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.

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.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Grace

Last year I wrote about Easter joy, but this year I want to write about Easter grace. God gives us so many opportunities to receive grace in our lives, but the Sacred Triduum is such a special time in the Church. Her liturgical life throughout the year is awe-inspiring, but the Triduum liturgies are unique in their own right.

St. Therese says, "Everything is grace." God is so generous with His gifts--He cannot be outdone in generosity. When we offer up our sorrows and sufferings, He in turn gives us grace to carry those crosses better. At Easter we are reminded that Christ has the final triumph. His Resurrection gives St. Therese reason to say "everything is grace." Every moment of our lives God is taking care of us through His Divine Providence. There is a quote I love and I forget the author but it goes, "Between God and the individual soul, there are no insignificant moments." Every moment of our lives is an opportunity for grace.

The Sacraments are the best means of receiving grace, but followed closely by prayer. We can pray wherever we are at any moment. All God asks is a simple gaze, a lifting of our mind and heart to Him. He is ready and waiting to give us the gift of His grace and love.

Let us take advantage of this glorious Easter season to become more like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, whose hearts "burned within them" by being in Christ's presence.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wonder of Coloring

(image source: -- used with permission)

Ever think about the wonder of coloring? For children it is like opening a new world. For adults it is like remembering a world they once new. It enhances creativity and makes you think outside the box. Coloring stimulates the brain and enables people to express themselves through art. What child doesn't say when they grow up that coloring was one of their favorite pastimes as a kid?

So coloring books can get kind of pricey right? Especially when younger kids destroy each page by scribbling random colors all over the picture without paying any attention to the lines. But that is my darling's work of art you will tell me. Yes, I understand that no matter what it looks like you will hang it on your fridge--and so would I. But let's get a little realistic here. ;)

If you are looking for a good website that has wholesome and exciting coloring pages completely FREE then here is a link for you. is the place to go! They have a wide variety of pages that you can print and reuse again and again. Want images of your child's favorite superhero or character from their favorite movie? Top Coloring Pages has everything from Superman to Star Wars to Winnie the Pooh that your child will love. They also offer a Christian section, which is a great feature for bringing religion into the picture.

So instead of letting your kids play with an iPad or watch another t.v. show, pull out those coloring pages to let their imagination soar. You may even find yourself joining in!