Our website will update again on December 2, 2015
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
THANKSGIVING & ADVENT
This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve on another and to walk together in God’s gracious world. With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.
ADVENT begins November 29, 2015
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy and love and peace it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me, too, sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whose advent I hail.
Did You Know?
That Thanksgiving did not come into existence until 200 years AFTER the event that would define it?
My Life As A Turkey
After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother. Deep in the wilds of Florida’s Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. (This program originally aired on PBS in 2011, but, is so worth enjoying again at this time)
In the News
Vatican Christmas Tree To Be Unveiled Early
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Christmas tree and Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square will be set up and unveiled earlier than usual this year to be ready for the opening of the Year of Mercy. The Vatican also announced Nov. 18 that the traditional tree and Nativity scene that dominate the center of St. Peter’s Square would be ready by Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Picture of the Week
The Dukha are a small Turkic community of reindeer herders living in northern Mongolia. Dukha raise their reindeer primarily for milk. Reindeer milk, reindeer yoghurt and reindeer cheese are the staples of the Dukha diet. Only a few reindeer are slaughtered during the year for meat and pelts. The reindeer also provide transportation. Because the taiga area is typically hilly and covered with forest, reindeer are used for riding and as pack animals. They take the Dukha for daily grazing, hunting, the collection of firewood, seasonal migrations, visiting relatives and friends, and traveling to a village for shopping and trade.
QUESTION: Numerous times in your writings you have alluded to the animals and creation “being hard-wired” by God to be who and what they are. And you go on to say that you believe them to be redeemed by Christ and moving to an eternal existence. Explain that.
Susi’s Weekly Column
~by Susi Pittman
America’s Thanksgiving comes but once a year…as Catholics, “thanksgiving” comes at every Mass said.
PARTS 5 & 6: St. Joseph Then & Now; Man of Questioning Faith & Observant Jew
~by Louis Templeman
Being obedient to God’s call and an embracing in total trust that which he did not understand are the cornerstones in Saint Joseph’s relationship with the Divine.
A Poet’s Voice
~by Paula Veloso Babadi
To enter the kingdom of God we are asked to be like trusting children, and there is nothing to compare to listening to the prayers of your children to learn that truth.
Meandering Along the River’s Edge
Native Landscaping with Neighbors in Mind
~by Virginia Anson Rhys, OFS
Most folks are not familiar with native landscaping, especially in modern suburbia. Virginia offers expert advice on creating your own native garden and keeping the neighbors, both human and woodland living in harmony with you.
What are you waiting for? by Father Robert Barron
ADVENT IS THE LITURGICAL SEASON OF VIGILANCE OR, to put it more mundanely, of waiting. During the four weeks prior to Christmas, we light the candles of our Advent wreaths and put ourselves in the spiritual space of the Israelite people who, through many long centuries, waited for the coming of the Messiah (“How long, O Lord?”).
AFFILIATE SHOPPING for YOU! We continue to build a small but, well focused group of vendors, offering products in line with stewardship of the earth and its creatures. By visiting these product sites from our page, you are helping to support our mission.
Mystic Monk Coffee is a small batch coffee roaster operated by the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming through an online gourmet coffee bean store. Many consider their website the ultimate source for gourmet coffee where it is easy to buy coffee online. The monks carefully craft each freshly roasted coffee to perfection for dark roast coffees, espresso, ground coffees, whole bean coffees, single origin coffees, fair trade coffees, flavored coffees and especially the monks’ special gourmet coffee blends. Try our special auto delivered coffee subscriptions also for the best coffee online.
CLICK the Mystic Monk Logo Above to visit the Mystic Monks Store
Since 1987, MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS has consistently delivered exceptional quality certified organic herbs and spices with a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Our primary source of herbal material is from certified organic American farms and many of these farms are on contract with us as an exclusive grower for our needs.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS
A Division of Engineering Services & Products Company, FARMTEK was founded in 1979 with the purpose of bringing the highest quality products at the most competitive prices with exceptional customer service directly to the agricultural, horticultural, building and retail trade communities.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT FARMTEK
Geology & Archaeology
The real story behind Plymouth Rock
The real Plymouth Rock was a boulder about fifteen feet long and three feet wide which lay with its point to the east, thus forming a convenient pier for boats to land during certain hours of tide. This rock is authenticated as the pilgrims’ landing place by the testimony of Elder Faunce who in 1741 at the age of ninety-five was carried in a chair to the rock, that he might pass down to posterity the testimony of pilgrims whom he had personally known on this important matter. There have been doubts hinted about the accuracy of Faunce’s identification, in view of his age and the dates of the landing and his birth, but there is no doubt that he grew up in Plymouth at a time when many of the original passengers were still there. The Pilgrims first landed, however, near the site of modern Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod in November 1620 before moving to Plymouth. The rock is located about 650 feet from where it is generally accepted that the initial settlement was built.
National Weather Service has new outlook–alerts public week in advance of next Snowmageddon
The National Weather Service has developed a new outlook that will advise the region of potential storms four to seven days in advance throughout the winter. The outlook goes live on Dec. 1 and is a breakthrough in threat communication. In years past, the NWS only conveyed information about winter storm threats 24 to 72 hours ahead of time using watches and warnings. But there was a hunger for information about winter storm potential at longer lead times according to Chris Strong, warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS forecast office in Sterling, Va. which developed the product.
Discovering Catholic Writers
Cheryl Dickow holds a Master’s Degree in Education and combines her faith and degree in her position as President of Bezalel Books. Her book, Miriam: Repentance and Redemption in Rome, has received Honorable Mention for Fiction in 2014 Catholic Press Awards.
At Bezalel Books, Cheryl has provided a platform for many aspiring authors whose works have been recognized from a variety of organizations and prominent voices. Bezalel Books offers a series of women’s inspirational fiction books that includes two of Dickow’s own titles, Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage and Miriam: Repentance and Redemption in Rome.
Cheryl has a Master’s Degree in Education and lives in the beautiful state of Michigan with her husband and three sons. Cheryl is a contributing writer to the “Today’s Catholic – Women in Faith” category at the Integrated Catholic Life.
A Recommended Read
Our Jewish Roots
~by Cheryl Dickow
As Catholic women, a number of questions surface each day that are meant to make us pause and contemplate. We ask ourselves: What is God encouraging me to do?; Who is in my life and for what reason?; How can I serve God better today?; Am I allowing something from the past to hold me back from serving Jesus?; Do I have a grateful attitude?; Do I encourage and welcome the guidance of the Holy Spirit?; Do I enthusiastically embrace my Feminine Genius?; Am I joyfully pursuing my purpose?; Do I spend enough time in silence so that I can be more fully aware of God’s call upon my life? Connecting with the past allows us to answer these questions and thus live more fully in the present.
Quote of the Week
We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.
Discovering Catholic Saints
California, an environmental leader, eyes key role in Paris climate talks
World leaders are scheduled to meet in Paris soon, trying to draft an agreement on how to combat climate change. Among the heads of state, you’ll also see California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is spearheading his own international climate movement. Brown has been on an international diplomatic tour the last few months — all about climate change. “The world faces an existential threat,” he told Canadian leaders in July.
Having a green Christmas makes all the sense in the world!
God’s Green Earth
Christmas Tree Farms of America–Find One Close To You
The Christmas Tree Network is the most complete online directory of retail and wholesale Christmas tree farms in the USA.
Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from, “ad-venire” in Latin or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Catholic printables for the whole family at Advent–The Catholic Mom
Can you believe it? Advent starts NEXT WEEK…and the Jubilee Year dedicated to the theme of Mercy begins shortly after that, on December 8th! I thought I’d round up my favorite Catholic Printables available right now…in case you can tuck one or two of these in to make this your best family Advent ever!
A Song Before The Lord
Night of Silence
APP SMART–Going Green
Three apps that can help you adopt environmentally sensible habits in your daily life.
REAL TREES 4 Kids: The story and science of REAL TREE farming
The REAL TREES 4 Kids! project began early in 1999 in preparation for the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. Sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association, the project’s goal is to teach school-aged students the ins and outs of Christmas Tree production. Curriculum materials are made available for teachers of students in grades K through 2. These new materials were designed by elementary educator Michelle Drake as part of a grant through the USDA.
REAL TREES 4 Kids! is not limited to the Internet. Our REAL TREES team has shared information and activities with participants at the convention of the National Science Teachers Association as well as with visitors to the AgEarth celebration of Earth Day on the Mall in Washington DC. As we keep growing, keep in mind that new additions to the curriculum happen, in great part, through suggestions and requests made by you.
Just one encounter with a tasteless, artificially ripened, imported winter supermarket tomato makes you want to grow your own tangy, sweet-tasting tomatoes in the off-season. In a good winter, at peak production, a single plant in my window produces a pint of cherry or pear tomatoes every day or two. Here’s how to do this yourself:
Wellness & Nutrition
12 De-stressing tips for the holidays
The most wonderful time of the year, huh? So why do the holidays sometimes feel like a month-long panic attack? “During the holidays, people have such high expectations for things to be perfect,” says Jon Abramowitz, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In other words, we take on too much, then feel anxious and stressed out when reality doesn’t measure up to the flawless fantasy in our heads.
Alice in Wonderland meets Albert Einstein
One hundred years ago this month, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity, one of the most important scientific achievements in the last century. A key result of Einstein’s theory is that matter warps space-time, and thus a massive object can cause an observable bending of light from a background object. The first success of the theory was the observation, during a solar eclipse, that light from a distant background star was deflected by the predicted amount as it passed near the Sun.
Astronomers have since found many examples of this phenomenon known as “gravitational lensing.” More than just a cosmic illusion, gravitational lensing provides astronomers with a way of probing extremely distant galaxies and groups of galaxies in ways that would otherwise be impossible even with the most powerful telescopes. The latest results from the “Cheshire Cat” group of galaxies show how manifestations of Einstein’s 100-year-old theory can lead to new discoveries today. Astronomers have given the group this name because of the smiling cat-like appearance.
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