"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Lenten Daybook

Outside my window, the sky is blue. "The sun is shining. The tank is clean." Theresa cleaned Brendan's fish tank for him and I just couldn't help quoting from Finding Nemo. The children want to be outside, especially Kieran.

Mr. Mischief

In the kitchen Theresa keeps asking me when we are going to start making pysanky. I don't know when or if we will do so this year, but I do know that I am thinking about our Easter menu.

3 1/2 weeks old

I am thankful for my husband and children who have been such an enormous help since Kilian was born, making meals, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, and more. I am now able to do these things, but it took me a while.

I love them!

I am hearing Theresa and Brendan quizzing Finnian on his First Holy Communion questions. He is preparing to receive his First Holy Communion in May and is blessed to be participating in a wonderful class in our parish. The teacher Mrs. Marshall is very good with the children and Finnian enjoys sharing what he has learned from her. Yesterday, Fr. S. visited the class and talked to the children. Finnian was very excited to tell us about his visit and what he told the class.

I am praying for Kim C., Theresa P., and Sue H. These three mothers are all fighting cancer. Kim has been given a huge cross. After defeating breast cancer, she found she had an inoperable tumor. She received chemotherapy and, a few months ago, her PET scan showed that she was well. Recently, a "baby" brain tumor was found.  She has asked that people pray to St. Joseph for her. I am praying for a miracle for Kim if it be God's will. Theresa's cancer has gone to her bones and, if it be God's will, she needs a miracle. Sue will be starting chemotherapy soon for breast cancer. I am also praying for another friend and her family.

In the learning rooms Catherine has been doing dissections and some of her siblings have been enjoying observing, encouraging, and helping. One of the things that I like about homeschooling is the shared interest and learning among my children.

Earthworm Dissection

I am pondering how truly blessed my husband and I are. I am so thankful that God has entrusted us with nine children, and I pray that they all become great saints and bring greater glory to God.

We are blessed

My older sister took most of the photos above. She has a heart of gold. My brother-in-law and she brought all of our children, plus their oldest and youngest daughters, to the hospital the day that Kilian was born. They also treated our children to a special lunch and dinner that day.

Extended family

One of my younger sisters visited the day after Kilian was born, bringing her youngest daughter with her. Thankfully, they were in town for a volleyball tournament. My sister's daughters/my nieces take after their mom and are all gifted athletes.

I am reading  The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation by St. Alphonsus Liguori. The book focuses on a different virtue each month: faith, hope, love of God, etc. Thank you, Gwen, for recommending this great book. I am also reading The School of Jesus Crucified: The Lessons of Calvary in Daily Catholic Life by Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, Passionist.  The book makes for good Lenten reading, but would be beneficial to read anytime of year.  It is broken into thirty-one meditations on Christ's Passion and plenty of suggestions for living a holy life.

This Lent, I also read two books by Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen,  A Brief Life of Christand The Cross and the Beatitudes. Sheen wrote the first book two years before he wrote Life of Christ. The Cross and the Beatitudes takes Our Lord's seven last words and juxtaposes them with the seven Beatitudes, showing us how Christ embraced the beatitudes as he was dying on the cross and how we can live them. If you live in the same county as me, our library system has several copies of this book. It is well worth reading.

I have been listening to the Lenten Mission linked below that was given by Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea's on the Four Last Things (H/T goes to Tracy for making me aware of this mission).
Father urges his listeners to make a good confession, to love Our Blessed Mother, to desire Heaven, and more. It is a great mission.

picture taken from The Catechism in Pictures

I also listened to the 2008 Lenten Mission, Signs of this Time. This Mission is worth listening to again and again. I was happy to hear one of the priests recommend reading and rereading Uniformity with God's Will. This, in my opinion, is a must read little booklet for all Catholics.

Prior to Lent, I listened to and relistened to this excellent sermon, Growing in Virtue by Small, Sustained Mortifications.

Plans for this week 
  • Lessons
  • Violin practice for one of my children
  • Choir practice and/or classes for my 6 oldest children
  • Cleaning
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Mass
A picture thought

Sleeping like a baby
5 weeks old

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Saints for April 2014 Calendar

I apologize for not posting this earlier, but we have been busy. :) I hope that everyone is having a blessed and fruitful Lent.

As usual, this month's pieces were made using the calendar published by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a guide. If I have made any errors, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Introducing Our Tie Breaker

On Septuagesima Sunday, we were blessed with our 5th son.

After a very fast labor, Kilian was born via a primary c-section at 5:31 a.m.

He was a healthy 9 lbs 2.4 oz and measured 20 3/4 inches.

We are all in love with our quiet baby boy.

I look at Kilian for hours on end in complete awe, thanking God for him and Our Blessed Mother for her intercession.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Thank you to family and friends, near and far, who prayed for our baby boy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Saints for March 2014 Calendar

As usual, this month's pieces were made using the calendar published by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a guide. If I have made any errors, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Fun

Last Saturday and Sunday, we were all excited to finally get a little snow. The children enjoyed it while it lasted and had a fun time playing outside.

Did he throw it at me?

It's cold!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Keeping the Company of the Saints: St. Francis de Sales

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew." 
~ St. Francis de Sales ~

When I saw Meredith's reminder about this week's Keeping the Company of the Saints, St. Francis de Sales immediately came to my mind. There are many saints that I like who I turn to and who inspire me, including, but not limited to, St. JosephSt. Catherine of Siena (she was my favorite saint when I was growing up), St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Bosco, St. Therese of Lisieux and her parents, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Claude de la Colombiere, and St. Jean Marie Vianney. So, why did St. Francis de Sales come to my mind? I think that it is due to the fact that through his writings, this Doctor of the Church speaks to and inspires me.

"Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in His bosom. Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling simply to God, trusting to His eternal love for you; and if you find that you have wandered forth from this shelter, recall your heart quietly and simply. Maintain a holy simplicity of mind, and do not smother yourself with a host of cares, wishes, or longings, under any pretext."
~ St. Francis de Sales ~

Over the years, I have read An Introduction to the Devout Life (I have an older copy of this book) several times and each time that I have done so, I have found myself pausing and thinking, "I don't remember reading that before, but I so needed to hear it." St. Francis de Sales' writing is so deep that I benefit from it in different ways each time that I read this book. I need the spiritual direction that this great saint offers.

"Kiss frequently the crosses which the Lord sends you, and with all your heart, without regarding of what sort they may be; for the more vile and mean they are, the more they deserve their name. The merit of crosses does not consist in their weight, but in the manner in which they are borne. It may show much greater virtue to bear a cross of straw than a very hard and heavy one, because the light ones are also the most hidden and condemned, aud therefore least conformable to our inclination, which always seeks what is showy."
~ St. Francis de Sales ~

St. Francis de Sales also appeals to me because he had a deep love for our Blessed Mother and consecrated himself to her. In fact, he promoted not only devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but also to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort said that St. Francis de Sales was one of the greatest Marian saints. I cannot help but think that our Blessed Mother had and has a deep love for St. Francis de Sales too.

"Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence."

~ St. Francis de Sales ~

By the grace of God, St. Francis de Sales brought many of the residents of Le Chablais back to the One True Faith that was founded by Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church. On December 8, 1602, during the time of the "Protestant Reformation", St. Francis de Sales was made the Bishop of Geneva. Along with St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Francis de Sales established the Institute of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was canonized in 1665 by Pope Alexander VII and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1877. St. Francis de Sales is one of the many incorruptible saints.

"My past no longer concerns me. It belongs to Divine mercy. My future does not yet concern me. It belongs to Divine providence. What concerns me and what challenges me is today, which belongs to God's grace and to the devotion of my heart and my good will."
~ St. Francis de Sales ~

St. Francis de Sales, ora pro nobis!

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