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

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!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Free Saint Kindle Books by F.A. Forbes

As I was looking for an audio book, I was happy to see that some of F.A. Forbes' books are available for Kindle for free on Amazon at the moment. I prefer to read actual books, but I know that some of my friends like using their Kindle. Click on the pictures to access the books.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ultrasound Observations

Last week, Patrick and Theresa joined me at my ultrasound. They were very cute whispering about the baby. Theresa asked for a photo of the baby's face. Patrick requested a photo of the baby's "chipmunk cheeks" and heart. After the ultrasound, they asked the doctor if they could confirm the baby's gender and swore themselves to secrecy. They are the only two in our family who know whether this baby is a boy or girl and they are being very good about keeping their secret.

When we got to the car, Patrick stated, "I think that Theresa and I would make good doctors." As I drove home, he exclaimed, "Oh look, there is a cross in the baby's heart." Theresa replied, "That's because this is a Catholic baby."

The following morning, Patrick came into the kitchen and said, "Mommy, I think that Dr. M. is the best doctor that we have." The "we" made me smile. This is our baby, so obviously Dr. M. is our doctor. I have to say that I do like our doctor and could easily consider her a friend.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Keeping the Company of the Saints: St. Bernadette Soubirous

 "Every moment that I live I shall spend in loving."
~ St. Bernadette Soubirous ~

The Grotto at Lourdes
The Bells of the Angelus 
The bells of the Angelus, Call us to pray. 
In sweet tones announcing the sacred Ave 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria. 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.  
An angel of mercy, led Bernadette's feet, 
Where flows the deep torrent, Our Lady to greet. 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria. 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.  
Immaculate Mary, Our hearts are all thine. 
Protect us, your children, Who kneel at thy shrine. 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria. 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
The Spring

Several years ago, on the Feast of our Blessed Mother's nativity and the days surrounding it, my husband, Catherine, and I were privileged to visit Lourdes with most of my family and some friends. Prior to thinking about or planning our trip to Lourdes, we learned that I was pregnant and decided that if we had another daughter, we would name her Bernadette. While we were in Lourdes, we read a plaque that shared the date of St. Bernadette's birth and I commented to my husband, "St. Bernadette's birthday is the day after my ultrasound due date."

Catherine at the Grotto

On St. Bernadette's birthday, I went to my doctor for a non-stress test and he told me, "You need to get to the hospital. You're having contractions every two minutes and you're 5 centimeters dilated." I wasn't feeling any pain or discomfort and had no idea that I was in labor. I asked the doctor if I could please call my husband before heading to the hospital. When my husband arrived at the hospital, I said to him, "This is a girl." He asked, "How do you know?" I responded, "Because it is St. Bernadette's birthday and we chose the name Bernadette for a girl." My husband jokingly replied, "Watch the baby be a boy." However, I knew in my heart that our baby was a girl.

Catherine and her daddy at the Grotto

For our daughter's Baptism, her godmother gave her goddaughter Fr. Lawrence Lovasik's Our Lady of Lourdes. Although I had watched The Song of Bernadette many times, I think that this was the first book that I ever read about "our Lady's little servant" and I thoroughly appreciated this children's book.

Some of my family, Bernadette's godmother, and me
outside St. Bernadette's home

As Bernadette grew, I knew that I wanted to teach her more about the patron saint after whom she was named. My parents gave her the video Bernadette: The Princess of Lourdes. My parents-in-law gave Bernadette their old copy of Saint Bernadette (A First Book for Little Catholics) (out of print) by Fr. Gales. I purchased Saint Bernadette Soubirous: And Our Lady of Lourdes by Anne Eileen Heffernan, FSP and Mary Elizabeth Tebo, FSP and the vision book Bernadette: Our Lady's Little Servant by Hertha Pauli. Last February, I read the latter book to all of my children. They all liked listening to and learning from the story. Bernadette expressed an interest in learning more about her patron saint, so I checked Bernadette Speaks: A Life of St. Bernadette Soubirous in Her Own Words by Rene Laurentin out from the library for her. She and her older sister enjoyed this book. We also watched Navis Pictures' film St. Bernadette of Lourdes on either February 11 or 18.


In the spring or early summer of this year, I spoke with Fr. Dennis Gordon, FSSP about the Catholic camps that he was hosting. During our conversation, we talked about St. Bernadette and he recommended the book, Saint Bernadette Soubirous: 1844-1879 by Abbe Francois Trochu. I am thankful that he did so.

My children gave me Saint Bernadette Soubirous: 1844-1879 for Christmas. This book gave me a greater appreciation of and love for St. Bernadette, and a great desire to return with my family to Lourdes and to visit Nevers (I became sick previously, so we didn't make it to Nevers). It also impressed on my mind that St. Bernadette didn't become a saint because she saw Our Lady of Lourdes; rather, she became a great saint because she did her best to live her life according to God's will. Only someone who was living their life according to God's will could write:
"O Jesus, keep me under the standard of your Cross... Let the crucifix be not merely before my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart, alive within me! Let me be crucified alive like Him, transformed into Him by the union of the Eucharist, by meditation on His life, on the inmost feelings of His Heart, drawing souls not to myself but to Him, from this high Cross to which His love fastens me alive for ever!"
~ Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pp. 341-342 ~
This month, as in years past, we will be receiving a call from my dad on February 18 (the day that the French celebrate St. Bernadette's feast day), wishing our daughter well on her patron saint's feast day. He is so good about remembering our special days. I wish that I were better about celebrating my children's name days. I am embarrassed to say that we often do nothing beyond mentioning that it is their patron saint's feast day and praying, "St. ____, pray for us" after our grace before meals. Other times, we will also read a book (if available) and/or watch a movie about the patron saint. Occasionally, we will have a special dessert on a name day. We have a special meal for the feast of St. Agnes on January 21 and the feast of St. Patrick on March 17. Hopefully, by being reminded who they are named after and by learning about their patron saints, my children will fall in love with their name saints and be inspired to live their lives according to God's will, embracing their crosses and thanking God for everything.

"...When you realize that God permits a thing,
you do not complain."

St. Bernadette, priez pour nous!

Immaculate Mary
(sung each evening by candlelight in Lourdes)

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing.
Who reignest in splendor with Jesus our King. 

Ave, AveAve, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria!

In Heaven the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth we thy children invoke thy sweet name. 

Ave, AveAve, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria!

Thy name is our power, thy virtues our light,
Thy love is our comfort, thy pleading our might.

Ave, AveAve, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria!

We pray for our Mother, the Church upon earth,
And bless, Holy Mary, the land of our birth.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria! 

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

The Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes (an easier novena prayer) begins tomorrow, February 2, Candlemas (a.k.a. the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and ends on February 10, the day before the Feast of Our Lady Lourdes. We will be praying one of the above novena prayers for our baby who I will be holding in my arms the day after the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...