Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

6 Aug 2017

Navel-Gazing in August



Someone said "write what you know." It was definitely Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Nathan Englander, or somebody else.

I've mostly seen the quote applied to writing fiction.

Apparently some folks assume that it means authors should only write stories about events they've experienced. That may help explain why fantasy and science fiction stories aren't taken seriously in some circles, and entirely too seriously in others.

Others, including John Briggs, Diablo Cody/Brook Busey-Maurio and Jason Gots, say it means using the author's emotional memories when telling stories. They're professional writers, so I figure they know what they're talking about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

25 Jun 2017

London Fires, Mostly



Many folks who lived in Grenfell Tower got out. Many others died.

We don't know how many. A current estimate is 79. Determining the exact number will be difficult, since high temperatures may have effectively obliterated some human remains.

Some survived because they didn't listen to official instructions to stay in their homes. That advice makes sense in a building with sprinklers and adequate interior firewalls.

In Grenfell Tower, not so much....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 May 2017

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

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

14 May 2017

Mother’s Day, and Mary

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.

9 Apr 2017

The Speckled Axe



I'm a perfectionist, a frustrated one. Somewhere between childhood and adolescence, I felt that if adequacy had a numeric value, it'd be greater than two and less than one; or something equally impossible.

More accurately, I felt as if that was the standard imposed on me. I realized that it wasn't possible, and that there was no point in trying to reach it. Like I said, frustrated.

That goes a long way to explain, I think, why results from aptitude and intelligence tests showed that I should be getting stellar grades: and I wasn't.

Autism Meets Perfectionism


Academics interested me, and I was paying attention. I just didn't see a point in "good grades." Besides, there was a whole universe full of things not being covered at any particular moment: including some inside the classroom.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

23 Mar 2017

Even Our Guinea Pig Had a Household Chore


No able-bodied human or animal would live in my house without contributing in some way to our household
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the family as the original cell of society which teaches children all about justice and responsibility. There are countless ways to teach kids about responsibility and one of the best ways is assigning everybody a chore. Even family pets are not exempt.

19 Mar 2017

Internet Friends, Real People



Near the end of a self-help book, the author wrote that social connections we make with others online aren't "real."

The next sentence said that online communities are "pretend communities." The author explained that they don't "come close to fulfilling the legitimate needs we have."

I understand the point he was making, but don't entirely agree.

It's true that folks I know online won't notice if I left the garage door open, or lend me a few dollars until next payday. In nearly all cases, they can't. They live too far away. Some aren't even on the same continent....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

9 Oct 2016

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Hope


(From Philippe de Champaigne/Tessé Museum, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)

Life in my mid-60s requires caution that wasn't necessary in my youth. Considering the alternative, though, being alive is pretty good: even in moments of loss.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Jul 2016

TRUE Death with Dignity

My brother-in-law passed away on June 27--at home, peacefully, with his wife and two other loved ones by his side and the local parish priest (who'd just administered Last Rites) singing softly in his ear.  He had recently converted to Catholicism and received First Holy Communion just before the cancer that had ravaged his body made it impossible for him to swallow solid food.
Shortly before he left this world, I wrote about how he was teaching all of us how to face death with courage, grace, and true dignity.  If you'd like to read that full String of Pearls post, click here.

20 May 2016

'The family is the image of God, who is a communion of persons' (Pope Francis). Sunday Reflections, Trinity Sunday, Year C


The Two Trinities, Murillo, 1675-82
John 16:12-15 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.


During my kinder, primary and secondary school years, 1947 to 1961, my brother and I had breakfast and dinner - a midday meal in Ireland in those days - with our mother. In the evening we had 'tea', as that lighter meal was known in some English-speaking countries. My father had his dinner and tea combined, the four of us together. I often heard my mother 'complain' about having to prepare two meals for my father in the evening. It would never have crossed her mind, or that of any other working-class housewife in urban Ireland in those days, to have dinner for the whole family in the evening.

However, we did have dinner together on Saturdays and Sunday's. My father, like other construction workers, had a half-day on Saturday. Saturday was the only day when we had soup, very often barley soup, served in cups, not in bowls

Phoenix Park, Dublin, in the summer [Wikipedia]
Sunday dinner was special, as it was for all families, and meant extra work for my mother who would spent the whole morning after Mass and breakfast preparing it. My father would take the two of us to meet our paternal grandfather and then for a walk in the nearby Phoenix Park.

Full post here.

15 Apr 2016

Leading by Example, a Reflection on 1 Corinthians 13:11





Adulthood used to mean embracing adult ideals. A fellow blogger learned the hard way that a lapse in judgment can lead to heartache. Reflections on a fellow blogger's post, 1 Corinthians 13:11, and what it all means today on A Return to Elegance: You Lead by Example.

12 Apr 2016

Whispers in the Pew, Part 4

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 for the rest of the article, please!

10 Apr 2016

"Amoris Laetitia" — or — Don't Panic


(From Elia Kazan, via Petrusbarbygere/Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Screenshot from a "Panic in the Streets" trailer. (Elia Kazan, 1950))

Actually, "Amoris Laetitia" means "The Joy of Love."

Pope Francis signed "Amoris Laetitia," about 58,000 words about love in the family, March 19. The apostolic exhortation was released Friday.

So far, I've heard an imaginative summary on radio news, read a few dramatic headlines, and one or two online remarks about it that make sense.

The latter generally boil down to 'I haven't studied it yet, so I don't know what it says.'

That's pretty much where I'm at, but that won't stop me from talking — briefly, for me — about what I have read. So far, I've finished the introduction, glanced at the index, and am working my way through the first chapter....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

22 Jan 2016

The long Christmas break is over and the letdown is leaving me a bit melancholy. The stretching of the heart that comes with the empty nest made full, and then made empty again, hurts.

Both of our adult children were home for the holidays. Our daughter spent both Christmas Eve and morning with us despite the fact that she also needed to see her fiancé’s family (she got engaged in November). Our son spent the week with us, having come up from New York.

Each time they come it’s an adjustment, requiring me to make room, not just in my house, but in my heart. Of course I do it without hesitation, but it is still an adjustment. It took me ten years to get to where I enjoy the empty nest.

Robert S. Donovan empty nest,Flickr Creative CommonsRobert S. Donovan empty nest,Flickr Creative Commons

Click here to continue reading.

16 Dec 2015

God, What Should I Do?

Stop Sign - Discern God's Call Post Divorce
Have you ever felt lost, alone, confused, unsure of what to do next, unsure of what your calling is? Do you ever sit back and wonder what God is asking of you?

Maybe there was a time you knew your calling. You were to be a Wife and a Mother, a caretaker, a healer, a child's giggling dance partner, a coloring book aficionado, and a world class booboo kisser. You were to be a partner, a supporter, a champion, a budget-applying miracle worker, a secret look across a crowded room interpreter, and a soft place for your better half to land at the end of a long, hard day.

And now...you are just not.


So what is God calling you to do? When your dreams have been dashed and reality is that you need to concentrate just to support, to feed, clothe, and house your children.

In Sunday's Gospel, Luke 3: 10-18, John the Baptist addresses crowds asking similar questions, "What should we do?"

To read the rest of God What Should I Do? please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com.

And, as always, thanks for liking, commenting, following, and sharing!
God Bless...

15 Dec 2015

Whispers in the Pew, Part 3

Immaculate Heart of Mary - CHRISTMASTIME by Mark Knobil (2007) via FLICKR, CC
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!



4 Dec 2015

Pope Francis's Prayer Intentions for December 2015



Young Jew as Christ, Rembrandt, c.1648
Staatliche Museen, Berlin [Web Gallery of Art]
Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy. (Pope Francis)

Universal: EXPERIENCING GOD’S MERCY
That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.





The Holy Family with Angels, Rembrandt, 1645
The Hermitage, St Petersburg [Web Gallery of Art]


And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Evangelization: FAMILIES
That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.
Intentions and videos from the website of the Apostleship of Prayer.

24 Nov 2015

Dear Padre Miguel Pro


NIELSON CARLIN
November 23rd was the anniversary of the death of Fr. Miguel Pro, SJ. He died a martyr for Christ during the persecution of Catholics following the Mexican Revolution which erupted in 1910.

Dear Michael,

We shared your story at dinner last night. It was the 88th anniversary of your execution, and my husband and I wanted to honor your memory, passing on your story to our children.

Some people may think it’s strange for me to write you a letter, I know. Obviously, I will never find a mailbox capable of getting this letter to you, but I know we’re connected. As Jesus reminds us in Mark 22:32, the Lord proclaims he is “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Even when we die, we live in God who has no beginning and no end. Disciples of Christ needn’t bother about space and time. You’ll get this.

I wanted to write to you because I am so grateful for your life—and your death. While you were still a young man you chose to become a Jesuit, a priest to serve the people of God. You had other options, of course.

Please read the entire letter at Praying with Grace.

18 Nov 2015

Advent now comes and goes nearly unnoticed. The only thing worth of recognition between Halloween and Christmas is Thanksgiving, and even that has started to take a back seat as major stores start “decking the halls” and major TV stations start putting on Christmas movies in late October and early November. Advent, a delightful period of quiet waiting and anticipation for the coming of the child Jesus passes by largely forgotten.
My husband is a Maronite Catholic. Any of you familiar with Eastern Catholicism may have heard that the Eastern Catholic rites follow a different liturgical calendar. Most major feasts, like Christmas and Easter, fall on the same dates, thereby emphasizing the unity of the Church, but other feasts and the general cycle of the liturgical seasons differs. Since we’re a mixed family (I’m Roman Catholic), I like to joke that we can opt for the longer Advent (Maronite calendar) and shorter Lent (Roman Catholic calendar).
In all seriousness, though, I deeply appreciate the length of the Maronite Advent, which averages out to be six weeks instead of four. This gives more time for contemplating the Gospel narrative leading up to the birth of Jesus and for allowing a sense of longing for the Lord’s coming to grow in our hearts.
Right now, my husband and I have three kids, four and under, all born in the month of February. If you do the math, that means that I’ve been about 6 months pregnant during 3 of the last 5 Advents. Expecting a child is a WONDERFUL way of getting into the Advent season and teaching kids what we mean when we say that we’re waiting for Baby Jesus to arrive. But we can’t count on that natural way of celebrating Advent all the time, so we have to come up with other hands-on family traditions that can teach the kids about Advent and make the season come alive and make a difference.
Keep reading at Eyes On Heaven for Advent activities and traditions that can make your home look, feel and sound like Advent.

9 Nov 2015

A Thanksgiving Plea


Thanks to an outbreak of the bird flu this summer, grocers across the country are warning of possible turkey shortages – fewer and smaller birds for higher prices.
Luckily, the bird flu didn’t affect our region too badly, so I’m pretty sure we’ll manage to get a tasty gobbler on the table, and I’m hoping that, in the end, all of you will too – unless, of course, you opt for ham, salmon or some other palate pleasing delight.
Either way, please don’t let a vain bird, or any other main dish, steal the center stage. As Catholic families, one of the best favors we can do for our kids during November is to remind them that Thanksgiving is meant above all to be a feast for the soul.
Continue reading at Eyes On Heaven.

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 ex...