This makes me think… it’s all grace…

“I shall love You, O Lord, and return thanks to You and exalt Your Name because You have pardoned so many of my guilty acts. If my sins have melted away like ice, it is the work of Your grace and mercy. All the evil that I have not committed was likewise the work of Your grace. Was there any sin that I could not have committed, I who have loved evil with so light a heart? I confess that all my sins have been forgiven, both those that I committed as well as those that, with Your help, I did not commit.” (St. Augustine)

Read more: http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/2014/03/14/examination-conscience#ixzz2wKcAmQMv

Hey – I was on “The Good Catholic Life” on WQOM — podcast version here!

Hey – I was on “The Good Catholic Life” on WQOM — podcast version here!

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 8.32.15 PMYesterday I was happy to share some studio time with two of my favorite media guys from the Archdiocese of Boston, Fr Chip Hines and Dom Bettinelli. The show opens with film critic, Fr Chip, giving some of his thoughts on the new movie “Son of God”. And then I was introduced.

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We talked about the church’s positive message for women as presented in my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious on the radio show “The Good Catholic Life”, produced in the studio at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.

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It was a wide ranging discussion and I’m grateful for the questions that were asked.

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Listen or download the show here.

Photos by the talented George Martell. More photos here.  Thanks George!

St Joseph, pray for us… a few links of interest

St Joseph, pray for us… a few links of interest

In the course of that pilgrimage of faith which was his life, Joseph, like Mary, remained faithful to God’s call until the end. While Mary’s life was the bringing to fullness of that fiat first spoken at the Annunciation, at the moment of Joseph’s own “annunciation” he said nothing; instead he simply “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1:24). And this first “doing” became the beginning of “Joseph’s way.” The Gospels do not record any word ever spoken by Joseph along that way. But the silence of Joseph has its own special eloquence, for thanks to that silence we can understand the truth of the Gospel’s judgment that he was “a just man” (Mt 1:19).

One must come to understand this truth, for it contains one of the most important testimonies concerning man and his vocation. Through many generations the Church has read this testimony with ever greater attention and with deeper understanding, drawing, as it were, “what is new and what is old” (Mt 13:52) from the storehouse of the noble figure of Joseph.

Redemptoris Custos (“Guardian of the Redeemer”) by Bl. John Paul II.

Joseph’s Way – my reflections on St Joseph from 2011 at Patheos.

Salute to a Silent Saint – from the Marians at the Shrine of Divine Mercy

AW 160: In this Among Women podcast from the archives, I describe the obedience and faith of Joseph as it impacts the  marriage of Joseph and Mary, drawing on the writings Blessed John Paul II in Redemptoris Custos, above.

Prayers to St Joseph - from St Joseph’s Shrine in Lowell, MA – one of my favorite places to hang out and pray. A nice little pilgrimage if you are ever in the area.

Finally, a video tour of St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal.

I’m cooking up something for St Patty’s Day at The Practicing Catholic today

I’m cooking up something for St Patty’s Day at The Practicing Catholic today

soupandstoriesToday I’m sharing a little recipe for St Patrick Cheddar Soup, along with some of my musings about the my favorite prayer of St Patrick, at The Practicing Catholic blog. It’s Soup and Stories: a clever idea that combines favorite soup recipes with the penitential season of Lent. Here’s a taste…

I was born in New York to a mother of Irish descent. I arrived just a few days shy of Saint Patrick’s Day. Thus I am named both for himself and my Godmother.

Some of young Patty’s fondest Catholic memories are childhood visits to the towering Cathedral of St Patrick on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It always left a powerful impression on me, when compared to our rather plain suburban church.

St Patrick’s Day was also parade day – so it was pretty cool to be named for a saint that was recognized both by the church and the culture at large.

So why not a soup to celebrate the day?

When I had a family of my own, I was happy to have this soup to vary our menu and to call attention to my patron sake, and to tell his story. Since March 17th usually falls within the Lenten season, I found this to be a tasty soup that was somewhat penitential, since it was meatless, yet very nourishing.

Read the whole thing. I hope you’ll join me as well as all the others who are souping’ it up for Lent! Thanks to Lisa and Joel Schmidt for the invitation to participate!

The F.U.N. Quotient…. the “marry me” edition.

Verily’s Facebook page had a link to this group of marriage proposals that was too good not to share.  All of them are about 5 minutes long and have some kind of music going on. But 5 for 5, the gents all got down on one knee. And all five gals were surprised and said “yes.”

I don’t know who these couples are, but say a prayer for them. All couples need that. The easy part is behind them. But the best part awaits them if they give themselves fully to their beloved in this vocation.

“Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family – a domestic church.”

- Blessed John Paul II -

Among Women Podcast 176: What We Love About Pope Francis

Among Women Podcast 176: What We Love About Pope Francis

This week on Among Women we honor the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. Listen to a special edition that I’m calling “What We Love About Pope Francis.” This episode feature comments from Among Women listeners and conversation with our special guest,  Sr Anne Joan Flanagan, of the Daughters of St Paul, AKA the blogger at Nun Blog.

Sr Anne has just released a new e-book 5 Keys to Understanding Pope Francis: What He Says and What He Does from Pauline Books and Media. Together we have a lively discussion about some of the big themes emerging in the Holy Father’s pontificate.

Listen to this newest Among Women podcast! 

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This makes me think… “discouragement causes souls to be lost”

Humble people persevere in the life of prayer without presumption and without relying on themselves. They don’t consider anything their due, don’t consider themselves able to do anything by their own strength, aren’t surprised to find that they have difficulties, weaknesses, and constant falls, but put up with all these peacefully, without making much of them, because they place all their hope in God and are certain that they will obtain from God’s mercy all that they are powerless to do or merit for themselves.

Humble people are never discouraged because they trust not in themselves but in God. Ultimately, that is what really matters. “It is discouragement that causes souls to be lost,” says Father Libermann. True humility and trust always go hand-in-hand.

For example, we must never let ourselves become discouraged over our lukewarmness or the realization of how little we love God. Beginners in the spiritual life, on reading the lives of the saints or their writings, may sometimes feel downhearted in the face of burning expressions of love for God they find there, so far beyond anything they themselves feel. This is a very common temptation. Let us preserver in good will and trust: God himself will give us the love with which we can love him. Strong, burning love for God does not come naturally. It is infused in our heart by the Holy Spirit, who will be given to us if we ask him with the persistence of the wide in the Gospel. It is not always those who feel the most fervent at the start who go furthest in the spiritual life — far from it, in fact!

- Fr Jacques Philippe, Time for God -

 

 

The F.U.N. Quotient… doggy edition

The warm weather cannot arrive fast enough. But we can enjoy ice cream anytime!

And why settle for some of a cone, when you can order the whole thing?

Lenten Almsgiving opportunity: support a Missions company with lay people and families in mission together

Lenten Almsgiving opportunity: support a Missions company with lay people and families in mission together

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 2.23.34 PMYou may remember my friends, Jonathan and Kristen Weiss? They are full-time missionaries supporting married couples, families, and single lay persons in mission work in five countries with Family Missions Company. Different than a missions outreach supported by the work of Catholic religious orders, this apostolate offers lay persons a temporary or permanent mission outreach opportunities.

Here’s a fast recap of the past year at Family Missions Company.

You may also want to listen to the podcast I did with Jonathan and Kristen back during the Bloggers with a Mission campaign for World Missions Sunday.

Donate directly.

Support a Missionary.

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photo courtesy of Jonathan Weiss.

Video courtesy of Family Missions Company.