Bishop Casey of Brentwood  appointed me director of his retreat and conference centre at Chingford in North London. The centre, otherwise known as Walsingham House, was owned and staffed by Dominican sisters. My  tenure lasted from 1969–1981. All the courses for priests and religious were aimed at spreading the New Biblical Theology that had such an influence on the Second Vatican Council. Sadly, I could not find anyone to give lectures on prayer so I gave them myself .     read on .....

Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of My Blog!

Today marks the fifth anniversary of my blog! Time has flown by. Over the past five years, I shined a spotlight on why we should embrace virtue. Vice and virtue oppose each other, and when we turn away from sin, we draw closer to virtue. In turn, virtue draws us closer to God. To me, that’s a mighty good reason for embracing virtue, as I would like to grow closer to God. I’ve seen the blog morph over the years, by adding some posts on spirituality. Sharing information about the saints, and how they embodied virtue, brought forth a sense of spirituality to the blog posts. This spirituality only enhanced the emphasis on embracing virtue. As we continued this journey, together, I began to review good books written by Catholic authors. Many of these books either directly dealt with virtue and spirituality or had characters who espoused virtue worth modeling. Read more...

Down with Distractions During Prayer

Apparently our brains have more than one track. Maybe as you're praying the rosary, you're planning what you'll have for dinner and before you know it, you've prayed the closing prayer. Maybe you're reading a prayer, like the Divine Office, and your eyes are following the words, but when you're finished, you don't know what you've said to God because you were dwelling on a problem. During prayer, stray thoughts can pester us like gnats. Buddhists refer to "monkey minds," that is, just as monkeys leap from tree to tree, our brains leap from one thought to another. How helpful it would be if we were rapt in ecstasy as some saints were! Praying would be much easier. Many suggestions are given to combat distractions:  focus on a candle, play music, look at a religious picture, weave them into your prayer. However, I've found one ploy to be 100% effective.
When I was writing a religion series, my meditation time was usually invaded by thoughts…

Kindness Has No Restrictions

Want to feel free? As light as a feather? Then consider performing random acts of kindness. When we perform good acts, we feel energized, happy and blessed. We feel light as a feather! This week, we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week. Yet, kind acts shouldn’t occur only during this week. Kindness has no restrictions. If we just open our eyes, or read our Facebook news feed, we see countless acts of kindness expressed toward others. It’s time to get off the sidelines and get in the game of performing acts of kindness. It’s easy! Here’s just a few suggestions, of which I am sure that you will come up with many more: Say some prayers for all those who are sick and/or in need.Visit the elderly and give them your full attention. Actively listen to them talk.Offer to babysit, for free, so that a relative or friend can have a respite.Smile at strangers, as you walk down the street, and see what happens in return.Be Christ-like in all that you do. See Why Kindness Has No Restrictions When…

Memento Mori and The Beatitudes: How Each Reminds Us Of Our Ultimate Goal

Wow. That quote says it all, doesn't it? St. Paul told the Corinthians to not just look at today, but look ahead to eternal life; to PLAN for eternal life. I am amazed at how words written so long ago still speak to us today in the 21st century. As I listened to this scripture reading, I kept thinking "Memento Mori"..."Remember your death". We have no idea when our lives on this earth will end so we must prepare for it with every waking breath. St. Paul urged them to be ready and to not procrastinate...just as he's telling us today.     CLICK HERE TO READ MORE..

It happened like this ...


The Most Heinous Sin of All

If I had not been working for several organisations in the USA for the past six years I might have thought Archbishop Vigano's letters referred to in the Catholic media, as way over the top, but they are not. The central  point that he was making about a powerful homosexual clique in Rome and in the USA having such influence was confirmed by Cardinal Muller. It was in an interview that he gave to EWTN the biggest Catholic television station in the world, that has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.      read on..............

Ending the Partisanship! Finding Solutions!

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the partisanship that pervades the halls of the U.S. Government, as well as society in general. Rather than sticking to the prescribed partisan “talking points” of divisiveness, we need to find solutions that positively impact the American majority. Who cares if a good idea comes from a Democrat or a Republican, if the idea is a good one? Finding solutions can be accomplished, if we, and our lawmakers, would act as follows: Collaborate! Truly listen to each other and seek the best ideas to solve problems, regardless of the point of origin.Compromise! God never said that he would give us everything that we want. So, why do we and our lawmakers think it should be that way? We need to learn how to compromise, where both sides believe needs get met for the benefit of the common good.Collegiality! We need to see each other as human beings, friends, and fellow children of God. Our Lord meant for us to live in community with each other; to find that …

Why Our Lady of Lourdes? Prayer and Penance

Today is February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. There are 69 approved miracles of physical healing that occurred at Lourdes, France. (About 7,000 have been submitted.) But perhaps there are many more miracles of spiritual healing resulting from Mary's visit to Earth back in 1858. I'm willing to bet that almost every family has at least one member who is in need of a miracle, physical or spiritual. We can help heal these sick people by enlisting Mary's aid. After all, she has been declared our mother by the Church and by Jesus himself. She is the one who prompted Jesus' first public miracle when the wine had run out at Cana—and at a time when he wasn't inclined to do so! This Jewish mother has clout with her Son. Here is today's reflection from my book "Heart to Heart with Mary," which you might find meaningful right now:
Praying for Sinners    Click to continue

Are Women Basically Mothers at Heart?

Women today are confused about who they are called to be. If we feel called to be full-time mothers, society seems to dismiss us as vintage models, out of step with the modern feminist agenda. I know I often felt embarrassed because I did not have a real job as I mothered nine kids.

Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) had a lot to say about the nature of women. She was a Jewish German philosopher who converted to Catholicism, became a Discalced Carmelite nun, and died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Initially, she struggled intellectually with the whole idea that women were different than men. In the end, instead of denying her gender, she looked to her body as the image of her soul. Katharina Westerhorstmann discusses Stein’s view of women in On the Nature and Vocation of Women: Edith Stein’s Concept against the Background of a Radically Deconstructive Position.


'Blessed are you who are poor.' Sunday Reflections, 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Christ Pantocrator, Cefalù Cathedral, Italy[Web Gallery of Art] 'Pantocrator' may be translated as 'Almighty' or 'All-powerful'.

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Luke 6:17, 20-26 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,for you will laugh. ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is …