Starshot, SETI, and the Universe

We may be within a generation of sending probes on flyby missions to other stars, high-energy jets from several distant galaxies all point in the same direction, and we're learning more about hot super-earths.

That sort of thing fascinates me, your experience may vary.

Meanwhile, SETI researchers will be checking out red dwarfs: which may be more promising places to look for neighbors than we thought.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Some thoughts on Amoris Laetitia

I’m going a bit off topic today to give you my thoughts on the recent apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Some traditionalists are up in arms, some “liberals” are dancing with glee. What did Pope Francis really say, how important was it, and what does it mean for you and me?
No change in doctrine or discipline The first and most important thing to understand is that AL (as it is being called for short) does not propose changes to Catholic discipline on who can receive the Eucharist, let alone a change in the doctrine behind this practice.

“I was happy to take up the request of the Fathers of the Synod to write this Exhortation. In so doing, I am reaping the rich fruits of the Synod’s labours. In addition, I have sought advice from a number of people and I intend to express my own concerns about this particular chapter of the Church’s work of evangelization..."

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

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.

To Restore and Refresh

I’ve watched her many times. Pixie’s high maintenance, but she calms down with sleep. As I write this, I am thinking about a nap. It’s only 9:30 in the morning. I decided that Mass was a priority today, so when my alarm rang this morning, I got up rather than turn it off and go back to sleep. 
Read more at Prayerfully Yours

The Sacredness of the Ordinary

We’ve only had this dishwasher since late February, but it broke. It wasn’t a particularly easy fix for the company, but they did fix it. In the meantime, I’ve had to do dishes by hand. (Insert a gasp here.) I haven’t done dishes by hand, all the dishes by hand, in a long time. (Insert another gasp and “The horror of it!”) It took about a week for the part to come in and to schedule and appointment with the repairman. (I’m not being politically correct, a man was sent to repair my dishwasher.) 
Read more at Prayerfully Yours

A Call Which Confounds the Wise

A call which confounds the wise. A call which confounds the mentality of Western Society. I too was surprised to discover life and joy in the ordinary. Years ago, a mother to four little ones I was worried, actually frantic. Was I pregnant yet again? continue reading

Worthy of Awe: The Blessed Sacrament

Wisdom, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord (awe): These are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We specifically receive these gifts at our Confirmation, when we become full-fledged Christian adults. However, in my rather long lifetime, I seem to receive these gifts over and over. The well never seems to run dry.

Apparently these gifts are important, since we seem to grasp for them at various junctures in our lives. We seek wisdom, counsel, knowledge and understanding whenever we need to make difficult, sometimes life-changing decisions. We seek Fortitude whenever hard times, suffering and persecution land...Read more...

Amoris Laetitia and building bridges: “stay as close as you can”

I’ve had time to skimThe Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia)by Pope Francis. It bears closer reading, and I’ll get there eventually. For now, it evokes words that had a profound effect on my life – words uttered a decade before Pope Francis even became a priest, and a year before I was born. The pope’s recent message reinforced the Catholic Church’s recognition of the truth about the dignity and indissolubility of marriage. At the same time, he urged readers to build bridges of mercy and patience and acceptance for other people as they are, where they are. Can one be “accepting” of people in unsanctioned unions, without compromising on truth? Let me tell you my family’s story, and you’ll know why I say yes. Read the rest of the post at

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

As the Morning Rising: Thanking God in the Garden

As the Morning Rising: Thanking God in the Garden: The leaves and petals, although weighed down by last night's rain are still themselves. Their colour has not diminished nor th...

Plug and UnPlug

Yesterday, the Blu-Ray player that my son had given me for Christmas quit. It simply quit working. I tried the various steps that you go through to get it working again. I used the remote to turn it on and off. I unplugged the player from television. When I did, the screen came back on, but no matter what, I could not use my blu-ray player to access Netflix. So, I decided that I would let it rest until today.

Read More at:  Prayerfully Yours

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

Spring Cleaning of the Soul! Growing in Virtue!

Spring has arrived! Hurrah! As we take to performing spring cleaning around our homes, perhaps it is time to think about the spring cleaning of our souls as well. What clutter of sin might be taking up room in your soul? What dust muffins of ambivalence might be swirling around you, but you pay no attention? Got some stains that might require a little “muscle” to remove? Is the window of your soul sparkling clean, or is there a murky film casting a shadow?
How to “Spring Clean” Your SoulRemove the clutter of sin by... Read more...

Mary & Martha, John & Peter, Do-ers & Be-ers: Jesus Loves Us All!

I am a doer. I do and I do and I do, and sometimes I get so caught up in doing that I forget things like eating, sleeping, and playing. Luckily, I have five boys who don't let me forget eating for very long, but the sleep and play part I have to remind myself about. I tend to put them on the back shelf behind the never ending list of responsibilities that assault my time.

The truth is, I really do have important things that need doing for my life coaching, my teaching, my children, my CCD classes, my home, and for so many other things. I often get so caught up in what needs to be done, that I forget that downtime needs to be done too. I forget to make time to rest, to play with my children, to feed my children without their reminders (I won't win Mother of the Year Award again this year!)
I forget to make time to sit with the Lord and say the Rosary, quietly reflecting on Jesus' life as I move from verse to verse along each bead. I forget to take time to read my Bible and…

How to Prepare Yourself and Teach Your Children about Divine Mercy

Should you prepare yourself and teach your children about Divine Mercy? Jesus’ words to Saint Faustina about the requirement to be merciful leave no room for misinterpretation: “Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy … I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it”(742). To read more about St. Faustina and how Divine Mercy Sunday was conceived, please read our last post: 7 Facts about St. Faustina and the Conception of Divine Mercy Sunday (This will open in a new tab so you can click in now and check it out after you read this post. 
Resources for Moms: For the entire post and to read more resources for moms and your children, click here.

Where Can I Pray?


"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.

10 Minute Daily Retreat: "Come and have Breakfast with Me."

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. (John 21:12) Lent is over and many of us have returned to our pre-lenten routine. We've stored away those extra prayers and acts of good will for another year. Likewise, after Jesus died the disciples returned to their fishing business.
Yet the Resurrection changes everything. Today we read how Jesus returns to His disciples, not as a vision or a ghost, but as the Risen Lord. 
He calls His disciples from their work and over breakfast explains how their life as His disciples can never be the same. They have His mission to continue. 
Jesus extends the same invitation to us.To join Him for 'breakfast' - per daily prayer – and discover new possibilities for a deeper relationship with Him, the Resurrected Lord.

As the Morning Rising: Peter

As the Morning Ris
ing: Peter: Peter Those that had gathered round a fire In the courtyard of Caiaphas's house Heard Peter's denial before Bitter t...

Was Jesus an Inefficient Square Like Me?

Efficiency is not a virtue.

Efficiency is not a sign of holiness.

I do not think Jesus was efficient;

He was not a modern man.

He was an Eastern sort of man

Who delighted in long meals, conversations

And long, inefficient times of silence listening to His Father.


I'm Trapped and I can't Get Out...

Moving slowly? Trapped behind a fence spiritually? Can’t get that momentum going? The fence is too hight to climb? What’s going on?
Did you ever have a pet who was literrally your “velcro” pet? I used to own a greayhound named Bailey who had been a racer. Racing dogs are not necessarily treated very well. When Bailey became our dog, he liked where he was, but he was very much afraid of being abandoned. He was my velcro dog. Where I went, he went. At times, he was, literally, attached to my hip. (He was a big greyhound!) 
Read more at Prayerfully Yours

As the Morning Rising: A Blessed Moment

As the Morning Rising: A Blessed Moment: A Blessed Moment Nothing has seemed the same since then Neither hill nor stream Nor the pine trees' scent.  Even the cawing of crow...

100 Questions Catholics & Christians Must Ask Before Marriage

You've been together for a while. You love this person, and you cannot wait to be Married! Marriage is a Good thing, a holy Sacrament given by God and reflective of the Trinity, and yet many Marriages now end in divorce. The Good news is - it doesn't have to be this way!

There are many in the Catholic Church who say there are too many invalid annulments while others say there are too many invalid marriages. Either way, you don't want to be another sad statistic. You don't want to be on the end of a failed relationship wondering whether your marriage or your annulment was the invalid act, and you don't have to be!
For the past several years, I've worked with women through life coaching. Some of these women are in the process of recovering from a failed relationship. Others are ready to start new relationships, and still others are considering taking current relationships to the next level. All want to be sure this is the right move at the right time and improve th…

'Feed my lambs . . . feed my sheep.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C

The Gospel of John(2003) Directed by Philip Saville Narrator: Christopher Plummer
Gospel John 21:1-19  [or 21:1-14](NRSV, Catholic Ed., Canada) 
read the full gospel here [When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and ta…

Offer it UP!

Do you remember that phrase from ages ago? You’d fall down and skin your knee and someone would say, “Offer it up.” You’d have to eat, oh. my. goodness!, gag, “beets” or “liver,” and even though you would fall on the floor gagging dramatically, you’d be told to get up off that floor, sit at the table, eat what you were given and “offer it up.” Maybe when , your favorite TV show was not on TV that night and something else was on, and you disappointed, you were told to “offer it up.” We don’t hear much about “offering it up” in this day and age, but the power of redemptive suffering is still as strong today as it was when I was a kid.
Read More at Prayerfully Yours

Always a Walk of Faith


BEAM Prototype Habitat, Bigelow's Plans

The BEAM Bigelow Aerospace habitat module, will be launched toward the International Space Station (ISS) today: if all goes well.

BEAM is packed in the Dragon spacecraft's pressurized section. This cargo run also carries supplies for the ISS crew, and for several dozen of the roughly 250 experiments planned for Expeditions 47 and 48. (SpaceX press kit)

After getting attached to the ISS and inflated, BEAM will mostly just sit there for at least two years: empty except when someone in the ISS takes samples and swaps out radiation sensors. I think that's a good idea, since BEAM is testing technology for Bigelow Aerospace rental properties in low Earth orbit.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Too Much INFLAMMATION! "Chronic Inflammation Can Offset Benefits of Good Cholesterol..."

Getting to the true roots of the problem [whether dealing in body, mind, or soul]...
In The News:“People with high levels of good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, are not as safe from heart disease when high levels of a newly identified biomarker of inflammation in the arteries are also found in their bloodstream, according to a new study.” “Historically, C-reactive protein has been used as an indicator of inflammation… ‘GlycA is a new particle we didn’t know much about...'">>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>

Man Up! on EWTN this week

Jared Zimmerer, author of Ten Commandments of Lifting Weights and Man Up! Becoming The New Catholic Renaissance Man is currently on EWTN's Women of Grace television series with Johnnette Benkovic in a 5-part series about Catholic men. Man Up! Becoming The New Catholic Renaissance Man received honorable mention in the 2015 Catholic Press Awards for Gender Issues and speaks well to the dilemma facing men in general today. The ideas of heroism, virtuous living, and recognizing and honoring what masculinity truly is are central to Jared's work. Jared himself has wide appeal as both a man of intellect and a man of physical strength. He builds his body as well as his spirit and in that way walks the talk quite well. Contributors to Man Up! include Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Kevin Lowry, Kevin Vost and other great voices for our times. The foreword is offered by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. The Women of Grace episodes are available to watch online if you aren't able to catch them on…

Traveling Light

“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10:4-9
This week I was reminded of this notion of “traveling light” as I left the ministries at my local parish to join the staff for two parishes a little over half an hour away.  Having already met numerous parishioners, and attending several staff and collaborative meetings, there was little concern that I would be welcome. With open arms, warm smiles and sincere prayers I have already been made to feel, within these first few days, a part of this beautiful paris…