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Monday, November 29, 2010

Review of Father Donald Calloway's No Turning Back




No Turning Back is a book worth reading for everyone. No matter where you are in your spiritual life, you will benefit from Father Calloway's experiences. I found this book to be one of the most captivating books I've read in a long time. Father story of his journey of faith was inspiring. From the minute I picked up the book, I was hooked. This book can easily be read in a few short days with the way it captivates the reader.






The introduction was a general explanation of the journey toward God that Father Donald traveled. It warns of his "animal-like" behavior in his teen years and asks forgiveness in advance to what we are about to read. This introduction was no exaggeration. The next nine chapters detailed all of the negative events that plagued Father Calloway's early life. His stories will make you want to pray for others who may be in those situations now.






At one point in the book, he refers to a scene being like a scene in a movie. In fact the whole book seems like events from a movie. He vividly details his wrong doings from disrespecting his parents, to drug and alcohol abuse, to stealing, and even nights in prison.






Just when you think the story couldn't be any more captivating, you follow Father through his miraculous conversion. This too was like a scene from a movie. I found myself cheering Father along as he rushed in urgency to visit a priest. Background music could have easily been playing as Father literally turned his life upside down in order to make room for God.






We see many sides of Father throughout the book, however all his past experiences have given him the skills of perseverance and determination to pursue the priesthood.






The book was well written and I had a hard time putting it down. I've managed to read it in just a few short days.


Father tells his story in such a personal way that you feel like you are there with him. This book also offers a bright beacon of hope for those who have family members in similar situations.






I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in Catholic spiritual reading. You won't be sorry.






You can purchase this book here.


I wrote this review of No Turning Back for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.






Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.






I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review of Divine Mercy Video

Orthodoxy: Mostly adheres to Church teachings.



Reading Level: N/A


By Jennifer Gladen (PA) - See all my reviews




Synopsis


An engaging cartoon about the Divine Mercy and how to pray it.


Evaluator Comments


Saint Faustina, together with her friends, talk about what the Divine Mercy Devotion is. Saint Faustina tells the children the story of when Jesus appeared to her and asked her to spread the message of his divine mercy to all.


They then go to church and pray the chaplet together. For each decade they do, they focus on the mysteries of Jesus’ Passion. While Saint Faustina and the children are praying, an image of that mystery is displayed on the screen. The artwork is colorful and eye catching, but doesn't distract you from praying.

In decade one, they focused on the Agony in the Garden and they show Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. The second decade was the Scourging at the Pillar and briefly showed the scourging. I found children with a strong love of Jesus had a tough time with the second mystery. However, this can be a great conversation starter and teachable moment for children. In the third decade they meditated on the Crowing of Thorns, showing the image of soldiers placing the crown of thorns on Jesus' head. The fourth mystery showed the Carrying of the Cross. With this image we see the cruelty the soldiers show Jesus as He carries His cross. Finally, with the fifth decade the characters focus on the Crucifixion.


After the prayers, Saint Faustina explains the importance and necessity of the sacrament of Confession and how this is a wonderful way to receive God’s mercy.


For children who are sensitive to Jesus' sufferings, you may want to prepare them ahead of time. The depictions are not graphic, but His passion and why He suffered can be a hard concept for children to grasp.


I showed this to my children and immediately it grabbed their attention. Instinctually, they all joined in the prayers. This movie definitely engages the children, while teaching them about Jesus and how to pray.


I fully recommend this video.

You can purchase the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Kids here





I wrote this review for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.



Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.


I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Lord So Near

Our Lord So Near


By: Jennifer Gladen






Can you hear Him among the noise?


Can His voice penetrate your life?


Can you hear the whisper in your ear?


That is the sound of our Lord so near.






Hear the sound, though so soft


Welcome His words, as they come


Breath of the Spirit touches your ear,


That is the Voice of our Lord so near.






Feel the calmness embrace your heart,


Feel the gentleness in His words,


Feel the warmth of the Spirit in your ear,


That is the Presence of our Lord so near.



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI by the Knights of Columbus

As Editor-in-Chief of a Catholic centered magazine, I find the following prayer necessary to pass on. Please keep our Pope in your prayers as he is suffering during this time of persecution. May the Holy Sprirt give you strength, Pope Benedict. May Mary, together with Pope John Paul the Great in Heaven intercede on your behalf to Jesus for the strength to endure this time.







God Bless our Pope!








PRAYER FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI




Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to your shepherd, Benedict, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world. Amen.




V. Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.





R. May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over to the power of his enemies.




V. May your hand be upon your holy servant.






R. And upon your son, whom you have anointed.






Our Father ... Hail Mary ... Glory Be...






Knights of Columbus


In Solidarity with our Holy Father

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reflections of the Passion



                            By Jennifer Gladen




When I am Worried, I think of your Passion and am reminded it was out of worry for us that you endured the Cross.

When I am Sad, I think of your Passion and am reminded of the sadness which filled Mary’s heart at your suffering.

When I am Surprised, I think of your Passion and am reminded of your surprising courage and strength you showed.




When I am Excited, I think of your Passion and am reminded of the excitement yet to come when you return for us, O Lord.


When I am Happy, I think of your Passion and am reminded of the happiness you gained for us in Heaven.When I am Loving, I think of your Passion and am reminded of your words: "there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend."




Now I am grateful when I think of your Passion because I'm reminded after the cross comes the crown.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Priests that Inspire Us

During one of our Lenten Talks in our parish this year and then again on Holy Thursday, our Pastor posed this question: Do you have a favorite priest and why is he your favorite? His point in posing the question was to get the faithful to reflect on ways their priests influenced them in their faith throughout their lives.

Many people mentioned priests who helped them in illness and times of death. Many had fond memories of CYO games. As I reflected on my life, there are two who have come to mind and they are both from my current parish. I don't know if that's because I didn't pay attention when I was younger or if it's because my biggest spiritual growth has occurred over the last 4 years. Regardless of the reason, the 2 who came to mind were Father Sullivan and Father Shenosky.  Why? Because I always learned a valuable spiritual lesson from most of their homilies. I grew in my spirit what seems like a hundredfold since I've heard these priests preach. I truly believe God graced me with their work at the perfect time - during the beginning and the height of my growth.

We need to remember - especially in these times of trial for our priests - that they are a wonderful gift to us from Jesus Himself. They are here to lead us to Him. Whenever I get a chance to, I thank our parish priests for their wonderful preaching at Mass. They boosted my soul. They're leading me to Jesus. Like the gift Jesus gave to us on Good Friday around 2000 years ago - this is a gift which is impossible to repay. Instead of ridicule, we should thank and pray for our priests.

St. John Vianney, present our priests and their vocations to Jesus so that they have the strength and fortitude of the Holy Spirit while carrying out Jesus' instructions of so long ago.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Media is Quick to Cast the First Stone



"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone"
--John 8:7 NAB


This Bible verse has been swimming in my head lately. It seems that the media is ready to cast stones at the Catholic Church based on issues from the cleregy sex scandal to the Bishop's opposition to the Obama Health Care Bill. We need to remember the Church is the Bride of Christ. To attack the Church is to attack Jesus. Had he not suffered enough through his Passion and Crucifixion? Our duty as Christians is to spread the good news,  and take care of the Church.

The sex scandal is a horrible thing and no child should ever have to endure such evil. What is disturbing is this doesn't just happen with the Catholic Church. This happens in other groups, with other Christians, in our families, in other religous groups, etc. The group with the least occurance? Believe it or not - the Catholic Church. It is UNCOMMON in the church, but you would never believe it based on the news reports. 
To get a better perspective, check out these articles defending Mother Church:

Defense of Catholic Clergy 

and

Here Comes Everybody

These points reiterate the bible verse mentioned in the beginning of this post:  Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.  Instead of creating more problems, we should pray. Pray for the victims. Pray for the parish priests, pray for the clergy involved. God heals.  Yes - those involved in committing the crimes will be punished by the law - but even worse - they will have to face God with these sins. God is a loving God - and a just God. But what everyone involved needs is not MORE hurt - but more HEALING.  Rid yourselves of the stones and arm yourselves with prayer. It's much more effective.

God Bless.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feast of Saint Joseph

On this feast of St. Joseph, the feast of the foster father of Jesus and a member of the Holy Family, America is battling laws on abortion. Is it fitting? Or is it a sign of hope from God? Only He knows this very minute.
Inspired by the world's events, I offer this prayer:

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Joseph, long ago you protected your son, Jesus, from the Slaughter of the Innocents. You risked your home and life in protection of your family and the Son whom God entrusted into your care.
Come to our aid now, where we are also facing the Slaughter of the Innocents. Protect our unborn children as you protected Jesus. Those who are lost in this battle, present them to our Lord to enjoy eternity forever. Guide decision makers and voters in choosing to respect life. I ask this through Christ our Lord, AMEN.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone's Prayer for our Nathon's Health Care Reform

Please Pray and Repost!


Prayer for our Nation's Health Care Reform



by Fr. Frank Pavone






Lord, Jesus, you are the Divine Physician,


And the source of all life and health.



Guide our nation at this critical moment,


As our government seeks health care reform.



Giver our elected officials the humility to know


That they are servants, not masters.


Give them the wisdom to realize


That every life has equal value.


Give them the strength to resist the idea


That some lives can be sacrificed to save others


Or that killing the unborn is a part of health care.




Give your people the courage to speak up


And to hold public officials accountable for their actions.



Save us, Lord Jesus, from a culture of death.


And let every reform in our public policy


Be based on the reform of our hearts and minds


In the light of your Gospel.


For you are Lord forever and ever. Amen



http://www.prolifeprayers.com/

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

One of my favorite devotions other than the Rosary and talking to God in my own words is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. The prayer itself is miraculous. Of course it is - it was given to Saint Faustina from Jesus himself.   

One day, I was listening to EWTN Catholic Radio and the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song came on. It was and is the most beautiful song I've ever heard. It is produced by Trish Short and a sample of the song and a video can be found on www.divinemercyinsong.com

The images in the video were wonderful. Some brought me to tears, others brought great comfort. Viewing the short part of the video reminded me of what Jesus did for us. Who else would love us that much? If we, His people, really reflect on what Jesus did to save us from ourselves, we would detest all sin. From the most minor ones to the most serious.  

This Lenten season. let us reflect on what Jesus did for us. Let us remember it most when we are about to sin so that we can avoid that temptation. And while we're at it, we could always offer a chaplet. The greatest distraction from sin is prayer.




                                                    JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Latest Poem About God

Our Sinking World
By: Jennifer Gladen

The world is melting before our eyes,
The heat of sin is scorching our lives.

Headed down a slippery slope,
Society cheers the diminishment of hope.

Abortion, divorce, and values waning,
Points for the Enemy, is what we’re gaining.

Stop! And Listen! Change your ways,
Unless you desire more perilous days.

God wants us with Him-beyond the skies,
We must see the world through only His eyes.

We’re taught to value such precious things,
As gold, jewels and fancy rings.

But they all fade away – what good will they do,
When your time is come and God judges you?

Turn your hearts, now, toward Him,
Avoid eternity laced with grim.

Live as Christ lived while He was here,
To bypass eternal pain and fear.


©2010 Jennifer Gladen

Monday, January 25, 2010

O Child of God

O Child of God
By: Jennifer Gladen

My soul is weeping for what was to be.
My ears are piercing from laughter silenced.

My eyes are burning from tears of the lost.
My mouth is praying for the unborn tossed.

My heart is hoping an angel is guiding
The little ones to our Holy Mother true.

Mother Mary present those tiny souls to your Son.
Let them live in Peace and join the body of One.

Their short time of suffering causes great pain
And robs from the world what it could’ve gained.

Fly up to Heaven you child of God
And pray for all those who caused you such woes.

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
For Jesus will say those words with you.

Dedicated to the millions children we’ll never see here.



© 2010 Jennifer Gladen

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Spiritual Bouquet to March for Life

A Spiritual Bouquet to March for Life

Today, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to march on Washington DC for the annual March for Life. It occurs every year on the anniversary of the Roe V Wade decision legalizing abortions. March for life not only acts as a voice for the unborn, but also the elderly and all those facing end-of-life care and decisions.

As Editor-in-Chief of a Catholic Magazine, I was disappointed I couldn’t make the march this year. I still wanted to do something to show my full support for this cause as I watched on TV speakers, children, adults and others stand up for life.
In that moment I decided that prayers for these supporters and their cause will go a long way. They need the strength of the Holy Spirit to persevere for they are fighting for God and His children. Therefore, My Light Magazine decided we will present a spiritual bouquet to the March for Life Organization.

Please pledge your prayers in support of all the marchers in the March for Life. Send My Light your designated prayer and any short words of encouragement. Some great prayers are the Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Mass, etc.

We will collect all the prayer intentions and present them to the March for Life organization. Each pledge will be represented by an illustrated flower as part of the bouquet. We will list your name and your prayer pledge. If we have too many contributors, we will provide a list of all the prayer pledges along with a beautiful illustrated bouquet. Illustrator and My Light’s paper doll designer, Candace J Hardy will design the illustration for the bouquet.

The goal is if we can support the marchers with our prayers we are helping the cause. We are helping not only get their voices heard, but we are helping to save lives, including unborn children. Press release to soon follow.

To begin e-mailing your prayer pledges, send them to bouquet@mylightmagazine.com