Wednesday, April 29, 2009
On that note, I would like to encourage you to check out Mark Mallet's post for today. He talks about this in a very comforting way. Whatever is coming, it won't be easy, but if we anchor ourselves properly, we will triumph.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
When I look at it that way, I think it opens up this blog for a wide variety of topics. It is for this reason that I've not found myself limited to posts just on homeschooling. It's why I like to talk a lot about building up your prayer life and about things that will make us think about becoming holier.
With that being said, I found another nugget of gold in the book I've been reading about the Holy Souls in Purgatory called Get Us Out of Here!!" - Maria Simma Speaks with Nicky Eltz. At the end of this book there is an addendum about receiving Holy Communion in the hand. Want to start a heated debate? Bring up this subject in your church group.
The author provides many detailed reasons why receiving the Eucharist in the hand is wrong and why it goes against what the Church and Pope wants. In one section, he makes a comparison to fine art in a museum or to the President of a country and Jesus in the Eucharist. I thought this was such a powerful argument that I'd like to share it with you.
"If museums never let the people touch their most cherished exhibits (just try touching the Mona Lisa, the Hope Diamond or the Declaration of Independence without prior permission!), and if armies of security never let the people touch their Presidents...why do some people still think they may touch the Eucharistic Jesus, our God and our Savior, without such a permission and privilege having been bestowed upon them by the Church and thereby through the Holy Spirit?...When the Consecrated Host is touched by the general public then subconsciously it becomes denigrated to the level of another general blessed thing or object."
I've heard that Pope Benedict will not give anyone Communion in the hand - only in the mouth and if they are kneeling. Of course, many Catholics still don't understand why this is. I think that the example given above is a powerful way to help explain how important the Eucharist really is and why it is so important that only consecrated hands touch the Eucharist.
If you want a much more detailed reasoning on this subject, then I highly recommend you get this book and read it. It is definitely an eye opener! The reason for our existence, after all, is to get to Heaven. It is helpful, therefore, to read and learn about things that will bring us closer to God. According to Maria Simma and the Holy Souls, right now the Church is in the worst shape it has ever been in. Therefore, according to the author,
"God's Holy Church needs truly holy and not somewhat holy men! The tide of ruin is stronger than the mediocre, so how should it be conquered by mediocrity?"
My daughter has a t-shirt that says, "Get Holy or Die Trying". I think that might be a good motto for the times we live in.
Monday, April 27, 2009
He told us that at all times, but most especially during this, the Easter Season, we need to give "immense thanks to God!" God gave us His only Son so that He could die to save us. For that we must be eternally grateful.
Father also reminded us about how much St. Paul talked about the virtue of gratitude. Check out 1 Cor 1:4, 1 Thes 5:18 and 1 Cor 15:57 for some examples.
This is a great quote from the talk:
"Gratitude enkindles charity and inspires our gestures of love toward others, for if it is sincere, it expresses heartfelt affection. Therefore, while gratitude is the sign of the nobility of a soul, ingratitude is one of the worst vices. A lack of gratitude signals a lack of love - at least, a certain negligence in our dealings with others, or at best, a callousness."
It was kind of funny because while he was giving this awesome talk, I kept wishing that my older kids were there to hear it (of course, not because the are especially ungrateful, just because it was such a good talk :) when Father said, "We need to regard our personal lack of thankfulness and correct ourselves with care, rather than concern ourselves with cricisim of others' lack of gratitude, thinking, for example, how 'they should be here to hear this'"! What great timing God has!
Anyhow, I thought I'd jump on the gratitude train and offer up some things that I am grateful for today (or should I say yesterday since I wrote this on Sunday evening but you are not reading it until Monday):
1. The sun coming out to warm up our day after a day and night of rain.
2. Good, wholesome food to eat for dinner
3. Some wonderfully talented young people to listen to at a piano recital today.
4. Good movies to watch, like "Fireproof". We were supposed to watch the second Star Wars movie. Thankfully we borrowed Fireproof instead!!
5. The many, many ways that God shows me He truly does love me, each and every day.
6. A special gift my father gave me this morning without even realizing it.
7. The wonderful family that I am so blessed to be surrounded by.
I hope you have a glorious day and remember, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad"!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Emily update - Emily is doing okay. Some medicine they gave her to control the nausea is helping a bit. The doctor said things are looking better in her mouth. She is such an inspiration to us all in the way that she is fighting for her life and yet keeping herself at peace. I just wanted to share a portion of an email that her mother sent out on Monday:
I usually end with a funny comment but I wanted to take a minute and share my feelings from this weekend. Divine mercy was incredible. I wish we could celebrate this feast everyday. I Prayed for Emily all thru mass. I talked to Jesus and realized, although we have a long road ahead of us, I definitely felt a renewed sense of purpose after this weekend. Emily is suffering for all of us. We are blessed to be a part of it. Jesus chose Emily's heart to take refuge in. He has given her a mission. How lucky for all of us that we get to share in this mission. Everytime you write, pray, think, or talk about Emily you become a part of our lives. So many of you have written to us. Sent her gifts. Prayed. Shared these updates with others.
I believe we are changed by Emily. She is changing us each day she fights. Is she fighting for her life or ours?? Emily's cancer has become a gift of love. Bringing so many of us together. Friends reunited and new friends being made.
I just get to hold her and believe.
Please continue to pray for this amazing girl and her family!
We borrowed the Star Wars Trilogy from my dad this past weekend. After all, I was anxious to show my kids one of the coolest movies from my growing up days. Well, after the first 1/2 hour my husband and I couldn't stop laughing. Movies have come a long way in 30 years, haven't they? My favorite part was when Luke, Leia and Han were caught in the garbage compactor and it's supposed to be a very tense moment. It was then that I realized that there was NO MUSIC. What a huge difference some good, dramatic music makes on a scene. Go back and watch that part and see if you agree.
Speaking of Star Wars, while we were watching it, my husband made a comment that resulted in this: We imagined that about 20 years after Star Wars, a group of movie-making people were sitting around talking about how Star Wars was such a huge hit. Maybe, they said, we should make a movie just like it but in another venue. Outer Space has already been done, so how about..............Pirates. Yeah, that's it, and we'll have people just like in Star Wars, you know, we'll have someone named Cap'n Jack Sparrow for Han Solo, Will Turner will be just like Luke and Elizabeth can play Princess Leia. And then for the villain, instead of Darth Vader on a ship, we'll make him a slimy-looking guy called Davey Jones. The only place they deviated was in not making Davey Jones Will's father. Quite frankly, I think the "Pirates" Trilogy far surpasses Star Wars. Maybe next they'll make three more movies telling us how Jack and Davey Jones got to be the Pirates they are????
Remember the census lady from last week? Well, since then I've had people tell me that maybe that hand-held little computer she had was really trying to tap into our computer or grab our IP address. Something to keep in mind in case a census worker tries to get too close to your house!
This weekend is the monthly Miles Christi Evening/Day of Recollection. If you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a wonderful, spiritual experience, come check it out.
Every once in awhile I would stop and read a section out loud to my family (although at this point I think four of us are trying to read it at the same time). In this little section, the author asks Maria, based on what she has learned from the Holy Souls, what are the gravest sins for children (say ages 6 to 12) to commit? Her response was, "Disobedience and rudeness against the parents are the two worst ones." I read that section with much seriousness to my kids, just waiting for them to fall at my feet and promise that they would never disobey again...(I can hope, can't I???) Oh well, have a very blessed weekend!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
1. Dinner - I am quite hungry right now. (Just a clue, I'm starting this Wednesday evening)
2. Heaven (hopefully), although I'm sure it will be a long road to get there.
3. The Era of Peace - will it ever get here? Will I be around to enjoy it?
5. The day that Blogger decides to fix their weird program so the fonts don't change in the middle of a post for absolutely no reason!
6. The upcoming camping season.
7. Walking around outside without any socks and shoes on.
8. A trip to Hanceville, AL this year - hopefully, sometime, don't know when for sure yet, but I can hope, can't I???
8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Got up - Praise the Lord!
2. Went to Mass
3. Made apple cinnamon muffins from scratch
4. Taught my children some new things
5. Read aloud from a new book - "Ginger Pye" - and so far we all like it!
6. Went to the eye Doctor to discuss my new glasses and why it is I can't see things clearly that are 2 to 3 feet in front of me!
7. Got a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts - Decaf of course
8. Read more from the book "Get us Out of Here!"
8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Climb every mountain...
2. Ford every stream...
3. Follow every rainbow...
4. Till I find my dream :) Okay, so this isn't technically something I can do. HMMM, how about sing like Julie Andrews?
5. Convince people that they are better off forgiving than they are carrying all that baggage around.
6. Live in Hanceville, AL. Although I suppose we could live there, it would just mean being unemployed.
7. Kneel down right now without being in pain.
8. Play music from "Pirates of the Caribbean" with a professional orchestra!
8 Shows I Watch:
1. Sorry, this is going to be very brief because we don't watch TV.
2. We don't have cable and we're too far out for any TV reception.
3. It's been so long since I've regularly watched TV that I don't even remember what we used to watch.
4. Except for maybe Seinfeld.
5. As far as TV shows on video, however, we do tend to watch a lot of "Bob the Builder"
6. Oh, and "Thomas the Tank Engine", too.
7. And I hate to admit that I used to plan my college classes around "All My Children"
8. If I did have cable, we would probably watch EWTN and Animal Planet.
1. Guess what, I don't really know 8 people with blogs of their own. None of my friends around here have one except for...
3. And Rose
4. Then we'll try Theresa
5. And see if Marcus will join us.
6. Well, that's probably about it. :( How about friends that don't have a blog, they could email me and I could read their responses to anyone who is interested????? Come on, Dolores, give it a try. You could do a guest post!
8. Thanks for sticking with me this far! It wasn't as hard as I thought.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So, anyway, today I was reading this really good book called "Get us out of Here" by Maria Simma with Nicky Eltz and it talked about this very topic. The author said that in the last couple of decades, the Exorcism Prayer that used to be part of the Baptismal Rite has been either watered down or entirely left out. She says that because this has happened, it allows evil to affect children more easily. In order to be fully protected, the author maintains that the Exorcism Prayer must be put back into the Baptismal Rite in its full form! I'm glad to see that I wasn't imagining things all this time!
She also said that the St. Michael prayer should be reinstated at the end of every Mass. She claims that by not saying it today, people's protection against evil is weakened when they leave the church. We have been saying it after Mass as a family for years now, but so far we haven't been part of a parish that has picked it up. I have to admit, however, to being in shock when, one Saturday morning at the Cathedral in our somewhat liberal Diocese, the people there prayed the St. Michael prayer as a group. It was very cool and I wish that other parishes would do the same.
This is an incredible book and I hope to bring you more pearls from it as I work my way through it. In the meantime, if you don't already do it, consider adding the St. Michael prayer to the end of the Mass you attend.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
First off, if you haven't read a book out loud together in awhile, you should definitely give it a try. We have found that even if you pick a book at a higher reading level than some of your children, every one seems to still be able to follow along and enjoy the book. Right now my "audience" consists of kids from 4 years old up to 17 years old - quite a range to try and please. So far we've managed to pick books that make everyone happy.
This book was a great mix of adventure, suspense, humor and caring. The story involves a group of rats that have escaped from a scientific laboratory where they had been injected with something that allowed them to learn to read and write. It told of their journey to their new home and how they built up their advanced colony. Mrs. Frisby and her four children are mice who live near the rats. One day she has need of the rats' help and the rest of the story tells of how their friendship builds and how they help each other out in their times of need.
It was quite an enjoyable story that was at a fast enough pace to keep everyone wanting more. I love stopping at the end of a cliff-hanging chapter and making them wait until the next day to pick it up again!
If you're looking for a fun read aloud book, I would highly recommend "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH".
Monday, April 20, 2009
The next one is hysterical! It is a dad and his son, both of Greek origin, doing a Michael Flatly Irish Dancing routine. I can't embed this one either, but it is definitely worth watching. Click here for the link.
Hope you enjoy them and have a good day!
Friday, April 17, 2009
The other night at dinner we were having a math conversation. My husband was "quizzing" Ms 5 yo about addition. He asked her the following question, "If I walked 5 miles and then turned around and walked 2 miles back toward home, how many miles did I walk all together?" Ms 5 yo correctly said, "7". At this point Mr 4 yo chimed in, "But Daddy, you drove home today!"
In case anyone is interested in having their children (or themselves) learn Latin but does not feel comfortable teaching it, check out this webiste. Christine is offering live Latin tutoring via the internet. She also has classes that you can take (if you live in Ohio) as well as Latin coaching. Looks like a great help if you are really interested in learning the language.
We went to the Good Friday service last week in Latin. I've mentioned my feelings about the Latin Mass a few times before, but there is still something tugging at me about it. It helped that our friend was there to lend us a Latin Mass Missal. I know enough Latin to be able to follow along and figure out where we are. Of course, I can only do this IF I DON'T GET DISTRACTED. As soon as I look away, I lose my place and it takes me forever to find it again. Let's just say that not getting distracted is impossible with three children who have no clue what is going on and have no way of figuring it out. Maybe this is best left to people without small children????
Emily update: Our friend Emily started radiation and chemo on her Stage III mouth cancer this week. She is having a rough time of it already because she is reacting poorly to the medication that she gets to keep her salivary glands alive. She has to have this every time she has radiation therapy (which is every day!) and so then she becomes very sick from it. On top of everything, she hates needles but is getting stuck by them numerous times a day. Please keep her in your prayers!
Time for a bit of self promotion :) You can now officially buy Life Of Fred Math books directly from me, in case anyone is interested in a really good math program. We like these books because they are very thorough, give you a great math education and are fun to read! You can order your books through my website! Check it out and thanks for supporting my apostolate.
You may remember that I am a big supporter of the Miles Christi group of priests who preach the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Their home base is near Detroit Michigan, and it is there that they are trying to build the St. Joseph's Family Center. Right now they are hosting an online auction. If you are interested in supporting their efforts, check out the site and bid on some nice stuff.
A US Census worker was in my driveway today verifying that my house exists. She said that this is the first step in the 2010 Census. She said that she needed to get close to the actual structure so that she could punch something in on her hand-held computer to verify that there is a house at this address. I think this 2010 Census could be very interesting.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
DH: It really can't be called Christian anymore, can it?
17YO: How about YMNIPA - Young Men's Nothing In Particular Assoc?
Me: Well maybe YMNDA - Young Men's Non-Denominational Assoc. And it shouldn't just be for men.
17YO: Okay, the YPNDA - the Young Person's Non-Denominational Assoc.
Me: You do realize that even saying Young is discriminatory so it really should be the AAPNDA - Any Aged Person's Non-Denominational Assoc.
There, I think we finally made it as politically correct and inoffensive as it can be. Should I petition the YMCA to change their name or not?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This past Saturday, we looked out our kitchen window and saw a perplexing sight. Here is the evidence:
2 bird feetSome of the feathers - mostly white with some that had gray on the ends, as seen below
A tag that was found by one of the feet
Here are four of the five prime suspects:
What we can't figure out is what kind of bird it was. At first we thought it was a chicken, but to the best of our knowledge, the few neighbors we have don't have chickens. But, what kind of bird would have that many white feathers and be tagged?
Monday, April 13, 2009
Today she begins the eight week process of chemo and radiation in an effort to rid her body of the cancer, which has also spread to at least one lymph node in her neck. Please pray that she is healed and that she and her family are given an abundance of Easter grace so that they remain strong throughout this trial.
Thank you very much!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
For those of you in the grand ole state of Illinois, I just got word that there is a good Catholic young man who is running for Governor. His name is Adam Andrzejewski and, while I don't know him personally, I do know the priest who is recommending him and I don't believe that he would intentionally recommend someone who was not good. Check out his website and follow along with his campaign. I also heard that he would love to come and talk to groups of concerned citizens, so if you are interested in that, give him a call.
I was inundated with quotes this week, a lot of which were really good! I thought I would share some of them with you. Here is the first:
"Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one mustn't misuse it." - John Paul II
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war"
But how is Calvary made visible? Where shall we find Calvary perpetuated?
We shall find Calvary renewed, reenacted, represented... in the Mass.
Calvary is one with the Mass, and the Mass is one with Calvary, for in both
there is the same Priest and Victim. The Seven Last Words are like the
seven parts of the Mass. And just as there are seven notes in music
admitting an infinite variety of harmonies and combinations, so too on the
cross there are seven divine notes, which the dying Christ rang down the
centuries, all of which combine to form the beautiful harmony of the
Here's an update on the ND controversy, taken from Sheila's blog:
I read hear that people don't understand why Catholics are protesting this. Chances are the Catholics protesting this are not the same Catholics that voted for Obama.
Here's another good one from John Paul II:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of the American Society or the wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the antichurch, between the Gospel and the antigospel, between Christ and the antichrist. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God's Plan, and it is a trial which the church must take up, and face courageously.” (Pope John Paul II during a visit to the United States in 1979.)
As we approach Holy Week, I'll end with this (thanks Do for all of this GOOD stuff!):
Poem to Christ Crucified
by Caryll Houselander
There He hangs—pale figure
pinned against the wood.
God grant that I could love Him
as I really know I should.
I draw a little closer
to share that Love divine
and almost hear Him whisper
“Ah foolish child of Mine!
“If I should now embrace you,
My hands would stain you red.
And if I leaned to whisper
the Thorns would pierce your head.
And then I knew in silence
that love demands a price
‘Twas then I learned that suffering
is but the Kiss of Christ.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The USCCB Conscience Protection website has this to say:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is inviting public comment on a proposal to rescind an important federal regulation issued in December. The regulation implements and enforces three federal laws protecting the conscience rights of health care providers, especially those at risk of being discriminated against because of their moral or religious objection to abortion.
The Catholic community must speak out to protect Catholic doctors, nurses and hospitals.
If you would like to send an email to the Department of Health and Human Services, you can go to this page of the USCCB website. The email is mostly composed for you; you can add your own thoughts if you would like. When you are done, it will be emailed to HHS. This is fast and easy to do, so I URGE you to take a moment now and do it!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
This past Friday we went to our Miles Christi Evening of Recollection. During a talk about St. Paul, Father really caught my attention when he began to speak about how we need to strengthen our faith, how we need to be able to stand up for our faith and be ready to immediately defend the Holy Father if he is persecuted. What he had to say sounded very familiar. In fact, had I had the chance, I was going to ask him if he had been reading Mark Mallett, too :)
Then yesterday I got an email that had a video in it from Real Catholic TV. If you've never checked them out, you should, it is quite interesting. They have a section with videos by Michael Voris called "The Vortex". In this video, he is quite forceful. He doesn't hold back any punches. He askes us if we are ready to be RADICAL Catholics; not just good Catholics, but radical Catholics. Are we ready to be so Catholic that our neighbors despise us and want to kill us? Interesting questions. If you have a chance, check it out. It will give you some good food for thought.
Finally, I was doing some blog hopping and I ran across Allison's post about a Mom's retreat she went on this past weekend. Funny thing is, most of the notes she posted from the retreat deal with this same topic about how we need to prepare and what we need to do to stay anchored to the Lord and His Church. Do you think God is trying to get our attention, or what?
As we finish off our Lent and prepare for Easter, let us pray that we will "have what it takes" to withstand whatever it is that may be coming our way.