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Showing posts from January, 2011

How has social networking impacted your life?

After reading Pope Benedict’s message for World Communications Day , I sat and considered how this technology has impacted relationships and built fellowship in my own life. When my family moved out of state weeks after my high school graduation, I kept in touch with friends via long handwritten letters. My first email account existed on a bulky university VAX system in 1990, with contacts limited to other university students in Texas. Friendships formed through an early listserv and two friends actually met via this early internet, married, and celebrated their 20th anniversary last August. Twelve years ago my social network expanded from email to include an online bulletin board for women expecting babies in Sept 1999. The relationships built then are solid and strong, though many of us have never met in real life. Our friendships are as real as anything I’ve known in person, face to face. In the present day, our involvement in the Catholic New Media world continues to be a work i

"Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age: A Message from Pope Benedict XVI

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI released a message titled Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age for the 45th World Communications Day on June 5, 2011. This very timely, beautiful message is particularly directed at young people who have spent their entire childhood with access to email, social networks, and instant world communication. His message begins by acknowledging the emergence of new technologies that have brought about “a period of vast cultural transformation”…. “with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship.” Every human being aspires for meaning, truth, and unity. He cautions young people searching for true meaning and authenticity in their lives to be aware that “the one-sidedness of the interaction” places us at “the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence.” While these technologies and tools are already “an integral part of human life” that overcome mor

What can I do to stop Abortion?

Last week a friend confided in me that her teenage daughter was horrified by facts presented to her church youth group about abortion. She came home in tears declaring that she wanted to “go to Washington to save the babies.” My friend, who loves her daughter very much and appreciates her early devotion to life, had to inform her that they would not be traveling 600 miles to the March for Life . I understand how my friend’s daughter, the oldest of four, must be shocked to learn how many women engage in this behavior, throwing away a life in development because it’s inconvenient or untimely. I understand that surge of adrenaline that makes you want to rush out and be part of something big, like marching in DC with other like-minded people, to feel like you’re doing something to stop it. I also know the other side - that fleeting moment of helplessness when you wonder what can one person do to stop the genocide taking place in our country? How can we channel our energies in a positiv

A Choice for Life

Our society seems to have lost the value of personal responsibility.   When faced with a problem or something unexpected happens, some don’t know how to handle it and want a quick fix. Sadly for many, that includes an unexpected pregnancy.   Many turn to abortion as a shockingly easy “quick fix” in a society unwilling to face hardship, unwilling to accept personal responsibility, unwilling to put another life ahead of their own. Just two weeks ago we learned that in 41% of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion; with higher statistics for minorities:  50% of Hispanic pregnancies and a whopping 60% for African-Americans.  87,000 babies killed in one year in one city . When counseling pregnant abortion minded women, I heard them say, “I have no choice.”   They would agree with the majority of Americans that abortion is wrong, even telling me they thought it was wrong, and then they’d utter those heart wrenching words, “I have no choice.”   It’s ironic that the pro-abortion mov

The Smart Martha Way for Busy Moms

Recently I picked up a new book from Our Sunday Visitor titled, “Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms” .  The title instantly spoke to me, as it offered a Catholic perspective organizing my busy life as a mom. I’m happy to report that the book did not disappoint!  Author Tami Kiser expands on the Bible story of Mary & Martha to help moms find the perfect balance in their life between prayer and work.  Her key phrase, “The Smart Martha Way” translates as “women who want to get their work done, yet know that their first priority is to look for and always be attentive to Christ who is present.”  Tami uses her organizational skills and experience as a busy mom of nine kids to show us how we can all be a “Smart Martha” at home. My favorite thing about the book must be the real practical solutions incorporating your Catholic faith into the mundane chores, busy mom schedule and overall everyday family life. Tami provides helpful resources throughout the chapters includin

Working Mom Schedule

When my daughters were much younger, both under 3 or 4 years old, I remember having a conversation with a work colleague whose children were grown. At the time I struggled with day care, diapers, nursing, evening schedules, work travel, and a host of other issues relative to their young needs. I told her how much I looked forward to the girls being a little older, how much easier it will be when they are potty-trained, can bathe themselves, pick up their toys, go to elementary school, and so on. “Oh no,” my friend chuckled with that all-knowing smile, “It gets harder and believe it or not, you’re busier. “ While the puzzled look developed on my face, she continued, “It’s hard to imagine now, but it’s completely different. You’ll really miss this age.” Of course I wouldn’t believe her at the time. Would I really miss the diapers, the saggy body, the weariness, the struggle at mealtime, reading the same book over and over and over? Now that my children are 11 and 8, I look back on her

Patron Saint

Depending on how you were raised in your Catholic faith, you may or may not have a strong sense of identity with a particular saint. Outside of those with lay celebrations associated with their feast days such as St. Patrick, St. Valentine, or St. Nicholas, a Catholic’s first real consideration of the varied saints recognized by our church might be when they choose a patron saint for a Confirmation name. We choose a saint at this time to be a special protector, to pray with us when we ask for intercessions. We may choose to study and focus on their lives, following their example for how we live our own faith today. Many of us also have a saint’s name in our given name from our Baptism. Late last week while listening to SQPN podcast Catholic Weekend , I heard them talking about a new Patron Saint generator that would be an easy way for a person to receive a patron saint for the year. I’d nearly forgotten about it when Lisa linked a post by Elizabeth Scalia aka The Anchoress titled “ Ge

Texas Reps. Need to Elect Conservative Speaker

Republicans saw huge gains in the Texas Legislature in the November elections.   They went from having a slim majority in the Texas House to a supermajority for the first time in Texas history.   The new Texas Legislature will be sworn in Tuesday, with the election for House Speaker at the top of the agenda.   Democrats elected the past Speaker of the House two years ago with a handful of Republicans, in a Republican controlled House.    Speaker Strauss has a conflicted record as a Republican and House Speaker.   He has the public and financial support of Planned Parenthood and is the only Republican in Texas with a 100% pro-abortion record from NARAL.  He appointed Democrat Representatives and liberal Republicans to key House committees which prevented important bills from getting an up or down vote to get out of committee.  Some of those bills had the votes in the full House to be passed, like the ultrasound bill. With the vote tomorrow, the majority of Republicans and Democra

Christmas is Over! Or is it?

Christmas Isn't Over... Whew!   Christmas is over for another year!   Or is it?   Here at my house, it is still Christmas.   We typically wait until after the Epiphany, when the Wise Men prostrated themselves before baby Jesus, to take down the Christmas decorations and end our celebration.   I know many people do not understand why my Christmas tree still stands in the family room.   After all, society begins to celebrate Christmas the day after Thanksgiving and stops on December 26 th .   Once New Year’s Day occurs, all remnants of Christmas is supposed to disappear as we begin to clean, purge, and organize our belongings in preparation for Spring cleaning. A few years ago, we made the decision to fully embrace the season of Advent, which is preparing for the arrival of the Christ child, and then joyfully celebrate Christmas throughout the full Christmas season, which ends with the Epiphany. There are many benefits to placing the emphasis of Christmas on th