Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carnival with a Rosary Twist

I've had rosaries on my mind for a day or two...and it shows in this week's Catholic Carnival, which I'm hosting over at my blog. You might enjoy it for the collection of lovely posts, or you might enjoy it because there's a special rosary-related gift for all readers. :) Go on over and see what you think.

A Few of My Favorite Things

We've been watching The Sound of Music quite a bit in the last few days, and I catch myself humming "A Few of My Favorite Things" at odd moments. Inspired by a meme I've seen around (specifically at luminous miseries and Adoro te Devote), I thought I'd share some of my favorite rosaries with you.

My First Rosary:
When I entered the Catholic Church in April, 2001, my dear mother-in-law game me this rosary. Though it's broken (it broke at the medal), I'll never part with it. I learned to pray on this rosary, bumbling along and feeling the wooden beads beneath my fingers. This is actually a replacement - the original one that she gave me only had nine beads on the first and last decades, and she took it back to the store, demanding a replacement. When she gave it to me, she apologized. "I didn't have very much money to spend," she explained, "but I thought the wooden beads would remind you of the cross." That they have...and of her including me as a member of her family.

My Car Rosary:
Padre gave me this rosary after his last trip to the Holy Land. It's made of olive wood, and like my first rosary, the wooden beads remind me of the Cross. They're also easy to hold while I drive, and on one of the decades (either the first or last, I think), two of the beads are stuck together. This imperfection makes me think, inevitably, of my own imperfection, and of how God can take my weaknesses and use them for his glory. (Now, if I could only cooperate with those graces!)

My Purse Rosaries:
These are all-twine knotted rosaries, made by my friends at Real Life Rosary. The baby blue rosary lives in my wallet-purse, and the white one (which has gold flecks in it) is in a side pocket of my main purse. They're ideal for the oh-no-the-Toddlerina-is-wailing moments at Mass, when she discards everything else. They are unbreakable and I find the knots comforting somehow.

My Kitchen Rosary:
Maybe it sounds odd to have a rosary in the kitchen, but I usually start my days in the kitchen, nursing a cup of coffee and praying a rosary and Morning Prayer. I love the bright blue of this rosary, which reminds me of Mary's mantle. I also love that this rosary reminds me of a road trip with friends and of Rosary Army (who provided it in the goodie bags of the Catholic New Media Celebration in Atlanta).

My Pretty Rosary:
Padre does a lot of international traveling. Recently, I started asking him to bring me a rosary from his destinations. The first time I asked, he brought back the Holy Land rosary above. This rosary was from his trip to Ireland, and it's made of some kind of special stone (yes, I forget). The square beads are held together with links and there's an Irish cross (at least, that's what I think it's called). The beads are all different, and they feel funny when I hold them. This is a good prompt for me to consider how discomfort isn't the end of the world, and how things that are pretty can be truly beautiful when they serve a purpose. I keep this rosary in a drawer in the kitchen, and when I have a special intention, or just a hankering that I need all the help I can get, I pull it out.

My Everyday Rosary:
This is the rosary I've been using everyday lately. I bought this rosary (and three others to give as gifts) after seeing a close-up picture and then reading about them over at Blessed Among Men. I love that with each Hail Mary, I'm holding a little baby in my fingers. My girls like it too; they inevitably want to hold the "baby rosary" and Toddlerina makes a sound suspiciously like "pitty" when she sees it.

That's it for me. Do you have favorite rosaries? Comments open.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Gift of a Rosary

Do you have a favorite rosary? Maybe it was given to you by someone special, or maybe you inherited it from your grandmother, or maybe you purchased it during a trip.

Would you listen to the small voice telling you to give that rosary away?

Read about Katherine Valentine's amazing rosary ministry over at CatholicMom.com, and prepare to appreciate the rosary - and that special rosary - even more.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rosary Miracles

I just came across a story of a rosary miracle, via this week's Catholic Carnival, and couldn't resist sharing it here.
The rosary is such a powerful prayer. I have been amazed again and again by the incredible outpouring of grace it causes.

In the last few years of my mother's Alzheimer's Disease we made an incredible discovery. Someone had mentioned to me that even those in advanced stages of dementia people can sometimes remember prayers that they have always known, that somehow that information is stored in a very deep part of the brain.

We decided to say the rosary with my mom. Her condition was very advanced at this point. She was slumped over in a wheelchair all the time, staring blankly into space. It was not even clear if she could actually see, she was so unresponsive. She made no eye contact. There was no indication that Mom was actually in there, if you know what I mean.
Read the rest over at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Madonna and Child
Painting by Giovanni Battista Salvi

from "The Precious Blood" and "Mother" by The Monastery, Precious Blood, Edmonton, Alberta

O Holy Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, I choose thee this day, to be the Lady and Mistress of our home, and I pray thee, in the name of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, thy Divine Son, and of thy Immaculate Conception, to preserve it from fire and lightning, from tempests and thieves, from cholera, influenza, diphtheria, malaria, and all other contagious and pestilential diseases.

Bless and protect every member of our family, preserve us from sin, from sudden and unprovided death, and from all other evils and accidents, in the name and through the merits of the most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mary Moments: Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe

This month, we're honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. If you're unfamiliar with this depiction of Mary, stick around and we'll discover more about it together. If this is an old favorite, or perhaps something you're lukewarm-at-best about, we invite you to stay as well. This month we have a collection of posts that warrant at least one mug of tea or coffee or hot chocolate (or, for those of you in the warmer climes, a glass of something cool).

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.

"All these years later, that statue is my favorite one in my Mary Garden. Over the years, it has been a source of conversation for visitors and even workmen working on my house. Sure enough, Our Lady keeps mending souls. The men and the woman who have ventured through my garden, are drawn to her, and in conversation, many of them have told of the pain they have suffered from having had abortions or their wife or girlfriend aborting their child. And they all seem to name their aborted children Matthew or Mary. Our Lady never stops pleading for her children." Read the whole post.

"The first year we were married, way back in 1986, my Mom gave us a beautiful wooden carved statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is very special to us and has always held a very special place in our home. In 2002 we discovered how special we are to her." Read the whole post.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most familiar New World image of Mary and the only true picture of the Mother of God. As the patroness of the Americas and of the unborn, she holds a special place in the hearts of many." Read the whole post.

Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.

"The world of a young expectant mother waits with her in the months of her pregnancy with anticipation and excitement for the unborn child to arrive. Everyone close to her rallies and prepares with her as the time gets ever nearer. There are things to buy, things to make, things to clean, and things to clear away all in preparation for the child so loved and desired. With each month that passes, the family becomes more aware of the changes that will occur, for a child will make their world anew and different. No one in this little family will ever be the same, no one in this little world will ever know life without this new child in the months and years to come." Read the whole post.

"If you want to celebrate Our Lady of G, as I quickly learned, go to a Spanish Mass. It was, in word, fabulous. There was a procession to honor her, winding around the Mary grotto and into the church. There was a mariachi band dressed in white on the altar. “Viva la Virgen!” shouted the priest and various lectors. And, at the end of the service, parishioners crowded the altar, bearing small statues or framed images of Our Lady. They waited patiently for the priest to bless them before leaving, taking the beloved icons back into their homes." Read the whole post.

We'll pause in our quotable posts to share this link to activities and a prayer and this link to some fine feast day cuisine.

Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.

"As a pro-life activist, I have had a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the unborn, for many years. I have taken her image with me to the abortion mills and have witnessed the power of her presence in saving human life. However, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2005, I experienced my own personal miracle." Read the whole post.

"As a pro-life activist, I have had a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the unborn, for many years. I have taken her image with me to the abortion mills and have witnessed the power of her presence in saving human life. However, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2005, I experienced my own personal miracle." Read the whole post.

"Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Working in a parish where the preponderance of the people are Latino, we have a huge celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Sunday closest to her feast. I decided to share some pictures that my brother took of Our Lady's procession from last year. Though it was drizzly and nasty outside, there was still quite a crowd for the procession." Read the whole post.

Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.

"Share the story of Saint Juan Diego with your kids, and discuss ways they can increase their faith and obedience." Read the whole post.

"In today's gospel reading we read about the Annunciation, where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she has been chosen by God to bear the Son of the Most High. And as we all know, Mary's response was yes, for as she so beautifully tells the angel; "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done according to your word." Mary models for us what it means to be a true believer and servant of God. Saying yes and trusting in God in even the most impossible situations." Read the whole post.

"Today we had our 7th annual Our Lady of Guadalupe fiesta with a few friends and our dear priest." Read the whole post.

Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.

"It's been 16 years since the day my husband and I got married on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We chose that feast day specifically in honor of Our Lady. It was a icy cold, windy and snowy Saturday morning that those brave enough to make it out in such dangerous conditions came out for our wedding." Read the whole post.

"Here is Our Lady of Guadalupe to color or craft with as you choose." Read the whole post.

"Today we celebrate the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, and the miraculous image that was revealed in his tilma when Juan approached the bishop, as Our Lady instructed him." Read the whole post.

We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.

"The children decorated the table cloth with pretty foil stars and we are floating 2 pink rose candles next to a Strawberry Rose Cake." Read the whole post.

"On this feast day, we remember unborn children and their mothers. (The image is of a pregnant Aztec woman.) And so, I thought it would be a good day to respond to comments I’ve received recently from those who object to the idea that adoption should be represented as a pro-life alternative to abortion." Read the whole post.

"As with all good Catholic images there is abundant symbolism that was specifically designed to speak to the hearts of the people to whom she brought her message ... the Aztecs. I remember when our priest put out a flyer about this and I was just knocked out at how meaningful every single thing in the image is." Read the whole post.

Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

"The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a wonderful opportunity to have a celebration. Under this title as the patroness of the Americas and the patroness of the unborn she is a very important intercessor. It is such a festive day and there is so much symbolism, history, and cultural tradition associated with this day as well, which opens up many possibilities for activities and feasting. As a family we have commemorated this day in different ways, different years." Read the whole post.

"Yesterday morning, I tried to start my morning prayers with a rosary. I muddled through the opening part, and the baby woke up. I made it through another decade, and lost concentration and patience with a three-year-old. I forgot all about it as we tried to get out of the door on time for a doctor’s appointment. In the midst of this failure, I thought about Our Lady of Guadalupe, and what she has always meant to me." Read the whole post.

"We began our celebration of the Feast (in Mexico: Solemnity) of Our Lady of Guadalupe with MaƱanitas at 5:00 in the morning." Read the whole post and watch the video.

Next month we'll be taking a break from the Mary Moments carnivals. Look for a special announcement for the February edition of the Mary Moments carnival!

Are you interested in helping with the Mary Moments carnivals? Email Sarah at peerybingle [at] gmail [dot] com.

A few words more:
  • A special thank you to Esther for this month's special Mary Moments logo. Esther is the genius behind all of our Mary Moments graphics, and she unfailingly gets just the right feeling across (in less than the time it takes me to hit send and come back to the computer, most of the time!). Thanks, Esther!
  • The text punctuating this month's carnival comes from John Paul II's prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which you can find in a lovely ready-to-print format here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today we celebrate the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, and the miraculous image that was revealed in his tilma when Juan approached the bishop, as Our Lady instructed him. A chronology of the events surrounding this tradition may be found here.

Julie Malchow, a woman who contacted me after reading Behold Your Mother, sent me this slide show that I'd like to share with you in honor of the feastday of the Patronness of the Americas. I hope you find it as fascinating and inspiring as I did! Listen to her words to Juan Diego:
"Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
Juan Diego was canonized by John Paul II in 2002; Pope Pius XII declared The Virgin of Guadalupe Patronness of the Americas in 1946. While we are not obliged to believe in the contents of private revelation, we can follow confidently the example of our Church leaders who have put themselves under her protection time and again.
As the handmaid of the Lord, the Blessed Mother does nothing on her own power; hers is pure reflected glory as she carries the hope of Christ out into the world. Her hands -- glorified yet fully human -- are a mother's hands, hers a mother's heart. United with the heart of God the Father, ever close to God the Son, adored by God the Spirit, she is God's messenger of light to a world trapped in darkness. "My little child, crawl upon my lap. Am I not your mother?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe: by Christine Trollinger

One fine spring day, a few years ago, I was running an errand for my daughter. She had asked me to pick up some plants from a local nursery/statuary yard that the owner, had offered to give her for her window boxes.

I have had a Mary Garden for years and love to browse statuary whenever I see some, but on that particular day, I was totally engrossed in just hurrying over there, retrieving the pro-offered plants and getting back home to my own spring planting. At the time my small patio garden had all the statuary I thought it needed. I certainly had no plans to explore the nurseries large selection. Well, as they say, the best laid plans are easily undone and for me especially when Our Lady is involved.

As I pulled up in the parking lot, my eye spotted the biggest and most gorgeous,” Our Lady of Guadalupe “statue I had ever seen. Naturally, I made a quick detour into the statuary yard to look at it. Inspecting it up close, it quickly became an “I must have it urge.” The strange thing was that it had no price or sign on it like all the others in the yard. But I quickly became convinced by perusing the prices of other statues in the yard that this was a high end statuary business, and my tiny budget would never stretch to buy it even if I could think of a place to put it.

Sighing with longing, I pressed a kiss to the hands of the Statue and chuckled a quick response saying; “Well, my beautiful Lady, I hope you find a very beautiful Garden and someone to love you as much as I do. With that, I went on into the nursery office to retrieve the plants my daughter had sent me for. The only employee around turned out to be the woman I was suppose to see for the plants. While she went to retrieve them for me, I browsed the little nic nac’s they had inside the office, just killing time. As soon as she returned from the back office, my plan was to thank her and hurry on my way.

Again, those best laid plans got way laid as the woman was so nice and I just had to ask her how much the Statue of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” was. She looked very puzzled at my question and said: “What Statue is that.” I pointed out the window to the Statue and she laughed and said;”OH! Is that what it is called? We received it by mistake and had no idea what it was called. It’s too big and heavy to return so we just decided to keep it and sell it. The Price is $400. “
"Well worth it," I responded. I told her that I was sure someone will really love to have that one as it is extra special, especially in these times of so much confusion concerning the alarming abortion rate this country is in.

So many women who feel overwhelmed and confused when facing an unplanned pregnancy don’t realize that the life of an unborn child is very precious to God. God loves those poor mothers so much, and Our Lady of Guadalupe is a wonderful devotion which symbolizes Gods love and mercy for woman and children, especially those who make the mistake of aborting their children, thinking it will solve the problems they face.

In the blink of an eye, the woman’s face dropped and tears began to flow. She sobbed so hard and I held her in my arms, as she began to tell me her story. She sobbingly explained that she had aborted her baby boy, just a few months earlier and felt so guilty and ashamed of her decision. She asked me over and over, if I thought God would ever forgive her. Cradling her in my arms, I assured her that indeed, God could and does forgive her.

I told her the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe and how Mary’s message was still relevant today. God knew from all eternity, Abortion would destroy many lives, but that those little lives are not really lost. The babies are safe in His arms, and the Mothers are precious to Him too. Mistakes are made by all of us, especially in difficult situations.

As she calmed down and listened, I gently took her hand and said; “Have you named your little boy?” She replied, yes, I think of him as Matthew. Then I told her about Project Rachael and promised to get her all the information on it.

The next afternoon, as I had promised, I returned with the information I had promised her. Of course I prayed many prayers before that, asking Our Lady to comfort the woman and help her get the healing she needed.

When I walked into the office she rushed toward me and exclaimed; “I can’t thank you enough for listening to me. I had my first restful night in many months. I dreamed of my baby and OH! He is so beautiful and happy. I dreamt he said, “I forgive you, Mommy, and so does God Our Father.”

After giving her the information and a few words of encouragement, I turned to leave promising to remember her in my prayers. And as I was leaving she said; “You know, that statue didn’t cost us anything because the supplier sent it by mistake and didn’t want to pay the return shipping charges. Would you like to have it?

All these years later, that statue is my favorite one in my Mary Garden. Over the years, it has been a source of conversation for visitors and even men working on my house. Sure enough, Our Lady keeps mending souls. The men and the woman who have ventured through my garden, are drawn to her, and in conversation, many of them have told of the pain they have suffered from having had abortions or their wife or girlfriend aborting their child. And they all seem to name their aborted children Matthew or Mary. Our Lady never stops pleading for her children.

Motherhood Changes You

Suzanne from Blessed Among Men shares a reflection of Mary's motherhood that is fitting for all of us to consider, especially during Advent, when we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child.

Here's a snippet:
As Catholics, and especially during this season of expectation and nativity, we honor the motherhood of Mary. She was the mother not of a "blob of tissue" before His birth and not simply of a human nature after His birth. Mary, the Church affirmed in the early centuries and for the preservation of the true faith, is the mother of a person as all mothers are mothers of persons. Mary is blessed among women and a mother to us all because that person is the second Person of the Divine Trinity, the Word of the Father, the First Born into the resurrection, the God man, Jesus Christ, who saved us all from death and offers us eternal life. And there is the hope. In Him, all can find healing. In Him, all are changed.
Do go read the entire thing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

"I am the Immaculate Conception"

Only four years after this dogma was officially declared by Pope Pius IX in the document "Ineffabilis Deus" on December 8, 1854, the Blessed Virgin appeared to fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes to confirm what had been a universal feast of the Church since 1476.

Have you ever wondered what was "immaculate" about the way Mary was conceived? Didn't St. Anne and St. Joachim conceive Mary in the way married couples usually do?

The "Catholic Encyclopedia" offers this explanation:
The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception by her parents. Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul. The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.

Here we have a beautiful image of how a married couple participates as co-creators of life, by God's design. In the case of Mary, God had chosen her to bear His Son and to bestow upon Him His humanity -- all that made Him truly a man. To prepare her for this miracle, another miracle was needed. Nothing but the purest vessel could have withstood such an intimate encounter with the Almighty.

Immaculate Conception,
You who stand
before the Throne of Grace and plead for me.

I ask not for great treasure, but for ample gratitude;
I ask not for great fame, but for constant faithfulness;
I ask not for great intellect, but for simple wisdom.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me,
That one day by God's grace
I will be just like you.

Photo credit: "The Artchive" of Diego Velasquez "The Immaculate Conception"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wear Blue in Honor of Mary

Tomorrow is a major Marian feast day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. (We'll have more about that tomorrow, so be sure to check back!)

In my blogging this morning, I found out about a pretty neat way to honor Mary tomorrow, and I wanted to share it with you too:

My youth group leader was giving a talk one night and he said, "There are over a billion Catholics in the world. If Catholics decided to wear the color blue tomorrow, everyone would be like...Blue is a cool color." And that made me have this crazy idea.... What if all of us Catholics actually did that? So I decided in honor of our mother Mary, on December 8th, which is The Feast of The Immaculate Conception, we will all wear the color light blue. Please help me accomplish this goal! Invite all your Catholic friends! Even if you are not Catholic and you want to honor Mary...that's cool too. Join us in this movement and be a witness to the world!

"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight...proclaim it...but with a certain congeniality."
-- Saint Catherine of Siena
So let's wear blue to celebrate this very special feast day, shall we?

Hat tip to Julie at Happy Catholic.

Join us in Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe

Image source

In December, we will honor Our Lady of Guadalupe with our Mary Moments carnival. We welcome your feast day celebration ideas, traditions, recipes, or reflections. Do you have a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe? Have you felt a special bond with this image of Mary? Can you take a few moments to share it with us as we assemble a bouquet for Our Mother on this special feast day?

Submissions are due by December 12, using the online form or by emailing me at peerybingle [at] gmail [dot] com. If you don't have a blog, you can still participate! I'll post your entry as a guest post over at my blog. Mary Moments: Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe will be live on December 15.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanks, Esther!: A Review of "Behold Your Mother"

In the coming week we will be celebrating two Marian feasts: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). This might be a great time to pick up your undoubtedly dogeared copy of Behold Your Mother and ponder anew the mysteries of the Incarnation.

It appears that "Hawaii Mom" was doing just that. Yesterday she sent me this review of my book Behold Your Mother. She writes:

"The stories Heidi shares are stories that help me too as a Catholic go to our Blessed Mother for help. I would always go directly to Jesus for help. Ever since I was a teen I have always thought of him as my big brother and I never hesitated to ask for his help.

"It was slowly over the years that I have grown in my devotion to the Blessed Mother in the way my sister and mom have always had.

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone on your list -- a grandmother or other elderly relative, perhaps, who already has everything she needs but who has a great devotion to the Blessed Mother? This may be just what you're looking for ... I'll even throw in a free sample of my favorite herbal tea, so she can sip in style!

To order my books, just click here!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Looking for a Christmas Gift?

Do you have someone in your life who is just starting to warm up to the Blessed Mother -- curious, perhaps, but not quite "there" yet?

I'd like to suggest that you order a copy of Behold Your Mother. Three short stories, with a serious of short, Scripture-based meditations centered around the various titles of the Blessed Mother.

From now until Christmas, I'll throw in a free sample of my favorite "Christmas tea," so the recipient can sip in style! And if you order four copies or more (to the same address, domestic orders only), I'll throw in a free copy of my "Abundant Life" program video (with Johnnette Benkovic).

The book is now available in English or Spanish -- and if you'd like a copy with the original (blue with the praying hands, pictured) cover for someone who might not appreciate the one with all the images of Mary on it, just let me know. To order, click here.
God bless you!