About Me

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Ontario, Canada
I am a cradle Roman Catholic, that always had the knowledge of God. I, however, did not have a relationship with him and thus, was empty inside. Now through asking him to come into my life and going to prayer groups etc., I have had a renewal in my faith. Protestants may call it being "born-again". I now find what I thought was a BORING Mass to be the ultimate enjoyable experience that brings me closest to our Lord....besides of course Eucharistic Adoration, which is awe inspiring. The Church Fathers took me deeper into my faith which is when I came back completely-like a boomerang, thus my blog title. I understand why I am a Catholic/Christian. It is not just a religion. It IS God, it IS love. I might not be an English scholar and you might edit me in your head. But, I do have something to share and I hope you will join me on the journey and maybe discover something new to think about. Blessings+

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Soul Sisters

Don't we all have misconceptions of nuns and who and what they are? Perhaps, we visualize a nun wielding a ruler and smacking school children's hands. A lady whose password on the computer is not "Ms. Fashionista", never mind the fact that she probably doesn't even own a computer. Possibly they are just living in another century for that matter with no real sense of the world around them. How could they when all they do is pray a lot and hang out in church? But,is this really so? 

I must be honest, that was the way I viewed these ladies and I wanted "nun" of it, as I thought them rather useless and it was all pretty black and white to me! I mean, that is what society has told me and etched in my head, in one way or another. Watch a movie and the nun is usually cruel. I watched a recent movie the other night called Arn: The Knight Templar, and the Mother Superior was sheer evil. Just one of many times I have viewed on TV, this depiction of a nun, that makes these preconceived notions come to life. Admittedly, nuns are human and not perfect and there may be a few out there that need a little of God's grace in their lives. But, generally, I feel  these women of sacrifice and love are inaccurately depicted. Perhaps our vision is skewed and we need to try on a new pair of glasses to see much clearer who these women of the Church are and the valued role they deliver to the world.

I personally, over the years, have come to respect nuns. My perspective changed when I actually met some and spoke with them. I have learned much about all that they do for individuals, families, children, the poor, the hungry and the sick and dying. They pray for us. They bless us in many ways with their charitable hearts. This is what the Church calls us to do, and to do it with love.They are called by God to be his hands and feet in the religious life and vocation they chose.  Due to their humbleness, we do not hear of their deeds, as we do in many organizations. Fortunately, we know of or have heard of Mother Teresa a bride of Christ, due to media exposure. For Oprah to air a show about  nuns, I was extremely surprised, as it is rare to get a glimpse inside the life of a nun. There is hope that the media can share something about the Catholic faith that is positive. May I humbly quip, the media would have a steady stream of  good news if they shared what priests, nuns, laity in the Church positively are doing daily for society all over the world. A living testament of God's love for mankind. But....I digressed.

I learned that there are nearly a million catholic nuns worldwide. That is a lot of hands and feet doing God's work. I tip my hat off to them. For example, to become a postulant ( a candidate for admission into an order) in a Benedictine order they try out the experience of being a nun first. They go to live in the abbey, bringing with them clothing, a limited number of photos, 15 each of books, CDs and DVDs, but no pets, cell phones, laptops or cosmetics. For a period of six months or more,they  live with the community and follow their timetables, practicing silence from 9 p.m to 7:30 a.m, rising at 6:30 a.m, joining in prayer with other sisters four times each day, taking daily Eucharist and spending 2 to 3 hours each day in personal prayer.

They enter their novitiate (training and proving), a period of approximately two years. At this time they make their First Monastic Profession and receive their first habit. The Benedictine nun's garb consists of a black and/or white skirt (worn with a blouse of the sister's choosing), or black and/or white dresses along with a Benedictine hat, cross and ring. They profess their vows. This happens in two phases: as a juniorate, a nun takes vows for a period of three years. At this time she will also take on additional duties in the abbey. After three years, a Benedictine nun takes solemn lifetime vows. Through these vows, she undertakes: stability, binding herself to the order; conversion of life, agreeing to renew herself daily in Christ; and finally, obedience to Christ. She becomes a Bride of Christ.
Many religious communities like applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree before they take their vows. On average 6- 9 1/2 years of formation/deepened understanding of order/vocation to run to their Divine Bridegroom. Even priests come with brains...my next blog?? But, for now, Go sisters, soul sisters!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Great Scott...covenants???

Scott Hahn for the past 21 years, has been a Professor of Theology and Scripture at St. Franciscan University of Steubenville. He had 10 years of pastoral ministry in Protestant congregations. He has been instrumental in many people's understanding of the Catholic Church at an intellectual level. "Rome Sweet Home" is one of his most sought after books. I was catching the end of one of his talks on EWTN tonight, and was impressed by what he had to say. I will try to summarize what he spoke about, regarding the Salvation History Time line found in the bible. How God punctuates salvation history with covenants in "family" terms. Covenants are sealed agreements between God and man.

1st Covenant (Marital Covenant) is Adam and Eve in family form (2 people)
2nd Covenant (Household Covenant) through Moses and his wife, children and their wives. (8 people)
3rd Covenant (Tribal Covenant) through Abraham as a chieftain of 1,000's of people "Gen 12-22"
4th Covenant (National Covenant) through Moses with Israel's 12 Tribes "Exod, Num, Deut, Levit"
5th Covenant (National Kingdom Covenant) through King David that begins to incl. all nations and gentiles "2 Sam"
6th Covenant (International Kingdom Covenant) through our Lord Jesus Christ's body and blood.
God the father, through Jesus has expanded the human family, His family, to be a world wide all encompassing family. The word for that in Latin is "Catholicos" That is why the Early Church fathers fixed their eyes on the word Catholic. It is the catholic nature of the Church that represents the newness of the new covenant. The difference between the 1st 5 covenants and the new covenant is that it is now worldwide, with no distinctions. All are brothers and sisters in Christ. The 6th Covenant is a Catholic Covenant. Where God has fathered a world wide family for the past 2,000 years.

It is suggested according to Scott Hahn, that there will be a 7th Covenant (Covenant of Consummation) Where at the end of time, God the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit, will raise all of the dead in Christ. It will be the Cosmic Covenant, where we all will experience a glorious homecoming in our heavenly family. God is our home. I thought that this was a brilliant revelation!

In viewing the flow of salvation history, in the light of the family bond, Scott was led to entertain the notion and possibility that the Catholic Church, is in fact, the culmination and climax of Salvation history. That the goal of history is to enter into God's family, united to that of life and love~ the beatific vision.

Only in a world wide family can we see the full fledged work of Jesus Christ. God is our family.Thank you Father!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Catholics do matter and Girls ROCK!

Awesome evening! Thank you Niagara Catholic District School Board and all of the wonderful people that made this evening a success! It was a packed house. We hope for more evenings like this. Maybe Mark Hart next year for the boys? (my son's favorite-hint hint)

The evening was held at St. Micheal's High School,  where Teresa Tomeo, a broadcast-journalist, highlighted the evening with her presence and words of faith and wisdom. I had a great time with my daughter, sister and niece. So many friends, I bumped into, that also shared in the laughter and fun of the evening. Beautiful young voices sang for us and an impressive speech from one young lady resulted in a standing ovation. She spoke about self esteem from a youth's perspective. Where can I get a copy of that speech? Anyways... Zumba, crafts, draws, food and bonding with women. A well planned and organized event! Oh, and we all loved the cupcakes!!! Thank you Teresa, NCDSB and everyone that made tonight a great success!

Teresa spoke the truth. I could relate to her talk, as I too was a fall away Catholic, that came back to the faith. She helped us realize our worth as girls and women. She told us to use the special gifts and talents that God has given us. During Teresa's talk she yelled "girls".We collectively responded with "rock". GIRLS ROCK!  As women and girls, we do not always hold ourselves in high esteem.We don't realize, that we really do rock. We can carry ourselves with dignity. We sometimes allow the media and society to tell us different. I hope we walked away tonight, realizing we are God's daughters and He loves us right where we are! Sins, imperfections and all, He loves us! We found in our goody bags, this poem. I would like to share it with you ~

I am a diamond.
I am beautiful.
I am precious.
 I am strong.
I am a diamond 
created by God
and loved by my family.
I am never alone
for His light is in me.

This poem is simple but grand in it's message. Diamonds are made up of one single element-Carbon. The process of tremendous heat and pressure causes this element to change into a diamond. Like a diamond,  we can allow ourselves to be changed from something mediocre into something beautiful. We just need to ask God to work in us, with the help of His holy fire. To shape, press and mold us into new creations. May His light shine through us when we encounter others.  I end this post by saying "We are diamonds in Christ and Girl's do Rock!!!" Let us not forget our true value and worth.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Is it OK to cancel your birthday, Christmas??

Traditions? Who needs traditions?? We don't need birthdays, anniversaries, all those get together on special days. We don't need Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter ...the traditions we uphold in our families! Or do we?

We, of course revolve around different traditions with our family and our friends. It is a natural part of what we do in our lives. I remember attending many different churches in my search for coming back to the faith and deciding on a church. I heard over and over again that traditions belong to "those" churches. It didn't take a brain surgeon to know that they were talking about the Catholic Church I was baptized in as a baby. I grew up with the tradition of the Church. I would read about other Christian's negative point of views on our Church traditions. Other Christians would tell me about not needing any traditions in Christianity. "You just needed to love Christ. Profess Him as your Lord and Saviour". Then, I would be told that being baptized as a baby is wrong. I can go on and on with what I have heard in my search, and now as a professed  Catholic. I know these people were well intended and I won't judge them for their lack of understanding as to why we have traditions. I didn't know... and I was born Catholic. How can anyone know if they don't dig deeper for answers? I think it is important to ask and question these matters.

Many converts and myself, now appreciate and understand what these traditions are all about. The Early Church Fathers and early writers just after the last apostles died spoke and wrote about the traditions we still do to this day, every Sunday Mass. 2,000 years of history occur daily all around the world.

I know, I would be upset if any traditions in our family were broken. I think God weeps over the loss of what he established on earth. Paul his apostle spoke to the Thessalonian people, teaching them what we read in the bible today- "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter" 2 Thess. 2:15.  Here, traditions are those ordinances, precepts and teachings transmitted through the apostles of Christ, and intended for all future generations. The present and future Catholic Church. I am not going to argue with this teaching that has been passed down. I am not going to argue with numerous Scripture passages that verify these teachings of our faith. Available on request:)

Christ established his Church on the day of Pentecost and who I am I to argue with the big guy:) As a child of God, I will obey my Father...and follow the traditions set in place in his Church. I use to find them tedious and mechanical but now find it rich and meaningful. Anyone can follow traditions. We can go to a party that happens every year for our grandmother for example, and go there with a yawn or as a duty. Or we go there happy and ready to share in the special moments to unfold because we love her.  Where is Jesus in your heart? Where do you place these ancient traditions in your life?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Personal Relationship With Jesus

This song depicts a relationship with God so well. I have nothing to write. This song does it all. It is now in my iTUNES library:)  I discovered via this video, an amazing and anointed artist named Jason Upton.  This song is called Peace. 
May you be blessed while you listen. I am going to close my eyes and meditate on this.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How did the first christians worship? Justin Martyr 155 AD

 The Catholic Mass 155 A.D.

This video speaks volumes to me about the Mass my family and I attend every Sunday. I find it incredible whenever I read the words penned by this great man Justin Martyr. He was a convert to the faith and became a philosopher. As a Lay Catholic he was one of the first defenders of our faith in regards to the Mass. I have a video by Steve Ray a Catholic apologist, called "Handing down the faith", and Steve walks through the ruins of the church, now in rubble, that Justin Martyr walked about in and preached to people. Several books have been attributed to Justin, but only three are universally accepted as genuine. They are what are now called the First Apology and the Second Apology, and the Dialogue With Trypho the Jew. This video above is from his First Apology.  His letter to Antoninus Pius, Emperor, 155 AD.

He died a martyr for the faith, thus the name Justin Martyr. He was beheaded along with 6 of his students around the year 165 AD.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The verdict is in!

Exhale...exhale...thanks be to God!

Lauren is so excited to share with her friends tomorrow pictures of her brain to her classmates. Even one with eyeballs. Daddy will try to laminate them tonight. We as parents are so excited as well. The MRI showed a healthy brain and no spots to be found, no cysts, just a healthy gorgeous brain. The conclusion is that the doctors and specialists felt all tests were definitely warranted. They are still puzzled as to why she had a week of blurred vision in the left eye and then double vision that came and went and returned with headaches in between. We know and they know that this was not some figment of her imagination. It was proven to be true via the optometrist. Besides, no child could act that good. She'd be due for an Academy Award of the century as she depicted suffering too well.

What an interesting time in the calendar year for this to have occurred in regards to getting results. On the first day of Lent. When we are to look closer at our lives and our relationship with God. We have today and the next 39 days (and our entire life really) been given an opportunity to further deepen our walk in faith, from this experience. During this Lent, we start right off with very thankful hearts. They already were grateful for each and every day we breathe. The health of our children was no exception. This gratitude is now expounded a hundred fold. I did not think I could be any more blessed. He blessed us again and we are very humbled by this!

The picture depicts Jesus loving a child unconditionally. This is how I picture him with our sweet girl. He touched her and healed her of whatever the problem was. He is the great physician. He does not bring illness and pain, he is the healer and brings love into the world and into our hearts.

We are still seeing the Pediatric Ophthalmologist again for the 3rd time on St. Patrick's day for a follow up, due to her still having a optic disc that is inflamed in the right eye, not the left eye. It is expected that the inflammation will go away over 2 more weeks according to the Neurosurgeon. He explained it takes time for the inflammation to settle down. That is due to the only conclusion being that she acquired something viral or bacterial like meningitis (but not meningitis). This strange virus/bacteria could have brought this all on. Her brain had mild swelling when the CT scan was taken. But, since the symptoms/spot have disappeared miraculously, and the MRI taken a week later shows a beautiful, perfect brain- something changed, something happened. We believe it was God, kissing her head and making the boo boo go away.

We exhale today and tonight. Thank you mother Church for the faith you breathed into us via the Holy Spirit. That we  have had this faith, hope and love to pull from and get us through a worrisome time. Always trusting, but, during some rough spots, God held us close. He never leaves us, sometimes we leave him. So, when you don't feel him there, ask yourself if you are holding your arms out to him. He can kiss your boo boo's too! *smile*

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We face the doctor tomorrow in faith

It has been a very challenging month. We have had a little girl that had one eye blurred vision and seeing double one week, then a headache that woke her out of her sleep and stayed another week and then back to diagnosed double and blurred vision. Then the nausea started, fatigue and lack of eating not normally exhibited from this child. Even when  sick she still eats and sleep...what is that...she is normally an energizer bunny!? Two trips to emerg.(admitted once) and many tests including a CT scan due to a suspicious tiny dark spot/possible cyst (and then to cap it off mildly inflamed optic disc where the optic nerve is at back of eye) a MRI was fast tracked. That MRI happened Monday and tomorrow we get news of what is going on. Emotions you can't put a finger on for ourselves and our loved ones and friends. We await answers.

I can honestly say that 95% of the time I have been miss happy go lucky. You would not know that all this has been happening if you bumped into me. I have not been putting on any airs. It is not that I don't care, or that I am not concerned. In fact, I am, but, I have handled this better than I ever could have expected. There were 2 moments that I can think of where I cried, but, that was fleeting and I easily shook off and dispelled the  fear. As a Catholic Christian, I believe that fear comes from the flesh and also that unemployed cherub. That little devil-grrrr. But, God is bigger and has lifted me above that fear and I have had a great deal of peace through the majority of this. I know this is due to my will to trust in God and walk in faith. I trust whatever God's will is for me and my family.

I admit that as of yesterday and today, the anxiety in my body is slowly rising. The unknown can be scary. However, when you really trust in God and give all your cares and worries to Him he can do so much and can move in your life. It is a special gift and I am thankful. I placed my daughter in his hands. I prayed from the beginning for the right people to come in our path, to give the best care she can receive. From the girl in the ER that told me to go to Mac Master to the doctor that would not give up finding an answer, to the top ER Pediatric neurosurgeon that was on call that found what no one else did....angels were in our midst.

This song and video says it all - "Well I will walk by faith,Even when I cannot see,Well because this broken road, Prepares Your will for me. Help me to win my endless fears, You've been so faithful for all my years, With one breath You make me new, Your grace covers all I do."

We face the Pediatric Neurosurgeons tomorrow for a diagnosis and I do this with faith and trust. Thank you for all your prayers. The people praying for her has been overwhelming and is appreciated beyond words. May you all be blessed! Prayers have already been answered because her symptoms are all gone and she is the picture of health! God is good! May the MRI bring the same picture.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Discovering with my son the Church Fathers...the what???

My son and I together are reading a great book called "Four Witnesses-The Early Church in Her own words". It is a road of discovery all over again for me, and for him, new information he is devouring like a ravenous lion. It is a great read, surprisingly, and just when I think I had discovered much already, I realize I am still so ignorant. Fortunately, I am open to seeking and will continue to learn all I can.  I do not want to be a sheep just bumbling a long with the herd. I do not want that to happen with my son (or daughter) either. I hold nothing back in all realms of the Church and other churches and after providing this information he will come to terms with his Faith in his own way. I do pray he believes what the first Christians believed, based on faith and facts! The first Christians were Catholic. The words Catholic Church are mentioned in the first century.

 Hopefully, over time, with books to websites to television programming, word will get out more about these great men. Only then may some lies and misconceptions about the Catholic Church be abolished. Truth has been greatly revealed because writings after writings after writings confirm consistent truths and traditions. Early Church fathers were either students of an apostle or a student of the student and this has revealed much  to me.

The enemy is a giant out there constantly trying to tear Her down. But while Goliath flexes his muscle, David wins in the battle. Sadly we are half asleep or trusting the wolf in sheep's clothing. I was fully asleep, but I waking up over time. It is a process, learning about the Catholic Church and why it teaches certain truths and has certain traditions. I tried to get away from the Church but she dragged me back with history backed up by scripture. Whoda thunk?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh my...you did what?

"Oh my...."
The look on the priests face was probably much like this picture, I bet, when I confessed about 7 years ago.

I was never a fan of Confession, and after 27 years since my last confession, I was scared and nervous. I joked that the whole church was going up in flames because I had a load of things to confess. That poor, poor priest. My list was long and thorough and I left nothing out. I read up on confession and understood it for the first time in my life. I wanted it to be a good one, because this was now important to me. I was about to be accountable by telling a trusted, ordained person my sins. (Thank God that priests stand in for God as interpreted in scripture and as practiced for 2,000 years.)  But, what an incredible surprise I acquired from going to confession. The surprise and gift, that I received, was great relief and a load of bricks that weighed on my shoulders...miraculously lifted...completely. I never, never, never would have thought this would feel so wonderful. I confess, I was wrong. I did not think this sacrament was so powerful. This cannot be really described, however, but, only experienced to really understand the healing that occurs. Whoda thunk?! But with God all things are possible! I have a past post explaining confession more thoroughly as based on Scripture and early Church writings.

Tomorrow, my little girl is going to have a very special day! Her first sacrament of reconciliation or as it is commonly known, confession. She has reluctantly prepared a private list of her sins to read and confess to Father Matthew, who will take those sins to the throne of God for forgiveness and grace.  Mom and dad can't see the list. I found this humorous and adorable. Even a child surprisingly feels ashamed of her wrong doings just like an adult. That demonstrates clearly that she is at the age of reason and can distinguish right from wrong. She is ready for this sacrament.  She can admit her wrong doings with sorrow and possess the will to set things right. This can be such a humbling experience that brings joy and peace within yourself too. I wonder if this is what she will feel? I know when you have to be accountable to someone it sure makes you try harder to not commit the sin. You also do not want to offend God when you are in relationship with Him. I would never want to hurt my best friend.

Around Easter, she will have her first sacrament of Communion. Then we will prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation in grade 8. Where is the time going??

*The English word Sacrament comes from the Latin word  sacramentum which means "to make sacred". To become closer in our walk with God.