“He Just Thinked, and There I Was….”


Painting by Raymond James Stuart

From How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland

A little boy of four told me, in great excitement, “You know what? God didn’t make me like you make a house. You know how He made me? He just thinked, and there I was. Like this . . .”

And he stood very still and blinked his eyes once, the best way he knew to express in physical terms how God made him.

Just to think, and make a little boy. What could be more wonderful?

For a child to learn that he is loved and wanted is pure delight, but to root it deep in his soul takes care and practice, and we must teach him to delight in it often.

“God made you, dear, ages before He put you on this earth. You were in the mind of God so long ago that even Mother cannot tell you when it was. Always He knew you, always He wanted you, and because He knows all things, He knew when was the perfect time for you to come so you could do what He has planned for you.”

It’s easy to take these beginnings for granted, but if we would stop to consider them as acts of great supernatural significance, we would learn much faster to appreciate the vast potential waiting to be developed in the souls of the smallest children.

Children believe with simplicity because, along with the other gifts of the Holy Spirit at Baptism, they possess the gift of wisdom, so different from the book-learning we think synonymous with wisdom.

Father Walter Farrell, in his Companion to the Summa, says that to question the simplicity of God’s omnipotence, His ability to create a man or a universe out of nothing, is as ridiculous as to hold that a man may not move through a fog without punching it with his fist.

This child’s acceptance of the most staggering acts of creation is precisely the acceptance that Christ said will qualify us for Heaven.

Understanding the meaning of grace, and faith, and revelation, and their supernatural effects in the uncluttered souls of children, it is utter absurdity to hold that “in all fairness,” a child should be left untaught until he is old enough to decide what to believe for himself.

It’s not only an absurdity, but a consummate mockery of the Holy Spirit. Still, to be honest, one must admit that the word God is really only a word, so far, and what children love is not the word, but the love.

I suppose one could substitute any word for the word God and they would love being loved this way just as much. So we must make Someone, not just a something, of God. And quite without realizing it, we have arrived at the beginning of catechism.

It’s a bit of a jolt to start thinking in terms of catechism so long before one absolutely must. Poor catechism, maligned and mossy with dreary associations.

But if we apply ourselves seriously to teaching our children the spiritual life, one of the greatest challenges is the dare to turn catechism into the happiest of all their studies. It should be. It could be.

Perhaps the reason it hasn’t been so far is that we mistake it for an end, not a means. It is as though, reading the recipe for a cake on a printed page, we should decide that it’s all very dull and never bother putting it together and making the cake.

There’s a great difference between reading the directions and eating the cake. The bone-dry definitions in the catechism are as essential as the recipe for the cake, but if we put them together with imagination and enthusiasm, and add love and experience, then set them afire with the teaching of Christ, His stories, His life, the Old Testament as well as the New, and the lives of the saints, we can make the study of catechism a tremendous adventure.

“It is amazing how, with time, the soul comes to dominate the body. Selfish people get the hard, selfish look. Generous people grow more physically attractive each day. People with the peace of God’s friendship develop expressions that instantly attract and constantly charm. A mouth that speaks kindly becomes a beautiful mouth. Hands that serve generously become characterful hands. Eyes that look out for affection on mankind are eyes that radiate an inner beauty not difficult to find.” -Fr. Daniel A. Lord http://amzn.to/2iCGqfN





All 6 Maglets (Magazine/Booklets)! Catholic Young Lady’s Maglet, Catholic Wife’s Maglet, Catholic Mother’s Maglet, Sunshiny Disposition, True Womanhood and Advent/Christmas Package of 6!

Available here.

“I enjoyed this book so much. These are articles that can be read and reread many times especially when your spirits need a ‘pick-me-up’. I especially liked the little thoughts and sayings sprinkled throughout the book. So full of wisdom!” -Julie S.
“Oh it’s purely delightful to cuddle up with a cup of tea and my Finer Femininity Maglet. 🙂 I LOVE IT! Can’t wait for the Christmas edition!!” -Elizabeth V.
“This book is very refreshing to read. It is very beautifully written and easy to read. This book encourages you that your efforts are worth it, enlightens you to do better in a positive way and gives you confidence that you can be good in a not-so-good world. If you want an all-around good book this is it. I look forward to each new publication!” -Emily
“Love it! this is something I will pick up over and over to read.” -Sarah

“I’m so enjoying these books. They are encouraging and are helping me in my vocation as wife and mother. Thank you” -Rebecca

“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” -Aindrea

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The Road to Bethlehem: Daily Meditations for Advent and Christmas

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This Advent Season, let the great and prolific Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori, guide you on a daily prayerful pilgrimage from the start of Advent through the birth of our Lord to the Epiphany. Drawing on Sacred Scripture and his profound saintly counsel, St. Alphonsus takes you into the details of Christ’s birth for prayerful reflection that will have your imagination placing you at the feet of our infant Lord. With meditations on the poverty of our Lord becoming man to Jesus weeping as a baby and lying on straw, St. Alphonsus will bring a humble intensity to your Advent prayer life. The contents of these meditations are marked by both joy for the birth of our Lord and sorrow for what we know He will suffer for our salvation.

Few saints have written with such passion, depth, and simplicity on the incarnation and nativity of Christ as Saint Alphonsus Liguori. TAN Books is pleased to present this little work for the first time to join several other TAN works by St. Alphonsus, such as The Glories of Mary, Preparation for Death, and Visits to the Blessed Sacrament. This book, The Road to Bethlehem: Daily Meditations for Advent and Christmas, is taken from the original book entitled The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy or the Mysteries of the Faith.

Sister Clare Gets Ready for Prayer

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Sister Clare needs your help getting ready for prayer! Open the cover of this book, and you and your child will explore a cloistered monastery together and a day in the life of a Dominican nun.

Dance your fingers across the pages, sing, count, move around, and pray; we dare you not to smile. Sister Clare Gets Ready for Prayer is the most creative way to introduce your little one to the joy of vocation and the gift of the religious life! 

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