Are we ready to forgive? Everyone?

Today is when Lent gets real – are we ready to forgive? The gospel for today is the parable of the ungrateful servant who is unable to forgive the friend who owes him a pittance after the master forgive him “a huge amount.”

The Magnificat offers us a list asking us to ‘Give peace to….’

-those who have destroyed our peace

-those who have refused us love

-those who have done us injury

-those who have compete with us to our loss

-those who have taken what was ours

I added a particularly difficult one for me “peace to those from my past whose memories still cause me pain and embarrassment”.

The concluding prayer is – as always – eloquent:

“You know, O Lord, how hard we find it to forgive those who have offended us. Yet you ask us to forgive without restrictions. Make us capable, Lord, of the love you ask of us, for alone we cannot do what you have asked. Help us through Christ our Lord. Amen”

May this point in Lent bring you peace as you seek to forgive those who have hurt you.

Happy Feast of St. Katharine Drexel


Our patroness for generosity, Katharine’s parents were generous from the start, opening the doors of their Philadelphia home to the poor every week. When her father died leaving a fortune of approx. $400 million to be shared with her sisters after a number of charitable donations were made, she committed herself to the care of the Native Americans and African-Americans living in the southwestern United States. She had several suitors but decided that Jesus was her one, true love establishing the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

In honor of her generosity and this season of Lent, you might talk to your family or LF group about what aspect of almsgiving you might undertake as a reflection of St. Katharine’s own love for the poor.



Lent and Blind Spots

Happy 1st of March!

I was reminded today in one the prayer books I am using this Lent that today – the first day of the month of March – as a good time to evaluate your Lent and see how it’s going.  We are a bit more than 2 weeks in, with just more than 3 weeks to go.  Are those fasts you’ve undertaken actually sacrifices or just chances to lose some weight? Are we looking at turning back to God with our whole heart and whole soul or are we still holding something back? Maybe you’ve developed a blind spot to your own behavior.

Today’s Gospel tells us the story of Lazarus at the gate of the rich man – LK 16:19-31

The homily at daily Mass today was directed on the ‘blind spot’ the rich man had developed towards Lazarus. Lazarus had been at the gate so long, the rich man didn’t even ‘see’ him. He kept eating his banquets while a man died outside of his door.

While this parable is, in part, a reflection on the sins of omission (what we chose NOT to do) versus commission (what we DO), this is also a good time in our Lenten journey to examine the blind spots we have developed in regard to our behavior (what we do) and our neglect (what we aren’t doing).

Having the image of a blind spot was new for me and I left Mass with much to think about. As the busy Mom of a large family, I know I’ve developed a good number of blind spots – cobwebs in the furtherest corners of the basement, the fingerprints on the door jams that are waiting to be wiped off and the pile of stuff at the end of the kitchen counter that magically rebuilds itself moments after it is cleaned off! You know what I mean – we all have blind spots in regard to what is around us externally.

But, now I am thinking about the blind spots I’ve developed in my soul – cobwebs, fingerprints and piles of stuff I am loathe to approach, much less attend to.

I’m glad there still some time in Lent…….

(If you are a Scripture nerd who has always puzzled over the two Lazarus’ in the Bible – check out Mark Shea’s column – Lazarus in Mark and John)


Learning to love a bit stronger on social media – Special Books by Special Kids

I’m am not very tech savvy and probably never will be, so I rely on my children to let me know when they discover something that just needs to be shared and that happened yesterday.

Have you discovered Special Books by Special Kids? What a living, breathing display of our need to promote life!

This powerful site and accompanying YouTube channel and Facebook page introduces you to children, young people and even adults with a variety of diagnoses, struggles and special needs. Hearing their stories, seeing their faces and realizing the love that God has for each and every one of them is a wonderful opportunity to learn compassion, love of neighbor and yes, even joy.

Perhaps you or your children encounter such special people in your regular lives, perhaps even in your own family. But, perhaps you’ve not had many such meetings. Watching these videos either alone or with your children (based on their age and tenderness of soul) will surely help stretch your heart. At the very least, it will introduce you to some new friends and families who can always use some extra prayers and happy thoughts.

I suggest you first watch the videos on the website as an introduction to Chris Ulmer (founder) and how and why SBSK got started and then dive in. With 100’s of videos, you won’t run out of smiles any time soon.

New Embroidered Polos


With our new Little Flower Logo we welcome a beautiful new Little Flower embroidered polo shirt! These beautiful white polos complement the Blessed Mother Blue sashes and vests perfectly! Your Little Flower Girls and Leaders will look awesome in them!

Still like the pink polos? Don’t worry, we still have plenty and they are on sale 30% OFF while supplies last! Due to high demand of pink shirts, especially in the fall when pink shirts are used as a symbol for breast cancer awareness, we are unable to keep a consistent supply of the same shirt. Our current supply varies slightly in shades and sizes and are discounted accordingly. Grab a bargain while you can!!

Shop now in our ONLINE CATALOG.

Happy Feast of St. Brigid

With a Brigid of my own, I have a real love for this holy lady. I was pregnant with her while on a family vacation to Ireland which was lovely. We visited castles, pubs and even kissed the Blarney Stone (where I was told I would have twins). During this trip Matt and I were struggling with names for our newest baby (she would be #6) when we passed a lovely, small Irish church dedicated to St. Brigid and the decision was quickly made.

Much of St. Brigid’s story is legend, due to the part to the fact that she lived prior to the establishment of the Catholic Church in Ireland and a reliance on their rich oral tradition rather than written records. Depending on where you look online you can read of her being able to turn bath water into beer and as the patron of the women’s priest movement (!!). There are sites galore on-line who will want to confuse the Catholic saint with Brigid as a Gaelic god of life so proceed cautiously if you decide to investigate more about her.

But, for us, we will remember her as a partner with St. Patrick to bring Catholicism to the people of Ireland under the rule and thumb of pagan Druids including establishing the monastery in Kildaire.

May she inspire us to let ourselves be used by God even when it seems we don’t have all the resources, education or support that we ought.




Please, please trouble the Teacher – It is what He is waiting for

I’ve spent today thinking hard about today’s reading, Mark 5:21-43, which has not one but two healings. First, we have the woman with the hemorrhages for 12 years but she still reaches out to be healed. Then, we have the healing of the Jairus’ daughter who died. She was dead by the time Jesus’ arrived at her side. And here we have, “why trouble the teacher any longer?” But here we have the words of Jesus, “Have faith.”

And what is hitting me is that too often I dwell too much on the words of criticism, “why trouble the teacher”, rather than on the promise of “have faith”.

Too often, so very often we get discouraged. Whatever we are enduring be it 12 years, or 12 days or even 12 minutes seem an eternity or what we see is clearly hopeless and we stop bothering the Teacher. We just stop praying to Him, or listening to Him or reading His words in Scripture.  I know I can get wrapped up in bothering Jesus, or get tired of saying the same prayers, asking for the same thing again and again or just get discouraged.

But we need to bother the Teacher – He is hoping we will, He is waiting for us to bother Him, waken Him from the nap on the pillow (Mark 4:38).

I am not smart enough to explain or even understand the whole theology of waiting on God or able to understand why the wait even exists, but I do know that Jesus is waiting to hear from me, from you. He loves being bothered.

And while I wait for answered prayers or resolved situations, I am keeping track of the prayers that are answered, the small lights of God I see in my children or the world and take real comfort from what I read in the Bible such as Psalm 61 and 2 Peter 3:9 where we are told:

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Who knows, my prayerful, patient and hopeful waiting might just be the time God needs to bring someone (maybe even me) to come to repentance.

So, I’ll keep bothering Him and keep striving to wait well.



Doing good for God – as a Wife and Mom

Today is the memorial for St. Marianne Cope, one of my Top 20 favorite saints. It might be because she was one of 10 children as am I. Her family emigrated from Germany to make their home in Utica, New York while I grew up about 3 hours from there.

But, I know it is also because she came to the help and aid of one of my Top 10 saints, St. Damien of Molokai. Having married a Matthew Damian and having my own Damian Joseph, along with a Dad whose parents emigrated from Belgium; he has a very special place in my life.

St. Marianne was well-loved in the Syracuse area where in 1870 (1870!!!) she was made head administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital (remember that little fact the next time someone tells you the Church doesn’t appreciate women, we had women hospital administrators in 1870.)

However, she willingly left that role when her order was asked to help with the lepers of Molokai. She said, “I am hungry for the work and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen ones, whose privilege it will be to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of the poor Islanders….” She willingly went to do good for God without knowing what the future might hold.

Oh, that I could create a heart that went willingly to see helping others as a privilege. If I could awake each morning and say as she did making the prayer more personal for my situation:

“I am hungry for the work and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen ones, whose privilege it will be to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of my husband and my children.”

Oh, how hard that will be. Too many days, I would be more eager to go help lepers than my own family. But, I have not been called to Molokai but to Elkton. I have not been asked to help the lepers beyond my prayers. I am a wife and mother whose vocation is fused as one with the sacrament of marriage. I have my mission, though on too many days the thought of Hawaii makes me yearn for a different life. But that is not the life I was called to.

Today’s gospel, Mark 3:31-35 tells me as much:

……”But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

So, tonight I’ll will make myself content with thoughts of warm breezes, perhaps a listen to Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole’s version of Somewhere over the Rainbow or watch Lilo and Stitch with my kids and renew my commitment to going good for God by doing good for my family. I know St. Marianne Cope will approve.



Join us for the March for Life!

Join us on January 19, 2018 in Washington DC as Little Flowers Girls’ Club, Blue Knights Boys’ Club and Their Families MARCH FOR LIFE!

If you are interested in Marching with your group or family under the Little Flower banner, please meet us at the corner of 15th and Constitution Ave in the SE corner of the Eclipse (see map below) between noon and 1 pm. Look for these great Little Flowers posters (above) or the Little Flowers Banner led by the Kenney Family of Louisville, KY. (Backup location is at the base of the Washington Monument). If you are having trouble meeting up, please call Lorrie at 502-396-3824.


Don’t forget to look at the requirements for earning your St. Gianna Molla Pro-life badge whether you plan to march or not!