Catholic Public Speaker and Inspirational Author: Embracing the virtues to live a happier life!

My True Treasure: My Mom and Dad

Treasure the presence

Today would have been my parent’s 73rd wedding anniversary. I truly treasure them! Yet, there’s not much to celebrate, today, because they both passed away about 18 years ago. I lost my dad in August 1999, and my mom died 26 weeks later, on February 17, 2000. Together for 55 years, I can’t tell you the number of times my mom would say, “I’m going to leave him.” Yet, she never did! Then after he passed away, my mom felt lost without my dad. She didn’t want to live any more without him. She easily succumbed to an illness, and before I could catch my breath regarding my dad’s passing, I lost my mom too.

It’s stunning how we Continue reading

Charlotte’s Honor – Book Review

Charlotte's HonorCharlotte’s Honor, by Ellen Gable, a sequel to Julia’s Gifts, is set in wartime Europe during the summer of 1918. Here, we find Charlotte Zielinski, working as a nurse at a field hospital in France. In Julia’s Gifts, Charlotte was a supporting character. Here in Charlotte’s Honor, we see Charlotte, with her hopes and dreams, take center stage along with the reality of war. The days are long, and the work is hard, but Charlotte finds solace tending to the dying, as each takes their last breaths. Someone needs to be by their sides, as no one should die alone.

As Charlotte tends to the dying, she meets young Dr. Paul Kilgallen. She’s smitten with him, Continue reading

The Distortion of All Hallowed Eve

All Hallowed EveHalloween is my least favorite holiday. I believe that it is a holiday that has become completely distorted from its original intent. Halloween comes from the phrase, All Hallowed Eve, denoting the eve of All Saints Day; a day where we honor those who have journeyed before us, who won the crown of Heaven.

In the 21st century, we now view October 31st as a day to trick or treat; to wear costumes hiding our real appearance and watch horror movies. I don’t like any of those things, as the root of how we spend the day is in glorifying evil. We do so by wearing fake blood with a fake hatchet sitting on top of our heads. Continue reading

Jesus’ Mercy Abounds – Even on the Sabbath

Jesus' MercyIn today’s Gospel from Luke 13:10-17, we see Jesus confronting synagogue leaders. They accuse Jesus of curing the sick on the Sabbath, as if that was a bad thing. Why? Because the leaders of the synagogue believe that such activity constitutes work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Therefore, they think Jesus violated Jewish law. They did not correlate Jesus’ action to Jesus’ mercy.

Jesus’ Mercy Abounds

With great hindsight, and two thousand years of scriptural interpretation, we can look at this passage, and quickly come to judgment that the synagogue leaders were wrong in their thought process. The mercy that Jesus bestowed upon the woman that day was an act of love for neighbor on Jesus’ part. Through Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Are You the Faithful and Prudent Steward?

Faithful and prudent stewardIn today’s Gospel, from Luke 12:39-48, we learn of the parable of the faithful and prudent steward. When the master is away, some stewards fulfill their responsibilities. The master deems such people as trustworthy and capable of performing more important tasks. Other servants use the opportunity to take advantage of their positions and treat the staff cruelly.

We can apply this parable to how we act in the workplace when the boss is away on business. How trustworthy are we to faithfully fulfill our responsibilities? If Jesus were standing in front of you now, would He be able to declare you as a faithful and prudent steward of the gifts He has given to you? He has blessed you with Continue reading

You are Not the Sum of Your Possessions

possessionsWe have all asked that proverbial question: Who am I? The answer can be telling. Do we describe ourselves by our profession (doctor, lawyer, banker, professor, etc.)? Perhaps we describe ourselves by our possessions, or lack thereof (rich, poor, educated, uneducated, etc.). Or, might we describe ourselves as a child of God, a loving spouse and parent, etc.? The answer you give to this question, and the basis upon which you draw your answer, shines a light on what you value. In today’s Gospel from Luke 12:13-21, Jesus wants to impart upon those listening that it is not the sum of your possessions that matter, but whether you value what matters to God.

The Sum of Your Possessions Do Not Continue reading

Sexual Sins, A Real Deterrent to Heaven

Sexual sins deter us from heavenAs a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I get a lot of questions about marriage, divorce and the need for annulments. Unlike some of our Protestant brethren, Catholics believe that marriage is a sacrament, instituted by God, at the dawn of mankind (Gen. 2:24) and reaffirmed by Christ (Matt 19:6). We also believe that it is a covenantal commitment between husband, wife and God, meant to last for a lifetime. In that covenantal relationship, God blesses the union of man and woman, and seals it with an unbreakable marriage bond. Therefore, sexual sins, conducted outside of the marriage covenant, can be a real deterrent to getting to Heaven.

Purposes and Properties of Marriage

Based upon the Catholic Continue reading

Teresa of Avila: Saint and Doctor of the Church

Saint Teresa of AvilaToday is the feast of Saint Teresa of Avila, a 16th century Spanish nun, who with Saint John of the Cross, reformed the Carmelite Order. Together, they established eleven convents throughout Spain between 1567 and 1576. Then in 1580, Teresa of Avila received papal approval to establish the Discalced Carmelite Order, which adopted a more austere lifestyle than the Carmelites. With the establishment of this new Order, Teresa opened five additional convents, prior to her death in 1582.

She received much scrutiny and disbelief for having claimed to receive visions from God. Not to be daunted, she put pen to paper, documenting her interpretation of her visions. As a result, today, we have one of the finest works on Continue reading