Did I ever tell you I saw a ghost?

This is a ghost post inspired by a video by Fr Mike Schmitz. (Video below, notes and links at the end of the post.)

“The mere thought of ghosts can give us goose bumps sometimes, but there are still moments when we think ghost stories are just made up to scare us. Maybe it’s time for some real talk about things that go bump in the night, and other stirrings we suspect may be specters. Can souls continue to communicate with the living after they die? In this video, Fr. Mike gives a powerful reason for why he believes they can.” —From “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost!” a video by Fr. Mike Schmitz.

When I watched Fr. Mike’s video (see below) I was reminded of what Dom Wiesinger, OSCO, said in his book from earlier in our series. A ghost might not even be a ghost, might not necessarily be a person who has died, but might be a soul coming into contact with another soul, consciously or unconsciously (on either person’s part). We are taught so little about the soul that we do not know how to recognize ghosts, persons alive here and now, and the difference between these and demons.

Continue reading “Did I ever tell you I saw a ghost?”

June, a powerful spiritual seed planting month

A brief post tonight. June has the potential to be a fruitful month, or perhaps I should say, June looks to be a powerful spiritual-seed-planting month. Today was First Saturday and the Feast of St. Justin Martyr, and the beginning of the novena to the Holy Spirit leading up to Pentecost Sunday on June 9th. (H/T to Msgr. Charles Mangan for pointing that out.) As if that weren’t enough, June is also the month devoted to the Sacred Heart. (There are also links at the end of this post.) [Note: The beginning of the novena was Friday, not Saturday; once again I do not begin a novena on time, sigh.]

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Portuguese School. From Wikimedia, public domain.
Continue reading “June, a powerful spiritual seed planting month”

A longish ramble about my longish rambling, the Church, the Rosary, and other things

It’s a bit of a long ramble tonight. Sorry, I didn’t have time to make it shorter. (Hiya, Pascal!) ;)

I don’t know how many of my readers are Catholic and how many aren’t. I assume most are but I wonder. I don’t even know how many actual readers I have. Probably a fraction of those who “follow” me ever get around to reading anything I’ve written. Well, I’m going to do what I’ve been doing, and write as if I’m addressing fellow Catholics or someone who is at least interested in Catholicism. And since this is supposed to be a post about the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series), tonight I will write about one of my favorite Marian topics: the Rosary. Eventually. ;) Here goes.

When I was a young woman, fresh out of high school and no longer expected to accompany (I used to like that word) my family to church on Sundays, I began to search. I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I knew there had to be something. There had to be some way to know more. More about the reality, truth, the universe, more about how Christianity was supposed to work. No one could ever answer when I asked these things at home or at Sunday School or anywhere else. But I knew that someone somewhere had answers, to my questions, to my deepest longings, and I was determined to find that someone and get my answers, once and for all.

Continue reading “A longish ramble about my longish rambling, the Church, the Rosary, and other things”

Counting prayers

A post in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series.

In the good old days when I could still walk easily and without assistance, like a normal healthy person, and wasn’t tethered to an oxygen machine, and both of my beloved dawgs were still with me—man, I miss those days—back in those days of youth and health I would take our small pack to the park every day, and while the dawgs sniffed every blade of grass and chased each other and all the squirrels, I would pray the Rosary. I usually took them to the back of the park where we could be alone and they could enjoy some measure of freedom.

One day as I walked along praying the Rosary, I was watching the birds or squirrels or something in the trees overhead. A man passed us going in the other direction and of course, he spied my Rosary beads. And he couldn’t resist saying something about them. 

Continue reading “Counting prayers”

Did I ever tell you this about Mary?

Something About Mary Every Day In May
This post does double duty as part of the Did I ever tell you series and the Something About Mary Every Day In May series, too. The image in the banner is by Sassoferrato.

Did I ever tell you how the Blessed Virgin Mary helped me through one of the worst times in my entire life? After I had what doctors think may have been a heart attack, I was stuck in hospital with a breathing tube in my throat and a feeding tube in my nose for three weeks in an ICU. Normal people are unconscious while intubated. I don’t mean just during the process of having the tubes put in place. I mean, the whole time they have those things in there. Do you know why? Because a normal person cannot stand to have tubes in places where tubes ought not be! 

Continue reading “Did I ever tell you this about Mary?”

Work on the Rosary Project (and the new blog layout) begins

Began a new page for the Rosary Project today. Was going to start uploading it, but changing the blog theme and layout meant re-doing more than I had planned, what with site navigation and all.* If you’re curious about what the Rosary threads are, here’s the one from last night (Tuesday, April 16).

0-holyrosary---portrait_halfsize_announcement-and-domain-17

The Rosary Project will have its own section here at Catholic Heart & Mind. I’m still pondering how to post it but the first part of it will be going up over the next few days. My pooor little blog won’t know what’s happened. I’ve ignored it for so long, I’m sure it thought I’d forgotten all about it. I’m slowly recovering from the heart attack and all of that and it’s good to be back in front of the keyboard to do something besides Tweet and scribble.**

*But that’s alright. I haven’t changed the blog look for years other than to add a new banner now and then. It was time for a new look and to clean out some under-used pages, or at least move them around.

**Scribbling is what I do when I want to work on a story but all I can do is scribble a few disjointed impressions of a scene here and there with no idea how it will fit into the larger picture of whatever story I’m working on. My goal is to eventually put a few of these stories up on the blog. And maybe one day even put them into an eBook.

Holy Ministry or Wholly Marketing, You Decide

An unusual rosary

(Update, Mar 2 2012: Here’s the link to the bishop’s decree concerning Holy Love Ministries on the website of the Diocese of Cleveland. The diocesan site was down when I originally wrote this article and I had forgotten to go back later and link directly to their page. I wrote a new post about HLM tonight, too.

After discussing this with a new friend, I’d like to pass along her request that all of us pray for the alleged visionary, that she may be reconciled with the bishop, that she may be faithful, that she may be humble, that she may be patient and accept the will of God, even if that will is not what she would like. These would be signs of the validity and veracity of her alleged visions, or locutions, whichever type of revelations they are alleged to be. But those are not the signs that she has exhibited. In any case, I accept the bishop’s word and am not promoting Holy Love Ministries or anything associated with it unless and until the Church approves it. And that means when the bishop of the diocese where HLM is, in Cleveland, approves it.)

(Update, Dec 1 2011: The title of my post now seems misleading to me. I do not want to imply that determining the validity of “Holy Love Ministries” — or of the private revelations associated with it — is the responsibility of the Catholic laity. As you will see further on in the post, their bishop spoke out about this a long time ago and gave his ruling on it. Which was No, it is not authentic and the faithful are to have nothing to do with it. Period. The people at “Holy Love Ministries” refuse to obey. That certain other people insist on spreading the “messages” and the rosary is itself disobedient and I am disgusted to see advertisements for this group prominently displayed on the right hand side of each and every page of a well-known pro-life site. I have written to them about it and have mentioned it to them several times but have never received a reply or even an acknowledgement of my concerns.)

A friend gave me a rosary a few months ago. It’s an unusual rosary: the “Hail, Mary” beads are the shape of tears and inside each one is a tiny figure of an unborn baby. The booklet that accompanies the beads contains special pro-life meditations and prayers. I’ve enjoyed using the beads while praying the rosary, but I haven’t ever used the actual book. And I’ll tell you why. Because the text is based upon “messages” that were allegedly received by someone in Ohio who claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared to her for more than 25 years. Continue reading “Holy Ministry or Wholly Marketing, You Decide”

How not to do sidewalk discipleship

Picture this: a car pulls into the abortion mill parking lot, a young woman at the wheel. A group of people standing around talking outside run to intercept her, calling out as they scamper toward her. How do you think this makes the woman in the car feel? Now picture this: two groups of people standing around talking outside the clinic notice the woman’s car pulling in and both groups high tail it over to her, both groups intent on intercepting her before the other group can have their say. True, one group cannot step onto the abortion mill property, and that group is actually acting out of love, wanting to offer hope and help to the woman, but if you were her sitting inside the car, watching all these people scampering toward you, how would you feel? Do you think you would find the whole experience disturbing? I know would. I found it disturbing when I witnessed it. Continue reading “How not to do sidewalk discipleship”

Keep out of sight, this is our neighborhood

I was walking down the sidewalk outside the abortion mill today, rosary in my hands, praying and meditating on the scenes of our Lord’s life called the Glorious Mysteries. I had just turned down the alley and had gone a few feet when I heard a car behind me, pulling, so I thought, into the alley. But he hadn’t turned down the alley. He pulled into the clinic parking lot, then across the alley in front of me to block my path. Continue reading “Keep out of sight, this is our neighborhood”

Murder is still murder, no matter how many scenarios you dream up

I was walking down the sidewalk, Rosary in hand as I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries, my lips moving silently under the piece of red duct tape covering my mouth—my show of solidarity with people all over the country on this day of silence to promote the Culture of Life and help end the culture of death. There were six of us today, praying outside the abortion mill. I had just reached the driveway entrance into the abortion mill parking lot and had turned and headed back down the sidewalk, deep in meditation, when I heard several sets of footsteps behind me. Then a young boy’s voice said, “Excuse me!” He didn’t yell, but the sound wasn’t gentle either, more of a challenge than merely trying to get my attention. After a moment, I realized he was speaking to me—I was the only member of the vigil at that end of the sidewalk. I slowly lifted my eyes and peeled the tape off my mouth and smiled at him. Continue reading “Murder is still murder, no matter how many scenarios you dream up”