As the United States enters into a period of hyper-accountability for sins of the past and present, it is becoming nearly impossible to watch the nightly news without encountering a story about either a virtual mob threatening the jobs of the living with whom they morally disagree or a literal mob toppling the statues of the dead from whom they ideologically depart. Read more from Ryan Bilodeau >
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
Gosh, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve shared here. I never meant to NOT blog for so long but life took some very unexpected twists and turns. My husband has been very sick, and other things have happened. Therefore, there were things that had to be pushed to the back burner and sharing here was one of those things. (…Continue Reading…)
Creating My Own Saint’s Quotes With Images
I grew frustrated with traditional quotes from the saints paired with pictures of gloomy people with their eyes rolled back in their heads. Even worse, are insipid flowers surrounding profound spiritual insights. So, using the free site PixTeller, I searched for great Catholic art, sharp, colourful, graphics and paired them with some of my favourite saint’s quotes.
I started with St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila because both saints are insightful about the spiritual life and combine a wonderful sense of humour with wit.
You can see all the memes I have created so far on one of my Pinterest Boards called WOW- Words of Wisdom as well as some of my favourite memes in my post.
The Unjust Steward
This past Sunday, the Gospel reading was Luke 16:1-13. In this reading, a steward, (a trusted servant responsible for the household of his master), has wasted his master’s goods. He is told to prepare an accounting, as he will be removed from his position. In something of a panic, he calls in his master’s debtors and reduces their debts to curry favor with them that he might have some recourse after losing his position. On its face, he appears to continue to mismanage his master’s affairs, again for his own benefit. And then we have this odd reaction from his master:
“The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence…” Luke 16:8a
This is followed by Jesus saying to the Pharisees: “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.” Luke 16: 9
So, am I the only one that was ever confused by this? Looks to me like Jesus is telling us to lie, cheat and steal to gain heaven. I’ve never been particularly enlightened by any of the homilies I’ve heard on this either. Most times the focus is on the earlier reading from Amos, which talks about how the people “observe the Sabbath” by not selling and cheating in the marketplace, yet, their hearts and minds are focused on when they can resume their dishonest lives instead of on the worship of God. Let’s face it, there is a lot of material to work with there, in our time as much as 2000 years ago.
Recipe 4 Holiness: Small Acts
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!
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: 3 parts Fortitude
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”James 1:5 Where I lack the greatest wisdom without a doubt is in discerning the Will of God. There are several factors that block my clearly hearing God speak in my life – primarily my own voice and will are often drowning out God’s voice. A very anxious person by nature – I erroneously believe the more of my life I control; the better my life will be. I seem to have this crazy notion that I know better than the creator of the universe what is needed for me to be happy.
God is not in the happiness business – he is in the holiness business. Paradoxical however the more I order my life to holiness – the truly happier I will be. Not the fading worldly happy but a much deeper, “it can’t be taken away from you” joy! His ways are always ‘different and higher’ (Isaiah 55) from any ideas I may hold onto. I see tomorrow, and the next day – he sees into infinity (and… oh come on we have to go there… BEYOND!). My greatest desire is always to avoid pain and suffering – though God did not spare his only begotten Son this fate; why would mine be any different. Jesus willingness to accept the Father’s will, to drink from the cup that was not passed him by – opened the gates of Heaven. Jesus instructions are clear. If you want to follow him – if you want to journey toward those open gates – pick up your cross DAILY and follow him.
A few years ago I was leading a Confirmation retreat – at the end of the day – one young man stood up and began to YELL at me!! Yell… swear… berate — completely misunderstanding and twisting my words, he stirred the entire class into a frenzy. In my arrogance, I fought back.
FIND OUT how this all turned out … read more on Reconciled To You ….
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
Christianos ad leones! Once More, Here We Go Again
From the first century AD to the present, harassment and persecution of the Church by government or cultural elites have followed a pattern:
- Accuse the Church of obstinately clinging to an unpopular teaching out of hostility and bad will.
- Attack the Church, using a false accusation as justification for unjust treatment.
- Offer to relent if the Church will cede a part of the obedience owed to God to the state.
- When the Church refuses, increase the attacks and use that refusal as “proof” of unreasonableness of the Church and justification for continued mistreatment.
Sometimes these attacks have been overt, cruel and barbaric. Sometimes they masquerade as enforcement of an ordinarily good law but is misapplied. But regardless of how it is done [*], the State using these tactics is abusing its authority and often betraying the principles it was established under. In most circumstances, the Church in a region has two choices: To endure the persecution while trying to convert the persecutor or to capitulate to the State and consent to doing evil or having evil done in her name. The goal of the state is to force the second option. The call of the Christian is to choose the first option.
A Messy and Foolish Book Review
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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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
I Gave God a Little and He Surprised Me… again
Lent is a time to focus on our discipline of prayer…and sometimes to look back at the power of prayer:
After completing my 54 Day Rosary Novena jaunt around the house – I felt compelled to begin another when given a small tattered copy of Rosary Novenas to Our Lady (see image below) by a stranger when I attended a friend’s Ultreya to hear her give her testimony. As one who believes in GODCIDENCES (if you ask me there are no coincidences in life especially in spiritual matters), there was no way I was going to ignore this invitation from Our Blessed Mother to spend another month and half in prayer with her! The grace and blessings as I closed on the first 54 days was truly remarkable!!
One of the most miraculous moments came when I went to my bank on November 30 – prepared to beg for leniency with overdrafts I was sure had been incurred after paying an unexpected HUGE house bill and then a creditor unwilling to hold off on their payment for just a few days, withdraw another large amount. On that last day of the month, sure that things were as bleak as they could be, I sat down in the branch manager’s office of my small town bank, asking her to pull up the account and assess the damage. As she scrolled and scrolled through the account, her face scrunched with confusion.
She found that …. find out the miraculous finding here…
All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016