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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Answer

Almost two years ago, I committed my children and I to going to Mass at our parish one extra day a week. Recently, due to the distance, I had been questioning whether or not I could continue doing so during the school year. Last week, I found my answer rereading a passage in a book and it corresponded with what my husband had been encouraging me to do.
"Fidelity is the other great aid of this epoch of the spiritual life. What is meant by it is this. Even although we may not be living under a rule of life, still as a matter of fact the duties and devotions of one day very much resemble those of another. It is practically as if we promised God certain things and a particular round of religious observances: so much so that conscience reproaches us whenever we causelessly intermit any of them. Thus these daily observances come to be a kind of condition of our perseverance. They acquire a sort of sanctity, and become the ordinary channels by which God pours His grace into our souls. The tempter sees all this, and estimates this daily perseverance at its just value. He puts forth all his strength to throw us out of it, and makes us fretful and irregular. He makes it feel heavy to us as a weight of lead. Or he represents it to us as a dangerous formality. Or he reminds us that we are not bound to it either by obedience or by vow. Or he contrives that we should read something that was meant for scrupulous persons, and mistakenly apply it to ourselves. Or he makes us fancy that such regularity is not good for our health. Any pretext will do, so long as he can allure us into unfaithfulness either to the movements of grace or to our routine of spiritual exercises. His anxiety to make us unfaithful is the token to us of the paramount importance of fidelity.
The legitimate decay of our first fervors, when their time was accomplished, has naturally thrown us more upon ourselves. This is an anxious thing, though it was always intended, and must have come sooner or later. But one consequence of it is that it has become more necessary than ever for us to wear a yoke of some kind, and to learn what ascetical writers call the spirit of captivity. This is of great value to us, as it makes all our conquests and acquisitions real, and preserves them for us. Moreover we stand in need of cheerfulness to face the long outstretching desert that lies before us; and nothing keeps alive in us a holy joy more effectually than fidelity to grace and our appointed observances. The sense of wretchedness which follows frequent or habitual laxity drives us to seek consolation from creatures, and to re-enter the world that we may have the pleasure of forgetting ourselves there awhile, and hiding ourselves from the merciful persecution of exciting grace. Besides which the formation of virtuous habits is interrupted by our unfaithfulness, and this weakens our whole position, and makes our future harder, while actual ground also is lost by the intermission. In a word, fidelity is the raw material of perseverance; and to perceive this, is to see that its importance cannot be exaggerated."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fruit of Aging

Theresa: "Mommy, I was looking at photos of you after you had Brendan and you used to be so thin."

Theresa: "Mommy, you used to look pretty.  You had pure black hair and young skin."


Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweetly Important

Last week, as the children were riding their bikes, Finnian walked over to me and the following conversation took place.

Finnian: "Mommy, I need to talk to you about something."

Me: "What do you need to talk to me about?"

Finnian: "Well, I need to tell you something."

Me: "What do you need to tell me?"

Finnian: "I like you."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Hummingbird

We have been enjoying watching hummingbirds this summer.  Yesterday, Brendan used my little Canon to take photos and a short video of one of our guests.  He is hoping to get a video of the hummingbird in the sun, so that its colors are fully visible.

Happy Birthday to Our Blessed Mother!

Updated: The slideshow has been updated with more videos and photos taken by Brendan. Some of the photos were taken with my husband's Canon (it takes great pictures). I am amazed by my son's ability to follow a hummingbird with a camera. I couldn't do nearly as well as him. The 4 minute slideshow is worth watching in its entirety.  :)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Third Man on the Mountain

Third Man on the Mountain
Last night, we watched Third Man on the Mountain. My husband had seen it many years ago, but it was the first time that the children and I had seen it.  We thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  

The movie is based on a true story.  Rudi, is the son a famous mountain guide who died while trying to save the life of a climber on the 'Citadel' (the Matterhorn). As he washes dishes, Rudi dreams about climbing to the top of the Citadel and placing his father's red shirt there. Unfortunately, his mother and uncle do not want him to climb, but as Elizabeth (Rudi's sweetheart) states, trying to stop Rudi from climbing mountains, "would be like trying to bottle up the wind." As the film progresses, Rudi and the viewers learn an important lesson about sacrificing desires and putting others first.

The film was made in 1959, when Disney still knew how to make family movies. I was pleased to see that a crucifix hung above the bed of Elizabeth and that Rudi prayed before a little shrine.  The beautiful Swiss scenery and intriguing story line kept all of our attention.

We will be adding this movie to our collection.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Picture Books for Second Week of Kindergarten

Each day, after lunch, I sit on the couch with Patrick (and any other children who want to join us) and read him a picture book of his choosing.  Last week's books can be found here.  This week's books are listed below.

The Little IslandThe Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown (aka Golden MacDonald), illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
This book is a well-known classic that follows the little island throughout the seasons, sharing the visit of a little kitten and the "secret" that it learns.

A Boat for Peppe by Leo Politi
Peppe, a Sicilian boy, lives on the coast of California where his father is a fisherman.  Peppe has a friend, Geramia, for whom he gathers shells.  Prior to the festival for the feast of St. Rosalia, Geramia gives Peppe a gift which he has been wanting.  We enjoyed reading how this coastal town celebrated the feast of Finnian's godmother's name saint.

The Cat in the HatThe Cat in the Hat  by Dr. Seuss
I am assuming that everyone has heard of this book, and the antics of the cat, and thing one and thing two.

I was surprised that Elizabeth listened to the whole story.

Night of the MoonjelliesNight of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha
Mark Shasha tells the story of when he was seven and spent the summer with his grandmother, helping her at her little restaurant, Mar-Gra, returning a glowing moonjelly to the sea and seeing the beauty of all the moonjellies in the sea at night.

HomeplaceHomeplace by Anne Shelby
This is a beautiful story of a family, its ancestors, and the house in which they live over the years.  I thoroughly enjoyed how the author described how a great-great-great-great-grandparent, a great-great-great-grandparent, a great-great-grandparent, a great-grandparent, a grandparent, her daughter, and her granddaughter grew.  I also appreciated the little glimpses of family life years ago.  Patrick (and my other children) liked listening to the story and requested it again.

Please note, I also read picture books to my three youngest before bed, but I am not keeping track of those titles.
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