Ink Slingers Maurisa Of Note Series

Of Note – April 2019

Welcome to Of Note – A Collection of Orthodox Catholic Reading, a series dedicated to sharing great orthodox Catholic content around the inter webs!

Let’s face it, we are all busy, modern women and we just don’t have the time or the energy to vet or read everything the Catholic blogosphere has to offer. We have streamlined that for you and offer you the most worthy, relevant reads that will keep you informed and in-tune without wasting your precious time. Each month, on the first Friday, you can find Of Note filled with posts that are inspiring, knowledgeable, cover current events, and liturgical living.

So grab a cup and a comfy spot and see what we’ve been reading here on First Fridays. 

The end of Lent is quickly approaching, dear sistas. This month’s edition is a collection I’m finding especially helpful for prayerfully focusing upon these last few days. 

We are continually looking for new and lesser known bloggers to feature here on Of Note. If you write a blog or know of one we should take a look at leave a link in the combox or email me at:

Liturgical Living

Have you ever puzzled over what to do with all the palms your family collects on Palm Sunday? Lacey of Catholic Icing has 10 great ideas for you to try.

Carissa of The Myth Retold wrote a wonderful post explaining The Divine Office. She’s got me inspired to take a deeper look at this timeless prayer of the Church.

Dianna of The Kennedy Adventures has some awesome ideas for celebrating Saint Joseph.  While his feast has already passed us by, Saint Joseph is a saint we can celebrate in our homes year round.

Hidden Gems

Melanie of joy of nine9 has a beautiful perspective regarding Peter’s attempt at walking on water.

On her blog–Blessed with Full Hands–my dear friend, Katie, wrote this beautiful post on being a daughter of the King.

Kelly, writing on her blog This Ain’t the Lyceum has some great insights on how to make time for the teens in your home.

The Professionals

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski wrote an amazing piece for LifeSite on how the Cross is the one and only hope of Christians.

I found this story about a 16th-century rosary bead with tiny carved scenes absolutely fascinating.

Hans Boersma, writing for First Things, explains how memorization is linked to virtue and an important key to Lenten repentance.

Stephanie Nichols is a recent convert who writes eloquently about her search for true beauty in a culture steeped in pop art in this piece for OnePeterFive.

Ink Slingers

I recently reflected on the reason The Last Battle is nearly unanimously the least favorite book of the Chronicles of Narnia in my family.

“Without the scars, I’d never know the depth of my Father’s love,” writes Linda of Gardner’s Touch in a beautiful post very much worth reading.

From the Archives

In a culture completely unprepared to handle suffering, Liz reflected upon the life-saving lessons we can derive from observing Lent in this great post from 2016.


7 Quick Takes Getting to Know the Ink Slingers Ink Slingers Kerri Martina

7 Quick Takes Friday, no. 2

Welcome to another Quick Takes post!! Last time we polled all the Ink Slingers to make up one post, this time we are interviewing just one Ink Slinger, our faithful foundress and whip wielder, Martina. Martina is the brains behind Catholic Sistas so it only made sense to interview her first. She’s a Texan without much of a Texas accent (which is a big deal, I’m told, considering she grew up in East Texas), a mother to six kidlets, and loves her Snickers candy bars (out of the freezer, of course). Continue reading to learn seven more fun and interesting things about our ringleader.

In case you had questions about the size of Texas …


Are you a cradle Catholic who never strayed, a cradle Catholic and a revert, or a convert?

I’m a cradle Catholic. I wouldn’t say I never strayed, but I definitely went through a time where I was incredibly lazy, apathetic, and ignorant of the Faith. As I learned more about the Faith over the past decade, I came to realize that many others had similar experiences to mine. It was because of some orthodox women in an online Catholic group who upheld Church teaching in all discussions {and being unpopular in the process} that I began to learn what the Church taught. This is what fueled my desire to start the blog. I want to do what they did for us by sharing the Faith in a loving, yet firm and unapologetic way. I understand the grip that ignorance and apathy can take on any of us, at any time.


What is your favorite household chore?

I’ve always loved to vacuum – even as a kid. There’s something about seeing those vacuum lines in the carpet! However, we just moved into a new house that has almost all tile and hardwood floors. The only carpet is in our tiny closets, one bedroom and the game room. Somehow, it’s not the same vacuuming area rugs!


What is a random fact about you most people don’t know?

Before I graduated high school, I had photographed our governor, been to Texas Stadium to photograph a football game and was asked to be on the NBC show Name Your Adventure hosted by Mario Lopez to do photography. I would have been on the show if it wasn’t the same weekend as my graduation!


How did you meet your husband?

Martina and her Hubby

You kids these days, you have NO idea how easy you have it in terms of meeting your future spouse online! Back in MY day, I had to scour chat rooms using dialup services like AOL. There was no Ave Maria Singles or Catholic Match online! We had to find each other using good old fashioned grit and determination…and instant messages. We had to fight the negative stereotypes of meeting people online. I may or may not have been known to avoid the question “where did you meet?” by simply saying “in college” which was also technically true.

What? Doesn’t everyone go to McD’s on their wedding day? Let’s overlook the spaghetti straps on the dress and instead focus on the fact that it was 115 degrees days before the wedding.


What volunteer activities are you involved in?

The newest kidlet

I’m involved in quite a bit in my parish community, but I’ve been slowing my activities down recently. We just moved closer to our parish and we also welcomed our youngest little guy on June 16. Currently, I am in my third year of serving for our parish Pastoral Council, and my second year as the chairperson. I have been helping with the Catholic Speaker Series program at my church that brought in Matthew Kelly in January and Father Rocky from Relevant Radio in April. I had a blast working on those speaking projects as part of the event planning and I hope to get back into that ministry as time permits! I helped plan and put into place our current Adult Faith Formation program, which is actually a huge inspiration for the blog when it comes to sharing testimonies and catechesis. Lastly, I blog for and sit on the executive board of directors for Austin Catholic New Media.


What is your favorite prayer?

At first, I wasn’t sure I had a favorite prayer. I love so many. In the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, it’s Hail Mary and/or the St. Michael prayer. After communion, I pray Anima Christi. I love the prayers from the Divine Mercy Chaplet and I love Hail Holy Queen. Even obscure prayers have a special place such as a short prayer we insert after the Fatima prayer in the rosary that goes “All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all for the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph.”


if I had to choose a favorite, I think I would have to say it has easily become the

Abandonment Prayer

by Brother Charles de Foucald.

I abandon myself into your hands;

do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures — I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you Lord, and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you are my Father. Amen.


What most makes you smile?

My kids and their goofy ways. They are always so huggy and lovey with each other – we hear “I love you” a LOT in our house and it always makes me smile.

For more Quick Takes, visit Martina’s friend Jen Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary.

Amelia Apologetics Catechism Doctrine Faith Formation Ink Slingers Offering your suffering Prayer Purgatory Series

Purgatory – The Church Suffering

Being military, my family moves often. This comes with its advantages: we have seen different parts of the country; we have friends everywhere, making it easier to find a place to stay when we travel; and if we really dislike a place, we do not have to live there long. Unfortunately, this also means we do not have an established community of Catholic friends outside of Facebook. At times this can be difficult, as we often have to explain various aspects of our Faith to curious non-Catholics to whom it is evident that we are in many ways counter-cultural. “Go and make disciples,” commanded our Lord, and so we aim to do, through hospitality, charity, and as quiet witnesses who allow others to see the light of Christ shining in all we do.

When asked what I believe, I try to respond with what the Church teaches. This does not mean that I believe her because what she says conforms to my ideas, but rather, that when she teaches she does so with God’s Voice. This is important, for the Truth is, regardless of whether or not I believe in it. This Church, instituted by Christ and built upon Peter, has the authority to bind and loose, the authority to interpret and instruct. Being baptized in God’s name – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – means I was baptized into the Body of Christ, a Body which is not only truly visible, but indivisible. It is universal (catholic), transcends beyond borders (including death), and is preserved generation to generation in an unbroken line until the end of time. I cannot rightly call myself a Catholic if I choose to believe and obey certain doctrines and not others; for to be selective would be to separate myself from the Church. Thus, I have never had a problem with believing in the existence of purgatory. In fact, I see it as proof of God’s abiding love and mercy.

I have always felt God’s love, but I did not always understand it as I do now. When my first baby was born – as I held her, tiny, warm, and helpless in my arms shortly after giving birth – I was given a gift in addition to the gift of her precious life. In that moment, God granted me a glimpse into His heart. I gazed into her blue eyes and wept as the burning intensity of God’s love for her, for me, for all His children dwarfed the love I felt for her. This loving God would never leave us in the filth of our own sin.

My baby is now an active, curious little girl. She and her siblings play outside nearly every day, and they tend to get dirty, as children are wont to do. Sometimes they are caked-on-muddy. When they come into the house, I do not just throw a blanket over them and seat them at the family table with their father. Nor do I change their clothes; what good would it do them to have on immaculate clothing if their bodies are not clean? I love them, so I bathe them, scrubbing off the mud. This process can be unpleasant, even painful, if they are filthy enough. One child screams in the shower like he is being tortured, but I had to use it one day, and even though it hurt him, it was the only way to get him clean. How much more does our Heavenly Father, who is perfect, do for us?

Purgatory, like other Catholic doctrines, is not isolated, but woven into the fabric of the Church. It is connected to the Communion of Saints, indulgences, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, among other things. The Catholic Catechism explains purgatory in this way, “”All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC 1030–1).

So, when I die, if I die in a state of grace with no mortal sin on my soul but still have some venial sins, I am bound for heaven because of my love for Christ. But before I can attain the Beatific Vision (before I can see God face-to-face), I must be cleansed of all attachment to sin. I must be refined, as one refines silver (Zech 13:9). I would indeed be prideful to think I can just march into heaven immediately upon death and expect to be seated at the wedding feast of the Lamb without so much as washing my hands.

Purgatory is not heaven, though those who go through it are bound for heaven. It is not hell, where we have no hope and we are eternally distanced from God. There is a third place mentioned in the Bible: a prison for spirits where Christ went to preach to them (1Peter 3:19). It is a place “in the age to come” where we can be freed of the consequences of sin (Matt. 12:32). A place where we pay off the debt incurred by our sins (Matt 18:21-35). A place where the prayers of those still on earth can help us (2 Mach. 12:38-46). It is a place where those who are destined for heaven may be saved, but “only as through fire.” (1 Cor3:15). No one is saved in hell; no one suffers in heaven, so there must be another place after death – not heaven, not hell. The Church calls this Purgatory – where through our suffering we are transformed to be more like Christ.

That we should pray for the poor souls in Purgatory is no surprise. Do we not pray for one another as Christians? Do the saints in heaven not pray for us (Rev 5:8)? And if prayer helps those poor souls who cannot help themselves, what better than the highest form of prayer – the sacrifice of the Mass, where heaven meets earth on the altar of the Lord with the angels kneeling in adoration?