Catholic 2 the Core Cyber Monday Givaway!!

Great Giveaways and Great Black Friday through Cyber Monday Deals!! $220 worth of FREE GIFTS

Enter to win one of these ten great Catholic 2 the Core gifts perfect for St. Nick’s Day, Christmas, or any special occasion and then check back on Black Friday through Cyber Monday to get a whopping 30% off our entire catalog!

That’s right! 30% OFF for 4 Days only!!

Great chance to pick up that embroidered apron, polo, saints biographies or other special item for Christmas. Also a great time to start planning for next year’s Catholic 2 the Core Clubs and save big on books, patches, sashes, buttons and shirts!

Black Friday through Cyber Monday ONLY!!

 

Behold Publications Catholic 2 the Core Cyber Monday Giveaway!

Handmade St. Therese puppet by Mini Biblis, a $50 value

Handmade Nativity magnets by Doodle Threads, a $20 value

St. Therese Print by HallowedSpace, a $15 value

St. Nick pattern by Elliot’s Playground, a $15 value

Is it dark where you are?

Darker than normal? Darker than usual? We can blame some of it on daylight savings time now that we have fallen back, but perhaps it is something more.

While I love getting that ‘extra hour’ of sleep, I do not like how dark it gets now. At my house, the darkness seems to drop like a heavy curtain on a stage; the dusty, black velvet signaling the show is over and it is time to go home or, in my mind, off to bed.

But, I can’t. The clock tells me it is only 6:00 p.m. and my family still has to clean up dinner and the kitchen, catch up with Matt and his day of work, plan the next day, evening prayer and on and on. So, we fight against the dark and keep going until our to do list is done (or mostly done).

This same is true when the darkness is inside our soul rather than just outside our windows. There can be times when we feel trapped behind heavy, musty, old, moth-eaten stage curtains. We slog on, fight against the dark but we just want to go home and hide under the covers until springtime comes. Since we can’t do that, what is the answer?

Turn on the lights!

In my house, daylight savings is when my fireplace is ready to roar with flames that both warm the house and bring it beautiful light. We dust off the light bulbs, find all the cobwebs, and switch on those lamps that were unused throughout the summer. Ah, more light in the home always lifts my spirits and makes getting the work done much easier.

As for my soul, I need to bring more light there as well. “I am the light of the world”, Jesus tells us in John 8:12. So, when my soul seems a bit dark, weighed down by my sins or the sins of the world, I know it is time to get more Jesus in there. Confession is first on my list to remove the dust and cobwebs. I turn to sources of light set aside during the summer such as daily reading of the Bible and recommitting to prayer with Matt before falling asleep. These small actions lift my soul and remind me that the darkness runs when confronted by the light of the world.

 

“the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

“But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” John 3:21

It is the week of All Souls – Nov. 1-8

 

I was feeling a bit low as I did not find time to post anything over the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, two of my favorite feast days (admittedly, I have a lot of favorite feast days) so I was very happy to read this article from Patti Armstrong which reminds us that we can celebrate this for a whole WEEK!

Help Free to Souls from Purgatory

My own family makes a practice of visiting the five cemeteries around my town (4 of which are actually Catholic!) and we’ve got Confession scheduled. It’s not too late for yours!

Did you know there is Live Adoration available on-line?

And you thought the internet was only good for bingeing (or binging) and on-line shopping!

While clearly not as wonderful as sitting with Jesus in the monstrance or tabernacle face to face, seeing it on-line has brought me real comfort in the past few weeks. I’ve ended my night giving Him so time, during the evening or whenever I feel lonely or need a reminder that He has a better plan than mine. My local parish is not always open or I’m not at a time when I can leave my house when I need a Jesus fix, so these have become a necessity for my prayer life (I keep one of them open on my bookmark bar to make it really easy!)

Some sites to visit:

Adorecast

Marytown

EWTN – Great Britain

 

Happy Feast of St. Crispian – What battle are you fighting?

 

We all have one – a battle, or two, or three or more that we are fighting. We fight against ourselves, our sin, the world, and always the wiles, the tricks and the temptations of the evil one. Often, we can feel we are alone in fighting these battles. Where are our band of brothers?

But, we are not alone – EVER. We have each other here on earth and the saints in heaven; such as Crispin and his twin Crispian, whose feast we celebrate today. When you get discouraged during the battles you are fighting, and worry you do not have enough, remember that God is at your side: Phil. 4:13 – ‘I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.’

And, if that is not enough watch Kenneth Branaugh rally the troops in Henry the V, where he inspires his troops waning faith by calling down the twins as inspiration:

The Original Band of Brothers

A Psalm for everything and everything is in a Psalm

 

No one’s life is perfect; we are all broken and fallen. In the grand scheme of things, all of our problems are due to our fallen nature; original sin. However, in the minute details of our lives, it is the mistakes we make both large and small that fill us with dread, embarrassment, anger and, sadly, even shame. It is those things we forget: the lost keys, the embarrassing words we say, actions we take. We are so hard on ourselves when we are only human, after all.

But God never feels this way about us. God is never ashamed of us, we never embarrass Him, as we are made in His image and likeness; we are good, very good in His eyes. Of course our sins cause Him sorrow but that quickly turns to joy at our own sorrow and repentance. So much joy, in fact, that He forgets these same sins the moment we say we are sorry. We, however, are rarely that kind to ourselves.

Our days and our nights can be filled with self-recrimination. We are so good at remembering our mistakes and not so good at remembering what we do right. Here’s where the Psalms come in; they are full of words of comfort and affirmation reminding us that God loves us – even when we have accidents, make mistakes and, yes, even when we sin.

Finding a psalm to give us comfort and reassurance is essential in these moments when we feel we are stupid or are embarrassed and angry with ourselves for what we did or what we didn’t do.

Here’s a few of my favorites psalms. You might highlight them in your Bible, keep them posted on your bathroom mirror or tucked in your prayer book for Mass. Regardless of where you keep them, keep them handy because you are guaranteed to make another mistake soon and I don’t want you listening to the whispers of the snake any longer. I want you to hear the words of God reminding you of His love, forgiveness and comfort:

Psalm 55 – when you are so embarrassed that you want to run away or have been betrayed by friends: “I say, “If only I had wings like a dove that I might fly away and find rest.”

Psalm 62 – when you feeling a bit abandoned by the world: “God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not fall. My deliverance and honor are with God, my strong rock; my refuge is with God.”

Psalm 73 – when you are feeling as if all of your efforts to be holy is for nothing, have reassurance that God is there: “Is it in vain that I have kept my heart pure, washed my hands in innocence? For I am afflicted day after day, chastised every morning.”

Psalm 103 – when you need to be reminded of God’s deep love and mercy for you (and all of your sins and mistakes): “For as the heavens tower over the earth, so his mercy towers over those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us.”

Please take a minute and share some of your favorite Psalms so others might be encouraged and feel their hearts mended by His love!

Consecration to Mary – Badge Contest Announcement!

In this month of October dedicated to the Holy Rosary, we would like to honor the Blessed Mother with a new badge contest for a Marian Consecration. This type of consecration is an act whereby you, along with your family, strive to take Mary into your home just as the beloved disciple John did at the foot of the the cross (Jn. 19:27) through specific actions, prayers, reading and more.

Many of our Catholic Club families have already done a Marian Consecration through such organizations as the Legion of Mary or through reading such books as St. Louis DeMonfort’s True Devotion to Mary or Fr. Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory, A Do-it-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration.

But, we also have our own act of consecration (highlighted in an upcoming issue of St. Mary’s Messenger) as does Holy Heroes. These were both specifically developed for young people and their families.

Now, we also want our members to get creative and make the badge we will use to honor our consecrations!!

Our newest contest will be the creation of a badge to publicly and formally recognize our commitment to Mary as our Mother here on earth and our Queen in Heaven. Sewn on your sash, a tote bag or even your favorite jacket it is proof of your work towards consecration and announces to the world how much you love her. It is a clear “Thank You” for how much she loves us and prays for us.

Once the badge is available, we’ll let you know, and you can plan a special badge ceremony to either kick off a consecration effort or give them to all those who have completed a previous consecration. Details on how to complete a consecration and ideas for planning such a wonderful party/ceremony will be included with each badge.

Ideas for the badge itself might include an image of Mary as a queen, or an image of one of her many honored titles; maybe a representation of one of her approved appearances.

Use your imagination and send them to us by Dec. 31, 2018 as we hope to get the badges out and ready to you in time for a May celebration (another one of her favorite months!).

-Badge Contest – marianconsecrationbadge (2)

Brief criteria for judging patches:

*Design should be easily embroidered

*Design should illustrate the theme and include the words: Marian Consecration as well as Catholic Clubs

*Design should be appealing to all Behold Christ Clubs (Little Flowers, Blue Knights and Hospitality Clubs)

*Design should be unique to the designer

*Design must be submitted on official form found on the website and attached above

*Prizes will be given to winning designs. Behold Publications and the creator of Little Flowers Girls’ Club, Rachel Watkins, and their families will judge the designs. We will get input on the finalists through social media, but the ultimate decision will be with Behold Publications. All decisions are final. Winners will be announced March 1st, 2018

DEADLINE for designs is DECEMBER 31, 2018 and cannot be extended. 

We look forward to seeing all the designs you have!

Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – Vocations can come from anywhere

St. Francis of Assisi is my confirmation saint (taken when I thought I wanted to be a vet; you can blame James Herriot’s ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series for that!).

What has always impressed me about his story is how unlikely his vocation seems to be – a rich boy, a partier, a soldier who fled the battle and then a reformer of the Church and stigmatist.

While we would be as angry as Francis’ father and cringe if any of our children became naked in the public square as Francis did, let’s us strive to be open to the call of God in their lives. With the current headlines, our Church seems in real need of another reformer and perhaps one is in your home or group!!

Check out this inspiring story of some Young Vocations of Today

Happy Belated Feast of St. Therese, Happy Feast of the Guardian Angels….

and on and on and on! It’s not that every day doesn’t have its own saint or reason to celebrate our faith. This first week of October seems especially well-packed!

 

October 1 – St. Therese of Lisieux

October 2 – Feast of the Guardian Angels

October 4 – St. Francis of Assissi

October 5 – St. Faustina and Bl. Alberto Marvelli (my Nora’s Confirmation saint, read his story, it’s awesome)

All of these and others can be found here: Saints in October

So, take a moment, plan a feast (or least a good dessert) and know that in midst of the headlines that frustrate us or anger us or make us want to scream; there is reason for joy.

And while we might find it hard to find anyone to inspire us or encourage us or remind us that serving Jesus is a good thing; there are saints who have done just that.

Have a great week and know you are in our prayers!

 

 

 

Novena to St. Therese has begun – where will you see her roses?

 

Forgive me for not posting this yesterday, but don’t let that prevent you from joining us in prayer through our patroness! Remember, God works outside of time and space.

Head over to Pray More Novenas for the prayers, sign up for email reminders and more.

Be assured you and your family’s intentions have been added to my own during this novena.

And, please, let us know the roses you find along the way!