Helpful Catholics and Happy Catholics

Here is how helpful, concerned Catholics (and friends) can donate to Catholic Relief Services specifically for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami:

As with all such disasters, CRS will help people recover from the emergency and stand with them as they recover in the months and years to come.”

Caritas Japan is beginning to assess the needs in that country where the tsunami has caused extensive damage. CRS has programs in the Philippines and Indonesia and works with Caritas Oceania that is active in numerous islands in the Pacific that might be affected. Central American countries where CRS works could also be in danger.

And Catholics who are normally happy and might like a palate cleanser to today’s grim news, there is help: Happy Catholic is now a book!

Writes Julie:

It has one of the features that is most popular [on the site], the daily quotes, combined with my reflections on them. These are the sorts of thoughts that go through my head when I put the quotes in my journal and on the blog. I just don’t usually share them. I wrote all but a couple of these 149 reflections specifically for the book, most of them while sitting in front of the tabernacle in our Church. So if you especially like one or two of them, then you know who to thank for the inspiration. (Hint: it ain’t me!)

She gives an excerpt here.

Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s rebellion. — Alice Cooper

If you care about what people think of you, then you should not have become a Catholic. — St. John Vianney

It is astounding that as far as we have advanced, there is still nothing more shocking to the world than a faithful Christian. Jesus was radical in his time. Following Christ makes us radicals in turn. We’re called on to slice through all those neat little boxes that people use to make things more understandable. There is no political party we can trust. There is no nation that gets it right. There is no cultural group where we are going to completely feel at home. We are the ultimate outsiders. That’s OK, really. If we’re doing it right, then we’re upsetting things because we won’t “settle” and we won’t conform. We answer to a higher power.

Take another look at that crucifix and remember the only really original rebel, the one whose watchword of “Love one another” casts the world into confusion. Then prepare to be fully yourselves in Christ and watch the confusion spread, along with the love.

I read the uncorrected proof and loved that this book could be at once humorous, insightful, thoughtful and serious. Can’t wait to get my hands on my copy!

Publication date is early April, and the book can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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