Melanie Jean Juneau is a wife, writer and mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life, especially a life lived in God.
Christians are now dealing with a new obstacle to evangelism; we can no longer assume people know stories in the Bible or the basic tenets of the faith. Perhaps this dearth of spirituality in modern culture will serve to drive desperate people to the feet of Christ but more than ever seekers need basic catechism to lead them back into the arms of God and the Church.
A few decades ago, almost everyone knew the bible, even if they did not attend church because even public schools read the bible and prayed before classes started. I am a convert. As a Protestant kid who went to Sunday School from 3 years old, I grew up on the stories of Jesus, singing songs about His love and memorizing bible verses. I realize now that I was a prayerful kid; God was close to me.
Catholics are more focused on the Passion than on Pentecost while Pentecostals are more focused on, well, the Resurrection and Pentecost. Although we are in a Liturgical season of joy, there are still more pins of the Crucified Christ than of the Resurrected Christ on Pinterest’s Catholic sites.
When people think of a Catholic saint, the first image that comes to mind is a sad, pale, thin figure, often tortured and in pain, or looking as if he was wearing a hair shirt. Traditional Catholic art has reinforced this impression. Recently I was looking for images of smiling or laughing monks. Hundreds of images popped up featuring Buddhist monks laughing, but I had trouble finding a handful of photos or paintings of joyful Catholic monks and priests
Short Synopsis A Witness of God’s Faithfulness: Marie struggles to grow in grace and guidance from the Lord while slowly recognizing her own rebellion. She intimately shows us the highs of her aviation, military and automotive careers and the suffering lows of abuse, bankruptcy, and divorce. Her relationship with God grows through it all. Eve’s Apple is a witness of how God gently guides one of His Eves into a slow freeing surrender of a Mary’s trusting yes. This is a journey of hope, faith, and real relationship!
Listen as I struggled to gather my crew every night for a family meal.
“Oh good, you’re done barn chores. Perfect timing; dinner is almost ready.”
“Two more minutes, everybody!”
“Joseph I’ll help after we eat, okay?”
“Mary, please run up and open Jean’s door and shut off the music.”
‘Dinner is ready!”
“Grace, I know you love that book sweetheart but, remember, no reading at the dinner table.”
“Honey would you lift up Daniel into the high chair?”
“Are we all here? Anyone missing?”
Ah, dinner time in a large family.
Dinner was the highlight of the day with everyone clamoring to share their news or simply squeeze in comments into the cacophony of voices. It was a humorous symphony which sounded perfectly in tune to my ears. High pitched baby squeals combined with loud, boisterous little boys.and the quavering of a male teen voice balanced teenage girl’s chatter. Dad’s reassuring bass tones soothed my shrill calls for everyone to listen to the toddler’s newest word. The highlight of this often unruly symphony was the spontaneous laughter punctuating the entire meal.
Some religious people would maintain only a mature, adult Christian can act lovingly, with a conscience. Yet Pope Francis and even Sacred Scriptures disagree with this narrow view.
St. Paul explains God will judge everyone by much how truth God has revealed to them. If a tribe hidden in a jungle has never heard the gospel, God will judge them based on what they know and St. Paul assures us all men have the basic laws of God carved into their hearts. In modern language, we all have an awareness of good and evil or a conscience.
The problem is tapping into and living out from my core where God has inscribed a moral code on my heart. It is hidden in my deepest self. Actually, if we can block out our own ego and selfishness and simply stop and listen, even a child knows what is right and what is wrong.
The second problem is finding the strength to do what is right. Thank God for Christ because he offers an easy way to love. Relax. Give up striving. Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds.
Miracle Man by Judy Landrieu Klein is an enthralling, well-written, dramatic read with flawed, lovable characters who will wriggle their way into your heart. However, this book is much more than a good read; it offers insightful nuggets of wisdom about life, death, marriage and parenting, seamlessly nestled in the narrative tale.
Whether you are a seeker, an agnostic or a cradle Catholic, Judy’s down-to-earth language will pierce through your defenses, triggering your own deepest longing for His touch.
The following is a true story of a four-year-old Catholic child, in a coma, following a serious car accident.
Chandra was still not conscious when she began to speak to her parents in the ICU unit. She spoke as if in a dream, describing a big room with two doors where she sat waiting with several other people. She explained that she had to decide which door she wanted to walk through. A really nice man, dressed in white smiled at her and told her that she was completely free to walk through either door. One door would bring her back to her life on earth. If she liked, she could across the room, take the nice man’s hand and walk through the other door.
I shared a powerful video by Ascension Press called “Will You Follow” a few weeks ago. It is a dramatic, vocation video aimed at teens, part of a soon-to-be-released five-part series called Altaration designed to enliven teens with a love and enthusiasm for the Mass.
This 3-minute trailer for Altaration is extremely moving, thrilling actually. Mark Hart speaks in the power of the Holy Spirit. His words rang in my heart and lifted my spirits with fresh insights into the true meaning of the Mass. His words cast a fresh light on what is really happening on the altar and lit a new fire of love for the Father, Christ and the Eucharist within me.
The video shows flashes of other young people and priests, real men, real role models who will appeal to teens.
Many Catholics believe church culture is the same as basic tenets of the faith. Challenging custom is then synonymous with challenging the faith.
Every thinking, praying, honest person who seeks the Spirit of in their own heart, experiences conflict with those who are afraid of the inner spiritual life. They fall back on fulfilling the letter of the law, even if that law is simply tradition.
Jesus called this sort of believer a Pharisee. This religious spirit chains many believers; they focus on outer conformity to tradition. If we understand the difference between cultural tradition and a relationship with God, our focus changes. All we want to do is allow God to love us and pass it on to those around us.
Don’t jump to conclusions. I Do believe that the Catholic Church is the fullest expression of revealed truth that is why I converted 38 years. continue reading