Catholic Bloggers Advent LinkUp 2014

Join us!

Don’t forget to share the Catholic Bloggers Advent Linkup button, invite other Catholic Bloggers to link up their Advent posts, peruse the posts linked up, comment over on the other blogs and share your favorite other Catholic Blogger posts on social media!

Also: Don’t forget to include a link to this link-up…in your post! If you link last year’s article, please include a ***2014 Update*** with this year’s Catholic Bloggers Network Advent Link.

Let us support one another!
Blessings for Advent!

Week One:

An InLinkz Link-up

Week Three:

Week Four:

What is Christ-like Compassion?

What is Christ-like compassion? How often do we act like the Good Samaritan in our everyday lives? Are we good at expressing pity, but not compassion?

Compassion is defined as the desire to alleviate the suffering of another; to give care and concern. Compassion differs from pity in that compassion requires an act of charity, whereas pity requires only a feeling of sorrow for someone else’s suffering/situation. To have true compassion for someone means that you step into the sphere of suffering, without forming judgment, and you do what you can to alleviate the suffering of someone else. Sounds a little Christ-like, doesn’t it? Read more

The Power of Prayer, a Baby and a Stressed Grandma

The story of our grandson’s 8 hour surgery to reshape his skull. 
Before this surgery, I did not realize how stressed I was till someone in France passed on a word from God for me on Pinterest. God was giving me a gift of joy. IMMEDIATELY the fear gripping me left and I started grinning as joy slowly bloomed in my heart.This experience was an example of how the Mystical Body of Christ functions. It is an incredible reality.  continue
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 

Practicing Gentleness – A Treasured Virtue

Practicing gentleness requires strength. Sounds contradictory doesn’t it, since most people equate gentleness with weakness?

Practicing gentleness first requires an assessment of one’s own behavior. Truthfulness and self-awareness should be at the heart of this assessment. If you determine that you are routinely aggressive, or overly assertive, than gentleness is needed. Expressions of aggressive behavior are emotionally based, not reason based, where decisions and reactions stem from emotion, not facts.

How many times have you watched the Dr. Phil show and heard him say to someone acting in an aggressive or overly assertive manner, “How’s that been working for you?” He knows that aggressive/overly-assertive behavior does not produce wanted results.

Practicing gentleness requires…Read more…

Gentleness – For Some a Struggle

How can embracing gentleness change your life? Why is embracing gentleness so important? Embracing gentleness can only lead to good things in your life. I speak from experience.

Before retiring from the bank auditing profession to go back to school to obtain my Masters in Pastoral Theology, I was an over-achieving technology audit manager who sought excellence in all that I did, and also sought excellence from all those who worked for me and with me. Because of my good track record of job performance, I had been tapped to lead a very special project that would impact the working style and quality of my entire team of approximately 50 people. I took this responsibility very seriously. I had an intense passion for the work, and especially the work ethic. Well, I got the job done, and after it was all over, Read more…

CBN Spotlight ~ Joe Sales Says

It’s time for another CBN Spotlight! This month we are interviewing Joe Sales who blogs at “Joe Sales Says” 

On his blog, Joe gives his thoughts on life, faith, and everything in between. He hopes his blog is a tool to create discussion and be a source of encouragement and inspiration. Joe also writes reviews of products that match his interests. Joe, who resides in Kitchener Ontario, Canada,  is a loving husband to his beautiful wife Janet, and is very loyal to his entire family and faith community. 

Joe and his lovely wife.

Joe is an identical twin with whom he was born two minutes after. Joe and his twin, Tony, were born three months premature. Joe, when born, was 1lbs 15oz and was very ill as a baby and had come very close to death. Years later in 1994, Joe and his twin were honored and proud to add a new sibling, a baby girl named Katie. 

Joe and his siblings

 Besides being a loving husband and family man, Joe loves to work with people who have disabilities and who are homeless. Speaking of working with the homeless, Joe received an award for his work in 2012.  Joe’s work and volunteer experience include organizations that support individuals with disabilities, Catholic school board, retail, and food industry. Joe’s passion for people has been developing for many years.

At the moment, Joe is not currently working but is devoting his time to the new evangelization through means of blogging and speaking. However, he is very determined to find employment. Joe and his wife Janet are looking at relocating in 2015.  So let’s learn a little more about Joe, his life, and his blog. 

Jennifer: How long have you been blogging?
Joe: I have been blogging off and on for about 10 years, maybe less. During that time, I have had various blogs as well as contributing to various blogs as well. 
Jennifer: How do you help Catholics through your blog?
I help Catholics by being real and authentic in my posts in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others. 
Jennifer: How do you find time to blog? Why is it important to find this time?
Joe: I find time to blog when I am not busy. It is important to find time to blog so you can have time to plan your post and make sure that your words can have impact.

Jonathan: What impact do you hope to make in the lives of your readers?
Joe: It is my hope to encourage and inspire readers as they journey in their life and faith. We’re all at different stops along the way but an important thing to remember while on the journey is that we are a part of a huge family – the Kingdom of God!  and We shouldn’t be afraid to live out our faith in word and in action. I’d like to think that my blog will encourage and inspire others to be themselves and to help them realize that they have a huge part to play in God’s story no matter what they may be experiencing in life or faith. It’s always great to hear from readers on how my writing has touched them. When writing personal posts, I always pray before hand so that my words can reach out to someone who may be experiencing similar struggles. In my writing whether it be personal thoughts or even reviews, I try my best to be real and authentic. 
Jennifer: What are your 3 favorite/most popular posts on your blog?
Three favorite posts on my blog are: A Powerful Sign, Saint Chasers, and Connected.
Jennifer: List your three favorite Catholic blogs or resource websites?
: Three favorite Catholic blogs: Filling my Prayer Closet, One Peter Five, and Liturgy Guy.

Jonathan: How has blogging changed you?
 Well, I have been a blogger for quite some time. Blogging has changed me personally because I have come to realize that I have made many mistakes in life, faith, and even in my social media activity. I continue to learn from my mistakes and I grow with the love and support from family, friends, fellow Catholic media personalities, readers of my blog, but most importantly, The Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
Jennifer: Who would you most like to meet in Heaven and what would you ask or say to them?
: If I were in Heaven, I would love to see my mom. My mother died November 3rd, 2012 from a heart attack in her sleep at the age of 50 yrs old. I would let her know how much I love her and how much I’ve missed her, and how great it is to be together again. 

Joe and his family

Jennifer: Who is your favorite saint and why?

Joe: My favorite Saint is Padre Pio because of his devotion to the Church’s teachings and Sacraments. Another reason he is my favorite is because of his devotion to Our Lady. 
Jennifer: What do you love most about being Catholic?
I love the fact that every Sunday as a Catholic and even during the week, I have access to Jesus through the Eucharist at Holy Mass.

Jonathan: In what ways has blogging brought you closer to Jesus?
Joe: Blogging has brought me closer to Jesus especially in the way of when readers email me or see me in person and tell me of how they can relate to this post or that post. In particular, A friend who has been a long time supporter of my blog contacted me and had informed me that he along with his wife had purchased a gift for me and they’d love to see it reviewed on my blog. Just seeing readers being generous to myself or others with their time, talents, and resources has brought me closer to Jesus because examples like that show how much the stories of Jesus and the lessons he taught are still very important for today’s world.

Jonathan: Was there ever a pivotal moment where your faith suddenly deepened?
Joe: I would have to say when I first experienced Holy Mass in Extraordinary Form because up until a year or two ago, I had never been to Mass in the Extraordinary Form before. Just to be able to experience this old form of the liturgy with incense, candles, receiving communion while kneeling, chanting, and more was and continues to be an amazing experience. 

Jonathan and Jennifer: Thank you, Joe, for your time and all of your efforts to help spread a deeper love of the Catholic faith. We hope this interview will help you on this journey. 

Be sure to visit Joe Sales Says to read and follow Joe’s blog! 

About the interviewers:
Jennifer and Jonathan have been married for 17 years and they have 9 children (ages 16 to 3), who they home-educate in Pennsylvania. Jennifer blogs about the faith and creative ways to share it at home and school. Visit her blog at Catholic Inspired

Plea for Prayers: Baby Facing Major Neuro- and Plastic Surgery

Craniosynostosis – the coronal suture has prematurely fused
My ten month old grandson is a happy, quick, engaging little fellow who was born with the plates of his skull fused together prematurely. As a result, he is facing major surgery to cut the plates and reshape his head which has grown lopsided. Emmett’s surgery is on Wednesday Nov. 19 at 9am Eastern Standard Time. The surgery will take between 5-7 hours, but it could take up to 10 hours.
Details of the surgery are as follows: an incision is made from ear to ear, the skull is removed from the orbital bone to the centre of the head. After the neurosurgeon removes a piece of his skull that has fuse prematurely, a plastic surgeon will reshape the skull.  Then the surgeon will put it  back together using plates and screws which are made of a dissoluble substance. They use between 150-200 screws. There is a 50/50 chance Emmett will need a blood transfusion.   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 

Gentleness – A Christ-like Attribute

What does it mean to express gentleness towards others? Is it a sign of weakness, or a sign of strength? You be the judge.

Gentleness is not only a fruit of the Spirit, but it is also the state of possessing a kind, amiable, mild-tempered nature, where one judges conscience by reason rather than by passion. A gentle person prudently forms judgments logically rather than impulsively. To express gentleness, we must articulate our points in a respectful, gentle tone. We must use our reason to assess actions, while at the same time holding our emotions at bay. Read more…

Practice Respect – Do You Do It?

Practicing Respect – what does that mean to you? Do you offer respect to someone when you see them making a stupid or erroneous decision? Practicing respect gets easier once we acknowledge that everyone has been created in the image and likeness of God, AND once we acknowledge that our neighbor has the right to make his/her own choices, even when we personally would not make the same choice. That’s what free will is all about. If God can respect our own individual free will, and allow each of us to make, what may seem to others to be, stupid or erroneous mistakes, then we must respect the choices of others. Read more…

Veterans and Your Families – Thank You

Veterans and your families: A huge thank you for your service and sacrifice. Thank you for your fortitude, commitment, leadership, courage, bravery and willingness to serve on our behalf. You are a virtuous group of people. May Our Lord bless you and your families on this day. May we as Americans, never forget the sacrifice you paid to maintain our freedom. May we never take you or our freedom for granted. God bless you! – Virginia Lieto