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Friday, January 31, 2014

Proud to be Catholic

Some people just don't understand my family.  You know how we siblings put each other down in our familial teasing.  Some people think that's terrible.  They don't understand that's how we show love.

You know how everyone in the family makes fun of Mom's lack of cooking skills.  Some people think that's disrespectful to our mother.  They don't understand that our love for her is all embracing, including burnt food.

You know how your spouse is so "pollyannaish".   Someone could deliberately insult him, and he'd say, "Well we all have bad days."  Some people find that annoying.  I find it endearing.

The Catholic Church is a family.  We members of the family jokingly talk about nuns with rulers, and priests and nuns who aren't up to date with the latest cultural mores.  Some people don't understand that it's our love for the church, is what allows us to joke about her.  This is what happened, yesterday.

In my writer's group, we read out loud.  One member told a story about her husband.  Her husband teases her with accusations of "Catholic guilt."  Another member's story told the tale of parochial school where the nuns' talk of sin making her see sin everywhere.

The lady next to me said, "Thank God, I'm not Catholic."

I told her I was proud to be Catholic.  She apologized and said she didn't mean to offend me, she was just reacting to the Catholic stories.

Later, upon reflection, neither of these Catholic stories were damning Catholics.  "Catholic guilt," is a term meaning you recognize sin.  If you got drunk, you should feel bad about doing that; that's Catholic guilt.  As for the nuns, wouldn't you expect nuns to teach about sin?  The speaker could easily have replaced nuns with doctors, making her see germs everywhere.  They're just stories,  no moralizing intended.

It reminds me of how some people think Catholic pray to saints.  We do say, "Pray to St. Anthony."  But we're thinking, "Pray for St. Anthony's intercession with God."  The same with worshipping statues.  Just because we have statues of saints to remind us of their virtuous behavior to emulate, doesn't mean we think of them as God.  I also have a statue of a dolphin, a bust of Ben Franklin, trophies, and other secular memorabilia.

I guess it's a family thing, and if you're not in the family, you just don't understand.  The rock group, the Lovin Spoonful, said it best, it's like  TRYING TO TELL A STRANGER ‘BOUT ROCK AND ROLL .     

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Taking It Personally

After attending Sherry's Weddell's seminar, regarding forming intentional disciples, I've been thinking a lot about how to get people to have a relationship with Jesus.  They need to have a personal relationship with God.

There's many programs.  I guess you have to keep trying different ones and hope they work--different strokes for different folks.

I'm also praying about it.  

In this morning's Office of Readings is confirmation of my line of thought:

You will seek me,
and when you seek with your whole heart,
you will find me;
--I will let myself be found by you, says the Lord.
I will restore your fortunes.

Seek, and you will find,
knock on the door, and it will be opened to you.
--I will let myself be found by you, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 29: 13-14; Matthew 7:7

Amen, Amen.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Camelot or Soap Opera

Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler
Lance was just about to be killed when a legendary myth saved him.  A king on horseback appeared out of nowhere and saved the day.  The city is Los Angeles, and gangs rule.  Lance is a skateboarder who wants to skate free of entanglements with any homies, hoods, and/or gangs. 

With a little hesitation, Lance does go off with his savior, and the story begins.  The king really is King Arthur from Camelot.  He has comeback because all that he stands for is needed very badly in this place, in this time.  Los Angeles is overrun with gangs of kids—unwanted kids.  They are ignored, abused, and used.

One by one, the children are recruited and trained to be knights.  They learn discipline, kindness, order, honor, community, and love.  The children are starved for attention and discipline with love.  Arthur loves them all, especially Lance, who is reminiscent of Lancelot.

There’s also Jenny, the romantic interest for Arthur.  Jenny is an adult, who helps Arthur.  Jenny is reminiscent of Guinevere. 

It’s begins as a wonderful story.  These “children of the knight,” are transformed into a formidable crusade against evil.  They clean up Los Angeles.  Even the drug lords who held fiefdom in the city are conquered.

At first, I thought the story comparable to  C.S. Lewis’ and J. R. R. Tolkien’s.  It’s a children’s fantasy story, like the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings, and even Harry Potter. But the moral depth is tenuous.  I applaud the code of equality for all, regardless of race, sex, and sexual orientation.  But I think the focus on sexual attraction distracted from the main theme.

The idea of Camelot is what interested me.  I was intrigued by the training and order.  My curiosity was piqued by what the “children of the knight” were being trained for.  Then in walked Reyna. 
Reyna is a beautiful, yet narcissistic girl.  I knew she’d be trouble.  She isn’t really.  But she represented the introduction a love interest, which I took to being a distraction from the construction of Camelot.  To me, the theme was the making of Camelot, and everything else was a diversion.
So I skipped all the parts about Reyna.

Soon I was skipping the parts dealing with Mark and Jack.  I flipped through Mark and Lance, then Mark and Jack, and Mark and Arthur, and (Good Grief!) Jennie and Arthur.   Then I realized that I was skipping too much.  I had to go back and force myself to read everything.

Now I realize that there was more than one theme going on in the story.  I thought Children of Knight’s theme was a fantasy about children building a new Camelot. I was so hoping this story would soar above Narnia.  I was disappointed.  I wish Arthur or Jennie had taught these kids the concept of “courtly love.”  Then we’d be done with all the teen angst and sexual identity confusion.

Another theme most of the children exhibited was “Father hunger.”  The kids latched onto Arthur like hungry babes rooting around for milk.  And no one knew how to communicate.  No one would talk to the person they should.  I’d say this was another theme. Some people find it hard to verbally express love, so it’s not surprising that kids, who had been basically ignored, would find it hard to be open emotionally. 

King Arthur did manage to teach the children the importance of community. Before becoming knights, the kids looked after themselves, only.  They did what was best for themselves, and to hell with everyone else.  Arthur taught them to do the right thing, not the easiest.  I just wish we readers didn’t have to plow through the anguish of teen sexual identity problems.

I suppose if you’re writing for teens then you have to cater to their concerns.  Maybe teens think that suffering through the anguish of unspoken feelings is admirable.  Maybe the author just wanted to sell his book and scattered the story with as many themes that he thought would appeal to the largest audience possible. 

Whatever.  I just wish the Children of the Knight had built a Camelot that epitomized justice, honor, duty, faithfulness, charity, wisdom, prudence, generosity, self-control, fortitude, temperance, and chastity.

Yeah, I wanted a fantasy world.  Oh wait…Children of the Knight was supposed to be an urban fantasy. 

The blog tour's official site is:

Michael J. Bowler's Web Site:

Michael J. Bowler's Facebook:

Michael J. Bowler's Twitter:
Michael J. Bowler's Goodreads:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Free Kindle Book

FREE KINDLE BOOK - Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime

FREE BOOK!!! This Tuesday, January 28 through Thursday, January 30 only

Get your free Kindle copy of my latest book,Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime, byclicking this link on any of the three days listed above.

What others have said about the book:

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“author is entertaining and insightful in his writing.”

It is my hope that the twenty personal stories and reflections contained in this book might bring you laughter at a time you feel forlorn, comfort when you are overburdened with the challenges of daily living, tears of joy when certain words you read or images they generate resurrect thoughts of those you loved and lost, greater appreciation for the gift of life, zeal for the salvation of your soul, and an increased desire to give to God and those He created what He and they deserve.

Don’t miss out on your free copy. Please tell your readers, friends, family and fellow bloggers to get their free copy as well!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Do Clothes Make the Man?

Every time Sally put on that white dress, her personality changed.  Was it her imagination?  She didn’t think so.  Admittedly, she did look extraordinarily pretty in it.  It showed off her slim figure, her long dark hair and tan.  She received many compliments.  People approached her.  They seemed to want to hang around her.  Were they basking in the aura of the attractive dress, or was it her confidence in appearance?

Whatever!  Sally didn’t think about it too much.  She just reveled in feeling good about herself, the dress, everything.  She was planning to wear it to her cousin’s graduation.  It was perfect, not too dressy and not too casual.

The entire family was going to Beth’s high school graduation.  It was quite an achievement.  Beth had always been in “special needs” classes because of her hearing problems.  Her auditory perception was poor.  In a way, the disability was a gift, because she was forced to work harder than everybody else.  She did, and it paid off; she was graduating with honors.

Beth’s father was so proud.  Beth’s mother had died when she was young, so their life wasn’t easy.  Her dad had medical problems, so there never seemed to be enough money.  He also was kind of clueless when it came to “girly” things.  Beth didn’t have the nicest, or the latest clothes, never mind make-up.  Sally was never sure whether Beth dressed poorly because she didn’t know any better, or she couldn’t communicate with her father, or they didn’t have the money.  She always felt sorry for Beth.

So Sally wanted Beth to have a good graduation.  Beth deserved some happiness.  She couldn’t wait to see her and catch up on each other’s lives. 

Sally slept in Beth’s room, in a sleeping bag.  They usually watched TV, talked, giggled, talked, play cards, and talked.  Sally had grown up a lot, since Beth had seen her last.  She was interested in boys.  There was one boy in particular who Sally would like to know better.  His name was Dave.  He had never asked her out, but he seemed interested when they talked together.

Sally perceived that Dave was maybe clueless about Beth liking him.  Yet he and Beth talked together was a sign that he knew Beth was alive and wasn’t adverse to her attention.
In their all night “gab” session, Sally learned that Dave’s parents were having a graduation party, after the ceremonies.  Sally offered to help Beth with her hair and makeup. 

Despite the lack of sleep, both girls were up early and jazzed to go.  Sally helped Beth fix her hair to fit under the square mortarboard.  The girls talked about makeup and clothes.  They decided Beth was to wear just a little makeup for the ceremony, and shower afterwards, and start over from scratch, for the party.  Off they went.

Sally thought Beth one of the prettiest girls graduating.  She could compete with every girl in that school, in looks alone, never mind brains.  She spotted the boy-friend-to-be, Dave, too.  He was attractive.   Dave and Sally had much in common, according to their yearbook bios.  Sally didn’t see any reason why the two of them wouldn’t get along.

After the ceremony, Sally and Beth rushed home with an aura of special happiness.  So far the day was perfect.  While Beth showered, Sally looked in Beth’s closet.  It was sad.  No dresses, no skirts, only tops and jeans.  Beth had worn shorts under her graduation gown, so Sally didn’t know that Beth had nothing good to wear. 

What to do?

It was too late to go shopping.  The only thing Sally, herself, had in her suitcase was jeans, shorts, and carpenter pants.  “Oh dear!”

Sally wanted so much to make it happen for Beth.  She’d give her the shirt off her back, if she could.

Er…she could. 

Sally could take off her lucky dress and let Beth wear it—just this once.  After all, Sally wasn’t going to this party; she wasn’t invited.  And it would mean the world to Beth.

When Beth came out of the shower, Sally was in shorts, and the beautiful dress was on a hanger waiting for Beth.

The girls reeled around the room giggling, with a curling iron, mascara wand, and all kinds of female accoutrements.  Thank goodness the shoe style was thongs, because Beth’s feet were too big for Sally’s shoes.  Beth was no Cinderella.

The piece de resistance was the dress.  As Sally dropped the dress over Beth’s head, she felt kind of sad, but she ignored it.  Sally couldn’t ignore the vision before her.  The ordinary tee shirt and jeans, hair in a ponytail girl, was transformed into Cinderella.  Extraordinary--breath taking extraordinary. 

Sally took pictures with her cell phone.  No one is going to believe this is Beth.  What a transformation!

As Sally watched Beth walk down the street, again she felt sad.  She wondered if the dress was magical.  Does the dress make the wearers feel beautiful and that’s what everyone sees; or is it the beautiful dress itself?  Beth is a beautiful girl, inside and out.  Why doesn’t everyone see that?  Should Sally be asking the same question about herself? 

When Beth returned a few hours later, she had to shake Sally awake.  Sally had fallen asleep watching TV.  Sally rubbed her eyes and then opened them in shock.  Her dress was ruined!  It was a wilted, damp, soggy mess. 

Beth was happily waltzing around the room relating her tale of Prince Charming rescuing her.  She babbled on and on—Dave asked her for a date.

“But the dress…” Sally managed to croak.

Beth said, “Dave wants to go to a concert.”

“The dress?”  Sally asked.

Beth continued, “Dave works at Patriot’s Place and we have our pick of concerts.”

“The dress?”  Sally voice got louder.

“Actually, any event, Dave said.”  Beth was in a dream.

“THE DRESS!  THE DRESS!!!” Sally screamed.

“Oh.”  Beth looked down and remembered.  “Oh, someone pushed me in the pool, and Dave jumped in to save me.”

Sally was speechless.

Beth apologized about the dress and said, “I don’t know how to swim.  I panicked, until Dave saved me.  Everyone remarked what a shame such a pretty dress was ruined.  It was, I mean, I was the talk of the party.  I was a big hit.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Since it's Sunday, it's time to link up to This That And The Other Thing.  We bloggers get together on this site to give a snippet of our week's posts.  The theme for this week was the Right to Life.  That's all I wrote about.  All week I posted the bishops novena for life.

The question on This That And The Other Thing, was where do I get my Catholic books.  I look at the books on Tuscany Press, and then I order them from Amazon.  I write reviews for books but they're not Catholic books.  Tuscany Press only has Catholic Books.

USCCB Novena for Life -- Day Nine

DAY NINE January 26, 2014
St. Mary's Rosary for Life

For repentance, healing and peace in every heart and every nation

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be  
In today's Gospel Jesus preaches, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And after calling the first apostles, he went around all of Galilee, "proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people" (Mt 4:23). Repentance is necessary for healing, but the Lord doesn't want us to remain stuck in misery over our sins. With healing comes peace and the joy of knowing we are loved and forgiven by God. The message of the Gospel of Life is one of great joy! Our call to live this Gospel is not marked with sadness and despair, but with hope, expectation and exuberant joy. "It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring...The Gospel is the "good news" that God loves us and that each of us is important to him. Show the world that this is true!" (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 27th World Youth Day, March 15, 2012) 
Acts of Reparation (choose one)
  • Spend quality time with a family member or friend; ask them if they would like to help out at a local charity with you.

  • Say three Hail Marys for your parish priest. Without our priests, we could not have the sacraments.

  • Make a "quiet hour" today, turning off all electronic devices (cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, video game system) and retreat to your room. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

USCCB Novena for Life Day 8

Day Eight: Saturday, January 25, 2014

Printable versions of Day 8:
Intercession: For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who help create and manufacture contraceptive and abortifacient drugs: that the Lord will open their eyes to the moral danger and health risks these drugs pose for women and prompt them to work only on medications that benefit human life.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: Today’s reading from Acts tells the story of St. Paul’s conversion. Before, he was “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord.” After encountering Christ, Paul became a “chosen instrument,” filled with the Holy Spirit, and ready to suffer for Jesus’ name. There is absolutely nothing and no one outside of the power of God’s loving embrace. Today we remember the children, the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all those who have been involved in or affected by abortion. We entrust them to the unfathomable healing mercy of God, recalling the words of Jesus to St. Faustina: “The greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy” (Diary, 1182).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Read about a Church teaching you don't understand in the Catechism.
  • Make an honest assessment of your "giving finances" – are you giving too little? Make a resolution to give a set weekly or monthly donation to your parish or favorite local charity.
  • Do you love your cup of tea or coffee in the morning? Fast from caffeine today or try your coffee black.

Friday, January 24, 2014

USCCB Novena for Life - Day 7

DAY SEVEN January 24, 2014
For elected leaders who oppose any restriction on the abortion license: may God allow them to grasp the brutal violence of abortion and the reality of post-abortion suffering experienced by countless women and men.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be  
On this feast of St. Francis de Sales, let us consider these words of the great saint: "All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey." St. Francis reminds us that all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love, and that we find our freedom in living the truth. As we defend the dignity of human life, let us ask St. Francis de Sales to pray for us so that everything we say and do for unborn children and their grieving parents is imbued with both compassion and truth. 
Acts of Reparation (choose one)
  • Go to Confession-today, if possible-or during this week.
  • Fast from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
  • Today, go visit an adoration chapel and spend an hour with Jesus.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

USCCB Novena for Life - Day Six

Day Six: Thursday, January 23, 2014

Intercession: For those whose work involves promoting abortion and contraceptive use: may God help them understand that the casual sex they foster undermines the capacity for the self-giving, faithful and enduring love that is the longing of every heart..

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: Today marks the feast day of the newly canonized American saint, Mother Marianne Cope, OSF (1838-1918). St. Marianne Cope emigrated with her family from Germany as an infant and grew up in Utica, NY. She joined the Sisters of St. Francis at the age of twenty-four and later helped to found and operate two regionals hospitals in upstate New York. In 1883, she answered the plea of Hawaii’s king to operate hospitals and care for the victims of leprosy, travelling to Hawaii with six Franciscan sisters. During the last thirty years of her life, she chose to be exiled on the island of Molokai where she cared for women and children with leprosy. She was a life-long witness to the equal dignity and value of every human being. She brought beauty and order to the lives of these outcasts, and provided them with educational and religious instruction as well as teaching them music and the decorative arts. St. Marianne, help us to see the beauty and value in every human life!

Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Learn how to pray the Angelus. . . prayer, and get into the habit of saying it every day—at noon or 6 pm or on awakening (or all three times).
  • Today ignore your sweet tooth. Make healthy eating choices.
  • Clean a room in your house without being asked or without telling anyone. Pray for your family members while you clean, "and your Father who sees in secret will repay you" (Matthew 6:6).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pray with Fr. Gerald Souza for the Unborn

                            Fr. Gerald Souza urges people to pray with him, to end abortion.

USCCB Novena for Life--Day 5

DAY FIVE January 22, 2014

For an end to legal abortion in our nation and for the conversion of all hearts, so that the inherent rights of every human being-especially those most at risk of abuse and rejection-will be upheld.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be  

Today, on this 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we consider the past four decades in which our society has legally permitted abortion and wandered far from God. Instead of accepting children in joy and hope, many hearts seem hardened against making commitments to others, fearing the demands others may make on our time or our freedom. We are becoming a culture marked by rejection, by loneliness and sorrow. In today's Gospel, we hear how Jesus grieved over the Pharisees' hardness of heart, as he heals the man with the withered hand. They remained silent when Jesus pointedly asked them: "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" Our laws now make it legal to destroy life by abortion, by abortifacient drugs, in destructive embryo research, in the course of in vitro fertilization procedures, and in some states by assisted suicide and the death penalty. How Jesus must grieve over this culture of death! Let us open our hearts in faith, entrusting our culture to the healing power of Christ, the One who has overcome sin and the power of evil.  
Acts of Reparation (choose one)
  • Today is a day of prayer and penance for restoration of the right to life. Step out of your comfort zone and witness publicly to life in a march or rally, or call your elected representatives to ask them to promote policies and laws that respect life.

  • Gratitude helps us love God and neighbor. Today try to not complain or be negative. Say a prayer of thanksgiving instead.

  • Don't push the snooze button. Get right out of bed and offer your day in prayer to God. "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." (Ephesians 5:14).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

USCCB Novena for Life Day Four

Day Four: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Intercession: For the doctors, nurses and counselors who now know they were wrong in cooperating with abortion: may God grant them the courage to renounce their involvement in the abortion industry and open their hearts to doing his will from now on.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: Today we honor the life of St. Agnes, a 12-year-old girl martyred in Rome in 304 AD, during the Diocletian persecution. Agnes never wavered in her commitment to remain a virgin and to give her whole life to the Lord, refusing proposals to marry. Her innocence and heroism facing death helped bring an end to the persecution of Christians in Rome. Following the example of St. Agnes, let us remain steadfast in recognizing Christ, who is Love Incarnate, as the source and summit of our lives. May his love give us the determination and courage to live for him and for others, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.

  • Pray the Rosary today for someone who has hurt or disappointed you, and ask for the grace to forgive that person.

  • Instead of donating "old clothes," offer to buy a new piece of clothing or item a charity is seeking.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Main Stream Media Notification Links

                      March for Life: Contact the Media

                                          January 22, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Every year, the presence of 400,000+ Marchers for Life in the nation's capital is all but ignored 
by our anti-Christian MSM.

Challenge for You: contact major media outlets and ask them to cover the March for Life. 
Tell them that you will be writing again to ask why they didn't cover the event -- if they don't.

Making it easy for you to write:

ABC News Feedback 

CBS News Contact Us

Fox News News Tips

Send them an email, asking them to cover the March for Life!

USCCB Novena for Life--Day Three

DAY THREE January 20, 2014   

For the parents who influenced their child's choice to abort their grandchild: that they may have the humility and wisdom to see the wrong they've done and to seek forgiveness from God and from their child. 

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Today is the memorial of St. Sebastian, the famous martyr and patron of athletes, who lived his faith courageously in the midst of intense Roman persecution. St. Sebastian's life reminds us that in the midst of threats to the faith, living and dying for Christ is the ultimate witness-one that changes others. In today's Mass readings, the prophet Samuel chastises King Saul for failing to obey the Lord's command, reminding him that God values our obedience more than sacrificial offerings. The Psalm, too, reminds us that an upright life is more pleasing to God than empty professions of faith. Are our actions always consistent with what we profess as Catholics? Do we sometimes hope that God will overlook our disobedient hearts by distracting him with rote prayers?
Acts of Reparation (choose one)
  • It's easy to put our headphones on and ignore our siblings or parents in the car. Instead, enjoy the opportunity you have to talk to them, ask them how they are doing.

  • Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share your love for Christ with those who need that encouragement the most today. "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."
    -Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

  • We can sometimes forget how blessed we are to have many of our daily comforts. Give up sleeping with your pillow tonight.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

My Lay Dominican friends and I choose patron saints.  For example, one sister asked me to find her a
patron.  She is a black American, works for the federal government, isn't married, and helps her relatives, especially her nieces and nephews.

I gave her Theresa Chikaba.  Who?  You might ask.  Sister Chikaba is a lot like Josephine Bakhita, who became a saint.  You can read about her here.

Theresa Chikaba was a Dominican Sister, and so is my patron seeker, so that's the reason I chose Sister Chikaba.

Theresa was born in  western Africa, around the turn of the eighteenth century.  She was kidnapped and sold into slavery by Spanish sailors.  Fortunately, she found herself into a kind, Christian home.  She worked, but also was taught to read, write, and think and pray.  When her owner, the Marchioness of Mancera died, she freed Theresa and bequeathed her a handsome dowry.

The dowry allowed Theresa to enter the Dominican Sisters of Salamanca.  Sor Theresa also used the dowry to pay for other young ladies who wanted to enter but lacked a dowry.  I'm only relating Sor Theresa Chikaba's story because R'Ann asked.  R'Ann is the host of Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.  We bloggers link our posts together on Sundays.  We post what we wrote during the week.

Monday -- is actually a defense of Cafeteria Catholics.

Tuesday -- Boyarina Morozova

Wednesday -- is only an illusion.

Thursday -- A pro-life video.

Friday -- Break

Saturday -- First prayer in the Novena for Pro Life

Click over to R'Ann's This That And The Other Thing, to see what's happening.

USCCB Novena for Life Day Two

DAY TWO Novena for Life
 January 19, 2014

For the father whose child died with his cooperation and consent: that the Lord grant him the grace to repent and be reconciled with God.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be  

In today's Gospel reading (Jn 1:29-34), John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is both the Son of God and "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." At every Mass we repeat these words, but how often do we meditate on this great mystery? There is nothing we could ever accomplish on our own that could atone for our daily failures to love others with the merciful and sacrificial love of Christ. But in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he forgives our faults, wipes the stain of sin from our souls and gives us the strength to begin anew with the help of his grace. Let us live each day in gratitude for the mercy God has shown us!
Acts of Reparation (choose one)
  • When others are speaking uncharitably about someone else, change the conversation, leave, or offer a counter opinion that is kind and charitable.

  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for mothers and fathers who've lost a child through abortion, asking that they find the courage to seek Reconciliation and counseling through Project Rachel Ministry.

  • Read about the life of a modern (19th or 20th century) saint. You might be surprised by how much you have in common with them.

NABRE © 2010 CCD. Used with permission.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

USCCB Novena for Life on the Anniversary of Roe v Wade

A Novena for Life

A Novena for Life 1

Created to Live with You

Father of life,
help us to long for the fullness of life
and to know the wonder of what awaits us
beyond the dimensions of this earthly existence.

A reading from the Book of Job                                                                              19:1, 23-27a
Then Job answered and said: Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were
inscribed in a record: That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever!
But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
Whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him; And from my flesh I
shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.
(silent reflection)

God of all creation,
grant us the wisdom
to understand fully the mystery
that life has no meaning apart from you.

A Reflection by Pope John Paul II2 
The Eucharist is a straining towards the goal, a foretaste of the fullness of joy promised by Christ
(cf. Jn 15:11); it is in some way the anticipation of heaven, the “pledge of future glory”…Those
who feed on Christ in the Eucharist need not wait until the hereafter to receive eternal life: they
already possess it on earth, as the first-fruits of a future fullness which will embrace man in his
totality. For in the Eucharist we also receive the pledge of our bodily resurrection at the end of
the world: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on
the last day” (Jn 6:54).

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

1 Based on Evangelium Vitae, no. 2.
2 Ecclesia de Eucharistia, no. 18.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Proudly Pro Life

                                National Prayer Vigil For Life Opening Mass Processional

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Understanding with Love

Image: Vasily Ivanovich Surikov, Boyarina Morozova
 The image above represents the arrest of Morozova, an influential member of the Russian Orthodox sect, the Old Believers, who broke off from mainline Orthodoxy in the seventeenth century over certain small points of popular and liturgical piety, most notably making the sign of the cross with two fingers rather than three. The still-extant Old Believer schism points to the need to understand cultural incarnations of faith, in all their power and complexity.

May God preserve us from counting the number of angels on a pin.  I mean making mountains out of molehills, losing sight of what's important, due to the peripheral exuberance.  Lord have mercy.

The above image captivated my attention.  I "googled" it and read about the dispute that caused split between the Old Believers and the accepted Russian Orthodox Church.

What a shame that Christians can't practice what Christ taught them.  I guess they could if they could agree on what Christ taught.  The devil is alive and well, isn't he?  

St. Michael the Archangel help us.

The Blood of Goats will Shatter Diamonds

                                                                        Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by  Lysippos ,                       ...