Show & Tell/Creativity

“Keep a hobby and ride it with enthusiasm. It will keep you out of mischief, to say the least; it will keep you cheerful. Here as in all things you can apply the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God).” – Fr. Lasance, My Prayer Book

Being creative is something that we love to do here!

We all have some sort of creativity within us. Oftentimes it lays dormant because of busy lifestyles, lack of ambition, finances, etc.

This post is meant to encourage you to pick up that needle, that paintbrush, pick that bouquet for the middle of your table, get your camera and go out in nature to take a photo, etc. These things bring joy to the one who is creating and joy to the recipients! It doesn’t take a degree, lots of money or tons of time.

I think it is very important to bring back to life the creativity that God has given us! Don’t let your lifestyle get so busy that you don’t squeak in a little something, just a moment or two where you can let those creative juices flow! It is like therapy to a weary soul!

Some of my girls are not creative in the way you would think of creativity. I tell you this because there are many ways to express ourselves….baking, a lovely dinner, a beautiful garden, etc. It’s not all about a needle and some yarn….Find your niche and begin your innovative path!

All of my daughters and daughters-in-law have creative streaks, every one of them, expressing  them in different ways. I don’t have pictures of each one’s “streaks” but I have included some of them here.

Also, we have been perusing a site called Paint it Beautiful on Facebook where they teach you how to rejuvenate old furniture and turn it into something new with a paintbrush, stencils or maybe a transfer or two. It has been a lot of fun and a cheaper way of brightening up your home without having to buy new things to replace outdated items. (Which we don’t usually do anyway….we wear them out, outdated or not!)

Anyway, these past few months we have done some creating around here. Here is our “Creativity” Gallery….

When You Awake

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From Your Soul’s Salvation by Rev. Edward F. Garesche, S.J.

Our waking hour is more important than we ever dream. It has in itself the keynote of the day.

When we first open our eyes in the morning, what do we think of, what do we resolve? Our acts and thoughts are so linked together that upon this first moment depends the color and the action of the following hours.

Great wisdom, then, to give those first moments to Him to whom we wish the whole day to go — to God. Most of us, when we awake, are inclined to cast a half-conscious glance over the day and see what it has in store for us.

Out of our sleepy eyes we look forward through the waking hours and speculate and plan. If there is any special good fortune in store for us, it makes us cheerful. If we anticipate a coming sorrow, we grow sad.

Now, whether sorrow or joy is coming to us, the wisest thing we can do is to give it all over from the beginning into the Hands and into the Heart of God.

Our first thought is to be a loving thought of God which will consecrate our mind and inspire our thoughts through all the day. Our first act of the will is to be an offering of the day with all its thoughts and words and actions in union with His Sacred Heart and with the Heart of His Blessed Mother and with the tremendous sacrifice of the Mass which He offers on so many altars every morning.

This intention, never withdrawn, and, better still, often renewed during our waking hours, will make Christ live in us and let us live in Him.

Besides the Morning Offering, there is another most blessed and fruitful practice which we should all resolve upon and which begins at the waking hour. It is called by spiritual writers the examen of conscience, and it is practiced in this way:

After we have offered our thoughts and words and acts to God, we cast a glance over the coming day and make a strong and earnest purpose to serve God faithfully all during the hours. We foresee perhaps some special difficulty we shall meet in the way of goodness, and resolve and pray to overcome it.

We anticipate some special occasion of doing good and make up our mind gladly to embrace it. Then, in a little prayer, we thank God for His blessings already given, ask pardon for our past offenses, and beg His grace that during the coming day we may go forward in His service and not offend Him.

This will take only a few moments when we wake, and it is the first part of our examination of conscience. The hours run swiftly and bring us to noon — a splendid time to pause and look backward and forward. This will be the second part of our examen.

At some quiet moment we once more think of the good resolutions of the morning. How have we carried them out? We run over rapidly hour by hour, ask ourselves what we have done for God and what we have done against Him. “Give an account of thy stewardship.” We are anticipating God’s judgment.

A good order for our thoughts is this: First, a brief act of thanksgiving for God’s goodness during the morning. Second, a prayer for light that we may know how we have served or offended Him. Third, the brief review of the hours of the morning. Fourth, an act of deep sorrow for whatever sins we have committed and finally an earnest little prayer for grace to serve God better in the future.

After this little interview with God, you will feel a new courage and peace. Then renew your offering and resolutions of the morning, and resolve most earnestly to serve God with more diligence and love from noon until dark.

The afternoon runs on and brings us swiftly to night. The hour of bedtime comes. Now is the time to complete your daily examination. After your prayer is said and before you go to sleep, run briefly again over the five points which you touched on at your midday examen, a prayer of thanks, a prayer for light, then go over the hours of the afternoon and see in what you have offended God and in what you have pleased Him.

Then a brief but fervent act of sorrow and finally an earnest prayer that tomorrow you may make up for today and that you may go forward in praising and loving God.

If this is your last thought at night, you will wake up in the morning with thoughts of God in your mind and ready to renew again this holy and simple progress toward goodness.

This practice is most earnestly commended by all spiritual writers, and it has done wonders in bringing ordinary Christians to heights of goodness. It consecrates the whole day to God, and at what slight expense!

Only three moments are needed, at morning, noon, and night, and it will cost you no time and very little effort to give these moments to God. Yet if He sees you in earnest in this holy practice, He will enrich your whole day with many graces.

Begin this very day and resolve that tomorrow your waking hour will be given to God, that at noon and night and all successive days, you will practice the fruitful activity of this general examen of conscience.

There is another part to this devotion of the examen of conscience, and it is called the particular examen.

In the particular examen we set ourselves to practice some virtue, or to root out some special fault. It is an old remark that every man has some predominant weakness, some central and foundation fault which shows itself in all his sins.

With some it is an inordinate pride, with others a love of pleasure, with others still a love of ease. These besetting sins have been classified, as it were, under the heads of the seven deadly sins of Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth.

By thinking a bit over our own misdeeds, we shall easily see to which one of these sins we are most inclined. There then is our dangerous enemy, and to obtain the opposite virtue should be our most earnest object and desire.

If our fault is a very glaring one and may be observed and give scandal to others, then we should attack it directly by means of a particular examen. But if it is a fault which shows itself more in sins of omission than of commission, it is better sometimes not to attack it directly, but to try to remedy it by cultivating the opposite virtue.

Thus, for instance, if we are given to outbursts of anger, our particular examen should be directed toward correcting our temper. But if we are inclined to the sin of sloth or that of selfishness, then we should do better to cultivate the opposite virtue, and to make our particular examen bear on being energetic and industrious, or on doing good to others.

What is the particular examen? It consists in this, that at three times or moments, the hour of waking, midday, and the hour of retiring, we join to our general examination of conscience this following practice: After going over the five points described, we should call briefly to mind the special fault which we have determined to correct, or the special virtue we have resolved to practice.

In the morning we make a strong resolve to practice this virtue or correct the fault so many times during the course of the morning. At noon, we carefully recall how many times we have fulfilled our resolution, trying to make the number of faults decrease and the number of acts of virtue increase from day to day, and from examen to examen.

It is useful to note down in a little book the results of our examens, and to make comparison day by day. This will give added interest and will afford a useful check on our progress.

At night again we make a review of the time since noon, to discover our progress, then we thank God for His kind assistance, ask His pardon for our faults, and make a fresh resolve for the coming day.

This practice of the particular examen is of immense use in correcting our faults and implanting virtues. We should keep manfully on until we find the fault we were working at is satisfactorily under control, and the virtue we aimed at is fairly implanted in us.

Then we should go on to the next defect in our character, and try to remove it in the same practical way.

Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children Book. Short Stories for Catholic Children with a Moral and a Prayer following each Anecdote

This is a unique book I have written of Catholic devotions for young children. There is nothing routine and formal about these stories. They are interesting, full of warmth and dipped right out of life. These anecdotes will help children know about God, as each one unfolds a truth about the saints, the Church, the virtues, etc.

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Here is a complete guide to mature, responsible, even noble behavior in our complex modern society. Written in the 1930s by a wise Jesuit priest and steeped in the wisdom of the ages, these pages teach the timeless principles that have led countless souls to true success and lasting happiness.

Without condescension, Fr. Garesché shows how to maintain a healthy mind, resist temptations, grow temperate, practice fortitude, think kindly of others, and choose worthwhile amusements. He even explains how to accept criticism graciously and how to develop the kind of confidence that is not rooted in pride, but is the necessary foundation for any life that will be productive and holy. Once you assimilate the wisdom here, you’ll know how to find genuine success the success that transcends money, fame, and pleasure.

Fr. Garesché shows you how to become an apostle for Christ in myriad ways, not only at home among your family and friends, but even at work. You’ll learn how to talk about religion with your friends as naturally as you discuss sports or current events. He even gives you tips on how you can bear witness to your faith in Jesus Christ not just in what you say, but in what you do.

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Spiritual Tidbits from Father Kenneth Walker

For those who are not familiar with the story, Father Kenneth Walker was a young priest (and good friend) that got murdered on June 11, 2014. I am fortunate to have some of his thoughts that he had written down (from his parents) and I am sharing them with you.

The Beauty of the Four Seasons

As the year goes by, the seasons change. Fields that were once covered with green grass become blanketed with snow. A lake used for swimming in the summer becomes a place to play hockey in the winter.

Though the four seasons are so different, they nevertheless keep a constant beauty. The summer gives us green grass and shining lakes while the fall is colored with leaves of yellow, red, brown, and orange shades, along with fruit on the trees.

The snow falls in the winter and provides us with the purity of white, and in the meantime, ice glistens like diamonds on the trees. The spring brings leaves to the trees and flowers to our gardens, all to our heart’s delight.

I imagine that God gave us four different seasons to enjoy so that we would not be bored with the monotony of just one specific climate. Therefore, He gave us these distinct seasons, each with their own aspects of beauty. This demonstrates the generosity and creativity of our God.

So let us be thankful to our God, and rejoice in these seasons, which He has given to us out of the goodness of His heart.

The Importance of Punctuality

When we take a look at the world around us and witness actions such as planes flying through the air, trains passing us on their tracks, and classes of Latin being taught, it gives us a sense of progression (not in the modernist sense), whether in mind or body, for the good of those who use these means to progress.

Hence, since time, in this case, is simply the limitation of development in any given effort of progress, this essential element must be used wisely for the best and most efficient results. So, given that one has chosen to progress in some area that bears some influence in his life, e.g. the study of Latin, he must use his time harmoniously with others, especially the one to whom he gives credit as the chief cause of his progress in the practical sphere.

This harmony between time and working with other people, then, is what we call punctuality, for punctuality is the habit of using one’s time the best way in respect to an act of society for a particular event of progression.

Punctuality is very important in these events, for then each person gives due respect to the one on whom his progress depends and possesses discipline for the work involved, whatever it may be.

In a negative sense, i.e. if one does not observe punctuality, then this person causes a disturbance in the means of progress, such as a professor teaching his class, and the distraction of those present, as well as being unwise in his use of time.

For these reasons, as well as reasons of order and virtue within the soul of the individual, punctuality is shown to be of great importance in one’s daily life and schedule. Of this importance we can be sure, because Christ Himself was punctual for His Passion and Death.

True Friendship

My ideal friend would possess real love, which is only characteristic of true friendship. If we had much in common, it would increase the bonding, for then there would be much understanding between us. This is why it would be best if he or she was Catholic.

Not only would this be good because we share the same faith, but also because a devout Catholic would possess the supernatural virtues, which would increase his or her ability to love. That way, there would be charity as well as love contained in friendship.

Of course, the Faith is not the only quality that we would have in common. Similar interests in recreational activities, work, reading, and types of study might benefit both of us.

These are secondary aspects of friendship, and so are usually what lie on the surface. Nevertheless, they still produce a bonding effect, which contributes to the good of the friendship.

I would regard such a person, with these qualities, as the ideal friend, for there would be charity between us which would cause a bond of friendship not often found in this world.

What it really boils down to, though, is that this is actually the love which we reflect from God, who is the source of all love.

Why do I Want to Become a Priest?

When I had come to realization of the fact that there are a variety of false ideologies in the world, all of which to a greater or lesser extent deny man’s purpose in life, it had also occurred to me that this ignorance of a meaning in life is accompanied by a void present in the heart of any who embrace these errors.

These people, deprived of truth by the influence of the world, will look for meaning in the lesser goods instead of the supernatural end that God has established for them in their dignity. It is this problem in the world that I feel is most essential to address as I briefly explain my reasons for desiring to become a priest.

God, in His infinite love, desires all men to be saved and so achieve their true end. Along with the Church, then, I am deeply grieved by these errors concerning the nature and dignity of man accepted by so many people in the world, which deviate them from their supernatural end.

In full view of the situation in the world, then, the only vocation that I could be satisfied with, as a work, would be one that would be dedicated to bringing people to salvation in whatever way God wills for me to do so.

This work is best carried out by the priesthood, which was instituted by Christ specifically for the care of souls, for by means of the Sacraments and the teaching of the faith to the people, the people receive both the truths of the faith and the sanctifying grace needed for the spiritual life.

I have discovered in my encounters with others that the most essential truths, especially of the faith, are not really accepted unless accompanied by grace, which, although given directly by God, must also be accepted.

On top of viewing the priesthood in this way, I also feel called by God for this vocation, and so wish to pursue it to find out if it is indeed the work that God has intended for me to do in accordance with His Most Holy Will.

Do you need some inspiration? For some great book suggestions visit My Book List here.

The Big “C” – Commitment

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The statistics today for divorce are disheartening. Remember that old song “We’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling”? What a sad state of affairs when marriage is measured by a feeling.

I would really be a wreck if I went into my marriage thinking that if I wasn’t up to a certain ideal, he could walk out on me, no questions asked. And that is how it is in this world of ours. To me, it is mind-boggling.

People have not grasped the Big “C” that the Catholic Church has given us through the Sacrament of Marriage. “Commitment”. Commitment….it is not confusing.

From Emilie Barnes’ Together Moments for Couples:

People are confused about love and about marriage. We have abandoned the concept of true unity and substituted it for warm and fuzzy feelings. And the media doesn’t help, that’s for sure.

Today we often hear of a dissatisfied mate who wants to file for divorce uttering these words, “The chemistry is gone.” In reading Scripture he or she has not grasped the true “C” of the Bible. It isn’t chemistry, but it is commitment. Couples today are confused about marriage. For some reason we have abandoned the real concept of unity and bought into the false belief that marriage is warm, fuzzy, and has bells and whistles that shoot into the air when the lights go dark. This is Hollywood’s version.

We love to hear stories from couples who have been married for a long period of time. All have had rocky roads along the way, but they share a common characteristic—they have endured. They express their joy by saying, “I’m so glad we stuck it out. Now we are receiving God’s blessing for being obedient.”

Old-fashioned, lifetime commitments. True love endures in spite of difficulties. Paul says, “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Create a deep desire in your heart and soul to look after the welfare of your mate. Let it grow and become more enduring the older you become.

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Women historically have been denigrated as lower than men or viewed as privileged. Dr. Alice von Hildebrand characterizes the difference between such views as based on whether man’s vision is secularistic or steeped in the supernatural. She shows that feminism’s attempts to gain equality with men by imitation of men is unnatural, foolish, destructive, and self-defeating. The Blessed Mother’s role in the Incarnation points to the true privilege of being a woman. Both virginity and maternity meet in Mary who exhibits the feminine gifts of purity, receptivity to God’s word, and life-giving nurturance at their highest.

You’ll learn how to grow in wisdom and in love as you encounter the unglamorous, everyday problems that threaten all marriages. As the author says: If someone were to give me many short bits of wool, most likely I would throw them away. A carpet weaver thinks differently. He knows the marvels we can achieve by using small things artfully and lovingly. Like the carpet weaver, the good wife must be an artist of love. She must remember her mission and never waste the little deeds that fill her day the precious bits of wool she s been given to weave the majestic tapestry of married love.

This remarkable book will show you how to start weaving love into the tapestry of your marriage today, as it leads you more deeply into the joys of love.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

My Rule of Life

Before I begin this little excerpt about my own Rule of Life, I would like to say that I have one maxim I go by, reminding myself of it often. It is: “People are more important than things…and schedules, and accomplishments, etc.”

That being said, my thoughts on a Rule of Life:

I never heard of this term before until I picked up the book A Mother’s Rule of Life several years ago. I lived it, to a certain extent, but didn’t know what it was called.
One thing I so appreciated from that book was the part on the Spiritual Life…she talked about tithing your time to God.
She suggested a certain amount of time, 10% of your waking hours, that you dedicate to God …which I thought was pretty neat. It gave me something to go by and some kind of a goal.
It was then that I began to “journal” or write down my list on the spiritual things I wanted to accomplish throughout each day. And I would check them off as I went along. I was hung up on the numbers for awhile (making sure I got my “tithing” in) and then eventually that part fell by the wayside.
This began a habit in me that I have practiced for many years now…the writing down of what I wanted to accomplish spiritually each day. And this list-making reached out into other aspects of my life.
I firmly believe the spiritual duties we do each day are the foundation of any Rule of Life. It is at the top of my page each day in my Journal.

Here’s what mine looks like:
Morning Prayers (private)
Daily Mass, if possible (with children)
Mercy Chaplet (with children)
Family Rosary (with family)
Night Prayers (private)

In order to accomplish our spiritual things and the other things we need to do each day, we need to take care of our body.
How will we say our 15 minutes of Morning Prayer (if that’s what we have committed to) if we don’t get to sleep at a decent hour? It is valuable to put a time for rising on our list and sticking to it as much as we can. This will be difficult if the time for going to bed is ignored.
In the evening, there may be extenuating circumstances in raising a family…but we have to admit, a lot of the time we bring our fatigue on ourselves (talking to myself here). We lollygag at night, putting off going to bed for whatever reason and then, guess what?? We are too tired the next morning to get up and start the day right, with the first thing on our list….Morning Prayers. And then it goes downhill from there….Blah. So, remember, your accomplishments during the day and how well the day turns out begin the evening before!

This is what my “bodily” or “health” section looks like. It’s simple and doable:
Exercise (T-Tapp, a walk, tread milling, etc.)
Take supplements
Water (half a person’s body weight in ounces)

(You can add what time to bed, what time for rising and anything else that is important to you in this category)
Check them off as you do them!

Next is your household duties. The important stuff…and write it down. Mine probably looks different than yours does because I have girls who take over some of the big things. Here’s an example of what yours can begin with:

1.Meals
2. School
3.Laundry
(Add to this section of your list as you see fit but just the important things…the MUST-DO’S.)

Keep things picked up in between time…maybe plan a 20 minute hoopla with the kids as everyone takes a room. This could be done more than once a day…and added to your list.

And then, added to the bottom of your list….one big thing, like clean fridge. ….but only for 15 minutes!

And do it for 15 minutes each day until it is done! Set the timer. Oftentimes we can’t make it through a whole big job…and we tend to avoid it if it is big. So…break it up into doable slots of time. I am always amazed at how much I get done in 15 minutes and how quickly these big jobs get accomplished. A great feeling, indeed!

I think this is valuable…..Zig Ziglar (who is a big guru in the positive motivational field) said to plan into your schedule time with your family. Yes, I know as busy mothers, we are always with our family, working hard for them each day, rubbing shoulders with them, etc. But maybe we could write down…20 minutes with kids…and spend that time building Lego, reading a story, telling a story, crafting or whatever. Those are the kind of things that, built into your rule of life, you will never regret.
Write.it.down.

So a recap of your categories on your list:
Spiritual Duties
Bodily Health
Most Necessary Housework Things we Can’t NOT Do (always excepting extenuating circumstances)
One Big Thing (for 15 minutes)
Time With Family                                                                                                  Other things you’d like to accomplish                                            

Just a mention…try to get in a little breather for yourself each day, whether it is doing a bit of crocheting or looking up a special website online. It’s important we recharge, too!

All the other little things you have to accomplish each day can revolve around this list. This is your go-to, your foundation. It won’t be perfect. That’s ok. And you can write the little things down, too. It’s great when we can check things off! And if you don’t get them done that day, put them on the next day and try again!

An Example List:

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This may not be detailed enough for you. Here is the link to Holly Pierlot’s A Mother’s Rule of Life. It has been years since I read it, my daughter-in-law is reading it and loving it!

A quote from My Prayer Book, Father Lasance:
“One of the means,” says a spiritual writer, “of acquiring and perfecting in us the interior life, which raises a man above the merely terrestrial and animal life to the height of the divine life in Jesus Christ consists in adopting and following a rule of life, which does not leave the employment of our time to caprice, but assigns to each moment its own proper duty”
“Let all things be done decently and according to order.” says St. Paul. (1Cor. xiv. 40)
“Where there is no rule there is no order,” says Father Hamon. “We live by caprice and fancies. With a rule of life, on the contrary, all is done in an orderly manner; each duty has its proper time set apart for it; nothing is forgotten; nothing is done in haste or in a careless manner.
Thanks to a rule of life, all is done well; and that which is true in regard to order is equally so in regard to practices of piety.
With a rule of life they are done with exactitude; without a rule they have no fixed hour; we defer them, then we again defer them, and we finish by omitting them entirely.”

quote for the day3

Creating a home filled with order and cleanliness (as much as is possible in your state of life and in your unique circumstances 😊)communicates a heart that is ordered and pure. Take a moment today to make your home more simply organized and see how the sweet savor blesses those around you. -Emilie Barnes, Keep It Simple for Busy Women http://amzn.to/2y2JoN3

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book suggestions

To the modern mind, the concept of poverty is often confused with destitution. But destitution emphatically is not the Gospel ideal. A love-filled sharing frugality is the message, and Happy Are You Poor explains the meaning of this beatitude lived and taught by Jesus himself. But isn’t simplicity in lifestyle meant only for nuns and priests? Are not all of us to enjoy the goodness and beauties of our magnificent creation? Are parents to be frugal with the children they love so much?

 

 

For over half a century, Catholic families have treasured the practical piety and homespun wisdom of Mary Reed Newland’s classic of domestic spirituality, The Year and Our Children. With this new edition, no longer will you have to search for worn, dusty copies to enjoy Newland’s faithful insights, gentle lessons, and delightful stories. They’re all here, and ready to be shared with your family or homeschooling group. Here, too, you’ll find all the prayers, crafts, family activities, litanies, and recipes that will help make your children ever-mindful of the beautiful rhythm of the Church calendar.


The Important Choice

Front, – Fr. Kenneth Walker, 1986-2014, R.I.P.+

From Plain Talks on Marriage, Rev. Fulgence Meyer, 1929

The Important Choice

The point of the choice of their state of life, or of their vocation, on the part of their children must be of great concern to parents, and should always enlist their keen interest, sympathetic guidance and substantial help.

Whilst the children are and should remain free in the choice of a vocation, the counsel and advice of the parents can be of great assistance to them.

But the parents must not grow dictatorial and narrow in the matter, nor allow themselves to be swayed by some blind prejudice or selfish leaning. Their exclusive aim must be the child’s own best interests.

Perhaps your sons or daughters want to consecrate themselves to God in the priesthood or the Religious life. If they exhibit any such tendencies, foster and nurse them prudently and fondly, thanking God for this great grace the while.

God can hardly confer a greater distinction upon a family than by calling one or more of its children to His exclusive service, either in His sanctuary as priests and ministers of the divine mysteries, or as friars, brothers, monks or nuns to pursue His works of religion, education and charity.

The opinion has been expressed—although it has never been authoritatively endorsed by the Church—that if a family gives a child to God in the way just mentioned, the entire family goes to heaven.

The Lord Is Generous

It would be imprudent to stress this mere opinion too far, but the gospel tells us that some of the relatives of the apostles got to be very close to our Savior; and they were no doubt drawn to Him through the apostles.

The Lord is as generous today as He was then. And the faith has been preserved in many a Catholic family, and in every member of it, mainly through the consecration of one of the children to God’s special service.

Hard as it may be for parents to surrender a child to God in this manner—He usually asks the best one—the pain of separation will be compensated for, not only by an eternal reward, but also by a hundredfold reward in this life, in the shape of the many joys and consolations coming to them directly or indirectly from this child.

From none of their children who remain with them and get married by and by, do they ordinarily derive the same comfort, even on earth.

God is good to those who love Him. Whereas, if parents thwart the high designs of a priestly or Religious vocation which God has upon their children, they may seriously incur His displeasure, and because of the various misfortunes resulting to them and their children, they may live bitterly to rue their selfishness and stubbornness.

On the other hand no prudent parent will attempt to influence a child unduly to become a priest or Religious in the absence of a call from on high. This would be exposing the child to the risk of serious unhappiness and spiritual disaster.

Question: If the home is such a powerful factor in the future of the children of a nation, why are such powerful groups in the nation arrayed against the home?

Answer: Precisely because the home is powerful. If it were not an important institution, the enemies of God and of man would leave it alone. Because the people who control the home control the future, because parents are the first representatives of God on earth, because within the home is the hope of morality . . . . for these reasons the men who wish to control the future, who hate God, and who would for their own selfish purposes wipe out morality attack the home openly or subtly.
-Fr. Daniel A. Lord, S.J.. Questions People Ask About Their Children, 1950’s

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The Story of Sister Maria Teresa Quevedo. “For Him alone I have lived.” The Story of a Nun. Venerable Maria Teresa Quevedo 1930-1950. Maria Teresa Quevedo was a lively modern girl-a talented dancer, an expert swimmer, an outstanding tennis player, who devoted herself to generous works of sacrifice. Her life can be summed up by her own motto, “May all who look at me see you, O Mary.” This book is the first full-length biography of Maria Teresa Quevedo that has been written in English. Teresita, as she was called by her friends and family, was a Spanish girl who was born in 1930 and who died in 1950 at the age of twenty. Throughout her life, Teresita was an inspiration and a delight to everyone around her as she calmly strove to exemplify Christian virtue in her everyday life. Teresita tried to do everything perfectly. “You will find the story of this popular beautiful girl an inspiration. It is a happy biography . . . Don’t miss it.” -Herbert O’H Walker, S.J.

This is the book that traditionally minded Catholic family women have been looking for. Long out of print, this rare jewel is destined to become the favored spiritual guide for Catholic wives and mothers. Msgr. Landriot gave these conferences over 100 years ago but they are as relevant to us today as the Gospels. Think of this book as a practical guide for women who want to achieve sanctity in the home. Reading this book is the best thing you could do for your husband and children, as well as yourself, if a common sense plan for becoming a Valiant Woman yourself is what you need. To help women to raise truly Catholic families and keep them Catholic and striving for sanctity is why this book was published. This is not a book that will be read once and then gather dust for years on the shelf. It is a handbook and will be read over and over again….

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Question Parents Ask About Their Children – Teenagers, Spanking, etc.

Should a father or a mother be the one to say yes or no to where the children go and how late they stay out?  

Why not a decision based on consultation between both parents? The direction will come with more authority if it is backed by an agreement of both parents.

America tends to give parental authority more and more to the mother. Yet often enough it is the father who most probably knows more about the situation and can judge it more objectively and more realistically.

I suggest that the parents talk the decision over together. Then when they give their decision, it will stand without the kind of division between father and mother that can result in a child’s confusion, delusion, and inevitable insubordination.

So many modern children seem to be vandals. They recklessly destroy property or deface it. What is to be done about this?  

There again I’d ask: Are the children so much different from their elders? We have done a lot of wholesale destroying in the past few years. The war was a masterpiece of destruction accomplished with scientific thoroughness.

But in general . . . . have you noticed how supposedly grown-up people deal with the property of others? Their careless use of books from the public library? The way they set wet glasses on the top of your apartment grand piano? Their destruction of hotel property when the party gets a little loud?

The way apparently adult men act at, let’s say, some of the American Legion conventions, ex-servicemen’s associations or on New Year’s Eve?

Their wholesale theft of silver, linen, knickknacks from hotels and restaurants? Their utter thoughtlessness in the way they put their feet on the seats of public conveyances? Their use of linen towels in train washrooms to wipe their shoes?

We should give a lot of thought to that phase of the seventh commandment that regards proper care for the belongings of others . . . . including, I might add, the property we share together in parks and public buildings . . . . , and the property of large corporations, who according to some people have no rights at all.

The approach to youth — here as always — is first of all good adult example.   I then suggest a re-teaching of that seventh commandment and a stressing of its importance for the whole of decent living.

Manners have a great bearing on conduct of this kind. Children who from infancy are taught not to handle things that do not belong to them are likely to develop respect for the property of others.

A quite justified if slightly selfish convenience may be appealed to: We in turn have to use things that are used by others. If a boy vandal cuts up a chair in the movie house, it may be our bad luck to sit on it afterward. If the washbowl is clogged up because someone carelessly tossed a towel down the drain, we may not be able to use the washbowl.

Vandalism hurts everybody. Everybody pays tribute in annoyance to the vandal.   Example and education — use both in your teaching.   And of course this is all tied in with God’s basic commands, which remain sound common sense and good pedagogy.

Do you believe that children should be spanked? Or should parents reason with their children?  

I find it hard to see how even the most skillful parent could reason with a child under the age of three. He would have to be a child prodigy.   Reasoning is, almost by definition, possible only when the child has reached the age of reason.

A swift little spank on the sector that nature seems to have designed for that purpose — a nerve center padded against any real harm to nerves or muscles — is often the one convincing argument.

Irresponsible spankings are of course usually the sign of an inadequate, nervous, or already beaten parent. A swift little crack (“Not on the head, Morris!”) need not be a manifestation of parental petulance or of the failure of parental psychology. It may be the most reasonable thing in the world.

The baby hand continues to grab after the parent has spoken; a swift little slap on the hand serves as a deterrent to the baby. He would have had the same lesson from a fire into which he might have thrust his hand — without however the saving fact that the pain of the slap is soon over (the pain of the burn would have been of longer duration).

Spankings should be very rare . . . . though there are situations in which spankings are emphatically called for.   Spankings should not be the common form of discipline. They should not be so recurrent that the child begins to regard his parents as tireless whipping machines. They should be almost a last resort.

Some children can early be shown what is right and what is wrong, and they accept reasonably parental commands.   Some children need the fear of a sharp but not lingering physical pain to hold them back from evil and harm to themselves.

But if the right discipline is given early, the spanking can later disappear completely from the discipline.

It is very bad to spank adolescent children, who dread the pain not nearly as much as they hate the humiliation and resent the fact that there is no way for them to strike back.

How should a parent deal with teenage impertinence?

Head it off  before the children reach their teens. The correct training in good manners, self-control, and morals during the formative days of infancy and childhood will mean few outbursts of temper or temperament in adolescence.

Parents and elders in general must be sure that what they regard as impertinence really is impertinence.

Boys of adolescent age often have voices that slip strangely out of control. So they become embarrassed, and do and say strange things. They are crude with their hands and clumsy with their feet. Since they deal all day long with boys of their own gangling and juvenile age, they find it hard to change completely to good manners at the family dinner table.   Besides they are often preoccupied with temptation and troubled by physical problems to such an extent that they are snappish and short and rude. Such seeming impertinence rises sometimes to answer a fierce struggle that is raging in their own natures. A wise parent is aware of this and not too quick to be resentful of it.

Then too all young people tend to develop a language of their own. It sounds flip, crisp, cryptic, sometimes a little vulgar, and frequently quite unintelligible to their elders.

If they use the language around the house, it is because like most human beings they follow the fashion of their peers. Yet slang is not always impertinence, and the cryptic jive talk of youngsters may indicate merely that they are demonstrating that they are in the know.

When, however, a teenager first shows signs of real impertinence, he or she should be clipped immediately. Once more: No scenes and emotional displays. None of this appeal to parental dignity and rights — “How dare you talk like that to your mother?”

Rather the quiet and final answer: “I consider that distinctly impertinent and the sort of thing that is not to happen around here again — ever.”

If elders take such a stand early — the stand based on a well-planned course of childhood and early-youth training in good manners and right conduct — the single reproof may be enough.

“Many times God allows it to be hard to pray, simply to school us in applying our wills, to teach us that the value of prayer does not depend on the amount of emotion we can whip up. Many times the saints had trouble getting excited about prayers, but they said them, because prayers were due and their value had nothing to do with how eagerly they went about saying them.” -Mary Reed Newland, http://amzn.to/2snNxN7 (afflink)

All 5 Maglets! Catholic Young Lady’s Maglet, Catholic Wife’s Maglet, Sunshiny Disposition, True Womanhood and Advent/Christmas Package of 5!

Finer Femininity is a small publication compiled to inspire Catholic women in their vocations. It consists of uplifting articles from authors with traditional values, with many of them from priests, written over 50 years ago. These anecdotes are timeless but, with the fast-paced “progress “of today’s world, the pearls within the articles are rarely meditated upon. This little magazine offers Catholic womankind support and inspiration as they travel that oftentimes lonely trail….the narrow road to heaven. The thoughts within the pages will enlighten us to regard the frequently monotonous path of our “daily duties” as the beautiful road to sanctity. Feminine souls need this kind of information to continue to “fight the good fight” in a world that has opposing values and seldom offers any kind of support to these courageous women. Inside the pages you will find inspiration for your roles as single women, as wives and as mothers. In between the thought-provoking articles, the pages are sprinkled with pictures, quotes and maybe even a recipe or two.

Available here.

 

 

 

First Communion/May Crowning!

May is such a beautiful month…a month of nature’s rebirth, the wonders of spring coming to fruition.

It is also the month of exciting graduations, and the time of expressing our gratefulness on Mother’s Day.

For Catholics, it is much more… It is the Month of Mary, the month of First Communions, Confirmations and May Crownings! A glorious month indeed!

This year, we had our first little batch of granddaughters receiving First Communions. Up to this point it has been grandsons. We had three young girls receiving Jesus for the first time…and what a blessing it was!

I was so inspired by my daughters and daughter-in-law! They made this day so special for the First Communions of their daughter. I’ve never seen anything quite like it…it was almost as big as a wedding! And shouldn’t it be? It is the most important day of their life!

They were ready on the inside. They studied and studied the First Communion Catechism questions throughout the year. When it was time to get tested…they were nervous, but ready!

And all the exterior prep that the mothers went to great length to accomplish…done with such care and fastidiousness, making everything as perfect as they could….They will always remember this day!

Below is the gallery….

A Tribute to Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers Everywhere…..to mothers who give and give and then give some more. It is what we were made for, it is what we live for and it will be what we die for. Once a mother, always a mother. We watch them come into the world, we nurture them, try to solve their problems, and then watch them as they leave and embark on their own journeys.

We pray for them, we hurt for them, we rejoice for them. Whether they are near or far, our hearts are entwined with theirs. It is bittersweet…..more sweet than bitter!

“A mother will never desert her boy. For she loves him with a love that is as strong and deep as life itself.”

Angelo and Mom (me)

My Mom

A Tribute to Mothers by Rev. John A. O’Brien, 1953

By universal proclamation our nation has added another memorial day to her calendar – Mother’s Day.

It is a day on which we pause to pay the tribute of our love and reverence to our mothers if living, to their memory if dead. It is eminently fitting that we should thus pause for a brief moment in the turmoil of life to give explicit expression to sentiments which have been latent in the hearts of each of us throughout all the days of the year.

It is good psychology to give fitting expression to such sentiments. For instead of allowing them to wane, we thereby strengthen and intensify them.

Such considerations are, moreover, wholesome and salutary for us because they render us more clearly conscious of the debt we owe our mothers.

“Motherhood,” says Frederick A. Stowe, “is the Gethsemane of nature.”

When the child is born the mother begins to die—die for the new life dearer than her own, die in service for another, die in dreams of peaceful valleys she shall not enter, die upon battlefields whose shouts of victory she shall not hear.

No sacrifice for the young is begrudged by the mother. Toward the sun of a new life, all nature turns. The springtide bursts with prodigality but there is not a drop of sap for the autumnal leaf. At the meridian declination begins. Reproduction is the inexorable ambition of the material world.

“In its spiritual aspects, motherhood is isolated because it is great. There is no speculation as to mother’s status. Conceded eminence is as lonely as some crag which lifts its head above the fugitive clouds and defies the furious winds below.

Youth loves to dwell in the warm valleys of patronage. It is eager for adventure and the conquests of blood. It rushes toward prospects and is ever willing to take a chance.

Reflection is the fruit of maturity. We do not begin to bear sense until passions are spent, and Time, which is a strict accountant, demands an audit.”

Various Kinds of Love

There are various kinds of love on this earth. There is the love of a friend for a friend, of a chum for his chum.

It is a beautiful sentiment and one which all the world admires. But friends fall out at times; the love cools and even turns to hatred.

There is the love of sweethearts. It is beautiful and tender and sweet. But sometimes the fancy changes, the romance fades, and sweethearts part.

There is the love of husband and wife, tender true and sanctified by divine grace. But the world witnesses at times the separation even of husband and wife, the pitiful tragedy of a broken home.

Then there is the love of a mother for her child. It is the climax of all human love – as strong as the great rugged Alpine Mountain peaks, as tender as the breath of an angel, as infinite as the measureless waters of the ocean, as changeless as the stars that shine eternally in the skies.

Friends may fall out, the romance of sweethearts may fade, husband and wife may separate, but a mother will never desert her boy. For she loves him with a love that is as strong and deep as life itself.

Aye, it seems to rise above all human love, and to burn with a spark that was caught from the flame of the love that is eternal and divine–the love of God for man.

I like to think that God has given us a foreshadowing and a foretaste of His own infinite love for human souls in the love He has planted in a mother’s breast.

From the Prayer Book Precious Blood and Mother:

There are soft words murmured by dear, dear lips,
Far richer than any other;
But the sweetest word that the ear hath heard
Is the blessed name of “Mother.”

O magical word! May it never die,
From the lips that love to speak it.
Nor melt away from the trusting heart,
That even would break to keep it.

Was there ever a name that lived like this?
Will there ever be such another?
The Angels have reared in Heaven a shrine
To the holy name of “Mother.”

 

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Mother Songs:

This first video/song was the song for our Mother and Son Dance at my son’s (Colin’s) wedding.

Colin and I, Mother-Son Dance

It has beautiful words and brings tears to my eyes each time I hear it. 🙂

This song is beautiful, also. A Mother’s song by Celtic Thunder.

“For years, while raising children, a mother’s time is never her own, her own needs have to be kept in second place, and every time she turns around a hand is reaching out and demanding something. Hence, a mother raising children, perhaps in a more privileged way even than a professional contemplative, is forced, almost against her will, to constantly stretch her heart.”

 

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In With God in Russia, Ciszek reflects on his daily life as a prisoner, the labor he endured while working in the mines and on construction gangs, his unwavering faith in God, and his firm devotion to his vows and vocation. Enduring brutal conditions, Ciszek risked his life to offer spiritual guidance to fellow prisoners who could easily have exposed him for their own gains. He chronicles these experiences with grace, humility, and candor, from his secret work leading mass and hearing confessions within the prison grounds, to his participation in a major gulag uprising, to his own “resurrection”—his eventual release in a prisoner exchange in October 1963 which astonished all who had feared he was dead.

Powerful and inspirational, With God in Russia captures the heroic patience, endurance, and religious conviction of a man whose life embodied the Christian ideals that sustained him…..

Captured by a Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a “Vatican spy,” Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. Only through an utter reliance on God’s will did he manage to endure the extreme hardship. He tells of the courage he found in prayer–a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek relates, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amidst the “arrogance of evil” that surrounded him. Ciszek learns to accept the inhuman work in the infamous Siberian salt mines as a labor pleasing to God. And through that experience, he was able to turn the adverse forces of circumstance into a source of positive value and a means of drawing closer to the compassionate and never-forsaking Divine Spirit.

He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God–even in their darkest hour. As the author asks, “What can ultimately trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will?”

Tidbits from True Womanhood

This is a beautiful excerpt from a beautiful book.
What struck me in the first small part was this power we have, as mothers, to instill in our children the habits and general dispositions they will tend toward as they grow older. It causes us to “pull up our socks”, once again. We have such great influence over our children’s lives! And what a noble calling motherhood is! We are blessed to realize it!

From: The Mirror Of True Womanhood: A Book Of Instruction
For the Women In The World

Omnis honos, omms admiratio, omne studium ad mrtutem et ad eas actiones
qucB virtuti sunt consentanece refertur.

“All honor, admiration, and zealous endeavor is referred to virtue and to the actions which are conformable to it.” CICERO.

It is said of one of the most celebrated men of the last century, that, when a mere babe, he was made to love flowers and all beautiful things in nature. His father, a distinguished naturalist, would take the child with him into the garden, and while he was busied watering the plants and examining how it fared with each of them, he would place in the child’s hands and on his lap bunches of the loveliest flowers.

Whether or not it was an inbred disposition in the child, he would, so the story of his life relates, amuse himself with the bright and fragrant things, admiring and studying them more and more as he grew up, till this pursuit became an irresistible fascination; and thus, from botany to other departments of natural science, the student progressed, revealing to his fellow-men the wonders that he had discovered, and leaving behind him an immortal name.

Even so is it possible to place in the hands and keep before the eyes of childhood some of the loveliest and most fragrant flowers of goodness, purity, and heroism which bloom innumerable in the Church of God, and thereby awaken in the innocent soul the sense of moral beauty, till the study and pursuit of all that is ennobling and elevating becomes an absorbing passion.

Virtues of a Mother

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Generosity, devotedness, self-sacrifice are the characteristic virtues of woman: in Him they shine forth with surpassing splendor; and, next to Him, the Blessed Mother, so near and dear to Him, is the most perfect mirror of womanly perfection. She is the “Woman clothed with the Sun.”

She gave him the Sacred Body in which He practiced the sweet human virtues befitting childhood, boyhood, and manhood, the deeds which graced the lowly home of Joseph and Mary at Nazareth, and those which adorned the three years of his public life, till His work was consummated on the cross.

Enlightened and warmed by this close and continual union with Him, who is the true Sun of Holiness, during the thirty years of intimacy at Nazareth, this Mother, blessed among women, could not help reflecting more perfectly than any other human being the thoughts, the aims, the sentiments, the humility and the self-sacrificing charity of her divine Son.

Thus her life was invested from this most privileged intimacy, with such a light of supernatural holiness, that it vividly pictured the life of Jesus. She had been closest, nearest, and dearest to Him, had studied Him most attentively and lovingly, had followed faithfully in His footsteps from the manger to the cross, and was, when He ascended to heaven, the living image of her crucified love to all who believed in His Name.

We are all the children of these great parents, and are therefore bound to become like to them in mind and heart and conduct. None can attain to the eternal glory of the children of God in the life to come, but such as will have acquired this living likeness by generosity in imitating God’s incarnate Son.

“Always act patiently and answer graciously. That it takes the ‘patience of an angel’ to rule vigilantly over the little world of the family is beyond question.
Affability is essential.
By good will you will gain hearts and souls without exception. Loving much is the key to gain all.”
-Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950’s https://amzn.to/2D7CSvt (afflink)

💖💙This Maglet is for you, lovely wives, who have dedicated your life to your faith and to your husband.
 
If it is in God’s providence you bring children into the world, your goal is to raise a wholesome, dedicated Catholic family…in an ungodly world. This is a seemingly insurmountable task considering the obstacles before us.
 
Our first line of defense is the bond we must have with our husband. Besides our spiritual life, which gives us the grace to do so, we must put our relationship with our husband first. It is something we work on each day.
 
How do we do this? Many times it is just by a tweaking of the attitude, seeing things from a different perspective. It is by practicing the virtues….self-sacrifice, submission, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.
 
The articles in this maglet will help you with these things. They are written by authors that are solid Catholics, as well as authors with old-fashioned values.
 
Take this information to heart and your life will be filled with many blessings!
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