"How's it going with your child's roommate?" asked a work associate whose child went to the same university as our son. Her daughter had a random roommate assignment as well, only it didn't work out well for her. The roommate situation that we often see exaggerated on sitcoms or movies isn't as funny in real … Continue reading Roommates from Heaven or….
Quiet, somber, and thoughtful. That's how we all walked out of the movie "The Passion of The Christ". It was one of those movies that people still talk about, because it moves your spirit, changes your heart, and sticks in your mind. People are still talking about the way that movie changed their lives. There are … Continue reading Mediocre Matinee
"I killed my brother" He was a large man who walked slowly behind me as we made our way down the hall to my office. Since I was in charge of creating "intake" profiles for potential clients, I invited him to sit down and began the interview process. As we discussed his harried past, he … Continue reading Pigeon-holed
Cradle Catholic I am a cradle Catholic, which means I was brought up in the church; but for many Catholics this is a catch phrase for "I don't' know what I am doing here" or "My mom made me come". Until I became a young adult, I fit into this category (going to church but … Continue reading God Said No
Elegant and Contemplative When we lived near Toledo, my dear friend Susan masterfully put together "Candlelight" events for Lent and Advent, in which women would come together for a night of prayerful meditation and a formation talk/presentation. Designed around fellowship and homemade desserts, these beautiful candlelit evenings grew to be popular for Catholic women in … Continue reading Candlelight Events
On a recent trip for a family vacation, we met up with some special friends and spent some quality time together near the beach. One of the things people do when they go to a beach resort is order an expensive frothy drink with a cute little umbrella and some fruit on the rim of … Continue reading Choices
My mother-in-law was a beautiful, faith-filled woman who loved and served her family well. When my husband and I were getting ready to be married, I proclaimed a caveat: "I can't be just like her. She is one of a kind. I am not that good!" But when her health began to fail, I wondered … Continue reading FROG
We switched up some roles in this week's Encounter With Christ, and I handed over my beloved pen in an exercise of attempting to be fully present to the Holy Spirit and get some "Cross" training (+) for our sisters in Christ, always working on our leadership skills. Thanks to our recent growth spurt in … Continue reading Planting Seeds
One of my favorite family vacations with our kids was a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona that included driving to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. It was an amazing trip filled with scenery that changed by the minute and seemed to be from another planet. One particular species of the yucca plant drew our … Continue reading By The Shade of the Joshua Tree
I am reading Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God's Dream For You by Matthew Kelly, and I am storing up nuggets of wisdom like a squirrel storing nuts for winter. Summertime means less solitude and time for prayer in my life, so too less time to write. But with each change of season in our lives, literally and … Continue reading I Think I Will Just Be Happy Today
My kids forewarned me that a new season of "13 Reasons Why" just came out on Netflix, knowing how I felt when this series originally came out. The schools and youth groups were sending texts and emails warning us that this suicidal story aimed at youth audiences was a talking point, if not a warning … Continue reading 13 Reasons Why You Should Watch Joe Verses The Volcano Instead
I woke up with a song in my head this morning. That isn't unusual for me, especially because the song was from Pitch Perfect 3, one of many of the songs from the Pitch Perfect movies. I am not crazy about some of the humor in these movies, but having been in the show choir … Continue reading Cheap Thrills
One time I was asked as a parent to take my turn as a line judge for my daughter's very heated volleyball game. Their team had played so well and not scored, and of course the shot of the day came on my shift, and I happened to miss it because I was watching the … Continue reading Bump, Set, Spike
When my kids were little, especially during the winter, they would each pick three to five books and we would go up and snuggle in my bed and read before bedtime; some together, some on our own, but we called it our "book picnic". I guess the reason we called it that is because before … Continue reading My Bookself
"This weekend, there is gonna be FIRE!" This was the call from the pulpit we heard at our local church last year at this time, as Pentecost Sunday approached, and it brought a smile to everyone's face. "The Holy Spirit is coming! He is giving us the tongues of fire (like he did for the apostles) … Continue reading Peace and Pancakes
I love the Acts of the Apostles. Reading this part of the Bible really gives you a feel for the struggles of the newborn church as she establishes the teachings and traditions given straight from Christ, establishes leadership and a needed hierarchy, and sets the example of what it looks like to be a Christian; … Continue reading Entrust, Intercede and Commend
When I lived in Ohio, I would take my long weekend retreat to Michigan, where we would often have Fr Gomez lead us through the spiritual exercise of St Ignatius of Loyola. He always had a few good ways of saying something important, and one of them I always quote is this: "How's your prayer? … Continue reading Morning Prayer
Praying an Act of Faith is just a way of acknowledging God's goodness and sovereignty over our lives. These Acts of Faith are most valuable and effective, ironically, when we have a LACK of faith. "Fake it till ya make it" can be a method to meet the Lord when we are feeling weak, like … Continue reading Acts of Faith
I got lost the other day. I was making my way home from my usual afternoon routine, but trying to avoid unusually heavy traffic when I decided to go off the grid; er, well, without the help of my GPS, and using, what I consider to be a great sense of direction, until I inevitably … Continue reading Birds of a Feather…
*Spoiler alert. Do NOT continue if you haven't seen the new marvel movie! Or go ahead and read if you need a shot of spirituality along with your superheros. I admit it. I really like superhero movies. I was kinda jealous a few years back when my son got Captain America socks for his birthday. … Continue reading “Above and Beyond”
How do we bear fruit as instructed in John 15:1-8? We trust, rely on the word of God, and reach out to those who are neglected around us.
Every soul matters to God. He loves each one of us beyond our comprehension. Some people understand this from early on in life, like Olivia, who was the focus of our case study today. Olivia knew that when God brought her little sister into her family through adoption, she had seen His grace in her … Continue reading The Good Shepherd
Before we met this morning, one member of our group had gone to mass and heard about the importance of focusing our words and thoughts toward the things of heaven. To speak goodness, see goodness and do good things in our everyday conversations and interactions. Sometimes our world wants us to be selective and choose … Continue reading Jesus Revealed in Breaking of Bread and A “Prom-posal”
Influenza B came to join us just in time for the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. It didn't stop us from enjoying our family or the joy of the Risen Christ on Easter, but along with the rainy weather and illness, it was a different kind of day. Perhaps like the two disciples walking on … Continue reading But Him They Did Not See
One meets a stranger, and then takes a mystical encounter and shares with another stranger. The effect? A paying forward of hope...
Walking down the streets of New York City for hours on end, I noticed so many faces; all strange and new, different and complex. Sitting on the subway was my favorite for people-viewing. Most everyone seemed to be numbing themselves with buds in their ears and a phone screen in front of their face. Some … Continue reading One In Twenty Million
God sent His only son so you do not have to live in darkness.
Again today it seems our gathering to Encounter Christ was one of intercessory prayer. Turning to the Holy Spirit, we held in our hearts a list of people who are hurting and need prayers. At the time of our meeting, we also prayed for two young women who were undergoing surgeries, one of whom is … Continue reading Identity In Christ and the Truman Show
I drafted this article in the wake of the horrific Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida, and for some reason I kept it in draft because so many souls are hurting and looking for answers, and God wants us to know He will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Since first drafting my thoughts, I received three … Continue reading The Presence of Evil Doesn’t Mean the Absence of God
Several very sick children, aging and ailing parents, friends with cancer...what do these things have in common? Heartache? Suffering? Certainly; but what they meant to us today as we gathered to Encounter Christ together, were an invitation to go to battle in the spiritual realm; to pray and invite God into the place where are … Continue reading A POWERFUL NINE HOURS
The first Sunday of Lent always holds a small sense of reprieve for me. Even though it has just begun, the first few days are a doosey. It's kind of feels like if you are climbing a mountain and you make it to the first plateau. You take a deep breath, stretch, and then … Continue reading Being Alone Vs. Being Lonely
My beautiful sister.
This one hit hard. And so close to home. Because it is the community where my husband grew up, where our extended family still lives. Because our son is an officer in an adjacent community. And our nephew (soon to become an officer) trained in the junior academy with the same department … the same band of brothers who lost those two seasoned officers last Saturday. They were just doing what they do every day, responded to a 911 call. Serving the public.
Then they were ambushed. And so were our hearts.
Hate-filled crime is senseless. Paralyzing.
I can’t even look at the photo of the killer. I’m battling so much anger.
Every day since Saturday, our hearts break a little more.
I can’t sleep, thinking of those wives left behind. And their babies. Who will take them to daddy/daughter dances? Who will walk them down the aisle on their wedding…
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MK 1:40-45 A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning … Continue reading He Stretched Out His Hand
"Have you heard from JD?" My husband texted from an empty parking lot yesterday. Our son, "JD" had been on a faith retreat and naturally had not been on his phone much. We just needed to know when and where to pick him up that afternoon, but had only received one cryptic text "maybe pick … Continue reading A Man of Few Words
Always after a spiritual exercise weekend, our numbers for Encounter with Christ double. Why? Everyone is seeking the peace and depth of love they felt over the weekend. Much of it is sacramental, but the rest of it is the companionship in eating of the BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:22), the eternal and living word … Continue reading You Are So Much Stronger Than You Know
Today is the feast day of Saint John Bosco! I named this blog "Boscoworld" because at the time I started this blog, my oldest son, who was preparing for confirmation in the Catholic Church, and under great guidance by the Holy Spirit, chose this saint for his confirmation saint. Ironically, "LB" (Little Bosco, his blog … Continue reading HAPPY FEAST DAY BLOG!
Today's gospel Mark, 5:21-43, includes the amazing story of Jairus, a synagogue official, whose daughter is ill and near death, and as Jesus heads over to see his little girl, another woman (who has been sick her whole life) touches Jesus and is healed. By the time Jesus gets to the little girl, it seems … Continue reading Little Girl, Get Up
The wind was beginning to stir when we arrived for our silent retreat. As we collected in the beautiful chapel at the retreat center to pray, I looked outside the windows at the incredible view of the woods in the hilly countryside of western middle Tennessee. The same woods where Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash … Continue reading Trees Do Bend
We had a short gospel reflection this week in light of our upcoming silent retreat, but listening to the story in Mark about the calling of the disciples to be made "fishers of men", we recognized some similarities to what the apostles must have felt being called to Christ and a similar feeling of leaving … Continue reading “Come After Me”
Every time we gather to pray together over the gospels, the Holy Spirit is present; because we invite Him with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, with which we begin our meetings. There are some days that His presence feels like it pulled up a chair to the table and we could palpably touch Him. … Continue reading The Tenth Hour
I came across this quote today: "I consider it no less a virtue to know how to keep silence at the proper time than to speak well. It seems to me that man ought to have a neck as long as a crane's, so that each of his words may pass through many knots before … Continue reading Silence is GOLDEN
Looking up the word "Epiphany" in the thesaurus, I found similar words such as "inspiration", "insight", "realization" and "vision". Secondary words seem even more fitting in trying to describe the amazing story of the Magi traveling a great distance to pay homage to a tiny baby who represented a new age; a dawn of salvation: … Continue reading Epiphany
When we lived in Ohio, my sisters and parents were always offering to help with my kids and I was so grateful for not just the support, but the love my kids have always had around them. One of my favorite things each year is when my sister, Mimi, would take the kids out before … Continue reading The First Hail Mary
This Advent, our "Advent By Candlelight" evening of reflection for women included a formation talk entitled "Let Yourself Be Loved". We included advent calendar bookmarks with scriptures for each day of December leading to Christmas about God's love for us. Letting ourselves be loved sounds pretty easy. But sometimes humans find many hurdles to real … Continue reading Advent-ageous Prayer
Wow; for some reason today's reading from Daniel really took my breath away. Maybe it is because I had never read it before or it didn't seem familiar to me, even though I know the story of Daniel. We always associate Daniel with the lion's den, and coming out alive and unharmed by the protection … Continue reading The Hand Writing on the Wall
As a follow up from yesterday's post; here is a prayer for spiritual communion. My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually … Continue reading Spiritual Communion
I am sitting and watching a cartoon of some pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal together in the woods on a sunny but cool day centuries ago, the first Thanksgiving Day. I am watching the cartoon, and smelling a real turkey, and then I am pulled away from watching the show ("But wait! It's … Continue reading Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant
Having a "business meeting" (the "busy-ness" of God is always good!) we did not have our Encounter With Christ, but my daily meditation on the church's readings were fruitful and offered a new glimpse into where I needed to move next in my quest for spiritual growth. The first reading from Ezekiel 47; Every month … Continue reading The Temple
Heavy paper taped down through the main pathways of our home, due to repairs to the bathroom floor, has made these last few days, er, interesting. It's the same paper we used in high school cheer-leading to make big banners we would decorate to say, "Go Rocks! Beat the Bears!" or "GO BIG GREEN! FIGHT … Continue reading Bothered and Annoyed
For today's stepping stone on the path of our weekly intention, the Holy Spirit lead me back to our monthly retreat guide from early in October. Usually, I use the daily scripture readings for the universal church for meditation (these can be found at http://usccb.org/bible/readings/) but today I prayed the copy of the prayer that Miss … Continue reading Accompaniment
Well, about 24 hours down and I already miserably crashed on our weekly Encounter with Christ resolution to serve my family with a joyful heart. Had to get up in the realm of 5 am, (an "other wordly" realm; I have told you I am not a morning person but that is really an understatement). … Continue reading Daily Dose of Love
Jesus and Mother Teresa showed up at today's Encounter with Christ. They both had the same thing to say.
I have always said that marriage is a lot like balancing an egg on the tip of your finger. You can't (and should not) take your eyes off of it. It's fragile and requires a constant effort. I have been married for 23 years, and I cannot claim to be perfect or anything more than human, … Continue reading Be Vigilant
How do you explain sin to a child? This was our dilemma last year during our sixth grade religious education class, but since it was October, my favorite month, and I had lots of pumpkins about the house (happy happy happy) which inspired me, and I thought of a way. I brought in a smaller … Continue reading Poke A Pumpkin
I am currently reading "Mother Teresa of Calcutta; A Personal Portrait" by Leo Maasburg. It's an easy read and I feel like I am sitting in a room with my uncle who is telling us stories about the good old days. It's a wonderful glimpse into the life of the now-saint, and how she loved … Continue reading You Did It To Me
Living in the south, you see signs this time of year that say "It's Fall Y'all". I love it. I love fall with its fat, orange pumpkins everywhere...they just yell "HAPPY" to me. Football, chili in the crockpot, warm orange sunsets that seem to match the hues of the maple leaves, along with the reds … Continue reading It’s Fall Y’all
Today's meeting was a study group in which we reviewed the format and reasons for our weekly gatherings, as we were blessed to have two newer groups members join us. We discussed the fact that our "Encounters With Christ" are not a typical bible study, as some may think, but it is better defined as … Continue reading Spring Board
I was in the zone. Having lunch with a friend who inspires me, and we share the same kind of vision for ministry. I really felt like I was in the zone. It was one of those moments, as it is when God is at the center of something, when I really feel like I … Continue reading Putting God first, in the Zone
A gunman massacres at least fifty people, injuring hundreds, at a country music festival in Las Vegas; officials and investigators looking for answers to a question that no one may ever be able to answer. In the wake of such tragedy, human nature wants the "why". Why would someone do something so awful? Why did … Continue reading My Home is Within You
We definately have work to do in this world. Today at our Encounter with Christ, we got the distinct message that not only should we listen to God when He has an assignment for us, say "yes" and mean it, and complete the work we set out to do, but we need to begin with … Continue reading Everyone Is Trying
I changed my tagline today on my blog, you may have noticed. I am still "Catholic and a Mom", as my previous one stated, but yesterday, I had a question pop into my head; kind of a summons to collect my overall message in life. "What would you tell someone who struggles to believe in … Continue reading It Really Is Going To Be OK
Luke 8:16-18 16 “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.17 For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to … Continue reading “When things become known…”
I love how the Holy Spirit seems to work in themes within our group (and notably in my own world). Maybe this is the case in your life? Anyway around it, we must have more work to do on increasing our fortitude, as not only was it in the gospel for this upcoming Sunday's liturgy, … Continue reading Fortitude Rides Again
Martha or Mary? That is the question...at least that was the question that began our monthly retreat for September. A group of us gathered to watch "The One Thing Needed: A Retreat Guide on Martha and Mary" presented by Fr. John Bartunek LC, which we obtained from RCSpirituality.org. The focus of the retreat meditating on … Continue reading Martha or Mary?
Hurricane Harvey arrived for dinner. Although "his" entrance into middle Tennessee was gradual, and not as uncivil as his arrival into Texas, he wasn't yet bold enough to prevent us from having our Encounter with Christ this week, since we met earlier in the day. The people of Texas and everyone affected by the flooding … Continue reading Serve It Up
This week here in middle Tennessee, we are preparing for what is being called a "once-in-400-year-opportunity" to witness a solar eclipse, which will take place for many of us in the mid-section of our nation during the day on Monday. It is amazing to think we will get to witness something so rare, and for … Continue reading “O Woman! Great is your faith!”
Yesterday was a small but mighty burst of Christ for our group. I was told to report that we spent much time "lovin' on each other". What is more Christ-like than that? We had a birthday to celebrate, and LOTS of babies coming into the world through our empowered home-schooling moms with clans of four … Continue reading Peace Seeking
I was privileged the other day to have a chat with Lovely Ms. Lala about many things, and always faith-based, but the lingering fruit of which was the topic of sins against words. Right speech is always a powerful topic with me because I struggle so much with being a blabbermouth. Almost 20 years ago, … Continue reading Zip It
After a long summer break, I smiled as I got into the car this morning to head to church for our Encounter With Christ. Finally! Enough of us were in town to meet! Of course my tank was on empty, but I smiled as I pulled over to refuel my car, knowing that my soul … Continue reading Rise and Do Not Be Afraid
Pooped on by a bird. Yep. That was today's attempt from the little demons who try to keep me from attending my precious prayer group. Every week he tries something. Last week he won as one crazy thing after another picked off all of us but one, and since we don't meet unless there are … Continue reading I Am With You Always
Discouragement is a universal topic. It relates to every human being; every culture, race and gender. In our recent monthly retreat we watched Fr John Bartunek's Retreat for Easter, "A Cure for Discouragement". Easter, usually being a season of joy and hope, seemed like a strange time to present the topic of discouragement, but in … Continue reading A Cure For Discouragement
This upcoming Sunday's gospel, John 14:1-2, Jesus is again reminding his audience (the disciples) that he and The Father are ONE. John's gospel so convincingly explains to us how Jesus and God, the Father, are one in the same, connected and inseparable. Some of the disciples characteristically struggle with the understanding of Jesus' relationship with God … Continue reading Only Grace
During a rough patch in my parenting career, not so long ago, I decided to adopt praying the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, Mary, mother of Jesus. I have a special rosary that focuses on the seven sorrows that Mary faced in her lifetime, and asking for her to pray for us as we think … Continue reading Joys and Sorrows
Today I went to the chapel and took my rosary, feeling compelled to pray before the Blessed Sacrament with Mary, Jesus' sweet mother, and my mother, a mother most holy; to accompany her and Jesus along the path of the story of our salvation. If you go to a reputable source to look up the … Continue reading Joyful Mysteries
The Road to Emmaus is one of the most human stories in the New Testament. As we studied this scripture today in prayer group, meditating with the Holy Spirit for the upcoming Sunday's readings, the revelations poured out. Had we three days to delve into this particular passage in Luke (24:13-35), it wouldn't have been … Continue reading Everyone’s Disciple
In memory of a couple who remain grandparents, and GRAND parents for eternity.
"There is more merit to one hour of meditating on my sorrowful passion than there is to a whole year of bloody scourging." (Jesus to St. Faustina). Take the next three days to read over the four gospel versions of the passion. See how they differ in detail? See how each author has a different … Continue reading For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion
As I arrived for our reflection this week, there sat the very beautiful smiling faces of my sisters in Christ, among a sea of palms. The parish where we meet had announced the weekend before that they would be having a gathering where they would weave the palms in preparation for Palm Sunday, where the … Continue reading Entering Jerusalem
Today's Encounter with Christ was well-attended and although we again had a short meeting (schools were being released early for incoming storms) the upcoming Sunday's gospel was made priority and we spent extra time on this beautiful reading. This coming fifth Sunday of Lent, we will read John 11:1-45, The Raising of Lazarus. (We used … Continue reading “Your Brother Will Rise”
That isn't a typo....that is the answer that St Francis de Sales gave to the head of a religious order who asked him what is the key to holiness. He gave this answer shortly before his own death, and it was constantly on his lips. In his book, "Overcoming Sinful Anger", Rev. T.G. Morrow tells … Continue reading Humility Humility Humility
Something I am working on in my spiritual life, for actually a few years now, are night prayers. The idea being simple; that before you go to bed, you give your life once again to the care of the Lord. I am sure that, simply speaking, we can say that before modern civilization, we may … Continue reading Night Prayers
Jeanne came to town at the invitation of the Lovely Ms Lala and the ladies in charge of the fabulous Lent/Advent by Candlelight events here in Nashville. When discussing this year's speaker, the Holy Spirit tapped Ms Lala on the shoulder and she had a suggestion. The next thing you know, Jeanne was headed to … Continue reading Jeanne the Archangel talks Medjugorje
I have no memory whatsoever of a year where the daffodils were blooming before Ash Wednesday. As far as late Lenten seasons go, this is the latest I can remember, and honestly, it is kinda messing with my head. This is also the second time in my adult life that I can remember missing Ash … Continue reading Clean Out Your Lent Trap
I was going through a, um, phase, and I couldn't stop getting mad about stuff. It was around Election time and there must have just been something in the air (brings to mind a chicken and an egg). It was going on through the holidays, and that was breaking my heart. An advent anger issue? … Continue reading Anger Trifecta
About two years ago, at my son's confirmation, we filed into the pews of the church and we waited for the mass to begin. My husband and I were getting situated and whispering where we could see our sons (one confirmation candidate, one sponsor), when my daughter poked me on the shoulder. "Mom, you have to … Continue reading Divine Iced Tea
Recently I was listening to a podcast meditation about the gospel where Jesus calls the Apostles (Matthew chapter 4) and they dropped what they were doing and followed him into a life of discipleship and public ministry. I often try to imagine this scene, and cannot get past two things; why he chose who he … Continue reading A Heart that is Searching for God and Obedience
We don't get a lot of snow here in music city, but colder and freezing conditions justify the onslaught of the brine used to salt roadways at least a few times each winter. Back in Ohio, it would be at least a weekly event where the wet looking stripes paving each lane of the major … Continue reading Smudgy View
During our spiritual exercises weekend, Fr William told so many awesome stories to illustrate his points on our spiritual journey toward Christ. One story that affected me greatly was the story of the stones. Women who had suffered through an abortion were invited on a spiritual retreat weekend, whereby they were given a stone to … Continue reading The Rock and The Stone
Dark Night of the Soul
On a recent two-day adventure with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius leading the format, in a silent weekend of wooded bliss, on top of a hill dominated by the love of our Dominican Sisters and their magnificent retreat house, I had tea with the Mother of God. Mama Mary, as our family refers … Continue reading Tea With Mama
Recently I had a conversation with a relative and dear friend about religion. Being raised in faith that felt to her to be heavily tainted with superstition, she often uses the word "religion" as she might any other distasteful thing that gets in our way of knowing and loving Jesus and God, Our Father. I … Continue reading RELIGION VS. CHURCH; MORE “POLITICAL CORRECTION”
Last night we watched the movie "Miracles From Heaven" together as a family. It was a spiritual and emotional journey through the life of a mother whose daughter has a rare intestinal disease. The mother, played by the perfectly perplexed Jennifer Garner, was in a horrendous state of emotional pain as she watched her little … Continue reading Leaky Faucet
March 2, 2016 Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9; Psalm 147, Matthew 5:17-19 Today’s readings were about God’s goodness to His people (Jerusalem) and how important it is that we remember His law, and don’t expect that law to change to fit our perspective of the world, but to be careful and guard our adherence to that law. … Continue reading Part of a Letter
I am back to square one here in our new state of residence, Tennessee. Dear friends would remind me that it one of the top five stressers in a person's life to relocate, and the greater the distance, the greater the stress (she added for effect). So from Ohio to Tennessee may only be 6-7 hour … Continue reading Let Him Gaze Upon You
My favorite place; on a kneeler before Him...
"That is the dignity of America, the reason she exists, the condition of her survival, yes, the ultimate test of her greatness: to respect every human person, especially the weak and most defenseless ones, those as yet unborn." Pope John Paul II
"As believers, how can we fail to see that abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are a terrible rejection of God's gift of life and love? And as believers, how can we fail to feel the duty to surround the sick and those in distress with the warmth of our affection and the support that will … Continue reading Pope John Paul II
Today I attended a funeral service for a baby. A baby that was awaited by three big sisters and two loving parents who went through a great deal of trauma to bring her into the world, only to have her pronounced dead before she was pronounced "born". The parents were given a death certificate but … Continue reading Death before Life?
Checking out at the grocery the other day, Cirque had a few items in the basket that she had picked up in the hair "pretties" section of the store, as I searched for the shampoo that matched my coupon in the same row. A few minutes later, I noticed something sticking out while waiting in line … Continue reading Mas–scary
My sweet friend Kate and I were talking the other day about what it is like to have a teenager. Kate has three adorable little dark-haired boys with camel length eyelashes, dark hair and brains the likes of which most 30 somethings I know do not have. I was sharing my latest egomaniacal sufferings of having … Continue reading Kiss Me Kate
Jesus asked St. Thomas Aquinas what he wanted...."You have written me well, Thomas," he said, and offered him anything Thomas wanted in return. "Nothing Lord. I am doing it all for You," is all the saint could say. From Adore Te (St. Thomas Aquinas) O Thou memorial of our Lord's own dying! O living bread, … Continue reading You have written me well….
The Catholic Encyclopedia describes sins of omission as the following: "(Latin omittere, to lay aside, to pass away). "Omission" is here taken to be the failure to do something one can and ought to do. If this happens advertently and freely a sin is committed. Moralists took pains formerly to show that the inaction implied … Continue reading Sins of Omission
Can you imagine otters without water? Have you ever watched them at the zoo? They constantly move and play and swim. They don't do a lot of laying around. You can always count on the otter exhibit for entertainment. It isn't like the lions who you think are going to be prowling about and attacking … Continue reading Otters with a Challenge
I am reading "Where There is Love There is God" which is a collection of quotes by Mother Theresa. We know the devil works his best through those relationships that are closest and dearest to us because our value is so wrapped up in them. Throughout the day I am always hearing a little voice … Continue reading All in the Family
Easter give us the most wonderful tools as mothers....graces, graces, graces, and little plastic eggs. Huh? Yes, you heard me. The season of Easter goes on for weeks, use those leftover plastic eggs again and again. Write down the chores that need done for the day on small slips of paper, and then stuff them … Continue reading Easter Chore Ideas
This Lent was such a roller coaster of devotion for me. I began by participating with my prayer team in the "Game On Diet" (modified version). We were to spend 30 days (or 4 weeks) following a regimen which included, but was not limited to, getting at least 7 hours sleep per night, drinking about … Continue reading There is pain in the offering…
We now interrupt this irregularly scheduled program to bring you the usual commercial for the sacrament of Pennance, or CONFESSION!! Everyone's favorite topic. Not because I am on my high horse, but because I need it so much.... Ok, so you are perfect and you don't need forgiveness. You didn't do anything. OR you did … Continue reading Clean Your House; Make Way for Grace
A bull in a china shop...you've heard that one. That was me, and still is some days. Zeal makes us and breaks us. We get a fire in our heart for God and we want to tell the world. It's like falling in love. We get this indescribable joy, and we want to jump on … Continue reading A Cow in a China Shop
I guess it is good that Lent is late this year. I usually use the excuse that living in sun-deprived Ohio, we have little need to "give up" things for Lent. Lent is a season of self-denial, and self-sacrifice in reflection of the 40 days Our Lord spent fasting and praying in the desert. Lent in … Continue reading Snow Daze…..
The cover of our parish bulletin this week (printed text from Philip J. Sandstrom, STD) read "He is God, not of the dead, but of the living!' As brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus, the first-born from the dead, we rest assured that death's sting is a springboard to life with him. We who … Continue reading God of the Living
We begin our church calendar in November with the feast of All Saints, and the feast of All Souls. My friend, Maggie calls me up on All Saints' Day and says "Happy Feast Day! Today is all of our feast day!" How beautiful! She is correct. These two days in the church calendar mark God's … Continue reading All Souls
Wow. Today was a big one. Long (we got that extra hour of sleep in consolation for the upcoming winter), and a benchmark of sorts. We made our first high school visit today for LB. Yes, for those of you reading who went to public school, like myself, this was a high school visit. You … Continue reading Higher School
There are some people in our lives who sit quietly, listening, paying close attention, and planning their next move. Katrina is one of them. Kat listens to the little things you say; she watches as you gently touch a scarf in the store that appeals to you, or if you say "yum" to a certain brand … Continue reading Katrina Knows…
When I read the synopsis of this film in the paper, I knew it was for me. The story of a poet and his love affair with a pure-hearted young woman in the midst of a creative slump. The girl, next to penniless and of no position in society, lived with her widowed mother and … Continue reading “Bright Star”
Did you know that sunshine in Ohio is scarce? In case you didn't, let me give you an example. We have had some monster winters and there has been an increase in the number of vitamin D-deficient people in our neck of the woods. For Spring Break, we traveled to the south, where we met … Continue reading 20 Minutes of Son
A friend of mine is struggling with her oldest daughter, who continues to be in a bad relationship where neither the daughter, nor her fiance, has a steady job or medical insurance. These are the parents of my friend's only grand baby and have recently decided to get married, despite lack of income and a harried existence looming around them. … Continue reading Just Buy the Dress
I recently had a conversation with a dear one, discussing the dryness of prayer at times. It was the book recently published about Blessed Theresa of Calcutta's "dark night of the soul" that gave way to the discussion that even the faithful suffer a loss of feeling the Lord's presence in their prayer at times. Remember … Continue reading Seeking to Console Him
LB just made it back from camp today. Hair with remnants of the mud pit, bruises from paintball, and a nasty rash on his chest that he says is from the recurrent friction of grass from a huge, soapy tarp dubbed the "slip and slide", his raspy voice was the dot on the exclamation of … Continue reading Camp wow
Did you know that as your day goes on, you can make every little thing a prayer? These summer months present a challenge to us as moms and I hear more often than not that people "don't have time for prayer" in the summer months, with all the commotion and "present company" being kept at … Continue reading Small Sacrifices
We got the dress on clearance at a very "fru fru" store. We practiced the hair style, shopped for shoes--10 stores and perhaps 27 pairs tried on--and bought tights. We discussed jewelry, and it was decided that pearls were the most appropriate and flattering. Even little complimentary earrings were purchased. But meeting Jesus for the first … Continue reading First Family Communion
God uses every moment we give him. I didn't get far with my morning offering today. It seems the spiritual forces are in serious conflict during this Holy Week, and distractions are far from sparse. So on the way to get my brakes fixed this morning, I prayed, "I offer You this day, my prayer, … Continue reading I will worship while I’m waiting…
So you can't be in church in all week. Your boss can't give you the time off, your two-year-old doesn't understand "SSSHHHH!!" for the three-hundred and thirty-ninth time, and your school-aged children are going to turn into a McD's french fry if you have to drive through one more time. But there are many ways we as … Continue reading Simple Ways to Observe Holy Week
"Have you ever heard the term 'small potatoes'?" He asked, as I kneeled looking at the pretty lattice-work that parted us in the confessional. "Hmmm, I think so." I was frozen with curiosity and hanging on his every word. "You know, it is like when something happens and you have to decide, is it a big … Continue reading Small Potatoes
"PRAY your prayers".
I wasn't sure which was more humorous, the fact that the boy who was to spell "WALK" in the first round tripped on his way up to the mic to spell it, or that the girl who had the word "QUICKLY" took the longest pause of the evening to think carefully about its spelling. Maybe … Continue reading Spelling B-E-E?
"I got these tettoos for 30 cents Mom! Isn't that great? I am ready for the next spirit day!" Cirque chirped as she glided the "Go Green!" tattoos before my eyes quickly. "It isn't 'tettoos', it is "Tattoos", as in T-a-t-t-o-o-s...." retorted JD, with his annoyed big brother voice and a shake of his head. "Whatever! Aren't … Continue reading Confessions of a Shop-a-holic
My sweet sister recently took little Cirque to a little girl's day spa for her birthday. It was a wonderful girl's day full of glitter, hair-do's (of course Cirque picked the style called "Diva") and "Ode de Cupcake" as Auntie Mee called it. It was a cupcake-scented glitter hair spray that wafted over the crowds at … Continue reading Cheap and Sassy
I have many memorable moments from Ash Wednesdays past. It seems to me that perhaps every year begins Lent with a new spiritual growth theme for me, which becomes clear and evident on Ash Wednesday. I took a big gulp and said it. I asked for it. I said the words "Lord, let me feel … Continue reading Humility Granted: an Ash Wednesday to Remember
Ash Wednesday has become one of my favorite days of the year. It isn't because it is the day following the indulgence of Mardi Gras, or because it is a time to start the spring break "diet", but because it has always been a day of clarity. Not just spiritual clarity such as "Ok, what … Continue reading Ashes to Begin the Journey
Jeanne had an appointment with a doctor in a not-s0-great part of town, partially the reason she may have been able to sell this dental practice at a "low low deal". She told him to meet her around noon, and when she arrived just before, she entered the empty office space and then locked the doors, watching … Continue reading Easy Come, Easy Go
We sign on the dotted line all the time these days. We sign away on credit card slips, checks to pay bills, petitions, permission slips, and who knows how many times we sign our name when we complete a mortgage loan for a new home? But a most beautiful and deliberate signing of names was … Continue reading Please sign here…
My daughter is a strong girl. Actually her dad calls her "All girl with a fist" as a take-off of the better known "Stands With Fist" from the movie "Dances With Wolves". Aptly named, when her brother suggested she do Amelia Earhart for her latest school report, a biography, she was very content. Kids in … Continue reading If the boot fits…
I have heard through many resources and personal accounts that a weekly family meeting can be beneficial in a home. It has pressed on my heart recently to have a moment on Sunday evenings to sit down and have a family meeting, which would include prayer, formation, and small goals to focus on growing in virtue for … Continue reading Family Meeting
From Words of Love for Mom: Loving a child doesn't mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to what what is difficult. --Nadia Boulanger
Mk 2:22-30 “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand”. Upon first reflection of this gospel passage, I examined in fear any time I may have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, since this passage ends with the warning that that is the unforgiveable sin. The fear of perhaps … Continue reading Mark 2:22-30 A Divided House
I caught a flick today (actually yesterday and today, divided among the folding of about 12 loads of laundry). Knowing very little about the movie "Paris 36", which was in fact in French with English subtitles, I had little expectation on selecting it from our "On-Demand" list, except a slight hope of seeing a bit of Europe … Continue reading Paris 36
"And what would you say Mr. Darcy, would you consider pride a fault or a virtue?" Continuing with Jane Austen month reflections, we must begin at the beginning. Pride. Pride is considered a virtue in so many ways. We have pride for our country, pride for our home (name a sausage after it), pride in … Continue reading Jane on Virtue
I love the movie Pride and Prejudice. The latest film version of this amazing classic novel by Jane Austin offers me a small taste of simplicity. Perhaps even bordering on a vice, the escape from the present day "Culture of Mean" (something isn't considered funny unless it hurts someone else) has meant so much to me … Continue reading Pride and Prejudice Press
My first reflection in a while. There is a game idea in here adaptable for youth groups or families!
Grammy's Thanksgiving has always been a bit special. It is the catch-all dinner. By that, I don't mean a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where we eat popcorn, toast, and whatever else the cupboard has to offer--no, I mean it is the place where every lonely heart is welcome. It has become a slow-grown tradition over the years that … Continue reading Grateful to Contribute
A prayer meeting the other day began with a brief bit of formation on Christ the King. This beautiful feast day which takes place the last Sunday of Ordinary Time before Advent in the Catholic church, was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Ironically, 80+years ago he felt that the world was in a decline … Continue reading A Feast Fit for Christ the King
When I get the chance to pop in a favorite flick of mine, there is a certain list I return to again and again. They are some of your typical "chick flicks", but also on occasion something a little different catches my eye. I cannot determine why, but certain moods evoke certain movies, and since … Continue reading Mom’s Movie Night
My cupboards reflect my moods. When things are tougher in our home, like recently with busy schedules and several bouts of illness, my pantry is a banquet-to-be of "non-food". I don't mean paper products, I mean highly processed stuff full of carbs, fat, salt, sugar and such. The greatest solution to this for our family, … Continue reading Out of Sight, Out of Mind
When I was a youth minister, I took some time getting to know the kids on my leadership team. We would have meetings and talk and sometimes they would drop by after school and hang out in my office, telling me about their day. They accepted whatever it was that I could offer to them … Continue reading The Purple Present
LB sets the standard in our home. He is the one who will gently correct with the most righteous answer to a problem, and coerce a little brother or sister to do his or her job without a fuss, and offer reward ("I will play Mariokart with you if you do what Mommy said") for a … Continue reading Little Bosco Wisdom
Jeanne checked in at the conference hotel a few hours early. She wanted to unload her luggage and freshen up after the long drive. As she checked Jeanne into her room, the front desk clerk squealed with excitement "OOHH! You are our 1000th guest! You have won a free room upgrade, free breakfast buffet, complimentary appetizer during our … Continue reading Queen for a Day…
Take some time to think about the gift of free speech and how to use it to serve the Lord. Here are some thoughts: "May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favor in your sight, O Lord." (Ps 19:15) "We can use our treasured capacity for speech to offer … Continue reading Reflect on Pslam 141
What I love about Jeanne....Oh where to begin?Jeanne is the baby of 10 kids. Her mother, a devoted Irish Catholic, trusted her family to the Lord and was a faithful servant in bringing about some of the most amazing souls! Jeanne, being the youngest, was 20 years apart from the oldest in the family. Her mother, … Continue reading Jeanne The Archangle
New to the neighborhood, a zealous Jeanne skimmed the church bulletin looking for opportunities to become involved. Alas! An opportunity that sounded perfect for her vibrant spirit and excellent communication skills. The parish was in need of small group leaders. These leaders would help coordinate services from different parish groups. The participants in the groups were … Continue reading Jeanne the Archangle Earns Her Wings
I was a youth minister for almost four years. Four wonderful, faith-filled, warm-hearted years. Those years taught me more about my faith than I think I taught those junior and senior high school students about their Catholic faith. I have several friends (even a few of the kids from my old youth group) who are … Continue reading A lesson in Trust and Faith