St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, April 30, 2007

Just saying "Hello"

I am really still here :)

It has been so incredibly busy here, with home schooling, preparing our seven year old for his First Holy Communion this upcoming weekend; I am the mother and the teacher (and the second grade sacrament teacher as well), so I have a lot going on. All ages of my children at home have also been participating in a diocesan tournament, based on catechetical (CCC + Bible) questions. My daughters intermediate level won two rounds out of the four, and so did our oldest son's level. His team will be playing Round 4, this upcoming Thursday evening. The winner will go on to play another parish in the diocese for the championship. I've fixed our diocese link in my links, and if you'd like to check out the bracketology, you can follow the Diocese of Steubenville, then on the homepage click on Christian Formation (under offices or categories), then click onto the Tournament of Truth 2007 Schedule to see the breakdowns. They haven't been updated to this date -- but "Minerva" (that's us), will be playing "Richmond" in the 9-12th grade level, Round 4. You can also click on the other information about the tournament. It's been an interesting event!

God bless all my visitors. I'll get back to blogging (and figuring out this new computer set up), when my time allows.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Poetry Friday

The Prisoner
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I count the dismal time by months and years
Since last I felt the green sward under foot,
And the great breath of all things summer -
Met mine upon my lips. Now earth appears
As strange to me as dreams of distant spheres
Or thoughts of Heaven we weep at. Nature's lute
Sounds on, behind this door so closely shut,
A strange wild music to the prisoner's ears,
Dilated by the distance, till the brain
Grows dim with fancies which it feels too
While ever, with a visionary pain,
Past the precluded senses, sweep and Rhine
Streams, forests, glades, and many a golden train
Of sunlit hills transfigured to Divine.

Let us remember, one of the
Corporal Works of Mercy is to "comfort the imprisoned."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How Can I Keep from Singing?

I just had to post this hymn; it's my favorite. Whether on a big church organ, flute, or folk can I keep from singing.......?

How Can I Keep from Singing?

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round!
Songs in the night He giveth:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of Heav’n and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since I am His—
How can I keep from singing?

By Robert Lowry, 1860
Follow this LINK for the tune. Enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Poetry Friday

The Little Boy Found
by William Blake

The little boy lost in the lonely fen,
Led by the wandering light,
Began to cry, but God, ever nigh,
Appeared like his father, in white.

He kissed the child, and by the hand led,
And to his mother brought,
Who in sorrow pale, through the lonely dale,
The little boy weeping sought

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Love one another, help one another

How very insistent the Apostle Saint John was in preaching the mandatum novum, the new commandment that we should love one another. I would fall on my knees, without putting on any act but this is what my heart dictates and ask you, for the love of God, to love one another, to help one another, to lend one another a hand, to know how to forgive one another. And so, reject all pride, be compassionate, show charity; help each other with prayer and sincere friendship. (The Forge, 454)

If the return of a son who had betrayed him is enough for him to prepare a banquet, what will he have in store for us, who have tried to remain always at his side?

Far be it from us, therefore, to remember who has offended us or the humiliations we have endured — no matter how unjust, uncivil or unmannerly they may have been — because it would not be right for a son of God to be preparing some kind of dossier, from which to read off a list of grievances. We must never forget Christ’s example; besides, our Christian faith is not something to be put on and off like a suit of clothes: it can grow weak or more robust or be lost. With this supernatural life our faith grows strong and the very thought of how wretchedly naked man is without God is enough to terrify the soul. And so one forgives and gives thanks. My God, when I look at my own poor life, I find no reason to be vain and still less to be proud: all I see are abundant reasons why I should be always humble and contrite. I know full well that a life of service is man’s noblest calling.

‘I will arise and go through the city; through its streets and squares I will seek my love.’ And not only through the city; I will run from one end of the world to the other — through all nations and peoples, through highways and byways — to find peace of soul. And I discover this peace in my daily occupations, which are no hindrance to me; quite the contrary, they are my path, my reason to love more and more, and to be more and more united to my God. (Friends of God, 309-310)

Courtesy of Opus Dei Daily Message

Saint Reflection of the Day

The devil will try to upset you by accusing you of being unworthy of the blessings that you have received. Simply remain cheerful and do your best to ignore the devil's nagging. If need be even laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Satan, the epitome of sin itself, accuses you of unworthiness! When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!

– St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Pope Benedict XVI

It's our Pope's 80th birthday today. Somewhere, I had an email address where you could send him a greeting...hmm, if I locate it, I'll let you know!

In the meantime, take a moment to visit my friend
Esther's tribute to Pope Benedict XVI. A picture is worth a thousand words.

UPDATE: I found that url! Here you go:

If you wish to send a birthday greeting to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI as he will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 16th, go to:

Catholic Mothers Online

See this beautiful new icon? You can find it when you scroll down the left margin of this homepage, where you will also find a listing of links in the Catholic Mothers Online Blogroll. You can click on the icon to visit the site and learn more. Catholic moms on line -- unite!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saturday mention

Please visit my Saturday post below, by scrolling down past Sunday, or by clicking on this LINK.

Thank you my friend Esther for the gift of this wonderful image!

Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15th

Saint Faustina, Apostle of Divine Mercy

Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec in Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of ten children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish Church of Ðwinice Warckie. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of nine she made her first Holy Communion living this moment very profoundly in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. She attended school for three years. At the age of sixteen she left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrów, Lodz and Ostrówek in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.

At the age of seven she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent but her parents would not give her permission. Called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, on 1 August 1925 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sister Mary Faustina. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years and lived in several religious houses. She spent time at Kraków, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener and porter.

Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time very natural, serene and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull, she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.

It is the mystery of the Mercy of God which she contemplated in the word of God as well as in the everyday activities of her life that forms the basis of her spirituality. The process of contemplating and getting to know the mystery of God's mercy helped develop within Sr. Mary Faustina the attitude of child-like trust in God as well as mercy toward the neighbors. O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life (Diary 1242). Sister Faustina was a faithful daughter of the Church which she loved like a Mother and a Mystic Body of Jesus Christ. Conscious of her role in the Church, she cooperated with God's mercy in the task of saving lost souls. At the specific request of and following the example of the Lord Jesus, she made a sacrifice of her own life for this very goal. In her spiritual life she also distinguished herself with a love of the Eucharist and a deep devotion to the Mother of Mercy.

The years she had spent at the convent were filled with extraordinary gifts, such as: revelations, visions, hidden stigmata, participation in the Passion of the Lord, the gift of bilocation, the reading of human souls, the gift of prophecy, or the rare gift of mystical engagement and marriage. The living relationship with God, the Blessed Mother, the Angels, the Saints, the souls in Purgatory — with the entire supernatural world — was as equally real for her as was the world she perceived with her senses. In spite of being so richly endowed with extraordinary graces, Sr. Mary Faustina knew that they do not in fact constitute sanctity. In her Diary she wrote: Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God (Diary 1107).

The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Mary Faustina as the Apostle and "Secretary" of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about His great message. In the Old Covenant — He said to her —I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart (Diary 1588).

The mission of Sister Mary Faustina consists in 3 tasks:

Reminding the world of the truth of our faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God toward every human being.

Entreating God's mercy for the whole world and particularly for sinners, among others through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by the Lord Jesus, such as: the veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: Jesus, I Trust in You, the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, chaplet to the Divine Mercy and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.). The Lord Jesus attached great promises to the above forms of devotion, provided one entrusted one's life to God and practiced active love of one's neighbor.

The third task in Sr. Mary Faustina's mission consists in initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy which undertakes the task of proclaiming and entreating God's mercy for the world and strives for Christian perfection, following the precepts laid down by the Blessed Sr. Mary Faustina. The precepts in question require the faithful to display an attitude of child-like trust in God which expresses itself in fulfilling His will, as well as in the attitude of mercy toward one's neighbors. Today, this movement within the Church involves millions of people throughout the world; it comprises religious congregations, lay institutes, religious, brotherhoods, associations, various communities of apostles of the Divine Mercy, as well as individual people who take up the tasks which the Lord Jesus communicated to them through Sr. Mary Faustina.

The mission of the Blessed Sr. Mary Faustina was recorded in her Diary which she kept at the specific request of the Lord Jesus and her confessors. In it, she recorded faithfully all of the Lord Jesus' wishes and also described the encounters between her soul and Him. Secretary of My most profound mystery — the Lord Jesus said toSr. Faustina — know that your task is to write down everything that I make known to you about My mercy, for the benefit of those who by reading these things will be comforted in their souls and will have the courage to approach Me (Diary 1693). In an extraordinary way, Sr. Mary Faustina's work sheds light on the mystery of the Divine Mercy. It delights not only the simple and uneducated people, but also scholars who look upon it as an additional source of theological research. The Diary has been translated into many languages, among others, English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak.

Sister Mary Faustina, consumed by tuberculosis and by innumerable sufferings which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, died in Krakow at the age of just thirty three on October 5, 1938 with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a mystical union with God. The reputation of the holiness of her life grew as did the cult to the Divine Mercy and the graces she obtained from God through her intercession. In the years 1965-67, the investigative Process into her life and heroic virtues was undertaken in Krakow and in the year 1968, the Beatification Process was initiated in Rome. The latter came to an end in December 1992. On April 18, 1993 our Holy Father John Paul II raised Sister Faustina to the glory of the altars. Sr. Mary Faustina's remains rest at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Kraków-Lagiewniki.

© L'Osservatore Romano, Editorial and Management Offices, Via del Pellegrino, 00120, Vatican City, Europe, Telephone 39/6/698.99.390.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Holy Cards for your Inspiration Blogspot

Isn't this just the most precious depiction of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary? I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I'm taking liberty of linking it here from a beautiful newer blogspot called: Holy Cards for your Inspiration. That's exactly what it is. Inspiration! I am a great fan of vintage holy card art. Please take a moment to visit there and look around at the holy beauties. Just click on the blogspot title above.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Poetry Friday

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Speak low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet
From out the hallelujahs, sweet and low
Lest I should fear and fall, and miss Thee so
Who art not missed by any that entreat.
Speak to me as to Mary at thy feet!
And if no precious gums my hands bestow,
Let my tears drop like amber while I go
In reach of thy divinest voice complete
In humanest affection - thus, in sooth,
To lose the sense of losing. As a child,
Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore
Is sung to in its stead by mother's mouth
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled,
He sleeps the faster that he wept before.

Novena to St. Bernadette for Friday, April 13th

O dear little St. Bernadette, humble little shepherdess, who wonderingly beheld the Lovely Lady of the Grotto, pray for us to our Lady of Lourdes that she may heal us of our ills. St. Bernadette, pray for the sick and the afflicted.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Five Our Father's, Haily Mary's and Glory be to the Father's

To join a great Catholic moms Novena circle and receive scheduled Novenas delivered to your email address, click this Title: Cottage of Loreta.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Just for fun, Which Church Father are You?

You're St. Justin Martyr!

You have a positive and hopeful attitude toward the world. You think that nature, history, and even the pagan philosophers were often guided by God in preparation for the Advent of the Christ. You find “seeds of the Word” in unexpected places. You’re patient and willing to explain the faith to unbelievers.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Saint Reflection

The crosses with which our path through life is strewn associate us with Jesus in the mystery of His crucifixion. – St. John Eudes

Saint of the Day

Bl. Angelo Carletti di Chivasso (1411-1495)

Angelo was a Franciscan, appointed Apostolic Nuncio by Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII, commissioned by the former to preach a holy war against invading Turks, and by the latter to prevent the spread of Waldensianism. His "Cases of Conscience" is a famous dictionary of moral theology

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pure Fashion

Pure Fashion...changing our culture one outfit at a time!

School Notes

We have returned to our school routine and it always helps to see the light at the end of the tunnel....just a little extra boost...which I found in this article:

Schooling at Home by Sally Thomas.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What a wonderful Holy Week and weekend - lots of incense :) But more beautiful than incense: we welcomed into the Church 11 new Catholics at our little parish. Alleluia!

God bless all of my visitors this Easter Season!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday: Fourteenth Station

Fourteenth Station:

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Very near Calvary, in an orchard, Joseph of Arimathea had had a new tomb made, cut out of the rock. Since it is the eve of the solemn Pasch of the Jews, Jesus is laid there.
Then Joseph, rolling a great stone, closes the grave door and goes away (Matt 27:60).

Jesus came into the world with nothing; so too, with nothing —not even the place where he rests — he has left us.

The Mother of Our Lord —my Mother — and the women who have followed the Master from Galilee, after taking careful note of every thing, also take their leave. Night falls.

Now it is all over. The work of our Redemption has been accomplished. We are now children of God, because Jesus has died for us and his death has ransomed us.

Empti enim estis pretio magno! (1 Cor 6:20), you and I have been bought at a great price.

We must bring into our life, to make them our own, the life and death of Christ. We must die through mortification and penance, so that Christ may live in us through Love. And then follow in the footsteps of Christ, with a zeal to co-redeem all mankind.

We must give our life for others. That is the only way to live the life of Jesus Christ and to become one and the same thing with Him.

Points for meditation

1. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who are hidden disciples of Christ, intercede for Him making use of the high positions they hold. In the hour of loneliness, of total abandonment and of scorn..., it is then that they stand up for him audacter, boldly (Mark 15:43)...: heroic courage!

With them I too will go up to the foot of the Cross; I will press my arms tightly round the cold Body, the corpse of Christ, with the fire of my love...; I will unnail it, with my reparation and mortifications. . . I will wrap it in the new winding-sheet of my clean life, and I will bury it in the living rock of my breast, where no one can tear it away from me, and there, Lord, take your rest!

Were the whole world to abandon you and to scorn you... serviam!, I will serve you, Lord.

2. You know that you were ransomed from your vain observances..., not with silver or gold, which are perishable things, but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:18-19).

We do not belong to ourselves. Jesus Christ has bought us with his Passion and with his Death. We are his life. From now on there is only one way of living on earth: to die with Christ so as to rise again with Him, to the point that we can say with the Apostle: It is not I that live, it is Christ that lives in me (Gal 2:20).

3. An inexhaustible source of life is the Passion of Jesus.

Sometimes we renew the joyous impulse that took Our Lord to Jerusalem. Other times, the pain of the agony which ended on Calvary... Or the glory of his triumph over death and sin. But always!, the love —joyful, sorrowful, glorious — of the Heart of Jesus Christ.

4. Think first about others. That way you will pass your life on this earth, making mistakes certainly, for they are inevitable, but leaving behind you a trail of good.

And when the hour of death comes, as it must inexorably, you will welcome it gladly, like Christ, because like Him we too will rise again to receive the reward of his Love.

5. When I feel capable of all the horrors and all the errors committed by the most wretched people, I understand well that I myself can be unfaithful... But this uncertainty is one of the bounties of God 's Love, which leads me to hold tightly, like a child, to the arms of my Father, fighting every day a little so as not to separate myself from Him.

Then I am sure that God will not let me out of his hand. Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, not have compassion on the child of her womb? Yet even if she were to forget, I will not forget thee (Isai 49:15).

Taken from
The Way of the Cross, St. Josemaria Escriva