Category: Faith

Review: The Miracle of Lourdes

Posted December 22, 2014 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: The Miracle of LourdesThe Miracle of Lourdes by John Lochran
Publisher: St Anthony Messenger Press (2008)
Paperback (131 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2014

Synopsis

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the miracle of Lourdes, where Our Lady appeared to French schoolgirl Bernadette Soubirous, Father John Lochran retells the familiar story with deep insight and new appreciation. Lochran explores the history and meaning of the miraculous events in light of modern theology and spirituality and offers his own reflections on Lourdes, then and now. This armchair pilgrimage to one of the church's most beloved shrines will be a treasured keepsake for those who have never been to Lourdes and for those who have.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository

miracle-of-lourdes-quote Lourdes was once described to me as the Disney World of the Catholic chuch, as God's Magic Kingdom. I had to reply that it is th complete opposite. Disney World is a commerical enterprise where joy and pleasure is manufactured and paid for. Lourdes ia about generosity of spirit where true joy is found in giving time and loving service to the sick and those in need. It has nothing to do with magic or fairy tales and legends. It is founded on a reality, a remarkable reality, historical reality, and above all a sacred reality.

I received this book for my birthday when I was in high school. I love the stories Father Lochran tells of his time in Lourdes. I have not been to Lourdes but I would love to go. This book has really made me want to go even more.

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Now Christmas is Almost Here: Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent

Posted December 21, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

It is hard to believe that it is almost Christmas already! It is the 21st of December, only a little over a week from the next year, the new year. This year it seems that Advent has passed so much faster than last year. I feel that I am barely prepared for Christmas.

  1. I have not yet found my Advent wreath. Last year I was driving cross-country during the middle of Advent and never pulled it out. This year, I can’t find it anywhere. It was in a box when I graduated from college in Wisconsin. Where it is now, I’m not entirely sure. Hopefully I’ll find it before next year.
  2. I never sent out Christmas cards. On Friday I finally sent out seven handwritten letters, basically just updates because I have been neglecting to write for so long.
  3. I have not yet decided what I want to make that I can actually eat for Christmas. Food allergies make this a bit more complicated than it usually would be. Not one of the highest priorities, but one I do need to get to… eventually.

In other ways, I am prepared. Barely prepared, I might add, but at least a little bit.

  1. There was a Penance service at my parish last Thursday.
  2. I made it though the last week of school without getting too fed up with some of my students. The last week before break is always the hardest.
  3. I have presents for the three people I actually worry about buying presents for: my mom, my dad, and my sister.
  4. The above mentioned presents are wrapped (as of yesterday) and down by the tree (since it is hard to fit stuff under it).

I hope that your holiday preparations are going well and you are all prepared for Christmas. I know that I am rather glad there are two weeks off school, I know I needed it.

I love the Christmas holidays. They are some of my favorite of the year. For example, some of my favorite holidays this time of the year: Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint Lucy, Christmas, the Holy Family, the Holy Innocents, Mary the Mother of God, and Epiphany.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you.

amanda

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Review: Chastity Is for Lovers

Posted December 18, 2014 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Chastity Is for LoversChastity is for Lovers by Arleen Spenceley
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (120 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2014

Synopsis

In 2012, journalist Arleen Spenceley outed herself as a twenty-six-year-old virgin in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed that went viral. In Chastity Is for Lovers, Spenceley expands on that piece, advocating Catholic teaching on sex and marriage with candor and humor, and without judgment.
In her debut book, seasoned journalist and self-professed "happy virgin" Arleen Spenceley offers a mature, funny, and relatable vision of Catholic teaching on chastity for young adults. Chastity Is for Lovers provides perspective on a variety of topics—the difference between chastity and abstinence, how virginity is an affirming and valuable life choice, how the word "purity" can be harmful in ministry settings, how to date well, and why sexual self-control is the best form of marriage preparation—and gives single adults the best possible chance to find true love. She carefully avoids using language that shames readers and instead presents a view of chastity that is joyful and positive.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


 

This is a book I had heard about once before I found it on NetGalley. I requested it and read it in two days. Thanks, Ave Maria Press!

Take a look at the publication date. The feast of Saint Catherine Labouré! And the publisher is Ave Maria Press. From that alone, I knew I would like this book.

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Happy Pink Sunday of Advent and Advent Songs

Posted December 14, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Well, it is the Third Sunday of Advent. As one of my religious ed kids said last Wednesday, “It’s Pink Sunday!” Yes, it is. Happy Pink Sunday of Advent

Why Pink?

Well, this Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday which is Latin for Rejoicing Sunday. This Sunday we are called to rejoice. As Father said this morning, “And that is why I get to wear pink.”

From the Lectionary:

The First Reading for Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11 tells us “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.” The Psalm this week is actually a canticle, the Canticle of Mary. The Magnificat begins with Mary saying, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1). Even Saint Paul, in the First Letter to the Thessalonians states, “Rejoice always” (5:16). Then there is the Gospel Reading from the first chapter of John’s Gospel where John the Baptist is testifying that Jesus is coming.

Doesn’t this all point towards rejoicing?

Yes, I think it does. This Sunday we rejoice. We are closer to Christmas and the Lord’s Coming than last week. And it is finally snowing here in Montana after a week of 50+ degrees. It is cause for rejoicing, I say.

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Prepare the Way for the Lord: Second Sunday of Advent

Posted December 7, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths: all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 

Alleluia Antiphon for the Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. The Alleluia Antiphon and the readings for today remind us that Advent is a time of preparation, a time to prepare our hearts for the birth of Our Lord. It is a time to really look at our lives and conform them to the will of God. We want to be able to cry out “Here is your God!” as Isaiah calls us to in the First Reading {Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11). We want to be ready for the day “the Lord will come like a thief” {2 Peter 3:10}. We have to be ready for the Lord could come at any time.

Preparation of Prayer

Prayer is the first and foremost way we can prepare our hearts for Christmas. It is in prayer that we can talk to God and grow closer to Him. For myself, that means I am praying Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a daily Rosary and a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I am doing my best to dedicate my entire day to the Lord so that all I do, I can do with the Lord.

Preparation of Action

There are things we can do, besides prayer, that can help us to be ready for the Lord’s coming. We can be charitable this Advent. There are all sorts of programs we hear about that can really benefit from even a small donation. I, for one, like the Gift Catalog of Catholic Relief Services. It is amazing how much a small donation can do. For example, health exams for 12 children can be donated for jsut $25! That’s just over $2 per child! I find it utterly amazing what one small donation can do.

And there aren’t just online donations. There are programs in our own communities that would love for us to help them out. Some programs are simply looking for people to help organize a food bank or serve food at a free community dinner. These are things we can give without giving money. We can give our time to really change people’s lives.

Preparing for Jesus

There are countless other ways we can prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. No matter what we do, we always need to remember that Jesus is the reason. As many of the churches’ like to say this time of the year: “Keep Christ in Christmas.” If we didn’t have Jesus, there would be no Christmas. It is all about an infant boy born to poor parents in the Middle East over 2000 years ago. It is all about a baby who, though born in humble circumstances, is the Savior of the World.

Enjoy the Second Sunday of Advent!

amanda

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