Where Is Your Heart?

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Faith & Spirituality



A few days ago, my husband and I were discussing the goals that most people strive for. We know already that most people strive for wealth, power, and fame. These usually go hand in hand as a person pursues what they feel is the most important to them.

But  if I had to share one question that I shared with my husband: Who do think is the happiest person in the world: the richest person, or a Brother or Sister?

My argument went like this: the Brother or Sister has to ask for permission, to do something, or if they need something. They do not have anything in their name, and many times they live very humble lives. In many cases, a life of service.

On the other hand, the richest person has everything their heart desires. They have all the money to buy anything they want, and if they have a need, it’s taken care of right away. They want for nothing, and ordinary people tend to think that wealth means importance.

Yet, if you look deep down past the surface, you find that the richest person in the world are not the  happiest. They may not want for anything physical, but they are still in need of something—of some One. They can have anything, yet it’s not enough. At times, some are bitter, or a little out of touch with ordinary people.

However, the Sisters and Brothers that I have met in my life, have this joy and peace around them that you wish you can just put in a bottle. They may not have everything they want but they have everything they need. That is what makes them happy. They found what their heart is searching for (God) and their heart is resting on Him.

We have to take a careful examination of our lives. We have to find out if we are content with what we have, or if our hearts are still searching.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

If our heart is where our treasure is, and if our focus is on the riches and fame of this world, then where is the room for God in our lives? Where is the room for our families?

In Matthew 19: 16-26 we heard another story of a rich young man who wanted to know what good he has to do to get to heaven. First Jesus tells him to keep the commandment, to which the young man replied that he does. Then Jesus instructs him to go and sell all of his things, and follow Him. To which the man grieved and walked away.

We can read this story and say, “Yea, of course I would drop everything and follow Jesus.” Looking from an outside perspective it’s so easy to say that, like it’s easy being a backseat driver. The reality of it is much different.

Our heart’s treasure can lie with anything: our gadgets, our hobbies, or anything we pour as much, or putting more effort into into things  than growing our relationship with God. When we look to this world to make us happy, we will only find sadness and grief, but if we direct our eyes heavenward, there is much joy that will shine in our lives.

From my experience, those who chose God first in their lives found that joy we are all striving for. Yes, we still have to worry about finances and bills, but putting God first in our lives, we trust that he is going to take care of all things, and lead us in the right direction.

Back to you: where is your heart?  Are you focused heavenward?  Do you find that your heart is still searching for something?

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What Does Mercy Look Like?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Faith & Spirituality



Have you ever wondered why the theme we hear about lately is inclusive?  Safe place? No hate zone?  I’ve been seeing this for a while now, as I’m sure you have too.  What we see now is a system that is now working to make things safe for a few, but leave the majority vulnerable.

As a parent, I wonder how that works with children?  You have 4 kids, and one does something wrong, do you punish the other 3?  Or let’s say one got it right, and did what was asked, do you reward the other 3 as well?

Of course, this is just a crude example, but in our willingness to “not offend,” and “make a safe place,” we are in turn making the place unsafe for anyone who disagrees.

Times like this, I truly wonder what would Jesus do?  We have excellent examples of what he did and how it affected people of the time.


Real Mercy


The woman who was caught in adultery.  We all know the story.  A woman was caught in the act of adultery (although I wonder what were her neighbors doing to catch her in the act), and they were ready to stone her.  To test Jesus, they bring her to him and expect him to carry out the punishment. Instead he says: “Those without sin throw the fist stone.” They all walk  away leaving just Jesus and the woman.

This last part is what our our society forgot. What he says next is so important: he says, “Go and sin no more.”

He did”t say, “You’re okay. Wear your choices as a badge of honor.”  Nope!  He acknowledged that she was a sinner, and told her not to do it again.  Today, it would seem that the scene would be backwards. Instead, society will say that she has a right to commit adultery, and how dare anyone call her sinner.


Why Are We Getting It Wrong?


We are living a society that has turned secular, individual, pragmatic, material, relativist,  and that’s just to name a few!

We remember of bits and pieces of the Gospel message, but it’s murky. We want to do what is right and just, but we are quickly forgetting exactly what is right and just.

You see, Jesus didn’t leave her in her sin.  He didn’t say, “well, that’s it, they should just take you as you you.  You’re an adulterer, and they should just accept you like that.”

Nope!  He told her that she was free to go, but, go and sin no more.  That’s it.  Mercy is forgiveness but is also an acknowledgment that we are sinners.

To change the definition of mercy as: “I’m okay, you’re okay” would be wrong, and actually contrary to the gospels.  Every person whom Jesus encountered, they either changed his life after meeting him, or walked away from him.

Not one of them demand that He change their teachings for them.


The Problem Today


The problem today is that moved away from the Biblical sense of mercy, and instead embraced a secular definition.  Mercy today is seen as acceptance of who and what I am.  If you don’t like it, then you’re being unmerciful, judgmental, and full of hate.

There is no mercy without judgment.  We have to first understand what we’re doing is wrong.  We have to admit to our mistakes.  We then would be in position for mercy–assuming that we will be granted it.  We do not deserve mercy, but it is given to us out of love.

Mercy now is seen as free of sin, or better yet, what was once sinful is no longer, and everyone agrees with you.


What Bishop Robert Barron Has to Say


Bishop Robert Barron talked about this in one of his videos, talks about Pope Francis and Mercy.

To say mercy, is to say sin….In the popular imagination, to say mercy is that sin does’ t matter.  Au contraire, theologically speaking, it’s not right to say that ‘God is Mercy’, the right thing to say is that God is love…Mercy is what love looks like when its turned towards the sinner.

I think Bishop Robert Barron says it beautifully!  In the end, it all comes down to language. We just ned to get the language correct, and finally talk about what is actually mercy.  Finally, we need to throw off the ideas of what we want mercy to be, and actually embrace real mercy.


Have you noticed an attempt to separate mercy from sin?

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It’s More Than Words

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Media and Culture

Pope Francis has endeared many of us, and confused the rest of us. I fall into both camps! I love how personable he is, however I understand that I don’t understand a lot of things about him. To me, that’s okay. I wasn’t meant to understand completely every person, and I’m sure many of his writings will make more sense to me as I pray about it, and as time passes.


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He talks about so many things when he addressed Congress on September 24th. I would love to share one of them with you now.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

The Golden Rule. I’ve know I’ve talked about it, and I know we all know about it, but it just struck me that we all just know about it. Pope Francis breaks it down even further for us, in terms that we can understand as a nation:

– If we want security, give security
– want life, give life
– for opportunities, offer opportunities.

Pretty basic and simple stuff right? Then how come we fail miserably at it sometimes? So many of us wish and long for our loved ones to feel secure in their jobs, to know that they have a future in a livelihood and it’s steady. But these days, we know full well that we’re not living in the past.

Security of employment is out the door. Employees have no loyalty their employers, and employers have no loyalty their employees. Both are looking out for the next best thing to come a long.

From a privileged perspective one may think, “Well, if they don’t like the conditions, they can leave.” From an unprivileged perspective the other may think, “I’m not valued at my job, I should go where I’m valued.”

The same thing goes for life. We want “life, liberty, and persist of happiness,” but in the meantime we are snuffing out the very life that never had a chance.

The last line that drove it home to me was this:

The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.

Yup, a wonderful reminder indeed!

I’ll give you an example, do you know of Kim Davis? (Of course you do!)

Well how many out there dismissed her because of her earlier lifestyle and her remarriage? How many of us judge her a hypocrite because of the way she used to live before she found the Gospels? How many of us out there called her names just because she stood up for what she believed in?

Now, how many of us are willing to do the same thing? Even at the threat of jail or death?

We are so good at being backseat drivers, or quarterbacks, but in the past few weeks, I had to step back and look at her resolve during attacks, poked fun of, and even laughed at. I have to ask myself:  “Am I as strong enough to endure this type of trial?” This is a question all have to ask ourselves.

Pope Francis’ speech leaves us with many things to think about. Things that we have to work on as a nation that is wealthy but doesn’t do a great job for providing for those who are poor. We profess liberty, but we don’t practice it completely. Finally, we all want a livelihood, but by our actions as a nation we are denying others theirs.

Let us pray and hope that as a nation we can straighten things out.

Did Pope Francis say anything that inspired you, or made you think?

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Does Organ Donation Conflict With Your Beliefs?

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Dignity of Life

Planned parenthood and their grisly involvement of selling body parts has raised up an important discussion about organ donation. Should we be an organ donor? No doubt many of us do not want to think about a loved one who has been seriously injured and have to face that decision. Some of us have easily consented by signing the back of our driver’s license.  But do we know what organ donation truly is before we jump on the bandwagon?

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The Church’s position

The Church sees organ donation as a love of neighbor act. To share what we have with one another is honestly a noble thing to do, however there are a few cases where this noble act is considered not noble and should be avoided.

  1. The donation of an organ that hinders the door or to function correctly–less than before.  For example, we need two eyes to function, and by donating one eye we would not function correctly as wer were intended. 
  2. Donation cannot cause death to the donor.
    • We need our heart in order to live.  While it may be noble to give someone our heart, doing so would indeed cause our own death.
    • Which brings me to the second point. What is brain death?  If the person’s heart is still beating, then their body is still causing blood to circulate blood to the rest of its body. This is the best time doctors say to donate organs as the person has already died but this is not really the case. 

Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons. (CCC2296)


This is a touchy subject, but if the person is being kept alive–even artificially, then they are not really considered dead. They would then be considered: a living donor. The removal of vital organs (such as the heart)  would cause the immidate death of the donor.

Does the actual donation cause death?

Yes.  When doctors remove organs for donation, the heart is always last, since they need organs that are still viable (living) and functioning.  A dead person cannot donate organs since the organs will be deprived of oxygen and toxics begin to build up.  This would make the organs unless for donation.

The heart has to be beating, and the organs must be alive when they are removed. When they remove the heart, it must still be functioning.  Once the heart is removed, that is when the donor is pronounced dead. 

It’s scary when you think about this, but by saying yes to donate your loved ones organs is an automatic death sentence. There had been cases where people were pronounced dead, and “woke up” and are now living and fully functioning.

The fifth commandment tells us not to kill, but for us to feel better we need a scientific method of determining death.  We understand when a person dies, all life leaves them.  So what is brain death?

At the end of the day, does donations saves lives? We have to put it this way, is it okay to kill one person to save a few?

Any way you put it, if we believe so, then we are condoning murder, and that’s not good — no matter who it saves.  


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Our Ignorance Convicts Us

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Dignity of Life, Opinion

So many stories have circled around the web this week,  It’s impossible to talk about them all, but these stories truly should get our attention.  One question that I kept asking was can we justify these actions by staying ignorant.  How much rope do we give “ignorance” before it hangs us?  We are called to always seek the truth, we always want to know to truth before we make an informed decision.  How much of that can we make while we refuse to open our eyes?

Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:18)


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1.  Planned Parenthood Exposed.  The biggest and ongoing news has been about Planned Parenthood and what really goes on in these clinics.  There has been an outcry on both sides of the fence–one side says that it violates the woman’s rights, the other says that it needed to be exposed.  Personally, I’m happy that it is all coming out in the open.  There are so many examples that I can think about throughout history that doesn’t justify being in the dark.  I’ll just share one:

  • After WWII was over there was the  liberation of concentration camps.  Across Germany, civilians were told to view what was actually going on in these camps.  I would suspect that many had an idea what it looked liked–but their imagination could never really come to grip with the reality of it.  Town after town, people were brought in to help bury the remains of those who died at the camps.

Of course this is the first one that readily comes to mind, but it reminds us that ignorance is not an excuse.  If you stand on a belief about something, anything, then you should very well know what it is you believe.  If you truly think that a human child is a clump of cells at 11 weeks, then look it up to see what an aborted child looks like at 11 weeks.  

Ignorance has a double edge sword in our culture because one cannot really stay in the dark for long.  We have access to the internet, images, and honestly the truth if we have time to sort through the lies.  This exposure brings about the truth of what really happens when women abort their child.  

 On erroneous judgment:  This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. CCC1791

Now some may continue (and still do) defend the practice of abortion, regardless of what comes out in the news, or how much knowledge that they can find on their own.  Some may continue to defend it because they have had one, and don’t want to seem evil, or malformed.  If that is the case, I pray that those people will not grind their feet in their stubbornness, but humbly ask God for forgiveness.  There is no need to continue to walk that path when they can be forgiven for their sins.

2.  If you don’t think Satan is real, think again.  Another article that jumped out at me was that in Detroit, a 9 foot statue of a demon was unveiled.  Not only was it unveiled, but the people who attended the ceremony signed a paper (or contract) stating that they give their souls to Satan.  The people chanted “Hail Satan” as they unveiled the statue.  The plan was to never keep the statue in Detroit but to move it to Arkansas where the group (for the Satanic Temple) wants to put it across a monument of the 10 commandments.  A challenge to religious freedom laws.

I will continue to pray for the people who attended this unveiling.  Most already know what they are doing when they attend, but others I suspect had just went along with the flow because it seemed “cool” and “counter-cultural.”  The truth is, if you are a Christian, and you firmly believe in everything that Christ teaches–you are counter-cultural.


I would like to think that America is waking up from its slumber when it comes down to issues of life and death, but if we look at news reports, the job is to quickly put us back to sleep, an believe that “all is well.”  But it’s not.  How can we idly sit by while babies are killed–and we know they are babies (always knew) because while the child is sitting on the petri-dish, the doctor exclaims “another boy!” (will all excitement).  

We can live our lives in darkness, and all the evils that it allows.  But truth is, we allow these evils.  Relativism allows these evils.  Truth only has one color.  Truth only has one flavor.  If we start to say what’s true for one person but not true for another, then we’re muddying up the waters.  We’re allowing confusion.

Not sure if many of us have noticed the correlation, but if you deny a human the right to be called a human at it’s developing stage (before it’s born), then you will certainly deny the human the right to it’s end of life. If we have no problem snuffing out life before it begins, then we will certainly pass laws in this country to snuff out life when we think it’s lost it’s “usefulness.”

I shudder to think that many children (many of even my generation) who survived by being born, will only be euthanized when we lose our usefulness.  May God have Mercy on us and our nation.

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When You Feel It’s Not Enough

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Marriage and Family

The past several weeks, I have been quiet.  We recently moved into what would be our “forever” place.  More like: “we pray that the kids will grow up to adulthood here” place.  We have been thankful, regardless of all the bumps we’ve come across, so good or bad days, we are thankful.

However, lately, I’ve felt that I’m not doing enough.  Let me backtrack–since the Supreme Court ruling, there has been a sadness through the Catholic community.  As if the battle is lost, and there is nothing we can do.

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Odd, I don’t have that feeling.  I have the feeling that now is the time for us to live our faith.  So many evils in the world has happened because we have become lethargic, and apathetic about our faith.   

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. (Rev 3:15-16)

A long time ago, I had wished to spend my life in prayer.  I hoped to be a nun but found out that was not my calling.  Now with my motherhood vocation and being my children’s teacher, somehow I feel like it’s not enough.  A part of me wants to go out and do more, be a part of more, but it took time to realize that’s because I am not appreciating what I have been given.

Not everyone can be a  Saint Thomas Aquinas or Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  We all have different gifts to share with the world.  How can I want to do more, when I have yet to fulfill this task that I have been given?  How can I want to save my soul, when I have been given the care of young souls to show them the way to heaven?

Everyday, I am aware more and more of the responsibility that we have been given–even more so in the light of the Supreme Court ruling and what that means for children who will be attending public and Catholic schools. 

So all parents, whether you are home or not, homeschooling or teaching, you have been given an enormous task.  The early years in a child’s life is the most vulnerable. We have been tasked to raise  our children to know and fear the Lord in a society that appears to reject God. It is our task to teach them how to be a light in a dark world, but first we must become the light ourselves. We must pray to never become discontented with the responsibility that we have, but rejoice in our chance to be tried.  To show ourselves and our ability to handle these tasks.

They saying, “You cannot teach what you don’t have.” Rings so true in our society today.

This is why I say, what we do is enough. To teach them, we must first understand. The only way for us to understand, is to pray for knowledge and understand.  Above all, rely on God’s graces for strength.

Have you ever felt that what you’re doing is not enough?  What do you do to combat that feeling? 

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The Truth About Keeping Quiet When You Need To Speak Up

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Media and Culture

How many times have you been in a situation when you were just too slow to act?  After the even occurred, do you then go through your mind what you should have said and what you should have done?

What about staying quiet when you should have spoken up?




Changing atmosphere


There is little doubt in my mind that things are changing.  Throughout the news we can see the attacks intensify against those who believe in the Gospels.

  • Archbishop Cordileone is at the front and center controversy in his diocese because he is asking that people who work in Catholic Schools actually adhere to Catholic Teaching.  There have wealthy dissident Catholics that have started a petition to Pope Francis to have him removed.  All because he believes in orthodox Catholic teaching, he is pro-life, and pro-family values.  
  • A family business in Indiana, Memories Pizzais now closed because they said they would not cater to a homosexual wedding.  They didn’t say they wouldn’t serve homosexuals, but they clearly stated that they would not take part in a homosexual wedding. 
  • Individuals such as Ryan T. Anderson, are shunned into moral exile just for voicing his beliefs which are contrary to mainstream America.
Standing On The Truth


There are serious repercussions for speaking out for the truth.  To stand on your faith–your rock, and watch those with stones try to knock you down.  It’s could be downright scary, but we were not called by our Baptism to go with the flow.  Persecution of Christians around the world is real, and it is happening in our own backyards as well.

When we choose to stay quiet, and not speak out about the injustice that is happening around us, the opposition becomes louder and more obscene.  Those who are raising their voice with faith and reason are marginalized and suffering financial loss, or experiencing defamation of character.



Letting Others Fight Our Battles


We cannot allow a few to stand at the front of the battle doing the hard work, while we wait for someone else to do it.  This reminds me of a quote by Martin Neimöller.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.  (source)

Things we can do today


1)  Offer support.  There is petitions that is online that support the ArchBishop Cordileone and his fight.  Spread the message that you support the great and difficult work that he is doing.  You can find that petition here.  

2) Evangelize your family and loved ones.  When no one actively seek the truth, they start making up the truth for themselves.  Truth to them becomes relative.  Share with those who you love about what the Gospel teaches, small steps at a time.  Live the Gospels, and don’t be afraid to speak up when you see behavior.

3) Pray for Priests and Bishops.  When a man becomes a Priest, they understand that they are signing their death warrant. It’s gloomy to say, but they understand that they will be called to one day die for their faith.  These men have an enormous task on their shoulders. We should offer our prayers for them to stay true to the faith that represent and believe.

4) Pray for fortitude that we will be able to speak the truth and not be ashamed to do so.

The truth about silence is that when you know something’s wrong, and you don’t say anything, you become complicit in the problem.

Now, what you do today to start speaking up?  What little changes can you make?


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