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Showing posts with the label Catholic faith

5 Scripture Verses that Helped Changed My Life

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How Scriptures Helps Me Overcome Anxiety and Insecurity By Allison Gingras, Reconciled To You
Most of my life I have struggled with anxiety and insecurity. There were days, if I could get myself out of bed, I would not leave my home afraid of what evil or injury may befell me. Honestly, there are still days my Germaphobia paralyzes me at the entrance of a building afraid to touch the door handle or hinders me from even shaking people's hands. When fear is not wrestling with me insecurity is. Unsure of my abilities and fear of failing has left many a dream incomplete or unfulfilled.

Discovering the Word of God has been this empowering gift! While I continue to battle my fears and phobias, the Scriptures have given me strength that nothing else was able to. I can stand on the Word of God to battle those demons that threaten to steal my joy and derail the plans God has for me. Listening to Jesus in the Gospels teaches me how to trust in Him, have hope and discover that I am loved be…

An Unexpected Invitation to Spend Time with Jesus

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Learning Something New My road to sitting with Jesus in Adoration began nearly 10 years ago.  Quite, some might say serendipitously but after spending many hours in His presence, I would say this has the Holy Spirit's finger prints all over it!!

My husband and I, along with our children, had just made the transition to this new Church.  It was actually where we met and were eventually married,  but we'd not worshiped there since our wedding nearly 20 years earlier.  We had moved out of town, and spent many years at my childhood Church until circumstances changed and it became clear we had to find a new place to call our Spiritual Home

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean

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Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

Help for Common ADHD Communication Issues

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Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) can present many challenges in completing one's education, holding down a job and maintaining personal relationships. I would know because in the course of my life with ADHD I've struggled in each area.  Although I remained undiagnosed until my early thirties, I am happy to share it is not too late to identify those challenges and make the necessary challenges to not only cope but succeed. My strategy has been to tackle one at a time. This required being brutally honest with myself, seeking the counsel of a trusted friend, and conducting lots of research to formulate a plan for change.  Most importantly, it required a humbling of myself and instead of continuing to blame God for my circumstance, to trust He had a plan for my good in allowing ADHD in my life.
Excuse Me Are You Listening? Building meaningful personal relationships can be incredibly difficult when you are so stimulated by your surrounding environment that it i…

Find Something Besides Facebook to Give Up for Lent

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Really. Please don't leave Social Media for Lent.  I understand that many people use this hiatus to spend time working on their own personal spiritual growth; and I can completely respect that HOWEVER.... please don't completely disappear for 40 days when social media needs you the most.  Okay, I've always had a flair for the dramatic but here's why I am begging you to stay: 'Tis the Season Lent is a season when many people make a resolution to investigate or rejuvenate a faith life. The internet just happens to be a place many people will turn for guidance and even perhaps seek a community to take the journey with.  So, what happens when those who are most likely to post something faith based, could possibly answer questions or would be open to connect as community make a mass exodus off social media during Lent?? There is a risk for missed opportunity to evangelize, catechize and support those seeking meaning through an experience with Christ this Lent. For Ideas…

#MusicThatMoves - Faith Sharing Series

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God does 'Impossible Things'  Spend just a few minutes learning my story and you'll know without a doubt that God truly does impossible things.  He mends the broken so they are able to forgive the seemingly unforgiveable. Prepares the unqualified and anxious to be soldiers in his army.  Jesus worked miracles to allow the blind to see and lame to walk; today he continues to give sight, but now perhaps moreso to those who are spiritually blind.  Offering strength to walk in His ways to those stumbling due more to circumstance than physical ailment.  He raised Lazarus from death to life; and awakens our hearts to new life in him.
Close your eyes (after you hit play of course) and allow Sarah Kroger's beautiful voice to transport us in this moment to a place in our hearts where we believe - that God can truly do Impossible Things. CONTINUE HERE for the Seeking Scripture and Reflection ... All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

How Can You Excel This Lent? #ExcelLent

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We know that Lent is a time for praying, fasting and giving.  However, those three words have a multitude of meanings for each of us. What I have come to realize as I peruse the plethora of ideas on what to do for Lent  that can be found online and in print, is  that what makes for a meaningful Lent for me, may not have as much, or  any, meaning for you.      We are each uniquely and wonderfully made by our God.  And we are each called in unique and wonderful ways to serve Him.

So how can you excel this Lent?     I don't have any new ideas that haven't already been shared.  What I do have are some suggestions to help you discern what you could  do this Lent: 

Be authentic.  Don't compare yourself to what others are doing in their Lenten journey.  If giving up one simple thing (sodas, chocolate, meat, etc.)  is what works in your life and allows you to more deeply enter into this season, then do not judge yourself harshly because your friends are giving up something which see…

Laying down one’s life: the decision to adopt a special needs child—a conversation with Allison Gingras, host of “A Seeking Heart” on Real Life Radio

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“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13 In this new commandment Jesus took, “Love your neighbor as yourself” several steps further. Now love involves sacrifice. His greatest demonstration of this commandment was his death on the cross. But because he was willing to sacrifice his life, he rose again to new life in a body glorified.

Waiting For The Word Resurrection 60, from Flickr Creative Commons

This is the love he requires from us. It’s a radical love, a sacrificial love.
What does it mean to lay down one’s life? Are we literally to die a martyr’s death? What other ways are there to lay down one’s life? Recently I had a chance to hear fellow Catholicmom columnist Allison Gingras describe a way.


from right to left: Allison and Kevin Gingras and their daughter, Faith

Click here to continue reading.

My traveling companions for the Lenten journey

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I decided this Lent that I would not travel alone. I asked St. Bernadette, the visionary of Our Lady of Lourdes, if she would accompany me.


In the course of our walk together I am rediscovering someone I had long forgotten but who has not forgotten me.
A classic movie It began on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes with a suggestion from a friend to watch “The Song of Bernadette,” a critically-acclaimed 1943 movie based on the book by Franz Werfel. It was available on YouTube so I could watch it at my leisure. The movie is long so I viewed it on my tablet over the course of three nights.
Unexpected emotions That was a good decision. I did not expect to be so moved by the film and was glad I could cry in private. Each time "The Lady" appeared to Bernadette, the tears would flow. I did not know why. Was it the beautiful music? Was it the way Bernadette (played by Oscar winner Jennifer Jones) looked at "The Lady" with such love?

Maybe it was because of Mary h…

Prayers from a Night Worrier

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Are you a night worrier? My mother has never had any trouble falling asleep at night. But once in a while, if she’s unlucky enough to wake up during the night, that’s it for sleeping. She calls them “racing thoughts.” Turning, churning, and tumbling in her mind at a pace that won’t stop. What is it about the middle of the night that things always seem so dire? We awake with a feeling of dread. A worry that seemed small during the day seems to blow up in the dark of our bedroom. Taking on a menacing shape. Like that monster from our childhood, threatening to creep out and grab us in our sleep. Larger problems seem insurmountable, even hopeless.        Read more

The Empty Box

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I think the wise men are trying to tell me something!
That's right, I openly admit it, it is the second week of Advent and we have not made our candles yet!  I feel like Advent is flying by and I still can't get it all together. It has been a rough start with sickness, unexpected delays, my husband working lots of overtime, and general chaos. I looked around today and thought, I am failing! This is not what Advent should look like. Where is the family Nativity that consumes the entire entertainment center with over 25 unique pieces? 
 We made a fresh, evergreen Advent wreath, but have yet to roll the candles, and have consequently only prayed the Advent prayer once. We are doing a Jesse Tree, but do not have an actual tree to use, so we are settling for an artificial pine garland that is precariously draped over the bookcase. We are only behind on two days of Holy Heroes videos, but there are only three of our handmade ornaments hung because we have been reshaping the few paper…

The Power of the Eucharist

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I've been meaning to write about a rather extraordinary thing that happened to my husband and me, on a rather ordinary day, while we were doing ordinary things.  I don't know why I didn't write about it immediately after it happened, so that I could tell it in sharper detail, remembering the exact words spoken by all the players.  But I'm afraid now that if I don't tell it, it'll grow too fuzzy in my mind to repeat.  (Although considering the circumstances that isn't likely.)

So here it is: a true story about the Holy Eucharist--and its power over even those who don't comprehend its significance.
(You won't want to miss this one; it'll give you goosebumps.  You can read the rest of the story here at String of Pearls.)

Blogging Through a Haze of Self-Doubt

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I'm sure that every Catholic blogger has asked themselves at least once why they do it. Is it really worth the time spent away from work, from family, from prayer? Is anybody listening? Does anybody care? One of my friends recently shut down his personal blog altogether, saying "While I have a lot of respect for many bloggers, I feel the blogosphere to be a net negative to the Catholic Faith.  ... It is the epitome of Francis' 'self-referential Church.'  Far from leading to a deepening of the faith, it has led to a corrosion of it." Could this be true?

My friend's words certainly don't describe the work of CatholicMom or any mommy blogger I know. But I've seen the corner of the Catholic blogosphere he describes -- the place where people attack one another viciously over minute points of doctrine or liturgical practices that baffle non-Catholics and fail to bring anyone to a holier and more peaceful frame of mind. I regularly engage in verbal fist…

Baby Catholic Answers All the Things, Volume 1 - Hail Mary

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There are three reasons I decided to start this blog series by addressing the common misconception that Catholics worship Mary. One is that a friend of mine actually did express some interest in having this cleared up in a previous blog post comment. Another is that I think that this might be one of the biggest objections that non-Catholics have to Catholicism, so I thought it would be good to address upfront. The third is that, to me, it's one of the easiest misunderstandings to set straight. As a child, I didn't think about Catholicism much (my only point of reference for the phrase "Hail Mary" was a last-second desperation throw to try to win a football game), but when I did, I vaguely thought that Catholics worshipped Mary. The fact is that I didn't know the first thing about Catholicism in reality. My belief about Mary was simply a parroting of something I heard an adult say.        Read more HERE.

Introducing Myself---Again

I cannot remember how long ago Melanie asked that we introduce or reintroduce ourselves, but at last I have put something together.  This is a reintroduction.

Some Things about Me that You Might Like to Know

Lifelong CatholicMarried 35 years and still going strongMother of oneMother-in-law of oneRetired since 2008Professed Lay CarmeliteBorn and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but now living in Northern California, after having lived in a few other places as wellEducated at Palmer School, St. Edward School, Sacred Heart Academy, Resurrection High School, DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University, Franciscan School of TheologyEmployment history: waitress, lab tech, school teacher, U.S.A.F sergeant, Chicago police officer, director of religious education, and moreLearning guitar and Spanish You can find more, if you like, at my blog, From the Pulpit of My Life, on the "Meet Ruth Ann" page.  I would enjoy hearing from you!

Pray The Rosary

Occasionally,  I post "unsolicited advice". I was told, after I turned 50 that I was old enough to give unsolicited advice, so I though - why not?!

One of my favorite posts from last year that I re-blogged today is about praying the Rosary.

When going through security, Sister Helena Burns was asked if she had any firearms or weapons, her response, "I'm wondering if I should declare my Rosary". HA...

My unsolicited advice today – PRAY THE ROSARY! I have a special relationship with Mary. She has always been with me, since we met long ago. I needed a mother and she stepped in. Praise God!  And – Because I have an affinity with Mary, I love to pray the Rosary.  It helps that my birthday month celebrates praying the Holy Rosary. How lucky am I? For more, read Unsolicited Advice - Vol. 5 - Pray The Rosary! Blessings All, Emily

Our Lady's Image - Veiling Series

Happy Tuesday All,
I hope your day is blessed.

I wanted to invite you all to participate in a Veiling Series on my blog. There is a new lady telling her veiling story every Tuesday. We hope to have a husband or two and a Priest or two also participate.
Additionally, there are many kinds of head coverings that are being spoken about.

If you are discerning wearing a head covering or you already wear one, you will love this series.

The Introduction to Our Lady's Image is here: Our Lady's Image, An Introduction
So far, I have told my story: Our Lady's Image, My Veiling Story
Karen Zenti has told her story: Our Lady's Image, Karen's Veiling Story
Mae Lacy has told her story: Our Lady's Image, Mae Lacy's Veiling Story
AND - today, Lily Wilson Beck has told her story: Our Lady's Image, Lily's Veiling Story

Next Tuesday there will be a new story told. Each story is original to the series (meaning we've all told our stories before but these must be new t…

Sorry, No Steeple

“Sorry, No Steeple…but we do have a drive-thru” is what the clever, cool, hip billboard sign proclaims.

I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant so I didn’t pay it much never-mind. 

Then another one popped up with something that was, to me, similarly vague: We don’t accept perfect people. 

Still, not paying attention. 

Then a topic of conversation was begun in my small Catholic study group. The essence of the conversation, which has taken more than a few twists and turns along the way, was this: Should we allow—or even encourage—our Catholic teens to attend non-denominational churches? In particular, this local one with the clever, cool, hip billboards? In a way, though, the conversation was almost a non-issue since it appeared that our Catholic teens (and even many of our adults) were already attending on their own without our small group’s permission—or seemingly without much guilt, either. 

At first we decided this was a good thing. Maybe because our hand was forced: everyone was doing this…

Wrapped Up: God's Ten Gifts for Women

Wrapped Up by Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow is a book for quiet reflection, focusing on ten aspects of the spiritual journey, including God's love and forgiveness, a joyful attitude, suffering and the sacraments. Each chapter is divided between the two authors, as Cheryl shares insights about the matriarchs of the Old Testament and Teresa provides data and anecdotes about the struggles faced by contemporary women. Both writers include snippets from their lives and how they have each found deeper peace in their vocations as Catholic women through becoming open to the gifts which God gives.

Teresa comments on the discouragement with which so many women must contend, and which can be an obstacle to having a healthy spiritual life.
In addition to the personal baggage we carry, the other signals constantly received or detected on the private sonar remind us that unless we can feed the family with  a fabulous 'yummo' Rachel Ray dinner in thirty minutes or less, ra…

'Come away . . . and rest a while'. Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

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Jesusdetail from The Calling of St Matthew, Caravaggio, 1599-1600
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)


Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel Mark 6:30-34 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. +++
Lake Taal, Philippines. Photo by Fr Rolly Aniscal
This week's Sunday Reflections looks at the experie…