St. Peter’s Bones : How the Relics of the First Pope were Lost and Found… and than Lost and Found Again

This week over at The Catholic Book Blogger I featured Thomas Craughwell’s latest book St. Peter’s Bones : How the Relics of the First Pope were Lost and Found… and than Lost and Found Again. This was an incredible read that I highly recommend. Below are links to the various articles I posted on it.

See my review here.

See my interview with Thomas Craughwell here.

And last but not least enter to win a copy of St. Peter’s Bones here.

Bible verses for your kids (and you!) to memorize

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Reading back over some old posts recently, I realized I had promised to share with you some of the Bible verses we use for memory and copy work in our homeschool. Well, better late than never!

These verses are helpful for adults to know by heart as well as children. They teach about virtue, the importance of prayer, God’s character, and other aspects of the spiritual life.

Over the past several years, our family has  experienced the Bible as unit studies. Reading chronologically through the Golden Children’s Bible, I look for themes that can help us bring other subjects into our study of Scripture. (See more details on my homeschooling method here.)

I choose a verse for memorization and handwriting practice. Sometimes the verse comes right from the story. Other times I search through a concordance or consult my memory for a verse that encapsulates one of the themes we are considering.

Read more at Contemplative Homeschool..

Why do you have inordinate attachments?

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The Golden Calf by Tissot

 

Have you discerned what you are too attached to? Are you ready to begin working on those inordinate attachments? Let’s take the first step together, by looking at the reasons we are attached to things other than God.
 Why am I doing this?
This week I sent family members a copy of the family tree I created for my dad. Genealogy is a favorite hobby of mine. One relative emailed back that he was too bored with it even to finish the first page. “Can you explain to me why this interests you?” he asked. “I just don’t get it.”

We emailed back and forth a bit as I told him how I loved family and history. I still don’t think my answers satisfied him.

I would not have written about this, except that the genealogy bug hit me again. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at my mom’s family, I thought. I’ll just do a quick search to see if there’s anything new. Before long, I had spent all the time I should have been writing my book (and more) researching my ancestors. I began asking myself the same question. Why am I doing this? What am I really getting out of it?

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

My favorite books on St. Therese

Writing Trusting God with St. Therese, I have purchased or checked out from the library several book about the saint that I had not read before. I have also revisited some old favorites. There are countless books about Therese, but not all are of the same quality or focus. Here are some of my favorites, in brief. Throughout this year, I hope to give you more detailed critiques of them and others.

I Believe in Love
I Believe in LoveI Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux by Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbee is by far my favorite book on Therese. In fact, it’s one of my favorite books of all time. I have given this book away twice before. I just received it for Christmas for the third time and am rereading it.

The point that struck me most on my last reading was that we shouldn’t say, “I’m striving to love God.” Instead, we should simply say, “I love God.” Love is a matter of the will. If we truly will to love, we achieve love.

Read the rest of the list at Contemplative Homeshcool.

Final Big Clicks Winners for 2013


Announcing the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers
for DECEMBER 2013,
 
In the category of…

Readings and Reflections,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are:

In Him we Live and Move and Have our Being for the post Find Your Own Calcutta …and
Leaven for the Loaf for the post Hello Advent, I’ve missed you.
Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is

Childrens Rosary for the post Signal Graces

 
Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:

Catholic Fit Mom for Life for the post on Let Nothing Discourage You


Catholic Family Journal and Random Ramblings,

the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is

The Cloistered Heart for the post The Advent Window

Spread the word!! Let your friends know about these popular posts on the Catholic Bloggers Network
and help promote Catholic Bloggers!

The new Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz will look different for 2014! 

Make sure that you add your posts and visit often!!
You can also always revisit our Archives!


…You could also sign up to our Catholic Bloggers Mailing List to receive the INFREQUENT Catholic Bloggers Network News Flash for current events, link-ups and features at Catholic Bloggers Network.


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Catholic Bloggers Directory!
Fill out the MEET and GREET form before we finish compiling it…for awesome promotion of your Catholic blog and media links!

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Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts!

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A Gospel Reflection

bodyofchrist
Today’s Gospel: John 1:35-42
It is amazing, really, that John’s disciples simply hear their teacher announce that Jesus is “the Lamb of God” and they follow Him, without question, without speaking a word. They are on a journey, so they do not cling to John possessively but let go to continue their search for God. These men are hungry for God and they are open, recognizing the light when they see it.
These former followers of John cannot even answer Jesus when He asks them, “What do you seek?” They probably don’t have a clue what they are really seeking: they simply know in their deepest selves that He is who John says He is—the Lamb of God—and that is enough for them. They are seekers of the truth. Yet they cannot articulate that fact,  so instead they answer with another mundane question, “Where are you staying?” Even that question is not answered because Jesus basically says, “Well, if you trust me, if you want to follow me and learn from me as my disciple, come, and you will  see.”
Andrew, of the two former disciples of John, fetches his brother Simon, not to see the Lamb of God, as John calls Jesus, but to come and see the Messiah, the Christ. The man who will be called Cephas, Peter, the man who becomes the rock, the first pope, this man comes because his brother trusted his inner heart, saw, heard and  had the courage to act when he knew he had encountered the truth.

PONDER:

Have you ever had a defining moment when you knew, without a doubt, that it was God calling you to drop everything and step out to follow His leading?

PRAY:

Oh Lord, open my eyes and open my ears to hear and recognize each truth as You show it to me. Give me the humility to let go of former things and follow you without fear into the unknown, deeper into a more intimate union with You.
Copyright 2014 Melanie Jean Juneau

http://melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/a-gospel-reflection-for-sabbath-moments/

Forgiveness and the word "As"

Forgiveness and the Lord’s Prayer

Of course, I could have written the title of this post the other way, but forgiveness seems to be the main lesson God is trying to get through my thick, red-haired head these days.

Without any kind of a prayer life, how can we accomplish the least of the tasks in our daily lives, much less forgiveness of another.  Reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer, I am completely in awe at how perfectly the words are, I know, consider the author.  Jesus taught the apostles this prayer which covers all bases in a very short and simple way.  But it also puts us to task in a very blunt and severe way in the forgiveness department; He will forgive us, AS we forgive others around us…ouch!

“As”
Now, we all remember the Clinton days when he fought the infidelity accusations with an idiotic argument on the meaning of the word “is”.  He wanted to escape the reality of his marital sinfulness with a present/past tense wording.  How truly petty and evil could you get?  A lie is a lie and the truth is the truth…past, present, or in the future.  His intentions, responsibility, and actions were the true evidence of the sin he committed and continued to commit in his lies to his family, himself, and the entire world!  No single word, in his case, could ever clear him of his mortal sin.

OK, so on to the word “as” in the prayer of our Lord: “and forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Now, has a single word ever struck such a difficult…near impossible note?  Our God and Creator forgives us AS only He can in His inconceivable nature, but we must follow His lead with each other. Forgiving each other is the charitable thing to do in all cases of human interaction…AS our heavenly father offers the forgiveness to us.  In some cases, this is easy to offer and feel good about; has there been a time or a case that this is true?  It truly feels good to let these feelings go and clear the slate for a new beginning.  But there are those certain instances that forgiveness is much more trying.  Forgiveness is not an emotion, it is a gift and a decision made each and every day to forgive and let go of anger, disappointment, and resentment.  If extended, and received, it is a blessings AS we know it in God’s loving forgiveness.

Jesus intentionally made this little, tiny word carry a heavy responsibility to the world.  In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2842 talks about how it “is not unique in Jesus’ teaching:  “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”; “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”; “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (Mt 5:48; Lk6:36;Jn13:34)

Love thy neighbor AS thyself, treat your brother AS you would be treated, we can’t ignore this word…really.  How can we ask for forgiveness if we are unable to forgive another?  How can we ask for something we are unwilling to give?  How can ignore our heavenly Father’s request?  It’s not a suggestion, it’s not a favor, it’s not something intended to be selective either.  God wants us to do as He asks all the time!

A new year a fast approaching, and though I am not a resolution maker, I am going to work on being a better forgiver-er in 2014 with lots of prayer and conversations with our Lord along the way.

How about you?

Top 10 tips for your spiritual life from 2013

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The Virgin Mary Reading by Walters. Here are the posts
from 2013 she might recommend to you.

‘Tis the season for reviewing the old year. How did you advance towards God this year? Do you remember those blog posts that really struck you at the time, or have you forgotten them? Here are some reminders of how you can grow closer to Christ, taken from my blog posts over the past year.

1. Read the Gospels
If you want to advance towards God, you must learn to love Him. Read what He revealed about Himself. Need more motivation to read Scripture?
Here are 10 Reasons Catholics should read the Bible.

2. Stop making excuses for missing prayer
You’re not going to grow closer to Christ if you aren’t willing to make sacrifices to spend time with Him.
Read 7 Ways to make time for prayer.

3. Ponder God’s Word in your heart
This follows from #s 1 and 2. It’s a particularly Carmelite way of honoring Mary.
See Mary pondered all these things–do you?

4. Choose to become a saint
St. Thomas Aquinas told his sister that the way to become a saint is to will it.
See the details: Can you become a saint by sheer will power?

Read the rest of the list at Contemplative Homeschool.