Saturday, December 31, 2011

Among Women ReadHER 12.31.11

Among Women ReadHER

Eve in Mary Reconciled, As Are We All
By Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress
This is from a few weeks back but still relevant during the Christmas season. (I must have missed it while I was traveling!) Turn to it now -- if only for the brilliant, provocative, and powerful illustration that accompanies it. Just stare into it and take it in. If you love Mary, I dare your heart not to be moved. As always I tip my hat to the equally brilliant wordsmith, otherwise known as The Anchoress, whose blog has long been a favorite stop of mine. (Hear Elizabeth Scalia on an AW episode from last January.)

A Dad at Christmas
By Elizabeth Foss at The Catholic Herald
More loveliness for the Christmas season from the ever-wise Elizabeth Foss.

Let Me Not Keep Christmas
By William O'Leary at Catechesis in the Third Millennium
Short and inspired.

By Robyn Lee at Amazing Catechists
Our YouTube-fixated culture proves that even home movies can reach millions of eyes. Let's get going, Catholic friends. DO try this at home!

By Alicia Therese from On Earth, As It Is
A powerful metaphor for the case for chastity among singles.

All the Things in 2011
By Maria Johnson at Another Cup of Coffee
Nice reflection on gratitude.

By Christopher S. Pinco at The Pilot
Coming in January, "The Gist", featuring Danielle BeanRachel Balducci and Carolee McGrath! Here's a trailer:

Hear Danielle on a previous episode of AW discussing her recent book with Elizabeth Foss.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Among Women podcast - On hiatus for a couple weeks!.

I am taking a podcasting break until mid- January. Hope to be back around Jan 12 or so!

You can find links for archived podcasts cataloged by topic, saint, and guest at the Among Women Index page. Maybe there's something in our archives that will interest you while you are waiting for the next new AW?

Don't forget, as an AW subscriber, you get the podcast as soon as it uploads to iTunes. Click on this link to subscribe to Among Women.

One more thing, in case you missed the news, SQPN has 4 new affiliates: check 'em out! 

In the meantime, let us pray for each other! I'll still be doing some moderate blogging, just not recording until into the new year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

SQPN Marathon Postponed!

Fr Roderick and the Board of Directors at SQPN have decided to postpone the 12 hour Marathon originally scheduled for December 27th. Stay tuned for updates at SQPN and here at AW for a new date to be announced. In the meantime, enjoy the Christmas holidays!

This makes me think... (Absolutely one of my favorite acapella groups of all time)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas... May the Holy Family bless you and yours!

Photo credit: Maria Johnson
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 

And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 

And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 
But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 

--Luke 2: 2-20.

From my family to yours, a very Merry Christmas!
Bob and I
Boulder, CO, December 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Among Women Podcast #120 News of a Baby at Christmas

Among Women 120 is one part Christmas story, one part love story, and one part a single adoption story shared by two families.

Download this week's episode and listen to Pat recite O. Henry's famous story, The Gift of the Magi. Plus, listen in to a remarkable conversation between two women who've experienced an "open" adoption, whereby both the birth mother and the adoptive mother not only knew each other from the early days of the child's life, but have become very good friends in the process! It's an amazing story of courage, openness, intergenerational understanding, and love --with a few Christmas "God-incidences" thrown in for good measure!

Don't miss this extra-long, jammed-packed edition of Among Women. And find out how you might win an Among Women coffee mug!

Get involved in SQPN's giving program, and don't miss the SQPN Marathon on Dec. 27th from 9am-9pm. Join Pat at 12 noon EST for the Angelus and the recitation of the Scriptural Rosary. Plus talk and giveaways too! (Find it through the SQPN live show site.)

UPDATE: The SQPN Marathon, originally slated for Dec 27th has been postponed. Stay tuned! We'll announce the new date here when we know it!.

image credit

Monday, December 19, 2011

This makes me think... prayer and love of neighbor are linked

Q: How does loving my neighbor -- husband, wife, children, friends, co-workers -- contribute to my contemplative prayer?

A: I may begin with the theological core of the matter: there is only one virtue of charity by which we love God, ourselves, and our neighbor. If I am not loving others -- although not necessarily liking them -- I cannot have a deep prayer life, for its heart, love, is missing. My prayer will be no better than my love for others. No set of techniques... will be able of themselves to improve it.


The whole of life is lived in the divine presence, which is an atmosphere of love. We are urged by St. Paul "to live through love in his presence (Eph 1:4).  St. Augustine also shrewdly noted that "in loving our neighbor the eye of our mind is purified to contemplate God." Loving our associates requires that we practice other virtues: humility, gentleness, patience, obedience. Thus we are purified of our faults, each of which may be an impediment to growth in divine intimacy.

---Thomas Dubay, S.M. Seeking Spiritual Direction,  Servant, 1993.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Among Women ReadHER 12.17.11 Adventing,Christmas poems and blessings...

Among Women ReadHER

Alphabet for Christmas (a poem)
By Misty Nagel at her blog, Misty's Morning

Celebrating Advent: An Advent Wreath Carnival Link Up
By Sarah Reinhard at Snoring Scholar
Simply sharing the advent wreaths from readers. It's nice to see what other folks do at their family table, or putting their wreaths at other focal points in their homes. Go check out Sarah's most recent visit to Among Women 116 where she shares her Advent book, Welcome Baby Jesus.

Why Religion is Not About Being Good
By Marc Cardaronella at Evangelizing Catechesis
Marc's spot on with this post.... especially in the season of 'bein' naughty or nice'.

Why Are the No Catholic Mom Bloggers in this Top 100 List
By Jennifer Fulwiler at the National Catholic Register
Things to think about in terms of the new evangelization...

A Mom's Holiday Playbook
By Erika Higgins at
I missed this article from a few weeks back. This idea may be too late to implement this year, but you might still get started. It's a simple way to "plan" to get through the holidays. I'm sure you could design your productivity apps on a phone to do similar things for you.

A Blessed Christmas!
By +Archbishop Timothy Dolan at his blog at the Archdiocese of New York
This is Bible and Catholic trivia that I've known for years, but I'm pleased that His Excellency pulled it all together in one handy article... making connections like this: "Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Hebrew word for 'house of bread.' Thus, on His birthday, we approach the Eucharist to receive this “bread of life” in Holy Communion." (I love learning stuff like that!)

It's All About the "O"
By Daria Sockey at her blog, Coffee and Canticles (The Divine Office in your Life)
The "O Antiphons" that is! They start today! 

By Meredith Gould
That Meredith, such a kidder! A giggle.

image credit

Friday, December 16, 2011

Feeling better, but I need to simplify...the next Among Women podcast comes next week.

Nothing like a couple of sick days over the last two weeks to put a hiccup into ye ol' makin' of the list and a-checking it twice. I am feeling better, but now I have a slightly elevated fear of "lost time" from a productivity standpoint. Now I wish I could hire a few elves to help me dig out of the hole that I am in. But at least I still have my sense of humor! (Fortified by green and red M&Ms among other goodies.)

My list is becoming radically simplified, and I'm just doing what I can.

To wit, simplifying means the last podcast for the year will be delayed till early next week. Simplifying may include sending Christmas cards deeper into the Christmas season, and baking a whole lot less, just to name a few things. In the meantime, I've just had the blessing of a little year-end work that needs my attention, as well as a few busy chores needing Momma's coordination skills. I am one woman, taking one step, and one prayer at a time.

So, until we talk again, let's continue to pray for one another as we zip and zoom along. Oh sure, we all have good intentions about keep a good and calm Advent. I know. I just came from adoration. But I also know that many of the folks who listen to Among Women, or read this blog have obligations to meet for their families and their jobs as we prepare for a Christmas weekend that will follow this long fourth week of Advent. It is not often that we get a full fourth week, so let's try to embrace it, and all its expectations and demands.

So let's just be mindful and remember each other... somewhere we are all lifting a prayer for one another. If you are reading this. Take a brief moment and take a deep breath. Then say a "Hail Mary" for the last person who read this and the next person reading this. There. You see? In 30 seconds, you just performed a spiritual act of mercy for someone else.

Here's another little something I'm trying to keep in mind: I love Psalm 89 that we will pray this Sunday: "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."

That would be "for ever" I will sing of the Lord's goodness. Not just when I feel like it -- when everything is going great. Not just when I've "got my act together", or gotten through the "to do"list. No, it is very good counsel to sing of the goodness of the Lord wherever we are.

Singing frees the soul, and singing to God allows me understand that everything we are and everything we have is from God's Providence. The to-do is a gift. The people I'm going to see this Christmas are a gift. The unexpected work I've encountered can be a gift. Even the sickness and difficulties can be gifts that slow us down and bring us to him. Everything in our lives passes through His hands... and it is a gift.

"For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."

"Sing Forever" --St Philip Choir on youtube.  

The F.U.N. Quotient -- The real JOY edition

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Put Yourself into the Christmas Story, my latest at Patheos

Here's this week's column from Patheos describing a simple method for meditating on the Christmas story... spend some time in God's Word this season!  Here's a little bit...
Put yourself in the story. It’s a real spiritual exercise; a form of meditation that disallows just passively listening to the message, but actively receives it. 
Imagination stirs us to become a character in the story’s action, or to be ourselves as bystanders or witnesses of the events. That kind of identification draws us deeper into “the Greatest Story Ever Told”, letting it take root. We make personal connections when we ponder what catches our attention. The longer you meditate on a scenario in Scripture, the more you relax with the details, and the more vivid the experience. And while your mind is engaged this way, the Spirit of God may whisper to your heart as well. 
Read the infancy narratives in chapters 1 and 2 in the Gospels of Matthew or Luke. You can work with a few paragraphs, or the Gospels at Mass. 
See, smell, touch, hear, and taste. Talk to the people you are reading about. 
Putting myself into the story helps me to “get it.” I acknowledge the truth of my situation; the need for more of God in my life and less of everything else. 
I discover that the supernatural takes place within the realm of my natural world. That’s what makes Christmas so utterly amazing. My eyes see and my heart detects God becoming part of the human family, and I find him in my own experiences.
Read the rest of "Put Yourself into the Christmas Story." 

image credit

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm over at Catholic Mom today, with another installment of what I'm loosely calling "Tales from the Empty Nest"

Have I told you how much I love, and its intrepid and wise founder-turned-author Lisa Hendey? Sure, you've probably heard me sing those praises before. But, no joke, check it out if you are a Catholic Mom and you're looking for information, inspiration, and a dose of fun for your Catholic Mommy Years. Back in the dark ages of CatholicMom, oh I'd say about two website iterations ago, I started writing for Lisa, and it continues to be a favorite stop for me, even tho' I'm not in the trenches anymore with small children. So, I'm writing about what I do now as a Mom....

Here's a snippet from "The Letter to the College Freshmen":

Dear Peter, 
I hope your life at college is going well. Your last email and your Facebook statuses all sound pretty positive. Your departure as the youngest child off to college means that there are a few new things going on around here. So I thought I’d let you know about them before you arrive home between semesters. 
After 24 years of parenting, I’ve gotten rid of the infamous lost sock bag. That’s right. Let the purging begin. I matched what could be matched, and the rest will be recycled into grease rags for Dad’s auto repair kit, dust cloths, and doggie chew toys. There are only two people here now, one guy, one gal. Finding mated sock pairs is pretty easy. But I almost caved on the whole project when I got to the bottom of the bag and found blue socks from when you were little. No lie! Blue uniform socks from grade school! *sniff* Unmatched in size, of course! But I could not throw them away. Not quite yet. I am keeping them in an undisclosed location since there is no more random sock bag.
Oh there's more. Find it here.

The Gohn "kiddos"
(That's Peter's high school graduation.)

Here's an earlier installment on the launching and sending off of sons. (Um, and another one about the oldest finishing college and leaving home.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe, another delightful nickname for Mary!

In my family, affectionate nicknames play a certain role. My Bob is Hubby, Honey, St. Bob, My Love and more... My children all have similar versions that play on their names, or little titles that they grew up with Bobster, Katiekins, Petester, Jellybean, Bud, Sweetie... you get the picture.

There's a lot of affection for Momma Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary, around this blog and on the podcast. The Church too has no shortage of affectionate "nicknames" or blessed titles for her.

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.

It's a lovely story to revisit if you have the time and inclination. There are some lovely photos of the Shrine in Mexico here.

Earlier this year, my friend, Maria Johnson, (whose got quite a few nicknames herself) shared her love of Guadalupe in an article that I am re-posting here.  Months back she also sent me this photograph of the statue that inspired the article.... I love how the stars are illuminated and dance on Mary's mantle.

+Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!

photo credit: Maria Johnson

Previous posts on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: 2010, 2009.

Or, for more on nicknames for the Mary, try this: M.O.M.S. the Word!

This makes me think... about praying more...

The central concern of most people seeking guidance in their pursuit of God is contemplative prayer...

[A] thirst for the divine... coincides with the biblical "one thing," the top priority in any human life: "to gaze on the loveliness of the Lord" (Ps 27:4, see also Lk 10:38-42 NAB).

It is not for nothing  that the very incarnation itself took place deep in the flesh of the contemplative woman par excellence, in her whose personal spiritual life is twice characterized by St. Luke as pndering the word in her heart. (Lk 2:19, 51.) As von Balthasar put it, "Because she was a virgin, which means pure, exclusive hearer of the Word, she became mother, the place of the incarnation of the Word."

Each of us is an incarnated puzzle, and each of us has an insatiable thirst for the infinite. Never content with the limited nibbles and tastes offered by created realities, we find buried in our depths a dynamic that is restless and voracious. Even the self-avowed atheist is, in his or her endless desires, a witness to this basic need for the divine. Though Jesus shared in none of our wounded sinfulness, his actions as well as his words pointed to the primacy of immersion in the Father: "In the morning, long before dawn... he went off to a lonely place and prayed there... He went off into the hills to pray... He would always fo off to some place where he could be alone and pray... He went out into the hills to pray... He was praying alone... He would spend the night on the hill..." (Mk 1:35, 6:46; Lk 5:16, 6:12, 9:18, 21:37.)

---Thomas Dubay, S.M. Seeking Spiritual Direction, Servant, 1993.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Among Women ReadHER 12.10.11 Advent, Gadget Craziness, Love, Babies, Charlie Brown & more

Among Women ReadHER 
Advent - Waiting, Hoping, Dreaming, Believing
By Dione Grillo at
Chuck full of good stuff. It's never too late to embrace Advent in the home with your family.

O Come Let Us Adore Him
By +Archbishop Timothy Dolan of NY from his blog
Do NOT miss this. Then share it.

Resisting the Electronic Christmas Craze
By Mary Beth Hicks at Family Events
Excellent family gift-buying advice.

"Such Love is Seldom Seen": Mother Mary Walsh OP (1850- 1922)
By Dr Pat McNamara at Patheos
Dr Pat is a great church historian and he retrieves a great story about a woman who heroically lived the beatitudes in the tenements of New York, and brought gifts to children who were forgotten by Santa, and so much more.

Wedding Dresses and Women, or How Women Dream of Prince Charming but Wake Up in "The Hang Over"
By Pia de Solenni from her blog of the same name
As a moral theologian Dr. Pia has some razor-sharp commentary on this, and I was quite taken with the insights of the wedding dress designer mentioned in this post.

Genetic Warrior: Leticia Velasquez and the New Diversity
By Lisa Mladinich at her column at Patheos
Leticia Velasquez is a smart and sassy leader in the pro-life movement, with expertise in the special needs arena. Leticia has been my guest, talking about her life with Christina, her daughter diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, on AW 30.

"A Man for All Seasons" and the Call to Fanaticism
By Joseph Susanka at Patheos
One of my all-time favorite films, and Joseph gives me more reasons to re-view it.

The Gospel According to Peanuts: How A Charlie Brown Christmas Almost Didn't Happen
By Lee Habib at National Review Online
Interesting history behind-the-scenes of the making of this family classic, especially in light of the media's hostility toward Christianity today.

Ah. So That's Where Babies Comes From
Posted by Patrick Madrid at
Cute and fun video short involving one woman's pregnancy. Rated G.

Because Natural Law is Catholic
By Frank Weathers at Why I Am a Catholic
Big topic covered deftly and with good resources; worth the read.

Catholic University's Same-Sex Dorms Foster Friendship, Respect
By John Garvey, CUA President, at the Washington Post
I have heard John Garvey speak several times and am very impressed with the direction he is taking here. FWIW, out freshman has no problem with the same-sex dorms, and indeed, welcomes them.

SQPN Announces 4 New Affiliates
By Steve Nelson, Exec. Director at SQPN
Catholic podcasting continues to grow. Check out the 4 latest affiliates at SQPN! There might be something that catches your ear! Don't forget, SQPN's annual giving campaign is in full swing, and we need cheerful givers! 

This TED talk has been making the rounds... very encouraging mathematician describing the reaches of technology that visually takes us to the body's interior from conception to birth. (10 minutes long)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catholics Don't Have a Monopoly on Mary: Her Motherhood Reaches Out

Over the past few years, my personal study regarding Mariology, or the study of Mary in light of Christology, (the study of Christ), has brought me in contact with the members of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now that's an organization with a long title, but just take a moment to consider the important work it might do. Imagine what might happen if Catholics and non-Catholics alike found peaceful co-existance around a common Mother?

I write about it in my column this week at Patheos, titled "Blessed Virgin Mary: A Mother Not Just for Catholics".

Here's an excerpt:

As a young girl, I somehow got the impression that Catholics held the monopoly on the Blessed Virgin Mary. After all, we’re the ones who set aside feast days like today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. As a kid, some of my local Protestant friends scoffed at Mary, thinking erroneously that we Catholics worshipped her, or somehow deified her. As it turns out, both points of view were suffering from a profound tunnel vision. 
How much I had to learn, both of Mary, and of the genuine esteem and interest that other faith traditions held for her, whose life and destiny exemplified both the love and the glory of God. 
Today, the Catholic Church, indeed, celebrates Mary, the Immaculate Conception, officially promulgated in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. 
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854). 
But the seeds of this dogma are found much earlier than 1854. In fact Pope Pius IX was just affirming what was already grounded in Sacred Scripture. To begin with, there is the familiar story of the Annunciation to Mary in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel.
 And the angel… said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (Luke 1:28 Douay-Rheims version). 
Mary’s person is declared to be full of grace in this verse. She is singled out from the rest of humanity. Her ontological nature or her being -- her very existence -- is full of grace according to God’s Word on the lips of the Angel. 
This makes Mary unique. One-of-a-kind. Pure. Immaculate. “Blessed…" 
Mary’s Immaculate Conception reveals the love and the glory of God, and her being and magnificent life is God’s masterpiece in Creation. Mary is the recipient of God’s extraordinary love and highest praise as shown through the message of the Angel. 
What is accomplished in Mary points to the glory of God. Her role in human history, and ultimately, salvation history, has meaning for us all. Her life is intimately acquainted with every member of the Trinity: Mary is the faithful Daughter of the Father, the loving Mother to the Son, and the fruitful Spouse of the Holy Spirit. 
What’s more, Mary’s way of life is a beacon for many people… even those who do not ascribe to the Catholic Christian tradition. She is a spiritual mother to millions of children around the globe: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Muslim. 
One example of this blessedness of the Virgin Mary is found within the conversations and ongoing work within the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its mission brings together scholars, clerics, and laity interested in finding Mary as point of union and connection, rather than division. 
The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ESBVM) exists to advance the study at various levels of the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church, under Christ and of related theological questions; and in the light of such study to promote ecumenical devotion. Its aim is to show that, in the Blessed Virgin Mary, Christians of many traditions may find a focus in their search for unity. (Taken from the ESBVM website.)
Read the whole thing. 

This article contains commentary from Dr. Virginia Kimball and Dr. Maura Hearden, two theologians who have been frequent guests on Among Women. 

Dr. Kimball joined us for AW 1, 2, 100, & 101.
Dr. Hearden joined us for AW 31, 32, & 83.

Among Women Podcast # 119 - The Interior Life of Mothers

Among Women 119 welcomes author Dorothy Pilarski and a discussion centered on her book Motherhood Matters. Together we discuss the graces needed for mothering and the constant need to develop a stronger interior life, or life with God.

Also this week, don't miss the opportunity to put your name in for the free drawing for Dorothy's new book, by sending me an email at, or sending me a note on the Among Women Facebook page.

This episode of AW also profiles the life and times of St Mary Di Rosa, a 19th century nun who lived a life of quiet heroism.

Reminder: SQPN's annual giving campaign needs your support. AW is an affiliate but all funds go to support the organizational needs of SQPN and its international apostolate that helps spread the gospel via Catholic new media. Please contribute if you can. Thank you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

This makes me think... nothing we do is wasted...

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks 
Compassion on this world. 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

--- St Teresa of Avila, as cited in A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Among Women ReadHER 12.3.11

Among Women ReadHer

The Our Father, Word by Word, a round-up of posts
By Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary, and a cast of thousands.
It took 9 months to give birth to these posts with several guest bloggers! Big thanks to Jen!

News from Faith and Family
By Danielle Bean at Faith and Family Live
Big changes regarding the magazine. 

In the Fight Between HHS & the Bishops, Let's Remember Who Has the Most to Lose...Women.
By Thomas Peters at
Something to watch.

Heaven is Measured in a Mass
By Christina Novak at
The author writes: "Truly, children do have a special ability to see supernatural realities where we grown-ups sometimes fail." I have found this to be true.

Sharing to the Power of 2012
By Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, writing/speaking at The Economist
Be sure to watch the video commentary at the end of this article. This is very powerful stuff in terms of social media's reach, potential for good, and potential for abuse/misuse. 

The 5 Best Toys
By Wired
If you're a veteran Mom or Sitter, you already know this! H/T Faith and Family Live.

The Diocese of Peoria has been introducing the Missal changes with catechesis using this video. (11 mins.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The F.U.N. Quotient ... singing and talking dog edition.

It was my daughter's birthday this week, and yes, this was just a gratuitous excuse to post a Boston Terrier video.

This one makes me laugh out loud...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Advent of our Attentiveness - my latest at Patheos

In this, my final column in the series on the new Roman Missal, I pick up on the themes of the early Gospels in Advent, and the response of the Centurion, whose words we make our own as we respond to the invitation to partake of the Eucharist. Here's the heart of it:

The Gospel, echoing the Prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist, speaks ofthe raising of the voice -- proclaiming -- not just watching. For Advent isalso about speaking and doing… of reacting to what one knows to be true. 
These words beckon a holy disposition… not only watchful waiting, butof solemn preparations and vocal proclamations telling of our love for the OneWho is to come. The One who is soon to arrive in our midst bringing his powerand his glory. 
In this, the final article in this column’s series on the people’sresponses in the updated Roman Missal,we discover at the words we utter as we prepare to receive Jesus in theEucharist. 
They have everything to dowith a careful watchfulness and a proper preparation for a divine encounterwith the Lord. The same Lord, who, remarkably, comes via the Incarnation as oneof us, just as surely as he surpasses us in wisdom, power, and glory… comes tocure us, forgive us, and save us.  
He is Jesus: the One God recognized even by a pagan Centurion (See Mt 8: 5-13) … Whose beloved servant wasparalyzed and suffering, yet whose faith anticipated the touch of Jesus to cometo the rescue.  
Indeed, it is the Lord who comes to us in this holy visitation at Massin word and sacrament. 
In the old translation we prayed: Lord, I am notworthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. 
In the new translation we pray: 
Lord, I am notworthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soulshall be healed. 
The Centurion’s watchful eye had taught him everything he needed toknow about Jesus, whose very words contained the power. And so he petitionedJesus to heal his servant. As Jesus acquiesced, prepared to come directly toperform the healing, the words of the Centurion’s faith and humility admitsomething profound. Jesus’ great power and authority is so potent that he needonly speak it, and the healing will be manifested. 
And so, our new prayer at this point in the Mass is this directiteration from Matthew 8:8, theCenturion’s response to Jesus: Lord, I amnot worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and myservant shall be healed. Only we will not pray for a servant’s healing, wewill be praying for our own. 
What more appropriate prayer might we make during this holy season ofAdvent? 
Here's the whole thing.

If you enjoy this weekly column, consider subscribing so it comes right to your email or your Reader or RSS inbox. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Among Women Podcast # 118 features Teresa Tomeo

Among Women 118 challenges us to take time this Advent to go deeper with Christ and the Church. This week, we'll draw inspiration from two women whose lives were transformed by doing just that. The program presents a profile of Dorothy Day, whose 20th century conversion and convictions regarding service to the homeless, poor, and disenfranchised inspired countless Americans through the Catholic Worker Movement. Her cause for canonization is underway.

We also visit with media expert and radio/TV host, Teresa Tomeo, as she unpacks themes from her latest book, Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, not Conformed to the Culture. (View trailer below.)

Together we talk about a woman's relationship with the media, plus evaluate media's potentially toxic effects on a woman's wellbeing. Don't miss taking a media "reality check"in light of your relationship with Christ on Among Women today!

Subscribe to Among Women via iTunes.

The trailer for Teresa Tomeo's Extreme Makeover...

image credit

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video and Audio Resources the First Sunday of Advent

Fr. Robert Barron on Advent Spirituality

Fr. Robert Barron on the new Roman Missal -- I've posted this before, but perhaps you've yet to see it.

Among Women 116- The advent of Advent with Sarah Reinhard, discussing her new booklet, Welcome Baby Jesus.

Among Women 114- Prepping for the New Roman Missal with Jaymie Stuart Wolfe, with a lively discussion of translations changes and our life with Christ. Also featured, a booklet called The Mass Explained for Kids.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Among Women ReadHER 11.26.11 Mass Translation, Mass Confusion, Mass Participation...

Among Women ReadHer

When Thanksgiving is Filled with Turkeys
By Fr. James Martin SJ at
A bit late for the actual holiday, but soooo much of this is applicable to the forthcoming Christmas celebrations!

Sharing With Others
By Rachel Balducci at Testosterhome
A little bit on the joy of girls, and a little bit of loving on the strangers we meet.

31 Elaborate Marriage Proposals
Posted at MentalFloss
Hey, I'm just happy that people STILL want to get married, despite the high stats on cohabitation, and people who eschew marriage! (Altho', theologically and biologically speaking, I believe we are made for marriage, and the ultimate marriage feast of the Lamb, but I digress...) Don't know how many Catholics are represented here, but surely a few clever romantics!

Saying Good-Bye to the Old English Translation of the Mass
By Patrice Fagnant MacArthur at Spiritual Woman
It's ok to say you will miss the old translation. It's healthy, even, to say that this will be hard for you, for us. 

Pope Benedict XVI on Children and Prayer
By Lisa Hendey, at Faith and Family Live
So simple, so true, so easy to share. (So often folks think of B16 as this giant theological intellectual... and *ahem* he is... but he is also a great, humble, Papa who speaks to the moment, even with children.)

Jesus' Eager Desire: Our Participation at Sunday Mass
By Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston (as found in The Pilot)
Excellent catechesis for everyone everywhere (not just us folks in MA) on our relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, and our relationships with the people in the pews next to us in our parishes. Long letter, but worth it. Share it with your loved ones.

Did you see the pilot episode for the sitcom Mass Confusion? If not, you can catch it on demand at Catholic TV.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The F.U.N. Quotient ... a visual for those of you who appreciate Bach!

A little bit of fun for those of refined musical tastes... a great musical piece by Bach with a little video extra!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Our House to Yours... "Now Thank We All Our God" - JS Bach

Now thank we all our God, 
 with heart and hands and voices, 
 who wondrous things has done, 
 in whom this world rejoices; 
 who from our mothers' arms 
 has blessed us on our way 
 with countless gifts of love, 
 and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God 
 through all our life be near us, 
 with ever joyful hearts 
 and blessed peace to cheer us; 
 and keep us still in grace, 
 and guide us when perplexed; 
 and free us from all ills, 
 in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God 
 the Father now be given; 
 the Son, and him who reigns 
 with them in highest heaven; 
 the one eternal God, 
 whom earth and heaven adore; 
 for thus it was, is now, 
 and shall be evermore.

Text: Martin Rinkart; Trans. by Catherine Winkworth 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Among Women Podcast # 117 The Gifts We Are to Each Other

Among Women 117 celebrates Thanksgiving with a reminder on how we are all connected by baptism to the Body of Christ by sharing a story of bread and wine from St. Francis de Sales... you may look at the bread you serve and the wine you drink a little differently after that.

Then the first segment describes one of the saints from the liturgical calendar this week, on Nov 25, St. Catherine of Alexandria. She was a 4th century martyr who died followed standing up to the Emperor for his persecution of Christians.

Guests this week are co-authors Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas who introduce their book Stories for the HomeSchool Heart. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Come read my latest column at the newly-redesigned Amazing Catechists website.

No matter who we are... we are all called to know the love of Jesus Christ. That's the whole reason to be a Christian in the first place. If you teach about the Faith, that's the only reason to be a catechist. In fact, being a witness to your own faith is an important prerequisite to sharing it with other. You can't give what you don't have. You don't have to know it all to be a catechist, the first prerequisite is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor... for the catechist, that's the people you teach. 

Everybody has a built-in restlessness that never rests until they rest in Jesus, says Augustine. And the Catholic Church echoes that claim. Even celebrities and the rich and famous need Jesus... and so does the rest of general population. We need to reach out to anyone within our reach with the gospel message of salvation, healing, peace, and love. Thus, my latest installment over at Amazing Catechists: I'm a Catechist, not Kim Kardashian

This makes me think... like, sainthood might actually be accessible.

Through baptism we become part of a family much larger than our biological family.  It is a family of people "set apart" by God to be light in the darkness.  These set-apart people are called saints.  Although we tend to think about saints as holy and pious, and picture them with halos above their heads and ecstatic gazes, true saints are much more accessible.  They are men and women like us, who live ordinary lives and struggle with ordinary problems.  What makes them saints is their clear and unwavering focus on God and God's people.  Some of their lives may look quite different, but most of their lives are remarkably similar to our own.

The saints are our brothers and sisters, calling us to become like them.

            ---Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey. (More about Henri here.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Among Women ReadHER 11.19.11

Among Women ReadHer

Lesson One in Prayer
By Dr. Peter Kreeft at The Integrated Life
This is the first installment in a larger series. Definitely worth a read, and there is a recorded talk (podcast) with Kreeft also at this link.

Making Room
By Simcha Fisher at her blog at the National Catholic Register
Writer lesson one: write what you know. This is a home run. For parents, for families, for advent.

By William O'Leary of Catechists in the Third Millennium
The calm before the Christmas "storm" that is... three ways to make your Advent more meaningful... and consider clicking through to the article mentioned at the end of #3. (It is an archived piece by Mary Beth Bonacci and well worth the trouble.) Need more Advent prep help?  Check out this week's AW 116 with Sarah Reinhard with ideas for lowering the stress levels.

Teen Girls Twice as Likely as Boys to Tweet
By eMarketer
Not surprised. Other stats listed too. (One of my son's once complained about a former girlfriend who chronically texted him with suffocating frequency.) 

The Catechism Demystified
By Julie Davis at Happy Catholic
Simple, direct, with illustrations. Go see. Julie is a wise and wonderful Catholic blogger and podcaster; hear a delight and fun conversation about her Happy Catholic book on AW 99, or find her conversion story and blog story on AW 49.

The King's Speech
Posted by Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia
A transcription of Archbishop Timothy Dolan's opening speech at the Plenary meeting of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops. (+Dolan is the president.) For me the speech captures the heart and mission of the new evangelization.

Mississippi Didn't Need Personhood Amendment to Ban Abortion
By Steven Ertelt on LifeSite News
I still think we need discussions about personhood as part of the overall discussion regarding the dignity of the human person. However, having personal discussions about this issue, and the necessity for specificity of language regarding the law are two different things. I think the legal counsel on this --from a Catholic standpoint -- was that this was not the legal battle that would help end abortion in Mississippi, and therefore it did not garner the support from the major Catholic voices in the public square, most specifically the US Catholic Bishops, among others. Honestly, I should have done my homework better on that score; I think I was a bit too quick in my own support of it, as I saw supporting it as a way of standing with other Christians (non-Catholics that I know) in trying to promote a culture of life. In retrospect, I need to take the wider long term view. 

Christ the King and the 'Net Positive
By Elizabeth Scalia at her Tuesday column on First Things
You never know who is listening, watching or reading.

How to Restore a Culture in One Easy Step
By Joe Carter at First Things
Yes, another selection from First Things, but worth it! You know I always try to promote bible reading and bible study... Carter makes a case for it as we've witnessed the shift away from a once-Judeo-Christian ethic that figured prominently in recent centuries and has been abandoned in our secular age.

Buying Locally Catholic
By Sarah Reinhard at
Good advice. Try this as you prepare for the Christmas holidays. And hey -- if you're preparing for Advent, not to be redundant, but take a listen to Sarah Reinhard's appearance on the latest episode of Among Women! 

Wasted for Love
By Sr. Lisa Marie at Virtuous
A look at discerning God's will in life and in our vocations.

Bishops Add 2 New Memorials to our Liturgical Calendar
By Deacon Greg Kandra at The Deacon's Bench
And the two are 1) Oct. 22 for Blessed John Paul II and 2) Jan. 23 Blessed Marianne Cope (who we recently profiled on AW 115.)

And again, thanks to The Deacon, who posted this totally amazing TED talk (about 10 minutes) complete with video on new technologies that see inside the body -- a short film from conception to birth -- splendidly done.

And speaking of videos, Matt Warner at National Catholic Register posted 10 short previews of all the films in the landmark Catholicism series produced by Fr. Robert Barron. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

The F.U.N. Quotient... (Mom edition, part 2)

Advice from Moms of Yesterday:
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. -Phyllis Diller 
Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. -Erma Bombeck 
From "Leave It to Beaver"...
    June Cleaver: "Wally, where are you going?"
    Wally Cleaver: "I'm going over to slug Eddie."  
     June Cleaver: "That's no way to talk, this is Sunday." 
    Wally Cleaver: "You're right, I'll wait 'til tomorrow and slug him in the cafeteria." 
I subscribe to Barbara Johnson's calorie-burning definitions of laughter:

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"

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