Special Summer Saints – St. Flavius, St Anne, etc.

So many feasts to learn about and to celebrate with our children! These feasts are coming up and we take note and pray to them in our needs. If they have special significance in your life, then do something singular on that day…or, at the very least, teach the saint to your children!

From The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland

St. Felicitas of Rome (July 10)

Since she was supposed to have been the mother of seven sons, and is invoked for the bearing of male children, it is a good thing for us that my birthday is July 11 instead of July 10, or no doubt we should not have even our one daughter. You can see the powerful influence of her octave, even so.

St. Christopher (July 25). Being such a big saint, he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He is the patron of archers,  market carriers, fruit dealers, motorists, and Christopher David Newland, and is invoked against sudden death, storms, hail, toothache, impenitence at death, and, last of all, he is the patron of fullers, who are weavers – and, as I said, our town is full of weavers.

 St. Anne (July 26)

My note: St. Anne is my patron saint and, besides Our Lady, she is the patron saint of Finer Femininity. I love her dearly. How could one not? The mother of Mary must have been so very special, with so many qualities that we women strive for in our vocations. Let’s turn to her in our needs. I know she is waiting to help!

St. Anne is very special with us because she found our present house and land when we were being evicted elsewhere.

She is the patroness of old-clothes dealers, seamstresses, laceworkers, housekeepers, carpenters, turners, cabinetmakers, stablemen, and broommakers, and she is invoked against poverty and to find lost objects.

Although the martyrology doesn’t say so, she must be the patroness of Grandmothers, and we love her for that because cause we could never get along without our grandmothers – and both have Ann in their names.

The children love to recall that if she was still there when the Christ Child learned to talk, He called her Grandmother. The nicest of her tradition that her name is Anne and her husband’s Joachim; and now and then a non-Catholic will challenge the source of the “St. Anne” who we say is the Virgin’s mother.

But our Lady had a mother and father, and they must have had names, and it is as suitable to call them the traditional names of Anne and Joachim as it is to call them anything else. It is only the name that is open to challenge. The role is not. Unless, of course, they wish to propose that the Blessed Virgin was miraculously produced without the conventional parents.

Even Catholics think that’s going too far. They stubbornly insist that she must have had parents; and they love her parents because they brought her into the world. We think the best way to celebrate in honor of St. Anne is to do something lovely for the grandmothers.

Little girls might dress their best dolls as the tiny Mary this day and lay them in flower-bedecked cradles. We borrow words in her praise from the Greek liturgy this day, to add to our night prayers:

Hail, spiritual bird, announcing the spring time of grace!

Hail, sheep, mother of the ewe lamb, who by a word, conceived the Word, the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world!

Hail, blessed earth, whence sprang the branch that bore the divine Fruit!

O Anne, most blessed in God, grandmother of Christ our Lord, who didst give to the world a shining lamp, the mother of God; together with her intercede that great may be the mercy granted to our souls.

Let us cry to holy Anne with cymbals and psaltery. She brought forth the mountain of God and was borne up to the spiritual mountains, the tabernacles of Paradise.

St. Lawrence (August 10)

Now you remember him: he was roasted on a gridiron. Guess whom he is patron of? Cooks.

Let no one say that the Fathers who wrote the martyrology or assigned the patrons didn’t have a grand and grisly sense of humor.

He is also invoked against lumbago and fire (you’d better put his name on the fire extinguisher along with St. Florian’s) and for the protection of vineyards. He is also the patron of restaurateurs.

St. Raymond Nonnatus (August 31)

He is called “nonnatus”  because he was not “born,” but delivered by Caesarian section. Since so many of our friends have their babies this way, we feel it is important to have his friendship.

His mother died at his birth but he ended up a cardinal and a saint; so you see, God does take care of His little ones.

He is the patron of midwives and is invoked for women at childbirth, birth, and for little children.

 St. Giles, or Egidius (September 1)

saint-giles-1

He is invoked against cancer, sterility in women, the terrors of the night (anyone have nightmares at your house?), and madness, and is the patron of cripples and spur makers. (Incidentally, the Compline hymn is a beautiful going-to-bed song for children who have nightmares: “. . . far off let idle visions fly, no phantom of the night molest.”)

There is a famous legend of St. Giles and a doe that was his friend and lived in a cave with him by the banks of the Rhone in France. One day, while running through the woods, the doe was pursued by a pack of hounds and hunters.

She raced back to the cave and disappeared inside, and the hunter leading the pack shot an arrow after her.

A moment later, Giles appeared with the arrow in his knee and the blood flowing freely. The hunter was filled with remorse, introduced himself as the king, Flavius, and offered to bring the royal physicians to treat the poor knee.

“No,” said St. Giles, “it is quite all right with me if God has permitted me to be crippled like this. He probably has some reason.”

As indeed He had, for Giles, bearing his infirmity with sweet patience for the love of God, became the patron and friend of all who share such infirmities with him.

“Holy water is water blessed by a priest with solemn prayer, to beg God’s blessing on those who use it, and protection from the powers of darkness. Have some holy water in your home. A holy water font is part of the equipment of a complete Catholic home. Use this powerful sacramental to help you keep clear of sin, and strengthen your desire to serve God in the name of the holy sign of the cross. Amen.” – Fr. Arthur Tonne, 1950

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In the words of this humble seventeenth-century lay Carmelite, “we must trust God once and for all and abandon ourselves to Him alone.” This difficult task necessarily requires perseverance and continual conversation with God in all activities great and small: “speaking humbly and talking lovingly with Him at all times, at every moment, without rule or system…” In reading these conversations, letters, and spiritual maxims, we learn the key to endless joy.

In short, this little spiritual classic — in its fresh, contemporary English translation — renders the simple wisdom of Brother Lawrence accessible to every Christian who yearns for the fullness of life….

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Corpus Christi / Feast of the Sacred Heart – Maria Von Trapp

Two wonderful feasts…

Corpus Christi Procession at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) International Seminary at Wigratzbad, Bavaria, Germany, 2019.

CORPUS CHRISTI

On the Thursday after the octave of Pentecost falls the feast of Corpus Christi–the feast of the Holy Eucharist. The actual anniversary of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament is celebrated on Holy Thursday, but on this day the Church cannot summon the proper festive mood, because of all the other happenings following the Last Supper, which she also has to commemorate.

For this reason she has instituted a special feast day for this event. In the old country this used to be the great feast day at summer’s beginning, with its distinctive feature the solemn procession, after the High Mass, in which the Blessed Sacrament was carried through the streets and over the fields and meadows. Such a Corpus Christi Day belongs among our most beautiful memories.

The day before, the big boys of the village cut young trees in the woods, usually birch, and plant them on either side of the road along which the priest will carry the Blessed Sacrament. From the village inn you hear the brass band having a last rehearsal, while mothers pin-curl the hair of their little girls. Everybody is preparing his finery for the great day.

The Association of Voluntary Firemen come in their best uniforms and brass helmets. The war veterans will also be in uniform with big plumed hats. The big girls are making garlands by the yards which will span the street. All windows will be decorated, houses and families vying with each other the best carpets, flanked by candles and flowers, are hung out the windows and statues and holy paintings are exhibited on them.

Early in the morning freshly cut grass is strewn thickly on the road. Four times the procession will come to a halt, the priest will sing solemnly the beginning of one of the four Gospels and each time there will be Solemn Benediction.

At those four spots altars are erected and decorated with trees and greenery and a profusion of flowers and candles. A great deal of love and care and time goes into these preparations.

Then comes the great day. The church choir gives its best at the Solemn High Mass and all the people attend from the mayor to the smallest child, for everybody wants to accompany Our Lord on His triumphal way. The procession is headed by an altar boy carrying a crucifix, followed by all the school children–the girls in white, their veils held in place by wreaths of flowers, looking for all the world like so many little brides; the boys wearing a wreath of flowers on their left upper arm over their Sunday-best, just like “best men.”

Then come the different confraternities with their banners and costumes. In the towns the convents would send every member they could spare. There would be the blue Vincentian Sisters with their coronets, looking like a group of doves, the white Dominican nuns, the brown Carmelites of the Third Order, the black Benedictines followed by the brown Franciscans, then the Mission Fathers and the bearded Capuchins followed by the secular clergy in their liturgical vestments.

They are all like the heralds of the great King Who is following now under the richly embroidered baldachin carried by the four most important men of the community. The pastor carries the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament. Two little girls are throwing flower petals out of baskets directly at the feet of Our Lord. Little altar boys alternate in ringing silver bells and swinging the censer from which rise billowing clouds, enveloping the Sanctissimum.

On the right and on the left are marching soldiers carrying guns as if on parade. Behind the Blessed Sacrament follows the church choir, then a detachment of firemen, the war veterans in uniforms, and the rest of the community.

At the very end of the procession comes the brass band playing hymns while everybody joins in the singing. The highlights for everybody, young and old, are the moments of benediction with the priest raising the monstrance for all to see and the soldiers lifting their guns and shooting their salute, while from the outskirts cannons resound with a thundering echo.

I cannot remember a single occasion when it rained on Corpus Christi Day. From a cloudless blue sky a hot June sun would shine. At the end of such a triumphal procession everyone from the oldest grandfather in a plumed hat to the smallest flower girl would be in a truly festive mood.

In the new world, we naturally found a different Corpus Christi celebration. In Philadelphia, where we stayed for the first two years, we took part once in a Corpus Christi procession which went around the church grounds.

In the second year we acted as church choir at the convent where our little girls went to school, walking around their big garden. It was all very solemn and moving and devout.

But as soon as we were up on our hill in Vermont, we obtained the bishop’s permission for an outdoor procession. Now we put up two altars, Hedwig cuts the grass early in the morning with a scythe, and all of us accompany Our Lord on His way over the fields and pastures and back home through our cemetery.

THE FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART

Eight days after Corpus Christi follows the feast of the Sacred Heart.

After Jesus had died for us on the Cross, He wanted to do even more–to give His last drop of blood. And so the Roman soldier pierced His heart with a lance. One would think this would have convinced all later generations of their Redeemer’s love.

But the “Prince of this world” saw to it that Christians in the course of time became forgetful of this love.

To remind us, Jesus in 1675 appeared to a humble little nun in France, St.Margaret Mary, all aglow and radiant, the Risen Christ of Easter Sunday. On His breast she saw His heart all afire.

Our Lord pointed to it, saying, “Behold, this heart which has loved men so much,” and He told her to spread the news: everyone who would venerate this symbol of the Divine Heart He would ward with divine generosity.

I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.

I will establish peace in their houses.

I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.

I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.

Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.

Tepid souls shall grow fervent.

Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.

I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

I promise them in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the first Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

As our home is called “Cor Unum” and our motto for daily life that we want to be one heart and one soul, we chose the feast of the Sacred Heart as our family feast.

On that day, after a Solemn High Mass and the feast-day breakfast, we have our yearly family conference. We report on all the doings of the past year, we talk about the plans of the coming year.

This is the day for every one of us to say whether he or she wants to stay in the family choir known as the Trapp Family Singers for another season; whoever wants to get married or whoever wants to do something on his own–this is the day to say so. This custom comes from the old country.

Many families have their family day on the feast of the Holy Family in January, some on the feast of St. Joseph, who was a family man.

Every day you need to lift your husband up in prayer. Ask St. Joseph to help him to be a good husband and father. He needs you, who are his closest companion, to lift him up each day to our Heavenly Father. Ask Our Lord to protect him and to protect your marriage. What a wonderful gift a praying wife is! -Finer Femininity <3

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Here, Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells in her own beautiful, simple words the extraordinary story of her romance with the baron, their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and their life in America.

Now with photographs from the original edition.

Most people only know the young Maria from The Sound of Music; few realize that in subsequent years, as a pious wife and a seasoned Catholic mother, Maria gave herself unreservedly to keeping her family Catholic by observing in her home the many feasts of the Church’s liturgical year, with poems and prayers, food and fun, and so much more!

With the help of Maria Von Trapp, you, too, can provide Christian structure and vibrancy to your home. Soon your home will be a warm and loving place, an earthly reflection of our eternal home.This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Like a Breath of Fresh Air & New Podcast ~ Avoid Nagging

Painting by Edwin Georgi, 1950’s

It is always good to be reminded of the courtesy and respect we owe to those nearest and dearest to us!

100 Ways To Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson

It all began in a cafe, like so many of the meaningful moments in my life. He and I were sitting together over a grande latte in the newly-opened coffee shop at the Green Hills Mall when my dear friend Susan walked in.

My face lit up as soon as I spotted her. She and I had only known each other for a short time, but we’d made an immediate connection the minute we met…Soul-sisters.

Our young family had recently moved to Nashville and I’d felt rather alone up until then. Being with her was like a breath of fresh air to me.

So I shot her my sunniest smile, “Hey, girlfriend! C’mon over!”

A big hug before both of us began bubbling over with all the latest news. I complimented her on her new dress. I told her how much I liked the way she was wearing her hair. I thanked her for the book she’d lent me and emphasized how glad I was to see her!

At some point, I noticed how subdued my husband had become. I waited until she’d left us, then asked him what was up. Something was clearly on his mind. I could tell that much.

He said it so softly, I barely heard him. “I wish you’d do that for me.”

“Okay, I don’t mean to be difficult… but do what??”

“Light up with a sweet smile. Speak kindly and say nice things.”

No further explanation was needed. I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. And he was right. I was all smiles for Susan. Saved my grumpies for him. Rarely bothered with the niceties anymore. Not particularly gracious or polite.

In all honesty? I didn’t offer too much of this kind of thing to my husband. He was supposed to love me “just the way I was”. No frills or syrup for him.

But how hurtful for him to see me put on my “sweet face” for everyone else—everyone except the man to whom I’d pledged my lifelong love. Here I was handing out the big smiles and warm compliments to my new friend….and dribbling out the tired frowns and whiny complaints to him. There’s something not quite right about that.

Now don’t feel badly if you’re cringing. I was cringing too. Somewhat sickened, really….Definitely convicted.

So, girlfriend, that’s what got me thinking…. If we’re putting on our brightest smiles for our sisters… If we’re saving our warmest words for our friends…. If we’re sharing our kindest thoughts with the girls….

Then we might want to consider how hard it must be for him to watch. Maybe he doesn’t mention it, but my guess is that he’d appreciate some of that warmth and kindness shown to him too.

So even if he’s around most every day, why not light up when he walks in the room? Tell him how handsome he’s looking today…. How glad you are to see him. A big hug and maybe a bit more. Put on your sweet face and say nice things.

Be like a breath of fresh air to him.

Be a kind wife.

 
“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
“Do not try to remake your husband. Prize your own individuality and put up with his…”

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Dear Young Lady, You are at a very important crossroad in your life. In the next short while your vocation will be settled and you will roll up your sleeves and fulfill God’s will in that role. This will, ultimately, be your means to happiness in this life and in the next.

The decisions you make in this short interim before that will greatly affect your whole life.

While you are waiting for God to manifest His will to you, you want to increase your inner happiness right where you are at, not waiting to be happy AFTER you find your vocation!

That is where this journal comes in. All of the quotes deal with your time in life….whether it is courtship, religious vocations, modesty and just a better spiritual life in general.

You will be disciplined in the next 30 days to write down positive, thankful thoughts in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, etc.

This will help you to work on that inner happiness that needs to be developed even before you find your vocation. Now is the time to improve your life!

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Work ~ Beginning at Home (Part Two)

Part One is here.

by Mary Perkins, Beginning at Home

One of the deepest and most glorious truths of our faith certainly is that what is only waste and loss in terms of temporal value–mistakes, suffering, failure, and death itself–can, in Christ, have the greatest possible value, individual and social, for all eternity.

But our attempts to realize this should not make us forget that ordinary human work which does produce temporal results can also have, in Christ, its eternal value.

No normal man wants to spend his time and strength and energy on mere busy-work or boondoggling. And normal men resent, at least subconsciously, that so-called Christian view of work which would make of it only a punishment, or a kind of busy-work to keep us out of trouble during our earthly exile.

But this is, of course, nowhere near the glorious Christian truth. The fact is that all rightful human work duly satisfies a real God-given or God-permitted human need, has the eternal value of helping to build up the kingdom of God, the Body of Christ, to its full and everlasting perfection.

The City of God is “not made with hands,” the houses and statues we make will not last for eternity, neither will the books we write, the laws we frame, the institutions we establish. But the effects of all these things on the human beings who are to be the living stones of God’s eternal temple will last forever.

The way in which a man is fed, clothed and housed, the way in which he is taught, ruled, and entertained, given the tools and conditions under which he himself does his work–all this affects the quality of his human living (and so of the meritorious value of his actions); all this aids or hampers his achieving his final perfection as the unique member of Christ’s Body that God means him to be for all eternity.

When our Lord said: “Whatever you do to these My least brethren, you do to Me,” He meant it as a fact, not as a mere manner of speaking, for in feeding, clothing, comforting, advising, guiding one another, we are actually ‘edifying,’ that is, building up the members of Christ’s own Body.

Only God himself knows, of course, when and to what extent His grace makes up for our mistakes and failures and mistreatment in fulfilling each other’s needs, so that somehow in spite of all this, ‘all manner of things shall be well’ and the perfection of the mystical Body and each of its members finally and beautifully achieved.

But we do know that we shall be judged and given our place for all eternity on how we have tried to fulfill each other’s needs…”Come,” or “Go” as we fed, clothed, housed, comforted Him in His brethren.

We can easily see that a well-planned and well-built house, for instance, contributes to the possibility of men’s living a good and Christian life. The lack of proper housing is one of the chief occasions of sin and discouragement today a poorly planned and built house is a source of irritation; of waste of thought and energy that might have been put into prayer or study or needed relaxation or the fruitful service of others.

But a house planned for the needs of those who live in it and built as well as a house can be, conduces to contentment, to hospitality, to good human living and so to the more effective service of God and our neighbor.

Clearly, then, the work of the architect, of the contractor, of all the craftsmen who gave their time and strength and skill to building such a house, in actual fact contributes objectively to the building up of the kingdom of God. So too, for all other forms of work.

But if our work is to have such an everlasting value (as well as a real temporal value), it must satisfy duly a true human need. This means that it must be done both charitably and skillfully, so that we try to find out and satisfy our neighbor’s real needs rather than to seek our own gain, and that we try to satisfy these needs as well as possible, rather than try to get away with whatever a patron or customer will take.

For, obviously, if the work we do is actually for the purpose of pandering to our neighbor’s vices, of hindering him from leading a good life, it is serving not Christ, but the devil. And as we would certainly not offer careless, shoddy work to Christ Himself, so neither should we offer less than the best we can, or could learn to do, to Christ in our neighbor.

If we look at the list of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, we see that it adds up to a summary catalogue of human needs in an acute form. The only difference, then, for a Christian between performing a work of mercy and doing the work by which he earns his daily bread should be that he expects no return from the work of mercy, while he expects, in justice, to receive from his daily work either enough of its products, or a fee, salary, or wage sufficient to enable him to continue to satisfy his neighbor’s need by means of his own particular skill, and to support his family and bring up his children to take their due part in the work of mankind, the work of Christ.

How fruitful and how wonderful, therefore, every rightful form of human work might be! As things are, few people besides priests and religious realize that they are co-workers with Christ and that their daily work has an eternal value of its own. And so the vast majority of Christians have lost the joy of this realization, and, what is worse, have lost the norms of what constitutes true and fruitful work.

Here is one of the chief causes for the desperate state of things in the world today. For the Christian truth is only the fulfillment and perfection of the true human idea of what work should be, and today we have almost completely lost both.

While, thank God, many a doctor, many a small-town storekeeper or banker, many a farmer and craftsman still works primarily for other people’s welfare, yet in general all kinds of vicious and artificial wants are mistaken for true “needs,” the efficiency of machines and not the true welfare of the worker or the customer is the norm for what should be made, keeping up with or getting ahead of other people are the norms for success, rather than the true service of others.

Now, surely, it is the full Christian truth about work that we must be ready to give to our children. For if they are called to any form of lay life, they will have the double vocation of carrying out their own daily work as Christians, and of doing whatever they can to re-establish their chosen profession or occupation “in Christ”; to make it easier for others to work as Christians and to produce the full effects of Christian work and so leaven the whole of society.

Or, if God calls our children to be His priests or religious, a part of their vocation will be to teach and lead and guide others by work and prayer toward the Christian idea of work.

And, of course, we are reminded, “A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. A woman who is not beautiful cannot properly fill her place. But, mark you, true beauty is not of the face, but of the soul. There is a beauty so deep and lasting that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it comely. This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart and is manifested in word and deed. A happy heart, a smiling face, loving words and deeds, and a desire to be of service, will make any woman beautiful.” – Mable Hale, Beautiful Girlhood, Painting by Albert Lynch

This journal is for the single lady who is in the interim before finding her vocation in life. At this very important crossroad in life, this journal can help with discipline, inspiration and encouragement.

All of the quotes deal with a young lady’s time in life….whether it is courtship, religious vocations, modesty and just a better spiritual life in general. A form of Morning and Night Prayers that I have used personally through the years is included at the beginning of the Journal.

This 30~day journal is a tool that will help the young woman to be disciplined in the next 30 days to write down positive, thankful thoughts. It will help her focus on the true and lovely by thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people she is grateful for, etc., as she awaits the time her vocation is made manifest to her.

The journal will assist the young lady as she works on that inner happiness that needs to be developed before she finds her vocation.

NOW is the time to improve our lives!

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The Time After Pentecost ~ The Sundays

From Our Children’s Year of Grace by Therese Mueller, 1955

The field has been prepared (pre-Lent), the seed has been sown (Lent), we experienced the glorious resurrection of the dead grain (Easter), we witnessed its growing, and at the “fullness of maturity” the Spirit of the Lord came to it in the fruitfulness of pollen, (Pentecost).

Now we are patiently waiting and watching for the growing and ripening of the fruit, for the great day of harvesting with Christ in his glory.

Mother Church’s colors are green, as the fields and the meadows, strewn with the white flowers of virginity and the red ones of martyrdom.

Like the land-man Mother Church keeps on praying for sunshine and rain, for the best for the souls and bodies of her children, that they may ripen full and fair, worthy to be gathered into the eternal barns.

Sunday after Sunday she leads her children to the fountain of eternal life, so that they may eat and drink their daily need of grace and divine help toward the final goal.

Each Sunday is a “Little Easter,” a re-enactment of the great mystery of resurrection from death, of new life out of the supreme sacrifice.

With our brothers from the early days of the church we must stress, concentrate on the one highfeast, celebrated over and over again on “the first day of the week,” we must make it the center of our religious life as well as of our recreation (re-creation!!) in the spiritual as well as the physical sense.

To give ourselves, our life and love, our sorrow and cares, our soul and body, our wishes and fears into the hands of the Father– “through Christ our Lord”–that is what we are expected to do and in return we will be filled with the abundance of Christ’s grace and love and perfection.

We will be transformed over and over again into “other Christs,” we will be united with him, who gloriously overcame suffering and death, who is awaiting us to give us part in his glory, after we share his suffering here on earth.

As we make each Sunday a “little Easter,” let us give to each Saturday something of the spirit of “Holy Saturday”; an atmosphere of happy preparedness and peaceful expectation of the coming day of the Lord. That is a real family task and worthwhile to work for.

Whenever I am lonesome for the home of my childhood, it is the “air” of the “Sunday Eve” I am longing for; the smell of soap and wax and fresh linen, of a simple one dish meal mixed with the promising odor of the cake for the morrow, the tip-toeing through the “best rooms,” locked for us children during the week.

“Moses take off your shoes, the place you are standing on is holy” my father used to say, often with a smile we did not see–to us it was just too true. It was as if the whole house was alive with the expectation of something great and beautiful– almost as wonderful as the Sunday itself!

Let us try to “steal” some hours from the approaching Sunday to make our minds and soul ready, to “tune in” as the church bells of my home town did, spreading peace and happiness over the roofs of the old city–as Mother Church does, when she anticipates Sunday with the Vespers on Saturday evening.

It is up to us to create a new “Sunday cult,” an atmosphere in which our children will grow up to a deeper, more religious understanding of the day of the Lord.

A nation can be no stronger than its families are, and they can be at their best in the country. And when to this natural strength we add the crowning glory of the Catholic Faith, when we strive to bring Christ to the countryside, and the land to Christ, we are certainly exercising a great apostolate. -An Australian Dominican Sister, 1950’s, Painting by Eugenio Zampighi

AUDIOBOOK!

HOW TO BE HAPPY HOW TO BE HOLY (by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan) AUDIO! This is an excellent book published in the 1950’s. You will pray as you have never prayed before. Father Paul O’Sullivan teaches Christians a) how to pray. b) how to derive immense benefits from prayer. c) how to enjoy the deep consolations of prayer.

Let this journal help you along the way, Mothers! The girls will have 30 days of checklists, beautiful thoughts to inspire them for the day, some fun things…like drawing their day and other things to keep them focused.

This next 30 days will be invaluable to them…to learn life skills, to have the satisfaction of checking off the activities they finish, to learn to be thankful for the good things God has given us, to offer up their day for someone in need, etc.

This journal is for girls 8 (with the help of Mom) to 16 years of age.

It is a beautiful journal, full of color and loveliness! Your girls will treasure it and be able to look back on it for inspiration and encouragement!

Available here.

Package Special available here.

In this joyful and charming book, Maria Von Trapp (from The Sound of Music) 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.

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

Work ~ Beginning at Home (Part One)

Part Two is here.

by Mary Perkins, Beginning at Home

WORK

“What are you going to do when you finish school?” “Oh, get some kind of a job, I guess.”

How many Catholic young men and women today give this vague and dreary answer to a question which should call forth intelligence and heroism, zeal and hope!

And how many of us who are now parents, even those of us who had good Catholic parents and a good Catholic education, look back regretfully on many dismal years spent in finding out what our lives were for, convinced as we were that since God had not given us a priestly or religious vocation, He had no special plans for us at all.

But it is part of our faith itself to believe that God has a special plan, a vocation, for everyone, and that means for each of our children. And it is part of our faith to believe that this plan of His for each child is an integral part of His plan for the whole human race, for the upbuilding of the whole mystical Body of Christ to its final perfection.

Surely, then, one of our main tasks as parents must be to give our children a positive and realistic idea of the Christian vocation as a whole, and of the various vocations, professions, and occupations by which that vocation may be carried out by Christ’s members. And we must also do everything in our power to equip our children to find out and to fulfill the part which God has given each of them in His great plan.

Obviously, all our home life, all our education and training should tend to give our children the great plan of the Christian vocation, “to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings…doing the truth in charity, to grow up in all things in Him who is the Head.”

But even if we teach our children the outlines of this great plan, even if we also show it to them in our daily living, our education may yet fail of its purpose if we do not give them some idea of the various ways in which this great plan actually is to be furthered by daily Christian life and work, of how it may be furthered not only by a man’s general ‘state in life,’ but by the works of that state and, in particular, by the work by which he earns his daily bread.

For unless God gives our children a clear and early vocation to the priesthood or religious life, the necessities of earning a living will face them as soon as their schooling is over.

And if we have not managed to show them how ‘real life’ and earning a living, in all its rightful forms, is meant to be part of the Christian vocation, the vision we have tried to give them of God’s plan may well prove to be more of a torment than a guide, more a cause of schizophrenia than of sanctity. And what a waste!

Let us begin, then, to give ourselves as clear an idea as possible of all the rightful forms of human work, of how each of these has been ‘Christ-ened’ by our Lord’s own example and by the grace He gives us to work in Him and for Him, and of how each is meant, in God’s plan to contribute to the building up of Christ’s Body and to the re- establishment of all things in Christ.

For if we ourselves can truly see how the work of a farmer, a storekeeper, a train-dispatcher, as well as that of a doctor or teacher or priest can be truly a share in Christ’s work, then we will be prepared to give our children an intelligent and comprehensive idea of real life and of the possibilities of their own future lives.

Moreover, if our children really possess the Christian idea of work, then they will be able, with God’s grace, to help make sense out of life for their fellows in high school or college, in their neighborhood or place of work, at that most trying and difficult age when one wants the best, but is learning to expect the worst.

What a marvelous opportunity for charity this would be, were more Catholic young people trained to take advantage of it!

If we consider human nature, then, in the light of Christian teaching, we see that God made men as incomplete creatures, needing each other’s services and many kinds of material and spiritual goods and services in order to exist and grow and perfect themselves. We see also that God made men to His image and likeness so that they could fulfill each other’s needs and their own.

As God is our Creator, He made men able to be makers: as He is Truth itself, He made men able to be teachers, communicating what they learn of His wisdom to each other. And as He is Goodness and Love, the end of all human wills, He made men able to rule and guide one another toward the ends of human life.

The work of mankind, then, consists in one way or another in making, teaching, and ruling, and, because of the very relation of men to God, in the work of uniting men to God, the work of priesthood.

Farmers, herdsmen, miners, builders, storekeepers, businessmen, all who work to make or produce or make available goods and services, are, obviously, makers, and many of them are also rulers of their enterprises and of those who work under them.

A doctor is a maker of health and a teacher, as his name implies, of how to become healthy. A lawyer is (or should be) a maker of peace and order and a teacher of how to achieve it. A writer is a teacher of some aspect of wisdom and a maker of the story or play or poem or article by which he communicates his vision to others.

Now all this four-fold work of mankind was planned by God in the beginning. But it has been, obviously, warped and thwarted and perverted in many ways by sin and sinfulness throughout human history, as it has been made arduous and difficult in punishment for original sin. But it has all now been redeemed and consecrated by Christ our Lord, so that men can now, in Him and through Him, work as befits God’s children.

Our Lord was anointed with the Oil of Gladness of the Holy Spirit at the very beginning of His human life, to be the Priest, the King and the Prophet of all mankind (see the Preface for the Feast of Christ the King and the ceremony for the Consecration of Holy Chrism).

And the great work which His Father gave Him to do of making us all into a Kingdom, included during His life on earth the ordinary human work of making tools and furniture at Nazareth, and of making stories and sermons in His public life.

Since, then, by Baptism and Confirmation, we share in our Lord’s life and His powers, His work and His purpose, we can in very truth work in Him, with Him and for Him. We can make the work by which we earn our daily bread a part of our Lord’s one great work of building up the Kingdom of God.

In the first place, as we all realize from the words of the Morning Offering, because of our share in Christ’s Priesthood as baptized and confirmed Christians, we can offer our lives and work and sufferings to God with Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass.

We were incorporated into Christ’s mystical Body by Baptism. Our vitality as members of that Body is increased as we grow in grace; we are living and useful members to the degree of our union with Christ in love.

According to the degree of this union, according to the measure in which our life is at the service of Christ’s life, our activity is somehow united with His so as to share in the value of His great work. The more perfectly Christian we are, then, the more whatever we do and suffer is united with His work and suffering, represented in the Mass, for the redemption of mankind.

In this way, all our work and suffering, whatever its other value, may be transformed into a positive contribution towards the greater vitality, growth and perfection of the whole mystical Body, the welfare of mankind and the glory of God.

“One secret of a sweet and happy Christian life is learning to live by the day. It is the long stretches that tire us. We think of life as a whole, running on for us. We cannot carry this load until we are three score and ten. We cannot fight this battle continually for half a century. But really there are no long stretches. Life does not come to us all at one time; it comes only a day at a time.” -My Prayer Book, Father Lasance http://amzn.to/2mwR5u6 (afflink)

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, 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….
Available here. Package Special here.

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.

Author Mary Reed Newland here draws on her own experiences as the mother of seven to show how the classic Christian principles of sanctity can be translated into terms easily applied to children even to the very young.

Because it’s rooted in experience, not in theory, nothing that Mrs. Newland suggests is impossible or extraordinary. In fact, as you reflect on your experiences with your own children, you’ll quickly agree that hers is an excellent commonsense approach to raising good Catholic children.

Let Mrs. Newland show you how to introduce even your littlest ones to God and develop in your growing children virtues such as:

  • The habit of regular prayer
  • Genuine love of the Rosary
  • A sense of the dignity of work
  • Devotion to Mary and the saints
  • A proper love for the things of this world and for the things of Heaven
  • Attentiveness at Mass
  • Love for the Eucharist
  • An understanding and love of purity
  • The ability to make good confessions
  • And dozens of other skills, habits, and virtues that every good Catholic child needs

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

 

 

A True Woman Has Charity – The Leprous Infant

From True Womanhood, Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

Is not this the significance of a most beautiful legend from the life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary?

Her mother-in-law, Sophia, was, at the time of the occurrence about to be related, bitterly prejudiced against the saintly wife. She neither shared nor approved Elizabeth’s charities and merciful ministrations. In her son, however, she found no sympathy. Yet one account shows how even his kind heart was overtasked.

One day a child afflicted with leprosy was brought to the hospital in the Wartburg; but his state was in the institution would neither touch him nor admit him.

Elizabeth, coming at her usual hour, no sooner beheld the little sufferer lying helpless and forsaken at the gate, than she took him up in her arms, carried him to the castle, and placed him in her own bed.

Sophia, indignant, flew to the landgrave. “My son,” she burst forth, “come with me instantly, and see with whom your wife shares your bed;” and she led him to his chamber, relating in exaggerated language the extraordinary occurrence that seemed to crown all the mad acts of his wife’s charity.

The landgrave, though he said not one word, could scarcely conceal his irritation and loathing. He snatched the coverlet from the bed, and lo! instead of the leper, there lay an infant, surrounded with a halo of light, and bearing the features of the new-born babe of Bethlehem!

This example is, however, more admirable than imitable. It is a rare thing to have to perform heroic acts of any virtue,—even that of charity. Where a miracle occurs, as here, Providence means to inculcate a lesson.

The teaching, to the Catholic mind, is a plain one: it is only the repetition, under a different form, of the Master’s doctrine, that He is represented by the persons of the poor and the suffering.

So, with this conviction firmly seated in the soul of the Christian mistress of a household, it will be easy for her to see with what reverence and generosity she must treat the poor. We say “reverence.” For if her womanly heart has schooled itself to behold Christ present in every one of the needy who come to her door, she will not have to be reminded to show to all, without exception, kindness.

Kindness is something far beneath reverence; yet let us insist upon the absolute necessity of  kind looks and kind words. No one better than a woman knows how far kindness goes, or how much and how long a kind word or a look of tender sympathy will be treasured up by those on whom they are bestowed.

If you have nothing else to give,—if your purse is empty, and your bread has failed,-— open the spring of kindness in your heart and let it pour out on the hearts of the poor sweet words of compassion, often more needed and more rarely bestowed than food on the famishing or cold water on the faint and weary.

Follow the rule of the great St. Francis, therefore: Be invariably and unfailingly kind to the poor. And this precious quality in the temper and bearing of man or woman can only be secured by the habitual practice of that “reverence” just mentioned.

It is more needful than ever that in every Catholic home mothers should cultivate that ancient respect for husband and children which was inspired by a lively faith, and made every member of the Christian community view in his fellow-Christians the children of God, the person of Christ himself.

This feeling inspired the father of the great Origen,—a father found soon afterward worthy to die the death of the martyrs,— with a reverence for his infant son so deep and so sincere, that he was wont as he passed his cradle to uncover the child’s breast and to kiss it, kneeling,—knowing, as he said, that the babe was the living temple of the Holy Ghost.

Surely Catholic fathers and mothers ought to find an exquisite pleasure in such elevating thoughts and sentiments as this; surely they should so consider each other and respect each other as if they too were chosen vessels, vessels of grace, bearing about in their bosoms the Creator Spirit; and most surely ought it to be the mother’s chief delight to reverence in every child of hers a something far more holy, more precious than the chalice used in the Holy Sacrifice, or the sacred vessel shut up in the Tabernacle and enclosing Christ’s divinest gift to our souls.

Can we school and accustom ourselves so to reverence the poor as to see in them the Person of Him who is represented as evermore standing in the night, wet by the dew or the rainstorm, at the door of every one of us, and gently knocking for admission to the light and warmth of our fireside?

This said, it is not our design to say either to the wealthy or to the needy housewife what measure she is to follow in relieving the wants of the poor. Let our spirit be the royal spirit of the ancient Catholic charity of our fathers.

To the rich let this suffice. “A modern author relates that a merchant in Spain once said to him: A rich Spanish tradesman would laugh at you if you talked to him of keeping his carriage; ~but ask him for alms, and he will think nothing of giving you a hundred, five hundred, or a thousand dollars”.

The early verbalizing, the magic and romantic lyricism of love letters, and long, late-night telephone conversations — all of these are left behind. Even the constant repetition of the words of love finds husband and wife admitting to each other that words do not express what they wish them to express. Thus, verbal symbols give way to a thousand variations of concrete symbols: a surprise gift, a note on the refrigerator, an evening planned totally for the other — always designed to unlock in the other that secret closet of joy. In creating their masterpiece, truly “their life’s work”, husband and wife each look to the other’s needs. -Father of the Family, Clayton Barbeau https://amzn.to/2tnTeJO (afflink)

Your solution to chapel veils that slip off! Little Girl’s Lovely and Lacey Crocheted Veils made for the season… Available here.

For adults….

The famous novelist Louis de Wohl presents a stimulating historical novel about the great St. Thomas Aquinas, set against the violent background of the Italy of the Crusades. He tells the intriguing story of St. Thomas who – by taking a vow of poverty and joining the Dominicans – defied his illustrious, prominent family’s ambition for him to have great power in the Church. The battles and Crusades of the 13th century and the ruthlessness of the excommunicated Emperor Frederick II play a big part in the story, but it is Thomas of Aquino who dominates this book. De Wohl succeeds notably in portraying the exceptional quality of this man, a fusion of mighty intellect and childlike simplicity. A pupil of St. Albert the Great, the humble Thomas – through an intense life of study, writing, prayer, preaching and contemplation – ironically rose to become the influential figure of his age, and he later was proclaimed by the Church as the Angelic Doctor.

Seriously wounded at the siege of Pamplona in 1521, Don Inigo de Loyola learned that to be a Knight of God was an infinitely greater honor (and infinitely more dangerous) than to be a Knight in the forces of the Emperor. Uli von der Flue, humorous, intelligent and courageous Swiss mercenary, was responsible for the canon shot which incapacitated the worldly and ambitious young nobleman, and Uli became deeply involved in Loyola’s life. With Juanita, disguised as the boy Juan, Uli followed Loyola on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to protect him, but it was the saint who protected Uli and Juan. Through Uli’s eyes we see the surge and violence of the turbulent period in Jerusalem, Spain and Rome.

Louis de Wohl has again created an exciting and spiritually inspiring novel for all readers of historical fiction.

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

 

 

Practical Tips on Modesty

by Leane VanderPutten

Today I’d like to talk a little bit about some of the practical aspects of living a modest lifestyle. You may also like to watch this video of my own thoughts on Modesty and also my Modesty Journey…

And here is my daughter, Rosie’s post on Modesty.

Before I get into the Practical Tips of Modesty, I just want to say a word about sewing…

You may not be a sew-er. A couple of my girls are, the rest…not really. But we have a sewing machine and the girls at home can sit down and sew a seam if they want to.

Thrift shops are our friend but oftentimes we need to let down a hem or add lace to a sleeve.

Sewing is not as complicated as learning how to use a cell phone, so it is something that is worthwhile learning. Even just the basics. In your modesty journey, a sewing machine is very helpful.

I have watched my oldest daughter, Virginia, take some curtains that she found at our favorite thrift store and turn it into a lovely skirt. When we need 3 or 4 inches added to a skirt, she always has material around to help in that area.

She gets sheets to line her aprons, lace and lovely vintage buttons to embellish her creations, and so much more! This makes it fun and exciting!

Sewing also helps if you have a more uncommon shape as a girl/woman.

OK, onto some practical tips…

PRACTICAL TIPS:

Six things to ponder…

1.        You know the saying…I wear my heart on my sleeve? Well, we wear our hearts on the clothes we wear. We really do. So, What do the clothes I wear say about where my heart is??

2.       When I go to choose an outfit for the day, am I choosing an outfit to attract attention in the wrong way to those around me? Am I seeking to impress Our Lord with the clothing I wear today….always with dignity and a touch of class.

3.       Is what I wear consistent with Our Lady’s values of modesty, self-control and respectable apparel, or does my dress reveal an inordinate identification and fascination with sinful cultural values?

4.       Who am I trying to identify with through my dress? Is the Church, the Fathers, Tradition and Our Lady my standard or is it the latest fashion?

5.         Have I sought out other godly persons to help me decide an outfit if I am struggling whether it is modest enough?

6.         The clothing I wear….could someone look at me and know that I am a woman of morals, of faith, of integrity. Or does my clothing contradict this profession of faith?

“How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart.

A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God? Or is it to call attention to herself and flaunt her beauty? Or worse, to attempt to lure men sexually?

A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.” John MacArthur

Blouses and Tops:

CAMISOLES OR TANK TOPS

Camisoles are wonderful. We make much use out of them to put under our tops. They can help make a see-through top modest, and a top that is too low-cut suddenly is just fine. They can also help to keep the material on top of the camisole, your outer garment, too clingy.

You do have to be careful, though. You don’t want to get the spaghetti strap camisole and then have a see through top as the straps look like underwear anyway and expose too much of the back. But if see-through is not the issue, then a spaghetti strap camisole is fine IF it is high enough. If it isn’t then pin those straps to your bra.

You can look at camisoles here.

Personally I like to wear what I call a shell or tank top. They are sleeveless but not spaghetti straps. They cover more and usually come up more in the front. If you find the shell is too low, we have also worn with the back in the front. The back always come up higher. And since a lot of these shells don’t have tags on the back, just a bit of writing on the inside, this can work fine, too.

You can look at tank tops here.

Sometimes you can just use mock clip on camisoles if it is just the neckline you are trying to make more modest.My girls have done this. You can get them on Amazon or Ebay

Mock Camisoles can be found here.

Your underlay….the camisoles or shells may be a bit low. Do pin them so they don’t ride down during the day. If the girls forget to do this I am constantly reminding them to pull up their undershirt. What good is it if it is always riding down?

LIGHT, SEE THROUGH COMPLETE OVERLAYS:

We have a favorite Thrift Shop…it’s called God’s Storehouse…very fitting. There we have purchased several light, flowy, feminine, tops that are so light they go right over a t-shirt and don’t add a lot of bulk. Some of My girls love this look and with the t-shirt underneath it is perfectly modest. And the overlays can be quite pretty. Because they are more of a flowy cut one does not have to worry about clingy or tight.

I realize that you may think this is too hot for the summertime and I understand. One thing I have found, though, is that you can get quite used to a little more bulk. I never thought this was possible myself. We live in Kansas and it, too, is hot. I have found through the years that I can put up with a light layer and it doesn’t bug me like it used to. I am from Canada and the heat really gets to me!

BLOUSES

Also, just a lovely, short sleeve cotton blouse that is not see through is a good choice for the summer. I don’t button my top button but if the next button is a bit too low (remember the two-finger rule under the collar bone) I use a safety pin…always! Remember…safety pins are your friends!

Here’s a little tutorial on how to change a longer sleeve blouse into a short one….

Remember, though, that a blouse that is too tight is just that…too tight. Scrap it. How do we tell?

A shirt that shows tension folds at the bust area is too tight. Also, if the material pulls in right under the bust area…not good. There should be a natural flow between that area and your tummy area.

SLEEVES

Sleeves need to be longer than just a cap sleeve. You don’t want to be showing off your armpits…either with too short of a sleeve…or too flouncy.

LAYERING

In the winter time, layering is fun and very useful. You can wear those long sleeve t-shirts (and there are a multitude of colors available) with a vest over top, a nice lacy layer (light lace or a heavier knit), your complete flowy blouse overlay, etc. Scarves are wonderful for smoothing things out and covering up. I wouldn’t use a scarf, necessarily, for covering a low neck unless it was pinned in place. Scarves move around and aren’t always a good choice for that.

AVOID T-SHIRTS BECAUSE THEY TEND TO CLING TO ALL THE WRONG PLACES.

But…If I have a knit shirt that isn’t necessarily too tight but I may feel is drawing too much attention to the chest part, a scarf cuts that up pretty good and distracts from that area.

Once again, though, too tight is just too tight and needs to go…

Also, Don’t wear t-shirts with writing on them. It is like a billboard that your eyes are drawn to.

OVERLAYS WITH BROOCH OR SHAWL PINS

I like to use brooches to pin my overlays together in the front. And we have just discovered shawl pins that allows a little bit of room so you don’t have to pull that overlay together completely. They also are very pretty and work better than an actual brooch, in my opinion.

I really like these clips because they don’t put a hole in your garment. They are available here.

We use these shawl pins, too. Available here.

These pretty pearl shawl pins are available here.

DRESSES

NOT CLINGY OR TIGHT

Once again, knits can be clingy…but not all knits. So do try on those dresses before you buy them. You don’t want them tight.

The girls will often ask me when they come downstairs dressed to watch them walk so they know whether that skirt/dress clings too much. If it does, the skirt or dress goes out or they wear a longer overlay to compensate.

TOO SHORT

Dresses and skirts are too short if they don’t cover your knees when you sit down. I remember a good nun who was teaching class to her all-girl students…when the girl’s legs were up or her dress was too short, she would scold them saying she could see her “kingdom come”. We got the point.

My thought is….at least 4 inches past the knee. Really, it is much more elegant to wear a longer dress or skirt. That’s the way I see it…even on a natural level.

SWIMSUITS

with a little help from Modesty Matters by Pam Hardy

Let’s talk about swimsuits. Basically a swimsuit these days cover the same area of the body that your undergarments do. Let me ask you this? Would you go around wearing your underwear. I don’t think so.  Yet, women (and men) do all the time when they are swimming.

Here’s a bit of a tidbit….

In 1922, if you wore what today would be considered a very modest one-piece swimsuit you would have been arrested for indecent exposure (Jeff Pollard, Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America).  That is how much the standard has been lowered in our society, in the last 80 years.

I know many good girls who would say this, “You know when you get really honest, there is no such thing as a modest swimsuit.”  I have to agree.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t go swimming. But it may not be quite as easy as the girl who just dons her one-piece or two piece bathing suit. That’s OK. It’s worth it.

Today there are many things to choose from online that are becoming more and more trendy for the girl who want to cover more than the average swimmer.

For us, we have had our bathing suits made. I don’t have any pictures….at least I couldn’t find any…so here is kind of what they look like. We make our skirts longer.

You can also do research online to find some good examples. Then if you are handy with the sewing machine you can make yourself one…or hire someone else to do it. It will be an investment well worth the money you spend on it.

Let’s make the effort to be modest when we swim. Will you look different than others? You bet! And that’s a good thing. Hold your head high…not in haughtiness…but in knowing you are making an effort to please God. And that is enough.

DRESSING MODESTLY IS COMFORTABLE…

Let’s face it. Being modest can work for us as far as covering up those things we are self-conscious about….and we look like beautiful feminine women…by covering up! More comfortable in that way..yes!

Also, looser fitting clothing is definitely more comfortable than tight-fitting clothing. Back in the day, I had friends who would get their jeans out of the dryer and literally have to lie on the bed to do the zippers up. They would shrink a bit during the laundering process and since they were skin tight, they were hard to get on! Sounds like a straight jacket to me…not too comfy!

Things that constrict movement are not very comfortable!

Wrapping it up…

When it comes to modesty, women have a responsibility (Men do, too, but this is not a men’s article):

  • Women must dress modestly and not be afraid to spread that good news with humility and charity.
  • Mothers need to teach their daughters to dress modestly at a very young age. You cannot allow immodesty and all of a sudden expect them to be modest at a magical age. Talk to your daughters about modesty, not in an unpleasant, condemning way…but in a bright and positive light. Make it pleasurable for them to dress modestly by allowing them to sew, or just shop for nice clothes.

When you dress modestly, what are the results?  God and Our Lady are very pleased and you are a good example, an inspiration and an encouragement to others. You will have a clear conscience because you will not be a stumbling block to the men around you.

Remember our ultimate goal is to please God. In turn He will give us a peace and happiness…

For a list of Stores That Sell Modest Clothing see this post on Beauty So Ancient.

Swimsuits:

PLACES TO SHOP

Modli

Hydrochic

Dressing for His Glory

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ONLINE:

Sunsuits for girls

Surfsuits Rashguard – covers the top

Micosuza Women’s Skirted Swim Capris

Look for Jewish or Israeli modest swimwear

Micosuza swimsuit for women

Freestyle Swim Skirt Surf Tops

 

Alice von Hildebrand – “St. Francis de Sales tells us that pious women should be well-dressed, but this doesn’t mean they must become slaves of fashion. There’s a way of dressing which is attractive, even elegant, but at the same time modest and simple. More importantly, attractiveness shouldn’t be reserved for guests and those you meet outside the home, while you ‘let yourself go’ when you’re at home. The moment a couple marries, they should begin to try always to be at their best for each other, physically (and above all) spiritually.”

Here is a simple outline to ensure we are carrying out our daily duties as best we can on this road we travel as Catholic women. This is my own list of what I deem the basics of a successful day. It is an ideal I strive for. You may have your own plan, and I hope you do. If this can help in any way, then I have accomplished my goal with this video…

This journal is for the single lady who is in the interim before finding her vocation in life. At this very important crossroad in life, this journal can help with discipline, inspiration and encouragement.

All of the quotes deal with a young lady’s time in life….whether it is courtship, religious vocations, modesty and just a better spiritual life in general. A form of Morning and Night Prayers that I have used personally through the years is included at the beginning of the Journal.

This 30~day journal is a tool that will help the young woman to be disciplined in the next 30 days to write down positive, thankful thoughts. It will help her focus on the true and lovely by thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people she is grateful for, etc., as she awaits the time her vocation is made manifest to her.

NOW is the time to improve our lives!

Available here.

 

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.

 

 

Sickness & Christ/Physical Flaws & Perspective – Raising Catholic Children

Artist: George Kilburne

Article from How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland

Show your child how to unite sickness with Christ’s sufferings

Chronic illness is a very special threat to a child’s security, not only for its suffering, but also because it’s easy for invalids to feel either totally useless or totally helpless.

Uselessness can breed despair, and helplessness can breed a monster of self-pity. This is particularly tragic when we know that suffering played the most noble part of all in our redemption, and suffering that’s united to Christ’s suffering can be the highest, most mysterious vocation.

Of two families we know whose children suffer the same affliction, one mother comforts her child by reminding him of the afflictions of his friends.

This one has braces on his teeth, that one wears glasses, the other can’t run very well — and she tries to help him find comfort in the sharing of seeming injustices. It’s a little comfort, but not much. It doesn’t answer his question, “Why me?”

The other family has taught their son that suffering is powerful prayer. For some reason that God alone knows, He has chosen this boy to share His own suffering from time to time. The boy may, if he will, unite his suffering with Christ’s and work with Him to save the souls of men.

He can use it for a hundred intentions, for his family, his friends, the missions, the children all over the world who suffer with him.

One time I asked him if he used his suffering, and he said very simply, “Oh yes, I always offer it up.” It’s the magnificent usefulness of those who feel useless.

Help your child see his physical flaws in perspective

Childhood is filled with little problems in security, like being born with a big nose, or too many freckles, like being too fat, or too thin, like being too plain and wishing you were pretty, or having straight hair and wishing it were curly.

A thousand things can prey on the confidence of a child and expose him to terrible torments of embarrassment and secret suffering.

Being cheerful is the best cure of all for sensitivity, and when children come to us for comfort in their secret unhappiness, we can help with our own cheerfulness.

“Why, you silly little boy! Here you are, wishing you looked like someone else, and all the time God went to the trouble to make a special one like you. With a nose so, and eyes so, and nice, nice freckles (which, of course, He has counted), and red hair that isn’t the color of carrots at all, but the color of gold. Have you forgotten who you are? You are you! Very lovely in God’s sight, and very, very lovable. And if you keep your soul shining and bright, very, very beautiful.”

Of course, there are things we can do to help. We can help a stout child to control her eating, which, in the unhappily stout, often becomes the only comfort and gradually grows into gluttony.

We can help an unattractive child (but are there really any?) to develop all his other gifts, and remind a boy who is, say, self-conscious about his changing, squeaky voice that even Jesus put up with a changing, squeaky voice.

We can help them a great deal if we know the stories of the saints, who were all shapes and sizes, funny and lovely to look at, attractive to men and unattractive, and give them these special companions to help them find happiness by learning how to love others and forget themselves.

A boy we know broke off his front tooth and died a thousand deaths wondering how to face his friends. His mother went straight to the heart of suffering and helped him unite his disfigurement with Christ’s in the Passion, and in a week’s time, he was over his fear and had forgotten his tooth.

A woman we know of worried all her life about a mole above her lip, and finally had it removed. When she did, her friends said among themselves, “But she isn’t the same. The mole was part of her.”

I wonder if it wouldn’t have saved her those years of embarrassment if someone had told her how the great Teresa’s biographer described her: “On the left side of her face there were three small moles which added to her attractiveness.”

A little girl who was always plump offered her suffering lovingly each time she said the Hail Holy Queen, the prayer where we “send up our size.” She discovered only when she had read the prayer for the first time (after knowing it by heart for years) what mistake she had innocently made.

Today she is a blissfully happy novice, and I wonder if the patiently offered size didn’t help as well as all the other prayers she said for the grace to know her vocation.

“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

New Aprons! Fully lined, quality material, made with care and detail.

Review (from a gentleman): “I can attest that these aprons are beautiful and very high quality. I bought one for my wife as a gift and the pictures don’t do them justice.” Available here.

When God Is Silent shows you how to trust God even when He seems unresponsive and remote – even when, as in the famous incident in the Gospels, He seems to sleep while you are buffeted by the storms of life.

Reverend Irala here addresses ways to promote mental and emotional well-being to help increase one’s health, efficiency and happiness. He speaks on topics such as how to rest, think, use the will, control feelings, train the sexual instinct, be happy, and choose an ideal. Included are also many practical instructions on dealing with mental struggles of all kinds. This book is most useful in our present times of worldly confusion.

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

Develop Union With God Through Prayer (Part Three)

by  Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., Progress in Divine Union

Part Two is here.

Part One is Here.

To get a good start in the morning, through the energy of one’s love and the help of the precautions taken the evening before; to renew quietly the bonds of divine union at favorable opportunities, such as on entering a room, hearing a bell ring, taking leave of someone, or beginning or finishing a piece of work; to ask God humbly for the desired help to correspond to grace: these are all positive helps to union with God.

They offer possibilities for achievement that will be more or less easy according to the alertness and aptness of the individual soul. Above all, in one who is inclined to give a little more time to prayer and well-chosen spiritual readings, they ought to have appreciable results.

There are, further, certain negative precautions that are important: the avoidance of useless thoughts and the curbing of natural impetuosity. We all have the habit of conversing with ourselves, and nothing is more fruitful if the ideas exchanged are worthwhile. Unfortunately, if we are not vigilant, we become come for the most part the victim of useless prattling, as harmful as the chatter of two persons who continue to talk when they have nothing to say.

St. Francis de Sales once jokingly spoke in praise of poor memories, quoting in this connection the words of St. Paul to the Philippians: “Forgetting the things which are behind,” and he showed the spiritual advantage in not remembering so many things when we are occupied in prayer or the concerns of our daily life.

“We never live,” a certain philosopher once remarked. “We hope to live.” It might be good to add that not only do we project our thoughts into the future, but we unceasingly scrutinize the past. Truly, a weak memory can sometimes times be very profitable, for have not many of our failings and nearly all of our inattention to God come from the play of our memories, in season and out of season?

Furthermore, certain natures are the prey of impressions: they react to everything, for everything, for nothing. They laboriously concoct dreams throughout the day. They build up imaginary situations, one more fantastic than the other. They probe the thoughts of such and such a person.

Upon the slenderest hint, they invent a whole novel. From a single word they overheard, they deduce a whole argument, arriving at positive conclusions. They are living kaleidoscopes.

Women are said to be particularly adept in this kind of sport. They are affectionate, and that may strangely enough be a help in prayer; they have impressionable souls and an imagination that easily rambles, and that can be very detrimental to recollection.

What can we do? Each of us must discipline himself, using the means at hand. We must go to God by means of the possibilities that are ours. The abilities of one are not the abilities of another. Even when we have a definite set of fixed rules, we must always in practice take account of the personal coefficient.

God knows that well and does not require of all a like achievement. The essential thing is that we go to the limit of our grace, not to the limit of another’s grace.

That is the reason for the wide diversity among the saints, even among souls dwelling together in the same institute or in the same family. Nothing is more delightful than this variety in the different types of religious psychology.

There is no doubt that a married woman, if she is a good manager and is not encumbered by some job outside the home, can find time for normal religious exercises and can even provide for meditation, spiritual reading and a relatively frequent assistance at Mass and reception of Holy Communion; time, after all, is something that varies in its possibility for adaptations and compressibility and woman excels in the heart of putting many things into a small place…. -Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950′

Do you need some good reading suggestions? Visit….

My Book List

Book List for Catholic Men

Book List for the Youth