Think Bigger

dont-settle“There is no passion to be found in playing small — settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”        — Nelson Mandela


Time sometimes has a way of letting contentment creep into our lives. Soon, we are fully content and don’t attempt to grow any further. Oftentimes that comes with age, but can still effect young people too. Sometimes people look at their lives and say to themselves something like, “Look how far I’ve come. I’m successful, have a nice life, a good job, a great family, good friends, good health…”

This applies to all people in all walks of life – moms, dads, kids, grandmas, grandpas, blue collar workers, white collar workers, rich, poor, business leaders and everyone in between.  No one is exempt.

Sometimes though, we need someone to reach out, take us by the collar, look us in the eye and then smack us…hard! We need to be reminded that although we are content and satisfied and are doing fine, we are often falling far short of making the most of our natural-born talents.

Note, the guy who smacks you in the face, isn’t doing so out of anger or frustration, but rather a reminder of who you really are, what you are capable of and of how far short of the “accomplishment” mark we likely are in our lives.

It’s funny how easy it was to be lulled into a false sense of inflated accomplishment when in reality, there is just so much more that we can do…and that we shouldn’t do. Every once in a while, we all need to get smacked….to get shaken up…to literally force us to become greater…much greater.

If something inside is telling you that you’ve already given all you can, if you think there is nothing you can do but continue down the path you are on now, if you think you have your goals set and your plan in place and you are on the right path  — Consider the possibility that you are mistaken, that you are selling yourself and every person in your life short — Big Time!

As children of God, it is our personal responsibility to pursue greatness and the significant contributions we know we can make. It all boils down to taking action and being creative. The chance for greatness resides in all of us.

Indeed, that “smack” in your face may sting for a few short minutes, but then you’ll realize you can do, be and contribute more than how “time” has tricked you into being content. Take some time to think about your life and all the interconnected relationships that can be renewed and invigorated and prepare to move full power ahead toward maximizing your true calling.

Look out.  Here it comes.   SMACK !!!

Feast Day – St. Catherine Laboure

Feast Day – St. Catherine LaboureCatherine Laboure

When:  Each Nov 28th


St. Catherine Laboure was born May 2, 1806 in Fain-les-Moutiers, France. When she was nine years old, her mother died and she looked to the Blessed Virgin Mary to be her mother. She entered the Daughters of Charity on April 21, 1830. While Catherine was still a novice, the Virgin Mary appeared to her and asked her to have a medal struck in her honor. Because of the many miracles that resulted from devotion to it, it became known as the “Miraculous Medal.” Catherine Laboure was canonized in 1947.

Feast of the Miraculous Medal

Miraculous-MedalToday, November 27, is the Feast of the Miraculous Medal.  Devotion to and wearing of the Miraculous Medal is second to the Rosary in popularity among traditional Catholic devotions.

In 1830, the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed the design of the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure in an apparition.

In Paris, on June 6, 1830, the Lord appeared to the young (age 24) Daughter of Charity novice Catherine at Mass, and again on the nights of July 18-19 when she was summoned to the chapel by a beautiful “child clothed in white” to converse with the Virgin Mary. Catherine was told prophecies and charged with “a mission” that manifested itself on November 27 in an early morning (5:30am) appearance of the Blessed Virgin who was “clothed in white” standing on a globe and “a serpent.” Rays of light issued forth from rings on her fingers and Catherine was told to commission a medal of what she was seeing. Then, turning the letter “M surmounted by a bar and a cross” underneath which were the hearts of Jesus and Mary all surrounded by the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

Catherine heard the voice tell her, “Have a medal struck after this model. All who wear this medal will receive great favors. They should wear it around the neck . Favors will abound if worn with devotion.” Catherine’s mission was to ensure that the medal was made and to spread Mary’s message of love and compassion.

Many healings, conversions and other miracles have been documented by those who have faithfully worn the ‘Medal of the Immaculate Conception’ as the Miraculous Medal was originally called.

There are numerous Miraculous Medal Associations throughout the world. They are united under the care of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists), the religious order founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Membership contributions go to spread devotion to the Virgin Mary and to support the work of the Vincentians. Each Association maintains a shrine and usually has some type of publication for members.


Wearing the Medal
The Miraculous Medal is an approved sacramental and allows the the wearer to take advantage of Mary’s promise:

“Those who wear it will receive great graces; abundant graces will be given to those who have confidence.”

Enrollment in an Association Anyone, living or deceased, Catholic or not, may be enrolled as a member and obtain these graces and the spiritual benefit of Masses offered for members (for example, the Central Association in the U.S. offers 2,500 Masses a year).

Invested membership involves these obligations:

1. Formally enroll in an approved Association and renew the membership yearly
2. Wear the Medal (around the neck is highly recommended)
3. Have the intention to sanctify oneself and others by means of the Medal
4. Investiture which may be done publicly or privately


1. Receive the graces promised by the Blessed Virgin Mary
2. Receive the spiritual benefits of numerous Masses offered for members by the Vincentians
3. Promoters who sign up others receive spiritual benefit from additional Masses
4. Invested members receive an indulgences on the following days:~ Day of joining the Association~ August 22 (Feast of the Queenship of Mary) ~ September 27 (Feast of St. Vincent de Paul)~ November 27 (Feast of the Miraculous Medal)~ November 28 (Feast of St. Catherine Laboure)~ Anniversary date of the founding of the Association in which one is enrolled.

The indulgence is plenary under the normal conditions: confession, communion, prayer for the Pope’s intentions and freedom from attachment to all sin.

St. Vincent de Paul Remodel – New Signs

A new sign at St Vincent de Paul in Traverse City, MIA new sign at St Vincent de Paul in Traverse City, MIThank you again to the team at Britten Banners in Traverse City for the updated signs at St. Vincent de Paul Traverse City, MI.

The signs are simple and well designed to let travelers along Woodmere Ave know that a St. Vincent de Paul serves Northwest Michigan in the tradition of our patron, Saint Vincent de Paul.

As always…your time, talent and treasure are always welcome.

Feast Day – Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Founder of St. Vincent de Paul Society

This Monday, September 9th, is the Feast Day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, an original founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  This day is celebrated every September 9th to celebrate his life.

Blessed Frederic Ozanam was schooled in law, literature and philosophy and taught at the universities in Lyon and Paris. Challenged by a detractor of the faith to demonstrate the

More information is about the
Feast Day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam.good he was doing socially in France, Frederic and six companions founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul on April 23, 1833. On June 23, 1841 Frederic married Amelie Soulacroix, and their only child, Marie, was born in 1845. He succumbed to ill health and died on September 8, 1853. Pope John Paul II beatified Frederic Ozanam in Paris on August 22, 1997.