Tag Archives: Jesus

3 Months

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Today marks the three month anniversary of my mom’s death.  I know without a doubt that she would not want me thinking these things and for the most part, I do not think of them all the time but I wanted to “get them out” and express what goes through my mind.  I think they are questions that come up naturally and part of the grieving process.

THE WHAT IFS…

What if you had stayed home that day?  You woke up late and said you were fine and just wanted to go in late.  Were you really feeling sick?

What if I had been there with you at dialysis?

What if we didn’t take the meds and ventilator off?

What if we gave you more time to come back to us?

What if the neurologist was wrong?

What if we had paid more attention to your heart and not just your lungs and kidneys?

What if the two times we had you in the Emergency Room prior to your death they would have done a complete heart work-up?

What if we would have explored a kidney transplant?  Would you have survived that?

QUESTIONS THAT KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT

Mom, were you in any pain?

Did you try to get someone’s attention after you asked for the oxygen?  Did they ignore you for too long?  Did they hurt you when they put you on the floor and did CPR?  You were so frail.  Did they do what they should have done while waiting for the paramedics?  Did this happen to you because of the dialysis or because of the Lyme/Scleroderma?

Did your brain really “die” that Friday?

Could you hear and see us all around you?  Did you know anything at all?  Could you smell the gardenia?

Were you scared?

When they shocked you all those times, did you feel anything?  Did you suffer?

Did you try to communicate to me with your eyes?  I could swear you did.  I felt it.  Were you telling me you loved me and that you needed me to help you?

Did you know you were going to die?  Did Jesus, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and the Angels come and take your soul to paradise like we prayed?

Did we do the right thing?  Was there a chance you might have come back to us?  Should we have taken the ventilator off but kept the medicine on you to keep you from going into cardiac arrest?

I have so many questions about that day and that weekend from hell.  I will never know the answers unless you or our Lord chooses to reveal them to me this side of heaven.  And that is what keeps me up at night. So many unanswered questions.

May Angels lead you into paradise;
may the Martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of Angels receive you,
and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.

“Go Fish” Friday – The Infant of Prague

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I spoke briefly about my most cherished possession in my last “Go Fish” Friday Blog.  For as long as I can remember, on a corner shelf in the dining room of my maternal Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Niles, Ohio there was a statue.  He was wearing a jeweled crown and wore a yellow lace and silk gown.  His right hand was giving the peace sign and the other one was holding a round ball.  (Sounds similar to an Alanis Morisette song, right?)  He was always there, for as long as I can remember. I always thought he was a doll to be played with when I was very young.  He was haunting, beautiful and comforting.  I would just stare at him.  He always stared back at me and I knew he really wanted to hop down from that shelf and play with me.  He was my baby.  My Grandpa passed away before my Grandma did and when she was gone we all got to go to her house after her funeral an choose some things to take with us.  I chose some of her handkerchiefs, a nightgown, some scarves, an antique table, her green rosary and the baby boy that was on the shelf…the Infant of Prague.  The Infant came from a raffle at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel festival.  Grandma won him.  I have been trying to do some research on whether or not those Infants were made by the Infant of Prague guild at the church or if they bought them to be raffled off.  I don’t know the answer to that, but I believe that the ladies at the church actually made these Infants or at least their vestments.  There was always a booth at the festival with tons of Infant of Prague’s on display to be raffled.  That booth along with the “pull tab” booth were always very busy.  (Pull tabs is a game you play.  You buy these cards and you peel off the windows to see if you win.  It’s similar to the slot machine concept.  Yep, gambling at a Catholic Church…oh the shame!  LOL!)  Funny how you remember things like that.  I don’t have the best memory, but I do remember vividly the FESTIVAL at Mount Carmel and my love for that baby boy Jesus.

For more information on The Infant of Prague, check out  THIS WEBSITE.

History of the Infant Jesus of Prague

The Infant Jesus of Prague originally came from Spain. The legend tells that the Infant Jesus appeared miraculously to a certain monk, who modeled the statue based on the appearance of the apparition. According to another legend the statue belonged to St. Teresa of Avila, the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, who was aflame with a great love for the Child Jesus. She is said to have given the statue to a friend of hers, whose daughter was setting out to travel to Prague.

When the Duchess Maria Manrique de Lara came to Bohemia to marry a Bohemian nobleman in 1556, she received the statue from her mother as a wedding gift. When her daughter Polyxena of Lobkowicz was widowed, she gave the precious statue to the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites attached to the church of Our Lady of Victory in 1628.

The Carmelites placed the statue in the novitiate chapel, so that the young monks could learn from the virtues of the Child Jesus. At that time the Thirty Years’ War was raging through Europe and even the Infant Jesus was not spared when the Saxon army occupied Prague in 1631. It was only after his return to Prague in 1637 that Father Cyril of the Mother of God, originally from Luxemburg, discovered the statue, abandoned in a corner. To his sorrow, however, he found that the Infant Jesus had had both hands broken off. At this moment it seemed to him that the Infant Jesus was saying to him:

Have mercy on me and I will have mercy on you.
Give me hands and I will give you peace.
The more you honour me, the more I will bless you.

Eventually Father Cyril had new hands made for the Infant Jesus. The gold coin invested in this was returned many times over, as the Child Jesus began to bless the monastery, the local people, and the whole of Prague. Miraculous healings were attributed to him, as was the protection of Prague when it was laid siege to by the Swedes in 1639. In 1651 the statue was carried as a pilgrim round all the churches in Prague and in 1655 it was solemnly crowned by the Bishop of Prague. This event is still remembered today on the anniversary feast-day, falling on the first Sunday in May.

Infant of Prague

Devotion to the child of Jesus is very popular in Catholicism, just like devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart, devotion to his Holy Face, devotion to Jesus’ Wounds and devotion to the Divine Mercy.

See Wikipedia for information on Roman Catholic devotions to Jesus:

The Roman Catholic tradition includes a number of devotions to Jesus Christ. Like all Catholic devotions, these prayer forms are not part of the official public liturgy of the Church but are based on the popular spiritual practices of Roman Catholics. Many are officially approved by the Holy See as suitable for spiritual growth but not necessary for salvation.

Some devotions arise from private revelations, or personal religious experiences of saints. The Church has a tradition of thorough investigation of such private revelations and the lives of candidates for sainthood to assure that no natural or scientific explanation can, at the time of investigation, account for any miracles involved. Often an approved devotion of the Church has a particular prayer form, an image and sometimes specific promises for those who follow the devotion.

Novena Prayer to the Miraculous Infant of Prague

Dearest Jesus, Little Infant of Prague, how tenderly You love us! Your greatest joy is to dwell among us and to bestow Your blessing upon us. Though I am not worthy that You should help me, I feel drawn to You by love because You are kind and merciful.

So many who turned to You with confidence have received graces and had their petitions granted. Behold me as I come before You to lay open my heart to You with its prayers and hopes. I present to You especially this request, which I enclose in Your loving Heart: (Mention your request).

Rule over me, dear Infant Jesus, and do with me and mine according to Your Holy Will, for I know that in Your Divine Wisdom and Love You will arrange everything for the best. Do not withdraw Your hand from me, but protect and bless me forever.

I pray You, all-powerful and gracious Infant Jesus, for the sake of Your Sacred Infancy, in the Name of Your Blessed Mother Mary who cared for You with such tenderness, and by the greatest reverence with which Saint Joseph carried You in his arms, help me in my needs. Make me truly happy with You, dearest Infant, in time and in eternity, and I shall thank You forever with all my heart. Amen.

“Go Fish” Friday: My 4-Way and St. Michael Medals

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It seems as if everywhere I go, people always compliment me on my necklace. Some know what it is and others don’t. Its always a topic of conversation at the grocery store checkout, at a restaurant, at the hair salon, anywhere I am face to face with someone, they always notice my Medals and either say they are pretty or ask what they are. Maybe its because they’re big (I don’t do dainty! LOL!) and maybe because people are just drawn to them. I wear a 4-Way medal and then a separate Saint Michael Medal on the same chain. Saint Michael is my patron saint. I can’t tell you how long I’ve worn them, but it’s been many, many years. Anytime you see a picture of me, I have them on. I do not take them off. Do I think they are lucky charms? NO. Do I think that if I take them off something bad will happen? NO. You know me better than that by now.

The Four Way Medal is also known as a Cruciform, and also a Scapular Medal.  It takes the latter name from the medal at the top. Traditionally, the Scapular Medal features the Sacred Heart of Jesus on one side and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on the other side.

A 4-Way Medal is a combination of 4 popular Catholic medals – it includes The Scared Heart medal (top), Saint Joseph medal (right), a Miraculous Medal (bottom) and a Saint Christopher medal (left). Mine also includes a dove in the middle signifying the Holy Spirit.

SACRED HEART MEDAL: Also known as “Sacred Heart of Jesus” this medal signifies one of the most popular Catholic devotions to Jesus’ physical heart. His undying love for you and for me, and the suffering heart of Christ. Many people have a devotion to the Sacred Heart. You see a lot of artwork depicting Jesus’ Sacred Heart. You can read more about it here.

Below is a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that I have hanging in my home.  “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in YOU!”

SAINT JOSEPH MEDAL: Of course, everyone knows who Saint Joseph is…he was Our Lady’s husband. He was Jesus’ “foster” father or His “earthly” father. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers. Many in my family have been named after Saint Joseph and we have great devotion to him. My paternal Grandfather, Father and one of my brothers were all named after Saint Joseph. I have cousins named after him and also many have Joseph as their middle names in my family. My Grandmother started to paint, cast and teach ceramics after my 50 year old Grandpa died. One of my memories was always seeing a ceramic caroler figurine that she brought out at Christmas time.  She painted this figurine. In the little bitty songbook that the woman was holding, my Gram wrote “Oh Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” – at that time she was mourning her Joseph, just as Mary mourned for her Joseph way back when.  “Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” is also called “Song of the Crib” by Josef Lieber. Mannheim Steamroller has popularized this song. Saint Joseph is very special to our family.

You can read more about Saint Joseph here.

THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL: The Miraculous medal is also known as the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception.” It was designed by Our Lady herself.

TAKEN FROM: The Association of the Miraculous Medal

The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal:
Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary’s sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.

The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).

SAINT CHRISTOPHER MEDAL: St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. Not much is known about him. Christopher means “Christ-bearer” – his original name was Offero. He was martyred in c251.
More on St. Christopher can be found here.

One day he carried a small child across the stream; the child’s weight nearly crushed him. When they arrived on the other side, the child revealed himself as Christ, and he was so heavy because he bore the weight of the world on himself. He then baptized Offero with water from the stream. Christopher’s service at the stream led to his patronage of things related to travel and travelers, people who carry things, etc. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

What is on the back of the 4-Way medal?

The back top has the rest of the Sacred Heart Medal which is Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Creating the Scapular part of the medal. Our Lady of Mount Carmel also has huge significance in our family. That was our family’s parish…the parish my father and his brothers and sister were raised in. My Grandpa sang the “Ave Maria” in that church. He was buried from that church. Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Niles, Ohio is also where I was baptized. We have fond memories of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – The “festival” at that church was a weekend of rides, games, sausage and pepper sandwiches, smelts, cheese puffs and french fries with vinegar. It was something we looked forward to every summer. The feast day is the 16th of July. I have an “Infant of Prague” statue in my bedroom that my maternal Grandmother won at that festival. I took that Infant when she passed away. It is one of my most cherished possessions. Look for a blog on “The Infant of Prague” coming soon!

Also on the back of the 4-Way is the back of the Miraculous Medal which I explained above.

In the middle are the words: “I am a Catholic, in case of an accident, please call a priest.” Obviously in case of emergency or accident a Catholic would want their priest. They would administer the Sacrament of the Sick or in case of possible death, Last Rites.

Now on to Saint Michael…Saint Michael is an Archangel.  In Hebrew the name Michael means “He who is like God.” Michael is described as the prince of light, leading forces of God against the darkness of evil. He is described as the “viceroy of heaven”.

Prayer of St. Michael: St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.  My God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do Thou O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of GOD cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  AMEN!

Until next time, as always…”Go Fish!”

The Baptism of Our Lord

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Today at church we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord. I use a Sunday Missal and this Sunday the reflection was such a great reminder and hit me so personally that I wanted to share it with you. I know so many people who need kindness – they are experiencing GREAT struggles and HUGE burdens. You know these people too. The sick, the downtrodden, the hungry, the unemployed, the lonely, the elderly, the despairing, the homeless…I could go on and on. You know as many as I do. And you personally might fall into any one of these categories.

Living With Christ – Sunday Missal – 2010 through 2011
January 9, 2011
Baptism of the Lord

At the end of her email messages, one of my friends includes a quote, ancient wisdom reminding the reader to be kind because everybody has great struggles or burdens. Her note may well have been inspired by today’s beautiful first reading from Isaiah. (Our first reading was Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7)

As we celebrate Jesus’ baptism, Isaiah reminds us that the message Jesus brings to our world is a message of justice and tenderness: God will not crush those who are “bruised,” nor quench the light that is “dimly burning” in anyone. Today, if we are feeling “bruised” by the injustices of life, our hope dimmed, let us take time to listen and allow the comfort and strength of these words to sink deep into our being.

At the same time, let us be mindful of others struggling around us, whether we know their struggles or not – perhaps a confident young person, or a fellow worker, a neighbor, an elderly person, a family member. Let us resolve to crush no one, nor to put out anyone’s light by impatience or dismissal or gossip, or by participating in injustice. Let us reach out with care and stand always for justice. When we do, we join ourselves to Jesus’ ministry. And just as the Father is well pleased with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit comes to strengthen him for the challenges ahead, so too we will receive God’s blessing and strength for our journey. –Beth Porter

As North Georgia braces for a huge winter storm I am reflecting on this tonight. Whether we know their struggles or not…Let us resolve to crush no one, nor to put out anyone’s light!

If you’d like a Missal of your own, I highly recommend the one I use. You can find it here:

Living With Christ

“Go Fish” Friday – Mary Had A Little Lamb…

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After I hit the “publish” button last Friday on my “Go Fish” Friday article, I had an additional few points that I wished I had made.

…I believe that the misconceptions and misinformation out there about Catholicism comes from Catholics too.  Yep, us Catholics.  We are not as knowledgeable about our faith as we should be.  We do not defend the church or give good answers when people ask us about why we do what we do.  Example:  “Are you a Christian?”  Answer:  “NO, I’m Catholic.”  WHAT???  Come on!!  Some of us have no clue.  Bad Catechesis throughout the years has contributed to this.  Our teachers, whether they be our parents (who should be the main educators about our faith), Catholic school teachers, priests, nuns, lay people who are teaching the faith have not done the best of jobs.  But, the good news is I think that it’s getting better and better.

I did not truly know why I did what I did or believed what I believed until I was in my early 30’s.  If someone would have asked me a question regarding Catholicism before that time, I would not have been able to answer them intelligently on most topics.  Not that I am a “know it all” now.  I am definitely not.  Believe me.  The beautiful thing about Catholicism is that you can learn something new every single day.  This awesome Church of ours has such beautiful mystery, history, and such an amazing story (the Holy Scriptures) that we will never ever know it all.  But, we need to know the basics.  You need to know that yes, Catholics are Christians, we were the first Christians.  That is documented history.  We believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Know what the true presence is.   You get the picture.  The basics of the faith must be known and understood.  Not just “done.”  Know why we do what we do and believe what we believe.

I had a “re-awakening” or some would say a conversion experience in my early 30’s.  I know it was the Holy Spirit…a baptism with fire…fire that made me absolutely fall in love with my faith.  From that point on, I made it my mission to research and learn everything I could about Catholicism.  It took 30+ years for me to be ready to open my heart and mind and figure out why I believed what I believed.  I learned it on my own.  I sought the information that wasn’t given to me.  I listened to podcasts (Catholic Answers Live, Mother Angelica Live,  The Journey Home…just to name a few.) I read great books, I asked a lot of questions.  I prayed for wisdom and understanding.  I prayed the Rosary.  I sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament a lot.  My love for my church grew and grew.  I still have that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and for the Mass.  I love the Mass.

Another thing I wanted to add was by no means do I think I’m going to change anyone’s thinking or beliefs about Catholicism in these blogs.  If you are against the church, you’ll probably always be against the church.  If you are open, then maybe you will read what I write and let it marinate a bit.  I simply want to shed light on things.  This is not about arguing a point or shoving things down people’s throats.

So, lets talk about today’s topic…

One of my favorite quotes is: “No Mary, No Jesus.  Know Mary, Know Jesus.”  I just love that because its so true.  Think about it.  Marian faith always points to Christ.  Mary cannot overshadow or be separated from her son.

The topic of the Blessed Virgin Mary is very vast.  I’m not going to go into a whole lot here, but I will talk about a few key points and also give you some good solid Catholic resources so that you can do your own reading and research.  I know that Marian doctrines are some of the most bothersome of the Catholic Church’s teachings for a lot of people.  I am not going to delve into heavy duty church doctrine.  It would take forever and one topic leads into another and you can’t discuss one without discussing the other…you get the picture.  Plus, I’m not a heavy duty church doctrine kinda gal.  If you are curious about Mary (our Mother), definitely get in front of some good solid Catholic resources.  Orthodox Catholic resources.  Don’t go to a non-Catholic source, because chances are, they are filled with untruths and we are right back where we started.  Maybe…if you are game, ask Mary if she could give you a little help with this!  Ask her if its all a bunch of sinful, pagan idolatry to ask her to intercede for you.  She’ll answer you.  She never fails us.

Catholics are constantly accused of worshiping Mary. Let me just say right off the bat, we do not worship her.  We love her, we ask for her intercession, we honor her.  She is the Mother of our Savior.  She’s our Mother.  She bore the Word in her womb and the Word became flesh.  Don’t you agree that is a big deal?  To Catholics, it is.

Question #1 – Why do you pray to Mary? I think the first thing to discuss here is that when the word PRAY is used, people automatically think that it means worship.  It does not.  Another word for prayer is “supplication.” Asking humbly…an earnest petition.  We believe that Mary and the Saints in heaven can hear us.  They have God’s ear.  Scripture states that those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth.  Mary intercedes for us.  Read Revelation 5:8.  Asking someone to pray for you in no way violates the truth that Christ is the one mediator.  You ask me to pray for you and I ask people to pray for me all the time.  Catholics take it one step further, we ask the Saints in Heaven to pray for us too.  Mary is a Saint in Heaven.  Some will throw out 1 Timothy 2:5 as a retaliation.  This scripture states that Christ is the only mediator.   However, they do not include the beginning of chapter 2 – they leave out verses 1-4.  Paul says that Christians should intercede: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something “good and pleasing to God,” not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator.

Take a look at this tract from Catholic Answers:  http://www.catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp

and

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2007/0701clas.asp

#2 Why do you have pictures of her and statues of her?  Why do you kneel in front of them? Isn’t that worship? – Again, No, it isn’t worship.  Why do you have pictures of your deceased family and friends in your home?  It’s simply to remember and honor them.

The act of kneeling does not always mean that the person kneeling is performing an act of worship. Catholics kneel in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary to show her respect and honor and to pray for her intercession; they are not kneeling to worship her.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Do_Catholics_Worship_Statues.asp

There are many, many other questions about Mary.  The truth is out there.  Go fish!

 

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“Go Fish” Friday

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I am going to start to blog on Fridays about a Catholic Fact…a misconception, a misunderstanding, an untruth that people out there might have about Catholicism…The following is a little background about why I’ve decided to do this – hopefully it will serve Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  It will start next Friday.

For about 6 years I worked for a non-denominational Christian company here in Georgia.  It was a “leadership” company founded by Dr. John C. Maxwell.  At the time I was a Mary Kay consultant and very into leadership, going to conferences, listening to all sorts of leadership training on CD and tape.  Dr. John Maxwell was a huge influence on my life and my business.  It was a dream come true to actually work for the man.  I absolutely loved my job, my co-workers, and what the company stood for.  I was blessed in every way by my time there.   While there, this Catholic girl learned many things…how to pray out loud, not by heart memorized prayers, I already had that down!  But, real from the heart impromptu prayer, I learned about the gift of tongues (absolutely freaked me out the first time I heard it), the laying on of hands for healing and the phrase, “praise the Lord” rolled out of my mouth many times a day.  Not being a native Southerner, I was not used to people being so vocal about their faith and talking about Jesus.  I wasn’t really exposed to other faiths other than Catholicism or Judaism in my youth.  Moving to the South was definitely an eye opener for me.  At this job, I was surrounded by a group of amazing Christians, men and women alike.  The special women who, to this day are my “Ya-Ya’s “ taught me the most.  And, I also think I may have taught some of my colleagues some things too.  I believe that the passion I feel about defending the Catholic Church was born out of my experiences at this company.

99.9% of the people who worked there were Protestants and my clients were practically 100% Protestant.  I tried very hard to sell our conferences and simulcasts to Catholic Churches; it was kind of a mission for me as I believed that what we had to offer would tremendously help the Catholic Church.  I was pretty much the “token” Catholic of the company for the first few years of my employment.  It became a friendly joke around the office.  There were times when a sweet girl I worked with would ask me to “pray in Catholic.”  Through the years some others were hired and at one time there were maybe 4 or 5 of us.  There were however, many Ex-Catholics that worked there and for one reason or another had left the church. That was very disturbing to me.  It hurt me to my core.

Many times people would ask me questions like, “Are Catholics Christians?” “Why do you worship Mary?” “Why do Catholics….” You get the picture.  I found that there were so many misconceptions are out there about Catholicism that I never knew of.  There was a time when our employees would have the chance to give their “testimony” in front of everyone in our Monday morning meetings.  Time and time again I heard negative things about Catholics and Catholicism.  It broke my heart.  I’d hear “I was on a mission trip in such and such country and we were trying to save Catholics.”  Or “I used to be Catholic and then I finally got saved.”  Gut wrenching statements that affected me very deeply.  Knowing that people were out there targeting Catholics and wanting to rip them from the church was just unreal to me. So, it kind of became my mission to spread the truth about Catholicism from that point on.

My theory is this:  People believe what they hear from their teachers.  They do what they are taught.  Whether it is the TRUTH or “truth” according to someone they believe, follow and admire, most people believe what they are taught and told.  Why would Protestant pastors lie to their congregations?  Why would parents raise their kids to believe untruths?  Why do women cut the ham before putting it in the roasting pan?  …Because my mom always did it that way.  Well, why did your mom always cut the ham before putting it in the roasting pan?  Well, because her mom always did it that way.  Well, why did grandma always cut the ham before putting it in the roasting pan? Grandma???  “Because my pan was too small!”  People believe and do things based on what they are taught.  It’s quite simply lack of knowledge.

So, that said, maybe this little “Go Fish Friday” article can blast some misconceptions out there, open people’s hearts and educate all of us on the truth about Catholicism.  We are all God’s people.  He loves us ALL.  You should know the truth.  I hope this article will make you stop cutting the ham just “because mom always did it that way.”

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Advent Begins Sunday!

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The first Sunday of Advent is this coming Sunday.  I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, my year has totally flown by.  Today we’re celebrating Thanksgiving and pretty soon we’ll be saying hello to 2011.  So, being as there are still a few days left before Advent starts, I was reflecting on what I was going to do to make this Advent special.  I’ve never really “done” Advent very well.  I’m a great Lent “doer” as a matter of fact Lent is my favorite time of year.  I really enjoy everything about Lent.  I know, it sounds crazy but I gain much more than I ever give up during Lent.

I feel like I fall short with Advent. I really want to have a good Advent and was brainstorming and praying about what to do.  I did some Googling and came up with this:

http://www.usccb.org/advent/

It’s the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website and they’ve created a comprehensive Advent and Christmas season interactive site.  I am so excited about this!  Simply click on the advent calendar date and the site takes you to the readings for the day, a prayer, a reflection and an “act.”  What are you going to be concentrating on this Advent?  What do you want to meditate on or do to anticipate the birth of our Lord, our Baby Jesus?