Healing Music

Music is therapeutic. Clinical studies show the positive use of music in addressing physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. Two different CD sets by Sheldon Cohen and offered through ACTA Publications are designed to provide calm and uplifting background music that soothes the spirit.9780879463014


The 2-CD music collections by Sheldon Cohen are a buy at $14.95. Music to Heal the Body and the Soul contains one CD featuring familiar, classical melodies by composers such as Debussy, Dvorak, and Schumann. The other has 19 of our favorite religious songs including “Were You there?,” “Amazing Grace,” “Shall We gather at the River,” and “Pie Jesus.”


Music to Soothe the Spirit, also a 2-CD set, has one CD of sacred music such as “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “We Gather Together,” and “Morning Has Broken.” The other CD has Broadway show tunes including “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Over the Rainbow,” and “Love is a Many Splendored Things.”


The melodies offer a positive break from the hustle and bustle of our busy, noisy world. No matter how tired or troubled, they’re sure to get you humming along and leave you smiling.

CDs can be ordered through ACTA Publications:


(Reposted from Doyle’s Delights)

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Trust in Providence

Jesus, I trust in you. That is my mantra. Over the past few years, so many of my prayers were not answered the way in which I hoped, the way I thought was best. People, including me, suffered, became seriously ill, were disappointed, and got hurt. Dreams were lost. Relationships changed. Friends passed away.

Still, my mantra remains the same. Jesus, I trust in you. I don’t understand God’s ways, but I trust God knows better than I do. I submit myself to the will of God. Thy will be done.

Saint Theodora fully trusted. She often said, “Put yourself gently in the hands of Providence,” and, “Trust in Providence.” When Saint Theodora’s bishop treated her harshly, fires destroyed the winter’s grain and animal feed, and at least one sister caused inner turmoil in the community, she believed God was present during all of it. She continued God’s work. She persevered. She trusted in the Lord.

When we submit to God’s will, this does not mean we do nothing. We follow God’s lead and God’s work. We leave behind resentment, jealousy, anger, frustration, and sadness. We don’t insist upon our ways. We trust God has our back, is with us, on our side, and all will be well, if not in this life then the next.

Most likely the future will not be exactly how we envision. But even when there is pain, there also is joy. Look around and relish in the beauty, love, kindness, and goodness that surrounds us. We are rich in blessings. God is good, all the time.

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The Original Santa

Christmas is a magical time of year. Early on, St. Nicholas was woven into the traditions of the season promoting the gifts of faith, hope, and love. However, most of us know little of St. Nicholas, the man. . .

See more of this review of the book, The Wonderworker, on Doyle’s Delights.

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Looking for Christmas books for children in keeping the true spirit of the season? Check this review on Doyle’s Delights.

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Catholic Gift Shops

In addition to writing books and book reviews for my publisher, I also sell their books. It’s a pleasure getting to know the hard-working, kind, and spiritual owners of the shops I call upon across the country. Few sales reps are welcomed by cheery voices on the other end of the line, as I am.

Many of these shops, as other retail businesses today, are struggling. Their patronage is down due to competing prices online. But in contrast with merchandise we view on our computers and personal devices, there is an advantage and pleasure in seeing items in person, picking them up, and feeling them in our hands.

If we want to continue having these beautiful shops in our towns, we must support them. Not only do we need to step in their doors, we also must purchase items there. They are jam-packed with religious books, statues, rosaries, holy cards, crosses and so much more than seen on the Internet. For example, Linden Leaf Gifts, located in the Providence Center of the Sisters of Providence motherhouse in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, sells exquisitely handmade hats, gloves, shawls, and blankets made from the high quality fibers of the Alpacas the sisters raise there.

This holiday season is the perfect time to check out your nearest Catholic store. Let’s help keep these shops open

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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Speaking at a Catholic Wake

If you’ve ever been asked to speak at a wake or funeral you know the pressure of finding the right words to honor the deceased. To Say a Few Words. Guidelines for Those Offering Words of Remembrance at a Catholic Funeral is the guide we’ve been looking for to do this with faith and respect.


The Catholic Church has specific rules for speaking at funerals and each diocese adds its own requirements. These rules are so that nothing distracts from the Eucharist and liturgy. To Say a Few Words explains these guidelines and offers examples of how to present a short, prayerful expression of remembrance for the deceased. It’s a little handbook bereavement committees, funeral homes, and church libraries should keep on hand for intended speakers.

You can get the book and ebook of To Say a Few Words here.

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A Visit to the Shrine

The new St. Mother Theodore Guerin/St. Theodora shrine is now open, and it is a destination to put on your travel list. Only a small percentage of canonized saints are native or naturalized North Americans, so the opportunity to come so close to the remains of a saint is rare on our continent.

In the hallway before the shrine are a series of dioramas that tell the story of the founding sisters’ journey to the New World and their early missionary work here. The miniatures offer a visual description of the perseverance needed to establish the first school and convent and survive the harsh life of the wilderness.


Continuing down the hallway and beyond the double doors is the modest entrance to the shrine.


Once visitors enter the doorway nestled beneath the adoration chapel, the site is surprisingly spacious. Quotes from St. Theodora, or Mother Theodore Guerin, which is the name the Sisters have always known her by, and information about her and the works of the Sisters of Providence, are sprinkled along winding pathways.


Her personal items also are exhibited in such a way that it isn’t difficult to imagine St. Theodora using them right there.


The main part of the shrine that features the saint’s remains is simple and bright. You can kneel before the coffin and even reach across and touch it. To be so close to such a holy person’s remains is quite a moving and inspiring experience.


The document declaring St. Theodora’s canonization is displayed in that room as well.


The shrine is located on 1200 acres shared by the Sisters of Providence motherhouse and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College campus.


Throughout the grounds, notable information is offered on markers that highlight where St. Theodora and her companions first stepped off the carriage, lived, and worked. You’ll even find a replica of the cabin where Bishop Brute, the first bishop of Vincennes, offered the first Mass at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.


©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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