Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lord, Help Our Families to be Holy!

  When you look to the Holy Family for guidance, DO NOT turn to your own family and think: Boy are we in trouble.  Instead, realize that even with the holy family, sometimes things were messy, chaotic, and totally unplanned.  Then, we can relate and simply pray: “Lord,  please help us overcome all obstacles in the way of the Holy Family.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Snaketivity" Display Inspires Christian Response

Evil has reared its ugly head in Lansing, MI where Satanists will display their “Snaketivity” scene on the state capitol lawn on December 21-23.  Even the devil, it seems, has a right to free speech.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fr. Donald Calloway on the Power of Mary

Twelve years ago, a brief article in the Marian Helper magazine caught my attention.  “My mother never gave up on me,” I read. “Even though I dropped out of high school, she never gave up on me, and now I’m becoming a priest.”
That simple little story spoke volumes.  I was on the lookout for inspirational accounts to include in the Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart book that I was co-authoring.  There had to be some drama if he dropped out of high school and later became a priest, I reasoned.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Smallest Stone

In my article, Skip Those Red Buckets, I warned of the Salvation Army’s promotion of abortion for babies expected to have a short lifespan outside the womb. The story below is about the very short life of Aaron Schreiner.  It was originally published in Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart.  Aaron lived for only an hour, but he dramatically changed many lives in that one hour. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Skip Those Red Buckets

The ring-a-ling of silver bells that herald the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign have relieved many Christmas shoppers  of excess change and perhaps some excess guilt from over-consumption. Unfortunately, pro-lifers should not contribute.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Miraculous Roses of Our Lady of Guadalupe

     On December 12, 1531, Our Blessed Mother appeared clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet and transformed the Aztec/Mayan people who were practicing human sacrifice. Within 9 years of her appearance, 9 million were baptized into the Catholic Church.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is the reason that Mexico became a Catholic country.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Haunted by Souls in Purgatory

        During the 1980’s a story of a haunted house in Pennsylvania received a lot of media attention. Many terrifying events happened with eyewitnesses outside the family testifying to them. To this day, it is controversial whether the house was possessed or not.  The family consulted demonologists and priests for guidance.   It was reported that a couple of exorcisms were performed on the house, but still, there was continued mysterious activity.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Infertility Healed Through Faith By Cassie McCullers

This beautiful story of the healing of infertility for Bill and Cassie McCullers is from the book Amazing Grace for Families, as told by Cassie.
     All my life, I dreamed of being a wife and mother, and everything I did pointed in that direction — from asking Santa for a baby doll when I was ten to deciding against medical school in my junior year of college. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For Babies, not Supermarket Chickens

I thought I had heard of everything, but until now, (thanks to the The Blaze) I never heard of a chicken funeral. I understand paying respects to a pet goldfish that has passed before flushing it down, but eulogizing a grocery store chicken?
So with that in mind, let’s pause a moment and pray. Dear Lord, please give save-the-world activists the grace to achieve rationality.  Help them to realize that they have the makings of a great comedy skit. And if they lack a sense of humor, at least have them take their show to an abortion clinic where the real tragedy of life might perhaps slap them in the face.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

20 Cool Things About Nuns in Habits

1. Guys don’t mistake them for available singles and accidentally hit on them.

2.  In a group, you can barely tell them apart.

3.  No bad hair days.

4.  No wardrobe malfunctions.

5.  It brings intrigue such as: Where do they put their money and driver’s license?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Jesus Through the Eyes of Mary of Nazareth

Oh to be a mother—so many reasons to both worry and rejoice from pregnancy onward.  But to be the mother of the Savior…who can imagine it?  Every mother contemplating the Christmas story surely  considers what it would have been like to have an angel announce our pregnancy or to ride on a donkey with no place to rest during labor except a manger. 
But as we pick up dirty laundry and try to corral our children into order, the thought crosses our minds that raising the Son of God surely must have been a bit less hectic day by day.  An acquaintance at my parish once jokingly said to me when my kids were little and scrambling about:  “Oh that Mary and her one son, huh?”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kim Kardashian & Mama June: The Vultures are Here

      I did something this week that I am not proud of.  I watched an entertainment news show.  I was watching TV while making bread and that is what came on after the local news.
     This article is my way to make atonement for spending thirty-minutes mired in hedonism. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Night Before Election in ND, Fighting for Life

Fr. Basil Atwell
Fr. John Paul Gardner
“No matter how much money or time or effort on this work any of us spend, only our fidelity to God is seen and blessed by Him. Our true faith is measured by our trust in His effective grace. If we, who fight this good fight to pass Measure 1 do not recognize our need for Him in this fight, then our efforts are simply our own and not God's. It will take a miracle to have this pass; and a miracle of God is what we must pray for.”  Pax. Fr. Basil

Different Ways to Jesus

 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5).

Does the Bible confirm what Protestants have been telling us, that we should only go through Jesus Christ when we pray?   No.  It only says that we should go to Jesus.  Scripture shows us different ways we can go to him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just Before Election, Dirty Tactics Against Life

Woman mocking Church at rally
Fighting against a prolife ballot measure in North Dakota, Planned Parenthood and cronies are exercising their free choice to use dirty tactics.  This week has been especially blatant.  They don’t even have an office in North Dakota but they have poured $1.5 million (96% of total donations) to fund the opposition North Dakotans Against Measure 1 (NDAM1).  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An Exorcist Talks about Horror Movies

If the devil is going to show up at some point in a movie, I’d rather not pay to see it.  Yet, any exorcist will tell you that it’s the devil that you don’t see that is the most dangerous--the ones that tell you immorality is a good thing and if there’s a God, he wouldn’t mind.  
In the movie, Ouija, which opened on October 24, the devil shows up.  And by name.  He does not come trying to make evil look good, he comes as pure evil with all the horror you would expect. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Lady of Nicaragua

Painting of Our Lady of Necaragua
        Somehow, living in the warp speed of our modern world, until just this week, I never heard of the Church-approved apparitions of Our Lady of Nicaragua, also known as Our Lady of Cuapa.  The visions with messages for our time, took place from April 15 to October 13 in 1980.  

Bernardo Martinez was a humble, middle-aged Nicaraguan rancher who died  in 2000 as Fr. Bernardo Marinez, having been ordained a priest in 1995 at the age of 64.  This article is condensed from Bernardo Martinez's full statement on the apparitions given to Bishop Mons. Pablo Antonia Vega, Prelate Bishop of Juigalpa.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Hope of Lepanto: the Feast of the Holy Rosary

We are not to lose hope even in the face of the nightly evening news.  We have Jesus and all the treasures of the Catholic Church.  And on October 7, we have the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of Victory.  This feast is not just an example that we should follow, but one that we must follow if we desire victory. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Footing the Bill for Moral Confusion

Moral oblivion comes with a price tag.  There are many costs, such as 1.5 million a day for Planned Parenthood and all the children from single-parent homes needing services,  but I want to turn my attention to a recent addition to the taxpayer ledger.  Until May 30 of this year, Medicare denied requests for sex reassignments surgeries, but the procedure is now considered medically necessary for people who feel nature assigned them the wrong parts.  I’m not making light of this painful situation but I am saying:  Oh come on!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Changing the World – One Child at a Time by Diane Sonntag

Jean Gaunt
          “Look at this,” Jean Gaunt said, showing the Sunday newspaper to her husband, Tom.  Their hometown paper, the Indianapolis Star, featured a story about nine siblings who were available for adoption.  It was Mother’s Day 1999, and the irony of the date did not escape Jean.
            “I had not thought about adopting for quite a while, until I saw the article,” says Jean.  “One of the little girls, Samantha, was seven at the time and she looked quite a bit like I did at that age.  It really tugged on my heartstrings, especially since it was Mother’s Day.”  Jean says that she rarely reads the newspaper and she just happened to read it on that day.  If she hadn’t seen the article, she never would have known about the kids.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Courage Under Fire, a 911 Hero by Thomas Edward Burnett Sr.

This 9/11 story is of the hero—a Catholic and daily communicant-- who tried to take back the plane from terrorist before it crashed in PA.  It is shared through the eyes of his loving father and was originally published exclusively in  "Amazing Grace for Families." 

Looking down over the Omaha beaches of Normandy, France, my son, Thomas Jr. pointed to the stretch of land which is now a cemetery holding more than 9,000 WWII American soldiers.  “That’s where some of the fiercest fighting took place,” he explained.  
My son had planned this trip of a lifetime with me. As a history buff, he was enamored with the heroism of the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy over sixty years ago on what become known as D-Day.  The operation remains the largest invasion from sea to land in history; involving close to three million troops crossing the English Channel to take back France from German occupation. It was a bold and bloody mission in which rapid enemy fire failed to halt these heroic men from marching forward into almost certain death--all in the name of freedom.

Note to LBGT Community: Don’t Apply to Catholic Schools

Marian High School
I have a message for the LBGT community: I love you.  You are a child of God. But because I love you, I want you to avoid making your life miserable.  Therefore, if you are looking for a teaching job, don’t apply at a Catholic school. 
Catholic Schools have morality clauses not in sync with a LBGT lifestyle.  But you already knew that.  Barb Webb of Bloomfield Hills, MI knew that too when she applied to work at the all-girls Marian High School.  She was a chemistry teacher and coach.  She was also a lesbian in a same-sex marriage. When Barb recently told the school about her “nontraditional pregnancy,” they fired her.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Abortion Playbook

The devil’s minions are cunning and well funded in the quest to achieve a total unrestricted right to abortion throughout this country.  A page from their playbook reveals that they are meeting with success.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Has the Women’s Movement Decreased Happiness?

Hey, ladies, it’s August 26, Equality Day!  Woo-hoo!  How’s it going so far?  In case you are not in the loop, Women’s Equality Day commemorates August 26, 1920 when the right for women to vote became official.  But equality has not rained down happiness on women. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mary’s Assumption—You’d Better Believe It!

Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul. Yeah right, some non-Catholic Christians say.  I once even heard a Catholic with Protestant leanings say, “Mary was just a person, no different than the rest of us.”  Oh PLEEZE people!  Mary’s assumption only makes sense. If God took Elijah up into heaven in a whirlwind, why would he not do likewise for the mother of his son?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Not Enough Sex Ed in 4th Grade?

Call me repressed, but having sex with boys was not on my radar screen at ten years old. After all, they had cooties.  Jumping rope and watching cartoons was where it was at for fourth graders during my childhood.
According to the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, that sort of blissful ignorance is bad for kids.  Their research “Investing in Very Young Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health” was published in the Global Public Health journal last month.   They claim their findings show that children should start receiving formal sexual education as early as age 10 to decrease unintended pregnancies, “unsafe” abortions (all are unsafe for the baby) maternal deaths, and sexually transmitted infections.   

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guard Your Mouth to a Happier Marriage

When we say I do we should also say, I won’t—I won’t use my words to hurt my spouse. Infidelity, addictions, and other major destructive behaviors can inflict mortal wounds on a marriage.  But perhaps the greatest source of damage on relationships is the seemingly less harmful ones, particularly the cuts to the heart made through unkind speech.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Contraception Tweet-lash

I recently posted a prolife, anti-contraception tweet that leaked onto the screens of people who insist on separating sex from procreation.   One person commented that I was “50 cards short of a full deck” for my tweet that said:  “Abortion is backup for contraception. Until we get rid of contraception, we won't get rid of abortion. #life #Prolife #tcot #trcot

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Start Defending God!

  “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Those are the iconic words from the 1976 film Network.  In an impassioned diatribe, a TV anchor galvanized the nation, convincing his viewers to shout out of their windows "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" 

I am waiting for God to open up a window in the sky and to shout those words down to us.  Until then, the time for backlash is long overdue. We must start speaking up.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Doctor and A Catholic by Laura Archuleta

Dr. Laura Archuleta
Dr. Laura Archuleta struggled with balancing her faith with a medical career until she saw the light. This story is excerpted from the Amazing Grace for Families.

There never was a time in my medical career when “the birth control question” did not hang over my head. I often wondered how my Catholic faith should impact my medial practice.  Was it okay to give “the pill” to other women, as long as I did not use it myself? The answers did not come easily.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Winning Team: Pope Francis and Our Lady

By Nellie Edwards,
What is the one thing that Pope Francis is rarely without? Hint: He always brings it with him and is seen wearing it in the majority of his pictures.
Give up?  It’s his smile.  In most of his pictures, he is smiling.  How comforting is that?  Pope Francis has the weight of the world on his shoulders as the Vicar of Christ on Earth.  He is very well aware of the state of the world, and yet, he smiles most of the time. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fantasy Island Meets North Dakota

          "Da plane! Da plane!” Tattoo from the television series Fantasy Island would yell, running up the bell tower to ring the bell, thereby announcing the arrival of a new set of guests at the beginning of each episode. 
On June 13, from our front lawn, my husband Mark announced the arrival of da plane!  It was Air Force One flying over our house in Bismarck, ND with President Obama on board.  He landed at the Bismarck airport and helicoptered out to Cannon Ball, to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. It was his first visit to a reservation during his presidency.  The theme of his visit?  Fantasy Island.  Officially, it was the welfare of the Native American children, but I don’t buy in to other people’s fantasy. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Living the Beatitudes for Parents

 Giving life to a child touches a parent’s heart and leads to the Divine as reflected in the Beatitudes (Matt 5: 1-5)  “Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him and He began to teach them, saying:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Religion ≠ Magic; Jesus ≠ Illusionist

Dear Atheist,
There’s nothing like a good magic show, huh?  Harry Houdini, the all-time great illusionist, knew this.  David Copperfield is right behind him in the theater of trickery as the highest paid magician in all of history. What you see is not always what you get, right?  But what you fail to see with religion is that what you get is not only what you see.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Divorce Parties: Beyond Stupid

     Even though my thoughts are like a puff of smoke in the Dust Bowl, I want to suggest that divorce parties are beyond stupid. They reveal shallowness, narcissism, and spiritual darkness.  

     Celebrating divorce, or “uncoupling,” is the latest trend in parties.  Divorce parties are also big business for party planners and novelty companies, even outdoing pet birthday parties.  Yeah, it’s just that big.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Devil’s Surprise: Mary’s Heel

Mother of Life by Nellie 
 “God sure is clever,” my friend, Nellie Edwards and I often say to one another.  It is understood between us as an understatement of God’s often subtle and surprising ways.
I imagine that Satan has been surprised a few times by God’s cleverness.  The devil chose Hell rather than to humble himself.  How ironic that God saved us through his own humility.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

“Two Gifts: A Baby and a Miracle” by Maureen Merritt Bergman

Mo and Alan with Victor
         Thirteen years ago, Mo Bergman rejected a doctor's suggestion to abort her baby because of physical abnormalities. Instead, she turned to God and the situation changed dramatically.  She is turning to God again and asking for healing for her son.  Here is her story excerpted from Amazing Grace for Families with an update on their current challenge.

     I was so excited at the possibility of being pregnant that I bought and used three over-the-counter pregnancy kits. I just could not wait and kept taking the test before the minimum waiting time.   When the results finally confirmed what I had suspected, I ran into the living room to tell my husband, Alan.  We hugged and cried tears of joy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Mother’s Perspective on the Fate of her Daughter’s Murderer

       Clayton Lockett’s disturbingly botched execution in Oklahoma a few weeks ago has re-ignited the debate over capital punishment.  Vicki Schieber had a successful career in finance and two beautiful children.  She had always been against capital punishment. Such an opinion is easy, however, when you don’t have skin in the game. But then her daughter was murdered and it became painfully personal.

Monday, May 19, 2014

No More Porn, No More Contraception, No More Fear

Chad Judice had a good thing going: a beautiful wife and a teaching job that he loved at a Catholic school seemed to complete his life.  The idea of fatherhood seemed too much.  So when his wife became pregnant with their first son, it scared him.  She was thrilled; he was not.  Why mess with a good thing? 
But what could he do except to put on the happy face of an expectant father.  He relieved his stress by being critical and irritable to his wife.  Then, there was the pornography.  It’s not a big deal, he told himself.  I’m only human. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fatima Still Matters

May 13 is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. In a world growing more skeptical of God and cynical of religion, there is Fatima.  It is where our Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children and where a public miracle was witnessed before tens of thousands.

In Fatima, two anti-Catholic socialist newspapers sent reporters to witness how foolish it was that so many people came out believing there would be a miracle. Instead, the papers carried reports of an amazing miracle witnessed by all who were there.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Former Actress Stars in Live Action Abortion Video

Emily Letts during abortion
Abortion counselor Emily Letts is being celebrated for starring in her own abortion video.  Her intended message to pregnant women: Come follow me! Having your baby removed is a breeze.

Emily, who works at a New Jersey abortion clinic, had sex with someone with whom she did not want to raise a child and  a new human being was created.  She decided to end motherhood through a surgical abortion.  The former actress decided to make a video capturing the moment that her baby would be separated from her life-sustaining uterus, although we only see Emily, not the actual abortion.  For this accomplishment, Emily is featured in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine—the magazine that does not just sell sex but promotes killing the results. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Curious George vs St. Faustina

 “I have a problem with Curious George,” a friend announced to me at a party.  “I’m not sure about reading those books to my children.”  Christa is the mother of three young boys.  Her comment surprised me.  My children had loved the popular book series.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Is it a Sin to Put Yourself Down?

     “Oh, I’m so inept!  I can’t do anything right!”  There are endless variations of the self-deprecating rants. They are dressed up like humility but smack of pride. 
     The person announcing his failings probably does not boast and is instead seeking a humble path, but he unwittingly travels by way of pride.  Whether boasting or bemoaning one’s own characteristics, both put the focus on self.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Message from Heaven to Stay Awake and Pray the Rosary

      I learned to pray the rosary in 1989 while in my early thirties. I vowed to say it daily. But a few weeks after the birth of a new baby, I decided to skip it in favor of getting to sleep. That’s when a Divine message let me know, it's worth staying awake to pray the rosary.

      When I was around ten years old, my parents decided to pray a family rosary one evening. It was the first time ever.  We knelt together in the living room and began. But before finishing the first decade, things began to break down.  I don’t recall the specifics but making faces and giggling were involved.  My mother declared it a failure, and we never prayed one again during my childhood, although years later my parents became very devoted to it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Be the CEO of Your Life, Lessons from JPII

I am the CEO of nothing except my own life--and even then... I have ten kids that I attempt to direct onto heavenly paths but then leave the rest to God. 

 Books on leadership in business are not on my shelves. Yet, I have found meaning in The Pope & The CEO: John Paul II's Pope John Paul II's Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard by Adreas Widmer. He was a mere guard—although guarding the very vicar of Christ—at the time he learned these lessons. They have served him well, not because they were lessons for corporate America, but because they are lessons for authentic Catholic living.

So amid laundry piles and washing floors; negotiating with and leading children, I have learned that JPII's lessons are less about rising to the top of corporate America and more about rising all the way to the very top--heaven.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Watch What You Pray For," by Liz Gary

Everyone has heard the saying: “Watch what you pray for; you may get it.”  When Liz Gary was was pregnant with her third child,  she prayed that God would take her unborn baby before he was born. Her husband Mike and she had two adorable children; six-year-old Abby-Lynn and four-year-old Cameron. They had room in their hearts for another child...but just not this one, or so Liz thought.  Here is her story.

Amniocentesis revealed that the little boy I carried had Downs Syndrome with a heart defect and other possible major anomalies. The news hit me like a sledge hammer. For some reason, ever since I was a child, I had a deep fear that one day I would have a Down’s child. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I feared Downs children and turned away from them.