Should Your Teen Watch “13 Reasons Why?”

13 Reason Why is a Netflix T.V. series based on the book by Jay Asher. It is about a teenager who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes explaining  why she made the decision to end her life.

Should Your Teen Watch "13 Reasons Why?"

Talk about this series has been going on all over the place, online and offline. There has also been some questioning and debate as to whether it is appropriate for teens, and if so, how young is too young?

In full disclosure, I have not personally watched the show, nor do I plan to watch it. It is not the subject matter, per se, that is the problem; it is the graphic nature of the show that keeps me away. Still, I think I have read enough and talked to enough people to lay out some pros and cons so that you can come to you own conclusion as to whether the show is appropriate for your teen or not.


1. It Explores  Important Topics

Over the last few months, I have been hearing about suicide more and more. It feels like it is becoming an epidemic of sorts. In fact, I recently heard of an eight year old who took his own young life because of bullying. This is heartbreaking. It needs to be discussed and the underlying reasons behind the suicides needs to be addressed. People must learn the warning signs and get those in danger some help!

Each week of this series is centered on one tape and one reason why the young girl decided to kill herself. And in doing so, it touches on other important topics such as bullying, rape, etc. These are things that must be talked about and we must help our young people find ways to deal with them in healthy ways.

2. The Characters?

Truth be told, I had a hard time coming up with another positive, other than the fact that it covers important topics. I decided to add the characters as a “pro” because several people have told me that they found the characters to be relatable, if not stereotypical. Other people have told me that the characters are too stereotypical and not really relatable at all. Go figure. I guess you will have to make up your own mind with this one. 🙂


1. There is no mention of God

Yes, this world has become so very secularized that God is taken out of almost every area of life, especially T.V. Thus, it is no surprise that it is the same here. I mention it here, though, because faith (or lack thereof) colors a person’s perspective and that is particularly true for people who contemplate suicide.

Life with faith is still difficult but a life without faith is near impossible. God doesn’t promise a perfect, easy life, but He does promise us heaven. And He does promise us a life where He is with us every step of the way. When a person of faith faces difficulties, hopefully he or she can lean on God and get the help to work through those problems.

Therefore, when a person doesn’t have faith, they don’t have that layer of support. They don’t always know who to turn to for help because they feel alone. I know for myself, before I turned to the Lord, when things were hard, life became very, very dark. I turned in on myself and there were times when suicide was an attractive choice. (I do thank God I didn’t make that choice!)  For a person without faith, every little thing can get compounded in the mind and internalized by the person.

I get the sense, from people I’ve talked to, that this is similar to the girl in the show. Even when she went for help she felt misunderstood and there is  no faith baseline to guide the girl.

2. It is Very (Too) Graphic

It shows everything. Many adults that I talked to had to turn their heads during the rape scene and the suicide scene in particular because they were just too “in your face.” One woman I talked to said she wasn’t sure if she was going to watch the last episode or not because she didn’t want to watch the suicide scene.

3. It is one-dimensional.

A couple of moms that I talked to mentioned that, although the show covers important topics, it is superficial. It doesn’t go in depth, especially in regards to the girl who killed herself. One mom in particular said that there is no discussion about the girl’s mental state or any kind of mental illness that came into play in regards to her decision. Apparently, this is also an issue with several mental illness and suicide prevention groups.

My Recommendations

1. Watch the Program Yourself First

Only you can decide whether or not your child is mature enough to handle the nature of this show (or the book). If you do decide to let your teen watch the show, feel free to fast forward during the graphic scenes or skip specific episodes altogether.

2. Watch the Program WITH Your Teen

Even if you think your teen can handle the show without you, please watch it with her. They may have questions, or they may not be able to handle some of the situations as much as you may think.

3. Talk about each episode

Don’t just watch the show and leave it at that. Ask questions. Go deep. Even if your teen is hesitant, don’t shy away from discussing what is going on and why they are going on. Talk about the characters’ reactions to various events. Talk about the mindset of the individuals, especially the young girl who committed the suicide.

One other note: be prepared to let your teen react the way she/he reacts. Your teen may open up and share things that may surprise or shock you. Say a prayer to the Holy Spirit and allow him to work/speak through you to your teen. Who knows, maybe this series – and the discussions that flow from it – may wind up being a time of growth for you and your teen (and strengthen your relationship with each other)!

Have you watched the series? What do you think about it? Have you let your teen watch the show? Why or why not? Please share in the comments. I am truly interested in other’s opinion about this series. More importantly, I am very interesting in learning how this series may (or may not) help our young people sort out the complicated issue of suicide.

P.S. For the record, my son is 12 so I won’t be letting him watch the show. Of course, that probably doesn’t surprise you. If I’m not going to watch it myself, I am not going to let him watch it. {smile}

The Miracle Prayer

The following prayer was passed out during the Women’s Conference that I attended in December. I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it but think it is a perfect prayer to pray as we get into the New Year.

The Miracle Prayer

I recommend you find a quiet place and pray the Miracle Prayer slowly and with intention. Let the Lord’s love surround you and fill your soul.

The Miracle prayer

“Lord Jesus, I come before You just as I am. I am sorry for my sins. I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In Your Name, I forgive all others for what they have done against me.

(Pause for a short time here and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind anyone you need to forgive. When He does, for each person say out loud, I forgive. Then continue the prayer.)

I renounce satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self. Lord Jesus, now and forever, I invite You into my life. Jesus, I accept You as my Lord, God and Savior. Heal me, change me, strengthen me, and deliver me in body, soul, mind, and spirit.

Come Lord Jesus, cover me with Your precious blood and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I love you, Lord Jesus. I praise You, Lord Jesus. I thank You, Lord Jesus. I shall follow You every day of my life.



Tweetable: The Miracle Prayer

31 Days of Prayer – Prayer for Daily Neglects

Yesterday, I encouraged you to begin your day by putting on the Armor of God. Today, I want to encourage you to end your day by praying for daily neglects.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

This prayer is included in the Pieta Prayer book. As far as I know, the prayer is attributed to “a Poor Claire nun” and otherwise anonymous.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred heart of Jesus, with all its Love, all its Sufferings and all its Merits.

First: to expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Second: to purify the good I have done badly this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the son…

Third: To supply for the good I ought to have done, and that I have neglected this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the son…

Isn’t this a great prayer? You can print it out here and hopefully will start praying it every day.


Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Daily Neglect

31 Days Writing Challenge

Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Traditionally, July is dedicated to honoring the Precious Blood of Jesus. It’s a devotion I knew nothing about until a few years ago. While we were visiting the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, GA one day, my husband picked up this book. The book contains some beautiful prayers and it got me wanting to learn more about the devotion to the Precious Blood.

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

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

During my search, I discovered what the Church teaches about the devotion to the Precious Blood and I learned a little about the history of this devotion. I also found information here and here about the devotion and discovered that there’s even an association dedicated to the Precious Blood.

Additionally, I came across this website that has suggestions for activities for the Precious Blood. There are a lot of options available on the site; however, as I always do, I plan to keep it simple. My plan consists of making an effort to go to daily Mass more often, praying the Litany of the Most Precious Blood twice a week, and maybe a craft or two.

In spite of all the summer traveling that often goes on during July, I encourage you do something to honor Our Lord and the suffering He endured for our salvation – no matter how small. For more information and resources go here, or here, or here.

Of course, as always, I also invite you to share your activities we us. Leave a link in the comments!


Tweetable: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Come Holy Spirit!

(The Feast of Pentecost is this Sunday – May 15 – so I am reposting this because it is always good to remind ourselves of the greats gifts of the Holy Spirit!)

If you have been following the novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost, you know we have been praying for the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. As a sort of conclusion to the novena, and for those who didn’t participate in the novena, here is a summary of the gifts of the spirit and scripture verses to pray over as you prepare for this great feast of the Church.

Holy Spirit Fire Dove

(Image in public domain)

— 1 —

Wisdom. The gift of Wisdom gives us the ability to recognize God in all things around us.

For in her [wisdom] is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear unstained, certain, not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered…For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.” Wisdom 7:23-24

— 2 —

Understanding. The gift of Understanding helps us recognize truth and how to follow in God’s ways.

Then will you understand the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of God you will find; for the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:5-6

— 3 —

Counsel. The gift of counsel gives us right judgement. We are able to clearly see and understand the difference between right and wrong.

I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

— 4 —

Fortitude. The gift of Fortitude gives us the courage we need to continue our faith journey, even in the face of trials and difficulties.

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

— 5 —

Knowledge. The gift of knowledge helps us know who God is.

Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.” 2 Corinthians 11:6

— 6 —

Piety. The gift of Piety gives us reverence and respect for all things holy, particularly God and His Holy Church.

Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship, pleasing to God in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12: 28-29

— 7 —

Fear of the Lord. The gift of the Fear of the Lord gives us an understanding of the greatness and awesomeness of God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. Your praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10

I pray that each of you filled with every gift and blessing from the Lord on this Pentecost Sunday. God bless.


Tweetable: Come Holy Spirit!

(Scripture verses taken from the New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition; 1970 by the Confraternity of Christina Doctrine (CCD), Washington, DC)

Christ the King

(Repost with some changes)

Christ the King

Image by geralt (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Wow! Yesterday was the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It’s hard to believe that we will be heading into Advent next week! Where has the time gone?

“At the name of Jesus every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS Lord.” Philippians 2:10-11

Yesterday, the Church celebrated the feast of Christ the King. It is the day that we celebrate and acknowledge the all-encompassing authority of Christ over our lives. To find out more about this awesome feast, go here.

As we transition into Advent, like many of us, I have been thinking about what I want to do to prepare for Christmas this year. In light of today’s feast, here are some questions I am asking myself:

  • How have I grown in my relationship with Jesus this year?
  • Am I growing in trust and surrendering my will to His?
  • In what areas of my relationship with Jesus do I need to improve?
  • How has my prayer life been this year? Am I taking time for the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and other devotions?
  • Am I actively participating in the sacramental life? Am I fully participating in the Mass? Confession?
  • What can I do this year to make Advent a true preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas?

As you prepare for the Advent season, I pray that Christ will truly be at the center of your heart, that you may grow in His Love, and that you will be guided by the Holy Spirit throughout the season and always. 🙂

Tweetable: Christ the King


Moderation is Key: A Catholic View of Alcohol

Red WineLate last week a non-Catholic Facebook friend posed this question: “Is it right or wrong to drink, scriptorially? Is it ok to drink sometime or not at all?”

Apparently, she was getting conflicting opinions from her church and wanted to know what the Bible said about drinking. From this question, an interesting discussion ensued. One comment particularly stood out for me (copied exactly as stated in FB):

The Holy Spirit don’t stand alcohol. Let’s be not only believer’s, but let’s repent to get the promise for US and our children (act.2:38-40) to get the H.S in hearts. A simple believer without the H.S is not yet a confirmed child (son) of God. Rememeber what is said in Roman 8. The only way wine is allowed is to take communion. This truth is available only for the new Covenant. In the Old Covenant, only Nazareane couldn’t drink wine. They are the Equivalent of man (woman) filled with the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant. Without the H.S in heart, we are not sons or daughters of God. Do you see?

What gets me about this comment is, that this person is basically saying that if a person drinks alcohol, he or she doesn’t have the Holy Spirit in his or her heart. That’s rubbish. This person doesn’t have some special view into a person’s heart. Only God can read our hearts. Only God knows our intentions. Only God knows where our hearts lie and whether or not the Holy Spirit is living in us. Alcohol has nothing to do with that.

On top of that,  how does this person know that the Holy Spirit “don’t stand alcohol”? No where in the Bible does it expressly say that alcohol is intrinsically evil. We are often warned not to live in excess, but that concerned eating, drinking, etc. but no where does it say that alcohol is evil. (If I’m wrong, do please point out the verse to me, and I will take this back!)

Concerning Romans 8, which is cited by this person, doesn’t say that the Holy Spirit is against alcohol. What it does say in verse 5 is this:

For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit.

Throughout the chapter, it talks about living in Christ and being a new creation and that we are adopted sons and daughters of the Father, through Christ. In verse 10 it says:

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think any of these verse are intended to categorically say that alcohol is evil. I encourage you to read Romans 8 and decide for yourself.

I also spent a little time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There isn’t anything explicit about alcohol, but under the section of the section dealing with the 5th Commandment – when it talks about the dignity of the human person – there is a part dealing with “respect for health”  it says this (Article 2290):

The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

See, it is the virtue of temperance that must guide our choices. Any abuse or excess of ANYTHING is wrong; however, that doesn’t necessarily make the thing itself intrinsically evil or wrong. (Although, one could make a case for tobacco!)

In conclusion, let me sum up my view using the comment (in response to the person mentioned above) I left for my friend:

“Jesus ate and drank with his apostles and turned water into wine. Wine is made from grapes, which was made from God and all that God has made is good. The key is moderation. The bible says to stay sober and not get drunk and carousing, but no where in the bible does it say that alcohol in itself is evil. It’s us humans that make it evil by giving into drunkenness and excess. Or anything else that is good for that matter; alcohol, food, sex are all good. We are the ones that distort that goodness by not using them as God intended. Everyone of us are responsible before the Lord for our actions, so if we know that we “can’t hold our drink” then we have a responsibility not to drink, but having a glass of wine with dinner or on a special occasion is not against the Holy Spirit or wrong.

I’d love your opinion. Do you agree with me? Or take a different position? What are your thoughts on this?

Further Reading:

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Biblical Evidence for Catholicism

(Photo Credit)


31 Days With Mary: Day 24

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Our Mother

“Find out for yourself by personal experience the meaning of Mary’s maternal love. it is not enough just to know that she is our Mother, and to think and talk about her as such. She is your Mother and you are her child. She loves you as if you were her only child in this world. Treat her accordingly. tell her about everything that happens to you; honor her and love her. no one will do it for you or as well as you.'” –St. Jose Maria Escriva

Offering: Many affectionate prayers and thoughts to our heavenly mother throughout the day.

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(P.S. The seventh day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)

31 Days With Mary: Day 23

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Queen of the Apostles

“In their booklet, Devotion to Mary, Queen of Apostles, the Daughters of St. Paul express, beautifully, the meaning of this title : ‘ Mary is Queen of Apostles because she was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ and to give Him to the world; she was made the Apostles’ Mother and our own by Our Savior on the cross; she was with the Apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, obtaining for them the abundance of supernatural graces they received on Pentecost.'” —

Offering: A kind word to someone with whom we live or work.

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(P.S. The sixth day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)

31 Days With Mary: Day 19

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Her Faith

“If our faith is weak, we should turn to Mary. St. John tells us that it was because of the miracle that Christ performed, at his mother’s request, at the marriage feast at Cana, that ‘his disciples learned to believe in him’ Our Mother is always interceding with her Son, so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us in such a way that we can cry out, ‘You are the Son of God!'” –Pope John Paul II

Offering: The Memorare prayed well and carefully for the person in our life who most needs the Blessed Virgin Mary’s assistance.

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(P.S. The second day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)