Laetare Sunday to Palm Sunday – Maria Von Trapp

In these hard “Corona-Times”, when we are not able to attend Mass or other Religious Ceremonies, let us remember that we can keep the Faith very much alive in our homes! Teach your family the Spiritual Communion, take part in live streaming Masses, make Sundays special by spending specific time in prayer and reading. We will all get through this with a greater appreciation of the Mass and Holy Communion. Be at peace..God has not abandoned His people.

In this article, Maria von Trapp brings to us the lovely customs of Lent that enrich a Catholic home and make the Faith fully alive to all….

From Around the Year With the Trapp Family, 1955, Sophia Institute Press

In the middle of Lent comes the Sunday Laetare, also called “Rose Sunday.” It is as if Holy Mother Church wants to give us a break by interrupting the solemn chant of mourning, the unaccompanied cadences and the use of the violet vestments, bursting out suddenly in the word “Laetare” (“Rejoice”), allowing her priests to vest in rose-colored garments, to have flowers on the altar and an organ accompaniment for chant.

It is also called “Rose Sunday” because on that day the Pope in Rome blesses a golden rose, an ornament made of gold and precious stones.

The Holy Father prays that the Church may bring forth the fruit of good works and “the perfume of the ointment of the flowers from the root of Jesse.” Then he sends the golden rose to some church or city in the world or to a person who has been of great service to the Church.

Only recently I discovered that this Sunday used to be known as “Mothering Sunday.” This seems to go back to an ancient custom. People in every city would visit the cathedral, or mother church, inspired by a reference in the Epistle read on the Fourth Sunday of Lent: “That Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is our Mother.”

And there grew up, first in England, from where it spread over the continent, the idea that children who did not live at home visited their mothers that day and brought them a gift.

This is, in fact, the precursor of our Mother’s Day. Expecting their visiting children, the mothers are said to have baked a special cake in which they used equal amounts of sugar and flour (two cups of each); from this came the name “Simmel Cake,” derived from the Latin word “similis”, meaning “like” or “same.”

Here is the recipe:

Simmel Cake

3/4 cup butter                1/3 cup shredded lemon &

2 cups sugar                       orange peel

2 cups flour                  1 cup currants

4 eggs                        almond paste

1/2 tsp. salt.

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift the flour and salt and add to the first mixture. Dust the peel and currants with a little flour and add to the batter. Line cake tin with waxed paper and pour in half the dough. Add a layer of almond paste and remaining dough. Bake at 300 degrees F. for one hour. Ice with a thin white icing, flavored with a few drops of almond extract.

PASSIONTIDE

Passion Sunday To Holy Saturday

The liturgy follows Christ’s early life step by step. At Christmas season we learn of the birth in the stable, the adoration of the shepherds, the slaughter of the innocents, the flight into Egypt, the adoration of the Magi, and finally the return from Egypt.

Then we meet Our Lord again at His baptism, we accompany Him into the desert on his fast, and we go with Him for the first and second years of His public life, we listen to His parables, we admire His miracles, and we unite our hearts with Him in His life of toil and missionary love for us.

Now four weeks of instruction have passed. We have followed Our Lord in His apostolic ministry and we have reached the moment when, together with Holy Mother Church, we shall contemplate the sorrowful happenings of the last year (during Passion Week) and the last week (during Holy Week) of His life on earth.

We can feel the hatred of Christ’s enemies growing day by day. On Good Friday we shall witness once more the most frightening of all happenings, foretold by the prophets and even by Our Lord Himself, the bloody drama of Calvary.

The purpose of Passiontide is to call to our memory the persecutions of which Our Lord was the object during His public life and especially toward the end. If Septuagesima season acts as a remote preparation for Easter, and Lent the proximate one, the last two weeks of Passiontide are the immediate preparation.

PASSION SUNDAY

When the children were still very small, I said to them on the way to church on a Passion Sunday morning, “Now watch and tell me what is different today in church!” On the way home they said eagerly that the statues and crosses on the altars were covered with violet cloth.

“And why don’t we do it at home, Mother? Shouldn’t we cover the crucifix and statues in the living room and in our bedrooms, too?”

As I had no good reason to offer against it, we bought a few yards of violet cloth the next day and did at home what we had seen in church. In the following years we were ready for the covering ceremony on Saturday before Passion Sunday.

The older ones among the children also had noticed that the prayers at the foot of the altar were much shorter and that there was no “Gloria Patri” after the Introit and the Lavabo.

To let the children watch for such changes in the liturgy makes them much more eager than if they are told everything in advance.

Promptly, when we came in our evening prayers to the “Gloria Patri,” a warning, hissing “Sssh” from the children’s side made us aware that “Gloria Patri,” even if only in family prayers, should be omitted for these holy days of mourning.

I am sure it would be the case in every family, as it was in ours, that the children are the ones who most eagerly want to carry into the home as much of holy liturgy as they possibly can.

For instance, when I answered their question as to how the ashes are obtained which are to be blessed on Ash Wednesday, telling them that the blessed palms from the previous Palm Sunday are burned, they asked a most logical question “But, Mother, if you burn a blessed object, aren’t the ashes already blessed? And if so, shouldn’t we burn all the blessed palms around the place too and sprinkle the ashes over the garden?” And so we did!

After we had established this as a firm family custom, I read that this is done in many places in the Austrian Alps, only there the people strew the ashes not over the garden but over the fields.

PALM SUNDAY

Then comes the week which is called in the missal “Hebdomada Major”–our “Holy Week” in which we accompany Our Lord day by day through the last week of His life, as it is told in the Gospels. First we join Him in His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

As soon as the Church had been freed by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, the Christians began to celebrate Palm Sunday in a very dramatic way in Jerusalem.

On the very spot where it had happened, the holy texts were read: “Rejoice, daughter of Sion, behold Thy King will come to thee….”

The crowd spread their garments on the ground, crying aloud, “Blessed be the King Who cometh in the Name of the Lord.” The bishop, mounted on an ass, would ride up to the church on the Mount of Olives, surrounded by a multitude carrying palms and singing hymns and joyful anthems.

From Jerusalem this re-enactment of Christ’s solemn entry into His holy city came to Rome, where the Church soon adopted the same practice. The ceremony, however, was preceded by the solemn reading of the passage from Holy Scriptures relating the flight from Egypt, thus reminding Christ’s people that Christ, the new Moses, in giving them the real manna, is delivering them out of the Egypt of sin and nourishing them in the Eucharist.

Around the ninth century the Church added a new rite. The palms, which the people would hold in their hands when they accompanied their bishop, were solemnly blessed.

We have already witnessed several of these specially solemn blessings, on Epiphany, on Candlemas Day, on Ash Wednesday. Again these texts are so rich in beautiful thoughts for meditation that families should read them together–not only read them, but read them prayerfully.

From Rome the idea to re-enact Our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem spread all over the Christian world. In medieval times the faithful and the clergy met at a chapel or a wayside shrine outside of town where the palms were blessed, and from there moved in a solemn procession to the cathedral.

Our Lord was represented either by the bishop riding on an ass or, in some places, by the Blessed Sacrament carried by the king or, in other places, by a crucifix carried ahead. In some Austrian villages the figure of Christ sitting on an ass, carved in wood, is carried.

The Christian people had an unerring instinct for the efficacy of those solemnly blessed sacramentals, and just as they carried home Epiphany water and holy candles, they also would bring home with them blessed palms.

In the old country this was quite an elaborate function of “the liturgy in the home.” As we did not have real palms growing in Austria, we used evergreens and pussy willows, which at that time were the first children of spring.

Like all other Austrian families living in the country, we made as many little bouquets as there were divisions on our grounds–one for the vegetable garden, one for the orchard, one for the flower garden, one for each pasture, and one for each field. Each of these little bouquets was fastened to a stick about three feet high.

Besides, there were many single twigs of pussy willow which would be placed behind pictures all around the house. These bouquets were gaily adorned with colored ribbons or dyed shavings from the carpenter shop.

The children carried them into the church and vied with each other, during the blessing, as to who held his stick highest to get most of the holy water sprinkled on it. Then bouquets were carried in a liturgical procession and afterwards were brought home.

In the afternoon the whole family would follow the father throughout the house and all over the grounds and he would place in the middle of every lot one of those sticks carrying the blessed bouquets as a means of protecting his property against the influence of evil spirits, against the damage of hail storms and floods.

While the family would proceed from lot to lot, they would say the rosary. We would alternate between decades of the rosary and the chants of the day, “Pueri Hebraeorum” and “Gloria, laus et honor.” On

Easter Sunday the family would revisit these sticks, bringing along little bottles filled with Easter water (holy water blessed solemnly on Easter morning). These little bottles would be tied to sticks, thus adding another sacramental.

Quote from The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland

“Your joy in your children should outweigh by far any disadvantages they may cause. In them you will find your own happiness.” – Rev. George A. Kelly, http://amzn.to/2neRNrZ The Catholic Family Handbook. (afflink)

 

The Mirror of True Womanhood

A very beautiful book, worthy of our attention. In it, you will find many pearls of wisdom for a woman striving to be the heart of the home, an inspiration to all who cross her path. You will be inspired to reconsider the importance of your role of wife and mother! Written by Rev. Bernard O’Reilly in 1894, the treasures found within its pages ring true and remain timeless…

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The Family and the Cross

This is a beautiful meditation for Lent and well worth your time!

by Rev. Msgr. Irving A. Deblanc, 1950’s

Ask mothers and fathers if they would like to become saints. Many apologetically answer, “Would that I had the time! I am too busy rearing the children, keeping house, making ends meet.”

This recalls the days when some considered sanctity a luxury for the rich, who in being able to afford servants, could spend long hours in church and in prayer: they were often considered to be the holy ones.

Pope Benedict XV defined holiness as doing the will of God according to one’s state of life. In the state of grace and with the right intention, married people can become saints doing their everyday home work.

They often gain more graces with a dish cloth than with a Rosary, as one may sometime gain more graces getting up in the middle of the night to care for a baby than spending an hour in church. It is a matter of doing the right thing at the right time. Yes, but even more, it is fulfilling a sacramental vocation.

This cannot be said in the same sense about being a lawyer, or a secretary, or a farmer. Marriage is a vocation; it is holy; it is a sacrament; it is a means of going to heaven.

It is interesting that only three of the sacraments are entitled ‘holy: Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony – not that the others are not holy but these are specifically designated.

As a priest gets graces when he hears confessions, preaches, reads his breviary, so a couple under the right conditions is flooded with God’s graces when they love each other, nurse a baby, teach the children. This because they too are fulfilling their vocation.

It is because more and more people see marriage as a vocation that we can hope for more and more saints among those living family life.

In Peru four natives have already been canonized and one beatified in a hundred years. In the U.S.A. so far we still have had no natives canonized. I am afraid we are not even remotely thinking in the direction of trying to be worthy to be a canonized saint.

Married couples are sometimes unaware that suffering is one of their great home-made tools for sanctity. It is looked upon as an annoyance, but Christian marital love necessarily involves suffering, for the essence of unity is not so much to enjoy each other, but to suffer together.

Still joy and suffering are not two sides of a unity called love. What was once desire before marriage becomes offering after marriage.

Some have described love as having three aspects: the digestive, the reciprocal, and the oblative. It is in the oblative sense, this self-giving and suffering that a couple purifies love.

Without these elements, love would die, for passion can only promise; love can keep that promise.

To refuse the call of self-immolation is the sin of obduracy and a rejection of love. One is then of no use to God, to society, to each other, or to oneself. To say no to this human impulse is to corrupt all one touches. It is the cult of selfishness.

The Cross can teach us to love our neighbor; it can teach us compassion. Three-fourths of us, it is said, need it, but there is a strange, unhappy feeling that in too many souls this ingredient is left out.

The Cross is our main tool of sanctity at home. Christian love understands the Cross if it is seen in the context of Heaven.

For pagans the Cross is a scandal. It absorbs them like whirlpools in a river at flood height. Suffering, however, must draw men outside of themselves. It is a reminder of Divinity itself. Not good in itself, the Cross can be priceless as a means of grace.

The bell rings in the life of every one of us and all of us are someday called upon to suffer. The non-Christian tries to escape suffering and he becomes hard and selfish. He seeks comfort only and his spiritual energy dries up, but he must learn to suffer or it will destroy him.

The egotist detaches himself from spiritual reality and becomes a hollow being-an empty body. Like the statue of Buddha, he looks down only at his own stomach and does not see the needy around him.

Not all can see the value of suffering. Suffering is often so inward, so hard to articulate. It has been a special mystery to all, especially pagans. Their many explanations have never been satisfactory.

The Stoic saw in suffering a test of sheer courage; he was completely indifferent to it. The Epicurean saw his answer in pleasure, and the Dolorist tried to delude himself and saw evil as good and actually exulted in that which diminished him. Others saw in suffering only a mere punishment.

A good Catholic makes friends with pain. He holds God’s gifts close to himself but always with open hands. When God allows us sufferings it is not to do us harm but to gather us into His arms.

Suffering never gags a Christian; upon it he sharpens his teeth. Like a cargo stabilizing a ship against storms, so suffering stabilizes us against the storms of passion.

Humanity will ever question suffering, as Job did so dramatically and so officially. But Job gave an answer. Pagan philosophers never learned it. Christ gave the answer for all times: suffering calls less for a philosophy, more for a living of it as worthwhile.

So vast was this question, says Paul Claudel, the great convert to Catholicism, that the Word alone could answer it, but He did so not by an explanation, only by His presence. This presence helped Mary who stood beneath the first Red Cross crimsoned by the blood of her Son; it helped Veronica who so lovingly held a cool, moist compress to the throbbing, fevered brow of Christ; it helped Simon of Cyrene, who later gave his life to serve others; this same Simon must have seen the pallid face of Christ among the poor and on every crumpled pillow where a sick man’s head lay.

We learn with St. Francis de Sales that the love of Jesus begins in the Passion. We learn with Bishop Neumann of the deep beauty of the Litany of the Sacred Heart – a prayer he vowed to say every day.

With St. Alphonsus we become more conscious of the Cross. It is constantly in his writing. When he saw a nail, a rope, a thorn, he thought instantly and tenderly of the Passion. The Cross returns us to the nothingness that we are and yet it lifts us into eternity.

In many churches of the country a large, special cross is carried in church for the Stations. There is no corpus on the cross; each person is reminded that he must replace Christ on the cross. He must learn how to suffer and why he suffers. He must be an extension of Christ.

Christ has plunged Himself into humanity and wants us to make Him real today. He wants us to continue His Redemption, but this is done not by writing a good book, or organizing well, or by a great oration.

One is a Christian when he or she represents Christ, witnesses Christ. Deeply we surrender our will, not with a mere external offering like that of Cain, but with an internal – external oblation like that of Abel – like that of Christ. The external gift is a symbol of the internal giving. We represent Christ so perfectly that we become a mystery to those around us.

In the everyday romance of the world we pierce our valentines with an arrow. The Sacred Heart is the first, true Valentine sent by the Father. But His love is pictured by a heart and a cross rather than an arrow.

His heart is not only the symbol of love but the Cross of hope. The Cross is not the symbol of death; it is the symbol of life. The Stations do not end with a dead Christ in the tomb, but a glorious, living Christ on Easter Sunday, and always in our tabernacles.

He is every city’s most distinguished resident who invites His best friends constantly to take up your Cross and follow Me. The Cross is Christ’s way of identifying Himself and His own. Christians realize it is a gift, not a curse for with Dante ‘sorrow remarries us to God.

St. Francis de Sales on the company we keep: “Be very careful, therefore, dear reader, not to have any evil love, because you will in turn quickly become evil yourself.
Friendship is the most dangerous of all love. Why? Because other loves can exist without communication, exchange, closeness. But friendship is completely founded upon communication and exchange and cannot exist in practice without sharing in the qualities and defects of the friend loved.”

LIGHT AND PEACE is a handbook for getting to Heaven a short and practical course in proper Christian living that covers all the important aspects of our religious duties. By far, the most telling feature of this little book is its immense common sense and good advice. Available here.

What happened to Veronica’s veil was simply an outward expression of what happened in Veronica’s soul. Are we “Veronica’s” in our everyday life? Do we seek to serve, to encourage, to listen….?

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No Mass? Take Heart! The Amazing Efficacy of a Spiritual Communion….

Many of us may not have access to Mass in the next few weeks. We must pray….and take heart! Once you read this you will realize you have, right at your fingertips, the powerful means of growing spiritually….amidst your daily duties!

From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love

Spiritual Communion

Spiritual Communion is the reserve of Eucharistic Life and Love always available for lovers of the Eucharistic Jesus. By means of spiritual Communion, the loving desires of the soul that wants to be united with Jesus, its dear Bridegroom, are satisfied.

Spiritual Communion is a union of love between the soul and Jesus in the Host. This union is spiritual but nonetheless real, more real than the union between the soul and the body, “because the soul lives more where it loves than where it lives,” says St. John of the Cross.

Faith, love, desire

As is evident, spiritual Communion assumes that we have faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. It implies that we would like sacramental Communion, and it demands a gratitude for Jesus’ gift of this Sacrament.

All this is expressed simply and briefly in the formula of St. Alphonsus: “My Jesus, I believe that You are really present in the most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to possess You within my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. (Pause) I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”

Spiritual Communion, as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Alphonsus de’ Liguori teach, produces effects similar to sacramental Communion according to the dispositions with which it is made, the greater or less earnestness with which Jesus is desired, and the greater or less love with which Jesus is welcomed and given due attention.

A special advantage of spiritual Communion is that we can make it as often as we like— even hundreds of times a day— when we like— even late at night— and wherever we like— even in a desert, or in an airplane.

It is fitting to make a spiritual Communion especially when we are attending Holy Mass and cannot receive Our Lord sacramentally. While the priest is receiving his Holy Communion, our soul should share in it by inviting Jesus into our heart. In this way every Holy Mass we hear is a complete one, with Offertory, sacrificial Consecration, and Holy Communion.

It would indeed be a supreme grace, to be implored with all one’s strength, if the desire of the Council of Trent “that all Christians should receive Holy Communion at every Mass they assist at” were in fact soon to be realized in the Church. So doing, anyone able to participate in more Masses every day, will also be able to make more spiritual Communions every day!

The two chalices

Jesus Himself told St. Catherine of Siena in a vision how precious a spiritual Communion is. The Saint was afraid that a spiritual Communion was nothing compared to a sacramental Communion.

In the vision, Our Lord held up two chalices, and said, “In this golden chalice I put your sacramental Communions. In this silver chalice I put your spiritual Communions. Both chalices are quite pleasing to Me.”

And Jesus once said to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the Saint so assiduous in directing her burning desires to Him within the tabernacle: “So dear to Me is a soul’s desire to receive Me, that I hasten to it each time it summons Me by its yearnings.”

It is not hard to see how much spiritual Communion has been loved by the saints. Spiritual Communion, in part at least, satisfied their ardent desire to be united to their Beloved.

Jesus Himself said: “Abide in Me and I in you” (Jn. 15: 4). And spiritual Communion helps us stay united to Jesus, even when we are far from a church.

There is no other way to appease the fond yearning consuming the hearts of the saints. “O God, my whole soul longs for You. As a deer for running water, my whole soul thirsts for God” (Ps. 41: 2).

With the loving sigh of a saint, St. Catherine of Genoa exclaimed, “O dear Spouse (of my soul), I so strongly crave the joy of being with You, that it seems to me that if I were dead, I would come to life in order to receive You in Holy Communion.”

Blessed Agatha of the Cross felt such an acute yearning to live always united to Jesus in the Eucharist, that she remarked, “If the confessor had not taught me to make a spiritual Communion, it would have been impossible for me to live.”

For St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds as well, spiritual Communion provided the only relief from the acute pain she felt when shut up at home far from her beloved Lord, especially when she was not allowed to receive sacramental Communion.

At such times she went out on the terrace of her home and, looking at the church, tearfully sighed, “Happy are they who have received You today in the Blessed Sacrament, O Jesus. Blessed are the walls of the church that guard my Jesus. Blessed are the priests, who are always near Jesus most lovable.” Spiritual Communions alone were able to satisfy her a little.

During the day

Here is one of the counsels which St. Pio of Pietrelcina gave to one of his spiritual daughters: “In the course of the day, when it is not permitted you to do otherwise, call on Jesus, even in the midst of all your occupations, with a resigned sigh of the soul and He will come and will remain always united with your soul by means of His grace and His holy love. Fly with your spirit before the tabernacle, when you cannot stand before it bodily, and there pour out the ardent longings of your soul and embrace the Beloved of souls, even more than if you had been permitted to receive Him sacramentally.”

Let us, too, profit by this great gift. During the times that we suffer trials or feel abandoned, for example, what can be more valuable to us than the union of our Sacramental Lord by means of spiritual Communion?

This holy practice can easily fill our days with acts and sentiments of love, and can make us live in an embrace of love solely conditioned by a renewal so frequent that it seems uninterrupted.

St. Angela Merici was passionately fond of spiritual Communion. Not only did she make it often and exhort others to do it, but she went so far as to make it her daughters’ special heritage, because she wanted them ever after to practice it.

What shall we say of St. Francis de Sales? Does not his whole life seem like a chain of spiritual Communions? He resolved to make a spiritual Communion at least every quarter of an hour.

So, too, St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe even from his youth. A brief page from the spiritual diary of the Ven. Andrew Beltrami, tells us about what is in fact a little program for a life lived in uninterrupted spiritual Communion with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. These are his words: “Wherever I may be I will often think of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I will fix my thoughts on the holy tabernacle— even when I happen to wake up at night— adoring Him from where I am, calling to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, offering up to Him the action in which I am engaged.

I will install one telegraph cable from my study to the church, another from my bedroom, and a third from our refectory; and as often as I can, I will send messages of love to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

What a stream of divine affections must have passed through those precious cables!

Our Angelo was Thurifer this last Sunday as they led the Eucharistic Procession for the intention of stopping the Coronavirus.

(Coronavirus prayers are here.)

“We must have a daily habit of prayer; it should be ingrained in us. Morning and Night Prayers, the Rosary and frequent lifting of the mind to God will help us to hear His Voice.The daily habit of prayer leads us to spiritual health. We are more “tuned in” to know what God’s will is in our life, to desire it and to do it. By our habit of prayer we will experience the tranquility and happiness that comes from Him Who sees our efforts and loves us so much! He will give us the peace that passeth all understanding….” – Anne Joachim

Pray, hope, & do not worry. If Our Lord will provide for birds in the sky would He not help us who are made in His image & likeness? Trust in Him. Do not be anxious like the pagans.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

What a powerful prayer for these times! St. Patrick was in the midst of paganism, druids, witchcraft, etc.

This is power…Chin up! And say it often!

Breastplate of St. Patrick 

I bind N. today to a strong virtue, an invocation of the Trinity.

I believe in a Threeness, with confession of a Oneness in the Creator of the Universe.

I bind N. today to the virtue of Christ’s birth with His baptism,

to the virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,

to the virtue of His resurrection with His ascension,

to the virtue of His coming to the Judgment of Doom.

I bind N. today to the virtue of ranks of Cherubim, in obedience of Angels,

[in service of Archangels],

in hope of resurrection for reward,

in prayers of Patriarchs, in preaching of Apostles,

in faiths of Confessors,

in innocence of Holy Virgins,

in deeds of righteous men.

I bind N. today to the virtue of Heaven,

in light of Sun,

in brightness of Snow,

in splendor of Fire,

in speed of Lightning,

in swiftness of Wind,

in depth of Sea,

in stability of Earth,

in compactness of Rock.

I bind N. today to God’s Virtue to pilot him/her,

God’s might to uphold him/her,

God’s wisdom to guide him/her,

God’s eye to look before him/her,

God’s ear to hear him/her,

God’s Word to speak to him/her,

God’s hand to guard him/her,

God’s way to lie before him/her,

God’s shield to protect him/her,

God’s host to secure him/her,

Against snares of demons,

Against seductions of vices,

Against lusts of nature,

Against everyone who wishes ill to him/her,

Afar and anear, Alone and in a multitude.

So have I invoked all these virtues between N.

Against every cruel, merciless power which may come

Against his/her body and his/her soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of heathenry,

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of women and smiths and druids,

Against every knowledge that defiles men’s souls.

Christ to protect N. today,

Against poison,

Against burning,

Against drowning,

Against death-wound, until a multitude of rewards come to N.!

Christ with him/her,

Christ before him/her,

Christ behind him/her,

Christ in him/her!

Christ below him/her,

Christ above him/her.

Christ at his/her right,

Christ at his/her left!

Christ in breadth,

Christ in length,

Christ in height!

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of him/her,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to him/her,

Christ in every eye that sees him/her,

Christ in every ear that hears him/her!

I bind N. today to a strong virtue, an invocation of the Trinity. I

believe in a Threeness with confession of a Oneness, in the Creator of [the universe.]

Salvation is the Lord’s, salvation is the Lord’s, salvation is Christ’s.

May Thy salvation, O Lord, be always with us.

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Not only is it quite beautiful but it makes the rosaries sturdy and durable. Available here.

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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Coronavirus Prayers….

Here’s a couple of very special prayers from that lovely little Prayer Book that you should already have: The Precious Blood and Mother.

They will protect you and your family against any plague and pestilence. Please pass them on!

A PRAYER IN TIME OF AFFLICTION, WARS, PESTILENCE, ETC.

[Francis John Bartholomew, a Passionist Monk of SS. John and Paul at Rome, a most holy man, who had frequent revelations, once saying Mass, thought of the scourges about to fall on the world — wars, famine, pestilence, etc., when the following prayer was revealed to him, and he was told that whosoever recited it, with devotion, would be preserved from all dangers, with which the whole world will be visited]:

PRAYER:

O Jesus, Divine Redeemer, be merciful to us and to the whole world. Amen. O Powerful God! O Holy God! O Immortal God! have pity on us, and all who are in the whole world. Amen. Pardon and mercy, O my Jesus, during these present dangers. Pour on us Thy most Precious Blood. Amen. O Eternal Father, be merciful to us. By the Blood of Jesus Christ, Thy only Son, be merciful to us, we beseech Thee. Amen, Amen. Amen.

O God, be appeased by the supplications we address to Thee, and through the intercession of the ever Blessed Virgin Mary, the glorious St. Joseph, and all the Saints, defend us from all dangers, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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DEVOTION TO ST. ROCH PRAYER AGAINST SICKNESS

Why St. Roch is a powerful patron against plagues from Aletia:

The plague disappeared everywhere he went.

During the 14th century there was a plague in Italy, and St. Roch came upon one of the towns most affected by it.According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he “devoted himself to the plague-stricken, curing them with the sign of the cross. He next visited Cesena and other neighboring cities and then Rome. Everywhere the terrible scourge disappeared before his miraculous power.”

He eventually contracted the plague himself, but after retreating to the forest, he was also cured from the disease.

After his death, St. Roch’s intercession was invoked when a plague struck Germany in the 15th century.

In 1414, during the Council of Constance, the plague having broken out in that city, the Fathers of the Council ordered public prayers and processions in honor of the saint, and immediately the plague ceased.

Time and time again he was invoked during various medieval plagues and is why he is labeled a patron against plagues.

PRAYER:

O God, who didst promise St. Roch by an angel that all who had recourse to him should have nothing to fear from pestilence and contagious maladies, grant that through his intercession we may be preserved from all dangers both of soul and body, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYER IN TIME OF CONTAGION

Glorious St. Roch, present in our favor thy efficacious prayers to the throne of Divine Mercy, that we may not be affected by the scourge of contagion. Preserve us, by thy intercession, from the pestilence of the body; and above all, obtain for us deliverance from the more grievous maladies of the soul. Amen.

[Many cities have been speedily delivered from the plague by imploring the intercession of St. Roch; in particular, the City of Constance, during the General Council held there in 1414. St. Roch was born of a noble family in Montpelier, and making a pilgrimage of devotion to Rome, he devoted himself entirely to serving the sick during a raging pestilence. (Lives of the Saints).]

Would you like to know a secret to holiness and happiness that only takes five minutes a day? Cardinal Mercier will fill you in on the secret here….

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” -Padre Pio

NEW Items at Meadows of Grace! Come, take a peek!

 

This is a unique book of Catholic devotions for young children. There is nothing routine and formal about these stories. They are interesting, full of warmth and dipped right out of life. These anecdotes will help children know about God, as each one unfolds a truth about the saints, the Church, the virtues, etc. These are short faith-filled stories, with a few questions and a prayer following each one, enabling the moral of each story to sink into the minds of your little ones. The stories are only a page long so tired mothers, who still want to give that “tucking in” time a special touch, or pause a brief moment during their busy day to gather her children around her, can feel good about bringing the realities of our faith to the minds of her children in a childlike, (though not childish), way. There is a small poem and a picture at the end of each story. Your children will be straining their necks to see the sweet pictures! Through these small stories, parents will sow seeds of our Holy Catholic Faith that will enrich their families all the years to come!

This revised 1922 classic offers gentle guidance for preteen and teenage girls on how to become a godly woman. Full of charm and sentiment, it will help mother and daughter establish a comfortable rapport for discussions about building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, a pure heart, and a consecrated life.

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Tidbits/Ash Wednesday and the Beginning of Lent

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.  May this season be very fruitful for our souls! As mentioned I will be taking a reprieve until Easter. I pray your Lent is full of blessings….getting closer to Our Lord being the Number One Blessing! 🙂

Our Meadows of Grace Shoppe will still be open, so you can purchase the Lenten Journal or any other gift items you like.

My daughter, Virginia, will be moderating the Meadows of Grace Facebook Page if any of you want to “Like” that page to see what is pretty and new!

Virginia (Gin)…the “Apron Lady”

Here is the list of audio suggestions where you can get in some good Lenten sermons, etc.

You can read past Lenten articles in the category of Lent here.

You can also take a peek at my Youtube Channel where I have some interesting videos, including a couple for Lent.

Please keep us in your prayers, especially our Rosie who is still struggling. She is Maid of Honor at Margy’s wedding in May. She is very close to Margy and wants, with all of her heart, to take part as much as she can. The way things have been going here….we will need a miracle. Please pray for us!

Also, our two girls, Hannah and Gemma, will be traveling to Chartres this spring. Prayers are appreciated! (And many, many thanks to any who were responsible for their sponsorship…God bless you abundantly!)

Photos by Walter Matt, Chartres Pilgrimage

See you at Easter!

A few thoughts….

Father gave a sermon this last Sunday. In it was a story. A priest in the 1940’s was distributing Holy Communion to the kneeling congregation at the altar rail. Each parishioner received Our Lord on the tongue. As the priest continued down the line, he approached a man who, unbeknownst to the priest, was mentally deranged. As Father reached down to give him the host, the man pulled a gun out and shot the priest in the chest.

The shot caused the priest to spring backward, the Ciborium spilling the consecrated hosts all over the sanctuary floor. The people, shocked and dismayed, began to come toward the priest to help him and to pick up the hosts. The priest, in his last breaths, lifted up his hand to stop his parishioners. He told them to stay back. Father, slowly and painfully, picked up each of the hosts and put them back in the Ciborium. He laid back down and died.

His last thought was of protecting the Blessed Sacrament. It is what he lived and died for.

In the next few weeks, may we work harder at making the Blessed Sacrament the center our lives.  Let us try this Lent to receive Him as often as we can!

A photo gallery of the recent Baptism of Devin and Theresa’s little Adam Joseph. It was a double Baptism with Devin’s brother, John Paul, and Julianna’s little Paulina.

A couple of excellent posts by The Catholic Gentleman for your Ash Wednesday!

“In my own experience, I often begin the Lenten season with the best of intentions. I imagine myself going into full monk mode, fasting and praying as ardently as one of the monastic fathers in the desert. And maybe for the first week I succeed through sheer strength of will. Then, just when I am feeling good about myself, everything falls apart and I come face to face with my own weakness…” Read more here….

Another post from The Catholic Gentleman.

Lent is a time for self-denial. But I would argue there is one hunger we should feed this Lent. Read more here….

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

It seems such a short time ago that we sought the Infant Christ at Bethlehem, adored Him, and were sure that we would never offend Him; and already on Septuagesima Sunday  in the Introit of the Mass He cries out with the weight of our sins: “The groans of death surrounded me and the sorrows of hell encompassed me….”

It is but three weeks before Lent when Septuagesima arrives, and this is a warning. We have sinned, and the time is coming when we must do penance.

When we are born, we are really very like Adam right after his sin, although there is this difference: we have been redeemed, and at that time, he was not.

We may do what he wished he could do. We may be born again in Baptism and start afresh, although in a fallen world, our souls now radiant with divine life burning there. Lent is the spanning of all that happened between Original Sin and Baptism.

It is the summing up and the climax of what started with Christmas.

The greatest of all mysteries is that God should love man so much.

When man sinned and forfeited his right to eternal life, and there was nowhere perfect obedience or flawless love in any man to merit Heaven, He became a man in order that He might pay the debts of the family He had chosen to join.

It is a kind of divine bargain They made, almost impossible to understand unless we put it in our own words.

It is as though the Father had said to the Son, “How can we work it out so man may still live with us forever as we planned?”

And as though the Son replied, “If there were but one perfect man, it could be done. One perfect sacrifice would pay their debt. One surrender of a man as perfect as Adam was when we created him. Alas, there is none.”

Then it is as though They gazed into one another with that Love that is the Spirit of both, and They knew how it could be done.

In Their gaze, a longing still burned for the creatures who had rebelled.

With a look of infinite love, the Father sent the Son and He became the Man. “0 happy fault, that merited so great a Redeemer.”

Let him know you appreciate all the little things he does. It is easy to just expect things from him, with nary a thanks or a smile. This is not the way to nurture a relationship. Go the extra mile….always be grateful…..and let him know that you are! 
Preparing for Lent Father gives us tips on growing in virtue to make this a great Lent….

Lenten Journal Available here.

 

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What is Worthwhile Now?

18fead99754e9237d2fa78633894f1f9What is Worthwhile Now?

by Father Lasance

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It is always worth while doing the good that just at this moment lies within my power to do.

St. Francis de Sales, when a student at the University of Paris, suffered long and cruelly from a horrible thought, that he was sure to be damned. At length he flung the temptation from him and conquered it quite, in this way.

He said manfully: “Well, if I am not to see and love God for eternity, at least I will love him with all my heart this hour while I may.”

It is worth while now for me, – now while the brief occasion lasts – to overcome one temptation, to do one small kindness, to improve my mind by one half hour of study, to wait in patience when there is nothing else to be done, to bear a headache, or sleeplessness, or some small pain.

Life cannot be filled with great deeds, nor deeds of manifest profit and advantage to oneself and mankind.

There must be margins and leavings in the web of human existence: there must be pieces over, the use of which is not apparent; and these leavings, as they seem void of good, are readily turned to evil use.

We shall find, if we think, that many of our sins are committed in these loose and unoccupied times; whereas our hours of active and successful work, or keen sport and play, are usually innocent.

The author of the “Imitation of Christ” has a chapter  “that we must apply ourselves to humble works when we are not up to our best.”

We must be content at certain times to do anything that is innocent and lawful; and console ourselves with the reflection that all lawful works are works of grace in him who is in the state of grace.

On the other hand, I must be jealous of the hours in which my faculties are bright and available for work. Even in my worldly interest I must be jealous of them.

Those are precious hours.

Keep your eyes fixed upon your heavenly home, upon the long, long, everlasting vacation, upon the eternal rest of the just.

“God will be loved by our children as much as we have permitted Him to be loved. In a strange way, He’s at our mercy, and so are they. In His love, He has brought them forth out of us, but He must wait for us to make Him known to them.” – Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

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Beautiful handmade items at Meadows of Grace!

Come Rack! Come Rope! is a historical novel by the English priest and writer Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914), a convert to Catholicism from Anglicanism. Set in Derbyshire at the time of the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics, when being or harbouring a priest was considered treason and was punishable with death, it tells the story of two young lovers who give up their chance of happiness together, choosing instead to face imprisonment and martyrdom, so that “God’s will” may be done. It is perhaps the best known of Benson’s novels, and has been reprinted several times…

Save

“The Earls of Ravenhurst must always stand for God and Our Blessed Lady, let the cost be what it may!” In seventeenth-century Scotland lies Ravenhurst, the stronghold of Clan Gordon, a family whose reputation for defending their people and their Catholic faith is legendary. But now the rights and lives of Scottish Catholics are in grave peril, and a traitorous usurper controls the clan. With the help of his mother, the “renegade priest,” and other heroic allies, young Charles Gordon must strive in the face of persecution and martyrdom to defend the true faith and restore to Ravenhurst a good, noble, loyal, and Catholic earl….

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Lent – Maria Von Trapp

Elsie’s prayer by Sidney Harold Meteyard (1868 – 1947)

From Around the Year With the Trapp Family

Lent is primarily known as a time devoted to fast and abstinence. Our non-Catholic friends feel sorry for us because we have to watch our food. “Isn’t it an awful strain?”

But this is only one side of the season of Lent, and not even the most important one. First and foremost, these weeks between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday are set aside as a time of preparation for the greatest feast of the year, Easter.

We are not fasting in commemoration of Our Lord’s fast of forty days, but are imitating Him in his fast of preparation–preparation for His great work of Redemption. It is the same with us. Once a year we take forty days out of the three hundred and sixty-five, and we too fast in preparation: in preparation for the commemoration of our Redemption.

We all should get together and work toward the restoration of the meaning of Lent. People nowadays see in it just a gloomy time full of “must nots.” That is a great pity, because Lent is a solemn season rich in hidden mysteries. We must also keep in mind that Lent is only a part of the great Easter season, that it is for Easter what Advent was for

Christmas, and that Lent taken by itself would make no more sense than Advent without Christmas at its end. Therefore, we should let Holy Mother Church take us by the hand and lead us–not each soul alone, but the whole family as a group–away from the noise of the world into a forty-day retreat.

No other time of the year has been so singled out by the Church as this, in that a completely different Mass is provided for every single day, beginning with Ash Wednesday and continuing through the octave day of Easter; and again for the crowning feast of the Easter season, the eight days of Pentecost. If we keep the closed time as faithfully as our forefathers did–which means keeping away from all noisy outside entertainment such as cocktail parties and dances–then we shall find ample time for the imitation of Christ as it is outlined in every morning’s Mass.

The restoration of the season of Lent was begun in the year when the Holy Father gave back to us the Easter Night. As we now know that in this holiest of all nights we shall be permitted to be reborn in Christ, renewing solemnly, with a lighted candle in our hands, our baptismal vows, we understand more and more clearly the two great thoughts which the Church is developing throughout the whole of Lent: the instruction of the catechumens and the deepening of the contrition of the penitents.

Instruction and penance shall become our motto also for these holy weeks.

Instruction–this brings us to the Lenten reading program. The time saved through abstention from movies–and it is astonishing to find how much it is!–will be devoted to a carefully chosen reading program. Every year we should divide our reading into three parts: something for the mind, something for the heart, something for the soul.

Something for the mind: This should mean doing serious research. One year we might work on the history of the Church; another year on the sacraments; or we might carefully study a scholarly life of Our Lord

Jesus Christ; or a book on Christian ethics; or the Encyclicals of the Pope; or a book on dogma.

For the soul: This should be spiritual reading of a high order, from the works of the saints or saintly writers. For example, “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel,” by St. John of the Cross; “The Introduction to a Devout Life,” by St. Francis de Sales; “The Story of a Soul,” by St. Therese of Lisieux; “The Spiritual Castle,” by St. Teresa of Avila; “The Soul of the Apostolate,” by Abbot Chautard; the books of Abbot Marmion, and similar works.

For the heart: According to the old proverb, “Exempla trahunt,” it is most encouraging to read the biographies of people who started out as we did but had their minds set on following the word of Our Lord, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.”

In other words, to read a well-written biography of a saint (canonized or not) will have the same effect on us as it had once on St. Augustine, who said, after watching saintly people living a holy life: “If he could do it, and she, why not I?”

But it has to be a well-written biography, that is, a book showing a human being in the round, with all his shortcomings that had to be overcome by faithful cooperation with grace–and not the old-fashioned hagiography in sugar-candy style with its doubtful statements, carefully stressing that the saint is born a full-fledged saint by describing how the holy baby refused his mother’s breast every Saturday in honor of the Blessed Mother (and, of course, the first words of these remarkable beings invariably must be a piously lisped “Jesus and Mary”).

These “saints” never made a mistake, never succumbed to temptation–in other words, their literary portraits are identical replicas of their statues in the show windows in Barclay Street and just as inspiring.

But we are lucky the worst seems to be behind us. A new school of writing of the lives of the saints has begun.

If every member of a family adopts this threefold reading program and comments on the books he has been working on, a great benefit will be flowing from one to the other as they exchange the spiritual goods obtained from their reading.

I remember how the enthusiasm of each reader made us exchange books after Lent was over. Years ago it began with the books of Henry Gheon first, “The Secret of the Little Flower,” followed by the other secrets of the saints.

Another year it was “The History of a Family,” with its background story of the most irresistible saint of our days, Therese of Lisieux. Recently we all found “St. Teresa of Avila,” by Marcelle Auclair, the best and most readable of all biographies of this great saint. After we had seen the great film, “Monsieur Vincent,” we were naturally interested in reading Monsignor Jean Calvet’s version of the saint’s life, “St. Vincent de Paul.”

There is no saying how much such an extensive reading program adds to the richness of family life, how many new topics are introduced, to be talked about during the family meals.

And one book that should certainly be read aloud during these days of the great retreat is the Holy Bible. It would be a good idea to lean, for one year at least, close to the selections the Church herself makes in the breviary of the priests. In another year one could take one of the prophets (Isaias during Advent, Jeremias during Lent), and go on from there until every book of Holy Scriptures has been read aloud and discussed in the family.

In this way we have read through the books of the Old and New Testaments more than once, and have found them an unending source of happiness and spiritual growth. Any family that has tried it will never want to give it up.

To set aside the “closed times” of the year for daily reading aloud is one of the most profitable uses of the time gained. As many questions will be asked, it will be necessary to obtain some source in which to find at least some of the answers. A commentary on the Holy Scriptures should be in every Christian house.

If the first thought recurring through the liturgy of Lent is instruction, the second is penance. To understand better what was originally meant by that word, let us go back to the beginning when the

Church was young and the zeal and fervor unbroken. Father Weiser, in his “Easter Book,” tells us about it:

“Persons who had committed serious public sin and scandal were enjoined on Ash Wednesday with the practice of ‘public penance.’ The period of the penance lasted until Holy Thursday when they were solemnly reconciled, absolved from their sins, and allowed to receive Holy Communion….

The imposition of public penance on Ash Wednesday was an official rite in Rome as early as the fourth century; and soon spread to all Christianized nations. Numerous descriptions of this ancient ceremony have been preserved in medieval manuscripts and, in every detail, breathe a spirit of harshness and humility really frightening to us of the present generation.

“Public sinners approached their priests shortly before Lent to accuse themselves of their misdeeds and were presented by the priests on Ash Wednesday to the bishop of the place. Outside the cathedral, poor and noble alike stood barefoot, dressed in sackcloth, heads bowed in humble contrition.

The bishop, assisted by his canons, assigned to each one particular acts of penance according to the nature and gravity of his crime. Whereupon they entered the church, the bishop leading one of them by the hand, the others following in single file, holding each other’s hands.

Before the altar, not only the penitents, but also the bishop and all his clergy recited the seven penitential psalms. [Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142.] Then, as each sinner approached, the bishop imposed his hands on him, sprinkled him with holy water, threw the blessed ashes on his head, and invested him with the hair shirt.

Finally he admonished (“with tears and sighs” as the regulation suggests): “Behold you are cast out from the sight of Holy Mother Church because of your sins and crimes, as Adam the first man was cast out of Paradise because of his transgression.”

After this ceremony the penitents were led out of the church and forbidden to re-enter until Holy Thursday (for the solemn rite of their reconciliation).

Meanwhile they would spend Lent apart from their families in a monastery or some other place of voluntary confinement, where they occupied themselves with prayer, manual labor, and works of charity. Among other things they had to go barefoot all through Lent, were forbidden to converse with others, were made to sleep on the ground or on a bedding of straw, and were unable to bathe or cut their hair.

“Such was the public penance (in addition to the general Lenten fast) for ‘ordinary’ cases of great sin and scandal….For especially shocking and heinous crimes a much longer term was imposed.

An ancient manuscript records the case of an English nobleman of the eleventh century who received a penance of seven years for notorious crimes and scandals committed.

The duties of his first year of public penance consisted of the following details: he must not bear arms (a bitter humiliation for a nobleman of that time!); he must not receive Holy Communion except in danger of death; he must not enter the church to attend Mass but remain standing outside the church door; he must eat very sparingly, taking meat only on Sundays and major feasts; on three days of the week he must abstain from wine; he must feed one poor person every day from what he would have spent on himself.

The document closes with the words: ‘If, however, thou shalt have borne this penance willingly for one year, in the future, with God’s grace, thou shalt be judged more leniently.'” (Francis X. Weiser, “The Easter Book,” pp. 46f. New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1954)

And Father Weiser adds a helpful remark. “These examples will make clear, perhaps, what an indulgence granted by the Church means in our time. An indulgence of seven years is the remission of temporal punishment for sins already forgiven to the extent of a seven years’ personal penance such as just described.”

After having seen what penance meant to our fathers in the faith, it will be interesting to see how much of it is still alive in our times.

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

Ash Wednesday homily…

Coloring pages for your children…..

Do you need some good reading suggestions? Visit….

My Book List

Book List for Catholic Men

Book List for the Youth

Lenten Way of the Cross – An Activity for Lent… With Printables!

Be ready for Lent with this lovely Lenten Activity!

I am very grateful to Mary Ann Scheeler for sharing with us this wonderful activity for our children that she has created! Thank you, Mary!

Remember The Spiritual Christmas Crib for Advent? Well, this is the Lenten version!

From Mary:

The first three on the list have to be drawn on a large sheet of paper, similar to the crib and its roof, namely the mountain, the paths and pitfalls.  Its not meant to be the Stations of the Cross, but a Spiritual Lenten Way of the Cross for children.  The prayers are adapted from the Advent Spiritual Crib, and from a book called Lent for Children – A Thought a Day, and some I made.
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So…get yourself a poster board….or more than one, depending on the size you are going to make the Way of the Cross. Some sharpie markers and crayons can be helpful…..and then draw the part that is applicable to the day as each day of Lent passes! OR use the clipart that Mary has provided here: Spiritual Lenten Children 40 Day Journey Printables

Get your children to color them on the corresponding day, and voila! you can add them to your Lenten scene!

You can also print out (or write out) the special prayer for the day and put the assigned one up so everyone can say it throughout the day.

This activity is a wonderful opportunity to make Lent more meaningful for all!

You can print out the instructions here: Spiritual Lenten Way of the Cross

A note from Mary Ann as you begin the activity:

This would be our first year, and everyone will draw/create theirs a little differently. The printables have almost three of everything, because I have three older kids who will be getting to have fun with it. If you have one child, you will only need one of everything and if you have more children you might need to print out more.

Some of the images like Jesus, or Mary, or Veronica, etc there is only one, because they are extra special.

The layout is something of the large mountain of Calvary, then there will be the long path, depending on how you draw it, could be steep, could be winding, or a little of both. The rest of the days are draw along the path wherever you want them.

You might start low and each day ascend a little higher, or you might just draw them wherever you think they fit. Some things like the crosses will probably be at the top. The very last day, the tomb, is separate, if you do the printables, and would be off to the side of mount Calvary. Hope this helps. 🙂

 

Here is the devotion:

1 – Ash Weds.                                    The Mountain of Calvary

2 – Thurs. after Ash Weds.               Path

3 – Fri. after Ash Weds.                   Pitfalls

4 – Sat. after Ash Weds.                  Bugs

 

1st Week of Lent:

5 – Mon.              Dust and Ashes

6 – Tues.              Bushes

7 – Weds.             Boulders

8 – Thurs.            Trees

9 – Fri.                 Pharisees/Crowd

10 – Sat.              Water and Basin

 

2nd Week of Lent:

11 – Mon.          3 Crosses

12 – Tues.         Skull and Bones

13 – Weds.        Dark Clouds

14 – Thurs.        Incense (myrrh)

15 – Fri.           Simon of Cyrene

16 – Sat.           Goats

 

3rd Week of Lent:

17 – Mon.            St. Veronica and Veil

18 – Tues.            Lambs

19 – Weds.           Palms

20 – Thurs.            Donkey

21 – Fri.               Purple Robe

22 – Sat.               Weeping Women of Jerusalem

 

4th Week of Lent:

23 – Mon.            Rope

24 – Tues.            Pillar

25 – Weds.           Scourges

26 – Thurs.             Thorns

27 – Fri.               Board with Inscription (INRI)

28 – Sat.               People passing by

 

5th Week of Lent:

29 – Mon.  Sponge of Vinegar

30 – Tues.            Nails

31 – Weds.           Lance

32 – Thurs.           Soldiers

33 – Fri.               Sorrowful Mother

34 – Sat.               Mary Magdalene

 

6th Week of Lent:

35 – Mon.            St. John

36 – Tues.           Two Thieves

37 – Weds.          Silver Coins

38 – Thurs.           Bread and Wine

39 – Fri.              Jesus 

40 – Sat.              Tomb

Beginning of Lent:

1 – Ash Weds.          

The Mount of Calvary

Our Dear Lord spends 40 days in the wilderness and even though the mountain is steep, we prepare our souls spiritually and bravely start on the path with Him.

  Offer Him your sinful heart as the mountain you will overcome this Lent. Now is the time my love to show. O Jesus dear, thy grace bestow.

2 – Thurs. after Ash Weds.      

Path

What path have I walked during my life?  If I haven’t gone in the right direction,  I will now follow you, dear Jesus, wherever You will go. Help me walk on the path to my true vocation.

          May I so live that I will be ready, dear Lord, when you call for me.

3 – Fri. after Ash Weds.

Pitfalls

Carefully walk around the pitfalls of temptation.  I will be generous with my brothers and sisters and avoid yelling or fighting over a silly excuse or toy.

          Jesus, help me to keep temptations out of my heart.

4 – Sat. after Ash Weds.

Bugs

Watch out for the pesky bugs of distraction as we start the climb up the mountain.  I will pay attention during prayers and during spiritual reading, but most especially at the Holy Mass.

Begone! I’ll say, when Satan bids me be lazy or sin. And since I fight for Heaven I shall win!

First Week of Lent:

5 – Mon.    Dust and Ashes

I will shake off the dust of perceived injury and not listen to foolish feelings of pride and envy when I realize my life is so short, but Heaven is forever.

          Angels, round me everywhere, please keep me in your loving care!

6 – Tues.     Bushes

See the bushes growing as weeds?   I will keep the garden of my heart clean by performing little acts of mortification,  by bearing the cold or sitting and standing erect.

          Dear Jesus, Who suffered so much for me, let me suffer for love of You.

7 – Weds.      Boulders

When anger seizes my heart like giant boulders, I will remember how meek my Jesus was when He suffered for me.  I will avoid harsh and mean words and be kind and gentle to all.

          Jesus, help me to be meek and humble like You.

8 – Thurs.      Trees

The trees stand so tall and yet one immediately obeyed and bowed its bark to become a humble cross for the King of Kings.  I will give up my own will and obey my superiors cheerfully and promptly.

Jesus, I wish to be useful to you;  like a steadfast tree, though small, but oh so true!

9 – Fri.       Pharisees/Crowd

I will diligently remove from my heart every inordinate desire to be praised.  I will help those in distress even if it means I will be laughed at or scorned; I will not join the mocking crowd.

          Jesus, I was made for Thee; never let us parted be!

10 – Sat.   Water and Basin

Have I gone to confession lately or do I pretend I am good?  Dear Jesus, I will wash my sins in the water of my tears and happily do the penance the priest gives me.

          Jesus, teach me to know and correct my greatest sins.

2nd Week of Lent

11 – Mon.     3 Crosses

I will renew my Lenten offerings to Our Lord and accept the small crosses He sends me through the day to comfort Him in His sorrowful Passion.

“Thy Will be Done,” I’ll quickly say, as soon as sorrow comes my way!

12 – Tues.         Skull and Bones

One day we shall die, shall I be remembered for good deeds or bad?   While I still have time, I will cheerfully obey the inspirations of my Guardian Angel and the guidance of my parents.

Jesus, immensely good to me, I want to live and die for Thee!

13 – Weds.        Dark Clouds

When bad health and sickness makes me feel so ill and the days are dark and long, I will cling to Our Lady and ask her to bring my misery to Our Lord as a gift to ease the coldness of men’s hearts.

“Remember Me,” dear Jesus. I hope to be in Paradise some day with You.

14 – Thurs.       Incense (myrrh)

Incense is a prayer before Your altar, Oh Lord, on the Cross. I will offer extra prayers, as incense, through the day for all those who are not in the state of grace but will die today.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

15 – Fri.   Simon of Cyrene

I offer my strength to Your service as Simon of Cyrene; help me to use it in the service of others, especially those closest to me.

Jesus accept my service of love; I offer it for those who do not love You.

16 – Sat.  Goats

Am I like the goats that kick and butt as I do not finish tasks, but whine and complain and waste my time?  I will do the things I do not like without complaining, especially my homework or my chores, and make better use of my time.

Jesus, I need Thy holy grace; to help me every day and place.

3rd Week of Lent:

 

17 – Mon.       St Veronica and Veil

Does my mother need help with the baby or does my sister need help with her homework or does my brother need help to put on his shoes? May I see in my family Your image, Dear Lord, and help them in whatever they need.

As older I grow, my heart must remain; Childlike and humble, if Heaven I’ll gain.

18 – Tues.         Lambs

I will strive to be like a lamb, meek and patient. I will not murmur or talk behind my parents’ back when they give me a command.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours.

19 – Weds.       Palms

I will be a peacemaker in my home and not start or join petty fights with my brothers and sisters.

O Jesus, give me for my part, a tender and forgiving heart!

20 – Thurs.       Donkey

Do I stubbornly cling to a fault and try to excuse it? I will be grateful to God for the love He has shown me by dying for me and remember that my faults put Him on that cross.

Jesus, I need Thy grace all days, to free me from all my evil ways.

21 – Fri.        Purple Robe

Many times, my things are scattered here and there and not put away, even when my parents asked me to do so.  I will keep better care of my things, like my clothes, books or toys, and make sure to put them away when they should be.  I will thank God for what I have and remember others may not have the nice things I do and not take it for granted.

Oh Jesus, I wish my life could be, a hymn of gratitude to thee!

22 – Sat.       Weeping Women of Jerusalem

Today I will pray for all the children who have no parents to love them, and especially those children who died before they were born.

Little Innocents, pray to Jesus for me and my country!

4th Week of Lent:

23 – Mon.          Rope

Are my companions  good friends, who help me to love God more and obey His laws?  Or do they tell me I should do things that are not good, like a little rope pulling me away from the Ten Commandments?  I will take care to listen to good companions and be a good friend to them.

Jesus, teach me to love you above all things!

24 – Tues.         Pillar

I will study my Catechism well so that I can explain my Faith to my brothers and sisters and to anyone who might ask about Our Lord and His Church.

O Thou art mine and I am Thine; Thy cross is both my proof and sign.

25 – Weds.        Scourges

Do I forgive quickly and readily, or do I hold a grudge for a long time?  I will learn from Jesus to forget and forgive all who hurt and injured me.

O Jesus, give me true contrition; This, today, is my one petition!

26 – Thurs.      Thorns

Our Dear Lord is hurt daily by impure actions that drive the thorns deeper into His Head.  I can practice modesty in my words, deeds, dress and actions to amend for my past bad actions and those of the world.

Dear Jesus, close my heart to all that hurts You!

27 – Fri.      Board with Inscription (INRI)

When I hear Our Lord’s Holy name used in vain, do I join in or keep silent?  If I hear His name used badly, I will immediately say a silent prayer in reparation for the insult after all He has done for me.

Dearest Mary, help me praise His name, forever and ever. Amen!

28 – Sat.       People Passing By

So many people ignore Our Lord and reject His laws.  Do I disregard Him, too, and disobey my parents, whom He put in charge of me?  When my father or mother ask me to help, I will immediately do as they ask for love of God.

Jesus, obedient all Your life through, Oh, give me the grace to grow like You!

5th Week of Lent:

29 – Mon.         Sponge of Vinegar

Lots of children have nothing to eat today, but I often waste my food or refuse to eat what my mother has prepared for me.  At meal time, I will gratefully eat whatever is given me and even if it isn’t my favorite,  I will offer it for those who have nothing.

O Jesus, loving from the first, for Thee my longing soul doth thirst!

30 – Tues.         Nails

In my thoughts have I been jealous of another or thought something bad about them?  I will not give into rash judgments about my family or my friends.  Instead, I will think kindly of them and be happy for their good fortune.

My Jesus, I want to please You in all I do today.

31 – Weds.        Lance

I will not pierce Our Lord with ingratitude; instead I will thank Him for all the gifts He has given me in my home and family and my Faith.

Oh, I wish my life to be a thanksgiving song, Singing to Jesus the whole day long!

32 – Thurs.      Soldiers

I will be a soldier of Christ and learn from Him to silently and patiently bear refusals and disappointments.

Little self-denials win God’s grace and make my soul the leader of the race.

33 – Fri.      Sorrowful Mother

It is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and we see Our Mother sharing the torments of Jesus, embracing Him, kissing Him, and adoring Him.  Let us hasten to her with pure and loving hearts and under her lovely blue mantle let us hide for a moment of prayer.

O Mother of Sorrows, I grieve with thee, and beg forever thy child to be!

34 – Sat.      Mary Magdalene

She was forgiven all her sins by Our Lord because she loved Him so much! I shall be like Mary Magdalene and offer my love to Jesus throughout the day.

Jesus you’ve done so much for me, I’m in your debt eternally.

6th Week of Lent:

 

35 – Mon.        St. John

St. John comforted Our Lady in her great distress.  Do I comfort others when they are sad or hurting?  If I see someone hurting or sad, I will try to help them and comfort them when they are grieving.

O Jesus, make me very kind, so as to always fill my heart and mind!

36 – Tues.         Two Thieves

Every day I choose between two destinies: heaven or hell.  Are my habits good habits that help me choose Heaven? I will cultivate habits of being prompt and ready to go in the morning, doing my homework well, helping around the house and listening to my parents right away.

Oh, Jesus make me quick to see, that service which is dear to Thee!

37 – Weds.        Silver Coins

For 30 pieces of silver Judas betrayed Jesus.  Do I betray Jesus when I do not tell the truth or cause my brother or sister to get in trouble? I will not believe the devil any longer when he tempts me to lie because he will not bring me happiness.

Jesus, give me a loyal heart, where sin will not even have a small part.

38 – Thurs.       Bread and Wine

I will offer Our Lord acts and prayers of perfect love for these precious anniversaries: The First Mass and for giving Himself in Holy Communion.  Jesus, I thank you with all my heart for this gift of the Blessed Sacrament.

You knew I’d hunger, Lord, for Thee, So you found a way my Food to be.

39 – Fri.       Jesus      

What can I do today but kneel and watch You and to love You for giving Your very life for me – the price You paid to open heaven for me! I will kiss Your Sacred Feet, nailed to the Crucifix, as a sign that I will cling to You, and hold You, and never let You go.

I love You, Jesus, on that Tree; where you lovingly died for me.

40 – Sat.       Tomb

We prepare with Our Lady for the happy moment when Our Lord shall return by going to confession.  We have cast the “old man” of sin out and the “new man” will rise with Christ. We ask our angel to guard our soul as they guarded the tomb of Our Lord and we get ready to greet Him tomorrow.

Dear Jesus and Mary, I love you so!  Oh be there to greet me when home, one day, I will go!

A couple of pictures of the Lenten Way of the Cross in progress from last year:

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The Devil exults most when he can steal a man’s joy of spirit from him. He carries a powder with him to throw into any smallest possible chinks of our conscience, to soil the spotlessness of our mind and the purity of our life. But when spiritual joy fills our hearts, the Serpent pours out his deadly poison in vain. – St. Francis of Assisi

Lenten Journal Available here.

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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.

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Question Parents Ask About Their Children – Facts of Life, Nagging, etc.

Painting by John Arthur Elsley

From Questions Parents Ask About Their Children, Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R., 1950’s

At what age should a child be taught the facts of life?  

The boy or girl should be taught the facts of life from the dawn of reason on. Not all at once of course, but gradually, as interest awakens, questions are asked, and the child’s physical development calls for preparation through knowledge and information.

The trouble with most parental explanations of sex — if such explanation is given at all — is that it is usually given all at one time; and it is given either too early (this is rarely the case) or too late (this is too frequently the case).

The correct procedure is to allow the instruction to grow with and out of the child’s development. When he is approaching a physical crisis in his life, the crisis should be explained in advance. When he comes up with a question about these facts, the question should be answered in a way suited to his age.

The big developments in his life should be explained as they arise and in a casual and informal manner.

Sex instruction should be in other words matter of fact, gradual, suited to the development of the child, designed to meet and satisfy and allay his curiosities, and be presented as naturally and as simply as God intended all life to be.

I intend to instruct and train my boy, but I don’t want to nag him.  

Instructing is an art. Nagging is an abuse. Instructing is crisp, brief, pointed, personal, effective. Nagging is slow, iterated, querulous, dull, ineffective.

Correction should be given all at once — and then dropped quickly.   Nagging goes on and on.

Right correction distinguishes between things that are important and that need amending. Nagging is constantly to dog the child, to make little distinction between what is really important and what merely annoys the parent.

Correction should make a sharp impact upon the guilty.   Nagging is like the slow madness of the Chinese water torture — drip, drip, drip, until the victim thinks he is going mad.

Instruction, training, correction are blessed arts.   Nagging is a nasty nuisance.

If a sixteen-year-old daughter has never brought up the subject of sex, never asked questions about it, is it advisable for a parent to bring the subject up first?

Not answering the question right now . . . . I am reminded of the mother whose little girl, five, came to her and said: “Mommy, where did I come from?” The mother sighed. Now was the time, she felt, to answer honestly the question she had been asked.

So she said, solemnly, “Since you want to know, sit down and mummy will tell you.” And she did, in considerable detail.

At the end the child looked very bored and said, “Well I just wanted to know. The little girl next door said she came from Pittsburgh.”

As for the question . . . . . I’m afraid once more that sixteen is too, too late for the start of much intelligent instruction.

It may be that the girl is totally incurious. That is rare.   It may be that she had got instructions from other sources. These may have been very bad . . . . imperfect and incomplete . . . . . totally misleading . . . . , or correct.

Even if the last eventuality is true, the parents come with their explanations very tardily. If the other eventualities are true, the situation is worse.

A wise mother seeing a situation like this and realizing that up to the present she has not been wise at all might frankly ask the girl if she had any questions about birth and children that she wanted answered. If the mother is careful and observant, the daughter’s answer may be the mother’s lead.

She will know from the child’s apathy, embarrassment, quick flight, or frank interest what her assignment is.

It seems to me totally unnatural for children to discuss marriage with their parents.

A prolonged and detailed discussion of the sex relation by parents and adolescent children . . . . , that would be difficult.

A careful preparation by the parents of the children for the children’s physical development and future sex experiences . . . . . what could be more right and natural?

A discussion of the joys and obligations, the possibilities, the difficulties and delights of parenthood and home management, the happy associations of a good man and a virtuous wife . . . . these seem to me charming and gracious and wonderfully helpful.

To Mothers: “Instead of setting yourself up as a model of wisdom, it is much wiser for you to act the role of guide and confidante. This gives your child a much better feeling of security and fulfills your destiny of mother as well, because your children then find you a real individual in your own right. Personal success and happiness in life come only in the knowledge of our usefulness to others; as a mother, you have this opportunity in your own home at all times. You need not look elsewhere where for it.” – Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2ChxzZA (afflink)

Be humble and your home will be a happier place! 🏡Wonderful sermon!

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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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Combat Your Jealousy/In-Laws – Fr. Lovasik

Art by Veronica Algaba

Combat your jealousy

Jealousy makes you eager to have all the affection and attention of your spouse. It may also be an enemy of honesty and sincerity, and consequently of love and harmony.

A jealous husband is one who feels uncertain about his wife’s love – usually because he knows he is guilty of faults that make him undeserving of it – and who foolishly thinks that he can hold her loyalty to him only by preventing her from being friendly with anyone else. He deprives her of every kind of social life that he can forbid or prevent.

He is suspicious of every innocent friendly contact his wife makes with others. He tries to keep her separated completely from her own family. This jealous possessiveness transforms any feelings of love the wife once had for her husband into feelings of hate.

It makes a wife’s duty of fidelity to her husband much more difficult than it should be.

An unreasonably jealous wife is usually in some degree responsible for the wandering of her husband’s love. It is natural that after several years of married life, some degree of taking one another for granted sets in. It would be better if the courtesy, consideration, and thoughtfulness that marked your courtship and the first years of marriage could survive through the years.

Your husband may strain to appear his best before other women and show his worst side to you, not because he no longer loves you, but because he considers your love safely in his possession. This conduct is no reason for jealousy.

If you are a jealous wife, put yourself back into competition not only for your husband’s love but also for his kindly attention. It is your job to win and hold, by giving proofs of your own love, the love you may think is turning away from you.

Jealousy is not a constant passion. Even if you have never felt the sting of jealousy, you may, under certain circumstances, experience a blind surge of it. Be resolved to avoid with utmost care those things which might awaken the passion of jealousy in your spouse.

Be patient and understanding toward your in-laws

One of the most common sources of jealousy is in-law trouble, which can pull a couple apart more rapidly than many of the other disintegrating factors, if this is the chief reason for argument.

Marriage does not release a husband and wife from the duty of honoring and loving their mother and father. But it does make duties to their spouse supersede duties to their parents. That is what God said clearly of Adam, the first husband: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Some husbands and wives never quite leave their mothers and fathers. They permit them to have more to say over their actions and plans than their spouses do.

In-law trouble is very seldom caused solely by unreasonable jealousy on one side alone. If your spouse dislikes your relatives, look into yourself for whatever grounds you may have given for that aversion.

A wife who was spoiled and pampered by her family will sometimes seek an escape from new responsibility by running to those who will continue to baby her. At the first sign of disagreement, she will seek solace in the overindulgence of her parents. This will react unfavorably on her husband, who will gradually feel himself to be second in her affections when she has promised to hold him first.

Thus, antagonism for the parents-in-law will grow with every incident. If you are the husband of such a person, you will not awaken her to a sense of duty to you by violently asserting your rights or by using harsh language.

Never look upon in-laws as rivals for your partner’s affection. Filial love differs vastly from conjugal love, so there is room for both in the heart of every spouse.

As in courtship, you won your wife from possible rivals by making yourself appear so kind and noble that she could not resist your appeal, so after marriage you have to prove yourself superior to her parents and relatives in devotion to her.

You must back up your “rights” by continuous human expressions of love and interest. In this way, the competition between you and her relatives will soon end.

On the other hand, a husband who shows more than usual attachment to his parents almost always has trouble with jealousy on the part of his wife. He does not care what happens to his wife and children. His mother comes first.

He takes her side against his wife. He lets his wife suffer rather than deal sternly with his mother. This is especially the case if he feels that even after marriage he must donate a large part of his income to his parents, even though they are not in great need.

Getting along with in-laws calls for tact and diplomacy. You must make allowance for the tendency of parents to think of their married son or daughter as their little child whom they wish to mother still.

Try to keep the in-law relationships on an even keel by being patient and understanding, and you will have peace. If you think your husband is acting imprudently in giving help to his family, present your arguments to him in a kind way. You may even ask him to discuss the problem with a third and neutral person. Show goodwill by proposing a compromise.

Do not adopt a bitter, resentful attitude toward your husband, or say anything unkind about his relatives to him or to anyone else. Whether you win or lose your point, conquer and hide your feelings of bitterness. Showing them would be risking the peace and unity of your home.

Security for the future is bought at too great a price if it means that you are to be divided in spirit by a deeply rooted grudge. Many a home has been wrecked by such resentment, and there is little comfort in the wreckage even if you maintain you were right.

Give preference to your spouse

It is wise to establish distance from in-laws, if that is possible. It is true that there are many cases in which charity demands that an exception to this rule be made; nevertheless, there are other cases in which charity would be better served all around if some arrangement were made other than having an in-law in the same home.

After marriage, a wife’s first duty is to her husband, not to her mother. If her mother remains with her, it should be only on the condition that she will say and do nothing that would in any way mar the relationship between husband and wife.

If a mother who lives with her married daughter arouses suspicions in her daughter’s mind, if she interferes with her right to run her own home, if she nags and complains and makes unreasonable demands, the best thing to do is to rent an apartment for her and let her live alone.

Mothers-in-law should not be permitted to destroy family harmony. When you can do nothing except offer your home to an in-law, at the very outset try to come to an understanding and agreement with all the parties concerned as to the conditions under which you will live in peace together.

Let your in-law know that you are glad to be able to offer your home, but let it be made clear that the home remains yours, and that it is not to be spoiled by interference and meddling.

If there is no present way out of the difficulty, there may be room for an honest examination of conscience as to whether a wife is letting things get on her nerves that should be neutralized by a spirit of patience and charity.

Small annoyances, unavoidable with two women in the same household, can be blown up into major irritations. God will give sufficient grace to bear these annoyances and to better the situation by prudent firmness and willing charity. The advice of a wise priestly confessor will help.

A mother-in-law cannot be such a bad woman if she is the mother of the one you love very dearly. It is most important that you show that you prefer your husband or wife to everyone else in the world. You refuse this sign of preference when you insist on living with a parent, or taking a parent into your home when there is no urgent reason of necessity or charity to do so.

You are failing in your love if you pay more attention to what your parent wants than to what your spouse wants; if you are more concerned about your parent’s welfare and happiness; if you let a parent rule the household; or if you take your parent’s side in disputes.

This is like going back on the promise you made in marriage and acting contrary to God’s revealed plan for marriage.

“Never forget that it is God’s will that the parents should be the ones to teach the child to pray, as Mary and Joseph helped the boy Jesus to advance in wisdom and grace.” -A Dominican Nun, 1954

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I have prepared this Lenten journal to help you to keep on track. It is to assist you in keeping focused on making Lent a special time for your family. We do not have to do great things to influence those little people. No, we must do the small things in a great way…with love and consistency…

Timeless words from the pen of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen inspire the heart and imagination as readers embark on a Lenten journey toward a better understanding of their spiritual selves. Covering the traditional themes of Lent–sin and salvation, death and Resurrection, sorrow and hope, ashes and lilies–these 50 passages and accompanying mini-prayers offer readers a practical spiritual program as a retreat from the cares and concerns of a secular world view.
If you enjoyed learning about holiday traditions in The Christmas Book, you are sure to love its sequel, The Easter Book.  Father Weiser has here applied his winning formula to an explanation of the fasts and feasts of the Lenten and Easter seasons with equally fascinating results.

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