Need some encouragement as a Catholic mom? Consider checking out this online Conference! Perfect Lenten retreat at home!! I will be one of the presenters for this event.
So pour your coffee, put in a Veggie Tale video for the kids and let the presenters at the conference minister to your souls! God bless.
My kids mess up. They have had their own struggles big and small. I have stayed up worrying at night and I have prayed with tears when I thought they were making choices that might hurt them... And that's okay.
My children (usually) learn from their mistakes. I have witnessed them grow in humility when they realize they do not possess all the answers. I've seen them cry for each other, pray for one another, and encourage friends who are going through struggles they themselves have fought to overcome.
My children fast for one another and even offer their own sufferings for my husband and I.
They are not perfect and I'm glad, because neither am I and they love me anyway. My darling children, I love you too.
It seems some people aren't really happy with my take on certain popular books and movies.
I've been taking a lot of flack for condemning Fifty Shades of Grey without reading it. Well, for the record, I have read sections and I have read tons of very thorough reviews and analysis of the full text. Having said that, this is my response.
I don't need to use drugs to understand addiction, or be mentally ill to have compassion for the mentally ill. I don't have to be homeless to care for the homeless, or be a former criminal to believe in giving second chances. And I don't need to read or see pornography (even soft porn) to know it isn't healthy for relationships or a positive example of an equal, loving relationship.
I could turn the question around. Have you read about healthy relationships? Have you watched Fireproof or Romance without Regret? How about studying Theology of the Body? Have you read Finding your Soulmate without Losing your Soul? I think after studying both sides of this issue, my critics may feel differently.
And what would I know about true love and healthy relationships/marriage...oh wait, in a world of divorce and apathy, I'm happily married and madly in love with my hubby of 25 years! I teach PreCana, give marriage talks, write on marriage and I counsel people struggling in their marriages, have a degree in social work and am a trained parent/marriage coach... Oh, Yeah...nothing!
When those criticizing my opinions have that experience, maybe I will value their misguided defense of (what I consider destructive) books and movies a little more.
I'm sitting in the ED waiting for results of my twenty year old son's X-rays and scans. It is flashback time, you see, a year an a half ago he was in a car accident that should have ended his life. He was a passenger in a car that hit a tree going 120 miles an hour. Both boys survived. His recovery was long an painful due to a significant concussion. He had just recently fully returned to his pre-accident functioning and personality.
Tonight no one was driving too fast, he was the driver and he just lost control on an icy road. The car is totaled and I wonder how he survived, again.
God must have marvelous plans for him, but right now I am just filled with a desperate mixture of concern and exhaustion. The 'whys' try to creep in, but I push them back with prayer and sheer will. I don't understand, but I do believe.
So any prayers you would like to throw our way would be appreciated. I will update you all soon. Know that I do know that God is still good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.
Scripture and Catholic teaching tells us that their are three virtues which embrace the first commandment; faith, hope and charity.
"I am the Lord your God, you shall have no strange gods before me." This reminds us that we have an obligation to nourish our faith. We also rely on His promises (hope), and respond in charity (love) for what He has done for us, especially in how we treat others.
There is an entire catechism lesson in just that paragraph, but I'd like to focus on 'charity.
The word charity also means love. When someone acts with charity, it means they are acting with love, reflecting God's mercy and compassion to others. For example, if you have been hurt, responding by reaching out in love to another. Offering help when needed, prayers, and kindness. In doing this, the mercy of God is reflected.
The Holy Spirit should be called upon to direct our acts of love/charity. We do not always know what someone truly needs and being open to the Spirit's direction can guide us.
Love means doing what is holy and right, no matter what the circumstances. At times, it can mean going against our own desires to defend ourselves. Other times, it might mean taking a risk and even being rejected. That is why we need a good spiritual director to help us work through all the details of our interactions.
On the other hand, there are moments when the Holy Spirit shows us very directly what needs should be met (feeding the hungry, helping the poor, reaching out to a friend in need). We are then called to respond accordingly.
I think that part of the challenge, is to redefine love. Love is not what the world calls it, a feel-good emotion, but it is a higher call to holiness. It is a self-giving, often sacrificing calling.
Please know, dear reader, that as I write this, I am praying for, and loving each one of you. In Christ's love.
Mark 1:45 "The people kept coming to him from everywhere."
I can totally identified with Jesus at this moment! I cannot make it through Mass, a meeting or a shower without someone needing me for something.
I envy my mom, because when we were young we disappeared on our bikes or with our friends for hours and I don't think she really gave it a second thought!
Ding "Mom, don't forget to pick me up. I get out early today!"
Ding "Do you know where my blue sweater is?"
Yell. "Mom, mom, where are you mom? I need..."
You get the picture. Immediate access means nothing can wait... Ever!
Jesus couldn't even go into a town. People wanted and needed Him constantly. Maybe today I can console myself with the thought that Jesus understands my struggles with being all things at all times. Lord, help me have the discernment to know who needs me and which order. God bless!
Most of the things I know about life I learned from my Gramps. My kids called him PoPo (Burmese for grandpa), but he was Gramps to me long before that.
These are his rules:
Almost everything is alright in moderation.
This lesson has served me well, especially in the areas of budget and diet. I love chocolate, but I will rarely eat more than one or two small pieces. I also give it up on Wednesdays and Fridays as a sacrifice. This rule helped me to have discipline in many areas of my life.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
I don't lose things very often and have become quite organized, inspired by this age old saying.
It takes two to start a quarrel, but one can always end it.
These words echo through my head when someone hurts me. They have also been helpful in raising my children.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
My gramps would spend hours building a kite and getting the balance just right. As a result, he had the highest flying kites I have ever seen!! I learned from him that putting in effort in the beginning of a project saves time and effort 'fixing' it in the future.
I miss my dear Gramps everyday, but his voice is in my head all the time. God bless!
Hi! Thought you might enjoy my two latest columns. God bless!