Those Who are Well do not Need a Physician

September 21 is the feast of Saint Matthew, the Apostle and Evangelist. I love this scripture verse from the day’s Gospel reading:

“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Matthew 9:12-13

These are some of the most consoling verses in the bible!

Image by DanielReche (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

If you are feeling low, if you struggle with sinful habits, do not be discouraged. Jesus came just for you. He gave the Church to you – to sinners.

If you are perfect (or think you are) then you won’t need Jesus. But, by recognizing your sin, Jesus is able to heal you and give you His mercy. Jesus desires mercy. You will not find judgement in Jesus. In Jesus you will find love, acceptance, mercy, forgiveness, and healing.

So, soak up today’s scripture verse. Let it penetrate your heart and soul. Memorize it. Always remember: Jesus IS mercy itself.

*********

Psst: Just a reminder, From now until September 30, 50% of all journals and 30% of all services will be donated to help the victims of the recent natural disasters. This is your chance to grow your spiritual life while helping your brothers and sisters in need. See, it’s a win-win. 🙂

A Simple Way to Help the Hurricane Victims

Is your heart aching for those who have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Mine has. Five years ago, my family and I were fortunately not seriously affected by SuperStorm Sandy, but I know of many people who were not so lucky.

help the hurricane victims

Image by Free-Photos (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

I have donated some money and goods but wanted to do more. So, I decided that from now until September 30, I am donating 50% of all book sales of my prayer journals and Christmas planners. There are paperpack versions available and printable .pdf versions available.

Additionally, I am donating 30% of all proceeds from my coaching services and my editing services. Again, this is for a limited time – until September 30th.

Let’s join together in giving some relief to the many people who suffered devastating loss and displacement due to those natural events.

P.S. I have a FEW copies of the Catholic Prayer Journal for Women available for anyone wanting an autographed copy. If you would like to purchase a copy, click the link below. (Link is just for autographed copies of the Catholic Prayer Journal for Women, not the other journals or planners.)



Until We See Each Other Again

On Monday, September 4, 2017 (Labor Day), my cousin suddenly passed away of a heart attack. He was only 55. The whole family is in a state of shock.

Most of us saw Randy at a family gathering the day before (Sunday). It was a great day and we all had some much  fun. Randy was smiling, having a good time, and being his usual funny self. And the next day, he is gone.

His death brings home the Lord’s words that we don’t know the day or the hour when we will be die. We really must be ready at all times…

Until We Meet Again

Please humor me as I share a story. Soon after my (now) husband and I met, I brought him to a family get together to meet everyone. At one point, Randy brought us apart and says to Michael, “So, what exactly is your intentions with my cousin?” Then he goes on to tell Michael that he better not hurt me or he (Randy) will make him regret it!.” He said in a joking way but it was sweet that he was looking after me.

But that was Randy. He would do anything for anyone. He was such a loving, great guy that worked hard and loved his family to pieces.

Randy, you will be forever missed! Until we see each other again!

Eternal rest grant unto him o Lord, and let Your perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.”

Assumption of the Blessed Mother

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother and it is a beautiful and important feast in our liturgical calendar. It is also a relatively new solemnity in that the Assumption of Mary was declared a dogma of the Church in 1950.

Assumption of Mary

Image by Peter Paul Rubens (1626) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the event in which God to Mary to heaven – body and soul. When you and I die, our soul will go to heaven, purgatory or hell and our bodies will decay as it waits for the final Resurrection at the end of times. Mary, however, didn’t have to wait. Right now, Mary is in heaven with her soul and body already united.

Some theologians and thinkers believe that Mary was given the grace of not having to die and was assumed into heaven without dying first. Others believe that Mary did die, in imitation of Christ who died for us, but was assumed into heaven shortly after her death. Honestly, though, it doesn’t matter whether you believe Mary died before she was assumed or not. We are required to believe that Mary was, in fact, brought to heaven with her body and soul, not how it happened.

The Assumption is NOT the Ascension.

Many people get the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Jesus confused. That’s completely  understandable given that both feasts celebrate Jesus and Mary’s “entrance” into heaven body and soul. Here is the difference: In the Ascension of Jesus, 40 days after His Resurrection, Jesus ascends back to heaven through HIS OWN POWER. You can read about Jesus’ ascension at the end of the gospels in the bible. In the assumption, Mary is taken to heaven by POWER of GOD. Mary did NOT take herself to heaven, nor was she capable of doing so. The assumption is a gift and a grace of God that was granted to Mary.

Why was Mary Assumed into Heaven? 

During her life, Mary had a unique share in the suffering and death of Jesus. She carried him in her womb, she raised Him, and she followed Him in the most perfect way. Therefore, it seems fitting that she gets to have a unique share of His glory. 🙂

The significance of the Assumption.

This solemnity of the Assumption should give us great joy and hope. Mary is in heaven, in her glorified body just like we will be when the time comes. Thus, her Assumption is a peek of our future destiny. When we die, we know that our souls are separated from our bodies. But, this is temporary. When Jesus returns at the second coming, our souls and bodies will be reunited again in our own glorified bodies.

The Assumption reminds us that our life on earth isn’t all there is; we have a destiny. Jesus is our destiny. Heaven is real and it is our destiny. We live in hope that we will be with the Blessed Trinity, all the Saints and Angels in heaven, FOREVER. How awesome is that?!

How can we celebrate this special Solemnity?

1. The first thing you should do is go to Mass. As a matter of fact, the feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation, so technically you “have” to go. Of course, we don’t celebrate the Eucharist just because we have to, right? We go to Mass because we want to. 😉

2. Pray the glorious mysteries of the rosary. The glorious mysteries include the Assumption of Mary. “Bonus points” if you pray as a family!

3. In times past, most parishes would have a procession in Our Lady’s honor on this day. It’s not that common anymore, however, your (or a  nearby) parish is doing a procession, consider participating in it. If there aren’t any local processions available, you can put do a small procession for yourself and your family.

4. If you have time, you can do some crafts with your kids like this one at crafolic.com or this one at catholicmom.com.

5. You can also make an Assumption themed meal or treat like I found here and here (scroll down to the Assumption) on catholiccuisine.com.

These are just a few ideas. I’m sure with a little thought you will be able to come up with your own way of honoring Our Lady. May your day be blessed!

Resources to deepen your understanding  of this great Solemnity:

New Advent

About.com

AssumptionMary.com

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Tomorrow (August 6) is the feast of the Transfiguration our Lord. In reading the mass readings for today, these verses particularly stand out:

Transfiguration of Our Lord

Image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 (2017) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to Him.”

Therefore, I am going to pray for the grace to be able to hear the voice of Jesus. I am praying for the grace to not let the many cares of daily life from getting in the way of listening to His voice and paying attention to Him. I don’t know about you, but I can easily get into the habit of letting the craziness of life take over me and I don’t take the time for prayer and spending time with God. How about you? Am I alone in this?

That’s why I need the grace to make time for prayer and reading His Word. In essence, am praying for a deepening of my relationship with the Lord.

I am also praying for this grace for each of you, as well. I pray that you have a deepening of your relationship with Jesus and that you grow ever closer to Him with each new day. May all our minds and hearts be transfigured unto Jesus.

How about you? What is your prayer for this beautiful feast?

The Lord is My Rock

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

Whew. This has been a challenging summer so far. I was sick with bronchitis most of June, and recently my husband came home from the hospital recovering from pneumonia. Then there as been some financial challenges and other challenges.

The Lord is my Rock

Image by Simon (2017) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

I feel like the Lord is sending me test after test after test. And, I don’t think I am alone. Someone shared with me that she sometimes doubts if God is watching over her when she feels like the world is falling apart around her.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever wonder if God is letting you flounder your way through life? It can be frustrating so frustrating.

What is helping me is constantly reminding myself that God does have a plan and a purpose for my life, even when I can’t see what that is. I also try to hold fast to the promise in the above scripture quote. God is my rock. God is my fortress. God is my deliverer. I just have to remember that God’s timing isn’t my timing and I need to remember to trust.

Have you ever heard of putting your name into bible verses? It sometimes gives a new perspective and a reminder that God is a personal God who is look out for each one of us as if we were the only person on earth.

For example:

The LORD is Carol’s rock and Carol’s fortress and Carol’s deliverer, Carol’s God, Carol’s rock, in whom Carol takes refuge; Carol’s shield and the horn of Carol’s salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

Now it is your turn. Replace my name with yours. Know that no matter what you are suffering or dealing with God is with you. He loves you and He will bless you in His own unique way.

Next Steps

For  encouragement and support join the FREE Facebook Community.

For even more tips on living a Christian life and for exclusive content, sign up for the email list.

Saints Joachim and Anne

Today is the feast of saints Joachim and Anne who are considered to be the parents of Mary, the Blessed Mother.

Saints Joachim and Anne

Image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Their Lives

Their names are not mentioned in the bible. In fact, they aren’t mentioned in the bible at all. They are mentioned in certain apocryphal writings, most notably, “The First Gospel of James.” These writings, obviously, do not have the authority of the bible by any stretch of the imagination; however, they do give a sketch of their lives.

So, tradition holds that that Joachim and Anne suffered years of infertility. This was a source of shame for them because at that time, having children was a blessing from God. Still, in their shame, they continued to be faithful to God and His promises and called out to Him in prayer.

Eventually, Anne had the good blessing of having a vision of an angel who announced that she will have a child that will be blessed for generations to come! At the birth of Mary, their joy knew no bounds! Therefore, in gratitude to God, they consecrated Mary to God and she was raised in the temple. (This was normal at that time.)

The Lesson

Whether or not the traditional accounts are real or  not, we can learn some lessons from Saints Joachim and Anne. One that stick out for me, in their sorrow and shame in not being able to have children, they remained faithful to God. They didn’t hide from their pain, instead, they took it to God.

Mind you, they felt the sorrow and shame. The feelings were real. Feelings are not sinful; they are neutral. It is what we do with those feelings that count. Many of us, myself included, tend to suppress our “bad” feelings or use those feelings as an excuse to turn away from God. We (I) forget that God isn’t afraid of our feelings. It is okay to cry out to God, to yell at Him, to be mad at him when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped, expected, or wanted.

How about you? Do you agree with this assessment of our feelings? Do you turn away from God when you get angry or disappointed?

References

Here are some websites about Saints Joachim and Anne:

Catholic News Agency

Catholic.org

Britannica

How to Pray the Angelus (The Angel of the Lord)

Are you familiar with the Angelus? Traditionally, Catholics pray the Angelus three times a day: 6am, 12pm, 6pm. Some Catholics pray the prayer just at noon, which is great too.

How to Pray the Angelus

Image by karigamb08 (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

This prayer is so beautiful and would make a great personal novena. If you are looking to sneak in some prayer into your busy schedule, this would be a great prayer to start with.

The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace…

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary, full of grace . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary, full of grace . . . 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 

Precious Blood of Christ

Yikes! Before July hit, I remembered that this devotion was coming up. Then, July started, and continued, and I just remembered yesterday – nearly halfway through the month – that it is the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus. :/

Precious Blood of Christ

Image by seostar (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

It is such a lovely devotion and it is not too late to participate. Here is my original post about the devotion that offers a little history and some suggestions in honoring Our Lord’s suffering.

“The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive”

“The glory of God is in man fully alive.”  — St. Irenaeus

That quote is from Saint Irenaeus whose obligatory memorial we celebrate today. It is a powerful reminder of what God wants for you.

God wants us (YOU) to be “fully alive!” He doesn’t want you to just get by or to live a reactive life. He wants you to live a life of joy, peace, and confidence. When you live a fulfilling, faith-filled, and joyful life, you give God glory! That doesn’t mean a life without difficulties or challenges, but it does mean that God is with us no matter what.

"The Glory of God is in Man Fully Alive"

Unfortunately, sin exists and robs us of living a life that is fully alive. When we sin or live a life of sin we rob ourselves of God and we rob God the opportunity to shower His grace on us.

Some people thing that the 10 Commandments and the precepts of the Church cramp their style or that they are “good people” so the rules that don’t apply to them. That is completely not true. God gives us the commandments and the precepts of the Church so that we can live in true freedom – not the “I can do whatever I want” kind of false freedom.

But guess what, God loves us so much that when we do sin, we can make things right with Him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confession the gift where we can confess our sins, receive forgiveness and grace and begin to life a life that is fully alive once more! You don’t have to wait for Advent or Lent to go to Confession either. You can receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on any given Saturday (or by appointment).

I encourage you, if it has been a while since you have been to Confession (or have recently committed a mortal sin), to get to Confession. I promise you, you won’t regret it. 🙂

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

P.S. If you are looking to live a fuller, more intentional life, and can use some accountability, let’s chat to see how I can help you.