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

My Last Day with My Dad

Dad DuffyToday is a very difficult day for me. It was June 20, 1999, Father’s Day, that I had my last conversation with my dad. In 1999, my husband and I lived in Utah, and my dad lived in New Jersey. On June 11th of that year, he was taken to the hospital; diagnosed with emphysema, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  Things didn’t look good. So, my husband and I flew home on June 12th.

When we got to the hospital, and walked into the room, my dad was so happy to see me. He kept telling me repeatedly throughout that evening that he loved me. I consciously appreciated hearing the words, but I thought it odd Continue reading

Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint AnthonyToday is the Feast Day of my favorite saint, Saint Anthony of Padua, Italy. Although a Portuguese native, he died in Padua, Italy in 1231. His remains are buried at the Basilica of Saint Anthony, in Padua, Italy, which I had the good fortune to visit back in 2011. He was a Franciscan friar, who dedicated his life to serving the poor. He is one of my favorite saints because he acts as my role model, in giving self-sacrificing love to Jesus, by always being willing to do God’s will and God’s will alone. Oh, if I could be like Saint Anthony, I would be a far better person!

Many acclaim Saint Anthony with being the patron saint of lost Continue reading

The Beatitudes: Jesus’ Way Requires Virtue

BeatitudesIn today’s Gospel reading from Matt 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teach about the Beatitudes. I am quite partial to the Beatitudes, as they embody virtue. As you all know, virtue is my “thing.” When we look at each one of the Beatitudes, we see that they are actually God’s gift of grace. That is because, to master the Beatitudes, we must embrace virtue. To embrace virtue, we need God’s grace.

The Beatitudes – Jesus’ Way!

  • To be poor in spirit, one must embrace and exemplify humility
  • If you are one who mourns, you are compassionate
  • Meekness is obvious. Yet to be meek, one requires great strength (fortitude).
  • If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you embody justice Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Why Do You Call Me Good?

Why do you call me goodIn today’s Gospel, Jesus asks, why do you call me good (Mark 10:18)? In the Gospel reading, we hear the story of the rich young man who seeks information from Jesus about what is required to enter Heaven. The rich young man refers to Jesus as “Good Teacher.” It is an interesting, brief exchange between the rich young man and Jesus. The reference to the goodness of Jesus might easily be overlooked, when reading the passage, simply because Jesus gives a quick retort. “No one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18). He then moves on to the gist of the story, that has nothing to do with His goodness. Yet, I find it to be a Continue reading

Masticate and Swallow – Book Review

masticate and swallowIn this endearing memoir, Masticate and Swallow, by Fabio Alberto Hurtado, we learn of a young Cuban boy from the 1970’s, who emigrates to the United States. Hurtado sets the stage with a series of short stories from his childhood in Cuba, highlighting his relationship with family and the state.

Masticate and Swallow – A Heartwarming Story

He speaks of hardships living in a Communist country; yet he does it with humor. One of my favorite stories centers around a family game of Parchesi, where the family has only one die to play the game (The other was lost long ago). The game was competitive, and both Fabio and his cousin Sara did not like to lose. Fabio was Continue reading

Jesus Asks: “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?”

faithless generationIn today’s Gospel reading Jesus asks: “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? (Mark 9:19). On face value, it seems like a couple of strange questions, coming from Jesus, given that He has promised to be with us always, even until the end of the age (Matt 28:20). To the average reader, this would seem like a contradiction. So, what exactly is Jesus saying when He asks these questions?

“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?

Jesus never answers this question. He only poses it, as a rhetorical question, to a group of people gathered around Him seeking Jesus’ assistance in curing a young boy of Continue reading

Are You Ready for the Holy Spirit?

Gifts of the Holy SpiritThis Sunday, we celebrate Pentecost, the birth of Christ’s Church, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and confirmed them in the faith. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit graced them with the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Awe. These gifts enabled them to go out and preach the Gospel.

To be effective in fulfilling Christ’s mission, they needed:

  • Wisdom, to know and aspire for the things of eternal life
  • Understanding of the Divine truths
  • Counsel of the Holy Spirit, to know the ways of God, so that we may fulfill God’s plan
  • Fortitude, to bear their own crosses and fate awaiting them
  • Knowledge, to know God, as well as themselves; to grow in perfection and Continue reading

Remain in My Love; Love One Another

Love one anotherIn today’s Gospel from John, we hear Our Lord command us, once again, to “love one another” (John 15:17). Jesus gives this directive, yet He leaves it up to our own free will to choose to love one another, for love is a choice. Love wouldn’t be love, if it were not given and received freely, for love is a gift.

In this directive from Jesus, He is asking us to be generous with one another; to forgive, to be merciful, caring and compassionate with one another. He is asking us to treat others as He treats each of us; with a heart full of unconditional love! And when we do so, we remain in His love.

When we love Continue reading