Your duty is to sanctify yourself. Yes, even you. Who thinks that this task is only for priests and religious? To everyone, without exception, our Lord said: Be ye perfect, as my heavenly Father is perfect. St. Josemaria

Friday, July 31, 2009

RoadTrip!!

ROAD TRIP!!
We are off tomorrow on a 20 hour or more road trip. Our first stop is Simpsonville, SC, home of the famous Father Dwight Longenecker and than
West Palm Beach,FL home of my famous family (famous as in crazy!). It should be very interest trip.. Last time I took this trip..Trainboy was 5 months old and now we have Blondie at 2.5years and babymums at 9 months old and we are not bring any dvd as many friends tell us to do! We are doing an old fashion road trip. So please pray for our safety and more our insanity. I hope to update on our trip! As they say.. (who is they don't know)..May the Force be with us!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Priestly Thursday: Oath of fidelity to the Catholic Church

Bishop-elect John O. Barres told an audience of priests and lay people in his homily about the sanctity of human life, the need for more religious vocations and the need to promote the future of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown.

"There are human rights upon which no government may lawfully trample," said Barres. "In particular, we must be courageous and effective in our defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life, the foundation of all other human rights.

Barres called upon the life of St. Thomas More to help "promote and build a culture of life and civilization of love."

The Mass of Ordination and Installation July30 @2:30pm!
Watch it Live!

Prayer for the Bishop

Heavenly Father,
in these trying times
when the spirit of the age
threatens Christian values,
give our bishop holiness of life
and wisdom to direct and guide our (arch)diocesan
family so that we may grow in your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Priestly Thursday

As you read this letter from a Priest in Cuba to General Raul Castro.. think of your country now and don't ever stop thinking that this can't happen here for when a country doesn't protect their most Innocent citizens than all fails!
God have Mercy on US!

Open letter from Father José Conrado Rodríguez to Raúl Castro

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Catholic priest José Conrado Rodríguez Alegre, pastor of Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús (St. Therese of Lisieux) parish in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba, issued this Open Letter to Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.

Open letter to Army General Raúl Castro Ruz

President of the Republic of Cuba

Dear Mr. President:

Fifteen years ago, I dared to write the then head of state of Cuba, Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz [J.D.], president of our country at the time. The direness of that moment imposed on me the duty to do so for the good of the nation. The direness of this moment compels me to write to you to share my present concerns. Do I need to describe to you our country’s condition? The economic crisis affects every household and makes our people spend their lives wondering anxiously: What I am going to eat? How am I going to clothe myself? How am I going to meet my family’s most basic needs? Daily struggles have become so overwhelming they keep us mired in sadness and despair. Insecurity and a widespread feeling of helplessness lead to amorality, hypocrisy and two-facedness. Everything goes, because nothing matters, nothing other than survival at all costs, which we later discover means “at any cost.” That is why the dream of Cubans, especially of the youngest, is to leave the country.

It would seem our nation is at a dead end. As a man of faith, however, I believe God never places us in totally hopeless situations. I firmly believe that our journey as a nation and as a people will not end in an inevitable precipice, in a situation of irreversible disaster. There is always a solution, but you need courage to seek and find it. In your recent urgent calls for us to work with tireless determination, I believe I discern a particular and accurate perception of the gravity of the moment, but also that you believe the solution depends on us. But, as the old slogan-turned-joke went: “It’s not enough to say ‘onward’; you have to know where you’re headed.”

We have spent our lives blaming the enemy, and even our friends, for our situation. The collapse of the bloc of communist countries in Eastern Europe and the United States’ trade embargo have become the scapegoat that bears all our sins. And that is a convenient but deceptive way out of the problem. As Miguel de Unamuno said, “We tend to occupy ourselves counting the hairs on the Sphinx’s tail, because we are afraid to look her in the eye.”

It is not enough, General, to solve the problems, certainly serious and urgent, of food, and of the homes that so many of our countrymen – “with their meager belongings: fears, sorrows” - have just lost in the recent hurricanes. We are at such a critical moment that we must undertake a thorough examination of our beliefs and our practices, of our aspirations and our objectives. And here it would be appropriate, with all due respect, to remember the words the apostle of our nation, José Martí, wrote to [Cuban independence army] Commander-in-Chief [Máximo] Gómez in a somewhat similar situation: “You do not found a nation, General, the way you run a military camp.”

The world is changing. The recent election of a black citizen to occupy the presidency of a country formerly known to be racist, and a violator of the civil rights of blacks, tells us something is changing in this world. The commendable and fraternal concern of our brethren in exile in the face of the weather phenomena that recently struck our people, and their generous, disinterested and immediate aid, are a sign that something is changing among us. The Cuban government that you currently head should have the boldness to confront those changes with new ideas and new approaches.

Our country has reacted with courage when a foreign government has tried to meddle in our domestic affairs. Nevertheless, where the violation of human rights is concerned, not only governments, but even individuals, ordinary citizens, at home and abroad, have something to say. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” We must have the tremendous courage to recognize that in our country there is constant and unjustifiable violation of human rights, which manifests itself in the existence of dozens of prisoners of conscience and in the damaged exercise of the most basic freedoms: of speech, information, press and opinion, and in serious limitations on religious and political freedom. Failing to recognize these truths in no way benefits our national life and makes us lose self-respect, in our eyes and in the eyes of others, friends or foes.

The cause of peace, domestic and international, and the nation’s very prosperity, are rooted in unconditional respect for those rights that express the supreme dignity of the human being as a child of God. And remaining silent about this truth places such weight on my conscience as I feel unable to bear. And this is for me my way of serving the truth and being consistent with the love I feel for my people.

I confess, General, the distress and sadness it has caused me to learn that our government has rejected - apparently for reasons of ideology or political differences - the aid that the United States and several European nations wanted to send the victims of the hurricanes that lashed our homeland. When misfortune strikes (and that can happen to anyone, even the powerful), it’s time to accept whatever help is offered, because that help reveals a stock of good will in response to suffering, of human solidarity, even in those whom we considered our enemies. Giving our opponents the opportunity to be good and to do the right thing can bring out the best in us and in others, making us change old attitudes and heal harmful resentments. Nothing contributes more to peace and reconciliation among peoples than this giving and receiving. St. Francis of Sales’ dictum, valid as to interpersonal relations, is also valid where nations are concerned: “You can catch more flies with a drop of honey that with a barrelful of vinegar.” As His Holiness John Paul II said during his visit to our country, “Let Cuba open up to the world, and let the world open up to Cuba.” But if we keep the doors shut, no one will be able to enter, no matter how much they want to. For me, a hopeful sign is the larger role and room CARITAS has been given in the task of helping our people. That deserves special recognition and constitutes positive and encouraging change.

Believe me, Mr. President, I am not writing to offer a list of complaints and grievances regarding our country’s condition, even though if I did, that list could be very, very long. In truth, I have endeavored to speak to you Cuban to Cuban, heart to heart. A good friend of mine, a priest who is now deceased, used to say, “A man is worth what his heart is worth.” At your wife’s funeral, seeing you surrounded by your children and grandchildren, moved to tears, I sensed that you are a sensitive man. And I believe there is more wisdom in the heart of a good man than in all the books and libraries of the world, because, as the song goes, “What feeling can do, knowledge cannot, nor can the highest behavior, nor the greatest thinking…” That is why I am appealing to your sense of responsibility, to your kindness, to tell you not to be afraid, to be bold in setting out on a new and different path in a world that is showing so many signs of changing for the better. As I told your brother 15 years ago, all of us Cubans are responsible for the future of our country, but because of the office you hold, because of the power you now wield, that responsibility falls especially on you.

If you decide to set out on that path of hope, you can count on me, General. You will find me at the front of the line, ready to offer Cuba, once again, all I have: my heart; and to offer you my honest hand and my disinterested assistance. That way, we will realize Marti’s dream of building a nation “together with all and for the good of all.”

I would like to close with some words our current Pope, Benedict XVI, said in 1968: “Above even the Pope, as an expression of the binding nature of ecclesiastical authority, is one’s conscience, which one must obey first and foremost, even, if necessary, by going against what ecclesiastical authority says.” If that applies to ecclesiastical authority, whose source I believe divine, it applies to all other human authority, no matter how powerful.
Best wishes,

Rev. José Conrado Rodríguez Alegre

Pastor of Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer with Saints


Friday, once again we had Summer with Saints. This time it was St. Maria Goretti. Mrs. Jackson read a gentle story to the children about this sweet Saint.

Next, Mrs. Jackson gave out the directions for the making of
their page for their Saint book.



The girls working very hard on their page!

Blondie having to do it herself.. no help!



Next... to the Cake!

Nothing like having cake with friends!


Thank you, Mrs. Jackson for the great lesson

on St. Maria Goretti

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

"The sign of the Scapular nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother's loving presence in their lives. The Scapular is essentially a 'habit'. Those who receive it are associated with the Order of Carmel and dedicate themselves to the service of Our Lady for the good of the whole Church."

On the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, we went to mass to celebrate such a beautiful day. When we came home, we bake a " Caramel Turtle Cake", its a stretch but close enough, when PrincessGirl was little, she would say.. Our Lady of Mt. Caramel! :)

I found this great coloring pages and the kids made their own scapulars out of paper. I really love dressing up the table in blue and having a very extra nice dinner in celebrating Our Lady's Feast Days. Its such a beauty our Faith!

Priestly Thursday

Ever since I read his story, St. John Vianney, Cure of Ars, I have found him to be a favorite Saint of mine, next to St.Josemaria. So I found this great book at the Catholic Information Store in D.C. on our trip last week,


The Cure of Ars: The Story of Saint John Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests

I really love these books, ever since a dear friend gave us the one about St. Rose from Lima and I was so happy to see that they had one on St. John Vianney. I also found out from Jessica at Shower of Roses, that Illuminated Ink has a coloring contest for the Year of the Priest with who else but St. John Vianney!

Do you have ideas to share with us about how you are celebrating the Year of the Priest? Please share with us!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Second Call within Marriage

In June, We went to the Catholic Family Expo. My husband heard a talk on "Embracing the Second Call within our Marriage" by Eulalio G. Gonzalez. We got the CD of it so that I could listen to it ! What an insight! Here are some notes that I hope it will inspire you !

He asked the question

" Why do good,faithful Catholics have significant, marital struggles, trials and sufferings?"


We live in a culture that does not support faithful, christian marriage. Marital struggles and challenges are part of our vocational journey. During the 1st Call , we are natural fervor, generosity, hearts filled with love and the demands of our vocation are not yet fully understood. In the Second Call, its later in time and maturity and after life has taught many lessons, begin to see vocation and life differently than at first, time of great challenges and trials, yet Christ meets us in a new way!

What is God doing in the Second Call--
See the example of Peter, his second call came after Christ left, not to be discouraged and It is a fresh call from the Lord.

What are some responds to the second call in marriages? ...

1. Rededicate yourself to the Lord, your spouse, and your vocation. (Renew your vows!). Fidelity involves growing together

2. Live more in the spirit, freeing our minds from human inessentials.

3.) Live in humility, foster healthy self-distrust

4.)Find out how to discover Jesus again. Its the central point in our vocation to serve the LORD.

5 Key Practical Steps.
1. Pray daily (no excuses) pray weekly with spouse
2. Frequent the sacraments, especially confession
3.Date regularly (1/week or 2/month)
4. Weekly Couple dialogue (no kids)
5. Find a mentor couple

Some Relationship Tips.
1. Ask forgiveness/give forgiveness
2. Express gratitude daily
3. Express your love/affection in words and actions daily
4. Praise spouse often
5.Show humility and respect in disagreements
6. Let go of need to be right or to win the argument
7. Let go of desire to change your spouse
Here we have what should the "Couple Dialogue Topics" should have:
1. Honor your spouse - praise your spouse for the admirable qualities that you have seen recently and for the way they love and serve the family. At least 3 ways.

2. Discuss your prayer life- talk about how the Lord is speaking to each of you.

3. Talk about your relationship - issues that need to be discussed or resolved between the two of you.

4. Ask each other: How can I pray for you? Let your spouse know your needs so they can keep them in prayer.

5. Discuss the children- how they are doing, any issues, etc.

6. Discuss your schedule/home life responsibilities- go over your upcoming schedule for the week, coordinate your calendars, discus home projects or other practical family life matters!

I sure hope this help or inspired you some what. It really did for me. I wish I could share with you the talk for its filled with so much wisdom!




God bless you and your marriage !


Sunday, July 5, 2009

God Bless USA!


God bless the USA. Land of the Freedom, Stand besides her and Guide Her.
I wonder if my own children will remember this great nation. I am worry what 4 years or God forbid 8 years of President Obama can do to this country with his perfect count congress. I wonder why so many people are blind. How come so many who voted for him and this congress come from families that left their country to come to this great nation of ours, from countries such as Cuba where you can't read what you want, be what God wants you to be, believe in the Creator freely! Many of their family members die on their way here for the freedoms that they are living with as of now. But little by little those freedoms are going to be taken away without their knowledge, without their care until BAM! Its all gone. But than again.. who can have freedom if a human being, a creation of God doesn't have the freedom to live..
We don't need those freedoms, we just need to protect LIFE!
May God Have Mercy on us.
May God protect us and bless us!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Priestly Thursday

Hear the voice of a Christian Martyr singing a hymn in Arabic to the Blessed Mother, while watching a slideshow of his funeral mass.

Hear the angelic voice of Father Ragheed Ganni, a 35 year old Chaldean Catholic Priest killed on Sunday June 3rd, 2007 with three of his deacons right after celebrating mass at Holy Spirit Chaldean Catholic Church in Mosul, Iraq.

The car of Father Ragheed and the three deacons was stopped by terrorists shortly after leaving the church. They were forced to get down from the car and asked to declare their conversion to Islam. When the four martyrs refused they were brutally gunned down with machine guns.

Lord, protect all the innocent people of Iraq and all those trying to defend them. Jesus we trust in you and we are sustained by the prayers of your most holy mother to whom you never refuse a request.

We pray for the repentance and conversion of Father Ragheed's killers and all other terrorists. May she who gave birth to us at the foot of the cross beg you for mercy.

source: www.ankawa.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In All Honestly




I've recently received A HONEST SCRAP blogger awards. In all honestly, Thank you JMJ at Totus Tuus Family . You have been an inspiration!

Now...to the rules:

1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.
2) Share "ten honest things" about myself.

3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.

4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

I can honestly say:

1.) That I am not the greatest wife out there. I am the type to totally forget a request he had ask me to do, but its just not one time, its all the time. I'm working on it. (it seems that I have been saying that all my life)

2.) That I am closer to friends than I am to most of my brothers and sister. Why is that? How does a family that has the same mother and father can have so many different way of lives, from liberals to Conservative.. How is that one can't hold a truthful conversation about politics or religion with out feeling bad about? How does one see their family members missing out of God's greatest gift.. Our Faith! I know one of the greatest pro on homeschooling is that true relationship which the children have with each other! I can't be more grateful for those friends that I have here and few that are away! God sure has blessed us once again!

3.) That my greatest fear is having that PHONE call about my parents, (writing this with tears in my eyes), that one day I will not be able to call them any more and being so far away from them, I will miss that chance to have that last visit, that last hug or that last kiss. Take each moment as your last one with your loved ones!

4.) That I so love my family. That I can just kiss my kids all the time. That even thu they drive me crazy at times, that I will not trade each day with them to be a famous person or have a great career. That nothing is more beautiful than to wake up to the love of your life at your side and little ones at your feet.

5.) That I am an easy going person, maybe someone would say too easy going, to easy to please others, maybe I should be more easy to please God.

6.) That I wish that I was home schooled, I now see how bad my education was, how much I missed out on, my learning style would of been at its best in a home school environment. But I so grateful for my parents hard effort for all that they did for me and still do!

7.) That I spend money to fast and too much! I wonder what do I buy, if you see my closest I have the same clothes for years, same shoes, no new purse, so what do I spend all my money on? others, my children, my home, gifts, junk! aww to give it all away and live simpler..

8.) That I would love to spend my day playing soccer. How I miss the game, the running, the shots on goal, the take aways..Its a beautiful sport, you really have to think ahead and use your soul as a weapon to win, but winning in the person you have become in playing the sport!(does that make sense?)

9.)That I get lost in the world of the Internet without thinking twice about it. You just start looking at one thing and before you know it has been a few more things.. Aww what did we do before this Internet thing?
10.) That I love my faith, there is nothing more beautiful! How rich we are! The thought that we have a better place after earth. I love it here, I am happy here, one should be happy here for God shows himself to us everyday, in the sun rise, in the night stars, in the laughter of my children, in the rain, on snowy days, in the small hands of a baby reaching you, in the most Holy Eucharist, in Our Holy Father and in music and in art. The question really is do we see Him in those things?

Recipients of Honest Scrap: 7, I'll do my best! You ladies have been such a inspiration, even for those that I haven't know long, you speak the truth in the world that is full of lies! Keep up the great work you do, with one child at a time you will change the world!

1. Laura @ Day by Day in our world
2. Dessi @ Life with small Blessings
3. Cathi @ Little Riddles Six
4 Theresa @ The Musing of a Mom
5. Kathy @ From my Catholic Garden
6. Mom E @ ConservaMom
7. Mrs. B @ So Many Bakers