Write In Between

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Matthew Kelly

What is holiness? Holiness is an opportunity.
Every person that comes into your life, every circumstance or
event of your life, is an opportunity to be holy.
Your holiness is measured by how lovingly you respond
to God in the moments of the day.
Most of us recognize that we want to love God.
The problem is that we are inconsistent at grasping the
moments of the day one by one for God.
If we examine ourselves individually the reason we find for our
inconsistent response to God is that our lives of prayer
reflect the same inconsistency.
If we feel like praying we pray and if we don't feel like praying we don't pray.
The problem with this approach is that if we link our love of God
to our selfish feelings
then obviously there is a contradiction, love being selfless.
God calls you not only to prayer but to consistent prayer.
The more consistency you can bring to your prayer life,
the more consistent your response to God will be
in the moments of the day.
-----Matthew Kelly, Mustard Seeds

Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 23, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 16

Something old....

I write to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless you hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments01-0846--> I may be found a sacrifice [to God].

------The Letter of St. Ignatius to the Romans. (written prior to his martyrdom, approx. 99 AD.)

Something new....

Pope Benedict XVI's Lenten Message is here.

Something borrowed....

Benedict XVI also preaches of the "feminine genius", courtesy here of Feminine-genius.

Why Catholics fast!.

Something blue....

Did you know that this month marked the 150th anniversary of Mary's appearance in Lourdes? More here.

Happy Lent!

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Ash Wednesday

It is interesting to note that in New York City, a very worldly but also surprisingly religious city, a proportionately larger number of its citizens obtain ashes on Ash Wednesday than do the residents of any other city in America. Thousands of people who are not Catholics crowd the churches to receive ashes and be reminded that they are dust and unto dust they shall return...

Whether one receives ashes or not, Christ's message in the Gospel is clear enough: Entrance into the kingdom of God requires repentance. There are several steps to real and effective repentance, as all members of twelve-step groups can tell you....

We must recognize our powerlessness to save ourselves and... must rely of Christ for salvation, as well as for the grace to to accept this salvation from Him. We need to be thoroughly honest with ourselves about our sins and especially about unchristian ways of thinking and unholy desires. We would be wise to confess our weakness honestly and completely...

Finally, we must make amends by following Christ's counsels in the Gospels to do good and to heed His words. "Everyone will be rewarded according to his deeds." (Mt. 16:27). When practicing any virtue or performing any works of mercy, we also must acknowledge openly that we depend wholly on God's grace.

If you are reading this thoughtfully, you are probably saying to yourself, "I have a lot of catching up to do." This is exactly what can happen in the next forty days. What will you do with these days?


Lord Jesus Christ, Your words in the Gospel are very direct. You called all around You to a fuller, more complete, and growing pursuit of the kingdom of God within. During these days of Lent help me to read Your words every day and follow them more faithfully. Let me be honest with myself and not deny that there is much for me to do in order to become Your real disciple. Then take me by the hand and draw me along so that I may follow You. Amen.

-----Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, The King, Crucified and Risen.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 16, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 15

Something old...

Stop being foolish! Get out of that filthy spiritual muck right now. You roll around in sensuality the way pigs roll in mud. But you can stop.

Abandon all cruelty, slander, hatred, spite, complaining, judgmental thoughts, and violence of every sort. Stop dabbling in stealing. Stop betraying. Stop enjoying the stupid pleasures of this world. Cut off pride's smirk.

Refuse the hatred you have in your heart for those who hurt you. Compare the harm you do to God and your neighbors with the hurt done to you, and you'll see that what you do to God and them is far worse than what is done to you. When you hide hatred in your heart, you insult Me, your God. You break My law then. And you hurt your neighbors by depriving them of love.

Remember? I commanded you to love Me above all things, and neighbors as your very self. Notice I didn't qualify this statement. I didn't say, "If they hurt you, don't love them." NO. Your love must be free and genuine because I gave this command. I gave this command, and it's the Truth. Obey it with the same sincerity with which I gave it because--if you don't--you're just hurting your own self and harming your soul by robbing yourself of the life of grace.

-----Dialogue, St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

Something new...

Need a Lenten Retreat, but cramped for time? Try this Radio Retreat through your computer or podcast.


Pope tells us that the Church depends on families.

Something borrowed...

Are you missing adventure in your life? This article by Marcellino D'Ambrosio is not to be missed.


How could a blog that has a weekly post on "Loving the Bride" not include something as lovely as "The Loveliness of Romance", courtesy of Minnesota Mom? Catholic wives and mothers write about love and marriage--who cares if Valentine's Day is over--check it out!

Something blue....

Prayer to Mary Help of Christians

Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin, Help of the Christians, we place ourselves under your motherly protection. Throughout the Church's history you have helped Christians in times of trial, temptation and danger. Time and time again, you have proven to be the Refuge of sinners, the Hope of the hopeless, the Consoler of the afflicted, and the Comforter of the Dying. We promise to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, your Son, to proclaim His Good News of God's love for all people, and to work for peace and justice in our world. With faith in your intercession, we pray for the Church, for our family and friends, for the poor and abandoned, and all the dying. Grant, O Mary, Help of Christians, the graces of which we stand in need. (Mention your intentions.) May we serve Jesus with fidelity and love until death. Help us and our loved ones to attain the boundless joy of being forever with our Father in heaven. Amen.

Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Paula Rinehart

In honor of St. Valentine's Day... a quote about love...

Love anything, C.S. Lewis said, and your heart will surely be wrung.

Love is costly--especially in marriage, the closest of relationships. The blending of two lives changes the whole landscape. Other cherished loyalties play second fiddle. Lifelong dreams may be seriously amended. Death or divorce will feel like someone ripped your skin off. Loving someone is the one venture in life in life in which the more you succeed, the more you have to lose. It is so tempting to keep your heart in reserve. To hedge your bets seems a reasonable choice in the face of things...

The capacity to love--to really give ourselves to someone in marriage, or even in a friendship--is what God made us for. He calls us, first of all, to risk our hearts with him... In letting ourselves be loved, we are able to love. As Romans [5:3-5] says:

We also exult in our tribulations, know that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured within our hearts. (emphasis mine)

My point is that the good work of God in our hearts is to free us to love others without all the costly preoccupation of having to pose and posture and protect ourselves. God would make us extraordinary lovers. In fact, he gives the world the right to judge if we actually know him, not by what we know about him, but by our love for each other. What a sobering thought! "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another," Jesus said. The greatest evidence that we know God is relational--specifically, the power to love against all odds.

Loving and being loved is easy enough to begin, but much harder to sustain. When I studied the ins and outs of family therapy, I discovered a concept that explains the difficulty in relationships, and also argues, indirectly, for the existence of God. The idea is that love in a close relationship between two people is like a two-legged stool. It is inherently unstable. There is too much disappointment to sustain the weight. So our tendency is to form a triangle, by turning to a third party in some way. We often pull in a child, or and in-law, and while that absorbs some of the pressure, it tends to cause more problems than it solves. Much of family therapy is about dissolving triangles and getting each party to relate directly to each other.

This observation facinates me. I think it reveals something of the mind and heart of God--that he designed marriage, and really any close relationship, as a true threesome. It's meant to be a triangulated affair with HIM as the fulcrum of the triangle, the one who bears the real weight. That there is someone to turn to when you are disappointed in a relationship is not just pretty theology, It's the actual truth, the original design. As Solomon wrote in the Book of Ecclesiastes [4:9-10,12],

Two are better than one... For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion... A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

In the truest sense, two people in a relationship are never enough. Love, on a human level, always proves incomplete. We need access to love greater than our own...

Indeed, it is so easy to withdraw or give up when the going gets hard. But a commitment to love means hanging in there.

Love anything, C.S. Lewis said, and your heart will surely be wrung. You would think that such bending and stretching--such suffering--would do you in, like an icepick chipping away until nothing was left. But risky love works by an inverse principle. Our hearts become larger in the process. The more we love,the more we are able to love. We are not depleted, but strangely replenished. Set free. Given more. As the psalmist says, "I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart." [Ps. 119:32]

-----Paula Rinehart, Strong Women, Soft Hearts (Word Publishing, 2001)

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What I've been up to lately....

Blogging has been somewhat light since the first of the year as I'm deep into school work, endeavoring to complete my coursework for my Masters by this time next year. There is always so much to read, research, study, and write (for professors.) I ask for your prayers for my efforts and for the grace necessary to stay disciplined! And the inspiration to write my columns and articles as the Lord the leads!

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

Bookmark and Share

Canticle Magazine

Just a little promotion of a fledgling Catholic magazine for women: Canticle. Yours truly has a feature article entitled: "Friends of the 'Groom': Three Women's Stores of Collaboration." The article features the work of three lay women working as members of parish pastoral staffs.

You might try a year's subscription and see how you like it!

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 09, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 14

Something old....

O Everlasting Love, Jesus, who have enclosed Yourself in the Host,
And therein hid Your divinity and conceal Your beauty,
You do this in order to give Yourself, whole and entire,
to my soul, and in order to not terrify it with Your greatness.

O Everlasting Love, Jesus, who have shrouded Yourself with bread,

Eternal Light, incomprehensible Fountain of joy and happiness,

Because You want to be heaven on earth to me,

That indeed You are, when Your love, O God, imparts itself to me. (1569)

-----Divine Mercy in My Soul, The Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska.

Something new....

You may already know about the Didiche series featuring 4 textbooks developed by Dr. Scott Hahn and others at the St. Paul Center. Now, a former student of Dr. Hahn's, working in Faith Formation for a Catholic church is offering the coursework for "Understanding the Scriptures" on-line. Go here.

Something borrowed....

Want to send a Catholic e-greeting for St. Valentine's Day? Or, send one featuring a saint or a theme from the liturgical calendar? Click here.

Something blue....

A prayer from Blesses Teresa of Calcutta, dated, 10-9-75:

Mary, my dearest Mother,
give me your heart
so beautiful, so pure,
so immaculate, so full of Love
and Humility, that I may
receive Jesus as You did--
and go in haste to give Him
to others.

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- St. Bonaventure

Blessed is the man
whose help is from you;
in his heart
he has prepared to ascend by steps
in the valley of tears,
in the place which he has set. (Ps. 83:6-7)
Since happiness is nothing other than
the enjoyment of the highest good
and since the highest good is above,
no one can be made happy unless he rise above himself,
not by an ascent of the body,
but of the heart.
But we cannot rise above ourselves
unless a higher power lift us up.
No matter how much our interior progress is ordered,
nothing will come of it
unless accompanied by divine aid.
Divine aid is available
to those who seek it from their hearts,
humbly and devoutly;
and this means to sigh for it
in this valley of tears, through fervent prayer.
Prayer, then, is the mother and source
of the ascent...
Let us pray, therefore, and say to the Lord our God:
Lead me, Lord, in your path,
and I will enter in you truth,
Let my heart rejoice
that it may fear your name. (Ps. 85:11)
-----St. Bonaventure, The Soul's Journey into God.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 02, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 13

Something old...

In 1985, the twentieth anniversary of the [Second Vatican] Council's closing, an extraordinary Synod of Bishops was convened. I bring this up because from that Synod came the idea of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Some theologians, at times whole groups, spread the notion that there was no longer a need for a catechism, that it was an obsolete means of handing down the faith, and therefore should be abandoned. They also expressed the opinion that it would be impossible to create a catechism for the universal Church. These were the same groups that had earlier judged the Code of Canon Law, already called for by John XXIII, as useless and inappropriate. But the voice of the bishops assembled at the Synod painted an entirely different picture--the new Code had been a timely initiative which met a need within the Church.

The Catechism was also indispensable, in order that all the richness of the teaching of the Church following the Second Vatican Council could be preserved in a new synthesis and be given a new direction. Without the Catechism of the universal Church, this would not have been accomplished. On the basis of this text of the Church's Magisterium, individual groups could then go on to create their own catechisms according to local needs. In a relatively brief the great synthesis was completed. The entire Church truly had a role in this. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [now Benedict XVI], Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, deserves particular credit in this regard. The Catechism, published in 1992, became a best-seller worldwide, proving the great demand for this type of text, which at first glance might seem to be of limited interest only.

And interest in the Catechism continues. We find ourselves faced with a new reality. The world, tired of ideology, is opening itself to the truth. The time has come when the splendor of this truth (veritatis splendor) has begun anew to illuminate the darkness of human existence.

-----John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 164.

Something new...

And now, a word from our Cardinal... Cardinal O'Malley of Boston speaks to pro-lifers in Washington DC.

Okay, maybe this is not "new" to you, but here's a news flash for me. I've lived in the Archdiocese of Boston for over 12 years... I just learned about http://www.catholictv.org/AboutUs/Default.aspx ... out of BOSTON!!!

The Vatican is planning to update its bio-ethics standings. All I can say is: GOOD! We NEED it!

Check out this tee shirt from cool2bCatholic: "God gives no stress that chocolate and prayer can't handle."

Something borrowed....

Glad to also endorse the National Catholic Register with Catholic Matriarch plus a double endorsement of her asking the question: What makes an effective diocese?

Something blue...

Heil sért þú, María, full náðar, Drottinn er með þér, blessuð ert þú meðal kvenna, og blessaður er ávöxtur lífs þíns, Jesús. Heilaga María, Guðsmóðir, bið þú fyrir oss syndugum mönnum og á dauðastundu vorri. Amen.

Just in case you are wondering... the above is "The Hail Mary" in Icelandic. For a really cool site that features the Hail Mary in all the languages of the world, go here.

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

Bookmark and Share