Two Kinds of Saints

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From An Easy Way to Become a Saint by Father Paul O’Sullivan, 1949

There are saints and saints. Some we may call “extraordinary saints” and some “ordinary saints.”

Extraordinary saints are raised up by God for some extraordinary mission, and to these God gives extraordinary means to carry out that mission.

Such were, for instance, St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius Loyola and a host of others.

St. Dominic was raised up by God to defend the Church against the Albigensian heretics, who taught the vilest doctrines and perpetrated the most hideous crimes. Kings sent armies against them, the Pope sent holy men to check them, but all in vain.

God then raised up St. Dominic who, by the holiness of his life and his earnest preaching, converted 100,000 of these hardened sinners in a remarkably short time.

Notwithstanding his austere life and incessant labors, there was no one more joyful, more lovable than St. Dominic. He was sad only when he heard of the sorrows of others or of offenses committed against his dear Lord.

The Saint founded three religious orders, which have given to the Church notable saints, missionaries, martyrs, bishops and popes.

What especially endears him to us is the fact that it was he who gave us the Rosary, which God’s Holy Mother had given to him.

Who has not heard of the seraphic St. Francis of Assisi, so famous for his profound humility, his extreme poverty and his burning love of God, as a reward of which he received on his hands and feet and in his side the Sacred Stigmata, the marks of Christ’s five wounds.

He, too, founded three religious orders, which have given many and great saints to the Church, people such as St. Bonaventure, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Clare and many others, saints who shine as bright stars in the firmament of Heaven.

St. Ignatius of Loyola is another example of an extraordinary saint. He began life as a soldier in the army of Spain, but God called him to be a great soldier of Holy Church. To him was given the mission to battle against the pseudo-reformers, as to St. Dominic had been given the task of converting the Albigenses.

His glorious order, the Society of Jesus, has done and is ever doing a mighty work for the glory of God and for the welfare of the world at large. His sons are ever in the vanguard of the battle, fighting valiantly against the enemies of Christ.

Now these extraordinary saints, inspired by God, used extraordinary means to achieve their great ends.

They labored incessantly, spent long hours in prayer, fasted rigorously and did severe penance. God favored them with supernatural visions and revelations and gave them the power of working miracles.

Ordinary Christians are not called upon to do such mighty deeds, nor are they asked or advised to imitate the long prayers, the rigorous fasts of these extraordinary saints.

ORDINARY SAINTS

There is, however, a second class of saints, ordinary saints. Bear in mind that these saints are no less saints than the others; they are true saints and have reached exalted heights of sanctity, though in a different way.

They lead humble, simple lives, performing their daily duties well and using the ordinary but abundant means of sanctity given by God to all Christians.

These means we too can use, and by them we can attain a high degree of holiness. Here is a good example of the ordinary saint.

THE TWO LADIES

The great St. Antony, the abbot who had spent long years in the desert, passing whole nights in prayer and performing severe penances, aware of how important the virtue of humility is in the spiritual life, asked God to make him profoundly humble.

In answer to his prayer, the Almighty directed him to visit two ladies in the neighboring city, who though simple and unpretentious in their manner of life, were, so God told Antony, holier than he who had spent long years in the practice of rigorous penance and unceasing prayer.

On entering their home, the Saint sought to discover the secret of such remarkable holiness; he asked them many questions as to the fasts they made, the length of their prayers, their austerities and the like, so that he might imitate them.

He was not a little surprised to learn that they did nothing exceptional. They observed the fasts of the Church; they said their prayers devoutly; they gave what little alms they could afford; they frequented the Sacraments, heard daily Mass and practiced the ordinary Christian virtues.

What impressed the Saint most was that they loved God very simply but very sincerely. God was the great reality in their lives. They did all their actions for love of Him. They performed their daily duties, seeing God in all they did.

They accepted what happened to them, joys as well as sorrows, as coming directly from His hand.

That was all, but it sufficed to explain to the Saint the secret of their wonderful sanctity, viz., they performed their duties well and they loved God. There are thousands of such hidden, ordinary saints in the Church now, as there have been at all times.

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“Living to please others is a very real form of bondage. It enslaves and destroys. The only way to be liberated is to carry our crosses and submit to the shame of pleasing God over men. We must learn to love our Savior more than praise and approval, for only then will we be truly free.” – The Catholic Gentleman

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The Meaning of Home

Ever since we have been married, we have tried to live an “Open Heart, Open Home” mentality. We have been blessed many times over for it.

We like to share our home, our family, with others who are seeking a little taste of “large (rather raucous) family life”. We play games, listen to music, eat popcorn, dance and just enjoy one another.img_0182

The house is not always clean. My cupboards need help. If I waited to invite people over when the house is perfect….well, you know the end of that story. So I try not to sweat the small stuff and have learned to humbly admit I haven’t got it all together in every aspect of my housecleaning abilities. Nobody seems to mind. They keep coming back!🙂

My mom has reminded me through the years that people are more important than things. It’s a good lesson to learn.

It is a beautiful thing to be able to take part in the recreation and the friends that our kids like to have around. It is family-friendly activities and we, as parents, watch over and take part in the fun!

I just mentioned to my daughter, Rosie, who is still at home, that it is quite amazing that my newly married daughter and son-in-law’s favorite pastime is to come over to Mom and Dad’s and play board games! It makes me smile.🙂

From Emilie Barnes:Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home: Creating a Place You and Your Family Will Love

The Meaning of Home

Why is a “welcome home” lifestyle so important?

I truly believe we all need a spiritual center, a place where we belong. A place where we can go to unwind and regroup and get in touch with who we truly are… and then reach out to share with others.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a physical location.

Home is as much a state of the heart and spirit as it is a specific place.

Many a person living on the road has learned to “make herself at home” in hotel rooms, other people’s houses, or wherever she finds herself.

And yet… just as our spirits require physical bodies to do God’s work here on earth, most of us need a physical place we can call home.

And we have the privilege of making the place where we live into a welcoming refuge for ourselves and others-a place where simplicity and beauty can find a foothold in our lives. This kind of home doesn’t take a lot of money or even a lot of time. (I’ve seen it done by stay-at-home moms and high-placed executives and even a just-graduated bachelor or two.)

It doesn’t require a professional’s touch in decorating or cooking or home maintenance.

It can certainly be clone without a maid.

What a welcoming home does require is a caring and willing spirit-a determination to think beyond bare-bones necessities and to make room in our lives and schedules and budgets for what pleases the senses and enriches the soul.

Most of all, it requires an “I can” attitude, a confidence that we have something to share and the ability to share it.

Besides, a refuge is not a hole where you disappear to eat and sleep and then emerge to go about the business of life.

A welcoming home is where real life happens.

It’s where personalities are nurtured, where growth is stimulated, where people feel free not only to be themselves but also to develop their best selves.

That caring, nurturing quality-not the absence of noise or strife-is what makes a home a refuge.

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fall finer fem quote for the day fall

Learn to forgive, and learn to apologize. Holding on to “stuff” even for a few hours is destructive. It is like having poison in your system for just a short time; you think you are teaching your spouse a lesson, but, in truth, you are weakening the soul of your marriage. Just forgive and move on. For many, saying I’m sorry is difficult. Just get over it and say the words and say them in a meaningful way. -No Greater Joy, Artist: Loui Jover

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The Psalm of Young Mothers

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From Christ in the Home by Father Raoul Plus, S.J., 1951

A YOUNG mother–very true to her role of mother and at the same time very artistic–got the idea of comparing her role with that of cloistered sisters.

Between her washing, her cooking and the care of her youngest, she managed to compose “The Psalm of Young Mothers” which appeared in the 8 November issue of “Marriage Chretien.” It is full of love, full of spontaneity. Every young mother will recognize herself in these passages we are quoting:

 

“O my God

Like our sisters in the cloister

We have left all for you;

We have not imprisoned the youth of our faces in a guimpe

and under a veil,

And though we have cut our hair, it is not in any spirit of

penance….

Deign nevertheless, O Lord, to cast a look of complaisance

On the humble little sacrifices

Which we offer You all day long,

Since the day our groaning flesh gave life to all these little

Christians

We are rearing for You.

Our liberty, O God, is in the hands of these little tyrants

who claim it every minute.

The house has become our cloister,

Our life has its unchanging Rule,

And each day its Office, always the same;

The Hours for dressing and for walks,

The Hours for feeding and for school,

We are bound by the thousand little demands of life.

Detached by necessity every moment from our own will,

We live in obedience.

Even our nights do not belong to us;

We too have our nocturnal Office,

When we must rise quickly for a sick child,

Or when between midnight and two o’clock,

When we are in the full sleep we need so badly

A little untimely chanter

Begins to sing his Matins.

We practically live retired from the world:

There is so much to be done in the house.

There is no possibility of going out anyway without a

faithful sitter for the little ones.

We measure out the time for visits parsimoniously.

We have no sisters to relieve us on another shift.

And when the calls for service reach high pitch for us

We have to sweep, to wash the dishes, scrape the carrots

for the stew, prepare a smooth puree for baby and keep

on going without stopping

From the children’s room to the kitchen and to and fro.

We do big washings we rub and we rinse

Aprons and shirts, underclothes and socks

And all the baby’s special things.

In this life of sacrifice, come to our help, O Jesus!

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“The wise mother, having an eye to the future, will seek to initiate her daughter into the mysteries of housekeeping. Most young girls are interested in domestic affairs, and are never happier than when allowed to have their finger in the domestic pie; but in this as in other things a thorough grounding is the most satisfactory. It is a woman’s heritage.” -Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1893

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Thinking of Christmas early? Inspire and delight your children with these lighthearted and faith-filled poems. Take a peek at Amazon here.

Don't forget to sign up for the Giveaway for my book and the bracelet! I will pull the name from the hat Tuesday, May 10th!

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Our Best Friends, The Angels

We are in the season of the Angels, once again. St. Michael’s Feast Day is Sept. 29th and Our Holy Guardian Angels is Oct. 2nd. It is a time to recall the place these wonderful friends should have in our lives. The spiritual world is very alive, very real!! Let’s not forget these angels and the role they have in our lives!

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From All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan

WHY IGNORE OUR BEST FRIENDS?

“Make friends with the Angels” is the advice which the great Pope, St. Leo, gives every Christian and it is advice that everyone should follow.

If we make friends with the Angels —and nothing is easier— we shall receive innumerable and great favors which otherwise we shall never obtain.

Our Angel friends, too, will shield and protect us from countless dangers, evils, sickness and accidents which, without their help, we could not possibly avoid.

In a word, these all-powerful and loving protectors will secure for us a degree of happiness that, without their assistance, we could not hope for in this vale of tears! Another reason we should make friends with the Angels is that they are our dearest and best friends. A good friend, a friend who is able and always ready to help us, a friend to whom we can have recourse in all our troubles and sorrows, is one of the greatest blessings God can give us.

Our human hearts thirst for love and sympathy. Among men we rarely or never find such a friend, but this is not so with the Angels. They are most desirous to be our friends and they love us with all the intensity of their angelic natures.

Since they are all-powerful and generous, we can have the fullest confidence in their help and friendship.

The one friendship on this Earth that gives us any idea of the love of the Angels is the affection of a mother. This is the purest, the most generous, the strongest of all human loves.

The mother loves her children with unbounded affection. God has placed in the mother’s heart an instinct of love so great that it almost borders on the supernatural. She forgets herself and thinks only of her children. She works for them, sacrifices herself for them, and gives them her all.

If one of them should fall sick or be plunged into some great sorrow, to that one she devotes a more special gentleness and a more loving care.

We sometimes see a frail woman watch by the bedside of her sick child— eating little, resting little, consumed with a poignant anxiety —for ten, twenty or even thirty days, never complaining, and never faltering. When these days of anguish and bitterness are past, this almost superhuman effort, these long, weary vigils,’ seem to have cost her nothing. The mother’s love sustained her.

Yet, strong men who lose their sleep for two or three consecutive nights complain that they find it hard to work the following day.

If a poor frail mother— she may be young or old, rich or poor, full of weaknesses and imperfections— can rise to such a height of love and abnegation as this, what may we not expect from God’s Angels, who have no defects, no imperfections and who love us with all the mighty power of their glorious angelic natures?

The teaching of the Church about the Angels is most beautiful and consoling, but unfortunately many Christians have scant knowledge of the great world of the Angels. They know little about these blessed Spirits, love them little and seldom pray to them. Worst of all, they do not realize their presence.

They show no confidence in them, and they do not call on them for help when dangers and difficulties press around.

As a result they forfeit a thousand blessings that they might easily enjoy and fall victim to a thousand accidents that they might easily have avoided.

HOW COMES IT THAT THE ANGELS ARE SO LITTLE KNOWN AND SO LITTLE LOVED?

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Simply because many, whose duty it is to teach this most important doctrine are gravely negligent in fulfilling their obligation.

First of all, Christian Mothers should instill deeply into the minds of their children a clear, vivid and abiding sense of the presence of their dear Angels.

It is not sufficient to give them vague, hazy, insufficient notions of these Blessed Spirits, nor is it enough to teach them to say a short prayer at morning and at night to their Angel Guardians.

They should devote much time and much attention to this all-important subject.

Children must be taught constantly from their tenderest years to have a real love and friendship for their Angels, to have boundless confidence in them. They must be accustomed to feel and realize the personal presence of their Angels, to call on them in all their fears and troubles.

How much better this would be than that the children should have their heads filled with foolish fear of ghosts and hobgoblins as so frequently happens.

Mothers who impress on their children this great lesson confer on them inestimable blessings during all the long years of their lives.

On the other hand, if they neglect this duty or make light of it, they do a great wrong to their dear ones for they deprive them of the best and most powerful friends.

Catechists, too, and teachers of the young in schools, colleges and convents are frequently remiss in teaching those in their charge all about the blessed Angels. The minds of their pupils are developing, and the teaching of the mothers in the home, no matter how good it might have been, must be perfected and developed.

Professors of older students, boys and girls, are perhaps greater offenders. They rarely mention the subject of the Angels in their classes.

Why? Do not the Angels exist? Are they not our best friends? Is there not much to be said about them?

Priests of course can do much to remedy the neglect of parents and teachers by preaching at times on the Angels, by wise counsels in the confessional and by exhorting the faithful to read books on the Angels. Priests who do so receive most striking graces.

We need to awaken in our hearts a real love and friendship for the Holy Angels, an abiding confidence in them, and above all to realize and feel vividly the presence of these loving Spirits ever by our sides.

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A coloring page for your children:

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“Never be ashamed of your home or family because it is humble. People who look down on those whose home is humble and who lack social prominence are not worthy of the friendship of decent families. The most important things in life are character, honest work, humility, loyalty, friendliness, and love.” -Fr. Lovasik, Catholic Family Handbook

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Chivalry – Fr. Leo Kinsella

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From The Wife Desiredby Fr. Leo Kinsella, 1950’s

Although sex is an important aspect of marriage, yet it is really a small part. Especially is this true in the marriages where all is well as regards sex. The companionship of marriage is what brings the real fullness of peace and contentment to a couple. And after all, peace and contentment are the real day in and day out ingredients of happiness.

The full flaming moments of ecstasy of love, rocketing a soul into the very presence of God, are few and far between for the average mortal. These moments are cherished as a glimpse of eternal things to come. Now we have not even the capacity to long endure them.

A human being is not very self-sufficient. A person needs others to fill the emptiness of his own being. Husband and wife fill this need for each other. They complement each other in this manner much more even than they do in any physical sense.

There is something beautiful about the companionship of man and wife as it bridges the years. Especially is this true for those who have kept something of the chivalry of the first days of their love.

Familiarity does not have to breed contempt. Perhaps it does among savages. The natural, easy familiarity between man and wife, springing from their daily companionship can easily remain, and does in very many instances, a fine influence in their lives.

All wives appreciate the little courtesies of respect and esteem from their husbands. Some do nothing to promote this attitude on the part of their husbands. A lady will receive attention and courtesy if she merits it, and if she is gracious enough to acknowledge the efforts of the male.

By nature a man has a deep-seated sense of respect, of chivalry for the lady. It does something for him to manifest this feeling. It helps to make him a better man.

At an early age, I was somewhat disillusioned about the female in this matter of chivalry. During high school years I rode the “E-l” in Chicago during the morning rush hour.
I shall never forget my first efforts to be courteous with the female passengers. I was almost trampled to death. It was impossible to show these women any deference. They had become callous. For them life was a matter of dog eat dog. They shoved and gouged and grabbed any preference before a man could offer it to them.

A man on the “E-l” during the rush hour had about as much opportunity to be chivalrous as a polite hog at a trough has of getting in a bite.

I have often wondered what kind of wives those little ladies became. Perhaps they were tired or confused at being thrown into the vortex of the economic struggle for survival. In a saner world they would have been at home, where the true nobility of their lives could find its proper environment for growth.

Intelligent couples never take each other for granted. Of course there is a natural easiness and relaxation in each other’s company shutting out any stiffness or lack of intimacy. The bright husband will never relinquish the prerogative of being a gentleman.

Thoughtfulness is his watch word. A kindness here and a consideration there go a long way to promote companionship with his wife. The opening of a car door for her, helping her with her coat, seating her at table, these and a dozen other little actions evidence his tenderness for her. She is precious to him, so he surrounds her with attentions.

What wife could be so dull as not to yearn for such interest? Then she makes an unobtrusive but very real effort to keep for her married life the chivalry of her days of courtship.

Many married couples never lose the evidence of chivalry and romance of their days of courtship. Actually all their married lives they court each other. So blessed with this disposition they walk through life leading each other to their eternal reward in loving companionship.

 

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“When marriage and parenthood seem difficult, picture yourself with your spouse as an old couple who, just before you hear the Master’s summoning call, look back along the road you have traveled. That road did not seem nearly so rough when you were leaning heavily upon each other. You faced threatening enemies on the way with stronger courage because you fought side by side. Courage sprang from knowing that you did not work or walk alone.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook
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Promote Happiness in Your Homes – My Prayer Book, Fr. Lasance

 

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My Prayer-Book (Happiness in Goodness)

Be Affable Always

There are some who are affable and gracious to everyone as long as things go according to their wishes; but if they meet with a contradiction, if an accident, a reproach or even less should trouble the serenity of their soul, all around them must suffer the consequences. They grow dark and cross; very far from keeping up the conversation by their good humor, they answer only monosyllables to those who speak to them. Is this conduct reasonable? Is it Christian?

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It is to be regretted that so many people who are very pious are very censorious in their comments upon their neighbors. Piety ought to find expression in kindness to our neighbors as well as in devotion to God. We should remember that the Christ who we serve was kind.

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Enthusiasm

It is faith in something, and enthusiasm for something, that makes a life worth looking at. – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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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.

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Home is the place where a man should appear at his best. He who is bearish at home and polite only abroad is no true gentleman; indeed, he who can not be considerate to those of his own household will never really be courteous to strangers. There is no better training for healthy and pleasant intercourse with the outer world than a bright and cheerful demeanor at home. It is in a man’s home that his real character is seen; as he appears there, so he is really elsewhere, however skillfully he may for the time conceal his true nature.

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Promote Happiness in Your Homes

It would do much in the home if all the members of the family were to be as kind and courteous to one another as they are to guests. The visitor receives bright smiles, pleasant words, constant attention, and the fruits of efforts to please. But the home folks are often cross, rude, selfish, and faultfinding toward one another. Are not our own as worthy of our love and care as is the stranger temporarily within our gates?

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A Sunshiny Disposition

There is a charm which compensates so much for the lack of good looks that they are never missed, and when combined with good looks it doubly enhances them. The name of this charm is a sunshiny disposition. If things go wrong, as they will go once in a while, does it mend matters to cry over them? Sensible women will say “No,” the women who do not know how to control themselves will say: “Yes, it does me good to cry; I feel better after it.”
There are times when tears must come, but these are beautiful, holy tears. Quite the contrary are the tears shed over selfish, petty annoyances “to relieve nerves.” The grandest quality of the human mind is self-control.

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Father Lasance says:

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“Holiness means happiness. Holy people are happy people at peace with God, with others, and with themselves.
There is only one requirement. You must do God’s will. This embraces various obligations and gives you corresponding rights and privileges.
This is the lesson of the Holy Family. The will of God must count for everything in our daily lives. Prosaic deeds done for God can lead to spectacular holiness.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were human, intensely human in the best sense of the word. They show us how our lives, too, should be human–truly warm and Godlike.”
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Peace, the Road to Perfection

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by Juan de Bonilla, Spanish Franciscan of the 16th century, author of a splendid little treatise on peace of soul.

Experience shows us that peace, which sows charity, the love of God and love of neighbor in your soul, is the road that leads straight to eternal life.

Take care that your heart not be troubled, saddened, or agitated in that which can cause it to lose its peace.

Rather work always to remain tranquil because the Lord says: “Happy are those who are at peace.”

Do this and the Lord will build in your soul the City of Peace and He will make of you a House of Delight.

That which He wants of you is that, whenever you are troubled, you would recover your calm, your peace, on your own – in your work, in your thoughts and in all your activities without exception.

Just as a city is not built in a day, do not think that you can achieve, in a day, this peace, this interior calm, because it is within you that a home must be built for God, while you yourself, become His temple.

And it is the Lord Himself Who must handle the construction. Without Him your work would not exist.

Remind yourself, moreover, that this edifice has humility for its foundation.

Maintain a Free and Detached Soul

Your will should always be ready for every eventuality. And your heart must not be enslaved by anything.

When you form some desire, it should not be such as to cause you to experience pain in case of failure, but you should keep your spirit as tranquil as though you had never wished for anything.

True freedom consists in not being attached to anything. It is in this detachment that God seeks your soul in order to work His great marvels.

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“Lord, You know my weakness; every morning I make a resolution to practice humility, and every evening I acknowledge that I still have many failures. I am tempted to be discouraged by this, but I know that discouragement also has its source in pride. That is why I prefer to put my trust in You alone, O my God. Since You are all-powerful, deign to create in my soul the virtue for which I long”. – St. Therese of the Child Jesus

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The Parked Car, etc. – Fr. Lovasik

If young ladies and men are willing to read this stuff, they will be enlightened and will have no excuses if they make dumb and dangerous mistakes along the path of Courtship.

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Enemy number one to the chastity of young people is the parked car. With the cloak of darkness and seclusion thrown around them, young couples parked along country roads are deliberately subjecting their virtue to a great and violent strain.

Parked automobiles, scenes of passionate kissing, petting and necking, are truly graveyards in which are buried the innocence and purity of thousands upon thousands of young men and young women. Here so-called love turns out to be lust, the most selfish sin, which seeks impure self-satisfaction at the expense of another’s virtue.

If you are a decent girl, do not drag down a young man into the mire of impurity by consenting to have him park his car, thus giving him a favorable occasion for sin. Even under favorable conditions every young man has to struggle to keep pure.

God said, “He who loves the danger will perish in it.” Therefore avoid the parked automobile as you would a pest house, reeking with germs of fatal maladies.

At the end of the evening’s entertainment, do not let your friend accompany you into your home, but bid good night when you arrive there. This will be a protection for you both. To do otherwise at that time of night, when the other members of the family have retired, is to subject each other to substantially the same danger as that presented by the parked car. Many a pure courtship has been ruined through the failure to heed this caution.

Drinking

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It is not a sin to drink, but it is always a sin to drink too much. If through excessive drinking you lose the use of reason, you commit a mortal sin and thereby descend to a level lower than that of the brute beast.

Even if drinking does not end in drunkenness, its effects on company-keeping are disastrous. Drink adds fuel to concupiscence and increases the force of temptation to impurity; it weakens the powers of the mind and lowers the resistance of the will, thereby leaving one open to sin.

Drink has always been one of the shortest roads to moral corruption and is the greatest contributing factor to the alarming increase of crime. Facts show that liquor figures in seven out of every ten crimes.

Drinking outside the home is usually the beginning of the drinking habit and other bad habits, especially impurity.

Many a young man and young woman who normally would not think of lust have ruined their courtship and destroyed their love through drinking. Do not fall a prey to this habit just to be sociable.

To say that a party without drink lacks good fellow-ship and sociability is stupid and betrays a low mental status. Among young and intelligent people drink should be in no sense necessary for a good time.

If you really prize your virtue and demand self-respect, do not drink at all. The achievement of true and clean happiness is worth the little act of self-denial involved in abstinence from alcoholic drink.

The fact that about three-fourths of broken homes are the consequence of drinking should be an argument strong enough to make you give up associating with anyone who, having a special liking for alcoholic drink, does not know how to control himself.

Indecent Entertainment

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Another danger in company-keeping arises from frequenting burlesque theaters, night clubs, road houses, and taverns where salacious floor shows, off color jokes, and expensive drinks are the chief menu.

In these places semi-nude females perform lascivious dances and fill young minds with obscene jokes, plying them with drinks and turning them into sex-crazed maniacs. These are the agencies which poison innocent minds and prevent their normal development into wholesome manhood and womanhood, sending them out as criminals to prey upon society.

In our day perhaps the deadliest misinformant about the ways of true living is the motion picture show. Sometimes the scenes are so vivid that for all practical purposes young people might just as well be acting in the presence of men and women who are disregarding God’s holy laws.

Such indecent attractions offered by the screen lower ideals and distort the standards of young Catholic men and women. It has become all too common for those born and reared in the faith to forget the lessons they have learned: that their thoughts, desires, and acts must be chaste; that all near occasions to sin must be avoided; that the most priceless thing in the soul of a girl is her purity, and the noblest virtue in the young man is preservation of his moral integrity.

Many a boy and girl can testify that he or she was guilty of the first grave lapse from chastity after having witnessed scenes of love-making and lustful seduction created by much publicized movie stars.

Start a fire, inhale the flames of lust, and your soul will die. Let the Legion of Decency be your guide in regard to the choice of pictures. Refrain from seeking pictures that are even partly objectionable.

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fall finer fem quote for the day

“A young woman who prevails on her fiancé to approach the Sacraments with her at regular intervals builds up a strong bulwark against improper advances and obtains the best guarantee for a happy future.True love gives strength of character and assists in the acquisition of self-control. It never takes advantage of another for the sake of personal gratification. Good and pure-minded women inspire respect and make the task of a young man easy, for he will have no difficulty in keeping the right distance.” – Fr. Lovasik, Clean Love in Courtship

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Sermons and Audios

Are you hungry to learn? Do you want to grow in your faith and improve in your vocation?

Me, too! And I am hungry to have my children learn! Any help I can get I am grateful for and so I feel very blessed to have such an availability of the many resources on the web for Catholics to learn about the Faith!

There are snippets of time which are wasted that we could use to grow spiritually by listening to something…. a sermon, a podcast or a conference on apologetics… that would help us become a better Catholic, help us to better answer others who are searching for the truth or just to give us a lift, some inspiration for our own vocation and our own lives!

So…gather around and give a listen, just like the good old days!

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We can listen to our favorite sermons while folding clothes (one of my own favorite times), or at homeschool “recess time” (we get out our crafts and listen), or on our way to daily Mass (I invested in a wireless speaker for my phone), etc.

We also gather most Mondays, with a bunch of the youth around here, to pray the rosary and listen to a sermon. I am inspired by the amount of young people who take part in this! Lately we have been praying and listening outside with nature enveloping us…..also with irritating flies, hungry mosquitoes and a couple of playful puppies and, of course, playful children!. No matter, it’s still good to get outside!

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Don’t underestimate the power of this type of learning!! And it is so readily available.

I remember well a great man and positive motivational speaker saying that he learned much from listening to audios and that we need to use every chance we get to be learning and growing through this medium (because we can do it while doing something else that doesn’t take brain work)…..especially in our vehicles on those drives where we have some stretches of time. He called our vehicles “Rolling Universities”!

We don’t realize the time we fritter away that we could be using.

I wanted to share these with you so if you are ever at a loss on where to turn for good information, you will have many things to choose from right here.

These are the resources I use:

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This first site is called Sensus Traditionis and it is by Father Ripperger. The tagline of the site is “A Website Dedicated to the Sacred Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church”. You can read his mission statement here.

Father is practical, balanced and thoroughly orthodox. His audios are here.

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This is a great audio site called Luke 11:28! Once again, the priest is dedicated to Tradition within the Fold of the Catholic Church. You will love his sermons! They can be found here.

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Romans 10:17! This priest is amazing! You will gather much from his sermons. We have been listening to him for years. His site is here.

One of our favorite sermons by him is “Holy Families Don’t Just Happen”

Another one is “Company-Keeping”.

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I am not familiar with this particular site but when I went to go on a site we have listened to a lot in the past, it was no longer available. They pointed me to this one called Regina Prophetarum, Traditional Sermons for Traditional Catholics.

From their site: In their oath of fidelity, each of these priests promised, in part, to “preserve the Deposit of the Faith in its entirety, hand it on faithfully, and make it shine forth,” and “whatsoever teachings are contrary, I shall shun.” This has been a great motivator for them in the composing and delivering of the sermons placed under the patronage of Regina Prophetarum (the Queen of Prophets).

The link is here.

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This is a channel on YouTube that I have used occasionally. There is a lot available on here! It is called Sensus Fidelium. Check it out here.

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Apologetics!! This is a great website to learn about your Faith, to be able to answer the hard questions that Protestants may have, etc. You learn about how to answer things like:

Why do you pray to Mary?

Why do you believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist? How can you prove it?

What makes you think your Church is the only True Church?

Faith alone is enough. How can you say that we need works along with Faith?

Etc., etc.  The link is here.

We use this resource a lot for Legion of Mary purposes.

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Your Relationship!

The following link is the podcast link to Love and Respect Ministries. These are excellent podcasts for those wishing to grow in their relationship with their spouse! Keep in mind that they are Protestant. There are some I don’t listen to because it touches more on the spiritual side of things. But the podcasts on the relationships are very good! You will gain much from them if you approach it with an open heart! Be prepared to make some changes and see some changes!

The link is here.

You can also download the Podcast app on your phone and search for Love and Respect on it.

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Story Time!

I just found this one and am very excited about!! It is for you mothers! It has so many great stories for your children to listen to! These are good, old Catholic stories that I have read to my own children when they were young. Here they are on Audio!! Just set your kids down and have them listen. They are great!

This one is not a site, though, it is an App called Audio Catholic Kids. You will have to download the App on your phone and hook it up to a speaker. I know that is maybe a little more techy than you may be used to but you might want to figure it out….if you have a smart phone.

The link for Androids is here.

For iphones it is here.

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Remember, you become like the people you associate with. Why would you not want to rub shoulders with these zealous and wonderful priests and lay people? Absorb what they have to offer and become humble, holier and happier!

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finer fem quote for the day fall

 “It is ridiculous if he who professes to be a Christian is unable to utter a word in defense of his own faith…It is this that prevents the pagans from quickly realizing the absurdity of their error. Inasmuch as, relying on falsehood, they make every effort to obscure the baseness of their teachings, while we who are the guardians of truth cannot even open our mouth, what will prevent them from despising the great weakness of our doctrine? Will they not get the idea that our teaching is deceitful and foolish? Will they not blaspheme Christ as a dissembler and deceiver who makes us of the stupidity of the majority to advance his deceit? And we are responsible for this blasphemy if we are not willing to be on the alert to speak in defense of righteousness, but rate such matters as superfluous, and concern ourselves about the things of earth.” -St. John Chrysostom

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Nora, Angelic Daughter and Sister

A beautiful story of womanly grace, virtue, perseverance, kindness and eventual happiness!

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From True Womanhood, Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1893

In the year 1862, a family, composed of father and mother, with three children, came from afar to live in a quiet suburb of one of our great Eastern cities. The father, Mr. S, had been the heir to a considerable fortune, which he had first impaired by mismanagement, and then completely lost by involving it all in unwise ventures.

He had been induced to come to the East by the offer of employment as bookkeeper or accountant in a large shipping firm. He took possession of his modest little suburban house under peculiarly distressing circumstances.

His wife, a woman of uncommon beauty and goodness, was in the last stage of consumption, and the fatal termination of the malady was hastened by the fatigues of a long journey, the bitter cold of an unusually severe autumn, and the material discomforts of her new home.

The cottage which the family had rented was old, damp, had been for some years untenanted, and was but scantily furnished and insufficiently warmed. “I trust in you, Nora,”—gasped the dying mother, as she held the hand of the kneeling girl in one of her own, and with the other touched the bent golden head half in blessing and half caressingly,—” and I know God will help you.”

The priest, who had just brought to that death-bed the Divine Pledge of the eternal possession, was standing near, deeply moved by all that he had seen of these interesting strangers.

The simple, enlightened faith and exalted piety of the mother, the angelic grace of the eldest daughter, and the helpless, hopeless expression of the poor father, as he supported the younger child, the mother, fragile, fair-haired, and dazzlingly beautiful, but with consumption written on her wan cheek and wasted form,—all that went to his heart and kept him there till the divine messenger, Death, had performed his errand.

An only son, a lad of eighteen, apprenticed to a civil engineer, was absent, and could only reach the house of mourning as they were about to set out for the church and the cemetery.

When the priest, with moist eyes, summoned courage to say to the remaining parent and his offspring, that all was over, and that one more saintly soul had gone to her rest and reward,—Nora, startled by an exclamation from her father, turned round to see her sister apparently lifeless in his arms.

“O my darling, my darling!” she said as she raised the rigid form and covered its face with her tears and kisses; “you must not leave me now! Oh! God will not take you from me! . . .”

The priest, with a few earnest words of sympathy in the father’s ear, hastened away, when the fainting girl revived, promising to return soon and obtain for these afflicted ones all the aid they needed in their bereavement.

A few weeks deepened immeasurably the gloom which had fallen on that now motherless household.

Mr. S., naturally irritable, had become intolerably peevish in consequence of his many disappointments. His temper had sorely tried his sick wife; and after her death it proved a source of continual suffering to her children.

The boy, William, was seldom at home, and so escaped these domestic discomforts; but poor Nora and her little suffering Fanny were made to feel their bitterness daily and almost hourly.

For, to add to the pinching poverty they were enduring, their father lost his place of accountant. His haughty manner, which misfortune had not softened, his censorious and prying disposition, which a certain scrupulosity had only made more troublesome and intolerable to others, gave offense to every subordinate in the office.

He also took it on himself to lecture his employers on certain transactions with the custom-house which excited his suspicion.

Just as December was beginning to tax to the utmost Nora’s resources in housekeeping, her father was dismissed. This was terrible news for the poor child of fifteen, who knew not where to look for the means of keeping a roof above them in a season rendered exceptionally severe by intense cold and the great dearth of all things.

She was a stranger, too, in the city and their immediate neighborhood, —and to no human being, not even to her confessor, had she breathed a word of the utter destitution which had fallen on them.

With the tidings of her father’s dismissal a new enemy to her peace appeared. She had,—strange as it may seem, —never known by any experience of hers what drunkenness was, had never seen an intoxicated person. What was her horror and dismay to behold her dear parent in that condition!

Hitherto she only had eyes for his virtues; in the light of her perfect innocence and sinlessness his imperfections had been overlooked or viewed only as the shadows inseparable from the bright sides of his character. It was a fearful revelation to the care-burdened girl.

But her womanly instinct and true nobleness of nature impelled her, even when this first manifestation of infirmity was renewed again and again, only to treat him whom she loved and reverenced so singularly, with the tenderness, the respect, the delicacy due to a sick and helpless father.

She hid him away from every eye, even from those of her young sister, who was encouraged to believe that the change she could not but remark was due to grief and exhaustion.

Nora spent hours of the night in prayer, when all was still in her cottage, bedewing with her tears her mother’s crucifix, and conversing with the Court of Heaven as if the veil had been withdrawn, and she were permitted to plead for her dear ones at the Mercy Seat, and face to face with the Divine Majesty.

From that Presence she always arose overflowing with comfort, with peace and light and strength; and, the morning ever found her armed with increased courage for the struggle before her.

It had been the invariable custom of her parents to perform together their night and morning devotions. Nora, by a happy inspiration, took her mother’s place by his side from the beginning of his bereavement, and to his unspeakable satisfaction.

Even when half stupefied by drink, he would be persuaded to kneel with her and lift his soul to God: the morning never failed to find him humiliated, conscience-stricken, and self-accusing, but irritable and despondent.

She never uttered one word of reproach or so much as hinted, in their conversation, at the growing habit which filled her with undefinable terror and foreboding.

One night he returned late,—she knew not whence,—and unable as he was to say his night-prayers, had lain down half-undressed on his bed,—his angel-daughter watching wearily near the half-opened door of his chamber.

On awaking, he was struck to the heart with sorrow, and when his pale and hollow-eyed child made her appearance, he cast himself on her neck in a mute agony of tears. She kissed him, soothed him, and lavished on him words of love and comfort such as God puts on the lips of the pure and brave-hearted.

At length—” O Nora,” he said, ” this must be no more!” and kneeling by her side they both prayed in silence. God heard their united prayers. That trial was thenceforth spared to Nora. Another blessing, a few days afterward, rewarded her filial piety. She wrote to her father’s late employers, soliciting an interview, and received a favorable answer.

Recommending, as was her wont in every serious undertaking, the success of her visit to the Father of the orphan and afflicted, she presented herself at the office, surprised and charmed the chief partner with her beauty, her artless simplicity, the rare culture in one so young displayed during the interview, and especially by the eloquence with which she pleaded and won her father’s case.

Mr. S. was given an occupation more suitable to his years and antecedents, and the daughter was delicately told of his former unpopularity and its causes.

These, with all a woman’s tact, Nora set about correcting; and, wonderful to relate, in good time she succeeded in effecting a great change in her father’s temper, his bearing toward his associates in business hours, and his disposition to fault-finding.

The humiliation which the old gentleman felt at his late weakness made him as docile as a child to his daughter’s training. And so Nora was left free to devote herself to her sick sister, and to a long and earnest correspondence with her brother, whose duties compelled him to long absences, and whose health as well as conduct began to cause her watchful heart no little alarm.

Fanny’s constitutional debility had suffered much from the long journey the family had recently made to their new abode, as well as from her mother’s death, and the loss of many luxuries and comforts the child had till then been accustomed to.

About Christmas-tide the physician pronounced her case one of chronic spine disease, but the sweet sufferer was not allowed to know of it. She seemed, however, to brighten, revive, and gain strength under the warm sunlight of her sister’s love, and the tender nursing of that gentle and cunning hand.

But just then Mr. S. caught cold, and the illness soon assumed the form of violent pleurisy, leaving but little hopes of recovery, as the New Year dawned on them. When the priest was summoned hurriedly on the evening of the great feast of Christmas, his impression on entering the cottage was,—as he afterward declared,—one of reverential awe; for something heavenly seemed to pervade the atmosphere which filled it.

The door was opened by Fanny, looking, in her simple dress of black, and with her dazzling complexion, like an angel just descended to tarry a brief space with the mourners. The whole house was decorated with evergreens and artificial flowers, but a refined taste had presided at the decoration, and was evident in the few simple ornaments of the mantel-piece, in the exquisite neatness of the sick-chamber, and in the preparation of the temporary altar for the sacrament.

The patient was in a deep slumber when the priest entered: Nora was kneeling by his side, her hand held in her parent’s with so tight a grasp that she could not or dared not withdraw it without interrupting the repose which powerful narcotics had procured him.

As she turned her head to greet the priest, he was struck with the rapt look of gratitude for his coming and of adoration for the Gift of which he was the bearer. The poor slumberer soon awoke, and his spirit was prepared for the reception of the divine and awful graces ordained for the Christian’s death-struggle by Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Nora moved about the sick-room like some one of the virgin train who evermore accompany the Lamb; and her sister knelt at the foot of the bed, silently pouring forth her tears and prayers.

When Holy Viaticum had been administered and the last benediction given, the elder spoke to the priest with an air of quiet but preternatural fortitude. She knew what was coming, and trusted in the Comforter for strength to sustain her.

Both on quitting and entering the cottage the priest had remarked that there was only fire in the sick-room; his previous inquiries about the circumstances of the family had elicited from the neighbor’s information enough to make him feel certain that Nora had to contend with great distress.

From herself  he could obtain no answer to his timid and indirect questions. But it so happened that Mr. S.’s employer, hearing of his serious illness, called, with his eldest son, on the priest, and begged the latter to accompany them to the cottage.

It was a timely visit—a glance satisfied the merchant of the urgent want of relief. The cottage was his property; he resolved at once on making it most comfortable; and besides begged Nora to draw at once her father’s full year’s salary, which was trebled without her knowledge.

The most skillful medical aid was also secured, and a lively interest was created by the good priest’s frequent praise of these afflicted strangers.

William hastened to his father’s sick-bed, traveling night and day from the upper Mississippi, where he and his patron were superintending the building of a bridge. Whether he had inherited his mother’s constitutional weakness or his frame was not proof against the fatigue of so long a journey, and the discomforts and privations from which his very slender purse could not purchase an exemption, he reached the house of death only to be prostrated with fever.

His father died a few hours after his son’s arrival, and the good priest who had been the former’s consoler in his last hours was called in to minister to the latter before his parent had been borne to the cemetery and laid beside his wife.

Nora, with a woman’s fortitude, bore up against this new trial, and God, who has stored up in woman’s heart such treasures of love and enduring devotion, enabled this tender girl, exhausted as she was by the grief and labors of all these weary months, to be for her brother all she had been for both her parents.

There were no Sisters of Charity at hand; but the merchant’s wife, a Protestant lady of rare goodness, had visited Nora under her new affliction, and insisted on remaining with her for a few days.

The principal Catholic ladies, also, touched by what they heard, came to sympathize and to admire; and to see the lovely orphans was to become attached to them.

But Nora would devolve on no one her duties toward her sick brother, on whom both she and Fanny now centered their entire affection. Their brother was saved. And now, why delay the reader?

William’s convalescence was a long and painful one. He had inherited his father’s peevishness, and had apparently lost in his somewhat wandering life as a civil engineer every trace of the early piety inculcated by his mother.

People wondered that such an unamiable and God-abandoned youth could have come of the same parentage as the two angelic beings whom he called sisters.

Nora, while he was slowly recovering his strength, had been casting about for some occupation which might enable her to maintain the two now entirely thrown on her care.

The merchant’s wife continued to be devoted to the orphans, and had occasionally brought her son to visit William during the latter’s convalescence.

When able to bear exercise in the open air, the young men drove out together, and so an intimacy gradually sprang up between the two families. It was remarked, not without wonder, that under Nora’s influence William became gradually transformed into another man.

But few traces of his petulance and irritability remained. Indeed, after the first weeks of his recovery, the frequent oaths which startled the echoes of that pious abode were heard no more, and the old habit of night and morning prayer was resumed, William from his bed or his arm-chair heartily joining in his sisters’ devotions.

A new moral sense seemed to be growing up in him, refining not only his language but his very features, so that before spring had passed into summer the neighbors, who at first could see but a slight resemblance between the sisters and their coarse and burly brother, were struck with the remarkable likeness he bore them in features and expression.

It was not all:  the merchant’s son had seen too much of Nora not to have been charmed with her beauty of soul much more even than with her graces of person. His mother shared his admiration of such extraordinary worth, nor was his father indifferent to the virtues which he had himself more than once warmly eulogized. Nora, after imploring the divine guidance and consulting the priest who had been her counselor and benefactor, listened favorably to the young merchant’s suit, and accepted gratefully his mother for her own.

When the days of mourning were ended, just as another spring was spreading her fairest charms over earth and sky, she became the wife of this lover, having her sweet Fanny with her as the angel of her home.

They are both, at this day, the models of Christian mothers and maidens in another land, whither the young husband’s extensive business forced him to transfer his residence; they are the idols of the young and the worshiped benefactresses of the poor and suffering, blessed in hundreds of homes to which they bring light and comfort, prized in their own above all earthly treasures, and more and more reverenced daily by those who daily and hourly witness their goodness and humility.

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fall finer fem quote for the day fall

“When God blesses your home with human life, the fruit of love, your family becomes like the Holy Family. In the family life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are exemplified the proper relations that should exist between husband and wife, parents and children.” – Fr. Lovasik

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