Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne - Catholic Grandparents Day.

Remember your grandparents on the Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne! The REAL Grandparents DAY!

From Mary Reed Newland's "The Year and Our Children"

St. Anne is the patroness of old clothes dealers, seamstresses, laceworkes, housekeepers, carpenters, turners, cabinetmakers, stablemen, and broommakers, and she is invoked against poverty and to find lost objects. Although the martyrology doesn't say so, she must be the patronness of Grandmothers, and we love her for that because she we could never get along without our grandmothers. The children love to recall that if she was still there when the Christ Child learned to talk, He called her Grandmother. The nicest of her symbols we think is a cradle with the infant Virgin Mary in it.
From the Saint of the Day!
This is the “feast of grandparents.” It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

We think the best way to honor the feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne is to do something lovely for grandparents. Little girls might dress their best dolls as the tiny Mary this day and lay them in flower bedecked cradles.

My mom was awesome at passing on the faith to us. She was a Christian all of her life, but a convert to Catholicism in her late teens.

This feast day was always very special for Mom - she even got married on St. Anne's Feast Day!
wedding program for mom and daddy

She was made sure to pass these things to us. And even though the Catholic High School she sacrificed to send us to did little to nurture or grow that faith (and in some ways was really an occasion for sin) both my sister and I found our way back to the faith as adults.
When mom passed on, one of the first purchases I made with some of the money mom left me was this statue of St. Anne and her daughter Mary.
Aday in July 2011 073

Aday in July 2011 075

I love it for a number of reasons - it is a good reminder that even Mary needed some loving guidance from her mother, it reminds me to provide loving guidance to my own children especially my daughters, and it is a nice reminder of what my mother did all her life for me and my sister and then later as a grandmother to all of her grandchildren.


Hopefully I can be the kind of grandmother to Miss C. that my mom was to my children.

Charlotte and her grandparents

St. Anne Links on Diigo.
Via Catholic Cuisine   - Green and red are the colors for St. Anne - Red for love and green for new life and comfort.  Watermelon seems to be associated with both of those things - and watermelon cupcakes are even better!

Follow Elena LaVictoire's board st. anne on Pinterest.

When Mom was alive, we always made a point of doing something on this day for her - either have her over for dinner or out for ice cream.  Today I will make a special point of praying for her and also for my own grandmothers who have passed on.

And since I will be a grandmother today with my granddaughter - I think we might have to chop into that watermelon!

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Simple Woman

Outside my window...

It's Black-Eyed Susan season in my garden!

I am thinking...
about a nice wedding we attended this past weekend.  It was simplicity at it's finest.

I tell couples that come to our pre-cana talk that they don't need to spend a lot of money on "stuff" for a wedding and this bride certainly proved that.

I'm mainly thinking how much I enjoyed the reception WITHOUT the band or DJ because I could actually talk to people and understand what they were saying back to me!! The reception was also in a lovely garden and as a photographer, I enjoyed that as well!

I am thankful...
that the newly weds made it up for the weekend, and back home safely.

Mallory's wedding 111

In the kitchen...
Simple, simple, simple this week.  I am hoping to do egg dishes instead of so much meat this week.  I am also craving spaghetti for some reason.

I am wearing...
This is what we wore to the wedding - me and all of my girls!
LaVictoire women

I am pondering...
aging and how to age well.

Calvin saw me after many months this weekend and commented that my hair is now more gray than black.  That was my personal choice because I wanted my hair to stay in good condition and not thin or become straw-like from chemical treatments. And it is in great condition and very soft. But it is indeed very silver in places.

I have a friend on Facebook who has been an athlete ever since high school.  She has the body of 20 year old, but the face of a 60 year old. That doesn't seem fair to me. I also saw a lovely lady that I knew years and years ago. She was probably the age I am currently when I knew her then.  She is frail now, not stylish as I remember her, and her memory is gone. That's not fair either. Getting older and closer to death doesn't scare me - it's the ravages of time along the way that give me pause.

I am going...

Rockin Robots from the library show last week.

I am reading...

From the Learning Rooms...

Izzy-Junior - heading into senior year!

A quote to share...
“Please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country and love our children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience. Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

Senator Ted Cruz

Some  of my favorite things...

Mallory's wedding 075

A picture to share...


One of my favorite pictures from the weekend.

A funny thing happened during the posed pictures at church - my family was called up to get pictures with the bride and groom and we were all up there and posed in seconds - that's 9 of us plus the bride and groom. The photographer even commented about how quick and efficient we were and how well organized.

That's because I have been posing these kids on the front steps, or backyard, or in church for over 20 years!!! and now it pays off!!

Izzy and the gang

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Friday, July 22, 2016

7- Quick Takes

 photo seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213_zps0988a8ef.jpg
Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum.

1.  The Republican National Convention in Cleveland is over. Since that is only an hour away from here I'm relieved that it was over without any big incidents.
Cleveland skyline
Cleveland Skyline IIP photo archive via Flickr, licensed cc

Some people were mortified that Ohio is an open carry state and that the governor would not rescind those rights during the convention. But I think the convention was super safe BECAUSE it's an open carry state and the citizens of Ohio at the convention protected their city!

2.  Overall, the convention didn't hurt my sensibilities - not in the way I know the Democrats will next week. I predict more upheavel, more crime, more foul language, more litter, and I think the possibility of a big terror incident is greater.

Highlights for me included hearing from Donald Trump's children.  I thought Donald Jr. was a more polished and gifted speaker than his father. Tiffany also had a lot of polish and poise for such a young woman. I appreciated Chris Christie's presentation on Hillary's failures as a secretary of state, and I cried for Patricia Smith as she spoke about her mistreatment by the state department and Secretary Clinton.  Laura Ingraham was also outstanding.

3.  The best speech was from Ted Cruz. First of all, he actually showed up to the convention - something that our Governor Kasich couldn't seem to do.  I get it. The primaries were rough, but when the national spotlight is on your state, Governor, you make an effort to BE THERE!

Anyway, I give a lot of credit to Senator Cruz for coming to the convention and giving a speech. I also think that by congratulating Donald Trump for winning the nomination, he showed himself to be a man of character and virtue. The rest of his speech was inspiring and beautiful.

Too bad, the Trumpdoculites at the convention wouldn't let him finish. When Mr. Cruz came to the part of his speech asking people to vote their conscience and vote for a candidate who would uphold the constitution, they started chanting, "Endorse Trump, Endorse Trump."

Funny thing that:

I respect Cruz more for NOT endorsing Trump.  Trump pulled out all kinds of crazy crap at the end of the primaries - like saying Cruz's dad was somehow involved in the Kennedy Assassination, and calling Heidi Cruz "ugly."  Cruz stood up for his family.

In four years, when Trump implodes, Cruz is going to look like a genius.

4.  Some of my adult children are either going to abstain from voting for president, or are voting third party. They can't in good conscience vote for either Hillary or Trump and I am very proud that I raised children who will stand up for their convictions.

5.  I on the other hand, will be taking a stiff drink before I go to the polls, and then will hold my nose and close my eyes as I punch my ballot for the Trump ticket.

I am old enough to know that there is no third party candidate who could possibly have a chance to win or even challenge the front runners. This is historically true; it has never happened. A third party just spoils it for the party from which they broke off, and it never goes well.  Teddy Roosevelt's candidacy gave us Woodrow Wilson.  Ross Perot gave us Bill Clinton.

and for my left-leaning friends - George Wallace gave us Richard Nixon, and Ralph Nader gave us George W. Bush.

So my children, while virtuous in upholding their consciences, are naive if they think it will in any way give us a third party president.

6. Which brings me to the main reason I will be voting for Trump - I cannot vote for Hillary. She is evil and immoral. She is also incompetent - according to the FBI she has no idea how to manage simple 21st century technology, such as email.  Her judgement is flawed and she only looks at problems through the lens of how it will affect her.

Add to that her views on social issues and abortion, and her incompetence in foreign affairs, and I just don't see her as commander and chief of the country.

I also don't think she is in the best of health. She's probably hiding something there too.

I hold out hope that the weight of the office will have a Thomas Becket, or Arthur Chester affect on Donald Trump.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

July 2016 081 gargoyle garfield

Gargoyle on the Garfield Tomb.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Deeply Sown Seeds - a Reflection on Matthew Chapter 13:1-9

Matthew Chapter 13:1-9 On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

I used to listen to this story and think that it was about evangelizing the people around me, at work, or at the gym, or the grocery store.

It really wasn’t until my children were mostly grown that it occurred to me that Jesus was talking about passing the faith on to my kids!

I don’t know why I never considered that angle before! I certainly had a good example in my own mom! She was a diligent sower of the faith! She taught the faith to us just by the way she lived her life – faithful until the very end. When I was very little, I remember the delight I felt in hearing stories of Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels. I loved and believed it all, and consequently my little stem of faith grew enthusiastically tall! But the faith of a little child has short roots, even if they are growing in rich soil. The scorn of peer pressure and the need to be cool, easily parched my ardor and stunted my growth in faith.


Seed, by Tom Heyes, via Flickr, licensed cc

Read the rest at Catholicmom.com

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our Lady Mt. Carmel.

From the Seton Newsletter.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th, the date of Our Lady's appearance to St. Simon Stock. The celebration of this feast seems particularly appropriate in light of the current conflict between Muslims and Christians. This feast gives us and our children an opportunity to learn about how the Church has suffered from those who oppose us. Our children can be prayer "crusaders" in their own home.

Mount Carmel was the location in Palestine where, in the Old Testament times, the Prophet Elijah called down fire from heaven, once to destroy an enemy pagan captain and his fifty soldiers, and once to prove to the pagan priests that the true God of the Israelites was in control.

The prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel; the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice

 The Prophet Elijah lived on Mount Carmel most of his life as a monk; it was because he lived there with other monks living a life of prayer and sacrifice, that Mount Carmel was considered a sacred mountain.

Mt. Carmel

Later during the Old Testament time of Judith, King Nabuchodonosor sent his general to "bring all the earth under his empire." One of the places that resisted this invasion was Carmel. Although Judith did not live in Carmel, she was an Israelite widow who prayed for God to give her the strength to defeat the king and his general, General Holofernes. Judith was given a strategy by God, and she killed the general in his own camp.

In New Testament times, chapels, including one to the Blessed Mother, were built on Mount Carmel, and an order of monks called Carmelites lived there. Throughout the centuries when the followers of Islam, the Mohammedans or the Saracens, were destroying Christian cities and churches, Carmel was destroyed but rebuilt again by the Christians. The Crusaders fought valiantly during the holy wars trying to save Carmel and the other holy lands.

However, because of the devastation, the Carmelite Order moved to Europe. Later, St. Simon Stock, born in England in the mid 1100's, joined the Carmelite Order in England, where there was great devotion to the Blessed Mother. He became the general of the Carmelite Order, and spent several years in the monastery on Mount Carmel. The Order spread through Europe, and in 1252 the pope gave official recognition to the Carmelite Order.

The Blessed Mother appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, in Kent, England, and gave him a scapular for the monks to wear day and night. She told the saint, "Those wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire."
Aylesford, England (1251) - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Since then, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has become a favorite with Catholics all over the world, many popes and saints wearing it daily. Scapulars, official sacramentals of the Church, with their prayers and devotions, have become second in popularity only to the Rosary. The Church has granted many spiritual benefits to the wearing of the Brown Scapular.

St. Terese of Lisieux, the Little Flower and Doctor of the Church who joined the Carmelite Order, wrote about Mary as our Mother and a model for us to imitate. Mary cares for us as a mother, and we should love her as our heavenly mother. We need to look to her as the perfect disciple of Jesus, and try to imitate her way of life, especially her instant and complete obedience to His holy will.

Those who wear the scapular show their devotion to the Mother of God by frequent prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments. The scapular is a sign, a symbol of our willingness to commit ourselves to a higher spiritual life of prayer and devotion, as well as the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

For us homeschooling parents, Our Lady of Mount Carmel should remind us of the attacks against the church, whether they are from across the seas or right in our own country. We and our children need to re-dedicate ourselves to praying for the Church, and to ask the Blessed Mother in prayer to help our Church at this time in our country when it is under attack from the pagan society, from the media, and even from those supposedly within the Church who want the laws of God abandoned.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we know you are our heavenly mother and are dedicated to protecting us. Please intercede for us with your Son to protect our Church from the enemies of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to learn through teaching our children that our holy Catholic Faith is the most precious treasure we have, and that we must be willing to make great sacrifices for the Church which your Son founded for our eternal salvation. Amen.

Another prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel) composed by Saint Simon Stock.

O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine,splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist us in our necessity! O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our Mother! Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us!

The Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel from Aquinas and more.com
Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Also called simply the Brown Scapular, this small scapular is the most well known and likely the earliest form of the devotional scapular. It may even be referred to merely as “the scapular,” where all other scapulae are referred to in the full name or by some distinguishing characteristic. Along the same line, the phrase “The Feast of the Scapular” refers to the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Pious tradition holds that the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251 in England, with a scapular in her hand and said to him, "Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant." According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, these precise words of Our Lady only appeared in written form in 1642, in a document that said these words had been dictated by Simon to his secretary and confessor. Historical documents cannot support the exact details or words, but the content is held to be reliable. That is to say, it is credible that Our Lady assured St. Simon Stock in a supernatural manner of her special protection over his whole order and all who would wear the Carmelite habit, indirectly extending to all Christian faithful who should wear the scapular as a badge of devotion, even if we cannot place the exact words.

Conditions for Receiving the Graces of the Scapular

The promise and the following conditions are typically associated with a vision and Bull of Pope John XXII. The Bull that has been handed down since the 1400's was never mentioned for over 100 years after its supposed promulgation in 1322 and no record of such a document exists in the writings of Pope John XXII. It has been generally assumed that the extant text of the Bull is not an authentic document but the promises and conditions are valid and several popes have given the Carmelites permission to preach them.

Here are the conditions:

1) Wear the Brown Scapular continuously -
(Catechesis of the Brown Scapular)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Brown Scapular

2) Observe chastity according to one's state in life.

3) Recite daily the "Little Office of the Blessed Virgin."
Little Office Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

available also on Kindle


3a) Observe the required fast of the Church as well as abstaining for meat on Wednesday and Saturday


3b) Recite the Rosary daily


3c) With permission, substitute some other good work.

Obviously, the Scapular is not a get out of Hell or Purgatory Free Card.

Other Links for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Delicious

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel desert

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