Friday, September 28, 2012

How to download daily mass readings to a Kindle

Would you like to get the Daily Mass Readings without paying a subscription fee? The word "free" sounds great to me. Here's how to get them:

Go to
Download the appropriate file from there by right clicking on it.
Example: MG_Oct2012.prc is the mass readings for October 2012.
  • In a Chrome browser save to the download folder by clicking Link Save As.
  • In Internet Explorer, click Save Target As. Save in the Download folder.
  • In Firefox, click Save Link As. Save in the Download folder.
(You can use another folder if you prefer. Download is usually the default folder.)

Then attach this file from the Download folder to an email.
  • Start a new message, and then select "Attach." It may be a different button in your e-mail program. 
  • Select the Download folder.
  • Select the file.
  • Click OK to finish attaching the file.
Send this file to your free Kindle address to convert the file. Example:
The easiest way to transfer the file to your Kindle is to logon to the Manage My Kindle at the site. There is an "Actions" dropdown on the right side of the file list. Select your e-mail address. This will automatically send the file to your Kindle if you have turned on the wireless connection on your Kindle. Otherwise, you have to save the converted file and transfer it by connecting the USB cord to your Kindle.
This gives you one month of readings at a time. It also give you a nice meditation on the readings.
It is a lot simpler than manually copying and pasting into a Word document to get a file you can send to your Kindle e-mail account.
Another method of getting the readings is to download the freeware e-book management software Calibre. It has a Fetch News feature. One of the news items you can select is Catholic Daily Readings and Our Daily Bread. You have to subscribe to these. You only get two days at a time with this way.
I hope you like this idea.

Betty, Author of e-books at

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Check out my new e-books!

I've been busy publishing four e-books on I hope you enjoy them!

Price: Free! 22050 words. Published on September 10, 2012. Nonfiction.
What does the Bible say about being obedient to God? What are the most common objections to following Christ? How can one become an obedient child of God? This Bible study attempts to show what Scripture says and ask questions to overcome objections and doubts about faith in Jesus. Hopefully, it will lead to greater understanding of the Catholic faith.

by Betty Gravlin
Price: Free! 16920 words. Published on September 6, 2012. Nonfiction.

Who Does God Want Me to Be? What is the Nature of Your Call to Service? How do I Grow in Holiness? This book gives some answers to those questions for those who are seeking a way to follow Christ more closely. It explains some Catholic spirituality that will help you along your journey.

by Betty Gravlin
Price: Free! 6710 words. Published on August 31, 2012. Nonfiction.

Why is the Mass a sacrifice? What difference does it make to us that it is a sacrifice? Why do we have to go to Mass? This lecture answers these questions by going through the Book of Hebrews to show how Jesus saved us by His sacrifice on the Cross. It shows how Calvary is re-presented at Mass so that we can participate.

Why Go to Mass?
Have you been hearing the question, "Why Go To Mass?" a lot lately? If your only answer to that question is "Because we have to." then you need to read this book.
Here are 30 reasons why the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should be attended at least weekly. 
Published: May 5, 2013.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On May 27 2012, there will be nine new graduates with a  Masters in Theological Studies from Ave Maria University Institute of Pastoral Studies. I will be one of them. That is why my blogging has been so sparse for the last three years.

We have worked very hard for this degree. We wrote three term papers or tests a month for four months. That's twelve papers/tests a semester times six semesters. A few of our assignments were in class tests. Of our 72 assignments, I would guess only six were in class tests. That leaves about 64 papers to write. Needless to say, I got a lot of writing practice. I learned how to do research, analyze, synthesize, and summarize. My essays had to be logical and objective.

As a professional writer, you might ask why I would study for a theology degree. God called me to do it. Yet, the kind of writing I did was very different from what I do for a living. I think I am a better writer now. Studying theology was a better preparation for a career as a  writer than my English degree ever was. Who would have thought that?

The emphasis these days is on college as a preparation for a career. Unfortunately, that is reality. We all need to eat and put a roof over our heads. Once you have achieved that, it makes sense to study something that will enlarge your mind and soul.

Ave Maria University Institute of Pastoral Studies has multiple satellite campuses: St. Louis, MO; Janesville, WI; Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, and Ave Maria, FL. The professors are awesome. They really know their material. I like the way Ave Maria is faithful to the Magisterium. There's no dissident theology here. The classes are small, so students get a lot of individual attention. I can't say enough good things about this program.
God bless all my professors!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Not Catholic enough?
How Catholic does an activity have to be to be called Catholic? This is a key question these days because of the Health and Human Services mandate that Catholic institutions must provide abortion causing medications and sterilizations. Under Obamacare, HHS has decided Catholic hospitals and universities are not Catholic enough to qualify for a religious conscience exception.

Since when does some bureaucrat in Washington DC get to decide how Catholic is Catholic enough? On what basis do they quantify their decision? Can you put Catholic activity on a scale and weigh it? Can you calculate a percent based on how many crucifixes are in patient rooms versus how many do not have one? Do you count how many employees wear a crucifix necklace? Does a plain cross count? Does an 99% ratio disqualify a Catholic hospital for a religious conscience exception? Is 49% enough? Does the Gideon Bible in the drawer count against the Catholic ratio? If there is one Catholic who works in a Catholic hospital who does not practice his/her faith according to Catholic doctrines, does that count against the whole hospital or all Catholic hospitals in the nation? Does each hospital's rating stand alone or is it an average of all Catholic hospitals in the nation? Who decides what is a Catholic activity and what is not? Is it the bishop or the board of directors? Do the employees vote on it? Is an activity Catholic only if it happens within the confines of a Catholic Church sanctuary? Anyone who would think that does not know how Catholics view being a Catholic.

Catholics have a saying. "Preach the Gospel, and when necessary, use words." Catholicism is a way of life. It is not confined to what happens on Sunday morning within the walls of a church. Catholics practice their faith, or should, by the way they live. It is not something you can put under a microscope or calculate mathematically.

I volunteered in a Catholic hospital for five months as a patient visitor. I also went to a secular hospital for seven months of chaplain training. This is just subjective evidence, but there is a big difference between the two hospitals. The difference is not anything that can be quantified objectively. The number of crucifixes in patient rooms in the Catholic hospital is noticeable. The mission statement is distinctively religious. Beyond that, you would not be able to quantify the Catholic activity there. Yet it is real.

When I was a volunteer patient visitor, I was happy when a patient's water pitcher needed to be refilled. Objectively, I was meeting a patient's need for hydration. As a Catholic, I was pouring a cup of cool water in His name (Matthew 10:42). I was doing what is commanded by love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 12:30). I was visiting the sick as Jesus told me to do in Matthew 25. I was doing what I read in James 2. I don't think I ever said the God word in all that time because I was instructed to not proselytize. This was before I went through chaplain training. At the secular hospital, I was also living my Catholic faith, but never proselytized. I talked about religious faith only when the patient indicated they were open to it. I prayed with many of them regardless of their religious affiliation. Despite what is obviously religious about my activity, the hospital was noticeably secular. It is in the air. Perhaps I wasn't there long enough to detect the motivation of the employees, but I sensed the difference. If I were going to choose which hospital would be a better place for living my Catholic faith, I would pick the Catholic hospital where I never prayed with anyone.

Many Catholic hospitals were started by religious orders of nuns/sisters and Brothers, some as far back as the Middle Ages. (The Catholic Church was the one and only Christian religion back then.) The Knights Hospitaller was founded by Blessed Gerard around 1023. ( The hospital was an invention of these orders. They provided protection and hospitality to pilgrims on the way to the Holy Land. Pilgrims sometimes got sick on the way, so the consecrated religious cared for them until they were able to travel again. This apostolate led to the founding of religious orders of nuns/sisters and Brothers dedicated to this apostolate. These men and women served as nurses and administrators. They also cared for people who were not pilgrims.

What right has anyone to say that a Catholic hospital is not Catholic enough to qualify for a religious conscience exception?

Does a Catholic school not qualify for a religious conscience exception because it teaches science to non-Catholics? Catholics invented the scientific method, which is based on the assumption that the world God created is orderly and therefore this order can be discovered and measured. That's why the scientific method didn't evolve in non-Christian nations. Do only theology teachers qualify as Catholic enough?

Catholics invented schools after the disappearance of classical Roman culture in Western Europe. Convent grammar schools were originally an apostolate of Benedictine monasteries in the Early Middle Ages (c. 500-1000). Students were originally candidates for monastic profession. In 1679 in Reims, France, a Catholic priest, St. John Baptist De La Salle, invented the "simultaneous method of education" for instructing multiple students in a classroom. Before that, there was one-on-one tutoring that was so expensive that only the rich or those preparing for religious orders could afford an education. De La Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. St Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the Catholic parochial school system in the United States in 1808 and is founder of a religious order, Sisters of Charity. Twelve other religious orders trace their roots to that order or are based on the rule of Sts. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. The ideals and practices of the Ursulines and the Christian Brothers were exported to America in the convent and parochial schools of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Catholic schools are based on the dignity of the human person. It did not matter how wealthy one was. All should be educated. These schools were based on the assumption that people needed to be able to read so they could understand the Bible and pass on the faith. Does a Catholic school have to admit only Catholic students or discriminate in who they hire as teachers?

Catholics invented universities as far back as the Middle Ages. (That's why we wear those weird gowns at graduation. That's what students wore to class back then.) The Cistercians founded the University of Paris in 1240. They were originally an outgrowth of the local cathedral. Catholic men and women served as professors. This apostolate led to the founding of religious orders of nuns/sisters and brothers, such as Jesuits, Dominicans, and the Franciscans, dedicated to teaching in both grammar schools and universities.

What right has anyone to say that a Catholic school is not Catholic enough to qualify for a religious conscience exception? Does one have to understand the reasons why the Catholic Church teaches what it does or how to live the faith before one decides that? Aren't they Catholic enough simply by their essence regardless whether the activity appears religious or not?

Who has the right to judge Catholic doctrines as wrong or not being for the common good? Are not Catholic hospitals, Catholic schools, and Catholics universities institutions that promote the common good? In 2011, 554 Catholic hospitals treated 89,501,723 patients. There are 235 Colleges and Universities educating 804,826 students. (The Official Catholic Directory 2011, General Summary.)

Under Canon Law, the bishop of a diocese is the only one who has jurisdiction to decide what is Catholic and what is not, though there is no registered trademark on who can use that word in their title. In December 2010, the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, declared that St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center can no longer be considered Catholic because it failed to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church when they elected to terminate a pregnancy and for other numerous violations for more than seven years. Bureaucrats in Washington DC and legislators should not have any say in what is Catholic enough and what is not. A federal regulation should never trump a Constitutional right to freedom of religion. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to a free abortion.

By the way, did you know Canon Law, the legal system of the Catholic Church, is the basis of civil law, the laws of evidence, and trial by jury? The Catholic Church invented those too.

Care to hear about the origin of the international banking system? Catholics invented that too.

The people who invented hospitals, schools, canon law, scientific method, and the banking system believed the same doctrines as the Catholic bishops who compiled the Bible at the Council of Chalcedon in 397. Is that Catholic enough?

Friday, February 17, 2012

About the Health and Human Services mandate to religious institutions to violate their consciences in the health insurance for their employees

The HHS has mandated that religious institutions provide health insurance services and products that violate their deeply held moral teachings. This is not just a Catholic issue. This is a First Amendment issue. If HHS can mandate this, then they can mandate anything regardless of how offensive and onerous it is. HHS bureaucrats are unelected, yet they can pass regulations that have the same effect as law.

What if HHS decides that they want to reduce population in the US, so they mandate that all employers provide health insurance that will only pay for the birth of the first child, but not subsequent ones? Furthermore, they impose additional heavy fines on anyone who has more than one child. Now suppose you deeply believe in the Bible's commandment to "be fruitful and multiply," so this edict violates your moral beliefs. Would you want to pay for it even if you do not formally belong to any religious affiliation? China has a one child policy. Is the US next?

What if HHS decides that prostitution is good for your health, a la Las Vegas, where it is regulated to prevent STDs? Therefore, HHS mandates that all employers provide health insurance that covers prostitution services. Now suppose you deeply believe in the Bible's commandment against adultery. Would you want to pay for that insurance? There is nothing to stop HHS, because it is obvious they do not have to change when citizens protest.

What if some new cures were made from pig blood? Would those employers who believe pigs are unclean animals have to pay for health insurance that covers pig blood injections every month? What about doctors, nurses and pharmacists who object to delivering these services? While this kind of HHS mandate would have an impact on a small minority, aren't all of us obligated to support them in their right to obey their conscience whether you agree with it or not? Should they be coerced if it is available for free at a government clinic? Would you dare say they should change their belief to be more like yours? No doubt you would be called anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim if you did. There is little to no protection for conscience rights now.

Who says the government should provide everything we want for free? Actually, nothing is free. There is always someone who is bearing the cost either directly or indirectly.

You think these things can't happen in the United States? Wake up! All should be supporting those whose First Amendment rights are being trampled on. The rights of all Americans are in danger.