Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is one of my favorite feast days: the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We know that the heart represents love and so this feast is yet another reminder of God’s great love for us, of the love that Jesus has for all of us; a love which compelled Him to become man, to spend 33 years on earth, to suffer horribly and die for us and to rise for us!

So for this week’s 7 Quick Takes I’d like to share some links about the Sacred Heart for you to pray over and think about:

1. EWTN devotionals.

2. SacredHeart.com.

3. SacredHeartDevotion.com.

4. Women for Faith and Family. (Page about the Sacred Heart.)

5. New Advent. (Doctrinal explanation of the feast.)

6. About.com. (History of the feast.)

7. Wikipedia. (Not a terrible explanation of the feast. 🙂 )

A blessed Solemnity, everyone!

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Tweetables:

What do you know about the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Some links…

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

7QT: Devotion to the Sacred Heart

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7 Quick Takes: Alternatives to Boy Scouts

7 Alternatives to the Boy Scouts

If you haven’t already heard, the Boy Scouts of America recently changed their policy and passed “the resolution allowing ‘open and avowed homosexuality’ in the Boy Scouts.” It is very sad that they have chosen to go against their own “timeless values” and we, as parents, are forced to look into other youth organizations for our boys.

The good news, however, is there are such organizations out there! Here are seven such organizations that have come to my attention. (Hat tip to Dymphna’s Road for several of these links.) Just so you know, I haven’t had any personal experience with any of these organizations, although from resources I trust, the organizations are supposed to be excellent…

1. On My Honor.

According to their website, “”OnMyHonor.Net is the official coalition of concerned parents, Scout Leaders, Scouting Donors, Eagle Scouts and other BSA members who are united in their support of Scouting’s timeless values and their opposition to open homosexuality in the Scouts.”

This group is supposed to be meeting to talk about forming another organization similar to the Boy Scouts.

2. Columbian Squires.

The Columbian Squires is an extension of the Knights of Columbus, and I believe, sponsored by them. They are not in many parishes yet, but you can see if there is a group near you.

3. The Blue Knights.

Their website states: “Blue Knights Boys’ Club™ is a boys’ club aimed at teaching the truths of the Catholic faith to boys through Scripture, saints’ biographies, games, crafts and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

Our home-schooling co-op has monthly Blue Knights meetings and it is very good. My only wish is that it was more active and they did activities outside the monthly meetings.

4. Knights of Divine Mercy.

On the website: “The Knights of Divine Mercy apostolate seeks to awaken in men [and boys] the eager desire for a knight’s true calling: The quest for holiness and a restoration of the sacred.”

I’ve never heard of this group before but I like what it says on their website and according to someone I know, it is supposed to be an excellent group and worth checking out.

5. Pilgrims of the Holy Family.

A “do-it-yourself” alternate program to 4-H or Boy scouts through the Catholic Heritage Curricula website.

6. Federation of North American Explorers.

Not a Catholic-specific program, but its website states: “We deliver a proven same gender year round program experience that helps shape youth into honest, loving, Christ centered, happy young men and women in a fun and constructive manner.”

7. Fraternus.

Another Catholic-based program that is supposed to be very good. It is a parish-based program whose goal is “To mentor boys into virtuous Catholic men.”

I’ve never heard of this program and have no idea how many parishes it may be in, but might be worth the “look-see.”

Of course if all else, you could always form your own alternative group with your sons and their friends…If I wasn’t in school full-time nor taking 6 classes in the fall, I would consider  trying to start a chapter of one of the above groups or starting my own.

Do you know of any other programs that would be good alternates to the Boy Scouts? Do share them in the comments.

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Tweetables:

Alternatives to Boy Scouts

7 QT: Alternatives to Boy Scouts

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7 Quick Takes: Ode to Moms Edition

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Since Mother’s Day is this Sunday I thought I would celebrate by sharing some of my favorite quotes about motherhood. 🙂

1. “God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.” –Jewish Proverb

2. “Mother is the heartbeat in the home; and without her, there seems to be no heart throb.” –Leroy Brownlow

3. “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” –Robert Browning

4. “A mother understands what a child does not say.” –Jewish Proverb

5. “Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” –Marion C. Garretty

6. “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” –Washington Irving

7. All I am, I owe to my mother. –George Washington

These quotes, especially #6 are certainly true of my mother. She has always been there for me and I am so grateful to her. I just hope I can be half as good as a mother to Andrew as she was to me. I love you mom!

What are your favorite quotes about mothers? Please do share them in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the other 7 Quick Takes entries over at Conversion Diary.

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photo credit: Jill Clardy via photopin cc

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7 Quick Takes: Scripture and the Eucharist Edition

Bible Heart

In yesterday’s Theological Thursday post I talked about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In today’s 7 Quick Takes I want to share just a few Scripture readings about the Eucharist for you to pray over.

1. Psalm 110:4 (Foreshadowing the Eucharist)

2. Exodus 29:38-39 (Foreshadowing the Eucharist)

3. John 6:22-69 (“Bread of Life Discourse”)

4. Matthew 26:26-30 (The Last Supper)

5. 1 Corinthians 10:16 (Is not the cup we share…)

6. Acts 2:42 (They devoted themselves…to the breaking of the bread…)

7. Hebrews 12:22-24 (Jesus and mediator)

For more scripture verses related to the Eucharist, I highly recommend ScriptureCatholic. It has done an amazing job laying out and explaining all the various scriptures that foreshadow the Eucharist, the institution of the Eucharist and the relation between the Cross and the Eucharist. Under the long list of scripture verses there are also a ton of quotes and explanations from Tradition and Church Fathers that are worth reading and praying over, too.

Also, catholicbible101 also has a page dedicated to explaining the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that you can check out.

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Scripture and the Eucharist

7 QT: Scripture and the Eucharist Edition

photo credit: Justin Lowery via photopin cc

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7 Quick Takes: Lenten Randomness

— 1 —

May I start with a prayer request? One of my dear friend’s father was confirmed with stage 4 lung cancer. I believe he is only in his 60s. Please not only pray for him but for his family. Thanks.

— 2 —

Reminder for those of you who participate in the First Friday Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today is First Friday. 😉 If you don’t participate in the First Friday devotions, Lent would be a good time to start!

— 3 —

While I am at it, tomorrow is  First Saturday which is traditionally devoted to Our Lady. Lent would be a good time to start the First Saturday devotions, too.

— 4 —

A beautiful song that is perfect for Lent: (It is 4 minutes and 21 seconds)

— 5 —

There are 31 days until Easter Sunday. Andrew’s birthday the 31st and so falls on Easter Sunday this year. He is absolutely thrilled and excited to have his birthday on Easter and is counting the days. Not that he would be any less excited if his birthday didn’t fall on Easter. 🙂 Every year since he was three he has been counting down to his birthday starting in January! Remember those days when you were excited for your birthday to come?!

— 6 —

What are you making for dinner for this Lenten Friday? If you are looking for ideas, here is a list of some meatless recipes. Still, I’m always looking for new recipes, especially for meatless ones for Fridays because we forego meat even outside of Lent. I don’t want to fall into the rut of having pizza or fish sticks every week. Tonight I’m using a shrimp recipe that Jen (Conversion Diary Jen) shared a while back. (Scroll down to #6 to see the recipe.) It is ridiculously easy to make and so good. I’ve made it three times so far and it’s been a big hit every time.

— 7 —

Finally I thought I’d share this website that I found called Praying Lent. It has prayers and other resources such as an online Lenten Retreat. I haven’t delved that far into the website yet, but what I’ve seen so far looks good.

God Bless you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: Lenten Resources for Homeschoolers

So, Lent has arrived so I thought I would put together some resources that I can use with Andrew throughout the next 40 days during our homeschooling. As I was putting it together, I thought I would share them here in case anyone else was looking for activities to do with their families.

Just keep in mind that I haven’t had the chance to check out every link yet, so I can’t vouch for the usefulness or orthodoxy of most of the links posted here. Browse at your own risk. 🙂

— 1 —

Homeschooling for Free.

— 2 —

Free Printable Lenten Calendars.

— 3 —

Printable Lent Journal for Children. (NOT free. Cost is $10)

— 4 —

Bring Lent to Life. (NOT free. Cost about $5.99. This is written by Kathleen M. Basi who is a fellow Sunday Snippets participant. I have her Advent book, so I KNOW Bring Lent to Life will be good. 🙂 )

— 5 —

Catholic Homeschool Support.

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Catholic Homeschool Support. (Same site as above but different links.)

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Advent and Lent Quest. (NOT free. This item is $12 but they have a ton of printable sets at various price points.)

I haven’t decided yet on which activities I will be doing yet, and I want to do a little made-up devotional with Andrew but haven’t put it together yet. Hopefully I’ll get it all figured out by Sunday!

What activities or plans do you have for celebrating the season Lent with your family? Please DO share for those of us searching for fresh ideas!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: “God is Good!” Edition

— 1 —

We own a house in Ohio that we are currently renting out. On Tuesday night I got a call from the tenant saying that when he replaced the batteries for the carbon monoxide detector it kept going off repeatedly so he had to evacuate the house. We got someone in there on Wednesday and I am happy to report that the problem was with the detector itself. The guy tested everything and there are no problems. I have to pay $85 for them to go over there, plus the cost of the new detector but that’s better than possibly paying thousands!

— 2 —

Tomorrow (Saturday) my son is making his first Holy Confession in preparation for making his first Holy Communion at the end of April. It is such a blessing to see God work in our children, yes? Up until about two months ago my son told me that he wasn’t going to go to confession because he is too nervous. Now he is so excited and can’t wait to go that he has been counting down the days.

— 3 —

We had rain/wind on Wednesday night into Thursday which caused us to lose power. It seems like every time there is a little wind our area loses power. We lost power at 2am and got the power back around 11am, so I won’t complain. Thankfully it was just for a few hours rather than two weeks like it was out during Superstorm Sandy.

— 4 —

Just a reminder: Today is First Friday and Tomorrow is First Saturday if you practice those devotions. If you aren’t in the habit of doing those devotions, today would be a good day to start. 🙂

— 5 —

With all the writing I’ve been doing, by following my “5 minutes a day” program, I finally finished a short story and two flash fiction pieces. I’m not sure If I’ll share them publicly or not, but it feels good to actually finish a writing project. Up until I finished these, most of my 5 minute writings have been mostly snippets of ideas and scenes and character development. Maybe the next time someone asks me what I do I’ll be able to say. “I’m a writer!” 🙂

— 6 —

If you are wondering what flash fiction is and how it compares to writing a short story, here’s a little introduction. For me, someone who can be rather wordy, writing flash fiction is real difficult. But I am liking the challenge and by writing flash fiction I am forced to be more careful with word choice and plot development. I figure that if I can master, or at least get pretty good at writing flash fiction, then all of my other writings will be better too. That’s my hope anyway.

— 7 —

Here’s a fun song, “God is Good” to bring a smile to your face for this First Friday: (it’s a little over five minutes)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: “The Snow, Scam and School” Edition

— 1 —

My husband has been talking all week about the snowstorm we are supposed to get today into tomorrow. What a drag that would be. Nothing would make me happier than the snow miss us entirely. I hate snow which is totally scandalous to my seven-year-old who can’t wait for the snow. 🙂 I just pray that if the storm comes we don’t lose power…

— 2 —

Okay, hate is a strong word. I don’t hate snow in and of itself. I just hate the driving conditions, the slush, the coldness and the leg cramps that I get that comes with the snow. I could never live in norther ares of the country like Buffalo where they are snowed in eight out of twelve months of the year. What about you? Are you a snow lover or “hater”?

— 3 —

Tuesday night a computer virus or hacker attached my computer. It was nasty. My computer started flashing and all sorts of awful websites, then the screen went white, then it went black and then I got this “official” warning that I may have committed terrible crimes and that if I didn’t pay $300 within 48 hours I would be investigated and thrown into jail. I was so shocked by the notice it took me a while before I realized it was a scam. Thanks to a friend of mine who walked me through the steps of getting rid of the violence and several hours later, I’m happy to report that my computer is fixed and safe again. Whew! (And yes, I was able to fix the computer without losing any of my stuff. Thank you, Lord, for that little miracle!)

— 4 —

There are two things that made my computer vulnerable, I think. The first is that I was using Internet Explorer when the virus hit. Now I’m not blaming Internet Explorer but from past experience and the opinion of several computer experts, Internet Explorer isn’t the safest browser to use. I usually use Firefox but it was freezing on me so I figured I’d use IE. I came to find out FF was freezing because I hadn’t done the latest update for it. In any case, If you use IE, I would recommend you switch to Firefox or Google Chrome or Safari. You’ll be better off for it. (I’m curious, what browser do you use?)

This brings me to the second point. I do have antivirus software, but I had gotten lax in running the scans and making sure I had the latest updates. So, please, take my experience as a reminder to yourself to keep your antivirus software up to date and run scans of your computer regularly. It is worth the time and effort to do so, believe me!

— 5 —

As I was think back about this virus/scam, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people have been duped by this scam. Let me tell you, the notice looked real and “official” that at first I was almost ready to run out and get the money. I can see a lot of elderly or others who wouldn’t know better and would actually give up their money to this scam.

— 6 —

Two of my classes have suddenly been canceled for this semester, business writing class and American Literature II. I couldn’t find classes to replace them so I only have to take two classes this semester, Speech and Biology. I am a little disappointed because I was those were the two classes I was looking forward to taking; however, it is a blessing that I only have the two classes because Biology is going to be A LOT of work.

— 7 —

Speaking of speech, I survived the first day of class. 🙂 I really like the professor, Martin McDermott, all ready. He is really funny and made us feel comfortable with him right away. He is also an author of a book called Speaking with Courage which I will be buying from him. I can use all the help with speech I can get!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7QT: “It’s Been a While” Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in 7QT so I’m glad to be here this week. I usually write my 7 Quick Takes around a theme, but today I feel like just posting some boring tidbits. 🙂

— 1 —

 Have you ever watched The Big Bang Theory? I happened upon the show by accident several weeks ago and have been hooked ever since! All I could think of is “How did I not watch this show before?!” Some of the themes of the show is inappropriate (the premarital stuff) but the other parts are so funny. Sheldon just cracks me up! If you have any amount of the nerdy in you, you should check it out.

— 2 —

I’m really happy that I’ve actually been following through with my goal to write for 5 minutes per day. It may not seem like much but it is a good start for me. The nice thing is that most days, once I get started I usually write for longer – often up to 15 minutes. I shared a little about my experience with getting back to writing here.

— 3 —

As I’m writing this, I’m watching The Wedding Planner on AMC. Not one of my favorite movies but it’s okay. I liked Jennifer Lopez better in Maid in Manhattan. One movie I can watch over and over again? You’ve Got Mail. Yep, definitely one of my guilty pleasures!

— 4 —

You would think by reading numbers 1 and 3 that I’m a big TV person but I’m not. I used to watch a lot of TV but I’ve lost my taste for most of it through the years. It seems like every show I sit down to watch has a liberal agenda or is so poorly written it’s ridiculous.

— 5 —

But, there are some shows I really like such as Castle, Body of Proof and Scandal. These shows are well-written with engaging and interesting storylines. (The fact that all three shows are on ABC was not expected or planned. 🙂 )

— 6 —

I can’t believe that classes are starting up again on Tuesday. On the one hand, I’m not ready to get back into the crazy schedule of papers and tests but I am excited to move forward in my goal to get my bachelor’s degree. This semester I have speech (interpersonal communications), American Literature II, Biology and Business Writing. All of the classes except speech are online.

— 7 —

The class I am dreading the most is speech. I don’t know how I am going to be able to stand up in front of the class full of teeny boppers (well, high school graduates) to give a speech. I barely can speak a sentence in front of more than three or four people. I know God will be with me and I suppose it will be a good opportunity to practice my word for the year – trust. 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: Picture Edition

It has been one of those weeks…not really bad per se, but busy to the 9th degree. I am so glad it’s Friday! The weekend will be just as busy in a way, but not nearly as frantic – I hope so anyway!

— 1 —

So proud of my little guy: last Saturday he advanced to yellow belt in karate. He also got acknowledged for perfect attendance. He was so excited and proud of himself!

A advanced to yellow belt in karate

— 2 —

My in-laws left last Saturday to go on a cross-country motor home trip with their daughter-in-law and grand children. Their son, my brother-in-law will be meeting up with them sometime today in Denver. Truth be told, not sure I would enjoy being away from home for a month on a trip like that. I’m a homebody for sure, but, I am enjoying the updates and pictures they have been sending, like this one:

Arch

And this one:

MOsunset

— 3 —

I had a sweet surprise come to me in the mail yesterday. A dear friend sent me a Christian CD recorded by Marie Hosdil, called “Unleashed”.  I am listening to the CD as I write this.

Unleashed by Marie Hosdil

I met Marie a few times when I was living in Steubenville, OH. She is a very talented lady and I am enjoying the CD very much. There are eight songs on the CD; all of which have very catchy tunes. It wasn’t long before I was singing along with the music!

— 4 —

Chemistry is killing me. If you’ve read this blog at all sometime during the last three weeks, this is no surprise to you. 🙂 I’ve been moaning about it ever since the course began. It is HARD and it’s TIME CONSUMING. Seriously, it is sucking the life out of me and I’m glad it’s the only course I’m taking this semester, otherwise I’d be in BIG trouble! It’s the labs that are the most difficult and time consuming. There’s been one or two due a week and starting next week, there will be 4 labs due within 10 days. Yikes!

Tell me, why, oh why, does an ENGLISH major need to know about this???

Organic-chemistry
(Photo Credit)

— 5 —

 Speaking of classes, I have my schedule for the fall term all set. It is going to be a crazy busy time – even worse than now. I’m officially going full-time with four classes (12 credits). The difference however, will be that I’ll be taking classes I enjoy: American Literature, American History, Women’s Studies and Math for the Liberal Arts. Well, I’ll enjoy the American Literature and American History. I know the Women’s Studies course will be seriously overwrought with the radical feminist agenda, but I’m braced for that. And, well, not too thrilled with the Math, but it’s gotta be better than Chemistry. Anything has got to be better than Chemistry!

(Sorry, no picture for this one!)

— 6 —

Wanna see a lame video? This is the video I took on Monday when I picked the winners of the Sons of Cain Giveaway. I totally suck on camera!

Know what I noticed about this video? I’ve done only three videos: this one, another giveaway video and one more, each one several months apart. In ALL THREE, I’m wearing the same exact blue shirt. LOL!

— 7 —

On a somber note, I’m deeply troubled that the Obamacare was upheld by the Supreme Court. Obamacare is NOT constitutional at all. I fear for our country. I fear for our religious and personal freedoms. I fear the path our country is headed. I truly am. May the Lord have mercy on us all.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!