Lovely Little Tidbits for Your Day – Prayers, Poems….

On Life’s Cross

Most Precious Blood of Jesus,
Flowing from Thy Hands;
Help me fight life’s battles,
Ever faithful to Thy command.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Flowing from Thy Feet;
Be my strength and solace,
When hopeful to Thee, I retreat.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus,
Flowing from Thy Heart;
Cleanse my weary, sinful soul,
When this vale it must depart.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus,
Flowing from wounds five-fold;
Grant me just One Precious Drop
To mark me, forever, in Thy Love-Fold.
-Rev. A Kimbal

A MEMORY AND A HOPE

Often, ’tis true, on my day’s horizon
I see, as I wake, the clouds arise,
But within my heart I carry a whisper
That brings a light to the darkest skies.

A memory bright as the golden sunset,
A hope as sweet as the fields in May—
“I am going to Holy Communion tomorrow,
I went to Holy Communion today.”

Many a time I am weary of labor,
Vexed with a life of work and worry,
Tired of giving myself to others,
Worn with the fret of this age of hurry;

Then o’er my heart’s unquiet waters
Comes my Lord’s sweet whisper to say,
“We shall meet at Communion tomorrow,
We have met at Communion today.”

Sometimes others are rough and thoughtless,
Sometimes, it may be, hard or cold;
I long to pour out on the first quick impulse
All the pain that my heart doth hold.

Then my Hope and my Memory blended,
Plead in my soul with a note of sorrow,
“Jesus lay on your tongue this morning,
Keep your story for Him tomorrow.”

All day long like a ballad’s burden
Rings in my heart that musical chime;
All my minutes swing backward and forward
Between the bliss of two points of time;

And I know that the grateful Heart on the Altar
Is touched as my happy heart doth pray,
Just because He is coming tomorrow,
Just because He has been today.

A Beautiful Recipe

A beautiful turning to God in prayer,
At break of day – be it dull or fair,
A beautiful word when chance occurs
Instead of the gossip which hurts and slurs;
A beautiful day, not one or two,
But just as many as you can do;
A beautiful thought in the mind to keep
Where otherwise evil and sin might creep.
A beautiful smile – how it helps and cheers
And coaxes from others their smiles and tears;
A beautiful song in praise to Him
When the shadows fall and the lights grow dim,
If followed – you’ll find it a beautiful way
To make – and so easy – a beautiful day.

Twelve sermons on key aspects of the Christian life given during Lent, 1622–fasting, how to resist temptation, the danger of losing one’s soul, living faith vs. dead or dying faith, Christian attitude toward death, proper conduct in illness, God\’s special providence toward those living a spiritual life, the hidden meanings of Our Lord’s Passion, eternal happiness, mutual charity, etc.

There are as many paths to holiness as there are saints in Heaven . . . but you cant follow them all. Yet there’s one thing every saint practices that you can imitate: the simple art of loving God, which the beloved St. Francis de Sales explains for you here.

Under his wise and gentle guidance, you’ll discover the secrets to growing holier through the simple things in life work, play, and rest. You’ll learn to avoid the distractions (even religious distractions) that trouble and weary your soul . . . and you’ll soon be able to focus your energy simply on loving God.


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Christ & Women – Even Towards Sinners

From Christ and Women by Fr. Daniel A. Lord, 1950’s

Perhaps the severest test of a man’s attitude toward womankind is found in his conduct toward sinful women.

A sinful woman seems to have been placed by the common custom of mankind outside the bounds of human pity. She is treated as if she were hardly human. Even good men have been quick to condemn her, slow to forgive, unwilling to forget. Evil men are, of course, eager to hold her captive on their own filthy level. Good men are often afraid that a short step or even a slight gesture of pity toward her hand stretched out appealingly may drag them downward into the bog in which she struggles.

For just this reason we learn best the tenderness in the heart of Christ for womankind by watching Him in the presence of sinful women. No woman ever sank so low as to be beyond the range of His pitying eyes and of His hand reached out to save her.

The woman near the well at Samaria with whom He paused to talk was an adulteress and one He knew to be an adulteress. Yet she was as much in need of the waters of eternal life as if she were a virgin. She was a lost sheep, He the Good Shepherd; and that was all that mattered.

The Pharisees evidently were aware of this pity in His heart for unfortunate women, because they attempted to use it as a trap to turn the people against Him.

The law of Moses commanded that a woman taken in adultery be stoned to death. So with the cruel cunning of men who hated both Christ and the unfortunate woman, they dragged before Him an adulteress.

In their hearts they wondered if Christ would not set aside the Law of Moses rather than condemn this quivering, beaten woman to be crushed under the stones they carried. No matter which way He answered, they had Him. If He freed her, He would defy the law and the people might stone Him. If He bade them stone her, all His fine talk of pity and forgiveness of sins, all His pretended sympathy for women would be blown away in the gale of His command.

“Judge her!” they cried, and they were sure that they had caught Him between the law and His pity for womankind.

We know quite well the way He slipped through their net and sent these men away trembling and afraid as He wrote in the sand the sins, not of the woman, but of the men, beginning from the eldest.

What we sometimes forget is that His pity was so astonishing to a generation pitiless to women that some of the early Christians did not want to believe this incident and omitted it entirely from their manuscript copies of the Gospels. They preferred to think that Christ would not give an adulteress a second chance.

But no one can forget the fact that for almost the first time in history a man was strong enough and gentle enough to stoop down, lift a sinful woman from the gutter, set her upon her feet, and say, “Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.”

From that moment hope and courage dawned in the hearts of sinful women, and even in the depths they looked up into the calm eyes that gazed pityingly and forgivingly upon them.

He Risks Much for Magdalen

Rather than throw back into her despair a sinful woman who sought Him, Jesus risked a whole group’s possible belief in His claims to be the Messiah.

They sat down to dinner, He and the Pharisees, in the house of one of their chiefs. Suddenly the door was flung open and in the archway stood a woman of wondrous beauty.

The Pharisees drew back in artificial horror.

Mary of Magdalen, a notorious harlot, whose name was famous throughout Judea! Her very presence was a stain on the house of any man. But the woman in the doorway was not looking at the Pharisees, who held their cloaks back from the contact with her. Her eyes were fixed on Christ, who, as He had passed her in the streets, had looked with sorrowing, pitying eyes upon her.

Hesitantly she moved forward. Would He draw back from her as the rest did ?

In her hand was a box of precious ointment, the gift her woman heart had bought just for Him. She paused near Him, broke open the alabaster box, and then—for she saw that He did not draw away from her as if she were a repulsive thing—fell at His feet, washed them in the great flood of her tears, and wiped them with her luxuriant hair.

The Pharisees now transferred their disgusted look from Mary to Jesus. She was a harlot, and yet this man was letting her perfume His head and wash His feet. There He sat in the midst of them while an impure woman touched Him. Whatever faith they might have had in Him tottered to a fall.

And though they shuddered piously, in their hearts they were glad. This proved once and for all that He was not the Messiah. For, they argued shrewdly, either He knew who this woman was or He did not know.

If He knew and still let her touch Him, then He was an evil man; for a good man shrank in horror when a woman like this so much as passed him in the streets. If He did not know who she was, then He was no prophet, and a notorious woman had completely deceived Him.

Jesus however preferred the love of this repentant woman to the possible faith of the proud Pharisees, and at the touch of His pitying eyes Magdalen the sinner became Magdalen the saint. From that day the greatest sinner in the world has not feared to fling herself before the man who has contributed nothing to her shame but everything to her regeneration.

Jesus knew that when women stray they have most frequently been misled by their own hot, misunderstood hearts. They have looked for love and found lust, searched for happiness and been caught by its gaudy substitute, given confidence and found betrayal.

He knew too how the same souls that are capable of plumbing the depths are often capable, once they turn to Him, of gaining the heights.

We may almost think of Magdalen as rising from her knees to walk straight up to the cross on Calvary.

 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, quality material, made with care and detail. Available here.

Violet Veil Crocheted Doily Handmade by Rosie. This is a beautiful, lacy, handmade doily made with size 10 crochet cotton. It has been blocked and starched and is ready to decorate and accent your home decor. It is 19″ X 15″ oval. Available here.

The book that inspired the blockbuster film, The Passion of the Christ. Faithful to the Biblical account of the Passion, it fills in many hitherto unknown details. Edifying, inspiring, surprising, and heart-rending, Emmerich’s descriptions of our Lord’s Passion will melt a heart of stone. This book is the best on the Passion we have seen. It also wonderfully portrays the Blessed Mother’s role in our redemption. Includes a short biography of Sr. Emmerich. A great book for the whole family!

An Introduction to the Devout Life is a book to be read with pencil in hand. It is a book to be read again and again. It is a book to make your guide for the rest of your life. It goes to the heart of becoming good. Its aim is to help you be rid of sin and even the inclinations to sin. Alone, its 10 brief meditations in Part I will orient you toward God for the rest of your life. No one will come away without being profoundly impressed and without being motivated to enter upon the devout life . . . which leads ultimately to God and to Heaven.


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A Quote from St. Francis de Sales & A Gallery

A lovely quote and reminder from St. Francis de Sales….

“Theotimus, we must be always rendering ourselves pliable and tractable to God’s good pleasure, as though we were wax.

We must not trick ourselves into willing and wishing for things, but leave them to God for Him to will and do them for us as He pleases, “casting all our anxiety upon Him, because He cares for us,” as the holy apostle says.

Note that he says, “all our anxiety,” that is, not only our anxiety as to accepting events but also that of willing or not willing them. He will have care as to the outcome of our affairs and to will whatever is best for us.

Meanwhile, let us lovingly use our care to bless God in all that He does, saying after the example of Job, “The Lord has given much to me, and the Lord has taken it away from me. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

No, Lord, I do not will any event. I leave events to You to will them for me entirely as You please. Instead of willing events, I will bless You because You have willed them.

Oh, how excellent, Theotimus, is this use of our will, when it gives up all care to will and choose the effects of God’s good pleasure in order to praise and thank that good pleasure for such effects!”

-St. Francis de Sales, Finding God’s Will for You

Our March has been very cold, but we are finally getting a little whiff of spring! I thought you’d enjoy some photos….

A Gallery….

 

Lent Lessons for Your Children….

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In The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland talks about teaching our children valuable lessons during the grace-filled time of Lent.

One practice she did with her own children is the Lima Beans for sacrifices. The beginning of Lent each child had their own pile of different colored lima beans (they had colored themselves) so they could differentiate from each other’s lima beans. Every time a sacrifice was made they could put one of their own lima beans in the jar. When Easter came the number of lima beans was rewarded accordingly.

A sweet practice that would be fondly remembered by the kids as they grew into adulthood….

Some of her own thoughts as they journeyed through Lent:

The meditations for the Stations of the Cross are most fruitful if they relate to daily life some trial we are struggling with now.

For example, our Lord’s silence when He was condemned to death, when He was tormented by the soldiers, or when He fell under the weight of the Cross – this can be related to that commonplace of childhood: bickering.

Bickering is a form of verbal cannibalism.Usual situation - two brothers in conflict. Focus on front boy

The one who holds out longer with his pecking at another is victor, having reduced the victim to tears, goaded him to losing his temper, striking, or some other form of retaliation, which is all reported as an unprovoked injustice as follows:

“But I didn’t do anything. Nothing. I just said . .

“I just said” is himself far more culpable, usually, than the poor soul he has goaded beyond endurance.

There is no real remedy for this but silence on the part of victims.

Abstinence from it on the part of attackers is the perfect solution, of course, but if someone does start, silence will stop him.

This, however, is awfully hard on the one who is silent, because this is how bickering goes (as if you didn’t know):

“You pig. You took the biggest.”

“I did not, and I’m not a pig.”

“You are too.”

“I am not.”

“You are too. Pig!”

“I am not a pig. I’m not. I’m not a pig I’m not a pig I’m not a pig!”

“You are too. You are a pig you are a pig you are a pig.”

“I’m not I’m not I’m not.”

“You are you are you are.”

This could go on for an hour if Mother didn’t begin to froth at the mouth. Whereas the silent treatment winds up the conversation (if you can call it that) as follows:

“You pig. You took the biggest.”

“I did not. And I’m not a pig.”

“You are too.”

Silence. In other words, you are a Pig.

O cruel silence …

But children well understand that no one is really a pig; this is only a game to see who can make the other lose his temper first.

It is ugly and mean; and the winner is usually the older child because he knows the extent of the younger’s endurance.

Out of his own store of unavenged wrongs, he chooses this way to refresh a bruised ego. If we have taught them what our Lord said must be the very basis for our behavior, we have the point of departure.

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.”

Learning this, we know what we must know in order to put meditations on the Passion together with events out of daily life and discover how to use them.

Then we can see – and children can see it – that to provoke a brother or a sister is to provoke Christ; to be silent under provocation is to be silent with Christ.

It is not good to make such accusations while saying the Stations, but rather to connect the meditations with these real problems (names of particular children omitted), and return to the principles when we are on the scene of abuses that we must correct.

“You are teasing Christ when you tease your brother. It is the same. Whatsoever you do…” He said.

You torment him just for the fun of it the way the soldiers tormented our Lord.

Yet you really love him, as you really love our Lord.

Keep these things in the front of your mind during Lent, and try to bite your tongue when you are tempted to unkindness.

Each time you keep from saying something unkind, it is a triumph of grace, and our Lord will strengthen you with grace for the next time.

There are powerful graces coming to us during Lent, and we must try to use them to rid ourselves of our faults so that on Easter we can be free of them, like the newly baptized are free of Original Sin.

Impossible? Not really, although it will probably take a lifetime to do it. But it is the goal, and especially during Lent it is the spirit of the preparation: to be as those newborn, on Easter morning.

If we are spectators to such a moral victory, we must be sure to congratulate the hero. “Darling, I heard N. today when he called you a pig and tried to make you angry. It was wonderful, the way you didn’t answer back and only walked away.

You used silence the way our Lord used it, the way He wants you to use it. When you are silent in union with Him, you are growing in the likeness of Christ.”

When Dominic Savio was silent before an unjust accusation, he shamed the other boys into admitting their guilt.

This is often the effect of heroic efforts to reach out to Christ and bear hurts with Him. Grace is the invisible ingredient in all these struggles for perfection.

For every honest effort, one may put a bean in the jar. There are beans for all kinds of things: no desserts, no jumping for the telephone (a genius in our midst suggested this to eliminate violent jostling, wrestling, racing, leaping, and tugging – an excruciating discipline); no complaining about anything; doing chores promptly; no weekly penny for candy, and many more, including that magnificent and most glorious of all: coming when called.

All who do this are known as St. Theresas.

Actually, when you scan the long list of them, they amount to what spiritual directors call the “interior mortifications.”

Our mantel is bare this season except for the two candelabra with their twelve candles and the crucifix between them. Even the bread and the baking speak to us of Lent. Crosses of seeds decorate the bread (because when you see the seeds, you remember about “die so you may live”), and on biscuit crusts and meat pies, symbols of the Passion are cut.

 

“This art of housekeeping is not learned in a day; those of us who have been engaged in it for years are constantly finding out how little we know, and how far we are, after all, from perfection. It requires a clever woman to keep house; and as I said before there is ample scope, even within the four walls of a house (a sphere which some affect to despise), for the exercise of originality, organizing power, administrative ability. And to the majority of women I would fain believe it is the most interesting and satisfactory of all feminine occupations.” –Annie S. Swan  Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making (afflink)

Meet Agnes, a fourteen-year-old Catholic girl, who is challenged to make a sacrifice. Will she cheerfully accept what she knows is God’s will in this situation? Your kids will enjoy this book and it will be one of those “helps” along the way that sweetly instills Catholic culture in your children!

We often don’t realize the impact of those lessons, those Catholic lessons, that are taught each day to our children. It is so much worth the effort! The signs of the cross, kneeling to say prayers, dipping fingers in holy water, laying fresh flowers at the statue of Our Lady, etc., etc. These are gold nuggets that will live on in your children’s lives. This is building Catholic Culture!
These stories are to help you parents with those little things…..They are story books from my new little series, “Catholic Hearth Stories”. I wrote them especially for my grandchildren….and am sharing them with yours.

Catholic Hearth Stories are tales filled with traditional, old-fashioned values. They are about everyday situations in the life of a Catholic family…Tales about home, friends, fun, sacrifice, prayer, etc. These are full-color books sure to capture the heart of your children.

Each book is about 35 pages of full-color pictures that tell a lovely Catholic story. The ages they are appropriate for are approximately 4 – 12 years.

Available here.

All 4 Catholic Hearth Stories available here.

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Celebrate the Faith with your kids all year round!

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

In this joyful and charming book, Maria Von Trapp (from The Sound of Music) unveils for you the year-round Christian traditions she loved traditions that created for her large family a warm and inviting Catholic home and will do the same for yours.

Most people only know the young Maria from The Sound of Music; few realize that in subsequent years, as a pious wife and a seasoned Catholic mother, Maria gave herself unreservedly to keeping her family Cathoplic by observing in her home the many feasts of the Church’s liturgical year, with poems and prayers, food and fun, and so much more!

With the help of Maria Von Trapp, you, too, can provide Christian structure and vibrancy to your home. Soon your home will be a warm and loving place, an earthly reflection of our eternal home….

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

A Meditation on St. Joseph – Happy Feast Day!

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The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season
Among the responsibilities that came crowding into St. Joseph’s life after he discovered that all innocently he had taken as his betrothed the one who would be Mother of God, that which must have frightened him most, I should think, was that of being “father” to a Child who is God.

It was not that his love was wanting. Joseph had dedicated his life to God. He longed with an ardor like Mary’s for the coming of the Messiah.

A devout Jew felt so keenly the greatness and majesty and unspeakable mystery of God that even Christ, when He called His Apostles, let recognition of His divinity come to them slowly. Continue reading

Say Your Grace! – Meal Prayer

-Father Arthur Tonne, The Big Book of Sacramentals

“Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, distributed them to those reclining” – St. John, 6:11.

A Catholic Army chaplain of World War Two was relating some of his experiences. Speaking of starvation in war-torn Europe, he described what he saw in an American Army camp in France. Every day a group of boys and girls of all sizes and ages, but with one common longing for food, would search among the empty food cans thrown out from the Army kitchen.

With painstaking perseverance the children would scrape every speck of food from the cans. After they had gathered whatever they could find, each child placed his precious findings on the ground, knelt down, made the sign of the cross, and said a prayer before his miserable meal. Many of the soldiers were touched to tears. Continue reading

Ah, St. Patrick, Steadfast and Unchanging Man, Pray for Us!

The whole story of St. Patrick is exciting. I highly recommend reading more about him. When I think of St. Patrick being kidnapped, I shudder. And how many of us shudder when we here of the abductions of children in the streets of today? If you have any of those “motherly” fears, pray to St. Patrick.  He most assuredly will protect our children.

These following Gaelic prayers are beautiful and you may want to adopt one or two. Or just light your green candle and say them on St. Patrick’s Day which could be the beginning of a meaningful custom in your home.


The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season

The feast of St. Patrick as popularly celebrated is badly in need of surgery. In an attempt to rid the occasion of indignities and restore to this saint some of his due, we have had recourse to the Confession of St. Patrick, an inspiring read-aloud for this night.

It has been called by Oliver St. John Gogarty, in his I Follow St. Patrick, “the oldest and perhaps the most important document in British history.”

 

Here I will interject and include a link to get this document. Mrs. Newland condenses it in her book but it is too long to include here.

Confession of St. Patrick

Here are some beautiful Gaelic Prayers that can be said in honor  of The Feast of St. Patrick. Continue reading

The Tongue, That Unruly Member

This is a good reminder for all of us of the power of our words! It is also a good reminder that we need to be diligent in  teaching our children to keep their words wholesome and respectful!
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Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale

The tongue is an unruly member, and until it is brought into control by the girl herself, it is ever liable to get her into trouble. If the old rule to “think twice before you speak once” can be remembered and obeyed, much trouble and heartache will be avoided.

When all the efforts at controlling a girl’s tongue are made by parents and teachers instead of by the girl herself, it is like trying to stop a faucet by putting your hand over it. The pressure from within is so strong that ugly words will fly out in spite of these efforts. But when the girl undertakes the task herself, she is able to turn the pressure off so that the words flow smoothly. Not that it will be without struggle; but victory is ahead for every girl who will try. Continue reading

My Morning and Night Prayers – Sharing With You….

Vincent Vidal. French (1811-1887)

I am going to share with you something close to my heart, rather personal, and that I do every day….

It is my Morning and Night prayers.

Someone wrote to me about a year ago and asked what I say for morning and night prayers and it made me think that not everyone has a guideline for this sort of thing.

Through the years and my own research…good prayer books, wise mentors, etc., I have come up with some basic prayers that I say for morning and night prayers that I think could be helpful to some. Continue reading

How is YOUR Superiority Complex?

A great reminder for your week! Pride goeth before a fall…

indexDo you ever have this feeling that you are better than your husband? Do you find you look down on him because he doesn’t quite measure up to your expectations of whatever……orderliness, manners, managing finances, education, etc. It’s easy to fall into this trap and to replay it over and over again in our minds. Continue reading