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.

Stepping Aside and Letting God do the work

I worried and worried.
I had just graduated from college, and I needed to find a job.
I was still living at home, and I wanted to MOVE OUT ON MY OWN.
(I later learned that being an adult is not as great as it seemed then.)
 FINALLY, even though it was out of my major,
and I didn’t need a college degree,
I was hired to work as a teller in a bank.
I know.  I was over educated.  I earned very little money, but it was enough to get an apartment with a couple of friends.
Whew!
God had some lessons for me to learn.
At first it was great, then there were the disagreements about food, utilities, and when the rent was due.
I lived there for 6 months, then  moved back home.
By that time, I was dating my future husband, and life was moving along.

Read more at:  His Unending Love

Random Acts of Kindness – Are You In?

Random Acts of Kindness Week starts today and ends February 15th! Are you with me? Are you willing to perform random acts of kindness this week?

“Much unkindness results from envy.”1 If we cannot find it within ourselves to be kind to others, it is because we are too worried about what we do not have. Perhaps it’s not enough money, clothes, food, etc. Thus, we are reluctant to give from our excess, let alone our need. If we possess the virtue of kindness then we are willing to share with others, even from our meager means. Take a look at this video. It demonstrates that to be kind, you also need to be compassionate; to give of yourself to another:  Read more…

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.

Kindness is Contagious! Catch It!

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”  ~Mark Twain

As Mark Twain so aptly infers, everyone comprehends when an act of kindness has been bestowed upon them, because they are outward signs of graciousness towards others. Acts of kindness produce good ripples; they can be contagious! Smile at someone and you put a smile on their face, which in turn puts a smile on someone else’s face. Hold a door open for someone and it alleviates their stress, which in turn puts them in a good mood, as they engage with others. Serve food in a soup kitchen and you help someone live for another day, which in turn helps them to move with God’s grace to be of assistance to someone else. Whatever the act of kindness, it evokes a positive response. Sometimes it’s gratitude (another virtue), and sometimes it leads to something even more wonderful. Read more…

What is Man? Part One

Look into this mirror every day, O queen, spouse of Jesus Christ, And continually examine your face in it…. that mirror suspended upon the wood of the cross
St Clare of Assisi Fourth Letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague

… St Clare (like many of the women who have taught the universal Church) showed great wisdom when she suggested that it is Christ Crucified who reveals ourselves to ourselves most fully. He does so, I would suggest, in two ways: as He is in Himself we get a positive vision of what Man is or should be and through Him as He is situationally we can make inferences about Man.

One aspect of our Lord’s Passion is that it was voluntarily undertaken for the sake of liberating humans from bondage to corruption and death. We can infer from this that, since this liberation is offered to each human ever conceived, Man is loved with an extreme, self-sacrificial love. That is, every human person is the object of an infinite love. Further to that we may add that since it can be said of God that not only is He Love but He is also Reason (as mentioned in my post Why Be Moral?) this love is a rational love. Which means that it can be posited of Man that he is lovable. If we pair these things then one part of the answer to What is Man? becomes Man, individually and collectively, is loved and lovable from the moment of conception through to the moment of natural death and at every single point in between. If we accept this proposition then we must conclude that human life is a sacred thing just because it is human and for no other reason...click here to read more

Family Love: The Glue of Life

Family Love – the love between siblings and cousins, the love for grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. You can choose your friends, but not your family – how true! Many of us have relatives that if given a choice, might not be our “friend.” Nonetheless, they are a part of our family. It is that family bond that keeps us together in the good times and in the bad – we are there for each other, especially in those bad times, when “friends” run in the opposite direction.

What we show to our friends is our good side for the most part, with the not-so-good stuff kept buried in our past. However, it is the family members who have seen it all and in spite of that are by our side when needed most. Why? Read more…

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.

Why Be Moral?

Before answering the Why question a philosopher would ask the What questions- what is morality? what is a moral life? After answering the What and Why they would likely then proceed to the How questions- how can I live ethically? how can human societies be collectively moral? This helps explain why philosophy books tend to be quite big and not very popular. They seem to spend a lot of time proving what the reader already knows to be true or attempting to disprove what the reader thinks of as ‘common sense.’ Religion appears to offer a way of short-cutting all this tedious playing with words. All religions have associated moralities and within the Abrahamic religions these have the sanction of divine revelation. Morality is what revelation says it is, obedience to God is the only acceptable response to revelation and within the content of that revelation, either in the form of scripture or divinely mandated authority, is all the guidance required for individuals and societies to live out the moral life in practice.

There is no real doubt that if this is an accurate summary of religious belief then many of the criticisms levelled at religion by New Atheists like the late Christopher Hitchens (God grant him rest) and the current Richard Dawkins (God keep him on Twitter) are well merited. Such a rigid structure which requires no moral judgement on the part of believers but merely an acceptance of the first principles of faith would lend them and their belief system to being manipulated in the service of anyone who could pervert the interpretation of revelation to suit their own purposes, as Islamic State and Boko Haram appear to have done with Islam. There are, however, a number of things which could be said about this critique….click here to read more 

Is the Eucharist Really Just A Symbol? Five Very Convincing Proofs that Say that It’s Not

My new friend Brittany has posted another great article in her series Letting God Lead: My Journey Through Protestant and Catholic Beliefs on her blog Equipping Godly Women.
This one is called Is the Eucharist just a Symbol? 5 Convincing Proofs that say that it’s not!

This is a great article of Catholic Apologetics…and Brittany isn’t even Catholic!
Let’s pray for her RCIA journey…we’d love to have her on our team. =)