7QT – Book on #Sale, Lent Movies & Other Cool Things!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes Friday!

1. Angela’s Song Only .99!!
Angela’s Song by AnnMarie Creedon is only .99 until tomorrow! Head on over to Amazon to pick up your Kindle copy for only .99!AS Front Cover Final9-19

2. Catholic Writers Guild
I’m over at the Catholic Writers Guild blog today speaking about the importance of being needed.

3. Ecce Ancilla Domini
My post in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation two days ago and on the importance of saying yes to God’s will sparked a lot of comments.

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

4. Do You Believe
Have you seen the new faith-based movie, Do You Believe, yet? It’s from the same producers and writers of “God’s Not Dead.” I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do You Believe

5. The Passion of the Christ
Our family watches this movie every year, on Good Friday, when we return home from the Good Friday service. Powerful, hard-to-watch movie.Passion

6. Reading Shelf
A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Realy.

7. Kidding Cartoon

image copyright 2011 James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

image copyright 2011 James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Copyright 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7QT – 7 Lenten Practices

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7QT Friday.

1. Fasting
This seems like a no-brainer, but too many of us don’t realize the importance of this ancient practice. Fasting doesn’t have to be just bread and water (since I’m gluten free, on fasting days, I don’t eat meat and eat less food). To find out more about fasting, check out Andy LaVallee’s book, From the Hub to the Heart and his website: http://livethefast.orgKindle small

2. Daily Mass
Although we live in a small community, we are fortunate that Daily Mass is available every day (not just during Lent).

3. Stations of the Cross
Most churches offer Stations at some point during Lent, usually on Fridays. If you’re doing the Stations on your own, this series of prayers and reflections was written by Mother Angelica.

4. Spiritual Reading
Daily Reflection booklets and websites like The Word Among Us and others are ideal for Lent. Also check out As Morning Breaks, a daily reflection e-book compiled by Lisa Hendey, with contributions from my fellow Catholic Mom contributors. Another wonderful reading for Lent is Working Mother, short fiction from Erin McCole Cupp.

5. Lenten Movies
Some of my favorites are The Passion of the Christ, Ben Hur, King of Kings, The Robe. passion of the christ

6. Confession
Attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently, not just during Lent! You can find a good examination of conscience here.

7. Daily Rosary
Again, this seems obvious, but reciting the Daily Rosary has many spiritual benefits.

photo copyright Ellen Hrkach

photo copyright Ellen Hrkach

8. DeCluttering
(I know this makes eight, but I can’t stop at seven!)
This might seem an odd thing to do during Lent, but it’s actually something I’ve done for many years. North Americans hold onto too many material possessions. If you haven’t used something in over a year and it doesn’t have sentimental value, consider giving it away.

Reflections for Good Friday

One of the things our family does to commemorate this solemn day is to attend the Good Friday service at our parish.

We also plan to pray the Divine Mercy Novena which begins today and continues until Easter Saturday.

Since 2006, another tradition we have had as a family is to watch The Passion of the Christ. Mel Gibson’s direction is extraordinary. The movie’s realism is difficult to watch, especially the scourging, which is gruesome and prolonged. However, I don’t usually watch that particular scene because of the sheer brutality of it.

Jim Caviezel’s portrayal of Jesus is incredibly believable. I always enjoy the flashback scenes of Jesus with His mother. The scene in which He embraces His cross is one that made me gasp the first time I saw it.

Jesus suffered a brutal death for mankind. The knowledge that He suffered and died (and would have done so for me alone) gives me the strength and courage I need to strive for holiness.

Every human being living on this earth will die someday. By His death and resurrection, Jesus won for us the gift of eternal life in heaven. Embracing this gift means living a life of sacrifice, selflessness and virtue.

This day is meaningful to me for another reason. Thirty-three years ago, my father died an unexpected death. Sudden death can shock any family. I was only 18, but my dad’s death made me think deeply about the meaning of life and about the “other side.” For the first time in my young life, my faith gave me tremendous consolation.

My prayer is that all Christians will take time today to reflect on the great gift God gave us, the gift of His Son, and the sacrifice He won for us, eternal life in heaven.

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach