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Author Archive: Melanie Jean Juneau

Melanie Jean Juneau serves as the Editor in Chief of Catholic Stand. She is a mother of nine children who has edited her kid's university term papers for over a decade. She blogs at  joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 . Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, a columnist at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC, author of Echoes of the Divine and Oopsy Daisy, and coauthor of Love Rebel: Reclaiming Motherhood

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Am I Weak Enough to Be a Christian?

July 11, AD2018 0 Comments
Am I Weak Enough to Be a Christian?

I have faced difficult situations countless times, finally learning to surrender control to God after playing god becomes too exhausting. Often He has surprised me with bonafide miracles, miracles even skeptical teenagers could not explain away. One would assume I would be experienced enough to stop trying to control but I am still weak. So […]

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Lord, If This How You Treat Your Friends . . .

May 14, AD2018 2 Comments
Lord, If This How You Treat Your Friends . . .

If you try to help a struggling butterfly emerge from the prison of his cocoon, his wings will be permanently deformed.  As a butterfly struggles, fluid is forced into its wings so they stretch and open, allowing them to fly but butterflies are not the only creatures who must struggle before they have the ability […]

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Boredom Nurtures Spirituality and Creativity

May 1, AD2018 4 Comments
Boredom Nurtures Spirituality and Creativity

People, from infants to the elderly, thrive spiritually when they have enough free time to relax, create, and pray. We all need unscheduled time, time to be bored in a positive sense because boredom can the birthplace of authentic spirituality and creativity. Self- obsessed business is often a superficial way of trying to obtain a […]

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Catholics Are Easter People; We Don’t Stop At the Cross

April 1, AD2018 4 Comments
Catholics Are Easter People; We Don’t Stop At the Cross

In fact, everything that exists and moves in the Church – the sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws its strength from Christ’s Resurrection. (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Life in Christ, 67) Even though the Church continually invites Catholics to live in the Resurrection of Christ, many of us cling to our suffering. As a result, our spirituality is […]

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Catholic Authors: Pray, Listen, Then Write

March 12, AD2018 9 Comments
Catholic Authors: Pray, Listen, Then Write

Some Catholic authors write as if they belong to a Church Beleaguered, not the Church Triumphant.  Articles tend to be either defensive or angry attacks against adversaries.  Many religious writers retreat, focusing only on like-minded souls, writing for a small, mutual admiration society. The rest are tempted to quit when it seems like the world is wearing […]

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Pete Socks: From Book Reviews and Podcasts to Full-Time for God

January 30, AD2018 0 Comments
Pete Socks: From Book Reviews and Podcasts to Full-Time for God

Pete Socks, a happily married father of five, converted to the Catholic faith in 1996. After a few years, he found himself simply going through the motions, just trudging to weekly Mass.  God had other plans, though. Pete experienced a reconversion when he stumbled on a book by Father Larry Richards and then attended one of his conferences. It […]

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Man-Made Spirituality versus Communion With God

January 9, AD2018 4 Comments
Man-Made Spirituality versus Communion With God

Attendance at Mass, regular confession, spiritual exercises, fasting, and prayer are wonderful vehicles of grace but if we think pious activities alone will sanctify us, we will only appear holy on the outside like the Pharisees: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, […]

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Christmas Morning: Secretly Cynical, Surprised by Joy

December 25, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas Morning: Secretly Cynical, Surprised by Joy

Do we wait for Christmas morning with a joyful expectation or has life’s disappointments left us jaded and closed to any spiritual surprises or gifts from God our Father? Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any spiritual joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will […]

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Just A Mother: My Call, Vocation, and Witness

December 12, AD2017 8 Comments
Just A Mother: My Call, Vocation, and Witness

The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Embracing an outdated lifestyle on a traditional, small, family farm has been a struggle through confusion, guilt, and even public condemnation. I finally reached the point where I can now shout loudly, “This is my call, this is my vocation, this is […]

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Out of the Ashes of Defeat: Discovering A Call to Be Single

November 21, AD2017 17 Comments
Out of the Ashes of Defeat: Discovering A Call to Be Single

There are many people today who do not think being single is simply a default choice or a temporary state. After years of struggling to find their unique vocation, men and women are discovering they are not called to marriage or a specific religious community. They still want to solemnly vow to live their lives […]

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Discovering Our Vocation In A Complex, Messy World

October 31, AD2017 1 Comment
Discovering Our Vocation In A Complex, Messy World

It has never been easy to discern a vocation, but it is especially difficult for people in the current milieu because modern society is complex and messy. Yet it’s precisely in the complexity and messiness where some of the most important answers in life are found. The good news is no matter how confused we […]

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We’ve Forgotten How Great It Is To Be a Catholic Woman

October 25, AD2017 1 Comment
We’ve Forgotten How Great It Is To Be a Catholic Woman

It is difficult to be a woman today, especially a Christian woman. It’s no wonder Catholics are confused about who they are. The Church boldly declares feminine traits are part of a woman’s core identity, deeply rooted in their souls, not just apparent in their physical appearance. Saint John Paul II, in his letter On […]

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Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

September 27, AD2017 3 Comments
Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

Twenty-five years ago, my husband discovered a book at a Trappist monastery which questioned my basic premise about the nature of reality, rekindled joy in my drooping spirit then challenged me to change and to live in mystical union with Christ.  Although many Carmelites might not recommend this book as a valid description of pure […]

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Secrets to A Grace Filled Marriage: Humility and a Sense of Humour

August 28, AD2017 19 Comments
Secrets to A Grace Filled Marriage:  Humility and a Sense of Humour

My husband, Michael, and I will have been married for 39 years on Sept. 1, 2017. After a difficult life, we are happy and still in love. Surprisingly, we have become one in reality, deeply in tune with each other’s spirits even though we are still opposites in personality. Our tangible joy is inexplicable through secular eyes […]

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Let Christ Rip The Rug Up From Under You

August 15, AD2017 1 Comment
Let Christ Rip The Rug Up From Under You

When Jesus invites us to die to ourselves, He is not referring to some pious act of self-sacrifice which will make us look or feel holy. No, He has something much more radical in mind. The kind of inner transformation Christ desires will literally rip the rug up from under our feet and shatter our […]

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Prenatal Memories and Ancient Hebrew Wisdom

July 26, AD2017 8 Comments
Prenatal Memories and Ancient Hebrew Wisdom

A young child, who knows enough words to communicate, can describe their prenatal memories and their birth from their own unique perspective, not as an observer. Most of my nine children were able to verbalize their womb and birth experiences if my husband and I posed questions before they were three and a half or […]

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Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs

July 11, AD2017 11 Comments
Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs

Every society, every culture has a tradition of a scapegoat: a person or group of people to blame and punish for the sins of that particular society. Centuries ago, old women were blamed for poor crops, cows which failed to produce milk and any birth defects. Less superstitious societies turned on each new group of […]

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Artist Jonathan Byrne and The Face of Christ

June 26, AD2017 6 Comments
Artist Jonathan Byrne and The Face of Christ

Jonathan Byrne is a professional mid-career artist who lives in the coastal town of Blackrock in Dublin, Ireland. After many years of making images and exhibiting at home and abroad, he returned to a subject that has always enthralled him, the Face of Christ. The images, of which there are over 30 in different colours, […]

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Are Most Christians Clueless About Their True Identity?

June 23, AD2017 6 Comments
Are Most Christians Clueless About Their True Identity?

A  good friend, Martha, from Madonna House, “happened” to sit beside a self-proclaimed witch on an old bus heading towards the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Noticing Martha’s large cross identifying her as a member of the Lay Apostolate, the witch cynically remarked that most Christians were stupid because they were completely clueless […]

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So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?

May 25, AD2017 5 Comments
So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?

To the casual observer, I appear to be a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do people realize that although I did pour out my life struggling to raise nine kids on a small farm with little disposable income, I actually missed the core of Christ’s […]

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Catholics and Mental Illness: Coming Out of the Shadows

May 13, AD2017 24 Comments
Catholics and Mental Illness: Coming Out of the Shadows

Since mental illness is as common and invisible among the faithful as it is in secular circles,  concern for mental health cannot simply be relegated to the secular sphere, especially during Mental Health Awareness month in May. I admit the topic of how and why Catholics experience mental illness might seem completely irrelevant to most Catholics. […]

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Catholicism Is, Most Importantly, An Experiential Faith

April 23, AD2017 6 Comments
Catholicism Is, Most Importantly, An Experiential Faith

A Catholic, baptized into the very life of Christ ( CCC 1213), is invited to discover much more about God, Holy Scriptures, the saints and the traditions of his Church than dry facts because Catholicism is, most importantly, an experiential faith. Ironically, most Christians allow fear of deception to impede growth in the Spirit and hinder […]

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Living With Only a Thin Veil Between Earth and Heaven

April 13, AD2017 23 Comments
Living With Only a Thin Veil Between Earth and Heaven

I tend to rush through my daily duties like a solitary soul, disconnected from God and other people. However, I became aware that humans are actually intimately connected not just to God and the living but also to those who have died and are alive in Christ after recent encounters with birth, death, and dying. […]

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