This post may not be successful as it is being posted on Friday the 13th. But of course it is countered by the holiness of the feast day of the first the first U.S. citizen to be canonized as a Saint. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. The Italian American Mother Teresa.
I had been thinking over the past week that I had spent all my creative energy and I didn’t have any more juice left to squeeze out of my brain. My blog posts would come to an end because I was blocked by my ADHD, blank indecisive mind and addiction to just browsing Facebook and looking up the latest gossip and and making sure I had the correct thoughts on the election, Pope Francis’s latest controversial statements and the latest dumb thing such and such a Catholic said about this and that. Seriously can you believe he/she said that? When God was handing out brains they thought He said trains, and so it they left the station.
My brain had burnt out and I was left to just sit and watch Schitt’s Creek with my wife. But then I was asked to make a non-political post by fellow Patheos writer William Hemsworth.
So I decided to make a post highlighting some positive, creative, fun, stellar, holy and mostly non-controversial Catholics whose material and posts are mostly uplifting and encouraging. I’ve mentioned some of these folks before in my other blog posts, but I’m doing it again just because. Check them all out for Catholic encouragement.
But before we begin I want to make one political point. Here is the real winner of the 2020 election.
Also I just found out that my daughter delivered a healthy baby girl. 19 inches 7 pounds. I believe the name is Aurora Clare.
William Hemsworth blogs over at Patheos Catholic The Pursuit of Holiness blog. His mission in writing is to evangelize with the positive reinforcement of Jesus and his overwhelming love for his church and humanity. There is no time while pursuing holiness to focus in and concentrate on the faults and foibles of other Catholics. You can always expect a good word about God and others from Mr. Hemsworth.
Allow me to ask you question. What consumes your time in your daily life? There are many answers to this question, but lets apply it to our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit. You may eat right and workout, but what else are you consuming? As we go through today lets examine our lives. Is there something that you do on a regular basis that defames the temple? We can work on it and rely on the grace of Christ to get better. Don’t give up and don’t give in.
William Hemsworth, Temple Of The Holy Spirit (NOVEMBER 9, 2020) The Pursuit of Holiness @ Patheos Catholic
A Meme William sent out.
Matthew Vincent Chicoine blogs in may different places. Voyage Comics, Epic Pew, Catholic Exchange are his regular websites. In the past he wrote for Catholic Stand, Catholic Insight, and did book reviews for Homiletic and Pastoral Review.
And he has also written for AllPro Dad. When I see a post from him on Facebook I know I’ll get encouragement or a laugh or some spiritual insight into something. He is another Catholic who thrives on positivity, orthodox teaching and charity in his writing.
He says things like this…
Tired of the animosity occurring on social media? Focus on the one thing you can be in control—you’re reply when people attack you. Fight back with kindness. Satan can’t survive in an environment of kindness.
Saint Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church for a reason. Her spiritual acumen is second to none.
Naming my youngest child after her (Avila) has proven a decision guided by the Holy Spirit.
and writes cool stuff like this…
Despite our various experiences we all undergo pain (and taxes and death). Suffering unites humans. Saint Gemma Galgani wrote, “If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer, because suffering teaches you to love.” Such a powerful statement! Unless you suffer you won’t be able to comprehend this truth. It appears as a mystery.
As the “world’s greatest detective’”(sorry Sherlock!) Batman learned suffering teaches you about people. Never take a life. His refusal to kill is reflected in his weaponry choice (grappling gun, batarangs, and swords as opposed to firearms). But the Dark Knight also seeks to understand his villains’ point of view.
-Matt Chicoine, Batman and how suffering can transform you into a saint Voyage Comics
William and Matthew are two of the most positive Catholics I see on Facebook.
I can’t talk about positivity and civility and not mention.. Jimmy Akin.
Jimmy can whip anybody’s insignificant puny brian with his huge timelord’s size database of facts and knowledge. But like Superman, he has the power but doesn’t use it to squash puny mortals. When he could pour out the hurt on insignificant philosophies and ideas he actually treats the opposition with respect and dignity. This makes him all the more interesting as a person. He was gracious enough to give a exclusive interview to the Catholic Bard about his stellar and fascinating podcast ‘Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World.”
In fact the latest episode of Mysterious World premiering today on Friday the 13th is about the 1973 Pascagoula UFO abduction story of Calvin Parker and Charles Hicksonis. It is podcast episode # 127 and this article is post #127. Coincidence? If you want interesting insights into the wonders of life with a catholic spiritual overview, look no further then Jimmy Akin.
I’ve been watching the British detective show Endeavour (prequel to Inspector Morse), which is set in the 1960s, and I’ve noticed two things: (1) The police officers walk into dangerous environments UNARMED all the time–without blinking. (2) The police officers–and everybody else–drink alcohol A LOT, even during the work day. Can’t help wondering if these two things are related somehow.- Jimmy Akin on Facebook
You can also hear him on Catholic Answers Live....
Fr. Matthew P. Schneider LC is an example of priestly holiness, gentleness and common sense. Fr. Matthew also happens to be autistic which brings a unique worldview to his role as a Catholic priest. He blogs his inspirational writing over at Patheos Catholic Through Catholic Lenses. He sounds like the priest I would want to hear my confession.
When someone in confession says they don’t know what to do, I say something along the lines of, “You say, ‘Father, forgive me for it has been 120 years since my last confession & since then, I’ve killed 75 people.’ Or maybe something a little less than that.”
I like this as:
1. It shows the basic structure of a confession.
2. It helps people realize God can forgive everything (& their sins aren’t the end of the world).
3. Such comical exaggeration of an average confession breaks the ice when such people are usually nervous.
I mention this today, as recently I’ve found out that two people were really helped by this when coming back to confession & nervous. I figured others might be helped by this.- Fr. Matthew P. Schneider LC
Some of the most insightful insights I receive on my timeline come from President and CEO of Ignatius Press Mark Brumley and Deacon Steven D. Greydanus founder of Decentfilms.com and writer for the National Catholic Register. They always give good charitable thoughtful musings into theology and life in general. And even when they do talk about politics they are very reasoned in their opinions and charitable in their responses to others.
Well, I see, he said, you’ve not dropped a line obscure for quite some time.
Indeed, I said, I haven’t and thus from words I have not made of late some offending rhyme.
Why so obscure?, he asks. Obscure it is to thee, I say, but not to me.
Then Herbert, Herbert, Hebert dictates by his question:
“Must all be veil’d, while he that reads, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?”
Be not afraid! I say. “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”
But we shall not know as we are known, nor shall we converse with God face to face, till we have faces, and Eden has been re-found and more fully planted by hands divine.- Mark Brumley
J (19): Do you think Jesus was speaking humorously when he told Peter he would make him a fisher of men? It sounds very serious when you read it in church, but…
Me: It’s easy to minimize Jesus’ sense of humor. Some of—
A (17): Let’s not de-humorize Jesus, the way we de-feathered the T-Rex
–Deacon Steven D. Greydanus
Avellina Balestri is a inspiring young writer who blogs over at Patheos Catholic Longbows & Rosary Beads and is Editor-in-chief at Fellowship & Fairydust. Fellowship & Fairydust (F&F), is a literary magazine comprised of seasonal issues and a regular blog, with the mission of inspiring faith and creativity and exploring the arts through a spiritual lens. It is an ecumenical site which respects people of all faiths and beliefs. Avellina is just an incredible person and I can’t say enough good things about her. She is also working on a Robin Hood novel.
The Church seems forever to be moving between the poles of Christmas and Easter. I have just thought that perhaps they might be equated to Christmas as a wedding feast for the wedding of God and Man, and the Paschal mysteries of Passion and Resurrection which physically and spiritually consummateds that love through utter expiation of self on behalf of the other. The end of the physical universe as we know it, and the fusion of the new heaven and the new earth, are like the child born from this union. God and Man birth the New Jerusalem where union reigns forever, and all things are brought to completion and perfection.-Avellina BalestriR.C. Mulhare There’s a lot of fictional worlds I’d like to visit, but many of the ones I enjoy reading about make better vacation locations than places to live (H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham or G.R.R. Martin’s Westeros, anyone??). A much younger R.C. would have loved to live in Narnia (my mother can attest to the times I’ve tapped on the back of the wardrobe in what used to be our spare room), while these days I’d love to travel with Le Cirque du Reves of Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”. I’d either be one of the fans or possibly a performer (some kind of living sculpture or just an oddball who helps add to the gently gothic atmosphere)For some reason I really like to talk about the glories of speculative fiction women authors. Avelenna covered Fantasy and Renee horror and for Science Fiction we have Karina Fabian. Ms. Fabian is one of the founding members of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, an American-based but international organization of Catholic writers, editors and illustrators, officially established in 2009. She was actually nice enough to sell me an out of print copy of her anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God (2010).Karina Lumbert Fabian I don’t believe in writer’s block. It sounds like some mysterious, outside force has stopped my writing. If I am not writing, something inside me is causing me to not write – a story intimidates me, I’m not happy with my current books sales, I’m feeling lazy… The only answer is to address the issue and to write, write, write, even if I don’t feel like it. Imagine if lawyers got “blocked” or carpenters or police officers and then used that excuse to stop doing their work. Writing, while creative, is still something you must choose to do when the words don’t come easily.’
It is inspiring to read about the inner life of nuns and their mission of living out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Especially when they work with the elderly. I work with the elderly by washing their dishes so they have clean plates to eat off of. Sister Christina Marie Neumann works at St. Anne’s Living Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota. And she also blogs at Our Franciscan Fiat the blog of the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen in our Hankinson Province.Working in a long-term care facility during a pandemic that is especially hard on elderly and compromised individuals is something like a balancing act, as we strive to protect our residents, while still allowing them to enjoy life as much as possible. It isn’t easy, and none of us has all the answers.
It is inspiring to watch a young, pretty, energetic and plucky Catholic young woman talk about the truth of our Catholic faith. Lizzie Reezay is unique among modern Catholic apologists. She started out as a young protestant teeny bopper and blossomed into a young adult convert Catholic. She is delightful and worth listening to for spiritual pluckiness.Today’s new video!! Why I STOPPED WEARING PANTS to Mass, Confession, Eucharistic adoration…anytime I’m inside a Catholic Church! I used to dress VERY casually, wearing shorts and flip flops and jeans into daily Mass and not thinking about dressing up, but everything changed this year after a tense interaction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqVcAqAwwQcThere are so many more people I could put here in detail…Bishop Barron and Word on Fire ministries who helps me to Love Jesus more.Fr. Mike Schmitz and Father Casey Cole who help bring practical common sense to spirituality.
Joe Harder who leads the FB group The Best of Everything: A Banquet to Which Everyone is Invited.
David Mills a source of wit and great writing.
Christin Jezak A beautiful young catholic actress.
Lino Rulli– Your source for pure Catholic pleasure and comedy.
Bishop Robert Reed and CatholicTV America’s Catholic TV Network
Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP– who sweetly helps you think of death and meeting God through the ancient discipline of memento mori.
Caroline Furlong another great Sci-Fi female WriterBob Rice- Youth Leader. Professor. Family Man. Great Singer. All around great guy.
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe Writer. Mother. Another Great Singer.
Domenico Bettinelli who leads the Catholic Nerd podcast network SQPN
Tom and Noelle Crowe finds the hidden gems and compelling stories of Catholic Americans who have contributed to their nation by virtue of their faith over the past three centuries in the great podcast American Catholic History
But I’ll end with 1 more inspiring female. She is usually positive and is not cruel or mean. She knows how to laugh hard and can also cry very easily. She is passionate about her faith even if she actually struggles with it. She doesn’t write or blog all that often but when she does it is usually poetic. I just want to hug her because she is so lovely and wonderful. I may be biased but she is just one of my favorite people. Her name is
The Paradox of the Lilly
When things get difficult my friend,
Remember Heaven is your end.
And though my question may seem silly,
Why not so the Easter Lilly?
What lesson do we learn from this humble little flower?
Who simply recalls God’s purity and power?
They are just simple flowers and don’t know how to sin.
Spent their lives silent, wrapped in golden tin.
You spent your life dear Lilly for our sake and for God.
Did you find joy in serving us here? Or was it very hard?
Oh lovely Easter Lilly, special part of God’s creation!
So honored were you by the altar during Transubstantiation.
And Dear Jesus shared his home with you.
You rested by Saint Anthony’s statue when your time was nearly through.
For with you lovely Lilly he holds Jesus by his side
And if I sat here long enough I surely would have cried.
Lovely Lilly you sat in our church and listen as we sing.
You shared with us our Easter joy but did not last through spring.
So good bye little Lilly, you met your ending here.
And indeed I did sit long enough to shed myself a tear.
Dear friend have you ever felt as tired as a Lilly, like these ones turning brown
With lovely dying flowers drooping right straight down.
Lilies, such a sign of God’s perfection.
But you will never know Eternal Resurrection.