Saturday, August 19, 2017

Attachment to Heaven

St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington, KY)
All spiritual writers frequently talk about detachment from the world and earthly things, which is the same as saying "attachment to Heaven." We just celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, which helps us remember we are pilgrims on this earth and our true home lies in eternity with God.

Divine Intimacy, one of my favorite books, has an excellent passage on this topic: "The Feast of the Assumption is a strong appeal to us to live ever intent upon heavenly things, and not to allow ourselves to be carried away by the vicissitudes and seductions of the world. . . . Mary's Assumption shows us the route we must follow in our spiritual ascent: detachment from the earth, flight toward God, and union with God." To reach this end, we must fulfill the will of God in our lives and accept all our sufferings because the closer we are to Christ on the Cross in this life, the closer union we shall share in His reign in the next.

To aid us in fulfilling the will of God, we should try to remove all obstacles to His grace acting in our day to day life. This means detaching from the things of this world. Yes we have to live in this world, but we must live in this world as Christ did while on earth, which was with mind and heart always fixed on the things above. If there are worldly things in our lives that are dragging us and attaching us to earth so much that we cannot keep our gaze on the things that are eternal, then we need to examine our situation and see what can be removed so we can better serve God. For example, I recently discovered how much social media was weighing me down (not that it cannot be used for good) but it was leaving a negative impact on my life. Removing social media seems to have made it easier to think on the things of Heaven rather than of earth.

Let us imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary (who appeared to the Fatima children today) and make many sacrifices for sinners who have no one to pray for them, which will keep us focused on God and Heaven.

                                                                    ~ Therese

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Excitement of DIY Projects


Do you like DIY projects? In my book, being able to do something yourself is very important. Why pay someone else to do it if you can? My parents are big on DIY so I guess you could say I grew up with the idea, but with so much information available now anyone can really get into DIY.

There is something very satisfying in stepping back and looking at a project that you brought to completion. And usually (if you did it right) the project will stand the test of time and maybe you can pass it onto your children. 


DIY projects can be as simple as these window boxes which I was very excited to put together! Or as complicated as house renovation with ripping up tile, new kitchen cabinets, or repainting. One of my favorite DIY projects was building bookcases with my dad for either side of the fireplace for my mom's birthday. To me the best part of DIY is the memories.

The memory for these window boxes is the state on the bottom, which comes from my mom's childhood home! It's been brought along through six different houses! So whatever your project is good luck and have fun! And it's always more fun if the whole family gets involved. 

                                                                                    ~ Therese

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blueberry Crumble (Gluten + Dairy Free)


This has become a new family favorite, guys! A must try! 

Ingredients:

3 cups quick oats
1 cup GF flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups (medium sized) blueberries
1 1/2 T maple syrup
1 T corn starch
1 T orange juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour oil in slowly until well mixed and/or crumbs begin to form. Take half the mixture and line a 7x11 glass pan with the crumb mixture as the bottom crust (packed firmly). Save the other half for the top. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Put berries, maple syrup, corn starch, and juice in a saucepan and stir over medium heat for two minutes or until juices begin to thicken. (Blueberries should still be round not completely smushed). Pour filling on top of the baked crust and add the rest of the crumb mixture over the top and pack down. Bake entire mixture for additional 25 minutes. Serves eight-ten. Enjoy!

                                                                                   ~ Therese

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fruits of Attending Holy Mass


Because the value of Holy Mass is infinite, we can never truly know the wealth of grace available to us by attending Mass. Here are but a few of the beautiful gifts God bestows on those who attend devoutly!

Through attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass . . . 

. . . your greatest consolation at death will be the Masses you have heard devoutly.
. . . when you are judged each Mass will be with you and plead for your pardon.
. . . you can diminish your temporal punishment due to sin according to your fervor.
. . . you give the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
. . . Our Lord supplies for your negligences and omissions.
. . . the venial sins you are determined to avoid are forgiven.
. . . all your unknown sins never confessed are forgiven. 
. . . the power of Satan over your soul is diminished.
. . . you offer those in Purgatory the best possible relief.
. . . one Holy Mass heard during your lifetime is more beneficial than many offered for you after your death.
. . . you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes that would otherwise have befallen you.
. . . you shorten your Purgatory by each Mass heard devoutly.
. . . you kneel amid a multitude of angels present at each Mass.
. . . you are blessed in temporal goods and affairs.
. . . when offering in honor of a saint or angel you give that saint or angel a new degree of honor and joy, drawing his special protection and love on yourself.

(Info courtesy of St. Benedict Center Still River, MA saintbenedictcenter.com)

"For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death." ~ revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the Great

                                                                            ~ Therese

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Be At Peace


I am Polish and I have this sign hanging on my fridge to remind me of these simple yet powerful words "Be at Peace." In a world that is suffering and always needing to "de-stress," peace is something that is very much sought after. It is hard when we feel like "our world" is falling apart around us and there seems to be no answers to our problems, but Our Lord said, "I have overcome the world."

St. Therese talks about suffering from moment to moment, which was the only thing that brought her peace. True peace comes from God. I know when things are upside down in my life, it's those quiet moments before the Blessed Sacrament that bring peace to my heart. Our Lord said again, "Come to Me all you who labor and find life burdensome and I will give you rest." Rest is that peace that He alone can give.

Acceptance helps us be at peace as well. There may be things we simply cannot change that are overwhelmingly challenging in our lives. We may have to accept them without understanding. It is then that we must look to Christ Crucified which is the only place that suffering makes any sense.

I love this quote of St. Francis de Sales: “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring, the same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. He will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”

                                                                               ~ Therese

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wholesome Writing


The words "wholesome writing" might deter some folks who are only looking to be amused by things that are not necessarily good. But writing can be genuinely interesting, entertaining, and fun, while remaining wholesome at the same time but without being what is considered "preachy." 

For example, I absolutely love mysteries. So many of them however are twisted, weird, or just depressing. So why can't they be lighthearted and uplifting? Why can't the books we read be clear of all offensive content and enjoyable for any age range? 

Writers have a tremendous responsibility. You can either make someone a better person for having read your creation or a worse person. Every little thing matters. The simplest sentence can have a powerful impact on a person. This means that writers have the beautiful ability of touching hearts and making someone see something in another light.

Stories of heroes are what encourage us in our own lives. Fiction can only encourage us to a certain extent and the stories that are true resonate even deeper. But beneath the fiction of a narrative are messages and themes that apply to our day to day life and inspire us to go forward. Writers can never forget that more important than their stories are the people who read them.

Let's make our writing wholesome in the sense that when readers walk away from our books, they are better and happier people--ready to face troubles in their lives with courage.

                                                                      ~ Therese

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Apple Pie Cake with Cinnamon Glaze


It doesn't get better than this right? Love apple pie? Love cake? So you have to make an apple pie cake! This is also awesome because it's gluten and lactose free! 

Ingredients for Cake:

~ 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
~ 1/2 cup honey
~ 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff not Aunt Jemima's guys)
~ 1 T orange juice
~ 1/2 t salt
~ 8 eggs
~ 3 cups GF flour
~ 2 t cinnamon
~ 1 T vanilla extract

Ingredients for Glaze:

~ 2 cups confectioners sugar
~ 1 T cinnamon
~ water to desired consistency (see below)


Directions for Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, which can also be greased with oil. Combine the apples, honey, maple syrup, and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are tender. Put the eggs, flour, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a mixer and stir till combined well. Add the apple/honey/syrup mixture and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until knife/fork comes out clean. Let cool for half an hour and place on a serving plate. Spread the glaze over the surface of the cake and allow to drip down the sides. Ready to enjoy! Can also put into the freezer for fifteen minutes to harden the glaze.

Directions for Glaze:

Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Add water slowly. Start with 1 T and stir. Depending on if you want a thick or thin icing, add more water slowly to desired consistency a teaspoon at a time. If it gets too thick add water, or too thin add sugar. Pour over the cooled cake. This cake serves 10-12 people.

Now you can try this out and have it all ready for the Fall! 

                                                                                                             ~ Therese

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Precious Blood Devotion

Pall from Holywell in England
The devotion to the Precious Blood is one of my favorites. The simple prayers below offer such beautiful promises and give much glory to God. Most of us will not likely be actual martyrs, but these prayers offer in the fourth promise that it will be as if we had died martyrs by honoring the Precious Blood through this devotion. How amazing! Let us not miss these simple opportunities of strengthening our Faith and consoling the Heart of Jesus. 

Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by Our Lord Jesus Christ
on His Way to Calvary

St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, St. Matilda, and St. Bridget, wishing to know something of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, offered fervent and special prayers, upon which Our Lord revealed to them: 

To all the faithful who shall recite for 3 years each day, 2 Our Father's, 2 Hail Mary's, and 2 Glory Be's in honor of the drops of Blood I lost, I will concede the following 5 graces:

1. The plenary indulgence and remittance of your sins.
2. You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.
3. If you should die before completing the said 3 years, for you it will be the same as if you had completed them.
4. It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.
5. I will descend from Heaven to take your soul and that of your relatives, until the fourth generation.

(Blessed by Pope St. Leo XIII in Rome April 5, 1890).

Happy Feast Day of the Precious Blood of Jesus!

                                                                            ~ Therese

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Make My Heart Like Unto Thine


"Oh Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine." Yesterday we celebrated the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and this is such a beautiful and fitting prayer for this glorious day. I thought for this blog post I would just share the amazing promises that Our Lord gave to St. Margaret Mary for all those who will honor His Sacred Heart.

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life. 
2. I will establish peace in their families. 
3. I will comfort them in their trials. 
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death. 
5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy. 
7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent. 
8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection. 
9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored. 
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. 
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out. 
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment. 

One way to honor Him is by having an image exposed in our homes of the Sacred Heart, or perhaps praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart, or even better spending time in adoration before His Eucharistic Heart. Let us not lose a single opportunity to turn our hearts to Our Lord's and ever more be united to Him.

                                                                      ~ Therese

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Home Sweet Home


Not long ago, I wrote a post about the travel bug. That is definitely a common symptom that pops up in our lives, and a healthy dose of "seeing the world" is certainly great. This week, however, I want to write about home.

What does home mean to someone? A place you retire to when not at work? A place where your family lives? A place where you feel loved and secure? I think in a general sense "home" fits all of these definitions. To me, no matter where you travel or how long or short you are gone, there is nothing like that feeling of arriving at your "home sweet home." For unless you are a true nomad or your living conditions are less than ideal, there will always be somewhere special to which you return.

The word home seems to resonate a sense of peace. That in that place is somewhere you can find joy, comfort, security, love . . . all intangibles that reflect God, meaning He should be the center of the home. I like that phrase: "Christ is the Head of this house, the unseen Guest at every meal, the silent Listener to every conversation." 

Since the state of one's physical home can vary, it presents us with the idea that earth is not our final home. We are always traveling as pilgrims to our permanent abode in Heaven. It is a nice thought, is it not? To think of the concept of eternity. Home with all its ups and downs reminds us of this. When home is a place that brings contentment, we want to hold onto that forever. When home brings misunderstandings and frustrations, we want to escape from it. Meaning we all long for that place--for Heaven--where there is no suffering and our peace knows no bounds.

We should thank God every day for our home--somewhere that we have worked for and built up by all our efforts to create a place that you can sit by the hearth and breath a sigh of relief at the end of a long day.

                                                                         ~ Therese

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Amanda Case Files No. 2

Available at:
Amazon, Etsy, and Handmade Catholic Shop

Amanda Case returns for an all new exciting mystery! Jump start your summer vacation with a lighthearted and wholesome fiction novel. From the back cover: "Amanda Case is back for a new mystery that starts out personal. When Christie Henley is arrested for murder at Fielding's Hospital, Liz must discover who would frame her sister and why. Liz sleuths undercover to unveil a motive among doctors, nurses, CEO's, and a janitor. Will Liz find the killer in a plot that gets deeper and deeper? And how will she handle a very unexpected family secret that surfaces during her investigation?"

Here's a sneak peek of the novel! And you can look forward to the third installment for Christmas!

Chapter 1:

Elizabeth Henley stormed into the police station early one Wednesday morning. Nearly a year had passed since that morning when she arrived at old Anderson Manor. Seven cases had come and gone, all solved successfully and rather uneventfully. Not one had been personal . . . until now.
It was a warm June day, but Liz was wearing long pants and a dress shirt. She was walking quickly to a room where she had questioned suspects so often over the years. However, the person she was meeting was the reason for her anger and surprise.
“Liz—” Officer Robert Gray began to say as she entered the room he was waiting in.
“Bob, how could you?” Liz cut him off.
“It’s not my fault—”
“Did you arrest her?” Liz said, crossing her arms.
“No—I—I couldn’t. Captain Walker brought her in.” Bob put his hands in his pockets.
Liz’s face softened. “I’m sorry, Bob.”
“She’s innocent, of course, but the captain is determined to put her in jail—”
“Not while I’m on the case,” Liz said emphatically. “There is no way that a sister of mine will ever be arrested for murder.” She left Bob standing there and opened a door that led into a small room. Liz bit her lip at the sight of her younger sister, Christie, seated at the small table, twisting the ring on her left hand. She didn’t even glance up when Liz walked in the room. “Christie?” Liz said softly.
Christie turned her head and her eyes flickered. “Oh, Liz!” She stood up and gave her a warm hug. “I’m so glad it’s you.” Christie wearily sat back down into the metal chair provided.
Liz took the seat opposite her sister and hesitated before speaking. “I—” She cleared her throat. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here.”
“At least that’s a familiar chair for you. I can’t believe I’m sitting here.”
“Tell me everything,” Liz pleaded.
“Oh what’s the point,” Christie exclaimed. “They all think I’m guilty—”
“Your fiancé doesn’t,” Liz remarked.
Christie looked down and fingered her ring again. “Bob is not going to marry me now—”
“He will.”
“He was just promoted to sergeant after Brown was fired. He’s not going to marry a felon—”
“You are not going to jail. I’m going to get you out of here.” She twisted her curly brown hair.
“How? All the evidence is against me!”
“Start at the beginning,” Liz answered.
Christie sighed. “It’s a long story.”
“I’m all ears.”
Christie shifted her position. “It was Monday that I had the argument with Brittany—”
“The victim?” Liz asked.
“Yes. Brittany Lewis was the head nurse in my unit.” Christie suddenly looked past Liz and stared at the wall. “That glass—is Bob behind it?”
Liz turned around and looked at the glass that acted as a double mirror. “I don’t know, Christie,” she said softly.
“Probably,” Christie said, “and I guess they are recording everything I’m saying?”
Liz nodded.
“Bob might as well know the whole story too.” Christie leaned her head on her arm. “He’s not going to be happy about it . . .”
“What happened on Monday?” Liz asked. “Do you suspect someone?”
Christie’s eyes met her sister’s. “I do suspect someone, but let me continue the story.”
Liz said, “Go on.”
“It was six months to the day that I had started working at Fielding’s Hospital. I was relieved that I had passed the probationary period and would remain full time. It’s all I ever dreamed of. You know I have been talking about this for weeks.”
“I remember,” Liz added.
“Bob took me out to dinner that Monday evening. I had mentioned the argument with Brittany then, never imagining it would lead to . . . this.”
“What was the argument about?”
Christie looked at Liz. “Brittany was neglecting her shifts—asking me to cover for her at times. That’s not an easy thing to do in an ICU.”
“Obviously not.”
“I think Brittany thought she could get away with it because she was a senior nurse and I was the new kid in town. I wouldn’t complain because if I did I wouldn’t stay on at the hospital.”
Liz cut in, “I can see where this is going. Your probationary period was finally up, and you could say something to Brittany.”
Christie nodded. “And I did. I really wouldn’t have minded the extra work, except it was so often that I was endangering my own patients.”
“No one found out about this? No one tried to step in and stop what was happening?”
“Well there was one . . .” Christie continued, “Dr. Taylor. He’s the doctor we work with the most, and he started seeing me more often than Brittany.”
“He started asking questions?”
“Yes. He confronted me on the issue. I was trying to cover for her, but he started to see through it.”
“Why were you covering for her?” Liz asked.
Christie said slowly, “She knew something.”
The statement arrested Liz’s attention. “Knew something? About what?”
Christie didn’t answer. “Is there any way I could get a glass of water?”
Liz said, “Of course.” She walked out of the room and returned with a paper cup filled with water from the cooler.
Christie took the drink gratefully and sipped the water quietly. She then sighed.
“What is it, Christie?”
Christie looked across the room at the mirror. “I hesitate to say anything because I have a feeling Bob is listening to this.”
Liz’s mind was working. “It’s about someone he knows at the hospital?”
“His cousin actually,” Christie remarked.
Liz’s eyes widened. “The CEO?”
Christie swallowed the rest of her water. “Hill.”
“Andrew Hill has worked at Fielding’s for eleven years! He’s the founder of three different foundations and well respected in the community.”
“That’s why my word against his is nothing.”
Liz crossed her legs and paused to think. “What do you know about him? Or what did Brittany know?”
“I don’t really know what Brittany knew.” Christie sighed and whispered slowly, “I think that Andrew is the one who killed Brittany.”
A sound could be heard from behind the wall as if something was knocked over. Then footsteps came from outside the hall followed by the door opening. Bob was standing in the doorway. “Christie?” His mouth was open.
Christie looked away. “I knew you would react that way. I’m sorry, Bob. I have to tell the truth in here.”
“The truth?” Bob exclaimed.
Liz answered for her sister, “I know that Andrew is like a brother to you—”
“You are asking me to choose between believing you or believing Andrew?” Bob asked his fiancé.
“What has Andrew told you?” Christie asked.
“He was already questioned. His alibi is airtight,” Bob said firmly.
Liz looked back and forth between the two. “I wasn’t there for that, Christie. I’ve never seen Andrew other than in the papers.”
“So you believe me?” Christie looked desperately toward her sister.
“But how is it you were framed?” Liz asked.
Bob said uncomfortably, “The weapon was found in her locker, and she was caught on security footage.”
“Doing what?” Liz asked.
“Going in and out of the room where the victim was found dead,” Bob said.
“I found her dead!” Christie protested.
“I don’t doubt that for a minute, Christie,” Bob said sincerely, “but I can’t believe that my own cousin would have killed her. Why in the world would he do a thing like that?”
“I’m going to find out,” Liz said.
“As what? Amanda Case the detective?” Bob said, referring to Liz’s codename used on all the undercover cases assigned to her.
“As Amanda Case, the nursing assistant, who is replacing the accused,” Liz said playfully.
Christie smiled in spite of herself. “You think you can be a nurse?”
Liz looked offended. “I’m already a paramedic. Besides you have talked about it enough.”
“There’s a whole lot more to being an ICU nurse than talking,” Christie emphasized. “Do you really think that—”
“Look, Christie, someone framed you for murder. I’m not taking that lightly. One of us has to go in there and find out the why behind it all—and who better than me?” Liz said enthusiastically.
“Captain Walker is going to keep me here, isn’t he?” Christie looked at Bob.
Bob nodded with a frown. “But, in a sense, the killer can’t reach you here. So whatever he has against you, he’ll have to keep it to himself.”
“Bob—” Liz started to say.
“Liz, can I have a moment with Christie?” Bob asked. “I just need a moment.”
Liz nodded and left the room, closing the door behind her.
“Am I still being recorded?” Christie said, still sitting in the metal chair.
Bob shook his head. “I was the one—” He sat down across from his fiancé. “The captain was having me record you, but I was the only one in there. It’s just us now, Christie.” He reached out for her hand.
“Oh, Bob, what’s going to happen?”
“Liz is going to find the killer like she always does,” Bob answered reassuringly.
“I meant . . . about us?”
Bob’s eyes met Christie’s. “We are going to live happily ever after,” he said sincerely. “It’s only been put on pause, that’s all. This will be cleared up, and we can continue on with our plans.”
“I love you, Bob,” Christie whispered.
“I know you do, and I love you. I’m sorry you are in the middle of all this, and I’m sorry I found the knife in your locker.”
“What else could you have done? It was there . . . and the cameras . . .”
“There’s something awfully fishy about those security cameras.”
“What do you mean?” Christie asked.
“You didn’t kill Brittany—”
“Of course not!”
“I know. That’s what I’m saying. So, why didn’t the footage catch who did?” Bob said.

Happy Reading! 

                                                                           ~ Therese

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The First Novena


Novenas remind us to persevere in prayer. Arranged for nine consecutive days, novenas either pray the same prayer each day or have a different prayer depending on the particular devotion. The first novena of the Church was at Pentecost as Our Lady and the Apostles awaited the coming of the Holy Ghost. Novenas teach us to be patient because God wants us to keep asking for His grace and aid.

Particularly at Pentecost we remember the fruits and gifts of the Holy Ghost, but we should be praying for these every day. A quick list: Gifts ~ wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Fruits ~ charity, joy, peace, patience, long-suffering, goodness, benignity, meekness, fidelity, modesty, contingency, and chastity. 

A great saint who truly understood the reality of the presence of the Holy Ghost in our souls when in the state of grace was St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. Her message centered around the divine indwelling. Some great quotes of hers are: "It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth because my heaven is Thee, my God, and Thou art in my soul. Thou in me and I in Thee, may this be my motto." And again, "What a joyous mystery is Thy presence within me, in that intimate sanctuary of my soul where I can always find Thee, even when I do not feel Thy presence. Of what importance is feeling? Perhaps Thou art all the closer when I feel Thee less." And finally, "May my life be a continual prayer, a long act of love."

There are no words that adequately describe the immense gift of the life of God in the soul. It is a great subject for prayer to dwell on the mystery of God's presence within us. We should make efforts throughout the day and every moment to converse with so great a Guest.

Blessed Pentecost! 
                                                                      ~ Therese



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Save Filtering


Once upon a time in an older age when life was simpler, children played with toys or played outside instead of being glued to computers, tv's, and electronics. This has presented a challenge to parents to protect their families from the evils of our modern culture. Consequently, they must respond in a more diligent manner of being aware of and having some control over what comes into the home.

I only recently discovered that the idea of filtering was something possible. We get so used to things that we don't even stop and question, is this the best thing to be hearing? The concept of filtering makes movies family friendly so that from children to adults we don't have to watch everything that directors choose to put in their films. We have a right to exclude offensive things like language or inappropriate scenes. In a culture that is lacking Christian values and morals, we deserve to have the capability to screen out that unwanted content. 

One of the few companies that was providing such a service was VidAngel as streaming movies online. They are unjustly being sued for "violating copyrights" even though that's just a front from major companies because they want control over what goes into the home. Another option is Clear Play dvd or blu-ray players or the TV Guardians, but not having actually owned one, I can't vouch for how well they work.

The history of these filter companies has been that every time they try to provide movies in a wholesome way, someone tries to fight that they get shut down. If we want to control what we see and hear in films, we need to fight to save filtering. Support companies that offer these services or sign petitions to keep them going.

Why filtering do you say? I ask you why not? Why not choose to have a movie that does not offend God in any way? Why flood your mind with words and images that leave a negative impact on your life? We should be bothered by such things and not take a callous attitude toward them. We should be able to watch things according to morals, not according to liberal hollywood standards. For example, a few of the movies I once suggested on this blog like Jason Bourne, The Martian, and Captain America should be watched with a filter to enjoy an action packed film without things that are offensive.

So look into how to filter movies so that you can have family movie nights that are clear and fun.

                                                              ~ Therese

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The To-Do List


What do the words to-do list mean to you? Do you look at it and run away screaming? Are you OCD and write down everything you have to do? Do you have a daily list that you make the night before? Maybe you just have a grocery list and that's as far as lists mean to you?

I find to-do lists ironic because it is rare, at least for myself, that I accomplish everything that is on it. No one knows how their day is going to go. A million and one things can come up that require your attention and should be tackled. You must know the phrase: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

To-do lists are all well and good if they help us remember things and focus our day so we are productive, but we can get carried away with them too and reproach ourselves for leaving lists undone and not accomplishing everything. 

"God doesn't require that we be successful, only that we be faithful," in the words of St. Mother Teresa. This means that we shouldn't make our life an endless list. We should be open to the day-to-day moments that will never make our actual list. That is what makes life . . . well, life.

I admit, I'm a big list person because I like organization and order, but they can take control of our lives in a bad way, where we feel like we are slaves of our own goals. It's okay if something is unfinished, as long as it isn't a symptom of laziness. Productivity should mean to us that we seek God in each moment--otherwise everything is just a waste of time anyway.

Put at the top of your to-do list: become a saint. Then everything else will follow.

                                                                          ~ Therese

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fatima Anniversary


This year that is dedicated to remembering the 100th anniversary of Fatima is a great time to refocus on deepening our union with God through prayer. One of Our Lady's special requests was the recitation of the daily rosary. How sorely this is needed now more than ever. Even if we already pray the daily rosary, we should reexamine how devoutly we are praying it.

We should also look at how we are responding to her request to make sacrifices for sinners and do penance, particularly through performing our daily duties well and with virtue. Every moment of every day provides us with opportunities to love God. We do not need to seek out sufferings, but rather accept the ones that come our way day by day and try to bear them in union with Christ on the cross.

Lucia said the most moving words made by Our Lady were: "Do not offend Our Lord and God any more for He is already too much offended." She also asked the devotion of the First Saturdays in reparation to her Immaculate Heart: to go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, pray five decades of the rosary, and spend 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the rosary.

Let us pray during this 100th year from her apparitions that the requests of Our Lady will be heeded, especially the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. And let us take to heart the words of Our Lady in her first apparition in May: "Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?"

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

                                                                 ~ Therese

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Deanna Durbin: It Started With Eve


If you've never seen Deanna Durbin, you are missing out on one of the greatest actresses of the 1930's. I had never heard of her either until a dear friend introduced her movies, and I've been hooked ever since. Even if you aren't a big fan of old movies or can barely tolerate a few songs now and again, you will still love the heartwarming stories and good laughs that come from these delightful films. If you don't know where to begin with Deanna's extensive movie collection, the best place to start is It Started with Eve

Deanna Durbin plays Ann, who works as a hat-checker in a hotel but actually dreams of singing. Robert Cummings plays Johnny whose father, played by Charles Laughton, is dying. Unable to find his fiance and fearing it may become too late, Johnny discovers Ann working in the hotel and asks her to come see his father, pretending to be the fiance.

Comedic twist? The father doesn't die and he wants to see Johnny's fiance. Johnny has to keep up the game with Ann's character until he can figure out what to do about introducing his real fiance, Gloria. That presents a problem because Johnny's father has already fallen in love with Ann's character and her remarkable singing.

Filled with non-stop laughter with the amazing duo of Durbin and Cummings, It Started with Eve is truly one of Deanna's greatest films. Her best titles include: First Love, Three Smart Girls, Three Smart Girls Grow Up, The Amazing Mrs. Holliday, 100 Men and a Girl, and Mad About Music. 

Trivia: Deanna Durbin was paid $400,000 for this movie in 1941, which would be the equivalent of nearly $6,000,000 today. She was one of the highest paid movie actresses of her time. Deanna left show business during the height of her career at age 29 because she always wanted a quiet life and moved to France with her third husband where she died in 2013.

                                                                             ~ Therese

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sacrament Anniversaries


Anniversaries are a wonderful way of commemorating special events in our lives. As in the liturgical year, each day we remember a saint or holy day, anniversaries recall something significant in our lives that has made all the difference. Those days for when we have received the Sacraments have either welcomed us into the Church or strengthened our life of the Faith.

Today is the anniversary of my First Communion. I have a picture framed in my room of that glorious day of being able to receive God. There really isn't anything like wearing a white dress and carrying flowers on your way to be united to Christ in such an intimate way. It is interesting that it parallels the same garments as a bride going to her bridegroom on a wedding day.

A great book is by Father Faber called The Blessed Sacrament. He stresses how we really cannot even fathom the depth of the love of God Who waits for us every moment of every day. The gift of His presence in the Holy Eucharist is our greatest treasure on this earth and the best means of receiving His graces. Let us never miss an opportunity of spending time with Him and uniting ourselves to Him throughout the day, but especially in the Blessed Sacrament.

Our Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation are all so important for our life in the Church. The graces from those days effect our entire life in this world and the next. We must be grateful for these special occasions in our lives that only come around once. By celebrating those anniversaries, we show how meaningful they were to us and thank God for the gifts He has given us.

                                                                     ~ Therese

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Travel Bug: An Analysis


Overview: The travel bug is transmitted through a small insect called the peripateticus perigrinator (very literally: traveling traveler). The insect hovers consistently over its victim, waiting for the perfect time to land and bite. The disease is highly contagious to others and can last for years. At this time, there is really no hope for a cure.

Symptoms: Primarily, this bug causes moderate to severe itching, which may become unbearable. The only relief is to move from place to place and see new places or meet old friends--in short to "see the world."

Side effects:  Side effects are a mixed bag. While on the one hand it includes a rather large hole in your wallet, the travel bug also involves having a good time and enjoying yourself.

Complications: Unfortunately, if the travel bug persists, a complication may arise that includes groveling to your boss for extra time off work.

When to go to the doctor: If symptoms persist, the only help is Dr. Common Sense. He will tell you that if you go too many places, the side effect of hole your wallet will become so severe that it becomes a black hole and there is no hope of recovering your leather companion.

Prevention: It is advised to avoid travel brochures, email discounts, and browsing your past photo collection during the early stages of the disease. If this is done successfully, the travel bug may pass by without infecting you.

Treatment: While in the overview, it stated there is no cure, the best treatment is to respond to the itchiness and take a vacation. If there is enough relaxation and enjoyment, the bug may gradually remove from your system without any further treatment.

Analysis: While the travel bug is neither seriously harmful nor deadly, it can take too strong a hold on your immune system. Recommendation is to treat the travel bug a few times a year by visiting favorite vacation places and stepping back to see life in a new light.

N.B.: This is not medical advice. Be sure to always consult your doctor about treatment of the travel bug.

                                                                              ~ Therese