Loving Lent

 

customizemyi-comThoughts to Ponder

I choose to surrender the clutter in my life, heart, spirit so Jesus will set me free from stuff and fill me with His Loving Presence.

May the things of this world fall away, so I may fall in love with God.

Only God can fill the empty places.
Grace does what I cannot do.
Jesus will have to do everything.
This is true humility.

Pride entices me to work harder, pray more, fast religiously, perform heroic acts of virtue.

Pope Francis: The Importance of Fathers

On February 04, 2015, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family, reflecting on the role of fathers.This week, the pope focuses on the positive roles and qualities of effective fathers. He discusses three great Biblical fathers to illuminate qualities of a good father: the parable of the Prodigal Son, the figure of God “Our Father,” and the figure of St. Joseph.

 First, the pope began this teaching by referring to Book of Proverbs, quoting words a father addresses to his son: 
“ My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right” (Proverbs 23:15-16). 
 Effective  fathers do not create robot sons who merely repeat verbatim what has been drilled into them. Rather, an effective father transmits wisdom right into his son’s core, enabling him “to feel and act, to speak and judge with wisdom and righteousness.”  It is not easy to transmit this heritage of wisdom; a father must be close, gentle but firm with his children. continue reading

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9.

Pre-Natal Memories

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you; Jeremiah 1:5
The day Ruth turned two, her godmother dropped by to celebrate her birthday. Since Ruth was very

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articulate for her age, her godmother wanted to try an experiment she had about read in a hospital newsletter. The article stated if you asked a young child, when they knew enough words to communicate but before they were ‘too old’, they could tell you about their life in the womb. So we decided to test this premise.

Ruth was very tiny but smart, so she startled people with her excellent verbal skills. With her attention completely on her toy, my daughter answered in short, clipped sentences. 
I felt a bit foolish as I asked her,
“Ruth, do you remember when you were in mummy’s tummy?
She answered, “Yaaa.”
So then I wondered if she remembered any details,
“What was it like?”
Again Ruth could only spare a one word answer,
“Warm.”
“What else was it like?” I questioned.
To which Jean answered quite succinctly, “Dark.”
Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9.

The REAL Seven Wonders of the World

If I were to ask you to name The Seven Wonders of the World, you would probably scramble mentally to remember the impressive list. Historically speaking, it has been a list of seven sites known to the Ancient Greeks as the most awe-inspiring locales in their known world.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
Of course, there is a list of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World:  The Channel Tunnel, CN Tower, Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Itaipu Dam, Netherlands North Sea Protection Works. The Panama Canal.
However, the primary wonder of our  earth is it rests in the heart of the Almighty Father. Have you seen how insignificant our entire galaxy is in comparison to the rest of the universe? It is mind-boggling. Yet the universe is, metaphorically speaking, in the palm of God’s hand. This is incomprehensible to us,  just like the concepts that He is Omnipotent. Omnipresent. Omniscient. He is all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing.These words express the upper limit of our ability to understand power, wisdom, and time.
Back to the extraordinary wonders of our tiny planet as I  present The REAL Seven Wonders of the World in photographic images: 
1. To See 

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9.

Marriage: Drawn Into theTrinity

My husband and I simply sat next to each other.
Suddenly, without praying first
Without warning
felt a strong bar of steel like light pulled from my chest to my husband,
with another stretching from both of us up to God.
Within this triangle of light,
infused with the power of the Trinity,
our children danced.
Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 

Angry Comments

Most negative feedback says more about the person commenting and his own emotions and reactions than it does about me or my opinions.
I ask myself, “Why is the respondent angry?”
He is not really critiquing my writing style, content or conclusions, especially if a vehement response attacks me the writer. That is just the release valve which is handy at the moment. My words triggered a dramatic attack because the commentator has issues, issues that lay buried until some unsuspecting scapegoat like me pushes his buttons.
I refuse to play those games. Silence is often a better teacher than any ‘wisdom’ I could spout.

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 

Come On: It is Time For YOU to Nominate Great Catholic Writers


THIS AWARD HAS NO STRINGS ATTACHED

NO RULES, NO OBLIGATIONS
A SIMPLE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GREAT CATHOLIC WRITING WHICH BRINGS JOY, TRUTH, FREEDOM OR  ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS
IT CAN BE SOMEONE WHO WRITES ABOUT-
PRAYER, THEIR STRUGGLES AND PAIN. BRINGING HOPE TO OTHERS, LIFE IN GOD, FAITH STORIES THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH
PASS THIS AWARD ON TO A FELLOW CATHOLIC WRITER OR TWO by POSTING THE RECIPIENT’S NAME AND BLOG IF APPLICABLE, AWARD TITLE, LOGO WITH A SIMPLE LINK BACK TO https://melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com/

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 

Stealing God’s Job

If you asked a typical Catholic, “Are you stealing God’s job?”, they would laugh out loud at such a ridiculous question and emphatically deny it.  I know I did.  Granted, the wording of this question is designed to shock. Yet the question is also meant to provoke self- examination.  After someone asked me this question, I examined my life and was surprised at what I discovered. I realized like almost everyone else, I was trying to fulfill the role of God in my day-to-day life.
It is an easy trap for most modern people since we are pressured by obligations. In an attempt to cope, we resort to rushing around independently without God. We seize control as we  try to be ever more efficient with little time to relax, pray or socialize. The result is we end up living in isolated, man-made prisons that shut out other humans, never mind other living creatures and God.  Instead of seeking communion, each of us exists at the absolute centre of our little artificial universe.  continue reading

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 

“As Morning Breaks” Encourages Daily Morning Prayer

I write the reflection for the fourth of every month in the new morning prayer book called “As Morning Breaks” from CatholicMom.com.

—Looking for joy in 2015?
Begin each day of the year with As Morning BreaksDaily Gospel Reflections, a new ebook just released by Lisa M. Hendey and CatholicMom.com.  This book was written in collaboration by over thirty authors, all of whom freely volunteered their work. The writing team includes men and women, parents, singles, a married Deacon and his wife, a religious sister and writers of all ages.
Priced at only $2.99, the 685 page book was launched to raise needed funds to support the work of CatholicMom.com, an international apostolate that provides services to families, parishes and individuals worldwide free of charge. CONTINUE

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 

Secret Cynics

Advent is a time of waiting. But how do I wait?

Do I wait stoically or with joy? Do I wait like a child, a child who trusts that his daddy will keep His promises or has life’s disappointments left me jaded and closed off to any spiritual surprises? Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not a crumb of Light because we lock the door to our hearts. Then, we will cement our cynicism in place for another year.
As we wait, secretly longing for the dark, empty places within us to be flooded with His light, we should look to our children to teach us how to wait for the Christ Child to be born anew in our hearts. They trust and believe the words of both their earthly and heavenly Fathers. Think of a young child, eyes twinkling, barely able to sit still and contain his excitement because he knows that his dad will never give him a stone instead of a loaf of bread. continue here

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9