“The Power of a Woman”

by Paul Edwards, 1952, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur

“The Power of a Woman”

A modern philosopher a few years ago made this statement: “There is nothing in an age that so sharply mirrors its philosophy as the lives of its women.”

By that standard, how does our age measure up? Do the lives of its women mirror a way of life of which we can be proud?

There comes before our eyes a picture of Jesus as a young man thirty years of age. He has left His Mother in Nazareth, and has set out on His work of teaching the people. One day He returns to His native village and enters the synagogue to teach His fellow-townsmen His doctrine and give them the good news of salvation. After He speaks to them they refuse to accept Him, and finally He warns them that they are in danger of losing the special graces God is offering to them.

In sudden rage they rise up and drive Him from the building and up the hill to the cliff. They would cast Him off. He was worthy of death.

The news soon reaches Mary. She rises quickly and rushes into the street to follow the mad crowd, thus putting her own life in danger. If her Son is to die, she is willing to die with Him.

But then events take a new turn. There is a confusion in the crowd. The shouting subsides, and soon a thwarted mob slinks down the hill. Mary steps aside and watches them pass. She realizes now that Jesus has miraculously disappeared.

Today there is a chapel on that hill to commemorate this sorrowful moment in Mary’s life. It is called the Chapel of Mary weeping.

Is the modern attitude toward women tantamount to a rejection of Christ? Would Mary have cause to weep for the women of our age?

Catholic Women to the Fore

The world is filled with crime and sin. In the press, the theater, in books, on the radio and television, the noble ideals of womanhood are being attacked. In such a world which is flaunting morality, Catholic women must defend the standards of Christ and Mary.

Catholic women must reject sinful fashions aimed at arousing the lower passions of men: they must live so as to inspire men to look on woman-hood with pure eyes; Catholic women must rebuild the ideals of marriage. By and large, women will set the moral standards of society.

Catholic women, if they are to fulfill their mission, must dare to be different.

It is up to Catholic women to take the lead in restoring family life and society. If they are to be successful, they cannot be content to go along with the modern tide of paganism.

To get back to Christian standards, requires strong Catholic womanly ideals, a spirit of virtue and self-sacrifice; the spirit spoken of in Solomon’s remark over two thousand years ago: “Who shall find a valiant woman? Her value extends far and wide to the end of the earth.”

We would have a much wider living of the Catholic ideals if every Catholic woman would only realize her tremendous influence for good or evil, out of all proportion to her seemingly small place in the world.

There is more truth than we might suspect in the old proverb: “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

In the Catholic pattern, women hold a lofty and important spot, and a place with far-reaching responsibilities. A woman need not be in the public eye, in politics or in business to influence the world. “Not in the branches of a tree but in its roots do force and power reside,” wrote one woman very much aware of the potentialities of womanhood.

Woman is a powerful influence in the roots of society. When those roots become strong, pure and healthy, then society will manifest a new life.

It was the Holy Father himself who reminded the world: “Every woman has then, mark it well, the obligation in conscience . . . to go into action in a manner and way suitable to each, so as to hold back those currents which threaten the home, so as to oppose those doctrines which undermine its foundations, so as to prepare, organize and achieve its restoration.”

The formula is simple. Mary, a humble girl, living, in an obscure town left a lasting imprint on womanhood, on family life and on the world.

Today the life of a Catholic woman will have a similar effect on the world IN SO FAR AS HER LIFE IS A REFLECTION OF MARY’S. That briefly ought to be the ideal of every Catholic woman.

~ The friend is one to whom we go for sympathy, encouragement, helpful advice, and inspiration; he is one with whom we can share joy and sorrow; he is, in fine, another self. ~ Friendship should have a positive influence for moral good. The appreciation of the worthiness of the friend should inspire one to a similar worthiness. It lifts up; it brings both nearer to God; it is a union in Christ. -Fr. Gerald Kelly, 1950’s, Painting by Andrew Loomis

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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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Family Tidbits – Fr. Fulgence Meyer, 1927

From Plain Talks on Marriage by Rev. Fulgence Meyer, 1927

Nature’s Sexual Mysteries

At the age of puberty, when the girls are about thirteen and the boys about fourteen years old, certain physical developments take place in the human organism, with the nature and purposes of which it is wholesome for the children to become acquainted gradually and circumspectly.

It is the part of the father to instruct his sons, and the duty of the mother to instruct her daughters regarding the origin, the meaning and the reproduction of life. It is far better that the children obtain, this valuable and necessary information from wise parents in a decent and sacred manner, than that they get it in a vicious and objectionable way from tainted and corrupt companions.

This instruction properly given will serve the children as a safeguard and protection in the dangerous years of adolescence.

When the angel informed our Blessed Mother that she was to be the Mother of God, she replied: “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” (Luke, 1, 34). Evidently, though she was but about sixteen years old at the time, she had a knowledge of the sacred process of human generation; and yet she was the purest of the pure, and more innocent than any angel of God.

Little Crosses: Big Crosses

Little children are said to be little crosses, while big children are said to be big crosses. Formerly it used to be said, that little children step on the mother’s dress, while big children step on their mother’s heart. Woman’s dress today renders this proverb out of date, but the nature of children is the same as ever.

Whatever those sayings may mean and be backed up by, parents make a big mistake in believing that their growing or adolescent children need their attention and correction less than before. They often need them more, although perhaps in a different way.

To achieve the best results in educating their children in the fear of the Lord, it is above all necessary that father and mother work harmoniously and mutually supplementarily.

In other words they work together hand in hand, upholding and endorsing one another, and the one supplies what the other lacks.

The mother will usually abound in grace, tenderness, sympathy, gentleness and kindness: the father will represent dignity, power, firmness, authority and discipline.

As marriage in general, the burden of education will be carried like a yoke. If both go into the same direction, aim at the same goal, and keep about the same tempo, the burden becomes easy, light and agreeable: whereas if one insists on going one way, and the other is stubborn about going into the opposite direction, there will be nothing but confusion, failure, disappointment and ruin.

For the sake of harmony, then, in this very important department of family life, wise concessions from both parties are much in order, and worth all they cost.

The Deadly Lake Ride

A story is told about the evil consequences of division or disharmony of parents in the upbringing of their children.

A girl had asked permission of her father to take a ride in a launch on the lake. It was Sunday afternoon. The father refused permission. He would not accede to the request, no matter how much his daughter pleaded.

When he left the house for a walk, the girl entreated her mother to allow her to take the ride. The mother yielded, but cautioned the child not to let her father suspect that she granted her the permission.

Several hours later a storm suddenly swept over the lake and surrounding territory. The father, who had returned home, was just telling his wife how much he was congratulating himself for not allowing his daughter to go on the lake, when a messenger knocked at the door to bring the sad news that the launch containing the girl and her companions was upset in the storm, and that all its passengers were drowned.

He added, that the corpse of the girl had been recovered, and was ready to be brought in by the men who were waiting outside. Imagine the consternation of the father, and the guilty and crushed feeling of the mother.

Such a catastrophe may not happen often in the physical order, but morally it is, alas, but too frequent.

The Shipwreck of the Soul

Many Catholic children suffer moral and religious shipwreck due to a lack of union and cooperation of father and mother in their education. And what has been said regarding the parents in their relation to one another in this matter, ought to comprise the teachers and pastors of their children also, in the sense that parents should cooperate all they can with them, too, in promoting the welfare of their children.

They will consequently defend and support the authority of pastors and teachers in all things, and never permit the children to make faultfinding or otherwise derogatory remarks about them; much less will they ever openly take a child’s part against the teacher or pastor.

No one is faultless. Teachers and pastors make mistakes as do other human agents.  But it damages rather than benefits the children, if their parents tolerate, or even endorse a critical, carping, disparaging and rebellious attitude on their part towards teachers and priests.

The Power of Love

The best, the most agreeable and effective way for parents to achieve fine results in rearing their children is by harboring for them, and plainly exhibiting towards them genuine, consistent, impartial, generous, sympathetic and unselfish love.

Love begets and elicits counter-love. It is easy for you to guide and train a child that sincerely and fondly loves you.

Enter into their interests, take part in their games and pastimes, as much as possible, and help them with their studies and other laudable efforts towards success. You will thus win their trust and confidence.

They will tell you their secrets, acquaint you with their ambitions, and inform you of their friendships and their loves. They will appreciate your counsels, and welcome your guidance.

It will be easy for you then to know the company they keep, the amusements they frequent, and the acquaintances they make. In other words, parental watchfulness, instead of being an irksome task, will be for you an agreeable duty.

Fortunate the child whose mother stands by its cradle like a Guardian Angel to inspire and lead it in the path of goodness! – Pope Pius XII

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book suggestions

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

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

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Reading – An Easy Way to Become a Saint

From An Easy Way to Become a Saint by Father Paul O’Sullivan, 1950’s

Another easy and effective way of arriving at an eminent degree of holiness is spiritual reading. We have pointed out that the reason for so little sanctity in many souls is not weakness or malice, but ignorance.

Spiritual reading dispels this ignorance and helps us to feel all the charm and consolation of God’s blessed love.

Every Catholic should without fail make spiritual reading daily for ten or fifteen minutes. The neglect of this duty is disastrous.

To derive benefit from our reading, we must observe the following rules, which will not only secure satisfactory results but will make our reading attractive and a real pleasure. Read books that appeal to you. It is of elementary prudence to choose proper books, for not every good and excellent book suits all readers.

It must be our aim to find a book or books that make an appeal to us personally, that will grip our attention and act as a driving force, a stimulant to our energies.

Pray before reading. Next, it is well to say a short prayer, one Hail Mary, before commencing our reading, asking Our Blessed Lady to help us to understand what we are reading and to put it into practice.

St. Thomas Aquinas told his fellow Dominican, Father Reginald, that he got his great treasures of knowledge more by prayer than by study.

Read your book not once but many times. It is a fatal mistake to read a book quickly or to read it only once. That produces very little good. We must not read a spiritual book as we read a romance.

However well-written a book may be, the truths it presents are so great that our poor weak minds only succeed in grasping them little by little.

It may treat of the first of all truths, viz., the love of God. Nothing seems easier to understand than that, yet daily experience shows how very vaguely and insufficiently this wonderful doctrine is grasped and, as a consequence, how very little God is loved.

One book read slowly does us more good than a hundred read hurriedly. One fact, one conversation, one little story has often changed the whole tenor of a man’s life.

The following incidents related to the writer by a dear old priest show that even what appears at first sight trivial may exercise a lasting impression on one’s conduct.

“When a student in college,” he told me, “my confessor kindly gave me some advice one day in recreation. It seemed simplicity itself, yet that advice has given me the most profound consolation all the long years of my life and has moreover enabled me to give similar consolation to the souls of many who have consulted me.

“A second incident was my hearing a short story about the Mass some months after my ordination. This left a vivid and indelible impression on me so that I have never celebrated the Holy Sacrifice without thinking of it, and as a result I enjoy deep devotion in saying every Mass.”

A third fact which this good priest mentioned is no less surprising. “A lady friend of mine once said to me, ‘I confess that I feel no special sympathy for your young curate. One thing, however, that he does impresses me very much. When he passes in front of the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament, he genuflects so reverently and looks with such devotion at the Tabernacle that it would seem as if he saw God.’

This remark was made to me thirty years ago, and never once since then have I myself passed in front of the Blessed Sacrament without imitating the example of my curate. This has given me a no-table increase of faith in the Real Presence.”

If then a short conversation, a little story, a few words of advice can make such a deep impression on one’s mind, a book is likely to make much more, for it may contain scores of such facts.

When St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus had become quite ill, she dragged herself with great effort to Church to receive Jesus. One morning, after Holy Communion, she was in her cell, exhausted. One of the sisters remarked that she should not exert herself so much. The Saint replied, “Oh, what are these sufferings to me in comparison with one daily Holy Communion!”— Something not permitted everywhere in her times. She ardently pleaded with Jesus: “Remain within me, as You do in the tabernacle. Do not ever withdraw Your presence from Your little host.” -Jesus Our Eucharistic Love https://amzn.to/2YKBYPX (afflink) , Painting from https://www.facebook.com/sanctuairetheresedelisieux/

Do you need some good reading suggestions? Visit My Book List.

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Training in Obedience – Christ in the Home

Painting by Andrew Loomis

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

The father is the father; the mother is the mother. Each one’s role is different; together they must harmonize.

This is particularly essential when there is question of the exercise of authority over the children.

The principal authority is centered in the father; the mother who is associated with him, shares this authority.

Both have therefore according to their respective roles the mission to command; the father in a way that is not more harsh but more virile; the mother in a way that is not more easy-going–she ought to demand the same things the father requires and with the same firmness–but more gently expressed.

Parental action must be common, harmonious, coordinated, directed to the same end.

Extremely unpleasant conditions are created if the mother for example tolerates an infraction of an order given by the father.

The father on his part should avoid too great sternness, an uncalled-for severity of tone or what is worse, cruelty.

The mother should guard against weakness and insufficient resistance to the tears of the child or the cute little ways it has discovered for avoiding punishment or side-tracking a command.

She ought to be particularly cautious not to undermine paternal authority either by permitting the children to disobey his injunctions or, under pretext of tempering the father’s severity, by countermanding his orders.

It is from the father himself that she should secure the necessary relaxation of requirements if she feels he is being too rigid; never should she on her own change a decision that the father has given.

Otherwise the children will soon play the father and mother against each other; they will know that they can have recourse to mamma when papa commands something and they will be able to disregard the order.

Father and mother both lose their authority in this way to their own great detriment. The wife discredits her husband in the eyes of the children and herself as well.

Never should the children sense the least discord between their parents either in regard to their principles or their methods of training. Quick to exploit the rift, they will also be quick to get the upper hand. It is the ruination of obedience. The mother can blame herself for working forcefully for its destruction.

She is perfectly justified in trying to make the execution of the father’s orders more agreeable; that is quite another thing. But in this case she must justify the conduct of the father and not seem to blame him by softening the verdict.

Husband and wife are but one; he, the strength; she, the gentleness. The result is not an opposition of forces but a conjoining of forces; the formation of a single collective being, the couple.

Another point in this matter of obedience:

Never let the children command the parents. How many parents, mothers especially, betray their mission!

Parents are not supposed to give orders indiscriminately but wisely; when they have done this, they should not go back on a command.

To command little is the mark of firm authority; but to demand the execution of what one has commanded is the mark of a strong authority.

There should be no fussiness, no irritation, only calm firmness.

The child, who becomes unnerved, and certainly not without cause, before a multiplicity of disconnected orders that fall upon him from all sides, submits before a gentle and unbending authority.

Calmness steadies him and unyielding firmness unfailingly leads him to obey.

“Regularity in meals is another thing the wise housekeeper will insist upon in her abode. Regularity and punctuality, how delightful they are, and how they ease the roll of the domestic wheels! A punctual and tidy woman makes a punctual and tidy home.” -Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1894

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SaveThe pages in this maglet (magazine/booklet) is for the Catholic wife…to inspire her in the daily walk as a Godly, feminine, loving wife. As wives, we have a unique calling, a calling that causes us to reach into our innermost being in order to give ourselves to our husbands the way Christ would desire.We, as women, have the awesome responsibility AND power to make or break our marriages and our relationships. Let’s not wait to fix it AFTER it is broken.It is all about self-sacrifice, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.The articles in this maglet reflect these virtues and will serve to inspire and encourage. It is a Catholic maglet, based on solid Catholic principles.The pages in this maglet (magazine/booklet) is for the Catholic wife…to inspire her in the daily walk as a Godly, feminine, loving wife. As wives, we have a unique calling, a calling that causes us to reach into our innermost being in order to give ourselves to our husbands the way Christ would desire.We, as women, have the awesome responsibility AND power to make or break our marriages and our relationships. Let’s not wait to fix it AFTER it is broken.It is all about self-sacrifice, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.The articles in this maglet reflect these virtues and will serve to inspire and encourage. It is a Catholic maglet, based on solid Catholic principles.The pages in this maglet (magazine/booklet) is for the Catholic wife…to inspire her in the daily walk as a Godly, feminine, loving wife. As wives, we have a unique calling, a calling that causes us to reach into our innermost being in order to give ourselves to our husbands the way Christ would desire.We, as women, have the awesome responsibility AND power to make or break our marriages and our relationships. Let’s not wait to fix it AFTER it is broken.It is all about self-sacrifice, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.The articles in this maglet reflect these virtues and will serve to inspire and encourage. It is a Catholic maglet, based on solid Catholic principlesThe pages in this maglet (magazine/booklet) is for the Catholic wife…to inspire her in the daily walk as a Godly, feminine, loving wife. As wives, we have a unique calling, a calling that causes us to reach into our innermost being in order to give ourselves to our husbands the way Christ would desire.We, as women, have the awesome responsibility AND power to make or break our marriages and our relationships. Let’s not wait to fix it AFTER it is broken.It is all about self-sacrifice, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.The articles in this maglet reflect these virtues and will serve to inspire and encourage. It is a Catholic maglet, based on solid Catholic principles.

This Maglet (magazine/booklet) is for you…dear young (and not-so-young), Catholic, Feminine Soul. It is a compilation of traditional, valuable Catholic articles on the subjects that touch the hearts of serious-minded Catholic young ladies. There are articles on courtship, purity, singleness, vocation, prayer, confession, friends, tea parties, obedience, etc. This information is solid, written by orthodox Catholic writers (most of them gone to their eternal home) that cared about the proper formation of a young Catholic adult in a confused world. Take this information to heart and your journey through adulthood will be filled with many blessings! It is 40 pages, packed with information. My Disclaimer: This book is, in general, appropriate for ages 14 and up. There are some articles on purity in courtship, etc. These do not go into graphic detail but you are the only ones to decide if it is good timing. I would let my own 14 year old read it. If she came up with questions, good. I would answer them. Ignorance is not innocence.

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David and Margy’s Wedding….

David and Margy’s special day turned out to be lovely in many ways. The weather was beautiful and it was a special miracle to have Rosie well enough to see everything through. We are grateful.

There are two videos after the gallery so come back and take a peek!

Click on the first picture to view the gallery….

 

 

 

The Sweet Mistress of Home

HOW THE POOR MAN’S HOME CAN BE MADE RICH AND BRIGHT AND DELIGHTFUL BY A TRUE WOMAN’S INDUSTRY.

holy-family

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

Lest persons who are not of princely station or noble birth should fancy that the lessons of St. Margaret’s life (see post on St. Margaret, True and Noble Woman) do not concern them, we shall devote this section to showing how easy and necessary it is for the mistress of a poor and lowly home to imitate the sainted Scottish queen.

As it was to a poor and lowly home that the Son of God came, when he began the work of our redemption, as it was in the home of a poor mother that he lived so contentedly during thirty years, so, ever since, his followers have looked upon the dwellings of the poor with inexpressible love and tenderness.

Ah! he is no true lover of Christ who is not drawn to the home of poverty and labor; and the spirit of Christ dwells not in the heart whose sympathies do not go forth to the trials and distresses of those who are, above all others, the friends of Jesus Christ.

But our concern is now with the wife, the daughter, the sister of the laboring man and the poor man; we wish them to understand what royalty of spirit can and ought to be theirs, in order to be the true imitators and true children of that great Mother, who knew how to make the poor home of Joseph so rich, so bright, so blissful, so lovely in the eyes of men and angels.

She, too, was of right royal blood who was the mistress of that little home where Joseph toiled and the Divine Child grew up in all grace and sweetness, like the lily of the valley on its humble stem beneath the shadow of the sheltering oak.

It was the lessons of Mary’s life at Nazareth that Margaret had learned from her royal kinsfolk at the court of Buda, and had practiced so industriously through girlhood and early womanhood, till she became mistress of a court and a kingdom.

One lesson above all others she was trained to practice from childhood— to be forgetful of self, and mindful only of making everyone around her happy.

Woman’s entire existence, in order to be a source of happiness to others as well as to herself, must be one of self-sacrifice.

The first step in this royal pathway to all goodness and greatness is to forget self. Self with its miserable little cares and affections is the root of all the wretchedness we cause to others, and all the misery we endure ourselves.

Every effort we make to forget self, to leave self behind us, and to devote ourselves to the labor of making every person with whom we are bound to live, happy, is rewarded by interior satisfaction and joy.

The supreme effort of goodness is,—not alone to do good to others; that is its first and lower effect,—but to make others good. So with unselfishness: the first step is to forget one’s own comfort in order to seek that of others; the next is to forget one’s own pains and suffering, in order to alleviate those of others, or even to discharge toward others the duties of sisterly or neighborly kindness.

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“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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Reviews:

These books have been such a blessing to our family! The little poems and nursery rhymes are so much fun but yet have so much depth to them. They cover so many aspects of the faith; saints, the Sacraments, the commandments, virtues, and more. My daughter is always asking for me to read them to her. We are actually using them on a daily basis with the hopes to learn many of them by heart. These are a wonderful tool to have in the home to teach the faith to little ones! Highly recommend!

The volumes are so thick and worth the price! Both the black and white volume with its intricate pencil illustrations, and the volume with its bright wall-to-wall colors, have equal appeal each in their own way. It is a sturdy paperback, and will last in a house full of kids. Shipped quickly.

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“I have tried to show you , that you cannot become good and strong men and women, that is, men and women of character, unless you have Will-power, and further that you will be of little or no use to your country if you are weak-willed. It has been well said that ‘the only way to be a patriotic American is to do your best to become a perfect man.’ and a perfect man you will not be unless your Will is strong.” (This video was supposed to be on yesterday’s post but I goofed…so don’t think you’re seeing double!)    🙂

An old book that has been reprinted….

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Photos, Photos…. Pre-Wedding, God Bless the USA

This week is going to be a photo week! I am going to post David and Margy’s wedding photos, hopefully soon.

Here are photos from before the wedding ceremony and the pictures of a “We Love Our Country” Rosary Rally we held in Topeka, KS.

After the gallery there is a few videos so come on back to the post!

Click on the first picture to view the gallery…

“I have tried to show you , that you cannot become good and strong men and women, that is, men and women of character, unless you have Will-power, and further that you will be of little or no use to your country if you are weak-willed. It has been well said that ‘the only way to be a patriotic American is to do your best to become a perfect man.’ and a perfect man you will not be unless your Will is strong.”

 

Tomorrow Can Take Care of Itself

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In these times of unrest, when we are inundated with the news of civil upheaval and the injustices that mankind reaps upon his fellow man, we can truly become anxious, worried and lose that calm that it takes to raise a family in joy and peace.

This excerpt gets us back on track.

from Interior Freedom by Father Jacques Phillipe

If it’s a mistake to add the burden of the past to the weight of the present, it’s a still worse mistake to burden the present with the future.

The remedy for that tendency is to meditate on the lesson contained in the Gospel about abandonment to God’s Providence and ask for God’s grace to practice it.

“Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? … Therefore do not be anxious, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ ”

Again, this does not mean being improvident and irresponsible. We are obliged to plan for the future and take thought for tomorrow. But we should do it without worrying, without the care that gnaws at the heart but doesn’t solve anything—and often prevents us from putting our hearts into what we have to do here and now.

Hearts anxious about tomorrow can’t be open to the grace of the present moment. Like the manna that fed the Hebrew people in the desert, grace can’t be stockpiled. We can’t build up reserves of grace but only receive it moment by moment, as part of the “daily bread” we pray for in the Our Father.

To be free of the burden of the future as well as the past, we need “re-education.”

Here are some commonsense points that can help.

Things seldom happen as we expect. Most of our fears and apprehensions turn out to be completely imaginary. Difficulties we anticipated become very simple in reality; and the real difficulties are things that didn’t occur to us.

It’s better to accept things as they come, one after another, trusting that we will have the grace to deal with them at the right time, than to invent a host of scenarios about what may happen—scenarios that normally turn out to be wrong.

The best way to prepare for the future is to put our hearts into the present. In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples they will be hauled before tribunals, and then he adds: “Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.”

Projecting our fears into the future cuts us off from reality and prevents us from dealing with the present situation as we should. It saps our best energies.

In another passage of her journal, Etty Hillesum says: “If one burdens the future with one’s worries, it cannot grow organically. I am filled with confidence, not that I shall succeed in worldly things, but that even when things go badly for me I shall still find life good and worth living.”

Fear of suffering, as we’ve seen, causes more pain than suffering does. We need to live accordingly. We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.

We make mental provision for the days to come, and everything turns out differently, quite differently. Sufficient unto the day.

The things that have to be done must be done, and for the rest we must not allow ourselves to become infested with thousands of petty fears and worries, so many motions of no confidence in God. Everything will turn out all right …

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.

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“Many times God allows it to be hard to pray, simply to school us in applying our wills, to teach us that the value of prayer does not depend on the amount of emotion we can whip up. So when ‘Time for prayers’ is greeted with moans and groans, it’s time to explain that saying prayers when you least want to, simply because you love God and have a kind of dry respect and a sense of obedience, is to gain the greatest merit for them. Many times the saints had trouble getting excited about prayers, but they said them, because prayers were due and their value had nothing to do with how eagerly they went about saying them.” -Mary Reed Newland

Painting by Norman Rockwell

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Patriotism – Rev. Fulton J. Sheen

Patriotism

The treatise on Patriotism in the writings of the greatest philosopher of all times, St. Thomas Aquinas, is to be found under the subject of “Piety.” This at first may strike as strange those who think of piety as pertaining only to love of God. But once it is remembered that love of neighbor is inseparable from love of God, it is seen that love of our fellow citizens is a form of piety.

In these days when so many subversive activities are at work, a reminder of the necessity of loving our country is very much to the point. Consciously or unconsciously our citizens are grouping themselves around the only two possible ultimate answers to the questions vexing our country.

The first answer is that the essence of Americanism is revolution; the second answer is that the essence of Americanism consists in the recognition of the sacredness of human personality.

First let us consider the revolutionary theory. The Communists, in their attempt to justify another revolution, are rewriting American history to suit the dialectics of Marx and Lenin. Their argument is this: America began with a revolution. . . .If they insist on appealing to the American Revolution we would remind them that it was a political revolution against a government across the sea, and not a civil war and class struggle against one another.

As an American you must be opposed to all dictators, Fascist, Nazi, or Communist. The Communist trick is to accuse all who are opposed to Communism of being Fascists. This is not true. Because I dislike Russian caviar it does not follow that I am mad about spaghetti or wiener-schnitzel. . . .The best way to keep Fascism out of American life is to keep out Communism. . . .

The essence of Americanism is not revolution, but the recognition of the sacredness of human personality and the inherent inalienable rights which every man possesses independently of the State. That is why, when our country began, our Founding Fathers were most anxious to find some basis for human rights, some foundation for human liberties, some guarantee of human personality which would be above the encroachment of tyranny and abuse.

But where find the basis for the right of a man to be his own master, captain of his own soul, free in his right to pursue his ultimate end with a free conscience? Where root and ground the right to own property as the extension of personality? Where find the rock of all liberties which would be strong enough to withstand governments and powers and states which would absorb them as the monarchies did, then, and as certain dictatorships do now?

For such a foundation the Fathers looked first to England. There the theory was advanced that our liberties and rights are rooted in Parliament. This theory they rejected on the ground that if Parliament gives rights and liberties, then the Parliament can take them away. Next they looked to France, where it was held that the liberties and rights of man are rooted in the will of the majority. The Fathers equally rejected this on the ground that if the rights of man are the gift of the majority, then the majority can take away the rights of the minority.

Where find the source of the liberties and the rights of man? On what stable foundation are they to be reared? What is their source? The answer they gave was the right one. They sought the foundations of man’s rights and liberties in something so sacred and so inalienable that no State, no Parliament, no Dictator, no human power could ever take them away, and so they rooted them in God. Hence our Declaration of Independence reads: all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. . .among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Note that the word used is “unalienable”; that means that these rights belong to the sacredness of human personality and are not the gift of the State or the Dictator, whether Fascist, Nazi, or Communist. In other words, man’s right to own private property, man’s right to educate his own family, man’s right to adore God according to the dictates of his conscience, come not from the Constitution, the Government, Parliament, or the will of the majority, but from God.

Therefore no power on earth may take them away. This is the essence of Americanism. Now, if the essence of Americanism is the sacredness of human personality as created by God, who is doing most to preserve that Americanism? The schools that never mention His name? The universities and colleges that dissolve the Deity into the latest ultimate of physics or biology? The professors who adjust their ethics to suit unethical lives?

The answer obviously is, that the forces that are building constructive Americanism are those that take practical cognizance of the existence of God. It is the non-religious schools which are out of the tradition of Americanism; they are on the defensive. In the beginning of our national life practically all of our schools and colleges were religious schools. It was assumed by our Constitution and by its spirit that they would be religious.

The reason was obvious. If human dignity and liberty come from God, then it follows that loss of faith in Him means loss of faith in those liberties which derive from Him. If we wish to have the light we must keep the sun; if we wish to keep our forests we must keep our trees; if we wish to keep our perfumes we must keep our flowers – and if we wish to keep our rights, then we must keep our God. It is just as vain to try to keep triangles without keeping three-sided figures, as to try to keep Liberty without the spirit which makes man independent of matter and therefore free.

We Catholics are taking religion so seriously in reference to our country that rather than see God perish out of our national life we conduct 7,929 elementary schools and 1,945 high schools, employing 58,903 and 16,784 teachers respectively. . . .and figuring on the basis of public school costs, we save the taxpayers of the country an immediate one billion dollar building program and, for maintenance, about $139,600,000 every year. Every cent of this money comes out of the pockets of Catholics, and why? Because we believe that the 2,102,889 children in Catholic elementary schools and 284,736 in Catholic high schools have a right to know the truth which makes them free.

In other words, we take very seriously the Declaration of Independence which derives the rights of man from God.

In conclusion, true Americanism is the belief in the freedom of man as a divine derivative. For that reason if we wish to keep pure Americanism we must keep our religion. To this is to be added the important fact that dictatorships, such as the Communistic, regard man only as a stomach to be fed by the State, or as a tool to amass wealth for the State. Put men on that level and they need no religion, any more than animals need religion, or a monkey wrench needs liturgy.

But to put them on that level is to de-personalize and mechanize them down to the very core of their being. A democracy needs religion, for it assumes that man has not only a stomach but also a soul which is the seat of his rights; and since that soul must be fed as well as the body, he must have religion. Democracy has to rely not on force, but on freedom and liberty. But freedom and liberty are inseparable from responsibility, and responsibility is inseparable from conscience, and conscience is inseparable from religion.

It is our solemn duty as Catholics, therefore, to be conscious of our duty to America, and to preserve its freedom by preserving its faith in God. . . .

But as we talk about patriotism, it might be well to remind ourselves that in a crisis like this even devotion to the stars and stripes is not enough to save us. We must look beyond them to other stars and stripes, namely the stars and stripes of Christ, by Whose stars we are illuminated and by whose stripes we are healed!

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”

I Love My Country! Patriotic Aprons. Available here.

Bishop Fulton Sheen’s renowned and inspiring television series, Life Is Worth Living, was watched by millions of viewers from all walks of life and every religious belief. This book contains the full-length scripts of forty-four of those top-rated programs that drew thousands of letters weekly to Sheen from his viewers in response to the advice and insights he gave on his shows.Bishop Sheen’s writings, tapes and videos are as popular today as when he was alive. His timeless insights offered in this book give wise, personal and inspiring guidance on the problems affecting our lives in today’s world. His talks cover an amazing variety of subjects, from the character of the Irish to the handling of teen-agers. He discusses education, Christianity, relativity, and world affairs. He speaks about love, conscience, fear, motherhood, work. He tells amusing anecdotes, recites poetry, and ponders the fate of the free world as well as America’s destiny.Among his many best-selling books, none has greater universal appeal than Life Is Worth Living. It offers a stirring and challenging statement of Bishop Sheen’s whole philosophy of life and living. It is a book for everyone – of immediate concern to all people seeking understanding, belief, and purpose in these troubled times.

One of the greatest and best-loved spokesmen for the Catholic Faith here sets out the Church’s beautiful understanding of marriage in his trademark clear and entertaining style. Frankly and charitably, Sheen presents the causes of and solutions to common marital crises, and tells touching real-life stories of people whose lives were transformed through marriage. He emphasizes that our Blessed Lord is at the center of every successful and loving marriage. This is a perfect gift for engaged couples, or for married people as a fruitful occasion for self-examination.
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My Heart is Full by Theresa (VanderPutten) Byrne

For Throwback Thursday – Our Daughter’s Story……    🙂

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Once an old man remarked to a friend of mine who was shopping, with two little children in tow, “My you’ve got your hands full!”
Without skipping a beat my friend looked up, smiled and said, “Actually, I’ve got my heart full!”
I haven’t forgotten her words and I bet the old man hasn’t either.
How would you define, “to have your heart full?”
I think different people would have different answers.

I think back to my teenage years, the get-togethers, the fun, the go, go, go.
My parents monitored things closely and we had lots of good, joyful, wholesome fun in a home open to family and friends.
I worked by waiting tables at a small hometown restaurant, ran the Junior Legion of Mary, cooked and baked, and sang for our choir.

Rosary was a daily part of our lives, sprinkled with daily Mass and St. Theresa novenas.
People flocked to our home because it was stable, joyful and good. Dad and Mom sacrificed their home and time, to keep an eye on things while being a part of the games and activity.

We had Paintball Wars! The boys played and the girls cooked and took care of the wounded!
The Traditional Family Weekend originated through Mom and Dad about twelve years ago and twice a year, families from different states came together for music, dancing, talks, Mass and just a wholesome family time!

I traveled twice to France with good Catholic friends, for the Chartres Pilgrimage, then took a jaunt with the leprechauns to the homeland of the Irish. While we were there, we danced, we sang, we prayed, we lived with no regrets.

Being in such a good situation gave my siblings and I a chance to get to know many good men and women…..a golden opportunity for when the time was right to choose our spouse!
Many good marriages came from my parents being open to these get-togethers and having a home open for good people.

So, as you can see my youth was filled with faith, fun, stability and many good young men to choose a spouse from.

I was at peace and happy but my heart wasn’t full yet.

Then I met Devin, my future husband, at one of our Traditional Family Weekends….

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I am grateful, so grateful, to my parents for the sacrifices they made for their children. I entered marriage pure, with no regrets.
I am grateful for the nights they stayed up late and for the brother or sister who was always chaperoning when we courted.

Fast forward ten years….

We have three children now and time has flown. Each day is precious!
From holding our first little boy to watching him receive his First Holy Communion….All the happiness I have experienced in the past, could not come close to the joy I felt when my first-born received Jesus for the first time!

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From the time I married a wonderful man and have been given three children, I have been blessed.
We have had our ups and downs along the road. Mono put me in bed for a year and with it came a lot of anxiety.
When I got well, life was all the sweeter and I was more aware of my Faith.

My husband and I delight in our children. Together we watch the birds, check for eggs and view the sunsets. Our family is our joy!

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When something good happens, the kids always call Daddy at work. He is interested in what his children are excited about and this is how we share the good times, even when he is not home.
Each day is an adventure, sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry!

 

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We were driving the other day when my son, Brendan, excitedly said from the back seat, “Mom, you won’t believe this! I know it is because I have received Communion so many times and Jesus is in my heart…..I think God came up through my boots because I put my long sock on my right foot and now it’s on my left! Wow, miracles are happening to me all the time!”

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He’s right! Every day is a miracle!
When I look at my children I feel a sense of urgency. They have been given to me for such a short time; I must take advantage of this moment.

When I can go to bed knowing I have read with my children, prayed with my children and laughed with my children, I am at peace.
In fact, I have never known such joy, as what daily living with my husband and children have given me.
The hard times make the good times better.
I wouldn’t change my life for anything!
I look around at the sad, lonely old people who thought kids and family weren’t worth the trouble. You know… the ones that are quick to say, “You sure have your hands full!”
Without skipping a beat, I can now say, “Yes, but my heart is overflowing!”

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“Youth is at the same time the most beautiful and the most dangerous period of life; it can be the most blessed, or the most fatal of seasons. It is the time of poetry and romance, of dreams and visions, of aspirations and ambitions, of the noblest impulses and the grandest resolves. But it is also the season of inexperience and immaturity, of impulsiveness and impetuosity, of conceit, of hasty ideas, undigested plans and precipitate action. By one heroic decision a young person can lay the foundations of future greatness; and by one misstep a youth can start headlong and irresistibly to utter and irretrievable ruin.”-Rev. Fulgence G. Meyer, 1920’s

Lovely handcrafted items available at Meadows of Grace Shoppe!

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With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M.

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Necessary advice to Catholic parents building a Catholic home. Reliable advice that is almost completely lost today, from people who know how it’s done. How to make it. How to live it. How to keep it. This book covers every aspect of Catholicizing your home–from spiritual matters like prayer and catechism to nuts and bolts topics like Keeping the Family Budget, Games and Toys, Harmony between School and Home, Family Prayers, Good Reading in the Home, Necessity of Home Life and much more

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