Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How Pope Paul VI Kept Me Catholic

This is from my latest over at

Pope Paul VI

Like many Catholics all over the world, I was thrilled with the canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.   The first was the pope of my coming of age and adulthood!  He was the skiing pope, the traveling pope, and the forgiving pope.  When someone mentions "The Pope" it's his face that still briefly enters my mind.

I'm still too young to really remember John XXIII, (event at my own quickly advancing years!)  However, if John Paul appealed to me because of the relative youth and vigor of his early years, Pope John appeals to me because of the work he accomplished in old age.  At the twilight of his life he did something really big and awesome - he called for the Second Vatican Council. I guess his example just gives me inspiration as person in middle age to keep on fighting the good fight because it ain't over until it's over!

But as happy as I was for the canonization of these two, I keenly felt the absence of Pope Paul the VI - the "Paul" part of "John Paul."   For me, it was the mystic nature of Pope Paul's papacy that brought me all the way home - back into the Catholic Church.

As a young Catholic, I remember learning that Christ said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, and that whatever the church "bound on earth" would be "bound in heaven."  Those seem like impossible statements!   Yet that seems to have been proven true through Paul VI's encyclical Humane Vitae.

Humane Vitae came out in 1968. The fact that it came out at all was a miracle.  Wanting to understand all of the issues surrounding family life and marriage, Pope John  assembled a commission on birth control to study the issue, and the recommendation to lift the ban on artificial contraception was given to Paul VI.

Despite the recommendations of this commission, Paul VI did not lift the ban, but wrote Humane Vitae instead.  I was 9 years old. That document overshadowed the rest of my religious formation. Teachers at my "Catholic" high school ignored it or even taught against it under the banner of "social justice."  In hindsight I can even see that we students were not being inspired towards chastity but lured towards the ever changing morals and lifestyles of the progressive 1970s. 

It wasn't until I became a mom myself that I could see God's protection on the church, and His will working through Pope Paul's writing.  One of the arguments from the commission was that the birth control pill prevented ovulation and could thus be licitly used by married Catholic couples.  Humane Vitae clarifies that any type of contraceptive that separates the pleasurable and procreative aspects of the marital act are sinful.  But what if the Pope had swayed to the opinions of the commission?  If he had, 30 years later science would show us that ovulation isn't always prevented, babies are sometimes conceived and that the oral contraceptive many times causes these children to be lost to very early miscarriage. 

The gravity of this is huge.  God protected his church through Paul VI, who bravely wrote his Encyclical that saved the church from entering a grave error, scandal and embarrassment. We have also seen with time that Paul VI was a prophet. Many of the things he wrote about in Humane Vitae as being dangerous and sinful have since come to pass.

Despite his courage in this matter, Pope Paul spent the rest of his papacy saddened by the reception and disobedience of the encyclical by laity and some of the clergy in the west. Paul surely suffered as a servant of God.

Pope Paul's courage and stand against artificial contraception is a big part of what brought me back to the Catholic Church and reiterated for me that the church is instituted by Christ and protected from error by Him. But further "proof" came this week when Pope Francis, the darling of the progressive media, beatified Paul VI, moving him closer to sainthood. 

God truly does have a sense of humor.

Friday, October 17, 2014

7-quick takes

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1.  I can remember years and years ago, feeling very safe with the knowledge that there was no cancer in my family - especially in first degree relatives.  Safe and kind of secure.  I knew that diabetes and heart disease were still possibilities, but at least I thought I could be pro-active and try to avoid those.

However, at the doctor's office this week it occurred to me that with my family medical history changing (mom died of ovarian cancer) I'm more in the cancer cross hairs than I've cared to admit!  And that feeling of safety and security is no longer as strong as it used to be.

2.  I had a similar feeling with the exotic Ebola virus!

  It used to be an obscure infection somewhere in the jungles of Africa.  Then thanks to the brilliance of our current government - it moved to Texas - which is awful but still a long way away.  But this week, we found out that the second nurse infected with the Ebola virus was in the town next to mine over the weekend.  That put a large lump in my throat but there was still a wall of safety I thought - until I found out that the school just down the road was closed and people were being quarantined because someone there knew the infected nurse and spent time with her over the weekend.

My safety walls are completely knocked down!

3.  So without overly freaking out my kids, we've decided not to be sharing the communion cup at church for a while. When I was a kid when only received communion under one species anyway, so for me it's more a retro move - but it was sure hard to explain this to Rosie without having her freak out!

4.  Speaking of a doctor's visit - I've had this patch of hyperpigmentation on my back for about 10 years now.  Mr. Pete noticed it and has been keeping an eye on it. It waxes and wanes so I never did much about it.  Then one day in August I wore a workout top to take my walk in and my son Noah noticed it.

"What's that thing on your back mom?"

"Oh nothing, it's been there for a long time," I replied.  "Does it look bad"?

"Well it doesn't look good!"  and in typical teenage boy fashion, he grabbed his sandwich and just left me sitting there stunned.

I did a lot of googling and I thought it was this, but I still wanted my doctor's opinion.  The problem is, if I went in for this problem, it would cost me a lot of money for an office visit.  But-if I went in for a check up and then just threw the back in as an, "Oh by the way, can you take a look at this?" it should be covered as preventive care!  So I decided to play the system and do it that way.  The downside is I made the appointment in August and couldn't get in for a regular check up until this week.

5.  In a way I was excited about seeing my doctor.  I haven't seen her since I lost all of this weight and I was looking forward to the praise and encouragement!

It was not forthcoming.

She came in a bit flustered and upset about something administrative, and it took a while for her computer to do what she wanted it to do.  Then she started zipping off a review of systems so fast that I barely had time to think about each thing as she said them!

Basically though, my back is fine.  If I want to do anything about it I'll have to see a dermatologist, she'll be happy to work up my tinnitus if I want to get an MRI (I don't), and she said I should exercise and watch my weight (grrrrr...).  Oh - and she never heard of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and she still thinks I should get a mammogram.  I left with an order for lab work and a feeling of bewilderment over what just happened at that appointment!

6.  Mr. Pete and I have a young nephew who is in that awkward "What am I going to do with my life?" phase that many of us went through in our early 20s.  Said nephew started to give us a litany of all the sorrows in his life and Mr. Pete and I started countering that with our own.

Here's the lesson to learn from this - you shouldn't compare suffering and loss and you certainly can't compare the losses you have had at 20 something to the losses of a people in their 50s, 60s, 70s etc.

Which reminded me of my beloved Aunt Dot who lost her last sibling a few months ago and this month buried her oldest child.  At 93 she's lost her grandparents, parents, siblings, friends, husband and two children!  That's a lot of heartache.

But she still gets up every morning, she still thinks life is worth living, and she still loves the Lord!  She's my inspiration.

7.  Noah Runs in his first district meet EVER tomorrow.  The team has a small chance to make it in to regionals and they'll be working had towards that.  But if they don't make it - this is the last week for running.  So exciting, nerve wracking and bittersweet all at the same time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

praying before meet

What winning cross country teams do before a big race.


The Christian Wedding Industry - the forefront of the culture war

Last week, I got involved in a discussion about wedding cakes!

As KATU first reported, Sweet Cakes Bakery owner Aaron Klein admitted he denied a lesbian bride-to-be service after she visited his shop on Jan. 17. The woman who filed the complaint tells the station that she had previously purchased a wedding cake from Sweet Cakes for her mother, and was only refused after she specified that this cake was for a same-sex wedding.
Klein, who reportedly owns the bakery with his wife Melissa, told NBC he was simply living in accordance with his religious beliefs by rejecting the lesbian couple's request. Furthermore, he believes his decision to deny the couple service is protected by his Constitutional right to practice his religion as he sees fit.
I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God," Klein is quoted as saying. "A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife ... that to me is the beginning of marriage."
Specifying that he does not consider himself to be anti-gay -- "I'll sell [gay people] stuff...I'll talk to them, it's fine" -- Klein went on to note, "I'd rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in than to see him bow down because one person complained. 

The baker was fined $150,000  - for refusing to make a $200-$500 wedding cake.   They were also boycotted, had protests outside of their bakery, other vendors turned against them and they eventually had to close the bakery.

So I started thinking... is there a way that a Christian baker, or anyone in the wedding industry could continue in their livelihood while still following their well-formed consciences regarding traditional marriage?

The trick is, to offer the same service to everyone to avoid getting slapped with a discrimination suit - and that definitely is going to take some skill because it seems the judiciary is set on forcing wedding vendors to accept same-sex weddings as being the same as traditional marriage, even if individual business owners personally don't believe that.

Here are some strategies I think might work.

If I were running a bakery, I would have maybe five or six generic but pretty cake designs and about as many flavors. I would have customers pick out their designs and their flavors - no special orders and no cake toppers. No custom cakes.  I think I would also limit the places I would deliver too, although customers could certainly come and pick up their purchases. That way you're not selling "wedding cakes" but a standard cake design that anyone could purchase for any reason.

That made me think about other wedding services as well. As a photographer, I guess I would have to give up doing engagement pictures, but for weddings I would only work in certain churches (Catholic, or traditional Christian or Jewish).

I think these venue owners had the right idea about allowing parties and receptions, but not ceremonies. Now that will have to apply to all couples.

It was disturbing to read that other vendors started turning against their colleagues when the bad publicity found them.  Maybe it's time for Christian Wedding Vendors to form a society and proudly support one another and refer business to one another exclusively.

Lastly, one of the best suggestions came from a commenter on the Huff Po site.  He said that he would gladly serve any and all costumers to the best of his ability, BUT he would have it posted in his shop and on his literature that a portion of all proceeds from wedding business would go to a pro-traditional marriage organization like:

The National Organization for Marriage
Focus on the Family
The local Catholic Diocese

Maybe that's the best idea at all.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Simple Woman

Outside my window...
october 2014 288
The site of Rosie's last cross country match this year.

I am thinking...
how amazing Noah's race was. Last year he finished 10th on the JV race, and this year he ran a personal best and finished 9th on the Varsity.  I never thought he would break 19, but he did.  I wonder how much faster he can go?

Noah 192

Noah running in the city championships with a personal record of 18:53 for the 5K. 9th place city varsity team.

Congratulations to the 2014 City Cross Country Varsity Champions!

I am thankful...
for the beautiful fall weather we had this weekend.
october 2014 354

In the kitchen...

I have been grain free for an entire year!!!   Placing an amazon order for some things this week but in the meantime, enjoying some of Danielle Walker's wonderful scramble ideas!

I am wearing...
Black workout pants and a black shirt.

I am going...
  • to walk Monday - Thursday and try get some arm workouts in too.  
  • Let Noah have some big driving time!  OK people- that means the express way which absolutely terrifies me. 
  • Take Noah to his practice this week and encouraging Rosie to keep running. 
  • Pray the office and the rosary with the children in the morning with divine office. com a habit!
From the Learning Rooms...
  •   Noah working on:
    ·       Instacert.  American History II CLEP test -scheduled for October 23.  
    ·       Algebra II with our new tutor.
    ·       British Lit.
    ·       Biology at home and with co-op.
    ·       Latin 2
    ·       Private piano lessons.
    Izzy working on:
    ·       Geometry.
    ·       American History
    ·       American Literature
    ·       Also continuing Diane Craft reading program, spelling and writing.
    ·       Biology with the co-op and at home.
    ·       American Sign Language.   
    ·       Art class.
    Rosie working on:
    ·       Math
    ·       Reading
    ·       Spelling
    ·       Map skills
    ·       History and
    ·       Astronomy with the co-op.
    ·       Also sign language, bible and vocal music with the co-op.
    ·       Private piano and art
    Izzy and Noah doing the Dave Ramsey course to meet their finance requirement for high school.

One of my favorite things...
My Grandpa Calvin had many, many nieces and  nephews and so of course at family reunion time I heard a lot of them calling him "Uncle Cal."  My uncle was also named Calvin, so for all of my growing up years, "Uncle Cal" was a staple on my family tree.

That's been missing for the past 28 years - not in loving memory of course but in an absent, "something's missing" sort of way.

And now Miss C. has an Uncle Cal.  He came over Friday and she immediately put her little head on his chest and simply wouldn't let him put her down.  It was so sweet.  So my branch of the family tree has an Uncle Cal again - and it feels great.

october 2014 129


I am hoping to ...
  • Get some flute practice done.
  • Start the next closet!
  • Start Rosie's report on magnetism. 
  • Get back to a more "normal" pace of life now that cross country is almost over. 
  • Make two gift baskets to raffle for the museum that lets us have the co-op there every week. 

I am looking forward to...

  • Noah going to districts with the varsity team.
  • Rosie running a 5K.
  • Putting my new shredder to good use!

 A video to share...

because it made me smile last week

Friday, October 10, 2014

7-Quick Takes

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1. One of the things I love about being part of a homeschool co-op, is the opportunity to do things like this every week!

2. Noah was mentioned in the paper yesterday as part of the Varsity cross country team.  He is holding on to his spot with the tips of his fingernails - as all of the kids in front of him and behind him continue to get faster!!  Tomorrow is their city championships and if he can hold on to his spot, he might get to the next level, and maybe, just maybe, he might letter as well.

october 2014 004

3. He has had such a wonderful time with this group.  Tonight there is a pasta dinner and tomorrow a big bon fire. They are a group of friends - a real team.

On Monday, Rosie and I were walking the trail while the boys were running.  Noah and the team ran by us and Rosie let out an enthusiastic, "Go Noah!"

And then the friendly cajoling commenced.

"Go Noah?  What about go David?"

"Get your own little sister David."


I'm really going to miss our practices in the woods.

Firestone cross country.

4. Rosie is finishing her cross country season as well - and for the first time, I sort of looking forward to the end - it's been a very long season and although I will really miss it, part of me is ready for it to be over.

october 2014 079
... at least that's what I tell myself.

5. Izzy has a beautiful painting that I can't wait to share with you next week!  She just needs a few more finishing touches.

6. But the big news of the week is Calvin is finally


 sarah's ring

7.  So here's the scoop.

In the summer of 2013, Calvin picked out this gorgeous ring and was going to propose to his girl, Sarah.  She had some rules however:

  • No proposals on holidays and
  • It had to be something special.
And Calvin hoped to make it very special.  They went on a vacation to Key West, Florida- the southern most point in the United States, and he reserved a private place in a restaurant overlooking the ocean during sunset so that he could propose there. Then he lost his job and couldn't finish paying for all of that.  So that potential proposal didn't work out. I hinted at this here and here. 

Fast forward to last weekend - they went to visit an apple orchard that Sarah has gone to every year since she was a very little girl.  That annual trip to the orchard had a lot of sentimental meaning for her.  And while they were looking at apples, Calvin picked one up and asked her what she thought of it - and of course inside was this lovely ring.  

That's all it took - he asked, and she accepted.  We're all thrilled

Thursday, October 09, 2014

My Domestic Links of the Day

Cat nap

The Cesarean Complex Industry
I've had three Cesareans - only one was medically necessary.  My granddaughter was delivered via C-section because we have lost the skill in this country of delivering breech babies.  Here's an interesting article that looks at the economics and the health risks behind this very common and very invasive medical procedure.

1. National Hospital Discharge Survey; CDC. 2. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.4. Health Affairs; American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 5. Health Affairs;Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine; “The Cost of Having a Baby in the UnitedStates.” 6. PLOS ONE; Pediatrics; Clinical & Experimental Allergy; Diabetologia; “The Impactof Caesarian Section on the Relationship Between Inhalant Allergen Exposure andAllergen-Specific IgE at Age 2 Years.”According to one study, only 38 percent ofCesareans today have a clear medicalindication, such as a problem with the placentathat would make labor dangerous. The majorityof C-sections involve a mix of more-subjectivefactors and, ultimately, a doctor’s judgment call.Doctors may suggest surgery after weighingvarious factors that might argue against a vaginalbirth—say, a previous C-section (until recently,obstetrical guidelines discouraged vaginal birthafter Cesarean, ­or VBAC, for fear of rupturing auterine scar). OBs may also consider nonmedicalfactors such as scheduling: Cesareans are morepredictable than vaginal births.In the 20th century, Cesareans becamemuch less risky than they had been, thanks toantibiotics and improved techniques. But theyremained relatively rare until the 1970s, whenthe rate of C-section births began climbingsteeply, to today’s peak of one in three.Strangely, this increase hasn’t made birth saferoverall: after declining steadily through most ofthe 20th century, the maternal mortality rate hasactually been rising over the past few decades.From one hospital to another, C-section ratescan vary by a factor of 10, without any apparentinfluence on newborn health. This variationsuggests that hospital policies have a hugeimpact on delivery decisions. Avoiding unneces-sary C‑sections may not be a priority for allproviders—C-sections bring in about 50 percent more revenue than vaginal births do.Yet what’s good for hospitals in the short term may not be good for patients in the long term.

Ever wonder about the term "piss poor" and other old sayings and traditions? Here's an interesting explanation. 
 Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . …… . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.Read more at

Finally the left and the right can be united - against Common Core!
The idea behind Common Core is straightforward. Unlike nearly every other developed nation, the United States has set no standards outlining what American students should know by the time they graduate high school. For many states, that has meant setting the bar low and patting themselves on the back about how brilliant their students are. But it turned out many kids, particularly poor and minority students, were unprepared for college. The Common Core standards were meant to make sure kids in, say, Mississippi and New York all had the same basic level of competence in reading and math.
But the implementation has been a disaster. For starters, the 27-member committee that wrote the standards had few actual teachers on it, but plenty of representatives from the testing industry. Because it is illegal for the U.S. Department of Education to exert influence over state curriculums, the Bill Gates foundation stepped in and funded most of the effort. Even worse, the committee that wrote the standards no longer exists, and there are no formal procedures for amending them.

 Another teacher in a Catholic School who is surprised to be held to her actual contract!  And what's worse - the lemming "social justice" students are supporting the teacher against the school.

Webb had taught at the Catholic girls' school — run by IHM Sisters of Monroe (IHM) — for nine years before her firing in August. School administration had either not known, or had looked the other way, when she and her partner Kristen Las had a "wedding" ceremony in Windsor in 2012. But when Webb informed school administrators this summer that she was pregnant (presumably through in vitro fertilization), the school explained that she had violated the morality clause of her employment contract. She was offered the choice of being terminated or resigning with continued health insurance coverage through the school year and a non-disclosure provision.

Behold, the fruits of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty. 

Johnson’s War brought further progress, but progress then stopped. It stopped because government is not good at making a distinction between needy and lazy. It taught moms not to marry the father of their kids because that would reduce their welfare benefits. Welfare invited people to be dependent. Some people started to say, “Entry-level jobs are for suckers.” Many could live almost as well without the hassle of work.
Despite spending an astonishing $22 trillion dollars, despite 92 different government welfare programs, poverty stopped declining. Government’s answer? Spend more!
Dr. Suzanne Humphries on the vaccine dilemma.

Suffering the little children - about little kids at mass.  
About 17 years ago or so, I packed up my three little boys and drove an hour or so to a shrine with my homeschool group.  We were going to have mass and then listen to a talk by the priest, have lunch, explore the grounds and visit the gift shop.

My little boys were wiggle worms.  They messed with stuff, they played with the kneelers, they made each other laugh - typical stuff boys 8 and under will do.  But I felt great being surrounded by the love of the other homeschool moms and I loved the idea that the kids would get to play with their friends. I was also looking forward to an uplifting and encouraging talk by the priest.

It was not forthcoming.

Instead he took the opportunity to scold us for not controlling our children and while looking directly at me, said that children who could not sit still at mass were being disrespectful.  At that point, I respectfully got out of my seat, opened my stroller, plopped my baby's butt into it and told the other boys, "We're leaving."  And with tears in my eyes, but my head held high, I left.  That priest was an idiot.

And I only had the courage to do that, because years and years before, my mother had been in a similar situation.  My sister was playing the pew and fell and bumped her face.  She let out a blood curdling scream but mom picked her up and held her and she calmed down. However, the priest in full vestments came up to my mom and told her he would not start mass until she took us out of the church.  My mom left and that is the first time I ever remember her NOT going to mass.

So it was very soothing to apply this to those old emotional scars:
I love having little kids at Mass. I love it when they are bored and pay no attention and squirm. I love it when they get distracted by a moth and spend five minutes following the moth’s precarious voyage among the lights. It’s all good. They are being soaked in the Mass. They hear the words and feel the reverence and maybe they even sense the food of the experience, you know? Sometimes people complain and make veiled remarks about behavior and discipline and decorum and the rapid dissolution of morals today and stuff like that but I have no patience for it. For one thing they were little kids at Mass once, and for another if there are no little kids at Mass, pretty soon there won’t be any Masses. You have to let kids be kids.I love having little kids at Mass. If you are distracted by a little kid being a little kid you are not focused on what’s holy. Little kids are holy. Let it be. My only rule is no extended fistfights. Other than that I don’t care about grapes and yawning. I think the cadence and the rhythm and the custom and the peace of the Mass soak into kids without them knowing it. That’s why a lot of the students here come back to Mass, I think—it sparks some emotional memory in them, and once they are back at Mass then they pay attention in new ways and find new food in it. It’s all good. The more the merrier. I don’t mind dogs when I celebrate Mass, either. For one thing they are generally better behaved than little kids, but for another I figure the Mass soaks into them too, and how could that be bad? You know what I mean?

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Our Lady of the Rosary

October is a wonderful month to start saying the rosary, or to renew a practice of saying the rosary. As I was looking around the internet for some new ways to spark enthusiasm in my children for the practice I came upon these very interesting sites!

Rosary links on Diigo
Follow Elena LaVictoire's board rosary on Pinterest.


About 20 years ago my mother gave me a huge wall rosary. At the time Mr. Pete and I were very blase about our Catholic Faith, but my mom kept praying for us and giving me stuff like this. I would politely accept it and then put it away somewhere. I am so grateful that I never threw any of it out! Anyway, now I treasure my wall rosary. It's beautiful. It's large beads make it very interesting for smaller children and easy for them to follow along.

Brown Oval-bead Wall Rosary

When people ask me for guidance in saying the rosary I have a few favorite sources.

How to say the RosaryVirtual Rosary
The Virtual Rosary easily downloads on your computer and guides you step by step through the entire rosary. It also tells you what mystery to say. Very helpful!

I also have a Rosary App on my phone.

My favorite rosary book is Amy Welborn's Praying the Rosary

Praying the Rosary

This includes all of the prayers and also special medications on each of the mysteries.

The Rosary Shop has lots of rosaries for sale as well as free tutorials such as getting started on the Liturgy of the Hours. They also provide special custom rosaries. A service I recommend all of the time to new brides, for anniversaries or funerals is the Rosary Shop's commemorative rosary. From their site:

If you have flowers from a special event in your or a loved one's life -- wedding, birth, funeral, etc. -- we will be happy to create from them beads that can be incorporated into a rosary. This is sometimes referred to as a memorial, keepsake, legacy, remembrance or heirloom rose petal rosary.

There are many different processes for making rose petal rosary beads, most of which involve boiling a large number of petals and mixing them with various organic ingredients. We do it a little differently because we not
only wish to preserve the flowers, but want to make sure that the finished bead is going to last as long as possible. We chop and then grind the dried petals down with a mortar and pestle, gently knead the rose powder into ceramic clay, hand-roll the beads to 8mm each and fire them (unglazed) in a kiln. This creates strong, ceramic beads that contain the essence and elements of the original
petals, thereby preserving the memory for a lifetime. Alternatively, we can use polymer clay.


As I was looking around for further inspiration, I found some of the writings that I would like to share from Pope Pius XII, who served from 1939 to 1958.

But the rosary, beloved sons and daughters, also signifies that the mysteries of your future will not always be uniquely b e made  up of joys. They will also be made up of providential sorrows. It is the law of all human life, just as it is for every rose branch that thorns be intermingled with flowers
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Rosary of children, rosary of the little ones who holding the rosary
beads between their tiny, clumsy fingers, repeat slowly, with application and effort, but already with love , the Our Father and the Hail Mary which their mother has patiently taught them. They make mistakes, it is true. At times, they hesitate, they get confused, but there is such confident candor in the gaze they fix on the image of Mary, on her whom they already recognize as their heavenly mother. Next it will be the rosary of their First Holy Communion which has a place all its own among the memories of the great day. It will be a beautiful memory, provided that it remains what it should be, not an empty article of luxury, but rather an instrument which helps them to pray and which
conjures up the thought of Mary.

Rosary of the mother of a family. Chaplet of the working woman, or of the humble and strong farm wife worn out with age, which she perhaps cannot take up until evening when, exhausted form her day's work she will still finding her faith and in her love the strength to say it, fighting against sleep, for all her loved ones especially for those who are most exposed to dangers of body or soul, for those who are tepted or are grieved or whom she sorrowfully sees shun God. Rosary of the woman of the world, perhpas more rich, but often burdend with worries and still more with heavier sorrows.

Rosary of the father of a family, of the working and energetic man, who never forgets to carry his rosary with him along with his fountain pen,
and notebook, who great professor, famous engineer, renowned doctor, eloquent lawyer, artistic genius, expert agronomist is not ashamed to say the rosary with devout simplicity during the brief moments of respite taken from the tyranny of professional work, in order to strengthen his Christian soul in the peace of a church at the foot of the tabernacle.

And lastly, rosary of the entire family, recited by all young and old, in
common, which , come evening gathers at the feet of Mary those whom the day's work had separated and scattered; which unites them with the absent and with the dead in fervent prayer; which in this manner consecrates the bond which joins them all under the maternal protection of the Immaculate Virgin Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

Friday, October 03, 2014

7-Quick takes

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1. After a year or so away, I forgot how really, really vile a place the Huffington Post is.  (Click over and see the comment section).  This particular article is about the baker who lost her business and was fined $150,000 because she refused to make a cake for a SSM. The gang at Huff Po is all giddy with joy about this and about how everyone has to "follow the law." I've asked a couple of times how they felt about the folks who broke the law and refused to turn over fugitive slaves back in the pre-civil war days, but so far, no response.

2.  Speaking if vile- my old friend, Jill Filipovic (see here, here and here) is making the social media circuit.

This week, Jill decided to attack Jessa Duggar for her remarks about abortion on Instagram.  You can read Jessa's full remark there but the gist of it is:

We must be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Because EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS

That is a foreign idea for Ms. Filipovic who champions abortion for all, for any reason, at any time.

— Jessa had just walked out of the Holocaust museum, and instead of absorbing the scale of that atrocity, decided to make a point about abortion rights. That's not just tone-deaf; it's deranged. And it does bring to light just how extreme — and out of touch — the Duggar family values actually are. 

None so blind as those that will not see.

3.   FYI, I have a FB page for this blog just for the purposes of sharing more controversial things that I find on Facebook without upsetting or boring my Facebook family and friends.  It's here. 

4. The transcription company I was working for split in two and started offering contracts to the workers.  Transcriptionists are paid by the line.  When I started with this company about 8 or 9 years ago I was making  8 cents a line.  A few years back after the economy turned they dropped me down to 7 cents.  The contract with the new company is 6 cents - which makes me wonder if it isn't just time to do something else.

They seem to have a lot of clients though, so apparently the electronic medical record isn't a universal reality just yet.

5. I've mentioned recently that the kids and I accidentally fell into a co-op this year for science (and sign language and music for Rosie too!) What I love about it is that I can do all of the book work with them during the week and then at co-op they get to do the fun experiments with other kids.  It's great!  and the clean up isn't at my house- which is also great.
Rosie volcano

6. The Left-Behind Movie opens today. I was kind of surprised to find out that Nicolas Cage stars in it.

Interestingly, I was listening to Kresta in the Afternoon who did a segment on this movie.  Apparently, the idea of the Rapture is a fairly new idea, circa 1830, and not even the majority of Protestant Christians subscribe to it. You can listen to Kresta's interview with Carl Oleson here (hour 2 of October 2)

Still might want to go see this just to see Nicolas Cage in a religious movie!

7. My sister is going to see the Shroud of Turin this weekend - I wish I could go with her but that would leave Mr. Pete to do the single parent thing and he doesn't have as much experience with that as I do! (Tongue firmly implanted in cheek).  But it turns out it is there until October 12!  Maybe a field trip is in order.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Cathedral angel

We found out this week that we have a new Guardian Angel living at our house. This Blessed Creature may only live with us a few more days, a couple of more months or perhaps 18 years, but we welcome this Guardian Dear sent to us by God to watch over and protect our new blessing.


I wrote that on this blog back in 2004 when I discovered that I was pregnant again two years after a devastating stillbirth. That Guardian Angel is still here with my family protecting and guiding our little daughter Rosie!

Rosie at Charlotte's Baptism

and now we also have another little guardian angel who visits our house four or so days a week!


Today is the day to remind our children and ourselves to think of these noble creatures of God and thank them for all of their prayers and guidance over our lifetimes. So many times I can look back at pivotal moments in my life where I sensed a beckoning? a feeling? a thought that I didn't think originated from within my own mind. Perhaps those were the times my guardian angel was speaking to me.

There was one time in my life when I think I heard my guardian angel's audible voice, but it was only for an instant.  I was pregnant with Raphael but I had an uneasy feeling and I wondered to myself why it was that I had never had any misarriages or problems in pregnancy. I wondered if my baby was going to make it. (Which was really an odd thing to think since I had never had any problems with any of my pregnancies.) And as I wondered if that baby would live or not I heard "this one won't, but the next one will."
November 2012 083
One of Mr. Pete's friends had such an experience once too, when he was at a clear intersection and for a brief second he just knew that he should not cross. This turned out to be a life saving decision for in the next second a huge truck rolled through the stop sign and would have hit our friend and Mr. Pete. And oh how different life would have been for many people if that had happened.

I often wonder about what happens to our Guardian Angels when we die. Do they stay with us? do they get reassigned? I know when Raphael was buried the deacon commended an angel to guard his grave site. I often think about that when I go to the cemetery. I think about all of the angels who are commended to watch over all of those baby graves and I get the sensation that I am in a very holy place, surrounded by angels and saints.

I wonder too about the Guardian Angels who have guarded their person for a long time.   Did my mother meet her Guardian Angel face-to-face  after 81 years on earth?  Did my great uncle who passed away this year at 100 years of age receive a fond greeting from his angel?

After a somewhat secularized Catholic education in the post Vatican II era, I did not have any sense of the mystical parts of my Catholic Faith. But now as an older adult I am fascinated with them and relish them. Angels of course are a big part of that. So today I will try to keep that sense of miracle of our guardian angels alive for my children. 

Follow Elena LaVictoire's board Angels on Pinterest.

The Divine office today has a few biblical examples of angels. For example Acts 12:7

Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood nearby and light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. “Hurry, get up!” he said. With that, the chains dropped from Peter’s wrists.

And Revelation 8:3-4

An angel came in holding a censer of gold. He took his place at the altar of incense and was given large amounts of incense to deposit on the altar of gold in front of the throne, together with the prayers of all God’s holy ones. From the angel’s hand the smoke of the incense went up before God, and with it the prayers of God’s people.
More on the Season of Angels and angelic feasts - here!

Angel links on delicious.

Angels around my home:

Peg saints, the angels Raphael, Michael, and Gabrielseptember 2014 610

september 2014 616

september 2014 609

september 2014 611

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