To Have and to … Quarantine? Getting Married During a Pandemic

Letting friends and family know our wedding ceremony this June will now have to be private in light of the coronavirus has been a sad and disappointing undertaking. But it has also put for us the sacrament of marriage in perspective. The reality is that matrimony isn’t ultimately about the pomp and circumstance humans create, but what God divinely creates in us as a couple. Read more from Ryan Bilodeau here

The Eucharist as the Real Presence of Jesus

The Eucharist as the real presence of Jesus Christ body and blood, and not just a representative thereof, is an issue debated since the beginning of the Church. For Catholics this debate is not one from which we should run. Without a proper understanding of the Eucharist, after all, one cannot properly understand the liturgy. Continue reading on Prayer to Pen Catholic Blog

Recipe 4 Holiness: Small Acts

Pope Francis_Recipe for Holiness

 

To our #Recipe4Holiness we will now add a special ingredient, that is actually many ingredients in one…  Small Acts – those often unseen moments our of lives that create a saints heart within us!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while – or even a few days – you are acutely aware of my many deficiencies.  The one that I regret the most – and try the most to overcome is my lack of hospitality and thoughtfulness.  Though, probably a more fair assessment would be my lack of follow through!

I often think of the nice or caring things I could do to help others – however, for a myriad of reasons (none of them good); my follow-through statistics are very low.   At first this behavior came from self-preservation and lack of instruction; but as an adult with fully formed conscience it is not longer acceptable behavior.

AWARENESS IS NOT HALF THE BATTLE

While I would love to say, that once I realized the necessity of a life in Christ to include reaching out to others my behavior changed – I can not.  I still every day have to resist my self-absorbed ways.  In all too painful ways the Lord has allowed me to feel the DEEP regret of not acting on an inspiration of the Spirit to reach out to another.

 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

Recipe for Holiness: 2 Parts Courage

Pope Francis_Recipe for Holiness

Personally, I am not good with courage or living simply.   My anxieties have me afraid of pretty much everything:

  • lightning storms
  • spiders, snakes, anything that creeps
  • germs
  • being alone
  • injury or illness to my kids

…just to name a few.

As I have well documented in my Money Monday series; my inability to live within my means for the last 30+ years has wreaked havoc on my finances and my peace of mind.  Where was Pope Francis’ message when I needed it? If I’m honest, would I have even listened back then?

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Well, luckily as long as I’m breathing – there is always time to find out.  Here’s the amazing thing about being a believer and a friend of God – “see I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5); today I can make the changes necessary to embrace this message and apply its teaching to my current (and for hence forth) circumstances.

Life requires courage.  That is clear in the horrific events of this year – just making the decision to leave our homes can be cause for pause.  In the case of my dear friend from our parish, stabbed in her own home by a random act by a distraught young man, even home doesn’t feel safe any longer.  There is illness and accidents; and so much beyond our control that can lead our hearts to ache; and fall into despair and fear.   As a person who has battled anxiety her entire life (diagnosed with a ‘nervous stomach’ at age 9); just watching the news or reading social media can send me spiraling into a panic attack.

So what do we do?  …  read more on Reconciled To You 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
Cover photo copyright – Debbie Guadino, Saints 365

Recipe For Holiness – Ingredient #1: Grace

Pope Francis_Recipe for Holiness

The Grace Trifecta

Standing before a room of 30 or so women facilitating my first faith sharing back in 2006, I fumbled around for the proper words as I tried to answer one participant’s seemingly simple question on the grace of God.  What is grace?  While I had this innate understanding, I could not formulate the right words to express what I believed it to be. I realized, I had no definition.

Fast forward a few years, I am sitting in a small chapel in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (aka Jesus in the Eucharist). In my reading I once again face the question, what is grace? This time I open the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit.   That day the Allison abridged version of how I define the grace of God, was born … Read More at Reconciled To You 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

A Messy and Foolish Book Review

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Messy and Foolish by Matthew Warner
*disclaimer – I get free stuff to review.  It is a great blessing. This book included!

Discover the art of making a “mess,” being a “fool”, and evangelizing the world. We shouldn’t have to tell people we’re Christians.  It should be obvious by the way  we live our lives. Learn how to live that radical, meaningful, and joyful life.  ~ about, Messy and Foolish


My Review:

  1. IT is a small book.  I like small books. Get to the point and do it in the shortest amount of time – life is busy.  Check!
  2. Build the idea of your book on the words of Pope Francis.  I like Pope Francis. Talk about getting to the point! I was on Copacabana Beach at World Youth Day, 2013, when Papa Francisco said, “Go!…the experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community.  I want a mess. I want people to go out!”  Check!
  3. Remind people they have been commissioned by their Baptism to share the good news, to be heralds of the Gospel – that it is not just for their benefit.  In fact, if we are not willing to take bold risks -to be MESSY & FOOLISH, the fire ignited by Jesus Passion will be extinguished. … but wait there is MUCH much more… read the rest of my review here!

All rights reserved Allison Gingras, 2016

HALLOWEEN IS CATHOLIC ? Yup

raised my nine children in the shadow of  other dedicated Catholic mothers, mostly homeschoolers, who thought Halloween was evil, dedicated to witches. Their children were not allowed to celebrate with their neighbors but went to a church basement to celebrate All Saints Eve.

This church was an hour away from us. More importantly, I felt my children suffered enough  because of a perceived alienation from their peers. At our tiny Catholic, country school everyone dressed up for the day and often joined friends afterward to go door to door. I did not want to deny them the joy and creative fun which surrounded this cultural, childhood tradition.

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15 Reasons Why I Love Being Catholic

342px-Francisco_de_Zurbarán_-_Christ_on_the_Cross_-_WGA26051God, the Father: Creator of Heaven and Earth.  Father Almighty.  God of Love.  One of three Persons in the Trinity.  Through Him, all things were made.

Jesus: The Son of the Living God, Begotten not made, one if being with the Father.  Agreeing submitting His Will to the Father, Jesus suffered an horrific death for the sake of all humankind.  “Not my Will,” He said, “But Your Will be done.”

Holy Spirit:  The Third Person of the Trinity.  The Comforter.  The Guide.  The Paraclete

The Resurrection of the Body:  Jesus defeated death when He rose from the dead.  By His death we were saved.  By His Resurrection, we, too, will rise, one day.

The Truth – The Catholic Church speaks the truth, even if it’s not a popular truth to speak.  From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Article 1: Section 1950: The Moral Law.

“The moral law is the work of divine Wisdom. Its biblical meaning can be defined as fatherly instruction, God’s pedagogy. It prescribes for man the ways, the rules of conduct that lead to the promised beatitude; it proscribes the ways of evil which turn him away from God and his love. It is at once firm in its precepts and, in its promises, worthy of love.”

Read More at:: His Unending Love

Celebrating Passion Sunday

passion sundayDid you notice something different at your church today?  Did you remember to veil your crosses at home?  Today is Passion Sunday (the 5th Sunday of Lent) and the beginning of Passiontide.  It is said that:

“Crosses and statues are veiled now and will remained veiled for two full weeks.  The Catholic Encyclopedia describes this custom as follows:  “Before Vespers of Saturday preceding Passion Sunday (i.e. the 5th Sunday of Lent) the crosses, statues, and pictures of our Lord and of the saints on the altar and throughout the church, with the sole exception of the crosses and pictures of the Way of the Cross, are to be covered with a violet veil, not translucent, nor in any way ornamented.  The crosses remain covered until the solemn denudation of the principal crucifix on Good Friday.  The statues and pictures remain their covering, no matter what feast may occur, until the Gloria in Excelsis of Holy Saturday”.

Continue reading about Passion Sunday and see what our family did to celebrate at Children Of The Church Blog!