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  • Recognizing Sinful Anger
    me angry I knew that if I did or said certain things I could in turn get him so upset that he would be ready to cry However when I got older and was tempted to do this I had to stop myself You can t do that any more you re a Christian I had thought I was a Christian before but revenge is not part of the Christian s reper toire so I had to make a choice either take revenge or be a Christian Difficult Of course Jesus promised a cross Matt 16 24 Taking revenge is sinful So as a first step in overcom ing passive aggressive anger keep reminding yourself that you want to be a Christian and therefore you can t take revenge anymore Exploding with Anger We have all encountered people who explode when they feel angry It baffles me how often this sort of anger rears its ugly head in marriages even in allegedly Christian marriages The damage done by this behavior is huge A raging father or mother or child is torture for just about everyone in the family including the angry one This is an other behavior that s incompatible with being a Christian I am often surprised to discover Christians who pray ardently who receive the sacraments regularly who even attend Mass daily and yet have an anger problem If any one thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart this man s religion is vain James 1 26 Some even say Well if you re of ethnicity X you re going to get angry a lot Not so Rather if you re a Chris tian you will work very hard to find a way to cut back on your anger dramatically For the real Christian it s not where we re from that counts the most but where we would like to go one day Explosive anger is not something you want to have with you when you leave this planet It will profoundly dampen your ability to enter the Kingdom If you have a problem with exploding anger and you want to be a Christian you absolutely must work hard to overcome it You cannot simply say Well that s me if you want to be friends with the Lord Granted perhaps most angry outbursts are not mortal sins because sufficient reflection is absent But choosing not to strive ardently to overcome hateful outbursts is usually done with full knowl edge and deliberate consent of the will and so could well be a mortal sin As with many serious sins if we are really trying to overcome them we can be close to God If we are not trying we can t Some seem to think that every family has blowups fairly often This is not true I don t ever remember my parents getting angry at each other They solved their problems without anger Of course my mother would get

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/recognizing-sinful-anger (2016-05-01)
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  • Depression Does Not Discriminate
    fester in darkness but there needs to a light to shine the truth and to give hope to those who feel like all hope has abandoned them Depression doesn t give a damn about your status vocation race or financial situation Yet neither does Christ If we want the mentally afflicted to find the peace that surpasses all understanding we need first to open the doors and to let it in and that is what Christian charity ought to do If someone in your life is suffering mental anguish I can tell you from experience what works and doesn t work Don t try to cure them unless you are a doctor or a real wonder worker and for heaven s sake do not try to tell them But how can you be depressed Instead let them know that they do have a friend who is willing to carry a lot of their pains if necessary and accept it if silence is their only response Then pray for help and that grace will be sufficient to get them through but be aware that you probably are called to be an instrument of that grace It means some work but love demands it Also if you are reading this and have been exhausted by your own black dog know that it is not all there is I ve found some peace but it doesn t mean my burden is gone Seek help go for a walk do whatever you can to come back tomorrow with the determination that you shall live Also know that God did not take on our nature and defeat death just to leave you alone It may sound cheap I know but sometimes that is the only assurance I have and it is no small thing To end here s a little poem by one man that few knew struggled with depression Mr G K Chesterton THIS much O heaven if I should brood or rave Pity me not but let the world be fed Yea in my madness if I strike me dead Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave If I dare snarl between this sun and sod Whimper and clamour give me grace to own In sun and rain and fruit in season shown The shining silence of the scorn of God Thank God the stars are set beyond my power If I must travail in a night of wrath Thank God my tears will never vex a moth Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower Men say the sun was darkened yet I had Thought it beat brightly even on Calvary And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree Heard all the crickets singing and was glad The post Depression Does Not Discriminate appeared first on The Catholic Gentleman This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at The Catholic Gentleman Tagged as Chesterton darkness Depression discouragement GK Chesterton humor Major depressive disorder medication mental illness Robin Williams

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/depression-discriminate (2016-05-01)
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  • St. John Bosco's Ten Steps to Helping Our Youth
    Parents do not extinguish the smoldering wick Set apart time to be with and communicate with the young 4 Mealtime with youths Sociological studies have proven across the board the primary importance of meal time for the family as a whole but especially for the young Numerous studies reveal that parents that sit down at table and eat and talk with their teens result in their young performing better in school being better athletes suffering less depression and an over all sense of joy and well being is experienced 5 But leave the electronics off at the table Indeed a family can be sitting at a table together and it is as if they were all in their own world their own play or fantasy world Despite being at the table we often see the separation that still exists due to the ubiquitous presence of electronics and media Meal time should be totally free of the TV talking on and on or the radio and music blaring the cell phone and constant text messages the internet in any size color and form In other words the human person the mother father son daughter brother and sister grandma and grandpa have infinite value and prevail over all of the electronic devices in the created universe However sad to say for many our immaterial gadgets and exposure to media often transcends the great importance the human person and our connection to one another This is modern idolatry Indeed idolatry is when we place anything above God The human person is made in the image of God and should be highly respected for this innate dignity 6 What to talk about It might be that our culture leaves families who have never really connected on a deep level and have to learn what to do and say at the table Here are a few suggestions to create a harmonious free and joyful atmosphere at the family meal time First start with prayer Bless the meal and ask the Lord Jesus to sit down at meal with the family He is the best of Guests and the source of union and love Second listen When a family member communicates what he believes to be important listen attentively in a non judgmental way Third encourage all and be a source of consolation Fourth share the truth A Biblical passage an Ecclesiastical event a social gathering a personal inspiration a personal anecdote all of the following can be food for though and food for communication Fifth smile One of the most encouraging gestures to foster healthy communication is the smile It is also one of the clearest signs that we are disciples of Jesus the Lord Sixth learn some humorous stories or some good clean jokes Seventh laugh In the health field many have come to the conclusion that laughter is the best medicine Eighth share knowledge Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the contemplation to attain love clearly states that if one loves then he is

    Original URL path: http://catholicexchange.com/st-john-boscos-ten-steps-to-helping-our-youth (2016-05-01)
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  • Rays of Mercy on Marriage
    an Option Please do not become demoralized if your marriage is missing these habits Pray and discern whether these might be helpful and patiently begin Rituals of Connection work play talk prayer Emotional Rapport and Benevolence Gal 6 2 bear one another s burdens Self regulation capacity to stay calm and to regain composure even under pressure A Positive Intention Frame the ability to assume the best about your spouse even at his or her worst Caretaking in Conflict solving the problem is not as important as taking care of each other as you work toward the solution Mutual Respect Accountability and Boundaries Ephesians 5 21 challenges husbands and wives to defer to one another out of reverence for Christ Reviewing and Learning from Mistakes work hard to learn from mistakes and do not dredge up past hurts or attack each other But do not ignore the past so that mistakes are not repeated Getting Good Support choose wisely your network of support friends family pastors and counselors Marriage in God s Plan It may be helpful to consider the following in light of the virtues chastity temperance charity diligence patience kindness and humility The matrimonial covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of the wedding feast of the Lamb Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its mystery its institution and the meaning God has given it its origin and its end its various realizations throughout the his tory of salvation the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal in the Lord in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church CCC 1601 1602 Marriage Under the Regime of Sin It may be helpful to consider the following in light of the capital sins pride lust gluttony greed sloth anger and envy Every man experiences evil around him and within himself This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman Their union has always been threatened by discord a spirit of domination infidelity jealousy and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely and can be more or less over come according to the circumstances of cultures eras and individuals but it does seem to have a universal character CCC 1606 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman nor from the nature of their relations but from sin As a break with God the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman Their relations were distorted by mutual

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  • How to Have a Happy Marriage (Even when You're Busy with Kids)
    We should probably both work on keeping the kitchen a little tidier Even if you know full well that it s the other person who s a mess in the kitchen bathroom or wherever doesn t that come off much nicer than You need to clean up your mess I m tired of picking up after you you slob Riiiiiiiiiight That s not going to end well 5 Put your spouse first Even though we all learned to share in kindergarten we are still selfish beings We want what we want when we want it Technology and society as a whole aren t great at helping and encouraging us to break this habit but the happily functioning family can be anything but selfish Always ask yourself what would your spouse like Whether it s what to eat for dinner what movie to watch or what dessert you share at a restaurant let your spouse choose Having a happy spouse makes you a happy spouse Let his happiness bring you happiness 6 Keep dating each other Just because you re married and you have kids doesn t mean your social life is over You still need to spend quality time alone together or even out with friends but especially alone together Getting out of the house for a date isn t always possible with sitters or finances but you can have dates in too Rather than spend your evenings in separate rooms on separate computers or separate phones unplug everything except your tv Snuggle on the couch with popcorn a glass of wine and a good movie Or pull out a deck of cards or a board game Every couple should have one indoor and one outdoor game that they enjoy doing together Make a point of doing that game or activity Schedule it on the calendar if necessary 7 Have couch time This should happen daily If it s difficult to talk about your day while at the dinner table because you re too busy haranguing Penelope to eat her peas or keeping Bobby from dunking his face in his soup get your quality time on the couch when the children aren t around Sit next to each other Snuggle Have at least some part of you touching Physical touch soothes you And as an added bonus If you are touching even in some small way when you re upset with each other the physical contact will ease tension and help you work out your troubles in a calmer quicker manner Try it 8 Go to sleep at the same time This provides you with another opportunity for communication verbal or physical You decide Be open Enjoy each other s company If you re normally too tired to do more than collapse into bed and fall directly to sleep get yourselves in bed sooner This is more needed couple time 9 Maintain an attitude of gratitude I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you are not Wonderwoman

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  • The Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mommy (and Daddy Too!)
    t been asked to get a thirsty child a drink in the middle of the night Getting up and serving that child cheerfully with compassion is a work of mercy that reminds the child that his or her needs are important and that they will be heard and loved even when it is inconvenient for us to do so Clothe the Naked Finding the grace to be patient while dealing with a toddler who only wants to wear the blue shirt or helping a teen dress attractively yet modestly isn t just an exercise in patience it s an opportunity to help your children remember their worth in God s eyes Sheltering The Homeless Putting in the thought time and effort it takes to make your house a welcoming home by working to make it a beautiful orderly yet a comfortable and hospitable place is a great way to remind yourself and your family of their dignity as children of God And teaching your family to be good stewards of what you have been given is an important lesson in godly gratitude Visit the Sick When you lovingly respond to a sick child refusing to treat him or her as a burden or an inconvenience even though the illness has thrown your schedule into chaos you are practicing mercy growing in personal holiness and showing your child his or her worth in God s eyes and yours Visit the Imprisoned It is one thing to banish our children to their rooms or to time out when they have committed some offense but when we visit them a few minutes later talk them through their error teach them what to do instead and work to heal their hurts and rebuild our relationship we are practicing true mercy and showing our children they still have worth in God s eyes and our eyes even when they mess up Bury the Dead Helping a child deal with the loss of a pet or face the death of a beloved relative requires incredible compassion and sensitivity especially when we are dealing with our own grief Doing this well enables our children to connect with God s loving presence even in times of sadness The Spiritual Works of Mommy and Daddy Admonish the Sinner Sometimes we need to correct the little sinners in our home When we do this with compassion understanding and love we do more than stop the offense we invite our children to remember that they are sons and daughters of God and it is a blessing to be able to behave accordingly Instruct the Ignorant There is so much to learn Life is such a mystery Whether teaching our children what to do instead of simply telling them what not to do or answering their never ending questions with patience and love or teaching them all the things they need to know to live life as a gift instructing the ignorant allows our families to become the schools of humanity our

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  • Seven Books to Share with Children for Lent and Easter
    out of his garden until a small boy softens and transforms the Giant s heart Years later the boy returns with wounds on his hands and feet to bring the kind and gentle Giant into Paradise Several versions of this story exist The Children s Book of Faith edited by William Bennett contains a lovely rendering of the story among a compilation of other Christian stories and poems 4 The Sacrament of Reconciliation for Children by Suzanne Lewis Jesus is the Easter Light that banishes all darkness and through his love we too are light The first time we received the light of the risen Jesus was on the day of our Baptism On that day our candle was lit from the large Easter candle and all the power and glory of Easter was ignited in our hearts Suzanne Lewis from The Sacrament of Reconciliation for Children During Lent many children are preparing to receive their first sacrament of reconciliation For all of us adults and children alike confession prepares our hearts to receive Jesus in his Body and Blood on Holy Thursday to venerate his cross on Good Friday and to celebrate his Resurrection on Easter Sunday This beautiful book by seasoned catechist Suzanne Lewis leads readers to a deeper understanding of the sacrament through Scripture verses beautiful artwork and connections to the liturgy and other sacraments Reconciliation is foundational to the Easter message The author asks gentle questions and provides thoughtful explanations that lead children into the heart of the Father s love for them in this wonderful sacrament 5 Into the Sea Out of the Tomb Jonah and Jesus by Maura Roan McKeegan illustrated by T Schluenderfritz For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh so will the Son of man be to this generation behold something greater than Jonah is here Luke 11 30 32 Jesus referred to Jonah s sojourn in the belly of the great fish as a sign of greater things to come This picture book with beautiful illustrations by Ted Schluenderfritz tells the stories of Jonah and Jesus side by side so that readers can discover the parallels I wrote this series to help children understand what Saint Augustine meant when he said The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old is unveiled in the New In the newly released Into the Sea Out of the Tomb Jonah and Jesus and in its award winning companion The End of the Fiery Sword Adam Eve and Jesus Mary children can see how the Paschal events signs and symbols of Holy Week and Easter were prefigured in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New 6 Easter Eggs for Anya A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ by Virginia Kroll illustrated by Sally Wern Comport Anya would decorate an egg for everyone in the family When she presented the eggs she d use the greeting Christ is risen as Mama and Papa had taught her Virginia Kroll

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  • Ten Family Activities for Lent
    activity is a bit different than some of the other typical ones mentioned already First find a copyright free image or outline of a lamb and paste it onto a blank document and print Explain to your kids that Jesus is the Lamb of God because He was the sacrificial lamb who died for our sins Each time we pray we honor and please Jesus Children are encouraged to remember specific prayers and once they re able to recite them from memory they can contribute a cotton ball to the lamb image The goal of course is to have the entire lamb covered in fleece before Easter Sunday Jesus in the Garden Diorama As a rather creative alternative to the two dimensional version families can create a diorama using a shoe box or something similar and paste the pattern from the link above into the background of the box Kids can determine what other objects they d like to use to make the scene more realistic by adding texture and color Use this as a meditation piece throughout Lent once it s complete Good Deeds Bracelet The good deeds bracelet is a tangible way for children to remember the importance of making sacrifices every day The beads on the bracelet begin in one position and as the child wearing it performs a work of mercy s he moves one bead on the bracelet to the other side The goal of course is to have all of the beads moved by the end of the day CRS Rice Bowl The Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl has been a classic Lenten activity in my family of origin since I was in elementary school I always enjoyed placing my allowance in the box during Lent and couldn t wait to count it all up after Easter I think what makes this activity such an easy tradition is that it s a perfect way for us to give alms by tossing in our extra change that may otherwise go into a jar for savings Kids love this too when parents explain how different monetary tiers correspond with a specific donation for a family or community such as providing water or rice We keep ours on the dining room table and allow the girls to earn money to place in the bowl for every kind deed they perform Making a Paschal Candle There are beautiful varieties of Paschal candles available on the market but making one can provide a perfect opportunity for families to communicate about the spiritual significance of light and darkness Each image on the candle represents some specific tenet of our faith and can be explained while securing it on the candle they include the alpha and omega symbol and a cross with optional symbols including grapes and wheat a dove or a lamb with a victory banner To make your own simple obtain copyright free images of these print and affix with glue You can opt to make a felt flame

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