religion

Religious Items as Jewlery

My husband’s cousin just got here from Sicily.  This is her first time visiting.  One thing I have learned from her and visiting Sicily is that they are ahead of the times.  Things seem to become fashionable over there before coming to America.
She had what looked like a Rosary around her neck but it wasn’t your typical rosary beads.  It was designed as a necklace.  It was stunning and I wanted one so bad.  I am not big on wearing a lot of jewelry but I have certain items I do wear.  That is one item I would wear.  That would be my necklace that I never take off.

necklace
I have seen in the past people wearing a Rosary as fashion jewelry (Madonna) and part of me thought that was wrong.  A Rosary is something sacred so I always thought it was a sin to use it as jewelry.  That is until now.  I was researching it last night and one article I read said that it depends on how the person is wearing it.  If they are wearing it with reverence and not as a fashion statement then it is ok.  I would wear it out of complete reverence and love the idea of it being around my neck and close to my heart.

madonna

Growing up I felt like everything I did was a sin but recently I have learned that is not the case.  The Church has taken a different approach.  We are taught that God is love and he loves all of us.  His hope is that we are all with him in paradise.  So I personally feel that God knows my heart and knows what the Rosary means to me.  Therefore, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this item.  It is like wearing a necklace with a cross or a saint.  Isn’t it?  Could it allow for Catholics to evangelize or discuss their faith?  What do you think?

 

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent.

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inspiration, religion

How Special Mary Is

MaryandJesus

So this past week my kids attend a VBS (Vacation Bible School) camp which they have never done before.  I asked one day what they learned about and they told me they were taught that Jesus is the only person to be free of sin.  However, as Catholics we believe that Mary was also free of sin. She was the Immaculate Mary.

I thought about leaving the Catholic Church at one point and Mary is one of the reasons I stayed.  God picked ONE woman to be the mother of his son, Jesus Christ.  How could any of us be chosen to be the mother of God the way we are?  We couldn’t.  Any average woman wouldn’t do.  God picked her and created her to be different from all of us.  I get chills just thinking about it.

1j

Jesus was free from sin and in order to give birth to the son of God I believe Mary had to be too.  To me it just makes sense.  She was full of grace and she was the chosen one by God.

I have a portrait of her above my bed and whenever I struggle at parenting, I look up at her and ask her to help me be more like her.  I ask Jesus to show me the way to be more like his mother.  She is a role model for all of us and deserves that recognition.

Mary plaque

I know that many non-Catholics can quote to me different verses from the bible arguing against what I have stated but that is the amazing part of my faith.  My faith has led me to the knowledge of how special Mary truly is and how she is up there with God watching over me.  She will always be there for all of us.  She along with Jesus know what pain truly is so whenever I am suffering I know they understand and are there to build me up.

I wish that everyone felt the connection I do to her.  If you will allow yourselves to be open to her you just may feel the same connection.  It is an unbelievable feeling.

 

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent.

 

parenting, religion

Why Are Fewer Catholics Attending Church?

Catholic-church-in-New-Yo-010

I can’t answer this for everyone but I can give my insight as a 39-year-old mother of three young children.  My husband does not come to church.  So if my children are going to go to church I have to bring them.  After the third child was born (my kids ages were newborn, 2 and 4) I decided it was too much to bring them all.  I left them at home and became a Eucharistic minister.  I LOVED it!  I got the same feeling that I did when each of my children were born.  It was an amazing feeling.

Then my first son received his first communion.  Now it was my job to make sure he got to church.  So when I had to serve as a Eucharistic minister I found myself going to church twice.  Then he became an altar server so he could come with me when I served and we could serve God together.

Shortly after that my second son was finishing up first grade and getting ready to start first communion preparation.  I decided I had to put them first.  I was the parent and it was my job to make sure they went.  I stopped serving and just concentrated on bringing them.

Bringing three young kids to church is NOT easy but it is even harder when you are doing it as a single parent.  I am on edge the WHOLE time and feel like I am being watched and judged.  The churches offer a children’s mass but it is an earlier mass that we cannot get to.  I use to bring plenty of stuff to keep them occupied but now I try to just have mass related stuff for the older two.  Sitting still for an hour is HARD.

doyle-engelhart-1000

It is easier to just not go.  I hate to say it but it’s true.  Especially now a days, there are many sports offered to kids on Sundays.  It is not easy.  However, I try to teach my children that God gave us our lives and everything we have.  We can at least give him an hour on Sunday.  We have also found a few wonderful churches that have made it more enjoyable for kids to be there.

I do think that we as Catholics need to stop judging each other and offer support.   My husband brought all three kids plus our nephew to a mass that was honoring a group I was in.  During mass someone had a comment on how the kids weren’t behaving!  Well guess what?  That doesn’t make my husband want to be there or ever come back.

So please if you see families who ARE at church but the kids might be restless try not to give dirty looks or stare but say a prayer for them.  Try and put yourself in their shoes. Maybe if we can find a way to bring young families back to church all the children in church will sound like music and not annoyance.

Jesus_and_little_children

If you are Catholic and do not attend I would love to hear why and if you are willing to try to go more often. Thanks!

 

 

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

parenting

Three Ideas to Help Survive the Summer with Your Kids

summer

School has ended and I decided that I didn’t want to spend the summer fighting with my kids (ages 9, 7, and 5) about spending all day on the computer.

So to survive summer we have implemented the following ideas;

1.  I did some research on ideas and found one I liked, it’s from; organizingmadefun.blogspot.com.  I have tweaked it a little since my kids have been home. They must do the following things before they get any computer time; make bed, clean up everything on the floor in their room, read for 15 minutes, clear their place at meal time and either help unload the dishwasher or load the dishwasher. On top of that they have to pick 2 chores from a pile of 10 extra chores.  They have to put those in a separate spot so that way they don’t do the same chores twice.  I changed the chores a bit to meet our family’s needs.  This gives them a choice and teaches them responsibility.

2. Once their chores are all done they can have computer time.  They are given 2 hours for a day in 15 minute increments.  They can earn extra 15 minutes for doing extra chores or extra reading.  If they don’t use the time on a certain day it does not carry over to the next day unless it is one of the extra tickets they earned.  You can get the tickets I used by visiting the site I found them at;
organizingmadefun.blogspot.com

3. We are also working on rules.  Each week we have three rules they need to work on.  I let them have a say in them.  I choose one they really need help with and the other two they do pretty well.  I will give three warnings and then after that they will have a time out.  Time out is based on their age.  However old they are is how many minutes they have to be in their room for.  Once they have gotten those three rules down I will switch to three new ones.

rules

So far it is going well.  The kids are grateful for the time they earn and they are enjoying helping me around the house.  Having them earn tickets allows them the control over turning them in and to be responsible which they also enjoy.

 

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent