Re-Establishment of Traditions / Sacred Heart ~ Symbols to Stitch

Our Catholic Faith should be the center and the foundation of all that we do. Invisible or external, it needs to penetrate what we do each day with our families….

by Emerson Hynes St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota

+J. H. Schlarman Bishop of Peoria President NCRLC

Sacramental Protection of the Family

(Notes from a talk by Emerson Hynes to the Rural Life Summer School, St. Bede College, June 25, 1945.)

We need instruction because we Americans came to this country in a violent way. Most of the home ties were broken. We came to a strange land where there were no traditions of Catholicity. We left home and village and nation where traditions may have been strong, but in this new land all was new.

Some of the nationalities, of course, settled as units and thus some of the traditions were transplanted. But often they died with the first or second generation. Thus we find our country in many ways barren of the solid religious spirit and practices that characterize the homes of our ancestors in Europe.

Those traditions have to be rebuilt. We are often simply ignorant of how to make our home a place worthy of a religious vocation. We know how to wash floors and operate vacuum cleaners and electric stoves, but we do not know how to sanctify our baking, our meals, our action.

We need confidence because the traditions have been lost. We Catholics without embarrassment walk into church, attend Mass, and abstain from meat on Friday. But in the intimacy of our own homes we are often self-conscious about the countless practices, symbols, and words which are needed to make our homes fitting places for a continuous sacrament.

You may know of many exceptions, but as a general rule, and increasingly as the rest of the nation becomes more secular and as the radio competes, religious life within the family itself becomes more foreign.

So we need much instruction and much bolstering. The instruction cannot be merely by sermon and handing out pamphlets. The priest must enter the very homes themselves and instruct.

The mothers, in their guilds or societies, must be instructed and encouraged to start a few of the practices. The children in school must come to accept it as ordinary practice of the Catholic family.

Blessings by the father before meals and thanksgiving afterwards, the family rosary, the crucifix on the wall and a picture of the Sacred Heart: these are starting points, but they are not enough. There is a wealth of possibilities over and beyond.

Then there are the blessings for the home: for the house, the barn, the parental bedroom, and others. The priest, for example, might perform these blessings as he is taking the census.

It is scarcely necessary to add what advantage the rural pastor has in building family life. For the rural family still has the unity and the privacy and the authority. The chief need is instruction.

The urban pastor has far greater obstacles. He is dealing with families where the whole family is rarely together, once the children start to school, and where the father is away from home much of the day. He is dealing with family life that goes on under ceaseless environmental difficulties and distractions, and where the competition of the secular attractions is almost insurmountable.

We can place his work in the power of the Holy Spirit and practice the supernatural virtue of hope.


Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart…

Symbols to Stitch ~ Mary Reed Newland

For feasts such as Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and others, we have a project that is easy, practical, and lots of fun, and provides us with a meditation on the lessons of the feast.

On brightly colored construction paper chosen to go with the feast, we lightly sketch one of the appropriate symbols (Sacred Heart, Chalice and Host, Immaculate Heart with M, and so forth).

Placing the paper on the couch or a hard pillow, we punch holes with a large nail every inch or inch and one-half around the outlines. With a large-eyed needle, the children outline line the symbols with colored yarns in a sewing stitch (much as mothers have done with “sewing on cards”sets when they were little).

The result is a bright banner for the wall or the center of the table on a feast day. Stephen has done them (very well, too), and he is only five; so it is a project the little ones will enjoy.

It takes no time at all to assemble, and is a quiet, neat project- ideal for small apartments, crowded rooms, or “company times.”

The saints, our Lord, and our Lady are our teachers, and they teach us in many delightful and beautiful ways. We should invite them into our homes every day of the year, joining our prayers to theirs, asking them to pray with us, now and then (when we have the time) creating a happy custom with which to celebrate their feasts.

We are not without calculation in this matter. We look for profit and gain. A man is known by the company he keeps.

“There is also the question of time. Where do we find the time to participate in the Church’s liturgical year with our children? Like these other questions, the answer is, we can find it if we plan for it. We can find it quite easily by looking to see where we waste it.

Not wasting it is not easy, because the habits of time-wasting, although they are harmless, are hard to break – as I know from experience.

Mothers have this struggle all to themselves. It involves such things as the radio (now internet) habit, coffee breaks, long telephone conversations, chatting with neighbors, a heavy involvement in outside activities.

Somewhere most American women CAN “find time” to devote to the enriching of their families’ spiritual life. The joyous discovery is that once we have struggled and found the time, tasted and seen how sweet are these pursuits together, we begin to gauge all our doings so that there will be time – because we are convinced there must be.” -Mary Reed Newland

Doilies by Rosie!

These are beautiful, lacy, handmade doilies made with size 10 crochet cotton. They have been blocked and starched and are ready to decorate and accent your home decor.
“The quality & workmanship of this crocheted doily is suburb! And the beauty even more so–I am so happy to be able to purchase a handmade doily just as lovely as my grandma used to make…” Available here.

Why do we wear our best clothes on Sunday? What was the Holy Ghost Hole in medieval churches? How did a Belgian nun originate the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament? Where did the Halloween mask and the jack-o’-lantern come from?

Learn the answer to these questions, as well as the history behind our traditional celebration of Thanksgiving, in this gem of a book by Father Weiser.

Celebrate the Faith with your kids all year round!

For over half a century, Catholic families have treasured the practical piety and homespun wisdom of Mary Reed Newland’s classic of domestic spirituality, The Year and Our Children. With this new edition, no longer will you have to search for worn, dusty copies to enjoy Newland’s faithful insights, gentle lessons, and delightful stories. They’re all here, and ready to be shared with your family or homeschooling group. Here, too, you ll find all the prayers, crafts, family activities, litanies, and recipes that will help make your children ever-mindful of the beautiful rhythm of the Church calendar.This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Sister Wilhelmina ~ Our Little Glimpse

“If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the Cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints.  And your name, written in the Book of Life, will be glorious among men.” 

St. Clare of Assisi

Words cannot describe the excitement and emotion we felt on the news of Sister Wilhelmina’s exhumation and apparent incorruption!

We were told while attending a Baptism at our parish in Maple Hill, KS ~ a mere 2 hour jaunt from the convent…and many of us were overcome with emotion.

Sister Wilhelmina and the Benedictines of Mary hold a very special place in our hearts. It is the Order that Rosie joined in 2018. She didn’t stay there long as she became ill but the nuns left a remarkable impression on all of us. They are a dedicated and saintly group of women and I will always hold a particular respect and love in my heart for what they did for Rosie.

Rosie praying at Sister Wilhelmina’s temporary gravesite in 2020.

In the brief time Rosie was with the sisters, she learned of Sister Wilhelmina and experienced her presence in short intervals as Sister was elderly and needed much care. She did not take part in many of the activities of the convent.

Rosie told us of the time when Sister Wilhelmina came to recreation. The kindly sisters wheeled her to the center of the room and all gathered around her, with two sisters sitting at her feet, resting their heads on her knees. All eyes were fixed on Sister as she told them stories… Sr. Wilhelmina seemed to soak in and relish the time with her beloved community.

She also remembered that the sisters would fondly call Sister “their saint”  and Rosie, in hindsight, is honored by the fact that both she and Sister Wilhelmina were wheeled up to the Communion Rail together in their wheelchairs, side by side.

One story that particularly stuck in our minds, and of which Rosie was witness to, is of when Sister was transferred from her wheelchair into her bed. This movement would frighten Sister because she no longer had good balance and she would feel like she was falling.  So… as two sisters would secure her under her arms, they would start singing one of Sister’s favorite folk songs with much gusto. Sister Wilhelmina would join in on the song at the top of her voice knowing all along that the sisters were doing their best to distract her from her fears, so she would not focus on the “trip” to her bed. Sister Wilhelmina would continue to finish the song as cheerfully as ever, even after being safely transferred to her  bed…

Such love the sisters showed toward her! After all, she was “their saint”. And what joy Sister Wilhelmina always carried with her!

After we heard of the possible incorruptibility of Sister Wilhelmina we decided we would go as soon as we could to venerate her. We were inclined to believe that this could get big…and we wanted our chance to visit and touch our rosaries, etc. to her!

Here are some photos of that visit:


Our son, Dominic

Devin and Theresa’s family


This picture of Angelo was used for the article by Catholic News Agency and the National Catholic Reporter…

The statue that touched Sr. Wilhelmina is in the grotto that Angelo is working on. I walk to it each day during clement weather and say my prayers.

There was a procession to where Sister Wilhelmina was laid to rest on Monday, May 29th…Memorial Day. All the kids at home went back to the convent on Monday to witness it.

From the book written about Sister Wilhelmina, GOD’S WILL:

As a novice, Sister Mary Wilhelmina eagerly studied the rule and history of her community. She developed a deep and trusting abandonment to Divine Providence. As an old nun, she would walk the halls of the convent, beating time with her cane and chanting her “Marching Song”:

God’s will, God’s will,

God’s will be done!

Praise be the Father!

Praise be the Son!

Praise be Divine Love,

Lord, Holy Ghost!

Praise be in union

With the Heavenly Host!

We are all wending our way through the book.

As you learn in her biography, Sister was an advocate for the traditional habit and the traditional Mass.

Sister, along with our other special intercessors from the past, is our go-to now for these very issues and all the issues that rock our Church today. We pray to her that modernism be overcome within the Ark of Peter!

We know the gates of hell will not prevail. But we need Sister’s powerful intercession for Reverence in the Liturgy, Communion kneeling and on the tongue and for all of the Holy Traditions and Customs of many centuries to be restored! These traditions that need to, once again, penetrate every aspect of our Catholic faith.

Sister, Wilhelmina, pray for us!

The CNA article about the procession is here.


Catholic News Agency Article is here.

The Sisters have written a biography of Sr. Wilhelmina. It is a beautiful book…much history and beautiful photos with vibrant colors! Sister Wilhelmina’s thoughtful and prayerful poems are scattered throughout the book. So much worth the read! You can purchase it here.

If you would like to support the Sisters, you can donate here.

The Christian family will not be restored, nor will it be maintained, without the restoration and the maintenance of Christian practices—the noblest practices surely, and the most obligatory, but likewise the most insignificant in appearance. – Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., Christ in the Home

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Chaplet of the Holy Face ~ Wire-Wrapped, Beautiful and Durable! ~ Prayer Card and Chaplet

Available here.

During the 1840’s Our Lord appeared to Sister Marie de Saint Pierre and spoke to her about spreading throughout the world the devotion to His Most Holy Face. According to Sr. Marie de St. Pierre, Our Lord was greatly sorrowed by blasphemy, and also by the profanation of Sunday by our work and failure to go to Mass and general disregard for God’s will of keeping the day holy.
Sister Marie: “Our Lord then made me visualize the act of blasphemy as a poisoned arrow continually wounding His divine heart. After that He revealed to me that He wanted to give me a ‘Golden Arrow’ which would have the power of wounding Him delightfully, which would also heal those other wounds inflicted by the malice of sinners.”
The Devotion to the Holy Face is also especially used as a powerful weapon to combat the errors of Communism.

In With God in Russia, Ciszek reflects on his daily life as a prisoner, the labor he endured while working in the mines and on construction gangs, his unwavering faith in God, and his firm devotion to his vows and vocation. Enduring brutal conditions, Ciszek risked his life to offer spiritual guidance to fellow prisoners who could easily have exposed him for their own gains. He chronicles these experiences with grace, humility, and candor, from his secret work leading mass and hearing confessions within the prison grounds, to his participation in a major gulag uprising, to his own “resurrection”—his eventual release in a prisoner exchange in October 1963 which astonished all who had feared he was dead.

Powerful and inspirational, With God in Russia captures the heroic patience, endurance, and religious conviction of a man whose life embodied the Christian ideals that sustained him…..

Captured by a Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a “Vatican spy,” Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. Only through an utter reliance on God’s will did he manage to endure the extreme hardship. He tells of the courage he found in prayer–a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek relates, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amidst the “arrogance of evil” that surrounded him. Ciszek learns to accept the inhuman work in the infamous Siberian salt mines as a labor pleasing to God. And through that experience, he was able to turn the adverse forces of circumstance into a source of positive value and a means of drawing closer to the compassionate and never-forsaking Divine Spirit.

He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God–even in their darkest hour. As the author asks, “What can ultimately trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will?”
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Prayer and Self-Denial ~ Clean Love in Courtship by Fr. Lovasik

Father Lovasik mentions in here that a wonderful prayer for young people is the Holy Rosary. I think if couples say the rosary together during courtship and carry that “habit” throughout their married life, they are setting themselves up for a successful life together. After all, we have all heard it, “The family that prays together, stays together.” I firmly believe the rosary has helped our family tremendously and I am thankful we were in the habit of saying it before we got married so there was no problem carrying it through our marriage and our family life!



Prayer is an unfailing means of grace and salvation. Our Lord said, “Ask and you shall receive. ”

It is a particularly strong defense in time of temptation, for God will come to your aid when you call upon Him in your struggle against the serpent of impurity. Try to be always on friendly terms with God by getting into the good habit of praying frequently during the day by means of little ejaculatory prayers and aspirations.

If you regularly spend some time with God each day, you will find it easy to call upon Him when you need Him. Prayer lifts you above the sordid things of this world. It purifies your mind and strengthens your will. It keeps your soul seeking after God alone—the real purpose of life!

With the weapon of prayer at your disposal, you are invincible.

Prayer will keep you very close to your best Friends—Jesus and Mary. Never let a day pass without asking them to keep you from sin.

Never go on a date without first asking their blessing and protection and presence.

A powerful prayer that has always kept young people pure and happy is the Holy Rosary. Pledge yourself to say it daily, especially if you are contemplating marriage.

You can hardly make a better preparation.

Keep your conversation with God, Our Lady, the angels, the saints; and you will walk among the stars!


A general spirit of self-denial is manifested by self-control. This is most important if you want to keep your dating chaste and happy.

Self-control can be exercised in these ways:

I. Though you cannot prevent feeling pleasurable sensations and disturbing imaginations, and cannot at times get rid of them, yet your will can refrain from consenting to and approving them; it can refrain from any external action that these things may urge you to do.

Your will can avoid even the sources of stimulation so that the sexual passions not even aroused, e.g., questionable books and movies, improper speech and intimacies.

II. Keep interested in something; otherwise you may easily turn to amuse yourself with conduct that is either sinful in itself or that quickly leads to sin.

This will keep you from developing morbid interest in sex.

III. Cultivate a sincere, wholesome attitude that sees other things in life besides sex, so that you may not react readily to sexual suggestions.

IV. Never let a day pass without denying yourself some lawful pleasure in eating, drinking, or entertainment for the love of God. If you can deny yourself in little things, you will be able to deny yourself in time of temptation.

Your cross in life is these temptations, these forbidden yet attractive pleasures. But Christ said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me . . . he that shall save his life shall lose it; and he that shall lose his life, for My sake, shall save it.”

By the cross of Christian chastity you will most assuredly suffer, but you have nothing to lose but everything worthwhile to gain.

Hold fast to the glory of your shining innocence! Nothing you can ever gain will compensate you for its loss. Your fidelity to your ideals may cost you much in money, in friends, in sacrifice.

But the surrender of your ideals will cost you more. For a passing gain you will barter eternity. A good conscience will be your sure reward. Only the heart without a stain knows perfect peace and joy.


“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, Catholic Family Handbook (afflink)




These books give us some lovely rhymes that can, and should, be committed to heart by your children. Not only will they provide all the benefits of reading and memorizing, but they will supply some simple reflections that will turn those little minds to what is most important in their life….their Catholic Faith…. Available here.


book suggestions

This booklet contains practical advice on the subjects of dating and choosing a spouse from the Catholic theological viewpoint. Father Lovasik points out clearly what one’s moral obligations are in this area, providing an invaluable aid to youthful readers. Additionally, he demonstrates that Catholic marriage is different from secular marriage and why it is important to choose a partner who is of the Catholic Faith if one would insure his or her personal happiness in marriage. With the rampant dangers to impurity today, with the lax moral standards of a large segment of our society, with divorce at epidemic levels, Clean Love in Courtship will be a welcome source of light and guidance to Catholics serious about their faith.



A Frank, Yet Reverent Instruction on the Intimate Matters of Personal Life for Young Men. To our dear and noble Catholic youths who have preserved, or want to recover, their purity of heart, and are minded to retain it throughout life. For various reasons many good fathers of themselves are not able to give their sons this enlightenment on the mysteries of life properly and sufficiently. They may find this book helpful in the discharge of their parental responsibilities in so delicate a matter.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Tidbits from True Womanhood ~ Rev. Bernard O’Reilly

This is a beautiful excerpt from a beautiful book.
What power we have, as mothers, to instill in our children the habits and general dispositions they will tend toward as they grow older. It causes us to “pull up our socks”, once again. We have such great influence over our children’s lives! And what a noble calling motherhood is! We are blessed to realize it.

From: The Mirror Of True Womanhood: A Book Of Instruction
For the Women In The World

Omnis honos, omms admiratio, omne studium ad mrtutem et ad eas actiones
qucB virtuti sunt consentanece refertur.

“All honor, admiration, and zealous endeavor is referred to virtue and to the actions which are conformable to it.” CICERO

It is said of one of the most celebrated men of the last century, that, when a mere babe, he was made to love flowers and all beautiful things in nature. His father, a distinguished naturalist, would take the child with him into the garden, and while he was busied watering the plants and examining how it fared with each of them, he would place in the child’s hands and on his lap bunches of the loveliest flowers.

Whether or not it was an inbred disposition in the child, he would, so the story of his life relates, amuse himself with the bright and fragrant things, admiring and studying them more and more as he grew up, till this pursuit became an irresistible fascination; and thus, from botany to other departments of natural science, the student progressed, revealing to his fellow-men the wonders that he had discovered, and leaving behind him an immortal name.

Even so is it possible to place in the hands and keep before the eyes of childhood some of the loveliest and most fragrant flowers of goodness, purity, and heroism which bloom innumerable in the Church of God, and thereby awaken in the innocent soul the sense of moral beauty, till the study and pursuit of all that is ennobling and elevating becomes an absorbing passion.

Virtues of a Mother

Generosity, devotedness, self-sacrifice are the characteristic virtues of woman: in Him they shine forth with surpassing splendor; and, next to Him, the Blessed Mother, so near and dear to Him, is the most perfect mirror of womanly perfection. She is the “Woman clothed with the Sun.”

She gave him the Sacred Body in which He practiced the sweet human virtues befitting childhood, boyhood, and manhood, the deeds which graced the lowly home of Joseph and Mary at Nazareth, and those which adorned the three years of his public life, till His work was consummated on the cross.

Enlightened and warmed by this close and continual union with Him, who is the true Sun of Holiness, during the thirty years of intimacy at Nazareth, this Mother, blessed among women, could not help reflecting more perfectly than any other human being the thoughts, the aims, the sentiments, the humility and the self-sacrificing charity of her divine Son.

Thus her life was invested from this most privileged intimacy, with such a light of supernatural holiness, that it vividly pictured the life of Jesus. She had been closest, nearest, and dearest to Him, had studied Him most attentively and lovingly, had followed faithfully in His footsteps from the manger to the cross, and was, when He ascended to heaven, the living image of her crucified love to all who believed in His Name.

We are all the children of these great parents, and are therefore bound to become like to them in mind and heart and conduct. None can attain to the eternal glory of the children of God in the life to come, but such as will have acquired this living likeness by generosity in imitating God’s incarnate Son.


“Always act patiently and answer graciously. That it takes the ‘patience of an angel’ to rule vigilantly over the little world of the family is beyond question.
Affability is essential.
By good will you will gain hearts and souls without exception. Loving much is the key to gain all.”
-Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950’s

Memorial Day ~ Wartime Prayer Book ~ Fulton Sheen:
“O God, the author and lover of peace, to know whom is to live, to serve whom is to reign; shield Thy suppliants from all assaults, so that we who trust in Thy protection may fear no foe. Amen.”
“I am not fighting for a freedom that means the right to do whatever I please but for a freedom that means the right to do whatever I ought. Oughtness implies Law; Law implies Intelligence; and Intelligence implies God.
I am not fighting from freedom from some thing; but for freedom for some thing: the glorious freedom to call my soul my own and then to save it in cooperation with God’s grace.”


This ‘maglet’ is absolutely wonderful with important topics for the Catholic wife from a traditional Catholic perspective. The booklet is very pleasing to the eye as well as very pleasing to read. It was shipped in a very timely manner. I haven’t had a chance to read through it all yet; however, from what I have read thus far I know I will thoroughly enjoy this and be able to apply what I read towards my own life. It is difficult nowadays to find any sort of literature that is positively and specifically written for traditional Catholic women in general. We are out there and I certainly appreciate finding such a gem of a publication! I highly recommend this maglet for any traditional Catholic wife and those becoming a wife. I look forward to ordering other publications by Leane VanderPutten. Highly recommended!

💖💙This Maglet is for you, lovely wives, who have dedicated your life to your faith and to your husband.
If it is in God’s providence you bring children into the world, your goal is to raise a wholesome, dedicated Catholic family…in an ungodly world. This is a seemingly insurmountable task considering the obstacles before us.
Our first line of defense is the bond we must have with our husband. Besides our spiritual life, which gives us the grace to do so, we must put our relationship with our husband first. It is something we work on each day.
How do we do this? Many times it is just by a tweaking of the attitude, seeing things from a different perspective. It is by practicing the virtues….self-sacrifice, submission, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.
The articles in this maglet will help you with these things. They are written by authors that are solid Catholics, as well as authors with old-fashioned values.
Take this information to heart and your life will be filled with many blessings!
Available here.
Package Special available here.

Prayers for use by the laity in waging spiritual warfare from the public domain and the Church’s treasury. The book has an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Denver.

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Humility ~ Light and Peace, Quadrupani

The Following are Wonderful Words of Wisdom on the Virtue of Humility taken from
Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts

Few persons have a correct idea of this virtue. It is frequently confused with servility or littleness.

To attribute to God what is God’s, that is to say everything that is good, and to ourselves what is ours, that is to say, everything that is evil: these are the essential characteristics of true humility.

Hence it would appear at first sight that simple good sense ought to suffice to make men humble. Such would be the case were it not that our faculties have been impaired and vitiated in their very source by pride, that direful and ineffaceable consequence of original sin.

The first man, a creature owing his existence directly to God, was bound to dedicate it entirely to Him and to pay continual homage for it is as for all the other gifts he had received.

This was a duty of simple justice. The day whereon he asserted a desire to be independent, he caused an utter derangement in the relations of the creature with his Creator.

Pride, that tendency to self-sufficiency, to refer to self the use of the faculties received from God—pride, introduced into the soul of the first man by a free act of his will, has attached itself as an indelible stigma to the souls of all his descendants, and has become forevermore a part of their nature.

Thence comes this inclination, ever springing up afresh, to be independent, to be something of ourselves, to desire for ourselves esteem, affection and honor, despite the precepts of the divine law, the claims of justice and the warnings of reason; and thus it is that the whole spiritual life is but one long and painful conflict against this vicious propensity.

Divine grace though sustaining us in the combat never gives us a complete victory, for the struggle must endure until death,—the closing chastisement of our original degradation and the only one that can obliterate the last  traces thereof.

As God drew from nothingness everything that exists, in like manner does He wish to lay the foundations of our spiritual perfection upon the knowledge of our nothingness. Saint Bonaventure used to say: Provided God be all, what matters it that I am nothing!

When a Christian who is truly humble commits a fault he repents but is not disquieted, because he is not surprised that what is naught but misery, weakness and corruption, should be miserable, weak and corrupt.

He thanks God on the contrary that his fall has not been more serious.

Thus Saint Catherine of Genoa, whenever she found she had been guilty of some imperfection, would calmly exclaim: Another weed from my garden!

This peaceful contemplation of our sinfulness was considered very important by Saint Francis de Sales also, for he says: “Let us learn to bear with our imperfections if we wish to attain perfection, for this practice nourishes the virtue of humility.”

Some persons have the erroneous idea that in order to be humble they must not recognize in themselves any virtue or talent whatsoever.

The reverse is the case according to Saint Thomas, for he says it is necessary to realize the gifts we have received that we may return thanks for them to Him from whom we hold them.

To ignore them is to fail in gratitude towards God, and to neglect the object for which He gave them to us.

All that we have to do is to avoid the folly of taking glory to ourselves because of them.

Mules, asses and donkeys may be laden with gold and perfumes and yet be none the less dull and stupid animals. The graces we have received, far from giving us any personal claims, only serve to increase our debt to Him who is their source and their donor.

Praise is naturally more pleasing to us than censure.

There is nothing sinful in this preference, for it springs from an instinct of our human nature of which we cannot entirely divest ourselves.

Only the praise must be always referred to Him to whom it is due, that is to say, to God; for they are His gifts that are praised in us as we are but their bearers and custodians and shall one day have to render Him an account for them in accordance with their value.

The soul that is most humble will also have the greatest courage and the most generous confidence in God; the more it distrusts itself, the more it will trust in Him on whom it relies for all its strength, saying with Saint Paul: I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me.

Saint Thomas clearly proves that true Christian humility, far from debasing the soul, is the principle of everything that is really noble and generous.

He who refuses the work to which God calls him because of the honor and éclat that accompany it, is not humble but mistrustful and pusillanimous.

We shall find in obedience light to show us with certainty that to which we are called and to preserve us from the illusions of self-love and of our natural inclinations.

“We should be actuated by a generous and noble humility, a humility that does nothing in order to be praised and omits nothing that ought to be done through fear of being praised.”—Saint Francis de Sales.

It is even good and sometimes necessary to make known the gifts we have received from God and the good works of which divine grace has made us the instruments, when this manifestation can conduce to the glory of His name, the welfare of the Church, or the edification of the faithful.

It was for this threefold object that Saint Paul spoke of his apostolic labors and supernatural revelations.

“Lord, You know my weakness; every morning I make a resolution to practice humility, and every evening I acknowledge that I still have many failures. I am tempted to be discouraged by this, but I know that discouragement also has its source in pride. That is why I prefer to put my trust in You alone, O my God. Since You are all-powerful, deign to create in my soul the virtue for which I long”. – St. Therese of the Child Jesus


Are you hungry to learn? Do you want to grow in your faith and improve in your vocation?

Me, too! And I am hungry to have my children learn! Any help I can get I am grateful for and so I feel very blessed to have such an availability of the many resources on the web for Catholics to learn about the Faith!

There are snippets of time which are wasted that we could use to grow spiritually by listening to something…. a sermon, a podcast or a conference on apologetics… that would help us become a better Catholic, help us to better answer others who are searching for the truth or just to give us a lift, some inspiration for our own vocation and our own lives!

Link is here.


Celebrating Pentecost ~ Activities for Your Children

Celebrating Pentecost ~ Mary Reed Newland, The Year and Our Children

Now to prepare a gift for each member of the family that will remind us all year to use the gifts so that we may bear the fruits.

We first heard of this idea through a friend of a friend of a group of Sisters. As Pentecost favors, they make bookmarks in the form of white doves cut from parchment and threaded with red satin ribbons for markers.

On one wing, or on one page of a tiny folder held in the dove’s beak, is lettered a gift of the Holy Spirit; on the other, a fruit. They are placed all together in a basket, and each Sister chooses one.

The gift written on her dove is the gift the Holy Spirit wishes her to work on for the year. Sometimes it is the same gift year after year. In such a case, one can hardly fail to get the point!

We varied this custom by cutting two-piece doves and stapling the wings on so that they are three-dimensional, then hanging them in a flock by red ribbons of varying length. Pentecost morning we each chose a dove, blindfolded. A gift and a fruit were lettered on the wings of each.

They were a brilliant display of “Holy Spirits,” and we let them hang there through the Octave. Lots of people who came into the house asked questions.

Red, or an orange-flame, is the color for table decorations on Pentecost, the color of divine love. Red cut-outs of candles, or red paper cut-outs of doves for place cards or Grace-before-Meals cards, are easy to make with construction paper.

Doves pasted to tongue depressors or lollipop sticks, or mounted on wire or drinking straws, can be anchored in individual clay bases or all together in a larger one to make a fine Pentecost centerpiece.

Little children can make place favors with red Lifesavers stuck with frosting on cookies and a tiny red birthday-cake candle. Lighted when Grace is said, they burn for a few minutes to remind us of the “tongues of fire.”

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 them at varying heights with black threads, sometimes with small objects to weight them so they will swing slowly in space.

Jamie made a beautiful mobile of the Holy Spirit and His work in us. An odd piece of wire bent to an interesting shape had suspended from it an orange cut-out of a dove; the sheet of orange paper from which the dove was cut (thus giving also a space dove surrounded by paper); a piece of transparent plastic that changed the color of the dove when it swung in front of them; a shell – because He comes to us first in Baptism; a small candle to symbolize the light He brings us as well as the tongues of fire on the first Pentecost; and a silver button that the children thought looked like a strawberry recalled to them the fruit of the Holy Spirit effected in us if we bid Him welcome and use His light.

This took him only about an hour to dream up and assemble, and it is an eloquent meditation as well as a work of art.

We have also a mixture called, quite inelegantly, Gook. It is sometimes called Muck. This is not much of an improvement over Gook. If this is to be used in preparation for the feast, plan the work session with it a week ahead of time in order that the objects you make will have time to be thoroughly dry.

Most mothers will recall using it at one time or another in their childhood, at arts or crafts class, in the Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls.

It is a mixture of salt, cornstarch, and water cooked, which dries as hard as a rock – most of the time. We have concluded that the few times it didn’t were due to insufficient cooking.

If you are an adventurous family and like inexpensive media for creating, do try it. Work with it in a place where the mess can be easily cleaned up afterward.


1 cup table salt

½ cup cornstarch

½ cup boiling water

Mix salt and cornstarch in saucepan. Add boiling water, and stir until well mixed. Hold over burner, and stir rapidly until mixture is thick and of a consistency for modeling. Let cool a few minutes after removing from pan.

Avoid modeling anything too delicate, or rolling too thin for the cookie-cutting. Individual batches of it may be colored with vegetable coloring.

This mixture takes about five minutes to prepare. We have modeled doves, inserting a candle in each dove for the “tongue of fire.” We have cut doves out of it with a cookie cutter, affixing a candle.

We have used it as well to cut Christmas-tree ornaments with cookie cutters, for making beads, Indian “wampum,” for modeling simple little figures, for homemade beads for rosaries on which little children may “learn” by counting out the beads and stringing them properly in decades.

Round balls stuck full of toothpicks are porcupines. Round balls stuck half-full of toothpicks are turkeys.

We have used it for homemade jewelry, for little fruits to go in boutonnieres, and on rainy days for just plain old something-to-do. It takes poster paints admirably and, if necessary, shellac.

Pieces that are to become beads or ornaments must have the appropriate holders, holes, threads, or wires, punched in or affixed before they are dry. These may be decorated with glitter or gilt paint.

It will take more than one Pentecost celebration, even when we are well prepared, for us to learn what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

But even one observance will teach us what our Lord meant when He told His Apostles of the mission of the Holy Spirit: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name. He will teach you all things and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you.”

This Holy Spirit is His love. His love for His Father, returned to Him by His Father. It is their gaze of love, their delight in each other, out of which came their desire for us. Let us say together, often:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful;

And kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created,

And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

“Don’t allow sadness to dwell in your soul, for sadness prevents the Holy Spirit from acting freely. If we insist on being sad, then let it be a holy sadness at the sight of the evil that is spreading more and more in society nowadays.” – Padre Pio

Running a house, while schooling, making meals, etc. is no little task. So…we roll up our sleeves and dig in each day. THIS is what we are called to. Let us not get distracted thinking we should be doing great things, learning about great matters of the world. NO. St. Therese calls us the do the “little things” each day. And really, it is a great thing to accomplish all the “so-called” little tasks….

🌺🌺Surrender Novena Prayer Card and Wire Wrapped Chaplet🌺🌺

Available here.

This chaplet is designed to be prayed with the Surrender Novena, which was given to Servant of God, Fr. Don Dolindo Ruotolo.
Each link is handmade and wrapped around itself to ensure quality.

SURRENDER TO THE WILL OF GOD ~ “Jesus, You take over!”

Prayer by Father Dolindo Ruotolo 1882-1970 – Servant of God, Man Who Padre Pio Called a Saint!

Great prayer against worry, fear, anxiety, depression and stress!

Many miracles have been obtained through this novena.

Do you want to get closer to Jesus? To align your thoughts, will, and actions with Him?

There is no better way to Christ than through His  Mother. That’s why St. Louis de Montfort’s Traditional Method of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary  is the time-honored, saint-tested way to grow to closer to Our Lord.

This is the traditional method devised by St. Louis de Montfort himself. And now, we’ve made it available in a single, deluxe vinyl volume, perfect for preparation for the Total Consecration and for yearly renewal.

Inside you will…

  • Gain a deeper understanding of what it means to Consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary
  • Begin to realize the profound joy and peace that comes with giving your will over to Jesus through His Mother
  • Discover the deep connection between Mary and Her Son, and how that bond can improve our own spiritual life and intercessory prayer
  • Have access to all the tools, prayers, and Scripture needed to consecrate your household to Jesus through Mary

Beautiful and durable, you’ll come back the wisdom of Saint Louis de Montfort again and again as you live out your consecration. This classic and revered devotional is an essential for every Catholic home.

Though nothing historical is known of her, she was declared a Saint in 1837, only 35 years after discovery of her relics. Here is the whole incredible story, plus many accounts of her tremendous favors and miracles. Another St. Jude to call on in our desperate needs.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.


Teaching Your Children About Pentecost ~ Mary Reed Newland

Painting by Charlotte Becker, Germany

The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season

I wish I had learned long ago about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We did learn the names of them, that is true, but we never went further than that; and because, all strung out in a row, they merely sounded like the virtues of nice people, we took it for granted that they came automatically with being “good.”

Like patience, for example. Anyone could consider the quality of patience and see that there was a great gap between patience and being patient; but most of the time, we were convinced that those who were patient were born that way. We had no real conviction that you could get that way. It was all very vague.

After a while, even the names of them got mixed up with the names of other things. We couldn’t remember if they were fruits, or gifts, or virtues, or what. It was safe to say that they were nouns.

Now we discover that the whole struggle between the flesh and the spirit could be changed if we understood about the fruits of the Holy Spirit – and acted on that understanding.

It is the most encouraging thing yet to realize that the fruits are the effects of using the gifts, not just something you grit your teeth and vow to acquire or bust. It is hard to explain why we never put the same practical sense to work applying the Gospels as we did applying other things. Like seeing a sign that said “Turn right,” and we turned right.

Our Lord talked about the fruits enough, in the Gospels, but for some reason, we never took Him literally, the way we did the traffic signs – for all we believed it was important to get to Heaven, and these were apparently the directions for getting there.

Just as we never dreamed that what He said about abiding in us applied literally to His indwelling, so we also missed what He said about the trees and vines bearing or failing to bear fruit. We had ears to hear, but we did not hear.

We listened to His parables year after year from the altar and supposed He was saying over and over again that good Catholics go to Heaven and bad Catholics don’t – never realizing that, instead, He was giving the directions for being a good Catholic.

It would take too long and more space than we have here to discover why – but that isn’t necessary. What we can do at once is explain to our children that He means what He says literally, most of the time. (There are a few exceptions, such as cutting off your hand or plucking out your eye.)

He means literally that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are fruits that grow in the soul that strives to use the gifts, and – joy of joys – that the gifts are that, gifts, freely given when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us at Baptism.

Living in Christ, reborn after Baptism, we could do great things with these gifts – if we would use them. Great things – such as being saints.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes down upon us in an abundance of grace. Could we not beg Him, in our preparation for His feast, to enable us to understand and use the gifts, that we may bear fruits?

We prepare first in prayer, imitating our Lady and the Apostles, who spend the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost in prayer.

A family novena to the Holy Spirit invites Him to prepare our souls to receive best the great graces to come. Novenas to the Holy Spirit are available in booklet form, or the family may prefer to put together favorite prayers to the Holy Spirit, Psalms, hymns, and readings, and use these for the nine days.

Then there must be the story of Pentecost found in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. It is full of excitement and intriguing details that children love, and is both good reading and good telling. Acquaintance with it ensures a thoughtful meditation each time the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary come around.

And then, after prayers and a retelling of the story, it is easy to direct conversation to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, so that we may consider in a practical way how they apply to our lives and our duties.

Lastly, in order to extend this lesson through all the year, we prepare a gift for each member of the family and decorations for our feast day that will enable all of us to remember that we must use the gifts if we would bear the fruits.

First, the story.

There were Jews from all over that part of the world in the city at that time because it was the Jewish feast of Pentecost and they had come to celebrate the harvest. Pentecost is a Greek word meaning “fifty” – the fiftieth day.

On the seventh week following the Passover (and one of its ceremonies had been the waving of a sheaf of grain before the Lord as a communal offering), the Law said that male Jews were to reassemble in Jerusalem and present to the Lord at the Temple two loaves of bread made from the fine white flour of the newly harvested wheat.

This feast was also to commemorate the promulgation of the Law. As always, the time for the event that was about to take place in the Church seemed to have been chosen for the significance of the season, for it was to herald the coming of Love Himself to dwell, a living Law, within the new Church, and its outcome that very first day was to mark the beginning of the harvest of souls.

Some spiritual writers have called it the birthday of the Church. Others, like Leo XIII, describe it as an Epiphany: The Church, which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost.

And always, our Lady was at the heart of it. If we are to prepare for and celebrate the feasts of our Redemption well, we must unite ourselves to her first, the chosen one of the Holy Spirit, His bride and His beloved. She was at the heart of all these comings forth, from the first one to the last. In her, the Word was uttered and became came Flesh.

She brought Him forth in Bethlehem. She held Him in her arms at the first Epiphany so that the Gentiles might see this Jewish God who would graft them to Himself.

At her word, He proceeded at Cana to His first act in creating a Church that He would build by teaching and miracles for three years, then leave in the hands of men.

To her He entrusted His Church from His travail on the Cross: “Behold thy Mother.” She alone understood His promise of birth in glory out of the tomb. And now there gathered about her the ones He had chosen to sanctify in the life-giving fire of the Holy Spirit, that they might go forth and preach to all men the need and the way to be born again.

There came the sound of a great wind, so loud that the Jews outside in the city were attracted to the scene; and the zeal kindled by the tongues of fire in the souls of those men was so great you might say they were exploded out of the Upper Room.

The gift of tongues, the quality of their enthusiasm, was so far beyond the comprehension of the crowds that the scoffers assured themselves they were drunk. But it was only nine o’clock in the morning!

St. Peter said to them that men do not get drunk so early in the day. This was not drunkenness, but the fulfillment of a prophecy from the prophet Joel: “. . . and I will pour out my spirit in those days, upon my servants and handmaids, so they will prophesy.”

He preached to the Jews about David, who prophesied that one of his sons would God set upon his throne, that he would not be left in death, but be resurrected, and His body would not see corruption.

They were the witnesses themselves. They had seen that God raised this Jesus from the dead; and He had this day poured out His Holy Spirit, “as you can see and hear for yourselves.”

Indeed they could, in their own tongues – Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those from Mesopotamia, Judaea, Cappadocia, Pontus or Asia, Phrygia or Pamphylia, Egypt or the parts of Libya around Cyrene, some from Rome, some Cretans, Arabians…. “When they heard this, their consciences were stung; and they asked Peter and His fellow apostles, “What must we do?”

“Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, to have your sins forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

And there was a harvest that day of three thousand souls. Three thousand to whom the Holy Spirit came – and with Him His gifts.

It IS interesting, isn’t it, how, in the last decades, women are made to feel as if they are being “losers”, “nobodys” if they are dedicated to the home..They are not using their talents if they aren’t out working in the world.
Truly, I find that illogical. How many talents does it make to run a pleasant home, raise good children, have a healthy relationship with someone you rub shoulders with night and day? That, in itself, is a full-time job…not to mention if some are homeschooling, seeking out healthy alternatives, helping with their parish life, etc., etc.
No, it takes a brave, committed, responsible, hard-working adult to do what it takes to raise a Godly family in today’s society. -Finer Femininity
Painting by Alfred Rodriguez

Excellent and consoling sermon!

Woman’s Lovely Veil/ Chapel Veil/ Traditional Head Coverings

Old World Veil and Capelet. A beautiful twist on the normal chapel veil. Ties with a ribbon in front..made with care and detail from chiffon and lace. Available here.

book suggestions

Lovely book, worth the time and money! This book will inspire you with ways to live the Liturgy within your home!

In this joyful and charming book, Maria Von Trapp unveils for you the year-round Christian traditions she loved traditions that created for her large family a warm and inviting Catholic home and will do the same for yours….Mary Reed Newland wrote numerous beloved books for Catholic families, but The Year and Our Children is her undisputed masterpiece. Read it, cherish it, share it, put it into practice and give your kids the gift of a fully lived faith, every day and in every season….

The Will & Habit ~ Fr. E. Boyd Barrett, S.J., 1917 / New Children’s Podcast ~ A Treasure Map


It is true that in general we are creatures of habit. We walk, talk, work, eat, write according to habits we have formed, when or how we no longer remember.

We derive great advantage from habits because in virtue of them we can do things easily and quickly. We are indeed a mass of habits, “imitators and copiers of our past selves.”

Some of the habits we have acquired are very complex and wonderful. Some habits we acquired with difficulty and others with great ease. Some habits we gained unconsciously or almost involuntarily, some with full deliberation.

It is of the latter that I wish now to speak, and especially of those which are both voluntary and evil. It is, we know, easy to acquire an evil habit and very hard to get rid of one.

The first time we performed the evil act that eventually became a habit we brought about a physical change in ourselves. It may have been a bitter word of sarcasm, or a blow struck in anger, or a deliberate lie, or an act of stealing or of immodesty. Whatever it was it left a physical trace behind.

We may have repented of it bitterly, and made atonement for it, but nevertheless the trace of that sin remained in our nature and it was easier to do it a second time. We were no longer the same as before.

Then perhaps a second time we deliberately committed the same fault. The trace grew deeper. Again we committed it and this time it was much easier to do it, and we felt much less repugnance. The habit was formed. And now, perhaps after very many falls we find that the evil habit is very strong.

We have tried from time to time to rid ourselves of it, but we have failed. It is there still, and now once more we want to rid ourselves of it. What are we to do?

If we do not overcome it, it will ruin our lives and bear us irresistibly toward a destiny so terrible that we dread to think of it. What are we to do? Can an evil habit be overcome? And if so, how is it to be overcome?

Yes! an evil habit, no matter how strong and how deeply embedded in our nature, can be overcome, but naturally it costs much to overcome it.

There is a sure means, and only one means, and that is the formation of a new habit, a good habit which runs counter to the evil one. “Habit is overcome by habit.”

If you are habitually deceitful and false, you must little by little build up a good habit of sincerity and truth. If you are habitually idle and lazy, you must build up the virtue of industry and of working energetically.

If you are habitually sensual and immodest, you must build up the good habit of self-denial and delicate modesty.

But how are such new habits to be formed? How am I to become sincere and truthful, seeing that I am constantly telling lies and deceiving people? Is it sufficient on several occasions to tell the truth and to be open and frank?

No! The mere repetition of such acts would not be sufficient to form a strong counter-habit. You must very deliberately, very methodically, very resolutely, and with all the strength of your Will set yourself to will truth and frankness.

And here we return to the principles we laid down in the section on Resolutions. We form new habits by means of Resolutions strongly made and faithfully kept, and tenaciously persisted in and repeated.

We must build up the virtue of frankness and truthfulness, part by part, bit by bit, just as we pointed out the way to acquire the good habit or virtue of punctuality.

There is no need here to go through the form we prescribed in the section on Resolutions, but it must be faithfully adhered to if a strong new counter-habit is to be formed that will eliminate or render insignificant an existing evil habit.

Hence the secret of overcoming evil habits lies in the art of forming good habits by means of Resolutions. In this matter, of course, we must, more than in any other, seek aid and grace by prayer and the Sacraments.

Some evil habits are so strong that no mere natural force of Will could overcome them. But force of Will aided by God’s grace succeeds and can always succeed, and force of Will, as the best natural means, must be called up and used to the fullest extent.

I need not, I think, dwell upon the importance of overcoming evil habits at the very earliest date. The longer we indulge such habits, the harder it becomes to conquer them. We must get rid of them at once. After-remedies come too late.

There must be no delay in this matter; we must lay the axe to the root while the root is not too strong.

From your own experience of life, from the examples of others, you know how terrible a thing it is to be a slave to an evil habit, for instance to be “a slave to drink.” Such a one is wretched beyond words. He brings misery and shame on himself and on those with whom he lives. His weakness of Will makes his life on earth a hell.

He hates his vice. He hates his slavery. He longs to be free — but again and again he falls helplessly, as often indeed as occasion presents itself.

For you, there may be many minor evil habits that you should rid yourself of —habits that will tell against you in after life, and habits that are unbecoming.

Perhaps you have a bitter way of criticizing others, perhaps you have a habit of betting, or of swearing, or of working in a slipshod way, or of roughness and untidiness or of selfishness and self-indulgence — whatever faulty or improper habits you may have, the sooner you get rid of them the better, for later on you will find it very hard to do so.

When fighting against an evil habit we are up against an insidious and unrelenting foe.

This of course applies more particularly to evil habits in the strict sense, which are founded in passions. We have to fight with all the courage, constancy, and wisdom we command. Half-hearted efforts are of no avail.

We must fight with all our Will-power and keep up the fight to the end, in spite of defeats and failures. We must never lose heart even though we seem to have lost. We must still fight on and regard our failures as additional and powerful motives for fresh efforts.

“If you want to abolish a habit and its accumulated circumstances as well,” writes Dr. Oppenheim, “you must grapple with the matter as earnestly as you would with a physical enemy. You must go into the encounter with all the tenacity of determination, with all the fierceness of resolve — yea, even with a passion for success that may be called vindictive.

No human enemy can be as insidious, as persevering, as unrelenting as an unfavorable habit. It never sleeps, it needs no rest. . . . It is like a parasite that grows with the growth of the supporting body, and like a parasite it can best be killed by violent separation and by crushing.”


Do you know that there are so many people in this world who are lost? They are confused and they don’t know where they are going. And did you know that you and I have the map that we can give them in order for them to find their way out?

I want to become a saint; it will not be easy at all. I have a lot of wood to chop, and it is as hard as stone. I should have started sooner, while it was not so difficult; but, in any case; ‘better late than never.’ – St. Zelie Martin

Chaplet of the Holy Face ~ Wire-Wrapped, Beautiful and Durable! ~ Prayer Card and Chaplet

Available here.

During the 1840’s Our Lord appeared to Sister Marie de Saint Pierre and spoke to her about spreading throughout the world the devotion to His Most Holy Face. According to Sr. Marie de St. Pierre, Our Lord was greatly sorrowed by blasphemy, and also by the profanation of Sunday by our work and failure to go to Mass and general disregard for God’s will of keeping the day holy.
Sister Marie: “Our Lord then made me visualize the act of blasphemy as a poisoned arrow continually wounding His divine heart. After that He revealed to me that He wanted to give me a ‘Golden Arrow’ which would have the power of wounding Him delightfully, which would also heal those other wounds inflicted by the malice of sinners.”
The Devotion to the Holy Face is also especially used as a powerful weapon to combat the errors of Communism.

Hands Free Mama is the digital society’s answer to finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. It doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction. It means looking our loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of our undivided attention, living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.

With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M. (afflink)

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Preparing for Pentecost ~ Maria von Trapp

Ascension Thursday was last Thursday, May 18th, Pentecost Sunday is this coming Sunday, May 28th. 

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. 🌸🌺


“Go teach all nations.”

Just before His Ascension, our Lord said to His apostles, “You are to be my witnesses.”

The apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, were authorized to preach that “the Kingdom of God – the Catholic Church – is at hand.”

They could admit men into the Church through Baptism, feed their souls with the Body of the Lord, offer a Holy Sacrifice for them, pray for them in the Church’s name, advise and console them in times of trouble, forgive their sins in the name of Christ. The Catholic priest is Christ’s witness to the world.

Priests are human, like all of us, but they are “clothed with power from on high” for our benefit.

The Catholic priest, father of our souls, deserves his children’s love.

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.

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.

“This book calls on Christian men to man up and fight for our faith, it is an excellent read. Should be required reading in every Christian school in the nation, the book is written for young men, usually the teenage years and is refreshingly unapologetic in its exhortation for young men to stand up for what they believe.” -Chris M.

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Spiritual Tidbits from Father Kenneth Walker

For those who are not familiar with the story, Father Kenneth Walker was a young priest (and good friend) that got murdered on June 11, 2014. I am fortunate to have some of his thoughts that he had written down (from his parents) and I am sharing them with you.

The Beauty of the Four Seasons

As the year goes by, the seasons change. Fields that were once covered with green grass become blanketed with snow. A lake used for swimming in the summer becomes a place to play hockey in the winter.

Though the four seasons are so different, they nevertheless keep a constant beauty. The summer gives us green grass and shining lakes while the fall is colored with leaves of yellow, red, brown, and orange shades, along with fruit on the trees.

The snow falls in the winter and provides us with the purity of white, and in the meantime, ice glistens like diamonds on the trees. The spring brings leaves to the trees and flowers to our gardens, all to our heart’s delight.

I imagine that God gave us four different seasons to enjoy so that we would not be bored with the monotony of just one specific climate. Therefore, He gave us these distinct seasons, each with their own aspects of beauty. This demonstrates the generosity and creativity of our God.

So let us be thankful to our God, and rejoice in these seasons, which He has given to us out of the goodness of His heart.

The Importance of Punctuality

When we take a look at the world around us and witness actions such as planes flying through the air, trains passing us on their tracks, and classes of Latin being taught, it gives us a sense of progression (not in the modernist sense), whether in mind or body, for the good of those who use these means to progress.

Hence, since time, in this case, is simply the limitation of development in any given effort of progress, this essential element must be used wisely for the best and most efficient results. So, given that one has chosen to progress in some area that bears some influence in his life, e.g. the study of Latin, he must use his time harmoniously with others, especially the one to whom he gives credit as the chief cause of his progress in the practical sphere.

This harmony between time and working with other people, then, is what we call punctuality, for punctuality is the habit of using one’s time the best way in respect to an act of society for a particular event of progression.

Punctuality is very important in these events, for then each person gives due respect to the one on whom his progress depends and possesses discipline for the work involved, whatever it may be.

In a negative sense, i.e. if one does not observe punctuality, then this person causes a disturbance in the means of progress, such as a professor teaching his class, and the distraction of those present, as well as being unwise in his use of time.

For these reasons, as well as reasons of order and virtue within the soul of the individual, punctuality is shown to be of great importance in one’s daily life and schedule. Of this importance we can be sure, because Christ Himself was punctual for His Passion and Death.

True Friendship

My ideal friend would possess real love, which is only characteristic of true friendship. If we had much in common, it would increase the bonding, for then there would be much understanding between us. This is why it would be best if he or she was Catholic.

Not only would this be good because we share the same faith, but also because a devout Catholic would possess the supernatural virtues, which would increase his or her ability to love. That way, there would be charity as well as love contained in friendship.

Of course, the Faith is not the only quality that we would have in common. Similar interests in recreational activities, work, reading, and types of study might benefit both of us.

These are secondary aspects of friendship, and so are usually what lie on the surface. Nevertheless, they still produce a bonding effect, which contributes to the good of the friendship.

I would regard such a person, with these qualities, as the ideal friend, for there would be charity between us which would cause a bond of friendship not often found in this world.

What it really boils down to, though, is that this is actually the love which we reflect from God, who is the source of all love.

Why do I Want to Become a Priest?

When I had come to realization of the fact that there are a variety of false ideologies in the world, all of which to a greater or lesser extent deny man’s purpose in life, it had also occurred to me that this ignorance of a meaning in life is accompanied by a void present in the heart of any who embrace these errors.

These people, deprived of truth by the influence of the world, will look for meaning in the lesser goods instead of the supernatural end that God has established for them in their dignity. It is this problem in the world that I feel is most essential to address as I briefly explain my reasons for desiring to become a priest.

God, in His infinite love, desires all men to be saved and so achieve their true end. Along with the Church, then, I am deeply grieved by these errors concerning the nature and dignity of man accepted by so many people in the world, which deviate them from their supernatural end.

In full view of the situation in the world, then, the only vocation that I could be satisfied with, as a work, would be one that would be dedicated to bringing people to salvation in whatever way God wills for me to do so.

This work is best carried out by the priesthood, which was instituted by Christ specifically for the care of souls, for by means of the Sacraments and the teaching of the faith to the people, the people receive both the truths of the faith and the sanctifying grace needed for the spiritual life.

I have discovered in my encounters with others that the most essential truths, especially of the faith, are not really accepted unless accompanied by grace, which, although given directly by God, must also be accepted.

On top of viewing the priesthood in this way, I also feel called by God for this vocation, and so wish to pursue it to find out if it is indeed the work that God has intended for me to do in accordance with His Most Holy Will.

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