Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Doctrinal Quiz Show!! What did Christ's Sacrifice do?

Longtime readers of the Bubble will recognize this feature from waaaaay back! We haven't had a Doctrinal Quiz Show in years, but recent conversations made me want to revive it. So, here we go!

Growing up poorly catechized, I was never taught (or maybe never thought about) exactly what was the effect or result of Jesus' Death and Resurrection? Meaning, I knew that "He died to save us from our sins", but what exactly did that mean? How were things different for humanity after His Sacrifice? After He accomplished our redemption, what specifically changed for mankind?

Give me your best answer in the comments, and please remember the rules: 

NO cheating, googling, researching, looking at other answers before writing yours, etc.

I want to hear it straight from your brain to your keyboard, and don't be embarrassed to be wrong.

Okay... GO!

(And to those new to this, I will give the answer and some "prizes" on the next post!)


In other news: If you are a high school or college student at a Catholic school (or if you know someone who is) I will be speaking in Reston, Virginia at Young America's Foundation in early April, and I would love to see you there! For more information on this incredible weekend, click here:

I spoke in November as well and it's a fantastic program!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

YEE-HAW!!! He Is Risen! Alleluia!

This is it, guys! There is nothing else, and no other hope. This is the be-all and end-all. Nothing tops this, nothing gets better than this.

There is nothing, nothing, NOTHING better than Easter. And it is all true. Every word. It happened. It's not a lie, a fantasy, a fable, an exaggeration.


Noel Coypel, The Resurrection of Christ

It seems a perfect time to point out that Jesus' greatest enemy was never Satan. After all, He created Satan and can flick him away like a pesky fly. Rather, death was His greatest enemy, and death had to be defeated. We note two instances when Christ was greatly disturbed interiorly: When in the presence of the death of His friend Lazarus (Jesus wept, even though He knew He was about to raise Lazarus), and then in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He faced His own torture and death. Death is the wages of our sin. Death is what we deserve. But it is not what God desires for us. He loves us so dearly that, though innocent, He laid down His very life to save us from sin and death. The only ones who cannot escape the wages of sin and will not share in Christ's triumph over death are the ones who do not wish to, who willfully cling to their sins until death comes for them. Until our dying breath, we all are welcome, we all are invited to share in Christ's glorious Resurrection and have eternal life.**

This glorious Easter Day, the Feast of the Resurrection, is the holiest and most joyful feast day of the Church year. Jesus Christ truly rose, bodily, from the dead, and by doing so He defeated the enemy, death, forever!

He is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen! (Don't you all feel like jumping for joy??!)

Luke 24:1-12

At daybreak on the first day of the week
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.

They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”

And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.

The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb,
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.

** A big hat tip to my priest, Fr. John Ehrich, whose recent homily I summarized in this paragraph.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday Meditations

On Good Fridays past, that one day a year when no masses are celebrated, and all the Tabernacles of the world stand empty and dark, I have posted stunning meditations from Venerable Fulton Sheen's 1940 radio address

This year, I offer a mediation by Archbishop Sheen, on video, from 1965. If you are unable to watch the entire talk, don't miss the story he tells of a dying, hateful man, beginning around the 40:00 mark:

Also, consider listening to Dr. Peter Auriemma, a physician and a deacon at my parish, who gives a detailed description of what Our Lord would have suffered during His Passion and Death -- from a medical perspective. Deacon Peter has been speaking on this subject since the 1980s, and you'll come away with a more profound understanding of precisely what Jesus experienced and endured in his human body in order to save us from our sins (the medical discussion begins at around the 10:00 mark):

There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us. And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection. This is our faith. This is our witness before the world. – St. John Paul II

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bishop Barron on Palm Sunday

We are entering Holy Week of the liturgical year. Everything  in salvation history is about to culminate! Jesus Christ makes His entrance into Jerusalem, hailed as a king, just days before his arrest, mock trial, torture, and death.

Let's learn from Bishop Barron about what this day, Palm Sunday, means:

Also, a written reflection:  Palm Sunday -- A King and a Donkey

God bless you all on this Holy Day!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Let's talk about suffering

I wrote this observation on my Facebook page to mixed reviews among faithful Catholics (some loved it, some thought it was insensitive, more an accusation than an observation):

"I am stunned at how often Christians wish to throw off and avoid their crosses and sufferings, considering how often Christ told us we would and must suffer on this earth. I think it's an American thing."

A non-Christian friend thought the whole thing was interesting and suggested writing about it on the Bubble. I think that is a good idea.

We already discussed redemptive suffering here, something that even most Christians have never heard of. And I wrote of how the worst suffering in my life so far brought me the most peace I've known (I am not saying I will do well next time suffering comes, but that's where it stands right now).

And I've mentioned before that abandonment to God, no matter what He sends our way, is the only way to peace and joy, according to Jesus (who insisted we must suffer with Him) and the saints. Total death to our own wills, total surrender to His.

This passage from my favorite book is so powerful to me -- it was like a lightbulb going off in my head, and it might be powerful and helpful to some of you as well:

This understanding, and this spiritual principle of surrender, or total abandonment, has helped me immeasurably in my journey. I believe to my core that it is the key to the peace and joy that our loving Father wants for us. I want to share it with everyone, because there is so much suffering all around us, and so much fear and anxiety

If this discussion might be of any help to someone who is suffering, it's worth having. Let's talk. 


A great means to preserve continual peace and tranquility of soul is to receive everything from the hands of God, both great and small, and in whatever way it comes.
--St. Dorotheus

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Let's lighten it up!

Things have been heavy lately, so....

Let's have a little fun! 

Here are some ideas of things I'd love to hear from you. Pick one, a few, or all, it's up to you!

How is your Lent going? 

What are you reading these days?

What are your hobbies?

What do you do for a living? (That was one of the most fascinating Just Curious posts we've had! I tried to link it here, but I can't find it!)

How did you find the Bubble?

What is something funny you can tell us about yourself?

What would we be surprised to know about you?

Have you had any brushes with fame? 

What is your greatest spiritual breakthrough?

What was the most life-changing thing you ever did, or read?

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

Tell us your funniest joke!

Gosh, and anything else you want to put out there, please do.

I will allow anonymous comments for now, as long as everyone behaves! 

Okay, go!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Planned Parenthood video tutorials teach your teens how to negotiate sex.


I wasn't going to post this because it makes me physically ill. I have ruminated on it for a couple of days and decided to go ahead, because we need to be aware of what Planned Parenthood is up to when it's not killing thousands of children a day -- namely, corrupting the rest of them.

Normally, I would embed the video right in the post so you could click it and watch immediately, but I don't want to do it. I just can't have it on my blog. So, I am simply providing a link and a warning that you will be (should be!) greatly disturbed, even as Planned Parenthood and the secular left is quite proud of these "educational videos":

These videos are important, you see, because, as we all, know, our young people "need" to have the "skills" to "communicate" and "negotiate" recreational sex. And Planned Parenthood is just the organization to do that. Thankfully they get half a billion dollars of our tax money every year to be able to put out quality material such as this! 

And please note that two out of the three examples of "enthusiastic consent" are homosexual encounters. No agenda there, of course. 

Please, any "progressives" out there reading this: Are you okay with this? And tell me, I beg you, where are we "progressing" to

Lord, have mercy.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Are you in a troubled marriage? Another woman who saved her marriage in five minutes.

I have written almost 700 posts on the Bubble, and I honestly can't remember the vast majority of them. But a handful stand out to me as truly important, truly life-changing, worthy of recommending again and again.

One of those posts is Women: Save your marriage. In five minutes. It prompted a follow-up post of testimonies from Bubble readers, was reposted by the Diocese of Omaha (that was such an honor!), and continues to generate interest, discussion, and page hits to this day. 

Recently, I received the following email from a young wife and mother who has graciously given me permission to publish it here (names and some identifying details have been changed). 

It is a powerful letter, and yet typical of the dramatic outcomes I have seen: Again and again, women discover how much power they have to change their marriages in one day -- even five minutes -- with one decision. I encourage any woman who is married to a generally decent man, but who is dissatisfied with her marriage, to read this letter from "Maria" and the original post

Dear Leila,

I just wanted to share how a post you wrote has drastically improved my marriage...and literally within 5 minutes just like you said!

John and I have three young children, including twin babies. :) We live 1.5 hours away from John's work. He's up at 5am, out the door at 6am, and home between 6:30pm-8pm. He doesn't get to see the kiddos much except for the weekends. I have a few friends here but certainly nothing like I had in our previous city, before our move. My community and friendships were so strong there, and here it's just in the beginning of growing. So I'm home alone a lot.

I love my children beyond words. I know the responsibility God has entrusted to us and oftentimes it's overwhelming. But in my alone time, I started to build a lot of resentment towards my husband. I was envious of his alone time in the car ride to and from work. No kids crying or whining or screaming. He can have a lunch break, bathroom break all to himself all day long! He can have adult conversations.

And so I really began to lash out in a passive aggressive way and get very, very upset when he came home late and I had to do bedtime by myself...which is the norm these days. I do the night feedings since he has such an early drive, and so I'm just plain tired. I know this hasn't helped anything.

So John would come home and tell me about his desires to go to the gym on the weekends since he hasn't gone since before we married. He shared how he misses riding his bike on the mountains and how he really needs to get the garage cleaned up. And I got so angry. Doesn't he want to spend every free second he has with me and the kids? Doesn't he think I might want to go to the gym? Or anywhere just by myself?

And we got into many many arguments. Ugly, angry, full of resentment and misunderstanding. He felt like was walking on eggshells around me because any free moment he had I expected him to be helping me with the kids or just being by my side.

But I nagged at how he took care of the kids and got frustrated when he didn't follow the exact way I did things. As I type this I am so embarrassed. I also put a lot of pressure on him to find time for us to have a prayer life and he felt so forced. Not that he didn't want to have it, but it was the way I was going about it. He kept telling me, and has for years, that he feels unfulfilled. That killed me and made me angry. Am I not enough? Are our kids not enough? And I would really lay on the guilt.

Well this weekend all these feelings that have been building up in both of us culminated into an epic fight. He told me he feels like he isn't a man...that's he's stifled and controlled. All he wants is a little freedom to exercise and do manly stuff around the house, and I give him guilt trips every time, so he ends up not doing those things, and resentment builds, and now he just can't do it anymore. And then I laid into him how ungrateful he is for all my hard work, yadda, yadda.

And I came downstairs and cried and prayed to Mary for guidance. And then I googled "how to be a supportive wife Catholic"....and your blog was the first link that popped up. I read it and immediately gulped. A real gut punch was dealt to me. And man, did I need it. I am not a controlling, bitter, nagging woman but that's exactly what I had become. John has patiently given into my guilt trips and demands over and over, but he had had enough and was putting his foot down. My mentality was backwards and I was afraid. I was afraid that if I supported him in late nights, gym, weekend bike rides that I would never see him and I would be all alone on the weekends now, too. So I tried to control him. I have ordered the book [note: It also can be checked out at the library] and cannot wait to read it.

After your blog, I ran upstairs and grabbed his face and looked him deeply in the eyes and apologized for turning into a woman he did not recognize and for not being supportive or appreciative. I was so self-centered and focused on my own insecurities that I had neglected to see how exhausted he is, how he hates his drive, hates his job, but is not given any other option than to stay for the time being because of our lifestyle and his pension, how he misses the kids terribly and feels guilt for not seeing them more, how he feels misunderstood by his own wife and how he is craving to get in shape and be healthy and I refuse to let him because it's time away from us.

I got it...my mentality was backwards and in a moment I understood that if I support him, give him space to work out, ride his bike, work on the garage or yard, etc., he will come back to me fulfilled, and all my desires of meeting my needs will be met, and he will be running at the chance to shower me with attention because he will be fulfilled.

So yesterday, he went for a swim and worked on the garage all day. I didn't complain once. I was joyful and focused on the babes and taking care of our home. He would come in and love on the kids and bring Gemma outside with him for a bit and then get back to work. When he finished at the end of day, he grabbed my hand and led me to our couch and said "let's pray baby". He asked! Instead of me asking him to lead! He led on his own. And we had such a beautiful prayer time. After dinner he cleaned up all the dishes! That never happened before without me nagging. He was so loving and complimentary of me and he snuggled with me and told me how grateful he was for today. We both went to bed with peaceful hearts and I am so grateful.

I'm going to do whatever it takes to stay in this mentality because it works! He truly was a different man after I changed my mentality and actions! It was incredible.

Please pray for me to have strength. If you have any advice for finding more joy in my role as a stay at home mommy please please share. You have a plethora of experience and I am only just beginning. God bless you, your family and the work you are doing for Jesus and our Catholic faith.


Very few things bring tears to my eyes, but this hopeful letter did! When I asked Maria if I could use her story, she was very happy to agree, and as some time had elapsed since her first note, she added this:

Things are still going really, really well. It almost feels like when we were first dating and married, but with 3 little ones all around! He is SO stinking happy and this just makes me want to shout for joy. And you know what? He has only stayed at work late ONCE since last week...that seriously never, ever, ever happened. So it truly goes to show he was trying to avoid coming home to a nagging unhappy wife :( And now that I'm supportive and joy filled he wants to be here more. Man...it's just that simple.

Yes, I promise that I will absolutely share this truth with any woman that crosses my path with these issues. I have already shared it with one dear friend. Hopefully she will find as much help as I have.

Thank you again...truly. I'm sending you a big hug :)

Only blessings,

And as if to confirm that I needed to print this letter today, a commenter named Michelle wrote the following just this morning on my reversion story, as an aside to her main comment:

"...I want to thank you profusely for the recommendation to read Dr. Laura's book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. I love it. I'm just trying to contain my excitement in trying to get every other woman in the world to read it!"

You and me both, sister!!

Let us pray for marriage, the fount of life and the foundation of society, which is in such crisis and yet needn't be.