Sunday, April 18, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
My fondness for good books was my salvation. Reading the Letters of St. Jerome so encouraged me that I decided to tell my father about my decision to take the habit...Here's a link to the Letters of St. Jerome at New Advent.
When I was on the way, that uncle of mine I mentioned who lived along the road gave me a book. It is called the Third Spritual Alphabet and endeavors to teach the prayer of recollection.The Third Spiritual Alphabet by Francisco de Osuna.
It was a great help to me to be patient, that I had read the story of Job, in the Morals of St. Gregory (our Lord seems to have prepared me thereby); and that I had begun the practice of prayer, so that I might bear it all, conforming my will to the will of God. All my conversation was with God. I had continually these words of Job in my thoughts and in my mouth: "If we have received good things of the hand of our Lord, why should we not receive evil things?More on line reading...the Morals of St. Gregory
Monday, March 29, 2010
This weekend it seems like I spent time with an old friend when I picked up the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, The Book of Her Life.
How many gifts and privileges have I been given by God? Do I remember to give abundant thanks for these? How many pleas and prayers have I offered to God and did I return the same amount of gratitude when the Lord interceded for me?
As the years pass and we spend more time in the Lord's company, it will be natural for the soul to feel a growing sense of inadequacy between it and God. Even though we still know and believe that God created His creatures good, we learn through first hand experience how much greater is the Lord than His creatures.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
When making matching clothes for the girls, I've found that it can become confusing when the laundry is done for the girls to know which skirt belongs to whom. On an outing to the craft store, I let each daughter pick out a box of buttons. One girl chose butterflies, another squares, the third chose hearts and I picked out flowers for my littlest. I hand sew a button to each girl's skirt (or apron or shirt) to identify the owner of the clothing.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Since my six and eight year old girls are between sizes, I had them choose some fabric from my stash so that I could make them new skirts. As I was ironing, my 10 year old son said the fabric reminded him of Wynken, Blynken and Nod.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Over the years, I've tried to have practices during the week which point to Sunday Mass.This year I tried to organize them so that I accomplished one thing a day to turn my mind to Sunday's Mass. I wish I could say I had been more faithful to these ideas. For next year, I think I'll try to organize them more in advance -- this might help me to keep a strong tack on this.
- Mondays -- begin school day with the next Sunday's Psalm. Review the psalm response during the week at lunch. Blog Post
- Tuesdays -- prepare Sunday clothes. Make sure boys's shirts are ironed, Sunday socks are washed and cleaned. Look at girls dresses. blog post on ironing and Sunday Mass -- see last paragraph
- Wednesdays -- Review St. Paul's letter read at Sunday's mass. Pick out a word for the children to focus on and listen for at Mass. During the year of St. Paul, most weeks I put this word on our fireplace mantle. Scroll down this category.
- Thursdays -- instead of reading the daily gospel, which we used to read at Tea Time but now we read first thing in the morning, read Sunday's gospel. Highlight that Thursday is a remembrance of the First Holy Thursday, the day in which the Eucharist was instituted.
- Friday -- abstinence prepares our hearts to receive the food of heaven. Our hunger from abstaining from meat reminds us to be hungry for the Bread of Heaven. Blog post on Friday abstinence
- Saturday -- something for Our Lady who always kept the Lord (and the Eucharistic Lord) in her heart.
on 1:41 PM
Saturday, November 07, 2009
MaryVitamin received special mention in this episode of Catholic Moments Podcast.
I thought Sarah Reinhard did a great job interpreting a quote from St. John Eudes.
Thank you Sarah for including Mary Vitamin in your Mary Moments.
Catholic Moments is initiating a new podcast to help children prepare for Sunday Mass.
Here's the link for the first podcast.
Lisa Hendey is taking suggestions for a name for this apostolate at her facebook page -- sounds like fun.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I may not be very much ahead of the winter with this advice. This year we've had very cold weather in October. It didn't take long for the temperature in our house to drop into the 60s.
I’ve found the best way to keep the thermostat set in the 60’s during the winter is to allow the body to acclimate to the colder weather, day by day, during the Autumn.
Try not to take the chill off October’s cold mornings. Wait for the bright sunny afternoons to warm your house. Begin to get used to the feeling of a house at 70, 68, 66 degrees – postpone putting on the heat – rather put a sweater on. (A fire in the hearth definitely takes the edge off!)
It will feel cold during these mornings. As winter arrives, having become used to the house temperature at 65 or lower, you will not feel that the house is cold. I will grant that you can’t walk around in a T-shirt and shorts but a sweater with socks and shoes will be very comfortable.
With the low temperatures outside, even a low set thermostat kicks on the heat. You'll feel warm but you won’t be burning as much energy.
on 10:00 PM
Monday, October 19, 2009
7.Orange juice with cranberry ice cubes
Represents the Angel choir of Virtues
Virtues are known as the Spirits of Motion and control the elements. They are sometimes referred to as "the shining ones." They govern all nature. They have control over seasons, stars, moon; even the sun is subject to their command. They are also in charge of miracles and provide courage, grace, and valor.
I have to admit, I passed around the orange juice much sooner in the party, right after the pretzels. The Virtues according to the Thomistic tradition keep the heavens in their place. I must have had the planet Jupiter in mind when making this connection to the Virtues. For me, this drink conjures up the idea of the universe.
(Ikea sells star shaped ice cube trays.)
8. While writing up this recap of our Angel Tea party, I realized that I left out the angel of the Resurrection who greeted the two Marys at the Empty Tomb. He arrived like lightening and even sat on the stone. This angel told the women,
“He is not here.” Matthew 28:1-8
I haven’t thought of a food item yet for this angel.Resurrection cookies or a sugar egg come to mind. But I already have too many sweets at the party. Suggestions gladly taken. Hopefully by next year I'll fill in the blank.
9. Star shaped cheese
(This food is out of order. Should be number 6.)
For the angels who announced the birth of Christ to the Shepherds and sang Glory to God in the Highest.
Cookie cutters did the trick on Muenster cheese (or was it cheddar?) Served up on a platter while also showing one of our favorite Christmas scenes.
Link to artwork:
GEERTGEN tot Sint Jans
(b. 1460/65, Leiden, d. 1490, Haarlem)Nativity, at Night
Oil on oak, 34 x 25 cm
National Gallery, London
Grapes and Flatbread
At every Mass thousands of angels are present. In every Church next to the tabernacle there are countless angels in adoration. We finished by passing around the image of the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. We placed our minds in the Eternal City next to the angels near the tabernacle and finished our party with a Spiritual Communion.
Link to artwork:
PANNINI, Giovanni Paolo
(b. 1691, Piacenza, d. 1765, Roma)
Interior of St Peter's in Rome
Oil on canvas, 75 x 100 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
on 9:54 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This is the fourth post in this series on the Guardian Angel Tea party. You can access the previous entries by clicking: First Post, Second Post , Third post
6. Candy necklaces
Represent the chains of St. Peter broken by the angel.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, "Get up quickly." The chains fell from his wrists.
At this point in the party, I should have taken out my bible and read from the Acts of the Apostles, one of my favorite books to listen to on tape. (I’ll remember to read it at next year’s party.) The stories are full of miracles and even amusing anecdotes. This episode describing St. Peter’s release from jail contains both elements.
The candy bracelets were Halloween favors. Prior to the party I chopped off the ghost and attached a card with red curling ribbon that said,
"Pray to your Guardian Angels everyday."
The bracelets, ribbon and cards looked attractive in a glass trifle bowl. The children were really looking forward to receiving them.
I handed out the bracelets and asked the children to make a resolution to pray daily to their angels. I asked them to decide on a good time to do this. I had decided we were going to add this prayer to our breakfast prayer routine and I made this suggestion.
I’m happy to say that the Angel tea party has jump-started our devotion to our angels. We’re praying the angel prayer in the morning and at bedtime.
Link to Artwork:
STEENWYCK, Hendrick van the Younger
The Liberation of St Peter
Oil on copper, 48,3 x 66 cm (irregular)
Royal Collection, Windsor
Almost finished...Thanks for visiting!
on 10:11 PM
Monday, October 12, 2009
5. Guardian Angel Cookies
Have confidence in your guardian Angel. Treat him as a lifelong friend — that is what he is — and he will render you a thousand services in the ordinary affairs of each day.
St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, 562
In my mind, the goal of this party was to encourage devotion in my children to their Guardian Angels. Many of the saints had a great devotion to their angels – especially young saints. Teaching children to call upon their Guardian Angels daily and to develop a relationship with them is one of the keys to promoting holiness in children. By highlighting the role of angels in salvation history, I hoped my children would learn, remember and be inspired by the power of the angels and turn to them often.
For the Guardian Angel cookies, I used a House on the Hill cookie mold of an angel and made Springerle cookies. The wonderful thing about these cookies is that they should be made in advance. (We’ll gloss over the frustrating thing about these cookies. Next time I’ll follow the directions in this video and buy hartshorn. ) After they were baked, I wrapped the cookies in cellophane so that I could include the Guardian Angel Prayer. (Wrapping the cookies made them stand up and display beautifully.)
I included two prayers with the cookies.
Angel of God, my Guardian Dear
To whom God's love commits me here.
Enlighten and guard
St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, 569
This is a beautiful prayer bringing our mind to the Tabernacle and the presence of many angels present in our churches. The words sum up quickly what our prayer aims to do -- bring us into the presence of the Lord. Where is He most present in our world today? In the Blessed Sacrament.
We read the St. Josemaria Escriva prayer together.
I reminded the children of a secret shared from St. Josemaria Escriva that has always stayed with me:
Win over the guardian Angel of that person whom you wish to draw to your apostolate. He is always a great 'accomplice'.
The Way, 563
I suggested when annoyed with someone ask your Guardian Angel to speak to the person’s angel. The kids thought this was an amusing idea.
Our Guardian Angel picture came from CHC’s Art Masterpieces, a Liturgical Collection.
on 7:08 PM
Sunday, October 11, 2009
For the first post in this series click here.
2. Small, square pretzels
Represent the shield of St. Michael who protects us from evil.
A basket with pretzels representing the shield of St. Michael was passed around to the children. We then said the St. Michael prayer. The words “defend us in battle” and “be our protection” seemed to jump out at us as we held the small pretzels and imagined them as the shield of St. Michael.
The next reproduction artwork for the children to examine is called “The Three Archangels” by Marco d’Oggiono. I had the children try to identify the angels in the image by the clues painted by the artist. The easiest angel to identify was St. Michael. He was obviously using a sword in battle. The others were a little more challenging. We guessed that St. Gabriel had his finger pointing to heaven and therefore the last angel was St. Raphael.
This led us to our next food…
Link for artwork:
OGGIONO, Marco d'
The Three Archangels
Oil on panel, 255 x 190 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
3. Tuna fish sandwiches in the shape of fish
Reminds us of St. Raphael who helped the younger Tobias to win the battle over the big fish and used the innards of the fish to restore health to the elder Tobias.
The artwork was put down for a moment while the fish shaped tuna fish sandwiches were passed around. I retold the story of St. Raphael found in the book of Tobit highlighting the elder Tobias’ great goodness and trust in God. This holy man was abundantly rewarded by God with the protection of his son by one of the archangels. Towards the end of the book of Tobit the great angel reveals his identity in a dramatic passage:
Tobit 12:15 “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord."
4. Gingerbread house
Symbolizes the Holy House where the Annunciation took place.
It was time to introduce the gingerbread house. There was a lot of excitement around this menu item. During the week my children and I had been working with gingerbread assembling the pieces and making little angels to alight decorate the roof. This activity afforded many opportunities to speak about the angels and the party we were going to have in their honor.
I asked the children at the party to tell me about the special mission God gave to St. Gabriel. They told me about the Annunciation. I pointed to the gingerbread house and said that it represented the Holy House in which the Annunciation took place which is now in Loreto Italy. The Holy House was moved by angels.
I showed Fra Angelico's "Annunciation" and prayed the Angelus at this point of the tea party.
[Did I remember to do this? With blogging, I'll have a reminder for next year.]
We decided to wait until the end of the party to eat the gingerbread house.
Blessed Fra Angelico
1450Fresco, 230 x 321 cm
Convento di San Marco, Florence
on 4:16 AM
Saturday, October 10, 2009
It will take me several postings to complete the Tea Party Menu with pictures and art links. I'll combine the entries into one post when I'm finished.
Spicy dip with long, thin crackers
Square pretzels with lattice
Tuna fish sandwiches
Guardian Angel cookies
Orange juice with cranberry juice ice cubes
Grapes & Flatbread
During the week while preparing for the party, my five year old daughter and I looked through our stash of art cards. We selected several pieces of religious artwork containing an image of an angel. I’ve included links to the Web Gallery of Art for you to see the art work and print your own copy for educational purposes.
The food was placed on the table with the framed artwork. (I keep a collection of inexpensive frames 4x5 and 8x10 from Ikea to display postcards and reprints of artwork.) The children walked around the table looking at the food and admiring the artwork.
We began by reciting the Guardian Angel prayer together. I showed an image of the Lord in the arms of the Blessed Mother. I reminded the children that Our Lord gave each of us a Guardian Angel to pray for us, protect us and to help us get to heaven. The founder of the Opus Dei, St. Josemaria Escriva, had a great devotion to the Guardian Angels. He founded his prelature on the Feast of the Guardian Angels. This saint has a particular charism to teach the laity to get to heaven and to become a saint on the way. His insight is invaluable.
You are amazed that your guardian Angel has done you such obvious favours. And you should not be amazed: that's why our Lord has placed him beside you.
The Tea Party Explained
Represents the Cherubim at the Garden of Eden
Genesis 3:24 When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden; and he stationed the cherubim with a fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.
At our party, the children ate the thin crackers and dip before I could begin the presentation. I passed around the image from Giovanni di Paolo called "The Creation and Expulsion from Paradise." I reminded the children that after God created Man and put him in a beautiful paradise, things did not go well. I asked the children if they remembered what happened in the Garden of Eden. The children knew that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree and had been sent away from Garden. The 14th century image showed the Cherubim standing guard at the gate of paradise with his flaming sword. The long, thin cracker represents the Cherubim's sword. The spicy dip gives the sword its flame.
GIOVANNI DI PAOLO
(b. ca. 1399, Siena, d. 1482, Siena)
The Creation and the Expulsion from the Paradise
Tempera and gold on wood, 46, 4 x 52,1 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
on 8:59 PM