Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Roma Downey's Little Angels Prayers for Every Day

This is a neat book to help small children learn how to pray.
They are short prayers that rhyme which makes it easier for them to learn.
There are prayers for morning, for praise or thanks,  for others, for help, for guidance, for comfort,and for bedtime.

The book has a padded cover, and thick pages, making it easier for kids to hold and to turn the pages.

Here are a couple of samples:

 Dear Jesus, 
I thank you for this morning.
I thank you for this day.
I thank you for your kindness,
and for your loving ways.  Amen!
Dear God,
It's almost time for me to sleep,
and now it's time to pray.
Thank you God, for all you do,
and for this happy day.  Amen!

If you are teaching a small child how to pray, you should definitely have this book!

App Review: St. Philomena App by Valent Richie

St. Philomena App by Valent Richie  

This app helps you say the Chaplet of St. Philomena, also known as the Little Crown.  

The Little Crown consists of 3 Our Fathers  followed by a prayer to St. Philomena or the Hail Mary 13 times (St. Philomena lived to be 13).  
All prayers are provided written out for those who may not know them by heart.  
 You can set a daily reminder for the time which is best for you.    

Here are a couple of screenshots from the app:


An important Chaplet to an powerful Saint whose intercession is particularly strong in heaven. I highly recommend this Chaplet, and the app is very helpful in saying it.  

The St. Philomena App is available free on iTunes

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Movie Review: Veggie Tales The Little House That Stood

A cute story about three veggies who build houses.  Larry builds with hay, Mr. Lunt builds with bricks, but Bob is mostly concerned with the foundation, determined that it be a strong one.  Larry and Mr. Lunt have elaborate ideas for their houses, such as a hot tub, but Bob continues to focus on a strong foundation.  

There are many well-known nursery rhyme characters such as the Three Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose, Jack and Jill, Goldilocks and the three bears and little Miss Muffet.  There are also several fun songs for kids to sing along  

There is also an additional story with Humpty as the mayor, and his being fed up with everyone's needing something.  He decides to just worry about himself.  

  Both the builder story and the Humpty story have a good lesson for kids:  It is important to have a strong foundation to resist the allures of this imperfect world,  and people should always help each other  when possible. A very entertaining video that teaches kids positive values.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

BooK Review: The 'One Thing' is Three

The One Thing Is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything
by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC
Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press, 2013

Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

When I was in graduate school studying theology, I took a course on the Trinity. It featured a very large scholarly book and lots of Greek words. I found it fascinating, but understood relatively little. There is a reason why the Trinity is considered a mystery. 

In “The ‘One Thing’ is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything,” Fr. Michael Gaitley makes a valiant attempt to simplify the mystery. “[This book is] meant to bring the Trinity home to our hearts [and] make difficult theology easy to understand.” The core of the mystery of the Trinity is the concept of communion – living in communion with God and others. 

Gaitley focuses on John 17:24-26 as being the greatest passage of Scripture, “a passage that reveals the mystery at the Heart of the Word made flesh and the deepest expression of communion.” Jesus’ “burning desire” is “That we all be one. He wants us all to participate in the communion of love of the Most Holy Trinity.”

The book is divided into three sections, or points: Communion with the Trinity (our final end), Transforming Communion with Christ (our immediate end), and The Mission of Communion (Our Mission.) If you are already feeling overwhelmed, there is no need to worry. Gaitley takes each point step by step and does his utmost to explain them in a simple and conversational, yet theologically sound, style. 

In “Communion with the Trinity,” salvation is explained as being a combination of redemption and glorification. “In saving us, God wants to make us share in his own divine life.” While Satan works to distract us from the good things God offers us, we are offered a choice between “communion or alienation, life or death, eternal bliss or eternal hell. Do we want to serve God or serve ourselves? Will we do God’s will or our own?. . . The heart of the question really is this: Do we want to be truly happy?”

“Transforming Communion with Christ” discusses the incarnation, the great sacrifice of Christ and the gift of His passion. Gaitley also explains the Mass as “the source and summit of the Christian life,” in which we offer “our praise, our sufferings, our worries, and our whole selves.” He focuses on the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist and emphasizes that sacraments do something – they cause an actual change in those that receive them. 

Point Three, “The Mission of Communion”  invites us to “share in the mission of Jesus Christ.” Gaitley describes the roles of priest, prophet and king as they apply to those in the hierarchy, laity, and consecrated life. He offers a special emphasis on the role of the laity – “to make God visible in the world.” The highlight of this section is an interview with the Culture of Death which is guaranteed to make one think about the world we live in and our role in it.

Gaitley also offers two appendixes. One offers an introduction to Divine Mercy. The other provides a list of recommended readings. 

“The ‘One Thing’ is Three” explains the Trinity in a way most people will be able to understand. Gaitley has made a concerted attempt to simplify some very difficult concepts, but it still could not be considered easy reading. One will not want to rush through this book, but rather spend some quality time with each section and allow the words and concepts to sink in. This book would be great in a group study or as a text in a college religion class.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Movie Review: Safe Haven - PG13

Katie Feldman arrives in Southport, NC looking to leave her past behind her, and to start a new life.   The local store is owned by Alex, a widower with two small children.   As much as Katie tries to keep to herself, she and Alex are drawn to each other.  Katie also likes the town and begins to build a life for herself.  But her happiness is threatened when her past catches up to her,  and those around her are also threatened  

An excellent story that really has it all...a well-written story, good acting. a love story and action....all leading to a heart-stopping conclusion Josh Duhamel impresses me more with each movie he's in.  But to be fair, the acting was very good all-around.    

An amazing twist at the end wraps up the story very well.

  An excellent movie that you should definitely not miss!

  Content warnings include some violence and one bed scene (no nudity, but it still seemed inappropriate).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review of "Come, My Beloved"

Twenty-something women in our culture of hook-ups and broken hearts, often think that they have to settle for a string of meaningless relationships rather than a life-long love. So said a journalist from the New York Times in a recent editorial. Romance is only fantasy you indulge in, reality is being used and discarded, they maintain.True love only happens in the movies.

"Come, My Beloved" stands in direct opposition to this cynical viewpoint; for in it, Catholic couples in varied walks of life, and age groups, found true love against the odds. These stories will reawaken your faith that with prayerful trust in God's plan for your vocation, and the grace of the sacraments, you can find a mate who loves you for yourself, and wants to help you to grow closer to God as you grow in love for one another. Love isn't for the perfect, just the hopeful. Enjoy this book and the resurgence of hope it will awaken in your heart as you hear the words of the "Song of Songs" resonate in your own heart.
Recommended for romantics of all ages.