Thursday, May 31, 2007

YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE


I said, " The path is steep."
He said, " I'm at your side."
I said, "But I am weak."
He said, "For you I died."


I said, "Dark valleys come."
He said, "I'll guide you through."
I said, "But I'm not brave."
He said, "I'll walk with you."


I said, "Be light to me,
And strength as I go on."
He said, "I'm more. I'm love,
You'll never walk alone."


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On the lighter side


What are four hundred rabbits hopping backwards?

A receding hare line.



********************

Finding one of her students making faces at others on the playground, Ms. Smith stopped to gently reprove the child. Smiling sweetly, the Sunday School teacher said, "Bobby, when I was a child, I was told if that I made ugly faces, it would freeze and I would stay like that." Bobby looked up and replied, "Well, Ms Smith, you can't say you weren't warned."


********************


My friend likes to read his two young sons fairy tales at night. Having a deep-rooted sense of humor, he often ad-libs parts of the stories for fun.
One day his youngest son was sitting in his first grade class as the teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs.

She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to acquire building materials for his home. She said, "...and so the pig went up to the man with a wheelbarrow full of straw and said 'Pardon me, sir, but might I have some of that straw to build my house with?'"

Then the teacher asked the class, "And what do you think that man said?" and my friend's son raised his hand and said, "I know! I know!

He said: 'Holy smokes! A talking pig!'"

The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.


********************


BIG AND PUFFY

My sister was at her wit's end trying to stop my four-year-old nephew, Todd, from sucking his thumb. Finally, she told him if he didn't stop, his stomach would get very big and puffy.
The following Sunday in church, there happened to be a very pregnant lady sitting in the same pew. Todd kept staring at her. When the service was over, he pulled at her arm and whispered,
"Your stomach is big and puffy... I know what you've been doing!"


*********************


Summer Reading

Strategic Defense in the Space Age
by Ray Gunn

Projectile Motion
by Fah Ling

The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Amateur Astronomy
by I.C. Stars

The Physics of Rotation
by S. Pining

Science Education Today
by I. Noah Little

The Statistical Variations of Scantron Test Keys
by Noah Lot

Computers
by Kent Standm

The Past, Present and Future of the Stars in the Milky Way
by Horace Cope

How to Write Large Books
by Warren Peace

The Lion Attacked
by Claude Yarmoff

The Art of Archery
by Beau N. Arrow

Songs for Children
by Barbara Blacksheep

Irish Heart Surgery
by Angie O'Plasty

Desert Crossing
by I. Rhoda Camel

School Truancy
by Marcus Absent

I Was a Cloakroom Attendant
by Mahatma Coate

I Lost My Balance
by Eileen Dover and Phil Down

Mystery in the Barnyard
by Hu Flung Dung

Positive Reinforcement
by Wade Ago

Shhh!
by Danielle Soloud

The Philippine Post Office
by Imelda Letter

Things to Do at a Party
by Bob Frapples

Stop Arguing
by Xavier Breath

Raising Mosquitos
by I. Itch

Mountain Climbing
by Yugo First

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Purity… Chastity- Forgotten ?? Out The Window ??


How often do we hear about “chastity”, “modesty”, “purity” and “virginity”? Do we think about these things? It seems as if people have gotten too lethargic about these things. It’s as if it’s a disease, talk about chastity and abstinence and its like people break out in a rash and seizures. They must be some sort of foreign language we have never heard because people seldom hear it anymore.


These are the beautiful gifts of self giving worth saving for the one we are going to marry. The world may not think it’s important or has any value but God thinks they are. He has told us exactly what He expects of us because He loves us and only wants what is best for us. These are not always easy but with God’s help, He gives us the grace we need to do it and can strive to live these out in our daily lives.


Chastity is a gift from God for people in every state of life. It is an extremely powerful virtue and the foundation for REAL intimacy. It involves purity of the body, mind and soul. It’s a denial of self, I am going to deny myself for the love of you. It’s the freedom to love. Chastity means more than just abstinence. Chastity means asking God to help us make the right decisions. Chastity means asking God to guide our thoughts, our words and our actions.


Parents and the Church need to clearly teach these truths and be in sync. If we don’t hear these truths from our parents and the Church, we will never hear or understand God’s truth on these things. The influence that movies, music and television have on us cannot be underestimated. The worldly view is not about seeking our best interest but one that promotes and encourages most everything that is contradictory to God’s word. Too many young persons have lost their virginity and self respect because they believed the lies of the world. But all is not lost, there is hope and freedom. We need the encouragement and opportunity to know that we can change with God’s grace and mercy. We can ask for forgiveness and know that we are forgiven. We are given a second chance, we make a commitment to remain chaste until our wedding day.


We have to be conscious of the company we keep. Many temptations and difficult situations can be avoided by not putting oneself in certain scenarios. Mom and dad are out of town and it’s after 10pm. The boyfriend or girlfriend come over. First mistake. So to set the mood we turn the lights down low and light a couple scented candles. We turn on the slow, passionate music. Mistakes two, three and four. So we sit close to each other on the couch, we embrace, we start the petting, then the kissing then sex. When it’s over we wonder how did it happen? I wanted to keep this precious gift for my spouse but now it’s gone. You set yourself up. There have to be some sort of boundaries we have where physical contact is concerned when courting. The “petting”, the kissing, the kind of touching that evokes certain emotions and feelings, it’s like making a deposit in a bank knowing that it can lead to the kind of “withdrawal” one should not be able to take out.


Marriage is a sacred part of God’s plan for us. It is so sacred that He often uses marriage to illustrate the love that He has for us through the church. Conjugal love is a part of marriage between a man and a woman. Once we recognize this we can understand the importance of chastity. Chastity protects us, it strengthens us, it nurtures self control, guards against selfishness and it inspires reverence. Chastity reaffirms that marriage and the sexual relationship between husband and wife is holy and very special and indeed good. God loves us so much that we are able to cooperate in His creation of a new human life. This is an awesome and precious gift that God intended to be shared between husband and wife in the security of a committed, generous and loving marriage relationship.


The most precious gift you can give to your spouse on your wedding night is the gift of your virginity. This gift is so special that it is more precious than jewels, a one of a kind diamond. Is this not something you would want to protect and cherish with all of your being? It’s a one time gift and should be given to your spouse with such joy.


The earlier we as young people make the decision to remain chaste until and during marriage the less likely we will be faced with ‘spur of the moment’ decisions of having sex outside marriage. It’s a decision made out of so much love and respect for your future spouse, I love you so much that I am going to deny myself and save this precious gift for the love of you. Being chaste allows us to be free to grow and mature and discover God's wonderful plan for our lives. We would not have to worry about "late" periods, pregnancy, "birth control", STD’s, AIDS and all the other physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional consequences of premarital sexual intercourse. By practicing self-control we would have real respect for ourselves and others recognizing that you could be courting your future spouse or someone else’s spouse. We would protect and save ourselves for only that special person that God has chosen for our lifelong married partner.


Chastity protects us. This is God's way, and it is worth practicing because the total, complete gift of pure love that the bride and groom give to each other on their wedding day is truly a precious gift. Chastity is good for me, good for the people I love and good for my soul. It teaches me self control in all aspects of my life. It isn’t always easy but it’s worth it because I’m worth it and so is my spouse.

Monday, May 28, 2007

God Gave


When the storms of life are raging.
God will rock you in His arms of protection.


When you feel as though your heart is breaking
Remember, God mends the broken hearted.
When you feel as though no one cares
God cares.


When you think things are hopeless
Put your hope in God.
When you think there are no answers
Jesus is the Answer, The Great I Am.


When you've found life has new meaning
God was there to breathe new life into you.
When you find blessings at every turn
God poured out of His abundance. Give Him Praise.


When you found beauty in the lily
God gently wiped away your tears that you might see.
When you rejoiced in the melody of the birdsongs
God gave you ears to hear... Rejoice!


When you found answers to problems seemingly impossible
God gave you wisdom far beyond your own intellectual mind.
As you woke this morning rested and ready to face the day,
God extended to you His Unlimited GRACE.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

YOU Are I AM


If You are the mountain
I am the climber
If You are the ocean
I am the diver
For You are I AM


If You are the potter
I am the clay
If You are the sunlight
I am the day
For you are I AM


You are the vine
I am the branch
I am the dancer
You are the dance
You are I AM


And there is no other
You are my passion
My vision, my color
You are I AM
My everything
You are I AM


If You are the song
Lord I will sing
If You are the player
I am the strings
For You are I AM


If I am the novel
You are the writer
If I am the gold
Lord You are the fire
For You are I AM


You are the wind
I am the eagle
I am the canvas
You are the painter
You are I AM


And there is no other
You are my passion
My vision my color
You are I AM
My everything
You are I AM

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saint Joan of Arc-Martyr



Elena on her blog 'Tea At Trianon' has posted some wonderful pieces on St. Joan of Arc. I wrote this piece last year, I hope you enjoy reading it as I did in writing it.

************

Joan d'Arc was born in the year 1412 to peasant stock her father, Jacques d'Arc was not known for his humour and struggled to maintain his patience in most things. Jacques wife, Isabelle made up for her husbands rather taciturn manner and was able to keep a happy home atmosphere especially as times were difficult in France as people struggled to maintain a viable lifestyle.

Things were made even more difficult in that France and England were still enmeshed in war, as England and Burgundy were able to conquer many regions in France. This brought much suffering to the people as the spoils of war went to the conquerors, this also fostered in the hearts of the French a deep dislike for the British. As each family prayed for their freedom to become one country united for the better good of all.

It was at the young age of 14 that Joan started to experience visions with visits from St. Michael the Archangel, St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Margaret whereupon she promised to remain chaste for the rest of her life. Even though Joan was experiencing these mystical visions she still kept up with her chores and maintained her normality and total humility. She kept these visions in her heart of hearts for fear of her father finding out and ridiculing her voices.

Joan was puzzled as to why God would choose her to do His Will when there were so many more knowledgeable people than herself. In true humility and meekness, Joan saw nothing special in and of herself.

Joan's disposition worked in her favour in that she was resolute, fiercely patriotic with a courage that surpassed many men, she was also determined to fulfil what God had requested of her, no matter the personal cost. Joan truly had the courage of a lion and the zeal of a prophet as she listened to her voices and obeyed them.

It was when Joan turned 16 years of age that the voices became urgent and so Joan set out to meet Robert de Baudricourt who was in command of the Princes forces. But upon receiving her Robert just as quickly dismissed her as a whimsical and silly girl who dreamed dreams, where as he commanded armies. Joan then returned back to her home accompanied by her Uncle, upon their return Joan tried to live a life of normalcy but the voices were insistent and told her with severity, "It is God who commands it."

Joan could not argue against God so she returned to see Robert de Baudricourt in secret, this proved fortuitous when their military position became so precarious that the English were at the door of Orleans itself! Robert agreed that Joan could speak with the Prince and sent with her 3 of his soldiers, Joan then set of on her mission dressed in the attire of a man in order to escape undue notice by the other soldiers. Joan eventually reached Chinon where the Prince held Court, but like Robert de Baudricourt he too was sceptical of this young girl who dressed as a young man. So he set a trap and when Joan received a summons to see the Prince he very craftily dressed himself as one of the servants, but Joan who had never seen the Prince recognised him immediately and walked with great purpose to the Prince, where she gave a sign that only the Prince and Joan knew of.

This led the Prince to pay more attention to this young peasant girl, even if members of his court were not quite so taken with her, Joan paid little heed to their sniping. But during this time Joan made an enemy of one of the Princes friend, La Tremouille who felt compelled to set on a mission to discredit Joan. So under direction from his friend La Tremouille Joan was sent to Poitiers in order to be questioned by the great theologians of the day.

The theologians sided with Joan and found no irregularities in her persona or beliefs and suggested that the Prince listen to this young woman with her message for France. Whereupon, Joan who had been totally exonerated returned to Chinon, to the Princes side, where she set out a plan to rid France of the dreaded English invaders at the behest of God. As an army was organized a banner was made bearing the words 'Jesus Maria' which also bore a picture of God the Father and of the fleur de lis which was the symbol of the Princes coat of arms.

When Joan and her army were ready she made a dazzling picture in her armour with her brunette hair cut short. She was fierce and unafraid at what faced her for she had placed all her trust in God and that was sufficient for her, for though she was merely a weak creature God would achieve great things through this young maiden. During their battles the soldiers too gained a new respect for this 'maid of Orleans' as she fought with them side by side, with more courage than any man they had ever seen, Joan truly showed no fear only fierce and determined courage! Even though she had been wounded in the battle Joan kept on fighting and kept up her raids on the English garrison.

Joan's fierceness also held a secret in that the voices told her she would not live a long life, so this gave Joan even greater incentive to keep going and continue to fight the British invaders. But once again Joan was kept waiting as La Tremouille insisted on negotiating a peace pact with the British, he was also supported by the Archbishop of Rheims. One can only wonder if La Tremouille was perhaps intent on discrediting Joan at any cost including selling out their own country. For it must have seemed incredulous to this man of great intelligence that the honour upon such a victory would be Joan's and not his!

With her usual doggedness Joan continued the war on the British troops as she fought them along the Loire with the assistance of Duc d'Alencon the fray ended with victory for both Joan and Duc d'Alencon at Patay, in which the English troops led by Sir John Falstoff were never able to regroup after this grievous defeat. Duc d'Alencon was filled with the glorious feeling of finally beating the unconquerable British forces.

Upon this major victory Joan was now insisting that the Prince be crowned King, as she tried to fulfil what God had requested of her through her voices. After some discussion the Prince was crowned King Charless VII in 1492. But the new King lacked Joan's courage and resolute character as he bandied back and forth from one courtier to another before making any decisions. This indecision shown by the King would lead to the first defeat suffered by Joan and the Duc d'Alencon at Paris, where once again Joan suffered an injury during the conflict.

But Joan was not one to sit back and accept defeat quietly and upon hearing of another campaign in Compiegne which was under attack by the Burgundians Joan once again rose to the challenge. Unfortunately Joan through a grave miscalculation was captured and held prisoner she was held captive by John of Luxembourg this was a great coup for John as he hoped it would demoralise the French troops. But Joan with typical courage jumped from the castle tower but her freedom was short-lived and to the shame of King Charles VII who made no attempt for Joan’s release.

The British with real venom wanted this woman who had been a scourge to them as she a young woman of limited education outwitted the greatest military tacticians of the day. The Burgundians eventually sold Joan to the British forces for 10 thousand francs. This great warrior woman was left to fend for herself, even though without her help King Charles VII would never have reached the throne.

Joan the suffered the indignity of a kangaroo court as allegations of witchcraft and sorcery were charged against her. And though Joan suffered many indignities this did not lessen her love of God nor question His Majestic Wisdom. If anything Joan would often outwit her persecutors as she answered their loaded questions with honesty, integrity, piety and shrewdness.

But though Joan was shrewd she was also not a theologian and with trick questions the 'courts' were able to use this against her and with great shame the theologians at the university of Paris gave their ascent to Joan's misguided responses which helped seal her doom.

Upon being proclaimed guilty of sorcery Joan was then given the chance to escape the death sentence if she confessed that her voices were of the devil and not of God. Joan who in a moment of weakness upon seeing the pyre of wood fell to her knees and agreed that she had spoken falsely. But upon being led back to her prison, Joan's courage shone through and she re-canted her momentary lapse. This momentary faintheartedness shown by Joan merely solidifies her true and real courage, for we must remember this was a young girl, who was facing the most horrific way of dying, being burnt alive. She faced up to this with heroic bravery for one so young, she truly was a soldier for God!

Joan decided she could not live with a lie, but she could die for truth, and with true heroic virtue she did just that.


Breathe Holy Spirit


Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.

Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.

Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.

Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.

Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.


Amen


Saint Augustine

Movie and Word meme- Ginny style LOL


In no particular order:

1. The Sound of Music

2. Steel Magnolias

3. Gone with the Wind

4. Shrek 1, 2 &3

5. Lord of the Rings ( I’m a convert fan LOL)

6. Yours, Mines and Ours ( the original one that show was funny )

7. The Passion

8. Titanic

9. Life as a House

10. Silence of the lambs

And I must mention>>>Finding Nemo ( the turtle and Dory in that movie jus crack me up LOL)


Now for the 21 words that describe me, (I added in a couple extra not that anyone is counting LOL)

Reflective, trustworthy, contemplative

Feminine, shy, patient

Patient, attentive, clumsy

Stubborn, friendly, sympathetic

Nostalgic, quirky, protective

Silly, affectionate, modest

Caring, passionate, romantic

Unique, dependent, loving

Selfless, supportive, observant

Generous, appreciative, thoughtful

Sensitive, respectful, introspective

Sentimental, witty, devoted

Talkative, kind, forgetful

Creative, loyal, dedicated

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mystery Meat




What The Saints Say About Our Lady



“So pleasing to God was Mary’s humility that He was constrained by His goodness to entrust to her the Word, His only Son. And it was that dearest Mary who gave Him to us.”

---St. Catherine of Siena



“Mary’s sole object in this world was to keep her eyes constantly focused on God so as to discover His will. Then when she had found out what God wanted, she did it.”

---St. Bernardine of Siena



“Do not be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her enough. And Jesus will be very happy, because the Blessed Virgin is His Mother.”

---St. Therese of Lisieux



“Blessed are those who cherish the name of Mary. Her favor will sustain them in the midst of trials, and they will bring forth fruits of salvation.”

---St. Anthony of Padua



“May the Blessed Virgin Mary help me to live a holy life and die a holy death. Then at the last instants of my life, may she come to my assistance and lead me to heaven.”

---St. Dominic Savio



“The Blessed Virgin never committed any actual sin - not even a venial one. Otherwise, she would not have been a Mother worthy of Jesus.”

---St. Thomas Aquinas



“Our Lord preserved the soul together with the body of the Blessed Virgin in that purity which became her who was to receive God into her womb. For, as God is holy, He reposes only in holy places.”

---St. John Damascene



“The name of Mary contains the brilliance of the virtues, the sweet refulgence of modesty and the sacrifice pleasing to God. It is the sign of hospitality and the center of holiness.”

--St. Francis Xavier



“Do you wish to know the most initmate perfections of Jesus and the most hidden attractions of His Love? Then seek them in the Heart of Mary!.”

---St. Peter Julian Eymard



“O sinners, be not discouraged...Call Mary to your assistance, for you will always find her ready to help. It is God’s Will that she should help in every need.”

---St. Basil


Our Lady loves only places made low by humility, common by simplicity, but large by charity; she is willingly near the crib and at the foot of the Cross, provided she has her dear Son with her.


---Saint Francis de Sales

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rosie VS Elisabeth-My View


I dont know about the rest of you but I am FED up with the inane rantings of one, Rosie O'Donnell. Now I dont mind a person who expresses a different view point than my own, hence I do listen to Joy Behar, who can be witty if at times outrageous. But there is a BIG difference with having an opinion and being a down right bully. Rosie is a BULLY! Not because she is 'gay', or because she is well rounded, what a person looks like doesnt worry me, but I DO care about bullying!


For months now Elisabeth Hasselbeck has had to tolerate the viscious attacks vented on her by her 'friend' Rosie O'Donnell. The REAL reason for these attacks was made clear today by Rosies own words and it has ZERO to do with the war on Iraq. To put it in a nutshell, Rosie O'Donnel is jealous of Elisabeth.


"Here’s how it gets spun in the media: Rosie – big, fat, lesbian loud Rosie -- attacks innocent, pure Christian Elisabeth." In this sentence lay the REAL reason why Rosie cannot stand Elisabeth, because Elisabeth represents how many people envision 'the perfect couple'. Elisabeth is everything that Rosie is NOT and that is not Elisabeth's fault.


I also will not let Barbara Walters off the hook, what on earth was that woman thinking??? It beggars belief! Did she not get the memo that when Rosie had her own show it was cancelled, mainly because of her outrageous and weird views on every topic imaginable. This is a woman who hates her own country and makes it obvious! But I have sat and watched Barbara simper up to Rosie over the past few weeks, why? Guilty concience Barbara?


Lets look at some of Rosie's outlandish comments, that Christians are as dangerous as Islamofacists, why? Because the Catholic Church and other denominations refuse to accept Gay marriages? I havent seen any Christians take over planes and drive them into Muslim buildings, killing their innocent citizens!


Rosie accused Elisabeth of 'double speak' now let us look at this...Rosie tells the audience that 650,000 innocent Iraqi's have been killed, and to paraphrase her, 'isn't that an act of terror'? Who is Rosie referring too, tourists? Christians? Housewives? Let me think what Americans are in Iraq? Oh yea U.S soldiers. But Rosie didn't SAY American soldiers, NO! Because she is too cowardly instead she insinuates it then smirks at her own 'cleverness'. Where does this woman get her stats from anyway...stats4reallystupidppl.com?


On another episode Rosie was pulled over the coals by Kelly Ripa who had the courage to phone into the show and NOT allow Rosie to get away with yet another outrageous insinuation that Kelly was a 'homophobic'. Rosie was left with egg on her face and it showed!


Then we had the edifying event where Rosie hosted the Women in The Media event. Here there is noone else to blame except Rosie and her crude sense of humour where she points to her anatomy and makes an indecent suggestion to Donald Trump!


Rosie O'Donnell doesnt need any enemies she IS her own worst enemy. A woman who hates her own country who makes outrageous claims that 'the American Government was behind the attacks on September 11th'? Huh? Didnt Rosie also say that President Bush was 'stupid', yet he is smart enough to not only fool the American people but the entire world. Get a GRIP Rosie!


I was proud of the way Elisabeth Hasselbeck handled herself today, she stood her ground and didnt have to scream like a fish wife to do so, she left that to Rosie.


Time to go Rosie BUH BYE! And not a moment too soon for many of us!

Rosie VS Elisabeth Showdown

In case you missed seeing the showdown between Rosie and Elisabeth here it is:

Movie Meme-My Choices



This was torture sheer torture...I have been pulling my hair out as to what movie do I pick so here are my choices.


1: Gone With The Wind (what woman can resist?)

2: Now Voyager (what a romance movie should be)

3: All The Kings Men (with Broderick Crawford-he won the Oscar)

4: The Heiress (Olivia de Havilland at her best)

5: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ( A Must See)

6: To Kill a Mockingbird ( A cinema classic)

7: Shawshank Redemption ( I simply LOVE this movie)

8: The Passion (of course!)

9: Gladiator ( great movie)

10: Silence of the Lambs (wow I can never look at liver the same way)

11: The Mission (oh I HAD to include this)

12: Mrs Doubtfire ( I laugh thru it every time)

13: The Searchers ( Yes I KNOW I'm cheating)

14: Lord of the Rings Trilogy (OK so I'm a BIG cheater)

15: Schindlers List (oh hush with the 'its not FAIR) lol.



Remember I wittled down my list from 50 to 15. And besides I left out 'Howards End' and 'Immortal Beloved' and 'The Little Foxes' and and and....So SUE me! LOL!



I now tag Ginny. Good luck! lol

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Catholic Blogging-What Is Our Responsibility?



Paula on her blog 'Receiving Light' raised an interesting topic about how we should treat one another as Catholic bloggers. I would like to expand on this issue and ask what is our responsibility towards those who read our blogs?



In my own journey to the Catholic Church I did not have access to a computer and I am thankful I didnt, mainly because of the blogs which deviate away from Catholic Doctrine. Instead I read as many books as I could on the Catholic Church and all facets of it including books on Our Lady, The Eucharist and our Saints.



What concerns me most is how we define our blogs, do we only write on what the Church finds acceptable or can we exlpore issues where our private opinions may not be inline with Catholic Doctrine? And what happens if a person who may not be Catholic visits our blogs in order to search for the Truth and then find themselves reading instead about what a person 'thinks' the Church should be teaching. Would this not be confusing to the individual?



I know in my own internet forays I have come across blogs where women claim that the Catholic Church believes in the Ordination of women, we know this is NOT correct but what about the seeker who is searching for Truth, what are they left to think? I have also read blogs where many claim to be catholic yet they do not recognise Pope Benedict XVI but rather believe that the Throne of Peter has been vacant since Pope Pius X.



Perhaps one of the best ways to circumvent these problems is to make clear what is your private opinion and where the Catholic Church stands on a particular issue. For instance I am open minded if the Catholic Church decided to have both celibate and married Priests, however I will never propogate this thought because it is MY own private opinion (there will be NO posts on this issue as it is NOT Church Teaching).



When we write as Catholics we need to be aware that not every reader is Catholic and that some may have NO idea what the Catholic Church Teaches. Therefore surely it is incumbent upon us to represent the Churches Teachings on matters of Doctrine and Morals.



It is a very fine line to tread, which is why we should clarify what is our private opinion and what is the Teachings of The Catholic Church.



Another aspect is how we respond to bloggers who do express thoughts which may not be inline with Catholic Doctrine. Is it a good idea to represent ourselves as a divided Church where Catholics bicker and infight with their responses? Is that how we want people who do not belong to the Catholic faith to see us, at our worst? Surely not!



We need to be more aware that when we define our blogs as Catholic that we behave as Christ would wish us to behave towards each other and towards those who visit our blogs.



"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another...Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."(Colossians 3:12-17)

Saint Quote-St Thomas Aquinas



"Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do."


~St Thomas Aquinas

Monday, May 21, 2007

Angel Quote



Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help your angel has given you.

Angels Guarding Us



There have been many topics discussed on various blogs but I rarely read about our Angelic friends and guardians. So I would like to share some of the experiences I have had and also seen.


Eileens Angel



At my former Parish we had a very elderly lady who was the Sacristan, she had been doing this particular job for well over 25 years. Her name was Eileen and she must've been about 80 years old.



I can remember being terrified for her because after Mass I would see this dear soul, cross the road without stopping to look. It was a very busy road, but Eileen would simply step right out, yet she NEVER got hit by any car. But Marie being Marie I was so worried that oneday her luck would run out, so after becoming her assistant Sacristan I took it upon myself to walk with her across the busy road.



Then oneday Eileen just took off by herself, I saw her near the curb and yelled for her to wait and she did so. When I got there I told her how dangerous it was to cross such a busy road without looking both ways. Eileen gave me a gentle smile and said this to me, 'Why Marie dont you see my friend here?' Then she pointed to her side, I saw NOONE. Eileen went on to say that whenever she had to cross the road her friend always took her hand and helped her, she then added he is such a gentleman. Eileen then told me that she really didnt need my help as this kind young man always helped her just when she needed it.



I took Eileens advice though I would watch her carefully, and she always walked straight onto the road without looking but THIS time I did note she was talking to someone......a someone who I couldnt see. I am sure Eileen was helped by her Guardian Angel.



*****************



My own personal experience with an Angel.



As usual I woke up late one morning and only had a short time to get ready for work. I rushed around, showering, got dressed into my uniform and then I saw my safety shoes. I decided NOT to wear the safety shoes as they hurt my feet, I put on my sneakers instead. As I was rushing about I could 'hear an internal voice' telling me to put on my safety shoes, I ignored it.



Finally I rushed out the door with only minutes to make it to work on time. As soon as I stepped out of the door I heard a 'voice within me' YELL, 'MARIE PUT YOUR SAFETY SHOES ON NOW!...Oh I was SO annoyed but I did run back inside and put on my uncomfortable safety shoes. You may think, so what? I will tell you why.



Only a few hours later a small group of my fellow workers & I were waiting around for a LARGE pallett of cheese. Finally it arrived and the fork lift driver lowered the pallett of cheese....right on my FOOT!
It was so painful that I could not speak but I did go red in the face and pointed to my foot, immediately my surpervisor yelled at the guy on the forklift to PICK up the cheese pallet as he had lowered it onto my foot. In order for the forklift to pick it up it presses DOWN onto my foot. I felt the skin underneath my toes split with the pressure of it.



After this event I was taken to the sick bay where the safety officer looked at my feet there were NO broken bones just some sore toes, nothing that a few bandaids couldnt fix.



If I had NOT listened to that 'little voice' I am sure my foot would have become so crushed that I doubt it would have healed. My right foot might have needed amputation. Thank God for my Angel!



******************



Our Travelling Angel



When we were children my parents would visit our cousins who lived in a country town, it was about an 8 hour drive. In order to get to them we had to drive via the hills which at times were pretty steep.



On this particular trip our Uncle accompanied us, about 2 hours into the long drive around some of the steepest hills my father suddenly pulled over. More astonishingly the driver who was behind us also pulled over. Ahead lay a very sharp bend which was also a blind spot. Suddenly no sooner had we pulled over than a car turned around the blind bend and sped past us so fast that we didnt even have a chance to see what colour it was.



We were stunned because if we had continued we would most definately been involed in an accident. My Uncle turned to my father and asked him why he had stopped. Then Dad turned and asked who of us had told him to pull over? We replied NONE of us. My dad insisted he heard a voice telling him to pull over, we ALL said we heard nothing. Meanwhile the man behind us who had also stopped was very shaken he came to our car and said he didnt know why but when Dad had pulled over he had a sudden urge to pull over as well.



Once again there were many lives saved that day. Thankyou Dad's Angel.



******************



DO YOU HAVE AN ANGEL STORY? PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES OR THE EXPERIENCE OF RELATIVES AND FRIENDS.

Thankyou.

Book Meme- Ginny's Picks



I'm absolutely awful with names and I know I'm gonna smack myself when I find that missing trunk of my fav books cause I can't remember the names or the authors.



Three non-fiction books everyone should read:

The Bible ( know too many who believe its fiction)

The Diary of St Faustina – Divine Mercy in My Soul

Story of a Soul - The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux




Three works of fiction that everyone should read:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ( Darcy Darcy Darcy, Oh Mr Darcyyyyyyyy need I say more )

Gone with the wind- Margaret Mitchell (isn’t it romantic!!!)

Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (all of em)




Three authors everyone should read (couple extra for good measure):

Nora Roberts

Emma Sterling

Anne Goring

Pamela Evans

Diane Chamberlain



Three books no one should read:

Too many to mention.


So seeing that most everyone has been tagged, I'm gonna throw this one out, list 10 of your all time fav movies and 21 words that best describe you. This goes out to :

Marie, Paula, Elena, Antonia, Rachel, AutumnRose, 4HisChurch, Joakim and Micki.


Life is a journey...not a destination. Enjoy the trip!


It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.


I choose love...No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.


I choose joy...I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.


I choose peace...I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.


I choose patience...I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I will invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fists at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.


I choose kindness...I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. I will be kind to the rich for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind for that is how God has treated me.


I choose goodness...I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I boast. I will confess before I accuse. I choose goodness.


I choose faithfulness...Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.


I choose gentleness...Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.


I choose self-control...I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.


Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Three Book Meme-My Choices



Elena, Paula and Joakim have tagged me, so here are my choices. I deliberately chose not to include too many Catholic authors. Instead I have listed my favourite Catholic/Christian authors below.


********************



Three non-fiction books everyone should read:



1: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (lifts the lid on a group of Iranian women, who defied their totalitarian authorities)



2: Schindlers Ark by Thomas Keneally( This is its original title before Steven Speilberg changed it)



3: Etty Diary by Etty Hillesum (a poignant diary of a woman who was brutally murdered by the nazi machine)


********************


Three works of fiction that everyone should read:



1:To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee ( my first realisation of racism)



2: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell(what woman can resist such romance!)



3: Mila 18 by Leon Uris ( the first book I read where the Jewish people fought back-a masterpiece)


********************



Three authors everyone should read:



1: Catherine de Hueck Doherty ( her ability to truly live the Gospel message-I am NOT that brave)



2: Thomas Keneally (he is simply one of the best story tellers)



3: Taylor Caldwell ( I simply love her style of writing)


********************



Three books that nobody should read:



1: Marianne Williamson ( a dangerously seductive new age writer for the spiritually immature)



2: Dan Brown (need I say more)



3: John Shelby Spong ( A right nutter-totally bonkers)


********************



Favourite Catholic/Christian Authors



Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, John of the Cross, Alphonsus Liguori, Fulton Sheen, Henri Nouwen, Ron Rolheiser, Corrie Ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Carlo Carretto, Edith Stein, Franis de Sales and many more.
I now tag
Good luck, ladies.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Women Fight Back


We are victims of these attacks on esteem, on women's power, on our self-worth. We need to wake-up and take a personal inventory and examine our value system. Any of us can easily sink into the prison of repeat diets, repeat failure and lifelong contempt for our bodies. We have to ask ourselves some tough questions: when did I start to hate my body so much? When did I begin to measure my self-worth by numbers on a scale? When did I fall prey to the idea that beauty is external and success is measured by factors that have little to do with personal strength and spirit?


We must be aware of the images presented to us and unmask these images for what they truly are - destructive, superficial and unattainable images. These images do not value our uniqueness, they do not honor our wisdom and our spirit, and they do not measure us. We must reclaim and redefine our bodies as ours. They are miraculous, we all know this! Our bodies perform wonderful feats every day. We are physiological and biological masterpieces. Our bodies are not our enemies - they put us in motion, they create and sustain life. The functions our bodies perform for us are too numerous and varied to list.


Vow that you will not longer fall victim to these images and help those around you to the road of self-love and acceptance. Advocate for freedom from body hatred and fight the billion dollar advertising, cosmetic, diet, entertainment and fashion industries - let's stand up for ourselves, our values, our bodies, our lives. We must challenge ourselves, our culture and our children. The stakes are too high to back down. Lives are lost each year as beautiful, healthy young women starve themselves to death. Millions of us are suffering from depression and anxiety as we are bombarded with images of our "faults." It is time to change, change begins from within and radiates out- so let's begin.


What can we do? Befriend Your Body. It is important to combat negative body image because it can lead to depression, shyness, social anxiety and self-consciousness in intimate relationships. Negative body image can also lead to eating disorders. It is time that women stop judging their bodies harshly and learn to appreciate their inner being, soul, and spirit. A women's body is a biological masterpiece; women can menstruate, ovulate and create life. Start to recognize you do not have to compare yourself to other women or women in the media. Begin to challenge images presented in the media and realize that your worth does not depend on how closely you fit these unrealistic images.


Understand that Emotions are Skin Deep. It is important to discover the emotions and feelings that underlie your negative body image. The statement "I feel fat" is never really about fat, even if you are overweight. Each time a women looks at herself in the mirror and says "Gross, I'm fat and disgusting," she is really saying "There is something wrong with me or with what I'm feeling." When we do not know how to deal with our feelings we turn to our bodies and blame our bodies for our feelings. Every time you say "I'm fat" you are betraying your body, and you are betraying and ignoring your underlying feelings. Remember that "fat" is never a feeling, it's avoidance of feelings. Learn to discover your emotions and feelings and realize that focusing on your body is only distracting you from what is "really" bothering you.


Question Messages Portrayed in the Media. The media sends powerful messages to girls and women about the acceptability or unacceptability of their bodies. Young girls are thought to compare themselves to women portrayed as successful in the media, assessing how closely they match up to the "ideal" body form. Unfortunately, the majority of girls and women do not match up to the models and actresses presented in the media. The average model is 5'10" and weighs 110 pounds, whereas the average women is 5'4" and weighs 142 pounds. This is the largest discrepancy that has ever existed between women and the cultural ideal. This discrepancy leads many women and girls to feel inadequate and negative about their bodies. It is important to realize that only 4% of women genetically have the "ideal" body currently presented in the media, the other 96% of women feel they must go to extreme measures to attempt to reach this unobtainable image. Many of the images presented in the media have been computer enhanced and airbrushed. The models' hips and waists have often been slimmed and their breasts enlarged through computer photo manipulation. Many of the women presented in the media suffer from an eating disorder or have adopted disordered eating behaviors to maintain such low body weights. It is important to start to question images in the media and question why women should feel compelled to "live up" to these unrealistic standards of beauty and thinness.


Accept Genetics. It is critical to remember that many aspects of your body cannot be changed. Genetics does play a role in your body and at least 25% to 70% of your body is determined by your genes. While there are many aspects of our bodies we cannot change, you can change or modify your beliefs and attitudes which influence the way you feel about yourself. Change starts with you, it is internal and it starts with self-respect and a positive attitude. It is import to focus on health and not size.


Fight "Fatism". Work on accepting people of all sizes and shapes. This will help you appreciate your own body. It is also important to remember that society's standards have changed significantly over the last 50 years. The women that were considered the "ideal beauties" in the 1940's and 1950's like Marilyn Monroe (size 14) and Mae West were full-bodied and truly beautiful women, but they would be considered "overweight" by today's standards.


Fight the Diet Downfall. Ninety percent of all women have dieted at some point in their life. To dieters' dismay, 98% of all dieters gain the weight back in five years. Studies also show that 20-25% of dieters progress to a partial or full-blown eating disorder. Women are foolish if they believe that dieting will make them feel better about themselves. Dieting only helps you lose your self-esteem and energy. Dieting also creates mood swings and feelings of hopelessness. If you feel pressure to lose weight, talk to a friend or loved one or seek professional help.

In conclusion, negative body image is a serious problem and has damaging affects on women's self-esteem and it can lead to depression, as well as an eating disorder Let your inner beauty and individuality shine. Be your body's ally and advocate, not its enemy. . Changing our world starts with you, self-love and respect, and the end of prejudice starts with one person at a time. The external pursuit of changing your body can often damage spirituality by taking you away from the internal-self - the spirit, the soul, and the whole genuine self. If you or someone you care about suffers with negative body image, please seek professional help and stop the cycle of body hatred. Beauty is not just skin-deep. It is a reflection of your whole self. Love and enjoy the person inside.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Media War on Women



In today's culture, we women are starving ourselves, starving our children and loved ones, gorging ourselves, gorging our children and loved ones, alternating between starving and gorging, purging, obsessing, and all the while hating, pounding and wanting to remove that which makes us female: our bodies, our curves, our pear-shaped selves.


You can be just about whatever you want to be - any dream can be accomplished as long as you pursue it. Most of us live where there are many opportunities, rich with culture and diversity. With all the freedom and prosperity we enjoy women still remain prisoners. "Prisoners", you ask, what do you mean? Women are enslaved to a beauty myth, chained to the false belief that our value is based on our appearance alone.


The images of men and women in ads today do not promote self esteem or positive self image. They're intended to sell products. In the U.S. alone billions of dollars are spent by consumers who pursue the perfect body. The message "thin is in" is sold thousands of times a day through TV, movies, magazines, billboards, newspapers and songs. Advertising conveys the message "You're not O.K. Here's what you need to do to fix what's wrong." Girls and boys believe it and react to it. Western society places a high value upon appearance. Self-worth is enhanced for those who are judged attractive. Those who are deemed unattractive can feel at a disadvantage. The message from the media, fashion and our peers can create a longing- a longing to win the approval of our culture and fit in at any cost. And that can be disastrous to our self esteem.


Approximately 10% of girls and women are suffering from diagnosed eating disorders. Of these at least 150,000 will die as a direct result! How did this problem reach such epidemic proportions? Why are we dieting ourselves to death, literally dying to fit in? When did we become so ashamed of our bodies, when did we learn to hate them so much? While eating disorders claim lives and significantly impact the health and well being of sufferers, as we investigate further an even more disturbing picture emerges. An amazing 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance. These numbers are staggering! Surely they cannot be correct! How and why could we have learned such contempt for our bodies and ourselves?


Why are women attacking their bodies? Where did we learn that our self worth is measured by external factors - by numbers on a scale? The answer lies in constant, subtle attacks on our bodies. These attacks wear us down, shake our confidence and esteem. We loose our sense of self, individuality and fall victim to narrow definitions of beauty defined by the media. The media acts as a propaganda machine determined to shake our confidence, remind us we aren't good enough, we haven't made it, that we just simply do not measure up. Why is the media bent on making us feel so down about ourselves? Why do they go to such lengths to make us feel "less than?"


The answer is quite simple - pure economics. The media machine is economically driven as billions are spent on items such as cosmetics, new diets and clothes. This "beautifying" empire is dependent on our disempowerment. They count on us buying into their myths and misrepresentations: "we will never fit it, we can never be happy, thus we can never end the pursuit." Alas, the pursuit is endless, the products are endless, the damage to our self-esteem is endless, and the body hatred created is devastating. The assault is unrelenting! The images are everywhere. How could it all happen, right under our noses? It is a subtle, continuous bombardment of images of beauty, images defined by profiteers, images that are not real, not authentic, and not attainable.


The impact that these images have on women is profound. The financial, social and psychological and physical damages of a woman's lifetime pursuit of thinness are impossible to measure. Gone are the days of cars and vacations as graduation gifts, they have been replaced by cosmetic surgery. "Cosmetic surgery is the fastest growing 'medical' specialty. Depression, despair, depletion of self-esteem, the withering and wasting away of physical, psychological and financial resources are unbelievable. Women and adolescent girls regard size, much like weight, as a definitive element of their identity. Some girls assume there is something wrong with their bodies when they cannot fit consistently into some "standard" size; others will reject a pair of jeans simply because they won't wear a particular size.


How can we begin to make changes? How can we assess our damage report? We must all take a personal inventory of how our lives have been impacted by these images and how we have fallen victim to these lies and misrepresentations of beauty. By examining how these images have impacted our lives we are better equiped to avoid falling victim to these myths. You will learn to measure yourself by intrinsic qualities that are of far greater value and are far more beautiful than any image manufactured on a movie screen.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A LETTER TO THE WEARY


Dear Child,


I heard you cry last night. I was there in the darkness when the tears slipped down your face and your heart broke within you. Did you think I didn’t see and didn’t care? Do you really think I don’t know how tired and weary you really are?


Child, I’ve been with you when life has dealt its bitterest blows. I’ve watched you handle all the sorrow and all the pain. But you are weary now, and I can see the broken spirit and the faded hopes and dreams.


Please don’t forget that I care. My touch and caress can restore and mend your broken heart and kindle the flame of hope once more within you. Let Me love you. Take down the barricades around your heart and lean on Me.


I am not tired and I am not weary and I have the strength enough to carry you if you will let Me.


You are not alone, and you never have been, for I am your friend and I will never, ever leave your side. Trust Me!


Your Friend,


Jesus

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our Blessed Mother

There are few verses in the bible that talk about Our Blessed Mother and they are very powerful with deep meaning. They show us how important she is. She is the perfect mother and the perfect example of what a Saint should be. She is the Mother of Jesus and no one knows a son better than His Mother. She wants us to be close to her Son, she always leads us to Her Son.



What The Saints Say About Our Lady



“Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

---St. Gabriel



“My children, do you want to obtain perseverance? Then be devoted to our Blessed Lady!”

---St. Philip Neri



“If you want to grow in perfection, you cannot advance by yourselves - you need a guide. Hence, when you go to God, go through Mary and with Mary!”

--- St. Maximilian Kolbe



“The Blessed Virgin Mary comforts and refreshes those who are in their last agony. Then she also receives their souls at death.”

--- St. Vincent Ferrer



“Those who love Mary must silence within themselves the desires of the senses. They must also silence the disordered longings of passions.”

--- St. John Eudes



“As a consoler of the human race, Mary never ceases to pour out before her Son her prayer for the salvation of the faithful crushed by the weight of their sins.”

---St. Pius V



“Human beings will never comprehend sufficiently the anguish and immensity of Mary’s sorrows. Very few Christians partake of those sufferings and even fewer offer any consolation to her.”

---St. Bridget of Sweden



“In danger, anguish, or doubt, think of Mary and call upon her! Following her, you will never lose your way. Praying to her, you will never sink into despair. Contemplating her, you will never go wrong.”

---St. Bernard



“Mary’s words were discreet, and her voice was measured. She did not shout and she was careful not to say anything bad about another person - nor even to listen willingly to wrong that was spoken.”

---St. Athanasius



“Ask Mary for the grace to love our Lord as she loves Him and to remain faithful to Him in life and in death.”

---St. Bernadette


Monday, May 14, 2007

Women of Grace & Courage-Grand Duchess Ella of Russia




'There will come a time when gifted poets will write verse in praise of the Grand Duchess, her noble soul, her radiant feats, not only ascetic feats but also feats of love and mercy. Her beautiful and noble deeds, will never be erased from the memory of human nobility and mankind will bless her as great, for she was wedded to love'.


These words were written by Abbot Seraphim in recognition of a great soul that was taken from this world too soon by a force of evil in which the world is still recovering, if it ever will.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth(Ella) was the elder sister of Czarina Alexandra both of whom married into the ill fated Romanov Dynasty. Grand Duchess Ella married the very taciturn and difficult Grand Duke Sergei who was known for his tightfisted and often brutal handling of the Russian peasantry. Yet Ella was the exact opposite of her husband and was much loved by all who knew her both Royal and peasant.

The underlying core of both sisters was their deep love of God and family, which was instilled in them by their devoted Mother, Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria of Britain.

Tragedy touched the lives of both Ella and Alexandra at a young age when they lost both their mother and sibling to diptheria. This seemed to bring a forbidding shadow of tragedy which dogged their steps and which would ultimately consume them in its maelstrom.

Though Ella loved her husband Sergei deeply their marriage remained childless, which grieved her heart but even more heartache would come Ella's way when her husband was assassinated outside their palatial home. The Grand Duchess who had just been about to leave and carry out her missions of mercy to the poor and hungry of Russia heard the explosion which tore the body of her beloved husband to pieces.

Grand Duchess Ella then did the unexpected which shocked Russian society, she visited the man who murdered her husband in order that he would repent of his grave sin and his soul would then be saved. Upon talking to the assassin she left him with a Bible and an Icon while she prayed for the soul of this desperate man, she had forgiven the unforgivable.

The death of her husband changed Ella who began more and more to embrace the life of a religious so much so that she soon began her own Relgious Order 'The Convent of Mercy of St Martha and St Mary'. Her mission was to help the poor and destitute of Russia, and they needed the help of this remarkable soul as many Russian people lived and died by their machines as the smell of anarchy wafted through the streets like poisonous tentacles.

It was also soon apparent that a rift had come upon the Hesse sisters as Alexandra failed to heed the warnings of her sister against the despot Rasputin. The rift between the sisters remained unhealed as revolution stirred the masses to turn against their Emporer and his Queen. Despite being warned about her own safety Ella refused to heed the warnings and had determined to stay with the people till the bitter end.

And the end came for Ella and her companions when the Bolsheviks beat her and then threw the broken body of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth with her companions down a cold and dank mine shaft.

The Grand Duchess Ella who was known for her great beauty yet remained without vanity. She was known for her love of the poor and unfortunate yet at times she appeared cold and aloof to her neices and nephews. The remarkable Ella who held the torn and bloodied body of her dying husband, yet forgave his murderer. Ella, the religious Mother who longed to help the poor and yet the one's she loved and longed to help....turned on her.


Ella born a Princess, became a Grand Duchess, died a Saint.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Book, Old Lie-The Secret



I find it incredible that this book which is totally hedonistic has become a number one best seller in almost every Western culture. What is wrong with us as a society when so many can become seduced by the almighty dollar, or the lure of botoxed beauties? What does our Lord teach us but to put ourselves LAST. This book is the complete opposite. I am stunned at it's apparent success. I have not seen Oprah or read the book but I do know BALONEY when I hear it. Any Thoughts anyone?


************


What if I promised you that you could make anything happen—anything!—just by wanting it to happen?


You would think I was crazy, and you would be right. So why is a book based on this premise selling so fast that bookstores cannot keep it on the shelves?


Rhonda Byrne's The Secret has been on the New York Times bestseller list for months, and a DVD version is also selling out everywhere. Byrne is selling the tempting message that anything you want is possible and easy to get.


This isn't just about keeping an optimistic attitude to improve your life—it goes far beyond that. Byrne says a force called the Law of Attraction guarantees that if you think positive thoughts about what you want, you will get it. "The Universe" will bend over backwards to hand you whatever you wish for: money, a better job, a spouse, anything.


Byrne's claims are absurd on their face. She swears repeatedly that the Law of Attraction never fails, that it's as reliable as the law of gravity. So what happens if two people both use "the secret" to make opposite things happen—for instance, if one wanted a sunny day and the other wanted rain?


Somehow, Byrne forgets to address this topic.


But that's not the worst part. Among all the positive rhetoric are some very ugly concepts. While you are rearranging the universe to suit your own wishes, Byrne claims, you must avoid people who might inspire negative thoughts. So you should never look at overweight people or let sick people tell you about their illness.


Furthermore, if some people are poor, it "is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts." (Jesus Christ, she announces, was actually a millionaire.) And people involved in tragedies and disasters brought it on themselves. They did not want enough not to "be in the wrong place at the wrong time."


Friends, I am not exaggerating. It's all in there.


Tim Watkin reports in the Washington Post, "I watched Bob Proctor . . . one of the 'gurus' Byrne quotes most often, being asked on 'Nightline' whether the starving children of Darfur had 'manifested'—that is, visualized—their own misery. In utter seriousness, he replied, 'I think the country probably has.'"


But Byrne is not saying you should not care about other people. You should care about them—because it is good for you: "If you think thoughts of love, guess who receives the benefits—you!"


Unfortunately, people are really swallowing this stuff. And it is dangerous. The book contains examples of people who supposedly cured themselves of cancer without treatment, and people who bought expensive things because they just knew the money was coming in—I saw many of those in bankruptcy court when I was a practicing attorney. Karin Klein reports in the Los Angeles Times, "Therapists tell me they're starting to see patients who are headed for real trouble, immersing themselves in a dream world in which good things just come."


Byrne has scammed millions of people by appealing to their pride and greed, and she is making a fortune. But I will tell you this for free: Byrne's hot new trend is simply a repetition of the oldest lie there is—"You shall be like God."


That's the secret, not of success, but of misery.

Two Wolves-Dealing with Adversity



On Paula's insightful blog, Receiving Light she has brought forth quite a few topics on our sensibilities and how we can and should view adversity. Her pieces reminded me of an old Cherokee saying.



An elder cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.



One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.



The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.



This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."



The children thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"



The old cherokee simply replied,"The one you feed."


**********



How we deal with adverse comments, gossip or actions done against us will define what 'wolf' we are feeding.



At times it is very easy to confuse sensitive with over-senstive, whats the difference? A sensitive person is aware of another's feeling, they speak with honesty and compassion towards all, they in essence put another persons feelings above their own. An over-sensitive person on the other hand will become defensive and take everything as a slight towards themselves, they essentially place themselves over and above everyone else.



We can also look towards one of our greatest Saint to understand the difference between a sensitive soul and an over-sensitive one. To borrow a quote, from that great Mystic St. Teresa of Avila.



"They are too attached to their honor. . . .These souls, for themost part, grieve over anything said against them. They donot embrace the cross but drag it along, and so it hurts andwearies them and breaks them to pieces. However, if thecross is loved, it is easy to bear, this is certain."



This state of over-sensitivity is a form of pride, though those who habour these feelings may think themselves quite humble, they are instead the opposite.



In the end we must ask ourselves, what wolf are you feeding?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

When the good Lord was creating mothers, he was into his sixth day of overtime, when the angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this one? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic; have 180 moveable parts, all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that disappears when she stands up; a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; and six pairs of hands."

The angel shook his head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here, in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't, but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, 'I understand and I love you,' without so much as uttering a word."


"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, "Rest for now. Tomorrow......."

"I can't," said the Lord. "I'm so close to creating something close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of the mother very slowly. "She's too soft," he sighed.

"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what the mother can do or endure."

"Can she think?"

"Not only think, but she can reason and compromise," said the Creator.

Finally the angel bent over and ran his finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," he pronounced. "I told you, you were trying to put too much into this model."

"It's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."

"What's it for?" asked the angel.

"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."

"You're a genius," said the angel.



I want to take this time to wish you
A Mother's Day filled with love and blessings.
As you share this day may you know the peace
and joy and love that you have given
is now being returned in a very special
way. May God Bless you all on
this most special day.

Ginny xxooxxoo