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!!