Two Kinds of Saints

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From An Easy Way to Become a Saint by Father Paul O’Sullivan, 1949

There are saints and saints. Some we may call “extraordinary saints” and some “ordinary saints.”

Extraordinary saints are raised up by God for some extraordinary mission, and to these God gives extraordinary means to carry out that mission.

Such were, for instance, St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius Loyola and a host of others.

St. Dominic was raised up by God to defend the Church against the Albigensian heretics, who taught the vilest doctrines and perpetrated the most hideous crimes. Kings sent armies against them, the Pope sent holy men to check them, but all in vain.

God then raised up St. Dominic who, by the holiness of his life and his earnest preaching, converted 100,000 of these hardened sinners in a remarkably short time.

Notwithstanding his austere life and incessant labors, there was no one more joyful, more lovable than St. Dominic. He was sad only when he heard of the sorrows of others or of offenses committed against his dear Lord.

The Saint founded three religious orders, which have given to the Church notable saints, missionaries, martyrs, bishops and popes.

What especially endears him to us is the fact that it was he who gave us the Rosary, which God’s Holy Mother had given to him.

Who has not heard of the seraphic St. Francis of Assisi, so famous for his profound humility, his extreme poverty and his burning love of God, as a reward of which he received on his hands and feet and in his side the Sacred Stigmata, the marks of Christ’s five wounds.

He, too, founded three religious orders, which have given many and great saints to the Church, people such as St. Bonaventure, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Clare and many others, saints who shine as bright stars in the firmament of Heaven.

St. Ignatius of Loyola is another example of an extraordinary saint. He began life as a soldier in the army of Spain, but God called him to be a great soldier of Holy Church. To him was given the mission to battle against the pseudo-reformers, as to St. Dominic had been given the task of converting the Albigenses.

His glorious order, the Society of Jesus, has done and is ever doing a mighty work for the glory of God and for the welfare of the world at large. His sons are ever in the vanguard of the battle, fighting valiantly against the enemies of Christ.

Now these extraordinary saints, inspired by God, used extraordinary means to achieve their great ends.

They labored incessantly, spent long hours in prayer, fasted rigorously and did severe penance. God favored them with supernatural visions and revelations and gave them the power of working miracles.

Ordinary Christians are not called upon to do such mighty deeds, nor are they asked or advised to imitate the long prayers, the rigorous fasts of these extraordinary saints.

ORDINARY SAINTS

There is, however, a second class of saints, ordinary saints. Bear in mind that these saints are no less saints than the others; they are true saints and have reached exalted heights of sanctity, though in a different way.

They lead humble, simple lives, performing their daily duties well and using the ordinary but abundant means of sanctity given by God to all Christians.

These means we too can use, and by them we can attain a high degree of holiness. Here is a good example of the ordinary saint.

THE TWO LADIES

The great St. Antony, the abbot who had spent long years in the desert, passing whole nights in prayer and performing severe penances, aware of how important the virtue of humility is in the spiritual life, asked God to make him profoundly humble.

In answer to his prayer, the Almighty directed him to visit two ladies in the neighboring city, who though simple and unpretentious in their manner of life, were, so God told Antony, holier than he who had spent long years in the practice of rigorous penance and unceasing prayer.

On entering their home, the Saint sought to discover the secret of such remarkable holiness; he asked them many questions as to the fasts they made, the length of their prayers, their austerities and the like, so that he might imitate them.

He was not a little surprised to learn that they did nothing exceptional. They observed the fasts of the Church; they said their prayers devoutly; they gave what little alms they could afford; they frequented the Sacraments, heard daily Mass and practiced the ordinary Christian virtues.

What impressed the Saint most was that they loved God very simply but very sincerely. God was the great reality in their lives. They did all their actions for love of Him. They performed their daily duties, seeing God in all they did.

They accepted what happened to them, joys as well as sorrows, as coming directly from His hand.

That was all, but it sufficed to explain to the Saint the secret of their wonderful sanctity, viz., they performed their duties well and they loved God. There are thousands of such hidden, ordinary saints in the Church now, as there have been at all times.

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“Living to please others is a very real form of bondage. It enslaves and destroys. The only way to be liberated is to carry our crosses and submit to the shame of pleasing God over men. We must learn to love our Savior more than praise and approval, for only then will we be truly free.” – The Catholic Gentleman

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Coloring Pages for your children….

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A good sermon. A mother needs the gift of fortitude to inspire her children on the path to holiness!

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Definitely a beautiful, yet challenging message for our times! “After presenting the richness of the Gospel message, more beautiful than any other world view, he explains how Gospel frugality is lived in each state of life.” (afflink)

Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom by Fr. Thomas Dubay

“To the modern mind, the concept of poverty is often confused with destitution. But destitution emphatically is not the Gospel ideal. A love-filled sharing frugality is the message, and Happy Are You Poor explains the meaning of this beatitude lived and taught by Jesus himself. But isn’t simplicity in lifestyle meant only for nuns and priests? Are not all of us to enjoy the goodness and beauties of our magnificent creation? Are parents to be frugal with the children they love so much?

The renowned spiritual writer Dubay gives surprising replies to these questions. He explains how material things are like extensions of our persons and thus of our love. If everyone lived this love there would be no destitution.

After presenting the richness of the Gospel message, more beautiful than any other world view, he explains how Gospel frugality is lived in each state of life.”

 

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My Little Story About the Rosary….

Happy Feast of the Holy Rosary! Here is my little story of the Rosary…..

I’m a slow learner.

Sometimes it just takes me a long time to “get” some things.

At the tender age of twenty, the Rosary and the Consecration to Our Lady (St. Louis de Montfort style) was what set my feet on solid ground in a world that spun around me with all sorts of “answers” to life’s problems. And I wanted answers.

My friends were leaving the Catholic Church that was rocked by liberalism and they were going to greener pastures. It was all beckoning to me. The Catholic Church I attended didn’t seem to hold out any answers. I had attended a Catholic School and went to Mass every Sunday all my growing up years. I was involved in youth groups and church choirs. And yet I didn’t know about the True Presence until I was almost 20 years old! There was an emptiness…. but I didn’t know what the problem was.

Then something happened. I went to a few classes on St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary. I didn’t like them but I stepped out in faith and began by saying a decade of the rosary each day (while my thoughts traveled to those naysayers saying  “repetition of words are useless…dumb”….they also said…”IDOLATRY…you can’t pray to Mary”) but I persevered…..And then I consecrated myself to Our Lady…(once again, the horrible doubts and misgivings…) I did it anyway. It was not very comfortable.

I met hubby. We began our courtship and our marriage with the rosary…daily. It was a commitment. It wasn’t wonderful…or beautiful…. It was a commitment.

We had children. Many children. We said the rosary. So often, it seemed fruitless. Life was so distracted, so wrought with the everyday little crosses and duties…but it was a commitment and we stuck to it.

I knew it was a good thing. I knew Our Lady asked for the Family Rosary at Fatima:“I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to always pray the Rosary every day.” I believed. I was committed. Hubby was always committed. 🙂

I see now the fruits. I look around at a very crazy world and thank God through tears for what He has given to us…through no merit of our own.

I know that we could have really messed up. We were two people coming from very different backgrounds….both very strong-willed. We made our mistakes…..but we had the Rosary. And we stuck with it, day in and day out, year after year.

A family that prays together, stays together. I know that is not everything. If we have an open heart, the Rosary gives us the graces to make the necessary changes as we need them.Feb. 14, 2014 005-001

The Daily Family Rosary. Steady, Constant. Amid the crosses of daily life with many children, the misunderstandings between husband and wife, the financial burdens…we had the rosary.

When the kids got hurt or sick, when I was very ill, when hubby was in the hospital and we had no money to pay, through tragedies, accidents and fires, when I didn’t understand why God was letting things happen to us…. we were saying the Rosary.

Steady and constant, we prayed it every day, amid slouching kids, tired husband, cranky, pregnant wife.

Thank God for that Rosary. I know my life is not done yet. We still have children at home, children who can….and will….make a lot of mistakes. But for the record, they all (married ones, too) put their Faith first, amid their own struggles. They say the daily Rosary and it will be what holds them together through thick and thin.

If you have troubles, say the Rosary. If, amid your noisy and boisterous family, you are suffering loneliness, say the Rosary. Do you have fears and worries? Say the Rosary. Are your rosaries dry and distracted?…Keep saying it.

Truly, who knows better than Our Lady, Our Mother, our humanness, our failings, how small we are, how distracted we are. She will help. Persevere. Don’t give up.

It is just now that I am beginning more to understand the beauty, the mystery, the  deep, interior, spiritual growth that can take place through the Rosary. Like I said, I am a slow learner.

I am glad that God is very, very patient.

He has given us a very special gift. Don’t take it for granted and don’t go a day without saying it!

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“It is difficult for a child to be better than his home environment or for a nation to be superior to the level of its home life. In fulfilling its double purpose – the generation and formation of children – the home becomes a little world in itself, self-sufficient even in its youngest years. It is vital that you, as a mother or father, make of your home a training ground in character-building for your children, who will inherit the world’s problems. Home is a place in which the young grow in harmony with all that is good and noble, where hardship, happiness, and work are shared.” – Father Lawrence G. Lovasik
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Advent Package Special! The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal & Celine’s Advent

 Available here.

Details

Two Special Advent Books for a Package Price!

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

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

 

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Remember What Made You Fall in Love

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Disclaimer

 The Surrendered Wife
Remember What Made You Fall in Love

Sometimes the things that we’re most attracted to at first become the things we find most irritating later on. Maybe you think he’s irresponsible now, but at first you enjoyed his great sense of fun.

Perhaps you were impressed with his success in business and now you wonder why you married a workaholic.

Nothing’s changed about your husband but your perspective.

Examine your complaints to see if you can re-frame them as qualities that you delight in. You’ll soon remember what made you fall in love with your husband.

Why Did You Marry Him?

Are you dismissing the talents he brings to the relationship because you don’t see them as valuable? If that’s the case, then you’re missing out on one of the biggest gifts of marriage — having reinforcements in the areas where you’re weak, and the benefit of two perspectives.

If you still think your husband is not as smart or capable as you, ask yourself why you married him. Answering that question will remind you that those traits are right before your very eyes, and that they’re there for your benefit.

For A Close Connection, Curb Your Urge to Communicate

You may have heard, just as I did, that the key to a good marriage is to communicate. I figured that if some communication was good, more was better.

I was dead wrong.

Even though I have a degree in communications, trying for years to “communicate” with my husband never got me the connection I craved. Instead, I found that my propensity to talk things out actually worked against me because so much of the time I wanted to talk about what he was doing wrong, or wasn’t doing at all.

Of course John and I still talk a lot — about serious and silly things. But now that I practice surrendering principles, we rarely have to “communicate.”

The result? Our emotional connection is better than ever.

Enough said.

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“O woman, woman! If you only knew how much you have it in your power to do,—with His assistance Who can never fail us when we do our best,—to make true men of the husband of your choice, of the sons whom God has given you as his most precious treasures; true women, in their turn, of the little girls who are growing up at your knee,— to be, when you are gone to your reward, mothers blessed and praised by all who know them!” -Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

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Excellent sermon to listen to while you are folding clothes, doing dishes or just enjoying working on your craft!
Lukewarmness is the enemy of fervent souls. ” Being lukewarm is a spiritual disease, where one gradually slips from fervor due to a lessening of effort in prayer and other crucial acts of piety. If he doesn’t correct this, he will prepare himself for mortal sin. The best remedy against lukewarmness is (i) devotion to Blessed Mary, (ii) obey a good spiritual director and (iii) recommit to the duties of ones state of life.”

 

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These graceful Vintaj necklaces can be worn every day as a reminder of your devotion to the Blessed Mother or to the Saint! Get it blessed and you can use it also as a sacramental. A perfect gift!
Available here.

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Showing Up for Life

A repost for Throwback Thursday. Reading this again makes me want to try harder to live in the now….to make time for the priorities. When we are on our deathbed, it won’t be how much we have accomplished, how clean our house is or how many Christmas cookies we baked….  It will be: Do I go to the door to greet my husband when he comes home? Do I take the time to listen to him? Did I take time out to look and listen when the kids were talking to me? Did I read them a bedtime story? Did I make sure they said their prayers? These are the priorities.

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The last few weeks, I have come to the realization that I am busy….very busy. I am helping with a lot of things at our parish, we have made some spiritual commitments as a family and I have become president of both the Junior and Senior Legion of Mary. I am excited about this new position because I could see the Hand of God in it, and because my family takes part in both…..but I also feel……busy.

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Our Junior Legion of Mary Praesidium

Bailey makes his Legion of Mary profession at the Senior Legion of Mary.

A lot of the women I know are very busy. They have a God-given gaggle of children, many of them young. They are up night and day, doing the things that mothers lovingly….and sometimes not so lovingly (but always trying)… do.

Many of us can’t change the fact that we are busy….and really, we wouldn’t want to. But we must take time to smell the roses along the way….we must take the time to BE.

One of my favorite books is Achieving Peace of Heart which was written by a Jesuit priest and Catholic psychologist in a day when these could be trusted. He helped so many people and his main theme and way of recovery for small anxieties right through to mental disorders….his way of teaching the secret to happiness…was living in the present moment.

“In conscious life there is a lack of clear consciousness, or of adequate response to impressions received. A victim of this escapes from reality and from society into egocentrism. He neither lives in nor enjoys the present; he does not pay full attention to what he sees or hears. He lives in the past or the future, far away from his physical location, wrapped up in sadness, scruples, or worries…..” Fr. Narciso Irala, Achieving Peace of Heart

And an excerpt from the book Hands Free Life – Rachel Macy Stafford: “Although we’ve been led to believe that our fondest memories are made in the grand occasions of life, in reality, they happen when we pause in the ordinary, mundane moments of a busy day. The most meaningful life experiences don’t happen in the ‘when,’ they happen in the ‘now.’ This concept is not earth shattering, nor is it something you don’t already know. Yet we still continually put off the best aspects of living until the conditions are right.”

So….we need to consciously practice pulling ourselves back to the NOW until we become experts at it! We need to quit thinking so much of what we have to do….running, running, running. Let’s do the job we are doing, let’s do it well, let’s think about living each moment IN the moment. This takes some effort, it takes a mindfulness that may try to elude us…. but we mustn’t let it. We need to begin to show up for life.

This mindfulness will help us with our family life.

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When those little…or big…. feet come running up to us and their eyes peer into ours, let’s take the time to really listen and look at them. Let’s BE…..for them.

So what if we are mopping the floor and want to get it done NOW! Let’s put the mop aside and spend that 5 minutes listening to the latest escapade of what happened when Johnny tried to climb the tree or Susie tripped over her skip rope. Those 5 minute snatches can mean so much to them…..and to us.

When hubby comes home from work, let’s take the time to stop what we are doing and greet him with a smile and a kiss. Isn’t he worth it? Yes, he is worth it. If he wants to talk about his day, let’s try to stay focused and listen. It won’t take much of our time and it sure is a lot more important than getting those clothes off the line….we can do it later.

When 14 yr. old Jenny wants to tell us about how her book ended, or about the movie she watched (Ugh! Don’t you dislike listening to someone retell a movie??), let’s listen….not just listen….let’s hear.

Whether we are married or single, no matter what our life occupation is, we must take time for our loved ones. This doesn’t change no matter what walk of life we are in.

We want to be able to go to bed at night knowing that we have spent some time putting first things first….our husbands, our children, our siblings, our parents, our friends.

The people in our lives are so important….much more important than any chore or deadline we may think we have. We can get back to that. Let’s just be there for them. Let’s live in the present…..the NOW….for us, for our families.

So, for today, we will work on doing what we are doing….doing it well….and embracing those “distractions” and “interruptions” with patience and love. Let’s walk with a peace, the peace of doing God’s will in the moment and not letting our mind wander too far away from the NOW. Let us BE…it’s up to ME!

The Important Things- Leane VanderPutten

(based on “Keeping Track of Life Manifesto” – Rachel Macy Stafford)

Not the skin-deep beauty of face and figure

Not the fullness of our bank account

Not the speed at which I get my housework done

Not how nice my vehicle is

Not the cleanliness and beauty of my house

Not the number of chores I do each day

Not the events on my calendar

Not the number of church functions I am involved in

Not the text messages or emails I feel I need to respond to

Instead….I’m paying attention to the important things in life

I am going to live in the present, I am going to BE

for the hugs

for the conversations

for the exchange of laughter to heal my anxious soul.

I am finding happiness in living for the NOW

In the sit-down moments after meals

In the raucous joy of children and grandchildren

In the exchange of knowing looks that come between my husband and I

I’m living for the NOW

By taking the Hand of my Lord

Looking at Him when I feel frenzied

When I feel worried and disillusioned

So I may be present for those I love

my children

my husband

my grandchildren

my friends

By basking in each moment as I pause along the way

I’m living for the NOW

Because I know that there are more important things than accomplishing each task on my list.

Because I don’t want to miss a childhood, a wedding, a friendship

Because I want to be able to lay my head down at night knowing I have connected with those things that matter most…..

Because 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…..

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“Be a kind wife. Kind words can have such a powerful impact on your marriage. Speak gentle, thoughtful things to this man you love.” -Lisa Jacobson
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Check out my book, Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children here! 🙂

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Review (Thank you, Natalie!):

“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.”

 

 

 

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False Goods and Friendship- St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales warns us of false friendships, and that oftentimes the things we deem as something to be sought after in a friend are really vain and shallow.

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Friendship by St. Francis de Sales

Among the passions, love holds first place: It is the king of the heart’s movements and it converts everything to it, rendering the one who loves similar to the one loved.

Be very careful, therefore, dear Reader, not to have any evil love, because you will in turn quickly become evil yourself.

Friendship is the most dangerous of all loves. Why? Because other loves can exist without communication, exchange, closeness. But friendship is completely founded upon communication and exchange and cannot exist in practice without sharing in the qualities and defects of the friend loved.

Not all love is friendship: First of all, because one can love without being loved. It may then be love, but not friendship. For friendship is mutual, reciprocal, and if it is not reciprocated, it is not friendship.

Secondly, because it is not enough that it be reciprocal; it is also essential that those who love each other recognize their mutual love. If they are unaware of it, it is not friendship.

Thirdly, because in friendship there must exist some kind of exchange or communication, for such is the foundation of friendship.

Friendship differs according to the different kinds of communication, and the communications differ according to the variety of goods exchanged. If these are false goods, then the friendship is false.

Honey gathered from the best flowers is the best. So too, the better the goods exchanged, the better the friendship. It is said that the honey of Heraclea, gathered from aconite, which is very abundant in that region, renders mad those who eat it.

So too, friendship founded on the exchange of false and vicious goods is itself completely false and vicious.

The exchange of carnal delights ought not to be called friendship in human relations any more than it would be called such in donkeys or horses.

If marriage implied only this kind of exchange, it would no longer deserve to be called friendship. In addition to this there must be a communication of life, of work, of feelings, and finally an indissoluble fidelity.

With these dimensions the friendship of marriage is a true and holy friendship. Friendship founded on the exchange of sensual pleasures is gross and unworthy of the name of friendship, and so too is that based on vain and frivolous qualities, since these also depend on the senses.

I call sensual pleasures those which are attached directly and principally to the five senses: the pleasure of seeing beauty, of hearing a sweet voice, of touching pleasant things… I term frivolous qualities those capacities, innate or acquired, which superficial people call “virtues” or “perfections.”

Just listen to young people; they do not hesitate to conclude that a person has great qualities simply because he dances well, dresses well, sings well, chats pleasantly, has a fine appearance or is skilled in all kinds of games.

Do not charlatans consider the biggest clowns to be the most accomplished people in their group? Since all this relates only to the level of the senses, we can qualify as sensual those friendships based on such.

They really deserve to be called amusements rather than friendships. Such are ordinarily the friendships among young people, stopping as they often do at such things as moustaches, hair, glances, clothing, attractiveness, small talk – friendships worthy of that age whose virtue is still only downy and whose judgment is just in the bud: friendships which are but fleeting, melting like snow in the sun.

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Friendships in the family require care and culture—as do other friendships. We must win one another’s love inside the home doors just as we win the love of outside friends. We must prove ourselves worthy; we must show ourselves unselfish, self forgetful, thoughtful, and kind, tender, patient, helpful. Then when we have won each other we must keep the treasure of affection and confidence, just as we do in the case of friends not in the sacred circle of home. -J.R. Miller

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Tick-Tock: A Mother’s Teachable Moments

 

The mother of Cardinal Vaughan had fourteen children–eight boys and six girls.

Remarkable educator that she was, she believed that she owed the best part of her time to her little world.

The children’s special room looked like the nave of a Church for each little boy and girl had his statue to care for and they never failed to put flowers before it on special occasions.

With what art this mother settled a quarrelsome boy or a vain or untruthful little girl!

With the littlest ones she was not afraid to become a little one and, like them, to sit on the ground.

Thus, placed on their level, as the biography of her Jesuit son expresses it, she used to put her watch to their ears and explain to them that someday God would stop the tick-tock of their lives and that He would call to Himself in heaven His children whom He had lent to earth.

In the course of the day, Mrs. Vaughan loved to pick out one or other of her band, preferably two, chosen on the basis of their earnest efforts or some particular need for improvement, and make a visit to Church.

Yes, they should pray at home too; they had God in their hearts; but in each village or in each section of town, there is a special house generally of stone where Our Lord lives as He once lived at Nazareth except that now He remains hidden under the appearances of a little Host.

She explained to them that prayer consists not in reciting set words but in conversing with Jesus.

And if they had been very, very good she would let them kiss the altar cloth and sometimes the altar itself, a favor the children regarded as most precious.

When they had beautiful flowers in their greenhouse they brought them to Church; happy and proud were the ones who were entrusted with delivering the bouquets or the vases of flowers!

Besides the visits made to “Jesus, the Head” there were also visits to the “members of Jesus,”

“What you do to the least of My brethren you do to me.”

And Mrs. Vaughan explained to each child according to its capacity to understand the great duty of charity and the reason for this duty.

She did not hesitate to take them into sordid homes.

Sometimes people were horrified to see her take the children to see the sick who suffered from a contagious disease. Wasn’t she afraid her children would contract it?

But kind, firm Mrs. Vaughan did not allow herself to be the least disturbed by such comments.

“Sickness? Well if one of them contracted a sickness while visiting the poor that would still not be too high a price to pay for Christian charity.

Besides God will protect my children much better than mother-love can.

Here was true formation in piety, true formation in charity. Here too was encouragement to follow a high ideal.

Herbert, the eldest of the boys, was once quite concerned over a hunting trip that the weather threatened to spoil. “Pray mamma,” he said, “that we have good weather!“

And Mrs.Vaughan, more concerned to lift her son’s soul than to secure him a pleasurable time, answered smilingly, “I shall pray that you will be a priest!”

How the boy took such an answer at the moment is not recorded. We do know this: Herbert was . . . the future Cardinal!

Vaughan also gave her children an appreciation of the fine arts.

She herself played the harp delightfully. From time to time she gathered her household about her for a gala time playing, singing, and a bit of mimicry; she always used the occasion to remind the children that there are other melodies and other joys more beautiful than those of earth.

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“At a certain moment when going to confession to a Capuchin father, St. Therese came to understand that it was just the opposite: her “defects did not displease God” and her littleness attracted God’s love, just as a father is moved by the weakness of his children and loves them still more as soon as he sees their good will and sincere love.” -Fr. Jacques Philippe,The Way of Trust and Love, http://amzn.to/2fpXVzl Painting by Millie Childers

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Happy Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux! Dear Little Flower, pray for us!

Follow this link for instructions on how to make the Sacrifice Beads, invented by St. Therese!

A coloring page for your little people….

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A conference by Bishop Fulton Sheen:

Miracles of the Little Flower:

 

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Tribute to Mother ‘Autumn Blossoms’ Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, hand-embroidered and made with care!

Available here.

 

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Our Guardian Angels (October 2nd)

Why don’t you plan to have a little celebration for this lovely feast day of Our Holy Guardian Angels? It can be as simple as a cake to celebrate, or a little procession….or, like Mrs. Newland mentions, some type of craft depicting the Angels in some way or another.

We must not forget these Mighty Messengers and Helpers that God has given us. We need to make our children aware of who these Angels are and how we can invoke their help for whatever little or big need we have!

From The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland

It is generally agreed that all Christian communities, countries, families, dioceses, churches, and religious houses have each their Guardian Angel, and St. Francis de Sales wrote that bishops have another other angel as such, in addition to their Guardian Angel.

We can add more angels to the mobile** (see below) on this day, one for each in the family (make them very simple shapes, recognizable by a sweep of wings), and write the name of each person on an angel.

“Dear Angel, Ever at My Side” is a simple hymn for children to be found in the Pius X Hymnal, and a few days’ practice ahead of time would prepare us to greet our angels with this at the feast-day dinner in their honor.

An Angel Pie is a luscious dessert we could make as a climax. A recipe for meringue, a half-pint (or more if you are a big family and need two pies) of whipping cream, and fresh or canned fruit, drained, are the ingredients.

You bake the meringue in a pie tin instead of in individual portions, whip the cream very stiff, fold in the fruit, pile it in the shell and serve.

**During the preparation for the feast, children can learn the gifts and fruits by making their own mobiles with wire clothes hangers. Tie a wire clothes hanger to a string, use it as is or bend it into an interesting shape, or suspend additional hangers from it. Let the children cut doves, candles, flames, circles, or other shapes from heavy paper and letter on them the gifts and the fruits. Suspend pend them at varying heights with black threads, sometimes with small objects to weight them so they will swing slowly in space.

31atxWhcZqL._SX425_A few thoughts by Fr. John Mitchelle, LC:

In the Catechism, we read: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by the watchful care and intercession of the angels. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life”

Our angel goes before us and knows the way that leads to life, the path that leads to the spiritual place that God has prepared for each one of us. We are called to listen to his voice and heed it. When we disobey and rebel, we are refusing and rebelling against God’s will.

Our Guardian Angel has been granted authority and power. At the same time, no angel, good or evil, can force us to do something against our will. Good angels present good things to our minds, evil angels present evil disguised as good. Today’s psalm recalls that God has given knowledge to each good angel about us. With this knowledge they can guard us in all of our ways. They can direct us into the way of salvation and peace. But in the end, we are the ones who choose good or evil, we are the ones who choose either to act as free children of God or to abuse our freedom by choosing evil. When we listen to our guardian angel we are assured of God’s protection from our enemies and foes.

Our knowledge of the angels is very imperfect. Here on earth, we can only distinguish them in a general way. In heaven, we will know them distinctly. We will see their relation to God and how they have acted to bring about God’s loving plan. Based on Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Theology distinguish nine choirs of angels. These nine choirs, organized in three sets of three, are a reflection of the Trinity: the first three choirs are closest to God and contemplate him and the goal of his creation; the next three choirs consider what is to be done to reach this goal; the last three choirs apply this knowledge to God’s effects.

Of those angels who apply this knowledge in a practical way, the Principalities are said to hold the highest place. Their role is compared that of generals and officers in battle. Our guardian angels belong to the lowest choir, because they are the ones who carry out what is to be done.

Our veneration of the Holy Guardian Angels today fills us with gratitude, for we have a heavenly protector who enlightens us, defends us, guides us, and intercedes for us. The contemplation of God’s creation, both visible and invisible, fills us with wonder and awe – for there are things we will see in heaven which surpass our imagination and are more beautiful than anything here on earth. Lastly, we are filled with hope, for we know that the history of the world is in God’s hands and that the heavenly hosts of heaven work tirelessly to accomplish God’s merciful and loving plan.

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An excellent book that changed my way of looking at the Angels, realizing their powerful intercession, is All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’ Sullivan , written in 1871.

Review: “A wonderful book showing how the angels have visited people innumerable times in the past, how they do so today, and would do even more if we asked them. Also, how they prevent accidents, comfort us, help us, and protect us from the devils. Contains many beautiful stories about St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel; plus, angel stories from St. Gemma Galgani, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Bosco, etc. One of our 3 most popular titles!”

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At any rate, she has by nature the power, the art, and the disposition to please, to soothe, to charm, and to captivate. It is a wonderful power; and we see daily women exerting it in a wonderful way. Why will not women who are truly good, or who sincerely strive to be so, not make it the chief study of their lives to find out and acquire the sovereign art of making their influence as healthful, as cheering, as blissful as the sunlight and the warmth are to their homes? – Rev Bernard O’Reilly, True Womanhood, 1894 http://amzn.to/2mPm81e (afflink)

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A sermon for you to listen to while folding clothes, doing dishes or spending time on your favorite craft!

Father speaks in a marriage conference to women on their roles as women & wives. What makes a good woman?

Please say a Hail Mary for the priest….

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Angel coloring pages!

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Penal Rosaries!

Penal rosaries and crucifixes have a wonderful story behind them. They were used during the times when religious objects were forbidden and it was illegal to be Catholic. Being caught with a rosary could mean imprisonment or worse. A penal rosary is a single decade with the crucifix on one end and, oftentimes, a ring on the other. When praying the penal rosary you would start with the ring on your thumb and the beads and crucifix of the rosary in your sleeve, as you moved on to the next decade you moved the ring to your next finger and so on and so forth. This allowed people to pray the rosary without the fear of being detected.

Available here.

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Hounds of the Lord….or Poodles? Tidbits from Fr. Daniel Considine, S.J.

Hounds of the Lord – or Poodles?

What are you doing for God? People examine their consciences at night to see if they have offended God. But have you loved God? Served God? Conquered yourself? Helped your neighbor?

“Oh no, but I have avoided distractions-and to do so I say as little prayers as possible.”

You have joined that Association for helping your neighbor? ‘Oh no, I find it distracts me, and gives occasion to me to go into a passion.’

It is much better to do good, and be guilty of faults, than not to do good and commit fewer faults.

St. Mechtilde thanked God for preserving her from the temptations to which the poor fathers who preached were subject.

The saint had belonged to a great family in the world, and Our Lord said to her: ‘My daughter, you must have noticed, when your father’s hounds came in from the chase, how they were all covered with mud and froth, etc., and your mother would never have suffered them in the drawing-room. Yet poodles were there. Which of them were the better dogs? Which did the master of the house value most?’ . . . Those who give themselves up to the service of God might well have contracted little stains, even mud, blood, etc., but they are of much greater worth than those who, sleek and clean, have been sitting at home doing nothing.

How shall we avoid an accumulation of debt for venial sin? A person who tries to work for God will have a much smaller debt than one who leads a negative, colorless life. What about sins of omission?

What are you going to answer when you realize for the first time the good you might have done in the world, and have not done? Everyone has his own place in the world, and acts and reacts on others: we are all members of one family.

A sin of omission is not fulfilling that mission which God has given us to do. Remember the man who had only one talent and hid it in the ground. What a hard judgement he had! God has given us all a talent.

You say you have nothing to do in the world? It is very odd that God should have put you here with nothing to do. You needn’t start another Religious Order. There is always work to be done.

You may be perfectly certain you are not in the world for nothing. If it’s only to make your home happy, and bear the trials God sends you, – that’s not only avoiding evil, it’s doing good.

Am I growing into that stature God intended for me? That is a very home question for us all to ask ourselves. Why have I not exerted a better influence? Am I falling short of God’s purpose in creating me?

Venial sin makes the soul very languid. Rheumatism and gout don’t kill, but they make life extremely uncomfortable.

When we have habits of venial sin which we take no pains to correct, exactly the same sort of effect is produced in the soul as rheumatism and gout produce in the body; they take the zest out of life.

I am speaking of definite habits of venial sin. Our spiritual life flows sluggishly, and we find it difficult to move and progress.

With toothache and earache you get angry and cross, not with people, but with the pain. In venial sin you won’t read ‘that pious twaddle,’ you find that pious people bore, long prayers, meditation, impossible – why can’t they leave me alone!

Some pronouncement of the Church or the Holy Father-that also annoys us, everything is wrong, because your spiritual blood is in a bad condition. We see things discolored when in venial sin.

There is no happiness in the thought of God. The truth is, you are not in a fit state to get good out of it.

Interior Stillness of the Soul

If God calls a soul to prayer, it more and more withdraws itself from the outer world. Even in the midst of outward stress there must be an interior stillness of the soul, where God dwells. . . .

If you want the gift of prayer you must pay the price. You must possess your soul in quietness.

If you set your heart on anything, it takes possession of you, you are penetrated by its atmosphere.

The spirit of prayer withdraws us into the inner and secret atmosphere of the heart. A person may be exceedingly busy, yet there may be still that quietness of the spirit necessary to prayer.

You need not give up the most troublesome and onerous line of life, but if you desire to set your heart on God, there must be quietness from the noise of the world. So will you be with God and God with you.

It is not impossible for a person to be apparently deeply interested in what is before him, and yet be recollected in God, for God is always with you, and if you will keep a corner for Him, He will be with you in a special way, and keep you in His presence.

It is not the solitude of the Himalayas that makes prayer. The essence of prayer is the company of Our Lord. The more we understand that He is everywhere present, that He is within us, that we are always in the presence of God, the more easily we pray.

There is no peace of soul so great as that given by the thought of the presence of God. Whether you think of it or not, He is always there. If you want to learn, ask Our Lord to teach you to pray.

‘But who am I that I should ask so great a thing?’ You are only one of those for whom Our Lord laid down His life, and of whom He is always thinking, day and night – to whom He gives Himself every morning in the Holy Eucharist.

So I do not see where the impertinence of the request comes in. Ask Him: He will like nothing better.

Waste of Time

We throw time away through want of order. When asked to do anything for God, or to make time for our spiritual duties, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, for instance, we have no time, because we are stupid in the art of making arrangements. It is a great pity we have not more system in our lives.

How much time is lost in useless regrets; I have made a fool of myself -even done something wrong-wasting time instead of going back straight to God with an act of contrition. Never go back on the past.

Stop thinking over something foolish you have done or said and regretting it. When a thing is done, let it be done. We are very poor creatures, and there is nothing so wise as to live in the present.

Another fruitful waste of time is daydreaming: holding imaginary conversations, or fancying ourselves in positions where we play a very satisfactory part. It softens the mind.

Another is fussing. Fussing never saved time. A very celebrated surgeon, on the point of performing a critical operation, is said to have addressed the students about him with: ‘Now, gentlemen, don’t let us hurry, because we have no time to lose.’

There are some people who are never quite self-possessed-always in a flurry. You know the saying, ‘If you want a letter answered, write to a busy man.’

These people hurry to Mass, hurry to meditation, hurry to breakfast, hurry all day long. A saint couldn’t remain a saint under those conditions. Hurry is an enemy to the interior life.

The worst thing after sin is to have too much to do. Some day we shall say, ‘If only I had not lived in that continual fuss.’

The saints lived large days. One characteristic of them is always calm and peace. There may be union with God in the midst of great distractions, but that is not the ordinary way. Don’t let it be said of you as of someone, ‘He seemed to have lost a quarter of an hour in the beginning of the day, and to be all day chasing it.’

Before meditation, give yourself a moment’s pause. . . . God doesn’t cease to be in heaven because you have got a bad piece of news. You’ll never get great holiness unless there is calm: holy people are able to recollect themselves.

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“While the procreation of the race is the primary purpose of marriage, it also fosters the love and devotion of husband and wife. It answers man’s craving for intimate companionship, sympathy, understanding, and lasting friendship. It enriches the personality of man by increasing his unselfishness and deepening his capacity for love, friendship, and sacrifice.” – Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2xj8SZs (afflink)

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Coloring pages for your children:

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Do you need some inspiration? For some great book suggestions visit My Book List…

 

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Great St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host, Pray for Us!

Sept. 29th is the Feast of St. Michael, the Archangel! How much we need his assistance in combating the devil in these days….in all the big things that trouble this world, but also in the little every day ways that he tries to get his licks in. St. Michael, the Archangel, pray for us!

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

The first fact we learn concerning this great Prince is that in the mighty combat which took place in Heaven, when the bad Angels fell away from their allegiance to God, Michael sounded his war cry: “Who is like to God,” and immediately, joined by the good Angels, he drove Satan and his legions from Heaven and plunged them into the depths of Hell.

Next, we hear his praises from no less an authority than his brother Angel, St. Gabriel, who speaking to the Prophet Daniel, says, “Michael, who is your Prince,” “Michael, who is a great Prince created for the children of your people,” and again, “Michael, who is one of the first among Princes.”

St. Thomas says of him, “Michael is the breath of the Redeemer’s spirit who will, at the end of the world, combat and destroy Antichrist, as he did Lucifer in the beginning.”

St. Michael was the protector and defender of God’s chosen people. He came with the Israelites from Egypt and accompanied them through the desert. He it was who gave them, from God, the Ten Commandments, and during the thousands of years that elapsed before the coming of Christ, he was their champion and defender.

Though express mention of him is made only a few times, yet owing to his office as their appointed friend and defender, we know that he never abandoned God’s people but took an important part in all that concerned them.

He is now the defender of the Catholic Church and of all the faithful, whom he defends against the constant assaults of the devil.

He is invoked in sickness and most especially at the hour of death, when his “all— powerful” help is so much needed, for then it is that Satan makes his last and fiercest attack on the Christian soul, seeking with craft and cunning, with fears and despair lo drag it down to Hell.

In the prayers said by the priest and people after Mass, there is a special and beautiful prayer to St. Michael imploring his help for the Church. It runs as follows: Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan and with him all the wicked spirits, who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

We should make it a sacred duty to join fervently in this important prayer.

In our morning and evening prayers we invoke St. Michael when saying the Confiteor, but we should try to do so with more devotion and confidence. Many do not even think of what they are saying.

St. Michael has been honored from the earliest times in many countries.

The Emperor Constantine, grateful for the victories gained over his enemies, which he attributed to the protection of St. Michael, built a magnificent church near Constantinople in honor of the Archangel which he called Michaelion.

It became a place of pilgrimage, and many sick and infirm were cured in it by the intercession of the Archangel.

Constantine’s successors erected no less than fifteen churches in Constantinople itself to St. Michael.

In Rome, churches were also built and dedicated to St. Michael as far back as 494 A.D. The Archangel appeared to the Bishop of Siponto, on Monte Gargano, in the Kingdom of Naples, where a beautiful church was dedicated lo him. This became a place of great devotion and attracted many pilgrims.

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Mont St. Michel, France

In France, he appeared on Mont St. Michel, where there still exists a famous sanctuary consecrated to the Archangel.

In Egypt, the Christians dedicated their food-giving river, the Nile, to St. Michael, and on the 12th of every month they held a special celebration in his honor, and this celebration was kept with marked solemnity in the month of June, when the river begins to rise.

When Germany was converted, the cult to the pagan god Woden was replaced by devotion to St. Michael, and as a result there are to be seen numerous chapels dedicated to the Archangel in the mountain districts of that country.

In England, the feast of Michaelmas used to be celebrated with great rejoicing, the favorite dish of the day being the roast goose. Now it is mainly known as a legal term, the day marking what is called in law, the Michaelmas term.

St. Michael has appeared at different times to those who needed his help and invoked his aid. A most notable example was when he assisted St. Joan of Arc in the extraordinary mission given her by God of aiding the French King to restore peace and prosperity to his kingdom and expel his enemies from its shores.

ST. MICHAEL AT THE HOUR OF DEATH

We read in The Book of Similitudes of St. Anselm that a religious of this monastery, on the point of death, was dreadfully assaulted by the devil, who reproached him at first because of the sins he had committed previous to his Baptism, for the monk had received this Sacrament when already advanced in years.

The poor man knew not how to reply and was very much troubled until St. Michael, who had come to his assistance, answered that all the sins he had committed before Baptism were remitted in that Sacrament.

The evil spirit then urged several sins of his committed after Baptism.

The Archangel replied that these had been washed away in the general confession he made before his religious profession, and that the dying man should trust in the divine mercy.

Satan at last opposed to him the many offenses and negligences in his life subsequent to religious profession.

As the good monk said nothing in defense, St. Michael declared that all his sins were forgiven him, because he had confessed them and satisfied for them by good works, especially by obedience, and that if anything remained it was expiated by his patience under the sufferings of a sickbed.

At these words the devil departed in confusion, and the good religious, with confident hope, meekly gave up his soul to God.

We all must die, and we all must be prepared for the fierce attacks of the devil at this dreadful hour. Hence every Christian should make sure of having St. Michael’s help at the hour of death. This we can do by being devoted to the great Archangel during our lives.

CHILDREN RAISED TO LIFE BY ST. MICHAEL

The King of Dacia, Mulhoares, was gravely ill and suffered all the more because he had no heir to his throne. His children had all died.

He was counseled to have recourse to St. Michael.

The King followed this sage advice, and some time after twins were born to his wife. Alas, a new trial awaited him. These children also died!

Full of lively faith, the King ordered the bodies of the children to be taken to the church and placed before the altar of St. Michael, and he and his people besought the great Archangel to come to their aid.

Lo, St. Michael appeared and spoke lo the King: “I am Michael, whom you and your people have invoked, and I have presented your petition to God who is pleased to restore life to your children. Behold them alive, and I and the other Angels will watch over them. God wishes, too, to cure you, but you must thank the Angel who is Prince of your kingdom. That you may love him, I will now show him to you.”

A most beautiful Angel then appeared, clothed in royal robes, with a crown of gold on his head. He blessed the King, who was instantly restored to health.

HOW TO HONOR ST. MICHAEL?

1st. By frequently repeating this short prayer: “Glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Court, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”

2nd. By invoking his aid in sickness.

3rd. If we find it hard to conquer a temptation, or correct some fault, let us pray to St. Michael, who will assuredly help us to overcome the most violent temptation —and the most inveterate.

4th. By having a little picture of St. Michael in our prayer— book, saying each time we see it, “Glorious St. Michael, I love you.”

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fall finer fem quote for the day
 
“If you want your husband to trust you with his heart as he once did, it’s important to practice self-control, hold your tongue, and replace criticism with kindness. Listen when he talks and make an effort to show him respect.” -Darlene Schacht
“The truth is, the less you communicate your complaints, negative thoughts, and criticisms to your husband, the better your intimacy will be, and the stronger your marriage.” – Laura Doyle
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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! Available here.
Advent package available here.

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

We are in the season of the Angels, once again. St. Michael’s Feast Day is Sept. 29th and Our Holy Guardian Angels is Oct. 2nd. It is a time to recall the place these wonderful friends should have in our lives. The spiritual world is very alive, very real!! Let’s not forget these angels and the role they have in our lives!

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

THE ANGELS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY IGNORE OUR BEST FRIENDS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW COMES IT THAT THE ANGELS ARE SO LITTLE KNOWN AND SO LITTLE LOVED?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A coloring page for your children:

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finer fem quote for the day fall

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

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Beautiful Vintaj Wire Wrapped Sorrowful Mother Rosary! Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making jewelry or rosaries by hand. 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. Not only is it quite beautiful but it makes the rosaries sturdy and durable. Available here.

 

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