Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Should We Let Go?

This quote comes from an excerpt of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin's book The Gift of Peace.   With the changes going on in my life, I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit through this quote.

Our participation in the paschal mystery--in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus--brings a certain freedom:  

the freedom to let go, 
to surrender ourselves to the living God, 
to place ourselves completely in His hands, knowing that ultimately He will win out!  

The more we cling to ourselves and others, the more we try to control our destiny--
the more we lose the true sense of our lives, the more we are impacted by the futility of it all.  

It's precisely in letting go, in entering into complete union with the Lord, in letting Him take over, 
that we discover our true selves.  

It's in the act of abandonment that we experience redemption, that we find life, 
peace and joy in the midst of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.


Friday, August 26, 2011


My son has started school this week as a 6th grader in a Catholic School.  He'd been going to public school up until this point and we made this decision to avoid the public middle school.


Our son chose the Catholic School too so it seemed an obvious fit.  I know he needs time to adjust, but  these first few days have not gone as well as I'd prayed for.

It's a harder transition for him then he thought AND that we'd thought it would be.

It's hard to watch your child struggle.

It's hard to see him so uncomfortable with his new school.

It's hard to start doubting that sending him to a Catholic School was the wrong choice for him.

My sister sent this devotional to me and I read it yesterday and it was just what I needed.  I've never thought of a type of parental love that can be idolatry.  That could be harmful to my child.  It was a wake up call so, I stayed today for Daily Mass after I dropped him off.

Ok God, my son is Yours.  Please give me the wisdom to guide him through his pain and struggles and learn to trust in You.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meme: Patron Saint of ??

Sue of Sue Elvis Writes, tagged me for this saintly meme.

Assuming you are a saint, and your cause has been executed, your miracles confirmed, your date on the calendar established, all that is required is select that of which Holy Mother Church will name you Patron(ess).

For this meme, you must name your patronage and then tag 5 other people who would like to play along. Link your answer to your nominator's post.

Immediately, I thought that I would want to be Patron Saint of the Unborn.  I would want to join the ranks of the wonderful saints who are devoted to the unborn such as, St. Joseph, St. Gerard Majella and St. Padre Pio.  I've had an awakening of sorts this last year when I learned of the abortion clinics in my town.  I've returned numerous times to one of them to pray and make the sign of the cross on the doors with holy water.  This is a disturbing reality in our culture that needs to be reversed.  Much prayer is needed to fight the abortion industry and the lies it promulgates to our young girls.

Then, another idea was placed on my heart and that would be the Patron Saint of Purgatory.  However, I don't know much about it yet have a strong desire to research it.  I was raised with the notion to pray for the holy souls in purgatory and have read a bit about saints who have claimed to have been shown purgatory by Our Lady or Jesus himself.  The thought of my loved ones being there and longing to be in Heaven spurs me on to pray for them.  I recently bought the book, Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and the Legends of the Saints written by Fr. F.X. Shouppe, S.J. 

Here's the fun part.  I get to tag 5 of my blogging friends and invite them to participate in the Patron Saint Meme.  I hope they will play along!

Tiffany from Family at the Foot of the Cross
Tracy at A Slice of Smith Life
Helen at Catholic Seeking
Cecilia at Little Saints in the Making
Jamie at Lord, Make Me a Saint

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Prayer for Students
by St. Thomas Aquinas

O Mary, Mother of enchanting love, of fear, of knowledge, of holy hope, through Whose pious intercession many make admirable progress in studies and piety despite crudeness of understanding, I choose Thee as protectress and patroness of my studies.

Humbly I implore Thee that, from the heart of Thy maternal pity, and principally from the Eternal Wisdom that deigned to take on our flesh in Thee, and that exalted Thee in heavenly light above all the saints, Thou obtain grace from the Holy Ghost for me so that I might be able to penetrate with my understanding, retain in my memory, express by my life and words, and teach to others all that brings honor to Thee and Thy divine Son, likewise to the advantage of my eternal joy and that of all men. So be it.

O Blessed Thomas, Patron of Schools,
Obtain for us from God
An Invincible Faith,
A Burning Charity,
A Chaste Life,
And True Knowledge
Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

I was sent this prayer by TFP Student Action and thought it's timely for the beginning of the school year for all of our children!  May God be with all of our children and for their teachers who we entrust our precious children to their care, to teach them faith based values as well as academics.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Catholic Converts

I found this video on YouTube and wanted to share it.  This video depicts the many famous converts to Catholicism throughout history.  I would love to know the stories behind each conversion!  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

I am heading on over to RAnn's Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival today to link up my Staying Faithful Today Book Review, as well as read the many awesome posts by my Catholic blogging friends!  Please come and join us today or throughout the week to catch up on what you've missed.  RAnn is the blog author of This That and the Other Thing Blog which organizes the Sunday Snippets.  Thank you to RAnn for bringing all of us together each week to celebrate The Most Holy Trinity and Our Catholic Faith!

May God Richly Bless You!

Staying Faithful Today Book Review

     I was given the privilege to review Fr. Alfred McBride's book called, Staying Faithful Today.  Fr. McBride was ordained a priest in 1953 and is an author of several well-known Catholic books and has lectured widely.  The main theme throughout this book is fidelity and he addresses the crisis of fidelity in our culture today.  Fr. McBride tells his reader why so many priests and religious women have walked away from their vows, and why so many marriages and families are in crisis.  He states, "our capacity for denial and delusion regarding our most precious values was --and is still today--unnerving."  Do we as children of God value fidelity?  Do we even know what it means anymore?

He gives us many examples of fidelity:

Fidelity is the practical expression of love.

Fidelity is a love that is supported by loyalty and courage.

Fidelity is keeping your promise to God, family and country.

Fidelity requires courage to make and keep your promises--the kind of courage that provides you with the creativity and imagination with which to find unique ways to be faithful.

Fidelity is staying true to your wedding promises, spoken in the presence of your faith community.

Fidelity is living the vows you made as a priest or religious in the presence of a bishop at your ordination or before a religious superior, witnessed by the members of the order or congregation.

Fidelity is what our presidents need when they take the oath of office on Inauguration Day.

Fidelity is what new candidates to the Supreme Court and judges at every level of society need when they promise to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the law of the land.

Fidelity is what is expected of anyone who signs a contact.

     Fr. McBride uses scripture, quotes from saints, and his own personal stories as guides on how to be faithful to God, family and country.  He offers reasons as to why so many people have failed to find God and then lets his reader know where we can find Him ~ through creation, the human person, through direct revelation and Jesus.  He begins his book with a discussion of love and a reminder of how God is always faithful to us.  In each subsequent chapter, he examines the issues confronting us in being faithful whether it's to ourselves, friends, communities and marriage. The last chapter is devoted to the vocation of priesthood and fidelity which has been a hot topic in our modern age.  He concludes each chapter with advice on how to remain faithful then offers personal application questions and group discussion questions to delve deeper into the topic.  A scripture mediation follows the questions and then he gives the reader space to write down their own promises relating to each topic.  This book would be great for a group study on faithfulness or it can be read by the individual who yearns to become closer to God.

     Staying Faithful Today is a thought provoking book for it's testimony to fidelity and how far we've strayed as children of God.  It is a very relevant read for all of us who profess to love God and for those who are seeking Him.  You can purchase Staying Faithful Today at the Catholic Company.  I loved reading this book because it made me ponder the humbling yet awe-inspiring fact of the faithfulness of God and where I need to work on being more faithful to Him.  This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program of The Catholic Company.  They have many great books and resources on Our Catholic Faith including the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Bible.

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


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Marriage Matters

In the book Staying Faithful Today by Fr. McBride,  I read an interesting excerpt  from the Institute for American Values stating "Why Marriage Matters."  Dr. Wilcox and other top scholars who study family life have updated their book Why Marriage Matters:  Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences in 2005.  From their research, they have discovered many interesting conclusions as to the value of marriage.  They discuss the impact to our society of the breakdown of marriages.  This is not a Christian study but their findings affect us all and merit our attention.

This is a sad statistic and it's probably higher now since their study was published in 2005:  "Since 1960, the proportion of children who do not live with their own two parents has risen sharply—from 19.4% to 42.3% in the Nineties. This change has been caused, first, by large increases in divorce, and more recently, by a big jump in single mothers and cohabiting couples who have children but don't marry."

In their study, they cite these issues facing our society due to the breakdown of marriage are:
  • Marriage reduces the risk of poverty for children and communities.  Most children whose parents don't get or stay married experience at least one year of poverty.
  • Fatherless households increase crime.  Boys whose parents divorced or never married, for example, are two to three times more likely to end up in jail as adults.  
  • Marriage protects children's physical and mental health.  Children whose parents get and stay married are healthier and also much less likely to suffer mental illness, including depression and teen suicide.
  • Men and women who marry live longer, healthier, and happier lives.  On virtually every measure of health and well-being, married people on average are better off than their single counterparts.
  • Living together is not the same as marriage.  Married couples who cohabit first are 30 to 50 percent more likely to divorce.  People who just live together do not get the same boost to health, welfare, and happiness, on average as spouses.  Neither do their children.  Children whose parents cohabit are at increased risk for domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect.  Children born to parents who were just living together are also three times more likely to experience their parents' breakup by age five.
  • Parents who don't get or stay married put children's education at risk.  Children whose parents divorced or never married have lower grade point averages, are more likely to be held back a grade, and are more apt to drop out of school.  They are also less likely to graduate from college.
  • When marriages fail, ties between parents and children typically weaken.  Adult children whose parents divorced are only half as likely to have warm, close ties to both their mother and their father. 
In our Catholic faith, marriage is a sacrament, a vow before God that we are and will be committed to our spouse "until death do us part."  That seems to have little meaning now with the divorce rate similar to other Christian faith groups.  It saddens me that our children are being wounded this way, and it will affect them throughout their lifetime and for generations to come.  We must pray for the sanctity of marriage.

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'  and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."  
Matthew 19:4-6

God Bless,