Thursday, December 12, 2013

Contemplating The Birth of Our Creator

In a manger, in Bethlehem, under starlit skies, animals helped to warm the cool, night air with their humid breath.  Sending angels as midwives and providing a feedbox for a crib, God chose to enter our world in flesh in blood form; the son of Mary, the son of God.  It was a moment in history marked for salvation by the Creator of everything who chose to be born with nothing.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blessed Mother in Kuwait by Veronica Hargrove


 When Veronica Hargrove's son was fighting overseas in Kuwait, praying the rosary for him took away her feeling of fear and helplessness.  And the Blessed Mother came through.

     As a little girl, I often noticed my father fingering a string of pretty beads.  I would wonder why he played with those beads so often.  When I was six years old, my dad explained the power of Mary’s intercession to her Son through the rosary. He taught me how to say this very special prayer.

     I have prayed it ever since.  Mary has not only helped me throughout my own life, but I believe she helped save my son’s life as well as the lives of his buddies during a difficult time.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Catholic Book Bonanza--15 Prizes!

Are you a Catholic who loves to read? Join the club! This Christmas, Teresa Tomeo Communications, run by the Catholic radio and TV personality Teresa Tomeo, is giving away 15 books from some of her favorite authors AND a $50 Amazon gift card.
On the prize list are some of this year’s best selling books. Plus, one lucky winner can choose to buy whatever books – or holiday gifts – they want directly from Amazon with a $50 gift card.
We’re giving you lots of simple ways enter the contest, and the more entries you complete, the better your chance to win! Choose from the entry options below and complete as many as you’d like.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gambling with Love

“Father, I’m ready to throw in the towel,” Brad stated. “How long am I suppose to take this?” -- A story that shows the power of  prayer to renew marriage.

Shuffling through the mail, Brad Kremmer pulled out several envelopes from credit card companies and ripped them open.  His muscles tightened as he skimmed over the new balances.  
She’s lied again,” Brad realized.  His wife, Jennifer, had promised to stop gambling at the casino and going on out-of-control buying sprees.  She seemed to understand the seriousness of their mounting debts when she tearfully promised to quit.  Instead, she had gone through at least another two thousand dollars.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Prayer for the Internet



The Internet has it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Like everything in life, it is a battleground of good and evil, best navigated by staying near to God.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Defend Priests Against Bullies

‘Yeah, well your priests, like little boys.”
There it is. The slap in the face meant to silence a Catholic and degrade the priesthood.  You would think it had been enough already, but the priest/sex scandal card still gets played, often in comments under articles or on Facebook posts. It has shown up a few times in comments under my articles.
Too often, Catholics cringe and duck out. It was the goal all along of the one who spit out the vitriolic attack; to silence his opponent and chalk up one for the anti-Catholic team.  Should you end it and walk away?  As the saying goes, “Don’t fight with fools, they’ll beat you with experience every time.” But wait, priests act in the place of Jesus Christ. Will you not defend Christ?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dying to Live and Living to Die


     
 Can a death sentence improve your life?  Do you live life to the fullest?  That includes eternity.  Yet, who among us lives as if death is coming?
     The default setting for most is to live merely—or at least mostly—for Earthly life.  In such a case, a death sentence can be a great blessing.  Suddenly, reality becomes real.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"God Hears a Mother's Prayers" by Susan Brinkmann


     Pedro Cumba’s first brush with death came in 1995 when a rival drug gang robbed him.   “They pushed me down the basement steps and made me lay face down on the floor,” Cumba said.  “He went to shoot me in the back of the head but the gun didn’t go off.”

    Pedro managed to get away, unharmed, but was not yet frightened away from the drug habit that would consume twenty of his forty-eight years of life.  His second brush with death would come soon after, when his home was broken into one night.  Cumba was doing drugs in the living room with his friends.  “I was whacked over the back of the head with a gun, tied up and thrown in a closet.”  One of the assailants put a pillow up to the closet door and started shooting but Cumba was able to wriggle himself into the corner of the closet and escaped all five bullets.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Abortion Prayer Wars


Prayer is a lethal weapon. But in the hands of the enemy with sacrilegious intentions, it is useless. Although abortion workers continually say that prayer vigils outside abortion clinics are ineffective, they are attempting to use prayer to launch a counter-offensive. Unfortunately, they lack the knowledge of how such a weapon works.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mary’s Moms—Taking it to the Next Level


“Hey Patti, I’m getting serious about praying for my family. I’m going to do a 40-day fast and daily rosary, do you want to join me?” My friend Shellie Rusch asked me this recently.  She has six kids and we have a spiritual sisterhood in many ways.

As a wife and mother of ten, I had eleven reasons to say yes. Well, twelve including me, and I certainly need all the help I can get.  It was a comforting idea, to get serious about the spiritual well being of our families and to pool our prayers and fasting together.   It wasn’t as if we had not always prayed for our families, but this would be different—something more; something big.  We had one intention: for the increased holiness of our families. In the end, holiness is all that matters so it was all we would ask for.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ban on Beauty Pageants?


No beauty contests?  That’s un-American! Well, actually it is. The ban on beauty contests is the goal of some French politicians and it’s not a total ban.  Sadly.  However, American’s take note.  Please. Too many people don’t have a clue what true beauty is.  Hint: it’s not the part that turns to dust.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pope Francis's SOS to the Blessed Mother


When we’ve messed up, we should run to our mother. Scripture makes it clear.  At the wedding at Cana, either the wine list or the guest list was miscalculated.  Someone messed up. Mary told Jesus about it, and he  saved the day by turning water into wine. But why would the Savior of the World begin his public life over someone’s empty wine cellar?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Child's Voice Brought Me Back by Joy Veron



Every Mother's worst nightmare: "I could not just watch my children plunge to their deaths so I threw my body in front of the vehicle."

“Come on, Mom, let’s go,” my kids begged. It was a typical plea from kids painfully waiting for adults to finish up so they could get on with their own activity.    It had been a beautiful weekend in the Colorado mountains visiting my parents.  It was hard to leave on this crisp, clear morning, so my husband, Christophe, and I promised our children, Chloe, seven; Annie, five; and Elliot, two, one last swim in the hot springs before we headed home to McAllen, Texas.  But first, my parents were excited to show us the mountain cabin they were thinking of buying.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How Can I Forgive When I Can’t Forget?


While many people believe forgetting an injury is part of forgiveness, Fr. Justin Waltz, pastor of St. Leo's Church in Minot, ND, suggested just the opposite. In fact, he stated that forgetting is not even possible. “The only type of forgetting I have heard of is stuffing,” he said during a retreat presentation and added, “The hurt is not gone, it is just buried deep within.”  

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Conversion of Marilyn Grodi (Wife of EWTN's Marcus Grodi)


     As many of my clients strove to overcome their addictions to drugs or alcohol, I always suggested they tap into a powerful source for recovery--God.  Sure, some people did it without him, but not most.  God could pick them up where they were at and carry them through the pain and struggles all addicts must work through.    However, it became harder and harder to send people to Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings without feeling like a hypocrite What of my own spiritual recovery?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Three Exorcists Weigh In: Should You Watch "The Conjuring"?


     The scariest thing about the horror film, The Conjuring is that it’s based on a true story.  It is about an evil presence doing hair-raising things.  The story happened in 1971 and centers around the Perron family, a couple and their five daughters who were terrorized by a dark presence in their secluded Rhode Island farmhouse.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Locked in the Confessional


    There are some things that are uniquely Catholic.  Going to confession is one of these. This sacramental gift that Jesus gave to his apostles on his first appearance after his resurrection, bonds us with our Catholic family.  We share in the amazing grace and sometimes, things happen that only a Catholic can understand.  
                                                          
      Celia Sattler often takes advantage of the confession offered prior to daily Mass.  On one occasion, by the time it was her turn, Father Thomas Richter, a newly ordained priest, apologized saying he had run out of time to hear her confession but would be glad to do so after the service. After Mass, Celia waited in the pews until she saw the green light over the confessional door, signaling that Fr. Tom had returned.  It was a Friday, the usual day for church cleaning, so during confession the sounds of a vacuum cleaner reverberated through the door. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Never Say Never, A Padre Pio Miracle by Susan Brinkmann


   
 Paul Walsh was 17 years old when the car he was driving hit a tree on Chester Pike in suburban Piladelphia on an icy December night in 1983. One doctor described his head injuries as the equivalent of dropping an egg on a cement sidewalk. Not only was his skull shattered, every bone in his face was broken and there was a tear in his brain. Doctors at Crozier Chester Medical Center said he was irreversibly brain damaged and would never regain consciousness.  But as the old saying goes, “never say never.”

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Deliver Us From Bullies by Nellie Edwards


   
     Raising a family in a town rife with gang crime was a constant concern for my husband and me.  Almost daily there were drive-by shootings and other assorted acts of violence.  In 1994, our town, nestled in Central Washington (less than 10,000 population) made the national news for "more violent crime per capita than New York City!"
     We prayed to God to be delivered from such an environment, where our children were not safe to play in the nearby city park.  We prayed intensely after the police knocked on our door one night, telling us, "Lock up tight. We're after a violent gang." It was right behind our home!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Trees, Bees, and Murder in the Target Parking Lot


     Where can you attend a memorial service for bees or join a protest against a man cutting down a tree on his property?  In Oregon. 

     The state is beautiful with a gentle climate, dramatic views and lush plant life--particularly trees.  Such beauty attracts many nature lovers and a sizeable number of them, seem to like trees better than people. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Five Miracles in One Day" by Jody Murphy



This story was originally published in Amazing Grace for Families. It is an uplifting reminder of how amazing life and love can be.


     “I can't do this anymore,” I told my husband Kevin. After three years of painful fertility treatments with no results, enough was enough. The strong medication and the extreme hormone surges brought physical pain and put me on an emotional roller coaster. I did not want to live like that anymore. 

     Even before I married, I knew conceiving a child would be difficult. When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease. My health was fine, but my chances of ever getting pregnant were slim.

     Kevin and I shared a deep desire to raise children, but we both agreed it did not matter if they were our own flesh and blood. We prayed to God for children and asked Him to lead us to the ones that needed us. Kevin and I felt drawn to foster care. Our caseworker understood that our ultimate dream was to adopt, so when she learned of twins that were free for adoption, she called us immediately.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Evolved Thinking Brings Us Lesbian Babies


      Some people think they are more highly evolved than those mired in morality.  Their politically correct rants propel us into a strange new world where life, death, and marriage are relative and sexual urges determine right and wrong.  But rather than evolving into higher thinking, their pride pulls them into insanity. Proof that the world has gone mad has reared its ugly head in the Pacific of late. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"A Man’s Man" by Richard Leonardi



      He was one of Rochester, New York’s greatest athletes in the 1950s. When I was sixteen years old and in my physical prime, and he was in his 40’s, he beat me in the 40-yard dash like I was standing still. He could have played for anybody. The Cubs wanted to talk to him. The Yankees would have if he’d been interested.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Studies Show the Ten Commandments are Good for You


The Ten Commandments are not good because God gave them to us; he gave them to us because they are good.


     

   

       
     You don’t have to believe God or even believe in God to realize that the rules for everlasting life are also good rules for just plain living.  (Click on the links to read just some of the research I found to back up the Ten Commandments.)  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Making Lives Count This Memorial Day


Each flag represents a life lost to abortion.
     When Maria Wanchic of Bismarck, ND was thirteen years old, she thought of all the lives lost to abortion and imagined putting up a memorial to represent them as individuals.  “At the time, I thought about crosses,” she said.
      That was two decades ago.  This Memorial Day weekend, Maria accomplished her childhood dream to honor the life of each baby lost to abortion in North Dakota.  Volunteers helped her place sixty-six thousand pink and blue flags on the north side of the state Capitol law.  The flags are  a colorful testimony to each life, rippling in the breeze and making the statement, "I was here, I count."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two Devotions to Mary


Mary, Untier of Knots

  In honor of the month of May, here are two beautiful devotions to Mary.  I’d love to hear the results if you participate in either of these.
Pope Francis’s Devotion
      The first one,  “Mary Undoer of Knots” also known as “Our Lady Untier of Knots,"  I came across in Dr. Matthew Bunson’s new book, Pope Francis.  Bunson, one of America’s leading authorities on the papacy and the Church, gives a personal glimpse into the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from his early days as a “street priest” to his work as a Cardinal, and finally his appointment as Pope Francis.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Family Inspiration x 2

     Happy Spring! I am writing to share my exciting  news that  I have 2 books released this spring.  Both were written to entertain readers with engaging stories that inspire.       

     When I just wrote for secular publications, I thought religion was boring, My goal now, whether writing fiction or non-fiction, is to present faith in a real and an exciting way. Both books can be enjoyed by all denominations. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Take the Joyful Challenge



      Lately, when I check the next-day weather report, I half-expect fire and brimstone to be in the forecast.  It seems that it should be “time’s up” for the world’s silliness aka spiritual degradation to the nth degree.

     I cannot help but wonder why God is holding back.  He is so very patient with us. It would seem that we have more than earned some chastisements.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Holiest Form of Flattery: Imitating Mary


     There’s an old saying:  Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery.  It shows that you like and admire that person and want to be like him or her. In the case of the Blessed Mother, imitating her is our highest calling.  We can do no better than to be like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the holiest person that ever lived.
     As a matter of fact, the very worst thing about Mary is that so many of our Christian brethren do not appreciate her.  They love Jesus but ignore his mother. That is so sad because Mary has so much to offer us.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Big Hearted - Grow Your Heart.


      Big Hearted is best.  No one wants to be the opposite; small or cold hearted.  Jesus Christ has the biggest heart of all--the Sacred Heart.  

     So how does one become bigger hearted?  The heart is a muscle and like all muscles the more we use it, the stronger and bigger it gets.   And every parent knows that the easiest way to use your heart is to welcome a child into your life. From that point on, love is not even an option.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Pro-choice Revenge


Snow covered early in week
     Abortion supporters have vowed revenge against North Dakota legislators for making it the most pro-life state in the nation.  They have promised a legal battle against the new laws and are threatening lawmakers with voting them out of office. 
     To be sure legislators get the message loud and clear, more than 1,000 little flags were placed on the front lawn of the state capitol this week. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Outrageous Mainstream Media Blackout on Dr. Gosnell’s House of Horrors.


Women's Medical Society dubbed "House of Horrors"
(Pro-choice groups are now using this story to promote abortion. Read under subtitle "Spin Doctors" of this article.)
     The Media has a penchant for murder, to the point of obsession, often saturating coverage with every little detail.  Curiosity mixed with horror draws large audiences.   Yet there was only localized or pro-life reporting on one of the most horrifying cases in history, which involves body parts, killing of screaming babies, decapitation, and even involving a 15-year old in the killing.   
      After pro-life and conservative groups led a groundswell of protests against the blackout, there has been some response.  LifeNews.com, which has reported extensively on Gosnell, announced that last Friday, pro-life activists posted on Twitter with the hashtag #Gosnell. In a 12-hour period over 166,000 tweets flooded Twitter forcing the media to cover his trial. This Wednesday will be round 2 exposing the horrors and answering the question Who is #gosnell to the world. Join us for Tweetfest round 2 - Who is #Gosnell?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Growing Love

How can you bring love to others?

     How about puppies?  My kids and I bring puppies to a nursing home every week.  A local pet store lets us pick out two to bring around. It's a day brightener for everyone: staff, residents and us too!
     I used to bring our two larger breed dogs--a big golden retriever and a collie mix-- to the Baptist Home nursing home for 7 years.  When our golden retriever died, we added a very affectionate Newfoundland mix named Sophie from an animal shelter.  One man, Arvid, especially loved our dogs. He came alive, excited to hug and pet them.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The F-Choice: Freedom or Fool


(Divine Mercy Sunday is April 7, Come to the Feast of Mercy!)
   Anyone who is holding a grudge and not forgiving someone is a fool.  What is the biggest difference between Christians and non-Christians?  And what is the one thing you can do that God promises will come back to you? Answer: Forgiveness, aka mercy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crashing an Abortion Rally: A Small Prayer Group Ventures into Enemy Territory


     The day before ND's historical victory for life, our little prayer group ventured into an emotional pro-abortion rally.

      “Let’s get together today at 2:00 PM  to pray and balance the offensive that will occur  at 2:30 at the capitol.” my friend Isabel texted me.  I decided that praying for the unborn was more important than anything else I had to do that afternoon so I joined her.

     The media across the country and even around the world had been watching—wondering if North Dakota would become the most pro-life state in the country.  Three of the four bills passed by the North Dakota Legislature to limit abortions were sent to Gov. Jack Dalrymple that day, Monday, 2/25.  On Tuesday morning, he signed them all. (See details at bottom of this article.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Divine Mercy Miracle by Dr. Bryan Thatcher


This powerful story of Divine Mercy is from the book, Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart 

     I watched as many poor people walked about in tattered clothing; visiting, eating tacos...and smiling.  “What do they have to be so happy about?”  I wondered.  I was attending a medical conference in Mexico City in 1991 and had taken time out to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The image of our Blessed Mother on the 500-year-old cactus fibers of a peasant's tilma is truly amazing.  But it was the crowd milling around outside the shrine that captured my attention. I could not understand why I, a successful physician with a prestigious medical practice in Florida, should find happiness so elusive while joy radiated off these poor peasants?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nimrods in the World


      There is a growing chasm in our culture. On one side are those who hold that life and marriage are sacred.   On the other side are the Nimrods. 
      Nimrod is used to refer to someone as a fool.  The term comes from Nimrod, the king of Shina.  According to the Book of Genesis and Chronicles, Nimrod was the son of Cush and great-grandson of Noah.  He  was prideful and Godless and commissioned the building of the tower of Babel to reach heaven.  Seeing their pride and independence, God confounded the people’s speech so that they could no longer work together on the project.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Variety is Killing Us!



       




My husband just did our taxes and it occured to me that we are suffering from too many choices. Variety is the spice of life. It is also the bane of humanity. Human kind has become confused. When I was a kid, phones were black. Period. Shampoos were limited in options to a few brands and television to a few channels. I admit, I like variety too, but at one point is enough, enough? 
      For instance, how many more religions do we need?  (Stay with me and I'll get back to taxes.) There are an estimated 41,000 Christian Churches. Yet, the Word of God calls for, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:4).  Jesus says, “I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18) not churches.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Bible Series Success and a Contest


 (Add a comment under this article to be in the running for The Bible books and cd giveaway.)
      Do you love the Bible? Are you passionate about it? And how about your kids?  Does the Bible excite them? 
      Whether you or they are or are not, if you have not been turning on The Bible every Sunday on the History Channel, you are missing an epic television event. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sweet Sixteen by Jan Walgomott


Adopting a sibling group of six had seemed like a good idea in theory, but in reality, it seemed to be pushing the Walgamott family beyond their breaking point.

       One of my sons had come into my room, distraught. “Mom, why do you let them treat you this way?” My children, ages nine, seven, two and one, had been willing to share their life with the six siblings that my husband Russell and I were planning on adopting. They had never complained about the upheaval in family life until now.  But seeing Russell and me treated with disrespect was hurting them.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Become an iMissionary



Position:  iMissionaries to spread the Gospel.
Employer: God
Qualifications: Love of God and neighbor.
Job Duties: Acknowledging Jesus before men so that he will acknowledge you before the angels in heaven. (Luke 9:26).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Darkness Gathering, But No Need to Fear


"God will not let us down..." --Msgr. John Esseff
Pope Benedict XVI has resigned as Supreme Pontiff effective Feb. 28, 2013.  Read the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's declarationIt has been over 600 years since this occurred in the life of the Church.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Is Sin Obsolete?


Is it possible to have more sin in the world but less people sinning?  
      Some say that our world is more sinful than ever before—more adultery, abortion, situational ethics, etc.  Yet, if committing a sin requires a person to know it is a sin and choose to commit it anyways, doesn’t that mean a lot of people are guiltless even though their activity is sinful?