Sunday, November 30, 2014

Can People Tell You're Catholic?

One of the kids asked me today, "Is he Catholic?"  When I said yes, she said, "I didn't know that."

That speaks volumes!!

Do others know that you are Catholic?  Does it show in how you speak?  Does it show in how you act toward others?  Does it show in other actions?

Or are you only Catholic on Sunday for an hour, or for that matter, in name only?

Our prime mission as Catholics is to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel.  We don't have to stand on the street corner screaming out Bible verses to back up our proclamations.  We don't need to be  Bible scholars -though we do need to read it and join Bible studies to know what it says and have a basic understanding.

What else do we have to do?

We have to smile at people and show our joy.

We need to lend a helping hand to someone in need, whether it's opening a door, bringing a meal, driving someone to Mass, raking an elderly neighbor's leaves.

We need to be willing to pray in public.  Do the Sign of the Cross and bless your food in a restaurant. Take a walk and pray a Rosary with your rosary in hand.  Join a Marian procession or an Advent tree lighting at your church.

Speak about the Lord and what He had done in your life.  Praise Him out loud.  Tell someone you'll pray for their needs.  Don't complain about anything, even the weather.

We talk about so many things, lots of them unnecessary.  How often do we speak of the One who gave us life and a whole lot more.

Have children!  That may sound weird but it's a question that often comes up when I tell people we have nine kids.  Trust God with this area of your life.

Volunteer at soup kitchens, crisis pregnancy centers, etc.  Because it is a part of your life, you're bound to talk about it, and that spreads the Gospel about taking care of the less fortunate.

Bring Jesus to others.  Do not let anyone, even for a moment, wonder whether you're a Catholic.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

We Need To Take Back Sunday

When I was a kid, Sunday was family day.  We would go see our grandparents. Because is was Sunday, and Sunday was family day, our cousins and uncles and aunts would be there as well.  Family time!

Stores were closed so shopping was out of the question.  The visiting was anticipated so the chores that needed to be done, laundry, ironing, grabbing a gallon (or 4) of milk, going to the dry cleaners, etc. all needed to be done before Sunday.  Sunday was not a day of work, it was a day of relaxation.

I miss that~

Sunday now, seems to be just another day.  The kids who play sports often have a game on Sunday (must to my dismay).  The stores are open and so the planning that went into getting things done by Saturday is gone.  "There's always tomorrow."

We're busy, busy people.

I don't really think it needs to be this way.  I think we need to bring back Sunday as a day of true relaxation.   Close the stores so the owners and employees can be with their families.  Close the restaurants and cook together!

There are those who would argue that to close on Sunday means the loss of income to the shop and restaurant owners.  I would argue that if we do as God commanded and keep the Sabbath holy by getting to Mass and spending Sunday relaxing, rather than making it just one more day, that things would be a whole lot better.

Ask the owners of Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A about profits and being closed on Sunday.  I think they would tell you they're doing just fine!  They have been in business since the 40's for Chick-fil-A and the 70's for Hobby Lobby.  Sunday for them, is a day off.   Thus, they and their employees get a well deserved break and can go back to work refreshed.

The roads around our house have been under construction for over two years.  They crews work 7 days a week.  Trying to get the job done is the goal.  I get it.  But my mom had a conversation with one of the crew and he told her he was praying for rain.  A good hard rain would mean he could go home and have a day off.  He was so tired.

How do you get a good days work out of someone who never has an opportunity to do nothing for a little while?

So I put forth a cry for the return to sanity.  God knew what He was doing by requiring us to keep holy the Sabbath.  It wasn't a suggestion, it was a command.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Never Say 'Only'

So often when I tell someone that my Dear One and I have nine children, I hear, "I only have one", (or two, three, or four) but, always prefaced with only.

Using only when discussing the number of children one has, makes it seem like a contest has been lost.  I wonder how the children of these parents feel when they hear this.

These parents don't have only any number of children. They have that many blessings from God and should speak this out loud so their children hear that instead of something that may make them feel inadequate since they aren't one of a much larger family.

We, as parents, don't have to compare ourselves to anyone else to see how we're doing as parents. We just have to make certain that we are doing as the Lord has directed us and make sure that gratitude is the overwhelming emotion.

We are not in control of how many children we have.  Sure we can be open to life, but God has the only say in how many blessing He will choose to send to us.  We should not try to limit God, nor should we be sad when He limits us.  He knows what we need, what we can handle, and what is best for us.

So, whether you have been blessed with few or many children, always remember that that is just what they are, blessings.