Monday, January 31, 2011

A Humbling Moment

My husband and son were out yesterday afternoon for fun outdoor scout activity and after I walked my 95 pound dog for 2 miles, we had the house to ourselves.  Toby went to rest after his jaunt and I threw in a load of laundry, swept and mopped the floors and turned on EWTN.  It was just in time for The Divine Mercy Chaplet in song.  I LOVE hearing it this way.  In fact, it brings me to tears in a most profound, humbling way as we pray for His mercy on us and on the whole world.
I am extremely grateful that Jesus does not give up on us.  That throughout the course of history, he has come in visions, sent his angels and sent his Mother Mary to remind us to follow her son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1931, Our Lord appeared to Sister Faustina (a simple nun who lived in Poland) in a vision and instructed her to have a painting made of this vision (as seen above)  and explained that the two rays denote blood and water.  The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous.  The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls.  While Sister Faustina was praying for mercy she heard interiorly the prayers that  is now known as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

From the Diary of St. Faustina,
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".

Very humbling indeed...

At Jesus' request, we now celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday on the 2nd Sunday of Easter.

We have a loving and merciful Lord!  Please see the below listed sources for additonal information.

Association of Marian Helpers, The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion Pamphlet.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer for the Unborn

Lord Jesus,
You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
the Church and the history of men;
You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
render us participants in divine Life
and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
We adore and bless you.
Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
truly present and alive among us, we beg you.
Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
the miraculous work of the Creator,
open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
that comes into life.
Bless all families,
sanctify the union of spouses,
render fruitful their love.
Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
with the light of your Spirit,
so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
the sacred nature of life, of every human life.
Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person,
and no one endures suppression or injustice.
Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions
so that young families can serenely embrace
the birth of new children.
Console the married couples who suffer
because they are unable to have children
and in Your goodness provide for them.
Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
so they may experience the warmth of your Charity,
the consolation of your divine Heart.
Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
in whose womb you took on our human nature,
we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Savior,
the strength to love and serve life,
in anticipation of living forever in You,
in communion with the Blessed Trinity.

Friday, January 28, 2011

NY Abortion Rate Follow Up

I was asked if what Fr. Robert Barron said on his video clip I posted two days ago was accurate.  To be honest, I didn't google it to verify if NY has a 41% abortion rate like he said.  I consider him a reliable source but it did get me wondering.  So, I just googled it now and sadly, it is all true.  Check out these links for additional info:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Author Visit #2

This was a busy week meeting authors but it was well worth it!  The next author we met was Dan Gutman who has been writing books since the 1980's.  He has many great books for kids and he just released the first book of his new series The Genius Files.
The Humor and Comedy Genre does not fit my son's Fantasy preference, however, he opened it on the ride back home, used my phone as a light, and read...and laughed...and read.... and laughed and frequently interspersed with "Mom, you have to hear this!" 

I love it when an author from a different genre can capture my son's interest and Mr. Gutman delivered!

Author Visit

My son currently wants to be a publisher or editor when he grows up.  He is an avid reader of mostly the fantasy and science fiction genre.  Either for school or the nudging of his mother (me) he will read other genres such as realistic fiction, historical fiction but he's most passionate about fantasy books.

We had a couple of authors come to our area this week and I brought him to meet them.  The first is Grace Lin who was awarded The Newberry Honor for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
Inspired by folktales of China, this is the story of a young Chinese girl named Minli. She lives in a poor village underneath a stark mountain and every day her mother expresses her discontent. So Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon to ask him how to change their fortune. What follows is the story of her journey. Along the way she meets many different characters and hears many different stories. The book reads like a fable, which is fitting because it contains so many beautifully rich stories.

This book is for younger readers and it just won The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.  It's a sweet story about twin girls who are always told by others, that they are EXACTLY the same and they disagree! 

Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of all of her books.  She shared her journey in the writing and illustrating world with us that night.  Her story brought tears to my eyes because she spoke of how she was first an illustrator and she tried "to fit in" to the American/Caucasian idea of picture drawing but it never felt right.  She felt nudged to draw pictures in a Chinese style that's vibrant with color but her editors told her that even though her pictures were good, they had no stories to fit them.  And that's how she became a writer... she wrote the stories to fit her illustrations.  Even then, she was told there was no market for Asian characters.  It was suggested she redraw the characters as Caucasian. 

Fortunately, she listened to that little voice inside and kept them as is, found another editor, had them published and she's receiving national recognition and awards.  We highly recommend her books!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fr. Robert Barron - Word on Fire

New statistics were released in New York on the rate of abortion.  41% of pregnancies end in abortion.  Out of this percentage, 60% of these abortions are African American babies. 

Disturbing... shocking... horrifying numbers.  Is it convenient birth control?  Is it genocide?  You decide.

Please check out Fr. Robert Barron's video and then his website - Word on Fire for more information.

Have you heard about Abby Johnson's book "UnPlanned," about her leaving Planned Parenthood and becoming a Pro-Life Activist?  I haven't read it yet but I plan to and see what her unique perspective is on abortion.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

March for Life

I find it very sad that it seems that the only media source that was interested in covering the March for Life was EWTN.  I have to admit, I do not watch a lot of tv news but when it was on, I didn't hear any mention of the Pro-Life marches.

So, I listen to KLove radio station a lot while driving in my car and at home... I did not hear the March for Life mentioned ONCE yesterday.  They advertise themselves as "postive and encouraging" and not a Christian radio station, however, all they play are songs about Jesus performed by Christian artists.  Their DJ's talk all day long about prayer, hope, Jesus and spreading His message.  So, why did they NOT talk about the March for Life?  Too much of a hot topic?  Are they staying on the fence so they won't be forced to pick a side?  I think I will email them and ask them so they know there are Christians who are Pro-Life.

I don't know how people can call themselves Christian and pro-choice... it's an oxymoron.

Monday, January 24, 2011

March for Life

It's happening RIGHT NOW in Washington D.C. 

EWTN Exclusive. Live and complete coverage of the most important pro-life event of the year: the 2011 March For Life in Washington D.C. This prayerful event starts with the Rally for Life and leads to the march up Constitution Avenue. Coverage includes interviews, panel discussions, and speeches by pro-lifers around the country.

Read more:

I am praying today that the prayers for the unborn are heard in Washington D.C.  That our government will open their hearts and hear the Word of God and honor it.... honor Him.  And fight for our nations's babies!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prayer Answered

I have a confession to make... I have been encouraged to blog about our Blessed Mother and I have been reluctant.  I've been uncomfortable to put myself out there by discussing her.  I'm afraid of a challenge or confrontation from a non-catholic on why Catholics have a devotion to her when they should just go to Jesus.  I responded by "can you biblically back it up?"  If you've had these types of discussions about Mary and the saints, then you know what I mean.

So I prayed about it to Jesus and I asked for help in this matter.  And He responded in a big way.

After a trip to the library last week, I took my son to a church near the library for Eucharistic Adoration where we prayed the rosary.  Upon leaving, I noticed the Chicago Lighthouse CDs and front and center was this CD -    

Then I received an email from one of the deacons of my parish about Steve Ray (featured speaker on EWTN and Relevant Radio) coming to my area and one of his discussions is called:  Mary, Real Girl and Woman of Mystery.

I also happened to be noticing how often I am zeroing in on how many cars have rosaries hanging from their rear view mirror.

Lastly, I watched Fr. Corapi last night and as usual I learn what I'm needing to learn at that moment.  He talked about how the Catholic Church needs leadership and he's talking about the people who make up the church.  He's talking about us... he's talking about me. 

Two things he said really struck me... one- do not be timid about your faith and two - do not apologize for your faith.  I'd been stuck here for awhile and not happy about it, but not knowing what to do about it.  I've asked for help and He is showing me the way.  Here's a bit more about what Fr. Corapi had to say:

This is how he broke it down:

L -  lead by example
E - educate yourself and your family in scripture and the faith
A - attitude... do not be timid, do not apologize for your faith
D - discipline self to devote time to studying scripture and the Catheticism
E - empower your children and family to learn the Word of God
R - receive and accept input calmly
S - sacrifice your time and your ego by speaking the truth
H - humility... acknowledge the truth, even the parts that may be difficult
I -  initiative... do not wait for others to do it
P - pray, plan and prepare for this spiritual battle

Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Make every effort to add to your  faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, LOVE.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from  being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 5-8

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Roe Vs. Wade Con't.

Tonight we went to mass and I was so pleased that our pastor talked about today being the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and how abortion is a sin against God.   During our prayer intentions, he also called for a moment of silence to pray for the unborn, the mothers who are struggling with this decision and for the mothers who've made this decision.

Roe vs Wade

Today was the day that the unthinkable happened... back in 1973. 

January 22, 1973 Roe vs Wade.  The Supreme Court in Texas made abortion legal.  It's effect has changed the course of history of women's right to choose.

Choose what?  Life or death for their baby.  Not a ball of cells but a baby that was given to them by a loving God.

38 years of abortions equals 50,000,000 babies killed in the U.S. alone.  I don't even know the count world-wide but here, in the land of the free, we did this to ourselves.  Eyes wide open.  We believed the lies instead of the Word of God. 

"Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, although “sin is a personal act, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them” (CCC #1868).

The majority of Americans are Christian - Catholic and Protestant.  How could we have let the minority speak for us?

As a nation we are guilty.

Today is a good day to pray the rosary for life!


Here is a beautiful song that reminds us that we are made for more than our daily struggles and pain. 

It reminds us not to get bogged down by the world's values.

It speaks to our hearts, that we are the beloved children of a loving merciful God!

We are His!

 Performed by Mercy Me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daily Devotion sent to me by my sister

Here is a daily devotion my sister sent to me and I really liked it and wanted to share it.  It's beautiful and humbling-  our God is a loving God!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Recommendation

I was given  this book - Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly a year ago from my bible study leader  at my church.  And it's a fantastic book.  On it's back cover it says:

"At a time when many Catholics are disillusioned, questioning their faith, and filled with doubts about the relevance of Catholicism in the modern world, the voice of one man cries out to the world's largest faith community with a clarity that is rare and inspiring."

Here's a review of the book at the link below.  I highly recommend this book!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Catholics Divided

Have you heard of the decision made by Bishop Thomas Olmstead from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix regarding St. Joseph Catholic Hospital?  He is at the center of an abortion decision that led to St. Joseph's Hospital's Catholic identity being revoked and a nun being ex-communicated from the Catholic Church.

Here's the background of what happened even though I do not believe all of the details have been disclosed to the public.

A woman with a history of pulmonary hypertension sought treatment at the hospital when she was 11 weeks pregnant. The condition, which affects the heart and lungs, is often fatal for pregnant woman. While at St. Joseph’s, the woman’s condition worsened to the point that doctors described her as “moribund” which means dying or nearly dead.  Sister Margaret McBride made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.  This decision resulted in Bishop Olmsted excommunicating her from the church as well as revoking the Catholic identity of the hospital.  This has produced an outcry and a very heated debate whether the abortion was justified or not.

I wasn't there in the emergency room when she went in... I have no idea of the patient's medical history with the exception that this was her 5th pregnancy and the baby was 11 weeks along....I am not a doctor or a nurse and yet,  I'm guessing this tragic story is probably not unique. 

A life was taken before it really had a chance.  Was it necessary?  Could terminating a healthy fetus save the mother?  Did the doctors do everything they could before coming to that decision? 
But I have to be honest, I am pro-life and it feels wrong.  Like I said, I wasn't there nor am I trained in the medical field, but I am a bit cynical in our litigious society.  Did this factor in?

Only God knows the answer to these questions.  What I do know is that this mother has lost her baby and St. Joseph's Hospital is in an uproar, Bishop Olmsted is under fire, and Sister Margaret McBride has paid the price of this decision. 

The only thing I can do is to pray for all involved in this heart-wrenching story.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Deer Grove Winter Hike

My son was off from school today and I wanted to do something outside in the beautiful snow.  We invited grandpa to drive up, put Toby in the car and went on a winter hike in Deer Grove Forest Preserve.  Typically we hike with grandpa at Starved Rock or Matthiessen State Park but this time, I wanted to take our dog and I'm so glad we did!  He probably loved it more than my son!
The trails were covered in 3-4 inches of snow and it was simply gorgeous. 

If they had their way we would have ran the trails instead of hiking them!

It was wonderfully quiet, the fresh air was crisp and the mood was playful!  It was enjoyed by all!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Toby's Spa Day

We decided to spend part of our day, giving our 95 pound chocolate lab a bath.  Toby loves water due to his doggy instincts, but he doesn't like baths too much.  Toleration is the best word to describe his mood during his at home spa treatment!  He is too big to go into the bathtub so our unfinished concrete floor basement is the perfect place for this job.

He needs a little treat motivation to keep him in the kiddie pool and he will stay...reluctantly.

He does enjoy the massaging action of soaping him up.

The brushing and rub down with the towels are one of his favorite parts!  Toby especially loves the hugs he gets from his human buddy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

EWTN: A Morning of Prayerful Remembrance and Intercession

A Morning of Prayerful Remembrance and Intercession
A Morning of Prayerful Remembrance and Intercession (Live)
Sat. January 15 at 9 AM ET

Live from St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City. A prayer service, created in the spirit of the New Evangelization, reflections and testimonies acknowledging abortion’s universal impact. The day includes Eucharistic Adoration and concludes with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

One question -
Why is this remembrance necessary if the majority (78%) of Americans are Christian?  
Broken down by 51% Protestant, 23% Catholic and 4% other Christian religions.
God's Plan for Life... why did we ignore this?  how did we get it so wrong?

It started back during the sexual revolution and birth control movement which was led by Margaret Sanger in 1930, who later founded Planned Parenthood.  She was an atheist who vehemently opposed Christianity, Sanger promoted sexual freedom for everyone and especially for women.  She rallied for firm population control and especially among large segments she called “unfit”.  "Her persistent denunciation of Papal support for large Catholic families and her passionate attacks against “enslavement” of women by unwelcomed pregnancy began to take root in the popular media, in academia, in Congress and with Catholics and Protestants in the Church."

Why wasn't she and her supporters stopped?  Why didn't the Christians of that time recognize this anti-christian agenda?  Why is it still happening today, all around the world?

Christian Artists

I don't know about you, but music has the ability to move me... more than words... I feel it in my very being... it's emotional in a beautiful way. 

Here are my two absolutely favorite Christian artists:

Jaci Velasquez -  I love her music.

This CD, is my favorite album of hers.

Also love Selah...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

St. Jude's Ranch

With Christmas just being a couple of weeks ago, you may still have your Christmas cards.  If you do, I was informed (by my friend Marge) of a wonderful way to make good use of them by helping children at the  St. Jude Ranch.  They have a recycled card program that helps the children who live there, learn entrepreneurship skills.  Please check out their link listed below for more information.


You can mail your donations to:

St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
877-977-SJRC (7572)

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children serves all abused, abandoned and neglected children and families, creating new chances, new choices and new hope in a safe, homelike environment.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Apostles' Creed

What do Catholics Believe?

Our statement of faith is the Apostles' Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord. 
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. 
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. 
He descended to the dead. 
On the third day He rose again. 
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father
He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen

The Apostles' Creed is biblically based.  It has been around since the early church years as a statement of faith.  A standard was needed to judge whether a teaching was truth, or heresy.

As Catholics, we state the Apostles' Creed EACH time we pray the rosary.  The Apostles' Creed is stated in EVERY Catholic home, in EVERY Catholic Church, in EVERY state, in EVERY country and in EVERY continent around the world as we pray.

Our statement of faith has weathered the test of time.

As Catholics, we have another creed - The Nicene Creed which is a longer version of our statement of faith.  More on that another day...

Prayer Intention Explanation

I am trying to navigate around this blog to organize it and I'm learning little by little... turtle steps.  One goal is to set up a Prayer Intention column (right side of blog).  My goal is for anyone who visits to post their own prayer intention for us ALL to pray.  It would be an ongoing, ever-changing column with the hopes of spreading the word of special prayer requests. 

In theory, I LOVE the idea. 

Practically, my newbie blog skills are inadequate but I am trying my best!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Random Thoughts

FAITHForsake All I Trust Him

St. Jerome (331-420 A.D.) "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Jesus"  Very True.

Rosary - was developed in the Middle Ages.  It evolved out of an ancient practice in which people who could not read Scripture recited 150 Our Fathers for the 150 Psalms.  The strings of beads were used to keep track of the prayers.  Over time, this practice merged with the Scriptural greeting to Mary ("Hail Mary, full of grace...") and with the meditations on the lives of Christ and Mary. (Our Sunday Visitor)

The rosary is a biblical prayer which focuses on Scripture
*  This is not idolatry.
*  We do NOT worship the beads.
*  It is a tool to help us stay focused on the life of Christ.

Pray the rosary and meditate on the Gospel and you will know Jesus.

True Peace is knowing Christ.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sabbath Day

Exodus 20:8-11  Remember to keep Holy the Sabbath Day.  Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God.  No work may be done then, either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In the six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day He rested.  That is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.  (The New American Bible)

This is the 4th commandment.

This should be an easy commandment to follow, but it isn't.  Just take a look around in our society, our neighborhoods and homes.   Or take a look at the malls.  Sunday is one of the busiest shopping days while we do our errands or go for pleasure. 

Is this considered work?  I think so.

Is this considered keeping the Sabbath Day holy?  I think not.

I am guity of this sin and have made resolution to refocus my habits so I CAN follow this commandment and keep my Sabbath Days Holy.

Family and Friends, please keep me accountable!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rosary Con't

The question was raised "why do we need to ask Mary to intercede for us when we can go straight to Jesus as our intercessor?"  I am no expert in the history of the rosary or the Catholic Faith but this is what I do know:

The Rosary is a Gospel prayer, to the glory of God the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit.  Our attention is on God from the very begining with the Apostles Creed, which states the beliefs of all Christians. We begin each decade, or mystery,with the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray. We end each decade with the Glory Be, which is focusing on the Holy Trinity.

I like to think that in between, we pray 10 Hail Marys to invite the Blessed Mother of Jesus to pray with us and for us. She is our prayer partner as we meditate on the life of her Son.

More on this later...

I never did get back to this until a friend asked me where I got the above info.  I found this great website listed below that speaks to the history of the rosary, why we pray it and how many conversions have come about because of praying the rosary.  I believe the above statement is the most concise way to explain the reason why we pray the rosary.  These sites also discuss the tradition that the rosary was first given to St. Dominic from the Blessed Mother in 1208.  It's humbling to think that the rosary I pray today, has been prayed for over 800 years!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rosary Con't.

Recently, I was having a discussion about praying the rosary and was asked
 "Who are you praying to when you pray the rosary?"

I am praying to God, Jesus and asking Our Blessed Mother for her intercession

Praying the rosay is meditating on the Gospels

The Gospel is the story of Jesus which includes God choosing Mary to be Jesus' mother.

Joyful Mysteries (to be said on Mondays & Saturdays)
Birth of Jesus
Finding Jesus in the Temple

Sorrowful Mysteries (to be said on Tuesdays & Fridays)
Agony in the Garden
Scourging at the Pillar
Crowning with Thorns
Carrying of the Cross

Glorious Mysteries (to be said on Wednesdays & Sundays)
Descent of the Holy Spirit

Luminous Mysteries (to be said on Thursdays)
Baptism of Jesus
Wedding Feast at Cana
Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
Institution of the Holy Eucharist

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I was asked why I started the rosary and I guess one could ask why I haven't been praying the rosary all these years.  I don't have a good answer for that one. 

Here is the wonderful lady who first showed me how to pray the rosary.

my grandma
I remember she kept a rosary in her purse and would take it out when she wanted to pray.  She would encourage my sisters and me to pray it but I found it difficult as a child.  I think it required too much concentration for me so I gave up.
My next attempt at saying the rosary was when this lovely lady passed away in Feb. 1992.  This is my mom.  My father had collected every rose petal from her wake and funeral flowers and he sent them to a place where nuns created rosaries from the rose petals.  For awhile, my rosary had the scent of roses which I found very comforting.

However, I still didn't pray the rosary.
Until one day about two years ago, I was in an inter-denominational bible study and one of my Catholic friends asked me directly, "Do you say the rosary?"  Charity encouraged me to do so and reminded me of the graces and blessings that will come if I did.  She gave me a rosary, a booklet on how to pray it, and information from Our Lady of Fatima.

Another dear friend, Holly, encouraged me as well and helped explain how to do it.  We have become prayer partners of sorts.  She is "my go-to" person when I have a question about faith.  We've had many wonderful conversations about our walks with God.

I think God puts certain people in our lives at very specific times to lead us where he wants us to go. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Suffering Church in Egypt

I just learned of the bombing of an Egyptian Christian Church in Alexandria, Egypt where 21 people were killed and 79 injured.  Why were they bombed?  They were Christians who were just leaving a New Year's Mass at their church.,0,1747644.story ·

Please keep the Egyptian Christians in our prayers as well as the Christian persecutors around the world.

The Suffering Church

I am a big fan of EWTN - the Global Catholic Network and the other night I watched a show called "The Suffering Church" which discusses the persecution of Catholics/Christians around the world that is happening right now.  In our time.  Yes, ours.  Did you know that?  Because honestly, I had a very vague understanding of it until I started watching this show hosted by Lord David Alton, a member of the British Parliament who is the force behind the "Jubliee Campaign UK in 1987."  Through his efforts, more than 150 members of Parliament are focusing on the cases of religious discrimination around the world.  

This episode discussed the sad and tragic fate of the Catholics/Christians in Iraq.  I have to admit, I was unaware of a christian presence in Iraq.  Very naive of me, I know, but I really didn't ever think about it until this show.  The guests on this show said "there has been a mass EXODUS out of Iraq  for fear of persecution, extortion, forced conversion to Islam, torture and even death.  There are over 300,000 refugees who have fled Iraq in fear for their lives.  In 2003, there was 1.2 million christians in Iraq and now, only 50,000."  Why are they targeted?  "They're considered weak adversaries because they won't bear arms and fight."  Why are they doing this?  Because they can.  No one is stopping them. 

I read this quote on the EWTN website, "Most Catholics think religious persecution reached its zenith during the Roman Empire, when Nero set Christians ablaze and used them as torches or fed them to the lions. However, the truth is that more Christians have died for their faith in the 20th Century than in ALL the preceding centuries put together."  Shocking.  Unimaginable. 

This horrible atrocity is not unique to Iraq.  One only has to start looking to learn that Christian persecution is a world wide horror.  It's happening in China, Burma, North Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam/Laos, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, Eritrea/Ethiopia, India, and Sri Lanka.

So I ask, what is America doing about it?  What are Americans doing about it?  Catholics and Christians- what are you going to do about it?

We can start by praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who live this reality every day of their lives.

Monday, January 3, 2011

JOYfilled Family: Every Knee Shall Bow

If you are unfamiliar with this wonderful Catholic blogger, please check her out!

JOYfilled Family: Every Knee Shall Bow

Three King's Blessing

We performed  the Three King's Blessing in our home last night to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.  We used chalk which was blessed by our parish priest on the Feast of the Epiphany, we marked the door jamb with a 20 + C + M + B + 11 on the entrance of our door. 

20 refers to the century, 11 refers to our new year and C, M, B represent the names tradition gives to the wise men:

Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar

In this brochure from our church, we were given the prayers to be said and scripture from the holy Gospel according to John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came to be through Him, and without Him, nothing came into being AND THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, Full of grace and truth.

It was a wonderful way to start off our new year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I am a Christian Who Happens to be Catholic.

Happy New Year!

I am very new to the blogging world but have had this idea floating around my mind for awhile and I've finally decided to act on it.  Why am I doing this?  My faith and prayer life has grown richer and more steadfast over the past year and I want to share it. 

Why now?  I am "a cradle catholic" who grew up Catholic and then strayed from the church for a number of years. 

Why did I stray?  My mother had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died within a year.  I was a young adult at the time and was devasted at this loss and became VERY angry with God.  So much so, that I stopped going to church and seeking a relationship with Jesus.  

What brought be back home to the Catholic Church?  A few reasons:  One is that I met a few devout Catholic friends in college which led me to a spiritual journey to Medjugorje  in Bosnia - Hercogivina (formerly known as Yugoslavia).  Secondly, I met some wonderfully devout christian women in my current hometown and joined their inter-denominational bible study.  I learned alot from my bible study leaders who have an impressive knowledge of scripture and a deep love for Christ.  I credit both of them for sparking a desire to know Christ on a more personal level.  Lastly, when I learned that my church had a bible study, I jumped at the chance. These studies were led by our parish deacons who devote their time in exploring the word of God.  They are wonderful examples of people who don't "just talk the talk" but actually "walk the walk!"

So, why do I feel compelled to blog about it?   I've been feeling prodded and nudged to do so and I don't believe in coincidences so simply put, I feel called by God to do so.

I would love to hear any conversion stories you might like to share.