The Keys to Mutual Love

by Father George Kelly. The Catholic Marriage Manual

To succeed at any vocation, you must have patience, a determination to learn, a willingness to put aside momentary desires for the sake of final success. The vocation of marriage is no exception. It requires hard work. In fact, it is probably the hardest job of all.

For example, consider what a wife and mother must be. She must be an inspiring companion to her husband. She must be a housekeeper who has some skill in cooking, sewing and cleaning. She must be something of an economist, able to handle her household budget and to shop efficiently for food, furnishings and clothing.

She must be proficient in the feeding and physical care of her children. She must be a nurse. She must be a teacher with a working knowledge of child psychology to discipline her youngsters properly.

In addition to the actual skills needed for the successful performance of these jobs, she requires spiritual and emotional qualities —patience, tolerance, understanding, kindness, gentility, fortitude, prudence.

The successful husband and father needs similar qualities. To inspire respect for his leadership he should be reasonably competent as a man: he must be the head of the family; he must be a provider for his wife and children.

He must be a source of inspiration to his wife, encouraging her to fulfill her duties as wife and mother. He, too, must be a teacher, for his example will probably be the most important influence in the development of his son’s personality.

He also requires insights into the spiritual and emotional needs of his wife and children. He requires high resolutions and a strong sense of duty to meet those needs.

Since it is obvious that a man and woman need so many qualities to succeed as husband and wife and as father and mother, why do so many take the marriage vows without really knowing what will be expected of them?

Even couples who have lived together for years sometimes fail to realize how many adjustments they must make and how much self-discipline they must impose if their marriage is to weather future difficulties successfully.

Listen to the dreamy popular songs on the radio, read the romantic novels in many magazines, and view the love stories portrayed on television or in the movies. Seldom will you find even a vague suggestion that the vocation of marriage requires unremitting hard work by both partners.

Problems that arise in marriage as portrayed on television are almost always solved in time for the final commercial. Popular songs convey a constant impression that personality conflicts can be washed away in the sea of sex.

Even articles on marriage in popular magazines and books, seriously intended to help couples achieve better adjustment, often introduce a typical problem and, a few sentences later, report how the couple, by performing a magic act like visiting a marriage counselor, correct all past difficulties and live happily thereafter.

Few publications emphasize that mutual sacrifice is essential to marital success.

In that magnificent little volume The Imitation of Christ, compiled by Thomas Kempis in the fifteenth century, it is written: “Unless thou deny thyself, thou shalt not have perfect liberty.”

Those words might be studied by every married person. Unless you practice severe self-discipline and subjugate your own desires, striving instead to fulfill the needs of your spouse and children, you cannot gain the full happiness of marriage.

Despite what the movies say, no one “finds” happiness. If you obtain it at all, you must earn it. And it will be earned only by what the Catholic marriage ritual calls “the great principle of self-sacrifice.”

On your wedding day you surrendered your individual lives in the interest of a deeper and wider common life. From that day forward you belonged to each other. You were expected to become one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections.

And as the ritual counseled: “Whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously.”

Does this mean that we must picture married life in grim, terrifying colors? Not a bit! Sacrifice is difficult and irksome only in the absence of love.

Love makes it easy, and the more perfect the love, the more joy in the sacrifice.

When two people learn to bear patiently with marriage and with each other, marital harmony is the result. And this meeting of minds is the greatest source of happiness humans can obtain on earth.

No earthly pleasure can match that which the loving husband gives his wife, the wife gives her husband, or children give their parents. Very few people indeed appreciate that it is the warm and living union of two persons which alone gives life its full meaning.

Don’t listen to negative self-talk. Don’t analyze it, just don’t listen to it. Period. It will bring you down and make you sluggish in accomplishing what you need to get done. Instead, look at your list and do the next thing, say a prayer, grab a book and read it, spend some time with the kids. It’s not worth listening to the rubbish that goes on inside your head. -Finer Femininity

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Home Education and the Survival of the Catholic Family


Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

There are some topics that are meant to startle the audience to attention. Like clever ads in the newspapers or magazines you say something bizarre to catch the readers’ notice; but the title of the ad does not really mean what the words are saying. This is not the case here. The full title of my talk to you would read, “Home Education is Necessary for the Survival of the Catholic Family.”

My plan for this conference is to cover the three most important questions we can ask:
1. What is home education?
2. Why is home education necessary for the survival of the Catholic family?
3. How is home education to be provided not only for the survival but for the
progress of the Catholic family as we enter the twenty-first century?

WHAT IS HOME EDUCATION?

Home education is the development by the parents of the whole personality of a child from infancy to adulthood. It is education because it draws out, from the Latin word educere, the natural and supernatural potentialities of a person.

Some of these potentialities are latent in a child from conception and birth; others are present from the time of Baptism. The parents’ primary duty is to cooperate with God as Author of nature and grace to draw out the latent powers in the child whom they brought into the world.

It is home education twice over. It is first of all home education because it is done by the parents, without whom there would be no home. It is secondly done at home, within the ambit of what we commonly identify as our domicile.

Notice, I prefer to speak of home education rather than home schooling. This is to emphasize the domestic personal character of the education, rather than its institutional structure.

When I speak of home education by both parents, I mean both parents and not only by the mother. It may be that time-wise: the mother devotes more time to the training of her children than the father. No matter.

What is important is that both mother and father are involved; there is a contribution to the children’s up-bringing that, having a miracle, only the father can provide. His share in the education of the children is imperative.

Moreover, home education does not absolutely exclude all other forms or sources of teaching the children. But in every case, and I mean every case, the home is the primary source. All other, or any other educational agents or agencies are•secondary to the home,
•auxiliary to the home
•dependent on the home
•subordinate to the home
•chosen by the parents and meant to be helpful, never competitive with the
home.

What is the span of home education? It is the whole personal and social life of the child; it is the bodily and spiritual well-being of the child; it is the physical, emotional, mental and volitional life of the child.

WHY HOME EDUCATION?

In stating my thesis, I might have said many things, like
•Home education is helpful for the family, or
•Home education is a valuable asset for family life, or
•Home education is a powerful aid for the Catholic family, or
•Home education is all but necessary for the Catholic family.

Each of these titles would have been true, but inadequate. Instead, I chose to speak on “Home Education is Necessary for the Survival of the Catholic Family.” Why this title? Because it is literally true.

Let me be clear. I am not merely saying that home education is necessary in the modern world. This is not a conditional necessity. It is not just because the modern world has become so widely and deeply secularized that home education has become a necessity.

No! I make bold to say that one of the main factors contributing to the secularization of once strongly Christian cultures has been the neglect of:
• sound
• orthodox
• authentic
• courageous
• magisterial
• historic

Catholic teaching in faith and morals by parents in the home, from the dawn of the infancy of their children.

The issue we are addressing is perennial. Either Catholic parents provide their offspring with the education the children need, or the inevitable happens, as it has happened.

Our main focus here is on “Why?” Why are parents so necessary for the proper education of their children, and the corresponding survival of the Catholic family. The reason is really a cluster of reasons, all derived from what we know about human nature and divine grace.

1. We Are What We Have Received. The first reason is the mysterious law of interdependence. We depend on others for whatever we possess.

• This applies first of all to our physical nature. Only human beings can
reproduce other human beings.
• This reproduction is not only bodily but also mental or volitional. What do
we know that someone else has not taught us; and what do we love
except what others have helped us to choose and appreciate.

Under God, the primary, most important person in our lives, to enlighten and inspire us are our parents. Parents, in turn, are to recognize that the children they brought into this world are not meant for this world. The children’s destiny is eternal. It is the parents, more than anyone in the world, who are to prepare their children in time, indeed for eternity.

2. Parents Are Primary Sources of Grace. No one reaches heaven without divine grace. No one receives this grace, except through another human being who is the channel of this grace. Parents are the primary channel of this grace for their children.

We are here saying much more than meets the ear. We are saying that, in God’s ordinary providence, the parents are the main
• instruments of supernatural light for their children’s minds,
• channels of spiritual strength for the children’s wills,
• In a word, the parents are the principal conduit by which God communicates the graces that children need to reach heaven and save their souls.

This primacy as channels of grace for their children comes from the sacrament of matrimony which Catholic parents have received.

Matrimony assures them of a lifetime of God’s grace to love each other in faithful charity and chastity until death. Matrimony also assures them of a lifetime of God’s grace for the upbringing of their children in loving obedience to God, as a pre-condition for reaching a heavenly destiny.

The purpose of marriage is to raise families for heaven, nothing less; and there can be nothing more.

One of the great blessings of modern home education is that it is waking up so many parents to their God-given responsibility.

In the providence of God, He allows no evil or suffering without intending to draw a greater good, precisely as occasioned by the evil or pain.

The widespread secularization of organized education in so many parts of the Western world has served as lightening and thunder to arouse complacent parents from their complacency. They are beginning to ask themselves, “What is our duty, as parents?” What should we do to join forces with other dedicated fathers and mothers who are making such great sacrifices for the home education of their children?

3. How to Provide Home Education? As we enter the third part of our conference, I wish to make one thing clear. What I am sharing with you is no mere human pedagogy. It is not the science of psychology or of educational methodology.
It is nothing less than a mystery of faith. If I were to offer one passage from the New Testament that summarizes the whole doctrine it occurs in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, where the Apostle tells us, “For those who love God, everything works together unto good” (Romans 8:28).

What is St. Paul saying? He is telling us that, if we are united with God in our love, He will use us to accomplish His divine plans. Or, put in other words, depending on our union with God’s will by our practice of virtue, He will use us as channels of His graces.

Let me be clear. This is not merely giving others a good example, which we should. It is not merely that no one gives what he does not have, which is obvious. It is much deeper. It means that in the measure of our wills being conformed with the will of God–and the measure that we love God–He will infallibly use us to achieve the designs that He wants to achieve, especially in the lives of others.

What does this mean for home education? Everything! In the degree that parents love God, God will use them to teach and train their children…
• If the parents have a strong faith, God will use them to teach and train their children.
• If the parents have a strong faith, God will use them to strengthen the faith of their
children.
• If the parents are humble, they will effectively teach humility to their children.
• If parents are truthful and hopeful and patient and chaste and charitable and prayerful God will use them as His chosen means of teaching and training their offspring in trust and hope and patience and chastity and prayerfulness.

PRAYER
“Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Holy Family, obtain from your divine Son the graces which home teaching Catholic parents so desperately need in our day, the grace to see their great privilege as channels of grace for the children, and the grace to serve as channels of grace, even at the cost of living martyr’s lives in our day. Amen.”

Punctuality exacts self-discipline and detachment; it often asks us to interrupt some interesting, pleasant work in order to give ourselves to another kind, perhaps less attractive or less important.
However, it would be a great mistake to esteem our duties and to dedicate ourselves to them according to the attraction we have for them or according to their more or less apparent importance.
All is important and beautiful when it is the expression of the will of God, and the soul who wishes to live in this hole he will every minute of the day, will never omit the slightest act prescribed by its rule of life. -Divine Intimacy

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To Grow in Childlike Confidence

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Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart

And how does one grow in this total confidence in God; how can we maintain and nourish it in ourselves? Certainly not only by intellectual speculation and theological considerations. They will never withstand the moments of trial. But by a contemplative gaze on Jesus.
To contemplate Jesus Who gives His life for us, nourishes us with “too great a love” that He expresses on the cross; that is what really inspires confidence. Would not the supreme proof of love – Greater love than this no man has than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13) – untiringly contemplated and captured in a gaze of love and faith, fortify our hearts little by little in an unshakable confidence?

What can one fear from a God who manifested His life in so evident a manner? How could He not be for us, completely, entirely and absolutely in our favor; how could He not do all things for us, this God, Friend of humankind, Who did not spare His only Son for us, even though we were sinners? And if God is for us, who could be against us (Romans 8:32)? If God is for us, what evil could possibly harm us?
Thus, we see the absolute necessity of contemplation for growing in confidence.

Finally, too many people are distressed because they are not contemplatives. They do not take the time to nourish their own hearts and return them to peace by gazing with love on Jesus.

In order to resist fear and discouragement, it is necessary that through prayer – through a personal experience of God re-encountered, recognized and loved in prayer – we taste and see how good the Lord is (Psalm 34).

The certitudes that the habits of prayer inculcates in us are considerably stronger than those that flow from reasoning, even at the highest level of theology.
As the assaults of evil, thoughts of discouragement and distrust, are incessant, so, in the same manner and in order to resist them, must our prayers be incessant and untiring.

How many times has it happened that I went to make the daily hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in a state of preoccupation or discouragement and, without anything particular having happened, without saying or feeling anything special, I would leave with a quieted heart.

The external situation was always the same, there were always problems to solve, but the heart had changed and, from then on, I could confront them peacefully. The Holy Spirit had performed its secret work.

One can never insist enough on the necessity of quiet, meditative prayer – the real source of interior peace. How can one abandon oneself to God and have confidence in Him if one only knows Him from a distance, by hearsay?

I had heard of You by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen You (Job 42:5).

The heart does not awaken to confidence until it awakens to love; we need to feel the gentleness and the tenderness of the Heart of Jesus. This cannot be obtained except by the habits of meditative prayer, by this tender repose in God which is contemplative.

Let us therefore learn to abandon ourselves, to have total confidence in God, in the big things as in the small, with the simplicity of little children.

And God will manifest His tenderness, His providence and His fidelity in a manner sometimes overwhelming. If God treats us at certain moments with an apparently great harshness, He also has an unexpected delicateness, of which only as tender and pure as His is capable.

At the end of his life, St. John of the Cross, en route to the convent where he would end his days – sick, exhausted, unable to continue – longed for some asparagus, like the asparagus he had eaten in his childhood. Near a rock where he sat to catch his breath, there was a bunch of asparagus, miraculously deposited.
In the midst of our trials, we can experience these delicacies of love. They are not reserved for the Saints. They are for all the poor who believe that God is their Father. They can be for us a powerful encouragement to abandon ourselves to His care, far more efficacious than any reasoning.
And I believe that this is the true response to the mystery of evil and suffering. It is not a philosophical response, but an existential one.

In abandoning myself to God, I experience in a concrete fashion that “it really works,” that God makes all things work together for my good, even evil, even suffering, even my own sins.

How many occasions that I dreaded, when they arrived, in the final analysis proved to be supportable, and finally beneficial, after the first impact of pain.

That which I believed to be working against me revealed itself to be to my benefit. Thus, I tell myself: that which God does for me in His infinite mercy, He must do for others also; in a mysterious and hidden manner, He must do it for the entire world.

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It seems the very essence of Mary, so to speak, is to be simple, to perform the common, ordinary duties of a wife and a mother, and to love them. Her Heart ever craved after one thing, namely, to walk simply before God and to be perfect, whatever might be the circumstances or condition of her life.
-Mother Mary Potter

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Surrounded By Beauty

First…thank you, dear ones, for your prayers for our little guys yesterday. We were all exhausted fighting thoughts of what could have happened to them…and were so grateful that all turned out well! God is good.

(For those wondering…look on this post.)

A little throwback for some inspiration today….

Emilie Barnes has always been an inspiration to me through the years. She has taught me that our environment, its “ambiance” is important for our own healthy outlook and also for those around us.

We show we care by making our homes comfortable, homey and lovely. It doesn’t take a lot of money…..and now with so many helps, like Pinterest, or the internet in general, we can figure out ways to make our environment special that is cost-effective! Our loved ones will appreciate it! And so will we!

It took us many years to get to where we are now. We lived in a little one-bedroom home with seven kids for 10 years on this property (adding a couple of bedrooms as big as boxes 🙂 )!! But it was always “home” and I did my best to add touches to that little “shack”. The kids were sad to leave it….

So don’t get discouraged. Do what you can where you are….bloom where you are planted!

In this article Mrs. Barnes talks about surrounding ourselves with the things that we love and making it part of our home’s decor. I guess you can tell what we love around here. 🙂

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Home Warming by Emilie Barnes

Beauty is as necessary to the spirit as food and clothing are to the body. Fortunately, beauty is easy to invite into any home, for beauty has many faces. Beauty can be found in a hand-colored photograph or a hand-stitched quilt, or in shelves lined with bright-hued jelly jars. A pot of graceful ivy can be beautiful and so can a sweet potato vine growing in a jar.

Even the arrangement of a home can be beautiful. When furniture and objects, whatever the cost of the style, are combined with care and attention, the result can be warmly beautiful, even if the individual pieces are less than lovely.

What is beautiful to you? What makes you smile or your spirit soar? That is the beauty that should surround you in your home, and it will be shared with all who come to visit.

Seek out beauty in whatever form it speaks to you. Surround yourself with beauty. In the process, you will be creating something truly beautiful as well: a lovely home graced with a happy, welcoming spirit.

Personal Touches

I feel immediately at home in houses where people have surrounded themselves with what they love. I like to walk into a house and immediately have a sense of what they read, what they collect, what they like to cook, how they like spend their time. (This gives me something to talk about as well.) I enjoy meeting well-behaved pets and seeing evidence that there are children in the home.

Our home overflows with objects that remind me of who I am and what I love. Clusters of family photos – on a wall of our great room, on a table in the bedroom, on my desk, and on the refrigerator – fill the spaces of our home with smiling, familiar faces.

Teacups from my long-time collection retell their stories to me each time I look at them. My mother’s secretary and my auntie’s crystal build a bridge for my memories. Books and signs and plaques collected on our trips fit together like pieces that make up the puzzle of our lives.

Somehow, it all manages to come together in a homey atmosphere that says, “This is who we are. This is what we love. Please have a seat and let us get to know you, too.”

Cleanliness Creates Hominess

Bob used to tease me that I would die with a broom in my hand. And it’s true that the first thing I usually want to do when I come home from a trip is grab a broom and sweep off the front step. I love that sense of getting my home in order. To me, it’s hard to feel comfortable and at home in a house that is dirty, cluttered, or disorganized.

Create a comfortable nest where people you love, including yourself, can work and play and relax and visit without worrying about whether they will step on a toy or be faced with a discouraging pile of undone chores.

It Takes a Lifetime

It takes a lifetime, this process of making yourself at home.

Homes grow and change just as people do. But these simple secrets of “at-homeness” hold steady through the ongoing homemaking process.

Make yourself comfortable – and create a comfortable environment for yourself and others.

Add the little touches that make a house feel like a home.

Surround yourself with beauty.

Surround yourself with you.

Create peace by ordering your environment.

Above all else, listen to your dreams of home. Allow them to guide you as you learn to make yourself and others happily at home.

home

“It will not then matter to us what our work is; the smallest action will be performed as carefully as the greatest, and our life will be beautiful in the sight of God. Yes; it is not always what appears to us to be grand actions that are grand in the sight of God.” -Mother Mary Potter, Our Lady’s Love of Domestic Life

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We Need Prayers!!

Please, in your charity, I beg of you prayers!! Our two little grandsons, ages about 7 and 5 have been missing for several hours! We have the police out, dogs, drone, plane and now we need much, much prayer!! Before the storms and nightfall hit we need to find these boys! Thank you so much!

 

Our Lady’s Love of Domestic Life

by Mother Mary Potter, Catholic Family Magazine, Australia

We do not think enough of this love of Mary for simple domestic life; indeed, we often forget it entirely. Yet it is one of the most beautiful traits in her character.

It seems the very essence of Mary, so to speak, to be simple, to perform the common, ordinary duties of a wife and a mother, and to love them. Her Heart ever craved after one thing, namely, to walk simply before God and to be perfect, whatever might be the circumstances or condition of her life.

But He gave her what her Heart most desired, the simple ordinary life of women, that she might live this life in her sweet, simple way, and sanctify it for the multitude of women who should follow her, that she might leave an example to her children, so sweet, so captivating, that they hereafter might love to walk in her footsteps; that she might be the pattern of a perfect woman to them.

And such indeed she is, and so sweet is her example, that the world seems made holier, purer by the very name of Mary.

Every good Catholic household seems penetrated with her influence, and perfumed by her presence. Her statues and pictures are everywhere, and everywhere remind us of herself, the pure simple Mary, the holy woman, the gentle Virgin, the Mother above all mothers.

But she ever comes before us in her own simplicity, that simplicity of Mary which is unlike anything else. There is nothing extraordinary about her in her outward conduct and demeanor, nothing excessive, nothing exaggerated.

She is a pure, true woman, lovely beyond conception; she is Mary, unlike aught but herself.

But for all that, holy Mother, we wish to be like thee, as far as we may; we wish to imitate thee; we will follow thee in the way thou hast shown us; our lives shall be in conformity to thine, so far as our weakness will permit.

If thou hadst done extraordinary things we might still have looked up to thee, longed to imitate thee, and should not have been able: but thou hast lived upon this earth as other women live, working no miracles, doing nothing marvelous, but for the greater part in the simple discharge of the duties of a quiet peaceful home, only so perfectly, with such exquisite purity of intention, with such ardent charity.

We, too, desire to live as thou hast done; thou wilt surely help thy children, tender Mother that thou art.

Mary is great as the Immaculate Virgin, she is great as the marvelous Mother of God, she is great as she stands on Calvary, offering the greatest sacrifice ever creature offered to God.

She offered what was her own, for Jesus was hers, He was her Son.

Mary is great as Queen of Heaven, but Mary is equally great in the eyes of God in the simple actions of her daily life, since in them she did God’s will as perfectly as she did when she consented to become His Mother.

We love Thee, Mary, as we watch thee, so quiet, so humble performing thy daily round of duties.

Each action was an offering, a gift, well pleasing to the Most High, each action was performed carefully, earnestly, as though it were an act of religious worship, and so indeed it was in Mary’s eyes.

Mary sanctified the daily acts of life, and in this her children can and must follow her example.

God is everywhere. He is adorable everywhere. He should be adored everywhere. We work in His presence always. It is with this thought ever in our minds that we should work.

It will not then matter to us what our work is; the smallest action will be performed as carefully as the greatest, and our life will be beautiful in the sight of God. Yes; it is not always what appears to us to be grand actions that are grand in the sight of God.

They are indeed grand when performed purely for the love of God; but these same heroic actions may be done from unworthy, selfish, interested motives, and not be so pleasing to God as some most commonplace, everyday actions proceeding from a purer motive.

Who can understand the joy of God in His saints, whose days are full of such noble actions as these?

We, too, naturally admire what is heroic and noble. See the applause that Grace Darling won for her one brave act in saving the lives of the poor, shipwrecked sailors; but that may have been no more pleasing in the sight of God than the simple daily actions of many a chosen soul, both in the world and in the cloister, dear to the Heart of God, “for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.”

If we could see our lives as those in heaven see them; if we could but see how beautiful to the angels and saints the lives appear of those who on earth are “all for God,” how differently should we feel, how differently should we act.

Do we think as we should of the quiet, simple life of Mary, full of its everyday, ordinary actions?

We have read of the saint who saw how a poor laborer was adding to his merit and his future crown in heaven by every brick he laid. Then what must Mary have done? What was the purity of intention of that poor bricklayer laying his bricks compared to the intention with which Mary worked at her needlework, drew water from the well for her little household, cleaned the house and its humble furniture, ant did all that was necessary for the simple poor cottage at Nazareth.

The angels never tired of gazing at their Queen as she went from one duty to the other in the simple routine of her life. She grew more and more wonderful to them, and they loved human life, seeing it such as they had ne’er before seen it, “life as Mary lived it.”

Let Mary’s children resolve to imitate their Mother; let them, wherever they may be, whether in the world or the cloister, resolve to imitate Mary by their cheerful, careful performance of their daily duties. Our Mother  is looking lovingly upon us. Let us think of her sweet, smiling face; let us earn from her the crown she is holding for us, which she is so anxious to bestow upon us, the reward the good God will give to all who are faithful to Him, and persevere in His service to the end.

Let us never grow weary of our work; let us never grow remiss; let us never yield to sloth. We shall not be able to work for God in heaven, we shall rest in Him there. Now is the time for toil and labor. Now is the time to show love for God by fulfilling His will, which is that we labor in the sweat of our brow in a spirit of penance, though at the same time with a spirit of joy that we are able thus to give gifts to our God, the gift of ourselves and ail our faculties.

Recollect that if the temptation of sloth is given way to, there is an end to sanctity for us. Recollect that if we begin to perform our actions hurriedly, as matters of slight import, we are in a state of delusion, and our final perseverance in the right way is doubtful.

As a tree is known by its fruits, so is the perfection of a soul known by its works; it is the one true criterion. Watch how persons perform their work, and you will know how near they are to God. You will know if Jesus be dwelling as King within them or not.

One who works carelessly, who throws things about untidily, who by thoughtlessness and carelessness creates disorder, that soul is not living in close union with Jesus.

God is so orderly, so perfect, so beautifully neat, if I may say so with reverence, in all His ways. I cannot imagine such a thing as an untidy or a slovenly saint, though, in some, doubtless, the poor body and its tidiness and cleanliness have been disregarded, but this was done from higher motives, and not from carelessness or love of dirt for its own sake.

If we are striving to make a home for Jesus in our hearts, to make His dwelling within us pleasing to Him, how carefully we shall work, how perfectly shall we strive to perform each action, with what a joyous, happy spirit, too.

Not in a dull and slavish way; our service will not be a forced and oppressive, but a very cheerful, happy one; since all our actions will be offered to God, all our acts will be acts of love.

We shall love our life of love and labor, and it is the Mother of fair love who will infuse this love into us, who will help her children to work in the same spirit as she did, who will send angels to assist them if they try to do their part, who will herself teach them the best way of performing their daily duties.

Oh, lovely Mother, Queen of Angels, send thy holy angels to watch over thy children, and make them to live on earth as God’s earthly angels, well pleasing in His sight and most dear to Him.

If Mary’s children, then, would have their hearts in union with their Mother’s Heart, they, too, must love domestic life, home life; they must consider home as their place of work, and love it; they must think that their principal work is to make home happy; they must live in their household as Mary lived in hers; they must put their heart in all they do; they must make all their works acts of love, as Mary did; and God will bless those homes where the spirit of Mary thus lives.

May there be many such homes in this world, that God may love it as in the beginning, when He blessed it and pronounced it good.

“Lord, Help me to be a good wife. I fully realize that I don’t have what it takes to be one without Your help. Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to bear all things. Take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation. Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace, and joy. I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment. Only You can transform me.” -The Power of a Praying Wife

Sweet Sunflowers Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, quality material, made with care and detail.

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The Assumption! by Maria Von Trapp

Happy, Happy Feast of the Assumption! Make sure you do something a little special today to remind your children what a special day it is! For inspiration see this post.

From Around the Year with the Trapp Family

The day of the Assumption, August 15th, is the oldest and most important of all the feast days of the Blessed Mother.

In the old country it is also known as “Great Flower Day.” All the women and girls come to church on this day with their arms full of neat bundles of herbs, which they put down in the sanctuary at the Offertory procession.

On this feast day the Church blesses the herbs immediately preceding Mass. The priest, standing before the altar and facing the people, pronounces a long and solemn blessing at the end of which the herbs are sprinkled with holy water and are incensed.

There are special herbs which traditionally have to be included. Days before the feast the people are collecting them in the meadows and woods. Every family sends one such bundle to be blessed.

Afterwards it will be kept in the corner at home near the picture or statue of the Blessed Mother.

In cases of sickness a leaf is dropped into the food of the patient and during heavy thunderstorms one of the herbs is put into the fire on the kitchen stove–it is a sacramental and is meant to protect us in body and soul.

The connection between the feast of the Assumption and the blessing of herbs is told in an old legend.

When Mary the Mother of Jesus felt that her end was drawing near, she sent her guardian angel to summon the Apostles, who had gone out into the world to preach the Gospel of her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

When they received the summons, they came in a great hurry and were just in time to witness the happy death of their dear Mother. Everyone had come except Thomas. He was three days late.

When he heard that the Blessed Mother had been resting in the tomb for days, he cried bitterly and pled with the Apostles to open the tomb once more and let him glance at the beloved features.

The other Apostles yielded to his plea, but as they opened the tomb, they found it filled with flowers, which gave out a heavenly scent. On the place where they had laic the body there was only the shroud left–the body had been borne up to heaven by the angels, where it was joined by the holy soul of the Mother of God.

According to the legend, all the flowers and herbs on earth had lost their scent after Adam and Eve committed the first sin in the Garden of Eden. On the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, however, the flowers were given back their scent and the herbs their power to heal.

Looking for a fun craft with the little ones today? Take a look at this post!

 

“Let us run to Mary, and as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.” – St. Francis de Sales
Happy Feast of the Assumption!

 

A sermon for this wonderful feast day!

 

Your children can celebrate with these coloring pages!

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No More Goodbyes in Heaven

It seems our life has been filled with goodbyes lately….and it has been somewhat overwhelming. So I may be quieter than normal….

We have said goodbye to two very dear priests that have been called elsewhere to serve the flock. Fr. Kodet and Fr. Fromageot are very special. Fr. Kodet has been here the longest and leaves a huge hole in our hearts. He is like a brother to us.

Last days before our priests left:

Father Fromageot’s smile, his singing, his intellectual stimulus and his friendship will be missed!

Our son-in-law, Mike, serving at one Father Kodet’s last Masses in Maple Hill, KS….

Rosie with her nephew, Peter Ignatius.

Our biggest goodbye is coming up! Our daughter, Rosie, an integral and beautiful part of what goes on here will be joining  the Benedictine Convent in Gower. MO the beginning of October!

Indeed, we are happy! But we are also facing the reality of her leaving and this is, and will not be, easy!

Rosie’s teenage years have had their suffering with four years of illness…up and down, up and down.

We said a novena to Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP+ in Advent and, since then, she has had a slow climb up to a more stable physical health.

She has been discerning for some time now. So she will enter in October and we will see how her health holds out. God’s will be done. The novice mistress told her that oftentimes, health improves….sometimes not. The life is rigorous, we will see…

They are almost done building their Church. A lot of their funds have come from their lovely CD’s! From donations, too…

The pictures are from their beautiful website if you would like to peruse it.

Two sisters lead our cow Angel with her new calf Tessie, named for St. Thecla from the martyrology on her “birthday.”

Mother Cecilia washes and kisses the feet of the postulants as they take their place in the Chapter Room for the first time. They then receive the Holy Rule of St. Benedict from her, and an embrace from each of their new sisters, who wish them “Perseverance.”

Please keep Rosie and all of us in your prayers as we turn a new page in this Book of Life!

Open-Book-PNG-Image

 

Feast of the Assumption!

I find this very inspiring and a good reminder to do SOMETHING special for this wonderful Feast Day of Our Lady…. August 15th!

It is somewhat long but an easy read and will give you lots of encouragement to build some memories with your kids!

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From the book The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland:

“Now what,” I asked, “shall we do for the Assumption besides having a procession?”

“A tea!” That was Peter. He’s for teas. It was Peter who thought up having the Mad Tea Party that time.

And a tea seemed like a good idea this time, what with an afternoon procession and a blessing and flowers and mint and things.

We called the Hobsons.

“We’re inviting you to a tea,” we said, “in honor of Our Lady’s Assumption, with a procession and a Blessing of Herbs and Flowers.”

“Oh, fine,” said the Hobsons’ mother. “We’ll wear our organdies. We always wear our organdies to teas.”

This promised to be very interesting since there are only two Hobson girls (their mother and Ginny) and the rest are boys.

At least, at the time that was how matters stood. There are now three Hobson girls. Anne Marie has been added.

Then we decided that we should have something special for our procession during which we would give the Blessing of Herbs and Flowers (in the new ritual it is called simply the Blessing of Herbs).

The blessing is traditionally given on August 15, perhaps because of the legend that the Apostles found flowers in the tomb where they had laid Our Lady; or perhaps because the Church wanted to Christianize the pagan custom of gathering herbs for medicines at this time of year.

At any rate, the legend about the flowers in her tomb and St. Thomas doubting is sufficiently popular to merit a telling, just so that everyone will get it straight that it is a legend. It goes like this (with many variations).

Our Lady fell asleep at last after the years of living with St. John and waiting for Heaven, and all the Apostles were gathered about her bed. Except St. Thomas. He was off in India preaching the Gospel and couldn’t get back on time, although an angel is supposed to have told him to hurry.

The other apostles carried her body to the tomb and laid it there, and sometime afterward they discovered that it was gone. They naturally concluded that it had been taken to Heaven (as indeed it had).

Then St. Thomas came home; and when they went out to meet him and to explain, he would not believe. He would not believe, the legend says, until he had seen for himself. So they took him to see where they had laid our Lady’s body and in its place were flowers.

Looking up, St. Thomas saw her going up to Heaven; and to convince him at last, an angel brought the girdle she had fastened about her robe and dropped it to Thomas.

It is a pretty story and parts of it are true, but frankly we doubt that St. Thomas had doubts again. You don’t do that sort of thing twice, not after our very Lord said to you, “You are a doubting Thomas. Come here.”

What is true is that Our Lady fell asleep. The word death is not used for Our Lady, because death is the consequence of Original Sin and a punishment for sin, and Our Lady was without the slightest taint of sin.

She would not, need not, have died, but merely waited for her divine Son to will that it was her time for Heaven, and then yield up her soul. We would have accomplished it this way instead of through death if God’s original plan had been permitted to unfold.

But instead of God’s original plan, we had Adam’s Original Sin, and that is how death came in its stead.

Mary was assumed into Heaven. At the end of Masses and after Benediction, when we say the Divine Praises, we add in praise of our Lady: “Blessed be her glorious Assumption,” which is what we celebrate today.

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Now back to our procession. With recollections of the magnificent banners and wall-hangings of our Grailville friends, a banner seemed in order – but one that we could design and execute in a reasonable time.

One day, for a special project, we shall work out a more elaborate hanging, with wools and velvets, sateens, yarns, chain stitch, feather stitch, bands and borders; but this day we had little or no time to spare.

So it was off to the linen trunk in the storeroom to see what treasures we could find. We found a small linen guest towel of bachelor’s-button blue, embroidered with cross-stitch roses, simple and nice. It made us think of the Mystical Rose.

And we found a white linen cloth, heavy as a butcher’s apron but fine as fine and bleached white with many washings and sunnings. Added to these were a length of white rickrack and a half-skein of white yarn, and our materials were complete.

We sewed a decorative M of the rickrack over the roses on the blue linen towel. We cut an oblong of the white linen large enough to double-hem the edges and leave a border of about one and a half inches of white around the blue.

We mounted the blue towel on the white linen, sewing it across the top only. We divided the white yarn into three hanks, braided it into a rope and tacked it across the top of the banner with equal lengths to hang loose down either side.

Next, John went up to the woods and cut a new shoot of oak about an inch in diameter and skinned the bark off. He sawed a two-foot length for our cross-piece, and we bound the banner to this, with white yarn at four places across the top.

Another length of oak about three feet long was the standard and we bound our cross-piece to it. There was our banner! It took about an hour, with children and Granny helping, before we had it finished and the threads and shreds swept up off the dining-room floor.

The next item was the Ritual, that slim black book the priest carries about when he gives the blessings, and a valuable addition to family life.

Then Stephen remembered something and ran into the study. Confetti! For over a year, we had saved a package of confetti, waiting for a feast of suitable magnitude before using it.

Feast days had come and gone, of magnificent magnitude, but we forever forgot the confetti. This was the day for it! Then we sat down, more or less, to await the arrival of our guests in their organdies.

As none of the Newland sprouts knows an organdy from a hole in the wall, there was wild anticipation.

At last they drove up, but in picture hats and blue espadrilles, in honor of Our Lady.

Also bearing with them a peach chiffon pie they had made to honor her and indulge all present, with a crown of sliced peaches decorating it.

We explained immediately that these were not organdies. Philip stood admiring them, nevertheless, as they dismounted from the station wagon. A three-year inventory of knowledge stored in his hard little head was clearly being examined for some clue to this apparel. Finally, he recognized the costumes. “`You look real nice in your cowboy hats and your bedroom slippers.”

The Hobsons thanked him graciously. After general clamor for a few minutes, customary as families assemble for any great event, we had a short discussion of Our Lady’s Dormition and Assumption with a clear explanation of the legend about the flowers at her tomb.

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Then we started out in this order: Stephen with banner. Mrs. Hobson with pewter mug of holy water and aspergill. Mother with Ritual. Ginny with confetti. A quick shift of aspergill to Peter as Mrs. Hobson picks up John Archer, who is afraid of goose and goats. Various additional children.

Arranged at last, we started with the flowerbed by the house where there is tansy, thyme, marigold, and an unidentified herb that will be a mystery until our herb lady comes back and identifies it.

The blessing begins beautifully with Psalm 64 which has wonderful passages in it for children. As we had just recovered from the fringes of a hurricane which, in turn, had put an end to our drought, these lines had special and eloquent meaning.

They shout and sing for joy. Alas, our procession seems to be one part reading and blessing, and one part shouting and singing for joy.

No loss: their joy is in the Lord, and if they are too little to stand still very long, psalms or no, let them shout and sing for joy.

This is the making of many memories and impressions, a mixture of blessings and sun and sky and happiness and family and home and our Lady Mother Mary; this is one of the joys of being a Catholic.

After a Gloria, the blessing continues, the leader reading the versicles, the others responding:

Leader: The Lord will be gracious.

All: And our land bring forth its fruit.

Leader: Thou waterest the mountains from the clouds.

All: The earth is replenished from Thy rains.

Leader: Giving grass for cattle.

All: And plants for the service of man.

Leader: Thou bringest forth wheat from the earth.

All: And wine to cheer man’s heart.

Leader: He sends His command and heals their suffering.

All: And snatches them from distressing want.

Leader: 0 Lord, hear my prayer.

All: And let my cry come unto Thee.

Leader: The Lord be with you.

All: And with thy spirit.

Then follow three prayers of blessing, the first of which reads:

Let us pray. Almighty, everlasting God, by Thy word alone Thou hast made Heaven, earth, sea, all things visible and invisible, and hast adorned the earth with plants and trees for the use of men and animals.

Thou appointest each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only to serve as food for living creatures, but also as medicine to sick bodies.

With mind and word, we earnestly appeal to Thine ineffable goodness to bless these various herbs and fruits, and add to their natural powers the grace of Thy new blessing. May they ward off disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in Thy name.

Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.LowerFarmHouse(3)

We proceeded down to the vegetable garden and sprinkled the dill, and thence off to the brook, where the wild mint flourishes, singing “Mary, We Greet Thee” all the way (that is the Salve Regina in English).

Down along the brook is a magic place, with mint thick and tangled and wild grape and small willows and a hidden bed of forget-me-not.

We sprinkled that, and the flame flower far inside a thicket by a private stream of its own. Then we went further down to the place for sitting on banks and dangling feet. And here, with a story while tasting mint and other wild leaves that were not quite so delicious, everyone took off shoes and went wading, and the smallest ones sat down in the water in their clothes.

Then at last we threw the confetti. It was a glorious sight floating on the brook, sun dappling the water, sounds of children, sounds of water, smell of mint, everyone laughing and splashing, all for the honor and glory of our Lady.

Then back home, to the pie with the Mary-crown on it and the spiced tea with orange and clove (because Holy Scripture says that Mary is like sweet spices and aromatic balm”‘):a lovely end to a day that had started with the whole family at Mass and Holy Communion.

The fathers had pie saved for them in the refrigerator. Processions like this are a particularly motherish kind of thing. These things that take fussing and patience and holding hands while walking with very little people with incredible slowness are things mothers were especially well made for.

Lucky for mothers who have sunny afternoons to teach such beautiful truths and to make such beautiful memories as these of “her glorious Assumption”!

But suppose you live in the city, and there is no brook and no pasture, no wild mint or forget-me-not, or goose or garden or herbs to be blessed – what then?

Still, I would not give in. Somehow I would find a way to make a family celebration and a happy memory of the Assumption.

For some people, a trip to the nearby botanical gardens would be a lovely event for the afternoon. There are many more herbs there than in backyard gardens, and often there are also true Mary-gardens.

You could take along the Ritual, or the words to the blessing copied out of it, and a little bottle of holy water; and when you were alone together for a while, read the blessing over some small patch of fragrance somewhere out of the way where you disturb no one.

Or if there were friends in the country or the suburbs, I would plan a visit with them, a sharing of foods for a picnic supper and a procession to bless their flowers and herbs.

Or if there were no way to go anywhere, I would make it a celebration around the evening meal in the city apartment.

I would buy a pot of flowers, or a few cut flowers from a pushcart, and go to the grocer’s for some herbs. Celery, chives, parsley, endive, lettuce, and chicory are some of the common salad herbs we use all the time, without thinking of them as herbs.

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Mint for iced tea is another herb we use; so I’d find some of that. Then, when all the other dishes were ready, before mixing the salad or putting the mint in the tea, I’d have my family gather together around these lovely things and have the father or the oldest grown-up read the Blessing of Herbs, right in my own city apartment; or in my own room over my tray, if I lived all alone.

For dessert there would be spiced peaches or pears, and I would use cinnamon to spice them because Scripture says that our Lady is like the smell of sweet cinnamon.

The juice drained off any canned or stewed fruit, brought to a boil and then left to simmer a while with a little extra sugar and a stick of cinnamon, quickly prepares spiced fruit.

Do it the day before, then let it get nice and cold in the refrigerator. I would bring out a book from the library with reproductions in it of the early Christian masters – Italian, French, Flemish – and explain to my family the meanings of the fruits they used as symbols and have my children search for them in pictures. Libraries, encyclopedias, and bookshops will help you find information on symbols.

To decorate a city apartment for the feast, a banner such as described can be used without the standard; or a group of the fruits may be arranged in a bowl, or cut out in simple patterns from bright fabrics or old felts, sewed in a garland around a decorative M on heavy unbleached muslin or linen, or arranged in a group surmounted by an M and used as a center decoration on the table or a hanging on the wall behind it.

Children may make such a banner of colored construction paper and paste, cutting the fruits from paper, silhouette-fashion, and mounting them.

These symbolize only a few of the glorious virtues with which God adorned His Mother. Perhaps it is the most obvious thing in this feast that evades us most successfully.

We are so accustomed to understanding its meaning that we fail to understand it with impact: we will see her womanly, motherly, virginal, presence in Heaven.

This is the great triumph. A creature, child of Adam and Eve, flesh and blood like ourselves, not divine, has so dignified our race by her obedience that we are now adopted sons of God and heirs of Heaven.

And we will see her. Children always put it so well.

I asked them if they understood what Assumption – to be assumed into Heaven – meant. “Yes. Her whole self went to Heaven. Not one crumb was left.”

Only someone who lives with children and knows their language would understand.

They will say, “I love you so much I could eat you up.”

That is why “not one crumb was left” has such eloquent meaning.

Another said, “You mean our Lady is really in Heaven. And when we see her, it will be more than just her soul, but her real face, and her real hands, and her really real smile!” And it will be beautiful. There is a hint of it in her Mass: “The daughter of the King comes in, all beautiful: her robes are of golden cloth.”

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+angel frame+ - 2zxDk-whH8 - print

The wife’s immediate responsibility however is toward her husband. She is his minister, his eye, his hand, his head and heart, in applying his wealth or the produce of his industry to the ends for which God wills it to be employed. -Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, True Womanhood 1894 http://amzn.to/2t7GyVt (afflink)

Excellent! (and short) sermon! “St. Alphonsus Liguori is known as the Most Zealous Doctor of the Church. Let us listen to and reflect upon twelve of the Moral Doctor’s teachings that lead to sanctity. ‘O Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me and make me a saint.'”

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Are You Available?

I am a doer. I like to be accomplishing something at all times. I have my to-do list written out (most of the time) and I have a hard time sitting still.

I also have, in the past five years, been very involved online with this site and the two Facebook Pages I own – Finer Femininity and Forgotten Catholic Manhood.

So this book, Hands Free Mama, has been valuable for me. It reminds me of my priorities…what could be more important than my family? To be present to them is the most important thing of all!

I remember Colleen Hammond, the author of Dressing With Dignity saying that if she helped a million women dress more modestly but lost any of her children through mixed priorities, what would it all be worth? Nothing!

So….be available to your children. Work hard on it. It will be the one thing that will matter most to you when you enter your golden years….that you have not put your dear ones on the back burner!

Here is an excerpt from Rachel’s book:

Are You Available?

by Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama   Blog: Hands Free Mama

When my daughter received the DVD boxed set of Little House on the Prairie for her birthday, I was nearly as excited as she was. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve cuddling with my family as life in Walnut Grove played out on a static-lined television screen.

Yet when I looked at the discs and realized there were forty-four Little House episodes, my first thoughts were very Non – Hands Free.

I looked at that collection of DVDs and saw forty-four opportunities to be otherwise highly productive. Although my inner drill sergeant doesn’t hold as much authority as it once did, that demanding voice of productivity and efficiency still tries to tempt me to the other side — straight into the arms of distraction.

Just think how much you could get accomplished while the girls watch Little House. They will not make a peep for the entire fifty-minute episode, and in that time you could easily knock several items off your to-do list!

But my Hands Free inner voice gently reminded me about what really mattered. This is your chance to sit your constantly moving body down on the couch, hold your daughters, and be a part of their world. Don’t blow it.

So after dinner the following Friday night, we put on our pajamas, popped popcorn, grabbed the softest blankets we own, and pushed the Play button on episode one, “A Harvest of Friends.” I was the first to find a spot on the couch.

And just as my backside hit the leather, my two children drew to my sides as if they were being sucked toward me by the world’s most powerful magnet. One child magnetized to my left, the other to my right.

Not even the tiniest popcorn kernel, should it fall from our hands, could come between this solid mass of togetherness.

Sit on the couch much, Rachel Stafford? I decided this was not the time to berate myself for not doing more couch time with my children.

It was time to enjoy this moment, the one I chose over dishes, laundry, writing, cleaning, emailing, or multitasking all five activities at once.

I had gotten this choice right. And I got the following forty-three consecutive episodes right too. I stayed true to the promise I made myself.

Little House means family time, and my children are fully aware and delighted that we do this together. For that fifty-minute period, I am not a moving target that my daughters have .01 percent percent chance of hitting.

Instead, I am available to sit there and simply love them. I don’t really like to think about it too much, but my older child will only live in my house for ten more years. Ten years. That’s nothing — the blink of an eye.

And if I continue darting about the house, going from one activity to the next for the remaining ten years, I can be sure of one thing: I will not hear my children’s thoughts, questions, revelations, troubles, or triumphs.

Because here’s some reality: No child wants to talk to the back of a parent’s head. No child wants to make an appointment to get a little of a parent’s time. No child wants to talk to a parent who can’t look up from distraction long enough to make eye contact.

Thanks to an experience shared by a blog reader, I’ve been given some insight about what children do want from a parent.

My eighteen-year-old son who left for college in August called me on Sunday night. After we had the “How are classes going?” conversation, the “How much money is in your account?” conversation, and the “Do you have any clean laundry?” conversation, he said, “I really miss you, Mom.”

I was thinking, Yes, I’m sure you do miss me — washing clothes and making dinner.

It was then that I asked him, “Oh, yeah, what do you miss about Mom?” His answer was simple, but it stunned me. “I miss just talking to you. You know, at the end of the day, when we were both home . . . I miss talking to you.”

Before I knew it, I was crying. Of all the things I had done for him as his mom, the thing he missed the most was talking to me.

A few days after reading this, I was gathering activities for Avery to do while we sat at Natalie’s swim meet. Normally I would have packed my writing folder, but it struck me that maybe this was not an opportunity to check something off the list . . . maybe this was an opportunity to be available.

I left my work at home and instead brought a few of my daughter’s favorite books and a snack to share.

Avery spent a lot of the time just sitting on my lap — a lap that, for once, was empty. We had the most wonderful conversation and snuggle time.

As my legs grew numb under the weight of her body, she turned to me and said nine of the most blessed words I have heard since beginning my journey to live Hands Free. “This is the kind of mom I always wanted.”

By “this” I knew exactly what she meant.

Present

Attentive

Still

Available

 Available

Completely available to love her.

“Your work as parents, therefore, is a holy and religious work. You may produce doctors, lawyers, scientists. But to the extent that your children do not reach heaven or are given every opportunity to do so, you have not succeeded. And you will begin to realize the full potentialities of your vocation when you see your family in this light.

In the face of such widespread error, the Church turns hopefully, as she did two thousand years ago, to the family. She would (1) have you recognize the Christian dignity of marriage; (2) strengthen your determination to live your family life in Christ and for Christ; (3) confirm your resistance to the pressures which threaten to destroy family virtue and domestic tranquility; (4) inoculate your family against moral contamination.

For no matter what evil influences flourish outside your home, your family can be an impregnable refuge of Christian life.”
-Fr. George Kelly, The Catholic Family Handbook https://amzn.to/2vycp4R (afflink)

The Catholic Young Lady’s Maglet (Magazine/Booklet)!! Enjoy articles about friendship, courting, purity, confession, the single life, vocations, etc. Solid, Catholic advice…. A truly lovely book for that young and not-so-young single lady in your life! Available here.

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