Four young woman chatting in a coffee shop by Igor Mojzek (Dollarphotoclub,com)
A trip with my husband to a technical conference in Colorado, meant I was on vacation and on my own during the day. I could freely explore the beautiful resort hotel with every amenities imaginable. The hotel shuttle was available to take me anywhere within a three-mile radius.
I found a church two miles away and happily headed for 8 a.m. Mass on Monday morning. It was a small quiet sanctuary and I looked forward to spending some prayer time after mass. But the staff was setting up for Vacation Bible School (VBS) so I retreated to a side chapel where a few women were gathering to say the rosary.
As soon as the last prayer was said, loud music began for VBS. We almost ran to get away from the noise. Outside, three women welcomed me with warmth and curiosity. They introduced themselves: Regina, Cindy and Sharon. I was right at home talking to them about our Catholic faith/ Sharon offered to drive me to the hotel instead of my calling the shuttle. I welcomed the opportunity to talk with her, a recent convert from a fundamentalist non-denominational church. Although younger than me, she felt she was at the end of her life. She was so glad she had come “home,” even with the disapproval of her family.
By Julie Davis
My parents are atheists so there was no religion in our home. They never tried to prejudice us against religion; they just never talked about it. It was kind of like talking about sex … it was the unspoken rule that you just didn’t mention religion.
As issues came up, we were taught to be good people in the morality of popular culture … work hard and do your best, be honest, don’t steal, cheat or lie. We learned that a lot of other issues were all relative. As long as you didn’t hurt other people or break the law what you did was your own business.
Of course, even though they never talked about it, we all knew that those boring churchgoers were weak because they needed a crutch like religion to get by.
Early in our married life, neither Tom nor I gave God much thought. We were just living our lives. And then God used what we cared about most to get our attention. Continue reading
Posted in Books, Catholic family, Conversion, Identity, Joy, Sacraments, Sharing YOUR Faith Story, Writing
Tagged atheist, Happy Catholic, Julie Davis, RCIA, Seeking Jesus in Everyday Life
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
Zachariah 9:9-10; Ps 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30
As we go through life we often get tired and look for refreshment, comfort and happiness. The world is not lacking in offering us all kinds of what seem like delights. Are all the pleasures of the world really what will make us ultimately happy? At the beginning we cannot see what these various pleasures of the world will bring us.
When God made us he placed within all of us a longing that only he can fulfill. Nothing in all the pleasures of the world will ultimately fulfill us. Perhaps we can spend much of our life following paths that we think will make us happy. There are many of these pleasures I could list: a nice drink of some alcoholic beverage after a stressful and draining day at work. One drink to start, which leads to more and more until we become addicts. We can become addicted to more than two hundred things. Some are serious and lead to death. Others are things we like and enjoy yet don’t have serious effects. Some of these addictions can be alcohol, gambling, sex, drugs and all kinds of entertainment. We can even become addicted to the computer, computer games, watching TV most of the evening, or negative music. Continue reading
Posted in Catholic, Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Sacraments, Scriptures, Spiritual Warfare
Tagged addictions, Divine Mercy, fake news, Matthew
How to Benefit from a Critique Group – Featured on CatholicWritersGuild.com – The Catholic Writers Guild is all about networking, honing our craft and supporting other Catholic writers. The critique groups do all that – and more!
The Fantasy of a Judgment-Free Zone– Featured on NewEvangelizers.com– Not judging one another is a wonderful gift to receive and a generous one to give. How can we find or create judgment free zones in our life?
Friars Corner: The Joy of following and serving Jesus – by Fr. Bob Hilz – The joy of following and serving Jesus comes in earthly and eternal rewards for our generosity in being and supporting the disciples of Jesus.
Posted in Catholic, Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Nancy Ward, Writing
Tagged CatholicWritersGuild.com, critique workshop, CWCL, judgment, NewEvangelizers.com
Non-Fiction Critique Workshop, 7-28-16. Catholic Writers Conference Live (photo by CWG staff)
Featured on CatholicWritersGuild.com
I’m excited about presenting the Non-Fiction Critique Workshop at the Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference, July 18-21, for the fourth year. I draw from my experience as facilitator and co-facilitator of two different critique groups to demonstrate how a critique group works. Here are some guidelines on the whys and hows of critique groups.
Why a critique group?
No one can relate to our struggles like another writer. We all need the motivation to persevere. We take time from our writing because we need:
Deadlines and accountability. A commitment on the calendar to submit something of ours to other writers helps us become professional.
Pink Fitness by Tallia22 (Freeimages.co)
Featured on NewEvangelizers.com
The ad for a national fitness center franchise promised that for $10 a month I could enter a judgment-free zone. It gave the hours where I could escape the judgmental world around me to enter a place where no one judges my looks. So from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays (18 hours a day) and another 16 hours on Friday and 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday, I can go there unafraid of anyone looking at me with a critical eye. That adds up to 130 hours a week I would be accepted just as I am without any stares or negative comments from those around me. I wonder how it would feel to fearlessly do what I need to do without any evaluating glances and raised eyebrows from those around me.
Need for affirmation
My reaction to the ad says a lot about our culture. We judge each other by our outer appearance. So our need for affirmation counteracts our need to do what is healthy. Our self-consciousness overrides our need to humble ourselves enough to get fit, regardless of the intimidation of the sleek and strong working out next to us. Continue reading
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a; Ps 89:2-3, 16-19 Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42
There are several themes one could draw from today’s readings. Matthew’s Jesus can sound rather harsh in the early section about parents, children and life in the world. Jesus is moving from the physical to the spiritual world of his new kingdom. It has different rewards.
Jesus is setting up principles for those in leadership in his new spiritual kingdom. Images of Jesus’ own life of carrying his cross and following his Father’s plan. The apostles and disciples Jesus called out to follow him, left family, businesses and the world behind to follow him. Continue reading
Posted in Catholic family, Covenant, Fr. Bob Hilz, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Joy, Prayer, Scriptures
Tagged disciples, Elisha, grace, Scriptures