Rosie’s Entrance…

First off, I want to thank you for all the prayers and consoling words when I posted about Rosie, etc. I can’t tell you what it meant to me.

The following pictures are of our big day, dropping Rosie off at the convent. I think it is supposed to be a low-key type of thing, but NOTHING is low-key when you have ten siblings and twenty-eight nieces and nephews! …hehe

It was a beautiful day, though difficult. Yes, bittersweet…maybe tipping the balance on the “bitter” side right now…knowing the sweetness is underlying it all, and will grow more as each day passes.

(Update on my health: My first test was fine. The results were very good. I have another one on Nov. 4th and ask for continued prayers…. Thank you!)

Rosie will be very grateful for prayers, also. Many of you know she has struggled with her own health for a few years. We are praying that all goes well…

(Click on the first small picture to view the gallery.)





Today we are taking our daughter, Rosie, to the convent. It is bittersweet. It will be one of the hardest things I have done and the goodbyes will be tough for Rosie….

I also go in for tests tomorrow as I have been having some health issues. Hopefully all is well.

So, I am going to take a little time…it may only be a couple days, I am not sure. I wanted to give you a heads-up as my posts usually are quite regular.

In your charity, please keep us in your prayers…. It is much appreciated.

Beautiful bouquet for Rosie. We’ll bring it to the convent for the nuns to enjoy.

Last night a lot of the family came over, a few friends, too. The family will be at the convent today to take part in Mass, have a lunch, and say goodbye…

Saying our last day of 3 special novenas…




Nurturing the Gift of Femininity

I do enjoy Emilie Barnes’ enthusiasm and joy as she relishes in her femininity and shares her zeal with us!

From The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes

At its best, our femininity arises naturally out of who we are and finds its expression in the way we live our lives and make our homes. But in our hectic, hard-driving society, it’s easy to lose track of our gentle, feminine side.

Femininity is something we must nurture in ourselves and in our homes, and celebrate as God’s gift to us.

Femininity can be cultivated in many ways. A few drops of fragrant oil or perfume in the bathwater. A daisy on your desk. A lace scarf or an embroidered hanky in your pocket. A crocheted shawl around your shoulders.

Whatever awakens a calm and gentle spirit within you will nurture beauty in your life.

The expression of femininity is a very personal thing, for it is an expression of a woman’s unique self. It is closely tied with identity and with style. Many of the most feminine women I know develop a signature or trademark that marks their distinctiveness.

One woman always wears hats. Another enhances her distinctive presence with a favorite fragrance. Still another adopts a theme or motif that becomes part of her identity.

My friend Marilyn’s theme is roses. All her correspondence is “rosy,” whether with a sticker, a rubber stamp, or her own distinctive stationery. Her home, too, is full of roses – on everything from bedspreads to dessert dishes to rose-scented potpourri.

Marita, one of my publicists, loves rabbits. When she was little, her nickname was “Bunny,” and she has carried this trademark into adulthood.

Marita and her husband, Chuck, have bunny T-shirts and bunny candle holders, and at one time even a live bunny as a pet. Anytime I see anything thing with a rabbit on it I think of Marita, and at Christmas or on her birthday she always gets a bunny gift. Finding personalized presents is fun for me and Marita. It’s one way of celebrating her unique, feminine personality.

Rejoicing in the Senses

Femininity includes a wholesome sensuality – a rejoicing in the fragrances and textures and sounds of God’s world.

We honor God and express our own femininity when we become excited about the beauty around us, when we cultivate the senses that God created in us.

What is the first thing you do when you pick a rose? You put it to your nose to enjoy the fragrance. How does it make you feel? Maybe it brings a pleasant memory of that little girl inside you – of a time when you picked a flower for your mother or grandmother.

Beautiful fragrances can waft the beauty of femininity all around the house. A lavender sachet thrown in your underwear drawer, sewing box, or stocking box-or hung on a hanger in the closet-imparts its delicate fragrance at the most unexpected times.

Spray a little cologne on your notepaper, the bathroom throw rug, or even the toilet bowl. Fill your house with pine at Christmas, or boil a little pot of cinnamon and other spices on the stove.

And enjoy your other senses as well. Put on lively music while you do your housework, and take time out to dance before the Lord.

Experiment with herbs and spices in your cooking, and don’t be afraid to try new dishes. Slipcover a rough-textured sofa with a cool, smooth sheet, and banish your scratchy, uncomfortable sweaters.

There is nothing self-indulgent or worldly about such small pleasures when we approach them with a spirit of gratitude because God’s gifts help us go about the tasks he has given us.

When we feel that the little things in our lives are pleasant and satisfying, it’s amazing how the outside stresses and disappointments fade, at least for the moment.

We can then regroup, prioritize, and pray – cultivating a quiet, feminine spirit and preparing ourselves to be God’s people in the world.

“Boys need that self-assured belief that they can do anything to grow into men of action and achievement—but they’ll never build that confidence if Mom and Dad never give them real responsibility. We have to give important jobs to our kids, and then we have to trust them and not worry about them messing up. It would certainly be easier for us to just do the hard stuff ourselves and let our boys play, but our goal isn’t to do what’s easy. It’s to raise men.” – Chasity Akiki

Oh how powerful is the Holy Rosary with God and His Holy Mother! It can do all things for us. Listen Sr. Lucia of Fatima sum up everything I have been trying to impart to you today: “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary…..

Many beautiful handcrafted items at Meadows of Grace….

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Our Best Friends, The Angels – Maria Von Trapp, Fr. Paul O’Sullivan

 The spiritual world is very alive, very real!! Let’s not forget these angels and the role they have in our lives!


From Around the Year With the Trapp Family by Maria Von Trapp


Long before our little children learn to know Peter Rabbit, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh, they must be made familiar with their most faithful companion–their best friend, their guardian angel.

The beauty of telling stories to little ones lies in their ready acceptance.

They believe that their guardian angel is around all the time, day and night, and they will talk to him, greeting him in the morning, discussing things with him during the day, thanking him in the evening.

When children grow up with a strong sense of a spiritual power at their service, instituted by God for the very special and sole purpose of being their very own helper and protector, such children need never be afraid, need never suffer from the modern ailment of insecurity.

It is up to us mothers to bring about this early and very personal friendship with their guardian angel. The feast of the Holy Guardian Angel on October 2nd should be a big event in our nurseries.

Once children are familiar with the world of the angels they will eagerly listen to other “angel stories” such as the one about the great hero Michael (whose feast day is September 29th) and his battle with his brother-angel Lucifer, who refused to serve God and had to be thrown out of heaven into the abyss where there is “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

A beautiful story is the one about the Archangel Raphael (feast day, October 24th), who was the friend and companion of young Tobias. Johannes Brahms set a lovely song about St. Raphael to music; we always sing it on that day.

And as we tell the children about the good angels, we shall also have to mention the bad ones who turned into devils. If the highest of them,

Satan himself, dared to tempt Our Lord, who are we to think that it “can’t happen to us” or that such stories belong to the Middle Ages and do not apply to modern times?

What St. Peter says to all of us we must tell to the little ones as well “Watch and pray, for the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

From An Easy Way to Become a Saint, Fr. Paul O’Sullivan


One of the most marvelous dispensations of God’s Providence is the fact that He has given to each one of us a special Angel to watch over us.

At the moment of our birth God calls one of His glorious Princes, one of His mighty Angels, and bids this Angel guard and guide, defend and protect us. From that moment, this mighty Angel gives us all his loving care. He never leaves us, night or day. His duty after loving God is to love us. He devotes all his intelligence, all his strength, all his care to shield us from hurt and harm.

We can form no idea of the evils and dangers he saves us from, the countless great favors he has done us and is doing us every day. Not content to use all his own power to help us, he is constantly praying for us to God.

Reading the story of St. Raphael in the Sacred Scriptures, we marvel at the infinite goodness of God in sending this great Angel to accompany the young Tobias on his long journey. The Angel proved to be a trusty friend.

He not only accompanied him on his journey, protecting him from every danger, but he also obtained for him a most happy marriage and abundant wealth. He brought him home safely, to the delight of his parents, who were anxiously awaiting his return.

As a final gift, he cured Tobias’s old father, who had been blind. Before leaving the now happy family, he revealed himself to them as one of the seven great Angels who stand before the throne of God and bade them bless and thank the Good God who had sent him to them.

This is certainly one of the most consoling and wonderful stories in the Bible, revealing to us the infinite sweetness and goodness of God. Yet each one of us has a glorious Prince of Heaven with us, not for weeks or months but for all the long years of our lives, loving us most affectionately, defending us from countless evils and snatching us from dangers that we do not even see.

This dear Angel came to us at the moment of our birth and has been with us ever since. He will console us in Purgatory if we go there and will then accompany us to Heaven, where he will be with us forever and forever.

We marvel when reading this story of Raphael, but it is a much greater marvel that we have a glorious Angel ever at our sides and yet know and love him so little. Have we ever even thanked God for this astounding proof of His goodness?

The culpable neglect of our dear Angel is one of the most lamentable and shameful faults of our life.

From All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan


“Make friends with the Angels” is the advice which the great Pope, St. Leo, gives every Christian and it is advice that everyone should follow.

If we make friends with the Angels —and nothing is easier— we shall receive innumerable and great favors which otherwise we shall never obtain.

Our Angel friends, too, will shield and protect us from countless dangers, evils, sickness and accidents which, without their help, we could not possibly avoid.

In a word, these all-powerful and loving protectors will secure for us a degree of happiness that, without their assistance, we could not hope for in this vale of tears! Another reason we should make friends with the Angels is that they are our dearest and best friends. A good friend, a friend who is able and always ready to help us, a friend to whom we can have recourse in all our troubles and sorrows, is one of the greatest blessings God can give us.

Our human hearts thirst for love and sympathy. Among men we rarely or never find such a friend, but this is not so with the Angels. They are most desirous to be our friends and they love us with all the intensity of their angelic natures.

Since they are all-powerful and generous, we can have the fullest confidence in their help and friendship.

The one friendship on this Earth that gives us any idea of the love of the Angels is the affection of a mother. This is the purest, the most generous, the strongest of all human loves.

The mother loves her children with unbounded affection. God has placed in the mother’s heart an instinct of love so great that it almost borders on the supernatural. She forgets herself and thinks only of her children. She works for them, sacrifices herself for them, and gives them her all.

If one of them should fall sick or be plunged into some great sorrow, to that one she devotes a more special gentleness and a more loving care.

We sometimes see a frail woman watch by the bedside of her sick child— eating little, resting little, consumed with a poignant anxiety —for ten, twenty or even thirty days, never complaining, and never faltering. When these days of anguish and bitterness are past, this almost superhuman effort, these long, weary vigils,’ seem to have cost her nothing. The mother’s love sustained her.

Yet, strong men who lose their sleep for two or three consecutive nights complain that they find it hard to work the following day.

If a poor frail mother— she may be young or old, rich or poor, full of weaknesses and imperfections— can rise to such a height of love and abnegation as this, what may we not expect from God’s Angels, who have no defects, no imperfections and who love us with all the mighty power of their glorious angelic natures?

The teaching of the Church about the Angels is most beautiful and consoling, but unfortunately many Christians have scant knowledge of the great world of the Angels. They know little about these blessed Spirits, love them little and seldom pray to them. Worst of all, they do not realize their presence.

They show no confidence in them, and they do not call on them for help when dangers and difficulties press around.

As a result they forfeit a thousand blessings that they might easily enjoy and fall victim to a thousand accidents that they might easily have avoided.



Simply because many, whose duty it is to teach this most important doctrine are gravely negligent in fulfilling their obligation.

First of all, Christian Mothers should instill deeply into the minds of their children a clear, vivid and abiding sense of the presence of their dear Angels.

It is not sufficient to give them vague, hazy, insufficient notions of these Blessed Spirits, nor is it enough to teach them to say a short prayer at morning and at night to their Angel Guardians.

They should devote much time and much attention to this all-important subject.

Children must be taught constantly from their tenderest years to have a real love and friendship for their Angels, to have boundless confidence in them. They must be accustomed to feel and realize the personal presence of their Angels, to call on them in all their fears and troubles.

How much better this would be than that the children should have their heads filled with foolish fear of ghosts and hobgoblins as so frequently happens.

Mothers who impress on their children this great lesson confer on them inestimable blessings during all the long years of their lives.

On the other hand, if they neglect this duty or make light of it, they do a great wrong to their dear ones for they deprive them of the best and most powerful friends.

Catechists, too, and teachers of the young in schools, colleges and convents are frequently remiss in teaching those in their charge all about the blessed Angels. The minds of their pupils are developing, and the teaching of the mothers in the home, no matter how good it might have been, must be perfected and developed.

Professors of older students, boys and girls, are perhaps greater offenders. They rarely mention the subject of the Angels in their classes.

Why? Do not the Angels exist? Are they not our best friends? Is there not much to be said about them?

Priests of course can do much to remedy the neglect of parents and teachers by preaching at times on the Angels, by wise counsels in the confessional and by exhorting the faithful to read books on the Angels. Priests who do so receive most striking graces.

We need to awaken in our hearts a real love and friendship for the Holy Angels, an abiding confidence in them, and above all to realize and feel vividly the presence of these loving Spirits ever by our sides.



A coloring page for your children:



finer fem quote for the day fall

“God has thus put into the hand of the parents at their own hearthstone, a power greater than that which kings and queens wield, and which must issue in either the weal or the woe of their children. It would surely seem to be worth while to make any sacrifice of personal comfort or pleasure—to transmit a legacy of holy memories which shall be through all the years, like a host of pure angels hovering over those we love, to guard and guide them.” J.R. Miller

Now that the weather is cooling, it is a good time to steep some tea, cuddle up to the fire and grab a good book. Visit My Book List for some good reading recommendations….

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Chivalry – Fr. Leo Kinsella (And the Winner Is!)



From The Wife Desiredby Fr. Leo Kinsella, 1950’s

Although sex is an important aspect of marriage, yet it is really a small part. Especially is this true in the marriages where all is well as regards sex. The companionship of marriage is what brings the real fullness of peace and contentment to a couple. And after all, peace and contentment are the real day in and day out ingredients of happiness.

The full flaming moments of ecstasy of love, rocketing a soul into the very presence of God, are few and far between for the average mortal. These moments are cherished as a glimpse of eternal things to come. Now we have not even the capacity to long endure them.

A human being is not very self-sufficient. A person needs others to fill the emptiness of his own being. Husband and wife fill this need for each other. They complement each other in this manner much more even than they do in any physical sense.

There is something beautiful about the companionship of man and wife as it bridges the years. Especially is this true for those who have kept something of the chivalry of the first days of their love.

Familiarity does not have to breed contempt. Perhaps it does among savages. The natural, easy familiarity between man and wife, springing from their daily companionship can easily remain, and does in very many instances, a fine influence in their lives.

All wives appreciate the little courtesies of respect and esteem from their husbands. Some do nothing to promote this attitude on the part of their husbands. A lady will receive attention and courtesy if she merits it, and if she is gracious enough to acknowledge the efforts of the male.

By nature a man has a deep-seated sense of respect, of chivalry for the lady. It does something for him to manifest this feeling. It helps to make him a better man.

At an early age, I was somewhat disillusioned about the female in this matter of chivalry. During high school years I rode the “E-l” in Chicago during the morning rush hour.
I shall never forget my first efforts to be courteous with the female passengers. I was almost trampled to death. It was impossible to show these women any deference. They had become callous. For them life was a matter of dog eat dog. They shoved and gouged and grabbed any preference before a man could offer it to them.

A man on the “E-l” during the rush hour had about as much opportunity to be chivalrous as a polite hog at a trough has of getting in a bite.

I have often wondered what kind of wives those little ladies became. Perhaps they were tired or confused at being thrown into the vortex of the economic struggle for survival. In a saner world they would have been at home, where the true nobility of their lives could find its proper environment for growth.

Intelligent couples never take each other for granted. Of course there is a natural easiness and relaxation in each other’s company shutting out any stiffness or lack of intimacy. The bright husband will never relinquish the prerogative of being a gentleman.

Thoughtfulness is his watch word. A kindness here and a consideration there go a long way to promote companionship with his wife. The opening of a car door for her, helping her with her coat, seating her at table, these and a dozen other little actions evidence his tenderness for her. She is precious to him, so he surrounds her with attentions.

What wife could be so dull as not to yearn for such interest? Then she makes an unobtrusive but very real effort to keep for her married life the chivalry of her days of courtship.

Many married couples never lose the evidence of chivalry and romance of their days of courtship. Actually all their married lives they court each other. So blessed with this disposition they walk through life leading each other to their eternal reward in loving companionship.






finer fem quote for the day fall2

“When marriage and parenthood seem difficult, picture yourself with your spouse as an old couple who, just before you hear the Master’s summoning call, look back along the road you have traveled. That road did not seem nearly so rough when you were leaning heavily upon each other. You faced threatening enemies on the way with stronger courage because you fought side by side. Courage sprang from knowing that you did not work or walk alone.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook

And now, the Winner of the Finer Femininity Giveaway is…..

Hi Anne, I will be getting a hold of you! Congratulations!


Twilight Garden Apron! Feminine and Beautiful!

Make a statement with this lovely and graceful “Twilight Garden” handcrafted apron….fully lined….made with care. Aprons tell a beautiful story…..a story of love and sacrifice….of baking bread and mopping floors, of planting seeds and household chores. Wear your apron with joy….it is a symbol of Femininity….”Finer” Femininity!

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A Gallery and a Poem….

Our boys…Our girls…

I want to share with you today this reminder that life passes quickly, and even though you are busy, take time to enjoy the moment. Thank God for each day for it will never come again.

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,

You will never be the same.

You might long for the person you were before,

When you have freedom and time,

And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,

And days will run into days that are exactly the same,

Full of feedings and burping,

Nappy changes and crying,

Whining and fighting,

Naps or a lack of naps,

It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …

There is a last time for everything.

There will come a time when you will feed

Your baby for the very last time.

They will fall asleep on you after a long day

And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,

And never pick them up that way again.

You will scrub their hair in the bath one night

And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.

They will hold your hand to cross the road,

Then never reach for it again.

They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,

And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”

And do all the actions,

Then never sing them that song again.

They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,

The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.

You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.

They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time

Until there are no more times.

And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,

Remember there are only so many of them

And when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.

For one last time.

~Author Unknown~

And now…a gallery! Click on the first picture to view….

“I Want a Dishwasher, He Wants a Stereo”

From By Love Refined, Alice Von Hildebrand

Dear Julie,
To tell the truth, I’d been expecting this for and I’m surprised it wasn’t a problem before now.

Have you heard about the greedy king who died of starvation because he owned huge amounts of gold, but had no food at all?

There seems to be some mystique about money, which goes much deeper than its role as a means for acquiring other things.

Is it because money means security (or gives the illusion of security)? Is it because it opens the door to all sorts of enjoyments? Is it because it gives power?

Whatever the cause of the compelling attraction of money, your argument about it with Michael is typical. You want to use your income tax refund to make work at home easier by purchasing a dishwasher and a new toaster. Michael favors spending it on a stereo, elegant restaurants, and expensive wines.

“After all,” he says, ”We have a right to enjoy the fruits of our hard work.”

That you and Michael should have different wishes is absolutely normal. I’m convinced that men are usually more pleasure-seeking than women (though when women are addicted to pleasure, they often beat men at game).

And I think that because of their sense for concrete, women are likely to be more concerned about things that last.

As Chesterton jokingly observed, “A duchess may ruin a duke for a diamond necklace; but there is the necklace. A coster may ruin his wife for a pot of beer; and where is the beer?”

Regardless of which categories you and Michael fall into the question for you both is, “Who is going to win ?” In this particular case, you could try to appeal to Michael’s chivalry and explain to him that because of your busy schedules, a dishwasher (unpoetic as it is) should be given priority, even though it doesn’t deserve to be compared to a stereo which can give keen artistic enjoyment. This approach accomplishes two things: It acknowledges the legitimacy of Michael’s wish (which will please him) and hopefully it will convince him to purchase the dishwasher (which would be very helpful to you).

In this case, adequate reasons can be give to resove the dispute in favor of the dishwasher.
But other cases arise in which the reasons on both sides are equally strong. These disagreements are harder to resolve, since each of you will think that his case should carry the day.

To ensure that such disputes don’t get out of hand, you and Michael might try now to establish ground rules for resolving future disputes.

One of the key rules, I’ve found, is that discussions shouldn’t take place at the wrong moment – when one of you is tired, pressured, or rushed.

It’s important to choose a favorable time, when you both are in a loving, recollected mood. Then peacefully discuss the pros and cons of your differing views, seriously trying to understand each other.

Don’t begin like two duelers whose only aim is to win. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly disagreements will be resolved if you wait to discuss them in this way in favorable circumstances.

In many cases you may both be able to compromise or one of you may give in with the understanding that the next time, the other will give in. Especially when the arguments on each side are equally weighty and there is no easy way to resolve the issue based on the evidence alone, keep in mind that the person who gives in out of love is always the greater one.

This sounds paradoxical, for the winner is usually considered the stronger.

But there are two ways of losing. One is out of weakness: the other person has a more powerful will and forces you to yield. The other type of “losing” is in fact a tremendous victory.

Think of the mother who gives her child the better portion of food because she loves him! Imagine the husband or wife who gives in, not out of weakness, but out of love.

This spouse is by far the stronger one, for he’s achieved the most difficult of all victories: conquering his own self-will.

He who truly loves, desires to do good to his beloved. He who wants to “pull the whole blanket to his side” and has very little concern about the other person, is a sorry lover.

This will sometimes mean denying yourself for the sake of a greater good.

As Cardinal Newman once wrote, “No two persons perhaps are to be found, however intimate, however congenial in tastes and judgments, however eager to have one heart and one soul, but must deny themselves…much which they like or dislike, if they’re to live together happily.”

Money and most of the other things you may fight about are very insignificant things compared to love. Isn’t it a form of madness to endanger the precious gift of marriage over such secondary disagreements?

I’m sure that by now you and your dear Michael have reached a loving solution and have discovered that yielding can be a mark of great strength and that more importantly, yielding is often an act of love.

With all my prayers for you and Michael as the holy feast of Easter approaches, I am,

Affectionately yours,

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. -Fr. Bernard O’reilly,The Mirror of True Womanhood (afflink)

These graceful Vintaj necklaces can be worn every day as a reminder of your devotion to the Blessed Mother or your favorite saint. Get it blessed and you can use it also as a sacramental.
Each link of the Vintaj wire is hand-made and wrapped around itself to ensure durability.

Available here.

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Question Parents Ask About Their Children – How Much Independence? Obey Instantly?

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

How much independence should a child be allowed?  

The independence he needs to become a self-reliant, fully developed adult able to meet and solve the problems of life with competence and correctness. . . . .   The independence that is, not license, but controlled and directed initiative . . . . .   The independence that has in it respect for law and a prompt obedience coupled with encouragement toward candor, honesty, and the ability — proportionate to his age — to handle the affairs of his life.

Mothers who in great fondness for their children bind them to their waists sometimes do the children irreparable wrong.   Parents who make of their children little parrots will have parrots and not people.

Independence may be a good thing . . . . , and it may be bad.

A child should be encouraged to manage his toys, keep his own room and belongings tidy without constant direction and supervision.

He should be trusted to the degree in which he has justified trust. He is trusted in small things. If he stands up to that trust, the trust is increased. If he fails, while the trust is not immediately removed, he is corrected and warned that the punishment for further failure will be the withdrawal of trust.

He is praised when he does things well and on his own. He is encouraged to think out his own problems and to bring his answers or solutions to his parents. If his solutions are correct, he is again praised. If they are not correct, he is sent to think his problems over again . . . . , or he discusses them with his parents until he is led — without too much emphasis on the leading — to the right answers or solutions.

It is important that children do their own thinking — guided and directed but their actual thinking not done for them. It is important that they learn to feel responsible for small obligations and duties where their possessions are concerned, their associates, their brothers and sisters, the house.

It is a mistake for an adult to do a child’s homework for him. Homework can be a fine training in independent thinking and acting. If the parent does the homework, the parent might as well pick up the books the next day and go to school, leaving the child at home.

But helping a child by pointing out the methods and then letting the child do the actual work is something quite different.

A child should learn early some independence in the control of money. A few unrestricted pennies given him can in the course of time be increased to his allowance, which he learns to use wisely by his actual, gradual wise use of it.

It seems that a large part of the failures in marriage can be traced to children who were childishly dependent upon their parents and who as adults cannot stand on their own feet.

Certainly many a failure in business and the professions is a person who never got the training that might have made him a fully developed, mature individual.

That safe attainment of the adult stage is most important, and it requires on the part of parents skill and planning.

Do you think that children should obey on the instant, as they did thirty and more years ago? Or should we allow them to act as individuals rather than as rebels?

The records show that the Army and Navy had a tough time in World War II with the youth who had learned to take his time to think over a command.   A lot of training and some rigid, blind discipline were demanded before these young men learned to obey a command first and think about it afterward.

“Gold braid” in the Navy is a patently clear symbol. The man who wears it gets instant obedience. The reason for that is obvious: In battle, with ships and airplanes moving at lightning speed, there is no time to thresh out the rightness or the wrongness of an order. There is time only for action, obedient instant action.

So in the training for battle there are only three recognized answers: “Yes, sir!” “No, sir!” and “No excuse, sir!”

It seems strange that the very young people who take time to sit down and think over a parental order, obey with the response of an electric light to a switch whenever on the gridiron football field the quarterback gives a command and shouts a signal. Believe me the athletic coach of the winning team would be amazed if the athletes practiced on him the weighing and appraising of orders that are actually encouraged by some parents.

Let’s go back however to the parents.   Parents have the God-given right to command.   If they give stupid or silly or wrong orders, they are abusing their rights. They should not expect their children to obey this type of order with other than reluctance or bad grace.

If the commands are correct, valuable, helpful, and important, the parents have every right in the world to be obeyed — and promptly. There can be good reasons for the parents’ explaining, if there is plenty of time, why they have given a certain hard command. But parents have no slightest obligation to submit to the judgment of a child a command that is right and correct.

However parents may possibly have, even in their own way of thinking, a way of lumping under the head of commands directions that are not by any means entirely commands.

A parent may make a request: “Son, will you please go to the corner and pick up a package of biscuits for me?”

She may make a suggestion: “It looks as if it’s going to be a little chilly. It might be a good idea for you to wear your sweater.”

He may open a discussion: “Son, what do you think about your taking a turn wiping dishes for mother?”

He may issue a command: “Hereafter you will be in by eleven o’clock on Friday nights.”

To call all these very different things commands is to use language carelessly. The request for the biscuits is like any request that one civilized and well-mannered person makes to another.

Adults do not ask unreasonable favors of adults. A decent adult does not greet a polite request with a rude “No!”

Since parents are training their children for participation in social living, they try to make reasonable — and only reasonable — requests; they expect civil and courteous answers.   But a request is not a command.

The suggestion that the child wear a sweater remained in the realm of suggestion. It was not a command; hence to punish the boy if he did not wear his sweater would be to blame him for a not incorrect use of logic. He might answer the suggestion thus: “I’ll be too hot if I wear my sweater. I was out, and I found that it isn’t nearly so cold as it looks.” Reasonable enough, with the whole matter balanced by fact and argument.

If the parent turns this into a command, the whole matter is changed. But that parent is not too wise who constantly offers suggestions that are not suggestions at all but commands couched in delicate language.

A discussion is a discussion, whether between adult and adult or between adult and child. “What do you think about . . . .” was the form that the opening gambit about the dishes took. If his answer is, “I can’t, dad; I have homework . . . . .” or “At that time mother wants me to empty the scrap baskets,” he is only following an adult lead.

An appeal to his love of his mother should naturally lead to a generous response. But here too it is a suggestion calling for a free and reasonable response, not for obedience to a command.

The last statement — the hour at which the son or daughter is to be in on Friday nights is a command. I am taking it for granted that the reasons for the command are obvious or have been sufficiently clarified. The order is not given, I hope, out of the blue, with no reasons back of it, a command based merely on adult caprice.

The father is a reasonable adult and commands something that he knows is for the good of the boy or girl or the common good of the household. He may even have permitted a discussion on the matter prior to the command.

When the command comes however, the command is a command. A parent is simply failing in his duty to the boy if, once the command is given, he sits back until the youngster has decided that he will or will not accept the order.

It is wise to make not too many requests. Children should not be servants or slaves.   Most often only suggestions are needed.   A discussion should not be started if the adults do not intend to be swayed by reason and argument.

It is unfair for an adult who has decided to give a command, no matter how the arguments go, apparently to lead the child into a discussion of the pros and cons of the command.   Real commands are most effective if they are given not too frequently, if they are concerned with things of real moment, if they are reasonable in content, if they are given once and for all, and if they are held as the law until circumstances change and the need for the commands disappear.

“Think of the Queen of Heaven and Lady of the World as humble housewife at the same time that she is mother and caretaker of God’s Son. It makes me sigh of tenderness, fills me with goodwill and love for the small and great chores of the home. How fragrant would be the robes that this pure lily washed. How tasty would be the food her delicate hands prepared. From her holy lips, not a whisper, no complaint or claim, only praise and sweet words. A life of worship and continuous obedience, in the freedom of those who choose to love – were she to kneel in prayer or clean the floor.” -Veronica Mendes, A Mulher Forte

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The Secret of Femininity

Femininity is a beautiful thing…and Mary Reed Newland teaches us to relish in it. Let it be a light to the world around us who has seen a very negative side of womanhood. Let’s bring it back, Ladies!

Below is pictures of the two tea parties we have had in the past two months…a lovely way to express our femininity!

From The Spirit of Loveliness, Emilie Barnes

When I was a little girl, I used to dream of being a “lady.” The world of Little Women, with its gracious manners and old-fashioned, flowing dresses fascinated me.

Softness and lace, tantalizing fragrance and exquisite texture, a nurturing spirit and a love of beauty-these images of femininity shaped my earliest ideas of loveliness.

Is that kind of femininity a lost value today? I don’t believe it. The world has changed, and most of us live in simple skirts or business suits or jeans instead of flowing gowns. But I still believe that somewhere in the heart of most of us is a little girl who longs to be a lady.

I also believe that today’s world is hungering to be transformed by the spirit of femininity. What better antidote for an impersonal and violent society than warm, gentle, feminine strength?

What better cure for urban sprawl and trashed-out countrysides than a love of beauty and a confidence in one’s ability to make things lovely?

What better hope for the future than a nurturing mother’s heart that is more concerned for the next generation than for its own selfish desires?

All these qualities – gentle strength, love of beauty, care and nurturing – are part of femininity.

Being a woman created by God is such a privilege – and the gift of our femininity is something we can give both to ourselves and to the people around us.

Just one flower, one candle, can warm up a cold, no-nonsense atmosphere with an aura of “I care.” Women have always had the ability to transform an environment, to make it comfortable and inviting. I believe we should rejoice in that ability and make the most of it.

This doesn’t mean we have to follow a set pattern or adopt a cookie-cutter style. Specific expressions of femininity vary greatly.

When I think “feminine,” I usually think of soft colors, lace, and flowers. I love ruffled curtains and flower-sprigged wallpaper, delicate bone china and old-fashioned garden prints. And I feel especially beautiful when I’m dressed up in soft and colorful fabrics.

But I know women with vastly different styles who still exude that special quality I call femininity -women who wear tailored tweeds or casual cottons (or gardening “grubbies”) with an air of gentleness ness and sensitivity.

Women who fill sleek modern kitchens or utilitarian office cubicles with that unmistakable sense of warmth, caring, and responsiveness. Women who combine self-confidence and an indomitable spirit with a gracious humility and a tender teachability.

Women who wear the spirit of femininity with the grace with which they wear their favorite elegant scent.

To me, the spirit of femininity is expressed in objects chosen for their beauty as well as their usefulness… and lovingly cared for. It is people accepted and nurtured, loveliness embraced and shared.

More important, the spirit of femininity is the spirit of care and compassion. In my mind, the most feminine woman is one with an eye and ear for others and a heart for God.

“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself…do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage.”
Introduction the the Devout Life― St. Francis de Sales

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My Little Story About the Rosary….

Happy Feast of the Holy Rosary! 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
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Advent Package Special! The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal & Celine’s Advent

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Two Special Advent Books for a Package Price!

The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal:
Advent is such a special season! And you are about to make it more meaningful than you ever have!
This Advent journal is for busy moms who need a little help making this season special within the home. It will help you stay on track and be consistent with the customs you have decided to incorporate within your four walls.
I have broken it down into bite-sized tidbits that, when laid out for you, will be easy to accomplish. As you check each item off you will get a sense of fulfillment knowing you are getting done what is truly important in this expectant season! The other things will get done….but first things first!
At midnight, on Christmas Eve, when Baby Jesus arrives, you and your family will look back upon your Advent and sigh with satisfaction, knowing you truly have celebrated with the Church, that you have put your best foot forward in making this a spiritual, enchanting, holy time for all!
The first few pages of this book will have a run-down of the special Advent customs and activities that will be on your checklist each day. They are simple, they are doable.
I hope this Advent is more special than ever as we walk hand-in-hand making the Liturgy come alive in our homes!

Celine’s Advent:
Take a walk through Advent as Celine and her family prepare for the coming of the Baby Jesus at Christmas! You will enjoy celebrating the beauty of the season with Celine as she helps her mom with the special traditions and activities that make the liturgy come alive in their home! Her “peanut gallery” consists of a mouse named Percy and some charming and delightful Christmas Angels! They are sure to capture your heart!