The Heavenly Vision/My Day’s Journey

by Fr. Daniel Considine, 1950’s

The Heavenly Vision

Let us examine our own experience of God’s dealings with us in the past. We find bad habits of temper or uncharitableness or worse things installed within us. Turn back upon them the lamp of memory steadily, widely, so as to bring into view all attendant circumstances and light up God’s admonitions and inspirations as well as our own perversity.

Try to recollect how often the voice of conscience has striven to make itself heard, in gentle whispers first of all and then in loud remonstrance or remorse, until quelled at last it has seemed to die in sobs or in murmurs far away.

How many fires of noble purpose have been lit in our souls by stirring words or great examples, or suddenly, in the strangest fashion in most unexpected places or at most unlikely times by the Holy Spirit, who alone can touch the inmost heart, and afterwards have burnt low and then to ashes because you would take no pains to feed them!

St Paul says he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. We indeed have no claim to such a wonder as wrought his conversion, but I believe that glimpses of the Unseen, and high impulses and yearnings for better things, not the work of imagination but of the God “in whom we live and move and have our being”, are not so uncommon as is often fancied in these days of ours, perhaps because there are so many lying spirits abroad just now trying to deceive us.

The Lord is not a hard man, but in the words of the prophet Joel, “gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil”. Believe Him to be gentle, kind, generous, and compassionate beyond the tenderness of the most devoted mother, and you will find your anticipations fall infinitely short of the truth.

The one thing that He cannot bear is that you should mistrust His love.

My Day’s Journey

In what thoughts can I find inspiration and comfort at the beginning of each day? In God with us and therefore we with God. My day’s march has been carefully mapped out for me, “before Abraham was made”, in the Divine counsels, its windings allowed for, the ambushes of my enemies forestalled.

I may be quite assured against surprises or superior force, if only I leave myself unhesitatingly in the hands of God. And then what a fine thing it is, enough to stir one’s pulses at a suitable time and place, but true even when one is not in an enthusiastic mood, to know that the feeblest of us has a bit to do, a work to accomplish, under a commission, not signed by earthly emperor or king, but from the Sovereign of Heaven itself!

Further, every weary pace I count, if it so be that the way is long or tedious, is taken under the eyes of Him for whose sake I have begun the march and who will at its end give me a rich reward.

I can make for myself a Friend who will accompany me through my day, step by step, who can and will, if I do not fail Him, always guide me, always uphold me, in whom I can trust unreservedly, and who is so generous that while He has no need of me and I have every need of Him, He actually regards my leaning upon Him as a favor done by me to Him and is most anxious to reward me for obeying what is not only my duty but the dictates of my own interest and advantage.

To halt for a few seconds or minutes clear the head. Why should not the thoughts during my day’s work be only to rest in the thoughts of God, His goodness, our need of His assistance, or our fervent wishes for the welfare of those dear to us, and therefore our supplications for them to the throne of grace, be suitable at such times?

No painful effort, no strain would be needed or desirable. If after a little practice we were to find the attempt a strain, would not this alone prove to us how much we have yet to learn about the proper method of intercourse with God – how stiff and formal, inelastic and cold our own way is, so unlike the conversation of a child with his Father and therefore so unlike the model of prayer taught us by Our Lord Himself.

God is always at our elbow, God is always in our heart, God encompasses us on every side. He reads all our thoughts, He intimately knows every aspiration, every fear, every hope of our soul – He understands us without any need of our explanation, He can supply the answer to the problems which perplex ourselves.

Why do we not consult Him more, open our hearts to His love, lean on Him in our weakness, implore His succor in our wants? He has not shrunk from abasing Himself to earth in order to share my human toils and troubles and trials; and shall I refuse His Company, as far as I can, and deny my confidences and reject His Friendship?

If He loves to be with me, my answer must be, that I, above all, desire to love to be with Him.

“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

Lent teaches us to love God and our neighbor more than our selves… to love our souls more than our bodies… to love our crosses. In a word, Lent helps us put charity in order and with charity… our wills… our hearts are perfected and made ready to reach the summit of the climb… Calvary.

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Tea Time With Finer Femininity and A Gallery!

The following are answers to a few questions that I have received lately…

Question: Please, if you could give me some advice about the Internet in the home. We are careful what we allow the children to have access to but now that one of my children has reached 18, he wants his own laptop for studying, etc.

How much freedom do you allow as your children get older?

I am going to tell you what we do….

Our kids don’t have smart phones until they are married, as a general rule. Rosie has one. She is older than any of our other children have been as a single. She is devout and responsible…so she has one. She was not too hyped about it…which is a good indication she could handle it. She was stuck in her room, very sick and listened to audio books. Thus, the smart phone (for the audio books).

I am very much on top of who is looking at computers. The password is only known by me, my husband and Rosie. The computer is in a high traffic area. I don’t leave it open when I go out. The kids know they have to wait until I get home. They are not clamoring for it because their life hasn’t included it in everything.

We have been strict. And we call the shots when the kids are older but still living in the home. We aren’t apologetic about that. It’s the way it is. The internet is such a dangerous tool so we feel it is important enough to monitor things closely.

Our boys are wary of the computer. They know how quickly people can fall….especially boys…but girls, too. We just have one boy (Angelo) at home and he has written a journal for boys. He was on the laptop a lot while he was doing that. But I could see it at all times and I kept a close eye on things. Don’t ever just “trust” your son. As good as he may be, he is human, has curiosity…and it is just one click away. Covenant Eyes and other such monitoring software are valuable. We haven’t done this. I have chosen to watch things closely. But I do believe it would be a very good thing to have.

So, my advice is…be strict. If they have to use the computer then do be diligent…and make sure they are, too. It takes work but there is nothing more important than the souls of our children.

(I have seen many guys around these parts have flip phones. They don’t trust themselves with a smart phone. These guys run businesses, do Ebay or Craigslist and could really use a smart phone. The convenience is not worth it to them.

My married boys all have smart phones now. It is up to them and their wives to monitor things. And they do. They are not perfect but at least they were old enough to make these decisions before they had the world…good and bad….in the palm of their hands!)

Question: Do you have pdf’s or downloads available for your Boy’s and Girl’s Journals?

Not at the moment. I will work on this. I need to make them black and white first. I will put it up on the blog here when I have that accomplished. I will also get the Gratitude Journal so that you can buy the download. I know many of you are from out-of-country and shipping is expensive for the physical book.

Question: Do you have your taste and smell back after Covid?

Very slightly. And some days not at all. It has been over 3 months so I had a chat with our local Catholic doctor. He said that Covid can cause nerve damage in that area. When you have nerve damage, it can take a year to heal. One of the best things to do with when it comes to nerves, is to work the area. So that is what I am doing. It is called “Sniff Therapy”. I tell you this so you can pass it along to anyone who wants to try it. Here are the four “smells” that are recommended in this article. They sit by my computer and I try to do it twice a day. (Lemon, Rose, Eucalyptus, Clove, in that order.) We’ll see….

Question: Our country seems to becoming more and more Communist. As lay people taking care of our families, what can do we do?

Our family recently went to the Convent in Gower and spent some Days of Recollection there. The good priest gave a sermon on Sunday about being under the “Thumb of Communism” and what we can do. Here was the four things he said:

  1. Holy Mass
  2. Divine Office
  3. Holy Rosary
  4. Devotion to the Holy Face

I found that last one interesting. Father said it is a devotion especially for Communism. We got the book about the Holy Face Devotion, called The Golden Arrow and we will be reading it.

Here is a lovely prayer to the Holy Face from my Little Flower Prayerbook:

Prayer of St Therese to the Holy Face of Jesus

“O Jesus, who, in Thy cruel Passion didst become the ‘reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,’ I worship Thy divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; but now, for my sake, it is become as ‘the face of a leper.’

Yet, in that disfigured Countenance, I recognize Thy infinite love, and I am consumed with the desire of making Thee loved by all mankind.

The tears that flowed so abundantly from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls that I delight to gather, that with their worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.

O Jesus, whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not see here below the sweetness of Thy glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy kiss, I bow to Thy Will—but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy divine likeness, and I implore Thee so to inflame me with Thy love, that it may quickly consume me, and that I may soon reach the vision of Thy glorious Face in heaven.”

Amen.

Question: I feel so inadequate. I feel like I am not doing enough. It really stresses me out because I see my kids growing up and I know what big things they will face. I have got to do more spiritually in order to equip them….but I am tired. I have several children and life is busy and hectic. Do you have any advice?

Yes, I do. First things first. Let’s make a TO-DO List. No, not one of those lists that are telling you to clean the refrigerator, mop the floor and go to the grocery store. No, this is a “First Things First” List. Here’s how it could look (or something like this):

Morning Prayers

Mercy Chaplet (Or some other prayer for mid-afternoon to bring the family together…not too long…maybe a special litany or a different chaplet)

Family Rosary

Night Prayers

There, that’s not too long, is it? Get these done daily and they will give you the grace to handle the rest of life. Here’s a post to help with your Morning and Night Prayers. And then make sure your kids are saying their own Morning and Night Prayers. Get a little booklet to help your kids along when they are real small.

Then do the best you can for the rest of the day. We must be diligent with our daily duties but the spiritual is the most important and if you get that done, you are doing good. Rely on God for the rest.

I know that sounds simplistic but simple is best…and will help us to maintain that peace that is so crucial in the business of raising children. Well, and crucial for our own well-being and peace of mind! At the end of a hectic day, when we think we have not accomplished much, if we can look at that spiritual list and they are all checked off, you have done much!

Question: I am very worried about my children growing up in the world and in our country with the way things are going. How do you deal with these kind of thoughts?

I am going to quote a dad to answer this question:

Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be.
God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.
Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God.
Train them up in the authority of His Word.
Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control.
Empower them to know they can change the world.
Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it.
Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Daniel could handle the lions den.
He knew David could handle Goliath.
He knew Esther could handle Haman.
He knew Peter could handle persecution.
He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it!
Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose YOU to parent them! Teach them God’s love and to share it with everyone!
Rise up to the challenge.
Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters! 💪🏼
God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world.
He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth!!!
Don’t let YOUR fear steal the greatness God placed in them.
I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.

Just some thoughts from a dad who is rocking his sleeping baby and thinking about what a crazy day it has been in our country.

Alex Cravens

And now…A GALLERY!

 

 

 

You Can Have a Happy Family (Part Two)

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From The Catholic Family Handbook, Rev. George A. Kelly, 1950’s

Part One is here.

Conclusion is here.

Parents are partners with God. The success of your family depends upon your recognition of the fact that as a parent of a human life, you share one of the greatest of God’s gifts–the magnificent act of creation.

Your role is to procreate His children, and to educate them so that they may ultimately return to Him in heaven. Only with Him can you realize your life’s goals for yourself, your mate and your children; for, as we learn in childhood, the first purpose of our existence is to know, love and serve God in this life so that we may be happy with Him forever in the next one.

To achieve its purpose, the family must be a triangle consisting of God, parents and children. Our Lord taught us this when He raised marriage–the fountainhead of the family–to the dignity of a sacrament. And through the sacrament, He provides the graces for true spiritual success in your family life regardless of the trials and tribulations you may face.

As your partner in parenthood, God will help you. His grace will make your home His dwelling place and the means of your sanctification. It will make you capable of greater love than you ever thought possible and will enable you, as a parent, to achieve levels of self-sacrifice beyond your dreams. And what it will enable you to achieve will lead not only to your own salvation but also to the salvation of the souls He has entrusted to your care.

God’s partnership with husbands and wives is nowhere more evident than in what might be called the “innate genius” of parents. If you look about you, you doubtless can see many men and women who a short time ago seemed to be irresponsible and incompetent, poorly fitted for the many tasks which must be performed as parents. Yet today they are fathers and mothers and–thanks to God’s grace–they are doing a proper job in caring for their children.

Once you accept the great force of God’s grace, you will never underestimate your own genius as a parent. Many of our own fathers and mothers were, by worldly standards, ignorant of psychiatry or psychology. Yet, by and large, they succeeded in bringing to adulthood men and women who walk in the path of goodness. They succeeded for one reason only: they understood their children’s need for love, encouragement and direction, and they gave it.

Without child experts to guide them along each small step of the way, they instinctively provided what was best for their youngsters. Once you make yourself willing to accept the graces which God offers to you, you will do so too. You will achieve a natural competence as a parent that will produce more good in your children than any blueprint that a human authority can give you.

What is a true Christian family? We probably can best appreciate the characteristics of a genuine God-fearing family by picturing it in operation in a representative home.

As Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston has inspiringly described it: “The worthy Christian home finds a true Christian family abiding therein and growing in love and care for one another. This home is not constructed in prefabricated fashion in a few weeks or a few years–for it is not purely material. Indeed its true character is achieved not through plaster and paint and sanitary plumbing, but through love and sweat and tears. It is a framework trimmed with remembered moments of joy; cemented by hours of suffering.

It is a reflection of the personalities of those who dwell therein, an expression of their likes and dislikes. The true Christian home is an altar of sacrifice and a theater of comedies and drama; it is a place of work and a haven of rest.”

If yours is a true Christian home, it is like a little church, where the family daily joins together in beautiful devotions–the family rosary, family night prayers and the act of consecration to the Sacred Heart. Life is viewed as Christ would have us view it. There is great trust and confidence in His providence.

Love, tenderness and forgiveness you find there, but also a high standard of moral living, obedience and discipline. Parents and children, whether they be rich or poor, share generously with each other, go without things if necessary, and bear trials and sufferings in patience.

It is a little school, where your children learn to live and love as dignified human beings, to work for the good of others, and to serve their fellow man without thought of monetary gain.

It is a little recreation center, where the family relaxes in peace from outside woes and work. Playing together helps children and parents reconcile differences and adjust to each other’s needs, and builds up the affectionate ties that last a lifetime.

Most of us remember the starring roles we had at one time or another in our own homemade theater. It is the humorous incidents of the family that help develop pleasant and outgoing personalities–the good fun involving Mother and Dad and all the boys and girls which the uncrowded modern household misses.

You can best live up to this picture of true family life if you keep as your ideal the life led by the Holy Family at Nazareth. For there, as

Cardinal Cushing goes on to say: “…one beheld simplicity and purity of conduct, perfect agreement and unbroken harmony, mutual respect and love, not of the false and fleeting kind, but that which found both its life and its charm in devotedness of service.

At Nazareth, patient industry provided what was required for food and raiment; there was contentment with little–and a concentration on the diminution of the number of wants rather than on the multiplication of sources of wealth.

Better than all else, at Nazareth there was found that supreme peace of mind and gladness of soul which never fails to accompany the possession of a tranquil conscience. At Nazareth one could witness a continuous series of examples of goodness, of modesty, of humility, of hard-working endurance, of kindness to others, of diligence in the small duties of daily life.”

You can imitate this model of the Holy Family only if you set out to make every member of your family more concerned about God and the things of God than about the things of this world. You must live in the awareness that all that is done is done in the presence of God and that genuine happiness results only when we conform to His will.

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quote for the day2

“Love is the most wonderful educator in the world; it opens up worlds and possibilities undreamed of to those to whom it comes, the gift of God. I am speaking of love which is worthy of the name, not of its many counterfeits. The genuine article only, based upon respect and esteem, can stand the test of time, the wear and tear of life; the love which is the wine of life, more stimulating and more heart-inspiring when the days are dark than at any other time,—the love which rises to the occasion, and which many waters cannot quench.” – Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1893

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I just want to say how edified and encouraged I am by the lovely comments on my Giveaway Post. Thank you so much…you are in my prayers, please pray for me! And now….

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Lenten Journal Available here.

E-Book for The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal! Get started right away! Available here.

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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Ash Wednesday – Divine Intimacy

Santa Teresa de Jesús, by Adolfo Lozano Sidro

From the wonderful Meditation book, Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

MEDITATION

“Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19).

These words, spoken for the first time by God to Adam after he had committed sin, are repeated today by the Church to every Christian, in order to remind him of two fundamental truths–his nothingness and the reality of death.

Dust, the ashes which the priest puts on our foreheads today, has no substance; the lightest breath will disperse it. It is a good representation of man’s nothingness: “O Lord, my substance is as nothing before Thee” (Psalm 38:6), exclaims the Psalmist.

Our pride, our arrogance, needs to grasp this truth, to realize that everything in us is nothing. Drawn from nothing by the creative power of God, by His infinite love which willed to communicate His being and His life to us, we cannot–because of sin–be reunited with Him for eternity without passing through the dark reality of death.

The consequence and punishment of sin, death is, in itself, bitter and painful; but Jesus, who wanted to be like to us in all things, in submitting to death has given all Christians the strength to accept it out of love.

Nevertheless, death exists, and we should reflect on it, not in order to distress ourselves, but to arouse ourselves to do good. “In all thy works, remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin” (Sirach 7:40).

The thought of death places before our eyes the vanity of earthly things, the brevity of life–“All things are passing; God alone remains”–and therefore it urges us to detach ourselves from everything, to scorn every earthly satisfaction, and to seek God alone. The thought of death makes us understand that “all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone” (Imitation of Christ I, 1,4).

“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die … then there will be many things about which you care nothing” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Maxims for Her Nuns, 68), that is, you will give up everything that has no eternal value. Only love and fidelity to God are of value for eternity. “In the evening of life, you will be judged on love” (St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Maxims: Words of Light, 57).

COLLOQUY:

“O Jesus, how long is man’s life, although we say that it is short! It is short, O my God, since, by it, we are to gain a life without end; but it seems very long to the soul who aspires to be with You quickly….

O my soul, you will enter into rest when you are absorbed into the sovereign Good, when you know what He knows, love what He loves, and enjoy what He enjoys. Then your will will no longer be inconstant nor subject to change … and you will forever enjoy Him and His love.

Blessed are they whose names are written in the Book of Life! If yours is there, why are you sad, O my soul, and why are you troubled? Trust in God, to whom I shall still confess my sins and whose mercies I shall proclaim. I shall compose a canticle of praise for Him and shall not cease to send up my sighs toward my Savior and my God.

A day will come, perhaps, when my glory will praise Him, and my conscience will not feel the bitterness of compunction, in the place where tears and fears have ceased forever….

O Lord, I would rather live and die in hope, and in the effort to gain eternal life, than to possess all creatures and their perishable goods. Do not abandon me, O Lord! I hope in You, and my hope will not be confounded. Give me the grace to serve You always and dispose of me as You wish” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God 15 – 17).

If the remembrance of my infidelities torments me, I shall remember, O Lord, that “as soon as we are sorry for having offended You, You forget all our sins and malice. O truly infinite goodness! What more could one desire? Who would not blush with shame to ask so much of You?

But now is the favorable time to profit from it, my merciful Savior, by accepting what You offer. You desire our friendship. Who can refuse to give it to You, who did not refuse to shed all Your Blood for us by sacrificing Your life? What You ask is nothing! It will be to our supreme advantage to grant it to You” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God 14).

“The Holy Family lived in a plain cottage among other working people, in a village perched on a hillside. Although they did not enjoy modern conveniences, the three persons who lived there made it the happiest home that ever was. You cannot imagine any of them at any time thinking first of himself. This is the kind of home a husband likes to return to and to remain in. Mary saw to it that such was their home. She took it as her career to be a successful homemaker and mother.”
-Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook https://amzn.to/2XHhW5N (afflink)

A quick homily on needing a sense of humor during this time along with not just doing the minimum requirements…

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Ash Wednesday Around the Corner!

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.”

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 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….

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….

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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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St. Bridget of Sweden

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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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St. Valentine’s Day – An Opportunity, Mary Reed Newland

Some thoughts for Valentine’s Day…. The following is an excerpt from The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland who explains to us how we can use St. Valentine’s Day to get to the deeper meaning of love.

Most fun of all is making valentines at home. The materials cost little or nothing if you keep a supply of construction papers, pastes, and other such items on hand, and the work provides many opportunities for mothers and children to discuss the differences between friendship and love and the lamentable forcing of the boyfriend issue in the first grade.

It is not always the children who are at fault. Abetted by the teasing of grown-ups, children little more than babes make the unfortunate conclusion that boy must meet girl and be boyfriend and girlfriend at six years of age; they never do learn that it is possible to be that rare and wonderful creature: a friend who happens to be a boy.

The same parents who wring their hands over high-school children determined to go steady are the ones who encourage puppy love in the kindergarten. We ignore the fact that childhood crushes in the young are merely an awkward way of trying to be special friends, we do them no favors. Of course children get crushes, and of course girls become boy-conscious, with vice becoming versa; but they need not be shoved and pushed so hard.

One of the most excruciating trials of youngsters who believe themselves to be in love these days is restraining their impulses of affection. Very few children deliberately set out in their first encounters with crushes to commit any sins of impurity. In their innocence of experience, they do not know exactly how such sins can be, or if they know the theory, they do not know the fact.

It is the task of Christian parents to convince them that these impulses must be held in check. Held in check they are good, they are manifestations of sincere and genuine affection, but they can so easily be transformed into something that is not good. The reason it has become such a delicate and difficult task (although I suppose it always was a worry for parents) is not because this restraint is impossible but because so few today seem to practice it.

The example of promiscuous contemporaries is a powerful thing. It rarely helps to start lecturing on the subject once children reach high school; it does not help at all to pooh-pooh love or schoolgirl crushes or the boyfriend business once it begins for a son or daughter growing up. But such occasions as St. Valentine’s Day (with innumerable opportunities all year round, of course) open this subject for discussion in a pleasant way. We may use the evenings spent making valentines to have our own open forum on the subject of love and the showing of love and how it is that people fall in love, and how it is all related to God’s love.

Such Christian concepts as respect for girls and women, respect for our bodies and the bodies of others, the propriety and impropriety of kissing – whom and when – right judgment about the movies, their ads and their love-making, many other things can be formed at a very early age. We must use all our talent and love and conviction to form them in our children.

We are foolish if we think that our children, because they are nice children, are automatically safe. In the movie ads and posters they see, the newsstand magazines and comics, the covers of the paperbacks, slicks, and in a hundred ways promiscuity is preached to them – and it is not preached to what is nice in them but to the deplorable weakness left in human nature by the inheritance of Original Sin.

We can work to form in them the conviction that making love is something positive and beautiful that belongs with marriage, and this concept can exist even for the small ones without, as we might fear, any undertones of s-e-x.

Demonstrations of affection they can automatically connect with mommies and daddies, as well as with relatives and friends. When there are things to denounce, such as this week’s ad showing a movie siren and lover wrestling on the beach, we can make our denunciations more convincing if we avoid panic but rather express regret that some people persist in distorting out of its sacramental context what should be the beauty of human love.

There are many facets of this subject for parents to ponder. Each can adapt best the teaching for his children, but let us emphasize while they are still little that it is friendship that holds the joys of companionship for them.

I suppose the free use of the word boyfriend has made it almost a synonym for friend, but not quite. It may be a losing battle, but we continue to explain the difference. “Your friend, dear – your friend who is a girl. Little boys in second grade have friends, not girlfriends. Yes, I know – they tease and say you have a girlfriend, and that is too bad, because it is necessary that you love everyone with much more love than the word girlfriend intends.

You must try to love them as our Lord loves them, and you must try to see our Lord in them. If you like someone especially well, better than others, that is all right. Then they are among your special friends. Be glad and be careful of your friendship. Friendship is a beautiful, holy thing if you keep it that way.”

 
Make your kitchen a place of warmth! “Wherever I’ve lived, the kitchen has always seemed to be the place where warmth and love reign. Family and friends are drawn there like chickens to their roosts. Of all the rooms in our home, the kitchen is the place of comfort, the preferred gathering place for shared conversations and the teamwork of preparing good meals for and with each other.” – Emilie Barnes

February 14th is the Feast of the great Catholic martyr and priest, St. Valentine. His persecutor, known to history as Claudius II, not only hated Catholicism, but also forbade his own Roman soldiers to marry. St. Valentine performed secret nuptial Masses for those Catholic soldiers that had found a spouse…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-0DrG21g0M St. Valentine Coloring page…

Need a little help staying focused this Lent? The season is around the corner…

The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal!

For more information or to purchase visit my Meadows of Grace Shoppe here.

Pdf Version here.

This journal will lay out some simple activities in which your children will be doing their sacrifices and will have a tangible means of “counting” them for Jesus. You, Mom, will have a place to put a check mark if that the activity is remembered and completed for the day. This journal also includes a place for you to check off whether you are fulfilling your own personal resolutions…your Spiritual Reading, your Family Rosary, etc. It makes it more palpable if you can check it off at the end of the day….there’s just something about putting pen to paper when an accomplishment has been fulfilled! It is filled with inspiring quotes, too! My hope is that this journal may help you stay focused on making this Lent fruitful for your own soul and the souls of those little people entrusted to your care!

 

  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.

Why do we wear our best clothes on Sunday? What was the Holy Ghost’s role in medieval churches? How did a Belgian nun originate the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament? Where did the Halloween mask and the jack-o’-lantern come from?

Learn the answer to these questions, as well as the history behind our traditional celebration of Thanksgiving, in this gem of a book by Father Weiser.

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

 

Duties of the Wife as the Dispenser of the Home Treasures

We are not perfect in our dispensing of the home treasures. And we need to allow ourselves the grace to admit that and ask Our Lady to supply for our insufficiency. At the same time, we are to strive, every day, to overcome our difficulties and to never give up.

From The Mirror of True Womanhood by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

Who shall find a valiant (brave-hearted) woman? The heart of her husband trusteth in her. . . She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. . . She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night. . . She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow. — Proverbs xxxi.

Nothing so animates the head of a family to honorable exertion as the certainty, that his wife bestows her utmost care in providing for the comfort of his home, in dispensing wisely the store which he places at her disposal; making it her rule to be just to him by never exceeding his means when she cannot increase them by her industry, in being just to her children by supplying them with becoming raiment, food, and instruction, just to her servants, whom she treats with a motherly tenderness which never condescends to familiarity; — and just to God’s poor, whose claims she holds to be most sacred.

But let us proceed understandingly. The first care of the wife is to establish discipline and order; — discipline, without which there may be much noise and agitation, but no work done; — and order, because where there is confusion everything is out of place, or done out of its proper time.

To have discipline, — where there are children and servants, — the mistress must have authority, and she must assert and establish her authority by being both firm and calm, and giving everyone to understand that she means what she says, and that what she says must be done.

Order means that every work must be done in its proper time, and everything in the house be put in its proper place.

Order means economy both of time and of labor. For where every occupation has its own appointed time, the household duties are sure to be attended to and to be fulfilled with singular ease and pleasure.

If this order and economy of time are necessary in large households, it is still more so in the home of the poor man, where everything has to be done single-handed by the wife. There are poor households,—those of the daily laborer, the poor tradesman,—where the wife, with a large family of children to care for, will quietly get through an amount of work of different kinds that would seem to require the joint energy of several persons.

Go into these bright and orderly homes, where the housewife rests not from early dawn till long after sunset of the longest day, and see the cleanliness, the tidiness, the calm and the contentment that fill the place like an atmosphere!

Of course there will be comfort for all where there is such order. For there can be comfort with poverty, or at least with little, though never with want.

There will be comfort for the husband when he returns to that bright, warm, pleasant hearth, where the deep love of his companion fills the house with a spiritual fragrance more pleasant than all the flowers of spring; there will be comfort at the simple meal set on the board shining with cleanliness; and there will be comfort in the sweet conversation in which the outside world is forgotten, in the joy of being all in all to each other; and there will be bliss in the night’s rest won by hard and hearty toil, and undisturbed by peevish ambition or by the dreams of a spirit at war with God or the neighbor.

There will be loveliness, too, in the home where true love causes order and comfort to reign. For the poorest room can be made lovely by a woman’s cunning hand.

She can have flowers at her window, and flowers on her mantel and her table. And the curtains of windows and beds may be beautified by some simple ornament devised by a woman’s taste and executed in spare moments by the hand of even the busiest.

There is not one among the readers of this book but has seen such homes—albeit lowly, narrow, and poor in the literal sense—in which this order, comfort, and loveliness gave the beholder the evidence of a womanly spirit that might have graced a palace.

 
“Modern mothers have been relying on psychology books to interpret child behavior for so long now that if all the psychology books were burned to a crisp, few mothers could relax with the conviction that God’s love, the maternal instinct, and divine grace could take their place. What we all — little or big — want is God; if we do not realize it, however, we choose many ignoble things in His place. And if we want to teach children to be good with a goodness that’s lasting, we must teach them to be good for the love of God.”
Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children, 1954 http://amzn.to/2qCq6Md (afflink)
 
Just in time for Lent! The Catholic Boy’s and Girl’s Traditional 30-Day Journals! Let’s keep our youth engaged in the Faith! Let’s teach them how to be organized, how to prioritize, how to keep on top of, first, the Spiritual things in their lives, and then the other daily duties that God requires of them… Available here.

Make sure and sign up for the Book Giveaway by following this link and making a comment….

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A very valuable book for the guys plucked out of the past and reprinted. It was written in 1894 by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly and the words on the pages will stir the hearts of the men to rise to virtue and chivalry…. Beautifully and eloquently written!

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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A Book Giveaway!! ….and Notable Quotes

a Book Giveaway!!

Today, I’d like to offer you a Pre-Lenten Giveaway!!

The winner will receive these lovely books to add to your book collection!

You will get…

~My Life With Thomas Aquinas, Common Sense from St. Thomas Aquinas for Your Family…articles taken from the Integrity Magazine of the 1950’s.

~The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal to help keep you and your family on track this Lent.

~The Precious Blood and Mother Prayer Booklet, a little book full of beautiful prayers that I have used all through my married life…

Just leave a comment here, and your name will be added! It is always great to hear from you. 🙂

I will announce the winner next Thursday, February 18th!

Some inspiring quotes for your day….

“Happiness in marriage must be earned. It is something you must work out for yourself, chiefly by forgetting yourself and serving others. No marriage is a success unless less you make it so, and that takes persistent effort and, still more, a constant and humble reliance on God.” – Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2rsThRU (afflink)

“It’s better to submit a thousand times to losing an argument than let children see a parent fail to exhibit the patience and consideration he’s trying to teach.” – Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children https://amzn.to/2v4Reaj (afflink)

Introduce your children into the family’s prayers at the earliest age possible. As often as possible, say morning and night prayers or the Rosary with your children. Train them to take part in prayers before and after meals. In time of danger or sorrow, resort to prayer as the first and most important source of help and consolation. -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2r8cxGP (afflink)

Since marriage is beautifully sacred, so should be the courtship that precedes it. Your courtship must be pure if it is to be happy; and pure and happy, it will provide the test of character that is necessary for a blessed and a happy marriage. -Fr. Lovasik, Clean Love in Courtship https://amzn.to/2JZBF8A (afflink)

“A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. A woman who is not beautiful cannot properly fill her place. But, mark you, true beauty is not of the face, but of the soul. There is a beauty so deep and lasting that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it comely. This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart and is manifested in word and deed.” – Beautiful Girlhood, Mabel Hale http://amzn.to/2pOKmtj (afflink) Illustration by http://www.genevievegodboutillustration.com/

The thought of the Holy Family suggests the love of simplicity. Domestic and marital happiness are closely bound up with the simple but good things of your state of life. Seek your happiness within the range of your income and your social, domestic, and family circles, and you will spare yourself many heartaches. -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook https://amzn.to/2JY52YS (afflink)

Love begets and elicits counter-love. It is easy for you to guide and train a child that sincerely and fondly loves you.
Enter into their interests, take part in their games and pastimes, as much as possible, and help them with their studies and other laudable efforts towards success. You will thus win their trust and confidence. -Fr. Fulgence Meyer, 1927

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Vintaj Wire Wrapped Rosaries! Lovely, Durable… Each link is handmade and wrapped around itself to ensure quality. Available here.

This booklet contains practical advice on the subjects of dating and choosing a spouse from the Catholic theological viewpoint. Father Lovasik points out clearly what one’s moral obligations are in this area, providing an invaluable aid to youthful readers. Additionally, he demonstrates that Catholic marriage is different from secular marriage and why it is important to choose a partner who is of the Catholic Faith if one would insure his or her personal happiness in marriage. With the rampant dangers to impurity today, with the lax moral standards of a large segment of our society, with divorce at epidemic levels, Clean Love in Courtship will be a welcome source of light and guidance to Catholics serious about their faith.

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A Frank, Yet Reverent Instruction on the Intimate Matters of Personal Life for Young Men. To our dear and noble Catholic youths who have preserved, or want to recover, their purity of heart, and are minded to retain it throughout life. For various reasons many good fathers of themselves are not able to give their sons this enlightenment on the mysteries of life properly and sufficiently. They may find this book helpful in the discharge of their parental responsibilities in so delicate a matter.

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On Reluctant Mothers, Elopement, Stealing Another Man’s Girl – Young People’s Questions, Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R.

Questions People Ask Before Marriage – Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R.da612d48c5d849e0ce7290b16298b152

On Stealing Another Man’s Girl

Problem

“Very briefly, my difficulty is this: I am very much enthralled by a girl who is engaged to another young man. I am currently trying to convince her that she has made a mistake and should break her engagement.

I met her, after having known her in high school several years ago without paying any attention to her, at a recent reunion. I asked her for a date the following Monday. Before Monday came she informed me that she had just accepted an engagement ring from another fellow.

Despite that fact, I started a routine of courtship – roses, telephone calls, visits at her home, etc. I think she is confused and not too sure of herself about marrying this other man. I also think I could do better for her than he could. I badly need advice, and I think she does too. I am 23 years old, and she is 20.”

Solution

Most people would roundly condemn you for “poaching”, i.e., trying to take a girl away from the man to whom she is engaged. Indeed, a first glance at your problem indicates that you are doing a moral injustice to the man who has already courted the girl and won from her a promise of her hand and heart in marriage.

Only two circumstances could mitigate your brashness in some degree. The first would be if you had real, objective, almost certain evidence of the fact that the girl is not happy in her engagement or would really be unhappy in marriage to the man to whom she is promised. There is danger that your own infatuation may make you invent such evidence.

Furthermore, your own favors may have been the only thing responsible for making her begin to doubt the wisdom of accepting a ring from someone else. In either case you haven’t a leg to stand on.

The other circumstances that might lessen the degree of injustice in your conduct is if the girl herself were directly and expressly to open the field to candidates for her hand once more. For a sound and solid reason a girl may break an engagement, or insist that she and a boy friend go back to the status quo that existed before they agreed on future marriage.

Only if the girl in question does this, may you continue to pursue her. As long as she is willing to remain bound by her engagement, you have to smother, under your sense of honor and fair play, your infatuation. At 23, you need not fear that the loss of this girl will make you a bachelor for life.

On Eloping

Problem

My boy-friend, whom I have promised to marry, wants me to elope with him because of the opposition of our families to our getting married in the near future.

I am 17, have just finished high school, and my family tells me I’m too young to get married. My boy-friend’s family tells him that he is not making enough money to get married.

He is 20, and he works in a factory where he is paid $1.25 an hour, which brings him $50 a week and more when he works overtime. I am terribly in love with him, and am almost agreed that the best thing for us to do is to leave our homes without saying anything to anybody and get married at once. What do you think?

Solution

Experience is heavily weighted against your having a happy marriage with such a start as you contemplate. Even secular marriage counseling agencies, which keep statistics on such things, will tell you that marriages that begin with elopement have the least chance of success.

Elopement is a bad beginning for married life for many reasons. First of all, it means a sharp and bitter break with your family, and no matter how much you may think you don’t need your family now, you will, as time goes on, feel deeply the separation you have caused. At your age especially, an elopement would be a combination of selfish mistrust of your parents, of meanness in depriving them of a chance to share in your wedding joy, and of an element of disobedience because you are so young.

Even if they were to forgive you later on, they could never feel quite the same toward you as they did before. As a Catholic, you should know that an elopement, with speedy marriage following, is out of the question. (I hate to think that you may be contemplating a civil marriage, with all its disastrous consequences for your soul.)

As a Catholic, you have to go to your pastor in good time, have to be instructed in the duties of marriage, have to permit the banns of marriage to be published, etc. Of course there is provision made for special cases in which there is an important reason for secrecy or haste. But so often this reason has to do with sin that a young girl who marries hastily and in secret gives grounds for the suspicion that “she had to get married.”

From this distance, it would appear that your parents and your boyfriend’s parents are advising you wisely. You can check this with your pastor or confessor, who will be influenced by no personal motives in advising you, and who will help you to get married before too long if that turns out to be the prudent thing to do. But put out of your mind any thought of an elopement.

On Reluctant Mothers

Problem

I am just over 21, and am engaged to be married to a good Catholic young man. We have been going together for eight months. We would like to be married in a month or so, but my mother begs me with tears to put it off for a couple of years, so that she will have me with her that much longer. She tells me that I owe this to her for all that she has done for me. Can you tell me if I do have any obligation to put off our marriage for two years because of my mother’s feelings?

Solution

It could be a grave mistake to put off your marriage for even a year merely because your mother wants your companionship. Common sense and experience lay down very definite principles regarding the length of time young people should wait before marrying, once they have become engaged.

There are some cases in which a wait is necessary for serious reasons, such as the actual material dependence of others on the man or woman, or the lack of even a modest income on which to start a home.

These exceptions do not change the universal principle that long engagements are to be avoided whenever possible. The longer two people who are in love with each other put off their marriage, the greater is the danger of their falling into sin. To be in love and engaged and yet to have to wait two years or so before marrying places a great strain on young people’s ability to resist manifestations of affection that of their nature endanger the virtue of chastity.

Mothers who hate to lose their daughters do not think of these things. But a daughter must think of them and must decide the matter according to the best interests of her soul and the soul of her fiancé.

In a situation such as is presented here, a girl would do well to place the decision in the hands of her confessor. He will be able to judge objectively both the reasons for the mother’s reluctance to give up her daughter for a while, and the degree of spiritual danger that will be involved for the engaged couple.

If he decides that the marriage should not be put off for another year or two, his authority should be quoted to the mother, and should be followed even though the latter bitterly resents it.vintage-wallpaper-backgrounds-5

“Many times God allows it to be hard to pray, simply to school us in applying our wills, to teach us that the value of prayer does not depend on the amount of emotion we can whip up. Many times the saints had trouble getting excited about prayers, but they said them, because prayers were due and their value had nothing to do with how eagerly they went about saying them.” -Mary Reed Newland, http://amzn.to/2snNxN7 (afflink)

NEW!

Busy as a Bee Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, quality material, made with care and detail. Available here.

St. Therese Graceful Religious Pendant and Earring Set…Wire-Wrapped, Handcrafted. Available here.

 

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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