Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Helpful articles, video & action tips for Catholics re Obamacare's affront to religious freedom & conscience clauses

Note: This is not a political commentary blog. Yet, we've had many discussions on Among Women regarding the moral issues surrounding certain health care issues, respect life issues, and our role in the public square. Recent decisions within the US department of Health and Human Services rejecting conscience clauses within "Obamacare" touch us all. Take time this week to pray and evaluate your role in fighting initiatives that demean the dignity of the human person and promote a culture of death.

By Archbishop (and Cardinal-designate) Timothy Dolan of New York in USA Today
It's a brief article. Read it. Then watch a short video of +Dolan's criticism of the mandate. Are we peeved enough to act yet? Take action here via the US Bishops website.

By Bishop William Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport
Read on! Get educated and understand the source of this righteous indignation.

By Elizabeth Scalia at First Things
Elizabeth writes: "Now is the time for all good Catholics to come to the aid of providers-- the schools, hospitals, charities, and soup kitchens who serve communities in need without asking affiliations." 

By Frank Weathers at Catholic Lane
A comprehensive look at why we must fight this mandate. The reason to petition the White House at their site: "Why should I bother to help?” Simple. How many bishops are there in the United States? 145. How many votes do they command? 145. If only the bishops speak, and there is no other tangible sign of support from the rest of us, you know, backing them up, they will just be perceived as barking in thin air. 145 + 25,000, on the other hand, might just get a little more notice."

By Julie Davis at Happy Catholic
Even small business owners like Julie and husband will be affected, forcing them to bring up religion in the workplace and why they may have to drop health coverages. This article also links to the petition in Frank Weathers' article, above.

Current List of Bishops who Speak Out against Obama/HHS Mandate (115 153 at this posting)
By Thomas Peters at Catholic Vote.org
I'm sure this list will grow. Thomas also writes about other notable updates on this topic including a legislative move by Senator Marco Rubio to rescind the mandate.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

This makes me think... about the consequences of loving Christ

The saint is not one who accepts suffering because he likes it, and confesses this preference before God and men in order to win a great reward. He is one who may well hate suffering as much as anybody else, but who so loves Christ, Whom he does not see, that he will allow His love to be proved by any suffering. And he does this not because he thinks it is an achievement, but because the charity of Christ in his heart demands it be done.

The saint is one so attuned to the spirit and heart of Christ that he is compelled to answer the demands of love by a love that matches that of Christ. This of for him a need so deep and so personal and so exacting that it becomes his whole destiny. The more he answers the secret action of Christ's love in his own heart, the more he comes to know love's inexorable demands. 

---Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island, 1955.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 1.28.12 ...HHS ruling... Mom stuff... Pope quotes... Stuff to make us think...Nags!

Among Women ReadHER

HHS ABC Rule: Anybody but Catholics Has Religious Freedom
By Sr. Mary Ann Walsh at the USCCB Media Blog
Read this and stay informed on this issue. 

Prayers for Women Approaching Labor
By Lisa Schmidt at The Practicing Catholic

To the Mother With Only One Child
By Simcha Fisher at her blog at National Catholic Register
This struck a chord with me, and many other women, judging by the combox at the end of the post. Oh, and Tom Hoopes gives the Dad's version.

Talk to Your Mother!
By Simcha Fisher at her blog at National Catholic Register
Yes, a double-header from Simcha. There are no rules here, I link what I like each week. (Re the post: If you're like me, you wanna write a post that challenges us to do a test study on the rosary's power to break bad habits. I bet others have stories like this. Go Momma Mary. Go Rosary.)

March for Love
By Tim Muldoon at Patheos
Read this one slowly. Then listen to your heart.

Girl Scout Leadership: Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Ideologues
By Mary Hasson at Catholic Lane
I was a GS for years. It was a great organization back in the day when I was young. But I've seen a slow decline in the moral values that were once characteristic of the organization. So I'm very troubled by the links on this post that just underscore that even more. 

Silence and Word, The Path to Evangelization
By Pope Benedict XVI
For those of us active in new media evangelization, these World Communications Day messages are important to read. But let me say that what strikes me as profoundly simple about this message is the implicit call to go deeper still in our personal communication via the dynamics of love, friendship, and  Communion. 

Pope Stresses Role of Spiritual Guides in Discernment (for vocations)
Posted by Zenit
The Pope emphasizes importance of priests and parents in presenting vocation options to young people.

Meet the Marriage Killer
By Elizabeth Bernstein at the Wall Street Journal
All about nagging. Some good suggestions for avoiding it, at the end of the article.

A City's Soul in the Balance
By Elizabeth Lev at Zenit
Commentary on the good, the bad and the ugly in NYC.

Lunch with the Girls
By Lisa Hendey at Faith and Family Live
Book it! 

Forgotten Relics Found in Buffalo
Posted by Fox News
Cool news story. Hope there is follow-up!

2 VIDEOs: Fr. Robert Barron comments on the recent viral video dealing with "Why I love Jesus and hate religion."

Miss the March for Life? Here it is in hyperdrive summary form...

Friday, January 27, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient... the comics edition

Once, in a galaxy long ago and far away, in a middle-school theatre production I played "Patty" in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I was reared on Peanuts, spending many summers reading comics books, so I couldn't resist passing this along...

10 Peanuts Characters You've Probably Forgotten

And then, there's this: Happiness is Loving Your Enemies...

And then there's this totally-unrelated-to-Peanuts little gem... of subtle humor that only MAC users would understand.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Among Women Podcast # 112: Star of the New Evangelization

Among Women 122 takes the view that the new evangelization is everybody's business. Pat shares that our guide for excellence in sharing our love and joy of the faith is Mary, the first and most faithful disciple of all.

In 2012 the Church will be invited to a Year of Faith and the world's bishops will be traveling to Rome for the Synod on the new evangelization.

Join myself and writer Robyn Lee for an honest discussion on how to be a witness, and how your encounter with Christ really is the glue that holds life together. Together we explore a few themes of the Lineamenta that leads up to the Synod, and find simple practical ways that talk about the faith out loud and in person.

Also, remember that SQPN's giving campaign is in full swing. Tax-deductible donations to the non-profit new media apostolate are most welcomed.

The Contagious Bonds of Faith and Friendship

My weekly column at Patheos today looks to the saints and apostles for inspiration on glories of friendship... and how friendships can evangelize and build up the church.

Here's a sample:

Faith is caught not taught. That pithy adage describes my own conversion to Christ as a teen. I was raised in a Christian home, but I did not as yet own my faith. Though I knew about Christ, I did not know him. 
The witness of a few close friends won me over. At first, it was more of what they did and less about what they said. 
My heart yearned for what they had… authentic love for one another born of respect, not competition or social status. They walked together with an easy regard for the uniqueness of the other; characterized by a building up, not tearing down. Their joy radiated from boon companionships. A community ethic rooted in teamwork brought compassionate service to others. 
There was a warm fire about them. And I needed to know its source. 
Jesus said, “I have called you friends.” (John 15: 15.) 
Friends… The God of the Universe wants to be friends with us. God took on a permanent partnership with his creatures, not only by taking on flesh in the Incarnation, but by longing to share our company so that one day we might share his. 
God, the mighty friend -- refuge and rock, consoler and confidant, healer and lover -- caught my attention. And I have never been the same. Once “caught” I couldn’t wait to be “taught” about the faith of the friends of God. 
There's more.  Subscribe to the column here. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

This makes me think... about the gift of one's nature...

Fish cannot drown in the water,
Birds cannot sink in the air,
Gold cannot perish
In the refiner's fire.

This has God given to all creatures
To foster and see their own nature,
How then can I withstand mine?

I must to God--
My father through nature,
my brother through humanity,
My bridegroom through love,
His am I forever!

Think ye that fire must utterly slay my soul?
NAY! Love can both fiercely scorch
And tenderly love and console.

--Mechthild of Magdeberg

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The sad anniversary of Roe Vs Wade... some podcasts that speak to life issues...

Here's a reminder about previous Among Women episodes that speak to life issues. Each episode has its own page that lists links to resources that respect life.

The following four episodes are no longer downloadable, but can be listened to online on the Among Women website. 

Among Women 29 -- Guest Kathleen Fitzpatrick chronicles her journey of becoming pregnant as a college student and dealing with her process of acceptance, and her choice to give birth to her son and raise him as a single mother. Statistics show that 10% of all college aged women become pregnant every year. That's why Kathleen's story is so important, and why we need films and information that reach out to women in that age group that accounts for 45% of all abortions. (<--note: this link opens a .pdf file)

Among Women 30 -- Guest blogger and pro-life activist Leticia Velasquez discusses respect life advocacy and building the "culture of life". She gives valuable tips on how average citizens can stay informed on issues and awareness.

Among Women 28 -- Guest Merry Nordeen pioneered the "choose life" specialty license plates now available in Massachusetts. Merry also discusses how the initiative can come to the other states in the Union.

Among Women 40 -- Guest Earline Tweedie shares her faith story and her experiences of raising a son with Downs Syndrome.

The following episodes are available on iTunes or at the Among Women website.

Among Women 74 -- Guest Jessica Schacle, then a high school student, discusses her reasons behind her pro-life advocacy. This episode also features teaching on the Church's profound understanding of the dignity of the human person.

Among Women 75 -- Guest Dr. Theresa Burke, an international expert on post-abortion stress and healing, as well as a clinical psychiatrist, discusses the process of healing after an abortion. Many great resources are available through Rachel's Vineyard.

Among Women 120 -- A compelling story of birth mother and an adoptive mother talking about the decisions they made, the prayers they prayed and the daughter they share via an open adoption... 14 years later after the child was placed for adoption.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 1.21.12 Sleepless... struggles.. quotables... politics..and bookishness!

Among Women ReadHER

By Amy Welborn
A warm reflection about her father's study, oh, and so much more, in the months after his death.

Politics as a Vocation: Mary Ann Glendon discusses the duty of all Christians to engage in public life 
By Christopher White at the National Catholic Register
I'm a fan of practically everything Mary Ann Glendon writes or shares. (Glendon is former Ambassador to the Vatican under Pres. George W. Bush, and a top lawyer in Church affairs and at Harvard.)  She's a woman who is a gift to the Church and to our country, always defending the normative place of religion in the public square.

By Arwen Mosher at Faith and Family Live
If you struggle with comparing yourself to other Moms around you, let Arwen's voice resound in your head.

Get a Good Night's Sleep: Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry!
By Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur at CatholicMom.com
A recent study shows lots of women suffer insomnia or put off sleep due to worries or stress. Patrice has some advice. Patrice was a guest on AW back in the early days, on episode 6.

Well Said: Being Childlike
By Julie Davis at Happy Catholic
Julie always pulls something of interest from her Quote Journal...this time it is one that I had read before but had forgotten from Madeline L'Engle... enjoy!  To hear more fabulous quotes, listen to Julie's conversation with me on AW 99. 

On faith
Posted by BenedictEveryday.com
Speaking of more quotes, I love these daily quotes from our Holy Father. 

Read about Project Inspired's Campaign to stop selling Cosmopolitan magazine to under-aged girls.
Sign the anti-Cosmo petition here.  H/T Teresa Tomeo, who recently guested on AW 118. 

Beatitudes for Parents
By Patti Armstrong
Patti posts a short reflection from Marion Kinneman -- it still rings true. Patti was a recent guest on AW, you can find that interview here. 

Tech Talk Tuesdays
By Sarah Reinhard at CatholicMom.com
If you are a gadget person with a smart phone or tablet, you'll enjoy Sarah's series at CM for recommendations for Catholic and family-related apps. I've linked to her archives. Sarah was a guest on AW 11 and AW 116.

Sure, I love to read online, but I also love curling up with good book. Here's a whimsical short video for book lovers...

The Moral is the Story: Flannery O'Connor's Wisdom for a Catholic Literary Renaissance
By Vaughn Kohler at the Gregorian Blog
This one's for all my writing buddies, especially in the Catholic Writer's Guild.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm over at Catholic Mom today...

My latest at Catholic Mom is another installment in the occasional series I'm writing on the empty nest:

"Kids Learn What They Live"

The F.U.N. Quotient - IRL

Sometimes ya just gotta take a day off with your girlfriends and go play! That's what I'm doing today. Maybe I'll post a picture or two later.

So this is your F.U.N.* quotient content for today: Go have some fun in real life today!

*frequent unbridled nonsense

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Teenaged Saint Remembered in the Eucharistic Prayer

A young teen from the 4th century inspires both the Church calendar, and Eucharistic Prayer I. Read all about St. Agnes in my column at Patheos this week.

Among Women Podcast #121 Each Life is a Masterpiece

Among Women 121 is back with a look at the passionate love and life of St. Clare of Assisi and a conversation with author, blogger, and pro-life advocate, Leticia Velasquez. Leticia and I discuss the unexpected blessings found in raising children with special needs, and we focus on some of the stories found in her new book A Special Mother is Born: 

Parents Share How God Called Them to the Extraordinary Vocation of Parenting a Special Needs Child

You can also get your name in for a free drawing of this book, by submitting a request to amongwomenpodcast@me.com, or leaving a note on the Facebook page for the Among Women Podcast.

Leticia is also the founder of K.I.D.S. (Keep Infants with Downs Syndrome), and we look at some of the misunderstandings surrounding Downs Syndrome, and the pro-life cause in light of this year's March for Life on Jan. 23 in Washington, DC.

Listen to the podcast or subscribe to it here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Need Joy? Sunday is your answer. My latest at Amazing Catechists...

Here's what this article at my column at Amazing Catechists is about:

Sometimes, the joy busters of life get the better of me. But not lately.When I delve into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I really get a sense of the joie de vivre of Catholic life. Something that has had a real and  practical application for my life is finding the joy of Sundays. After all, Sunday was the day that Jesus was raised from the death… and in so many ways, a thoughtful observance of Sunday can breathe life back into the other days of the week for me. 
Tucked in the middle of a longer summary about Sundays, I came across this tiny, yet powerful phrase: the day of joy. I was immediately struck by how often I have revered Sunday as an obligation and a day of rest, but have not always consciously entered into it as a day of joy, save for major feast days.  As it turns out, that is just one aspect of a bigger idea that describes Christian joy as proper to Sundays.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This makes me think... St Catherine's Prayer before the Eucharist

O boundless charity!
Just as you gave us yourself,
wholly God and wholly man,
so you left us all of yourself as food
so that while we are pilgrims in this life
we might not collapse in our weariness
but be strengthened by you, heavenly food.

O mercenary people!
And what has your God left you?
He has left himself,
wholly God and wholly man,
hidden under the whiteness of this bread.

O fire of love!
Was it not enough to gift us 
with creation in your image and likeness,
and to create us anew to grace in your Son's blood,
without giving us yourself as food,
the whole of divine being,
the whole of God?
What drove you?
Nothing but your charity,
mad with love as you are!

--St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
as found in Praying in the Presence of Our Lord, by Fr Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 1.14.12... the gamut today: joy... yummy things.. time savers... death... mothering & more

Among Women ReadHER

The Space Between
By Jaymie Stuart Wolfe from her column at The Pilot
Always smart, always reflective, that's why I follow Jaymie's column. I was pleased to welcome her to Among Women back on episode 114.

Being a Single Parent Isn't So Bad. There are worse things. Trust me.
By Katrina Fernandez at The Crescat
The #1 rule of good writing: write what you know. Kat speaks from a deep, compassionate well of experience.

SCOTUS Unanimous on Religious Freedom
By Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress
We all have to stay abreast of the news: As Christians continue to face persecution both here and abroad, this ruling from the US Supreme Court is particularly important for the operation of churches in the USA. Elizabeth Scalia gives a good round up of the issue and the ruling. Be sure to see her links embedded in the post.

Bringing Death Into the Light Was Never Crazy
By Elizabeth Scalia at First Things
Yes, a second offering from Elizabeth Scalia... another culture-related post. This time it is a cogent, compassionate, and occasionally humorous consideration on how our society avoids the truth of death, and what we lose when we do.  Elizabeth was a guest on Among Women last year, listen here.

The Fallacy of the "Yummy Mummy"
By Betty Duffy at Patheos
A sanity check here for all of us who may struggle with weight issues and perspective. 

Rape Definition Updated by the FBI
By Peter Yost of the Associated Press
Women and men need to know this information. Pass this on to college age and high school age kids too. (Sadly, date-rape is more widespread that we might like to think or imagine.) And then, there is this sad statistic.

Motherhood and the Call to Holiness
By Thomas L. McDonald at National Catholic Register
Some good comments by the women interviewed.

The Happy Mother Challenge, Day 1
By Meg Meeker, MD at her website
A good book to put on your reading list!

25 Tips to Make Your Life Easier
By the Daily Buzz 
Wow! I loved this list. (H/T The Anchoress)

Tim Tebow's Testimony
By Jennifer Roche at CatholicVote.org
I'm seeing more and more women write about Denver's QB. (Of course I live in Patriots Nation, so there's lots of trash talk going on around here. But that's besides the point. I agree with Jennifer here: Give Tebow credit for living his faith in the public square. There is persecution of such a soul, and there are graces too.

Beautiful Joy: for you!
By Hallie Lord (guest posting at Elizabeth Foss' blog)
Recalling delight in being a girl, a woman. Hear Hallie guest on AW 84.

My Father's Rosary
By CCR at The Conservatory
Found this article via someone's twitter feed. I don't really know the writer or his religious views, but I was moved that he was moved by his father's beads. Sometimes we may feel our children, or loved ones may never fully embrace the faith, but moments like this show the allure of the Holy Spirit is always at work.

12 Signs of a Spiritual Awakening
A resource posted at SilentNoMore.org
-- Silent No More Awareness is a Campaign whereby Christians make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion. Find their new updated website here. If you have suffered an abortion, you may wish to listen Among Women 75 on that subject.

Jesus' life was about joy... 

Friday, January 13, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient - further proof that I am easily amused

For the moms and caregivers out there -- did any one of your children even go through a dinosaur phase? Mine did. And so, here's a brief send up to those memories...

Dino Fail.

Dino Lego.

Dino Comes to School: Kids "gobsmacked"!

Dino movie:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here's 12 great episodes of Among Women from 2011... Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss what's coming up in 2012!

Here's an even dozen selected for your listening pleasure. Just click on the link to listen on your computer, or download via iTunes. Subscribe to the podcast here, and subscribe to the blog in the sidebar at right.

If you're new to Among Women, or you haven't been around for a while, here's a look back at some of what we've covered together in the last 12 months.

AW 85 with Elizabeth Scalia... Stand Up for the Faith

AW 92 Special Edition... The Bible and You -- a round-up with our listeners as guests!

AW 93 with a panel of guests... Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

AW 94 with Jennifer Willits... Ringing Around the Rosary

AW 99 with Julie Davis... Happy to be Catholic

AW 100... Celebrating 100 Episodes... with the guest from Episode 1: Dr. Virginia Kimball and a cast of thousands... (ok, not 1000's but a bunch of beloved listeners giving their two cents about AW.)

AW 103 with Rosario Rodriguez... When Forgiveness is Hard

AW 109 Metanoia... Listener Erin Miller talks about her conversion and the road to Carmelite spirituality.

AW 112 Special Edition... What I love about the Rosary! -- more fun with our listeners!

AW 113 with Lisa Hendey... Communing with the Saints

AW 118 with Teresa Tomeo... A Women's Relationship with the Media

AW 119 with Dorothy Pilarski... The Interior Life of Mothers

The Ripples of Generosity, Unseen - my latest at Patheos

The beauty of the Sacred Scripture is the myriad of layers that are found in every chapter. My column this week at Patheos ponders the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem, and the unexpected blessings I have witnessed, and sometimes received, from modern-day "magi" in our midst... in a kind of unseen ripple effect...

Here's an excerpt:
Generosity is going the distance with big-hearted energy. It powerfully frames the Gospel’s challenge to “love one another (John 13: 34).” 
After all, the call to holiness is supposed to imitate God’s first love for us… “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…(John 3: 16.)”  
God’s munificence leads us, like Magi-wannabes, toward charity for others. 
Generosity has a rather noble duty attached to it. It is always connected with lifting up another person. It is a chance to serve, bless, or elevate another through the sheer graciousness of giving liberally. To paraphrase Jesus’ later Sermon on the Mount: we go the extra mile. (See Mt 5: 39-41.
Generosity is the ability to give with no thought of getting, whether one is giving time, talent, or treasure. Fortunately, in God’s economy, giving without thought of a return is never for nothing. 
People I know have routinely offered their generosity to my family and me. I am so grateful for their unselfish love. Even if they were unable to see into the future to know if it was all going to be worth it, they didn’t stop from giving in the first place. 
The gifts of the Magi remind me of a remarkable potentiality: when we bestow generosity on those beyond our own circles, unseen exponential blessings become possible. There are many people this side of heaven who will never know that they have participated in the largesse of Providence through their own charitable giving.
Read the rest of the column here.  And please consider subscribing to A Word in Season today, and get it delivered right to your RSS reader or email inbox.

Monday, January 9, 2012

This makes me think... (Hint: read/buy the Compendium)

79. What is the Good News for humanity?
It is the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the “Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), who died and rose from the dead. In the time of King Herod and the Emperor Caesar Augustus, God fulfilled the promises that he made to Abraham and his descendants. He sent “his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
80. How is the Good News spread?
From the very beginning the first disciples burned with the desire to proclaim Jesus Christ in order to lead all to faith in him. Even today, from the loving knowledge of Christ there springs up in the believer the desire to evangelize and catechize, that is, to reveal in the Person of Christ the entire design of God and to put humanity in communion with him.
“And in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord”
81. What is the meaning of the name “Jesus”?
Given by the angel at the time of the Annunciation, the name “Jesus” means “God saves”. The name expresses his identity and his mission “because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Peter proclaimed that “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).
82. Why is Jesus called “Christ”?
“Christ” in Greek, “Messiah” in Hebrew, means the “anointed one”. Jesus is the Christ because he is consecrated by God and anointed by the Holy Spirit for his redeeming mission. He is the Messiah awaited by Israel, sent into the world by the Father. Jesus accepted the title of Messiah but he made the meaning of the term clear: “come down from heaven” (John 3:13), crucified and then risen , he is the Suffering Servant “who gives his life as a ransom for the many” (Matthew 20:28). From the name Christ comes our name of Christian.
83. In what sense is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?
Jesus is the Son of God in a unique and perfect way. At the time of his Baptism and his Transfiguration, the voice of the Father designated Jesus as his “beloved Son”. In presenting himself as the Son who “knows the Father” (Matthew 11:27), Jesus affirmed his singular and eternal relationship with God his Father. He is “the Only Begotten Son of God” (1 John 4:9), the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is the central figure of apostolic preaching. The apostles saw “his glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father” (John 1:14).
84. What is the meaning of the title “Lord”?
In the Bible this title regularly designates God as Sovereign. Jesus ascribed this title to himself and revealed his divine sovereignty by his power over nature, over demons, over sin, and over death, above all by his own Resurrection. The first Christian creeds proclaimed that the power, the honor, and the glory that are due to God the Father also belong to Jesus: God “has given him the name which is above every other name” (Philippians 2:9). He is the Lord of the world and of history, the only One to whom we must completely submit our personal freedom.

--Just a sampling of all the good stuff found in the Q & A format of the Compendium of the Catechism.

Find it online here.

Find a hardcopy here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 1.7.12 ...Epiphany, Supper, Gists, Digital Stuff and more

Among Women ReadHER
A Blessed New Year
By Archbishop Timothy Dolan from his blog at the Archdiocese of New York
Some simple spiritual suggestions for the new year! Oh, and in case you missed the hoopla this week, we'll be calling him "Cardinal" Dolan very soon! 

My Digital Resolutions for the New Year
By Lisa Hendey at CatholicMom.com
Timely, useful, and realistic ideas.

An Epiphany Royal Supper
By Tiffany at Catholic Cuisine

The Premiere of "The Gist"
Posted By Catholic TV
Missed the debut episode? Click on the link above!

What Christian Parents Need to Know about Facebook
By @Sticky Jesus
Some basics. Check it out if you are a newbie to FB, or if you're kids are in middle school or older.

The Case for Calling Mom
By Sarah Klift at Washington Post
New study gives evidence that Mom needs to hear from you! 
H/t Bonnie Rodgers at Catholic TV

Healthy Habits for the New Year include NFP (Natural Family Planning)
By Ellen Gable Hrkach at Amazing Catechists
A great reminder! I too recommend NFP, not only from a Catholic perspective, but also as a "green" and healthy alternative! Listen to Ellen's guest visit on Among Women 89.

Melanie Bettinelli's site The Wine Dark Sea got an upgrade!
Listen to the 2-part interview with Melanie here on Among Women.

America's Next Top Model: A little boy with Down's Syndrome
By Deacon Greg Kandra at The Deacon's Bench
A real human interest story... emphasis on the beauty of humanity.

Catholic issues in the culture... as posted in CatholicVote.org

image credit

Friday, January 6, 2012

The FUN Quotient... Amazing Harmonica edition

I first heard Buddy Greene play the harmonica back in my days as a deejay for a Contemporary Christian music station. My favorite song penned and song by him is "A Virtuous Woman" listed below...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Would You Like Me to Pray For? My latest at Patheos.

If you've listened to the Among Women podcast, you know that I regularly ask for prayers from my listeners, and I regularly offer intercessory prayer them as well.  The habit of intercession is one we all should take up in the new year if we haven't already.

Here are some thoughts from my latest column at Patheos about why and how you should intercede in prayer for others...

It’s like when the doctor asks, “Tell me where it hurts?” All the patient has to do is point to the boo-boo. Intercession is like that…. People don’t have give a lot of elaboration, they just need to point and say… “This…” 
“He’s sick and waiting on the lab reports...”
“I need a job…” 
“She’s cutting…” 
“He got arrested…” 
“I’m getting a divorce…” 
“We lost the baby…” 
“I might have failed my class…” 
“My father is dying…” 
“My son is in the military…” 
“I hate my coach…” 
The interior logic of intercession leads to love. For some people, that might be an unintended consequence, but the law of love is always within the will of God. 
So, this is only advice I can give: When you choose to actively pray for someone, prepare yourself to love him or her. If you already love someone, prepare to love them even more. And if you pray for someone that you do not love or like -- be it a difficult boss, an annoying relative, or someone who has trespassed against you -- prepare to see signs of love or peace breaking through, even when you’d rather resist. You might not see changes in that person or their circumstances, but you will soon find that you cannot pray for someone in a detached way. It will move your heart in ways that might be surprising and sympathetic, especially if it leads to forgiveness, or freedom, or healing. 
I think that is exactly why Jesus asked his followers to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. (See Mt. 5:44.) He knew that intercession builds bridges between the painful stuff of earth and the mighty throne of heaven. Intercession works reflexively to benefit both parties, building a spiritual connection, a relationship woven invisibly by the Spirit. 
Intercessory prayer, the practice of standing in the gap between what is seen by our earthly clay and unseen behind heaven’s veil -- be it for a few minutes, hours, or even years -- is a sublime gift weightier than worldly measures. It is an entering into God’s economy and surrendering to his channels of grace.
Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas greetings... more than a day... a season, a life.

As far as I can tell, the first Christmas greeting ever mentioned in Scripture was not a Christmas card at all. It was more of a singing telegram sung by a choir of angels near the outskirts of Bethlehem where shepherds watched their flock by night. And as far as I know, those famous Magi bearing gifts for the Christ Child arrived after the fact… and their gifts represented not just a moment or a day in time, but a life to be lived, one that would develop and grow and bless many in its wake.

Enter the wisdom of the Church’s meditation on the Birth of Christ, giving us a sense that this blessed event was really a season… that we are entering into a new time, a new era.

A new order of life opened up that first Christmas night. And we have never been the same.

The Christmas season for the Christian is everything that comes after the birth of the Newborn King. Just like the life of a family celebrates the birth of a child after their arrival. This does not discount the advent of the child’s birth as unimportant. That is an important time of patient interior nurture. It anticipates the changes to come within the family, and allows time for appropriate preparations. But a birth brings external celebrations and excitement and blessed obligations. A birth initiates changes within all the relationships of the family, and beyond to the wider community.

The real joy is not just about a birth day, but the life that it represents… a tiny soul born with a profound destiny.

So in the spirit of birth announcements arriving after the birth, and the spirit of a continued season of wonder and joy as we welcome a newborn in our midst… 

Let us be about the holding and the hugging…  

Let us practice saying his name lovingly on our lips… 

Let us take turns embracing his family and kissing and cooing the warm bundle that is ours to share.

Let us linger over this somehow… like Mary did… by pondering these things in our hearts. Even if the rest of the material world is packing up Christmas, or selling it for 75% off, we can silently be assured that something more than day has passed. And something more remains.

Christ has truly entered in, for all time.

We have been given a new life in and through this Holy Babe. May we understand this, so many centuries later, that we have a Savior who, truly, anticipated our own births. And his loving gaze and outstretched arms still await our coming into full knowledge of our profound destiny.

May the grace of Christmas be yours for more than just one day, but every day. And may your New Year mark many days where Christ enters in.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous Gift is given;
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
the dear Christ enters in.

(O Little Town of Bethlehem, Phillips Brooks 1835-1893)



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