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

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek – Book Review

Saint Magnus I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, is hot-tempered. Hakon and Aerling are competitive, and do not wish to rule jointly, as their fathers successfully did. However, Continue reading

The Purpose of Birthdays: Showing Love

Birthdays Today marks my husband’s 64th birthday! So, I take this opportunity to wish Nick a very Happy Birthday. Have you ever wondered why we mark birthdays as a time to celebrate the passing of another year? If we gave it some thought, a birthday means that we have one less year to live on earth. We have one less year to accomplish our goals. Yet, birthdays are meant to be celebrated. Why? Because it is a very good way to show love to those we hold most dear. It’s a day to place a loved one upon a pedestal; to show that person how much they mean to us.

God’s Desire

As humans, we are born into families. Families act Continue reading

Love is in the Air! Wedding Bells Ring!

Love is in the Air It is wedding season and love is in the air! In the United States, June is always a very popular month to get married. The weather is usually wonderful; the flowers are in bloom, and it’s a great time for family and friends to come together. Yet, marriage is more than a celebration.

What brings two people to the altar of marriage is a love formed by God; a uniting in a covenant; the giving of one, fully to another. Remember asking your mom, “When will I ever fall in love?” or asking a friend, “When will I find my soul mate?”

Loving any other person is always a choice; but falling in love, with your soul mate, that’s a Continue reading

Mother’s Day: Sadly, No Reason to Celebrate

Mother's DayI don’t know about you, but I am always thankful for the day after Mother’s Day, as Mother’s Day is a very difficult one for me. The television ads end. The happy wishes cease. I find the television ads for Mother’s Day gifts difficult to watch, as I have no reason to make a purchase. I cringe when people wish me a happy Mother’s Day, as I have no reason to celebrate, because I have no children. My mother-in-law died in 1985, and my mom died in 2000. So, for my husband and me, Mother’s Day is just like any other day of the year. I’m not asking for anyone’s pity. Rather, this post serves as a reminder that Continue reading

Lent Does Not Have to be a Dreary Time!

Lent Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Many of us look at this period on the Church calendar as a time of suffering and deprivation. Lent has historically been synonymous with a desert experience of dryness; a sense of loneliness, as if God is on vacation somewhere else. This connotes a sense of negativity. Yet, Lent affords us so much more, if we are willing to open our minds, hearts and souls to the various opportunities that make the Lenten season special in a positive way.

Lent, a Season of Faith, Hope and Love

Lent can be a time of renewal and personal growth; a time for getting to know Our Savior much better by reading Scripture. We can Continue reading

February: The Month of Love and Kindness

love and kindness Today, we usher in February, known familiarly as the month of love and kindness. During this month, we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 12-18. And let’s not forget Valentine’s Day smack-dab in the middle of the month on the 14th. We see hearts everywhere, on boxes of candies and greeting cards; in store-front windows and in commercials on TV, as if we needed a reminder to show our love and kindness to others.

I think it is all well and good that we highlight these virtues during the month of February, as I am all in favor of highlighting virtue, given any opportunity! Yet, we are called to express these virtues day in and day out; not just Continue reading

Receive Christ’s Love This Christmas

Christmas Wish Christ's Love It’s almost time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday! Christmas is almost here! I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you are traveling, safe travels.

As we close out 2016, and look forward, with hope, to 2017, I want to share with you one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the late Bing Crosby and the late David Bowie. It’s called, Little Drummer Boy. The message of the song is that one little child “can give all the love he can.”

Enjoy the video, then read my comments below on how we can take this message and bring it to life this Christmas season.

 

 

I am old enough to Continue reading

Ornamental Graces, by Carolyn Astfalk – Book Review

Ornamental Graces Ornamental Graces, by Carolyn Astfalk, is a wonderful story, with interesting, compelling and authentic characters that you immediately come to love. Dan Malone, a tortured soul with a troubled past, meets Emily Kowalski, a young woman with dreams unfulfilled. Throughout this story, we see God at work bringing these two souls together time after time, until one day their relationship blossoms. From there, we see these two characters traverse through the journey we call life, with all of its ups and downs. Will Dan ever come to grips with the mistakes he made? Will Emily ever fulfill her dreams? And, will obstacles deprive them of developing the relationship they seemed destined to live?

Carolyn Astfalk takes you on a Continue reading