Speaking the Truth
- Mother Angelica
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I was reading my email this morning and got an inspiring email from a pro-life friend from Church. It has inspired me to blog more of "the truth" about what abortion really is. For instance, it's murder. I think it's important we begin to use that word more because that's what it really is.
We have pro-choicers who say it's the woman's right to choose. Choose what? Murder? Murder of her own baby? It seems pretty animalistic to me. It's animalistic to give into our sexual desires with full knowledge that we could create a human life, only to have the "choice" to kill it. Because that's what it is isn't it? Killing your own baby?
Then we have women in the feminist movement that say, "I don't want the government to tell me what to do!" Huh? Does the government not tell you that you can't shoot your mother in the head? Does the government not tell you that you have to send your kids to school? Does the government not tell you that you have to pay taxes? Does the government not tell you that you can't force sex on another human being? The government tells us a lot of things we can't morally do without being punished. So why can't they tell us it's not OK to kill our unborn children?
How horrible that the sexual freedom we feel has brought us to this animalistic behavior. And the saddest part is that most of us don't even realize what it's doing to our culture.
Faith to me is something that I feel. And the more I know and learn about God, the more faith I have in Him. The more faith I have in Him, the more my eyes are open to see how He works in my life. Sometimes I don't like to see it, but more often than not, He is trying to tell me something. Sometimes I wonder if He's yelling at me because I'm just not getting it!
Faith is not luck. Faith does not come in those emails we get that say, "Pass this on to 5 friends and you will get your wish." I know, I have passed them on before. I don't truly believe in them. Sometimes they have a good message, and sometimes they're just fun.
But it's important for us to know, and to teach our children, that faith is not magical. It's not lucky, and it's not about wishing. It's about following the law that's in our heart and believing in what we cannot see. Our faith is what brings us to pray. Our faith is what brings us to act a certain way. Our faith is what drives our motivation. Our faith is what brings us closer to God and closer to the truth.
What does having faith mean to you?
Lord, I want what you want for me. Please lead me down Your path.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Sorry I haven't been so diligent in posting. It has been pretty crazy around here the past couple of days. We had some snow days, and I had errands and volunteering at school to do. So it doesn't leave a lot of time to do my lovely blogging!!
Anyway, just wanted to make sure you guys knew that I haven't gone away, and I hope to get some info out to you this weekend from Mother Angelica and Father Frank. Make sure you follow the news and pay close attention to this "stimulus" package. It looks like Pelosi thinks that providing birth control (contraceptives, abortion...) is the best way to go because in the long run, it's expensive to raise a child. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but it looks like they took out the part of the package that supports increased federal funding to birth control. Yeah, that's a good idea. Not sure how they think THAT would "stimulate" the economy.
Anyway, so many thoughts I have on the subject, but don't have time right now to write them all. Kids are up and I have to go get them!!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
who will give you your heart's desire. Psalm 37:4
As you may know I have a helper when I do my devotionals. It's a mini-magazine called Living Faith. I get to read a devotional before I send you one each day! The devotional for today is so neat, I'm going to share part of it with you:
Recently, I heard a man say that he decided to trust that God had someone in mind for him to be his life's partner. He just didn't know who that person was. So, on those days when he felt most lonely, he wrote love letters to his future spouse. On New Year's Eve when he had no one to kiss, on Valentine's Day when he had no one to send him a card, he wrote love letters to "his heart's desire," and trusted that God would open his heart and his eyes to the right person. On his wedding day, his gift to his bride was a box of love letters written to her when he didn't even know who she was.
- Claire J. King
Isn't that awesome?! What an inspiring story of faith! While I feel like I'm more comfortable in the spot God has placed me in, I still don't feel like I have that kind of blind faith. I wish I could let go more and let Him work His power. But when I do that, I can feel myself tighten the reigns again.
Do you do that? Do you have moments when you decide to let go and throw your life to His goodness and His will and then draw back a little?
Thank You Lord, for the presence You have made plain in my life. Help me to keep my faith in You and follow Your every desire!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I think that we also tend not to appreciate those little things that we do for each other, especially our spouses. There are things my husband does that I appreciate, that are little, but I don't say anything. But because he does those little things, like get wood in, fill our heater, come home every night, coach baseball, I know that he loves us. And I try to do little things for him in return. The same can be true of our kids too can't it? I can't even count how many times my kids do little things that are good and sometimes they go unnoticed. I know in my head that that was a nice thing that they did, but I don't vocalize it all the time. But boy, when I vocalize it, it's AMAZING how they react! They are just so proud of themselves.
My point is, is that those little things really add up. And whether we consciously know it or not, those little things are the things that we truly appreciate. So Mother Angelica wants us to ask God for those little things too. Because that's one of the many ways we can show Him that we love Him.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is telling you about a problem they are having and you want to talk about God with them, but you're afraid? You want to tell them to pray. You want to tell them to talk to God about it. You want to tell them to listen to His whispers and follow His ways. You want to tell them that He loves them if they only ask Him for His forgiveness.
I have. Why don't we? For me it's fear. It's fear that this other person won't take me seriously. It's fear about how this other person will think of me because I'm speaking of God. That's sad, isn't it? It's sad that we have this fear now of talking about God. There are so many wonderful things that have happened in my life since I let Him take control. And I want to shout it to the world! But I'm afraid.
Well, that fear will get in the way of our family and friends hearing the truth. I try to remind myself of that all the time. It will get in the way of them having a closer relationship to God. Our friends and our family deserves the best of us. The best of us is the love we have for God. Let it shine through! Show them how wonderful it is. Make them want what you have!
"Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear." (Mark 4:23)
So who are you going to talk to today?
Lord, give me the strength and courage to speak of you with truth and act with your light inside my heart.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Click here to see the site.
"Law" is a scary word to some people isn't it? Who wants to be confined by a bunch of "laws?" Who wants to be told what they can and can't do, where they can and can't do it, and with whom they should or shouldn't do it with? Well, I for one like laws and rules. It gives me something to go by. Our society depends on laws and rules so we are not "unruly" people.
As Christians, I think there are going to be some governmental laws that may not coincide with God's law. He gave us laws that he wants us to live by and hold close to us in our hearts. They are called the Ten Commandments. Those are the laws that should come first, regardless of what the laws of our society are.
- Mother Angelica
Detachment from what? Well, I think what Mother is saying here is that when we detach ourselves from the "things" of this world, we become more attached for God. When we pay less attention to the "things" we want, the "things" we think we might need, the more we can focus on God and the "things" He wants!
Does that make sense to you? It makes sense to me. When we can let go of ourselves and our stuff, we can grab ahold of Him and His holiness. We can become more tuned in to our Lord and His wants and His desires for us as Christians following Him.
So what could you let go of in your life today that will bring you closer to God's holiness?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I'm still not sure what's going on, but I did find more info on the net and our troop leader disseminated some info to us so we could pass it on to others who may have questions. Essentially, we had people telling some of our parents that they were not going to buy cookies because they heard we had a relationship with Planned Parenthood and they didn't want to support it.
I know that Girl Scouts started off with a different purpose, a Christian feel. To associate with Planned Parenthood is not something I feel is Christian because it doesn't teach our girls to be responsible when it comes to sex. Other parents may feel it is OK because that's how they want to raise their children, but I don't feel it's a good fit for me.
The other part of this is that it is a troop thing. The troop leader decides what activities to do and what not to do. So if I stick to being troop leader, my girls will be OK? Probably. But do I associate them with Girl Scouts if this organization has changed and now thinks Planned Parenthood provides our girls with the "right" kind of sex education?
If you want more info on this, here are a couple of links. The first will take you to a transcript from back in 2004 about CEO Kathy Croninger and an interview on the Today Show about this. It started with a troop in Waco, Texas. Apparently this troop had some sex ed stuff going on that was pretty graphic: homosexuality, masturbation, condom use, the works. So the parents were upset. To be fair here, we don't know who dropped the communication ball. So either the parents weren't fully informed, or they didn't read everything they should. Either way, the girls got some education the parents weren't happy about. Read the transcript here.
Also read this from another troop mom from 2004.
These folks are highly committed to the pro-life movement and do not mean them any disrespect with this post at all. I am just surprised, no not really, but I guess disappointed, that there weren't more women involved. And there weren't any black, hispanic, or any other minority group there.
These guys also don't have a webpage, no blog, no way of reaching out more to others on the Internet. So we discussed getting the word out there more that way. I'm glad that the new folks coming in are going to be able to get this group going even more. Recruit some young people, females, and minority groups.
I heard a startling statistic last night: 9 out of 11 black women who get pregnant abort their babies. I think he arrived at that statistic with the information that black people, or African Americans, make up 12% of the population, and receive 35% of the abortions. He did some math and came up with the ratio of 9:11.
Also startling: 1 out of 3 women who find out they're pregnant get abortions. That is a lot of babies dying and a lot of women who get hurt.
There was a man there also from 40 Days for Life to talk to us. That was VERY cool! It was kind of surreal. I found out about 40 Days during the election and kind of did my own thing until the 40 days was up. This guy is looking for volunteers!! WOW!! This is very exciting. Essentially, for 40 days, volunteers pray outside of an abortion clinic. They not only pray that abortion will end there, but that God will be with those mothers and children as they go through with their decision to abort. They are there for 40 days. Very powerful.
There are other things we can do too. Door-to-door, novenas, praying, fasting... anything your life will allow. So if you're interested in doing this with us, and there isn't a group in your area, let me know. The dates are February 25- April 5. During that time, I will most likely be fasting and praying, and blogging of course. I may even do some of the vigil, not sure about door-to-door. We will have to see what my schedule allows, and hubby! :)
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness
in the vast assembly. Psalm 40:10-11
Can you say that you've done this? I can say that I've done this, but I don't do this all the time. I find myself lately holding my tongue. I don't exactly know why, but I have a feeling He doesn't like it when we do that!
It's hard isn't it? It's hard to speak out sometimes with our love for Him and the good works that He does. When I first started coming around to knowing God, I couldn't keep my mouth shut and I just had to start a blog. I wanted to shout it to the world! It all made sense now. I saw all the negatives in my life with a positive spin now that I lived for God. It was absolutely amazing to see this light.
When something new like this happens to us, we want to do that don't we? Shout it to the world? Then time goes by, and it's just such a part of our life, it doesn't feel so new anymore. This Scripture comes just in time for me to start shouting again!!
Lord, stay with me and work through me so that I may shout Your good works without reservation.
Apparently, his girlfriend headed up 4 girls who planned to get pregnant together. It didn't matter who they slept with to do it. They just went out, had sex, and got pregnant. They thought it was so great that they could have their babies together. It ended up that the boyfriend killed the girlfriend in rage because she broke her vow to him and it hurt him deeply, obviously.
So the thing that got me was that it portrayed what a lot of shows portray: hypocrisy. Now, I know it exists in Catholicism, I do. It exists in every religion. But it really bothers me that Catholicism is at the center most of the time. Throughout the investigation, the parents were portrayed as immoral. When their daughters were being spoken to and they found out about what their daughters did, and heard the disrespect they showed the officers, the parents just sat there. Would you just sit there? I think not. I definitely wouldn't.
I for one send my children to Catholic School because I want them to get a good Catholic education. And I want our lives at home to center on those beliefs too. But there are others out there who send their children to Catholic School for "status." So they can say their child attends private school. For those kids, they get mixed messages and it's not fair to them.
So, how do we overcome these stereotypes? I'm not so sure that we can. The only thing I can do is to make sure that my children know what's important to us as a family by following God and putting the principles, laws, and rules of Catholicism first. We must live Catholicism. I'm not willing to be one of those parents who preach instead of live.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Well, we all know what our conscience is, right? This is when we use our own judgment to figure out what's right and what's wrong. And our abortion facilities need certain services to stay in business, don't they? They need construction workers, exterminators, food service, plumbers, electricians... the list goes on. Father Frank thinks it's time for these workers to take up a "Conscientious Objection" and not service a facility if they know they perform abortions there.
It's a silent kind of protest. This kind of objection and refusal of service will tell these abortion facilities that we will not take part in their efforts to kill our unborn children.
Father Frank says: "It takes a village to kill a child, and we don't have to participate!" He has some good insights, doesn't he?
As you can see, this second letter to Timothy is quite personal. The use of names here can tell you that. This passage tells us also that faith was rich in Timothy's family life. He was surrounded with love of the faith in Jesus.
I was not raised that way, and here I am, trying my best to be an active, practicing Catholic. Who knew? I think that the elders in our families are of great influence to us and how we live and end up to be. Whether we end up like them or not, they influence us in one way or the other. We watch them and how they treat others. We watch them work through conflicts, or not. We watch them and the things they like to do with their spare time. All of that contributes to us as a person.
In my case, faith was not passed on by way of Catholicism. But I do hope that I can pass on my love for our Lord and my faith to my children and their children's children.
Lord, help me to keep you in my mind, my heart, my actions, and my lips so I may pass on Your love to future generations.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Click here to take a gander. There's lots of other neat stuff there. I was personally going to check out the drawing stuff. We like to draw around here and it looks like this will keep us busy!!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
sing hymns of praise.
God rules over the nations;
God sits upon His holy throne. Psalm 47:8-9
I suppose this passage is pretty self-explanatory. I feel it is an important one to talk about right now, and have had a hard time figuring out what to say without getting into politics too much. I think it is crucial that we hold strong to our King, our one true King.
The media has taken a man, your everyday American, and made him to be our messiah, and now he is our president. Barack Obama is our newly inaugurated president and his policies that he professed to implement once he is president, do not quite match up with God's.
I think we get confused sometimes as to who to we should look to to be "saved." We are going through harsh economic times, yes. We are in the middle of a major war with another country, yes. But should we put those things ahead of the importance on human life? Would that be God's rule in God's Kingdom?
Lord, help me put your Will first. Everything else will follow.
Friday, January 23, 2009
We have these rights. And we should have these rights without criticism from society. I found this great video from Silent No More Awareness. It is a campaign to bring women out of the dark about abortion and let them know that others feel their pain. It's also to raise awareness for those who may be facing an abortion.
These women you will see here in this video were not told about the negative effects this abortion may have on them. These women were told that abortion would fix their problems. And now they are here to tell us differently:
Anyway, a fellow blogger, Tracy, did this neat thing by giving out 5 questions to post on our blog that we could answer. These are the questions she gave me, and my answers.
1. Who is your hero and why? OK, this was a real tough one for me. I don't really have a hero per se. But I do look up to quite a few people. My husband comes first. While I don't always like what he has to say, somehow he ends up being right. Not ALL the time, but most of the time. And even though my parents are divorced and they may have made mistakes, I also look up to them. Because they may have been through the mill with each other, they still raised my brothers and I with love, respect, and support, and we turned out pretty darn good. And I know that I can learn from that.
2. Do you have a favorite day of the week? If yes, which is it and why. My favorite day I would say is Sunday. It's very relaxing. We have a tradition of eating a nice, fatty breakfast at the in-law's and then stay and play for a while with the kids. Then we get home and kind of chill. I like that.
3. When did you first discover blogging and what encouraged you to start your own? I discovered it a while ago, maybe a year or so. I never really got into it until I was exploding with God's love and finally understood most of it, and needed to share it with the world! I have met some really wonderful people!
4. Tell us about your favorite childhood memory. Another tough one Miss Tracy! I think my favorite childhood memory would be when my dad sang "Goodnight Sweetheart" to me before I went to sleep at night. I do that sometimes with my own daughter now....
5. What is your most liked thing about being a Catholic? I think my most favorite thing, and I never thought I would have said this, but I love going to Mass. I didn't used to like going to Church, but I actually look forward to it now during the week. I feel drawn to the Church. And I really think it has a lot to do with the priest. He teaches in his homilies and I learn a lot from him.
Thank you for those questions Tracy! This was a lot of fun.
If anyone here has a blog and would like me to send you 5 questions to post the answers to on your blog, send me an email and let me know!
My daughter has a religion test today and when we were studying last night, part of what she was studying, was about Jesus calling His apostles to follow Him. Can you imagine this man, whom you don't know, calling you to follow Him? What would you do? Think about the uncertainty that must have been going through their minds at that time, the fear that they must have been feeling. They didn't know what was going to happen.
Well, we're really no different. We don't know what's going to happen in our lives either. We don't know what's going to happen from one second to the next, from one day to the next, from one year to the next. Jesus calls us to follow Him each and every day, each and every second. There's that uncertainty and fear when we let go of our lives and follow Jesus. We don't know where He's going to take us.
Are you going to take the plunge and follow Him?
Dear Lord, I'm letting go, I'm taking the plunge. Lead me down Your path.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The March for Life, as I'm sure many of you already know, takes place in D.C. It is actually taking place right now, as we speak. Faith and Family Live! is showing EWTN today on their site, where of course, they are viewing the march. It is a time of a peaceful presentation of our First Amendment rights to our freedom of speech. Friends meet, prayers are said, hymns are sung.... The day ends with the Rose Dinner which is meant to honor those who participate in the Pro-Life Movement.
So, Father Frank gives us four insights into what this important event accomplishes:
1. It gives voice to the children. Obviously the unborn do not have a voice. They cannot speak up loud enough to cry out for its life. It's important that we become more heard all the time, not silent.
I would like to reference the old Horton Hears a Who movie. It amazes me the pro-life message that is prevalent in that movie. I haven't seen the new one so I don't know how close it is. But in the old video, the "Who's" to me are the unborn babies that are screaming, but no one can hear. And throughout this video, Horton continuously says "A person's a person, no matter how small." So true. So true.
2. It gives encouragement to our friends in government. Can you imagine what it must be like to be a pro-life Senator right now? I bet they might feel a little alone, a little beat in this arena. This march gives them hope. It tells them that their efforts and voice in Congress does not go unheard. They need to continue to do their job, and we should continue to do ours.
3. It encourages us. Just like those in Congress, I'm sure there are those regular folks on the ground that get discouraged. We always run into ignorance. We run into those that are unwilling to listen to the truth, or just choose not to. It can be very frustrating. This march gives them hope too. They see that there are many others who are supporting their ever-important, life-saving efforts.
4. It trains young leaders. Father Frank says that he got his inspiration from this march when he was in high school. Imagine seeing these people, so devoted to their beliefs and so motivated to save human life. How inspiring that must be to others. To others who are open to hear it anyway. If God has opened one's heart to hearing the truth, this march could change their life forever. And maybe other lives too.
So, tune in to EWTN. Try to watch a little bit of this march. It obviously plays several different roles in the pro-life movement. Maybe it will move you to do something differently too. Become a Warrior Soul.
I cracked open Mother Angelica and entered in the Fourth Degree of Prayer, and then kept reading. The next section, lo and behold, was on frustration. And it is weird, but I didn't highlight anything in that section. But it's amazing how much it applies to life, more than we realize.
When we are in a situation where we can't see the light, His light, it's difficult to think that there is something good He has in store for us. Mother says that we must remember to pray in the Present Moment. What I think she means by that is to remember Him, even in our times of frustration.
My most recent time of frustration has been in the past couple of days. I feel so deeply rooted in learning all I can about being Catholic and trying to speak the truth, that I get frustrated. My family and I when I was little, went to Church. While I don't remember looking forward to going, I don't remember fighting with my parents about it either. I remember having to be quiet, but not much else. I remember talking to my friends and wondering why my Church didn't sing more. As an adult, I understand a little bit more about why we do what we do, and now I can explain that to my kids so they can understand better too.
Well, I got my Communion, one of my other brothers got Communion, and soon after that, we stopped going. Mom and Dad said it was because the priest talked too much about money. Which may be true, but we didn't find another Church to go to. So I guess Church wasn't a priority to my parents. That's not a knock-down, it's just maybe the way it was.
But I always felt this closeness that I wanted with God, even after we stopped going to Church. I wanted to be this perfect little girl that God loved very much. What I didn't realize was that He already did. I don't remember anyone telling me that God loved me.
As an adult, after having 3 children, I felt the need to hit Church again. I took up an RCIA class and learned all about God's love. God's love?? How enthralling! I was excited. I finished RCIA and began reading "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George. After picking it up and putting it down quite a bit, I finally finished it and it was probably one of the best reads I had in a long time. That book changed the course of my life with God. While it was not a "Catholic" book per say, it was a book that explained how much He loves me, all of us, and how I can show my love for Him. It was wonderful.
As I adopted certain principles in the book, my marriage got stronger, and I became a better mother. I now had the words to be able to talk to my kids about God's love and what He expects from us. Something that I didn't have when I was growing up. I'm not saying my life was bad, I'm just saying I was missing God.
Mom, Dad, if you're reading this, for the record, I think you guys did a great job raising us. We all turned out as contributing members of our society, married, having wonderful children. So I don't want you to think that I think you did a bad job. You took your childhood and turned it around so we had a good one. God sees what you did, and I'm sure He's happy.
Anyway. I feel blessed to have found God and developed this love for my Catholic faith. And there are a lot of people out there who have their opinions, which are often stereotypes, about our faith. It happens and stereotypes will not go away. But how we treat each other can.
That's the part that's frustrating for me this morning. I'm frustrated with the way people treat each other. I'm frustrated with the cruel words that come out on the Internet about people. Not just in my own experience, but for anyone. There is a lot of hate in the world, and I just need to calm down and come back to prayer and let God show us our erroneous ways.
So, I'm going to ask you guys what you like about being Catholic? What is it that keeps you going to Church? What is it that you love about the Mass? What is it that changes, or has changed, your life in regards to being Catholic in particular?
Can't wait to hear your responses!
I definitely haven't gotten there yet!! I try. I keep it in my mind, but I haven't quite perfected this one. I don't think that too many of us can say that we have!! :)
my God, Your law is in my heart! Psalm 40:9
I just love this passage and it comes at a good time for me. As we go out in the world to spread the word of God and His love, we can run into others that may be unreceptive, judgmental, and/or opposing of what we have to say. That's just the way it is. Not everyone sees things in the same way. I would say that if every Catholic were interviewed, every Catholic would have different views on Catholicism. That's how God made us: individually.
It's important that we keep God's law in our hearts so we can speak with love and truth to others. God does not want His Word to be kept a secret. It is our responsibility as Christians to spread His love in our thoughts, actions, and words.
Dear Lord, may Your law remain in my heart and on my lips.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I suppose upon first reading this, you could take this Scripture passage in a life-saving sort of way. But I picked up my Catechism and read a little more into the details. In this particular situation, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees. It was a sabbath day and a man with a withered hand was asking to be healed. There are laws about the sabbath day and that we are to rest. That is God's Law. Jesus proceeded to ask the Pharisees the above question. When they were silent, He was angry, and healed the man anyway.
The Pharisees went back to Herod and they, together with priests and scribes, plotted together to destroy Jesus. They saw Him as demonlike because they thought He had gone against God's Law about the sabbath day.
Because Jesus decided to heal this man, the Pharisees considered it work. But Jesus wanted them to realize that loving is not working. Doing the work of God, serving Him and helping your neighbor is not work. These kinds of acts are OK on the sabbath day, our day of rest.
Lord, help me to put Your love for us first and keep Your day Holy.
This is when we have to rise above that state of mind and increase our spirituality. Sounds easy right? Or maybe it doesn't sound so easy to you. Either way, it's not easy. I find myself doing this all the time. I'll be reading Scripture and read something that just doesn't make sense in my mind because sensibly, or in our human world, is not possible. That's when I have to mentally rise above that and look to my heart for my spirituality. For my belief in our Father and all of His good and faithful works that He makes apparent to me daily.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Right now, please sign this Petition to
|PRI is a 501(c)(3) educational organization, which works with a growing, global network of pro-life groups in over 30 countries, to stop the spread of abortion and to roll back population control programs, as well as to educate young people and married couples on the blessings of chastity and childbearing. PRI has successfully reduced or eliminated over $790 million of funding for radical population control groups and organizations that wrongly seek to eliminate poverty, illiteracy and pollution by eliminating children. All donations are both appreciated and tax-deductible.|
ALL- click here
This was the very first Scripture passage I read this morning. Can you believe it? And today is the day we are going to inaugurate a new president who is in full support of abortion. Some of us have worked very hard on the Pro-Life movement. Whether it be praying, speaking, blogging, writing, we have done it. Some of us have done it longer than others, but we have nonetheless fought.
And it may feel like this day is a day of anguish. It may feel like today is the day we can say good-bye to our efforts. But I'm telling you it's quite the opposite.
Do you think it's a coincidence this passage is part of today's readings? Do you think this is a coincidence that this passage was the first one I read? No way! There are no coincidences or "funny" things that happen. This is all part of God's plan. He is supporting us in our efforts to continue on His path to righteousness. He is telling us to KEEP GOING! DON'T GIVE UP!!
He is pleased with our work.
Dear Lord, continue to use me to do Your good works. Give me the strength and the hope of a future that centers on You and Your Will.
Today is a bitter day because we have voted in a President who has no respect for life. We put other gods before our own God like money, in this election and it's very sad.
Today, well the election, was sweet in the way that I came back to my Catholic faith. I feel so strongly about my belief in God and my belief in my faith as a Catholic, that NOTHING will be able to break that.
So, bitter sweet. I am so much more than bitter, but that's all I can do with this right now. So tune in today to my blog. I'm going to be posting quite a bit of abortion information as well as pro-life. So I hope you will come back to read and comment as today progresses. I will be praying that Obama makes the right choices during his presidency.
This is where we become committed to Him. We accept the nos and the yesses, regardless of how we feel about it. God can't always tell us yes. He tells us no for a reason, and it's because He loves us. He teaches us through our faults and the faults of others. This is how we learn the consequences of our behavior.
So, we fully accept His will and what He wants to do with our lives. In doing this, we accept Him into our hearts.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Dr. King, in his speech, states "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Hmmmmm.... Really think about that statement. The "content of their character," NOT the color of their skin. Do you think we did that? Do you think we voted for Obama because of the "content of his character?" I don't think so and Ms. King doesn't either. She goes into detail here in this article, reclaiming Dr. King's "legacy" and discussing her own anguish at having an abortion.
As you can see in my profile picture, I'm a white woman. I grew up in a town that was all white. I didn't go to school with anyone black, Hispanic, Puerto-Rican, or anything like that until I was in middle school. This school encompassed 5 small towns, and there was one black family. Then about my junior year in high school, a black family moved in down the road from me and my friend and I hung out with them. I actually ended up in a relationship with their cousin for over a year.
I don't really feel that I can say I can relate with black people. I feel like I don't know them very well and it creates fear because of that uncertainty.
I sat down yesterday and opened my book: The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions. I was looking to see what they had in store for activities that I could do with the kids today in regards to Martin Luther King, Jr. And lo and behold, he and I have similar views. Who knew?
Did you know...
1. ... that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican? National Black Republican Association
2. ... that Martin Luther King, Jr. studied theology?
3. ... that Martin Luther King, Jr. would more than likely spoken out against abortion in this past election? Pro-Life News featuring Alveda King, niece to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
4. ... that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister that deeply rooted his spirituality into his work?
5. ... that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial?
6. ... that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and signed the Emancipation Proclamation?
7. ... that Dr. King and George Washington are the only two American presidents in history to have their birthdays named national holidays?
Did you know these things? How much did you know? I didn't know many and couldn't believe how much I had in common with him. I think society has become more separated since Dr. King's death, not closer together. Yes, we voted in a black president, but that doesn't make us closer. I'm trying to find the right words to explain what I mean. Because we point out each other's differences so much, it creates disjointedness in our country. Women think they have to fight men for power, and other minority groups think they are in a constant struggle with whites. And it's because we don't fully understand each other. I'll be the first one to admit that I don't understand black people. That may sound bad coming out, but it's true and I bet a lot of black people would say the same about whites.
It's because we haven't taken the time to understand each other's side. If we did that, we might find more common ground, as I did when I looked into Dr. King a little bit more. I have always had respect for him for fighting for his people and his beliefs. That took a lot of strength. I don't know what kind of life he must have had to endure growing up and I never will. That creates a little distance. But what I didn't know, and what we are NOT taught, was that we also have similarities. And if I had known this a long time ago, I may not have been as afraid.
So one thing I can learn from today and I hope you all pass this along to family and friends: Knowledge is power, and that knowledge can lead to unity. Ignorance creates fear and subsequently, segregation from each other. I think we still have a long way to go....
Jesus Christ was deemed High Priest by His Father, Our Father, the only and only: God. Jesus did not do this Himself. Because He was able to live the human life, it makes Him easier to follow because He can understand the humanly temptations to sin.
He was sent by Our Father to save us from our sins. In doing so, Jesus learned to obey His Father and follow out His Will. Just like Jesus, we are to do the same. We should be showing obedience every day.
Now, this is not as hard as you may think. Well, maybe sometimes.... Once we realize that we are not in control of our lives and give our path to Him, life sort of starts to come together. It has for me. Those things that I used to think were "lucky" or "coincidental" were not such things at all. It's all part of God's plan for us.
I have a good example of this at Karen's Catholic Journal today as Mother Angelica's First Degree of Prayer: Strength.
Dear Lord, please help me to see my life through Your eyes and obey your every command.
Today I'm going to talk a little bit about the First Degree of Prayer: Strength. Mother says, "It comes when you begin to realize that God is your Father and you've got this vacuum in your heart."
We take all of our sins, frustrations, fears, and bring them to Him. We realize that we don't have as much control over our lives as we thought we did. It takes strength to "give in" to Him and His will. It's hard for us to feel like we don't have any control. So that takes a certain degree of strength. And when we pray, our prayers turn into what He wants, instead of what we want.
I was just explaining this to my daughter today. Have you ever said, "I had such a good idea!!" Of course we have! Well, was that your idea or God's? It's God's. Everything is God's. God works through us and plants seeds and thoughts in us. Whether we choose to follow that or not is a different story.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. This week, I was blogging with women who didn't agree with me (which was wonderful because I learned something). We were blogging about sex and feminism, and of course we disagreed with how we got to where we are in society today. I get up very early to take a shower and sit down on the computer to get my thinking, praying, reading, or blogging in. When I sat down with my computer here and turned on the television, I was going to turn on the news. But then I thought, let's see what's on EWTN today. I turned the station and guess what? It was a program about... drum roll please... sex and kids!! Coincidence? I think not. My idea? I think not. God talks to us all the time. He whispers and if we listen, we will learn His ways and He will be able to live through us.
See, we are His. He does His works through us if we let Him. I guess I decided to let Him that day. I could have turned on the news because that's what I wanted to do, but I didn't. I realize a little more each day that my life is not mine. It belongs to our Lord. That takes strength, but it also brings comfort.
Once we come to terms with our sins and feel repentance, it turns into the Second Degree of Prayer: Heart.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
So stay with me next week where I will post each day with an explanation of what each one entails.
Have a safe, wonderful, and Blessed weekend!
Have you ever looked around Church and wondered who was there with grace and who wasn't? Who was there with a clear conscience and who wasn't? Have you known someone to be in Church that you deemed not worthy to be there because they were a sinner?
I'm sure we've all been in that boat before and we think, "What's she doing here? I heard she cheated on her husband." Well, she's in Church because Jesus called her to be there. He calls all of us. We go to the doctor when we're sick don't we? If we went to the doctor only when we were well, that wouldn't make much sense, would it?
The best place for a sinner to be is in Church. To listen to the Word of God and receive His graces so that he may go into the world with God in his heart, mind, and actions. Church teaches us what to do according to Him, so we all go to Church for that truthful healing.
Dear Lord, please help me to keep an open mind and accept all into Your home.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I responded to a comment and referred to myself as a feminist. I have always thought of myself as a feminist, but a liberal one. I had different thoughts of feminism. I thought that feminism was always fighting men for a position of power. I have come to my senses and realized that feminism is not, or should not, be about that.
I have been reading the Bible quite a bit and doing my own devotionals (yay!) and things have really changed for me. I took God's Word into my heart and began believing, truly believing in my role as a wife and mother. Yesterday, I saw my role with another twist.
As a feminist, it's important for us to empower women, young and old. Empower them in a way that encourages the things about them that make them special. Knowledge, making decisions, and exhibiting self-control leads to empowerment. It leads our little women down a path that will create success, whether they choose a career, or the vocation of motherhood. Either way, each one is important and our girls need to know that the whole world is open to them.
So I have been wrestling with Girl Scouts. I haven't finished any of my training and it always seems like I don't have time for it. Well, I came to the realization today that Girl Scouts empower girls. I know, you may have already known that and I already knew that, but now I know it. I had a meeting yesterday with the other leader of our troop and for the first time since October, I was excited about planning activities for the girls. I could really see the long-term effects this program has on their self-esteem and ambitions.
So anyway, I just wanted to share my revelation with you. It's just another testament to God and His ability to show us what He wants us to know. Through that blog and going back and forth with the other women there, I learned something. Isn't His love wonderful?
I think it's sad, and I also think this is sick. But this is what our America has become today. We voted in the most liberal Senator in the United States Senate as our next President. He has associated himself with ministers who "God-d**n" America and yet he's our President. He has told us that the first thing he's going to do is sign FOCA which takes away our freedom of choice because our money, whether we like it or not, is going to help women have abortions. It will also take away my rights as a parent if my children should ever go down that path. FOCA takes away everything regulating abortion.
I just can't believe that these big corporations can be so heartless and disrespectful of human life. Disrespectful of the group of people that are against this "freedom of choice" as they call it. How come this is fair? How come it's OK to throw "freedom of choice" in our face? How is this not an act of hatred toward us and our unborn children?
OK, I just took a deep breath. I find this very offensive. How do we handle this? What can we do? Well, we can pray, but there has to be something more. Do we contact Krispy Kreme? Will that help? Well, I guess we could try....
Here is a link to the blog where I found the info: Krispy Kreme Celebrates "Freedom of Choice"
our ancestors have recited them to us.
We do not keep them from our children;
we recite them to the next generation,
The praiseworthy and mighty deeds of the LORD,
the wonders that He performed. Psalm 78:3-4
Have you ever talked to someone who was extremely intelligent? So intelligent that you had a hard time following what they were trying to say? I have. If we are to speak the truth about God and His works to the next generation, we must speak in a way that they understand. We must remember to keep our vocabulary simple and explanations on their level.
So if we're talking to our children about where babies come from and they're 2, 3, 4... we can tell them babies come from God (thank you for that Crystal!). Now, depending on how much they already know, they may have more questions, but to make my point, I'm going to keep that simple....
If we're talking to others about God, His works, or His will, we must remember where they are coming from. Maybe they are coming from a Godless life, a Godless childhood. Maybe they are coming from different religious views. In that case, we must speak with understanding and acceptance. That's why it's important that we learn about others.
So we speak the truth about God. But we must do it in a way that doesn't overwhelm others or offend too badly.
Dear Lord, I love You so much and want to share it with the world! Please help me to use the right words so that my faith may be passed on.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
So I pick her up, hold her tight, and dance with her. And I love it because I'm singing along with the songs and they're about God and God's love. It's not about the next time I'm going to have sex or cheat on my spouse. And yes, Country Music has those songs too. I just don't want my kids to grow up with music that has to do with sex all the time. If we are going to sing, why not sing about God's praises? That's the direction their life should take anyway!
There were many years in my life where my heart was hardened to Christ. Well, I'm not so sure that it was hardened, but it definitely wasn't soft. It was a time in my life when I wanted to do what I wanted to do. God's plan did not come first. I spent years fighting for my freedom and doing what I wanted. During that time, I argued with people, I fought with people, I was angry with people, and I gossiped with people. It was not a happy nor peaceful time.
Since I recently softened my heart to our Lord, my life has become more peaceful. I gave in. I gave into His ways. I gave into His Will. It seems so logical now. It feels so much less stressful as soon as I let God take over. Now granted, I'm not perfect (obviously). I'm not saying I don't get angry, or gossip, or get in arguments. But it's different now. My anger does not overcome me and my arguments have a different tone. I have an understanding of the other side and am more likely to let things go. I let it go into His hands.
Lord, help me to continue on Your path by keeping my heart soft and open to you.
She says that our "...powers of concentration are so diverted that [we] cannot concentrate on God." So what I'm thinking is that we should be in a sort of meditative state. We should erase our worries from our minds. Take away thoughts that divert our thinking from God. "[We] have to feel that silent place in the depths of [our] soul, in that place where [we]can always concentrate on God."
This meditative state keeps out influences that are not God's. She tells us that this place we go is somewhere we have control of. No one can come in unless they are invited. So if we don't invite the devil, he cannot come in. So I'm thinking this silent place must be a place of peace where we are always in tune with God and what He wants so that we can stay on the right path.
If this sounds right, let me know!! If you have something else to share, please do that too! This was a tough one!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A Letter to Pastor Warren
An Article Refuting Pastor Warren's Participation in Inauguration
Enjoy and God Bless!
We are all looking for Him aren't we? When do we look for Him the most? Well, I know for me, when something bad is happening, happened, or is about to happen, I search for God. I search for His guidance. I want Him to tell me what to do. I want Him to tell me how to fix this!
Jesus spent some of His time here on Earth healing the sick: helping blind to see, curing incurable diseases. Can you imagine witnessing this? Wouldn't you seek this man out? This man who is our Savior with this power to heal? Of course we would. We would want Him to heal us or our loved ones too.
But it is also important that we spend time with Him as our friend. Wouldn't it be nice to talk to Jesus like a friend? To talk to Him about our day? To ask him questions about where we are going and doing?
We must remember that Jesus wants to be our friend. He wants to help us, but I bet He would also love for us to come to Him, just to come.
I talked further about this in another post from Mother Angelica if you're interested.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
No one wants to hear that the media and modern feminists have changed the way we think about our lives. Sex has become the focal point. The original feminist movement was about equality for women. Sexual freedom and birth control does not create equality for us. It stifles our equality.
Birth control has been portrayed to us as what us women need to make ourselves equal to men. Well, let's take a look at that scenario. A woman and a man meet. They really like each other. They decide, maybe after a few dates, or maybe after one, that they want to have sex with each other. They are physically attracted. The man puts a condom on, the woman makes sure she takes that pill, and they have intercourse. Well, the point of intercourse is to procreate. That's what God created sex for (and might I remind you that he created it as something sacred that's supposed to happen between a married man and a married woman). A couple of weeks go by, and the woman misses her period. She takes the pregnancy test and she's pregnant.
And let's just say for the sake of conversation that after their first night of passion, the man disappears never to be seen again. No phone number, no last name, no address, no nothing. What is a girl to do? Well says modern feminists, you can abort your baby! Fabulous! (I'm being facetious here.) She doesn't have to be "boggled down" with a baby even though she committed the very act, with perfect knowledge, that she could get pregnant. Most of us know that birth control is not 100% effective, right? We know the consequences. And there are many abortions that occur because our pregnancy was an "accident." And accident is when we run into someone else in a car because they pulled out in front of us. We didn't know that was going to happen. But when we lay down and have sex, we know, because we are intelligent human beings, that we can get pregnant from this very act that we call "freedom."
So this woman has an abortion and kills her baby. She is scarred mentally and physically from this decision. She thinks about this baby that she killed for her freedom every day. She is resentful of her decision and lives with disrespect for herself for the rest of her life. And the baby has suffered also because he/she was denied its life.
So how is this freedom for us? How does this give us women freedom? It doesn't!! The liberal media and modern feminists have fooled us ladies. They have fooled us into thinking that we can be free like men when it comes to sex. Who cares about sex!!! Aren't there more important things that you want your daughters to be worried about?! Aren't there more important things your daughter, and your son, could do with their life than have SEX whenever they want?!? How did this 3-letter word become so important? I'll tell you: Through our liberal media.
So you can watch this video and think that Ann Coulter is crazy, out of her mind, and that's fine, but she speaks the truth. She speaks with facts and sometimes being wrong makes us angry.. And if we don't act fast, our children will grow up with the same liberal thinking and may just end up being one of those women who think that their freedom lies with sex, not God. Or our sons will think they are free enough to have sex with whomever they choose because that girl can have an abortion, or they can walk away. It's not right. So let's start standing up for ourselves and our God-given freedom to use our brain. To be smart women. We are being fooled and the liberals are laughing at us.
To view the video, click here.
I just caught wind of this site from my mother-in-law. This is a blog that a mother created when she lost her little boy. She found out while she was pregnant that her baby was very ill. He was either going to die inside of her, be stillborn, or die quickly after birth.
Instead of aborting their baby, these parents decided to keep their baby and let God's plan go. Well, the baby lived for 14 minutes and their story is here: http://sgirl79.blogspot.com.
This is an inspiring story of two parents who still, through this horrible grief, have faith in God and His greatness. I'm sure they felt a great deal of sorrow from losing their child, but they know he is in Heaven now with our Father. And that brings them comfort.
Looking at situations like this makes me count my blessings. But it also helps me to keep my faith in God, even through the tough times.So visit and support women and men who choose LIFE.
Another great site to visit is: www.benotafraid.net.
You crowned Him with glory and honor,... Hebrews 2:7
Have you ever seen someone come into a room and try to be the life of the party? Or are you one of those people? I think we sometimes feel like we need this attention to feel good about ourselves. Well, I"m not so sure that we do. God is the only one who needs to be paying attention. It is His, and only His, judgment we should be worried about.
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
I'm just learning what this beatitude truly means through my Catechism of the Catholic Church (2546). "The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods. 'Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.'" (2547) That quote right there turned the light bulb on for me. It was that comparison between the rich and the poor, the proud and the humble that made it truly make sense.
I think it's OK to be proud of what we do and what we are doing and maybe even what we have, but we must make sure to keep ourselves in check, just as Jesus did.
This Scripture reminds me of a television show I watched the other night called "True Beauty." Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs is one of the hosts of the show (and I think she may have started it). Basically, 10 beautiful people (from the outside) were chosen to compete and the winner will get all sorts of recognition, and I'm sure some sort of cash reward. For instance, he/she will be featured in People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People edition. But the catch is that they are not being judged on their outward beauty, but their inner beauty. And they don't know this.
As my husband and I were watching, we kept on sort of chuckling at these people because they were so boastful about how wonderful and beautiful they were. It seemed as though they had no humility. When we walk with God, we walk with humility. We are several levels below the angels and we must realize that and act accordingly. It's difficult to pray and let God's plan take it's course when we are too proud to accept it.
So not only think about you when you pray, open your mind and your heart to others who may need Him, especially if they don't know they do....
Monday, January 12, 2009
He spoke with such passion about his trip it made me want to go. He talked about walking the steps that Jesus walked, standing where Jesus stood. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being able to see the place where our Lord walked?? As he talked, I felt like I was there. I felt the passion he was feeling.
He also talked about being baptized there (fake of course). He was totally submersed in the water, just like Jesus. How awesome that must have been for him to be able to do. To do the things that Jesus did, where Jesus did them. Hearing him talk about these things just increases my faith and makes me want to live like Jesus lived more and more.
Please, I want everyone to look at and examine what the Freedom of Choice Act would do to the current state laws that have been passed in the last few years.
Please act quickly as Pres-Elect Obama stated during his candidacy that he would sign FOCA.
Text of the house bill,
Text of the Senate Bill
Info from a site the practical impact with specific details about what the bill would nullify (there is a retroroactive section and nullification of any future laws that would limit abortion in any way, including parental notification, and abortion at any stage of the baby's growth if determined by the attending physician, which many are profiting from woman's babies they are aborting)
Besides that I believe and see proof life begins at conception, I think profiting from the hardships and gut-wrenching decision to terminate your child or not should not be a for-profit business and funded by the taxpayer.
Please distribute to all people you can throughout the USA.
I hope you will research then decide to contact your representatives to vote against the FOCA.
who glory in worthless things;
all gods bow down before you. Psalm 97:7
There were many Scripture passages that I wanted to write about today. But this one really stuck out in my mind. The United States today is at a turning point. We are either turning toward God, or away from Him. And if you're here reading this, I'm assuming you are turning toward Him.
Over the past, I would say, 40 years, we have slowly turned away from God and His commandments and have created our own. And we have slowly turned away from our faith, maybe our Catholic faith, and let our secular society provide false gods for us: money, power, sexual freedom.... In this Psalm, Israel is rejoicing in the overthrowing of idol worshipers and their gods, and reward those that are righteous in their faith to God.
Speaking for myself, I have made that transition from worshiping false Gods to worshiping one god, worshiping THE ONE God. It has been a tough transition. It's hard to change your way of thinking when it has been so ingrained in you for so long. I have thought back to my childhood lately and remembered that we did not have cable until I was in high school. I think that's when I started seeing my life the way society wanted me to. I was subjected to sexualized television through MTV and VH1 and then our television shows changed. Very slowly we have adopted swearing, and even the use of damning God, into our publicized television shows.
It's like that saying goes: If you drop a frog into a boiling pot of water, he will jump out. If you put him in cold water and slowly boil it, he won't jump out because he won't know it's being boiled to death.
That's what has happened to us. Our souls have been boiled, almost to death. I say almost because God is all powerful and forever loving. If we turn to Him and deny our false gods in our hearts, He will forgive us and guide us along His path.
Dear Lord, help me to deny my unrighteous path and live my life according to You.
Well, I'm just going to share a couple of quotes from the beginning of the chapter today, and continue to share thoughts and quotes throughout the week.
Prayer creates a disposition of assurance- not that you're going to get every answer that you want- but assurance of God's presence and His love.
God is always here. If you want to be able to count on someone all the time, God is your man. Have you ever had something that you want to talk about so badly that you feel like you're going to explode? And you call your best friend, wife, husband, sister, brother, mother, father, daughter, son and they weren't there? I have! So who do you talk to? GOD! "A lot of people today pray, but they never talk to God." Mother tells us that we don't have to wait for that magnificent thing to happen, but "talk to Him about everyday things right now."
The closer that I become to Him, the more I find myself talking to Him. In my van, making breakfast, doing chores around the house.... He's becoming more like a best friend. I can talk to God about ANYTHING. And why not? He knows everything anyway! I ask Him questions, I ask for help, I give Him thanks. I do that many times throughout the day. It keeps Him in my mind and in my heart. And the more I do it, the more I don't even realize I do it because it's such a big part of my life.