Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 50

Hope you had a blessed weekend!  

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday.

🐢 😆
Encouragement for the day.
😆😆😆
God’s mercy is boundless!
Sooooo true! 😆🤦🙏
I feel convicted by this meme!
An oldie but still very funny meme!! 😆😆😆
😆😆😆
#oldtestamenthumor 🙂😆😀

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

Thank you for sharing!

3 Ways I Encountered God on a Playful Thursday!


Editor’s Note: Post originally published on June 13, 2015.


Yesterday, I encountered God and reflected on his majesty during three rather sprightly activities: lifting weights at my local fitness center, reminiscence of my childhood through classic youth books, and playing a game of cornhole toss in my basement with my toddlers.

cornhole toss

 

 

 

 

 

Encountering God through Exercise

After eating breakfast, I went to my local fitness center to do my daily 45 minute exercise routine. Since Thursdays are chest/back exercise-days I bench-pressed. I have been lifting consistently for a while and I started to notice that I improved on my weight goals. Great. But how does this relate to God?

Well, a motivational quote posted on the mirror in the weight room stated, “If it does not challenge you, it won’t change you!” This means that if I want to get stronger I have to increase the amount of weight I lift. From the eyes of faith I interpreted this as “While God is everlasting and eternal, he sent his Son in the world to give us a path to change humanity for the better. This is known as the way, the truth, and the life and it is preached by the Catholic Church.” Just as reaching a weightlifting goal is challenging, so too, living a life of love and forgiveness is challenging.

Discovering the Creativity of God in Books

Secondly, I noticed the creativity of God during my time of scanning through classic books I purchased from a local used book store. Authors like Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, and Jerry Spinelli were just some of the many writers that I recalled from my childhood as I peered over the yellow-paged, but still nicely preserved copies of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Ramona Qumiby, and Maniac Magee. Here I realized that the genius of these mere human writers pale in comparison to the Author of the Universe–who composes each and every one of our stories. Nevertheless, it is through human ingenuity that God can be glorified.

God did inspire human authors to write out his love story to humanity and that collection of books would be canonized as the Bible. In other words, the brilliant human mind–in this case, I noticed it in children’s book authors– is a reflection of the creativity found most perfectly in God. Genesis 1:1-2 states, “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters”. A more literal translation Genesis 1:2 has the “might wind” rendered as the “spirit of God”. This matters because the creative power of God the Holy Spirit has in fashioning the universe in 6 days [stages]. I refer to this passage because the first biblical image of God, as creator, highlights his creative energy.

toddlers reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Joy in a Lawn Game

My third and final example of how I encountered God through play this Thursday occurred during my afternoon cornhole toss game with my children. For my readers that live outside of the Midwest, cornhole toss is lawn game with a objective similar to horseshoes– one must throw an item to score points. In this case, there is two inclined wooden boards with a circle in the top. The boards are placed 20 feet away from each other and two teams compete at trying to reach 21 points by tossing beanbags either onto the board itself of into the hole. That is the game in a nutshell. If you want more information I check out the American Cornhole Association’s website [yes this is a thing and the website is AWESOME].

To get back on track, cornhole toss is a remarkably simple activity and people of all ages can play. While playing this game with my children I realized that there is a certain type of beauty to cornhole toss–that although is is an incredibly simple game I could play it for hours and still be captivated. Analogously, God is a simple being do the fact of his remarkable unity and oneness. God is not composed of multiple deities but rather simply one Lord over the whole universe. Like cornhole toss, I can contemplate the beauty of God for hours on end.

Related Links

A Thankful Thursday and a New Opportunity

Another Thankful Thursday!

A Third Thankful Thursday!

How Playing Paper Football Led to Prayer

Thank you for sharing!

How Saint Teresa of Avila Cut Through My Exterior with Her Interior Castle

I struggle with the sin of pride. I often hate to admit I made a mistake. Even if it is a minor one. I tend to blow the error out of proportion in my mind. This leads to me spiraling into a descent of despair. Reason goes out the window and I lash out at my loved ones.

One of the most effective saints at keeping my pride in check is Saint Teresa of Avila. I refer to her as one of the patron saints of my family. We asked for her intercession in May 2018 to protect our unborn daughter (my wife has a history of miscarriages). Since then my wife and I have sought Teresa’s help daily in our bedtime prayers.

This fall I’m am trying to get back into a regular habit of reading spiritual work. I discovered a free course on Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle featured on the Smart Catholic website. I study her work for about 20-30 minutes a day during the week.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Over the past several years I have allowed stresses at work, home, and the angst from the global pandemic and financial crises to accumulate. Like a cavity which forms over time due to improper care my spiritual life has suffered a similar hollowing out. I have developed a harder, more cynical exterior. In college, I was given the nickname “Cheese” because of my smile and excitement. I have long lost that attitude and title.

My wife called me on her way back between school buildings and I mentioned to her an ordering mistake I made at work. I tried to justify my error and planned ways on how I would tell my boss. My tone got angrier the more I talked about it and tried to rationalize how I was still blameless. The call ended abruptly because my phone’s battery died. I went back to the course on Saint Teresa and I came across a couple questions that cut through my anger.

Can any evil be greater than the evil which we find in our own house?

Wow! This question immediately pierced my hardened heart. It reminded me of Jesus’ comparison of judging others while being blinded by the log in your own eyes. In the end, there really isn’t any evil greater than the evil which we find in our own house. I’m not the Judge and I can only control my own actions and influences those people in my household.

As I pondered Teresa’s question I recalled Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus urged his followers to build a solid foundation on God and not be foolish with having a based built on sand. Judging others without any regard for my own failings is like creating a house on a shifty, weak foundation.

What hope can we have of being able to rest in other people’s homes if we cannot rest in our own?

This second question took me in the direction of thinking about the Catholic family as a domestic church. We are called to rest in the house of the Lord every Sunday but that’s a bare minimum. Our faith life is only as effective as we allow God’s grace to work in us. The simplest way to let God in is through the family life.

Can one truly rest in another’s house (and even in the house of the Lord on Sundays) unless we are able to rest in our own?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2685,

The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the “domestic church” where God’s children learn to pray “as the Church” and to persevere in prayer. For young children in particular, daily family prayer is the first witness of the Church’s living memory as awakened patiently by the Holy Spirit.

Teresa’s second question convicted me. Was I doing my best as a father and husband? Do I lead my family in faith consistently as of late? These are questions I haven’t taken the time to think about. The good news is God is merciful and grants me the opportunity the grace of a new grace and a continual “second” chance to improve in my spiritual life.

No matter my past failures I am hope in God’s mercy and grace to help me renew my commitment to my family. I’m thankful for Saint Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle for cutting through my anger and tough exterior today!

Related Links

Windex, Storage Containers, and Teresa of Avila

Spiritual Surgeons— Clean Out the Wounds of Your Soul with Teresa of Avila

Smart Catholics: Interior Castle

Thank you for sharing!

5 Stunning Facts about Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena was one of the greatest followers of Christ. Her ability to articulate to Gospel and her ability to charitably bring the papacy to reform are among the key reasons she is one of my favorite saints. My youngest daughter is even named after this amazing saint. Here’s five amazing facts about Catherine.

Catherine of Siena

25 Kids and Counting

While it may seem astronomical to us, having 25 children was not insane back in the Middle Ages. Due to the low infant mortality rate and disease, families gave born to many children but unfortunately few survived to adulthood. Catherine was the 25th child born to her mother, but only half of her siblings survived childhood!

Still, it is incredible to think that if Catherine’s parents lived in today’s society, it would be very likely they would not have been as open to live of so many children. It is astounding that God works in miraculous ways to take one of the youngest of such a large family to grace her with the eventual title of Doctor of the Church!

None of the Nunnery

I always believed that Catherine was part of a religious order and lived in a convent  similar to spiritual greats like Therese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila. After reading more about her, I learned that she actually never spent time in a convent.  Instead, Catherine joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. This permitted her to associate with a religious society while remaining within the confines of her home.

Gone too Soon

Why do the most innocent and vibrant of souls perish too early? From film stars to sports figures that perished at a young age, to maybe someone within your life that died too soon, it is natural to question the purpose of an early death. While I do not have the answer to that question, I found it interesting that Catherine of Siena died at the mere age of 33—the exact age that Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and buried!

Never Let Obstacles Get in Your Way

It would have been easy for Catherine to give up when she wrote the pope but she remained steadfast. Her persistence and charity were instrumental in convincing Pope Gregory XI to return from Avignon to Rome.

Catherine of Siena quote

Unseen Suffering

The stigmata are wounds certain saints received on their hands and/or feet. It is a sign of their closeness to Christ and was given to them as a reminder for Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. In the case of Catherine, the stigmata wounds were visible only to her. She accepted this unique suffering with grace and hope in God’s Providence.

God raises up holy individuals in times of great need. Saint Catherine of Siena is a perfect role model for Catholics in the 21st century in a world where it’s common to be less than enthusiastic about the faith. May we ask for her help to grow in love and devotion to God.

“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

― St. Catherine of Siena

Related Links

Spiritual Surgeons—Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena’s Miracle in My Life

How Saint Catherine of Siena Leads You to God

St. Catherine of Siena: Saint of the Eucharist

Catherine of Siena Novena

 

 

Thank you for sharing!

Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 49

Hope you had a blessed weekend!  

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday.

Jonah’s wife: That’s quite the fish tale! 😆😆😆
So true!! 🙂🙏
Catholic dad joke. 🙂🙂🙂
Glad I’m not the only one that does this! 🙂
One of the most accurate memes.
😆😆😆😆
😀😀😀
#spoileralert
Giving you a classic meme! 🙂
Ending on a bit of a morbid note. 🙏🙂

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

Thank you for sharing!

Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 48

Hope you had a blessed weekend!  

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday.

Figured I’d include a Shia meme due to the recent news of him becoming Catholic. 🙂🙂
😆😆😆
A wonderful image on the relationship between faith and works.🌱🌿🙏
#Churchcamouflage 😆🙂😀
😆😆😆
Be like Solomon and have wisdom…and strong legs. 🙂🦵
🔥🐜🐉
Accurate. 🙂🦗🦗🦗
Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of humility to combat pride.
😆😀🙂

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

Thank you for sharing!

Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 47

Hope you had a blessed weekend!  

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday.

Found this during a visit to the church bathroom. 😀😆
An uplifting message!!
These saints help me daily. 🙏🙏🙏
God reminds of this important message often.
♥️🙏🙂
Not necessarily Catholic related but this helped shift my perspective on a trying and difficult day.
Sooooo accurate. 😆😆😆
A belated Assumption meme. 😀😀
Any other married couples experience this?? 🙂
Had to throw in a “Noah’s ark” meme. This never get old! 😆
Confession is an experience of God’s mercy and love. Such a joyous experience. ♥️♥️♥️

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

Thank you for sharing!