This weeks giveaway at Catholic Book Blogger is sponsored by Ave Maria Press. They are offering a copy of the book Strange Gods : Umasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia (otherwise known as the Anchoress in the blogosphere). See the complete details by visiting my blog here.
Author: Monica @ Catholic Bloggers Network
God, Mr. Darcy, and St. Therese
Are you afraid of standing before God on Judgment Day? Does the thought of facing Him make you fear death? Even if you’ve committed mortal sin in your lifetime, you only have to fear God in one circumstance–if you die unrepentant, or with no intention of confessing your sin as soon as possible. Here’s how my husband, St. Therese, and Mr. Darcy taught me to think of the Final Judgment with peace.
My husband and I met through Single Catholics Online (now Ave Maria Singles). After emailing and talking on the phone for several weeks, we decided to meet in person. As I was preparing for our first date, my hands shook from nervousness. I told myself, “There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Dan.” We had gotten along great in our conversations. We already knew a lot about each other. We were friends. We were old enough to have been completely genuine with each other, rather than acting a part. What did I have to fear? If it wasn’t God’s will for our relationship to deepen, it wouldn’t happen, but I knew Dan would not reject me as a person. Most (I’ll admit–not all) of my nervousness disappeared at these thoughts.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
Catholic Homeschool Support Groups on Facebook
Get connected to other Catholic homeschoolers on Facebook. There are a variety of groups.
I am seeing much more activity in the Catholic homeschool Facebook groups than I am seeing in the yahoogroup emails. If you are looking for support and Catholic homeschool info please consider these links to active groups. These communities are helpful and connect us to others like us across the map.
+ Catholic Homeschool Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/24164460379/ over 1,000 members
+ Catholic Homeschoolers of NorthEast (PA, NJ,DE,MD) https://www.facebook.com/groups/115513477358/ over 70
+ MODG Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/29412108736/ almost 200
+ Mater Amabalis(for Catholic Charlotte Mason approach) https://www.facebook.com/groups/materamabilis/ almost 200
+ Catholic Homeschooling Resources https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catholic-Homeschooling-Resources/137231707453 almost 700
+ Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Totus-Tuus-Family-Catholic-Homeschool/285307812834?fref=ts over 700
Did I miss any? Please add to comments.
Catholic Book Blogger Giveaway!
Do You Love Me?
A reflection on John 21: 15-19
Do you pray with the Scriptures? When you read them, do you allow a word or an scene from the passage to speak to you in your heart and draw out from you a prayer? It is essential for each of us enter into prayer in this way. Yet, it is a direction that many “voices” – from the world, and from your own ego – will dissuade you from; because it will reveal your idols, your weaknesses. The Lord seeks to lead us out of those “Egypts” in each one of our souls. To do so demands much; it demands a love that endures all things, hopes all things and to be completely truthful, I do not have that love yet. That is important for me to understand, not for me to despair but so that I can live in His truth, endure in His light and be drawn up into a more perfect love by following His voice.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21: 15-19
Heidi@Journey to Wisdom
Book Review: Anselm Academic Study Bible
In my 17 years as a converted Catholic, I have used a number of Catholic Bibles. I can honestly say that the newly published Anselm Academic Study Bible has become my go to Bible for research and study. I have already used it often to look up scripture referenced in the books I review.
This Bible comes in at a hefty 2143 pages plus an additional 16 pages of study aids. The scripture itself is the New American Bible Revised Edition. Before even getting to the scripture itself you get 97 pages of essays/articles. The Formation of the Bible; Geography, Archaeology and the Scriptures; and Sacred Scripture in the Catholic Tradition are just a few of the titles you will find in this section.
Continue reading here.
If God is willing…
” Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain’; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that'” (James 4:13-15).
This passage from James the Apostle can almost seem silly. Should we really preface every statement of intent with “God willing?” I used to ask myself this question. That changed in the summer of 2002.
I was a new mom, struggling to adjust to sleepless nights and no time to myself, when it became clear that I would have to return to work. Never in my life had I considered being a working mother. In fact, I’d had many discussions in which I had said, “There is absolutely no way I would work when I had small kids.” But circumstances were against me. I had no other choice, if my family were not to starve or otherwise fall apart.
Eating my words
Going back to work was perhaps the most difficult thing I have ever done. What would people think? Would they call me a hypocrite? Would they think I was a closet feminist?
As I read Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, I had to face the fact that God’s will–at least His permissive will–could be different from mine on such a major issue. I had to let go of my will. When I did, I found a measure of peace.
Jacob and Esau contemplative homeschool unit
I have been blogging lately about my method of contemplative homeschooling. Here is an example of a unit I did a few years ago with my boys on Jacob and Esau.
The best way to start these units is for you (the parent) to meditate on the Scripture passage you will study with your kids. In this case, prayerfully read Genesis 25:29-24, 27:1-40. Since this passage is long, you could spread your meditation over 2-3 days or choose a smaller portion of the text to meditate on. Identify the main elements or themes of the story that speak to you and use them as part of your studies.
The themes I chose for this unit were twins, telling the truth, and comparing and contrasting. (I created this before I began starting each unit with my prayer time.)
Narration: Read “Esau and Jacob” from The Golden Children’s Bible aloud. If you have a different Bible, use only the parts of the story that correspond to the sections of Genesis noted above. Have your kids narrate it back and you write their narrations. Children 10 and up can write their own.
Copywork/memorization: “The Truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.
Full Time: Working For My Father
I began thinking about this very special vocation
with which many of us are abundantly blessed…….
And generally coasting through our brimming and busy days around ratios, circumference, the Pythagorean theorem, Earth science reference tables, test tubes, microscopes, assorted, strewn-about art supplies, Paul Revere’s midnight ride, half written essays on the causes of World War I, vocabulary lists, scattered violin and piano sheet music, baseball game schedules, self imposed writing deadlines, cleats, mitts, a bottomless laundry basket, always-dueling John Wayne impressions, homeschooling paperwork, tests, workbooks and inexplicably multiplying piles of legos and tech equipment. Oh yeah. And lots of noise.
That I choose to stay home and not only like, I love, revel in, am passionate about, feel blessed by what I do?
Understanding the Ascension Through Art
Ascension Thursday is the close of the forty day celebration of Easter. Some dioceses have moved marking this Solemnity of this feast to Sunday. To better celebrate the wonder and mystery of this event of salvific history, we can turn to art.
The Seventeenth Century poet John Donne tended to take an intellectual approach to spirituality in La Coruna. (1618). The section dedicated to the Ascension offers conceits which prepares the person for acting in faith:
Salute the last, and everlasting day,
Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son,
Ye whose true tears, or tribulation
Have purely wash’d, or burnt your drossy clay.
Behold, the Highest, parting hence away,
Lightens the dark clouds, which He treads upon;
Nor doth he by ascending show alone,
But first He, and He first enters the way.
O strong Ram, which hast batter’d heaven for me!
Mild lamb, which with Thy Blood hast mark’d the path!
Bright Torch, which shinest, that I the way may see!
O, with Thy own Blood quench Thy own just wrath;
And if Thy Holy Spirit my Muse did raise,
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.While Donne was raised as a Catholic, he converted to Anglicanism in his adulthood. The verses reflect this sentiment as it uses quitessential Catholic symbols,such as light and dark, as well as the sacrifice of the innocent lamb. But the final verse emphasizes the personal rather than communal aspect of faith.
Another distinctive feature of Donne’s literary style are his metaphysical conceits. which uses imagery in an extended metaphor to combine vastly different ideas into a single notion. Hence, the ascension is likened to both a strong Ram to break down the door of faith to heaven and as a mild lamb in a blood sacrifice to show the path.
Three hundred and fifty years later, Salvador Dali painted “The Ascension of Christ” (1958) as Jesus is rising toward an energized and electrified heaven.
Dali’s surreal style of juxtaposing images one would not ordinarily associate in order to create a deeper meaning requires going beyond a rational exposition of faith. But Dali’s depiction is not devoid of reality, as the prominent feet would have been the last thing that the Apostles who witness the Ascension would have seen.
Dali attributes the inspiration for “The Ascension of Christ” to a cosmic dream that he had in 1950 full of vivid color where he saw the nucleus of an atom. Dali was an ardent atheist but he later re-embraced his Catholic faith (perhaps after an exorcism) but Dali often fused his conceptions of Christianity with science. Dali realized that the nucleus was the true representation of the unifying spirit of Christ. This nuclear mysticism is meant to connect everyone.
Dali’s “Ascension of Christ” does have some incongruities. Dali was inspired by the atom but it looks like a sunflower or perhaps a stylized depictions of the sun. Dali was often intrigued with continuous circular patterns like a sunflower floret as it followed the law of logarithmic spiral, which Dali explained to Mike Wallace in 1958 was associated with the force of spirit in chastity.
While the dove ready to descend from the clouds seems like an allusion to the Pentecost liturgically celebrated in 10 days. But why is Gala (Dali’s wife and artistic muse) peering out from the clouds? In other Dalian religiously inspired paintings, Gala represented the Virgin Mary. Historically, the dormition of the Theotokis happened long after Christ’s ascension into heaven. However, Mary is often considered the Queen Mother of Heaven and as the resurrection transcended time and space, it could show the Mother of God weeping at her son’s departure from the Earth from her prospective place in heaven.
Other aspects to appreciate in Dali’s depiction of Christ’s glorified body ascending to heaven is his hands and feet. Aside from the positioning of the foot, notice how the soles of his foot were soiled, as reminders that our Messiah walked among us. Also the Jesus’ fingers are curled, which lends some visual drama to the painting but combined with with electrified heavens hints at power.
Whether we are spoken to by Donne’s metaphysical conceits or dazzled by Dali’s depictions of nuclear mysticism, the Ascension of Christ into heaven is a foretaste of what the faithful may expect in our eventual heavenly home.