Saturday, September 4, 2010


Wow, I have not updated since April! Time is flying way too fast.

What does it mean when someone you have not thought of in a while suppenly pops into you thoughts? I always think it means they are in need of prayer, and God has prompted that thought.

This happened to me a few weeks ago. I was sitting at the computer lazily playing a game, when someone who had passed away a few years ago suddenly came to mind. We were not friends, but aquainted from church and school. Strange. Why think of this person? He must need prayer-- so I prayed for his soul and remembered what a nice person he was. A few days later, on Sunday, I was delayed in attending my usual Mass and went to a later Mass, and, wouldn't you know it? The Mass (at a time I never, ever go) was for the intention of this person. Coincidence? NO. It was the anniversary of his death, the date I didn't remember earlier in the week.

As I thought about how God works in these strange, confusing, and interesting ways, I thought about what the reason for all this was, and now, weeks later, why it won't leave my thoughts. We all need prayer, even after death, and it reminds me how I have become lax in praying for family and friends who have passed away. I am working on getting better at remembering them in my prayers. I hope you all remember your loved ones in prayer after they die.

It also reminds me that we can ask our departed loved ones to pray for us. If they are in heaven or even purgatory, they can pray for us. And souls in purgatory whom we have prayed for will be delighted to pray for us once they reach heaven.

There are many books out there on praying for the holy souls. I think I will look into some of them and find one to read.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary Holy Father!

Today, April 19, is the anniversary of the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the office of Bishop of Rome, where he took the name Benedict XVI. Let us pray for his health, safety, protection and for his intentions. Here is a traditional prayer for the Pope:

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

Let us pray.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Novena for our Bishops

It seems that our bishops need some help defending their flock from wayward clergy. I am suggesting the Novena for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, found here, to be prayed for our bishops that they may find the fortitude needed to do what needs to be done to protect the laity. Please join me.

The daily prayers below are followed by the prayers for the specific day, which are found at the above link. (the prayers are from EWTN)


On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Show support for Pope Benedict

If you love and support our Pope, go here and sign the petition.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Alleluia, He is Risen!

Easter Blessings to one and all! He is risen. He is our hope. Because Jesus has risen we have no need to fear death, or this life. Because of Him, this life has meaning. Because of Him we have a new life to look forward to after this one. Let's make this one the best one we can, and even then, our eternal life will be even better and beyond our imagination.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He took our place

Here is one of those emails that goes around every once in awhile, that is, I think, appropriate for this Holy Saturday. It makes me think about Jesus, but also about myself. While I have not said what the people in this story do, I have thought it-- not a very welcoming thought towards a stranger, is it?

One day, a man went to visit a church. He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, 'I always park there! You took my place!' The visitor went inside for Sunday school, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, 'That's my seat! You took my place!' The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday school, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, 'That's where I always sit! You took my place!' The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still he said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.

Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, 'What happened to you?'

As his hat became a crown of thorns and a tear fell from his eye, the visitor replied,
"I took your place."

This is something to remember every day-- Jesus took our place. He took my place and he took your place. He paid a debt we could never, ever pay on our own. And he did something most of us could never do-- he suffered for us. It's hard enough to suffer for ourselves, let alone someone else. Let us take some time this Holy Saturday and say "Thank You, Jesus!"

May you have a blessed Holy Saturday.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holy Week

Lent has come and gone, and we are now in Holy Week, and I have written nothing.

That is how Lent has been this year-- empty. Sometimes we are spiritually empty so that we can learn something important. The message in this Lent has been forgiveness. We all have much to forgive and much to be forgiven of.  We pray as Jesus taught us: "forgive us as we forgive others". Do we really understand what that means? I know I don't. I know I pray it out of habit and don't really get it. Today I got it. I don't want to be forgiven in the way I forgive because I am not very forgiving. I want to be forgiven in a much better way, a nicer way, a kinder way. I want God to be easier on me than I am on others. But that is not what I ask when I pray "as I forgive others" and that is a scary thing! This year it took all of Lent for me to get the message, and I pray I can remember it and not push it aside tomorrow.

Let us remember this message with every Lord's Prayer we pray.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Pray for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in this Holy Week and always.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter.

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Haiti Info

A collaboration between a group of medical professionals, former Marines and former soldiers working in small teams forms Team Rubicon. Check out their very interesting blog. Lots of up-to-the-minute info. They could use lots of prayers along with donations.

(edited 01/25/10 to correct info)

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Haiti aid options

Catholic Relief Services:

CRS also has a page dedicated to helping young people understand and help with disasters, which includes prayer services and lesson plans and can be found here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti earthquake relief

Please consider donating to one of the many reputable agencies asking for help for the earthquake vitims in Haiti.

One such agency is Food For the Poor , and you can donate here. I have donated regularly to FFP for over 10 years and they are highly rated by Charity Navigator.

You can also donate through many other agencies, especially those listed here  on Charity Navigator. Also, please read their articles on how to safely donate in times of crisis fundraising.

Please remember to pray for those who have died in the quake, those who are injured, those who are missing and those who are searching for friends and loved ones. Also pray for the rescue workers, that they may have the physical, emotional and spiritual strength to complete their task. May God bless all of them.

Food For the Poor main page:
FFP donation page:
FFP Haiti update page:
Charity Navigator main page:
Charity Navigator Haiti relief page:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Walking with the poor

In my last post I introduced CFCA and their mission to help the poor. Today I will introduce you to their newest project, Walk2gether.

Walk2gether is an 8,000 mile walk from Guatemala to Chile by CFCA's founder, 73 year old Bob Hentzen to join in solidarity with the poor and to bring attention to their plight. The walk began on Dec 29, 2009 and is scheduled to continue for 16 months. Bob and his companions will walk 20-25 miler per day, starting out at 3am on most days to avoid the heat. In 1996, at the age of 60, Bob walked 4,000 miles from Kansas City to Guatemala. Why does he do it? According to the Walk2gether website: "By walking with them, we are saying, 'You are not alone,'" Hentzen said. "We are listening to you and learning from you."

The poor walk everwhere, and by walking with them, Bob shows that he is helping them by becoming one of them, just as Jesus helped us by becoming one of us. Having met Bob on several trips to Guatemala, I think he would not be comfortable being compared to Jesus, but he is Jesus to those he helps, as we all should be. Bob and the CFCA staff live the Gospel daily, and they live it because they truly love others. They are an inspiration to all of us.

Visit the Walk2gether site to read Bob's blog and watch great videos of the walk and of the people Bob meets along the way, especially the children, and share the site with your friends. Visit their youth site if you have teens or work with youth as a teacher, a catechist or in youth ministry. This site is especislly geared towards teaching teens about the poor.

Please visit CFCA's website and consider sponsoring a child in Central America, South America, Africa or Asia. I sponsor two boys in Guatemala, and I have learned so much from them and their families. They truly love everyone and have complete trust in God (two things I continue to struggle with daily!).

You may also enjoy CFCA's YouTube and vimeo channels as much as I do.

By the way, what does all this have to do with Catholicism? Everything!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day

Today is New Year's Day, Jan 1, 2010. It is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and on this day the church also celebrates world day of peace. Jesus is Prince of Peace, and Mary, therefore, is mother of peace. We pray for peace in our lives, our families, our workplaces, our country and in the world.

But we need more than prayers for peace to happen. We need action. One organization working towards peace is the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). This organization connects sponsors in the US with children and aging adults in 24 countries. Through sponsorship, children are given the chance to attend school, a chance they most likely would not have otherwise. The children, their families, and the sponsored aging are also given food, healthcare, spiritual support, and an opportunity to work, thus giving them the ability to help themselves and rise above their poverty.

The poor are not poor because they want to be poor. They are poor due to situations beyond their control. CFCA gives the poor the means to control their own lives, and gives them the hope and dignity due all people. Following the Gospel message, CFCA works in the Americas, the Carribean, Africa and Asia, and has over 300,000 sponsored children and adults.  But according to their latest newsletter, Sacred Ground, there are over 26,000 children and aging still waiting for sponsors. There are also many young adults in need of short term sponsorships to complete their education.

I sponsor two children in Guatemala through CFCA. I have visited them several times and met their families. The faith, hope and love found in these families for everyone they meet preaches the Gospel daily by their actions. Guatemala has been a war torn country for many years, as have many of the countries CFCA works in. On this day of world peace, let us pray for them and all the poor of the world.

On this feast of Mary, Mother of God, please think about sponsoring a child, youth or elderly person. The Holy Family was poor. We were not there to help them, but we can help others today. Jesus told us that the poor would be with us always. They are not with us to stay poor, they are with us so that we can be Jesus to them and help them rise above their poverty.

For more information on CFCA, the countries they work in, and the joys of sponsorship, visit their websites at or .

Next: more CFCA news