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Category: Growing in Christ

Super Girls and Halos: A Book Review

We’re so excited to be a part of the Super Girls and Halos Blog Tour! We’re stop #11 on this tour. Check out yesterday’s stop over at Life in Every Limb and be sure to check out the next stop at our friend Ginny’s Not So Formulaic. To catch all of the posts on the tour, head over to our other good friend, Allison Gingras’ website Reconciled to You to read them all! And now, without further ado, here’s Bridgette’s review!

Supergirls and Halos When I talk about the saints with anyone who doesn’t really understand what place they have in the Church, I like to say that they are like a the Christian Hall of Fame – people who have exemplified the Christian life and heroically lived out the virtues we are all called to embody, often in extremely difficult circumstances.

I find that that analogy comes alive in Maria Morera Johnson’s book. She takes the women our culture tells us we should emulate and look up to and pairs them with a real life heroine of our faith and shows us how we can find virtue (and heroes) literally anywhere we look. Virtues of justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance are clearly defined using Catholic sources and Merriam-Webster to give us a full understanding of what these virtues mean – which is good, because how often do you hear words like “prudence” and “temperance” used in our world today to describe someone’s character? – and then gives us examples in pop culture women and saints to show those virtues in action.

Saints & Sci-Fi

The fictional characters are generally science-fiction, comic book, and fantasy characters and span a wide range of familiarity. Some younger ladies might not know who Dana Scully and Lt. Uhura are, and some more experienced ladies might not have gotten into Harry Potter and Hunger Games. But whatever your level of knowledge about these superheroes, this book will give you an in-depth character study and a thorough introduction into the world of each woman in a passionate and conversational tone.

The tone gets a bit more pragmatic as the discussion turns to the corresponding saint, but these stories are still full of inspiration and give real life examples of heroism in our own world. Some of the saints are well known and beloved by many like Sts. Mary Magdalene and Clare of Assisi. But how much do you know about Sts. Cunegunde, Marguerite d’Youville, or Mary MacKillop? I just met them in this book and I love them!

If you or someone you know struggles with understanding the saints and their importance, but you love comic books or Star Wars, this book could help bridge that gap. It could also help you to seek and find the virtue in every hero you come across, real or fictional, and inspire you to live out these virtues in your own life to become the saintly heroine you are called to be in Christ Jesus.

SuperSaints!

There are so many Super Saints in the Catholic Church. Men and women who lived in castles or among the poorest of society, those called to the religious life and those called to marriage, young and old, quiet and contemplative or fierce and saucy. Anyone can find a Saint or eight that feel so familiar or inspiring for whatever life has you dealing with.

My patron Saint is St Bernadette because of her love for Mary and the healing I received from waters of Lourdes at a very young age. But if I had to pick one Super Saint it would be Mary Magdalene, my Confirmation Saint. The things that made me love her when I chose to take her name still ring true today.

She is discussed in the book so I don’t really want to give anything away, but her humility and courage in following Jesus, her love and care of Him in His life and death, and her joy upon seeing Him after He rose from the dead all inspire me and give me hope that I too can live as she lived and gain the reward she received – being with Jesus for all eternity in Heaven. Of course it might have been easier for her since He was physically there for her, but I need to remember that He is also inside my husband and children and I am called to heroically love Christ in and through them.

Who is your Super Saint? Let us know in the comments and on social media using #SuperGirlsandHalos. We can’t wait to hear who you love!

Feminine Genius: the Gift of Sensitivity

This post is a part of a Feminine Genius series written by four different bloggers. If you are just joining the series now and want to learn more you can start here: Introduction to the Feminine Genius Series. The series will conclude on November 27. Want more? Last week’s post was Receptivity at Little Tabernacle and next week’s will be on Generosity at Strengthen My Heart. This post features a giveaway from Rose Harrington. This giveaway is now closed. Please keep reading to find out more!

Sensitivity

I am going to say that the topic of sensitivity is probably my favorite!  First things first I would love to explain Feminine Genius expression.

From the Endow Bible Study A Letter to Women:

“Pope Saint John Paul II instituted the adage, Feminine Genius. It speaks to a woman’s capacity to make room for “the other.” This capacity manifests itself in four different areas: receptivity, sensitivity, generosity, and maternity.”

That is a little wordy; my interpretation is that our Feminine Genius has four major topics that our true dignity as women shines in our everyday lives. How we as women use this wonderful sensitivity trait to lighten the world.

Sensitivity, according to Webster’s dictionary, is as follows:

“having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others feelings.”

I used to view being sensitive as a bad thing. When I was small, I was labeled for being sensitive and a crybaby; it wasn’t until I was an adult and saw how my sensitivity made me a better person and set me apart.

Power in Sensitivity

Sensitivity is power trait; it makes you see beyond the walls others put up. It enables you to see when a friend is hurting, a child is frustrated, or a hubby who just has a ball of anxiety in his heart. Possessing this trait is an awesome superpower. I know how cliché this sounds but I’ve said it before on the blog, and I want to say it again now anyway: “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Uncle Ben from Spider-Man.

It is true. God gave us the awesome gift to share and to offer others comfort, advice, or a voice.

Using Your Voice

I am passionate about the pro-life cause. I am a product of adoption. I grew up with an awesome family. My family and I are forever grateful to my biological mom for choosing life. She gave me a voice and an opportunity to do God’s Will.

With that one choice from her (and a lot of training from my mom), I grew up advocating for the voiceless.

I am a heavenly mother to multiple children and my hubby and I do not have any children on this earth. My voice is forever going to be for the babies that never got a chance. My voice is in constant prayers that the mothers that are choosing this hard decision will turn around and give their child up to a willing family. I know that, personally, I would take any child into my home that needed to be cared and loved on.

I want to challenge you to use your voice for good.

Sensitivity is always a good thing whether for comforting, giving Godly advice, or for fighting for basic human needs when others cannot.

It is an awesome gift and, as women, we all have this gift.

~Rachel

One lucky reader will win an 8×10” print which depicts Edith Stein’s quote, “The world doesn’t need what women have, it needs what women are.” Hand painted and digitized, the design is printed by a local printer on 100 lb white linen paper for a classy, elegant finish.

Sensitivity Feminine Genius Rose Harrington Giveaway Old Fashioned Girl

Katrina Harrington is the designer behind the shop, Rose Harrington. The shop began with early morning hour musings back in December 2014. It was created to fill a void that Katrina had found in the art world. She desired hand-lettered designs and prints of Scripture and inspirational quotes, but couldn’t find any. The self-taught painter decided to create the own shop as a way to offer beauty and support her family. Today she is exploring the depth of historical flower theology and Mary Gardens, leading her to create botanical rosary art. Each piece is hand painted (usually with a child on Katrina’s lap!) and printed at high quality shops in the United States. 

Check out the giveaway here on Rafflecopter! This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner!

Please support this beautiful Catholic artisan and continue to join us in the Feminine Genius Series. 

Mourning & Laughing

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die…. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.” ~ Ecclesiates 3:1-2a, 4


October is almost over. Fall weather is finally looking like it’s going to stick around and we can enjoy our season of boots, scarves, long sleeves, and peppermint mochas (or pumpkin spice, if that’s your cup of tea. Coffee. Whatever.) Some of the best holidays and holy days are fast approaching with all the joy and stress that they bring.

For some of us, October is a hard month. It was this month six years ago that I lost and buried my mother, events I am still trying to mourn. Rachel has bravely shared her struggles, and she’s not alone in her losses. Maybe October isn’t your favorite month for some other reason.

But there are reasons for these seasons. If we were always laughing we might lose the sparkle in our eyes because tears would never wash them. If it were always autumn we would miss the flowers and new life. If pumpkin spice or peppermint mochas were always around our excitement might fade to complacency.

God is good and knows our needs. He brings us through to lighter seasons and can bring our mourning into focus. The pain might never go away and we will randomly start to cry at the slightest thing that reminds us of our hurts, but there are so many other things moving forward to be excited about, to look forward to, and to grow from.

Let us pray together today for those in a season of weeping or mourning, that we might weep and mourn with them and gracefully transition in communion to a season of laughing and dancing and peppermint mochas.

Who Am I?

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10

Who am I?

It’s a question we sometimes ask ourselves. It can be a reflective question, help us spur up some motivation to adjust our priorities, or sometimes we ask and have no answer.

As I’ve travelled through my vocation as wife and mother I’ve often been left unsure of the answer. I’d previously been very comfortable in who I was, but cleaving to my husband gave me new responsibilities and direction. Having children really turned things upside down. I no longer had time or energy for the things I used to do that made me ME. The important, mundane, exhausting, and subliminally rewarding tasks of motherhood consumed me and I no longer recognized myself in the mirror.

Through all of these changes and my identity crises God was constantly bestowing His graces, strengthening me in my weakness and giving me the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Every time I’d ask Him this question, “Who am I?” there were always two answers – the most important being His beloved daughter.

Wherever you are on your journey, whether you are sure of who you are and where you are going or you feel aimless and completely lost in the darkness, rest in the knowledge that you are who you are by the grace of God. He loved you into being and delights in you. His grace is sufficient and is not bestowed in vain. You are a beloved child of God. That is who you are.

Guardian Angels and Second Chances

Happy feast day to all of our guardian angels (and happy October)! Miss daily Mass, don’t own a Magnificat, and want to see today’s readings? Check them out here on the USCCB website! We know, we know…the featured image for this post features Christmas angels (and ornaments!) and it’s still ordinary time over here, BUT two things: first, our guardian angels are with us during Christmas and secondly, those are from my mom’s mantle at Christmas and I just love her house then. A preview of an upcoming post, perhaps? We shall see!

Guardian Angels

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 336: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’ Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.” You can read more about the angels in the catechism online here. How cool is it to know that we have an angel as a protector and shepherd for us from conception to death? Dearest guardian angel, pray for me.

Second Chances

This reminds me that I’m never alone and that God is providing for me ALWAYS, from the time I was in my mother’s womb until I return to him. I mean, we know that he gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us as well, so we’re never truly alone, but this brings me to a greater point that I heard in our deacon’s homily yesterday: God gives us second (and third…and seventh…and fiftieth…) chances.

God wants us to seek him, but he’s constantly seeking us, too.

Does it matter if I let my plate get too full and skimp on the prayers? Welllll…yes, for my spiritual health, it does. But it isn’t a deal breaker for God. He wants us to get back on the proverbial horse when we fall and pick back up where we left off. Like Bridgette mentioned last week, God can take that which we can’t, and he’s always there for us with open arms.

Kristi

P.S. Join us over on Instagram for a fun #Rosaryathon photo challenge for October, the month of the Holy Rosary! Yesterday we posted our favorite rosary and today is all about guardian angels!