Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Review: My First Interactive Mass Book for Catholic Kids


This book will walk your child through the parts of the Mass with the prayers and sayings word for word and is accompanied with visually appealing pictures. This book is interactive by the means of two sets of removable pieces. The first set is the different colors of priestly vestments; to which I wish the colors and Church seasons were connected. The second set is for the readings; your child will be shown the two responses: “Thanks be to God” and “Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!”. The next page is a very neat display of items that can be found in the Church; so they can learn what everything is called. It ends with a basic idea of the Eucharist, however, kids are encouraged to pay more attention to what is going on because this is where God connects with us on the most personal level that can be had.

If you lose any pieces, do not worry! There are more in the back of the book! Katie was really drawn to this book and wanted to have it for our daughter to have to follow along at Mass. However, she was hesitant about the pages and if our daughter would tear it up. I turned a page in the back that had the spare pieces, so I attempted to rip the top and it ripped like a regular piece of paper.

Overall, this is a great book, and I highly recommend it to anyone! We are sure our daughter will enjoy it!
Follow the link below to get your own copy! My First Interactive Mass Book

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

It's A Darn Shame

I am one of the unfortunate men who get to suffer through The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I do not care for these shows but Katie loves them. So it is surprising me that I am actually blogging about The Bachelor! Buckle your seatbelts folks...

It is no secret that this season's bachelor, Colton, is a virgin. That is all this season seems to center around; will Colton lose his virginity? They made this into one huge spectacle. Various girls made references to this fact in their introductions to Colton; and the host, Chris Harrison, has pushed the question relentlessly throughout this season. That is a dang shame!

What happened to the times when a virgin was held in high regard? Now they are put on a pedestal, not to be admired, but to be ridiculed; and the viewers are eating this up! This country has lost the dignity of the human person, human sexuality and the sanctity of marriage. We need to return to these three things because it is out of control!

Props to Colton, who took all this in stride; although I don't agree with what he had revealed as the season progressed. If I were Colton, any girl trying a virginity pick up line, would be escorted back to the limo, or shown the door as the season progressed.

Sorry for the rant here, but this has been building up and since the finale was the past two nights, it was reignited.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Lets Talk About Lent

“This is what I want you to do. I want you to go out and buy the largest box of Esther Price Chocolates. And every day during Lent I want you to eat one piece; because giving up chocolate is for babies”. These are paraphrased words from a homily given by one of my parish’s priests. A stern looking elderly man who doesn’t mince words.

Lent is just right around the corner and I thought I would delve into what Lent is all about and the Biblical aspects behind it. Shout out to my awesome friend Angie who helped point me in the right direction! The following comes from Dr. Brant Pitre.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and runs through Easter Sunday, and it emulates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.  As paragraph 540 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 
Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him. This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning." By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert. (http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/540.htm).

Joel 2: 12-18: Here God is calling for a removal from a life of sin to repentance and to return to Him. And it calls the whole community together for a public display of penance. 

On Ash Wednesday we receive ashes on our foreheads which acts as a reminder of our mortality; "Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return." (Genesis 3:19). It also calls to repentance and to return to God; as above referenced in Joel. Ashes are also seen being used in Job 42:6: "Therefore I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes". Daniel 9:3, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes".

From then on we proceed through Lent focusing on prayer, fasting and giving alms, which draws reference to Matthew 6:1-6 & 16-18. Here Jesus tells us to perform these acts in private; as opposed to doing them to be noticed by others. The Catechism further affirms in paragraph 1438: "The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works)". (http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1438.htm).

I am bad in 2 of these areas during Lent. I got the fasting part down since we are only required to fast with one big meal and 2 smaller meals, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; while abstaining from meat on Fridays. It is prayer and almsgiving where I struggle. I don't pray as much as I should any time of the year; but during Lent it is only at meals, bedtime, Mass, Easter Triduum, and Stations of the Cross. Perhaps this Lent I can pray more, and daily. I also struggle with almsgiving as of lately, perhaps this Lent, I can give a little something.

Lent is also a time where we are encourage to give something up, or add something else to our daily routine. Going back to the quote opening this post, it has stuck with me because it is true. When I was younger, I gave up candy, soda, sweets, all the stuff that is important to a young child. Now, as an adult, I need to give up something important to adults. For the past few years I have given up Facebook. I first heard of this idea years ago and I scoffed at it. However, after realizing how much time I do spend on Facebook, it was not such a bad idea. I also try to read something to help me focus on Good Friday, then to Easter Sunday.

I hope this was as informative to you as it was me; whereas when I was growing up I just participated in Lent because it was that time of year. Now, I actively participate in it and now have a little knowledge as to why we do this as Catholics. Please pray for me that I may put this new information and self-realization to great use this Lent; which by the way, starts March 6.

Click the link to see the video which gave me this wonderful insight and more. https://catholicproductions.com/blogs/blog/the-biblical-roots-of-ash-wednesday?fbclid=IwAR2oBGciyKUma9ZJNx6aLYGE9SjEgmiUafDA_AZEcl9oyFrY9QNTcXp_Qmo

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My Reading List (part 1)

Isn't it funny how you finally enjoy doing things as an adult that you hated growing up? For me, this was reading. In 12 years of school and 4 years of college, always being told what to read, when to resd it by, and even the dreaded book report (shudder). It wasn't all bad though, through school I was introduced to the Magic Tree House series and I began collecting that series.

However, this blog isn't about that; it is about reading though. Ever since I started getting more serious about my faith, I have been reading more than I ever have, and enjoying it. Its the freedom of reading whatever I find interesting and I can read it at my pace. I do take notes, so I guess school taught me something.  Anyway, here are the books I have read so far this year and what I plan to read next!


The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity by Matthew Kelly. No lie, I was so looking forward to this book; it had me at the title. I was wanting to know what the biggest lie was. It started out good by addressing other lies in regards to Christianity and other stuff. Then, finally, I arrived at the biggest lie; it was a big letdown. I’m not going to tell you the biggest lie, I’ll leave it up to you to read for yourself. It was a letdown because I was expecting this big “smack in the face” lie, but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it is true. I can see how it is a lie, I was just expecting something grander. The rest of the book outlines how to make this lie into a great truth. If you need some uplifting content, this book is for you.

Survivor The Unofficial Bible of the Greatest Reality Show Ever Made by Michael E. Keneski: Survivor is my guilty pleasure. I still watch the show, and I have seen all but one season in its entirety. I came across this book on a Survivor Facebook group, saw it cheap on Amazon and bought it. The title says “Bible” but it doesn’t deserve that designation. It is all the author’s opinions, yet he writes nice recaps of the feature castaway’s gameplay. He includes a few more aspects of the game, yet leaves a ton out. If you want to call it a Bible, include everything! Also, don’t get me started on the all the spelling and factual errors it contains. How did this book ever get published?! 

Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church by Steve Weidenkopf: I must confess, I am almost done with this book, but it is too good to leave out. 
Ever since my faith was challenged, I took to studying up on Catholic apologetics. However, I was still ignorant in Church history and unsure of how to respond to accusations that relate to it.  This   book is awesome! It simplifies Church history from when Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter to the present day. I learned so much from this book. However, it is not a complete history so there is room for additional independent research.
As stated before I was never much of a reader in school, but now with this book, I hope to read more into the Church during the Roman Empire. I don’t know why but I could see the scenes play out in my mind as I read this section.
20 Answers: The Early Church by Jim Blackburn: This is a book I read in eBook form, both provided by Catholic Answers Press. This book gives 20 questions about the Early Church and an answer for each, Again, I have only read bits and pieces of this book, but I recommend any book in this series to anyone who wants to know more about the Catholic faith.

Here are the books I plan to read next:
Signs of Life by Scott Hahn- This book was given to me by my Father-in-Law and it looks like it is another basic apologetics book. I will know more once I dig into it, but it looks like it differs in getting into the Biblical roots of what Catholics do.
The Adventures of Nick & Sam: Perfect Gifts: Also given to us by my Father-in-Law. It appears to be short stories about two little kids. We’ll see about this one.
Made This Way by Trent Horn: This book deals with explaining to your children the current issues of today. The more I become aware of the culture around me, the more I want to prepare to discuss it with my children because its anybody’s guess what the culture will be like when they go out into it on their own. It would also be good for us as well.
Let me know what you think! Do you have any recommendations?


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Breastfeeding and Dads (Jordan)

I went to a program last night about fathers and their role in breastfeeding. To be honest, I was excited about this because, to my knowledge, their aren't many programs around geared towards men and the fatherhood they are called to. At the same time, I was disappointed that of all the topics that could be covered, it was breastfeeding. I am a father of two beautiful daughters, and both were and are exclusively breastfed. What could there be that I haven't seen, heard or experienced? My excitement won out as I did attend this program to see what it was all about.

There was a small number of men there, amongst a group of women; and we were all diverse amongst ourselves. We were married with children, one in need of a refresher, a couple expecting there first child, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding. In hindsight, as I was writing this, I was alerted to my bias to my own experiences as we all don't have the same experiences.

The program focused not so much on the ins & outs of breastfeeding, but calling our attention to what we think about breastfeeding; the social stigma & misperceptions regarding it. What we know about it; facts, self-explanatory. Finally, what we may not have known about it.

The core message of the evening was how important the role of the father is to breastfeeding. Despite being unable to actually do it, we as fathers are the supporter; the "cheerleader" so to say. We are the one who gets food & drink if needed. We are the ones who stand up and defend against the nay-sayers, against anyone shaming should she be feeding in public. We are the reinforcers if our wives are emotional during such a confrontation. 

Next we were put in groups and had to produce a 30 second skit highlighting the values of fathers. It was during this skit that my eyes were opened to an uncomfortable truth. I played a person who was shaming a mother in public as she attempted to feed her child. Her husband's reaction was so passionate, so perfect, it hit me between the eyes. He first consoled her and when she was reaffirmed, he when on the defensive against me. Then my epiphany was cemented by the presenter's closing comments.

What is this uncomfortable truth? I publicly shame women? No. I am not that husband in my role play group. My wife has shared her feelings with me in regards to breastfeeding around some family. I selfishly tried to convince her it wouldn't be fair to deal with it the way she wishes. Luckily, while my youngest is still being breastfed, I still have time to nip this in the bud. It will be hard, but I need to realize my wife comes first and her comfort needs to be satisfied. 

If I may add on a separate note, the public image of breastfeeding needs to change. This should be nothing new, but breasts are overly sexualized in today's society. We enjoy the near sight of them on Hollywood red carpets and in magazines, yet are repulsed when they are used the way they were created to be used. A woman has every right to see to her child's feeding; just as you see to yours. no woman is trying to make you look, so give some consideration. Thank you.

All in all, in was a great evening and I enjoyed the program. I hope they develop more programs for fathers in the future.

P.S. Tomorrow (Feb 14th ) is the unofficial feast of St. Valentine. St. Valentine, pray for us.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Everything Happens For A Reason (Katie)

They say everything happens for a reason, and I believe that is true, it does. For every baby that is born, God has a plan for their life. Whether that is for marriage, for the religious life, or just a call to be single. Unfortunately, not every baby born survives to old age, but Jordan told me that he heard in God's eyes, every life is fulfilled no matter how long,

When Jordan was born, I truly believe that God was planning for him to marry me. This is why. I was born into a Catholic family, and Jordan was born into a half-Catholic family, yet he was not baptized when he was born. Then one day he told his mom he wanted to be baptized in the Catholic Church. Then it all started on Myspace, remember this old thing? lol

At the time, I felt like nobody would go out with me because I had a learning disability and I have trouble understanding some things; and I was made fun of in high school. Also, I thought I was ugly. I was 21 and never had a serious long-term relationship. Jordan was, at the time, in the same boat and was randomly scrolling through Myspace. He got the idea somewhere to talk to a friend of his friend, Nika, that friend was me. We really hit it off. He later attributed that to God.

Fast forward to today, we are happily married. God's plan was for Jordan to become Catholic and through events in his life, become the wonderful Catholic man he is today; which relates to his being a great husband and father. Now for me, I am glad I have someone to love me unconditionally and who will, and has, been there with me through thick and thin. He has his flaws, but I couldn't ask for a better father for my children. In believe in the long run, God was setting us up for each other!

A Silent Confession (Jordan)

I must confess to you all that writing this blog is very awkward for me. Anybody who personally knows me know I am very introverted. In pretty much very social gathering, you can not get another word in around me as I just sit there "like a bump on a log"; per my wife. My wife often tells me to get involved with the conversations around me; even just by listening. That is no problem, but the problem is I often can't relate to what is being discussed. I either have no experience with the topic or it centers around people I don't even know, or heard of. It is also because I feel as though I won't have anything of value to say; like I will get an eyeroll or an "Ok, that was weird".

With that all being said, with this blog, it is very awkward because, those who know me will finally see what I have to say, and what will they think? Perhaps, maybe this blog will help me. Here I can say what's om my mind and not have this mental stigma that inhibits me in face-to-face conversations. As for the reactions to my thoughts, it is easier for me because the only people who have anything to say to me are on Facebook and I have never met them and probably never will. (Although some of you, I wouldn't mind meeting you at some point).

It has been noted by a few people how I always appear to be on my phone; yes that is true. I have a problem with that. I have a Facebook problem too. I am always on one or both, and even now I wonder why. Do I feel more comfortable there? I don't know. I do know over the years my posts and activities have changed and have been matching my opinions on things and not just nonsense. I hardly get any response on them except for a few likes, so it's not like I'm the most popular person on it. And at times I try to be funny but that's not how I am in real life.

What would Jesus say to me if He were to reply to this?


Do you struggle with this like me? Drop your comments below and let me know your thoughts.

Book Review: My First Interactive Mass Book for Catholic Kids

This book will walk your child through the parts of the Mass with the prayers and sayings word for word and is accompanied with visually a...