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Archives for June 2014

This makes me think… all women are called to promote a new feminism, even those who have had abortions

In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a “new feminism” which rejects the temptation of imitating models of “male domination”, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.

Making my own the words of the concluding message of the Second Vatican Council, I address to women this urgent appeal: “Reconcile people with life”. You are called to bear witness to the meaning of genuine love, of that gift of self and of that acceptance of others which are present in a special way in the relationship of husband and wife, but which ought also to be at the heart of every other interpersonal relationship. The experience of motherhood makes you acutely aware of the other person and, at the same time, confers on you a particular task: “Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman’s womb … This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings not only towards her own child, but every human being, which profoundly marks the woman’s personality”. A mother welcomes and carries in herself another human being, enabling it to grow inside her, giving it room, respecting it in its otherness. Women first learn and then teach others that human relations are authentic if they are open to accepting the other person: a person who is recognized and loved because of the dignity which comes from being a person and not from other considerations, such as usefulness, strength, intelligence, beauty or health. This is the fundamental contribution which the Church and humanity expect from women. And it is the indispensable prerequisite for an authentic cultural change.

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

-Pope Saint John Paul II-
The Gospel of Life, 1995, par. 99. [Emphasis mine.]

The F.U.N. Quotient… help with the housework edition

Are there folks in your family who could use a little motivation?


Bounty Launches Beginner Series For People New To Paper Towels

With this next video, I’m thinking of all the wasted years we’ve spent teaching the dog to sit, stay, and come.

Finally, I must ask: Does the Roomba actually clean anything or is it just a prop for pet action videos?

 

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious wins a 2014 Catholic Press Association Award, as do others from Ave Maria Press!

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious wins a 2014 Catholic Press Association Award, as do others from Ave Maria Press!

What a honor! Thanks to the Catholic Press Association! Let me also extend my deep gratitude to publisher Tom Grady and the great editorial, marketing, and creative teams at Ave Maria Press for their support of my book and those titles and authors listed below.

Ave Maria Press made this announcement via this press release:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.00.59 PM

We are very pleased to announce that multiple Ave Maria Press books were selected as Catholic Press Association award winners this weekend. Congratulations to all these wonderful authors!

Check out all the results at the Catholic Press Association website.

Pastoral Ministry Category (First Place) 

Rebuilt by Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran

Spirituality (Soft Cover) (First Place)  

Atchison Blue by Judith Valente

Best Trade/Seasonal Catalog Category (Second Place) 

Ave Maria Press Fall 2013 Trade Catalog by John Carson, Chris Tobin, and Heather Glenn

Professional Book Category (Third Place) 

Redeeming Administration by Ann Garrido

Gender Issues Category (Third Place) 

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious by Pat Gohn

Design and Production Category (Honorable Mention) 

Rebuilt by Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran (Design by John Carson)

More here. 

This makes me think… that Jesus really “gets” us…

Jesus understood human life — all the messy physical realities of being human. Jesus wasn’t simply God playacting at being human. Here’s an earthy example: Last year a vicious stomach flu tore through my Jesuit community. Despite vigorous hand washing, it hit me one night. Without going into details, it was the sickest I have ever been… As I hunched over the toilet for the fifth time that night, I had a surprising thought: Jesus did this. Admittedly, he did not contract a norovirus in a Jesuit community, but Jesus certainly got sick. He got hungry. He ate. He drank. We know, explicitly from the Gospels, that he got tired, as when he falls asleep in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. The physical realities of human life were not unknown to him.

Fr James Martin, SJ, Jesus: A pilgrimage.

The F.U.N. Quotient … the 16min smile make-over edition (video)

A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17: 22

I saw this short film a few years back. Someone I love needs to know this now. Maybe you do, too.

Getting more familiar with the Bible — Among Women podcasts to help you dig in!

Summertime = down time for many people. If you enjoy having a summer reading list, consider upping your time spent reading God’s Word — the Bible!

Here’s a few podcasts, drawn from my archives at Among Women, that might inspire you along the way.

AW 92: The Bible and You – listen as Among Women listeners share their favorite bible verses, and I share resources for your bible study.

AW 70: The Professor and St Paul – Professor Mary Ward, a PhD in theology, shares her love of St Paul.

AW 8: The Gospel of Mark – Professor Mary Healy, a PhD in theology, shares her love of Scripture. Dr Healy is one of the key developers and editors of the Catholic Commentary on Scripture. Dr Healy’s book on Mark is here. (You might also get a kick from knowing this is one of the earliest AW podcasts – dating all the way back to 2009)

A few more articles and resources:

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This makes me think… about the buying more Youcats for my young friends

You need to know what you believe. You need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination. You need God’s help if you want to resist the blandishments of consumerism, if your love is not to drown in pornography, if you are not going to betray the weak and leave the vulnerable helpless.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
from the introduction to the Youcat.

The F.U.N. Quotient… for the Moms and Dads out there

Moms will love this: A song parody à la “Frozen”…

 

And there’s this one… (Viewer caution: a single use of a swear word, the ‘s’ word.) This is a comedy sketch from a comedian Dad talking about the upside-down-ness of doing simple things with children. Yes, to quote the previous video, he definitely needs to “let it go…”

I’m on the road again…

I’m on the road again…

I may be a bit scarce around these parts and over at Facebook and Twitter as I go off the grid to take some coursework in spiritual direction.

There. I said it.

Putting it out there. 

It is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to test drive it — the first phase of a three year program. Lord knows if I’ll have the fortitude and the right stuff to take it to the end. Anyway, education is never wasted, and sometimes you gotta just plow on into a field to see if it’s worthy of the seed planting.

The classes will certainly help my retreat work and, Lord knows, everything can help my writing. Anyway, its 60 hours of classes over a two week period.

You can bet I’ll be living on coffee. And prayer.

May I beg a few prayers from you as I get started?

Loving Father, I stand before You in the midst of confusion and complexities of life. My future sometimes seems distant and unknown. Give me, O Lord, the vision to see the path You set before me. Grant me the courage to follow Your way, that through the gifts and talents You have given me, I may bring Your life and Your love to others. I ask this through Jesus, Your Son and my Brother.
Amen.

A Student’s Prayer

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!

Priests grow up in families — like yours!

Every priest was once a mother and father’s little boy. Every priest is born into a family. The family, most often, has great impact on the life of a priest and his receptivity to God’s call in his life.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has a wonderful new video that shares this idea very well.

There you go — we who raise families are the incubators of future vocations to the priesthood. We must be afraid of this — after all, God wants us to live generously as parents — and ultimately raise saints!  

Finally, I’d like to spend a few words on that subject as it relates to mothers of families, and all women, no matter what their state in life.

The Congregation for the Clergy (at the Vatican) has a wonderful document that asks a woman’s spiritual maternity to be directed to priests. It is a call for all women, in imitation of the Blessed Mother, to spiritually “mother” priests and future priests through the gift of our prayers for them – most especially when we are before the Eucharist in Adoration. This is a particular call for consecrated religious women, but it is also a call for the rest of us to consider this hidden ministry of spiritually adopting a priest by name as we pray before Jesus in Blessed Sacrament.

Independent of age or social status, any woman can become a mother for priests. This type of motherhood is not only for mothers of families, but is just as possible for an unmarried girl, a widow, or for someone who is ill. It is especially pertinent for missionaries and religious sisters who have given their lives entirely to God for the sanctification of others.

Every priest has a birth mother, and often she is a spiritual mother for her children as well. For example, Giuseppe Sarto, the future Pope Pius X, visited his 70-year-old mother after being ordained a bishop. She kissed her son’s ring and, suddenly pensive, pointed out her own simple silver wedding band saying, “Yes, Giuseppe, you would not be wearing that ring if I had not first worn mine.” Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, “Every vocation to the priest- hood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!”

One sees this particulary well in the life of St. Monica. Augustine, who lost his faith at the age of 19 while studying in Carthage, later wrote in his famous “Confessions” regarding his mother:“For love of me, she cried more tears than a mother would over the bodily death of her son. Nine years passed in which I wallowed in the slime of that deep pit and the darkness of falsehood. Yet that pious widow desisted not all the hours of her supplications, to bewail my case unto Thee where her prayers entered into Thy presence.”

After his conversion, Augustine said thankfully, “My holy mother never abandoned me. She brought me forth in her flesh, that I might be born to this temporal light, and in her heart, that I might be born to life eternal.”  [From Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Motherhood]

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Related: How to Grow a Priest, by yours truly.