Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts

13 Feb 2017

Hold on to Hope for Dear Life - Your Life!


Do you ever give much thought to the afterlife? Or do you live in the here and now? Do you know why you live and what you are living for? Or are you oblivious to your purpose for existence? Did you know that you were created by God to live with Him, in Heaven, for all eternity? Do you realize that life on earth is only your temporary home; that your real home is with God in Heaven? Do you live for this world, or the next? If you answered for the next, then the virtue of Hope is your... Read more...

16 Jan 2017

Facing Struggles? You are Never Alone!


Do you ever get the feeling that when you are facing struggles, you are alone? That no one other than you face such challenges? That everyone else seems to have it so much easier? That is exactly what happened to me recently.

Back in 2008, when the US suffered the financial meltdown, and many people lost their jobs, I was one of the lucky ones who maintained my job. Selfishly, at the time, I didn’t give this national problem much attention, because it didn’t impact me directly. Now eight+ years later, with an unemployment rate lower than 5%, my husband lost his job in August, and at 63 is having difficulty finding a new job. With such a low unemployment rate, we don’t know anyone else in such a position – therefore, we feel as though we face this struggle alone.

Then one day, I was standing... Read more... 

15 Dec 2016

Lessons Learned from The Prodigal You Love


When a BOOK is a Blessing


My son does not know if he wants to be Catholic. In fact he is not even sure if he even believes in God. When the subject comes up between us, my response, quite frankly is usually terse and accompanied with a tone much louder and more frustration filled than I intend it to be.  The result from the pain in my heart hearing his words which cut much deeper than he intends them to. I blame myself for his faith struggle, wondering what I could have done better or differently, and if it is now too late to make a difference.  Yet the truth remains despite my greatest efforts, or at least my best attempts at a greatest effort, my son is not sure where he stands with the faith that I love so very much.

For the Remaining 9 LIFE CHANGING lessons... CLICK HERE
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras, 2016

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.

31 Aug 2016

New School Year, New Beginnings; Filled with Hope


Do you remember, as a child, those last lazy days of August, soaking up the last bit of summer before the new school year would start? You made every attempt to get that last bit of fun in before your days filled with school work.

Preparing for the New School Year


Over Labor Day weekend you shopped for new clothes and new supplies. I remember taking brown grocery bags and cutting them up to make book covers for my books. That was back in the day when, as children, we had actual hardcover text books, that our parents paid for and we could keep! (I went to Catholic grade school).

Palpable hope exuded in the atmosphere... Read more...

15 Aug 2016

Assumption of Mary into Heaven; Our Blessed Mother


Because Saint Ann conceived our Blessed Mother in her womb without original sin, and because Mary remained sin-free for her entirely earthly life, God assumed Mary into Heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life. Mary’s refraining from sin resulted in no need for her earthly body to decay; to experience death as we know it.

In stark contrast, for everyone else, our souls separate from our bodies at the time of our earthly deaths. Our bodies decay because of the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, and from our own concupiscence to sin. God created Adam from dust, and as a result of Original Sin, unto dust we all shall return. Our departed souls await the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when He will resurrect our glorified bodies, reunited with our souls, in perfect union with the Blessed Trinity. This is Catholic dogma, a tenet of our faith.

Our Blessed Mother, A Cause for Hope


Mary’s Assumption into Heaven is cause for our hope in the... Read more... 

16 May 2016

Hope Livingstone's Surprise: The Back Story


The Back Story to Hope's Character

Hope Livingstone, and her family, had just moved into a new house, in a new town. Life was chaotic. Boxes were everywhere. Peanuts were flying out of boxes, thanks to Hope’s little sister Charity. Hope didn’t mind that it would mean that Hope would need to clean it all up. Hope thought moving was exciting! Everywhere she turned, she found a new surprise, as she explored every nook and cranny of their new house!

Hope always looks at life as if it were an adventure; something to explore; treasures to find. So moving was thrilling to Hope, who possesses an optimistic nature. She approaches life with an easy-breezy style. Nothing ever really bothers her; that is, until she couldn’t find... Read more...

19 Apr 2016

Resistance - Is There Hope to Ever Change


So ... Where Are We in this Process

I thought I would take this week to share where Kevin (my hubby of 26 years) and I are mentally in this process. As I begin my Weight Watchers journey this month, I realized the similarity of the discipline the Lord is trying to create in my heart.  This mind shift from spending as we wish on what we wish, much like my eating what I want and when I want, is a process.  IT is not overnight.  As we say in the weight loss world - YOU did not get 20 lbs over weight overnight, you will NOT shed it overnight.

It has been literally 32 years of mistakes and missteps; along with some serious emotional and mental baggage that has brought us to be this over our heads with debt.  Add to that my desire to serve God in the ever lucrative (read only for Joel Osteen) ministry world - and this is not going to be a quick fix.  The Navigating Your Finances God's Way  study has truly been a God Send - but it has not been the miraculous fix all I had hoped.  IT WILL bring us to where we need to be, of that I HAVE no doubt, but this week during our small group meeting I become VERY aware of my resistance to these much needed and necessary changes.   This was made EVEN more evident, when  ... read more.All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

11 Apr 2016

Work, Work... Squirrel

Your Calling

Despite my occasional pondering - God really does have a purpose and plan for me and my life.  My skills are perfectly suited for what GOD has called me to do.  For me I am fairly sure of those things He has for me to do because they are things that I enjoy, feel confident at, and others have validated my talent in.  Perhaps you've encountered the same thing - it does not mean I WILL love every task associated with the position (think diapers and poopie pants as a childcare/preschool teacher) but the main skill set will be one that fulfills the desires of my heart.
This line from part of Week 6 sums it up, "No one in all of history -- past, present or future - is like you."

Read More .. 
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

26 Mar 2016

'But Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us.' Sunday Reflections, Easter Sunday 2016.



The Resurrection of Christ, Rembrandt, c.1639
Alte Pinakothek, Munich [Web Gallery of Art

At the Mass during the Day

Gospel John 20:1-9 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Dear brothers and sisters! The risen Christ is journeying ahead of us towards the new heavens and the new earth (cf. Rev 21:1), in which we shall all finally live as one family, as sons and daughters of the same Father. He is with us until the end of time. Let us walk behind him, in this wounded world, singing Alleluia. In our hearts there is joy and sorrow, on our faces there are smiles and tears. Such is our earthly reality. But Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us. For this reason we sing and we walk, faithfully carrying out our task in this world with our gaze fixed on heaven.


Happy Easter to all of you! (Pope Benedict, Easter Sunday 2011).

I have told the following story before here and on many other occasions, especially giving retreats. Each time I share it or recall it I experience the truth of Pope Benedict's words, Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us. I have also learned that persons with a deep, committed faith can sometimes be very fragile.
More than 30 years ago I spent part of a summer working in a suburban parish in the USA. One night at around 11 I did something I rarely did: make a late night phone call, and for no other reason than to say 'Hi'. I phoned a friend who was a teacher whom I had first met eleven years earlier when I was a young priest and she a generous, idealistic but confused 16-year-old. Over the years I saw 'Lily' - I'll call her that since that flower is often associated with Easter in northern climes and this is an Easter story – very rarely as I was here in the Philippines.


Full post here.

2 Mar 2016

Money Matters: Everything I have Lord, Is Yours


Week 2 of Navigating Your Finances God's Way .... 

My first discovery this week.  We don't own as much of value as I thought but what we do own I am rather possessive of (verses recognizing that all is a gift and essentially on loan from God). This week called for a completing a list of assets.  I have realized that much of our debt came during the PRE ~ DVR/On Demand and electronic music days.  WE have spent thousands of dollars in music CDs, videos and books - that cluttered our home and were watched, read or listened to once at best.  I used to spend so much money on Amazon (mostly for those 3 types of items) that I would (legit) get a Christmas present from Amazon every year! I also realized I spent a great deal of money on toys, clothes and shoes - the majority of which was barely played with or worn.  SEE A pattern here ... I KNOW I do!!

This week's lesson focused on recognizing GOD'S ownership over ours.  Having attended a funeral this week, that lesson was all the more powerful  ...  click here to read more of this week's lesson 

All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

27 Jan 2016

Grandma and Timmy's Hope!

Grandma and Timmy’s Story of Hope

Timmy was waiting by the front window for Grandma to arrive. “Will she remember me?” thought the little four-year old. Timmy remembered Grandma’s sweet perfume, and soft cheeks. He loved her laugh. He was bursting at the seams waiting for her arrival. Then, he saw the car pull up in the driveway. Daddy ran around from the driver’s side and opened the passenger door. There was Grandma! The wait was over!

Timmy ran out the front door and dashed into Grandma’s arms. He hugged her tight, never wanting to let her go. “Grandma, it’s so good to see you,” Timmy said excitedly. “I’ve missed you!” It was only after getting his hug, that Timmy noticed something different about his Grandma. ... Read more...

2 Jan 2016

"Blessed are You Who Believe"


"Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
[Luke 1:45]
We all like to get our way. Okay, I won't speak for everyone. So let me rephrase that, 99.9% of us like to get our way as often as possible (myself included of course). Okay, I don't really know the exact number, but my guess is, it's pretty high. From a very early age we start striving to make sure that our wants are being met (even long after we start realizing that others have needs, wants and feelings too). And so, we grab toys away from other kids. We beg mom and dad to make our favorite food for dinner. We want to have absolute control of the TV. (Who can stand those shows adults watch anyway?) And we cry and throw tantrums when things don't go our way. (But I don't want to go to bed now!)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America. (Guest post)

4 Dec 2015

Hope in the midst of darkness - Isaiah 29: 17-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
auntjojo Surely..., Flickr Creative Commons auntjojo Surely..., Flickr Creative Common
Click here to continue.

5 Jul 2015

Angst, Hope, and Building a Better World

I've run into — and experienced — many flavors of angst over the decades.

Back in my 'good old days,' some folks feared the communist menace, others the population bomb and imminent death of all the ocean's fish. And there's that perennial favorite — the End Times Bible Prophecy. (June 9, 2012; October 3, 2009)

I take the last things — death, judgment, Heaven and Hell — quite seriously. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1021-1022, 1023-1029, 1033-1037, 1681-1683)

But recognizing that there's a really big closing ceremony for Creation 1.0 coming up — the Last Judgment — doesn't mean I think someone knows more than God the Father. (Mark 13:32-37; 1038-1041)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Jun 2015

A Response to Fearmongering

People are writing with fear and panic underlying their comments and articles in the face of the States sanctioning same-sex marriages.
Why? 
We are people of hope, not doomsayers or fearmongers.
Christ has already triumphed over sin and death. We are  not called to focus on disaster, on evil, on sin. Christ commanded us to refrain from condemnation and judgment so  we will not be judged and condemned by our Master. 
Our mandate is simple; allow the Light of Christ to grow ever more brightly within us, especially as the darkness deepens. Then we will be a light unto the world. He will conquer darkness through us. We are simply channels of truth, light and mercy. 
This is the central message of the New Testament.

17 May 2015

Dealing with the problems in our country: One person, one step at a time

This is my most recent column in The Catholic Free Press:

stephen's classroom
Our son called the other day to share a lovely story about a former student. Until recently Stephen had been a pre-school teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Although he had neither experience nor background in education, he took the job because he was desperate, having been unemployed for months. Even as he fumbled in the dark with no idea as to what he was doing, Stephen managed to touch the life of a then 3-year-old boy.

Surprising encounter

Stephen knew well the thankless nature of teaching. So imagine his surprise when the now five-year-old boy recognized him on the street and ran up to him, throwing his arms around him. The family followed up with a phone call and Stephen is planning an outing with them as a result.

Give what little we have

We never know how we will affect other people’s lives. We think we have to be experts; my son’s experience says otherwise. We don’t need to know anything—we just need to be open and vulnerable, willing to give whatever we have.
Click here to continue reading ...

5 May 2015

Leaping into the unknown: is it worth it?

What happens when you begin to fear doing something you've done for much of your life? How to cope? This scenario has been playing out since I received a healing of my singing voice. God was calling me to go public again. I share to show that fear never conquers so long as we are willing to go where God leads and we trust in him.

from picturespost.blogspot.com
During the fifteen years that I was a professional musician I went out on gigs, holding concerts and sometimes doing some public speaking. When my mother died in 2010, I stopped doing that sort of thing. Now, five years later, I've decided to dive back in.

It is not without fear and trepidation for I am rusty! While I had my years of experience to fall back on, I wasn't sure I would remember how to do it. Something once familiar to me had become unknown territory.

Was it worth trying? Yes!

Click to continue reading.

21 Jan 2015

Are You a Querulous and Disillusioned Sourpuss?

 
 
I've slowly been reading my way through Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).   I will be sharing things that I find particularly edifying over the next several posts.  Today's snippet is talking about not allowing the immense evil we see all around us rob us of the joy of our faith.  He also calls us to not lose hope and become pessimistic sourpusses that want to separate "the wheat from the weeds" before it's time.  In other words, we shouldn't develop a separatist attitude from the Church and the world.  Although we are living in a spiritual desert right now, families are still called to preserve and communicate the faith.  We have to be vigilant in living the Spirit of the Gospel in our homes and workplace and do our part to "point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive."  Pope Francis says "we are called to be living water from which others can drink." 
 
To read more, visit The Sincere Gift 

22 Dec 2014

An Open Christmas Letter to Grief


Dear Grief,
You have found me despite my hopes to escape you. You have become a travelling companion through this journey of life, but never a friend.

You are the proverbial glass of spilled milk, happening when most inconvenient, spilling all over me and my home. You splash and roll into unexpected places, hiding for me to find as I go about my every day work, clinging to ordinary items and ringing them with painful recollection. Left unaddressed, your spill begins to smell and turn the stomach, causing disorientation, upset, and regret. Crying over you changes nothing, but in tears I can wash you away, I can shine the marred surfaces and begin anew. In tears I may respond but I am not vanquished, you have not won

Read more at Veils and Vocations.