This blog's mission is simple--to encourage moms who are married to non-Catholics and raising their children in the Faith. If you know a mom who needs a little encouragement in continuing her efforts, I would be delighted if you would share Kathleen's Catholic with her. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mary, Mother of God

Our Christ's Passion through the eyes of Mother Mary.

Christ's first temple and Mother of God, Mary of Nazareth never left her beloved Son. She was devoted to God and His plan and intimately knew the Son of God. Truly, here is why Catholics honor Mary and are devoted to her. She is the beginning of the Church--Christ's first tabernacle and first disciple--from the moment she conceived Our Lord.

This video will give you a good idea of Mary's witness of The Stations of the Cross. Pray to Mary this Holy Week, and keep these images in your heart and mind! "O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Love Letters from Heaven

by Kathleen Blease

Don't let Holy Week go by without taking a moment to notice God's Creation, magnificent and just for you. His love is beyond human imagination. God is crazy for you!  He gave you His Only Begotten Son, so you can have eternal life with Him, our grand Creator, and all the saints and angels in Heaven. Take a look at some of His artistry. If earth is this beautiful, just imagine Heaven!

all photos are copyrighted by Roger L. Blease

orange unblended

I am with you

assateague island

some beauties are complete surprises

one baptism

Eater egg

where the oriole lives

man inspired

God's handiwork, from a hot air balloon

God bless you during this most holy of weeks.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Living Stations

by Kathleen Blease

You might have heard of the Passion Play. The Catholic Church calls it The Stations of the Cross, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a beautiful devotion and observance that follows Jesus's steps through His final days, and it is more than 1,000 years old. At many parishes, youth groups throughout the country act out the Stations, called the Living Stations.

There are fourteen stations, as well as a closing one, making fifteeen in all. Below are photos from our local parish, depicting a few of them.  May God be with these youths and help them contemplate what a remarkable story The Stations of the Cross is.

The Living Stations
enacted by The Easton Area
Catholic Youth Group
at St. Bernard's Oratory

Jesus falls for the first time.

Simon of Cyrene is chosen from the crowd to help Jesus carry His cross.

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Jesus is nailed to the cross, as Mary watches.
(notice the painting above the altar, depicting the same.)

Jesus is taken down from the cross.
Of course, the story does not end here. It is only the beginning--with His Resurrection, the conquering of death. The closing station takes place in front of the tabernacle, the dwelling of our Living Lord, who resides there by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Many thanks to the Easton Area Catholic Youth Group and to Mrs. Loretta Susen for providing these terrific photos!

God bless!

Catholic Books and Catechism on CDs

by Kathleen Blease

A friend of mine spends a lot of time commuting, so I thought I’d compile a list of Catholic CDs he can enjoy. Personally, I am at home all day, so I don’t use CDs very much. Thus, I cannot personally endorse these items listed below. However, after doing a little research and seeing all that's available, I just might give up my Hall & Oats CD that's in the car for one of these! Even a short drive to Boy Scouts can become a time for Christ.

By the way, check out number 6 for free Catholic CDs and novels. I just ordered a bunch for myself.

God bless.

Catholic Audio Books & CDs

1. Catholic CD Club
Similar to the Book of the Month format, Lighthouse Catholic Media distributes a featured CD each month to its members. A not-for-profit organization, its website says it's the “first-ever evangelization and apologetics Catholic CD Club. Join today and each month you will receive an exciting talk by one of the great Catholic speakers of our time. After listening, pass them on to others.” Features speakers such as Scott Hahn and Fr. Corapi.

For those of you who depend on CDs, this just might be a good idea, something new and fresh every month. Click here to learn more.

2. The Catholic Mass Revealed
 I have heard a lot of good things about this program, but I haven't tried it myself. The Catholic Mass Revealed (CD, Book, and DVD)

3. St. Teresa
I love St. Teresa of Avila! "Let nothing disturb you."

4. Bishop Fulton Sheen
A great communicator and once adored like a rock star, Bishop Fulton Sheen's words of wisdom have filled a huge selection of CDs. Here are just a few.

Fulton Sheen talks about doctor of the church St. Therese, the Little Flower and her little ways.

5. The Catechism
Study the Catechism on the road or at home.

6. Free CDs

Catholic City provides free CDs through the Mary Foundation. Just a small donation of $1 per CD is required. They feature speakers such as Scott Hahn, Fr. Corapi, and Christopher West, who is well known for promoting Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
They also feature Fr. Larry Richard, who I've heard before. I can't wait to here his The Mass Explained. He's very direct! My teenage boys like Fr. Larry, too. 

Catholic City also provides free Catholic novels.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quick Takes for Friday

by Kathleen Blease

I thought I'd share with you some quick ideas and thoughts that were sitting in my "sketches" file. Maybe you'll find one just right for the end of your long week. So, here we go...

Our EASTER GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow at midnight. Click here to register. Good luck!

Over at The National Catholic Register, learn about genuine femininity—not to be confused with feminism—and the important role of women in the Catholic Church. Catholic writer Celeste Behe writes about the Women’s Formation and Leadership for a Better Society Conference to be held in upstate New York over the summer. Click here for your own copy to read or print. Maybe you'd like to attend!

The Eucharist is a miracle that occurs every day at every second. It is the greatest of all mysteries. It is for us to receive, so we don’t need to go about life without Our Christ! There’s a miracle among us. Don’t miss it!

Take a little time today to visit Catholics Come Home. Watch their commercials. The “movie” commercial will make you RUN to Reconciliation for God's joyful mercy. Fabulous! The website is all about truth and renewal.

How does an atheist find her way to the Catholic Church? Visit Conversion Diary and find out how Jennifer blogged her way from a vocal anti-Christian atheist to a dedicated believer. Great story and wonderful blog.

Here's one of my favorite books that answered so many questions I had when I was first renewing my Faith. It connected a whole bunch of dots.

Speaking of connecting dots: Kelly over at From a Sinner has connected quite a few and found a true love for the Mass. She explains why the Mass is perfect, regardless of which priest is saying it. Do you give an inner sigh when a certain priest celebrates Mass? You can give that's why.

Okay, one more:  You've probably heard of a Passion Play. The Catholic Church calls it The Stations of the Cross. It's an observance and devotion she has been following for more than one-thousand years. Today, it is common to find Catholic youth groups acting out the Stations, known as the Living Stations. If you can't attend at church, you can still observe the Stations at home. It is a deep and contemplative prayer that will reveal something new to you each time you walk with Christ through His Passion and Resurrection.

God bless!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Letter from the Easter Bunny

I have been saving this for years--an adorable letter written in script and signed by the author in ink. When our boys were small, they asked lots of questions about the Easter Bunny. As they anticipated receiving a basket filled with sweets, books, and toys, they couldn't help but wonder and ask about this generous being.

So, I gave them a little advice: Why don't you leave a letter for him and ask him to tell you about himself? And so they did.

On Easter morning, they found two beautiful baskets and this letter, sealed with his pawprint. Our cat, Honey Bun, and I thought it looked an awful lot like a cat's pawprint.

                                               Easter Sunday

Dearest Ben,

Wow! What a question. Thank you for asking about me.

You see, I am very old. Long before Jesus was born, Pagans held festivals to celebrate the beginning of the Spring season. The cold sleep of winter was over, and the plans of planting a crop and enjoying fresh food made everyone happy. They noticed that new life was everywhere around them: birds were hatching chicks, lambs were being born, flowers were blooming, and fruit trees were budding. And rabbits--bunnies, like me--were having lots and lots of brand new babies! So, the Pagans made me the symbol of new life.

That was my beginning. Once the Pagans learned about Jesus and His Resurrection, of course, they didn't celebrate their Spring festivals for pagan gods. They turned all their traditions into a celebration for Jesus! Even the Easter egg is for Jesus. It is also a symbol of new life, like me!

I hope this answers your question. I have been all over the world and have seen many, many children celebrate the Resurrection. It is a wonderful time of year. Enjoy yourself today. I hope you like what I picked out for you. I am very happy to know you and Max.

The Easter Bunny 

May your Holy Week be blessed as you await the Resurrection of Our Loving Savior. God bless!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Prayer for Our Nation Today

If your heart is heavy today when you think of the state of our beautiful nation, take your worries to
our Loving Savior.

Lord, protect us from all anxieties.

Romans 12:21
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

Prayer for 

National Morality

Father, I know that the spirit of the world creeps into the body of Christ almost unawares sometimes, and before we know it, we can easily be led astray and caught up in worldly actions (at times so subtly we don’t even recognize what has happened to us).

So in the name of Jesus, I pray that You would raise up a voice in our nation that would rally the body of Christ and cause us to become the standard bearers to such a degree that we would profoundly affect the morality of our nation.

Scripture readings:

Proverbs 26:2

Luke 3:4-6

Romans 12:21

Isaiah 49:22

prayer and suggested scripture from
Prayer for Our Nation: Scriptural Prayers to Revive Our Country (Harrison House)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

St. Joseph: The Greatest of All Earthly Fathers

What a tender sight to see: Our Lord, a little boy, leaning his head on his daddy’s chest. Do you remember your little ones doing the same thing, with a sigh and a finger or two in the mouth? Our Dear Christ humbled himself to do this, too, to depend, trust, and love a sinner (who is like us). Here is God incarnate snuggling with his daddy.

Joseph of Nazareth was a sinner like us, conceived with original sin. He was not always a saint, but he was a good man. Early in scripture we see he is also merciful. Under Jewish law, he had every right to have our sweet Mary stoned, a bloody, humiliating, and very public death. But Joseph planned to divorce Mary quietly, to release her from their betrothal without this public display of justice that was rightfully his. Dear Joseph: a man of gentleness and compassion.

Imagine the challenges this simple and good carpenter faced raising his family—all of Herod’s troops after him, his wife, and tiny babe. Have you ever looked on a map to see just how far he and Mary and the Infant Jesus traveled to Egypt, crossing the Sinai Desert? Could you do it?

I’m remembering a trip we made to Vermont (in the comforts of a car, of course) when our youngest was just eighteen months old. At first, he slept soundly. Then, as we got onto the highway in the middle of nowhere, he awoke and cried a blustery, “Apple juice! Apple juice!” We had no apple juice, and nothing else would do. For three hours, the wee one wailed in our ears. We thought he would tire out and fall back to sleep; who wouldn’t after expending so much energy? But he didn’t give up. Oh, our heads ached! His father and I were completed frazzled and exhausted.

No soldiers were after us. The car provided the proper environmental controls. We were speeding along, obviously much faster than a donkey. Ah, yes, the comforts of modern life... and we barely made it!

In my opinion, Joseph was indeed as complete a follower of his Father in Heaven as Mary, Mother of God. When it was revealed to him in a dream that the child Mary carried in her womb was conceived by the Holy Spirit, he didn’t doubt. He married Mary. When it was revealed to him that he must take his family to Egypt, he quickly prepared and set off. He didn’t ask how, which way, for how long, or how would I support my family in a strange land; he just did it. God guided him to solve those problems--and they were big problems.

We are called to do this as well. When we visit the tabernacle, or attend Adoration, or receive Holy Communion, we must realize that the Lord is calling us to do His will. Leave the worries with Christ, and he will give us emotional strength, all the while planning a physical solution, too. We just need to follow. St. Joseph, through his actions, prayerful devotion, and love for his family, is a perfect example of this.

But you might say, “Hey, I’m not a saint. I don’t have dreams during which God sends a message to me.” No, and you’re not the foster father of Jesus, a tiny infant who needed to be protected from the wrath of Herod the Great. If you are ever put in this position, perhaps you will have those dreams, too.

But remember, Joseph wasn’t a saint, either. It was his journey with God that made him the wonderful saint we know today. He wasn’t born this way. And he was not divine in any way. Just like us, he had his own personality, too, that I’m sure he had to wrestle with. I often wonder: Was he soft spoken? Strong willed? Did he have a great sense of humor? Or more serious? An introvert? Extrovert? Did everyone know and love him? Or was he more quiet, working more or less “behind the scenes” of Nazareth’s daily rhythms?

Whatever traits he possessed, he used them for the completion of the Will of his Holy Father in Heaven. He gave all to protect Mary and her unborn child. Can you imagine what some of his friends and elders might have thought or said? “What? You married her? Are you kidding? That kind of girl should be stoned. Joseph, you missed your chance to do the right thing! You blew it.” Of course, this is from my imagination. You won’t find this in scripture, but we can make a pretty good guess at what sort of struggles Joseph faced.

Our Catholic devotion to dear St. Joseph is clearly right. He is a great inspiration to all families, and it’s my hope that fathers in our time will turn to this great man, this man of Yes, for guidance.

Spend time each day to thank St. Joseph for his protection of Our Lord and Blessed Mother. Ask him to pray for you and to take your prayers, hopes, and desires to his dear child, Jesus Christ. Over the years, Joseph learned how to become a great provider and protector. He can provide for you, too, through his great example. Mother Angelic said, “We are all called to be great saints. Don’t miss the opportunity.” St. Joseph is your great advocate. He’d be delighted to hear from you and help you.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ , Our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls—Pray for me.

A note about this prayer: This St. Joseph prayer was found in 50 A.D.. In 1505, the Pope sent it to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle.  It was given to me by a distant relative, name Marion. My great-grandfather was her uncle. Her Uncle Joe. He handed this prayer card to everyone he met. His was a loving man and very devoted to St. Joseph. This prayer was a great comfort to me during some difficult times, and I do believe it was this prayer that gave my husband the strength he very much needed at the time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Come, Let Us Adore Him!

(Photo source:

by Kathleen Blease

During this Lenten season, Catholic parishes throughout the world are encouraged to make available Eucharistic Adoration. In fact, I just attended an Adoration last night. But this was an unusual one. Usually, Adoration is done in complete silence. But this day, the bishop joined the teenagers in the diocese for a special Adoration that included song, reflections, and talks meant to encourage the youngsters to live out their appointed vocation.

I couldn't have imagined sitting before the Blessed Sacrament while singing along with a rock band; that is, until last night. Very new indeed. Yet, somehow it was also very appropriate. The band, called Catholic FX, made music that was sweetly prayerful and moving. I wish I could convey to you the beauty of the bishop's procession--his vestments, miter, and staff; the altar boys, the other priests in Lenten vestments, and the crucifix. The moravian tile under foot. The brass chandeliers overhead. The stainglass windows sparkling in the evening sun. The three hundred teens singing out their hearts, gently raising their voices. And all of us facing the altar; at center, the tabernacle, from which the Blessed Sacrament would emerge for our adoration.

But as I said, Eucharistic Adoration is usually attended in complete silence, without such splendor. Its peace and the presence of Christ is what is magnificent. George Sipe, from Convert Journal, wrote an excellent post explaining the basics of Adoration. Click here to read his entire post. It would be worthwhile for all us Catholics (perhaps especially cradle Catholics) to give it a read.

But I'd like to share with you George's personal experience at Adoration, beginning with his getting out of bed in the middle of the night to take his post. Please note his phrases, such as: prayer felt deeper, and more personal than usual, as well as express myself and discern guidance.

 His experience in his words:

The guys at my Mens Fellowship table have signed up for Thursday mornings from 3:00am to 4:00am. Some have the honor regularly while others may offer as needed. Since one of the Lenten suggestions is increased prayer, I signed up for yesterday morning (my first time).

I went to bed early but it was still a small struggle to wake up at 2:20am! There was a very light rain, but virtually no traffic so the trip took little time. Outside the adoration chapel is a large sign reminding passers-by of adoration and asking for silence. A table holds a log book for guardians which I signed.

Inside the door are holy water fonts and sufficient space to genuflect before taking a seat (the chapel seats up to 35). There were 3 other people there when I arrived. Two, including Trish whom I know, were covering the prior hour and left after a while. The chapel itself is small, very quiet, beautifully designed and appointed.

For a few minutes I just took it all in, rested and focused. It is very peaceful and easy to pray. Without rush or distractions, and in the close presence of our Lord, prayer felt deeper and more personal than usual. It was easier to both express myself and to discern guidance.

After praying, I read a short article on the Luminous Mysteries (The "Mysteries of Light" introduced by Pope John Paul II in 2002). Then, surprisingly, it was 4:00am. It is always amazing to me how fast time passes when praying and studying.

Tony had arrived for an hour he was covering by then, so I left and returned home. The clock read 4:30am when I turned the light off – about two hours after waking up. As I again laid in bed, in the darkness, I suddenly sensed a taste in my mouth. I recognized it as the faint taste of communion wine. Non-believers have all manner of ways to dismiss such, but I believe God speaks to, and encourages us, in many ways.

Of course, I was moved to discuss Adoration with George via email, and I asked him if he wouldn't mind sharing his emails with us. George, thank you. Here, below is our quick discussion, starting with the comment I left on George's post.

Kathleen wrote:
When my nonCatholic husband and I visited Rome, my husband was struck by the beautiful devotion of the Adoration, which is readily observed and made available there. It was the first time I could see the beauty through someone else's eyes. I didn't take Adoration for granted, but I had become accustomed to the fact that our Lord was waiting for us and longing for our presence. However, I was deeply moved by how much it deeply moved my husband. A man who wasn't raised in a faith, he saw immediately the intimacy and grace of the Adoration. Beautiful and powerful. Thank you for this terrific post.

George replied:
Thank you Kathleen, that is a wonderful and humbling story. We are so fortunate.

I know some parishes do not have adoration. I suppose it has something to do with size or perhaps having an appropriate chapel. I sense in some cases there may be a feeling of adoration being (bizarrely) "too Catholic".

One thing that struck me was a thread in the Catholic Answers Forum discussing significant issues someone had in their local parish. The parish was taking certain liberties in Mass they should not have to apparently further a certain agenda. A suggestion offered by many was to find another parish. Specifically any parish that offered adoration would be probably be a safe bet in that area. I am not certain what to make of that but it is interesting.

Thinking about it, adoration is an opportunity to more fully live and experience our faith.

Kathleen wrote:
It's been my experience that many parishes don't have adoration simply because the parishioners are reluctant to sign up for sitting with our Lord during the night. Even if the pastor and the parish council are willing and enthusiastic, they still need help, which often doesn't come. I encourage people to visit the tabernacle as often as they can. While many churches need to remain locked, others have figured out ways to let parishioners into the sanctuary so they can spend time with the Lord. At my parish, for instance, the parish center has a security entry (you have to buzz to get in) which is also connected to the sanctuary. Secretaries will let you in anytime between 8:00-4:30.

Even though visiting the tabernacle is not the same, since we cannot gaze upon the invisible Lord, we are still in our Lord's presence. I don't think people take advantage of this enough. Even after Mass, people leave DURING the recessional hymn, making a B-line for the door so they can be the first one out of the parking lot. If they only knew that our precious Lord is right there waiting for them to notice Him. They need only look to the tabernacle.

George, I can't tell you how moving those moments in front of the tabernacle have been for me. One day, I sat in silence when I felt this profound presence. I looked up at the tabernacle, and there was my Lord right in front of me. I was astounded. It's hard to explain, but something tells me you would understand. You see, I didn't see him with my eyes. I saw him in detail with my heart. Beautiful and overwhelming. I couldn't move. I didn't know what to do. I only felt this profound joy. Eventually, though, I had to leave, and it felt so odd to walk out into the sunlight and the traffic and my schedule again. But then I remembered that that is what we are called to do. When I met with my husband later that day, he said, "I can tell you went to Mass today." I didn't make it to Mass, but he could tell something moved me--again. It was a special moment that remains unique to me. It will probably remain a singular moment, but I am thankful for it!

Many times, I've taken all my worries, frustrations, and anxieties to the tabernacle and offered to leave them with the Lord. And He gave me a temporary emotional relief, all the while He was also preparing to deliver the physical relief, too. We need only ask and seek.

Let's keep encouraging all our readers to spend time with our Lord at the tabernacle. Before Mass. After Mass. During the week. Let's tell them: Don't be in such a rush!!

Thanks for all you're doing, George. I love your blog. It's reminding me all the beauty that fills our hearts when we first gaze upon our Lord and embrace His Holy Church. Even us cradle Catholics have those moments of first realizations of the Truth (a true conversion that takes place in the heart), and they are good to revisit! Thanks for giving us the opportunity.

If you have the opportunity to attend Adoration, please make every effort. If not, the tabernacle can reveal our Lord to you, too. You need only take a few moments to see His guidance and enjoy the discernment that awaits you there! God bless.

Busy, Busy Bee!

Here's something I think you might like. It's been long known that the bee population has been declining, and we depend on them for our crops. Would you like to be a citizen scientist this summer? At The Great Sunflower Project, you can help determine what's happening to these busy and necessary workers. Grow the sunflowers, or others flowers the Project lists, and count bees for just 15 minutes per day. The Project will send you the seeds. It doesn't matter if you live in a city, a suburb, or out in the country. Plants in fields. Plants in pots. Plants on balconies. Plants on patio. They are all important to the count. What a great project for you and your kids! Click here to learn more and sign up!

Thanks to homeschooling moms DeDe and Laurel for bringing this to our attention.

God bless.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Big Heaven, Small Government

by Kathleen Blease

Last year, we over paid the State of Pennsylvania tax by about twenty dollars. Not only did the State keep the twenty bucks, but it also penalized us another fifty. Imagine getting THAT notice in the mail: You gave us too much money, so now you have to give us more! Amazing but true. You did indeed read that correctly: we were penalized for over paying. Tax collectors never change. Jesus knew them well, too. And he loved them dearly as His Father's children.

Well, Our Dear Lord’s advice to the Pharisees and the Herodians comes to mind (Mark 12:13-17): Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. Thank goodness, we can look to Heaven for our afterlife and to guide us in this life. Thank goodness, Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen to open the gates of Heaven, to relieve our souls of our misdeeds, to guide us to true love and happiness. I can’t help but think about the ancient pagans who believed their rulers to be demigods. Oh my, imagine if our idea of a heavenly afterlife were based on serving the government. I think if my only hope for an afterlife were with the State of Pennsylvania, I would prefer to remain six feet under!

So as we struggle with this world, I, for one, will keep my eyes on the Kingdom of Heaven. Despite the frustrations of this life, I’ll rejoice in how Our Lord conquered all by conquering death. Even a powerful empire couldn’t hold Him down, the government who condemned Him in their faulty and obscured wisdom. In fact, it was this empire that was crushed, and out of its ashes grew the holy seat of the Vatican.

As the government slips its hands into my shallow pocketbook, I’ll be diving deep into the depths of our Catholic Truth. While the government plans to grow, I plan to lose myself and make myself smaller so Christ will be my refuge.

So I will give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. And surely—surely!—I will give to God what is God’s.

God bless.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daily Mass Readings and Reflections

I've added a new feature to Kathleen's Catholic. In the right column, you will find this little box.

(You can click on the box here, too, to try it out.)
Click on it for the daily readings and reflections, based on the Catholic Liturgical calendar. You can opt to listen or read; all professionally produced and easy to follow. Dig deep into our rich Catholic faith.

God bless.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Princess and The Pack Mule or Why I Home School

It's that time of year for homeschooling moms--when the yellow bus lumbering down the neighborhood street is looking pretty inviting. For some reason, March is the month when most moms want to throw in the towel. Let's face it: In this lifestyle of educating at home, you and your wee-ones are waging a countercultural war, one that's being fought both inside and out. I know you know what I mean. Yes, it can all get a bit tiring. And as Catholic homeschoolers, the burden can feel a little extra heavy at times. But fear not! Click here to visit The Totus Tuus family blog for a healthy check on your perspective and read The Princess and The Pack Mule or Why I Home School by Denise Mira of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Enjoy and God bless.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Kind of Spouse Are You?

by Kathleen Blease

During this special season of waiting and preparation, I'd like to revisit a post I ran when I first started the blog. I wrote it in answer to many loved ones who find worshipping unnecessary and, in their minds, simply a manmade act and, even, a  choice in lifestyle--take it or leave it, whatever feels good. Yet, they are leaving behind their very nature. That is, our Lord specifically created us to be close to Him to receive His love, which goes beyond any human measure. His reaction toward us is certainly opposite the take-it-or-leave-it stance many of our friends and family accept and nurture. Many folks are happy to walk away from Our Lord. I wonder: What would happen if He walked away from us? Here is What Kind of Spouse Are You? God bless.

Why do we worship? Good question. It’s a very good question.

Answer: Because God loves us no matter what.

Someone might argue with you in this way:

“Exactly. So why bother worshipping? Look, if God’s going to love me so deeply, so compassionately no matter what I do, then why can’t I do whatever I want? He'll love me anyway. Why do I have to go to church on Sunday? So God gave us the commandment: Keep Holy the Lord’s Day, right? If I break that commandment, so what? God’s gonna love me no matter what. So why bother?”

Well, that’s right. God will love us even if we don’t go to church on Sunday. God will love us even if we don’t pray or speak to Him. He cares for us because we are His creation. And that alone should spur us to want to please Him. Deep down, we want to please our parents; they brought us into this world.

God, our Creator, is our Father in Heaven and loves us much more than any parent could. If you can visualize the very best parent in the whole wide world, what would be the most perfect parent? Of course, there is no such thing. There are wonderful parents, terrific parents: I have two of them. But there’s no perfect parent. But even if you could visualize that, God is way beyond. Okay, so why do we worship?

Let me give you a little exercise. It won't take long, just use your imagination.

Pretend you have a spouse and you love that spouse beyond anything in the world. Anything. You do anything. Be anything. No matter what that spouse does, you forgive. You’re the one assigned to take care of that spouse, to share your life. You cook. You clean. The home is beautiful. Simple but beautiful. Meals are delicious. All the laundry is done, folded and put away. Beds are made. And everything is dusted and cleaned. Your spouse comes home grumpy and you have a smile. Your spouse wants something to drink and you’re there with it. Whatever your spouse needs you will give. In fact, you would give your life for your spouse. And the words “I love you” you can see because you show it. You don’t just say it. You show it. No doubt that you deeply love your spouse.

Now, that’s you. You’re doing a wonderful job loving! Let’s talk about your spouse.

Your spouse doesn’t talk to you. Doesn’t do anything for you. Doesn’t mention your name, not once, doesn’t call you by name, doesn’t even tell friends about you. They don’t even know you exist! Or even know you two are married. You are simply just...there. It’s a pretty lonely life. It’s a heartbreaking life.

But, no matter what, you continue to pray that someday your spouse’s heart will be open and there will be room for you. And the joy that you have been bringing to your spouse all those years will be noticed and appreciated. Your spouse will show gratitude, and just delight you with delight in that. It would be very pleasing to you. It would lift you. But that day hasn’t come. Your spouse ignores you. You don’t even hear your own name. What a way to live! What marriage would survive that? I know I wouldn't survive!

Yet that’s what happens to God every day. He gave us everything. He gave you you. He knitted you in your mother’s womb. He carefully crafted each and every person on this earth. He gave you your soul, so you will have the opportunity of everlasting life. And He gave you a choice along with a freedom of choice--to be with him or not to be with him--without fear of His anger or rejection. And whatever choice you make, He is still waiting for you!

So are you going to be the spouse who never speaks His name? Who never does anything for Him? You might be wondering, “What can I do for God? He has everything. He’s GOD!! He doesn’t need me.”

Ah, well. That’s why He sent Jesus. The more we can do for God, the more we can understand Him, and the more likely we can spend eternity with Him. You can’t really be with somebody unless you are with that body, as one. And that’s what Jesus does of us. The Lord told us exactly what to do. And showed us exactly what to do. His Passion, His Crucifixion was love in its entirety. It’s the first time that human beings saw love in its completeness. It changed the world. It changed mankind for a reason: Because it was complete.

The Father in Heaven designed all this for us. Jesus was one hundred percent human and one hundred percent divine. And his crucifixion was excruciating, yet he was purely innocent in everything. People might wonder, Why didn’t He just come down from the cross? He would have saved Himself a lot of trouble. (I used to ask the same question when I was a kid, and one of the thieves asked Him that, too.) He didn’t need to come down from the cross, because He had already conquered death, and now He was showing us how to live. By suffering and dying on the cross the way He did, He was showing us how to live. In a complete love.

So....What kind of spouse are you?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Proud Mama Moment

Okay, everyone, I can't help but be a little proud. My son loves to draw. Even when he was little, he spent hours with his drawing pad. Now, he's completed his second comic book, called Star Wars: The Elites. This is a collaboration with his best friend: Eli writes the plot, and Ben draws. The book has already won an award at a local homeschooling educational fair.  The boys have begun their own blog by the same name, all on their own. Click here to check it out. Well done, kiddos!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mr. Spock Would Make a Great Catholic

You can't go through the rest of your day without seeing this! Visit Acts of the Apostasy and scroll down until you see the Star Ship Enterprise and Kirk. I'm an old fan of Star Trek. Who isn't? I love this. My husband loves this. Our boys love this. You're going to love's only logical!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Love Letters from Heaven

The beauty of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Creation of His Heavenly Father, is all around--a real love letter from Heaven. You are deeply, deeply loved! Take a peek at what's been given to you.

photos copyrighted by Roger L. Blease


in the orchard

pocono mountains

honey bun and friends

a boy and his cat

frost on the window magnified

from the orchard to spiced jelly

God bless!

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