Welcome All New Clubs! Don’t Forget to Register!

A huge welcome to all the new leaders who have started Catholic Clubs this fall! God bless you for your generosity! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to help you in your Clubs.

A good place to start with resources for your clubs is the Registered Clubs site. There is a TON of free information available there…from free downloads to links to resources, books, videos, and websites for teaching the saint, virtue, and more. These are trusted resources that we’ve viewed and read to help you in your clubs this year.

To access the Registered Clubs materials, though, you do have to register your club. Don’t worry, though, because it is fast and easy!

Just fill out the form here and get started with your year long membership today!

Camping In Minnesota – Novena Request

Our trip to Portugal via Pine Island, MN was just too much fun. The Moms were wonderful, their daughters were so full of energy, ready to play and have fun. Hopefully, you were able to see some of the photos at our FB page. I always leave that camp with great joy and an eagerness for next year (though I’ll put in my order now for a mite cooler weather in 2018).

Forgive my forgetfulness, but I meant to post this yesterday. While in MN, Fr. Randal Kasel, our wonderful host at St. Paul’s St. Michael’s Church. told us of the novena for the rebirth of purity and chastity the Diocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis beginning this week to end on the Feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim.

While it began yesterday, let’s remember our merciful and loving God stands outside of time and space and will hear and honor our prayers regardless of what date is on the calendar.

Each day is dedicated to a different request and each prayer is powerful and clear in what it asks for. Today is dedicated to Married Couples. Please consider joining in this powerful novena!

Novena to Chastity and Purity

Now, on to Virginia with our next camp in Leesburg, VA at the Freedom Center! Can’t wait to see all the LF’s and their Mom there!

 

 

June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today also happens to be the feast day of St. Justin Martyr who tells us:

We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock.   – St. Justin Martyr (d. 165)

Carved from the heart of Jesus, what beautiful imagery for us. If we are carved from Christ we can never be apart from Him and isn’t that where we all want to be?

There is so much we can ponder and consider when it comes to the heart of Jesus. Pope Pius XII gave us Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart). It is not an overly long encyclical and you might be able to find time to read it over the next 30 days.

Or take a visit to catholicculture.org for more info on this historical devotion.

Want a beautiful craft? The lovely shirts pictured above can be found over at Shower of Roses (one of my favorite sites for LF ideas and crafts). You will get all details on how to make your own wildly cool tie-dyed shirt.

 

 

Peony as the Pentecost Rose

I wasn’t aware of this connection when the first wreath of Little Flowers was written; the peony is our flower for Love of God with Agnes as our patroness.

I just heard about this title for the flower last week at daily Mass and it makes so much sense. In my neighborhood, peonies are in full bloom all around. We have some in my parish’s Mary Garden and I noticed them this morning exploding with color and petals strewn over the ground.

Called pfingstrose in German, peony literally means “Pentecost Rose”.

Pentecost should be such a time for us – exploding with love for God in thanksgiving for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Take some time to ponder this as we continue our novenas and prayers waiting for Pentecost. God sent us a part of Himself to remain with us, even until the end of days. We are never alone – never – not matter how lonely we might feel.

If you have some peonies available they would make a great late addition to your Mary altar as we wind down the last days of May.

Peonies as a flower have a rich history. You will see them in ancient Japanese art, lauded for its medicinal properties and even being a sought after as a flavoring for foods. But, what I like most about the peonies in my garden is the ants. Yes, the ants.

Anyone who has grown these big flowers will see a steady stream of ants on peonies as they get ready to bloom. I once thought, as many d0, that the ants are necessary for the blooms but that isn’t so. The flowers will come with or without the ants, so the relationship is actually a neutral one but I find it a lovely imagery of my own relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Can I live a life without the Advocate? Of course, people all around the world do. But is my life better when I allow the Holy Spirit to be an active, involved part of my day – absolutely! So, while the ants aren’t needed for my flowers to come to full bloom I won’t do anything to inhibit them. Let them do their mysterious, silent work and wait until the flowers burst forth.

Just like the Holy Spirit – I strive to let Him do his silent, mysterious work in my heart, mind and soul and hope that God’s graces and mercy burst forth for my benefit and the benefit of all those I love and encounter.

 

 

Come join me in the Upper Room!

By way of your living room!

Happy Feast of the Ascension.  Today is the day we get to wait with Mary, the apostles and the other women to await the Holy Spirit. Have you picked a novena to do either alone, as a family or with your group?

If not, perhaps you were waiting for this one from Benedictine College: Praying with Mary for a New Pentecost

Please feel free to leave your intentions in the comment box, this will allow us to better pray for each other. And be sure to share any answered prayers on Pentecost!

 

 

 

 

The Original Novena Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Ascension Thursday found in Luke 24:50-53 or Acts 1:6-11.

As we all remember, once the apostles saw Jesus lifted into the air, they went together to the Upper Room along with the Blessed Mother and other women, staying there for 9 days (9 days = novena) awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) as described in Acts 1.

This feast is so cool because every year at this time, we get to join them in the Upper Room and pray for the descent of the Holy Spirit! Our God of love and mercy stands outside of space and time and grants us access to the room, the prayer and the Holy Spirit. Picture it: the rough floors, the rough smell. Set yourself shoulder to shoulder next to the men and women who might still be fearful of arrest, overwhelmed by Jesus’ resurrected from the dead joining with His Mother. They gathered together to pray for the Advocate promised in John 14:26.

I can see myself there as I am often am right now – a bit confused by what Jesus has asked me to do. An Advocate, what’s an Advocate?? And what about those rooms He mentioned? And the fact He said we can’t follow Him although He also said “come and follow me?” What is going on??!!!

My novena intentions this year (and has been for several years in a row) will include a request peace and clarity to do only the will of my Father in heaven.

Let’s join together as one family under God to pray for each other and our intentions!

Check out all the resources available through EWTN:  Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit Novena or Ascension Novena

You can also head over to Pray More Novenas for email reminders and more.

 

How does the God’s advice compare to the world’s when it comes to marriage?

Now we all know God has a lot to say about marriage; Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding and He made it very clear how He felt about marriage as a whole:

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”, Mark 10:5-9

I’m committed to keeping my marriage together and like to think I help others as well. In that regard, did you know I’m on the radio? I’m a part of Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak’s More2Life segment on EWTN radio, through Ave Maria Radio – More2Life

In prepping for a show, I often take a stroll through social media, on-line sources to find good material for my segment on Catholic family life.

I recently come across an article that wants to tell you the “Four Things Happy Couples Do to Stay Together” written by A. Pawlowski, 4 Things Happy Couples Do

At this same time, I saw that CBS is planning on doing a new Fall series called, “By the Book”, which highlights the life of a modern day man at a crossroads in his life who attempts to live his life according to the Bible. Honestly, I don’t have high hopes for the series for several reasons (the least of which is that it is on CBS and not EWTN).  So, I’m not offering a link to that but I did decide to see if I could “live by the book”, as it were, in regard the article I saw.

Those “Four Happy Things” include: Think About Your Free Time, Reconnect with Nature, Quiet Time Can be An Invitation to Talk and Remember Eye Contact.

Think about Your Free Time is easily translated into one of my favorite verses:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”, Phil. 4:8

Not that free time needs to spent on your knees saying the Rosary but it probably shouldn’t be spent bingeing on shows you know are contrary to Jesus’ teaching or wasted by hours on the internet in separate places in the home. Are you together in your free time or actively seeking to avoid each other? The solution could be as easy as watching videos of cats playing the piano together but I really recommend just being together away from technology. Maybe you can spend some time watching each other; slow down and remember why you fell in love in the first place!

Which is the last recommendation of “Remember Eye Contact”, it reminds us to make sure we actually take time to look at each other!

Check out the Song of Songs in the Old Testament if you need a reminder:

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”, Song 1:15

In fact, we could rely on the Songs for each of the recommendations but God’s reminders about how to stay in love with our sacramental spouse are sprinkled throughout the Bible.

The idea of Reconnecting with Nature is a reoccurring theme in the Psalms where God is not only compared with things of nature but we are reminded, again and again, that He is the Creator of all things.

Just a few include Psalm 96: 11-12, Psalm 95:4-5, or Psalm 19:1:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Again, we don’t have to spend our hiking time discussing Scripture (unless you want to) but just allow God’s miracles of creation to seep into our souls as we spend time with our sweethearts brings forth feelings of companionship and commitment.

We might even take a line from Job as you enjoy a starry night away from the city’s light pollution, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand.”, Job 38:4.

Spending time in nature and really rejoicing in its gifts and the gift God gave us in our spouses is sure to re-ignite feelings of love.

Finally, let’s talk that Quiet Time that is recommended. Again, walking away from the television, the phone, the internet and any number of distractions will give us time to walk towards each other’s arms. Quiet time might be time after the kids have gone to bed, or just after dinner or even on a car ride. These times should be treated as the rare treasure they are and not always wasted on other people or other things.

You might decide to have your quiet time just be quiet time together or you might decide to use that time to share what you are reading, or seeing on-line as a chance to share a laugh, discuss an issue of concern or find a new place for a date!

However, if you decide to talk don’t forget to be careful what you say and how you say it. The Book of Proverbs is full of reminders about how to talk:

“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4

While Ephesians 4:26 reminds us of when to talk, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…”

This special quiet time is not the time to give your spouse a litany of complaints or whine about life with them. In James 3:1-12 we find the powerful reminder to ‘tame your tongue’; a struggle we all face. In the dark of the night, we need to remember it will soon be morning. Soon enough, the kids are going to wake up and work (both inside and outside of the home) will demand our attention. Nighttime quiet time is best spent actually letting our honey know of our love and confidence in them. There will be time enough to discuss struggles and problems at another (scheduled) time.

So, just as you thought, we don’t worry too much about living by the Bible when it comes to advice. Though I’m still worried about the TV series, I’ve been reminded that spending time in Scripture reassures us that paying attention to what God says about how to treat our spouses and our sacrament of marriage is just as helpful, if not more, than any study or article. But it is always nice to know they are in agreement about a few things!

I’m not sure if being a happy couple will be our topic tomorrow, but feel free to follow the link to listen on-line any morning you have time, and know I’ll be there every Friday around 10:15 a.m., EST, EWTN Radio

Women and Orphans

Order from www.catholicprayercards.org

Pray the Rosary for World Peace

Our pastor had a great homily on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. He said that when hate and violence of men collide and produce war, it is often the women and children who suffer. He commented on the fact that Our Lady appeared during World War I, one of the most senseless and brutal wars of all time. Men playing God, caused millions to die senselessly. The result was impoverished women and children.

It was so appropriate, then, that Our Lady appear to three peasant children to bring her message of hope, penance, conversion and prayer to the world. She, the first of among all women, comforted three children and prayed with them for peace. In the end, it was her Immaculate Heart that brought down communism and put an end to the Cold War.

When talking to my children, and to our parish youth group, about Our Lady of Fatima and her call to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners, I asked them to especially pray for the conversion of North Korea and all the leaders of the world who wish to rip apart the fabric of peace which would result in more women and children suffering. I know that no prayer is ever wasted, so please add world peace to your daily Rosary, especially during these six months of grace between May 13 and October 13 when the Miracle of the Sun showed the great power of God.

Blessings to all! Don’t forget to dance today!

Happy Mother’s Day and Fatima 2 & 1

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

I’ll be remembering all of you when I go to Mass this morning with my family. As we continue to celebrate the Easter season and Fatima’s centennial, may our Lord and his Blessed Mother watch over you and your family.

Forgive the delay in these posts. My mothering over the end of the week and this weekend included an unexpected visit to urgent care for one child, a homeschool used book sale with two other children and a gallery opening for another one. In other words, I wasn’t posting as I was mothering. I know you understand.

Day Two of Fatima was going to be COME 2 CAMP! 

Visit Portugal this summer at one of our already scheduled camps in Virginia, Minnesota and Kentucky. Check out the link and and see registration info on the right hand side.

Day One of Fatima was going to be One, Two and Three as we count back up to 153. This is the number of days between May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and October 13, 2017, and that day we all know is the day the sun danced.

As we count down the days, my family will try to remember to dance each day between yesterday and 10/13/17 (so far so good), because regardless of what the skeptics say, regardless of what the headlines print – our God is in charge, our God is full of love and mercy and He made the sun dance so that we might have proof of His watchful gaze on us all. He gave us a Mother in heaven to help us be the best mothers on earth we can be.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!