“The Next Right Step” and “The Now Word”


Here are two websites that I have found intriguing, and that I’ve been visiting a lot lately.   Charlie Johnston’s website has a link to a speaking engagement that he and Mark Mallet did here in Mandeville on September 28th.  It was hosted by Kitty Cleveland and was a fascinating, spirit-filled evening!  I took my husband, (who usually doesn’t “get into” such things) and BOTH of us were so glad that we went.  Thank you, again, Kitty, Charlie and Mark!



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Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, October 4, 2015

UnknownReadings for Sunday, October 4, 2015

This Sunday’s readings emphasize the sanctity of marriage and the gift of children – very timely being that Pope Francis just visited the United States for the World Meeting of Families.  I know that absolutely no family is perfect, and mine is no exception.  I feel very blessed, however, to have the family that I do.  We surely have our highs and lows, good and bad times, but we have each other.  Most importantly, we have Christ as the center of our marriage and at the heart of family life.  A few years ago, we consecrated our family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Last year we renewed that consecration.  It has made life easier in the sense that we have felt the extra grace and strength gained from this covenant.  To learn more visit, you can visit TheAnswer4families.

I’ve assembled a list of some of my favorite quotes on the family:

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.  Saint John Paul II

To maintain a joyful family requires much from both parents and the children.  Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.  Saint John Paul II

We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up with a mother and a father.  Pope Francis

What you can do to promote world peace?  Go home and love your family.  Blessed Mother Teresa

A man should never neglect his family for business.  Walt Disney

It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman. Saint JPII

A Family Prayer:

Jesus, we ask You to grant Your special graces to our family. May our home be a place of peace, great love, and unshakable faith.  Please protect and bless all of our family members – both immediate and extended.  We pray for the souls of the deceased members of our family.  May their souls be washed clean so that they may spend eternity with You in heaven.

Mother Mary, please pray to Jesus for our family.  Shelter us under your mantle of protection.  We pray for all the families of the world, especially those experiencing great difficulties.  Help all families to grow closer to one another and to your Son, Jesus.

Blessed Saint Joseph, please assist us by your prayers in all the necessities of life.  Ask God to always provide for our needs – both temporal and spiritual.  Please pray for all of our family members that we may live a life pleasing to God, and experience the grace of a happy death.  Amen.

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What’s on my mind…


surrender, love, mercy, courageous faith, undying hope, abandon, radical trust, waiting, wondering, hope, Immaculate Heart, Sacred Heart, simplicity, peace


The Virgin Mary at the Annunciation, Gideon struggling to trust God – wet wool, dry wool, 300 men – David – no  armor – “just God,” a stone and a slingshot, St. Paul in Chains, Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, St. Therese’ of Lisieux

Bible Verses:

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.  Psalm 27:14

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3: 5


Touch the Sky by Hillsong United ****This is a new one – love it!i

Live with Abandon Newsboys

Book:  “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Fr. Michael Gaitley


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Reflections on the Readings for Sunday, September 27

Readings for Sunday, September 27, 2015

imagesWhat struck me when I read the readings for this Sunday was the problem that we human beings have with ego and unfairness.   Often, we just can’t “get over ourselves.”  In the first reading and in the gospel, the so called “elect” were downright outdone by the fact that God had given the gift of His Holy Spirit to outsiders – those considered “less than” in their eyes.  They were upset, jealous and did not want the spotlight taken from them.  It is such a typical human response.

We see it played out in families where there is more than one child.  Siblings always “keep score.”  They are jealous of any extra time or gifts given to a brother or sister.   “Where is my time?  Where is my cash?  You are always easier on him!…”  Siblings whine about getting dad’s big nose or mom’s bad hair, as though parents can somehow select which genetic traits they will pass on to whom.   They often see the older/younger one as having things soooo much easier.

Life is not fair.  Resources are not always distributed evenly.  One only has to take a look at the condition of our world to see this.  This unequal distribution can call us to be better people if we will step up to the plate.  We can share what we have with those who have less.  We can help someone who doesn’t have a particular skill for which we have been gifted.  We can be happy – and rejoice – with someone who has been given a particular gift/grace that we don’t have!

The fact is that God can do what He wants with His gifts – and He doesn’t just share them with the holy few!  God gives each gifts to be used to build up the Church and to build up each other.  We should freely use our gifts for this purpose.  We should support and encourage others to do the same.  We don’t want to thwart the work of the Holy Spirit with our insecurities and hangups.  Instead, we pray that the Holy Spirit will set ablaze the hearts of millions with radical faith, total surrender and love for the Lord!!

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A Pro-Life Lesson for Kids

I sponsor a pro-life club at school.  It includes boys and girls from 10-13 years old.  Here is what we did for our first meeting:

We opened with prayer & snack, then we watched this short video from AFA called “Be a Voice.” It describes what it means to be pro-life in a way that is meaningful and appropriate for all ages.  We discussed the video briefly, then watched the original 25 minute version of Horton Hears a Who.   Afterward we discussed the lessons to be learned from Dr. Seuss:

*(obviously) “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

*Never think you are too young to make a difference.

*Can one person make a difference?  Yes!

*When EVERYONE works together as a team, great things can happen.

* Be a voice for the voiceless…

Then we made Horton bookmarks – one to keep and one to pass on to a friend.  We used grey tag board, fine point sharpies, pencils, a hole puncher, green yarn,  pink pom poms, and a low temp. glue gun.


the bookmark


where the tiny people lived – in the clover flower

I know my apostrophe is missing – oops!  You get the idea!  I demonstrated how to draw the elephant part by part.  (They loved that we were drawing the elephant’s butt.  Maybe they just enjoyed hearing me say, “butt.”)  When they were done, I glued the pom pom on for them with the hot glue gun.

We closed with a decade of the rosary.

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The Weight of the World

weight_of_the_worldRecently I was talking with a friend who seemed to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She looked so stressed that if I touched her shoulder, I thought she might just break right in half.  “I feel as though God is punishing me – that I’ve done something wrong somehow,” she said.  She was referring to a steady stream of difficult trials that have recently been occurring in her life and with her family.  I felt so sorry for her.  I assured here that God was not punishing her for some past sin – that He loved her. When bad things happen to really good people, we are often at a loss to make sense of things.

I was having a discussion with my wise mother this evening.  She always listens and seems to have the right words to ease my stress somehow.   I have been experiencing an extra dose of trials lately myself- not as severe as my friend, but still tough.   For months, I’ve suspected that the devil has been trying to discourage me from living my faith & from sharing my faith with others.  I believe that he is trying to stop me by making life extra difficult for me and for those I love – cranking up the stresses a few notches!  Last night I had a dream that I was looking at a beautiful picture of Jesus and feeling a wonderful peace.  Suddenly Jesus’ face morphed into Satan’s face, and I was frightened – so much so that I woke from sleep.  “Buzz off,”  I told the devil, “You are not welcomed here!  In Jesus’ name get away from me.”  I fell back to sleep.

If you are struggling with an overload of trials and sufferings, take heart!  Don’t be tempted to think that it is God’s wrath.  The harder we try to live and to share the gospel, the more the devil will do try to stop us. We are a threat to him and to his agenda. Stay strong.  Persevere.  Praise God in the peaks and in the valleys.  Ask Jesus to help you to carry your great crosses.  He will not abandon you.  He has promised us this in scripture! He will not let Satan prevail over those who love Him.  He may be (not causing but) allowing this difficult time to strengthen your faith and trust in Him.  He will lessen the stress in His time, and in the mean time, He will give you grace to make it through another day.

Grace is strength for the moment.  It cannot be stored up in advance for something that may/may not happen.  If you call out to God for strength, He will supply what you need to get through – one moment at a time.   When I’m dangling from the end of my rope, overwhelmed with stress, I love to read St. Theresa of Avila’s prayer repeatedly until the words really sink in:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

All things are passing.  Even if our suffering lasts a lifetime, our lifetime is but a second, being that our soul will live on forever.  We can’t even comprehend “forever.” That (sort of) puts things in perspective, even if it does not make things easier.  As my mother-in-law always says, “The first 100 years are the hardest!”  I think she’s right!

Lord Jesus,  give us the grace to get through this difficult time.  Help us to persevere in this test of faith.  Help us to trust You more.  Keep the devil far from us and our loved ones.  Put a protective “bubble” around my family.  As soon as it be your most holy will, please lift this burden from our shoulders.  In the meantime, help us to carry our crosses, out of love for You.  We offer our suffering for the glory of Your name and for the salvation of souls.  Amen.


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Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, September 20, 2015

Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.

What the psalmist says today really struck a chord with me.  I do believe with all my heart that it is the Lord alone that sustains my life – and yours.  Every breath that I take, every beat of my heart only occurs because He wills it.  Everything I have comes from Him – my paycheck comes from Him.  My husband and children came to me from Him.  This is why I go to Holy Mass and to adoration – not to be entertained or to “get something” (though often I do receive peace and grace).  I go because it is the very least that I can do for the God  who sustains me, helps me, feeds me, guides me… I will praise Your Name, O Lord, for its goodness!

Sunday’s readings

In the second reading, I was reminded of the mess we find our world in today.  I guess some problems have existed since man and woman were created.  In James we read, Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war.”  Our world is in critical condition due to mankind’s selfish ambition.  We have banished God from our country, our schools, our government and have replaced religion with all kids of “isms” – relativism, materialism, agnosticism, secular humanism.  We are truly reaping what we have sown as a human race.  The sad part is that our children and grandchildren did not ask for this, and yet they are having to try to find their way amidst the cyclone of evil threatening to suck them in or pull them under.  Our children are suffering from depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, physical and educational difficulties in record proportions.  I don’t know about you, but my greatest concern right now is for the safety of my children’s souls.  Secondly,  I am concerned about the many, many souls being drawn from safety to demise by really deceptive, evil forces.  I pray that God, in His great mercy, will intervene and set the world aright.

In the gospel, Jesus told His disciples about the kind of death He would suffer, and yet they did not understand His words – What Jesus was saying was too awful for them to consider, perhaps – horrifying.  You know our faith is full of ironies – one being the cross.  A cross is a torture/killing device – just the sight of it is upsetting, and yet, it also becomes a great sign of comfort and hope, because Jesus conquered death and rose on the third day.

Jesus then tells the disciples “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”  Our society has not received the child – Jesus – or the One who sent Him!  We’ve banished all three!  God has to be beside Himself with hurt and anger over the way that humanity has so little regard for human life.  Parenthood is not seen as a gift but a right.  Children are not safe in their mothers’ wombs.  So many children are not treasured but are seen as burdens.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.!

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My teenage students are learning the twenty-third psalm.  It’s a beautiful psalm, but a lengthy passage to memorize, admittedly.  I discovered two precious videos on Youtube starring little ones reciting the 23rd psalm from memory.  I wanted to show my students that if three & four year olds could do it, so could they.  Please take a moment to view these.  They are sure to lighten your heart and put a smile on your face.  Have a blessed day!

The Lord is my Shepherd

Psalm 23 – Three year old twins


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An Hour Well Spent

UnknownThere are two fellows coming to our area – Charlie Johnston and Mark Mallet.  It looks as thought I may regrettably have to miss their talks, so I went to the internet to research their messages.  What they will be speaking on really interests me.  This video gave me great hope and direction.  It is not a message of doom and gloom but one of hope.  It was an hour well spent.

Charlie Johnston’s message


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Happy Birthday, Dearest Mother!

Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!

764px-1513_Traut_Geburt_Mariae_anagoriaHappy birthday, dearest Mother!
Sing our youthful hearts today,
And the birds and flowers seem joining
In our merry roundelay.
How the angels must be singing
Round thy white, resplendent throne,
While the saints in their holy rapture
Claim thee as their very own.

But, dear Mother, deign to listen
As thy children here on earth
Offer unto thee their greetings,
Though they be of little worth,
Save that love is pulsing through them
From thy little ones sincere,
Who are hoping they may meet thee
On some birthday, Mother dear.

Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God’s Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.


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