Tag Archives: Catholicism

Padre Pio Quotation Meme

I absolutely love this image I created the other day with the InstaQuote iPhone app. (They have an Android app, too!) I’m embedding it from Instagram:

Prayer is the oxygen of the soul. -Padre Pio

A photo posted by Jo Hawke (@jo_hawke) on

I got the app on sale a while back but really haven’t used it much. However, it really does make creating nice-looking images easy. They have a lot of cool backgrounds, and you can type in your quotation and alter the color scheme.

Warning: If you’re used to Photoshop, it will probably get frustrating for you not to have much control over sizing and spacing of individual words.

P.S. If you don’t know much about Padre Pio, google him. He is an amazing Saint with all kinds of miraculous specials! <3

Atticus Sings the Gloria #2

I’ve been sorting through my YouTube videos, getting ready for the school year (which starts Monday…can you believe it??), and saw that I had favorited this video last year.

It’s dated July 2011, so Atticus was 4 1/2. My parents shot the video and it’s posted on my mom’s account.

There’s a video here of Atticus singing this same song a few months earlier.

Reading & Reflection: Rooted & Grounded in Love

From the Daily Reading for June 15, 2012

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lectionary: 171

Reading 2
Eph 3:8-12, 14-19

Brothers and sisters:

To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Lucas’ First Communion

Last Sunday, May 6, in a special 2 p.m. Mass, Lucas made his First Communion.

He was one of 50-some 7-year-olds all dressed up in suits and ties (or white satin, lace, or taffeta dresses).

It was a beautiful ceremony, and Kevin and I were both in tears before Lucas even made his way up the center aisle with his (and Atticus’) godmother Cindy Jefferson.

You can click on the first picture below to scroll through enlarged versions.

Thanks to the boys’ godfather Charlie Jefferson, the official event photographer, for the pictures in the gallery and allowing us to post them here.

And thanks to Lucas’ Grammy, Carolyn Dalton, for allowing me to use the picture of him at left. :)

And thanks to the dozen or so family members who were there. It meant so much to Lucas and to all of us. :)

Happy Feast Day: Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes
Today, in honor of the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, we watched Song of Bernadette, a film about Bernadette Soubirous, a young peasant girl who was visited by Our Lady.

There are several versions of the story in film, but the best by far is the 1943 version starring Jennifer Jones and Vincent Price.

This quote begins the movie:

“For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible.”
-Franz Werfel (1890-1945)


When I was looking up the spelling of Bernadette’s last name and the IMDb film link just now, I found a video of Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt singing “Song of Bernadette,” by Jennifer Warnes and Leonard Cohen:

And here’s Jennifer Warnes doing it:

I found the backstory on Jennifer’s inspiration in writing this song at the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity website.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Lawrence OP

Catholicism 101 at the Dinner Table

Mit offenen Armen

Of all the games our two younger sons Lucas, 7, and Atticus, 5, love to play at dinnertime, their favorite is religious trivia.

Here’s a random, annotated sampling of tonight’s questions:

1. What is the first book of the Bible? (They both know this one and what it means.)

2. What is the last book of the Bible? (They still can’t remember this one very quickly but as soon as they get a sense of it, they start chanting “Revolution” while pumping their arms in the air. What does it mean??)

3. Who was the first Pope? (They always know this.)

4. What are the five “joyful mysteries” of the rosary? (These are pretty new additions to our trivia, but they did pretty well. They know them all with a clue or two, but not in order.)

5. Who was the only one of Jesus’ original disciples to die a natural death? (They both got this and its follow-up, why? Plus, Lucas got bonus points for remembering that Peter had been crucified upside-down.)

6. What religious order was Blessed John Paul II a part of? (They both got this one immediately. We all have a special love for JP2. :))

7. What religious order is Pope Benedict XVI a part of? (Silence until Kevin prodded them. It’s his chosen title, after all. ;))

8. Where does the Pope live? (They know the city and country, but the country-within-a-country takes a minute.)

9. What is the rulebook of the Catholic Church? (They both got this immediately, and Atticus later coined a new word combining the rulebook with its geographical source from #8: “Vatechism.” Ha!)

10. What is the first book of the New Testament? (Lucas answered “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” Not bad!)

How many do you know??

Creative Commons License photo credit: Kirchengemeinde St. Bonifatius Berlin

Kevin: My Heart’s Desire

Kevin's Tiger's Eye rosary

I just can’t understand how someone can be so concerned with pleasing God and still fail so miserably.

It seems like whatever I do is wrong. It doesn’t seem like I’m getting any closer to holiness. I’m still fighting the same old demons: the O.C.D., the anger, the selfishness, the pride, the seemingly everything.

I guess some people (like Jo) think I’m very critical of them, but that’s nothing compared to how critical I am of myself. I pray that God will make me perfectly holy without any stain, blemish, or anything that even remotely resembles sin. I hope He does that right now as I’m writing this and I remain holy forever, without exception.

That’s what I want more than anything.

I want God to wash me perfectly clean like a freshly baptized person, and I want to be totally forgiven of my sins and of any punishment due to sin. I want God to totally guide me in everything I do.

I don’t want free will. I want God’s will to be my will.

I don’t want to cuss, be angry, be impatient, be selfish, be hurtful, be unkind, be arrogant. I want to love everyone and everyone love me.

God is love. No love = no God.

I want every morsel of my molecules to be love.

It seems as if my patron saint was the perfect fit because he is who I am least like, but also who I really need to be like.

But I seem to run from these things. Sometimes I think God is trying to force me toward John of the Cross, the Brown Scapular, and the Crucifix. And I seem to shy away from all of them sometimes.

Perhaps it’s fear. I don’t feel like I really know what God wants. More often than not, I feel like He wants me to sincerely try to be like John of the Cross. I think He wants me to be as much like him as I can possibly be in my state of life. This would probably require me to study the Crucifix intensely and to wear the Brown Scapular that I’ve been vested with.

In my heart, I want holiness, but I seem to be fighting something bigger than me. Maybe that’s Satan.

God, I need you to clear the way for me to serve you completely and faithfully as a Catholic, father, and husband. I love my wife and kids and truly desire to be the best husband and father for them. I want to be sweet, gentle, kind, loving, honorable, understanding, patient, and considerate. I want to be a great listener. I want to be a person in tune with everyone else’s needs and concerns.

“He must increase. I must decrease.”

God, please hear my cries. Please do not let me continue to disappoint You and my family. Please pour me right now into the mold of the perfect saint, Mary. I want all my prayers and hopes and dreams to go through her to Jesus to God. I want all that I am to go through Mary. Please do not let me sin anymore. God, please let me bask in your sunlight forever as the model Catholic, husband, father, worker, servant, and friend. Please hear my cries, in the name of Jesus through Your beautiful example of holiness, Mary. I love you God.

It’s so easy for me to get stuck in a certain spiritual place.

Work is really hard. So many people cursing and being mean and talking about each other. I have fallen into that trap so many times. With God’s help, I won’t sin anymore (not even at that seemingly God-forsaken prison). I have to be perfectly holy starting now and never ending.

I am grateful for Mary’s guidance. She used the rosary to guide me to the Church. It’s time to remove this empty cross and to wear my rosary and Scapular. I will also carry my beautiful Tiger’s Eye rosary that Jo gave me. That rosary is my favorite ever, but I also love the other one, the Lapis Lazuli, that Jo gave me. It has the Scapular attached to it. That rosary and I have been through an awful lot together.

I believe God desires me to be as much like John of the Cross as I can possibly be, so I will wear my Lapis rosary with Brown Scapular attached and live as much like John as I can by practicing Carmelite spirituality. I will have my special Tiger’s Eye rosary to pray with. I need that Crucifix to look at and meditate upon because Jesus is the perfect example of selflessness and sacrifice for others.

Nothing says Catholic like the rosary , the Brown Scapular, and the Crucifix. I am Catholic to my very core. I would very willingly die for my beliefs in the truth.

John of the Cross, please make me like you as much as is possible and make me truly worthy to call you my patron saint and worthy to be your namesake. Please enable me and make me wear the Carmelite Brown Scapular forever and to carry my Tiger’s Eye rosary forever. Please, through your intercession with God, make this happen and don’t let me ever consider any other options and be tempted by Satan. I also want to wear my Wedding Ring forever to show my love for my beautiful wife. Please!!

Kevin R. Hawke (John of the Cross)
January 23, 2012

Photo courtesy of the rosary’s creator at Heartfelt Rosaries.

Kevin’s Conversion Story

Grandma Simpson & Atticus, June 2008

My grandma, Ethel Mae Simpson, was quite an extraordinary woman. Born in 1923 and raised in a rather poor environment, she always lived a rather simple life. But her life was extraordinary in that she lived a life of faith and prayer. She was a lifelong member of Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.

She married the love of her life in 1940 and went on to have three children. She remained faithful to Grandpa even after he died. I really admire that. She knew that no one could replace him. She always talked about him like he had just left on a trip. You wouldn’t know that he had been dead for years.

Grandma is largely responsible for my faith. Like I said earlier, she was a lifelong United Methodist. She was the type that couldn’t be stopped if she had her mind made up. When I came along (I was born in 1973), Grandma made up her mind that I was going to go to church with her and she wasn’t taking no for an answer. She made sure that every Sunday I went to church. I believed in God and was even baptized Methodist on December 23, 1984. I was eleven.

I thought I had everything figured out until my sweet, precious grandpa died in 1991. My whole world crashed. I just couldn’t understand why Grandpa would leave me like that. I became quite angry with God. I turned against everybody and everything. For about six years, I was anti–everything.

In about 1997, I started exploring Wicca. It’s a nature–based religion with a “Sun–god” and a “Moon–goddess” and a motto of, “an it harm none, do what thou wilt.” It seemed so peaceful and natural. I prayed to Woden and Freya and became rather spiritual. All creation is special. Like all religions, there is some truth in this one, but not all of the truth. Frankly, I didn’t think any religion had all of the truth.

By 2005, when I married the woman of my dreams, I believed in God, but couldn’t describe it much more than that. Jo and I got married on July 27, 2005, in New York City. What an awesome day. I married the most beautiful woman ever.

We went back to NYC in 2006 for our anniversary. On our one–year anniversary, we left the busy streets and walked into St. Bartholomew’s. Jo was pregnant and needed a break from walking in the 100-degree weather. I thought it would be cool to see a pretty church. I wasn’t really looking for anything or expecting anything.

When my Queen and I walked into St. Bart’s and the door shut behind us, something came over me. The peace beyond all understanding came down on me. I immediately knew that God had reached down his mighty hand and grabbed hold of me. My whole life was changed right then.

Jo bought me a beautiful silver Celtic cross necklace in the St. Bart’s gift shop to remind me of this awesome moment. I felt on fire for God. I wore this cross always.

We had Atticus September 25, 2006. On October 26, 2006, I was ordained as a minister by St. Luke’s Evangelical Christian Ministries. St. Bart’s is an Episcopal church, but I became an Evangelical minister. I preached one sermon. It was on forgiveness. My grandma came to the church that I preached at just to hear me. It was at Victory Family Church in Danville, Va.

In 2008, we went back to St. Bart’s, and I bought a rosary. I didn’t know what a rosary was; I just knew that I had to have one. After we got home, I fell to my knees and prayed to have the dedication of a monk as much as I can, considering I’m a married man. I then felt led to pray the Lord’s Prayer 150 times every day. I used my new rosary to count the prayers.

At work, I asked some of the officers if they ever prayed the Lord’s Prayer. Most of them said no. I found it interesting that people seemed to think it was better to pray a prayer they made up instead of the prayer Jesus told them to pray. Hmmm. I knew the Lord’s Prayer very well because we prayed it every week at Mount Olivet, where I grew up.

One of the officers at work referred to the Lord’s Prayer as the model prayer. I had never heard it called that. So, it was time to dig into the Internet.

I found that someone did call it the model prayer in the nineteenth century, but it was more commonly called the Lord’s Prayer (at least by Protestants). Prior to the Protestant Reformation, it was called the Pater Noster (Our Father in Latin). The earliest record I could find of that was 350 A.D. The monks in 350 A.D. prayed the 150 Psalms a day, but some monks couldn’t read. The illiterate monks prayed 150 Pater Nosters a day.

Wait a minute!! That’s what I was led to do. I was led to pray 150 Our Fathers (Pater Nosters) per day just like the monks did in 350. God had answered my prayer of making me dedicated like the monks by starting with making me pray like them. Wow! God had “spoken” to me again.

My logic started to lean toward checking out the Catholic Church. After all, monks are Catholic. We almost immediately went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church to check it out.

I also did a lot of searching on the Internet trying to disprove the Church, but found that it can’t be done. Jo and I went on to be confirmed Catholic in 2010.

This meant that my ordination was not valid and, for some time, I didn’t wear my special Celtic cross because it’s what I wore when I was Rev. Kevin R. Hawke. I was trying to separate myself from my Protestant roots, but in reality, I didn’t need to.

I love the Catholic Church and know that it is the absolute truth, but I might not have ever found it without the dedication of my beautiful grandmother and her United Methodist beliefs. Or what about the fact that the peace of Jesus came over me in an Episcopal church? God can use these churches to lead you to the true Church, the Catholic Church.

A few days ago, January 15, 2012, was my grandma’s birthday. It was the first one since she died. On that day, I put my special Celtic cross back on. Although my grandma and her Methodist church didn’t have all of the truth, I might not have ever found it without her. Thank God for grandma.

Kevin R. Hawke
(John of the Cross)
January 18, 2012

Disposing of Sacramentals

I made crosses out of the palm leaves we got this past Palm Sunday and put them up in the “new” house this weekend.

Kevin and the boys buried the remaining strings and pieces that had fallen off the fronds. (Since they’re blessed, we can’t just throw them away.) Kevin dug a hole and put the palm pieces in, and the boys put the dirt back and patted it down. Then, they said the Our Father and three Hail Marys and sang The Gloria.