Saturday, July 30, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 7.30.11: Sexy NFP, Prayer and Stress, Saint Therese, Internet Kiddos

Among Women ReadHer
--Ashley E. McGuire at AltCatholicah
H/T to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia for this find. I'm a supporter and a user of NFP... using a symto-thermal method for much of my marriage, but switching to Billings method (BOM) when I hit mid-life. So far, so good. Okay, if this NFP topic is of interest to you, there's more conversation going on with Danielle Bean and with Rachel Balducci over at Faith and Family Live. Finally, you can hear previous episodes of AW on the subject:  AW 42 on the Creighton Model, and AW 46 on the Billings Method.

Seeing Through the Eyes of God: Therese [of Lisieux]
--Heather King at Shirt of Flame
Heather has a way of honestly listening to the heart, and actually sharing what she hears. Her book on St. Therese is coming out soon.

Technology Creates New Risks for Kids, Families
--Mary Beth Hicks at Family Events 
Parents: Stay informed. Now we gotta learn Google +! You may also want to read this one on how kids fool their parents about their online "life". (BTW, Hick's newsletter is worth subscribing to --very solid in the topics & info posted for families.) 

Stress: a Pathway to Prayer?
--Kathy Coffey, with a new column over at Patheos
Some excellent applications to daily life. (I'm not a fan of the yoga reference only cuz so many folks confuse it for a religious/spirituality practice -- or in place of it.) But the experience of deep breathing and using the other "techniques" for prayer are recommended by Kathy and by me. 

Cord Blood and God's Grandeur
--Simcha Fisher at National Catholic Register
I've been a proponent of this, being a cancer-survivor. The technology was not around when I gave birth, but I'm glad to see more women investigating this. Here's a list of places to donate cord blood.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Among Women Podcast # 105 - Leading the littlest ones at home in the domestic Church

Among Women 105 features the conclusion of a continuing conversation with blogger Melanie Bettinelli on creating the environment in the home - the "domestic church" -- where faith is "caught" not necessarily taught. Join us for simple ways of sharing the faith with children under the age of five.

Also featured is a profile of St Gorgonia, a wife and mother from the 4th century who was a paragon of virtue and healed by faith.

The Specter of Evil vs. The Face of Divine Providence (Hint: it's Providence-1, Evil-0.)

There's a lot of heartache in the world, and a lot of evil. It can feel overwhelming at times... like we're all en route to hell in the proverbial hand-basket. And while those feelings are real, they can overstate the truth of the matter.

Way back at the start of the new millennium, Pope John Paul told us the program for the new evangelization begins with our meditation upon the face of Jesus. That is a practical application for much of life. It's been something the Church has been doing since her inception. With good reason.

My latest column over at Patheos explores the angst we encounter as we wrestle with the question of evil in our world, and in ourselves. Here's an excerpt:

There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 309.)
There are days when there are just no words, when the specter of evil overshadows us all, and we feel feeble and dwarfed by its presence. Witnessing an unprovoked attack on innocent people -- be it a bombing, a shooting rampage, or some other atrocity -- often renders us speechless. Yet speak we must. There must be words not only denouncing such evil, but also prayers unto heaven that cry out for justice and succor in the aftermath.
And there must be words that announce hope.
Amid shock and dismay, and our wrestling with the presence of evil, there is also God -- who speaks a word in the face of evil and death.
That word is Providence -- Divine Providence.
In our finite minds, we often mistakenly see good and evil as equal powers; they are not.
But our minds are so impressed and distressed by evil that we are tempted to believe it.
The truth is that evil is limited; it comes from created sources. Goodness, by contrast, is an attribute of an uncreated, almighty God -- the Author of creation -- and God’s Providence encompasses and upholds all of creation. Goodness outweighs evil because it originates and flows from God.
God’s Providence is his Work and Will guiding all of creation toward perfection that is yet to be attained. But as creation is in a state of journeying toward that fullness, we will encounter evil along the way. God’s good plan for creation moves forward, even when we do not understand our troubled circumstances. Surprisingly, within that plan, God would choose to use us rather than usurp us; God never ignores our human dignity.
God dignifies human persons by giving them intelligence and free will, inviting us to act with him in a god-like manner. This is precisely so that each person may choose their destiny. 
Find the rest here.

If you like this column, consider subscribing for a weekly post to your email or via RSS here. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Among Women podcast delayed til tomorrow...

Been off climbing Stone Mountain --among other fun Georgia explorations-- with my pal Maria Johnson from Another Cup of Coffee blog fame, and the Catholic Weekend podcast, (plus my guest way back on AW 62).
 Proof that we made it to the top and back in the GA heat!
Proof that my ankle surgery was a success -- the fruit of so many prayers from y'all! 
(Oh my, could I be morphing into a Southern accent?!)

So far, I've only been home a day and a half. I thought that was enough to get a podcast done but.... evidently, it's not. So, see you tomorrow! We'll pick up where we left off with guest Melanie Bettinelli and discuss evangelism with the wee folks in our homes. If you haven't heard part one, be sure to check it out.

I hope your summer has brought you to new heights and depths with the Lord, your family, and your friends! Take time to pray, thank, and play!

Monday, July 25, 2011

This makes me think...

Charity is love received and given. It is “grace” (cháris). Its source is the wellspring of the Father's love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Love comes down to us from the Son. It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which we are recreated. Love is revealed and made present by Christ (cf. Jn 13:1) and “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). As the objects of God's love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God's charity and to weave networks of charity.

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church's social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ's love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity's power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present.

---Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate, ("Love in Truth"), his third encyclical, from paragraph 5, (2009).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 7.23.11

Among Women ReadHer

-- Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary
Includes counsel from one of my favorite saints, St Francis de Sales. (Plus I'm amazed that this dear woman in the throes of a post-partem fog can even construct coherent sentences! Yay, Jen!) 

--Leticia Velasquez, at Cause of Our Joy
Leticia references an article about this procedure, plus news about pre-natal research regarding unborn children with Downs Syndrome.

Prayer in the Midst of Distractions
--Susan Bailey
Susan shares a simple technique that God is teaching her in prayer.

Things I've Learned from Doubt
--Karen Edmisten over at Faith and Family Live
Always love Karen's encouraging, honest voice that comes through everything she writes.

Bishops Oppose Mandatory Contraception and Sterilization Coverage
- Catholic News Agency
Let your voice be heard.

NCR's exclusive interview with Archbishop Chaput on the occasion of his reassignment to Philly
--John L. Allen, Jr.
Long, but read to the end. It's not just comprehensive about church politics and culture, it's Marian.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The F.U.N Quotient... LEGO edition

This family is a LEGO family. If it was a publicly held company I would have purchased stock, I think. Sure, my LEGO builders are very much grown up these days, but I've still got nephews and nieces who are crazy about the blocks.  Even as recently as last Christmas, there was a few LEGO items found in the stockings... which goes to show you, you are just never too old to play to have some fun!

The LEGO cathedral

Amazing--> The Art of the Brick

More Art of the Brick...

Field Trip! The National Building Museum in Washington DC has a LEGO exhibit til Sept 3, 2012.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Word in Season: The God Who Wants to Be Found

My latest over at Patheos is both a look at the upcoming Sunday Readings, and a look at one of the greatest things to ever happen to humanity: God's revelation of Himself to us. So often we think that we are searching for God, when in reality, he has been in search of us all along.

Here's a snippet:
I now understand my seeking of a relationship with God was merely my long overdue response to his first generous invitation that began with my infant baptism. My baptism was the profound starting place of my formal sacramental encounters with Him… even though I did not know it yet.  
Yet even before my baptism, God was in search of me, knowing me from within my mother’s womb.
You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb...
My very self you knew… When I was being made in secret…
Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped, before one came to be.
(Psalm 139: 13-16.)
God courteously waited for me to catch up and learn to live within the blessing that seekers of him are destined to find him, for He wishes to be found. 
Suffice to say, I have bumbled along and made mistakes in this friendship. But I have learned of the remarkable elasticity of his grace to sustain it and me.
Read the rest.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Among Women Podcast #104 Little Ones in the Domestic Church

Among Women 104 welcomes Melanie Bettinelli, wife, mother, and blogger at The Wine Dark Sea to discuss the task and privilege of catechizing young children under the age of 5. Join us for Part One of a Two Part discussion of a series of blog posts that Melanie recently wrote on the subject.

This week's episode also profiles the life of St. Nonna, a wife and mother from 4th century Cappadoccia, whose faith led to the conversion of her husband, and whose three children the Church are also counted among the communion of saints.

Also in this episode, your chance to win Lisa Hendey's book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

This makes me think... about those suffering with cancer

St Peregrine's feast day in coming up on July 28th. There's a nine day novena in his honor. Pray along from July 19-27. This novena is a comfort for cancer patients and their loved ones.

If you've never heard of Peregrine, he suffered with a cancerous leg, and was miraculously cured. Here is his story. He was my go-to man when I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1996. Here I am, still. Thanks be to God and friend like Peregrine.

Here's the prayer:

St. Peregrine
O great St. Peregrine, you have been called
"The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because
of the numerous miracles which you have
obtained from God for those who have had
recourse to you. For so many years you bore in
your own flesh this cancerous disease that
destroys the very fiber of our being, and who
had recourse to the source of all grace when the
power of man could do no more. You were
favored with the vision of Jesus coming down
from His cross to heal your affliction. Ask of
God through Our Lady, the cure of the sick
whom we entrust to you.

(Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick
for whom you are praying.)

Aided in this way by your powerful
intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all
eternity, a song of gratitude for His great
goodness and mercy. Amen.
Image credit: I've prayed in front of that image of St. Peregrine many times. Its at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 7.17.11

Among Women ReadHer

Confession: It Puts You Straight With Everyone
--Sr. Mary Ann Walsh on the USCCB blog. H/T The Deacon's Bench
Healthy reminders!

Pre-Marital Sex: A Losing Proposition?
--Mary Hasson's book review of Premarital Sex in America at
There is much to mine, here.

You Are Not Called to be a Gender-Neutral Generic Person
--Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute.
A great commencement address that talks about spiritual motherhood and fatherhood. Or, listen to the talk captured in a podcast here.

Justin Timberlake and the Drive Through Woman (CAUTION: Offensive song lyrics within this article.)
-- Laura Ingraham, an excerpt from her new book, found on NRO.
Parents of teens, kindly take note! I agree with Ingraham's assessment.

Don't Call Me a MILF. Please. (Caution: Swear words alluded to in this post.)
--Esther Elizabeth
Not a fan of cuss words or acronyms that reference them, but in the interest of keeping tabs on the culture -- especially those of us who parent children and teens, I'm reposting this. Sorry, it's another disrespect thing about women/mothers.

Support Angela Faddis' Husband in a Search for a Cure for her Cancer
If this moves you, you know what to do. First, pray, then give if your needs allow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The F.U.N Quotient... This ain't your Grandma's Esther Williams' Movie

Never touching the bottom! Amazing American women atheletes!

This video gives a bit of an overview of the sport and a movie made about synchronized swimming.

Here's a winning USA team in competition.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not Just Another Pretty Face -- The True Beauty of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

Sad to say, that there is often a comparison game going on between women with regard to looks, prestige, haves and have-nots. Here's a women who had little in terms of the worldly beauty or possessions, but who possessed the pearl of great column this week at Patheos profiles Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to ever be beatified.

Here's a snippet:

She might have been ugly by today’s glamour standards. I don’t really know, and there isn’t a photograph of her because the camera had yet to be invented. She makes me think of people whom I know who have lived with some sort of disfigurement or scarring on their face. There is an acute form of social suffering attached to that. We can all think of a face of someone who is derided for being socially awkward, or worse, rejected.
In our media-saturated culture, we tend to focus on exteriors and externals almost unconsciously. We’re often unaware that we’re doing exactly that. We look for what catches our eye or grabs our attention. This sometimes gives us a warped sense of beauty and we have to dig deep to recognize what “beauty within” is all about.
Sadly, given the stressors and conflicts in society, we might subconsciously be profiling people next to us if they differ from us in terms of race, nationality, religion, or sexual mores.
Now imagine a woman who faced rejections on many of those same levels, but still lived a grace-filled life of interior freedom. We might call her a saint. Or, as in the case of Kateri Tekakwitha, a blessed.
July 14 is the feast day of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be to be beatified. She was the only survivor from her family of origin when small pox infected her village. That’s how it was in the 17th century before the age of vaccines and antibiotics. European settlers to the Americas had not only brought their trade and their Christian faith, unfortunately, they also brought their diseases.
Born in 1656 in the Mohawk River Valley in what would become Auriesville, New York, Tekakwitha had a Christian Algonquin mother and a pagan Mohawk warrior father. Tekakwitha’s battle with the small pox left her face pock-mocked and scarred, and with very poor eyesight. Her name translates to “she who bumps into things.”
The rest is here.

Among Women Podcast #103 When Forgiveness is Hard

Among Women 103 takes up the stories of two remarkable women whose lives have been touched by violence in some way...

The first is St. Philomena, a 14 year old Christian martyr from the 3rd century, whose story was largely unknown until her bones were dug up in the catacombs during an excavation in 1802. Find out about the power of this young martyr whose intercession is relied upon by other saints, popes, and people all over the world.

The second woman is our guest this week, Rosario Rodriguez, who managed to survive a point-blank gunshot wound from a random act of violence on an LA street. She shares how she is recovering physically and spiritually, and she discusses the power of forgiveness in her life.

I'll also be sharing information about upcoming conferences that might be of interest to you.
The National Bible Conference, July 22-23 in Atlanta, GA. I will be attending this! 
And I will be presenting and being present at these three events:
The Catholic Writers Guild Conference, in tandem with the Catholic Marketing Network, Aug 5-9, King of Prussia PA
SQPN's Catholic New Media Conference, Sept 30-Oct 1, Kansas City, KS.
The Catholic Writers Guild Retreat, Oct 5-9, in at St Francis Retreat Center, DeWitt, MI.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This makes me think...

When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous.

--St. Ambrose of Milan, 4th century bishop and doctor of the Church

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 7.9.11

Among Women ReadHer

-- Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress
Good book recommendation from the Holy Father, and more!

--Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online
An interesting discussion on the subject of feminism and female candidates for office. 

How Facebook is Like a Swingset
--Karen Edmisten at Faith and Family Live

A New Role for Maria Goretti?
--Sr. Anne Flanagan, DSP from Nunblog
A patron saint for domestic abuse? Check it out.

Wisconsin Marian Shrine: "Turnout has been incredible!"
--Deacon Greg at The Deacon's Bench
Recall, this is the first Marian apparition site approved in the USA. Here's the original article the Deacon cites, with great photos of the shrine. You may recall my conversation with Dr. Maura Hearden about it on AW 83. And here's a past post about Dr. Hearden's recent visit to the shrine.

This trailer has been out for sometime, so it's not so new, but it is still worth sharing. If you haven't heard of this film project, click away!

Finally, a little silliness from LOL Saints, featuring St. Teresa of Avila.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The F.U.N Quotient... summer BBQ!

Ahh, the joys of when the men cook...

A typical summer BBQ routine... maybe it doesn't happen this way at your house. 

1) The woman buys the food.

2) The woman chops, slices, and makes the salad, preps the vegetables, and bakes a dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, possibly marinating it for hours, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.
Here comes the important part:
5) The woman goes inside to prepare the table and set out the plates and cutlery.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.
Important again:
More routine.....
8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
And most important of all:
10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts while the man asks the woman how she enjoyed 'her night off.' And, upon seeing her reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women....
Adapted from the fine folks at this site. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A look back at where I've come from...

And where you'll still find me, every Friday. Our parish and its adoration ministry members recently celebrated ten years at this. I've always had a slot on Fridays.

I hope that you might try this devotion yourself, if you are able. Once a month or once a week. Or just any time at all. Jesus waits for you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Podcast Vacation...

Where's the AW podcast?  Still on hiatus. Enjoy whatever you are sinking your teeth into!

Still a few blog posts coming, and a new podcast will be up on or around July 13.

Monday, July 4, 2011

This makes me think... July 4th edition

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." - Adlai Stevenson

From last year, amazing photographs from the Pioneer Woman's blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 7.2.11

Among Women ReadHer
Gentleness in the Real World
-- Elizabeth Foss from her website
Every woman should read this - but its especially for those just out of college or soon-to-be.

Pope Benedict using an iPad... the Video you've been waiting for 
-- Thomas Peters at American Papist
Yeah, I kinda dig it. Of course, it's the launch of the new Vatican news site:

Sibling Holy Wars 
-- Sherry Antonelli at
Real life in the pew.

Lot's Wife Syndrome
-- Cheryl Dickow at Catholic Womanhood
Wisdom from the Old Testament.

Intergrity, Shape and Radiance:Defining Inner Beauty
-- Christina Novak at
Great applications for a daily "make-up" routine.

As we celebrate our nation's birth this weekend, we should also be thinking about celebrating the birth of all human persons, and the right to life. Certain persons are more at risk than others.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The F.U.N. Quotient - July 4th Weekend edition

Have fun out there, America.

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