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Whispers in the Pew, Part 5

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Most paintings of the Last Supper show the Apostles shifting restlessly--just like our children at Mass!
How long is your child’s attention span?

Most research suggests that children’s attention spans relate to their age: how many years old are they? That’s the same number of minutes they can sustain interest in an activity.

Four-year-old children, for example, can pay attention for four minutes. Some studies claim attention spans extend up to two times the child’s age. In that case, under the right circumstances, our 4-year-old children can accomplish eight minutes of acceptable church behavior.

Depending on your parish, the eucharistic prayer occurs about 40 minutes into the celebration of Mass. Forty minutes of liturgy is FIVE TIMES those eight minutes we can expect from our little ones. And some of our children struggle with medical or behavioral challenges that make the basic eight-minute mark a miracle.
Read the rest at Praying with Grace!

Whispers in the Pew, Part 4

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Celebrating the liturgy WITH our children is one of those "acts of devotion" Pope Francis encourages us to experience. Today's article continues the series on what the Mass means for families. This fourth part reflects on the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
I’m about to tell you something personal. It involves something my husband is still sensitive about, so if you see him, don’t let on that you know, OK? On May 21, 1995, a gloriously sunny day, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. The commencement ceremony was a big deal to me; in addition to receiving my diploma, I also got to take the stage to sing the National Anthem and Alma Mater. My family traveled over 400 miles to attend.
What’s more, the ceremony happened to be six days before my wedding. My soon-to-be-husband was graduating the same day, with his master’s degree. So much to celebrate! Neither my fiancé nor I owned a cell phone, so we simply agreed on a place to meet outside the arena. Join me at Praying with Grace

A Dream of Padre Pio

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Before God gave me my current Spiritual Director,
I was feeling very alone, and I asked God to send me someone to guide me.  That night I had a dream. I was in a large beautiful Church, like a Cathedral. The floors where marble.
Padre Pio came up to me carrying an open book, He......
TO READ MORE CLICK HERE!

Let's Hear It from the Children!

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Last winter Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Joseph. One of his remarks there was eagerly snatched up by social media: "Babies cry, make noise, go here and there. But it annoys me when a baby cries in church and there are those who say he needs to go out. The cry of a baby is God's voice: never drive them away from the church!"

Being a mother of five children, I've had my share of those who say my baby "needs to go out." A friend of mine was once asked to leave with her baby--by the priest, during his homily! And sure enough, there are times when an inconsolable child needs a change of scenery so other churchgoers can have a little peace. But children belong in church. Let's bring them on Christmas, the day when God's voice actually became the cry of a baby. Let's bring our older children too, who, crying in their pre-adult way, sometimes protest having to go to church. Let's bring our children to church over and over again, so we…

Whispers in the Pew, Part 3

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Feeling conflicted about navigating the sudden CROWDS at church this Christmas? Thinking about coming to church for the first time in a while? Be not afraid! There's room for everyone. Today's post continues the series on what happens in the liturgy, and why we're all essential to what happens there.
"Keep Your Fork!"

Join me at Praying with Grace!



Whispers in the Pew, Part 2

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When my son Paul was a toddler, his favorite book was “The Pig in the Pond.” It’s one of those books where each page complicates the plot by adding a farm animal and, of course, the sound it makes. The first time I read the book aloud, I mimicked the animal sounds with gusto and enhanced the experience by shouting and jumping at the appropriate times.

Paul was hooked, and I was doomed: from then on—no matter how exhausted I was or how many times I had read the book that evening—that story required hugely energetic noises and movements.

The way we share stories matters.

At every Mass, we share our story. The Liturgy of the Word invites us into Jewish Scripture, the Psalms, the letters of the apostles, and the Gospel. Every Sunday reminds us of our universal human story: we are created tenderly by God, but we are not God. Because we tend to sin, God lovingly sent his Son into the world to accompany us, teach us, suffer for us and save us.

This is our story. And the way we share it matt…

John Paul II: My First Pope Crush

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Here he is.
Yes. That's my beloved JP2. It's OK, you can love him too.

On April 2, the world marked the tenth anniversary of his death. Pope Francis encouraged us to keep up our conversation with the Polish pope, asking him to "intercede for us, for families, for the church so that the light of the Resurrection shines through all of the darkness in our life and fills us with joy and peace.” It makes sense to continue to talk to Pope John Paul II--to pray--just like we did while he was still living among us. Sunday's brilliant celebration of Easter reminds us that Jesus has conquered death. Death is no stumbling block for us; when our friends pass away, we know they live in Jesus Christ.

Read about three other popes and the love of Jesus Christ at Praying with Grace!

Let's Hear It from the Children!

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Last week Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Joseph. One of his remarks there was eagerly snatched up by social media: "Babies cry, make noise, go here and there. But it annoys me when a baby cries in church and there are those who say he needs to go out. The cry of a baby is God's voice: never drive them away from the church!"

Considering how much I crave silence, it is with great wonder and gratitude I realize how much I love to hear crying babies and noisy toddlers at church. And I don't mean I just love to hear other people's children cry, making my rambunctious brood seem comparatively docile. No, I mean squalling children help me pray.

Please continue the reflection with me at Praying with Grace. . . .

Encounter With The Virgin

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This encounter started sometime back, I will begin there.  

For some time after my husband's death, I had been not living a good life.  I was breaking a commandment pretty regularly.  It wasn't I was mad at God for my husband's death, it was because of the intensity of the pain I was suffering because of grief.   In truth, it hurt worse to go to Church than it did to sin.  

I knew better, I had already had the Vision of the Eucharist, so I knew the truth, and I would say to myself, "What are you doing! You know better!!" 

After three years, when my heart had healed sufficiently, it was time to come home.

Mother calls.  ....TO READ MORE OF THE ENCOUNTER WITH THE VIRGIN...CLICK HERE.

Storm The Gates! (Part 1)

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And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18.


"...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.".  What does this mean? How can a gate prevail?  Wouldn't it be demons that would prevail, but that isn't want our Lord said, He said 'gates'.    

A gate is something to keep something in, or to keep something out.  It can also be used as a passageway.  

From the scripture we know there is more than one gate. ('gates' plural).  There are supposedly 12 gates into heaven the same as the number of apostles, the demon loves to mock God, so their must be more than one gate into hell, but how many?
To Find out How Many.. Click HERE!!

POPE FRANCIS: A MODERNIST HERETIC? RIDICULOUS!

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Why do  Faithful American Catholics Label  Pope Francis: A Modernist Heretic? Every time Pope Francis speaks, the papers are filled with sensational headlines; he does not emphasize many of the popular, hot issues like abortion and homosexuality, issues which often simply serve to divide voters into an us and them mentality. When did these issues become  the only issue that concerns the Church? Yet when the pope reminds us that our life in Christ is so much more, vocal advocates become extremely angry, denouncing the pope as the anti-pope. How ridiculous! Why such a strong reaction? Perhaps many Americans do not like this South American because Catholics in America were taught that God loves capitalism and that Greed is Good. The Pope has made some pretty negative remarks about the freebooter capitalism that has flourished since the 1990′s and that will make him very unpopular with the freebooters in the US. Some of his comments about greed, avarice, and freebooter capitalism have no…

Adopt A Cardinal!

Have you heard that you can "adopt a cardinal?"

Yes, in addition to praying for the Conclave electing our next pope, we can each have a specific cardinal assigned to us, so we may pray that he will be guided by the Holy Spirit.   

If you would like to take this opportunity to pray particularly for one of the men who will be inspired by God to choose our next holy father,  click this line  http://adoptacardinal.org/  to read more about it.

'On this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.'  Matthew 16:18

Carlo Carretto's Ode to the Church - Updated

Two years ago I quoted this ode on my blog.   Today I noticed that several other bloggers are publishing it because Cardinal Dolan quoted it during his recent Chrism Mass homily, and something about it resonated with them, as it did with me.  My original post follows in brown font.


I found this ode, written by an Italian spiritual writer in his old age.  It really states how I feel a lot of the time about the Catholic Church.  It's almost a love-hate relationship.  But on balance, it's love. Ode to the Church by Carlo Carretto
How much I must criticize you, my church, and yet how much I love you!

You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone.  I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence.

You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness.  Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, and yet I have never touched anything more pure, more generous or more …