Sunday, February 28, 2016

I don't know what to call it. Random with some vague theme running through.

“He who, being God, humbled himself, lowered himself, debased himself: to serve. It is service in hope, and this is the joy of Christian service.”  Morning Meditation, 11 November 2014

We're in a teaching moment around here these days. I have to say I'm pleased it's coming in the middle of Lent. Some of the children who live around here are having a difficult time with being right, being first, and being lauded. Let me say, firstly, all children (like all human beings) should be loved and honored as the children of God they are...being created in His image makes each of us special in a spectacular way. I'm talking about needing to be first and then tell everyone about it.

Society, it seems, centers around "ME", so we're working on finding "JOY" in life (Jesus, Others, Yourself)...I stole that from Fr. Richard who borrowed it from someone else. Ultimately, humility is the word of the week around here.

We live in a bubble, I admit that. We limit, in a big way, most things that are popular culture. My children don't know many popular songs and they read only a sprinkling of books that were published after 1950ish. The other day little boy was in the car with DH and asked to listen to music. Then he said, "I don't want any kids' stuff, I want fast Jesus music...give me K-LOVE!" They're wild with their father, we only listen to WAOB ;0)

Anyway, despite our attempts to isolate them from all negative influences, some of those deadly sins still manage to creep in...

Again, a feeling of well-being and accomplishment is healthy and important, especially in growing kids. They need to feel like they are competent to learn and grow and survive on their own. Pride, though, is a slippery slope. Let me say first that I couldn't even find many images for pride because almost everything that comes up is a rainbow. It's good, again, to have a high self-worth but it annoys me a bit when something gets hijacked like that.

Back on topic. We have to be constantly, constantly vigilant. The evil one has so many ways to trap us into wasting time, losing focus, or otherwise choosing the wrong path and turning our lives away from Our Father. Just yesterday in the mail...

DH joked that he didn't realize I was a feminist who enjoyed People magazine (the label was made out to "Ms...") Sadly I didn't order it and I don't want it. Not because I wouldn't read it. I would read it cover-to-cover. Why? Not sure. There seem to be times when I need something mindless to do because I'm so tired and I can't do anything productive (and just going to sleep seems to make no sense to my brain). Gratefully, I was not tired when the mail came so I recognized the temptation and into the recycling bin it went (after I checked the date and saw June 2016 as the subscription I have to do this 4 more times. Ug). Vigilance is so important because we live in a world that makes so many things seem so good even though, in our hearts, we know that they're pulling us away from our intended path.

We took a detour from our normal routine this weekend and went to the monastery for vigil Mass. I love it there. I love order priests, they are so down-to-earth and forthright (Father took 5 minutes after Mass to explain the Christian themes in Frozen to the kids). I love the church there. The paint is peeling but people just see it as a sign of respectful old age, well-used from years of prayer and thanksgiving. Things age, people age, that is our post-Eden reality. Nothing truly lasts but God and His love for us. It's OK to fall short of perfection...there are many things more important than surface appearance.

While at Mass we heard some really important reminders as we journey through Lent. The second reading reminded us that we should be watchful because, even if we think we're standing firm, we are at risk of falling...vigilance.
These things happened as examples for us,
so that we might not desire evil things, as they did.
Do not grumble as some of them did,
and suffered death by the destroyer.
These things happened to them as an example,
and they have been written down as a warning to us,
upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure
should take care not to fall.
- 1 Cor 10
Then Father spoke about how the lives of the Saints are the "antidote for the toxicity of today's society". How simple and how true! You don't need the latest Catholic thinker/blogger/housewife to point you on your the Saints and the Bible and pray...simple and effective. (really, don't look to me for your religious authority...they did it earlier and better!)

We went to vigil Mass so that we could stand at 40 Days for Life with our home parish. It was good to see our parish and our 40 days family there at the same time. It is good to share prayers and time with those whom we share common ground. It is necessary to make and keep these connections as we move through life. It helps strengthen one's resolve.

While we were there one of our 40 days friends gifted us with the most beautiful origami pieces...including a nun!!! I am amazed at the gifts of artistic skill the Creator has gifted on some of the people in my life. How blessed we are to know these people and share in their gifts.
I got a box of baby butterflies!
Finally, since this has already been the longest post ever, I took two of my little people roller skating this weekend. What fun we had and how good it was for me to watch them move through the fear and uncertainty to the joy of progress. I'm so enjoying my growing kids and the gift I have to watch them mature and become people in their own right.

Continued prayers that your Lent will allow you to rise each time you fall and receive forgiveness each time you fail. God is so good to us! Let's show Him how much He is loved!

We are blessed.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Long day...

We started our Rosary as we pulled out of the driveway at 7 AM and pulled back in at 6:30 PM long enough to pick up DH and head out to Stations. Now, back at 8, I have a few hours to breathe before heading out to Adoration at midnight. Spiritual renewal/physical exhaustion, brought to you by Lent ;0)

In the middle of our day's journey, we returned to the new-and-improved parish of my youth. They now have a beautiful Adoration chapel...perfect for a mid-day prayer and rest.
How fortunate that they also have a Porta Sancta! (#1 was thrilled with the Latin of course). #3 and counting!
We are blessed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hail, Holy Queen

I'm working on something about pride but it's not coming together. So, I'm grateful to God for providing such a Divine distraction.

We are blessed.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears! Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

So, how's your Lent?

I always lack a decent reply when someone comes to me with that question. As I've said, I love Lent...but that's not something I can drop into casual conversation with an acquaintance (I get enough blank stares with my posse ;0)). Often, the question comes from someone whom I know but only remotely and it turns into a "I decided to go to the gym every day and give up drinking because I really need to lose weight" kind of conversation. I never know where to go with that either. Perhaps next Lent I need to beef up on "how to recognize people for whom you could be a springboard into a more meaningful Lent". (I just reread my posts from the last 2 Lents and it's come up both times. I'm writing down "Evangelization" on my calendar for the upcoming Ordinary Time...maybe I can be ready in a year.)

If you want to know, I haven't really given up anything for Lent.

  - I have inadvertently given up tonic water (Read this if you haven't been following along) meaning I ran out about 2 days in and figured, since I do enjoy it, it would be a good thing to pass on for Lent.

  - When a friend asked, I said "I gave up the world for Lent." This was true pretty much until Scalia's death and I was pulled back into the information stream. One day of that made me realize I need to be out of the world and, since it's pretty necessary for my sanity, it doesn't really qualify as a Lenten fast.

  - I have successfully completed #1 of 3 24-hour fasts as part of 40 days for life. You now have the option of liquid only or bread and water. I think I would enjoy the bread and water more but I am so afraid for my family if my coffee is gone for a full day.

As I just noticed by rereading past Lent blogs, I tend more to the "do" side. We have delivered two or three meals over the last ten days, I've made it to the vigil alone twice and with family twice, I have said a rosary every day and we've made it to Mass as a family one extra day per week. A lot of those things were already part of our lives in one way or another so, again, that isn't building much "Lenten muscle" as it were.

Yesterday, I realized that my Lent (and as such, the Lent of my kids) is more like...
and I think it's working better than I could have imagined. Is it what Lent is about? I think so. I think it's bringing my awareness of the Holy Spirit's workings front-and-center and that, for me, is a perfect way to grow closer to God. This works so well with the fasting and giving to know that God is present in all things...

We are nomads on Friday so it's always up to me to find a church for Stations and they have to fit in a narrow time frame. I found another parish, closer to St. Vincent to attend this week that had not only Stations but also Exposition and Benediction. Yay! How did I find it? No idea (ahem)

Once at school, waiting for the others, we again headed to the chapel early, little man and I, so we could light a candle to Our Lady. When we were finished and sitting quietly, I realized the door to the confessional was open and waiting. Having no other place to put him, the three-year-old went in with me. It was a traditional screen setup (although you could push them apart if you wanted face-to-face, which is cool, but I left them closed in hopes of keeping little man quiet). Somewhere in the middle of my talking with the priest, G put his face up to the screen and whispered, "Is that Jesus talking in there?" I said "yes" and it was one of the most moving moments I had all day. What a beautiful blessing for me to take that step to carry my added burden when going to seek forgiveness and be rewarded so greatly.

On Saturday we had one scheduled appointment which we promptly missed by sitting upstairs in pajamas, watching videos of when the kids were tiny. Again, such a blessing to step out of the "routine" and be led to an hour of talking, remembering and sharing the love that is our family.

The weather could not have been more beautiful (I think the high got to 70!) so we decided to get dressed and walk to church to put out the worship aids. Our walk turned into interval runs for me and the older 4 kids and it was a blast. So much so that they asked to run more on the way home. We sent DH and G home to pick up the van and we headed down to the high school track (I know my kids well enough...a mile or two plus uphill home wouldn't have worked).

On the way to the track we saw two old friends (and realized one lives very close to us!) and met a lovely old man who was chatting with one of our friends. What a joyful way to spend an afternoon. Kind interactions with others, known or unknown, is one of the greatest powers of our free will. We can choose to listen to the promptings, we can choose to take the time out to be present, we can choose to connect with someone just for the sake of's our will. It's God's will that we will draw closer to one another and acknowledge that we all have inherent value through Him.

Today was even more unexpected gifts. Standing at the 40 Days vigil for the babies who must remain silent and being rewarded by a local business man who, while not united in religion with us, appreciates the gesture enough to touch the heart of a small boy...attending Mass with "neighbors" from our parish who are united in our faith tradition and help to bring love and well-being to our area...enjoying catching up with old friends and meeting new during the social after; one wonderful woman delivered rice krispie treats to our front door after finding out we (OK, me) love them. Wow. So many people responding to the whispers to make the world nicer today. What if we all tried to listen and follow every day? What a wonderful world, huh?

Be great! Move out of your comfort zone and do something for someone else this week. You have no idea how your generosity will ripple out and how far it will carry.

We are blessed.

update...this morning I opened one of my many Lenten Reflection emails and it kind of agrees completely with me...ahem.  40Acts.Org

Monday, February 15, 2016

Horton or Mayzie?

Today, for the first time in many months, I attended our parish's Human Dignity committee. Our goal (to me anyway) is to keep the dignity of all life on the minds of the parishioners. We do things like field a bus for the March for Life, book and staff a time slot for 40 Days for Life , and host collections for pregnancy resource centers. There are also members who pray the rosary at the elderly high rises and other things I'm too tired to remember right now.

I think, last check, there are fewer than 20 official members. There were five of us at the meeting tonight. Sometimes that depresses me but other times, like tonight, I'm just sort of OK with it all. Like the death of Justice Scalia and the upcoming presidential election, I can't get myself worked up. I have a blessed peace that it is truly beyond all of our control. Only God can right this nation so we might as well let Him know we have turned fully to Him for help. Not being discouraged or giving up hope...knowing in Whom our hope should rest.

I like our small meetings because they end on time or even a bit early. I got home just after evening prayer had begun so I was able to finish with them. After, I usually get ready for bed or do some work and DH makes his rounds to the boys' room, then girls'; reading books, telling stories, singing songs, and coaxing everyone to sleep. That's his time with them and I'm grateful, after having been with them all day, that I get a little breather.

Tonight was different. DH was home because of the holiday and freezing rain had begun as I was heading home from my meeting. If we were buttoned up inside it wouldn't matter but it's also trash night. I didn't want DH to spend an hour putting people to bed then get outside when the weather was worse. So, I volunteered to read the girls their story and put them to bed. They are currently working on Six by Seuss and tonight's tale was

It's the story of a bird (Mayzie) who sits on her egg a while and then decides she'd rather do something more exciting so she convinces Horton to sit in her place while she flies off on vacation ("just for a little while"...until she decides never to come back). Horton agrees and remains faithful to the egg-sitting through many adversities (bad weather, hunters, being sold to a circus). When the touring circus reaches her beach, Mayzie reunites with Horton just as the egg begins to hatch. That is the cue for Mayzie to demand Horton, who has been "faithful, one hundred percent", leave the nest and her egg immediately. Ultimately, it's a children's story so justice prevails...the bird looks like Horton with wings.

I can't really read Dr. Seuss anymore without seeing it from a pro-life point of view and, having just been to the human dignity meeting tonight and 40 days vigil yesterday, it seemed well, ahem, more than perfect. The Holy Spirit is always hooking me up like that. God knows my brain is tired and needs GIANT BLINKING NEON SIGNS sometimes.

So, it's simple. We have to choose...will we be Horton or will we be Mayzie? Will we make decisions in our life then end up with consequences that seem good for a while but ultimately feel like too much bother and give in to our desire for the easy road? Will we choose to be faithful, no matter how our toes freeze or how many times people try to shoot at us? Each of us needs to make this decision for ourselves. 

Make no mistake, though, this is life and not a Dr. Seuss story. We may choose to be Horton, sitting faithfully day after day and at the end of it all, Mayzie may swoop in and grab all the glory. It's maddening and frustrating but it's really OK. The glory, fame and power here mean nothing. We need to be faithful, regardless of what or whom the world's outcome favors. It's not about us and it's not about the world. It's about the One Who Is, Was, and Will Be Forever. 

So, even though there is a drawer full of potty treats behind me (it's really dumb to try to potty-train during Lent, you know?) I will be Horton tonight. I will offer my deep desire for a Good and Plenty and pray instead for peace in a family that has asked for prayers or that the weather will keep an abortion-minded mother home tomorrow...long enough for God to work a miracle in her life through some other channel.

Our lives don't have to be grand gestures. If we try to faithfully live each decision of each day, we will achieve our goal. Isn't it nice to know that our difficult choices can benefit so many others? Isn't it nice to know that, beyond the noise and worry of society, it can really be this simple?

 We are blessed.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

May the Angels Lead You to Paradise

It is with a heavy heart that I heard of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia earlier today. Certainly the world has strong opinions on this man, probably not in a small way due to his own strong opinions. Still, I mourn him because of what he was as a man, in addition to serving on the highest court in the nation.

He was Catholic. Devout. Drove his family an hour each way to attend Latin Mass.

He was the father of nine children. He and his wife were married for 55 years.

He was funny. Not vulgar funny, intelligent funny.
In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it's not perfect, that's okay, there are a lot more coming along.
He was scary smart. Brilliant, really.

He was concerned with truth, not self-promotion. He knew right from wrong and wasn't afraid to speak the truth.

He was christened Antonin but those who loved him called him Nino. Yeah, that's why :0)

May God grant you peace.

Lent...Keeping Order

All of my well-meaning friends passed along their links to "daily" or "weekly" thoughts for Lent. Of course, I signed up for all of them. Of course, this is also 40 Days for Life and I began OREMUS at our church (I say began because, well, I'm pretty sure that's the first to go)... it's a's too much actually. I'm past the guilt of not getting it all done, which is good, and instead, I'm grateful when I get to sit in the morning and read/pray over some of what comes to my phone/computer. It's kind of amazing to me (ahem) how so many diverse sources point to the same general idea on any given's like God's trying to tell me something!!!

Yesterday the theme was "organize your house/life/heart". Well, yeah. I thought about that for a while as I journeyed from place to place and I realized, as a wise fellow-homeschooler once told me, this "isn't the season" for me to have a house where everything is in place (she was speaking about something else but it fits). It's so much more important, now, for me to order my heart and be a good example to the little ones I've been entrusted to help raise.

Friday around here means Step Up and this being the first Friday of Lent, it also means Stations. I think one of the reasons I love Lent is because we get to go to Stations every Friday. What a blessing to walk with Him on the road to Calvary and stand with St. John and Our Lady at the foot of the Cross. What a perfect way to order your heart and mind.

It's a little hard to work it into the schedule so it's also fun to play "find-the-church-that-has-Stations-between-12-and-12:30". Gratefully, we were able to find one in the Eastern suburbs which meant we were even closer to St. Vincent and didn't have to rush.

Excuse my shaky hand...
What a beautiful little church. It was also another opportunity for education since they had everything (even the baptismal font) covered with purple cloth. We don't have that at our church so it's good to travel to different parishes. Same Stations, always something new to experience!

We had some extra time so we decided to pick up an extra Holy Door along the way...

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Greensburg, PA is a beautiful parish just up the road from St. Vincent. It has the actual "cathedra" front and center and the most beautiful, if unusual, picture of the Last Supper just above the tabernacle (it would have been so lovely if the picture were actually clear! sorry) The last picture is the crest of Bishop Connare, the bishop who Confirmed me many years ago. It was very special to line up the kids and point him out. It was nice to share that moment, reminding them that I also went through all of the things that they will undergo while growing up Catholic since they forget that sometimes!

On to school. What a blustery, cold day. I sat and waited for little man then, after his class, we headed across campus to secure his pre-Mass snack (he chose a warm soft pretzel...smartie). Imagine my joy when we happened to walk behind the Stations as they were passing through campus. (see, God always helps keep you focused if you allow Him the opportunity)
One of the perks of attending a Catholic college!
By now the snow was raging and I was debating whether or not I should pull the kids early to head home. That would have meant missing Mass with my little guy and, just then, it felt like the wrong decision. We headed to the chapel early to light a candle for the Blessed Mother and ask her protection, then stayed for Mass. We made it home safely, if late, because the roads were less-than-stellar but, thanks to God (and His Mother) we all made it in time for fish fry (the Lenten benefits are many!).

As I look around my home I have a mental list of everything I'd like to do and change but for now, my ordering will be mostly spiritual in nature. I hear a constant call to educate, along with my husband, our children about life, the Church, and everything we have been given. Being this blessed means being called to do and be more. I tell them that specifically because I want to help them order their hearts and minds in that manner. God is above all else and worthy of everything we have. The best thing we can do to show Him our love in return is to love His creation, especially those He has placed in our path. More on that tomorrow.

Wishing you warmth. Praying for those who are cold and hungry now. Doing what we can, in our small ways, to help bring some relief and acknowledge how blessed we are in so many ways.

We are so blessed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


It's LENT!!! I'm not sure if you know this about me but I love Lent. It's more than a match for my personality because, as the Bishop said in his homily today, "it's not a time to be sad, it's a time to be glad!". I just love the 40 days journey we have to walk with Christ through the end of His life and Passion. It is this time of year, especially, that we can connect with our worminess. The Creator of the Universe (yep, everything) sent His Only Son to carry our sins up Calvary and die on a cross...for ME (and you, and all of us). That makes me feel so unworthy and beyond price all at the very same time. The hugeness of the Father's love for us is so immense!

First things first...lovely Mardi Gras party last night with masks and pancakes!
then home to bury the ALLELUIA

In our purple heart box to remind us of His Immense Love!
Finally a lovely friend gifted us with a King's cake to round out our over-sugared day...I had 2 1/2 puczki (spelled just like it sounds, lol) and skipped the cake...I'm still shaking today!

#2 found the Baby Jesus and they all immediately said,
Baby Jesus wouldn't have a baby bottle!!! Too funny. Sometimes commerce gets in the way of actual education and understanding. Note to self, make it at home next year with a real Baby Jesus!

So we arrived this morning at the first day of Lent and it's been blessed so far. I cut down to 4 cups of coffee (that's down from a pot so, you know, I'm working on it) and having gone to Mass, it really does seem like I've been fed enough to not feel hungry.

We all headed down in the frigid temps to attend Mass with the Bishop and receive our ashes...everyone got them (the little people were thrilled...our priests don't ascribe to that belief). The homily was fantastic, "don't come forward to receive the ashes unless you are ready to open your heart to Jesus and do His work". We shared the time with a friend and even managed to stop by the 40 Days for Life Vigil on our trip home to pass our prayers and thanks to those praying in our place (it is really, really cold today...walking from the parking garage to Mass was all I can expect from our little ones.)

Now we finish our work, play for a while, and eagerly await the arrival of DH to make our family complete for the evening. I am so grateful, as we begin this Lent, for all of the extra blessings I have...warm house, loving family, a few good friends to walk with on this journey. I will be praying for and helping in whatever way I can to bring relief to those who are struggling right now. Lent during the Year of Mercy calls us to even more good works. Let's start today.

Happy Lent! We are blessed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


"St. Apollonia's helper" aka, me, was picking out a good holy card to include with the cash to exchange for #1's first molar (it happened in the middle of Latin yesterday but she didn't say anything because, "it wasn't a big enough deal to interrupt class." lol). I thought this was pretty good to pray over tomorrow and for the next 40 days.

 Lord Jesus, place Your words in my mouth that I may always proclaim Your Good News. Place Your song in my ears that my soul may dance. Place Your vision in my eyes that I may see Your Truth. Place Your thoughts in my mind that I may contemplate Your face day and night. Put Your strength in my shoulders that I may bear my crosses. Place Your diligence in my hands that I may always work to build Your Kingdom. Place Your courage in my steps that I may walk through dark valleys. Heighten my senses that I may long for the sweet bouquet of purity and taste and see the goodness of the Lord. Put Your love in my heart that I may magnify Your tenderness and compassion to all, even to those that seem unlovable. Put Your hunger in me that I may long for the Bread of Life. Place Your thirst in me that I may drink deep of Your cup. Robe me in Your nakedness that I may imitate Your humility. Share with me the isolation and rejection that You faced that I too may be a pilgrim longing for Your Temple. Help me to understand Your imprisonment that I may know Your freedom. Allow what You will in my illnesses that I may receive Your healing touch. Thank You for those who persecute, ridicule and despise me because of my love for You; may I return their evil with your goodness. Share Your abandonment with me that You may be my all. Amen.

Wishing all of you a fruitful and blessed Lent. As we travel these 40 days, may we cling most tightly to the Cross, so that He may walk beside us and see us to the glory of His Resurrection.

We are blessed.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Monday!

Today is Shrove or Collop Monday...from Wikipedia:

Collop Monday

The British name Collop Monday is after the traditional dish of the day, consisting of slices of leftover meat (collops of bacon) along with eggs.[3] It is eaten for breakfast and is part of the traditional Lenten preparations. In addition to providing a little meat, the collops were also the source of the fat for the following day's pancakes.[4] The word collop, here, is taken to mean a small piece of bacon. In general it is used to refer to a small piece of meat.
We all slept in so it was bacon with cereal instead of eggs but, still, what a wonderful tradition...bacon Monday ;0)
Just to even things out, especially after loaded nachos last night, I whipped up a kiwi, halo, raspberry, spinach and kefir smoothie. It's all about balance, people ;0)

I think that's how we're going to head into Lent as well. Trying to balance things a little bit better, and in their proper, family, school, the rest of life. It seems like we've just finished Advent and here we are again, back to slowing down, praying and reflecting more...perhaps He's trying to tell us something!

Wishing you all a blessed Mardi Gras (French, non?) and joyful Ash Wednesday.

We are blessed.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Our "Catholic" Week...

Well, minus one day, you'll get the idea :0)

I noticed a few weeks ago that this week was to be Catholic Schools week and, being a Catholic school (with fewer students and better food ;0) ) we decided to take part. I spent last weekend talking to DH (aka principal of said school) and we agreed that "7" was a good target. As always, I over shot but we got some really good lessons in and, for me, that's what counts.

Our focus for the week was "What makes us Catholic?" so the "7" included things like: Sacraments; Gifts of the Holy Spirit; Cardinal and Theological Virtues; Seven Saints who had something to do with Catholic education. As I said, way overshot...still.


This one was really fun. We tried to do one each day. Sunday was First Communion to prepare for our family-friendly Adoration on Monday. We found this most excellent craft online (I'm not sure so I'm just going to say, pretty much everything we did this week came from Look to Him and be radiant..she has some really amazing stuff there). For the Eucharist/Adoration, we made a nice monstrance, complete with a very special host. The host looked like all hosts from the outside but when it was opened, we were reminded of Who dwells within each consecrated host. I think it definitely helped get the point across...Adoration seemed to go more smoothly.

Most of the kids have some idea about the Sacraments but revisiting them all in one week was a good refresher. There was a lot of good discussion about the different symbols, whom was eligible for what, etc. After discovering our dear deacon was one of the few people we knew who had/was eligible for all seven, the kids got to work on a "sacrament superstar" card to congratulate him on the supreme achievement. He probably thinks we're nuts like everyone else. LOL


We covered Aquinas (of course) and St. John Bosco (yes, do you know he stopped at the second-hand store to get clothing before entering the seminary?) but we were also happy to end up celebrating some wonderful Saints just by following along with the calendar. I already covered St. Angela Merici, who had a call to educate poor girls in hopes of spreading the Catholic faith to families. We also had St. Blaise and St. Agatha this week. The first doesn't have much to do with Catholic education but it was a good reason to wake up early and attend Mass as a family (never underestimate the throat blessing!). St. Agatha is a wonderful patron for young girls, especially in this world. She maintained her purity to death. Added velvet cupcakes and seeing the priests in red vestments twice in one week! (little man loves them both)

Again, LTHABR has some fantastic information for those looking to cover the Cardinal (Moral) and Theological virtues. We covered one a day, complete with coloring sheet, and hung them up to remind us of what we should follow as we go through the world. 

The Cardinal 4...don't take extra meaning from Temperance being smaller, it just happened that way.

 Works of Mercy

Well, it is a Jubilee Year...actually we only passed over these when they happened so I can't count them as part of the lesson. Still, it's kind of cool that there are 7 Corporal and 7 Spiritual.

Tomorrow we will be practicing one of the Corporal works by making valentines for inmates as part of our ccd program (yes, we do have the best, you can't have her). I was also blessed to "pray for the living and the dead" on my Tuesday run downtown. I ended up at St. Mary's at the point because, you know, I like to end at a church just in case my heart decides to give out. It was beautiful as usual and I took a minute to gather myself before I went in.

I stumped DH with "Guess the Church" on this one ;0)

Inside was dark and quiet and lovely. I gravitated to the Marian shrine which is usually not an option with my helpful entourage. I prayed and, looking at the inscription, took time to light 4 little candles, one each to remember our two little ones in heaven and two others from a family very dear to us. It was a nice prayer, surrounded by images of Our Lady with them, sharing all the glories of heaven together. 

"See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name. " Beautiful
Pray for us, sweet little ones.
Today was Step Up and another lovely afternoon spent with Mr. G. I so enjoy our time together and he's even getting a bit better with Mass (I think the red vestments help). He's growing so quickly and asking so many questions...I think that covers "instructing the ignorant". 

We even walked through the actual Holy Door this time ;0) Poor tiny heard the bells and thought his class was starting without him.

All-in-all a very blessed week full of learning why we are Catholic and what things make it so. I think we even managed a rosary on all but one of the days. Now I assign them each a mystery and on their day they get to assign each of the's a power that has proven quite motivating!

Wishing you all rest this weekend. Enjoy the Superbowl for next week is Lent ;0) We are blessed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thought for today

I got a new rug for my kitchen...

It's a nice reminder as I go about my day. A large piece of my time is spent here so I will see it often. Important to keep in mind that our loving God may allow us trials and shower us with blessings but in all things He is working for our good. We are blessed!

We are in the middle of Catholic schools week and while we slacked off a bit yesterday (mom ran 4 miles and had to go to bed early...old mom), we're back at it today (I can hear the older two looking up the cardinal virtues in the Catechism as we speak). I will do a short recap at the end of the week. We've learned many things that I know will be implemented throughout our days, no matter what week it is. Fantastic.