St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Day in the Life of...

It's been an interesting day today. It began with an ambulance on our street, that, along with a village police officer visited three different homes, until it returned back to our neighbor's house again....but we've yet to figure out whom it was for. All our neighbor's are well and accounted for...

I took our 8 year old to his dentist appointment today, and the trip took longer than the appointment! I had just nestled myself into the waiting room chair and picked up a Ladies' Home Journal, (I rarely read mainstream magazines), and I was absolutely indulged in an article on caring for and applying make-up to "older skin"...why!.. all the tips and suggestions were wonderful; pink and beige hues for lids, warm eye-liner pencil (not black), only along the top lid...gray or brownish hues in the crease to deflate any puffiness...did you know that the older woman's eyelids retain fluid more and take longer to look less puffy in the morning? I was learning a lot when suddenly "Michael's Mom!"...rang out in the distance. He was all done and ready to go. I would never learn about the beauty of the mature....but I know "concealer" is a big plus :-)

And then, this evening...we were very involved in literature discussion prior to leaving for the library...I'm sure I will see The Metamorphosis (as in: Franz Kafka, the story of Gregor Samsa awaking one morning to discover he had been transformed into a rather large vermin)...vs. Metamorphoses, (as in: Ovid, the story of King Midas and others) in our home by this evening. Both wonderful stories. And we were recalling the "Georgie" series, by Robert Bright, the olden stories of a little friendy ghost.

I'm thinking: ice cream right now...while I'm still thinking: concealer, and dreaming about my dream make-up.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm really suppose to be homeschooling our children...shh, don't tell anyone, I'm still surfing my favorite blogs ;-)

Just wanted to remind you of a special blog that is so beautiful: Holy Cards for your Inspiration. Check it out. You'll want to visit there for a long while....

....just like, I really need to get back to business!

God bless!

Life in Christ: Catechism #2385

"Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Feast of St. Augustine

Feast of St. Augustine

If physical things please you, then praise God for them, but turn back your love to Him who created them, lest in the things that please you, you displease Him. If souls please you, love them in God; for in themselves they are changeable, but in Him they are firmly established. Without Him they pass away and perish. In Him, then, let them be loved, and carry along with you to Him as many souls as you can, and say to them, "Let us love Him, let us love Him; He made the world and is not far from it. He did not make all things and then leave them, but they are of Him and in Him. See, there He is wherever truth is loved. He is within the very heart, yet the heart has strayed from Him. Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to Him who made you. Stand with Him and you will stand fast. Rest in Him and you shall be at rest." Saint Augustine, from The Confessions

"Trust the past to the Mercy of God, the present to His Love, and the future to His Providence."

"Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you."

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Writer, Doctor

Monday, August 27, 2007

Feast of Saint Monica

Mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo, whose writings about her are the primary source of our information. A Christian from birth, she was given in marriage to a bad-tempered, adulterous pagan named Patricius. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a wild life). Spiritual student of Saint Ambrose of Milan. Reformed alcoholic.

"Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled."

Saint Monica

Sunday, August 26, 2007

St. Joseph Calasanz

Joseph was a friend of the astronomer Galileo. He spent 52 years as a priest who taught the faith to poor children. He organized teaching priests into a religious order called the Piarists.

"All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest of patience, and, most of all, profound humility. They must perform their work with earnest zeal. Then, through their humble prayers, the Lord will find them worthy to become fellow workers with him in the cause of truth. He will console them in the fulfillment of this most noble duty, and finally, will enrich them with the gift of heaven."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mom the Builder

Anyone who knows me knows I love books, and when I come across a good one, I must share it. As a home school teacher, and a parish school of religion catechist, I am always reading, reading, looking, looking for edification. I was recently given a sample copy of a book that I must post here for all religious education catechists. It is nicely done, and surely presents the "vocation" of catechist in a remarkably clear and fresh manner. The author Joe Paprocki does an excellent job in meeting the needs of the catechist, with his "toolbox" model. Makes building "faith" all the more rewarding. Read more below.

From Loyala Press website:
The Catechist’s Toolbox is an invaluable collection of techniques, tips, methodologies, and advice for all inexperienced catechists who must learn on the job. Master teacher Joe Paprocki shares the wisdom he has gleaned in two decades as a catechist, high school teacher, and religious educator. Employing the metaphor of a homeowner’s toolbox, Paprocki explains how a new catechist is like a do-it-yourself builder who needs the right collection of tools to do the job; throughout the book, Paprocki explains what the tools are, what they can do, and how to use them skillfully and effectively.

The Catechist’s Toolbox provides first-time catechists with invaluable on-the-job training that will help them feel at home in their new role and will ultimately allow them to thrive as a religion teacher.

In addition to the wealth of suggestions in The Catechist's Toolbox, readers can get answers to their questions about catechesis and other faith-related topics by visiting Joe's blog, Catechist's Journey, at

Friday, August 24, 2007

California Dreamin'

I guess I'm just feeling nostalgic this evening. But after reading my friend Lynn's post on her silent retreat, and her reference to our other friend Alice, and her journey in California, well, I can't help it! It was Father Serra (as in: Junipero Serra) that did it. I have such a fondness of him. I was born and raised in my early childhood, in San Deigo; I was baptized at the Mission San Deigo de Alcala, which was our parish. Oh, the memories.

Mission Basilica San Deigo de Alcala

Beachball, anyone?

Yes, it is very warm here today compared to earlier this week! You can tell by the clothing, er lack thereof, on my weather pixie-girl :) LOL!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Cast into deeper water..."

I just love this encouragement. My sister in law sent this. Thanks!

Don't Quit After A Victory

There are two times when a person stops: after a defeat and after a victory. Successful people understand that there is greater opportunity right on the other side of a victory.

Robert Schuller says, "Don't cash in; cast into deeper water." Do not stop after a success; keep the forward momentum.

One of the great prizes of victory is the opportunity to do more. The trouble is that we have often inoculated ourselves with small doses of success, which keeps us from catching the big victory.

Picture a large boulder at the top of a hill. This boulder represents our lives. If we rock the boulder back and forth and get it moving, its momentum will make it almost unstoppable. The same is true for us.

The Bible promises us God's divine momentum. In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul, writes: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." God's momentum always results in growth.

There are five ways to have divine momentum in your life:
§ Be fruitful (2 Corinthians 9:10)
§ Speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15)
§ Be spiritually mature (Hebrews 6:1)
§ Crave the Word of God (1 Peter 2:2)
§ Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18)

God's definition of spiritual momentum is found in 2 Peter 1:5 (NIV):
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let go of whatever makes you stop. . .

-John Mason, from the book An Enemy Called Average

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Well, I've been trying to post a comment at my friend Lynn's site this morning, to no avail! So, I'll comment here and hopefully she will eventually see it :-)

Kudos to Lynn for a great school start! I'm so proud of her! She's begun to homeschool one of her brood and it sounds like it's working out well. Lynn, just be sure to be flexible and adjust when needed....(I'll have to remind myself of this also!...over and over).

I'm off for more coffee - Lynn's post made me want some (follow this LINK) -- so, make it a great day. I hope the sun in shining where you are! Check out my weather girl below and you'll see why.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

St. Therese Book: Mary Margaret Myers Blogspot

How delightful to find new bloggers. This one is special, she offers a free download of a St. Therese book. Visit her at: Mary Margaret Myers, and scroll down the right margin to find the link to the book. You'll see this image of St. Therese.

Thanks to my friend Esther, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii, for bringing this to our attention. Mahalo Esther!

Re-posted from past archives

I've pulled this back out from a previous posting; just thought the book was worth mentioning again today on the feast of Pope Saint Pius X. You can visit the earlier posting at this LINK.

Our oldest son is looking forward to receiving the sacrament of Confirmation this upcoming May. He has decided to take the name of Pope Saint Pius X. He was impressed with Pius X during his elementary years, while reading about him in the Vision Book: Saint Pius X, The Farm Boy Who Became Pope, by Walter Diethelm, O.S.B.

I have found it difficult to find religious items depicting this Saint. I would appreciate any information on items available such as pictures, medals, etc. Please email me and let me know: mailto:denise344@juno.comGod bless you!

Pope Saint Pius X

One of our favorite saints and one of our favorite images of him. This is my eldest son's Confirmation namesake.

"Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: "There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land" (Hosea 4:1). Yet in the midst of this tide of evil, the Virgin Most Merciful rises before our eyes like a rainbow, as the arbiter of peace between God and man."

Pope Saint Pius X

Monday, August 20, 2007

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps.

– St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Wherever you are

It's a cool rainy day here at my location. And it was so summery a few days before! Of course, there is yet to be an Indian summer here in northeastern Ohio with beautiful fall foliage.

Today we begin a bit of "warm-up" school. There is a Longaberger Carmel-Spice candle burning gently in the kitchen, mingling with the aroma of Cinnabon coffee (Seattle's Best). There is a lot to accomplish today, and hopefully by the grace of the Holy Spirit, it will be accomplished.

I have just left Catholic Analysis and the reading of Oswald's post: God Takes Us Where We Are, and would highly recommend it.

Back later. Have a great day wherever you are.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer School Begins....

....well, it seems that way. My two high schoolers are going to begin their math and language courses tomorrow. In about two weeks, we will add the rest of the curricula and add in our third grader, who has more of a load this year as well.

We have prepared and prepared, and other than hosting visitors and having fun the last few weeks, I guess I'm ready to give in to the inevitable....Summer does seem to go by so quickly, but then again, so does everything else.

So, for our daughter, ninth grade this year, Algebra I (Saxon), and her second year of Henle Latin. For our eleventh grade son, Algebra II (Saxon) this year, and beginning Spanish I (Power-Glide). Doug has already put in several years of Latin, and has two credits for high school Latin, if the college he decides to attend would accept Latin as his foreign language. There are those that will not.

In the meantime, we're off to Columbus Ohio today to visit a brother-in-law who is a fireman and had an accident while out on a call, and just had a hip replacement. He is doing well, thankfully.

Make it a great day! It's overcast and rainy here in northeast Ohio, but don't let that stop you from having a great day! :-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007


"When shall it be that we shall taste the sweetness of the Divine Will in all that happens to us, considering in everything only His good pleasure, by whom it is certain that adversity is sent with as much love as prosperity, and as much for our good? When shall we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of our most loving Father in Heaven, leaving to Him the care of ourselves and of our affairs, and reserving only the desire of pleasing Him, and of serving Him well in all that we can?"

Saint Jeanne
a.k.a. St. Jane Frances of Chantel

Image courtesy of Catholic-Forum

“In our life we will find vigour and victory and depression and defeat”

If you are faithful you will be able to count yourself a conqueror. Even though you may lose some battles in your life, you will not know defeat. You can be sure that there is no such thing as failure if you act with purity of intention and with a desire to fulfill the Will of God. And then, whether you win or lose, you will always triumph in the end, because you will have carried out your work with Love. (The Forge, 199)

We are creatures and full of defects. I would almost say that we will always need defects. They are the shadow which shows up the light of God’s grace and our resolve to respond to God’s kindness. And this chiaroscuro will make us human, humble, understanding and generous.

Let’s not deceive ourselves: in our life we will find vigour and victory and depression and defeat. This has always been true of the earthly pilgrimage of Christians, even of those we venerate on the altars. Don’t you remember Peter, Augustine, Francis? I have never liked biographies of saints which naively — but also with a lack of sound doctrine — present their deeds as if they had been confirmed in grace from birth. No. The true life stories of christian heroes resemble our own experience: they fought and won; they fought and lost. And then, repentant, they returned to the fray.

We should not be surprised to find ourselves defeated relatively often, usually or even always in things of little importance which we tend to take seriously. If we love God and are humble, if we persevere relentlessly in our struggle, the defeats will never be very important. There will also be abundant victories which bring joy to God’s eyes. There is no such thing as failure if you act with a right intention, wanting to fulfill God’s will and counting always on his grace and your own nothingness.

Courtesy of Opus Dei

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy 50th Birthday! my wonderful husband of 18 years and ten months. Here's to your big day! We've been celebrating since last weekend! :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

St. Stephen of Hungary


Stephen was the first Christian king of Hungary. He united the region into a single nation, suppressing revolts led by pagan nobles, organizing dioceses, and founding monasteries. His incorrupt right hand is treasured as the most sacred relic in Hungary. He was the father of St. Emeric.

"Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death." – St. Stephen of Hungary

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hmm, this is a test

I'm having trouble with my blog today - I show I have a new post, yet, it's not actually showing up at my blog url....hmm. This is a test; to read the new post, link to: The Dangers of Criticizing Bishops & Priests. We'll see if this works.

God bless!

The Danger of Criticizing Bishops and Priests

By Thomas G. Morrow

In the thirteenth century many priests were involved in seeking wealth and having a pleasant life. They hardly preached at all, virtually never studied, and paid for important positions so that they could get even more money. A number of priests openly lived with women, causing great scandal. Some of the bishops lived in unbelievable wealth, and would sell Church positions to keep their rich life style. Many of the people were just as bad as their leaders.

As a result, many so-called prophets had appeared, some good, some not-so-good, who promised terrible punishments if people did not reform. Peter Waldo was one of the reformers who had a great beginning. He gave up his riches to live in poverty and spread the faith. He had many followers who also lived as poor men, and did penance. However, when they began to preach without permission against the lazy and sinful priests, the Archbishop of Lyons, France, excommunicated them.

The group, called the Waldensians, took their case to the pope, and he encouraged them. He praised Peter for living in poverty and gave him and his followers permission to urge the people to live moral and holy lives wherever the bishops allowed them to do so. But since they had not studied theology they were not permitted to explain the Bible or to instruct people in the faith. Unfortunately, they began to do both.

In time they got into all sorts of errors, such as placing their interpretation of the Bible over the authority of the pope, denying both purgatory, and veneration of the saints. They also refused to go to confession to immoral priests, preferring to confess to good people who were not priests. As a result, the Waldensians were excommunicated by the pope in 1184.

However, there were still a number of them going all over, spreading their errors. And, there were also the Albigensians or Cathari, as they were called in Italy, who condemned the material world as evil. As a result they denied the sacraments, and marriage in particular. Many people listened to both the leftover Waldensians and Cathari because they lived Gospel poverty, unlike the priests.

Despite their sincerity, and their living radical Gospel poverty, they all fell astray. They lost the faith. But, their contemporary, Francis of Assisi did not. Why not? Because he never went anywhere to preach the Gospel without permission of the priests. Furthermore, he would never criticize the priests and bishops—even the most lazy and immoral ones—nor would he allow his friars to do so. (As a result, the Franciscans were always welcome just about everywhere they went.)

Once a Waldensian challenged Francis on his unshakeable reverence for priests, by pointing out the local pastor who was living in sin. “Must we believe in his teaching and respect the sacraments he performs?”

In response, Francis went to the priest’s home and knelt before him saying, “I don’t know whether these hands are stained as the other man says they are. [But] I do know that even if they are, that in no way lessens the power and effectiveness of the sacraments of God… That is why I kiss these hands out of respect for what they perform and out of respect for Him who gave His authority to them.” His challenger left in silence.

The Franciscan Order revolutionized the faith in Europe during the 19 years from Francis’s conversion at age 25 to his death. There were thousands of Franciscans by the time he died, spreading the true faith, not by pointing out the sins of the priests and bishops (of which there were certainly many), but by living the gospel so simply and so joyfully that people found it irresistible.

Today there are many priests and even bishops who seem to invite criticism by what they say and do, but most are far less culpable than the priests and bishops of St. Francis’ time. The recent scandals in the U.S. priesthood are much uglier but they have been dealt with far more strongly than those lesser but more widespread faults of the thirteenth century.

Rejecting Doctrines
And, I believe the people who will bring about a new springtime in the Church will be more like Francis of Assisi than today’s harsh critics of priests and bishops. Perhaps the example of the Waldensians and Albigensians gives us an insight into what happens when people focus on the sins of priests and bishops.

I believe such criticism can feed our own pride, and make us feel superior to our Church leaders. From that point it is not a great leap to begin to lump their teaching in with their behavior, and to begin to reject the doctrines of the Church. The danger is real.

Jesus warned his followers not to reject the doctrines of the scribes and pharisees despite their shameful behavior:

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. (Matt. 3:1-7)

A few verses later he proclaims, “Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites,” and calls them “blind guides,” and “brood of vipers.” Nonetheless, people are to “practice and observe whatever they tell you,” because they are, in effect, descendants of Moses.

I would venture to say that most of our bishops are far better than the scribes and pharisees, and they are the descendants of the apostles. How important it is that we listen to them, especially in light of the fact that Jesus told them, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).

Liturgical Tampering
Another problem that emerges some times among those who would rather criticize than pray for bishops is deciding for themselves the form the liturgy should take. Some take on themselves the prerogative to make little changes in their responses at Mass, thereby causing division in precisely the place where we should be most unified. Whether it be rejecting a certain memorial acclamation, or responding in Latin when the congregation is responding in English, or substituting the word “God” for “he” or “him” for feminist purposes, any of these can be a distraction for others trying to lift their hearts and minds to God.

It is not up to us to decide what is apt in the Mass, but the bishops. Surely, we should avoid doing something immoral, but besides that unlikely case, we should obediently follow the liturgy given to us by those chosen to do so. Whether we like a translation or not (and some seem to be lacking at times), we should accept and use what our superiors have given us. Far better to write a humble letter to the bishops than to change things on our own authority. And far better to pray for better translations.

Losing Joy
There is a further danger of being so ready to criticize bishops or priests: we can become very dour Catholics. The more we criticize and complain, the more we bring down the morale of the Church and the more gloomy we become. (St. Teresa of Avila said once, “God deliver me from gloomy saints!”) Many sincere, orthodox Catholics have become sour people because they continued to dwell on the faults of the clergy, so sour that they have been unable to contribute something positive to the Church, despite their many talents.

This is not to say we may not acknowledge the wrongs of priests and bishops, but we should do so reluctantly and with understatement. And then, we should move on to the positive, the things that will build up the Church and her morale. We should never dwell on the negative elements of priests and bishops—or anyone else, for that matter—because it will make us melancholy people, always ready to point out the negative aspect of any situation.

The devil is most clever in bringing down those who sincerely love God and the Church. He gets them to dwell on the negative elements of the Church and thereby destroys their joy. We mustn’t fall for this ruse. If we want to be holy, we must focus on the positive, and let nothing destroy our joy.

God the Father spoke to St. Catherine of Siena about his “ministers,” the priests. She recorded it in her Dialogue:

…[It] is my intention that they be held in due reverence, not for what they are in themselves, but for my sake, because of the authority I have given them. Therefore the virtuous must not lessen their reverence, even should these ministers fall short in virtue. And, as far as the virtues of my ministers are concerned, I have described them for you by setting them before you as stewards of... my Son’s body and blood and of the other sacraments. This dignity belongs to all who are appointed as such stewards, to the bad as well as to the good.

…[Because] of their virtue and because of their sacramental dignity you ought to love them. And you ought to hate the sins of those who live evil lives. But you may not for all that set ourselves up as their judges; this is not my will because they are my Christs, and you ought to love and reverence the authority I have given them.

You know well enough that if someone filthy or poorly dressed were to offer you a great treasure that would give you life, you would not disdain the bearer for love of the treasure, and the lord who had sent it, even though the bearer was ragged and filthy... You ought to despise and hate the ministers’ sins and try to dress them in the clothes of charity and holy prayer and wash away their filth with your tears.

Indeed, I have appointed them and given them to you to be angels on earth and suns, as I have told you. When they are less than that you ought to pray for them. But you are not to judge them. Leave the judging to me, and I, because of your prayers and my own desire, will be merciful to them. [1]

Is judging the same as criticizing? It’s close. The Random House American College Dictionary defines the word “criticize” as “1. To make judgments as to merits and faults. 2. To find fault.”

Clearly, the Lord wants prayers, not judgment for his priests. Alas, how sad that some are far more ready to judge (and criticize) priests than they are to pray for them! Imagine how much better off the Church would be if all the energy given to criticizing priests and bishops here devoted to prayer and penance for these men; and how much better off those who prayed and fasted would be!

As a seminarian I once was visiting my sister, and we proceeded to tear apart all the dissenting theologians in the Church. It seemed like such fun. But, then we caught ourselves, and I said, “You know, we probably should not take such delight in criticizing the theologians. It can be a pride thing.” She agreed, “Yes, by saying how wrong they are, we are proclaiming how right we are.”

It’s an easy trap to fall into. We call it the “Isn’t it awful syndrome.”

As a priest, I don’t believe I am exempt from the warning from the Lord to St. Catherine about judging other priests. I don’t have any more right than a layperson to criticize my brother priests. Sometimes this involves biting my tongue when the subject is a less-than-perfect priest.

As I mentioned earlier, it is not wrong to acknowledge the errors of priests or bishops, or gently point them out. But, when it becomes a zealous sport to pontificate about such errors, and to verbally attack these clerics personally, it goes too far.

Love the Bishops
People have a rather rose-colored idea of the life of a bishop. It’s not so pleasant. About 15% of his work is making decisions. The other 85% is dealing with headaches.

I remember well the quip of my pre-ordination retreat director: “Isn’t it interesting that in this age when we have so few vocations to the priesthood, we have so many vocations to the episcopacy.” And, we might add, to the papacy!

When people publicly criticize a bishop, or any man, for that matter, the one criticized will often dig in his heels for his position even he may not care that much about it. He does that to show that he won’t be manipulated by those who try to strong-arm him, even if the criticism is well-intended or well-placed.

On the other hand, people such as St. Catherine of Siena and St. Bernard of Clairvaux had tremendous influence over bishops by their letters. It is not hard to see why: their letters were humble and respectful, and full of love. “But they were saints,” one might argue. They became saints, but if you examine their lives you will find that many did not recognize their sanctity when they were alive. Furthermore, it was their sanctity that inspired them to urge reform with love, and so it will be with our sanctity, if we strive for it.

The priests and bishops are probably no worse than they were in the time of St. Catherine of Siena, or St. Francis of Assisi. In fact, they are much better, in general, despite the shameful scandals of a few, in recent years. We have a choice to make: to give in to our sadness and become a “priest-basher” or “bishop-basher,” always ready to lament with great energy the faults of our clergy; or, while acknowledging the errors of the clergy, we can become morale-builders in the Church, always emphasizing the positive, always ready to build up, not tear down. And, if we look closely, we’ll see a lot of positives in the Church today, and in every age.

St. Paul said it well: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thess. 5:11-13). This is the way to true holiness, and the joy which always accompanies it. And, this Christian joy, unlike sullenness, is infectious.


1. Catherine of Siena; The Dialogue, translated by Suzanne Noffke, O.P., New York: Paulist Press, 1980, pp. 229-231.

Reverend Thomas G. Morrow has a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. His book, Saints for Families (Emmaus Road), a compilation of 27 lives of the saints appropriate for family reading time, appeared in 2002. He is a parochial vicar of St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Wheaton, Md. His published booklets and leaflets can be seen at

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Home-Made Living

It's always so nice to discover another homeschooling family, on-line. Such is the case with Jody's Home-Made Living Blog, and discussion board. I love the coffee-grinder! Check it out: Home-Made Living. (This image courtesy of Jody's site).

Faith Based Toys

These great dolls of virtuous character are being sold through another homeschooling mom from Chaplet, South Jersey, Jennifer Racancoj. Click the link, and visit her store front: Blessed Toys.

St. Clare of Assisi

"Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me".
St. Clare of Assisi

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grammar anyone?

As I prepare for the home schooling year ahead, I am very excited to be doing third grade again, for the third time. It will be a refreshing change from the heaviness of the two high school levels in our home. I enjoyed our grammar text of the past: Primary Language Lessons (Emma Serl), but this year we are going to use the updated version. You can read more about: Lingua Mater, Primary English Lessons, below.

"This latest book in the Lingua Mater series is a reprint of the 1911 version of Emma Serl's Primary Language Lessons. While keeping the flavor of the original book, we have made some changes to make the language more in keeping with today's English usage. We also changed some of the pictures and poems in hopes of making the book more interesting to young readers.

Since this book is intended as a complete third grade course, or as a two year course for second and third grade, we have made some of the exercises near the end of the book more appropriate for the end of third grade. These selections are longer and provide more opportunities for writing. By the time the sudent has progressed through the course, he will be well equipped to handle these tasks.

The beauty of this book is the balance between oral and written work. The exercises are intended to inspire conversation with the student about the use of language and to provide the child with practice using proper grammatical forms. This can be a very enjoyable time for teacher and student as they explore the beauty of the our language." [Margot Davidson, August 2005]Courtesy of Aquinas & More Catholic Goods.

Light-Hearted Meme

My friend Lynn tagged me for this meme. I didn't check, but I hope I got the title right! Anyway - here we go!

1a. Describe your outfit.

A beige tee shirt, denim capris, Birkenstock sandals (burgundy leather, Napal style). And right now, (I just washed my hair), a towel turban on my head!

2a. Are you listening to music?

No, no music right now - it's early, and I'm up before the children, and I'm only hearing the hum of the computer and freezer in the kitchen.

b. Was This Intentional?

Not really; usually I switch on public radio and listen to classical music and the morning news.

3a. Describe the objects within arms reach.

At this computer niche there are a couple Marian statues, St Therese, a Longaberger Pumpkin basket with Autumn liner, Avon brochures, a Family Prayer with the Holy Family depicted on it, and several family pictures.

b. Choose one object and tell where you aquired it.

A dried rose sealed in a clear class container was a gift for one of my birthdays, from a friend.

4a. What room are you in?

A part of the diningroom off the kitchen and livingroom.

b. To What extent is it yours?

I spend a lot of schooling time here. The kids usually gather around the diningroom table to begin their day - and have easy access to two computer set ups here. They use them sparingly for school work. I use it for various work, which of course includes their schooling - keeping records and contact. This room is very much mine.

5. What were you doing before starting this post, and what would you like to do next?

I was getting ready for the day - ready to go out grocery shopping, and drinking coffee - trying to wake up.

I tag anyone in a light-hearted mood!
You're IT!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Truly Living the Beatitudes

I hope to see Denver in my future. What a wonderful community: The Community of the Beatitudes. Catholic Analysis has done a featured piece on this and I urge you to check in out. Be warned St. Therese devotees! will be inspired.

This link to read some firsthand insight from Oswald Sobrino:
Catholic Community of the Beatitudes

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Heralds of Evangelization

I'm back to thinking and preparing for not only our homeschooling, but also religious education at our parish for which I am a part. When I think about the awesome responsibility as a mother and teacher of our children I could almost panic! But, somehow the grace of God truly soothes the fretfulness. This year we will have an high school junior,(son) a high school freshman, (daughter), and a third grader (son), and our youngest son, who will turn four the first of October. Life keeps a'poppin' here! I submit this lovely prayer for catechists, but in particular for we moms who find themselves swept up in the wonder and awe of being the primary educators of their broods at home. May God bless you deeply, with peace and wisdom as you take on another formal year of schooling.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for us!

Come Holy Spirit, inspire all religion teachers as they transmit the truth of faith with dedication and care to those put in their charge. Give them the wisdom and help they need as they help parents in the proper religious formation of children. Move them to love and transmit only that which can form true followers of the Teacher who was divine. Help them to be followers that continue to be Christlike models for all their students who in turn will edify others. Help them and others who assist in religious education to share generously their gifts, all for the glory of God. Through Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Fleeting Days of Summer

I've haven't posted since June 23rd? Wow, the time has flown by! We have been so busy but enjoying every minute of these summer days. Now we are beginning to prepare for our new homeschooling year. The everything, turn, turn, turn....sigh.

Just wanted to say hello, and hopefully hello again soon. I haven't been able to spend much time reading my favorite blogs, but I have been able to sneak a peek every now and then. Great things going on at my friend Lynn's site - I've tried to post a few comments there, but somehow am not able to; maybe a blog-glitch. Anyway, congratulations on your 19th anniversary, Lynn! Wonderful! And I love no-bake cookies, your recipe looks great - but alas, we have a peanut allergy in this family ):

Catholic Analysis is always insightful; kudos to Oswald for many reasons. And hello to everyone else on my blogroll. Esther and Alice, hope you are all doing well!

Sorry for any typos - not editing ...but when blogger will let me upload a picture, I will - just for Lynn! You'll like it :)
God bless!