May your Thanksgiving Day be filled with blessings! I am thankful for you, your prayers and support! ❤
Some inspirational quotes
Mothers, on Thanksgiving, know how very special you are. You are the essence, the heart of your home. Your smile lightens the burdens, your words brighten the hearts of those who will be part of your festivities. The tone of this special family time is set by you! We, as mothers, are privileged to have such an important part in the making of our homes! May your day be filled with grace and love! ❤
This Thanksgiving let us offer up our little inconveniences, our stresses, our fatigue for those less fortunate than ourselves. And, on the flip side, let’s start becoming more aware of the little things and thanking God for them.
“After committing a fault of whatever kind, rather than withdrawing into ourselves indefinitely in discouragement and dwelling on the memory, we must immediately return to God with confidence and even thank Him for the good that His mercy will be able to draw out of this fault!
We must know that one of the weapons that the devil uses most commonly to prevent souls from advancing toward God is precisely to try to make them lose their peace and discourage them by the sight of their faults.” Searching For and Maintaining Peace, Fr. Jacques Philippe https://amzn.to/2pSwDmQ (afflink)
Thank God for His many blessings. Make the most of each and every day. Enjoy the journey. The world will keep whizzing by but we must take time to smell the roses. Each day is a gift, each person in your life is special. Take nothing for granted.
“For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy!” ❤❤❤-St. Therese of Lisieux
Be attentive to the sacrifices your husband makes for the family. Each day he battles the world, the flesh and the devil out in the workforce for you. Don’t let that go unnoticed. Thank him often! Appreciate him. -Finer Femininity
Discussing the dynamics of Catholic family life…
Black Friday Sale!
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Author Mary Reed Newland here draws on her own experiences as the mother of seven to show how the classic Christian principles of sanctity can be translated into terms easily applied to children even to the very young.
Because it’s rooted in experience, not in theory, nothing that Mrs. Newland suggests is impossible or extraordinary. In fact, as you reflect on your experiences with your own children, you’ll quickly agree that hers is an excellent commonsense approach to raising good Catholic children.
Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, the renowned author of The Hidden Power of Kindness, gives faithful Catholics all the essential ingredients of a stable and loving Catholic marriage and family — ingredients that are in danger of being lost in our turbulent age.
Using Scripture and Church teachings in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format, Fr. Lovasik helps you understand the proper role of the Catholic father and mother and the blessings of family. He shows you how you can secure happiness in marriage, develop the virtues necessary for a successful marriage, raise children in a truly Catholic way, and much more.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
Advent season is around the corner! Do you have your Advent Wreath ready?
The time we spend with our families incorporating the rich traditions of the Church will ingrain in our children a love of our Holy Religion. We are creating a legacy that will be passed on through generations…
by Helen McLoughlin
Advent is the beginning of the new liturgical year. It is a season of spiritual preparation, marked by eager longing for the coming of the Savior through grace at Christmas, and for His second and final coming. It is also an ideal time to establish in our homes liturgical customs which will restore our children to
In our family we use these age-old Advent practices to help our children live closer to Christ and His Church during the pre-Christmas season. Time-tested and proven, the customs teach the doctrines of redemption and develop a generosity with God and a coordination of the family’s spiritual efforts as effectively now as they did for our forebears. Their strong and living faith will be the heritage of our children if family religious practices, centered in the Liturgy, “the normal school of sanctity for the laity,” become established in our homes.
Secularism has invaded our households. The Bishops of the United
States have warned us that “the Christian must make his home holy–the Christian must realize the Christian ideal.”
Father Edgar Schmiedler, O.S.B., in his three excellent pamphlets, “Your
Home a Church in Miniature,” says of family customs and blessings: “They are a relatively simple, but highly important, means of union between altar and home. They are a media for channeling from one great spiritual reservoir, given into the Church’s keeping by Christ, the living and transforming waters of grace from the Saviour’s fountain.”
Children, who love the beauty and simplicity of family religious practices, make the traditions easy to establish. As a rule it is best to begin with one or two customs and add others in years to come.
It is also highly desirable that families develop their own special customs, at least by adapting traditional ones to their personal circumstances. Once established, customs recall to older members of the family long forgotten practices of their own childhood. These have a special appeal because they belonged to our forefathers and link us to the wealth of national customs now fallen into disuse.
Most popular of the Advent customs handed down to us is the Advent wreath made of evergreens, bound to a circle of wire.
German in origin–it was taken, so we are told, from the pagan fire wheel–the wreath represents the cycle of thousands of years from Adam to Christ during which the world awaited the coming of a Redeemer. It also represents the cycle of years since then that we have been awaiting His second and final coming in glory.
It bears four candles, equally spaced, three purple ones to be lighted on the “penitential” Sundays, and a rose-colored one for Gaudete, the joyful Sunday in Advent. Candles may be placed inside or outside the wreath.
Any kind of Christmas wreath such as those hung in windows may be used. It may be set on a kitchen or dining room table, on an end table in the living room, or in a child’s bedroom. However, it is most appealing when suspended by four purple ribbons from a light fixture in the ceiling.
When our children were small we bought a large, permanently preserved pine wreath and used it year after year. Now that they are going to school they help to make a new one each Advent.
Inexpensive and easy to assemble is the wreath we make from a bunch or two of laurel leaves bound to a circle of wire from coat hangers. The evergreens are secured by fine wire to the circle.
Candles and ribbons are added as the wreath is put together. Laurel is practical because it does not shed when suspended over the dining room table. Moreover, laurel is a symbol of victory, and thus reminds us that Christ’s coming means victory over sin and death.
Loveliest of wreaths and fragrant, too, is one of fresh princess pine. When we use that type, we hang it in the living room and add a single silver star to it each evening inAdvent when the candles are lighted for prayers. Stars are cut from metallic paper.
City dwellers may make an attractive wreath of fireproof green paper, while country folks will find a metal barrel hoop ideal as a frame for whatever evergreens are at hand. In our children’s classrooms in Corpus Christi School, New York City, Advent greens are sometimes kept fresh in inexpensive plastic rings.
The home ceremony for use of the Advent wreath is simple. It consists of Collects, hymns and prayers proper to the Advent season. We have put it together as follows. On the first Sunday of Advent, our family gathers for the blessing of the wreath by father, who begins:
Father: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
All answer: Who made heaven and earth.
Father: Let us pray. O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord.
He sprinkles the wreath with holy water. Then Myles, our youngest child, lights the first candle, and the prayer for the first week is said.
Father: Let us pray. Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, O Lord, and come, so that we may escape through Thy protection and be saved by Thy help from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.
During the first week one candle is left burning during the evening meal, at prayers or at bedtime.
Two candles are lit on the second Sunday and allowed to burn as before. The prayer for the week is:
Father: Let us pray. O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure souls. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Three candles, including the rose candle, are lit on Gaudete, the third Sunday, and during that week. The following prayer is said:
Father: Let us pray. We humbly beg Thee, O Lord, to listen to our prayers; and by the grace of Thy coming bring light into our darkened minds. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.
All four candles are lit on the fourth Sunday and allowed to burn as before. The prayer said the fourth week is:
Father: Let us pray. Stir up Thy might, we pray Thee, O Lord, and come; rescue us through Thy great strength so that salvation, which has been hindered by our sins, may be hastened by the grace of Thy gentle mercy. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.
At the end of Advent, candles and ribbons are changed to white, evergreens renewed if necessary, and tiny Christmas balls added to decorate the wreath. We hang ours in the entrance hall where it adds a festive note to the house and gives us a chance to explain the wreath to neighbors and tradespeople who have not seen it previously. The wreath, unless it sheds, is kept until Epiphany.
“At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation.” (Illustration: Angelo von Courten,1848 – 1925)
Coloring pages for your children…
Take a peek at these lovely Christmas aprons! Fully lined, quality material, made with care and detail. Available here.
An Englishman living as a monk in the Italian Alps is called to England to rebut and neutralize the efforts of an aggressively hostile anti-Catholic to proselytize the English.
Seriously wounded at the siege of Pamplona in 1521, Don Inigo de Loyola learned that to be a Knight of God was an infinitely greater honor (and infinitely more dangerous) than to be a Knight in the forces of the Emperor. Uli von der Flue, humorous, intelligent and courageous Swiss mercenary, was responsible for the canon shot which incapacitated the worldly and ambitious young nobleman, and Uli became deeply involved in Loyola’s life. With Juanita, disguised as the boy Juan, Uli followed Loyola on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to protect him, but it was the saint who protected Uli and Juan. Through Uli’s eyes we see the surge and violence of the turbulent period in Jerusalem, Spain and Rome. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
Yes, it’s that time of year again when I remind you (and me) to take this season of Advent (starting this Sunday!) to make it special for your family! The magic and charm of Christmas comes from our Catholic Heritage!
This is a beautiful devotion that can be made simple! Especially now that I have some printables for you to make it easier!
This is a custom we have kept throughout the years. It is a beautiful little devotion preparing our hearts for the coming of Our Lord at Christmas.
You can do the special activities indicated each day in this devotion in your own manger scene, using your imagination. When my older ones were young we made a 3D stable out of heavy cardboard and added the different themes each day…whether it was drawing in the cobwebs or making paper doll figurines for the nativity scene.
Or you can do what we have done the last few years. We put up 4 big white posterboard papers on an empty wall to make a big blank paper just waiting for the crayons and sharpies to make their mark! (You can make it as big or small as you like, using just one or two posterboards.) Each morning we draw the part of the manger scene that is applicable to that day.
I usually do the drawing in pencil then the child whose day it is traces it with colored markers and colors it in.
OR, (and I wish to thank my friend, Mary Ann for for this!!), you can use these Stable printables and get your children to color them on the day they go into the stable, and voila! you can add them to your Nativity scene!
We also print out (or write out) the special prayer for the day and put the assigned one up so we can say it throughout the day.
We sometimes forget a couple days and have to back track. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It is a wonderful family devotion that helps to make Advent and Christmas meaningful!
Here’s the devotion:
Start on December 1.
Read the thought indicated
about Christ’s first crib.
Practice it during the day. Do this daily during
December and make your heart a worthy crib for
Christ on Christmas Day.
DEC.1 – THE STABLE
Frequently during the day offer your heart to the
little Infant Jesus. Ask Him to make it His home. –
Sweet Jesus, take my heart and make it meek and pure.
DEC.2 – THE ROOF
See that the roof of the stable is in good
condition, so that the Infant Jesus is protected
from rain and snow. This you will do by carefully
avoiding every uncharitable remark. —Jesus, teach me to love my neighbor as myself.
DEC.3 – CREVICES
Carefully stop every crevice in the walls of the
stable, so that the wind and cold may not enter
there. Guard your senses against temptations. Guard
especially your ears against sinful
conversations.–Jesus, help me to keep temptations out of my heart.
DEC.4 – COBWEBS
Clean the cobwebs from your spiritual crib.
Diligently remove from your heart every
inordinate desire of being praised. Renew this
intention at least three times today. —My Jesus, I want to please You in all I do today.
DEC.5 – FENCE
Build a fence about the crib of your heart by
keeping a strict watch over your eyes, especially
at prayer. —Sweet Jesus, I long to see You.
DEC.6 – MANGER
Fix the best and warmest corner of your heart
for the manger of Jesus. You will do so by
abstaining from what you like most in the line of
comfort and amusement. —Mary, use these sacrifices to prepare my heart for Jesus in Holy Communion.
DEC.7 – HAY
Supply the manger of your heart with hay, by
overcoming all feelings of pride, anger or envy. Jesus, teach me to know and correct my greatest sins.
DEC.8 – SOFT STRAW
Provide your manger with soft straw by
performing little acts of mortification; for
instance, bear the cold without complaints; or sit
and stand erect. —Dear Jesus, Who suffered so much for me, let me suffer for love of You.
DEC.9 – SWADDLING CLOTHES
Prepare these for the Divine Infant by folding
your hands when you pray, and praying slowly and
thoughtfully. —Jesus let me love you more and more.
DEC.10 – BLANKETS
Provide the manger with soft warm
blankets. Avoid harsh and angry words; be kind and
gentle to all. —Jesus, help me to be meek and humble like You.
DEC.11 – FUEL
Bring fuel to the crib of Jesus. Give up your own
will; obey your superiors cheerfully and
promptly. —Jesus, let me do Your will in all things
Bring fresh clean water to the crib. Avoid every
untruthful word and every deceitful act.
—Dearest Mary, obtain for me true contrition for my sins.
DEC.13 – PROVISIONS
Bring a supply of food to the crib. Deprive
yourself of some food at mealtime or candy as a
treat. —Jesus, be my strength and nourishment.
DEC.14 – LIGHT
See that the crib has sufficient light. Be
neat and orderly about your person; keep
everything in its place in your room. —Jesus, be the life and light of my soul.
DEC.15 – FIRE
Take care to have the crib of your heart warmed
by a cozy fire. Be grateful to God for the love He
has shown us in becoming man; behave with grateful
respect towards your parents and relatives. — Jesus, how can I return Your love; how can I show my gratitude to You?
DEC.16 – THE OX
Lead the ox to the crib. Obey cheerfully without
making excuses and without asking “why.” —I will obey for love of You, Jesus.
DEC.17 – THE DONKEY
Bring the donkey to the crib. Offer to the Divine
Infant your bodily strength; use it in the service
of others. —Jesus, accept my service of love; I offer it for those who do not love You.
DEC.18 – GIFTS
Gather some presents for the Divine Infant and
His Blessed Mother. Give alms for the poor and say
an extra decade of the rosary. —Come, Jesus, to accept my gifts and to take possession of my heart.
DEC.19 – LAMBS
Strive to bring some little lambs, meek and
and patient. Do not murmur or complain.
—Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make
my heart like Yours.
DEC.20 – SHEPHERDS
Invite the shepherds to pay homage to our newborn
King. Imitate their watchfulness; stress in your
speech and thoughts the idea that Christmas is
important because Jesus will be born again in
you. Jesus, teach me to love You above all things.
DEC.21 – THE KEY
Provide the stable with a key to keep out
thieves. Exclude from your heart every sinful
thought, every rash judgment —Dear Jesus, close my heart to all that hurts you.
DEC.22 – ANGELS
Invite the angels to adore God with you.
Cheerfully obey the inspirations of
your guardian angel and of your conscience. — Holy Guardian Angel, never let me forget that You are with me always.
DEC.23 – ST. JOSEPH
Accompany Saint Joseph from door to door. Learn
from him silently and patiently to bear refusals
and disappointments. Open wide your heart and beg
Him to enter with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
—Saint Joseph, help me to prepare for a worthy Christmas Communion.
DEC.24 – THE BLESSED VIRGIN
Go meet your Blessed Mother. Lead her to the
manger of your heart and beg her to lay the
Divine Infant in it. Shorten your chats and
telephone conversations and spend more time today
thinking of Jesus and Mary and Joseph.
—Come, dear Jesus, Come; my heart belongs to You.
Leane and Theresa from Finer Femininity discuss the lovely Catholic customs and traditions in the home during the Advent and Christmas season…
Advent starts this Sunday and if you are new to using my Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal (if you are not, this tidbit is still a good reminder), you will want to peek at the following page. It will help you to get the things together you will need to do the Advent Traditions in the book. If there are some activities you are not doing then check or cross them off this list. We do them all but that is optional. Pick and choose as you see fit…
Advent Calendars (we have used the pop-up ones in the past….sweet, if you have a place to set it…can be purchased off Amazon.) The Advent candles can be bought online, too!
Yesterday was the start of the St. Andrew Novena! Don’t forget! Say this prayer 15 times from Nov. 30th to (and including) Dec. 24th. If you forget a day (try not to) then double up the next day…
You can print out this page from my Advent Journal and write down your petitions!
Check out my Advent/Christmas Finer Femininity Maglet here
Perfect books for the holidays! (And they make great gifts, too!)
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.
Mary Reed Newland wrote numerous beloved books for Catholic families, but The Year and Our Children is her undisputed masterpiece. Read it, cherish it, share it, put it into practice and give your kids the gift of a fully lived faith, every day and in every season.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
I was praying one night to understand a matter I often hear discussed these days. People say you need not go through Mary or anyone else to get to Jesus; when you pray, they say, go straight to Jesus.
I asked my Guardian Angel why I should often be talking to him!
That night I had a dream, in which I was six years old; it was my dad’s birthday. Being six, I quickly thought of a present for him: I knew he loved apples, that my uncle had an apple tree, and that I loved climbing. So I went over to my uncle’s house, and asked if I might pick some apples.
“Yes,” he said. “Have all you like.”
So I picked from the tree all I could. Being young, I was not very careful. Many apples dropped, and bruised as they smashed against a branch or fell to the ground. When I finished, I had a full paper sack; I walked home with them, tired and struggling, as the sack had a rather large hole and apples kept falling out.
I did manage to return with more than half of them–more than enough for a birthday feast. I watched as I sorted the remaining fruit. Three! All that work, and only three apples were fit for dad’s birthday gift!
Once again, I looked over all the fruit. The rest were bruised, scuffed, cracked or pitted with dirt from having fallen on the ground. I began to cry. Hearing me, my mother came into the room and asked why I was crying.
As I told her the story, she looked over the fruit and said, “We can still give your father apples for his birthday.”
“But Mom, I can’t give Dad only three apples! I planned to give him a whole sackful–not just three!”
She looked at me with sort of a sad smile. “You dad would be very happy to have the three apples for his present. But I know a way he can have all of your gift.”
“How? They’re all ruined!”
Her face lit up with a large smile. “They’re not ALL ruined. We can wash them, peel them and cut away all that is bad. We can make your father apple pie!”
At Mom’s words I became happy again and said, “That’s right! Only part of each apple is bad.”
So, with Mom’s help–she added her flour, sugar and other fixings–I began to make apple pies. We baked them and waited for them to cool. Three! Three apple pies! I could give Dad three apple pies! I was very happy, because without Mom, most of my work would have gone to waste and unsavored.
Mom cut a large slice of apple pie, put it on a plate, and added two scoops of ice cream. I took this and a glass of milk to the living room and gave them to Dad, with a sense of achievement.
From this dream, I learned that we can truly go straight to Jesus with our prayers, and Jesus is always happy to receive them. But with them could go the blemishes of our pride, hatreds and other weaknesses and imperfections.
With Mary’s help and merits, we are able to give Jesus His prayers . . . a la mode!
MARY INTENSIFIES DEVOTION TO CHRIST
Some people fear that praying to Mary will drive Christ out of the forefront of religious consciousness. But experience shows otherwise. It is precisely the masters of the religious life, the saints, who honored Mary the most.
This veneration did not lead them away from Christ. Indeed, it led to that profound oneness with Christ which makes men and women holy. Mary is not a barrier to Christ, but the way to Him.
Those Christian splinter groups which turned away from Mary, also turned away, to a greater or lesser extent, from Christ. Their tabernacle is empty: And even their faith in the Godhead of Christ is often shaken. –Father Herbert Madinger
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)
Lovely gifts! “Rosie’s Posies” Elegant Hand-Crocheted Doilies. These are beautiful, lacy, handmade doilies made with size 10 crochet cotton. They have been blocked and starched and are ready to decorate and accent your home decor. Available here.
24 Windows to Open
Find a Picture & Corresponding Bible Text Behind Each Window
Glitter on the Front
A Great Family Tradition
24 Windows to Open
Find a Picture & Corresponding Bible Text Behind Each Window
Glitter on the Front
Sits Easily on a Tabletop or any Flat Surface
Folds Out to Over 18″x9″
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
From all that we have just said, there flows a rule of conduct that is very important to keep in mind when we should happen to commit a fault. We certainly must feel sorry for having sinned, ask God for pardon, humbly beg Him to accord us the grace not to offend Him again in this way, and resolve to go to confession at an opportune moment.
Without making ourselves sad or discouraged, we should recover our peace as quickly as possible thanks to graces from on high, and resume our normal spiritual life as if nothing had happened. The more quickly we recover our peace, the better it will be! We make much more progress in this way than by becoming irritated with ourselves!
A very important, concrete example is the following: When we commit some fault or other, under the assault of a trial that seizes us, we are often tempted to grow slack in our prayer life, to not spend, for example, our usual time in silent meditation. And we manage to find good justification for this: “How can I who have just fallen into sin, who have offended the Lord, how can I present myself before Him in this state?”
And we need sometimes several days before we can resume our normal habits of prayer. But this is a grave error; this is nothing but false humility inspired by the devil. We must above all not change our habits of prayer.
Quite the contrary. Where will we find healing for our faults if not close to Jesus? Our sins are a very poor pretext for distancing ourselves from Him, because the more we sin, the more we have a right precisely to approach Him who says: The healthy are not in need of a doctor – the sick are…Indeed I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:12-13).
If we wait until we are saints to have a regular life of prayer, we could wait a long time. On the contrary, it is in accepting to appear before the Lord in our state of sin that we will receive healing and will be transformed, little by little, into saints.
There is an important illusion that must be exposed: we would like to present ourselves before the Lord only when we art presentable, well-groomed and content with ourselves! In effect, we would like to bypass the need for mercy. But what is the nature of this pseudo-sanctity to which we sometimes aspire unconsciously and which would result in our thinking that we no longer have need of God?
True sanctity is, on the contrary, to increasingly recognize how much we absolutely depend upon His mercy!
To conclude, let us cite a last passage from The Spiritual Combat that recaptures everything we have said and indicates to us the path we should take when we have committed some kind of fault. It is entitled, “What one must do when one receives a wound in spiritual battle!”
When you feel wounded, that is to say, when you feel that you have committed some fault, whether it be from pure weakness or with reflection and malice, do not distress yourself too much over that; do not allow yourself to become chagrined and irritated; but address yourself immediately to God and tell Him, with humble confidence: “It is now, oh, my God, that I can see what I am. For what can one expect from a weak and blind creature like me but wrongdoing and failure?” Stop yourself there and imagine a sharp pain because of your fault.
Then, without becoming troubled, turn all of your anger against the passions that dominate you, principally against those that were the cause of your sin.
Lord, you will say, I could have committed a much worse crime if by your infinite goodness you had not saved me.
Afterwards, render a thousand thanks to the Father of Mercies; love Him more than ever, seeing that, far from resenting the hurt you just caused Him, He still extends His hand to you, for fear that you will fall again into a similar mess.
Finally, full of confidence, tell Him: “Show me, oh, my God, that which you are; help a humiliated sinner to feel your divine mercy; forgive me all my offenses; do not permit me to separate or distance myself from You, however little; fortify me with Your grace, so that I may never offend You again.”
After that, don’t try to determine whether God has pardoned you or not. That would be to upset yourself uselessly. It is a waste of time. It stems from pride and the illusions of the devil who, by disquieting your spirit, seeks to harm and torment you.
Rather, abandon yourself to His divine mercy and continue your exercises with your usual tranquility as if you had hardly committed any fault. Even should you have offended God several times in a single day, never lose confidence in Him, practice what I tell you, the second, the third and the last time as the first….
This way of combating the devil is the one that he fears the most because he knows that it pleases God very much and it always throws him into a great confusion, seeing himself overcome by the very person he was able to conquer so easily in other encounters.
So, if a fault that you may unfortunately have committed causes you to be troubled and discouraged, the first thing that you should do is to try to recover your peace of soul and your confidence in God…
To finish this point, we would like to add a remark: It is true that it is dangerous to do wrong and we must do everything we can to avoid doing wrong. But let us recognize that, given the way we are made, it would be dangerous for us to do only good!
In effect, marked by original sin, we have a deeply rooted tendency toward pride that makes it difficult for us, and even impossible, to do good without appropriating a little of it for ourselves, without attributing it, at least in part, to our abilities, our merits or our sanctity! If the Lord did not permit us, from time to time, to do wrong, to acquire some imperfection, we would be in great danger!
We would quickly fall into presumptuousness and contempt of others. We would forget that everything comes freely from God.
And nothing precludes true love more than this pride. In order to protect us from this great evil, the Lord sometimes allows a lesser evil which consists in committing some kind of fault, and we should thank Him for that, because without this safety net we would be in great danger of being lost!
Thank God for those people in your life that He has given you. Make time for them. Life passes quickly and we need to show our loved ones that they are our priority. -Finer Femininity www.finerfem.com
Are you Catholic? Have an altar boy? You are going to want to grab this beautiful set!
Based on the beautiful prayer poem by Saint John Berchmans here is a 26 page set with copy work in both print and cursive as well as notebooking pages, coloring pages, and color bookmarks. Designed for grades 3-8. 26 pages total…
Cheri wrote this article about having a complaint-free month. Well, let’s do it for all the days of Advent (Starts November 29th)! (Don’t take off Sundays….it needs to be a Day of Rest from complaining, too!)
Then, by the time Advent is over, we will be more aware of our complaining habit…not just with our husbands, but with everyone we come in contact with.
Every January for the last seven years, I’ve taken the Complaint-Free Challenge: one whole month without complaining.
Of course, this has not meant ignoring legitimate problems. Will Bowen, author of A Complaint-Free World, makes a clear distinction between complaining and problem-solving. Complaining is making energetic statements focused on the problem at hand rather than the resolution, while problem–solving is speaking directly and only to the person who can resolve the issue.
Complaint-Free: Who Me?
The first time I tried the Complaint-Free Challenge, I discovered how rarely I used true problem-solving techniques. My mouth seemed set on negative auto-pilot. I griped endlessly out of habit rather than choosing my words with care.
To become more aware of my complaining tendencies, I started each day with a purple “Complaint-Free World” bracelet on my left wrist. Each time I caught myself complaining, I changed the band to my other wrist.
I soon became conscious of one specific complaining habit involving my husband.
Every time Daniel came into my home office, I’d stop working and start complaining. This habit was so automatic that the moment I’d hear him walking downstairs, I’d feel irritated and find something wrong to report the moment he walked in.
This is ridiculous! I thought. What’s going on here? Why do I drop what I’m doing and fabricate a complaint whenever Daniel appears?
Finally, after some soul-searching and a good laugh at my own expense, I realized what I was doing:
I was trying to reconnect with my husband.
We’d been apart for a while, and I was trying to re-engage with him. Of course, the method I was using was counterproductive; my complaints often resulted in disagreements or Daniel retreating in haste.
Once I recognized my true desire, I tried a new approach. I replaced all my complaints with one simple word:
It worked like a charm.
3 Reasons I Aim to be Complaint-Free Wife
1. I am more pleasant to be with. Daniel stops by to see me far more frequently, and with far less trepidation!
2. I am happier. I’ve found that what I hear, I take to heart. And since I hear myself 24/7, complaining words and thoughts cause a cacophony of “baditude” in my heart. Less complaining has created space for peace, quiet, and contentment.
3. I’m more grateful. I used to think that I’d get around to gratitude when I didn’t have so much to complain about. When I intentionally quit complaining, I suddenly had time to notice and point out all the good. The more appreciation I expressed, the more I noticed things for which I was grateful. As gratitude became my new default, complaining naturally died off.
I recognize that going complaint-free isn’t for everyone. But I’ll tell you from experience that each time I take the Complaint-Free Challenge, I become more the happy woman–and happy wife–I most want to be.
Valuable lessons are learned when a family works together. A child learns to respect authority. He becomes independent, does not expect others to pave the way before him, but learns that working is part of earning his way. The discipline he develops will be invaluable to him all through his life. -Finer Femininity
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Struggling with behavior problems is like darning socks — or rather, the way darning socks used to be. You’d work and work at it until the holes were finally closed, and then one wearing — and, more holes!
That kept up until finally the sock was more darn than sock and you’d whine a little to yourself, wondering who appreciated it anyway. If only they’d stay darned! But they never did, and you were forever starting all over again.
But because God uses the most trivial things to point out the way to perfection, once in a while in the middle of a whine you’d understand that even if no one else saw how much work you put into it, God did.
And every snip and stitch was holy in His sight, because you were working away at the vocation that, for you, was the way to Heaven.
This could be called “detachment in darning”: to darn socks for the love of God.
We have to develop this same kind of detachment if we are to lead our children to detachment in their behavior. They will learn it and apply it with ease to all the beauty and order and blessedness of nature, but it’s infinitely more difficult, and painfully slow, learning to apply it to themselves.
It means learning the same lessons over and over again.
Modern mothers have been relying on psychology books to interpret child behavior for so long now that if all the psychology books were burned to a crisp, few mothers could relax with the conviction that God’s love, the maternal instinct, and divine grace could take their place.
I’m not minimizing the work of child psychologists. They’ve taught us many new insights into the needs and behavior of our children. But God can teach us even more, because children’s willfulness, their disobedience, and their tantrums speak just as eloquently for their own search for God and perfection as our sins do for ours.
What we all — little or big — want is God; if we do not realize it, however, we choose many ignoble things in His place. And if we want to teach children to be good with a goodness that’s lasting, we must teach them to be good for the love of God.
“The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.” ― St. Francis de Sales
A Parenting sermon for you today….
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Advent is such a special season! And this year, you can make it more meaningful than you ever have! This Advent journal is for busy moms who need a little help making this season special within the home. It will help you stay on track and be consistent with the customs you have decided to incorporate within your four walls. I have broken it down into bite-sized tidbits that, when laid out for you, will be easy to accomplish. As you check each item off you will get a sense of fulfillment knowing you are getting done what is truly important in this expectant season! The other things will get done….but first things first! At midnight, on Christmas Eve, when Baby Jesus arrives, you and your family will look back upon your Advent and sigh with satisfaction, knowing you truly have celebrated with the Church, that you have put your best foot forward in making this a spiritual, enchanting, holy time for all! The first few pages of this book will have a run-down of the special Advent customs and activities that will be on your checklist each day. They are simple, they are doable. I hope this Advent is more special than ever as we walk hand-in-hand making the Liturgy come alive in our homes!
Advent Package Special! The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal & Celine’s Advent! Available here.
While no system of caring for family finances will work unless husband and wife unselfishly are looking out for each other’s welfare and that of the whole family, yet some sensible method of handling money is necessary. Thus, the subject of a family budget must be considered. No matter how high the husband’s income may be, some attention must be given to a budget, lest their finances end in chaos.
An individual may live a happy-go-lucky existence and get away with it, but not a husband and wife with responsibilities to each other and to their children.
There are all sorts of methods of keeping a budget. No hard and fast rules can be given. Personalities differ. What has been found successful for one couple might bring disaster to another.
In all cases it is essential that there exist between husband and wife absolute trust and confidence in each other. How many couples live with little or no trust and no habit of sitting down and frankly and intimately discussing their finances has been one of the greatest revelations to me.
The first requisite is that husband and wife come to frank understanding and mutual agreement as to what they are going to do with their income.
For the vast majority a high percentage will have to go for current household expenses. Because they are no longer children, they will want to save some for the future, for their own home, the children’s education, contingencies of sickness, and so on.
Their earnestness in this direction will be indicated, if they remove a pre-determined amount from the weekly check and bank it before they begin spending for their current need and expenses.
Incidentally, it is interesting to observe what are considered needs and what are thought to be luxuries by different couples. Those who confuse luxuries for needs usually are drumming along no farther ahead economically years after their marriage.
Foolishly some parents will squander amazing amounts of money on, for example, toys for their little children. As often as not a big spoon would keep a little child as contented as some intricate and expensive toy. It lasts longer, too.
A doting parent accedes to the myriad requests of his little children. Besides spoiling them this weak-kneed and misdirected affection looks not to the future.
Money kept from them, when they could not possibly appreciate it, is saved by intelligent parents for them for the time when they will be able to understand the advantages of a fine home, an education, and vacations.
In this difficult task of saving for the future, it is a great help to a couple to have a definite goal, such as a new home of their own. I do not know whether or not there are any statistics on the percentage of divorced couples who rented or owned their own homes. I have a strong suspicion, though, which way the wind blows.
Once the couple understands what they want to do with their money, another question comes up as to who will handle the finances. Since the husband is the breadwinner and head of the family, the ultimate responsibility would seem to rest ordinarily with him.
Of course, if he is wise, he will work out with his wife a weekly or monthly budget for the daily household expenses.
The big item here will be the purchase of the food. The wife is by far the more competent to do the ordinary shopping. She should have a set and agreed upon amount of cash for this purpose. From time to time adjustments as to the amount will have to be made to keep at the level or standard of living upon which they have agreed.
The husband does the banking. He takes care of the other expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, phone bills, and the like.
This system of caring for family finances seems in theory to be the most sensible. In actual practice the procedure seems to be the one most successfully followed by the great majority of happy couples.
Some husbands with little background of true sportsmanship will expect, apparently, in their own peculiar, dumb way that the wife should be able to take care of her personal expenses out of a limited budget for food. It would be just as unreasonable for her to expect him to be able to take his personal expenses out of the phone bill or the rent money.
She should have some leeway in her budget, so that she does not have to skimp on food or does not have to come to him and beg him for a dollar for some personal item or other. Within their income, of course, both should have a little personal expense account as part of their over-all budget.
Another method of caring for family finances is for the husband to hand over his check to his wife. She returns him an amount necessary for his daily expenses such as carfare, lunch money, and cigarettes. She does the banking and takes care of all the family expenses and sees to the regular saving of some money.
This system has many successful adherents. However, it has several latent dangers which must be pointed out.
Even though they have come to an accord on the above mentioned system, too many husbands lose a big part of their responsibility.
They develop a lazy sort of “let the little lady take care of it” attitude. Also, some husbands who are met at the door on pay day with an out stretched hand of an efficient wife begin to feel just a little henpecked.
There is another weakness in this method which has caused all sorts of mischief. Many husbands who hand over their checks and then do not bother their heads over the family finances have a tendency to think that their wives are spendthrifts or at least rather wasteful. Otherwise, why does she not have any money saved up at the end of the month? Where did it all go?
All sorts of wild ideas enter their minds. Is she buying groceries for that no good brother of hers? In some cases they even become pantry detectives. They keep secret count on the canned goods.
The wise wife will begin her married life by keeping an itemized account of absolutely every purchase, even if she is taking care of expenses only for food. If she spends five cents, she lists it. After several months of this it becomes obvious where the money is going. A good deal of it is going right down his gullet.
Leane and Theresa from Finer Femininity discuss the lovely Catholic customs and traditions in the home during the Advent and Christmas season…
As Advent approaches, and if you are using my Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal (if you are not, this tidbit is still a good reminder), you will want to peek at the following page. It will help you to get the things together you will need to do the Advent Traditions in the book. If there are some activities you are not doing then check or cross them off this list. We do them all but you need to decide for your own family…
You can also purchase the St. Andrew/Christmas Novena Chaplet here.
🌸💞I want to be able to lay my head down at night knowing I have connected with those things that matter most….. So that when my life is at its close it can be said, “You have run the race, you have fought the good fight.” and I will be remembered, not for what I have accomplished, but for HAVING LOVED WELL….. -Finer Femininity
Drawn from Archbishop Sheen’s bestselling books, these 28 reflections will lead you day by day through the Advent season. Eloquent quotes are paired with beautiful Scriptures on the themes of the season―patience, waiting, gift, hope, humility, joy―and more. Spend a few quiet moments of each day with one of the 20th century’s greatest preachers, preparing your heart to receive the Savior of the world.
Prayers for use by the laity in waging spiritual warfare from the public domain and the Church’s treasury. The book has an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Denver.
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This excerpt was originally written for young women having to make their way in the world. It is beautiful, and reminds all of us to keep our eyes and our hearts set on the goal. This will help us to make good decisions and to embrace our crosses along the way…
All the advantage, all the good of a life of labor depends on your being faithful.
Two girls may be in equally good situations, yet one will be contented and happy and growing better every day, while the other will be always complaining and fretting, making herself and everybody else unhappy and getting more and more wicked.
Let us look into it and see the reason of all this difference.
These two girls are acting on very different principles. One looks first at this world in everything. Her mind is taken up with the idea of enjoying all the pleasure she can now. She is all the time studying the ease and comfort of the present moment.
As soon as any desire rises up in her heart she allows herself to be completely carried away by it, and God and religion have to stand in the background.
The other is in the habit of looking away from this world, and looking first at God. The question with her is: Is it right? Is it good for my soul? And not, how do I like it?
She takes a calm and holy pleasure in denying herself what is wrong or not good for her, because she knows that her soul is united more closely to God, her only real good, by so doing.
This is the reason of all the difference in their lives—why one is so happy and good, the other so unhappy and sinful; and this shows the necessity of having a right principle of conduct, a principle good enough, and broad enough, and strong enough to regulate all the actions of our life.
We cannot do better than lay down some such principle. St. Paul had such a ruling principle. He says: “I do not live any longer, but it is Christ that lives in me.” (Gal. ii. 20). He had Christ so firmly seated in his mind, he had it so much at heart to please Him, that he was able to say that he lived no longer for himself, but for Christ.
Here was his fixed principle: He would no longer live for himself, but for Jesus Christ. No doubt he used to say to himself on all occasions: “Remember, Paul, you are no longer to live for yourself, but for Christ ‘‘; and it was by acting on this principle that he arrived at such a high state of perfection.
In the same way, if you want to live a good life, you must take care to have some such principle, which shall have the upper hand in your soul and control your whole conduct.
It is no matter how it is expressed—whether one says, “It is better to lose the whole world than suffer the loss of the soul”; or “My only real happiness consists in serving God”; or “My meat and drink shall be to do the will of God”; or “I will look at God and His will first in all I do” or “All my desire is to please God and save my soul”… all these things mean really the same thing.
They mean only what our Savior meant when He said, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul,” or “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul.” (St. Mark viii. 36).
We need some such thought to sink deep in our minds, so deep that it may never be forgotten or lost sight of. Oh! My good girl, do not rest satisfied until you can repeat some such sentiment with your whole soul. When St. Ignatius wanted to get St. Francis Xavier to devote himself to God he did it in this way. He saw St. Francis, at that time a worldly young man, who thought little of his soul, quite frequently, and managed at every interview to repeat the words: “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world if he lose his own soul.”
By and by they began to have their effect, and St. Francis said to himself: “Indeed, what will it profit me to gain all worldly distinction if I am lost?” He saw things in their true light, devoted himself to God heart and soul, and became a great saint.
So, my dear good girl, you must strive to possess and fill your soul with the grand principle of living for God, of wishing and striving to please and love God more and more. You must, as it were, keep your eyes fixed on this mark, that the sight of it may always afford you strength and courage.
Suppose a beautiful house, on a hill-top, surrounded by pleasant groves and gardens of flowers, could be placed in your sight, with the promise that it should be yours after a term of faithful service.
If you found that service getting tiresome, you would go to your window, look at that beautiful house, your courage would rise, and your labor would again become lightsome and easy.
So have in your mind’s eye the love of the Savior, that great treasure which will make you rich for all eternity, have it always ready to look at, and I will warrant that all the troubles of life, and all the mischances that may happen to you, cannot hinder your soul from rejoicing at the glorious prospects before you.
Would that we could always bear this in mind! But the trouble is, and I may say the only trouble is, that it is so often forgotten ; either lost sight of altogether over time, or seen only so dimly and indistinctly that it appears like a dream and has little or no effect on the mind.
Yes, it is very true; this glorious prospect can always be kept in view if we will, and yet it is often, very often lost from sight.
Now, I do not want you to lose sight of it, if others do. Your whole spiritual life, goodness, and happiness depend upon your not losing sight of it. Therefore, you must, like a prudent person, consider within yourself what means you will take to keep it always in view.
“If you accept a man at face value, is there any hope he will change? He may not, and you need to accept this fact. But in a miraculous way, when you accept him at face value, he is more likely to change. The only hope that a man will change is for you to not try to change him. Others may try to teach him and offer suggestions, but the woman he loves must accept him for the man he is, and look to his better side.” – Helen Andelin
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Sermon on the symbolism of the advent wreath & Christ…
Mortification means ‘to make dead’. It is the struggle against our evil inclinations in order to subject them to the will, and our will to God. By mortification we establish the right order of all our faculties and prepare ourselves for a higher life. Advent is a time when we should practice mortification (a small Lent). During Advent, we also reflect upon the death of the world. The destruction of this world helps strike holy fear into our hearts and reminds all that man can’t construct a heaven upon earth, but must rather die to the gluttony, lust, pride and anger so prevalent in this world. The better we observe Advent, the more joyous our Christmas will be….
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Wow! this is a powerful post! We do not realize what the power of a purpose can do to change our world!
I hear now and again of the reason that prayer was outlawed in the schools here in the U.S. The story goes that it was because of one woman’s tenacity and sense of purpose…ONE WOMAN….what a shame to use this power for evil!
On the other hand, what great things have been accomplished by a focus and sense of purpose of those whose eyes are on a good goal, a noble ideal! We know of many stories and examples set by the saints and even by lay people in our own time.
As women, wive and mothers, our power of purpose needs to be strong within the home! We need to get up each day, roll up our sleeves and be determined to do what is best for our families! It is exciting and, with that sense of purpose, we can accomplish great things, things we may not see the results of right away, but results that will unfold and carry on as we leave our legacy behind us!
Don’t give in to mediocrity and don’t be lulled into a sense of dullness! We….YOU…can accomplish great things…with a great sense of purpose!
This post is written for girls but is applicable in all walks of life!
Much depends upon the height of the aspirations to which the mind and heart go in girlhood. The dreams of doing or being that which is noble and great, of accomplishing much, are a spur to every girl.
And would you, my dreamers, have your dreams come true? There are three things which in the life of any girl will make her a success. The first two we have already discussed, pure ideals, and noble ambitions, and the third is a strong purpose.
It is almost impossible to estimate the power of purpose in life.
Things thought out of reason have been accomplished through purpose. Kingdoms have been torn down and built again, heathen customs have been uprooted and the light of Christianity put in their places, men born under the bondage of hard and unfavorable circumstances have risen above their environments and become powers in the world, the mysteries of the earth and sky have been sought out and their power put to work for mankind; yes, every great and noble deed that has ever been done has had for its captain and soldiers men and women of strong purpose.
A purpose in life gives something to live for, something to work for, and something to hope for. If the purpose be for good cause, then the evil that would hinder can be overcome and the good prevail. But without this strong purpose the individual becomes but a creature of circumstance, a chip tossed by the waves of life.
The power of purpose is the power of love. No man can cleave to any purpose with all his heart unless he loves the cause for which he strives. He must so love that cause that to give it up would be like giving up his very life.
I once read of a woman upon a lonely ranch in a foreign land. Her husband had to go away for a week or more, leaving her alone for that time with her little children. He had not been gone long before she was bitten by a poisonous serpent, and she knew that in a few hours, not more than eight, she must die.
She remembered her children, and that if they were to be kept safe she must in the time left her draw enough water and bake enough bread to supply them until their father returned, or he might find his family all dead. So she worked and prayed that day, sick, fainting, almost unconscious; but love set her purpose strong, and she struggled on.
Night came, and her hours were nearly up. She put her babes in bed, and wandered out of sight of the cabin to die, but with a determination to live as long as possible for her children’s sake. And morning found her still alive, still walking, and her system beginning to clear from the poison. She lived to tell the story, a monument to the power of a loving purpose.
Those who have made a success in anything have done so because they set about the task with purpose. All the great machines that lighten the burden of labor in the fields and shops and factories are the result of the steady purpose of their inventors.
No man or woman has become of note in any work or field of research but has worked on with steady purpose when circumstances were discouraging. They loved sincerely the cause for which they labored, and they gave it their attention in spite of all that came to hinder them.
And you, my little friend, can make your life successful if you set to it with the power of purpose. When you know what your chosen field is, where your lifework will be, and what you want your life to accomplish, set to with all your might and fight till the victory comes.
But make your purpose worthy.
It is a shame to waste the power of energy of purpose upon those things that are selfish and of little worth. Undertake great things, things that make one’s life bigger and broader, and that are a blessing to others.
One writer has said that without a strong and noble purpose a person is like a lizard, content to stay in the mud, and strong purpose helps him to rise like the eagle out of the shadows of the valleys up to the sunlight on the mountaintops, and to claim them as his own.
Every life that has been a failure has been so because of the lack of purpose behind it. Success is not always counted by dollars, nor by worldly honors, but in the achievement of noble and unselfish purposes.
It is purpose in life that gives an individual decision and determination. Every one of us must meet hard things. Success does not come down upon us as rain out of heaven. If we are to have success we must draw it ourselves, out of the wells of life. If we are only half in earnest and our purpose is only a desire, then when the sun comes down upon us burning and smothering us, and we feel tired from our efforts, we will give up.
But if our desire becomes a steady purpose to be successful in the thing we have undertaken, then we will not mind the sun and the heat and our weariness, but will work on with our purpose before us. We will keep a strong determination to succeed in what we have undertaken.
Success depends upon your purpose in life. I shall ask you again: What are you living for? What is your purpose in life?
When I last talked with my friend Betty on this subject she folded her hands and laughed as she said, “I just live and have a good time. I really have no thoughts about these things.”
And there are myriads of girls just like her. But sometime she will awaken to her responsibility, for her mother is yet the one whose purpose and decision are the groundwork of success in Betty’s life.
Sometime, all you girls with patient, firm, determined mothers, will waken to see that they were not just trying to hamper your good times by their much overseeing of your affairs, but that they were holding to a wise and loving purpose to see you safely into womanhood.
I think that mothers see the hardest times when the girls set with purpose of heart to have their own way in something foolish and wrong. When two strong purposes come together the battle waxes hot. Do you wonder what sometimes makes mothers sigh? You have the reason right here.
“I will if I can,” is a good-sounding motto and shows a kind spirit; but, “I can if I will, and I will,” is the old fellow who gets things done.
You have heard the little poem about the man who undertook to do a thing that could not be done and did it. You can almost see “the bit of a grin as he waded right in,” and the look of relief and joy when he did it.
Have a purpose and stay with it. Keep on going.
Let us make a home that is warm and welcoming, comfortable and freeing – a place where we can express the beauty of our Faith and nurture relationships with people we love. Let us build a home that reflects our personalities and renews our souls. Today, do something special to show your loved ones you care. Put a tablecloth on the table, light a candle, bake a cake, buy some flowers to grace your table….It doesn’t have to be huge…just something to lighten the burdens of the day and to bring a smile to those who cross your threshold.
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The rosary, scapulars, formal prayers and blessings, holy water, incense, altar candles. . . . The sacramentals of the Holy Catholic Church express the supreme beauty and goodness of Almighty God. The words and language of the blessings are beautiful; the form and art of statues and pictures inspire the best in us. The sacramentals of themselves do not save souls, but they are the means for securing heavenly help for those who use them properly. A sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to help devotion, and thus secure grace and take away venial sin or the temporal punishment due to sin. This beautiful compendium of Catholic sacramentals contains more than 60,000 words and over 50 full color illustrations that make the time-tested sacramental traditions of the Church – many of which have been forgotten since Vatican II – readily available to every believer.
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Published 80 years ago, this Catholic classic focuses on the Christian family and uses as its foundation the1929 encyclical “On Christian Education of Youth” coupled with the “sense of Faith.” Addressing family topics and issues that remain as timely now as they were when the guide was first published, “The Christian Home” succinctly offers sound priestly reminders and advice in six major areas..
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