Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and Other Winners!!!

What a thrill to see some of my favorite books on the ALA website!!! Congratulations to all the winners and my heartfelt appreciation for writing stories that make a difference. I'm looking forward to reading many of these with kitty in my lap!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Liked: whose approval are you living for?

https://www.amazon.com/Liked-Whose-Approval-Are-Living/dp/0718087232/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484794795&sr=1-1&keywords=liked+kari+kampakisLiked:Whose approval are you living for? by Kari Kampakis sounds like a book for teen girls that’s about using social media responsibly but it is so much more than that. Kampakis guides the reader to go to the root of how and why we interact online. Are we longing for attention? Love? Approval? She tackles different scenarios with Biblically based answers. It isn’t easy being a teenager nowadays where the pressure to present a perfect life to the world makes them feel like a fraud, where the number of “likes” determines their self-worth, and where a moment of poor judgment is recorded forever. Kampakis gives practical advice on navigating the online world, which can be horribly unforgiving, and asks her readers to dig deeper, to the truth of who they are, and why they are here, with a series of reflection questions at the end of each chapter. She reminds them continually that God loves them dearly, passionately, wholly, and to strive for Godly relationships at all times. I highly recommend this book for all teenagers (and grownups too – we suffer from some of the same problems in the quest to be liked online). This book is organized so that it’s suitable for use in teen youth groups. I will be giving a copy to our own. Thanks to HarperCollins BookLook for providing me with a review copy. Crossposted to Amazon. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Adoration of the Magi by Bassano Jacopo and Francesco
A few people have asked me what Adoration is. The short answer is: worship. The  consecrated Host is Jesus, all of Him: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. And so we fall on our knees in adoration like the Magi did when they worshipped the new-born Babe.

The long answer is my personal experience: I anticipate this date a week beforehand. Like a lover, I think about what I might wear, what I might talk about, what He might reveal to me. The night before, I am excited. And when the day finally comes, I can't wait to finish my morning chores so that I can go meet Jesus. I dress nicely, bring my veil, rosary, some spiritual reading, and my notebook. I read, write, pray, just be. My biggest challenge is staying awake especially in the afternoon or night. I get very, very sleepy. I suppose I'm not a very good lover. But it is lovely to rest in the Lord.

I've been doing this now monthly for about 2.5 years, ever since St. Clare of Assisi parish on Daniel Island was formed. The pastor at the Anglican church has graciously allowed us to use their church for daily Mass and Adoration. Weekend Masses are at Bishop England. I pray that when we have our own church building that we'll have a perpetual Adoration chapel. All it takes is a willingness to commit to spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, even if it's at 3 am. And it's so wonderful to be able to pop in for a few minutes. Even if Jesus isn't exposed, you can still visit with Him if the lamp near the Tabernacle is lit.

So I encourage my readers to go visit Jesus. You don't have to be Catholic or even Christian. Just sit with Him. And I can guarantee you that you will receive graces. Some illumination or insight into the spiritual world. Maybe even an epiphany!

Here's a directory.

During our conversion, I used to wonder why Jesus was all locked up in the tabernacle, but it is for His own safety. Many satanic groups will steal the Blessed Sacrament to desecrate it. I've even read stories of people in the satanic groups who can identify a consecrated Host from one that isn't. I find this amazing since even many Catholics have lost the sense of the Real Presence of Christ.

I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that the Lord of the universe comes to us in humble bread. This is why I love the hands of priests, because it is only through them we receive Jesus in a substantial way. One would have thought that Jesus couldn't do anything more humble than to come down to earth as a helpless baby, at the mercy of humans, to save us. Even one drop of His Precious Blood would've saved us all, but He loves us so much He suffers and dies for us. That's Passion!

The fruits of Adoration are many. The quiet time is a blessing. And there is something wonderful that happens being still. Many Masses, psalms and hymns come to mind but when I'm deeply in prayer, there are no words. It's heart to Heart. Last year I meditated upon the Hours of the Passion as recorded by Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta. Having seen Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, many of the images that come to mind are from his movie (He based it on the visions of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich). It's amazing how many of the details match both of these saints, separated by time and space.

Well, these are just some of my thoughts on Adoration.  And here are a couple of quotes from a dear saint, Mother Teresa. 

When you look at the crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now.

Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration.

Sweet Sacrament is one of my favorite hymns and I love both this particular arrangement and the pictures that Msgr. Pope compiled for this video.