A Child’s Poverty

I spoke to a man yesterday who delivers toys at Christmas to underprivileged children. He told me that the parents have so little and the children have even less. At that he began to cry. There is so much poverty in this county, and world. I, also, heard of two children leaving their father for Christmas to travel and be with their mother. They are so sad.

It isn’t the lack of material things that is the greatest poverty in this country, it is the lack of parents. Children are growing up in a world where the family is falling apart. The family is the center of Christmas and the center of Christianity. It is the glue that holds our world and our country together. The family is the heart of everything.

The family can gain strength in looking at the Holy Family and all that they went through. Ask for their help, they will help keep your family stay together.

Is it for everyone else or is it for God?

I am feeling overwhelmed and confused these days with the directions that I am to go. I have a task weighing on my mind that I want to do for the church but I am not sure if it is where I need to be, or where God wants me to be at present. I want to do all that I can to be the best ME that I can be. Be all that I can be! There are many missions playing on my heart that I would like to jump into and I am not sure if I can. When do we say “no”?

I look at my family and realize that I already have the most important mission right now. I don’t need to go searching to do God’s work. It is already in front of me. But is it enough? People are constantly asking me to sing for this mission and to sing for that occasion but I really can’t do it all. I want to. And if I do say yes, am I saying yes to please everyone or am I doing it for the purpose of pleasing God? As Christians I think this is the biggest hurdle in life. Knowing when to do something and knowing when to say I am doing all I need to do right now. Taking on too much can also hinder your relationship with God and others, too.

The beautiful thing is, that no matter what, God is with me. Bid or bid not God is there! You cannot stop God! He is God. His love is never ending…He is the author of love. So wether I am big or small, do little or much I am a beloved child of God.  As for now,  I will keep praying for discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit!



Upon This Rock I Shall Build My Church

IMG_3419 IMG_3416Upon this rock I shall build MY Church. What Church? Which one was Jesus talking about? Was He talking about the many thousands of churches that are around today that started one-by-one 1500 years later after speaking these words? No, He was talking about A Church…One Church. The church that Jesus Christ started at that moment over 2,000 years ago with Saint Peter as the first pope. He was talking about what is now called the Catholic Church. The one that suffered being fed to the lions and the one that formed before the books of the Bible were put together. The one that gave the authority for the books that make up the Bible. This is “The Church”, not churches, that started it all under the commandment of Jesus Christ.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-19

He did not say my churches. Thus started the first Church established by Jesus Himself, started at His command. It was started at the time of Jesus. Catholic means universal, it is the Universal Church.

In the Almanac, a book of facts, this information is there as well with the dates and by whom different religions started. For example:  Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, 1st AD founder Jesus Christ. All other Christian based religions are stated to have started 1500 years later all by different men. Not by the one that is true God and true man. We can learn a lot from our Christian brothers and sisters from other Christian denominations. They should always be highly honored and respected, but hmm, as a Christian I prefer the one church whom the Author of Christianity is it’s founder.

Bonkers In Church

IMG_3377Wow, I was so excited and looking forward to singing Mass on All Saints Day, November 1st, this past Sunday. It was, also, my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 100 years old! So it was a special day as it has always been in my family, especially for an Italian family. It is a Feast Day for Italians! And yes, we like to have a feast. However, the day started a little differently than I expected it to, and it kind of set the tone for the rest of the day. For what was supposed to be a morning full of joy turned into a nightmare!

As I was singing Mass I kept trying to help my husband with our child, who was for some reason acting more hyper than usual. I could hear crazy sounds coming from the general direction of where they were sitting. Trying to concentrate on singing, I kept running back and forth between the podium where I was singing and the pew where they were sitting. Then my husband had to take our child out of church. After Mass he was ready to get home, he had enough. He said that our child was acting unruly, throwing pebbles and sticks at people as they were walking by outside to enter church for the next Mass. This was not normal. This behavior was out of the ordinary and it made me really start thinking what did I do differently that caused this abnormal behavior. What was eaten? Ah, that was it! Food. I remembered what I packed to eat, goldfish crackers and princess gummies, packed with Vitamin C….hmm, they are not as nutritional as they seem.

I got into research mode and into my usual over analytical mind-frame. It occurred to me that the same off-the-wall behavior happened before after eating a mixture of food dyes and corn syrup. There is a sensitivity to dyes like I have. There was a pattern. I had already changed my child’s princess gummy multi-vitamin with Nutri Stars,  which is a food-based multivitamin made with veggies & green foods and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and the results have been rewarding. In talking with others about this out of control behavior I was actually glad to hear it is  not unusual with the intake of artificial colors or anything else artificial. This led me to believe that most of the behavior problems that we see in children today is due to the food they eat and shouldn’t be handled with drugs but a proper diet. In Europe they have already banned the use of artificial food dyes in food, even in American products such as Coke. If a product does contain artificial food dyes it has a warning label stating, “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” Wow!

Here are some of my research findings: The amounts of dyes in even single servings of some foods are shown to impair children’s behavior. Most children in the U.S. are easily consuming 100 mg of artificial color in a day, while others are consuming more. Food dyes and preservatives cause some children to become measurably more hyperactive and out-of-focus. But behavior isn’t the only thing at risk. There has been a link to food dye and cancer and allergies. By the way, candy is not the only place to find these unhealthy artificial additives. They can be found in soups, macaroni and cheese, chips, yogurts and more.

I can’t believe companies put this crap into the food of the most vulnerable, our children! The other additive I have had a problem with for years is Carrageenan. I have had terrible stomach issues and reactions to this additive. It is added to many healthy foods such as soy milk and almond milk, yogurts and so on.  I was even more upset to see it added to liquid baby formula, the only formula I used to feed my baby was Gerber because they were the only ones I found not to have it in their product. It can cause a very uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen for an adult, can you imagine a baby’s? Carrageenan helps milky products to have a smoother, thicker texture and it is comparable to eating petroleum jelly and just as dangerous as MSG.  It causes inflammation, a known trigger of premature agging and diseases, including obesity as stated from researcher Joanne K. Tobacman at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Now finally, after all these years trying to explain to people how bad this additive is, health food companies and dietitians are taking note and trying to get rid of Carrageenan. My friends and family don’t think I am as crazy anymore. Whew!

So, what can we do to prevent  the consumption of artificial food dye or any other harmful additive? Read labels, ditch processed foods as much as possible, eat clean, even apples can have dyes on their skin, and write to companies to ask that artificial food dyes and additives to be taken out. And go back to the way America ate before during WWII. Speaking to my Mom last night who was a WWII child, she explained the way they used to eat. Meat was only eaten on Sunday and for the rest of the week her family ate lots of fresh produce including beans and eggs, and portions were a lot smaller than today. They consumed food in the most natural state and cooked them with the most natural ingredients. Sugar and meat were rationed because of the war, as a lot of food was, but she said it was a very healthy diet and they were happy. She ended up being a top model for Vogue in the 1950’s! That’s says something about diet and beauty.

Children cannot control what they eat nor what the food markets sell but we can. They love sweets, as most of us do, but as adults we can help them to get on a healthy path of mind, body, and spirit. It is good to teach them self-control at an early age, not overeating, and to eat and appreciate what God our creator has created and not what chemicals have created.  Maybe, by the grace of God, we can see a decline in the medications given to children for behavioral problems by markets and parents taking ownership of being the problem. These children are not at fault. We all need to take a step in the right direction with what we eat. And the next time I have my child in church I will be sure to pack a healthier, non-dye snack. I am sure my husband will approve.


Why honor Mary?

Is Mary the Mother of God? Or is she just like one of us? Well, she is both! She was born a simple Jewish girl, this makes her one of us, destined to be the Mother of Jesus, who is One with the Father-God, not too many of us can claim that one, so this is one of the many ways in which she is extraordinary. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to her he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:26-38)  He didn’t say half full of grace or with grace, he said “FULL of GRACE! This is the key line to her favor with God and her being honored by all. Jesus also gave us His mother to us on the cross. Mary stood at the foot of the cross and Jesus said, “Woman, behold your son.” and then to John “behold your Mother.”  (John 19) John took Mary into his home, being an example for us all. We too under the commandment of Jesus should invite Mary into our homes and into our lives.

Another example of the extraordinary role of Mary is that she points the way to the Son, she was the first one to do so. At the Wedding at Cana, Mary acts as a teacher and intercessor by urging the servants to do what Jesus commands. (John 2:1-12) We too ought to obey our Mother Mary by doing whatever Jesus and His Church tells us to do.

Professions of growing up Catholic

Growing up Catholic and being Catholic have been the most challenging yet exciting tasks I have had to face in my life. I may not be a great saint that is asking to be turned over on a spitfire in victory for the Church but I feel united with my family of saints in heaven when I stand up for the Truth. Through the years as far back as I can remember I was either sharing the faith with someone or having to defend it usually with other Christians. I would get responses to my being Catholic with “Well, I am Christian” or “I believe in the Bible.” Catholics Are Christians, too! They are the first Christians. And did you know that if you attend Catholic Mass everyday for three years you would read the entire Bible?

And then there is the never-ending defense of the honoring of Mary, the Blessed Mother. This is a hard concept for non-Catholics to grasp. We do honor her, but we do not worship her. We only worship God! He is the only one. However, if God could honor her in making her the mother of His only Son than that is good enough for me.

Again being Catholic is both a grace and a challenge, but the challenge is all worth it!