Happy All Saints Day

Today is a Holy Day of Obligation, or as our priest likes to put it, an HDO.  All Saints Day, a day to remember all of the people who lived their lives completely for God.  Holy men and women who were human beings just like us.  And just like them, we are all called to be Saints.

Even though I grew up Catholic and went through 12 years of Catholic School, I know very little about the Saints.  For some reason, either we were not taught about them, or I just didn’t pay attention.  I honestly think it is a little of both.  I do know that the saints were not talked about in our home much.

I have only recently began to explore their lives and get to know their stories.

One resource that has been very helpful to me is Catholic Online.  This is a very accessible list of all the Saints in alphabetical order.  There is a Saint of the day and a list of popular Saints, as well.

Because I am an athlete, I do have a special fondness for St. Sebastian and St. Christopher.  I have also enjoyed reading about Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

However, I really don’t have a patron or “go-to” Saint yet.  This is something I pray about often.  This article, that I found on Catholic Mom, talks about choosing a patron Saint for your family.  I had never thought about this, but I would really like to talk to our kids about it.  What a neat idea!

Who is your “go-to” Saint and why?  Does your family have a patron Saint?

Peace,

Wendy

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The Fruits and Blessings of a Long Marriage and a Long Faith

At mass this last Sunday, we celebrated two things: a baptism and an anniversary.  The baptism was beautiful.  After the sacrament, Father always lifts the baby up and carries him or her down the aisle for everyone to admire the newest member in our church.  There is rarely a dry eye in the pews.

The anniversary we celebrated was beautiful as well.  The couple has been married for 50 years.  They have been blessed with 10 children and 33 grandchildren.  When it was time to bring up the gifts, each of their grandchildren brought up a tulip that was placed in a vase.  All 33 of them.  The line went from the front of the church all the way to the back.  It brought tears to my eyes to see the blessings of a long marriage right there in front of us.

Children.  The fruit and blessing of a marriage.

I thought maybe they were going to give the flowers to their Grandma, but I watched in amazement as the oldest grandchild then took the laden-down vase and offered the flowers to Mary by putting the vase next to her statue in the front of the church.

A strong devotion to Mary.  The fruit and blessing of a long faith.

I can only pray that someday Ron and I will sit in church with our children and grandchildren celebrating the fruits and blessings of our long marriage and our long faith.

Beautiful.  Simply Beautiful.

Peace,

Wendy

 

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40 Days For Life

“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.” – Mother Teresa

One of the things that has been my biggest inspirations has been the great blessing of praying The 40 Days for Life.  It is an ecumenical campaign that takes place in many different countries around the world to save the lives of babies who would otherwise be aborted.  The focus is on prayer, fasting and peaceful protesting outside of abortion clinics.  There is an opportunity to participate every spring and again every fall.

Last spring was my first time offering up my daily rosary for life for 40 days in a row.  In addition to the prayer, I was able to spend a Saturday morning praying outside of our local abortion clinic.  I did not expect the change it would bring about in my life.  I cannot even begin to explain the emotion that wells up in my heart when I read the scriptures, prayers and good news I get every morning in my e-mail.

The fall 2012 campaign is now coming to an end, today is day 30.  There are ten more days left.  Ten more days to save babies.  It is not too late to join.  It will change your life.

Do you pray the 40 days for Life?  Do you feel God calling you to consider it?

Peace,

Wendy

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Confession

 

One of the most beautiful things about the Catholic Church is the seven Sacraments that we celebrate.  Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick.  Beautiful.  All of them.

I have to confess… I struggle with Confession.  Yes, I struggle with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

It can be hard to tell my sins to someone, even a priest.  It can be hard to remember the peace that comes after receiving the absolution.

One of my goals during this year of Faith is to pray for the grace to see this Sacrament for the celebration it truly is.

Do you struggle with the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

Peace,

Wendy

The Desire For God

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because

man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to

draw man to himself.  Only in God will he find the truth and

happiness he never stops searching for…

Catechism of the Catholic Church

We have a Parochial school in our town that goes through the 8th grade.  After that, the kids move on to the public High School.  However, their religious education does not stop there.  They are to enroll in the CCD program for 9th, 10th and 11th grades.  Our kids are confirmed in the 11th grade and they do not attend CCD in 12th grade.

When our oldest son, Alexander, started his freshman year of high school, I was not prepared spiritually to teach him and his peers about our faith.  I felt no calling to serve our church in this way.

God has been working on me.

This year, our oldest daughter, Amelia, started her freshman year and her first year of CCD.  This time around I felt called.  I gave my name and phone number to the coordinator and was assigned a group of eight 14 and 15 year olds.  They come into our home every Wednesday night to talk about God, the Bible and their Catholic Faith.

This is a tough age.  These kids are busy.  Homework.  Sports.  Band.  Friends.  Family dynamics.  Their thoughts are elsewhere, I know that.  It can be frustrating trying to teach them about our faith when I know it is not high on their priority list.  Sometimes I want to give up.

I read this passage in the Catechism this past weekend.  “The desire for God is written in the human heart…”  Even the teenage heart.  I cannot give up.

I pray for these kids.  Hard.  I pray that they can open up to the desire for God that is written in their heart.

Do you teach a CCD class?  Have you ever taught teenagers about the faith?  How were you able to communicate with them about this desire for God?

Peace,

Wendy

October 11, 2012: The Year Of Faith Begins!

October 11, 2012:  The Year of Faith Begins!  I am so excited!  I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting for this day for quite a while now!

My Facebook page is filled with good, Catholic resources.  I have visited Catholic Mom and other blogs ( I plan to visit more today as well) and found some beautiful writing on the subject.  It is so wonderful to see so many Catholics excited about today and sharing that excitement with everyone!

Do you have special plans to celebrate the day?  I wish I was able to attend Mass, but in my small town, there is not a mass I am available to go to on Thursdays.  I went last night and I will go again tomorrow.

Early this morning, though, I did spend some time praying and looking at the readings for today.  The Gospel really struck me:

And I tell you, ask and you will receive: seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives;

and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door

will be opened.

Luke 11:9-10

This is just a snippet of today’s Gospel, but it hit home.  I have been asking, seeking and knocking.  I think many of us have.  I believe The Year of Faith is an answer to many of our prayers.

I just want to leave you with one link today.  It is the Vatican’s official page for the Year of Faith.  I know I will be visiting it often.

Peace,

Wendy

This Beautiful Life

I began hearing about The Year of Faith last spring (2012).  Pope Benedict has called for Catholics nationwide to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II by learning more about our church and teaching others all of the wonderful things it has to offer.  Through podcasts, radio shows, magazines, books and Web sites, I learned a little more about this call from our Holy Father each day.  I wanted to join in the celebration, but wasn’t quite sure how.

I am not an expert on the Catholic church.  I do not hold a degree in Theology.  I didn’t even know what apologetics were until a year ago.  I am amazed at how much there is to know about the Catholic Church and how little I actually know.

But, what I am, is a cradle Catholic who has fallen away from the church and found her way back slowly, but surely.  I am a wife of 19 years to my (mostly) wonderful husband, Ron.  I am a mother to 5 (not so) perfect children.  I have been blessed to be a part of a group of women who have led me and guided me on my path of faith.

My hope is that through this blog, I can continue learning about the Catholic Church throughout this year and share some of these things here with you.  I am hoping that you will teach me, as well, the things that you love about our faith and this beautiful life that God has blessed us all with.

Peace,

Wendy