Meek and Lowly, Let us Be…Full of Goodness, Full of Thee

In our roles as wives and mothers, we are called to love, bless, and encourage our husbands and our children.

We would like our families to remember us as joyful and loving.

I think we all know that a meek and quiet spirit leads us toward these goals, while anger and a quick (and loud) temper destroys the relationships that are so dear to our hearts.

Being meek and quiet may not come naturally to us (and probably doesn’t for most of us….so take heart, you’re not alone!), we must pray for it as it leads to peace, contentment and blessings.

No matter how we have messed up in the past when it comes to meekness and kindness, let us forgive ourselves and, with hope and joy, ask our Lady to bless us with these gifts! She will surely answer such a prayer!IMG_0314

Father Lasance stresses the importance of Kindness and Meekness in this excerpt from his little book Kindness, The Bloom of Charity.

How many a noble work has been nipped in the bud by the blast of an unkind judgment; how many a generous heart has been crushed in its brightest hopes by a jealous criticism; how many a holy inspiration, destined to bear abundant fruit for God and souls, has been forced back into the poor heart from whence it had ascended, there to be stifled utterly, and forever, leaving that heart, as the poet so graphically represents it, “like a deserted bird’s nest filled with snow,” because unkindness had robbed it of that for which, perhaps, alone it cared to live.

How much, then, we may believe has been lost to the world of all that is good and great and beautiful through the instrumentality of unkindness; and if it be thus, what developments, on the other hand, may we not expect, in the order of grace as well as of nature, in the hearts and minds of men beneath the genial sun of kindness?

Let us be kind if we would promote the interests of that Heart of which kindness was the special characteristic.

Let it not be in isolated acts, “few and far between”; this is not the kindness of Jesus’ Heart. No, it must be like prayer, a habitual disposition of heart which is ready to manifest itself without any effort and almost unconsciously, at all seasons and in all circumstances, and thus it will be with hearts which are united to that Heart of love.

Kindness will flow from them, as it were, naturally, just as the flowers give forth their perfume, the birds their song, and as the sun shines down alike on good and bad, as it goes on its daily circuit– because all this is of their very nature.

In the most trivial things of daily life the spirit of kindness should render itself evident.

Kindness is as the bloom upon the fruit– it renders charity and religion attractive and beautiful. Without kindness, even charitable works lose their power of winning souls; for without it the idea of love of anything supernatural –in a word, of Jesus, is not conveyed to the minds by the works performed, even though they be done from a right motive.

There is such a thing as doing exterior actions, which are intended to be charitable, ungraciously.

Now, actions thus performed do not manifest the kindness of the Heart of Jesus, nor will they be efficacious in extending the empire of His love or in winning souls to His kingdom.

My son, in thy good deeds, make no complaint, and when thou givest anything, add not grief by an evil word. Shall not the dew assuage the heat? So also the good word is better than the gift. Lo, is not a word better than a gift? But both are with a justified man. –Ecclus. xviii. 15-17.

Summer feeling - 2zxD0-b2au - print

Build your husband up in your children’s presence. It is up to you to assure he is a hero in their eyes. They should know why he works so hard….and that it is the reason for the roof over their heads and the food on the table. That time when Dad arrives home needs to be a highlight in their day! -Finer Femininity

4 Catholic Hearth Stories! Joseph and the Bow Shoot, Two Tea Parties, Brendan the Seafarer, Celine’s Advent!

Catholic Hearth Stories are tales filled with traditional, old-fashioned values. They are about everyday situations in the life of a Catholic family…Tales about home, friends, fun, sacrifice, prayer, etc. These are full-color books (approximately 40 pages each)  sure to capture the heart of your children. For more information and availability click here.

Coloring pages for your children….

14192137_1045447418908580_2342711794643368863_n39dbed34e23763cb9b112047561054ec48 Winter Coloring Pages 2026d837fc98f83491525686ff3e9bda1a6e14064067_1045410722245583_393461781464083969_n14232500_1045421048911217_6756281267813850794_n

Take a peek! Available here.

22448317_759195647615781_4570763390921745454_n

checkedappleline

 

Lovely, Durable Wire-Wrapped Rosaries! Available here.

Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making jewelry or rosaries by hand. In wire wrapping, rosaries are made using jewelry wire to make components. Wire components are then connected to one another using hand techniques with no soldering or heating of the wire. Frequently, in this approach, a wire is bent into a loop or other decorative shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component making that loop or decorative shape permanent. Because of this technique for wrapping wire around itself this craft is called wire wrapping. Not only is it quite beautiful but it makes the rosaries sturdy and durable.

 

 

In the Park – What a Baby Is

A beautiful meditation for you today….

From Mind the Baby by Mary Perkins

AT LAST we are safely in the park, Jonjo and Thomas Edmund and I. Jonjo abandons his tricycle and runs over to watch the big boys playing football. Thomas Edmund bounces up and down in his stroller with wild impatience to be out and doing.

I lay the bag of necessities, apples and cookies and cleansing tissue, down on the bench; lift Thomas Edmund out and set him down on his two unsteady feet. He staggers around for a moment, looks at me questioningly, and then makes for the nearest pile of leaves under a big tree.

The autumn sun shines low and warm on yellow leaves and grass. Mothers and children, tricycles and carriages are dotted here and there in the golden haze.

Jonjo’s cries of joy come reassuringly over the stubble; he has been invited to join a “football game,” conducted by a kindly-looking man with two other four-year-olds. He will be well taken care of: I can sit down on the bench in peace and watch Thomas Edmund.

There he stands, such a small little boy, surrounded by such a lot of bumpy grass and overshadowed by such a very big tree. There are only twenty-five inches of him, from the top of his yellow head to the soles of his business-like brown shoes; but obviously he is the focal point of all this scenery–and not only to a mother’s eye, for that man and woman over there are watching him just as intently as I am.

Why is it that however beautiful a landscape may be, a baby in it is always the center of attention? What is a baby anyhow that people should stop and smile at him–even the most improbable people, such as crotchety old gentlemen and cross young ladies?

“What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him?” If God is thus mindful of a Thomas Edmund, it is no wonder that we pay some attention to him… “Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with honor and glory.”

Perhaps it is because God’s making of a baby is still so evident and still so unspoiled that we all stop to look.

But only “a little lower than the angels”? It must take a great deal of humility in an angel to recognize that he is only a little higher in the scale of creation than a small human being like Thomas Edmund; let alone to acknowledge that God has crowned that funny round yellow head with such honor and glory of baptismal grace that our son is, in super-nature if not in nature, the very equal of the angel.

Look at the little-less-than-angel over there, gazing in wonder at a squirrel running up and down the tree-trunk–Thomas Edmund Ryan, a human creature and a child of God; by nature akin to the ground and the grass and the tree and the squirrel, and to his guardian angel, and by

Baptism made a partaker of the divine nature. What a span of reality in one small being!

He is sitting down now, his fat legs wide apart, his small back straight and sturdy (if only we grownups could sit like that!) turning a twig over and over in his square little hands, examining it from all angles, chewing it now and then, and occasionally uttering a loud “Aii!” of admiration.

“Man is a creature composed of body and soul, made to the image and likeness of God.” …I can see Thomas’ square little body, I can feel its weight in all my aching muscles.

But what about his soul; how do I know that he has one? By faith, yes; but surely even common sense could perceive that small boys are moved by a different kind of vital force than are stones and bushes and squirrels. No squirrel ever showed such scientific, sustained and impersonal curiosity about a nut as Thomas Edmund is devoting to that twig.

He looks up, throws the twig away with a royal gesture of satiation, staggers to his feet and with immense difficulty leans over and picks up something else.

“Oh Tom, what have you got now? Let Mummy see.” He trots over to me obediently (for once) and holds out a large yellow leaf. My goodness, what a beautiful big leaf! He pushes it at me insistently until I take it and admire it, grabs it back again and sits down, plunk, at my feet to enjoy his treasure with every appropriate and inappropriate sense.

“No, not in your mouth, Tom.” He looks up rather hurt; then slowly and thoughtfully tears the leaf to shreds and picks up each piece in turn to examine it again more thoroughly.

Well, anybody with any perception could see Thomas Edmund’s soul shining out of his eyes. But, sentiment aside, surely one can find proofs in all his actions of the existence of a human soul.

People who think that babies are merely little animals must never have observed either animals or babies. A puppy will bring you a stick to throw for him; he may even bring you a treasure he thinks you want him to retrieve for you; but he would never bring you a leaf to admire with him, and insist on your admiring it. He would never offer you part of his dog biscuit, as Thomas so often offers me pieces of his cookies.

You can keep a dog happy quite easily, with the right kind of food and exercise and play and companionship, but nobody on earth can keep an eighteen-month-old baby happy all the time.

For the baby wants everything in sight, and that is because he is made to want everything beyond sight, and that is because he has a human soul (I must try to remember this chain of reasoning the next time Thomas Edmund is being quite unbearable with all his wants).

Tom’s human soul is now moving him to some new enterprise. He is on his feet again, making for his brother’s abandoned tricycle. He pushes it over, bracing all his small muscles and grunting with the effort.

When it finally falls, he looks at his achievement with awe and says “Oh!” Then he pushes one of the pedals to make the front wheel turn around, with all the earnestness of a scientist in his laboratory. Yes, it really turns; and, what is still better, it keeps on turning. “Ai!” says Thomas Edmund, looking up at me to be sure that I am sharing his excitement, “Ai!”

But how does all this show that a little boy is made to God’s image and likeness in a special way in which grass and trees and squirrels are not? Because God knows and loves and is happy in Himself, Infinite

Truth, Infinite Goodness and Infinite Happiness, and He has made Thomas

Edmund able to know truth and love goodness: the truth and goodness of wheels and cookies, the truth and goodness of ideas and actions.

He has given him powers of knowledge and love which He has also raised and strengthened by grace so that Thomas Edmund will be able to know and love God Himself and to be happy in His own happiness.

Then again, God is a Person–a “Who,” not merely a “What”; and He has made Thomas Edmund also a “Who,” in His image. We were told in college that a “person is an independent substance of a rational nature”–and anyone who has ever watched a baby busy with his own affairs realizes just what that definition means.

Nobody could have any doubt that Thomas over there is a great deal more than a “What”; that he is a “Who” all of his own, in his fine independence and self-hood a small created reflection of the infinite independence and of-Himself-ness of God.

But there is a more appealing way than this in which our Thomas shows that he is in God’s image. Little as he is, he already wants to share with people he loves his small happinesses in cookies and leaves and turning tricycle wheels.

“God is love,” Holy Scripture tells us. He made everything because of love, out of His overflowing generosity, so that He might communicate His perfections to things according to the designs of His wisdom, so that some of His creatures might even come to share His own life and happiness.

And so, little Thomas Edmund, made to His image, made to love and to give himself to God and men in love, already wants to share what is most his own, his joy (even though he clings desperately to more material possessions, especially those he shouldn’t have, like matchboxes!).

What about Thomas Edmund’s body in all this? The catechism doesn’t say, “This likeness is entirely in the soul.” It says “chiefly in the soul.” But what likeness to the infinite God can one possibly find in that funny square little body?

I remember a glorious prayer said at a Bishop’s consecration, when his special episcopal gloves are blessed: “Almighty God, who gave man, made to Your image, hands remarkable for their separation into fingers, as an organ of intelligence for correct workmanship; which You commanded to be kept clean so that the soul might be worthily carried in them…” Here the liturgy fills out the catechism’s bare statement: the organs of our bodies are made to be the expressions and instruments of the powers of our souls, which are made to God’s image.

Tom’s small fat hands, which are now so carefully investigating the inner workings of the tricycle-wheel, such dirty little hands, covered with oil and earth, are made to be the instruments of his intelligence, so that he may make things rightly, according to his likeness to God the Maker. (Should I try to keep them cleaner than I do? Since our souls are carried in our hands, it is no wonder we look at people’s hands to see what kind of people they are, or that a handshake is such a communication of personality, or that there is a whole science of deducing character from handwriting!)

Thomas Edmund has now managed to wrench the seat off the tricycle, has somehow got to his feet with it, and is staggering off proudly with his prize. Need I take it away from him? No, he can’t do much harm to it, or it to him; and a tricycle seat is such a fine red and silver object to carry around.

Surely the uprightness of that small figure shows something of God’s image too, or at least that he is made to “seek the things that are above.”

Now he is sitting down again and digging hard in the dirt with the shaft of the seat, as if to point out that he is made to the image of God, the Ruler of the universe, who commanded man to “subdue the earth” as well as to cultivate it. Thomas Edmund certainly looks as if he were trying to subdue this particular section of ground–such fierce determination is on his face as he digs!

The little lord of the earth looks up from his digging, scrambles to his feet and rushes over to me, with an appealing look in his dark brown eyes.

What’s the matter? He snatches the bag off the bench beside me and starts to investigate it. Oh, a cookie. You’d better let me get it out. He grabs the cookie, gives it a big crunch, and goes back slowly to his digging.

What an odd thing is a human being, dependent on crackers and milk and meat and vegetables for his soul to have a chance of developing; yet so independent of such sustenance that his soul will go on existing for all eternity without it (and his body too, for that matter, after its resurrection, by the grace of God): so much a part of all this scenery and yet so separate and so different.

When you begin to think about everything that a human being is, you realize what wise men mean when they tell us to know ourselves as the first step to knowing God. How justly will Thomas Edmund be able to say, when he knows enough to say it, “I praise Thee because I am made so wonderfully.”

For if he were simply a human being, that would be amazing enough to praise God for, but his humanness is, after all, only the foundation, the prerequisite for what he really is, for (if one may dare so to call it) his divineness.

“O God, who so wonderfully built up the dignity of human substance and still more wonderfully refashioned it…” What new actuality was added to Thomas Edmund when he was born again of water and the Holy Spirit?

A baptized baby does not look different from an unbaptized one (though his mother certainly feels some difference when he comes back fresh from the Holy Font).

You can’t tell which of all these children playing here in the park are baptized and which are not. Yet the ones who are live by a different kind of life and are infinitely more alive than the ones who have not received baptism.

Thomas Edmund over there thoughtfully grinding the grubby remains of his cookie on the tricycle seat, is not only a human child, He is God’s child. And God did not simply adopt him at baptism, did not merely say that from then on He would consider Thomas Edmund as His child. He actually gave him a share in His own life; He made him His child in-deed.

Nor is Thomas Edmund simply one more child of the Eternal Father; he is somehow a new version or expression or realization of God’s only-begotten Son, of Christ our Lord.

He became God’s child by being incorporated in Christ. He received the life of a son of God in and through God’s Only Son.

When God the Father sees that little boy playing there on the grass, He sees him in His Son and He sees His Son in him. Christ our Lord is continually pouring His life into the members of His Mystical Body–so much so that whatever I do to or for Thomas Edmund, I do to and for Christ Himself.

(Dear Lord, forgive me for all the times when I get so angry with him, when his yelling annoys me beyond endurance, when I am just too tired to attend to him cheerfully. Help me to remember that it is You I am taking care of in him, and to do it better.)

And God the Holy Spirit is always dwelling in Thomas Edmund as His temple–a very funny little temple for the Spirit of Love and Joy–so that I am not just washing or feeding or clothing my own child; I am taking care of the temple of God.

The little dwelling-place of the Blessed Trinity is now trying to climb up on the tricycle. Oh woe, of course he didn’t get the seat back where it belongs. He lets out a wild yell of terror and frustration; the tricycle falls over with him, and he lies howling on the grass.

Poor Thomas Edmund! The world is still a valley of tears, even for the children of God; and it is only by many tribulations, many falls and frustrations of all kinds, that we enter into our inheritance of God’s kingdom.

When Christ our Lord was a baby, He must have fallen off things too, and cried as babies cry, so why should we expect to have our children walk any smoother road than the one He walked Himself…

But here is Jonjo at last, demanding his apple and cookie. “Look, dear, be a nice boy, give Tom a ride on your bicycle and cheer him up.”

Jonjo mounts his steed; I put Thomas Edmund on the back (the yells have stopped as soon as he sees a ride in prospect); and they set out, bumping over the stubble, Thomas Edmund hugging his brother hard and singing a little tune of joy.

Two little human creatures, two children of God, two other Christs, two temples of the Holy Spirit riding off together on a red and silver tricycle. Come on, boys, let’s go home.

 

“The parent who loves his children and takes pleasure in training them in right conduct gives the best possible testimonial to marriage. On the other hand, the parent who constantly complains about his physical, financial or emotional burdens breaks down his youngster’s vision of marriage as a worthy state in life.” – Rev. George A. Kelly http://amzn.to/2yxKIes (afflink)

 

A great stocking stuffer for St. Nicholas Day! Intricate and Classy Hand-Crafted Kanzashi Accessory Flowers for Your Hair, Scarf, Shirt etc….These fetching ribbon flowers are a perfect accent to any special outfit and provides a sweet final touch! I like to wear these flowers in my hair, but they can be worn many ways! Each petal takes undivided attention! First, it is cut and shaped, then burnt to ensure there will be no fraying. The petals are then folded and glued into a flower design and the finishing touches are then added.
The back of the flower has a clip that easily opens and holds firmly. Ribbon flowers are an excellent alternative to real flowers and will look fresh and beautiful forever! Available here. 

lvsacornslgline

Take a peek! Available here.

 

22448317_759195647615781_4570763390921745454_n

Train Your Child in Good Behavior

From How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland

Struggling with behavior problems is like darning socks — or rather, the way darning socks used to be. You’d work and work at it until the holes were finally closed, and then one wearing — and, more holes!

That kept up until finally the sock was more darn than sock and you’d whine a little to yourself, wondering who appreciated it anyway. If only they’d stay darned! But they never did, and you were forever starting all over again.

But because God uses the most trivial things to point out the way to perfection, once in a while in the middle of a whine you’d understand that even if no one else saw how much work you put into it, God did.

And every snip and stitch was holy in His sight, because you were working away at the vocation that, for you, was the way to Heaven.

This could be called “detachment in darning”: to darn socks for the love of God.

We have to develop this same kind of detachment if we are to lead our children to detachment in their behavior. They will learn it and apply it with ease to all the beauty and order and blessedness of nature, but it’s infinitely more difficult, and painfully slow, learning to apply it to themselves.

It means learning the same lessons over and over again.

Modern mothers have been relying on psychology books to interpret child behavior for so long now that if all the psychology books were burned to a crisp, few mothers could relax with the conviction that God’s love, the maternal instinct, and divine grace could take their place.

I’m not minimizing the work of child psychologists. They’ve taught us many new insights into the needs and behavior of our children. But God can teach us even more, because children’s willfulness, their disobedience, and their tantrums speak just as eloquently for their own search for God and perfection as our sins do for ours.

What we all — little or big — want is God; if we do not realize it, however, we choose many ignoble things in His place. And if we want to teach children to be good with a goodness that’s lasting, we must teach them to be good for the love of God.

“The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.”
― St. Francis de Sales

A Parenting sermon for you today….

bowsheartstrings

 

Two beautiful Christmas Aprons! Fully lined, quality material, made with care! Make a statement this Christmas season!

Available at http://www.meadowsofgrace.com

 

il_570xN.1350845118_k39y

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

Advent Package Special! The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal & Celine’s Advent! Available here.

 

Unrest When We Have Decisions to Make

How many times in our lives would we just like to receive a letter from Our Lord?! “Just tell me, Lord, and I will do it!

12439312_436244619907892_2803411959993906185_n

Searching For and Maintaining Peace by Fr. Jacques Philippe

The last reason that we are going to examine and which frequently causes us to lose our sense of peace is lack of certitude, the troubling of conscience that is experienced when it is necessary to make a decision and we are not able to see clearly. We are afraid to make a mistake that may have disturbing consequences, we are afraid that it may not be the will of the Lord.

Situations of this type can be very painful and certain dilemmas truly agonizing. The general stance of abandonment and confidence of which we have spoken, this approach of putting everything into the hands of God which enable us to avoid “dramatizing” anything (even the consequences that our errors might engender!) will be particularly precious in these situations of incertitude.

We would like, however, to make a few useful remarks for conserving our interior peace when making decisions.

The first thing to say (and this is in complete harmony with what we have said up to this point) is that, faced with an important decision, one of the errors to avoid is that of being excessively hurried or precipitous. A certain deliberation is often necessary in order to properly consider things and to allow our hearts to orient themselves peaceably and gently toward a good solution.

Saint Vincent de Paul made decisions that were presented to him after mature reflection (and above all prayer!), in such a way that some people who were close to him found him too slow to decide. But, one judges a tree by its fruit!

Before making a decision, it is necessary to do what is appropriate to see the situation clearly and not to decide precipitously or arbitrarily. We need to analyze the situation with its different aspects and to consider our motivations in order to decide with a pure heart and not in an effort to serve our personal interest. We need to pray for the light of the Holy Spirit and the grace to act in conformity with the will of God and, if necessary, to ask the advice of people who can enlighten us relative to the decision.

In this regard, we must know that everyone will encounter, above all in the spiritual life, certain situations where one would not have sufficient light, would be incapable of making a necessary discernment or of making a determination in peace, without recourse to a spiritual advisor.

The Lord does not want us to be self-sufficient and, as part of His pedagogy, He permits that sometime we find ourselves in the impossibility of finding enlightenment and peace by ourselves; we cannot receive them except through the intermediary of another person to whom we can open up.

There is, in this opening up of the heart relative to questions that we ask ourselves or dilemmas that we try to solve, a disposition of humility and trust which greatly pleases the Lord and frequently renders harmless the traps that the enemy sets there to deceive or trouble us.

Regarding this interior peace, which is so precious and of which we have spoken so much, we know that at certain moments in our lives we cannot find it by ourselves without the help of someone to whom we can open our souls.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori was an unparalleled director of souls, but with regard to that which concerned his own spiritual life, he was very often incapable of orienting himself without the aid of someone to whom he opened himself and toward whom he was obedient.

Having said that, it is important to know one thing. Whatever the precautions (prayer, reflection, advice) that one uses to obtain enlightenment before making a decision and in order to be sure of doing God’s will (it’s a duty to take these precautions, because we do not have the right, above all in domains of importance, to decide lightly), one will not always receive this light in a clear and unambiguous manner.

Confronted with a specific situation, we ask ourselves (and we must always do this!): “What must I do? What is the Lord’s will?” We will not always have a response!

When we make this effort at discernment and search for God’s will, often the Lord speaks to us in diverse ways and makes us understand in a clear way how we must act. Then we can make our decision in peace.

But, it may happen that the Lord does not respond to us. And this is completely normal. Sometimes, He simply leaves us free and sometimes, for reasons of His own, He does not manifest Himself.

It is good to know this, because it often happens that people, for fear of making a mistake, of not doing the will of God, seek at any price to have an answer.

They increase their reflections, their prayers, they open the Bible ten times looking for a text in order to obtain the desired enlightenment. And all this is troubling and disquieting more than anything else. We do not see things more clearly for all that; we have a text, but we don’t know how to interpret it.

When the Lord leave us thus in incertitude, we must quietly accept it. Rather than wanting to “force things” and torment ourselves unnecessarily because we do not have an evident response, we must follow the principle that Saint Faustina offers us:

When one does not know what is best, one must reflect, consider and take counsel, because one does not have the right to act in incertitude of conscience. In incertitude (if the incertitude remains) one must tell oneself: whatever I do , it will be good, provided that I have the intention to do good.

That which we consider good, God accepts and considers as good. Don’t be chagrined if, after a certain time, you see that these things are not good. God looks at the intention with which we begin and He grants the reward according to this intention. It is a principle that we must follow. (Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of the Servant of God, Sister Faustina Kowalska).

Visit Finer Femininity on Facebook

love of god

For the guys: “The husband’s first duty, under God’s service, is to his wife. He must give himself to her as she has left all to follow him. His must be—from his bridal hour to his dying day—one long, uninterrupted, most loving and unstinted service to her. He must, every day that he rises, set her image higher in his heart; reverence her more, seek to have others know her worth better, and show her greater honor.” – Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, True Men as We Need Them, 1894 http://amzn.to/2yWw0j5 (afflink)

A beautiful way to deepen your Advent experience…for yourself and your family. The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/539075509/the-catholic-mothers-traditional-advent?ref=shop_home_active_2

From the Author … Treasures, however great and precious, are never appreciated until examined, counted over, and summed up. Hence it is, dear reader, that by many there is formed no due estimate of the holy and awful Sacrifice of the Mass. Though the greatest treasure which glorifies and enriches the Church of God, it is still a hidden treasure, and known to few. Ah, if this jewel of paradise were but known, who would not give up all things to obtain it! http://amzn.to/2tRWKyn

 

 

 

 

A Fall Greeting

Cheers to you and yours as fall is winding down and we are getting close to Advent. I’m excited. I’m not ready….but I’m excited!

 

A Tidbit from Gemma:

A Fall Greeting

by Gemma Grace, age 13

Fall is here with all good cheer;

Summers gone right by!

You feel like drinking tea again;

Pumpkin spice and chai.

 

The leaves are turning brown and orange;

The grass is dead and gone.

The bears are ready to hibernate;

They leave us with a yawn.

 

There’s corn being harvested

And pumpkins being picked.

You can hear the sound of crunching leaves

And pine cones being kicked.

 

People are pulling out sweaters

And jackets to be worn.

You’ll bundle up especially

In the early morn.

 

The air is getting crisp and cold;

The wind is a chilly bite.

You light your wood stove for warmth

And for the cozy light.

 

The flowers are all dead and gone;

The grass is faded brown.

But fall is here with all good cheer,

So don’t meet it with a frown.

I wanted to share with you this novena to, what I believe, is a powerful saint in these situations. How many of our lives are touched by someone who is suffering from some mental anguish or disease! St. Louis Martin (St. Theresa, the Little Flower’s, father) went through extreme trials in this sphere near the end of his life. Here is a powerful novena to him for depression, anxiety and mental disorders.

“Louis and his family met the challenge with faith, believing this was a trial sent to purify them. In a moment of clarity, Louis told a doctor, ‘I know why the Good God has given me this trial: I have never had any humiliations in my life, and I need to have some.’”…    Read more here.

 

Some photos:

Many books to ship out!

We love our little graveyard visits from November 1st – 8th…..

Good times with the priests!

Have you listened to the audios Hank the Cowdog? They’re corny, they’re funny! Here, Gin’s kids are enjoying an audio as they all gather about the boombox.

A dear sister-in-law, Danielle, and I pose for a picture at the latest wedding.

Our round table is used for many things!

Getting ready for a game of hockey!

Two little munchkins…

Theresa with her newest addition, Avila Theresa.

Mike and Jeanette at the wedding….

Virginia made this “Anne of Green Gables” apron for Margy’s birthday.

Colin is playing “Pick up Sticks” with his little clan.

He’s not my kid! (eyes rolling)

We have 5 birthdays within 5 days of each other in November. Two of the days have two birthdays on each! So it was time to celebrate with girls’ day out!

I found this sermon enlightening…

 

*******************************************************************

 

 

As Advent approaches, and if you are using my Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal (if you are not, this tidbit is still a good reminder), you will want to peek at the following page. It will help you to get the things together you will need to do the Advent Traditions in the book. If there are some activities you are not doing then check or cross them off this list. We do them all but that is optional. Pick and choose as you see fit…

*******************************************************************

You can also purchase the St. Andrew/Christmas Novena Chaplet here. We have limited quantities of this.

Enjoy, Inspire, Enrich….with these Catholic ditties that will plant the seeds of Faith in those little minds. Available here.

 

My Little Thanksgiving Story….

Easter 2011 176

A repost for Throwback Thursday…..

Thanksgiving is almost here and it is always a good time to remember the many things we are grateful for! I have a couple of stories that happened in our life that shook me to the bottom of my toes but gave me so many reasons to be thankful!

Isn’t that the way? You don’t see it at the time, but, in hindsight, if we continue to “get better, not bitter”, we realize God’s goodness through it all!

2003 was our “Terrified-Going-Through-It” but “So-Thankful-For-Everything-in-Hindsight” year!

It was the middle of the night,  Epiphany 2003,  when we were awakened by the best and most efficient fire alarm ever….  three ear-piercing shrieks delivered by my 17 yr. old daughter!

It was 1 a.m. and Virginia was sleeping on the couch when our Christmas tree burst into flames – and I mean BURST!  The flames licked across the ceiling and melted the laundry room door that was on the other side of the house!  Within seconds the couch that my daughter was sleeping on exploded into flames!  Inside 30 seconds all thirteen of us were out of the house and shivering in the cold! It was a frightening experience watching hearth and home going up in flames!

The rock and block structure of our house (thanks to hubby) was ok, so four months later, after the dust settled, we were back in our home. We remembered the many things we were grateful for: the elderly gentleman who opened up his home in the middle of the night to 13 of us and let us stay there until we found somewhere to live, the incredible generosity of friends and neighbors, the support of our pastor and parish, just naming a few!

We were very grateful for what happened the next day.  You see, it had been a particularly rough winter financially.  When you are a construction contractor, you live on the edge, especially in the winter.  When the insurance handed us the $5,000 check to take care of our most immediate needs, it came in very handy!  With the rest of the forthcoming money we were able to rebuild the house and finish off some much needed bedrooms.

A few months later, July 23rd to be exact, on a hot and sultry afternoon,  I sent my daughter, Theresa, to go to the neighbor’s to get some sweet corn.  The road had just been recently graveled but she was a very careful driver and I knew I could trust her.  Jeanette, my 9 yr. old, asked if she could go, too.  So off they went.  An hour later I began to wonder where they were.  Being a worrier, I told myself that it was silly to worry.  I tried to put it out of my mind and I continued doing what I was doing.  I heard a knock at the door.  It was a man who said that I needed to call 911 because there had been a bad accident on the gravel road.  When I asked him what vehicle was involved and he said it was our blue van, I fell apart! I asked him if they were ok and he said, “Well, they’re still breathing.”  Yikes!!!

Within minutes, the emergency team, my husband, our priest and several other people were at the scene of the accident. It was every mother’s nightmare and I was a wreck!  Theresa had to be life starred to Topeka and Jeanette was put in Intensive Care in Kansas City.  She didn’t come to until 3 days later. I think the worst thing out of this ordeal was knowing that my girls were in the ditch for an hour, with Theresa trying to crawl to the road, fainting in and out of consciousness, and Jeanette pinned under the van…while I was sitting at home telling myself not to worry. 😦

Looking back, we again were able to find SO many things we were thankful for. For example:  when Theresa was losing control and veering off the road she hit a sign!  This pushed her forward several yards where she ended up rolling the van.  If she didn’t hit that sign she would’ve went over the bridge and landed into the dry creek bed that was several feet down!  That would not have been good.

Once again, the generosity of friends and neighbors was incredible.  Within hours, someone had lent us their vehicle and gifts of all kind came pouring in.  Meals were made for us for the next several days to ease the burden. Most especially, there were no lasting effects…Theresa has a titanium rod in her leg. We tell Jeanette that she was lucky to get away with just slight brain damage which makes her fit right in with the rest of us. 🙂Christmass 08 020Devin 118

Those were a couple of the big things that reminds us of what we have to be grateful for.  You probably have some of your own “big things” that has helped you to grow in love, patience and thankfulness.

But there are many, many more little things that happen in every day life that we can be thankful for.  A good cup of tea or coffee?  A homemade apple pie?  A good movie?  A stranger’s smile?  A friend who cares?  In this time of hard economics, just having a job is something to be thankful for.  I’m grateful for the beautiful fall we have had.  I grew up in Canada and at this time of year winter is getting its tight grip on each day.

Thanksgiving is a great time to remember those big and little things that each of us has to be grateful for.  It’s also a good time to be thankful for the adversities in our lives because they have helped us to grow and to have compassion on others who are going through rough times.

Cicero once said, “A grateful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

I read these words from a very wise woman: ” Learn to enjoy life.  Be thankful.  Smile.  When you catch yourself becoming irritated or disturbed at circumstances, stop and laugh at the little things that steal your peace.  Count your blessings and learn to be appreciative.”index

If we remember to always count our blessings then Thanksgiving can be transformed into “Thanks living”.  Not just the holiday but each and every day!Colin's pre-wedding 091

iphone-jan-14-2013-039

*******************************************************************

ff-quote-for-the-day-fall

 
“No other work that God gives any of us to do is so important, so sacred, so far reaching in its influence, so delicate and easily marred—as our home-making. This is the work of all our life—that is most divine. The carpenter works in wood, the mason works in stone, the smith works in iron, the artist works on canvas—but the homemaker works on immortal lives. Whatever else we slight, let it never be our home-making. If we do nothing else well in this world, let us at least build well within our own doors.” – J.R. Miller

14906975_593725740829440_4697328390689865346_n

*****************************************************************************

meadows of grace

Beautiful Handcrafted Religious Necklaces, wire-wrapped, dainty….

Available at http://www.meadowsofgrace.com

 

Choice Graces – Christ in the Home

From Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950’s

It is a mistake to think that only priests or religious can attain to a life of profound prayer.

A religious priest, the biographer of a young girl of the world who had been an example of magnificent fidelity and the recipient of singular graces from God, recounts that one of the theologians who examined the book expressed great admiration for the young girl.

“People believe,” he said, “that the great graces of contemplation are scarcely ever found in the midst of the world. I have found in cloisters and monasteries and among the clergy, souls who have received astonishing graces of light and of ease in prayer. I can therefore speak from experience.

However, the two souls who seemed to me to be the most favored were neither priests nor nuns but two persons living in the world, two mothers of families. “

He added, “They were far from being complacent about the favors they received; they believed them to be quite natural and never dreamed that they themselves were singularly privileged.”

And all that while living in the world as married women!

Then we have the example of a doctor, an excellent practitioner in a large city, much in demand because of his great skill and superior knowledge. Note his deep life of prayer as revealed from the following quotations from some of his letters:

“I recollect myself in the course of my professional visits, going from one duty to another, those duties which present themselves to me so clearly as acts of charity to my neighbor in whom I have the impression of ministering to the suffering Christ.

In the interval which separates one act of charity from another, there spontaneously wells up in my heart irresistible movements of adoration, a necessary worship of praise, a humble and self- abasing offering of my impotence, a very real pain at being separated from the Well-Beloved of my soul, and, in the midst of it all, a consoling peace and a strong leaning on God who lifts me above depressing physical fatigue and wearing privation.”

Another time he wrote: “The sight of souls so little concerned about God causes me pain and heartache. I should like to see all creatures praise God, concern themselves solely with Him and refer all to Him. I have great difficulty lending myself to the thousand little things of here-below which have no direct connection with God.”

This interior union with God in no way hindered his exterior ministry. With what soul power did he accomplish it!

“In the midst of overwhelming activities, an impression of profound solitude enfolds my soul. Action is no longer anything more for me than the accomplishment of duty, for the only duty of my life, leaving out of the picture any consideration of this frightful I and accomplishing everything for a single purpose always present, always engulfing me—God.

One might say that there is substituted for the egoism which is proper to me a power which is foreign to me but which draws me on while exercising over my will a force which impels and which is ever new.”

In his last letter dated August, 1936, we have these thoughts.

“It has pleased God (I should never think of asking Him for it) to grant me six months of immobilization because of a cardiac lesion. A Garden of Gethsemane? Amen.

“I was formerly taught what adoration and thanksgiving mean. Now I am immersed in adoration and thanksgiving. I have been taught that we fulfill the highest apostolate in the place where God for all eternity wants us to be. Therefore, I say three times over Amen and Thank You, my God.”

Perhaps on reading the beautiful selections from the doctor’s letters I have somewhat envied his union with God. Perhaps there arose in my mind the question: “What would I have to do to achieve such close intimacy with God?”

First of all, I must remember that such a degree of union with God is in the domain of gratuitous gifts. Our Lord gives them or does not give them as He sees fit. That is His own concern.

In themselves, these gifts are no forecast of sanctity in the person who receives them.

Someone can be quite perfect and never receive these favors; a person can be most faithful and attentive but either because of special difficulties of temperament or of capacity or because of God’s permission he will never receive like gifts.

By the very fact that they are gratuitous, they are inherently out of proportion with human efforts. They are liberalities of God that we are powerless to merit in the formal sense of the term.

I am walking along the boulevard; I meet several poor persons along the way; I give something to the second not to the first, to the fifth and not to the fourth. To none of them do I owe a thing. I have bestowed a favor pure and simple and no one can lay claim to my bounty as his due.

So too with the special favors we are considering. They manifest the munificence of God and do not prove the holiness of the recipient.

It is evident though that if God is free to bestow extraordinary graces according to His own will, in general, He dispenses them to those who by their generosity have given assurance beforehand that these favors will fall on good ground.

If by right they are purely gratuitous, in fact they most often recompense a generosity that is particularly ardent, a devotedness and a striving that has been heroically maintained.

In practice, I should let God play His hand. He is well-versed in what He is doing.

I should not presume to dictate to Him the method He should follow.

I can play my hand too. His very own specialty is liberality; mine should be generous love. I ought to be bent on giving, not on receiving.

If in the course of my life of striving, God is pleased to give me a keener relish of Him, an understanding of Him beyond my knowledge of His perfections, a love for prayer and for sacrifices He will have free sway in me.

I shall praise Him with my whole soul; but it is not to win these favors that I intend to push my fervor to its peak.

If, on the contrary, He lets me on the level of common prayer and the ordinary state of the general run of people; if He even abandons me to a spell of aridity–a common trial of earth–either for periods of time or perhaps permanently, I shall cast myself upon His love and beg Him to insure my faith in Him and to preserve my fidelity.

I know what I am worth–not very much.

The soldier ought to serve. If his Captain notices him and puts him on the list for the Legion of Honor, fine!

A red ribbon, however, adds nothing to the value of a man. He is worth what he gives and not what he receives.

I shall strive to give much.

************************************************************

It would do much in the home if all the members of the family were to be as kind and courteous to one another as they are to guests. The visitor receives bright smiles, pleasant words, constant attention, and the fruits of efforts to please. But the home folks are often cross, rude, selfish, and faultfinding toward one another. Are not our own as worthy of our love and care as is the stranger temporarily within our gates? -My Prayer Book, Father Lasance http://amzn.to/2wwagG0 (afflink)

******************************************************************

These gorgeous mantillas, beautifully made in Spain, are available at Finer Femininity! Take a peek here.

******************************************************************

Christmas Holly Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, quality material, made with care. Available here.

Christmas Angel Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! With matching Hair/Brooch Kanzashi Flower!!! Available here.

A Ship in the Night

How much is the harmony in your marriage worth to you? Do you insist on your own way, your own opinions even in situations that are, in the scheme of things, not that important? This short story is a reminder that insisting on our own way is not the path of peace….

181073404by Emilie Barnes

Isn’t it difficult to change when you think you are right? We get so stubborn that we won’t change our thoughts and opinions for anything.

“Why should I? I’m right!” we say.

One foggy night the captain of a large ship saw another ship’s lights approaching. This other ship was on a course that would mean a head-on crash. Quickly the captain signaled to the approaching ship, “Please change your course 10 degrees west.”

The reply came blinking back through the thick fog, “You change your course 10 degrees east.”

Indignantly the captain pulled rank and shot a message back to the other ship, “I’m a sea captain with 35 years of experience. You change your course 10 degrees west!”

Without hesitation the signal flashed back, “I’m a seaman fourth-class. You change your course 10 degrees east!”

Enraged, the captain realized that within minutes they would crash head-on, so he blazed his final warning: “I’m a 50,000-ton freighter. Change your course!”

The simple message winked back, “I’m a lighthouse. You change…”

You, too, may get so frustrated with your mate that you give out stern warnings that he or she had better change course.

Because of past experiences, you and your spouse may not want to budge from your respective positions.

Satan would like to destroy your marriage using the differences in the way you like to do things.

You need to pray to be set free from stubbornness. You must be willing to support one another.

With this attitude you are free to serve each other. Anything less than this allows selfishness and pride to enter your life, creating an unwillingness to change.

Alter your course rather than insisting on your own way.

008******************************************************************

“These diapers that are changed daily, these meals that are cooked again and again, these floors that are scrubbed today only to get dirty tomorrow — these are as truly prayer in a mother’s vocation as the watches and prayers of the religious are in theirs.” -Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children http://amzn.to/2yTp42S (afflink)
*****************************************************************
Excellent sermon while you are doing your duties or sipping on your tea….

******************************************************************

Coloring Pages for your children…..

14232500_1045421048911217_6756281267813850794_n

 

 

 ******************************************************************************
Lots of Advent and Christmas tidbits in this “Heart of the Home” Maglet! Available here.
 Check out all 3 Finer Femininity Maglets here

Looks like someone is enjoying them!  😀

IMG_4856

*******************************************************************

Beautiful Sts. Zelie and Louis Martin Hand-Crafted Kanzashi Brooch/ Accessory Flower for Your Hair, Scarf, Cardigan etc….

Available here.

Graceful Sts. Louis and Zelie Graceful Vintaj Religious Pendant Wire-Wrapped, Handcrafted. Available here.

 

 

For the Guys – To Keep the “Home-Garden”

From True Men as We Need Them by Rev. Bernard O’Reilly

To you, O man of the world, your home-garden, your paradise—the source of your purest and dearest felicity on this side of the grave, is the mind and heart and soul of your wife, your companion, the mother of your children.

Her soul, her life, is given you “to dress and to keep” and on your appreciating her nature and her worth, on your knowing how to call forth by your love, your care, your devotion to her service, by the sunlight of your examples much more even than by your mere love and tenderness—must depend whether or not you shall have a home-garden, a paradise—or a hell upon earth.

There is no delicacy, no purity of thought and word and act—no feeling of respect or reverence so exalted—no chivalrous devotion to the honor, the unblemished name, the generous and holy purposes of a true woman—to be compared with the all-embracing sentiment of God-given love in the sinless soul of a man, united, through God’s blessing, with the maiden chosen in accordance with God’s will.

Catholics, who are thoroughly acquainted with the sacred character of the matrimonial union, who know what untold graces are set apart for their whole after-life by the sacramental blessing, enter upon married life with mingled joy and fear—because they are made aware both of their responsibilities and of the mighty aids divinely given them, to make of their whole career one long day of rejoicing, because it must be one long day of generous devotion to duty.

The husband’s first duty, under God’s service, is to his wife. He must give himself to her as she has left all to follow him. His must be—from his bridal hour to his dying day—one long, uninterrupted, most loving and unstinted service to her. He must, every day that he rises, set her image higher in his heart; reverence her more, seek to have others know her worth better, and show her greater honor.

It is the death of conjugal love, where respect diminishes in the heart instead of daily increasing, and where that delicacy and courtesy in word and manner which we call outward respect, is dispensed with on pretext of nearness and intimacy and unreserve.

Make it, therefore, the law of your life, that as the years of your wedded life pass by, they shall find, beside the ever-blooming flower of love in the center of your home-garden the flower of undying reverence. One cannot live without the other.

And to the wife we must say: If you would have your husband’s love and respect

to know no fading—make it a sacred duty to God, every day of your life, to invent new methods of showing your companion that your love is ever young and fresh as the flowers that bloom on high in the City of God.

Let men of culture and position, who owe to those beneath them—much more than to those of their own level—the light of good example, read and ponder carefully every word in the following exquisite lines from a woman: “If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange

And be all to me? Shall I never miss

Home-talk and blessing, and the common kiss

That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,

When I look up, to drop on a new range

Of walls and floors…another home than this?

Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is

Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?

That’s hardest! If to conquer love, has tried,

To conquer grief tries more…as all things prove;

For grief indeed is love and grief beside.

Alas! I have grieved so, I am hard to love—

Yet love me—wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,

And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.”

A priestly voice is daily and hourly wont to guide the young amid the first trials and bitternesses of wedded life, as well as amid the storms which attend on its noon and its setting.

The reader knows also how precious and safe a refuge fathers and mothers alike find in that guidance, when worldly wisdom and worldly friendship are of no avail.

It was, nevertheless, best that these lessons should be given from the experience of persons of worldly station.

We have listened to the most intimate secrets of a true manly heart, still in death for many a year: the accents seem to come from the depths of the sanctuary. And this last wayside flower of poetry we have culled, as we seemed to pass from the altar and the awe of the cemetery, will also have its pregnant reminder.

Yes, loved and infinitely dear as are the ties of the home of childhood, when a woman turns her back upon it and puts her hand in her husband’s hand to walk the earth alone with him, it is as if a deluge had swept over her past, and her spirit, in going back in thought to the fireside of father and mother, found nothing but a ruin, with her loved ones all dead to her.

In her grief for the separation, she turns to the Ark of her husband’s home and heart like the dove sent forth by the great patriarch; has she not a right that her husband shall open his “heart wide and fold within, the wet wings” and drooping spirit of her to whom he is now all in all?

There are so many who fail, on the very threshold of their new existence, to understand the yearning of their companions for the home-life they have lost, and to make up by unselfish and unbounded tenderness for this great loss!

We crave pardon for dwelling thus at length on the necessity—so all-important, so indispensable—of this union, of hearts between husband and wife. Without it there is no home, no home-life, no true family.

We have insisted upon it, because without it there can be no life-work done to any good or meritorious purpose by the wedded pair, become thus most miserable yoke-fellows. God only grant them to say, each to the other:

“The world (our home-world) waits

For help. Beloved, let us love so well,

Our work shall still be better for our love,

And still our love be sweeter for our work,

And both commended, for the sake of each,

By all true workers and true lovers born.”

Most blessed are those who can thus look back to the parental home, and dwell with rapture on the memory of such a union between the father and mother who reared them! Still are they not to forget that this great gift of hallowed conjugal love was only bestowed for the dear and sweet work of making home a paradise not only for their children, but for their own parents, if privileged to possess them and shelter them there, for their servants, and for their friends.

**************************************************************

The wisdom and training you give to your child will determine the outcome. It is not the time to give in to weariness, indifference, laziness or careless neglect. Their souls are in your hands…. -Finer Femininity

*****************************************************************

Beautiful, durable handcrafted rosaries for sale! A lovely gift!

Available at http://www.meadowsofgrace.com

 

Faithfulness to Grace

This excellent excerpt by Father Jacques Philippe touches on the spirit of obedience and faithfulness to grace….

If we want God to reveal more of his will to us by His inspirations, we need to start by obeying His wishes that we already know. This obedience can be applied in various ways. As we saw earlier, each act of faithfulness to grace attracts new graces, in ever-growing numbers. If we are attentive and obey the motions of the Holy Spirit, these graces will become more abundant.

If we ignore inspirations, on the other hand, there is a danger that they will become less and less frequent. “To everyone who has, more will be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away,” Jesus tells us.

This is the beginning, then. To obtain more inspirations, we need to begin by obeying the ones we receive.

Next, it is obvious that God will grant us more inspirations if He sees us being faithful in fulfilling His will when it comes to us by other ways: the Commandments, the duties of our state in life, and so on. God’s will is expressed in many ways, and we know these without any need for special inspirations.

We know God’s will as expressed in a general way through the commandments of Scripture, the teaching of the Church, the demands that are part of our vocation, and those that come from our job, for example.

If we have a sincere desire for faithfulness in these domains, God will favor us with more motions of His Spirit. If we are careless about our normal duties, then however much we beg God for special inspirations there is not much chance of His granting them.

Let’s not forget either to consent, for love of God, to all the legitimate opportunities for obedience that present themselves in the areas of community, family, or social life.

Of course we must obey God rather than men, but it would be an illusion to think we were capable of obeying God if we are incapable of obeying other people.

The reason for this is that the same obstacle has to be overcome in both cases: attachment to ourselves and to our own will. If we can only obey people when it happens to please us, we are fooling ourselves about being able to obey the Holy Spirit.

If we are never prepared to renounce our own will (our ideas, our tastes, our attachments) for other people, what guarantee is there that we’ll be able to do so when God asks us to?

A Divine inspiration cannot ask us to do something that contradicts what the Word of God teaches and asks of us. This means not the Word of God as compiled by each individual’s fantasy and interpretation, but Holy Scripture as transmitted and explained by the teaching authority of the Church.

For example, a Divine inspiration cannot ask me to commit acts that the Church considers immoral.
In the same way, true inspirations always go in the direction of a spirit of obedience to the Church.

A religious who disobeyed his superiors, or a bishop who disobeyed the Holy Father, even for a purpose that was praiseworthy in itself, definitely would not be acting under Divine inspiration. “When God puts inspirations into a heart, the first He gives is obedience,” says St. Francis de Sales.

Consistency with the demands of our vocation

A whole collection of demands are derived from our own vocation as a married person, a parent, a priest, a religious, et cetera, and from our situation in life (our professional duties, etc.); and these demands are God’s will for us.

An inspiration, if it comes from God, cannot ask us for something that is in manifest contradiction to our “duties of state.” The Holy Spirit may encourage a mother to be somewhat less occupied with her household cares so that she can dedicate some time to prayer.

But if He suggested to her that she should spend so much time in contemplation that her husband and children suffered, there would be good reason to question the source of this inspiration.

Inspirations go in the same direction as our duties of state and do not divert us from them but, just the reverse, help us to fulfill them.

 

inspiration*******************************************************************

“A special time to show your husband he is very important in your life is when he comes home from work. Make it a pleasant time for him. Put the housework aside. Greet him with a smile. Have his favorite beverage ready for him. If he wishes to talk, listen attentively. If he doesn’t, give him space to unwind. Such a greeting will make an amazing difference in his life.This may not always be possible with many little ones, but make it happen as often as you can. Your thoughtful consideration for his welfare will make him feel respected and loved.” -Paraphrased from Fascinating Womanhood

*******************************************************************

Have you listened to any good sermons or audios lately? Well, it is time to start! 🙂 Tune into this post and get many great websites where you will have access to sermons that will change your own and your family’s lives! We listen to these on the way to Mass each day….that way my children get a good dose of them….and they have learned to appreciate it!

*******************************************************************

 

New! A Catholic Missal for All Ages….packed with pictures!

This book was inspired by the little “See and Pray” booklet and is intended as the title suggests for all ages. It is to allow an adult to guide a young child through the Mass with the pictures, while the adult may also be able to read and meditate on the actual text of the Mass. Many children’s missals are reduced to pictures and simplified text. This book keeps the original Latin/English text along with many pictures for the young child to follow along. However, any age will find great spiritual benefit from the numerous holy pictures and for all those who can read, it is generously sprinkled with holy considerations from St. Alphonsus at key points of the Mass. You will also find many traditional prayers in both English and Latin as bonus for everyone, and especially for those who love to use the language of the Church in their daily prayers.

Review: Absolutely incredible missal for the Catholic family!! Filled with gorgeous pictures, wonderful prayers and meditations during the Mass. I would use this as an adult going to Mass by myself, or with my children of all ages. All my children love it! Thank you SO much for making a missal that is so wonderful and helpful to bring souls closer to Our Lord! God bless you and your hard work. 🙂

Available here on Ebay.  Available here on Amazon.