Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory

Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious Blood of your divine Son Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home, and within my family. Amen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lilla Rose Review and Giveaway

 Lilla Rose Review and Giveaway
Note: This is a guest-post reviewing the product of a Catholic homeschooling mom.

     In recent months, I have been making a concerted effort to dress more modestly and in a more feminine manner. After making changes to my attitude and wardrobe, my untamed hair was the final hurdle. My hair is thick and wavy and takes forever to blow dry, so it usually ends up in a ponytail or bun. I can’t stand going to Mass with wet hair, but I feel that a ponytail isn’t always “dressy” enough for church. I’ve been eyeing the beautiful hair accessories from Lilla Rose and am excited to have the opportunity to share my experience with them.
     The first step was to figure out what size Flexi clips to order. My hair is thick and wavy and falls a few inches past my shoulders. Since I typically wear my hair in a ponytail, I selected a medium for that style. I chose an XL for when I want to wear my hair in a bun. The website has videos to help you choose the correct size for your hair and desired style. Choosing the correct size is so important if you want the clip to hold your hair all day! However, if you happen to order the wrong size, Lilla Rose will gladly exchange the Flexi for free within 90 days.
     The next step will be to choose from dozens of beautiful clips! I liked the silver clips because they’d pop against my dark hair.

Even the packaging is pretty!

     The first thing I noticed was that the stick is permanently attached to the Flexi clip, so I don’t have to worry about losing them. (You can’t tell by looking at the website, since the photos are of closed clips, so I was VERY pleasantly surprised!) You cannot imagine how awesome that is to me, in a house filled with boys where things disappear on a regular basis! Plus, a wayward stick can’t be used as a weapon or projectile, as often occurs ‘round these parts.

     I was also relieved to see that a how-to manual was included. I had been fretting about when I would ever find the opportunity to watch how-to videos, but my worries were abated as I followed the simple directions. Here is my first ever bun with my XL clip:

     It’s far from perfect, but it still looked decent and stayed in all day! And though it’s so simple, I felt so much more dressed up and put together while wearing it instead of my trusty thick, black, hair rubber band.

Bye-bye, rubber band! You have served me well, but I must move on…

Here’s a ponytail, using the medium Flexi clip:

Here’s a sad attempt at a French Twist, which I’ve never tried before, ever:

OK, I need to work on this one! I had much better luck with the “Tails Up.”

Other good things to know:
·         There is a one-year guarantee on defective items.
·         They offer more than just Flexi clips. They also have hair sticks, hair bands, bobby pins, and more!
·         Lilla Rose has monthly specials with limited-edition items
·         You can host a party and get FREE stuff!!!

Independent Consultant Katrina Burbank is sponsoring a giveaway, open to residents of the U.S. who are new to Lilla Rose. She will be giving away one item of the winner’s choice! (Good luck narrowing it down.) You can also like her page on Facebook.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Being a Child

Being a Child

This past Sunday’s Gospel is one of the more challenging to understand. It recounts Jesus’s encounter with a Canaanite woman who has come to him to ask for healing for her daughter. Jesus’s response is coarse to our modern ears. He tells her that He has been sent only to the lost sheep of Israel and that it is not right to give the food of the children to the dogs. The woman responds that even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’ tables, to which Jesus says, “Great is your faith,” and He grants her request.
Why does Jesus initially seem unwilling to heal this woman’s daughter? Why does He make reference to children and to dogs? I remember seeing a movie about Jesus many years ago in which this scene is portrayed as Jesus being taught a lesson by this woman. It apparently expands His compassion and refocuses His mission.
Well, that didn’t sit well with me, so when I got my hands on the Catena Aurea, this was the first passage I looked up. I was eager to see what the Fathers and Doctors of the Church had to say. Here is my interpretation of Sunday’s challenging Gospel, informed by what I found.
There are a few things to remember. First, the miracles of Jesus are signs that point to who He is. He is not a magician, or a traveling sideshow. He is God, come to redeem the world. Also, the Jews of the time divided people into the Children and the goyim (dogs) – the pagans. The woman understood that, so Jesus was not throwing an insult at her.
What is amazing is not that Jesus has a conversion experience, but that He invites this woman to become a child of God. Jesus, in this event, is eliciting faith from this woman. He is bringing salvation to her. Being a child, Jesus teaches us, is not about ethnicity, but about faith. When she approached Jesus, the woman had probably heard of this wonder-worker and hoped he could help her, like some traveling magician. But Jesus will have none of that. He challenges her to identify not with the dogs, but with the children. Her desperation over the condition of her daughter opens the woman to faith, with a little prodding from the Lord. Once she has faith, the healing of her daughter can take on its full meaning.
What, then, can we learn? Jesus is the great Healer, but He offers us much more than simply the answer to a problem. He invites us to be children; He calls us to faith; and through that Faith we are freed from bondage, as was the daughter of the woman in Sunday’s Gospel. May we have the humility and openness of the Canaanite woman, and like her, truly become children of God.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Link - Malta

Link - Malta

      Shortly before the Supreme court's Hobby Lobby decision, a friend asked me, “If the United States gives up on religious freedom, where do we go?” I answered jokingly, “I don't know, Malta.”
      I say jokingly because I can't imagine moving my family from Southern California to a Mediterranean island nation. Texas, perhaps, but Malta? However, it's true that in many ways, Malta is the world's last true christian holdout. The article at the link below is a great feature on the tiny country, and how it needs prayer to hold strong, since it is a target for the culture of death.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court and the HHS Mandate

The Supreme Court and the HHS Mandate

Like everyone interested in the freedom of religion and with an understanding of the potential impact on the future of our country, I was greatly relieved to see Hobby Lobby vindicated by the Supreme Court Monday in its battle against the HHS mandate.  By the narrowest 5-4 margin, sanity held the day, but there are many things that still concern me greatly.
            The first is the limited scope of the court’s decision.  Fox News reported that:  “The court stressed that its ruling on Monday applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.” Why?  How can the court justify any business being forced to pay for the services demanded by the HHS mandate?  And upon whose judgment will we rely to determine which companies qualify?
            The dissent sounds at times as though the sky is falling, and that civilization is under attack by the ruling.  Is it not true that contraception / abortifacient coverage has never been required until Obamacare’s putrid mandate?  Somehow women were not left on the streets to die.  Framing this whole debate around the issue of women’s health is incredibly misleading to begin with.  The claim that the court’s ruling will somehow have disastrous consequences is simply ridiculous.  The one part of the dissent which I pray is true is the statement: “Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private. Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate.”
            The biggest problem with the decision is that the court gave any credence to the idea that the government can force any employers to provide morally objectionable coverage for its employees.  Don’t get me wrong, I am elated that Hobby Lobby won its case.  But to think that we have won a decisive blow for religious freedom is na├»ve.  The battle is far from over.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Link - The War on Men

Link - The War on Men

     The article at the following link has gotten a lot of attention lately, but with Fathers' Day just behind us, it is worth considering.  If manhood is under attack, not only will our children suffer from a lack of mental and emotional development, but spiritual as well.  It is our duty as fathers to introduce our children to their true Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Remembering Tony Gwynn

Remembering Tony Gwynn

Growing up as a baseball fan and player in the 1980s, I loved Tony Gwynn.  As a baseball “purist,” I always appreciated his game.  But one of the great things about Gwynn was that with him, you really had a sense that he was as good a man off the field as he was on it.

          This Hall of Famer, with his .338 lifetime batting average, the highest for anyone born after 1900 or who did not play before World War II, died Monday of oral cancer at the age of 54.

          Tony Gwynn was very visible and accessible in his community, so many people have Tony Gwynn stories.  If you live in Southern California like I do, you have been treated to them for the last couple of days on the radio.  I would like to share two of my favorites in this article for the benefit of those who live everywhere else, as a tribute to “Mr. Padre.”

          One of my favorites was called in to a local radio show on Monday.  The caller said that her family used to travel to Yuma, Arizona for Spring Training.  One spring her family was staying in the Days Inn in Yuma and three doors down was Tony Gwynn with his family.

          Shortly after her family got settled in their room, she found her son, along with about half a dozen other kids, playing catch with Gwynn in the motel courtyard.  Years later, her son went to San Diego State University, where Gwynn was the head baseball coach after his playing career was over.

          The caller’s son did not play baseball for the university, but decided to stop in at Coach Gwynn’s office one day and ask him to sign a baseball for his younger brother.  Not only did Gwynn stop what he was doing and sign the ball, he invited the young man to sit down and proceeded to ask him about his major and his family.

          The other story I would like to share occurred in 2013 when a San Diego Little League team made it to the finals of the Little League World Series.  The community was hoping for a big celebration when the team returned home, but they had lost to Japan in the final game, and the kids were going to be welcomed home mostly by family and friends.

          But Tony Gwynn, still recovering from a recent surgery, was there.  He wanted to welcome the kids and celebrate with them personally.

          Even as he faced his life-threatening condition, Gwynn was courageous.  He said publicly that he attributed it to his use of chewing tobacco.  “I did this to myself,” he said, never seeking pity, but wishing that his suffering would spare others the same fate.
          The city of San Diego will long miss Tony Gwynn.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  Through the Mercy of God, may he rest in peace.  Amen.