St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

At sixteen, Catherine received a vision in which she was mystically married to Christ. She was a counselor to popes and heads of state. She is a Doctor of the Church.

"Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind."
St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, April 25, 2008

St. Mark the Evangelist

I have three sons and a daughter. My sweetest little son, now 4 years old, a golden haired, chubby little elfish named Mark. Happy feast day to him. He is a wonderful blessings in our lives!

St. Mark the Evangelist (1st century)

Mark was the author of the earliest Gospel. He travelled with St. Paul and his cousin St. Barnabas through Cyprus, and with St. Peter to Rome. He founded the Church in Alexandria and was the bishop of the city for about twenty years.

Women of Faith, Women of Hope, Women of Love

"....Woman's soul is....fashioned to be a shelter in which other souls may unfold. Both spiritual companionship and spiritual motherliness are not limited to the physical spouse and mother relationships, but they extend to all people with whom woman comes into contact."

"Woman naturally seeks to embrace that which is living, personal and whole. To cherish, guard, protect, nourish and advance growth is her natural, maternal yearning."

Saint Edith Stein

Grace-Filled Memories

Ten years ago,(twelve now as I'm revising and reprinting this): a small group of eight mothers met one evening at our church, beginning what would become our Catholic mom's homeschool support group. We named it for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and our parish priest presented and blessed us with a beautiful statue of Mother Seton placed in our meeting room.

That first evening, and for many evenings thereafter, Kimberly Hahn led us in a "Proverbs 31 Woman" study, via audio cassette tapes. We were brought together by the common thread of Catholic homeschooling, and grew together beginning that evening in our God-given roles as women: wives, mothers, friends, learning to embrace more fully authentic femininity.

In more recent years we embarked on further enrichment which included a wonderful series of sessions utilizing the Johnnette Benkovic devotional book: Grace-Filled Moments. It is specifically written for women. It is doctrinally sound, challenging and spiritually directive. I highly recommend it for any Catholic woman for individual study and meditation, and Catholic women's groups of all varieties; it works for both individual and group situations. It would make a beautiful and treasured gift for a Catholic woman in your life.

This week we examine a small sampling of what it is God asks of woman. Follow along as the quotes from the various saints, religious and authors will speak for themselves. God bless you.

Poetry Friday Return

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."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879)

Over five months after her first Communion, Bernadette had 19 visions of the Virgin Mary. She joined a community of religious sisters, who often mistreated her because she was sick. Her body is incorrupt to this day.

“Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but Jesus: neither things nor persons, neither ideas nor emotions, neither honor nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honor, delight, heart and soul.”

– St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Life in Christ: Catechism #2218

The fourth commandment reminds grown children of their responsibilities toward their parents. As much as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude.