Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz is OPEN for JULY!

 
We are trying something NEW this month!
We now have VOTING CAPABILITY! 
Please visit the Link-Up Blitz OFTEN and visit as many of the linked-up posts as possible.  You will be able to VOTE for your two favorite posts IN EACH CATEGORY during the last 6 days of the month (beginning July 26).
Feel free to vote for your own linked post once…but please also vote for at least one other blogger’s post in each category!
Please make your choice based on actual VISITS to other blogs. Thanks!
 
Depending on the response we get…this VOTING will be THE MAIN FACTOR in the
BIG CLICKS BLOGGER AWARDS announced on July 31st.
 
Don’t forget that you always have access to our ARCHIVES:
 
Happy Catholic Blogging!

This past week at the Catholic Book Blogger I did an interview with author Dr. Diane Moczar which can be found here. Additionally I posted a review of her great book The Church Under Attack : Five Hundred Years That Split the Church and Scattered the Flock. That review can be found here. I would also like to invite all of you to enter the Weekly Book Giveaway. One copy of Kevin Lowry’s Faith at Work : Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck. Enter Here! 

Living Faith on a High Wire, Stories of an Unschooling Family, Simple Catholic Living, Catholic Inspired, Learning Mass and The Cloistered Heart: Big Clicks Winners!

Welcome to the
2013 Catholic Blogger Link-Up Blitz.
Announcing the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers
for June 2013!
In the category of…

Readings and Reflections,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:
The Cloistered Heart for the post
An Abyss of All Good

Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is
Learning Mass for the post
Missing Mass
 
Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger are:
Catholic Inspired for the post
Devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts and
Simple Catholic Living for the post
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Catholic Family Journal and Random Ramblings,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are
Living Faith on a High Wire for the post
Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage and Loving Life
and Stories of an Unschooling Family for the post
Getting Kids to Help with Chores

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

The new Monthly Round-Up for JULY will be
UP and RUNNING on July 1st!
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.


There is STILL TIME to join the MEET and GREET
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!

Tell your subscribers about the Catholic Bloggers Network and help us increase traffic and promote all these awesome blogs! We have 517 awesome Catholic blogs linked up so far!





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!

Do you want do use inlinkz thumbnail link-ups on your blog too?

Looking for a blog critique?

Our special Catholic Bloggers Network Blog Academy page has been transformed to a new page: Blog Help!
We will be accepting helpful guest posts from tech-savy Catholic Bloggers as well as showcasing awesome blog resources discovered and recommended to us.

To kick off this new feature…we present the Do-It-Yourself Blog Critique e-book!

 
This is a great 58-page resource…to help you look at your blog objectively… and make it better!
Do you want more subscribers?
Do you want new page visits to turn into long-time returning visits and loyal followers?
Do you wonder what your blog is missing…what could catapult it into the big blog league?
 
The Catholic Bloggers Network is an affiliate of Momcomm.com and any commissions received by your purchase of this awesome e-book will help to cover the basic maintenance of the
Catholic Bloggers Network website.
 
The Do-It-Yourself Blog Critique guides you through a comprehensive examination of your blog, addressing your blogging goals, design including fonts and photos and layout, navigation, functionality and content.
 
It’s only $14 and will help you take care of the basics…and beyond!
 
Book Cover Image for Blog Design For Dummies 
Melissa Culbertson is the author of the newly released Blog Design for Dummies.
 
(1)Anyone interested in joining a Blog Critique Panel here at the Catholic Bloggers Network?
 
(2)Looking for an honest, helpful and encouraging critique of YOUR blog?
 
(3) Have any tech-savy posts to share with advice for Catholic Bloggers?
 
Join up for the Blog Critique Panel (1)
or add your request for a blog critique (2)
or send a link of a tech-savy post on blogging (3) 
in the comments!
 





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!
 
 

Books to teach boys virtue

Finding good books for boys as they get older is always a challenge. Lat fall I put together a list of good books for boys aged 10-14 . You will see that the scope of it is limited.  On my blog, I want to introduce you to some of my favorites in more detail. Not all of these are on the list.

A novel-length fairytale
Front CoverThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis are undoubtedly already on your radar screen. The Horse and His Boy is my favorite, and one of my favorite children’s books of any genre.

It is the story of Shasta, who has been raised by a Calormene fisherman, but is light haired like the people of the north. When he overhears the fisherman negotiating to sell him as a slave to a lord, he runs away, taking the lord’s horse with him. The horse, Bree, is a talking horse from Narnia, eager to escape back to his homeland. Soon Shasta and Bree meet up with a young Calormene lady named Aravis, who is also running away with her Narnian horse. The foursome eventually get caught up in politics, racing to warn Narnia of an impending Calormene attack. And Shasta discovers his surprising, true identity.

The entire Narnia series is perfect for introducing your children to symbolism. Aslan, the great lion who rules Narnia from across the sea, represents Jesus. Shasta symbolizes each of us. We are born in slavery to sin, but freed and made children of the King.

Continue reading at  Contemplative Homeschool

The Remnant

“They rejected his statutes, the covenant which he had made with their fathers.  The vanity they pursued, they themselves became; they followed the surrounding nations whom the Lord commanded them not to imitate.”  2 Kings:17

The word “remnant“ has been coming to my mind a lot lately and I have been trying to write a reflection on it for days, but I could not pull it together (admittedly this is a frequent problem for me).  I keep brushing the word aside thinking that the word remnant seems a tad over-dramatic. Is our culture dying so quickly that those who are still faithful to the Church’s positions on the issues of marriage, contraception and abortion in our Catholic churches are already a mere remnant (even if the pews seem full)?  Surely that is overstating the case!

Yet in headline after headline, and in discussion after discussion, with Catholic individuals who ought to know better, I am finding that adhering to the Natural Law (the Ten Commandments), particularly in political views is not even considered!  Many ( though not all) of my fellow parishioners use a soft sentimentality as the basis for many political positions, how you feel governs your stance.  Anything that causes discomfort ought to be re-defined. This is dangerous because so many of these individuals are willingly handing over to Caesar the powers to bind or loose moral teachings – and if you try to make an argument against that, you are completely misunderstood, because so many lack an understanding of what liberty and freedom really mean!!!  Are we narrowing down to a remnant of faithful Catholics?

Then the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down DOMA and dismissing Prop 8 came down, not unexpected, but still quite ominous, and after reading Elizabeth Scalia’s excellent article titled “The ‘Party’ is victor; Time to save souls and churches” I realized I was not being dramatic at all.  It was the Spirit that place that word in my heart.  Not to cause despair, but to show me that the seeds of renewal are even now being sown.

“So too at this present time there is a remnant , chosen by grace.”  Rom 11:5
The word remnant first popped into my head during the June 7th rehearsal dinner for my son Matthew and his then bride–to-be Grace. They were married on June 8th (Yes! It was the feast of the Immaculate Heart isn’t that awesome!!!) after a real courtship that was based on discernment of God’s will for them. These two have a profound respect, for each other and their deepening love, for parental authority and a commitment to Christ through their Catholic faith. In fact, it was their Catholic faith that came shining through all the wonderful parties and joy-filled celebrations. Especially in the beautiful Nuptial Mass, where the Gospel was chanted by a newly ordained transitional deacon and Panis Angelicus , Ave Verum Corpus and Gounod’s Ave Maria were beautifully sung. The Mass and all of the celebrations that surrounded it were directly and indirectly proclaiming what marriage truly is: A covenant that is “ordered to the good of the couple, as well as the generation and education of children.” (CCC 1660) Marriage was not just about the two of them, it was a bridging of the past generations to the future ones. It was about the obligations of these two to build up a Culture of Life through their vows to each other and to God.

Both myself and Grace’s mother heard from guests who felt renewed and filled with hope after the wedding. It was so joyfully Catholic! Three generations of the priesthood participated in celebrating it and at least one other young man was undertaking serious discernment for a religious vocation. And it was at the rehearsal dinner that I looked around the room and felt the hope and promise of renewal that God is always offering us! I thought here ,in this room, are some of the remnant, the faithful remnant in an increasingly post-Christian world. God always leaves a remnant. And what a joyful remnant it was! I wish I had words for my gratitude.

 Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.
The darkness of the Culture of Death’s attack on marriage, which is an attack on the Church, is even more disheartening because of the ignorant and complacent acceptance of these attacks by so many members of the Church.  In the face of this daunting opposition these young people were joyfully, faithfully Catholic.  They neither hiding their faith under a bushel basket, or stridently beating people over the head with it.  They simply lived it with a joy and maturity.  Sometimes it takes darkness to appreciate just how bright the light of Christ shines, and in the growing darkness of our world the joy of this marriage shines so brightly.   I know that some of our readers have also been graced with signs of hope like this as well, and to these things we hold on to.

Because the threats that were once vague and veiled and aimed at my Church are solidifying and they are proving to be formidable.  I take no comfort in President Obama’s arrogant claim the he won’t force religious institutions to accept gay “marriage”.  It is a hollow promise.  And every day more souls are giving up the fight, because it looks hopeless, because it is much easier to just give in, because no one they know and respect is willing to stand up and proclaim the truth, and take the insult and calumny that will result from it.  The Culture of Life is facing the ravenous dragon in the Culture of Death and we appear to be losing.  But we are not.  Have faith and endure, and be perceptive of God’s signs of hope! There is a remnant, praise be to God!

Go then, rejoice and exalt over the children of the righteous, for they will all be gathered together and will bless the Lord of all ages.  Tobit 13:13 

Matthew and Grace

And for more encouragement in strengthening and growing the “remnant” check out Deacon Paul’s link:  Small Faith Communities
or if reading is more your thing:   Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network

Heidi @ Journey to Wisdom

A Call To Be Annoying

In a recent homily by Pope Francis, he called upon Catholics to pray for a specific grace and implore the Holy Spirit for “the grace to be annoying.”  Here is what he said:

“There are backseat Christians, right? Those who are well mannered, who do everything well, but are unable to bring people to the Church through proclamation and Apostolic zeal. Today we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us all this Apostolic fervor and to give us the grace to be annoying when things are too quiet in the Church, the grace to go out to the outskirts of life. The Church has so much need of this!…So let us ask the Holy Spirit for this grace of Apostolic zeal, let’s be Christians with apostolic zeal. And if we annoy people, blessed be the Lord. Onwards, as the Lord says to Paul, ‘take courage!’ ”
I found this quote over at Catholic Vote and had to share it.
Blessings,
Noreen

Top 100 Catholic Blogs

Want to discover some Catholic Blogs for summer reading?
 
wooden painted_saints

100 Totally Awesome Blogs by Catholic Priests
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Over 500 Awesome Catholic Blogs at the Catholic Blogger Network





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!

Trusting God with your future

File:St Therese of Lisieux - stained glass window detail ... - geograph.org.uk - 1140602.jpg

Last December, I began a quest to trust God more. It started with my reading The Way of Trust and Love by Jacques Philippe. You can read my original post on St. Therese’s trust here. (I know I link to this post a lot, but that’s because I consider it among my best. Trust is the Lesson from the Carmelite Saints that is changing my life.  If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.)

Later, I told you how I was focusing on trusting God in the ups and downs of my day during Lent.
More recently, I have worked on entrusting my future to God. This next step began with my reading Diary of a Country Mother by Cindy Montanaro. It’s the journal of a mother reflecting on the life of her young son who has recently died. As I hinted in my review, I have struggled with entrusting my children’s futures to God. I hear of so many parents who have lost a child. Two of my siblings died in childhood. My former roommate’s daughter died at age four.  Some of my readers have blogs about their losses.

Then there are the adults I know who have left the faith. Three people in my immediate family are non-practicing. Most families I know have at least one wayward member. (My husbands’ family is a rare but encouraging exception).

Shortly after finishing Cindy’s book, I picked up Left to Tell: Finding God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza. Immaculee lost nearly all her family to genocide. Friends and neighbors turned into deadly enemies. Yet, not only did she keep her faith–she was able to forgive the murderers.

Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.