Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Answer These New Years Questions...

Dainelle Bean asks From Faith and Family:

1. Did I grow closer to God in the past year? How will I grow closer to God this year?

2. What is one new thing I will pray for this year?

3. What would I consider my worst habit and what can I do to work on it in the coming year?

4. What is the one thing I will do in the coming year that will most benefit my family?

5. What is the most important decision I made last year or will make this year?

6. What new habit would I most like to adopt this year?

7. What is one new skill I would like to learn the coming year?

8. What was the most important book I read last year/want to read this year?

9. What are my talents and what will I do to better serve God and the Church with them in the coming year?

10. What is one thing that I regret in the past year and what can I do about it in the new year?

I will get back to these in a couple of days...deep meditation...

Thy will be done!!!+JMJ+

new year resolution...

My New Year’s Resolution

I am sure I will regret publicly telling everyone, especially my teenagers, what I am striving for this year!

As in many years past, I will resolve once again on being a better wife and mother. If you are not a wife or mother, hold on and you just might pick up on some good tips for living.

My parents were wonderful, not perfect as none of us will ever be, but wonderful just the same!!! They raised nine great children, I am sure our spouses will protest. Me being the baby, and as spoiled as can be, even to this day!!!

My dad worked hard to meet the needs of a growing family and trying to instill a love for God, Family, and Country. Sometimes taking a second job so to let my mom stay home and care for us. My mom was and is the perfect example of how to be a great wife, mother, and housekeeper. She taught me mainly by example and taught me over and over again not to “sweat the small stuff” and “If I can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all”!!! My mom made her vocation as a housewife an art. Her day centered on serving a nice dinner to her family, having the house in order when my dad got home, and looking her best.

That is definitely a lost art in today’s world. Granted families are not structured the same as they were 30 years ago, but we could still learn a thing or two from that generation. With so many demands on families we have to be creative in our approach to life.

I would like to share some ideas I have gotten from a well passed around copy of a 1950’s Home Economics book with advice to women on how to have a successful marriage. I am sure many of you have read it already, but it is worth reading again.

Before I lose half my readers, hold on and think about how to apply this to your life; either as a single person, single parent, or working family. You just might pick up on a nugget or two.

Of course that is most of our ideal. There are nights when 4pm rolls around and I still scramble to find something to feed my brood. My advice is to be simple. Planning ahead is great, but don’t stress out. Many stores now offer prepared meals to buy and although pricey they sometimes are necessary. Even if you are single, food preparation is healthier for your body.

I used to watch in amazement as my mom ditched the house coat and put on some makeup and brushed her hair. Wow! What a transformation! We laugh, but I have found that when I look nice, I feel nice. We all need a boost, especially at the end of the day. No matter what your profession, looking nice is important.

This is one of my biggest problems. In this day and age we all have so much stuff!!! A couple of years ago I utilized a system from “The Flylady”. Even thou I don’t follow everything she says, I did learn a thing or two from her website or her book. My town and other areas also have an online group called freecycle which helps get rid of unwanted stuff. Just Google your town's name and freecycle and you will find it. Just don’t get in the trap of getting more stuff you don’t need.

Don’t laugh, even if it is a reminder that dad or mom is coming home so to welcome them, there are many ways to do this no matter what your family schedule is. We all can try to make those around us feel loved, missed, or appreciated.

This sounds silly but we live in a busy world. Having some quiet time isn’t unthinkable. Even if it is just turning down or off the TV, radios, or many other noisy things in our life, every little bit helps. If I could just find the on and off button on my kids…

Tip 6: SOME DON’T’S.
Don’t greet each other with complaints or problems. We all can utilize that one no matter who we are. Let us start our new year by being positive and not criticize everyone and everything.

Don’t delete this; just think how to make those around you more comfortable. Work on attention to detail. Offer small kindnesses to those we come in contact with. It doesn’t have to be slippers and a pipe.

How about listen to THEM, we can all work on this common courtesy. Whether family, friends, or those we are in contact with we should remember to use eye contact and not to interrupt others. Especially with children, if we listen we would be surprised at the wisdom they have, not to mention how hilarious they can be!

Let us change this to make the evening as stress free as possible. HA you say! Families deal with tons of homework, sports, and other time consuming activities which are good and fun. They just take over our lives. Even single people have crazy schedules. We just need to sit back and relax a while, it is important for our well being. We need to use this time of year to reevaluate and down size our activities.

Tip 10: THE GOAL.
It says to try to make your home a place of peace and order. We all want that, and if we try to follow some of the first nine goals, I bet we will gain more each year.

If you are still with me and aren’t rolling on the ground laughing at my suggestions and try some. I just bet we would all be a little more enjoyable to be around, which makes our communities more enjoyable to live in.

Happy New Year!

Christmas Crafts:

This years craft was to take wood cut outs and glue lots of junk on them. The spray with shalac. Pretty easy and lots of fun!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Twenty-Second Chapter
Remember the Innumerable Gifts of God

The Disciple
OPEN my heart, O Lord, to Your law and teach me to walk in the way of Your commandments. Let me understand Your will. Let me remember Your blessings—all of them and each single one of them—with great reverence and care so that henceforth I may return worthy thanks for them. I know that I am unable to give due thanks for even the least of Your gifts. I am unworthy of the benefits You have given me, and when I consider Your generosity my spirit faints away before its greatness. All that we have of soul and body, whatever we possess interiorly or exteriorly, by nature or by grace, are Your gifts and they proclaim Your goodness and mercy from which we have received all good things.

If one receives more and another less, yet all are Yours and without You nothing can be received. He who receives greater things cannot glory in his own merit or consider himself above others or behave insolently toward those who receive less. He who attributes less to himself and is the more humble and devout in returning thanks is indeed the greater and the better, while he who considers himself lower than all men and judges himself to be the least worthy, is the more fit to receive the greater blessing.

One more time:
He who attributes less to himself and is the more humble and devout in returning thanks is indeed the greater and the better.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What would I do with out my big kids help?

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Twenty-first Chapter
Above All Goods and All Gifts We Must Rest in God (part two)
click here for part one

Who, O most beloved Spouse, Jesus Christ, most pure Lover, Lord of all creation, who shall give me the wings of true liberty that I may fly to rest in You? When shall freedom be fully given me to see how sweet You are, O Lord, my God? When shall I recollect myself entirely in You, so that because of Your love I may feel, not myself, but You alone above all sense and measure, in a manner known to none? But now I often lament and grieve over my unhappiness, for many evils befall me in this vale of miseries, often disturbing me, making me sad and overshadowing me, often hindering and distracting me, alluring and entangling me so that I neither have free access to You nor enjoy the sweet embraces which are ever ready for blessed souls. Let my sighs and the manifold desolation here on earth move You.

O Jesus, Splendor of eternal glory, Consolation of the pilgrim soul, with You my lips utter no sound and to You my silence speaks. How long will my Lord delay His coming? Let Him come to His poor servant and make him happy. Let Him put forth His hand and take this miserable creature from his anguish. Come, O come, for without You there will be no happy day or hour, because You are my happiness and without You my table is empty. I am wretched, as it were imprisoned and weighted down with fetters, until You fill me with the light of Your presence, restore me to liberty, and show me a friendly countenance. Let others seek instead of You whatever they will, but nothing pleases me or will please me but You, my God, my Hope, my everlasting Salvation. I will not be silent, I will not cease praying until Your grace returns to me and You speak inwardly to me, saying: “Behold, I am here. Lo, I have come to you because you have called Me. Your tears and the desire of your soul, your humility and contrition of heart have inclined Me and brought Me to you.”

Lord, I have called You, and have desired You, and have been ready to spurn all things for Your sake. For You first spurred me on to seek You. May You be blessed, therefore, O Lord, for having shown this goodness to Your servant according to the multitude of Your mercies.

What more is there for Your servant to say to You unless, with his iniquity and vileness always in mind, he humbles himself before You? Nothing among all the wonders of heaven and earth is like to You. Your works are exceedingly good, Your judgments true, and Your providence rules the whole universe. May You be praised and glorified, therefore, O Wisdom of the Father. Let my lips and my soul and all created things unite to praise and bless You.

Dear Lord, I am sorry when I wine and complain about my tiny amount of sadness or suffering. This meditation is another amazing testimony of your love and grace. Help me to better serve you and be the joyful servant you created me to be.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Welcome New Baby...

Congrats Nicole!!! Big Natural delivery!!!

Christmas House Tour...

Faith & Family is having a Christmas House Tour...and since I am still celebrating the Birth of Christ (and way behind posting my Advent pictures) I thought I would join in!!! These are the wonderful Gingerbread houses my kids make each year with their "Aunt Rosemary" She has blessed us with this gift for about 10 years. She is a professional!!! My Little Cecilia was too young this year so her three big siblings who didn't get to make one this year helped her with the last one on the right. (I think they had more fun than she did!!!)

These mittens were a gift from a "godparent" aren't they darling!!!
This is our Naivety set we got 1/2 price last year for our Christmas gift. The Wise Men have been getting darling neighbor girls keep watching for them to get closer!!!

I wish I had a before and after picture of the Stable...It was a large crate from England out of my neighbors I was dragging it across the street he and his grandson's pulled up:) My teens were so embarrassed!!! But, they got out of the car and carried it to the chosen spot. They were thrilled it was going to good use and took a photo to send to England from the sender!!! I am so the recycler!!!

Front entrance...on top of my really cool wooden lockers.

MY HOLY FAMILY center piece...

Our life size Advent Calender...we use our window panes...and window paint...then add our feast days and Jesse Tree ornaments.

Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Lucy (from TJ Maxx) on the right!!!
My St Nicholas Display...With my son's picture on the bottom corner...

Our Advent/St. Lucy's Day this year...

I know I am a little late, but I finally have time to post about our Advent. Even thou we try to celebrate Advent as a time of penance and preparation...we have so much going on at our home!!! Dec. 1st we celebrate a birthday...the 4Th St. Barbara's day -for our "Babs", then St.Nicholas Day, off to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and we love St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe has been my favorite for 16 years!!! Than we celebrate another birthday, and we have a mother/daughter cookie exchange with 5o of our favorite people!!! And of course the Blessing of our baby Jesus' where we had about 40 kids and their parents over...oh yea-there was the annual family Christmas party we hosted with 70 of our (my) favorite relatives....part of being the youngest of nine. Then Christmas Eve-getting our tree, and decorating it, finishing up all the photo albums I was making for family...our meatless dinner-my hubby made. Exchanging Advent angle gifts with the kids...wrapping stocking stuff for 10 children...we sent Br. Joshua his stuff. Not to mention staying sane, healthy, and our eyes on the CHRIST CHILD!!! Not to mention...still trying to celebrate Christmas till Epiphany and not yell too much about all the junk-I mean toys they got from everyone!!!

So here are my little St. Lucy's after they served their brothers and two sisters in bed...we just couldn't get over the two oldest choosing to sleep, over our coco and treats...

All in a day's sweep...real life blogging!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It is still Christmas in our house!!!

These are some of our all time favorite books.

This awesome rack came from my pal down the street. I used it for Thanksgiving for decorations and Advent/Christmas for books. I plan on putting our hats, gloves, and scarfs in it soon!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Happy Feast...found this from two years ago!!!

I thought I would share this amazing homily From Father Cummings to help prepare for this Sunday's feast of the Holy Family.

Enjoy, meditate, and pass on!!! This message is so wonderful!!!

Holy Families

We're still celebrating Christmas of course, when Christ came into the world to renew it, BEHOLD, He said, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. Thanks to Him, civilization is being transformed, through the Church, into something altogether new, the Kingdom of God. And how did Christ begin? He spent thirty years at home, in His own home. The home, the family, is the first thing that Christ sanctified. Notice also, what was His first sign that made His disciples believe in Him? He changed the water into wine at Cana. By that sign, He showed that He was elevating married love, from natural love to supernatural Love, and henceforth, marriages were to be holy and the beginning of holy families. As our present Holy Father says, "The Holy Family is the beginning of countless other holy families."

Just as Christ began His mission with the family, so also we must begin with the family. The family is the cell of society, likewise, the Christian Family is the cell of the Church, of the Kingdom of God. That's why St. Paul calls it the Domestic Church. Our families are to be the agents of change in our culture. The time for renewal of our families is long overdue. Now we have no choice, either return our families to sanity and to sanctity of the Church and our society falls totally apart. Obviously we have to look to the Holy Family as our model. We must remember that the Holy Family is also the model of Religious Life, those who live out the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. But recall that all Christians, though they do not take those formal vows, they have to live those evangelical counsels according to their state in life. Poverty, chastity and obedience are the antidotes to the three enemies of our soul, the world, the flesh and the devil. They're what St. John mysteriously called the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. And so how you live poverty, chastity and obedience in your families, makes a good examination of conscience of how holy your family is.

Poverty, you have to remember, is a virtue not a problem It means simplicity, austerity, self denial. Financial strain that is voluntarily chosen and embraced out of love, either because of tithing or because of welcoming more children is a blessed thing. Likewise reduced income resulting from having only one income is a most beautiful way of choosing poverty out of love. It brings a family together like glue. Remember the Holy Family was poor. That's clear when they brought two turtledoves as their offering, that was the offering of the poor. It's a blessing to wear hand-me-downs, to share rooms, to have to make up simple games instead of having computer ones. A simple life, remember, leads to a prayerful life, leads to more dependence upon God and His providence. And a family that prays together, stays together.

An early Christian document written only fifty years after the death of the last Apostle, written to the emperor of the time, describing Christians, reads, "And their wives, O king, are pure as virgins, their daughters modest and their men refrain themselves from all unlawful intercourse and uncleanness." How much we wish we could still describe Christian families that way. Every Christian mother should be looked up to as a genuine reflection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, totally beautiful, by husband and by children on account of her purity of heart. Chaste hearts are hearts which are selfless. The body is to express self-giving, never self-seeking. For conjugal love to be wholesome and even holy, it is essential that spouses always remain in Christ's grace and never separate their married love from its orientation of procreating children. Only chaste parents can raise chaste children, especially in a culture that is demonically set on destroying these ideals. At a very young age personalities are getting warped, vocations are getting lost and the seeds are being sown for the broken families of tomorrow. The greatest evil of all,the inability to see God, even permanently, is also occurring. Chastity, we must remember, cannot flourish in isolation, without all of the other virtues that we just heard St. Paul list; patience, self-sacrifice, humility, piety, self-discipline, most of all bound together by love. The family has to be a gymnasium of all the virtues.

Then finally obedience: Paul speaks in another place, of mutual submission of husband and wife, out of reverence for Christ. This may be the most important element in this triad of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. The most important and also, the most overlooked. Our culture prides itself on independence and personal choice as the highest of all goals. But no, the husband and wife should freely submit themselves to each other in their respective areas of authority. Each has a place where their authority should be unquestioned. As one of the Holy Fathers said, "If the man is the head of the house, the woman is the heart." Children, of course, should obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord, as we just heard from St. Paul. There is no law of psychological development that says that all teenagers must become rebellious and disrespectful. That's an aberration, even if it's the norm, not to be expected or accepted but resisted with the help of the sacraments, careful training at a young age, and great respect for each child. For which reason Paul adds, FATHERS, DO NOT PROVOKE YOUR CHILDREN, LEST THEY BECOME DISCOURAGED.

Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Let us use this time of purification, to purify our families, convert our hearts to be more like those in the house at Nazareth. Let us ask the Lord for forgiveness for all the errors of our past, so that we'll not only find happiness in our life, but we'll lead society a step closer to being one big family in Christ Jesus.

WOW...wasn't that amazing!!! If your interested in reading more of Fr. Cummings homilies than purchase his book titled Making God the Joy of Our Soul. Copies available from John and Miriam Lademan, 1677 Pleasant Plains Rd. Annapolis, Md 21401.

God Bless our families on this special feast in the Church calendar!!!

Happy, Holy feast of the Holy Family!!! JMJ!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Twenty-first Chapter
Above All Goods and All Gifts We Must Rest in God

The Disciple:
ABOVE all things and in all things, O my soul, rest always in God, for He is the everlasting rest of the saints.

Grant, most sweet and loving Jesus, that I may seek my repose in You above every creature; above all health and beauty; above every honor and glory; every power and dignity; above all knowledge and cleverness, all riches and arts, all joy and gladness; above all fame and praise, all sweetness and consolation; above every hope and promise, every merit and desire; above all the gifts and favors that You can give or pour down upon me; above all the joy and exultation that the mind can receive and feel; and finally, above the angels and archangels and all the heavenly host; above all things visible and invisible; and may I seek my repose in You above everything that is not You, my God.

For You, O Lord my God, are above all things the best. You alone are most high, You alone most powerful. You alone are most sufficient and most satisfying, You alone most sweet and consoling. You alone are most beautiful and loving, You alone most noble and glorious above all things. In You is every perfection that has been or ever will be. Therefore, whatever You give me besides Yourself, whatever You reveal to me concerning Yourself, and whatever You promise, is too small and insufficient when I do not see and fully enjoy You alone. For my heart cannot rest or be fully content until, rising above all gifts and every created thing, it rests in You.(From- Augustine, Confessions)

My Lord and God thank you for the many gifts you bestow upon me and my family. Keep us on track and help me desire the following:
To love you more than
health and beauty,
honor and glory,
power and dignity,
knowledge and cleverness,
riches and arts,
joy and gladness,
fame and praise,
sweetness and consolations,
hope and promise,
merits and desires,
gifts and favors,
and joy and exultation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

I have been using this site for the Imitation of Christ.

The Twentieth Chapter
Confessing Our Weakness in the Miseries of Life

The Disciple (part two)

Alas! What sort of life is this, from which troubles and miseries are never absent, where all things are full of snares and enemies? For when one trouble or temptation leaves, another comes. Indeed, even while the first conflict is still raging, many others begin unexpectedly. How is it possible to love a life that has such great bitterness, that is subject to so many calamities and miseries? Indeed, how can it even be called life when it begets so many deaths and plagues? And yet, it is loved, and many seek their delight in it.

Many persons often blame the world for being false and vain, yet do not readily give it up because the desires of the flesh have such great power. Some things draw them to love the world, others make them despise it. The lust of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life lead to love, while the pains and miseries, which are the just consequences of those things, beget hatred and weariness of the world.

Vicious pleasure overcomes the soul that is given to the world. She thinks that there are delights beneath these thorns, because she has never seen or tasted the sweetness of God or the internal delight of virtue. They, on the other hand, who entirely despise the world and seek to live for God under the rule of holy discipline, are not ignorant of the divine sweetness promised to those who truly renounce the world. They see clearly how gravely the world errs, and in how many ways it deceives.

Dear Lord give me the wisdom to see the false temptations that I struggle with and the prudence I need to follow you.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Twentieth Chapter
Confessing Our Weakness in the Miseries of Life

The Disciple
I WILL bring witness against myself to my injustice, and to You, O Lord, I will confess my weakness.

Often it is a small thing that makes me downcast and sad. I propose to act bravely, but when even a small temptation comes I find myself in great straits. Sometimes it is the merest trifle which gives rise to grievous temptations. When I think myself somewhat safe and when I am not expecting it, I frequently find myself almost overcome by a slight wind. Look, therefore, Lord, at my lowliness and frailty which You know so well. Have mercy on me and snatch me out of the mire that I may not be caught in it and may not remain forever utterly despondent.

That I am so prone to fall and so weak in resisting my passions oppresses me frequently and confounds me in Your sight. While I do not fully consent to them, still their assault is very troublesome and grievous to me, and it wearies me exceedingly thus to live in daily strife. Yet from the fact that abominable fancies rush in upon me much more easily than they leave, my weakness becomes clear to me.

Oh that You, most mighty God of Israel, zealous Lover of faithful souls, would consider the labor and sorrow of Your servant, and assist him in all his undertakings! Strengthen me with heavenly courage lest the outer man, the miserable flesh, against which I shall be obliged to fight so long as I draw a breath in this wretched life and which is not yet subjected to the spirit, prevail and dominate me.

Lord, please help me with the small temptations like Christmas cookies as well as the large temptations like not keeping my mouth shut! PLEASE say some prayers today for two very holy women undergoing stressful situations in their marriage with infidelity. May our Lord protect all marriages from the snares of the devil!!!


Friday, December 19, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Nineteenth Chapter
True Patience in Suffering

The Voice of Christ
WHAT are you saying, My child? Think of My suffering and that of the saints, and cease complaining. You have not yet resisted to the shedding of blood. What you suffer is very little compared with the great things they suffered who were so strongly tempted, so severely troubled, so tried and tormented in many ways. Well may you remember, therefore, the very painful woes of others, that you may bear your own little ones the more easily. And if they do not seem so small to you, examine if perhaps your impatience is not the cause of their apparent greatness; and whether they are great or small, try to bear them all patiently. The better you dispose yourself to suffer, the more wisely you act and the greater is the reward promised you. Thus you will suffer more easily if your mind and habits are diligently trained to it.
Do not say: “I cannot bear this from such a man, nor should I suffer things of this kind, for he has done me a great wrong. He has accused me of many things of which I never thought. However, from someone else I will gladly suffer as much as I think I should.”
Such a thought is foolish, for it does not consider the virtue of patience or the One Who will reward it, but rather weighs the person and the offense committed. The man who will suffer only as much as seems good to him, who will accept suffering only from those from whom he is pleased to accept it, is not truly patient. For the truly patient man does not consider from whom the suffering comes, whether from a superior, an equal, or an inferior, whether from a good and holy person or from a perverse and unworthy one; but no matter how great an adversity befalls him, no matter how often it comes or from whom it comes, he accepts it gratefully from the hand of God, and counts it a great gain. For with God nothing that is suffered for His sake, no matter how small, can pass without reward. Be prepared for the fight, then, if you wish to gain the victory. Without struggle you cannot obtain the crown of patience, and if you refuse to suffer you are refusing the crown. But if you desire to be crowned, fight bravely and bear up patiently. Without labor there is no rest, and without fighting, no victory.

The Disciple
O Lord, let that which seems naturally impossible to me become possible through Your grace. You know that I can suffer very little, and that I am quickly discouraged when any small adversity arises. Let the torment of tribulation suffered for Your name be pleasant and desirable to me, since to suffer and be troubled for Your sake is very beneficial for my soul.

Interesting thought in our final days of Advent...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Eighteenth Chapter
Temporal Sufferings Should Be Borne Patiently, After the Example of Christ

The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, I came down from heaven for your salvation and took upon Myself your miseries, not out of necessity but out of love, that you might learn to be patient and bear the sufferings of this life without repining. From the moment of My birth to My death on the cross, suffering did not leave Me. I suffered great want of temporal goods. Often I heard many complaints against Me. Disgrace and reviling I bore with patience. For My blessings I received ingratitude, for My miracles blasphemies, and for My teaching scorn.

The Disciple
O Lord, because You were patient in life, especially in fulfilling the design of the Father, it is fitting that I, a most miserable sinner, should live patiently according to Your will, and, as long as You shall wish, bear the burden of this corruptible body for the welfare of my soul. For though this present life seems burdensome, yet by Your grace it becomes meritorious, and it is made brighter and more endurable for the weak by Your example and the pathways of the saints. But it has also more consolation than formerly under the old law when the gates of heaven were closed, when the way thereto seemed darker than now, and when so few cared to seek the eternal kingdom. The just, the elect, could not enter heaven before Your sufferings and sacred death had paid the debt.

Oh, what great thanks I owe You, Who have shown me and all the faithful the good and right way to Your everlasting kingdom! Your life is our way and in Your holy patience we come nearer to You Who are our crown. Had You not gone before and taught us, who would have cared to follow? Alas, how many would have remained far behind, had they not before their eyes Your holy example! Behold, even we who have heard of Your many miracles and teachings are still lukewarm; what would happen if we did not have such light by which to follow You?

Dear Lord, Thank you for being my best friend. I love you and don't appreciate all you do for me. Please help me to be the apostle You created me to be!!! Help me complete my advent with fervor to do Your Holy Will!!!

Thy will be done!!!+JMJ+

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't forget to keep celebrating Christmas...

For years we have tried to keep Advent-Advent and Christmas-Christmas...I try to keep the excitement of Christmas going at least until Epiphany. I even try to go till Candlemas Day...we love the liturgical year!!! Lots of stuff out there for this celebration.


IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Seventeenth Chapter
All Our Care is to Be Placed in God

The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, allow me to do what I will with you. I know what is best for you. You think as a man; you feel in many things as human affection persuades.

The Disciple
Lord, what You say is true. Your care for me is greater than all the care I can take of myself. For he who does not cast all his care upon You stands very unsafely. If only my will remain right and firm toward You, Lord, do with me whatever pleases You. For whatever You shall do with me can only be good.

If You wish me to be in darkness, I shall bless You. And if You wish me to be in light, again I shall bless You. If You stoop down to comfort me, I shall bless You, and if You wish me to be afflicted, I shall bless You forever.

The Voice of Christ
My child, this is the disposition which you should have if you wish to walk with Me. You should be as ready to suffer as to enjoy. You should as willingly be destitute and poor as rich and satisfied.

The Disciple
O Lord, I shall suffer willingly for Your sake whatever You wish to send me. I am ready to accept from Your hand both good and evil alike, the sweet and the bitter together, sorrow with joy; and for all that happens to me I am grateful. Keep me from all sin and I will fear neither death nor hell. Do not cast me out forever nor blot me out of the Book of Life, and whatever tribulation befalls will not harm me.

Dear Lord, help me to say and mean...the prayer above. I am so weak and I do so love the many consolations you send me. I am a selfish and spoiled brat, thank you for all you have given me and my family. Send me Your Spirit so I can be strong during sufferings and temptations.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Girls series...

Any one heard of these? I plan on buying them for my 14 and 12 year old daughter. I have been looking for Catholic girls books for years!!!


My dear are my good helper who doesn't "usually" are the athlete who loves every sport and are Cece's Rob-Rob and a great big brother to all. We love you and are so proud of you. God has great plans for you...we can't wait to see what they are!!! I love you my sweet boy. God bless you as you turn nine!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Sixteenth Chapter
True Comfort Is to Be Sought in God Alone

The Disciple

WHATEVER I can desire or imagine for my own comfort I look for not here but hereafter. For if I alone should have all the world’s comforts and could enjoy all its delights, it is certain that they could not long endure. Therefore, my soul, you cannot enjoy full consolation or perfect delight except in God, the Consoler of the poor and the Helper of the humble. Wait a little, my soul, wait for the divine promise and you will have an abundance of all good things in heaven. If you desire these present things too much, you will lose those which are everlasting and heavenly. Use temporal things but desire eternal things. You cannot be satisfied with any temporal goods because you were not created to enjoy them.

Even if you possessed all created things you could not be happy and blessed; for in God, Who created all these things, your whole blessedness and happiness consists—not indeed such happiness as is seen and praised by lovers of the world, but such as that for which the good and faithful servants of Christ wait, and of which the spiritual and pure of heart, whose conversation is in heaven, sometime have a foretaste.

Vain and brief is all human consolation. But that which is received inwardly from the Truth is blessed and true. The devout man carries his Consoler, Jesus, everywhere with him, and he says to Him: “Be with me, Lord Jesus, in every place and at all times. Let this be my consolation, to be willing to forego all human comforting. And if Your consolation be wanting to me, let Your will and just trial of me be my greatest comfort. For You will not always be angry, nor will You threaten forever.”

This meditation really speaks to my heart this morning. I was sent a nasty email from a family member about my "archaic Catholic" opinion. I was so upset and my feelings were hurt. I usually don't let stuff bug me and I didn't think I had feelings...ha! Oh how my soul loves consolations. May God grant us the words to spread His love and grant us the wisdom to speak them clearly.


Monday, December 15, 2008



Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a little voice says, 'Because I love you best.'
Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade...It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother...

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows everything!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE - Mother doesn't know much at all.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother is hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That woman is way out of date! 25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.....

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shopping advice:

Another great resource for Christmas that I found at the Homeschoolmom I call this gift-giving approach Target (not the store) Giving. Simply put, Target Giving uses planning, customization and careful record-keeping to make sure that everyone on your gift list receives a gift they will truly appreciate. In addition, you (the gift-giver) are able to reap the joys of a less hectic, more organized season of giving.

Here's how Target Giving works:

- Step 1
Grab a spiral notebook or open a new file on your computer. Mark your first page 'Holiday 2005' Then list everyone for whom you'll need to have a gift. Don't forget the 'small' or 'overlooked' gifts, such as teacher appreciation gifts, business gifts, etc.

- Step 2
By each name, jot down any quick ideas that come to mind of things that person enjoys. Books, games, lunch out, anything at all. The more brainstorming you do at this stage the easier your shopping will be later on. Add suggestions you may have received throughout the year. Give quick calls or emails to ask family members or other close associates what they know about the gift recipients needs and wants. Pay close attention to dislikes, too, and note any such comments in your notebook/computer file.

- Step 3
Allow a space or insert a column by each name to note when you need to give the gift. Give yourself some leeway and make this date a few days earlier than you actually need. That way you build some flexibility into your schedule. Count up the total number of gifts you will be purchasing and divide by the number of weeks left until you will start delivering them. This will tell you how many gifts per week you need to shop for.

- Step 4
Now jot down on your regular calendar/planner one day a week that you need to look at your Target Gift List and choose two, three, or whatever amount of gifts you need to purchase that week. Write those names in your regular planner or on a shopping list.

In addition...
- note the gift ideas you have already compiled next to the recipient's name and choose two or three ideas that you like the most.
- Often a new idea will come to mind during this time. Mark it down, as well.

The point is, this is the time to organize your actions for this task. Spending a few minutes customizing your gift selections at this point can save you real time - sometimes hours - later while shopping.

Key Tip:
- Not only is this the point at which many of us lose control of our time management for this task, it's also the point we shift from giving what we really want (something the recipient will truly appreciate) to giving impulsively whatever jumps off a store display at us.

The main idea here is...
- DON'T GO SHOPPING until you have narrowed down your choices to two or three definite ideas per gift. When you get to the store, if you see something that's even better, great! In any case, you are prepared to BUY and not just endlessly LOOK.

You get the idea!

- Step 5
Examine your regular schedule and decide when you're going to shop, where you're going and what (probably) you're going to purchase. Then do it!

Target Giving also allows you to take advantage of sales and specials. Because you are focusing on only a small amount of gifts at a time, your brain can easily alert you to appropriate sales notices you naturally come across each week. In this way, you are not only using Target Giving, you are also utilizing Focused Shopping!

- Step 6
A simple tip. Remember to take advantage of all of your options. Making use of lunch time, shopping by catalog or internet, delegating the job to someone more qualified or less busy, are all examples of making use of your resources. You could assign a chunk of the gift shopping this year to your teenager, for example. It's a great way to learn about budgeting time and money, as well as discovering the joys of giving.

- Step 7
After the gifts are purchased, wrap and label immediately. Include a note (to yourself) on the package reminding you when and where the gift should be given. Mark the day each gift needs to be delivered on your regular calendar; then store until the proper time to give.

- Step 8
Lastly, make sure you note in your Target Giving List what you actually gave each recipient. That way you'll have a record of gifts in the coming years and can easily prevent duplication.

Using Target Giving, by the time the holidays arrive you will have completed most or a large portion of your gift shopping. Then you can relax and delight in watching your gifts be appreciated, enjoying the blessings of giving!

Colleen Langenfeld delivers deals, tips and creative resources to working moms who want the most out of their homes, families and careers at . Sign up for our free newsletter and get an online Creativity Toolkit as our gift to you!

Recipes from the

I found these great ideas here:

By: Deborah Taylor-Hough
( from A Simple Choice: A practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity)

The following recipes are for various mixes that you can give for special treats, and even for whole meals.

Just nestle all the ingredients that go together in a basket, and decorate! Maybe include a small kitchen utensil, a dish towel, or a festive ornament.

For the following mix gifts, include a typed, handwritten or calligraphied label with preparation instructions.

Winter Solstice Tea Mix
2 cups Tang or other orange-flavored drink mix
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup instant tea
1 3oz. packet lemonade mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves

Label: Put 1 to 2 teaspoons into a cup or mug. Fill with boiling water and stir for a wonderful Winter's day treat.

Corn Bread Mix
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup dry milk powder
1 Tbsp. baking powder

Sift ingredients together and put into a bag.

Label: Put dry ingredients into mixing bowl. In small bowl, combine 1 cup water, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup oil. Stir into dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into a well-buttered pie plate. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden.

3 cups dried beans (pink, red, or kidney -- sorted). Put into a jar or large bag. 3 Tbsp. mild chili powder
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onions
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine spices and put into a small bag.

Include in your gift basket:
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice

Label: Wash beans. Put into pot with spices. Cook until done, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, brown 1 lb. ground beef (if desired), and drain. Add meat to the beans with the tomatoes and sauce. Simmer to blend flavors. Serve with Chili Corn Bread, if desired.

For: Chili Corn Bread

Include in the package with the Corn Bread Mix, 1 small can whole kernel corn and 1 small can diced green chiles (not the hot kind). Stir the well-drained corn and chiles into the corn bread just before baking. Bake in a well- buttered 8" square pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
3 cup black beans, sorted -- put in jar or bag.
3 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
3 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. crushed oregano
2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (do not omit)

Combine spices in a small bag.

1 1/2 cups white rice in a seperate package.

Label: Wash beans. Put in pot with seasonings. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and cover beans with 2" water. Bring to boil and simmer until very well done (about 2 hours). Beans should be very soft. Add water as needed to keep beans from sticking. There should be some liquid left on beans when done. To cook rice, put 3 cup water and 1 tsp salt into a pot and when it boils, add rice. Lower heat, cover and steam for 20 minutes. Serve about 1/2 cup rice in bowl, and put beans on the top. Sprinkle with minced cilantro, finely chopped green onion, and a squeeze of lime juice. This is very healthy. It has almost no fat, and is mainly from the bottom of the food pyramid.

Cajun Red Beans and Rice
3 cups red beans, sorted -- put into jar or bag.
1/4 cup dehydrated onion
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1/4 cup dehydrated celery (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (do not omit)
2 tsp. salt

Combine seasonings in a small bag.
1 1/2 cups white rice in a seperate packet.

Label: Wash beans, put into pot with spices and 1/2 to 1 lb. pork neck bones, smoked. Cook until beans are well done and meat falls from bones. Take out bones, and shred meat into small pieces. Serve in large bowl with cooked white rice on bottom. Garnish with finely minced green onion, and pass bottle of hot sauce. To cook rice: Bring 3 cup water and 1 tsp. salt to boil. Add rice, cover and steam for 20 minutes.

Serve this dish with Cornmeal Pancakes. Use Corn Bread Mix, but add 1 1/2 cups water instead of just 1 cup. Make small, thick pancakes in a greased skillet, and serve with the beans and rice.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe...

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been my favorite for about 16 years. I am guessing my attraction was the fact that she was pregnant in this image. I also received great graces 16 years ago when I had my only miscarriage and my friend took my plea for another baby to her shrine. It was weeks after my miscarriage that I became pregnant with my son Caleb. My third birth and Our Lady interceded for eight more...ok, Our Lady were ready again!!! Thy will be done, right?

I have really enjoyed doing the Novena To Our Lady. I loved the prayers and the petitions.

Dear Lord give me gentleness and strength, lively faith to do your Son's holy will, walk valiantly, fortify my will, help me obtain an abundance of graces, multiply priestly vocations, help us live a holy life and educate our children, and help us fulfill our duties in our State In Life!!!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Fifteenth Chapter
How One Should Feel and Speak on Every Desirable Thing

The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, this is the way you must speak on every occasion: “Lord, if it be pleasing to You, so be it. If it be to Your honor, Lord, be it done in Your name. Lord, if You see that it is expedient and profitable for me, then grant that I may use it to Your honor. But if You know that it will be harmful to me, and of no good benefit to the welfare of my soul, then take this desire away from me.”

Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good. It is difficult to be certain whether it is a good spirit or a bad one that prompts one to this or that, and even to know whether you are being moved by your own spirit. Many who seemed at first to be led by a good spirit have been deceived in the end.

Whatever the mind sees as good, ask and desire in fear of God and humility of heart. Above all, commit the whole matter to Me with true resignation, and say: “Lord, You know what is better for me; let this be done or that be done as You please. Grant what You will, as much as You will, when You will. Do with me as You know best, as will most please You, and will be for Your greater honor. Place me where You will and deal with me freely in all things. I am in Your hand; turn me about whichever way You will. Behold, I am Your servant, ready to obey in all things. Not for myself do I desire to live, but for You—would that I could do this worthily and perfectly!”

A Prayer that the Will of God Be Done
Grant me Your grace, O most merciful Jesus, that it may be with me, and work with me, and remain with me to the very end. Grant that I may always desire and will that which is most acceptable and pleasing to You. Let Your will be mine. Let my will always follow Yours and agree perfectly with it. Let my will be one with Yours in willing and in not willing, and let me be unable to will or not will anything but what You will or do not will. Grant that I may die to all things in this world, and for Your sake love to be despised and unknown in this life. Give me above all desires the desire to rest in You, and in You let my heart have peace. You are true peace of heart. You alone are its rest. Without You all things are difficult and troubled. In this peace, the selfsame that is in You, the Most High, the everlasting Good, I will sleep and take my rest. Amen.

Wow!!! My mantra my soul's desire...if only I could repeat this in the midst of selfishness and pride!!! This will be copied and left everywhere to remind me what my life is all about!!!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Fourteenth Chapter
Consider the Hidden Judgments of God Lest You Become Proud of Your Own Good Deeds

The Disciple (part two)

Oh, how humbly and lowly should I consider myself! How very little should I esteem anything that seems good in me! How profoundly should I submit to Your unfathomable judgments, Lord, where I find myself to be but nothing!

O immeasurable weight! O impassable sea, where I find myself to be nothing but bare nothingness! Where, then, is glory’s hiding place? Where can there be any trust in my own virtue? All vainglory is swallowed up in the depths of Your judgments upon me.

What is all flesh in Your sight? Shall the clay glory against Him that formed it? How can he whose heart is truly subject to God be lifted up by vainglory? The whole world will not make him proud whom truth has subjected to itself. Nor shall he who has placed all his hope in God be moved by the tongues of flatterers. For behold, even they who speak are nothing; they will pass away with the sound of their words, but the truth of the Lord remains forever.

Lord Jesus King of my heart, please help me to be one who has placed all my hope in you!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Thanksgiving...

As I prepared my family for Thanksgiving this year I pondered on how thankful they really are. I especially wondered if they were thankful for their Catholic faith and being part of a crazy big family. Thanksgiving in our home is more than just a day. This year we started our preparation on Tuesday as we rushed through our school work and got in over our heads in crafts and decorating for our guests on Thursday. I thought of the many families who had family away due to military assignments and those who lost loved ones this year. How hard it would be for them to be “Thankful”. It made my own sadness at not having my son with us for the first time, who is in the seminary this year, a little less upsetting knowing he is in a safe and wonderful place discerning God’s will for his life.
The crafts took over the house and I kept thinking “Are we Thankful?” Thank God for my 12 and 14 year old daughters who took over the projects as I tried to set the table for 25 and figure out who would sit next to whom? My poor husband was working from home that day and at one point walked into our crazy mess of scissors, glue, and paint. I couldn’t help to think “Is he Thankful?” do we make him glad to be the father of 11? I looked around the kitchen at craft central and wondered why I started this mess?! As homeschoolers we do the bulk of our crafts during holidays and around the liturgical year. My husband always jokes that if the kid’s college diploma doesn’t land them a job, they can always get jobs as camp counselors doing crafts all day! The funny thing is that the three oldest actually work at a kids camp in the summer!
Tuesday night ended with rearranging the kitchen furniture, making sure all the kids were happy with the person they were sitting next to. Hmmm…”are they Thankful?” about the relationships they have with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents? Then to add to the excitement, (as if we have a boring life), my teenage son decided to have some buddies sleep over a tent in the backyard in 34 degree weather!!! They were bound and determined to make it through the night, and they did make it till 6 am until their feet were half froze.
Wednesday was cleaning day so I got up early, got on the treadmill, went to 6:30am mass, and hit the grocery store before all the crowds got there. My wonderful husband decided to surprise me and work from home again. It was nice to just have another adult around to support my craziness…and “I was very Thankful.” I wanted to start the cleaning right away but I was serving waffles and hot chocolate to the teenagers as well as my other darlings….”Am I Thankful?” crossed my mind over and over again, as I wiped up syrup off the floor, wall, and everywhere else!!! My 12 year old took over finishing the crafts so I could concentrate on all the kids cooking for the Family Bakeoff, where each person brings a dish (appetizer, side, or dessert) to be judged by all for overall favorite!!! My teenage son and his buddies played football all day with the little boys, which kept them outside and out of my hair. It was nice to be so “Thankful” for my teenager…or any teenager for that matter!
That night I took my son to boys club with my two little girls and my husband decided it would be smart to just pick up pizza to help with the “kitchen situation”. So we laid a table cloth on the playroom floor and ate pizza and watched 101 Dalmatians. It was really exciting especially since the four youngest hadn’t seen it before. We were all “very Thankful!” Then off to bed for the kids and back to work for momma who had lots of last minute kitchen stuff to do! The little guys clothes were all set out and rooms cleaned. I also got to utilize one of my favorite rules about kids coming out of their beds and having to do a job for me…so I got both dishwashers emptied by those dawdlers and some extra work too!!! I was “very Thankful” to finally get to bed at 1am. Not my usual 9:30pm bedtime by any means, but I felt happy to know that everything was set for Thanksgiving Day.
Thursday the baby woke up around 6:30am and I was on the move. I said some quick morning prayers of Thanksgiving and that we would have a good day and all would be “Thankful!” Grandma knocked at the front door around 8am to bring some last minute stuff like dinner napkins, her dish, and other fun goodies! As usual I was and always will be “Thankful” for this wonderful friend and mother-in-love who is my right hand! Thanksgiving morning means getting to our favorite 10 am mass at our parish Sacred Heart in Bowie. It is an amazing mass full of all of our favorite people. This year we had one on the altar serving, one in the children’s choir, and one sitting with the group of altar servers. Of course I got to hang in the foyer with the one year old that just can’t seem to keep quiet in church! After a quick hello to all our friends after mass we rushed home to get the big guys off to the 20th annual Turkey Bowl Football game down the road with family and friends. I actually think that is one of the most “Thankful” things my kids are grateful for on Thanksgiving Day. I stay home with the little guys for naps and touch up all that last minute stuff. After the game they come home to clean up and wait for the family to start to arrive. We start to eat, play more football, watch football, eat, play more football, have our Thanksgiving dinner, lay around watching football and whatever movies are showing, and start eating desserts! Than time for the little guys to go to bed and the rest of us lay around in front of the TV till we have to drag ourselves off to bed. My mom used to have the house perfect after the holiday crowds left but I left the leave the kitchen still pretty messy and get off to bed anyway!
Friday we usually just recuperate from the day before until we all go cheer on the teenagers at the youth group Turkey Bowl football game. The little guys decided that it was the best Thanksgiving ever! I was again “Thankful” for my sweet hubby who made Turkey soup. The crazy mom in me said yes to the little boys and my 12 year old daughter, to sleeping out in the freezing tent before it was put away for the winter. It was pretty comical. I felt like the princess in the pea with 20 blankets, pillows, comforters, and layers and layers of clothes! My seven year old had on 10 pairs of socks! I know they were “Thankful”; I appreciated the memory, not the lack of sleep, just the time with them.
Saturday ended our Thanksgiving as we headed up in the attic to get out the Advent stuff. Thank you God for this time of preparation for the coming of Your son. Thank you too for a family that learned once more the importance of being “Thankful”.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Prayers for Christa...

Prayer request here!!!


OK...yesterday I talked about him...than this happened!!! Will I ever kiss him again?


Thursday, December 4, 2008


My wonderful husband gave me a kiss this morning...then he said, "I feel like I am kissing a fourteen year old", hmmm, I pride & vanity thought good thoughts...cause I am so young, so pure, I had to ask..."why?" He looked at me with his sardonic smile and said "because of your complexion." You see I have had a weird bout with zits on my chin and forehead...I thought I paid my dues in my teens...well, it is coming back. Is this part of my mid life crisis? Maybe my body is just in shock at not being pregnant...this is almost a record for me, I have only gone once this long without being pregnant in 20 years...not happy about it either...OK, I know I am blessed and I will keep quiet and say:


IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Fourteenth Chapter
Consider the Hidden Judgments of God Lest You Become Proud of Your Own Good Deeds

The Disciple
YOU thunder forth Your judgments over me, Lord. You shake all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul is very much afraid. I stand in awe as I consider that the heavens are not pure in Your sight. If You found wickedness in the angels and did not spare them, what will become of me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and I—I who am but dust—how can I be presumptuous? They whose deeds seemed worthy of praise have fallen into the depths, and I have seen those who ate the bread of angels delighting themselves with the husks of swine.

There is no holiness, then, if You withdraw Your hand, Lord. There is no wisdom if You cease to guide, no courage if You cease to defend. No chastity is secure if You do not guard it. Our vigilance avails nothing if Your holy watchfulness does not protect us. Left to ourselves we sink and perish, but visited by You we are lifted up and live. We are truly unstable, but You make us strong. We grow lukewarm, but You inflame us.

Dear Lord please visit us, lift us up, inflame us with your Holy Spirit and make us strong!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A new Bishop...

I wrote the following for my local paper:

It is with great joy and pride when I heard that on Nov 18th Pope Benedict XVI named Monsignor Barry Knestout, as an auxiliary bishop, for the 140 parishes in the Washington diocese, to be ordained a Bishop at St. Matthews Cathedral on Dec. 29th. This is the first Bishop ever from my town, as well as Prince Georges County. I can see Bishop John Carroll smile down from heaven as he sees the fruit from his call in June 1783, when a small group of priests met at the chapel, then called Whitemarsh, and now known as Sacred Heart Chapel right here up on the hill in Bowie, MD, were here to discuss how the Catholic Church in the new United States would be governed and its property managed. Carroll was then chosen to become the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and was sent to England to be consecrated a bishop on August 15, 1790. Who would of thought that my town would be so blessed with so many vocations to the priesthood as well as becoming a bombing community of wonderful people.
Now anyone who grew up in the 70’s around here had to encounter this amazing family!!! The late Deacon Mr. Knestout served as a deacon at St Pius X Catholic Church and his wife Carolyn raised nine great children. To know that our very own streets had kids playing in them like Monsignor Barry who attended St. Pius X elementary school and Bowie Senior High School before receiving a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Maryland in December 1984. In 1985 he entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD to study for the priesthood and was ordained a priest in June 1989. He received the title Monsignor in 1999 by Pope John Paul II. In my teens I hung out with his brother Mark, the eighth of the nine and another great guy! It was so exciting when Mark joined his brother and was ordained a priest on May 23, 1998. I know my older brothers and sisters went to school with the older Knestout kids too. There is a special pride when the phones are ringing to announce that one of our own has been given this great honor. I love how the Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl called our new bishop, “a native son of this archdiocese. He was born, formed in the faith and educated here”.
Bishop-elect Knestouts most recent role in the Washington Diocese was in planning Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Washington this April. He was perfect for the job with his great organization and his degree in architecture from Univ of MD, helped him to oversee a contest for architecture students from Catholic University to design the furnishings for the Papal Mass. Bishop-elect Knestout’s job in the diocese, as of now, is the moderator of the curia and vicar for administration. His role as a bishop will be to assist the archbishop in managing and helping to supervise the administrative work and care for the 580,000 members of the Washington Diocese.

Let us pray for this amazing new Bishop and for all the clergy that try to live a holy and and fruitful life to better serve us!!!


Meditation of the day...IMITATION OF CHRIST...

Learn to obey, you who are but dust! Learn to humble yourself, you who are but earth and clay, and bow down under the foot of every man! Learn to break your own will, to submit to all subjection! Be zealous against yourself! Allow no pride to dwell in you, but prove yourself so humble and lowly that all may walk over you and trample upon you as dust in the streets!

What have you, vain man, to complain of? What answer can you make, vile sinner, to those who accuse you, you who have so often offended God and so many times deserved hell? But My eye has spared you because your soul was precious in My sight, so that you might know My love and always be thankful for My benefits, so that you might give yourself continually to true subjection and humility, and might patiently endure contempt.

Who would of thought that the Imitation of Christ would speak so clearly to parents!!!
Hmmm...patiently endure contempt...not doing too well in this today. Lord help me prepare myself and my kids for your coming!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Trying to be a nice mom...

Will they remember this when they are teenagers and hate me?

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Thirteenth Chapter
The Obedience of One Humbly Subject to the Example of Jesus Christ

The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, he who attempts to escape obeying withdraws himself from grace. Likewise he who seeks private benefits for himself loses those which are common to all. He who does not submit himself freely and willingly to his superior, shows that his flesh is not yet perfectly obedient but that it often rebels and murmurs against him.

Learn quickly, then, to submit yourself to your superior if you wish to conquer your own flesh. For the exterior enemy is more quickly overcome if the inner man is not laid waste. There is no more troublesome, no worse enemy of the soul than you yourself, if you are not in harmony with the spirit. It is absolutely necessary that you conceive a true contempt for yourself if you wish to be victorious over flesh and blood.

Because you still love yourself too inordinately, you are afraid to resign yourself wholly to the will of others. Is it such a great matter if you, who are but dust and nothingness, subject yourself to man for the sake of God, when I, the All-Powerful, the Most High, Who created all things out of nothing, humbly subjected Myself to man for your sake? I became the most humble and the lowest of all men that you might overcome your pride with My humility.

Dear Lord help me to overcome my pride and remember it is not all about me!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Cecilia!!!

To our dear feisty Cece!!! Oh how we love you and how you keep us on our toes!!! I know God has a special plan for you!!! Stay close to Jesus and keep him as your best friend!!! ENJOY BEING 3!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Twelfth Chapter
Acquiring Patience in the Fight Against Concupiscence (part two)

Do you think that men of the world have no suffering, or perhaps but little? Ask even those who enjoy the most delights and you will learn otherwise. “But,” you will say, “they enjoy many pleasures and follow their own wishes; therefore they do not feel their troubles very much.” Granted that they do have whatever they wish, how long do you think it will last? Behold, they who prosper in the world shall perish as smoke, and there shall be no memory of their past joys. Even in this life they do not find rest in these pleasures without bitterness, weariness, and fear. For they often receive the penalty of sorrow from the very thing whence they believe their happiness comes. And it is just. Since they seek and follow after pleasures without reason, they should not enjoy them without shame and bitterness.

How brief, how false, how unreasonable and shameful all these pleasures are! Yet in their drunken blindness men do not understand this, but like brute beasts incur death of soul for the miserly enjoyment of a corruptible life.

Therefore, My child, do not pursue your lusts, but turn away from your own will. “Seek thy pleasure in the Lord and He will give thee thy heart’s desires.” Ps. 36:4. If you wish to be truly delighted and more abundantly comforted by Me, behold, in contempt of all worldly things and in the cutting off of all base pleasures shall your blessing be, and great consolation shall be given you. Further, the more you withdraw yourself from any solace of creatures, the sweeter and stronger comfort will you find in Me.

At first you will not gain these blessings without sadness and toil and conflict. (parenting!!!) Habit already formed will resist you, but it shall be overcome by a better habit.(Virtue) The flesh will murmur against you, but it will be bridled by fervor of spirit. The old serpent will sting and trouble you, but prayer will put him to flight and by steadfast, useful toil the way will be closed to him.

During this Advent let us work together to fight against those temtations that pull us away from the Lord and ask God to grant us an abundance of grace to obtain stronger virtues!!!