Watch the signs! Avoid the Wide and Easy Path!

Whether known as the seven capital sins, the seven cardinal sins, or the seven deadly sins, they are all signposts on the highway to hell.

most interesting sinnerHave you heard of the Seven Deadly Sins? What are the Seven Deadly Sins, and why are they considered deadly?

Are the Seven Deadly Sins also Mortal Sins? Doesn’t the meaning of the word “mortal” mean death, since being immortal means never dying?

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Stations of the Cross

My Perspective

As soon as I found out I was pregnant with our first, I knew my life would change dramatically. I began to see our world in a different way. It was not just about me, my wants, needs, goals, aspirations or life for now I was responsible for the nurturing, teaching and forming of another human being.Your Read More Link Text

Meatless Friday Recipe: Spicy Corn Chowder

On those busy days when you won’t be home to fuss with dinner, you can have your meal almost all ready for you at the end of the day when you use a slow cooker. This corn chowder is delicious topped with a little cheese and cilantro. Serve it with quesadillas and a salad for a simple, quick and inexpensive meal.spicy corn chowder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get the recipe and nutrition information for Spicy Corn Chowder here!

This soup freezes well and is great for lunch as well as dinner.

Don’t forget to donate the savings from your simple Lenten Friday meal to a worthy cause such as CRS Rice Bowl or your local food pantry or soup kitchen!

© 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

Do We Accept the Change God Gives?

Doing my morning readings, I came across an interesting thought from a priest, Fr. George Rutler. The thought was that we have a tendency to only accept the changes we want. When we encounter a change that does not meet out expectations, we tend to reject it. I think that’s a good insight. We tend to get irritated when things don’t go our way, even when we seek to be doing God’s work.

Take for example, today’s First Reading. We see a beautiful response to God’s message sent through the prophet Jonah. The people of a city who oppressed Israel heard the message and repented of the evil done. But Jonah’s response (which takes place later in the Book of Jonah) is resentment. God sent him to warn Nineveh of a coming wrath, and then doesn’t follow through. Jonah wanted change, but the change he wanted was for Nineveh to be a smoking crater in the ground. Because God did not give him that change, he was angry with God….

(See rest of article HERE)

The Mistakes of Twenty-Something

First and foremost, I have always been open about my age. I am 61 years old and I have never deviated from that fact nor have I endeavored to place myself in a bygone era. And while I have no desire to return to my youth, or my much younger days, I look back to the person that I was at that particular time, and what I would do to change her.

I was a very homely, awkward teen who struggled through that period of life. If ever I thought differently about myself, there were a bevy of individuals on hand to remind me that I was indeed homely with few, if any, redeeming qualities.

Things changed on the cusp of my 20th birthday. I did not become a raving beauty by any means but instead I developed a biting wit, an outrageous nature, and a vivacious personality, all of which caused my circle of friends and associates to expand. Still, the Margaret that I knew then made a desperate search for love in the faces of the various men who appeared before her. My choices remained dastardly and pulled me even further away from the most fervent desire of my heart.

Although I was quick to profess Catholicism when asked about my religious beliefs, my actual knowledge of God was nil. I had no relationship with Him and my Bible was relegated to the bottom of the closet along with other antiquated, discarded items. It had little meaning for me and aside from the Crucifixion, I regarded much of it as relevant as Alsop’s Fables.

Born-again Christians were to be laughed at – indeed, was anything funnier? Nevertheless I was outwardly polite and would always accept an offered tract. In my last semester of college, I had a lunch date with a man of interest. Carl was a cop and I liked him but he quickly let me know that we would first attend a meeting of The Seekers, the on-campus Christian group, after which we would then have lunch. I did all I could to dissuade Carl from this seemingly preposterous idea…”You’re Catholic…I’m Catholic…what if someone were to see us??”! However Carl was determined and with an air of resignation I went with him. Someone played a guitar as all the attendees sat in a circle. There was prayer, Bible study, and one hour later it was mercifully over. I was not moved and when Carl remarked “Margaret, I feel something”, I was quick to retort “You’re hungry…that’s what you feel!!”

I don’t know if Carl ever returned to the Seeker meetings. Graduation came soon thereafter and while I remained behind for the MA program, Carl disappeared from campus.

During the intervening years, I was able to progress in both my education and employment. My ways, however, remained restless, and though I was now an active participant in my childhood parish, I continued in my pursuit of love. Fornication and adultery, to me, were not sins particularly if either one or both would serve to bring about what I desired most which was a husband. I no longer wanted to be outrageous and sought to settle down. I also became weary of looking for love in all the wrong places, but I knew not what else to do.

Carolyn became my coworker in November 1983. She had a peaceful countenance and for the first time in my then 30-years, I encountered a Christian who spoke the truth as to the factors that led her to Christ. Most whom I had met previously appeared to have existed on chimerical clouds both before and after their conversion. In my very fractured state, Carolyn’s counsel generated into my heart and in March 1984, I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Through His grace and through His mercy, I was also freed from sexual sin. I chose to live as a new creature in Christ. I also knew that He had a plan for my life and as He reminded me in Psalm 37:4, if I delighted myself in Him, He would give me the desires of my heart. However we are flesh…we are human…and while some old habits die hard, He is there for us, as He was for me, on the path of spiritual maturation.

Though I sometimes reflect on the young Margaret and what I would say to her if afforded the opportunity, I try not to do it often as we are told in Isaiah 43:5 “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.” In this present age, there are so many who have walked an identical path and the gift of God is the ability to share with them the hope for change and the new life that can be found in Christ Jesus. He is not a myth, nor is He relegated to mention in a Sunday service only, but He is real and His Word can change the very course of our existence.

From Hub to Heart, via Medjugorje

At the Catholic Men’s Conference in Boston in 2010, Andy LaValle met Jim Caviezel, not knowing he portrayed Jesus in The Passion of Christ. Jim dared Andy to go with him to Medjugorje, an obscure, poor village in Croatia. For more than thirty years, it has been alleged that the Virgin Mary has been appearing there and calling her children to live lives of prayer, penance and fasting.

Andy writes, “At the time, Medjugorje was not on my radar; in fact I could not even spell it or know where it was. . . . I boldly told Jim, ‘Do not get your hopes up. I am not flying 15 hours to say a rosary.’ Today I pray the rosary, not say the rosary.”

Andy wrote his reconversion story, From the Hub to the Heart: My Journey, with Leticia Velasquez. In my favorite chapter, Andy compassionately explains how fasting on bread relates to the Eucharistic bread. This comes from a man who never fasted before making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 2010.

Read Andy’s conversion story on JoyAlive.netYour Read More Link Text

50 Things to Give up or Do for Lent

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  Mother Theresa

1)
Write a letter a day to a different person, everyday during Lent and
mail them.  The letter can be a letter of thanks, a letter of love, a
letter of sympathy, a letter of forgiveness.  Write that letter with the
intent of making the reader a happier person.

2) Work on forgiveness.  Get God involved in helping you to forgive.  Ask for the graces.  You will receive

3) Perform one good deed per day.

4) Find 5 things to thank God for each day.

5) Read Sacred Scripture daily aka the Bible.

6) Leave food on your plate each meal.  Don’t eat it all.  Don’t throw it away.  Save for another time.

Read More at:: His Unending Love

Knowledge You Need for Lent

Lent begins on Wednesday.  The first day of Lent is called, Ash
Wednesday.  It is on this day that you will receive the gift of ashes on
your forehead in the shape of a cross.  Ash Wednesday is not a holy day
of obligation, but it is day on which we are encouraged to attend Mass
in order to receive the blessing of ashes.  
Lent is time of mortification through which we can grow closer to God
and prepare for the celebration of the Risen Lord on Easter Sunday. 
Fasting, abstinence, and  turning away from sin are parts of our
spiritual journey in the season of Lent. 
 
Read More at:: His Unending Love

Forgiveness: Why Did It Take Almost 40 Years?

Forgiveness does not always come easily. Forgiveness, when given to others, is done more for yourself, than for the person being forgiven. To forgive someone for an offense committed against you is to release yourself from the bond that the offense has created.  I have an excellent example from my own life to prove the point. It took about 40 years to forgive a life changing hurt; yet through forgiveness, I became a better person. Read more…

Good Deeds: What Impact Do They Have on You?

It’s Random Acts of Kindness week. Want some ideas on how you can spread kindness?

Good deeds are acts of kindness, filled with love and compassion. Any good deed performed is a virtuous act, as long as it is accompanied by good intentions. Therefore, good deeds are virtuous. There are several ways to practice good deeds; each one bringing joy not only to the recipient, but also to the giver, with a rippling effect that spreads outward. Here are a few suggestions:

On the spur of the moment, do something nice for someone else! Let the inspiration seize you and act upon it! After all, this is Random Acts of Kindness week! Give a smile…Read more…