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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Personal Reading

Below are the books that I read in 2010.  Those that I did not finish will remain in my sidebar and be included in my 2011 personal reading list.

The Christian Mother: the Education of Her Children and Her Prayer by Rev. W. Cramer, translated by a Father of the Society of Jesus
This book would be appropriate as a wedding gift or as a gift for young mothers.

The Eternal Galilean by Fulton J. Sheen

This is the second or third time that I have read this book.  It is excellent!

I will most likely reread this book. One of the many things that struck me was the fact that during (or immediately prior to) the French Revolution, the government forced the nuns to dress in lay clothing. I could not help, but reflect on the fact that today, some nuns actually choose to not wear a habit.

Previous Personal Reading Lists:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Lady's Knights

Our youngest sons were delighted to receive these costumes for Christmas (the paper crowns were not included). Finnian has stated more than once, "I am a Knight of Glory." I call them "Our Lady's Knights". Both boys have only taken off their costumes to go to Mass, eat, and sleep. I enjoy seeing them dressed up and listening to their chivalric discussions.

Friday, December 24, 2010


"The son of God made man was invited to enter His own world through a back door. Exiled from the earth, He was born under the earth, in a sense, the first Cave man in recorded history. There He shook the earth to its very foundations. Because He was born in cave, all who wish to see Him must stoop. To stoop is the mark of humility. The proud refuse to stoop and, therefore, they miss Divinity. Those, however, who bend their egos and enter, find that they are not in a cave at all, but in a new universe where sits a Babe on His mother’s lap, with the world poised on His fingers."
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ, pp. 28-29

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Divinity is always...

"If the artist is at home in his studio because the paintings are the creation of his own mind; if the sculptor is at home among his statues because they are the work of his own hands; if the husband-man is at home among his vines because he planted them; and if the father is at home among his vines because he planted them; and if the father is a home among his children because they are his own, then surely, argues the world, He Who made the world should be at home in it. He should come into it as an artist into his studio, and as a father in his home; but, for the Creator to come among His creatures and be ignored by them; for God to come among His own and not be received by His own; for God to be homeless at home—that could only mean one thing to the worldly mind; the Babe could not have been God at all. And that is just why it missed Him. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it."
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ, p. 28

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Divinity is always...

"No worldly mind would ever have suspected that He Who could make the sun warm the earth would one day have need of an ox and an ass to warm Him with their breath; that He Who, in the language of Scriptures, could stop the turning about of Arcturus would have His birthplace dictated by an imperial census; that He, Who clothed the fields with grass, would Himself be naked; that He, from Whose hands came planets and worlds, would one day have tiny arms that were not long enough to touch the huge heads of the cattle; that the feet which trod the everlasting hills would one day be too weak to walk; that the Eternal Word would be dumb; that Omnipotence would be wrapped in swaddling clothes; that Salvation would lie in a manger; that the bird which built the nest would be hatched therein--no one would have ever suspected that God coming to this earth would ever be so helpless. And that is precisely why so many miss Him. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it."
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ, p. 28

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas Piano Recital

On Saturday, I took my five youngest children to Catherine's Christmas piano recital. Elizabeth sat on my lap (slightly shaky video) quietly listening to all of the students. Catherine and her piano teacher's daughter played a duet of Ding Dong Merrily on High and then Catherine played Sonatina in C Major by William Duncombe. She was satisfied with the duet, but disappointed with how she played the sonatina. The children and I simply enjoyed listening to her play.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Divinity is always...

"There was no room in the inn, but there was room in the stable. The inn is the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of the world's moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful. But the stable is a place for the outcasts, the ignored, the forgotten. The world might have expected the Son of God to be born--if He was to be born at all--in an inn. A stable would be the last place in the world where one would have looked for Him. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it."
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ, p. 28

Gentle Reminders

A couple of weeks ago, I made a mistake. I responded to someone out of anger and without thinking. The next day, I responded to the person out of pride. I left a message, apologizing a day or two later, but the individual still isn't speaking to me. I have gone to confession and am trying to remember to pray for her regularly. I am also reading gentle reminders about how I should have responded.

Based on my pastor's recommendation, I try to read My Daily Bread by Fr. Anthony J. Paone each morning. In the days following my blunder, I read about conquering bad habits.  More specifically, I read about conquering anger, impatience, fault finding, and rash judgements. I needed to read Fr. Paone's gentle reminders and I wish that I had read these passages before I offended this individual.

Rash Judgments
MY CHILD, mind your own business, and do not set yourself up as the judge of those around you. There is a good deal that you do not know about your neighbor. It is not easy to judge others as they deserve. Be wise and leave all judgment to Me.
2. It is far more profitable for you to look to yourself and judge yourself. You can do a great deal about correcting your own faults. As for the faults of others, the best you can do is to give good example, offer a bit of advice where it will help, and say a sincere prayer for the persons involved.
3. Your concern over your neighbor's faults, does not always arise from a virtue in you. Some people annoy you because you are not minding your own business, or because you have not yet learned patience and understanding.
People are not always at fault when they get on your nerves. The real fault is often in you. I suffered many things in silence for your sake. How often do you suffer in silence for Me?
Get to work and correct your own faults. You will then be too busy to be annoyed by the faults of others.
How much peace of soul I could enjoy if only I could learn to mind my own business. judging others is such a waste of precious time. I am so often wrong when I think ill of others. If I dislike someone, I feel inclined to judge him more harshly than others. If God were my main interest, I would never think ill of anyone, even those who really offend me. How often I am aroused against someone because, knowingly or unknowingly, he has opposed my pride or selfishness in some way. I should not expect everyone to see things my way. Every man is different and each one has his own tastes and experiences. So often God excuses those whom I condemn.
My Lord, I long for a ray of heavenly wisdom, so that I may not be unreasonable in my judgments and opinions about others. You treat each person as an individual. You do not ask me to be like others in my ways. You only want me to take the talents and circumstances in my life, and to make the most of them. You ask us to imitate You as far as we are able, according to the intelligence and grace which each one has. Let me not judge rashly those who do not do things my way. I want to follow Your holy Will in all things. Though I observe the mistakes and faults of others, I will try to refrain from any harsh judgments. If I cannot say something kind of another, I will keep silent. Amen.
Fr. Anthony J. Paone, My Daily Bread, pp. 79-80 

Friday, December 03, 2010

Music Resources that Make Great Gifts

Cedarmont Kids - Toddler Tunes: My parents-in-law gave this and two other Cedarmont Kids videos to my three oldest children when they were five and under. All of my children have enjoyed watching these DVDs and singing the familiar songs.

Classical Kids: Collection: My sister-in-law gave these to our family as a Christmas gift when we only had two children. They have been listened to repeatedly over the years. I am thankful that she introduced us to this wonderful series.

Music Masters Full Set of 18 CDs: I first read about these CDs in Laura Berquist's Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. I checked them out from the library several times and finally purchased them from Adoremus Books last year. My children like listening to these and definitely learn a lot, but they prefer the Classical Kids CDs mentioned above. Adoremus has the best price that I have found on the Music Masters set.

Opal Wheeler's books about musicians. Opal Wheeler wrote numerous children's biographies about various composers, including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Handel, Haydn, Thcaikovsky, and more. Thankfully, our library carries most of these books and they have always been available to check out as needed.

Piano Explorer Magazine: My daughter's piano teacher introduced us to this magazine. It is a great little magazine that includes:
• Composer biographies
• Music history
• Instruments
• Theory, practice tips, composing ideas
• Beginner's Corner
• Music Corner (featuring student compositions)
This month, my daughter (and the rest of us) are learning a little bit about Brahms. The subscription is inexpensive and costs even less when ordered at the group rate.  Their website contains supplemental information for the composer, including Youtube links to performances of the various pieces that were written by the composer.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Feast Day Books to Read During Advent and Christmastide

Picture Books:
December 6:  The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi
Saint Nicholas by Ann Tompert
The Miracle of Saint Nicholas (Golden Key Books) by Gloria Whelan
December 8:  Mary: The Mother of Jesus by Tomie dePaola
December 12:  The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola
December 13:  Lucia, Saint of Light by Katherine Bolger Hyde
December 26:  Good King Wenceslas by John M. Neale, illustrated by Tim Ladwig
January 6:  The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola
We Three Kings by Gennady Spirin

The Legend of Saint NicholasSaint NicholasThe Miracle of Saint Nicholas (Golden Key Books)Mary: The Mother of JesusThe Lady of GuadalupeLucia, Saint of LightGood King WenceslasThe Legend of Old BefanaWe Three Kings
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