Showing posts from January, 2013

A quick look at Venerable Margaret Bosco

Happy Feast of John Bosco!

Since I am a mom of four boys I was particularly interested in St. John's mother,Venerable Margaret Bosco. Since she was so successful in raising a saint (and in becoming one herself) I think it is important to see how she did it. I thought this piece was illuminating.

Catholic Culture : Library : Don Bosco, Seeker of Souls: "When he consulted his mother, always his wise adviser, she demurred and said, 'The only thing I want of you is the salvation of your soul. Follow God's will.' After praying over the matter John resolved to enter the Franciscans. At this point he was advised to consult Don Cafasso, a saintly young priest who had the gift of guiding souls. His adviser did not hesitate: John should enter the secular priesthood. 'Go on studying,' he said, 'then to the seminary, and there hold yourself in readiness to follow the guidance of God's grace.' John made his final decision in response to this advice of a holy …

Lenten Resources for the Entire Family

Oftentimes the seasons of Lent and Advent are filled with our good intentions about what we will do, what we will read, and the changes we will make in our daily lives. The weeks stretch out ahead of us and we begin with great plans and an eagerness to experience the holy season in a new way.
Then reality sets in and our original plans for a “different” experience evaporate. I can’t tell you how many Lenten books sit on my shelf partially read and how many Advent wreaths are in the closet, half finished.
That all changed last year when I purchased The Sacred Heart for Lent by Fr. Thomas Williams and 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley.  I read The Sacred Heart for Lent on my own and cajoled my husband into the Marian Consecration by Gaitley. It was all such a blessing that this Lent I wanted to share those resources with others.
Last Lent it quickly became obvious to me that a priest brings something very unique to a book: a priest brings to his work the sacredness that arise…

Planting Seeds in the Face of Discouragement, and Then, Shooting Deaths

Maybe it was transitioning back to our work and home routines after a three-day getaway with my family, but this morning felt as gray as the skies. It snowed as I drove to work and then it rained while I was teaching classes. I teach struggling learners and I like to think I make a difference. But today was a day when I felt discouraged. What am I doing wrong? What can I do differently? How can I help each and every student want to learn and succeed at learning?

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The Nun

Voice as soft as popcorn Guides us along the hallways of life Black and white veil framing a face with Eyes - clear as a blue rock pool Witness pure souls Search through our hearts We are as crystal glass vases Gentle words of encouragement And empowerment The gift of life, of living Not through the womb Like the virgin bride But through an essence Intangible Passing on from her to us Now we have children of our own We distill life into them And the essence goes on
Jane Frances

Teach your kids mental prayer

What is your goal for your children's education? Academic prowess? Love of learning? Knowledge of Church doctrine? All these are good, but a contemplative homeschool seeks something more. My goal is to help my children have a deep prayer life, which leads them to union with God. You too can teach your children to practice mental prayer, whether you homeschool or send your kids to a Catholic, or even public, school.

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Signs from God

True story.
Hand to God.
An acquaintance was having neighbor trouble. As often happens, things escalated rather quickly. What had begun as an issue where two sides were taking tough stands and no one was willing to budge swiftly careened into a legal battle.
The acquaintance—a woman of great faith who diligently tried to live out her life as a disciple of Christ—was deeply troubled by the chain of events which left her with an impending court date.
In the meantime, her young grandchild was in a school play and the play was scheduled for a date very close to the court date. The play was about different virtues or characteristics that are good to practice and to have: things like perseverance and kindness. The grandchild’s role in the play was to carry a placard for one of these virtues—marching around the stage with others holding similar placards with letters boldly proclaiming this characteristic or that trait.
With the play and court date fast approaching, all the grandmother really ha…

Tea at Trianon: The King's Charity

10 Reasons Catholics should read the Bible

1. The Bible is the Church's book. The Bible was written by men of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church, by the same Spirit, determined which books to include in the official Canon. The Bible tells our family story, from Creation through the early Church, with some previews of what's to come.

2. The Church urges us to read the Bible. Really. The stereotype of the Catholic Church suppressing Bible reading is false, a misreading of history. Vatican II included an entire constitution, Dei Verbum, on the Bible. "The Church 'forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn "the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ," by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #133, quoting Dei Verbum and Philippians 3:8).

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Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women: Opportunities for Grace!

Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women: Opportunities for Grace!: I wholeheartedly believe that God allows us umpteen opportunities for his grace each day. All of the challenges and frustrations we face c...

Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women: Excerpt from Rooted in Love

Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women: Excerpt from Rooted in Love: The driving forces behind prayer are faith and the love of God. Love will overcome our times of dryness or even laziness in prayer. Our pe...

Pro-life fiction for every age group

Do you need new ideas for immersing yourself in the culture of life? You and your family can enjoy fiction that promotes the value of every human being. Here are four books  I particularly recommend. Two focus on the beginning of life, two on the sick and disabled.

All ages: Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman
I used this book to announce my last 2 pregnancies to our boys.

Beautiful illustrations by Ben Hatke accompany Doman's lyrical text about a baby in utero and his guardian angel. Echoes of the creation story and John's Gospel delight the ear. "In the beginning, I was," the story starts. And later, "Sometimes it was dark, and sometimes it was less dark." (See the parallel with Genesis 1?)

The story details a conversation between the baby and the angel that continues into infancy. The baby complains that the world outside the womb is too big and cold. His angel replies, "It is very big, but you will grow big. It will feel better and warmer …

Suffering that Cannot be Spoken

How great the suffering in Hell of the mother who at death is unrepentant for aborting her child, yet how much greater, even hundreds of thousands times greater is her suffering in Hell if she has aborted a Priest, Bishop or Prince of the Church!

'Gay marriage' a Marxist utopian dream divorced from reality: Vatican newspaper

ROME, December 20, 2012, ( – The current push in liberal Western democracies for “gay marriage” under the guise of “equality” is just the latest incarnation of Marxist/socialist ideologies, “which have already brought so much damage in the twentieth century,” according to an editorial in the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano this week.

“To say that marriage between a man and a woman is the same as between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of truth that undermines one of the basic structures of human society, the family,” wrote Lucetta Scaraffia, December 17.

Scaraffia warned that we will “pay a high price” for the attempt to found a society on these premises, “as has already happened in the past when we have tried to achieve a complete economic and social equality.”

The editorial was prompted by the position taken by the French Catholic newspaper Témoignage Chrétien in support of the French government’s proposal to create “gay marriage.” The magazine said that…

The Katrina Letters: New York Encounter 2013

Imagine knowing, really knowing the hearts of your parents as teenagers. Imagine hearing their thoughts and feelings, of being right there with them as they courted one another.

Chris Vath had such a privilege. He is part of a family who discovered, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a duffel bag filled with 500 letters his parents (pictured here at their wedding reception) had exchanged during three years of separation during World War II, beginning when his mom was 16 and still in high school and his father was 18 and serving in the U.S. Navy. Although Katrina flooded his childhood home with nine feet of water, the letters inside the bag survived, still legible. 
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Ask Fr. Barron: What spiritual classic books should every Catholic read?

Thoughts on Grace: Do Whatever he Tells You

Thoughts on Grace: Do Whatever he Tells You: His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." - John 2:5 These are the last words of Mary recorded in the Bible. Wha...

Rambling Follower: Jesus at My Side: 365 Reflections on His Words

Rambling Follower: Jesus at My Side: 365 Reflections on His Words: Last night, I began reading  Jesus at My Side by my friend Julie Cragon. This little paperback book has been sitting on my dresser for ...

The St Genesius Blog: The Vigil for Life

The St Genesius Blog: The Vigil for Life: We had a great day yesterday at the Vigil for Life. I hope our Taoiseach now realises that there is no shortage of  pro life people and vot...

The Dark Secret: Life After Abortion


Start your prayer with this image

Are you tired of your prayer being a shopping list read to God? Are you yearning for something more meaningful?

Read how this image can help you at Contemplative Homeschool.

The Catholic Writers' Guild

A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society.
Pope Benedict XVI

The Hail Mary Prayer Honors God

Audio of this Blog - Click HERE

Honoring the Virgin Mary by praying the Hail Mary is like praising God's choice for our Blessed Mother. 

Mary never points to herself - she only asked one question and all her other words were pointing to God or Jesus. The honors that God has bestowed on Mary are not Honors that she sought or even asked for. They are honors that God gave to Mary for her humility and obedience to God. God made her Queen of Heaven, and when we proclaim our mother Mary also the Queen of Heaven we are also proclaiming God's goodness in His choice of Mary as the Arc of the Covenant and the first "yes" of our salvation. This is why when we say a Hail Mary, we are not doing any disservice to God the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit, but by every Hail Mary we give praise to the most Blessed Trinity's choice of our Holy Mother.

Failed apocalyptic events throughout history


Allison Morris sent us the above piece - any comments or feedback would be appreciated.

Tea at Trianon

Today's Two-Fer: Baptism of the Lord and a Confirmation Commitment

"The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed himself but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of baptism. Whoever comes, therefore, to the washing of Christ lays aside his sins" St. Ambrose of Milan

This morning we all went to the 9 a.m. Mass, an early one for us. Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the day in which the Church commemorates the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Today was also the day where several eighth graders in our parish, including our son, participated in a Confirmation Commitment ceremony during Mass. Since Confirmation seals the sacrament of Baptism, the timing could not have been better.

Read more here...

Rambling Follower: On Pancakes, the Human Person and Prayers for A Pe...

Rambling Follower: On Pancakes, the Human Person and Prayers for A Pe...:  Three small things happened this afternoon that provoked me into thinking, yet again, about why we're gifted with time on this planet.  ...

Catholic Mom's Cafe: My New EWTN Television Show: Catholic Mom's Cafe!

Catholic Mom's Cafe: My New EWTN Television Show: Catholic Mom's Cafe!: It's getting exciting! I have been introduced recently to my lovely EWTN producer and we have been plotting and planning to get every detai...

View from the Domestic Church: Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa


The Virtual Family

The Virtual Family A pertinent article by Randy Hain.

'Thou art my beloved Son.' Sunday Reflections, Baptism of the Lord, Year C

Baptism of Christ, El Greco, painted 1596-1600 (Web Gallery of Art)
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
Gospel Luke 3:15-16, 21-22(Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased." 
Full post here.

Chicken Little

I had an odd response to the 2012 presidential election: I stopped watching the news.
I also stopped reading the news on the Internet.
In fact, not a single television show appealed to me and the blackened screen simply became a piece of ubiquitous furniture in the center of the room. At that point I had already abandoned social media such as Facebook and Twitter so I was left with a decent amount of time on my hands.
My work as a Catholic publisher took on a new meaning. I was working on Jennifer Frank’s fiction title He Shall Be Peace and I found myself praying for it every moment of my work day. My desire to get solid, entertaining, faith-filled books into the hands of the lay faithful became an obsession.
As did my own desire to read.
My appetite for books was ravenous. In the month and a half following the election I read well over a dozen books. I read the entire Book of Revelation (Navarre Bible Study version) as well as the entire Gospel of Matthew (Navarre Bible Study version). E…

Contemplative Homeschool will help you and your family see Jesus everywhere

Greetings, Ladies (and you few gentlemen who are members of or visit this site). Thank you for the privilege of joining you in spreading the Gospel on the internet. I'm Connie Rossini. I'd like to introduce you to my new blog.

Learn how to pray and live the Carmelite way I began writing at in November. Unlike many homeschool blogs, Contemplative Homeschool is not so much about daily life in my family as it is about growing in Christ. I believe the best way to keep our kids Catholic and to educate them in the faith is modeling prayer and virtue for them. I write a lot (about half my posts) about how you can grow closer to Christ. As a former member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS), I write from a Carmelite perspective.

Let your homeschool be an outgrowth of your own prayer time I use my own unit studies based on The Golden Children's Bible for daily instruction. I meditate on one of the Bible passages in my…

Wright's Law: Kentucky teacher shares the true meaning of life

Jeffrey Wright uses wacky experiments to teach children about the universe, but it is his own personal story that teaches them the true meaning of life.

St. Apollinaris

Tea at Trianon

Catholicseeking: The Fifteenth Day of Christmas

Catholicseeking: The Fifteenth Day of Christmas: Dawn is the time of day in which the first rays of light begin to glimmer, to illumine and dispel the darkness. . . Christ’s actual birth...

'When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.' Sunday Reflections for the Epiphany.

Adoration of the Magi, Francisco de Zurbarán, 1639-40 (Web Gallery of Art)

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
GospelMatthew 2:1-12(Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will gove…

Pope's new year address deplores rampant capitalism

Pope Benedict XVI has condemned "unregulated capitalism" for contributing to world tension, in a new year address to worshippers. The Pope also thanked the world's peacemakers and said humanity had "an innate vocation for peace". The Roman Catholic Church leader spoke at a Mass in the Vatican, then greeted a crowd outside St Peter's Basilica. He deplored "hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor". Those "hotbeds" also grew out of "the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism", as well as "various forms of terrorism and crime", he said. The 85-year-old pontiff delivered a prayer for peace to the crowd in St Peter's Square after his homily at Mass. "The peacemakers are many, but they are not loud. As leaven in dough, they raise humanity according to God's plan," he said. …