Tag Archives: quotes

Travel Diary No. 5

21 Apr

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It has definitely been a Monday today! Anybody else feel the same way?! I’m linking up with Jenny and ladies tonight! Even though the site changed again, I found the new one so I can update my online “Travel Diary” day book (formerly Moments of Grace and Catholic Woman’s Almanac)!!!

Thanking God for…

  • beautiful spring weather
  • being a mommy to two sweet, silly girls
  • Jesus’ death and Resurrection
  • bedtime cuddles

I am praying¬†for…

  • the souls in purgatory
  • to be a holy wife and mother
  • the ending of abortion
  • the intentions of family members, friends, and co-workers

I am pondering…

  • How in the heck do people find time to write?! I’m hard-pressed to find time to squeeze it in each week between the long, stressful work days, house chores, grocery shopping, and mommy duties. Oh how I long to be on a deserted island for a weekend with just a computer and a good book!! ūüôā

I am reading…

  • Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II¬†by George Weigel. ¬†I’m now about a fifth of the way through! I haven’t spent much time on it lately, but I definitely want to read more especially with soon-to-be Saint John Paul’s canonization coming up next week!
  • 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. I just read the chapter on Eric Liddell. The way he used running as a means to get speaking gigs to spread the gospel is inspiring. I haven’t watched Chariots of Fire, but it sounds like his life as a missionary in China after his Olympic days was even more amazing and movie-worthy.

I am creating…

  • Uh….this post? Not much mental space right now for inspiration and creativity, but life is full and filled with blessings!

I’m learning…

  • More about gardening. It’s almost time to transplant my tomato, pepper, and basil plants outside! I have a feeling the hard part is just getting started! I need to harden them off outside but scared the delicate leaves will get destroyed from the wind!

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A 4-5 week update on my plants!

Around the house…

  • ¬†My Little Ponies have taken over! The girls received a total of 6 of them for Easter from us and my parents! We’ll see how long this phase lasts, but they are obsessed right now!

Look what I found…

  • An amazing whole wheat soft-pretzel recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction! I wanted to make them during lent and finally knocked them out on Good Friday. They turned out so well. I’ll definitely be making them again!

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I am looking forward to…

Catholic Underground¬†this weekend! I can’t wait to see Adam sing. It’s been quite the stretch since I’ve seen him perform around town. If you’re in Nashville be sure to head over to St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows! It sounds like we have a good crowd coming! Adoration starts at 7:00 pm.

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A favorite quote for today…

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Have a great Easter week!

Also, linking up here….

A Mama Collective

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Learning How to Pray {5 Helpful Resources}

11 Apr

St. Louis de Montfort Prayer Quote

I’ve wanted to write a post about prayer for awhile, but it just seems like such an overwhelming subject to tackle! There are so many different ways to pray and so many books on the topic! I’m not going to let that stop me, though!

Since it’s such a popular subject, prayer is clearly important. It is one of the most vital¬†things that we can do to grow closer to God and be molded into who He wants us to be. It’s essential in order to discover His will for us. Praying must be more than just a few petitions tossed up throughout the day or a quick “thank you” when things work out our way. Prayer needs to be a priority so that everything else is rightly ordered and our “paths are made straight” (Proverbs 3:6). Just as a couple needs to continuously communicate and sacrifice¬†daily in order to cultivate a healthy marriage, the same¬†must be done¬†to grow¬†deeper in a¬†relationship with Christ.

Improving my prayer life is something that I’ve personally been focusing on the past several months. Even though I’m a full-time working mother, I try to find moments in my day that I can dedicate consistently to prayer. This idea of making a point to set aside a specific time to pray each day has been¬†a recurring theme that I have come¬†across often in my reading.

I use my drive to work in the morning to pray and prepare for the day. I’ve been trying to get back into praying the rosary consistently, too. (It helps that my radio is broken, too – no distractions!) I also spend a little time reading the Bible after tucking my girls in at night. I’m not spending hours in prayer, but I have found that I feel much more at peace when I stick to my new routine, however short it is.

I do have to say, though, that the more I am aware of the blessings in my daily life and promptings to do God’s will, the more I feel like my actions and special moments are like little prayers. Sometimes I find myself soaking in a genuine smile from one of my daughters and I feel it’s God showing me His love and allowing me to experience true joy that only comes from Him. I can feel God in the moment. No words even need to be said.

Pray Without Ceasing Quote

In doing my research on prayer, I have come across some very helpful and inspiring resources. Instead of trying to quote and paraphrase, I think it’d be best to just share and link, because they each deserve to be read in their entirety!

Recommended Resources on Prayer:

1. The Prayer Process as shared in The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. This 7-step process is a great daily way to pray. It helps me reflect on the accomplishments and failures of the day, how God is speaking to me, and what I can do for others.

2. Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay. This book really is a must-read on prayer. There were many great insights in this book. Not only did it address the various types of prayer and their value, but it discussed how to help children pray and how to pray even when we are busy. I know that this is a book I could re-read over and over again and continuously learn more.

3. Lesson One in Prayer by Peter Kreeft. I love how Kreeft writes – so visual and direct. This brief article on why to pray and how to get started is definitely a kick in the pants! Kreeft has also written Prayer for Beginners, but I haven’t read it yet. It’s definitely on my list and is actually available from Lighthouse Catholic Media for $5.

4. Meditation Stuff: The Laudate app is free and has¬†daily readings and meditations. I also like Word Among Us for their daily meditations on the readings. I recently discovered The Catholic Company’s Morning Offering daily email. At first, I was like, “I don’t need another thing to read and meditate on,” but I have discovered that I really like the saint quotes that they share! Each day they feature that day’s saint, Liturgy of the Hours, and more. I highly recommend it!

5. St. Josemaria Escriva. One of my favorite bloggers, Erin of Humble Handmaid, has mentioned this saint’s writings often on her blog. She recently shared this post, “Making Every Breath a Prayer,” where she again shared some more of his wisdom. I definitely need to get to know this saint more!

How do you fit prayer into your daily life?  Do you have any favorite resources or tips?

Grace, Humility, and the Impossible

24 Feb

First of all, let me just say that I might be insane! I signed up earlier today to commit to blogging every day this week! What was I thinking?! I feel like I succumbed to peer-pressure by the other 246 Catholic bloggers who already linked up before me with Jennifer Fulwiler at ¬†Conversion Diary! I don’t want to be left out of the madness! There is something greatly unifying and inspiring just knowing that all of these other people are doing the same thing, though! Here’s to¬†7 Posts in 7 Days!

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William Wilberforce/Source: Wikipedia

This past Saturday, Adam and I were invited by a friend of mine and her husband to attend an interdenominational church service that was featuring Eric Metaxas as a guest speaker! (Bonus: Christopher Duffley, who is blind and autistic, sang at the beginning of the service and it was such a blessing to hear him!)

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of Eric Metaxas’ books and his message. (Check out my “read” list on Goodreads located in the right sidebar!) I heard him speak a year ago on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this year he discussed William Wilberforce and his fight to abolish the slave trade. What really stuck with me during Metaxas’ talk, was how humble Wilberforce was and how he lovingly debated with his political opponents. Much of Metaxas’ speech was taken right out of his chapter on Wilberforce in 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness (a book I recently started reading). On page 51, Metaxas writes:

Wilberforce understood the profoundly important concept that we are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. He hated the sin but loved the sinner, and he never demonized his opponents. He fought against them valiantly but always with grace, knowing that he had been part of the problem at one time, too, and knowing that if it weren’t for the grace of God, he would still be a part of the problem.

Metaxas likened this issue to the abortion debate in our culture today. He stated that “Jesus commanded us to love our enemies.” And, just as Metaxas pointed out that we are often guilty of doing, I find myself thinking that I’m on higher moral ground, especially when it comes to things like abortion. I tend to think “I can’t believe so-and-so is completely ignorant about that” and “I’m glad that I do more good than so-and-so”. The truth is, it is only because of God’s grace that we have the knowledge that we do. God lets us see certain truths when we are open to Him that others are blinded to because they reject Him.

How timely was this speech?! Imagine my excitement – and conviction – when I heard the Gospel reading on Sunday morning about loving our enemies (Matthew 5: 38-48)! The exact topic that Metaxas stressed in his talk the previous night! Trust me, my ears were open!

And if that wasn’t enough, I also read a post from Biltrix about the reading yesterday, titled When the Gospel Pokes. I can definitely relate!

All that is good is from God, and it is only because of His grace that we can have wisdom, love, knowledge, faith, and the ability to offer forgiveness. It would ALL be impossible without God’s grace.

Speaking of overcoming the seemingly impossible with grace, another important thing about Wilberforce is that he remembered that it was only with God’s strength that he could abolish slavery. Metaxas writes:

He first required a deep sense that the Lord had called him to these things –else he would have been overwhelmed, and the many setbacks would have been a great discouragement. But because he knew that God had indeed set these objects before him, he knew that the battle was God’s battle, not his. All he had to do was to be obedient to what God was asking him to do and to know that God brings the victory.

What a great reminder to each one of us! When we feel that God is calling us to something, we have to remember that He is in control and it is not up to us to make certain things happen. All that we can do is trust and obey. And pray – often!

For more about Wilberforce, you can read Eric Metaxas’ book Amazing Grace and/or watch the movie. The Kindle version is currently $3.79 on Amazon. Metaxas is also in the process of writing a book about inspirational women and a book about modern-day miracles. I can’t wait!

Moments of Grace No. 3

17 Feb

Since last I wrote a Catholic Woman’s Almanac post, the blog and link-up names have changed. It is now…

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Happy to be joining Jenny and ladies this week! Here we go!

Thanking God for
…a home heating system that continued to work through all of this crazy cold weather!
…hot tea to ease my congestion!
…wonderfully supportive parents!
…my amazing husband who loves being a daddy so much! He took our oldest girl to a Father-Daughter dance a couple weeks ago! Someone captured this beautiful pic of the two of them that’s featured on the parish website! Melt my heart!

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I am praying for
…some fellow Catholic bloggers who are going through some hard times right now, including things like miscarriages, autism, family addiction issues, etc.
…my mother-in-law’s continued fast healing after her hip replacement surgery.
…the souls in purgatory.

I am pondering
…purgatory. (See next section.)

I am reading

  • Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages and Warnings from Purgatory by Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg. This book has been on my wish list for quite some time. I finally downloaded it and it is very interesting so far. I haven’t spent too much time thinking about purgatory lately, but our prayers and sacrifices truly make a difference to these souls so that they can be finally united with God for eternity. I’m trying to be more conscious about praying for specific people and not just going through the motions for the “souls of faithful departed”.

I am creating
…hand-knit dishcloths. I love that they don’t take much time to knock out and most of my old ones were in desperate need of replacing!

I’m learning
…more about prayer. I just finished up Prayer Primer by Fr. Thomas Dubay a couple weeks ago. I’m really trying to commit to a more dedicated prayer life. I plan to post something later this month about some helpful insights I have come across.

Around the house
…My two girls and I were sick most of last week/weekend with the flu. We’re finally on the upswing. Thankfully, my husband did not catch the bug!
…Adam is clearing out the storage space today that we rented while the house was on the market. It’s going to be interesting to try to re-integrate this junk back into our house! Can anyone say, “garage sale”? The weather needs to warm up ASAP!

Look what I found
…Brandon Vogt does a weekly book give-away on his blog. Three of the current ones on this week’s Love and Marriage Book Giveaway just happen to be on my to-read list right now! Crossing my fingers that I win one of them!

I am looking forward to
…attending a protestant church service with one of my friends to hear Eric Metaxas speak again! (Love him!) Also, Christopher Duffley, will be singing! If you haven’t checked out this precious boy on YouTube yet, you should! He will amaze you and make you weep like a baby!

A favorite quote for today…

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For more of my favorite quotes on prayer, click here!

Have a great week, everyone!

10 Inspirational Quotes about Prayer

12 Feb

I’ve really been focusing a lot on improving my prayer life lately – it’s definitely one of my main goals for this year. I’ve been reading some great books, including¬†Prayer Primer, by Fr. Thomas Dubay, and I’ve been coming across some great words of wisdom about what prayer is and what it does for us. I thought I’d share!

10 Inspirational Quotes about Prayer

1. “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” -Soren Kirkegaard

2. “The best thing each of us can do for those we love is to become a saint, a man or woman of deep prayer.” -Thomas Dubay, S.M.

3. “To pray well one must live well.” -St. Augustine

4. “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” -Mother Teresa

5. “Prayer is a mother who conceives and nourishes all virtues.” -St. Catherine of Siena

6. “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” -Matthew 21:22

7. “A soul which gives itself to prayer, either much or little, should on no account be kept within narrow bounds.” -St. Teresa of Avila

8. “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” -Corrie Ten Boom

9. “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.” -Mahatma Gandhi

10. “If you ever want to be holy, to know God, to live His will, then the number one thing that you are going to have to do is pray. PERIOD! Nothing else matters.” -Fr. Larry Richards

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Do you have a favorite quote about prayer? If so, please share below!

5 Quotes about Gratitude

27 Nov

I’ve been coming across a lot of great quotes lately, especially in regards to gratitude. Since Thanksgiving is just a couple days away, I thought that I’d share five bits of wisdom about thankfulness!

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Source: Biblia.com

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Source: Plain Grace (free printable)

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Source: Heartlight.org

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Source: Plain Grace (free printable)

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Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I Am a Sinner

22 Nov

Satan wants me to be comfortable. He wants me to take my life for granted; to not notice the little blessings given to me each day. Satan wants me to think that I have it all together, because if this were true, why would I need to seek God?

The devil doesn’t want me to share my weaknesses; to admit that I am broken and need God’s grace.

Satan doesn’t want me to notice that I rarely pick up the Bible next to my bed or admit that I sometimes get too caught up in housework instead of spending time with my girls. Or that I hesitate to help others when it might inconvenience me too much. The devil doesn’t want me to acknowledge that I know he is behind any fear and resistance that I have been battling.

Why am I typing this stuff? Simply because I have read some amazing books by saintly authors lately. The Holy Spirit has been weaving some beautiful wisdom together in my mind. Hopefully, I can now articulate what has been knocking me over the head…

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“I am a sinner.” That’s the response that Pope Francis gave in his recent interview for America Magazine, when asked to describe who he was. These are the first words that came to mind of one of the holiest men on earth! What a humble example of who we are all called to be as Christians!

At the time that I read the aforementioned, A Big Heart Open to God article, I had just finished reading a section in Melody Green’s book, No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green, about her musician husband and how he started a “revival” in their community of new Christians. Keith had read a book by Charles Finney that discussed the concept of “fallow ground,” and this motivated him to confess his sins to his friends, ask for forgiveness, and turn grace into action on a whole new level. On page 269, Melody writes:

Keith explained, “Fallow ground is ground that was once tilled, but has since gotten hard and unusable. Before it can receive seed, it needs to be broken up and made soft again. Finney says to break up the fallow ground of our heart, we need to examine our motive, actions, and state of mind very carefully…” Keith quoted Finney again. “There are many professing Christians who are willing to do almost anything in religion that does not require self-denial. They are so far from realizing that self-denial is a condition of discipleship that they do not even know what it is!”

Keith was passionate about fighting hypocrisy among Christians and urged one another to move beyond “easy” grace.

For anyone out there familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, you know that this is just like his term, “cheap grace.” In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer states, “Happy are they who know that discipleship simply means the life which springs from grace, and that grace simply means discipleship.”

Many Christians accept God’s gift of grace without accepting that we are also made to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him while on this earth. We are made to know our brothers and sisters in Christ; to love them and to serve them. This requires action…discipleship…grace.

We are not to take our amazing free redeeming gift of salvation and keep it to ourselves. Matthew 5:13-16 states:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

“Getting saved” isn’t a one time thing, it is a a continuous accepting of Jesus by the choices that we make. Dr. Timothy Gray states in Walk the Walk: Following Christ as His Disciple, “Denial is always preceded by distance. Follow Jesus at a distance, and that discipleship will eventually end up in denial – denying Jesus.” He also states, “To not act on our belief – on our Christian thoughts – makes those Christian thoughts completely fruitless and vain.”

Can we ever do anything to earn grace? No, of course not. God freely gives us his love and mercy over and over again. Grace should inspire thankfulness – a heart overflowing with gratitude for something that we can never deserve. Thankfulness humbles us. Thankfulness is the key to joy.

I’ve been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and her book is absolutely filled with numerous ways we receive grace and blessings. She says:

Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks- take the just one loaf, say it is enough, and give thanks- and He miraculously makes it more than enough.

When we have more than enough, we share. We share our joy, our blessings, our hope, so that others will seek Jesus, accept His grace, and follow Him. We are called to live radically and walk boldly in faith. Without God’s grace we are nothing, and this is precisely why we owe our lives to Him. This is why we should want the Lord to till our hardened soil and plant seeds of love in our hearts.

I am a sinner. A thankful sinner. A thankful sinner who wants to shine His light.

Five Favorites (vol. 11)

1 Jul

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It’s time for another Five Favorites with Hallie!

I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that I was in the middle of reading Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. I have now finished it, and there were a handful of quotes that really stood out to me, although most of the book is highlight-worthy! So, here are five of my favorite passages from this book!

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I just love all of these quotes – so inspirational and so true!

Have you read The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic yet? What inspired you?

10 More Inspirational Quotes about Following God’s Will!

10 May

As I mentioned in my original 10 Inspirational Quotes about Following God’s Will post, I love collecting words of wisdom!¬†I’m back again¬†with some more to share!¬†Please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments section! I’d love to read them!

10 Inspirational Quotes about Following God's will

1. Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.¬†-Eric Metaxas

2. Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly. -St. Francis de Sales

3. For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. -Thomas Merton

4. There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!¬†-Corrie Ten Boom

5. For each of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.¬†-Thomas Merton

6. Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do–then do it with all your strength.¬†-George Washington

7. We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can – namely, surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us.¬†-St. Teresa of Avila

8. Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. -St. Catherine of Siena

9. God doesn’t require that you succeed, he only requires that you try.¬†-Mother Teresa

10. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

**UPDATE: This post originally assigned the first quote to Dietrich Bonhoeffer in error.  It is now corrected to reflect the actual author, Eric Metaxas.