it’s that time,

to turn back our clocks!

photo courtesy disney.com

Daylight-savings strikes this weekend in our Northeastern part of the country, as we slide our clocks back an hour Sunday at 2AM. However, here at hugs n’ blessings I’m sliding the publishing calendar back an ENTIRE Day to…


The blogging world has opened up many opportunities for me to meet exciting people, travel to places right in the comfort of my home, cook recipes I may have never known, explore thoughts that expand my mind & my heart, and connect with like minded people who share my faith, my humor, and support me in my goal of reaching Heaven!

There are many many I hope to give thanks for but I give 3hugs&blessings for these three today:

Maria Velazco at Silence Speaks I could list many of the articles she has written that I have enjoyed; however, her article Forgiving and Black Sheep are two of my favorites because they are so personal & life-giving!

Vincent Egoro at Live Your Greatest Life.  I love everything Vincent writes!

One of his most recent met me at my heart’s center

The Secret to Real Strength.

Vibrant at blabberwockying! is my most eclectic-read.  His writings have exposed me to many different things and even though we have very little in common our love of “heart-matters” unites us in many ways!  Again, I could high-light a number of his writings to share with you but here is just one of my favorites Don’t Worry Too Much About Critics!  I am sure you will find many more you too will enjoy at his site!

I hope you will check their sites out soon, so that you may find a hug n’ a blessing there too!!

hugs n’ blessings as we move toward November…

when I will be joining in the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month.)

All month during November I will be giving THANKS, not just on ‘Thanksgiving Day’, but EVERYday!


And I pray something along the way will inspire THANKS within you!

“Let them come to me…”

Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. Each World Meeting of Families has a theme that energizes and enlivens the event while adding great depth of meaning to our understanding of families. The theme of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on our society.  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II in 1994, the World Meeting of Families has strengthened the sacred bonds of families across the globe.

On June 30th, 2015, the Vatican released the comprehensive itinerary for Pope Francis’ journey to the United States, including his schedule for Philadelphia on September 26-27, which will close the 6-day Apostolic Journey.  And ever-since that day I, (along with millions of others) have anticipated his arrival.  I am still pinchity-pinching myself that I will be there!

Call me a fanatic,  Jesus-freak, (did you know this is described in the urban dictionary???) Pope-stalker, or the likes; but really…it’s not that dramatic nor romantic!  I’m just in awe of my God. I’m in awe of His love for me.  His love for others. And the deep-desire He has to reign down his grace and His mercy upon us.  God can never be outdone in His generosity & as I have opened my heart to Him more & more I have seen this great love FOR US…Every.  Single.  Day.

My enthusiasm for Our Holy Father is rooted in his “YES” to God to lead us in this endeavor.  Pope Francis’ trust in God, strengthens my trust in him and in my Church.  He leads me, guides me, & reminds me what the Gospels teach.  I am grateful for the courage he embraces to be challenged, mocked, judged, and ridiculed for this trust in a God he knows intimately.  And I am inspired that Pope Francis encourages, invites, and WELCOMES everyone to partake in this same unconditional love our Heavenly Father offers, as we place our trust in Him.  The Pope reminds each of us: we are ALL sinners, himself included, BUT that Jesus stands AT the door of our hearts & knocks.  However, WE must open the door!!  The door-handle is ours to hold, to turn, to open.  And I pray, if it hasn’t already been done, countless people, through the blessings of the Holy Father’s visit,  find themselves pulling open the door which separates them from receiving God’s great love for them.  This is what Christs’ vicar is showing us how to do in his papacy and I am so grateful…I cannot wait to be in Philly so I may tell him so!

Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto Philadelphia, Pa
Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto Philadelphia, Pa
Exactly how will I tell him??? (I promise not to break any security-breeches in my endeavor.) Through my prayers, of course!  My participation in this pilgrimage will be encased in prayers.  All forms of prayer!  Prayers of sacrifice & fasting.  Prayers of gratitude, intentions & petitions.  (To discover the difference between the two click on the link.)  And I am collecting all forms from anyone who desires me to include theirs with mine.  I will offer them at the final Papal Mass or if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto in Philly I promise to “tie” your prayers to this special location.


My first prayer, after delivering all the others brought from each of you, will be as I said earlier, my gratitude.  However, my biggest prayer is inspired by the tender-little-one shown below.  Her message tugs at my heart for personal reasons.  And her message is so very poignant to what the theme for The World Meetings of Families is all about…LOVE IS OUR MISSION.   May it remain a theme in our lives forever…for the sake of our families…for the sake of one another.

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

hugs n’ blessings to all the little-ones who: “try to do my best in my heart.”  

So that everyone can smile…

we remember…

Girders in the shape of a cross, preserved from the wreckage of the World Trade Center (WTC), stand over the WTC site in New York September 10, 2004. New York City plans to mark the third anniversary of the attacks on the trade center with an observance at the site on September 11 with parents and grandparents of victims reading their names. The American flag is reflected on the surface of the new 7 World Trade Center Building, under construction, at rear. The original 7 World Trade Center, which stood at the same location, burned and collapsed in the attack three years ago.
Girders in the shape of a cross, preserved from the wreckage of the World Trade Center (WTC), stand over the WTC site in New York September 10, 2004. The American flag is reflected on the surface of the new 7 World Trade Center Building, under construction, at rear.

Dear Lord, as we remember the evils of September 11th, let us turn our hearts and minds towards the good found only in You;
Be close to those who mourn: the parents who lost children, the children who never knew a parent, and all who lost a loved one;
Embrace this grieving nation, and let time never lessen the impact of this day; may we never forget;
Protect those who go in harm’s way to save others, and those who suffer and die to safeguard our nation;
Give wisdom to our leaders, that they may make choices that prevent another day such as this;
Convert the hearts of those who seek our destruction, and banish from the world the darkness that allows such hate to fester and grow;
Let Your love rain down upon us, and let Your peace flourish on the Earth;
All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.  Amen.

~Thomas L. McDonald


may we never forget…

to share a hug n’ a blessing with another,

as they both have the power to heal the world!