he offered his life

 

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“Hatred is not a creative force.  Only love is creative power.”

St. Maximillian Mary Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (1894-1941)

 

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Sentenced to hard manual labor at the death camp in Auschwitz, St. Maximillian Kolbe offered his life in exchange for that of a family man.

 

His zeal for souls and love of neighbor  leave us all striving for God’s glory by eagerly serving others.

 

 

Today, and every day, may we spread this message to the ends of the earth! Continue reading “he offered his life”

not your ordinary fourth of july

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Helen Kowalska, the best golden retriever in the universe.

It has been awhile since I have posted about Helen!

It has also been awhile since I have done a Wednesday posting

for Saint Maria Faustina KoWalska (what else,)

with a brief reflection on the Divine Mercy of God!

And since it has been out of the ordinary…

let me first offer a quick “refresher” on this Saint,

who is also our Golden’s namesake!

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Our Helen Kowalska wearing her red, white, & blue and a Tiny Saints Charm of St. Faustina.

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, known today the world over as the “Apostle of the Divine Mercy,” is numbered by theologians among the outstanding mystics of the Church.  She was the third of ten children born into a poor and pious peasant family in Glogowiec, a village in the heart of Poland. At her baptism in the nearby Parish Church of Swinice Warckie she was given the name “Helena.” From childhood she distinguished herself by her piety, love of prayer, industriousness and obedience as well as by her great sensitivity to human misery. She had hardly three years of schooling, and at the age of fourteen she left the family hearth to help her parents and to earn her own livelihood serving as a domestic in the nearby cities of Aleksandrow and Lodz.

When she was only seven (two years before her First Holy Communion), Helen
already sensed in her soul the call to embrace the religious life. When later she made her desire known to her parents, they categorically did not acquiesce in her entering a convent. Because of this situation Helen strove to stifle this divine call within her. Pressed on, however, by a vision of the suffering Christ and by the words of His reproach: “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?” (Diary, 9), she bagan to search for a convent to join. She knocked on many a convent door, but nowhere was she accepted. Finally on August 1, 1925, Helen crossed the threshold of the cloister in the convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on Zytnia Street in Warsaw. In her Diary she declared: “It seemed to me that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving” (Diary, 17).

Upon her entrance to the Congregation Helen received the name Sr. Maria
Faustina. Her novitiate she spent in Cracow, and there, in the presence of Bishop Stanislaus Rospond, she pronounced her first religious vows, and five years later, she made her perpetual profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. She was assigned to work in a number of the Congregation’s houses, fulfilling the duties of cook, gardener and doorkeeper.

To all external appearances nothing betrayed her extraordinarily rich mystical
life. She zealously went about her duties, she faithfully observed all the religious rules, she was recollected and kept silent, all the while being natural, cheerful, full of kindness and of unselfish love of neighbor.

Her entire life was concentrated on constant striving for an even fuller union
with God and on self-sacrificing cooperation with Jesus in the work of saving souls. “My Jesus” – she avowed in her Diary – “You know that from my earliest years I have wanted to become a great saint; that is to say, I have wanted to love You with a love so great that there would be no soul who has hitherto loved You so”(Diary, 1372,)

A portion of the original Preface to the Polish Edition, 1981.

Continue reading “not your ordinary fourth of july”

added together.

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I know I haven’t posted very muchly about the Blogging U course I began taking several days ago; however, that does not mean I haven’t been working diligently on  my assignments!

“I so verily promise!”

What I have quickly discovered is that retaking this particular course has offered me the opportunity to re-examine and re-evaluate my blog site and how it has developed over the course of the past year and a half!

I quick-it-ly decided that rather than daily bombard my reader with this personal evaluation I would compile a review of what I have discovered thus far and include a few other wonderful discoveries I happily made along the way!

Do you too enjoy an expedition of self-discovery?”

I promise if you follow along, it will make perfect sense to you, too!

If you’d like to read about Lesson One you may find it here.

Lesson Two invited us to Take Control of Our Title and Tagline.

Choosing a site title and tagline can feel like a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be.

Your title should reflect you, your personality, and your blog’s subject.

A title is typically only a few words, so consider adding a tagline as well — a phrase that appears under your title and helps flesh it out. Think “Burger King: Have It Your Way.”

My site, of course, is titled

hugsnblessings

and the chosen tagline which follows is:

GIVEN FREELY!

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Both have remained pin-point accurate throughout the duration of my blogging experience, thus they shall remain unchanged!!

More on how I originally was inspired to chose the Title and Tagline for my site can be found at: Say Your Name!

Lessons Three & Four I combined somewhat as both lessons involved interactions with fellow bloggers.  Lesson Three reminded us how to use “tags” to identify like-minded writers and reading material we might enjoy. And Lesson Four encouraged us to identify our own audience and that specific person (or persons) we are writing to.

“Who is my ideal reader? Is it you???

I already understood the usage of tags; however, had limited myself the opportunity to use them for my own purposes in discovering other wonderful sites out there!! I took several days to explore and visit many wonderful like (and not so like,) minded bloggers and have made some new friends that I look forward to following as their own sites develop!  Such as:

 God is in Your Typewriter,

Travel Much?,

and A Catholic Convert in Ottawa!

There are so many others that I discovered, or am already following, I am seriously considering adding a Widget to let you all know just just who they are!  But until then, or incase I never do, please don’t hesitate to ask,

“Hey, who are you recommending to read these days???”

And as far as Lesson Four’s evaluation…

I do believe my audience can be simply described as:

“Anyone looking to receive a hug and a blessing for the day!”  

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I try to share the very common aspects of my life, in journal format, to inspire, ignite, and propel others to find the hugs & blessings they are experiencing themselves, in their own lives!  Whether through the common and ordinary (and even the extraordinary at times,) they are there just “waiting” to be received!!  Sometimes we think those hugs and/or blessings only happen during the “trumpet” moments of our lives…but there are so many, many, many waiting for us to embrace in the everyday messiness of life!  I hope my site encourages an expedition to find them and I pray everyone experiences a sense of gratitude in their own individual discoveries!

“Won’t you please stop by to share your own hug n’ blessing with me?”

Lesson Five encouraged us to truly love our Theme!  Simply described, a theme is the blue-print, or template, of your blog.  I use the Ever After Theme  offered through WordPress and I absolutely adore it!  In choosing our themes we were guided by three rules of thumb:

pick something that speaks to you, consider your content, think about your priorities.  

The Ever After Theme checks all three boxes for me and I couldn’t be happier!

“What do you think about my theme?”

Lessons Six (About Me) and Seven (Personalizing my site,) were very personal explorations and I welcomed re-visiting them.  My About Page has remained unchanged…and if you check it out you shall very quickly see why it has hap-happily remained the same!  And I had great fun evaluating the personality of my site with its Headers, Colors and Boarders which I have decided continue to reflect the whimsical way in which I try to embrace life!

“Do you too believe life is simply…magical???”

Lessons Nine & Ten had me again traveling through cyber-space into the Blogger’s World as we were encouraged to “Introduce Ourselves” to our blogging neighbors as well as to be inspired by the ones who we meet!  A great place to meet a blogging neighbor is at the Community Pool, which is a fun place (no swimming goggles reguired,) to meet fellow bloggers and for peer feedback and advise, along with providing a productive space for discussion. Just no running on the deck allowed!!

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Last year I also joined another Blogging Community Forum called:

Blogger’s World!

This particular community was formed as an alumni group from a previous Blogging U Course I took and is filled with very supportive and encouraging bloggers from around the World!  I have learned so much from them & it is a joy being a small part of this loverly community! And please note that new members are always welcome!

“Won’t you consider joining us there??”

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In the next several days I plan to introduce you to a few new “Neighbors” I’ve met and high-light some of the great discussion which developed as a result!

“And I hope-ity-hope,  you will be just as delighted to meet them too!”

hugs n’ blessings are promised to those who do!!