Monday, December 22, 2008

Fr. James's Sunday Homily: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Christmas is almost here. As the fourth candle of the advent wreath is lit, we are reminded that we need to intensify our spiritual preparation for the anniversary of the birth of our Savior.

The external aspects of our Christmas celebration only make sense if we keep our attention fixed on who it is that we are celebrating. Christmas is the birthday of Jesus. This Sunday's gospel passage focuses our attention on the one central reality of Christianity: that the Word, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, became man and dwelt among us. On the last Sunday of Advent, the Church allows us to contemplate this reality through Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Often when we attempt to get to know someone, it is always very helpful to know the person’s mother. Fr. Romano Guardini once wrote: “Anyone who would understand the nature of a tree, should examine the earth that encloses its roots, the soil from which its sap climbs into branch, blossom, and fruit. Similarly, to understand the person of Jesus Christ, one would do well to look to the soil that... (Continued here)

Yummy and Easy Christmas morning bread!

Go on over to my blog, Embracing Motherhood to check out the recipe for Overnight Christmas Blueberry-Pecan bread. just check by clicking here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Discussing Dignitas Personae on Sacred Heart Radio

Here is my interview this morning on Sacred Heart radio with Brian Patrick. We discussed the new Vatican document called Dignitas Personae.

Just click here to listen.

God bless!


Pope Benedict calls us to contemplate God's mercy at Christmas time...

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2008 / 11:47 am (CNA).- At his weekly General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Benedict contemplated the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies in the coming of the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary in the stable of Bethlehem and reminded his audience to contemplate the mercy of God “who has come to meet humanity.”

The Holy Father told the 5,000 people present at the general audience that even nonbelievers perceive something “extraordinary and transcendent, something intimate that touches our hearts in this yearly Christian event.”

“Christmas is a feast that speaks of the gift of life. The birth of a child is always something that brings great joy, and the embrace of a newborn moves one to tenderness.”

However, the Pope continued, Christmas is in danger of losing “its spiritual significance, reduced to a mere commercial occasion to buy and exchange gifts.” The difficulties and uncertainty that many families are living in these months can serve as “a stimulus for rediscovering the warmth of the simplicity, friendship, and solidarity that are the typical values of Christmas.”

“Stripped of its materialist and consumerist trappings, Christmas can become the opportunity to welcome, as a personal gift, the message of hope that emanates from the mystery of Christ's birth," Benedict XVI explained. "Nevertheless, all of this does not suffice to capture the value of this celebration we are preparing for in all its fullness. We know that it celebrates the central event of history: the Incarnation of the Divine Word for the redemption of humanity.”

The Holy Father continued by noting that at Christmas, people do not limit themselves to commemorating the birth of a great person, they recall something that is quite concrete and important for human beings, something essential to the Christian faith. (Continued here)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Book Give-Away Tomorrow on Brian Patrick's show on Sacred Heart Radio...

Updated with link to "Listen Live"

I was invited to join Brian Patrick tomorrow morning (Thursday) to discuss Dignitas Personae, a new Vatican document just approved by Pope Benedict, and how it applies to mothers and families. I'll be on at 8:50 AM Eastern time. I hope you'll join us. You can find out more by clicking here. YOU CAN LISTEN LIVE by clicking here and then the "listen online" button on the left side of their web page.

Here are some of the details:

Sacred Heart Radio
"Son Rise Morning Show"
with Brian Patrick
Cincinnati, Ohio

I hope you'll join us! They'll be giving away copies of my books!

God bless!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There's still time to win my latest books!

I have extended my contest until 9:00 PM Eastern time tonight (Tuesday, December 16th) to give people a chance to enter. See this link for details about the contest to win both of my two new books in time for Christmas!

I also am running a great sale on my two new books. Check the website by clicking here to see all of my books and the sale on the new ones, Grace Cafe: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering and The Domestic Church: Room by Room: A Mother's Study Guide. You can't win if you don't enter. :)

God bless,


Monday, December 15, 2008

"The Dignity of a Person" released recently

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican hardened its opposition Friday to using embryos for stem cell research, cloning and in-vitro fertilization. But in a major new document on bioethics, it showed flexibility on some forms of gene therapy and left open questions surrounding embryo adoption.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued "The Dignity of a Person" to help answer bioethical questions that have emerged in the two decades since its last such document was published.

With it, the Vatican essentially confirmed in a single, authoritative instruction the opinions of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Vatican advisory body that has debated these issues for years..." (Continued here)

Mom's Corner this morning! Book contest too!

Here's the link you'll want to have to listen to my chat this morning with my dear friend and radio host, Teresa Tomeo on our Mom's Corner segment at "Catholic Connection." I hope that you'll join us!

God bless!


I'm giving away books!

I have extended my launch sale for my two new books, Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering and The Domestic Church: Room by Room for Christmas gift buying. There's still time to get your autographed and inscribed books delivered by Priority Mail to you to arrive before Christmas.

Take a look at my website here and check out the book page to see all of the titles. The new books are displayed on the front web page as well.

Also, I will be running a contest today. I will be on Teresa Tomeo's show this morning at 9:15 AM Eastern time. For all of the listeners who visit any of my blogs today and leave a comment, you will be entered into a drawing to win BOTH copies of my new books! Just be sure to leave a comment at one of my three blogs by 8:00 PM Eastern time and say that you want to be entered into the contest to win the books. That's all you have to do! I will pick the winner tonight and announce it on my blogs.

I hope you get a chance to tune into the radio show this morning. Details are right here with a link to listen LIVE from your computer.

May God bless your Advent season!


Fr. Tom's reflection: The third Sunday of Advent...REJOICE!

Go on over to Fr. Tom's blog to read his reflection on the third Sunday of Advent. Just click here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jesus at the Post Office...What?!?

Go on over to my Embracing Motherhood blog to find about Jesus at the Post Office and my radio segment coming up this Monday morning with Teresa Tomeo on "Catholic Connection." I hope you'll be able to join us for our Advent theme and lots of fun stuff!

God bless your Advent!


Monday, December 8, 2008

The feast of the Immaculate Conception

St Anne Conceiving the Virgin Mary by Jean Bellegambe. (Flemish painter c. 1480 - c. 1535)

Vatican City, Dec 8, 2008 / 11:47 am (CNA).- In celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Pope Benedict XVI presided over the angelus prayer today at noon. The Pontiff said that this feast is a chance to "contemplate the reflection of the Beauty who saves the world: the beauty of God that shines on the face of Christ."

Thousands of pilgrims poured into St. Peter's Square today to pray the angelus with the Holy Father and hear his teaching on the Virgin Mary. Pope Benedict described her, saying, "this beauty is totally pure, humble, free from arrogance and presumption." This is how the Virgin appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, where she told the saint, "I am the Immaculate Conception," he reminded the faithful.

The Pope explained that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary recalls two truths of the faith: the existence of original sin, and especially the victory of Christ over evil, a victory that shines so sublimely in the form of the Virgin Mary.

"The existence of what the Church calls ‘original sin’ is unfortunately overwhelmingly evident, if only we look around us and within ourselves. The experience of evil is so consistent that it arouses in us the question: where did it come from?" This question becomes an "even more profound one" for the believer, the Pope noted. "If God, who is absolute Kindness, has created everything, where does evil come from?" he asked.

Benedict XVI explained that the answer is clear from the first pages of the Bible, which tell the story of creation and the fall of the first parents.

"God created all that exists, in particular he has created human beings in his own image, he did not cause death, but it entered the world through the envy of the devil (Wisdom 1:13-14; 2,23-24), who rebelled against God, and also deceived men, causing them to rebel." (Continued here)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Petition the United Nations

PETITION THE United Nations

On December 10th, pro-abortion groups will present petitions asking the United Nation's General Assembly to make abortion a universally recognized human right. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute created an alternate petition drive that calls for government to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as protecting the unborn child from abortion. They need at least 100,000 signatures by December 10th, the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please go to the Website: and sign the petition. It takes only a minute to do. Please help. It's our duty.