Now Available! The All-New, Full-Color Catholic Mother Goose, Volume Two!

Catholic mothers everywhere are looking for innovative ways to teach their children the basic truths of our Faith. There is so much out there to offer to those mothers on this journey…..so much in the way of the latest software, latest videos, etc.

Maybe we need to get back to basics!? …The basics of forming those young minds with tools that our grandmothers and those before them used.

Here is a book that fulfills that need...The Catholic Mother Goose, Volume Two! It is a 140 page fun-packed book, vibrantly full-color,  filled with brand-new nursery rhymes that have a touch of our Catholic Faith peeking through the rhythmic lines.

My Catholic Mother Goose Volume One has touched many lives and now you can purchase Volume Two that will have a new and lasting impact!

A peek at some of the pages…..

The All-New, Full-Color Catholic Mother Goose, Volume Two is available here.

Catholic Mother Goose, Volume One is here.

Special Package of Catholic Mother Goose, Volumes One and Two is here.

“The love of parents is made manifest only through sacrifice, respect for the human nature of their children, companionship and a deep interest in the studies, the work, the play and the progress of their children. It does not injure the children by coddling them; it does not stunt them by unreasonable severity in its demands and punishments.” -Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R., 1950’s

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Patience With Our Own Faults and Imperfections

Picking ourselves up after we fall, not getting discouraged, not beating ourselves up……Father Jacques Philippe explains why this is fundamental to our climb in the spiritual life….

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When one has gone a certain distance in the spiritual life, when one truly desires to love the Lord with all his heart, when one has learned to have confidence in God and to abandon himself into His hands in the midst of difficulties, there remains for him, however, a circumstance in which he often risks losing his peace and tranquility of soul and which the devil frequently exploits to discourage and trouble him.

It concerns the vision of his misery, the experience of his own faults, the failures he continues to experience in such and such an area, despite his strong desire to correct himself.

But here also it is important to be aware that the sadness, the discouragement and the anguish of soul that we feel after committing a fault are not good and we must, on the contrary, do everything we can to remain at peace.

In the daily experience of our miseries and faults, this is the fundamental principle that must guide us. It is not so much a question of our making superhuman efforts to completely eliminate our imperfections and our sins (that which is, in any case, beyond our reach!), as it is a question of knowing how, as quickly as possible, to recapture our peace when we have fallen into sin or have been troubled by the experience of our imperfections, and to avoid sadness and discouragement.

This is not laxity, not resignation to mediocrity, but, on the contrary, a way in which to sanctify ourselves more rapidly. There are  a number of reasons for this.

The first reason is the fundamental principle that we have already mentioned many times: God acts in the peace of one’s soul. It is not by our own efforts that we succeed in liberating ourselves from sin; it is only the grace of God which attains this end. Rather than troubling ourselves, it is more efficacious to regain our peace and let God act.

The second reason is that this is more pleasing to God. What is more pleasing to God? Is it when, after experiencing a failure, we are discouraged and tormented, or when we react by saying: “Lord, I ask Your pardon, I have sinned again. This, alas, is what I am capable of doing on my own! But I abandon myself with confidence to Your mercy and Your pardon, I thank You for not allowing me to sin even more grievously.

I abandon myself to You with confidence because I know that one day you will heal me completely and, in the meantime, I ask You that the experience of my misery would cause me to be more humble, more considerate of others, more conscious that I can do nothing by myself, but that I must rely solely on Your love and Your mercy.” The response is clear.

The third reason is that the trouble, the sadness and the discouragement that we feel regarding our failures and our faults are rarely pure; they are not very often the simple pain of having offended God. They are in good part mixed with pride.

We are not sad and discouraged so much because God was offended, but because the ideal image that we have of ourselves has been brutally shaken. Our pain is very often that of wounded pride! This excessive pain is actually a sign that we have put our trust in ourselves – in our own strength and not in God.

Listen to Dom Lorenzo Scupoli whom we have already cited:

“A presumptuous man believes with certainty that he has acquired a distrust of himself and confidence in God (which are the foundations of the spiritual life and therefore that which one must make an effort to acquire), but this is an error that we never recognize better than when we have just experienced a failure.

Because then, if one is troubled by it, if one feels afflicted by it, if it causes one to lose all hope of making new progress in virtue, this is a sign that one has placed all his confidence, not in God, but in himself, and the greater the sadness and despair, the more one must judge himself guilty.

Because he who mistrusts himself greatly and who puts great confidence in God, if he commits some fault, is hardly surprised, he is neither disturbed not chagrined because he sees clearly that this is the result of his weakness and the little care he took to establish his confidence in God.

His failure, on the contrary, teaches him to distrust even more his own strength and to put even greater trust in the help of Him who alone has power: he detests above all his sin; he condemns the passion or vicious habit which was the cause; he conceives a sharp pain for having offended his God, but his pain is always subdued and does not prevent him from returning to his primary occupations, to bear with his familiar trials and to battle until death with his cruel enemies….

It is, again, a very common illusion to attribute to a feeling of virtue this fear and trouble that one experiences after a sin; because, though the uneasiness that follows the sin is always accompanied by some pain, still it does not proceed only from a source of pride or from a secret presumption, caused by too great a confidence one’s own strength.

Thus, then, whoever believes himself affirmed in virtue, is contemptuous toward temptations and comes to understand, by the sad experience of his failures, that he is fragile and a sinner like others, is surprised, as if by something that never should have happened; and, deprived of the feeble support on which he was counting, he allows himself to succumb to chagrin and despair.

This misfortune never happens to those who are humble, who do not presume on themselves and who rely only on God; when they have failed, they are neither surprised not chagrined because the light of truth which illuminates them makes them see that it is a natural result of their weakness and their inconstancy.

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ene-temperedprecious opportunities

We cannot serve the flesh and the spirit; the two masters. What we are seeking to do is more important than what we seek to avoid. The positive aspects of the Kingdom are good works, piety, prayer and sanctity. Description of Heaven (the Kingdom) which is our goal. Our real life is the eternal life. Everything we do on earth is a merit or a demerit for that end. Discussion of peace. True love of self brings us to true love of God. What is true charity? The tranquility of order. Evil can never put men at rest. The peace of Heaven can exist on earth…

Coloring pages for your children…..

Need some inspiration? Visit these Book Lists for some great reading suggestions!

My Book List

Book List for Catholic Men

Book List for the Youth

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An Intelligent Choice of a Mate – Fr. Lovasik

This article is for the single folk out there…and for parents of young adults (this is always good information for parents so we can instruct our children properly).

This book is an excellent choice to help one on the path to choosing a good mate.

Solemn engagement of my daughter and son-in-law with Fr. VanderPutten:

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Clean Love in Courtshipby Father Lovasik

Be on your guard against elements which make for separation and divorce. One of the chief causes of these disorders is that the couple discovers after marriage that they are mismatched; they have little in common. They are uncongenial in temperament and disposition; they differ in moral character and in religious outlook, in culture and tastes.

Association loses its charm; boredom sets in and finally leads to aversion. Test yourself to find out if you are really called to married life with this particular person. As soon as you realize that such a union does not and cannot appeal to you, gently discontinue the courtship regardless of consequences.

It is better to part as friends in good time than to be compelled either to live together very unhappily for life, or to separate as enemies later on. After all, it is the purpose of courtship to learn this very thing.Courtship should be entered upon with a deep sense of responsibility and mutual respect.

Intelligent choice of a mate must not look only to mutual physical attraction, but more so to harmony of tastes,feelings, desires, aspirations, and of temperament. It must weigh spiritual more than physical values.

What has begun as a mere sex intimacy is not likely to end in a happy marriage. In courtship you must also be honest and honorable towards your partner.

Reveal yourself and your family and personal stature with sincerity and truth to the extent to which he or she has the right to this information. However, there are certain things of a family or personal nature one need not and must not tell, such as personal repented sin. They are best left buried and forgotten.

No one except God should ever know of past sins. As soon as you know that a person has no prospect whatever of marrying you, you are in duty bound to discontinue receiving his attentions.

After you are engaged to be married, you can no longer keep company honorably with others, as long as this engagement holds.Listen to the wise voice of the ancient Church which has seen millions of young couples through happy marriages and has only their earthly success and eternal happiness at heart.

The Catholic Church warns you in advance that you will pay a heavy penalty for negligence, haste, and rashness in choosing a partner.

Before she admits candidates to the priesthood, she requires them to spend long years in training and discipline, meditating all the while on the seriousness of the step they contemplate.

Yet Holy Orders imposes no obligation of greater duration than that imposed by matrimony.  Refrain from beginning to keep regular company too soon. If you begin to do so at sixteen or seventeen years, you expose yourself either to the danger of a premature marriage with its frequent mistake of poor choice or you court the hardly lesser evil of an immoderately long courtship with the attendant disadvantages.

You tie yourself down to one person and thus lose the social advantages and contacts that will have a great influence upon your later life. You expose yourself in a special way to temptations against chastity, because this love affair may be a very prolonged one, and the danger of violating chastity increases as the affection is prolonged.

If you begin “to go steady” while you are a student, you will find it almost impossible to do justice to your studies.Since courtship limits your interest to a single person, it should not be undertaken until you are in a position seriously to consider marriage in the not too distant future.

This presupposes that you have attained the age to understand the great responsibilities of marriage and that you have enough financial resources to establish and maintain a home.

Marrying in haste nearly always means repenting bitterly at leisure. Do not prefer to be sorry to being certain.While the Church warns against courtships of undue brevity, she likewise counsels against those of excessive length.

No hard and fast rule can be laid down determining the exact length of courtship. It should be of sufficient duration to allow young people to learn the character and disposition of each other quite well.

This can usually be done in a period ranging from six months to a year. Ordinarily regular company-keeping should not be protracted much beyond a year. Aside from the obvious moral dangers involved, long courtships are undesirable because they often end in no marriage or in an unhappy marriage.

Grievous injustice can be done to the girl if the man terminates the courtship after monopolizing her attention for several years, and depriving her of other opportunities. Courtship is not the end but the vestibule leading to the great Sacrament.

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There will be some things, of course, that very soon they will not want to do for her..dull, dreary things, fetching, cleaning, carrying. But these also they must be trained to do. The mother will often want to save time and trouble by doing them for herself, but if she does she will hurt her children’s character. She must train them young to work for others, to be unselfish, to give. -Dominican Nun, Australia, 1950’s www.finerfem.com

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The Rejected Suitor

 

 

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by Anne Ross Kootz

There so is much accumulated wisdom, so easily accessible now, for young women who want to live holy lives. How to: prepare for roles as traditional wives and mothers; enjoy a chaste and successful courtship; begin a happy and fruitful marriage with a God-fearing man. FinerFem.com is itself a first-rate source of this information.

Gratefully, I scan this and other sources of womanly interests, though I am the mother of sons, only. I have spent myself for more than 26 years trying to form ornery, grimy little boys into strong, virtuous, and devout future husbands (and priests.) You see how I might also have an interest in anything that will help other mothers rear their daughters as future wives!

In all this wealth of information, however, there is a neglected element deserving of a closer look.

Recall: God-fearing Catholic men are just like any others when it comes to our fairer sex. We fascinate them. Yes. Absolutely. Fascinate. Most men manage to keep themselves under cool control, but within their minds and hearts… lightning is flashing, bells are ringing, and storms are raging when in the presence of the Feminine. These men are to be commended for their self-mastery!

Because of this fascination, good men really want to please us. Eagerly! With tremendous effort! Sometimes they will even ask their mothers what to do, because mom might remember being a girl.

So, what is the problem? Because we fascinate them, men are vulnerable to our attention, and lack of attention. A quick smile will send him, interiorly, into flights of happiness. One short, but pleasant conversation will put a spring in his step for days. Usually we are adept at genteel behavior. Sadly, sometimes we are focused on our own interests, forgetting that hidden weakness in a man’s armor. A thoughtless word, or snub, can injure his heart without our ever intending it!

When someone simply wants to engage you in conversation, common courtesy suggests you give at least a few minutes of your time. If you already know a man, and welcome his attention, conversation comes easily. As for a potential suitor, whom you do not yet know well, a few friendly chats could lead to pleasant discoveries! Impromptu opportunities abound – for instance, invite him to wash dishes with you after a party!

But what if you do know him, for many months or years now, and really aren’t interested? What can a lady do to deflect unwanted attention? Evasion is the easy, automatic response. But is it the right response?

When you avoid a man because of his unwanted attentions, you merely drag him along. He wonders if you are simply shy, and he should persevere gently until you are more comfortable with him. He may suspect you don’t like him, or there is simply no sparkle for you, and he should back away. He just doesn’t know. And he can’t read your mind. This situation confuses him. Remember, he wants to please you. He is trying to find out how to do this. How can you help him? Use words!

Here are some suggestions. First, practice the virtue of charity at all times. In the case of the unwanted suitor, this means you must be courageous enough to find words to tell him.  Maybe you appreciate his kindness toward you, but would prefer to keep your friendship on a purely casual level. Do you already have a mutual agreement with another man? He may not want to hear it, but he will prefer the truth to the uncertainty.

Collect your thoughts before speaking to him. Focus for a moment on his positive attributes. Then your remarks will give him hope to find an good woman who will appreciate him. Is he an attractive man? Intelligent, warm, humorous, kind? Is he admirably devout? Does he sing or serve at Holy Mass? Observe his qualities, and acknowledge them. Does God have a better match for him?  Take the time to write your ideas. When you have formulated your best response, please tell him at the next reasonable opportunity.

You can, of course, write him a letter. But telling him in person, discretely, may better support his inherent human dignity.

What circumstances might permit this private communication? Where you can be seen, but not overheard, by others. For example, walk with him for a moment in a parking lot, or at the edge of a sports field. Out of doors is best, as fresh air and open spaces will help him manage his disappointment.

Once you make it very clear, verbally, kindly, you are not the one for him, he will be briefly stung. But he will probably recover quickly, and be free to notice another woman – perhaps one who has been hoping to get his attention. Thus you may be doing two acts-of-mercy in one!

“Love one another as I have loved you.” Your goal is to live a holy life now and gain eternal life in heaven. The exciting time of young adulthood, with vocation discernment and courtships, is part of that process. You can leave a trail of wounded hearts, or a legacy of graciousness. Bestow a treasury of warm memories on all who know you, including that rejected suitor.

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“No—the age of chivalry has not so utterly passed away… the spirit which animated the knightly institutions of old still remains to inspire lofty aims, sentiments of the most exalted and self-denying generosity, and deeds of chivalrous daring and heroic self-sacrifice, as worthy of eternal remembrance as those that ever graced the lives of a Godfrey, a Tancred, or a St. Louis.” – Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, True Men As We Need Them, 1878, Painting by Franz Gullery
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The Catholic Mother (Part Three)

The Catholic Mother (Part One)

The Catholic Mother (Part Two)

Profession of Motherhood

All this makes the profession of motherhood a very high responsibility. Indeed, it is a profession more challenging than any other profession in the world.

There are professions which demand of those who practice them that they should be ready to face death in the discharge of their professional duties. Thus a soldier and a sailor have to be ready to give their lives upon demand. A doctor, a nurse, a priest, have each of them often to risk their strength, or even their lives, if the need of human service demands them.

But yet soldier, sailor, doctor, nurse, priest, may live to ripe old age without actually having to put their lives in jeopardy. They may never be in danger from the duties of their profession.

A mother is not like that. She has not only to be ready to endanger her life: she has actually to risk that danger. No mother but has actually faced that risk when she has acquitted herself again of motherhood.

Hence motherhood asks of every mother a character of heroism. Mothers are the most constantly heroic of mankind.

Mothers have therefore nearly always been found on the side of religion, for religion demands heroism of its followers.

Religion is not an opiate, for religion does not help people to forget, but to remember. It does not dull people. It does not say Take, but Give.

Religion asks everything of its believers, for religion is love, and love is the most demanding, the most costing, of all the passions of man. That is why Our Lord compressed the whole of religion into one commandment: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. whole soul, whole strength.

Mothers perhaps more easily understand this than others (except young men, perhaps, who are learning it by falling in love).

Moreover, not only are mothers heroic because they are constantly being challenged to risk their lives, but also because more than any others they find their profession to be a whole-time job.

Mothers are never unemployed, or should not be, for their children are not merely to be born of them but tended by them until death parts them. Children take a deal of tending, children of all ages; and here, in the number of a mother’s children, even their father is to be reckoned.

To the mother, her very husband is always a child. He needs looking after as much as any of them, but he must not realize that she so judges of him. He is even more sensitive than the children are to the indignity of being publicly looked after by the mother. That only means that she must wait on him with the greater tact.

But her cares are only increased the more by this, and her employment is only the more continuous. She has to go on looking after them as long as any of them are still at home; that is what inevitably happens, for she is the home.

The family carries the nation, she carries the family. The whole of Christendom rests on the mother’s knee.

A New Age

Mothers are sometimes discouraged by their experiences to believe that these old ideals of motherhood are done with. In some moods they are led to think that the world has altered and that children no longer obey their parents nor will be governed by them as they once did.

It may be true. But if it is true, the cause for it is manifest. If a whole generation of youth no longer is governed by its parents, no longer reverences them, is utterly selfish towards them, the only people who can have brought this about are the parents themselves.

Individual cases indeed do not prove that individual parents have failed, for good parents can have ill-bred children and, contrariwise, careless parents may have children who worship them.

But it remains true that a whole generation can fail only because the generation immediately before it disregarded its duty.

The excuse is sometimes made that the young folk grew up in the war without a father to look after them. That alone would not have caused the trouble. The real cause was not that the fathers were not present, but that the mothers were absent. They went to work, or were touched by their excitement, and neglected their duty because, in that pitiful phrase, they wanted a good time.

Wise Self-Sacrifice

Perhaps, after all, the cause of that selfish generation of children was not exactly because mothers were negligent of their duty in that they did not look after their children. The selfishness of children may be due to another cause which, however, will not free the parents from blame.

It may be unselfishness that has been the mother’s undoing. To be self-sacrificing is admirable and motherly; but it has its disadvantages. It can be unwise.

Let us put it in this way. A mother will come to the priest and complain of her child to him. “Father, I have done everything for him, and now he turns round and is most selfish to me.”

Poor mother! All the more shall we pity her because his selfishness is in part her fault. Why did she do everything for her child? She should not have done everything. She should have let him do things for her himself.

When children are little, the mother does everything for them since they cannot do anything for themselves. But gradually she has to steel her heart against doing everything for them. They must be trained to do things for themselves. They must not be forever dependent on her. She has to train them to get on without her, to be independent of her, to live their own lives, to look after themselves.

Even that is not enough. They must not only be trained to do things for themselves, they must be trained to do things for her. And they will want to do many things for her; that is their nature, they will want to help.

There will be some things, of course, that very soon they will not want to do for her..dull, dreary things, fetching, cleaning, carrying. But these also they must be trained to do. The mother will often want to save time and trouble by doing them for herself, but if she does she will hurt her children’s character. She must train them young to work for others, to be unselfish, to give.

It is an almost inevitable effect of a large family that the children of themselves grow up generous and tolerant. This is thumped into them by the aid of many fists. But with a small family, it has all to de done by the mother and father. They have to do for their children what brothers and sisters would have done for them, for, whatever happens, the work needs to be done.

Mothers, then, must not allow their self-sacrificing nature, their heroism, to prevent them from demanding sacrifices in return from their children. Their needs and not her needs must be remembered. They need to be trained to give. Of their very childhood they are impulsive and generous, but this spontaneous character of theirs can be hurt. It can also be developed. Let mothers look into it.

That only is wise self-sacrifice when it encourages and demands sacrifice. A generous mother can reduce her children to selfishness, a mother who does everything for her child has actually taught that child to be selfish. She has no right to complain of his subsequent ingratitude. Her folly has ruined her child.

That is why it has happened that good mothers have ill-bred children; they were not really good mothers, for goodness includes prudence and wisdom.

Really good mothers are also wise mothers.

“The man takes you to the movie, to dinner, to a dance, to a party, or for an automobile drive, but you owe him no liberties for this. If you are an earnest Catholic girl, you will retain the grace of God and your self-respect, while enjoying the esteem of all good men. You will even make evil minds pause, dazzled by the purity in your eyes, the modesty of your actions, and the reserve in your words.” -Fr. Lovasik, Clean Love in Courtship https://amzn.to/2zcAFO7 (afflink)

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The Spirit of Hospitality – Emilie Barnes

The following little story about the Gift of Hospitality struck a chord with me.

Like Emilie Barnes, our life was not an easy one, growing up in the big city of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Oftentimes we didn’t know how the food was going to be put on the table.

My mom went through a lot in those years, trying to work as a nurse’s aid, manage a household of an unusually large amount of children for those parts and that time (there were 6 of us kids).

Yet through it all, my mom had an openness and kindness to other people that was an example to all of us.

She never turned down anyone when it came to raiding the refrigerator or making them feel welcome. If someone walked in at mealtime they were invited to sit with us even though the fare may not have been ample.

It was an inspiration to me!

This little anecdote reiterates the value of an Open Heart, Open Home mentality and what an example we can be in this realm for our children.

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From Emilie Barnes:Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home: Creating a Place You and Your Family Will Love

The “parlor” was tiny, just an extra room behind the store. But the tablecloth was spotless, the candles were glowing, the flowers were bright, the tea was fragrant. Most of all, the smile was genuine and welcoming whenever ever my mother invited people to “come on back for a cup of tea.”

How often I heard her say those words when I was growing up. And how little I realized the mark they would make on me.

Those were hard years after my father died, when Mama and I shared three rooms behind her little dress shop.

Mama waited on the customers, did alterations, and worked on the books until late at night. I kept house – planning and shopping for meals, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry – while going to school and learning the dress business as well.

Sometimes I felt like Cinderella – work, work, work. And the little girl in me longed for a Prince Charming to carry me away to his castle. There I would preside over a grand and immaculate household, waited on hand and foot by attentive servants. I would wear gorgeous dresses and entertain kings and queens who marveled at my beauty and my wisdom as they lavished me with gifts.

But in the meantime, of course, I had work to do.

And although I didn’t know it, I was already receiving a gift more precious than any dream castle could be. For unlike Cinderella, I lived with a loving mother who understood the true meaning of sharing and of joy – a mother who brightened people’s lives with her gift of hospitality.

Our customers quickly learned that Mama offered a sympathetic ear as well as elegant clothes and impeccable service. Often they ended up sharing their hurts and problems with her. And then, inevitably, would come the invitation: “Let me make you a cup of tea.”

She would usher our guests back to our main room, which served as a living room by day and a bedroom by night.

Quickly a fresh cloth was slipped on the table, a candle lit, fresh flowers set out if possible, and the teapot heated. If we had them, she would pull out cookies or a loaf of banana bread.

There was never anything fancy, but the gift of her caring warmed many a heart on a cold night.

And Mama didn’t limit her hospitality to just our guests. On rainy days I often came home from school to a hot baked potato, fresh from the oven. Even with her heavy workload, Mama would take the time to make this little Cinderella feel like a queen.

My mother’s willingness to open her life to others – to share her home, her food, and her love – was truly a royal gift.

She passed it along to me, and I have the privilege of passing it on to others. What a joy to be part of the warmth and beauty of hospitality!

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“Hospitality is so much more than entertaining-so much more than menus and decorating and putting on a show. To me, it means organizing my life in such a way that there’s always room for one more, always an extra place at the table or an extra pillow and blanket, always a welcome for those who need a listening ear. It means setting aside time for planned camaraderie and setting aside lesser priorities for impromptu gatherings.” -Emilie Barnes. Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home

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Humility, Confidence….

From Searching For and Maintaining Peace, Fr. Jacques Philippe

ST. TERESA OF AVILA (1515-1582)

Genuine and False Humility

Let us beware also, my daughters, of certain forms of humility that are suggested by the devil.

He throws us into the most lively disquietude by depicting the gravity of our sins. This is one of the areas where he troubles souls in many ways….

Everything  these souls do seems to be surrounded by danger; all their good deeds, as good as they may be, seem unuseful to them. Such discouragement causes them to give up, they feel powerless to accomplish any good, because they imagine that everything that is praiseworthy in others is bad in themselves.

Humility, as great as it may be, does not disquiet, trouble or agitate the soul; it is rather accompanied by peace, joy and repose.

Without doubt, awareness of misery clearly shows the soul that it merits hell and plunges it into affliction; it appears to the soul that all other creatures must view it with horror, and justly so; the soul does not dare, in a manner of speaking, ask for mercy.

But when humility is genuine, this pain fills the soul with such
sweetness and contentment that the soul would not like to be deprived of it; it does not trouble the soul and hardly constricts it; rather, on the contrary, it enlarges it and makes it better able to serve God.

This has nothing in common with the other type of pain, which upsets all things, agitates everything, completely disturbs the soul and is full of anger.

In my opinion, the devil would like us to believe that we possess humility and, if he could, he would like to cause us, in exchange, to lose all confidence in God.

ST. MARIE OF THE INCARNATION (1566-1618)

Abandonment to God’s Will

If we could, with a single interior glance, see all the goodness and mercy that exists in God’s designs for each one of us, even in what we call disgraces, pains and afflictions, our happiness would consist in throwing ourselves into the arms of the Divine Will, with the abandon of a young child that throws himself into the arms of his mother.

We would behave, in all things, with the intention of pleasing God and then we would maintain ourselves in a holy repose, fully convinced that God is our Father and that He desires our salvation more than we ourselves desire it.

Be quick to admit when you’re wrong. Don’t waste a minute holding on to your pride. Okay, so I’ve been terrible at this one. I just hate to be wrong! But what a silly way to live – and to love. So if you’re wrong? Just say so and get it over with. It’s not as bad as it might first sound. -Lisa Jacobson, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband https://amzn.to/2NsZyII (afflink)

A short sermon on loving our neighbor & not being scandalous to them. True love. For more please visit http://www.audiosancto.org & remember to say 3 Hail Marys for the priest…

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Drinking Habits – Questions People Ask About Their Children, Fr. Daniel Lord, S.J.

Frank Duff, wearing his PTAA pin

This subject is dear to my heart. I have been wanting, for some time, to tell you of an Association we belong to in our home. It is called the PTAA, the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. It is a Catholic, Dublin, Ireland-based Association and one of the first members was Frank Duff (pictured above) who founded the Legion of Mary (and is now a Venerable.)

In the following excerpt, Fr. Lord laments the fact that the pledge is no longer in use….well….it is! Through this association, you can make the pledge to abstain for alcohol until you are 21, or for a temporary time (say, a year) or you can become a “life-er”, which is what my husband and I are.

We wear a pin (hubby’s lousy at this…he loses it…so do I), and say a prayer twice a day offering our abstinence for those who suffer from intemperance.

Our daughters have taken the pledge for a time. Margy did it for a 3 year period, Rosie has done it for a year and then renewed. They say a different prayer and wear a different pin than our “Life-er” pin. It is great for the young people to be involved in seeing the dangers of alcohol…and doing something about it!

So many people suffer from the ravages of alcohol. No, of course, alcohol is not evil, and if used in moderation, it is a gift. (And our kids understand this, too).

But…so often we see those who can’t (or choose not to) do the moderation thing.

Alcoholism touches so many of us. It is not prejudiced….it ruins lives among the poor and rich, among both men and women, the lower class and the elite, Catholics and Protestants, etc….

So, if you want to check out this Association and make the pledge….go for it! It can be such a valuable mortification! It is there for those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism and for those wishing to make this sacrifice to help those who suffer from it!  Click here for more info: PTAA

And now here is Father Daniel A. Lord from Questions People Ask About Their Children…..

How do these modern children pick up drinking habits?

From the drinking habits of adults. Children are naturally imitative. They ape anything they see or hear. They learn to speak by mouthing the sounds they hear around them. Their first educational processes in school and out of school are through imitation.

Before they know what faith means, they imitate the religious practices of their parents; they make a funny little motion with their hands that is somehow their reproduction of the sign of the cross.

It happens that today adults are doing a lot of plain and fancy drinking. If the children see pleasant drinking in the family, wine or beer served in moderation at meals, the cocktail an additional luxury of greater moment, they stand a fine chance of associating it with normal, wholesome family living. They may learn to drink without acquiring bad drinking habits.

If mother and father are known never to drink, and if early their parents tell them why they do not drink, the children may follow their ways.

The reasons for total abstinence can well be good and can readily be made appealing: the thirst of Christ, the dangers of drinking, the better fun that a young person can have without drinking, the ugliness of the drunkard, self-control, the bodily strength and athletic skill of nondrinkers, the desire to bring one’s body and soul to full and unimpeded development.

Right now, however, the child is constantly stimulated to imitate his drinking elders. Hardly a motion picture is shown in which the leading man and leading woman aren’t taking a drink. In some of the recent pictures almost continuous drinking by everyone marks the development of the film.

And in some pictures that most repulsive of humans, the drunk, is treated as if he were a delightfully pleasant, charming eccentric.

The children in their room upstairs or adjacent to the living room hear their parents and the guests getting high, tight, and maudlin—or quarrelsome and stupid. What is the effect?

First fear, then revulsion, then angry protest, then an accustomed acquiescence, then more than a suspicion that drinking must be fun or accompanies fun, then the desire to be grown-up and adult too—then the sampling of the drink . . . and the start of the drinking habits of “these modern children.”

We American Catholics made a great mistake when we allowed the total-abstinence pledge to be dropped–to disappear, in fact, from the safeguards of youth. Once that pledge was part of the ritual that surrounded first Holy Communion. All children were expected to take the pledge until the age of twenty-one. It was a great idea.

But it was killed by that unfortunate era known as prohibition. In our desire to protest against the thing we called morality by law, we endangered morality by habit, example, and free choice.

I sincerely wish that that pledge could be restored.

But even the pledge will not save the younger generation so long as the older generation sets the current example of substituting drinking for practically every form of social life….so long as children see drink thrust at them from the screen, the newsstands, and the practices of slightly older boys and girls.

This young father drinks beer continuously in the presence of his four young children. Will the children grow up to be drunkards?

Even should I peer with concentrated attention into the father’s most recent glass of beer, I could not clearly see the future.

I happened to know however a certain father who was always just a little bit sodden. He would have raged at you had you suggested that he ever got drunk. He took only a few drinks during the course of the evening; that was all. He was never completely drunk.. ,but he was never completely sober.

With real pity I watched the reaction of this man’s children to him. His eldest daughter positively hated him. She was ashamed of him and disgusted with him. When she brought home some of her young friends, he was likely to be a little maudlin and not quite clear in his speech. He tended to paw and be silly or sentimental.

His only son thoroughly despised him and regarded him as a sot. The youngster hated drink in all forms and didn’t touch a drop—as long as I knew him, which was into his early manhood.

His second daughter was simply sorry for his wife, her mother. She avoided him when she could and concentrated her love and thought on the mother. When he spoke to his children, they faced him with baleful eyes. His influence was not as bad… because it was nil. Those children were, as a they were concerned, fatherless.

I think I felt sorrier for him than I did for his children.

One who, in order to please God, perseveres in prayer although he finds no consolation in it, but rather repugnance, gives Him a beautiful proof of true love. –Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy www.finerfem.com

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Each link of the antique brass-plated wire is hand-made and wrapped around itself making the loop permanent.

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Improper Liberties – Fr. Lovasik

 My thoughts: Vincent and I met while we were both working at a Catholic shrine. We had the sacraments readily available and we went to daily Mass, daily Benediction and to Confession weekly! What an incredible blessing that was! It provided the grace and protection needed for two young people in love, who lived in very close proximity of each other!

This kind of access to the Sacraments is not always possible but it is so important to incorporate the helps of our holy faith during this rather precarious time of our lives!

We need help from above, but we have to ask for it!Older pictures 039

Improper Liberties

There is no love between persons of the opposite sex which does not aim at nature’s design implanted by God, namely, the bringing of children into the world.

Since parenthood is unlawful outside of marriage, indulgence in free love for its own sake outside marriage and apart from all intention of marriage, is unlawful and mortally sinful. The only love-making which is morally justified is that of lawful courtship, with possible marriage in view and with all the restraints of respect and modesty proper courtship and marriage imply.

Worldlings try to prove to you that sinful ways are natural and that there is no wrong in obeying certain natural impulses when they call you to indulge in thoughts, desires or acts which are against the sixth and ninth commandments.

Do not deceive yourself nor permit yourself to be deceived!

Impurity is not sweet, though temptation and the tempter would urge that such sin is desirable. Lust lures, but in the lure lies death.

If you think of man as a high-grade animal or a cultured brute, you are not going to be very backward about taking and permitting liberties on dates and in courtship.

But if you regard your friend and yourself as Temples of the Holy Ghost — which you are—then you will be very careful not to desecrate those temples, though the tendencies of the lower man forever urge you to do so.

If you defile His temples, God gave you His word that He will destroy you, for St. Paul says: “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which you are.” (1 Cor. 3, 17.)

That destruction need not be death: most often, following sinful dating and courtship, punishment takes the shape of destruction of peace and joy in marriage. The best way to forestall so horrid a disaster is to steer clear of every carelessness in the observance of Christian modesty in company-keeping.

Nature has endowed woman with a stronger instinct for modesty than man. That is the saddest moment in a girl’s life when for the first time she kneels before the crucifix or image of Our Lady and feels ashamed to look into the eyes of Jesus and Mary.

The stain of a sin of impurity wiped out by one fatal sweep all the previous beauty and charm of her virtue. She has not the heart to meet her mother’s loving glance by looking her fondly in the eye, but casts her eyes down self-accusingly.

Woman’s welfare is more directly bound up with the preservation of chastity than that of man. It ought to be her special concern to safeguard this beautiful virtue. She can exert a special power over man in this regard, and it is her sacred duty to use this power.

She can sharpen man’s conscience in these matters and inspire him with a sense of reverence with respect to everything that pertains to sex.

It depends largely on her whether the sex relation will be ennobled or degraded. Man is inclined to look up to her as an ideal; it is her fault if she steps down from the pedestal and cheapens herself.

The fact is that woman suffers more severely from laxity in sex matters than man and that, consequently, in self-defense she must demand an absolute respect for the virtue of chastity and allow no compromise.

A young woman who prevails on her fiancé to approach the sacraments with her at regular intervals builds up a strong bulwark against improper advances and obtains the best guarantee for a happy future.

Nature also gave man the instinct for the maintenance of manly honor and chivalry, which prompts him to earn the respect, attachment, and love of a pure woman. Nature inclines him to be a chivalrous protector of her virtue and honor, making him willing to suffer any hardship in order to keep her innocence from every harm, as he would in the case of his own sister.

When, instead of protecting a woman’s virtue against others, man himself turns traitor and, to satisfy his low carnal desires, does what he can to wreck it, he disgraces his manhood, plays false to his title of Christian, and renders himself an object of scorn and disgust to the woman he seduces.

A man who takes undue personal liberties with a girl is her deadliest enemy—a robber who has deprived her, not of all her money and jewels, but of her greatest possession, her spotless innocence.

The meanest criminal, even if he murdered her in cold blood, would not be able to harm her as she has been harmed by her so-called” friend.” A girl’s worst enemy is this sort of “friend,” who, demon like, desecrated and devastated the beautiful temple of her soul. The preservation of chastity depends on the presence of honest and genuine love. He who sincerely loves will keep the proper distance and will not allow the bloom to be worn off the flower of love by cheapening, immoral intimacies?

True love gives strength of character and assists in the acquisition of self-control. It never takes advantage of another for the sake of personal gratification. To preserve bodily integrity before marriage, a young man must also possess some knowledge of women. Good and pure-minded women inspire respect and make the task of a young man easy, for he will have no difficulty in keeping the right distance.

A self-respecting young man will have nothing to do with girls of loose morals who hold themselves cheap and sell their favors like wares. But it is the height of chivalry to deal with an intermediary group: thoughtless, superficial girls, who play with fire.

They test to the utmost the character of a good young man. He must protect these silly creatures against their folly and against his own passions which they foolishly arouse.

In order that a young man may keep the virtue of chastity intact in himself and in his prospective life mate, he must firmly believe in the possibility of a chaste life before marriage and be convinced that God demands sexual abstinence outside the married state. God imposes no duty that is beyond our power, and He knows well what man can accomplish aided by His grace.

This realization will influence the young man’s attitude towards his fiancée and make him feel ashamed of any improper intimacies. Very wisely a decent girl will conclude that if her lover insists on indulging in mutual indecent liberties in courtship, and if he cannot master himself in the period immediately preparatory to marriage, when this mastery is comparatively easy, she cannot expect him to control himself after marriage, when control is likely to be more difficult.

What chance would she have for salvation and happiness in a marriage in which her partner would be a constant occasion of sin to her? The loss of chastity will be a terrible memory in afterlife and a source of painful reproach.

Chastity untarnished will be a source of moral strength and the best guarantee of fidelity in the marital union.

A frequent reason for cursed marriages is the folly of couples who under the screen of courtship usurp the privileges of married life without assuming the burdens of it. Had they abstained from illicit love making in their courtship, God would have blessed them with the sacred and lasting love the Sacrament of Matrimony and its subsequent blessings bestow.

Since they loved in an unholy way before they married, God consigns them to a loveless life after their marriage. Not infrequently they must bemoan in vain their punishment or trial of not having children.

Nature has its fixed purposes and limits. Once these are willfully perverted, ignored or ruthlessly exhausted by immoral practices, no regret or promise of betterment will ever restore nature’s forces to their productive power.

Against such sins St. Paul warns, “Be hot deceived: God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that sows in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that sows in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting.’? (Gal. vi. 7, 8.)

When you prepare for a date, you may make yourself as attractive as possible; that is the sensible thing to do if you do it with a good intention, that is, to show that you respect both your escort and yourself by making yourself as innocently inviting as you can, but by all means be reserved and hold your treasures from rough hands and evil desires. Rather die than permit yourself to be embraced and kissed by the men who seek your company and extend their social courtesies only to demand that you pay by surrender to their desires.

The man takes you to the movie, to dinner, to a dance, to a party, or for an automobile drive, but you owe him no liberties for this. If you are an earnest Catholic girl, you will retain the grace of God and your self-respect, while enjoying the esteem of all good men. You will even make evil minds pause, dazzled by the purity in your eyes, the modesty of your actions, and the reserve in your words.

🌸Take joy in your femininity, for it is a gift. The way we dress and how we conduct ourselves is a testimony to the world of the dignity of a woman. How much the world needs this light to shine to counteract the darkness that is all around! Be a light! -Finer Femininity

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This graceful Vintaj necklace can be worn every day as a reminder of your devotion to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, the saintly parents of St. Therese the Little Flower. Get it blessed and you can use it also as a sacramental.
Each link of the antique brass-plated wire is hand-made and wrapped around itself making the loop permanent. The wire is wrapped around some of the beads giving it a very unique touch.

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