Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Standing Up for Mothers Everywhere

Think beauty pageant contestants are all full of air....check this mother out. This is a woman who truly should be Miss America.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

St Angela Merici:

St. Angela Merici
Feastday: January 27
When she was 56, Angela Merici said "No" to the Pope. She was aware that Clement VII was offering her a great honor and a great opportunity to serve when he asked her to take charge of a religious order of nursing sisters. But Angela knew that nursing was not what God had called her to do with her life.
She had just returned from a trip to the Holy Land. On the way there she had fallen ill and become blind. Nevertheless, she insisted on continuing her pilgrimage and toured the holy sites with the devotion of her heart rather than her eyes. On the way back she had recovered her sight. But this must have been a reminder to her not to shut her eyes to the needs she saw around her, not to shut her heart to God's call.
All around her hometown she saw poor girls with no education and no hope. In the fifteenth and sixteenth century that Angela lived in, education for women was for the rich or for nuns. Angela herself had learned everything on her own. Her parents had died when she was ten and she had gone to live with an uncle. She was deeply disturbed when her sister died without receiving the sacraments. A vision reassured her that her sister was safe in God's care -- and also prompted her to dedicate her life to God.
When her uncle died, she returned to her hometown and began to notice how little education the girls had. But who would teach them? Times were much different then. Women weren't allowed to be teachers and unmarried women were not supposed to go out by themselves -- even to serve others. Nuns were the best educated women but they weren't allowed to leave their cloisters. There were no teaching orders of sisters like we have today.
But in the meantime, these girls grew up without education in religion or anything at all.
These girls weren't being helped by the old ways, so Angela invented a new way. She brought together a group of unmarried women, fellow Franciscan tertiaries and other friends, who went out into the streets to gather up the girls they saw and teach them. These women had little money and no power, but were bound together by their dedication to education and commitment to Christ. Living in their own homes, they met for prayer and classes where Angela reminded them, " Reflect that in reality you have a greater need to serve [the poor] than they have of your service." They were so successful in their service that Angela was asked to bring her innovative approach to education to other cities, and impressed many people, including the pope.
Though she turned him down, perhaps the pope's request gave her the inspiration or the push to make her little group more formal. Although it was never a religious order in her lifetime, Angela's Company of Saint Ursula, or the Ursulines, was the first group of women religious to work outside the cloister and the first teaching order of women.
It took many years of frustration before Angela's radical ideas of education for all and unmarried women in service were accepted. They are commonplace to us now because people like Angela wanted to help others no matter what the cost. Angela reminds us of her approach to change: "Beware of trying to accomplish anything by force, for God has given every single person free will and desires to constrain none; he merely shows them the way, invites them and counsels them."
Saint Angela Merici reassured her Sisters who were afraid to lose her in death: "I shall continue to be more alive than I was in this life, and I shall see you better and shall love more the good deeds which I shall see you doing continually, and I shall be able to help you more." She died in 1540, at about seventy years old. In Her Footsteps:
Take a look around you. Instead of just driving or walking without paying attention today, open your eyes to the needs you see along the way. What people do you notice who need help but who are not being helped? What are their true needs? Make a commitment to help them in some way. Prayer:
Saint Angela, you were not afraid of change. You did not let stereotypes keep you from serving. Help us to overcome our fear of change in order to follow God's call and allow others to follow theirs. Amen
Copyright (c) 1996-2000 by Terry Matz. All Rights Reserved.
St Marius:

St. Marius
Feastday: January 27
St. Marius Abbot January 27 A.D. 555 Dynamius, patrician of the Gauls who is mentioned by St. Gregory of Tours, (l. 6, c. 11,) and who was for some time steward of the patrimony of the Roman church in Gaul, in the time of St. Gregory the Great, as appears by a letter of that pope to him, (in which he mentions that he sent him in a reliquary some of the filings of the chains of St. Peter, and of the gridiron of St. Laurence,) was the author of the lives of St. Marius and of St. Maximus of Ries. From the fragments of the former in Bollandus, we learn that he was born at Orleans, became a monk, and after some time was chosen abbot at La-Val-Benois, in the diocese of Sisteron, in the reign of Gondebald, king of Burgundy, who died in 509. St. Marius made a pilgrimage to St. Martin's, at Tours, and another to the tomb of St. Dionysius, near Paris, where, falling sick, he dreamed that he was restored to health by an apparition of St. Dionysius, and awaking, found himself perfectly recovered. St. Marius, according to a custom received in many monasteries before the rule of St. Bennet, in imitation of the retreat of our divine Redeemer, made it a rule to live a recluse in a forest during the forty days of Lent. In one of these retreats, he foresaw, in a vision, the desolation which barbarians would soon after spread in Italy, and the destruction of his own monastery, which he foretold before his death, in 555. The abbey of La-Val-Benois *being demolished, the body of the saint was translated to Forcalquier, where it is kept with honor in a famous collegiate church which bears his name, and takes the title of Concathedral with Sisteron. St. Marius is called in French St. May, or St. Mary, in Spain, St. Mere, and St. Maire, and in some places, by mistake, St. Maurus. See fragments of his life compiled by Dynamius, extant in Bollandus, with ten preliminary observations.
St Avitus:

St. Avitus
Feastday: January 27
Martyr of Africa, possibly the St. Avitus venerated in the Canary Islands as an apostle and first bishop.
St Theodoric of Orleans:

St. Theodoric of Orleans
Feastday: January 27
Theodoric of Orleans (d. 1022) + Benedictine bishop, also listed as Theodoric II. Originally a monk in the monastery of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif, at Sens, France, he was named bishop of Orleans after a distinguished period as a royal counselor.
St Candida:

St. Candida
Feastday: January 27
Mother of St. Memerius and hermitess. A Spaniard, Candida was a recluse near St. Stephen of Banoles, an abbey close to Garona, Spain.
St Datius:

St. Datius
Feastday: January 27
African martyr with Reatrus and company, also a second Datius, with Julian, Vincent, and twenty-seven companions. They were slain by Arian Vandals.
St Devota:

St. Devota
Feastday: January 27
Virgin martyr of Corsica, France, who was slain on the rack. Patroness of Corsica and Monaco, her relics are in Monaco on the Riviera di Ponente.
St Emerius:

St. Emerius
Feastday: January 27
8th century
Benedictine abbot of France, also called Emerus. He founded St. Stephen of Banoles Abbey in Catalonia, Spain. His mother, St. Candida, lived in a hermitage near the abbey.
St Gamo:

St. Gamo
Feastday: January 27
8th century
Benedictine abbot of Bretigny, near Noyon, France. He aided the monastic expansion of the era and was a staunch patron of the arts.
St Gamelbert:

St. Gamelbert
Feastday: January 27
Parish priest of Michaelsbuch in Germany. He went on a pilgrimage to Rome, was ordained, and served more than fifty years as a pastor. His cult was approved in 1909.
St Gilduin:

St. Gilduin
Feastday: January 27
Canon of Dol, in Brittany, France, who refused a bishopric from Pope St. Gregory VII. After going to Rome to decline the honor, Gilduin died on his way home. His tomb became a popular pilgrimage destination.
St Julian of Le Mans:

St. Julian of Le Mans
Feastday: January 27
3rd century
First bishop of Le Mans, France. Tradition states that he was a noble Roman. Julian performed extravagant miracles and was honored during the Middle Ages as the patron of churches in England.
St Julian of Sora:

St. Julian of Sora
Feastday: January 27
Martyr of Sora, Campania, Italy. He was a Dalmatian who was beheaded in the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius.
St Lupus of Chalons:

St. Lupus of Chalons
Feastday: January 27
Bishop of Chalons-sur-Saone, in France. Pope St. Gregory the Great corresponded with him. Lupus was a model of charity and cared for the sick and poor.
St Natalis:

St. Natalis
Feastday: January 27
A founder of monasticism in northern Ireland and a disciple of St. Columba, also called Naal. He served as abbot of the monasteries of Naile, Daunhinis, and Cill. A well in that region honors his memory.
St Maurus:

St. Maurus
Feastday: January 27
Abbot founder of Bodon Abbey, near Sisteron, France. He is sometimes called Marius or May. Maurus was cured of a serious illness at the tomb of St. Denis in Paris. He was a revered prophet.
courtesy of

Friday, January 26, 2007

For Our Children

Courtesy of

Dedication of a Child to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dear Mary, Your Message of love and care on Tepeyac Hill floated like a lilting lullaby into the fresh golden dawn.Softly you called to Juan Diego,"least of your sons,"a man of middle years,but guileless and childlike in spirit. Through him you invited all your children to come to you,the ever-virgin Mother of God, to look to you as a mother who wanted only to show a mother’s love.You would give them whatever they needed, help and protection, strength and comfort.As a lasting proof you left us your own marvelous picture, unpainted by any human hand.Today we bring to youour child ( I bring __________ my) (as yet Unborn).May this little one always know and love you as holy Mary, Mother of the true God in whom we live and have our being. May this new soul,fresh breathed forth from the creator, giving life to the body, be like the soul of Juan Diego, simple, pure and good. Dear Lady of Guadulupe, touch this petal of our hearts with the wintry roses of Tepeyac, so that a fragrant joy and peace may spread along its path of earthly life, reminding men of you and sweetly drawing them to your waiting heart. Take this child as your own. Lady lovely and demure, enfolded in the mantle of your care, until the day when in a new land,all your children join with you, their merciful mother, endlessly giving praise and thanks to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Today's Saints

St Timothy:

St. Timothy
Feastday: January 26
Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Eunice, a converted Jewess. He joined St. Paul when Paul preached at Lystra replacing Barnabas, and became Paul's close friend and confidant. Paul allowed him to be circumcised to placate the Jews, since he was the son of a Jewess, and he then accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey. When Paul was forced to flee Berea because of the enmity of the Jews there, Timothy remained, but after a time was sent to Thessalonica to report on the condition of the Christians there and to encourage them under persecution, a report that led to Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians when he joined Timothy at Corinth. Timothy and Erastus were sent to Macedonia in 58, went to Corinth to remind the Corinthians of Paul's teaching, and then accompanied Paul into Macedonia and Achaia. Timothy was probably with Paul when the Apostle was imprisoned at Caesarea and then Rome, and was himself imprisoned but then freed. According to tradition, he went to Ephesus, became its first bishop, and was stoned to death there when he opposed the pagan festival of Katagogian in honor of Diana. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy, one written about 65 from Macedonia and the second from Rome while he was in prison awaiting execution. His feast day is January 26.

St Paula:

St. Paula
Feastday: January 26
Patron of widows
Born in Rome of a noble family on May 5, 347. Paula married Toxotius, and the couple had five children - Toxotius, Blesilla, Paulina, Eustochium, and Rufina. They were regarded as an ideal married couple, and on his deathin 379, she renounced the world, lived in the greatest austerity, and devoted herself to helping the poor. She met St. Jerome in 382 through St. Epiphanius and Paulinus of Antioch and was closely associated with Jerome in his work while he was in Rome. The death of her daughter Blesilla in 384 left her heartbroken, and in 385 she left Rome with Eustochium, traveled to the Holy Land with Jerome, and a year later settled in Bethlehem under his spiritual direction. She and Eustochium built a hospice, a monastery, and a convent, which Paula governed. She became Jerome's closest confidante and assistant, taking care of him and helping him in his biblical work, build numerous churches, which were to cause her financial difficulties in her old age, and died at Bethlehem on January 26. She is the patroness of widows. Her feast day is January 26.

St Margaret of Hungary:

St. Margaret of Hungary
Feastday: January 26
St. Margaret of Hungary Daughter of King Bela IV, she became a Dominican novice at twelve in a royal convent built on an island in the Danube. Although she was a princess among nuns who were of noble descent, she objected to any special treatment and went out of her way to perform the most menial tasks and the most exacting labors on behalf of the squalid poor and most advanced hospital cases. The extend of her labors and fasting and hours of prayer brought on the fatigue of which she died on January 18. her feast day is January 26th.

St Alberic:

St. Alberic
Feastday: January 26
Hermit and co-founder of the great Cistercian Order with Stephen Harding and a monk named Robert. Alberic was a monk near Chatillon-sur-Seine until he joined a group to form a new monastery at Molesmes. Robert served there as abbot, and Alberic was prior. The monks of Molesmes rebelled against the harsh rule instituted there and imprisoned Alberic and forced Robert to leave the monastery. Released, Alberic tried a second time to reform the members, but he was unsuccessful. In 1098, he and twenty-one other monks left Molesmes and established another religious house at Citeaux. Robert was again abbot, and Alberic prior. They were joined this time by Stephen Harding as subprior. Thus was founded the Cistercian Order, one of the most distinguished religious houses in the Church. Robert returned to Molesmes within a few years, restoring the primitive Benedictine rule there. The additional austerities that he introduced into Molesmes gave it a true Cistercian character; however, Stephen Harding is credited with providing the overall Cistercian attributes. Alberic remained at Citeaux, where he died on January 26.

St Ansurius:

St. Ansurius
Feastday: January 26
Bishop and Benedictine monk, also called Isauri. In 915, Ansurius was elected the bishop of Orense, Spanish Galicia, Spain, and founded the abbey of Ribas de Sil. After seven years, he retired his see and entered Ribas de Sil.

St Athanasius:

St. Athanasius
Feastday: January 26
Bishop honored in Sorrento in southern Italy.

St Theofrid:

St. Theofrid
Feastday: January 26
Abbot of Corbie, in France, and bishop. Theofrid was a Benedictine trained at Luxcuil Abbey.

St Titus:

St. Titus
Feastday: January 26
A disciple and companion of St. Paul to whom the great saint addressed one of his letters. Paul referred to Titus as "my true child in our common faith". Not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, he was noted in Galatians where Paul writes of journeying to Jerusalem with Barnabas, accompanied by Titus. He was then dispatched to Corinth, Greece, where he successfully reconciled the Christian community there with Paul, its founder. Titus was later left on the island of Crete to help organize the Church, although he soon went to Dalmatia, Croatia. According to Eusebius of Caesarea in the Ecclesiastical Histor y, he served as the first bishop of Crete. He was buried in Cortyna (Gortyna), Crete; his head was later translated to Venice during the invasion of Crete by the Saracens in 832 and was enshrined in St. Mark’s, Venice, Italy.

St Conan:

St. Conan
Feastday: January 26
A bishop of Ireland, possibly from Scotland. It is believed that Conan taught St. Fiacre before going to the Isle of Man, where he served as a missionary and was consecrated bishop.

St Robert of Newmister:

St. Robert of Newmister
Feastday: January 26
Cistercian abbot. Born in Yorkshire, England, he entered the Benedictines at Whitby and soon joined the monks at Fountains Abbey who were adopting the harder rule which was gaining prominence at the time. This community embraced the Cistercian rule, and the monastery became one of the spearhead communities for the Cistercians in England. In 1137, Robert helped to found Newminster Abbey, in Northumberland, serving as its first abbot.

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Saints I Missed (Oops!) From January 25

St Amarinus:

St. Amarinus
Feastday: January 25
Benedictine martyr, companion of St. Priest, or Praejectus. Amarinus was bishop of Clermont, France. The valley of Saint Amarian in Alsace, France, is named in his honor.

St Apollo:

St. Apollo
Feastday: January 25
Egyptian hermit, founder, and miracle worker. Apollo was born in Egypt and spent forty years in the desert region around Thebes. He then founded a community of monks in Hermopol, Egypt, ultimately numbering five hundred, and became their abbot. Apollo was eighty years old when he made this foundation. He was noted for his miracles.

St Artemas:

St. Artemas
Feastday: January 25
Martyr of Pozzuoli, Italy. He is traditionally described as a teenage boy in the Roman Empire who was stabbed to death with iron pens by pagan school classmates. This legend is doubtful, but Artemas was martyred at Pozzuoli, near Capua, in the fifth century, perhaps earlier.

St Bretannion:

St. Bretannion
Feastday: January 25
Bishop of Tomi, Romania, on the Black Sea. He was exiled by Emperor Valens for opposing the Arian heresy. The people of Tomi, however, forced the emperor to restore him to his see.

St Donatus:

St. Donatus
Feastday: January 25
Martyr with Sabinus and Agape. Nothing is known of their martyrdom.

St Dwynwen:

St. Dwynwen
Feastday: January 25
A Welsh saint credited with the saying: “Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness.” A member of the family of Brychan of Brecknock, she is venerated throughout Wales and Cornwall, England.

St Eochod:

St. Eochod
Feastday: January 25
The Apostle of the Picts of Galloway, Scotland. He was one of the twelve chosen by St. Columba to evangelize northern Britain.

St Juventius & Maximus:

St. Juventius & Maximus
Feastday: January 25
Martyred members of the imperial guard in the service of Emperor Julian the Apostate. When they protested the emperor’s edicts on the veneration of relics, they were arrested, scourged, and beheaded at Antioch, Syria. St. John Chrysostom wrote their eulogy.

St Racho:

St. Racho
Feastday: January 25
First Bishop of Autun, France, under the Franks. He is also listed as Ragnobert. It is believed that St. Leodegarius was his successor

St Maurus:

St. Maurus
Feastday: January 25
6th century
With Placid, Benedictines, disciples of St. Benedict. Maurus was the son of a Roman noble. At the age of twelve he became St. Benedict’s assistant and possibly succeeded him as abbot of Subiaco Abbey in 525 . Pope St. Gregory I the Great wrote of Maurus and Placid in his Dialogues. In liturgical art, Maurus is depicted saving Placid from drowning. Their cult is now restricted to local calendars.

St. Peter Thomas
Feastday: January 25
Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in Gascony, France and joined the Carmelites while still a young man. In 1342 he was appointed procurator of the order and, from Avignon, he oversaw the organization and government of the Carmelites. As Avignon was then the seat of the popes, he entered into their service, attracting papal attention because of his skills as a preacher and his elo­quence. Named to the papal diplomatic service, he held the post of papal legate to Genoa, Milan, and Venice, and was appointed bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, bishop of Coron in 1359, archbishop of Candia in 1363, and titular Patriarch of Constantinople in 1364. At the behest of Pope Urban V, he journeyed to Serbia, Hungary, and Constantinople in an effort to organize a crusade against the Turks. He took part in a military operation against Alexandria, Egypt, in 1365 during which he was severely wounded. He died from his injuries at Cyprus a few months later. While never formally canonized, his feast was permitted to the Carmelites in 1608.

Courtesy of

A Mother's Work

Pregnancy, labor and delivery. For some people, these are the ultimate selfless acts. And for many Catholic mothers they find it is wonderfully spiritual to offer up their pain and suffering or to find in it a kinship to the Crucifixion. If you have thought of your experiences this way, or even if you haven't, you can surf to this survey, to help Therese Brown with her work. I completed one, it was harmless and took only about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

So what's with All the Saints?

In an effort to become better educated, I have been perusing the saints each day at Well, what better way to learn about them than to spread the knowledge! I am enjoying some of the lesser known ones. They certainly have some interesting names!
St Francis de Sales:

St. Francis de Sales
Feastday: January 24
Patron Saint of Journalists
b: 1567 d: 1622
Born in France in 1567, Francis was a patient man. He knew for thirteen years that he had a vocation to the priesthood before he mentioned it to his family. When his father said that he wanted Francis to be a soldier and sent him to Paris to study, Francis said nothing. Then when he went to Padua to get a doctorate in law, he still kept quiet, but he studied theology and practiced mental prayer while getting into swordfights and going to parties. Even when his bishop told him if he wanted to be a priest that he thought that he would have a miter waiting for him someday, Francis uttered not a word. Why did Francis wait so long? Throughout his life he waited for God's will to be clear. He never wanted to push his wishes on God, to the point where most of us would have been afraid that God would give up!
God finally made God's will clear to Francis while he was riding. Francis fell from his horse three times. Every time he fell the sword came out of the scabbard. Every time it came out the sword and scabbard came to rest on the ground in the shape of the cross. And then, Francis, without knowing about it, was appointed provost of his diocese, second in rank to the bishop.
Perhaps he was wise to wait, for he wasn't a natural pastor. His biggest concern on being ordained that he had to have his lovely curly gold hair cut off. And his preaching left the listeners thinking he was making fun of him. Others reported to the bishop that this noble-turned- priest was conceited and controlling.
Then Francis had a bad idea -- at least that's what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland -- Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and the diocese was too poor to support him.
For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.
Francis' unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.
The parents wouldn't come to him out of fear. So Francis went to the children. When the parents saw how kind he was as he played with the children, they began to talk to him.
By the time, Francis left to go home he is said to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.
In 1602 he was made bishop of the diocese of Geneva, in Calvinist territory. He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice -- once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin's successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.
It was in 1604 that Francis took one of the most important steps in his life, the step toward holiness and mystical union with God.
In Dijon that year Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon -- a woman he had seen already in a dream. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. "I had to know fully what God himself wanted. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it." Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.
Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind to form a new religious order. But where would they get a convent for their contemplative Visitation nuns? A man came to Francis without knowing of his plans and told him he was thinking of donating a place for use by pious women. In his typical way of not pushing God, Francis said nothing. When the man brought it up again, Francis still kept quiet, telling Jane, "God will be with us if he approves." Finally the man offered Francis the convent.
Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction -- even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion. He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, "So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me." For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. He directed most people through letters, which tested his remarkable patience. "I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, i would be lost. So I intend neither to hurry or to worry. This evening, I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished."
At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns -- not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own life that people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. Why couldn't others do the same? His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe -- though some preachers tore it up because he tolerated dancing and jokes!
For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love. He said, "The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises. When it is gone they express their feelings in letters, and can't pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark. Thus too those who love God can never stop thinking about him, longing for him, aspiring to him, and speaking about him. If they could, they would engrave the name of Jesus on the hearts of all humankind."
The key to love of God was prayer. "By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God."
For busy people of the world, he advised "Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others and talk to God."
The test of prayer was a person's actions: "To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one's relations with people is to go lame on both legs."
He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we're still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others.
As he became older and more ill he said, "I have to drive myself but the more I try the slower I go." He wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII. "Now I really feel that I am only attached to the earth by one foot..." He died on December 28, 1622, after giving a nun his last word of advice: "Humility."
He is patron saint of journalists because of the tracts and books he wrote.

St Artemius:

St. Artemius
Feastday: January 24
Bishop and imperial legate. Artemius was on his way to Spain but fell ill and settled in Clermont, France. There he was appointed as bishop

St Babylas:

St. Babylas
Feastday: January 24
Martyred bishop with companions Urban, Prilidian, and Epolonius. Babylas became the bishop of Antioch, Turkey, about 240. St. John Chrysostom related that Babylas refused permission for Emperor Philip the Arab to enter his church until he performed penances. Philip had murdered his predecessor Gordian III. Babylas and his companions, young students of his, were arrested during the persecutions of Emperor Trajanus Decius, and Babylas died while awaiting execution. his relies were enshrined near a temple of Apollo.

St Bertrand:

St. Bertrand
Feastday: January 24
7th century
Benedictine abbot. companion of St. Bertinus and aide to St. Omer. He worked as a missionary in northern France and Flanders, Belgium, before becoming the abbot of Saint-Quentin.

St Zama:

St. Zama
Feastday: January 24
The first recorded bishop of Bologna, Italy. He was ordained by Pope St. Dionysius and entrusted with the founding of this illustrious see.

Blessed William Ireland:

Bl. William Ireland
Feastday: January 24
Jesuit martyr of England. He was born in Lincolnshire and studied at St. Omer, France, where he joined the Jesuits in 1655. He was professed in 1673 and was a confessor to nuns until he was sent to England, where he became known as William Ironmonger or Iremonger. William worked for the English mission until his arrest at the London Jesuit house and his subsequent execution at Tyburn for supposed complicity in the Popish Plot. He was beatified in 1929.

St Thyrsus & Projectus:

St. Thyrsus & Projectus
Feastday: January 24
Martyrs of an unknown year and location.Their Acts are no longer extant.

St Cadoc:

St. Cadoc
Feastday: January 24
A Welsh bishop and martyr, a companion of St. Gildas. Cadoc is also called Docus, Cathmael, and Cadvael. He founded Llancarfan Monastery near Cardiff, Wales, before becoming a missionary on the coast of Brittany, in France. Returning to Britain, Cadoc was involved in the Saxon occupation of the British lands. H e was martyred by the Saxons near Weedon, England

St Exuperantius:

St. Exuperantius
Feastday: January 24
5th century
Bishop of Cingoli, Italy, possibly a native African

St Guasacht:

St. Guasacht
Feastday: January 24
4th century
Bishop of Longford or Granard, Ireland, a convent of St. Patrick. He was the son of Maelchu, the master of St. Patrick when St. Patrick was a slave in Ireland.

Blessed John Grove:

Bl. John Grove
Feastday: January 24
English martyr, the servant of Blessed William Ireland. He served several Jesuits at a London house until his arrest. John was martyred at Tyburn with Blessed William Ireland for alleged involvement in the Titus Oates Plot. He was beatified in 1929.

St Macedonius:

St. Macedonius
Feastday: January 24
Hermit of Syria, called Kriptophagus. “the barley eater,” as grain was his only sustenance for four decades. He is reported to have performed many miracles of healing in Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia .

St Mardonius:

St. Mardonius
Feastday: January 24
Martyr of Asia Minor with Eugene, Metellus, and Musonius, burned at the stake at an unknown location

Courtesy of

A Prayer Request

Please raise my father--and Lynn's husband-- in prayer as he goes for an MRI this morning. He has crippling back pain that has made him unable to complete even the simplest of tasks. Please pray there will be a source of this pain found so that he can begin healing and recovery.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Today's Saints

St Ildephonsus:

St. Ildephonsus
Feastday: January 23
St. Ildephonsus is highly regarded in Spain and closely associated with devotion to the Blessed Virgin which he fostered by his famous work concerning her perpetual virginity. Born around 607, Ildephonsus came from a noble family and was probably a pupil of St. Isidore of Seville. While still quite young, he entered the Benedictine monastery of Agalia near Toledo and went on to become its Abbot. In that capacity he attended the Councils of Toledo in 653 and 655.
In 657 the clergy and people elected this holy man to succeed his uncle, St. Eugenius, as Archbishop of Toledo. He performed his episcopal duties with diligence and sanctity until his death in 667. This saint was a favorite subject for medieval artists, especially in connection with the legend of Our Lady's appearance to present him with a chalice. St. Ildephonsus was a prolific writer, but unfortunately only four of his works have survived. Among these are the one already mentioned and an important document of the history of the Spanish Church during the first two-thirds of the seventh century, entitled Concerning Famous Men

St Agathanelus:

St. Agathangelus
Feastday: January 23
Martyr baptized by St. Clement of Ancyra. Agathangelus met Clement in Rome. When Clement was taken to Ancyra, Agathangelus went with him, sharing in his martyrdom there

St. Amasius:

St. Amasius
Feastday: January 23
Bishop and exile, involved in the Arian persecution of his era. Amasius was a Greek who had to flee his homeland because of the Arian heresy. He went to Italy and was named the bishop of Teano in 346.

St Asclas:

St. Asclas
Feastday: January 23
Martyr who performed a miracle concerning Arrian, the governor of Egypt. Asclas was brought before Arrian during the persecutions instituted by Emperor Diocletian. Asclas was tortured for a time by Governor Arrian, until Arrian started to cross the Nile but found himself unable to do so. Asclas informed the governor that he would never cross the Nile unless he acknowledged Christ in writing. Arrian wrote this tribute and crossed the Nile. However, once safe, he commanded that Asclas be tortured and thrown into the Nile.

St Barnard:

St. Barnard
Feastday: January 23
Benedictine archbishop, founder and member of the court of Charlemagne. He was born in the Frene province of Lyonnais, in 777, and was educated at court. lie became a Benedictine and restored Ambronay Abbey, becoming abbot of the monks. In 810, Barnard was made the archbishop of Vienne, France, where he founded Romans Abbey in 837. He died there. He was canonized in 1907.

St Severian & Aquila:

St. Severian & Aquila
Feastday: January 23
Two martyrs put to death in Roman Africa. They were probably husband and wife.

St Colman of Lismore:

St. Colman of Lismore
Feastday: January 23
Abbot bishop of the monastery of Lismore, Ireland. He succeeded St. Hierlug in 698.

St Emerentiana:

St. Emerentiana
Feastday: January 23
Martyr of Rome, in some traditions the foster sister of St. Agnes, stoned to death when discovered praying at Agnes’ grave. Emerentiana was possibly martyred elsewhere. Her cult was confined to local calendars in 1969

St Eusebius:

St. Eusebius
Feastday: January 23
4th century
Syrian hermit who established his holy refuge on Mount Coryphe, near Antioch.

St Henry Suso, Blessed:

St. Henry Suso, Blessed
Feastday: January 23
Famed German Dominican mystic wrote many classic books. Born Heinrich von Berg in Constance, Swabia, he entered the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, at an early age. Undergoing a conversion, he developed an abiding spiritual life and studied under Meister Eckhart in Cologne from 1322-1325. He then returned to Constance to teach, subsequently authoring numerous books of spirituality. As he supported Meister Eckhart who was then the source of some controversy and had been condemned by Pope John XXII in 1329 Henry was censured by his superiors and stripped of his teaching position. He subsequently became a preacher in Switzerland and the Upper Rhine and was a brilliant spiritual advisor among the Dominicans and the spiritual community of the Gottesfreunde . He endured persecution right up until his death at Ulm. Pope Gregory XVI beatified him in 1831

St John the Almoner:

St. John the Almoner
Feastday: January 23
Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, called “the Almoner” because of his generosity to the poor. He was born into a noble family of Cyprus and was briefly married. When his wife and child died, he entered the religious life, and in 608 was named patriarch of Alexandria. He aided refugees from the Persian assaults on the Holy Land and built charitable institutions. John predicted his own death. He had to leave Alexandria when a Persian invasion troubled the region and had a vision of his demise. John went to Amathus, on Cyprus, where he died on November 11.

St Luthfild:

St. Luthfild
Feastday: January 23
Hermitess of Cologne, Germany. She is revered in that city.

St Maimbod:

St. Maimbod
Feastday: January 23
Irish martyr, also called Mainboeuf, missionary to Kaltenbrunn. Alsace, France. He was martyred by local pagans while preaching to them.

St Ormond:

St. Ormond
Feastday: January 23
6th century
French abbot, also listed as Armand. He was elected abbot of the monastery of Saint Maire, circa 587. Ormond was a patron of the monastic expansion and evangelization programs of his era.

St Parmenas:

St. Parmenas
Feastday: January 2
One of the seven deacons appointed by the Apostles to minister to the Hellenized Jews of Jerusalem who had converted to the Christian faith. Their labors were reported in the Acts of the Apostles. Parmenas is said to have to have spent many years preaching in Asia Minor before receiving martyrdom in Philippi, Macedonia, under Emperor Trajan.

Courtesy of

Monday, January 22, 2007

Help For All Those Who May Be Seeking It

If you or someone you know or love has had his or her life shattered by abortion, here are some resources:

Project Rachel

BirthChoice of Wake County


Healing Hearts

How Could I Forget

Please pray for the unborn and their mothers today. A year ago, although I never contemplated aborting my child, I felt these prayers deeply as my daughter continued to grow. After losing a baby, every day I was still pregnant was a gift. And every day I have her now is even greater yet.

Please also pray for those battling the weather in our nations capitol as they march for life.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.


is the feast day of St Vincent of Digne:

St. Vincent of Digne
Feastday: January 22
Bishop of Digne, France Originally from Africa, he became bishop of Digne and was later venerated as the patron saint of the city.

St Vincent Pallotti:

St. Vincent Pallotti
Feastday: January 22
St. Vincent Pallotti, Priest (Feast - January 22) Born in Rome in 1795, St. Vincent became a priest and dedicated himself completely to God and cared for souls. He dreamed of gaining for Christ all non-Catholics, especially the Mohammedans. To this end he inaugurated a revolutionary program which envisaged the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the clergy. But St. Vincent was also well aware of the many deprivations in the natural sphere that hindered the spread of the Faith. He thus obtained and spent huge sums for the poor and underprivileged. He founded guilds for workers, agriculture schools, loan associations, orphanages and homes for girls - all of which made him the pioneer and precursor of Catholic Action. His great legacy was the congregation which he founded for urban mission work, known as the "Society for Catholic Action". This indefatigable laborer for Christ in 1850 from a severe cold which he most likely caught on a cold rainy night after giving his cloak to a beggar who had none.

St Anastsius XIV:

St. Anastasius XIV
Feastday: January 22
Martyr, originally a Persian called Magundat. Once a magician, Anastasius was a soldier in the army of King Khusrow II, ruler of Persia, when that ruler carried the Holy Cross from Jerusalem to Persia. He was so impressed with the relic and with the demeanor of the Christians that he left the army, became a Christian, and then a monk in Jerusalem. After seven years, Anastasius went to Persia to convert his own people. He was taken prisoner and promised honors by King Khusrow if he denied Christ. Remaining constant in the faith, Anastasius was strangled and beheaded with 68 or 70 other Christians on January 22, 628. His remains were taken to Palestine, and later Rome

St Blaesilla:

St. Blaesilla
Feastday: January 22
Widow of Rome, the daughter of St. Paula and a disciple of St. Jerome. Blaesilla died at the age of twenty-three from a fever. She and her husband were married only seven months when he predeceased her

St Brithwald:

St. Brithwald
Feastday: January 22
Benedictine bishop and a benefactor of Glastonbury Abbey in England. Brithwald was a monk at Glastonbury when he was named bishop of Ramsbury in 1005. He eventually moved his see to Old Sarum. Both Glastonbury and Malmesbury abbeys were under his patronage. Brithwald had visions and was a true prophet.

St. Vincent, Orontius, & Victor:

St. Vincent, Orontius, & Victor
Feastday: January 22
Three martyrs of the Pyrenees. Vincent and Orontius were brothers, born in Cimiez, near Nice, France. They served as missionaries in the Pyrenees and were martyred at Puigcerda, with St. Victor. Their relics were enshrined at Embrun, France.

St Vincent the Deacon:

St. Vincent the Deacon
Feastday: January 22
Deacon and martyr. Born at Huesca, Spain, he became a deacon and served St, Valerius at Saragossa until their martyrdom at Valencia during the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305). St. Valerius was exiled, but Vincent was cruelly tortured because he would not surrender the holy books. He converted the warden of the prison and then died. He was honored by Sts. Augustine, Pope Leo I, and Prudentius, and is considered the patron saint of vinedressers in some regions of Spain.

Blessed William Patenson:

Bl. William Patenson
Feastday: January 22
English martyr. Born at Durham, he departed his homeland and studied at Reims before receiving ordination there in 1587. The following year he sailed home and worked to promote the Catholic cause in the dangerous atmosphere of Elizabethan England. Arrested in 1591, he was tried and condemned for being a priest and was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. During his imprisonment, he converted six other prisoners to the Catholic faith. Beatified in 1929.

St Dominic of Sora:

St. Dominic of Sora
Feastday: January 22
Benedictine abbot and founder. Born in Foligno, Etruria, Italy, he established monasteries in the old kingdom of Naples. He died at Sora, in Campania.

St Francis Gil de Frederich:

St. Francis Gil de Frederich
Feastday: January 22
Dominican martyr of Tonkin, China, and Vietnam. Born in Tortossa, Spain in 1702, Francis entered the Dominicans in Barcelona and was assigned to the Philippine missions. In 1732, he went to Tonkin and labored there. Arrested, he was a prisoner for several years and was beheaded. Francis was canonized in 1988.

St Matthew Alonso Leziniana:

St. Matthew Alonso Leziniana
Feastday: January 22
Dominican martyr of Vietnam. He was born in Navas del Rey in Spain and became a Dominican priest. Assigned originally to the Philippines, he was sent later to Vietnam where he was beheaded during the anti-Christian oppression. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1988

and finally
St Paschasius:

St. Paschasius
Feastday: January 22
Bishop of Vienne, France. No details of his life are extant, although his era was a remarkably turbulent one.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Full of Grace

This image of Madonna and child is by the artist Kathleen Ann Garcia. I was searching for an image I felt showed motherhood in a beautiful but natural state. I think my favorite thing about this picture is how the baby is sleeping. I think we sometimes get so caught up in the fact that Mary is the mother of our Savior and a virgin and chosen by God, that we forget that she was a mother period.

Mary had to do many of the things we have to do with our babies with Jesus. She taught him to walk and changed diapers. She played with him and sang to him. She heard his first words and shared his first smile.

This picture, with a baby sleeping as only a baby who is contented with his mother sleeps, helped to remind me of the motherhood of Mary.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Mama in Need

Please pray for Rachel and her family today as they face the uncertainty and risks of her surgery. Pray that St Gerard and St Elizabeth Ann Seton as well as Our Lady of Guadalupe watch over Rachel and her growing baby.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

He Chose Joy

He was 95 and he was my Grand father. On April 7, 1911 he was born and on January 4, 2007 he made his departure from this life.

He was a man of faith who loved deeply and treated others kindly. He embraced the Christian work ethic. He chose joy.

His lifetime encompassed two World Wars, television in every home, man in space, the right to vote for women and men of all races. The Berlin wall went up and came down. There was the flu epidemic of 1918, the swine flu, the aids epidemic and SARS. The polio vaccine was discovered. Books were written. Computer technology hit the scene and and advanced from IBM cards to microchips in a decade or so. Then there was Microsoft, Google and ebay. Famine hit Somalia and a tsunami hit Sri Lanka. New Orleans flooded. Mt St Helen's erupted and destroyed all vegetation for miles and miles. Then it all grew back. Let us not forget Mother Theresa and John Paul II. History continues to happen.

A few years ago I was reflecting on my grandfather's life, and of all the lives that descended from him. He had three children, ten grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. We compiled a scrapbook of memories and tried to capture the impact and influence that he had on his family and how each family member reflected his values in their own lives. Our humble attempt only skimmed the surface. That endeavour led to my appreciation of genealogies. I especially love the Genealogy of Jesus in the book of Matthew. We all know of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Jesse, David and Solomon, but I like to imagine the unpretentious possibilities of the souls that bore the names of Ram, Salmon, or Asa.

I don't know that my grandfather attained any achievement that would be noteworthy in a history book, but

He was a man of faith who loved deeply and treated others kindly. He embraced the Christian work ethic. He chose joy.

All that is good is of God and has it's place. God created the world and it was good. Kind acts impact history and the world. Just because no one has written about them does not mean that they don't exist. Imagine the possibilities, seek and see the goodness of God in others.

He was a man of faith who loved deeply and treated others kindly. He embraced the Christian work ethic. He chose joy.

True greatness lies in the heart.

Rest in Peace, Benedict Michael Kosmala.

Give, O Lord,
to the souls
thou hast taken.
Rest in paradise,
that place
of light
in the heavenly
Jerusalem forever.

And we who are
still pilgrims here
keep in Thy faith,
giving us Thy peace
even unto the end
and leading us
into Thy Kingdom.

Coptic Liturgy

Here is a link to a very comforting and hopeful ecard on
It is featured as a card for the Feast of all Souls


What a great word.
To recall to memory; to recollect.
When we remember a person, we make them a member again.
Our spirits are intertwined and we are once again bound.
He said,
"As often as you do this remember me and the life that I give to the world."
So do it.
Do it often.

Seeing the Face of God

I once heard a midwife say that when a new baby is first born, if you look into his or her face, it is like looking into the face of God.

What an amazing idea!

I remember as a teenage that the Joan Osborne song "One of Us" was popular. The song began like this:
If God had a name
What would it be
And would you call it to His face
If you were faced with Him
In all His Glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

I remember there was a lot of controversy about the song with people saying that Joan was saying that God was apart from people and also that she had compared him to a slob.

My brother Michael and I had different ideas. We felt like Joan Osborne was saying that the face of God is the face of each and everyone of our brothers and sisters. In the face of the sinner. In the face of the saint. In the face of Pope. In the face of the beggar. I remember us telling our mother about this. I remember her saying, "Wow, I never thought about it like that."

It is so easy, almost too easy I think, for mothers to see the face of God in their children. Especially when those children are young. The challenge lies in seeing the face of God in those same children when they are moody teens or difficult adults finding their way.

I thought about this while I was very tired this morning nursing the baby. Her little face was so innocent. But while God's love is innocent, God knows all of our faults and loves us all despite that.

And when we encounter someone else and see the face of God in his or her eyes, we are showing that person the face of God ourselves.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saintly Positioning

I have a friend who is somewhat distressed because she didn't name her son after saints. She picked a name she liked, which is not at all unusual, Tyler Carter, and now, I think she feels a little buyers remorse.

Now I have a confession, my daughter's first name has nothing to do with saints, her middle name, Clare, is for St Clare of Assisi, but her first name, Shelby, is about as secular as they come. I have no regrets about her name and it has nothing to do with the fact that her middle name came from a saint. To be honest, I wasn't 100% sure of her name until I saw her. And I wasn't worried about what people would think.

Although it's no longer required, people still feel a tremendous amount of pressure to name their children after saints. I have even known people to name a baby a name they didn't really like and use a middle name because they were so afraid by being judged by their family, friends and parish members.

I have a problem with this. I like the idea of naming a child after a saint. Wouldn't it be nice if every Mary was as virtous and believing as our Lord's mother? But, I also feel as though God is not going to determine our entrance into heaven based upon our name or the names we give to our children. After all, if God loves us enough to know each hair on our head, a name seems awfully arbitrary.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Am I an "Easter People" Person?

I'd like to think so. A few years ago when I was serving as a youth group leader the individuals were challenged to come up with one phrase to describe how they wished to be remembered. My phrase was "She loved." It's easy to love our family and those whom we choose to be with,but what about our enemies or those who wish us harm? Or what about those who actually cause us or our loved ones harm? How do we love our enemies?

I recall several years ago one of the fathers of an Oklahoma City bombing victim speak for the life of Timothy Mcveigh. Initially enraged, Bud Welch wanted vengeance. But after seeing the pain in Mcveigh's father's face, a pain that can only be borne of one who loves, he saw his own pain. His heart was transformed. Despite his sorrow, this father walked with Christ and attested to the sanctity of life, including the life of Timothy Mcveigh. He refused to allow hate or vengeance consume him. Even though Mcveigh never publicly showed remorse for his actions, Mr. Welch showed compassion for the love of God. He loved as Jesus commanded him. God is love and God is life. Eternal life. Mr Bud Welch is an Easter person.

Am I capable of loving that deeply? I pray that I am never put to the test as Mr. Welch was, but I did indeed find myself tested this past Triduum. My husband and I attended the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. We listened to the readings of the Passover,where the Israelites were "passed over" by the by the Lord's wrath on the Egyptians. After Mass we were sitting in a ballpark enjoying my 19 year old son's church league softball game. During a break my son came over to speak with my husband. He divulged that he had been robbed at gun point at his apartment the night before and that he would be moving back in with us. Though shocked and a little scared at first, I quickly became giddy with feelings of God's blessing and mercy. I felt triumphant. God had protected my beloved son, my family was "passed over".

Good Friday brought me to a very different place. In my exuberant prayers of praise and thanksgiving, I felt so loved, so chosen. On that day, that Holy day when we recall the darkest day in history, the words of Jesus, resonated in my head,

"Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

Briefly thoughts of the perpetrators crossed my mind. My spirit became troubled. I was personally convicted. In His words Jesus was speaking to God about me, about my sin. I had not prayed for the young men who had threatened my beautiful son. I had not prayed for their families or their plight. A plight that landed them in a state of such flagrant disregard for life-even their own life.

My prayer had only been about me and mine. It was selfish.

I pray for them now, and I ask you to pray for them as well. I forgive them and ask God to forgive me. I have disdain for their actions, but by God's grace alone I love them as Jesus commands me to. It's the Easter thing to do. I want to be remembered as one who loved.

Thank you Jesus for showing me how.

Am I an "Easter People" person? I am a work in progress.
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
Alleluia! Alleluia

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

St. Monica's Bridge

St Monica's Bridge is founded on the premise that all women of Faith seek and desire Heaven. Mothers of faith desire Heaven for their children as well. We all love our children and we all desire for them well being on Earth, and Joy for Eternity.

Over the years I have encountered (and been a part of) many exclusive groups among Catholic parents. The home schoolers, the Catholic schoolers, the public schoolers, the working moms , the stay at home moms, the cry room advocates, the cry room opponents etc- you get the point. In attempts to seek support, individuals unite to form alliances that can sometimes divide and alienate.

As a woman of faith I believe that he only clear cut map to Heaven is revealed by the grace of God. I have found that over the years, my smoothest paths during times of trial have been led by God. When I place before God my prayer of discernment and desire for His will I have discovered that by grace, the path is made straight and peace prevails in my spirit. When I forget God, chaos and anxiety abound. I try hard to pray for my children unceasingly. I ask God for guidance on their behalf. In matters which I have placed my faith and trust in my Savior before all else, He has never failed me. I am a sinner and have certainly made mistakes. Each mistake has occurred with the absence of God before me as a result of my failure to remember.

I trust in the prayers of other faithful mothers as well. I see no value in contemplating or judging their circumstances or decisions. I pray that God guides all mothers on their journeys and I pray for their steadfast faith. I seek strength in union with the prayers of Mary, mother of God, St. Monica and St Anne. (I wonder what the church people said about them:)

St. Monica's bridge is that thread that connects us. It rises above the waters of our differences and recognizes that God loves us all. He created a beautiful and diverse world. As mothers he has entrusted us with his most precious gift- life. It's a funny thing about this world's life- they can't create it on their own in the lab, and they can't stop it from ending.

God's only request is our love. He dressed Himself in a cloak of humanity and showed us how. He walked the walk and talked the talk. He gave us the star to follow. Let us together pack up our children in prayer and journey together toward our own epiphany where we will stand face to face with God.

O Morning Star, lead us onward to Heaven.

May God guide your path in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seven. Amen


Monday, January 8, 2007

Mothering While Working 40 Hours

My good friend Gina is returning to work later this month. Her daughter was born a month before mine was. I returned after eight weeks of paid maternity leave. Gina was fortunate enough not to need her income to get by and so she will have been home almost eight months.

Her fears are the same as mine were.

She's afraid her daughter will forget that she is her mother. She's afraid that she will cry when she drops the baby at daycare. She's afraid people will judge her for what she is doing.

I prayed for hours on end while I was out of work and before the baby was born. I crunched the numbers. If I stayed out of work or didn't go back, we were going to be living in a cardboard box.

Ironically enough, my mother, who had stayed home with us, encouraged me to go back to work. She felt that many of my social phobias were as a result of my lack of interaction with children outside of our family when I was young.

And I was an awful mother, I didn't even interview the daycare providers. I left that to my husband! That turned out to be the best decision I made.

When a mother works for 40 hours a week outside of the home (I refuse to call this "full-time"), she has to feel like the caregivers of her child are loving and caring for her child as a vocation. A calling.

I dare say my husband was looking for someplace clean, reputable and safe. The first day I picked my daughter up from daycare, I found all of that, and the love and care for my child I would have taken into account.
Her teacher, Ms Diane, loves all her babies. She showers them with kisses, knows all their moods, has nicknames for all of them and talks to mothers out of care and concern and as a fellow mother, which she is. The daycare center is also helping her to continue her education to be certified in more and more things so that she can continue to provide excellent care.

No one replaces mama, as I told Gina, but when you find someone to care for your child as you would, you become a better mama.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Our Patroness

Courtesy of

St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370· He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish." This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. St. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Who We Are

A mother and daughter who are Catholic women. One of us has raised and the other is raising a family in the faith.

We encounter many Catholic moms:

those who homeschool, those who go to parochial school and those who send children to public schools.

those who stay at home, those that work from home, those that work part-time, and those that work full-time.

those who are married, have been married, are widowed and have never been married.

those whose children were born of them and whose children were not.

This is a place for all of us.

God Bless You All.

Lynn and Kristen