Our Lady of Sorrows- Gospel Reflection for September 15, 2016

Mary's silence at the foot of the Cross is active, not passive. Mary stands at the foot of the Cross as a strong, silent woman who is suffering over the loss of her son but remains obedient by embracing John as her son. Mary is really opening her heart to embrace all disciples as her children. Only a strong woman can love once again in the midst of suffering. Then, in the Book of Acts, Mary does not indulge in grief but devotes herself to prayer with the disciples, waiting for the Holy Spirit. continue reading

A Women of Strength and Purpose

I know that this is not a Catholic book but this book is great and it has really touched me and the life of a few of my friends. I am sharing this with you because I really feel that this particular Bible Study will benefit a lot of people. 
Surprisingly this book like the “Strong Willed Women” the author describes, is not what it seems. This book touches base with many women and it definitely made a difference for not only me but my inner circle. A book that can be shared, revisited, and quoted shows you the quality of the writing inside.  Tobias hits this nail right on the head! The experiences shared by the women in this book is something that all women can relate to .I am happy to not only share this with my readers but to share this with my close family and friends
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So ... what is your view about married priests? Is it OK for a priest to fall in love? What if he does. Should he leave the priesthood? Or can he marry and remain a priest? If the marriage vows are for life then ... why isn't the vow of celibacy the same, for life? What about married priests from other denominations joining the Catholic Church?
TO LOVE A PRIEST - by Victor S E Moubarak CLICK HERE

Fulfillment of All Desire, by Ralph Martin - Book Review

I read The Fulfillment of All Desire, by Ralph Martin, in preparation to give a prayer and spirituality retreat. This book offered much advice on how to live a more spiritual life with examples set by such greats as Augustine, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Frances de Sales and God’s little flower, Theresé of Lisieux. I learned that the fulfillment of all desire comes from a life of prayer and modeling our behavior to that of Christ. For when we become more Christ-like we unite with the pinnacle of our desire – that of Christ himself.

The book is lengthy, with numerous quotes from the works of the saints. Ralph Martin lets the saints tell the story of how one might develop the fulfillment of all desire. If I had one complaint, it is that the quotes were too numerous. I say that because I am familiar with Ralph Martin having watched him on EWTN. The man is a brilliant and esteemed professor of Theology. With that said, I hoped that... Read more... 

Creation Speaks of God

These days we are focusing on creation and on our responsibility to be caretakers of our beautiful home planet. Recently I reread my book “Voices: Messages in Gospel Symbols” and realized that its introduction would be a fitting post to share. So here it is . . .
“I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God.’ And the almond tree blossomed.” ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
Creators are mirrored in their creations. A song reflects the composer; a painting, the artist; a book the author. In the same way, the universe, the masterpiece of the supreme creator, reveals God. Its variety, its intricacy, and its magnitude attest to God’s wisdom and power. Every created thing is an epiphany, echoing some aspect of the divine Being. Click to continue

Grace-filled Tuesdays (Book Club "Meeting" #20): An Erin's Ring Giveaway!

The Grace-filled Tuesdays Book Club met today over at my flagship blog, String of Pearls. We talked about my second YA Catholic novel, Erin's Ring, recipient of two book awards from the Catholic Press Association.
If you haven't read Erin's Ring yet and would like to do so, you might be interested to know that I'm hosting a giveaway.

I'm giving away five free promo copies of Erin's Ring, with the winners to be announced on Nov. 1.
If you'd like to find out how to enter, head on over to String of Pearls for more information.

Forgive Injuries: Spiritual Work of Mercy That Heals

It is not always easy to forgive injuries, because we’re human and pain hurts! Yet, we are called by Christ to forgive in the same manner that He taught the Apostles to forgive when He taught them the Our Father: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt 6:13). To forgive then requires us to extend mercy and compassion. How so? Let’s use an example:

A family crisis occurs. Tensions are high. A close relative makes a comment that cuts you to your core, causing you great emotional pain. It’s the type of comment that could result in the two of you never speaking to each other again, or at least not for several years. Anyone else ever experience this situation? I know that I can speak from experience: It happened to me. I couldn’t bring myself to be in the same room with this relative for about two years. Unable to forgive, I hurt deeply. Read more...



What You Want Has Its Price… Whether For Body, Mind, or Soul

What You Want Has Its Price. And The Price of Such of a 
Tremendous Good  As That 
FAITH. "People are told 'Believe,' and they want to see..." –St. Augustine >>Click Here to Read More at: The Way To Nourish For Life>>

Protecting the natural family: a folly of Catholic faith? ( Spanish) Defender a la familia natural:¿Necedad de la fe Católica?

En este siglo XXI donde el libertinaje absoluto de la persona se ha vuelto el bastión de la cultura global, permanece la interrogante de si esta independencia de cualquier estructura social la llevará a la felicidad que todo ser humano ansía.

Durante décadas a algunas de estas “estructuras sociales” se les ha tachado de obsoletas, como la familia y el matrimonio. A los que han tratado de defenderlas, como la fe católica, se les ha etiquetado de intransigentes. Pero últimamente a su voz se han unido, finalmente, las voces de muchas otras denominaciones espirituales que ven en esta defensa una prioridad urgente, ante los sufrimientos y problemas sociales que su degradación han traído.

The Nativity of the Virgin Mary Throughout Art History

Her birth is a cause for great joy as it is considered the “dawn of our salvation” Pope Paul VI, Marialis Cultus, 1972.
to see more images and quotes

The Cross Stands Firm


Love, Mercy, and 9/11

Airliners were flown into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon 15 years ago today, killing nearly 3,000 folks whose chief offense had been living in an American city and going to work Tuesday morning.

The 19 immediately responsible died with their victims. They were waging Osama bin Laden's religious war against the United States.

Osama bin Laden is dead now, and so are a great many others: perpetrators and victims; Christians, Muslims, and folks who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On top of that, about 1,800,000 folks were stopped last year, while trying to get into Europe. Some may have had ulterior motives; but most were trying to stay alive, fleeing because their former homes had become a war zone.

It's the biggest problem of that sort Europe's had since the 1940s. Quite a few folks are upset: partly because most of the refugees hadn't had opportunities to fill out all their paperwork before entering Europe.

More at A Catholic C…

As the Morning Rising: I Am the Gold

As the Morning Rising: I Am the Gold: I am the gold someone else wishes they had - My gifts, my senses, My health is wealth beyond measure. Lead me Lord, along the ri...



As the Morning Rising: Labour

As the Morning Rising: Labour: Detail in stained glass in Holy Family Church Belfast Labour Stone walls make up the physical house of God When other landmarks t...



Philae, Jupiter, and Life

Scientists spotted Philae, the European Space Agency's spacecraft that crash-landed on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: which will help them make sense of data sent back while the probe still functioned.

Other scientists think they’ve worked out where carbon near Earth's surface came from, and the Juno orbiter has been sending pictures of the giant planet.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'But we had to celebrate and rejoice . . .' Sunday Reflections, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt, c.166

Gospel Luke 15:1-32 (or 1-10) (NRSV, Catholic)

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has fou…
Birth of the VirginOrsola Maddalena Caccia, c.1635
Pinacoteca Malaspina, Pavia
The glory of the Virgin was all within

For a long time I have wondered and been at a loss to understand why the evangelists should have spoken at such length about John the Baptist and the apostles, and yet told us so little about the Virgin Mary, who in life and distinction excels them all.

Being at a loss, as I say, to understand this, all I can think is that it pleased the Holy Spirit that it should be so. It was by the providence of the Holy Spisit that the evangelists kept silent, because the glory of the Virgin, as we read in the psalms, was all within, and could more truly be thought of than described.

The most important fact of her life, that Jesus was born of her, is enough to tell her whole story. What more do you want to know? What further inquire would you make concerning the Virgin? It is enough for you that she is the Mother of God. What beauty, I as you, what virtue, what perfection, what…