Ordinary Saints


From An Easy Way to Become a Saint by Father Paul O’Sullivan, 1949


We have a striking example in our own days of a canonized saint who was actually given to us as an example of how to become holy, by what she herself tells us is the easy, the “little way” to Heaven.

St. Therese of Lisieux never worked a miracle, never enjoyed heavenly visions, never did anything extraordinary, but she did well all that she did.

She tells us that she went to Heaven in an elevator (a lift).

In the Carmelite convent in which she lived, none of the sisters remarked anything wonderful in her conduct. She was sweet and joyful and was the sunshine of the community. Possibly some of the other sisters prayed longer and did more rigorous penances than she did.

An incident which took place before her death shows how simple and unpretentious was her life.

It was the custom in the convent for the prioress to write a short account of the life of each sister after that sister’s death.

During the illness of St. Therese, two sisters were heard speaking of this. One said to the other, “Poor Mother Prioress, whatever will she find to write about poor little Sister Therese?”

Yet this dear little saint began to work so many wonders after her death and obtain so many favors for those who had recourse to her that the whole world rang with her praises. She was solemnly canonized after a remarkably short time.

What a consolation she offers to those who wish to be holy! Hers was the little, the easy way, the elevator (lift) by which we, too, no matter how weak we are, can go to Heaven.


A second example that will encourage the humblest of us is the story of Benigna Consolata.

Her life, her conduct were so ordinary that those who were most intimate with her had not the faintest idea that she was a saint. She did not spend her nights in prayer, nor did she fast more rigorously than the others; she never worked miracles, yet her pure, humble life attracted the love of Our Lord, who frequently appeared to her and treated her with the most loving intimacy.

When speaking to her, He addressed her by her pet name, “Nina Mia.”

Her name was Benigna Philomena Consolata. He revealed to her the most consoling doctrines and said to her, “My dear little Secretary, write all I tell you, that others may know it.”

The sisters who lived with her were utterly surprised when they learned after her death of her wonderful sanctity.

We ourselves may be surprised when we enter Heaven to see on high thrones those whom we knew on Earth but whose sanctity we did not suspect.


What happened more recently at Our Lady’s sanctuary in Fatima will serve as another lesson on how to reach great holiness by simple means.

The Angel Guardian of Portugal came to prepare the three chosen children who were later on destined to see Our Blessed Lady.

Three things the Angel bade them do, viz., to pray devoutly, to hate sin and to offer to God with patience the sufferings the Almighty would be pleased to send them, this for His greater glory and for the salvation of souls.

God’s Holy Mother herself, when she came, taught them the same lessons, which enabled these poor ignorant little children to become worthy of their glorious mission.

Can we not do what three poor, unlettered children did?

We ourselves from time to time meet with simple souls whose extraordinary virtue is made evident by a single act.

A dear old woman run over by a carriage in Dublin and horribly crushed was rushed to a hospital. One of the Mercy Nuns who became her nurse tried with infinite delicacy to comfort and console her. What was not the nun’s surprise when the patient opened her eyes and said, “Sister dear, are you telling me to be resigned to God’s holy will? Let me tell you that God’s holy will has been always to me as welcome as the fruit to the tree.”

Poor, with many sorrows and needs during her long life, she now, in the throes of agony, manifested her perfect union with the will of God.

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, the convert son of the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, while still a priest, went for a short visit to Catholic Ireland, of which he had heard so much.

At his request, a friend took him to visit some of the poor sick in their little homes. He saw what he called “wonders.”

These dear sufferers amazed the young convert by their faith, patience and perfect resignation to the will of God.

One old man was suffering from an awful cancer, already in an advanced stage, which was eating away his breast. Father Benson, full of compassion, tried to say some words of comfort to him.

“Oh my, Father, it’s nothing,” replied the old man. “Sure in a few days I will be with God in Heaven. Didn’t He suffer much more for me?”

On his return to England, Father Benson wrote a touching article on the heroic patience and faith of these poor people. “They seem to see God,” he said.

Owing to political troubles, an unfortunate man slew his enemy, a crown official. Denounced by a perfidious friend of his own, he was arrested and condemned to death. He repented sincerely of his crime, but could not pardon his base accuser.

The chaplain of the prison used his utmost efforts to induce him to go to Confession. “This I cannot do,” he said, “because, though sorry for my crime, I cannot pardon my false friend. Thus my Confession would be bad.”

A good Sister of Mercy won his heart by her “infinite” kindness and delicacy. She too tried to induce him to confess.  In vain.

On the eve of his execution, she made a last, supreme effort. “Do you know who I am?” she asked him.

“Yes, Sister, you are an Angel from Heaven.”

“No, I am no Angel from Heaven, but I am the sister of the man whom you killed. I have pardoned you, I have fasted and prayed and done all I could to save your soul.”

Amazed, the poor man fell on his knees and, in a flood of tears, kissed her feet. “Yes, yes, Angel of God, for you are, indeed, an Angel. I forgive with all my heart my enemy, oh forgive me you.”

Hers, indeed, was heroic forgiveness. A single act, as we have said, reveals at times heroic sanctity.

The widow’s alms won Our Lord’s high approbation. “She has given more,” He said, “than all the rest.” She had given only a mite, but she gave it with all her heart.

The Good Thief’s plea for mercy on the cross obtained plenary pardon for all his crimes. The Publican’s short prayer: “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner” made his soul as white as snow.




We, as parents, press on each day, with our children’s best interests at heart, asking God to fill the gaps. Each day is an opportunity to spend time with them, to sacrifice, to touch their hearts and thereby be fulfilled ourselves. Our Lady of Good Success, Pray for Us!


Work Can Be Prayer and “Offer it Up”


 How to Raise Good Catholic Children, Mary Reed Newland, Sophia Institute Press

Work can be prayer

And that brings us to work as a form of prayer, and helping children understand that work done for the love of God is as tangible an act of love as if they were to run to Him with an embrace.

In the beginning, learning to make our bed, dry the dishes, and polish shoes is fun and a kind of play at being grown up, but soon the novelty wears off, and the chores that started out being fun can lose their glamour and become unpleasant drudgery.

If they are prayer, however, it can be different. Not that tasks we hate doing are suddenly transformed into occasions of great spiritual joy; but there’s a great difference between doing them because you’re told you must, and doing them because they can be applied to the sufferings of some other child somewhere, who has no bed to make, who must spend his nights curled up in a hole, shivering, starved, unhappy, and with no one to care for him.

Then there’s a good reason to try to make our bed with care instead of pulling up the covers to hide the rumples underneath. Then smoothing the sheets, and squaring the corners, and plumping the pillows can be small ceremonies of love from a small girl who does them because Christ can use them as balm for one of His suffering members.

And one of the loveliest things about teaching children that work is prayer is that mothers can’t help having it rub off on them.

These diapers that are changed daily, these meals that are cooked again and again, these floors that are scrubbed today only to get dirty tomorrow — these are as truly prayer in a mother’s vocation as the watches and prayers of the religious are in theirs.

Encourage your child to offer up his sufferings

There is suffering, too, in the lives of children, and it is eloquent prayer. Mere stoicism has no part in the training of a Christian. Too often it’s the death knell to humility.

But suffering embraced and offered to the suffering Christ, even with howls and tears, is a mighty weapon.

The road to Calvary was one long, unending bruise, and it helps a child to remember when he’s hurt that Jesus was hurt like this, and much more, and this pain in a mysterious way can be poured on His wounds and will help make up for the pain He had to bear. Every mother in the world kisses the bumps and bruises of her young to “make them well.”

We can give them something much more tangible to do with their hurts than merely bring them to be kissed. We can comfort and calm and then direct them in the use of the pain, and it’s surprising how willingly they will learn the lesson of pain and its value.

“Offer it up, dear; give it to Jesus to help comfort Him for the pain of the nails in His poor hands and feet.”

Faced as he is with a lifetime of recurring suffering (in one way or another), we give a child the only wholesome weapon to be used when we teach him to take his own pain in his own two hands and apply it freely, as he does work and play and prayer, to the comforting of Christ and His work in His Church.

Many times, parents will turn to scolding the “naughty chair” or the “bad table” in an effort to ease the pain and insult of a child who comes to grief through his own carelessness.

In the process, they feed little desires for vengeance; they give him no recourse but senseless, continuing rebellion against anything and everything that crosses him.

One time, a man who lives in our town was working on his car with no success, growing more and more angry because the cursed (and I do mean cursed) car would not start.

In a rage, finally, he threw his wrench at it, broke a part, and instead of a tricky repair job, he had added to his woes the problem of thumbing a ride to a service station to buy a new part, thumbing a ride back, and starting from scratch to install the new part.

Perhaps his explosion was only the fault of an ungovernable temper, but perhaps — who knows? — it had its beginning long ago in childhood when the only solace for a barked shin was, “Naughty chair to hurt the baby. Kick it back, sonny, kick it back.”

Living in a fallen world, our children are bound to be hurt, both physically and spiritually. We will save them years of wasted opportunities if we teach them that, along with everything else, pain is part of their prayer.




“It is astonishing what undreamed-of qualities a sense of responsibility awakens in a young soul; how the very idea that something depends on her, that she is being trusted, puts our little maid upon her mettle. Therefore it is a good plan to leave to a young daughter some particular duty or duties for which she is entirely responsible. This may of course be a very slight thing to begin with—the dusting of a room, or the arrangement of flowers or books, or the superintendence of the tea-table; but whatever it is, the mother should insist that it be done regularly and at the appointed time. Thus will she teach her child punctuality and a primary lesson in a method, which is the key to all perfect housekeeping. Of course it is a little trouble to the mother to superintend the performance of such little duties, but she will have her reward in the daily increasing helpfulness of the daughter in the home.” – Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1894



My Little Story About the Rosary….

It’s the month of the Holy Rosary and Throwback Thursday so here is my little story of the Rosary…..

I’m a slow learner.

Sometimes it just takes me a long time to “get” some things.

At the tender age of twenty, the Rosary and the Consecration to Our Lady (St. Louis de Montfort style) was what set my feet on solid ground in a world that spun around me with all sorts of “answers” to life’s problems. And I wanted answers.

My friends were leaving the Catholic Church that was rocked by liberalism and they were going to greener pastures. It was all beckoning to me. The Catholic Church I attended didn’t seem to hold out any answers. I had attended a Catholic School and went to Mass every Sunday all my growing up years. I was involved in youth groups and church choirs. And yet I didn’t know about the True Presence until I was almost 20 years old! There was an emptiness…. but I didn’t know what the problem was.

Then something happened. I went to a few classes on St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary. I didn’t like them but I stepped out in faith and began by saying a decade of the rosary each day (while my thoughts traveled to those naysayers saying  “repetition of words are useless…dumb”….they also said…”IDOLATRY…you can’t pray to Mary”) but I persevered…..And then I consecrated myself to Our Lady…(once again, the horrible doubts and misgivings…) I did it anyway. It was not very comfortable.

I met hubby. We began our courtship and our marriage with the rosary…daily. It was a commitment. It wasn’t wonderful…or beautiful…. It was a commitment.

We had children. Many children. We said the rosary. So often, it seemed fruitless. Life was so distracted, so wrought with the everyday little crosses and duties…but it was a commitment and we stuck to it.

I knew it was a good thing. I knew Our Lady asked for the Family Rosary at Fatima:“I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to always pray the Rosary every day.” I believed. I was committed. Hubby was always committed.🙂

I see now the fruits. I look around at a very crazy world and thank God through tears for what He has given to us…through no merit of our own.

I know that we could have really messed up. We were two people coming from very different backgrounds….both very strong-willed. We made our mistakes…..but we had the Rosary. And we stuck with it, day in and day out, year after year.

A family that prays together, stays together. I know that is not everything. If we have an open heart, the Rosary gives us the graces to make the necessary changes as we need them.Feb. 14, 2014 005-001

The Daily Family Rosary. Steady, Constant. Amid the crosses of daily life with many children, the misunderstandings between husband and wife, the financial burdens…we had the rosary.

When the kids got hurt or sick, when I was very ill, when hubby was in the hospital and we had no money to pay, through tragedies, accidents and fires, when I didn’t understand why God was letting things happen to us…. we were saying the Rosary.

Steady and constant, we prayed it every day, amid slouching kids, tired husband, cranky, pregnant wife.

Thank God for that Rosary. I know my life is not done yet. We still have children at home, children who can….and will….make a lot of mistakes. But for the record, they all (married ones, too) put their Faith first, amid their own struggles. They say the daily Rosary and it will be what holds them together through thick and thin.

If you have troubles, say the Rosary. If, amid your noisy and boisterous family, you are suffering loneliness, say the Rosary. Do you have fears and worries? Say the Rosary. Are your rosaries dry and distracted?…Keep saying it.

Truly, who knows better than Our Lady, Our Mother, our humanness, our failings, how small we are, how distracted we are. She will help. Persevere. Don’t give up.

It is just now that I am beginning more to understand the beauty, the mystery, the  deep, interior, spiritual growth that can take place through the Rosary. Like I said, I am a slow learner.

I am glad that God is very, very patient.

He has given us a very special gift. Don’t take it for granted and don’t go a day without saying it!

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“It is difficult for a child to be better than his home environment or for a nation to be superior to the level of its home life. In fulfilling its double purpose – the generation and formation of children – the home becomes a little world in itself, self-sufficient even in its youngest years. It is vital that you, as a mother or father, make of your home a training ground in character-building for your children, who will inherit the world’s problems. Home is a place in which the young grow in harmony with all that is good and noble, where hardship, happiness, and work are shared.” – Father Lawrence G. Lovasik

Up To Date?


ONE of our modern novels gives us the following situation: Gina Valette is a woman who is “up to date” in the unpleasant sense of the term. Very rich and provided with a husband who thoroughly spoils her, she has dogs, cats, a parrot, and a monkey, but no children.

Her brilliant existence palls on her.

Among her friends are mothers with children who courageously use their modest resources to advantage and rear quite a family.

Often when an epidemic breaks out among the children of a family, a friend of the family will take two or three of the others for the time.

To cure Gina of her depressed spirits, her friend Jamine persuades her to take young Gilles Perdrinix whose five brothers and sisters have the chickenpox.

Gina is bewildered; she knows perfectly how to care for a monkey but she finds herself embarrassed before this little Perdrinix boy who judged her severely from the height of his four years.

“How ignorant she is! How much is lacking in her training!” Little Gilles sighed to think of it. “She knows how to smoke,” he said to himself sadly, “but she can’t give me a lift to button my shirt.“

He did not complain nor did he reproach her; but on seeing her so clumsy, he thought she had much to learn to become a woman like other women.

Happily there are other kinds.


A mother of a family and a brilliant author wrote in the preface of a volume on “The Mother” which she was requested to write by the editor of a series entitled “The Up to Date Woman,“

“How shall I ever write this little book? There are no up-to-date mothers.

There are only Mammas.”

And with charming dash coupled with irresistible conviction she gave young wives this advice:

“Little Lady, you are embarking upon married life on the arm of a husband who is all taken up with you, who probably wants nothing more than to believe in you, to follow you and to approve of everything that touches the essence of your being.

Do not listen to those frustrated women or those soured unmarried girls, or those Jezebels who have nothing of the matron about them but their age and have no real experience; do not let them draw you out of the right way.

Be convinced, that the joy which babies bring is inexpressible and makes up for all the torment and fatigue of bearing them.

Be certain that the sight of that plump, smooth little body; of those dimpled hands and feet, both like pink silk yet provided with sharp nails; of that darling little mouth with its toothless smile, so simple and so trustful that the bright look, so marvelously pure, the soft cheeks, the silky hair, the utter quiet abandonment of this little being who issued forth from us floods our soul with an intense and intimate ecstasy such as I have never known before.

If only the up-to-date woman would be a mother for the future.

After the dark hours of the war, new life must be born.

There will be lives only if there are mothers, mothers who respond to their essential and divine vocation.




“There is nothing insignificant in the life which we live within our own doors. There is nothing which is without influence in the building up of character. . Let no one think that the history of any day in the life of a home, is not recorded imperishably on the sensitive lives of the children.” -J.R. MIller


The Sacredness of Home

Father O’Reilly reminds us of the sacredness of the home and how we must return to those “venerable ideals so dear to our fathers and to those ‘ancient paths’ from which modern free-thinking would lead the young generation to stray.”

He also includes two beautiful prayers for the home that the Church lovingly has given to her own.


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

Man first enters on the forest of life from the paternal house, where, if the will of God were done on earth as it is in heaven, the divine commandments would be known and dear and familiar to all; for the precept was thus given: Thou shalt tell them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising.

And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes. And thou shalt write them in the entry and on the doors of thy house.

Such is the ideal of the Catholic home; and wherever this type is realized, it is evident that its members are even already in possession of the truth and of the blessed life which constitute the pledge of the supreme good of man.

The Church, among her solemn benedictions, had one for every dwelling-house, being the same for that of the poorest man and for that of the wealthiest, for the lowliest on his little plot of ground, as well as for the royal palace.

Just as she lovingly blessed and guarded near her temples the bodies of her children without distinction of rank, even so she was desirous of hallowing by her prayers every spot in city or in country where her dear ones were born and reared, and where she would have God’s angels live with them as their unseen guardians, companions, and helpers.

“We send up our supplication to Thee, O God the Almighty Father (one form of blessing begins) in behalf of this dwelling, of all who live therein, and of all things within it; praying that thou do bless and sanctify it, and fill it with all good things.

“Grant them, O Lord, plenty from out the dew of heaven, the sustenance of life from out the fat of the earth, and fulfill their desires in thy mercy.

“On our entering this house, therefore, do thou deign to bless and sanctify this abode as thou didst vouchsafe to bless the house of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: and within these walls let the angels who behold thy light abide, to guard this home and its inmates.”

Another ancient benediction added: ” Abide ye in peace in your home: may the Lord grant you rest and peace and comfort from all your enemies round about! May he bless you from his throne on high, as you rest or walk, sleeping and waking; and may your family flourish to the third and fourth generation!”

Elsewhere the Roman Ritual says in another form of blessing: “Bless, 0 Lord, God Almighty, this house, that in it may abide health, chastity, victory, fortitude, humility, goodness and meekness, the fullness of the law, and thanksgiving toward God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

In the design of God’s Fatherly providence, as well as in the intention of the Church, the Christian family-home is a place “blessed and sanctified,” over which, with its inmates, angels keep watch and ward.

This divine protection and angelic watchfulness secure ” peace,” and safety from all surrounding dangers.

The blessing is fruitful in “health” of body and soul, in that purity of life which renders the inhabitants of the home worthy of being the fellow-servants and citizens of the angels, in victory over self, in that fortitude which ever strengthens man to bear and to forbear, in that humility which keeps us like little children in presence of the Divine Majesty, in “goodness and meekness,” in the loving accomplishment of the law which is only the expression of his will, and in devout gratitude toward that Trinity of Persons whose blissful society in the life to come is to be the completion and reward of the home-life sanctified and made most happy by every duty fulfilled.

In thus setting forth the sanctity of the Christian home, and the exalted nature of the duties and the virtues which should adorn it, we are only endeavoring to recall men’s minds to the venerable ideals so dear to our fathers, and to those “ancient paths” from which modern free-thinking would lead the young generation to stray.




finer fem quote for the day fall

We are called to be great Apostles of Love in our ordinary, daily life. We are Christ’s Hands and Feet as we wipe noses, feed hungry little ones and change diapers with an attitude of service and love. When we are cheerful to those we rub shoulders with each day, when we kindly open our door to those who enter into our home, we are taking part in Christ’s Apostolic Work. “Jesus was an Apostle in the stable of Bethlehem, in the shop of St. Joseph, in His anguish in Gethsemane and on Calvary no less than when He was going through Palestine, teaching the multitudes or disputing with the doctors of the law.” – Divine Intimacy, Painting by Morgan Weistling


Responding to His Ideas, Over-committed, Etc.

Letting go of disordered control is an act of the will and a commitment to trust God with results. Over-commitment is something we need to take a hard look at and learn to let go of things that are hindering us from focusing on our priorities.

Some points to ponder fromThe Surrendered Wife.

10660175_1005881216110349_5237431374871609545_nHe early on let her know who is the boss. He looked her right in the eye and clearly said, “You’re the boss.” —ANONYMOUS

One of the most difficult things about relinquishing control is that we don’t always know when we’re being controlling. Letting your husband know how little regard you have for his ideas is the most dangerous and subtle form of control.

When you squash your husband’s ideas you are telling him you don’t trust him. Without trust there can be no intimacy. Therefore, one of the keys to relinquishing control is to respect your husband’s thinking.

Your husband may make a pronouncement that sounds silly. He’s human and he deserves the space to think about things, concoct crazy schemes, and make mistakes, just as you do.

We all need the freedom to muse out loud about whatever it is we’re thinking. So, the first step in respecting your husband’s thinking is to let him think out loud without criticizing, laughing at, dismissing, or insulting him.

It’s not as dangerous as it sounds— all you’re really doing is allowing your man to be himself.

Sometimes your husband’s ideas will materialize and sometimes they won’t. But if you trust him —and respect his ideas rather than trying to control what actually comes to fruition— I guarantee that you will be one step closer to fostering intimacy with your husband.

You have the power to choose whether you fight about something for days or laugh about it for years.

Many of us harbor the illusion that when we reject disagreeable thoughts and ideas immediately, those thoughts die and never materialize into actions with unpleasant consequences.

We believe that we won’t have to deal with the financial uncertainty of a job change if we tell him it’s not a good idea.

We think we won’t have to be afraid for our children’s safety if we dismiss his idea of teaching them to ski.

We won’t have to watch our husband suffer and curse while repairing the plumbing himself if we give him “ the look” that lets him we know we don’t think he can do it.

The problem is that when your squash your husband’s ideas, you kill his spirit. When you disrespect your husband’s thinking, he feels rejected. You give him no choice but to believe that you already know what’s best and have complete veto power.

You are letting him know who is in charge: you.

He has that recurring thought, “Why bother?”

And you are left with feeling tired from shouldering all the responsibility.

But this vicious circle can be interrupted.

If you respond to your husband’s ideas with trust, he will feel a new level of responsibility .

If he says he can fix the plumbing himself, and you say, “whatever you think,” he will feel the full weight of the task on his shoulders and probably even some fear.

He will think more seriously about the task before deciding whether he wants to take it on.

The Miracle of Perpetual Dating
Remember how much fun it was to date your husband when you first met? Those glory days return when you surrender control. Every time you go out to eat or to a movie, he takes care of you by paying for both of you and handling any details.


Instead of bickering at dinner, you can talk about things that interest you, what you hope for and how you’re feeling. You can laugh together and hold hands, as you enjoy being treated like a princess again.


Most of all, you can let him treat you the way he did when you were first dating by letting him know what a nice time you had and thanking him for taking you out. If you do, you’ll enjoy the miracle of perpetual dating for many years to come.


The Cure for The Over-committed


Before you take on more work, responsibility or expense, ask yourself if you can really make snacks for the team, head up a committee or work late without causing yourself distress. Will you have to sleep less, speed to be on time or skip out on going to the gym? Then don’t do it.


Instead, practice saying these empowering words: “I can’t.” They work just as well when your child’s teacher asks you to volunteer in the classroom as they do when your husband asks you to stop by the dry cleaners on an already too-busy day. They require no further explanation.


If you’re thinking, “but that’s not true because I can do it ,” think again. If what you want is to feel good, stay balanced and have enough energy to foster an intimate marriage, you really can’t do it all. Think of the phrase “I can’t” as shorthand for reminding yourself that it’s okay to save your time and energy for you and your relationship.
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finer fem quote for the day fall2
We can change the world within our own families. We do not need heroic deeds, exceptional intelligence or extraordinary talents. Every day, our daily duties, our interactions with our family, our living out the Faith in the small ordinary things, will be the thread that weaves the beautiful rug that future generations will be walking upon and building upon….

Live Out Your Faith in Word and Deed


The Everyday Apostle, Fr. Edward F. Garesche, 1912

Where is the sincere and thoughtful Catholic who has not strongly wished at times that he could make some converts to the one true Faith?

All of us know so deeply, from our everyday experience, the sweetness and the strength, the beauty, tenderness, and power of our holy religion, and the cheer and guidance that it gives us on our way toward Heaven, that we should be dull clods indeed not to desire to share these amazing and neglected treasures with our fellowmen.

It is true, of course that a sincere and God-fearing non-Catholic may hope to save his soul. True, also, that there is many such a one who puts half-hearted Catholics utterly to shame by the earnestness, uprightness, and goodness of his life.

But if such men walk so well in the twilight, how gloriously, we think, they would run onward in the noonday splendor!

If they fight so valiantly, nourished with the crumbs that have fallen from the children’s table, what heroes they would become if they were fed on the strong Bread of Angels and given to drink of the sweet waters of God’s full and satisfying truth!

The fervor and earnestness we have noted in so many converts confirms this view and urges us the more to the work of conversion.

How ardently they leap forward in the ways of sanctity, when first they feel the mighty aid of the sacraments and of holy Mass!

How eagerly they receive the rich teachings of Catholic Tradition and embrace the thousand helps and stays that God’s Church alone can give!

He would be an ungenerous and selfish man – or, at least, a very thoughtless one – who had never wished to make a convert to Catholic truth. But when it comes to choosing the means, the average Catholic man or woman may well be perplexed to know just how the good work is to be begun.

“Arguing is no use,” they say. “It only makes people stubborn and angry. To explain the truths of Faith is all very good, but how am I to get people to listen, and how am I to answer the awkward questions they will be sure to ask? I cannot write or give lectures or preach sermons. It isn’t my business, and, besides, I haven’t the talent or the time. So what in the world am I to do?”

This may be all very natural and true, and if these were indeed the only ways of making converts to the Faith, many Catholics might be pardoned for shrinking from the task. Fortunately, these are not the only ways.

There is an argument stronger with most men than any logic – a way of preaching that is open to everyone and to which no living soul can choose but listen: the argument of steadfast good example, of a consistent living up to our Catholic principles and our Catholic beliefs.

We walk about in this world very obscurely, it may be. We do not seem prominent persons in the scheme of things, nor apt to draw men’s eyes to look at us.

Yet every day of our lives, almost at every hour of our days, at home and in the street, in the busy hours or when we are taking our ease and our pleasure, careless and free and unconscious of the world’s remark, we are being watched, studied, thought of, imitated, it may be, by the restless, eager spirits of our fellowmen.

What is a man so interested in as in his neighbor? What does he talk of more often? What does he speculate on so eagerly? By what is he so deeply moved as by the sayings and doings, the character and principles of other men?

Blind and deluded though men often are as to their own proper vices and virtues, they have a wonderful shrewdness in searching out and summing up the genuine character of another.

It is no use, in the matter of religious principle especially, to try to play the saint and be the sinner.

Nothing but sincere and practical fidelity, the pure gold of honesty, seven times tried, will wear well and shine well for long against the rough usage and trying ways of this hurly-burly world.

These are truisms, as we all know; but apply them to yourself, the individual Catholic, moving about in the highways of life and dealing with your fellows. Although they know that you are a Catholic, many of them realize only vaguely what the name implies.

But if they recognize in you a man apart from and distinguished above his fellowmen by reason of his honesty, industry, and kindness to his neighbors, by his truth, honor, and good faith, they will grow a bit curious to learn more of what Catholics think and strive for and believe.

Your courage, your consistency, and your modest faithfulness to your principles will make you stand out in noble relief against the general carelessness and self-indulgence of the times.

They will conceive a huge respect for the Faith that can so lift a man above the common lust and avarice of the world; they will inquire into the Church’s teaching and open their hearts to her appeal, and God’s grace will have an entrance to win them over to the truth.

And you, sincere, simple, and consistent with your Catholic principles, without any noise of argument or any array of lectures or of books, will truly have converted them; you will have convinced and persuaded them by the most convincing, most persuasive of all arguments: by the solid and practical proof of a life consistent with your holy Faith.




fall finer fem quote for the day fall

“Life is not a stage for buffoons. It is deadly serious. We walk a tight rope between heaven and hell. Of ourselves we can never make it. As long as we keep our faces turned up to God and our hands in His, we shall not fall. Only those fall who think themselves to stand by their own merits.” – Fr. Leo Kinsella, 1950

A New Virtue – My Prayer Book, Fr. Lovasik

This is a great reminder not to lose your sense of humor….and make sure you are passing it onto your children! It will put sparkle in the good times and help us through the rough ones!


My Prayer Book:

There is a virtue, which may be new to the hearing of many of us.

It was discovered and named by Aristotle; and he called it by the pretty Greek name of eutrapelia. Eutrapelia may be defined “playfulness in good taste.”

Aristotle himself defines it: “a chastened love of putting out one’s strength upon others.”

There is in every ordinary boy a disposition to romp, to play the fool, and to destroy property; a disposition which ought to be sternly repressed, subdued, and kept under by those responsible for the boy’s education, beginning with himself. Otherwise the boy can have no place in civilized society: he will turn out a young savage.

But though repressed, the disposition should not be killed within him and extirpated altogether. It is a defect of character to have no playfulness, no drollery, no love of witnessing or even creating a ridiculous situation.

Eutrapelia knows exactly when and how to be funny, and where and when to stop. All things have their season, says Ecclesiastes (iii. I, 4); a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A proud and quarrelsome man is never a funny man. Many a difficulty, many an incipient quarrel, many a dark temptation, is dissipated, the moment one catches sight of some humorous side to the matter.

A humble man makes merry over his own misadventures; and when he is inclined to storm and rage listens to a good angel whispering in his ear: “John, don’t make a fool of yourself.” A merry boy is seldom a bad boy.

Life is not all play: indeed it is a very serious thing: but on account of its very seriousness we require some play to set it off.

That is why you find excellent men and great doers of good with an extraordinary faculty, which they use at times, of talking nonsense and playing the fool.

Eutrapelia is a blend of playfulness and earnestness. Without earnestness, playfulness degenerates into frivolity. “O Lord, give me not over to an irreverent and frivolous mind” (Eccles. xxiii.6).

We generally wear our lighter clothing underneath, and our heavier clothing above it; and perhaps that is the best way for a man, to veil his eutrapelia under a serious exterior.

But for a boy the other way about is the better fashion; he should be playful and mirthful to the eye, but have seriousness and earnestness underneath, known only to those who know him well.

In the earliest days of the Society of Jesus, there was a novice much given to laughing. One day he met Father Ignatius, and thought that he was in for a scolding.

But St. Ignatius said to him: “Child, I want you to laugh and be joyful in the Lord. A Religious has no cause for sadness, but many reasons for rejoicing; and that you may always be glad and joyful, be humble always and always obedient” – Fr. Joseph Rickaby, S.J., in Ye are Christ’s.

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fall finer fem quote for the day

“Explain to your children the beauty of the religious life. Just as Jesus once met young people in His day and said, ‘Come, follow me!’ so He says the same thing to your children today, at home, at school, or at work. It is really the most wonderful life that your teenagers could choose for themselves.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook


10 Rules to Being Happy Parents


From Christ in the Home by Father Raoul Plus, S.J., 1951

1.  Always appear before your family in good humor.
Nothing is so depressing as a father or mother out of
sorts. See that the family never has to suffer because of
your nervousness or irritability.

2. Never weary in cheering your family with your smile. It
is not enough to avoid depressing them; you must
brighten them up and let their spirits expand. Be especially
vigilant when the little ones are around. Give them
the alms of a smile, hard though it be at times. What a pity
when children have to say, “I don’t like it at home.”

3. What can be shared, speak of it openly. If something
must not be told, then don’t tell it. Do share what
you can so everyone profits by your experience, especially
the family.

4. Amiably show the greatest interest in the smallest
things. Family problems are generally not affairs of
state, but everything that concerns those we love most
in this world should be worthy of interest: the baby’s
first tooth, the honor ribbon won at school, the entrance
of one of the little ones into the Holy Childhood

5. Banish exaggerated asceticism from your life. If your
home is Christian and each member of the family is
learning to carry his cross, then it is essential to avoid
making others suffer by a too ostentatious or inopportune
austerity. There is abundant opportunity for self renunciation
in devoting oneself to procuring joy for others.
Marie Antoinette de Geuser used to sacrifice her great longing
for recollection and her taste for a simple life by accompanying
her brothers to evening affairs for which she
wore dresses that she said “made her look vain.”

6. Be sure to treat all alike. Nothing is so disrupting to
home life as favoritism for one or the other child.
The same measure for all!

7. Never think of yourself, but always of them in a joyous
spirit. Henry the Fourth of France used to crawl
around on all fours, with his children on his back, to
enliven the family get-together. Louis Racine, son of the
famous French playwright, author of “Athalie,” relates,
“My father was never so happy as when he was free to
leave the royal court and spend a few days with us. Even
in the presence of strangers, he dared to be a father; he
belonged to all our games.”

8. Never begin an argument; always speak prudently.
Discussion should not be banned unless it develops
into bickering. A free habit of exchanging ideas on a
broadening subject cannot but be profitable; the children
should even be encouraged and led into it to develop
in them a wise and discriminating mind and a
habit of suspended judgment. Unsavory and disturbing
subjects and those beyond their depth naturally
ought to be avoided.

9. Always act patiently and answer graciously. That it
takes the “patience of an angel” to rule vigilantly
over the little world of the family is beyond question.
Affability is essential.

10. By good will you will gain hearts and souls without
exception. Loving much is the key to gain all.
These slogans for a happy home life are not marvels
of prose, but do express a precious rule of wise
family discipline.

Adapted from Father Raoul Plus, S.J.’s Christ in the Home
(Colorado Springs, CO: Gardner Brothers, 1951), 241–
243. Christ in the Home is a treasure chest of advice for
Catholics on the practical and spiritual concerns of raising
a family.

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finer fem quote for the day fall

There will be lives only if there are mothers, mothers who respond to their essential and divine vocation. “Give me, O my God, the grace through respect for You and for Your work, always to have a devotion to and a respect for life.. Grant me also the grace to be in Your Hands a not too unworthy instrument of Your creative power. Let me be ‘up-to-date’ whenever it is a question of enrolling a new name in the Book of Life.” – Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950’s



Beautiful Handcrafted Religions necklaces at Meadows of Grace:

Auspicious Autumn…Fun and Photos

This post isn’t all about Autumn as the title suggests but “Auspicious Autumn” posed such a delicious alliteration I couldn’t help myself…..besides it IS Autumn, right?

So this is a post of some of the happenings in this pocket of the world. It has been a lovely summer…..

Click on the first picture to view the gallery (Captions are provided):