The Gift of Suffering

I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had1.25 kids and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice, 
”Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.”
What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was that I would be shallow, without depth and strength.
If this is the situation, I say bring on suffering because I want—no I need—to live in reality. I can think of no greater tragedy than to die and discover that I had deluded myself, simply living happily on the surface, eating, drinking, doing chores, sleeping…and yet missing out on the core reality of what it means to be fully alive, fully human, in relationship to other people and to God. 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

A Miscarriage: A Soul Acknowledged then Released

unborn-e1396479004518
I have always considered myself blessed with ten pregnancies which resulted in nine healthy babies and only one miscarriage.
I thought that I knew how to handle a miscarriage, emotionally and spiritually.
I thought I had done everything right by this little one who died before birth.
I was mistaken.
Twenty-five years ago I was in a panic when I discovered that I was pregnant with my seventh.  I had just reconciled with God and embraced this baby when I started to spot. An ultrasound revealed that although I was 12 weeks pregnant, my womb was only at 9 weeks in size and was empty. Apparently the body reabsorbs a fetus in spontaneous, natural ‘abortions’. This news shook me. I felt a sense of betrayal because I had experienced real, spiritual joy when I finally accepted that I was expecting again. My womb was empty, yet  I KNEW, we had created a soul.  continie>
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

Reaching the Unchurched

When I speak with someone who is curious about the faith but unfamiliar with Christianity, I realize my revelations about the spiritual life in the Mystical Body of Christ are completely foreign. I might as well be a fantasy character explaining life in an alternate reality.
Psychologically speaking, people need to hear a completely new concept at least three times before it even begins to register in their minds. Sharing about spiritual reality is like helping God make new neurological connections, and this transformation takes time. Seekers who have existed on the surface, experiencing only physical reality are wearing God-filtered glasses; the life in Christ that I share with them is completely alien. 
How would you communicate the message of salvation and the subsequent new life in Christ with the unchurched, with people who have no Christian frame of reference or Christian vocabulary? read the whole article>

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

Be Merciful not Fearful

Christians do not have a choice; we must exercise mercy because we have been shown mercy.  Mercy is at the crux of both the Gospels and the teaching of the Church. The Holy Father, during a talk given on Sept.10 explained,God has sent His Son! God has made Himself man to save us, that is, to give us his mercy. Jesus says it clearly, summing up his teaching to the disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Lk.6, 36).

Pope Francis challenged us to come out of our comfort zone, to ignore our fear and embrace even prisoners as brothers and sisters in Christ, ‘But Father,’ some will say, ‘This is dangerous. These are bad people.’ Listen carefully: any one of us is capable of doing what these men and women in prison have done   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

“We can love completely—even without complete understanding…”

God understands completely; HE will be the bridge between our heart and those who need our love.

We do not fully grasp what is best for our husbands, children or parents. Often our way of loving misses their hearts completely. Some people crave touch, others need to hear love articulated. Still others think talk is cheap and anyone can hug but only feel love when it is put in action or they receive gifts. Even understanding the four languages of love does not make us much more effective because relationships cannot be explained in neat, tidy boxes. Life is messy. Life is a conundrum.  
Thank goodness that God is in control and we are not. read more>

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