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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fr. James V. Schall

has written an excellent article "on saying the Tridentine Mass". The article can also be found here on Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's blog along with Fr. Z.'s comments.

The Queenship of Mary

Let all, therefore, try to approach with greater trust the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and beg for strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in sorrow; above all let them strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin and offer an unceasing homage, filled with filial loyalty, to their Queenly Mother. Let her churches be thronged by the faithful, her feast-days honored; may the beads of the Rosary be in the hands of all; may Christians gather, in small numbers and large, to sing her praises in churches, in homes, in hospitals, in prisons. May Mary's name be held in highest reverence, a name sweeter than honey and more precious than jewels; may none utter blasphemous words, the sign of a defiled soul, against that name graced with such dignity and revered for its motherly goodness; let no one be so bold as to speak a syllable which lacks the respect due to her name.
Ad Caeli Reginam
, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII

*Picture: The Coronation of Mary by Diego Velázquez

Monday, August 20, 2007

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Montessori

When my first child was about six weeks old, I attended a conference and heard about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Everyone at the conference was invited to register for CGS training. I wanted to do so, but I knew that the timing was not right. Thus, I turned to the library and discovered a little gem by Sofia Cavaletti and Gianna Gobbi, Teaching Doctrine and Liturgy: The Montessori Approach. This book, printed in 1964 with photos and pictures, shows how Sofia Cavaletti drew from Maria Montessori in starting what would eventually become the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

I believe that the last paragraph in the book shares the key to the "Montessori method", the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and all successful education.

"The Montessori method is based on love, and the genius of the great educator lies in the fact that she made love the foundation for man's dealing with himself, his fellow men and with God."
p. 132

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Being Open to Life

On Saturday morning, I went to the grocery store with all of our children. My husband had offered to watch some of the children at home, but I told him that I would not always be able to go shopping with our children; one day I would long to have all of our children with me.

As the children and I were standing in the checkout line, the lady in front of me, her cart filled with canned cat food, turned around and said, "My G_ _! Those aren't all your children." I get negative comments so often about our family size that I knew what was coming was not going to be nice. I said a silent prayer, put a smile on my face and stated, "Yes, they are! We have been blessed!" The lady responded, "In the 50s, I went out with a man. When he showed me a photo of his family and I saw that his parents had 14 children, I told him to go to h_ _ _." Without thinking, I replied, "Let's pray that God has mercy on your soul."

I then turned to my children and talked to them about not using God's name in vain, etc.

As we walked to the van, a lady stopped us and said, "Oh, it's so nice to see a large family!" We talked for a bit and she gave me a hug. I am so thankful to God for placing that lady in the parking lot.

Families with one or two children often have a cross to bear because people assume that they have chosen to limit their family size, when this is far from the truth. Large families also have a cross to bear...they have to live with the negative comments about their family size, comments that are made in the presence of their children. I have several friends who are open to life, have been blessed with one or two children and long for a larger family. I pray for them and when they share their sorrow with me, I remind them that Mary and Joseph only had one child and theirs was the perfect family. I hope that they pray for me, too, and rejoice with me when I hear a positive comment about the size of my family. In the end, family size is not going to determine whether or not we get to Heaven, being open to life, following the examples of the saints, knowing, loving, and serving God will.

Holy Family
by Esteban Murillo

Saturday, August 18, 2007

An Afternoon in the Life of Patrick

Recently, I heard my mommy tell someone that I am getting easier. Although I know that I have been keeping my mommy busy, my reputation was still on the line. Thus, on Thursday afternoon, I knew that it was time to take action. When my mommy went to put Finnian down for his afternoon nap, I snuck into the kitchen. The floor looked like a wonderful art canvas. The only problem...I did not have time to climb on the counters to get the art supplies (besides, I have done that before). Therefore, I decided to make a composition in whites and off-whites. I began by pouring the parmesan cheese all over the kitchen floor. Then I took the oatmeal out of a cupboard and scattered it on the floor. At this point, Theresa came into the kitchen. With an audience, I knew that I had to be even more creative. I started to throw the sugar all over the kitchen and me. I had emptied a third of the sugar container when Brendan entered the room and ruined my fun by taking the container away from me and calling Mommy.

Notes to self: Next time I decide to make a work of art, I need to make sure that Mommy and Brendan are busy.
Throwing things on myself results in Mommy giving me a bath.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Dangers of Cough Medicine

Cough and cold medicines can be dangerous for young children. The full story can be found here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Prayers Needed

Please pray for my dad. He is scheduled for an angiogram on Friday (Thursday night here). He has been having debilitating heart palpitations since finishing (or maybe while he was still receiving) chemotherapy. The palpitations had seemed to be under semi-control, but started again recently. Please keep my dad in your prayers. He tends to downplay his suffering, so I do not know how serious his condition is.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ride4US Donate4US

Ride4US raises money to purchase ultrasounds for Care Net Pregnancy Centers and other crisis pregnancy centers in Washington by hosting a Ride, Run, Walk and Family Fun Day at Pt. Defiance Park. Last year, Care Net of Pierce County performed 578 1st Trimester ultrasounds on pregnant women in crisis; upon seeing the beginnings of little fingers and toes, 560 women chose life. The power of ultrasound is a light in the darkness - 97% CHOSE LIFE!! This year Ride4US is trying to raise enough money to purchase two ultrasound machines for Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Tacoma.

Please visit our Ride4US fundraising webpage and make a donation for life in my daughter's name. Your gift will echo into eternity.

All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you to everyone who has already donated. Catherine is almost halfway to her goal of $500.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Family Movies

My husband undertook a semi-big project this weekend, transferring home movies to DVD. We watched our wedding video for the first time. Words cannot describe my feelings. We saw our trip to Lourdes, France and Switzerland and I marveled at my husband's documentary. The children enjoyed seeing Lourdes and were fascinated with their dad's comments about "the wall of shame" in Switzerland. I enjoyed seeing video of my mom (although there wasn't enough of it). I hope to eventually be able to share some of the videos, but more importantly watching the videos made me want to return to the countries that some of my family call home. I wish we could have gone with our daughters last October, but God knows what is best.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Now is the time to pray for Gloria Strauss

Here are links to Gloria's Site and a recent newspaper article. Below is the most recent update.

Dear Friends,

Unfortunately, this Gloria update does not contain good news. The night before last, they had to increase the amount of pain medicine from 45 to 50mg per hour. Yesterday, they ended up working their way up to 100mg. The first 50mg had taken three weeks, but now 50mg more wasn’t working. Just as her body had become used to the morphine, this pain medicine doesn’t seem to be helping any more. She is in constant pain. This morning, her breathing became labored. Dr. Park had told them yesterday that the cancer is pushing against her lungs, causing this to happen. They drove up to Children’s earlier this morning.

The family is asking that everyone pray, pray harder than ever. We are not giving up. With God, all things are possible. He can heal Gloria. They have always known it will get worse before it gets better and that has happened. Now we are praying that God will take her cross so that she can have her healthy life back. This time is especially difficult for Doug and Kristen. Please pray that God will give them strength and comfort. Please spread the word to people (email, phone, Myspace, word of mouth, however), we need as many people praying as possible.

We are going to be having another prayer gathering in our home tonight (Saturday, August 11). We know that God will be listening to our payers. “Where two or more are gathered, There I am in their midst.” Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come. The need for prayer right now is great. We will begin at about 8:00. Thank You for the prayers you have been saying for Gloria. Doug scolded me yesterday because I forgot to specifically tell people that the Strausses are very, very grateful of all the prayers. They know that people are always lifting them up in prayers. Doug had said to let everyone know, “We love them all and thank them so much.” If you can’t make it tonight, please just pray from wherever you are. This is so much bigger than any of us realize and while you pray, know that you are among hundreds, perhaps thousands of people storming the Heavens for this miracle.

Dear Lord,
Help us to concentrate on this miracle, to give up some portion of our busy day to pray for the Strausses. Cast out all of our anxieties, doubts, and despair. Fill us with trust and faith in You. You can do anything Lord, You can heal Gloria. Please wrap the family in Your loving embrace so that they might feel comfort and love. Send peace into their hearts. Most of all, Lord, we ask You to touch Gloria with Your loving hand. Hold her in Your arms and wipe out all of her cancer. Please stop her suffering Lord, so that she may live to give glory to You for years and years to come. Thank You for being with us Lord. We know that You will never abandon us. Amen.

Once again, Thank You,

Theresa Brennan

Please storm Heaven for Gloria and her family.

Yard Work with Daddy

During breakfast, my husband asked our children to help him weed a little later. The children eagerly agreed. Ten minutes after going outside with Daddy, the children started to wander inside with "pet" grasshoppers. I gave them containers for the grasshoppers with strict orders to keep their "pets" outside.

Patrick is now crying, "My grasshopper escaped in the house."

I have a feeling that this is not the first grasshopper that will or has escaped in our house.

Beetles, earthworms, potato bugs, and spiders have preceded the grasshopper.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Poetry Friday

A Saintly Wish
by C.F. Alexander

Lift up our thoughts, lift up our songs,
     And let Thy grace be given,
That while we linger here below,
     Our hearts may be in heaven.

Feast of St. Laurence

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


When I miscarried Mary Frances on November 12, 2003, Brendan had a very difficult time. He cried a lot and asked his dad and me questions that we found difficult to answer. Today, our little boy was reading "A Story about the Angels" in These are Our Neighbors to me. He read, "Some day our angel will take us back to God. If we love and obey God, we will go to heaven." All of a sudden, he stopped reading and said, "Oh, that's why God let Mary Frances die! She loved Him and He loved her so He wanted her to live with Him. We need to love and obey God because we will die one day. And then our angel will take us to live with Him in heaven, too."

DDT Banning Leads to Rise in Malaria

Growing up, my dad used to tell us that DDT used to be used regularly when he was younger to kill mosquitoes and eradicate Malaria. He did not understand why DDT was banned. Most of his relatives who were also exposed to DDT are living healthy, long lives (80 to 100+ years). Thus, the following article from National Geographic caught my attention, Bedlam in the Blood Malaria.

HT: LifeSite News
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