Thursday, December 29, 2011

No Rest for the Abortion Mill

Yesterday we remembered all those baby boys who were killed in King Herod's campaign to eliminate his competition - baby Jesus.  We all know that he failed in that regard yet many young baby boys were martyred and are considered the first martyrs called Holy Innocents.  Today with my mind heavy with the martyred babies, I returned to the abortion clinic to pray.  Once there, I learned that the abortion doctor had the day off and had a replacement taking over the abortion duties. 

Before I arrived, one of the scheduled patients and her husband, changed their minds about aborting their baby after talking to a sidewalk counselor.  Please pray for Aliyah and her husband to stand strong in their decision to keep their third baby.

Even with this great news, the other young faces that left the office, haunt me still.  It was another busy day.  I cried again today after watching one young college age girl and her boyfriend leave.  She walked out very slowly and carefully as if each step hurt her.  I'm guessing it hurt physically but her emotional pain was evident.  She hung her head in shame and cried.  Her boyfriend covered her in a big Chicago Blackhawks blanket and was attempting to console her with no success.  He obviously loved her in his tender care of her and she will need his support as she goes through this aftermath of emotion.   I don't know their names or circumstances, but I pray for them that they turn to God for forgiveness, healing and peace.  Her face has popped up in my memory repeatedly today and each time I'm offering up prayers for her.

Jesus protect and save the unborn!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Today we remember in the Catholic Church all of the innocent boys from infancy to 2 years of age who lived in Bethlehem and were martyred by King Herod in his attempt to kill the baby who would grow up to be the King of the Jews.

Here is a blessing I found at Catholic Culture that you can do with your own children:

The father leads everyone present in the Our Father. Then he says the versicle, "O Lord, hear my prayer," and all respond, "And let my cry come unto You." The father proceeds with this prayer, taken from the blessing for children:

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, once You embraced and placed Your hands upon the little children who came to You, and said: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and their angels always see the face of my Father!" Look now with fatherly eyes on the innocence of these children and their parents' devotion, and bless them this day through our ministry. (The father signs the forehead of each child with the sign of the cross.) In Your grace and goodness let them advance continually, longing for You, loving You, fearing You, keeping Your commandments. Then they will surely come to their destined home, through You, Savior of the world. Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
All answer, "Amen."
Then the father says to the children: "May God bless you. And may He keep your hearts and minds — the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit."
All answer, "Amen."

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Christmas Story

I saw this sweet video of children re-enacting the story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus and wanted to share it.  I love the young child's voice who is narrating the story!


Linking up with Michelle from Liturgical Time blog.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Cried Today

My day started out great.  I went to daily mass and then stayed to pray with my rosary group.  I quickly came home to walk the dog for 30 minutes and then went to fulfill one of my on-going spiritual gifts to Jesus.  I returned to the abortion center to pray for an hour or so.  The mood was different today even though we had planned on meeting and singing Christmas songs as well as praying.  When I arrived, I was informed that the clinic was busier than usual.  I checked their website and they're still offering 20% of an abortion surgery.  Perhaps that would explain the increase in appointments to day?

photo credit

One of the sidewalk counselors had learned and attempted to talk to 15 women... yes, 15 women who had scheduled abortions for today.  More than usual for a Thursday and it is a few days before Christmas.  As I arrived, a mom, dad and young teenage daughter left the clinic following their abortion.  Mom and dad with rigid backs were filled with anger and refused to look at us.  Their daughter looked as they drove out of the parking lot.  She looked at us with confusion.  She was most likely told that she was doing the right thing but then she probably wondered, "why are people out here praying for me NOT to have an abortion?"

We continued to sing and pray as we watched couples leave the clinic and one couple in particular, made my heart ache.  They looked to be a young college couple who obviously hadn't planned to have a baby at this time in their lives but because of their actions and choices, a baby was conceived by the grace of God.  That little life was snuffed out this morning and my tears flowed.  I could see the boyfriend attempting to console his girlfriend and encourage her that she did the right thing.

I don't know them or their current circumstance but I do know this:
a young college-age girl with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, will regret this decision.  
She will try to bury it but her feelings will push through one day.
She will anguish over this decision.  
She will hate herself for it one day.  
And I pray that she turns to God and asks for forgiveness for she will be forgiven.  
God's mercy is great. 
I pray that she learns to forgive herself.  

photo credit

This was not how I wanted my Advent Season to come to a close but it is what it is.  Please join me in prayer for all these women who entered Dr. Goyal's office of death this morning and believed they were doing the right thing.  Or that they had no other choice.  I pray that their eyes will be opened by the grace of God so they can repent and then heal from their pain.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Blessings & Giveaways

Last week in the mail, I received a B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. clay bracelet from Sarah of The Clay Rosary Girl blog.  She makes all of the jewelry herself out of clay.  Seriously... by hand she makes each bead from clay.  It must take her hours to work on each piece.  Besides bracelets, she also makes rosaries out of beads.  She is one talented artist that has used her God-given talents for us!!

Earlier this month she offered two bracelets as a giveaway,  "Jesus in My Heart" and Clay Music Beads.   They are both beautiful and I said if I won, I would be thrilled to have either piece.  Here is the one I won!!

I'm a big fan of Sarah's work.  Here is where I bought two bracelets from Sarah back in June.  I kept the black and white cross bracelet for myself since my son picked that one out for me.  The pretty daisy bracelet I gave to one of my goddaughters.  Thank you Sarah!!

Back in October, I entered another giveaway from Carol at Simple Catholic Living blog.  She was giving away 4 handmade crocheted snowflake ornaments made by her friend Anne.  I was the lucky winner on that one!  Thank you Carol for hosting the giveaway and to the designer Anne fromLiving in the Two Hearts blog!!

The pictures do not reveal the simple beauty of each one.  They are just lovely and they make smile just by hanging on my Christmas tree!   I feel blessed to be the lucky recipient of these giveaways!!

A Blessing~  This past week, I went back to the abortion clinic to pray and another young man and woman changed their minds about their scheduled abortion that morning.  One of the sidewalk counselors talked with them for a long time, they went in, cancelled their appointment and left.  Please pray for Rebecca and Ernesto who are both 20 years old and have decided to have their baby.  They have so many other decisions to make and they need our prayers to keep strong in their decision!!

Advent Blessings to All,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Color Me Catholic Review

I was given the generous opportunity to review the Color Me Catholic Craft Kit by Monica of Arma Dei and Equipping Catholic Families.  She brilliantly created a fun and easy way to teach children about what they see in Mass as well as the changes in the New Roman Missal.  For those who are just beginning to learn about the Catholic Mass or who have a basic knowledge, it was a solid instruction tool.   There are 10 mini-booklets made in a perfect size for children's hands that I downloaded in black and white.  My son helped me with the coloring of the booklets and it's folder. The areas that are covered are: Treasured Vessels, Vestments & Symbols, Church Furnishings, Parts of the Mass, and Sacraments & Sacramentals.  Also included are the phrases from the New Roman Missal Mass to help children as well as adults learn the new vernacular.

To download the pages, it's easiest if your printer has a double sided setting which mine did not. After contacting Monica through email, she responded promptly and instructed me on how to print them manually.  I was able to print them a page at a time and then flipped the page over to print side two on the back.  It took a little more effort but it wasn't difficult.  The labeling is clear on how to assemble the mini-booklets, but in case there is confusion, Monica has a Color Me Catholic Tutorial on YouTube which can help.

I brought my Color Me Catholic Kit to my First Grade Religious Education Class this morning to teach my students about the Mass.  I could tell immediately, that they loved the size of the books and they went through them swiftly asking many questions.  They enjoyed pointing out what they knew but most of it was new to them.  They spontaneously quizzed each other to see who knew the answer to the question.  It was a great tool to generate conversation about what they see in Church, what it is used for and who wears or uses which item.  I plan to use this as an on-going learning experience for my class and then bring them into Church to make the connection.  My 11 year old son even learned a thing or two while looking through the mini-booklets.

I would highly recommend the Color Me Catholic Kit for use in a classroom or at home.  Children will enjoy learning about the Mass by using these mini-booklets.  You can purchase your own kit at Arma Dei and while you're there, check out all the other teaching tools, crafts and activities she has to offer.  I still use her Reverence & Awe Collector Cards and Cathletics Playing Cards with my students.  Her products are easy to use and their colorfulness spark the imagination of the user.

Thank you Monica for the opportunity for a free copy of your Color Me Catholic Kit in exchange for my review!

I am linking up with RAnn at Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival and NOBH ~ No Ordinary Blog Hop. Please come and check out the many wonderfully talented Catholic Bloggers at Sunday Snippets!  RAnn you are wonderful for gathering us here each week!  Don't forget to check out NOBH for the many different type of bloggers who blog about giveaways, homeschooling, food, religious, gardening, crafts and family.  The 8 hosts of NOBH doing a fantastic job at managing all these blog posts!  I am blessed to be part of both memes!!

Advent Blessings to All!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Memorial of St. John of the Cross

He was born in Spain in 1542 and died there in 1591.  His entire life wasn't easy.  His father gave up wealth and family to marry his poor mother who he loved.  And then his father died at a young age, leaving his family destitute.  St. John of the Cross learned about poverty, sacrifice and love during these uncertain times.  As an adult, he joined the Carmelite Order and befriended St. Teresa of Avila.  Together, they set out to reform the Carmelite Order but received great resistance.  Members of his own order kidnapped him and jailed him for nine months before he escaped.  During his imprisonment, he wrote poetry to God.  His faith and reliance on God thrived in his desolation.  St. John did escape and spent the rest of his life sharing his experiences of loving God.  You can read more about St. John of the Cross here and here.

Here is part of one of his most favorite poems The Spiritual Canticle:


Where have You hidden Yourself, 
And abandoned me in my groaning, O my Beloved? 
You have fled like the hart, 
Having wounded me. 
I ran after You, crying; but You were gone.

O shepherds, you who go 
Through the sheepcots up the hill, 
If you shall see Him 
Whom I love the most, 
Tell Him I languish, suffer, and die.

In search of my Love 
I will go over mountains and strands;
I will gather no flowers, 
I will fear no wild beasts;
And pass by the mighty and the frontiers.

O groves and thickets 
Planted by the hand of the Beloved; 
O verdant meads 
Enameled with flowers, 
Tell me, has He passed by you?

Advent Blessings to all,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Praying at an Abortion Clinic

I'm linking up with RAnn today at Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival!  Thank you RAnn for bringing us all together each week!

Last week, I went and prayed on a public sidewalk outside an Abortion Clinic in my city on a very cold morning.  I have to say, I was nervous that I would be confronted, screamed at and mocked. But then I thought of those little babies who cannot fight for themselves when their mothers decide to end their life for reasons known only unto them.  Whether they consciously know what they are doing or not... I pray for these mothers.    This must be an agonizing, lonely decision and I feel for the mothers and the fathers.

I went on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for 1 1/2 hours and learned a new pro-life rosary prayer and then I sang Immaculate Mary and as many other Christian songs I knew.  It was very cold so I was moving up and down the sidewalk as I prayed and sang.  Many passerby's honked and waved their support to us and with the exception of one upset patient, it was peaceful.

Dr. Goyal is the abortion doctor who proudly lists this service on his website here.  He also has a button on his sidebar indicating he is an "Illinois Abortion Clinic Member."  As if that is a status to be proud of?  He has no shame even though it was one of his other clinics that was recently closed.

I clicked on this button and guess what? 
He is offering a couple of special discounts:

 $20 off surgery for an abortion or $10 off exam fee.

What a deal!  You can even save money by ending a life!

Somewhere deep in your soul, Dr. Goyal, you must know this is wrong!  
You trained to protect and save life... not end it.

A few weeks ago, Veronica had a scheduled abortion with Dr. Goyal and after talking to the sidewalk counselors from Northwest Families for Life, she changed her mind.  I've no doubt that God will bless her for his decision but she needs our prayers!  I do not know her or her circumstances but she is one courageous lady who decided to stand for what is right ~ life for her baby!

Dr. Goyal and staff... I am praying for you that the scales be removed from your eyes and you will see what you've done and turn to God and repent your sins.  He will forgive you!

Advent Blessings to All,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Today is the special day that we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!  Without the special graces given to Mary from God and without Mary's yes, we wouldn't have the most special gift of all ~ Jesus!

Let us pray,
[That through the prayers
of the sinless Virgin Mary,
God will free us from our sins.]
You prepared the Virgin Mary
to be the worthy mother of your son.
You let her share beforehand
in the salvation
Christ would bring by his death,
and kept her sinless
from the first moment of her conception.
Help us by her prayers
to live in your presence without sin.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 
New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal

Advent Blessings to All,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Memorial of St. Ambrose

Today I posted about the Memorial of St. Ambrose over at Community of Catholic Bloggers.  
Come and join me over there!

Advent Blessings,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Feast of St. Nicholas

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!  

He was a generous and loving Bishop in the 4th Century of Myra.  There are many legends as to his generosity and his wish to remain anonymous.  Here are a few that I've read about:

It's been said that he gave bags of gold to a very poor father so he wouldn't have to sell his 3 daughters into slavery for he had no money to offer as a dowry.

Another legend is that he was on ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea that drove through a horrible thunderstorm for 2 days and the sailors begged him to pray that they all be delivered from the storm safely.  This prayer was answered for on the morning of the third day, the storm passed and all survived.

It's also been said that through the power of God, he was able to perform a miracle when he waved his crosier over 3 dead boys who'd been murdered, and they came back to life.  He lived during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, who demanded that all of his citizens worship him and not God.  St. Nicholas is quoted as saying "Churches may fall but Christians must stand."  For this stance, St. Nicholas and his parishioners were thrown into jail for ten long years where they endured starvation and cold.  When Constantine ascended to the thrown in Rome, he converted to Christianity and freed all of the Christians from jail.  St. Nicholas lived on for a very long time leading people to Jesus.

For more information on fun ways to celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas please go to St. Nicholas Center.

Advent Blessings to all!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I'm about 2/3 through reading the book, Joshua, by Joseph Girzone and it is called a modern day parable.  The main character, Joshua, is a carpenter who is gifted in sculpting statues made of wood.  He moves to a small town, lives very simply and speaks openly to his neighbors. The children are drawn to him and many adults are too; however, he meets challenges for his frankness in discussing religion.  He doesn't set out to discuss religion, but he doesn't shy away from answering questions on how Christians "got it wrong" by recreating all the rules and traditions that force a form of bondage in their congregations.  He talks again and again how Jesus came to set people free to love God and not get caught up in a church's structure.   He visits many different churches, including a synagogue, which confounds and frustrates the people he meets.  They are mystified by his ability to discuss the time of Jesus to the problems in our current churches.  His directness has earned him many friends and a few enemies.  The challenges he faces come from the religious leaders of the community.

I am at the part where the religious leaders are feeling threatened by his influence over the people of their churches and town.  It's obvious from the beginning, that Joshua is really Jesus who has come back to our modern age.  I'm unsure of the ending but I'm hoping it's not some form of a modern day nailing of the cross.  I like this character very much and I'm hoping he doesn't go through the pain and suffering that Jesus did over 2,000 years ago.

Has anyone read this book?  My son read it at school and recommended it and in fact, hounded me to read it so we could discuss it.  I'm anxious to get to the end but also to learn who is this author, Joseph Girzone?  And what else has he written?


Friday, December 2, 2011

You're Never Too Old To Enjoy A Picture Book

I've seen many great Advent books listed in other blogs herehere and here.   Instead of buying them I've been putting holds on them at the library and going almost daily to pick them up.  They're all picture books and I have them piled up on a table in my house.  I've found my 11 year old, reading through them and either laughing or commenting on learning something new.  I've enjoyed reading them myself and will be bringing them to my Religious Ed class this weekend to share with my first graders.  So thank you to Jessica, Jen and Tiffany!

There is a sweet tradition that I saw on Gardenia's Love My Little Flower blog.  She wraps up her Advent books, one for each night, and then her daughter unwraps one book a night that they read together.  Most are old favorite books but she will buy a new one or two to add in each year.  I thought that was a great way to enjoy reading about the Advent Season.

Here are the books I've already picked up from my local library:

The Baker's Dozen by Aaron Shepard

The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi

The Miracle of Saint Nicholas by Gloria Whelan

Saint Nicholas by Ann Tompert

The Nativity: From the Gospels of Matthew and Luke: by Ruth Sanderson

Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Jane Chapman

This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten

The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola

Las Posadas by Jennifer Blizin Gillis (English version)

Strega Nona's Gift by Tomie DePaola

Mary of Nazareth by Cecil Bodker

I can't wait for the rest to come in!

I've joined Jessica from Shower of Roses today to share my Advent Books with many others!  Come and check it out.

And if you're looking for the St. Andrew Novena you can find a beautiful printable novena card at Joyfilled Family blog.  Thank you Lena!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

A Call to Prayer

I just learned this evening that one of my blogging buddies had lost her house from Hurricane Irene this past August.  Nanette from The Crooked Halo blog had disappeared from the blogosphere and I thought she'd just taken a break... I had no idea that her home was destroyed and she had to move to Florida to live with her son.

Please pray for her that her faith in God continues to be her rock during this most difficult time!  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent and St. James Intercisus

I'm linking up to RAnn's Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival today!  RAnn does a fabulous job gathering Catholic Bloggers every week to share posts about our faith.  Thank you RAnn!

Today is the beginning of a new year for us Catholics!  Today is the first Sunday in Advent!  While the world is busy with the holiday sales, let us not forget what's most important ~ the birth of Jesus Christ.   I first saw this really cool Advent video on Tracy's A Slice of Smith Life blog and wanted to share it here too. I think it explains the difference of those who get caught up in the secular meaning of Christmas and those who are celebrating Advent for what it is... the expectant and joyful waiting for Our Savior to be born!

This is a sacred holiday season for Christians and I was curious if there was a saint who shared today's date with the first Sunday of Advent.  And there is:

St. James Intercisus

St. James Intercisus who was born around 375 and died a martyr's death in 421.   He was a Persian military officer that was favored by King Yezdigerd I and was put to the test when the king began persecuting Christians.  St. James initially failed this test and renounced his belief in Jesus in order to save his life.  After King Yezdigerd died, King Bahram ascended to the throne of Persia and this time, St. James refused to deny Jesus as the Son of God.  For this confession, St. James suffered a horrible gruesome death.  His body was cut into pieces and when that didn't kill him, King Bahram had him beheaded.  He is the patron saint of lost vocations and torture victims.

I come away with this connection of St. James and the first day of Advent... Jesus was born in order to die for our sins.  St. James was born and died for his love of Jesus.  He is an extreme example of following Jesus admist real trials and sufferings.  Real ones.  How easy we have it here in America to celebrate Advent and not have to worry about dying for this conviction.  We are blessed more than we can possibly imagine or appreciate.

Michael of Reach Paradise posted on Community of Catholic Bloggers last month of an eye opening fact.   Something to the effect of American Catholics commenting on "how they hope the mass isn't too long because they have a party" and Catholics in Sudan, India and Egypt "pray that they won't get killed at mass today."  They live in the life of St. James Intercisus ~

 loving and following Jesus could cost you your life.

This Advent Season I want to be very mindful of the blessings I have here in America, in my family and in my own home!


Friday, November 25, 2011

I Blog Jesus Award

The amazingly creative Monica from Equipping Catholic FamiliesArma Dei and the creator of the I Blog Jesus Award; and one of the sweetest, kindest bloggers, Sue from Sue Elvis Writes both nominated me for the I Blog Jesus Award!

Monica, who designed this new award, has probably created the most important type of award that I could receive... to honor Jesus in my blog!  All of the other ones are fun and make me smile, yet this one makes me feel humble.  I do my best to blog about topics that glorify The Holy Trinity and Our Lady.

In a little over a month, I will have been blogging as Rosary Mom, for one year.  The blessings that have flowed from the connections I have made from other fabulous Catholic bloggers is astounding.  My faith has deepened and the knowledge gained has inspired me to learn more.

God can be glorified through the internet!

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11

Now it's my turn to nominate several other blogs who are worthy to receive the I Blog Jesus Award. I know of many more than several but after prayer, these bloggers come to mind:

Victor from Time for Reflections ~ his sense of humor is so unique and refreshing as he gives us his Fr. Ignatius stories.  He is also a great supporter and encourager of everyone he knows!

Michael from Reach Paradise ~ he is an author from the Community of Catholic Bloggers who writes concise thought provoking posts.  He challenges you to go beyond the expectation of daily living and live with Jesus at the foremost of you mind.

Judy from Ben Makes Ten ~  her love for Christ, her family and others is evident in her blogging.  She has a depth of knowledge of our faith that leaves me inspired to live according to God's word.

Trish from Lily-Rose Cottage ~ is a lovely lady who gathers bloggers once a week to share posts that are:  Whatever is... Lovely, Admirable, Cheerful and Encouraging.  She has a gift for writing that is encouraging and gentle.  I imagine her to be a real lady!

Lena from Joyfilled Family ~ she is one of the most organized and detailed bloggers of the Catholic Faith.  She is on top of blogging about the feast days of the liturgical calendar and her ministry, Little Flowers.  She uses beautiful pictures in her posts of Our Lord and all his angels and saints, Our Lady and her own lovely family.

Tricia from Saint Bound Sinner ~  she has a very relatable style of writing that draws the reader in while teaching about the apostles, church fathers and saints.  I believe she is a new blogger as well and she is doing a wonderful job of glorifying Jesus!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I received this email from this morning and loved Our Lady's message and felt it was so fitting to celebrating Thanksgiving with our loved ones:

Our Lady said on August 25, 1988:

"Dear children, today I invite you all to rejoice in the life which God gives you.  Little children, rejoice in God the Creator because he has created you so wonderfully.  Pray that your life be a joyful thanksgiving, which flows out of your heart like a river of joy.  Little children, give thanks unceasingly for all that you possess, for each little gift which God has given you, so that a joyful blessing always comes down from God upon your life.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

I pray that everyone who reads this post to hear Our Lady's message and I pray that your life be a joyful thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prayers Answered, Abortion Clinic Closed

Last night, our church hosted a meeting for a local pro-life group called Northwest Families for Life and heard some amazing news!  The abortion clinic where this group had been praying on the outside, and my son and I on the inside, recently closed!!!    My son had numerous appointments in that building with a podiatrist and a dermatologist and each time we would bring holy water; and mark the front entrance with the sign of the cross and then go to the gait that blocked the doorway of the abortion clinic, and mark that gait with the holy water.  We then briefly prayed in the hallway before going to his doctor's appointment.  I've blogged about it here and here.

Every Thursday during the 40 Days for Life Campaign this past Lenten Season, this group prayed at this location.  I would see them occasionally there on other days when they learned that the abortion doctor had moved his patients to this location from another one a couple of miles away. Yes, this doctor has 6 medical centers in which he has privileges that he performed abortions in the suburbs of Chicago.  He used to have 7 but now it is down to 6.  Praise God!

At our meeting we had the founder, Ms. Mary Zeien, of The Well of Mercy in Chicago present about their new center that offers housing and education for single mothers and their newborn babies.  Those who choose life, can stay there and receive support- both mom and baby.  We were able to meet one of the moms who lives there and her 3 week old baby.  What a blessing they were to us all!  God has orchestrated the opening of this center so single moms have a place to live, receive support and have their babies.

I am linking up with Trish's Simple Joys today because what could be more joyful than the blessing of a baby?  What could be more joyful than a support system for a single mom opts to have her baby?

What could be more joyful than life?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not My Finest Moment

A couple of months ago, without volunteering, I became a lector for daily mass.   If you know me, I am not a public speaker.  That's way outside of my comfort zone.  I'm a great behind the scenes kind of support person but please, oh please, do not put me in front of a group of people to speak! The request came out of the blue following my pastor's request that I make the Rosary Rally announcement last month.  I dreaded making the announcement yet managed to get through them.  Then my first few attempts as a lector went with some mistakes but generally, it was ok.

Today, when I arrived I learned that I was to lead the congregation in song.  I don't sing.  Or at least, not well.  Our visiting priest kindly told me that I was to sing not him.  Ugh... he had a couple of songs picked out and I chose one that I knew.  Here it is (this is not my church but one that I found on youtube):

I do really like Gather Us In so I sang it, albeit off key at times but I managed to get through it.  One thing I know for sure, I will not be receiving an invitation to join our church choir!!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Mail for Heroes

I learned today from Paper Dali that there is a program through the Red Cross to send Holiday mail to our troops overseas.  Prayers for our troops have been on my mind since we recently celebrated Veteran's Day so, this is the perfect opportunity to continue to show our love and support for their sacrifices!  Without their bravery and sacrifices we wouldn't be free.  If the men and women of the past and present didn't step forward to defend and protect our nation; and defend and protect other nations who cannot defend themselves, we wouldn't have a free nation.

This year on Veteran's Day, we went to Cantigny for their Veteran's Day Celebration.  They had an incredibly moving program called Veteran Voices where they had soldiers dressed in uniform from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm reading actual letters from soldiers who had lived and fought during those wars.  It was extremely explicit in revealing the suffering and trials they went through in war.  They showed pictures and video of these soldiers and it was incredibly moving.  I found myself tearful in thanksgiving and respect for their sacrifices.

Each luminary represented 6 soldiers who died in combat.  As you can imagine, it went on for rows and rows and rows.  Strongly imprinted on my mind was their families that were at home waiting for their loved one to come home.  And when they didn't, my heart ached for their pain.

They did a beautiful job in respecting and celebrating the soldiers of the past and present.

May our fallen soldiers and their families be with God in heaven and may the protective hand of God be upon our soldiers who are in combat.  


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Sobering Question

I read the following question on Judy' Benmakesten Blog:

"What if all I had today were the things I thanked God for yesterday?"  

If everything else I didn't thank God for was taken away, what would I be left with?  A sobering thought because I feel I've been in the prayer mode of requesting things rather than thanking Him for the things I already have.  There is so much need of prayer around me and for some reason prayer of thanksgiving has fallen to the bottom of the list.

Since this is the month dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, I've been praying for my family and friends who've died and for those who have no one praying for them.  Especially on my heart is a middle aged man named Marcus who committed suicide a few weeks ago.  I didn't know him but I met his sister who was in tears at my church asking me to pray for him.  She showed me a happy picture of Marcus which gave no indication of the inner pain he must have been struggling with.  Another person who's been on my mind is a former co-worker of mine who died a couple of weeks ago and I've been praying for him.  He was only 44 years old.

These prayers are important indeed but I must remember to give praise and thanksgiving instead of only praying for my needs and wants.  I must do it daily.  Thank you Judy for blogging about that... it was what I needed to hear!

I'm linking up with Heidi of Sacramental Moments this post for Pondering in My Heart this week.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Thomas!

I just finished reading Sue Elvis' wonderfully emotional book called Grief, Love and Hope:  The Death of Our Baby Thomas.  It is an incredibly open and poignantly raw book of Sue's experience of learning that her unborn baby had a diaphragmatic hernia and wouldn't survive, to the birth of her son and the most precious 28 hours of his life before he went home to God.  Throughout her book she categorizes each part of the journey that she had written down in her journal so she wouldn't forget every precious moment of Thomas' life.   She's included poems, short essays and pictures that her children had written and drawn that adds to the whole picture of Thomas' impact on her entire family.  Very moving indeed and at parts, my heart ached for them, and other parts, my heart rejoiced for them.  Sue's faith in God pulled her through the darkest times of her suffering and she came through it with a stronger faith and trust in God.  She was also blessed with two beautiful daughters after losing Thomas.

Happy Birthday Thomas!!!

My finishing of Sue's book happens to land on Thomas' birthday.  He was born on November 9, 1999 and was called home to God on November 10, 1999.  His time on this earth with his family was incredibly brief but he had a huge impact on their lives.  He is now a saint that they will all meet again one day!

I've no doubt that Sue's book has helped other mothers and will continue to help those who've lost a child to process through this tragedy.  She is openly honest about the range of emotions a mother goes through and how a mother can survive the death of a child.

I'm linking up with Trish at LACE~ Whatever is..Lovely, Admirable, Cheerful and Encouraging.  Phil 4:8


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coaches Behaving Badly

We were at my son's basketball game last night and their team participates in a Catholic school league in the area.   Our team won last night which was great since they lose about half of the games they play.   As for this game, both teams played hard...they really did.  On their way out, the losing team's coaches had an argument in the hallway which escalated into pushing and shoving, which then escalated in profanity.  I didn't see the end of their disagreement since "they took it outside" but I saw the beginning.  One coach was reprimanding the other one for not telling their boys that they had had a good game even though they lost.  They did have a good game.  They were trying their hearts out.

Photo credit.

So why do some coaches behave so badly in front of children?  Is it so devastating to lose a basketball game?  To lose every basketball game?  I know it's frustrating for coaches because they put a lot of their time and efforts in training the kids.  I get that and admire their dedication to working with kids in a positive way.  What I don't get is when their frustration reaches a level where it spills over and creates a scene in front of kids.

Fr. Robert Barron quoted a French writer on a recent Youtube video about what was the worst or saddest thing that could happen to someone.  He said, "not to become a saint.  You can be the president of the U.S. and it's all meaningless if you do not become a saint."

Well, the coaches behavior certainly wasn't saintly and I pray they realize the errors of their ways, forgive each other and apologize to their players and parents who witnessed the argument.

The season is only half over.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


Our culture is full of them... excuses.  We explain why we do what we do or why we don't do something instead of saying "I'm sorry."  We teach our kids to say they're sorry at a young age but somehow it doesn't translate over to adults.  At a mission retreat this week, I heard a priest talk about this very subject and he thinks because our culture is focused on self-interest instead of interest in others, that's where we've lost the thread of accountability that leads to a sincere apology.  He also said he believes that is why the confessionals are not busy with long waiting lines.  We don't even apologize to God for our sins enough because "I was just tired" or "Our schedule is too hectic" or "I didn't sleep well last night" "I can just ask for His pardon in my heart" etc.  Catholics have a wonderful way to repent and feel refreshed by going to reconciliation to receive absolution of our sins.  It truly is refreshing to admit out loud to a priest what I am sorry for.  It's also intimidating too, but I end up feeling like a load has been taken off of my shoulders.

No excuses work with God anyways.  He's heard them all and He knows our motivation behind it because He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves.  And if you really think about it... it's incredibly insulting to Him.  He has given us E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G., including His son who died for us.  It's important to praise and thank Him yet it is more important to ask for His forgiveness.

During the retreat, the priests talked about many things but what struck me the most was I need to stop excusing my behavior and apologize for it.  So, I decided to start first with God by going to confession that evening.  Following the talk, they had 5 priests listening to confessions with long lines of people waiting to apologize for their sins.  I was in that line too to make my own apology to God for what I've done and for what I've failed to do.  It felt good!

"For I will be merciful and gracious towards their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more."    Hebrews 8:12

I'm linking up with Trish at L.A.C.E. this week. Whatever is...Lovely. Admirable. Cheerful. Encouraging.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Being a Christian is Like Being a Pumpkin

I read this elsewhere and it made me smile so I thought I would share...

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.
God picks you, lifts you up and takes you in, and washes all of the dirt off of you.
He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff
- including the seeds of doubt, fear, hate and greed, etc.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see!

Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day of Reflection and Prayer for Peace

World Day of Peace

It's the 25 year anniversary of when Pope John Paul II first invited religious leaders from around the world to an inter-faith prayer service for peace at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy.

In commemoration of Blessed John Paul's Day of World Peace in 1986, Pope Benedict XVI invited religious leaders from around the world to come together for the Day of Prayer for Peace.  There were over 300 religious and non-believers from over 50 countries who attended today's prayer event.

Last night, Pope Benedict said, "It is not the sword of the conqueror that builds peace, but the sword of those who suffer and give up their own lives."  He reminded the faithful that they must journey like Christ:  "not with the might of war or the force of power... but with the giving of self, with love carried to its extreme consequences, even towards our enemies."

I commend the Holy Father for his commitment in bringing together leaders from around the world to pray for peace!  We need more of this!  If the religious leaders from around the world stood firm for peace and justice, our world could be a place where no one has to live in fear.

You can find more information at National Catholic Register or EWTN.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review

Atheist to Catholic: Stories of Conversion was collected and edited by Rebecca Vitz Cherico.  Ms. Cherico compiled eleven conversion stories into her book which brings the reader on a journey of thoughtfulness, disdain, doubt, confusion and faith.  She says of her book "this is a book of seekers who ended up someplace they never intended to go; and yet they went there, even if it was inconvenient, awkward or strange."  Some of the people were cradle Catholics, who left the faith and came back.  Some were raised in either an atheistic household or others in a Protestant denomination household.  Regardless of their religious background, they all seemed to be intellectuals who viewed Catholicism with disinterest or downright contempt.  One of the stories is Ms. Cherico's own father's conversion to Catholicism.

Each story is unique, yet each convert experienced a similar range of emotions as they felt called to the Catholic Church.  It wasn't easy for any of them and it took time and faith for each individual to make their own journey.  As Ms. Cherico states in her introduction "Where we have strength to leave even a little opening.  God rushes in."  Whether we like it or not, God prods us to where He wants us to go!  All we have to do is obey and let Him lead!

This book is a collection of beautiful and heartfelt stories that leave the reader cheering on the convert!  I would highly recommend this book for the hope it offers to people who are searching for truth as well as for us Catholics, it's helps us understand the struggles they go through so we can be more supportive to new converts.  Atheist to Catholic is a 114 page book published by Servant Books, an imprint of St. Anthony Messenger Press in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2011.  You can purchase Atheist to Catholic: Stories of Conversion at Aquinas & More Catholic Goods for $13.99.

I was given a free copy of this book to review from The Tiber River Company.  I received no monetary compensation for this review.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

I've linked up with RAnn at Sunday Snippets, This That and the Other Thing my Mighty Macs post since it seems to be causing so much controversy about whether or not it should have been marketed to Catholics as a Catholic movie.  I haven't seen it yet but I do want and will make that determination for myself.

Please join us and catch up on the many other great Catholic Bloggers that participate each week!  Thank you RAnn for gathering us all together each week!  You are a blessing to us all!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Mighty Macs Movie

This movie was released last night around the nation and I cannot wait to see it!  It's based on a true story of a woman named Kathy Rush who went to Immaculata College in Pennsylvania to coach their women's basketball team in 1971.  Immaculata College is a Catholic School that was founded and run by nuns and I don't think they knew what they were getting when they hired Ms. Rush!  It looks to be a great faith based movie.  Here's a clip:


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Award

What a nice surprise I received from my friend Sue of Sue Elvis Writes.  It's funny though because I am in the middle of asking another blogging friend Lynda of A Heart's Desire Blog to help me improve the look of my blog!  I've been unable to figure out how to center my blog name and another thing or two.  Sue is so kind to like it as it is!!  Thank you Sue!

Part of accepting this award is that I must reveal 7 things about myself that you may not already know about me.  That's a tough one but here it goes:

1.  I'm a casual gal who doesn't enjoy wearing dresses.
2.  I am a procrastinator and I find that is something the Holy Spirit is nudging me out of this habit.
3.  When I was in college and then the workforce, I thought I would never want to be a stay at home mom.
4.  I'm in a partial remission of Rheumatoid Arthritis which means no more heavy medicine!
5.  I'm a strong behind the scenes kind of girl.  Not much for the spotlight.
6.  I used to work as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for mentally ill deaf adults in the inner city.
7.  I went back to college at the age of 25 and stayed to complete my master's degree.

Now it's my turn to nominate 5 bloggers whose blogs are stylishly delightful!  There are so many that qualify in this category so I will nominate the ones that immediately come to mind:

1.  Gardenia from  Love My Little Flower.  Most of you probably know Gardenia for her beautiful photos of her daughter and family.  The beauty of Gardenia's heart flows through her writing whether it be her own blog post or comments on other blogs.

2.  Helen from Catholic Seeking devotes her blog to her love for Christ and His Church.  By reading her blog I stay updated on what is happening in the news related to Catholicism.   She has a pretty new fall template on her blog too!

3.  Monica from Equipping Catholic Families is a gifted artist who uses her talent to teach others about the faith.  Her art work is filled with vibrant color and design that one can't help get excited about faith formation!

4.  Xhonane from Familia Catolica is a new blog to me which has blessed me with many ideas of teaching faith and morals to children.  Xhonane has a heart centered on Jesus and Our Lady that is evident by reading her blog.  I do have to have it translated though!

5.  Mary from Hope Echoes is my prayer blogging partner and I'm truly grateful for her prayers.  She has a similar background of not praying the rosary as a child and being led to it as an adult.   Plus she is a talented quilter.  She is currently working on a baby quilt that is quite lovely!

6.  Anne from Our Gifts of Grace has gorgeous children who take gorgeous photos!  Anne is a great mom who is funny and real in her posting.  You get the feeling that you actually know her through her blog.

I know I went one over but I couldn't help it.  I'm a big fan of the above mentioned blogs and honestly, I could make my list much longer.  I've been blessed by so many bloggers through my 10 months of blogging.

I hope each one of the above bloggers enjoy receiving this award and will happily nominate others as their favorites!  Thank you Sue for thinking of me!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Public Square Rosary Rally 2011

We had a great turnout for our first rosary rally!  We had almost 60 adults and children praying the rosary in union with the rest of the rallies around the country.  What a powerful witness of faith and hope it must have been to the onlookers.

Ours was mostly peaceful in a pretty setting ~ the public sidewalk of our park district site.  Our location was not too far from a railroad crossing and during our one hour of prayer, there were many trains that went by.  This forced the people in the cars to wait on the street and we were the main attraction!!  I pray that many hearts were touched and seeds were planted and that our rally was an instrument of God's loving grace to others.  I hope people were inspired to return to church and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and Our Blessed Virgin Mary!!

Here are a few pictures of our rally in progress:

I am linking up with Heidi's Pondering in my Heart Mondays from Sacramental Moments.  I am pondering on the graces and blessings that poured out on those who drove or walked by our rally.  Communal prayer is a powerful witness that can lead people to Christ.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Mail

I recently received these wonderful Reverence & Awe Collector Cards and Cathletics Playing Cards in the mail from Monica at Equipping Catholic Families.  She has this fabulous website that has many ideas on delivering faith formation to your family or for your class.  She has her own business called Arma Dei where she sells the products that she makes herself!  She's a gifted artist that has devoted her abilities to teaching others about the depth and beauty of our faith.   I love the richness of the colors that she uses in her art work.  Just simply gorgeous!

She's also much more talented that I am in the crafty department.  She took her Reverence & Awe Cards and made them into a matching memory game on juice lids.  My original plan was to re-create her craft but now that I have these beautiful cards, I may leave them be.  They are so colorful and eye catching that any child would be interested in playing with them and learn about the treasures of the Catholic Church.

Take a look at her cards.

I would highly recommend you visit Monica at Arma Dei Equipping Catholic Families and be inspired on how to teach your children about the Catholic Church.  There is so many more crafts and ideas to explore and they're all filled with information in a delightfully creative learning format... it's a win win situation!!!

I'm linking up with Trish's meme today L.A.C.E. 

Whatever is Lovely. Admirable. Cheerful.  Encouraging.         Philippians 4:8

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.     Proverbs 22:6