Monday, May 31, 2010

Among Women salutes all our Vets living & deceased

 Thank you for your service and your patriotism.

Moving video posted by Catholic TV here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's 12 noon, do you know your Angelus?

Pray it with J-O-Y!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Theotokos

In honor of Mary this May, here's my latest offering 
over at Today's Catholic Woman on Catholic Exchange!

Ladies: we need girlfriends! Check this out.

Sometimes you actually do find something useful on television that relates to the spiritual health and well-being of a woman's life... and friendships with other women are an important aspect of life.

Check out this link and video on how to nurture friendships among women.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This makes me think...

She [Mary] holds all the great Truths of Christianity together, as a piece of wood holds a kite.  Children wrap the string of a kite around a stick and release the string as the kite climbs to the heavens.  Mary is like that piece of wood.  Around her we wrap all the precious strings of the great Truths of our holy Faith -- for example, the Incarnation, the Eucharist, the Church.  No matter how far we get about the earth, as the kite may, we always have need of Mary to hold the doctrines of the Creed together.  If we threw away the stick, we would no longer have the kite; if we threw away Mary, we would never have Our Lord.  He would be lost in the Heavens, like our runaway kite, and that would be terrible, indeed,  for us on earth.

---Bishop Fulton Sheen, The World's First Love, Mary Mother of God

image credit

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Among Women Podcast #58

Among Women 58 features prayer and theology.  Our returning guest is Sr. Kathryn Hermes, FSP, author of Beginning Contemplative Prayer. In this episode, Sr. Kathryn discusses how we can grow in prayer by "trying on" different prayer methods from the Christian masters and mystics.  Plus, Pat salutes the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Theotokos (Greek: "God bearer"). Learn about how this foundational Marian dogma supports and protects Christology, and how Mary is a model for our spiritual motherhood.

Encouragement for Parents of Pre-Schoolers

Friday, May 21, 2010

As We close out the Easter season and move toward Pentecost...

It is worth remembering what we are all about...

From Cory Heimann on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Family business trumps the podcast this week

Hello Friends,

No Among Women podcast this week, as some personal family business (all good!) is keeping me away from the microphone this week.  Looking forward to a new show next week!  Let us pray for one another!


My Latest over at Faith and Family Live...

God is Love. BTW, this is one of my favorite paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to teach!  Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our College Graduate

Here's to you Bobby-boo, (when you were only 2!)

Oh how the years go by!

Congrats on your accomplishments and on your bachelor's degree!

You're in the driver's seat now!

Love you, Mom

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Ascension Thursday!

...and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 670-671:

Since the Ascension God's plan has entered into its fulfillment. We are already at "the last hour". Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect. Christ's kingdom already manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation by the Church.
Though already present in his Church, Christ's reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled "with power and great glory" by the King's return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ's Passover. Until everything is subject to him, "until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God." That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ's return by saying to him: Marana tha! "Our Lord, come!"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pilgrimage Sights: The Shroud of Turin & Fatima

Lately, Pope Benedict XVI has been touring a bit ...

Last week he visited the amazing Shroud of Turin that is on display for the world right now. Here's a brief video of the pope praying before the relic. Here's a close-up of the shroud.

And here's some thoughts from the pontiff about the shroud, [a denser reflection broken into paragraphs by me]:

This is the mystery of Holy Saturday! Truly from there, from the darkness of the death of the Son of God, the light of a new hope gleamed: the light of the Resurrection. And it seems to me that, looking at this sacred Cloth through the eyes of faith, one may perceive something of this light. Effectively, the Shroud was immersed in that profound darkness that was at the same time luminous; and I think that if thousands and thousands of people come to venerate it without counting those who contemplate it through images it is because they see in it not only darkness but also the light; not so much the defeat of life and of love, but rather victory, the victory of life over death, of love over hatred. They indeed see the death of Jesus, but they also see his Resurrection; in the bosom of death, life is now vibrant, since love dwells within it. 
This is the power of the Shroud: from the face of this "Man of sorrows", who carries with him the passion of man of every time and every place, our passions too, our sufferings, our difficulties and our sins Passio Christi. Passio hominis from this face a solemn majesty shines, a paradoxical lordship. This face, these hands and these feet, this side, this whole body speaks. It is itself a word we can hear in the silence. 
How does the Shroud speak? It speaks with blood, and blood is life! The Shroud is an Icon written in blood; the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced. The Image impressed upon the Shroud is that of a dead man, but the blood speaks of his life. Every trace of blood speaks of love and of life. Especially that huge stain near his rib, made by the blood and water that flowed copiously from a great wound inflicted by the tip of a Roman spear. That blood and that water speak of life. It is like a spring that murmurs in the silence, and we can hear it, we can listen to it in the silence of Holy Saturday.  [Read the full text here.]
Here's another take on viewing the Shoud from a 5th year seminarian.

This week, the Holy Father is in Fatima, the place that John Paul II called Mary's "throne" upon earth.  I've had the opportunity to visit Fatima twice (Summers of '98 and '02, recalled on AW #7.)

Here's an excerpt from an address the pope gave yesterday:

I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima, having received from on high the mission to strengthen my brothers as they advance along their pilgrim journey to heaven.. 
As for the event that took place 93 years ago, when heaven itself was opened over Portugal – like a window of hope that God open...
The Virgin Mary came from heaven to remind us of Gospel truths that constitute for humanity – so lacking in love and without hope for salvation – the source of hope. To be sure, this hope has as its primary and radical dimension not the horizontal relation, but the vertical and transcendental one. The relationship with God is constitutive of the human being, who was created and ordered towards God; he seeks truth by means of his cognitive processes, he tends towards the good in the sphere of volition, and he is attracted by beauty in the aesthetic dimension. Consciousness is Christian to the degree to which it opens itself to the fullness of life and wisdom that we find in Jesus Christ. The visit that I am now beginning under the sign of hope is intended as a proposal of wisdom and mission.

Among Women Podcast #57

This week's Among Women  takes a look at depression, as told through the eyes of Sister Kathryn Hermes, DSP.  Sister Kathryn talks about depression "from the inside out" as both a believer and someone who has battled depression in her life. Her book is Surviving Depression, A Catholic Approach. 

This week's show also introduces St. Dymphna, the Irish saint who is a patron to those who suffer from mental anguish, depression, and anxieties.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

And on the lighter side of things for Mother's Day...

...I was a guest on this week's edition of Catholic Weekend over at SQPN, with host Capt. Jeff Nielsen, and a few of my favorite fellow cyber-Moms and MomsIRL, Maria Johnson and Lisa Hendey.

Together, among other things, we talked about motherhood, driving carpools, not having to cook on Mother's Day, plus Lisa's great new book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms, and the upcoming Catholic New Media Celebration. 

The podcast will be posted here sometime later today. Otherwise, look for episode 25 of Catholic Weekend on SQPN or over at iTunes.

This makes me think...

This Sunday's Gospel from John, we hear these words from Jesus:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give it to you."

Lately, I've been talking with people who have suffered the pains of sexual abuse. For each one, the circumstances differed of course... whether in their own families, or within the church, or at some other place and time. But they all repeat to me a familiar refrain: as all the recent news accounts about church sex scandals continue to swirl around, it triggers "stuff" that must be dealt with in their own lives. One friend wrote, "the dark dogs are chasing me again...."  She knew I knew what she meant.

Sometimes the effects of these old wounds last a few days. Sometimes it plunges a person into depression.  Fortunately, some contact their therapists as soon as the ill wind starts to blow in their neighborhood. Or they call on trusted friends in whom they can safely confide.

Suffering from sexual abuse has not been my cross to bear, but it has been my burden to listen and to pray with those who have suffered such abuse. Some of these friends have received healing and continue to do so.  Some have moved on to survive and thrive. But many suffer setbacks when these tragic news items come to light. And for days on end, it seems there is no escaping it.

This might seem to be a curious post to put out there on a Mother's Day weekend. But regardless of the season, these friends come to my mind, for they are in need of much love, and yes, mothering, you might say. And so I pray for them... that they may experience the peace of Jesus... and the peace He promises us in the Gospel.

And I particularly want to encourage them and myself, (and maybe you?) to seek the consolation that can be found within "Mother" Church.  With all her foibles, and with all her human mistakes, the Church was founded by Christ as a source of grace for the world's sins, sufferings, and pains.  The Church is both a human and divine institution... Just as Jesus was both human and divine, the Church he is wedded to, his Bride, is both as well.  His grace is still active and calling us beyond sin and suffering to salvation.

I understand that in our daily world counseling and medication and other good sources of recovery are needed. I don't deny that. I think that's part of God's providence. But these words of Jesus concerning peace remind me that those tools of recovery are only part of the story; we need a supernatural remedy.

For Jesus offers us the kind of peace that the world cannot give.

I believe that. Not because I study scripture or teach the catechism, but because I have suffered with my own pains and my own griefs. And I have felt and experienced Christ's peace and healing for wounds I could not describe without collapsing into tears.  And because, as a mother myself, I feel the pains, to some degree, that my own children suffer when they are wounded or grieved. And like any good mother -- whether as a biological, adoptive, or spiritual mother -- I want to pray and gather them with tender care, and help them to be restored and healed.  Still, I know that these deepest hurts beckon for a a cure beyond what we can physically reach... most often, it takes a divine Physician to ultimately cure us.

And so I pray for all those who are suffering today, and I pray for all mothers who, on this day, are suffering themselves, or suffering along with their hurting children.  May we women be the mothers we need to be, especially in those difficult moments. And may the fathers among us look to protect and defend what is good and true and holy. And may we yoke those roles to the graces we have received.

Finally, I'm offering a few words below from Pope Benedict's recent letter to the people of Ireland.  Our Pope, our Chief Shepherd and Good Papa, who, since the first days of his pontificate,  has been trying to respond to the pains caused by abuse and corruption felt so deep by members of the flock. He continues to call us to Christ in the midst of all this, for Christ is our hope, and the Church still has the power to mother us.

And if I could point out one line worth committing to memory, besides the words of peace from the lips of Jesus, it would be this powerful gem from Benedict: Christ’s own wounds, transformed by his redemptive sufferings, are the very means by which the power of evil is broken and we are reborn to life and hope.

To the victims of abuse and their families
You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated. Many of you found that, when you were courageous enough to speak of what happened to you, no one would listen. Those of you who were abused in residential institutions must have felt that there was no escape from your sufferings. It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church. In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel. At the same time, I ask you not to lose hope. It is in the communion of the Church that we encounter the person of Jesus Christ, who was himself a victim of injustice and sin. Like you, he still bears the wounds of his own unjust suffering. He understands the depths of your pain and its enduring effect upon your lives and your  relationships, including your relationship with the Church. I know some of you find it difficult even to enter the doors of a church after all that has occurred. Yet Christ’s own wounds, transformed by his redemptive sufferings, are the very means by which the power of evil is broken and we are reborn to life and hope. I believe deeply in the healing power of his self-sacrificing love – even in the darkest and most hopeless situations – to bring liberation and the promise of a new beginning.
Speaking to you as a pastor concerned for the good of all God’s children, I humbly ask you to consider what I have said. I pray that, by drawing nearer to Christ and by participating in the life of his Church – a Church purified by penance and renewed in pastoral charity – you will come to rediscover Christ’s infinite love for each one of you. I am confident that in this way you will be able to find reconciliation, deep inner healing and peace.
---Benedict XVI, Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kudos to Sean, the Duct-tape guy for this video about CNMC

For more, go to Catholic Round Up.

Holy Spirit, Breath of the Word of God

My latest installment of Embracing the Catechism on Catholic Exchange's woman's channel: Today's Catholic Woman.

Too Good Not to Share: "Crying Holy Unto My Lord"

Did I ever mention I play guitar?  That swift-pickin' on a Martin guitar just fires me up!

HT: The Summa Mammas

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A little help here? For Nashville and its environs.

To date, 31 people have died. More details here.

How you can help -- local relief agencies listed here.

More news here about the Catholic community.

What's in a Name?

We are working our way thru the Catechism of the Catholic Church over at  Here's a snippet from my latest installment on God's name:

I’m not sure Moses could take it all in as he stood by the burning bush … but he most certainly was forever changed by the encounter, knowing he met the One from whom all life flowed.
From that moment on, God’s name was not longer a secret, and God continued to revealed more of himself until the world finally met the human face of God in Jesus Christ.
Read the rest here. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Among Women Podcast #56

Among Women 56 welcomes Lisa Hendey of back for another visit to talk about her book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms.  Plus, we turn back the hands of time and look at the life of Lydia, a woman of faith from the New Testament, as found in Acts 16: 11-15.

Also, it's time to register for the Catholic New Media Celebration coming to Boston Aug. 6-8, 2010.  Don't miss CNMC "mmx"!

You can also hear an earlier podcast with Lisa Hendey as a guest, here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Veteran Homeschool Moms "Living the Liturgical Year" in a new blog

Here's a plug: I know these gals. They've got a pretty good blog launch going on for a pair of new media neophytes. Go welcome their arrival to the blogosphere, check 'em out, and leave a comment. (Tell them Pat sent you.) Or, better yet, check out their blog AND listen to their conversation with me on last week's AW podcast.

The new Roman Missal (click & learn about the coming changes):

Watch Catholic TV here! Find Women's programs: "WINGs" and "Woman at the Heart of the Church"

A Lovely Reminder for Every Day

Coffee drinkers! Support AW by drinking Mystic Monk Coffee!

Ship a Cake, and Share a Blessing