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Entering the Silence

catholicmommaWell, after yesterday’s sad post, I thought I would leave for this weekend on a high note.

Sometimes I question whether God hears me, or whether I am talking to myself.  Not in an unfaithful way, but like anyone, I test my beliefs.

And then he sends me a little note letting me know he is listening and gave me a little miracle answer.

Nothing big.

Mostly a soft whisper on the wind.

Letting me know He is indeed listening.

I am so grateful for the little things.

Pray for me, as I pray for you always.

CatholicMomma

PS.  I couldn’t find a peaceful pic, so I thought I’d make you smile

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** WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE ***

I haven’t written in a while, but the recent flurry of outrage about Miley Cyrus and the VMAs has gotten me worked up.

I watched the whole thing.  Like a bad car accident, but I couldn’t look away.  But I was confused.  Why was everyone so mad?  Didn’t they see Miley’s video?  It was pretty much identical to her stage performance.  What I don’t understand is why no one said a word about Robin Thicke (aside from his beetle juice inspired costume).

What. is. wrong. with. us????

Robin Thicke has an entire song being the hit of the summer which was basically about rape.  About how no really means yes.  With lines like “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”.

And yet I saw a mom the other day dancing away with her young daughter to it.

Marriage?  Who needs that?  Not Robin Thicke: “You don’t need no papers Hey, hey, hey\= That man is not your maker”.  He just needs to have sex with you.  That’s all ladies.  And it is okay to be used that way, because he is humming a great tune.

I mean at one point Robin had someone else he was having sex with (“Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you”), but it is a higher calling to be the “dirtier” girl.  And after you “didn’t pick” Robin, he can take you anyways: “Do it like it hurt, like it hurt What you don’t like work? Baby can you breathe?”

Until of course you will give in because no really means yes, right?

And then the world is up in arms because Miley Cyrus personifies Robin Thicke’s line:  “But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature”.   We don’t want our girls to SEE someone acting like that, only to HEAR that doing this, acting like this, and letting men treat you like this is not only okay, but wonderful.

We pay money to have a man tell you it is good to have to give up any sort of purity when a he comes along.  Even if he pressures you and has to drag it out of you.

My fight to raise my girls as good, well rounded people is more difficult every single day that someone feels it is okay to market this type of music.

But they don’t care.  After all, it’s a catchy tune, right?

For a great conversation about Miley’s performance, I appreciated this post as well from another blogger: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/08/26/offensive-absurd-and-pornographic-on-mtv-you-say-i-cant-believe-it/

Please pray for me and my family as I will pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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motherSo, a while back I was feeling really disconnected from my faith.  I felt like I just didn’t feel the same intensity that I used to.  I went into a sincere state of searching.  It was about this time that the new book “Come be my Light” came out.  I thought maybe I had some sort of connection, that there was some way perhaps she experienced something similar.

I was completely humbled when I read it.

My struggle with faith was not like hers, but hers became a great inspiration to me.  While I struggled with getting my butt to Church, Mother Teresa experienced the complete and utter void of God in her life.  What I did, and what she did were vastly different.

I chose to stay home sometimes.  I chose to be lazy.  I chose to challenge God to come to me.  I had decided it was His job to make me holy.  I had completely missed the whole understanding of who he wanted me to be.

Mother Teresa chose faithfulness.  When she had lost what felt like God’s presence, she continued to be committed to the vows she made.  She spent more time in prayer.  She sought out more ways to be holy.  She didn’t turn away, rather, she ran to Him.  She gave all that she had to show her love.  She was faithful in all the small things.

I learned so much from her.  I learned how to reform my heart.  I learned to choose actions based on what is right, not on what ‘feels’ right.  I was humbled by my arrogance.  It was like someone had shone a bright light into my soul and I was able to grasp what I was being called to do, and what I was choosing to do.  I learned that my faith was far more than a feeling.  I had always known that on some level, but I truly understood it after reading about her struggles.  I learned that I was the one responsible for my relationship with Christ.  That I needed to step forward, to turn my life to Him.  He has always been there, he will always be there.  When He feels distant, it is more likely that I am distancing myself from Him, and not the other way around.

I am so grateful I bought that book.

I am so grateful I have learned to love better and more fully.

I am so grateful for my faith and my relationship with Christ.

Please pray for me as I pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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Pope Benedict XVILike many Catholics, I heard the news of the abdication of Pope Benedict today and was shocked.  It seemed so far from what we have come to expect from our strong shepherd.  A man who has faced mountains of prosecution over almost every area of his life.  A man, who in the face of a dictatorship of relativism constantly and consistently presented Truth without apology.  A man who loved music and beauty.  A man who fully grasped the amazing grace that comes with family life.  A man who taught so many things to so many people.

I remember when he was chosen as our new shepherd, there was so much speculation, so much reserved hope.

I remember picking up Deus Caritas Est and having it change ever single relationship in my life, especially my marriage.  I learned about love from him.  I learned about hope from him.  I learned so much.  It was like, just when I thought I knew enough, he opened the door to more.  He was brilliant.  He was loving.  He was a good pope.  We were blessed to have him, and I am grateful that he had enough humility and grace to let us know when the Spirit moved him to leave the seat of Peter.

I am praying with my family each day that our new shepherd again brings hope and Truth to this world so lacking in both.  I pray that the Holy Spirit works as always in the mystical way that happens with prayer.  I am excited, hopeful, and trusting that God knows where he is leading his Bride in these very difficult times.

Thank you Pope Benedict for sharing yourself with us.

“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That’s not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren’t simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.”
― Pope Benedict XVI

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Scrapbook Layout Courtesy of Tammy Lang.

Scrapbook Layout Courtesy of Tammy Lang.

I realize this may be a bit early to write a post about Christmas as we have just begun Advent, but I am going to ask you all to share this post with as many Catholics as you can before Christmas.

It is about an experience that I had last year on Christmas Day at Mass.

Now this particular Christmas, we sat in our usual spot, and I actually heard a woman behind me say “Look at all these people that come JUST for Christmas.  I have never seen half of them before.  It is disgusting.”  And she even referenced my family in front of her.  Full volume.  Not even whispering.

As you can well guess, the Catholic Fam tries to go to Mass as often as we can.  Generally this means every Sunday and all major feast days (although we do occasionally miss Mass for whatever reason).   BUT we don’t attend the Mass she attends.  So we would have never seen this woman.  And she assumed we were never there.

Which got me thinking.  I love Christmas.  I love that the Masses are so full that we have to open up extra Masses in the school gym.  I love that so many people want to be close to Christ, NEED to be close to Him that the parking lot takes an hour to get in and out of.  I love seeing the line of cars all the way around the block waiting to get to Mass.  I love that people who may not otherwise feel comfortable join us in worship.  I love every minute of grace that comes from the holiness.

So my point is, if you have been away from the Church for a while, and you have had an experience like mine, realize you are not alone.  And please, don’t let people like that deter you.  We want you at Mass with us.  We need you there.  Your presence makes the graces and joy more abundant.  We would love you every week to join us, but if you can’t (for whatever reason), don’t let people like that stop you from sharing in the holiness of Christmas.  We love you and would welcome you with open arms.  We don’t care if you don’t know the new translation (or even what that means), we don’t care if you don’t know when to stand, sit, or kneel.  We love you.  We want you.  Christmas is not the same without you. The Church is not the same without you.  A warm welcome DOES await you.  We understand that you are busy, we all are.  Just join us.  Be there.  And if you are shy about where to sit, find the biggest family with the most young children, sit there.  Everyone will notice the kids and not you 😉  (great website: http://www.comehomeforchristmas.co.uk/)

And if you have not been away, please, soften your hearts.  We all need a soft place to land, and that should be in the Church.  Waste less time and emotion on judging, and more time and emotion on loving.  People from every walk are looking for that.  We need to look to each other and lift one another.  Feel joy in our hearts that so many people feel inspired to come to the Church on Christmas.  That so many remember the meaning of the day.  That so many seek to find Truth.  We are the hands and feet, but we are also the arms, and we need to open them wide to the many people who join us in worship.  From any place in the world.

Pray for me as I pray for you always.

In Christ,

Catholic Momma

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Having a family of four is a strange thing. My friends with bigger families scoff when I refer to my family as large, and smaller families are shocked that I have so many. The most interesting part of my family (I think) is that I never thought I would ever have or want a big family. I was never particularly maternal. I never had the ‘clock’ ticking. Each child came naturally from a gentle nudge when it was time. I thought at one I was done, then I thought I could never handle more than two. As three and four came, I just realized my cup didn’t empty, it just got bigger. My girls bring me so much joy. My marriage has been strengthened so much by our roles changing and developing together. I think I have had the graces to become a better person throughout this journey.

One of the funny things are some of the things I constantly hear. People just seem to have the same standard responses. Normally they are:
“Are you done now?” – Not sure. For today I am, but I have had my heart changed in the past, so who knows…
“All girls?!?! Are you trying for a boy?” – Nope, I like girls. In fact, I had a priest once tell me he would pray that God blesses me with a boy and that he become a priest. Thank goodness that prayer hasn’t been answered yet. I don’t understand boys at all. Although my nephews are freaking fantastic!
“You must be busy!” – Nope. (I say as I flop down to fold ten loads of laundry while on the phone sorting volunteering hours, changing a diaper, kissing a boo boo, and cooking dinner)
“Your poor husband!” – Don’t even get me started on this one
“Better you than me” – I am never quite sure how to respond to this… ‘yes, I MUST be soooo much better at this than you??’ (which is ironic since I spend half the time trying to figure it out)

I am not thinking about joining the quiverfull movement anytime soon (www.quiverfull.com) I don’t quite fit the 2.5 children box.  I am just me.  Learning each day how to be a better wife and mom.  Learning that I can grow and that I can forgive myself when I screw up.  Learning that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to love with all I have.

And because I love lists, I will end with this:

Things I would love my children to learn from being in our “big” family:

1. Love multiplies as numbers increase.
2. Extra kids mean extra opportunities to give.
3. Fighting is impossible to avoid, but easy to end.
4. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are not only for guests.
5. Even mom and dad have to say I am sorry when they are wrong.
6. Easter and Christmas are about Christ, not candy.
7. What we DO is far more important than what we have.
8. We sometimes have to choose to love someone. If we rely only on our emotions, we are not going to make it very far in life.
9. Doing things to help others is not an option, it’s a requirement.
10. Big things can be done when one person starts small.
11. Ikea tables are made too small for real dinners.
12. A messy house is okay sometimes.
13. People are ALWAYS more important than things.
14. Being kind is contagious.
15. Our lives are an example to each other and the people around us.
16. Birthday cakes come in extra extra large.
18. It’s important to tell people what you need. Nobody is able to read your mind.
19. Sometimes people just need a hug. Always be ready to give one, and be grateful in accepting one.
20. Family is the absolute, number one, without a doubt, most precious gift you have ever been given.

Pray for me and my family as we pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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I will start with the small stuff first…

Last week, I went back to work. Full time.  Wow.  What an adjustment.  I am so blessed in that I get to work a job that is perfect for me in terms of my spirituality and personal growth.  I work for the Archdiocese of my area.  I am surrounded by smart, funny, and extremely interesting people.  People that challenge me, have great conversations, and make me laugh.  If one has to go back to work, I pretty much have the ideal situation.

Who is watching my kids? (you may ask)…  Well, after some research, and having experience with my older children being in a dayhome, I decided on a small daycare local to my small town.  Was a tough process, but that is a blog for another day.

As for my announcement….

DRUM ROLL……

Catholic-Dad and I were talking and we decided that HE is going to start a blog too!  What does this mean for you?  Funny posts on the same subject (we are alternating weeks choosing blog assignments), more consistent posting (our goal to start is once a week), and all the hilarity of my marriage brought into it too.  My normal, random posts will continue, but this is going to be just… well…  It’s going to be mind-blowing awesome.

He will have the domain of http://www.catholic-dad.com (although I am sure he will expand to more web presence as I have).

Hold onto your pants people, this is going to be awesome!

Praying for all of you always, please always pray for me!

 

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