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4 Spiritual Reading Mistakes

4 Spiritual Reading Mistakes

  I’ve done my kind of spiritual reading mistakes. I love reading and I love reading for growth, but I’ve relied too much on my memory and honestly–after I finish the book, I tend to forget what has helped me reflect as I was reading it. Now, I’ve always been a reader, and a lover of books. It wasn’t until a few years ago that something switched within me, and I’ve been primarily focused on books for growth. I think this is awesome and a bit problematic. Let me explain. I’ve love collecting the amount of books that I’ve read. I love plowing through them and checking them off my list. However, spiritual reading is a bit different. There is no plowing, there is no speeding through. It’s only you, the words, your reflections, and God. And trust me, there is no time limit for this. These are some mistakes that I have made, and what I learned from it. Not writing everything down I need to get into this practice more, but a common place book is a great way to keep track of what you’re reading, and to keep notes. I’m a dabbler, so I’m not sure if I want to do it with paper and pen or all electronic. Eventually, I’ll be writing it down in a notebook, but when it’s digitally, it’s just easier to cross things out and move things around. Before, I would just highlight my book. But, that’s not note taking. I still highlight–a digital book, but I tend to write my notes for a physical book down separately. Occasionally, I’ll put...
Sunday Reflection: Jesus Is the Bread of Life

Sunday Reflection: Jesus Is the Bread of Life

Sunday Readings Reading EX 16:2-4, 12-15 Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54 Reading Eph 4:17, 20-24 Jn 6:24-35 When the readings of the day start with Exodus and the bread of life conversation, I can’t help but just pick up and listen more. I’ve always loved this time of the year, because we are reminded that Jesus is the bread of life, but we are able to see this throughout the Gospel for the reading. There are three main things that I took away from these readings. We are not satisfied until we have the bread of life. In the first meeting we have the Israelites in the desert who were complaining to Moses about not having everything they had in Egypt. They complained of not having their fill of food, and how much better the lived when then were in Egypt. What the Israelites seem to forget was that they were slaves. In so many ways, this is so us. We may complain that our lives are boring compared to others. How so much more fun would be if I was able to do (and you fill in the blank). The only difference is, that we are no longer slaves to our passions, and we tend to romanticize the actions of those who we think are “living it up.” In life we’re always going to search for the next best thing. We’re always going to look for something that satisfies us. We will never be satisfied until we are full with Christ. Jesus always leads the way. “When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves...
Sunday Reflection: Walk Worthily in You Vocation

Sunday Reflection: Walk Worthily in You Vocation

I am currently reading this book called Sanctifying Your Daily Life.   It is a book about work, and how we can find holiness in our daily lives.  Even though it was written before my time (1946), there are so many things to take a way from it.  With the Second Reading of Sunday’s Mass, my thoughts naturally fell on vocation and what calling we have.  I think this book was perfect timing with the Mass.     Work these days has been something that we just had to do.  We know that some of us has to work outside of the houses and others work inside.  What I have noticed is that in our society, only one kind of work hold value.  When I was a working for pay kind of woman, my value was depended on how much I could bring in.  I was valuable to the company based on how much I was earring. The goal was to always increase my earnings, because (like everyone) my value and worth was wrapped in how much I was making.  Then I stopped working in 2009 to be a full-time stay at home mom, and oh boy did the mental games begin!  I felt that I didn’t have value to my family because I wasn’t bring in income.  That my role of watching and taking care of a baby (at the time) was nothing, compared to working outside of the home and generating money. Society didn’t tell me different either.  When I would come across people who found out I was a mother full-time, the question would always be, “So when are you...
Rest With the Lord – A Sunday Reflection

Rest With the Lord – A Sunday Reflection

  “Gospel, Mark 6:30-34 30 The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, ‘Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. 33 But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. 34 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length. “ I’ve been running on empty for the past few weeks. It wasn’t something that I planned, but time flew away from me and the next thing that I noticed–I was moody and cranky, and honestly I just wanted to sit somewhere and cry (or stare at a wall for a very long time). I know I am not the only one who goes through something like this–life just doesn’t seem to slow down, and it’s usually one thing after another. Well, this weekend, I’ve just about had it. I was having a conversation with my husband about it, and it was a sad reality that I was facing; I was sitting on our bed, and I was just beat–I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to cook (even though I...
Falling In Love with the Rosary

Falling In Love with the Rosary

    In the past, I’ve never really been consistent with praying the Rosary.  I have prayed it, but then stopped, or done it part way because I though it was too long and I couldn’t get through it.  I know, very childish (sorry God).  But then there was a moment during Lent that I said, “That’s it, I’m going to pray the Rosary!”  I chose Lent to start because it was easy, for the 40-days, it’s usually the Sorrowful Mysteries.  In that way, I can pray the rosary, but memorize the Sorrowful Mysteries as well–awesome, right? What I didn’t know was how I was going to love praying the rosary.  How the prayer was like breathing, and the days that I missed it (due to the craziness of life), are the days that feel like it was incomplete.   I still go through moments when I’m on fire and pray the rosary sometimes up to 2 times a day, and other days, I struggle to get through one full rosary in a day. The times I find myself praying the rosary the most is when I’m feeling anxious and worried.  My mind likes to wonder and get away from me sometimes; I can work myself up for no particular reason.  I would have hoped that by this time (my age *ahem*), I would’ve outgrown this behavior, but I’ve come to accept that this is who I am, and this is my cross to carry.  During those times, the beads then become a lifeline to heaven for me.  It’s my speed dial for help!  Through tears, or fear–somehow praying the prayers...
5 Ways to Engage With Others Without Losing Your Soul

5 Ways to Engage With Others Without Losing Your Soul

These days, everyone has their ideas on what is the right thing to do.  If the matter involves morality (that somehow morphs into politics), then things gets really crazy. Christians telling other Christians what is the “christian” thing to do.  Eventually, these conversations doesn’t end well, and someone’s ego is going to be left bruised by the door (or keyboard). The main problem that I’ve noticed these days, is that everyone has their own idea what being Christian is, and this is coming from other Christians.  I was on my Facebook feed and a hot topic of immigration came up.  Many people have their opinions on what is the right, or “christian,” thing to do, and what seems “unchristian”.  Each side cherry picking quotes to support their argument.  It didn’t matter to the people to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. It’s all under one umbrella. I won’t discuss politics since we see it everywhere. We are all entitled to our opinions, and we are all entitled to decide if we want to hear those opinions.  Politics I won’t discuss, but morality–I’ll discuss in a heart beat. What gets me, though, is the banter that’s being used while discussing these opinions. Name calling, judging, flat-out hatred. It doesn’t matter which side of the camp you fall on–it’s now being seen as the norm to do it. Before, discussions used to be about separating the sin from the sinner (or in this case: opinions from the person). Today, it’s blocking, un-friending, and ridiculing a person because of their opinions.  As Christians, this is extremely dangerous to do. At some point in our lives,...
Our First Internation Rosary Night

Our First Internation Rosary Night

One of the things that I enjoyed last year was attending the International Rosary night at our parish.   On this night, children (and adults) from our parish were able to see just how universal our Church really is. Our Priest and staff did a great job setting up the Church for this awesome event. The moment that you walked in, you understood the reverence that was buzzing in the atmosphere.   A Reverent Event   This event was solemn.  A heaviness weighed in the air, as we prepared our hearts to recite the Rosary as a group. For me, there is something special about praying the Rosary in a group. It seems more beautiful to be surrounded with people who love this devotion. The night started off with a song and a prayer to the Holy Spirit. Every decade began with a scripture reading and then the Rosary was recited in English and Spanish. When we came to the last decade I was in complete awe. People who were part of my parish for years, lined up at the microphone and began to participate in the Rosary in their native language. One by one they lined up and we heard people pray in: Polish, Italian, German, Latin, Spanish, Igbo  (spoken in Nigeria) and Nahuatl (which is an Aztec language). All those beautiful languages were spoken by members of our parish that we see and pray with all the time but never asked (or wondered) what language they spoke. This was the best part of my night.   Praying Together Even When Feeling Alone   Most of the time while praying, its easy to feel like you’re...
Winter 2018 Knitting Projects

Winter 2018 Knitting Projects

Life’s been funny–sorta. In the meantime,  I’ve been keeping myself busy with much needed reading and of course my new favorite hobby after a day of homeschooling and working at home. I mentioned in my previous post that I started a new hobby and that I started doing it because my grandmother passed away almost a year ago.  Since her passing, I’ve been taking up knitting and crocheting, almost as in remembrance of her.  What started off as a just a thing to try, is really turning into something that I really enjoy! This year, I made a promise to myself that I was going to try knitting projects that I have never done before. This was my list of knitting projects that I posted to my knitting / crochet instagram account.  These are all things that I had never attempted before, but I loved the challenge.  Funny though, my first knitting project was a pair of leg warmers for my baby son. <img> Lately, I’ve created two knit cowls (because one is not enough) and I had extra blanket yarn that I wanted to use up.  This was the first one that worked on, since I had enough blanket yarn left for it. Mr. C. gladly took this one off my hands and started using it right away since it’s so easy to just put on, and not have the extra bulk of scarves that could fall over the floor.  He really liked this one because it can be pulled all the way up (near the eyes) and still not feel very bulky when he wears it.  I thought...
What is sin? Part 1

What is sin? Part 1

Hey, and welcome back. As promised, let’s just get into the heart of the matter of sin. Just so that you know, the references that I’ll be using is the Bible (of course), the Catechism of the Catholic Church, plain ol’ common sense, and a lot of tea. So let’s begin. What is sin? Let’s go with a direct quote from the Catechism (CCC) paragraph 1849 1849. Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain good. It wounds the nature of man, and injures human solidarity. Okay, that’s a lot to go with. In our hearts, God has written on them the guidelines that we should obey in order to be happy. Some people view these guidelines as a rules of “no.” If you really think about how they were designed, they are like the guard rails on a highway. Or the dotted lines on the road. We stay in our lane, we go the correct direction and we’re happy to go on our way. Once we started to ignore the rules of the road, or–heaven forbid–purposely drive our car recklessly, we not increase the chances to hurt ourselves, but we will end up hurting our passengers or other drivers on the road. This is what sin does. It’s like driving knowing your about to do something you shouldn’t (like back up on the highway because you missed your exit) just because you didn’t feel like going around. When you do things like that, you’re only thinking of yourself...
Break Every Chain Introduction

Break Every Chain Introduction

For a long time, my kids love the song break every chain. It’s a Christian song, that talks about breaking the chains of the things that holds us. What is more importantly is that it discusses the breaking of chains that enslave us. When I think of chains, the first thing that comes to mind is slavery, bondage–the lack of freedom. Last week I said I was going to discuss what sin is, and sin is those chains. Today, people would argue that religion enslaves the minds and prevents you for making decisions for yourself. I’m constantly reminded how us “sheeple” are being led to the gallows and we don’t know it. Well, first we have to find out what is freedom, and that’s the ability to have control over one self. You see, to be free is not to be a slave to one’s desires. It come up with the argument, I couldn’t help it–really says that I’m not in control. Something is controlling me and I don’t have free will to not do what my mind is compelling me to do. To go even further, why is it when we do something we know is wrong, but we couldn’t help it, we feel of shame, or disgust after we did it. There is nothing empowering about doing something that doesn’t seem natural or right. Deep down, each and every one of us has it written in our hearts what is right or wrong: Are we free enough to listen? Realizing that this is a huge topic, it may take ,ore than one post to discuss all it....
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