11 Dec 2017
Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. Advent is just that, but it is also a time for healing and forgiveness, as we see in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:17-26, In this Gospel reading, we learn of the power and authority of Jesus to forgive sins. We hear about the paralyzed man lowered from the roof into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus not only forgives the man of his sins, but because of the confidence in God, expressed by his friends, Jesus also heals the man of his paralysis.
What sin may be paralyzing you; preventing you from embracing the joy and peace of the Christmas season? Now is the time to seek...Read more...
6 Dec 2017
The Feast of Saint Nicholas is one of my favorite feast days for a few reasons. First, this day marks my husband, Nick’s, Feast Name Day. Happy Feast Name Day Nick! Second, I just love the story of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra! Let me tell you some interesting facts about this holy man.
The Real Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas was born into wealth, in 270 A.D., in a town along the southern coast of Turkey. He was raised as a devout Christian. However, his parents died, from an epidemic, when Nicholas was very young. They left their money to Nicholas. Literally following the biblical passage, “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” (Matt 19:21), Nicholas used all his wealth to give aid and comfort to the sick and the poor. Therefore, known for his generosity, Saint Nicholas has become... Read more...
27 Nov 2017
Most of you have gotten to know me through my blog posts on this website. By sharing my thoughts and experiences, I hope that you grow in virtue and grow closer to God. I am blessed that my blog has been named in the top 100 websites worldwide by Feedspot.com. Yet, a blog can only reach so many people. There are so many more who need to hear the message of Jesus’ Way – via the virtues, prayer and spirituality. So, in addition to blogging on the virtues (and other points of interest), I also do public speaking engagements on matters related to the Catholic faith. In my engagements, I bring the virtues, prayer and spirituality to life, showing others how they can more easily incorporate them into their daily lives. It is truly a rewarding experience. It is my mission to bring to life Jesus’ Way to others. And now, my mission expands.
In moving from my desktop computer, to the parish hall, I take Christ’s words of wisdom to His faithful. To date, my speaking engagements have been at parishes within my Diocese. Now it’s time to expand my mission. With that expansion, there is a lot of preparatory work involved. For example, a public speaker needs...Read more...
22 Nov 2017
I can’t believe that another holiday season is upon us! This year just zoomed past me. Yet, I have much to be thankful for this year. On this eve of Thanksgiving, I give thanks for:
- Each of you, for your support and friendship. May God bless every one of you.
- My loving husband of 38+ years. May we have many more together.
- Good health for both my husband and me. We had a health scare earlier this year, but God is good, and all is well. May we all continue to be in good health.
- The opportunity to serve as RCIA Coordinator for my parish. What a blessing to be able to share the faith with people who really want to have a close relationship with Jesus. We have seven women going through the program, with the hope of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter. Please keep them, and me, in your prayers.
- A roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, and food on my table. God provides! Sometimes, I don’t know how He does it, but He does it!
Give Thanks with Me
For what do you wish to give thanks for this Thanksgiving? Add your thoughts... Read more...
15 Nov 2017
Do you know “Debbie Downer?” She’s that person that always has something to gripe about. You never see her in a good mood. She is too busy feeling sorry for herself to ever say “thank you” for anything. Debbie doesn’t have many friends, and maybe that’s because ungratefulness is ugly.
We tend to steer away from the Debbie Downers of the world, because as human beings we are drawn to the good, and virtuous qualities, we see in others. Innately, we like to be around positive people, because they lift our spirits. If you are a Debbie Downer, or know someone who has negative traits (and don’t we all know someone who has those traits?), then consider the need for a mind shift.
Changing the Heart from Ungratefulness to One of Gratitude
I think we could all call ourselves Debbie Downers from time to time, especially when...Read more...
13 Nov 2017
Forgiveness can take seventy times just to get it right! I thought I had forgiven the bullies who verbally abused me in grade school, until one recent Sunday, when I heard the Gospel from Matthew where it states,
Then Peter approaching Him asked, ‘Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times’? Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy times’ (Matt 18:21-22).
I didn’t want to hold on to the pain any longer. That day, I gave the pain to Jesus – literally! After receiving Communion, I went back to my seat to kneel and give thanks. As I closed my eyes, I saw...Read more...
6 Nov 2017
The definition of self-giving love is to give without expecting repayment. With self-giving love, one gives from the heart, solely because he/she loves another for the sake of that person. There is no self-interest; only concern for the other person.
In today’s Gospel from Luke 14:12-14, Jesus tells us, via one of His parables, not to invite the wealthy to a banquet, for we may be asked to return the favor one day. Rather,
…when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
How to discern self-giving love
Let me take this one step further and ask you: When you give to the poor, do you... Read more...
1 Nov 2017
We take this day to remember all those saints who walked our path before us, triumphing in the face of adversity by placing their trust in God. Some of those saints are famous, like Saint Augustine, or Saint Francis of Assisi. And then, there are those saints who remain unknown to us; but, nonetheless, strove to do God’s will while on earth. Whether famous, or unknown, they now reap the reward of everlasting life with God. With perfected souls, they pray for us. They ask God to give us strength to resist evil. Through their intercession, we receive grace to persevere on our own journeys. These souls are a source of virtuous inspiration, making All Saints Day a day of remembrance and celebration.
All Saints Have a Story to Tell
Each saint has their own history, or story to tell. Saint Therese of Lisieux tells us of her “little way” of growing closer to God in The Story of a Soul. Saint Faustina shows us... Read more...
30 Oct 2017
In today’s first reading from Romans 8:12-17, Saint Paul encourages us to live by the spirit and not by the flesh. What does it actually mean to live by the spirit? And for that matter, what does it mean to live by the flesh? Let’s clear up the answers to those questions first, before we can determine how we should live.
To Live by the Spirit
As a baptized Christian, you are an adopted son or daughter of God. That makes you a rightful heir of God. As an heir of God, your inheritance is Heaven. Therefore, how you live your life on earth, will determine how you live for eternity. Will you squander your inheritance, or will you live your life in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s guidance? Saint Paul strongly urges us to live our lives in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That’s what it means to live by the Spirit.
To Live According to the Flesh
Do you place more importance on the here and now, rather than eternity? Is it most important to you to...Read more...
23 Oct 2017
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us the parable of the rich fool who wishes to tear down his smaller barns to build bigger ones, to store his massive harvest; a harvest, expected to last for years to come (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus refers to this man as a fool, because the man is clueless to the fact that the man will lose his life that very night. What good is all of those earthly possessions, if one is dead the next day? If the man had focused more on eternal life, the man would have been better prepared to meet his Maker.
Jesus gives us this parable to alert us to the fact that earthly possessions cannot save us from death. Only Jesus’ salvific power and mercy can save us from our impending death; to give us eternal life, with Him, in Heaven. Therefore, our goal in life is not to accumulate as much wealth as possible, but to participate in the salvation of our own souls. How do we do that? Read more...
18 Oct 2017
Today, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Luke, Gospel writer and doctor. Luke wrote both the Gospel According to Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Yet, Luke, himself, was not an Apostle. He learned of Jesus’ message via tradition, as did many people of the day, in circa 85 A.D. It is Saint Paul who refers to Saint Luke, in several places throughout Saint Paul’s epistles. Saint Paul refers to Saint Luke as his beloved friend and co-worker (Col 4:14, Phlm v24, and 2 Tim 4:11). Through the teachings from Saint Paul, as well as the writings of the Gospel of Saint Mark, Luke crafted his two masterpieces.
Saint Luke, A Man Filled with Compassion
Of the four Gospels, Luke provides us with the gentlest of approaches, with words filled with compassion and care. Writing in Greek for Gentile Christians, Luke crafted a message of mercy and forgiveness; calling on the faithful to be Christ-like. In Acts, Saint Luke gives us a ring-side seat to... Read more...
16 Oct 2017
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun and mystic, from the 17th century. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was always religious, from early childhood on. However, as she grew into her teen years, she strayed a bit. Yet, even with the straying, and maybe because of it, she is known to have received visions of Jesus. One night, when she was out with friends, Jesus appeared to her, scourged at the pillar. In this vision, Jesus was not happy with Margaret Mary’s behavior. Thus, she... Read more...
11 Oct 2017
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Pope John XXIII, who opened the Second Vatican Council, in 1962, by proclaiming, “open the windows and let in the fresh air.” His rationale for convening the Second Vatican Council was to usher in reform; refreshing the liturgy, and engaging the laity. Because of Saint Pope John XXIII’s vision, numerous church documents were promulgated. Yet, he did not live to see the finished products. His purpose was to plant the seed for change within the Church, and that he did well.
Saint Pope John XXIII’s Teaching
Saint Pope John the XXIII’s most popular encyclical was Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth). In this encyclical Saint Pope John XXIII lays out man’s relationship with God and with each other; discussing human, economic and political rights and duties. He called for collaboration amongst men, respect for life, equality, and dignity– true foundations of peace. Saint Pope John XXIII elaborated on applying efforts that promote the common good, and government’s role in meeting the needs of the common good.
Pacem in Terris is, basically, a teaching on morality. If you... Read more...
9 Oct 2017
In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 10:25-37, we hear the story of the Good Samaritan. When you read this story, what role do you see yourself in? Might you be the victim, who everyone seems to ignore? Or perhaps, you are the priest, who walked on the opposite side of the street to avoid the incident? Maybe you are the Levite, who looked the other way, so as to not acknowledge the pain and suffering of the victim. Or perhaps, you just might be the Good Samaritan. And let’s not forget about the innkeeper who acted as caregiver to the victim. Perhaps that’s where you fit in this story.
How many of us could claim “Good Samaritan” status?
I think that it is safe to say, that given the different circumstances of one’s life, we can find ourselves taking on each one of these roles, at different times. We’ve all been a victim of some degree of injustice at least once in our lives. There have been times when we... Read more...
4 Oct 2017
Today we celebrate the feast day of one of my favorite saints – Saint Francis of Assisi. If anyone lived a Christ-like life it was Saint Francis. His goal in life was to live out the Gospel with these three passages in mind:
- “Jesus said to him, ‘if you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me’” (Matt 19:21).
- “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me’” (Matt 16:24).
- “He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, not food, nor money, nor let no one take a second tunic’” (Luke 9:3).
Saint Francis – A Man after God’s Own Heart
What do these three passages have in common? They each share a disregard for earthly comforts, wanting only God. Saint Francis of Assisi found joy in humility, strength in meekness, and freedom in his slavery to Christ. He gave... Read more...
27 Sep 2017
Born in 1581, Saint Vincent de Paul, of French descent, earned his Theology degree, in 1612. Ordained a priest in Clichy, France, he dedicated his entire adult life to addressing the needs of the poor. Saint Vincent de Paul took the Corporal Works of Mercy to heart. He gave food and drink to the poor, via the establishment of soup kitchens. He clothed the poor, via donations from those who could spare items. A true missionary to the poor, he sheltered the homeless, visited the sick and imprisoned, and buried the dead.
Saint Vincent de Paul, Apostle of Charity
Saint Vincent de Paul, became an inspiration to many, because of how he lived his life in self-service to those in need. He is fondly known as the Apostle of Charity. Today, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, made up of laity, follow in Saint Vincent’s footsteps by... Read more...
25 Sep 2017
Greed, avarice and envy are all at the root of contradiction with the Tenth Commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods” (Ex 20:17). With greed, there aren’t enough earthly goods to satisfy us. We’ll always want more. Remember the old line, “keeping up with the Joneses?” With greed, we must always have more, or better, than the Joneses. Avarice, on the other hand, is an inordinate desire to accumulate wealth. One can never have enough money. And then there’s envy; the inordinate desire to want what someone else has, simply because they have it and you do not. All three – greed, avarice and envy – try to fill holes that only God can fill. All three have at their root in the sin of pride.
Battling with Greed, Avarice and Envy
If we don’t have the latest gadgets, if we don’t have enough money, what will people think of us? Will they think less of us? Our pride drives us to... Read more...
20 Sep 2017
So, you think you know what it means to steal? Why, it is the taking of another’s property against the owner’s will, right? Yes, but stealing also includes:
vandalism, cheating on exams, reporting more payroll hours than actually worked, wasting time at work, price gouging, shoplifting,” 1
“failure to pay taxes and bills, overspending the money of another person, failing to put in an honest day’s work, and reneging on a business contract.” 2
You thought you were scot-free because you never held anyone at gunpoint and took their watch and money, or because you never robbed a bank, right? Well... Read more...
18 Sep 2017
Human love demands a total self-giving of one to another within the covenant of marriage. There is no room for self-gratification, or for expressions of sexual intercourse aside from the conjugal act within marriage. For when these things happen, they are not based on love. Rather, they are based upon deception and a misuse of one’s own sexuality. Actions such as these, linked to the Ninth Commandment, diminish the dignity of all parties involved. Innately, we all know this, because God has infused within each one of us His Natural Law of right versus wrong. Yet, we still commit the sins against Chastity.
Sins Against Chastity
We know that to practice Chastity, we are to refrain from engaging in sexual relations with someone other than one’s own spouse. When we do not refrain from doing so, we commit the sins of... Read more...
11 Sep 2017
Oh, there are so many ways to violate the Fifth Commandment! Did you know that? Besides murder, we can violate this commandment as follows, via showing a disrespect for others in the form of
…anger, hatred, abusive language, resentment, omissions in service, racism, and failures to treat enemy oppressors with love. Revenge or vindictiveness also has no place in the heart of a Christian.” 1
More Ways to Violate the Fifth Commandment!
It gets even worse! We can violate the Fifth Commandment by showing a disrespect for ourselves, when we commit... Read more...
Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. A...