All Saint’s Day – A Gallery, etc.

Happy All Saints’ Day! Here is a gallery from our All Saints’ Day party we had last evening. While others were Trick-or-Treating we were having some good times with a bunch of saints!


by Mary Reed Newland, The Year and Our Children available at Sophia Institute Press

The feast of All Saints is one of the greatest of all the feasts because it celebrates what could have been impossible. The Cross is a tree that bears fruit.

This is the feast of its harvest. The celebrations of the mysteries in the life of our Lord are glorious, and there is no detracting from them. But He was God.

This day we celebrate the perfecting of human nature, by grace pouring from the side of Christ on the Cross, through His Church and His sacraments, remaking men after their despoiling in the Garden.

Aside from all the lofty things to be said about the saints and to the saints on this day, we want our children to understand in the marrow of their bones what the principal idea is: “We are so glad for you. Now pray, so we’ll be there too!” And they must add to this and to every feast an endless “Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making it possible.”

Why We Should Know the Saints

The Gospel of John tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God: to them that believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”128

Each succeeding feast gives us a new understanding of this. We have been “born of God.” We must know the saints because we can learn from them how to receive His will, to love it, to act on it, to use the power He has given us to become the sons of God.

Here, we are His adopted sons separated from Heaven by life in the flesh. That part of us that He made in His own image and likeness is detained a while, in the body. It is being tried.

The saints went through the trials too, and with the help of His grace, they overcame them. They are in glory now, sons united at last with their Father. This is the greatest of His mercies.

He loved us before the creation of the world and planned for us to be in eternity with Him. When sin spoiled the plan, He perfected it – if one can say that – with the Incarnation. He became a man and spent Himself to devise the means for our perfection. The saints used it. We must too.

The antiphon from Vespers for this feast says what we want to say:

O ye Angels and Archangels, Thrones and Dominions, Principalities and Powers, Virtues of Heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, ye Patriarchs and Prophets, holy Doctors of the Law, Apostles, all Martyrs of Christ, holy Confessors, Virgins of the Lord, Hermits and all Saints:

Intercede for us.

Coloring pages for your children….



Check out my book, Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children here! 🙂


“I’ve long been wanting a book on various virtues to help my children become better Catholics. But most books focused on the virtues make being bad seem funny or attractive in order to teach the child a lesson. I’ve always found them to be detrimental to the younger ones who’s logic hasn’t formed. This book does an awesome job in showing a GOOD example in each of the children with all the various struggles children commonly struggle with (lying, hiding things, being grumpy, you name it.) But this book isn’t JUST virtue training… it’s also just sweet little chats about our love for God, God’s greatness, etc…

And the best thing of all? They are SHORT! I have lots of books that are wonderful, but to be honest I rarely pick them up because I just don’t have the time to read a huge, long story. These are super short, just one page, and very to the point. The second page has a poem, picture, a short prayer and a few questions for the kids to get them thinking. It works really, really well right before our bedtime prayers and only takes a few minutes at most.

If you like “Leading the Little ones to Mary” then you will like these… they are a little more focused on ALL age groups, not just little ones… so are perfect for a family activity even through the teenage years, down to your toddler.”


  “This book is an awesome addition to a nightly routine or any time of day you can add a little devotion. I use this kind of devotional also as a discipline tool as you can recall the stories and remind your children of their errors through the examples of these stories. I am so glad to find another helper in raising our children in the Catholic Faith…”


 I just bought this book about a week ago, and I already love it! The stories are well-written, clear, and childlike without being “dumbed-down.” My kids range in age from 10 to 5, and they each really appreciate the stories. I like that there is a good selection of discussion questions, some of which are open-ended, and some of which are review. Perfect item for this busy homeschool mama!

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The Saints – Maria Von Trapp

What a blessed feast is All Saints’ Day! And it is just around the corner….

This is so inspiring! Who needs Hollywood or Fairy Tales (not that we don’t like fairy tales….we do!) But we MUST pass this information down to our kids. We must make the saints come alive in their hearts! This is for real! This is the ammunition your kids will take with them when they are facing the world, the flesh and the devil!

Not only that, this is what Catholicism is about. It is a treasure of beauty and Tradition… stories held out to us that are not just stories, but that are the thread that ties us to our Catholic Heritage….the Golden Thread. Let’s not be the ones to sever it! Let’s make it ever stronger! Our poor world needs us and it is these little things we implant in our children’s hearts that will bring Catholicism back to our families, to our society, to our Beloved Church and to the world!

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by Maria Von Trapp

I don’t know what I would have done without the saints in bringing up our large family.

Long before our children could memorize the Apostle’s Creed and pronounce, “I believe in the Communion of Saints,” they were already participating in it.

Very early they had learned that the Communion of Saints is one large, happy family whose members have one thing in common: they want to go to heaven.

Some of them, like ourselves, are still living here on earth, working hard to reach the goal. Very many, however, have already reached it. These are our big sisters and brothers, the saints.

And there is still another group. As Our Lord has said once that nothing unclean can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, most of the souls, after they leave the body in death, are not found ready and have to be purified in Purgatory from the last stain of sin.

Even while suffering, these souls are happy because they know that, for them, time with its great dangers is over and soon they will be forever united with their Lord and God.

“Be ye perfect even as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” says Our Lord, and “This is the will of God–your sanctification,” explains St. Paul. We mothers cannot begin early enough to make it seem quite natural to our little ones that we all–they and we–must strive to become saints just like….And this is where our big sisters and brothers enter in. The most precious thing about the saints is that they were not born that way.

They had their faults just as all of us do, and they had to work hard to overcome them. Some of them were quick-tempered like St. Peter or St. Francis de Sales; some even lied and stole and cheated their mother, as St. Augustine tells us about himself; some were quite wicked, like St. Paul or Mary Magdalene; others were meek and mild from the beginning, like little St. Therese and Dominico Savio.

We parents could learn from the great eagerness with which the children take to certain TV programs or movies with Hopalong Cassidy or other popular performers that every young soul is a hero-worshipper.

Children simply need someone to look up to, to imitate. Well, there is no Hollywood hero who could not be easily outdone by one of the saints. Among that very large number of our big sisters and brothers who “made it” there is one for every kind of child.

There are the Old Testament saints. Some of their stories are more exciting than all of Grimm’s fairy tales. Think of the stories of Abraham when he goes up the mountain to sacrifice his only son; of King David and King Solomon; the prophet Jeremiah; Daniel in the lion’s den; and Tobias with his friend, Raphael; not to forget our saintly first parents, Adam and Eve, whose feast the Church celebrates on the vigil of the birth of Our Lord, December 24th.

There are the stories of the holy women–Judith, Ruth, and Esther; that exciting adventure story of Joseph in Egypt; and the harrowing tale of Job on the dunghill.

Then there are the New Testament saints–all the Apostles and the holy women. There are the many heroes from the time when Christianity was an underground movement the martyrs of the first centuries, especially the young ones–the boy Tarcisius, who was killed as he was carrying the

Blessed Sacrament secretly to the prisoners in Rome, the girls Agnes and Philomene and Cecilia.

There are rich saints like King Louis of France and Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and Queen Margaret of Scotland.

There are poor saints like Francis of Assisi and Benedict Joseph Labre. There are saints who were sick most of their lives, like Lydwina. There are saints who were famous for their jokes and laughter, like Philip Neri and Don Bosco.

When we turn the pages of one of the books with a daily story about one of the saints, we find that there were holy boys and girls, holy mothers and fathers, holy lawyers, doctors, slaves, popes and priests, farmers and swineherds, tailors and bakers–just “holy everybody,” as one of our children once said.

My husband had once taken great pains to tell a beautiful fairy tale to the children. When he had finished, the oldest asked, “Is all of that true, Father?” Slightly embarrassed, he had to admit that it was not, whereupon the child said, “Why did you tell us, then?”

Often afterwards, when we came across tales of saints who had spent their lives sitting on a column, such as Simon the Stilite, or who flew through the air like Joseph of Cupertino, we would say that as a story this equaled any fairy tale but had the added advantage of standing the crucial test, “Father, was that true?”


First of all a child must be acquainted with his own patron saints, whose names were given to him at his baptism. Later on he will also learn about the patron saints in his immediate family, and in a large family like ours this will amount to a great number of stories.

Then, by and by, as the child grows up and hears more about these big sisters and brothers, he will add some of his own liking.

I told my children always to look for saints who had the same troubles and the same faults as they did and then to ask his or her intercession. He must know how it is.

Whereupon one day one of the little ones said to me, “Mother, I know now why you choose St. Peter as your favorite saint. He could get so mad that he once even cut somebody’s ear off!”

Throughout the centuries Christian people have adopted this same policy.

They have searched in the lives of the saints and have chosen certain ones as patrons for certain ailments.

There is, for instance, a group of fourteen saints particularly famous for their prompt intercession in special cases, known as the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Fourteen Auxiliary Saints). Here is the list, together with the attributes by which they are characterized in painting and sculpture.

(1) St. George (April 23rd), soldier-martyr. Always represented with the dragon he strikes down. He is invoked against the devil, and together with St. Sebastian and St. Maurice he is the patron of soldiers.

(2) St. Blaise (February 3rd), bishop, carries two candles crossed; he is invoked against diseases of the throat.

(3) St. Erasmus (June 2nd), martyr. His entrails are wound around a windlass. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach. Patron of seafarers.

(4) St. Pantaleon (July 27th), bishop. He is recognized by his nailed hands. Invoked against consumption. Together with St. Luke and Saints Cosmas and Damien, patron of doctors.

(5) St. Vitus (June 15th), martyr. He is recognized by his cross. Invoked against St. Vitus’ dance and the bite of poisonous or mad animals.

(6) St. Christopher (July 25th), bears the Infant Jesus on his shoulder. Invoked in storms and against accidents in travel.

(7) St. Denis (October 9th), bishop, holds his head in his hands.Invoked for people who are possessed by a devil.

(8) St. Cyriacus (August 8th), martyr, wears deacon’s vestments.Invoked against diseases of the eye.

(9) St. Acathius (May 8th), martyr, wears a crown of thorns. Invoked against headache.

(10) St. Eustace (September 20th), martyr, wears hunting clothes and is shown with a stag. Invoked against fire–temporal and eternal. Patron of hunters.

(11) St. Giles (September 1st), hermit, is recognized by his Benedictine habit and his hind. Invoked against panic, epilepsy, madness, and nightmares.

(12) St. Margaret (July 20th), martyr, keeps a dragon in chains. Invoked against pains in the loins. Patron for women in childbirth.

(13) St. Barbara (December 4th), martyr, is recognized by her tower and the ciborium. Invoked against sudden death. Patron of artillery men and miners.

(14) St. Catherine (November 25th), martyr, is shown with a broken wheel. Invoked by students, philosophers, orators, and barristers as “the wise counselor.”

In the old country, a picture of the Fourteen Holy Helpers is to be found in many a little wayside shrine or impressive pilgrimage church, such as Vierzehn-Heiligen in Bavaria.

It cannot be stressed enough that perhaps the most important books in the home, after Holy Scriptures, are those dealing with the lives of the saints.

Besides the classic Butler, there are other collections. We always liked Omer Englebert’s “The Lives of the Saints,” (New York, David McKay Co.) which gives the story of several saints for every day, thus providing one with many “true stories.”

Looking through those “Lives” becomes more and more fascinating as we realize the many links uniting these people of long ago with us in the twentieth century.

To my amazement I discovered that there is a patron saint for practically every profession–though we have to distinguish between saints appointed by the people themselves and others appointed by Rome. Thus the Holy Father, Pius XII, named St. Michael the patron of policemen, St. Albert the Great as patron for scientists, St. Alphonse Liguori as patron of Confessors, and St. Catherine of Siena as patron of nurses.

He appointed Our Lady under her title of the Immaculate Conception as patroness of the soldiers of the United States, while his predecessor, Pius XI, made St. Therese of Lisieux patron of all missionaries, St. Aloysius patron of all young people, the famous Cure of Ars, St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, the patron of parish priests.

What I myself like best of all is that Rome appointed Our Lady of Loreto the patroness of aviators (obviously because she steered successfully the holy house of Nazareth through the air and had it land in Loreto, Italy, where it has been venerated since the Middle Ages).

Besides these “appointments” of patron saints, there are many chosen by the people.

I never could find out why St. Anthony of Padua (June 13th) has to find lost objects for everybody around the globe or why St. Matthew (February 24th) is the patron of repentant drunkards.

With other saints it is easy to see why some incident of their life or death was taken up by the people as indications that they should be invoked in special cases.

Good St. Anne is the patron saint for mothers-in-law and domestic troubles; St. Florian (May 4th), who was a Roman soldier condemned to death as a Christian and drowned in the River Enns in Austria, is universally invoked to extinguish fires, obviously with the help of the water hallowed by his death; St. Bartholomew (August 24th), who was skinned alive, was made patron for all tanners and butchers.

It is easy to see why the Holy Innocents (December 28th) are the patrons of choir boys and foundlings but rather hard to fathom why St. Margaret (July 20th) cures kidney diseases.

One of our children made a list once, “in case we need it,” of saints to be invoked for special illnesses. Here it is:

Against fever–St. Hugh (April 29th)

Against epilepsy–St. John Chrysostom (January 27th)

Against burns and poisons–St. John the Evangelist (December 27th)

Against inflammations–St. Benedict (March 21st)

Against cough and whooping cough–St. Blaise (February 3rd) Against consumption–St. Pantaleon (July 27th)

Against cold–St. Sebaldus (August 19th)

Patron of all the sick and dying–St. John of God (March 8th)

One of our boys got interested in patron saints for special professions.

Here is his little list:

St. Jerome–patron of students (September 30th)

St. Isidore–patron of laborers (May 10th)

St. Ives–patron of lawyers, jurists, advocates, notaries, and orphans

(May 19th)

The “Four Crowned Martyrs”–patrons of masons and sculptors (November


St. Francis de Sales–patron of writers (January 29th)

St. Gomer–patron of the unhappily married (October 11th)

St. Gregory the Great–patron of singers (March 12th)

St. Cecilia–patroness of musicians (November 22nd)

St. John the Baptist–patron of tailors (June 24th)

St. Paul–patron of rope-makers (June 30th)

If there are girls and boys in a family and one of the boys has made a list of various saints for different professions, the girls simply have to make a list of patron saints, too. Ours found patron saint for animals:

Bees–St. Ambrose (December 7th)

Pigs–St. Anthony the hermit (January 17th)

Dogs–St. Rochus (August 16th)

Horses–St. Leonard (November 6th)

Asses–St. Anthony of Padua (June 13th)

Birds–St. Francis of Assisi (October 4th)

Fish–St. Anthony (June 13th)

And once in a while somebody would come running with a special discovery.

“Mother,look! We have enough girls in our family. I found a patron saint to obtain male children: St. Felicitas (July 10th)!”

“Mother, do you think Aunt Susan knows there is a saint of old maids–St. Catherine of Alexandria (November 25th)?”

They also found that St. Gaston is the patron of children who learned to walk very late, and they discovered a few very valuable saints for weather.

If you want rain, pray to St. Odo; if you want sunshine, pray to St. Claire. But the head of the heavenly weather department is of course St. Peter.

And so it goes. If the children in a family become sufficiently interested in their big brothers and sisters, the saints, to start making such lists and finding out about the respective feast days, it is just as if one of their grown-up sisters were getting married and the new in-laws taken into the family.

Their birthdays and feast days are noted down, the enlargement of the family circle is celebrated, and this, each time, is a happy occasion.

While close relations are kept up with a great many of the saints, some of them are singled out by the Church to be celebrated in a special way.

There is, for instance, St. John the Baptist, whose feast is celebrated on the twenty-fourth of June. We learn that as far back as the eighth century bonfires were being lit in honor of the precursor of Christ–the “Johannesfeuer”–as a special solemnity.

In the old world, the young people of the villages and towns take kindling wood up the mountains or outside of town to some beautiful spot on a river bank. Before it is lit a few words point out the significance of this fire at the height of the year, at the beginning of summer when the nights are shortest; and the symbolism of fire and light in relation to that radiant figure, the Baptist. “He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light” (John 5:35).

When the flames are leaping up, everybody present joins in singing one of the old songs of the occasion.

When the fire is burning low, everyone leaps over it–boys and girls holding hands and leaping by twos. Then they settle down around the fire for the fire-watch until the last spark has died out.

Soon afterwards, on June 29th, we celebrate the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The badge of St. Peter is the cock, in memory of the “thrice-crowing” of that animal.

As St. Peter is the “Great Fisherman,” his feast day is celebrated in many seacoast towns with great festivity.

Boats are decorated with garlands and ribbons. There are races, and the chief dish is fish, of course.

In our extensive traveling throughout many countries over three continents we have come across many a saint who is very famous locally but of whom we otherwise might never have heard. One day in the year is set aside to remember them all–the ones whose names are mentioned in the calendar and the multitudes who stand around the throne of God. This is All Saints’ Day, on November 1st.

In the Epistle, St. John tells us about the vision he had of the “great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands,” singing praise to God.

The teaching of Our Lord in the Gospels tells us what makes a saint a saint “Blessed are the meek…Blessed are they that mourn…Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice…Blessed are the merciful…Blessed are the clean of heart…Blessed are the peacemakers…Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake….” Nothing is so encouraging as to consider, on All Saints’ Day, those millions and millions around the throne of God who followed this teaching.

Like St. Augustine before her, our Martina, when she was still quite little, said once on All Saints’ Day, “As I think of it, Mother, if all those people could do it, why not we!”


“God has so constituted us, that in loving and caring for our own children—the richest and best things in our natures are drawn out. Many of the deepest and most valuable lessons ever learned, are read from the pages of a child’s unfolding life. The thought of our responsibility for them, exalts every faculty of our souls. In the very care which they exact, they bring blessing to us.” J.R. Miller



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Let Your Child Be Messy Sometimes

by Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

The domestic virtues, exaggerated beyond their importance, can be the cause of deep emotional insecurity. Tidiness, cleanliness, routine — all are valuable and must be cultivated in the family; exaggerated, they can rob a home of all its warmth.

Children are not orderly by nature. They are experimenters and explorers, and the world is for them to investigate, with the result that, in their early years, they cannot and will not concentrate for very long on any one thing. This makes for great disorder.

But a normal amount of cluttering up is necessary if children are to learn and create and play with any satisfaction, and mothers who suppress it too determinedly for the sake of a tidy house can do great damage.

There are men who have never developed the “staying home” habit because their mothers kept their homes too clean to play in, because treasures were labeled trash, and unfinished projects messes, and constant nagging left them so ill at ease playing at home that they were more at home elsewhere.

Disorder can be very trying, especially when children who do surpassingly well at creating their own disorder bring in their talented friends to create even more.

Understanding mixed with reasonable requests to help clean up after play pays off in adolescence when the pattern of welcome is set. “Bring your friends home so that we can meet them” is futile advice to a teenager if, during all the years of being a little boy, he has been told to keep his messy friends out of the house.

Children like to be clean. They like the look of it and the feel of it. But they do not care particularly about staying clean. This has nothing to do with liking to be dirty. It has everything to do with how children play — and no normal child can play for very long without getting dirty.

Healthy play for small children involves playing on the floor, on the grass, in the dirt, and in the water; the inevitable end of it all is getting dirty. Scrubbing up afterward is a small price to pay for energy well spent and for hours of real joy.

Rules about not bringing dirt into the house (by the cupful, not on shoes) are fair and good, and rules about brushing dirt off on the porch before you come in are fair and good, but it is the height of frustration to be told to stop playing “because you’re getting dirty.”

The child who is scolded constantly on this score, dragged in to be washed, changed, and set to something “nice and clean,” is doomed to be a perpetual spectator, watching on the sidelines while the rest of men enjoy creative work and play.

Cleanliness for health’s sake is another matter. Very few children (none I know) seem to think it’s important to wash before eating; this simply has to be forced on them. I daresay few develop insecurities from a little brute strength applied here.

They must also learn to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, and it is best if mothers desist from using the clinical reasons and teach this simply as a social nicety.

Impressionable children are apt to develop terrible fears about bathroom functions if too much emphasis is put on germs (and this can cause real trouble later on when they learn about their reproductive organs).

Unable to understand about germs, learning about them first in the bathroom, then in connection with “dirt,” and things on the floor, cats and dogs and money and even the air, the world can soon lose all its loveliness for them and be reduced to nothing but a breeding place for germs.

If they should ask why God made germs, we can tell them that, like everything else He created, germs were good before Adam committed Original Sin. It was the sin that destroyed the harmony, and now some germs can do great harm.

God gave us heads to learn how to protect ourselves, however, and we can use them, put ourselves in God’s care, and refuse to waste time worrying about what might happen because of germs.

Brushing teeth, taking baths, washing hair — all the good health habits are an important part of a child’s sense of security (although I have seen our children as secure as barnacles, and with the grime so thick it had to be sanded off), not only because they keep him socially acceptable, but also because they are duties of stewardship over a body God has given him.

It is when we exaggerate these things out of proportion that they can hurt not only his self-confidence, but also his spiritual values. When impeccable personal habits begin to masquerade as personal purity, they can create great moral confusion.

Virtue is not synonymous with cleanliness, although it’s nice if the virtuous can be clean.

“Letting children play in the dirt, making roads, bridges, lakes, and buildings is creating the next generation of builders and makers.
Consider this: any project that they get involved in – whether it be music, painting, mud building, writing, storytelling, stacking, making tents, performing plays, making cameras, or whatever – that result in someone being able to say, ‘Wow, that is interesting, what are you going to do next?’ is creativity.” – NGJ

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A Catholic Halloween Party – Mary Reed Newland

Mary Reed Newland relates how her family spent Halloween night. I am impressed on how our Catholic heritage is brought into it. I think you will enjoy it! And, if you are like us and only celebrate All Saints’ Day, you can take some of her ideas and make it part of your Feastday party…..

Prayers and Party Fun Together by Mary Reed Newland, The Year and Our Children

Our family’s Halloween parties are now planned around the custom of begging for soul cakes. Among the neighborhood children who attend, Catholics together with non-Catholics, there is no one who is not intrigued to learn the stories of these customs and join in the prayers and the fun.

Frying doughnuts is a big undertaking, but this one time of the year we have a doughnut session – the day before Halloween.

Soul cakes need not be doughnuts, but we like to tell Mrs. Berger’s story; and this, of course, leads to much tasting to see if one does think of eternity at every bite.

Other refreshments for the party are natural treats – apples, nuts, popcorn – all perfect companions to the soul cakes. Next, costumes. Saint costumes have been much in vogue in our circle since the rediscovery of Christian Halloween. These are lots of fun to make, but if you are having non-Catholic children who do not know about patron  saints, a full course on the subject is not possible before the party.

You might suggest that these come as some departed soul, one of those from  eternity who come to warn the living to mend their ways. This gives much leeway and justifies the inevitable cowboys and space cadets. Cowboys do eventually depart, I am confident, and space cadets look as though they already have.

A rhymed invitation tells everybody that this is a real party and keeps enough of the familiar Halloween ghostliness to enhance the rest, which sounds a bit unfamiliar.

Our invitation goes like this:

Come to keep vigil on All Hallows Even,

With Monica, Jamie, Peter and Stephen,

With John, Philip, Christopher, dressed up like souls;

Bring berries of red to help ward off the ghouls.

Come knock at the door and beg for soul cakes,

Pray hard for the souls, for the prayers that it takes

To speed them to Heav’n go too often unsaid,

And who prays for poor souls will ne’er want for bread.

This hints at what is going to happen. Followed by a telephone call or a note to the mothers of the guests, it gives everyone time to get the “feel of it.” This is important. If it isn’t clearly explained how they will beg at the door and say a prayer for the dead, the party will disintegrate right there with the “gimmes.”

The berries of red and their use have their origin way back when holly and evergreens bearing red berries were used to remind the Christians of the blood of Christ and the burning love of Mary for her Child.

It is not hard for country children to find a spray of red berries, but even in the city, there is bittersweet on sale at the street corner; or if you live near a barberry hedge, you might prevail on the owner to let you have a sprig – and to show your goodwill, tell him that it is a wise way to ward off witches.

An old witch patrols the lawn at our house this night, riding a broomstick and fleeing in fright from the groups of guests, terrified at the sight of the berries. Barred from the house by these berries (some of which are combined with autumn leaves and fastened to the front door in a swag), she has to be content to hoot and screech, pop out from behind trees; and when the time comes, bade by what she knows is the truth, she gives directions for begging at the door:

I am forced to tell ye this, miserable dearies, whether I would or no; so mark it well. If ye pray for the dead, they are released sooner from their torment of waiting in Purgatory and sped on the wings of light to their eternal reward. So go and knock and the woman will open to your knock, and sing as loud as ye can: `A soul cake, a soul cake, a prayer for a soul cake!’

She will bear on her arm a basket of cakes and tell ye for whom ye are to pray. And may ye all choke on every crumb and find praying and eating at one and the same time as miserable as the torment I endure forever riding hungry on my broomstick!

Everyone is delighted by her useless malice, and finds that simultaneous praying and eating is not difficult. Better yet, bade by the woman of the house, they pray before they eat (much more respectful).

They pray for grandfathers and grandmothers and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and all the souls in Purgatory. The Catholic children and the non-Catholic children say together for their dead the one prayer they share in common, the Our Father; and after the voices of the Catholic children have died away, the rest continue with “for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”

This, incidentally, was appended to the Our Father long before the so-called Reformation; it is one of those liturgical additions that was eventually dropped for the sake of purity. Knowing this helps eliminate some of the irritation Catholics feel when hearing it. It is not something the Protestants dreamed up just to be difficult.

Around the house to the various doors (because we live in the country, we must confine our party to one house), and then inside for the celebration. In the city, children could go to several houses close together, or to several apartment doors.

The old witch, spying one door without red berries, makes a last appearance, cackling and greeting the guests from behind the puppet show. She shakes the children’s hands with a wet glove and presses an ice cube in each unsuspecting palm, whereupon they shriek and scream and pile through the door into the living room to duck for apples, chase them on strings, eat popcorn and soul cakes, and drink cider.

If there are many small children, plan the party for them – and let the older children help give it. If there are more older children, it is best to plan the party for them. Sometimes it will work both ways, but more often than not, widely divergent age groups do not combine successfully for parties because the same games and entertainments do not appeal to both.

If you have both small fry and older children, you might plan with the mothers of the neighborhood to hold two parties – one for little children at one house, one for older children at another.

For very small children, ducking for apples, apples on strings, refreshments, and the chance to make noise and antics in their costumes can be nicely gathered up and rounded off by reading one or two stories.

If they have come in saint costumes, the outstanding standing game can be telling your saint’s story – after the others have guessed who you are.

For older children or even adults, “A Trayful of Saints” is a good game. On a tray, place a dozen or more objects that symbolize familiar saints.

For example: key- St. Peter; flower – Little Flower; rose – St. Rose of Lima; dog – St. Dominic; bird – St. Francis of Assisi; cross – St. Helena; crown – St. Elizabeth of Hungary; eagle – St. John the Evangelist; shell – St. James; Sacred Heart – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque; kitchen utensil – St. Martha; half coat (paper cut-out) – St. Martin of Tours.

Go slowly from one guest to another, giving them time to memorize what is on the tray. Then pass out paper and pencils and have them list what they remember, and what saint they think they symbolize.

Charades depicting outstanding events in the lives of the saints are always fun at such a party, and ghost stories are in order when the apple-ducking is done and people are sitting around the fire.

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

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God’s Especial Love Was Shown to Sinners

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

The common fear that presents itself to most minds is that we are weak and sinful, full of faults and defects. How then can we be saints?

Our Lord, answering this objection, tells us that He came on Earth, not for the just, but for sinners. He showed His friendship for sinners so clearly that His enemies in derision called Him “the friend of sinners.”

He tells us, “There shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.” (Lk. 15:7).

He assures us that if our sins are as red as scarlet He will make them as white as snow. This He is doing every day.

He chose for His Apostles sinners, rude, weak men. St. Peter denied Him; St. Thomas refused to believe in His Resurrection; all, with the exception of John, abandoned Him in His Passion. St. Paul was a fierce persecutor of the Church and sought to destroy His work.

Yet these weak and sinful men He made so strong that they glorified in suffering for Him. In the face of every danger and difficulty they divided the whole world between them, as mighty conquerors, destroying paganism with all its horrors and implanting in its place Christian civilization.

How touching was His pardon of the poor woman taken in the commission of adultery. The Jews sought to force Jesus to condemn her to a cruel death, which was the penalty established by the law for the crime that she had committed.

They pushed her, covered with shame, forward before Our Lord and denounced her. Our Blessed Savior said to her accusers: “Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone at her.” Full of confusion, they slunk away.

Then Jesus said to the sinner: “Woman, has anyone condemned thee?”

She replied, “No, Lord.”

“Neither shall I. Go in peace. Sin no more.” She left His presence overflowing with love for Him.

This is what He says to us each time we go to Confession, but alas, we are not so grateful as she was!

How lovingly He defended Magdalen who, in the house of the proud Pharisee, kissed His feet and washed them with her tears and wiped them with her beautiful hair.

And the Pharisee who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: “This man, if he were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner. ”

And Jesus answering, said to him, “Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee.”

But he said: “Master, say it.”

“A certain creditor had two debtors, the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most? ”

Simon answering, said: “I suppose that he to whom he forgave most.”

And Jesus said to him: “Thou hast judged rightly. ”

And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon, “Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hair hath wiped them. ”

Thou gavest me no kiss, but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint, but she with ointments hath anointed my feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much . . . ”

And he said to the woman, “Thy faith hath made thee safe, in peace.” (Luke 7:39-50).


Seeing then God’s infinite goodness and mercy for even the greatest sinners, let us banish our foolish fears and doubts. No matter how weak we are, God’s grace will make us strong. Let us have boundless confidence in God’s mercy!

Nothing pleases Him more than to pardon us, to purify us, to give us His friendship. Bear ever in mind His divine assurance, “If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow.” (Is. 1:18).

“Let not your imperfections discourage you; your God does not despise you because you are imperfect and infirm; on the contrary, He loves you because you desire to cure your ills. He will come to your assistance and make you more perfect than you would have dared to hope, and adorned by His own hand, your beauty will be unequalled, like His own goodness.” Divine Intimacy

“If going to Mass and taking Communion has become just another routine for you, don’t assume that indifference is an ordinary part of growing mature in the Faith. On the contrary: your love of Communion should be growing stronger. You can strengthen it now with this wise book from a little-known saint, Peter Julian Eymard.” (afflink)

Time is something that we do not have a lot of and is gone right when we use it. Many waste time, which is not a virtuous thing to do. What is our goal?

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Tidbits…A Benedictine Prayer and The Walking Priest

Father VanderPutten sent me this wonderful poem about a Benedictine Nun written in a pamphlet back in the day. It is beautiful….

 It would be hard to top this as a description of Benedictine life.


from a pamphlet printed by the nuns of Stanbrook Abbey, Worcester, UK



Our world has lost these things
So men are restless, dissatisfied, tense–
Drowning in fevered activity
Seeking the wrong things
And seeking the right things
but in the wrong places

Our world has lost God

That is why we have withdrawn from the world
Not because we do not care about its fate
cannot face its problems
But in order to find God

And having found Him
To irradiate the very heart of the world
With His peace-bringing
life-giving presence

We do not engage in works outside our monastery
For we have chosen to live in silence
and concentration
At the hidden springs, the deepest level
Where the struggle is enacted
between the powers of good and evil
Where our union with Christ bears fruit
for all mankind

We have chosen a stillness
more powerful than all activity
A detachment more fulfilling than all possession
A wisdom exceeding all knowledge
And a love beyond all price

Each day we lift the world up to God
in public prayer and praise
through the liturgy of the monastic choir

Each day we search for Him
in our private prayer and reading

Each day we work
according to our gifts
for the support of the community

Such is the life of a contemplative nun
following the Rule of St Benedict
a community life–
yet lived alone with God

A beautiful CD by the Benedictines of Mary…a lovely gift idea!

Echoes of Ephesus

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Walking the Road to God by Father Lawrence Carney

Have you heard of “The Walking Priest”? We met him at the convent when we dropped Rosie off.

Father Carney says the Tridientine daily Mass for the Benedictines.

He is a true apostle as he walks the streets of St. Joseph, MO, a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other. (They are his hook and his line as he reels in souls for Christ).

He is in the process of starting an order of “walking priests”. Please pray for Fr. Carney and his new religious order: “Canon Regulars of St. Martin.”

“Serving Jesus in the streets of the city is my joy. It brings me great happiness to meet people who come up to me with a question about God or a comment about how they always see me walking and thinking about God. Some honk their horns, some give me a thumbs up. My purpose is to direct people with good hearts to the Heart of God.”

Take a peek at his book….

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Autumn and Her Five Senses by Theresa

For Throwback Thursday….

Autumn is on our doorstep! I hope you enjoy this season as much as we do! The following are some thoughts by our daughter, Theresa about this lovely time of the year!


Musings and a Poem

Theresa Byrne

Autumn and Her Five Senses.

Sight- Those gold, beautiful colors! In my mind’s eye, I can see the changing of the leaves already! When I walk down Memory Lane, I am in Maine strolling along a winding road, bejeweled with huge maple syrup trees, changing to colors of orange, burgundy and yellow.


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The crisp air and lovely colors make this time of year my favorite to take walks.

Early in the fall season, my children and I spend a day sprinkling these autumn colors through our home. Garlands of leaves, wreaths and mums that I have gathered throughout the years bring some of the outside in.

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Pumpkins…such a splash of color! Every year I get each of the kids their own pumpkin and a few extras. We use them as part of our décor, until the All Saints Day Party rolls around, and then we spend a day carving for our annual ‘Pumpkin Carving Contest.’


Out come sweaters, scarves and boots. I love the first time I don my rust, wine and oranges! Indeed, autumn has come!

Smell – Mmmm….. Smell that pumpkin pie baking. Fall, the time of year I tie on my apron, gather my spices and fire up the stove. Fresh apples are plentiful, and the oven warms the house and takes the chill from the air.

Mulled cider candles are lit and in our home they hang a touch of nutmeg, cinnamon and joy!

I have a fond memory, from my childhood…. I was lying on our couch, half snoozing, it was fall time and I could smell fresh bread baking in the oven. I knew my mom was close by, and being a “quality time child”, at this moment I was completely happy. It’s funny, that something so simple and every dayish, holds such a good memory for me.

Simmering on my stove is a little pot of water, mixed with any spices I have… cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Throughout the day, the scent wafts through the house, and what a tease of smell this is to any visitor that comes along.

Devin loves walking in at the end of the day to the colors, peace and smells of ‘Our Friend, Autumn.’

Hearing – There she is, you hear her music on the breeze, the rustling of the leaves, the wind in the willows.

Lilting notes from Devin’s tin whistle can be heard, as we sit around the bonfire or a steaming mug of coffee. Melodies of Ireland come together, with the music of the breeze.

We experience the hum of excitement and laughter at the Shakespeare Festival, and the strain of live music, coming up from ‘The Hollow.’

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The crunching leaves, when you are still and listen, or even the gentle floating of leaves, when they come off the trees, and make the ground their resting place is all part of this season!

Taste – Sitting here, with the breeze coming through the window, I am sipping on a steaming mug of coffee, loaded with fresh cream and a hint of stevia.

Coffee is one of our favorite things, but in the fall it tastes even better. Our basket of tea, which had been retired since the spring, comes out of hiding, on these crisp, cool days.

The kids love when I make a pot of teas, with milk and honey, for us to share.

I love to bake this time of year! My kids and I have already made plump blackberry pies, Swedish tea rings, juicy crisps and delicious blackberry, dark chocolate cheesecake.


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When it comes to baking I am a perfectionist, so to let the kids take part I have had to learn to let go. The fun and memories are worth it and I still take time to bake by myself.

Touch – I think of my fuzzy blanket, warm sweaters, a scarf to add a dash of color, and a child’s hug.

Bonfires are a big part of our fall. We snuggle up, (or hug up, as Brendan says) around the cozy flame, to chat, play music or say the rosary.

Brendan wanted me to tell his favorite bonfire story. Just the other day the kids had been begging to have a bonfire. So after dinner we headed outside, with the tin whistle and kids in tow.

Devin was playing away, and the kids had just started roasting their first “mellow”, when the sky blackened and the heavens opened! This wasn’t just a  little shower, it was pouring!

Brendan still thinks this was the greatest bonfire ever!

It’s many little things that make this time of year special…..Like for me, the smell of bread baking when I was a child.

Thinking of all these things, makes me excited to stop, savor and enjoy this season…. every day that we have with our delightful friend, Autumn!!!

My Friend, Autumn

by Theresa Byrne

If Autumn was a person, who would she be?

           Dressed in gowns of orange and yellow roaming around free.

Her hair would hang loose, sparkling with the morning dew,

Her voice whispering through the trees, telling secrets to me and you.

The birds and the squirrels, the dearest of her chums,

Prance around this Beauty Queen, crowned with a wreath of mums.

When you smell her scent, it’s quite a tease,

Apples, cinnamon and spices swirl around her on the breeze…

Her colors on a pallet are everything that’s bold,

I think of her when I see leaves change, to orange,yellow, wine and gold.

When she comes to visit at the change of the season…

Candles are lit, pies are made and she is our only reason!

The dancing leaves make shadows on the wall,

Sweaters, festivals, mulled cider; her season is called Fall.

I would like to thank this Lady for coming every year,

The memories she has made, to me are very dear.

If Autumn was a person who would she be?

Bold colors, friendship, bonfires, is who she is to me.

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fall finer fem quote for the day fall

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


Father compares the past during the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 to today & our issues in the church…

Fall Coloring Pages for your children. Teach them to be thankful for lovely autumn days!

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Lovely Sparkling Blue Ladder Rosary

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When a Girl Goes Out – Beautiful Girlhood

Though written decades ago, these are good points that should be considered….

From Beautiful Girlhood by Mable Hale

“I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.”*

I had gone out with Betty and Jean, two very dear young friends of mine, and we were comfortably settled in our places in the streetcar when an exclamation from Betty made me look up.

Coming into the car was a group of girls led by a pretty young creature yet in her teens. It was she who had called out the exclamation of my little friends. She greeted them cordially, and they introduced her to me as a schoolmate whom they had not met for nearly a year.

While the girls talked I could observe the new girl and her comrades. All of them had their cheeks painted red and their lips a deeper crimson than nature ever intended. Their dresses were cut in the latest fad and were startling in appearance, while extravagance in their general manners was very noticeable. They were giggling and simpering, purposely calling attention to themselves and enjoying that attention, in every way showing themselves to be silly, vain creatures.

As well as I knew Betty and Jean, I found myself wondering if I had been mistaken in them, and if this was the type of girls they chose as friends, if in their hearts they were like this. The conversation lagged, and I caught my girls watching me with furtive glances as if trying to fathom my thoughts.

When we stood again on the street the girls turned to me with flashing eyes and flushed cheeks and said almost in one breath, “I hope you do not think for one minute that we approve of those girls. We were glad to see Belle after such a long time, but she used to be just like we are. What has changed her so? Why, she looks and acts like a bad girl.”

My mind was relieved as to Betty and Jean’s ideals, but I could not refrain from pitying the girl who had brought upon herself their disapproval, and not only theirs, but that of every right-thinking person. No girl need to be classed among the purest and truest of women, who appears on the street as Belle and her companions had appeared.

A girl is generally taken at her face value; that is, she is thought to be just what she appears to be. Some people will take time to know her as she is; but the great majority pass judgment on appearances only. Nor are they far wrong in doing so. There are not many of us who can for any long time keep up a false appearance. Our real selves will show through.

When a girl dresses to go on the street she should prepare herself in becoming dress, being neither untidy nor conspicuous for the brightness and gaudiness of her clothes. She should remember that upon the street she meets all kinds of people, and among them will be some who would put an evil construction upon any carelessness in this respect.

It is for her protection and good name that we would insist upon a street dress that is modest and unassuming. The more simple the street dress the better it is. Also, her hair should be done in a simple manner and such as is becoming to her face and years. She should strive to look just what she is, a quiet, unassuming girl going about her own affairs.

The cheeks and lips painted a scarlet beyond anything nature would ever give is bad taste at any time, and is an index to a vain and foolish heart, and will not be found in beautiful girlhood. Good health and perfect cleanliness will bring a rosiness and flush to both cheek and lip that is far more beautiful than anything that can be rubbed on.

When the girl is on the street or in public places she should never laugh nor talk loudly. To do so will only call upon her undesirable attention and criticism, and it is a sign of vulgarity. A real lady will not do so. Neither will she be giggling and simpering, nor in any of her conduct will she seek to draw attention to herself. She will not act boisterous nor rowdy, nor keep the company of those who so act. There will be something about her which is a reproof to those who would be boisterous.

A girl should never loiter about public places when she has no business calling her there. If she does so, she is forced into temptation and made an object of criticism, which will in time bring her into very undesirable situations. One girl, a very young girl, who had formed the habit of loitering about a depot at train time, picking up a conversation with some of the men she met there (thinking only of the fun there was in it), had the following experience:

One day a gentleman alighted from a train which was to wait for the passengers to eat. He began walking up and down the platform. He was fine looking and soon attracted the attention of this girl.

She watched him furtively out of the corner of her eye, coughed a little, and laughed merrily and a trifle loudly with a group of her acquaintances; but at first he paid no attention. This piqued her, and she made more ardent efforts to attract his attention; for her companions were teasing her about her failure to “land her catch.” Her power of attraction was being tested.

At last he noticed, turned, and sought her out and came directly to her, her foolish little heart was all in a flutter at her success. She meant to do no more than to chat with him a few moments, and by so doing satisfy her vanity as to her attractiveness, and clear herself of the charge of weakness the girls had teasingly made.

“My dear girl,” he said, tipping his hat, “have you a mother at home?”

“Why, yes,” the girl stammered.

“Then go to her and tell her to keep you with her until you learn how you ought to behave in a public place,” and saying this he turned and left her in confusion and shame. It was a hard rebuke; but this man had told her only what every pure-minded man and woman was thinking. Girls can hardly afford to call down upon themselves such severe criticism.

A young man was walking down the street of a small city intent only upon his own affairs; but he happened to be good-looking, and a group of schoolgirls spied him. One of them expressed her decision to make his acquaintance and find out who he was. She and her companions walked rapidly and overtook him, and passed him, laughing merrily and managing to catch his eye as they passed.

Then they loitered till he had to pass them in getting to the corner, when he turned off on purpose to avoid them. They followed him and passed him again, and this time the girl who was leading the attack was more bold in catching his eye, and with a glance challenged him to speak.

He saw the challenge and flushed. He had sisters at home, and had been taught by a good mother the proper respect for women. Stopping, he addressed her with a smile that was not merry, and she, thinking she was about to accomplish her foolish design, waited for him to speak.

He said, “My young friend, you are not a bad girl, but you are acting like one. It is only a little way on the path you are going to where you will be what you pretend to be now. Promise me that you will never, as long as you live, do as you have done this evening, but that you will be a true woman.” He waited a little for her to answer, turning his head so as not to see the painful flush on her face, for he was right, she was not a bad girl, just a silly one.

“I promise you,” she said faintly, and he turned and passed on, and the group of humbled girls hurried home.

If all men were as these two gentlemen, girls would not be in the danger that they are in from an unguarded act; but these were exceptions. While they set the girls back to right paths, too many would have led them on to lower depths.

There is no more beautiful adornment to womanly character than purity, and the girl does well to see that everything that concerns her dress and behavior when away from her home on the street or otherwise in the eyes of the public, is pure, clean, modest, and quiet. Though she should have to pass by many things that other girls count good times, she will in the end be far happier.

🌸💞I want to be able to lay my head down at night knowing I have connected with those things that matter most…..
So that when my life is at its close it can be said, “You have run the race, you have fought the good fight.” and I will be remembered, not for what I have accomplished, but for HAVING LOVED WELL….. -Finer Femininity

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How to Overcome Fear

Fr. Irala’s Achieving Peace of Heart has been one of our favorite books through the years. Here is an excerpt on practical ways to overcome fear….

From Achieving Peace of Heart by Fr. Narciso Irala

Fear is the emotion most difficult to control because often we do not know what we fear or why we are afraid, as in cases of anxiety, phobias, or groundless fears.

The motive is often unconscious or may be transferred from its real cause to some accompanying circumstance. Or we may be unconsciously repressing some natural reaction which might humiliate us, we think, if seen.

Instead, we give it expression in “symbolic” fears which we recognize as groundless, but which we do not know how to control.

In such cases a deeper exploration of the subconscious is indicated, an investigation of the abnormality and the circumstances which first accompanied it. Discovering these, we may more easily control a transferred fear.

If the fear is conscious, we may take the following steps to conquer it:

1.Before all else, act. Fear already tends to inhibit our activities. So we must not assist it by remaining inactive but, on the contrary, conquer it by acting.

A North Pole explorer owes his rescue to such a procedure. Lost on the endless ice, he could not find his camp. Instead of worrying about it, he began to heap up piles of snow and ice at regular intervals. These helped him to make calculations through which he eventually rediscovered his camp.

2.Make them concrete. We must illuminate those dark caverns. Answer these questions in writing and in detail: “Just what am I afraid of? And why?”When fear or anxiety is made concrete and viewed objectively, it is destroyed.

3.Reason about them. “What probabilities are there that this [the thing I fear] will really happen? And even if it does happen, will it really be as disastrous as I fear?”

4.Face up to them. “Even supposing that this happens, what then? So what? Are there not others who have gone through similar crises? Haven’t they gone on living and become happy? And even if I have to die, so what? Then can’t I begin to be happier in eternity?” When we imagine the worst possible natural evil that could happen to us and sincerely accept it and so find a human or divine solution for it, we shall be victorious over exaggerated fear.

5.Avoid the exciting factors, or rather the alarming ideas which these stimuli arouse in us. Distract your attention from them by means of concentrating it upon conscious sensations or by deliberately following out a favorite train of thought or, even better,-

6.Deliberately affirm contrary judgments, e.g., “There is no special danger. The probability that this will happen is very small. Even if it does happen, the disadvantage would be insignificant, or at least there would come with it several advantages which would far counterbalance it.”

7.Deliberately foster contrary feelings, e.g., of courage, or security. This is done by the same means by which fear betrayed us, i.e., by intense acts of courage, by vivid remembrances of peaceful moments or places, by actually saying something with a tone of courage or security in the voice.

8.Associate this reliving of past peaceful moments with the circumstances which had been producing anxiety in you. Imagine that you are in control of the situation and that you are speaking in a masterful tone of voice.

In a Brazilian seminary I met a stammerer who was afraid that he would be unable to go on to the priesthood because of this defect. Face to face with the Rector of the seminary he could not speak two consecutive words. The same thing would happen when with certain of his companions and in certain classes.

On the contrary he spoke well whenever he had learned something by memory. Hence it was the feeling of anxiety which was inhibiting his vocal muscles. He was afraid that the Rector would declare him unsuitable for the priesthood.

But I helped him to remove this fear by showing him that he could cure himself if he would implant the contrary feelings in his sub-conscious by the means indicated above. And so I had him link these feelings to the experience which had terrified him most.

I had him imagine and then actually say, “I am going to see Father Rector . . . I greet him . . . And all is serene. I am completely at peace and am master of the situation.”

At first he spoke the last phrase with the same descriptive tone as the first. But I had him repeat it after me with a tone of security. On doing it with all the courage and force of which he was capable, I felt that he was transformed.

Three days later the Rector came to thank me for the good done to his seminarians, and he particularly mentioned that the stammerer had been cured.

9.In cases of muscular constriction. By this I mean a latent state of insecurity or anxiety due to strong and prolonged tension in the intercostal muscles. This prevents the quiet easy expansion of the chest which is normal when we are secure or in good spirits.

Instead, we would then tend to assume a posture characteristic of timidity or depression. But, since there appear to be no mental or emotional causes of fear, we should try to loosen these muscles by adequate gymnastic exercises, a more correct posture, or massage.

10.Assume the opposite facial expression: not the wide open, staring eyes which are a sign of fear, but rather a look that is secure and, mild.

Keep the voice deep and firm; let it rely on the outgoing air current and not on forcing the throat muscles. Maintain a respiration that is deeper or slower. To do this, instead of concentrating on expanding the lungs, try to expand the nasal passages and keep them well opened.

The great St. Bernard wrote in his rule that whenever the monastic bell rang, the monks were to drop what they were doing and go to whatever they were being called to.

In our homes, our monastic bell is all the many things beckoning at us throughout the day…the diapers to be changed, the dishes that need doing, the laundry that needs to be done, etc.

We respond to these things right away, even though we many not want to, remembering that these duties are the very things that will make us holy.

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Rosie’s Entrance…

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

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

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

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

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

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