Seven Days of Prayer to Our Lady for Your Marriage

Who knows the heart of a woman better than our Mother, Mary? She will help to heal all things through Her Son.

Monday:

Blessed Mother, help me to be a good wife today. Please help me to be kind, long-suffering and willing to bear all things. Please take my old habits, my erroneous ways of thinking and change them into patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Please help me to show my husband today that he is number one in my life, even if I do not feel it.

Tuesday:

Dear Blessed Mother, please help me to know myself, especially in regard to my husband. I pray that you will help me not to be unloving, critical, angry, resentful, disrespectful or unforgiving. Please help me to put all those aside and forgive him. Please help me to be an instrument of peace in our marriage today.

Wednesday:

Dear Blessed Mother, please help me to be my husband’s helpmate and companion, his friend and his support. Please help me to make my home a beautiful place for him to come home to. I pray that I can take care of myself and stay attractive to him. Please help me to be a creative and confident woman, one that he can be proud to say is his wife.

Thursday:

Blessed Mother, please help me to not expect so much of my husband. Please help me to seek your Son to fulfill areas of my life where my husband cannot. Please help me to accept him today just as he is and love him for who he is.

Friday:

Dear Blessed Mother, today I would like to especially pray for my husband and all his needs, spiritual, physical, financial and emotional. You know what they are so I leave that in your hands. I pray that he will be open to receive our Lord’s grace in order to be a strong and godly husband and father.

Saturday:

Blessed Mother please help my husband and I to be a team and to work together. Please bring unity between us so that we can labor together in harmony. May we become like-minded in our faith, towards one another and in raising our children.

Sunday:

Blessed Mother, please help my husband and I to be more and more committed to you and to your Holy Catholic Church. Please help us to grow in faith and to pass that faith onto our children. May it permeate every aspect of our life so there is no question Who we put first in our lives so our children see this and learn from it. Thank you for our Faith, may we never take it for granted.

Some are called to religious life, others to the priesthood and others to marriage. Marriage is not the state of life of non-calls! Marriage is a vocation, an invitation from God, a specific road of sanctification. If you do well in this regard, you will see that no one should marry because “all marry”, consciously marry those who understood marriage as a vocation…the way that God has called that person to live holiness. – Christian marriage. Ecclesiae. From o lar edifcado

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Preparing for Pentecost – Maria von Trapp

Happy Ascension Thursday! The following is a lovely excerpt from Maria von Trapp’s Around the Year with the Trapp Family. It is an excellent way to prepare your family’s hearts for the coming of the Holy Ghost!

On Ascension Day begin the nine days of waiting and preparing, together with the Apostles and Mary, the coming of the Holy Ghost.

These are the days when families should discuss the “Gifts of the Holy Ghost” and the “Fruits of the Holy Ghost” evening after evening.

As I look back over the years I marvel at how different these discussions were every year, always full of surprises, partly because there were different people participating–guests of the family or new friends of the children–who do not ordinarily hear the workings of the “Gifts of the Holy Ghost” discussed around the family table.

We devote one whole evening to each one of the gifts. First is the Gift of Knowledge, offered to help us in our dealings with inanimate and animate created nature, with things and people.

It teaches us to make use of them wisely, and to refrain from what is dangerous for us. As we consider a typical day, we discover that this gift is needed from the very moment of awakening, when we have to part from the created thing “bed.”

The younger ones discover that the Gift of Knowledge helps them to remember that they have to make use of such created things as the toothbrush and the shower. In fact, there is hardly a moment of the day in which we do not have to make decisions about using something or dealing with somebody, and when we do not need the immediate help from the Holy Spirit to carry us safely through the day.

The second evening is devoted to the Gift of Understanding, which is extended to us for the understanding, with mind and heart, of revealed truth as we find it in Holy Scripture and the liturgy, and in the breviary.

This gift we need for our hours of prayer and meditation. It fulfills the Lord’s promise: “The Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things” (John 14:26).

The third evening is devoted to the Gift of Counsel, which helps us to distinguish, in every moment of our life, what is the will of God. This gift we also need when someone turns to us for advice.

It is most necessary to parents and teachers, priests, and all persons in authority. But above all it should help us to make the right choices in everyday life–even in such minor matters as “Should I do my homework now or later? Should I see this movie or not?”

The Gift of Fortitude helps us to overcome our own will. This may start with such seemingly small matters as jumping out of bed the moment we had intended to do so; with giving up smoking or candies and cookies for certain times; with keeping silence when we might have a sharp answer ready; with doing little things for others at the cost of our own comfort; and it may lead to the ultimate test–aiding us in joining the thousands of contemporary martyrs who are called to lay down their life for God. Again, a gift that is needed throughout the day!

The Gift of Piety does not sound particularly attractive, until we realize that it infuses our hearts with a special kind of love, directed toward everything belonging and related to God all persons consecrated to His service–the Holy Father in Rome, bishops and priests, missionaries, nuns, and lay brothers–and all things set aside for God only, such as church and altar, chalice and monstrance, vestments, and the sacramentals in our home–rosaries, holy water, medals.

This precious gift also makes us eager to devote time to the service of God. It helps overcome morning laziness when it is time for Mass. It makes us want to visit our hidden God once in a while in church. In other words, it instills the interest for the supernatural in our souls. How could we do without it!

When we come to the Gift of the Fear of the Lord, there is always someone to raise the argument “This I don’t understand. That is the spirit of the Old Testament, of the chosen people who were trembling before Jehovah so that they said to Moses, `You go up the mountain and talk with Him–we are afraid.’ But the New Testament teaches us to say `Our Father,’ and Our Lord says, `I don’t call you servants any more, I call you friends!’ One isn’t afraid of one’s father or one’s friend! What do I need the Gift of Fear for?”

It is then that something very tender and beautiful comes to light. If a person loves another one very much, you may often hear him say: “I’m afraid to wake him up, he needs his sleep”; or, “I’m afraid to disturb him.” In other words, love is afraid to hurt the beloved one.

The Gift of Fear should lead us to a state of mind which makes us afraid to sin because it would hurt Him.

The Gift of Wisdom, finally, seems to sum up all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, just as charity sums up all His fruits. If we ask throughout all our days for the other Gifts of the Holy Ghost and cooperate with them, if we examine our conscience every night about the use we made of them–wisdom will grow in our hearts.

This wisdom has nothing to do with ordinary human intelligence, with knowledge learned in schools and from books. One doesn’t even have to be able to read and write in order to become wise.

Once in a while one meets an old lay brother or lay sister, an old farmer in the country, or some bedridden person, who may not be learned in the eyes of the world, but may impress us deeply by a true wisdom expressed in all simplicity.

At the end of the seventh day we have all renewed our conviction that we cannot lead a truly Christian life without the special aid of the Holy Ghost, that we have to ask for it as we start each day, and be faithful to it as we go through the day. Children, with the generosity of young hearts, are remarkably responsive to this suggestion.

The eighth day of the novena is dedicated to the “Fruits of the Holy Ghost” as they are enumerated in St. Paul–especially the first three love, peace, and joy.

On this day we always call to mind the admonition of one of our dearest friends, Reverend Father Abbot, to take the word of Our Lord literally, that “by their fruits thou shalt know them.”

In every individual soul, in every family or community we should watch whether the fruits are the fruits of the Holy Ghost, whether love, peace, and joy prevail.

On the last day of the novena we meditate together on the two great hymns, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” and “Veni, Creator Spiritus.”

Through our previous discussions, these texts are seen in a new light, and the repeated “Veni, veni” (“Come, Holy Ghost, come”) really rises from longing hearts. And when, during High Mass on Pentecost Sunday, priest and community kneel down at the solemn text of the Gradual, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus,” we feel the miracle of the first Pentecost repeated in our hearts, filled by the Holy Ghost in response to the intensity of our “Veni.”

In the old country, ancient Pentecost customs are still alive. On the

Saturday before Pentecost Sunday the young men go out with long whips, cracking them with special skill to produce a noise called “Pfingstschnalzen.”

This is followed by “Pfingstschiessen,” done with the same ancient guns that are used for shooting on Easter and other festivities.

In some valleys people walk barefoot up into the mountains through the dew, calling for the Holy Ghost. In the Alps, cattle decorated with wreaths and garlands are sent up to the high pastures, accompanied for a little way by most of the villagers.

Many of the old churches throughout the Alps have a hole in the ceiling above the altar through which, on Pentecost Sunday, during High Mass the “Holy Ghost dove” is let down into the church.

On Ascension Day, the statue of the Risen Lord is lifted on wires after the Gospel to disappear in the same opening, which brings the mystery of the day very close to all children, big and small. In some parishes the Risen Lord, at the end of the Mass, sends gifts down from heaven–apples and cookies and candies for the children, and flowers and green branches for the grownups, and everybody tries to take at least a leaf or a petal home.

This brings us to the end of the holy Paschal season. The octave day of Pentecost, known as Trinity Sunday, is dedicated to the Blessed Trinity. While in the first centuries the Easter Communion had to be received on Easter Sunday, the Church later extended “Easter Time,” which now begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Trinity Sunday.

Once a family has celebrated the year of the Church faithfully from the First Sunday in Advent, feasting and fasting together, until the fullness of the Holy Ghost crowns their efforts throughout the days of Pentecost, it will be a very happy family indeed.

He has ascended…yes, He is gone. And yet He is ever nearer. We need not run hither and dither to find happiness. “The Kingdom of God is within us”. Let us listen for His Voice. 🌸🌺

Happy Ascension Thursday!

“Why do you stand there looking up toward heaven?” He hasn’t left us. Sermon on the feast of the Ascension with quotes by St Augustine.

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Mixed, Wrong and Sinful Company-Keeping, – Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R. 1955

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Sin or Virtue doesn’t change. These articles are timeless…..

Is Mixed Company-Keeping a Mortal Sin?

 Problem

I am a Catholic nineteen year old and have a non-Catholic boy-friend whom I like very much. Recently my father told me that I must give this boy up because it is a mortal sin for a Catholic to keep steady company with a non-Catholic.

I am sure that this cannot be true because if it is there are surely hundreds of Catholics committing this mortal sin.

My father reads The Liguorian and I beg you to write the truth about this question so that he will understand.

 Solution

Your father is considerably nearer the truth than the many young Catholics who are endangering their happiness and their souls by mixed company-keeping, even though there are some distinctions to be made in the matter.

Your father no doubt bases his statements on a principle that is clearly set down in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, according to which Catholics are seriously forbidden to enter into mixed marriages.

The law goes on to state that this prohibition arises from the divine law whenever there is danger of loss or lessening of the faith of the Catholic, whenever there is danger that the children of such a marriage will be deprived of a full Catholic upbringing, and whenever there is danger of scandal or weakening of the faith of others. (Experience proves that in most mixed marriages some of these dangers are to be found.)

But even apart from these dangers which one may not deliberately encounter without breaking the divine law, mixed marriages are forbidden to Catholics by the universal ecclesiastical law.

Since mixed marriage itself is thus forbidden, the conclusion can surely be drawn that, since company-keeping is only lawful when it may be a preparation for a good marriage, mixed company-keeping is unlawful for Catholics.

There may be exceptions to this general rule, but the exceptions can be based only on definite reasons for which the Church grants dispensations for Catholics to marry non-Catholics.

Some of the exceptions would be based on the following circumstances:

1) If a Catholic lives in an area in which there are very few Catholics, so that there is little chance of marriage except with a non-Catholic.

2) If a Catholic is well past the ordinary years in which marriage is thought about, and thus has greatly lessened chances of finding a partner for marriage.

3) If a Catholic starts going with a non-Catholic who almost at once shows a sincere interest in the Catholic faith and thus gives solid hope that he (or she) will become a Catholic, preferably before marriage or even engagement.

In any case the company-keeping is forbidden if there is obvious danger to the faith or morals or future children of the Catholic.

As a girl of nineteen, living in a city with a large Catholic population, you cannot defend your mixed company-keeping on either of the first two counts.

If you are on the sure way to making your boy-friend a Catholic, you need only convince your father of that and all will be well.

Wrong Company-Keeping

 Problem

If you are in love and cannot possibly marry for a number of years, is it better to give up the person you love or to continue keeping company in the hope of eventual marriage? My case is this. I got married during the first World War, and a few years later my wife ran away and divorced me.

Now I have met a girl who, I believe, would make an excellent wife. I want to be married as a good Catholic, by a priest, but have been told I cannot because my first wife is still alive.

I am 42 years old. I am still determined to be married only by a priest. The girl wants to wait until I am free.

Should we continue to keep company until something happens to make it possible for us to be married. or should we separate?

 Solution

There is a principle of Christian ethics that must be applied directly to your case. The principle is this: Only they are permitted to keep close and continuous company who are free to marry within a reasonable and foreseeable time.

The reason for this is that company-keeping between a man and woman who are attracted to each other ordinarily becomes a greater and greater danger to their souls the longer it goes on.

It is intended by nature to lead, not to sin, but to marriage. If it cannot lead to marriage, as in your case, it will almost surely lead to sin of one kind or another.

You are not permitted to risk so great a danger when you can escape it by giving up the company-keeping.

Having a lawful wife, even though divorced, you are not free to marry within a reasonable or foreseeable time, and therefore, the security of your soul demands that you forego company-keeping till such time as you are free to marry again.

A second reason why you should not continue to keep company with the girl is that, despite her expressed willingness to wait for you, you are doing her an injustice by limiting her freedom to go out with someone whom she could marry.

It is also a sin of scandal to keep her in the circumstances that can so easily lead to sin, and of bad example to others in the same situation as you are.

It must be remembered that the evil of adulterous thoughts, intentions and actions is not changed by the fact that a married man does not happen to be living with his wife.

His marriage vow binds him till death breaks it, and in the meantime he may not think of another marriage or those things that led to marriage.

Sinful Company-Keeping

 Problem

I cannot see the justice of your statement that company-keeping is lawful only when there is some prospect and intention of marrying.

I have a boy friend with whom I have been keeping company for ten years.

Neither of us cares to get married. He does not want to be tied down to marriage and I do not want to give up my job because I have no taste for house work or bearing children.

I suppose I should admit that we fall into sin now and then, but we always go to confession afterward.

Certainly we have a right to each other’s companionship even though we do not plan on ever getting married.

 Solution

I am afraid I must be blunt in contradicting you. Under the circumstances you describe you have no moral right to keep company.

Two things make it sinful.

The first is the fact that you have actually excluded the prospect of marriage from that which is lawful only as a possible preparation for marriage.

The second thing only multiplies the guilt you incur under the first head; it is the fact that your company-keeping has become an occasion of habitual sin.

It is practically certain, moreover, that your confessions are bad, because a confession cannot be good unless there be sincere and practical sorrow for sins confessed.

Such sorrow is impossible unless there be a determination to give up unnecessary occasions of sin.

It is obvious that when you confess the sins committed with your boy friend you have no intention of giving up the unnecessary occasion of those sins, which is keeping steady company with the deliberate intention of never marrying.

It is one of the moral monstrosities of our day that there are people who keep company for years, take to themselves the pleasures that are lawful only in marriage, and yet exclude marriage and its responsibilities from their thoughts and intentions.

That it is a monstrosity is evident in the fact that your own conscience has become so dull to so fundamental a moral principle.

I beg you to pray hard for light and courage to see and do what is right; to talk things over with your boy friend, and then, for the sake of your immortal soul, to decide to give up company-keeping or to plan on marriage soon.

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Fortunate the child whose mother stands by its cradle like a Guardian Angel to inspire and lead it in the path of goodness! – Pope Pius XII

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Tidbits to Help You With Your Clutter – Emilie Barnes

Some thoughts today to spur you on to keep ahead of the clutter! 101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter by Emilie Barnes

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The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is one of the greatest principles you can use to figure out your top priorities. If all of the items on your to-do list are arranged in order of value, 80 percent of the value comes from only 20 percent of the items. The remaining 20 percent of the value comes from 80 percent of the items.

Sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. The 80/20 rule suggests that in a list of ten projects, finishing two of them will yield 80 percent of the value.

So don’t be overwhelmed by a large list. Remember the top 20 percent of the list gives 80 percent of the value. What’s left undone today can go on the list for tomorrow. Rearrange your to-do list so that it is in order of priority and keep the 80/20 rule in mind.

Accordion Files Fit the Bill

One item that makes great use of space and effort is an accordion file. Go to your local stationery store and purchase one or a few. Accordion files are wonderful and oh, so versatile.

You can use them to store bills for future payment, to keep track of important papers, and to gather greeting and thank-you cards for those special occasions. Set the files up with labels. For example, your bills folder could have pockets labeled “Pay,” “Read,” “Answer,” “Pending,” and “Hold.”

Designate a shelf for a row of accordion files. You’ll be able to store many of your most needed paper items in these. And because accordion files are portable, you can take them with you to meetings so your records are handy or to the kitchen table when it’s time to pay bills.

Don’t forget to purge them occasionally. The files won’t serve you well if they are full of outdated or unneeded items.

Managing the Mail

Now, let’s talk about the mail. The key to managing this area of our lives is doing it daily. If it can’t be done when it arrives, assign a specific time each day to process it.

One area of your home should be designated for this purpose—a desk, table, or a section of the kitchen counter. If you use the kitchen counter, be careful that it doesn’t become a catchall area.

Remember the rule about paper: Don’t put it down, put it away. It only takes a minute to sort the mail when it arrives, even if you can’t process it at that moment.

A simple file system can help you do this. You could use one file for letters you want to read. If you have older children, each might have his or her own folder to check when arriving home from school.

There needs to be a file for bills, another for things you need to discuss with someone in the family, one for mail that needs to be answered, and maybe another for those that require a phone call.

Juggling the Junk Mail

Don’t hesitate when junk mail and unwanted catalogs arrive. Don’t worry about what you might be missing because the same items will be listed again in the next catalog—due to arrive in a couple of weeks.

In fact, if you can get in the habit of instantly tossing junk mail, you’ll get rid of at least 30 to 50 percent of your daily mail.

When your favorite catalogs and magazines arrive, be sure to read them and then put them in the recycle bin or pass them along to a friend.

If you begin receiving too many catalogs and they are not ones that suit your lifestyle, call to cancel them and request that your name be removed from their mailing lists. Some catalogs are available online. You might consider receiving the email version of your favorite store’s publication or an organization’s email newsletter.

Break It Up

To accomplish a big task, break it into a few smaller parts—these become “instant tasks” that you can easily handle. It’s the big items that throw us and leave us in a panic.

Think of one project that you have put off because it seemed too big to take on after a busy day or in the middle of a hectic one.

For example, let’s choose cleaning out the refrigerator as your dreaded project. Can you give it 15 minutes? Even the craziest of days usually have a few breaks in them that could be put to good use.

Set a timer and work like mad for those 15 minutes evaluating leftovers, checking expiration dates, and wiping off shelves.

Tomorrow, set the timer and toss out old vegetables, refresh the ice trays, and rinse the meat and produce bins.

In a day or two you’ll have invested two or three 15-minute sessions and completed the larger task of cleaning your refrigerator.

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quote fo rthe day

“We must have a daily habit of prayer; it should be ingrained in us. Morning and Night Prayers, the Rosary and frequent lifting of the mind to God will help us to hear His Voice.The daily habit of prayer leads us to spiritual health. We are more “tuned in” to know what God’s will is in our life, to desire it and to do it. By our habit of prayer we will experience the tranquility and happiness that comes from Him Who sees our efforts and loves us so much! He will give us the peace that passeth all understanding….” – Anne Joachim

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The Most Intimate and Enduring Friendship

a6d471033807eb4691b7a9591de2238aGod is good. And He has given us many gifts. The most special gift of all….our husbands.

We must look at him as a gift….straight from the Hand of God.

Today we can make a choice on how our attitude is going to be toward that one special person in our lives.

Will we see his virtues today? Will we shun those negative thoughts that the devil likes us to dwell upon….those thoughts that can so easily  cause a rift in our friendship?

Our friendship with our husband is the most important thing we can preserve and nurture each day.

Not only will it make you and your husband happier, but it will have such far reaching effects on our children….supplying them with security and happiness in a world gone astray.

Take the time out today to make him feel special. Say an extra prayer for him. Write a note to him. Let him know you care.

Not only will it make his day, it will make yours! It will put a smile on your lips that you can pass on to your children!

From The Catholic Family Handbook by Father Lovasik:

The Catholic Family Handbook

“Genuine love is unselfish.

Your love is selfish when you love your spouse for what he or she can give you by way of pleasure, convenience, or material advantages.

Selfish love is one of the main reasons many marriages are unhappy and break up.

Your love is unselfish when you love your spouse for his or her sake, for what you can give.

This unselfish love between human beings, when mutual, is called friendship.

The most intimate and enduring friendship of all should be that between husband and wife.

Among Christians, this love should be raised to the higher plane of supernatural charity – the love of another person because of the person’s relationship to God.

When you chose each other for life, you did so because you loved each other and wished to give each other your entire self.

Time will make its mark upon your physical attractions, but the gift of your mind and heart should grow with the years.

The essence of marriage is this mutual outpouring of love, of your giving everything to each other.”

 

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Are your thoughts building a castle or a manure pile? It is vital to control the thoughts we have in our most important relationship…the one with our husband!

 

 

“Every effort we make to forget self, to leave self behind us, and to devote ourselves to the labor of making every person with whom we are bound to live, happy, is rewarded by interior satisfaction and joy. The supreme effort of goodness is,—not alone to do good to others; that is its first and lower effect,—but to make others good.” Rev. Bernard O’Reilly The Mirror of True Womanhood, 1893 http://amzn.to/2n7UGei (afflink)

 

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Month of May, Month of Mary!

Happy Month of May! What an incredible blessing to have a Mother like Mary…a powerful advocate for our needs! Let’s remember throughout the day to think of her, to take her hand and have her lead us through each seemingly unimportant happening….she cares very much!

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Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year

The heart of every Christian turns spontaneously toward his heavenly Mother, with a desire to live in closer intimacy with her and to strengthen the sweet ties which bind him to her. It is a great comfort on our spiritual way, which is often fatiguing and bristling with difficulties, to meet the gentle presence of a mother.

One is so at ease near one’s mother. With her, everything becomes easier; the weary, discouraged heart, disturbed by storms, finds new hope and strength, and continues the journey with fresh courage.

“If the winds of temptation arise,” sings St. Bernard, “if you run into the reefs of trials, look to the star, call upon Mary. In danger, sorrow or perplexity, think of Mary, call upon Mary.”

There are times when the hard road of the “nothing” frightens us, miserable as we are; and then, more then ever, we need her help, the help of our Mother. The Blessed Virgin Mary has, before us, trodden the straight and narrow path which leads to sanctity; before us she has carried the cross, before us she has known the ascents of the spirit through suffering.

Sometimes, perhaps, we do not dare to look at Jesus the God-Man, who because of His divinity seems too far above us; but near Him is Mary, His Mother and our Mother, a privileged creature surely, yet a creature like ourselves, and therefore a model more accessible for our weakness.

Mary comes to meet us during this month, to take us by the hand, to initiate us into the secret of her interior life, which must become the model and norm of our own.

We must consider Mary in the concrete picture of her earthly life. It is a simple, humble picture, which never leaves the framework of the ordinary life common to all mothers; under this aspect, Mary is truly imitable.

Our programme for the month of May, then, will be to contemplate the grandeurs of Mary, that we may be stimulated to imitate her virtues.

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The mother who holds the Blessed Virgin as her model develops the love and patience which nurture the spiritual and emotional growth of her children. – Fr. George Kelly, The Catholic Family Handbook

The month of May is a great month of devotion to the Blessed Mother. In this Fr goes over the Motherhood of God & examines the heresy of Nestorianism that attacked this truth….

Visit My Book List for some great reading suggestions!

 

God Has Chosen You!

From Plain Talks on Marriage by Rev. Fulgence Meyer, O.F.M., 1927

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Life is often compared to a stage, upon which we are all given a part to play. God Himself has assigned our individual roles to us.

In calling you to the married state He has allotted to you a distinguished and arduous part on the stage of life. And if you are a parent, your part is immensely more sublime and difficult.

It is by no means easy to play well and creditably the part of a Catholic married person and parent. This requires virtue and ability of the highest order. Whoever in a dramatic play has to represent a difficult character, is glad to have someone instruct him and provide him with helpful cautions, hints and suggestions.

God Has Chosen You

You must above all remember, that God has chosen you for the part you must play on the stage of life; and since He has chosen you for it, He will supply you with the strength you need to acquit yourself of it satisfactorily.

Even if you married frivolously and thoughtlessly, or through mere passion or spite: now that you are bound by the marriage tie, you can be sure that God intended you should be bound thus: and consequently you can count on His help to achieve happiness and holiness in the marriage you have legitimately contracted, and from which you can no longer withdraw.

All regrets as to what else might have been, had you not married as you did, are idle and futile. What matters now is that you make the most of your present situation through good sense and the grace of God.

Do not make things worse by dwelling gloomily and pessimistically on your real or imaginary mistake in marrying as you did, and by thus increasing the evil effects of it: but rather make a virtue out of necessity, and turn your mistake, whatever it was, into a stepping stone to sanctity and everlasting glory.

To those who entered the convent or the priesthood without a vocation from on high, and who realized their mistake after they had bound themselves by the holy vows for life, St. Augustine said: “If you are not called, see to it that you be called.”

Similarly married people who, after they are married a while, find that they made a mistake in marrying at all, will apply the best remedy to their hard situation not by unavailing complaints or morbid self-pity, but by doing what they can to render their actual married life their real vocation.

With the aid of God’s grace many have done this to their great contentment and sanctification. What others have done, you can do too, with the assistance of the same grace.

Spiritually and religiously you may even thrive better for being unfortunately married.

A Vale of Tears

The fact alone that you are not fully happy in your married life, is not by any means a sign that you were not called or destined for it. No one, in the married or any other state of life, is completely happy on this earth.

God did not intend that anyone should be entirely happy. This earth will always be a vale of tears no matter how we arrange it, in marriage, in the single life in the world, in the cloister, in the priesthood, and everywhere else.

We are merely pilgrims or tourists steering towards our eternal home, and the more we are disposed to put up with the discomforts and annoyances of tourists or travelers, the less chagrined shall we be.

Even in paradise there was the forbidden tree and the insidious serpent. No home or family life can therefore be expected to be without some trouble and worry.

All we can do is to achieve a relative eternal happiness here below, as a preparation for an eternal happiness beyond. Marriage offers a good opportunity for the accomplishment of both.

 

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🌺🌺Take time to smell the roses in this wonderful month of May, the month of Mary! Take a walk with your children, garden together, pick a bouquet, look at the stars…. Another spring is upon us, a time to enjoy God’s creation as it unfolds its beauty all around us! 🌸🌸Our Lady, Cause of our Joy, pray for us!

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Take Time to Smell the Flowers!

This is a repost for Throwback Thursday. We are in the midst of a sort of renovating outside. Hubby has a a little greenhouse now. I will take pictures along the way and show them to you. In the meantime, I wanted to inspire you in your own “flower” adventures with this older post….

 

8645431236175d12e1a206d0fd5e1182I love this time of the year. The roses are blooming and the yard is a galaxy of flowers!

We haven’t always had a yard that looks beautiful. But we have always tried, no matter how hard times were, to eke out a little bit to get some blossoms going. Flowers spread joy and happiness. They are a gift from God and I think they are therapy for the soul.

We lived in a very small, one-bedroom home for ten years. We had seven children in that home. We tacked on a couple of little make-shift bedrooms for the kids off of our own bedroom.

It took us a few years to build our new home and we moved in when it wasn’t really livable. But it was all good….an adventure. Maybe some day I will write about it and dig up some old pictures.

Anyway, when we lived in the little house, (which many called “the shack”) we always had flowers, though not an abundance like we do now. I didn’t plant perennials there and I am glad of that so I didn’t have to say good-bye to them. But we managed somehow to have our little annual flower garden.

I am not known for my green thumb….but I have grown into it. When you invest time and money into something, you learn how to make it work. Flowers mean a lot to us, so my thumb has slowly changed color!!

So…if you can, plant some flowers, nurture them, watch them grow and bloom. Maybe each year you can get a perennial or two so you can enjoy them each growing season and one day have an abundance of easy-to-care-for blossoming smile-makers!

And when the winter months come, get yourself some African Violets for the house. They are not expensive and they will bring a smile to your heart. 🙂

This is a picture of our little granddaughter, Sienna, admiring one of our lovely zinnias. Actually, I think she is ready to pick it apart. 😀10509695_1464656237107510_7997486097313174417_n

I love this quote from My Prayer Book by Father Lasance:

“I have always noticed that wherever you find flowers, no matter whether in a garret or in a palace, it is a pretty sure sign that there is an inner refinement of which the world is not cognizant. I have seen flowers cultivated and cherished by some of the lowest and poorest of people. Where these emblems of purity are found, you may rest assured that they represent a hope, and speak of a goodness of heart not to be found where they are absent.”

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These photos are  about flowers….and other tidbits of our summer…just stopping and smelling the roses! I hope you are doing the same. 🙂 Click on the first picture to view gallery.

 

Help Your Child Master His Temper

From How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland

As a child grows older and reaches the point where he can deliberate and consider certain of his weaknesses objectively, it helps him to be given some simple means of dealing with them. The effectiveness of this depends largely on the rest of the family.

We have had, as I say, some pretty grim tempers in our family. One boy in particular was given to such magnificent displays that when the rest were sitting around with nothing to do, they were not above “egging him on” until he finally blew up. It was a form of rainy-day entertainment for a while.

This sort of thing will not do, obviously, and we had to make it clear to them that they were as responsible as he if they deliberately tried to make him angry. But it was their brother who needed help most.

As a very small child, he was the kind who, denied something, reprimanded for something, couldn’t get his sweater off, his shoe on, would throw a horrendous fit and also the shoe.

Now, not all children will do this. Some will come and ask for help. Others will just whine. Others will wander off without their shoes. But not N. And we were properly discouraged.

Whenever we would reprimand him for a display of temper, he would shriek, “All right, then I don’t love you anymore!”

After it was all over and forgotten, he would line up with the rest for hugs and kisses at bedtime, and it was when he was calm and old enough (between three and four) that we began to get somewhere with him.

Why did he, of all people, want to be hugged and kissed?

“Because I love you.”

“But you said you didn’t.”

“Oh yes, I do.”

“Well, why did you say you didn’t?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t mean it.”

And this is where you move in. “If you didn’t mean it, you really shouldn’t have said it. How do you suppose your Guardian Angel feels, standing around and watching you hop up and down and scream that you don’t love your mother? And how about Blessed Jesus inside your soul?

You know you don’t do these things just in front of me. Our Lady sees them, all our angels, the Holy Trinity, probably everyone in Heaven.

You know something? You have a pretty bad temper, and it makes you do things you don’t want to do, and say things you don’t want to say.

Now, tonight, when you say your prayers, think about it, and ask God to help you keep your temper. Tell Him what you did today, and ask Him to forgive you for losing your temper.”

So he started including the struggle with his temper in his daily prayers, and when it was clear a storm was brewing, we tried to help him before he got lost in it.

“Be careful now. You’ll be losing your temper if you don’t watch out. Don’t say something you don’t really mean.”

And having decided that he really did love us, mad or not, he substituted, “All right, then I’m going someplace else to live!”

Now, all children say this, and all sorts of advice is given about it. Some of the experts caution us never to pretend to take them up on it; it leaves them fearing you really don’t care if they do leave.

We have one child who, when he threatens to leave, we instinctively respond with, “Oh, come, you don’t mean that. You know you don’t want to go off and live somewhere else.”

But this peppery boy seemed to call for a real showdown. (And the best reason I can give for this is simply maternal instinct.)

So one raw November day, after threatening for weeks, we said: All right, if he really wanted to, he could leave.

He got his things on, and we packed some toys in a bag (one must save face, of course; so he was very cheerful about the whole thing), and off he went in the teeth of a gale. After about forty minutes of roaming around in the yard, he was banging on the door to come in.

“But you said you wanted to go away.”

“Now I don’t.”

“Then why did you say you did?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t mean it.”

Pretty silly. He admitted it. Losing his temper this time nearly did him out of a lot of dearly loved creature comforts.

The next threat was a considerable surprise when he screamed from the middle of a rage, “All right, then I’ll hit myself on the head with a hammer!” This because a hammer was on a chair nearby.

Everybody howled. He’s one boy who is not given to the enjoyment of physical pain, and of course we hastily removed the hammer. Poor lamb. I’ve never seen such embarrassment as his that night at prayers when, examining his conscience, he muttered, “I got mad and said I’d hit myself on the head with a hammer.”

The following fury hit an all-time high in nonsense with: “All right, then I’ll cut the ends off my shoelaces!” And we proposed he do exactly that — only remember, he’d have to slop around with his shoes untied ever after. He retreated in grand confusion.

All this was drawn out, but trying to help a bad-tempered child is tedious business. He was slowly learning to walk softly with his “mads,” and came the day when he ran in from digging holes in the driveway to announce, “Hey, I threw my bad temper away.”

His temper, need I say, has not been entirely thrown away, but it isn’t especially outstanding anymore, and what there is of it will probably be forever. One doesn’t get rid of a temper as one does a diseased appendix.

But he has had enough experience in his few years of growing to know that praying does help and that there’s such a thing as learning to try to control a weakness. It’s a great step to be able to be detached enough to admit you have such a weakness.

A more perfect detachment will come when, older, he begins to understand that temper in the raw can be transformed into the kind of dynamic drive that helped the saints defy the Devil. It has a use.

One of the great blessings is to know that the saints had these same weaknesses as we, and children love to hang on hard to some saint who had a bad temper, told lies, and stumbled into the same kinds of trouble.

St. Peter qualified for just about everything we have trouble with in our family, and to know that he was made head of the Church, instead of St. John, whose love was so flawless, is a great comfort to all.

There’s another form of temper tantrums: brutality with other children. Hitting, kicking, biting, spitting, and all the rest are quick, vicious tantrums, and the same approach works with the same slow effect.

Here, however, there is the business of apology added to the struggle. Spiritual directors tell their penitents that, during aridity, to make the body go through the postures and attitudes of reverence will help the act of the will and drag the emotions and imagination in line.

This works, too, with children and their apologizing. A child who mutters “I’m sorry” because his mother is standing in back of him waiting to hear it doesn’t learn a thing from it and probably isn’t very sorry.

But if he has a minute or two to talk it over with his mother, to return to consider Christ, whom he must see in his playmates, and then faces his victim and says, “I’m sorry I pounded you, and I won’t do it again. Please will you forgive me?” — the fact that he has had to say out loud, “I pounded you” makes it quite clear why he’s apologizing, and the “Please will you forgive” is the only way to ask forgiveness.

A sincere act of contrition has to have that element of “please” in it, or saying “I’m sorry” is nothing more than expediency.

Usually the astonished victim has to be prodded into saying, “Yes, I forgive you,” but once the routine is established, not only in a family but in a neighborhood, grudges disappear more quickly, and it will have a gradual effect of weatherproofing the common affection.

We’ve added one more detail to this, although not a public one, and that’s an act of contrition. The whole neighborhood doesn’t have to know that So-and-so is in the house saying an act of contrition, but it ought to be part of the aftermath of any brawl.

Children will even learn to say it without prompting (that’s the truth).

One of my sons lifted my sagging spirit one day by returning from his act of contrition to say: “I said something else, too. I said, ‘Please gimme me some grace.’”

This will nourish you for days. If we can just hang on and keep at it, and if children will just learn to ask for, please, some grace, we won’t have to fret too much over the snail’s pace of progress.

The thing that counts most is that there is Someone who can make it all work out eventually, and He is busy all the time giving grace.

“Let me encourage you to find room for a garden in your life, for a garden has secrets that can teach you so much. In it we have the privilege of witnessing firsthand a part of God’s character: Creation. We are so much richer because of our love for plants, flowers, and trees and our involvement in their growth.”
–Emilie Barnes. Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home (afflink) Illustration by http://www.genevievegodboutillustration.com/

 

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My impression only rose when I received the aprons and they were stunning. They are not only lovely, but sturdy and well made as well. My daughter and I have worn the aprons often and I could not be more pleased.

LOVE it! I’ve been eyeing these aprons for a while. Every time I feel the need to look at something pretty I wander over to the Meadows of Grace Shoppe to look at all the beautiful aprons, jewelry & kanzashi flowers. I decided to treat myself with this apron as a belated birthday gift & I have no regrets! It’s absolutely perfect! The attention to detail is astounding. It’s fully lined, a coordinating fabric on the reverse side, a jewel on the pocket & fancy stitching… It’s BEAUTIFUL! The picture of our Blessed Mother & the Christ Child on the front is perfect. With this quality I’m sure this apron will last a long time & I look forward to doing my vocation as a wife and mother with this apron & having my children ask about the picture on the front. P.S. My baby points at the apron & says”Touch it?” She thinks it’s pretty too!

 

 

 

If You Want to Find the Right Person…..You Must BE the Right Person

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Art by Gabriele D’Annunzio

by Leane VanderPutten

Have you found Mr. Right yet?

If you haven’t then look at it as a blessing! You still have time to become the person God has meant you to be…right where you are at. Let’s face it, if you want to find Mr.Right, you need to become MISS Right first.

If you expect him to be upright, chaste, kind, loving, putting his religion first, then you need to be those things first.

Our inner happiness NOW should be a requisite for settling down into a life long relationship that will require the utmost of virtue. What are you doing to work on that each day?

I remember when I was a young lady of around 20. I had a dear friend, Kay, who was like another mother to me at the time. She asked me what my goal was in life. I told her I wanted to be a wife and a mother of a large family. She looked at me and matter-of-factly said, “Well, get to it!”retro_woman_cooking_2

I knew what she meant. I needed to roll up my sleeves, learn to become a better cook, learn the womanly arts, learn to give and to love and most important, grow in my spiritual life! Don’t let any day go by without moving forward. Do not become stagnant!

You also need to rid your life of stumbling blocks that may be slowing you down in your growth of virtue.

What kind of movies are you watching? Are they the kind that you would want your potential spouse to be watching? What about your future kids? Would you want them watching those shows? Those are things we need to think about. We need to make those sacrifices NOW. God blesses these efforts a hundred fold.

Music? Ah…MUSIC! I love music just like the rest of them (ask my kids). I grew up listening to what was on the radio. Back in my day we didn’t have the many choices we have nowadays. We just listened to the latest pop. In my estimation, it wasn’t great…..it wasn’t horrible.

There are lots of good choices out there. Clean up your act. Think about it next time….is this stuff bringing me down? Would I want my kids to be listening to it?

I’m not a stick-in-the-mud mom. I love music, I love dancing. But you had better know what NOT to listen to. There are a lot of grey areas. Pray, listen and be ready to sacrifice. We can still have fun, listen to fun music without it being displeasing to God.

What about your friends? Do they inspire you? Are they a good example? In general, are they on the same path as you? You may think that your presence in their life is going to make them a better person. Pray about that one. Oftentimes, the opposite happens and they bring us down. We need to end friendships that take us away from our goal in life….living to please God. We become like the people we associate with.

There are so many things young ladies can be doing to make their lives full in the interim when they are waiting for Mr. Right.

Read good books. There is nothing like an inspiring book to help us make some changes that will make us a better person. Always have a book in progress that is teaching you something worthwhile.

Show more charity in your home…obedience to your parents and kindness towards your siblings. One day you will be making a home of your own. Start practicing the virtues now within your own family circle.sewing+printable+vintage+image--graphicsfairy2c

Learn the womanly arts. Sew, cook, crochet. So much fun…and so satisfying!! Take lessons if need be. God gave us a creative nature…..let’s build on that! And you have time right now, when you are single!

Frequent the sacraments more often. Pray, listen to sermons, do your spiritual readings. This needs to be the foundation of your life. We can busily do everything else but if we do not have the grace behind it, we are building our house on a foundation of sand.

There is so much good to be done, so much to learn and so many people to love. Your inner happiness does not have to depend on finding the right man. That happiness needs to be nurtured NOW…..and a good side benefit from that is you will be more appealing to that one good man out there that is keeping his eyes open for an excellent wife and mother of his children!

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“Home should not be just a place. Rather, it must be THE place. All else should be ‘outside.’ Home should be the center of activities and interests. It was built for births, courtship, marriage, and death. It is maintained so that children might grow, trained by precept and example – so that they will develop spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, just as they do physically.”
– Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook

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

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

 

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