Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Une Priere En Francais

Sainte-Thérèse, je t'aime tellement. Je ne sais pas ce que je ferais sans votre intercession dans ma vie et celle de ma famille. S'il vous plaît continuez à prier pour moi afin que je puisse continuer à fournir aux enfants des livres qui célèbrent la modestie et une enfance saine. Je le fais tous pour la gloire de Dieu. Amen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Little Spring Cleaning

Maybe I've been watching too much Home and Garden TV lately, but I was in the mood for a makeover here on my blog. I was inspired. I was up late. These things happen!

I decided to "paint the walls"; yellow is my favorite color, after all!

I also decided to "de-clutter"; I felt like my old layout was a bit too busy, too colorful, too much going on that competed with the content.

I did a little "housecleaning" too, by cleaning it up a bit and making the font easier to read.

Lastly, I did some "updating" by inserting the new Harvey House Publishing logo (I love it! Thank you to Roseann Nieman at Niemanartgraphics.com).

And I also introduced the title of my new book, the sequel to Olivia and the Little Way, called Olivia's Gift. It should be released later this year. Of course I will keep you all updated as to its release date.

I hope the "housekeeping" changes I've made here make it a more pleasant place to be. It's fun to spruce up now and then. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Is Happening To Our Children?

Photo from WCVD Boston

...when we allow eight-year-old girls to dance like they are in a strip club, dressed like this? You all know I am not a ranter here on this blog (not much, anyway), but this needs to be said. The controversy surrounding a recent World of Dance competition in California (gee, what a shock. My apologies to those Californians who would never allow such a thing) has reached far and wide. The children's parents are defending their choice to let their daughters participate in this, saying they've "worked hard" and don't deserve all of this criticism. I have seen actual videos of the moms and dads of these girls outraged that this would even be an issue.

Sigh. Where do I even begin? And to be fair, it is not even just these poor girls, above, that are robbed of their childhoods. I see girls in my own town, skimpily dressed, with words like "juicy" and "hot" on the backsides of their short-shorts. A couple of years back, I saw a pre-teen girl who actually had a t-shirt with the Playboy bunny on it...and she was WITH HER MOM.

Parents, what are we teaching our kids? To be sex objects before they even hit puberty? It's bad enough to see scantily dressed teenagers at the Dairy Queen, letting it all hang out, but girls this age? It's disgraceful. We absolutely must think about the values we are teaching these young girls, and how we want them to see themselves: with dignity, worth, and respect. As Daughters of the King.

The above photo (and video on YouTube) is vulgar. It made me ill. But you know what is worse? Parents who defend it. One of the girls' dads said that "they don't even really know what they are doing." I want to scream, "But YOU are supposed to know!" Parents have lost sight of the word "NO." Would you take your child to a strip club? Yet so many parents are taking the strip club to their children and they are not even seeing it. They are oblivious to the many ways they are allowing their children to be exposed to this filth, this degradation of the human person: through books, movies, TV shows, magazines, radio, and video games.

In some respects, you can't really blame the eight-year-old girls. They are children. But the parents should know better. Would you send your little girl out into the middle of a busy street? Of course not. The physical danger is imminent. To send your little girl out onto a stage dressed in stripper clothes so she can gyrate to the Beyonce song, "Single Ladies"? Not only physically dangerous (think of the perverts), but spiritually dangerous. Because if this is okay at age eight, what is considered to be okay at age eleven, twelve, thirteen?

"They don't dress like that in school," a parent said. Ya think?

Parents need to be parents. It takes common sense...and concern for their well-being. I wonder where that all went. I wonder where these girls' childhoods went. Because their childhoods are now gone, you see. Once you gyrate onstage in skimpy costumes like that to an adult-themed song, the innocence is pretty much gone. How do you go from that to thinking the Tooth Fairy is going to leave a dollar under your pillow?

This makes me even more motivated to continue writing books for pre-teens that celebrate modesty and a wholesome childhood. So, in that sense, some good has come out of this. For those who seek the Truth will prevail, and those who work for the good of the souls of God will never be stopped.

Oh, I wish I could give every girl on that stage a copy of Olivia and the Little Way.

But I'd make sure their parents read it, too!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Therese

Eighty-five years ago today, St. Therese was canonized a saint in the Catholic Church. The little sister from the Carmel at Lisieux taught us her Little Way of childlike innocence and dependence on God’s mercy. She said she rejoiced to be little, and wanted to be a like a little flower at God's feet, so that when he looked down, he would be delighted by her.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Matthew 19:14


Therese, love,

You showed Christ’s gentleness in your face

As you walked your little way to holiness.

Lead us away from anger, hatred, and fear

For we are weak and fragile as glass

Because our freedom is so often chained to sin.

But look at what we strive to do with love

And pray to Jesus that we may live in peace with his Father and the Spirit.


Prayer from Novena Meditations to Saint Therese of Lisieux, 2006 Liguori Publications

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Mother Teresa and Me"—Ten Years of Friendship That Will Inspire You To Do More

Most of us know about Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the little nun who started her own religious order, the Missionaries of Charity, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless work for the poorest of the poor. Now we can get to know her intimately, as author, speaker, and television host Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle shares about her encouraging and healing friendship with one of the greatest souls of modern times. Through God's Divine Providence, an American mother and housewife and an Albanian nun a world away developed a friendship that lasted ten years and changed Donna-Marie forever. Filled with personal letters and pictures, the book will touch your heart and inspire you to be a saint.

Mother Teresa wanted to model her life after St. Therese of Lisieux. When she made her permanent vows, she wanted to choose the name "Therese," but another sister had already chosen the French version of the name. So she opted for the Spanish version, "Teresa." Mother Teresa and the Little Flower have so much in common, which is partly what made me want to learn more about her. Their humility, complete trust in the plans God had for them, and their desire to love Jesus and God's people without boundaries makes them alike in many ways.

In Mother Teresa and Me from Circle Press, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle does a phenomenal job of bringing Blessed Teresa to readers on a personal level. This beautiful book truly inspires me to do all I can to see Christ in everyone I meet. This frail but feisty soul taught the entire world that God will work through us to touch others; we just have to let Him! This peek into their private friendship teaches that each one of us, in our own way, can continue the mission of responding to Jesus' words, "I thirst." Through this inspirational and loving tribute, we find that it is in giving away our love that we, in turn, love our God.

To learn more, visit www.donnacooperoboyle.com, where you will find links to her various blogs and more information about the book.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Beautiful Mother's Day story

A beautiful Mother's Day story about the Blessed Mother and St. Therese:

During Therese's first year in the Carmel, she was praying outside when, all of a sudden, she felt covered by Our Lady's veil. It changed her forever. She kept it to herself until eight years later, when she was ill and in the infirmary. She wrote,

"It was like a veil thrown over all the things of earth for me...I was entirely hidden under the Blessed Virgin's veil. At that time, I was in charge of the refectory and I remember that I was doing things as if I weren't doing them: it was as if I had been lent a body. I remained this way for an entire week."

This experience was a beautiful part of Therese's Marian devotion. She even wrote poems about it. Here is part of one:

"O Immaculate Virgin! You are my sweet star
Who gives me Jesus and unites me to him.
O Mother, let me rest under your veil
Only for today."

The more we live in our Mother Mary, the more we are united to Jesus.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, everywhere!

Poem from Therese and Lisieux by Pierre Descouvemont
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