Be sure to read to the end, where there'll be a payoff for some lucky reader….
1) A while back I received the coolest email from a lovely teen girl:
My name is Maddi, I'm the 16-year-old daughter of Ellyn. (She emailed you a while back asking if you could direct her to specific points that would be easy teachings for me.) Now, as a part of my home school curriculum, I read a "Little Teaching" every morning.
I just wanted to thank you, first of all, for emailing my mom back with the links. Also, for writing these lovely lessons. They're easy to understand, and I really do enjoy them. I find it a good way to grow closer to God during Lent by learning more about Him, and why He does what He does for me! Every time I read one, or two :) , I feel more of God's love. Especially reading those about sin, and our freedom God gave us.
I could rant-on some more, but I'll keep this short...!
That got me thinking that the Little Teachings and some of the other posts would be good for parents to use with their teens, to nail down the basics of the Faith.
So, I recently added a new tab to the top of my blog, called "Little Teachings". Not only does it contain the past LT posts, but also the "What I Never Learned in CCD" posts, and the answers to the Doctrinal Quiz Shows. I may throw in a few more past links if I find them, and I will certainly add more as I write them, but at least now they're all in one place. Let me know what you think. (By the way, I think they are good for adults, too!)
2) I just like these (facebook is good for something besides sucking my life away)...
That last line says: "Regardless of whether they are born, unborn, big, small, black, white, weak, strong, wealthy, poor, planned, unplanned, wanted or not."
(And yes, I am mortified to discover typos in my posts and even in my comments. Sometimes my fuzzy brain or tendency to rush overtakes even my grammar nazi-ness. But please know that I never condone my own grammatical errors; I am properly appalled and ashamed whenever they occur, and I apologize for letting other grammar nazis down.)
3) Okay, the weirdest thing! I saw a huge increase in my stats this week, and I noticed that I've had almost 2,000 hits in the past few days on this post that ran last October:
(And many hits on this related post as well.)
I can tell that the readers were coming from a reprint of the same article on LifeSiteNews, which ended up as one of the top ten most-read articles on their site in 2011 (how nice that a list of all my faults was so widely read -- yay for humility!). But the posts have been dormant for months. So it's intriguing to me that suddenly this week a wave of folks were sent to that LifeSite article from…somewhere, and then a boatload of those folks made their way here. The point I'm trying to get to is that I don't know what the original source was! Do any of you know?? I am just so curious who or what could generate this kind of interest in an old post!
4) Finally saw October Baby! Whoa… that was a powerful ending and the most powerful part of all came during the credits. Really worth your time.
5) So maybe you all heard the news reports that the big, bad Vatican meanies are bringing the hammer down on the sweet little nuns of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)? Well, before you feel all sorry for the ladies, please take a gander at this:
Yes, it should shock you -- if you haven't been plugged into the shenanigans of that group before.
Now, this stuff has been festering for decades, and the real story is not how the heavy hand of the hierarchy "suddenly" came down on the sisters, but rather how the Church moves so dang slowly in these matters of scandal and dissent, giving the sisters decades to conform their religious orders to the teachings of Church that they profess to serve.
Think of it this way: An organization of vegans decides, after many decades and many warnings, to crack down on a group of its members who insist upon eating meat every day, proudly and loudly, while still proclaiming themselves vegans. Everyone in the world would see that action by the vegan hierarchy as just, and would wonder what took them so long. The press would report it accurately, as well.
If only the same consideration would be given to the Vatican.
If it worked for Malcolm, it can work for Beau. Check out this sweet angel and just try to resist him (be sure to watch at least to the point where you see him walking -- such a good boy!):
Go here for more info on Beau. (I am his Guardian Angel, which means that I am committed to praying for him and advocating for him until he finds a home.)
7) Considering the debt I owe to the infertile Catholic blog community, I am thrilled to be today's stop on the blog book tour for The Infertility Companion for Catholics, written by Angelique Ruhi-López and Carmen Santamaría.
In the authors' own words:
Spiritual healing, encouraging hope and a new perspective: these are what we hope people will experience when reading The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples. We co-authored this book because we know first-hand the struggles inherent in the infertility journey and wanted to provide a companion book for the journey, one that, as our preface says, “you can consult and rely on when you need to be challenged, encouraged, and understood.” The book provides moral and spiritual support as well as guidance on the many options that infertile couples face and how to make necessary choices while remaining faithful to the teachings of the magisterium. “Its purpose is to give voice to the reality of infertility among those who seek to live as faithful Catholics.”
In addition to the spiritual and practical support provided toward the middle and end of the book, the first four chapters lay the ground work of what the Church teaches on infertility and why the Church only has our best interests in mind. Here is an excerpt from the chapter entitled, “What Does the Catholic Church Have to Do with Infertility?”
God doesn’t only work through us and what we think. He uses our friends and family as well as the Church to speak to us. The scriptures tell us, “Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts” (Ps 95:7–8). We know how hard it can be to see the truth in the Church’s teaching. The pain of infertility can be so profound it can cloud our vision and make us only focus on one goal—having a baby. But in the end, “what profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mk 8:36). With obedience, we can properly hear God’s voice as we walk along this infertility journey instead of allowing society to dictate our decisions.
This is particularly challenging when one considers all the competing voices in the world. We must know God well enough to recognize his voice above all others in the stirring of our consciences. God should first be our friend, as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said. The Lord is our Good Shepherd, and “the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers” (Jn 10:4–5). When reading Church teaching, we form our consciences and learn to recognize God’s loving voice. In a similar way, if we learn to recognize God’s voice and his promptings in our everyday life, we will be better equipped to hear his voice while navigating the confusing world of infertility treatments, instead of the voice of the stranger that we do not recognize. (…)
The Church is for us, not against us, when it comes to helping us walk this arduous path of infertility. The Church is our mother, and just as the loving parents we also desire to be, it seeks only our good. We need only open our minds and our hearts to understanding why it teaches as it does. Angelique explains her initial encounter with Church teaching on infertility treatment:Amen, ladies, and thank you for consolidating what Catholics need to know about dealing with infertility in this morally confused age.
I had always heard that the Church did not accept some infertility treatments, but before we were faced with infertility, I never knew why. I am an avid researcher by nature and as the months continued to pass without a positive pregnancy test, I began doing online searches on the Catholic Church and infertility. I don’t know what surprised me most about what I found: the wealth of Church materials on the subject or the fact that the information is not widely known. Initially, what I read overwhelmed me because of how profound it was; later, as I continued to read it and pray about it, that same material overwhelmed me because it made me realize God’s profound love for me.
I'm excited to say that I have a brand new copy of this book to give away! To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below stating that you would like the book. If you feel more comfortable remaining anonymous, please email me at littlecatholicbubble (at) gmail (dot) com.
But wait!! To sweeten the pot, I will give you two additional chances to win if you become a new subscriber to or official follower of my Orphan Report blog (be sure to let me know), and I will give you five additional chances to win if you donate in any amount to Malcolm's iPad giveaway, here. (Yes, I am still obsessed with the orphans, and I don't see that changing anytime soon, so y'all will have to live with it.)
I will pick a winner on Sunday night at random, yay!
Have a great weekend, and thanks to Jen for hosting!