Lost In The Crowd: Memoir of the First Baby Boomer

I wrote a book entitled “Lost in the Crowd:  Memoir of the First Baby Boomer” which is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Authorhouse.  It’s my story of being raised in the innocent 50’s when most people didn’t ask questions or deviate from the norm, and then my plunge into the 60’s and 70’s and then life after all that. 

I was raised in a small town/big borough of Norristown, Pennsylvania and set about growing up and giving up.  Today I am a happy Catholic and feel very close to God as I understand Him. 

Thanks for checking it out!

Kate Haberland, The Happy Catholic

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THE HOLY SPIRIT’S GIFTS

I’ve learned to rely on the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom before I read or write something of a spiritual nature.  I’ve learned to rely on the same gift whenever my husband and I don’t see eye to eye on an issue.  I leave the room and pray for the Holy Spirit to give me a new perspective on the issue.  I ask that he clarify my thoughts or change my mind depending on what is rushing through my head at the time.  It always works. 

Today is the feast of Pentecost…the birthday of the Church.  It marks the end of the Easter season and the beginning of what is called ordinary time.  On ordinary days in ordinary time I can strive to be ordinary myself – not better or worse than others.  Ordinary time seems like a lackluster name for this time of year.  However, it reminds me that I am just another Bozo on the bus, but that us Bozos can make a difference in the world.  In my contacts during these ordinary days, I can pray for insight and understanding in my daily life.  Funny ordinary time is marked with bright flowers and green trees and lawns and a variety of birds.  Maybe that is the Father’s gift to us as we try to live each day as if it were the most important day of our lives.  It is anyhow.  Whether we are aware of it or not, the present moment is the most important time.  Like the Hail Mary which tells us the most important times in our lives “now and at the hour of our death”, let us stay conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  His gifts are a tremendous boost to me.  Jesus wanted to send us the Paraclete.  We must surely need Him. 

Let us, like the early Christians, invoke the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts, minds and souls at this moment so that we may live a life full of wisdom, awareness and love. 

Peace be with you!

BEGIN SPRING WITH A DEEPER LOVE FOR GOD AND FOR OTHERS

The Cross of Christ reveals God’s love for us because that is where he redeemed us fully and finally for his purposes.  At this most poetic time of the year, let us embrace His cross and the love He showed for us and for all people.  Let us begin to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls.  Let us begin again to love others, to see the Christ in each one of them. 

The world is busy whirling and bringing new and different events into our existence, wanted or not.  The world contains more and more deviation from our calling to love that it takes the strength of many just to stay focused on our mission.  Let us remember, as the forsythia and hyacynths blossom, that their beauty is nothing in comparison to God’s world.  They are a foretaste of heaven.  The best information available to us is the knowledge of God as He revealed Himself through the prophets of the Old Testament and through His Son in the new.

While the world twirls around, let us get still and live in the Word of God.  Let us meditate on love and supernatural beauty.  Let us be open to the new people who come into our lives and the new life that comes into ourselves and others.  This is a time of renewal.  When Christ resides within us, we die to our life and awaken into His glorious resurrection. 

May God bless us all!  Happy Easter

ON LIFE MAKING SENSE

If we do not believe in God little in life makes sense.  Life becomes situations where the only response could be to ask why.  I found the more I tried to find out the why of things, the more questions popped up.  I existed in the circle of questions.  Without acceptance of God, there are no answers.

Some say that man invented God.  It would make some sense if man invented life or miracles in life like the iris, the squirrel or the ocean.  We didn’t.  We are the highest level of intelligence in the world and yet we can’t explain love or a rainbow or a duck.  We think ourselves intelligent, but what do we know of anything.  We can attest to our own experiences in life, but we cannot explain our own existence. 

It is springtime.  The bright sun, the bright flowers and the bright blue sky demonstrate a power greater than ourselves.  We did not design this beautiful planet, yet we give little testament to its Creator.  We are responsible for a lot wrong in our world, but we seldom take the blame.  In fact, we pass it on to the Creator.  We blame easily.  We thank seldom.

Who do we think we are?  Our ego is a phenonmenon that challenges description.  How can a lowly being claim to be all he thinks about?  How can we think we are above others when the similarities are striking.  We are capable of great acts and just as capable of barbarous acts.  We can love with abandon and hate with a vengence. 

The only life that makes sense to me (after a lot of years chasing false gods) is one of following the One Who Is All.  The only happiness I garnered is in helping others and forgetting myself.  There is a God and I’m not He.  Let me give thanks and praise to the one true God who gives us the spring and winter and loves us enough to teach us the hard way.  I can relax now and listen to the still small voice.  Ahhh, it is so much easier to live a life that makes sense.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

I’m Irish.  St. Patrick’s Day used to be a day to celebrate that fact with a lot of drinking and jokes told with phoney Irish brogues.    One of the jokes I remember was:

Question:  “Do you know why God invented alcohol?” 

Answer:  “So the Irish wouldn’t rule the world.”

The only thing I knew about St. Patrick himself was that he drove the snakes out of Ireland.  I heard about the wee people and the shamrock.  That about summarizes my knowledge of being Irish.

Today I know that Saint Patrick was born in Great Britain around 385.  As a young man, he was captured and sold as a slave in Ireland where he had to tend sheep.  Having escaped from salvery, he chose to enter the priesthood, and later, as a bishop, he tirelessly preached the gospel to the people of Ireland where he converted many to the faith and established the Church.  He died at Down in 461.

A sampling of the Confession of Saint Patrick, Bishop, he wrote:  “I came to the Irish peoples to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgraimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.  If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for His name.  I want to spend myself in that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor.  I am deeply in debt, for He gave me the great grace that through me many peoples should be reborn in God, and then made perfect by confirmation and everywhere among them clergy ordained for a people so recently coming to believe, one people gathered by the Lord from the ends of the earth.”

When I read ancient writings and realize the power of a person’s love for God, I am in awe that what was true way back then is, in fact, true today.  I am moved to a deeper Catholic faith by the power of a man who lived 1700 years ago and yet believed what I believe.   This is all part of what makes me A Happy Catholic.

ASHES TO ASHES

God longs for us to return to Him with our whole heart.  Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season where we strive to prepare for our own death and resurrection in a similar humble way that Jesus prepared for His death and resurrection.  He asks us to “rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.” 

Sometimes I am far from God even though I go to Mass often during the week.  I am far away because my heart is not open to the lessons of the encounters I have during the day.  For some reason, I find the conversations and the meetings with people to be in a realm without my God.  But, he calls us to rend our hearts and not to just go through the motions of rending our garments, like the Jewish leaders of old.  He desires us to become the righteousness of God.  He says the Father “who is hidden” waits for us to pray. 

Let us begin this solemn season with the right heart…the whole heart.  Let us blow the trumpets, call an assembly and proclaim a fast!  Let us live this Ash Wednesday mindful of the end of our lives by beginning to offer God our whole heart.

SAINT FRANCIS dE SALES AND DEVOTION

In his book Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales wrote, “When he created things God commanded plants to bring forth their fruits, each one according to its kind, and in like manner he commands Christians, the living plants of his Church, to bring forthe the fruits of devotion, each according to his position and vocation.  Devotion must be exercised in different ways by the gentleman, the worker, the servant, the prince, the widow, the young girl, and the married woman.  Not only is this true, but the practive of devotion must also be adapted to the strength, activities and duties of each particular person.”

St. Francis de Sales also wrote “charity is spiritual fire and when it bursts into flames it is called devotion.  Hence devotion adds nothing to the fire of charity except the flame that makes charity prompt, active and diligent not only to observe God’s commandments but also to fulfill his heavenly counsels and inspirations.” 

I felt bad as I read because the realization that I am not devout came to me until I read St. Francis tell us that he was not devout.  He explains the purpose of his book.  “To study is a good way to learn; to hear is still a better way; to teach is the best of all.”  He desired to be devout so he chose to teach us.  And teach us he does in this book.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us that we may be devoted to our Lord!