Sunday, April 19, 2015

Giveaway for the Perfect First Communicant Gift

1.  In celebration of my daughter's upcoming First Communion, I'm hosting a giveaway and doing a movie and book review at Catholic 365.

2.     Here's an excerpt on the book review: 

        "...The “Dear God” novels by Patti Maguire-Armstrong is a series that features a couple of Catholic brothers who struggle with relatable experiences.  In “Dear God, I don’t Get It,” 12-year old Aaron Ajax believes God doesn’t answer prayers until his faith and courage are tested by a dilemma involving a neighbor and persecution in school.   In the second book, “Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious,” 9-year old Luke Ajax distresses over life-changing news that he’s going to be homeschooled.   How the brothers resolve the choices they face is influenced largely by the virtues extolled in their Catholic faith."

3.  For the full book and movie review, visit "The Perfect First Communicant's Gift at Catholic 365.    

4.  For an excerpt on the movie review of "The Greatest Miracle":

     “The greatest Miracle,” [is] a computer animated DVD drama that is well-crafted as it is insightful.   The story opens with a widow who has problems with her teenage son.  Her life briefly and rudely intersects a bus driver, whose son is comatose.  They both end up assisting Mass, where they physically see spiritual realities that are normally hidden from human eyes and they learn the truths that human hearts were made for.    The movie is an emotional drama (the good kind), supported by a gorgeous musical score to produce an inspiring spiritual eye-opener to the invisible miracles all around us. Our family has watched it over and over, each time absorbing more understanding about the truth of the Catholic faith, and appreciating the depth of the Eucharist. As a homeschooler, I find that it provides a stunning visual aid to our Catechism instruction. For us, the movie is a springboard for discussing spiritual warfare, Confession, Eucharist, purgatory, sainthood, death and prayers in school and around the dinner table..." 
5.  To win the book giveaway, say a prayer of choice for my daughter to have a lifelong devotion to the Eucharist (honesty system here, God's watching so I don't need to), leave a comment below with your email or email me   If it's a gift item, I can ship it to your favorite first communicant with a gift message. The giveaway ends April 30th, 2015.

6.  For the movie link, here is the first part on youtube.  (Hey, its free so it counts as a giveaway, right?)  The rest of part 3 and 4 will pop up on your youtube recommendation side bar.  Like I said, I highly recommend the movie (which I've watched over and over) --for children and adults.  If you want to buy the DVD (and you should), you can buy it at this website

7.   Good luck.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Nesting, Guesting, Newborns, JFulwiler vs CHammond

You could say my quiet spell has something to do with being a tad busy lately. But I’ve got time for an update at h/p/f/r on Like Mother, Like Daughter and 7 quick takes on This aint the Lyceum, so let’s roll.
1. First there was a frenzied nesting sweeping across the Hazard home. And by “nesting”, I mean I was remodeling while sitting on a rolypoly third-trimester body, because someone else was doing all the work for me.  We said goodbye to the fireplace and black skin-disease-infected couch that was oozing white fluff.  



2.  The two wicker armchairs, still in good health after a decade, scaled the stairs and joined the homeschool room, which is now apparently a billiard room slash lounge with a complete Lego-town museum around the corner ("Don’t touch" warns the security officer, "Legos are not toys!")

3.  Finally, my baby arrived, making me the happiest and most exhausted of mamas this side of the eclipse.  I am overwhemingly grateful at the kindness of family and friends during the babymoon.  So many baby clothes, gifts, delicious dinners!  And you know what they say about motherhood getting easier when you have more children?  It really is true. Older sisters make such great babysitters. 


4.   While I was napping (or nursing, one of the two), something wonderful happened.  One of the biggest gathering of inspiring women bloggers, Catholic Sistas, featured li'l 'ole me in their Fabulously Featured Series.  Still can’t believe I’m rubbing shoulders with the blog that wowed me the most when I was just starting out.  Thank you, sistas!

5.   I guest posted at Jenna’s Call Her Happy with an older post “Are you done and other Questions You were too embarrassed to ask me”.  Everyone knows Jenna is witty, friendly and popular around the blogosphere.  And just when I think she’s outdone herself with tips and ideas, she’s always got some more helpful lifestyle information.   

6.  Jennifer Fulwiler is coming to my neck of the woods to speak on evangelization AND Colleen Hammond is scheduled to speak on a Homeschool Conference.  Problem is: I can’t do both. Oh dilemma, dilemma. JF, the atheist to Catholic mother of all bloggers, is fun, inspiring, and since I never listen to radio talk shows, now is my chance to catch her live.   On the other hand, CH was the game-changing author who opened my eyes on modesty and  improved my fashion sense.  (Have you seen her Modest Fashionista Pinterest Board #modestdoesntmeanfrumpy? Wowza, it's not everyday momma wear but oh-so-classy) What to do, O internet, what to do?

7.  Oh * sniff*.  It seems like it was just yesterday when my water broke and I pushed out a newborn.  But time sure goes by fast, and now I have a little man...
{Funny} I knew it. Boys like to play dress up, too.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Are You Ready for the Blood Moon Prophecies?

               Featured on Catholic Stand.

 With the third blood moon in a tetrad approaching on Easter, and colliding on a Jewish Feast Day, prophecies are swirling about important events to stun the world: war, earthquake, volcanic eruption, Church schism, terrorist attack, economic crash, disease outbreak, asteroids or the end of Western life as we know it…  Are you ready for all that?  Me neither. I’m preoccupied enough paying attention to my present day-to-day duties and will gladly turn over tomorrow to God’s capable hands.

            And yet, Jesus taught us to expect that the kingdom of God is coming any day.  Knowing that today could be that day inspires me to work hard for my salvation constantly as well as for the salvation of souls entrusted to me.  I’m not talking about sporting a goatee, chomping grasshoppers, modeling camel hair and manning the sidewalks with the neon placard “Repent! The kingdom of God is at Hand.” I’m suggesting three easy practices and devotions that the Church has gifted us to help ourselves, our loved ones and the world in general.

            1. Confession for ourselves.

            The Sacrament of Confession restores our souls to a state of grace, the best preparation for kingdom come. The Code of Canon Law requires all the faithful: “After having the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.”  But we’re not limited to this minimum requirement. Frequent confession impels us to examine our conscience, repent of our sins against God’s love and correct our path to eternal life. Forgiveness is a gift in the Confessional that Jesus gave us freely, so why be stingy when it comes to receiving mercy and absolution for our sins?

            St. Thomas said,  “In the spiritual life, a man is sick on account of sin.  For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.”

            2. Sacramentals for our loved ones.

            Sacramentals don’t confer grace the same way sacraments do.  However, Catechism 1670 states that “by the prayer of the Church, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it.”  Sacramentals prepare us to receive the sacraments of the Church, which is the direction we desire for our loved ones. One such sacramental that has gained popular devotion is the green scapular.

             Ten years after the Miraculous Medal was given to Catherine of Laboure, the Blessed Mother offered the Green Scapular to another Daughter of Charity nun, Sr. Justine Bisqueyburu.  The green scapular is a piece of cloth attached to a cord, with the prayer “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death”  and blessed by a priest as a sacramental.  Approved by Pope Pius IX, this scapular devotion to Our Lady by invoking her intercession can be expressed by wearing the scapular, or placing it under the bed or in the room of someone for whom we are praying.  Its graces include healing, conversion (for those away from the Church or unbelievers) and protection.

            3. Divine Mercy Chaplet for the world. 

            Thanks to St. John Paul II, the Divine Mercy Chaplet has become one of the most recent popular devotions in the Church. He once said, “Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter’s See in Rome, I consider this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world.”

             The Divine Mercy devotion was revealed to St. Faustina, to whom Our Lord appeared and requested an image of himself painted.   St. Faustina’s Diary contains Jesus own words disclosing the depths of his unfathomable mercy before the time of God’s justice arrives.   With the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Jesus gave the promise: “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. … Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy.”

            The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday and ends on the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday.  For each day, Jesus requested that a specific group of souls be brought before His mercy.  Calling down God’s mercy on this series of nine days is how we can pray for a world steeped in sin, as St. John Paul II urged us.

         I don't doubt that true prophets in this day and age warn us of disastrous consequences if we fail to live for God's kingdom. Keeping vigilance over our souls and praying for conversions makes us far more prepared for whatever comes, whenever it comes than building a fool-proof shelter from the falling cosmos.