Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to Write a Teen Resume

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

7 Secrets of Confession - Book Review

This book is about “7 Secrets”.  I’ll start off my book review with a secret confession of my own.  On my Goodreads LS Wagen’s Author page, I marked this book off as to be read on January 29, 2017.  I noted that I would either have to special order it from a bookstore (religious or secular), or purchase it on Also, my parish lending library didn’t carry it. Low and behold, my Catholic parish set up a book display in McKay Hall with the paperback book on it.  They had previously carried the EBook, but I didn’t want the EBook. For a $5.00 donation you could buy the book.  It was on the honor system, you put the money in the little hole.   This paperback version was offered for sale 2 months ago. I never got around to bringing the $5.00 with me.  I think I really was afraid to read the book as it might motivate this cradle Catholic into going to confession more than my twice a year duty during Advent, and Lent.   This reluctance to purchase the book despite my desire to read it continued, until I had a dream.  In the dream, this book was sitting on a shelf in my private library at home.  That’s it.  End of dream.  Short dream.  To the point.  Okay, God, I’ll read the book.

Two weeks ago, I bought the book, and this week I read it!   Yea!   I’m glad I did!

Oh, by the way, the book retails for more than $5.00; obviously our parish was subsidizing the books on the display.

So what were the secrets in the book, (that’s all of my personal secrets that you are getting out of me), Beyond the Grocery List, Secret 1 Sin Doesn’t Change God, Secret 2 It’s Not Just About Forgiveness, Secret 3 Your Sin is Different From My Sin, Secret 4 Confession is Never Really Private, Secret 5 You’ve Got Mail, Secret 6 New Wine Needs New Skin, Secret 7 You have to Let Go of Your Chains, and bonus secrets Change Your Oil!, and Don’t Forget the Hors D’ouvres.  

Obviously, chapter headings.

Beyond the Grocery List is about rediscovering confession beyond simply rattling off your sins, and the same sins from confession to confession. 

Sin Doesn’t Change God is about your personal relationship with God and how your personal sin effects it. 

It’s Not Just About Forgiveness is about how confession heals the soul, and sanctifies it, not just how God forgives sin in the confessional. 

Your Sin is Different From My Sin is about how God views all the circumstances of your sin, and about only how He can judge the serious of each sin. 

Confession is Never Really Private.  Yes, the author Vinny Flinn states that there is a “seal” of confession which forbids the priest to ever reveal or make use of the information he hears in the confessional, that’s not what the author means.  He means more than just a priest is there, God is there, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and all of Heaven.  As it says in Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."  So all of Heaven rejoices too in a truly penitent sinner. (Which means not just going through the motions, all you cradle Catholics out there.)  And of course, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession, not only reconciles you to the Blessed Trinity it reconciles you to your brothers, and sisters in the Lord.

You Got Mail.   I’ll leave that one as a surprise.  Read the book.

New Wine Needs New Skin is about becoming a new creature in Christ.

You Have to Let Go of Your Chains is about not hanging onto your sins of unforgiveness.

Change Your Oil is about the graces received during confession, and the help God gives you in overcoming your besetting sins.  More frequent confession helps you do this, and by confessing your venial sins more frequently, this helps you not to fall into more serious (mortal) sin.

Don’t Forget the Hors D’ouvres is how to examine your conscience and prepare for confession. Strange place at the end of the book, but the author ties it in how preparation on your part, and the priest’s part can pay off at the end.  Yes, you can pray for the priest before he hears your confession.  
A prayer that you might be understood better, and that your anxiety won’t get in the way of your communication.

So my recommendation for people who need to read this book is that it’s a book for just about everybody - - -  Cradle Catholics, and Catholic converts, Protestants, atheists, agnostics, and people in general who want to know more about the Catholic Church and Her sacraments. 

So even after know a great deal about confession after growing up Catholic, I still got a lot out of this book, like realizing this is a “healing” sacrament, just as much as the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is a healing sacrament.

But the reason God nudged me into reading this book wasn’t only for myself.  It was because He knew I would write a review to urge you to read 7 Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn and published by Catholic Press, Ignatius, for yourself!

PS. I’m still not convinced to go to confession more often, sorry Mr. Flynn.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Story You Need To Tell - Writing To Heal From Trauma, Illness, or Loss - Book Review

Sandra Marinella, a professional English educator, has written a book that is half English writing manual, and half narrative writing therapy, which culminates in a how-to book on Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss.

 A retired high school/college writing, and college preparatory reading instructor, she found herself facing a cancer diagnosis. As she chronicled her own spiritual journey in her private journal, she realized that an inner healing had taken place. She began to wonder if this might be true for others, as she had watched some of her troubled students over the years, also experience emotional, and spiritual healing from the personal English essays that she had assigned for her classes. Mrs. Marinella even noticed healing happening in her parent’s use of his own personal journal during his own personal illness.

She decided to research the subject, and discovered that narrative counseling, reframing your own personal narrative with the help of a counselor, was an established and accepted method of psychological counseling. In The Story You Need to Tell she cites research psychologist, James W Pennebaker, a pioneer of writing therapy, on the importance of breaking the silence through narrative.

She also wondered if this might be true of the literary side as well. Her educational background which enabled her to study the literary classics confirmed this, as most of the best written classical literary works were born out of the authors’ own personal struggles. And writing for publication not only capitulated the author into success, but also acted as a catharsis for the writer…The Story You Need to Tell 

This was true of Elie Weisel, who in 1960, published his autobiographical memoir Night, about the time that he spent in WWII concentration camps, which is still required reading in high school to this day. According to Mrs. Marinella, this was the story that he needed to tell, and we all needed to hear.

But not all the participants in her writing workshops for veterans and cancer patients need or want to write for publication, so in her book The Story You Need to Tell, Sandra Marinella concentrates on private journaling. The six parts of her book combine elements highlighting this blend of private journaling, combining psychological healing, and narrative (story) elements. These six parts include Writing: Not Drowning, Writing Down the Self, Finding Meaning through Story, Rewriting our Shattered Stories, Writing to Heal, and Writing to Transform.

She dedicates her book in part to “writers and students who inspire me.” I hope, now a published author, and writer myself, that I am one of those inspirational students of whom she speaks. A student, in her classroom, Room 221, who was inspired by both an exceptional teacher, who loves stories and literature, and by a moving and wonderful writer, who wants to bring healing, and hope through her personal gifts of research, teaching, and writing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Have You Ever Heard a Bird Sing?

Have you ever heard a bird sing,
A long, long way from home?
Its song is like a breath of Spring,
On its long journey's roam.

Have you ever heard a TV grrr,
To fill up the lonesome hours?
Its incessant crowing a droning lure,
Which sirenly powers.

Have you ever heard a radio blaring?
With all your vacuuming and running,
No space is left for quiet caring,
And no time for one day's sunning.

Can you hear a bird sing,
A dove, a lark, a sparrow true?
For God's own Spirit would bring,
A quiet voice to have His rule.
Cooing, wooing He bids us, still,
If only we could do His will.
For to hear a birdie sing,
You must create the time.
Turn off your vacuuming and drumming,
And you may even create a rhyme,
To help you in your funning.

You haven't heard a bird sing,
Because you are afraid,
Of the peace contentment brings,
When the peaceful prayer of dawn is laid.

You must have heard a bird sing.
For God is found in tender breezes,
Where He flirts and plays,
For Jesus',
Voice doeth truest ring,
In each and every quiet day. 
Copyright © 2016 LS Wagen
Taken From 
Published by Wagen-Load Productions
All Rights Reserved

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 23, 2017


"Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked.  "Only God is truly good!"
                                    -Mark 10:18

“Are colored people as good,
as white people?"
the child of the '60's, asked.

"Only God is good,"
replied the Father of All Eternity.

"Are girls as good,
as boys?"
the toddler of the '70's, asked.

"Only God is good,"
 replied the Father of All Eternity.

"Are handicapped people as good,
as healthy people?",
the infant of the '80's, asked.

"Only God is good,"
replied the Father of All Eternity.

“Are newborns as good,
as the unborn in the womb?”
the fetus of the ‘90’s, asked.
"Only God is good,"
replied the Father of All Eternity.
“Are research embryos in a test tube as good,
as embryos in the womb?”,
the embryo of  the new century, asked.

"Only God is good,"
replied the Father of All Eternity."

"Why do you call Me good?"
Jesus asked.

"Only God is good."

Copyright © 2016 LS Wagen
Taken From 
Published by Wagen-Load Productions
All Rights Reserved

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Published to commemorate the souls lost to abortion on the tragic anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.   Pray to end the evil of abortion.