Temptations ~ Light and Peace, Quadrupani

This is a beautiful passage from Light and Peace. We are all besieged by temptations of one sort or another. Sometimes we get confused…..did I sin? Sometimes we get discouraged….why such a battle? The following words may help you sort it all out.Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts

 My brethren, count it all joy when ye shall fall into divers temptations. (Epist. S. Jas., Cat., c. i, v. 2.) Now if I do that which I will not, it is no more I that do it, but sin, which dwelleth in me. (St. P., Rom., c. vii, v. 20.) 1.

“If we are tempted,” says the Holy Spirit, “it is a sign that God loves us.” Those whom God best loves have been most exposed to temptations.

“Because thou wast acceptable to God,” said the angel to Tobias, “it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.” (Tobias, c. xii, v. 13.)

Do not ask God to deliver you from temptations, but to grant you the grace not to succumb to them and to do nothing contrary to His divine will. He who refuses the combat, renounces the crown. Place all your trust in God and God will Himself do battle for you against the enemy.

“These persistent temptations come from the malice of the devil,” says St. Francis de Sales, “but the trouble and suffering they cause us come from the mercy of God. Thus, despite the will of the tempter, God converts his evil machinations into a distress which we may make meritorious.

Therefore I say your temptations are from the devil and hell, but your anxiety and affliction are from God and heaven.”

Despise temptation, then, and open wide your soul to this suffering which God sends in order to purify you here that He may reward you hereafter.

“Let the wind blow,” remarks the same Saint, “and do not mistake the rustling of leaves for the clashing of arms. Be perfectly convinced that all the temptations of hell are powerless to defile a soul that does not love them. St. Paul endured terrible temptations, yet God, through love, did not deliver him from them.”

Look upon God as an infinitely good and tender father and believe that He only allows the devil to try His children that their merits may increase and their recompense be correspondingly greater.

The more persistent the temptation, the clearer it is that you have not given consent to it. “It is a good sign,” says St. Francis de Sales, “when the tempter makes so much noise and commotion outside of the will, for it shows that he is not within.”

An enemy does not besiege a fortress that is already in his power, and the more obstinate the attack, the more certain We may be that our resistance continues.

Your fears lead you to believe you are defeated at the very moment you are gaining the victory. This comes from the fact that you confound feeling with consent, and, mistaking a passive condition of the imagination for an act of the will, you consider that you have yielded to the temptation because you felt it keenly.

St. Francis de Sales, with his usual simplicity, thus describes this warring of the flesh against the spirit: “You are right, my dear daughter. There are two women within you … and the two children of these different mothers quarrel, and the good-for-nothing one is so bad that sometimes the good one can scarcely defend herself, and then she takes it into her head that she has been worsted and that the wicked one is braver than she.

Now, surely, this is not true. The bad one is not the stronger by any means, but only slyer, more persistent and more obstinate.

When she succeeds in making you weep she is delighted, because that is always just so much time lost, and she is content to make you lose time when she cannot make you lose eternity.”

It is not always in our power to restrain the imagination. St. Jerome had retired into the desert and still his fancy represented to him the dances of the Roman ladies. His body was benumbed, as it were, and his blood chilled by the severity of his mortifications, and yet the flames of concupiscence encompassed and tortured his heart.

During these frightful conflicts the holy anchorite suffered, but he did not sin; he was tormented but was not guilty; on the contrary, his merits were augmented in the sight of God in proportion to the intensity of the temptations.

The holy abbot St. Anthony was wont to say to the phantoms of his mind: I see you, but I do not look at you: I see you because it does not depend upon me that my imagination places before my eyes things I would wish not to see; I do not look at you because with my will I repulse and reject you.

“It is so much the essence of sin to be voluntary,” says St. Augustine, “that if not voluntary, it is not sin.”

The attraction of the feelings towards the object presented by the imagination is at times so strong that the will seems to have been carried away and overcome by a sort of fascination.

This, however, is not the case. The will suffered, but did not consent; it was attacked and wounded, but not conquered. This state of things coincides with what St. Paul says of the revolt of the flesh against the spirit and of their unceasing warfare.

The soul, indeed, experiences strange sensations, but as she does not consent to them, she passes through the ordeal unsullied, just as substances coated with oil may be immersed in water without absorbing a single drop of it.

St. Francis de Sales explains this distinction so plainly and yet so simply in one of his letters, that it may be useful to repeat the passage here: “Courage, my dear soul, I say it with great love in Jesus Christ, dear soul, courage! As long as we can exclaim resolutely, even though without feeling, My Jesus! there is no cause for alarm.

Do not tell me it appears to you that you say it in a cowardly way, and only by doing great violence to yourself. It is precisely this holy violence that bears away the kingdom of heaven.

Do you not see, my daughter, it is a sign that the enemy has taken everything within our fortress except the impenetrable, unconquerable tower—and that can never be lost save by willful surrender.

This tower is the free-will which, perfectly visible to the eye of God, occupies the highest and most spiritual region of the soul, dependent on none but God and oneself; and when all the other faculties are lost and in subjection to the enemy, it alone remains free to give or to refuse consent.

Now, you often see souls afflicted because the enemy, occupying all the other faculties, makes therein so great a noise and confusion that they scarce can hear what this superior will says; for though it has a clearer and more penetrating voice than the inferior will, the loud, boisterous cries of the latter almost drown it: but note this well: as long as the temptation is displeasing to you, there is nothing to fear; for why should it displease you, except because you do not will it?”

Should it frequently happen that you have not a distinct consciousness of your success against temptation, it may be that God refuses you this satisfaction in order that, lacking this clear assurance, your knowledge may come through obedience.

Therefore, when your spiritual director, after hearing your explanation, says that you have not given consent, you should be satisfied with his decision and abide by it with perfect tranquillity, discarding all fear that he did not understand you aright or that you did not explain the matter sufficiently.

These doubts are but fresh artifices of the devil to rob you of the merit of obedience. As has been said above, to give way to such inquietude is to offend seriously against this virtue, for all direction would thus be rendered impossible, by the failure of the penitent to recognize God Himself in the person of his director.

To constitute a mortal sin three conditions must co-exist. First, the matter must be weighty; secondly, the mind must have full knowledge of the guilt of the action, omission or dangerous occasion in question; and, thirdly, the will, through a criminal preference for the forbidden action, culpable omission, or proximate occasion of sin, must give full consent.

These reflections should serve to reassure your mind if the fear of having committed a mortal sin disturb it, for it is very difficult for this threefold union of conditions to be effected in a God-fearing soul. However, perfect security can come, and ought to come, only from spiritual obedience.

In temptations against faith and purity, do not make great efforts to form acts of these virtues, but simply turn a pleading glance towards God, without speaking even to this compassionate Friend concerning the thought that afflicts you, lest thereby you root the evil suggestion more firmly.

Then, without disquieting yourself, engage at once in some exterior occupation or continue what you were doing. Make no answer to the tempter, but ignore him, just as though his assault had never occurred. In this way, whilst preserving your own peace of soul, you will cover your enemy with confusion.

The same counsel is given by St. Francis de Sales in his characteristic style: “Do you know how God acts on these occasions? He permits the wicked maker of such wares to come and offer them to us for sale, in order that by the contempt we show for them we may testify our love for holy things.

And for this is it necessary, my dear child, to feel anxious, and to change our position? No, no. It is only the devil who is prowling around your soul, raging and storming, to see if he can find an open door…. What! and you would be annoyed at that? Let the enemy storm away; only be careful on your part to keep all the entrances well fastened, and finally he will grow weary; or if he do not, God will force him to raise the siege.”

Though you should be assailed by temptations during your entire life time, do not be disquieted, for your merits will increase in proportion to your trials and your crown be accordingly all the brighter in heaven. The only thing necessary is to remain firm in your resolution to despise the efforts of the tempter.

“This serious trial, and so many others that have assailed you and left you troubled in mind, do not at all surprise me, since there is nothing worse.

Do not worry, then, my beloved daughter. Should we allow ourselves to be swept away by the current and the storm? Let Satan rage at the door; he may knock and stamp, and clamor and howl, and do his worst, but rest assured that he can never enter our souls but through the door of our consent.

Let us only keep that closed tight and often look to see that it is well secured and we need have no concern about all the rest—there is no danger.”—St. Francis de Sales.

The most learned theologians and masters of the spiritual life agree in saying that simply to ignore a temptation is a much more effectual means to repulse it than words and acts of the contrary virtues.

Stop-entertaining-those

Suffering which comes to us from God is best; and that comes to us through our circumstances, our surroundings, ourselves, and those we live with: these come from God, being permitted by Him. They are the warp and woof of our spiritual life. -Rev. Daniel Considine, S.J.

~Clarence Enzler, Everyone’s Way of the Cross

Christ speaks:

In Pilate’s hands I see my Father’s will. Though Pilate is unjust, he has earthly power over Me. And so the Son of God obeys. If I can bow to My Father’s will, can you also submit, even in the face of injustice?

I reply:

My Jesus, Lord, obedience cost You Your life. For me it costs an act of will— no more— and yet how hard it is for me to bend. Remove the blinders from my eyes that I may see that it is You alone whom I obey. Lord, it is You.

 

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Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother ~ The Family and the Cross / 5-Minute Prayer for Lent

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What a beautiful, noble and self-sacrificing mother we have been given! Blessed Mother, keep us on the Royal Way until we reach our eternal destination.

The Family and the Cross – Jospeh Breig

Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother

It is utterly impossible for any human being to come within a mile of appreciating fully the sacrifice made by Mary when she gave her divine Son for our salvation.

God alone can understand it. We cannot, because in order to do so we would have to be as pure as Mary, as totally sinless as she, and equally capable of love. We are not.

But there is one thing that we can understand and appreciate, and that is that neither Mary nor Christ sniveled when they met while He was on His way to crucifixion.

Jesus was wounded infinitely more, and Mary immeasurably more, than any one of us possibly can be, but they did not indulge in self-pity or in recriminations against God for appointing them to carry so dreadful a burden. Christ is God, and as God He perceived clearly and completely why He was going to His death, and what incalculable good He was accomplishing.

Christ is man, and as man He was intolerably laden with our sins.

But Mary is human only; and as a woman we salute her and boast of her.

In the hours of Christ’s Passion, she did indeed give mankind something of which to be proud forevermore. She is one of us, who are less than the angels; but she earned a place unthinkably higher in eternity than the place of the highest and holiest angel.

The poet who called Mary “our tainted nature’s solitary boast” was inexpressibly more right than he could possibly have realized. Not any of us can ever grasp with our minds the fullness of Mary’s nobility and dignity.

No honor that we can pay to her, save only the divine honor which belongs to God alone, is too much honor. Because of her, a representative of our human race is enthroned in the highest place possible for any creature. One of our own is Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, co-Redeemer with Christ, and co-Ruler of the everlasting kingdom.

Unless we understand something about Mary, we cannot understand much about the Passion of Christ. Christ’s physical sufferings, dreadful though they were, were small and superficial compared with his psychological and spiritual agony.

If we cringe at the thought of the tortures inflicted upon Him, if our hearts ache at the sight of the beatings and piercings, then we ought to feel utterly broken in the presence of his invisible torments.

They were invisible, but they become visible to the eye of one who meditates upon Mary. For Mary’s passion was entirely psychological and spiritual; it was completely invisible, yet so terrible that had Christ’s sufferings been merely of the body and not of the soul at all, then Mary’s agony would have been an agony more frightful than His.

We cannot begin to see into the depths of what Jesus sacrificed for us until we turn our minds into the heart of Mary to perceive what she endured in contributing to our redemption. It is not enough to say that Mary suffered the equivalent of death. She suffered more and worse than the equivalent of death.

Death has its bodily terrors, but the most terrible terror of death is the rending apart of a creature in his deepest depths; it is the separation of body and soul, compared with which nuclear fission is a mild and slight division.

Now the agony of Mary was an agony incomparably more dreadful than the rending of a man’s being by death. What death tears apart is an arrangement of nature; and that is a frightful tearing. But it is as nothing compared with the forcible separation of total love from total love.

And that was what happened when Our Lady was separated from her Son. Mary’s whole matchless being, capable of unthinkably greater love than any other creature, was utterly in love with her Son.

To be separated from her Son, to see her Son reviled and wounded, was for her worse than an eternal succession of physical deaths. Indeed, it is impossible to understand how Mary’s physical heart endured the sight of the tormented Christ without physically breaking and bringing on bodily death.

I personally would speculate that her heart was miraculously preserved from breaking.

However that may be, what Mary endured was of the type of what Christ endured in the Garden of Gethsemane, when His human nature was so inexpressibly tormented by His horror of sin that He sweat blood.

It does not seem to me that Our Lady’s body, unless divinely sustained, could have survived the spiritual and psychological torture she endured in seeing her Son led to execution in unthinkable suffering. I think that God’s intervention must have been necessary to keep her from dying on the spot when she met Jesus on His way to Calvary.

We approach now the depths of this matter. For not only did Mary endure a million deaths upon millions of deaths, but she never for a moment doubted God and God’s goodness. Not for an instant did she rebel. Not even remotely did she allow her faith to be shaken. Her will never turned the tiniest fraction of an inch from her utter consecration to God and to God’s inscrutable purposes.

In the midst of a spiritual agony which ought to have shaken the universe into chaos, she freely gave her Son for our redemption. She gave Him back to the impenetrable purposes of God from Whom He had come to her. She made, willingly, indomitably, and with a courage that makes the mind reel, the incomparably, most supreme sacrifice of which it is possible for any created being to be capable.

Mary gave absolutely everything, she sacrificed all, she held nothing for herself, because her all, her everything, was Christ.

And as I said, she did not snivel. She indulged in no theatrics. Not once did she cry out that this was too much, that she could not stand it, that to ask this of her was asking more than flesh and blood could endure.

There on the way to Calvary, two beings of unthinkable nobility looked into each other’s eyes and faced squarely, without the slightest retreat or deviation, the most awful duty of which it is possible to conceive.

Christ and Mary had a work to do. They had a world to save. They had a spiritual family to bring forth in unutterable anguish. Upon them fell the grinding, crushing labor of giving birth to the children of God who are to share with God His own divine life and happiness forever and forever.

That was their task, the task of Jesus and Mary; and although it meant for each of them such suffering and rending as is utterly outside the grasp of the human mind, they proceeded to it bravely, without the slightest outcry of protest.

This indeed was nobility. This indeed was royalty. Christ and Mary did not shrink from, nor complain about, taking up your burden and my burden and everybody’s burden.

They simply took up the burdens without question because they loved not themselves and their comforts, but God and their fellowmen.

And this is what we must try to learn from them – the hidden merciful designs of God, which come out of His infinite love and wisdom, not for our destruction, but for our perfection and glorification.

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5-minute-prayer2

by Cardinal Mercier:

I am going to show you a secret to holiness and happiness.
For five minutes every day let your imagination be quiet, close your eyes to everything they see, and shut your ears to of all the world’s noise so that you can withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul, the temple of the Holy Ghost.

And speak to that Holy Spirit and say to Him:

“Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore Thee.
Enlighten me, guide me,
strengthen and comfort me.
Tell me what I ought to do and order me to do it.
I promise to submit to anything that Thou requirest from me,
and to accept everything that Thou allowest to happen to me.
Just show me what Thy will is.”

If you do this your life will be quiet and peaceful,
and comfort will abound even in the middle of troubles.
For grace will be given to match any stress together with strength to bear it, grace that will take you to the gates of Paradise, full of merit. Such submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of holiness.prayer book 4

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“God has so constituted us, that in loving and caring for our own children—the richest and best things in our natures are drawn out. Many of the deepest and most valuable lessons ever learned, are read from the pages of a child’s unfolding life. There is no influence more potent than that which touches us when our children are laid in our arms. Their helplessness appeals to every principle of nobleness in our hearts. Their innocence exerts over us a purifying power. The thought of our responsibility for them, exalts every faculty of our souls. In the very care which they exact, they bring blessing to us.” J.R. Miller

 

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One of the powerful weapons in spiritual combat is the St. Benedict medal. Used for centuries, this medal has been associated with many miracles, as well as with powers of exorcism.

St. Benedict medals are used in many ways, but always as a protection against evil. Some people bury them in the foundations of new buildings to keep them free from evil influences, while others attach them to rosaries or hang them on the wall in their homes. But the most common way to use the St. Benedict medal is to wear it. The medal can be worn by itself or embedded in a crucifix.

Regardless of how it is used, the medal should always be blessed with the special St. Benedict blessing. While, in former times, only Benedictines could bless the medal, now any priest can.

The bracelet is 7″ which is an average circumference for a woman’s bracelet.

bzznbsdivlineYou will find this book fascinating! Rev. Ronald Knox puts down his intimate thoughts about the Mass….and he puts it in simple, readable language, as his audience was a group of school girls! It will give much meditation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass….from the Introit to the Last Gospel!

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A book of your favorite litanies….

Chosen by God for the incomparable vocation of spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ; St. Joseph received magnificent divine graces and favors not granted even to the Old Testament Patriarchs. Known as the most humble of men; St. Joseph received from Almighty God the authority to command both Our Lady and the Son of God Himself; and in Heaven he continues to have great intercessory power with God.
The Divine Favors Granted to St. Joseph shows how this greatest of the Patriarchs is the patron of all Christians and how wonderfully he answers prayers; plus; it gives many of the ways of honoring him and many prayers to request his intercession. One of the finest books on St. Joseph; it will surely inspire the reader with a profound devotion to this great “Patron of the Universal Church.” Impr. 176 pgs;

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Communicate With Kindness

Painting by Frederick Sands Brunner (1886 – 1954)

Marriage Wisdom for Her by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson (with permission)

Regularly speaking kind and loving words brings the spirit of peace into your home. How do you talk to your husband in normal, everyday communication? Is your speech marked by soft, loving words?

What would your husband say if he were asked, “Does your wife communicate with you in a kind manner?”

Choosing to communicate with kindness and love in marriage is a spiritual discipline. We’re so wired to respond “in the same manner” that whenever a perceived provocation of any degree is felt, we react on autopilot. When challenging moments happen, you need to be ready, having prepared yourself with the truth that you are not the victim of your fleshly impulses.

You have the power to respond, in any situation, with a soft answer.

But what about all those other moments that fill the normal days of marriage? Are you speaking lovingly then? Consider these examples: “Hey, take out the trash,” versus, “Hey, babe, I’d love it if you could take out the trash . . . I sure appreciate you!”

“The doctor’s bill came. You need to pay it,” versus, “Is this a good time to talk about some bills that have come in?”

“On your way home, pick up some milk and eggs,” versus, “Hey, love, would you mind picking up some milk and eggs on the way home?”

When mundane things are referenced with kindness and love you are actually adding a layer of respect to your conversation.

You may have different discussions in your home, but the principle is the same. When you speak – even in the small, seemingly insignificant matters that make up the day – do so in a thoughtful manner.

Peace follows a soft approach. After all, it’s difficult to have strife with a person who is speaking to you in a gentle tone.

Purpose to be a woman who speaks kindly toward your husband. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

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Dear Blessed Mother,

You were the epitome of kindness, graciousness and gentleness when you sojourned on this earth.  Please pray for me that I may become more like you each day…especially in my home with my husband. May I show him kindness in the words I speak and in the manner I speak them. And when I fall may I have the humility to admit it and get right back up again. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

If you would have children just and kind, well-mannered and truthful, be all these things yourself first. These virtues practiced by the parents, and insisted upon kindly and firmly from the children, are what go to make up that which truly deserves to be called “a good home.” – Fr. Lovasik, Painting by Dona Gelsinger

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Women historically have been denigrated as lower than men or viewed as privileged. Dr. Alice von Hildebrand characterizes the difference between such views as based on whether man’s vision is secularistic or steeped in the supernatural. She shows that feminism’s attempts to gain equality with men by imitation of men is unnatural, foolish, destructive, and self-defeating. The Blessed Mother’s role in the Incarnation points to the true privilege of being a woman. Both virginity and maternity meet in Mary who exhibits the feminine gifts of purity, receptivity to God’s word, and life-giving nurturance at their highest.

You’ll learn how to grow in wisdom and in love as you encounter the unglamorous, everyday problems that threaten all marriages. As the author says: If someone were to give me many short bits of wool, most likely I would throw them away. A carpet weaver thinks differently. He knows the marvels we can achieve by using small things artfully and lovingly. Like the carpet weaver, the good wife must be an artist of love. She must remember her mission and never waste the little deeds that fill her day the precious bits of wool she s been given to weave the majestic tapestry of married love.

This remarkable book will show you how to start weaving love into the tapestry of your marriage today, as it leads you more deeply into the joys of love.

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Ash Wednesday ~ Divine Intimacy

Santa Teresa de Jesús, by Adolfo Lozano Sidro

From the wonderful Meditation book, Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

MEDITATION

“Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19).

These words, spoken for the first time by God to Adam after he had committed sin, are repeated today by the Church to every Christian, in order to remind him of two fundamental truths–his nothingness and the reality of death.

Dust, the ashes which the priest puts on our foreheads today, has no substance; the lightest breath will disperse it. It is a good representation of man’s nothingness: “O Lord, my substance is as nothing before Thee” (Psalm 38:6), exclaims the Psalmist.

Our pride, our arrogance, needs to grasp this truth, to realize that everything in us is nothing. Drawn from nothing by the creative power of God, by His infinite love which willed to communicate His being and His life to us, we cannot–because of sin–be reunited with Him for eternity without passing through the dark reality of death.

The consequence and punishment of sin, death is, in itself, bitter and painful; but Jesus, who wanted to be like to us in all things, in submitting to death has given all Christians the strength to accept it out of love.

Nevertheless, death exists, and we should reflect on it, not in order to distress ourselves, but to arouse ourselves to do good. “In all thy works, remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin” (Sirach 7:40).

The thought of death places before our eyes the vanity of earthly things, the brevity of life–“All things are passing; God alone remains”–and therefore it urges us to detach ourselves from everything, to scorn every earthly satisfaction, and to seek God alone. The thought of death makes us understand that “all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone” (Imitation of Christ I, 1,4).

“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die … then there will be many things about which you care nothing” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Maxims for Her Nuns, 68), that is, you will give up everything that has no eternal value. Only love and fidelity to God are of value for eternity. “In the evening of life, you will be judged on love” (St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Maxims: Words of Light, 57).

COLLOQUY:

“O Jesus, how long is man’s life, although we say that it is short! It is short, O my God, since, by it, we are to gain a life without end; but it seems very long to the soul who aspires to be with You quickly….

O my soul, you will enter into rest when you are absorbed into the sovereign Good, when you know what He knows, love what He loves, and enjoy what He enjoys. Then your will will no longer be inconstant nor subject to change … and you will forever enjoy Him and His love.

Blessed are they whose names are written in the Book of Life! If yours is there, why are you sad, O my soul, and why are you troubled? Trust in God, to whom I shall still confess my sins and whose mercies I shall proclaim. I shall compose a canticle of praise for Him and shall not cease to send up my sighs toward my Savior and my God.

A day will come, perhaps, when my glory will praise Him, and my conscience will not feel the bitterness of compunction, in the place where tears and fears have ceased forever….

O Lord, I would rather live and die in hope, and in the effort to gain eternal life, than to possess all creatures and their perishable goods. Do not abandon me, O Lord! I hope in You, and my hope will not be confounded. Give me the grace to serve You always and dispose of me as You wish” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God 15 – 17).

If the remembrance of my infidelities torments me, I shall remember, O Lord, that “as soon as we are sorry for having offended You, You forget all our sins and malice. O truly infinite goodness! What more could one desire? Who would not blush with shame to ask so much of You?

But now is the favorable time to profit from it, my merciful Savior, by accepting what You offer. You desire our friendship. Who can refuse to give it to You, who did not refuse to shed all Your Blood for us by sacrificing Your life? What You ask is nothing! It will be to our supreme advantage to grant it to You” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God 14).

“The Holy Family lived in a plain cottage among other working people, in a village perched on a hillside. Although they did not enjoy modern conveniences, the three persons who lived there made it the happiest home that ever was. You cannot imagine any of them at any time thinking first of himself. This is the kind of home a husband likes to return to and to remain in. Mary saw to it that such was their home. She took it as her career to be a successful homemaker and mother.”
-Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook

A quick homily on needing a sense of humor during this time along with not just doing the minimum requirements…

I want to thank you all so much for any reviews you have given me on my etsy shop and also on Amazon. I know it takes time to leave a review and so I very much appreciate it!  We especially enjoy the pictures!

 

I just received my Lenten Way of the Cross ✝️ today, the day before Ash Wednesday! incredible. I ordered late, but you mailed it immediately. Thank you!! It is wonderful and already displayed on my kitchen table ready to begin with the family tomorrow! As with everything I have ordered from you, it’s perfect, and it was so beautifully wrapped too! So much ❤️ went into it. Thank you and also, thanks for all your inspiration!

Jeanette is ready for Lent with her Way of the Cross…

And Theresa is ready, too!

Mother and Son Aprons! Feminine and Beautiful!

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Lenten Smidgens

The Lenten Season

by Therese Mueller, Our Children’s Year of Grace, 1958

Daily Mass is the real “Lenten sacrifice,” and the studying of the daily Mass formula on the evening before is the best means to lead us the way the Church wants us to go. Work out together one or two thoughts that can be easily remembered the next morning and during the day.

Let us remember that the Church has two ideas woven into the Lenten liturgy: the preparation of the catechumens for baptism on Holy Saturday, and the reconciliation of sinners and their atonement. We prepare for the renewal of our baptism; we suffer with Christ for our sins; we are buried with him in penance so that we may rise with him to a new life in grace and glory.

The Sundays of Lent are meant by Mother Church as a pause on the hard way. They are a measure of relaxation and reward for our effort, in order to gather new strength for the coming week.

Especially the “Midfast,” the Sunday Laetare, is full of joyous anticipation of a victorious Easter day, since in nature by that time the sun has already conquered the darkness and the cold, and spring has driven out winter. Let us foretaste the coming Feast, and let us rejoice that we have reached and conquered half of our steep way.

The Spirit of Lent

by Mary Reed Newland
The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season

The young and the old may not be bound by the fast, but they are bound by its spirit, each according to his capacity.

If we feel that it is unnatural to ask penances of children while they are still very young – penances within their reach – we forget that self-denial must be learned very young, that it is the forming of character, that the very grace of their Baptism flows from the Cross.

The end of the penitential seasons imposed by the Church is not mere performance. The Church is a wise mother, who knows that the cutting away of self-will frees our souls for a more radiant love affair with Christ.

If we think of the penance without pondering its effect, we misunderstand it.

It is not over and done with the doing but will bear fruit, if it is done with the right spirit; not alone by the piling up of “treasure in Heaven” but by an increase in our taste for God, a change in the habits of our souls.

Our Lord tells us how to behave during Lent when He speaks to us in the Ash Wednesday Gospel (Matt. 6:16-21): When you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head and wash thy face, that thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth, where the rust and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in Heaven, where. neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

So let us remember, when we choose something to give up: no moaning and groaning! Hypocrites (our Lord was talking about the Pharisees) make much of their performances because they want attention. That being their motive, He says, they already have their reward: attention.

There will be opportunities, before Lent is over, for us to attract attention; but so long as this is not our motive, we can accept and use whatever God permits to come to us.

A father will be asked by business associates why he, too, doesn’t order steak for lunch. One mother will be asked by fellow club-members why she doesn’t eat sandwiches and cake after their evening business meeting.

Some children will be asked why they say “No, thank you,” to proffered candies at school, to decline an invitation to a movie during Lent, or do not join with others to watch a television show.

These are the opportunities, with many more, to give reasons “for the faith that is in you.” It is as necessary to give an honest explanation if one is asked, as it is to keep quiet about it if one is not.

God chooses His own time and place to teach the lesson of good example; our part is merely the good example.

“Anoint thy head; wash thy face….” Be cheerful!

The Pharisees wore gloomy looks and long faces to indicate the great anguish their interior purifications cost them.

Not for us.

Our Lord suggests that we “anoint” our heads – that is, prepare ourselves as though we were going to a banquet.

Look cheery and bright even if it is Lent and we miss the between-meal snacks. Our Father in Heaven sees what it is costing us.

One of the Lenten resolves in our family was to omit from all conversation the familiar groan “I’m starving.”

Then He tells us to lay up our treasure in Heaven, because where your treasure is, there your heart is also.

Maybe you are doing the Lenten Journal and working on the Crown of Thorns? Here are pictures and thoughts from a few years back….

Here, Rosie is preparing the Crown of Thorns made from unleavened bread dough. It will harden and the toothpicks (thorns) will be waiting to have a pretty silk flower topping it as the children do their sacrifices….

By Easter it will look lovely and the sacrifices the children made will live on forever….

We have no place to put a “bread” Crown of Thorns so we put the idea to paper. This is a big poster board that is mounted to the fridge. If it is a big sacrifice, the sharpies come out and a flower is drawn on a thorn. Three little sacrifices suffice for a flower, too.

Filling up! Interesting species of flowers, wouldn’t you say? What artists I have!

Virginia’s family also has a jar of beans. Every time a sacrifice is made a bean is put in the jar. At Easter, the beans will be replaced with jelly beans and divvied out between the kids.

This year, our friend from Minnesota, Paul, drew the Crown of Thorns for us. We are late getting started…..

Hopefully by the end of Lent, each thorn will have a flower drawn on it. One has to do 3 sacrifices to draw one flower.

I feel blessed that hubby found this deal at an Estate Sale. I have wanted one all my life….the beautiful statue of the Infant of Prague with His many outfits that match the the colors of the Liturgical Year. Here He is, ready in his Purple Lenten robes…

Here will be His gown for Laetare Sunday…

He will wear red from Palm Sunday to Good Friday. If you look up the statue you will find it rich with history and with miracles. I remember well, in Powers Lake, ND, many years ago, the good sisters reverently and gingerly dressing the Infant in the chapel for the different seasons of the Church. Like I said, I feel blessed!! 🙂

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Make your kitchen a place of warmth! “Wherever I’ve lived, the kitchen has always seemed to be the place where warmth and love reign. Family and friends are drawn there like chickens to their roosts. Of all the rooms in our home, the kitchen is the place of comfort, the preferred gathering place for shared conversations and the teamwork of preparing good meals for and with each other.” – http://amzn.to/2ndp5bu Emilie Barnes (afflink)

Make a statement with this lovely and graceful “Madonna and Son ” handcrafted apron….fully lined….made with care. Aprons tell a beautiful story…..a story of love and sacrifice….of baking bread and mopping floors, of planting seeds and household chores. Sadly, many women have tossed the aprons aside and donned their business attire. Wear your apron with joy….it is a symbol of Femininity….”Finer” Femininity! 🌺 💗 Available here.

Lenten Flip Cards available here.

Lenten Bundle Available here.

Lenten Printable Journal Available here.

 

I have prepared this Lenten journal to help you to keep on track. It is to assist you in keeping focused on making Lent a special time for your family. We do not have to do great things to influence those little people. No, we must do the small things in a great way…with love and consistency…

Timeless words from the pen of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen inspire the heart and imagination as readers embark on a Lenten journey toward a better understanding of their spiritual selves. Covering the traditional themes of Lent–sin and salvation, death and Resurrection, sorrow and hope, ashes and lilies–these 50 passages and accompanying mini-prayers offer readers a practical spiritual program as a retreat from the cares and concerns of a secular world view.
If you enjoyed learning about holiday traditions in The Christmas Book, you are sure to love its sequel, The Easter Book. Father Weiser has here applied his winning formula to an explanation of the fasts and feasts of the Lenten and Easter seasons with equally fascinating results.

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Ash Wednesday Around the Corner!

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

It seems such a short time ago that we sought the Infant Christ at Bethlehem, adored Him, and were sure that we would never offend Him; and already on Septuagesima Sunday  in the Introit of the Mass He cries out with the weight of our sins: “The groans of death surrounded me and the sorrows of hell encompassed me….”

It is but three weeks before Lent when Septuagesima arrives, and this is a warning. We have sinned, and the time is coming when we must do penance.

When we are born, we are really very like Adam right after his sin, although there is this difference: we have been redeemed, and at that time, he was not.

We may do what he wished he could do. We may be born again in Baptism and start afresh, although in a fallen world, our souls now radiant with divine life burning there. Lent is the spanning of all that happened between Original Sin and Baptism.

It is the summing up and the climax of what started with Christmas.

The greatest of all mysteries is that God should love man so much.

When man sinned and forfeited his right to eternal life, and there was nowhere perfect obedience or flawless love in any man to merit Heaven, He became a man in order that He might pay the debts of the family He had chosen to join.

It is a kind of divine bargain They made, almost impossible to understand unless we put it in our own words.

It is as though the Father had said to the Son, “How can we work it out so man may still live with us forever as we planned?”

And as though the Son replied, “If there were but one perfect man, it could be done. One perfect sacrifice would pay their debt. One surrender of a man as perfect as Adam was when we created him. Alas, there is none.”

Then it is as though They gazed into one another with that Love that is the Spirit of both, and They knew how it could be done.

In Their gaze, a longing still burned for the creatures who had rebelled.

With a look of infinite love, the Father sent the Son and He became the Man. “0 happy fault, that merited so great a Redeemer.”

A few thoughts….

Father gave a sermon this last Sunday. In it was a story. A priest in the 1940’s was distributing Holy Communion to the kneeling congregation at the altar rail. Each parishioner received Our Lord on the tongue. As the priest continued down the line, he approached a man who, unbeknownst to the priest, was mentally deranged. As Father reached down to give him the host, the man pulled a gun out and shot the priest in the chest.

The shot caused the priest to spring backward, the Ciborium spilling the consecrated hosts all over the sanctuary floor. The people, shocked and dismayed, began to come toward the priest to help him and to pick up the hosts. The priest, in his last breaths, lifted up his hand to stop his parishioners. He told them to stay back. Father, slowly and painfully, picked up each of the hosts and put them back in the Ciborium. He laid back down and died.

His last thought was of protecting the Blessed Sacrament. It is what he lived and died for.

In the next few weeks, may we work harder at making the Blessed Sacrament the center our lives.  Let us try this Lent to receive Him as often as we can!

A couple of excellent posts by The Catholic Gentleman for your Ash Wednesday!

“In my own experience, I often begin the Lenten season with the best of intentions. I imagine myself going into full monk mode, fasting and praying as ardently as one of the monastic fathers in the desert. And maybe for the first week I succeed through sheer strength of will. Then, just when I am feeling good about myself, everything falls apart and I come face to face with my own weakness…” Read more here….

Another post from The Catholic Gentleman.

Lent is a time for self-denial. But I would argue there is one hunger we should feed this Lent. Read more here….

Let him know you appreciate all the little things he does. It is easy to just expect things from him, with nary a thanks or a smile. This is not the way to nurture a relationship. Go the extra mile….always be grateful…..and let him know that you are! 
 
Preparing for Lent Father gives us tips on growing in virtue to make this a great Lent….

 
 

Lenten Flip Cards available here.

Lenten Bundle Available here.

Lenten Journal Available here.

Printable for The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal! Get started right away! Available here.

Meditation is different from devotions. In mediation the ear of the soul is more important than the tongue. St. Paul tells us that faith comes from listening. In a daily Holy Hour, we wait for Him to speak – and He does! -Fulton Sheen

The book that inspired the blockbuster film, The Passion of the Christ. Faithful to the Biblical account of the Passion, it fills in many hitherto unknown details. Edifying, inspiring, surprising, and heart-rending, Emmerich’s descriptions of our Lord’s Passion will melt a heart of stone. This book is the best on the Passion we have seen. It also wonderfully portrays the Blessed Mother’s role in our redemption. Includes a short biography of Sr. Emmerich. A great book for the whole family!

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Lenten Way of the Cross ~ An Activity for Lent… With Printables!

Early posting this so you can get ready…

a lovely Lenten Activity!

I am very grateful to Mary Ann Scheeler for sharing with us this wonderful activity for our children that she has created! Thank you, Mary!

Remember The Spiritual Christmas Crib for Advent? Well, this is the Lenten version!

From Mary:

The first three on the list have to be drawn on a large sheet of paper, similar to the crib and its roof, namely the mountain, the paths and pitfalls.  Its not meant to be the Stations of the Cross, but a Spiritual Lenten Way of the Cross for children.  The prayers are adapted from the Advent Spiritual Crib, and from a book called Lent for Children – A Thought a Day, and some I made.
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So…get yourself a poster board….or more than one, depending on the size you are going to make the Way of the Cross. Some sharpie markers and crayons can be helpful…..and then draw the part that is applicable to the day as each day of Lent passes! OR use the clipart that Mary has provided here:

Spiritual Lenten Children 40 Day Journey Printables

Get your children to color them on the corresponding day, and voila! you can add them to your Lenten scene!

You can also print out (or write out) the special prayer for the day and put the assigned one up so everyone can say it throughout the day.

This activity is a wonderful opportunity to make Lent more meaningful for all!

You can print out the instructions here:

Spiritual Lenten Way of the Cross

A note from Mary Ann as you begin the activity:

This would be our first year, and everyone will draw/create theirs a little differently. The printables have almost three of everything, because I have three older kids who will be getting to have fun with it. If you have one child, you will only need one of everything and if you have more children you might need to print out more.

Some of the images like Jesus, or Mary, or Veronica, etc there is only one, because they are extra special.

The layout is something of the large mountain of Calvary, then there will be the long path, depending on how you draw it, could be steep, could be winding, or a little of both. The rest of the days are draw along the path wherever you want them.

You might start low and each day ascend a little higher, or you might just draw them wherever you think they fit. Some things like the crosses will probably be at the top. The very last day, the tomb, is separate, if you do the printables, and would be off to the side of mount Calvary. Hope this helps. 🙂

(Here is another help along the way…The Lenten Flip Cards available here.)

Here is the devotion:

1 – Ash Weds.    The Mountain of Calvary

2 – Thurs. after Ash Weds.               Path

3 – Fri. after Ash Weds.                   Pitfalls

4 – Sat. after Ash Weds.                  Bugs

 

1st Week of Lent:

5 – Mon.    Dust and Ashes

6 – Tues.              Bushes

7 – Weds.             Boulders

8 – Thurs.            Trees

9 – Fri.      Pharisees/Crowd

10 – Sat.        Water and Basin

 

2nd Week of Lent:

11 – Mon.          3 Crosses

12 – Tues.         Skull and Bones

13 – Weds.        Dark Clouds

14 – Thurs.        Incense (myrrh)

15 – Fri.           Simon of Cyrene

16 – Sat.           Goats

 

3rd Week of Lent:

17 – Mon.      St. Veronica and Veil

18 – Tues.            Lambs

19 – Weds.           Palms

20 – Thurs.            Donkey

21 – Fri.      Purple Robe

22 – Sat.       Weeping Women of Jerusalem

 

4th Week of Lent:

23 – Mon.            Rope

24 – Tues.            Pillar

25 – Weds.           Scourges

26 – Thurs.             Thorns

27 – Fri.      Board with Inscription (INRI)

28 – Sat.        People passing by

 

5th Week of Lent:

29 – Mon.  Sponge of Vinegar

30 – Tues.            Nails

31 – Weds.           Lance

32 – Thurs.           Soldiers

33 – Fri.       Sorrowful Mother

34 – Sat.        Mary Magdalene

 

6th Week of Lent:

35 – Mon.            St. John

36 – Tues.           Two Thieves

37 – Weds.          Silver Coins

38 – Thurs.           Bread and Wine

39 – Fri.              Jesus 

40 – Sat.              Tomb

Beginning of Lent:

1 – Ash Weds.          

The Mount of Calvary

Our Dear Lord spends 40 days in the wilderness and even though the mountain is steep, we prepare our souls spiritually and bravely start on the path with Him.

  Offer Him your sinful heart as the mountain you will overcome this Lent. Now is the time my love to show. O Jesus dear, thy grace bestow.

2 – Thurs. after Ash Weds.      

Path

What path have I walked during my life?  If I haven’t gone in the right direction,  I will now follow you, dear Jesus, wherever You will go. Help me walk on the path to my true vocation.

          May I so live that I will be ready, dear Lord, when you call for me.

3 – Fri. after Ash Weds.

Pitfalls

Carefully walk around the pitfalls of temptation.  I will be generous with my brothers and sisters and avoid yelling or fighting over a silly excuse or toy.

          Jesus, help me to keep temptations out of my heart.

4 – Sat. after Ash Weds.

Bugs

Watch out for the pesky bugs of distraction as we start the climb up the mountain.  I will pay attention during prayers and during spiritual reading, but most especially at the Holy Mass.

Begone! I’ll say, when Satan bids me be lazy or sin. And since I fight for Heaven I shall win!

First Week of Lent:

5 – Mon.    Dust and Ashes

I will shake off the dust of perceived injury and not listen to foolish feelings of pride and envy when I realize my life is so short, but Heaven is forever.

          Angels, round me everywhere, please keep me in your loving care!

6 – Tues.     Bushes

See the bushes growing as weeds?   I will keep the garden of my heart clean by performing little acts of mortification,  by bearing the cold or sitting and standing erect.

          Dear Jesus, Who suffered so much for me, let me suffer for love of You.

7 – Weds.      Boulders

When anger seizes my heart like giant boulders, I will remember how meek my Jesus was when He suffered for me.  I will avoid harsh and mean words and be kind and gentle to all.

          Jesus, help me to be meek and humble like You.

8 – Thurs.      Trees

The trees stand so tall and yet one immediately obeyed and bowed its bark to become a humble cross for the King of Kings.  I will give up my own will and obey my superiors cheerfully and promptly.

Jesus, I wish to be useful to you;  like a steadfast tree, though small, but oh so true!

9 – Fri.       Pharisees/Crowd

I will diligently remove from my heart every inordinate desire to be praised.  I will help those in distress even if it means I will be laughed at or scorned; I will not join the mocking crowd.

          Jesus, I was made for Thee; never let us parted be!

10 – Sat.   Water and Basin

Have I gone to confession lately or do I pretend I am good?  Dear Jesus, I will wash my sins in the water of my tears and happily do the penance the priest gives me.

          Jesus, teach me to know and correct my greatest sins.

2nd Week of Lent

11 – Mon.     3 Crosses

I will renew my Lenten offerings to Our Lord and accept the small crosses He sends me through the day to comfort Him in His sorrowful Passion.

“Thy Will be Done,” I’ll quickly say, as soon as sorrow comes my way!

12 – Tues.         Skull and Bones

One day we shall die, shall I be remembered for good deeds or bad?   While I still have time, I will cheerfully obey the inspirations of my Guardian Angel and the guidance of my parents.

Jesus, immensely good to me, I want to live and die for Thee!

13 – Weds.        Dark Clouds

When bad health and sickness makes me feel so ill and the days are dark and long, I will cling to Our Lady and ask her to bring my misery to Our Lord as a gift to ease the coldness of men’s hearts.

“Remember Me,” dear Jesus. I hope to be in Paradise some day with You.

14 – Thurs.       Incense (myrrh)

Incense is a prayer before Your altar, Oh Lord, on the Cross. I will offer extra prayers, as incense, through the day for all those who are not in the state of grace but will die today.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

15 – Fri.   Simon of Cyrene

I offer my strength to Your service as Simon of Cyrene; help me to use it in the service of others, especially those closest to me.

Jesus accept my service of love; I offer it for those who do not love You.

16 – Sat.  Goats

Am I like the goats that kick and butt as I do not finish tasks, but whine and complain and waste my time?  I will do the things I do not like without complaining, especially my homework or my chores, and make better use of my time.

Jesus, I need Thy holy grace; to help me every day and place.

3rd Week of Lent:

17 – Mon.       St Veronica and Veil

Does my mother need help with the baby or does my sister need help with her homework or does my brother need help to put on his shoes? May I see in my family Your image, Dear Lord, and help them in whatever they need.

As older I grow, my heart must remain; Childlike and humble, if Heaven I’ll gain.

18 – Tues.         Lambs

I will strive to be like a lamb, meek and patient. I will not murmur or talk behind my parents’ back when they give me a command.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours.

19 – Weds.       Palms

I will be a peacemaker in my home and not start or join petty fights with my brothers and sisters.

O Jesus, give me for my part, a tender and forgiving heart!

20 – Thurs.       Donkey

Do I stubbornly cling to a fault and try to excuse it? I will be grateful to God for the love He has shown me by dying for me and remember that my faults put Him on that cross.

Jesus, I need Thy grace all days, to free me from all my evil ways.

21 – Fri.        Purple Robe

Many times, my things are scattered here and there and not put away, even when my parents asked me to do so.  I will keep better care of my things, like my clothes, books or toys, and make sure to put them away when they should be.  I will thank God for what I have and remember others may not have the nice things I do and not take it for granted.

Oh Jesus, I wish my life could be, a hymn of gratitude to thee!

22 – Sat.       Weeping Women of Jerusalem

Today I will pray for all the children who have no parents to love them, and especially those children who died before they were born.

Little Innocents, pray to Jesus for me and my country!

4th Week of Lent:

23 – Mon.          Rope

Are my companions  good friends, who help me to love God more and obey His laws?  Or do they tell me I should do things that are not good, like a little rope pulling me away from the Ten Commandments?  I will take care to listen to good companions and be a good friend to them.

Jesus, teach me to love you above all things!

24 – Tues.         Pillar

I will study my Catechism well so that I can explain my Faith to my brothers and sisters and to anyone who might ask about Our Lord and His Church.

O Thou art mine and I am Thine; Thy cross is both my proof and sign.

25 – Weds.        Scourges

Do I forgive quickly and readily, or do I hold a grudge for a long time?  I will learn from Jesus to forget and forgive all who hurt and injured me.

O Jesus, give me true contrition; This, today, is my one petition!

26 – Thurs.      Thorns

Our Dear Lord is hurt daily by impure actions that drive the thorns deeper into His Head.  I can practice modesty in my words, deeds, dress and actions to amend for my past bad actions and those of the world.

Dear Jesus, close my heart to all that hurts You!

27 – Fri.      Board with Inscription (INRI)

When I hear Our Lord’s Holy name used in vain, do I join in or keep silent?  If I hear His name used badly, I will immediately say a silent prayer in reparation for the insult after all He has done for me.

Dearest Mary, help me praise His name, forever and ever. Amen!

28 – Sat.       People Passing By

So many people ignore Our Lord and reject His laws.  Do I disregard Him, too, and disobey my parents, whom He put in charge of me?  When my father or mother ask me to help, I will immediately do as they ask for love of God.

Jesus, obedient all Your life through, Oh, give me the grace to grow like You!

5th Week of Lent:

29 – Mon.         Sponge of Vinegar

Lots of children have nothing to eat today, but I often waste my food or refuse to eat what my mother has prepared for me.  At meal time, I will gratefully eat whatever is given me and even if it isn’t my favorite,  I will offer it for those who have nothing.

O Jesus, loving from the first, for Thee my longing soul doth thirst!

30 – Tues.         Nails

In my thoughts have I been jealous of another or thought something bad about them?  I will not give into rash judgments about my family or my friends.  Instead, I will think kindly of them and be happy for their good fortune.

My Jesus, I want to please You in all I do today.

31 – Weds.        Lance

I will not pierce Our Lord with ingratitude; instead I will thank Him for all the gifts He has given me in my home and family and my Faith.

Oh, I wish my life to be a thanksgiving song, Singing to Jesus the whole day long!

32 – Thurs.      Soldiers

I will be a soldier of Christ and learn from Him to silently and patiently bear refusals and disappointments.

Little self-denials win God’s grace and make my soul the leader of the race.

33 – Fri.      Sorrowful Mother

It is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and we see Our Mother sharing the torments of Jesus, embracing Him, kissing Him, and adoring Him.  Let us hasten to her with pure and loving hearts and under her lovely blue mantle let us hide for a moment of prayer.

O Mother of Sorrows, I grieve with thee, and beg forever thy child to be!

34 – Sat.      Mary Magdalene

She was forgiven all her sins by Our Lord because she loved Him so much! I shall be like Mary Magdalene and offer my love to Jesus throughout the day.

Jesus you’ve done so much for me, I’m in your debt eternally.

6th Week of Lent:

35 – Mon.        St. John

St. John comforted Our Lady in her great distress.  Do I comfort others when they are sad or hurting?  If I see someone hurting or sad, I will try to help them and comfort them when they are grieving.

O Jesus, make me very kind, so as to always fill my heart and mind!

36 – Tues.         Two Thieves

Every day I choose between two destinies: heaven or hell.  Are my habits good habits that help me choose Heaven? I will cultivate habits of being prompt and ready to go in the morning, doing my homework well, helping around the house and listening to my parents right away.

Oh, Jesus make me quick to see, that service which is dear to Thee!

37 – Weds.        Silver Coins

For 30 pieces of silver Judas betrayed Jesus.  Do I betray Jesus when I do not tell the truth or cause my brother or sister to get in trouble? I will not believe the devil any longer when he tempts me to lie because he will not bring me happiness.

Jesus, give me a loyal heart, where sin will not even have a small part.

38 – Thurs.       Bread and Wine

I will offer Our Lord acts and prayers of perfect love for these precious anniversaries: The First Mass and for giving Himself in Holy Communion.  Jesus, I thank you with all my heart for this gift of the Blessed Sacrament.

You knew I’d hunger, Lord, for Thee, So you found a way my Food to be.

39 – Fri.       Jesus      

What can I do today but kneel and watch You and to love You for giving Your very life for me – the price You paid to open heaven for me! I will kiss Your Sacred Feet, nailed to the Crucifix, as a sign that I will cling to You, and hold You, and never let You go.

I love You, Jesus, on that Tree; where you lovingly died for me.

40 – Sat.       Tomb

We prepare with Our Lady for the happy moment when Our Lord shall return by going to confession.  We have cast the “old man” of sin out and the “new man” will rise with Christ. We ask our angel to guard our soul as they guarded the tomb of Our Lord and we get ready to greet Him tomorrow.

Dear Jesus and Mary, I love you so!  Oh be there to greet me when home, one day, I will go!

A couple of pictures of the Lenten Way of the Cross in progress from last year:

img_2263

The Devil exults most when he can steal a man’s joy of spirit from him. He carries a powder with him to throw into any smallest possible chinks of our conscience, to soil the spotlessness of our mind and the purity of our life. But when spiritual joy fills our hearts, the Serpent pours out his deadly poison in vain. – St. Francis of Assisi

The two 30 day journals, 2 Ladies journals, & 2 maglets are so wonderfully made. The seller was able to put the 2 Ladies journals in book form instead of notebook form. The content was great and the material was high quality- glossy paper, I believe. It was perfect! The seller shipping was fast. Thank you so much!

My daughter is too young for a annual planner, but wants to be like mom. This was a perfect in between! Lovely illustrations and suggestions for young girls to ponder and reflect.
✨❤️

The Catholic Boy’s and Girl’s Traditional 30-Day Journals! Let’s keep our youth engaged in the Faith! Let’s teach them how to be organized, how to prioritize, how to keep on top of, first, the Spiritual things in their lives, and then the other daily duties that God requires of them… Available here.

Lenten Flip Cards available here.

Lenten Bundle Available here.

Printable for The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal!  Available here.

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.

Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, the renowned author of The Hidden Power of Kindness, gives faithful Catholics all the essential ingredients of a stable and loving Catholic marriage and family — ingredients that are in danger of being lost in our turbulent age.

Using Scripture and Church teachings in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format, Fr. Lovasik helps you understand the proper role of the Catholic father and mother and the blessings of family. He shows you how you can secure happiness in marriage, develop the virtues necessary for a successful marriage, raise children in a truly Catholic way, and much more.

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

Lent, A Beautiful Liturgical Season ~ Maria Von Trapp

Elsie’s prayer by Sidney Harold Meteyard (1868 – 1947)

Lent is around the corner. It is a beautiful season of the liturgical year in which we can take time to grow spiritually. Every one is doing something, be it little or big, to prepare our hearts for the coming of Easter.

This year we will be doing, as a parish (for any who wants to take part), an “Exodus 50” which starts on this Saturday. The guys take this very seriously (and have done an Exodus 90 several times in the past).

I won’t go into the list of the penances and “do nots” of the Exodus program. It is not about the “do nots”. It is about growing in our faith and love of Our Lord, and strengthening our resolve to become a better Catholic.

Father reiterated in one of his daily sermons that, if you give up something that is very hard and it makes you cranky with everyone….don’t do it. It is defeating the purpose. Pick something doable….that is uncomfortable but not to the point of making life miserable for you and everyone else.

And, more importantly, do the positives. Make a resolution to say that daily rosary. If you already are, make a resolution to say it with greater fervor. Go to an extra daily Mass. Add 10 – 15 minutes of spiritual reading each day, you get the picture…

Oh and one other thing. Maria von Trapp has a few reading suggestions for Lent. Here are a couple from me:

Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philippe

The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Archbishop Alan Goodier

And now by Maria von Trapp from Around the Year With the Trapp Family:

Lent is primarily known as a time devoted to fast and abstinence. Our non-Catholic friends feel sorry for us because we have to watch our food. “Isn’t it an awful strain?”

But this is only one side of the season of Lent, and not even the most important one. First and foremost, these weeks between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday are set aside as a time of preparation for the greatest feast of the year, Easter.

We are not fasting in commemoration of Our Lord’s fast of forty days, but are imitating Him in his fast of preparation–preparation for His great work of Redemption. It is the same with us. Once a year we take forty days out of the three hundred and sixty-five, and we too fast in preparation: in preparation for the commemoration of our Redemption.

We all should get together and work toward the restoration of the meaning of Lent. People nowadays see in it just a gloomy time full of “must nots.” That is a great pity, because Lent is a solemn season rich in hidden mysteries. We must also keep in mind that Lent is only a part of the great Easter season, that it is for Easter what Advent was for Christmas, and that Lent taken by itself would make no more sense than Advent without Christmas at its end.

Therefore, we should let Holy Mother Church take us by the hand and lead us–not each soul alone, but the whole family as a group–away from the noise of the world into a forty-day retreat.

No other time of the year has been so singled out by the Church as this, in that a completely different Mass is provided for every single day, beginning with Ash Wednesday and continuing through the octave day of Easter; and again for the crowning feast of the Easter season, the eight days of Pentecost.

If we keep the closed time as faithfully as our forefathers did–which means keeping away from all noisy outside entertainment such as cocktail parties and dances–then we shall find ample time for the imitation of Christ as it is outlined in every morning’s Mass.

The restoration of the season of Lent was begun in the year when the Holy Father gave back to us the Easter Night. As we now know that in this holiest of all nights we shall be permitted to be reborn in Christ, renewing solemnly, with a lighted candle in our hands, our baptismal vows, we understand more and more clearly the two great thoughts which the Church is developing throughout the whole of Lent: the instruction of the catechumens and the deepening of the contrition of the penitents.

Instruction and penance shall become our motto also for these holy weeks.

INSTRUCTION

This brings us to the Lenten reading program. The time saved through abstention from movies–and it is astonishing to find how much it is!–will be devoted to a carefully chosen reading program. Every year we should divide our reading into three parts:

something for the mind,

something for the heart,

something for the soul.

Something for the mind:

This should mean doing serious research. One year we might work on the history of the Church; another year on the sacraments; or we might carefully study a scholarly life of Our Lord Jesus Christ; or a book on Christian ethics; or the Encyclicals of the Pope; or a book on dogma.

For the soul:

This should be spiritual reading of a high order, from the works of the saints or saintly writers. For example, “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel,” by St. John of the Cross; “The Introduction to a Devout Life,” by St. Francis de Sales; “The Story of a Soul,” by St. Therese of Lisieux; “The Spiritual Castle,” by St. Teresa of Avila; “The Soul of the Apostolate,” by Abbot Chautard; the books of Abbot Marmion, and similar works.

For the heart:

According to the old proverb, “Exempla trahunt,” it is most encouraging to read the biographies of people who started out as we did but had their minds set on following the word of Our Lord, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.”

In other words, to read a well-written biography of a saint (canonized or not) will have the same effect on us as it had once on St. Augustine, who said, after watching saintly people living a holy life: “If he could do it, and she, why not I?”

But it has to be a well-written biography, that is, a book showing a human being in the round, with all his shortcomings that had to be overcome by faithful cooperation with grace–and not the old-fashioned hagiography in sugar-candy style with its doubtful statements, carefully stressing that the saint is born a full-fledged saint by describing how the holy baby refused his mother’s breast every Saturday in honor of the Blessed Mother (and, of course, the first words of these remarkable beings invariably must be a piously lisped “Jesus and Mary”).

These “saints” never made a mistake, never succumbed to temptation–in other words, their literary portraits are identical replicas of their statues in the show windows in Barclay Street and just as inspiring.

But we are lucky the worst seems to be behind us. A new school of writing of the lives of the saints has begun.

If every member of a family adopts this threefold reading program and comments on the books he has been working on, a great benefit will be flowing from one to the other as they exchange the spiritual goods obtained from their reading.

I remember how the enthusiasm of each reader made us exchange books after Lent was over. Years ago it began with the books of Henry Gheon first, “The Secret of the Little Flower,” followed by the other secrets of the saints.

Another year it was “The History of a Family,” with its background story of the most irresistible saint of our days, Therese of Lisieux. Recently we all found “St. Teresa of Avila,” by Marcelle Auclair, the best and most readable of all biographies of this great saint. After we had seen the great film, “Monsieur Vincent,” we were naturally interested in reading Monsignor Jean Calvet’s version of the saint’s life, “St. Vincent de Paul.”

There is no saying how much such an extensive reading program adds to the richness of family life, how many new topics are introduced, to be talked about during the family meals.

And one book that should certainly be read aloud during these days of the great retreat is the Holy Bible. It would be a good idea to lean, for one year at least, close to the selections the Church herself makes in the breviary of the priests. In another year one could take one of the prophets (Isaias during Advent, Jeremias during Lent), and go on from there until every book of Holy Scriptures has been read aloud and discussed in the family.

In this way we have read through the books of the Old and New Testaments more than once, and have found them an unending source of happiness and spiritual growth. Any family that has tried it will never want to give it up.

To set aside the “closed times” of the year for daily reading aloud is one of the most profitable uses of the time gained. As many questions will be asked, it will be necessary to obtain some source in which to find at least some of the answers. A commentary on the Holy Scriptures should be in every Christian house.

PENANCE

If the first thought recurring through the liturgy of Lent is instruction, the second is penance. To understand better what was originally meant by that word, let us go back to the beginning when the Church was young and the zeal and fervor unbroken.

Father Weiser, in his “Easter Book,” tells us about it:

“Persons who had committed serious public sin and scandal were enjoined on Ash Wednesday with the practice of ‘public penance.’ The period of the penance lasted until Holy Thursday when they were solemnly reconciled, absolved from their sins, and allowed to receive Holy Communion….

“The imposition of public penance on Ash Wednesday was an official rite in Rome as early as the fourth century; and soon spread to all Christianized nations. Numerous descriptions of this ancient ceremony have been preserved in medieval manuscripts and, in every detail, breathe a spirit of harshness and humility really frightening to us of the present generation.

“Public sinners approached their priests shortly before Lent to accuse themselves of their misdeeds and were presented by the priests on Ash Wednesday to the bishop of the place. Outside the cathedral, poor and noble alike stood barefoot, dressed in sackcloth, heads bowed in humble contrition.

“The bishop, assisted by his canons, assigned to each one particular acts of penance according to the nature and gravity of his crime. Whereupon they entered the church, the bishop leading one of them by the hand, the others following in single file, holding each other’s hands.

“Before the altar, not only the penitents, but also the bishop and all his clergy recited the seven penitential psalms. [Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142.] Then, as each sinner approached, the bishop imposed his hands on him, sprinkled him with holy water, threw the blessed ashes on his head, and invested him with the hair shirt.

Finally he admonished (“with tears and sighs” as the regulation suggests): “Behold you are cast out from the sight of Holy Mother Church because of your sins and crimes, as Adam the first man was cast out of Paradise because of his transgression.”

After this ceremony the penitents were led out of the church and forbidden to reenter until Holy Thursday (for the solemn rite of their reconciliation).

Meanwhile they would spend Lent apart from their families in a monastery or some other place of voluntary confinement, where they occupied themselves with prayer, manual labor, and works of charity. Among other things they had to go barefoot all through Lent, were forbidden to converse with others, were made to sleep on the ground or on a bedding of straw, and were unable to bathe or cut their hair.

Such was the public penance (in addition to the general Lenten fast) for ‘ordinary’ cases of great sin and scandal….For especially shocking and heinous crimes a much longer term was imposed.

An ancient manuscript records the case of an English nobleman of the eleventh century who received a penance of seven years for notorious crimes and scandals committed.

The duties of his first year of public penance consisted of the following details: he must not bear arms (a bitter humiliation for a nobleman of that time!); he must not receive Holy Communion except in danger of death; he must not enter the church to attend Mass but remain standing outside the church door; he must eat very sparingly, taking meat only on Sundays and major feasts; on three days of the week he must abstain from wine; he must feed one poor person every day from what he would have spent on himself.

The document closes with the words: ‘If, however, thou shalt have borne this penance willingly for one year, in the future, with God’s grace, thou shalt be judged more leniently.'” (Francis X. Weiser, “The Easter Book,” pp. 46f. New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1954)

And Father Weiser adds a helpful remark. “These examples will make clear, perhaps, what an indulgence granted by the Church means in our time. An indulgence of seven years is the remission of temporal punishment for sins already forgiven to the extent of a seven years’ personal penance such as just described.”

After having seen what penance meant to our fathers in the faith, it will be interesting to see how much of it is still alive in our times.

The Lord is not a hard man, but in the words of the prophet Joel, “gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil”. Believe Him to be gentle, kind, generous, and compassionate beyond the tenderness of the most devoted mother, and you will find your anticipations fall infinitely short of the truth. The one thing that He cannot bear is that you should mistrust His love. -Fr. Daniel Considine, 1950’s

Ash Wednesday homily…

Coloring pages for your children…..

Make a statement with these lovely and graceful  handcrafted aprons….fully lined….made with care. Aprons tell a beautiful story…..a story of love and sacrifice….of baking bread and mopping floors, of planting seeds and household chores. Sadly, many women have tossed the aprons aside and donned their business attire. Wear your apron with joy….it is a symbol of Femininity….”Finer” Femininity! 🌺 💗 Available here.

 

Lenten Flip Cards available here.

Lenten Bundle Available here.

Do you need some good reading suggestions? Visit….

My Book List

Book List for Catholic Men

Book List for the Youth

Be Yourself! ~ Fr. Edward F. Garesche

Artist: Henry Hintermeister (1897-1970)

God has given each one of us a special path using our personalities, our individuality, our talents, etc. We  have the wherewithal to change our world. Let’s do it!

The Catholic Book of Character and Success by Fr. Edward F. Garesche

Be Yourself!

The wise Creator of mankind made us all just a little different, and it is our differences and not our similarities that make us interesting.

The great benefactors of mankind and the geniuses who enriched human nature and history have always been brave enough to be different from their fellows, and it was by their differences that they conferred a benefit on the human race.

You may not be a genius, since these are rare, and you may never be able to put humanity into your debt by your achievements, but you have a little circle of friends and acquaintances who depend a great deal upon you for their entertainment and cheer and for help in other ways.

It is by being brave enough to be individual and by cultivating your agreeable differences from others that you can help them.

Tendencies, talents, and preferences all differ extraordinarily in different individuals. If you yield to bashfulness and timidity and insist upon being like everyone else, the nice individuating tones in your character, the points in which you are capable of being interesting and helpful, will be, in great part, lost, and you will become a humdrum sort of person, uninteresting and unhelpful.

Is it not refreshing to meet a man or woman who is a real individual with personal enthusiasms and personal talents and characteristics?

Just as you look on others, so they look on you. You have some special talent in you. It may be for music, for art, or perhaps for entertaining or public speaking; perhaps it is a mechanical ingenuity that devises amusements for others.

Whatever this talent of yours may be, get it out and have a look at it, and see whether you are using it to the utmost. Not for your own benefit only, but for the benefit of others as well, that little talent of yours ought to be kept in active working order and to be trotted out on occasion without bashfulness or undue timidity.

People may become humdrum and monotonous because there is such a strong tendency in the modern world to be standardized and conformed to fashions and customs.

Everyone has to think the same ideas, to hold the same opinions, to wear the same sort of clothes, to read the same magazines and books. Individuality and spontaneous freshness are pushed out by this sort of uniformity.

Notice that this very monotony puts differences at a premium. When people look for a place to visit, they choose their destination because it has something to recommend it that other places have not. It may be the scenery, some special amusements or sports, or the climate. It is not the sameness of the city that attracts visitors, but its individual and pleasant differences.

Some cities are beginning to realize this and are deliberately making themselves different by establishing special attractions, or cultivating a special style of architecture, or doing some other thing to make it worthwhile to go there rather than anywhere else.

It is the same way with individuals. People are continually looking not for mediocre, average, commonplace, individuals, but for those who have some difference, some individuality, some special talent or power.

Those who are responsible for great businesses complain that one of their chief difficulties is to find good executives, those who stand out for their individual capacity and power to bear responsibility.

It has always been true in the professions as in business that there is plenty of room at the top. The person who is different from his fellows, more highly qualified, more expert and skillful, has always found ample opportunities.

This is eminently true nowadays for several reasons. One is that the standardized education of today, with its tendency to reduce everybody to a common level, has resulted in an epidemic of mediocrity in which specially qualified people are relatively rare.

Another reason is that the vast multiplication of opportunities and the resulting needs for leadership have made it necessary to find a larger number of highly qualified workers than before.

For both these reasons, you will be wise if you deliberately cultivate your individual differences. Be yourself, and do not allow the fear of ridicule or your natural bashfulness or timidity or any other deterring influence to keep you from being yourself.

God made you with some special talents, capacities, powers, interests, and good inclinations. By judiciously cultivating these, you will make yourself agreeable and efficient, and you will find that place in the world of men and of affairs which you are specially qualified to fill.

Martyrdom by the little fires of hidden fidelities constantly adhered to, of tormenting temptations courageously and perseveringly repulsed, of the exact and loving fulfillment of duties toward God and neighbor, of prayer faithfully practiced despite disgust, aridity and the pressure of work–is it not a martyrdom? Who can estimate the value of its countless offerings which are not publicized but which cost . . . and which count! -Christ in the Home

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

Lenten Flip Cards available here.

Lenten Bundle Available here.

A must-read for the married and those considering marriage! This guidebook to finding a happy marriage, keeping a happy marriage, and raising happy children has been out of print for over 50 years…until now! From the master of the spiritual life, Raoul Plus, S.J., it contains loads of practical and spiritual advice on family life. Have you been looking for a handbook on marriage and raising children that is based on truth? You’ve found it!

The saints assure us that simplicity is the virtue most likely to draw us closer to God and make us more like Him.

No wonder Jesus praised the little children and the pure of heart! In them, He recognized the goodness that arises from an untroubled simplicity of life, a simplicity which in the saints is completely focused on its true center, God.

That’s easy to know, simple to say, but hard to achieve.

For our lives are complicated and our personalities too. (We even make our prayers and devotions more complicated than they need be!)

In these pages, Fr. Raoul Plus provides a remedy for the even the most tangled lives.

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St. Valentine’s Day ~ An Opportunity

Some thoughts for Valentine’s Day….

The following is an excerpt from The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland who explains to us how we can use St. Valentine’s Day to get to the deeper meaning of love.

Most fun of all is making valentines at home. The materials cost little or nothing if you keep a supply of construction papers, pastes, and other such items on hand, and the work provides many opportunities for mothers and children to discuss the differences between friendship and love and the lamentable forcing of the boyfriend issue in the first grade.

It is not always the children who are at fault. Abetted by the teasing of grown-ups, children little more than babes make the unfortunate conclusion that boy must meet girl and be boyfriend and girlfriend at six years of age; they never do learn that it is possible to be that rare and wonderful creature: a friend who happens to be a boy.

The same parents who wring their hands over high-school children determined to go steady are the ones who encourage puppy love in the kindergarten. We ignore the fact that childhood crushes in the young are merely an awkward way of trying to be special friends, we do them no favors. Of course children get crushes, and of course girls become boy-conscious, with vice becoming versa; but they need not be shoved and pushed so hard.

One of the most excruciating trials of youngsters who believe themselves to be in love these days is restraining their impulses of affection. Very few children deliberately set out in their first encounters with crushes to commit any sins of impurity. In their innocence of experience, they do not know exactly how such sins can be, or if they know the theory, they do not know the fact.

It is the task of Christian parents to convince them that these impulses must be held in check. Held in check they are good, they are manifestations of sincere and genuine affection, but they can so easily be transformed into something that is not good. The reason it has become such a delicate and difficult task (although I suppose it always was a worry for parents) is not because this restraint is impossible but because so few today seem to practice it.

The example of promiscuous contemporaries is a powerful thing. It rarely helps to start lecturing on the subject once children reach high school; it does not help at all to pooh-pooh love or schoolgirl crushes or the boyfriend business once it begins for a son or daughter growing up.

But such occasions as St. Valentine’s Day (with innumerable opportunities all year round, of course) open this subject for discussion in a pleasant way. We may use the evenings spent making valentines to have our own open forum on the subject of love and the showing of love and how it is that people fall in love, and how it is all related to God’s love.

Such Christian concepts as respect for girls and women, respect for our bodies and the bodies of others, the propriety and impropriety of kissing – whom and when – right judgment about the movies, their ads and their love-making, many other things can be formed at a very early age. We must use all our talent and love and conviction to form them in our children.

We are foolish if we think that our children, because they are nice children, are automatically safe. In the movie ads and posters they see, the newsstand magazines and comics, the covers of the paperbacks, slicks, and in a hundred ways promiscuity is preached to them – and it is not preached to what is nice in them but to the deplorable weakness left in human nature by the inheritance of Original Sin.

We can work to form in them the conviction that making love is something positive and beautiful that belongs with marriage, and this concept can exist even for the small ones without, as we might fear, any undertones of s-e-x.

Demonstrations of affection they can automatically connect with mommies and daddies, as well as with relatives and friends. When there are things to denounce, such as this week’s ad showing a movie siren and lover wrestling on the beach, we can make our denunciations more convincing if we avoid panic but rather express regret that some people persist in distorting out of its sacramental context what should be the beauty of human love.

There are many facets of this subject for parents to ponder. Each can adapt best the teaching for his children, but let us emphasize while they are still little that it is friendship that holds the joys of companionship for them.

I suppose the free use of the word boyfriend has made it almost a synonym for friend, but not quite. It may be a losing battle, but we continue to explain the difference. “Your friend, dear – your friend who is a girl. Little boys in second grade have friends, not girlfriends. Yes, I know – they tease and say you have a girlfriend, and that is too bad, because it is necessary that you love everyone with much more love than the word girlfriend intends.

You must try to love them as our Lord loves them, and you must try to see our Lord in them. If you like someone especially well, better than others, that is all right. Then they are among your special friends. Be glad and be careful of your friendship. Friendship is a beautiful, holy thing if you keep it that way.”

“The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour, it is slightly irregular in shape as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side. The missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the universal heart of humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more. It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, he kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really whole-hearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter.”
~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Manifestations of Christ)

Fun, Vintage Valentine Pictures… Charles Geilfus (1856-1914)

February 14th is the Feast of the great Catholic martyr and priest, St. Valentine. His persecutor, known to history as Claudius II, not only hated Catholicism, but also forbade his own Roman soldiers to marry. St. Valentine performed secret nuptial Masses for those Catholic soldiers that had found a spouse….

St. Valentine Coloring pages…

Need a little help staying focused this Lent? The season is around the corner…

The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal!

For more information or to purchase visit my Meadows of Grace Shoppe here.

Printable Version here.

This journal will lay out some simple activities in which your children will be doing their sacrifices and will have a tangible means of “counting” them for Jesus. You, Mom, will have a place to put a check mark if that the activity is remembered and completed for the day. This journal also includes a place for you to check off whether you are fulfilling your own personal resolutions…your Spiritual Reading, your Family Rosary, etc. It makes it more palpable if you can check it off at the end of the day….there’s just something about putting pen to paper when an accomplishment has been fulfilled! It is filled with inspiring quotes, too! My hope is that this journal may help you stay focused on making this Lent fruitful for your own soul and the souls of those little people entrusted to your care!

Lenten Flip Cards available here.

Lenten Bundle Available here.

Father Weiser has here applied his winning formula to an explanation of the fasts and feasts of the Lenten and Easter seasons with equally fascinating results.

Why do we wear our best clothes on Sunday? What was the Holy Ghost’s role 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.

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