Musings of a Mother….Just for Fun

A Little Throwback… 🙂  ❤

I don’t have a Masters Degree or a Bachelors Degree in anything. I’m not aspiring to climb the ladder of corporate success nor do I have a management position in my place of employment. I probably SHOULD have some kind of a degree in motherhood. Come to think of it, I DO have a management position, but the wages aren’t too good and I certainly don’t get paid overtime!

With 11 children, I have spent most of my time cooking, cleaning, teaching, and being a referee!  Seems I have spent a good amount of time breaking up petty squabbles between 7 bossy, boisterous, bickering girls!  At least with the boys, one blow from the other guy and it’s over.  🙂 But with girls it sometimes seems like it never ends.

For instance, I remember when my 3 yr. old and 5 yr. old were having a spat.  The 5 yr. old ran up to me and said “Mommy, Gemma said I wish you were dead!”  Seeing the look of horror on my face Gemma quickly said “I did not!  I just said I wished your head was chopped off!”

Aren’t they Angels?1st Communion 066My boys used to pose different dilemmas.  You know what they say: The bigger the boys, the bigger the toys.

I CAN understand why motors were invented.  I DON’T understand why the motors were put on just TWO WHEELS??

Do these people not like mothers??

With that recipe, add a pinch of teenage boy and watch out!  Every day I would wonder if only pieces of them would come home.   THEY wondered why their machines kept breaking down.  Actually they didn’t wonder.  They knew why…”Mom, have you been praying again??”

Look at those innocent faces: 😛

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We live 3 miles down a gravel road where the nearest neighbor is a half mile away.  It’s somewhat secluded and well, hasn’t always been peaceful.  Peaceful is just not the right word.  More like…pandemonium!

Have you ever felt like Chicken Little – that the sky was falling down?

One day my mother was over at our house, visiting.  Our home is a berm home which means the second level is at ground level.  The house wasn’t done yet.  My mother, dear soul, was in another room when we heard an ear-piercing shriek and saw a flash go by!  It was our pig!!!  It had fallen through the ceiling!  The varmint had somehow got in upstairs and slipped through some floor joists!!

Things like that don’t happen to normal people. And if they do, they SHOULD be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence……but it wasn’t.

One day we came home to find our goat’s legs and udder dangling from the ceiling!  Imagine walking in on that!! It didn’t make for a very nice chandelier! She had fallen through the drop ceiling but didn’t make it all the way down and ended up straddling a pipe!!

I always liked the Ma & Pa Kettle movies!  But I didn’t necessarily want to live them!

We have friends who come over just for the Entertainment Factor.  There’s always someone to laugh with or laugh AT in our home!Easter 2011 026Do I yearn for some peace and quiet??  Yes I do! When everyone is gone and the house is silent, I think of all the things I could do:  catch up on some work, read a book, take a nap.  After an hour I begin to get antsy.  I COULD take a nap but it’s just too quiet..  Maybe I’ll watch a movie…..nah, that’s no fun when there’s no one to share it with. Read a book? How do you concentrate on a book when there’s no noise to contend with???

After a couple of hours I’m asking myself WHERE IS EVERYBODY??

My children…truly, they are the most wonderful people in the world.  What a joy it is, when they are young,  to have their little, trusting faces beaming at you because, well….they just love you that’s all ….(or they’re just hungry 😛 ).  Mom and Dad are their heroes!  They show it every day in many ways!

For instance, I love to  dance.  I grew up dancing with my Dad.  There’s a problem, though.  My dear husband dances like a broomstick!  So at every parish or wedding dance, my sweet handsome boys would make sure and ask their mother to dance with them.  They had several girls eagerly waiting in line.  But when the right song came on, they would know who to ask.  🙂Colin & Z's Wedding Pics 331Courting days have been very interesting around here for our girls!  There was never a dull moment as the suitors stood in line.  Dad and Mom knew why.  Our girls are sweet, lovable and hospitable.  Ok, the real reason is they make killer apple pies!

Was it worth the turbulent teens??  You bet it was!

There have been SO many joys: For example: When our youngest boy was 3 yrs old, he would say, “ME love you, Mommy”, only to repeat it every 5 minutes until his overflow of love was used up…..  Watching my boys as they grow up, pick their spouses, start their new business ventures, as responsible, hard-working adults…. having my 9 yr. old make up her own crochet patterns and coming up with a very nice finished product….. enjoying my married children’s families as we all gather around our table (we can fit 17 at our table)….. having enough people to play volleyball every night if we want to ….playing table tennis with my boys…and sometimes even winning!! Easter 2011 404Feb 2010 Dance Wknd 241

From the outside, it seems we haven’t taken the easiest path.  But every walk of life has its bumps along the way.  We have chosen to share those joys and bumps with the children God has elected to give us, hoping they will take the things we have done right and run with them, while taking our mistakes and learning from them.  That is the legacy we wish to pass on.

My husband and I enjoy our life.  It’s true, the pay isn’t too good but the rewards are endless! We consider ourselves quite wealthy:  Rich in Experiences, Prosperous in Love!

One day, when we are old we will sit in our rockers, surrounded by our children and grandchildren.  They will be hanging off every word we say because of our great wisdom. (OK, THAT was an exaggeration).

We will not be lonely, that is for sure! And we will appreciate every minute of it because we have invested our time in what matters most….our family and friends.

2006:family pic

Virginia (oldest daughter on the right) was married and had one baby when this picture was taken:

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2016:

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Vinnie and Virginia’s (the Apron Lady’s) Family 2016:

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And Now….

Never weary in cheering your family with your smile. It is not enough to avoid depressing them; you must brighten them up and let their spirits expand. Be especially vigilant when the little ones are around. Give them the alms of a smile, hard though it be at times. What a pity when children have to say, “I don’t like it at home.” – Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J. http://amzn.to/2rHXstq (afflink)

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Review: Love these!! So far I’m only on the Spring edition but I love it! Short little inspiring blips here and there that a busy mom and wife can pick up and put down and receive encouragement and inspiration for the day to live out her Catholic faith and vocation! Thank you so much for putting these maglets together! The seller is wonderful with communication and didn’t hesitate to fix the problem when I hadn’t received my order. Meadows of Grace is a wonderful, personable, and professional shop that I will definitely return to!

All 5 Maglets! 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…

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The Sixth and Ninth Commandments – Fr. Lovasik

Note:  The following excerpt is from a very special, informative little book that every Catholic young lady and young man should read in their adolescence. It helped me so much when I read it in my youth.

I know it helped sort out in our own children’s minds what was a sin and what was not as they were growing up.

Let’s face it, those years of adolescence can get pretty confusing. And sometimes the kids are too embarrassed to talk about what they are going through.

This material needs to be read by those who are age appropriate and the parents need to decide when that is.

We must remember as parents that ignorance is not innocence. Knowing what they need to know, the kids are armed with the ability to fight against these temptations and learn not to be disturbed by thoughts that the devil would like them to believe are sins, in order to discourage them.

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Devin and Theresa

Clean Love in Courtshipby Father Lovasik

THE SIXTH AND NINTH COMMANDMENTS

Soul-death

True happiness comes from God. It fills your heart if you live according to God’s plan and His commandments. Unhappiness comes from breaking those commandments by sin. Disobedience is the spirit of Lucifer: “I will not serve”;

“God can’t tell me what to do.”

Since mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God, it is the greatest tragedy in the world. The emphasis is on God.

You were made His child and friend in baptism. He gives you His life, the supernatural life through the sacraments, and then in a moment of selfishness you turn your back on Him.

Do not try to make yourself believe that hurting those around you is the only possible evil. God does not agree with that view. When you break God’s law, you hurt God—and yourself!

Sin is called mortal because it causes death to your soul. It is a complete turning from God. If you do not want God in your heart, He will get out. He will not force Himself on you.

And if He leaves you, He takes with Him the supernatural life—which means spiritual death for you, because without God there can be no spiritual life, no happiness either.

The apostle says: “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom.6, 23.) Breaking God’s law by impurity in company-keeping spells death: death of the soul through the loss of sanctifying grace; death of the peace of conscience through the crushing remorse for sin; death of the delightful consciousness of the possession of unsoiled purity; death of high ideals; death of the lofty esteem and sacred reverence two people formerly had for one another.

Spiritual death of mortal sin brings misery and unhappiness in this world and eternal damnation in the next. Sin and damnation seem to be out of tune with the spirit of our time.

Just because people have stopped talking about sin, do not let yourself be fooled into thinking it must not be so bad. Sin is just as nasty and just as harmful today as it ever was.

Do not excuse your shortcomings on the plea that everybody is doing it. Evil may never be done even if everybody is doing it. Because it is too much trouble to behave yourself, you cannot say it is all right to misbehave.

It is God, not people, who declares what is right and what is wrong; and He is right, and His Church with Him, even though the whole world may call Him wrong.

The misery of the world is due to that selfishness which puts our own pleasure ahead of God’s will.

It is important to remember that three things are necessary for a sin to be mortal:

I. The thing must be very bad, e.g. any deliberate thought, word or deed against the sixth and ninth commandments.

II. It must be done with the full knowledge that it is against God. You must KNOW what you are doing.

III. The wrong must have the full consent of our will. You must really WANT to do it. When one of these three conditions is missing, there is no mortal sin.

The Sixth Commandment

The sixth commandment is: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It forbids not only adultery, but also all actions which are contrary to the orderly propagation of the human race.

The faculty of sex has been bestowed upon man primarily for the propagation of the race. It is to be used only in the family and not for the benefit of the individual; otherwise it is a grievous crime against nature and a violation of God’s law.

General Principle

 All sexual pleasure outside marriage, alone or with others, that is directly willed or desired, intentionally procured or permitted, is a MORTAL SIN.

Therefore, it is grievously sinful in the unmarried to think, say or do anything with the intention of arousing even the smallest degree of  sensual pleasure.

If, however, this pleasure has arisen and (a) there was no intention of arousing it, (b) and no danger of consenting to it when aroused, it is a VENIAL SIN only if there was at least semi-deliberate consent, otherwise there is NO SIN at all.

MORTAL SIN:

 All impure actions that are directly willed, procured or permitted. (Sexual intercourse, intimate, passionate kissing and embracing which form the natural preliminary to intercourse; unnatural acts, such as self-abuse or sexual intimacies with a person of the same sex.)

All other actions performed for the purpose of arousing sexual pleasure. (To kiss improperly or to read a book, to look at pictures, to attend plays or see movies in order to arouse passion.)

All actions which are a near danger of performing an impure action or of consenting to illicit pleasure. (Kissing, reading of a particular type of magazine which generally leads you to lose control of yourself.)

In performing these actions you are practically certain to sin. If you knowingly court such a danger, you are already showing a will to sin. Ordinarily you are obliged under pain of serious sin to avoid such occasions.

If the occasion cannot be avoided, then you must find some means which will strengthen you against the danger.

Some things are practically always near occasions of sin; e.g., the modern burlesque show, obscene literature that portrays adultery or fornication in an attractive manner.

VENIAL SIN:

 Impure actions performed without a good and sufficient reason. (Curious and imprudent looks and reading; pondering on dangerous thoughts through idle curiosity unduly prolonged; repeated kisses by lovers, even though they intend no passion; kissing from frivolous motives.)

No SIN:

 Sexual actions performed with a good and sufficient reason. Your thoughts and actions are sinless when you have a good reason for them; you may ignore the sexual stimulation that may accidentally result. (Medical examination, dancing, slightly suggestive motion pictures, generally decent picture magazines, personal cleanliness.)

But sometimes sexual disturbances arising from physical causes, such as fatigue, from some local irritation, from nervousness, are apt to be pro longed and to be a source of very severe temptation.

They become mortally sinful only when you make them perfectly voluntary by deliberately promoting, approving of and enjoying them.

They are not sinful at all if you do what you reasonably can to yourself of any temptation involved in them.

This can be done by a brief, calm act of the will, “I don’t want it”; by saying a little aspiration for grace of a “Hail Mary”; by trying to divert the mind to something else that is interesting or humorous; by making a brief change in external occupation.

IN REGARD TO OTHERS:

 In regard to others, you must always remember the great law of charity by which you are bound not to induce others to sin or to help them to sin, and you must also take reasonable means to prevent their sinning when you can do so.

In such things as kissing, conversation, and choice of entertainment, you cannot simply settle the matter by saying: “It doesn’t bother me; therefore it’s all right.”

For instance, in kissing, a girl should keep in mind that a boy is more responsive physically than she; but if there is some good reason for a decent manifestation of affection, she may presume that he has the proper control of himself, unless he attempts or suggests immodesty.

The Ninth Commandment

The ninth commandment is: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” It forbids all lustful thoughts and desires.

MORTAL SIN:

 To entertain a bad thought willfully for the purpose of enjoying it or to entertain it willfully so that it becomes a near occasion of performing an unchaste action.

VENIAL SIN:

 To think about sexually-stimulating things without a sufficient reason.

No SIN:

 To think about sexually-stimulating things with a sufficient reason. He who wishes to keep his body clean must begin by keeping his mind clean. Indulging in morbid erotic thoughts will lead to evil deeds, and may also cause mental disturbances.

Temptation is Not a Sin

Temptation is not a sin; it is an invitation to sin. It is a fight between your duty to obey God’s law and your evil desires. As soon as you decide to give in to your evil desires and you want to disobey God’s commandment, the temptation is over and you have committed a sin. You must know what you are doing and you must want to break a serious commandment of God before a mortal sin can be committed.

The most violent emotional desires and the most pursuing evil imaginations do not constitute sin until your will gives consent. No temptation can harm you as long as you are sincerely seeking to retain the friendship and the love of God.

By turning your will resolutely to God and prudently avoiding occasions of sin, you can enjoy a good conscience peace of mind even in time of temptation.

If doubts should come as to whether you have consented to a temptation or not, remember that if you have the habitual will and determination to resist evil thoughts and if you have prayed, you may elude that deliberate consent was lacking.

Allay scruple or doubt to keep you from receiving Holy Communion.

Abstain only when you can put your hand on the Bible and swear that you are absolutely certain you are guilty of deliberate mortal sin.

Dependent upon the nature of the temptation, your disposition, and the circumstances, all temptation against purity in thought, desire, or act, must be met decisively either by directly opposing them or directly ignoring them. Be prepared to meet temptation:

I. By regular confession and frequent Holy Communion

II. By prayer

III. By self-denial, so that when temptation comes, your will may be strong enough to want good instead of evil

IV. By turning your mind away from bad thoughts becoming busy with other things; By avoiding whatever may lead you into temptation (the suggestive story, the smutty joke, the lewd picture, the suggestive movie or novel, bad companions, questionable places)

V. By fighting against temptations from the very first moment they come up

VI. By loving Jesus and the Blessed Virgin sincerely

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“No other work that God gives any of us to do is so important, so sacred, so far reaching in its influence, so delicate and easily marred—as our home-making. This is the work of all our life—that is most divine. The carpenter works in wood, the mason works in stone, the smith works in iron, the artist works on canvas—but the homemaker works on immortal lives. Whatever else we slight, let it never be our home-making. If we do nothing else well in this world, let us at least build well within our own doors.” – J.R. Miller

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Communicate With Kindness

Painting by Frederick Sands Brunner (1886 – 1954)

Marriage Wisdom for Her by Matthew Jacobson

Regularly speaking kind and loving words brings the spirit of peace into your home. How do you talk to your husband in normal, everyday communication? Is your speech marked by soft, loving words?

What would your husband say if he were asked, “Does your wife communicate with you in a kind manner?”

Choosing to communicate with kindness and love in marriage is a spiritual discipline. We’re so wired to respond “in the same manner” that whenever a perceived provocation of any degree is felt, we react on autopilot. When challenging moments happen, you need to be ready, having prepared yourself with the truth that you are not the victim of your fleshly impulses.

You have the power to respond, in any situation, with a soft answer.

But what about all those other moments that fill the normal days of marriage? Are you speaking lovingly then? Consider these examples: “Hey, take out the trash,” versus, “Hey, babe, I’d love it if you could take out the trash . . . I sure appreciate you!”

“The doctor’s bill came. You need to pay it,” versus, “Is this a good time to talk about some bills that have come in?”

“On your way home, pick up some milk and eggs,” versus, “Hey, love, would you mind picking up some milk and eggs on the way home?”

When mundane things are referenced with kindness and love you are actually adding a layer of respect to your conversation.

You may have different discussions in your home, but the principle is the same. When you speak – even in the small, seemingly insignificant matters that make up the day – do so in a thoughtful manner.

Peace follows a soft approach. After all, it’s difficult to have strife with a person who is speaking to you in a gentle tone.

Purpose to be a woman who speaks kindly toward your husband. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

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Dear Blessed Mother,

You were the epitome of kindness, graciousness and gentleness when you sojourned on this earth.  Please pray for me that I may become more like you each day…especially in my home with my husband. May I show him kindness in the words I speak and in the manner I speak them. And when I fall may I have the humility to admit it and get right back up again. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

“The Holy Family lived in a plain cottage among other working people, in a village perched on a hillside. Although they did not enjoy modern conveniences, the three persons who lived there made it the happiest home that ever was. You cannot imagine any of them at any time thinking first of himself. This is the kind of home a husband likes to return to and to remain in. Mary saw to it that such was their home. She took it as her career to be a successful homemaker and mother.”
-Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook https://amzn.to/2XHhW5N (afflink)

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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.

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Fathers Must Imitate the Love and Authority of God

Fathers must imitate the love and authority of God

The vocation of husband also becomes the vocation of father when the married people become parents, either by giving birth or through adoption.

It is not surprising that the letter to the Ephesians, immediately after discussing the relationship between husband and wife, turns to a consideration of the relationship of parent and child.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise) that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’ ”

Still, none of us should invoke the commandment without pondering the words that follow and complete it: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

“Of the Lord.” “In the Lord.” All members of a family are equal before God; all are unique and sacred personalities destined for the same eternal life. The natural hierarchy of authority in the family is protected from abuse by those words, “of the Lord.”

It is is not for himself that the father serves his family, but as a minister of Christ. Not only can he not require anything from his children contrary to Christian principles, but also he must see to it that the children subject to the authority shared by him and his wife are formed in Christ, through a discipline rooted in love and aimed at the gradual independence of the children as they mature.

The Christian father teaches and trains

Surely the father who makes the consequences of a child’s unacceptable act inappropriate to the act fails to discipline as the Lord would do. Remember that “to discipline” means “to teach.”

The tyrannical parent, the selfish or unfair parent — and how quickly children recognize unfairness! — is the one who rouses his child to constant, deep-seated resentment and rebellion.

Such fathers are, however, probably just as common as those who are overindulgent or indifferent, who refuse to discipline their children at all.

This lack of correction often disguises itself as love. These fathers rouse their children to resentment, too, the resentment the child feels at not having the order and serenity that only authority can impose and that the child subconsciously craves.

In addition, parents who are tyrannical, overindulgent, or indifferent incite in the child a resentment of any later attempt to impose discipline or authority.

Does it sound strange that we should be told that it is the kind father who is quick to discipline, that the man who exercises his authority is the friend to his child?

Yet any gardener knows that a beautiful flower or a healthy hedge is the result of pruning dead or wayward shoots. The undisciplined shrub, the unpruned rosebush, both soon turn ugly.

The father who loves his children — who wills their good —will not let them grow up without direction, training, and discipline. To do otherwise is to deprive them of that promise attached to their observance of the Fourth Commandment: “That it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.”

Nearly all of our “problem children,” our wayward youth, all of those children with whom things have not gone well and who are not headed for “a long life on earth,” come from homes where there was not a good, balanced sense of discipline and order.

“Responsibility is the trait of getting a job done that has been entrusted to you, and doing the job right, to the best of your ability, and having it done on time. This trait is especially needed when you have no one looking over your shoulder to make sure the job gets done.

This is what so many wives of today are lacking – a sense of responsibility for the work they do in their homes and for their families. You don’t have a time clock to punch or a manager coming by to check on you to make sure the job is getting done. Without this outside pressure, many of us just don’t do as good of a job at home as we would do somewhere else. What’s missing? That trait of responsibility.

Even when parts of your work are done by others, such as with daycare or hiring a housekeeper, your responsibility to see the job gets done is still yours. The children and the house are still yours to look after, and it is a serious flaw to take a lax attitude about your responsibilities.” -Fascinating Womanhood

“I’ve long been wanting a book on various virtues to help my children become better Catholics. But most books focused on the virtues make being bad seem funny or attractive in order to teach the child a lesson. I’ve always found them to be detrimental to the younger ones who’s logic hasn’t formed. This book does an awesome job in showing a GOOD example in each of the children with all the various struggles children commonly struggle with (lying, hiding things, being grumpy, you name it.) But this book isn’t JUST virtue training… it’s also just sweet little chats about our love for God, God’s greatness, etc…
And the best thing of all? They are SHORT! I have lots of books that are wonderful, but to be honest I rarely pick them up because I just don’t have the time to read a huge, long story. These are super short, just one page, and very to the point. The second page has a poem, picture, a short prayer and a few questions for the kids to get them thinking. It works really, really well right before our bedtime prayers and only takes a few minutes at most.
If you like “Leading the Little ones to Mary” then you will like these… they are a little more focused on ALL age groups, not just little ones… so are perfect for a family activity even through the teenage years, down to your toddler.” Available here.

An older book but very relevant today….Rooted firmly in Scripture, these pages call on husbands to stop thinking of themselves simply as bosses and breadwinners. Rather, says author Clayton Barbeau, husbands should see themselves as co-creators with God, imitators of Christ’s love for His people, high priests in the domestic Church, teachers of their children, witnesses to society, providers of spiritual and material goods, and models of holiness…

A very valuable book for the guys plucked out of the past and reprinted. It was written in 1894 by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly and the words on the pages will stir the hearts of the men to rise to virtue and chivalry…. Beautifully and eloquently written!
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Notes on Daily Mass by St. Leonard of Port Maurice

Many years I was not able to attend daily Mass because of homeschooling, pregnancies, toddlers, sicknesses, etc.  So this post is not to cause us to feel guilty and push us to neglect our home duties….

At the same time, it is a good reminder that, if we can,  take in an extra Mass during the week. And if we are in a time of life we can get to daily Mass, it will be the most efficacious thing you will do in your day!

It is also a call to priests to fulfill their serious obligation of offering daily Holy Mass….

Angelo is second altar server from the right.

from The Hidden Treasure by St. Leonard of Port Maurice, 1676

VARIOUS EXAMPLES TO INDUCE THE FAITHFUL OF EVERY CONDITION EACH MORNING TO HEAR HOLY MASS

Many are the excuses which those who attend holy Mass grudgingly and with reluctance find for their tepidity. You may observe them all immersed in business, all anxious and intent (to use a common and most accurate expression) on promoting their own interests.

For these, every fatigue is a trifle; nor is there any inconvenience which they will allow to stand in their way; while, for attending holy Mass, which is the great affair of all, you will perceive them languid, cold, with a hundred frivolous pretexts at hand about important occupations, weak health, family troubles, want of time, multiplicity of business, and so on. Continue reading

Character Building – Beautiful Girlhood

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Canadian artist Lise Auger “Ladies in Hats”

from Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale

“Let every man take heed how he buildeth.”

The most precious earthly treasure a girl can have is character. Her character is what she really is. If she will look beyond what she appears to be, and what people think of her, and look at her heart fairly and honestly, judging herself by the standards of right and wrong to which her own conscience gives sanction, then she can know whether she has a good character.

When a girl is misunderstood and misjudged, it is comforting to know that deep in her heart she has been true. But it will rob even her friends’ praises of the real pleasure if, in her heart, she knows she has been untrue.

Character is not given to us; we build it ourselves. Others may furnish the material, may set before us the right standards and ideals, may give us reproof and correction, may guide our actions and mold our thoughts—but after all, we build our own character. It is we, ourselves, who take of the influence about us, copy the ideals, reach the standards, and make ourselves what we are. Continue reading

Character Training in Early Adolescence

Painting by Harold N. Anderson

This is an excerpt taken from a treasure of a book published in 1924 called The Catholic Teacher’s Companion – A Book of Inspiration and Self-Help.

It was originally written for teaching Sisters….

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How beautiful is youth! how bright if gleams

With its illusions, aspirations, dreams!

Book of Beginnings, Story without End,

Each maid a heroine, and each man a friend!

-LONGFELLOW.

No phase of character training is more interesting or more important than the education of the adolescent. Adolescence has always appealed to the heart of the true teacher. At least one biographer of Our Lord is of the opinion that many, if not most, of the disciples chosen by Christ were adolescents.

Socrates knew that there was no more fertile source for inspiration than the companionship of adolescents. Plato is at his best in those dialogues in which adolescents play the chief role. G. Stanley Hall confesses of himself: “As for years an almost passionate lover of childhood and a teacher of youth, the adolescent stage of life has long seemed to me one of the most fascinating of all themes, more worthy, perhaps, than anything else in the world of reverence, most inviting study, and in most crying need of a service we do not yet understand how to render aright.”

Adolescence is, indeed, a fascinating period in life; it is the second birth of the child, and the morning hour of life when the whole world turns to gold. Continue reading

Nice Quotes and a Spring Gallery

Some inspiring quotes for your day….

“Happiness in marriage must be earned. It is something you must work out for yourself, chiefly by forgetting yourself and serving others. No marriage is a success unless less you make it so, and that takes persistent effort and, still more, a constant and humble reliance on God.” – Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2rsThRU (afflink)

“It’s better to submit a thousand times to losing an argument than let children see a parent fail to exhibit the patience and consideration he’s trying to teach.” – Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children https://amzn.to/2v4Reaj (afflink)

Continue reading

The Mass – Active and Fruitful Participation

From Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love

The infinite greatness of the Holy Mass should enable us to understand the need of attentively and devoutly taking part in this Sacrifice of Jesus. Adoration, love and sorrow ought to have undisputed predominance among our sentiments.

In a very moving reflection, Ven. Pope Pius XII described the state of mind with which one should take part in the Holy Mass: it should be “the state of mind that the Divine Redeemer had when He sacrificed Himself—the same humble spirit of submission—that is, of adoration, love, praise and thanksgiving to the great majesty of God, so that we reproduce in ourselves the condition of victimhood, the self-denial that follows the Gospel’s teaching, by which of our own accord we make a willing sacrifice of penance, sorrow and expiation for our sins.” Continue reading

If Love Does Not Climb, It Falls – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

From Three to Get Married, Fulton J. Sheen

2213_fit5121. The Differences Between Sex and Love

Love is primarily in the will, not in the emotions or the glands. The will is like the voice; the emotions are like the echo. The pleasure associated with love, or what is today called “sex,” is the frosting on the cake; its purpose is to make us love the cake, not ignore it.

The greatest illusion of lovers is to believe that the intensity of their sexual attraction is the guarantee of the perpetuity of their love.

It is because of this failure to distinguish between the glandular and spiritual–or between sex which we have in common with animals, and love which we have in common with God–that marriages are so full of deception. What some people love is not a person, but the experience of being in love.

The first is irreplaceable; the second is not. As soon as the glands cease to react with their pristine force, couples who identified emotionalism and love claim they no longer love one another. Continue reading