Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

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

Love Remembered; Love Produces Good Fruits

Love Remembered Mom and DadToday would have been the 71st wedding anniversary of my parents, if they were still with me today. The veil between heaven and earth divides us, but the love remembered between my father and mother, and their mutual love for me remains in my heart.

My parents married shortly after my father returned from World War II’s European front in 1945. From their love first came my sister Joan, now a mother to two children and grandmother of four children. Then came my brother Ed, father to three children, and grandfather to one child. Next, my sister, Susan arrived, followed by me.

I tell you this to demonstrate that this love, a love remembered, between two people, is responsible Continue reading

Greed Will Debilitate You; Fear is Behind All Greed

greed We continue with the fifth installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Greed.

Greed, also known as avarice, will debilitate you because you’re dealing with a bottomless pit; an abyss. The unending desire for more money, power or fame, leaves a person feeling empty, insecure and unfulfilled no matter how much one tries to garner. There is no amount of money that guarantees security, for the fear of losing it all is ever-present. No amount of power garners confidence and self-assuredness, for the fear of losing control is ever-present. No amount of fame makes one feel like he/she “has arrived,” for the fear of being discounted and dismissed never goes away. Anyone who seeks Continue reading

My Heart Beats for Christ! For Whom Does Your Heart Beat?

Heart Beats I was recently at the doctor’s office for my annual visit. While sitting in the examining room, with nothing to do but wait, I read the ad on the door. It showed a picture of an older woman, holding a placard that said, “My heart beats for______.” She filled in the blank with “my grandkids.” She had a huge smile on her face. The ad promoted preventative health exams.

As I sat there looking at the ad, I asked myself, for whom does my heart beat? I hope my husband isn’t too disappointed, but my first instinct was to answer, “My Heart beats for Christ!” Sitting there in awe for a minute, I realized my response, as well as Continue reading

Anything For Love: The Self-Sacrificial Kind of Love

Utah 2

Some twenty years ago, when Nick and I lived in New Jersey, my banking career was drying up. All of the banks were merging together and therefore, banking jobs in New Jersey were scarce. Nick and I were both born and raised in New Jersey. Everyone we knew and loved lived there. As Divine Providence would have it, while I was unemployed, we were invited out to Salt Lake City, Utah so that I could be Godmother to my friend’s little girl. In July 1996, we traveled to Utah for the Baptism. While visiting, I looked around at the banks headquartered in Utah. I applied to a few and was actually offered a job.

New Jersey to Utah: For Love Continue reading