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Crafts Domestic Church Hannah M. Ink Slingers Lent Liturgical Year

Celebrating Lent with A Homemade Candle

Candlemas is coming up on February 2nd! There are three occasions that are celebrated on this day: the presentation of Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and Mary’s purification. Traditionally, you can bring candles to mass on that day and have them blessed by your priest. What could be more special than having a blessed candle that you made yourself?! Well, I’ll tell you what could be better: A blessed candle that you made yourself that also is used to help keep yourself on track this Lent! Lent begins on February 13th this year- and we all struggle with sacrificing something we love- whether it be food, coffee, or a television show we enjoy watching. During this Lenten season when you’re having a tough time you can light your candle and pray instead of eating that cookie or flipping on the television!

This year I decided to abstain from coffee. I searched high and low for a small trinket to represent coffee and had a tough time. I found a small teapot charm, which would work just fine, but then the idea hit me. Why don’t I just put my candle in a coffee mug? So I went to Starbucks and got a couple coffee mugs on clearance so instead of reaching for a cup to pour my coffee in, I can light my candle.

I attached a Saint Paul medal (who is my saint for the year) and a cross to one of my candles so I say a little prayer then light it for the rest of the day and it serves as both a prayer candle as well as a delicious scent for my whole home!

Supplies:

1. Candle wax- I used soy wax, but you can use beeswax or paraffin as well. When choosing your wax, make sure that it isn’t “tapering” wax. We aren’t making tapered candles; we are making container candles so you’ll want to get wax that can be used for molding or container candles.

2. A container to pour your wax in to for your finished candle. I used a small mason jar and a coffee mug for mine- you can use almost anything you want, as long as it’s not plastic. 😉

3. Something to melt your wax in. I used a cooking pot and a glass measuring cup- they sell containers specifically for melting wax, or you can use a double boiler. I didn’t have a double boiler so I used a metal cookie cutter to raise my measuring cup off the bottom of the pan.

4. Wicks. It’s best to get pre-waxed and pre-cut wicks for easy crafting. You can also buy rolls of wicking as well as wick bases and dip your own.

5. Something you can use to twist the wick around and keep in place- I used a pencil.

6. A dab of hot, tacky, or super glue.

7. A thermometer- A candy thermometer works great.

8. Optional supplies include: fragrance oils, colorant, ribbon, saint medal, crucifix or cross and something representing what you’ll give up for Lent this year.

 

Here’s whatcha do:

1. Melt your wax to around 165 degrees. It’s really important that you monitor the temperature of your wax and never let it exceed 300, because it can catch fire around 350 degrees. If your wax catches fire- do not use water to extinguish it- use baking soda or a lid.

2. Put a dab of glue on the bottom of your wick base and secure to the bottom of your container. (I like to have this done before the wax is ready to be poured)

 

3. Remove wax from heat and thoroughly stir in coloring and fragrance.

 

 

4. If you have something representing what you are sacrificing for Lent, put it at the bottom of your container. You can also put in a crucifix or saint medal for a special meaning.

5. Pour in your melted wax, leaving a little bit of room at the top.

 

6. Take a pencil or other object and twist the wick around it until it sits flat on the top of your container. Make sure the wick is completely centered for a safe and even burn.

7. Do not move your candle while wax is still melted. Let sit overnight, or around 6-8 hours to allow the wax to fully harden.

8. Decorate your container with ribbon or other decorations for a personal touch.

Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to practice candle safety- and always blow it out before leaving the house 🙂
Categories
Conversion Hannah M. Ink Slingers Sacred Scripture Testimonials

The Challenges of a Non-Catholic Family

My husband and I decided to hold off on telling our families that we were becoming Catholic until we were 100% sure it was something we wanted to do. We wanted to make sure that nothing anyone would say to us would sway our decision, and that if anyone had an argument against the faith we were fully prepared to defend it. My family was supportive (but still not very understanding) of our decision, as they always are, but my husband’s family was a slightly different story.

His dad doesn’t know much about Catholicism at all so he didn’t have much to say. My mother in law had a little more on her mind though. She told us she was, “worried for the souls of our children.” She also said that she was confused about why her son would turn to Catholicism because he was, “raised better.” She had (and still has) all of the misconceptions about the faith that most people do. Even my husband and I had these misconceptions before we did some investigating! My mother in law believes that Catholics worship the saints and Mary (which just isn’t true) and she came at us with the quote, “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” For a Protestant, of course this translates to Catholics worshiping saints and the Blessed Mother- and when the concept of intercession is explained, it almost confuses them even further! Although it’s completely understandable that she has these concerns it is still frustrating to have family members who aren’t totally supportive.

This Christmas season was especially difficult for us as far as our faith journey is concerned. Some of our family members treat Christmas as if it is just a time for gifts and drinking. There are still certain people who we haven’t told that we are becoming Catholic. We had to have some private (and almost secretive) worship time with just my husband, our two small children and myself since we were visiting family for the holidays. I started to feel guilty for, “hiding” our faith in a sense. I didn’t know why it was so difficult for me to be openly Catholic around my family! There are other decisions I make that my family doesn’t agree with which I’ve never had a problem being open about, but for some reason our faith was a different story.

I did some reflecting and praying until I was finally able to figure out why it was so difficult to be open with people. My family is full of extremely intelligent people, who are very research and science based. If you can’t touch it, it probably doesn’t exist. My parents believe in a, “higher power” but not in, “The God of the Christians” in their words. If I get in a discussion with my parents about a controversial topic like breastfeeding, or circumcision – I always go in having at least one piece of hard evidence that the decision I’m making is the right one based on scientific research. When it comes to our decision to enter the Church though – all I have is faith. I think it’s almost embarrassing to me in a sense that I believe so strongly in something I cannot see or feel. When Catholics receive the Eucharist, he or she is able to feel the physical presence of Christ; but even the idea of the Real Presence is something that takes faith.

I began searching for Scripture that referenced what I had been struggling with. Some of what I read was a bitter pill to swallow, but I definitely found what I needed.

 

“If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.

If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.”

~ John 15:18-20

 

I found this passage from John to be comforting- I meditated on it for a while before moving on. What I read next was from the Gospel of Matthew, and these words were a little tougher to understand.

 

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”

~ Matthew 10:34-39

 

After the first read, this passage doesn’t come across so great. It sounds like Jesus is saying He only came to Earth to purposely divide families. Upon further meditation, I realized that it’s actually a very comforting thing to know. Jesus is telling us, once again, to live in the world and not of the world. He is giving us comfort in knowing that following Him will grant us eternal salvation no matter how hard it may get. Jesus knew that those who chose to follow Him would have to fight extremely tough battles. He prepares us for the battles that we all have to fight against non-believers, and some of us against our families. He reminds us to love Him above anything we can find in this world, including our fleshly parents and siblings.

While it was hard for me to think about always putting Jesus before people I live with here on Earth, I feel that these pieces of Scripture have definitely given me the strength I need to be openly Catholic – even if it means enduring harsh battles with family and friends. God will always be there and I know that He, as well as the Church, will guide me in all aspects of my life and ultimately help me get to heaven.

Categories
Assisted Reproductive Technologies Brittany Catechism Current Events Doctrine Domestic Church Dominican Sisters Faith Formation Guest Posts Hannah M. Ink Slingers Marriage Meatless Fridays Michelle Misty Prayer Recipes Religious Respect Life Sisterhood Spiritual Growth Vocations

Sistas Weekly No. 4

Welcome to the recap of the Catholic Sistas blog for the week of September 17 – September 22! Hopefully you will find this new feature a helpful assist in keeping up with our wonderfully diverse posts. We wouldn’t want you to miss a thing! 😆

As part of our blogging schedule we have agreed, as a group, that we will not be doing individual blog posts on Sundays. Our week in review, Sistas Weekly, is set to auto-post so that we can keep holy the Sabbath and spend time with our families.

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Following Jesus, the Original Narrow-minded Christian

Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about “tolerance” in the news.  Recently there was a huge debate over a few companies that have come out either in support of the gay marriage like Oreos, and those, like Chik-fil-A, that have come out supporting the traditional Christian view of marriage.  There are other hot button issues out there as well, many that will be the issues at hand in the coming months leading up to our presidental election.  Regardless of where you stand on these issues it’s important to know where Jesus stood and where the Church stands and why.

Read more »

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Enough

After not knowing how to be left me so restless and
It wouldn’t die when I left the adoration chapel and
knowing daily Mass and rosary weren’t enough;
After I’d arrive home feeling empty to a house full of stuff, full of dog hair, full of my roommate,
and it wasn’t enough;
After I’d had my fill of secretarial jobs that left me bored and listless, agitated and unchallenged,
and they weren’t enough;  Read more »

 

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God is Not a Cosmic Bubble Gum Machine – Pray Like a Grownup!

Recently I had the privilege of attending a Marian Conference featuring several dynamic speakers. Tim Staples, of Catholic Answers fame, shared a line that really resonated for me. He said,

“God is not a cosmic bubble gum machine!”

This avant garde reference caught me off guard even as the intended meaning struck a chord.

Read more »

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The True Cost of Designer Babies

In our family, we have a tradition when it comes to finding out the sex of our unborn babies. We have our 20-week sonogram, have the tech put a note with “boy” or “girl” in a sealed envelope, and then we open the envelope that evening as a family over a nice dinner. We have our names picked out by then and it’s always exciting to find out whether we’re having a “Bella” or a “Justin.” We also love that we get to call the baby by name after that.

Read more »

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Pasta in Pumpkin Sauce

Happy Friday to all of you! Here’s a meatless meal for pasta in pumpkin sauce, just in time for autumn, (which starts tomorrow by the way, and just so happens to be my birthday as well!) Either way, make sure you keep this recipe around because it’s delicious. The best part about this recipe, is that it is great with or without meat! Sometimes I’ll add in some chicken and it’s great. It’s good enough to stand on it’s own though, too. Read more »

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How to Die

I met my friend Melissa about 14 years ago at a Mom’s bible study sponsored by my diocese. She was an outgoing and vivacious woman and I was completely drawn to her. We became fast friends. However, life was busy and we rarely saw each other, except for our bible study meetings. We spent time on the phone visiting and that was the extent of our friendship. But we would pop in and out of each other’s lives over the years and the contact was always welcome. Read more »

Categories
Domestic Church Hannah M. Ink Slingers Meatless Fridays Recipes

Pasta in Pumpkin Sauce

Happy Friday to all of you! Here’s a meatless meal for pasta in pumpkin sauce, just in time for autumn, (which starts tomorrow by the way, and just so happens to be my birthday as well!) Either way, make sure you keep this recipe around because it’s delicious. The best part about this recipe, is that it is great with or without meat! Sometimes I’ll add in some chicken and it’s great. It’s good enough to stand on it’s own though, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 can of pureed pumpkin. NOT pumpkin pie mix! Pure pumpkin.

-1 half pint of whipping cream

-1/2 cup vegetable broth

-1 clove of garlic, through garlic press or very finely chopped

-About 5-6 cups of your favorite pasta (without chicken) and 4-5 cups if you are adding chicken (the amount of pasta depends on how “saucy” you like your pasta.)

-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.Cook pasta

2.Meanwhile, combine pumpkin, whipping cream, vegetable broth, garlic, salt and pepper over medium-low heat.

3. Stir until thoroughly combined, and leave on heat until warm, stirring often.

4. Combine pasta and sauce, enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Yep! It’s that easy 🙂