Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Name is Gabby and I'm an Artist.

“Hi. I'm John.” A slender man with a navy-blue hat introduced himself and smiled as he joined our table. “Hi John,” I replied. “I'm Gabby, and this is Michael. We're coloring pictures. Would you like some paper and crayons?” John said he would, and we fell into silence for a few moments. 

There was a kind of understanding between us; that of three weary souls who had finished a long day's work. To be sure, there are some enthusiastic folks at Noble of Indiana. But during this particular visit, I was drawn to Michael, who sat apart quietly, and was okay with moments of silence in our conversation.

As we focused on our pictures, a house began taking shape on mine, with a small tree beside it. I looked over at Michael's paper and saw that he had drawn a house, as well. I commented on his drawing; he commented on mine, and John showed us the airplane he drew, featuring himself as the pilot. Then we got busy with a second drawing.

This time, I opted for a pair of hearts, using pink, red, and orange crayons. I worked diligently shading the background and outlining the figures... Then I stopped. Looking up from my drawing, I realized that John was watching me. Before I could ask him why he was staring, John inquired, “Do you study art in college?” I blushed. He wasn't kidding. Looking down at my 4th-grade-level masterpiece, I replied, “No.” “Oh,” was the simple reply. “You're very good.”

John went back to work on his picture, and I thought about what he had just said. Heaven knows I'm no Picasso! But my crayon hearts aren't too shabby. I always thought that being an artist meant showing uniqueness in an outstanding way. But the point of this story is not that I will now switch my major, or host an upcoming exhibit in the Fisher Hall Art Gallery. On the contrary, what I learned from coloring with John and Michael is that each of us has little gifts that can make a big difference in the lives of others.

What are your gifts? What are the little talents you have that others are not so fortunate to have? How are you called to be a responsible steward of your gifts, and share them with others?

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
             – Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Opportunities to Serve

If you are one with initiative, drive, and a heart for community service, I suggest you continue reading.  If you hate children, service, or anything that has to do with selfless giving or commitments to others, I suggest you stop reading.  In fact, if you are the latter, I wonder why you read this blog at all.

Anyhoo, if you're the charitable saint in the making who is torn up because there is not STARR this weekend, have I got good news for you!  This Friday, the beginning of spring break, a group of our beloved Marian University students, under the capable leadership of  Billy Thompson, are going to Miracle Place to volunteer time with children!  They depart at 3:25 from Doyle Hall Lobby, and there are only 2 seats in the car left.  So act quickly!  Email Billy at to reserve your seat on this once in a Friday opportunity.  Their time of return is up for debate.  Quite honestly, I'm not entirely convinced they are coming back at all... Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fasting and Feasting

Lent should be more than a time of fasting.
It should be a joyous season of feasting.
Lent is a time to fast from certain things and to feast on others.
It is a season in which we should:
Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from thought of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on the phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on hope.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.

By: William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Voices to End Hunger Conference

It's Ash Wednesday, and many of us Catholics (especially lazy Catholics like me), are fasting for the first time since Good Friday last year, and are naturally feeling pretty hungry right now.  However, there exists in our world those who are always this hungry, and our call as Christians is to seek to ease that hunger.  One of the many ways we can do that is to attend the Voices to End Hunger Conference Banquet this March 3, 2012, at the Christian Theological Seminary.  If your heart hungers for more information, please email Jeanne Hidalgo at .  In the meanwhile, good luck with the Lenten fasting and penance!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Challenges for a Holy Lent: Penance and Preparation

As Catholics, we have the age old practice of honoring the season of Lent with actions of penance, such as denying ourselves of something that gives us pleasure, pledging to do something good, or kicking a bad habit.  If you're like most people and are still uncertain of what to give up for Lent, here's 20 practical, challenging ideas for preparing your soul for Holy Week. 

  • Don’t eat the last bite of your food
  • Park at the very back of the parking lot
  • Put a popcorn kernel in your shoe every day
  • Don’t use your apps
  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Pray the “Hail Mary” and do an ab crunch for every single word
  • Stop complaining and/or being negative
  • Give up texting and call whoever you need to talk to
  • Don’t use utensils
  • Give away 10 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a pair of shoes
  • When you wake up, jump out of bed, kiss the floor, and learn humility
  • Wear the same 4 outfits for all of lent
  • Everyday do 20 (or 100) pushups and offer it up for someone who’s sick
  • Leave a post-it with a positive message on it wherever you go
  • Cut out all screen-time (phone, TV, computer) after dinner
  • Use your weekends to babysit for free
  • Send a different person an affirmation email every day of Lent
  • Don’t straighten or curl your hair
  • Sit and stand up straight – don’t slouch!
  • Every day take a picture of something or someone you’re grateful for and hang the pictures in your room

  • Like many posts recently put on here, this list was stolen.  I found it on

    I challenge you:  Do something beyond what you'd normally do for Lent.  I mean seriously, you're giving up chocolate again?  Really original.  Christ was in the desert fasting for 40 days, you can do 40 days with something a little more spiritually exerting than a chocolate fast.  Just like an athlete improves to the degree they exercise their muscles, so it is with our soul.  Do you want to be holy?  Then challenge yourself this Lent.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Loneliness Sucks

    This post is a guest post hijacked from the blog BadCatholic.  Originally authored by Marc Barnes. (If you happen to be said person, forgive me for hijacking your post.)

    There is nothing, for instance, particularly undemocratic about kicking your butler downstairs. It may be wrong, but it is not unfraternal. – G.K Chesterton
    There are two ways of being by yourself. One is to be alone – a fantastic and human desire – and the other is to be lonely.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Be the Change in Someone Else's Life

    Watch this video (its about  10 minutes) and see how mere pocket change and generousity can change people's lives. 

    In our lives, we are not always called to do extraordinary things.  Sometimes, we are called to do very ordinary things with extraordinary love.