St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, September 29, 2006

Poetry Friday

What Man May Learn, What Man May Do
by Robert Louis Stevenson.

What man may learn, what man may do,
Of right or wrong of false or true,
While, skipper-like, his course he steers
Through nine and twenty mingled years,
Half misconceived and half forgot,
So much I know and practise not.

Old are the words of wisdom, old
The counsels of the wise and bold:
To close the ears, to check the tongue,
To keep the pining spirit young;
To act the right, to say the true,
And to be kind whate'er you do.

Thus we across the modern stage
Follow the wise of every age;
And, as oaks grow and rivers run
Unchanged in the unchanging sun,
So the eternal march of man
Goes forth on an eternal plan.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sept 29: Feast of the Archangels

With the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael tomorrow, now is a good time to visit Opus Sanctorum Angelorum: Work of the Holy Angels.

Our church here in Ohio is named after St. Gabriel. May all God's Holy Angels, Pray for us!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


As my Hawaii blog friend Esther would say: Hat Tip to.....My blog friend Oswald Sobrino. He is at it again with a really great post at his blog Catholic Analysis. Check out: Accepting Surprises, you won't be disappointed.

Recipe for Happiness

I had posted this beautiful depiction of St. Vincent de Paul back in February. I couldn't resist re-posting it for his feast day. I don't know about your life, but so much has changed for me since February! I know this is a winter scene, and we are enjoying a beautiful Autumn and probably don't want to think about winter right around the corner, but I thought this picture to be so precious as this saint cradles a babe in his arms and helps a young girl.

St. Vincent de Paul, Pray for Us!

Take twelve whole months.

Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate, and jealousy.

Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty or thirty-one different parts, but don't make the whole batch at once.

Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day one part of faith, one part of patience, one part of courage, and one part of work.

Add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity, meditation, and one good deed.

Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play, and a cupful of good humor.

Pour all of this into a vessel of love.

Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile, and serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness.

"We ought to deal kindly with all, and to manifest those qualities which spring naturally from a heart tender and full of Christian charity; such as affability, love and humility. These virtues serve wonderfully to gain the hearts of men, and to encourage them to embrace things that are more repugnant to nature."

Saint Vincent de Paul

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

Oswald Sobrino at Catholic Analysis has a thoughtful post on Authentic Peace. Very timely indeed as our thoughts are turned away in detest from violence and are more actively attuned to peace. It brought to mind one of my favorite writers, Thomas a' Kempis and what he says about peace in Imitation of Christ. In fact, oddly, (or perhaps Godly that is), I had planned on sharing a couple of "peace" excerpts from Imitation with the mothers of our Catholic homeschooling support group this upcoming week. Coincidence? Only God's plan works out this way, doesn't it?

Imitation of Christ: Book Two, The Third Chapter, Goodness and Peace in Man

FIRST keep peace with yourself; then you will be able to bring peace to others. A peaceful man does more good than a learned man. Whereas a passionate man turns even good to evil and is quick to believe evil, the peaceful man, being good himself, turns all things to good.

The man who is at perfect ease is never suspicious, but the disturbed and discontented spirit is upset by many a suspicion. He neither rests himself nor permits others to do so. He often says what ought not to be said and leaves undone what ought to be done. He is concerned with the duties of others but neglects his own.

Direct your zeal, therefore, first upon yourself; then you may with justice exercise it upon those about you. You are well versed in coloring your own actions with excuses which you will not accept from others, though it would be more just to accuse yourself and excuse your brother. If you wish men to bear with you, you must bear with them. Behold, how far you are from true charity and humility which does not know how to be angry with anyone, or to be indignant save only against self!

It is no great thing to associate with the good and gentle, for such association is naturally pleasing. Everyone enjoys a peaceful life and prefers persons of congenial habits. But to be able to live at peace with harsh and perverse men, or with the undisciplined and those who irritate us, is a great grace, a praiseworthy and manly thing.

Some people live at peace with themselves and with their fellow men, but others are never at peace with themselves nor do they bring it to anyone else. These latter are a burden to everyone, but they are more of a burden to themselves. A few, finally, live at peace with themselves and try to restore it to others.

Now, all our peace in this miserable life is found in humbly enduring suffering rather than in being free from it. He who knows best how to suffer will enjoy the greater peace, because he is the conqueror of himself, the master of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of heaven.

Book Four, Twenty-Third Chapter
Four Things Which Bring Great Peace

The Voice of Christ:
MY CHILD, I will teach you now the way of peace and true liberty.

Seek, child, to do the will of others rather than your own.

Always choose to have less rather than more.

Look always for the last place and seek to be beneath all others.

Always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you.

Behold, such will enter into the realm of peace and rest.

Saint Pio

While my older brother believes that his special novena to St. Joseph was what landed me my husband, I always contributed the intercession of Padre Pio to that one. Ok, perhaps both saintly men had a part in bringing us together. At any rate, Padre Pio certainly played a large role in my husband's and my devotional life during the earliest years of our meeting and marriage. I can not look at an image of Padre Pio without being carried back to that time. We have several books in this home about his life, as well as prayer books and images. One such image is a beautiful charcoal sketch by an artist who I met briefly at a Catholic homeschooling seminar. Christifidelis, I think, was the name of the company she sold her handiwork under. Our oldest son, an aspiring artist himself, looks at that image often and ponders the quality and talent involved in it. It is an inspiration, but then again, the Padre himself is the biggest inspiration.

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Pray for Us!

"And you, Blessed Padre Pio, look down from heaven upon us assembled in this square and upon all gathered in prayer before the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and in San Giovanni Rotondo. Intercede for all those who, in every part of the world, are spiritually united with this event and raise their prayers to you. Come to the help of everyone; give peace and consolation to every heart. Amen!"

from the homily of Pope John Paul II at the beatification of Padre Pio

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thomas a' Kempis quote:

This was originally posted back in January of this year. I'm reposting it here in the event it is the one my friend Lynn was speaking of missing recently.

"Continue on with what you are doing; labor perseveringly in My vineyard, and I Myself will be your reward. Continue your writing, reading, singing, lamenting, keeping silence and praying, and bearing your troubles bravely; for eternal life is worth all these combats and more." Thomas a' Kempis

Poetry Friday

Let It Be Forgotten
by Sarah Teasdale

Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold.
Let it be forgotten forever and ever,
Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
In a long-forgotten snow.

Image: "Sea Captain's Wife Abiding" by Charles Wysocki

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Saint Matthew the Apostle

This is one of my favorite paintings, "Saint Matthew and the Angel", by Guido Reni, 1597. I can't recall where I read the commentary on it most recently, but it mentioned how absorbed Matthew's appearance is in listening to the angel transmit the words of God.

Great Saint Matthew, Pray for us!

"Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me." Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men."

He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: "Follow me." This following meant imitating the pattern of his life - not just walking after him. Saint John tells us: "Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked."

"And he rose and followed him." There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew's assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.

(from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable)
From: Catholic-Forum

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

St. Francis Mary Camporosso, Feast Sept 20

His feast is celebrated September 20. John Evangelist Croese was born at Camporosso (Imperia) Italy, at Liguria's western border, on December 27, 1804. His family owned a modest house and maintained small parcels of farmland. Elementary education was provided by his pastor.

For more on this saint, follow this LINK.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Saint Januarius

Fourth century bishop of Benevento, Italy during Diocletian's persecution. Arrested while visiting imprisoned deacons, and later martyred with them.

His blood was preserved, and dried. Since at least 1389, on his feast day, and on the Satuday before the first Sunday in May, the blood liquefies.

For more information, go to: Catholic-Forum Patron Saint Index

Monday, September 18, 2006

St. Joseph of Cupertino, Priest (Feast)

"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession."

-Saint Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memory of: Michelle Coyle-Eulau

Michelle Coyle-Eulau, age 38.
Place killed: World Trade Center. Resident of Garden City, N.Y. (USA).

Isn't she beautiful? At age thirty-eight I was having our third child. I don't know much about Michelle other than the information given me for this tribute. But, I can imagine that Michelle had dreams and goals ahead of her; that she was a good friend and is intensely missed by those who knew and loved her.

May her soul and the soul of all the faithful departed by the mercy of God, rest in peace.

To continue this memorial of Sept 11th, follow this link for a tribute to all those who gave so unselfishly and without a moment's thought for the sake of those in peril. May God bless them in His abundant grace. Catholic Garden - One Tin Solider.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sept 8: Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast is a commemoration of that happy and joyful day on which the ever-blessed virgin Mother of God first saw the light of day. The Church accordingly sings on this day,

"Thy nativity, virgin Mother of God, has brought joy to the whole world; for from thee has come forth the Sun of justice, Christ the Lord, Who putting away cursing bestowed blessing, and by overcoming death obtained for us life eternal."

In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings:

Hail, holy parent, who as a happy mother brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth from eternity to eternity. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King."

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto us Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that, as in the childbirth of the Blessed Virgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her nativity we may obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Courtesy of: Catholic-Forum

Monday, September 04, 2006

Here is what's happening in my neck of the woods this holiday weekend.
Great Trail Festival

Labor Day Prayer
God, please help all those who work. Give them special graces to continue working each day. Provide them with support, guidance, and love. Assist them in finding the right occupation that will lead them closer to You. Lastly, be there for the unemployed. Amen.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Fine Art of Listening

The fine art of listening must be exercised on the human level before we can expect to advance in the listening to our guardian angels. For if a man cannot listen to those whom he can see and hear with his senses, how can he expect to be attentive to the voice of the angel whom he cannot hear with the senses?
Two qualities are needed for docility: zeal to know the truth, and humility to learn from others. The consequent enemies to docility are, on the one hand sloth and complacence which are contrary to zeal; and on the other, pride which is contrary to humility.

We may first consider sloth, and complacency. People generally enjoy being "in the know", to be on top of things and to be aware of what is going on. The whole news media supplies for that voracious appetite. The problem of sloth with regard to docility lies in man’s contentment in knowing truths and the facts about things, to the detriment or exclusion of knowing the Truth. This sloth is founded on, and feeds upon the sensuality of curiosity. Curiosity is a vice which seeks to gratify oneself through the abuse of the intellect. It is like the gluttony of the mind, or in chastity of the spirit. It is related to the kind of false friendship which only wants to use the other for our own personal gratification. We cannot learn to listen to others unless we are inclined to serve their needs. This is related also to our wanting to listen to get to know Christ, the Truth in order to serve him and his Church.

Take for instance the story of our Lord going to speak in the synagogue of his home town Nazareth. The people know many truths about Christ. They have heard of the miracles he has performed in Jerusalem. They note his learning and eloquence saying, "where did he get all this?" They know whose son he is, and who are his relatives, etc. And they are content with that. All these things are true. But they miss the Truth about Jesus. They do not receive the light of Truth that comes from the divine gift of faith.

In a parallel way it is all too common that Catholics know all about what Bishop So and So has done or failed to do; they know about what Fr. So and So has said; and they can tell you what Sister So and So has been up to etc., etc. They can talk about the various things going on in the Church. They can chatter on and on about these things. This gives them the sense that they are good Catholics, because they are concerned about these things, and they are knowledgeable. But in the end, they know about the human truths without ever getting any closer to knowing the divinity of Christ and his Mystical Body. They are like the people of Nazareth, who know many facts about the human nature of Christ, but they know little or nothing about the divine. They are not willing to make the effort involved in prayer and study in order to see and know the Truth. The chatter itself is detrimental to the silence needed for listening to these greater Truths. This is one form of sloth which is contrary to docility: the complacency of being filled with the facts, without desiring to grasp the Truth.

Continued at: Formation Letter: Docility to the Holy Angel

Friday, September 01, 2006

Poetry Friday

poem lyrics by Elsa Beskow

Dear apple, on your branch,
please fall down into my hat.
For if I take you off the tree,
They'll not be pleased with that!

Apples red and apples green,
please fall down upon the ground.
For if I pick you off the tree,
I cannot say how you've been found.

Apples here and apples there,
please fall into my hand.
My little sisters stand and stare,
and wait for you to land.

Hips and haws and thistles tall
stand all around the tree.
All will soon be picked and stored.
Is there not just one for me?

Apples, apples everywhere,
please let me have just one,
and just two more, please tree,
then September will be done.

From: Around the Year (Floris Books), by Elsa Beskow